MARKET UPDATES

Dated: 16-Jan-2019

Newton Lodge up for collective sale with minimum price set at $44m

SINGAPORE - Owners of Newton Lodge, a 16-unit apartment block at Newton Road, have put their freehold 21,409 square foot site up for tender at a minimum price of $44 million. This translates to a land rate of $1,468 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) at a 1.4 gross plot ratio, said the property's sole marketing agent JLL. Factoring in an additional 8 per cent bonus gross floor area for balconies and communal areas, the land rate drops to about $1,359 psf ppr. Development charges are not payable for the site's redevelopment. The property is some 400 metres from Novena MRT station and the Novena commercial cluster. Major developments are underway in the Novena area to transform the area into Singapore's largest healthcare hub, Health City Novena, by 2030, JLL noted. Earmarked for residential use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's 2014 Master Plan, the site may be redeveloped into a low-rise apartment project, serviced residence or a custom-built co-living development, said JLL. If approved for serviced apartments, Newton Lodge could potentially house around 50 to 60 rooms. Karamjit Singh, senior consultant at JLL, said: "Purchasers who wish to develop an entire building for co-living spaces or short-term accommodation should find Newton Lodge's central location, project size and price quantum attractive. Not only would a boutique-sized project be more manageable, a smaller community of like-minded residents may also result in more meaningful social engagements." The tender for Newton Lodge closes on Feb 26 at 2.30pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Jan-2019

Club Street hotel site draws top bid of $562m

A plum hotel site along Club Street in the Central Business District drew interest from hotel groups in Singapore and the region, resulting in a record price being set for 99-year leasehold land at a state tender. The eight bids were short of the dozen or more some market watchers had been expecting, but the top bid of $562.2 million, by Worldwide Hotels Group's Midtown Development, translates to $2,148.50 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), the highest for a 99-year leasehold site offered in a Government Land Sales tender, said analysts. However, in the housing land segment, it was a tale of two cities. The top bid for a private housing site in Kampong Java Road near Newton MRT station, $418.38 million or $1,192.25 psf ppr, came in below market expectations, reflecting the caution setting in among developers amid the current supply-demand imbalance. However, developers were a lot more sanguine about the executive condominium (EC) segment, which has seen a dearth of new launches, yet enjoys strong buyer demand. The top bid for an EC site in Tampines Avenue 10 came in at $434.45 million or $578.12 psf ppr, within expectations and in line with winning bids in previous state tenders for EC sites. All three sites have 99-year leases. Worldwide Hotels, controlled by the Choo family, encompasses brands such as Hotel 81, V Hotel, Hotel Boss and Venue Hotel, and owns 38 hotels in Singapore and another eight in the Asia-Pacific. Its managing director, Ms Carolyn Choo, said the group envisages a four-star property that will be its landmark hotel for the Club Street site. She declined to say how many hotel rooms are planned under the group's proposed scheme, but said there will be a commercial component comprising food and beverage and retail space. She estimates the total investment in the project, including construction, interest and fitting-out expenses, would be in the high $700 million range. "The premium paid for the Club Street site is likely due to the fact that it is one of the few remaining centrally located sites available for hotel development," said Mr Giuliano Esposito, JLL Hotels & Hospitality's senior vice-president of strategic advisory and asset management. The top bid was 12.4 per cent higher than the second-highest offer, from a partnership between UOL Group and United Industrial Corporation. Shangri-La Group is understood to be behind the third-highest bid. As for the Kampong Java site, it drew seven bids. The top bid from Chip Eng Seng unit CELH Development was a tad above the second highest from GuocoLand. Chip Eng Seng Corporation group chief executive Raymond Chia said the group plans to develop a project with about 380 units, ranging from one-to four-bedders. The EC site in Tampines fetched seven bids. The highest, from a partnership between Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments, was a tad higher than the second highest from MCC Land (Singapore) of $431.62 million or $574.36 psf ppr. Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, noted that the top bid of $578 psf ppr is the second highest on record for EC land, after Sumang Walk's $583 psf ppr in March last year. She said the outcome of this batch of tenders reflects the impact of last July's cooling measures, which saw developers shift their focus to the hotel and EC sectors amid a brighter outlook for tourism and the continued appeal of ECs. "ECs have remained popular with developers post-measures, given the limited supply. The new minimum average unit size of 85 sq m should also have minimum impact for ECs as ECs are targeted at families in the first place, and the average unit size suggested by the development cap of 700 units is well above the 85 sq m," she added.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 15-Jan-2019

December new home sales drop due to absence of new launches, slowdown due to holidays

SINGAPORE - Developers in Singapore sold 602 private homes last month, about half the 1,201 units they moved the previous month, according to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday (Jan 15). They blamed the absence of new project launches and the typical slowdown in marketing activity due to year-end holidays. Developers released 101 private homes in December - down 92 per cent from the bumper 1,342 units launched in November and down 56 per cent from 231 released in December 2017. It was the lowest number of new private homes launched since September 2017, according to JLL senior director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui. But there is a silver lining. The number of units sold last month - 602 units excluding executive condominiums (ECs) - was up nearly 40 per cent from the 431 units sold in December 2017. It was the highest number of sales in the month of December since 1,410 units were sold in December 2012, Ms Tricia Song, Colliers' head of research for Singapore, noted. Among the top performers last month were existing launches such as Parc Esta (160 units sold) and Whistler Grand (128 units). Double-digit sales were also registered for projects like Riverfront Residences in Hougang, Stirling Residences in Stirling Road, and Affinity at Serangoon. Of the 101 units launched in December, 100 were from Affinity at Serangoon, OrangeTee & Tie research and consultancy head Christine Sun noted. Developers launched an estimated 8,773 private residential units and sold an estimated 9,264 units (excluding ECs) in the whole of last year. In 2017, 6,020 new private homes were launched, while 10,566 units were sold. The URA's figures were based on its survey of licensed housing developers. About 40 per cent of developer sales were transacted in the last five months of 2018. Analysts say this indicated that sales demand is encouraging despite market challenges such as the July 6 cooling measures, more curbs on shoebox units being built in certain locations, rising interest rates, stock market fluctuations and rising trade tensions between the US and China. "While the macro-economic conditions remain uncertain, Singapore's economic growth and job market are expected to remain firm this year," Ms Sun said. "The ongoing sales momentum at several new projects may indicate that the property market could be reaching equilibrium soon as prices are stabilising and more buyers are streaming back." "A bonanza of between 19,000 and 21,000 new homes from over 60 new projects are expected to be launched this year. We anticipate that the current buying momentum will continue and the supply-led demand may see developers' home sales reaching 10,000 to 11,000 units for 2019." Many projects are expected to be launched after the Chinese New Year including The Florence Residences in Kovan and Treasure at Tampines.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 10-Jan-2019

Private investor buys Ascott Raffles Place for $353m

Private investor Cheong Sim Lam, whose family developed International Plaza and the Hyatt Regency Singapore, has acquired Ascott Reit's Ascott Raffles Place Singapore for $353.3 million. The 20-storey conserved building with 146 serviced apartments is located at 2 Finlayson Green, and has a 999-year lease. Mr Cheong developed several residential projects such as Robinson Suites in Robinson Road, and previously owned 137 and 139 Cecil Street. The sale price is 64.3 per cent above the property's latest valuation of $215 million as of Dec 31 last year. After accounting for transaction-related expenses, Ascott Reit is expected to realise an estimated net gain of $134 million. The net sale proceeds may be used to pare down the debts of Ascott Reit, fund potential acquisitions and/or for other general corporate purposes, the company said in a Singapore Exchange announcement yesterday after market close. Ascott Raffles Place accounted for 3 per cent of Ascott Reit's gross profit for the nine months ended Sept 30 last year. Its sale is not expected to have a material impact on Ascott Reit's financial performance. Ms Beh Siew Kim, chief executive officer of Ascott Reit's manager, said in a statement: "The sale will give us the financial flexibility to recycle capital and invest in higher-yielding properties. We may also use the sale proceeds to pay down debt, which will then increase our debt headroom for potential acquisitions of quality assets, or to develop our own properties such as lyf one-north Singapore to enhance Ascott Reit's portfolio." The sale was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield. Ascott Reit said the transaction is expected to be completed in May. Ascott Reit's other operational properties in Singapore are Ascott Orchard, Citadines Mount Sophia and Somerset Liang Court. lyf one-north is expected to open in 2021. Ascott Reit's asset size has grown to $5.3 billion, and its international portfolio comprises 73 properties with 11,430 units in 37 cities across 14 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe as of Sept 30 last year. Its serviced residences are mostly operated under the Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 10-Jan-2019

Leonie Gardens seeks to go en bloc again at $800m

Leonie Gardens joins a growing list of die-hard sellers trying their luck to go en bloc in the new year. The prime District 9 condominium in Leonie Hill, whose collective sales agreement expires in May, relaunched its tender for a second time at the same reserve price of $800 million last month. The tender closes on Jan 22 at 3pm. The 138-unit condo first launched for sale in May last year, and that tender closed without a bid on June 21. "We held off relaunching until December because of a lack of interest after the July 6 cooling measures. But since then, developers have had time to see how the new launches fared and how prices are holding up," said Mr Vijay Chopra, chairman of the Leonie Gardens collective sale committee. Asked why the condo was relaunched at the same price, he said: "The owners are willing to accept a lower price but we don't know what that price should be. We don't want to go through the process of lowering the reserve price without knowing first what the developers are willing to offer." At the guide price of $800 million, each owner stands to get between $4.3 million and $10.2 million. The reserve price translates to $2,104 per square foot based on existing gross floor area, or $2,021 per sq ft per plot ratio if a 10 per cent balcony space is included, subject to approval. Leonie Gardens has 70-plus years remaining on its 99-year lease, according to marketing agent Huttons Asia. The project sits on a total strata area of 324,972.90 sq ft and has a gross floor area of 410,431.80 sq ft. As the site is located within the Central Area, it is not subject to an average unit size of 85 sq m, which will allow the developer to build smaller units and keep the quantum palatable for potential buyers. Huttons says it can be developed into 544 condominium units of about 70 sq m each, or 380 condominium units of about 100 sq m each. The site is zoned residential, with a plot ratio of 2.8. Subject to approval, it is possible to have a 10 per cent balcony space added, increasing the area to 449,031.63 sq ft. No development charge is payable as its existing baseline is above the current plot ratio of 2.8. But a development charge of about $44 million will be levied if the additional 10 per cent balcony space is utilised. Other developments in the same district that have been put up for collective sale include the 211-unit, 99-year leasehold Horizon Towers in Leonie Hill Road, which relaunched its collective sale tender at a $1.1 billion reserve price, unchanged from its attempt last July. That round closed in September without any bids. Its new tender closes on Jan 28 at 3pm. Other sites in District 9 that were put up for collective sale last year, and for which there were no takers, include The Regalia in River Valley and Elizabeth Tower in Mount Elizabeth. "Even if we don't get bids this time round, we still have time to do a private treaty," said Mr Vijay, who owns more than one unit at Leonie Gardens, including a penthouse. "We are located at the highest point in the Orchard area, and near the upcoming Great World MRT and Orchard Boulevard MRT (stations). We are ideal for any developer who wants exposure to the prime district," he added.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Jan-2019

Hong Kong, world's priciest housing market, set for most densely-packed apartment blocks

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG)- Hong Kong, the world's least-affordable housing market, is set to get its densest residential development. CK Asset Holdings is planning to turn a New Territories hotel into a pair of residential blocks containing 5,000 apartments, a document filed with planning authorities shows. At 47 storeys, that works out to an average of 53 units per floor, making it the densest private residential project in the city, according to chartered surveyor Vincent Cheung. The apartments would be an average of about 300 sq ft or 27.8 sq m, Mr Cheung said. While that typically fits just one bedroom, it would still be about twice the size of the controversial micro-apartments some developers are selling. Small apartments are popular with buyers because their lower price tags offer a way on to the property ladder in a city rated the world's most expensive for the past eight years. Since taking charge of his father Li Ka-Shing's real estate empire in March, Victor Li has been redeveloping CK Asset's old properties to combat a shortage of land in the city. The developer last year said it would revamp Hutchison House, an office tower in Central. It has also applied to convert two Kowloon hotels into offices. The latest application is likely to be approved, given the lack of land in Hong Kong, said Thomas Lam, an executive director at Knight Frank LLP. The units may fetch about HK$14,000 (S$2,423) per sq ft, he said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Jan-2019

Condo rents slip 0.2% in December; HDB rents up 0.6%: SRX

SINGAPORE - Rents for Singapore condominiums and private apartments reversed course to register a small decrease in December, while HDB rents rose after dipping in November, according to a report on Wednesday (Jan 9). Flash estimates from real estate portal SRX Property show rents for non-landed private residential properties fell by 0.2 per cent month on month. Year on year, rents last month were 0.1 per cent higher than in December 2017. They are still 19.8 per cent off their peak in January 2013. In the smaller HDB rental market, rents rose by 0.6 per cent in December, after dipping 0.5 per cent in November. The HDB three-room, four-room and executive flats all recorded rental increases of 0.5 per cent, 0.2 per cent, and 4 per cent respectively, while rents for HDB five-room flats fell 0.2 per cent. Year on year, HDB rents last month were down 0.4 per cent from December 2017, and 15.4 per cent off their high in August 2013. According to SRX Property, an estimated 3,450 private non-landed units were rented in December, a 9.4 per cent plunge from 3,810 units in November. Year on year, rental volume last month was 8.5 per cent lower than the 3,771 units leased in December 2017. Separately, the number of HDB flats rented fell 8.9 per cent to 1,601 from 1,757 in November. Year on year, rental volume last month was down 4.2 per cent from 1,671 units in December 2017.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Jan-2019

