Jalan Besar Plaza To Enbloc For S$390M

The 53,043 sq ft Jalan Besar Plaza is up for collective sale. Estimated selling price is S$390M or S$2,451 psf for the 35-year-old, freehold property.

 The 16-storey commercial and residential building is zoned under Commercial and Residential with a plot ratio of 3.0, under the 2014 Master Plan.

The tender will close on Jan 21, 2016. 53,043 sq ft.

Eden Hall Land at Nassim Road Up For Sale

Since selling off a portion of land from Eden Hall plot in 2001, more land around the British High Commissioner's home in Nassim Road is on the market again.

The British government has carved out two freehold land plots from its Nassim Road garden land for wealthy buyers keen on owning some of the plummiest land in Singapore.

Image:  Sraits Times

Plot A is indicatively priced at $40.964 million, or $2,200 psf. The plot is approximately 18,620 sq ft and has about 36m of Nassim Road frontage.

Plot B is about 15,634 sq ft. It comes with a Nassim Road frontage of about 8m and is prospectively priced at $31.268 million or $2,000 psf.

Land for Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) in the tree-lined boulevards of Nassim Road is tightly held and scarcely available. With Eden Hall steeped in history, the sale of the two plots present a landmark sale in the GCB market. The properties are selling on a vacant site basis.

Before the 2001 sale, the land plot was originally more than 200,000 sq ft. in area.

Recent Nassim Road GCB History
Roughly 109,000 sq ft of part of the Eden Hall land parcel were bought for $50.4 million in April 2001 by motoring tycoon Peter Kwee and "Popiah King" Sam Goi.

Kwee took the larger part of about 63,300 sq ft and subsequently resold it to the below buyers: 

  • 39,383 sq ft of the plot (now 28M Nassim Road) went to Oei Siu Hoa for $25.5 million in 2003. 
  • The other plot of 23,922 sq ft was sold to Tay Liam Wee for $47.84 million in 2012. 

Goi continues to own 28G Nassim Road, a 45,754 sq ft site.

After the two plots are sold, the Eden Hall site will retain a land size of about 63,893 sq ft.

Nassim Road has chalked up only three GCB sales over the last eight years.

In April 2013, a company controlled by Wing Tai chairman Cheng Wai Keung and his wife put up a GCB at 33 Nassim Road for sale for about $250 million to $300 million. The plot of 84,839 sq ft land site has yet to secure a buyer.

Source: Straits Times

URA releases 2 residential sites for sale

Two land parcels were released for sale on Wednesday (Sept 30) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Source: URA

Source: URA

The parcel at Alexandra View is next to Redhill MRT station. Launched for sale under URA's ‘Confimed List,’ it can accommodate 400 units, with the first storey slated for commercial space.

Source: URA

Source: URA

The tender for the  8,400 sq m parcel with a maximum gross floor area of 41,153 sq m will close at 12 pm on Nov 12.




The other site located at Jalan Kandis, near Sembawang Park is made available for sale under the "Reserve List."  It will be put up for sale if a developer's indicated minimum price is acceptable to the Government.

The 7,047 sq m parcel with with a maximum gross floor area of 9,866 sq m can yield about 115 residential units.

Both sites, which come under the 2nd Half 2015 Government Land Sales Programme, have 99-year leases.


Source: Straits Times

High-End Home Sales Picks Up

Private homes sales above S$3 million line have picked up. Emerging value and currency movements paved the way to an upsurge in high-end home sales, rising 17.7% to 659 units for the first seven months of this year. Only 560 were done in the same period last year.

The pick-up in transactions above the S$3 million category cut across both the landed and non-landed segments. 

January to July Period
Sales of landed homes, 2015 - 318 transactions.
Sales of landed homes, 2014 - 280 transactions.

Non non-landed sales, 2015 - 341 transactions.
Non non-landed sales, 2014 - 280 transactions.

