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30% jump in Dec private home sales

STRONG new private home sales last month have capped off a record year for developers – and may have prompted the latest government cooling measures.

Sweeping aside the traditional year-end lull, buyers snapped up 1,410 homes last month, 30 per cent more than in November, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data out yesterday.

This brings the full-year total to a record 22,290 units sold, easily eclipsing the record of 16,292 sold in 2011.

Including executive condominium (EC) units, 2,259 homes were sold last month. A record 5,115 EC units were also sold last year.

Experts say the strong sales and benchmark prices set at some projects last month may have contributed to the latest measures announced last week. The Government would likely have had an indication by the start of this month on how December’s sales figures were shaping up.

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research at property consultancy SLP International, said the Government takes account of the whole market performance including buying sentiment at showflats.

“There is a ripple effect when new launches do very well and so some of the successful launches with benchmark prices set in December might have factored into its decision of introducing measures,” he added.

City Developments’ city fringe project Echelon, next to Redhill MRT station, for instance, sold 331 units at a median $1,768 per sq ft (psf) in December. Prices at the 508-unit project went as high as $2,382 psf last month.

Village@Pasir Panjang also saw 58 units being sold in the month of Dec.

Knight Frank research head Png Poh Soon said the rebound in sales volume reflects the continued robustness of the residential market. But this could also be partly attributed to the higher number of launches last month compared with the month before.

A new 15 per cent tax imposed on foreigners buying properties in Hong Kong also diverted some of the buying interest to the market here, where the additional buyer’s stamp duty last month was only 10 per cent, he added.

Despite the strong sales, the estimated value of 2012 total sales was only $25.56 billion, CBRE said. While that is 27 per cent higher than in 2011, it is still a shade below 2010’s total of $25.65 billion, due to the large number of compact units sold last year.

Mr Joseph Tan, CBRE’s executive director of residential services, noted that while January typically records fewer sales, there might be “slightly higher sales” this month as showflats extended their opening hours before the measures kicked in to facilitate last-minute purchases.

“The market will take some time to find its ground in the next half of this year. Sales volume will find new levels and projects which have received approval will go on the market as planned.”

The line-up of new launches includes Sennett Residence in Potong Pasir and Urban Vista in Tanah Merah.

Suburban homes saw the most sales last month with 620 homes sold. The segment was followed closely by city-fringe homes which moved 527 units, while city-centre homes found 263 buyers.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in General, Residential

 

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200 units at Alexandra View condo sold in a day

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DEVELOPER City Developments (CDL) started its New Year celebrations early yesterday after 80 per cent of the units at new condominium Echelon put up for preview sales were snapped up on the first day.

“It is a great way for us to round up the year,” said CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong.

The Alexandra View project, which is being developed by CDL and joint-venture partners Hong Leong Holdings and Hong Realty, is at the edge of the city and the Tanglin residential area and just a five-minute walk to Redhill MRT station.There will be 508 units spread over the condominium’s two 43-storey towers.

The mix includes one- to four-bedroom flats, exclusive loft units and penthouses, all with the “early bird” price of $1,700 per sq ft.

That prices the one-bedders at $800,000 at least, while two-bedroom units start at $1.19 million.

Three-bedroom units can be had for at least $1.34 million, four-bedders from $2.13 million and penthouse suites from $7.15 million.

CDL had originally planned to release 218 units for sale yesterday but strong demand saw this increased to 250.

By 4pm, 200 had been sold.

“The strong demand for Echelon is reflective of its premium location. It offers the best of both worlds – close proximity to the Redhill MRT station and nestled in the tranquillity of the city fringe,” said Mr Chia.

“We tendered strategically for this coveted piece of land in 2011. Since then, we’ve seen subsequent land sales in this area tran-sact at prices significantly higher, which demonstrates the value and potential price appreciation of this locale and its surroundings.

“Echelon is expected to yield good rental potential with a sizeable pool of expatriates working in the nearby business parks, such as One North and Mapletree Business City, CDL said in a statement.

