One of the largest bungalows in Wilkinson Road has been sold by two directors of several marine services firms that are in receivership.
The freehold home at 79, Wilkinson Road in Katong was bought for $30 million late last month by Mr Yeah Hiang Nam, managing director and chief executive of mainboard-listed pawnbroker ValueMax Group.
The sellers were Singaporeans Ong Teck Beng and Ong Tiong Seng. Both are involved in a number of companies in the ship chandler and bunkering industry, as well as chartering and other services.
The sum Mr Yeah paid is the highest price in terms of absolute amount for a house in Wilkinson Road. It sits on a 26,404 sq ft plot, which works out to about $1,136 per sq ft.
The price is also far more than the $9 million it last sold for in 2005, according to caveats lodged.
Both Mr Ongs are directors of or have stakes in Sealand, Tenshin Chartering and Eastern Shipping, which are all in receivership.
The two are also directors of Tyson Marine, which had its bunkering licences suspended in 2002.
Mr Ong Tiong Seng was previously a director of Searights Maritime Services, which last year was 12th in the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's list of top bunker suppliers by volume but is now in receivership.
"The marine services industry hasn't been doing very well. Oil and gas companies have substantially cut back on their expenditure, which has weighed down on these firms," noted Ocean Shipping Consultants director Jason Chiang.
Still, there have not been many urgent sales of Good Class Bungalows by people in the shipping and oil and gas industries, said Newsman Realty managing director K.H. Tan.
"The more motivated sellers have their own reasons, not so much linked to a need for money. These could be estate sales."