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NDR – Increase income ceiling for ECs could hurt mass market condo’s demand

The changes to the eligibility income ceiling announced on Sunday National Day Rally (NDR) could ignite demand for executive condominiums (EC) and intensify the competition for mass market private homes.

Developers of mass market apartments and ECs are targeting the same group of buyers, so experts expect the battle for sales to be stepped up.

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“The same group of eligible buyers have the option to purchase ECs, and buyers today are already taking more time to decide compared with a year ago,” said Cushman & Wakefield research director Christine Li.

“Mass market condos on the market could find it even harder to attract buyers.”

Property agencies spent yesterday fielding enquiries from potential EC buyers, some of whom had been ineligible under the old income ceiling rules, said PropNex team director William Lim.

More expensive mass market homes, and those not near MRT stations, are expected to suffer more. A new or well-maintained completed private home priced below $1,000 per sq ft might not be as affected – the price differential is too narrow and buyers may prefer to forfeit their privilege to buy an EC, said Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong.

Mr Mohd Ismail, PropNex chief executive, said that many people at recent EC launches – including The Brownstone, The Vales and Sol Acres – had booked units even though they were ineligible at the time and had lodged appeals with the HDB.

“With (Sunday’s) announcement, all these people will benefit.”

The income ceiling for new HDB flats and ECs has been raised by $2,000 each to $12,000 and $14,000 respectively, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the National Day Rally on Sunday. The changes kicked in yesterday.

MCL Land’s Sol Acres, which launched last Saturday, has sold 249 units. “There should be more sales in general from the enlarged pool of eligible buyers,” said the company’s chief executive Koh Teck Chuan. Sales are expected to be good for the new EC launch coming up in Yishun – Signature.

Qingjian Realty head of sales and marketing Donald Ng said while more people who had been ineligible have been visiting the company’s developments’ showflats recently, “everyone will have to work hard to see how we can translate those leads into sales”.

Knight Frank executive chairman Tan Tiong Cheng said the policy move would certainly take away some demand for mass market homes.

“For new families and owner-occupiers, an EC is the logical choice between the two asset types, given the savings – a difference of about $300 per sq ft, which could be more than $250,000 – and that you are getting the same location, more or less the same product,” he said.

“The only difference is that there are fewer restrictions in the private property market and more variety.”

More expensive mass market homes, and those not near MRT stations, are expected to suffer more. A new or well-maintained completed private home priced below $1,000 per sq ft might not be as affected – the price differential is too narrow and buyers may prefer to forfeit their privilege to buy an EC, said Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong.

“But if the pricing is in the $1,000 to $1,200 psf range, the relative gap to ECs in the $800 psf level is relatively large and may influence some to look at ECs instead.”

Overall, prices for both segments may not move much. While private developers will price sensibly to get sales, there is a limit to how much they can cut given higher land costs, said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim.

Experts also noted that the bulk of EC buyers do not usually earn more than $10,000 a month and often rely on parents’ savings for their purchases, so a higher income ceiling may not substantially change the buyer profile. Those earning more than $10,000 have many options and may have other aspirations, they said.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Residential

 

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Robust property sales over weekend

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BUYERS were out in force over the weekend to take stock of an influx of newly launched homes and commercial units in a mixed development.

Sales were particularly brisk at Jewel @ Buangkok, although KAP Residences in King Albert Park and Liv on Sophia near Dhoby Ghaut also fared well.

Knight Frank head of research and consultancy Alice Tan noted: “Buyers are interested to look at residential projects that have good location attributes, such as close proximity to transport nodes like MRT stations and good schools. Projects are likely to see healthy performance, provided they are priced reasonably.”

Home-seekers took a shine to the Jewel with 203 out of 280 released units snapped up at its preview launch last Saturday.

Ms Tan noted: “To sell above a take-up rate of 70 per cent within one weekend is commendable.”

The project near Buangkok MRT station has a total of 616 units and is priced at about $1,150 per sq ft (psf).

Developer City Developments (CDL) said two of the penthouses were among the homes sold, adding that “84 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans, with a majority comprising young couples, PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen) and HDB upgraders”.

