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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in land parcel

UPDATED: A 1.7ha residential site in the reserve list of the second half 2016 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme has been released for application, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Thursday, 27 October.

Located at Serangoon North Avenue 1, the site could be developed into a two-storey project with a maximum gross floor area of 42,973 sq m. It could yield up to 505 private housing units.

The 99-year leasehold site is close to Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Serangoon Garden Market and several schools.

A reserve list site is only triggered for sale if a developer’s minimum bid price is acceptable to the government.


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

Tagged in: land parcel
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The property market in Bangkok is expected to decline further after a deadly blast rocked the city recently. Demand for property was already soft before the bombing, and residential developers will reconsider, postpone and even scale down plans in the next four months, reported The Bangkok Post.

Supalai, Property Perfect, Major Development and Noble Development are just a few of the developers that have postponed launches scheduled for this year. Thailand’s largest developer, Pruksa Real Estate, is also considering delaying some of its launches, while AP (Thailand) is now focusing on safer single-house and townhouse projects.

“Developers should be more cautious of new investment, particularly in large projects that take a few years to develop,” Atip Bijanonda, President of the Housing Business Association, told the newspaper. “Maintaining financial liquidity with cash on hand enough for one year amid an uncertain situation is a must, as this year’s fourth quarter may not be a hot time for the sector to boost new residential sales.”

Developers are better off focusing on smaller projects that can close sales and be completed in a shorter time, he noted.

Suriya Poolvoralaks, Managing Director of Major, said the company has already converted a large condominium into a smaller eight-storey project of only 200 units to quicken sales and revenue.

Pruksa will delay its projects to next year due to the unfavourable market conditions, but the company isn’t sure how many will be pushed back. “It is hard to have new sales,” said Managing Director Prasert Taedullayasatit. “We will try to transfer our condo sales backlog to have revenue as targeted.”

Theeraphon Voranithiphong, Executive Vice-President of Noble, said the company has decided to postpone all four of its projects scheduled to launch in the coming months to 2016. These include condo developments in Thong Lor, Ari and a site that has yet to be determined.

Supalai will not launch any residential developments until it believes demand has returned. “We will not launch condo projects when we are not sure of their locations because launches come with expenses,” said Deputy Managing Director Tritecha Tangmatitham.

Fragrant Property CEO James Duan said the group postponed two new projects scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter to next year, including one on Soi Sukhumvit 36.

credits: propertyguru

Tagged in: H1 2014 land parcel
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The Brownstone, City Development Limited’s (CDL) executive condominium (EC) project at Canberra Drive in Sembawang opens for applications from today to 20 July, with bookings to be conducted on 25 July.

Designed as a luxury EC, the 638-unit project is being developed jointly with TID Pte Ltd. It comprises eight blocks of up to 12 storeys, offering a good mix of apartment types, with unit sizes ranging from 732 sq ft for a two-bedroom to 1,711 sq ft for a five-bedroom penthouse.

The Brownstone is strategically located next to the upcoming Canberra MRT station along the North-South Line and near various major shopping malls such as Sun Plaza, Sembawang Shopping Centre and Causeway Point. It is also close to restaurants and cafes as well as recreational facilities like Sembawang Park, Orto and Yishun Park.

Plenty of schools are also nearby while the area is served by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. It will be joined in the coming years by the Yishun Community Hospital and Admiralty Medical Centre.

“The Brownstone has an excellent location just next to the future Canberra MRT station. The north of Singapore is poised for a new burst of life. Near The Brownstone is the up-and-coming Jalan Legundi lifestyle enclave with vibrant new cafes. There are plans to build an integrated wildlife park in Mandai and transform Woodlands into a buzzing commercial hub. Adding to the EC’s outstanding connectivity are the upcoming Yishun transport hub, North-South expressway and a proposed Rapid Transit System connecting Woodlands to Johor Bahru,” said CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong.

“Given the development’s strong locational attributes, we expect keen interest for The Brownstone,” he added.

Credits : property guru

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Residents in Bukit Panjang and the surrounding areas will have more travel options to other parts of Singapore when the Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) opens this December, ahead of the original Q1 2016 timeframe, revealed Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Construction work on Stage 2 of the project commenced in July 2009, but was expected to be delayed after Alpine Bau, the main contractor for three stations, went bust in 2013.

The 16.6km long DTL2 comprises one depot and 12 stations, including four interchange stations at Little India, Newton, Botanic Gardens and Bukit Panjang.

Schools in the Bukit Timah area, as well as businesses at malls like Coronation Plaza, Railway Mall and Bukit Panjang Plaza are expected to benefit from the new MRT line, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a Facebook update.

Eateries along Sixth Avenue and Beauty World Centre will also become more accessible, LTA added.

Meanwhile, Stage 3 of the DTL is on track to open in 2017. Once completed, the entire line will connect the north-western and central-eastern regions to the new downtown.

Credits: propertyguru

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Posted by on in New Launches

There were no signs of declining interest in Thailand properties from Singapore buyers and investors last weekend when close to 100 people attended a one-day Thailand property exhibition featuring Circle Sukhumvit 31, the first time its developer Fragrant Group had showcased this project in the city-state.

Sophia Leung, Country Manager of the Singapore Business Unit of Fragrant Group, said: “There is robust interest in Thailand Properties in Singapore. That is why our parent company (Fragrant Group) decided to set up a branch in Singapore last year to better serve our expanding clientele in Singapore and extend our reach.

