SINGAPORE (April 27): A unique real estate deal was closed that reflects the unprecedented circumstances amid the extended “circuit breaker” measures.

Lester Chen, senior division director at Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), leased out the swimming pool and garden of a Sentosa Cove bungalow for S$30,000 (about RM92,000) over three months. The unique tenancy agreement was signed by a foreigner who lives in the Cape Royal condominium on the west of Sentosa Cove, the exclusive residential enclave on Sentosa Island.

The bungalow is located along Ocean Drive on the east of Sentosa Cove, and a jogging track connects it to Cape Royal. The rent for the pool is close to the average monthly rent for a three- or four-bedroom unit in the prime districts.

According to Chen, the tenant was initially searching for an entire Sentosa Cove bungalow to rent, but was unable to agree to the S$30,000 monthly rent the owner was asking for. He was looking for an alternative home because the condo facilities at Cape Royal, along with most condo facilities islandwide, have been closed under the circuit breaker measures.

While public jogging tracks around Sentosa Cove remain open, the tenant also wants a private swimming pool where he and his two young children can continue to exercise.

Chen suggested that he rent only the swimming pool and garden for S$10,000. The deal took about two days to conclude. No physical viewings were conducted, and no face-to-face meetings occurred; instead, pictures were shared online.

According to Chen, he has received several enquiries from parties who are looking to rent bungalows in Sentosa, as condo facilities remain closed and the circuit breaker period has been extended to June 1. Some of them live in apartments along Orchard Road, he says.

Most of these rental deals are still under negotiations because the price gap between what the landlords and tenants are asking for is still too wide, says Chen. Most are willing to pay between S$15,000 and S$17,000 per month, but the average monthly rate for some bungalows in Sentosa is upwards of S$18,000, he says.

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