The 14th floor of the Samsung Hub building in the Raffles Place financial district of Singapore sold last April for $39.72 million, equating to $3,030 psf based on a strata area of 13,110 square feet.  Whole floor prices for office strata within Samsung Hub have risen steadily since 2010, when lower levels 8-11 were sold for around $2,125 psf. The latest deal took place between Hong Kong real estate private equity firm Arch Capital Management and an undisclosed mainland company based in China. Under the terms of the deal, the law firm currently leasing the floor remained in situ until the end of the year.

Arch Capital Management Exit Samsung Hub

This latest deal signals the exit of Arch Capital Management from the Samsung hub building, with the firm having previously purchased two entire floors (13th and 14th) from Ho Bee in 2011 for $2,550 psf. The 13th floor was sold piecemeal via four separate strata units during the 2012-13 financial year, at varying prices from $2,920 to $3,150 psf. [3] Arch Capital Management is a boutique real estate investment firm based in Asia with focus on regional property investment and development opportunities, operating with a relationship-driven, hands-on approach.

Mukesh Valabhji

Samsung Hub Building Development

The Samsung Hub building was completed in 2005, owned at the time by CapitaLand Limited and developed by a group of Companies comprising of themselves, China Square Holdings Private Limited, Church Street Properties Private Limited, Chinese Chamber Realty Private Limited and the Samsung Corporation. The development was sold by CapitaLand to Ho Bee Group in 2007 and the space is owned by OCBC Bank, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chinese Chamber Realty subsidiary. The sale of the 8th to 15th floors from CapitaLand to Ho Bee was transacted at a rate of just over $1,400 psf or a total of more than $140 million for a 105,000 square foot net lettable area. The building as a whole has a total strata area of 299,753 square feet, comprised of thirty floors and a six-storey car park podium with space for 178 lots. It is highly regarded as one of the premium spots in Raffles Place, due in part to its prime location and in part to its rare 999-year leasehold tenure.

Record Whole Floor Price for 18th Floor of Samsung Hub

At the time of the Arch Capital Management sale of the 14th floor, the price agreed represented the highest price psf for an entire floor sale within the building. Later that same year, the 18th floor was sold by a group of investors advised by Seychellois entrepreneur Mukesh Valabhji and the Buxani Group, collectively known as Church Street Holdings, for a whole floor record of $3,225 psf. Church Street Holdings acquired floors 16-21 of the Samsung Hub building from OCBC in 2007 for $122.4 million or $1,560 psf. Mukesh Valabhji has various investments and business interests across the globe including Seychelles cable television, internet and telecommunications company Intelvision Limited, a landmark waterfront luxury resort project in the Seychelles and further commercial real estate developments across Singapore, Dubai and the Seychelles. Buxani Group, headed by Kishore Buxani, is a private real estate investment firm with a strong reputation for seeking out undervalued commercial properties in Singapore.

Premium Office Strata in Singapore

Prices per square foot for premium office strata within the Samsung Hub building have typically been higher in cases where floors are divided and sold in units rather than as whole floors. Arch Capital Management stated that it simply made sense to sell the 14th floor as one entire unit as the entire space is currently leased to a single tenant, despite rumours of offers for higher prices psf for individual units within the floor being made. In 2013, Church Street Holdings divested the 17th floor of Samsung Hub as six individual unit transactions in a record breaking deal: one 883 square foot unit sold for $3,500 psf. The previous record had been achieved just a month earlier when Arch Capital Management sold half of the 13th floor to Qatar Airways for $3,150 psf.

Newer commercial real estate developments in the Raffles Place area are also attracting high prices and a competitive seller’s market. The SBF Centre situated along Cecil Street and Robinson Road, for example, has seen upper-floor office units change hands recently for as much as $3,550 for both partial and full floors, despite only offering a 99-year leasehold compared to Samsung Hub’s 999 years.