Losses in ‘at least half of Sentosa Cove home sales’

Of 30 transactions in past 12 months, 16 lost out; Seascape unit made largest loss of $6.6m

The second-largest profit recorded for a Sentosa Cove property transaction in the past 12 months was at The Azure, where a 294 sq m unit was sold last May for a $1.158 million profit, 10 years after it was bought. The largest profit was made with the sale of a 316 sq m terrace house in Ocean Drive. The owner sold it for $6.8 million in May last year, after purchasing it for just $2.7 million in February 2005. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

They may boast Singapore’s most prestigious address, but Sentosa Cove properties are far from the guaranteed money spinners their wealthy owners may imagine.

Of the 30 Sentosa Cove transactions in the past 12 months, many recorded losses, according to data from Knight Frank.

Of the total, 16 suffered losses when they were sold, and 11 notched profits. There was no data available on the previous transactions for three of the properties.

The largest loss was at Seascape, where a seventh-floor unit chalked up a loss of $6.6 million. The 378 sq m apartment was put up for auction in January and sold through private treaty to a buyer with a HDB home address for $6.2 million in February. It had been purchased for $12.8 million in June 2010.

The next largest loss was also at Seascape – $4.65 million in the red. The previous owner bought the unit for $11 million in December 2011, but in October last year, the eighth-floor unit went under the hammer for $6.35 million in a mortgagee sale.

However, it is not all doom and gloom in the exclusive enclave. One savvy investor with staying power made a $4.1 million profit for his landed property at 184 Ocean Drive.

The owner sold the 316 sq m terrace house for $6.8 million in May last year, after purchasing it for just $2.7 million in February 2005.

Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where foreigners who are not permanent residents can buy landed property.

But this unique feature does not bring with it a guarantee of profit – the only other terrace house transaction in the past 12 months recorded a loss of $200,000.

The second-largest profit recorded was at The Azure, where a 294 sq m unit was sold in May last year for a profit of $1.158 million – 10 years after it was purchased.

The 30 properties were sold for between $1.68 million and $6.8 million. The average profit of the 11 profitable transactions was about $820,900, while the average loss of the 16 loss-making transactions was about $1.67 million.

Prices at Sentosa Cove have been falling. In the core central region, which takes in Sentosa, private non-landed home prices continued on a downward trend, falling by 0.4 per cent for the first quarter of this year, compared with a 0.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter. Overall, prices fell by 1.2 per cent in the core central region last year.

Analysts said Sentosa Cove property prices have been falling across the board over the last 12 months. The area also suffers from the perception that Sentosa Cove is not as accessible as the other prime residential properties in areas such as Orchard Road and Bukit Timah.

However, Knight Frank Singapore head of consultancy and research Alice Tan said that while some Sentosa Cove transactions may have suffered losses, inquiries from home hunters are on the rise.

“Sentosa Cove non-landed home prices have fallen to very attractive levels, which has prompted buyers to relook the properties there, whether for own use or for investment,” said Ms Tan.

CBRE head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia Desmond Sim said he was surprised that about 40 per cent of property transactions were profitable. He attributed the profitability to the time that the homes were purchased, noting that newer properties tend to rack up losses.

“Going by market sentiment, people may be seeing more value in Sentosa Cove properties, but it is not going to be a strong upward trend. It’s too early to tell if there will be a price recovery, as potential buyers could still be held by property cooling measures and the interest rate environment.”

“Source:[Losses in ‘at least half of Sentosa Cove home sales’] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”

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