Singapore Property News: 1st to 16th November 2015

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Indirect discounts losing favour in dull residential market (BT, 16 November 2015)

Indirect discounts such as cash rebates and furniture vouchers, which were once popular with private homebuyers, are becoming less prevalent in today’s price-sensitive residential market. Only 3 percent (110 units) of some 3,850 non-landed private homes sold by developers since 25/5/15 had indirect discounts, with an average discount of 1.7 per cent of the transacted prices. These units were from about 14 per cent (18 projects) of the 132 projects that moved stock since 25/5/15, with percentage discounts within some projects varying widely.

Private, HDB rents fall as more condos are completed (ST, 13 November 2015)

Rents of private apartments and Housing Board flats both fell last month from September, but cheaper HDB rents should keep demand robust over coming months. Private apartment rents fell an estimated 0.4 per cent month on month after declining 0.3 per cent in September, according to SRX Property data. Rental volume for private apartments fell 2.7 per cent to about 3,448 private apartments, in line with a seasonal slowdown towards the end of the year.

Condo resale volume up in Oct but at lower prices: SRX (BT, 12 November 2015)

According to SRX Property’s flash estimates released on 11/11/15, non-landed private residential resale prices fell 0.6 per cent in October after slipping 0.3 per cent in September while resale volume was up 9.8 per cent to about 505 condominium and apartment units, compared with 460 units resold in September. Analyst observed that more buyers are turning to the resale market when looking to purchase a home for their own occupation, given the lower prices, their higher bargaining power, and the larger sizes of the older units compared to newly launched condominiums.

Singapore’s prime property market weakest in world (BT, 11 November 2015)

According to the Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index that tracks 34 cities worldwide, Singapore is the weakest-performing luxury residential market for the seventh consecutive quarter. Prices of prime homes in Singapore fell the most in the third quarter but the rate of decline on a year-on-year basis slowed from 15.2 per cent at the end of the second quarter to 7.9 per cent at the end of the third quarter.

Home oversupply a concern: Redas (ST, 6 November 2015)

The oversupply of residential units is affecting values but, with rising costs of development, prices cannot drop too deeply without affecting product quality, argued the president of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas). Developers are concerned about a five-year time frame to sell all the units in a project to avoid paying the additional buyer’s stamp duty. Mr Augustine Tan believes that prices cannot drop too deeply without affecting the quality of our products and operational obligations.

Condo, mall renamed after outcry by school alumni (ST, 5 November 2015)

Developer MCC Land has renamed them from The Andrew Residences and The Andrew Village to The Poiz Residences and The Poiz Centre. The commercial project comprises a 731-unit condominium and a 4,645 sq m mall, and is expected to be completed in 2019. It will be sited in Upper Serangoon Road and Meyappa Chettiar Road, about 20m from the St Andrew’s complex.

Two condos launched over weekend notch 60% sales (BT, 2 November 2015)

About 60 per cent of units launched over the first weekend of two properties – Principal Garden and Thomson Impressions – have been taken up. Principal Garden sold 60 per cent of the 200 units launched, as at 4pm on 1/11/15. The units were released on the first weekend at an average price of above S$1,600 per square foot (psf). 58 per cent of 150 units at the first launch of Thomson Impressions were taken up over the weekend; most of the units sold were the larger units, with two-bedroom units being the most popular among buyers, followed by the three-bedroom units. The project achieved an average of S$1,393 psf.

Public Housing

HDB resale volume in October highest this year: SRX (BT, 6 November 2015)

Recent changes in rules benefiting buyers of HDB flats could have helped pushed up transactions of public housing flats in the resale market last month even as prices were generally unchanged. Flash estimates for October released by SRX Property show that the number of resale HDB flats sold rose 16 per cent to 1,745 from 1,504 in September, the highest monthly volume thus far.

HDB resale prices flat in October; transactions up 16%: SRX (BT, 5 November 2015)

Prices of Housing & Development Board (HDB) resale flats on the whole were flat in October compared to September, according to SRX Property’s latest flash estimates. Resale prices of three-room and executive flats rose 0.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively month on month in October; however, resale prices of four and five-room flats eased 0.8 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively over the same period. The flat month-on-month performance in SRX Property’s overall price index for resale HDB flats in October 2015 follows a drop of 0.4 per cent in September.

20% of resale flat buyers seek proximity grant (ST, 3 November 2015)

More than one in five Housing Board resale flat buyers have applied for the Proximity Housing Grant since it was introduced in August, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in a blog post, dated 2 November 2015. The grant – $20,000 for families and $10,000 for singles – is for those buying resale flats with or close to their parents or married children. Out of 3,506 resale transactions from Aug 24 to Oct 23, a total of 737 buyers applied for the grant. Of these, 684 applications were from families and 53 from singles.

