[url]http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/news/story/0,4574,408032-1286913540,00.html?[/url]

Published October 12, 2010

[B][SIZE="5"]SC Global sells Cuscaden Walk penthouse for $30m[/SIZE][/B]

[B]The price is almost double that for an identical unit sold in 2006[/B]

By KALPANA RASHIWALA


(SINGAPORE) There seems to be a bit more buzz at the high-end condo market again.


[SIZE="1"]The Boulevard Residence: 'This is the ultra luxury residential sector we're talking about, where buyers won't be affected by ups and downs in the property market,' says Mr Ow[/SIZE]

SC Global is understood to have sold a penthouse at The Boulevard Residence recently for $30 million or $4,242 per square foot. In both absolute quantum and unit price terms, this is the highest achieved in the development.

The latest transaction involves a 7,072 sq ft triplex unit with five bedrooms and an 11-metre lap pool. Sources suggest that the buyer is from China but intends to live here.

It was the final unit to have been sold by the developer in the freehold condo at Cuscaden Walk which has 46 units. The 36-storey project was completed in 2005.

The unit is one of two identical 'super penthouses' in the development. SC Global sold the first such penthouse back in 2006 for $16 million to Yoshiaki Murakami, a Japanese fund manager who was in the limelight a few years ago for an insider trading prosecution in Japan.

That was the highest transaction in absolute price quantum in the development, prior to the latest deal. In unit price terms, too, the $4,242 psf achieved for the most recent transaction is the highest at The Boulevard Residence, surpassing the $3,933 psf that a three-bedroom standard apartment of 2,034 sq ft sold for in late 2007.

Another top-end condo deal recently took place at The Orchard Residences, where a 40-plus storey unit sold for $4,260 psf. The total price for the 1,808 sq ft unit, which has three bedrooms, was about $7.7 million. It was sold by the developer of the project, which is expected to receive Temporary Occupation Permit this month.

Property agents also highlighted another record of sorts that was set for a penthouse at The Ardmore Park condominium in July. The 8,740 sq ft unit sold for $30 million or $3,432 psf. Prior to this, the most expensive penthouse in the development was $20.5 million or $2,345 psf in 2007, the peak year for the Singapore luxury housing market.

The buyer in the latest deal is understood to be a Hongkonger, who is also a Singapore permanent resident. According to caveat records, the unit previously changed hands in December 2006 for $17.3 million, reaping the seller a cool profit. The seller is said to be a company controlled by Yunus Gafulbhai Bilakhiya. A person bearing almost the same name but with the family name spelt slightly differently, as Bilakhia, founded the Bilakhia Group of India, which is involved in the inks, agro chemicals, medical devices, education and investment businesses.

While it remains to be seen if these deals will mark a definitive return of interest in the luxury condo sector which was dominated by foreigners in the 2007 boom, Knight Frank managing director (residential services) Peter Ow says: 'This is the ultra luxury residential sector we're talking about, where buyers won't be affected by ups and downs in the property market. Singapore has opened up a lot in recent years and we're drawing foreigners keen to park their monies as well as live here.'

While the ultra luxury condo market may be starting to see a revival in activity, the price benchmarks achieved recently appear to be still slightly short of the records set earlier. In terms of absolute price quantum, the title is still held by an 8,051 sq ft unit at Boulevard Vue at Cuscaden Walk which was sold in November last year for $33.4 million.

In unit price terms, the record price was $5,600 psf for a 53rd level penthouse at The Orchard Residences sold by the developer in October 2007, although its buyer, who is said to have picked up the unit on the deferred payment scheme, has yet to lodge a caveat.