Highline Residences – Hip Tiong Bahru awaits new condo

The much-anticipated 500-unit Highline Residences will come up opposite three completed condominium projects, including Regency Suites (left) and the Twin Regency (right) in Kim Tian Road. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The much-anticipated 500-unit Highline Residences will come up opposite three completed condominium projects, including Regency Suites (left) and the Twin Regency (right) in Kim Tian Road. — ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

A REMARKABLE stillness has settled over the private property market in the hip Tiong Bahru district in the past few months.

Resale deals there have slowed to a trickle as most buyers eyeing the area wait with bated breath for the upcoming launch of a new condominium project in Kim Tian Road.

The much-anticipated Highline Residences condo, developed by Keppel Land, will have 500 units on a 99-year leasehold.

Although its launch date and prices have not been announced yet, it is expected to go on sale by the end of next month with an estimated selling price in the range of $1,700 to $1,900 per sq ft.

Consultants said the Tiong Bahru area has a bright investment outlook owing to its convenient city fringe location and the limited supply of new homes there.

The district also appeals to expatriate tenants for its vibrant mix of old and new, they added.

“The character of Tiong Bahru is very unique, with a mix of older and new apartments, eateries, shops and some old-world charm, setting it apart from areas that are too similar in housing forms,” said R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

Highline Residences is opposite three completed projects – Regency Suites, Twin Regency and the Central Green condo. All three have not seen any resale transactions since the start of this year.

The 84-unit Regency Suites in Kim Tian Road is freehold and was completed in 2008. The most recent transaction there was in August last year when a 980 sq ft unit was resold for $1.63 million or $1,664 per sq ft (psf), according to caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The average rent over the past six months was $4.82 psf per month.

Rents were slightly higher at its neighbour Twin Regency, also along Kim Tian Road. The 234-unit freehold project, completed in 2007, posted an average rent of $5.18 psf per month over the past six months. According to caveats, the most recent transaction there was in July last year, when a 1,227 sq ft unit was resold for $2.15 million or $1,752 psf.

The 412-unit Central Green condominium in Jalan Membina is older, having been completed in 1995. Its most recent resale was in December last year at $1.73 million for a 1,292 sq ft unit, or $1,339 psf according to caveats. The project is on a 99-year lease term and posted an average rent of $4.05 psf per month over the past six months.

Mr Ong said resale prices for the relatively newer completed condos in Tiong Bahru could fall to around $1,550 psf by the end of this year given the general weakness in the resale market. An average selling price of around $1,800 to $1,850 psf at a new project would therefore be a “reasonable premium” above resale, he noted.

However, consultants noted that even this price may not be affordable for some investors due to home loan limits imposed in June last year.

By Melissa Tan

From Strait Times 17/05/2014 melissat@sph.com.sg
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/money/story/hip-tiong-bahru-awaits-new-condo-20140517#sthash.TjfqTK43.dpuf

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