“In addition, Thailand is a Popular Property Investment and Tourist Destination and it will continue to remain so, especially with AEC coming into force at the end of this year, as well as the push for several Infrastructure Development projects such as the multi-billion International Railway Projects being planned with China and Japan.

“With these Infrastructure Developments, it will have the potential to become a major Transportation Hub of Asia”, she added.

Christian Glanville, Chief Executive Officer of Limcharoen Legal, was also on hand to provide legal answers to questions from potential buyers and investors.

When completed in 2016 Circle Sukhumvit 31 will offer its residents an urban living and eco-innovative lifestyle on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit – a prime location with one of the fastest-rising land prices anywhere Thailand.

The area is popular with both international investors and Thais, and is located near the Phrom Phong mass transit BTS station as well as the EM District and Japan Town.

Designed for smart city-living, Circle Sukhumvit 31 reflects the pinnacle of contemporary living in harmony with nature. Features will include fully-multi-functional furniture, solar shield, underwater aquasonic speakers for the swimming Pool, heat recovery and water recycling systems.


Taken Property GUru

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He was assistant financial controller at Kaixin Industrial, a subsidiary of AVIC International Maritime Holdings.

Pollux Properties announced the appointment of Chan Tee Yong as deputy financial controller.

Mr Chan, 29, will be responsible for the accounting and financial functions of the company and group, according to a Pollux Properties report.

He joined as finance manager in Kaixin Industrial (a subsidiary of AVIC International Maritime Holdings) in February 2012. In 2014 he was promoted to assistant financial controller until 8 August 2014. Before this, he was audit senior in Ernst & Young LLP from December 2009 to January 2014 and audit assistant in Deloitte & Touche (Malaysia) from February 2007 to September 2009.

Credits: Singapore Business Review

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Prices slashed by 11%-16%.

Developers are resorting to discounts to woo price-sensitive buyers as revealed in April's home sales data. According to Barclays, in April, CapitaLand relaunched its 509-unit Sky Habitat at prices 11%-16% lower than its initial launch in April 2012. They sold 130 units in April, which brings total sales to 312 units out of 509 units, or 61%. According to The Straits Times, another project, The Panorama, will be relaunched at S$1,100-1,340psf, up to 14% lower than its January 2014 launch prices of S$1,234-1,591psf. Luxury home sales remain anaemic with the highest-priced unit at S$2,592psf. We estimate some 14 units were returned in April, lower than the 38 units in March.

Credits: Singapore Business Review

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There was no last-minute reprieve for the private housing market in Singapore in the first three months of the year, with finalised data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) confirming that the price decline had picked up pace amid persistently weak sentiment.

Private home prices slipped 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year from the previous three months, unchanged from the preliminary estimate released earlier this month and accelerating from the 0.9 per cent fall in the fourth quarter of last year, the URA said yesterday,

Analysts said the multiple sets of property market cooling measures introduced by the Government, especially the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework imposed last June, have been effective in curbing demand and runaway prices.

They expect the measures to remain for now, suppressing demand and probably leading to further weakness in home prices in the following quarters.

"Market exuberance for private homes was very much tempered by the existing property cooling measures and the TDSR ... The various government measures have effectively curtailed demand from most groups of home buyers," said PropNex Realty's chief executive Mohamed Ismail.

Both the primary and secondary markets suffered sharp slowdowns in buying activity. Developers launched 1,964 new private homes from January to March and sold 1,744 units, fewer than the 2,631 launched and 2,568 sold in the previous three months. In the resale segment, transactions dropped from 1,206 units to 899 homes, the URA said.

Prices fell across all segments of the private housing market in the first quarter, with condominiums in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), or city fringes, leading the decline at 3.3 per cent. Those in the Core Central Region (CCR), or city centre, dipped 1.1 per cent, while the Outside Central Region (OCR), or suburbs, registered a slight 0.1 per cent fall.

Ms Christine Li, head of research and consultancy at property agency OrangeTee said the bigger declines in the CCR and RCR could be due to developers focusing on trying to sell houses from previous launches.

"Most of the homes sold in the first quarter are from existing property launches, where prices could be more attractive as developers have dangled more incentives and discounts to move sales in a slow market," she said.

Ms Li added that prices in the RCR could see some support in the second quarter as more "attractively located" projects are expected to be launched during this period.

"Three of the highly anticipated projects — Commonwealth Towers, The Crest and Highline Residences — are expected to be launched in the current quarter. These projects are also expected to fetch a higher median price than what's been achieved in the first quarter."

And while prices of mass market homes are likely to stay relatively stable, the odds seemed to be stacked against the high-end CCR segment, analysts said.

Ms Chia Siew Chuin, director for research and advisory at real estate consultancy Colliers International, said: "Domestic demand has been weakened by the loan curbs while interest from foreigners, who traditionally form a large demand base for high-end properties, has diminished in view of more favourable investment options in the recovering foreign markets.

"On the supply side, developers of high-end properties may feel the heat to meet the Qualifying Certificate deadline."

The analysts estimated that overall prices could fall between 4 and 8 per cent by the end of this year, as the property measures are likely to remain.

"As long as borrowing costs stay low, the Government is unlikely to reverse the earlier anti-speculation measures ... Under such an environment, we expect price weakness to persist," said Mr Ismail.