Expatriates working in the Central Business District are also increasingly turning to housing options in the city fringe area, enhancing Echelon’s attractiveness, the developer added.

CDL said the project is near shopping centres such as Ikea Alexandra and the Star Vista mall at Buona Vista and leisure options at Sentosa, Holland Village, Dempsey Hill and Orchard Road.

Schools nearby include Crescent Girls’ School, Gan Eng Seng Primary and Secondary schools, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent and the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

Echelon is designed by architectural firm SCDA Architects.

It will include a rooftop terrace on the 42nd floor called Sky Echelon, which will feature a dining area and a lounge with a pool.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Residential

 

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Home in on the suburbs

Looking to invest in real estate next year? We ask property consultants for their recommendations

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Suburban condominiums have generally fared better than those in prime districts this year, and the trend could continue into 2013.

Property analysts told The Sunday Times that their top picks for next year were mostly in the western and northern suburban regions.

Interest could also shift to districts at the city fringes.

Those who do not want city living yet want the convenience of being near the city will look to the city fringe, said DWG senior manager Lee Sze Teck.

Though the spotlight will likely be on suburban and city fringe hot spots next year, investors should not rule out homes in the prime districts despite a fairly lacklustre 2012 as economic conditions improve.

Rich investors from overseas may seek unsold units in premier locations next year to take advantage of low interest rates and excess liquidity, said Colliers International director of research and advisory Chia Siew Chuin.

Ms Chia added that signs of recovery in China and other major economies could bring more foreign buyers back into the prime market.

But regardless of the market segment, buyers should look out for homes near MRT stations and in districts where price movements have been subdued, analysts said.

These could be areas that have seen few exciting new launches but have the potential for future development.

Other factors to consider are accessibility, congestion and the uniqueness of the development, said Savills research head Alan Cheong.

Buyers should take into consideration the traffic conditions in the surroundings once all the units, both private and public, are completed, Mr Cheong said.

The Sunday Times takes a look at the property consultants’ top picks for 2013.

1 Jurong East

There is a buzz in Jurong East, now that it is firmly established as a commercial hub in the western part of Singapore.

The focus is mainly on Jurong Gateway, an area around the Jurong East MRT station, which has been jazzed up by the development of commercial sites such as the Jem and Westgate shopping malls.

The Government is keeping up the rapid pace of development in Jurong East, with the sale of a residential site to MCL Land for $369.4 million, or $705.10 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), in May.

A hotel site was also bought for $238.2 million last month by Resorts World Singapore, a unit of Genting Singapore. This translates to $1,167 psf ppr, a record price for hotel land.

Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of International Property Advisor, said job creation in the area is likely to be strong, which will drive up residential rental demand and capital values.

New malls built in Jurong East will create new jobs, as will hospitals such as the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, which is under construction. Also, up to 5,000 existing jobs could move to Jurong East as government agencies relocate their premises there, Mr Ku noted.

As a consequence of the large developments there, rental demand is likely to rise as more locals and foreigners move in.

However, the downside of the rapid pace of development in Jurong East is that the area could become more congested in future as it becomes more densely populated, analysts said.

2 Alexandra

Upcoming launches are likely to boost prices in the Alexandra area, which was given a facelift several years ago by the transformation of Alexandra Canal into a waterway and park connector.

Gross rental yields here could climb as high as 5 per cent, said DWG’s Mr Lee.

The most recent condo launch in Alexandra was the 373-unit Ascentia Sky in 2009.

Upcoming launches include 508-unit Echelon along Alexandra Road, which could be launched within the next few months.

Also, two land parcels in Alexandra, at Prince Charles Crescent and Alexandra View, were sold this year.

However, prices may have already started to rise. Resale prices in the Redhill and Alexandra area have climbed 6 per cent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period in the preceding year, Ms Chia said.

3 Woodlands

Woodlands is also designated as one of Singapore’s regional centres, but prices here have not appreciated as much as those in the other regional centres due to a relative lack of new launches recently.

