Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th June 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Condo resale market active in May (ST, 15 June 2016)

Resale prices of non-landed private homes rose for the third straight month in May alongside higher sales volumes – signs perhaps that sentiment in the property market is perking up. According to SRX Property data, prices of resale private condominium units climbed by 0.4 per cent last month over April, while transactions shot up 35.7 per cent, with an estimated 840 units resold in May compared with 619 in April.

Wing Tai sells another apartment at Le Nouvel Ardmore for S$21m (BT, 14 June 2016)

Wing Tai sold another apartment at its freehold Le Nouvel Ardmore condominium. The seventh floor unit is being sold for S$21 million, which works out to S$4,006 per square foot based on the strata area of 5,242 sq ft (inclusive of 280 sq ft of strata void area). The buyer is believed to be Trihatma Kusuma Haliman, who controls Indonesian property group Agung Podomoro Land.

Foreigners snap up more homes in Q1 (ST, 14 June 2016)

Purchases by non-Singapore permanent residents jumped 5.4 per cent to 236 units in the three months to March 31, while those by permanent residents (PRs) increased by 2.6 per cent to 591 units. Among projects favoured by foreign buyers were CapitaLand’s Cairnhill Nine near Orchard Road and Kingsford Hillview Peak by Chinese developer Kingsford Development. The 268-unit Cairnhill Nine attracted the most foreign interest with 52 units snapped up by non-PRs and 27 units by PRs.

URA ban on new eateries in Bedok and Upper Thomson: Food is a fantasy but parking is a nightmare (ST, 12 June 2016)

To prevent the traffic congestion from getting worse, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) two weeks ago placed the area, along with Thomson Village and Little India, on a list of spots where new eateries have been banned from setting up.

Singapore’s prime retail rents continue to fall in Q2 (BT, 10 June 2016)

Average prime retail rents in Singapore continued their downward trend in the second quarter, with those in Orchard Road falling by a bigger quantum than those of suburban malls, according to CBRE Research. Prime rents for the suburban sub-market fell 0.7 per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to S$29.45 per square foot per month. Average prime Orchard Road rents slipped 1.1 per cent from Q1 to S$32.50 psf/pm.

World Bank cuts global growth forecast this year to 2.4% (ST, 9 June 2016)

The risks of a sharp downturn in the global economy are rising as troubles mount in emerging markets and growth in advanced economies remains lacklustre. The latest prediction is down from a January forecast of 2.9 per cent. Economists say the lacklustre world economy will continue to weigh on small and trade-dependent Singapore, where the manufacturing sector has been mired in recession for the past year.

BlackRock eyes more opportunities in S’pore after Asia Square T1 sale (ST, 7 June 2016)

BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, is keen on prime office space in the island’s central business district (CBD). BlackRock still owns the office and retail space in Asia Square Tower 2, but there is no immediate timeline for its divestment. Tower 2’s occupancy rate is in the mid-70s per cent and BlackRock is close to a couple of big leases which when inked would take the figure close to 90 per cent. The goal would then be to finish leasing the remaining space in Tower 2 during the course of this year, after which the group could possibly look at a sale.

Developers’ offers catch officials’ attention (ST, 2 June 2016)

Developers have been getting creative with schemes to entice buyers back to a slow market but some of them are tripping up over the fine print of the regulations. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has issued a warning letter to the developer of Gem Residences for two instances of non-compliance. The first being the offering of cheques of $7,500 or $10,000 to potential buyers to submit as expressions of interest, which URA claims would circumvent the requirement of a minimum 5 per cent booking fee to buy a home. In the second instance of non-compliance, the developers offered buyers triple-key apartments with a kitchen in each of the three sub-units. But this was not in keeping with the approved floor plan and the URA ordered that it keep to the original design.

Public Housing

HDB resale prices stay flat in May: SRX (BT, 14 June 2016)

The latest flash estimates data from SRX Property on the Housing & Development Board resale flat market shows continuing price stability. SRX Property’s price index for HDB resale flats inched up 0.2 per cent in May 2016 over the preceding month. This follows a 0.1 per cent month-on-month dip in April 2016. Year on year, the index is unchanged. From the peak in April 2013, the index has slipped by 10.9 per cent.

