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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in property development

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Pollen & Bleu, an eight-storey condominium in District 10, has attracted keen interest since its relaunch in February, with 83 percent of the units released sold, revealed CBRE, which is jointly marketing the project with Huttons and Savills.

In fact, buyers have taken up all the one+study and two-bedroom units, as well as three penthouses at the 99-year leasehold project.

With this, new stacks of units facing the Singapore Botanic Gardens will be released for sale this weekend by developer Singapore Land (SingLand) at an average price of $1,800 psf. Sizes of the one- to four-bedroom units range from 549 sq ft to 1,593 sq ft.

Located at Farrer Drive, the 106-unit Pollen & Bleu is a short drive away from Orchard Road, Holland Village and Dempsey Hill. It is also close to several established schools including Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Girls’ High School and ACS International.

A deferred payment scheme is being offered for the project, in which the remaining 80 percent of the purchase price will be deferred 24 months from the day the buyer exercises the option to buy the unit.

“It is a deliberate strategy to launch the project only after its completion. We are confident in the product and the value which we have created for the buyers,” said Peter Wee, Assistant General Manager for Business Development and Residential Marketing at SingLand Development.

“It is very rare to find a development like Pollen & Bleu surrounded by lush foliage of the Botanic Gardens and landscape in the heart of District 10. Buyers are seeing the true value of Pollen & Bleu and the strong response seen in the last few weeks demonstrated that.”

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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Lendlease is set to launch Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) by 31 March, marking its maiden foray into residential development in Singapore.

“We are excited to be entering Singapore’s residential property market with Park Place Residences at PLQ,” said PLQ’s Managing Director Richard Paine, adding that they have tapped the expertise of the Australian developer to create a condominium with a live-work-play concept.

The 429-unit project along Paya Lebar Road comprises three towers standing on a 98,520 sq ft site with a leasehold tenure of 99 years commencing from 29 June 2015. It offers a mix of one- to three-bedroom apartments, of which there are 117 one-bedroom units ranging from 480 sq ft to 580 sq ft, with prices starting from around $780,000.

There will also be three variations of two-bedroom apartments measuring from 650 sq to 900 sq ft, while the two variations of three-bedders range from 1,080 sq ft to 1,350 sq ft.

Located near the Paya Lebar MRT Interchange, the condominium will be linked to retail and office buildings via covered walkways, meaning more than 700 shops in the retail mall are within a short walk.

Aside from the development’s various facilities, which includes three pools, another key feature is its extensive network of greenery. In fact, it has received the Green Mark Platinum Award from the Building and Construction Authority.

Furthermore, the condominium is exempt from the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty rules that require developers to sell all units in a development within a five-year period, as it is part of a mixed-use development located within a commercial zone.

Park Place Residences at PLQ is scheduled to be completed by the second half of 2020.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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There are signs that Singapore’s private residential market may have bottomed out in 2016, with the sector recording a higher deal volume, revealed Edmund Tie & Co.

Citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the property consultancy noted that the combined sales of new and resale private homes increased sharply by 15.5 percent to 16,378 units last year from 14,183 units in 2015. Specifically, transactions in the primary market rose marginally to 7,780 units from 7,703 previously.

The URA’s statistics also revealed that prices of private homes stabilised in 2016, with the sector posting a softer price drop of 3.1 percent compared to the 3.7 percent decline seen in the preceding year.

Moreover, the private residential market may benefit from the higher transaction volume of HDB resale flats, which rose 7.8 percent to 20,813 units last year. This is because upgraders tend to sell their public housing units before moving into private properties.

Looking ahead, the company expects sales of new private homes to trend upwards to 8,000 to 9,000 units for the whole of 2017. New developments that are expected to sell well this year include Guocoland’s 450-unit Martin Modern in Martin Place, UOL’s The Clement Canopy with 505 units in Clementi Avenue 1, the 720-unit Grandeur Park Residences by CEL Development in New Upper Changi Road, and the 840-unit Seaside Residences by Frasers Centrepoint in Siglap Road.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB) are offering mortgages with zero percent spread to compete for the chance to fund the purchase of a minimum of 1,225 homes in this year’s first two property launches, reported the Business Times.

DBS’ special-promo is based on the 18-month fixed-deposit home-loan rate (FHR), while the benchmark for UOB is the 36-month FHR. As the current rates are 0.6 percent and 0.65 percent respectively, these are the effective lending rates until the project obtains its temporary occupation permit (TOP), which is usually in three to four years. Thereafter, DBS will charge a one percent spread for its loan, while UOB’s spread is 0.9 percent for the first year after TOP and 0.95 percent subsequently.

Based on a $1 million loan with a 25-year tenure, the amount to be repaid for a DBS loan at FHR + zero percent ranges from $5,193 to $5,947 per annum, but after TOP at FHR + one percent, it amounts to $19,207 for the fifth year.

According to some experts, banks offering such housing loans are suffering a loss, unless they can cross-sell other financial products, like mortgage insurance. While there is no lock-in period, this type of housing loan only applies to developments under construction and comes with one-time free conversion for a limited time only. The promo from DBS ends next Monday (6 March), while UOB is believed to be mulling over the expiry date.

