Monday, August 24, 2009

New terraced house in Serangoon Gardens crosses $900 psf

Last month, more than 20 landed homes in Serangoon Gardens and Lorong Chuan areas changed hands, according to URA Realis database of caveats lodged. From July 24 to 31 alone, contracts were signed for 10 properties — seven terraced houses, a pair of semi-detached homes and a single-storey bungalow.

One of the oldest housing estates in Singapore, Serangoon Gardens Estate was built for British soldiers based on the island in the 1960s, and in the 1970s, it became a popular residential estate among middle-to-up-per-class Singaporeans. In recent years, it has undergone a tremendous transformation with the relocation of the Australian International School (AIS) to Lorong Chuan. The expansion of AIS — it is opening a senior wing in March — as well as the opening of Stamford American School on Aug 17, is likely to lure more expatriate families to the neighbourhood.

One of the transactions between July 24 and 31 involved a relatively new, 2½-storey terraced house, with its own lap pool, on Huddington Avenue. The 2,949 sq ft property was sold for $2.75 million ($931 psf) based on a July 31 contract date. The property last changed hands for $1.4 million ($474 psf) during the property boom in August 2007, most probably as the original house prior to redevelopment.

On Bridport Avenue, a pair of newly built semi-detached houses were sold — one, with a land area of 2,153 sq ft, fetched $1.78 million ($825 psf); the other, with a slightly larger footprint of 2,164 sq ft, $1.86 million ($862 psf). The original single-storey terraced houses were purchased by the same owner-turned developer for $1.05 million ($487 psf) in April 2008 and $1.12 million ($517 psf) in November 2007, respectively.

One street away on Tavistock Avenue, a single-storey detached house on 5,307 sq ft of freehold land was sold for $2.9 million ($546 psf), with a contract dated July 24. Prior to that, there was a caveat in April for the property for $2.08 million ($392 psf), which adds up to a 39% price appreciation in just four months. Along the same road, a 2,153 sq ft single-storey terraced house was sold for $1.22 million ($568 psf). It last changed hands 12 years ago for $1 million ($466 psf).

Meanwhile, on Worthing Road, a relatively new 2½-storey semi-detached house on 2,982 sq ft of land was sold for $2.08 million ($698 psf). The original property changed hands six years ago during the last recession for $830,000 ($278 psf), according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.

At a Colliers International auction on July 29, a single-storey, semi-detached house with a 999-year leasehold on a 4,907 sq ft site was sold for $2.5 million after active bidding, from the opening price of $2.2 million. This was attributed to the redevelopment potential for a 2½-storey bungalow.

Serangoon Gardens will continue to be a sought-after residential district for both investors and owner-occupiers, given the amenities and great food, such as those at the famous Chomp Chomp Food Centre, the Serangoon Gardens Market and Food Centre, as well as restaurants, wine bars and supermarket, says Fred Teo, head of business unit at Knight Frank Property Network. “Houses in Serangoon Gardens have always been very well traded,” he says.

Teo adds that there’s a good mix of redevelopment for leasing to expatriate families and for owners’ own stay, with most maximising the built-up area by building 2½-storey properties from the original typically single-storey homes.

Given Serangoon Gardens’ accessibility to public transport and amenities, home owners have been able to secure tenants easily, notes Teo. Newly built, nicely fitted out terraced houses can command $6,000 to $8,000 per month in rental, he says, while semidetached homes fetch between $8,000 and $12,000 per month, depending on the size of the land and quality of the home. For bungalows, rental rates are said to be $10,000 to $15,000 per month.

Source: The Edge, 24 Aug 2009

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