Cuscaden Peak Investments puts 3 freehold Nassim Road bungalows on market

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THREE freehold bungalows along Nassim Road owned by Cuscaden Peak Investments have been put on the market with an asking price of S$5,200 per square foot (psf) on land area. If achieved, this would be a record price for bungalow redevelopment land in a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area.

Completed about 23 years ago, the 2-storey bungalows were renovated extensively in 2015. They have built-up areas of around 6,950-7,400 square feet (sq ft) and are currently tenanted, with the earliest lease expiry in late July 2023.

Each of the bungalows is on 15,000-plus sq ft of land, and has 5 bedrooms and a swimming pool.

Cuscaden Peak Investments’ wholly-owned subsidiary Times Properties has appointed Realstar Premier as the exclusive marketing agent for the 3 bungalows, which have site areas of 15,131 sq ft, 15,542 sq ft and 15,264 sq ft respectively. (Cuscaden Peak Investments was formerly known as Singapore Press Holdings Private Limited before it was privatised in May.)

Realstar is conducting an expression-of-interest exercise for the properties. The deadline for submission of offers by potential bidders is Nov 3, said the boutique property agency’s founder, William Wong.

Cuscaden Peak Investments is offering potential buyers a few options.

It could sell the entire site (on amalgamated basis) of 45,937 sq ft, on which stand the 3 bungalows.

Another possibility would be to sell a medium-sized site of 30 673 sq ft from amalgamating 2 of the bungalow plots, and sell the remaining bungalow on 15,264 sq ft of land, to another party.

The third option would to sell all 3 bungalows individually.

The run-up in the GCB market last year featured many buyers who made their fortunes in tech and other new-economy sectors. Some of these sectors have been hit by the tech slump, cryptocurrency meltdown and volatile equity markets; and overarching geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainties are also weighing down business sentiment.

Nevertheless, Wong is confident of the depth of demand for the Nassim Road bungalows.

“Some local families residing in prime GCB locations such as Cluny, Dalvey, Tanglin and Chatsworth are considering taking the opportunity to sell their existing homes and upgrade to the more prestigious Nassim area. We also have viewings lined up for family offices and ultra-high-net-worth newly-minted Singapore citizens hailing from China,” he said.

“Nassim is the ultimate GCB address. Rarely are bungalows in the locale available for sale – even when they are, there may be challenges, such as an irregular land shape or a conservation house on the site, which limits redevelopment options.”

Over the years, Wong recalled, there have been a number of occasions when potential buyers, including naturalised citizens, emerged in the GCB market, ready to make an acquisition on Nassim Road – but they could not do so because most owners were reluctant to let go of their prized assets.

The asking price of S$5,200 psf for Cuscaden Peak Investments’ 3 Nassim Road bungalows is 30 per cent above the S$4,005 psf record price for bungalow redevelopment land in a GCB Area set in March last year by Nanofilm Technologies International founder Shi Xu’s wife, Jin Xiao Qun, for her purchase of an old bungalow on a 32,159 sq ft site on Nassim Road.

The record price on a new-bungalow basis in a GCB Area, S$4,291 psf, was also set last year. This was for local technopreneur Tommy Ong’s purchase of a freehold bungalow under construction on a 14,843 sq ft plot along Cluny Hill. He paid S$63.7 million for the property.

Wong said the asking price for Cuscaden Peak Investments’ asset, which is in the ultra-prime Nassim Road GCB Area, is not out of range considering that since early last year, prices in prime GCB locations had already appreciated at least 25 per cent.

Bungalows in the 39 gazetted GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with strict planning conditions stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character. Among other things, a minimum plot size of 1,400 square metres (about 15,070 sq ft) is stipulated as the planning norm for newly-created bungalows in GCB Areas.

Another restriction is that of a 2-storey height limit (though an attic and basements are allowed).

GCB Areas stand out with their large plot sizes and location in lush, green surroundings. And there is rarity value in owning one of these homes, as there are only 2,700-plus of them in Singapore.

One generally has to be a Singapore citizen to be allowed to buy a landed property in a GCB Area.

Assuming that Cuscaden Peak Investments’ 3 bungalows along Nassim Road are sold individually for S$5,200 psf on land area, the absolute price would be around S$79-80 million for each property.

In addition, the new owner could expend a further S$20-25 million in construction costs to redevelop each site into a brand-new upscale villa with a built-up area of about 25,000 sq ft – comprising 2 levels, an attic and basement space.

The all-in cost of S$100-105 million would be close to the nearly S$100 million at which a few owners developing GCBs in prime locations such as Tanglin and Dalvey are contemplating exiting their investments. These bungalows are coming up on site areas of between 15,500 sq ft and 17,000 sq ft.

Wong emphasised, however, that redevelopment is not the only option for those who buy Cuscaden Peak Investments’ Nassim Road bungalows: “These 3 houses are in habitable condition. Potential buyers may live in the properties; in fact, this trio of bungalows is very suitable for a multi-generation family, as the houses are all adjacent to each other. Alternatively, the new owner or owners could continue to rent out these properties, capitalising on the current buoyant GCB rental market.”

According to information on the Cuscaden Peak Investments website, the company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cuscaden Peak Pte Ltd, a consortium made up of 3 shareholders: Hotel Properties, Mapletree Investments and CLA Real Estate Holdings.

Source : The Business Times

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