THE flurry in the luxury property market on Singapore’s mainland seems to be spreading to the Sentosa Cove bungalow market.
According to List Sotheby’s International Realty’s (List SIR) study of caveats data recorded in URA Realis, 14 villas have been sold year to far in the waterfront housing area, surpassing the 13 transactions for the whole year last year. The data was obtained on August 4th, with the most recent transaction being on July 19th.
So far this year, the total transacted value is S$256.4 million, which is 31% more than the approximately S$196 million in 2020.
“This may be attributable to a handful of bungalows on large land plots of over 18,000 sq ft each sold in 2021, as well as higher prices in light of increasing demand since the second part of 2020,” said List SIR research director Han Huan Mei.
Sentosa Cove Properyt Pick Up Pace in Line with Luxury Market
Steve Tay, senior associate vice-president of the property firm, stated: “I’ve observed that the Sentosa Cove bungalow market is following the trend in the mainland Singapore Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market, with demand increasing and prices rising. Similarly, well-designed homes with desirable features, particularly a beautiful view, command a premium.”
Sentosa Cove has just 350 bungalows in total; the stock available for sale is decreasing, especially for sea and golf course-facing homes, he said.
Market observers note that prices of Sentosa sea-facing bungalows purchased for redevelopment have risen from about S$1,900-plus per square foot on land area for transactions completed late last year/early this year to over S$2,500 psf now.
The purchasers in the majority of these transactions did not file caveats, thus the sales are not shown in the URA Realis caveats data.
Well-designed villas in excellent condition and with great features are also in high demand. Prices for golf course-facing bungalows have risen, from S$1,518 psf for a villa on Lakeshore View a year ago to S$2,407 psf for another home on Lakeshore View that sold last month. Another golf course-facing property in Cove Drive is likely to sell for close to S$2,300 psf, according to the word on the street.
Residential homes in Sentosa Cove have 99-year leasehold tenure, which is less appealing than the mainly freehold/999-year leasehold tenure for GCBs or even boutique bungalows on the mainland.
Attractions of Sentosa Cove
“However, investors are attracted to Sentosa because of the resort-like and beachfront lifestyle it provides, which cannot be duplicated anywhere else in Singapore,” Ms Han added.
Sentosa Cove is also the only location in the Republic where a foreigner who is not a Singapore permanent resident (PR) may apply for permission to purchase a landed property for personal use.
According to List SIR’s study of Realis caveats data, Singapore residents have purchased six of the 14 bungalows on Sentosa that have been traded this year.
Profile of Sentosa Bungalows Buyers
One unit was purchased via a business, while the other units were purchased by people from China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands.
According to sources, among transactions for which caveats have not been filed, purchasers are mainly from China, at least initially; some of them purchase their Sentosa villa under a different nationality.