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Belgravia Ace, Fairview Developments’ final strata landed housing project, will be launched at Belgravia Drive, which is along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5. The 107 strata dwellings, which include 104 semi-detached and three terraced homes, will be unveiled on January 8, with a launch date set for January 22. It’s possible that it’ll be the year’s first fresh launch.
“It’s the last installment in the Belgravia trilogy,” says Fairview Developments director Yeap Lam Hai. It is a 50:50 joint venture between Tong Eng Brothers, a property developer managed by the Teo family, and Yeap Holdings, the Yeap family’s investing business. The 40-acre (about 1.74 million sq ft) freehold land block was obtained by the joint-venture partners in the early 1970s. From Seletar Terrace to Nim Road, it’s a long area of land. After Singapore-listed Bukit Sembawang Estates, this land bank was the second biggest in the Seletar region.
Stratton Park, completed in 1992, Belgravia Park, which received a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in 1995, and Stratton Green, which had inhabitants moving in by 2003, were all traditional landed housing developments with mostly terraced homes and some semi-detached dwellings.
The strata landed house complexes on Belgravia Drive are the last stages. Belgravia Villas and Belgravia Green, the first two, have already sold out. “That’s why this final step is called Belgravia Ace,” explains Yeap. “It’s our ace card,” says the player.
The 118 strata terraced residences of Belgravia Villas were started in October 2013 and finished in 2018. Belgravia Green first opened its doors in November of 2018. In June 2023, the 18 semi-detached and 71 terraced residences are planned to get TOP.
Saving the Best for the Last
Belgravia Ace, the most recent phase, will be built on a 300,000 sq ft freehold property. A 120-meter boulevard with pedestrian walkways on both sides leads up to the development’s main entrance. Each of the Belgravia Ace residences has a stratum area of 4,000 square feet, three storeys, plus an attic, and five bedrooms. In the basement, the majority of the residences have a private vehicle porch.
“Belgravia Ace will be at a premium to the preceding stages that we have sold due to the magnitude of the development and the size of the residences,” says Teo Tong Lim of Tong Eng Group.
Belgravia Ace will boost the total number of strata residences in the Belgravia enclave to 306 when it is finished in 2028. Belgravia Ace, unlike the previous two phases, has a lesser density, according to Yeap. He explains, “This is because the government altered the regulations.” “Instead of 107 dwellings, there would have been 170.”
The government updated the standards for strata home building in 2014. For example, inside stratum landed housing projects, the required land size for social amenities and vegetation was raised from 30% to 45 percent. And a minimum of 25% of the 45 percent must be left aside for vegetation.
Prior to 2014, the whole site area (100%) may be used to calculate the number of dwelling units that might be constructed. Only 40% of the site area may be utilized to calculate the number of dwelling units after 2014. “That explains why many developers have decided to create traditional landed homes since then,” says Jip Ng, senior group district director at PropNex and a 20-year veteran of strata landed housing.
Fairview Developments, on the other hand, moved forward with Belgravia Ace. “Since Belgravia Green, it’s the largest freehold strata landed development,” says Ng. “It was constructed in accordance with the new criteria, so there is a lot more vegetation and social amenities.”
An increase in transaction activity
The Whitley Residences, which opened in early 2013, was the final major freehold strata landed housing development until Belgravia Green in 2018. The stratum development on Whitley Road in prestigious District 11 was developed by Hoi Hup Realty and has 58 semi-detached and three terraced residences. In 2016, the project was finished.
“The other freehold strata landed project that were launched were mostly small projects in the Telok Kurau region, with less than ten units and no amenities,” Ng observes.
The 53-unit Parkwood Collection by Fantasia Group is the most recent strata landed housing complex developed on 99-year leasehold government land sale (GLS) lands. There are 50 semi-detached residences and three terraced dwellings in the area. The strata landed development is located in Lorong 1 Realty Park, off Upper Serangoon Road and Hougang Avenue 2, around a five-minute walk from Hougang MRT Station.
Parkwood Collection has sold out of all three terraced residences and half of the semi-detached houses since its opening in November 2019. This May, the last terraced home with a stratum area of 4,585 square feet sold for $3.02 million ($659 per square foot). The three most recent semi-detached home sales ranged in size from 4,865 sq ft to 6,211 sq ft and sold for $3.75 million ($770 psf) to $4.86 million ($782 psf) between October and December.
The most recent transaction at Belgravia Villas was a resale unit of 3,584 sq ft intermediate terraced home that sold for $3.198 million ($892 psf) in September of this year. In October and November, two semi-detached residences in Belgravia Villas with strata areas of 3,961 sq ft each sold for $3.75 million ($947 psf) and $3.68 million ($929 psf), respectively.
According to caveats filed in July 2020, the most recent transactions at Belgravia Green were for three 4,004 sq ft semi-detached residences that sold for $3.8 million to $3.86 million apiece, or $949 to $963 psf. Meanwhile, caveats submitted in August and November 2020 sold terraced properties at Belgravia Green for $3.01 million ($880 psf) and $3.17 million ($883 psf), respectively, based on built-up sizes of 3,433 and 3,595 sq ft.
Sustainable characteristics that resemble ‘detached dwellings’
JGP Architecture is the design architect at Belgravia Ace, while Coen Design International is the landscape architect. The 18 pairs of semi-detached homes in this series are united at the back end rather than the side, as most typical semi-detached houses are. Teo comments, “These back-to-back semi-detached residences are rare.” “From the outside, they seem to be isolated residences.”