Contributing factors

Steeper drop in property prices in the high-end property market - the luxury non-landed private home prices have fallen 11.2% from its peak in Q1 2013.

Currency appreciation in the USD, Hong Kong dollars and the British pound against the Singapore dollar creates incentive for buyers.

The completion of new condo developments such as Leedon Residence in District 10.

Upsurge in landed property demand - 48% of private homes that changed hands at above S$3 million in the first seven months were landed homes.

Longer term view, owner occupation, upgrading of portfolio or positioning themselves for capital appreciation in landed properties in land-scarce Singapore.
Redevelopment – developers buying interest in old houses for redevelopment purposes.

Realistic pricing - developers of new landed projects have a certain timeframe to sell off their properties or pay a penalty.

Surge in number of landed properties bought by companies - totalling 30 units  from Jan-July 2015.


Transactions above the S$3 million price tag in the first seven months of 2015

Singaporeans bought 442 private homes - up 20.8%.
PRs bought 104 private homes - up 13%.
Companies bought 42 homes, up from 32 previously - up 31.3%.
Purchases by foreigners fall to 64 units - down from 69 previously in the S$3-4 million range but transactions shoot up above S$4 million mark.

In contrast, the number of private homes sold at prices below S$3 million mark is almost unchanged; the figure inched up 0.3% to 8,763 units in January-July 2015 from 8,736 in the same year-ago period.

Still, the latest sales volumes in the property market are some way off the peak levels of 2013, before the roll out of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) in June 2013.

Source - Business Times

Cluny Hill GCB Goes For S$21.52M

A 15,097 sq ft in the Cluny Hill Good Class Bungalow freehold site is being sold for S$21.52 million or S$1,425 psf on land area.

Standard Chemical Corporation is selling the property to Aston Holdings which is 90% owned by Tan Koo Chuan, who also controls developer Yi Kai Group.

Estimated cost to build and fit out a new bungalow of between 8,000-10,000 sq ft gross floor area (GFA) is around S$6-8 million.

The initial asking price is S$24 million earlier in the year.

The sole transaction in 2014 along Cluny Hill was transacted at S$1,976 psf. The freehold GCB at 33 Cluny Hill has a land area of 15,177 sq ft. It was sold for S$30M. 

In total, there were only 3 Cluny Hill transactions between 2010 to 2014 - two at $30M and one at $28M. Land prices were done between $1,533 psf to $1976 psf.

Buyers are on the lookout for GCBs in the S$20-25 million range these days.  The number of transactions is expected to pick up at these levels.

GCB buyers potentially come from those aspiring to upgrade from smaller bungalows and new citizens.

GCBs are the crème de la crème of landed housing in Singapore. Only 39 locations in Singapore are designated as Good Class Bungalow Areas with strict rules to preserve their exclusive identity.

Source: The Business Times

Le Nouvel Ardmore Penthouse S$51M Sale Sets New High Bar

Winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2008 and Wolf Prize in Arts 2005, Le Nouvel Ardmore's 13,875 sq ft penthouse was sold for an absolutely record price of $51M | S$3,676 psf, in April this year. This is a record absolute price quantum for a penthouse in Singapore.

Le Nouvel Ardmore by Wing Tai is a 33-storey single-tower luxurious freehold condominium along Ardmore Road, Singapore. It received Temporary Occupation Permit a year ago.

THE buyer of the S$51 million at Le Nouvel Ardmore penthouse is believed to be Sun Tongyu, one of the founders of Alibaba. He was the former president of Alibaba Group's consumer-focused e-commerce site Taobao. 

The penthouse unit sits on the top two levels of the 33-storey freehold project. Included in the 13,875 sq ft floor space is a roof terrace of 5,000 sq ft. Based on the brochure, there are five bedrooms, a family area and a study area on the lower deck, level 32. A private pool, private foyers, roof terrace, a gym and an entertainment area are on the upper deck, level 33.

