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Developers may convert more retail and office buildings into private housing: Property experts

Developers may convert more retail and office buildings into private housing: Property experts

DpFraternity Property, a developer, said in May 2021 that it has obtained preliminary authorization from the government to rehabilitate Bedok Point into a real estate residential complex.

The mall was the first of several stores and offices to go as owners rethought their strategies in the wake of the lengthy disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Given the increasing demand for residential properties and the success of the residential property market throughout the epidemic, experts predict that more commercial buildings will be converted into residential or mixed-use complexes.

At least five builders have come out since the epidemic to say they want to change the focus of their projects to include homes.

About 75% of the 158 apartments of Frasers Property’s Sky Eden@Bedok were purchased on the first day they went on sale in September 2022. 127 out of the 200 units have been sold thus far (that’s 80%).

“If there is greater demand for residences as opposed to office buildings or retail malls in the current climate,” said Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore. “developers will naturally shift to provide what the market requires, which is highest-and-best use.”

Tay, using statistics from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), said that a comparison of the pricing trends of various building uses in Singapore indicated an increase in demand for private residences.

Office rents dropped 5.8% in 2021 but were reasonably constant at -0.1% in 2022, according to URA statistics, whereas private residential rents increased by 10.6% and 8.6%, respectively. In 2021, the retail price index fell by 4.2%, and in 2022, it fell by 7.8%.

According to Tay, rising family earnings over the previous decade have been a major factor in the rising demand for private residences during the past two years.

Moreover, “now that borders are open post-pandemic, there might be more demand from foreign buyers attracted to Singapore’s stability and the modern affluent lifestyle that the city-state offers,” he said.

JCube, a leisure and edutainment mall in Jurong East, will be closed by CapitaLand Development in August so that the site may be redeveloped into a 40-story residential and commercial building. According to CapitaLand, the project would help the government realize its goal of expanding the residential, commercial, recreational, and amenity base in the Jurong Lake District.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) approved plans in May 2022 for a joint venture between Chip Eng Seng, Chuan Investments, and SingHaiyi Investments to convert the 13-story commercial building Maxwell House into a mixed-use complex with 324 flats and around 46,800 square feet of retail space.

Singapore’s tallest super penthouse will be located in the renovated AXA Tower, a 63-story mixed-use development including offices, shops, apartments, and a hotel.

On the site of the old Fuji Xerox Towers in Tanjong Pagar, City Developments Limited (CDL) will construct Newport Residences, another premium condominium.

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