Instead of a basement, the 18 Type A semi-detached homes feature a street-level vehicle porch in front of the house. “In that respect, they’re comparable to traditional detached homes,” Teo says. The 18 semi-detached Type B homes are similar to the Type A residences. The only distinction is that the carport is only accessible from the basement.
The 68 remaining semi-detached homes are connected on the side, like in traditional semi-detached houses, with access from the underground parking. The semi-detached residences have a similar layout to the three terraced dwellings.
Belgravia Ace residences all include five bedrooms: a master bedroom and junior master bedroom on the second floor, and three further bedrooms (one en suite) on the third level. On the first floor, each semi-detached home has a 6m broad frontage and 4.9m ceiling height. A mezzanine loft with a 1.95m ceiling height is available from the developer. Teo points out that it’s great for a study or office.
Natural marble flooring is installed on the first level and Burmese teak flooring is installed on the higher floors of each semi-detached property. V-Zug kitchen equipment are used in both the wet and dry kitchens. In addition, the Samsung Family Hub smart refrigerator is installed in the dry kitchen, while another Samsung refrigerator is installed in the wet kitchen. Grohe taps and mixers are used, while the kitchen cabinetry is made by Blum. Grohe fixtures and Toto sanitaryware are included in the bathrooms.
Belgravia Ace residences also come with a private elevator and full-height windows in all of the bedrooms. Low-emission glass is used in the windows, which minimizes UV and infrared radiation from the sun. Home appliances and air conditioning systems have the greatest energy efficiency ratings. The developer is also installing an air suction system in the shoe closet to eliminate odors. Each home is equipped with a charging station for electric vehicles.
“Many of the sustainability elements supplied aren’t simply buzzwords,” says Terence Teo, Tong Eng Group’s executive director and Teo’s son. “Having sustainable elements inside the house, such as at Belgravia Ace, serves to increase the well-being of the home residents while also lowering the operating cost.” As an example, he cites the smart air-conditioning system with plasma air purifiers. “It aids in the removal of hazardous contaminants,” he explains.
Bigger units are in high demand
According to PropNex’s Ng, “Belgravia Ace will be the final large freehold strata landed property to open in the foreseeable future.” “These days, developers are less interested in developing strata landed projects since the number of dwellings they can construct is the same as traditional landed housing, and the cost is more because they must give community services and vegetation.”
Ng anticipates Belgravia Ace to sell for more than $1,000 per square foot. The intermediate terraced home might start at $3.6 million, while the semi-detached dwellings could start at $4 million, according to him. He points out that a semi-detached property in Belgravia Green sold for $3.83 million last year, or $1,020 per square foot.
According to Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, strata landed projects provide the benefits of landed living with the ease of common amenities without the need to deal with maintenance difficulties. “Strata-landed homes provide a very competitive price-point for purchasers when compared to traditional landed semi-detached houses, which may cost roughly $5 million to $6 million in present market circumstances,” he says.
According to Yip, there is a lot of demand in strata-landed residences. “Because of the restricted availability, individuals who lose out on a unit will have to wait for another strata-landed project [to start] or purchase a unit on the secondary market.”
Belgravia Ace’s booking slots for viewings have been completely booked, according to Doris Ong, ERA’s vice CEO. “People these days demand more space,” she observes, “and they prefer the fact that the homes have five bedrooms.” “Many of the potential purchasers are upgraders, in addition to multi-generational families.”
Indeed, in the Covid age, ordinary three- and four-bedroom homes may be too small for bigger families with working parents due to work from home (WFH). SRI’s Low observes, “They desire greater living areas to be able to work efficiently from home.”
Low adds that the amenities given in big strata property projects are also pluses in the present WFH scenario. “Families may spend valuable time together in the privacy of their own gated community.”
Belgravia At the main entrance, Ace has a drop-off space and an air-conditioned lobby. It contains a two-story clubhouse with a residents’ lounge, a private dining room with kitchen, a games area, and a fitness center. A 50-meter swimming pool, grilling pavilions, and an outdoor children’s play area are all available. According to ERA’s Ong, “not all stratum landed projects can give complete amenities.” “You’ll need a lot of land.”
The bulk of purchasers, according to SRI’s Low, will be upgrading from both HDB and private residential property. “With the sharp rise in property prices, many of them are sitting on greater potential cash proceeds that will help them greatly with their home renovation,” he notes. “We’ve also seen a new trend of parents providing advance payments for their children’s big-ticket home purchases.”
Some of these purchasers may have grown up in a landed house in the nearby Seletar Hills Estate and wish to be close to their parents, according to Low. “Belgravia Ace will be Tong Eng’s last big strata landed development, as well as the last in the Belgravia strata landed series.”
According to SRI’s Low, the rise in prices of traditional landed property, as well as a lack of fresh supply, has put them out of reach for many upgraders. “In addition, the cost of reconstructing an ancient landed property has grown by 50 percent to 70 percent, creating new entry obstacles for this part of the market.”
Converging demand for landed and stratum landed property, along with limited new supply, has created a “sweet spot” for strata landed housing, which Low expects to last “for some time.”
According to Tong Eng’s Teo, the market outlook has improved since the epidemic began in early 2020. He adds, “Things are looking up.” “Most significantly, we hope that the market will be long-term viable.”