BUYERS are eyeing the core central region (CCR) as suburban prices catch up, according to analysts. The sentiment was seen after low-rise residential enclave Jervois Mansion moved 104 apartments out of the 105 put up for sale at a median price of S$2,548 per square foot (psf) by the end of its launch weekend on Oct 16 and 17.
This includes 29 units bought during the freehold District 10 development's Very Important Person (VIP) launch on Oct 2.
The one unsold apartment is a 5-bedroom unit spanning 1,808 square feet (sq ft). It is priced just below S$5.2 million, according to developer Kimen Group.
Mark Yip, chief executive officer of Huttons Asia, said: "There is a lot of interest in projects in the CCR in recent months due to their attractive price points against some projects in the RCR (rest of central region)."
To compare, some developments in the RCR are priced above S$2,000 psf.
"Savvy investors have realised that by paying a bit more, they get a better deal in the CCR," he added.
Jervois Mansion comprises six five-storey blocks which hold a total of 130 apartments. Kimen has kept 25 units located at 12 and 14 Jervois Close to be released upon completion, the investment company said.
Its units were priced from more than S$2,200 psf for two and three-bedroom apartments, close to S$2,400 psf for four and five-bedroom apartments, and more than S$2,400 psf for one-bedroom apartments.
Nicholas Mak, ERA's head of research and consultancy, said that the prices are "reasonable for a CCR project".
He said: "Buyers could be attracted to the features, but ultimately you want good value. Looking at the current trend, some projects in the RCR could be launched at Jervois Mansion's price, perhaps by next year or the year after that."
Meanwhile, Lee Nai Jia, deputy director at the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies at the National University of Singapore, added that there is "quite a fair bit of competition" in the area.
"Buyers looking in the area will be spoilt for choice, as there are other developments that are nearby such as Irwell Hills Residences, The Avenir, Riviere and the upcoming CanningHill Piers," he said.
Yip added: "The success of Jervois Mansion's launch will spark more interest in the vicinity."
Scheduled to be completed between Q4 2025 and Q1 2026, Jervois Mansion is a redevelopment of the current Jervois Mansions, which comprises 29 maisonettes developed by Kimen Group in the 1980s.
According to Kimen, the units are currently fully leased, mostly by expats. However, tenants will have to move out by mid-2022 for the redevelopment.
The project will sit on 93,183 sq ft of land, which used to hold three Good Class Bungalows (GCBs). The bungalows were purchased and redeveloped by the late Aw Kim Chen, founder of Kimen Group, in the early 1980s.
According to Yip, Jervois Mansion's launch success could also be attributed to its expansive land, which is a rarity in the Chatsworth-Bishopsgate vicinity.
"This gives the developer the ability to design a project that stands out," he said.
Hoping to stay rooted to the project's history, Arthur Aw, executive director of Kimen Group and son of Aw Kim Chen, incorporated elements of "bungalow living'' into the new project.
This is done by filling the development with greenery, such as vegetable gardens on the roof and sky planters surrounding each unit, to give the sense of being close to the ground.
The project will also be the first private residential development in Singapore to be granted the Green Mark Gold Plus Super Low Energy certification by the Building and Construction Authority.
Meanwhile, the units' black and white composition pays homage to the black-and-white bungalows which preceded them.
Aw also renamed the development (replacing the plural form of 'mansions' with its singular 'mansion') to convey a sense of unity to the future residents.
To further bond the neighbours, he added that Kimen will organise community events such as Chinese New Year performances and Christmas parties. These will be announced through the upcoming Jervois Mansion community mobile app.
"We want to build an urban kampong," Aw said.
Based on results of the launch, a majority of buyers were owner-occupiers, aged 40 or below.