Credits: Lush Home Media

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Should local players be scared?

According to BNP Paribas, in the past few years, it has seen foreign developers, especially the Chinese developers, making an effort to gain market share, possibly for scale effect, and for beefing up their pipeline to sustain their business operations in Singapore.

Here's more:

Since the recovery in 2009, more foreign developers have entered the land market to compete against local developers. While they may have contributed to the property market in terms of fresh development ideas and product diversity, their presence has in no doubt heated up competition for land. Based on SLP studies, foreign players' participation rate has increased from 8% in 2009 to 26% in 2013.

Before 2009-10, foreign developers were mainly from Malaysia such as IOI Properties (IOIPG MK), SP Setia (SPSB MK) and Sunway (SWB MK), and from Hong Kong such as Cheung Kong Holdings (1 HK) and MCL Land. Since then, we have seen more Chinese developers entering the market, such as Qingjian (not listed), MCC Land, Hao Yuan and Kingsford Development.

Although relative newcomers as developers, some of them (such as Qingjian and MCC Land) are familiar with the Singapore property market, and have operated here for over a decade as construction companies.

Different approaches of participation

Foreign developers adopt various approaches when investing in the Singapore land market. Japanese players tend to participate in joint ventures with local developers.

For example, Mitsui Fudosan (8801 JP) has a JV with Hong Leong via TID. Mitsubishi Estate (8802 JP) has a long standing partnership with CapitaLand, while Sekisui House (1928 JP) with Fraser Centrepoint and Far East. We also see Malaysian developer, Sunway, teaming up with local Hoi Hup (not listed), while more recently China Vanke entered the Singapore land market by partnering with Keppel Land.

Hong Kong players such as Cheung Kong and MCL Land (part of Hong Kong Land group) tend to participate on their own, as do most Chinese players such as Qingjian, MCC Land, Hao Yuan and Kingsford.

Credits: Singapore Business Review

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Everyone's devastated by the sudden crash in March.

According to PropNex Realty, private home sales slowed more than 33% in March after picking up last month, given the cautious mood and overall fewer new launches.

Developer sales remain fairly muted in the month of March with a total of 724 units launched and 480 units sold (excluding ECs); and only one new residential project— The Santorini, entered the market last month.

The tight supply situation is a result of developers adopting a deliberate stance to time their launches and possibly adjust their pricing strategy appropriately before putting their product on the market.

Including ECs, developers found buyers for 535 homes, which also reflected a fall of 30% from the previous month's figure of 769 units.

Singapore Business Review compiled outlooks from analysts to see if April bodes well for home sales.

Alice Tan, Head of Research, Knight Frank Singapore:

We expect new sales volume in April 2014 to improve, on the back of more new launches and fairly positive market interest to date. Lakeville, launched in first weekend of April, was a success with all units released in the first phase sold. Sky Habitat will be re-launching at lower prices this weekend starting at $1,370 per sq ft, and it is likely to be very well received, given its good location in Bishan and near the Bishan MRT station.

These two projects are expected to support new sales performance in the OCR and RCR.

Apart from these 2 projects, several other projects are also conducting re-launches for example Alex Residences and The Skywoods. This will bring some prominence to these projects which were first launched some months ago.

The rate of sales in the CCR is expected to remain muted, with modest volume of new sales supporting the clearance of existing unsold units in the region. New sales volume is expected to be between 50 and 70 units in April. There are no new major launches in the CCR expected in April.

Moving forward, several highly-anticipated mid- to large-scale projects by established developers will also be launching in second quarter or beyond: Waterfront @ Faber in Clementi by World Class Land, Commonwealth Towers by CDL and Hong Leong Group, CoCo Palms by CDL, Highline Residences at Kim Tian Road by Keppel Land, and, and Marina One Residences by M+S.

With the TDSR in place, local buyers are increasingly price quantum sensitive, and it is important for developers to price their projects optimally, particularly big projects, in order to achieve strong sales.

Second quarter new sales volume is expected to improve from the first quarter, to between 2,200 and 2,500 units, as market interest gradually return with anticipation of developers' attractive offerings for their new launches.

Tricia Song, analyst, Barclays:

We believe projects that are located within 100-200m of MRT stations and in areas not already saturated with previous supply will still remain more popular. The Straits Times reported on 15 April that 1,500 people flocked to the first-day preview (13 April) of Commonwealth Towers next to Queenstown MRT station.

This is a 43-storey condominium on Commonwealth Avenue. It is set to launch in 1 May, with completion by late 2017. With full condo facilities, this 99-year leasehold project will offer 845 units of 1-4BR apartments ranging in size from 441sqft for a 1BR to a 1,302sqft 4BR.

Buyers can choose from units offering a variety of views such as the city and Southern Ridges. The project will be jointly developed by members of the Hong Leong Group – Hong Leong Holdings, City Developments Limited (30% stake; CIT SP; UW; PT S$9.08) and Hong Realty.

The land was purchased via the Government Land Sale tender in Feb 2013 at S$883psf per plot ratio. We estimate breakeven at S$1,395psf and a selling price of S$1,600psf. We expect if the developer were to price it below this level, interest could be better than expected. Projects in that location – namely Queens and Alexis – have been transacting at S$1,358psf and S$1,839psf, respectively over the past year, while projects around Redhill MRT station (a station nearer to town) saw transactions of S$1,323-1,729psf.

