Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dip in private home market ‘to continue’

Dip in private home market ‘to continue’

Just over 30 units sold at The Crest

Dip in private home market ‘to continue’

The half-time scorecard for private property sales will be out next week, with most in the industry bracing for a downbeat set of numbers that few expect will get any better as the year progresses.

The first-quarter slowdown is likely to have lingered on into the second quarter as tough home loan curbs continue to deter buyers, consultants said yesterday.

They predicted that overall private home prices could have slid 1 per cent to 2 per cent in the second quarter from the preceding three months, but sales could have been slightly higher.

TDSR caps a borrower’s total monthly debt repayments at 60 per cent of his gross monthly income. It was imposed in June last year.

If the market does continue to slow at this pace, the widely expected fall in private home prices this year could be milder than initially feared.

Analysts had earlier forecast a 5 per cent to 8 per cent overall price decline over the course of this year.

There were 1,791 new homes sold in January through March, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority figures.

Upcoming launches include the mixed development City Gate in Beach Road, The Crest in Prince Charles Crescent, Highline Residences in Tiong Bahru and Marina One in Marina Bay.

City Gate, which opens for preview today, sits on the site of the former commercial development Keypoint and is being jointly developed by World Class Land and Fragrance Group.

Units there range from 431 sq ft one-bedders to 1,819 sq ft penthouses.

Source: The Straits Times – 28 June 2014

Queenstown area set for biggest SERS project to date

Queenstown area set for biggest SERS project to date

Queenstown area set for biggest Sers project to date

Queenstown area set for biggest Sers project to date

The biggest collective redevelopment for public housing is in the offing for one of the country’s oldest neighbourhoods in Queenstown.

Time may be up for 3,480 flats in 31 blocks along Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive, which are slated to be demolished under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme, or Sers.

Residents, who found out only yesterday, will be offered new flats in the nearby Dawson estate, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced in a blog post yesterday.

The affected blocks are 24 to 38, and 40 to 45 Tanglin Halt Road, and 55, 56, 58 to 60, and 62 to 66 Commonwealth Drive.

The revamp will also require 157 market and hawker stalls, 50 shops and four eating houses to move out. A new neighbourhood centre will be built, but other redevelopment plans are still pending.

Residents, many of whom have lived in the area for more than 50 years, will be given the choice of relocating to one of the five new sites along Dawson Road, Margaret Drive and Strathmore Avenue, which will have new developments by between 2019 and 2020.

Sers was introduced in August 1995 to rejuvenate ageing Housing Board blocks and has been implemented at 78 other sites, covering 349 blocks. Residents are offered replacement flats.

This is the largest project to date. The flats in question were completed between 1962 and 1963. Ranging from two-room to four-room flats, they are all owned. Residents will be compensated based on market value.

For instance, a three-room flat in the area would fetch between $305,000 and $390,000.

HDB and National Environment Agency (NEA) officers have begun going door to door to inform residents and business tenants of the changes.

Madam Quah Bee Lian, 74, who lives alone in a two-room flat at Block 25 Tanglin Halt Road, cheered the move.

She said: “My neighbours and I are all really happy. Why wouldn’t you want a new flat?”

Still, others said they would miss the home they had lived in for decades. “It’s very sayang. We’ve developed feelings for the place,” said retiree Alice Lee, who has lived there for about 45 years.

Together with her late husband, Madam Lee raised her two children, who are now in their 40s, in her flat at Block 33 Tanglin Halt Road. She also goes with her neighbours every day to the nearby wet market, which she says she will miss. “But at least we can all move together and won’t be alone.”

Mr Khaw said: “With every new HDB town becoming more modern and better designed, there is a need to ensure that the older towns do not end up too far behind.”

He added: “They will get a new modern flat with a fresh 99-year lease, with greenery on their doorstep, and panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas. I am sure they will find this attractive and exciting.”

About 3,700 new two- to five-room flats, 30 shops, four eateries, a supermarket and a two-storey hawker centre will be built at these sites, currently vacant land. The new blocks will feature greenery such as sky gardens and landscaped sky terraces.

There will be no replacement units for shop tenants, but those eligible can get a $60,000 ex-gratia payment, a $30,000 relocation grant, and a 10 per cent rental discount on other HDB rental shops anywhere else for their first tenancy term. Market and hawker stallholders will either be allocated a stall at the new hawker centre or neighbourhood centre, or at other centres that have availability.

