[UPDATE] Euro Properties previews K Suites, sees opportunities and upside potential in Singapore real estate

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Neo: I like the opportunity of developing small, freehold projects (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Niche property developer Euro Properties will preview its freehold development, the 19-unit K Suites at Lorong K Telok Kurau, on Sept 23. The boutique condominium is located off Still Road, in the prime East Coast enclave of District 15.
K Suites is a redevelopment of the former Ji Liang Gardens at 21 Lorong K Telok Kurau, which Euro Properties purchased en bloc for $18.6 million, according to a caveat lodged in June 2021. Ji Liang Gardens had six terraced houses sitting on a 14,289 sq ft, freehold site and all the owners had agreed to the collective sale. The houses at the former Ji Liang Gardens will be demolished sometime in 4Q2022, to make way for K Suites. (See potential condos with en bloc calculator)
No stranger to the Telok Kurau neighbourhood, Euro Properties has another development along the same street, at 81 Lorong K. It is the 24-unit Cubik, a five-storey, boutique development completed in 2012. The project is a redevelopment of seven freehold terraced houses at 79 to 81 Lorong K, which Euro Properties purchased en bloc for $8.4 million in July 2007. The new private condominium was launched for sale in November 2009.
K Suites is a redevelopment of the former Ji Liang Gardens at 21 Lorong K Telok Kurau (pictured above) [Source: PropNex]
“I like the opportunity of developing small, freehold projects because Covid made me realise that I don’t want to live with, or have to share facilities with, 1,000 other people,” says Neo Que Yau, founder and CEO of Euro Properties, a member of his Euro Group International.
In Singapore, Neo is used to living in a house, primarily a Good Class Bungalow. Home in Hong Kong is at The Peak, one of the priciest addresses on the island with views of Victoria Harbour. If he were to live in a condominium, he prefers it to be “a small community, where residents know each other”, he adds.
K Suites is therefore designed to cater to home buyers very much like Neo. JGP Architecture was appointed the design architect. The new five-storey apartment block will have just 19 units sitting on a 14,875 sq ft, freehold site. Amenities will include a lap pool, aqua pool, outdoor gym, as well as green roofs for the carpark.
The exterior of the 24-unit Cubik (grey facade) at 81 Lorong K Telok Kurau, developed by Euro Properties and completed in 2012 (Photo: EdgeProp Singapore)

Unit configurations

Units at K Suites are a mix of three- to four-bedroom apartments as well as five-bedroom penthouses. Three-bedroom apartments from 797 to 1,087 sq ft make up five of the 19 units. Four-bedroom types form the majority, accounting for 10 units, with sizes from 1,076 to 1,270 sq ft. The remaining four units are duplex penthouses, with a sole four-bedroom unit of 1,389 sq ft, and the rest, five-bedroom types ranging from 1,625 to 1,679 sq ft.
On every level are four units except for the first level, where there are three units. Two of the units on the first level enjoy direct access to the swimming pool. The three units on the first level have floor-to-floor height of 4.3m. The units on the second to fourth levels have a 3.5m floor-to-floor height. The duplex penthouses have a double-volume ceiling height of 7m in the centre of the unit. “I love living in spaces with a high ceiling because it feels airier,” says Neo. “So, I wanted to create that feeling for home buyers here.”
Besides high ceilings, home buyers want larger apartments with more well-designed spaces too, especially since Covid, notes Neo. The penthouses are designed with a roof terrace that offers unblocked city views, given that the apartment block is taller than the surrounding houses, which are only two to three storeys in height.
The duplex penthouses have a double-volume ceiling height of 7m in the centre of the unit at K Suites (Picture: Euro Properties)
As far as possible, units will be fitted with home automation so owners can save on conservancy, adds Neo.
Having invested in Telok Kurau for the past 15 years, Neo knows the location well. He likes the accessibility, given that it is just a seven-minute drive to the CBD via the East Coast Park Expressway and a 12-minute drive to Changi Airport. “It’s so convenient,” he says.
The attraction for local families is its proximity to popular primary schools such as Tao Nan School, CHIJ Katong Convent and Haig Girls’ School, which are located within a 1km radius, says Lee Sze Teck, senior director of research, Huttons Asia. “The project should appeal to families with young children of school-going age,” he adds.
Marine Terrace and Marine Parade MRT Stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line will also increase accessibility, as it would mean the property is close to four MRT stations, in addition to the existing Eunos and Kembangan MRT Stations on the East-West Line. There is access to parks and park connectors as well as the East Coast Park and the beach via underground links. “You have all the conveniences, but the area still retains its resort feel,” says Julian Neo, Euro Properties’ office manager and Neo’s nephew, who has joined the business.
Tao Nan School (pictured), CHIJ Katong Convent and Haig Girls' School are located within 1km radius of K Suites (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Small projects 'a lot more interesting’

