Singapore Property News: 16th to 30th April 2015

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Strong interest likely for Toa Payoh housing site (BT, 30 April 2015)

Two more residential sites have been released for sale, with consultants expecting a high level of interest for the land parcel in Toa Payoh where new supply of private residential projects is limited. While they believe that interest for the site at Dundee Road, could be tempered by unsold stock in the vicinity. Collectively, they can yield about 1,180 residential units. Citing strong locational attributes, the Toa Payoh site is located at city fringe, a 20-minute drive to the CBD, and within walking distance to Braddell MRT Station. Although the Dundee Road site is quite attractive, some developers may not participate in this tender because it is expected that the developers of Commonwealth Towers would bid aggressively enough to protect their market position in this location.

Resale condo prices edge up 0.2% in March, flash estimates show (BT, 29 April 2015)

Prices of completed non-landed private homes in Singapore rose 0.2 per cent in March over February. Both property buyers and sellers take a break during the festive period, consultants say. But March’s price increase was very small, which showed that sellers did not raise prices because they understood that buyers are now prudent, opportunistic and hunting for bargains. Buyers also prefer to reserve their TDSR for purchase of developer sales, which are newer in design, and there might be potential for more price cuts in developer projects in the months ahead. Island wide prices of small apartment and condo units eased 0.4 per cent, however. These small units were in hot demand from 2010 to 2012 when they were launched in rapid succession, but resale prices of completed small units are now suffering from the market’s huge supply.

Looming supply, interest rates concerns weigh on private home prices in Q1 (BT, 25 April 2015)

Concern about the looming supply in the private residential market and uncertainty over interest rates have kept home buyers on the sidelines, sending overall private home prices slipping one per cent in the first quarter. The latest quarterly data from the URA showed a sixth straight quarter of decline for both private home price and rental indices. Amid subdued interest from homebuyers, some developers offered discounts to lure them back into the market. Among them, GuocoLand dangled discounts of up to 19 per cent from the original price list at Sims Urban Oasis during Chinese New Year. Rents of private homes also fell 1.7 per cent in the first quarter, while vacancy rate for available non-landed units came down to 8.3 per cent from a peak of 9.1 per cent in Q4 2014. The impending supply of non-landed homes in the RCR and OCR is expected to weigh on rents in the next two years, and in turn keep prices of units in these localities soft.

Choices aplenty for EC buyers this year (ST, 18 April 2015)

Executive condominium buyers are set to be spoilt for choice with up to seven of this popular style of housing headed for market in the rest of the year. However, many of these new projects will be near or even next to existing or upcoming EC sites, which presents challenging conditions for developers. The possible launches are in Westwood Avenue, Canberra and Sembawang, Anchorvale Crescent, Choa Chu Kang Grove and Yishun. They could add about 4,600 units to an EC market that was already grappling with about 2,130 unsold units as at the end of last month. Experts note that while developers have been hanging on to average prices of about $800 per sqft, demand has been weak. As at the end of March, take-up rates were about 22% to 34%.

Developers’ March private home sales highest in five months (BT, 16 April 2015)

Kingsford Waterbay and Sims Urban Oasis helped boost developers’ monthly home sales for March 2015. Developers moved a total of 613 private homes last month, up 57 per cent from the 390 units in the previous month. The latest showing, based on Urban Redevelopment Authority data released also marks a 28 per cent improvement year on year. It was also the best sales result since last October. Industry players said April’s numbers should also be good, on the back of brisk sales so far at North Park Residences in Yishun and Botanique at Bartley. Frasers Centrepoint has sold 413 of the 600 units it has released at the 920-unit North Park Residences, while UOL Group has moved more than 200 units at the 797-unit Botanique at Bartley in Upper Paya Lebar Road.
URA’s data also showed that developers last month sold 79 units in existing executive condo (EC) projects, up slightly from 65 units in February, and these projects are expected to continue to take centre-stage for new launches.

Public Housing

Exec flat in Bishan sold for over S$1m in April (BT, 28 April 2015)

Despite the declining resale flat price index, an executive flat in Bishan has sold for more than S$1 million this month. The 149 square metre executive maisonette in Blk 192, Bishan Street 13, changed hands for S$1.05 million. Built in 1987, the two-storey unit between the 22nd and 24th floors has 71 years left on its 99-year lease. A maisonette at Bishan St 22 was sold this month for S$812,000. Bishan is known for its record-beating HDB flat prices, but it now faces competition from Pinnacle@Duxton. Two HDB flats at the development were sold for more than S$1 million this month. Despite the sky-high prices for these desirable units, the resale price index for HDB flats has fallen for the last seven quarters since mid-2013. It slipped by another one per cent in the first quarter this year. While the index is trending downwards, the price for larger executive flats has gone up by one per cent in the last quarter. Location also plays a part.

Singapore HDB resale price index slips 1% in Q1 from Q4 (ST, 24 April 2015)

Resale prices of public housing flats eased 1 per cent in the first quarter of this year against the previous quarter, this marks a seventh consecutive drop in the index. The total volume of resale transactions in the first quarter decreased by 10.8 per cent. HDB also said that the number of applications approved for subletting of HDB flats rose slightly by 0.2 per cent to 10,385 cases in Q1 2015 from 10,365 cases in Q4 2014. HDB had offered 3,995 flats for sale under the Feb 2015 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. In the upcoming May 2015 BTO exercise, HDB will offer about 4,040 new flats in Clementi, Punggol, Sembawang and Tampines.

Resale flats in desirable locations reap princely sums (ST, 20 April 2015)

The Housing Board resale market may be looking a little anaemic, but some owners are reaping big sale prices. There have been 20 five-room resale flats sold for $900,000 or more this year, up from just one in the same period last year. Fourteen of these transactions were from the Pinnacle@Duxton – where a five-room flat sold for $1.06 million earlier this month, a record for the project. A 118 sq m Strathmore Avenue unit on a 25th to 27th storey and with a 99-year-leasehold from 2011 sold for $900,000 in February. Still, prices in the overall HDB resale market are down. About 1,000 five-room flats have changed hands so far this year, at a median price of $480,000.

Government Land Sales

MCC makes defensive bid for Tampines Ave 10 site (BT, 29 April 2015)

In reflection of developers’ hunger for land, a 99-year private residential site in what would be regarded as a mediocre location along Tampines Avenue 10 attracted a dozen bids. The bids ranged from S$127.4 million to S$227.8 million. China developer MCC Land’s top bid of S$227.78 million, or S$482.59 per square foot per plot ratio, was considered slightly bullish. Market watchers saw this as a reflection of MCC Land’s need to protect its pricing power for the nearby Santorini condo on Parcel B, where it has sold only 32 per cent of the total 597 units. MCC Land said on that it plans to launch a condo comprising about 500 units on Parcel D in the first half of next year. The bids for the land tender ranged from S$270 to S$483 psf ppr, significantly lower than the S$355 to S$562 psf ppr during the tender for Parcel B nearly two years ago. That tender drew 10 bids.

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