Tenants may pay 15% more for Mt Pleasant bungalows

Top CEOs and foreign expatriates with deep pockets can expect to fork out about 15 per cent more in monthly rent to live in a black and white bungalow at Mount Pleasant.

This according to analysts contacted by Channel News Asia after the master tenancy for the 33 colonial bungalows was awarded to The Ascott, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced-residence unit.

This is despite Ascott submitting only the third-highest bid of S$435,000 a month to the Singapore Land Authority out of seven bidders. The colonial bungalows are offered for an initial tenancy period of three years with an option to renew for two more 3-year terms.

Property watchers expect that Ascott will likely maintain the area’s rustic charm, one of its many appealing qualities.

“In the short term to medium term, that area because of its pristine condition is very lush, very green, very unique…it’s definitely a very choice location…it’s very sparse so it gives you a feel that you’re in a resort, country-home feel to it. So it’s definitely well sought after,” said Dr Chua Yang Liang, Head of Research in Southeast Asia with Jones Lang LaSalle.

However, some have suggested that those bungalows by the street might do well if they are turned into small corner shops to serve the needs of the residents.

There are fewer than one thousand such bungalows in Singapore and observers believe that Ascott is the ideal choice to manage these properties as they are able to market them overseas.

Donald Han, Vice Chairman of Cushman and Wakefield, said: “They have a sound and aggressive international marketing and promotional platform. Plus on top of that, the black and white bungalows can now be injected as part of their international reservation system, targeted upon an international audience. So this certainly bring more prominence to the black and white portfolios which predominately has been not a well known product on an international scale.”

The Ascott’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia and Australia, Alfred Ong, said: “Ascott has a proven track record, having managed the 33 bungalows at Mount Pleasant under The Heritage brand name for the past 12 years.

“Given the expansive grounds and the heritage character of such colonial black-and-white bungalows, which require careful and consistent servicing and maintenance, our comprehensive range of services ensure that residents at these bungalows enjoy a hassle-free experience.”

Such bungalows are few and far between in Singapore and there’s no shortage of tenants. Now that Ascott has been awarded the master tenancy for these bungalows, observers expect a shorter term lease of, for example, a couple of months.

Property watchers expect that monthly rent may come between S$25,000 and S$30,000 if the Ascott enhances the properties and offer hospitality service such as housekeeping with them.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 7 Dec 2010

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