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Recent blog posts

Home buyers can now view net prices of individual units at projects, after the Ministry of National Development mandated greater market transparency.

From last week, developers have been required to submit detailed transaction data to the Controller of Housing every week.

This includes sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units, and the value of any benefits extended to buyers - including cash rebates, absorption of stamp duty fees, rental guarantees and furniture vouchers.

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Posted by on in Residential

The Singapore government will continue to monitor the property market closely and consider suitable adjustments to its cooling measures when necessary, said a Ministry of Finance (MOF) spokesman.

These actions are aligned with the government's objective to promote a stable and sustainable property market, she said.

MOF was responding to a BT query about strong market sentiments that there will be changes to cooling measures - in particular, the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) - in the near term.

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Buying interest is returning to the secondary market - the selling of existing homes - but volumes are still well below levels seen before cooling measures started to bite.

The number of non-landed resale deals jumped 20.7 per cent year on year to 1,411 in the first four months of this year, according to an analysis of caveats by a real estate research firm.

The increase was across all regions, and came in tandem with falling prices.

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Posted by on in Residential

Luxury condos in Singapore priced at S$10 million and above have drawn a host of interesting buyers, mostly foreigners, this year.

Besides Alibaba co-founder Sun Tongyu, who paid S$51 million for the sole penthouse at Wing Tai's Le Nouvel Ardmore freehold project in April, other corporate bigwigs have also surfaced in the list of high-end condo buyers here this year. Mr Sun, who invests in startups these days, is a Chinese citizen and a Singapore permanent resident (PR).

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Posted by on in Commercial

Retail brands still flock to Singapore because it offers not just hordes of shoppers but also regional exposure and myriad business opportunities.

Mr Vincent Soh, orchard-gateway's chief executive, told The Straits Times: "It is a place where you want to expand your brand's presence overseas, especially in the context of South-east Asia."

Having a shopfront in Orchard Road, the glitziest part of town, not only boosts a brand's presence but also attracts potential business partners in the region.

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Posted by on in Residential

Flats in Clementi were the most sought-after in the latest Build-to-Order (BTO) launch, with thousands of buyers applying for just a few hundred flats.

Five-room units in the new Clementi Crest project drew the highest demand as of 5pm yesterday. They had an application rate of 13.1, with 2,047 buyers vying for just 156 units.

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Property consultants generally expect the authorities to either maintain the supply of private housing land for the second half of this year around the same level as H1 2015, or trim it slightly.

The government is likely to weigh the substantial supply pipeline of new homes against the fact that developers are still demonstrating a healthy appetite for land at state tenders albeit at lower land bids.

However, some property consultants forecast that the Ministry of National Development (MND) may cut the supply of private homes in the confirmed list while increasing supply in the reserve list - to avoid exacerbating the housing glut.

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National University of Singapore's (NUS) price indices for completed non-landed private homes rose month on month in May, after straight declines for several months. Its latest flash estimate shows that the Overall Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) rose 0.8 per cent in May from the revised value for April - after slipping one per cent in April over the previous month.
The increase marked the first gain for the index after nine consecutive months of declines between August 2013 and April this year. May's flash estimate is down 6.3 per cent from the recent peak in July 2013. Year on year, the May index value is down 6 per cent.
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It is still too early to roll back property cooling measures, according to the Ministry of National Development (MND) yesterday.
It said that although home sales have decreased, prices have remained relatively stable.
The moves to rein in property prices included extra stamp duties to curb speculative buying and the total debt servicing ratio framework which was introduced a year ago.
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Veteran property developer Kwek Leng Beng fears Singapore could lose its edge as an investment destination unless the Government reviews its property cooling measures.
Mr Kwek, executive chairman of Hong Leong Group Singapore and City Developments, said foreigners were choosing to plough their investment dollars into countries like Britain, Australia and the US over Singapore, while Singaporeans have been investing abroad.
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Posted by on in Commercial
Singapore's office property market saw stronger demand in the second quarter this year, all Grade A office micro-markets across the island have reached near-full occupancy rate at beyond 95 per cent.
According to the quarterly research report, the Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar micro-market saw the highest occupancy rate of 99.4 per cent, up from 97.2 per cent in the first quarter. Demand came from a myriad of industries such as oil and gas, insurance, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.
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Posted by on in Commercial
A 0.5 hectare industrial land parcel at Tuas South Street 7 has been triggered from the reserve list with an application of a committed bid price of not less than $3,527,300.

