GAMUDA Land is no stranger to foreign investments with stakes in Australia and Vietnam. Entering the challenging property market in Singapore, however, has been one of its most ambitious foreign endeavours to date.
“We are very pleased that sales have done well despite today’s lacklustre property market. We have kept prices fair, and we believe this has played a huge part in drawing in buyers,” said Ngan Chee Meng, chief executive officer of Gamuda Land.
Being in the thick of intense competition among property developers in Singapore has been no small feat.
Ngan said: “Gem Residences’ 100% sales success is a satisfying reward. When others were cautious and adopted a wait-and-see approach, we took a contrarian approach to the Singapore market by focusing on making our development work.”
And work it has. Launched in 2016, this Green Mark-certified private condominium has a gross development value of S$690mil (RM2.086bil). It is located at the junction of Lorong 6 and Lorong 4 in Toa Payoh. The two towers, which are well into construction now, offer a total of 578 units with built-ups from 425sq ft to 2,045sq ft with selling prices from S$570,500 to S$2.1mil. There are nine layouts ranging from 1 to 5-bedroom units, duos (dual-key units), trios (triple-key units), a 4-bedroom penthouse and a 6-bedroom penthouse. Though space is premium in Singapore, the layout of these units attempts to maximise space and living conditions. The ready-to-move-in units are fitted out with air conditioners and SMEG kitchen appliances.
Ngan shared: “We focus on mindful designs that are practical for small families. A flexible sliding door was added into the 3-bedroom units, allowing for flexibility to separate the kitchen from the living area when needed but also to open up the space when the kitchen is not in use. We also included fittings and furniture that smartly utilise the space such us additional kitchen counter space that is collapsible when not in use.”
In April, The Star reported Ngan saying that the Singapore government had various measures set in place to regulate its scarce land and was transparent in all its dealings with interested parties. “As such,” he said: “we realised very early on that if we wanted to penetrate the market, we would need local property knowledge. That is why we partnered Evia Real Estate Pte Ltd and Maxdin Pte Ltd.”
On a recent trip to Singapore to view building progress, Ngan underlined this view: “Our esteemed partners, Evia and Maxdin, locals in Singapore, have helped us adapt to the new market quickly and seamlessly.
“They have provided valuable insights which have helped make our first foray into Singapore such a success.”
Ngan emphasised how Gamuda Land had considered the property market from all angles – timing, product mix and finding the right partners who are strong in marketing and construction.
“We saw a pent-up demand for private housing in the area. Unlike other key areas in Singapore which are mushrooming with many private developments resulting in fierce competition among owners to find buyers or tenants, we believe Toa Payoh is a location that investors should look into, for many reasons.
“Private development is extremely rare in this area. Besides, being close to town and the CBD, Toa Payoh is a highly accessible location, with plenty of public transport available to serve its residents,” he explained. “We also considered Toa Payoh’s charm and rich history as Singapore’s first planned town.”
Putting the community first
With over two decades of experience in developing townships, high-rise developments, country clubs and commercial centres, Gamuda Land knows exactly what the right ingredients are for creating practical community living spaces.
This is evident from its high profile projects in Malaysia include Horizon Hills, Kota Kemuning, Bandar Botanic, Jade Hills and Valencia; furthermore, its international foothold has been strengthened by its overseas projects in Australia and Vietnam.
Ngan said he felt it was this approach to planning and development which had been key when it came to differentiating itself from others in the Singapore market.
“We focus on getting the things that matter right ... such as providing ample community gathering places that the community will appreciate, adding soft services such as concierge and on-demand services, the right pricing, thoughtful layout of the units – like how we plan a nice setting for the lobby entrance so that people get a feel for the place when they come home and walk past the lobby into the various community spaces, through the lushly landscaped areas and waterscapes before arriving at the lifts that will bring them up to their units – we know that the development will work,” he shared.
According to the affable CEO, Gem Residences is the first condo in Singapore to offer a “club lifestyle”.
“All residents will get to enjoy a club lifestyle at minimum cost. Among the exhaustive list of amenities are pets facilities such as pet pool, pet shower, pet run, which attracted many pets owners,” he said.
“Where others are competing to market the amenities within their development, we took it one step further by including the right community places as well as soft services.
“Gem Residences will offer 24-hour concierge service for services such as restaurant reservations, laundry arrangements, tickets purchase and travel arrangements. On demand services are also available such as private chef, grocery delivery, parcel locker.”
The condo also comes with many gathering spaces for people to get together within the comforts of their home. One of Gamuda Land’s brand values, after all, is that it “cares for people and communities” and this can be clearly seen since its first township in Kota Kemuning in Malaysia.
The design and planning of every development caters for community gathering places be it a central park, pocket parks, linear gardens, a club house, or a town square where people can come together and get to know each other. Residents are assured of good quality homes and conveniences in a secure environment, where 45% of the area is dedicated to landscaping and green spaces, which enhances the wellness of residents.
Gem Residences is located just 400m from the Braddell MRT Station, and a short distance to the Toa Payoh MRT Station and Bus Interchange.
It also offers comprehensive surrounding amenities ranging from entertainment to education such as Balestier Plaza, Shaw Plaza, First Toa Payoh Primary School, Catholic High School, Global Indian International School, Curtin University of Technology and Mount Alvernia Hospital.
With so much going for it, it’s no wonder that Gamuda was able to achieve 100% sales.
Successful bid paves the way for the future
Just last week, it was reported that Evia and Gamuda had joined hands to become the highest bidder for the executive condominium site Anchorvale Crescent in Sengkang at S$318.89mil (RM963mil). This new site, under Singapore’s 2018 Government Land Sales Programme, is a 99-year leasehold site on 1.71ha of land and is strategically located next to Cheng Lim LRT and close to shopping, dining, entertainment and leisure, schools and healthcare.
Ngan had said Gamuda Land would continue to play its part in Singapore’s property market, bringing in more quality development.
“We are actively looking for strategic opportunities in this vibrant Lion City.”
And it looks like Gamuda Land is well on its way to make good on that promise. Earlier this week, Gamuda (Singapore) Pte Ltd’s joint tender with Evia Real Estate (7) Pte Ltd for that 51,411.9 sq m parcel of land, successfully emerged as the highest bid.
It is the lowest bid margin in executive condominiums in recent years, with a very small margin difference of S$899 (RM2,715.88). In Singapore, executive condominiums are semi-controlled by the Government, and there is a limited supply with a strong list of buyers.
“Together with our partner Evia’s experience, as well as our knowledge of market factors, we were able to achieve this,” said Ngan.
And this historic bid is set to pave the way for Gamuda Land to strengthen its market presence not just in Singapore, but internationally.