Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th July 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Luxury condo deals double in first half (BT, 15 July 2016)

Condo transactions of S$10 million and above in 1H16 are up sharply from a year ago, marking the strongest showing since the second half of 2013. The strong pick-up was fuelled largely by foreign buying, attractive pricing and a general improvement in property market sentiment in recent months.

Resale prices of non-landed private homes edge up again (ST, 13 July 2016)

Resale prices of non-landed private homes in Singapore rose 0.5 per cent in June over the previous month, according to SRX Property’s flash estimates. This marks the fourth consecutive monthly price increase. Prices improved by 0.9 per cent in the core central region (CCR), 0.3 per cent in the city fringe or rest of central region (RCR) and 0.5 per cent in the suburbs or outside central region (OCR).

Condo rents unchanged in June while HDB rents dip 0.3% (ST, 13 July 2016)

According to SRX Property flash estimates, private home rents are down 4.8 per cent as compared to Jun 2015 and 16.4 per cent off their peak in Jan 2013. For HDB flats, June’s rental decline means that rents were down by 4.3 per cent from a year ago and 10.1 per cent lower than their peak in August 2013.

New CBD in Jurong to offer flexible spaces for future economy (BT, 12 July 2016)

Singapore’s second central business district (CBD), the Jurong Lake District (JLD), will feature adaptable spaces for the future economy, given that business cycles will be shorter, and that businesses will have to adopt rapidly emerging technologies and more flexible business models. This will create a diverse and highly connected ecosystem that promotes knowledge-sharing, innovation and collaborations between businesses within the district and beyond, and facilitate the meeting of their evolving needs in the future economy.

Northwave EC gets 240 e-applications for 358 units, Treasure Crest EC over-subscribed (BT, 8 July 2016)

Hao Yuan Investment’s executive condominium (EC) project in Woodlands, Northwave, received 240 e-applications for the 358 available units by the close of its e-application period. Some consultants attributed this divergence of demand trends to locational attributes. Some note that the lower e-applications for Northwave could also be due to an overhang of unsold stock in earlier launched EC projects in the North.

Property circuit excited over 2 big deals for good reason (BT, 8 July 2016)

Recent large Singapore office sales – Asia Square Tower 1 for S$3.38 billion and Straits Trading Building for S$560 million – have sparked much-needed buzz in the property investment sales circuit. Investors have traditionally seen Singapore as a relatively safe place to park funds with little currency risk. “Brexit” could have triggered high network individuals’ monies parked in London to search for a new home and Singapore is said to be a favoured spot.

In high spirits despite post-Brexit hangover (BT, 6 July 2016)

Post-Brexit Singapore’s residential rental market is expected to weakened further as fewer expatriates and supply glut put pressures on occupancy and rents. However, since Fed rate hike is no longer on the cards, this could spur interest in private properties as upgraders and investors take advantage of lower mortgage rates, Singapore’s prime luxury property may see heightened interest as it’ll be the asset choice of the rich as the wealthy around the world take a flight to safety.

Private sector output at 5-month high (ST, 6 July 2016)

The Nikkei Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached a five-month high in June, although this was dampened by a decline in export sales amid lacklustre demand overseas. Economists said the marked fall in new export sales “highlighted a fragile global economic environment, which weighed on overall new-order growth in June”.

Property cooling steps not going away yet: Report (ST, 5 July 2016)

The pressures on the economy from slower growth and high home prices may prevent the Government from unwinding its property cooling measures, according to Maybank Kim Eng. It noted that the slowing economy could prompt the Government to steer funds away from real estate speculation into more productive investments, a move that could also control wage inflation. The analysts also warned that “unless property prices plunge suddenly and dramatically”, property cooling measures may not be lifted.

Region’s retail sector expected to remain resilient (ST, 5 July 2016)

The region’s retail sector will continue to show “remarkable resilience” despite sluggish prospects in many developed markets and a slowing Chinese economy, according to a report which noted that the combined retail sales in retail powerhouses Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are expected to grow at a rate of 15.5 per cent annually. The study noted that much of the growth in the sector will be driven by the Asean market’s strong fundamentals – a young, fast-growing population, emerging middle-class consumers and robust gross domestic product growth.

