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Hot Spot – Kallang Basin

New condos coupled with the Government’s plans to revitalise the greater Marina Bay area will inject a lot more buzz into the Kallang Basin district. Already, the values of some residential projects in this area have risen. Check them out. Kallang Basin 



Residential oasis near the city

TANJONG Rhu is a large upmarket condo belt with views of the Kallang Basin – and even the sea for some units.

The lungs of the area are the many large plots of greenery interspersed between the condos, which are fairly new, big and well-designed. Most sit on 99-year leasehold land rather than freehold.

They are valued for their proximity to the city and the sea. Residents also have easy access to the National Stadium – or the future Kallang sports hub – and several restaurants.

There are no new launches here, though prices have risen in line with the market and new projects in nearby areas, such as Meyer Road and Marina Bay.

In the past year, prices have risen 50 to 60 per cent, to an average of $800 to $1,000 per sq ft (psf) in the first quarter, said CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Buyers have shown keen interest in the past year. Last month, at least eight deals were done at Costa Rhu for about $877 psf on average. The 737-unit condo was launched in 1995 at $750 psf on average.

Agents said buyers prefer projects with views of the Kallang Basin, like Pebble Bay.

Rents in the area have also risen. For instance, monthly rents at Pebble Bay are up by nearly 27 per cent, going from $2.29 psf to $2.90 psf in the first quarter, CBRE said, citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

That means a three-bedroom unit at Pebble Bay will cost about $5,500 a month to lease. Asking rents are even higher, at $6,000 to $8,000 a month, said Savills Research. In general, asking rents for a two- to threebedroom unit in the area come to $4,000 to $6,000 a month, it said.


Cosy community on the urban fringe

THE tranquil Meyer area, tucked away just north of the East Coast Parkway, offers a fairly wide mix of housing choices.

There is a clear delineation between the condominiums and the semi-detached houses on opposite sides of Meyer Road.

But both ends share the purely residential area’s relative peace and quiet.

The area is popular with Indian expatriates, who like it for its proximity to both East Coast Park and the city.

Lifted by new launches, prices in the area hit about $950 to $1,200 per sq ft (psf) on average in the first quarter of the year, up 35 to 50 per cent from a year earlier, said CB Richard Ellis.

The newest project launched for sale this year is CapitaLand’s The Seafront @ Meyer, following the launch of GuocoLand’s The View @ Meyer. Sing Holdings’ Meyer Residence was first marketed more than a year ago.

Some of the older projects – particularly those where owners are keen to attempt collective sales, such as Hawaii Tower – have attracted higher offers.

Deals done this year have averaged about $957 psf at Hawaii Tower and $1,075 psf at The Sovereign, said Savills Research, citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Asking rents for a two- to three-bedroom unit in the area average $3,500 to $5,000 a month, Savills said.

But rents can be much higher. At The Sovereign, which has relatively large units, landlords are asking $9,500 to $11,000 a month for the larger 3,300 sq ft units, it said.


More boutique apartments on the way

GEYLANG needs no introduction to most Singaporeans.

As one of Singapore’s best-known red-light districts, Geylang boasts a vibrant nightlife and a wide array of good food.

In fact, the area is buzzing with activity during the day too. It is dominated by many small budget hotels and is widely known for its casual eateries serving good local fare often well into the night.

Boutique apartments are also popular in the area.

More developments are on the way. Launches early last year included The Arizon and The Midas, followed by the 142-unit Atrium Residences, which is developed by the Novelty Group. All three are being built on freehold plots.

Existing developments include the 99-year leasehold The Alcove, where average prices are at $375 per sq ft (psf), and the freehold Le Crescendo, which has sold for a higher average of $670 psf this year.

At Central Grove, the average transacted price this year is $566,800 and asking rents are between $2,800 and $3,000 a month, said Savills Research.

In the area generally, asking rents for a two- to three-bedroom unit start a little cheaper at an average of $2,000 a month, rising to $3,000 a month, it said.

Home prices here have not risen much in the past year, said Savills Singapore’s director of marketing and business development, Mr Ku Swee Yong.

He added that the developments in this area attract HDB upgraders, particularly those living nearby, on Sims Avenue and Guillemard Road.


Heartland enclave all set to turn swanky

OLD public housing estates are the mainstay of the Kallang area, with basic amenities such as a train station, a community centre and coffee shops adding a true heartland feel.

But changes are in store that will inject an upmarket tone, as the area is near the Kallang Basin, which is set to be rejuvenated.

And just to the south, an upcoming posh 96-unit condo will also jazz things up.

The Riverine by the Park, which Wing Tai started selling in April, saw strong interest and is now fully sold. Located near Kallang Riverside Park, it is close to the city centre.

Asking prices in the sub-sale market have surged to as much as $2,000 per sq ft (psf) for a penthouse unit. Three-room HDB flats in the area have been sold for $160,000 to $215,000. Five-roomers have gone for $257,000 to $468,000.

In the years ahead, the public housing in the area will become more posh, as it will boast the first public waterfront homes just to the north. Five blocks of three- to five-room flats will be built on Bendemeer Road in about three years’ time.

On Boon Keng Road, a private developer will soon build condo-like HDB flats under HDB’s second design, build and sell scheme.


Evolving estate with a bit of everything

THERE is no escaping the commercial flavour of much of the Lavender area.

Hardware stores, a funeral parlour and industrial sites pepper the area alongside residential estates.

Still, housing is slowly evolving, with older public housing estates near the Lavender MRT Station now mixed with newer condo developments such as Southbank and Citylights.

These two conveniently located condos have seen keen sub-sale interest and rising prices.

Southbank’s 197 residential units were launched nearly a year ago at $600 per sq ft (psf) on average – and prices have since climbed. Asking prices for these condos are near or above $1,000 psf now.

Due to its central location, the HDB flats in the area tend to command a premium. A fairly new five-room HDB flat in Jellicoe Road, near the Lavender MRT Station, for instance, was sold for $470,000 in April.

The area is becoming more attractive and the planned injection of more leisure and sports activities along the river should boost demand for housing, said Savills Singapore director of marketing and business development Ku Swee Yong.

Source: Sunday Times 10 Jun 07

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