Demand for Shophouses on the rise

Shophouses are a rare commodity in land-scarce Singapore, what with their heritage, location and floor area. Though the property cooling curbs of 2013 have caused a dink in the market with limits placed on bank lending but recent figures have shown an increase in transaction value over the past 2 years.

NorthBridgeRoadShophouseThe total value of shophouses sold since 2015 have risen 7.6 per cent from $657.3million to $707.07 million last year. Though the number of caveats lodged remained steady at about a 100 a year, property players are beginning to see a renewed interest in these properties as investors continue to view them as rare with considerable growth potential. Rental rates for shophouses fall within the 2.5 to 3.5 per cent range. Most of the investors who are able to afford these valuable real estate are however wealthy individuals or family businesses or international property funds with $10 million to $50 million to spare.

JalanBesarShophouseSome of the more notable transactions last year included 3 adjoining 99-year tenure shophouses in Amoy Street which were acquired for $59.6 million. Another shophouse in Boat Quay sold for $12.9 million to a family business and CBRE currently has 3 commercial shophouse units in Holland Village, Chinatown and Kampong Glam available for purchase. The units are priced between $6 million to $28 million. Changes in the office sector may have slight effect on the shophouse market, but even as more units are put up for sale this year, industry experts are expecting a 5 per cent rise in shophouse prices.

Many new office buildings pre-leased

A sense of strength is coming back into the property market this year, with the bottom of the cycle possibly closing in. And consumer interest, in both the residential and commercial fronts, are on the rise too.

FraserTOwersWith news of Facebook pre-leasing space at Marina One, the upcoming Frasers Tower in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD) has also received leasing proposals for 30 per cent of its 38-storey office building from various interest tenants. Most were from multi-national conglomerates, legal services, technology firms and a serviced-office provider, The Executive Centre who expressed interest in taking up an entire 20,000 sq ft floor space.

New office buildings are gradually filling up even before they are completed or ready for occupancy. There is however some movement from other existing buildings as tenants take the opportunity to relocate or upgrade, as seen in the mix of tenancy in Marina One and Guoco Tower. Frasers Tower has a 663,000 sq ft of total net leasable area. More new office spaces are currently being developed in the CBD, including UIC Building and the new property which will sit on the site of the previous CPF building. Though office rents have been falling, it may be a good sign after all as the market would have picked up by the time these new buildings are

Foreign investors like Singapore property market for its stability

http://www.thehumanbuilding.comThe recent en bloc sale of Shunfu Ville to Qingjian realty plus a $145-million dollar sale of a Cuscaden road bungalow to a Hong Kong Tycoon may have boosted foreign-investment sentiments, especially in the property market. It shows that many high net-worth individuals and funds are finding long term potential in Singapore’s property market.

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Photo credit: http://www.thehumanbuilding.com

They often have the financial holding power and are looking beyond short-term cyclical trends, setting their sights instead on mid- to long-term goals of 5 to 10 years. Asean is just beginning to boom, as many of the nations and economies become interwoven and thus provide more opportunities for growth and a general sense of vibrancy and promise. Aside from residential properties, commercial properties are also faring well, with offers of up to $560 million being made for the Straits Trading Building on Battery Road and $3.5 million for Asia Square Tower 1. Many regional and global companies are setting up headquarters in Singapore and will be looking at picking up office, commercial and retail spaces.

The recent dealings though hardly representative of Singapore’s weakening local market, may be a positive sign that companies, funds and high net-worth individuals are still happy to put their monies in Singapore properties. And though a market turnaround may not be quick, the time will come.