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KOP tweaks redevelopment plans for Villa D'Este site after cooling measures

04 Sep, 2018

IN the wake of the recent property cooling measures, real estate developer KOP has rejigged plans for the redevelopment of the Villa D'Este site to introduce smaller units.

In May this year, KOP announced it had bagged the freehold property in Dalvey Road in District 10 through a collective sale for S$93 million. The price works out to S$1,898 per square foot based on the existing gross floor area of about 49,072 sq ft, The Business Times reported previously.

KOP is now looking to nearly double the number of units from 22 under its initial plans to around 40 units, with more smaller-sized ones

"Initially, we wanted to do bigger units but with the dampener, we're adjusting the units to (make them) smaller," said executive chairman Ong Chih Ching in an interview. KOP has re-submitted its plans to the Urban Redevelopment Authority for approval.

Under the revised plans, units will start from about 650 square feet, with the biggest unit at 3,000 square feet.

KOP also initially wanted a longer block but this was not in line with constraints for the site, which is in a Good Class Bungalow area.

The property will be redeveloped into a high-end, resort-style condominium aimed at Singaporean upgraders and is expected to be launched by the first half of 2019.

In July, the government adjusted the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) rates and tightened loan-to-value (LTV) limits on residential property purchases.

Singaporeans and PRs buying their second or subsequent home now pay 5 percentage points more in ABSD; however, Singaporeans and PRs buying their first residence are not affected by this.
Meanwhile, foreigners buying any property now pay an ABSD of 20 per cent, while entities buying residential property have to stump up an ABSD of 25 per cent.

In addition, LTV limits have been tightened by five percentage points for all housing loans granted by financial institutions.

Some market watchers have said that the latest round of measures could hit demand, and buyers could end up turning to cheaper and smaller properties, or HDB flats.

The new cooling measures will mean thinner profits for developers, Ms Ong added.

Villa D'Este, which presently comprises 12 apartments in two low-rise blocks, sits on a 55,480 square foot site that is zoned for residential use. Apartments range from 3,465 sq ft to 3,939 sq ft in size.

The property was initially launched for collective sale through tender in July last year with a price tag of S$96 million, but no sale emerged from that tender. A second tender was launched in January this year, and that closed in early March.

The condo was also offered for collective sale back in 2010 for S$115 million, but there were no buyers then.

Adapted from The Business Times, Sept 4, 2018