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
10 SHELFORD Freehold 750,000 1,659 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
16 @ AMBER Freehold 710,000 1,691 1 Central Region Marine Parade
24 ONE RESIDENCES Freehold 873,650 1,804 8 Central Region Queenstown
26 NEWTON Freehold 1,194,672 2,516 26 Central Region Novena
6 DERBYSHIRE Freehold 1,171,677 2,474 4 Central Region Novena
8@WOODLEIGH 99 Yrs FROM 2008 570,000 1,431 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
AIRSTREAM Freehold 655,000 1,323 1 Central Region Kallang
ALEX RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 988,955 2,088 17 Central Region Bukit Merah
ALEXIS Freehold 679,500 1,729 6 Central Region Queenstown
AURALIS Freehold 645,000 1,349 2 East Region Bedok
BARTLEY RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 692,500 1,496 2 North East Region Serangoon
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 695,000 1,488 2 Central Region Toa Payoh
CARDIFF RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 552,500 1,317 2 North East Region Serangoon
CASA AERATA Freehold 559,592 1,285 5 Central Region Geylang
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 636,500 1,425 4 North East Region Serangoon
CASPIAN 99 Yrs FROM 2008 630,000 1,361 1 West Region Jurong West
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 653,500 1,518 2 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA LOFT Freehold 620,000 1,309 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA RESIDENCE Freehold 580,000 1,418 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA STUDIOS Freehold 642,888 1,327 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA SUITES Freehold 583,250 1,321 4 Central Region Geylang
CITY LOFT Freehold 500,000 1,498 1 Central Region Kallang
CITY SUITES Freehold 805,500 1,782 4 Central Region Novena
CLEMENTI PARK Freehold 578,000 1,193 1 West Region Clementi
COMMONWEALTH TOWERS 99 Yrs FROM 2013 867,334 1,892 105 Central Region Queenstown
CORALIS Freehold 860,000 1,737 1 Central Region Marine Parade
CRADELS Freehold 671,000 1,520 3 Central Region Novena
D'NEST 99 Yrs FROM 2010 599,833 1,238 6 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 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 724,500 1,642 8 Central Region Kallang
ESPADA Freehold 877,000 2,408 7 Central Region River Valley
ESPIRA SUITES Freehold 667,500 1,378 2 East Region Bedok
ESTILO Freehold 835,560 1,688 1 Central Region Rochor
FORESQUE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 609,000 1,316 2 West Region Bukit Panjang
FULCRUM Freehold 969,461 2,032 13 Central Region Kallang
GEM RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 804,714 1,694 7 Central Region Toa Payoh
GRANDEUR PARK RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 653,750 1,508 4 East Region Bedok
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 673,000 1,525 1 Central Region Geylang
HAIG 162 Freehold 602,500 1,475 2 Central Region Marine Parade
HERITAGE EAST Freehold 576,667 1,397 3 East Region Bedok
HILBRE28 999 Yrs FROM 1876 780,000 1,575 1 North East Region Hougang
HILLION RESIDENCES N.A. 707,059 1,506 97 West Region Bukit Panjang
HUNDRED TREES 956 Yrs FROM 1928 700,000 1,445 1 West Region Clementi
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
KENG LEE COURT Freehold 600,000 1,267 1 Central Region Kallang
KOVAN GRANDEUR 99 Yrs FROM 2010 484,000 1,286 2 North East Region Hougang
LA BRISA Freehold 574,667 1,259 3 Central Region Geylang
LA FIESTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 642,500 1,422 2 North East Region Sengkang
LA FLEUR Freehold 550,088 1,188 1 Central Region Geylang
LA VIDA @ 130 Freehold 630,000 1,361 1 East Region Bedok
LAVERNE'S LOFT Freehold 561,000 1,354 2 East Region Bedok
LE QUEST 99 Years Leasehold 626,103 1,322 107 West Region Bukit Batok
LE REGAL Freehold 514,000 1,321 2 Central Region Geylang
LE SOMME Freehold 680,000 1,373 1 Central Region Kallang
LEICESTER SUITES Freehold 732,500 1,566 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
LIV ON WILKIE Freehold 978,000 2,163 2 Central Region Rochor
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 814,333 1,880 3 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 926,000 1,955 1 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 560,250 1,285 2 Central Region Geylang
MILLAGE Freehold 680,000 1,620 1 Central Region Geylang
MOONSTONE ROYALE Freehold 557,000 1,176 1 Central Region Kallang
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 575,000 1,444 2 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 682,444 1,409 2 East Region Bedok
PALMERA EAST Freehold 612,333 1,422 3 East Region Bedok
PARC BLEU Freehold 590,000 1,275 1 East Region Bedok
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 624,000 1,333 4 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 537,500 1,332 2 East Region Bedok
PARC IMPERIAL Freehold 674,083 1,694 6 Central Region Queenstown
PARC OLYMPIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 536,000 1,083 3 East Region Pasir Ris
