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TWO ultra high net worth foreign property investors in Singapore are expanding their presence here.
In the luxury condo market, a Hongkonger and Singapore permanent resident who co-founded a jewellery business in the Special Administrative Region is understood to have picked up a duplex penthouse at Nassim Park Residences for S$21.2 million.
The 6,878 square feet penthouse - which has four bedrooms, a family area and its own swimming pool - that Naina Buxani is buying is just two doors away from an earlier penthouse that her husband, Mahesh, acquired last year. Earlier this year, Mrs Buxani also bought two four-bedroom units in the luxury freehold development, which was completed in 2011.
Meanwhile, Spanish tycoon Ricardo Peralta continues to expand his presence in the Singapore shophouse market. He is understood to have scooped up a three-storey property with a roof terrace along Boon Tat Street for S$19 million as well as two adjoining shophouses along Amoy Street for a total of S$9.9 million. All three shophouses are on sites with 999-year leasehold tenure.
The S$19 million being paid by a vehicle linked to Mr Peralta for 25 Boon Tat Street, works out to about S$3,500 per square foot on the gross floor area (GFA) of around 5,500 sq ft. The entire property is currently leased to Sum Yi Tai, a modern Chinese tapas bar. The shophouse has a land area of 1,774 sq ft.
The same vehicle of Mr Peralta has inked a deal to buy 53 and 54 Amoy Street for a combined S$9.9 million - or roughly S$2,600 psf based on GFA of some 3,800 sq ft.
Spanning two storeys and an attic, the two properties are currently leased as offices. Mr Peralta is seen as likely to reposition the asset for F&B use to improve yields. A few months ago, he paid S$8.2 million for the freehold 30 Stanley Street.
Another recent shophouse purchase, this time by a Malaysian buyer, was 16 Smith Street. The S$8.8 million price for the three-storey with attic freehold property translates to S$2,750 psf on GFA. The entire building is currently leased to one tenant, which operates a Chinese restaurant at the ground level.
Richard Tan of PropNex, who brokered the Smith Street deal, told The Business Times Weekend: "I am seeing more foreigners and funds keenly eyeing Singapore shophouses - mainly in prime CBD areas such as Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar and the financial district." These investors are from Malaysia, Europe, Japan and even South Korea.
"The key attraction for foreigners to this property asset class is that it allows them ownership of the land title; foreigners are allowed to buy shophouses on sites that are fully-zoned for commercial use. Such properties are also not liable for additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty."
Over at Nassim Park Residences, the price being paid by Mrs Buxani for her recent penthouse purchase works out to S$3,082 psf. This is lower than the S$3,271 psf that Mr Buxani paid for a penthouse of the same size in the same block in April last year. That transaction amounted to S$22.5 million.
In June this year, Mrs Buxani bought two four-bedroom apartments in the same block of the low-rise luxury condo project for S$12 million and S$12.25 million, or S$3,451 psf and S$3,523 psf respectively.
She co-founded the Temptations Jewellery business in Hong Kong. It also has a presence in Singapore.
Nassim Park Residences, comprising just 100 units, was developed by UOL Group, Kheng Leong and Orix Corporation. The trio roped in big-name designers - Singapore-based Chan Soo Khian of SCDA Architects, French interior designer Christian Liaigre and Japanese landscape architect Shunmyo Masuno.