The Biggest Deals In 2019

The private property market has been holding up in 2019 barring high supply of stock. Prices of private residential properties staged a remarkable turnaround in the second quarter of 2019, rising 1.5 per cent q-o-q to hit a five-year high. It continued through the third quarter, with a 1.3 per cent q-o-q rise. As the year comes to a close, we look back to see some of the biggest real estate transactions in the categories of Good Class Bungalow, Sentosa Cove Bungalow, Luxury Apartment, Commercial Building as well as Government Land Sales, both Residential and Commercial-Residential.

Good Class Bungalow

Good Class Bungalow (GCB) are highly sought-after and the demand continues. This Astrid Hill property is a single-storey that sits on a 26,983 sq ft elevated land with a wide frontage. It is located at a cul-de-sac within the Queen Astrid GCB Area. 

Setting the highest psf for 2019 is the bungalow at Belmont Road. Sitting on sprawling grounds of 26,996 sq ft, the two-storey property comes with a covered car porch, lift, swimming pool, playground, basketball court and landscaped garden.

Sentosa Cove Bungalow

139 Cove Drive stood out from the rest of the bungalows because of its unique copper-cladded facade. In addition, it is one of the rare bungalow plots at Sentosa Cove with a generous land area of 18,053 sq ft. All six bedrooms of the property are on the ground floor, with swimming pool access to the master suite and four bedrooms. The living room is on the second floor for a better enjoyment of the sea view, while the rooftop terrace serves as a 10,000 sq ft entertainment area. 

Also along Cove Drive, 94 Cove Drive is a two-storey bungalow with a view of the waterway and Tanjong Course, which is part of Sentosa Golf Club. The bungalow on-site was completed in 2010 and has a land area of 8,730 sq ft.

Luxury Apartment

The most expensive luxury apartment sold in 2019 was a triplex super penthouse in Boulevard Vue. This was the last of the 29 units in the luxury development to be sold. It was reported that a Chinese national paid S$52 mil or S$4,686 psf for the 11,098 sq ft super penthouse (defined by List SIR as a luxury penthouse with floor area of at least 10,000 sq ft.) The exquisite home comes with a 25m lap pool, reflection pool, fine dining area, heated pool, spa kitchen, spa lounge, and concierge services. That leaves Singapore with four other super penthouses available in the market.

A new luxury residential project that was launched in March 2019, Boulevard 88 has been very well-received. Nearly 90 of the 154 units have been sold by end-November, including the four penthouses. The two smaller penthouses with a floor area of around 5,680 sq ft were sold at S$28 mil each or S$4,931 psf on average while a bigger penthouse of 6,028 sq ft fetched S$29.53 mil or S$4,899 psf. The biggest penthouse of 6,049 sq ft fetch S$31 mil, reflecting S$5,125 psf, a level not seen since June 2013 when a penthouse in TwentyOne Angullia Park was sold.

Commercial Building

Oxley Holdings signed a deal to sell 30 Raffles Place (former Chevron House) to Golden Compass (a fund controlled by AEW) for S$1.025 billion. 
The prime office building in Raffles Place was acquired for S$660 million in December 2017. Based on the final net lettable floor area of 374,165 sq ft after alterations, additions and asset enhancement, this reflects $2,739 psf. The property has a 99-year leasehold tenure commencing from December 1989 and comprises a 5-storey retail podium with a 27-storey office tower.

To-date, Asia Square Tower 1 is still the largest commercial building deal. The 43-storey building was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for S$3.4 billion in June 2016.

Government Land Sale Site (Residential)

This site at Clementi is located near Nan Hua High School, National University of Singapore (NUS), NUS High and University Town. UOL Group and United Industrial Corporation combined bid of S$491.30 mil/ S$788 psf per plot ratio was the highest among five bids. This worked out to a breakeven price of around S$1,300 psf for a new project. The 178,066 sq ft site can be developed up to 40 storeys, yielding around 640 new homes.

CELH Development, a unit of Chip Eng Seng Corp, emerged top among seven bidders with S$418.38 mil or S$1,192 psf per plot ratio. The site is popular because it is located within the prime residential district at Newton and is only five minutes’ walk to Newton MRT station, an interchange for both North-South and Downtown MRT lines. This location is also within close reach of Orchard Road shopping paradise. Considering the large supply of new freehold homes in the Newton and Balmoral Road areas that are currently on the market with price tags ranging from S$2,500 to S$3,000 psf, CELH’s estimated breakeven of around S$2,000 psf allows a competitive edge in price flexibility.

Government Land Sale Site (Commercial - Residential)

The site attracted only two bids in this batched tender with two other residential sites. This could be attributed to some caution among developers
who were mindful of the slowing economic conditions and competition from a 522-unit project by Wing Tai located one street away. The winner of
the site is GuocoLand, Hong Leong Group and Hong Leong Investment Holdings. The site has strong location attributes, being situated in the Bugis-Beach Road enclave, a vibrant retail and entertainment district. It will also be connected by linkways to Bugis MRT station, an interchange station for the East-West and Downtown MRT lines. The future development will comprise some 580 apartments with some 21,500 sq ft of commercial
use on the 1st storey.

Note: The above transactions are based on caveats lodged, and do not include record deals with no caveats lodged that were reported in the media.