Singapore Property News: 16th April to 3rd May 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

New rule allowing better use of excess carpark space (ST, 27 April 2016)

In line with a drive to make Singapore car-lite, building owners can now apply to permanently convert excess carpark space – any above the required level – to commercial or other uses in the central area. The area includes Orchard, Bugis, City Hall, Chinatown, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Marina Bay.

40% of Sturdee Residences’ units sold in VIP preview (BT, 25 April 2016)

SL Capital (1), a subsidiary of Sustained Land, has sold 122 units of the 305-unit Sturdee Residences at an average price of S$1,550 per square foot during a VIP preview event held on April 23. 20% of the buyers were foreigners and permanent residents, 80% of the units sold were one- and two-bedroom units. The official launch of the project is on April 30.

Suburban condo rents fall closer to HDB price levels (ST, 25 April 2016)

It is no longer that much more expensive to rent a suburban condo than a large public flat. Based on SRX Property data on median monthly rents for HDB flats and non-landed private residential units outside the central region, renting a suburban condo unit rather than a five-room Housing Board flat costs just $500 more a month today.

Private home prices in muted fall: URA index (BT, 23 April 2016)

The latest government stats show that the official private home price index has eased 9.1 per cent over 10 consecutive quarters since the peak in Q3 2013. And that peak had come after a 62.2 per cent ascent from the post – global crisis trough in Q2 2009. Few property industry players deny that there has been a definite return in confidence to the market since March, following the stock market recovery.

Slump in office and shop rentals deepens in Q1: URA data (ST, 22 April 2016)

Office prices fell 0.3 per cent from the end of last year, representing a 0.6 per cent decline from its last peak in the second quarter of last year. The drop in office rents gathered pace as they slipped 2.1 per cent after falling 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter. Prices of retail space slipped 1.9 per cent after falling just 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter. They are now 2.8 per cent below their last peak in the first quarter of last year.

Lifting curbs ‘not key to property sector’s outlook’: Lawrence Wong (ST, 22 April 2016)

Real estate industry players have repeatedly lobbied the Government recently to ease the cooling measures, which have weakened demand for new homes. However, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong believes that the property market’s long-term prospects are not dependent on whether market cooling measures are lifted but the overall state of the economy.

CapitaLand pays S$2.7 million extension charge for The Interlace (Today, 21 April 2016)

CapitaLand said it has paid an extension charge of S$2.7 million for 127 unsold units, or S$21,000 per unit basis at The Interlace condominium. Units in the 1,040-unit condominium along Depot Road had to be sold by March 13, 2016, and have now been given a six-month extension.

Widening gap between home prices (ST, 20 April 2016)

The price gap between downtown projects and those in other parts of Singapore narrowed most in 2013, when the private home market peaked, before the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) came in, a Knight Frank study found. But with TDSR putting pressure on buyers – especially those of less central projects – the gap may grow even wider. Results have shown that suburban projects are seeing price cuts while prices of those in central area are more stable.

Two new Sembawang ECs pull in the crowds (ST, 19 April 2016)

Two executive condominium (EC) projects in Sembawang which hit the market recently are attracting keen buying interest, particularly Qingjian Realty’s The Visionaire. The other EC project in the area, the 628-unit Parc Life in Sembawang Crescent, also attracted a healthy crowd when its showflat opened. Parc Life received 220 e-applications over the weekend while the Visionaire garnered more than 400 e-applications on the first weekend after its launch.

Two successful launches help revive new-home sales in March (BT, 16 April 2016)

Developers sold 843 private homes last month compared to 303 in February; number of units launched also more than triples: URA. The successful launch of two condominium projects in March has lent a boost to new-home sale transactions in Singapore. This has also reinforced the market’s belief there remains strong underlying demand for good-quality residential properties at the right price, despite the quiet months of January and February.

Public Housing

More HDB flats approved for subletting as resale prices fall (Today, 25 April 2016)

Between January and March, a total of 385 applications for subletting were approved, a 0.2 per cent increase from the cases approved in final quarter of last year. As of March 31, a total of 48,338 HDB flats have been sublet, up from 48,120 units in the previous quarter. Analysts had attributed the trend then to more Singaporeans, who had bought private homes, moving into their new homes and renting out their HDB flats instead of selling, as resale prices continued to decline.

HDB resale prices in Q1 stay flat (BT, 23 April 2016)

Property consultants continue to believe that the public housing resale market is “at a new equilibrium” and stabilising. HDB resale prices dipped 0.1 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis in the first quarter of 2016. Resale transactions slumped 10.9 per cent from 4,992 cases in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 4,449 cases in Q1 2016 – although this was expected given the festive season in February, which was also a shorter month. Year on year, transactions were actually up 7.6 per cent.

Government Land Sales

URA launches tender for condo site at Martin Place (ST, 28 April 2016)

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched on Thursday (April 28) a residential site at Martin Place (99-year leasehold site) listed under the confirmed list for sale by public tender. The 15,936.1 square metre plot has a maximum gross floor area of 44,622 sqm and can potentially yield about 450 units, said URA.

Investment Sales

$17.5m offer to buy decades-old Beauty World Food Centre (ST, 16 April 2016)

A mystery buyer has offered $17.5 million for the ageing Beauty World Food Centre in Bukit Timah. If the sale is confirmed, the new operator could redevelop the outdoor hawker centre, located on the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre, into an air-conditioned food court. Many stallholders have agreed to sell their stalls as they are growing old and their children have no interest in taking over the business.

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