Singapore Property News: 16th to 31st May 2014

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Singapore Home Prices May Fall More: Standard Chartered (Bloomberg, 30 May 2014)

Standard Chartered Plc (STAN)’s Southeast Asia head said that Singapore’s home prices would probably fall further before the housing curbs introduced in the past five years were scaled back. MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said that the property measures may not be permanent and will only be used from time to time. Analysts commented that it’s still too early to remove curb. The government will monitor but their fingers won’t be pressing any buttons at this point in time.

Demand up for private rental homes (ST, 27 May 2014)

Demand for private rental homes rose in the first quarter and could grow further as the economy improves, but the glut of vacant properties means rents will likely weaken or stay flat. There were 13,077 leases signed in the three months to March 31, up 4 percent on the same period last year. Much of the rise was due to an 11.2 percent increase in leases in the Rest of Central Region, including Bishan, Toa Payoh, Little India, Queenstown and Geylang, accounting for 37 percent of all rental transactions in 1Q2014, the highest proportion since 2004. Leases in the Outside Central Region and Core Central Region account for 30.6 per cent and 32.4 percent respectively.

Skywoods condo in Dairy Farm sees slow sales (ST, 24 May 2014)

The upcoming Skywoods condo in Dairy Farm Heights is having a hard time shifting units as it battles the slowing real estate market and tough competition from other properties in the area. Units were launched at about $1,250psf in September last year with only around 78 sales recorded so far at the 420-unit estate. New launches in the Dairy Farm and the nearby Hillview and Chestnut areas are priced around $1,200 to $1,300psf while older developments sold at $900 to $1,100psf. Pricing at some $1,250 to $1,300psf might have exceeded TDSR limits of many keen buyers.

Sentosa Cove villas relaunched at a discount (BT, 24 May 2014)

Ximeng Land, controlled by mainland China parties, is relaunching the balance 12 luxury villas on Pearl Island in Sentosa Cove at $2,185 psf on land area. The price is inclusive of a 5 percent discount to the $2,300psf list prices for the units. A year ago, the developer’s asking price was $2,400psf. Absolute prices vary from about $14.3 million to $25.5 million per villa. Since 2010, Ximeng has sold seven of the project’s 19 villas at prices ranging from $1,904 psf to $2,228psf on land area. The buyers comprise Singaporeans, Indonesians and mainland Chinese. The project received Temporary Occupation Permit in the first half of 2012.

Marina Bay Financial Centre developers eye expansion in area (TODAY, 23 May 2014)

With the three office towers of MBFC approaching full occupancy and its residential component almost fully sold, the consortium behind the new business district is looking to play a larger role by expanding its portfolio within the vicinity. Inspired by London’s Canary Wharf and Shanghai’s Pudong, Marina Bay is envisioned by the Government as not only a location that offers prime office space, but also a place for people to live and play.

MAS cautions on foreign property investment (CNA, 22 May 2014)

MAS warned citizens of the risks attached to buying properties overseas, after data showed a surge in Singaporeans’ investment in real estate abroad. Local real estate agencies had handled overseas property deals worth S$2 billion last year, a 43 percent rise since 2012. Risks are more difficult to assess or manage when investors are unfamiliar with conditions in overseas markets, such as the prospects for oversupply of properties, or of a deterioration in economic conditions. It has been closely monitoring overseas purchases with a view to ensuring financial stability as well as financial prudence among Singaporeans.

Robust sales at two condo launches at the weekend (ST, 19 May 2014)

BRISK sales at weekend launches of two 99-year leasehold condominiums at Pasir Ris, Coco Palms and West Coast, Waterfront @ Faber, suggest that the recent rebound in private home sales could be set to continue. Analysts said the robust demand was a good sign, but attractive pricing probably played a large part. Coco Palms sold 490, or 82 percent, of the 600 units released at an average of $980psf. Waterfront @ Faber sold 80 of the project’s 210 units with prices between $1,100 and $1,350psf.

Public Housing

Household wealth takes knock as HDB values fall (BT, 28 May 2014)

Several rounds of cooling measures and a major ramp-up of housing supply are making their impact felt on household balance sheets with the value of HDB flats held by households falling 0.7 percent to $412.8 billion last year, the first y-o-y decline since 2005. The data by Department of Stats suggests that the value of households’ holdings of HDB flats could be reaching an inflexion point, after rising 6.8 percent in 2012, 11.5 percent in in 2011 and 14.5 percent in 2010. The dip in the value of households’ housing assets should not worry the majority of households that have paid off their mortgages.

HDB selling 6,454 BTO and SBF flats (BT, 23 May 2014)

HDB is rolling out 6,454 flats for sale in May in both mature and non-mature estates under its Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises. The third BTO launch this year will offer 3,071 BTO flats in four projects in the non-mature towns of Bukit Batok and Woodlands, bringing the total number of BTO flats released this year to 9,707 units. Under the SBF exercise this month, there are 3,383 balance flats being offered, bringing the total flats HDB has offered so far this year to 13,090. HDB is tapering off its supply of new flats from this year, after a three-year ramp-up to cool property prices saw the effect of falling application rates for new flats and reduced cash premiums in the resale market.

Government Land Sales

Another EC site put up for tender (BT, 30 May 2014)

HDB has released another executive condominium (EC) site for tender. The 99-year leasehold site at Sembawang Avenue is launched under the Confirmed List of the first half 2014 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. It has a land area of 22,189.7 sqm and has a maximum gross floor area of 62,131.2 sqm, expected to yield about 620 residential units. ECs remain a very popular option for HDB upgraders, but developers are showing more caution as potential buyers of ECs face a mortgage servicing ratio that caps their mortgage at 30 per cent of gross monthly income.

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