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Author: Ravi Philemon
Knight Frank Singapore on Sep 3 announced that two sets of key area conservation shophouses in Singapore are up for sale. The first of the key area conservation shophouses is a row of 7 freehold adjoining conservation shophouses in Geylang, while the other are 2 freehold adjoining conservation shophouses at Joo Chiat Road.
Both sets of key area conservation shophouses are up for sale via Expression of Interest (EOI).
The subject shophouses are located prominently at the prime corner of Geylang Road and Lorong 14 Geylang, in close proximity to Aljunied MRT station. They have a total land area of 10,520 sq ft and gross floor area of approximately 18,000 sq ft, and are zoned Commercial with a plot ratio of 3 under the Master Plan 2014.
The block of shophouses are currently fully tenanted and comprise a corner coffeeshop, mobile phone retailer, Thai massage parlour and other retail trades. The properties are suitable for F&B outlets and retail uses on the ground floor, whilst the upper floors can be designated for office use.
Ms Mary Sai, Executive Director of Investment and Capital Markets, Knight Frank Singapore, says, “There is potential for a prospective buyer to refurbish the shophouses based on conservation guidelines by URA. As this is a secondary settlement area, there is also room for rear extension of up to a maximum height, subject to approval from the authorities.”
As the shophouses are zoned Commercial, there will be no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Seller’s Stamp Duty payable. Foreigners and companies are also eligible to purchase the properties.
Ms Sai further shares, “Geylang is an area with rich architectural heritage and has been earmarked as 1 of 5 key growth areas in Singapore. The shophouses are situated within the bustling part of Geylang, surrounded by F&B establishments and hotels. The combined large floor plate of the 7 adjoining shophouses allows for flexibility in space reconfiguration for the new owner, to meet needs be it for owner-occupation or investment.
“As such, the owners are expecting a healthy interest from both investors and corporate entities in acquiring the freehold commercial asset.”.
The guide price for the 7 shophouses is approximately S$40 million to S$42 million.
Under the same sale exercise are 2 freehold, adjoining shophouses at Joo Chiat Road. Located near the junction of Joo Chiat Road and Koon Seng Road, the shophouses are nestled within the popular food street comprising a mix of hotels, restaurants and F&B outlets. Shopping amenities are easily accessible at the plethora of neighbouring malls including Parkway Parade, 112 Katong, Kinex, Paya Lebar Square and SingPost Centre. Both Marine Parade MRT station (currently under construction) and Paya Lebar MRT Interchange are also in the vicinity.
The shophouses have a land area of 2,393 sq ft and a gross floor area of approximately 4,600 sq ft. Under the Master Plan 2014, they are zoned Commercial with a plot ratio of 3.
Ms Sai reveals, “We expect good levels of interest from owner-occupiers and investors looking to develop a presence in the Joo Chiat conservation area. The unique architectural façade and character of the shophouses are unrivalled in cosmopolitan Singapore, coupled with the vibrancy and interesting trade mix of the neighbourhood.”
The guide price for the 2 tenanted shophouses is S$7 million to S$7.5 million.
The EOI for both sets of key area conservation shophouses will close at 3pm on 3 October 2019.
Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan said, “shophouses are perceived as attractive investments because they can hold their values because of their central locations and the freehold/999-year-leasehold of many of these properties. Shophouses are also valued because they give prominent presence to a business entity for them to be visible in a highly competitive environment.”
The biggest gainers following the 2018 property cooling measures is likely be owners of strata portfolio of offices and shophouses approved for commercial use. The property cooling measures affected almost all categories of buyers and is predicted to achieve its intended objectives of cooling demand and moderating price growth.
One report said investors looking for alternatives to park their money in the wake of property cooling measures, would divert their attention to the strata office and shophouse markets as they are not subjected to this round of purchase or sales restrictions/encumbrances.
Properties such as the key area conservation shophouses launched for sale by Knight Frank may be bought under personal name, but total debt servicing Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) will apply on the individual’s income on such purchases. To buy a commercial or industrial property under company name, total debt servicing ratio TDSR also applies on the individual director’s income if the company is an investment holding company or an operating company that is loss-making or does not have sufficient cash flow to servicing the repayment.
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