Business

Kong Hee's Sentosa penthouse up for sale again - at $11.5m

More evidence the luxury condo market is starting to pick up again


The Sentosa Cove penthouse unit belonging to City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee was relisted for $11.5 million last week - some 15 per cent higher than its 2015 listing at $10 million.

The 5,242 sq ft unit was bought and co-owned by Kong Hee and Indonesian tycoon Wahju Hanafi in 2007 for $9.33 million, with each paying monthly instalments of $17,000.

In 2015, The Straits Times reported the property had been listed at an asking price of $10 million.

Kong, who is serving a 3½-year jail sentence for misappropriating around $50 million of church funds, said then it was a "temporary home" for the family as they awaited the sale.

The flat remained unsold and was reportedly taken off the market before reappearing recently at a higher price.

When contacted, the owners' agent Sally Soh, from KF Property Network, said the higher asking price was a decision made by her clients, but it is still up for negotiation.

She said three parties had inquired about the flat and paid it a visit since the listing was put up with the higher price tag.

If sold at the asking price, the value of the unit works out to $2,194 per sq foot (psf).

This is higher than the actual sale of another unit in the same The Oceanfront condominium last month at $2,022 psf, which is already above this year's median psf for Sentosa Cove properties at $1,579 psf, according to data from SRX Property.

The latest listing follows a surge of interest in Sentosa Cove homes as prices gradually moved nearer the levels of mass market condos, The Straits Times reported last month.

Sentosa Cove had of late become the most visible marker of the slump in the property market, after a series of homes were sold at massive losses.

Between 2007 and 2009, Cove properties went for between $2,600 and $2,800 psf, compared with $1,500 to $1,700 now, said PropNex group division director Alex Low, who has been actively marketing properties in Sentosa Cove.

But the luxury condo market is starting to pick up again now, said Mr Low.

While the market seems buoyant for now, chief executive officer of International Property Advisor Ku Swee Yong said it remains to be seen whether Sentosa Cove, in particular, will gain traction.

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