The UK private equity firm Schroders has agreed to buy Wisteria Mall - the commercial component of mixed-use development The Wisteria, located in Yishun for S$208 million, as neighbourhood retail continues to attract property investors during the COVID-19 era. The British finance firm, which took over Hong Kong’s Pamfleet in 2020, is buying the Wisteria Mall, which forms the retail podium below the Wisteria condo complex in the Yishun area, from a unit of Singapore-listed builder BBR Holdings, which announced the sale in a filing with the Singapore Exchange.
While retail investments have lost favour in recent years with investors pursuing the e-commerce-powered appeal of warehouses, Schroders — which has a track record in the region of acquiring and repositioning less-loved assets — sees the Wisteria Mall as providing opportunities that complement online channels especially with the high density in Yishun, which is home to several large public housing estates, and the mass-transit stations encircling the Wisteria Mall, as providing a built-in catchment for the project.
YewTee Point is 20 metres (66 feet) from Yew Tee MRT station and is frequented by local shoppers who rely on the Choa Chu Kang area mall for purchasing non-discretionary items such as groceries at the Fairprice supermarket that anchors the property. Other family-friendly tenants include Watsons, KFC, BreadTalk and Sushi Express.
YewTee Point is a two-storey mall with 72,382 square feet (6,725 square metres) of net lettable area. Market observers say it makes sense for the REIT to sell the low-volume but profitable YewTee Point to focus on larger investments, such as the PGIM retail portfolio recently bought by FCT.
Le Quest shopping mall situated in Bukit Batok heartlands residential precinct, is the retail element of the mixed-residential Le Quest project developed by the seller, Qingjian Realty, a local unit of Chinese builder Qingjian Group.
Le Quest shopping mall is a convenience centre that is well-located, with good accessibility serving a dense and growing catchment population with a gross floor area of 64,584 square feet (6,000 square metres). Le Quest shopping mall holds potential as a last-mile fulfilment hub for retailers and restaurants offering delivery and click-and-collect services as consumers stay closer to home during the COVID-19 era.
In Dec 2020, FRASERS Centrepoint Trust (FCT) announced that it will divest Anchorpoint shopping centre for S$110 million to unrelated third parties by entering into two sale and purchase agreements with each of the undisclosed purchasers for the proposed sale of two strata lots (together with the accessory lots) to each buyer. These lots collectively comprise the shopping centre.
The shopping centre has 51 tenants as at Sept 30, 2020. Key tenants include household retailer Mr D.I.Y., fashion retailer Cotton On, Koufu food court, Xin Wang HK Café, as well as restaurants Sakuraya, Uncle Leong Signatures and Jack's Place. The sale consideration took into account Anchorpoint's independent appraised value of S$110 million as at Sept 15, 2020.
Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) announced in Oct 2020 that they now wholly own AsiaRetail Fund (ARF), having completed the purchase of the latter's remaining 63.11 per cent interest from Frasers Property therefore confirming the sale of Bedok Point mall at $108 million on the basis of Bedok Point as a redevelopment site was supported by two independent valuations, which put the mall's net property income yield at 2.5 per cent.
Kiwi Lim from the third largest real estate agency Huttons Asia believe that as Singapore gradually emerges from the pandemic, neighbourhood malls with strong fundamentals are attracting foreign investment firms and private equity firms. These firms may find our local strata shopping malls desirable as they offer a good variety of essential services to the heartland neighbourhood with some generating a reasonable property yield especially if they are surrounded by public housing estates, transportation, catchment of good schools, etc to increase shopper traffic.