On the assumption that the roof terrace is assigned a per square foot value equivalent to one-third that of the indoor area, the effective price is around S$5,000 psf.
Penthouses larger than 13,000 sq ft are rare in Singapore. 

Wing Tai has moved only four units in the 43-unit freehold condo, designed by Jean Nouvel, who clinched the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2008.

If this is anything to go by, it is a sure sign that the Singapore property market is biding time. Buyers are waiting on the sidelines and some may decide to take the plunge when conditions are right.

GCB Site At Windsor Park Up For Sale

A freehold Good Class Bungalow (GCB) site at 53 Windsor Park Road is up for the sale by public tender. The indicative price is S$27 million, or S$1,280 psf.

The part single storey and part double storey bungalow occupies a land area of 21,091 sq ft. Built in the 1950s, it sits on elevated grounds.

The tender closes at 3pm on Oct 21.

Around its vicinity are other landed housing and low-rise condominiums. The property enjoys proximity to Thomson Plaza, Sin Ming Plaza, and shop-houses along Upper Thomson Road.

There are only 34 GCB plots in the area. Rarely do any of these GCB come up for sale. In the past few years, only two recorded transactions in the area were recorded.


Past Transactions

January 2013 - A 22,481 sq ft site sold for S$25.3 million;

December 2012 - A 19,280 sq ft property sold for S$27 million.


Caveats for 25 GCB deals worth a total of S$543 million were lodged in 2014.

So far, 20 GCBs with a total value of S$485 million have been transacted this year. The numbers are expected to grow, given a rise in activity for this segment lately, on the back of more realistic asking prices from sellers.


Source: The Business Times

Queen Astrid GCB Site Up For Estate Sale

A freehold Good Class Bungalow (GCB) redevelopment site in Queen Astrid Park with an indicative price of S$49-51 million is up for estate sale by tender.

This works out to S$1,399 to S$1,456 psf.

The 35,011 sq ft site at the junction of Queen Astrid Park and Coronation Road West is currently occupied by a single-storey detached house.

The indicative price is relatively tempting when matched against the peak median price of S$1,749 per sq ft recorded in Q2 of 2014.

In Q2 of this year, the median price for detached houses with land area of 15,000 sq ft and above in District 9, 10 and 11 is S$1,410 psf.

GCBs are highly coveted here due to its scarcity, with only some 2,500 islandwide.

The GCB site at 2 Queen Astrid Park would not have been made available had it not been an estate sale.

The Queen Astrid Park site is appealing because of its exclusivity, elevated grounds, lush greenery, tranquil surroundings and easy accessibility to Holland Village and Orchard Road.

There is also the potential for sub-division into two smaller plots, a rare attribute. The GCB site enjoys wide double road frontages onto Queen Astrid Park and Coronation Road West.

The tender for the site closes on Nov 12.

Total transactions in GCB areas rise to at least 11 deals in Q2 of 2015, amounting to S$282.3 million.

Just four deals totalling S$95.3 million will transacted in Q1 of this year.

GCB Recent Transactions:

45 Belmont Road
Site: 31,125 sq ft
Sold at S$1,420 psf (June 2015)

26 Bin Tong Park
Site: 21,426 sq ft
Sold at S$1,400 psf (June 2015)

21, Queen Astrid Park
Site: 27,373 sq ft
Sold at S$1,169 psf (July 2015)
Transaction Price: S$32 million

Source: Business Times

Sale of 2 Commercial Projects By Expression Of Interest

Two commercial projects are going for sale by expression of interest:
1.    The entertainment complex at 1 and 3 Yuan Ching Road - commonly referred to as SuperBowl Jurong. 
Indicative asking price is S$20 million.

2.    A row of 5 adjoining shophouses at 142 to 150 (even numbers) Joo Chiat Road.
It has a total land area of about 7,503.58 sq ft.
Tenure of land to be determined upon closure of expression of interest.

