Prime semi-detached houses at Victoria Park Villas priced from $4.4 mil

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/ The Edge Property
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September 2, 2016 11:30 AM SGT
Giant developer CapitaLand launched its landed housing project, Victoria Park Villas, on Sept 1. Since private previews began in the third week of July, seven semi-detached houses have been sold. Prices of the units sold ranged from $4.35 million ($2,003 psf) to $4.9 million ($1,932 psf), according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Construction is now at an advanced stage, with the project scheduled for completion at end-2018. Victoria Park Villas contains 106 semi-detached houses and three bungalows sitting on a sprawling 403,012 sq ft site. The project also has a Victoria Park address, with a brand-new road exclusive to the development: Victoria Park Grove.
Scale model of the 109-unit Victoria Park Villas, with Mok Wei Wei of W Architects as master planner and the houses designed by AR43, HYLA and Studio Wills+Architects
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Nestled in GCB estate
The appeal of Victoria Park Villas is that it is located in a Good Class Bungalow estate in prime District 10. The last transaction of a GCB in the posh Victoria Park estate was a fortnight ago, when a property at Victoria Park Close was sold for $19 million, or less than $1,000 psf, as part of an estate sale. The price is below $1,000 psf because the GCB is located on a downward slope, according to property agents.
Prior to the recent transaction, the last GCB that changed hands in Victoria Park was five years ago, when a property sitting on a 32,077 sq ft freehold plot sold for $48 million ($1,496 psf), according to a caveat lodged in November 2011.
“It’s very rare to have a new landed housing development located within an established GCB neighbourhood in a prime location,” says Mok Wei Wei, managing director of W Architects and master planner for Victoria Park Villas.
Another attraction of the development to young families is its proximity to top schools such as Nanyang Kindergarten, Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Girls’ High School and National Junior College. The property is also relatively near two MRT stations: Farrer Road MRT station on Farrer Road and Tan Kah Kee MRT station on Bukit Timah Road.
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Exterior of a Garden Villa, which has an average built-up area of 4,500 sq ft and occupies a land site of about 2,200 sq ft at Victoria Park Villas
Rare sale of site
CapitaLand paid $366 million for the 99-year leasehold land parcel in June 2013. The purchase price translated to $908.17 psf, which analysts had considered “a bullish bid” then.
However, Victoria Park Villas is built on “the only prime landed residential site to be awarded under the Government Land Sales programme since 1996”, says Wen Khai Meng, CEO of CapitaLand Singapore. “Victoria Park Villas presents a keenly awaited opportunity for homebuyers to own a brand-new home in one of the most sought-after addresses in Singapore.”
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The last site that was sold in 1996 has since been developed into Kingsville, comprising 106 semi-detached houses, by listed property group Tuan Sing Holdings. Launched for sale in 1997 and completed in 1999, Kingsville is located on King’s Drive and adjacent to Nanyang Primary School.
The most recent transaction at Kingsville was a semi-detached house sitting on a land site of 2,756 sq ft that changed hands for $3.85 million ($1,395 psf) in May. The project has 79 years left on its original 102-year lease from 1996.
As the property at Kingsville was built 17 years ago, however, owners who want to tear down and rebuild it would have to spend an additional $1 million, says Samuel Eyo, managing director of Singapore Christie’s International Real Estate. “Given the shorter lease and the fact that a buyer will have to cough up more on renovating the existing house, some owners may prefer to buy a new property instead, especially if they don’t want the hassle of dealing with contractors.”
Old freehold versus new leasehold
There is a premium for freehold tenure in the neighbourhood. The most recent transaction of a freehold semi-detached house in the area was a property sitting on a 3,832 sq ft site on Princess of Wales Road. The semi-detached house, built in 1981, was sold for $5.2 million ($1,358 psf), according to a caveat lodged in July. On Coronation Road, a freehold detached house sitting on a 4,295 sq ft site was sold for $6.2 million ($1,444 psf) in June, according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis. The house was built 16 years ago. Once again, the buyers will have to spend another $1 million to $2 million to redevelop the existing old property, says Eyo.
“Victoria Park Villas will appeal to those who may not yet have a $6 million budget, but want an entry-level product in a premium address near Nanyang Kindergarten and Primary School,” he adds. “If they want something brand-new that they can move into as soon as it’s completed, that’s the only choice currently available in the neighbourhood.”
