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Affordable properties with en bloc potential in Central Singapore

zhiqin.lin@bizedge.com

The average price across the 21,862 private non-landed residential property transactions in 2017 is $1,404 psf, according to URA caveat data as at March 21. This is a 3.6% y-o-y increase from $1,355 psf. Developers sold 9,733 new residential units at an average price of $1,510 psf in 2017, up 5.3% y-o-y. This year as at March 21, developers had sold 995 units at an average price of $1,649 psf, up 9.2% y-o-y.

The uptrend in transacted prices notwithstanding, particularly at new projects, affordable properties priced below $1,000 psf can still be found in Singapore, but they are likely to be at older developments. EdgeProp identified 24 developments in the Central Region where there were at least three transactions below the $1,000 psf mark between 4Q2017 and March 21. Among them are several projects that have high collective sale potential, according to EdgeProp’s en bloc calculator. They are Sherwood Tower in Bukit Timah; Hillcrest Arcadia and The Arcadia on Arcadia Road, off Adam Road; Kentish Lodge on Rangoon Road; Townhouse Apartments, adjacent to Anglo-Chinese School (Junior); Bukit Regency in Upper Bukit Timah; SKT Mansions in Aljunied; and Pandan Valley, off Holland Road (see table).

 

Source: URA, EdgeProp

 

Sherwood Tower is a 269-unit apartment block within Bukit Timah Plaza. Residents enjoy direct lift access to the retail podium of the mixed-use development. In the most recent transaction, an 829 sq ft unit changed hands for $662,800 ($800 psf) on March 6. In February, a 1,830 sq ft unit and a 1,539 sq ft unit were sold for $1.1 million ($601 psf) and $968,000 ($629 psf), respectively.

About 300m from Bukit Timah Plaza is Mayfair Gardens, a 99-year leasehold condo completed in 1985. It was sold en bloc to Oxley Holdings last November for $311 million, or $1,244 psf per plot ratio (ppr). Each owner stands to receive a gross sale price of $1.7 million to $2.89 million, according to marketing agent Knight Frank.

The 272-unit Hillcrest Arcadia and 164-unit The Arcadia are located on Arcadia Road, a heritage road where trees are preserved, in the established residential enclave bounded by Adam Road, Dunearn Road and Eng Neo Avenue. Both have 99-year tenures and were completed in 1980 and 1983, respectively. The most recent transaction at Hillcrest Arcadia was on Dec 28, 2017, when a 2,745 sq ft unit was sold for $2.05 million ($747 psf). In November, a 581 sq ft unit changed hands at $560,088 ($964 psf).

 

Hillcrest Arcadia (above) and The Arcadia are near Dunearn Court, which was sold en bloc to Roxy-Pacific Holdings for $36.3 million ($1,371 psf ppr) last October

 

In 2010, the residents of The Arcadia sought to top up its remaining lease of 66 years to a fresh 99 years, but the application was rejected by the Singapore Land Authority. The condo’s design by local architect Chua Ka Seng was inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and it was the first building in Singapore to feature vertical landscaping. Unit sizes in the development range from 3,466 sq ft to 7,503 sq ft.

Six units at The Arcadia were sold at an average price of $874 psf last year, and the highest price achieved was $905 psf for a 3,735 sq ft unit. In January this year, a 3,714 sq ft unit fetched $3.7 million ($996 psf). The most recent transaction on March 2 saw a 3,735 sq ft going for $3.5 million ($937 psf).

Hillcrest Arcadia and The Arcadia are near the 12-unit Dunearn Court, which was sold en bloc to Roxy-Pacific Holdings for $36.3 million ($1,371 psf ppr) last October. Each owner is expected to receive a gross sale proceeds of $2.91 million to $3.12 million upon completion of the sale, according to Knight Frank, which brokered the deal.

Located about 400m from the Farrer Park MRT station, the 75-unit Kentish Lodge saw two transactions in January. A 1,184 sq ft unit changed hands at $950,000 ($802 psf), and a 1,216 sq ft unit fetched $1.17 million ($962 psf). Across the Central Expressway from Kentish Lodge is the Moulmein/Novena area, where collective sale sites have been launched and sold. They include the 18-unit Derby Court, which was acquired by Roxy-Pacific Holdings for $73.9 million ($1,390 psf ppr) last December, and 27 Moulmein Rise. Along with a smaller piece of adjacent land, the vacant site at 27 Moulmein Rise was put up for sale by tender on March 9 with a minimum price of $110 million ($1,525 psf ppr). According to Savills Singapore, which is brokering the sale, the two residential development sites have a total area of 22,198 sq ft and a plot ratio of 2.8. They have a combined maximum allowable gross floor area of 72,147 sq ft, inclusive of the 10% balcony bonus GFA.

 

In January, a 1,184 sq ft unit at Kentish Lodge changed hands at $950,000 ($802 psf), and a 1,216 sq ft unit fetched $1.17 million ($962 psf)

 

A group of residents at Pandan Valley, a freehold condo with 605 units, are reportedly attempting a collective sale. A 3,089 sq ft unit at the development changed hands at $2.8 million ($906 psf) in January. Another 2,669 sq ft unit went for $2.55 million ($955 psf) last December. Completed in 1978, Pandan Valley was designed by Tan Cheng Siong, founder of Archurban Architects Planners, who also designed Pearl Bank Apartments. The iconic horseshoe-shaped development in Outram was recently acquired en bloc by CapitaLand for $728 million ($1,515 psf ppr).

 

A group of residents at Pandan Valley, a freehold condo with 605 units, are reportedly attempting a collective sale

 

Located near Pandan Valley is the 660-unit Pine Grove, which was put up for collective sale at $1.7 billion in 2011. Some residents are attempting for the third time to launch a collective sale of the former HUDC estate. Also located nearby is the 464-unit Ridgewood, whose 672,148 sq ft site has a 999-year lease. Although Ridgewood’s previous collective sale attempts in 2007 and 2013 did not garner enough approval from the residents, a group of owners are reportedly launching a third attempt.

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