Landed homes still a value-for-money proposition

By Michael Lim / The Edge Property | September 25, 2015 9:00 AM SGT
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Landed homes remain at the forefront of all home owners’ dreams. Therefore, it is no surprise that when a house in a desirable neighbourhood comes on the market for sale, it is quickly snapped up.
Take, for example, a freehold terraced house at Grace Walk located off Lorong Chuan that was sold for $2.77 million ($1,021 psf), even though it was completed in 1985. Meanwhile, Luxus Hills is a 999-year leasehold landed housing development by Bukit Sembawang Estates bordered by Yio Chu Kang Road. A terraced house at Luxus Hills Phase 6 that is still under construction fetched $2.7 million ($1,692 psf).
A buyer recently picked up a freehold detached house on Tai Hwan Heights in Tai Hwan Garden estate, off Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 for $4.3 million ($926 psf). Another buyer acquired a 999-year leasehold semi-detached home on Dedap Road in Seletar Hills for $3.68 million ($908 psf).
“Landed homes are still value for money and people can see that prices are likely to go up,” says Samuel Eyo, managing director for Singapore Christie’s Homes. “Most of these buyers tend to be owner occupiers, hence interest has been focused on suburban housing estates.” Interest in landed homes remains high as owners are able to redevelop and extend the size of the house, if permits allow — something owners of condominiums and apartments do not have the privilege of doing, he adds.
The price gap between landed homes in the suburbs and prime condos has narrowed to a point where homebuyers, particularly Singaporeans, now have the option of upgrading to a landed home instead of a prime condo, says Eyo. For example, a 2,583 sq ft, four-bedroom unit on the third floor of the freehold 164-unit Grange Residences was sold for $5.35million ($2,071 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Aug 12. This is the third time the unit has changed hands in the resale market, and the recent price is lower than the $5.9 million ($2,284 psf) it fetched in May 2007. That seller had flipped the unit just a month after purchase, according to a caveat that was lodged in April 2007, when he paid $5.2 million ($2,013 psf) for it. The first time the unit was sold was 11 years ago, when the project was first completed, and the purchase price from the developer, Wheelock Properties, was $2.6 million($1,012 psf). Even at $5.35 million today, the freehold condo at Grange Residences in prime District 10 is still more expensive than the $4.3 million detached house at Tai Hwan Heights in District 19, which sits on a freehold land area of 4,550 sq ft.
Over at the 239-unit The Marbella developed by OUB Centre and completed in 2005, a 1,464 sq ft, three-bedroom-plus study unit was sold for $2.28 million ($1,557psf), according to a caveat lodged on Aug11. The seller bought it in February 2010 for$2 million ($1,366 psf) and, therefore, saw a 14% price appreciation over the five-year period. Prior to that, the unit had changed hands in September 2007 for $2.02 million($1,379 psf). The first owner bought the unit directly from the developer in March 2005 for $1.125 million ($768 psf).
At $2.28 million, the freehold unit at The Marbella in prime District 10 is priced less than half a million below the $2.77 million for the 30-year-old terraced house at Grace Walk in District 19, which sits on a freehold plot of 2,713 sq ft, and the $2.77million for the 999-year leasehold terraced house on a 1,615 sq ft land area at Luxus Hills in Seletar in District 28, which is still under construction.
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Luxus Hills Phase 1. A teracced house in Luxus Hills Phase 6 was sold for $2.7 million ($1,692 psf)
This article appeared in the City & Country of Issue 692 (Aug 31) of The Edge Singapore.

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