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Posted by on in Residential

The average size of condo apartments on sites acquired via the Government has been generally declining since 2010 as developers turn to bite-sized units to deal with loan curbs, a new study has found.

The decline in space was most apparent in new projects launched on the city fringes.

Average sizes there fell from 1,051 sq ft at Waterbank in Dakota Crescent in 2010 to 810 sq ft across the three new condos released in the region this year.

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Posted by on in Residential

The second quarter of this year saw a surge in the number and value of transactions in Good Class Bungalow Areas - to at least 11 deals totalling S$282.3 million, up from just four deals adding up to S$95.3 million in Q1.

The latest Q2 performance - which is also a marked improvement from the five deals worth S$81.8 million in the same period last year - was buoyed by the sale of 35 Ridout Road in May at S$91.7 million, the biggest sale ever, on absolute quantum price basis, in a GCB Area.

The same month also saw a record per square foot of land price of S$2,190 psf in a GCB Area being achieved for a luxuriously built and furnished bungalow in Bishopsgate. The three-year-old bungalow, which has two storeys and a basement, fetched S$33 million.

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The latest Executive Condominium (EC) project, located in Canberra Drive in the northern part of Singapore, has received relatively strong response in its opening weekend.

The Brownstone received about 300 e-applications over the weekend of Jul 11 and 12, with more than 2,000 visitors at its sales gallery. This was despite a highly competitive market with a number of new EC launches in recent months.

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Asia's first large-scale residential project to be built with prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) will go on sale soon.

Cutting-edge PPVC, which has been likened to Lego blocks, boosts productivity and workplace safety.

E-applications for The Brownstone executive condominium (EC) in Sembawang by City Developments (CDL) and related company TID - a joint venture between Hong Leong Group and Japan's Mitsui Fudosan - will start today.

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The resale volume for Housing Board flats rose to its highest in two years last month, further signalling a market recovery.

There were 1,709 HDB flats sold in June, up by more than 8 per cent from the 1,575 units in May, according to the latest SRX Property data.

This is the highest since May 2013, and a third up from last June.

Resale prices also inched up by 0.1 per cent last month, after rising by 0.2 per cent in April and staying flat in May. While prices of three-room flats dipped by 0.2 per cent, those of four-room, five-room and executive flats were up by 0.3 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

This comes after months of prices heading south, following the introduction of market cooling measures such as an increased mortgage servicing ratio limit.

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Leasing deals for industrial properties are picking up, but strata-titled sales remained anaemic in Q2 2015, an international property consultancy said in a report on Wednesday.

According to rental records retrieved from URA Realis as at July 1, 2015, the total number of leasing deals - including warehouses, factories and business park premises - rose from 651 in March to 756 in April and 836 in May.

The demand was fed by interest from firms in growth industries such as data centres and those in the manufacturing chain of high-tech products. Some industrialists affected by the government's industrial estate redevelopment plans were also sourcing for alternative premises.

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There's no denying that private property prices in Singapore are on a downward trend; they have been falling for seven straight quarters.

Last week, the flash estimates for the second quarter were released, showing a 0.9 per cent drop in private home prices.

Invariably, with each quarter's release, the debate gets resurrected to some degree about whether the existing cooling measures have served their purpose and are due for a review.

There are those who think some of the cooling measures - the additional buyer's stamp duty being a prime example - should be rolled back, and others who reckon the time is not right yet.

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With the slump in the resale property market, it might be unexpected for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats to fetch more than twice their original price.

But a closer look shows little cause for surprise - and little cause to expect that the success will be fully replicated, for a few reasons.

One is that early owners of BTO homes benefited from especially low launch prices.

Their gains may not be realised by those who bought their flats later, for much more money.

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Posted by on in Residential

Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Sengkang and Punggol may have been unpopular when they were first launched, with complaints over the location and the lack of amenities.

But home buyers who signed up for the flats some 10 years ago are now having the last laugh, with the value of their homes nearly tripling.

The Straits Times looked at data provided by SRX Property of flats launched in and after 2002 when the BTO system began.

Of these, the highest number of transactions were of Sengkang four-roomers with the leases starting in 2009. They cost up to $205,000 when they were first launched around 2005.