Cooked food and market stall tenants who wish to wind up their stalls will receive a $23,000 and $18,000 ex-gratia payment respectively from the NEA.

An exhibition on the replacement flats will also run from June 30 to July 13 at the former Queensway Student Hostel.

Source: The Straits Times – 28June 2014

Sentosa condos feel the blues

Sentosa condos feel the blues

Sentosa Condos feels the Blues

Sentosa Condos feels the Blues

About two in five Sentosa condominium units have resold at a loss in the past year, symptomatic of the plight of luxury homes here, as financing restrictions put off buyers, industry watchers say.

Since May last year, 31 units have changed hands at six Sentosa projects: Marina Collection, Seascape, The Azure, The Berth, The Coast and The Oceanfront, according to data compiled by STProperty.sg from URA Realis.

Other data shows resale prices at the plush Sentosa district falling 25 per cent to about $1,800 psf in the first five months of this year, compared to around $2,400 psf over the Jan-May 2013 period.

That said, the price movements tend to be volatile, given the single-digit number of transactions each month. There were just five transactions altogether this year, and none in the months of February, March and May.

Of the 31 transactions in the past year, profitability analysis could not be done for seven because caveats, which include information on purchase prices, were not lodged for the units. Profitability is calculated by subtracting purchase prices from selling prices. Of the remaining 24 transactions, 10 resold at a loss.

Among the loss-making transactions, four were units at The Berth, the debut project at the Cove which was launched in 2004 and completed in 2006. Three units made losses at The Oceanfront, two at the Coast, and one at the Azure.

Two in particular made seven-digit losses. A 2,982 sq ft unit at The Oceanfront sold for $5.65 million ($1,895 psf) in November last year, after it was purchased in April 2008 for $7.2 million ($2,415 psf) – a $1.55 million loss.

Another 2,820 sq ft unit at The Coast sold for $4.8 million ($1,702 psf) in January this year, two years after it was purchased at $6 million ($2,128 psf). This was a $1.2 million loss.

Another industry watcher added that buyers who bought units at $2,100 psf and above appear to have “overpaid”. Those who profited from their resale deals mostly bought in at lower psf prices; a handful even got their units at $800, $900-plus psf back in 2006.

Meanwhile, several Sentosa Cove units are also up for sale at auction houses here. A 2,777-sq-ft unit at Turquoise condo, put up for sale by a lender at a auction this week, yielded no bids, despite having reduced its opening price to $4 million from its previous $5 million.

Two Sentosa homes are up for auction, both by lenders, one at Turquoise and another at Marina Collection. Another four are for sale by private treaty (akin to private negotiations) – two at Turquoise and two at Marina Collection.

Typically, banks repossess homes and put them up for auction as part of a repayment structure when delinquent mortgagors (borrowers) are unable to find buyers and dispose of their properties themselves.

Meanwhile, some Sentosa condos such as Cape Royale and The Residences at W have made strategic decisions to lease out their unlaunched units instead, given current soft condo prices on the Cove.

Roaring sales in the waterfront enclave back in 2006-2008 were hit by the financial crisis and had hardly recovered when the private housing market succumbed to successive rounds of cooling measures from 2009.

Source: Business Times – 28 June 2014

Sentosa condos feel the blues

Sentosa condos feel the blues

Sentosa Condos feels the Blues

Sentosa Condos feels the Blues

About two in five Sentosa condominium units have resold at a loss in the past year, symptomatic of the plight of luxury homes here, as financing restrictions put off buyers, industry watchers say.

Since May last year, 31 units have changed hands at six Sentosa projects: Marina Collection, Seascape, The Azure, The Berth, The Coast and The Oceanfront, according to data compiled by STProperty.sg from URA Realis.

Other data shows resale prices at the plush Sentosa district falling 25 per cent to about $1,800 psf in the first five months of this year, compared to around $2,400 psf over the Jan-May 2013 period.

That said, the price movements tend to be volatile, given the single-digit number of transactions each month. There were just five transactions altogether this year, and none in the months of February, March and May.

Of the 31 transactions in the past year, profitability analysis could not be done for seven because caveats, which include information on purchase prices, were not lodged for the units. Profitability is calculated by subtracting purchase prices from selling prices. Of the remaining 24 transactions, 10 resold at a loss.

