Category Archives: Landed Homes

Seletar Hills bungalow up for private sale at $15m

A large corner bungalow off Seletar Road in the Seletar Hills estate is up for sale via private treaty for $15 million.

The freehold property, located at the corner of Begonia Crescent and Begonia Terrace, has a land area of 10,027 sq ft.

A nearby property in excess of 8,000 sq ft was sold at a unit land rate of $1,500 psf, which amounted to over $12 million.

Based on a similar unit land rate, the asking price of $15 million for this detached house is the highest in the area for a single landed property.

The tranquillity of the neighbourhood has long been a draw for residents in the area. There are parks and playgrounds within walking distance.

Residents can also head down to the nearby Greenwich V shopping mall and food establishments in the Jalan Kayu area to eat, drink and unwind.

The Straits Times understands that the seller is a retired businessman in his late 50s or early 60s with grown-up children.

He bought the property 20 years ago and has been living there with his family since.

If he manages to find a buyer, there are plans for the owner to move to a bigger property.

Source: The Straits Times –18 September 2013

PRs trip on ringfence around landed homes

The number of approvals granted to permanent residents wanting to buy landed homes on mainland Singapore has fallen sharply, since the authorities further tightened the eligibility criteria in 2011 to ensure these scarce properties remain the primary preserve of Singapore citizens.

The Singapore Land Authority told The Business Times that the number of such approvals fell from 145 in 2010 to 117 in 2011 to just 31 last year (the first full year after the tightening). In the first six months of 2013, only six applications received the nod.

Back in October 2011, Law Minister K Shanmugam had indicated that the number of approvals given to PRs to buy landed homes would fall by more than half to no more than 50 per year.

Since the authorities raised the bar some time in 2011 on eligibility criteria for PRs to buy landed residential properties, about two-thirds of approved applicants are married PR couples with children who are also PRs. “Where these couples have sons of National Service-eligibility age, the sons are serving or have served NS,” said an SLA spokeswoman.

“Given the scarcity of landed residential properties in Singapore, the government’s policy has always been to ensure that such properties remain the primary preserve of Singapore citizens.”

Foreigners who wish to own landed homes in Singapore must first seek government approval. On mainland Singapore, the minimum criterion is that they must be PRs. In addition, “they have to meet very stringent criteria that reflect significant economic contribution and rootedness in Singapore”, said the spokeswoman.

If approval is given, it is restricted to one landed residential property with a site area not exceeding 15,000 square feet. The property must be for owner occupation and cannot be rented out.

In addition, approved applicants must hold the property for at least five years, up from three years previously. Market watchers believe this change was effected sometime during the second half of last year.

Around the same time, the authorities stopped giving PRs approval to buy landed homes in Good Class Bungalow Areas. Previously, they could do so if the land area did not exceed 15,000 sq ft.

The spokeswoman added that where a Singapore citizen wants to co-own and live in a landed residential property with his or her PR spouse, “we will consider such applications favourably, so as to ground the family unit in Singapore”. However, the PR spouse is not allowed to own another landed residential property here.

Foreigners, whether PRs or not, are free to buy private apartments and condos anywhere in Singapore.

The figures on approvals for PRs to buy landed homes do not include Sentosa Cove, which remains the only place in Singapore where non-PR foreigners may buy a landed home, although still subject to government approval.

“Sentosa Cove is an exception as it was specially developed to attract influential and high net worth individuals to have a stake in Singapore,” said the SLA spokeswoman.

There is no holding period requirement for approved applicants. And the 15,000 sq ft cap also does not apply, although the site area is taken into account in assessing applications, she added.

“As with mainland (landed) properties, approved applicants can only use the property for owner occupation and not for rental. In addition, they cannot own more than one landed residential property, whether in Sentosa Cove or mainland Singapore.”

Purchases of landed homes by foreigners – in Sentosa Cove and mainland combined – form a small proportion of the total number. There were 4,355 caveats lodged for purchases of landed homes in all of Singapore in 2010, according to CBRE’s analysis of Urban Redevelopment Authority data. This fell to 3,340 in 2011 and 3,054 last year. In the first half of this year, 851 caveats have been lodged.

SLA also said the proportion of landed residential properties in Singapore (including Sentosa Cove) owned by foreigners (including PRs) has declined from 3.5 per cent in 2011 to 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

“We will continue with this strict approach to only approve applicants with significant economic contribution and rootedness in Singapore,” said the spokeswoman.

URA data shows that the number of completed landed private residential properties in Singapore stood at 70,145 at the end of 2011 and 70,578 at the end of Q1 this year.

Source: Business Times –6 August 2013

Q2 likely to have seen $221m GCBAs deals

At least $221 million worth of deals in Good Class Bungalow Areas (GCBAs) could have been transacted in the second quarter.

This would be higher than the $180.5 million of deals done in the first quarter.

One of the latest deals was a freehold property in Holland Park that sold for $28.8 million, which works out to $1,893 per square foot based on land area of 15,210 sq ft. The property comprises a conservation bungalow which has been restored, connected to a newly built house.