Condo resale prices resume slide, down 0.8% in December

After a small uptick in November, resale prices of private non-landed homes last month resumed the mild downtrend they have been in since last July's cooling measures, flash estimates by real estate portal SRX Property yesterday showed. Condominiums and private apartment resale prices fell by 0.8 per cent last month from the previous month. This comes after a 0.3 per cent rise in November, slightly higher than the 0.2 per cent increase earlier estimated by SRX. Resale prices of non-landed private homes are now down by 1.5 per cent from their peak in July last year, when property cooling measures were announced. However, resale prices are still up from a year ago, being 7.5 per cent higher than in December 2017. The cooling measures continued to also hit the volume of transactions. An estimated 479 non-landed private residential units were resold last month, a 24 per cent decrease from the 630 units resold in November. Year on year, transactions have fallen more sharply. The number of resales are down by 50.7 per cent from the 972 units moved in December 2017. OrangeTee & Tie research and consultancy head Christine Sun noted that the recent cooling measures in July have "substantially stabilised" the price growth of private resale homes. She said: "Resale prices have risen continuously in the first seven months of last year, posting a 7.7 per cent increase from January to July. After peaking in July, prices started to decline gradually. For the last five months of last year, resale prices fell 1.4 per cent. Without the property cooling measures, the private resale market could have seen double-digit price growth last year." She noted that the number of resale transactions last month was half the number sold year on year, and that the pullback in housing demand could be attributed to new project launches in recent months, as individual resellers will not be able to match the marketing and advertising strength of private developers. Separately, SRX data showed that the premium which buyers were prepared to pay over market value stayed the same last month. SRX's overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was negative $10,000 last month, unchanged from the previous month. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying or underpaying on a property based on SRX Property's computer-generated market value. Among districts with more than 10 resale transactions, District 27's Yishun and Sembawang posted the highest median TOX of $21,000, while District 15's Katong, Joo Chiat and Amber Road posted the lowest median TOX at negative $80,000. In terms of location, resale prices in the prime or core central region saw a month-on-month decrease of 1.8 per cent in December. Similarly, resale prices of non-landed homes in the city fringes, or rest of central region, fell by 0.5 per cent, while those in the suburbs inched down 0.6 per cent.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 08-Jan-2019

If iconic Golden Mile Complex is conserved, URA will consider 86,000 sq m for mixed-use development

SINGAPORE - The iconic Golden Mile Complex, if it finds an en bloc buyer, may be turned into an integrated development with a gross floor area (GFA) of 85,977.5 square metres, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has advised. This is subject to the conservation of the landmark's main building. URA response was to an outline application submitted to retain the existing 16-storey building and to add a new block next to it, marketing agent Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co) announced in a media release on Tuesday (Jan 8). Under the existing commercial zone, the property may be developed as an integrated development comprising uses such as retail, office, residential, serviced apartments and hotels. It has a land area of about 1.3 hectares and is zoned for commercial use under the URA's Master Plan 2014. Completed in 1973, the building, considered an icon of urbanism with a signature step-terraced design, has 49 years left on its lease. It was put up for collective sale with an $800 million reserve price. The differential premium and lease upgrading premium to intensify the land use and to top up the lease to 99 years respectively will depend on the developer's proposed land use mix. At $800 million, the 68 residential owners stand to get a gross payout of between $1.27 million and $6 million each, while the 418 shop units can get between $200,000 and $7 million each. Owners of the 227 office units stand to get between $360,000 and $3 million each. The tender exercise for the sale will close on Jan 30 at 3pm. ET&Co senior director of investment advisory Swee Shou Fern said: "The new Golden Mile Complex will be an essential part of the rejuvenation of the Beach Road corridor. This unique adaptive reuse opportunity provides the developer with the chance of incorporating a new vision into this iconic development."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 08-Jan-2019

Condo resale prices drop 0.8% in December, resuming decline since July cooling measures: SRX data

SINGAPORE - After a small uptick in November, resale prices of private non-landed homes in December resumed the mild downtrend they have been in since July's cooling measures, flash estimates by real estate portal SRX Property on Tuesday (Jan 8) showed. Condominiums and private apartment resale prices fell by 0.8 per cent last month from the previous month. This comes after a 0.3 per cent rise in November, slightly higher than the 0.2 per cent increase earlier estimated by SRX. Resale prices of non-landed private homes are now down by 1.5 per cent from their peak in July 2018, when property cooling measures were announced. Nonetheless, resale prices are still 7.5 per cent higher than in December 2017. The cooling measures also continued to hit the volume of transactions. An estimated 479 non-landed private residential units were resold in December, a 24 per cent decrease from the 630 units resold in November. Year on year, transactions have fallen more sharply. The number of resales is down by 50.7 per cent from the 972 units moved in December 2017. OrangeTee & Tie research and consultancy head Christine Sun noted that the cooling measures in July have "substantially stabilised" the price growth of private resale homes. "Resale prices have risen continuously in the first seven months of last year, posting a 7.7 per cent increase from January 2018 to July 2018. After peaking in July, prices started to decline gradually within a 0 to -1 per cent monthly growth rate from August to December 2018. For the last five months of last year, resale prices fell 1.4 per cent. "Without the property cooling measures, the private resale market could have seen a double-digit price growth last year. Therefore, the recent cooling measures seemed effective in curbing a potential runaway in private resale home prices," Ms Sun said. She noted that the number of resale transactions in December was half the number sold year on year, and that the pullback in housing demand could be attributed to new project launches in recent months, especially in November, as individual resellers will not be able to match the marketing and advertising strength of private developers. A spate of bad news on the economic front, such as rising trade tensions between the United States and China, uncertainty in the stock market and increase in interest rates, could have also affected buying sentiments temporarily, Ms Sun added. Separately, SRX data also showed that the premium which buyers were prepared to pay over market value stayed the same in December. SRX's overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was negative $10,000 in December, unchanged from the previous month. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying or underpaying on a property based on SRX Property's computer-generated market value. Among districts with more than 10 resale transactions, District 27's Yishun and Sembawang posted the highest median TOX of $21,000, while District 15's Katong, Joo Chiat and Amber Road posted the lowest median TOX at negative $80,000. In terms of location, resale prices in the prime or core central region saw a month-on-month decrease of 1.8 per cent in December. Similarly, resale prices of non-landed homes in the city fringes, or rest of central region, fell by 0.5 per cent, while those in the suburbs inched down 0.6 per cent.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 08-Jan-2019

$550m guide price for HighPoint collective sale

The HighPoint condo block in Mount Elizabeth Road has been listed for collective sale with a guide price of $550 million, marketing agent CBRE said yesterday. The block sits on a freehold site and has 57 apartments and two penthouses. It is on a cul-de-sac plot with a land area of 47,606 sq ft. It has a verified gross floor area (GFA) of about 211,976 sq ft, equivalent to a gross plot ratio of 4.45 times, and has a height control of up to 36 storeys. There is no development charge payable up to GFA of about 213,383 sq ft, CBRE said. It added that the site could yield up to 196 units at an average unit size of 100 sq m. The land rate for the site works out to about $2,595 per sq ft per plot ratio. Taking into consideration the 7 per cent bonus gross floor area for balconies, the price will be about $2,509 per sq ft per plot ratio. HighPoint is a stone's throw from the Goodwood Park Hotel and the Orchard Road shopping belt. It is also close to Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), Chatsworth International School (Orchard campus) and Singapore Chinese Girls' School. CBRE executive director of capital markets Galven Tan said: "A site with attributes like HighPoint rarely becomes available. The potential 36-storey height will offer unblocked panoramic views featuring... Goodwood Hill and the central business district skyline. "As part of our pre-marketing exercise, we have received positive feedback from a number of foreign developers." Mr Tan said overall supply in the luxury segment "remains very limited and we believe the interest and pricing will continue to hold firm". The public tender closes at 3pm on Feb 26.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 08-Jan-2019

Realty Centre seeking $165m in commercial en bloc sale market

The Realty Centre commercial block in the central business district has launched a tender for a collective sale with a $165 million reserve price. The freehold site in Enggor Street has a land area of 1,021.9 sq m or 11,000 sq ft. According to the URA 2014 Master Plan, it has a plot ratio of 5.6 times and a maximum storey height of 35 storeys. The site can yield approximately 5,722.64 sq m or 61,598 sq ft of gross floor area upon redevelopment. The plot has a verified gross floor area of 5,514.24 sq m or about 59,355 sq ft, equivalent to a plot ratio of about 5.4 times. Based on the reserve price, the land rate is about $2,714 per sq ft per plot ratio, inclusive of an estimated development charge of $2.2 million. The property is a five-minute walk to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station and the upcoming Prince Edward station on the Circle Line that is due to be completed by 2025. Realty Centre is also near Amara Hotel/100AM and Tanjong Pagar Centre. Ms Christina Sim, director of capital markets at the marketing agent Cushman & Wakefield, said yesterday: "This offering gives the potential developer a compelling opportunity to have a presence in our central business district. "The site is also within the Tanjong Pagar Master Plan, a location slated for a massive transformation. "With the planned relocation of Singapore's container ports to Tuas, which will free up some 1,000ha of prime waterfront land, Tanjong Pagar will be a colourful masterpiece showcasing the old and the new, the best of Singapore." The tender closes at 3pm on Feb 21. Correction Note: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that the plot has approximately 321,797 sq ft of gross floor area upon redevelopment. This is incorrect. We apologise for the error.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 07-Jan-2019

Hong Kong Financial Secretary says no plan to relax property cooling

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - The Hong Kong government has no plan to ease property-cooling measures, including the stamp duty on second homes or for overseas buyers, as many residents still can't afford to purchase homes in the city, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog on Sunday (Jan 6). The government also doesn't plan to lift the special stamp duty, which levies home owners who sell property within three years of purchasing, Chan wrote in his weekly blog in Chinese. The goal is to fight short-term speculation, he said. Chan said he was open to looking into ways to help those who find it difficult to make a down payment, with current rules requiring home buyers to pay a substantial deposit. The government would consider factors including the extent and speed of the decline of house prices, the transaction volume, the future supply of residential estates and the overall economic situation, he said. After an almost 15-year bull run that made Hong Kong's property market the world's least affordable, home prices have fallen for 13 straight weeks since August, the longest losing streak since 2008, figures from Centaline Property Agency show. Concerns about higher borrowing costs and a looming vacancy tax have contributed to the slide.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Jan-2019

Flynn Park, Choon Kim House give collective sales another shot

Two more condominium blocks are having another shot at a collective sale, this time hoping to throw in the lure of a lower reserve price. Both the developments - Flynn Park and Choon Kim House - have signed up JLL as marketing agent. The freehold 72-unit Flynn Park, off Pasir Panjang Road, has a minimum price of $363.8 million. Owners have been collecting signatures since the July cooling measures to get an 80 per cent mandate to lower the reserve price to $325 million. They are at 75 per cent now. After factoring in an estimated development charge of about $24.5 million, the original reserve price translated to $1,331 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). If a sufficient number of owners agree to lower the reserve, the site would go for about $1,198 psf ppr. The first tender closed in June without a buyer. Flynn Park, which spans 208,443 sq ft and has an allowable gross plot ratio (GPR) of 1.4, is near Pasir Panjang MRT and the Canopy Walk - an elevated boardwalk linking Kent Ridge Park to Hort Park. The current tender closes at 3pm on Jan 29. Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of the owners at freehold Choon Kim House in Upper Serangoon Road have agreed to lowering the reserve price of the commercial and residential site from $55 million to $50 million. The new reserve price translates to a land rate of $1,173 psf ppr or $1,149 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus GFA (gross floor area) for the residential component, subject to approval. The property was launched for sale last April at the $55 million asking price but the tender closed without a deal. Choon Kim House comprises 20 commercial units and 10 apartments with 19 basement car parking spaces in a 14,988 sq ft site. It has a GPR of 3 and could support a total GFA of 47,661 sq ft, including the 10 per cent bonus area if it gets the authorities' nod. It is 700m from Serangoon bus and MRT interchange while Paya Lebar Methodist Girls', Maris Stella High, St Gabriel's Primary and CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel schools are nearby. JLL said: "Choon Kim House also offers an appealing opportunity for organisations... looking to own and occupy their building for naming rights and brand awareness." It added that it would also suit "an investor or developer who wishes to explore other forms of development like a boutique hotel or student hostel, subject to change of use and planning approval". The tender closes at 2.30pm on Jan 30.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Jan-2019

Cavenagh Gardens going for sale en bloc again while sticking to $480m reserve price

SINGAPORE - Cavenagh Gardens is the latest development in Singapore hoping for another chance at a sale en bloc in 2019, and owners are not budging from their first attempt's reserve price of $480 million. That translates to a land rate of $1,695 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of an estimated state land premium of $18.4 million to purchase about 11,800 sq ft of state land, or $1,541 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus gross floor area (GFA). No development charge is payable for the site, even after including the additional 10 per cent bonus GFA. Marketing agent JLL said in-principle approval was granted by the Singapore Land Authority for amalgamating the state land with the subject site on Feb 28, 2018. Though this has expired, JLL says a developer is very likely to get approval as it is located between the site and the CTE (Central Expressway). The project comprises three blocks of 172 apartments, spanning 128,255 sq ft with a gross plot ratio of 2.1. JLL said the site can be redeveloped to yield 400 apartment units with an estimated average size of about 740 sq ft each. The site has a height control of 24m above mean sea level. As it is located within the central area, revised URA planning guidelines on the maximum size of developments outside the central area do not apply. The project is 600m away from The Centrepoint and 800m away from Plaza Singapura. Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and St Margaret's Primary School are within 1km. The tender will close on Jan 31 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-Jan-2019

Horizon Towers condo relaunches en bloc bid at same price tag of $1.1b

SINGAPORE - Horizon Towers, among the contenders for Singapore's largest collective sale in 2018, has relaunched for sale by tender for a second time with a $1.1 billion reserve price. The 211-unit, 99-year leasehold condominium in the prestigious Leonie Hill area, first launched for sale at $1.1 billion just before the July 6 cooling measures were announced, and had closed without a sale on Sept 12. At $1.1 billion, owners of the 200 apartments could receive between $4.7 million and $5.2 million each, while the owners of the 11 penthouses could each reap between $9.2 million and $10 million. The reserve price translates to a land rate of about $1,977 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) after factoring in the lease top-up premium estimated at around $228 million. "As the site has a high development baseline, currently there is no development charge or differential premium for the intensification of the site even for the 10 per cent bonus gross floor area," said its marketing agent JLL. The 1.9 hectare District 9 site is zoned residential in the 2014 Master Plan with an allowable height of up to 36 storeys. It has an "as-built" gross plot ratio (GPR) of around 3.28228. "As the site is located within the Central Area, it is not subject to an average unit size of 85 square metres, which allows the developer to build smaller units and keep the quantum palatable for potential buyers," JLL added. Mr Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at real estate services provider Savills Singapore, said: "Since the (sellers) have a year to run from the time they obtained 80 per cent of the affirmative votes for a collective sale, and getting 80 per cent is by no means an easy task, it would be a great waste of effort if both the marketing agent and the collective sales committee don't attempt another launch." The tender closes on Jan 28 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Dec-2018

