Square Foot Research Singapore

Shoebox Units - Everybody's Watching 'Em

GuillemardEdge

In our very first Market Watch, we chose to look at none other than the shoebox phenomenon. A new set of cooling measures has been announced to cap the number of units in new developments located outside of the central area.

Shoebox units need no introduction. They have gotten much spotlight lately. In short, these are units less than 500 sq ft. They began to appear in bigger numbers in 2007/2008 but used to stay confined within the City and City Fringe districts. They have since made their way to the various mass market districts, where the rental market for such units is new, untested, and faces competition from HDB flats.

In fact, mass market dominates the shoebox market now. Based on caveats received so far in 2012 for shoebox units, approximately two-thirds are located in the mass market districts, nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year. Buyers with HDB addresses contribute more than half of the total purchases, from 55.7% last year to over 60% this year. However, there is no dominance of any price region by any particular addressee group, although one might be inclined to think that HDB dwellers are scooping up the lower priced units.

MND has announced that, effective from 4 November 2012, new developments located outside of the central area will be restricted in terms of the maximum number of units allowed to be built. The figure is based on the maximum allowable gross floor area (excluding any bonus) divided by an assumed unit size of 70 sqm.

Shoebox units are sold at 20-30% premium compared to larger units. The most expensive shoebox ever sold was a unit at Robinson Suites that was sold for $1.68m, or $3,399psf. The smallest shoebox ever sold was a mere 258 sq ft (the size of two and a half carpark lots) at Suites @ Guillemard.

We do see why shoebox units are well-liked. For owners of private properties, since they can no longer buy resale HDB flats without having to dispose their existing private properties, shoebox units become their only option given a budget of about $500,000. For HDB dwellers, it is a first step towards the private market. Given market prices are feeling very peak'ish, investors might want to limit any additional exposure to the property market, keeping investment sizes small.

Distribution of Shoebox Units

Note: Mouseover to see the property's name.
Source: URA, squarefoot.com.sg
Launched before 2008
Launched after 2008

Transaction Prices and Sales

Extreme Cases

Shoebox units less than 30 sqm

Source: URA,
Contract Date Project Name Tenure Area
(sqft)
Purchase Price
($)
Purchase Price
($psf)
Region Planning Area
14 Mar 2018 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 445,000 1,723 Central Geylang
29 Dec 2017 N.A. 999 YRS FR 01/01/1954 0 3,900,000 0
29 Nov 2017 CITY SUITES Freehold 0 852,800 0 Central Novena
21 Nov 2017 FRANKEL ESTATE Freehold 0 3,330,000 0 East Bedok
16 Nov 2017 FRANKEL ESTATE Freehold 0 5,860,000 0 East Bedok
13 Oct 2017 TAI HWAN GARDEN Freehold 0 7,250,000 0 North East Serangoon
9 Oct 2017 N.A. GT 75 0 6,750,000 0
27 Sep 2017 TAI HWAN GARDEN Freehold 0 5,630,000 0 North East Serangoon
26 Sep 2017 N.A. GT 61 0 16,800,000 0
6 Sep 2017 FRANKEL ESTATE Freehold 0 3,800,000 0 East Bedok
18 Aug 2017 ST ANNE'S WOOD 999 Yrs FROM 1875 0 2,381,000 0 North East Sengkang
7 Aug 2017 N.A. GT 10 0 2,000,000 0
18 Jul 2017 N.A. GT 368 0 2,800,000 0
17 Jul 2017 N.A. GT 42 0 21,000,000 0
19 Jun 2017 N.A. - 0 1,238,888 0
9 Jun 2017 N.A. GT 66 & 78 0 3,500,000 0
8 May 2017 TAI YUAN GARDEN Freehold 0 3,400,000 0 North East Serangoon
3 May 2017 FRANKEL ESTATE Freehold 0 4,200,000 0 East Bedok
27 Apr 2017 VILLAS AT KEW 99 Yrs FROM 1994 0 1,860,000 0 East Bedok
10 Apr 2017 TAI KENG GARDENS Freehold 0 2,800,000 0 North East Hougang
7 Apr 2017 6 DERBYSHIRE Freehold 0 1,977,950 0 Central Novena
6 Apr 2017 TRE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2014 0 1,287,000 0 Central Geylang
30 Mar 2017 N.A. GT 21 0 1,100,000 0
3 Mar 2017 6 DERBYSHIRE Freehold 0 1,905,138 0 Central Novena
16 Feb 2017 TAI YUAN GARDEN Freehold 0 3,350,000 0 North East Serangoon
24 Jan 2017 OPERA ESTATE Freehold 0 4,350,000 0 East Bedok
1 Oct 2013 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 508,000 1,966 Central Geylang
3 Apr 2013 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 495,000 1,916 Central Geylang
15 Jun 2012 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 495,000 1,916 Central Geylang
13 May 2011 KENT RESIDENCES Freehold 312 550,000 1,762 Central Kallang
28 Jan 2011 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 423,000 1,637 Central Geylang
11 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 386,000 1,494 Central Geylang
9 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 381,000 1,475 Central Geylang
9 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 391,000 1,514 Central Geylang
9 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 375,000 1,452 Central Geylang
25 Apr 2008 KENT RESIDENCES Freehold 312 398,000 1,275 Central Kallang
18 Jan 2008 BAN GUAN PARK Freehold 0 2,200,000 0 Central Bukit Timah
1 Feb 2005 SELETARIS Freehold 280 130,000 465 North Sembawang
1 Apr 1999 MOUNTBATTEN LODGE Freehold 280 235,000 840 Central Marine Parade