This translates to about $65.5 per square foot (psf) for the 5,000 square metre site which has a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 1.0. Plot 44 has a tenure of 20 years and 10 months, and is zoned for Business-2 development.

The public tender for the land parcel is scheduled for end-July with a tender period of six weeks.

Credit from Business Times - 1 July 2014
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The biggest collective redevelopment for public housing is in the offing for one of the country's oldest neighbourhoods in Queenstown.
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Time may be up for 3,480 flats in 31 blocks along Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive, which are slated to be demolished under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme, or Sers.
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Residents, who found out only yesterday, will be offered new flats in the nearby Dawson estate, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced in a blog post yesterday.
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Posted by on in Residential
About two in five Sentosa condominium units have resold at a loss in the past year, symptomatic of the plight of luxury homes here, as financing restrictions put off buyers, industry watchers say.
Since May last year, 31 units have changed hands at six Sentosa projects: Marina Collection, Seascape, The Azure, The Berth, The Coast and The Oceanfront, according to data compiled by STProperty.sg from URA Realis.
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Posted by on in Residential
Two private residential sites in Sengkang and an executive condominium (EC) plot along Choa Chu Kang Drive, which together can yield about 1,700 homes, were launched for sale yesterday.
The three 99-year leasehold sites are the last on the confirmed list of the H1 2014 Government Land Sales programme to be released for tender.
Of the twin private residential sites in Fernvale Road in Sengkang, one is 16,604 square metres in size and the other, 17,414 sq m. Together, they can yield more than 1,100 units. Both their tenders close on Aug 7.
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Posted by on in Residential
A Wing Tai-led consortium is understood to have granted options for a tad over 30 units in The Crest condominium project along Prince Charles Crescent.
The sales were clinched at a preview over the weekend. The showflat was closed this week but will open again tomorrow for this weekend's sales.
So far one tower has been released, comprising around 130 units, say sources.
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Posted by on in Commercial
The government's move to shorten industrial land tenures to help industrialists better manage costs is all well and good. Going by simple comparisons, it has even worked. Land prices have indeed fallen for plots rolled out from July 2012 whose leases have been halved to 20-30 years, from a maximum of 60 years previously.

Let's take two examples of plots situated close to each other that were sold before and after the 30-year lease cap was implemented. In March 2011, an Ubi Ave 4 site with a 60-year lease attracted the highest tender of $72.2 million, or $2,333 per square metre per plot ratio (psm ppr). Two years later, another site in the vicinity sold for $16.2 million, or $1,851 psm ppr. That's a 21 per cent price drop. Both sites were zoned Business-1.
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The government will continue to supply shorter-tenure industrial sites in the second half of the year, reiterating that this will keep prices affordable for industrialists.

Among the 15 sites with a combined area of 18.87 ha to be released for industrial use between next month and December, three are 20-year leasehold plots - the shortest leases ever offered for industrial land. Before this, the shortest had been 21 years, offered mostly for small plots in Tuas South.
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After creating jobs closer to homes in the suburbs in recent years, the government is increasingly bringing private homes closer to jobs in the city.
In the confirmed list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for H2 this year, the proportion of private housing supply in the Central Region has risen to 33.2 per cent. This is up from 28.9 per cent in H1 2014 and 15.1 per cent in H2 2013. The recent low was 8.6 per cent in H1 2012.
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Posted by on in Residential
As dusk descends upon the Singapore skyline, the excess capacity building up in the private housing market is evident. Dark patches in some condominium developments completed six to 12 months ago, or even longer, point to significant vacancy.
Analysts cite a host of factors, including strong investment demand for real estate after the global crisis, escalation in private home completions of late, and slower expatriate inflow. Vacancies are set to climb and rents fall in general. Suburban locations, where most of the supply is, will be the worst hit.
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