SuperBowl Jurong Complex
The SuperBowl Jurong complex with a site area of 234,152 sq ft is part 2-storey and part 3-storey block, plus a pair of 2-storey blocks. It has a total net floor area of about 111,000 sq ft. 

The JTC Complex 30 years lease  starts from Jan 1, 2002. Occupancy rate stands at 99.6%. Tenants in the complex include Sheng Siong supermarket, McDonald's, Subway, and SuperBowl.

For operators in the lifestyle, entertainment and recreational industries, SuperBowl Jurong comes as a good fit. When the transformation is complete under the Jurong Lake District development plans, businesses will thrive even more. Things to look forward to will be the Singapore-Kuala-Lumpur high-speed rail terminus, the edutainment clusters, as well as park connectors and pedestrian linkages to be flashed out within the next few years.

Under the 2014 Master Plan, the site is zoned for "commercial and residential use".

Shophouses in Joo Chiat
The five adjoining shophouses in Joo Chiat Road totals about 7,503.58 sq ft in land size and comes with a plot ratio of 3.0. This allows up to a maximum gross floor area of about 22,510.74 sq ft.

It is zoned "commercial" under the 2014 Master Plan.

The vendor, a privately held investment holding company is evaluating whether to sell the property in its freehold tenure or to sell it on a 99-year leasehold basis. 

On a freehold basis, bids are expected to be in excess of S$14 million. 

The vendor is soliciting bids on a freehold and 99-year basis from prospective investors and will decide the tenure disposal after closing the expression of interest process.

Source: Business Times

Several Landed Properties On Auction

A couple of landed residential properties will be featured at an auction towards the end of this month.

1.    Freehold Single-storey Bungalow
25 Branksome Road, District 15.
Site area: 13,844 sq ft.
Indicative price: $15M to $17M
S$1,084 to S$1,228 psf on land area.
For sale by owner.

The site is large enough to be redeveloped into either a detached house and a pair of semi-detached houses, or two detached houses. The frontage is 28 metres wide. 

2.    Freehold 2-storey Semi Detached House
7 Lengkok Merak, District 10.
Site area: 4,630 sq ft.
Indicative price: $8.9M to $9.3M
S$1,922 – S$2,009 psf on land area.
Estate Sale

Sited in the One Tree Hill area, the old two-storey semi-detached house is on high ground and flat in contour. It also has a front and side garden. The property can be redeveloped into a new two-storey semi-detached house with a swimming pool. It is near the future Orchard Boulevard MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. 

3.    Freehold 3-storey Semi-Detached House
21 Lucky Crescent District 16.
Site area: 3,583 sq ft
Indicative price: S$3.94M to S$4M
Estate Sale.

The property in the Upper East Coast area has five bedrooms and a maid's room.

4.    Freehold 3-storey Semi-Detached House
21 Toh Avenue, District 17
Site area: 3,050 sq ft.
Indicative price: S$3M to S$3.1M
Mortgagee Sale

17 properties totalling S$45.1 million were sold at auctions in Singapore in the first half of this year, which is comparable to the S$45.4 million successfully auctioned off in the second half of last year.

Source: Business Times

Cheque Mix-Up Scuttles Property Deal

As relevant then as it is now.

A Case Study

Straits Times, 23 Oct 2010

A man wrote a cheque for option fee to seller’s law firm, instead of to seller as earlier agreed.

AN INVESTMENT banker lost his chance to buy an $18.5 million bungalow in Ewart Park when his cheque for the option fee was made out to the seller’s law firm instead of to the seller.

He then sought High Court action to enforce the sale and stop the owner from reselling to anyone else, but his claim was dismissed by Justice Belinda Ang on Tuesday. Her judgment grounds were released yesterday.

The judge said that the seller, Ms Soon Chia Chuen, 38, was entitled to the $184,000 option fee the buyer, Mr Zain Asif Fancy, 36, had paid. This was 1% of the selling price.

He had, through his lawyers, made out a cheque for the remaining 4 per cent, or $738,400, to the law firm representing Ms Soon.