Since 2011, there have been only two new launches: Woodhaven in June last year and Parc Rosewood in January this year.

But the area’s image as a remote northern outpost could change soon. One factor is the completion of the Thomson MRT line in 2019, which could drive up home prices by as much as 30 per cent, analysts said.

The three stations along the new line – Woodlands, Woodlands North and Woodlands South – will serve the residents of more than 4,300 private homes as well as those living in HDB flats, which dominate the area.

Also, Singaporeans’ growing interest in buying second homes in Johor Baru could increase cross-border activity and add buzz to Woodlands, said Colliers’ Ms Chia.

However, since Woodlands is still quite far from the city centre, not everyone may want to live there, said SLP International research head Nicholas Mak.

4 Geylang

Although it is more known for its red-light district, Geylang has been thrust into the spotlight by a slew of new launches.

At least 40 projects, yielding 2,190 units, will be launched or completed in this area in the next five years or so.

Most developments in Geylang are small. Recently completed condos include the 78-unit Casa Aerata at Lorong 26 and the 62-unit Centra Suites at Lorong 25A.

The stigma of Geylang’s sleaze factor has been holding down prices. Banks are also known to be reluctant to finance home purchases there.

However, that makes it an attractive investment option for cash-rich investors interested in yield accretion, said Colliers’ Ms Chia.

Yields are a tad under 4 per cent, which is slightly higher than the average of 2 per cent to 3 per cent for condos islandwide.

5 Potong Pasir

The Potong Pasir area is near the Central Business District and Orchard Road, and is undergoing rejuvenation.

Projects under construction in the area include Nin Residence and 18 Woodsville, and Sennett Residence and Sant Ritz will be launched next year.

There was healthy demand for a 99-year leasehold mixed-use site at Upper Serangoon near the Potong Pasir MRT station. It was sold in September this year for $793 psf ppr.

Also, the Bidadari Cemetery has been cleared and is zoned for residential use, though the exact details of land parcels have not been released yet.

However, DWG’s Mr Lee noted that Potong Pasir currently lacks retail amenities.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Investment Tips, Residential

 

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$332.7m top bid for Alexandra View

A closely watched tender for a residential site at Alexandra View drew a top bid of $332.7 million, or $970.18 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), yesterday.
Singland Homes, which put up the top bid for the 99-year leasehold site, Alexandra View (Parcel B), beat five other bidders.
$332.7m top bid for Alexandra View Parcel B

The land parcel is located within an established residential estate and a short 10 minutes’ drive to Orchard Road, the Central Business District, Marina Bay and the Southern Waterfront area where VivoCity and Sentosa are located.

Situated next to Redhill MRT station, future residents will enjoy convenient access to all parts of Singapore. The future residential development will also be well connected to major arterial roads and expressways such as Alexandra Road, Tanglin Road and Ayer Rajah Expressway.

In addition, residents of the Alexandra View land parcel development can enjoy quiet respites at the nearby recreational parks at Telok Blangah Hill and Mount Faber. Recreational facilities such as the Delta Sports Hall and Swimming Complex are also located just a short 10 minutes’ walk away.

The future residential development will provide ideal homes for families with school-going children. Reputable schools located in the vicinity include Crescent Girls’ School and Gan Eng Seng Primary School.

Diverse and convenient shopping, dining and entertainment options are available at the nearby Tiong Bahru Plaza, Alexandra Village, Anchorpoint Shopping Centre, Queensway Shopping Centre and IKEA Alexandra.