Government Land Sales

Land for private housing in H2 GLS list up a tad from H1 (BT, 9 June 2016)

Land for private housing including executive condominiums (ECs) that will be offered by the government in the second half of the year is slightly more than in the first half. This is mainly due to a 39.1 per cent rise in the confirmed list supply to 2,170 homes (no ECs), from 1,560 (635 ECs) in H1. National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in a blog post that the increase was to match the actual committed supply of 2,130 units in H1.

Commercial/residential site next to Woodleigh MRT sparks market interest (BT, 9 June 2016)

Out of all the sites listed on 2H16 confirmed list, property market observers were all agog about a choice commercial and residential site along Upper Serangoon Road right next to Woodleigh MRT station that will be launched in December this year. It is for a mixed-use development that could yield an estimated 825 private homes and about 15,000 square metres gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space. Property consultants expect the 2.55-hectare land parcel to fetch anywhere from five to 18 bids. Their forecasts for the highest bid ranged from S$750-920 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Investment Sales

UK’s Nassim GCB plots up for sale again (BT, 11 June 2016)

The guide price for the two freehold Nassim Road Good Class Bungalow (GCB) plots carved out from part of the garden land at the British High Commissioner’s residence, Eden Hall, has been revised downwards by around 20 per cent after bid during the initial tender that closed in January did not meet the guide price.

Katong Shopping Centre may soon go on sale en bloc for $630m (ST, 8 June 2016)

The landmark Katong Shopping Centre could soon be making a third attempt at a collective sale, this time with an asking price of about $630 million. More than 80 per cent of the owners by share value and total area of the 425-unit mall agreed to the proposed sale. City Developments (CDL) owns 60 units and 323 carpark spaces at the mall, which is one of the oldest in Singapore.

Harbour View Gardens up for collective sale (ST, 7 June 2016)

Owners at Harbour View Gardens in Pasir Panjang are hoping to make it second time lucky, after launching the project for collective sale at about $34 million. The owners of 13 of 14 units in the project, which consists of three-storey walk-up flats, have given their consent. That is about 92 per cent based on share value and 89 per cent based on total area. The 2,856 sq m site is freehold and has a plot ratio of 1.4. The reserve price works out to about $788 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio. A development could fetch about $1,600 psf.

Qatar fund buys Marina Bay office tower for $3.4b (CNA, 6 June 2016)

BlackRock has agreed to sell a 43-storey office building in Singapore to Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, for S$3.4 billion. Asia Square Tower 1, located along Marina View at Marina Bay, has more than 1.25 million square feet of net lettable area and has Citigroup as its anchor tenant.

Jalan Besar Plaza up for sale again, this time for S$380m (CNA, 6 June 2016)

Jalan Besar Plaza will be put up for sale again after a bid to sell the building last November failed. The 36-year-old building will be launched for public tender at a minimum price of S$380 million, or S$2,115 per square foot per plot ratio. The 16-storey building has a three-storey commercial podium, 44 residential apartments and 111 commercial units. It is on a freehold site of 4,927.8 metres. The tender in November had a development charge of S$7.63 million, which has been scrapped this time round.

Kingsmead Road GCB sold for S$29m (BT, 4 June 2016)

A house along Kingsmead Road where the late Raffles Institution principal Philip Liau used to reside is being sold for S$29 million. The price works out to S$1,065 per square foot based on the freehold land area of 27,228 sq ft. On site are two buildings. The older structure is said to have four bedrooms and a hall, while the newer building is where the master bedroom, a spacious living room, dining area and kitchen are located. There is no swimming pool though interestingly, there is a well on the site.

Indonesian tycoon offers $560m for building in CBD (ST, 2 June 2016)

An Indonesian tycoon and philanthropist, Dr Tahir, has proposed buying the Straits Trading Building in Battery Road for $560 million – a sum that would set a new record for the per square foot price. Singapore-listed investment holding firm MYP said that Dr Tahir had signed a letter of offer to acquire the 999-year leasehold Grade A office building in the heart of the Central Business District (CBD) from Sun Venture Group.

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