Completed condo prices fall 0.4%

Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums in Singapore fell again by 0.4 per cent last month from the previous month, after a 0.6 per cent month-on-month decline in October. This is according to the National University of Singapore's flash estimates released yesterday for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI), which tracks prices of completed non-landed private homes. The decline was driven by a 1 per cent drop in prices for apartments in the central region, excluding small units. In October, the decline was 0.4 per cent. However, prices of apartments in the non-central region, excluding small units, held steady after falling a revised 0.8 per cent in October. Prices of small units, which are defined as being no bigger than 506 sq ft, fell 0.4 per cent, after rising 0.4 per cent in October. The university's Institute of Real Estate Studies, which developed the SRPI series, defines the central region as Districts 1 to 4 (including the financial district and Sentosa Cove) and the traditional prime residential districts of 9, 10 and 11. For the year to date, overall prices have climbed 3.2 per cent, led by a 4.5 per cent increase in prices of small units. Prices of larger apartments in the central region rose 2.4 per cent, while prices in the non-central region rose 3.7 per cent. Overall prices are 3.9 per cent higher than they were in November last year. Prices of small units are up 4.7 per cent from a year ago. The drag came from larger apartments in the central region, where prices rose just 3 per cent.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Dec-2018

Smaller industrial land supply for first half of 2019

Five industrial sites will be made available for tender in the first half of next year after the confirmed list under the Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme was revealed yesterday. Another seven sites will be made available for application under a reserve list, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced. The total site area for the 12 sites is 11.86ha, down from the total site area of 12.59ha for the previous such launch in the second half of this year. Analysts say this reduction in supply may be in response to a languishing industrial market. All the sites in the latest launch are zoned for Business-2 use, which means they may be used for clean industry, light industry, general industry, warehouse, public utilities and telecommunication uses and other public installations. Sites on the reserve list are triggered for sale when an interested party submits an application with a minimum purchase price that is acceptable to the Government, or if more than one unrelated party submit minimum purchase prices that are close to the Government's reserve price for the site within a reasonable period. The five sites on the confirmed list have a total site area of 4.22ha. All have a tenure period of 20 years except for a plot in Senoko Drive which has a 30-year land tenure period. Ms Christine Li, senior director and head of research at real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, said the release of the Senoko Drive site, together with a Woodlands Industrial Park E2/E5 site, will support the Government's move to turn Woodlands into a regional commercial and industrial hub. Mr Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at real estate services provider Savills Singapore, said the reduction in supply is a "response to the tepid reaction of the market" towards the IGLS programme in the second half of this year. "Even if more sites are made available in future... the demand side will be less keen to participate as potential bidders," he said, pointing to two sites in the previous launch that were not awarded as bids were below reserve prices, which may have discouraged potential bidders. Ms Li said the latest launch comes amid moderating demand for industrial space this year due to uncertainties in the global outlook caused by US-China tensions. She highlighted how demand for industrial sites through government land sales has also been muted. "There is a lack of participation as none of the four tenders received more than four bids," said Ms Li, referring to the launch for the second half of this year. "This is to be expected as industrial rents stagnated this year due to the supply overhang from the preceding years." The MTI said the Government will "continue to release sufficient land through the IGLS programme to ensure an adequate supply of industrial space in Singapore". Ms Li expects that in the short to medium term, the continued tapering of new supply could lead to marginal increases in rents, which have stagnated.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Dec-2018

Prices of completed condo, private apartments fall 0.4% in November from October: NUS index

SINGAPORE - Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums in Singapore fell again by 0.4 per cent in November from the previous month, after a 0.6 per cent month-on-month decline in October. This is according to the National University of Singapore's (NUS) flash estimates released on Friday (Dec 28) for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI), which tracks prices of completed non-landed private homes. The decline was driven by a 1 per cent drop in prices for apartments in the central region, excluding small units. In October, the decline was 0.4 per cent. However, prices of apartments in the non-central region, excluding small units, held steady after falling a revised 0.8 per cent in October. Prices of of small units, which are defined as being no bigger than 506 sq ft, fell 0.4 per cent, after rising 0.4 per cent in October. The university's Institute of Real Estate Studies, which developed the SRPI series, defines the central region as Districts 1 to 4 (including the financial district and Sentosa Cove) and the traditional prime residential districts of 9, 10 and 11. For the year to date, overall prices have climbed 3.2 per cent, led by a 4.5 per cent increase in prices of small units. Prices of the larger apartments in the central region rose 2.4 per cent and prices in the non-central region rose 3.7 per cent. Overall prices are 3.9 per cent higher than they were in November 2017. Prices of small units are up 4.7 per cent from a year ago. The drag came from larger apartments in the central region where prices rose just 3 per cent. Prices in the non-central region climbed 4.4 per cent. The December flash numbers will be released on Jan 28.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 18-Dec-2018

New private home sales soar in November

New private home sales for last month showed healthy demand, with 1,198 units sold out of 1,341 units launched-the highest since the July 6 cooling measures. The figure is also a 52 per cent jump from the 788 units sold a year earlier, and up 146 per cent from the 487 units booked in October, according to figures released yesterday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. As many as seven new projects were launched last month. These new launches accounted for 830 units, or 69 per cent, of new private home sales last month. Top sellers include city-fringe projects such as Parc Esta and Whistler Grand. For the year to date, the number of units sold stood at 8,644, or about 82 per cent of last year's total volume of 10,566.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-Dec-2018

Singapore developers sell 1,198 private homes excluding ECs in November; up from October's 487 units

SINGAPORE - Developers in Singapore sold 1,198 private homes last month, nearly 2.5 times the 487 units they moved in October 2018 and about 1.5 times the 788 units they moved in November 2017. The figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (DEC 17) based on its survey of licensed housing developers. The above figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. Including ECs, developers moved 1,202 units last month, up from the 510 units in October 2018 and also ahead of the 937 units in November 2017. November's top-selling projects include Parc Esta along Sims Avenue, with 348 units sold at a median price of $1,699 per square foot (psf); Whistler Grand in West Coast Vale, with 219 units sold at $1,352 psf median price; and Kent Ridge Hill Residences in South Buona Vista Road, with 126 units sold at $1,715 psf median price.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Dec-2018

Condo rents rise 0.6% in November; HDB rents slip 0.5%: SRX

SINGAPORE - The rental market for private non-landed property picked up in November while it slowed for HDB properties, going by flash data from real estate portal SRX on Wednesday (Dec 12). Rents for condominiums and private apartments in November increased by 0.6 per cent from the previous month. The monthly decline in rents for October was raised to 0.9 per cent from 0.7 per cent estimated earlier. They were unchanged in August, from an earlier SRX estimate of a 0.1 per cent dip. Year on year, private rents are up by 0.3 per cent from November 2017. However, compared to their record high in January 2013, they are down by 19.6 per cent. Going by location, private rents in the prime or core central region (CCR) increased by 1.8 per cent month on month in November while rents in the city fringes or rest of central region (RCR) grew by 0.6 per cent. However, rents in the suburbs or outside central region (OCR) declined by 0.3 per cent. Year on year, RCR and OCR rents have risen 1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively, but CCR rents have dropped by 1.5 per cent. SRX said the number of condo and private apartments leased fell by 11.2 per cent in November to an estimated 3,791 units from 4,271 in October. Year on year, though, rental volume in November was 11.8 per cent lower than the 4,297 units signed for in November 2017. Meanwhile, Housing Board flat rents in November dipped 0.5 per cent from October. Year on year, HDB rents are down by 1.3 per cent from November 2017, and off by 15.8 per cent from their last peak in August 2013. SRX revised up the monthly change in October HDB rents to a 0.4 per cent increase from a 0.3 per cent rise. Fewer HDB flats were also rented out in November with leasings down 10.1 per cent to an estimated 1,706 units from 1,897 the month before, SRX said. Year on year, rental volume for HDB flats in November was 13.7 per cent lower than the 1,976 rented in November 2017. Rents for five-room flats inched up 0.3 per cent month on month. Meanwhile, rents for three-room flats, four-room flats, and executive flats decreased by 0.5 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, rents in mature estates decreased by 0.5 per cent month on month and those in non-mature estates fell 0.6 per cent. Year on year, rents of mature estates in September slipped 1.2 per cent and rents of non-mature estates fell 1.4 per cent. Commenting on November's figures, OrangeTee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said: "We have observed more tenants opting for shorter lease periods this year thus generating more leasing transactions in the market. We have also observed more tenants working in the fintech industry lately." With plans in place for the fintech space to develop further, Ms Sun said more expatriates with specialised skills in the development of fintech services could move to Singapore for work, "which may lend support to the rental market in the coming months". "Private homes near some of the upcoming digital tech hubs like Buona Vista, Punggol (upcoming Punggol digital district) and downtown core may see better demand."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Dec-2018

Condo resale prices up 0.2% in Nov after falling for three months: SRX

Resale prices of private non-landed homes rose in November after three months of decline following July's cooling measures. Condominium and private apartment values rose 0.2 per cent last month from October, noted flash estimates by SRX Property yesterday. This follows a 0.3 per cent drop in October, a figure revised from an earlier estimated decline of 0.4 per cent. Condo resale prices had enjoyed an unbroken 12-month run to new highs before declines took hold in August. They are still 8.8 per cent higher than in November last year but down 0.7 per cent from the peak in July when the property curbs were imposed. Buying activity in the resale market has stayed lacklustre. There were an estimated 662 resales in November, a 4.6 per cent decline from the 694 units moved in October and a stark 55.4 per cent below the 1,483 homes transacted in November last year. Orange Tee & Tie head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said the resale market has yet to reach equilibrium due to a mismatch in price expectations between buyers and sellers. "Buyers are largely waiting on the sidelines as they are probably expecting prices to soften after the cooling measures," she noted. "Some sellers, on the other hand, have raised their asking prices possibly taking the cue from recent developers' new sales where some projects have reached new benchmark prices for their locations." SRX data also showed the premium that buyers were prepared to pay over market value fell last month. The overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) fell to negative $10,000 last month, compared to $4,000 in October. The TOX was zero in August. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying or underpaying on a property based on SRX Property's computer-generated market value. District 21's Upper Bukit Timah and Ulu Pandan posted the highest median TOX of $22,000, followed by Jurong in District 22 with $20,000, among areas with more than 10 resale transactions. Bukit Timah, Holland Road and Tanglin in District 10 posted the lowest median TOX of negative $150,000, followed by District 9's Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley, and Bishan and Ang Mo Kio in District 20 at negative $40,000.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Dec-2018

Government Land Sales programme releases white site in Woodlands Regional Centre

A 2.75ha white site in Woodlands Regional Centre has been released for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) under the reserve list of the Government Land Sales programme for the second half of 2018. The mixed-use site has a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 115,747 sq m, with at least 45,000 sq m of this to be set aside for office use. The remaining GFA can be for additional office, retail, entertainment and residential uses, with a maximum GFA of 33,000 sq m for commercial use, excluding office and commercial school uses. Apart from any GFA for residential flats, the rest of the GFA is to be contained in no more than eight strata lots. Located in Woodlands Avenue 2 above the upcoming Woodlands Thomson-East Coast Line station, the site will be directly connected to both that line and the existing North-South line. This is the first white site in the 100ha Woodlands Regional Centre area, which will be developed into a commercial hub over the next 15 years. It comprises commercial and community precinct Woodlands Central and mixed-use business cluster Woodlands North Coast. When fully developed, Woodlands Regional Centre is expected to have 700,000 sq m of commercial space and offer 100,000 new jobs.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Dec-2018

Singapore condo resale prices up in 0.2% in November following 3 months of declines: SRX

SINGAPORE - Resale prices of private non-landed homes in Singapore increased in November, after three straight months of declines after property cooling measures were introduced in July, flash estimates by real estate portal SRX Property showed on Tuesday (Dec 11). Condominiums and private apartment resale prices strengthened by 0.2 per cent last month from October. This follows the 0.3 per cent drop in October, a figure revised from an earlier estimated decline of 0.4 per cent. Before August, resale prices had an unbroken 12-month run to new highs. Now, year on year, they are still up by 8.8 per cent from November 2017, but are down 0.7 per cent from its peak in July when the additional property curbs were announced. Buying activity in the resale market continued to remained lacklustre. About 662 units were resold in November, a 4.6 per cent decline from the 694 units in October. Resale volume compared with a year ago was 55.4 per cent lower than the 1,483 units moved in November 2017. Orange Tee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said that the resale market has yet to reach market equilibrium because of a mismatch in price expectations between buyers and sellers. She said: "Buyers were largely waiting on the sidelines as they are probably expecting prices to soften after the cooling measures. Some sellers, on the other hand, have raised their asking prices, possibly taking the cue from recent developers' new sales where some projects reached new benchmark prices for their locations. "There is a fair bit of latent demand in the market and it is expected to build up in the coming months. If sales volume remains thin, some genuine sellers may start reducing their asking prices and this could present good buying opportunities for long-term investors." SRX data also showed that the premium that buyers were prepared to pay over market value fell in November. SRX's overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) dropped to negative $10,000 last month, down from $4,000 in October and $1,000 in September. The TOX was zero in August and stood at $4,000 in July. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying or underpaying on a property based on SRX Property's computer-generated market value. District 21's Upper Bukit Timah and Ulu Pandan posted the highest median TOX of $22,000, followed by District 22's Jurong with $20,000, among districts with more than 10 resale transactions. District 10's Bukit Timah, Holland Road and Tanglin posted the lowest median TOX of negative $150,000, followed by District 9's Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley, and District 20's Bishan and Ang Mo Kio at negative $40,000.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Dec-2018

