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Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Residential

Developers pondering what might lure buyers back to the market this year already seem to have the answer - reasonably priced homes in good locations.

They only have to look at the turnout at the launches held last year.

Three projects defied the cooling measures to perform exceptionally well at their launch, largely due to pricing and location.

North Park Residences in Yishun sold 486 units at a median price of $1,374 per sq ft (psf) while High Park Residences in Sengkang sold 1,169 units at a median price of $989 psf in their launch months.

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Posted by on in Residential

After nine months of decline, public housing resale prices in Singapore rose 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 over the third quarter, although it remains to be seen if this uptick is sustainable.

The latest data was according to flash estimates released by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Monday. It brings the decline in resale flat prices for the whole of 2015 to 1.5 per cent.

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Posted by on in Residential

The property market is poised for further slides this year, with weak economic growth and rising interest rates likely to drag prices south.

Remarks by National Development (MND) Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday that it is too early to talk about unwinding cooling measures suggest these steps will continue to dampen demand.

As at the third quarter of last year, private home prices had fallen about 8 per cent from their peak in the third quarter of 2013.

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Posted by on in Residential

Good Class Bungalows, the creme de la creme of the landed housing market, have turned out to be somewhat of a bright spot in 2015.

At least 34 transactions totalling S$730 million in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas were sealed in 2015 - up from 28 deals adding up to S$626 million in 2014.

The latest tally is also the best showing since 2012, when 54 properties in GCB Areas changed hands for S$1.17 billion. The increase in sales last year was against the backdrop of softer prices.

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The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has launched for sale an Executive Condominium (EC) site on Yio Chu Kang Road, with analysts saying the tender is likely to attract conservative bids from developers amid a large unsold inventory.

The 99-year leasehold site, released from the Confirmed List of the second half of the 2015 Government Land Sales programme, sits on a 198,302 sqf area and may yield 520 homes, said the HDB yesterday. It also released for application under the Reserve List yesterday an EC site at Sumang Walk in Punggol. This parcel has a land area of about 291,233 sqf and may yield 820 units.

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After another year of subdued home buying activity, property analysts warned that the Republic’s private residential property market may be in for tougher times in 2016 as the lacklustre economic environment is likely to depress sentiment further.

Adding to the woes is the United States Federal Reserve’s decision to start normalising interest rates, which is expected to keep prospective buyers on the sidelines as they adjust to the new reality. That, coupled with existing property curbs, could cause prices to fall by up to 8 per cent in the next 12 months, analysts told TODAY.

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JACK CHUA

Chief executive of ERA Singapore

Q: What were the best and worst things that happened to you (financially) this year?

A: ERA moved its office to Mountbatten Square early this year. It was a big move as we operated out of almost 60,000 sq ft of office space.

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Most property consultants are all agog about an office site in the Marina Bay area coming onto the market, despite the headwinds of an imminent glut from new completions in the next couple of years amid weakened demand. This is because those bidding for the site will be eyeing an office rental recovery beyond 2020, when any project on the plot will be completed.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday released the detailed sales conditions for the 1.1-hectare white site along Central Boulevard opposite Asia Square Tower 1 which is now available for application on the reserve list. It will be launched for tender only upon successful application by a developer.

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Singapore parents will go to great lengths to get their children into popular schools. Primary 1 registration begins in the second half of each year.

The Ministry of Education's allocation system consists of seven phases. The first three phases - 1, 2A(1) and 2A(2) - assign priority to students affiliated with schools, which include children with siblings currently studying in the schools, whose parents and siblings are alumni of the schools, whose parents are members of advisory and management boards of the schools, or whose parents are teaching staff in the schools.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Sales of new private homes jumped 39 per cent last month from October, mainly due to the high take-up at the newly launched The Poiz Residences in Potong Pasir, a showing analysts said signalled steady underlying demand for projects that are in good locations and attractively priced.

Transaction volumes are likely to pick up next year, the analysts said, with prices expected to drop as developers are under pressure to offload unsold homes to avoid paying the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). Developers will be subject to an ABSD — introduced in Dec 2011 — if they fail to complete a residential project and sell all its units within five years.

