Singapore Property News: 1st to 15th September 2015

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Row of five Joo Chiat shophouses up for sale (ST, 15 September 2015)

A row of five conserved shophouses in the Joo Chiat Conservation Area is up for sale by expression of interest. The adjoining shophouses have a total land area of about 7,504 sq ft. The site has a plot ratio of 3, which allows a maximum gross floor area of about 22,511 sq ft. The vendor is a privately held investment holding firm which has held the freehold properties for more than 10 years. It is evaluating whether to sell the property in its freehold tenure, or to sell it on a 99-year leasehold basis and keep its reversionary interest after the lease expires, said marketing agent. The vendor will decide the tenure disposal after the expression of interest closes. It is expecting bids on a freehold basis to be more than $14 million.

SuperBowl Jurong for sale with $20m price tag (ST, 15 September 2015)

Entertainment and retail complex SuperBowl Jurong is up for sale by expression of interest, with an indicative price of $20 million. The property at 1 and 3 Yuan Ching Road comprises three two-storey blocks, with a total net floor area of about 111,000 sq ft. One block includes a section that is three storeys high. The complex sits on a 234,152 sq ft site, with a JTC lease of 30 years from Jan 1, 2002. The site is zoned for commercial and residential use under the 2014 Master Plan. The property is currently 99.6 per cent occupied, with a strong tenant profile.

Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty ‘can be safely removed’ (ST, 12 September 2015)

A combination of steps by the Government and the real estate industry over the last few years has made it safe to remove the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), said the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX). SRX noted that the latest market data showed a subdued market in both public and private housing and there is no longer a threat of a housing bubble. SRX believes that the standardised underwriting constraints, anti-speculation measures and availability of more transparent data today justify the move to lift ABSD.

Stanley Quek buys shophouses in Duxton Hill for S$19.6m (BT, 9 September 2015)

A consortium led by property investor Stanley Quek has picked up a couple of adjacent shophouses in Duxton Hill for S$19.6 million. The two properties are said to be the last shophouses owned by Mr Peter along Duxton Hill; at one time, he was one of the biggest owners along the street. The price translates to about S$2,200 per square foot on a floor area of slightly below 9,000 sq ft and based on the purchase price, there is a 4 per cent gross yield return with current tenancy. Zoned for commercial use, the shophouses have a total land area of 2,540 sq ft and balance tenure of 72 years.

Suburban condo rents feel the squeeze (ST, 5 September 2015)

Rents appear to be holding up at new completions on the city fringe, although suburban condo rents are increasingly under pressure. Tenants have the luxury of choice now, and are typically moving to affordable units in central locations, and often preferring newer condos as well, experts said. Rents have been falling across the board, and were an estimated 12.5 per cent lower in July than at their recent peak in January 2013, according to SRX Property. Experts see that suburban projects, project which do not have large-scale facilities and older developments, may lose out in the chase for tenants. Rental volumes will remain resilient in future, experts observed, as tenants move around, taking advantage of the falling rental situation, by opting for shorter 12-month leases, rather than the previous norm of 24 months.

Singapore private home prices register second-largest drop in Asia (BT, 5 September 2015)

Private home prices in Singapore registered the second-largest drop among its Asian counterparts in the last quarter, coming behind only China, according to Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index. Singapore non-landed residential prices fell 3.2 per cent year on year. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, prices fell 0.8 per cent. Analyst claims that the continual fall in non-landed private home prices demonstrates persistent weakness of the market with prospective buyers remaining cautious against the backdrop of existing cooling measures and in anticipation of further price correction. In comparison, China saw prices fall 5.7 per cent year on year while Hong Kong saw prices up 20.7 per cent year on year despite cooling measures.

JBE’s Yishun project may have lowest psf price for ECs this year (BT, 4 September 2015)

Signature at Yishun, the first executive condominium (EC) to be launched following the income ceiling hike for EC buyers, is slated to be sold at an average of S$750 per square foot (psf) or less, say market sources. Industry experts say it is a reflection of how developers are trying to move sales quickly, given an upcoming spate of EC launches – and this is despite the pool of eligible buyers having supposedly widened, with the gross monthly household income for EC buyers now at S$14,000, up from S$12,000. Analysts believe that such pricing will position Signature at Yishun favourably vis-a-vis mass-market condos in Yishun, which have been going at an average price of S$1,000 psf (with the exception of North Park Residences, which is next to the MRT station and part of a mixed development).

Shunfu Ville up for sale (BT, 3 September 2015)

Shunfu Ville, a privatised former HUDC estate on Marymount Road, launched its collective sale by tender on Wednesday (2 Sep 2015). Owners of the 358-unit residential development in the popular Bishan/Thomson area are said to be expecting offers in excess of S$688 million minimum price. The minimum price translates to a land rate of about S$791 psf per plot ratio (psf/pr) on the potential Gross Floor Area, after adding an estimated differential premium of S$218 million payable to the state to top up the lease to a fresh 99 years and for intensification of use, subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

DC rate for industrial use cut but left unchanged in other use groups (BT, 1 September 2015)

For the first time in at least seven years, development charge (DC) rates in four of the five major use groups have been left unchanged. The rates for commercial, landed and non-landed residential, hotel/hospital uses have been left untouched, but DC rates for industrial use have been trimmed by an average of 3 per cent. DC rates are payable by developers for enhancing the use of some sites or for building bigger projects on them. These latest ones will apply from Sept 1, 2015 to Feb 29, 2016.

Public Housing

HDB resale volume slips further in August: SRX Property (CNA, 3 September 2015)

A total of 1,447 HDB resale flats were sold in August, down 6.8 per cent from the 1,552 transacted units in July, according to the company’s flash estimates. However, compared to a year ago, resale volume was up 9 per cent, according to SRX Property’s flash estimates. Resale prices climbed 0.3 per cent in August after a marginal decline of 0.5 per cent in July. Prices of four- and five-room flats rose 1.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively, while prices of three-room and executive flats fell 0.7 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

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