TE Capital and LaSalle Investment Management have sold out the last of the office floors in their Solitaire on Cecil project in Singapore’s central business district less than three months after the official launch, amid strong demand from family offices and ultra-wealthy individuals, Mingtiandi has learned.
A Chinese investor last week took an option to purchase the fifth level of the development at 148 Cecil Street for around S$4,010 to S$4,020 ($2,985 to $2,990) per square foot, snatching up the last of the 15 strata-titled office floors in the 20-storey tower, according to people familiar with the transaction.
With the project not slated to open until 2026, agents appointed by Solitaire on Cecil’s owners have officially stopped marketing office floors in the development, according to Mingtiandi sources familiar with the project. During its brief stay on the market, the soon-to-rise project set a new price record with the S$4,325 per square foot sale of its top floor, while the sixth level sold for S$3,865 per square foot.
“The product is very well designed specifically to cater to family offices and businesses of high net worth individuals,” said Gillian Chee of asset management and investment advisory firm Global Impact Assets, who advised on the purchase of a floor in the project and sees Solitaire on Cecil as aligned with the priorities of international investors and occupiers.
“There are a lot of family offices coming to Singapore and they are looking for ways to upgrade efficiently. Especially for foreign companies, they come with a strong balance sheet and they are able to afford to buy.”
The unidentified Chinese investor is estimated to be paying over S$50 million for the fifth floor of the 192,000 square foot (17,837 square metre) project, based on independent calculations using the project’s typical floor plate from 12,465 square feet to 13,132 square feet in net salable area.
Last month separate foreign nationals also scooped up levels eight, nine and 13 in the building, according to property agency Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), which brokered a total of five deals including a separate deal for 11th floor, but declined to comment further on the transactions.
A Singapore-based company is paying the equivalent of S$4,050 per square foot, or at least S$50.5 million, for the seventh floor, according to sources.
It is understood that the project’s owners have signed option to purchase agreements for the sale of the last five floors to change hands in the tower, with sale and purchase agreements yet to be signed
In May, units of Singapore-based non-profit Thye Hua Kwan (THK) Moral Charities also snapped up the building’s 10th and 14th floors in a S$103.33 million deal which valued the assets at an average of S$4,150 per square foot. Chee of GIA brokered the sale of another floor at S$4,264 per square foot.
In April, a local company set a new price record for freehold strata office assets in Singapore when it picked up the 20th floor, together with levels 17 and 18, in a deal brokered by Savills. Buyers grabbed the sixth and 12 storeys during a preview period for the project during the first two months of 2023.
Investors also acquired two strata units designed for food and beverage businesses for an undisclosed amount.
Strata Deals Gain Traction
Set to rise on the site of the former PIL Building between Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar, sources said the partners will likely commence construction on the project in the next two months with the former owner, Pacific International Lines (PIL) having vacated the existing premises in April.
Rated as Green Mark Platinum – the highest rating possible under Singapore’s regime for sustainable buildings – the office project is located within eight minutes’ walk of four downtown subway stations, including Tanjong Pagar MRT.
The development also features 2,000 square feet of space dedicated to food and beverage as well as another 27,000 square feet allocated to green space, wellness facilities and collaboration areas.
The sell-out underscores the strong demand for Singapore strata office assets among wealthy individuals and family offices, particularly for high-end grade A offices in prime locations, according to brokers active in the market.
“Given its freehold tenure and prime location within the CBD, coupled with one of the highest building specifications in a strata office the market ever had, Solitaire on Cecil will continue to be a sought after asset in years to come,” SRI Capital Market managing partner Low Choon Sin said on Friday. “The ownership of such premium strata offices will prove to be a wealth preservation among the ultra high net worth investors and family offices.”
Three floors at the 37-storey Springleaf Tower in Tanjong Pagar also changed hands last week for an undisclosed amount, according to a Linkedin post by CBRE, which brokered the sale.
Elsewhere in the CBD, investors are also snapping up floors in the limited supply of strata title grade A buildings such as Samsung Hub in Raffles Place and Suntec City in Marina Centre, with the potential for capital appreciation key to demand, according to GIA’s Chee.
“New supply of grade A offices are at a 10-year low. As such, rents are still on an uptrend albeit a slower rate of growth,” Chee said. “Owner occupiers have started to look to buy as a hedge against inflation less deterred by the rising interest rates than investors.”