The sister of tycoon Oei Hong Leong has paid more than $30 million for a good class bungalow site in posh Nassim Road – right next to a site she paid $25.5 million for three years ago.
The Straits Times understands that Ms Oei Siu Hoa paid $950 per sq ft (psf) for the 32,000 sq ft site at No. 30.
This easily broke the Nassim Road record she herself set in 2003 when she paid entrepreneur Peter Kwee $647 psf for No. 28.
The latest purchase is nearly double the average price for such properties in Singapore.
A house on the site is deemed to be worth little as it is old and likely to be torn down and rebuilt.
Ms Oei has already built a large bungalow on the 39,383 sq ft site at No. 28.
The record-setting property at No. 30 belongs to low-profile businessman David Eng, who bought it in late-2000 for $600 psf.
Mr Eng, who is in his 60s, is a director of Sabre Investment, and is involved in property development. He declined to be interviewed yesterday.
Ms Oei, who is believed to be overseas and was not reachable, is from Indonesia’s Widjaja family. The family controls Sinar Mas, a conglomerate that has varied interests, including Asia Pulp and Paper.
Her brother, Mr Oei, is a prominent investor with interests in Singapore and China.
He featured in one of Singapore’s biggest home deals when he paid nearly $40 million, or about $331 psf, for a 120,000 sq ft bungalow site at Gallop Road near the Botanic Gardens in 2004.
Good class bungalows are free-standing houses on a plot of at least 15,000 sq ft. There are only about 3,000 such properties in Singapore.
Even so, the Nassim Road price has raised eyebrows among property experts.
‘It is way too high,’ said a general manager of a large firm who did not want to be named. ‘Land cost for such a plot is worth no more than $700 psf.’
He also dismissed comparison to a 99-year-lease Sentosa Cove bungalow plot that sold recently for $1,039 psf, pointing out that waterfront property is rare and in high demand.
‘It’s a fad, that’s all. It’s the place to be seen in,’ he said.
While other landed properties have fetched more than $950 psf, they are either collective sale deals for high-rise projects or fairly new houses that do not need much work.
Good class bungalow sales have been hotting up in recent months. Over 90 have sold this year – some changing hands twice. This compares with 86 last year and 66 in 2004.
Source : Straits Times – 25 Nov 2006