Park View Mansions tries for en bloc again with 22% lower reserve price

SINGAPORE- Park View Mansions will relaunch on Wednesday its collective sale tender with a 22 per cent lower reserve price than before, making it the latest case of owners dialling down their expectations amid a quieter en bloc market.More than 80 per cent of the owners at the 191,974 square feet (sq ft) development right by Jurong Lake Gardens have agreed to a reserve price of $250 million, down from $320 million in March, "in view of current market conditions", Huttons Asia said in a statement. The new price translates to a land rate of roughly S$969 per square foot per plot ratio, after taking into account an estimated differential premium and lease upgrading premium of some $140.8 million. Owners at the 160-unit development could net between $1.44 million and $1.6 million should the sale go through. The residential site has an allowable gross plot ratio of 2.1. That means it could yield up to 440 dwelling units based on an average unit size of 915 sq ft, considering the new development control guidelines on the maximum number of units for private housing developments outside the central area. Terence Lian, head of investment sales for Huttons Asia, said in a statement: "The site presents an excellent redevelopment opportunity for developers as it is located right next to Jurong Lake Gardens. This is a rare piece of land which offers a seamless connection to the gardens and provides a natural environment, hence enhancing the well-being of residents." He also pointed to the Jurong Lake District, slated to be Singapore's second Central Business District. Angela Lim, deputy head of investment sales, said: "Park View Mansions offers an opportune choice for developers to replenish their land bank to match the growing and pent up demand in the Jurong area," as she pointed to the lack of a new government land sales (GLS) site in the area, among other factors. The break-even could be $1,450 psf according to Huttons' estimate. The tender for Park View Mansions closes at 12pm on Jan 18. Gilstead Mansion relaunched its en bloc in late October at $65 million, or $3 million less than its guide price in June.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 10-Dec-2018

Stanley Street shophouse up for sale

A freehold shophouse at 28 Stanley Street has been put up for sale in an expression of interest exercise.The four-storey conservation shophouse features a roof terrace balcony and occupies a land area of 1,729 sq ft with a gross floor area of about 6,485 sq ft, said real estate agency Auctionjia. The agency said it is looking to at least match the record price of $4,259 per sq ft that was fetched for the nearby 21 Boon Tat Street shophouse, which was sold for $16.5 million in October on an estimated built-up area of 3,874 sq ft. Foreigners are eligible to purchase the Stanley Street property, which is zoned commercial, and no additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty will be imposed. The shophouse is a stone's throw away from Telok Ayer MRT station. The expression of interest exercise closes at 2pm on Wednesday.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 06-Dec-2018

Lower private housing supply for first-half 2019 Government Land Sales programme

SINGAPORE - The Government has decided to moderate the total supply of private residential units for the first-half 2019 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, citing the significant growth in pipeline supply while demand has started to moderate following the introduction of the July property cooling measures. The Ministry of National Development (MND) said on Thursday (Dec 6) morning that the first-half 2019 GLS programme will comprise five confirmed list sites and nine reserve list sites. These sites can yield about 6,475 private residential units (including 910 executive condominium or EC units), 86,000 sq m gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space and 1,115 hotel rooms. The private housing supply works out to be 19.5 per cent lower than the 8,040 private residential units (including 1,210 EC units) in the confirmed and reserve lists of the current second-half 2018 slate. The commercial space supply for first-half 2019 will also be lower than the 124,200 sq m GFA of commercial space for second-half 2018. However, the hotel supply is higher than the 930 hotel rooms for the current half. Through the first-half 2019 confirmed list, the MND will release about 2,025 private residential units (including 385 EC units) and 4,000 sq m GFA of complementary commercial space. In comparison, it is releasing land for 2,705 private homes (including 695 EC units), 42,200 sq m GFA of commercial space and 390 hotel rooms in the current second-half 2018 slate. Confirmed list sites are launched according to schedule regardless of demand. On the reserve list, the Government will offer land for about 4,450 private residential units (including 525 EC units), 82,000 sq m GFA of commercial space and 1,115 hotel rooms. This compares with second-half 2018 reserve-list supply of 5,335 private residential units (including 515 EC untis), 82,000 sq m GFA of commercial space and 540 hotel rooms. Reserve-list sites are launched only upon successful application by a developer or when there is sufficient market interest in a site. In its statement, the MND noted that the supply of private housing units in the pipeline has grown significantly and is currently at 45,000 units. This comprises around 31,000 unsold units from GLS and en-bloc sale sites with planning approval, and an additional 14,000 units from sites that are pending planning approval. In addition, there are around 28,000 existing private housing units that remain vacant. In contrast, demand has started to moderate. Following the introduction of the property market cooling measures in July, overall transaction volumes have declined, while developers' demand for land has also moderated. "Given these factors, the Government has decided to moderate the total supply of private residential units for the H1 2019 GLS programme. Together with the supply in the pipeline, this will sufficiently cater to the housing needs of our population. The Government will continue to monitor the property market closely and adjust the supply from future GLS programmes, as necessary," the MND said. The first-half 2019 reserve list will have a white site along Woodlands Avenue 2 for a mixed-use development. "This will help to sustain the development momentum of Woodlands Regional Centre as a major commercial node outside the city, in line with the Government's objective of bringing job opportunities closer to homes," the MND said. The site is imposed with a minimum office quantum of 45,000 sq m GFA and a retail cap of 33,000 sq m GFA. A new hotel site in Sims Avenue will be added to the first-half 2019 reserve list. "Together with the existing white site at Marina View carried over on the reserve list from the H2 2018 GLS programme, there will be ample opportunities for developers to initiate additional supply of hotel rooms over and above the current pipeline supply," it added.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 06-Dec-2018

Singapore's premium office space seen to be cost effective

Singapore is a "cost-effective office location" as premium office space in Hong Kong remains the world's priciest for the fourth year running, real estate consultancy JLL said yesterday after it released a report. In Singapore, the rental for such office space averages US$108 (S$148) per sq ft, about a third of that in Hong Kong's Central district at US$338 per sq ft. The rental in Hong Kong's central business district is about 60 per cent more expensive than in New York's Midtown, which came in second in the global ranking of 72 major office markets in 61 cities. This is the fourth edition of JLL's Premium Office Rent Tracker. The high rental costs in Hong Kong are attributed to Chinese firms snapping up grade A office space there, said JLL. Singapore was ranked 10th in the list of most expensive premium office markets in Asia, up from 14th place last year. "Singapore stacks up very competitively given that it is a global hub for multiple high-value industries and offers a high-quality standard of living, yet is cheap relative to other global hubs," said JLL Singapore's head of leasing Chris Archibold. "The net result of this is that we are seeing expansion across multiple sectors, including a marked increase in demand from the technology sector," he added. JLL's report uses data on the achievable rent in the highest quality building in the premier office districts in the cities. It includes key elements of occupancy costs - net effective rent, service charges and property tax - which are all standardised to enable international comparisons. In recent months, international firms have announced plans to set up regional headquarters in Singapore, including Nasdaq-listed medical tech firm Guardant Health and French energy company Engie. Engie Asia-Pacific chief executive Paul Maguire said in October that Singapore was a natural choice for Engie as many of its clients are based here. He also cited Singapore's Smart Nation vision and leadership in innovation and sustainability. However, JLL said banking and financial services firms are still the top occupiers of premium office space globally. Demand for office rental remains strong in Singapore. The office rental index for the central region rose 2.5 per cent in the three months to Sept 30 over the second quarter, based on data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Cushman & Wakefield expects grade A office rents in Singapore to rise by 11 per cent this year and 9 per cent next year, Bloomberg reported recently.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Dec-2018

Sysma Holdings clinches $18.6m contract to build two-storey Good Class Bungalow

SINGAPORE - Catalist-listed builder Sysma Holdings has won an $18.6 million contract to build a home in a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area, the group said on Wednesday (Dec 5). Wholly owned subsidiary Sysma Construction is set to put up a two-storey bungalow - complete with basement, attic and swimming pool - at 28 Jalan Kampong Chantek, off Dunearn Road, in a deal with what was described as "an established private owner". The Business Times reported in February 2017 that Super Group co-founder Ronald Te had bought the property for $27.59 million, or $1,003 per square foot based on the freehold land area of 27,504 sq ft. The existing seven-bedroom house, which was vacant when it was bought, has a built-up area of some 11,000 sq ft, with two floors, an attic and a swimming pool. It falls within the Swiss Club Road GCB Area. Sysma Holdings said that its 20-month contract will start when a demolition permit is issued by the authorities, which is expected to happen in end-December 2018. The contract is not expected to have any material impact on earnings or net tangible assets per share for the year to July 31, 2019, it added.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 04-Dec-2018

Site of Queenstown cinema and bowling centre up for tender

A six-storey commercial building with shops, restaurants and a cineplex may sit on the site where the iconic Queenstown cinema and bowling centre used to be, at 250 Commonwealth Avenue. The prime commercial development site was launched for sale by tender yesterday. Located at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Margaret Drive, the vacant plot is about 300m from Queenstown MRT station and has a land area of 32,305 sq ft. Written permission has been granted for it to be developed into a six-storey commercial building with basement carpark spaces. The approved gross floor area (GFA) is 96,914 sq ft. No development charge is payable. Marketing agent Cushman & Wakefield said the property is expected to fetch above $200 million, or about $2,063 per sq ft of the approved GFA. The plot has a 99-year lease that commenced on Jan 1, 1975. Cushman & Wakefield executive director of capital markets Shaun Poh said: "This is a rare opportunity to acquire a prime commercial development site right in the heart of Queenstown, a mature and highly popular residential precinct. In fact, it is the only commercial site available on the market within the locale." He added that recent cooling measures in the residential segment mean that both retail investors and developers are more likely to invest in commercial properties, which are exempt from additional buyer's stamp duty and seller's stamp duty. He also noted that the new commercial development will serve more than 17,000 households from new and existing residences in the vicinity, citing new public housing projects as well as condominium developments in the area. ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak said the growing population and high-density residential developments nearby are plus points. But he added: "If it is going to be a mall, it must be well designed and well managed. For example, it would require a major anchor tenant such as a supermarket that will attract shoppers, as well as concerted promotion efforts, for the mall to be sustainable." In its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, the 1,715-seat Queenstown cinema was a favourite among residents in Queenstown and students from nearby secondary schools. It was built in 1977 and closed in 1999. In 2013, hoardings were put up around the building, and it was later torn down. The tender for the site will close at 3pm on Jan 8 next year.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 30-Nov-2018

URA releases private homes sites at Dairy Farm Walk, Sims Drive, Middle Road and Tan Quee Lan Street

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released on Friday (Nov 30) two residential sites and two other plots for mixed residential and commercial use which can yield a combined 1,915 private homes. The 99-year leasehold sites come under the government land sales (GLS) programme for the second half of 2018. They are all subject to the recently revised development control guidelines on maximum allowable dwelling units. Two - at Sims Drive and Middle Road - are launched for sale under the Confirmed List. The 7,463 sq m Middle Road site, which is zoned for residential with commercial uses at first storey, can be built up to a maximum of 20 storeys at the high-rise zone and six storeys for the low-rise zone. A maximum of 375 apartments can be built on the site - but condominium, serviced apartments and strata landed houses are not allowed. Out of the 31,344 square meters of maximum gross floor area (GFA), a maximum 1,500 sq m on the first storey may be developed for commercial uses like shops and restaurants, but office use is not permitted. The Middle Road site is surrounded by landmarks like South Beach, Raffles Hotel, and Bugis Junction to name a few. The Sims Drive site in Geylang, which spans 16,225 sq m and is zoned residential, can accommodate an estimated 570 housing units.The site allows for condos, flats or, with prior written approval, a combination of flats and strata landed houses. Serviced apartments will not be allowed. The maximum permissible GFA is 48,676 sq m.The two tenders will close on March 28. The 15,663.2 sq m Dairy Farm Walk and 11,530.9 sq m Tan Quee Lan Street sites are available for application under the Reserve List, meaning their tenders can be triggered by a developer submitting an application with a minimum purchase price that is acceptable to the state. Zoned residential, the Dairy Farm Walk site has a medium-rise zone with a 85 m above mean sea level (AMSL) limit and a low-rise zone with a maximum 69 m AMSL. It can yield 390 housing units. The Tan Quee Lan Street plot can house 580 units. It is zoned residential with commercial at first storey and has also two zones with two height limits: one at up to 30 storeys, the other at maximum six storeys.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 30-Nov-2018

YTL launching freehold condo in Orchard Boulevard

Malaysia-based property developer YTL Land and Development (YTL Land) is launching a condominium in Orchard Boulevard tomorrow. There will be 53 units up for sale at the freehold 3 Orchard By-The-Park development, out of a total of 77. The condo is a short walk to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Orchard Road shopping belt, as well as amenities such as Camden Medical Centre and the upcoming Orchard Boulevard MRT station. It was designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio - his first in South-east Asia - and is YTL Land's third luxury residence here. The condo features two-, three-and four-bedroom apartments as well as two five-bedroom penthouses in three towers. Tomorrow's launch comprises 14 two-bedroom units, 22 three-bedroom units, 15 four-bedroom units, a double-storey garden suite with four bedrooms, and a five-bedroom penthouse. Residents will be able to enjoy concierge services by YTL Hotels, food curated by Jones the Grocer in the Library Lounge, as well as a garden inspired by the Singapore Botanic Gardens, YTL Land said. YTL Land has previously worked on two waterfront villa collections in Sentosa Cove - Sandy Island and Kasara The Lake.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Nov-2018

