Square Yards slapped with fine, six-month ban

Square Yards slapped with fine, six-month ban

The Council for Estate Agencies has taken Square Yards Singapore Pte Ltd to task for failing to provide a written advisory message to an investor to draw his attention to the risks involved in purchasing foreign properties.

SPR News - Recovery in Luxury Homes and Offices

SPR News – Square Yards slapped with fine, six-month ban

Besides slapping a financial penalty of S$7,500 on the two-person agency, CEA has – for the first time concerning foreign properties – imposed a condition to Square Yards’ licence that it is not to market or transact in any foreign property for six months with effect from March 1, 2017.

The previous time a licence condition was imposed was last year, when HSR International Realtors was banned from undertaking any collective sale work for one year from April 220, 2016.

In the case of Square Yards, the investor had bought a property in North Dakota in the United States for US$74,950 through the agency. He made partial payment of US$33,982.50 to the US developer in 2014 and was not able to recover the sum after the developer was charged for alleged fraudulent activities.

Square Yards was charged for breaching the Practice Guidelines for Estate Agents and Salespersons Marketing Foreign Properties (PGMFP) and the Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care (CEPCC) under the Estate Agents Act.

In early August 2014, Square Yards and US developer North Dakota Developments LLC conducted a seminar in Singapore to promote and sell the Transhudson Hotel, Parshall Project, located in North Dakota. The US developer also introduced its other project – the Great American Lodge, Montana Project – to prospective investors at the seminar.

After the seminar, the investor bought a unit at the Transhudson Project through Square Yards at a purchase price of US$74,950. He paid a total of US$33,982.50 to North Dakota Developments LLC in mid-September 2014, which included the booking fee, closing fee, and balance of the first stage payment. Square Yards subsequently received about US$3,900 as commission for this transaction.

“Throughout the transaction process, Wai Yin Peng Shermaine, key executive officer of Square Yards, and her property agents did not provide the investor with a written advisory stating that he must conduct due diligence,” the CEA said.

“They did not highlight to the investor the risks that are involved for foreign property consumers and that the transaction is subject to foreign laws, and to any change in policies and rules in the US.”

Investigations also revealed that Square Yards had facilitated the sale of two other units – one investor had purchased a unit at the Transhudson Project, and another investor at the Montana Project. The three investors paid a total of US$112,279.50 to North Dakota Developments LLC.

But around May 5, 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged North Dakota Developments LLC for allegedly raising over US$62 million fraudulently from investors worldwide through the sale of interests in the development of housing projects based in the US, including the Transhudson and Montana Projects.

These three investors have not recovered the amounts they have paid to North Dakota Developments LLC.

Under the PGMFP, however, estate agents appointed by the developer “shall provide a written advisory message to the consumers that they must conduct due diligence, drawing their attention that risks are involved for foreign property consumers and that the transaction is subject to foreign laws, and to any changes in policies and rules in the country where the property is located”.

Estate agents and salespersons must also perform their work in accordance with applicable laws and must not perform estate agency work that they are engaged to perform unless they have the relevant knowledge to do so, including having to be fully conversant and compliant with the Estate Agents Act and the policies, practice circulars and guidelines of the CEA.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 20 January 2017

Shanda gaming empire co-founder buys GCB

Shanda gaming empire co-founder buys GCB

The Chinese turned Singaporean co-founder of Shanda Group is understood to have picked up a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) along Cable Road for S$23 million.

The price works out to S$1,518 per square foot (psf) based on the freehold land area of 15,148 square feet.

Singapore Property Resources News - Shanda gaming empire co-founder buys GCB

Singapore Property Resources News – Shanda gaming empire co-founder buys GCB

Chrissy Luo, who bought the bungalow in trust, is the wife of Chen Tianqiao. The couple, who now reside in Singapore, in 1999 founded Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, which expanded to a big-time online entertainment developer and publisher in China before it became a privately-owned global investment group a few years ago.