Buying a semi-detached house at Victoria Park Villas will also save the owners the hassle of having to renovate. “The beauty of a new development is that all the houses will be completed at the same time in 2018,” says a CapitaLand spokeswoman. “This is unlike buying a house in the resale market, where you could be living next to a construction site for the next two to three years if a neighbour decides to tear down and rebuild his home.”
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Living room with garden view
The typical semi-detached houses within Victoria Park Villas are called “garden villas” and number 100. They have built-up areas ranging from 4,165 to 5,285 sq ft and occupy land sites of 2,153 to 3,115 sq ft. Prices are from $4.4 million to $5.9 million.
There are also six “pool villas” — semi-detached houses sitting on larger corner lots of 2,960 to 3,835 sq ft, with built-up areas of 6,082 to 6,943 sq ft. The pool villas come with a 15m lap pool, and are priced from $6.3 million to $7.6 million.
Each semi-detached house at Victoria Park Villas comprises four levels, including the basement and attic. The houses have four en suite bedrooms, including the master suite. There is also a maid’s en suite bedroom in the basement, adjacent to a room that is ideal as a fifth bedroom or granny suite. Each house will come with basement parking for at least two cars.
The houses will be handed over to their owners as fully fitted units, complete with smart home and security system as well as a home lift. The main doors and gates leading into each house has digital locks that can be controlled remotely. All the lights and air-conditioning units can also be controlled remotely.
The layout of the houses varies, with some offering a split-level living and dining area and others designed as a great room, with the living and dining areas, and wet and dry kitchens on the same level. All houses will have a living room opening onto a private patio and garden.
“This is a plus point for homeowners at Victoria Park Villas,” says W Architects’ Mok. “Instead of looking at the cars in the car porch — which is the view from the living room of most typical landed houses — you will have a view of the garden from the living room of your villa.”
With a garage in the basement, there will also be no complaints about car headlights pointing into the living room, which some landed home owners are very particular about, adds Mok.
Living room of the Pool Villa show unit, which has a 3m ceiling height
The fully fitted dry kitchen and adjoining wet kitchen will feature high-end cabinetry and appliances
The basement garage of each house can fit at least two cars
The basement of the semi-detached houses can be used as a fifth bedroom or family room
All the master suites can fit a king-sized bed comfortably
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‘Organic feel’
As the masterplan architect, Mok collaborated with three other architects to design the houses. They were AR43, HYLA Architects and Studio Wills+Architects. HYLA designed the houses on the outer ring; AR43 designed the houses located in the island cluster, including one of the bungalows; and Studio Wills designed two of the bungalows.
“Having several architects design this development provides variety and gives the whole estate an organic feel instead of a uniform look,” says Mok.
The bungalows designed by Studio Wills cater for extended families, and yet give them the flexibility to live independently. They therefore contain two living rooms and two separate kitchens. The three bungalows or detached houses sit on land sizes of 5,696 to 6,551 sq ft. They have built-up areas of 10,904 to 11,539 sq ft. Prices of the bungalows are $11 million to $12 million.
CapitaLand has also included a park within the development. When the project is completed, the park will be handed over to be managed by the National Parks Board.
The roof terrace of the attic of the Pool Villa, with a view of the surrounding greenery
Unobstructed view of the garden from the dry kitchen, and dining and living rooms of a typical Garden Villa
Elevated site, wide internal road access
One of the challenges of the site was its hilly terrain. “We had to cut the earth so that the gradient of the internal road [Victoria Park Grove] would not be too steep,” explains Mok. As the basement garage of each house is at street level, the houses are thus elevated above street level and enjoy views of greenery from the upper levels.
The hilly terrain has also proven to be an advantage, as Victoria Park Villas is perched on higher ground relative to the neighbouring houses in the Victoria Park GCB estate.
Victoria Park Grove is also designed according to the Land Transport Authority’s latest requirement for a wider road of 15.4m in landed housing estates. This allows cars to be parked by the roadside without obstructing traffic, a problem prevalent in older housing estates, says Mok. When homeowners entertain, their guests can also park on the side of the road without inconveniencing neighbours.
The buyers of Victoria Park Villas are Singaporeans, with a good mix of young families who want to be near top schools, as well as parents in their late 40s or 50s who live in landed houses in the neighbourhood and are buying a unit for their children, according to a CapitaLand spokeswoman.
This article appeared in The Edge Property pullout, Issue 744 (Sep 5, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.