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Posted by on in New Launches

Far East Organization

Two luxury condominiums by Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest private property developer, have won silver and bronze awards respectively in the Best Residential Development category of the MIPIM Asia Awards 2015.

The 62-storey, 280-unit Altez in Tanjong Pagar (pictured), and the seafront facing Silversea comprising 383 units, were among 36 finalists shortlisted in 12 award categories, based on votes garnered from the jury panel and MIPIM Asia delegates.

This year’s Awards attracted over 100 entries from 17 countries and regions.

The results were announced during a gala dinner held in Hong Kong on Tuesday, 1 December.

In its ninth edition, the MIPIM Asia Awards recognises outstanding real estate projects in Asia Pacific for their architectural, technical and environmental excellence and innovation.

 

This year, Far East Organization also clinched four awards in the FIABCI Singapore Property Awards 2015, and seven awards at the South East Asia Property Awards 2015.

Credits: Propertyguru

 

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UOL Group Limited

Property developer UOL Group has picked up the Real Estate Management Team of the Year Award at Singapore Business Review’s inaugural Management Excellence Awards 2015.

The award recognises management who have implemented a strategy or initiative that contributed to the company’s growth.

UOL’s team comprises Group Chief Executive Gwee Lian Kheng, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer Liam Wee Sin, and Chief Financial Officer Wellington Foo.

Receiving the award at the Shangri-La Hotel last night, Mr Gwee said: “It would not be possible for the Group to grow and become one of the leading developers in Singapore without the hard work and professionalism of all our employees. I would also like to thank Chairman Wee Cho Yaw and the Board of Directors for their guidance, advice and pragmatic approach in building the business all these years.

“The change curve for real estate is getting shorter and the business environment is getting more challenging – but this is not the challenge. What is more important is what leaders are doing to overcome such challenges.”

This year, UOL launched two property developments – Botanique at Bartley, a 797-unit resort-themed condominium, and Principal Garden, a 663-unit development on the fringe of a Good Class Bungalow Area.

According to the developer, these projects have been selling well amidst the challenging real estate market due to their unique design, high-quality finishes, and attractive pricing.

Credits: Propertyguru

Riverbank @ Fernvale Homepage - LPS

(Check out Riverbank @ Fernvale Homepage, another development by UOL Group Limited.)

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Posted by on in New Launches

The Poiz Residences Homepage - LPS

(The Poiz Residences Artist Impressions - Visit The Poiz Residences Homepage)

Home buyers snapped up nearly 75 percent of the released units at MCC Land’s The Poiz Residences in Meyappa Chettiar Road during its first weekend of sales, reported The Straits Times.

A total of 260 apartments were sold out of the 350 units initially launched under phase one, revealed the project’s developer. Of this, around 33 percent were one-bedroom units, while three- and four-bedders accounted for 36 percent and 31 percent respectively. About 98 percent of the buyers are Singaporeans.

“The sales at our launch weekend were encouraging and we attribute its success to our strategic differentiation of the units into Urban, Habitat and Suites which are each targeted at different market segments,” said MCC Land’s Managing Director Tan Zhiyong.

Another selling point of the 731-unit condominium is its proximity to Potong Pasir MRT station, he added.

The Poiz Residences is the residential component of a mixed-use development, which includes The Poiz Centre mall. Both the condominium and shopping centre are expected to be completed by 2019.

 

Originally, the developer planned to call the condo The Andrew Residences. But it later decided to rename it after more than 1,000 people complained that the first name would cause a mix-up with a nearby and similarly-named school.

Credits: Propertyguru

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Posted by on in New Launches

A new study found that the average size of condominium units on sites acquired through the government has been shrinking, and the trend was most evident in new projects located within the city fringe areas.

According to the report by The Straits Times, average sizes there dropped from 1,051 sq ft at Waterbank in Dakota Crescent in 2010 to 810 sq ft across three new projects launched within the region this year.

Conducted by SLP Research and Consultancy, the study examined condo projects that were launched on Government Land Sales (GLS) sites since 2010. It then derived an average unit size from the site’s maximum allowable gross floor area (GFA) and divided it by the number of houses to be built.

