Chinese buyers purchased 2 penthouses in 3 Orchard By-The-Park, for close to S$60m. Tembusu Grand penthouse expected to much cheaper than that.
Two penthouses at 3 Orchard By-The-Park were recently sold together for close to S$60 million. Each unit is a 4-bedder with ensuite bathrooms, measuring 6,092 sq ft.
This meant that in terms of price psf, this works out to around S$4,924 psf.
Tembusu Grand penthouse price is expected to be $3.5mil to $4mil. It is more affordable considering the location is not in the CBD area such as Orchard By The Park.
The penthouses were formed by combining 2 loft units
There were initially four loft units that the developer later combined to form two separate penthouses. They were then marketed under the Prestige Penthouse Collection.
One is on the 20th and 21st floors, while the other is on the 22nd and 23rd floors.
Carol Liew and Amy Ho, the two agents from ERA Realty who brokered the transactions, shared that each unit is a combination of 3-bedroom loft and 4-bedroom loft units. Carol, a senior marketing director at the agency, elaborated that a staircase connects the high-ceiling units.
Amenities in each penthouse include a private lift, private pool, bar, wine cellar, balconies and walk-in wardrobes. Both penthouses are currently under renovation.
Meanwhile, the condo features facilities such as a swimming pool, jacuzzis, roof terrace, private dining area and poolside kitchen.
The buyers were looking for 4-bedder ensuite units in move-in condition
When asked about the buyer profile, Carol and Amy revealed to 99.co that they are two separate families hailing from China. As close friends, they will be neighbours living in the respective penthouses.
The buyers’ requirements were:
- 4-bedroom ensuite units in District 9 or District 10
- Can either be from the developer or the resale market
- Preferably renovated and available in move-in condition
The agents shared that the buyers had approached a few agents (including Carol and Amy) to recommend them good units.
“We combed through the various Districts 9 and 10 developments to check for any availability and shortlisted the properties which matched the buyers’ specifications. In total, we shortlisted five developer units and three units from the resale market, including these penthouses.”
The pair added that high-net-worth clients generally value exclusive, rare and quality properties. One advice they have for new agents aspiring to deal with high-end properties is that they should understand their clients’ expectations and needs
The agents sent them some recommendations, but didn’t get a response
Afterwards, Carol and Amy sent out their recommendations in WhatsApp messages. However, the buyers did not reply to them.
“We called the buyers to follow up; their feedback was that all the agents had sent them lines of messages. But they didn’t have time to screen through all of them.”
With that, the agents began putting together a comprehensive proposal in PowerPoint, summarising the key facts of the development, such as its developer, location map, floor plans and photos of the units.
After sending a proposal in Chinese, the pair were appointed as the buyers’ agents
Another advice Carol and Amy have for new agents aspiring to serve foreign clients is that they need to respect the differences in language and culture.
“The way we work is also different, so we had to help the buyers and the developer connect on a lot of things,” Carol added.
“And be prepared to adapt our marketing materials to suit them.”
In fact, this was what happened for this particular deal.
Having received the PowerPoint proposal in English, the buyers requested a Chinese version of it. So the pair went on to translate every single word into Chinese.
The good news is that their hard work finally paid off. Their buyers were impressed and selected them to be their representative agents.
“Along the way, when the buyers had questions and requests, we did our best to communicate with the developer through our tagger team (ERA marketing team representing the developer to market and sell the units in a project). We did our best to solve and clarify any issues for them before they purchased the units.”
All in all, it took the pair four weeks to close the deal.
The buyers were very decisive as well. Moreover, they have been to 3 Orchard By-The-Park before and like the development, amenities and location. The location was especially ideal for them.
Translating the proposal into Chinese was not the only challenge Carol and Amy have faced when serving foreign clients.
For starters, before proceeding with any transaction, they must do a background check on the buyers.
Additionally, as all the documents to be signed are in English, the agents will need to explain to them what they entail.
They also have to ensure that the foreign buyers understand the various taxes to be paid, such as the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD), Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) and GST.
The OTP was exercised 2 days before the BSD hike
During the recent Budget 2023 on 14 February, it was announced that there would be an increase in the marginal BSD rate for properties transacted for at least S$1.5 million.
Previously for such properties, the amount in excess of S$1.5 million would be charged at a rate of 4%.
With the BSD hike, the next S$1.5 million of the excess will be charged at 5%. Meanwhile, the remaining amount will be charged at 6%.
Fortunately for the buyers, they had exercised the Option to Purchase (OTP) before the announcement, so they were not affected by the hike.
“In fact, the OTP was exercised one day before Valentine’s Day!” Carol and Amy told 99.co.
But given their foreigner status, the buyers are subject to the 30% ABSD rate. A purchase price close to S$60 million translates to an ABSD of around S$18 million for both buyers.
What makes Singapore properties attractive to foreigners
According to Carol and Amy, Singapore’s reputation for its good governance, political stability and ease of doing business have made the city-state a popular location for foreign investment.
“Moreover, Singapore does not impose capital gains tax, inheritance tax and estate duties.”
Additionally, the agents believed that 3 Orchard By-The-Park’s freehold status, location in District 10 and the opening of the new Orchard Boulevard MRT at its doorstep have led to the high transacted prices.
“This is definitely a good investment for our buyers.”