Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th November 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Executive condos regain shine in lacklustre market (TODAY, 14 November 2016)

Property analysts note that the median price of ECs has fallen 6 per cent from in the first three months of last year to S$773 psf in the third quarter of this year. Lower prices and the raising of the eligibility income ceiling a year ago pushed sales of ECs to a near four-year high of 1,398 units in the third quarter of this year, based on figures released by the URA. An industry expert opined that the consistently high level of vacancy rate despite higher sales could be due to purchases being made by investors rather than reflecting genuine demand.

Resale condo prices in October down 0.7%: SRX (BT, 9 November 2016)

Resale prices of non-landed private homes slipped a steeper 0.7 per cent in October after a 0.6 per cent decline in September, the flash estimate from SRX Property shows. Resale prices fell 2 per cent in the suburban area or the Outside Central Region, followed by a 0.8 per cent drop in the Core Central Region. A market expert says that the flash estimate confirms that resale properties are still facing headwinds due to the substantial new residential completions and the loan curb under the total debt servicing ratio framework.

Non-landed private home rents fell 0.4% m-o-m in Oct; HDB rents down 0.5% (BT, 9 November 2016)

Rentals for both non-landed private homes and HDB flats continued to ease m-o-m in October 2016 although leasing volumes rose in both segments, according to the latest flash estimates released by SRX Property on 9 November 2016. The index for private apartments and condos has contracted 4.5 per cent y-o-y and is 17.9 per cent below its peak in January 2013. The HDB rental index has eased 4.0 per cent y-o-y from October 2015 and is 11.3 per cent lower than its August 2013 peak.

Queens Peak sells 250 units; Parc Riviera moves over 100 units (BT, 7 November 2016)

Location still trumps many factors when it comes to buying a property, going by the weekend launch of two massive 99-year leasehold projects. Located in the popular Queenstown area, Queens Peak at Dundee Road saw a take-up rate of 34 per cent whilst Parc Riviera at West Coast Vale achieved just 13 per cent take-up of total units. This is in spite of an unconventional pricing strategy by the latter’s developer to incentivise early birds, with steep discounts for the units on the higher floors.

Spike in extension fees paid by developers (ST, 7 November 2016)

As at Oct 27, the Government had collected about $58.2 million in fees this year, up from just $24.9 million collected in the whole of last year, said the Singapore Land Authority. Besides QC fees, developers also face the prospect of being hit by the additional buyer’s stamp duty. In a less than ideal market, developers have adopted aggressive marketing campaigns as well as alternative measures, including divestments of holding companies, in order to avoid the QC penalties.

Amazon takes up 100,000 sq ft at Mapletree facility: sources (BT, 5 November 2016)

Amazon has signed a lease for nearly 100,000 square feet at Mapletree Logistics Hub – Toh Guan in the Jurong East area, which is expected to serve as a fulfilment centre for its e-commerce business as well as offices. Another e-commerce giant, Alibaba of China, is also expanding in Singapore in a big way by increasing its stake in SingPost as well as acquiring a controlling stake in Singapore-based e-commerce site Lazada, and may be scouting for warehousing facilities for the group’s e-commerce operations in Singapore.

HDB resale prices in October stay flat (BT, 4 November 2016)

HDB resale prices dipped 0.1 per cent in October compared to September, the SRX Property Price Index for HDB Resale released on 3 November showed. Year on year, overall HDB resale prices have decreased by 0.5 per cent from October 2015, and fallen 11.5 per cent since the peak in April 2013. Analysts note that the index has been fairly flat for a few months now, with net change in the resale price index at zero per cent from June to October this year.

Government Land Sales

IOI surprises market with record land bid (BT, 9 November 2016)

The bid from IOI Properties Group of nearly S$2.57 billion or S$1,689 per square foot per plot ratio for a white site in Central Boulevard is the highest in absolute dollar quantum as well as by psf ppr for a GLS site in Singapore. An IOI Properties chief executive indicated that IOI expects to begin construction around late 2017 or early 2018, with a construction period of four to five years, and said that IOI is taking a longer-term view even though the Singapore office market is not in its best shape.