Over at the suburban areas – where majority of GLS condo sites were sold during the last six years – average GFA per unit shrank to 811 sq ft in four condos launched this year from 878 sq ft across six condo launches in 2010.

According to SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak, there are two reasons why a developer turn to building smaller units.

The developer could be trying to boost profit margins by increasing the psf price of the development or the move may have reflected the fact that the purchasing power of most homebuyers was curbed by the various property cooling measures rolled out by the government since 2010.

“The Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty and Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework have limited the housing budget of many buyers. As a result, the absolute price quantum of the unit has become the primary consideration of a large majority of owners,” said Mak.

 

 Credits: Propertyguru

Commonwealth Towers Homepage - LPS

(Looking for condos? Visit LPS Homepage now!)

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The Poiz Residence

(View The Poiz Residences Homepage now!)

MCC Land has opened The Poiz Residences for public preview, with sales set to begin on 28 November, reported The Straits Times.

Located beside Potong Pasir MRT station, the project had previously seen some unwelcome publicity, after several St Andrew’s alumni protested against its original name, The Andrew Residences, for being too similar to the name of the educational institution. MCC Land subsequently changed the name of the property.

Defying predictions of a further slowdown in the property market, the property developer is releasing about 50 percent of the total number of units in its first launch. The 731-unit condominium, situated in Meyappa Chettiar Road, forms part of a mixed-use development that also includes a retail and lifestyle mall, The Poiz Centre.

Over half its units are one- and two-bedders, measuring 420 sq ft and above and priced at around S$1,380 psf on average. The project will also feature 202 three-bedders, 52 four-bedders, and four penthouses. Both the mall and condominium are set to be completed in 2019.

“In spite of Potong Pasir’s rapid development over the years, it seems to lack an iconic central destination that combines major transport infrastructure with retail and recreational amenities, as found in most other residential estates,” said MCC Land managing director Tan Zhiyong. He noted that the commercial project is intended to be Potong Pasir’s definitive landmark.

 

 Credits: Propertyguru

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Posted by on in New Launches

We’ve seen a number of private condo launches this year that have done quite well, or were quite well-received, and we thought we’d give a quick recap. One of the common factors for all of them was value-for-money. In the current market, between loan curbs and poor market sentiments, developers have had to price to sell, and move units. We recognize that this list is in no way comprehensive, so sound off in the comments some of your other favourite project launches this year!

Thomson Impressions

1. Thomson Impressions
Nanshan Group’s debut entrant into the Singapore market is located in the upmarket Thomson area, saw great interest, with many interested buyers visiting the showflat when it launched. Located along Lorong Puntong in the upmarket Thomson area, it’s set between a landed enclave and the popular food stretch of Thomson Road. Future potential is strong, with Ai Tong Primary next to it, and two upcoming MRT stations. The nearest retail and grocery options are a short drive away at Thomson Plaza, or Bishan Central.

The Poiz Residences

2. The Poiz Residences

This is the newest condo in the list, and at time of writing, hasn’t even launched yet, with balloting day set for 28 Nov. However, the showflat has opened and is seeing great footfall, likely drawn by the convenience of a mixed development right above Potong Pasir MRT. Protests from the St. Andrews community led the developer MCC Land to change it from Andrews Residences to its current name. There’s no such thing as bad publicity though, with this condo being the most searched condo for sale on PropertyGuru at the moment.

3. Principal Gardens

UOL’s latest project in District 3 is located in a prestigious address, a stone’s throw away from Orchard Road and River Valley. With 80 percent of the land area being dedicated to landscape, a sky clubhouse with a larger than usual gym, homebuyers can expect a great environment to live in. Principal Garden’s most attractive feature however, is its price, starting at about $730K or so, which is extremely competitive for its address, and is attractive for both investors and homebuyers in a post-TDSR market. Read the full condo review here to find out more.

