Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nassim Road bungalow up for sale - at record $300m

The Straits Times  |   APRIL 10, 2013

A local property tycoon is asking for up to $300 million for his Nassim Road bungalow - an astonishing amount that would easily make a record sale in Singapore.

Owned by Mr Cheng Wai Keung, the chairman of listed developer Wing Tai Holdings, the two-storey home sits on a plum 85,000 sq ft elevated site in one of Singapore's most exclusive enclaves.

As well as its prime location just off Orchard Road, there is also a swimming pool and tennis court to woo potential buyers, who will need very deep pockets.

Offers of between $250 million and $300 million are expected - or between $2,947 and $3,536 per sq ft (psf) of land area - said Mr Karamjit Singh, head of investments and residential at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the sole marketing agent.

If it goes through, it would clearly be the biggest residential sale ever made here.

Singapore's largest bungalow transaction so far is believed to be a $87.5 million sale of a 291,000 sq ft parcel at Swettenham Road off Holland Road. It was made in an asset swop deal between Singapore Press Holdings and construction firm Lum Chang in 2001.

A sale price of $250 million to $300 million for the Cheng house would also eclipse what is believed to be the most expensive good-class bungalow sale made in the Nassim Road area in terms of psf price - a $47.8 million sale of a 23,922 sq ft site that worked out to $2,000 psf.

Price records do have a tendency to go when Nassim Road homes hit the market, JLL said.

"(The road) has a remarkable history of leading the entire good- class bungalow market in Singapore by constantly setting new benchmarks and outperforming the whole market," noted Mr Singh.

"We believe this trend will continue as Singapore's population and affluence grows while the number of Nassim Road good- class bungalows remains virtually the same in the years ahead."

Mr Cheng's Nassim Road site has a frontage of almost 100m and is rectangular-shaped, making it easier to slice into up to five smaller good-class bungalow plots if the buyer opts to redevelop, JLL noted.

Good-class bungalows typically occupy at least 15,000 sq ft so the option would be commercially viable.

Mr Cheng is prepared to take offers for the whole plot or for either of two smaller parcels, measuring 31,647 sq ft and 53,192 sq ft.

Mr Singh noted that "large bungalow plots in Nassim Road rarely come onto the market".

A JLL survey found that with most other large plots on Nassim Road having been sub-divided, there are only five other freehold parcels on the road that have a land area of 80,000 sq ft or more now.

Two are understood to be owned by the governments of Britain and Russia, and one by Brunei's royal family.

Mr Cheng's Nassim Road site is actually owned by Winright Investment, according to the Singapore Land Authority's Inlis system.

The 62-year-old tycoon, who is also managing director of property and retail firm Wing Tai, and wife Helen Chow are the only shareholders of Winright.

They list their address at another Nassim Road home.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)

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