Among the loss-making transactions, four were units at The Berth, the debut project at the Cove which was launched in 2004 and completed in 2006. Three units made losses at The Oceanfront, two at the Coast, and one at the Azure.

Two in particular made seven-digit losses. A 2,982 sq ft unit at The Oceanfront sold for $5.65 million ($1,895 psf) in November last year, after it was purchased in April 2008 for $7.2 million ($2,415 psf) – a $1.55 million loss.

Another 2,820 sq ft unit at The Coast sold for $4.8 million ($1,702 psf) in January this year, two years after it was purchased at $6 million ($2,128 psf). This was a $1.2 million loss.

Another industry watcher added that buyers who bought units at $2,100 psf and above appear to have “overpaid”. Those who profited from their resale deals mostly bought in at lower psf prices; a handful even got their units at $800, $900-plus psf back in 2006.

Meanwhile, several Sentosa Cove units are also up for sale at auction houses here. A 2,777-sq-ft unit at Turquoise condo, put up for sale by a lender at a auction this week, yielded no bids, despite having reduced its opening price to $4 million from its previous $5 million.

Two Sentosa homes are up for auction, both by lenders, one at Turquoise and another at Marina Collection. Another four are for sale by private treaty (akin to private negotiations) – two at Turquoise and two at Marina Collection.

Typically, banks repossess homes and put them up for auction as part of a repayment structure when delinquent mortgagors (borrowers) are unable to find buyers and dispose of their properties themselves.

Meanwhile, some Sentosa condos such as Cape Royale and The Residences at W have made strategic decisions to lease out their unlaunched units instead, given current soft condo prices on the Cove.

Roaring sales in the waterfront enclave back in 2006-2008 were hit by the financial crisis and had hardly recovered when the private housing market succumbed to successive rounds of cooling measures from 2009.

Source: Business Times – 28 June 2014

3 residential plots launched for tender

3 residential plots launched for tender

3 residential plots launched for tender

3 residential plots launched for tender

Two private residential sites in Sengkang and an executive condominium (EC) plot along Choa Chu Kang Drive, which together can yield about 1,700 homes, were launched for sale yesterday.

The three 99-year leasehold sites are the last on the confirmed list of the H1 2014 Government Land Sales programme to be released for tender.

Of the twin private residential sites in Fernvale Road in Sengkang, one is 16,604 square metres in size and the other, 17,414 sq m. Together, they can yield more than 1,100 units. Both their tenders close on Aug 7.

Both sites are within walking distance of Thanggam LRT station, which connects to Sengkang MRT station.

The amenities in the neighbourhood include Seletar Mall (now being built), Sengkang Green Primary School, Sengkang Riverside Park and Punggol Waterway.

Two nearby residential plots sold last year have since been developed into Riverbank @ Fernvale by UOL Group and Rivertrees Residences by a Frasers Centrepoint Homes consortium.

Riverbank sold for $489 psf ppr and Rivertrees, for $533 psf ppr.

Analysts, taking into account these two projects’ encouraging sales, the ample supply in the area and the softening private housing market, expect a “more measured” response – about five bids for each site, with a top bid of $420 to $480 psf ppr.

The EC site in Choa Chu Kang Drive, the third to be sold in Choa Chu Kang this year, is expected to yield about 535 homes when fully developed.

The batched tender for two EC plots in Choa Chu Kang Grove, which closed in February, was won by MCL Land; it acquired both sites at an average $357 psf ppr.

Analysts expect the Choa Chu Kang Drive site, located 500 metres from Choa Chu Kang MRT station, to draw five bids, with a winning bid of $310 to $350 psf ppr. The tender closes on Sept 4.

EC sales have turned sluggish since January 2013, when a ruling required developers of EC sites on government- bought land to launch their projects only 15 months after the land is acquired or after the completion of foundation works.

Developers have started bidding for EC land more realistically as a result.

Source: Business Times – 27 June 2014

Just over 30 units sold at The Crest

Just over 30 units sold at The Crest

Just over 30 units sold at The Crest

Just over 30 units sold at The Crest

A Wing Tai-led consortium is understood to have granted options for a tad over 30 units in The Crest condominium project along Prince Charles Crescent.

The sales were clinched at a preview over the weekend. The showflat was closed this week but will open again tomorrow for this weekend’s sales.

