This Rare Condo Has Both 99-Year And 993-Year Leases: We Explore Unusual Mixed-Lease Properties In Singapore
- Ryan J
- August 14, 2023
- 4 min read
For most properties these days, it’s a clear-cut case of them being freehold or leasehold. But head back into the 1970s or 80s, and you’ll find things weren’t so neat back then. For reasons we no longer fathom (but are investigating!), some properties have a mix of leasehold and freehold units; and their 99-year leases may even have different start and end dates. Here are a few interesting cases we found:
Properties with mixed or “unknown” tenures based on URA’s transaction database
|SPOTTISWOODE PARK*||92 yrs from 30/06/1989|
|SPOTTISWOODE PARK||99 yrs from 01/08/1976|
|BRADDELL VIEW||99 yrs from 01/04/1978|
|BRADDELL VIEW||99 yrs from 25/03/1981|
|BRADDELL VIEW||99 yrs from 29/04/1981|
|BRADDELL VIEW||102 yrs from 01/02/1978|
|BRADDELL VIEW||103 yrs from 03/02/1975|
|BRADDELL VIEW||103 yrs from 01/08/1977|
|PARK VIEW MANSION||99 yrs from 01/06/1971|
|PARK VIEW MANSION||99 yrs from 01/08/1973|
|PARK VIEW MANSION||99 yrs from 01/08/1971|
|PARK VIEW MANSION||99 yrs from 01/10/1976|
|MANDARIN PARK||999 years leasehold|
|MANDARIN PARK||999 yrs from 01/07/1976|
|SHUNFU VILLE||99 yrs from 01/10/1986|
|SHUNFU VILLE||99 yrs from 01/08/1986|
|SHUNFU VILLE||99 yrs from 01/05/1986|
|ENG KONG PARK||Freehold|
|ENG KONG PARK||999 yrs from 16/03/1994|
|FLORENCE REGENCY||99 yrs from 01/04/1988|
|FLORENCE REGENCY||103 yrs from 01/12/1985|
|FONTAINE PARRY||999 yrs from 22/08/1883|
|FONTAINE PARRY||999 yrs from 16/08/1877|
|HONG LEONG GARDEN SHOPPING CENTRE||956 yrs from 27/05/1928|
|HONG LEONG GARDEN SHOPPING CENTRE||999 yrs from 27/05/1885|
|LAGUNA PARK||99 yrs from 01/02/1978|
|LAGUNA PARK||99 yrs from 24/08/1977|
|LOYANG TOWNHOUSES||999 yrs from 01/01/1885|
|LOYANG TOWNHOUSES||946 yrs from 01/01/1938|
|NEPTUNE COURT||99 yrs from 01/09/1976|
|NEPTUNE COURT||99 yrs from 01/11/1975|
|ORCHARD COURT||99 yrs from 01/07/1973|
|ORCHARD COURT||993 yrs from 01/01/1973|
|PEARL BANK APARTMENT||99 yrs from 02/06/1970|
|PEARL BANK APARTMENT||89 yrs from 31/12/1979|
|SEASIDE PARK||999 yrs from 01/01/1965|
|ST MICHAEL’S COURT||999 yrs from 02/06/1882|
|ST MICHAEL’S COURT||Freehold|
|SUITES DE LAUREL||999 yrs from 10/06/1885|
|SUITES DE LAUREL||999 yrs from 10/06/1884|
|TOWNHOUSE APARTMENTS||99 yrs from 15/11/1977|
|TOWNHOUSE APARTMENTS||99 yrs from 01/12/1977|
The significance of mixed leases
We’re told that mixed-leases emerged as a result of transitions between regulatory practices, and different tenure systems in the past; although even among realtors, no one has given a clear explanation of how or why it happened (if you do know, do reach out to us and tell us!)
What we’re currently looking into is the impact on en-bloc sales. At the moment, we’re not certain how these are likely to proceed, especially for cases where the disparity is quite significant.
Case in point: Orchard Court. This condo was built in 1970 in a prestigious location: it’s along Oxley Road, about a nine-minute walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT.
What got our attention were multiple transactions within the development that showed different lease periods. For example, here’s this one where the transaction of a 993-year lease unit at $1,120 psf, back in 2018. Just a month later, another unit in the same project of the same size and block – which was on a 99-year lease – transacted at $1,583 psf. From what we’ve seen, this is the only non-landed residential development in Singapore that has such differing leases between the units (most of the time this happens, it is within a landed estate). It could even be possible that there are owners who’ve bought thinking that this is purely a 99-year leasehold development.
Huge divergences like this can make the overall price movement of the project almost meaningless. The unit count is also small (94 units) with few transactions, so the prices for this property are bound to be very volatile.
En-bloc sales may also be messy, given the different leases involved. We’ll update you once we get a clear answer as to how such things would be settled. If it turns out that the developer gets to treat the whole project as freehold (I.e., no need to top up any lease), this is a big windfall for the leasehold unit owners (although this is highly unlikely).
This also makes unit selection quite important. Usually, we focus on factors like which units are higher up, closer to the main facilities, have better facing, etc. For these mixed-lease properties though, you need to consider whether that specific unit is leasehold or freehold.
On a related note, some mixed-lease properties have leases with different start dates.
You can see some examples above. Spottiswoode Park, for instance, has an 85-year lease unit with a lease commencing in 1990, while many 99-year leases commence in 1973 (so the 85-year lease will last till a bit later than the 99-year ones).
For Braddell View, although all the units are leasehold, they range between 99 to 103 years, with lease commencement dates ranging between 1975 to 1981.
Some of these differences are not too big, but it’s worth taking note of, especially as the development gets older.
Likely no impact on the resale potential for now, according to realtors
Realtors we spoke to said there’s not likely to be much impact on resale prices, barring very huge discrepancies as we found in Orchard Court. A difference between 999-years and freehold in the same development, for instance, is functionally irrelevant.
However, one realtor noted that mixed leases are a very clear sign of age; and buyers tend to assume that a building is old or run down, if they see traits like mixed lease. In this sense, it can be a slight disadvantage.
Ultimately though, these concerns will come second to location, maintenance, and facilities.
For updates on this when we get them, follow us on Stacked. We’ll also provide you with in-depth reviews of new and resale properties alike.