Friday, March 25, 2011

$36m Sentosa home sale still valid

RUMOURS that a buyer walked away from his $500,000 deposit for a posh bungalow after he got cold feet over the $36 million price tag appear unfounded.


The title deed shows that Mr Shen Bin - a Chinese national and a Singapore permanent resident - remains the owner of the 14,983 sq ft plot on Paradise Island in the northern part of Sentosa Cove.


There was a great deal of media coverage when Mr Shen was reported to have offered $2,403 per sq ft (psf) for the home last May. This far outstripped market prices and set a benchmark price for the area.


The average psf price for the 10 detached homes sold in Sentosa Cove last April and May was $1,976.


Rumours arose in December that Mr Shen had baulked at the deal after learning that his offer far exceeded prevailing market rates. He was said to have forfeited more than $500,000 - including the deposit, commission, lawyers' fees and administrative charges - when he backed out of the deal.


However, a property title information search by The Straits Times found that Mr Shen remains the owner of the 99-year leasehold bungalow.


He is believed to be the son of billionaire entrepreneur Shen Wenrong, chairman of China-based steel manufacturer Shagang Group. China's Hurun Wealth Report ranked the elder Mr Shen as the 13th richest individual in China last year.


The 2-1/2 storey bungalow faces a waterway, with a berth for a yacht. It also has a private pool and a total built-up area of about 17,000 sq ft.


The house was first sold by developer Ho Bee in April 2007 for $18.1 million, and resold for $20.18 million in September 2009. It received a temporary occupation permit in May 2009.


Interest in landed homes in Sentosa remains strong, with property agents saying there has been a healthy number of viewing requests with genuine offers being tabled.


Prices have also continued to inch upwards, with the sale of a bungalow in Ocean Drive in October fetching a record $2,988 psf - or $28.2 million - on its land area of 9,436 sq ft.


Sentosa Cove is a gated community comprising more than 2,000 homes, of which 400 are landed. The rest are condominium units. The landed houses in Sentosa Cove appeal to a wider market, as foreigners who do not have permanent resident status are allowed to buy them.


Paradise Island is in the northern part of the cove.

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