17 Feb Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th February 2015
Property Market Activities
Rents on private condos, HDB flats still under pressure (BT, 12 February 2015)
Rents for private non-landed residential units increased in January, reversing from the past 11 consecutive months of decline, but rents for public housing flats continued to slide, according to estimates by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX). Consultants noted, however, that the January rise in the private homes rental market is no more than a blip due to monthly fluctuations, with no signs that rents are on a rebound. The SRX rental index that tracks non-landed private residential units here posted a 0.2 per cent m-o-m increase in January. The rise in overall rents for private condominiums and apartments were driven mainly by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) that saw rents increase by 1.9 per cent. Rents in the Outside Central Region (OCR) inched up 0.2 per cent while rents in the Core Central Region (CCR) decreased by 0.8 per cent. In the public housing market, rents for HDB flats continued to slide a further 0.5 per cent m-o-m in January.
Resale condo prices ease again in January (BT, 11 February 2015)
The resale market for non-landed private homes continued to languish in January, SRX Property’s latest flash estimates released
show. Its overall resale price index for non-landed private homes continued to slip month on month in January. Resale volumes also hovered around the 300-plus level for the third consecutive month. Market watchers expect resale volumes to pick up after February. SRX Property’s overall resale price index for non-landed homes dipped 0.2 per cent month on month in January. Year on year, the index eased 6.5 per cent. The price decline in January has been attributed to flat volumes in the period before Chinese New Year.
High-speed rail terminal site may be named soon (ST, 9 February 2015)
The site of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) terminus in Singapore could be announced as early as the first quarter of this year. According to a statement by the National Development Ministry, the 11th Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia “looks forward to Singapore’s announcement of the HSR terminus at the upcoming Leaders’ Retreat”. No date for the Leaders’ Retreat was given but past retreats have been in February, April and May. So news of where the station will be could be out in the next few weeks or months. Singapore had shortlisted Tuas West, Jurong East and the city centre as possible sites, but seems most in favour of Jurong East. The Malaysians, however, are said to be rooting for a city location.
Developers launch ‘no-frills’ projects (BT, 5 February 2015)
Developers are cutting back on the frills to move units in a slowing property market. The trend is most evident at EL Development’s Symphony Suites in Yishun Ave 9 and two Qingjian Realty executive condominium (EC) projects. EL Development managing director Lim Yew Soon said the project’s prices were kept affordable at $671,000 to $1.1 million as it reduced the total sellable area by not having “private enclosed spaces” such as balconies. The 660-unit project, touted by industry watchers as the cheapest condominium on the market, sold 56 units at its preview launch at an average price of $1,000 per sq ft (psf). Qingjian Realty is also seeing results from its move to offer bare units at two ECs. The Chinese developer has introduced its “CoSpace flexi” units, which are essentially bare apartments without interior fittings or floor finishings. These units can be $25,000 to $45,000 cheaper.
Bloc of 16 units at 111 Emerald Hill sold for about S$75m via sale of shares (BT, 5 February 2015)
The remaining 16 unsold units in 111 Emerald Hill, a 40-unit completed condo project, are understood to have changed hands. The transaction was effected through a sale of shares in the company that developed the 12-storey freehold project. The deal is understood to value the 16 units at a total of S$75 million to S$76 million, which translates to the low S$1,700 psf range based on the strata of around 44,000 sq ft. The units sold comprise three and four-bedroom apartments. Under the deal inked last month, the shares in Emerald Land Pte Ltd were sold by a fund managed by LaSalle Investment Management to entities fully owned by Singapore citizens. The project received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in 2011.
MacPherson flats hot among BTO applicants (ST, 14 February 2015)
Among the 3,995 flats on offer in this month’s Build-to-Order exercise, those in the MacPherson Spring project are likely to be hottest, said experts. This is because the project is located in Geylang, a mature town, and is within walking distance of MacPherson MRT station. Also likely to be popular are the two projects in Hougang. They include two-room flats, which are sought after by singles. Since November 2014, up to 30 per cent of new flats have been set aside for first-timers applying to live with or close to their parents or married children. February’s exercise will close on the 17th Feb at midnight. The next BTO launch, in May, will feature 4,040 new flats in Punggol North and Sembawang, as well as in the mature estates of Clementi and Tampines. Another 4,000 to 5,000 balance flats will be offered as well.
HDB resale prices edge up 0.6% after year of declines (ST, 6 February 2015)
After a year of consecutive monthly declines, Housing Board resale prices edged up 0.6 per cent last month, according to recent SRX Property flash figures. But experts do not take this as a sign that the market is rebounding. Instead, they expect prices to continue sliding. The last time HDB resale prices rose was in January last year. They have fallen 5.7 per cent since then.
Government Land Sales
Cautious bids again for EC site tender (BT, 13 February 2015)
The latest tender for an executive condo (EC) site in Woodlands has showed that developers are continuing to be cautious in their bid prices, in view of lower projected sale prices for ECs. However, the tender attracted seven bids, sharply higher than the three bids submitted at last month’s EC land tender in Anchorvale Crescent in Sengkang. This may be attributed to the supply of yet-to-be-sold units in uncompleted EC projects being significantly higher in Sengkang/Punggol, where there were 2,097 units left as at the end of last year, versus Woodlands’ 576 still – unsold units. The winning bid for the Woodlands EC site came in at $277.98 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), from Chinese developer Hao Yuan Investment.
Sturdee Rd site would have seen ‘red hot’ demand in better times (BT, 11 February 2015)
Property consultants gave a wide range of forecasts for the number of bids – from three to fifteen – for a 99-year private housing site along Sturdee Road released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). However, their forecasts for the top bid bunched around S$700 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Located near City Square Mall and Farrer Park MRT Station, the 0.6-hectare site can be developed into a 30-storey project with an estimated 265 homes. Property consultants noted that the site boasts an attractive city-fringe location with shopping, eating places and other conveniences nearby. However, the current soft sentiment in the residential property market is expect to weigh on bid prices. Developers are unlikely to bid aggressively for the land parcel, despite its good location according to a property expert. URA’s tender for the Sturdee Road site closes on March 24.