A NEW record price of $1.774 million has been set for a five-bedroom penthouse unit in the recently launched Heron Bay executive condominium (EC), surpassing last week's transaction for the most expensive EC to date.
Last week, a double-storey penthouse at 1 Canberra in Yishun was sold for $1.61 million, setting a record for EC transactions.
To be sure, the higher prices are largely due to the size of some of these new ECs, analysts said. The price for the Heron Bay penthouse unit, which stands at 2,845 sq ft, was $624 per square foot (psf). The unit price for the 2,716-sq-ft 1 Canberra unit was $595 psf.
Before the 1 Canberra unit made headlines, a 2,476-sq-ft unit at The Rainforest in Choa Chu Kang was the most expensive EC with a price tag of $1.58 million, which translated to $637 psf.
Alan Cheong, Savills' director for research, said that though the record prices continue to be surprising, this suggests that Singaporeans are not facing much difficulty in meeting the prices for such properties.
"In an environment with low interest rates and a system flush with liquidity, magic does occur," he added.
Savills said in a report published last week that over 300 new ECs had been transacted above $1 million thus far, half of which were sold in the first eight months of this year.
The report attributed the increase in demand for ECs to a growing number of young, affluent buyers who seem to be snagging bigger and more luxurious penthouses or sky suites.
The rising trend for such luxurious buys, it said, could have been triggered by rock-bottom interest rates, rising incomes and many EC buyers escaping unscathed from the latest rounds of property curbs.
Furthermore, the growing number of resale Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats being sold at ever higher prices has deepened the pockets of many HDB upgraders who now have more to spend on their next property, which invariably would be an EC.
But ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said these skyrocketing prices do not reflect overall pricing for ECs on the whole.
"These type of transactions are not common. It is a one-off for big units, which is why there is a premium pricing to it," he said.