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
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 258 375,000 1,452 Central Geylang
9 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 391,000 1,514 Central Geylang
9 Nov 2009 SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 258 381,000 1,475 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
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

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
3,900,000 0 1
16 @ AMBER Freehold 732,500 1,745 2 Central Region Marine Parade
18 WOODSVILLE Freehold 860,000 1,737 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
26 NEWTON Freehold 1,244,740 2,628 1 Central Region Novena
38 I SUITES Freehold 780,000 1,610 1 Central Region Geylang
38 JERVOIS Freehold 1,158,201 2,446 4 Central Region Tanglin
448@EAST COAST Freehold 665,000 1,545 1 East Region Bedok
6 DERBYSHIRE Freehold 1,209,609 2,554 12 Central Region Novena
70@TRURO Freehold 917,408 1,853 4 Central Region Kallang
8 BASSEIN Freehold 815,444 1,849 2 Central Region Novena
8@WOODLEIGH 99 Yrs FROM 2008 660,000 1,657 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
ALEX RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2013 845,000 1,784 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
ALEXIS Freehold 701,250 1,749 4 Central Region Queenstown
ASPEN LINQ 999 Yrs FROM 1841 715,000 1,748 1 Central Region River Valley
AURALIS Freehold 726,000 1,569 2 East Region Bedok
AVANT AT ALJUNIED 99 Yrs FROM 2012 705,550 1,772 2 Central Region Geylang
BARTLEY RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 687,167 1,485 6 North East Region Serangoon
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 696,125 1,510 8 Central Region Toa Payoh
BELLA CASITA Freehold 690,000 1,491 1 Central Region Geylang
CARDIFF RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 566,667 1,328 3 North East Region Serangoon
CASA AERATA Freehold 553,972 1,321 4 Central Region Geylang
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 663,875 1,487 8 North East Region Serangoon
CAVAN SUITES Freehold 575,000 1,696 2 Central Region Kallang
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 682,667 1,548 3 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA STUDIOS Freehold 575,000 1,486 5 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA SUITES Freehold 600,000 1,360 1 Central Region Geylang
CITY LOFT Freehold 533,250 1,478 2 Central Region Kallang
CITY SUITES Freehold 832,344 1,723 20 Central Region Novena
CRADELS Freehold 669,000 1,516 1 Central Region Novena
D'NEST 99 Yrs FROM 2010 629,143 1,299 7 East Region Pasir Ris
D'ZIRE 999 Yrs FROM 1875 565,000 1,312 1 North East Region Hougang
DOMUS Freehold 854,000 1,803 2 Central Region Novena
DORSETT RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2009 1,000,000 2,064 1 Central Region Outram
EASTWOOD REGENCY Freehold 520,000 1,239 1 East Region Bedok
ECHELON 99 Yrs FROM 2012 935,000 2,068 3 Central Region Bukit Merah
EDENZ SUITES Freehold 600,000 1,212 1 Central Region Geylang
EIGHT RIVERSUITES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 719,300 1,630 10 Central Region Kallang
ESPADA Freehold 970,000 2,678 3 Central Region River Valley
EVERITT EDGE Freehold 655,000 1,352 1 Central Region Geylang
FARRER PARK SUITES Freehold 640,000 1,699 1 Central Region Kallang
FORESQUE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 620,000 1,340 1 West Region Bukit Panjang
FRANKEL ESTATE Freehold 4,595,000 0 2 East Region Bedok
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 642,167 1,511 6 Central Region Geylang
HAIG 162 Freehold 651,667 1,469 3 Central Region Marine Parade
HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 99 Yrs FROM 2010 530,000 1,095 3 East Region Pasir Ris
HERITAGE EAST Freehold 577,500 1,434 2 East Region Bedok
HERITAGE RESIDENCES Freehold 545,000 1,235 1 East Region Bedok
HILLCREST ARCADIA 99 Yrs FROM 1975 580,000 1,283 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
HILLION RESIDENCES N.A. 771,154 1,643 13 West Region Bukit Panjang
IDYLLIC SUITES Freehold 565,000 1,281 2 Central Region Geylang
ILLUMINAIRE ON DEVONSHIRE Freehold 938,500 2,127 2 Central Region River Valley
IMPERIAL HEIGHTS Freehold 675,000 1,493 1 Central Region Geylang
ISUITES @ PALM 999 Yrs FROM 1878 583,000 1,291 3 North East Region Hougang
J GATEWAY 99 Yrs FROM 2012 855,000 1,768 2 West Region Jurong East
JOOL SUITES Freehold 661,667 1,551 3 Central Region Kallang
KANDIS RESIDENCE 99 Years Leasehold 649,323 1,326 6 North Region Sembawang
