Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th May 2017

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Singapore new private home sales in April doubles from year earlier but eases 12.6% from March (ST, 15 May 2017)

Demand for new private homes here eased in April with developers’ sales falling 12.6 per cent to 1,555 units, from 1,780 in March. This was, however, still more than double the 750 units shifted in April 2016, according to figures from the URA on 15 May. March sales were also the highest in nearly four years. New units in the suburban areas led April’s sales with 967 transactions, followed by 558 in the city fringe and 30 in the core central region.

New cap on tenants for private homes, deadline looms for agents, landlords to ink deals (ST, 13 May 2017)

From 15 Apr, landlords can rent out private homes to no more than six unrelated persons. If there are six related people living in the residence, no tenants are allowed. Existing tenancy agreements with seven or eight tenants will be allowed to run their course until May 15, 2019, but after that, the rules will kick in regardless of the contract’s expiration date, said the URA in a letter on 11 May. For HDB flats, the maximum sub-tenants allowed for a three-room unit and a four-room or bigger unit remain unchanged, at six and nine respectively.

Condo and HDB rental volumes see double-digit falls in April: SRX (BT, 12 May 2017)

Private non-landed rental volume fell by 18.7 per cent to 3,653 units while HDB rental volume fell 17.2 per cent, according to flash estimates by SRX Property on 11 May. However, rental prices of condominiums and private apartments as well as HDB flats rose 0.1% in April compared to March. An expert said that while the marginal improvement in rents for April is encouraging, it is still premature to conclude that the market has bottomed. The market will take some time for new completions to be absorbed, and rents are likely to remain soft and will further ease at a moderated pace till 2018.

Condo resale prices unchanged in April but volumes down: SRX (BT, 10 May 2017)

Resale prices of non-landed private homes in Singapore were flat in April compared to March 2017, flash estimates from SRX Property show. The key drag came from the prime region or CCR, which posted a price decrease of 1.2 per cent during the month. The city-fringe and suburban areas put up a 1.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent increase respectively. This is the worst showing in six months for SRX Property’s resale price index for non-landed homes and the first dip in the CCR region over the same period. However, analysts remain sanguine, and expect overall private non-landed prices to bottom out or even trend upwards by year-end as investment sentiment is improving.

Losses in ‘at least half of Sentosa Cove home sales’ (ST, 2 May 2017)

Of the 30 Sentosa Cove transactions in the past 12 months, many recorded losses, according to data from a market watcher. The properties were sold for between $1.68 million and $6.8 million, with the average profit of the 11 profitable transactions at about $820,900, while the average loss of the 16 loss-making transactions was about $1.67 million. Analysts said Sentosa Cove property prices have been falling across the board over the last 12 months, and an expert said that it is too early to tell if there will be a price recovery, as potential buyers could still be held by property cooling measures and the interest rate environment.

Public Housing

HDB resale volumes, prices ease in April: SRX (BT, 5 May 2017)

Prices as well as transaction volumes of HDB resale flats fell last month, according to the latest flash estimates from SRX Property. Its price index for HDB resale flats fell 0.3 per cent last month over March 2017 – reversing the 0.3 per cent month-on-month gain posted in March 2017. An expert opined that HDB resale prices are expected to fluctuate in a narrow band for this year amid countervailing forces.

More first-time home buyers opting for resale flats (ST, 3 May 2017)

One in five new buyers of Housing Board homes chose a resale flat over a BTO flat last year – more than double the proportion recorded five years ago, according to latest HDB figures. This is despite first-time home buyers getting top priority for new flats, with up to 95 per cent of BTO units reserved for them. Analysts attribute the increase to the bigger pool of flats in desirable locations and the slide in prices in the last four years. The HDB said it expects more first-time buyers to consider resale flats, given the recently enhanced Central Provident Fund Housing Grant. They can get up to $50,000, against the previous cap of $30,000. But it expects resale flat prices to remain stable.

Government Land Sales

Prime sites lined up for residential development (ST, 8 May 2017)

More homes could eventually be built in sought-after areas such as Tanglin Road and Paterson Road in the city, with some rare sites earmarked for future residential use. The most eye-catching are the former Ministry of Home Affairs Phoenix Park site in Tanglin Road, and the former Overseas Family School plot in Paterson Road, near Orchard Road. These sites have been returned to the Government, or have been put to temporary alternative use. Analysts say development sites in these swanky areas are very hard to come by and would excite developers. But they are not likely to be put on the market any time soon.

Bellevue Properties awarded tender for residential site at Tampines Ave 10 (TODAY, 3 May 2017)

The successful bid for the 21,717.7 m² site was tendered at $370,100,000, which works out to a psm on GFA of $6,086.17. Based on calculations, this represents a price of $565.42 psf ppr.

Conserved Orchard Road property up for first price and quality tender: SLA (BT, 2 May 2017)

The SLA on 2 May said it would conduct the first-ever price and quality tender for the conserved state property at 26, 28, 30, 32 and 36 Orchard Road for commercial use. This means that bids for the property will be assessed more holistically, with half the overall score for the bid price and half for the quality of the concept. SLA Hopes that this would help strike a balance between preservation and functionality for state properties.

Investment Sales

S’pore on track for record real estate deals in 2017: RCA (BT, 13 May 2017)

Singapore posted one of the strongest performances in inbound real estate investment volume in the Asia-Pacific region for the first quarter this year. The total deal value increased 170 per cent to reach US$2.3 billion, from US$838.2 million a year ago. As at April 2017, there were some 18 deals worth a total value of US$5.3 billion in contract.

Lum Chang snags first en bloc site this year for S$65m (BT, 6 May 2017)

The option to purchase all 13 strata units and common areas in the residential freehold development, One Tree Hill Gardens near Orchard Road, was exercised on 5 May by Lum Chang Auriga Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the group. The price translates to a land rate of S$1,664 psf, based on the site area of 3,629.1 sq m (39,063 sq ft). A director said the group is planning to build “bespoke landed homes to suit the needs and tastes of individual buyers”. The freehold site is expected to accommodate up to 15 landed units, with the launch date likely to be next year.

CCT sells half-stake in Raffles Place office block for S$591.6m (BT, 3 May 2017)

Capitaland Commercial Trust is selling a 50 per cent stake in One George Street to FWD Group, an insurance company backed byHong Kong billionaire Richard Li, for S$591.6 million. The divestment of interest in the 23-storey office building in Raffles Place will translate to a gain of S$84.6 million for CCT, or a net gain of S$79.7 million after factoring in transaction and related costs. This is based on the agreed value of the property at S$1.18 billion or S$2,650 psf on net lettable area, which represents a 16.7 per cent premium to book value.

Seow Yit Kin sells Chancery Lane Good Class Bungalow (BT, 3 May 2017)

Renowned Singapore-born pianist Seow Yit Kin is selling his bungalow along Chancery Lane for S$21.888 million. The price works out to S$1,227 psf based on the freehold land area of 17,844 sq ft. The District 11 property is in the Bukit Tunggal GCB Area. Bungalow agents generally described the psf price as reflecting the current market value for a GCB redevelopment site in the locale. Year to date, nine deals totalling S$204 million have been inked in GCB Areas based on caveats information. The tally for the whole of last year was 37 deals amounting to S$788.53 million.

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