A 22-storey freehold condo complex near Singapore’s posh Orchard Road is back on the market for the third time in three years, with the owners trying for their highest price ever as home prices in the city state head for historical highs in the post-pandemic period.
Residents of the Elizabeth Towers condominium in the Cairnhill area of District 9 are asking S$630 million ($462.7 million) for the freehold project, which offers the potential to develop at 252,438 square feet (23,452 square metres) of new homes, according to an on Monday by Edmund Tie & Company, a real estate consulting firm hired as the sole marketing agent.
“We are expecting very keen interest from local and overseas developers vying for Elizabeth Towers,” Edmund Tie executive director of investment advisory Swee Shou Fern said in the release. “This is a trophy corner plot offering the successful bidder a rare opportunity to create an ultra-luxury residential landmark in the heart of Orchard Road,” she said.
If the tender is successful this time, offloading the freehold residential property will mark the biggest collective sale in Singapore this year, topping UOL Group’s S$550.8 million bid for the Watten Estate Condominium last month, and the S$371 million which a joint venture between Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments paid for the Flynn Park apartment complex in September.
Orchard Area Owners Try Again
Completed in 1980, Elizabeth Towers occupies a 54,318 square foot (584,674 square metre) plot at 455 Elizabeth Avenue, and is a five minute walk from the Orchard Road shopping and lifestyle hub.
At the reserve price, the owners of Elizabeth Towers are asking around S$2,496 per square foot of gross floor area for the property, which is 3.3 percent higher than the S$2,416 per square foot asking price when the complex was last put on the market in January 2019 for S$610 million ($448 million).
With the tender set to close on 15 December, Edmund Tie said that potential buyers are likely to be won over by the project’s 7 percent in bonus balcony area, as well as its accessibility to major transport networks like the Orchard and Somerset MRT Stations, which are five minutes away, as well as to the Central Expressway.
A potential new owner will be allowed to build a complex of up to 36 floors on the site, based on Singapore’s 2019 land use plan, with the site designated for a maximum plot ratio of 4.65.
Before the 2019 tender, which ended in February of that year without a successful bid, an earlier sale attempt in June 2018, also failed to find a buyer. Knight Frank Singapore was the exclusive marketing agent in both earlier tenders.
The most recent sales of units at Elizabeth towers took place in 2019 with transactions in the 2017 to 2019 period ranging from S$1,418 to S$1,748 per square foot, according to data from Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Rising Home Prices, Collective Hopes
The latest tender for Elizabeth Towers follows two major collective sales in the past two months, led by UOL’s S$550.8 million deal for the 1983-vintage Watten Estate Condominium in Bukit Timah last month, which traded for more than 10 percent over the S$500 million reserve price, with UOL having yet to confirm the closing of the transaction.
In September, a joint venture between local builders Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments emerged as the winning bidder for the 35-year-old Flynn Park residential site at 18-22 Yew Siang Road, near the Greater Southern Waterfront project.
Strong demand and limited supply have combined to drive up private home prices in the city-state recently, with transaction pricing growing by an average of 1.1 percent in the third quarter, compared to the previous three months, Edmund Tie said in a report last month. That increase marked the sixth straight quarter of rising home prices in Singapore, the agency said, with rates in the third quarter having jumped 7.5 percent from the same period last year.
“We expect homebuying demand to remain buoyant, especially in the suburban locations where the pricing quanta are lower and relatively more affordable,” the report read. “While location and price remain the key drivers of demand, buyers will increasingly factor in other project features such as flexible unit design and layout efficiency, communal areas and facilities, and smart-living features.”