Chia Siew Chuin, Director of Research & Advisory, Colliers International:

With developers focusing on moving units in previously launched projects, there were only two new projects launched in March. They are the 597-unit The Santorini located in the Outside Central Region (OCR) and the 28-unit Ascent@456 located in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), both of which were fully launched. Developers did not launch any new projects in the Core Central Region (CCR).

Overall, the units launched in the CCR, RCR and OCR respectively took up 1.5%. 11.9% and 86.6% of islandwide new launches of 724 units (excluding ECs).

The increase in new homes sales in both the CCR and RCR failed to mitigate the fall in project sales in the OCR, leading to a decline in the overall sales volume islandwide.

The number of new homes sold in the OCR was halved to 299 units in March. Although the fully-launched The Santorini sold only 76 units, the project still come in top in terms of sales tally amid a slow market with few project launches. Homebuyers picked up the remaining 223 units from previously launched projects such as Rivertrees Residences, The Glades and Urban Vista.

Sales in the RCR and CCR improved 44.3% and 1.9%, respectively. The improvement in sales volume was due to homebuyers picking up units from previously launched projects. These include Eight Riversuites (44 units sold), Guillemard Suites (14 units sold), and Bartley Ridge (12 units sold) in the RCR, as well as Hallmark Residences (13 units sold), Liv on Wilkie (9 units sold) and Goodwood Residences (8 units sold) in the CCR.

Units sold in the CCR, RCR and OCR constituted 11.3%, 26.5% and 62.3%, respectively, of islandwide new sales of private homes in March 2014.

Now that the TDSR has been in play for nine months, the dust has somewhat settled and buying volume is likely to improve in tandem with the anticipated launch of attractive and well-located residential projects.

Nonetheless, there appears to be little respite for the private residential property market at least in the short term. This is in view of the continued enforcement of the cooling measures, the tentative recovery of the global economy, as well as longstanding concerns of potential interest rate increases and a mounting supply of homes. In light of various headwinds, the theme of affordability will persist and homebuyers are expected to remain highly selective in their purchases.

Taking into consideration the healthy interest seen during the launch of Lakeville in early April, primary market sales volume is expected to climb to the region of 500-800 units in April before improving further in the following months.

Credits: Singapore Business Review


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9 property privatisations recorded in last four years.

Including the most recent general offer of SingLand, CIMB counted nine privatisations/partial offers within the property space in the past four years, with offer prices offering >20% upside on average. CIMB explores potential privatisation candidates which include Wheelock, Ho Bee, Wingtai and Bukit Sembawang .

Here's more from CIMB:

With developers trading at historically steep discounts, high-end market void of buyers and potential extension charges on unsold developments, we asked ourselves what will happen if this continues.

We come to two conclusions 1) more reasons for privatisations of small-mid cap developers and 2) further weakness for high-end residential properties.

We compared potential privatisation candidates based on 1) current valuation against historical mean; 2) whether there are major shareholders with more than 50% stake in the company; 3) lack of the need for equity fund raising (EFR) based on balance sheet strength and when they last tapped the market; 4) trading liquidity as percentage of free float and; 5) whether there is any incentive to avoid extension charge by going private.

We have selected four companies, all of which are trading at significant discount to historical P/BV and RNAV, with limited need for equity fundraising given their strong balance sheets. Out of the four, we believe Wheelock and Ho Bee have higher potential of being taken private.

Wheelock fits most of the criteria that we looked at, despite lacking the push factor of extension charge. It is 75.8% owned by Hong Kong-listed Wheelock and Company Ltd (20 HK), which owns The Wharf (4 HK) and Wheelock Properties Limited (private).

The majority shareholder is financially strong with HK$29.3bn (S$4.8bb) cash and equivalents and 0.3x net gearing. On top of that, Wheelock's valuation is attractive at 0.7x FY13 P/BV, 0.6x FY14 P/BV and 34% discount to RNAV. Coupled with its strong balance sheet and low liquidity, we believe it is the most likely candidate for privatisation.

Ho Bee is another candidate at the top of our list, given its attractive valuation, majority shareholder and strong balance sheet with limited need for equity fundraising. On top of that, we noticed that Ho Bee Holdings (owned by Mr Chua Thian Poh, Mdm Ng Noi Hinoy and Mr Chua Kong Chian) has been increasing its stake since 70.8% in Apr 2013 to 72.6%.

Ho Bee is our top pick within the small-mid cap developer space and its book is undervalued in our opinion, largely on the basis that Metropolis's book value of S$1,151 psf NLA is conservative relative to our estimation of S$1,550 psf NLA (based on 4.2% cap rate and recent office transactions). While its unsold Sentosa developments remain a drag on earnings and share price, they are not subjected to QC and are currently being rented out.

Wing Tai has a healthy balance sheet and is trading at a historically low FY13 and FY14 P/BV of ~0.5x. While its majority shareholder owns a smaller stake of ~50% than the majority shareholders of other privatisation candidates, it has the additional push factor of extension charge.

Bukit Sembawang fits the criteria of cheap valuation, low liquidity and limited need for equity fundraising. However, privatisation may not be a near-term theme for the stock as the largest shareholder owns only ~41% of the company and does not face a push factor such as the extension charge.

