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
6 Aug 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
15 Jul 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,719,587 3,715 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
16 @ AMBER Freehold 730,000 1,739 1 Central Region Marine Parade
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 1,651,396 3,590 22 Central Region River Valley
35 GILSTEAD Freehold 1,312,000 2,709 2 Central Region Novena
8 BASSEIN Freehold 810,000 1,881 1 Central Region Novena
8 SAINT THOMAS Freehold 1,400,000 3,172 1 Central Region River Valley
91 MARSHALL Freehold 630,000 1,672 1 Central Region Marine Parade
AFFINITY AT SERANGOON 99 Years Leasehold 726,288 1,531 30 North East Region Serangoon
AIRSTREAM Freehold 640,000 1,351 1 Central Region Kallang
AMBER PARK Freehold 1,190,472 2,529 46 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 695,000 1,502 2 North East Region Serangoon
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 724,000 1,564 5 Central Region Toa Payoh
BOTANIQUE AT BARTLEY 99 Yrs FROM 2014 755,833 1,527 6 North East Region Serangoon
CARDIFF RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 584,000 1,391 3 North East Region Serangoon
CASA AL MARE Freehold 768,000 1,622 1 East Region Pasir Ris
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 602,000 1,472 1 North East Region Serangoon
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 660,000 1,614 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA LOFT Freehold 598,000 1,389 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA RESIDENCE Freehold 585,000 1,394 1 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 1,139,000 2,520 6 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
CRADELS Freehold 675,000 1,529 1 Central Region Novena
D'NEST 99 Yrs FROM 2010 606,000 1,251 2 East Region Pasir Ris
DUNEARN 386 Freehold 1,142,000 2,526 2 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
EIGHT RIVERSUITES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 713,333 1,617 3 Central Region Kallang
ESPADA Freehold 955,000 2,651 2 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 1,123,500 2,320 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 670,000 1,518 1 Central Region Geylang
HAIG 162 Freehold 574,250 1,581 4 Central Region Marine Parade
HAUS ON HANDY 99 Years Leasehold 1,314,379 2,867 17 Central Region Museum
HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 99 Yrs FROM 2010 556,667 1,149 3 East Region Pasir Ris
HIGH PARK RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 560,000 1,239 1 North East Region Sengkang
J GATEWAY 99 Yrs FROM 2012 875,500 1,808 4 West Region Jurong East
JEWEL @ BUANGKOK 99 Yrs FROM 2012 680,000 1,469 1 North East Region Sengkang
JUI RESIDENCES Freehold 811,500 1,817 2 Central Region Kallang
KENT RIDGE HILL RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 819,041 1,726 26 Central Region Queenstown
KINGSFORD WATERBAY 99 Yrs FROM 2014 636,250 1,329 4 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 REGAL Freehold 495,000 1,353 1 Central Region Geylang
LEVENUE Freehold 635,000 1,341 1 East Region Bedok
LINCOLN SUITES Freehold 1,050,000 2,269 1 Central Region Novena
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 815,000 1,803 1 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT @ STEVENS Freehold 760,000 2,017 1 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT@HOLLAND Freehold 840,000 2,109 1 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 932,452 2,015 5 Central Region Queenstown
NEEM TREE Freehold 830,000 1,977 1 Central Region Novena
NESS Freehold 560,000 1,301 1 Central Region Geylang
NOTTINGHILL SUITES Freehold 644,000 1,617 2 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
ONE PEARL BANK 99 Years Leasehold 1,027,156 2,386 32 Central Region Outram
OXLEY EDGE Freehold 876,667 2,243 3 Central Region River Valley
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 637,000 1,376 2 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 591,400 1,427 2 East Region Bedok
PARC ESTA 99 Years Leasehold 777,152 1,797 33 Central Region Geylang
PARC KOMO Freehold 712,433 1,511 30 East Region Pasir Ris
PARC RIVIERA 99 Years Leasehold 615,000 1,329 1 West Region Clementi
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 521,800 1,212 10 North Region Woodlands
PARK COLONIAL 99 Years Leasehold 883,909 1,910 11 Central Region Toa Payoh
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 525,000 1,183 3 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