This means there is enough time to take advantage of the offer to buy a unit at the two projects. In fact, DBS and UOB personnel were present last weekend during the launch of the 505-unit Clement Canopy condominium. They are also expected to be on hand at the launch of the 720-unit Grandeur Park Residences this weekend.

 

Credits: Property guru

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The Clement Canopy, a 505-unit condominium at Clementi Avenue 1, drew large crowds at the start of its preview last weekend. More than 5,000 people crammed into its showflat over two days to view the two- to four-bedroom apartments.

Spread across two 40-storey blocks, the units range from 635 sq ft to 1,539 sq ft, with prices starting from $850,000 for the smallest units. The average price of the project is in the range of $1,330 psf to $1,360 psf.

Jointly developed by UOL Group and SingLand, the 99-year leasehold project is the first condo to launch in 2017. It is located close to NUS High School of Mathematics and Science and Nan Hua High School.

Anthony Wong, General Manager of Marketing at UOL, said: “We see a very strong interest for The Clement Canopy as there has not been any launch within the vicinity for some time. I believe the price is the key to the excitement that we see amongst the crowd.

“Moreover, buyers recognise the value of the project, given the attractive pricing and location, which is near one-north and the education hub. Riding on the improved market sentiment, buyers who have been staying on the sidelines are now actively seeking out affordable properties with good location and design.”

In line with Singapore’s vision to become a Smart Nation, UOL has joined a long list of developers to incorporate smart home technology in its latest project. For instance, future residents of The Clement Canopy will be able to book common facilities such as the tennis court and clubhouse through a mobile app. Using the same app, homeowners can also remotely control door access, air-conditioning and lighting in their units.

Meanwhile, the preview period for The Clement Canopy will stretch for another weekend, while balloting starts on 25 February.

Giving an update on sales figures at its previous launches, UOL said it has seen an increase in transactions since the start of the year.

Thomson Three and Seventy Saint Patrick’s in Marine Parade are now fully sold, while Botanique at Bartley, a 797-unit condominium, is left with just nine units. Over in Sengkang, the 555-unit Riverbank @ Fernvale project, which comes with bike-sharing facilities, is left with 18 units, while Principal Garden at Prince Charles Crescent has sold more than half of its units.

This improved sentiment in the housing market carries on from a good year-end take up of 7,972 private units in 2016, up 7.2 percent from the year before, noted analysts.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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New private home sales are expected to get a boost with four project launches expected by April, reported the Straits Times.

These are Clement Canopy in Clementi by Singland Homes and UOL Group; Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter by Lendlease; Grandeur Park Residences in Tanah Merah by CEL Development, a unit of Chip Eng Seng Corporation; and Seaside Residences in Siglap by Frasers Centrepoint Singapore.

This comes as developers sold just 367 new units in December, when only 90 new units were launched. On an annual basis, however, new home sales increased by seven percent from 7,440 units in 2015 to 7,972 units last year.

This year, Knight Frank expects developers to sell about 8,000 to 9,000 units amid “gradually returning interest” from local and foreign buyers.

“With more people believing that the market is now close to the bottom of the down cycle, interest in new launches will likely be sustained,” said Christine Li, Research Director at Cushman & Wakefield.

Analysts noted that pent-up demand for homes remains resilient despite the property cooling measures and weaker economic outlook.

Nonetheless, home buyers are expected to remain price-sensitive and selective, opting for competitively priced and well-located projects.

“They will transact only when they perceive a good deal… However, a rapid rise in interest rates would impact market sentiment, which may cause demand to retreat,” said Wong Xian Yang, Head of Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee.

Credits: Propertyguru

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Developments that are required to provide public spaces, as well as those seeking gross floor area exemption for a first-storey covered public space, will have to comply with the new design guidelines released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday (24 January).

This comes as some new sites are required to provide public spaces as part of the technical conditions of tender for Government Land Sales sites. Some redevelopment sites are also required to provide such spaces as part of the planning conditions for major alterations and additions works, or redevelopment proposals.

The design guidelines, which take effect from 24 April, include specifications on the size and configuration of the public space, signage, accessibility, and the need to provide public seating and amenities.

The URA is encouraging property owners, developers and qualified professionals to adopt the guidelines from project inception and design, to management and use of the space by the public.

It revealed that the recommendations included in the good practice guide will be considered during its assessment of development applications.

Meanwhile, property developer CapitaLand has expressed its support for the URA’s latest move to improve the quality of public spaces in Singapore, including those which are privately owned.

“As one of Asia’s largest real estate companies, CapitaLand has long been committed to building safe, accessible, vibrant and quality real estate developments that enhance the lives of the community. Even before government guidelines, we have catered for community spaces on our properties, which are considered from the start of the development process,” said Poon Hin Kong, Deputy Chief Development of Asia and Head of Design Management, CapitaLand.

