Thursday, September 11, 2008

Freehold terrace houses in Bukit Timah District 10 going for only $28,000!!!

No, there is no typo error. Neither am I lying.

However, if you want to grab one of these you really have to rush. In fact you need to hop into a really fast car like this DeLorean from the movie Back to the Future.

Recently I met a retired neighbour during my regular evening brisk walking exercises. We walked past the stretch of open ground near Methodist Girls' School which I blogged about and I asked him if he remembered what this place was like before. Then I told him about Good Morning Yesterday and he told me that he still had a copy of the original advertisement and product brochure of Lucky Park; the estate where we are staying in.

Straits Times advertisement dated 21 May 1968

Looking through the ad and the brochure, I learned a couple of interesting facts. Lucky Park, was originally meant to be part of Anamalai Avenue which, as you can see from the map below was meant to run parallel to Sixth Avenue. Comparing that with a present day map, you can see that there has been a change of plans.
Today, the name Lucky Park is seldom used and several roads have been built in this estate. Interestingly, all these roads bear names of plants beginning with the letter L; for example, Lily Avenue, Lemon Ave, Lotus Ave, Lantana Ave and so on.

Scan of Lucky Park product brochure. Sorry it's torn.

Akan Datang: My neighbour’s 1954 PSLE certificate. I bet the folks at NHB and NLB would like to lay their hands of this one :)


Victor said...

Aiyoh, you should have forked out a mere $13,500 more and got yourself a semi-detached instead. Haha.

That DeLorean car won't do, I need a "back to the past" model.

But seriously speaking, to put this in perspective, you should have mentioned how much an average worker earned in 1968. If I am not wrong, it would be around $300? If you convert the house prices to today's dollar terms, the semi-detached would have cost the equivalent of almost $1 million, not exactly affordable either.

Anonymous said...

Are u certain that Lucky Park Ltd was not associated with Ng Teng Fong? All of Ng Teng Fong's projects began with Lucky; Lucky Heights, Lucky Plaza, Lucky Towers, Lucky Gardens, etc.......

Maybe Chun See when you hit big time, you call them Chun See Tower, Chun See Plaza, Chun See Mansion, Chun See Lodge, Villa d'Chun See? Dont forget reserve 1 unit for me and Victor ok? Also need long-term and delayed payment scheme.

Anonymous said...

Peter, you are so funny ! By the way, did you guys know that Ng Teng Fong's Christian name is called Lucky. That's why he named his projects Lucky Heights, Lucky Plaza, Lucky ...

Lam Chun See said...

Some years ago, I partnered a colleague in business. His surnace was Chan. We wanted to use our names Lam-Chan in the business name. But he said, in Cantonese Lam suounds like collapse and Chan sounds like sink. Collapse and sink - not exactly a 'lucky' name yeah?

Lam Chun See said...

Actually, this is the first time I come across the Chinese name of my estate.

Zen said...

Young people today would grasp with astonishment at the ridiculously low prices of houses in the sixties, even lower in the fifties. But one could easily forget, there is a world of difference between the purchasing power of say one dollar then and now. As I mentioned a couple of time before, a sizeable plate char siew fan at Tg Pagar coffee shop (considered expensive in a town area) costed me fifty cents with a large cup of chinese tea provided foc. Another comparison, a boy delivered a plate of wanton mee, crossed Tg Pagar road, climbing up a flight of stair, very dark and unlit, to the upper floor to serve a visitor and the plate of delicious mee costed only thirty cents (no service charge whatsoever). My gosh! a junior civil service chap could raise a family, wife not working, with a pay around $200/- sometimes lucky enough to be provided with a living qrts, having only to pay only a all-in-sum of $5/- as utility charge - those were the days. In short, cost of living and value of money vary in accordance with time we live in. There is nothing to envy or regret about - through the passage of time.

Victor said...

The Chinese characters in the advertisement is pronounced as "Hong Fok" in Cantonese. Does it have anything to do with Hong Fok Corporation Ltd?

Anonymous said...

Hong Fook (The Cheong Family from Hong Kong) built International Plaza. The one member from Hong Fook still active is Simon Cheong, x-Citibanker and well known figure in public circle. He bought Chansville in Mountbatten Road and re-parceled into smaller bungalow plots.

Maybe related then?

Zen said...

Chun See - Facilities wise, this small housing estate can be considered quite self sufficient - good nearby schools, small coffeeshops, cosy up-market eateries (mostly located in the new 6th avenue mall), post office, cold storage opposite sixth avenue, and a few convenient shops. What happen to the mama store (at Anamalai avenue)? - is it replaced by a chinese store? Residents must have missed the former small Tat Lee bank which ceased operations after merging with OCBC. The bank had safety deposit box facility hence very useful to people living around this area. Is there banking facilities in the new sixth avenue mall?

Oldyonfoldy said...

Interesting - my father bought his terrace house at Chun Tin Road, Mandarin Park/Hoover Park for $27,500 in 1966. TOP 67!

We still live here and I think its worth a bit more than that now. Talk abt a good investment :)

WK Tan said...

Hi! Chun See,
When I retired from NTU-NIE in May 2004 I wrote a final piece of "retrivia" (before that I had written a monthly retrievia circular to amuse/irritate my Colleagues).

"I have now worked for 41 years; yet it seems like yesterday when I joined Raffles Institution as a teacher in 1964. How things have changed.

You might not believe it when I tell you that the price of a brand-new car in the 1960s was $5,100/-. (My salary was $755/- a month.)
Even more incredible was the cost of buying a house. I have lived in my present house since 1969. It is a 2-storey corner house in Teachers’ Estate with slightly over 3000 square feet of land and the price of it then was $26,500/-.

The housing project, under the initiative of the Singapore Teachers Union (STU), opened
for booking in 1966. About a week after bookings started, my wife and I went to the STU office in Onan Road to take a look at the plan for the housing project.

There were GREEN, YELLOW and RED pins on some house lots on the plan while the rest of the lots were empty. Naturally, I enquired about the different-coloured pins.
RED meant that someone had indicated an interest in purchasing that unit; YELLOW
meant that a booking fee had been paid and GREEN meant that the unit was taken since the 10% deposit had been paid.

There was one corner unit facing south-east that my wife and I liked but it had a RED pin on it. I asked the person in charge and he explained that RED meant someone was interested but had NOT
paid a booking fee. Naturally, I asked whether we could ‘book’ it and the reply was:
“Sure, if you pay the booking fee”.
“How much is the booking fee?” and the reply was "$50/-".
Yes, you read it right -- $50/- (Fifty Dollars). We paid the $50 on the spot.
However, to convert this into a firm reservation, the rest of the 10% ($2600) had to be paid within a week. Well, we came back 3 days later and paid the $2600/-.

As they say, the rest (the escalation in prices of houses and cars in Singapore) is history."

Update: In 2008, my wife and I decided that a 2-storey house would pose a problem as we grew older -- climbing up and down a flight of steps gets harder as the legs get weaker. We then sold the house -- for $1.4 million. (Today in 2011, a matter of just 3 years, a similar corner 2-storey house with 3000 sq ft of land can fetch $2.25 million.) No regrets, though -- our legs are slowly and surely getting weaker. My jogging days are behind me now; luckily, I can still swim. Ha! Ha! Praise the Lord!.