PRIMO RESIDENCES Freehold 590,000 1,192 1 North East Region Hougang
QUESTA @ DUNMAN Freehold 670,000 1,556 1 Central Region Geylang
RANGOON 88 Freehold 680,000 1,541 1 Central Region Kallang
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 577,667 1,193 3 East Region Pasir Ris
RIVERBANK @ FERNVALE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 588,000 1,188 1 North East Region Sengkang
RIVERBAY 999 Yrs FROM 1882 590,000 1,523 1 Central Region Kallang
RIVERFRONT RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 637,347 1,377 42 North East Region Hougang
RIVERSOUND RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 568,000 1,199 1 North East Region Sengkang
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 549,999 1,310 1 Central Region Geylang
RV ALTITUDE Freehold 1,372,000 3,109 9 Central Region River Valley
RV EDGE Freehold 799,778 2,015 5 Central Region Tanglin
RV RESIDENCES 999 Yrs FROM 1877 956,667 2,260 3 Central Region Tanglin
SIMS EDGE Freehold 663,800 1,623 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS URBAN OASIS 99 Yrs FROM 2014 751,000 1,701 3 Central Region Geylang
SKY EVERTON Freehold 1,188,196 2,567 23 Central Region Bukit Merah
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
STIRLING RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 894,400 2,027 15 Central Region Queenstown
SUITES @ EASTCOAST Freehold 540,000 1,476 1 East Region Bedok
SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 602,500 1,419 2 Central Region Geylang
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@ KATONG Freehold 610,000 1,417 1 Central Region Marine Parade
SUITES@BRADDELL Freehold 582,000 1,386 1 North East Region Serangoon
SUITES@CHANGI Freehold 590,000 1,275 1 Central Region Geylang
SUNNY LODGE Freehold 598,000 1,502 1 East Region Bedok
THE ALPS RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 595,000 1,286 1 East Region Tampines
THE CLIFT 99 Yrs FROM 2004 1,070,000 2,161 1 Central Region Downtown Core
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 703,811 1,459 37 North East Region Hougang
THE GARDEN RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 701,793 1,543 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 487,500 1,224 8 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE HYDE Freehold 1,387,000 2,801 1 Central Region Tanglin
THE INFLORA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 521,600 1,117 5 East Region Pasir Ris
THE INTERWEAVE Freehold 640,000 1,486 1 Central Region Novena
THE JOVELL 99 Years Leasehold 611,250 1,356 8 East Region Pasir Ris
THE LAKEFRONT RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2010 730,000 1,474 1 West Region Jurong West
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 NAUTICAL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 536,500 1,278 2 North Region Sembawang
THE PANORAMA 99 Yrs FROM 2013 700,000 1,515 2 North East Region Ang Mo Kio
THE SANTORINI 99 Yrs FROM 2013 575,000 1,242 1 East Region Tampines
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 744,000 1,571 2 North East Region Serangoon
THE TAPESTRY 99 Years Leasehold 667,148 1,499 9 East Region Tampines
THE TRE VER 99 Years Leasehold 794,362 1,604 58 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE VERVE Freehold 622,500 1,411 2 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
THOMSON V TWO Freehold 620,000 1,340 1 Central Region Bishan
TRE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2014 720,000 1,715 1 Central Region Geylang
TREASURE AT TAMPINES 99 Years Leasehold 641,930 1,368 142 East Region Tampines
TREVISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2008 660,000 1,426 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
URBAN VISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 591,000 1,373 2 East Region Bedok
V ON SHENTON 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,122,000 2,369 1 Central Region Downtown Core
VACANZA @ EAST Freehold 635,000 1,311 1 East Region Bedok
VETRO 999 Yrs FROM 1882 585,000 1,235 1 Central Region Kallang
VIBES @ EAST COAST Freehold 585,000 1,647 1 East Region Bedok
VIBES @ KOVAN Freehold 538,888 1,430 1 North East Region Hougang
VIENTO Freehold 570,000 1,293 2 Central Region Geylang
VIVA VISTA Freehold 574,286 1,592 7 Central Region Queenstown
VIVACE 999 Yrs FROM 1841 798,000 2,004 1 Central Region River Valley
WHISTLER GRAND 99 Years Leasehold 694,170 1,573 2 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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