Houses in Opera Estate cross $1,000 psf level

Landed homes in Opera Estate have increasingly breached the $1,000 psf level this year. Of the 16 transactions worth more than $1,000 psf from May 1997 to May 2010, half were carried out this year, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis. The peak of $1,301 psf was hit when a terraced house at Taman Siglap Road was sold for $2.1 million in February.

Opera Estate is located near the Bedok MRT station and bus interchange, which are next to the hawker centre and near the supermarket, library and community centre. It is also near offices at Technopark@ Chai Chee, schools like Opera Estate Primary School, ITE College Central (Bedok campus) and Ping Yi Secondary School, as well as eateries in the Siglap area. Heikal Shafrudin, a property agent at PropNex who is marketing two houses in the area, says Opera Estate is popular with locals who have big families.

Although Opera Estate comprises mainly landed homes, there are a number of low-rise condominiums in the area that have been enjoying higher prices, which could have helped generate interest in landed properties in the area. Last month, Frasers Centrepoint Homes launched the 393-unit, five-storey Flamingo Valley, with prices ranging from $1,200 to $1,500 psf. At Park East along Jalan Tua Kong, prices are fast approaching the peak of $940 psf in 2007, when an 893 sq ft unit on the second floor was sold for $840,000. In April this year, another 893 sq ft unit on the third floor was sold for $790,000, or $884 psf.

From May 11 to 18, there were three transactions in Opera Estate, with prices ranging from $623 to $1,079 psf. Along Jalan Terang Bulan, a 1,571 sq ft two-storey terraced house was sold for $1.7 million, or $1,079 psf. This represents a 49% gain for the seller, who purchased it for $1.138 million, or $722 psf, last November. The house appears to be newly painted and is located along a side road, which is connected to the main New Upper Changi Road via a walkway. Vehicles will need to filter out through Siglap Road.

At Maria Avenue Road, two adjacent double-storey terraced houses at the T-junction were sold recently. A 3,939 sq ft terraced house was sold for $2.45 million, or $623 psf, on May 17, while the unit next door, a 5,726 sq ft corner house, was sold for $4 million, or $698 psf, on May 14. This represents a 100% gain for the previous owner of the corner terraced house. It changed hands for $2 million, or $349 psf, in 2007. Prior to that, the house was purchased for $1.35 million, or $236 psf, in 2003, representing a gain of 48% for the original owner. The two adjacent houses face a side road, with access to the main New Upper Changi Road via a walkway.

Heikal says response to the two houses he is selling has been encouraging. One of them, a two-storey corner terraced house on Jalan Terang Bulan, used to be occupied by a Malay artist. “It is more than 30 years old, with a land area of close to 2,600 sq ft, and going for $728 psf. While the house is well maintained, the buyer will probably need to do extensive A&A [Alteration & Addition], which could bring the total cost to more than $2 million,” he says.

Another unit he has for sale is a 2,185 sq ft terraced house on Terang Bulan Avenue that is going for $1.9 million ($869 psf). He adds that the 2½-storey house has been around for some time, but the owner did some A&A last year.

With new launches in the Opera Estate area fetching higher prices, homebuyers may see more value in landed homes, supporting the uptrend in prices.

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