Singapore Property News: 16th to 30th September 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Prices of high-end homes bottoming out: JPMorgan (BT, 30 September 2016)

Significant volume pickup and the return of foreign interest against the background of competitive pricing with global markets, and a limited supply in the medium to long term are seen by market watchers as indicators of a possible market bottoming in high-end homes in Singapore.

2016 growth to be at lower end of 1-2% forecast: Tharman (BT, 29 September 2016)

In August, the Ministry of Trade and Industry narrowed the growth forecast for Singapore’s economy to between 1 and 2 per cent, down from the earlier wider range of between 1 and 3 per cent. DPM Tharman said that growth in the second half of 2016 will be weaker and warned that economic growth this year, and very likely next year as well, will be below the new normal of 2 to 3 per cent.

Non-Central Region leads price drop for completed apartments, condos (BT, 29 September 2016)

NUS data shows that the sub-index for the region has fallen 0.9% month on month in August. According to property watchers, prices of centrally-located properties have been inching upwards in recent months but any upside in price on the whole is expected to be very limited as loan caps remain in place and uncertainties about the economy and the employment market remain.

Suburbs may be headed for private housing under-supply (BT, 29 September 2016)

A shrinking unsold supply of private housing in the suburbs amid a steady contraction in housing land supply combined with an improved take-up has driven the ratio of unsold units to developer sales to a low of 1.92, as compared to 2.91 as at end-2014. Leading experts agree that more residential land sites are likely to be released in the next GLS programme in order to pre-empt any price spikes.

Singapore population up 1.3% to 5.61m (BT, 28 September 2016)

Singapore’s population grew by 1.3 per cent to reach 5.61 million in June, said the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD). Its annual report on the country’s population trends revealed that the total comprises 3.41 million citizens, 520,000 permanent residents (PRs) and 1.67 million non-residents. (Non-residents include dependants, international students and foreign domestic workers or FDWs.) The 27-page “Population in Brief” document said the number of citizens grew by 1 per cent.

Aug factory output reverses to growth but still lags forecasts (BT, 27 September 2016)

Singapore’s factory output grew in August, leading some economists to suggest that macroeconomic conditions have stabilised. Factory output grew by 0.1 per cent year-on-year last month, up from July’s 3.5 per cent fall. If the output of the volatile biomedical sector is stripped out, overall growth was at a stronger 2.3 per cent. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output was unchanged in August from July, when it had fallen by a surprising 3.9 per cent.

30-ha forest to be cleared for new neighbourhood at Teacher’s Estate (CNA, 25 September 2016)

To make way for a new neighbourhood in the Teacher’s Estate area, clearing work has begun at a large part of a 30-hectare secondary forest just off Yio Chu Kang Road. Bound by Tagore Road, Upper Thomson Road, Munshi Abdullah Avenue and Yio Chu Kang Road, land preparation work will take about five years. The area will eventually comprise a variety of private homes which are set to be developed over the next 10 to 15 years.

En bloc market stirs in 2016 as sales value doubles (Today, 24 September 2016)

With still another quarter to go before 2016 comes to an end, the value of collective sale deals in Singapore has almost doubled that in the previous year, as developers scour the en bloc space for land after the Government reduced supply in its biannual sales programme. Two en bloc deals for residential estates Shunfu Ville and Harbour View Gardens worth a total of S$671.25 million have been completed this year, compared with just one transaction for the mixed-use development Thong Sia Building for S$380 million last year.

Developers’ EC sales shine in dull August (BT, 16 September 2016)

Executive condominiums (ECs) turned out to be best selling projects in August amid a lack of new residential project launches, with developers’ sales of ECs this year already surpassing that for the whole of last year. Mass-market homes led the sales, making up 60 per cent of private homes sold. The tepid sales coincided with the Hungry Ghost Festival, which is deemed by many as an inauspicious time to make home purchases.

Public Housing

Punggol-like potential seen in Tengah town (Today, 23 September 2016)

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced its masterplan for Tengah, the 24th HDB town in Singapore. Tengah, roughly the size of Bishan, is expected to provide 42,000 homes, of which about 30,000 units will be public housing and 12,000 will be private residences. It will be the first HDB town to incorporate smart technologies on a town-wide basis from the planning stage. Keeping to its “Forest Town” theme, Tengah will have a car-free town centre, a forest corridor and a Central Park. The town centre is designed to be pedestrian friendly, with motor vehicles travelling underneath it.