Neo Que Yau is unfazed by upcoming large-scale developments elsewhere in District 15. “To me, small projects are a lot more interesting than large ones,” he says.
One of the largest private residential developments coming up in the prime district is along Dunman Road, with an estimated 1,040 units. SingHaiyi Group purchased the 271,662 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site in a government land tender for $1.284 billion ($1,350.48 psf per plot ratio, or psf ppr) in June this year.
Another upcoming, large-scale development is the 820-unit freehold development along Thiam Siew Avenue. It is a joint venture between Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments. Nearby, at Jalan Tembusu, City Developments purchased a 99-year leasehold site in January this year for $768 million ($1,302 psf ppr). The site is located adjacent to the Canadian International School and near Tanjong Katong Primary School and is estimated to have 640 residential units.
Artist's impression of the 19-unit K Suites - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Artist's impression of the 19-unit K Suites at Lorong K Telok Kurau (Picture: Euro Properties)
“Boutique developments like K Suites appeal to those who want exclusivity and are only interested in buying property with a freehold tenure,” says Huttons’ Lee. “Telok Kurau has its own charm as a low-density residential enclave. It’s one of the neighbourhoods in prime East Coast with a high concentration of freehold property.”
Neo reckons K Suites can command prices in the range of $2,400 to $2,500 psf, given that he is positioning it as a luxury project in terms of design and finishing. He points to the 298-unit Liv @ MB on Arthur Road, off Mountbatten Road. The 99-year leasehold condominium was launched in May this year, and to date, 79.5% of the units have been sold at an average price of $2,398 psf, based on caveats lodged.

Investments, divestments

A businessman, Neo moved to Hong Kong in 1987, where he developed a number of small projects and repositioned some assets. “In Hong Kong, it’s quite difficult to buy land,” he says.
carporch of K Suites - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The carporch of K Suites (Picture: Euro Properties)
In 2013, Euro Properties invested in the development of a luxury residential tower at 118E 59th Street in New York City, US. In March 2019, it was reported that Euro Properties sold its stake in the project to its Shanghai-based partner, Yuzhou Properties.
In 2015, Euro Properties, together with Australian-based restaurateur and fund manager Michael Jiang of Lotus Capital Asset Management, acquired the former headquarters of Nine Network TV station in Sydney, Australia, for A$147 million. In 2019, the partners put it up for sale, and received interest from 12 bidders, including Iwan Sunito’s Crown Group, Singapore’s Frasers Property Group and Australian property developer Mirvac, which eventually acquired the site in early 2020 for A$249 million. “We had a good run in Australia,” says Neo. “I’ve been divesting some of my overseas holdings from 2018 to 2020.”
He still owns property in the US, as his three sons live and study there. In recent years, Neo has been active in the UK, acquiring office assets and repositioning them to achieve a higher yield and capital appreciation over the long term.
Two of the first-floor units open out to the swimming pool (Picture: Euro Properties)

‘Singapore looking interesting’

Neo sees “a lot of opportunities and upside potential” in the Singapore property market. He, therefore, intends to spend more time in Singapore and is in the process of moving back. “I’ve lived in Hong Kong for 35 years,” he says. “And I still like Hong Kong. It’s a very nice place to live.”
In the past, Neo saw many business people from China moving to Hong Kong. “Now, a lot more want to move to Singapore,” he observes. “Singapore is becoming interesting because the policies are very conducive to international investors.”
While some have moved to Singapore, others have moved to the Middle East. “Dubai seems to be attractive to them,” he adds.
The units on the first level have a ceiling height of 4.3m (Picture: Euro Properties)
When it comes to investing in real estate, it is important to look at supply and demand, says Neo. “If you have a six-year waiting period for Build-To-Order flats, and private developers are cautious about developing too many residential units, we have an undersupply situation, especially with rising demand, not just from overseas but also Singapore home buyers and upgraders.”
For sure, costs have escalated, from the cost of land to construction, labour, taxes and other related costs, including interest rates, he adds.
As an international investor, however, Neo finds Singapore attractive as property prices are “cheaper on a psf basis” relative to Hong Kong, New York and other major cities, based on comparable areas. “And if you convert from US dollar to Singapore dollar, at US$1 to $1.40 today, it is still relatively affordable,” he adds.
Euro Properties is still hunting for more development sites. “We will continue to look at sites on a case-by-case basis,” says Neo. “To us, location and site configuration are very important, because they will allow us to design the right project.”

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