Margaret Drive site triggered for sale with minimum bid of S$185.76m (BT, 4 November 2016)

A land parcel in Margaret Drive that is big enough for 275 homes has been triggered for sale after a developer committed to bid at least S$185.76 million for it. The 99-year leasehold site is nestled within an established residential enclave near the Commonwealth MRT station and the AYE with retail and dining options nearby. Property consultants expect to see strong interest from developers given the site’s location and its palatable size, with the winning bid likely to be in the region of S$800-912 psf ppr.

Investment Sales

Lee Foundation-linked company sells shophouses (BT, 15 November 2016)

A Lee Foundation-linked company has sold a row of four freehold conservation shophouses, Nos 265, 267, 269 and 271 along Outram Road, for S$23.8 million to construction and property group Chiu Teng. Chiu Teng’s price reflects S$1,482 per square foot based on the existing GFA of 16,061 sq ft.

In another deal, a pair of freehold, four-storey adjoining shophouses at 277 and 279 New Bridge Road, which are on a single land lot and have a total GFA of around 7,450 square feet were sold by ACT Holdings for S$14.5 million. The buyer is understood to be a company linked to Singapore-based SilkRoad Property Partners.

No 54 Boat Quay is being sold for S$12.9 million by a company that is part of the Chua Chuan Leong Group to a company indirectly owned by Tai Tak Estates Sdn Bhd. No 53 Boat Quay has fetched S$13 million; it is being sold by two individuals to a Singapore-incorporated company named Heritage Circle. Both properties are on sites with 999-year leasehold tenure and span three levels and an attic.

China Life Insurance, Haitong Securities doing due diligence on One George Street (BT, 12 November 2016)

Sources told BT that CapitaLand Commercial Trust was prepared to consider selling only half its stake in the asset and two parties are carrying out due diligence on the property – China Life Insurance and Haitong Securities. Market watchers said that the pricing would be in excess of S$2,500 per square foot on net lettable area (NLA), and a half-stake would work out to at least S$560 million. CCT’s website puts One George Street’s NLA at 447,390 square feet. The 23-storey office building stands on a site with a remaining lease of 85 years.

BlackRock said to explore sale of its second Singapore tower at Asia Square (BT, 4 November 2016)

BlackRock has started reaching out to potential buyers to gauge their interest in Asia Square Tower 2, with the development expected to fetch about S$2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said. The 46-story Tower 2, spread over 784,100 square feet, includes office space as well as a West in hotel.

Office transactions in Singapore have been picking up this year, against the backdrop of rising supply and falling rents. The investment company MYP Ltd said it plans to offer S$560 million for the Straits Trading Building in December. The government is also selling prime land in the Marina Bay financial district, the first such sale in 9 years.

FCT buys Yishun 10 cinema complex retail units for S$37.7m (BT, 4 November 2016)

Shopping-mall owner Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) has inked deals to buy all 10 strata-titled retail units at the Yishun 10 cinema complex from Bonvests Holdings for S$37.75 million, the trust said in an SGX filing. An independent aggregate valuation of the 10 retail units valued it at S$40 million as at Sept 30, 2016 and the tenure of the retail units is 99 years starting from April 1, 1990.

TwentyOne Angullia Park owner in talks with bidders (BT, 3 November 2016)

CS Land, formerly known as China Sonangol, is in talks with several parties for the sale of 38 unsold units in its flagship project TwentyOne Angullia Park along Orchard Road. CS Land, another victim of the government’s QC rules, follows in the footsteps of several developers who have offloaded their units in bulk to avoid paying hefty extension charges. Some in the market say the 38 units could be worth about S$260 million to S$270 million in total, translating to about S$2,700 psf over a saleable floor area of 95,700 square feet.

Site where iconic Queenstown cinema once stood sold for S$78m (BT, 3 November 2016)

The price of the prime commercial-zoned piece of vacant land located a stone’s throw from Queenstown MRT Station with a balance lease term of 57 years works out to around S$756 per square foot per plot ratio. Market watchers say a new commercial development on the site could breakeven at about S$1,800-1,900 psf.

GSH Corp said to have bought the top floor of GSH Plaza for S$31m (BT, 2 November 2016)

GSH Corporation is understood to have bought up all nine strata office units on the top floor of the 28-storey GSH Plaza for nearly S$31 million, which works out to an average price of S$3,192 per square foot (psf) on a strata area of 9,709 square feet. Formerly known as Equity Plaza, The Exchange and The Quadrant, the property is on a site with a balance lease term of about 72 years.

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