Property News 4 – 10 Jan 2016

7 Jan 2016 : Home buyers go for price and location

Developers pondering what might lure buyers back to the market this year already seem to have the answer – reasonably priced homes in good locations.

They only have to look at the turnout at the launches held last year.

Three projects defied the cooling measures to perform exceptionally well at their launch, largely due to pricing and location.
North Park Residences in Yishun sold 486 units at a median price of $1,374 per sq ft (psf) while High Park Residences in Sengkang sold 1,169 units at a median price of $989 psf in their launch months.

In the city fringes, The Poiz Residences in Potong Pasir sold 277 units at a median price of $1,440 psf in its launch month.

Overall, the projects which sold well last year were all attractively priced, near an existing or upcoming MRT station, with various amenities around such as reputable schools and shopping malls, said Mr Eugene Lim, ERA Realty key executive officer.

“This year, we expect buyers to be equally discerning of new projects. Prices and location should remain the determining factors behind a project’s performance. “

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor added that a project is highly attractive to buyers when priced towards the lower end for the area it is in. For the suburbs or outside the central region, this would be closer to $1,000 psf, and closer to $1,500 psf for the city fringes or the rest of central region. The core central region would be nearer $2,000 psf.

“However, a premium may be commanded due to the location and availability of transportation – near the MRT – or the nature of the project, such as a mixed development,” said Mr Ismail.

Buyers have shown a willingness to pay more for such mixed-use projects, including North Park Residences, J Gateway and DUO Residences. “But for most cases, price is the main factor,” he added.

Mr Ismail noted: “The restrictive loan environment prevents developers from setting a price that is unrealistically high.”

This could be tested towards the end of the first quarter, with the launch of a condo on a site in Toa Payoh Lorong 4 and 6. Response will be used to gauge demand in the area, which has not seen any new launches since the Trevista in August 2009, noted Mr Wong Xian Yang, research manager at OrangeTee.

Another condo launch that will attract healthy interest is a mixed-use development, a good combination of both residential and retail units.

Located at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Tampines Road, Star of Kovan is designed and developed by renowned developer, Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited.

“This development is just 2 minutes’ walk from Kovan MRT station. Such a well-located project is very rare and will be a strong contender for buyers’ interest,” said Mr Bernard Lee, director for business and research at Huttons Real Estate Group.

Buyers could also target the Wandervale executive condominium (EC), which is in a prime spot in Choa Chu Kang and should be launching later this month, said ERA’s Mr Lim. It is walking distance to the MRT station and bus interchange as well as Lot 1 mall.

Buyer response could be similar to that for The Brownstone EC, which was launched last July and was 48 per cent sold as at end November, making it one of the best-selling EC projects last year, said Mr Wong of OrangeTee.

The Visionaire EC in Sembawang Road and near the upcoming Canberra MRT will be launched around March. The coming months should also see the second phase launch of The Poiz Residences.

Two commercial projects should be launching strata units for sale in this quarter as well – Centrium Square in Serangoon Road and Woods Square in Woodlands Square.

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7 Jan 2016 – Private housing site near Tanah Merah MRT to be put up for sale

SINGAPORE — The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will put up for sale a private housing site near Tanah Merah MRT in about two weeks, with analysts saying the public tender will likely draw developers due to its attractive location.

The 99-year leasehold site at the junction of New Upper Changi Road and Bedok South Avenue 3 sits on about 262,575 sq ft and has a plot ratio of 2.1. With a maximum permissible gross floor area of about 551,413 sq ft, the site can yield an estimated 570 homes, the URA said.

The tender for the land parcel, released from the Reserve List of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, was triggered after the URA said it received an application from a developer that commit-ted to bid no less than S$320 million, or about S$580 per sq ft per plot ratio.

Mr Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer at property agency ERA, said: “Given the fewer number of con-firmed GLS sites in the first half of 2016, it is not surprising that some of the more choice sites on the Reserve List would be triggered. Conveniently located just opposite Tanah Merah MRT station, the site is located near various amenities such as Changi General Hospital, East Point Mall and Bedok Town Centre. This makes it attractive to families.”