Shanda Group is now headquartered in Singapore, with “main offices” in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Menlo Park, according to information on the group’s website. It invests across a variety of asset classes, including venture capital (VC), private equity, public securities and real estate, primarily focused on the financial services, technology and healthcare sectors. It is the single largest shareholder of three famous US listed companies – Legg Mason, Lending Club and Community Health Systems.

Shanda’s VC portfolio comprises 11 advanced tech companies (eight in the US, two in Israel and one in Iceland), and more than 120 Chinese companies primarily focused on Internet and mobile applications. The group’s property arm has operations in China and the US. “We are also one of the largest timberland owners in North America,” Shanda said on its website.

Having made their fortune, the Chens are also active in philanthropy. Through the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute, they have been working with leading universities and research institutions in the US and China on fundamental brain research with a particular focus on brain discovery, treatment and development. Last month, the Chens were in the news in the US for a US$115 million donation to the California Institute of Technology or Caltech in Pasadena to set up a neuroscience research centre.

The couple made the donation after viewing a news clip of a Caltech scientist helping a quadriplegic use his thoughts to control a robotic arm so that – for the first time in more than 10 years – he could sip a drink unaided, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mr Chen is chairman and CEO of Shanda Group and his wife, the vice-chairman.

The Singapore bungalow along Cable Road that Ms Luo bought recently is within the Chatsworth Park GCB Area. Spanning two storeys and with five bedrooms, it was developed in 2005 by The Straits Trading Company, which sold it later in the same year for S$9.2 million to a Japanese family who are Singapore permanent residents (PRs). They held it for 11 years before selling it recently to Ms Luo; the transfer was registered early last month.

Inclusive of this deal, 2016 ended with 37 transactions in GCB Areas totalling S$788 million – an improvement on the 33 deals totalling S$715 million in 2015 and 28 deals amounting to S$626 million in 2014.

Despite the steady improvement in GCB sales volume, last year’s showing is way shy of the recent high in 2012, when 54 bungalows totalling S$1.17 billion changed hands in GCB Areas.

Bungalows in GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with planning conditions to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.

Only Singapore citizens are allowed to buy landed residential properties in GCB Areas under a policy change that took effect in the second half of 2012. Prior to that, Singapore PRs could seek the Singapore Land Authority’s approval to acquire such properties provided the land area did not exceed 1,393.5 square metres (around 15,000 sq ft).

Adapted from: The Business Times, 20 January 2017

HK housing curbs may be a boon for Singapore property

HK housing curbs may be a boon for Singapore property

Singapore’s three-year decline in home prices could see relief from an unexpected quarter in 2017: Hong Kong.

HK housing curbs may be a boon for Singapore property

HK housing curbs may be a boon for Singapore property

So say analysts who expect the slide in the city-state’s home prices to end this year as foreign investors turned off by Hong Kong’s move to increase the stamp duty for overseas buyers look to Singapore instead.

One of them said that Singapore house prices are approaching their trough, with a forecast price move of flat to minus 2 per cent. Another forecasts Singapore prices to rise one per cent on average this year.

The fallout from the stamp duty could be beneficial for Singapore as Singapore is always seen as a place where you can preserve capital and interest from foreign nationals is expected to come back.

Hong Kong’s November increase in stamp duty to 30 per cent for foreigners makes Singapore’s 18 per cent rate more attractive to overseas buyers, particularly mainland Chinese who are seeking investments abroad to help shield them from a further weakening of the yuan.

That will help limit the decline in Singapore property values to about 1.5 per cent this year, according to the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Home prices have fallen 11 per cent since 2013, when the government implemented the strictest of its own cooling measures.

