Kimen Group, a niche developer, reported on 16 oct that 103 of the 105 apartments has been sold at its first development at Jervois Mansion. This increases the overall sales rate to 98 percent. The developer intends to resell the remaining 25 apartments in the 130-unit low-rise building.
29 of the 103 units sold were snapped up during a fortnight-long VIP peek. According to caveats filed with URA Realis to date, these sold for an average of $2,346 per square foot during the VIP preview from Sept 30 to Oct 4.
On Oct 16, the day of the project’s formal opening, units ranged in price from $2,241 psf to $2,898 psf. The price was set for an 861-square-foot, two-bedroom plus guest apartment on the penthouse level (fifth floor) that sold for little under $2.5 million.
Indeed, the two-bedroom-plus-guest (797–861 square feet) and three-bedroom (1,001–1,023 square feet) unit types were the most popular and were among the first to sell out, according to Arthur Aw, director of Kimen Group. “The majority of purchasers of three-bedroom apartments planned to live in them,” he says.
Jervois Mansion is a renovation of the old Jervois Mansions, which were constructed more than 38 years ago by Aw’s father, the late Aw Kim Chen, founder of Kimen Group. Previously, the property had three Good Class Bungalows (GCBs), which were acquired sequentially by the late Aw in 1980. He then combined the three plots to form a 93,183-square-foot freehold property. Jervois Mansions was finished in 1985, and Kimen Group has held the property for investment purposes throughout the years.
By 3Q2022, tenants of the current Jervois Mansions will vacate the premises to make way for the renovation. The new Jervois Mansion will include 130 units distributed over six five-story buildings. The apartments vary in size from 495 square feet for one-bedroom condos to 1,808 square feet for five-bedroom, dual-key homes.
At the end of October 16, just two apartments at Jervois Mansion were available for sale, a four-bedroom unit and a five-bedroom one. They will be priced more than $2,800 per square foot. “It’s still very affordable in comparison to the neighboring Bishopsgate Residence,” adds Aw of Kimen Group.
At Bishopsgate Residence, a 2,917-square-foot four-bedroom apartment sold for $11.2 million ($3,840 per square foot) in June, the latest transaction in the 31-unit premium development built in 2012.
Over 300 checks have been received as expressions of interest in the week leading up to the opening of Jervois Mansion this weekend. While some purchasers were permanent residents and foreigners, the majority were Singaporeans, said to Ken Low, managing partner of SRI, one of three property agents selling the project.
As demand increased, the remaining 22 apartments were priced between $2,706 and $2,900 per square foot. “There was a frenzy since units were already scarce,” Low of SRI explains. “It demonstrates the high-end market’s strength, particularly when it comes to a high-quality property in a good location.”
Around 35%, or 36 units, were purchased by multi-unit buyers. “These were individuals purchasing for their children as a legacy, given the freehold status, the excellent location in Jervois, and the design’s robustness and efficiency,” Low adds.
According to Dominic Lee, head of PropNex’s luxury team, the conversion rate for multi-unit acquisitions was considerably greater than the industry standard: “It was over 70% at Jervois Mansion, compared to the typical 30% conversion rate for most projects,” he explains.
A showflat of a four-bedroom apartment at Jervois Mansion, where units start at 1,439 square feet and go up to $2,800 per square foot.
Apart from the price, Lee adds that the project’s magnitude and land area contributed to its attractiveness. With almost 100,000 square feet of freehold land and the roofs of six linked buildings via bridges, the developer was able to provide extensive landscaping and amenities, he says.
“The landscaping of the project drew a lot of attention,” Doris Ong, COO of ERA Realty Network, agrees. “While the majority were attracted by the project’s price, once inside the sales gallery, it was the goods that captivated them,” she says. “Price became a secondary factor.”
Ong believes that the high sales at Jervois Mansion have sparked interest in other developments in the desirable District 10 neighborhood. For instance, in conjunction with the opening of Jervois Mansion, a unit at Petit Jervois was also sold on Oct 16. SC Global Developments unveiled the 55-unit premium property in November 2018. Nine apartments have been sold to far, the most recent in July at a price of $2,944 per square foot.
Kimen Group’s advantage stems from its 38-year presence in the area. According to Aw, “the majority of purchasers are acquainted with the Jervois neighborhood and adore it.” The company is hanging onto 25 luxury three- and four-bedroom apartments, giving it a roughly 20% interest in the stratum and share value of the property. This would also give it a voice in the project’s future renovation.