Sim Urban Oasis

4. Sims Urban Oasis

Guocoland’s massive project in Geylang has a great growth story behind it, with the area’s gentrification, and two developmental zones – Paya Lebar and the Kallang Riverside leisure and sports hub – in close proximity. According to URA, the developer has already sold 345 out of 362 launched units, with most market sources suggesting that the developer will increase prices for subsequent launches. Given the sheer amounts of residents in the development when it is completed, Guocoland is also building a child-care centre, a convenience store, and cafes in the project.

5. North Park Residences

Frasers Centerpoint’s integrated development at Yishun sits on a massive plot of land next to Yishun MRT, and will include not only residential living, but a massive mall that will be integrated with the current Northpoint, Yishun Bus Interchange, and a community library. Investment potential is strong for the project, with Seletar Aerospace Park and Woodlands Regional Centre in easy proximity. Sales numbers have supported this, with one-bedroom units almost sold out in the current launch phase.

6. High Park Residences

This Jalan Kayu project saw brisk sales, and made headlines for moving over a high volume of units. With over 1376 of 1392 units sold currently according to URA, High Park might be this year’s best performer. With an average PSF price around $1000, the project is priced to sell. The massive plot of land also allows for multiple facilities, with CEL listing a whopping 118 that it is building, including uphill trekking and a sensory trail.

7. Botanique at Bartley

Built right at the edge of the city fringe, UOL’s project is located next to Bartley MRT and Maris Stella Primary and Secondary schools, and is one MRT stop from Nex. It’s also a short drive to the city and to Paya Lebar regional centre. Location aside, Botanique’s other selling point is its price, with asking prices around $1,200 psf, which has led to strong sales. 

Credits: Propertyguru


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The new Two-Room Flexi Scheme witnessed modest reception on the first day of sales, with only 364 applicants for the 2,093 units offered as at 5 PM on Tuesday, reportedThe Straits Times. This works out to a ratio of about one applicant for every five units.

 

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong noted that two-room flexi units account for nearly 30 percent of flats offered in this Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. “This will help ensure a broad range of options and locations to meet demand,” he said in a Facebook post.

Despite the muted response, property experts still expect robust demand for the scheme, which has combined and replaced the previous studio apartment and two-room flat schemes.

Available in two sizes, the units are offered on 99-year leases, or short leases of 15 to 45 years for qualified buyers aged 55 and above. Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty, expects short leases to be popular, as many older buyers had requested for more flexible leases.

At least 40 percent (subject to a minimum of 100 units) of the two-room flexi BTO flats are reserved for the elderly, with half the quota set aside for buyers of flats near their children or their current home, under the new Senior Priority Scheme.

At the same time, two-room flexi units account for over 20 percent of the 5,350 flats on offer in the concurrent Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise. These include 776 units offered on a short lease only, but come with elderly-friendly fittings, and another 442 that are sold on either a 99-year lease or short lease.

Although singles have been able to purchase two-room flats located in non-mature estates in BTO exercises since July 2013, this is the first time that they can purchase flats in SBF exercises.

Credits: Propertyguru

The Poiz Residence

(Image: The Poiz Residences Artist Impression - More interested in Private/ Executive Condominium, click here now!)

Tagged in: 2015 BTO hdb development
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Posted by on in New Launches

Thomson Impressions Artist View

(Artist Imrpession: Thomson Impressions

Developers sold 546 private homes in October, up 60.1 percent from September but a 30.4 percent decline year-on-year, said JLL. Developers launched 434 units, an 11 percent increase from the previous month but a 35.8 percent decrease year-on-year.

“Compared to the same period last year, the private home market is at a slower momentum. Market sentiment and buyer interest appear to have softened as economic and business conditions have become more difficult compared to a year ago,” noted JLL.

Despite the challenging environment, two new projects were launched for sale during the period. With a total of 663 units, Principal Garden at Prince Charles Crescent sold 113 of the 200 units launched at a median price of S$1,633 psf, while the 288-unit Thomson Impressions sold 80 of the 150 units launched at a median price of S$1,399 psf.

Other top-selling projects were Sims Urban Oasis, which sold 46 units, The Panorama (39 units) and High Park Residences (33 units).