YTL Land to launch freehold condo along Orchard Boulevard on Dec 1

SINGAPORE- Malaysia-based property developer YTL Land & development (YTL Land) is set to launch a 77-unit freehold condominium along Orchard Boulevard, with 53 apartments released for sale this Saturday, Dec 1. Located at 3 Orchard Boulevard, 3 Orchard By-The-Park is a short walk to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and within the enclave of the Orchard Road shopping belt and amenities such as the Camden Medical Centre. The condominium is also situated next to the upcoming Orchard Boulevard MRT station. The development was designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio. It is YTL's third luxury residence collection in Singapore, and Mr Citterio's first residential development in South-east Asia. The condominium features two, three and four-bedrooom apartments with two five-bedroom penthouses in three distinct towers named "Wood", "Wilderness", and "Water", YTL Land said. For the launch, 30 apartments from the "Wood" Tower and 23 apartments from the "Wilderness" Tower will be released for sale. This comprises a mixture of 14 two-bedroom, 22 three-bedroom, 15 four-bedroom, one double-storey garden suite with four bedrooms, as well as one five-bedroom penthouse on the top floor. Among other things, residents will be able to enjoy concierge services by YTL Hotels, foods curated by Jones the Grocer in the Library Lounge and a lush garden inspired by the Singapore Botanic Gardens, YTL Land said. YTL Land previously worked on two waterfront villa collections in Sentosa Cove, namely the Sandy Island, and Kasara, the Lake.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Nov-2018

Phoenix Road shops and apartments to sell en bloc for $42m

A row of apartments with commercial shops in Phoenix Road, Bukit Panjang will be put up for collective sale via public tender tomorrow for $42 million. It marks the first time the owners are embarking on a collective sale. The asking price translates to a land rate of $617 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), or to $566 psf ppr after factoring in the 7 per cent bonus balcony gross floor area. No development charge is payable. The property sits on a 5,853.1 sq m site and comprises a row of 36 units, with 24 apartments and 12 commercial shops spread over two three-storey blocks. The 36 units range in size from 83 sq m to 91 sq m. Each owner will stand to receive estimated gross sale proceeds of $1 million to $1.5 million on successful sale of the property. The site has a 99-year leasehold tenure with effect from Jan 1, 1969. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned residential and has a gross plot ratio of 1.4. Subject to relevant approvals, the site can be redeveloped to offer 84 residential units, with an average size of 950 sq ft (88 sq m) each. The redevelopment site is near Phoenix LRT station, with the Bukit Panjang MRT station and bus interchange an eight-minute walk away. It is located by the Kranji Expressway, the Bukit Timah Expressway, and the Pan-Island Expressway, with the Tuas Checkpoint a 20-minute drive away. Mr Steven Tan, director of capital markets & investment services at Colliers International, which is handling the deal, said: "The future development should generate keen interest as there have not been many new launches in the area. "It will likely appeal to diverse groups of buyers, including nature lovers, who value the site's proximity to key transport nodes, lifestyle amenities and numerous schools." The collective sale tender will close on Jan 17 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Nov-2018

Beauty World Plaza up for tender with $165m reserve price

The owners of Beauty World Plaza are putting up the retail and residential development for tender with a reserve price of $165 million, marketing agent Knight Frank Singapore said yesterday. The 2,305.6 sq m site in Upper Bukit Timah comprises a single block with 61 retail and 30 residential units. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned "commercial and residential" with a gross plot ratio of three times the site area. With no development charge payable, the land rate works out to $2,189 per sq ft per plot ratio based on a maximum permissible gross floor area of 7,001.38 sq m. An outline application for the change of use of the residential component to serviced apartments has been submitted to URA, Knight Frank said. The development sits next to the Beauty World MRT station, and is within 300m of a wet market and eateries, Knight Frank said. It is also close to major roads such as the Pan-Island Expressway and Bukit Timah, Dunearn and Clementi roads. "Beauty World Plaza is strategically located, with key transport infrastructure and amenities in its immediate vicinity," Knight Frank Singapore's head of investment and capital markets, Mr Ian Loh, said. Across the road, another old, strata-titled mixed development, Goh & Goh Building, was sold to a unit of BBR Holdings for $101.5 million in May last year. The freehold property at 110 to 122 Upper Bukit Timah Road was built in the late 1980s and comprises seven apartments and seven shops. The tender for Beauty World Plaza will close on Jan 30 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Nov-2018

JTC launches Tuas, Tampines industrial sites

SINGAPORE - Government agency JTC has launched one site for tender and another site for application under the 2018 Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme, it announced in a press statement on Tuesday (Nov 27). The site at Tuas South Link 3 (Plot 20), which is available for tender, is the fifth out of six confirmed list sites for the second half of the 2018 IGLS programme. It occupies a land area of 0.45ha with a gross plot ratio of 1.4, and a tenure of 20 years. It is zoned for Business-2 use, and the tender for the site will close at 11am on Jan 22, 2019. The other site at Tampines North Drive 5 (Plot 9) is available for application, and is the fifth out of seven reserve list sites for the second half of the 2018 IGLS programme. Occupying a land area of 0.49ha, it has a gross plot ratio of 2.5 and a 20-year tenure, and is zoned for Business-2 use. Sites on the reserve list are triggered for sale when an interested party submits an application with a minimum purchase price that is acceptable to the Government, or if more than one unrelated party submit minimum purchase prices that are close to the government's reserve price for the site within a reasonable period. In June, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that six industrial sites will be launched under the confirmed list of the IGLS Programme for the second half of this year, with another seven sites made available for application under the reserve list. In total, the 13 sites cover a land area of 12.59ha.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Nov-2018

Golden Wall Centre sold en bloc for $276.2m to Hotel 81 owner

Freehold Golden Wall Centre near Little India has been sold in a collective sale deal for $276.2 million to a unit owned by the firm that runs the Hotel 81 chain. The winning bid from the Worldwide Hotels unit was about 6 per cent above the reserve price of $260 million and came in at $2,331 per sq ft per plot ratio. An application for hotel use at the existing approved gross floor area of 11,007.929 sq m, reflecting an equivalent plot ratio of 4.88, has been approved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The 2,251.9 sq m commercial site is located near Rochor MRT station on the Downtown Line and within 400m of the Little India MRT interchange. It occupies a prominent corner plot with a 180m triple frontage boasting high visibility along the main thoroughfare of Rochor Canal Road as well as Short Street and Albert Street. The plot of land is also within the Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor, which is envisioned to be a vibrant mixed-use cluster, so it should benefit from the ongoing rejuvenation and transformation of the area. ET&Co handled the collective sale. Its senior director of investment advisory Swee Shou Fern said: "With its strategic city fringe location, prominent triple frontage and proximity to the arts, heritage and cultural districts, Golden Wall Centre is ideal for a hotel development." ET&Co is also handling the ongoing collective sale of Golden Mile Complex, a landmark commercial property in Beach Road. The tender closes at 3pm on Jan 30.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Nov-2018

High Court nod for Goodluck Garden collective sale

The High Court has given the green light to the $610 million collective sale of Goodluck Garden, but also criticised managing agent Knight Frank, the condo's collective sale committee and its lawyers for the way they handled the transaction. Owners of the 210-unit freehold residential development in Toh Tuck Road in Upper Bukit Timah went to court after several minority owners raised objections to the sale. Justice Woo Bih Li noted in court yesterday that the valuation by Colliers International at $542 million was not flawed, but a belated $637 million valuation by Asian Assets Allianz that dissenters submitted was. He also disagreed with the dissenters' arguments that there was an actual or potential conflict of interest because two members of the sale committee had relatives owning property in Goodluck Garden. Justice Woo said there was no suggestion that the apportionment of sale proceeds was unfair as a result of this issue. Those points, as well as other factors, led him to find no bad faith in the collective sale process. But he also said the committee should have extended the tender by at least a week to inform potential bidders that it had been told by the authorities that there would be no development charge (DC) on the property. It could also have consulted the subsidiary proprietors about the next steps to take. Justice Woo said: "Whether or not the reserve price would have been raised and whether or not potential bidders would have taken into account the reserve price, the point is that the subsidiary proprietors had been given, although inadvertently, an inaccurate impression about the DC and this should have been corrected immediately." Marketing agent Knight Frank had given home owners several estimates for a development charge, the highest being $63.19 million, but launched the tender before it received formal word from the Urban Redevelopment Authority about the actual charges. Justice Woo also said that the apportionment of sale proceeds and the terms and conditions of the collective sale agreement should have been approved at a general meeting of the management corporation, and through "overt means" like voting. Lawyers from Rajah & Tann had advised the sale committee that it was enough for those owners who had agreed with those terms to sign the collective sale agreement after the meeting. The objectors were represented by TSMP Law Corporation's Mr Adrian Tan. Chinese developer Qingjian Group, which bought the estate, declined comment.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 24-Nov-2018

MAS urges caution on home loans as rates rise

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has urged prospective property buyers to exercise caution when considering taking up loans to fund purchases amid rising interest rates and upcoming supply. Household debt grew 3 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, mainly on the back of a 3.4 per cent increase in housing loans in the same period, MAS said in its annual Financial Stability Review released yesterday. The rise in household debt is in line with income growth, it added. However, the central bank noted that as of July, the value of new housing loans grew 30 per cent year-on-year, in tandem with a pick-up in residential property demand. While recent cooling measures have slowed the pace of price increases and transactions, MAS said: "Households considering property purchases should carefully consider the impact of interest rate increases and the upcoming supply of new units in the medium term." With the "headwinds of rising interest rates" and with rental yields expected to remain weak, it said that prospective buyers should remain prudent in their buying decisions and factor in likely increases in their debt-servicing burdens. "Over-leveraged households could also see a rapid deterioration in their balance sheet indicators if there is a sharp correction in property prices," it warned. Overall, Singapore's household balance sheets remain healthy, said MAS, with liquid assets such as cash and deposits exceeding total household liabilities, providing households with strong financial buffers. For the property sector, recent cooling measures should benefit long-term stability, MAS said. In July, the Government raised the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates and tightened loan-to-value limits. Singaporeans and permanent residents buying their second and successive properties have to pay more in stamp duties. The ABSD rate applicable to them was raised by 5 percentage points. Home buyers are also not able to borrow as much as before. The proportion of a property's value that a buyer can borrow, known as the loan-to-value limit, was slashed by 5 percentage points. "Sharp increases in prices, if left unchecked, could have run ahead of economic fundamentals and raised the risk of a destabilising correction later, especially with rising interest rates and the strong pipeline of housing supply," MAS said. July's cooling measures helped "temper the pace of price increase and land sales activities", it added, pointing out that total transaction volumes have since fallen.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 21-Nov-2018

Singapore startup Mogul.sg unveils keyword-based property search portal

TRADITIONAL property portals let users filter their search by selecting from a small number of parameters such as district, location, price and type of property. The issue with this is that results end up swarming in by the hundreds and even thousands, said proptech startup Mogul.sg. On Wednesday, the firm launched a new property search portal - also called Mogul.sg - that uses a keyword-based system to speed up the property search process. It holds a database of over 5,000 custom keywords that describe the characteristics of the property the user is searching for. For instance, keying in "near North-South line" will show all property listings half a kilometre away from any MRT station long the red line. Combining this with a second key phrase, "near supermarket", will let the system filter out homes that are more than 300m away from any supermarket. The ad-free search system makes use of the Singapore Land Authority's (SLA) OneMap geospatial data. OneMap provides information on multiple building types and amenities such as hawker centres, schools, child care centres and expressway exits. Mogul.sg is one of the pioneer startups housed at the SLA's GeoWorks industry centre, which connects and supports geospatial businesses, entrepreneurs and users. Gerald Sim, chief executive officer and founder of Mogul.sg, said: "The proliferation of property portals over the last decade offers consumers more choices, but the search process has become too complex and unwieldy over the years. "Mogul.sg aims to use artificial intelligence to simplify these processes and make the matching between property owners and home seekers easier and more transparent." Mr Sim told The Business Times that the firm charges agents for listing properties on their platform. Agent membership fees are split into basic and premium tiers - for the basic membership, the first year of usage is free and the fee is S$365 per year from the second year onwards; for the premium membership, agents are charged S$200 in their first year and S$500 per year from the second year onwards. Each tier will enable the agents to have unlimited photo uploads. The basic tier allows for 18 concurrent listings while the premium tier allows for video uploads and 38 concurrent listings. "Additionally, Mogul.sg is working to build a small property concierge team selected from best-of-breed agents from the industry. They will help to match home seekers with homeowners on Mogul.sg. Eventually, Mogul.sg will charge the property concierge a subscription fee, but we are still working out on the numbers," said Mr Sim.