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Posted by on in Residential

It was like a flashback to the boom days when more than 8,000 people thronged the sales gallery of High Park Residences when it opened to the public on the weekend.

They were not just there to look, either, with around 500 cheques collected from buyers keen to own a unit at the massive condominium project to be launched in two weeks.

Pricing seems to have been a key factor in the weekend rush.

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Posted by on in Residential

A year after lensmen from The Business Times put together a photo essay on "dark condos" to highlight the rising vacancies in the private housing market, they have gone in search of an update of the situation.

In May, they returned to the same 10 completed condo projects they photographed a year ago to capture these developments, as far as possible, from the same angles . They even went at around the same time - between 8 pm and 9.30 pm on a weekday, before the school holidays, when people could reasonably be expected to be home.

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National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s recent comment that every Singaporean couple — regardless of their financial means — ought to have a chance of living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats signals a shift in the Government’s thinking and could have profound implications on housing policy, experts said yesterday.

Nevertheless, some of them noted that it was an inevitable shift given Singapore’s changing circumstances and the need for public housing to retain its role as a social institution here.

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Slowing retail sales and fewer overseas visitors hit shop rents in the second quarter, said a real estate consultancy yesterday.

It noted that the amount of retail space vacated in the first three months of the year exceeded the amount leased out by 270,000 sq ft, a trend that had a flow-on effect on rents.

Orchard Road and Scotts Road were more hard hit, with an extra 80,000 sq ft of vacant space left after accounting for new tenants arriving. It was less severe in suburban areas, where an extra 20,000 sq ft was un-tenanted.

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Dundee Road housing site

HY Realty, which shares the same shareholders as Chinese developer Hao Yuan Investment, has emerged as the top bidder for the land parcel at Dundee Road that drew nine offers.

Its S$483.18 million bid, which works out to S$871.14 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year lease site, was 8.4 per cent higher than the second-highest bid, from Allgreen Properties.

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National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has revealed further details of the new "Two-Room Flexi" housing scheme that he said would give buyers more flexibility.

He first mentioned grouping studio apartments with two- room flats in the same category in the March Budget debate, offering buyers different lease lengths for the same flat type.

Last night, he announced the scheme's name on Chinese radio station Capital 95.8FM, saying it will aim to "give buyers more flexible leases depending on their individual needs".

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Posted by on in Residential

Home renters today could switch to buying in 2016, Nomura said in a Monday report.

More Singaporeans seem to be opting to rent their private homes these days compared to before. For those who started renting their private homes in 2014, when the time comes to renew their contract in 2016, Nomura believes that there will be enough impetus for them to buy instead.

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BNP Paribas in a Monday report said that it believes that immigration policies and the incoming private housing supply will make averting further declines in property prices more difficult than is widely thought.

This is against a general consensus that the authorities have enough controls in place to maintain a "desirable slow bleed" in residential prices.

The bank estimates that private property prices could fall a further 10 per cent over the next two years, which in turn could have a negative wealth effect and constrain private consumption growth.

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Financial support is the main way to help people who want to get a resale Housing Board flat near their parents, said experts.

This could mean giving a higher resale grant, or allowing more buyers to qualify for it.

As part of efforts to encourage extended families to live close together, the Government is studying whether such resale buyers can get more help, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said last Friday.

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Singapore’s housing glut will worsen in the near future as more public and private units come on stream and only start to ease from 2017, with the government potentially reviewing property cooling measures, a report by UOB Global Economics and Markets Research said.

Private completions surged 52 per cent year-on-year to a 20-year high of 19,900 units in 2014, which was significantly higher than the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) projections at the start of the year, said the report.

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Posted by on in Residential

The private residential market is set to sink deeper into the doldrums with buyers continuing to hold off purchases for as long as hard-hitting cooling measures stay firmly in place.

Analysts told The Straits Times private home prices could shed a further 2 per cent in the second quarter of the year from the first.

Both developers and home sellers are reducing their prices to attract buyers amid the onslaught of property cooling measures, said one. The overall market sentiment remains fairly weak with macroeconomic uncertainties looming.

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