Examples of community spaces that CapitaLand has created on its properties include the outdoor plaza at Plaza Singapura, the urban park at The Courtyard in Westgate and the plaza in front of Capital Tower.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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CRL Realty, a wholly-owned subsidiary of property giant CapitaLand, has sold its 100 percent stake in Nassim Hill Realty (NHR) to Kheng Leong Company for $411.6 million.

In an SGX filing on Monday (16 January), CapitaLand revealed that NHR was responsible for developing The Nassim, a luxurious low-rise condominium located along Nassim Hill in District 10. It presently owns 45 units in the freehold property.

The consideration, which was satisfied entirely in cash, is subject to post-completion adjustment and comprises the estimated net tangible assets value of $138.7 million as at 16 January 2017.

It also takes into account the $407.2 million agreed property value for the 45 units in The Nassim, as well as an assignment of a $272.9 million shareholder’s loan.

Based on CapitaLand’s unaudited consolidated financial statements for the nine months ended 30 September 2016, and assuming the sale was effected on 1 January 2016, CapitaLand’s earnings per share would have increased from 17.9 cents to 21.7 cents.

However, assuming the sale was effected on 30 September 2016, the financial impact on CapitaLand’s net tangible asset per share would not be material.

Credits: Propertyguru

 

Take a look at CapitaLand Properties: Skyvue Bishan, Sky Habitat Bishan, Bedok Residences Bedok, D' Leedon Farrer Road, The Interlace Alexandra, Victoria Park Villa Tanglin, Cairnhill Nine Orchard
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Falling prices, rents, rising vacancies, but robust sales in some parts of the property market

At first glance, Singapore's broader property market appears decidedly gloomy, with vacancy rates in offices and malls climbing and residential prices falling relentlessly.

But according to analysts, various sectors of the market are showing signs of life, with increased office investments, robust luxury residential sales and a rejuvenated collective sales market.

Still, one of the starkest signs of gloom - unless you are a patient buyer - has been the fall in private home prices.

Including the third quarter this year, private home prices have sunk 10.8 per cent in 12 straight quarters since the peak of the third quarter in 2013. Rents have dropped to almost the same extent, by 10.7 per cent, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.

However, the sales volume has been rising, even though November saw a slightly cooler take-up. A total of 11,993 private residential units (excluding executive condominium units) were sold in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 9.8 per cent year on year.

Falling prices have, in fact, been a boon for the luxury residential property market.

As of last Thursday, there were 2,601 private home transactions in the area defined as the "core central region", 42.6 per cent higher than that of the whole of last year, said Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong. This area includes Orchard, River Valley, Bukit Timah and Novena.

"Clearly, this shows that there has been a strong revival of interest in the luxury segment of the private residential market," he said. He attributed this to developers' creative payment schemes, such as OUE Twin Peaks' and d'Leedon's deferred payment schemes.

Analysts also singled out the return of collective sales as a cause for optimism. After a long dormant period, three deals were sealed this year, racking up more than $1 billion in value. Last year, there was just one $380 million deal and none in 2014.

The biggest collective sale of the year was of Bishan estate Shunfu Ville, bought by Chinese developer Qingjian Realty for $638 million. The sale is awaiting High Court approval.

The Straits Times understands that at least 10 collective sales committees have been set up in response to these successes.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie and Co, is confident more collective sales will be sealed next year.

"This is because sellers have dropped their asking prices, while developers are keen on well-located smaller sites," he said. "It is good for the property market, as it helps to renew the stock of sites available."

However, the star performer of the property market this year was office investment sales. According to data from research firm Real Capital Analytics, the value of office investments in Singapore so far this year was US$4.9 billion (S$7.1 billion) as of Dec 14, rising 54 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Foreign investment in local real estate hit its highest level in nine years.

Two mega deals made up the bulk of the $8.85 billion of foreign money. One was the sale of Asia Square Tower 1 for $3.38 billion by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority. The second was Malaysian developer IOI Properties Group's unit Wealthy Link's record-setting bid of $2.57 billion for a "white" multi-use site in Central Boulevard. Both properties are in Marina Bay.

The bullish buying of commercial assets contrasted with the pressure being put on rental prices. Office vacancy rates continued to rise. They were up last quarter to 10.4 per cent, one of the highest in recent quarters, while office rentals and prices continued to decline last quarter.

In the retail and industrial segments, business remains woeful as rents have softened across the market, said Mr Cheong.

The median rental rate for retail spaces in the third quarter was the lowest on record, falling to $9.82 per sq ft per month for the Orchard area - the first time it fell below $10, according to URA data.

Meanwhile, average prime monthly rent for the factory and warehouse sector slipped 6.3 per cent quarter on quarter, having declined since the fourth quarter of last year.

Most analysts think that the residential market has bottomed out, and that there is cause for optimism next year, as they believe that the Government will release more Government Land Sales (GLS) sites.

Mr Cheong said next year will be a "watershed" year.

"Not only are we likely to see more GLS sites being listed on the confirmed list for residential development, it is also a year like in 2016 where those who, despite the restrictions imposed by the TDSR (total debt servicing ratio), still have the wherewithal to purchase, (and) will start sauntering back to the market," he said.

