Family home in Sentosa Cove for $17 mil
This Balinese-style house with pavilions on Ocean Drive was designed by Timur Designs

This Balinese-style house with pavilions on Ocean Drive was designed by Timur Designs


Singapore’s waterfront luxury resort is coming back to life as prospective homebuyers swoop in, led by locals and permanent residents


The Pawley family count themselves among the pioneer residents in Sentosa Cove, Singapore’s waterfront luxury residential enclave. “In January, we would have lived here for 10 years,” says Mrs Sharon Pawley.

Being the first to move in had a price: They had to put up with the noise and dust of construction in the first two years. “When we moved in, the house next door was being built,” recalls Mrs Pawley. “There was nothing on those islands [Treasure Island and Paradise Island] then. Mr [Stephen] Riady bought a house out there, but demolished it and built two houses. Everywhere around us, construction was going on.”

However, the family has grown to love their home on Ocean Drive. The choice of the site facing the waterway was deliberate. “For sure, it’s nice to [have a view of] the sea, but there’s no privacy — people will walk by, stop and look into your house,” says Mrs Pawley. “But it’s very quiet here and more private. You have a berth for your boat and you can go kayaking or canoeing.”

Mrs Pawley was very involved in the design of the family home, which took two years to complete — six months for the planning and design and 18 months for construction. She worked closely with the architect, Chan Wai Kin of Timur Designs, who designed many of the luxury homes in the prime districts of Singapore and Sentosa Cove.


‘A combination of everything’

Prior to moving to their home in Sentosa Cove, the Pawleys had lived in a black-and-white colonial bungalow. Mrs Pawley liked the overhangs of the bungalow, as they kept the house cool, and incorporated that feature in the new house. She also wanted a Balinese-style home with a lot of covered outdoor spaces for entertaining. Another must-have was a basement entertainment area, typical of American homes. “It’s a combination of everything for our family needs,” says Mrs Pawley.

She also worked closely with the builder, Mr Peh of Euro Builder & Electrical Pte Ltd. “He was very meticulous and paid great attention to detail,” she recounts. “The team that built the house from the very beginning would come down to maintain the house.” They made sure that the materials used for the house would weather well over time; for instance, all the wood used for the house are termite-resistant, with chengal wood for the outdoors and teak for the indoors.

“It’s a functional family home, and the kids have loved it here,” says Mrs Pawley. However, now that the children have grown up and are going to the UK for their tertiary studies, Mrs Pawley feels it is time to sell the house.

The house on Ocean Drive has a built-up area of 8,000 sq ft and sits on a land area of 8,675 sq ft. On the first level is an en suite guest bedroom, and on the second level are the master suite with attached private gym, as well as three en suite bedrooms. The attic is used as a study.

The basement is the entertainment area. There are glass sliding doors that open out to a courtyard, ensuring natural light and ventilation. “It brightens the basement level,” says Bruce Lye, managing partner of SRI, the exclusive marketing agent for the house. “This is unlike the basements of some houses, which tend to be dark and damp and promote growth of mould and mildew over time.”


In good condition

Lye has noticed that some of the new owners of houses in Sentosa Cove have recently either torn down the original structures or undertaken extensive additions and alterations after buying them. “That’s why you see quite a few empty plots in Sentosa Cove,” he says. “If the original house was not well built and doesn’t weather well under the tropical coastal conditions, they have to be rebuilt.”

This is not the case with the Pawley home on Ocean Drive, which, after close to 10 years, is still in good condition. “It has always been our family home and was never let out; we take care of it,” says Mrs Pawley.

The buyer needs to do only “minor touch-ups” before moving in, says SRI’s Lye. The price tag on the house is $17 million, or $1,960 psf. “This is a competitive price for a quality home with character,” he points out.

Six months ago, Lye brokered the sale of two other bungalows. The one that sits on a 7,384 sq ft plot is located on Ocean Drive and fronts the sea. It was sold for $12.5 million ($1,694 psf). The one that sits on a 7,416 sq ft plot is on Cove Drive and faces the waterway. It fetched $10 million ($1,348 psf), according to caveats lodged in April.

“Sentiment has improved amid reports that the housing market has bottomed,” observes Lye. New-home sales have been brisk, and even the luxury condo market in the prime districts and Good Class Bungalows, the most luxurious of bungalows, have started to see renewed buying activity. “This has spurred those who have been contemplating making a purchase for the last couple of years to take action,” he adds.

Today, the premium between seafront and waterway houses has narrowed to just 15%, notes SRI’s Lye. “Those who own boats would prefer a home on the waterway,” he adds. “Besides price, buyers are also focused on the design of the house and the land size and shape.”

As more homebuyers consider Sentosa Cove as a place for their family home — like the Pawleys — the enclave is starting to regain some of its shine.


The triple-volume living area has an unobstructed view of the swimming pool and waterway

The triple-volume living area has an unobstructed view of the swimming pool and waterway


The living room is designed as the nucleus of the house

The living room is designed as the nucleus of the house


Also read: Transactions of Sentosa Cove bungalows highest since 2013


This article, written by Cecilia Chow appeared in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 802 (Oct 23, 2017).

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