At that time, the 556-unit Casa Merah, located directly behind Optima, had just been completed, and transactions in the secondary market were hovering at $750 to $800psf.
The 484sqft one-bedroom units have also seen prices escalating in the secondary market and crossing $1,300psf by the middle of this year. The most recent transaction was of one located on the fourth level of one of the five 14-storey blocks. It changed hands at $665,000, or an all-time high of $1,373psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
That was the third time the unit has changed hands so far. The first buyer had purchased it at launch in August 2009 for $496,600 ($1,025psf). He sold it last November for $545,000 ($1,125psf), at a 10% gain. The buyer enjoyed a 22% price appreciation in less than a year, however, when he sold it recently for $1,373psf.
The neighbourhood in which Optima, Casa Merah and older condos such as The Tanamera and East Meadows are located is also near famous dining enclaves such as Simpang Bedok and Siglap. Shopping malls such as Tampines Mall, Tampines Point, East Point and Bedok Point are also just a few MRT stops away. Investors who had bought into Optima were also looking at its proximity to Changi Business Park and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), scheduled to open by next April.
Jason Hew, associate marketing director of PropNex, says Optima is the first development in the Tanah Merah neighbourhood to offer one bedroom apartments. The smallest units at Casa Merah, for instance, are the 947sqft two-bedroom apartments.
Property agents marketing units at Optima have slapped a premium on prices, given the condo’s convenient location right next to the Tanah Merah MRT station. “Most of the nearby properties like Casah Merah and older condos like East Meadows offer more family-sized three- and four-bedroom apartments,” adds Hew. He sees prices at Optima continuing to trend upwards. As the area develops, he foresees the neighbourhood attracting more single expatriates and young couples who may be working at Changi Business Park, or even in the CBD, given the proximity to the MRT station.
Not surprisingly, asking prices of one-bedroom units at Optima range from $650,000 to $700,000, or $1,350 to $1,400psf. “Some sellers are intending to hold on to the units because it will [obtain its temporary occupancy permit] next year,” adds Hew. A property that is newly completed tends to see a spike in the number of transactions because there will be interest from buyers who want to move in or rent out immediately, he says.
Source: THEEDGE SINGAPORE