Ms Tan added: “The track record of the developer plays a part, and CDL has a good track record. Projects that it’s launched have seen good take-up rates.”

She also noted that the average resale price of The Quartz, which is next to Jewel, is $1,070 psf this year.

CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong said Jewel’s attractions lie in its proximity to Buangkok MRT station and the upcoming Seletar Aerospace Park, which will boost potential for rent and capital appreciation.

While owner-occupiers seemed taken with Jewel, investors were to the forefront in two other projects on the weekend.

Sales were robust at KAP Residences, a reflection of how such mixed-use developments have become increasingly popular.

The Straits Times understands that 92 per cent of the released units were snapped up at the project, which is being built by a consortium led by Oxley Holdings.

The preview launch for the commercial units was held last Tuesday while the flats were put up for grabs last Thursday.

The freehold development is in District 21 and near popular schools like Methodist Girls’ School and National Junior College.

Oxley said that 93 of the 107 commercial units released were sold at an average price of $5,446 psf, while 135 of the 142 flats launched went at an average price of $1,705 psf. This brought the total number of units sold at the project to 228.

Investors were also keen on Liv on Sophia where about 15 homes were sold over the weekend, including some bulk sales, said Roxy-Pacific Holdings chief executive Teo Hong Lim.

The 64-unit project, which has now sold 40 units since the launch two weeks ago, comprises only two-bedroom, dual-key flats, ranging from 527 sq ft to 710 sq ft. Dual-key units have two separate entrances with their own keys, making them popular with investors looking for two streams of rental income.

Mr Teo estimated that Singaporeans made up 53 per cent of the weekend buyers, permanent residents comprised 42 per cent and foreigners the rest.

There is even more choice coming for home-seekers with the 512-unit executive condominium (EC) Ecopolitan being built by China-based property developer Qingjian Realty in Punggol Way expected to launch later this month.

E-applications for a Sing Holdings EC, expected to be named Coral Edge Residences and near the Coral Edge LRT station in Punggol, are expected to begin at the end of the month.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in General, Residential

 

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Seventeen new condos primed for launch in 2013

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AROUND 17 new condominiums comprising almost 7,500 private homes in all are being prepared over the next few months.

The bumper supply stems largely from the significant release of land from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme over the past year, although private sites are also in the mix.

Market experts are keenly watching to see how some of the more high-profile projects fare, given that the tough cooling measures imposed last month have added an air of uncertainty to the market.

There will be plenty of choice for buyers, with projects in estates across the island from Tanah Merah, Pasir Ris and Hillview to upmarket areas like Marina Bay being primed for launch.

The larger projects lining up for release include the 912-unit D’nest in Pasir Ris Grove, Bartley Ridge in Mount Vernon Road, which has 868 units, and the 755-unit Trilinq in Jalan Lempeng.

The Trilinq showflat will be open today, with preview sales expected early next month. Indicative average prices are about $1,500 per sq ft.

While Q Bay Residences in Tampines enjoyed strong sales despite being launched after the curbs, market watchers are waiting for a second successful launch to set a positive market trend.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said the healthy take-up of units at d’Leedon after a price cut showed buying sentiment was still positive, and that there is still underlying demand.

“But the take-up rates are unlikely to be as fast as last year. It might take six months for 50 to 70 per cent of a mass market project to be sold now. Previously, 80 to 90 per cent of a smaller-sized project could be sold in three months,” he noted.

International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong said high-end homes might still face a uphill battle in lifting sales.

“The overall quantum for prime homes in districts 9, 10 and 11 is generally more than $3 million and is not within reach of the first-timer and upgrader segments,” he added.

A test might come in October when the mega Marina One project, developed by Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings as part of a land swop agreement, is launched. The project has a whopping 1,042 units.

Developers might also delay some of their launches to assess the full impact of the measures, although 99-year leasehold projects from GLS sites will face more urgency to be pushed out compared with freehold ones.

Colliers International’s director of research and advisory services, Ms Chia Siew Chuin, said if the results of the next few launches are encouraging, more developers are likely to push out their projects. “There is no need for projects to sell out within a couple of weeks for developers to gauge that buying interest is still evident, so long as showflat visitor numbers and buying volume remain and hold steady,” she added.

