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20 April 2013

20th April 2013, Saturday




For $2m, you can get a freehold landed home

Source: The Straits Times

Many home hunters may assume that landed freehold property - the rarest of land titles in Singapore - is way out of their reach.

Not necessarily so.

Fairly small freehold plots in Geylang and MacPherson have been selling for about the price of a suburban condominium.

The 10 cheapest freehold landed properties were sold for under $2 million apiece last year, a check with the Urban Redevelopment Authority's real estate information system (Realis) showed.

The cheapest freehold landed property sold last year was a terrace house with a land area of 1,841 sq ft, on Westerhout Road in the central district of Geylang, selling for just $720,000 or $392 per sq ft (psf). Another terrace house with a land area of 893 sq ft in MacPherson Garden Estate was sold for $1,133,000, or $1,276 psf, in September last year.

According to Realis, the second cheapest freehold landed home sold last year was in the prime location of District 10. The terrace house on King's Road was sold for $800,000. But analysts suggested that the transaction was unlikely to have been at market value.

Analysts pointed out that much of the value of landed properties lies in the land, rather than the dwellings built on them.

"In Singapore, foreigners are generally not allowed to buy landed homes. As such, prices and demand for landed properties are less volatile and speculative," said an analyst.

Other reasons that some landed homes are sold at a lower price are the age, condition and location of the property, said DWG senior manager Lee Sze Teck.

"Some homes could be single-storey, have very few rooms, dated design, are poorly maintained and far away from amenities and public transport," said Mr Lee.

Another analyst also said properties marketed below the market price could have hidden issues. "Parking or quality of the neighbourhood could be possible reasons for the low asking price. For example, there are landed properties with car porches that are too small for big cars," he said.

Experts warned that buyers should take note of the amount of money they need to fork out to restore and maintain the property.

And those shopping for private leasehold landed properties should mind the remaining lease. "Anyone looking at a property with a lease of less than 60 years should be more cautious as you will need to fork out a large amount of cash, and there is less demand in the resale market subsequently," an analyst concluded.


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Market for good class bungalows nowhere near $300m asking price

Source: The Straits Times

A high-profile bid by Wing Tai Holdings chairman Cheng Wai Keung to sell his Nassim Road bungalow for up to $300 million is not typical of the good-class bungalow (GCB) market.

Sales volumes of these most posh of homes are fairly thin and other prices pale in comparison to the record price of up to $3,536 per sq ft (psf) he is asking for the vast 85,000 sq ft plot.

Only seven homes have been sold with a total value of $158.88 million so far this year, in places such as the Thomson area, an analysis showed. The most expensive GCB to change hands was at Windsor Park Road at $1,401 psf or $27 million in total.

Analysts agree that the volume of transactions is unlikely to exceed last year's numbers.

A total of 54 GCBs were sold last year. 40 to 45 GCB sales are expected this year, translating to a total of $850 million to $950 million. Neither individual prices nor the total sum for GCBs are anywhere near record numbers.

Recent cooling measures such as the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) and seller's stamp duty (SSD) have affected the GCB market.

These measures target mostly speculators, investors and foreigners, such as the ABSD of seven to 10 per cent on the property price and SSD of up to 16 per cent.

To buy a GCB at $30 million, the buyer has to pay an extra $3 million for the ABSD and that amount can buy another apartment elsewhere. The total number of GCBs here is also likely to remain at about 2,400 units, as the land they sit on is unlikely to be developed into more units, and the ABSD is likely to make buyers think twice.

Analysts said that the rental for new GCBs in prime areas such as Dalvey will be around $40,000 to $45,000 a month. The yield for GCBs was around 1 to 2 per cent and most owners are looking for capital gains rather than yields.


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