Meanwhile, the executive condominium (EC) market registered some activity in October, with the launch of The Criterion. The project launched all of its 505 units and found buyers for 41 units at a median price of S$805 psf.

“Notwithstanding the slight improvement in private home sales in October over the previous month, the market generally remains subdued as the effects of the cooling measures have been compounded by the economic slowdown and impending interest rate hike in the US,” said Ong Teck Hui, National Director, Research & Consultancy at JLL.

“Market sentiments will remain soft through the year end, so we may expect muted market activity in the remaining two months when the holiday season begins. Using developer sales of 653 units in November and December 2014 as a guide, new private home sales in the last two months of 2015 are likely to taper. With 6,383 units sold in the first 10 months of 2015, the full year figure is likely to be below last year’s 7,316 units,” he added.

 

 Credits: Propertyguru

Tagged in: 2015 condo condominium JLL
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The Poiz Residence Artist Impression.PNG

(The Poiz Residences - Investment Potential) 

Almost every real estate agent in a showflat will tell you the project has great potential for capital appreciation. This means you could make a good deal of money in the future after holding the property for a number of years. However, like former American president Richard Nixon said, “Trust, but verify.” Here are three tips for investigating a property’s potential.

1. Check the Masterplan

Our government is quite transparent with planning information, and most of it is publicly accessible. The latest revision to the URA Masterplan was in 2014, and details the changes planned for decentralized CBDs around Singapore, including Paya Lebar, Woodlands and Jurong. These changes suggest an influx of infrastructure, amenities and facilities that would definitely increase property prices in the area.

2. En-bloc potential

Those looking for properties that could potentially be en-bloc should look out for changes in plot-ratio in the Masterplan. This means that developers will be able to build more units on that piece of land than they previously could. Developers could make more money re-developing the land, and would therefore be interested to collectively buy over the units. Don’t restrict yourself to residential property for this — a lot of plot ratio changes are for both residential and commercial properties.

3. New transport links.

Our rail system has changed dramatically since the late ‘80s, with the first MRT trains. By 2030, the system is set to transform even further, with the planned Thomson-East Coast Line, Cross-Island Line, and the completion of construction for the Circle and Downtown lines. The convenience of train links will cause property prices to rise, so keep an eye on news of where upcoming stations will be located.

Credits: Propertyguru

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We look at some of the most common mistakes first-time investors make when buying Australian property.

1. Re-selling to locals only

Investors who are familiar with the rules of investing in Australian properties are well aware that foreigners can only buy “new homes” in the country. When you sell property, the buyers have to be either Australian citizens, permanent residents or holders of a valid visa that allows them to purchase Australian property. Many foreign purchasers are concerned about this, and some are even deterred from investing in Australia because of this. More important is the type of property one should invest in, its location, and what properties locals are searching for, which brings us to the next ‘mistake’.

2. Understanding the lifestyle

It is common for investors to use their local cultural beliefs to influence their overseas property purchases. For instance, there are many Asian investors who will not buy East facing properties because they want to avoid the morning sun. However, most Australians love the sunshine. In Melbourne, many people look forward to sunny days, especially during winter, as the weather can be quite cold and gloomy.

3. FIRB approval

Many buyers always ask: “What if I can’t get FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) approval after signing the contract?” As long as the development satisfies the ‘New Dealing’ criteria and is marketed overseas, this means that foreigners are allowed to make a purchase. They just need to apply to the board to inform them of their intention. Records show that nearly 100 percent of applications are usually approved.

4. Rental guarantee / Incentives

Do not be easily persuaded to make a purchase if the property you are considering offers a rental guarantee or other incentives like free stamp duty, etc. Potential buyers must recognise if it’s a genuine incentive. Projects that do not offer any incentives are often a much better investment.

5. Think outside the CBD

Very often, Asian buyers are only willing to invest within the central business district (CBD). Distance from the city centre should not always be used as a gauge when it comes to investing. The area’s infrastructure, as well as proximity to schools, employment centres and transportation that can affect the value and rental price should be taken into consideration. Australia is a large country, and the majority of Australians live in the suburbs. Much of their daily activities revolve in and around their neighbourhoods. Some residents visit the city just a few times a year. Data also shows that some of the suburbs yield very attractive returns compared to the city and city fringe areas. Very often, it is the suburbs which top the charts for growth or returns, and not the CBD.

