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Property market perking up

The mood in the real estate sector has been mostly gloomy for a while but sentiment has clearly improved from this time last year with talk that prices could start bouncing off the bottom.

There were 5,510 private property resales in the 11 months to Nov 30, up 20.8 per cent from the same period last year, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Public housing resales are up as well with about 19,000 transactions expected for this year, around 10 per cent ahead of last year, said PropNex Realty.

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PropNex chief executive Mohd Ismail said: “Prices are generally consolidating. People are confident that even with all the cooling measures in place, the property market is not going to correct very much more.”

The figures indicate that most of the price declines appear to have occurred last year.

Resale prices of non-landed properties dropped 1.2 per cent in the first 11 months of this year, according to flash estimates from SRX Property yesterday.

In comparison, they fell 4 per cent over the whole of last year.

Resale prices even rose 0.6 per cent last month over October, following a 0.6 per cent month- on-month decrease in October.

While last month’s change could be a monthly fluctuation and prices may fall this month, it does not negate the fact that there is a “notable turnaround of events”, noted Savills research head Alan Cheong.

“Many analysts expected resale prices to continue falling well into next year… (but) buyers are coming back to the resale market, probably seeing value for money after waiting for two years for prices to crash, and they did not.”

Similarly, HDB resale prices moderated by less than 2 per cent for the year so far, compared to the full-year fall of over 6 per cent last year.

They rose about 0.4 per cent last month from October, thanks to a 0.5 per cent rise for four-roomers and an increase of 1.4 per cent for five-room homes, according to SRX estimates last week.

“HDB prices may not even fall next year and could grow as much as 1 per cent for the year,” said Mr Ismail. “With increased transactions, there is no reason for prices to continue to slide.”

Private home resales were up across all three regions – they rose 31 per cent year-on-year to 1,226 units in the core central region for the first 11 months, according to URA data.

Mr Cheong of Savills noted that this area’s strength, which began in December last year, began to taper off in August when the haze sent foreign buyers shopping for properties elsewhere.

However, resale volumes were also up elsewhere. Transactions rose 21.5 per cent to 1,650 units in the city fringes and 16.1 per cent to 2,634 units in the suburbs, in the first 11 months.

Many buyers are purchasing for their own use and have come to appreciate that resale properties tend to be larger, said Mr Eugene Lim, ERA Realty key executive officer.

Take a buyer with $1.2 million. He could get a three-bedroom unit at 1,300 sq ft in older 99-year leasehold condos, but the same amount could buy a three-bedroom unit of just over 900 sq ft at a new launch at Adana or Thomson Impression.

Many are buying near schools or their workplaces and are increasingly showing interest in regional centres, including Jurong and Tampines, Mr Lim added.

There could be an even higher number of resale transactions next year, while any more price declines should be marginal, experts said.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2015 in General, Residential

 

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Interest in site near Little India seen, but low bids likely

Interest in site near Little India seen, but low bids likely

A site near Little India – the first of six sites to be sold under the Government Land Sales programme for the first half of the year – was rolled out yesterday.

The 99-year leasehold site in Sturdee Road can accommodate a condominium with 265 units.

Analysts expect the tender to attract keen interest from developers. However, most said that while the site is well-located, close to the Farrer Park MRT station, it is likely that weak property market sentiments will weigh on bid prices.

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The Government has scaled back on land sales to guard against an oversupply of units, giving developers much less land to fight over this year. A moderation in land sales will allow the market to absorb unsold inventory.

The size of the 65,784 sq ft parcel in Sturdee Road will be “palatable” to developers, as that will keep the total price of the site down, the analysts said. It was put on the confirmed list, which means it will go on sale regardless of interest. Sites on the reserve list are put out to tender only if developers make an acceptable initial offer. The site, which is in an “emerging trendy enclave”, will be “well-served” by F&B and entertainment outlets, said market analyst.

With a potential gross floor area of 230,251 sq ft, it can accommodate a 30-storey condominium, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Analysts expect seven to 15 bids, with a potential tender price of $138 million to $166 million, or $600 to $720 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio. “Under better market conditions, demand for this site would have been red-hot, with robust bidding. But sentiments are now softer and developers are also more cautious, so keen interest is likely to be tempered by some realism in bidding,” said market analyst.

