• Joshua Loo

Caldecott Broadcast Centre Land Sale: A Real Estate Agent's Opinions



Over the last few years, there are seldom any new land sales for landed housing. Just this year, the sale of Caldecott Broadcast Centre has made the news as media broadcasting giant, Mediacorp moved from its broadcasting hub for more than six decades, and only moving in 2015 to its current location in Mediapolis.


Now, the 7 Hectare (752,015 sqft) land sits quietly among the existing landed properties. What can be done for it now?


The land value for bungalow development on the site could be more than S$400 million. This figure will include a differential premium and lease upgrading premium, translating to a land price of approximately S$540 psf.


The end of tender for the Andrew Road land site will be 9th December 2020. Keep a lookout on this page for more updates for the site!


Before you read further into this article, take note that I will make some estimations into the new residential landed sites that will be coming up in Caldecott Hill Estate. My figures are based on comparisons to the Singapore Real Estate market, and there will be a certain margin of error.

Caldecott Hill Estate


While researching more information in regards to the land sale of Caldecott Broadcast Centre, it is inevitable to not mention the prices of properties within Caldecott Hill Estate.


The landed properties located in Caldecott Hill Estate are all freehold tenure. Based on previous transactions, Caldecott Hill Estate prices are highly competitive as compared to other freehold properties around Singapore.


Data is king, so here is more information.


I chose Toh Tuck Garden as a comparison to Caldecott Hill Estate as both estates are homogeneous in terms of connectivity and amenities. Toh Tuck Garden is nestled away in a quiet landed area but is accessible to increased commercial activity at Beauty World.


Caldecott Hill Estate is similarly in a quiet enclave itself but is a short drive away from Toa Payoh Central.


Both locations are connected to major road networks Lornie Highway and Jalan Jurong Kechil.


However, Caldecott Hill Estate is considered to be a Good Class Bungalow Area (GCBA), more on that later.


Average PSF trends closely between both estates. One information that is not represented in the trend chart is land size of the properties. Caldecott Hill Estate houses on average detached homes, while Toh Tuck Garden is more of Terrace and Semi-Detached homes.


This comparison was made to show that the prices of Caldecott Hill estate are very reasonable, and it is largely overlooked by other areas such as Bukit Timah or Frankel Avenue Estate.


The challenge is that supply within Caldecott Hill Estate is extremely limited. Those that are in the open market are going for at $1,390 PSF at minimal. However, I strongly still feel that this is a good buy if you have at least S$13 million.

Price Comparison with Other Leasehold Bungalows (Sentosa Cove)


I love talking about Sentosa Cove properties because I feel that they are overlooked in Singapore’s real estate market. It is fun to draw comparisons and the land sale at Caldecott Broadcast Centre makes for a good study!


Upon further analysis, the similarities only end at the land tenure. It is near impossible to be asking freehold prices for this new leasehold supply.


My best estimation will be S$1000 PSF at the upper threshold for the new supply, which seems to be ideal given that on the average existing supply of leasehold in Singapore is averaging at S$900 PSF. This price includes the differential premium and lease upgrading premium.


With the proposed size of 12,000 sqft for the new Junior GCB supply, the difference from the existing supply is about $1 million.


Placing things into perspective, to renovate an old leasehold landed property of 12,000 sqft will cost at a ballpark minimum of S$550,000. Furthermore, the loss of dollars from lease decay has not been taken into account yet.

GCBA Caldecott Hill Estate



Here are some general specifications to be met for Bungalows in a GCBA.


  • GCBs cannot be built more than two-storeys high (not inclusive of an attic and a basement)

  • All GCBs must have a land area of at least 1,400 sq m (approx. 15,069 sq ft)

  • Site Coverage of up to 40% of the land is allowed for the home, while the remaining 60% is dedicated to greenery and landscaping (pools, gardens, basketball courts, etc)

Part of the charm of living within a GCBA is that the landscape is protected, due to site coverage, and unofficially, a view easement for all owners of the property. This ensures that your neighbor will not build a massive tower to block your site of the scenic MacRitchie Reservoir or tranquil Bukit Brown Cemetery.


One contradiction is that most GCB owners are freehold estate holders, and this fundamentally aligns with their intention of holding the said land for capital appreciation. 99-year leasehold being sold within the Caldecott Hill Estate area might bring some displeasure to current owners, as this might negatively impact their existing property prices.

Condominium Project Within Caldecott Hill Estate


With further research, I found out that Mediacorp has recently submitted an application for a proposed erection of a 5-story residential condominium.



Mediacorp has previously applied for a proposed erection of a residential condominium to the Caldecott Broadcast Centre. However, it was rejected.



As it is within a GCBA the reasons for refusal are pretty obvious. The overall landscape has to be protected and hence this proposal was rejected.


One thing that is interesting though, is that Mediacorp submitted themselves as a developer for this project. Can this potentially be their foray into real estate development?

Other Alternatives Beside Residential Use?


The land use for the Andrew Road land tender site is “Civic & Community Institution” in the 2019 Master Plan. In my opinion, I feel that the Andrew Road site can be better utilized by maintaining its “Civic & Community Institution” use.



It will be interesting if we see some variation of The Star Vista, implemented. Which are a performing arts centre/mall. Still, we will have to see the overall feasibility of the project. Residents of Caldecott Hill Estate might not be used to the increased traffic flow that the new development brings.

Summary


I like to reiterate that most of the information mentioned here can be speculative, but based on actual figures. The new leasehold Caldecott Hill Estate bungalows will be a fantastic opportunity for homeowners who like to experience living in a GCBA.


Despite the significant discount in comparison to its freehold counterparts, the reason for purchasing these leasehold purchases should ideally be mainly for own occupation and capital investment as a secondary reason.

I love talking about all matters of real estate! Contact me (Joshua) at +65 96329840 or send your queries to estatemagnates@gmail.com! I love to connect with like-minded individuals!


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee, or other group or individual. The author does not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any harm or loss arising from accessing or relying on information contained in this blog post.

 

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