2021 has been a year of uncertainty. From bleak economic outlooks to new variants of Covid-19 emerging throughout the world, it has changed the market outlook significantly. Despite this, the private property market has remained resilient in Singapore. With higher vaccination rollouts, coupled with the lower interest rates buyers pay, there has been a notable increase in number of property transactions in 2021.
Good Class Bungalow
Demand for Good Class Bungalows (GCB) turned out to be robust in 2021, despite the ongoing uncertainty in the market. Covid-19, has incentivised more ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals to purchase GCBs which provides a larger space for working from home, home-based learning and private recreational needs.
A GCB located at District 10, Nassim Road, has recorded the highest transacted price in 2021, at $128,800,800. This works out to $4,005 psf based on a land area of 32,160 sq ft. The new owner is Jin Xiao Qun, the wife of Nanofilm Technologies founder Shi Xu, who bought the property from businesswomen Oei Siu Hoa. Due to the age and condition of the bungalow, it is likely to be extensively renovated or be redeveloped into a new building.
The highest price per square foot went to a brand-new GCB at Cluny Hill, that was sold in April 2021 at $4,291 psf based on its price of $63.7 mil and land area of 14,844 q ft. The buyer was said to be a Singaporean entrepreneur in the tech sector who is in his early 30s.
Sentosa Cove Bungalow
With the higher demand for GCBs on mainland Singapore, there has been a positive spill over effect on the sale of Sentosa Cove Bungalows as well. As of early-December 2021, 24 Bungalows have been sold at Sentosa Cove, an 85% increase from the 13 transactions in 2020. The bungalow which fetched the highest price is located at Cove Drive, at $43,666,000, or $2,419 sq ft. The land rate of $2,419 was also a record among all the bungalows sold in 2021. The property, also known as ‘Copper House’, boasts 6 en-suite bedrooms, a basement garage which can fit 10 supercars and a 41-metre ocean frontage amongst other features. It sits on a land size of 18,053 sqft, one of the largest land plots in Sentosa Cove.
A super penthouse at Les Maisons Nassim sold for $75m in October 2021 is the most expensive apartment sold in 2021. The five ensuite bedroom luxury apartment with a floor area of 12,077 sq ft also achieved the highest rate of $6,210 psf for the year. Currently under construction, Les Maisons Nassim comprises only 14 limited edition luxury apartments housed in three five-storey blocks. The sprawling land of 66,452 sq ft allows verdant landscape gardens and facilities for the residents’ enjoyment.
CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and insurer FWD Group have agreed to sell their respective half-stakes in One George Street at a price of $1,281,488,125. One George Street is a 23-storey Class-A office commercial building located in Raffles Place which sits on a land area of 60,242.88sqft. The price works out to a unit price of $2,875 psf based on a total net lettable area of 445,745 sq ft. The buyer is a 50:50 joint venture of JP Morgan Asset Management and Nuveen Real Estate.
The building’s tenants included ERGO, distiller Diageo, plastics maker Borouge, Lloyds of London, Royal Bank of Scotland, Fitness Firstand Canada’s embassy in Singapore. One George Street’s occupancy rate was 96.9% as of 30 September. Based on annualised net property income of $30.4 mil and the consideration, the exit yield is 3.17%.
Strata Office Sale
Suntec Reit has divested a portfolio comprising one floor at Suntec Tower 1 and five floors at Suntec Tower 2, with a total net lettable area of approximately 78,491 sq ft was sold for a total of $197 mil in June 2021. The units are being divested at an 8.9% premium over the independent valuation of S$180.9 million and the net property income yield was 3.1%.
The ninth floor of Samsung Hub was sold by Sun Venture for nearly S$53.1 million or S$4,050 per square foot (psf) on a strata area of 13,110 sq ft in May 2021. This is a record psf price for an office floor in the 999-year leasehold building in the Raffles Place financial district. The leases for the three tenants on this floor will expire between 2021 and 2023. The buyer Lee Kim Tah is expected to occupy part of the floor eventually.
While the future of long-term office demand is still unclear amid evolving hybrid work models, there has been healthy leasing activity for new office developments since Q3 of 2020. In addition, secondary stock or space vacated in older buildings by tenants relocating to new developments is being absorbed by those who are expanding their business, such as those in tech and wealth management.
Government Land Sale Site (Residential with Commercial on 1st storey)
A residential site with commercial use on the first storey located at Lentor Central was the most expensive residential site sold by the government in 2021. There were nine contenders and the winning bid was $784.11 mil, submitted by GuocoLand. The 99-year leasehold site of 186,001 sq ft is located right next to the soon-to-be-open Lentor MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. GuocoLand envisioned a new mixed-use, transit-oriented development of 25 storeys with around 600 residences that will enjoy the convenience of F&B and retail spaces, including a supermarket and more than 10,000 sq ft of child care facilities within the same development.
Two parcels at Slim Barracks Rise were successfully tendered in September 2021. Between the two, Parcel A, with a land area of 85,648 sq ft and plot ratio of 3.0 fetched $320.10 mil, achieving the highest land rate of $1,246 psf/plot ratio for the year. Parcel A is located closer to Buona Vista MRT station than Parcel B, which fetched $1,210 psf/plot ratio.