Sunday, May 31, 2009

BTO: The Clift unit fetches 36% less just after a year

Business Times - 30 May 2009

The Clift unit fetches 36% less just after a year

Bought for $1.65m by the seller, the 19th floor unit is auctioned for $1.047m. By Kalpana Rashiwala


A TWO-BEDROOM apartment on the 19th level of The Clift, at the corner of Telok Ayer and McCallum streets, was sold at a DTZ auction this week for about $1,350 per square foot (psf) - 36 per cent lower than the $2,129 psf the seller is said to have paid for it barely a year ago.

The 99-year-leasehold unit was put up for auction by the mortgagee, understood to be Citibank.


Analysts reckon the $1.047 million the 775-sq-ft unit fetched was probably not enough to cover the loan the seller took for the property when he bought it for $1.65 million in the sub-sale market in July 2008.


At Thursday's auction at Amara Hotel, there were initially no takers when the auctioneer called for an opening price of $1.08 million. A lower counter offer was made by a bidder and after close to 20 bids from about five parties, an Indonesian investor walked away with the property.


This was not the first time the 19th floor unit featured at an auction. It was offered in March and April this year, with price expectations of $1.1 to $1.2 million, BT understands.


However, the mortgagee bank's reserve price could not be met then. Market watchers reckon the bank probably cut its reserve price for this week's auction.


Since March, three other units on the 21st and 22nd levels of The Clift, which is still under construction on the former Natwest Centre site, have changed hands at between $1,111 and $1,218 psf, according to caveats information.


The 43-storey tower - with shop units at street level and apartments above - was designed by the renowned Japanese design firm Super Potato.


Two other mortgagee properties also changed hands at DTZ's auction. A couple of adjoining first-storey shop units at Grandlink Square in Guillemard Road each fetched $300,000 or $1,546 psf of strata area. They were sold with vacant possession to a Singaporean investor who already owns units in the freehold development, BT understands.


DTZ managed to find a buyer prior to this week's auction for another mortgagee sale property that was listed for the auction. The 5,188-sq-ft ramp-up factory unit on the second level of Northlink Building in Admiralty Street, Sembawang sold for $520,000. The property is on a site with a remaining lease of about 50 years.

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