6. Cheap doesn’t mean good

Cheap is not always good. Many investors are attracted to properties that are priced too low. Very often, such units have compromised on quality, design, and functionality, which will greatly affect your return, growth and resale value.

Credits: Propertyguru

 

 

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The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday announced the winners for the Rail Corridor Request for Proposal (RFP), with the Concept Master Plan awarded to the design team comprising Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei Ltd and local landscape firm Tierra Design.

Themed “Lines of Life”, the team’s proposal features a robust Concept Master Plan for the Rail Corridor supported by well-thought-out design strategies to create extraordinary community-centric spaces and experiences throughout the length of the Corridor.

The concept proposals include enhancing the natural vegetation along most stretches of the Rail Corridor to create places of respite and enrich the ‘green corridor’ experience. Activity nodes are also proposed along the Rail Corridor where nearby residents, workers, as well as visitors can enjoy various activities ranging from nature-based recreation, arts and cultural events, to community activities.

Evaluation panel member, Prof Wulf Daseking of the University of Freiburg, lauded the awarded Concept Master Plan “for its far-sightedness.”

“It presents visionary ideas for the former train line to be planned and integrated seamlessly with its diverse surroundings, over many years. The plan is a wise guide with brilliant ideas that is also flexible in terms of implementation.”

Meanwhile, URA awarded the Concept Designs for an urban-green-blue tapestry at Choa Chu Kang to the team from MKPL Architects Pte Ltd and Turenscape International Ltd. for their proposal to transform a stretch of the Rail Corridor into a linear forest that can be integrated with future housing.

The Concept Designs for the interim adaptive reuse of the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (pictured) was also awarded to MKPL Architects and Turenscape International.

Some of the highlights of the concept designs include creating additional entrance and exit for the future Circle Line MRT station located between the former railway platforms as well as a new green community space in front of the building.

Known as The Station Green, the community space will serve as a public park where large events can be held.

Notably, URA also launched an exhibition of the awarded proposals that will be held the URA Centre Atrium from 9 to 28 November 2015. “Throughout this period, the public is invited to give their feedback on the awarded proposal,” it said.

Credits: Propertyguru

 

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Posted by on in New Launches

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has won a total of six awards for landscaping and greenery by the National Parks Board.

SkyTerrace @ Dawson, for instance, clinched two awards – the Skyrise Greenery Award (SGA) and the Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) certification.

Meanwhile, the in-house designed Punggol Northshore District Landscape Masterplan picked up the LEAF certification (Outstanding Award).

HDB revealed that the landscape master plan involved three strategies – reconnecting with nature, enhancing existing natural habitats, and sustaining ecosystem services.

A special selection of plant species were added to enhance the urban environment through the regulation of wind flow, air quality and thermal comfort. In addition, a network of rain gardens and bioswales were incorporated to treat and regulate rainwater runoff.

Each of the residential precincts also featured sky gardens and basement carparks.

Meanwhile, habitats such as bird sanctuaries, butterfly gardens and dragonfly ponds were created within the district’s green spaces.

“We are encouraged that so many of our HDB developments have been recognised for excellence and innovation in greenery and landscape design,” said Housing Board CEO Dr Cheong Koon Hean.

“As we design and build a new generation of public housing, we will continue to seek fresh ideas to bring nature to residents’ doorstep. The public can look forward to more HDB projects in lush, green environments, including those in Bidadari, where the first batch of flats will be offered for sale this month.”

Below is the full list of HDB developments that were conferred awards:

Skyrise Greenery Award

SkyTerrace @ Dawson (Excellence Award)

LEAF Certification

Outstanding Award – Punggol Northshore District Landscape Masterplan (New development)

Outstanding Award – Kampung Admiralty (New development)

Skyline I & II @ Bukit Batok (New development)

SkyVille @ Dawson (Existing development)

SkyTerrace @ Dawson (Existing development)

Image: Artist’s impression of lush landscape spaces in Punggol Northshore District.

