Freehold site to yield potential landed homes in Orchard road

The Orchard road belt has not seen landed homes in its midst, or at least new ones, for quite sometime now. They are few and far in between and usually cost more than an arm and a leg. But a freehold residential site near Orchard road worth $72.8 million might potentially yield landed homes.

OneTreeHillGardensThe One Tree Hill Gardens site measures at 39,063 sq ft and currently consist of 6 maisonettes and 7 apartment blocks or $1, 864 psf in asking price. The units here are of considerable sizes, ranging from 1,916 to 4,682 sq ft. Should the development succeed at a collective sale, each home owner could receive anything between $4 to $11 million. What the site could potentially yield are 13 detached and semi-detached houses. Considering the prime district, the rarity of landed homes across the board and more so in the centre of town, and the lack of sizeable residential sites readily available for redevelopment, marketing agent Knight Frank is confident of the interest the site will garner. Recent sales of sites in Grange Road, Cuscaden Walk and Hullet Road have all drew considerable bids of $190.5 million in total.

The area surrounding the One Tree Hill Gardens site is in itself an exclusive enclave of high-end apartments and some landed homes. Add on its future proximity to the upcoming Orchard Boulevard MRT station along the Thomson-East Coast Line and up goes its value.

Prices of HUDC Flats – Not a medium median

Well, unless you think $1 million should be the normal selling price for HUDC flats. The prices of these rare public housing units are only going upwards as more buyers focus on their potential value after privatisation. For the first time in HUDC history, the median resale price of HUDC apartments have risen to above the $1 million mark according to the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) data. And though the Q4 numbers are not out yet, they are almost certain it is still inching upwards.

Bishan Shunfu HDB

Last month, a HUDC unit in Shunfu Road was sold at $1.33 million. The median resale price for HUDC units is now $1.04 million. Perhaps the buyers were simply able to afford the selling price, and location plus apartment size were ideal for their current situation, but property analysts have warned buyers against over-extending themselves in hope of future profits.

However if you are indeed looking for a HUDC apartment in its pre-privatised state, HDB estates to look out for are:
Bishan (Shunfu)
Serangoon North
Hougang North N3
Hougang North N7
Potong Pasir

HUDC were introduced in the 1970s to provide options for families who needed bigger flats but were unable to afford private properties. But once private property prices fell in 1987, the authorities stopped releasing these units. There are a total of 18 HUDC projects in Singapore, which yielded 7, 731 units.

With the knowledge of the motivation behind HUDC Units, should it really be about whether it is a public housing unit or a 99-year leasehold private property when perhaps the only difference is whether it is in an enclosed compound with perhaps some facilities (though they do come with maintenance fees). Should floor area and location be the ultimate determinant between property prices? How does one begin to differentiate between public and private housing if prices of the latter is moving constantly up the charts. Is this a product purely of inflation or are there other reasons and factors which need to be first tackled?

Executive Maisonettes– Few and far in between

A rare and dying breed of public housing properties indeed. Most savvy home buyer are aware of the rarity of these property types.

Woodlands Executive MaisonetteIn the last 10 years alone, prices of these HDB units with bigger spaces, usually two floor of spacious living area, have risen up to more than 100 per cent. Even more so especially since HDB has once again announced that they will not be building any more maisonettes.

The recent million-dollar public housing units sold in Bishan and Queenstown were also HDB executive maisonettes. As rare as HUDC units, many of which were privatised and sold en bloc, scarcity makes for higher buyer demand from property investors and home upgraders alike. A viable option between public and private property, executive maisonettes are perhaps for the select few who need the space and are able to afford the high prices.

More remote HDB estates such as Choa Chu Kang and Yishun still have a number of these executive maisonettes priced at under $400 psf, still a way to go from the $620 psf price tag of the recent million-dollar Queenstown maisonette. Is this an option more buyers are considering as private property prices continue to remain high?