Source: The Business Times
Dated: 20-Nov-2018

Minbu Villa relaunches collective sale with 60% of owners wanting to lower reserve price

SINGAPORE - Faced with the cooling collective sale market, Minbu Villa, a freehold residential development in Novena, is going up for tender again at S$145.8 million, but could see the reserve price lowered if 80 per cent of the owners agree. Its earlier attempt this year was launched in March and closed on April 17 without a winning bidder. This time, more than 60 per cent of the owners by share value and strata area have signed a supplemental agreement to lower the reserve price to S$129.1 million, translating to a land rate of S$1,200 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). The site has a land area of 38,426 sq ft, and a gross plot ratio of 2.8. Completed in 1981, the 10-storey development comprises 33 apartments and a penthouse. In-principle approval has also been granted by the Singapore Land Authority for the alienation of an adjoining state land of approximately 195.9 sq m, which may potentially lower the land rate by another S$34 pf ppr. The tender for Minbu Villa closes on Dec 18. Owners are facing the double whammy of cooling measures and revised guidelines on the maximum number of allowable units outside the central area which will be effective in months. The Business Times reported earlier in November that at least 60 sites have closed their tenders without a buyer since the start of the year. Suzie Mok, senior director for investment sales at Savills Singapore, which is handling the sale, said that the March tender for Minbu Villa did not go through as there were "other competing sites, and the prices didn't quite match owners' expectations". For this round, owners will still receive a premium even if prices were lowered. She expects that most owners who set collective sale prices before the cooling measures were announced would also have to adjust prices downwards. Subject to approvals from the authorities, the Minbu Villa site may be developed up to 36 storeys high, with an allowable gross floor area (GFA) of 107,593 sq ft, said Savills. There is no development charge payable, including an additional 10 per cent GFA space for balconies, owing to its high development baseline of 125,378 sq ft.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 14-Nov-2018

Three Kampong Glam shophouses on sale

Three restored adjoining conservation shophouses near the inner city here have gone on the market. The freehold properties at 8, 10 and 12 Aliwal Street have been zoned "commercial" and approved for use as a boarding house with a hotel licence. They occupy a prime location in the Kampong Glam precinct and are 350m from the Nicoll Highway MRT station and 700m from Bugis MRT station. The properties, which have been put on sale by private equity-owned Columbia Real Estate, are currently leased to a boutique inn operator offering tourist accommodation. Gazetted as a conservation area, Aliwal Street has evolved into a hub for creative ventures over the years. The street is known for its artistic events. A stone's throw away from Arab Street, it sits at the edge of a tourist hot spot and nightspot destination. The guide price for the properties is $29.5 million and foreigners are eligible to buy, with no additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty payable.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 13-Nov-2018

2 Chinatown shophouses on sale for around $32.8m

Two prime three-storey conservation shophouses in Chinatown are on the market. One is a freehold unit at 31 Pagoda Street; the other is a 99-year leasehold property down the road at number 76. Both are zoned "commercial" and have been approved for use as food and beverage outlets. Foreigners are eligible to buy the properties and no additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty will be imposed on their purchases. Marketing agent JLL said the guide price for the two shophouses is "in the region of $32.8 million" in total. These properties can be sold either individually or together. JLL senior director of capital markets Clemence Lee said: "Each of the two shophouses has its own strong attributes - 76 Pagoda Street is located in an extremely prime spot right next to the Chinatown MRT (station) entrance, while 31 Pagoda Street has a coveted freehold tenure and a strong tenant covenant. We expect keen interest from investors such as boutique real estate funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals." JLL said shophouses in Pagoda Street are tightly held and seldom put on sale. Notable transactions in the street include No. 39, which sold for $12.2 million ($3,700 per sq ft) in May last year, and 205 and 207 New Bridge Road and on the corner of Pagoda Street, which went for $20.5 million ($3,535 psf) in September 2016. The latest sale will be conducted through an expression of interest exercise that closes on Dec 6 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Nov-2018

Woodleigh launch abuzz: Location a key draw

The location of the newly-launched integrated development in Bidadari, The Woodleigh Residences, is its most attractive aspect for home owners, said prospective buyers and agents on the first day of the property launch. There were also more families and couples looking for a home, rather than investors, said property agents at the launch yesterday. Those who had put in blank cheques two weeks ago to indicate their interest in the mixed-use commercial and residential development in Bidadari Park Drive turned up for a ballot at 11am for a chance to choose their units . At 1pm, the doors were opened to members of the public. The 667-unit property will be built above a shopping mall and Woodleigh MRT station, which is on the North East Line. The development is slated for completion by the end of August in 2022. Jointly developed by Japanese property developer Kajima Development and Singapore Press Holdings, Woodleigh Residences comprises two-, three-and four-bedroom units starting at $1,873 per sq ft. A two-bedroom apartment has a starting price of $1.088 million, while a four-bedroom unit is priced at $2.55 million onwards. Arranged in a U-shape to maximise window views for the various units, the 99-year leasehold property boasts views of Bidadari Park and Alkaff Lake. Residents will also have the use of an onsen, a Japanese-style hot spring. Mr Bob Tay, 43, an engineer, said the development's central location drew him to look for an apartment. He has two children, aged eight and 11. "It's near the shopping centre and MRT station. Now, I live in Geylang, which is less central, compared to this location," he said. Mr Vincent Ng, 42, an architect with three boys, aged two to six, said the schools in the area led him to take a closer look at the property. OrangeTee & Tie managing director Steven Tan said: "People buy this property for themselves or their families because it is so conveniently located. It's near the MRT station, malls, food centres and schools. People are also willing to pay a premium to get units with a good view. They're concerned about the environment they live in and want a place close to nature." He added that, despite measures instituted by the Government in July this year to cool the private residential market, people are buying properties to upgrade from public housing and enjoy the facilities of a condominium. Upcoming sales launches include Parc Esta at Sims Avenue next weekend.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 10-Nov-2018

50m homes in China stand empty: Study

HONG KONG • Chinese President Xi Jinping's mantra that homes should be for living in is falling on deaf ears, with tens of millions of apartments and houses standing empty across the country. Soon-to-be-published research will show roughly 22 per cent of China's urban housing stock is unoccupied, according to Professor Gan Li of Chengdu's Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, who runs the nationwide study. That adds up to more than 50 million empty homes, he said. The nightmare scenario for policymakers is that owners of unoccupied dwellings rush to sell if cracks start appearing in the property market, causing prices to spiral downwards. The latest data, from a survey last year, also suggests Beijing's efforts to curb property speculation - considered by leaders to be a key threat to financial and social stability - are coming up short. "There's no other single country with such a high vacancy rate," said Prof Gan. "Should any crack emerge in the property market, the homes to be offloaded will hit China like a flood." One solution the government could use is property or vacancy taxes to try to counter the issue, but neither appears imminent and some researchers, including Prof Gan, say what actually counts as vacant could be tricky to determine. Thousands of researchers fanned out across 363 counties last year as part of the China Household Finance Survey, which Prof Gan runs at the university. The vacancy rate, which excludes homes yet to be sold by developers, was little changed from a 2013 reading of 22.4 per cent, he said by phone, adding that he was finalising the data for release. The 2013 study showed 49 million vacant homes, and Prof Gan puts that number now at "definitely more than 50 million units". Holiday homes and the empty dwellings of migrants seeking work elsewhere account for some of the deserted properties, but purchases for investment are a key factor keeping the vacancy rate high, according to Prof Gan. That is despite curbs across the country meant to discourage buying of multiple dwellings. There is an economic cost to vacancies too because they are a drag on supply, which puts upward pressure on prices and crowds young buyers out of the market, according to Mr Kaiji Chen, who co-authored a Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis working paper called The Great Housing Boom Of China. One example is a villa on the outskirts of Shanghai that 27-year-old Natalie Feng's parents bought for her. The two-storey residence was meant to be a weekend escape for the family of three. In reality, it is empty most of the time, and Ms Feng says it is too much trouble to rent it out. "For every weekend we spend there, we need to drive for an hour first, and clean up for half a day," she said. She joked that she sometimes wishes her parents had not bought it for her. That is because any apartment she buys now would count as a second home, which means she would have to make a bigger down payment.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 07-Nov-2018

Merchants Building in South Bridge Road up for collective sale with $23.5m reserve price

SINGAPORE - A seven-storey freehold commercial building, Merchants Building, at 76 South Bridge Road has been put up for collective sale by tender with a reserve price of $23.5 million. Merchants Building has a land area of 104.5 sq m. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, it is zoned "commercial" with a gross plot ratio of 4.2. The property is located on an envelope control site within the secondary settlement of Upper Circular Conservation Area in the Central Business District. The gross floor area is estimated to be about 7,760 sq ft. The strata-titled units within the building are held by six separate ownerships and the owners have decided to jointly put the property up for sale by tender. The reserve price would translate to about $3,028 per square foot on the gross floor area. Mr Shaun Poh, executive director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, the marketing agent for the property, said: "Given the recent cooling measures in the residential segment, coupled with the optimistic outlook in the office sector, commercial properties especially those in prime central locations, such as Merchants Building, will likely interest opportunistic funds and investors looking for investment-grade assets." He added that the property would also be suitable for end-users such as design houses, professional service providers, co-working operators and family offices which are seeking to acquire an entire building to house their operations and enjoy naming rights on the building. The tender for this property will close at 3pm on Dec 5, 2018.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 06-Nov-2018

HK housing market looks set for a correction

HONG KONG • Signs of a housing market downturn in Hong Kong are spreading after the city's first interest rate increases in 12 years and an escalation in trade tensions between China and the US. "We are now in a correction like the one we had during 2015 to 2016," said Mr Cusson Leung, JPMorgan Chase's head of property and conglomerates research in Asia, citing buyers' fears for the outlook of both the Hong Kong and Chinese economies. Home prices fell 13 per cent during that downturn versus a decline of about 3 per cent so far this time around. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority needs time to assess if there is a downward cycle that could lead to market curbs being loosened, its chief executive Norman Chan told lawmakers yesterday. Five weeks after banks raised rates, here are several signs of a faltering market. MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS DROP Applications recorded the biggest month-on-month drop in 20 years in September, according to Centaline Mortgage Broker. The number of applications slid 56 per cent to 7,977, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority reported. Ms Ivy Wong, managing director at Centaline Mortgage Broker, cited banks' readjustments of new mortgage rates in August as something that played a key role in the decline to the lowest level in 30 months. LUXURY SALES PLUNGE In one well-publicised anecdote, a buyer forfeited an estimated HK$54.2 million (S$9.5 million) deposit after walking away from a deal to buy a house on The Peak. That is only part of the picture, with September seeing the fewest luxury home transactions in data going back to 2005, according to Ricacorp Properties. That consisted of 36 sales out of a total of 35 developments tracked by the firm. "A lacklustre stock market and the China-US trade war have led to a wait-and-see attitude for investors and end-users," said Mr Derek Chan, Ricacorp's head of research. AGENTS TAKE A HOLIDAY Midland Realty, one of Hong Kong's biggest property agencies, had news for its 100 worst-performing employees last month. The bottom 10 would have to leave, the next 55 would be asked to take leave without pay for at least three months, and the work of the remaining 35 would be closely monitored. Midland, which has more than 4,000 agents, said the policy had long been in place, but would be strictly enforced from this month. PRICE CUTS Newspaper reports and statements from agencies are showing substantial price cuts for sales of individual properties. A two-bedroom apartment in Kowloon Bay went for 28 per cent - or HK$1.9 million - less than the asking price in August, Apple Daily reported late last month. Another two-bedroom unit in a nearby district sold for 17 per cent less. According to Centaline Property Agency, that seller was willing to lower the price by HK$1.7 million after some negotiation. TUMBLING SALES The value of new-home transactions last month fell to the lowest in six months at HK$12.5 billion. The number of transactions tumbled 43 per cent from September to 1,140, data from Midland Realty showed.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Nov-2018

Hong Kong housing market looks headed for a correction

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Signs of a housing market downturn in Hong Kong are spreading after the city's first interest-rate increases in 12 years and an escalation in trade tensions between China and the US. "We're now in a correction like the one we had during 2015 to 2016," said Cusson Leung, JPMorgan Chase & Co's head of property and conglomerates research in Asia, citing buyers' fears for the outlook of both the Hong Kong and Chinese economies. Home prices fell 13 per cent during that downturn versus a decline of about 3 per cent so far this time around. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority needs time to assess if there's a downward cycle that could lead to market curbs being loosened, its chief executive Norman Chan told lawmakers on Monday. Five weeks after banks raised rates, here are several signs of a faltering market. 1. Mortgage applications plummet Applications recorded the biggest month-on-month drop in 20 years in September, according to Centaline Mortgage Broker Ltd. The number of applications slid 56 per cent to 7,977, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority reported. Ivy Wong, managing director at Centaline Mortgage Broker, cited banks' readjustments of new mortgage rates in August as something that played a key role in the decline to the lowest level in 30 months. 2. Luxury sales plunge In one well-publicised anecdote, a buyer forfeited an estimated HK$54.2 million (S$9.5 million) deposit after walking away from a deal to buy a house on the Peak. That's only part of the picture, with September seeing the fewest luxury home transactions in data going back to 2005, according to agency Ricacorp Properties Ltd. That consisted of 36 sales out of a total of 35 developments tracked by the firm. "A lacklustre stock market and the China-US trade war have led to a wait-and-see attitude for both investors and end-users," said Derek Chan, Ricacorp's head of research. 3. Agents take a holiday Midland Realty, one of Hong Kong's biggest property agencies, had some news for its 100 worst-performing employees last month. The bottom 10 will have to leave, the next 55 will be asked to take leave without pay for at least three months and the remaining 35 are having their performance closely monitored. Midland, which has more than 4,000 agents in total, said while that's a policy that's long been in place, it will be strictly enforced from this month. 4. Price cuts A drumbeat of newspaper reports and statements from agencies show substantial price cuts for sales of individual properties. A two-bedroom apartment in Kowloon Bay went for 28 per cent - or HK$1.9 million - less than the asking price in August, Apple Daily reported late last month. Another two-bedroom unit in a nearby district sold for 17 per cent less. According to Centaline Property Agency Ltd, that seller was willing to lower the price by HK$1.7 million, after some negotiation. 5. Tumbling sales The value of new-home transactions in October fell to the lowest in six months at HK$12.5 billion. The number of transactions tumbled 43 per cent from September to 1,140, data from Midland Realty shows.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 04-Nov-2018

Exclusive rights or multiple property agents: Which is better?

