Upper Serangoon View worth watching

Upper Serangoon View worth watching

The bullish bids developers are lodging for sites in the Upper Serangoon View area signal that big things could be in store for the quiet estate overlooking Sungei Serangoon. It will be developed into Kingsford Waterbay.

New projects are on the drawing board, others are under construction, and prices have been inching up for the past three years. Consultants say the district - which lies between Hougang and Buangkok - could be a good bet for investors even though it is in the suburbs.

However, the area is not close to any major malls and does not have an MRT station nearby. Consultants also cautioned that demand from Housing Board upgraders will be limited, given it will likely come mainly from nearby residential estates. There have been no newly completed private projects in the area for the past few years but that will soon change.

A Chinese property developer surprised the market late last year when it put in higher-than-expected bids for two adjacent land parcels at Upper Serangoon View. Kingsford Development won both of the 99-year leasehold plots at a price of $522 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr) in November.

This was way higher than the expected range of $450 to $480 psf ppr and could translate into a selling price of $1,050 psf or more. Nearby projects under construction include the 99-year leasehold Boathouse Residences condominium and the Heron Bay executive condominium (EC).

A consortium comprising Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Organization and Japanese company Sekisui House bid $320 psf ppr for the Boathouse Residences plot in November 2010. The 99-year-leasehold Heron Bay site went to a tie-up between Ho Lee Group and Evia Real Estate Management, which lodged a top bid of $303 psf ppr in March 2012.

There are a few older completed projects, such as The Florida, an executive condominium built by City Developments that is now fully private, and Rio Vista, which was developed jointly by MCL Land and Ho Bee Investments. Both are on 99-year leases.

The 716-unit Rio Vista, which was completed in 2004, is the only project in the area that has consistently seen leasing demand. Resale prices at Rio Vista ranged from $832 psf to $953 psf in July through December last year, according to caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The average rental was $2.69 psf per month over that period, which works out to a yield of about 3.7 per cent.

Source: The Straits Times – 18 January 2014