So far one tower has been released, comprising around 130 units, say sources.

The average price for the 99-year leasehold project is believed to be in the region of $1,750-1,800 per square foot before reimbursement of up to 7 per cent for additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD). The reimbursement will be made upon buyers showing proof of the ABSD payment. This means the effective price to Wing Tai would be lower, at $1,628-1,674 psf assuming the maximum 7 per cent ABSD refund on all units.

Located near Jervois Road and the Chatsworth Park Good Class Bungalow Area, the project comprises 469 units in one- to five-bedroom configurations. The Toyo Ito-designed project, which is about 450 metres from Redhill MRT Station, has three 23-storey tower blocks and four low-rise blocks (each five storeys high).

Units are spacious, generally at least 15-20 per cent larger than the current market norm, say market watchers. For instance, one-bedroom apartments at The Crest average around 650 sq ft, compared with around 440-540 sq ft in most projects these days. The Crest’s typical two-bedroom apartments are said to be around 800-900 sq ft, again bigger compared with around 580-700 sq ft in most projects.

Wing Tai is developing The Crest together with retail and property group Metro, and UE E&C’s unit Maxdin.

The trio paid $960.28 per square foot per plot ratio for the site at a state tender that closed in September 2012. In April this year, the next door site was sold 14.5 per cent lower, at $820.65 psf ppr to a UOL-Kheng Leong partnership.

The first weekend sales result at The Crest contrasts sharply with that of Commonwealth Towers, where 175 units were sold on its first day of sale (up to 8pm), on May 1. The 99-year project, next to Queenstown MRT Station, has one- to four-bedroom units ranging from 441 sq ft to 1,302 sq ft. The project’s developers moved 275 units for the whole of last month at a median price of $1,626 psf, according to developers’ sales stats for May released by Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Market watchers say the difference in outcome between the two projects is due to the bigger lump sum quantum for The Crest arising from its units being larger. A typical one-bedder at the project costs $1-1.2 million.

In contrast one bedders (441 to 484 sq ft) at Commonwealth Towers are available at between $750,000 and $850,000.

Source: Business Times – 27 June 2014

Fourth Gambas site, two Tuas South plots for sale

Fourth Gambas site, two Tuas South plots for sale

Fourth Gambas site, two Tuas South plots for sale

Fourth Gambas site, two Tuas South plots for sale

Another Gambas Crescent industrial parcel has been launched for sale – the fourth in the area to be offered in the span of a year.

The three earlier adjacent sites were all bought by Far East Organization in 2013, leading industry watchers to speculate whether the property giant will again bid to build a stronghold in the area.

The 30-year lease, 15,665 square metre site, located right next to the latest sold Parcel 3, was released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday. It has a maximum gross plot ratio of 2.5 and is zoned for Business-1 development, or light industrial use.

Property consultants are split on whether Far East will bid aggressively for it this time around.

But taken as a whole, analysts expect the ample supply of B1-zoned industrial space in Woodlands to subdue bidders’ interest. They expect the site to attract three to six bids, and a winning bid of $90 to $120 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The last remaining site on the confirmed list for the H1 2014 Industrial Government Land Sales Programme, also released yesterday, is located off Tuas South Avenue 7 (Plot 12).

The 30-year lease plot is 25,700 sq m and has a maximum gross plot ratio of 2.0. This site is zoned Business-2, for heavier industrial use. Its proximity to the future mega-port at Tuas and fairly large size are expected to attract established major industrialists. Analysts expect three to six bids, with a top bid of $75 to $85 psf ppr.

Another reserve list site off Tuas South Avenue 14 (Plot 1) has also been launched. Also zoned B2, the 33,300 sq m plot has a 30-year tenure and a maximum gross plot ratio of 2.0.

Sites on the reserve list are launched for tender only upon successful application by a developer, while confirmed list sites are launched according to schedule, regardless of demand.

The tender for the Gambas Crescent site closes at noon on Aug 26, while applications for the Tuas South sites close at 11am on the same day.

Source: Business Times – 25 June 2014

Trilive condo in Kovan off to slow start

Trilive condo in Kovan off to slow start

Trilive condo in Kovan off to slow start

Trilive condo in Kovan off to slow start

Roxy-Pacific Holdings has had a slow start to its Trilive condo project in the Kovan area, moving close to 30 units since sales began last Friday. It has released 80 units in the 222-unit freehold project along Tampines Road at an average price of $1,550 per square foot (after early-bird discounts).

