Next door to Kerrisdale is a vacant lot that URA has zoned for the development of a 390-room hotel. The 99-year leasehold site is on the reserve list and waiting to be triggered. Another hotel site nearby is also on the reserve list and can yield 375 rooms.
What is attracting both owner-occupiers and investors to the area is its accessibility, with the opening of the new MRT stations, as well as amenities such as the City Square Mall, which is equivalent in size to Ngee Ann City shopping mall, and Mustafa Centre. The area is also popular with those who like the vibrant Little India and Kampong Glam neighbourhoods, with their conservation shophouses and retail-and-F&B mix, which are also a tourist draw, say property agents.
Another upcoming facility that investors are most interested in is the $800-million medical complex called Connexion, which will house the Farrer Park Medical Centre, with 189 clinics, a 220-bed Farrer Park Hospital, a 230-room hotel called One Farrer Hotel, as well as a retail and commercial podium called Owen Link. The project is expected to be completed in 2013, after a nine-month delay.
“Prices at Kerrisdale went up quite a bit when City Square Mall opened, and we’re likely to see another round of price escalations when the upcoming medical hub opens,” says Hans Chee, an associate director and realtor with L.Square Properties.
One was a three-bedroom, 1,259sqft unit on the 24th floor, which was sold for $1.37 million ($1,088psf), the third time it has changed hands so far. The original owner purchased it from the resale market in February 2007 for $661,000 ($525psf) and sold it three years later, in May 2010, for $1.07 million ($850psf), making a 62% gain. The previous owner, in turn, enjoyed a 28% price appreciation when he sold it recently for $1,088psf.
On the 22nd level of the same block, a 1,270sqft, three-bedroom apartment changed hands for $1.34 million ($1,055psf). The owner had purchased it from the developer in March 2006 for $668,000 ($526psf) and sold it last month for $1,055psf, double the amount he initially paid.
Meanwhile, at a neighbouring block within the development, a 1,270sqft, three-bedroom apartment on the 26th floor was sold at the end of last month for $1.32 million ($1,039psf).
According to URA statistics, over the last two years, home prices on the city fringes, or Rest of Central Region, have increased at a faster pace than those in the prime districts (Core Central Region) or the suburbs (Outside Central Region). For instance, from 3Q2009 to 3Q2011, based on the URA price indices, prices of non-landed properties (apartments and condos) on the city fringes have jumped 34.5%, compared with 26.8% in the prime districts and 31% in the suburbs.
According to listings on property websites such as propertyguru.com and iproperty.com, owners are asking for $1,050 to about $1,250psf. Despite having risen in the last two years, these prices are still considered “good bargains” by potential buyers, adds Chee.
Source: THEEDGE SINGAPORE