Sentosa Cove bungalow sold at bargain price


$13.6 million sale price is well below estimated valuation of $17 million

A LUXURY bungalow in Sentosa Cove with a grim past has been sold for $13.6 million – a bargain price, well below its valuation.

A caveat has just been lodged for the sale of the three-storey bungalow in Ocean Drive where Chinese national Li Hong Yan’s naked body was found floating in a pool in March.

The 8,051 sq ft property was sold for $1,690 per sq ft (psf), 17 per cent lower than the average of $2,039 psf for the four other homes sold in Ocean Drive since the beginning of this year, according to caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The last transaction was for a 6,706 sq ft home, which was sold at $2,162 psf or $14.5 million in May.

In the latest sale, the buyers are recorded as Poh Cheng Seng and Poh Seng Kui in the certificate of title obtained from records kept by the Singapore Land Authority.

Those are the names of the brothers behind major Singapore steel piping equipment supplier Nam Leong. However, when contacted, Mr Poh Cheng Seng said that he was not the purchaser.

HSR, the property agency that brokered the sale, declined comment when asked for further details of the buyers.

The Straits Times understands that the initial asking price in June was $15.8 million – which was below the estimated valuation of $17 million.

The home, said to be slightly over a year old, was believed to have been priced below valuation for a quick sale.

The vendor, Mr Adrian Chua Boon Chye, 39, chief executive and founder of real estate investment management firm Roundhill Capital, is now based in Tokyo.

Mr Colin Tan, research and consultancy director of Chesterton Suntec International, said that the depressed selling price was to be expected since the property had a ‘history’.

He said, however, that the price was ‘a real bargain’ since it could be sold to foreigners or other local buyers who might not know of the property’s past in a few years’ time.

‘If you hold it for a while and give it enough time, you’ll be able to get handsome returns,’ he said.

Mr Tan added that after the record resale market price for a Sentosa Cove property in Paradise Island was set in April at $36 million – or $2,403 psf – a new price benchmark had been set and property prices in Sentosa were likely to trend upwards over the next six months.

Mystery still surrounds Ms Li’s death. It is believed she had spent the night at the house with Mr Chua after they met at a party.

Source : Straits Times – 18 Aug 2010

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