Ms Christine Li, director of research at Cushman and Wakefield, said that the optimism ahead was primarily in Singapore's commercial and high-end residential markets.

Credits: Propertyguru

 

 

 

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Property developers in Singapore sold 860 units in November 2016, down 31.4 percent from the 1,253 units in the previous month, reported Channel NewsAsia, citing data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Including executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 1,110 private homes, down from the 1,542 units sold in October.

The number of units launched by developers also fell from 1,467 units in October to 1,363 units last month.

Most of the sales took place at the Parc Riviera project in West Coast Vale, which sold 128 of the 200 units launched, and at Queens Peak in Queenstown, which sold 271 of its 736 units.

Credits: Propertyguru

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Improving sentiment in the housing market will likely benefit City Developments Limited (CDL), as it remains the developer with the most available inventory, with much of its land bank purchased at a lower cost in previous years, revealed a Credit Suisse report.

The report noted that the introduction of the final rounds of property cooling measures, including the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) in 2013, saw transaction volumes drop 66 percent to 12,850 units in 2014 from 37,873 units in 2012.

“While transaction volumes remained tepid with declining prices a dampener on demand, we have observed a resurgence in volume growth across both the primary and secondary markets in recent quarters,” said Credit Suisse.

In fact, latest data for Q3 2016 showed that total sales volumes increased 10.5 percent year-on-year, on the back of strong resale volumes across all markets.

Resale volumes, which increased 53 percent year-on-year in Q3, would be a “better representation of buyer sentiment rather than total volumes, as they exclude the moderating impact on primary sales volumes from the decline in land sites in the market”, noted Credit Suisse.

The report stated that total unsold units (including completed, under construction and planned developments) have also progressively declined to an all-time low of 22,502 units.

With this, Credit Suisse expects the recovery in market sentiment to benefit CDL.

“Based on our proprietary analysis, CDL has the largest available land bank and unsold inventory, with an estimated 2,909 units worth $5.8 billion, half of which are located in the prime CCR region. Furthermore, much of these would have been acquired at a lower cost in earlier years, hence supportive of margins.”

The Swiss banking giant believes volumes are a more important driver of share price performance than prices per se, since they better reflect sentiment in the residential market.

“CDL remains one of the most direct and investable residential proxies in the Singapore market for investors, and we expect CDL to re-rate with gathering sales momentum,” it said.

“With $3.5 billion in funds AUM through three PPS deals thus far, we expect further PPS initiatives to drive value creation, on track to meet its $5 billion target by 2018. This would serve as share price catalysts to drive a further narrowing of its current discount to NAV.

“At 0.85x P/B (-1 SD from historical averages) and a 31 percent discount to RNAV (-0.9 SD from the historical average), valuations remain attractive.”

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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Stronger home sales in Singapore and China and contributions from serviced residences and commercial properties lifted CapitaLand's third-quarter earnings.

Net profit for the three months to Sept 30 rose 28.4 per cent to $247.5 million from $192.7 million a year earlier.

Revenue was up 27.7 per cent to $1.37 billion, thanks to increased contributions from development projects here and in China.

The developer said yesterday that higher rental income from its commercial properties here and its serviced residences business also boosted turnover.

China and Singapore remained CapitaLand's core markets, accounting for about 83 per cent of its revenue.

"CapitaLand's operating performance has remained robust thanks to our optimal asset mix that provides us with stability and a strong recurring income stream despite a volatile market," said president and group chief executive Lim Ming Yan.

Its development projects The Nassim and Cairnhill Nine in Singapore, Riverfront in Hangzhou, New Horizon in Shanghai and Vermont Hills in Beijing all contributed to higher revenue in the quarter.

CapitaLand sold 206 homes here between July and September, bringing the total units sold in the first nine months of the year to 510, with a total sales value of $1.24 billion.

Sales hit 2,903 units in China in the quarter, taking the nine-month total to 9,176, with a value of 14.8 billion yuan (S$3.04 billion).

CapitaLand gave an update of the extension fees payable in this half of the year for unsold units at The Interlace and d'Leedon as at the "sell-by date" in its third-quarter earnings report.

These fees relate to Qualifying Certificate (QC) rules applying to foreign developers - including Singapore developers listed here but with foreign shareholders.

It estimated an extension fee of $2.36 million for The Interlace, which had 56 unsold units as at Sept 13, and $2.72 million for d'Leedon, assuming the 87 units still available at the end of September remained unsold by the Oct 21 deadline. The developer noted that these fees will have limited financial impact.

Quarterly earnings per share was 5.8 cents, up from 4.5 cents in the third quarter a year ago. Net asset value per share came in at $4.01 as at Sept 30, lower than the $4.21 at Dec 31, 2015.

Net profit for the nine months to Sept 30 dipped 7.1 per cent to $759.8 million, largely due to lower fair value gains from revaluation of properties and portfolio gains. Revenue was up by 12.5 per cent from the previous year to $3.4 billion.

