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Iconic seven 3-storey shophouses at Chinatown’s Trengganu Street hit market at S$88 million

An iconic block of seven adjoining 3-storey conservation shophouses at 20 Trengganu Street is up for sale for S$88 million through an Expression of Interest (EOI) exercise by real estate firm CBRE.

Previously in April 2022, CBRE listed the same shophouses via EOI, drawing over 50 inquiries from interested buyers across Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.

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SINGAPORE: CBRE, a real estate services and investment firm, has unveiled the availability of an iconic block comprising seven adjoining 3-storey conservation shophouses at 20 Trengganu Street.

This exclusive property is being offered for purchase through an Expression of Interest exercise (EOI), with bidding set to close on 7 February 2024, at 3 pm, as announced in a press statement on Thursday (4 Jan).

Spanning an impressive land area of 10,444 sq ft and boasting approximately 31,364 sq ft of floor space, this property’s allure extends beyond its sheer size.

Nestled within the vibrant Chinatown Historic District, CBRE said the property’s unique location contributes significantly to its appeal.

Adding to its allure, the property features seven shopfront units totalling around 1,300 sq ft, available for lease from the Chinatown Business Association (CBA).

Presently, the ground floor accommodates diverse retail outlets, including a supermarket, fruit stall, and a boutique retail clothing outlet, while the upper floors are leased to a renowned Chinese restaurant and a boutique hotel operator.

The indicative price tag for this coveted property stands at S$88 million (approx. US$66.3 million), approximately $2,806 psf based on the existing floor area.

“Foreigners are eligible to purchase with no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) or Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) imposed on the transaction,” said CBRE.

In updated regulations implemented on 27 April 2023, Singapore notably increased the ABSD for foreigners to 60 per cent, while Singapore citizens and permanent residents experienced a relatively smaller adjustment.

Notably, property buyers from specific nationalities, such as Americans, are excluded from Singapore’s ABSD tax increment targeting foreigners.

CBRE claims 2022 sales garnered attention from over 50 potential buyers, including from China and Hong Kong

In April 2022, CBRE similarly offered the shophouses for sale via EOI from potential buyers, with an indicative price of S$110 million, equivalent to a per-square-foot price of around S$3507.

Subsequently, another marketing agency, Savills, in June 2023, pursued the sale of the shophouses for the second time using a private treaty method, setting an indicative price of S$85 million, approximately S$2710 per square foot.

Separately, when interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao, CBRE disclosed that their marketing campaign for these shophouses in 2022 generated substantial interest, attracting over 50 inquiries from potential buyers in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.

However, the offers received fell short of the seller’s expectations, resulting in no final transactions.

Situated amidst the bustling streets of Trengganu, Smith, and Temple Streets, the property enjoys exceptional visibility with a triple frontage exceeding 100 meters.

“These are 3 of the 5 shopping streets in Chinatown that are converted into bustling street markets and bazaar during the festive seasons of Chinese New Year, offering a variety of traditional goods and snacks,” CBRE added.

According to Mr Clemence Lee, Executive Director of Capital Markets, Singapore at CBRE, the property’s rarity lies in its nature as one of the few remaining “shophouse blocks” in Singapore.

“Typically distinguished by a row of uniform and adjoining conservation shophouses sitting on an independent island block, these assets collectively exude a monumental and majestic ambiance with their impressive scale. ”

“Only a handful of such blocks remain in Singapore, i.e. 46-50 Mosque Street (Row of 12 shophouses) and 42-45 Mosque Street (Row of 10 shophouses), 17-33 Jalan Sultan (Row of 17 shophouses) and 161 Lavender Road (Row of 11 shophouses), all of which were previously brokered by CBRE,” Mr Lee added.

Mr Lee further highlighted the property’s potential for a multifaceted value-enhancement strategy, suggesting the conversion of ground floor units into restaurants or F&B kiosks, and reimagining upper floors for hotel, residential, or co-living spaces, subject to regulatory approvals.

He also noted ongoing rejuvenation projects nearby, spearheaded by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), aiming to invigorate neighbouring areas with dining concepts, co-working facilities, and cultural programs.

CBRE further commented on the positive recent market developments, including the US Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain interest rates, hinting at potential rate cuts in 2024, and Singapore’s plan to initiate a new 30-day visa-free arrangement with China. The firm anticipates an upsurge in investment activity and tourist arrivals throughout 2024.

“This places the incoming owner to be in a strong position to capitalise on potential rental upsides and capital appreciation in the mid to long-term horizon,” added Mr Lee.

Chinese investors drive spike in Singapore’s conservation shophouse transaction, prices surpass $7,000 psf

Earlier in 2023, There have been indicators that suggest the obvious signs of the influx of the influx of ultra-wealthy families from overseas, particularly from China to Singapore.

Despite Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denial claims that the city-state is set to attract nearly 3,500 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with a net worth exceeding US$1 million to become citizens this year, the local economy has since felt the impact of the influx of these HNWIs, such as the rising demand and property values.

According to EdgeProp.sg, these wealthy Chinese buyers even eyeing conservation shophouses in the CBD and Chinatown, driving the transaction to spike above $7,000 psf.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has only accorded approximately 6,500 shophouses in Singapore with conservation status, making this class of property extremely rare.

Shophouses are only granted “conservation status” if they possess distinctive architectural features which are of historical and cultural significance.

In April 2023, a 999-year leasehold, two-storey intermediate conservation shophouse along Amoy Street was sold for $21.8 million, which is $3.112 million (16.65%) higher than its last sale in November 2022.

The buyer, NC Properties, is said to be linked to Hong Kong’s New Century Group and has invested in conservation shophouses in the Telok Ayer and Circular Road neighbourhood.

Liberty House, a five-storey commercial building on a 999-year leasehold site of 7,180 sq ft with a gross floor area of 28,876 sq ft, was sold for $92.2 million.

The buyer is Union Property Holding, whose owner is Zhang Nie, the former Singapore head of Chinese oil trader Unipec. The price reflects $3,193 psf.

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no way it’s worth 88 million unless they tear it all down and build a private country club in the middle of chinatown. more money washing?

China is almost buying up SG!

The FuJian gang must be kicking themselves, … for gettin nabbed 3 months too early !!!

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