KEMBANGAN SUITES Freehold 690,000 1,394 1 East Region Bedok
KENT RESIDENCES Freehold 585,000 1,430 2 Central Region Kallang
KINGSFORD WATERBAY 99 Yrs FROM 2014 642,000 1,325 1 North East Region Hougang
KOVAN GRANDEUR 99 Yrs FROM 2010 485,000 1,325 1 North East Region Hougang
LA FIESTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 648,000 1,433 1 North East Region Sengkang
LA FLEUR Freehold 528,500 1,243 2 Central Region Geylang
LAVERNE'S LOFT Freehold 566,333 1,385 3 East Region Bedok
LE REGAL Freehold 509,000 1,197 2 Central Region Geylang
LEICESTER SUITES Freehold 728,333 1,575 3 Central Region Toa Payoh
LEVENUE Freehold 660,000 1,353 3 East Region Bedok
LIIV RESIDENCES Freehold 824,100 1,821 5 Central Region Queenstown
LINCOLN SUITES Freehold 1,100,000 2,323 1 Central Region Novena
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 856,000 1,851 3 Central Region Tanglin
LOFT@HOLLAND Freehold 800,000 2,477 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
MACKENZIE 138 Freehold 720,000 1,672 1 Central Region Rochor
MACKENZIE 88 Freehold 765,000 1,692 1 Central Region Rochor
MELOSA Freehold 578,000 1,301 4 Central Region Geylang
METRO LOFT Freehold 657,500 1,391 2 Central Region Geylang
MOUNT SOPHIA SUITES Freehold 860,000 1,737 1 Central Region Rochor
MOUNTBATTEN LODGE Freehold 609,000 1,714 1 Central Region Marine Parade
NEEM TREE Freehold 777,324 1,766 8 Central Region Novena
NESS Freehold 525,333 1,356 1 Central Region Geylang
NEWTON EDGE Freehold 892,500 1,973 2 Central Region Novena
NOTTINGHILL SUITES Freehold 630,000 1,582 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
OKIO Freehold 705,000 1,679 1 Central Region Novena
ONE DUSUN RESIDENCES Freehold 700,000 1,548 1 Central Region Novena
ONEROBEY 999 Yrs FROM 1875 610,000 1,453 1 North East Region Hougang
OPAL SUITES Freehold 580,000 1,348 2 Central Region Kallang
OPTIMA @ TANAH MERAH 99 Yrs FROM 2008 678,000 1,400 1 East Region Bedok
PARC BOTANNIA 99 Years Leasehold 573,851 1,333 67 North East Region Sengkang
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 650,000 1,404 2 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 571,250 1,353 4 East Region Bedok
PARC IMPERIAL Freehold 677,500 1,615 2 Central Region Queenstown
PARC OLYMPIA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 551,500 1,114 2 East Region Pasir Ris
PARC RIVIERA 99 Years Leasehold 602,500 1,302 4 West Region Clementi
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 522,444 1,213 9 North Region Woodlands
PARC SOPHIA Freehold 879,000 1,856 2 Central Region Rochor
PARK PLACE RESIDENCES AT PLQ 99 Years Leasehold 1,048,590 2,165 39 Central Region Geylang
PARK RESIDENCES KOVAN Freehold 547,500 1,617 2 North East Region Hougang
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 510,000 1,247 1 Central Region Outram
PEPPERMINT GROVE Freehold 838,000 1,692 1 Central Region Novena
PRESTIGE HEIGHTS Freehold 564,875 1,569 4 Central Region Novena
PRESTO@UPPER SERANGOON Freehold 630,000 1,452 3 North East Region Serangoon
PRIME RESIDENCE Freehold 532,500 1,319 2 Central Region Geylang
PRINCIPAL GARDEN 99 Years Leasehold 934,667 1,926 3 Central Region Bukit Merah
QUBE SUITES Freehold 641,000 1,453 2 East Region Bedok
QUEENS PEAK 99 Years Leasehold 819,233 1,856 3 Central Region Queenstown
QUESTA @ DUNMAN Freehold 680,000 1,579 1 Central Region Geylang
REGENT RESIDENCES Freehold 676,296 1,653 3 Central Region Kallang
RESIDENCES @ SOMME Freehold 680,000 1,469 1 Central Region Kallang
REZI 26 Freehold 589,444 1,336 2 Central Region Geylang
REZI 35 Freehold 722,953 1,612 15 Central Region Geylang
RIPPLE BAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 531,667 1,097 3 East Region Pasir Ris
RIVERBANK @ FERNVALE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 583,333 1,178 3 North East Region Sengkang
RIVIERA 38 999 Yrs FROM 1882 620,000 1,371 1 Central Region Kallang
RV EDGE Freehold 779,333 1,938 3 Central Region Tanglin
RV RESIDENCES 999 Yrs FROM 1877 970,000 2,146 1 Central Region Tanglin
SEAHILL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 740,000 1,495 1 West Region Clementi
SILVERSCAPE Freehold 561,667 1,373 3 Central Region Geylang
SIMS EDGE Freehold 664,315 1,539 6 Central Region Geylang
SKY VUE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 826,829 1,686 7 Central Region Bishan
SKYLINE RESIDENCES Freehold 965,000 1,992 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
SKYSUITES17 Freehold 639,500 1,773 6 Central Region Novena