Credits: Propertyguru

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Burkill Hall and the Bandstand, two historic attractions at the Singapore Botanic Gardens will receive a fresh coat of paint by paints and coatings company, AkzoNobel, under the Garden City Fund, the National Parks Board’s registered charity.

Built in 1868, Burkill Hall is believed to be the only surviving example of an Anglo-Malayan plantation-style house in Southeast Asia. A popular wedding venue, it once served as the residence of the Gardens’ superintendents and Directors for more than a hundred years.

Meanwhile, the Bandstand is an octagonal gazebo-like building which derived its name from the open parade ground built in 1861. In the past, it regularly hosted evening performances by military bands, and concerts are still occasionally held there.

Refurbishment works for both buildings are expected to be completed by February next year.

Dr Nigel Taylor, Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, said: “The rich cultural heritage of the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a collection of the shared memories spanning generations of Singaporeans. Conservation of the Gardens’ icons like Burkill Hall and the Bandstand are key to this.”

Established in 1859, the 74-hectare Gardens attracts more than 4.4 million visitors annually, and was inscribed as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

Credits: Propertyguru

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Singapore has emerged as the world’s most successful economy in the Legatum Institute’s 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index, reported Singapore Business Review.

The city-state beat 142 other countries such as Switzerland and China, which took second and third places respectively.

In fact, Singapore has climbed up one notch every year in the Economy sub-index since it took third spot in 2013.

In a statement, Legatum said: “The country has the second highest capital per worker in the world: $240,750 per worker. 47 percent of the country’s manufactured exports are classified as ‘high-tech’, the third highest in the world.”

Meanwhile, Singapore was ranked 25th in the Social Capital sub-index and 38th in the Personal Freedom sub-index, the country’s lowest performance.

Overall, Singapore was ranked 17th – the highest ranking ever achieved.

Except for the Social Capital and Personal Freedom sub-indices, the country was ranked in the top 20 – 15th in Education, 14th in Health, 13th in Governance, 12th in Safety and Security, 12th in Entrepreneurship & Opportunity and 1st in Economy.

“The 2015 Prosperity Index shows that the country is safe and well-run,” said Legatum.

“The Index reveals that the country is largely free of tension between different social groups. 96 percent of Singaporeans believe that the country is a good place for people of different ethnicities – the highest in the world.”

Credits: Propertyguru

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Applications for the Lease Buyback Scheme have surged after changes that make more households eligible and offer more flexibility kicked in this April.

Introduced in 2009 but updated several times since, the scheme lets elderly flat owners sell part of their lease back to the Housing Board for retirement income.

From April till September - the six months after the latest round of changes - 779 applications were received, the HDB said in response to queries from The Straits Times.

This was more than double the 368 applications received in the six months after the last time the scheme was updated, in 2013.

Close to half of the new applications were from owners of four-room flats. These 359 households became newly eligible for the scheme after April.

Previously, the scheme was for only three-room and smaller flats, covering 35 per cent of elderly HDB households. The latest change extended it to 75 per cent.

The monthly household income ceiling was also raised from $3,000 to $10,000 in April, and to $12,000 in August. Of the new applications, 60 were from flat owners who exceeded the previous $3,000 ceiling.

Other changes included offering a choice of the length of lease to be retained, provided the lease covers the youngest owner until at least age 95, and more cash upfront from the proceeds.

It normally takes about three months for an application to be processed. Of those who applied after April's changes, 251 households were successful.

Not all applications necessarily end with a buyback as the HDB has to confirm each household's eligibility and provide personalised financial counselling, to help applicants make an informed final decision.

One of those who have taken up the scheme is retiree Koh Sai Choo, 66, who applied in June after she became eligible.

The Tampines resident, who is not married and lives alone in a four-room flat, had planned to apply for a long time.

"I'm not working any more so it's good to have a steady income every month," she said in Mandarin.

Ms Koh, who had 68 years left on her lease, sold 38 years back to the HDB for about $200,000.

