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, https://www.squarefoot.com.sg

Breakdown by Buyer Profile

Source: URA, https://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 732,500 1,745 2 Central Region Marine Parade
24 ONE RESIDENCES Freehold 873,650 1,804 8 Central Region Queenstown
26 NEWTON Freehold 1,210,643 2,554 22 Central Region Novena
6 DERBYSHIRE Freehold 1,203,718 2,542 6 Central Region Novena
AIRSTREAM Freehold 510,000 1,528 1 Central Region Kallang
ALEX RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 987,612 2,085 11 Central Region Bukit Merah
ALEXIS Freehold 685,250 1,738 8 Central Region Queenstown
ATTITUDE AT KIM YAM 999 Yrs FROM 1841 800,000 2,323 1 Central Region River Valley
AURALIS Freehold 645,000 1,349 2 East Region Bedok
AVILA GARDENS Freehold 488,000 1,054 1 East Region Pasir Ris
BALCON EAST Freehold 620,000 1,280 1 East Region Bedok
BARTLEY RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 685,000 1,480 3 North East Region Serangoon
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 720,000 1,506 2 Central Region Toa Payoh
CARDIFF RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 566,667 1,363 3 North East Region Serangoon
CASA AERATA Freehold 552,993 1,294 6 Central Region Geylang
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 681,000 1,449 3 North East Region Serangoon
CASPIAN 99 Yrs FROM 2008 630,000 1,361 1 West Region Jurong West
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 665,667 1,546 3 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA LOFT Freehold 600,000 1,312 2 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA RESIDENCE Freehold 580,000 1,418 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA SUITES Freehold 577,667 1,319 3 Central Region Geylang
CITY LOFT Freehold 525,000 1,435 1 Central Region Kallang
CITY SUITES Freehold 819,587 1,794 15 Central Region Novena
CLEMENTI PARK Freehold 578,000 1,193 1 West Region Clementi
COMMONWEALTH TOWERS 99 Yrs FROM 2013 883,895 1,933 60 Central Region Queenstown
COSMO Freehold 610,000 1,453 1 Central Region Geylang
CRADELS Freehold 676,500 1,533 2 Central Region Novena
D'NEST 99 Yrs FROM 2010 603,667 1,246 6 East Region Pasir Ris
DEVONSHIRE RESIDENCES Freehold 1,100,088 2,222 1 Central Region River Valley
DOMUS Freehold 835,000 1,763 1 Central Region Novena
DUNEARN SUITES Freehold 780,000 1,858 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
EIGHT COURTYARDS 99 Yrs FROM 2010 570,000 1,261 1 North Region Yishun
EIGHT RIVERSUITES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 717,333 1,625 12 Central Region Kallang
ESPADA Freehold 895,867 2,344 9 Central Region River Valley
ESTILO Freehold 835,560 1,688 1 Central Region Rochor
FARRER PARK SUITES Freehold 640,000 1,699 1 Central Region Kallang
FORESQUE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 615,000 1,329 2 West Region Bukit Panjang
FULCRUM Freehold 1,003,500 2,072 2 Central Region Kallang
GEM RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 797,000 1,722 3 Central Region Toa Payoh
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 673,000 1,525 1 Central Region Geylang
HAIG 162 Freehold 647,500 1,355 2 Central Region Marine Parade
HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 99 Yrs FROM 2010 525,000 1,084 1 East Region Pasir Ris
HERITAGE EAST Freehold 571,250 1,416 4 East Region Bedok
HILLION RESIDENCES N.A. 726,913 1,550 72 West Region Bukit Panjang
HUNDRED TREES 956 Yrs FROM 1928 700,000 1,445 1 West Region Clementi
IDYLLIC SUITES Freehold 540,000 1,254 1 Central Region Geylang
ILLUMINAIRE ON DEVONSHIRE Freehold 1,140,000 2,463 2 Central Region River Valley
IMPERIAL HEIGHTS Freehold 613,167 1,356 3 Central Region Geylang
ISUITES @ PALM 999 Yrs FROM 1878 585,000 1,264 1 North East Region Hougang
J GATEWAY 99 Yrs FROM 2012 830,000 1,716 2 West Region Jurong East
JOOL SUITES Freehold 640,000 1,565 1 Central Region Kallang
KANDIS RESIDENCE 99 Years Leasehold 647,917 1,323 6 North Region Sembawang
KENG LEE COURT Freehold 600,000 1,267 1 Central Region Kallang
KOVAN GRANDEUR 99 Yrs FROM 2010 491,000 1,291 3 North East Region Hougang
LA BRISA Freehold 537,000 1,232 2 Central Region Geylang
LA FIESTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 642,500 1,422 2 North East Region Sengkang
LA VIDA @ 130 Freehold 619,000 1,339 2 East Region Bedok
LAVERNE'S LOFT Freehold 568,000 1,372 2 East Region Bedok
LE QUEST 99 Years Leasehold 626,861 1,323 108 West Region Bukit Batok