“Changi Airport is also easily reached from the site, which may appeal to buyers who need to travel frequently; or to those who work within the Changi Airport hub,” he added.

Mr Lim estimated the winning bid will be between S$750 and S$850 psfppr, with about five to 12 bidders due to the site’s proximity to Tanah Merah MRT station on the highly used East-West line.


4 Jan 2016: Singapore Home Prices Post Longest Losing Streak in 17 Years

(Bloomberg) — Singapore home prices dropped for a ninth quarter, posting the longest losing streak in 17 years, as tighter mortgage curbs cooled demand in Asia’s second-most expensive housing market.

An index tracking private residential prices fell 0.5 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday. That took the annual decline to 3.7 percent, almost matching the 4 percent drop in 2014, which was the first year-on-year slide since 2008.

Developers sold 5,599 new units in the nine months to September, on course for the lowest annual sales since 2008.

The government began introducing residential property curbs in 2009 as low interest rates and demand from foreign buyers raised concerns that the market was overheating. They have included a cap on debt repayment costs at 60 percent of a borrower’s monthly income, higher stamp duties on home purchases and an increase in real estate taxes.

“The market is reaching the bottom,” said Nicholas Mak, an executive director at SLP International Property Consultants in Singapore. “We will see less than 1 percent declines in the first two quarters of this year. Prices will continue to grind lower until there are changes in the macro economic environment or the government makes some tweaks to the property measures.”

Apartment prices fell 0.4 percent in prime districts in the fourth quarter, the data showed. Those in the suburbs and in areas near prime districts remained unchanged from the third quarter when they each slipped 1.6 percent. For 2015, prices slid 2.6 percent in prime areas and 3.7 percent in the suburbs, the data showed. Prices for stand-alone homes mainly reserved for local buyers dropped 4.4 percent last year.

City Developments Call

City Developments Ltd., Singapore’s second-largest builder, called on the government to review property curbs “as soon as possible.” Home prices continue to decline across all market segments, City Developments said in November. Demand for residential units, especially at the high end, remains tepid, while sales continue to be adversely impacted by the various government cooling measures, rising interest rates and concerns over the local and global economies, the developer said.

The deterioration in economic sentiment, combined with a worsening supply‐demand imbalance and rising vacancy rates, risk precipitating a downward spiraling of property prices, Augustine Tan, president of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore said in September. The property cooling measures, in the current tone and intensity, could increase the risk to the real estate market and economy, he said.

Singapore remains a high-end housing market in Asia. The city was ranked the most expensive city to buy a luxury home after Hong Kong in the region, according to a 2015 Knight Frank wealth report.


 4 Jan 2016 : Private residential property prices down 3.7% in 2015: URA

SINGAPORE: Private residential property prices fell 3.7 per cent for the whole of 2015, extending a 4 per cent decline in 2014, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) flash estimates released on Monday (Jan 4).

Prices fell 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, following a 1.3 per cent drop in the previous quarter, based on the private residential property index, which declined 0.7 points to 141.6 points in the fourth quarter.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties declined by 0.4 per cent in the Core Central Region (CCR), compared with the 1.2 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Prices in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) remained unchanged, compared with the 1.6 per cent decline in each segment in the previous quarter.

For the whole of 2015, prices in CCR, RCR and OCR have fallen by 2.6 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively. Prices of landed properties fell 2.1 per cent, compared to the 0.4 per cent decline in the previous quarter. For the whole of 2015, prices of landed properties fell by 4.4 per cent.

The flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and survey data on new units sold by developers during the first 10 weeks of the quarter. The statistics will be updated four weeks later when URA releases the full real estate statistics for the fourth quarter of 2015, which captures more data from the stamp duty records and the take-up of new projects.

“Past data have shown that the difference between the quarterly price changes indicated by the flash estimate and the actual price changes could be significant when the change is small. The public is advised to interpret the flash estimates with caution,” the URA added.

– CNA/cy



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