Of this, $147,000 went to her Central Provident Fund (CPF) retirement account, and more than $50,000 was paid out in cash. Her retirement account savings were used to buy a CPF Life plan, which provides her with a monthly payout of $761.

"It's a big help to me," said the former factory worker. "I get money every month and I don't have to move... I'm glad that I can grow old here."

Credits: ST Property 

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PRICES and rentals of industrial space continued to soften in the third quarter of 2015, according to JTC statistics released on Thursday.

Overall industrial prices fell 0.3 per cent over the preceding quarter, while those of multiple-user factories fell 0.4 per cent.

Overall industrial rentals fell 0.8 per cent over the preceding quarter, while those of multiple-user factories fell 1.1 per cent.

Occupancy rates likewise dipped. Overall industrial occupancies fell 0.2 per cent over the preceding quarter, while those of multiple-user factories fell 0.1 per cent.

The fall in occupancy rates was even starker at business parks, which fell 0.9 per cent, while those at warehouses bucked the trend to rise 0.9 per cent.

The softening trend looks set to continue going forward.

In the fourth quarter of 2015 and the whole of 2016, about 3.8 million square metres (sq m) of industrial space - including 810,000 sq m of multiple-user factory space - are estimated to come onto the market.

This is significantly higher than the average annual supply and demand of around 1.6 million sq m and 1.2 million sq m in the past three years, and is likely to exert further downward pressure on occupancy rates, JTC said.

At the same time, the upcoming supply would also mean ample space options for industrialists, it added.

Credits: ST Property

 

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 Potential home buyers in Singapore must be rejoicing over the news of the "mega launch" of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats set to be released in November.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, in a blog post on 23 September when he was still National Development Minister, said that the September BTO exercise was delayed to give time for the implementation of new housing policies, namely a new Two-Room Flexi Scheme, an increase in the income ceiling and enhanced benefits to the Special CPF Housing Grant.

This delay will result in the amalgamation of the last two BTO exercise for the year, resulting in a "bumper crop" of about 12,000 new flats in November.

While many Singaporeans are happy over the increased income ceiling for buying public housing, this also means more competition over limited supply of flats.

In fact, a quick look at statistics provided by the Housing Development Board points to the big margin of demand exceeding supply - the BTO exercise in May showed an average oversubscription of 4 applications to 1 flat, excluding studio apartments.

New Policies Increase HDB Eligibility

At the National Day Rally this year, Prime Minister Lee announced that the household income ceiling for HDB and Executive condominiums (EC) will be raised by $2,000, to $12,000 for HDB flats and $14,000 for ECs.

What this means is that those who were earning slightly more than $10,000 as a household will now be eligible to apply for public housing.

In 2014, about 99,600 households had monthly incomes ranging from $10,001 to $12,000. Assuming just 10 per cent of this number applied for the new BTO in November, it will already make up more than 50 per cent of the total applicants seen in the May exercise.

Being the kiasu Singaporeans we are and the currently high demand for HDBs, we can safely expect a "bumper crop" of demand for the November BTO launch as well.

credits: Business Asiaone

 

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Flash estimates of the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) for the third quarter of 2015 shows a 0.3 percent drop in the prices of Housing Board flats from the previous quarter.

The Index currently stands at 134.6, down from 135.0 in Q2. This is the eighth consecutive quarter of price decline.

The RPI is an indicator of general price movements within the resale public housing market.

PropNex Realty chief executive officer Mohamed Ismail said the decline in resale prices is due to the combination of property cooling measures to stabilise the market.

These include reducing the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) cap of 30 percent and the maximum loan term of 25 years for HDB mortgage loans, three-year wait for new PRs before they can buy resale HDB flats, and allowing singles to buy new 2-room flats in non-mature estates.

He added that the increased supply of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats has helped push down resale flat prices. “Over 90,000 BTO flats were launched between 2011 and 2014. And in 2015, HDB will launch about 20,000 new flats for sale – such huge supply would have further taken away demand from the resale market, thereby stabilising prices.