“This would be especially so for projects in the suburban areas, where Singaporeans make up the bulk of buyers.”

Colliers noted that from 2003 to last year, the total number of uncompleted residential homes launched for sale averaged 12,036 units a year.

Buyer sentiment significantly turned for the better from 2005, when the Government announced the development of the integrated resorts.

Developers responded by launching more than 10,000 units each year from 2006 to last year, culminating in a record 21,478 units released last year. The only exception was in 2008, when the financial crisis hit.

The brisk sales of GLS sites last year means 17,000 to 18,000 units could be launched this year.

“This could be the new norm, as the Government continues to inject a strong pipeline supply of housing units into the market until such time when demand falls to more moderate levels,” said Colliers’ Ms Chia.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Residential

 

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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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Pasir Panjang is best known for its port and wholesale industry facilities, and is hardly Singapore’s most fashionable address. But consultants say that both commercial and residential property in the area could make good medium-term investments.

It could become the next “waterfront living” belt, given its proximity to various west coast amenities such as science parks, business hubs and a university.

The largest new project in the district is the Mapletree Business City, a huge 1.7 million sq ft office and business park. Completed in 2010, the business hub could be a significant source of office and residential tenants, noted Knight Frank research head Png Poh Soon.

Pasir Panjang is also close to Singapore Science Parks I and II and Alexandra Technopark, giving it access to an estimated 100,000 workers and residents in the vicinity, he said.

Also, the recent completion of the Haw Par Villa and Pasir Panjang MRT stations – both on the Circle Line – has helped to boost accessibility to the area.

But one might be forgiven for wondering if there is much space for many homes in the district.

After all, Pasir Panjang Terminal occupies the south and the National University of Singapore sits in the north-west of Pasir Panjang, along with large greenery belts formed by West Coast Park and Kent Ridge Park.

It is unlikely that many more new homes will be built here, consultants said, noting that there were no government land sale sites available in the Pasir Panjang area for the second half of this year.

Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty, said the scarcity of new launches in the area meant prices should “remain stable”.

The residential area in Pasir Panjang is mainly private homes located along Pasir Panjang Road, stretching from the university to the MRT station.

Only a handful of new residential properties have been launched over the past two years.

Two- and three-bedroom units at 72-unit freehold Horizon Residences, which is expected to obtain its temporary occupation permit (TOP) next year, were launched at prices between $1,300 and $1,400 per sq ft in mid-2010. Ninety per cent of the units have been sold to date.

Other recent launches include 10-unit freehold Ria Apartments, 50-unit freehold Luxe Villa and Viva Vista, a freehold mixed development with 144 residential units and 106 commercial shops.

These are all expected to get TOPs between next year and 2014.

The homes at Viva Vista are mainly shoebox units and one-bedders, and were launched at $1,300 to $1,350 psf for larger units and $1,400 to $1,600 psf for shoebox units. All have been sold.

Another rare new launch along Pasir Panjang road is Village@Pasirpanjang. Occupying a large freehold land site of more than 102,000sqft, Village features 146 units of 2 to 4 bedroom residences. Within 4mins walk to NUS, the responses before Preview looks strong.

But both the private resale market and the rental market are fairly active.

Total resale transactions accounted for 52 per cent of all new sale, subsale and resale transactions in the last four years.

Mr Png said prices for new sale properties rose by about 13 per cent over the past year, with all transactions for private homes coming from Ria Apartments and Horizon Residences.

One bonus is that Pasir Panjang is cheaper than its neighbour, Telok Blangah. The average price of new sale and resale private homes in Pasir Panjang is estimated to be about 25 per cent and 22 per cent lower, respectively, than those in Telok Blangah.

As for the rental market, rents at freehold condo Parc Imperial, completed in 2010, range from $3,100 to $3,300 a month for a shoebox unit of 420 sq ft, translating to a gross yield of about 5 per cent.

Mr Lim said the residential projects in Pasir Panjang would likely appeal to buyers who prefer developments with fewer units.

But he noted that smaller projects tend to have higher maintenance fees and may not have full condo facilities, making them less appealing to tenants.

Pasir Panjang the next waterfront living belt?

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in General

 

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