A local company has set a new Singapore price record with the purchase of a trio of office floors in Solitaire on Cecil, an office project being developed by TE Capital and LaSalle Investment Management near the Raffles Place commercial hub.
The buyer, which is said to be expanding its operations in the city-state, is picking up the top level of the 20-storey tower, along with floors 17 and 18, for a combined S$162.8 million, according to an announcement today by property consultancy Savills, which brokered the transaction.
“Given the high quality specifications of the development and its freehold nature, we have received strong interest from local and foreign high-net-worth family office and corporate users,” said Galven Tan, deputy managing director with Savills’ investment sales and capital markets division.
With the top floor trading for S$4,325 per square foot, the transaction surpasses the previous all-time high price mark for an office property in Singapore set in the same building, besting the S$4,196 per square foot mark established with the sale of the twelfth floor of Solitaire on Cecil during the first quarter.
Strata in Short Supply
Combined across the three floors, the investor is acquiring 37,857 square feet (3,517 square metres) of office space for an average price of S$4,300 per square foot as private investors continue to show an appetite for bite-sized real estate assets in Southeast Asia’s wealthiest city.
During a preview period in the first two months of the year a separate investor had purchased the sixth floor in the 192,000 square foot project at a rate of S$3,865 per square foot with analysts pointing to the restricted pool of high quality commercial assets in Singapore as supporting price growth.
“With very limited supply of strata office in the market, the result is a testament to the robust demand for investment grade strata office,” said Yap Hui Yee, an executive director with Savills’ investment sales and capital markets division. “There are only a total of 15 office floors in Solitaire on Cecil and we have seen increasingly strong momentum on the take up rate with 5 of the office floors being sold to high-net-worth individuals and family offices. “
Yee predicted that the remaining 10 office levels would continue to gain favour with investors with the project set for completion in 2026.
With Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority having stopped issuing permits for strata subdivision of commercial buildings in Singapore’s core business hubs in March of last year, Solitaire on Cecil is said to have secured one of the last approvals for development of a building for sale on strata basis before the new policy took effect.
High Spec, Lofty Prices
Beyond its status as one of the few strata commercial projects currently on the market in Singapore’s central business district, Solitaire on Cecil has also benefited from heeding the ongoing shift in investor interest towards high grade office assets with an emphasis on sustainability.
Already awarded Green Mark Platinum certification, the highest level available under Singapore’s sustainable building regime, the building is aligned with the government’s goal of establishing the Lion City as a green metropolis. The tower also incorporates bicycle parking, storage lockers, showers and changing rooms to promote wellness and sustainable commuting.
In addition to the office space, the project has 2,000 square feet of food and beverage areas and 27,000 square feet of the tower is set aside for green space, wellness facilities and collaboration areas, according to information from TE Capital.
Together with LaSalle Investment Management, the private equity firm had closed on the former PIL Building at 140 Cecil Street for S$323.8 million in February of last year. The project is eight minutes’ walk from four major transit stations including Tanjong Pagar MRT, and within a 10 minute stroll of major office towers along Robinson Road such as CapitaLand’s Capital Tower and Gaw Capital’s Robinson 77.
Private Investors Stay Hungry
The sale of the trio of floors was announced just days after news reports showed that a private Chinese investor had paid S$92.2 million to purchase an office property on Singapore’s Club Street – less than ten minutes’ walk west of Solitaire on Cecil.
That five-storey building sold for the equivalent of S$3,193 per square foot with buyer said to be a Singapore resident formerly employed by Chinese state-run oil firm Sinopec.
Also this month an Indonesian family was revealed by Mingtiandi as having purchased a trio of good class bungalows on Singapore’s posh Nassim Road for S$206.7 million, setting a new price record for landed housing in the city-state.