Credits: Singapore Business Review

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Homebuyers are getting more price sensitive.

According to Colliers International, given homebuyers' persistent price sensitivity and the reduction in their purchase budget under the strict financing rules of the TDSR, prices of mid- to high-end homes in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Core Central Region (CCR) showed marked declines amid thinning market activity.

Prices of non-landed homes in the RCR buckled 2.8% QoQ, reversing the 0.4% growth in 4Q 2013, while prices of non-landed homes in the CCR fell for the fourth consecutive quarter by 1.3% QoQ.

Here's more from Colliers International:

Prices of non-landed homes in the Outside Central Region (OCR) slipped by a marginal 0.3% QoQ following 4Q 2013's 1.0% decline, as homebuyers continued to be drawn to the relatively more affordable mass-market homes, thereby providing some level of support for prices.

URA's flash estimate for 1Q 2014 shows that prices of private homes in Singapore are firmly on the downtrend. The price index fell by a faster 1.3% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in 1Q 2014, after a decline of 0.9% QoQ in the preceding quarter.

The decline in private home prices for two successive quarters is in line with the slower transaction activities in the primary and secondary sales markets and is an evident sign that the multiple dosages of the government's cooling measures and particularly the Total Debt Servicing Ratio have been effective in arresting price growth and steering the private residential market towards stability.

With affordability being the main concern of homebuyers, developers were seen dangling various sweeteners to attract buyers. These include early-bird discounts, partial absorption of stamp duty, furniture vouchers and direct price discounts. With developers pricing their new projects attractively to generate sales amid waning demand, price declines were registered.

Credits: Singapore Business Review

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With Singapore being named the world's most expensive city, the Straits Times has published a comparative study on the five big ticket items which contributed to the ranking.

The Straits Times report compared the prices of these items with those of a similar standard in five different developed nations.

The following are the items and the price comparisons:

Property rental

A three-bedroom apartment of between 1,200 and 1,500 sq ft averages S$8,000 (RM20,700) a month in Singapore.

In New York, a three-bedroom apartment of between 950 and 1,800 sq ft ranges from US$1,750 (S$2,221, RM5,700) to US$2,500 in the outlying neighbourhoods and US$6,000 to US$15,000 in Manhattan.

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Posted by on in Trends


DEVELOPMENT charge (DC) rates - payable for enhancing the use of some sites or to build bigger projects on them - have been raised from today by an average of 15 per cent for commercial use and 13 per cent for hotel/hospital use.

For landed and non-landed residential uses, the average increase is about one per cent each, while rates for industrial use have been left completely untouched.

The Ministry of National Development, in consultation with the Chief Valuer, revises DC rates based on current market values twice a year - on March 1 and Sept 1. The rates are stated according to use groups across 118 geographical sectors in Singapore.

DC rates for the major use groups are expressed as per square metre of gross floor area.

Property consultants said the modest rise in residential DC rates was in line with softening home prices in the past half year.

Signs of incipient softening in the industrial property market were probably behind the decision to leave DC rates for the use group unchanged. This was despite ample evidence of industrial sites fetching prices at state tenders that were higher than land values implied by the previous DC rates, argued Colliers International director Chia Siew Chuin.

Jones Lang LaSalle's (JLL) head of SE Asia research, Chua Yang Liang, said the DC rate hike for hotel use was supported by the active hotel investment market.

"Typically, DC is payable for sites where the development potential has not been fully maximised (mostly privately held sites)," explained Karamjit Singh, head of investments and residential at JLL. "Even for sites where the gross floor area has been maximised, DC rates are still relevant for the amount of money payable to the state to build the 10 per cent bonus GFA for balcony and other use. This applies even to 99-year condo sites bought at state tenders," he added.

During the heyday of collective sales, DC rates were closely monitored by property agents and owners with en bloc potential. However, the impact of this round of DC rate revisions on residential en bloc sales is very minimal, said Mr Singh. "In any case usually less than half of en blocs attract DC and even then DC forms a relatively small component of the entire land cost."

This round, non-landed residential DC rates have been raised in only 15 geographical sectors (by 6 to 10 per cent), with no changes in the remaining 103 sectors. The largest increase at 10 per cent is in Sector 101 (Paya Lebar/Aljunied/Macpherson/

Sims Avenue/Eunos Link). The increase was supported by the sale of a 99-year private housing site in Geylang East Avenue 1 at a state tender in January at $776 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) - or 67 per cent above the land value implied by the-then prevailing Sept 1, 2013, DC rate, explained Colliers' Ms Chia.

She suggested that a 9.1 per cent rise in Sector 100 (including Sengkang/Punggol) could have been due to the sales of two adjoining sites in Upper Serangoon View in December for $522 psf ppr - 33 per cent more than the Sept 1, 2013, DC rate-implied land value. The other locations that saw higher non-landed residential DC rates include the sectors that include Kallang, Upper Boon Keng, Geylang Bahru, Tampines, Bedok Reservoir, Kembangan, Pasir Ris, Choa Chu Kang, Woodlands, Sembawang, Seletar, Bukit Batok, Mount Emily, Bendemeer and Whampoa.

Commercial use DC rates were raised for 89 geographical sectors (by 14-29 per cent), with no changes in the other 29.

