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
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 258 375,000 1,452 Central Geylang
9 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 391,000 1,514 Central Geylang
25 Apr 2008 KENT RESIDENCES Freehold 312 398,000 1,275 Central Kallang
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
23 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,683,000 3,399 Central Downtown Core
21 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,683,000 3,399 Central Downtown Core
3 Jan 2011 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,683,000 3,399 Central Downtown Core
14 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 484 1,645,000 3,396 Central Downtown Core
27 Jan 2011 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,653,000 3,338 Central Downtown Core
21 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 484 1,616,000 3,336 Central Downtown Core
14 Dec 2011 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,650,000 3,332 Central Downtown Core
22 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,635,000 3,302 Central Downtown Core
27 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 495 1,621,000 3,274 Central Downtown Core
30 Dec 2010 ROBINSON SUITES Freehold 484 1,585,000 3,272 Central Downtown Core

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 750,000 1,659 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
21 RICHARDS Freehold 590,000 1,442 1 North East Region Hougang
26 NEWTON Freehold 1,121,469 2,346 34 Central Region Novena
6 DERBYSHIRE Freehold 1,086,687 2,294 3 Central Region Novena
8@WOODLEIGH 99 Yrs FROM 2008 570,000 1,431 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
AIRSTREAM Freehold 632,500 1,306 2 Central Region Kallang
ALEX RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 983,786 2,077 7 Central Region Bukit Merah
ALEXIS Freehold 663,750 1,645 4 Central Region Queenstown
AURALIS Freehold 645,000 1,349 2 East Region Bedok
BARTLEY RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 700,000 1,512 1 North East Region Serangoon
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 685,000 1,552 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 616,500 1,414 2 North East Region Serangoon
CAVAN SUITES Freehold 550,000 1,648 1 Central Region Kallang
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 644,000 1,496 2 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA LOFT Freehold 620,000 1,309 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA STUDIOS Freehold 642,888 1,327 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA SUITES Freehold 600,000 1,327 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRAL IMPERIAL Freehold 475,000 1,132 1 Central Region Geylang
CITY LOFT Freehold 500,000 1,498 1 Central Region Kallang
CITY SUITES Freehold 791,500 1,751 2 Central Region Novena
CLEMENTI PARK Freehold 578,000 1,193 1 West Region Clementi
COMMONWEALTH TOWERS 99 Yrs FROM 2013 842,776 1,853 89 Central Region Queenstown
CORALIS Freehold 774,000 1,563 2 Central Region Marine Parade
CRADELS Freehold 652,500 1,479 2 Central Region Novena
D'NEST 99 Yrs FROM 2010 596,000 1,231 2 East Region Pasir Ris
D'WEAVE Freehold 607,000 1,446 1 Central Region Geylang
DEVONSHIRE RESIDENCES Freehold 1,100,088 2,222 1 Central Region River Valley
DUNEARN SUITES Freehold 740,000 1,809 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
EIGHT RIVERSUITES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 724,333 1,641 3 Central Region Kallang
ESPADA Freehold 869,000 2,374 2 Central Region River Valley
ESPIRA SUITES Freehold 667,500 1,378 2 East Region Bedok
FORESQUE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 609,000 1,316 2 West Region Bukit Panjang
FULCRUM Freehold 967,071 2,028 14 Central Region Kallang
GEM RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 791,667 1,647 9 Central Region Toa Payoh
GRANDEUR PARK RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 649,598 1,481 89 East Region Bedok
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 610,000 1,491 1 Central Region Geylang
