FRUIT and veggie tycoon Lim Chin Huat is believed to have sold a $22 million bungalow in Sentosa Cove last month in what is the first sale of a landed home on the island this year.
The apparent sale represents a bright spark in what has been an otherwise bleak market on Sentosa. Only four bungalows were sold there last year at a total value of $56.5 million, down from 18 deals worth $366.76 million in 2013.
The Straits Times understands that Mr Lim, the founder and director of Seasonal Produce, a Singapore-based supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables, sold the 9,268 sq ft property for a profit of $7 million on Feb 17.
Caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority showed that the 99-year leasehold detached house in Treasure Island was snapped up for $2,374 per sq ft (psf) by a buyer with a Housing Board address.
The double-storey house has seven bedrooms and a jetty, according to its online listing.
Sentosa Cove is the only place in Singapore where a foreigner who is not a permanent resident can buy landed property.
Billionaire Mr Lim, who made his fortune by shipping New Zealand onions to Europe, and his wife, Madam Yap Seok Bee, bought the property in April 2010 for $14.95 million, or $1,613 psf.
The couple also own a bungalow at 69, Ocean Drive, Sentosa Cove, according to title ownership information recorded with the Singapore Land Authority.
The last high-profile transaction in the area was by Spanish tycoon Ricardo Portabella Peralta, who reportedly bought two units at Seven Palms Sentosa Cove for a total of $28.55 million, or a Sentosa record of $4,131 psf, last November.
Sentosa Cove might have "lost its shine", said Mr Desmond Sim, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at CBRE, but its appeal lies in its waterfront housing concept and openness to foreign buyers.
But he added: "A new transaction is encouraging, but doesn't mean a total revival. There is equity out there, but the market is still hit by various measures."