The biggest hike of 29 per cent was for Sector 108 (which includes Sixth Avenue, Holland Road, Commonwealth Avenue Tanglin Road, Adam Road). This was supported by the sale of 100 Taman Warna which, based on JLL's analysis, was 54 per cent above the previous DC rate-implied land value. In Upper Thomson, the transaction of Long House at 41 per cent premium to the previous DC rate-implied land value probably supported a 22 per cent hike for Sector 107.

The same percentage rate hike was seen in Sector 53 (which includes Little India), in the light of Serangoon Plaza's sale at 169 per cent above the DC rate-implied land value - producing a knock-on effect on the neighbouring Sector 58, which posted a 21 per cent rise.

Tang Wei Leng, executive director (investment sales) at Colliers International, said DC rates remained unchanged for the two major commercial en bloc sales she is working on - The Arcade in Collyer Quay and Tanglin Shopping Centre. "In the past six months, there have been no significant commercial property deals in these locations to justify any change in DC rates."

For landed residential use, DC rate were upped in 13 sectors by 9-10 per cent, with no change for the remaining 105 sectors. For hotel/hospital use group, the biggest jump of 31 per cent is arein Sectors 93 & 94 (Changi Road/East Coast/Marine Parade area).

From today, the Urban Redevelopment Authority's website offers a new free e-service that allows information on DC rates to be accurately retrieved for any site on a Geographical Information System-enabled digital map.

Taken from STproperty

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Posted by on in New Launches

By Mr. Propwise

Okay so you’ve read various outlooks for the property market in 2014 and beyond, you’ve heard everyone’s arguments about why the property market should go up (yes someone actually predicted that), down or sideways. But what you really want to know is – how much will property prices fall (if at all) in 2014?

The danger of expert forecasts

Long-time readers of will know that I don’t believe in making forecasts. Instead, I believe we should keep track of where we are in the Property Market Cycle and prepare ourselves for it (HINT: we should be preparing for a bear market ahead).

Others have written about the folly of following expert forecasts, but suffice to say that nobody knows what will happen in the future. At best, we can only make an educated guess based on our analysis of the data, and that guess is only one of many possible future outcomes. That being said, I thought it would be helpful to compile the property market forecasts that a wide range of market watchers are making, and share some of my thoughts about them.

What the experts are predicting

Here’s the table of forecasts I’ve compiled – I’ve also included details on the person making the forecast, organization he or she belongs to, their position, and the type of organization they belong to. It is sorted roughly in the order from the most positive to most negative.

140224 Figure 1Figure 1 – 2014 Singapore Residential Property Price Forecasts

We can see a few things from the table above.

First, the range of forecasts is wide, from an increase of 2% to a fall of 20%. This should tell you something about how predictable the market is – not very. There’s a lot of uncertainty due to the myriad factors that influence the market – interest rates, employment, supply, taxes, financing rules etc.

Second, most of the forecasts are for the property market to fall. And while it is not possible to take a simple average as we will not be making an apples-to-apples comparison, if I had to summarize the forecasts I would say the general range is looking at a 5% to 15% fall in property prices. While a single forecast is likely to be inaccurate, the average of a large number of forecasts is likely to be closer to the eventual outcome, if you believe in the Wisdom of the Crowds.

Third, the type of organization matters when trying to determine how reliable a forecast is. When you next hear a forecast, one of the key things you should ask yourself is – what vested interest does this person have in the property market? From the table above we can see that the most positive forecasts are from property agencies and developers. Hmm… I’ll leave you to figure that one out yourself, Sherlock.

Cooling measures not going away anytime soon

While property developers and agencies were hoping (praying?) for a loosening of property measures after a mild 0.9% quarter-on-quarter decrease in the 4th quarter of 2013 (after rising by 61% since mid-2009), their hopes were dashed post the announcement of Budget 2014.

Take a look at what Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said about the property market: “Given the run-up in prices in the last four years, it is too early to start relaxing our measures… We are not engineering a hard landing. But neither are we able to eliminate cycles in the property market, with upswings in prices in some years followed by corrections.”

My read is that the government is not going to support the property market at all costs – it will let the cycle play out and try to minimize the damage to Singapore’s financial system and the impact on household balance sheets. In other words, the government will allow property prices to fall, as long as that fall is not too extreme.

When you read news about market watchers calling on the government to relax the cooling measures, think again about the vested interests we discussed above. Who is calling for it and what do they have to gain from it?

Wisdom from the Wolf of Wall Street

One of the most interesting movies I’ve watched in a while, the Wolf of Wall Street, is probably Leonardo DiCaprio’s and Martin Scorsese’s finest work. Among the best scenes in the movie, in my opinion, occurs at the beginning when a young Jordan Belfort is taken to lunch by his new boss Mark Hanna (played by Matthew McConaughey).

At lunch, Mark gives Jordan some fundamental advice about succeeding in the financial industry, including this gem: “First rule of Wall Street, nobody, and I don’t care if you’re Warren Buffett or Jimmy Buffett, nobody knows if a stock’s going up or down, or sideways, least of all stock brokers. But we pretend to know.”

As you listen to the various forecasts of the market from property experts, just remember that for some it is their job to convince you that they know exactly where it is going to go.

Taken from Yahoo

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Good deals for owner occupiers

With property prices finally losing steam, home buyers may be wondering whether it is the right time to take the plunge.

