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More colonial bungalows up for rent

Demand for these state-owned buildings is strong due to relatively low rentals

ANYONE with a hankering for a home with lots of nature and space, and does not mind living some distance from town might want to take note.

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) will be leasing out four of these colonial bungalows this month, along with two semi-detached houses.

The properties are in Maida Vale and Brompton Road in Seletar, Gibraltar Crescent in Sembawang and Lornie Road near Bukit Timah.

This comes on the heels of a sizzling response to five similar properties the SLA put on the bidding block last month. They drew 75 bids in all and were rented out for about double the guide rents.

All these form part of the SLA’s stock of 2,360 black-and-white homes – properties ranging from apartments to bungalows dating back to the 1930s and are inherited from British colonial days.

Demand for these state-owned buildings has traditionally been very strong, partly because of relatively low asking rentals.

Monthly guide rents for the latest batch of homes, for example, start at $1,800 for a 1,367 sq ft semidetached house in Brompton Road. They go up to $6,600 for a Gibraltar Crescent bungalow with 7,212 sq ft of built-up area and 16,145 sq ft of land.

Mr Ku Swee Yong, director of business development and marketing at Savills Singapore, thinks the homes can fetch even more.

‘These guide rents are extremely attractive. Normally, you would be able to get at least double the price, if the properties are in good condition,’ he said.

Last month, the SLA rented out three apartments in Clemenceau Avenue North at between $1,856 and $2,500 – double their guide rents of $960 to $1,110. Two more bungalows in Alexandra Road and Dover were let for $20,258 and $15,100, also about twice the guidance.

The guide rents are decided by the SLA’s valuers, who take into account the property’s last rental, location, condition and whether it comes with a swimming pool, air conditioning and furnishings.

All the properties are in move-in condition and are regularly maintained by SLA-appointed managing agents.

The homes, which come either unfurnished or partially furnished, are located in areas such as Sembawang, Alexandra Park, Adams Park, Telok Blangah, Bukit Timah and Woodleigh Park.

The SLA will put another eight properties up for rent next month, including in Bukit Timah and Newton.

Another 11 are in the pipeline between April and June.

Monthly rents range from $400 for a small apartment to more than $20,000 for a black-and-white bungalow.

About 91 per cent of the homes are currently occupied, a rise of about 6 per cent over a few months ago.

Most are let for two years, although tenants are normally allowed to renew their leases when they lapse.

Deirdre Dempster, for instance, is planning to extend her lease at a black-and-white bungalow at Goodwood Hill when it runs out in August. The 40-year-old, who is in marketing, has been living there for four years with her banker husband and two kids.

‘I love it. I wouldn’t trade this house for anything,’ she said. ‘What attracted me was the area and the grounds, and there’s a lot of character and history attached to these properties. I hope they don’t tear them down.’

Interested tenants can bid for this month’s properties via the SLA’s new open bidding system. An open house will be held for the homes, and bids will be accepted for a week after the date of the viewing.


Source: The Straits Times 6 Feb 08

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