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Posted by on in Residential

An upcoming scheme to help public rental households own a home again could offer two-room flexi flats on shorter leases. Such leases are now only for elderly buyers.

This Fresh Start Housing Scheme includes a new grant, which may be disbursed in tranches subject to conditions, to motivate the new home owners to stay in jobs and put their children through school, for instance.

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Posted by on in Commercial

Property giant City Developments (CDL) has structured another investment deal to unlock about $1.1 billion from its real-estate assets here.

CDL will partner Alpha Investment Partners to set up a joint office investment platform, which will acquire three of its office buildings - one in the Central Business District, another near the CBD and the third, in Tampines.

Private equity firm Alpha will invest $200.2 million, while CDL will inject $133.3 million through its subsidiary, Bestro Holdings.

Tagged in: City Developments
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Amid all the gloom and doom surrounding the private residential market, a more contrarian view that has emerged now points to green shoots of recovery in the second half of 2016.

A continual downward drift in residential prices is almost a foregone conclusion in light of rising vacancies, impending interest-rate hikes and a slowing economy, consultants say.

But some believe transactions could see a rebound in the second half of 2016 as value emerges in some areas, such as the high-end market and secondary sales.

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At least 2,100 families and 220 singles who applied for new flats this month were newly eligible due to higher income ceilings.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong gave these figures on his blog yesterday, to show how changes have benefited buyers.

The figures, from 11am yesterday, were for the Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats exercises which closed at midnight.

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Warm bidding interest from developers is expected for a residential site in Siglap Road launched for public tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday.

The site, in a residential area near East Coast Park and existing condominiums such as Mandarin Gardens, Fernwood Towers and Villa Marina, is also near Tao Nan School, CHIJ Katong Convent, Victoria School and Victoria Junior College.

Among the favourable attributes of the 1.93-ha land parcel is its proximity to the future Siglap MRT station, and the popularity of the East Coast residential enclave.

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Posted by on in Commercial

Ascendas, which won the tender for the CPF Building at 79 Robinson Road, with its top bid of S$550 million, plans to redevelop the property into a Grade A CBD office project with supporting retail elements, the company said.

The tender, which closed on Oct 28, drew three bids. The results were announced by the Central Provident Fund Board on Thursday.

The win marks Ascendas' maiden Singapore office acquisition.

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Suntec City has seen a revival in office transactions this year, reflecting a bridging in buyers' and sellers' price expectations after an absence of deals last year, when the office market was in runaway phase as one market watcher put it.

A caveat analysis of URA Realis data shows that so far this year, there have been six deals totalling S$169.12 million. In 2013, there were 12 deals that added up to S$185.85 million. In 2012 there were eight transactions at S$96.86 million.

The average per square foot price achieved has risen from S$1,745 psf in 2009 to S$2,641 psf in 2013 and S$2,774 psf so far this year.

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The British government has put more of the Eden Hall land around its High Commissioner's residence in Nassim Road up for sale, after selling off a portion in 2001.

It has carved out two freehold land plots from the garden land for buyers with deep pockets interested in securing some of the plummiest land in Singapore.

The indicative price for Plot A, which is about 18,620 sq ft and comes with about 36m of Nassim Road frontage, is $40.964 million, or $2,200 per sq ft (psf).

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Halfway into the Housing Board's largest sales exercise, the first Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Bidadari are still the most sought-after.

As of 5pm yesterday, there were 1,833 applicants vying for the 151 five-room units there - a ratio of over 12 applicants to each flat.

Four-room units there were hot too, with 3,249 applicants chasing the 1,229 flats on offer.

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Posted by on in Commercial

A freehold commercial building in the central business district (CBD) is being put up for sale.

Tower Fifteen at 15 Hoe Chiang Road is a 29-storey office tower, which includes an annex three-storey hotel podium. The building has a site area of 39,337 sq ft and a current gross floor area of 253,453 sq ft, which comprises office and hotel space.

The total existing net lettable area of the building is some 210,268 sq ft.

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