Both the private and public housing markets have begun to slow down, as sales volumes tumble and prices turn downwards.

Analysts expect the property market to sink further this year owing to a triple whammy of weak demand, an expected rise in interest rates and looming oversupply.

Even DBS Group Holdings chief executive Piyush Gupta warned recently that high-end home prices could tumble as much as 15 per cent this year while lower-end homes could suffer a 10 per cent drop.

In the light of such forecasts, buyers who can afford to wait for prices to slide further may opt to hold their horses till at least the end of this year in hopes of snagging a better bargain.

However, experts agree that timing the market is tricky at best and buyers should be wary of jumping blindly onto any bandwagon.

"Unless you have a crystal ball, it is not possible to perfectly time the property market," said real estate lawyer Lee Liat Yeang.

"Few people would have thought the year 2009 was a good time to buy a property here, especially after the Lehman Brothers saga. Those who did so have been undeservingly credited with the ability to time the market."

Ms Christine Li, head of research at property consultancy OrangeTee, added: "Buyers should not adopt a herd mentality and should be clear about their objectives."

Buyers on the lookout for a home to live in are likely to be less affected by short-term price fluctuations than those who are investing for rental yield, for instance.

The Sunday Times looks at the property landscape for different groups of buyers and what they should watch out for.

Low demand, high supply

The market's long-term fundamentals are strong, in part owing to healthy employment levels, said CIMB economist Song Seng Wun.

"Singapore is only so big and the population will grow. So while we may be in a stall or correction cycle, the overall trend is still upward."

However, property prices are expected to be dragged down this year by both weaker demand and large upcoming supply.

On the demand side of the equation, the pool of potential buyers has shrunk after several rounds of cooling measures have left buyers clutching their wallets more tightly.

These curbs include higher additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) and tough restrictions on home loans under a total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework in June last year.

As a result, developers now face stiffer competition for home sales, noted Mr Mohamed Ismail, who heads real estate agency PropNex.

"Developers are able to attract buyers only if their units are well-priced and strategically located. The general expectations among buyers for a price correction are also likely to keep prices in check."

On the supply side, a possible glut of homes looms on the horizon, which could make it harder to resell homes or find tenants.

"Since 1996 there has been no three-year period where housing supply was higher than it will be in the upcoming three years," said Mr Hartmut Issel, UBS Wealth Management's head of research for Asia-Pacific.

From 2014 to 2016, more than 97,000 new Housing Board flats could be completed, plus around 65,400 private homes and 10,400 executive condominium (EC) units.

Mr Issel estimates that the total amount of new housing stock that will come onstream over the next three years is equivalent to about 14 per cent of the existing housing stock.


The buying decision is more clear-cut for first-time home buyers and those who want to buy a home to live in.

Prospective owner-occupiers "need not wait as there are good deals available", said Mr Alfred Chia, chief executive of financial advisory firm SingCapital.

"It is not logical for buyers to wait for the market to crash as it is unlikely to happen."

Mr Lee also cautioned buyers against selling their homes in hopes of picking up another for a lower price.

However, Chris International director Chris Koh said that a "down market" could be a good time to upgrade to swankier digs.

Even if upgraders have to sell their current home for less, prices of higher-end homes could fall by a bigger absolute amount - which would lead to overall savings, he said.

Mr Peng Chun Hsien, business director of Citibank Singapore's secured finance and e-business division, noted: "An owner normally has a fixed idea on where he or she wants to live and that would determine what value he or she is willing to pay for the location he or she desires.

"There is no right or wrong timing. However, the key is to buy within his or her means."

Investing in another home

Investors face a more complicated guessing game, especially if they are buying a second or subsequent home and will therefore incur hefty ABSD.

"It is still too early to enter the Singapore residential market, from an investment point of view," said Mr Issel, who thinks that the market weakness could stretch out over the next two to three years.

"Even if one chooses to take a contrarian approach... property prices continue to remain at record highs."

Private property prices slipped 0.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year from the preceding three months, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data last month,

However, they are still relatively elevated, at 61 per cent above the trough in the second quarter of 2009.

OCBC Investment Research analyst Eli Lee said that buyers "should carefully weigh the risks of a weaker rental market with higher vacancy rates and softer rentals ahead".

"It could take a longer time to resell their properties ahead if the need arises" since resale transactions can dry up in a bear market, he added.

What to watch out for

Buyers should assess three major factors before making their decision, experts said.

First and foremost is whether they can afford to pay off their mortgages if interest rates spike, said Mr Chia, who noted that the low-interest-rate environment "will not last".

The second factor is whether the unit can be resold in future or whether a tenant can be found.

This depends on economic growth and the Government's population policies, as well as individual unit attributes.

"Buyers should also scrutinise the layout ... For example, are they paying for an extra-large air-con ledge? Are they comfortable with the fact that some two-bedroom units in the market have only one bathroom?" said Ms Li.

"These are the things buyers do not usually pay much attention to during new property launches, but could have serious implications later on when the property is being put on the market for lease or sale."

The third is whether their money could generate better returns elsewhere.

Buying real estate "potentially requires a large outlay and it might not be easy to sell. Thus, property investments should ideally not constitute a key bulk of an investment portfolio," Mr Issel said.


Taken STproperty

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For the second month in a row, resale prices of completed non-landed private homes have increased, according to new data.

Despite this, sales of such homes continue to decline. 

