An 11,098 square foot, triplex penthouse at Boulevard Vue sold recently for S$52 million (US$4,686 per square foot) to a buyer believed to be a Chinese national. This latest transaction means the 28-unit ultra-luxury condo by Far East Organization is fully sold to date. There has been a rash of big-ticket purchases of luxury penthouses in the prime districts, driven predominantly by Chinese buyers. At Boulevard 88, a penthouse of 6,049 sq ft, which is also the biggest in the ultra-luxury condo, was sold for S$31 million (S$5,125 per sq ft), according to a caveat lodged on June 3. That is the highest price per sq ft for a penthouse since the super penthouse at Sculptura Ardmore was sold for over S$60 million or S$6,000 per sq ft two years ago. Singapore investors snap up US$5 billion of China’s commercial properties The latest deal at Boulevard 88 was the last of the four penthouses in the 154-unit luxury condo sold to date. Three of the penthouses at Boulevard 88 were purchased by foreigners, of whom two were Chinese, according to Dominic Lee, PropNex’s head of luxury team. The remaining penthouse was sold to a Singaporean buyer. At 3 Orchard By-the-Park, the 6,555 sq ft penthouse that was sold recently for S$31.5 million (S$4,805 per sq ft) went to a Chinese buyer. The deal was said to be brokered by Savills Residential. Hong Kong investors snap up affordable property in Malaysia with an eye on retirement “There has certainly been some interest in penthouses in the past 12 months, including some that are centred around new projects in the Orchard area, such as Boulevard 88, 3 Orchard By-The-Park and New Futura,” said Leong Boon Hoe, COO of List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR). Leong attributes this to “the limited supply” of such quality homes. “In addition, the well-heeled foreigners are unable to buy landed properties in Singapore, except at Sentosa Cove,” he added. URA data shows that demand for new homes is still soft compared to 2018 because of factors such as a slowing economy and uncertainties in the global environment, said Han Huan Mei, director of research at List SIR. In the first six months of the year, there were 143 transactions above S$5 million in the Core Central Region (CCR), which is less than half of the 398 transactions in the whole of 2018. While the number of transactions may have contracted, the proportion of foreign buyers of properties worth above $5 million in the CCR has increased from 36 per cent in 2018 to 50 per cent in the first six months of 2019, based on caveats lodged as of June 9. However, URA Realis data did not reflect any increase in transactions attributable to Chinese buyers, says Ong Teck Hui, JLL senior director of research and consultancy. Prime district transactions for non-landed homes attributable to foreign Chinese buyers stood at 68 in the first half of 2018, 44 in the second half pf 2018. and 24 in the first half of this year, he said.