Singapore Land has in the nearby vicinity a low-rise condo with about 109 units on a plot that it clinched at a state tender in February.
Mon Jervois, which has a Jervois Road address, is expected to be launched in late January.
“(For the Jervois Road site) we are looking at about $2,000 psf,” said Michael Ng, group general manager of Singapore Land and its parent, UIC.
Assuming it is awarded the site, the developer plans to erect a 43-storey residential tower.
The break-even cost will be about $1,500 psf, which translates to a selling price of about $1,700 psf, said Mr Ng.
“(The project will be) geared towards younger executive couples looking to buy for owner-occupation, or investors looking to rent the units out to expatriates working in the central business district or Orchard Road vicinity.”
The majority of the units will feature two bedrooms or two-plus-one and will be in the range of 800-1,000 square feet.
Joining the fray to protect its unlaunched project was a consortium comprising City Developments’ unit Sunmaster Holdings, Hong Leong Group’s Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty’s Garden Estates, which put up a bid of $271 million, or $790.30 psf ppr.
The consortium’s Echelon is a 43-storey condo with 508 units, and is located next to the subject site.
The second highest bid, which was put up by Far East Orchard and FCL Topaz, came in at $300.1 million, or $875.1 psf ppr.
The lowest offer for the land parcel was $268 million, or $781.56 psf ppr, which came from Mezzo Development.
(Source: Business Times)
 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Government Land Sales

 

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Developers rolling out fresh projects as year ends

Liberte @ Sarkies Road - Freehold new launch next to Newton MRT

Liberte @ Sarkies Road – Freehold new launch next to Newton MRT

THE property market usually puts its feet up as Christmas and New Year approach, but this year looks to be an exception with a string of new launches planned.

Forget the school holidays and festive wind-down; developers are keen to push out their projects while the housing market is still healthy.

They have prepared landed and non-landed projects with thousands of units slated for release.

Launches that could be pushed out by the year end, market conditions willing, include The Whitley Residences in Whitley Road, Liberte in Sarkies Road, Kingsford @ Hillview Peak, Village @ Pasir Panjang, Echelon near Redhill MRT station, Michaels’ Residences in Chestnut Avenue, Trilinq in Clementi and Spottiswoode Suites in Spottiswoode Park Road.

At least three other executive condominium projects – CityLife @ Tampines, Forestville in Woodlands and The Topiary in Sengkang – are also expected this month alone.

The launches range from landed to non-landed homes, and mass market to high-end apartments, so home buyers with a range of budgets and preferences will be spoilt for choice.

Marketing materials for freehold strata-landed housing project The Whitley Residences in district 11, for instance, put prices at $850 per sq ft (psf) and above.

The Hoi Hup Realty development consists of 58 semi-detached homes of 5,199 sq ft to 7,104 sq ft and three terraced houses of between 4,801 sq ft and 6,620 sq ft.

The 700-unit suburban executive condominium project The Topiary will have units ranging from 753 sq ft to 2,476 sq ft. Prices range from $580,000 for a two-bedroom unit while penthouses are expected to fetch at least $1.28 million.

Online applications opened last Friday while sales will start on Friday.

SP Setia’s 483-unit Eco Sanctuary along Chestnut Avenue in Bukit Panjang recorded almost 200 sales since its preview two weekends ago, and is expected to be officially launched over the weekend. Prices start from $900 psf, say marketing agents.

But some developers have chosen to delay their launches until next year.

Tuan Sing Holdings’ Sennett Residence in Potong Pasir will be released next month, said chief financial officer Chong Chou Yuen, although marketing agents are already collecting interest.

He cited the slower festive and school holiday period as part of the reason for the later launch.

Sennett Residence will have 338 units comprising one- to five-bedders and penthouses. It will also have three 18-storey towers and a five-storey block with an Olympic-size pool at the top. Market watchers expect prices to start from about $1,400 psf.

Experts note that developers are keen to ride on the wave of robust new home sales this year.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of training, research and consultancy at Dennis Wee Group, said: “Buying sentiment is still good and we are headed towards a record year of sales, so developers are keen to continue building on that momentum.”

Low interest rates are also supporting the market, he added.

There were 19,507 private homes sold in the first 10 months of this year – easily eclipsing the record of 16,292 sold in the whole of last year.

HSR Property Group special adviser Donald Han said prices at new launches are likely to plateau in the short term given the October cooling measures.

“But if you look at how land prices have been moving over the past few months, it looks like there could be further price upside for certain launches that take place in the second or third quarter next year after this period of stabilisation,” he added.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in General, Residential

 

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