The outlook for Hong Kong is more bearish, with prices in the secondary-housing market seen dropping 8 per cent, according to the average of seven analyst forecasts. While figures for new homes aren’t available for Hong Kong, early indications are that prices in this segment will be more resilient as developers offer incentives to offset higher stamp duties.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 20 January 2017

Bayshore District may offer 6,000 new HDB flats

East Coast may offer 6,000 new HDB flats

Home hunters could soon get a shot at new Housing Board flats with coveted sea views along Singapore’s East Coast.

Singapore Property Resources News - Bayshore District may offer 6,000 new HDB flats

Singapore Property Resources News – Bayshore District may offer 6,000 new HDB flats

The Government is looking into creating a new Bayshore district, which includes 6,000 HDB flats – a huge change for the overwhelmingly private estate area located on reclaimed land. Another 6,500 units will be set aside as private homes.

If they materialise, these Bayshore flats would be the first HDB homes built along the East Coast since the old-generation Marine Parade flats constructed in the 1970s, some of which have fetched more than $900,000 on the resale market in recent months.

The potential development is detailed in tender documents put up by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and which were reported by Lianhe Zaobao yesterday, calling for consultancy firms to develop a master plan for the plot.

The Bayshore district spanning 60 ha is surrounded by Bayshore Road, the East Coast Parkway, Bedok Camp and Upper East Coast Road.

With parts of it currently occupied by a forest, it is about two-thirds the size of Bidadari.

The plot is located between two MRT stations on the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) – Bayshore and Bedok South – and is expected to have facilities and services such as schools, shops and an integrated transport hub.

The tender will be conducted in two phases and the appointed firm will submit its final proposal in December this year, URA said in the documents.

But a URA spokesman told The Straits Times that parts of the area will be used for the construction of the TEL for several years, and that “implementation will not be in the near future”. The two stations are expected to open by 2024.

Rather, the invitation to private sector consultants is meant to generate “new ideas for (Bayshore) to be developed into a future public and private housing precinct that supports car-lite living, with a strong sense of community and environmental sustainability”, the URA spokesman added.

“The number of public and private housing units has been projected as 6,000 public units and 6,500 private units, and is still under study.”

Some observers are concerned that the increase in population in the area would put a strain on its transport networks and amenities.

The total of 12,500 residential units translates to 42,375 people, going by Singapore’s average household size of 3.39 persons.

National University of Singapore urban planning expert Steven Choo welcomed the development, as a new HDB town with its “thoughtful design and technological advances” could increase the property value of landed property in Upper East Coast Road.

But he was surprised to hear about the development, given that the Government announced last October that it was looking into ways to mitigate the “lottery effect” of public housing in prime locations.

For instance, some owners of Pinnacle@Duxton flats in Cantonment Road made nearly up to $500,000 when they sold their assets after the five-year minimum occupation period ended in 2014.

But for student and Upper East Coast resident Bryan Lee, 19, the HDB flats would make the hope of living near his parents in the future more achievable.

He said: “This is a good location, very peaceful and near the park. But, more importantly, I hope to get this place if I get married, so that I can be near my parents and take care of them.”

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 19 January 2017

Prime Office rents tipped to recover in 2018

Office rents tipped to recover in 2018

After a tough patch, prime office rents could find respite in 2018, likely boosted by tighter supply of new buildings and still-healthy leasing demand, said an international property consultancy firm.

Singapore Property Resources News - Prime Office rents tipped to recover in 2018

Singapore Property Resources News – Prime Office rents tipped to recover in 2018

It is forecasting a 3 per cent overall rental growth for Grade A office space in the Central Business District by the end of next year.

Rents of such office space has declined by about 20 per cent since a peak in the first quarter of 2015.

A lot of leasing is expected to happen. So there could be pick- up this year. In 2018, we could expect rents to stabilise and rebound towards the second half of the year, said an analyst with the firm.

The consultancy noted that the previous two downcycles in the office property market – during the global financial crisis in 2009 and the euro zone debt crisis in 2012 – did not last for more than two years.

Given that office rents are into their seventh quarter of decline, the firm believes there are some green shoots in that segment, which could be very near the trough of the market.

