The sale of a residential site near the Greater Southern Waterfront project has provided the latest evidence of Singapore’s housing market snapping out of its pandemic-induced funk.
In the city’s biggest collective sale this year, the homeowners of Flynn Park at 18-22 Yew Siang Road offloaded the 72-apartment property for S$371 million ($276.1 million) at a public tender that closed last Thursday. The buyers were local property players Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments in a deal brokered by Savills Singapore.
Completed in 1986, Flynn Park occupies 208,443 square feet (19,365 square metres) of residential-zoned freehold land near Pasir Panjang MRT station, with a plot ratio of 1.4. For a potential gross floor area of 291,820 square feet, the buyers paid roughly S$1,271 ($946) per square foot of GFA at the ageing complex.
“The tender exercise for Flynn Park was keenly contested,” said Galven Tan, deputy managing director for investment sales and capital markets at Savills Singapore. “The result is testament to the strong attributes of the site — the unique opportunity to develop a premium product at the fringe of the city centre and just 350 metres from the MRT station, yet right next to lush and matured nature parks.”
Second Time’s a Charm
The completed transaction came on Flynn Park’s second crack at a collective sale after the first tender in June 2018 ended without a buyer. The owners had set a reserve price of S$365 million for the site, which can be redeveloped into a low-density project of up to 271 units with an average size of 100 square metres, Savills said.
In addition to offering a rare hillside plot with a view of Singapore’s southern coast, Flynn Park enjoys proximity to transport links and the Greater Southern Waterfront, said Wong Swee Chun, chairman and managing director of Hoi Hup Realty.
Billed as a new gateway for urban living, the Greater Southern Waterfront project stretches 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) along the coastline from Pasir Panjang to Gardens by the Bay at Marina Bay. Officials are converting the area near the current container port into a residential and recreational area that will add 9,000 new homes and a new waterfront park.
The Flynn Park deal follows the relaunch of the collective sale of International Plaza earlier this month, after 80 percent of the owners agreed to put the commercial-with-residential building on the market. At the reserve price of S$2.7 billion, the disposal of the 50-storey tower in the redevelopment hotbed of Tanjong Pagar would be Singapore’s biggest-ever collective sale.
A set of three-storey residential properties at 2, 4 and 6 Mount Emily Road changed hands for S$18 million in February, marking Singapore’s first collective sale of 2021 after the COVID-19 crisis had aggravated market woes last year.
Housing Hot Again
With their winning tender for Flynn Park, Hoi Hup and Sunway may have aimed to get ahead of the curve in securing a residential site before the resurgent housing market drives up land prices further.
Local real estate agency PropNex reported that private new-home sales surged to 1,589 in July, or almost twice the 872 units transacted in the previous month, when sales volume hit a low because of an absence of new launches. Sales in July 2020 had totalled 1,083 units.
PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor observed that a good number of fence-sitting investors and buyers decided to enter the market in July, in anticipation of possible price hikes.
“The news of aggressive land prices triggered many to realise that future launch prices are likely to rise further,” he said.
In an interview with CNBC this month, Gafoor said residential developers have been snapping up land and outbidding each other.
“What is driving the market here — people know next year, the prices are going to be much higher, based on land costs and construction costs not going down either,” he told the network. “So that’s why people have an urgency to commit now.”