Despite softer market conditions, property developer CapitaLand will officially launch Victoria Park Villas on 3 September. The 99-year leasehold project in District 10 comprises a cluster of 109 luxury landed homes perched on elevated land next to a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) area in Bukit Timah.
The 403,000 sq ft site at the junction of Coronation Road and Victoria Park Road was awarded to CapitaLand in June 2013 after it submitted the top bid of $366 million ($908 psf) on the land. This is the first and only landed residential site to be awarded under the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme since 1996 in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11.
The project features 106 semi-detached homes ranging in size from 4,166 sq ft to 6,943 sq ft, with prices from $4.4 million to $5.9 million each for 100 of them. The other six semi-Ds are more expensive ($6.3 million to $7.6 million) as they each feature a swimming pool on the ground floor.
There are also three bungalows measuring 10,904 sq ft to 11,539 sq ft in floor area, which are priced between $11 million and $12 million each.
Famed architect Mok Wei Wei of W Architects was engaged to conceptualise the development’s master plan.
“The development will appeal to buyers who prefer move-in ready landed houses without having to bear the high costs and time needed to rebuild an existing house or build a house from scratch,” said Wen Khai Meng, CEO of CapitaLand Singapore.
He said the units were priced based on prevailing market conditions. “In a better market, it could have easily cost $1 million more.”
By comparison, four older semi-Ds at the nearby King’s Drive, with only 82 years left on their leases, were each sold for $3.45 million to $3.85 million between August 2015 and May this year. Based on their land areas of 2,605 sq ft to 2,756 sq ft, this translates to a psf price of between $1,323 and $1,395.
“(The) prices (for Victoria Park Villas) are very comparable and reasonable,” said Jack Chua, CEO of ERA Realty, the project’s marketing agent. Highlighting its rarity, he added: “There are not many landed properties for sale in this area.”
The listed prices include a 12 percent early bird discount. The developer is also offering additional discounts of up to three percent for certain buyers who qualify for other schemes, such as repeat customers, buyers of more than one unit, and those living within the project’s vicinity. The practice of offering discounts is common among developers looking to drive sales during the initial launch period.
To date, seven units, all semi-Ds, have been sold to Singaporeans after the project was soft-launched a month ago. Foreigners are not allowed to buy landed homes in mainland Singapore and must first seek approval from the Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) Land Dealings Unit.
Meanwhile, in a first among landed housing developments in Singapore, CapitaLand is installing smart home features that will allow homeowners to remotely control the lighting, air-conditioning and a security system via their mobile apps.
There will also be bedrooms on the basement level, which can house elderly residents. To further support multi-generational living, private lifts which can hold up to five people each will be installed in every home, connecting the various floors. In Singapore, installing lifts in landed homes can cost anywhere between $80,000 and $100,000. CapitaLand is offering one year of free maintenance for the lifts. But owners will subsequently have to fork out their own cash for maintenance, which will cost about $2,000 to $3,000 a year.
In addition, there will be sheltered car porches connected to the basements, which can accommodate at least two cars each. Excluding the car park area, prices for liveable space within the project will average between $1,200 psf and $1,400 psf.
The development is close to the Botanic Gardens, as well as eateries and shops at Coronation Shopping Plaza and Holland Village. Established schools in the area include Nanyang Primary School, Hwa Chong Institution and National Junior College, and CapitaLand hopes the site’s proximity to these institutions will attract buyers with school-going children.
CapitaLand had previously revealed that Victoria Park Villas would be launch-ready around Q2 2014, but moved back the launch date due to less favourable market conditions at the time.
Commenting on the current state of the market, Wen said it remains “generally quite muted, although there have been some signs of improvement recently”. Despite this, the “overall market sentiment could have been more robust”, he added.
This isn’t the first landed housing development undertaken by CapitaLand, which also developed Holland Green off Bukit Timah Road. Completed in 1998, the 99-year leasehold project comprises 53 luxury bungalows.
Wen noted that landed properties only account for five percent of Singapore’s housing stock. As such, their scarcity offers a better resale value, from an investment point of view.
Victoria Park Villas is expected to be completed in 2018.