Cuscaden Peak’s Nassim Road GCBs draw at least 3 bids

One of the three properties in Nassim Road which were put on the market with an asking price of $5,200 psf on land area. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - At least three bids came in for the freehold good class bungalows (GCBs) in Nassim Road owned by Cuscaden Peak Investments, formerly Singapore Press Holdings, according to marketing agent Realstar Premier.

The expression-of-interest exercise for the three properties, which were put on the market with an asking price of $5,200 per sq ft (psf) on land area, closed at 4pm on Nov 3.

Realstar founder William Wong told The Straits Times on Thursday: “There were at least three bids that came in. We will be evaluating all the offers with the board next week before any decision will be made.”

No information was given on the bids on Thursday.

Mr Steve Tay, senior associate vice-president at List Sotheby’s International Realty, said: “The expression-of-interest exercise is probably aimed at gauging how the market will react to $5,200 psf.

“If the three plots sell above $5,000 psf, it will set a new record for GCB redevelopment land costs and elevate land values in other nearby GCB areas.”

The bungalows sit on more than 15,000 sq ft of land each in the ultra-prime Nassim Road GCB area, with a price tag of between $79 million and $80 million each.

The $5,200 psf asking price is 30 per cent above the $4,005 psf record price set in March 2021 by Nanofilm Technologies International founder Shi Xu’s wife, Madam Jin Xiao Qun, for an old bungalow on a 32,159 sq ft site in Nassim Road. 

Mr Tay said that Cuscaden’s three GCB plots likely generated a lot of interest as fewer than four GCB plots in Nassim Road have been sold in the past five years.

But he noted that GCB sales momentum has slowed in 2022 in the face of rising interest rates, inflation and heightened macro-economic uncertainty.

“There’s not much Fomo (fear of missing out) this year” as a new supply of GCBs is going on the market at much higher prices, Mr Tay said.

He added that the owners of a nearby two-storey conservation GCB in Nassim Road, which used to house the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, will likely be eyeing the results of Cuscaden’s tender.

The 58,784 sq ft property was put up for sale in 2019 at an indicative price of around $175 million, or about $3,000 psf on land area.

Cuscaden Peak Investments is a subsidiary of Cuscaden Peak, a consortium made up of three shareholders – Hotel Properties Limited, Mapletree Investments and CLA Real Estate Holdings.

In addition to the three GCB plots in Nassim Road, Cuscaden also owns a leasehold bungalow in Yarwood Avenue, according to a Feb 28 document on Cuscaden’s proposed acquisition of SPH by way of a scheme of arrangement.

“The appraised valuation for the four good class bungalows collectively as at Aug 31, 2021 is $144.1 million,” the document said.

Mr Tay said: “They could be focusing on getting the highest price possible for the Nassim GCBs first. If successful, this could help boost the Yarwood Avenue property’s value.”

Based on transactions in URA Realis, List Sotheby’s said that there were 12 GCB area deals totalling $357.75 million in the third quarter of 2022, down from 23 deals totalling $634.54 million in the third quarter of 2021.

For the first nine months of 2022, there were 40 deals totalling $1.049 billion, down from 78 deals worth $2.232 billion in the same period in 2021.

Mr Lewis Cha, executive director of List Sotheby’s, said: “It is clear that the luxury homes sector has slowed down in 2022, which is unsurprising given geopolitical uncertainties, the hike in interest rates and global recession risk.”

The slowdown in deals in 2022 is also due to a price mismatch between sellers and buyers, he added.

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