Updated from : The Business Times, 29 Sep 2022
THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), together with Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), on Thursday (Sep 29) put up a site at Parry Avenue for sale via tender. This will be for a pilot private assisted living development with senior-friendly features.
The land parcel comes with a 60-year lease and is zoned for residential use. It spans 12,912.1 square metres (sq m) and the gross floor area (GFA) can only range between 16,270 sq m and 18,077 sq m. The maximum building height is 5 storeys. Land and strata subdivision is not allowed.
At least 60 per cent of the maximum GFA must be used for assisted living – including assisted living units and communal spaces. At least 20 per cent of the maximum permissible GFA will be for health and medical care use – including 100 mandatory nursing home beds, URA and MOH said.
The Parry Avenue site is located within the Rosyth Estate and is near dining and shopping amenities such as Serangoon North Neighbourhood Centre and Heartland Mall.
Nicholas Mak, head of research & consultancy at ERA Singapore, suggested that for the project, residents might be offered varying options of leases that could cover them until 95 years of age. URA guidelines on the sale of the parcel stipulate that all residents residing within the subject development must fulfil a minimum stay duration of three months.
From the residents’ point of view, the Parry Avenue development would be a “long term rental” option, said Mak. Therefore, taking up these properties will require “a change in mind-set among elderly Singaporeans”. “They will be renting this home, instead of owning it.”
Mak said that Singapore’s ageing population will be a key demand driver for this new concept, with around 1 in 4 citizens aged 65 and above by 2030.
As for what pricing the units might command, Mak noted that based on comparable data of private condominiums, “the average rental rate of 1-bedroom units in that location is about S$2,380 monthly. The rental rate for these elder care apartments may command a premium due to specialised care services provided.” But too-high pricing will turn away consumers, he said, “as they would be more inclined to reside in their current homes”.
The pilot private project comes more than a year after the Singapore government introduced public assisted living developments, also known as community care apartments, which integrate senior-friendly housing with care services.
The first public assisted living flats were launched in Bukit Batok in February 2021. Prices started from S$40,000 for a 15-year lease to S$65,000 for a 35-year lease, and have to be paid for fully upfront with cash or with Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies. Government subsidies are applicable. Residents also pay for a basic service package, starting at S$22,000 for a flat with a 15-year lease.
These flats cannot be resold or rented out, and will revert to the Housing and Development Board when owners no longer need the flat. Owners will be refunded the value of the remaining lease of the flat.
Huttons Asia senior director of research Lee Sze Teck said assisted living plugs a supply gap in the spectrum of options for seniors.
“Some seniors may only need help with 1 activity of daily living and are very mobile, so assisted living may suit them more than a nursing home,” Lee added.
URA and MOH will adopt a concept and price revenue tender, where tenderers are required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices separately.
Huttons expects a handful of submissions for the tender. Developers with experience in healthcare or nursing homes will likely participate. Others may tie up with healthcare operators.
The tender will close at 12 pm on Mar 21, 2023.