Heritage property in Orchard Road up for bids

Rising retail rents and popularity of e-commerce has had the old dame of Singapore retail, Orchard road, in need of a facelift. The recent month-long Fiesta on a Great Street hoped to draw shoppers back into the area with pop-up events, shopping promotions and lucky draws.

SLAOrchardRoadPropertyPhoto credit: State Land Authority

But what about keeping some heritage of the area, giving it a touch of tradition and history amidst the modern retail street. A heritage state property spanning 5 adjoining addresses on Orchard road has come up for sale. Situated near MacDonald House, the history of these properties herald from the post World War I era, with classical and art deco architectural features. It is the last remaining street-block of buildings in Orchard road.

Managed by the State Land Authority (SLA), the 5 units are now being offered up for a 3-year tenancy. And unlike previous government bids which were based purely on price, SLA has said that they will also consider the quality of the bid, which means the tender may not necessarily go the lowest bidder. 50% of the consideration will be dependant on the bid price and 50% to the concept.

SLAOrchardRoadProperty1Photo credit: State Land Authority

Though an attractive offer, property analysts do not expect it to be an easy-going tenancy as the property is placed at the end of the Orchard road stretch. The concentration of tourists and expatriates in the area however could be a jumping off point for the conceptualisation of a proposed plan for the property. The conservation status of the property also means some restrictions will apply and it will take a tenant with experience and adaptability to make it work. Market rental rates for the properties are currently around $3 to $4 psf.

New condominiums in district 9 to generate more buying interest in H2

Less than 2 months to the second half of 2017 and things may continue to look up for the private home market, particularly district 9. Two new condominium projects in prime locations will be launched in H2 – Martin Modern by Guocoland and New Futura by City Developments (CDL). Property analysts are expecting more than positive responses from the public – that is if the prices are right. Foreign buyers of luxury properties have been picking up units in increasing numbers as prices of high-end residential homes begin to bottom out. Non-landed private home prices in the core central region have already fallen 10.3 per cent by the end of March from it’s peak in 2013 and the demand for local property from non-Singaporeans have been increasing steadily.

MartinModernThe recent relaxation of the property cooling measures, however slight, and the brighter economic outlook may have helped boost overall market sentiments and given a much-needed push to the private property sector. 3,141 private homes were sold in Q1 alone which is more than twice the 1,419 units sold in 2016.

The 450-unit Martin Modern situated in Martin Place will provide more fodder for property buyers and investors looking for prime district units. Set in greenery amidst the busy city background, the property will offer 2- to 4-bedroom apartments across two 30-storey towers. The main feature of the property will be the “botanic garden”-like atmosphere where over 200 species of plants and animals and more than 50 species of trees and palms will imbue the development. Another of Guocoland’s similar properties, Leedon Residence, has sold 42 units worth over $250 million within Q1. Prices of units at Martin Modern is expected to hover around $2,300 psf.

New Futura1

Photo credit: Newfutura.net

The other district 9 property to look forward to is New Futura in Leone Hill Road. This new CDL project will feature 124 two- to five-bedders (including penthouses) across 2 blocks of 36 storeys each. Prices are approximated to be between $2,700 to $2,900 psf.

August’s Property market showing weaker

Buyers may have pulled back from the property market last month, partly due to the Hungry Ghost festival. In comparison to July’s bounty of developer launches, August’s numbers may seem pale.

Those who were looking would have only been keen if the prices were too attractive to pass up, and most buyers who have not already inked a deal in July may be waiting for the next few launches coming up in the last quarter of 2016. Non-Central regions property prices dropped 0.9 per cent, the largest in the 0.6 per cent overall fall in August.

highlineresidences1Developers have been offering incentive schemes and discounts for the last couple of quarters. And the buyers may now be more aware of these possibilities and thus are less willing to fork out higher amounts for completed homes as they know new fodder may be coming their way soon.  Small apartments below 506 sq ft have fallen the hardest at 4.5 per cent in a year-on-year comparison.

Long-term investment seem to be on the minds of recent buyers.  Properties in prime locations still hold their own and while buying frequency has dropped, properties in the central region are gaining ground and popularity with investors. The incline of fall in prices and sales has gradually eased and prices have remained relatively stagnant over the last half of the year, providing a sentiment of stability.

Bungalow of Tan Tock Seng’s descendant sold for $145 million

Is paying $145 million for a landed house over the top? Well, there is a first for everything.

The recent sale of a 25,741 sq ft freehold bungalow at 9 Cuscaden road is the first foray into Singapore’s property market for Hong Kong tycoon, Stanley Ho who has made billions through the gambling industry. The bungalow was put up for sale by Tan Tock Seng’s descendants and the site is zoned for hotel redevelopment with a plot ratio of 4.2. The bungalow was originally the family home of Tan Tock Seng’s great-grandson, Tan Hoon Siang and was put up for sale for between $160 to $170 million just last month. Named Villa Marie, it was presumably named after Mr. Tan’s second wife, Marie Windsor.

BungalowsStanley Ho’s Shun Tak Holdings paid $145 million for the prime site, the highest ever paid for a landed property and at $2,145 psf, it is all eyes on what is eventually built. Because of how it was zoned, the transaction was made sans the Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD), which could be a real positive, considering how much the deal cost. Though zoned for hotel redevelopment, there is also the possibility of building residential units up to 20 storeys high. Could Orchard road be seeing a new residential block or hotel in its midst? Will other landed properties possibly be seeing more activity soon?


Integrated properties bring buyers in

The weekend brought good cheer to the developers of a couple of new residential properties Cairnhill Nine in the heart of Orchard Road and The Wisteria in Yishun.


Photo credit: CapitaLand

In the prime Orchard road district, half of the 268-unit Cairnhill Nine has been sold. 200 units ranging from 591 to 3,864 sq ft were launched over the weekend. The project has a good variety of units with one-bedders and two-bedders which included guest rooms, and also four-bedroom units and penthouses. The area is near the major shopping belt, with amenities such as the library@orchard and Mount Elizabeth hospital and the Novena medical area just a stone’s throw away. With MRT stations and bus stops situated nearby, and its integration with serviced residence Ascott Orchard Singapore, Cairnhill Nine looks set to be a worthy addition to the many other private apartments in the area. Nearby is the luxury Hilltops condominium, Cairnhill Residences, Helios Residences and The Peak @ Cairnhill.

WIsteria YishunPhoto: The Wisteria in Yishun

Close to 85% of the 138 units at Wisteria, a mixed-use project developed by Northern Resi which includes a 2-storey mall, have been snapped up last weekend. There has been a number of promising new properties popping in Yishun in the past year and this just adds to the pie.

Both the Wisteria and Cairnhill Nine are 99-year leasehold properties.