One of the first few resale transactions in 2017 resulted in a hefty loss for the seller. On Jan 3, a high-floor unit at St Regis Residences Singapore was sold at a loss of $2.3 million. The seller bought the unit in a sub-sale transaction in 2008 at $3,100 psf and resold it at $2,268 psf. The loss works out to 27%, or 4% annually over 8½ years.

The buyer, a Singaporean, appeared to have scored a bargain. There have been a total of 237 transactions at St Regis so far, based on caveats lodged. The latest price of $2,268 psf was in the bottom 16% of all historical transactions at the development.

Prices at St Regis peaked in 2007/08 when 21 units changed hands in sub-sale transactions at an average price of $3,231 psf. Of these units, 10 were flipped in less than a year at profits ranging from $310,000 to $12.8 million.

The $12.8 million profit accrued to a penthouse that was bought from the developer in 2006 at $2,530 psf and sold less than a year later to a Japanese billionaire at $4,653 psf, the highest price recorded at St Regis historically. The penthouse made headlines in 2015 when the Japanese owner sold it at a loss of $15.8 million.

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Fortunes have changed dramatically over the past two years. In 2015, all eight resale transactions at St Regis were in the red, with losses averaging $2.2 million. Last year, five out of seven sellers booked losses ranging from $393,950 to $3.1 million.

St Regis is a 999-year leasehold development comprising 173 luxury residences. Prices averaged $2,280 psf in 2016. Rents for four-bedroom units ranged from $8,600 to $15,850 a month in 4Q2016, depending on the unit size.

On a brighter note, a 3,229 sq ft unit at The Quayside was sold at a profit of close to $2 million on Jan 6. The property was held for more than 11 years and the profit works out to 6% a year on a compounded basis. The unit was bought in 2005 at just $650 psf and resold at $1,262 psf. 

The Quayside is a 99-year leasehold riverfront development at Robertson Quay. Completed in 1998, the project comprises just 79 units. Prices averaged $1,258 psf in 2016. The project’s historical high price was $1,535 psf in August 2013 for a 1,550 sq ft unit. Rents for three-bedroom units averaged $5,294 in 4Q2016.

Another property also raked in a profit of more than $1 million in the week of Jan 3 to 10. The 1,830 sq ft unit at Varsity Park Condominium, near the National University of Singapore, was purchased in 2006 at just $450 psf and resold at $1,060 psf. This translates into a profit of 8% a year on a compounded basis.

Varsity Park Condominium is a 99-year leasehold project comprising 530 units. Prices averaged $1,059 psf in 2016. The project’s historical high price was $1,285 psf in June 2013 for a 1,012 sq ft unit. Rents averaged $3,550 a month for two-bedroom units of 1,000 to 1,100 sq ft and $4,820 for three-bedroom units of 1,300 to 1,600 sq ft.