SKYSUITES@ANSON 99 Yrs FROM 2008 910,000 2,487 1 Central Region Downtown Core
SOHO 188 Freehold 670,000 1,596 1 Central Region Rochor
SOHO @ FARRER Freehold 680,000 1,373 1 Central Region Rochor
SOL ACRES 99 Years Leasehold 396,667 801 3 West Region Choa Chu Kang
SPOTTISWOODE 18 Freehold 826,667 2,134 3 Central Region Bukit Merah
SPOTTISWOODE SUITES Freehold 1,010,000 2,237 2 Central Region Bukit Merah
STRATUM 99 Yrs FROM 2012 572,888 1,298 1 East Region Pasir Ris
SUITES 28 Freehold 575,000 1,335 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ EASTCOAST Freehold 560,000 1,530 1 East Region Bedok
SUITES @ NEWTON Freehold 950,000 1,961 1 Central Region Novena
SUITES @ OWEN Freehold 703,000 1,555 1 Central Region Kallang
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR Freehold 508,000 1,348 1 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ SIMS Freehold 518,000 1,375 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ TOPAZ Freehold 505,000 1,340 1 Central Region Kallang
SUITES AT BUKIT TIMAH Freehold 675,000 1,568 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
SUITES@ KATONG Freehold 526,500 1,531 2 Central Region Marine Parade
SUITES@BRADDELL Freehold 550,000 1,419 1 North East Region Serangoon
SUITES@CHANGI Freehold 591,000 1,340 2 Central Region Geylang
THE ASANA Freehold 1,025,558 2,575 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE BENTLY RESIDENCES@KOVAN Freehold 700,000 1,586 1 North East Region Hougang
THE CLIFT 99 Yrs FROM 2004 1,000,000 2,020 1 Central Region Downtown Core
THE COTZ Freehold 545,250 1,315 4 East Region Bedok
THE CREEK @ BUKIT Freehold 795,000 1,718 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE EBONY Freehold 565,000 1,544 2 East Region Bedok
THE FORD @ HOLLAND Freehold 920,000 2,192 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE FORESTA @ MOUNT FABER Freehold 868,000 2,016 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
THE HILLFORD 60 Yrs FROM 2013 503,333 1,264 3 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE INFLORA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 534,375 1,155 8 East Region Pasir Ris
THE INTERWEAVE Freehold 673,000 1,525 1 Central Region Novena
THE LAKEFRONT RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2010 755,000 1,548 3 West Region Jurong West
THE LENOX Freehold 635,000 1,461 3 East Region Bedok
THE LINE @ TANJONG RHU Freehold 1,053,051 2,497 10 Central Region Kallang
THE LUXURIE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 611,667 1,353 3 North East Region Sengkang
THE NAUTICAL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 530,000 1,201 1 North Region Sembawang
THE PANORAMA 99 Yrs FROM 2013 720,000 1,593 1 North East Region Ang Mo Kio
THE POIZ RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 646,000 1,539 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE PROMENADE@PELIKAT Freehold 608,000 1,345 1 North East Region Hougang
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 755,000 1,577 2 North East Region Serangoon
THE TAPESTRY 99 Years Leasehold 666,940 1,446 150 East Region Tampines
THE VANDERLINT Freehold 620,000 1,477 1 Central Region Marine Parade
THE VERANDAH RESIDENCES Freehold 905,000 1,925 40 Central Region Queenstown
THE VERVE Freehold 690,000 1,563 1 Central Region Novena
THE VUE Freehold 550,000 1,277 1 North East Region Serangoon
THE WATER EDGE Freehold 572,750 1,371 2 Central Region Geylang
THOMSON IMPRESSIONS 99 Years Leasehold 808,700 1,747 1 Central Region Bishan
THREE 11 Freehold 750,000 1,515 1 Central Region Bishan
TREVISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2008 620,000 1,340 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
TYRWHITT 139 Freehold 681,200 1,406 1 Central Region Kallang
UP@ROBERTSON QUAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,188,888 2,569 1 Central Region Singapore River
V ON SHENTON 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,151,132 2,389 4 Central Region Downtown Core
VACANZA @ EAST Freehold 650,000 1,342 1 East Region Bedok
VETRO 999 Yrs FROM 1882 569,000 1,201 2 Central Region Kallang
VIBES @ EAST COAST Freehold 592,000 1,410 1 East Region Bedok
VIENTO Freehold 550,000 1,236 3 Central Region Geylang
VIVA VISTA Freehold 647,500 1,626 2 Central Region Queenstown
WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 99 Yrs FROM 2009 799,600 1,651 5 Central Region Geylang
WILKIE 80 Freehold 790,000 2,039 1 Central Region Rochor
ZEDGE Freehold 760,000 1,535 1 Central Region Novena

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