SINGAPORE: You can engage as many real estate agents you want, and that is just what some people do when trying to sell or rent out their properties. It is like having a football team with 20 players instead of 11: The more people, the more chances to score right? Actually, it is not quite that simple. Here is what you need to know before you use a whole army of agents, or give a property agent exclusive rights to market your property, be it for sale or renting out. THE PROS OF MULTIPLE PROPERTY AGENTS The benefits of having multiple property agents are that: You can theoretically reach a wider group of buyers; you are getting a wider perspective; and you can access different buyer demographics. 1. You can theoretically reach a wider group of buyers This is the theoretical "shotgun effect". If one property agent with exclusive right can find two interested buyers/tenants, 10 property agents can find 20. This remains one of the core reasons why some sellers/landlords want multiple agents: They think they can close the deal a lot faster. But further below, we will explain why we think this theory is outdated. 2. You are getting a wider perspective More agents often mean more feedback. You will get a wider range of opinions, such as on what renovations to make to attract more tenants, or which nearby amenities to highlight, or how much you should set your asking price. Since each agent potentially brings a new insight, you could learn a lot about your property that you had not considered. The downside to this is analysis paralysis. It is kind of like hosting a marketing meeting with 30 people, and ending up taking six months to decide on the colour of a product. You also need to remember that not all agents have equally informed opinions - that leaves it up to you to filter out the valuable insights from the rubbish. 3. You can access different buyer demographics Different agents, in theory, cater to different types of buyers. By using multiple agents, you can market your property to multiple demographics at once. For landlords this would mean reaching different types of tenants, from foreign students to affluent single expatriates. There typically isn't a diverse demographic where buyers are concerned, so using multiple agents to reach different profiles is usually done by landlords who want to rent out, but are not sure which segment of the market they should target. Even though this sounds reasonable, we do not fully agree with this, for reasons described below. THE DOWNSIDE OF USING MULTIPLE AGENTS Back in pre-Internet days, the two positions - multiple agents versus an agent with exclusive rights - were more or less equal, but buyers now rely on online platforms to search for properties. Changes in the way a property is bought and sold, coupled with new regulations implemented over the years that restrict the ways agents can market their properties, mean there is now more advantages to using an exclusive agent. That is because: Almost all agents now use the same platforms to market your property; for regular residential properties; you seldom need access to niche demographics; prioritisation is more important than numbers; and multiple listings can confuse prospective renters or buyers. 1. Almost all agents now use the same platforms to market your property Before the rise of online listings, marketing properties was less efficient. It mattered how many flyers your agent put out, how many cold calls they made, and which newspapers or magazines they advertised in. Multiple agents were more helpful in those days, as they were needed to cover more ground. But today, most buyers go through the same online listings sites, or browse using the same apps. And because of the way internet listings work, you will reach roughly the same volume of potential buyers, regardless of how many agents you use. The Do Not Call registry and Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) rules against flyer distribution also helped concentrate agent marketing efforts on online portals. (At most, having multiple agents will mean your listing gets posted a few more times, but that is also a drawback - see point four). 2. For regular residential properties, you seldom need access to niche demographics It is commonly said that different agents can access different demographics. But the question you have to ask yourself is: Does that really matter for your property? If you are trying to sell a property that is out of the norm - such as a S$15 million penthouse, or an industrial manufacturing site - then having a group of specialised agents can be important. You will want agents who can access certain niche demographics (for example, one agent to target the super-affluent or one agent to target businesses buying properties). Each agent may also have personal networks they can tap on for potential buyers. But for selling more mainstream properties, such as HDB resale flats or mass market condos, these specialisations matter less. The buyer demographics are not as niche, and most agents will be reaching out to the same pool of people. For renting out properties, different demographics now rely on the same means - online portals - to find their rooms and units to rent, thus negating the need for multiple agents. 3. Prioritisation is more important than numbers Because real estate agents are in sales, there is the old misconception that it is just a numbers game. Now that may be true for the agent in question, but sellers and landlords are always better off focusing on quality. There is no point having five agents who can sell your property, if all of them put you last on the priority list (because they think someone else might get the commission). Even worse, a non-exclusive agent might use your house as leverage to sell another property on his/her list. The agent might show a prospective buyer your house first, because he/she has access to it, after which they may bring the buyer to a better house, using the technique of contrast to pump up the perceived value of the second home. In short, you might get played if you use multiple agents. 4. Multiple listings can confuse prospective renters or buyers This is why some agents hate listing houses, after another agent already has. Prospects get confused when they see the same property marketed by different agents - they may think some of the listings are old, or wonder if there might be something wrong about the house. They might even think it is a scam. Put yourself in their shoes: Imagine if Agent A shows you around the house, and the next day you find the same property listed, but with Agent B as the contact - you may feel that you are being played. So, stick to an exclusive agent if you do not want prospective buyers to start asking questions like "How come there are so many agents and it's still not sold? Have all the other agents gave up?" In general, it's better to give one property agent the exclusive rights to sell or rent out your property. Given how properties are marketed nowadays, as well as buyer behaviour and mindsets, there is very little to recommend the multiple agents route. It is much better to switch agents if the current one is not performing. It is not hard to do, and it ensures every agent you engage is more committed to market your property.

Source: Channel News Asia
Dated: 03-Nov-2018

CDL sells 150 units at launch of Whistler Grand condominium in West Coast

SINGAPORE - Whistler Grand condominium in West Coast got off to a flying start on the first day of its sales launch Some 150 of 240 units launched yesterday - out of 716 units in total - were snapped up as of 5pm, its developer, City Developments Limited (CDL), told The Sunday Times. CDL head of property development, Ms Lee Mei Ling, cited "a combination of affordability, good location and design." Many of the units were priced below the "sweet spot of $1 million", she added. Savills Singapore senior director Alan Cheong said: "The 150 units sold represent a 21 per cent take-up rate, which is healthy. After the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) was introduced in 2013, the take-up rate was only about half of (yesterday's) rate." A number of first-time buyers and en bloc sellers seeking replacement homes were drawn by Whistler's average selling price of $1,380 per square foot (psf). Special prices started from $608,000 for one-bedders. In May, Twin Vew, also in West Coast Vale, sold 87 per cent of 520 units at a median price of $1,385 psf. "$1,380 psf is a good number, taking into account the uncertainty over the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which used to be a selling point," Mr Cheong said. PropNex associate group director Jarvis Goh believes the HSR is only one component of the blueprint for the rejuvenation of the Jurong area which includes turning it into a second central business district. His client Jonathan Kee, 40, an engineer and a first-time home buyer, believes current prices are attractive given the redevelopment prospects in Jurong. He bought a $700,000 one-bedroom unit at the two 36-storey 99-year leasehold tower project as an investment. "Given that the upcoming regulations on shoebox units will clamp down on supply, and also because of the loan amount I can get, I prefer to buy one now," he said. One en-bloc seller, who wanted to be known only as Mr Leow, 45, bought a three-bedroom unit for $1.4 million although his current condo has not achieved 80 per cent mandate to launch for a collective sale. "If the en bloc sale doesn't go through, we will sell our condo and move to Whistler," he added. PropNex Realty chief executive officer Ismail Gafoor said Whistler's strong take up-rate shows that CDL's "strategy to offer sensitive prices post-cooling measures is working". "Of the 150 expressions of interest that PropNex agents got, more than 80 committed to buy, which is a good conversion rate. Typically, the successful conversion rate of expressions of interest to actual buy is about 40 per cent. But our agents had slightly over 50 per cent successful conversion," he said. Observers are now eyeing the take-up rate at upcoming sales launches of Woodleigh Residences on Nov 10, Kent Ridge Hill Residences and Parc Esta.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 01-Nov-2018

Singapore ousts HK as No. 1 for luxury home-price gains

Guess which city managed to top a luxury real-estate ranking despite a slew of cooling measures to tame its property market? Yes, the tiny island nation of Singapore, nudging out Hong Kong. Luxury home prices in the country rose 13 per cent in the quarter ended Sept 30 from a year earlier, according to Knight Frank's Prime Global Cities Index. Gains were driven in part by the limited availability of high-end properties. Hong Kong fell to 14th place with third-quarter year-on-year price gains of just 5.5 per cent. For those with less cash to splash, there is some good news. The price of luxury properties globally rose by 2.7 per cent on average across the 43 cities tracked, the weakest performance in annual terms in almost six years. Cities in Europe had a rather mixed performance with some, such as Edinburgh and Madrid, doing quite well, which placed them among the top five. Others like London moved into negative territory, with luxury prices dipping 2.9 per cent amid continuing uncertainty around Brexit. Paris and Berlin, meanwhile, saw gains of 5.6 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively. Dubai joined London among the decliners with prices falling 3.8 per cent, making it the fifth-worst performer. Tying for second-worst place were Stockholm, Istanbul and Taipei, all registering 6.3 per cent declines in the third quarter from a year earlier. Vancouver was hit hardest, with prices there down 11 per cent as upmarket pockets such as West Vancouver witnessed a marked slowdown in sales. BLOOMBERG

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-Oct-2018

Century Warehouse up for collective sale at $57m; Tuan Sing owns most of the strata units

SINGAPORE - Century Warehouse, a freehold industrial warehouse in Pasir Panjang Road, will be launched for a collective sale at $57 million on Thursday (Nov 1), with 100 per cent owners' consensus. That would translate to a land rate of $750 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), marketing agent Knight Frank said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. It is zoned B1, with an allowable gross plot ratio of 2.5. Listed property developer Tuan Sing Holdings owns 31 out of a total of the 35 strata units in the building, according to the company's website. The eight-storey building has a total strata area of 56,539 sq ft, sitting on a site spanning about 30,402 sq ft. It is surrounded by industrial developments such as Interlocal Centre and OC @ Pasir Panjang, as well as Mapletree Business City. Tan Boon Leong, executive director and head of industrial for Knight Frank Singapore, said that with 100 per cent consensus obtained from all subsidiary owners to sell, potential buyers will find this an attractive investment. Ian Loh, executive director and head of investment and capital markets said: "Located in an exclusive industrial area and just 10 minutes' drive away from the CBD (central business district), we believe this will be an attractive industrial opportunity for owner occupiers, developers and funds." The tender for Century Warehouse will close on Nov 30, 2018. Citimac Building, a freehold industrial complex near Tai Seng MRT Station, was sold last year in a collective sale to a foreign buyer for $430.1 million, or $1,047 per sq ft of potential gross floor area (GFA).

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-Oct-2018

What cooling measures? Singapore ousts Hong Kong as No. 1 for luxury home-price gains

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Guess which city managed to top a luxury real-estate ranking despite a slew of cooling measures to tame its property market? Yes, the tiny island nation of Singapore, nudging out Hong Kong. Luxury home prices rose 13 per cent in the quarter ended Sept 30 from a year earlier, according to Knight Frank's Prime Global Cities Index. Gains were driven in part by the limited availability of high-end properties. Hong Kong fell to 14th place with third quarter year-on-year price gains of just 5.5 per cent. For those with less cash to splash, there is some good news. The price of luxury properties globally rose by 2.7 per cent on average across the 43 cities tracked, the weakest performance in annual terms in almost six years. Cities in Europe had a rather mixed performance with some, such as Edinburgh and Madrid doing quite well, which placed them among the top five. Others like London moved into negative territory, with luxury prices dipping 2.9 per cent amid continuing uncertainty around Brexit. Paris and Berlin, meanwhile, swapped spectacular for steady, with gains of 5.6 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively. Dubai joined London among the decliners with prices falling 3.8 per cent, making it the fifth-worst perfomer. Tying for second-worst place were Stockholm, Istanbul and Taipei, all registering 6.3 per cent declines in the third quarter from a year earlier. Vancouver was hit hardest, with prices there down 11 per cent as upmarket pockets like West Vancouver witnessed a marked slowdown in sales.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-Oct-2018

Government releases sites in Kampong Java Road, Tampines Ave 10 and Marina View for 2,000 private homes

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing Board announced on Wednesday (Oct 31) the release of two residential sites and one white site for sale, which together can yield 2,000 private homes and 540 hotel rooms. Up for tender by the URA is a land parcel in Kampong Java Road while the HDB is tendering an executive condominium site in Tampines Avenue 10. Both sites come under the Confirmed List of the second half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme. The Kampong Java Road plot spans 11,643.3 sq m, with a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 32,602 sq m, and can house 435 units. Schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and Etonhouse Pre-School (Newton) are located nearby, as is Newton Food Centre. This site would be "a litmus test" of the market given the revised unit size regulations, said Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, who estimates a $2,100 psf (per square foot) average selling price, and a land bid of $1,350 psf ppr (per square foot per plot ratio) or $470 million. "Response to the Kampong Java site could provide an indication of developers' confidence in the high-end home market after a spate of collective sales in the area and the recent announcement on revised unit size guidelines," she added. The site is located just outside the central area and therefore should be subject to an average unit size of 85 sq m, she said. Nicholas Mak, executive director at ZACD Group, said that the Kampong Java Road would likely attract "healthy interest" due to its prime location, though he pitted the reasonable top bid at $421 million to $456 million, or $1,200 to $1,300 psf ppr due to the cooling measures. "Although this site is located in District 9, it is outside the areas with the stricter development regulation regarding unit sizes," he said. "Hence it is not subject to the new average minimum unit size of 100 sq m. This would enhance its attraction to some developers." The Tampines Avenue 10 EC site spans 24,938.7 sq m, with a maximum GFA of 69,829 sq m. About 695 units can be built on the site, but the number of dwelling units is capped at 700. Analysts believe the EC site would be hotly contested given the short supply in the market and competitive bidding for the EC sites seen this year. Tenders for Anchorvale Crescent and Canberra Link in September saw seven and nine bids, with the top bids coming in at $576 and $558 psf ppr respectively. Huttons Asia's Lee Sze Teck said: "Tampines is the first regional centre in Singapore and a sought after place to live in. The parcel sits in a mature estate with plenty of amenities like Our Tampines Hub, connectivity options like Tampines Downtown line and green spaces like Bedok Reservoir." Colliers' Ms Song said: "The new minimum average unit size of 85 sq m should also have minimum impact for ECs as ECs are targeted at families in the first place and the average unit size suggested by the development cap of 700 units is well above the 85 sq m." She expects seven to nine bidders and a top land bid of $560 psf ppr or $420 million. ZACD's Mr Mak thinks the reasonable top bid in the tender for this site could range from $398 million to $428 million, or $530 to $570 psf ppr. "However, it would not be surprising if a developer were to submit a very bullish bid, surpassing $430 million," he said. Both sites have 99-year leases. Their tenders will close on Jan 15, 2019. A third land parcel is a white site in Marina View at Marina Bay which is slated for a mixed-use development. It can yield 905 residential units and 540 hotel rooms. A "white" site is a land parcel where a range of uses are allowed, although the government is likely to stipulate a minimum component of a specific use or specific uses to meet its planning intentions. The site is available for application under the Reserve List, which means developers can trigger its tender if they indicate interest with bid commitments acceptable to the URA. The Marina Bay site comprises two plots - the 7,817.6 sq m land parcel, and a subterranean stratum 18 sq m in size. In all, the site has a maximum GFA of 101,629 sq m. A minimum 51,000 sq m is slated for residential use, with 26,000 sq m for hotel rooms and hotel-related uses. There is a maximum 2,000 sq m allowable for optional office use and another maximum 2,000 sq m for commercial use. "We expect this site to offer an attractive proposition to developers with hotel interests or developers with varying interests can form a joint venture," said Ms Song of Colliers. "Given the numerous permutations of the final product, we estimate the top bid could range from $1,380 to 1,600 psf ppr or $1.5 to 1.75 billion." Mr Mak said the tender could attract about four to eight bids, or with reasonable bids coming in at $1.56 billion to $1.75 billion, or $1,426 to $1,600 psf ppr. A white site at Central Boulevard was sold in November 2016 to an IOI Properties joint venture. Its top bid came in at $2.57 billion, or $1,689 psf ppr. It was announced this year that IOI Properties has removed Hongkong Land as joint venture partner and will develop it alone. The Marina View site's "close proximity to prestigious developments such as Asia Square and Marina One makes it an attractive location for a distinctive mixed use development," the URA said on its website. "The future development will also offer city living opportunities and enhance the vibrancy in the area." Marina Bay and Downtown MRT stations as well as the upcoming Shenton Way Thomson-East Coast Line MRT station are close by.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 30-Oct-2018