CapitaLand expects property cooling measures to continue to weigh on the residential market here while the outlook for office occupancy and rents remains muted. Its portfolio of malls here is expected to continue to offer stable recurring income.

The counter closed three cents lower to $3.03 yesterday, after the earnings were announced.

 

Credits: St Property

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Posted by on in New Launches

Singapore’s oldest satellite town has kept up with the times and seen many modern developments spring up across it. But even it progresses, pockets of history are still visible throughout the estate, and it is this mix of old and new that attracts many to Queenstown.

By Cheryl Marie Tay

Singapore may be only 51 years old, but its history began much earlier than 1965. And as the country’s oldest satellite town, Queenstown has certainly seen plenty of changes over the years.

Located on the south-westernmost edge of central Singapore, its very name is a rather transparent reference to Singapore’s heritage as a former British colony. Indeed, Queenstown was so christened after the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, to mark her coronation in 1952.

Thanks to the estate’s obvious association with British royalty, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a stop in Queenstown during their visit to Singapore in September 2012.

The estate is surrounded by Bukit Merah on its eastern and south-eastern sides, Bukit Timah on its northern side, Clementi on its western and north-western sides, Selat Pandan on its southern and south-western sides, and Tanglin on its north-eastern side.

Its 16 subzones include Buona Vista, Commonwealth, Dover, Ghim Moh, Holland Drive, Kent Ridge, Margaret Drive, Mei Chin, Pasir Panjang, Portsdown, Queensway and Tanglin Halt, while its main housing estates include Duchess Estate, Princess Estate and Queen’s Close.

A village in a valley

Before the 1950s, Queenstown was merely a swampy valley flanked by hills, with a rubber plantation on one side and a cemetery on the other. There was also a village in the area, called Bo Beh Kang, which was populated mainly by Hokkien- and Teochew-speaking inhabitants in attap huts.

Until 1942, these residents grew vegetables and fruits and reared chickens and pigs for a living. In 1947, however, the Housing Committee of Singapore published a report highlighting the problem of inadequate housing in the country.

As a solution, the report proposed having Singapore’s population decentralised away from city areas by establishing self-contained suburban residential estates. This was supposedly influenced by post-war Britain’s New Town initiative.

A successful start

The Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) eventually chose Queenstown for housing development, thanks to its proximity to Singapore’s first public housing project, Tiong Bahru, which had proven to be a success.

The construction of Queenstown’s first public housing neighbourhood, Princess Margaret Estate (named after Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister), commenced in July 1952, with a preliminary batch of three-room flats ready for occupation by late 1953.

This grew to over 1,000 one-, two- and three-room flats and 68 terrace houses by 1956, and included the 14-storey Forfar House, which was the tallest HDB block in Singapore then. It was considered such a prominent landmark at the time, there was even a ceremony held in October 1956 in its honour.

Simply known as Block 39, it contained 106 three-room flats, four stores and a kopitiam. However, 40 years after it was first built, it was demolished under the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).

Queenstown was fully developed as a public housing estate by 1970, and its success led to Buona Vista and Holland Village following the same route.

Into the 21st century

Today, Queenstown is still a thriving, self-sustaining residential estate. Its demographics have shifted somewhat since it was built, with more senior citizens residing in the area now than in most other estates in Singapore. They live mostly in the older two- and three-room HDB flats in the area.

Thanks to urban renewal efforts in the 2000s, residential developments such as SkyTerrace and SkyVille at Dawson (in Princess Estate) have drawn younger homebuyers to Queenstown. In fact, the SCDA Architects-designed SkyTerrace recently won an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) for International Excellence. Margaret Drive has also been redeveloped, such that it is now a modern neighbourhood that affords residents a high level of convenience.

Of course, the older residents are still catered to; a new nursing home at Margaret Drive will open in 2017, and will provide care and rehabilitation to the elderly who have been discharged from the hospital but still require some medical care while recovering. It will also have a senior care centre to help families look after their elderly member in the day, while the former are at work.

Amenities galore

There are many schools — including renowned educational institutions — in Queenstown, a plus point for parents of school-going children of any age. From primary (Fairfield, New Town and Queenstown) and secondary schools (Anglo-Chinese Independent, Fairfield Methodist, Queensway) to tertiary (Anglo-Chinese Junior College, the National University of Singapore, Singapore Polytechnic) and even international institutions (Anglo-Chinese International, Global Indian International School, United World College of Southeast Asia), the Queenstown Planning Area has no shortage of schools.

Other amenities include Alexandra Hospital, National University Hospital (NUH), Anchorpoint Shopping Centre, Queensway Shopping Centre, The Star Vista and of course, Queenstown MRT station.

Those who prefer to be away from large crowds can eschew the shopping malls for Kent Ridge Park and HortPark. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, go to Haw Par Villa, a theme park brimming with Chinese mythology and folklore; it features more than 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese legend and history.