Based on the estimates, units at the new condominium could be sold for $1,250 to $1,350 psf.

At the 862-unit Eight Riversuites project in Whampoa East, units have fetched an average of $1,290 psf, while units at the 910-unit City Square Residences have been sold for an average of $1,508 psf, data from Squarefoot Research showed.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Government Land Sales

 

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Geylang residential site draws $146m bid

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SINGAPORE- A small developer trumped some of the property game’s bigger guns to top a spirited 16-way contest over a plum plot near Aljunied MRT.

SL (Serangoon), a unit of Sustained Land, aced the crowded field with an unexpectedly high bid of $145.9 million for the compact site at Geylang East Avenue 1.

That translates to a price of $776 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr) – well above market expectations of up to $650 psf ppr.

The 99-year leasehold plot has a land area of 67,146 sq ft, which can yield about 215 homes.

Consultants said its small size meant it was more affordable, which likely prompted many smaller developers to try their luck.

“Previously, small developers had to team up in order to bid for the larger sites,” said OrangeTee research head Christine Li.

R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said developers could be willing to bid bullishly just to secure a plot, and were less focused on making fat profit margins.

He said: “If they have to eventually sell at break-even price, they might be willing to do so.”

State land tenders for small plots have been few and far between in recent years.

The last one with a gross floor area of less than 20,000 sq m – or around 215,000 sq ft – attracted 23 bids, said Ms Li.

That was for a 109,478 sq ft site in Jalan Jurong Kechil in November 2012 that has been developed into The Hillford.

Sustained Land’s bid was just 2 per cent more than the second-highest offer of $759 psf ppr, lodged by a tie-up between Far East Organisation unit Tannery Holdings and Sekisui House.

Alliance Homes placed the lowest bid of $555 psf ppr.

Sustained Land is controlled by Mr Douglas Ong Pang Chye, who told The Straits Times by phone yesterday that he was interested in the site because of its good location near the Aljunied MRT station.

He said he was unfazed by the weakness of the Singapore residential property market. “Provided the Government doesn’t have any more cooling measures, if it’s a good site, it should be okay,” he added.

The plot was put on the Government Land Sales reserve list in May last year and was triggered for sale in December.

That was after an unnamed developer promised to bid at least $95 million or about $505 psf ppr.

Consultants estimate that the development’s break-even cost could be $1,230 psf to $1,300 psf, with selling prices about $1,420 psf.

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Others

 

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New home sales fall to lowest level in 5 years

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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Others

 

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Rental market slows with surge in new homes

ImageThe slowing rental  market was underlined with numbers from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) that were released for the third quarter. Residential rents rose just 0.2% in the July to September period, slightly down from the 0.3% increase in the preceding quarter.

Experts said one key reason for the flattening market is a surge in supply that left 17,458 vacant units for rent at the end of the third quarter.

The 19,302 private homes that will be ready net year and the 19,727 units in 2015 will only increase leasing competition in an already stiff market, they added, also noting that tough labour policies are expected to hit the rental sector next year.

Just a year ago, a fully furnished 3 bedroom at Cote d’Azur in Marine Parade could fetch a monthly rent of $5,500, said Mr Chris Koh, director of property consultancy Chris International. A similar unit now would be rented at $5,200.

Coming on the heels of a dramatic year peppered with policies aimed at cooling the property market and a number of firsts in public housing, 2014 appears poised to be a more subdued year by comparison.

Consultants say it is unlikely that the government will roll out any new policies next year, even though they do not rule out some tweaking of existing measures.

“Policy changes, if any, may most likely be of the ‘unwinding’ kind – that is, rolling back earlier policies,” said Chua Yang Liang, head of research, South-east Asia, at Jones Lang LaSalle. “The timing will depend very much on the pace of economic growth and the response from the property market during the period. We reckon a healthy long-term growth rate of 1-2 per cent a quarter on the Property Price Index is what the state is comfortable with.”

Chia Siew Chuin, Colliers International’s director of research and advisory, does not expect new measures to be introduced, given that the ramifications of existing measures are still being felt in the various segments.

The most significant event this year was the implementation of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework, whose impact cut across the private residential, as well as the strata-titled retail, office and industrial sectors, she noted.