Top 10 most expensive shoebox units

Source: URA,
Contract Date Project Name Tenure Area
(sqft)
Purchase Price
($)
Purchase Price
($psf)
Region Planning Area
14 Aug 2017 26 NEWTON Freehold 473 12,222,705 25,840 Central Novena
13 Mar 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,793,814 3,968 Central River Valley
2 Jun 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,778,351 3,934 Central River Valley
18 May 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 420 1,632,990 3,890 Central River Valley
30 May 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,790,000 3,867 Central River Valley
3 Nov 2018 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,773,000 3,831 Central River Valley
17 May 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,729,948 3,827 Central River Valley
8 May 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,710,000 3,782 Central River Valley
3 Nov 2018 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,728,000 3,733 Central River Valley
21 May 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,685,567 3,728 Central River Valley

Breakdown of Shoebox Purchases

Breakdown by Region

Source: URA, http://www.squarefoot.com.sg

Breakdown by Buyer Profile

Source: URA, http://www.squarefoot.com.sg

Recent shoebox transactions

Note: Based on purchases in the past 6 months excluding bulk purchases
Source: URA,
Project Name Tenure Average Price*
($)
Average Price*
($psf)
No. of
Transactions*
Region Planning Area
10 SHELFORD Freehold 798,000 1,765 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
18 WOODSVILLE Freehold 805,000 1,626 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
1953 Freehold 868,000 1,967 1 Central Region Kallang
28 RC SUITES Freehold 700,000 1,548 1 Central Region Rochor
3 CUSCADEN Freehold 1,640,601 3,587 23 Central Region River Valley
35 GILSTEAD Freehold 1,308,000 2,700 1 Central Region Novena
8 SAINT THOMAS Freehold 1,444,317 3,328 3 Central Region River Valley
AFFINITY AT SERANGOON 99 Years Leasehold 715,196 1,509 44 North East Region Serangoon
AIRSTREAM Freehold 640,000 1,351 1 Central Region Kallang
AMBER PARK Freehold 1,187,032 2,523 45 Central Region Marine Parade
ATTITUDE AT KIM YAM 999 Yrs FROM 1841 705,000 2,113 1 Central Region River Valley
AVANT RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2012 700,000 1,667 1 Central Region Geylang
BARTLEY RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 700,000 1,512 1 North East Region Serangoon
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 720,000 1,556 2 Central Region Toa Payoh
BOTANIQUE AT BARTLEY 99 Yrs FROM 2014 700,000 1,414 1 North East Region Serangoon
CARDIFF RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 582,500 1,388 2 North East Region Serangoon
CASA AL MARE Freehold 774,000 1,616 2 East Region Pasir Ris
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 680,000 1,502 2 North East Region Serangoon
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 660,000 1,614 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA SUITES Freehold 614,000 1,392 2 Central Region Geylang
CITY GATE 99 Yrs FROM 2014 935,000 2,068 1 Central Region Kallang
CITY LOFT Freehold 600,000 1,593 1 Central Region Kallang
COASTLINE RESIDENCES Freehold 1,144,714 2,532 7 Central Region Marine Parade
COCO PALMS 99 Yrs FROM 2008 645,500 1,395 2 East Region Pasir Ris
COMMONWEALTH TOWERS 99 Yrs FROM 2013 918,000 2,031 1 Central Region Queenstown
COSMO Freehold 650,000 1,548 1 Central Region Geylang
CRADELS Freehold 691,500 1,567 2 Central Region Novena
D'NEST 99 Yrs FROM 2010 640,000 1,321 1 East Region Pasir Ris
DEVONSHIRE RESIDENCES Freehold 1,200,000 2,424 1 Central Region River Valley
DUNEARN SUITES Freehold 758,000 1,853 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
DUO RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,060,000 2,525 1 Central Region Downtown Core
EAST VILLAGE Freehold 590,000 1,442 1 East Region Bedok
EASTWOOD REGENCY Freehold 561,667 1,385 3 East Region Bedok
EDENZ LOFT Freehold 562,500 1,309 2 Central Region Geylang
EDENZ SUITES Freehold 635,000 1,282 1 Central Region Geylang
EIGHT RIVERSUITES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 680,000 1,541 1 Central Region Kallang
EIS RESIDENCES Freehold 555,000 1,432 1 Central Region Marine Parade
