District 1: Truly The #1 District

The District 1 Triumvirate of Raffles Place, Marina and Cecil are not immediately considered for a residential property by most people, there are some truly unique (and expensive) private residential apartments available in the district.

For investors and those looking to rent, there are plenty of options, with the recently build MarinaOne Residences amongst the latest options. Let’s dive into the heart of Singapore’s commerce to see what we find!

OUE Downtown. Picture: iProperty

High-End Paradise

In Singapore, living in the CBD is as close to living in Manhattan as you can get without actually going there. It’s a concrete jungle, packed full of glass skyscrapers and offices. If you’re an investor, the pure scarcity of land and proximity to the offices of major MNCs will be a key driving factor for a purchase.

The Sail @ Marina Bay. Picture: iProperty

A great place to start is with one of the earlier projects in the district: The Sail at Marina Bay. This 1,111 unit, the 70-floor apartment building located on Marina Boulevard is sitting on truly prime land. It’s accessible via the ECP, is 5 minutes walk to Raffles Place MRT and has the Marina Bay Link Mall connected to it.

The apartment is also barely 5 minutes away from the Marina Bay Financial Centre, and it’s connecting Downtown MRT Station, putting it within walking distance to Marina Bay Sands, and the general Bay area.

RelatedNumber of new private home units sold last month almost double

For such an epic convenience, the most recent listings put the $2,000 – $3,500psf range. This large variance in the per square foot costing comes from the differing unit sizes, with smaller units asking for a higher price per square foot. An 689 sq ft unit, for example, is asking for $2.135 million, or $3,098.69. In comparison, a 1313 sq ft unit is asking for $3.5 million. Putting this into perspective, a unit double the size of the former costs less than double of it.

Rentals at The Sail don’t vary as much as its sale prices, but apartments here don’t come cheap. A 592 sq ft apartment is going at a $5.41psf asking price. For that quantum, renters might find a better value on CBD fringes. However, once the sizing of the apartment goes up, prices get more reasonable. A great example would be a 1389 sq ft apartment going at $4.68psf. That quantum of $6,500 for a larger family might be worth considering.

Five on Shenton. Picture: iProperty

Five on Shenton, the district’s newer kid on the block, might actually be more affordable. The recently completed 510 unit luxury apartment block brings luxury facilities like refreshment bars, outdoor dining, private lounges and laundromats to bear. it’s also situated rather close to the MRT stations and connected to multiple amenities.

Prices in recently listed apartments do run a little lower, coming in at the $2,000-2,500 psf mark. Smaller units, like a 441 sq ft apartment, are going at $1.088 million or a $2467psf pricing. Meanwhile, more medium-sized units in the 1055 sq ft size configurations are going at $2.35 million, or $2227.49psf. Of course, it bears mentioning that the penthouse unit is being listed at a cool $17.01 million, which boils down to a $3074.28psf costing.

If you can afford that, then you’re privy to some of the best views in the city. It’s truly a million dollar view.

Five on Shenton’s smaller units actually command quite a high cost per square foot, with 689 – 721 sq ft units going at $6.10psf. Larger units might actually be more worth it if you’re thinking of staying with more than 2 people, and will provide more value. A 1518 sq ft unit, for example, is asking a $4.61psf price. That quantum of $7000 for a larger unit might be something more attractive for renters with family.

RelatedHome prices of districts 1 & 2 outperform other high-end districts

Marina One Residence. Picture: iProperty

I also think that Marina One has got a good per square foot range. Some of the recently listed apartments are actually in the $2200 – $2500psf price range. You can see that there’s a tighter price band for newer units here, with even the penthouse unit falling in the $2252.12psf range. The units on sale are pretty large, so let’s start with the 700 sq ft unit, which is asking for $1.7million.

The value on this is trounced by some of the mid-sized units. The 1141 sq ft apartment, for example, is asking for $2.44 million or $2138psf. In context, that $500,000 more for another 441 sq feet of space isn’t that much to pay. However, if you’re into penthouses, then you’ll be happy to hear that an 8073 sq ft unit is going at $24.21 million, or a flat $3000psf pricing. That’s some truly grand living space in the city.

Of course, with these high purchase prices come high rentals. Marina One’s psf costing follows the rule that small footprints result in higher per square footage, so a 1044 sq ft apartment can ask for $6.51psf, while a larger 1539 sq ft apartment might go for $4.42psf.

It’s all about Location, baby

Amoy Street. Picture: iProperty

It’s conclusive to say that purchasing or living in District 1 property is all about location. District 1 is centrally located, and the convenience and amenities in the area make for some amazing living options. Swanky bars?

Head down to Amoy street or walk over to any of the cool rooftop bars in the area. Need to eat? Lau Pa Sat provides hawker options while multiple casual, fine dining and Michelin-starred options are within 10-15 minutes walk. Even supermarkets aren’t lacking, with Cold Storage and FairPrice Finest in the area.

Amoy Street. Picture: iProperty

If you’re in the market for some high-end luxury living or looking to live near your workplace, then District 1 is the ultimate place to be at. The prices might be high, but for the urbanite, there’s probably no better place to be.