The TDSR, which came into effect on June 29, required that lenders consider a borrower’s total debt obligations (including other mortgages and loans for cars) before granting a new home loan. The total debt obligations ceiling was set at 60 per cent of a buyer’s gross monthly income.

This followed the seventh round of cooling measures, announced in January, which included lower loan-to-value limits, higher cash downpayments, size curbs on EC (executive condominium) developments, and anti-speculation moves targeted at the industrial sector. Notably, a seller’s stamp duty was imposed on the industrial sector for the first time.

Given the two rounds of measures, Ms Chia described 2013 as a “a tale of two halves”. The implementation of the TDSR, she said, marked a turning point for the healthy level of sales for strata-titled, non-residential properties which was seen in the first half of the year.

“To date, TDSR appears to have had the most far-reaching impact on property compared with the previous property-specific measures. Overall, residential prices will end about 2 per cent higher from a year ago and flat over the last quarter. For the most part, developers have been able to hold onto current prices for luxury projects but may be pressured to adjust prices to a competitive level with more projects receiving their Temporary Occupation Permits (TOP) next year,” said Joseph Tan, executive director, residential, at CBRE.

On the public housing front, the mortgage servicing ratio (MSR) of 30 per cent curbed demand as buyers were no longer able to afford to upgrade to larger flats with smaller loans.

This has helped stabilise the HDB resale market, noted Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty. In addition, cash over valuation (COV) has continued to fall, with more flats changing hands with no COV or below valuation, he said.

“HDB resale transactions are likely to remain low for now, but we are hopeful of volumes increasing after the festive period as more buyers come back into the resale market, attracted by the prospects of being able to pick up a property at or below valuation, particularly in the non-mature estates,” said Mr Lim.

Mohamed Ismail, chief executive officer at Propnex Realty, has a more conservative outlook for the HDB resale market.

With demand sapped by the release of new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats – 77,000 BTO flats were launched in the past three years to quell the voracious demand for homes – the resale market is effectively serving only the upgraders and permanent residents who have attained three- year status now, he noted.

This, combined with the various rounds of property measures aimed at keeping price growth sustainable, will create a “balancing effect” in the resale market, gradually softening price growth to a more sustainable level.

This year, he expects HDB flat prices to dip one per cent. By end-2014, flat prices are expected to fall by up to 5 per cent as a result of the falling prices of all HDB flats when the 77,000 new flats come on stream, he added.

Against this backdrop of multi-pronged approaches to stabilise the market, a number of significant announcements that are expected to have a major long-term positive impact were also unveiled this year.

These included the freeing up of some 800 hectares of land with the moving of Paya Lebar airbase to Changi, and the unveiling of plans for new housing areas, such as Bidadari, Tampines North, and Punggol Matilda.

The government has also tried to meet the various housing needs of different groups after satisfying the needs of first-time married couples. Its initiatives include the unprecedented move of allowing eligible singles to buy new two-room HDB flats in non-mature estates, and the pilot launch of Three-Generation (3Gen) flats catering to multi-generation families, which was warmly received.

November marked the rolling out of a record 8,952 flats, the largest joint BTO and sale of balance flats exercise.

With such laudable moves in the public-housing space, Colliers’ Ms Chia said she looks forward to equally “incisive and targeted initiatives” in the industrial and commercial sectors.

What is needed is a more intentional and detailed approach to addressing the different types of business requirements in the industrial and commercial property sectors. This means that the eventual building must meet end-users’ needs without ambiguity, said Ms Chia.

“Should there be a mismatch between the type of real estate formats and the real needs of users, planning efforts will be futile and scarce resources will be wasted,” she said.

Looking ahead into 2014, the retirement housing sector will be worth keeping an eye on, given Singapore’s demographic trends and ageing population, said Lee Lay Keng, head of Singapore research at DTZ.

“It’ll be interesting to see what the take-up will be for the retirement village at Jalan Jurong Kechil that is currently being planned by World Class Land. We could see more of such developments going forward if the project attracts strong buyer interest,” she said.

Elsewhere, Knight Frank Singapore’s research head, Alice Tan, said that assuming global economic growth improves, she expects the office sector to make a comeback in 2014 with greater interest from investors and space users.