“In addition, the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) programme has also offered a good number and variety of choices for first- and second-time buyers.

“We continue to expect resale prices to fall for the next quarter of the year, but prices may have reached a bottoming-out level as this is the lowest decline in more than two years.”

In November, some 7,000 BTO flats in Bidadari, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Punggol Northshore, and Sengkang will be launched for sale. HDB will also offer around 5,000 balance flats in a concurrent SBF exercise.

With the large influx of home completions starting from next year, along with the continued enforcement of government measures, Ismail expects HDB resale prices to soften about 3.0 percent this year, with sales volume hitting around 19,000 to 20,000 units due to the lower asking prices.

HDB noted that the RPI and more detailed public housing data for the quarter will be released on 23 October.

credits:propertyguru

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Posted by on in New Launches

Property developers are now required to declare that showflats accurately represent the units offered for sale, assuring potential buyers that what they see is what they will actually get, reported Channel NewsAsia.

To ensure that their show units comply with the new rules, the developers of The Criterion executive condominium (EC) have provided labels indicating the thickness and position of removed walls, a list of fittings, finishes and materials, while setting aside a space for an aircon ledge.

Under the new rules, show units built after 20 July should accurately represent the actual units offered for sale. In fact, the Controller of Housing will conduct spot checks to ensure developers comply with the changes, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Those found to be flouting the rules will have their licences revoked or suspended. They can also be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to six months or both, URA said.

Meanwhile, property agents are also making it a point to inform buyers of the changes.

“The agents take a proactive approach to tell the consumers where there are marking signs to say this is the layout of the balcony, or for that matter, some of these things are to be visualised in terms of the height, the finishings, and they do that. And we have done that as part of the training prior to opening the showflat to the consumers,” said PropNex Realty CEO Mohamed Ismail.

Some prospective buyers have welcomed the new rules, saying that they are a good change.

“Definitely with all these labels, I feel safer knowing that what I see in the showflat will be accurately reflected in my home,” said Joe Sim.

“I have been to other show galleries in the past and there is always this wrong impression given. With these indicators, I think it is a good thing. Now I know the actual size of the unit I am buying, how it really feels like and the unit’s overall concept,” added Daniel Yeo.

The Criterion and Signature at Yishun ECs, which are launching around the same time, are among the first projects to be affected by the latest URA rules.

Signature at Yishun sold 100 units at an average price of $750 psf after it opened for bookings on 26 September, while The Criterion EC will commence sales on 10 October.

credits: property guru

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Posted by on in New Launches

The new 2-room Flexi Scheme is unlikely to affect the chances of single applicants looking to get a new flat, reported The Straits Times, citing the Housing Board.

The 2-room Flexi combines and replaces the previous studio and 2-room flat schemes.

Of the combined supply, 40 percent in each Build-To-Order (BTO) project will be reserved for applicants aged 55 and above, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the recent National Day Rally.

However, it wasn’t clear at the time what it meant for non-elderly single applicants, who were previously offered half of all new 2-room flats within non-mature estates.

Responding to media queries, HDB explained that the remaining 60 percent and those not taken up by the elderly in non-mature estates would be split among families and non-elderly singles.

This implies that at least 30 percent of the 2-room Flexi supply in non-mature estates would be reserved for non-elderly singles. In fact, they may even get more since flats not taken up by families and the elderly will also be offered to them.

Moreover, elderly buyers within mature estates are likely to buy new flats within the same area, which means less competition for non-elderly singles who cannot afford new flats within mature estates.

“Based on past application trends, we thus do not expect significant impact on non-elderly singles’ chances of getting a 2-room Flexi flat,” said an HDB spokesman.

Non-elderly singles are even expected to get most of the flats since 2-room flats and studio apartments have been undersubscribed by families and elderly applicants.

The BTO exercise in November 2014, for instance, saw fewer family applicants for 2-room flats than available units – no more than 0.7 second-timer families for each unit and no more than 0.2 first-timer families.

While the HDB does not expect this trend to change, it will still monitor the take-up rate for such units by different groups and adjust the quota if necessary.

credits:propertyguru

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