HAIG 162 Freehold 530,000 1,492 1 Central Region Marine Parade
HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 99 Yrs FROM 2010 526,000 1,086 1 East Region Pasir Ris
HERITAGE EAST Freehold 602,500 1,335 2 East Region Bedok
HILBRE28 999 Yrs FROM 1876 780,000 1,575 1 North East Region Hougang
HILLION RESIDENCES N.A. 674,783 1,437 96 West Region Bukit Panjang
IMPERIAL HEIGHTS Freehold 619,875 1,371 4 Central Region Geylang
ISUITES @ PALM 999 Yrs FROM 1878 604,194 1,306 2 North East Region Hougang
JUPITER 18 Freehold 560,000 1,334 1 Central Region Geylang
KINGSFORD WATERBAY 99 Yrs FROM 2014 641,000 1,323 1 North East Region Hougang
KOVAN GRANDEUR 99 Yrs FROM 2010 480,000 1,312 1 North East Region Hougang
LA BRISA Freehold 650,000 1,313 1 Central Region Geylang
LA FIESTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 632,000 1,398 5 North East Region Sengkang
LA VIDA @ 130 Freehold 630,000 1,361 1 East Region Bedok
LAVERNE'S LOFT Freehold 558,000 1,353 6 East Region Bedok
LE REGAL Freehold 478,000 1,139 1 Central Region Geylang
LEICESTER SUITES Freehold 735,000 1,517 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
LEVENUE Freehold 650,000 1,404 1 East Region Bedok
LIV ON WILKIE Freehold 968,286 2,142 7 Central Region Rochor
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 814,333 1,880 3 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT @ RANGOON Freehold 640,000 1,416 1 Central Region Kallang
LOFT @ STEVENS Freehold 799,999 1,813 1 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT@HOLLAND Freehold 710,000 2,199 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
MACKENZIE 88 Freehold 702,500 1,520 2 Central Region Rochor
NESS Freehold 538,000 1,219 1 Central Region Geylang
NEWTON EDGE Freehold 770,000 1,745 1 Central Region Novena
NIN RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2010 680,000 1,504 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
NOMU Freehold 1,080,000 2,280 1 Central Region Museum
NORTH PARK RESIDENCES N.A. 620,000 1,440 1 North Region Yishun
OPTIMA @ TANAH MERAH 99 Yrs FROM 2008 688,888 1,422 1 East Region Bedok
PALMERA EAST Freehold 613,000 1,424 4 East Region Bedok
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 627,000 1,339 2 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 537,500 1,332 2 East Region Bedok
PARC IMPERIAL Freehold 676,000 1,700 2 Central Region Queenstown
PARC OLYMPIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 540,000 1,091 1 East Region Pasir Ris
PARC RIVIERA 99 Years Leasehold 601,394 1,299 62 West Region Clementi
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 516,125 1,199 8 North Region Woodlands
PARC SOMME 99 Yrs FROM 2008 565,000 1,591 1 Central Region Kallang
PARK PLACE RESIDENCES AT PLQ 99 Years Leasehold 882,837 1,823 74 Central Region Geylang
PARK RESIDENCES KOVAN Freehold 565,500 1,592 2 North East Region Hougang
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 428,000 925 1 Central Region Outram
PRESTIGE HEIGHTS Freehold 520,500 1,501 4 Central Region Novena
PRINCIPAL GARDEN 99 Years Leasehold 808,234 1,648 38 Central Region Bukit Merah
QUBE SUITES Freehold 580,000 1,382 1 East Region Bedok
QUEENS PEAK 99 Years Leasehold 784,212 1,723 66 Central Region Queenstown
REGENT RESIDENCES Freehold 685,000 1,675 2 Central Region Kallang
RESIDENCES 88 Freehold 566,500 1,300 2 East Region Bedok
REZI 3TWO Freehold 729,000 1,575 1 Central Region Geylang
RIPPLE BAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 575,931 1,189 5 East Region Pasir Ris
RIVERSOUND RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 543,963 1,148 3 North East Region Sengkang
RIZ HAVEN 946 Yrs FROM 1938 552,000 1,221 1 East Region Pasir Ris
RV EDGE Freehold 870,000 1,837 1 Central Region Tanglin
RV RESIDENCES 999 Yrs FROM 1877 905,000 2,156 1 Central Region Tanglin
SEAHILL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 680,000 1,373 1 West Region Clementi
SEASIDE RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 776,242 1,849 22 East Region Bedok
