$19 MILLION TUMON PURCHASE A GUAM REAL ESTATE HIGH

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By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 8) – Keep a mental picture of Tumon Bay's landscape - it could be much different three to five years from now, given investors' land purchases for luxury condominium projects in the area.

The latest publicly recorded major purchase of a Tumon piece of real estate shows almost 40,000 square meters of land across from the Fiesta Resort Guam sold for about $19.5 million.

Pacific Star Micronesia Inc., a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands corporation, sold the property to Ino Corp., according to documents recorded with the local Department of Land Management recently.

The transaction came out to about $460 a square meter, which is a new record high in recent years for land transactions in Tumon that do not involve beach frontage, said Siska Hutapea, a commercial real property appraiser and vice president of Captain, Hutapea and Associates.

If all the condominium development-related land purchases over the last year or so materialize from drawing boards to finished construction, Guam will see almost 2,000 luxury condominium units go up in three to five years, Hutapea said.

"And there's more that's cooking," she said.

More than $100 million worth of land sales for luxury condo projects in the Tumon-Tamuning area have transpired in the past year, she said.

"Take a picture of Tumon, for it will be different in three to five years," Hutapea said.

South Korean investors are the leading investors in Tumon condo projects this time around, she said.

In the previous Tumon real estate boom about two decades ago, buyers were predominantly from Japan, she said.

Anticipation of economic growth on Guam in light of the U.S. military buildup is helping to revive investor confidence in Guam, she said.

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