Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th April 2015

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Falling condo rents but jump in number of units leased in March: SRX Property (ST, 15 April 2015)

Rents of private condominiums and apartments continued to decline last month but more units were leased out. Rents slipped 0.4 per cent in March and a bigger-than-estimated 1.3 per cent in February. Rents are on a 13-month losing streak, broken only in January this year. Year on year, rents for non-landed residential property last month are down 6.3 per cent from March 2014, and 11.1 per cent lower compared with their last peak in January 2013. But volumes improved. SRX Property said 3,948 non-landed units were rented in February, up 37.1 per cent from the 2,880 units in February and 14 per cent higher compared with the 3,463 units leased a year ago. Private condo and apartment rents have been hammered as a mounting supply of newly completed units have intensified leasing competition among landlords.

Brisk sales for local projects at recent launches (BT, 14 April 2015)

Three local projects have experienced upbeat sales following their recent launches. The developer behind GSH Plaza has managed to move more than 60 units out of the 100 units released for first phase sale. BT understands that buyers were given a discount, but the quantum of the price cut was not disclosed. Average selling price falls in the S$2,850 to S$3,500 per sq ft range. Meanwhile, sales momentum of North Park Residences in Yishun picked up during its public launch over the weekend, with 100 units sold. The figure adds on to the 313 units sold during the soft launch of the 920-unit condominium. The TRIO dual-key units, a concept introduced by FCL in 2009, were the most popular with buyers. The weekend also brought good news for Botanique at Bartley. Another 50 units were moved over its second weekend of sales, raising its total number sold to more than 200.

Singapore condo resale prices dip 0.2% in March but
more units sold: SRX Property (ST, 14 April 2015)

Resale prices of non-landed private residential properties continued to cool, dipping 0.2 per cent in March from February. Year on year, prices have dropped 3.9 per cent from March last year. March 2015 prices were down 6.2 per cent from the recent peak in January 2014. The price change in February 2015 has been revised from no change to a 0.4 per cent decrease. Prices in the prime central areas and the suburbs fell by 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. On the other hand, prices in the city-fringe – Rest of Central Region increased by 0.4 per cent. Resale volume is down 78.5 per cent compared to its peak of 2,050 units that changed hands in April 2010.

Le Nouvel Ardmore penthouse sold for S$51m (ST, 7 April 2015)

In what is believed to be a record absolute price quantum for a penthouse in Singapore, Wing Tai Holdings has sold the penthouse of the completed Le Nouvel Ardmore condo development for S$51 million. The price reflects S$3,675 per square foot. The unit spans 13,875 sq ft on the top two levels of the 33-storey project; the area is inclusive of about 5,000 sq ft of roof terrace area. The penthouse unit has five bedrooms, with a family area and study area on level 32. A private pool, private foyers, roof terrace, a gym and an entertainment area are on level 33. Property consultants noted that the S$3,675 psf for the penthouse factors in the substantial roof terrace space, which would dilute the psf price.

Higher GCB prices despite fewer sales (BT, 4 April 2015)

Prices of good class bungalows (GCBs) are likely to rise or hold firm this year while the number of transactions remains low, property market observers say. Barring shocks to the economy, GCB prices will hold firm in 2015 due to the lack of supply as the GCB market caters to a very stratified layer of the privileged few. The median per square foot (psf) price for each GCB has increased despite fewer sales in the past five years. From 2010 to 2014, the annual number of GCB transactions fell from 80 units to a 10-year low of 15 units, the study found. In the same period, the median psf price for each unit rose 35 per cent from S$1,107 psf to S$1,490 psf. For 2015, the year-to-date median psf price is $1,543.

Private home prices slipped 1.1% in Q1: URA (BT, 2 April 2015)

Private home prices remained on a slide in the first three months of this year as the stalemate between buyers and sellers ensued, signalling a sluggish start for the year. Flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that overall private residential property price index slipped 1.1 per cent in the first quarter this year from the preceding quarter. This marked a sixth straight quarter of decline from the peak in the third quarter of 2013 and followed a similar 1.1 per cent fall in the fourth quarter of 2014. Non-landed residential properties marked a 1.1 per cent price fall in the first quarter after a one per cent drop in the fourth quarter of 2014, with the fall seen accelerating in the city fringe or otherwise known as the Rest of Central Region.

Public Housing

More HDB resale flats sold in March as prices continue to dip (ST, 10 April 2015)

More HDB resale flats were sold in March as resale prices continued to fall, according to flash estimates by SRX Property. Based on the compiled HDB resale data, 1,349 HDB resale flats were sold in March, a 17.5 per cent increase from 1,148 transacted units in February. This is still 5 per cent less than the 1,420 resale units sold in the same month last year. SRX’s flash estimates showed a 0.8 per cent dip in HDB resale prices from a month ago and 6.6 per cent from a year ago. If the estimates are anything to go by, HDB resale prices would have dropped 1.8 per cent so far this year and 11.1 per cent from SRX’s HDB resale price index’s peak in April 2013. SRX sub-indices for HDB resale prices showed price declines of 0.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent in both mature and non-mature estates. But resale transaction volumes have improved.

Prices for public and private housing fall in first quarter (ST, 2 April 2015)

Public and private home prices across Singapore kept falling in the first quarter of this year, with further declines expected. Prices of Housing Board resale flats fell 1 per cent quarter on quarter. It is the sixth straight quarter of decline for private homes, for which prices have fallen about 6 per cent from their peak in the third quarter of 2013. The slide in HDB resale prices has been more pronounced as cooling measures have been more effective in curbing demand, and developers are holding prices in the new sales market. Private home prices on the city fringe fell 1.8 per cent, after a 1.6 per cent dip the previous quarter.

Government Land Sales

Lend Lease’s top bid in Paya Lebar honed by its Jurong experience (BT, 1 April 2015)

Australian group Lend Lease’s top bid for the Paya Lebar Central site was S$1.67 billion or S$942.56 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year leasehold site at Paya Lebar, which comes with a minimum office component, as well as a maximum retail component. A seasoned developer said Lend Lease’s breakeven cost would be at least S$1,800 psf. The top bid was 8.8 per cent higher than the next highest bid of S$866.56 psf ppr. The site can be developed to a maximum GFA of 164,794 square metres, of which at least 90,000 sq m (about 55%), has to be for office use. The rest of the space can be for additional office, retail, entertainment, F&B and residential uses. The residential component can comprise up to 440 individually strata-titled units.

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