Real Estate News

Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th April 2014

Property Market Activities

Govt to raise supply of shop, factory space in next 3 years (BT, 15 April 2014)

The government will make more factory and shop space available over the next three years to ensure there is enough supply for businesses as they plan for the long term. An average of 500,000 sqm of multiple-user factory space will come on stream each year for the next three years. This is nearly double the average annual demand for such space in the last three years, and is expected to moderate industrial rentals further.

Home loans harder to get with tighter rules (ST, 14 April 2014)

Buyers now have to wait longer for their loans to be approved and more are having their loan applications rejected, after the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework was put in place in June 2013 by MAS. The head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee, Ms Christine Li, said that only 12 potential buyers out of 80 were able to get their full desired loans for a property project launched last year after the TDSR was implemented. Loan rejection rates rose to as much as 20 to 25 percent when the TDSR was implemented.

Bleak outlook for private home sales, estimates see Q1 figures plummeting (ST, 12 April 2014)

According to latest estimates, the number of new and resale homes plunged in the first quarter. Consultants said that this is as stark a signal as any that the caution that enveloped the market after the introduction of tough home loan curbs last year has now morphed into pessimism. A lack of major launches in March meant that developer sales for the first quarter could have fallen by nearly a third from the preceding three months.

Resale condos mark higher prices, volumes in March (BT, 10 April 2014)

According to SRX, resale prices of non-landed private homes inched up 0.2 percent in March, led by an increase in transaction prices in RCR. This marked a slight recovery from a 3.1 percent decline in resale prices in February. Resale prices in CCR and the RCR climbed 0.3 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. But resale prices in OCR continued to soften last month with a 0.1 per cent decline. Resale transactions increased significantly in March with 451 transactions registered – the highest resale volume since October. This is 82.6 percent higher than a month ago but 22.5 percent lower than in March 2013.

Private apartment rents hit 27-month low (ST, 10 April 2014)

SRX data showed that rents for private apartments fell to a 27-month low last month as landlords competed for tenants amid a flood of new homes on the market. Overall rents sank 0.9 percent in March from February – following a 0.9 percent drop in February from the previous month – plumbing their lowest point since December 2011. The fall came despite more leases being inked in March than in February. An estimated 3,087 private homes were rented in March, up 27.8 percent from the 2,416 leases signed in February.

MCL Land sells 180 units at Lakeville (BT, 5 April 2014)

MCL Land’s Lakeville project at Lakeside managed to move 180 units on 4 April at an average price of $1,300psf on its first day of launch, after some 400 cheques were balloted. Most of the units sold at Lakeville were one to two-bedroom apartments. Close to 90 percent of the buyers are Singaporeans and most are HDB upgraders. The project is expected to benefit from the remaking of the Jurong Lake District into a regional centre, under URA’s master plan 2008.

V on Shenton ties up with Aston Martin (BT, 3 April 2014)

The British luxury sports car manufacturer is partnering V on Shenton to offer new owners of a three-bedroom or penthouse unit discounts on selected car models. Among the six models available for discounts are the V12 Vantage S launched in Singapore earlier this year and the Vanquish. To date, the project has sold close to 70 percent of its 510 units of studio, one to three-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Prices start from $3 million for a three-bedder (about $2,212 per sq ft) and $10.3 million for a penthouse (about $3,107 per sq ft).

Public Housing

HDB resale rule one month on: Buyers cautious (ST, 10 April 2014)

A month after HDB’s new resale process began, the need to agree a price before getting a valuation has not been popular. Even though the market has adapted to looking at past transactions as a guide, buyers still dislike the uncertainty over their cash outlay, while sellers find it hard to bargain. Though buyers now better understand the change, they are holding off on making decisions due to hope of better deals later and concerns over possible nasty surprises.

HDB resale prices edge up, strong rebound in volume (BT, 8 April 2014)

Data from SRX showed that resale prices of HDB flats crawled slightly higher last month as price increases in smaller units offset the declines in larger ones, edging up 0.3 percent, but it slipped 4.9 percent year-on-year. Prices for three-and four-room units rose by 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively as more buyers sought units with smaller quantums, given the loan cap under MSR. Prices of larger flats softened by 0.2 percent for five-room units and 0.7 percent for executive units. Transaction volumes staged a strong rebound as buyers returned to the resale market after the Chinese New Year lull. The total number of resale transactions jumped 40 percent from February’s 951 units to 1,319 in March – the highest monthly volume observed since October.

Sengkang project most popular in March BTO (ST, 2 April 2014)

There were 1.3 first-timer applicants for each unit in the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, compared to 1.7 in January and 1.3 in November. The second launch of new HDB flats this year has met with a generally cool response, except for Sengkang’s Anchorvale Parkview project. That project saw 4.5 first-timers vying for each four-room flat, and 3.5 applicants for each five-room or 3Gen. Second-timers’ application rates were also higher than their overall 3.1 rate for this BTO launch, with 11 for each four-roomer and 15 for each five-roomer or 3Gen flat. OrangeTee head of research Christine Li said that the site is particularly attractive as it is next to Sengkang Riverside Park and commands unblocked views of the reservoir. The strongest demand came from singles. There were almost 32 singles chasing each two-roomer available to them in Yishun, and more than 10 per unit in the Sembawang projects.

Government Land Sales

Far East-Sekisui JV tops bids for Woodlands office site (BT, 9 April 2014)

A consortium of Far East Organization, Far East Orchard and Sekisui House topped the eight bids with an offer of $634 million for the 99-year leasehold plot at Woodlands Square, translating to $906 psf ppr for the 199,873 sqft parcel. CapitaLand submitted the second highest bid of $887 psf ppr, 2 percent lower than the top bid. The site was the first to go on the market in the Woodlands Regional Centre after the Urban Redevelopment Authority unveiled its draft masterplan in 2013.

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