Mr Zain had believed it was sufficient to comply with the clause specified in the sale contract.

His lawyers from Tan Peng Chin LLC, who handled the deal, hand-delivered the cheque and the accompanying sales acceptance documents to Ms Soon’s lawyers from Derrick Wong & Lim on the day of the deadline in August.

But when she found out the cheque had been made out to her lawyers, she refused to continue with the sale.

She pointed out the deal was clinched after several rounds of talks, on the understanding that the cheque was to be made payable to her.

She had argued in court documents that she wanted the cheque to be in her name as she needed the money quickly to book a house in Trevose Crescent that she wanted to buy as a replacement.

The longer the delay on that deal, the higher the prices went as the seller was getting better offers from others, she said.

The property market was booming then, and Ms Soon had, among other things, ‘reluctantly’ agreed to a five-week period for Mr Zain to exercise the option instead of the usual two weeks.

She was concerned that prices would rise further and she would lose out if he opted not to buy after a five-week wait.

He had already paid the 1% option fee in June and the remaining 4% that he paid to exercise the option to buy became the subject of the court dispute.

Lawyers say that in a property deal, the money is normally paid to the law firm acting for the seller, which will keep it as a stakeholder in the sale.

This is to safeguard the money in case the deal derails for various reasons – such as if the seller subsequently dies, or is a bankrupt or cannot go through with the sale for some reason.

Mr Zain said in court documents that the property was ‘of particular significance’ to him as it ‘sits on a large and uniquely sited plot of land in one of Singapore’s most exclusive and prestigious ‘Good Class Bungalows’ enclaves and is a rare find in land-scarce Singapore’.

His lawyer, Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo from Wong Partnership, whom he hired separately to fight the High Court case, argued that the $738,400 cheque to be issued in Ms Soon’s name was not something that had to be strictly complied with.

But lawyer Prabhakaran Nair for Ms Soon countered that acceptance must match the offer in the way it was agreed upon.

Justice Ang said that sending the cheque to Ms Soon’s lawyers ‘was contrary to what was already agreed…which was for the cheque in (Ms Soon’s) favour to be forthwith released to her’.


Points to note from the legal perspective

Expiry Date and Time of Option To Purchase (OTP).
Usually 14 days from date of OTP but this period may vary.

Mode of exercise and acceptance of OTP.
Buyer is to deliver a signed copy of the acceptance as specificied by OTP.

Mode of Payment.
Payee - To Seller or the Law Firm acting for the seller.
Cashier's order or cheque.

Amount of Payment.
Exact amount as stipulated in Option.


Bulk deal of 23 units at Draycott Eight close to being sold

A deal for the bulk sale of the Draycott Eight units owned by a German core fund managed by Morgan Stanley is said to be nearing conclusion, according to Business Times.

The 22 four-bedders and a penthouse deal is via the sale of shares in a company that owns it. It is expected to fetch slightly above S$150 million, or around S$2,200 psf based on the total.

Draycott Eight, developed by Wing Tai, embodies 136 units in three blocks of 24 storeys each. The 23 units owned by the Morgan Stanley-managed fund are in the same block that also has another 23 units owned by a fund managed by Alpha Investment Partners. 

In 2010, Alpha purchased the 23 units for slightly over S$157 million or about S$2,300 psf from another Morgan Stanley-managed fund. The two funds bought their respective stacks of units at S$2,600 psf in 2007.

Bulk transactions of apartments:
Towards end of last year Blackstone purchased en bloc 21 Anderson Royal Oak Residence, a 34 units, 10-storey property at S$164 million, or S$1,917 psf - based on the total strata area of 85,552 sq ft. Owned by Arch Capital, under the Ayala Group, the S$164 million price tag is below the S$200 million or S$2,337 psf that Arch paid for the asset in 2010. Anderson 21 underwent a major revamp in 2009.