Government Land Sales

Redhill plot draws 10 parties, but bids seen as cautious (BT, 13 November 2015)

A 99-year leasehold, 0.84-hectare site next to Redhill MRT Station along Alexandra View drew 10 bids at a state tender. The highest bid by Tang Skyline Pte Ltd was S$376.9 million or about S$850.81 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), 1 per cent higher than the second highest bid. This was on the lower end of consultants’ earlier forecast of a winning bid in the range of S$800 psf ppr to S$1,050 psf ppr. Analyst infers that the bids were a result of the fair amount of unsold supply in nearby projects.

Plum Lorong lew lian condo site draws 11 bids (BT, 6 November 2015)

A plum site in Lorong Lew Lian has attracted a bumper crop of 11 bids with City Developments (CDL) and joint venture partners Hong Leong Holdings and TID submitting the top bid of $321 million, or about $710 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), up 2.6 per cent from second highest bidder. Analysts view keen interest from developers as a move to replenish their land banks in light of fewer state plots going on the market.

Investment Sales

Prime ground-floor unit at Shenton House to go under the hammer (BT, 12 November 2015)

A ground-floor shop/showroom unit at Shenton House with an indicative price of S$13.3 million has leased the 6,630-square-feet unit to a tenant that uses it as a jewellery shop and showroom. The monthly rental is S$39,786 (inclusive of service charge) and the lease runs until August 2017 with an option to renew for two years at a rental rate to be agreed.

An old semi-detached house along Marshall Road that is ripe for redevelopment has a freehold land area of 4,938 sq ft and may be redeveloped into a three-storey bungalow. The site is zoned for residential use with 1.4 plot ratio under Master Plan 2014; it does not meet the 1,000 sq metres (10,764 sq ft) minimum plot size for apartment development stipulated by Urban Redevelopment Authority. The indicative price for the property is S$5.2 million to S$5.3 million.

A three-bedroom apartment on the 67th floor of The Sail @ Marina Bay offers bay views from the living/dining areas and two of the bedrooms. The master bedroom is en suite. There is a common bathroom for the other two bedrooms. The unit, which also has a study area, is being sold with vacant possession. The mortgagee is a local bank. Mentioned properties are on auction at Colliers International’s auction on Nov 20.

Over S$70m asking price for school premises (BT, 12 November 2015)

School premises at Hillside Drive, off Upper Serangoon Road, with a price tag in excess of S$70 million. 11 Hillside Drive, approved for education use and held under a 103-year leasehold tenure from 2012. Sitting on about 81,457 sq ft of land, 11 Hillside Drive has GFA of 46,753 sq ft. The EOI for 11 Hillside Drive closes on Dec 16.

Lodge 77 at the corner of Upper East Coast Road and Hacienda Grove, currently on site is a three-storey residential development with two food and beverage establishments and a clinic at the first storey. The property has a land area of 13,123 square feet. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned “residential with commercial at first storey” with a 3.0 plot ratio. The existing development has tapped a GFA of 19,964 sq ft – reflecting about 1.52 plot ratio. An estimated S$9 million development charge (DC) is payable to the state to tap the maximum 3.0 plot ratio. Inclusive of DC, a price of S$34.2 million translates to a unit land price of around S$1,100 per square foot per plot ratio.

Two-storey purpose-built light industrial building at the corner of Ubi Road 2 and Ubi Avenue 3 for sale via an expression of interest exercise (EOI) that closes on Jan 14, 2016. The building’s existing GFA of 167,692 sq ft reflects a 1.3 plot ratio – shy of the 2.0 plot ratio stated for the site in Master Plan 2014. The site is zoned for Business 1 use and leased from the Housing & Development Board (HDB) on tenure of 30 years starting Jan 1, 1990, with an option to renew for a further 30-year term. EOI closes on Jan 14, 2016.

Two adjoining shophouses in Chinatown for sale (BT, 10 November 2015)

54 and 56 Pagoda Street have been put up for sale at an indicative asking price of S$30 million. They have a combined land area of 3,010 sq ft and a built-in area of 9,226 sq ft. Under the Master Plan 2014, the three and a half-storey conservative shophouses are zoned “commercial” within the Kreta Ayer Historic District. They are fully occupied. The ground floor is leased to two retail shops, and the upper floors, accessible via an external staircase, are leased to three office tenants. Both units have a 99-year leasehold tenure that began on Oct 30, 1995. The Expression of Interest will close at 3pm on Nov 27.

Shunfu Ville: Two developers express interest (ST, 3 November 2015)

The 358-unit project in Upper Thomson was put on sale in September with an asking price of at least $688 million. Marketing agent disclose that the tender exercise closed last week with no formal bids lodged but negotiations are ongoing with the interested parties. Experts noted that potential buyers of collective sale sites are especially concerned about the Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty.

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