The combined two-storey property has four bedrooms, a study, a guest room, a swimming pool, wine cellar, entertainment room and a garage for three cars. The property’s built-up area is 12,636 sq ft. There is also a roof terrace.

The seller is a seasoned bungalow trader who bought the property in late 2010 – with the old conservation bungalow and a small wing on site – for an auspicious figure of $18,888,888 and could have invested another $4-5 million restoring the conservation bungalow, and tearing down the adjacent wing and redeveloping it into the new house.

The buyers are understood to be a couple who are planning to live in the property.

Nearby, Frasers Centrepoint Homes is developing two bungalows at Nos 65 and 67 Holland Park. The two-storey properties have respective land areas of 15,070 sq ft and 15,080 sq ft and built-up areas of 10,777 sq ft and 11,368 sq ft. Each property comes with four bedrooms and a guest room.

Talk in the market is that the developer is asking for about $38 million or $2,521 psf on land area for No 65, which has dual frontage.

The next door property at No 67 is said to have an asking price of around $35 million, which reflects $2,321 psf.

Other deals in GCBAs in the second quarter include a bungalow in the Tanglin and Rochalie vicinity that was sold for $23.5 million or $1,377 psf on a land area of about 17,072 sq ft. In Coronation Road West, a bungalow fetched $28 million or $1,101 psf based on its land area of 25,425 sq ft. The buyer is understood to be Tee Yih Jia’s executive chairman, Sam Goi.

Property maestro Simon Cheong also contributed to the sales volume of GCBs in the second quarter when he sold his home in Cornwall Gardens for $42.5 million or $2,051 psf. It sits on land of about 20,720 sq ft. The sale has yet to be completed. Mr Cheong is expected to move into a brand new home in Swettenham Road which he built on a site of around 33,300 sq ft that he picked up for $29.2 million back in 2009 from George Quek, the chairman and founder of BreadTalk.

The $2,051 psf pricing is close to the $2,110 psf record price for a property in a GCBA set last October when bungalow investor George Lim sold one in Leedon Park that he completed in 2011 for $33 million. Standing on the 15,640 sq ft site is a bungalow with six bedrooms and a pool.

Source: Business Times –5 July 2013

Freehold bungalow in Tudor Close for sale

A freehold bungalow site at 16 Tudor Close has been put on the market, and is expected to fetch in excess of $38 million.

Based on its land area of 22,534 square feet (sq ft), it will cost $1,686 per square foot (psf).

On the site is a two-storey detached house, vacant at the moment and expected to be redeveloped by the buyer.

Under the Master Plan 2008, the plot is zoned for residential use, specifically for a two-storey bungalow; approval has been given, however, for sub-division into four bungalow plots.

The District 11 property, accessible via Dunearn and Kheam Hock Road, was put on the market by a private individual. It is near the Camden Park and Chee Hoon Avenue Good-Class Bungalow area.

Orchard Road, Dempsey Hill and Holland Village are also not far away, so the site offers an array of retail, gourmet and lifestyle choices, on top of being near schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and Nanyang Primary School.

The tender for the site closes at 3pm on June 28.

Source: Business Times –22 May 2013

Odd-shaped house for sale below valuation

A quiet corner in a Hougang neighbourhood came to life last weekend after an unusual three-storey corner terrace house was put up for sale.

There was a giant balloon in the garden. Then a swarm of property agents – 30 at one point – suddenly descended on the place. There were people pacing up and down with placards announcing a going rate of $470 per sq ft (psf).

The house in Henley Gardens, a 36-unit terrace development in Jalan Arif, is owned by YHS Hougang, a unit of property developer Far East Organization.

What is unusual about the sudden flurry of activity at No. 36 is that the house has remained unsold and unoccupied since the 99-year leasehold project was completed in 2002.

It also stands out from others in the neighbourhood because of its triangular compound with a pie-wedge garden.

Responding to questions, Far East told The Sunday Times that the house was always part of its inventory meant for sale.

And it added the sales pitch: “We believe there is demand for quality landed homes with good value in District 19 conveniently located near a network of public roads and transportation options, popular schools and amenities.”

The house is near the Hougang Stadium, Serangoon Junior College and Hougang Sports and Recreation Centre.

Prospective buyers who visited the Open House last week were told the 6,813 sq ft property was a bargain because despite a valuation of $4 million, its price tag was $3.2 million.

There was no sale, but the price was raised mid-week to $3.5 million, which means the property is now being sold for $515 psf.

This is lower than the latest transaction at Henley Gardens, at $812 psf for a smaller inter-terrace unit of 2,153 sq ft, or $1.75 million.

The wedge-shaped plot has a built-up area of 3,089 sq ft. The rooms are also oddly shaped. Along one length of the house runs Hougang Avenue 2, while a catchment drain flanks the other side of the house. A nearby overhead bridge looks directly into the second floor.

YHS Hougang acquired the 99-year leasehold plot in 1996, and it currently has 82 years left on its lease.

When asked about the valuation, Far East said that “the asking price is in line with the latest indicative valuation estimates that we have obtained”.

Source: The Straits Times –19 May 2013