“The positive prospects of improving occupancy and rentals with more businesses choosing to set up their operations in Singapore, combined with an improving global market outlook, would provide a boost to the office sector,” she said.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said “the rental market is on the cusp of a turning point”, and he expects rents to decline by 5 – 10% next year.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in General

 

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All set for makeover

Many people living and working in sleepy Kampong Bugis are looking forward to the area being transformed into a vibrant residential and lifestyle district as part of government makeover plans.

The prospect of more shops, restaurants and other facilities is proving appealing, especially as it could mean improved property values. “I’m delighted to hear such news, simply because I usually like to buy food near my place. So with the opening of these new places, I have more convenient access to food and leisure activities without travelling,” said a resident of condominium Citylights in Lavender, which is nearby.

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The local optimism stems from the Draft Master Plan 2013 released last week. It nominated Kampong Bugis, once home to the defunct Kallang Gas Works and a predominantly industrial estate, as a zone ripe for transformation.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has plans for about 4,000 new private homes as well as commercial developments and even an educational institution.

Development of the 18ha area bounded by Kallang Road and Crawford Street will get off the ground by 2016, it said.

The new projects will bring some added sparkle to an area that seems drab and neglected.

The Victoria Wholesale Centre and Hong Aik Industrial and Pico Creative buildings sit near residences such as The Riverine by The Park and Southbank. Budget hotels from the Fragrance group add to the mix.

Residents living nearby say they expect property values to benefit from the makeover. “This is good news to us as we own another property in Lavender besides Citylights. With a rise in property value, we will be able to raise the rent of the place or even sell the other apartment at a higher price.”

However, it would take at least three to five years for any plans to materialise, and private homes are unlikely to register any marked price gains in the short term.

Prices of private condos within 1.5km of Kampong Bugis averaged about $1,355 per sq ft in the three months to Sept 30.

It will be refreshing for the place to become an urban district, instead of “an industrial area that people visit when they have business here”.

Some residents who will move from Rochor Centre to Housing Board flats at Kallang Trivista in about three years welcomed the idea of more amenities in Kampong Bugis, which is a 15-minute walk from their new estate.

The Government announced in November 2011 that it would acquire Rochor Centre and offer its residents replacement homes in Kallang. Many residents opposed it, saying that compensation for their flats was insufficient.

Moving does not seem so bad after all. (The new developments) should make the area quite fun, I will definitely have a look.

Consultants say that Kampong Bugis could play a complementary role to the upcoming Sports Hub, due for completion next year.

“(People who visit it) need to be entertained, eat, party…” If the Sports Hub is hugely successful, then we need property for supporting activities, be it hotels, serviced apartments, short-term lodging or food and beverage outlets.”

(Source: The Straits Times)

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in General

 

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Kingsford Development submits highest bids for two private residential sites

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SINGAPORE: Kingsford Development submitted the highest bids for the two 99-year leasehold private residential sites at Upper Serangoon View.

The two adjacent plots were put up for sale under the batch tender closing system, aimed at ensuring more prudent bids from developers.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the first plot, Parcel A, attracted a total of eight bids.

Kingsford Development placed the top bid of S$258.8 million, about 16 per cent higher than the second-highest bid from EL Development.

Meanwhile, for Parcel B, Kingsford Development outbid seven other contenders with a top bid of S$201.6 million.

That is nearly 13 per cent above the second-highest bid jointly submitted by Maxdin and SingHaiyi Residences.

Property agency Chesterton Singapore said the top bid for both plots translates to a land price of about S$522 per square foot (psf) – above its expectations.

But it added that most of the other bids were at the low end of the market’s expectations.

Donald Han, managing director of Chesterton Singapore, said: “In fact, it was at the lower end or well below the low end of pricing of about S$450 per square foot per plot ratio.

“(This) seems to indicate that the developers have actually taken the potential risk in the future in view of the oversupply situation, potential price corrections.”

But analysts said they expect greater interest in the next pair of sites released for sale next month – at Choa Chu Kang Grove for executive condominium (EC) development.

Mr Han said: “We think ECs should still see fairly good support and developers would tend to continue to bid fairly well for that site. Mainly because if you look at the end buying, the end project sales, like SkyPark Residences… they have actually managed to see oversubscription of more than three times.”  

(Source: Channel Newsasia)

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Residential

 

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