Billionaire Wee Cho Yaw's UOL buys suburban Singapore redevelopment property for $295m

Billionaire Wee Cho Yaw’s UOL buys suburban Singapore redevelopment property for $295m

A joint venture between UOL Group and Singapore Land, both controlled by a billionaire Wee Cho Yaw– buys the Meyer Park condominium in Singapore’s eastern suburb of Katong for 392.2 million Singapore dollars ($295 million) as the property developer continues to rebuild its land bank to tap into resilient housing demand in the city- state.

The partners plan to redevelop the property, which sits on 96,672 square feet (8,981 square meters) freehold land, into a high-rise residential tower that can house up to 250 apartments. The project, which is close to the next MRT station Katong Park and around 20 minutes drive from the central business district of Raffles Place, will provide residents with unobstructed sea views along East Coast Park.

“Leveraging our experience in developing a luxury collection and the strong attributes of the site, we expect to see strong interest from homebuyers and investors looking for a residential development of newly built high-rise with freehold tenure, which is increasingly rare,” UOL Group CEO Liam Wee Sin said in a statement. The project is also close to popular schools Tao Nan Primary School, Dunman High School and Victoria Junior College.

The acquisition of Meyer Park gives UOL Group the opportunity to rebuild its land base in the Katong district after the company sold all 56 units of its Meyer House project, consisting of three and four bedroom apartments. The company was one of Singapore’s busiest developers last year, selling almost all of the 372 units to Residence AMO at Ang Mo Kio in central Singapore when the project launched over the July weekend.

Robust sales of UOL projects add to signs of pent-up demand for private housing in Singapore as buyers are undeterred by rising interest rates and growing inflationary pressures that could tip the global economy into another recession. House prices in Singapore soared 8.6% in 2022 after rising 10.6% the previous year, according to government data.

One of Singapore’s biggest property developers, UOL is controlled by veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw, 94, chairman emeritus of United Overseas Bank, the country’s third-largest bank by assets. The lender was founded by his father Wee Khiang Cheng in 1935 as United Chinese Bank. With a net worth of $6.8 billion, Wee ranked No. 9 on the list of Singapore’s 50 Richest which was released in September last year.

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