Rare freehold site at Meyer Road acquired for $319.88 million amidst property curbs

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – GuocoLand Limited (“GuocoLand”) today announced that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, First Meyer Development Pte Ltd, has successfully tendered for the enbloc acquisition of Casa Meyfort Condominium, a rare freehold site. It has also exercised its option to purchase at a purchase consideration of S$319.88 million.

Casa Meyfort at Meyer Road was first launched for collective sale in Dec 2017, with a reserve price of $340 million. Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co), the sole marketing agent for Casa Meyfort, announced in April of this year that the freehold collective sale site is relaunching for sale by tender.

rare freehold site

Image credit: EDMUND TIE & COMPANY

The rare freehold site was completed in the 1990s and comprises 76 apartment units. It has a land area of approximately 7,919.9 square metres (sqm) or 85,249 square feet (sq ft). Under Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.8.

Strategically situated on the first row of prime District 15 Meyer Road, Casa Meyfort, a rare freehold site, boasts unblocked panoramic views of the CBD, the sea, as well as the Mountbatten Road landed housing estate. It is close to culture-rich Katong and Joo Chiat neighbourhoods, lined with quaint and well-preserved heritage shophouses that have become increasingly more popular among tourists.

Casa Meyfort enjoys excellent accessibility and convenience. It is located within 600 metres to the upcoming Katong Park MRT station along the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), well-served by major roads and expressways such as Fort Road, Mountbatten Road, Tanjong Katong Road, Marine Parade Road, Tanjong Rhu Road, East Coast Parkway (ECP), Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE). The project is a mere 10 minutes’ drive to the CBD and a short walking distance to East Coast Park.

The rare freehold site is near to a wide array of amenities including malls such as Parkway Parade and I12 Katong. The vicinity is also surrounded by various international school campuses including Chatsworth International School (East Campus) and Canadian International School (Tanjong Katong Campus), as well as many well-known local educational institutes like CHIJ Katong Convent, Dunman High School, Chung Cheng High School (Main), Tao Nan Primary School, Victoria Junior College and more.

According to URA’s flash estimates, it showed a 3.8 per cent price increase in the Outside Central Region (OCR), which Casa Meyfort is a part of. It is higher than the 0.8 per cent from the previous quarter. Based on ET&Co’s caveats analysis, it showed that resale prices of existing condos and private apartments in District 15 have gone up significantly following news of the Amber Park collective sales last year. Within the same district, Seaside Residences that was launched last year has already sold 603 out of 841 units as at end February 2018.

ET&Co’s senior director for investment advisory Tan Chun Ming said in April that: “We are relaunching the collective sale tender as we see a great opportunity in this freehold site that is positioned for an exemplary upscale development that stands to enjoy panoramic and breathtaking views of the city skyline and horizon. Homes on the lower floors will also enjoy lush greenery views overlooking East Coast Park and the landed housing estate.”

The tender exercise for the rare freehold site closed on May 21. GuocoLand said the purchase consideration for the Property was arrived at on a willing-buyer and willing-seller basis. The Acquisition is subject to conditions to be fulfilled and will be carried out in the ordinary course of the GuocoLand Group’s business. GuocoLand said the Acquisition and development of the Property will be financed by internal resources and bank borrowings.

The company declared that the transaction is not expected to have any material financial impact on GuocoLand Group’s net tangible assets per share or earnings per share for the financial year ending 30 June 2019; and that none of the Directors or controlling shareholder(s) of GuocoLand has any interest, direct or indirect, in
the Acquisition.

The successful en bloc sale of the rare freehold site is announced just a few days after the Government announced new property cooling measures for the private residential market.

The Government said the new property cooling measures were necessary to check the sharp increase in prices, which could run ahead of economic fundamentals and raise the risk of a destabilising correction later, especially with rising interest rates and the strong pipeline of housing supply.

Some observers have suggested that there is a chance that the en bloc sales market will be dampened by the cooling measures. As developers become wary of end-demand and are hurt by the 5 per cent non-remittable Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD) on land purchase, it is expected to have an impact on their offer prices.

Overall private property prices rose across most market segments in the past few quarters, with the largest price surge seen in the Core Central Region (5.5%) and Outside of Central Region (5.6%).

As developers’ existing stock continues to diminish and supply of completed homes remain low, many projects especially those in the CCR have raised prices of their unsold units, some by even double-digits this year. Private residential market continued to gain traction with individual re-sellers have also seized the opportunity of increasing their asking prices in light of the more positive market sentiment fueled by the recent collective sales frenzy.

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