The average monthly office rent in Marina Bay is about $9.05 psf, Raffles Place at $8.72 psf, City Hall area at $8.42 psf and $7.86 psf in the Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar sub-market, the consultancy said.

An influx of new office space has weighed on rents of late while weaker business sentiment crimped demand for space from the financial services and oil and gas sectors.

About 1.45 million sq ft of new supply hit the market here last year, and a projected 2.26 million sq ft could become available this year.

However, prospects look brighter from next year on, with about 805,000 sq ft of new office supply forecast for 2018, and 755,000 sq ft the following year.

As there are few projects beyond 2018, the market could possibly tilt back to the landlords’ side once the spaces are taken up. The next wave of new office supply will come in around 2020 to 2021.

Leasing for new mega office buildings such as Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar has been strong as firms take advantage of softer rents to upgrade to swanky new premises.

The total monthly values of CBD office leases have also grown over the last 10 years to $72.2 million in 2015, from $13.8 million in 2005.

The increase was partly attributed to a larger number of companies setting up regional offices here.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 18 January 2017

Developers to stick to realistic price game this year

Developers to keep playing quantum price game this year

Developers sold 8,136 private homes last year, up 9.4 per cent from the 7,440 units they moved in the previous year – and the best showing in three years. The pick-up is a reflection of improved sentiment and demand, say analysts.

Developers to keep playing quantum price game this year - iNz ResidencesThe executive condo (EC) market posted even more spectacular sales growth. Preliminary government numbers show that developers found buyers for 4,018 EC units last year – up 57.6 per cent from the 2,550 units in 2015 and a four-year high. Realistic pricing by developers has been cited as a key factor for the improved primary-market sales of ECs, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

The 2016 sales figures are preliminary, based on the December developer housing sales data released on Monday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The numbers will be finalised on Thursday next week when the URA releases its full Q4 2016 private housing statistics.

For this year, property consultants polled by The Business Times mostly forecast sales of 8,000 to 9,000 private homes and 2,300-3,500 EC units in the primary market.

In terms of developers’ pricing strategy for 2017, affordability will rule the day. Developers will have to be mindful about pricing because it’s still a price-sensitive market on account of the property cooling measures and rising interest rate environment.

Unemployment is expected to rise in 2017 while GDP (Gross Domestic Product) will see muted growth.

The pricing strategy for developers remains pretty much a quantum play. Developers need to hit the sweet spot of S$1 million or below to achieve sales volumes. Given that land prices have risen in the past 12 months, the clear denominator to play around with would be the unit size – in terms of maintaining the sweet spot.

Although developers who paid for higher land prices last year are now stuck with less elbow room to price their projects attractively, construction costs have fallen due to the slow economy, which helps to alleviate cost pressures for developers.

A developer who declined to be named said that construction costs have eased about 10 per cent in the past six months as contractors are hungry for work. “So where the construction cost used to be S$300 per square foot (psf) on gross floor area half a year ago, it is now S$270 psf.” He also noted that “projects in good locations and priced reasonably can still move”.

URA’s latest data – collated from licensed housing developers – shows that they sold 367 private homes in December 2016, less than half the 860 private homes in November 2016 but close to the 384 units in December 2015.

Despite the subdued December sales figure amid the year-end holiday period, the preliminary number of private homes sold by developers in Q4 2016 was 2,480 units – the strongest quarterly volume since Q2 2014.

Coupled with the 9.4 per cent increase for the whole of 2016, this reflects a moderate strengthening in demand – driven by a perception of the market bottoming out, pent-up buying, more realistic prices and acceptance of the cooling measures as a norm.

Last year, developers launched 7,853 private homes – up 11.3 per cent from 2015.

In the EC segment, 213 units were sold by developers last month, down slightly from the 251 units in November, but an improvement on the 124 units in December 2015.