West Coast Road Sers flat sold for $330,000 (ST, 22 September 2016)

The first West Coast Road flat coming under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) has been resold, with its buyer now eligible for a new replacement flat. The 68 sq m three-room flat on a low floor was sold for $330,000 earlier this week, according to SRX Property. Before the Sers announcement in August, low-floor three-roomers in the area were fetching $255,000 to $260,000. Sers flats have fetched premiums in the past, due to the attraction of new units.

Government Land Sales

Keenly contested Fernvale site gets top bid of S$287.1m (BT, 28 September 2016)

A state tender for a 99-year leasehold private housing site along Fernvale Road in the Sengkang area beat earlier market projections. It garnered 14 bids with the top bid at S$287.1 million or S$517.03 per square foot per plot ratio. Bidding was competitive, with the top bid coming in just 0.005 per cent higher than the second highest bid. Market experts noted that the top bid, Sing Holdings-Wee Hur partnership, was about 17 per cent higher than the price paid about two years ago for the neighbouring High Park Residences land parcels.

Investment Sales

Shophouse owners roll out more prime properties on market (BT, 29 September 2016)

A pair of restored freehold conservation shophouses on 22 and 23 Mosque Street has been put up for an EOI exercise closing on 9th November 2016. They sit on a single land lot of about 2,688 sq ft, with a total gross floor area of around 7,800 sq ft. The property, which is fully leased, has an indicative price of around S$23 million.

Bugis Point, Amoy Street shophouses for sale (ST, 28 September 2016)

Bugis Point, a six-storey commercial building at 530, North Bridge Road, is on sale by public tender at a guide price of $59.5 million. The property sits on a 999-year tenure site of about 2,776 sq ft, and has a total floor area of the building is about 16,975 sq ft.

Three adjoining conservation shophouses – 77 to 80, Amoy Street, each three storeys high are launched for public tender. The guide prices for the shophouses are $64.3 million in total or $2,700 per square foot over the gross floor area.

Zhou family from Shanghai buys 60% of 139 Cecil Street (BT, 23 September 2016)

The Zhou family from Shanghai who picked up an office block at 137 Cecil Street last year has bought a 60 per cent stake in the company that owns the next-door property at 139 Cecil Street. The latest deal is said to value the 11-storey property at S$140 million. It is on a site with 99-year leasehold tenure starting Aug 20, 1981, which means the balance lease is around 64 years.

GCB in Lady Hill Road sold at S$24m or S$1,423 psf (BT, 21 September 2016)

An old freehold house along Lady Hill Road in a prime GCB location had changed hands for S$24 million. The price works out to S$1,423 psf based on the land area of 16,863 sq ft. This seems a relatively low psf price for a prime GCB location but that may have to do with the property’s age – it is said to be about 20 years old and the fact that the plot slides downwards towards the rear.

Axe Brand family pays S$25m for pair of Bukit Pasoh shophouses (BT, 20 September 2016)

A pair of adjacent freehold shophouses at 11 and 13 Bukit Pasoh Road is recently sold for S$25 million to the Leong family behind the famous homegrown Axe Brand medicated oil. The price works out to S$2,940 per square foot on the gross floor area (GFA) of 8,503 sq ft. Spanning three storeys and a mezzanine level, the shophouse pair is fully leased to six tenants.

110 Robinson Rd sold at S$45.1m to Indonesian tycoon Tahir (BT, 16 September 2016)

A 12-storey freehold office block at 110 Robinson Road, has been sold to Indonesian tycoon Tahir for S$45.1 million or nearly S$3,169 per square foot based on the net lettable area of 14,233 sq ft.

The commercial market has seen a flurry of transactions (BT, 16 September 2016)

Four adjoining strata office units at The Adelphi, a 999-year leasehold property near City Hall MRT station, are being sold for S$20.7 million or about S$2,365 psf on the total strata area of 8,751 sq ft.

Six units on the second level of the freehold Holland Road Shopping Centre were transacted at S$4,346 psf to S$5,403 psf. Absolute prices ranged from S$1.12 million to S$3.95 million. The other three retail units will be put on the auction.

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