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
5 Mar 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
3 Nov 2018 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,728,000 3,733 Central River Valley
17 Jan 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,625,000 3,594 Central River Valley
11 Dec 2018 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,658,000 3,582 Central River Valley
6 Mar 2019 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,648,000 3,561 Central River Valley
5 Nov 2018 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 452 1,605,000 3,550 Central River Valley
3 Nov 2018 3 CUSCADEN Freehold 463 1,638,000 3,539 Central River Valley

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 798,000 1,765 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
18 WOODSVILLE Freehold 805,000 1,626 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
1953 Freehold 868,000 1,967 1 Central Region Kallang
3 CUSCADEN Freehold 1,644,988 3,585 16 Central Region River Valley
8 SAINT THOMAS Freehold 1,442,738 3,311 4 Central Region River Valley
AFFINITY AT SERANGOON 99 Years Leasehold 713,972 1,505 71 North East Region Serangoon
AIRSTREAM Freehold 640,000 1,351 1 Central Region Kallang
ALEXIS Freehold 707,963 1,794 3 Central Region Queenstown
BARTLEY RIDGE 99 Yrs FROM 2012 749,000 1,568 2 Central Region Toa Payoh
CARDIFF RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2011 582,500 1,388 2 North East Region Serangoon
CASA AL MARE Freehold 784,500 1,620 2 East Region Pasir Ris
CASA CAMBIO Freehold 731,500 1,510 2 North East Region Serangoon
CAVAN SUITES Freehold 595,000 1,626 1 Central Region Kallang
CENTRA HEIGHTS Freehold 676,694 1,612 2 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA RESIDENCE Freehold 610,000 1,349 1 Central Region Geylang
CENTRA SUITES Freehold 614,000 1,392 2 Central Region Geylang
CITIGATE RESIDENCE Freehold 612,000 1,387 1 Central Region Kallang
CITY GATE 99 Yrs FROM 2014 935,000 2,068 1 Central Region Kallang
COCO PALMS 99 Yrs FROM 2008 645,250 1,394 4 East Region Pasir Ris
COMMONWEALTH TOWERS 99 Yrs FROM 2013 900,000 2,039 1 Central Region Queenstown
COSMO Freehold 650,000 1,548 1 Central Region Geylang
CRADELS Freehold 708,000 1,604 1 Central Region Novena
DEVONSHIRE RESIDENCES Freehold 1,200,000 2,424 1 Central Region River Valley
DUNEARN SUITES Freehold 759,000 1,809 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
EASTWOOD REGENCY Freehold 520,000 1,271 1 East Region Bedok
EDENZ SUITES Freehold 635,000 1,341 1 Central Region Geylang
EIGHT RIVERSUITES 99 Yrs FROM 2011 716,500 1,624 2 Central Region Kallang
EIS RESIDENCES Freehold 555,000 1,432 1 Central Region Marine Parade
ESPIRA SUITES Freehold 700,000 1,478 1 East Region Bedok
FOURTH AVENUE RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 1,147,167 2,373 12 Central Region Bukit Timah
GUILLEMARD EDGE Freehold 730,000 1,541 1 Central Region Geylang
HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 99 Yrs FROM 2010 545,970 1,127 4 East Region Pasir Ris
HERITAGE EAST Freehold 620,000 1,252 1 East Region Bedok
HIGH PARK RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 510,000 1,247 4 North East Region Sengkang
HILLION RESIDENCES N.A. 805,000 1,739 2 West Region Bukit Panjang
HUNDRED TREES 956 Yrs FROM 1928 788,000 1,627 1 West Region Clementi
ILLUMINAIRE ON DEVONSHIRE Freehold 939,000 2,128 1 Central Region River Valley
IMPERIAL HEIGHTS Freehold 600,000 1,327 1 Central Region Geylang
J GATEWAY 99 Yrs FROM 2012 850,000 1,795 1 West Region Jurong East
JEWEL @ BUANGKOK 99 Yrs FROM 2012 669,250 1,390 4 North East Region Sengkang
JUI RESIDENCES Freehold 804,897 1,780 6 Central Region Kallang
KENT RIDGE HILL RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 806,385 1,702 39 Central Region Queenstown
LA BRISA Freehold 645,000 1,427 1 Central Region Geylang
LA FIESTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 647,500 1,432 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 QUEST 99 Years Leasehold 719,500 1,453 2 West Region Bukit Batok
LEICESTER SUITES Freehold 742,500 1,604 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
LINCOLN SUITES Freehold 1,170,000 2,470 1 Central Region Novena
LOFT @ NATHAN Freehold 815,000 1,803 1 Central Region Tanglin
[email protected] Freehold 825,000 2,472 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
M5 99 Yrs FROM 1995 960,000 2,175 1 Central Region Tanglin
MARGARET VILLE 99 Years Leasehold 935,575 2,022 3 Central Region Queenstown
MAYFAIR GARDENS 99 Yrs FROM 1983 1,007,000 2,034 2 Central Region Bukit Timah
METRO LOFT Freehold 668,000 1,514 1 Central Region Geylang
NEEM TREE Freehold 872,523 1,930 1 Central Region Novena
NIN RESIDENCE 99 Yrs FROM 2010 729,000 1,539 1 Central Region Toa Payoh
NOTTINGHILL SUITES Freehold 650,000 1,632 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
NYON Freehold 1,218,000 2,515 1 Central Region Marine Parade
OXLEY EDGE Freehold 880,000 2,210 1 Central Region River Valley
