Chinese investor buys 12-unit Casa Sophia in Singapore for $29 million

The buyer plans to turn the entire apartment block into a 34-unit condominium

A colorful high density housing block in Singapore. ChrisHowey/Shutterstock

According to Yahoo! News, the 12-unit Casa Sophia and its entire 12,328 square feet (1,145.30 square metre) apartment block were jointly sold by their owners for SGD29 million. This 25-year old building sits on a freehold site, strategically located on Sophia Road in central District 9.

Since the URA Master Plan for 2014 categorises the area as residential, Chinese investor Zhang Zhiming bought the property from real estate development company East Asia Sophia Development, intending to build a 34-unit condominium, with each unit averaging around 753 sq ft.

The apartment block was first put up for sale by ERA Realty network in July 2018 for SGD36 million, when they still acted as the marketing agent. By then, the owners have already obtained 100 percent consensus, having agreed to a collective sale.

However, the property cooling measures have just been instituted a week before.

More: Prices for private residences in Singapore surge by 2.5% in 2019

Having recognised the shift in developers’ sentiment after the establishment of the cooling measures, the owners decided to reduce the asking price by 16 percent or SGD30 million. By March 2019, they relaunched the project for sale.

Tjhai Citanegara, representative from ERA, said that the owners received “a couple of offers” during the first attempt.

After ERA’s appointment had run out, East Asia Sophia Development took over, selling Casa Sophia for SGD29 million to Zhang, earning his first real estate investment deal in Singapore.

“If inventory of prime, condominium units start to run low again, some developers who were first-movers in the last collective sale cycle, may revisit the en bloc market for prime, freehold plots again,” said managing partner of Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI) Bruce Lye.

“The recent collective sale of Casa Sophia is a testament to that.”