There is also plenty of food to be had here. The estates numerous hawker centres include ABC Brickworks Market, Alexandra Village Food Centre and Tanglin Halt Hawker Centre. Of course, there is also Singapore’s first IKEA outlet on Alexandra Road, where you can have the Swedish furniture giant’s famous meatballs after a day of furniture shopping.

Hankering for the past

Though Queenstown has kept up with the times and continued to attract both residents and visitors, some still miss the Queenstown of old.

For 32-year-old Singaporean filmmaker Sivaraj Pragasm, it was his first home. Born in 1984, he grew up in Queenstown. After spending the first 15 years of his life living there, his family moved in July 1999 to Sengkang, where he still lives today.

He reminisces about the reputed “kampong spirit” we’ve all heard about, but may not have experienced: “Queenstown was a world of its own. It had a lot of charm because the buildings were pretty old and the people there had been living there since the 1950s and 1960s, so neighbours knew one another.

“You could leave the front door open without any issues. Food there was great because you could either go to Tanglin Halt, Margaret Drive or Stirling Road, all within walking distance of each one another. I also remember spending a lot of time at Queenstown Shopping Centre when I was younger.”

Comparing life in Queenstown with that in Sengkang, he says: “(Life in Queenstown) has never been — and can ever be — replicated by living here in Sengkang, simply because the demographics are different and it’s very sterile, considering it’s an entirely new town.”

Pragasm still visits Queenstown these days, “for old time’s sake”, and is — perhaps unsurprisingly — rather saddened by the rapidly disappearing landmarks and symbols of his childhood.

He says, “Most of the Queenstown that I grew up with has disappeared. Entire blocks of flats are being torn down, and the stalls at the hawker centre that I used to go to are no longer around, except maybe that famous Western food stall at Tanglin Halt, which I think is called A1 Western.”

Pragasm’s mood does lighten considerably when asked to recommend what one should eat and do in Queenstown: “I would highly recommend A1 Western. There are some heritage trails and tours that are run by non-profit organisations in Queenstown, so I would recommend checking that out.

“There’s also a Facebook group called My Queenstown that brings Queenstown residents, past and present, together. There are a lot of old photos of Queenstown you can find on the site that really show the rich history of the place.”

Continuing progress

Still, as it has been for a long time in Singapore, progress will continue, nostalgia notwithstanding. New developments continue to spring up all over the island, and Queenstown is no exception.

One of the upcoming residential projects in the estate is Queens Peak developed by Hao Yuan Investment and managed by MCC Land. Located on Dundee Road, the condominium development will contain 736 units across two towers. The unit types will range from one- to five-bedroom apartments and will also include penthouse units with private pools.

The development will also feature communal sky gardens within its curvilinear façade, and is situated just opposite Queenstown MRT station, as well as close to Alexandra Village Food Centre and ABC Brickworks Market, both of which offer a wide range of delectable local cuisines.

History amid modernity

Still, if you’re looking for some nostalgic indulgence, you can take a stroll along some of the older neighbourhoods in Queenstown, like those at Tanglin Halt and Stirling Road.

Also on Stirling is Tiong Ghee Temple, which was built in 1912 as a shrine to Guan Gong, the god of protection. Originally called Bo Beh Kang End Village Ghee Tiong Temple (after the aforementioned village where it was located), it was expanded in 1931, both physically and in terms of its roster of gods, with Tua Pek Kong joining the fold.

Interestingly, Bo Beh Kang village remained mostly unharmed during World War II, and residents attributed this to the protection of the gods. As a result, every 12 May and 23 August on the lunar calendar, events are held at the temple so devotees can express gratitude to the gods through a series of rituals.

The temple was renamed Tiong Ghee temple in 1968, after a temple committee was formed and had it registered as a religious institution; it was then moved to its current location on Stirling Road.

You can see the temple and other such historical sites in Queenstown by signing up for heritage tours conducted by My Queenstown Heritage Trail 

Credits: Propertyguru

Checkout the condominium developments in Queenstown:
Commonwealth Towers ; Queens Peak
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Property developer UOL Group is planning to launch two new residential projects in Clementi and Potong Pasir over the next two years, reported Singapore Business Review, citing a report from OCBC Investment Research.

The Clement Canopy, a 505-unit condominium in Clementi in which UOL owns a 50 percent stake, is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2017.

Raintree Gardens in Potong Pasir, which was acquired by the group via an en bloc sale with UIC Ltd, will be redeveloped into a 750-unit project that will hit the market in 2018.

UOL has seen healthy sales at its previously launched Singapore projects. The 797-unit Botanique at Bartley recorded a take-up rate of 96 percent, while Principal Garden and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">Riverbank @ Fernvale are 43 percent and 78 percent sold, respectively.

The three projects obtained their Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in September 2015 and May 2016, respectively.

With this, the group’s revenue for the quarter climbed 11 percent year-on-year to $393 million, on the back of higher topline contributions across its hotel, property development and property investment segments.

Property development revenue, for instance, jumped 19 percent year-on-year to $207 million due to higher progressive recognition from Botanique at Bartley, Riverbank @ Fernvale and Principal Garden, said OCBC.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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Property developer CapitaLand posted a total net profit of $247.5 million in the third quarter of 2016, up 28.4 percent from $192.7 million in the previous year, on the back of better operating performance.

