A private club in Singapore’s upscale Bukit Timah area is set to make way for more housing in one of the city-state’s most exclusive districts, once its lease expires in three years, as the government continues to expand housing supply.
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday said they will not renew the Raffles Town Club’s 30-year lease on its 132,590 square foot (12,318 square metre) site when it expires on 17 October 2026.
The state agencies are earmarking the plot at 1 Plymouth Avenue in District 11 for a new residential project which Xian Yang Wong, research head for Singapore at Cushman & Wakefield, expects would draw strong interest in a government land sale.
*The site is expected to be well sought after from developers,” Wong said. “Located within the prime district 11, the site has strong locational attributes with its close proximity to the Stevens MRT Station and top primary schools such as Singapore Chinese Girls’ Primary School and ACS primary.”
Feeding the Land Pipeline
“The redevelopment of the site… will support future housing demand and enhance the residential character of the precinct,” the SLA and URA said in the joint statement. “This is also in line with the focus of redeveloping brownfield sites as much as possible to meet future demand for land, including housing.”
Based on a gross plot ratio of 1.4, Wong estimated that as many as 200 residential units could be built on the site, with those homes potentially selling for S$3,000 per square foot or more if the plot is sold on a 99-year leasehold basis.
Edmund Tie chief executive officer Desmond Sim also expects strong interest from developers in the Raffles Town Club site, after UOL Group sold 57 percent of the units in its nearby Watten House luxury project in a preview day on Saturday at prices averaging S$3,230 per square foot.
“There’s already existing residential developments there so it’s not surprising that it (the Raffles Town Club site) is being rezoned for residential use. If you look at the Watten House, it got quite a favourable response despite a challenging environment. Definitely, it will be destined to have a good take-up going forward,” Sim said.
The Edmund Tie boss values a potential project on the site at a higher rate than his counterpart at Cushman & Wakefield, estimating that homes on the site could for around S$3,400 to S$3,500 per square foot, depending on the nature of the project.
Given the site’s location just 1.4 kilometres (0.9 miles) from Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, Huttons Asia senior director for data analytics Lee Sze Teck pointed to the potential to build a luxury project of around 160 to 190 units on the plot.
If auctioned off today, Lee said the parcel might sell for around S$1,500 per square foot of built area.
More Sites Up For Sale
Boosting the supply of residential sites has become a dominant theme for Singapore’s government as it seeks to cool a formerly red hot housing market.
Late last week, the URA added two residential sites in Holland Drive and Upper Bukit Timah to the upcoming government land sale programme. Should tenders for the plots proceed, the 133,330 square foot Holland Drive site could yield 680 new homes while the 207,150 square foot plot along De Souza Avenue in Upper Bukit Timah could be developed into around 355 units.
As the government sells more land to developers the housing market has shown signs of cooling since mid-year, with URA data showing that sales of new private home fell for the third straight month in October, declining by 6.5 percent to 203 units from 217 units in September. In the first 10 months of this year home transactions were down 18 percent from the 5,532 units sold during the same period in 2022.
An increase in housing supply has also muted housing price growth in the city-state with the average cost of a private home in Singapore inching up by just 0.5 percent in the third quarter, compared to the preceding three months, following a 0.2 percent dip in the April through June period.