LE SOMME Freehold 680,000 1,373 1 Central Region Kallang
LEICESTER SUITES Freehold 731,500 1,618 2 Central Region Toa Payoh
LEVENUE Freehold 638,000 1,378 1 East Region Bedok
LINCOLN SUITES Freehold 1,000,000 2,161 1 Central Region Novena
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 695,000 1,845 1 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT @ STEVENS Freehold 810,000 1,835 1 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT@HOLLAND Freehold 770,000 2,104 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
M5 99 Yrs FROM 1995 921,000 1,989 3 Central Region Tanglin
MACKENZIE 138 Freehold 740,000 1,528 1 Central Region Rochor
MEDGE Freehold 710,000 1,534 1 Central Region Novena
MELOSA Freehold 553,875 1,279 4 Central Region Geylang
MILLAGE Freehold 680,000 1,545 2 Central Region Geylang
MOONSTONE ROYALE Freehold 557,000 1,176 1 Central Region Kallang
NATURA@HILLVIEW 999 Yrs FROM 1885 625,000 1,382 1 West Region Bukit Batok
NEEM TREE Freehold 692,678 1,650 1 Central Region Novena
NESS Freehold 581,000 1,255 1 Central Region Geylang
NEWTON EDGE Freehold 770,000 1,745 1 Central Region Novena
NIN RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2010 760,000 1,681 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
NORTH PARK RESIDENCES N.A. 620,000 1,440 1 North Region Yishun
NOTTINGHILL SUITES Freehold 606,667 1,523 3 Central Region Bukit Timah
OKIO Freehold 685,000 1,591 1 Central Region Novena
ONE DUSUN RESIDENCES Freehold 745,000 1,538 1 Central Region Novena
OPAL SUITES Freehold 550,000 1,345 1 Central Region Kallang
OPTIMA @ TANAH MERAH 99 Yrs FROM 2008 676,000 1,396 1 East Region Bedok
PALMERA EAST Freehold 632,000 1,468 1 East Region Bedok
PARC BLEU Freehold 590,000 1,275 1 East Region Bedok
PARC BOTANNIA 99 Years Leasehold 567,673 1,319 52 North East Region Sengkang
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 615,750 1,315 4 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 550,000 1,381 2 East Region Bedok
PARC IMPERIAL Freehold 673,500 1,666 5 Central Region Queenstown
PARC OLYMPIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 536,000 1,083 3 East Region Pasir Ris
PARC RIVIERA 99 Years Leasehold 587,667 1,270 9 West Region Clementi
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 519,500 1,207 8 North Region Woodlands
PARC SOPHIA Freehold 870,000 1,837 2 Central Region Rochor
PARK RESIDENCES KOVAN Freehold 561,500 1,581 2 North East Region Hougang
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 440,000 1,076 2 Central Region Outram
PRESTIGE HEIGHTS Freehold 557,786 1,554 7 Central Region Novena
PRIME RESIDENCE Freehold 510,000 1,281 1 Central Region Geylang
PRIMEDGE Freehold 612,000 1,354 1 Central Region Geylang
PRIMO RESIDENCES Freehold 570,000 1,292 1 North East Region Hougang
PRINCIPAL GARDEN 99 Years Leasehold 872,882 1,779 76 Central Region Bukit Merah
QUBE SUITES Freehold 611,888 1,458 1 East Region Bedok
QUEENS PEAK 99 Years Leasehold 822,522 1,783 47 Central Region Queenstown
QUESTA @ DUNMAN Freehold 670,000 1,556 1 Central Region Geylang
REGENT RESIDENCES Freehold 663,000 1,621 2 Central Region Kallang
RESIDENCES 88 Freehold 568,000 1,287 1 East Region Bedok
REZI 26 Freehold 620,944 1,391 2 Central Region Geylang
REZI 35 Freehold 729,810 1,615 4 Central Region Geylang
RIPPLE BAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 564,609 1,166 6 East Region Pasir Ris
RIVERBANK @ FERNVALE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 620,000 1,252 1 North East Region Sengkang
RIVERSOUND RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 550,000 1,161 2 North East Region Sengkang
ROBERTSON EDGE 999 Yrs FROM 1841 844,000 1,867 2 Central Region River Valley
ROBIN SUITES Freehold 980,000 2,117 2 Central Region Tanglin
RV EDGE Freehold 783,333 1,866 3 Central Region Tanglin
RV POINT 999 Yrs FROM 1841 865,000 1,869 1 Central Region Singapore River
RV RESIDENCES 999 Yrs FROM 1877 976,620 2,160 1 Central Region Tanglin
RV SUITES Freehold 888,888 1,795 1 Central Region Tanglin
SEAHILL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 680,000 1,373 1 West Region Clementi
SILVERSCAPE Freehold 545,000 1,332 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS EDGE Freehold 580,000 1,418 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS URBAN OASIS 99 Yrs FROM 2014 739,000 1,526 3 Central Region Geylang
