Shophouse owners roll out more prime properties on market

MORE prime shophouse properties have been put on the market as owners ride on a renewed wave of buying interest from local and foreign investors.

JLL is launching an expression of interest (EOI) exercise for 22 and 23 Mosque Street, a pair of restored freehold conservation shophouses spanning three storeys and a mezzanine level. The two shophouses are on a single land lot of about 2,688 sq ft and have a total gross floor area (GFA) of around 7,800 sq ft. The property is fully leased and based on the indicative price of around S$23 million (or S$2,950 psf on GFA), the gross yield works out to 2 per cent.

The property is owned by a Singapore-incorporated company that is owned mostly by Hong Kong investors.

A furniture/bathware showroom occupies the street level space of one unit, while a restaurant/bar has leased the ground-floor space of the other unit. Office tenants fill the upper levels.

The leases will run for the next one to two years. Zoned for commercial use, the property is in the Kreta Ayer Conservation Area of the Chinatown Historic District.

The Chinatown and Telok Ayer MRT stations are close by. Mosque Street is named after the Masjid Jamae along the stretch. Kreta Ayer received conservation status in July 1989. Mosque Street has an eclectic mix of old and new including boutique hotels and serviced apartments and eateries.

Moreover, notes JLL capital markets senior manager Clemence Lee, with the area near the chic Club Street locale, "we are starting to notice new upscale restaurants and trendy cafes opening up along Mosque Street".

The new owner of 22 and 23 Mosque Street "can expect to enjoy strong capital and rental upside from the gradual evolution of the entire street", he added.

The EOI exercise will close on Nov 9.

Earlier this week, CBRE launched the tender for the sale of three adjoining shophouses at 77 to 80 Amoy Street. The units span three storeys and have an attic. The guide price is S$64.3 million or S$2,700 psf on GFA.

Last week BT reported that OCBC had sold a pair of adjacent freehold shophouses at 11 and 13 Bukit Pasoh Road for S$25 million to the Leong family behind the famous homegrown Axe Brand medicated oil. JLL brokered that transaction.

The price worked out to S$2,940 psf on GFA and reflects about 1.5 per cent gross yield based on the existing rental income from the property, which is fully leased. The shophouse pair spans three storeys and a mezzanine level.

Last week, OCBC also put on the market another four shophouses along Amoy Street - comprising three contiguous properties, Nos 44, 45 and 46, and a few doors away, No 49.

All four units are 999-year leasehold properties and have two storeys and an attic. They are being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield through a tender exercise.

Mr Lee of JLL commented that "there has been quite a bit of interest in freehold conservation shophouses in the central area especially Chinatown. So for owners it is a good time to cash out their investment".

"Among foreign investors of shophouses, their number one criterion is that they want the property to be freehold/999-year leasehold. Second, they would like it to be fully leased as it is easier to manage."

Source: Business Times, 29 Sep 2016