PARC CENTROS 99 Yrs FROM 2012 632,000 1,345 3 North East Region Punggol
PARC ELEGANCE Freehold 616,933 1,448 3 East Region Bedok
PARC ESTA 99 Years Leasehold 775,591 1,774 115 Central Region Geylang
PARC IMPERIAL Freehold 683,000 1,621 4 Central Region Queenstown
PARC ROSEWOOD 99 Yrs FROM 2011 520,750 1,210 4 North Region Woodlands
PARK COLONIAL 99 Years Leasehold 847,429 1,831 7 Central Region Toa Payoh
PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 99 Yrs FROM 1968 510,000 1,102 1 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
REGENT RESIDENCES Freehold 660,000 1,614 1 Central Region Kallang
REZI 24 Freehold 751,000 1,517 1 Central Region Geylang
RIPPLE BAY 99 Yrs FROM 2011 576,800 1,191 5 East Region Pasir Ris
RIVERFRONT RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 627,981 1,357 54 North East Region Hougang
ROBERTSON EDGE 999 Yrs FROM 1841 930,000 1,964 1 Central Region River Valley
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 565,000 1,346 1 Central Region Geylang
RV ALTITUDE Freehold 1,349,857 3,059 7 Central Region River Valley
RV EDGE Freehold 835,000 1,989 1 Central Region Tanglin
SEAHILL 99 Yrs FROM 2011 705,000 1,424 1 West Region Clementi
SIGLAP V Freehold 630,000 1,272 1 East Region Bedok
SILVERSCAPE Freehold 570,000 1,394 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS EDGE Freehold 638,000 1,560 1 Central Region Geylang
SIMS URBAN OASIS 99 Yrs FROM 2014 780,000 1,647 1 Central Region Geylang
SKY GREEN Freehold 770,000 1,626 1 Central Region Geylang
SKY VUE 99 Yrs FROM 2013 822,800 1,699 1 Central Region Bishan
SMART SUITES Freehold 658,000 1,455 1 Central Region Geylang
SPOTTISWOODE 18 Freehold 853,000 2,201 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
SPOTTISWOODE SUITES Freehold 1,080,000 2,447 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
STELLAR RV Freehold 850,000 1,880 1 Central Region Tanglin
STIRLING RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 923,000 2,092 2 Central Region Queenstown
SUITES 123 Freehold 668,000 1,349 1 Central Region Kallang
SUITES @ GUILLEMARD Freehold 580,000 1,225 1 Central Region Geylang
SUITES @ KOVAN Freehold 560,000 1,530 1 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR Freehold 550,000 1,481 2 North East Region Hougang
SUITES @ TOPAZ Freehold 553,000 1,468 1 Central Region Kallang
SUITES AT BUKIT TIMAH Freehold 595,000 1,579 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
SUITES DE LAUREL 999 Yrs FROM 1885 725,000 1,531 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
[email protected] Freehold 582,000 1,386 1 North East Region Serangoon
[email protected] Freehold 572,944 1,401 2 Central Region Geylang
THE COTZ Freehold 530,000 1,331 1 East Region Bedok
THE CREEK @ BUKIT Freehold 785,000 1,696 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE ENCLAVE . HOLLAND Freehold 1,126,000 2,682 1 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE FLORENCE RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 709,500 1,472 10 North East Region Hougang
THE FORESTA @ MOUNT FABER Freehold 830,000 1,928 1 Central Region Bukit Merah
THE GARDEN RESIDENCES 99 Years Leasehold 702,271 1,550 20 North East Region Serangoon
THE HILLFORD 60 Yrs FROM 2013 478,841 1,202 7 Central Region Bukit Timah
THE INFLORA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 529,444 1,144 2 East Region Pasir Ris
THE INTERWEAVE Freehold 698,000 1,621 1 Central Region Novena
THE JOVELL 99 Years Leasehold 610,000 1,358 11 East Region Pasir Ris
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 PANORAMA 99 Yrs FROM 2013 697,500 1,581 2 North East Region Ang Mo Kio
THE SCALA 99 Yrs FROM 2010 776,667 1,640 3 North East Region Serangoon
THE SORRENTO 755,000 1,631 1
THE TAPESTRY 99 Years Leasehold 670,395 1,492 21 East Region Tampines
THE TRE VER 99 Years Leasehold 776,898 1,572 51 Central Region Toa Payoh
THE VERVE Freehold 625,000 1,416 1 Central Region Novena
THE VUE Freehold 590,000 1,405 1 North East Region Serangoon
THE WATER EDGE Freehold 555,000 1,432 1 Central Region Geylang
THOMSON V TWO Freehold 650,000 1,632 1 Central Region Bishan
TRE RESIDENCES 99 Yrs FROM 2014 720,000 1,715 1 Central Region Geylang
TREASURE AT TAMPINES 99 Years Leasehold 634,427 1,362 82 East Region Tampines
TROPIKA EAST Freehold 655,000 1,415 1 East Region Bedok
TYRWHITT 139 Freehold 600,000 1,639 1 Central Region Kallang
URBAN VISTA 99 Yrs FROM 2012 650,000 1,473 1 East Region Bedok
V ON SHENTON 99 Yrs FROM 2011 1,135,500 2,413 4 Central Region Downtown Core
VETRO 999 Yrs FROM 1882 565,000 1,193 1 Central Region Kallang
VIENTO Freehold 580,000 1,347 1 Central Region Geylang
VIVA VISTA Freehold 550,000 1,597 1 Central Region Queenstown
WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 99 Yrs FROM 2009 810,000 1,672 1 Central Region Geylang
WHISTLER GRAND 99 Years Leasehold 643,093 1,457 33 West Region Clementi

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