Group revenue during the period also jumped 27.7 percent to $1.374 billion.

In an SGX filing, the group attributed the increase to higher contributions from CapitaLand’s residential business in China and Singapore, shopping malls in Malaysia and China, its commercial portfolio in Singapore, and newly acquired serviced residences.

The residential projects which contributed to higher revenue in Q3 included The Nassim and Cairnhill Nine in Singapore, New Horizon in Shanghai, Vermont Hills in Beijing and Riverfront in Hangzhou.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) also rose 7.7 percent year-on-year to $494.4 million in Q3, with Singapore and China remaining as key contributors.

Looking ahead, Lim said the group will continue to grow its assets under management through capital recycling, portfolio optimisation, fund management and management contracts.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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Queens Peak, Hao Yuan Investment’s 736-unit condominium project at Dundee Road, has been warmly received by buyers, with 242 units sold during its launch on Saturday (5 November).

One- and two-bedroom units accounted for 90 percent of all the units sold, while the project’s average price stands at $1,632 psf. The lowest transacted price was $1,406 psf.

The developer attributed the encouraging sales to the project’s good connectivity to the nearby Queenstown MRT station, as well as the fact that all units are at least eight storeys above ground.

“We have received feedback from buyers that Queens Peak is an attractively priced city fringe project made affordable for mass condominium buyers,” said Tan Zhiyong, Managing Director of MCC Land, the project manager for Queens Peak.

Meanwhile, the 752-unit Parc Riviera at West Coast Vale sold more than 100 units on Saturday, offering a “one-tier pricing scheme” for units found on the lowest floor to the 15th floor, reported The Business Times.

With the average price at $1,150 psf, more than 95 percent of units sold are those that come under the one-tier pricing scheme. Around 80 percent of buyers opted for the one- or two-bedroom units.

The scheme, which was originally planned to be offered only on Saturday, did not generate further interest when it was extended to Sunday, with only a few more units sold.

While location may have played a role in the project’s sales performance, EL Development Managing Director Lim Yew Soon noted that the manner by which smaller units were distributed in the project may have also been a factor.

The smaller units at Queens Peak are concentrated on the lower floors to keep the quantums low for investors, while Parc Riviera has similar unit types from the lowest to the highest floors. The developer kept the unit-type composition consistent on each floor due to the use of prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC).

Lim explained that it would be challenging for a project using PPVC to have different unit types stacked on top of another as this would require transfer beams and columns to be erected on each floor.

He also revealed that the project will revert to its original price list.

“We took quite a steep discount for the units on the higher floors so we can’t keep doing it all the time,” he said. “We are not planning for further discounts now. Based on the original pricing, it’s still attractive.”

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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Property developer EL Development will offer a one-tier pricing scheme for its Parc Riviera condominium during the project’s soft launch this Saturday (5 November), reported The Straits Times.

The scheme will see units of the same type from the second floor to the 15th floor carrying the same prices.

A 603 sq ft two-bedroom unit, for instance, will be priced at $725,000, regardless of whether it is located on the second floor, the 15th floor, or anywhere in between. Units located higher up in the two 36-storey towers will have higher prices.

EL Development Managing Director Lim Yew Soon revealed that he came up with the novel strategy to give early buyers ‘maximum benefits’.

Typical early bird promotions that advertise units going for ‘$5xx,000’ usually leave buyers guessing a unit’s price as well as its level. He describes this approach as clichéd and ‘a bit old-fashioned’.

“We are telling people that the price starts from $550,000 for the one-bedroom (unit). We feel that $550,000 is an attractive price, even at the lower levels. But now that we have extended the price to 15 floors, it will be even more attractive,” he said.

Located near Pandan Reservoir, Parc Riviera comprises two 36-storey towers and a four-storey carpark. Sizes for the units range between 463 sq ft for a one-bedder and 1,711 sq ft for the biggest four-bedder. Around 64 percent of the development contains one- and two-bedroom units, said EL Development.

Lim noted that the price difference for units on the 15th and 16th levels will be ‘substantial’, by around five percent.

Meanwhile, property experts are optimistic about the scheme. In fact, PropNex Realty CEO Mohamed Ismail expects the strategy to be effective.

“This is one of the first times when a developer has dangled this type of carrot. This strategy will likely get greater interest from consumers as they have an incentive to come early to make up their minds, to get discounted prices for higher floors. There are real savings for the buyer,” he said.

Ong Kah Seng, Director of R’ST Research, on the other hand, said the strategy’s main purpose is to encourage buyers to ‘snap up’ units on the higher floors.

He added that units located on the higher floors of a 20-storey condominium are typically more expensive by up to 15 percent, compared to those located within the middle levels.

Although the scheme could mean that lower floor units may remain unsold for a while, this is immaterial since “the project would already have achieved a fairly good sales rate, resulting in the project achieving good break-even sales or even marginal profits”, said Ong.