Absolute prices start from around $730,000 for a one bedder-with study of 463 sq ft. A typical two-bedder starts from around $870,000, a two-bedroom dual-key unit from around $960,000, and a three-bedder dual-key apartment from around $1.3 million. Prices of four-bedroom dual-key begin from $1.65 million. Unit sizes range from 463 sq ft for a one-bedroom-with study unit to 1,195 sq ft for a four-bedroom dual-key unit.

Commenting on the slow start, Teo Hong Lim, executive chairman of Roxy-Pacific, said: “The market is challenging. And potential buyers also seem to be distracted by the World Cup.”

Making a general observation on the market, he added: “In the current climate, private home sales are likely to be slow and steady, though not too alarming. At times like these, product differentiation and a developer’s skill-sets come into play.”

About half of Trilive’s units are two-bedders – comprising typical two-bedroom apartments as well as dual-key units. All the three- and four-bedders are in dual-key configuration. In all, around 80 per cent of Trilive’s 222 units are dual-key units.

Located about 650 metres from Kovan MRT Station, Trilive will comprise three blocks of 13, 14 and 18 storeys.

“Unlike earlier dual-key units in the market, ours are more targeted at multi-generational living or for the elderly/retirees. Our dual-key units include a self-contained suite with a master bedroom, a bathroom big enough for a wheelchair to be rolled into the shower area, which will also have a concrete bench. The suite will be equipped with a small pantry and have emergency buttons that can be programmed,” said Mr Teo.

Nearby, Wing Tai launched its Tembusu project last August, with 218 units sold in that month at a median price of $1,547 psf. Located closer to Kovan Station, the 18-storey freehold project will have one- to four-bedroom apartments, dual-key units and penthouses ranging from 474 sq ft to 3,886 sq ft. Wing Tai is developing The Tembusu on its former headquarters site.

Trilive’s showflat has been built on the tennis court area of Yi Mei Garden, which Roxy bought last year through a collective sale for $136 million.

Its unit land price worked out to nearly $830 per square foot per plot ratio inclusive of two payments to the state – a development charge for building a bigger project on the site and the cost of buying an adjoining strip of state land. Roxy’s breakeven cost is estimated to be nearly $1,350 psf.

Source: Business Times – 25 June 2014

Tanjong Katong shophouse up for sale

Tanjong Katong shophouse up for sale

Tanjong Katong shophouse up for sale

Tanjong Katong shophouse up for sale

A freehold corner conservation shophouse in the Tanjong Katong Conservation Area has been put up for sale in a public tender with an indicative asking price of $8.38 million.

The two-storey property at the junction of Tanjong Katong Road and Wilkinson Road is owned by a group of local investors and has a land area of about 2,025 sq ft.

It is zoned as residential with commercial on Level 1 and has a gross plot ratio of 3.0.

The building is fully leased and occupied, with the ground floor taken by a restaurant and bar, and the upper floor occupied by boutique studio units.

There is a large public carpark across the road.

Nearby amenities include the Canadian International School (Tanjong Katong), Chatsworth International School (East Campus) and Parkway Parade.

The tender closes at 3pm on July 25.

Source: The Straits Times – 24 June 2014

Supply crunch sees CBD office rents rise

Supply crunch sees CBD office rents rise

Limited office space 'may boost rents this quarter'

Supply crunch sees CBD office rents rise

Limited supply is pushing up rents for offices in the central business district (CBD) but looming interest rate rises are deterring investors from buying.

Average CBD rents expanded 4 per cent to $9.96 per sq ft (psf) per month in the second quarter over the preceding three months, mainly due to the “stable take-up” by firms amid tightening vacancies.

The increase was at a slightly faster rate than the 3.9 per cent rise in the first quarter this year from the previous quarter.

CapitaGreen, a 700,000 sq ft office tower in the CBD, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The office components of mixed developments such as South Beach near Raffles Hotel, DUO in Bugis and Marina One in Marina Bay could also be completed within the next few years.

The average price of CBD office space inched up 0.5 per cent in the second quarter from the three months before to $2,445 psf.

However, other analysts say office rental growth could be less than expected.

Source: The Straits Times – 24 June 2014