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4-room BTO flats on Keppel Club site could cost over S$700,000, high demand expected: Analysts

SINGAPORE — New public flats that will be built on the existing Keppel Club golf site will see very strong demand and could be priced at more than S$700,000 for a four-room flat if they are sold as a regular Built-To-Order (BTO) project, property analysts said. 

4-room BTO flats on Keppel Club site could cost over S$700,000, high demand expected: Analysts

A view of the golf course within Keppel Club's 48ha grounds.

  • Property analysts are expecting high demand for the 6,000 government-built flats to be built on a redeveloped Keppel Club site
  • Prices for a four-room flat, if sold as a regular Built-To-Order project, could exceed S$700,000 
  • Some analysts therefore said that these flats should come under the Prime Location Housing model to make the units more affordable

SINGAPORE — New public flats that will be built on the existing Keppel Club golf site will see very strong demand and could be priced at more than S$700,000 for a four-room flat if they are sold as a regular Built-To-Order (BTO) project, property analysts said. 

This was why some of them said that these flats should come under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model to make the units more affordable and also mitigate the “lottery effect”, which refers to flat owners profiteering from selling the government-subsidised flats.

Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at property firm Propnex Realty, said: “Given the attractive site attributes, we would consider the future flats on the Keppel Club site to be in the ‘limited edition’ category.

“As such, we think that the HDB (Housing and Development Board) flats offered should come under the PLH model because of their 'extremely prime location'.”

Earlier on Tuesday (April 12), National Development Minister Desmond Lee announced that around 6,000 government-built flats will be constructed on the redeveloped waterfront site of Keppel Club, with the first HDB BTO project at the site to be launched by 2025.

The site, located about a 10-minute drive from the Central Business District, is bounded by Telok Blangah Road, Berlayer Creek and Bukit Chermin, and is near the Labrador Park and Telok Blangah MRT stations.

It is part of the Government’s Greater Southern Waterfront project, encompassing a 30km coastline running from Gardens by the Bay to Pasir Panjang

A view of the southern part of Singapore and the Southern Islands from Mount Faber.

The authorities have not said whether the new flats at the Keppel Club site will fall under the prime location model.

In response to TODAY’s queries, HDB said that it would “consider a range of factors” such as the project’s attributes and market values before announcing more details when ready.

The PLH model was announced in October last year as a means for the Government to allow more than just the wealthy to be able to live in attractive locations while mitigating the so-called “lottery effect”.

This is when people who manage to ballot for and buy a BTO flat in prime locations sell them in the resale market at high prices once they fulfil the minimum occupation period of five years. 

The PLH model has stricter buying and selling conditions, including limits on rental leases, a longer 10-year minimum occupation period before a flat can be resold and subsidy clawbacks when owners sell their property.

Projects in two towns have so far been sold under the PLH model — River Peaks I and II in Rochor and King George’s Heights in Kallang-Whampoa

Ms Wong said that the Keppel Club site and all future developments in the high-profile Greater Southern Waterfront development should be sold under the PLH model to offset the lottery effect.

“As Pinnacle@Duxton has shown, prime location flats are very desirable and could fetch high prices — with many flats resold for over S$1 million — on the resale market,” she added, referring to the BTO project at Tanjong Pagar that was home to the first-ever recorded million-dollar resale transaction for a standard HDB flat.

Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at property firm Orange Tee and Tie, believes that the authorities may choose to sell some blocks of flats — such as those closer to the MRT stations or facing the waterfront — under the PLH model and others under the regular BTO scheme.

This is because of the large number of flats being built on the 48-hectare plot of land, she noted.

She added that the Government may also set aside some flats as rental units for lower-income families, community care apartments for seniors and some two-room flexi flats to offer more housing options for Singaporeans.

She estimated that a three-room flat sold under the regular BTO scheme will cost around S$400,000 to S$520,000 and for a four-room flat, S$600,000 to S$720,000.

For flats sold under the prime location model, a three-room flat may cost S$380,000 to S$480,000 and a four-roomer may cost S$500,000 to S$700,000.

With a location so close to offices in Mapletree Business City and One-north, real estate firm Huttons Asia’s senior director of research Lee Sze Teck is quite certain that the new flats would be heavily oversubscribed despite the large number of units on offer.

He is expecting the three-room flats to be priced at S$400,000 to S$450,000 and four-room flats at S$720,000 to S$850,000 if sold under the regular BTO scheme.

If sold under the prime location model, the cost may be between S$360,000 and S$405,000 for a three-room flat and S$650,000 and S$760,000 for a four-room flat.

He noted that in a May 2021 BTO launch at a nearby Telok Blangah site, three-room flats went for S$419,000 to S$504,000, while four-room flats were sold for between S$602,000 and S$710,000.

The 70 four-room flats, located about 300m from the Keppel Club site, were eventually 44 times oversubscribed, with more than 3,100 applicants. 

Of the upcoming BTO units at the Keppel Club site, he said: "This is definitely a prime location and the BTO flats are expected to be heavily oversubscribed. We expect the subscription rate to be more than 10. Five-room flats are unlikely to be offered as the price would be too steep."

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at real estate agency ERA Singapore, is also expecting this BTO launch to be popular, though it would also depend on whether there are other popular projects on offer in the same BTO sales exercise.

3,000 PRIVATE HOMES

The analysts noted that during the National Day Rally in 2019, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said then that about 9,000 private and public housing units will be built at the Keppel Club site.

This means that the remaining 3,000 units could be set aside for private home sales, which they said would also be highly sought after by buyers and developers.

Ms Sun from Orange Tee and Tie said that there are not many new residential sites in Singapore that command sea views and this factor, along with the convenient location, give residential homes in the area good rental potential.

PropNex Realty’s chief executive officer Ismail Gafoor is of the view that the future private residential projects in this area may be parcelled out and sold via government land sale tenders and eventually launched for sale to buyers in the next three to five years.

Taking reference from the latest property launches in the area such as The Reef at King’s Dock along Harbourfront Avenue and Avenue South Residence near Singapore General Hospital, he anticipates that the future selling prices of residential projects in the Greater Southern Waterfront may be in the range of S$2,500 to S$2,700 per square foot or higher.

Related topics

Keppel Club property BTO HDB Greater Southern Waterfront Prime Location Public Housing

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