 

Credits: Propertyguru

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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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In the first of a two-part series, Bernard Tong from The Edge Property look at ways to determine if a particular home is a good buy, especially when discounts are offered. 

SINGAPORE: We can all fondly recall that one euphoric moment when we discovered a great bargain and took advantage of it, whether it was for a 50-inch TV at a promo price of S$399 or that pair of sneakers you always wanted at half the original amount.

But when it comes to buying properties, how easy is it to assess what is a good bargain? Recently, CapitaLand rolled out a stay-then-pay scheme coupled with a 15 per cent discount for two of its projects, d’Leedon and The Interlace. Not to be left out, Bukit Sembawang offered a 10 per cent to 13 per cent discount for its Skyline Residences development. Earlier this year, Wheelock Properties introduced an ABSD Assistance Package, which provided buyers a 15 per cent discount and a 15 per cent ABSD rebate for selected units at Ardmore Three. OUE Twin Peaks is probably the most notable project, being the first developer to have brought back the deferred payment scheme.  The scheme has been a huge success as 116 units have been sold since. 

While these are a handful of popular developments which have been widely cited, we put the numbers to the test to uncover some other deals. And to find the "real deals", we looked at:

1.       New condos that are substantially discounted from the original launch price, and

2.       New condos that are selling at close to their cost-price.

In our analysis on projects with heavy discounting, we looked at the average per square foot (psf) of transacted new units in the last three months versus those in the first three months of launch. We took into account developments with at least three recent transactions and excluded those with no remaining units (you can't buy what’s not for sale). Even though it is impossible to account for every single nuance of the transacted properties in this exercise, we ensured there must at least be comparable transactions in terms of size, level and stack in the two different time periods.  

Condominiums that are substantially discounted:

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Although we only included projects with an average discount of 5 per cent or more, we were surprised at how short the list is. Beyond the prominent projects that were mentioned earlier, there are not that many discounted projects despite a softening market. Developers’ large holding power from the boon years and compressed margins are possible reasons.

Nonetheless, the projects presented above are being transacted at notable discounts.  If you are looking for property deals, this list could be a good start as a general guide. For example, at Floraville, a 50-unit apartment at Ang Mo Kio, a 635 sq ft unit on the second level was transacted at S$1,316 psf in May 2016 verus S$1,470 psf for a same size and stack transaction on the third level in August 2013. This translates to a 10 per cent discount, although the unit was located only one floor lower. Based on the analysis by The Edge Property, a typical discount/premium for each level is in the range of 0.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent.

Sophia Hills and The Trilinq are two projects with more than 400 remaining units. Last month, a 463 sq ft unit at Sophia Hills was transacted at 7 per cent discount compared to a same size and stack unit in December 2014, despite it being one floor higher. The Trilinq, which has been frequently cited as the first project likely to incur developer’s ABSD remission charge, is also cutting prices. Transactions lodged indicated an average discount of 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Mon Jervois, a 109-unit condo at Tanglin, has sold seven units since the beginning of the year, some at a considerable discount. For example, a 1,905 sq ft unit on the third floor was transacted at S$1,975 psf in May 2016 versus S$2,037 psf in October 2013 for a same size and stack unit located one floor lower. If you are not the superstitious sort, you can find even greater deals. At this same development, a #04-04 unit was recently transacted at S$1,850 psf, a significant 20 per cent discount compared to a #02-04 unit which was transacted at S$2,318 psf in August 2013. (The number 4 is considered unlucky by many in the Chinese culture).

At The Crest, a prestigious development located at Bukit Merah, sales have also picked up in recent months. Wing Tai Holdings, the developer, is understood to have offered 6 per cent commission to salespersons in April and May. A             discount of 15 per cent is also applied to selected units. 

The level of discounting is just one of the ways for property buyers to identify bargains. Understanding cost and margins allow buyers to make better informed decisions. In the second article in this series, we will continue to identify the "real deals" by looking at condos that are selling near costs. 

Source: Channel News Asia

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An investment holding company owned by the Kuik family and led by Kuik Ah Han, Founder and Executive Chairman of Sim Lian Group (SLG), is looking to privatise and delist the property developer.

In an SGX filing on Monday (8 August), Coronation 3G announced a voluntary cash offer for all outstanding shares of SLG that it doesn’t already own.

The offer price of S$1.08 per share is final and represents a 14.9 percent premium over the last traded price per share of S$0.94 on 4 August.

“Coronation 3G believes that the offer presents SLG shareholders with a compelling cash exit opportunity given the illiquidity of its shares,” it said, adding that the shares have not traded at or above the offer price since its listing in 2000.

Coronation 3G has secured irrevocable undertakings representing 80.36 percent of the total number of issued shares. The offer is conditional on Coronation 3G receiving acceptances of 90 percent of the total number of issued shares.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited is the financial adviser to Coronation 3G in relation to the offer.

Credits: Propertyguru

 

(View Wandervale EC Choa Chu Kang Homepage, an exquisite development by Sim Lian Group)

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