Pebble Bay, a 510-unit waterfront condominium in Tanjong Rhu, has seen strong interest from home-buyers since early this year. Prices climbed to a high of $1,389 psf in January when a 2,099 sq ft three-bedroom unit on the sixth floor changed hands for $2.9 million, surpassing the previous high of $1,372 psf achieved at the condo in the previous peak of 2007.
According to Sheirly Leo, ERA Realty Network marketing director, the reason for the surge in interest in Pebble Bay and other condos in the Tanjong Rhu area is their proximity to Marina Bay, with the opening of the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, The Helix bridge, which links Marina Bay and the Bayfront, as well as the upcoming Gardens by the Bay. As such, property values in the Tanjong Rhu area have appreciated, says Leo.
For instance, the latest asking prices for a condo at Pebble Bay range from $1,200 to $1,389 psf, she says. Meanwhile, asking rents range from $4,500 a month for a two-bedroom unit to $12,000 a month for a four-bedroom unit. Pebble Bay was jointly developed by Keppel Land and CapitaLand and completed 13 years ago. The project has a mix of units, with studio apartments measuring 850 to 947 sq ft, two- to four-bedroom apartments, and penthouses measuring 1,281 to 6,469 sq ft.
For the period of May 4 to 11, four units at Pebble Bay were sold for $1,156 to $1,209 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. A 2,336 sq ft three-bedroom unit on the eighth floor of one of the four blocks was sold for $2.768 million ($1,185 psf), representing an 18.5% gain for the seller, who purchased it for $2.336 million ($1,000 psf) in 2008.
On the second floor of the same block, a 1,367 sq ft two-bedroom unit changed hands for $1.58 million ($1,156 psf), representing a 10.5% gain for the seller, who bought the unit for $1.43 million ($1,046 psf) in October 2007. Prior to that, the last transaction was in July 1999, when the previous owner paid $1.1 million ($805 psf) for the unit. The first owner had purchased the property for $1.098 million ($815 psf) from the developer in February 1995.
In the same block, another seller reaped a significant gain of 83.9% when he sold his 1,378 sq ft two-bedroom unit on the third floor for $1.6 million ($1,161 psf). He had purchased the unit in 2006 for $870,000 ($631 psf). The previous owner had purchased the apartment in a sub-sale for $1.089 million ($790 psf) in March 1997, at the peak of the market just before the Asian financial crisis.
On the 10th floor of another block, an 850 sq ft studio unit was sold for $1.028 million ($1,209 psf), representing a 40.8% gain for the previous owner, who had purchased the unit for $730,000 ($858 psf) in April 1999.
Pebble Bay also has uninterrupted views of the Kallang Basin, which the government has earmarked for a massive makeover into a waterfront precinct with homes, recreational activities, offices, shopping malls and entertainment. Pebble Bay is also near the Stadium MRT station, and is close to the upcoming Singapore Sports Hub, which is expected to be ready in 2014.
Other condominiums in Tanjong Rhu have also seen an increase in activity. One of them is the 522- unit, 99-year leasehold Sanctuary Green, which saw two transactions in the week of May 4 to 11. One unit was sold for $1.316 million ($940 psf) and the other went for $1.35 million ($965 psf). Another is Costa Rhu, a 737-unit 99-year leasehold condo, where a 1,647 sq ft unit changed hands for $1.647 million ($1,000 sq ft) on May 7. The seller had bought the unit for $1.8 million ($1,093 psf) in August 2007.