Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th August 2015

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Tender for two more Dempsey blocks for F&B, retail use (BT, 14 August 2015)

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will be conducting a tender to develop Blocks 17 and 18 Dempsey Road for food and beverage (F&B) and retail use, the two agencies jointly announced recently. The agencies emphasised that the site may not be awarded to the operator that submits the highest bid price. Instead, the quality of the proposed concept will be a key consideration in determining the winning bid. The tender will be evaluated according to its price and quality, with 40 per cent of the overall score determined by the bid price offered and 60 per cent by the quality of the concept, said the SLA. Closing date for tender submissions is Sept 15 and the expected date of award is Dec 15.

Private property market ‘stabilising’ (ST, 14 August 2015)

Resale prices of private apartments rose a tad in July – a further sign that the market is stabilising. Values were up an estimated 0.3 per cent month on month after rising 0.1 per cent from May to June, according to flash estimates from SRX Property’s price index. Analysts suggest that prices have reached an equilibrium level and it is unlikely to see large changes in price levels. Price changes were mixed across regions – up 1.7 per cent in the central region, 1 per cent ahead in the suburbs but down 2.2 per cent in the city fringes.

Singapore condo resale prices up 0.3% in July: SRX Property (ST, 13 August 2015)

Resale prices of non-landed private residential properties edged up 0.3 per cent in July compared to June, according to flash estimates from SRX Property recently. Year on year, prices have dropped 0.9 per cent from July last year. July’s prices were down 6.5 per cent from the recent peak in January 2014. The price change in June has been revised downwards from a 0.4 per cent increase to a 0.1 per cent increase. Prices in the prime central areas, which is known as the Core Central Region, rose 1.7 per cent, while prices the suburbs- or Outside Central Region – rose by 1 per cent. However prices in the city-fringe – or the Rest of Central Region – fell 2.2 per cent.

Bumper crop of shoebox units to come in 2017 (ST, 13 August 2015)

High Park Residences in Sengkang has enjoyed roaring sales in recent weeks, but investors in its smaller units may have trouble leasing them out. Many shoebox units are coming onstream, peaking around 2017, most will be in District 19 – Hougang, Punggol and Sengkang – with at least 700 of them set for completion over this period, based on caveats lodged. Leasing demand is untested but supply is rising and fewer foreigners here may be able to afford them. Other shoebox hot spots are District 14, with Eunos, Geylang, Kembangan and Paya Lebar, with at least 527 units; and District 12, including Balestier, Moulmein, Novena and Toa Payoh, with at least 383 units on the way.

Price, location still key factors for private home buyers: Market watchers (CNA, 12 August 2015)

Getting world-renowned architects to design private housing projects may boost sales, but market watchers have said that pricing and locations remain key factors for buyers at large, especially in today’s lacklustre market. The latest designer condominium to be completed in Singapore is Sky Habitat at Bishan Central, which TOPed in April this year. It is designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, who is also the man behind Marina Bay Sands (MBS). Market watchers said big developers are typically the ones hiring star architects as they have deeper pockets, but they could also have other reasons for wanting to add that star element.

Stack of 23 units at Draycott Eight close to being sold (BT, 6 August 2015)

A deal is said to be nearing for the bulk sale of a stack of 23 units at Draycott Eight owned by a German core fund managed by Morgan Stanley, BT understands. The price could be slightly above S$150 million, or around S$2,200 per square foot based on the total strata area of 68,419 square feet. The seller will be making a loss, having paid S$2,600 psf for the units some eight years ago. Draycott Eight is on a site with a balance lease term of 81 years. The buyer is understood to be a vehicle controlled by the Chiu family behind Hong Kong’s Far East Consortium International Ltd group.

Shophouse deals in Hongkong St, Havelock Rd, Tanjong Katong (BT, 6 August 2015)

A few shophouse transactions have taken place recently. These include one at Hongkong Street that changed hands at S$14.45 million. The price works out to about S$1,780 per square foot on gross floor area (GFA) of some 8,100 sq ft. Located at 31 Hongkong Street, the shophouse is on a 1,747 sq ft site with a 99-year lease topped up in December 2007. The price is lower than the S$1,899 psf on GFA fetched for another shophouse on the same street, at No 39, in March.

Public Housing

More HDB lease options for seniors soon (ST, 9 August 2015)

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a blogpost that the new Two-Room Flexi scheme for Housing Board flats will have lease options ranging from 15 to 45 years for older households. Flat applicants aged 55 and above can opt for those shorter leases, provided the chosen lease will be able to allow them and their spouse to live in the flat till age 95 or above. The new housing scheme combines two existing ones – the studio apartment and the two-room flat schemes.

Analysts expect HDB resale market to stabilise (ST, 7 August 2015)

According to latest SRX Property data, overall resale prices dipped by 0.5 per cent last month, and down 4.3 per cent from a year ago. This was led mainly by the prices of five-room flats, which fell by 1.2 per cent. Prices of three-room flats stayed flat, while those of four-room and executive flats went down by 0.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively. This comes after three months of relatively flat prices, putting a dent in expectations of a possible bottoming out.

Government Land Sales

Prefab requirement dampens bids for West Coast Vale site (ST, 5 August 2015)

A requirement to use a prefabrication construction method for a site in West Coast Vale led to markedly cheaper land bids at a tender that closed. EL Development put in the top bid of $314.1 million or $551.15 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf pr) for the site, 3.2 per cent above the No. 2 bid by a joint venture of Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments and Oriental Worldwide Investments. The six bids were well down on recent tenders, likely due to the requirement to use prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) and to the site’s position – fronting the Ayer Rajah Expressway and more than 2km from the nearest MRT station at Clementi.

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