The 57.6 per cent jump in EC sales last year was despite a 26.7 per cent contraction in the number of new ECs launched to 2,749 units. The pick-up in sales was attributed to more realistic pricing, which resulted in median prices of new ECs easing about 5 per cent between Q1 2015 and Q4 2016.

Demand for both new private homes and ECs is still there. Buyers are coming round to the view that there is limited benefit in waiting for further price declines at new launches, and those who can afford it would be inclined to enter the market.

That said, the number of units developers manage to sell this year will be more a function of supply.

According to ERA Realty Network’s data, only two new EC projects totalling around 1,000 units are slated for launch this year – Qingjian Realty’s iNz Residence in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 and a project by Hoi Hup in Yio Chu Kang Road. In addition, there are about 3,000 unsold units in EC projects that are already on the market, ERA noted. The agency’s key executive officer Eugene Lim predicts primary-market sales of 2,500 to 3,000 ECs this year.

Transaction volume could be sustained due to the still relatively benign interest rate environment, good attributes of pipeline projects and ample liquidity in the market.

There will be some additional demand from foreign buyers, particularly from the mainland Chinese after Hong Kong recently raised the stamp duty rate on non-residents who buy residential properties from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 17 January 2017

Singapore investors pumped US$9.7b into Asia-Pac property in 2016

Singapore investors pumped US$9.7b into Asia-Pac property in 2016

Singapore investors ploughed more capital into real estate in the Asia-Pacific last year than a year earlier, with land and offices topping their list of purchases, even as their acquisition fervour back home continued to ease.

SPR News - Singapore investors pumped US$9.7b into Asia-Pac property in 2016

SPR News – Singapore investors pumped US$9.7b into Asia-Pac property in 2016

Outbound real estate investments in the region by Singapore investors rose 31.8 per cent to US$9.7 billion, while domestic investments slipped 20.7 per cent to US$4.8 billion.

The S$4.1 billion acquisition of commercial property Century Link in Shanghai Pudong by a fund set up by Singapore-listed ARA Asset Management with China Life and South Korea’s Peninsular Investment Partners stood as the biggest single-property purchase in the region last year.

With cooling measures still in force in their home market, Singapore developers have continued to look for opportunities abroad.

Depreciation risks of the yuan also spurred more real estate deals by Chinese investors outside the country. Their outbound real estate investments in the Asia-Pacific surged 66.2 per cent to US$13.4 billion, while their investments within mainland China grew 6.9 per cent to US$337.7 billion.

Amid lingering concerns over yuan weakness, well-capitalised Chinese developers piled into land and office deals in Hong Kong, setting new price benchmarks there. Being at the doorstep and having a currency pegged to a strengthening greenback, Hong Kong ticked all the boxes.

While the broad outbound trend among Singapore and Chinese investors is likely to persist in the medium term, global macroeconomics will dictate investment dynamics and allocations this year.

If the Fed hikes rates continually, the strengthening US dollar could benefit the region as Asia-Pacific investors focus their firepower at home, and the region will also offer more value to European and US investors.

Chinese and Singapore investors were the region’s dominant real estate investors, making up a third of total foreign investments in the region. Notably, China and Singapore were also the top two Asian sources of foreign capital in the US and Europe last year. Real estate investments by Chinese investors in the Americas jumped 57.1 per cent in 2016 to US$16.3 billion.

Singapore developers, Reits and institutional investors will remain the most active outbound investors and are looking to raise their exposure in the emerging markets of India and South-east Asia.

Chinese insurers are also expected to shore up their overseas real estate allocation, which now represents only 2 per cent of their total assets, below the 15 per cent ceiling. However, new capital controls implemented by China could slow the overseas buying seen in the last two years. While more cross-border transactions will be inevitable, the days of mega-deals are likely over.

Last year, office and land deals each accounted for 24 per cent of global investments by Singapore investors. Land deals made up 88 per cent of all real estate investments by Chinese investors, followed by office (6 per cent) in 2016.