Blackstone has also picked up 17 freehold units at Paterson Suites for S$2,100 psf or close to S$80 million from a fund in the Real Estate Capital Asia Partners (Recap) series managed by SC Capital Partners. 

The sale of the last 16 units at 111 Emerald Hill, a 40-unit completed freehold condo project.
Divestment of 14 units at The Holland Collection for S$53.8 million by Straits Trading to Haiyi Holdings.

Typically these bulk sales are executed through a change in ownership of shares in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that owns the apartments or which developed the project. Purchases done this way do not entail payment of the up to 15% additional buyer's stamp duty said tax experts and conveyancing lawyers. Even the regular buyer's stamp duty of up to 3% does not apply to such share purchases; instead the stamp duty rate payable is 0.2% of the net asset value or the market value of the company, whichever is higher.

However there is a catch in buying a property through a company because one would have to do due diligence to make sure there are no hidden liabilities. Moreover when an investor that acquires a property through the purchase of shares in an SPV or property development company, subsequently sells the property, he may end up paying more tax based on the profit from the transaction because of the lower cost base for the property.

Knight Frank's latest Prime Global Cities Index tracking luxury residential property prices released on Wednesday showed Singapore posting the biggest year-on-year fall of 15.2% as of June 2015, among the 35 cities covered by the index. For the first half of this year (June 2015 vs December 2014), the drop for Singapore was 7.9%.

On a three-month basis (June vs March this year), the decline was 2.2%.

Source: Business Times

Shophouse deals in Hongkong St, Havelock Rd, Tanjong Katong

Recent shophouse transactions: 

A Hongkong Street shophouse changed hands at S$14.45 million |  S$1,780 psf.
Address: 31 Hongkong Street
Gross floor area (GFA) of about 8,100 sq ft.
Site area: 1,747 sq ft.
Tenure remaining: 91 years.
Intended use: Food and beverage (grd level)

A shophouse transacted earlier in March this year:
Address: 39 Hong Kong Street was transacted at S$1,899 psf on GFA. 
Tenure remaining: 97 years.
Intended use: Restaurant by Bacchanalia

There is no untapped GFA for both units based on the 4.2 plot ratio designated for the area.

Hongkong Street is part of the Upper Circular conservation area. The front of the building for the secondary settlement has to be conserved but the rear can go up to six storeys. The area is zoned for commercial use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014.

The location is being revitalised with the entry of new F&B operators. It is also near the Clarke Quay MRT Station and CBD.

Other recent shophouse deals:
OCBC sold two adjoining shophouses at 743 and 745 Havelock Road for S$12.11 million and 382 Geylang Road for S$5.1 million.

Bamboo Group sold 3 properties in an auction last week.

    1.   A 2-storey freehold corner shophouse at 362 Tanjong Katong Road was sold for S$6.35 million last week in an auction.
    2.    Two strata, 9,999-year leasehold, ground floor commercial units at 1 and 1B Figaro Street were sold together for S$6.45 million.

Source: Business Times

Overseas Properties, Investment Schemes To Come Under Advertising Guidelines

From Aug 12, advertisements have to comply with a higher standard of warnings, disclosures and qualifications, to ensure that potential risks are properly highlighted to the public, under the enhanced guidelines set by the Singapore's code of advertising practice

Among the new guidelines, advertisements on overseas property-related investments should clearly state what investors are acquiring (such as interest in the land, building, or property within the building). 

Advertisements on overseas real properties cannot mislead or exaggerate their actual location, physical nature, legal titles, and the developers' financial position. For properties being developed, their advertisements have to state the building permit or approval numbers and the identity of the issuing authority.

They should also not contain claims that give the impression that an investment is safe, low-risk or risk-free or can generate quick, easy or high profits with little or no risk.

Advertisements on overseas properties investment, investment schemes and even investment seminars will come under the enhanced regulatory scope.

These guidelines apply to all media platforms, including online advertisements, said the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), an advisory council under the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case).

Source: Business Times