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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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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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Despite the bleak property market, City View @ Boon Keng saw at least 14 flats sold even though it only entered the resale market this year, according to a recent Straits Times report.

In fact, flat owners at the premium public housing project have been reaping big profits.

Housing Board data shows that three- to five-room flats there were sold from $560,000 to $900,000, far exceeding the project’s launch prices of between $349,000 and $727,000, as well as HDB prices within the vicinity.

Century 21 Chief Executive Ku Swee Yong attributed the high prices to the project’s design and recent completion in 2011.

“It’s the newest in the neighbourhood. As a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project, it also has high-quality design and fittings.”

The second DBSS project after The Premiere @ Tampines, the 714-unit City View @ Boon Keng comprises three 40-storey blocks and was developed by Hoi Hup Sunway.

Although owners at City View are only allowed to sell their units from this year, following the end of their five-year minimum occupation period, 10 units were sold earlier.

This came after the HDB granted the said owners special approval. Property agents who helped sell the properties revealed that some of the reasons included emigration and divorce.

ERA agent Brandon Zheng, for instance, handled the $820,000 sale of an eighth floor five-room unit, whose owners moved to Australia.

Looking ahead, Ku expects the units at City View to go for more, given the project’s proximity to the city.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the top-floor units exceed $1 million,” he said.

Credits: Propertyguru

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The government has a “rough idea” on when to revise the property cooling measures, “but that doesn’t mean that we announce it”, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

Speaking to over 2,000 property agents at an ERA Realty conference on Wednesday (3 Feb), the minister said such a decision would be made by the National Development and Finance ministers when they assess the risks to be “less or manageable”.

He was responding to questions on when the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) would be removed.

He explained that the measures were put in place by the government to protect Singaporeans, and they have managed to avert the disaster of an overheated property market.

He noted that while some people are worried that the property market could go the other way, the government will ensure this doesn’t happen.

“We cannot have a healthy economy if the property market has crashed. So it’s not in anybody’s interest to see it crash.”

First introduced in December 2011, the ABSD was revised upwards in January 2013 to rein in Singapore’s escalating residential property prices.

Singaporeans are required to pay an ABSD of seven percent for a second property, and 10 percent for a third and subsequent property. However, foreigners are required to pay an ABSD of 15 percent for their first and subsequent property purchases.

Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer at ERA Realty, believes that the government is watching the market closely and will tweak the property measures in due time.

“The question is when, and many analysts have tried to set a target of how much prices will come down before the government removes the measures, but I do not think that is the case. The government is concerned about Singaporeans over-leveraging themselves as there are many potential buyers waiting on the sidelines.

“Right now, we’re not sure how quickly prices will rebound if one of the measures is removed, and I think that is the litmus test for the government. They don’t want to remove something and cause prices to rebound, derailing the measures.

“They are looking at market stability rather than a target price. When the time comes, they will make the decision to reverse the measures, which will be a quick and easy process.”

Credits: Propertyguru

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SINGAPORE - A street in Singapore has been named the fifth most expensive in the world by Billionaire.com.

Paterson Hill, a street just off the shopping district in Orchard Road, is said to be home to some of the richest people in Singapore, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Entrepreneur and former Miss Singapore Universe Rachel Kum is also believed to own property on the high-end residential street.

According to the website, homes on the street have an average price of $53,800 per square metre.

Luxury apartments on Paterson Hill are sought after for their excellent location, breathtaking views and posh nosh facilities. The republic's most expensive residential property, The Marq on Paterson Hill, was also named sixth most expensive in the world with a price of S$6,606 per square foot recorded last year.

This year's most expensive list, compiled based on Knight Frank statistics, was topped by Hong Kong's Pollock’s Path, a luxury residential estate on The Peak with homes averaging at $150,ooo per square metre. In second place was London's Kensington Palace Gardens, where property prices can go up to $243 million.

Credit BusinessOne

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