Opportunities to buy into prime office assets in the region’s gateway markets remain limited and highly sought-after by core investors.

Given healthy occupancy rates, office assets in the region still offer good earnings visibility, so the lower yields are an acceptable trade-off for core investors. Meanwhile, developers in Singapore and China also have a ready home market to tap when selling overseas residential projects, especially in top-tier cities.

Last year, the top overseas destinations for Singapore real estate investors were China, the UK, the US and Australia; while the US, Hong Kong and Australia were the top outbound venues for mainland Chinese real estate investors.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 13 January 2017

One Tree Hill Garden to be up for en bloc sale

One Tree Hill Garden to be up for en bloc sale

A boutique prime freehold residential development site in District 10 will come on the market when the collective sale of One Tree Hill Garden is launched within the next week.

SPR News - One Tree Hill Garden to be up for en bloc saleBT understands that the reserve price in the collective sale agreement signed by the majority owners of the three-storey walk-up apartments is about S$70 million. This translates to S$1,792 per square foot based on the land area of 39,063 square feet. An architect has been appointed by the owners to verify the building’s existing gross floor area and to ascertain the development baseline for the property, which will determine whether or not a development charge is payable to the state.

The site is zoned for residential use within a two-storey semi-detached area in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014. Potentially, the plot may be redeveloped into a new project comprising 10 semi-detached houses and three bungalows.

On site are 13 apartments ranging from 1,916 sq ft to 4,682 sq ft.

Based on the reserve price for the proposed collective sale, the owners are expected to receive 60 per cent more for their units than if they were to sell their units individually.

One Tree Hill Garden, which was built more than two decades ago, is less than 500 metres from the future Orchard Boulevard Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line.

The site also boasts triple road frontage – towards One Tree Hill, Jalan Arnap and Jalan Kelawar.

In the past two years, three old semi-detached houses in the vicinity with site areas of between 3,391 sq ft and 4,628 sq ft have been sold at S$1,679-2,097 psf.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 13 January 2017

More Condos Offers Deferred Payment Plans

Deferred payment plans at more condos

Developers of completed condominiums are again offering sweeteners to home hunters that proved successful in shifting unsold apartments last year.

Deferred payment scheme at more condos - Sky Habitat is one of them

Deferred payment scheme at more condos – Sky Habitat is one of them

Real estate agents told The Straits Times that one of the latest projects to offer a deferred payment plans – an attractive proposition to many buyers – is TG Development’s The Peak@Cairnhill II.

Two other projects that have been on the market for some time – CapitaLand’s Sky Habitat and Ardmore Three by Wheelock Properties – also rolled out such a scheme recently to woo buyers.

The Peak@Cairnhill II, a 60-unit freehold condo near Orchard Road, was launched for sale on Monday, offering a 15 per cent discount and an enhanced deferred payment scheme.

Under the scheme, buyers pay a 20 per cent down payment to secure an option to purchase, but have two years to exercise the option.

In the meantime, they sign a master tenancy agreement with the developer which allows them to rent out the unit and get a rental income.

The property tax and maintenance fee payable during the two-year period will also be absorbed by the developer.

All units at The Peak@Cairnhill II are two-bedders, with the smallest unit type, at 829 sq ft, going for $2.085 million. The average selling price after factoring in the discount is about $2,550 per sq ft.

Good response to creative marketing schemes, including deferred payment plans, at OUE Twin Peaks last year had sparked similar moves by other developers to move unsold units at completed projects.

Since its sales relaunch last April, the 462-unit OUE Twin Peaks sold about 220 apartments as at the end of last month, according to caveats lodged.

Last June, CapitaLand rolled out its own version of a deferred payment scheme, known as the stay-then-pay programme, at two mega projects, d’Leedon and The Interlace.

