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Queen Astrid Gardens up for sale for S$123.8 million

Image: Knight Frank Singapore

Knight Frank Singapore, representing the interests of the owners of Queen Astrid Gardens via their collective sale committee, on 22 February announced the launch of the sale of Queen Astrid Gardens by tender.

Queen Astrid Gardens
Image: Knight Frank Singapore

Knight Frank Singapore is the exclusive marketing agent of the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) residential redevelopment land situated in the Queen Astrid Park Good Class Bungalow Area (GCBA).

A 999-year leasehold condominium with an existing four-storey residential development, Queen Astrid Gardens comprises of 16 residential apartments ranging from 224 sq m to 239 sq m. It has a site area of 5,782.6 sq m (approx. 62,243 sq ft).

The owners of Queen Astrid Gardens are expecting offers above the reserve price of S$123.8 million for the exclusive land, which translates to approximately S$1,989 psf on the land area.

Mr Ian Loh, Head of Capital Markets for Land & Building, Collective & Strata Sales, Knight Frank Singapore, shares, “We have noticed a flurry of GCB activity since December 2020, with at least 15 GCBs transacted at a total of more than S$532 million. Some notable GCB transactions in the last two months include 5 Swettenham Close at S$2,893 psf on land, 14 Cluny Hill at S$2,315 psf on land, and 1 Chatsworth Park at S$2,082 psf on land.

“Queen Astrid Gardens poses opportunities for potential buyers looking to create a large family estate and leave an enduring legacy. The multiple redevelopment options present an attractive proposition for home-seekers and investors looking for further wealth preservation potential.”

Situated in one of the most prestigious GCB enclaves among the 39 gazetted GCBAs in Singapore, Queen Astrid Gardens sits on elevated grounds and is one of the highest points in the locality.

The current development has a generous frontage of more than 100 metres onto Queen Astrid Garden. Besides the potential to retain its current use as apartments, it also allows for a single mansion to be built or can be subdivided into up to four GCB parcels, subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

The tender for Queen Astrid Gardens will close on 31 March 2020, Wednesday at 3.00 pm.

Built in 1989, Queen Astrid Gardens condominium is a four-storey development comprising 16 apartments ranging from 224 sq m to 239 sq m. The development was first launched for collective sale of $126.8m guide price in September 2020. The owners stand to pocket $7.6 million to $7.9 million each, based on the guide price for the property.

Mr Paul, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, said that “although the Covid-19 circuit breaker makes real estate sales difficult at the moment, the site of the Queen Asrid Gardens is in a good location and is hard to come by.” Mr Ho believes smart investors who are flush with cash, will resort to value hunting instead of choosing residential properties which are still selling at unbelievable prices.

Mr Ho added that given the land scarcity in Singapore, demand for commercial and residential properties in Singapore will continue to rise over the long term. He pointed out that Singapore continues to be a global financial centre and a trade hub with high livability scores – all of which attracts high net worth investors to the Republic. All these factors will inevitably fuel demand for real estate in Singapore he added.

Mr Ho believes that value buys in the property market right now are are landed inter-terrace houses where the per square feet price on the built-up area is usually less than $1,000 and commercial properties.  But Mr Ho cautioned that the bigger challenge for buyers of commercial property is securing the best commercial loans.

“With the right loan, the buyer can save thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars,” he said. Adding, “which is why they would have to work with established mortgage brokers who can provide them free service.

The vibrant en bloc sale market was checked with the introduction of the property cooling measures introduced by the Government in July last year. The Government said the property cooling measures were necessary to check sharp increase in prices, which could run ahead of economic fundamentals and raise the risk of a destabilising correction later, especially with rising interest rates and the strong pipeline of housing supply.

Some observers said that the en bloc sales market will be dampened by the cooling measures. As developers become wary of end-demand and are hurt by the 5 per cent non-remittable Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD) on land purchase, it is expected to have an impact on their offer prices.

Before the introduction of the property cooling measures, overall private property prices rose across most market segments, with the largest price surge seen in the Core Central Region and Outside of Central Region.

As developers’ existing stock continues to diminish and supply of completed homes remain low, many projects especially those in the CCR have raised prices of their unsold units, some by even double-digits this year. Private residential market continued to gain traction with individual re-sellers have also seized the opportunity of increasing their asking prices in light of the more positive market sentiment fueled by the recent collective sales frenzy.

The higher launch prices at some new projects have however slowed the buying momentum in the primary market and sales volume has dipped considerably quarter-on-quarter. While overall sales had slipped quarter-on-quarter, it rose marginally on a year-on-year basis.

Mr Ho suggested that if one’s home is at risk of en bloc, the owner could consider a home loan where there is no locked-in penalty, but instead entails a higher housing interest rate cost. The next best option is to look for packages with a waiver of locked-in penalty due to sale of property. Such owners may contact a mortgage broker to assist them to find such packages with waiver of locked-in penalty.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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