SKIES MILTONIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 584,444 1,207 2 North Region Yishun
SKY GREEN Freehold 735,000 1,552 1 Central Region Geylang
SKY VUE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 830,000 1,676 1 Central Region Bishan
SKYLINE RESIDENCES Freehold 963,000 1,988 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
SKYSUITES17 Freehold 690,000 1,832 1 Central Region Novena
SKYSUITES@ANSON 99 Yrs FROM 2008 920,434 2,439 42 Central Region Downtown Core
SOHO 188 Freehold 650,000 1,438 1 Central Region Rochor
SOHO @ FARRER Freehold 650,000 1,342 1 Central Region Rochor
SOL ACRES 99 Years Leasehold 403,857 816 42 West Region Choa Chu Kang
SPOTTISWOODE 18 Freehold 811,178 2,093 5 Central Region Bukit Merah
SPOTTISWOODE SUITES Freehold 1,053,333 2,382 12 Central Region Bukit Merah
STRAITS RESIDENCES Freehold 630,000 1,463 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES 28 Freehold 530,000 1,231 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ EASTCOAST Freehold 549,000 1,457 2 East Region Bedok
SUITES @ EUNOS Freehold 580,000 1,585 1 East Region Bedok
SUITES @ KOVAN Freehold 542,500 1,483 2 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR Freehold 568,500 1,409 2 North East Region Hougang
SUITES AT BUKIT TIMAH Freehold 635,000 1,597 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
SUITES@ KATONG Freehold 568,000 1,319 1 Central Region Marine Parade
SUITES@BRADDELL Freehold 550,000 1,381 1 North East Region Serangoon
SUITES@CHANGI Freehold 530,000 1,296 1 Central Region Geylang
SUNSHINE REGENCY Freehold 562,000 1,243 1 Central Region Marine Parade
SYCAMORE TREE Freehold 626,000 1,492 2 Central Region Marine Parade
THE ASANA Freehold 1,021,926 2,566 3 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE CLIFT 99 Yrs FROM 2004 972,500 1,964 4 Central Region Downtown Core
THE COTZ Freehold 500,000 1,255 1 East Region Bedok
THE CREEK @ BUKIT Freehold 846,087 1,853 7 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE GLADES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 789,280 1,629 10 East Region Bedok
THE HILLFORD 60 Yrs FROM 2013 492,500 1,237 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE INTERWEAVE Freehold 585,000 1,545 4 Central Region Novena
THE LENOX Freehold 590,000 1,442 1 East Region Bedok
THE LINE @ TANJONG RHU Freehold 1,060,067 2,525 6 Central Region Kallang
THE NAUTICAL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 555,000 1,322 1 North Region Sembawang
THE PALETTE 99 Yrs FROM 2010 605,000 1,222 1 East Region Pasir Ris
THE POIZ RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 632,667 1,483 3 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE PROMENADE@PELIKAT Freehold 601,500 1,300 2 North East Region Hougang
THE RED HOUSE Freehold 750,000 1,584 1 Central Region Marine Parade
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 734,000 1,533 2 North East Region Serangoon
THE TEMBUSU Freehold 755,000 1,594 1 North East Region Hougang
THE URBANITE Freehold 705,000 1,456 2 Central Region Kallang
THE VUE Freehold 574,250 1,343 4 North East Region Serangoon
THE WATER EDGE Freehold 601,575 1,373 4 Central Region Geylang
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS 99 Years Leasehold 793,241 1,714 21 Central Region Bishan
THOMSON V ONE 99 Yrs FROM 2001 560,000 1,334 1 Central Region Bishan
TREASURES @ G20 Freehold 510,000 1,215 2 Central Region Geylang
TREESCAPE Freehold 670,800 1,558 1 East Region Bedok
TREVISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2008 680,000 1,469 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
TYRWHITT 139 Freehold 645,000 1,451 2 Central Region Kallang
URBAN VISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 632,000 1,432 1 East Region Bedok
VACANZA @ EAST Freehold 658,750 1,360 2 East Region Bedok
VIBES @ EAST COAST Freehold 579,333 1,438 3 East Region Bedok
VIBES @ KOVAN Freehold 555,000 1,290 2 North East Region Hougang
VIBES@UPPER SERANGOON Freehold 590,000 1,442 1 North East Region Serangoon
VIENTO Freehold 571,250 1,250 4 Central Region Geylang
VIIO @ BALESTIER Freehold 816,354 1,724 1 Central Region Novena
VIVA VISTA Freehold 604,167 1,547 6 Central Region Queenstown
VIVACE 999 Yrs FROM 1841 838,000 2,104 1 Central Region River Valley
WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 99 Yrs FROM 2009 767,500 1,585 4 Central Region Geylang
ZEDGE Freehold 770,000 1,555 1 Central Region Novena

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