Houses with redevelopment potential on auction

BUYERS looking for a piece of land to redevelop into their dream home probably found opportunities in Colliers International's auction on March 27.

One of the properties is an original half-brick, half-timber bungalow built in 1961 and situated on a 6,455 sq ft freehold site. The main attraction is the garden, which has mature fruit trees such as chiku, jambu (water apple) and custard apple. The property is located in a cul-de-sac at the end of Jalan Nipah, off Bedok Road, in the eastern region of Singapore. An estate sale, the market indicative price of the property is $5.8 million to $6 million ($899 to $930 psf).

"Locations like the house on Jalan Nipah, which is in a cul-de-sac and on a large plot, are ideal for those who like the tranquillity and want to develop a home as an escape from the city," says Grace Ng, auctioneer and deputy managing director of Colliers International.

In Bedok Avenue nearby, a detached house sitting on a freehold land area of 4,973 sq ft recently changed hands for $5.5 million ($1,106 psf) in January, according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis. Thus, the owner's indicative price is considered reasonable, says Ng.

Another property that is also an estate sale and will make its debut at Colliers' auction is a corner terrace located at Lorong Biawak, off Upper Serangoon Road in the Braddell Heights Estate, close to the Serangoon area. The two-storey corner terraced house sits on a freehold land area of 6,082 sq ft. The indicative price ranges from $6 million to $6.3 million.

"It's rare to find a corner terraced house with such a large site," Ng says. The current owner has built an annex building in the rear of the existing house. Thus, the buyer can also consider developing a new house with a spacious annex, which is ideal for multi-generational living.

A third property with redevelopment potential is a site occupied by two adjoining terraced houses at the end of Onan Road, in the neighbourhood of Changi Road and Joo Chiat. The two terraced houses have a combined land area of 3,568 sq ft, and the property has a freehold tenure. The site can be redeveloped into a new residential property with a plot ratio of 1.4. The ideal use would be to redevelop the two properties into two new 2½-storey terraced houses, as the properties have two separate titles. "There will be some economies of scale to be enjoyed by redeveloping the two properties together," adds Ng. The estimate for redevelopment is $700,000 to $1 million, depending on the materials used.

An owner's sale, the two adjoining terraced houses have a market indicative price of $4.3 million to $4.5 million.

The most recent transaction of a terraced house in the neighbourhood is that of a property on Carpmael Road, one street away, where an old intermediate terraced house sitting on a 1,776 sq ft freehold site changed hands for $2.4 million ($1,366 psf) in January.

Colliers' Ng foresees more interest for redevelopment land coming from owner-occupiers who want to build homes for their own use, instead of from niche developers. "Developers are generally more cautious about pricing, and the recent property cooling measures have also raised their development risk," she adds.

This story first appeared in The Edge Singapore weekly edition of Mar 25-31, 2013.

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