SIGLAP V Freehold 700,000 1,414 1 East Region Bedok
SILVERSCAPE Freehold 575,000 1,333 3 Central Region Geylang
SIMS URBAN OASIS 99 Yrs FROM 2014 718,681 1,509 9 Central Region Geylang
SKIES MILTONIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 556,500 1,149 2 North Region Yishun
SKY GREEN Freehold 726,500 1,467 1 Central Region Geylang
SKY VUE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 800,000 1,616 1 Central Region Bishan
SKYLINE RESIDENCES Freehold 925,000 1,910 2 Central Region Bukit Merah
SKYSUITES17 Freehold 600,000 1,639 1 Central Region Novena
SKYSUITES@ANSON 99 Yrs FROM 2008 875,000 2,293 2 Central Region Downtown Core
SOL ACRES 99 Years Leasehold 375,273 758 11 West Region Choa Chu Kang
SOLEIL @ SINARAN 99 Yrs FROM 2006 907,500 1,833 2 Central Region Novena
SPOTTISWOODE SUITES Freehold 1,065,360 2,377 3 Central Region Bukit Merah
STRATUM 99 Yrs FROM 2012 580,000 1,171 1 East Region Pasir Ris
SUITES 28 Freehold 530,000 1,231 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ EASTCOAST Freehold 548,333 1,498 3 East Region Bedok
SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 510,000 1,579 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ NEWTON Freehold 921,500 1,902 4 Central Region Novena
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR Freehold 523,333 1,351 3 North East Region Hougang
SUITES AT BUKIT TIMAH Freehold 600,000 1,593 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
SUITES@ KATONG Freehold 638,000 1,347 1 Central Region Marine Parade
SUITES@BRADDELL Freehold 560,000 1,334 1 North East Region Serangoon
SYCAMORE TREE Freehold 622,000 1,482 1 Central Region Marine Parade
THE ALPS RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 586,000 1,183 1 East Region Tampines
THE AXIS Freehold 590,000 1,481 1 Central Region Novena
THE CLIFT 99 Yrs FROM 2004 970,000 1,959 2 Central Region Downtown Core
THE CREEK @ BUKIT Freehold 821,254 1,792 7 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE FORESTA @ MOUNT FABER Freehold 808,888 1,879 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
THE GLADES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 762,261 1,590 38 East Region Bedok
THE HILLFORD 60 Yrs FROM 2013 495,000 1,243 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE INTERWEAVE Freehold 575,222 1,485 4 Central Region Novena
THE LINE @ TANJONG RHU Freehold 1,000,000 2,382 1 Central Region Kallang
THE NAUTICAL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 560,250 1,270 2 North Region Sembawang
THE PALETTE 99 Yrs FROM 2010 610,000 1,232 1 East Region Pasir Ris
THE POIZ RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 647,973 1,544 37 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE PROMENADE@PELIKAT Freehold 620,000 1,280 1 North East Region Hougang
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 735,000 1,552 2 North East Region Serangoon
THE SERENNO Freehold 672,000 1,388 2 Central Region Geylang
THE URBANITE Freehold 700,000 1,445 1 Central Region Kallang
THE VUE Freehold 554,000 1,297 3 North East Region Serangoon
THE WATER EDGE Freehold 535,000 1,343 1 Central Region Geylang
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS 99 Years Leasehold 757,868 1,637 15 Central Region Bishan
TREASURES @ G20 Freehold 520,000 1,239 2 Central Region Geylang
TREASURES@G6 Freehold 596,841 1,334 7 Central Region Geylang
TROPIKA EAST Freehold 628,000 1,459 1 East Region Bedok
TYRWHITT 139 Freehold 610,000 1,526 2 Central Region Kallang
V ON SHENTON 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,234,430 2,633 6 Central Region Downtown Core
VACANZA @ EAST Freehold 635,000 1,311 2 East Region Bedok
VIBES @ KOVAN Freehold 550,000 1,246 1 North East Region Hougang
VIENTO Freehold 600,000 1,296 1 Central Region Geylang
VIIO @ BALESTIER Freehold 790,000 1,668 1 Central Region Novena
VIVA VISTA Freehold 567,500 1,470 2 Central Region Queenstown
WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 99 Yrs FROM 2009 746,000 1,540 3 Central Region Geylang

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