Data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) revealed that resale prices in this sector grew by 2.3 percent in January from December, higher than the revised 0.8 percent uptick recorded in December from the previous month. 

Meanwhile, the sales volume decreased to 310 units last month, a decline of 9.1 percent from December. Year-on-year, this is a 70.2 percent drop. 

SRX said the slowdown in transactions could be partly due to the Chinese New Year holiday, seen as a traditionally quiet period for home buying activity.

Taken from Property Guru 

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SOME home owners in the upscale Tanglin and Alexandra areas are reducing their expectations of just how much their properties can fetch.

They have been forced into this painful reappraisal by lower price tags at nearby launches and weak demand after measures including curbs on mortgages.

Prices were looking buoyant in the 2012 bull run, but last year prospects dimmed after the closely watched gap between new home and resale prices narrowed.

At the 384-unit Tanglin View in Prince Charles Crescent, for instance, owners have dropped their expectations from about $1,600 per sq ft (psf) on average a year ago to between $1,300 psf and $1,400 psf now, experts said.

It is much the same picture next door at Tanglin Regency, where asking prices have fallen from about $1,500 psf to under $1,400 psf in the same period.

Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of property consultancy Century21, said buyers' expectations had been buoyed by stellar sales a year ago at the Echelon condo, across Alexandra Road, when developer City Developments moved 200 units at an average of $1,700 psf on the first sales day.

"Echelon took the expectations of sellers too high. It sold very well and eventually crossed the mark of about $2,300 psf, even though they started selling at $1,700 psf," said Mr Ku.

The good news is that sellers at these 15- to 20-year-old properties are still likely to enjoy capital gains as asking prices are significantly higher than when the units were launched.

Tanglin View units sold for $860 psf when launched in 1997, while Tanglin Regency moved units at $750 psf in 1995.

Newer development Ascentia Sky, launched in 2009 at around 1,300 psf and completed last year, has not been spared. Owners looking to sell at the 373-unit project were asking for $1,700 psf to $1,900 psf in the first half of last year, but this has since fallen to about $1,500 psf to $1,600 psf, checks on online property portals showed.

Property consultants pointed out that sellers have had to adjust their expectations in part because a debt-to-income cap introduced in late June had made it difficult for would-be buyers to get financing. Developers of new launches started to drop prices to stir buying interest as a result.

At Alex Residences in Alexandra, for instance, 150 out of 429 units were shifted at $1,650 psf on the first day of sales in November. Developer Singland said that the project would have been priced above Echelon "under normal circumstances".

"A genuine home seeker looking for a resale property is in an advantageous position," said Mr Mohamed Ismail, chief executive of property agency PropNex. "Because of competition from sensitive pricing at new launches, it would not make sense for sellers to hold prices at the previous highs in late 2012."

Mr Ku added that buyers upgrading from public homes also have less cash to stump up for a private home now, after median cash-over-valuations tumbled from $35,000 in January last year to $5,000 in December.

This means that sellers have to be more realistic when putting their properties on the market.

Data released earlier this month showed that resale home prices slipped 0.2 per cent in December from the preceding month, the fourth straight month of falling prices.

Upcoming launches are likely to pose even more competition for resale home owners, especially if they are nearby, said Ms Christine Li, research head of property firm OrangeTee.

"But over the past year developers have paid high land costs, so there shouldn't be any significant moderation in new launch prices. That should still hold up resale prices in areas where there is less competition," she said.

Taken from stproperty 

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Hougang, Punggol, Sengkang and Serangoon Gardens make up Singapore’sDistrict 19, an area known for its residential areas and its number of parks, reserves and recreational facilities. Punggol in particular is known for the Punggol Waterway Park, where nature lovers, cyclists, joggers and the like can go for some peace and quiet. But that’s not all: the area is being made more accessible with big plans for future public transport developments.


As with any attractive residential or commercial area, District 19 is set to feature an impressive public transport network that will make it easily accessible and well connected to the rest of the country. Under the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) Masterplan 2013, the future MRT Cross Island Line (CRL) will intersect with the North-East Line (NEL) at Hougang and connect Punggol to Pasir Ris.

Evan Chung, Vice President (Resale Division) at DTZ Property Network, says: “While this might seem a long way off, with completion estimated for 2030, I'd have to say that developers and real estate salespersons are already using this as a selling point for projects in the area. And though prices of resale or new properties have yet to show any significant change due to such announcements, I believe the area’s potential, especially with regards to improvements in connectivity, will positively affect demand. Initial respondents to this would of course be real estate, followed by buyers and investors.”


Of course, with District 19 becoming more appealing to potential buyers and investors, residential projects have been popping up all over the area. Several private residential developments in the district were launched and sold in 2013: Midtown in Hougang, La Fiesta in Sengkang, The Tembusu in Kovan and Jewel @ Buangkok.

Projects to look out for in 2014 include Ecopolitan, Waterwoods (both executive condos), Rivertrees Residences, and UOL Group’sRiverbank @ Fernvale, a condominium next to Sungei Punggol at Fernvale Close / Sengkang West Way.

“However,” Chung says, “In 2014, there will be a dearth of executive condominium (EC) launches due to the 15-month waiting period from the date of award of the sites or after the physical completion of foundation works — whichever is earlier — as imposed on 12 January last year.”

Taken from Property Guru

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