The indicative price of S$20.3 million for the Desker Road conserved shophouses translates to S$1,701 per square foot
- These freehold commercial properties are not subject to ABSD or SSD and are well-suited for long-term investment.
Colliers International announced on 6 January that it has been appointed as the sole and exclusive marketing agent for 99, 103, 105, 106 &107 Desker Road, 5 conserved shophouses located within District 08. The sale will be by way of Expression of Interest which will close on 3 February 2021 at 3 pm.
The indicative price of S$20.3 million for the Desker Road conserved shophouses translates to S$1,701 per square foot (psf) with an estimated total built-up size of 11,932 sqft.
The Desker Road conserved shophouses portfolio comprises 5 rare freehold commercial shophouses within the Desker Road conservation area with a wonderful mixture between heritage and traditional. Amongst them, there is a row of three adjoining shophouses with prominent frontage, allowing flexible and efficient space usage.
Sitting on a combined land area of 5,965 sqft, this Desker Road conserved shophouses portfolio is strategically located within a stone’s throw away from the Ophir-Rochor corridor and is well-connected by Jalan Besar MRT Station. Popular establishments in the vicinity includes the famous Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice, Berseh Food Centre and Mustafa Centre.
Mr Steven Tan, Senior Director of Investment Services at Colliers International, said, “There is limited supply of conserved shophouses, and they provide great flexibility in their uses. Subject to the Urban Redevelopment Authorities’ approval, the properties can be used as office, commercial school, residential, student’s hostel, etc. This portfolio is to be sold with vacant possession, purchasers have the flexibility to occupy the premises for their own use immediately.”
Mr Tan added, “Colliers sees an increased appetite for shophouses especially under commercial zone since they have no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) or Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD); foreigners and companies are eligible to purchase as well.”
Desker Road is located within the Rochore planning area in the Central Region of Singapore. This stretch of road was built after the completion of land reclamation works in the old Kampong Kapor area. It is laid out in an orthogonal (at right angles) manner between two main roads – Serangoon Road and Jalan Besar.
Desker Road still retains its old-world charm with its rows of conserved terrace shophouses lining some parts of the road. In addition, it is the site where 88 flats under the public housing programme were built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in 1982. The prevailing vibrant landscape of Desker Road is linked to other commercial developments such as condominiums, restaurants, shopping and hotels, located within the areas around Jalan Besar, reflecting the current needs of the population it now serves.
Desker Road is located in the vicinity of the old Kampong Kapor area off Serangoon Road. Little India was gazetted as a conservation area on 7 July 1989 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and the buildings along Desker Road were also included in the conservation plan, effectively from 25 October 1991. Desker Road conserved shophouses are painted mainly in shades of sky-blue, baby-blue, jade-green and apple-green, these are very typical external colours favoured by the Straits Chinese in Singapore. Built between 1900 and 1910, nearly all of the shophouses on this road have been kept intact.
Mr Paul, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, said that “although the Covid-19 circuit breaker makes real estate sales difficult at the moment, the Desker Road conserved shophouses are in a good location and is hard to come by.”
Mr Ho believes smart investors who are flush with cash, will resort to value hunting instead of choosing residential properties which are still selling at unbelievable prices.
Mr Ho added that given the land scarcity in Singapore, demand for commercial properties in Singapore will continue to rise over the long term. He pointed out that Singapore continues to be a global financial centre and a trade hub with high livability scores – all of which attracts high net worth investors to the Republic. All these factors will inevitably fuel demand for commercial, residential, logistics and hospitality properties in Singapore he added.
Mr Ho believes that value buys in the property market right now are are landed inter-terrace houses which’s per square feet price on the built-up area is usually less than $1,000 and commercial properties. But Mr Ho cautioned that the bigger challenge for buyers of commercial property is securing the best commercial loans.
“With the right loan, the buyer can save thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars,” he said. Adding, “which is why they would have to work with established mortgage brokers who can provide them free service.”
Borrowers for commercial properties are allowed to take a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of up to 80%, even with outstanding residential mortgages. The maximum loan tenor typically stands at 30 years. However, loans for commercial property tend to command a higher interest rate relative to residential property loans. Like the latter, these loans come in
- Fixed Rate Package
- Variable (Floating) Rate Package
The requirements for a commercial loan, however, are more stringent. For example, the LTV ratio is contingent on whether the property is for owner-occupation or investment, with the latter subjected to stricter criteria by some banks. The next section explains the approval conditions in greater detail.