14 Nov Singapore Property News: 1st to 14th November 2014
Property Market Activities
Jurong Lake Gardens to be ‘immediate focus’ for redevelopment of Jurong Lake District (ST, 14 November 2014)
The new Jurong Lake Gardens will be the “more immediate focus” for the redevelopment of the Jurong Lake District, said the URA recently. Spanning more than 70ha, the “new national gardens in the west” will be a combination of a revamped Jurong Lake Park, Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden, and be integrated with the new Science Centre grounds. The Jurong Lake District steering committee also tabled the idea of enhancing the district’s connectivity and accessibility with a comprehensive pedestrian and cycling network. It also noted the possibility of transforming the district into a second Central Business District, by siting a high-speed rail terminus there and linking it to the upcoming Jurong Region Line and Cross-Island Line in the area.
Rents squeezed by new demand-supply scenarios (BT, 13 November 2014)
Rentals for private condos/apartments as well as HDB flats continued to come under pressure in October, latest SRX flash estimates show. Market watchers blame this on the tightened inflow of foreign talent crimping leasing demand on the one hand and a ramp-up in private home completions. Moreover, HDB upgraders are choosing to put their flats up for rent after they have moved into their new private condos given current weak buying demand for HDB resale flats due to the 30 per cent mortgage service ratio cap. This scenario is expected to continue in the near future, with more than 20,000 private homes forecast to be completed for each of the next two years – mostly in the suburbs, note industry players.
CDL warns of fire sales in high-end market (BT, 13 November 2014)
City Developments Ltd (CDL) executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng has warned that the current subdued state of the Singapore housing market particularly in the high-end segment, if it continues, could ignite fire sales. The high end market, in particular, remains subdued with prices still below their 2008 peak. “Average residential rents across all market segments, particularly the high-end . . . are on the decline, coupled with a weak secondary market. From the group’s experience, having gone through many property cycles, if this trend continues, with prices dipping more, some mortgage borrowers affected by lower rentals may have difficulty servicing their loans, possibly leading to forced fire sales,” Mr Kwek said.
Condo resale prices flattish in October: SRX (BT, 12 November 2014)
Resale prices of non-landed private homes stabilised in October, leading some in the industry to wonder if the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework has exhausted its effectiveness in bringing prices down. Resale prices rose a slight 0.4 per cent in October, compared to September. Prices in the city fringe and suburbs each climbed 0.6 per cent, while prices of city apartments fell 0.3 per cent, according to flash figures released by SRX. Analysts have cautioned against calling this a price recovery.
Supply glut, tightening expat demand depressing rents (BT, 10 November 2014)
The private residential leasing market has grown steadily weaker from the previous year in most districts of Singapore, with unpopular suburban locations the hardest hit. And no reprieve is in sight as latest Q3 figures show non-landed private home rentals sliding another 1.1 per cent from Q2, led by the core central region. From Q2 last year – when loan restrictions had not come into force – to Q2 this year, rents fell across all but seven of the 28 districts, with District 20 bucking the trend in a big way. Condos and apartments in District 27 suffered the steepest rent decline of 10.6 per cent. Rents stayed flat in prime District 11 as well as District 7 and District 12 Three others saw single-digit increases. Only District 20 deviated with a whopping 15.9 per cent jump in rental prices.
TRE Residences to be launched next weekend (BT, 8 November 2014)
Sales at TRE Residences in Geylang, a 250-unit condominium project jointly developed by Sustained Land, MCC Land and Greatview Development, will begin on the 15th of Nov at an average indicative pricing of S$1,560 per square foot (psf). The developers are also dangling early-bird discounts of up to 5 per cent during the Nov 15-16 launch. After factoring in the early-bird discounts, prices at TRE Residences start from S$690,000 for a 420-sq-ft one-bedder to S$899,900 for a 570-sq-ft two-bedder, S$1.179 million for a 764-sq-ft compact three-bedroom unit and S$1.38 million for a 947-sq-ft four-bedroom dual-key unit, according to marketing materials.
MND releases home price comparison in OCR (BT, 5 November 2014)
The National Development Ministry (MND) has released the price comparison for homes in the OCR (outside central region) area of Singapore. The average price difference between HDB resale flats and Build-To-Order (BTO) flats is currently 31 per cent, up from 18 per cent in 2004. Between private residential properties and HDB resale flats, the difference is 158 per cent, up from 118 per cent in 2004. Over the last 10 years, new HDB flats have been mostly built in non-mature estates, which are all located in the OCR – with a handful of BTO projects in mature estates that straddle both the OCR and the rest of central region (RCR).
Sleepy Seletar to get a boost from new mall (ST, 1 November 2014)
On top of its rich history as the former site for the British naval and air bases, the Seletar district is also an up-and-coming neighbourhood. The shopping prospects are about to get a much-needed jolt in the form of the upcoming Seletar Mall, while a range of housing options is also emerging in the wake of the new aerospace park. Seletar Mall, which also has two basement levels of retail, comes with a gross floor area of 284,000 sq ft and net lettable area of 188,000 sq ft. The mail is already more than 90% leased out. Major tenants include FairPrice Finest supermarket, Shaw Theatres and Foodfare, as well as big brands Uniqlo, BHG and Amore Fitness. Home resale prices in the area rose 53 per cent from 2010 to the third quarter of this year, although new home launches dipped 4 per cent over the same period.
Lake Life EC in Jurong nearly sold out (BT, 10 November 2014)
The 546-unit Lake Life, the first executive-condominium (EC) project in Jurong in 17 years, opened for bookings on the 8th Nov and is already close to being completely sold out after the opening weekend. Evia Real Estate, the head of the project’s consortium of developers, reported that 98 per cent – or 534 units – have been sold as of 5pm on the day after launch. Unit prices for the 99-year leasehold project in Yuan Ching Road range from S$799 to S$930 psf.
No shorter leases for first-time flat buyers (ST, 4 November 2014)
The Housing Board (HDB) is not going to introduce an option of shorter leases of 70 years for first-time buyers of its flats. First-timers who want such flats can turn to the resale market, where they are still eligible for housing grants, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament recently. He also did not think demand for such flats would be strong. He gave 2 reasons to support his point. First, the upfront cost the HDB would incur for a 70-year lease would be the same as that for a 99-year lease. Second, owing to the time value of money and the fact that flats with shorter leases tend to depreciate faster, the reduced price of a flat would not be directly proportional to the shortened lease.