ESPADA Freehold 980,000 2,601 1 Central Region River Valley
ESPIRA SUITES Freehold 700,000 1,478 1 East Region Bedok
FORESQUE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 630,000 1,361 1 West Region Bukit Panjang
FOURTH AVENUE RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 1,143,786 2,365 14 Central Region Bukit Timah
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 700,000 1,530 2 Central Region Geylang
HAIG 162 Freehold 556,000 1,519 2 Central Region Marine Parade
HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 99 Yrs FROM 2010 552,776 1,141 5 East Region Pasir Ris
HIGH PARK RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 530,000 1,265 2 North East Region Sengkang
HILLION RESIDENCES N.A. 805,000 1,739 2 West Region Bukit Panjang
J GATEWAY 99 Yrs FROM 2012 875,500 1,808 4 West Region Jurong East
JEWEL @ BUANGKOK 99 Yrs FROM 2012 663,500 1,402 2 North East Region Sengkang
JUI RESIDENCES Freehold 813,127 1,797 3 Central Region Kallang
KENT RIDGE HILL RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 810,591 1,708 22 Central Region Queenstown
KINGSFORD WATERBAY 99 Yrs FROM 2014 642,500 1,342 2 North East Region Hougang
LA FIESTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 628,000 1,459 1 North East Region Sengkang
LA FLEUR Freehold 530,000 1,296 1 Central Region Geylang
LAVERNE'S LOFT Freehold 576,000 1,446 1 East Region Bedok
LE QUEST 99 Years Leasehold 727,000 1,468 1 West Region Bukit Batok
LE REGAL Freehold 495,000 1,353 1 Central Region Geylang
LEICESTER SUITES Freehold 742,500 1,604 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
LEVENUE Freehold 635,000 1,341 1 East Region Bedok
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 815,000 1,803 1 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT@HOLLAND Freehold 832,500 2,291 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
M5 99 Yrs FROM 1995 960,000 2,175 1 Central Region Tanglin
MACKENZIE 88 Freehold 745,000 1,594 2 Central Region Rochor
MARGARET VILLE 99 Years Leasehold 936,073 2,023 4 Central Region Queenstown
MAYFAIR GARDENS 99 Yrs FROM 1983 1,022,000 2,064 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
NEEM TREE Freehold 872,523 1,930 1 Central Region Novena
NIN RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2010 729,000 1,539 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
NOTTINGHILL SUITES Freehold 646,000 1,622 3 Central Region Bukit Timah
NYON Freehold 1,218,000 2,515 1 Central Region Marine Parade
OKIO Freehold 698,800 1,623 1 Central Region Novena
OXLEY EDGE Freehold 876,667 2,243 3 Central Region River Valley
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 644,667 1,393 3 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 594,267 1,454 3 East Region Bedok
PARC ESTA 99 Years Leasehold 779,205 1,796 39 Central Region Geylang
PARC IMPERIAL Freehold 688,000 1,646 2 Central Region Queenstown
PARC KOMO Freehold 711,700 1,509 30 East Region Pasir Ris
PARC RIVIERA 99 Years Leasehold 615,000 1,329 1 West Region Clementi
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 523,125 1,215 8 North Region Woodlands
PARK COLONIAL 99 Years Leasehold 881,429 1,904 7 Central Region Toa Payoh
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 510,000 1,102 1 Central Region Outram
PRESTIGE HEIGHTS Freehold 500,000 1,452 1 Central Region Novena
PRESTIGE LOFT Freehold 540,000 1,433 1 East Region Bedok
PRESTO@UPPER SERANGOON Freehold 630,000 1,428 2 North East Region Serangoon
REGENT RESIDENCES Freehold 660,000 1,614 1 Central Region Kallang
REZI 24 Freehold 747,833 1,522 3 Central Region Geylang
RIPPLE BAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 574,500 1,186 4 East Region Pasir Ris
RIVERBAY 999 Yrs FROM 1882 590,000 1,523 1 Central Region Kallang
RIVERFRONT RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 631,105 1,363 38 North East Region Hougang
RIVERSOUND RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 568,000 1,199 1 North East Region Sengkang
ROBERTSON EDGE 999 Yrs FROM 1841 930,000 1,964 1 Central Region River Valley
ROBIN SUITES Freehold 1,050,000 2,269 1 Central Region Tanglin
ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 1,280,000 2,643 1 Central Region Downtown Core
ROYCE RESIDENCES Freehold 557,500 1,328 2 Central Region Geylang