It allows Singaporeans and permanent residents to make a 10 per cent down payment within eight weeks to exercise the option to purchase, live in the unit and pay the other 90 per cent a year from exercising the option. For foreign buyers, the down payment is 15 per cent.

CapitaLand said the programme, which was “well received”, was extended to its 509-unit Sky Habitat project in Bishan this month.

There were 128 unsold units at Sky Habitat as at Sept 30 – the developer was unable to disclose the updated figure before its next quarterly earnings announcement.

Units available under the stay- then-pay plan include two- to four-bedroom apartments ranging from 1,012 sq ft to 2,228 sq ft.

“The average selling price is $1,500 psf (nett after discount), with prices starting from $1.5 million,” said a CapitaLand spokesman.

Wheelock Properties this month also introduced a deferred payment scheme at its high-end condo Ardmore Three – which still had about 25 unsold units as at the end of last month.

A buyer has the option to defer 80 per cent of the price for two years.

The developer started offering discounts and rebates at Ardmore Three last year, with selling prices at more than $3,000 psf.

Two other projects being marketed by ERA Realty Network – Corals at Keppel Bay and One Balmoral – are also providing incentives to sweeten the deal.

Luxury development Corals at Keppel Bay is taking $50,000 off prices of selected units, such as those without a waterfront view. ERA said the average selling price works out to about $1,850 psf after the discount.

Meanwhile, One Balmoral – a freehold 91-unit condo in prime District 10 by Hong Leong Holdings – offers a 13 per cent discount on the prices of all units. The cost of a one-bedder starts from about $1.4 million, with average prices of units around $2,150 psf to $2,200 psf.

Despite the prospect of more completed projects coming on the market with innovative sales schemes, analysts do not expect demand for newly launched condos to be hard hit.

The completed projects make up a very small percentage of the primary sales market, said ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim. “New launches will continue to form the bulk of the sales in that market.”

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 13 January 2017

Hillion Mall to open in Feb 2017

New Bukit Panjang mall to open in Feb

Bukit Panjang residents will have a spanking new shopping centre late next month when Hillion Mall opens for business.

spr-news-new-bukit-panjang-mall-to-open-in-feb

SPR News – Hillion Mall Opens in Feb 2017

The complex, which will have a two-storey retail podium and two retail basement floors, is part of an integrated development and transport hub that will cater to more than 220,000 residents and 760,000 commuters.

The mall, developed by Sim Lian Group and Sim Lian Development, has a net lettable area of 174,730 sq ft. More than 90 per cent of that will be taken up by shops, with over 100 separate outlets.

Sim Lian Group said yesterday that about 30 per cent of the mall will be dedicated to food and beverage, and almost 45 per cent of the retail space will be allocated to lifestyle stores.

The facility, which opens on Feb 24, will offer residents a range of cuisines, from Japanese to Szechuan, and anchor brands like FairPrice, which will be open 24 hours, and foodcourt operator Kopitiam.

It will also have the first indoor playground in Bukit Panjang.

The mall is just below the 546-unit Hillion Residences, accessible via lifts from the shopping area. It is also directly connected to Bukit Panjang MRT station via an underpass.

The Bukit Panjang LRT station is nearby, as is a bus interchange.

Hillion Residences has three residential blocks and a site area of 204,000 sq ft, with a land tenure of 99 years.

Units range from one-bedders from 463 sq ft, to penthouses of 2,616 sq ft or more.

The mall obtained its temporary occupation permit on Dec 30 last year while the residential portion is expected to get the go-ahead on Sept 30 next year.

Mr Kuik Sing Beng, Sim Lian Group executive director, said: “In designing Hillion Mall as a family and active lifestyle hub, we focused on creating enjoyable experiences for everyone, young and old.

“In addition to its ideal location within the integrated hub, we have specially curated a combination of popular household brands with fresh retail concepts over four levels at Hillion Mall to meet the daily lifestyle needs of the community of families, students and the working crowd in the area.”

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 11 January 2017