PARC RIVIERA 99 Years Leasehold 588,545 1,271 11 West Region Clementi
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 517,625 1,202 8 North Region Woodlands
PARC SOPHIA Freehold 860,000 1,816 1 Central Region Rochor
PARK PLACE RESIDENCES AT PLQ 99 Years Leasehold 904,411 1,867 51 Central Region Geylang
PARK RESIDENCES KOVAN Freehold 557,000 1,568 3 North East Region Hougang
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 420,000 1,027 1 Central Region Outram
PRESTIGE HEIGHTS Freehold 556,500 1,547 6 Central Region Novena
PRIMO RESIDENCES Freehold 570,000 1,292 1 North East Region Hougang
PRINCIPAL GARDEN 99 Years Leasehold 840,053 1,709 74 Central Region Bukit Merah
QUBE SUITES Freehold 611,888 1,458 1 East Region Bedok
QUEENS PEAK 99 Years Leasehold 807,864 1,763 77 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
RIPPLE BAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 568,094 1,173 7 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 551,888 1,165 1 North East Region Sengkang
RIZ HAVEN 946 Yrs FROM 1938 552,000 1,221 1 East Region Pasir Ris
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 805,000 1,859 4 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
SILVERSCAPE Freehold 655,000 1,383 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS URBAN OASIS 99 Yrs FROM 2014 718,284 1,512 8 Central Region Geylang
SKIES MILTONIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 567,000 1,171 1 North Region Yishun
SKY GREEN Freehold 726,500 1,467 1 Central Region Geylang
SKYLINE RESIDENCES Freehold 937,667 1,936 3 Central Region Bukit Merah
SKYSUITES@ANSON 99 Yrs FROM 2008 925,005 2,435 32 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 401,578 811 45 West Region Choa Chu Kang
SOLEIL @ SINARAN 99 Yrs FROM 2006 938,000 1,894 1 Central Region Novena
SPACE @ KOVAN Freehold 605,000 1,441 1 North East Region Serangoon
SPOTTISWOODE 18 Freehold 801,963 2,069 3 Central Region Bukit Merah
SPOTTISWOODE SUITES Freehold 1,052,577 2,377 14 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 543,250 1,474 4 East Region Bedok
SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 510,000 1,579 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ KOVAN Freehold 542,500 1,483 2 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ NEWTON Freehold 924,000 1,908 2 Central Region Novena
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR Freehold 568,500 1,409 2 North East Region Hougang
SUITES AT BUKIT TIMAH Freehold 595,000 1,626 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
SUITES@ KATONG Freehold 638,000 1,347 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
TEMBELING RESIDENCE Freehold 633,000 1,508 1 Central Region Marine Parade
THE ASANA Freehold 1,021,389 2,565 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE AXIS Freehold 590,000 1,481 1 Central Region Novena
THE CLIFT 99 Yrs FROM 2004 972,000 1,963 5 Central Region Downtown Core
THE CREEK @ BUKIT Freehold 830,436 1,824 13 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE GLADES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 771,842 1,609 19 East Region Bedok
THE HILLFORD 60 Yrs FROM 2013 492,500 1,237 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE INTERWEAVE Freehold 584,000 1,535 5 Central Region Novena
THE LINE @ TANJONG RHU Freehold 1,032,520 2,460 5 Central Region Kallang
THE POIZ RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 645,833 1,534 18 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE RED HOUSE Freehold 750,000 1,584 1 Central Region Marine Parade
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 733,333 1,537 3 North East Region Serangoon
THE SERENNO Freehold 676,000 1,396 1 Central Region Geylang
THE TEMBUSU Freehold 755,000 1,594 1 North East Region Hougang
THE URBANITE Freehold 700,000 1,445 2 Central Region Kallang
THE VUE Freehold 567,400 1,338 5 North East Region Serangoon
THE WATER EDGE Freehold 571,575 1,378 4 Central Region Geylang
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS 99 Years Leasehold 784,841 1,696 24 Central Region Bishan
TREASURES @ G20 Freehold 513,333 1,223 3 Central Region Geylang
TREASURES@G6 Freehold 542,000 1,325 1 Central Region Geylang
TREESCAPE Freehold 670,800 1,558 1 East Region Bedok
TYRWHITT 139 Freehold 636,667 1,482 3 Central Region Kallang
URBAN VISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 632,000 1,432 1 East Region Bedok
V ON SHENTON 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,020,000 2,311 1 Central Region Downtown Core
VACANZA @ EAST Freehold 670,000 1,383 1 East Region Bedok
VIBES @ EAST COAST Freehold 557,500 1,468 2 East Region Bedok
VIBES @ KOVAN Freehold 555,000 1,290 2 North East Region Hougang
VIENTO Freehold 566,667 1,255 3 Central Region Geylang
VIIO @ BALESTIER Freehold 803,177 1,696 2 Central Region Novena
VIVA VISTA Freehold 573,333 1,483 3 Central Region Queenstown
WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 99 Yrs FROM 2009 746,600 1,541 5 Central Region Geylang
ZEDGE Freehold 770,000 1,555 1 Central Region Novena

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