RV ALTITUDE Freehold 1,355,000 3,071 11 Central Region River Valley
RV EDGE Freehold 808,472 2,011 4 Central Region Tanglin
RV RESIDENCES 999 Yrs FROM 1877 956,667 2,260 3 Central Region Tanglin
SEAHILL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 705,000 1,424 1 West Region Clementi
SIMS EDGE Freehold 663,800 1,623 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS URBAN OASIS 99 Yrs FROM 2014 761,000 1,684 3 Central Region Geylang
SKY GREEN Freehold 770,000 1,626 1 Central Region Geylang
SKYSUITES@ANSON 99 Yrs FROM 2008 928,000 2,536 1 Central Region Downtown Core
SPOTTISWOODE 18 Freehold 853,000 2,201 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
SPOTTISWOODE SUITES Freehold 1,080,000 2,447 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
STELLAR RV Freehold 850,000 1,880 1 Central Region Tanglin
STIRLING RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 897,667 2,034 9 Central Region Queenstown
SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 580,000 1,225 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ KOVAN Freehold 560,000 1,530 1 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR Freehold 571,667 1,462 3 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ SHREWSBURY Freehold 555,000 1,516 1 Central Region Novena
SUITES DE LAUREL 999 Yrs FROM 1885 725,000 1,531 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
SUITES@BRADDELL Freehold 582,000 1,386 1 North East Region Serangoon
SUITES@CHANGI Freehold 587,500 1,353 2 Central Region Geylang
THE ALPS RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 595,000 1,286 1 East Region Tampines
THE COTZ Freehold 580,000 1,418 1 East Region Bedok
THE CREEK @ BUKIT Freehold 785,000 1,696 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE FLORENCE RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 703,818 1,462 22 North East Region Hougang
THE FORESTA @ MOUNT FABER Freehold 830,000 1,928 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
THE GARDEN RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 700,123 1,542 27 North East Region Serangoon
THE GAZANIA Freehold 1,011,357 2,237 2 North East Region Serangoon
THE GLADES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 800,000 1,652 1 East Region Bedok
THE HILLFORD 60 Yrs FROM 2013 483,556 1,214 9 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE INFLORA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 525,000 1,135 2 East Region Pasir Ris
THE JOVELL 99 Years Leasehold 609,385 1,353 13 East Region Pasir Ris
THE LUCENT Freehold 680,000 1,436 1 East Region Bedok
THE LUXURIE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 650,000 1,438 1 North East Region Sengkang
THE PANORAMA 99 Yrs FROM 2013 705,000 1,585 3 North East Region Ang Mo Kio
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 770,000 1,626 2 North East Region Serangoon
THE TAPESTRY 99 Years Leasehold 656,783 1,488 11 East Region Tampines
THE TRE VER 99 Years Leasehold 786,547 1,591 60 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE VERVE Freehold 615,000 1,394 1 Central Region Novena
THE WATER EDGE Freehold 555,000 1,432 1 Central Region Geylang
THOMSON THREE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 736,000 1,486 1 Central Region Bishan
TRE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2014 720,000 1,715 1 Central Region Geylang
TREASURE AT TAMPINES 99 Years Leasehold 637,086 1,359 105 East Region Tampines
TROPIKA EAST Freehold 655,000 1,415 1 East Region Bedok
TYRWHITT 139 Freehold 600,000 1,639 1 Central Region Kallang
URBAN VISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 627,000 1,438 2 East Region Bedok
V ON SHENTON 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,126,000 2,378 2 Central Region Downtown Core
VACANZA @ EAST Freehold 635,000 1,311 1 East Region Bedok
VETRO 999 Yrs FROM 1882 565,000 1,193 1 Central Region Kallang
VIBES @ KOVAN Freehold 538,888 1,430 1 North East Region Hougang
VIENTO Freehold 580,000 1,347 1 Central Region Geylang
VIVA VISTA Freehold 558,750 1,612 4 Central Region Queenstown
WHISTLER GRAND 99 Years Leasehold 688,703 1,561 4 West Region Clementi
WILKIE 80 Freehold 837,000 1,944 1 Central Region Rochor
WILSHIRE RESIDENCES Freehold 1,210,790 2,616 2 Central Region Tanglin

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