Bottoming seen in home prices, going by URA data (BT, 2 July 2016)

Most property consultants say that the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s second-quarter flash estimates signal that a bottoming out in private home prices is approaching. URA’s benchmark overall private home price index eased 0.4 per cent in Q2 over the preceding quarter, a smaller drop compared with the 0.7 per cent fall in Q1. In the landed housing segment, the price decline gathered momentum, with a 1.3 per cent fall compared with Q1’s 1.1 per cent contraction.

HDB resale prices inch up 0.1% in Q2 (BT, 2 July 2016)

Flash estimates released by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) showed resale flat prices inching up 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2016 – undoing the 0.1 per cent dip in the index in Q1 this year. Consultants expected property cooling measures to stay in place this year. HDB is also increasing the build-to-order (BTO) supply, launching 18,000 new BTO flats in 2016, versus 15,000 in 2015. In its announcement, HDB also said that in August, it will offer about 5,000 BTO flats in Hougang, Sembawang, Tampines and Yishun.

Singapore private home prices weaken for 11ths straight quarter, down 0.4% in Q2: URA flash data (ST, 1 July 2016)

Private home prices fell for an 11th straight quarter in the second quarter of this year, but at a slower rate than previously, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority flash estimates. Private home prices are in the longest losing streak in almost two decades, as property curbs dampen demand. URA’s flash data showed that overall prices were dragged down by prices in the suburbs. Prices of non-landed homes in the outside central region fell 0.7 per cent in the quarter.

Investment Sales

Tee Land unit buys Geylang site for S$20 million (ST, 11 July 2016)

Property developer Tee Land announced that Development 35, a unit which it owns 51 per cent of, completed the acquisition of a property at 20 Lorong 35 in Geylang. The site was bought for S$20 million and has an area of about 1,115 sq m. Development 35 plans to build a block of residential flats and this is subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

Luxury homes hit auction floors as sale, rental prospects wane (Today, 11 July 2016)

Between April and June, seven properties — six of which were residential — worth a combined S$14.81 million, went under the hammer. This is a 152 per cent jump from the S$5.88 million recorded in the first quarter. All of the auctioned properties were put up for mortgagee sales, a situation where previous owners default on their housing loans. Such sales have dominated the auction floors in recent months as home owners face pressures from the prolonged economic uncertainties.

Nine shop units in Holland Road Shopping Centre up for sale (BT, 8 July 2016)

Nine units of Holland Road Shopping Centre and one unit of 211 Henderson, are going either collectively at a guide price of just over S$24 million or on a piecemeal basis. All of them are freehold units and are being sold with vacant possession. Public tender exercise will close on 23 Aug.

The 211 Henderson industrial unit, which is on the second level, has a guide price of S$3.23 million or S$650 per square foot based on its 4,962 sq ft strata area.

The units at Holland Road Shopping Centre range from around 237 sq ft to 732 sq ft. Their guide prices are S$1.09 million to S$4.17 million – adding up to S$20.85 million, which works out to an average price of S$5,085 psf based the total strata area of 4,100 sq ft.

Wing Tai sells stake in condo to joint venture partner CDL (ST, 6 July 2016)

Property firm Wing Tai Holdings has thrown in the towel on Nouvel 18, the joint venture with City Developments (CDL) that has yet to be launched. Wing Tai had sold its half share in its joint venture company Summervale Properties to CDL for $410.96 million in cash. Completed in November 2014, Summervale Properties will start incurring qualifying certificate (QC) extension charges in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Claremont hotel going for S$90m (BT, 6 July 2016)

The Claremont hotel along Serangoon Road, near the junction of Owen Road, has been put up for sale. The guide price for the eight-storey, freehold budget hotel is about S$90 million, or S$1 million per room. The Claremont is on 4,838 sq ft of land and has a built-up area of about 30,591 sq ft. The site is zoned for hotel use with a 3.0 plot ratio under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014. The expression of interest closes on July 28.

Industrial property in Jurong up for sale (ST, 5 July 2016)

American firm Halliburton wants offers of around $12 million for the industrial property on Gul Street 5 is on a 102,234 sq ft site zoned for B2 use, with a plot ratio of 1.4 and a balance lease of about 33 years. The site is built up to a 0.74 plot ratio, and has the potential to be refurbished and redeveloped to maximise its plot ratio by up to another 67,187 sq ft of gross floor area. It is near the upcoming Gul Circle MRT station and accessible via the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Pan Island Expressway. The property is being sold via private treaty.

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