Elias Green condo in Pasir Ris up for collective sale at $780m

SINGAPORE - Elias Green is the latest condominium to hit the en bloc market in search of a buyer. PropNex Realty's Richard Hau said that the owners of the 419-unit Pasir Ris condo launched a public tender for the site on Monday (Oct 29) with a $780 million reserve price. This means that the owners of the 516,877 sq ft development could each walk away with $1.7 million to just below $2 million. The condo, which was completed in 1994, has an allowable gross floor area (GFA) of 723,627 square feet and a plot ratio of 1.4, which translates to S$1,078 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Mr Hau said that a potential buyer might be interested in raising the plot ratio to 2.1, similar to developments in the immediate surrounding. Should that happen, the plot ratio would go down to about $719 psf ppr he said. There would also be a development charge of $60 million. The tender for the site closes on Jan 11, 2019.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Oct-2018

SPH, Kajima unveil integrated project Woodleigh Residences

The Woodleigh Residences, a new integrated development in Bidadari estate, was unveiled yesterday, and its condominium units will be open to the public at a soft launch today. Members of the public may view the showroom flats and express their intention to purchase at the soft launch. The development at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Upper Aljunied Road comprises 667 two-, three-and four-bedroom units. Prices will start at $1,873 per sq ft (psf), it was revealed yesterday. The mixed-use commercial and residential development includes a private onsen, or Japanese-style hot spring, overlooking Alkaff Lake and Bidadari Park. The integrated property development was jointly unveiled by Japanese property developer Kajima Development and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). Unit sizes for two-bedroom apartments range from 570 sq ft to 743 sq ft, with a starting price of $1.088 million. Three-bedders are between 850 sq ft and 958 sq ft, with deluxe options spanning up to 1,119 sq ft. These units will be sold at a starting price of $1.664 million. The four-bedroom apartments are between 1,270 sq ft and 1,475 sq ft, and are priced at $2.55 million onwards. The premium project is Bidadari's only integrated develop-ment. To be built above a shopping mall and the Woodleigh MRT station, it is slated for completion by Aug 31, 2022. Earlier, an analysis by OrangeTee & Tie found that property buyers in Singapore are prepared to pay premiums of between 7 per cent and 19 per cent for homes that are part of a larger development where they can shop, run errands and seamlessly connect to the MRT. Dr Lee Boon Yang, chairman of SPH, said: "It is with great excitement that we launch The Woodleigh Residences, our sec-ond residential project after Sky@eleven in Thomson Lane." "With its strategic location and proximity to both nature and amenities, I am confident that The Woodleigh Residences is well-poised to offer a quality and holistic living experience for discerning home owners," he added. Units in the development have been designed with several hallmarks of Japanese craftsmanship, including clean-cut, space-maximising designs, and design elements that accommodate inter-generational living. Among these features are non-load bearing walls that allow residents to redecorate and tailor-make units to their needs, as well as extra storage spaces under the oven and within walls to maximise space within the apartment. Mr Shuichi Oishi, chief executive officer of Kajima Development, said: "This development presents a great opportunity... to leverage our strengths in design, development, technologies and proven experiences to bring Japanese craftsmanship to Singapore real estate." Units in the project boast picturesque views of Bidadari Park, Alkaff Lake and the Bidadari Heritage Walk, a promenade of conserved rain trees converted into a community area accessible to the public. The development is well-connected to the rest of the island, with direct access to Woodleigh MRT station and a linkway to Singapore's first air-conditioned underground bus interchange. It is also within 1km of schools such as Maris Stella High School, Cedar Primary School and Stamford American International School. The complex will also have 28,000 sq m of retail, dining and commercial space, including a supermarket, a neighbourhood police centre and a community club. SPH and Kajima had won the site with a bid of $1,181 psf per plot ratio in June last year, the first government land sale site offered in the Bidadari estate. Integrated developments have become popular over the last decade, and come at premium prices. Last year, Park Place Residences in Paya Lebar by Lendlease sold for an average of $1,806 psf, 18 per cent higher than other developments in the area. Experts believe that hot demand will support the pricing of integrated developments such as The Woodleigh Residences. The development's sales gallery is beside Nex shopping mall in Serangoon Central, and is open from 10am to 7pm daily.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 26-Oct-2018

More HDB resale flats sold in Q3 as prices dip

SINGAPORE - The number of HDB resale flats sold rose by 18.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 as prices dipped slightly, according to figures released by the Housing Board on Friday (Oct 26). There were 7,063 resale flat transactions in the third quarter, up from 5,941 in the second quarter. This was a 21.6 per cent increase, compared with the same period in 2017. Meanwhile, the resale price index went down by 0.1 per cent, from 131.7 in the second quarter to 131.6. In August, the Government announced a range of housing initiatives, from plans to systematically upgrade older HDB flats to extending the Lease Buyback Scheme to five-room flats and executive maisonettes. The HDB said the number of approved rental applications fell by 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of this year from the second quarter. There were 11,216 approved applications in the third quarter, down from 12,024 in the previous quarter. As of Sept 30, there were 56,074 HDB flats rented out, a 2.1 per cent increase from 54,896 at the end of June. The HDB also said that it will offer about 3,800 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines, Tengah and Yishun in November.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 26-Oct-2018

Private home rents ease, edging up by 0.3% in Q3: URA

SINGAPORE - Rents of private residential properties increased by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter, slowing from a 1.0 per cent increase in the previous quarter. Rents of landed properties rose by 0.5 per cent, a big drop from the 3.6 per cent increase in the second quarter. The rates for non-landed properties edged up 0.3 per cent, smaller than the 0.6 per cent rise in the previous quarter. In terms of location for apartments and condominiums, rents in the prime or Core Central Region swung to 0.9 per cent drop, compared with the 0.8 per cent increase in the second quarter. Rents in the city fringes or Rest of Central Region increased by 1.5 per cent, after a 0.4 per cent rise in the previous quarter, while those in suburban areas or Outside Central Region rose by 0.9 per cent, compared with the 0.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 26-Oct-2018

Rise in Singapore office rents picks up to 2.5% in Q3 as vacancy rate eases to 12%

SINGAPORE - Office rents in the central region of Singapore rose 2.5 per cent in the third quarter of this year over the previous three months, property data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Oct 26) showed. This is a quicker pace of gain than the 1.6 per cent increase posted in the previous quarter. Year on year, the rental index is up 9.6 per cent. The latest reading marks the fifth consecutive quarter-on-quarter rise in the index since it bottomed in the second quarter of last year; the index is up 12.2 per cent from that trough. URA's data also showed that prices of office space in the central region notched up just 0.1 per cent in the third quarter over the previous three months, after rising 1.9 per cent in the second quarter. As at the end of Q3, there was a total supply of about 793,000 square metres (sq m) gross floor area (GFA) of office space in the pipeline, compared with 725,000 sq m in the previous quarter. The amount of occupied office space increased by 45,000 sq m net lettable area (NLA) in Q3 2018, compared with the increase of 74,000 sq m in the previous quarter. The stock of office space rose by 28,000 sq m NLA in Q3 2018, compared with the increase of 60,000 sq m in the previous quarter. As a result, the islandwide vacancy rate of office space eased to 12.0 per cent at the end of Q3 2018, from 12.2 per cent at the end of the previous quarter.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 26-Oct-2018

Private home prices slow sharply to 0.5% rise in Q3: URA final data

SINGAPORE - Government data on Friday (Oct 26) confirmed the impact on the private home market of the latest round of property cooling measures that took effect overnight on July 6. Private residential property prices edged up 0.5 per cent in the July to September quarter, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced, unchanged from its earlier flash estimate, and a sharp fall from the 3.4 per cent price rise in the second quarter. Landed properties led the way by rising by 2.3 per cent, compared with the 4.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter. But prices of non-landed properties were unchanged, compared with the 3.2 per cent increase in the previous quarter. By location for condominums and private apartments, prices dipped by 1.3 per cent in the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR) and 0.1 per cent in the suburban areas or Outside Central Region (OCR. But properties in the prime or Core Central Region (CCR) saw an increase of 1.3 per cent, after a 0.9 per cent rise in the previous quarter. Mr Leong Boon Hoe, chief operating officer, List Sotheby's International Realty, Singapore, noted that developers had scaled back launches in the CCR in the third quarter. "Only 19 units were launched in CCR (293 units have been launched year to date). This has probably helped maintain pricing in the CCR," he said. Demand for new units increased, with developers selling 3,012 private residential units (excluding executive condominiums or ECs) in the third quarter, compared with the 2,366 units sold in the previous quarter. "The increase in new sales could be attributed to the last minute panic buying before the implementation of the cooling measures where about 1,000 new homes were sold (on the night of July 5) and a significant rise in new launches in the quarter," Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie said. July 2 cooling measures include an increased additional buyers' stamp duty (ABSD) for Singaporeans and PRs buying their second home onwards and foreigners buying residential property, as well as tightened Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits. A total of 3,754 uncompleted private residential units (excluding ECs) were launched for sale in the third quarter, compared with 2,437 units in the previous quarter. No EC units were launched for sale this quarter but developers sold 84 units from previous launches. In comparison, developers launched 628 EC units and sold 762 EC units in the previous quarter. Resale transaction volumes slowed, with 2,672 units sold in the third quarter, compared with 4,700 units in the second quarter. Resale transactions accounted for 46.3 per cent of all sale transactions in the third quarter, compared with 65.4 per cent in the previous quarter "The strong sales momentum observed in Q2 was tempered by the latest property cooling measures and Hungry Ghost month, as overall sales volume in Q3 fell by 19.8 per cent quarter on quarter and 13.9 per cent year on year," Ms Sun said. URA noted that the redevelopment of the large number of private residential developments sold en bloc since 2016 will add a significant number of new housing units to the supply pipeline. At the end of the third quarter, there was a total supply of 50,330 uncompleted private residential units, excluding ECs, in the pipeline with planning approvals, compared with the 45,003 units in the previous quarter. Of this number, 30,467 units remained unsold as at the end of this quarter, up from 26,943 units in the previous quarter. After adding the supply of 2,834 EC units in the pipeline, there were 53,164 units in the pipeline with planning approvals. Of the EC units in the pipeline, 828 units remained unsold. In total, 31,295 units with planning approvals (including ECs) remained unsold, up from 26,961 units in the previous quarter. Based on the expected completion dates reported by developers, 3,506 units (including ECs) will be completed in the last quarter of 2018. Another 11,505 units (including ECs) will be completed in 2019. In addition, there is a potential supply of 14,200 units (including ECs) from Government Land Sales (GLS) sites and awarded collective sale sites that have not been granted planning approval yet. Of this, about 6,700 units are from awarded GLS sites and Confirmed List sites and 7,500 units are from awarded collective sale sites. Most of the new supply of 14,200 units could be made available for sale next year, and will be completed from 2022 onwards. The stock of completed private residential units (excluding ECs) increased by 83 units in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1,152 units in the previous quarter. The stock of occupied private residential units (excluding ECs) increased by 1,042 units this quarter, compared with an increase of 1,994 units in the previous quarter. As a result, the vacancy rate of completed private residential units (excluding ECs) fell to 6.8 per cent at the end of the third quarter, compared with 7.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 25-Oct-2018

Gilstead Mansion up for collective sale again at lower price

Gilstead Mansion has been relaunched for collective sale at $65 million, or $3 million less than its guide price in June, as owners hope to beat the chill of July's cooling measures and the clock. From early next year, new guidelines on the maximum number of units allowed in new private and condominium projects outside the central area will kick in. The revised price translates to $1,524.70 per sq ft per plot ratio, with no development charge payable. The 24-unit freehold development has a land area of 35,751 sq ft and an existing gross floor area of 42,632 sq ft. Gilstead Mansion is in the Stevens-Chancery area, one of nine areas that will face an increased average unit size of 100 sq m if a development application is submitted to the authorities on or after Jan 17 next year. Under the current 70 sq m guideline, about 56 units could be redeveloped on the site. According to marketing agent Teakhwa Real Estate, the Land Transport Authority has written to confirm that a pre-application feasibility study on traffic impact on the site is not required. "The expected land rate is undemanding in view of the high price transacted for the surrounding Dunearn Gardens, at $1,962 psf, and the 99-year leasehold Chancery Court, at $1,610 psf," Teakhwa Real Estate said in a statement. "This is an opportunity for developers who target good smallish prime sites at reasonable pricing in this en bloc cycle. The potential buyer may possibly make it on time to develop the site under the current Urban Redevelopment Authority planning guidelines." The URA has revised guidelines so that the average size of new private flats outside the central area will have to be at least 85 sq m, with nine areas facing the even more stringent 100 sq m guideline. This is to avert a severe strain on infrastructure. Besides Stevens-Chancery, the other eight areas are Marine Parade, Joo Chiat-Mountbatten, Balestier, Telok Kurau-Jalan Eunos, Pasir Panjang, Kovan-How Sun, Shelford and Loyang. The Gilstead Mansion tender will close on Nov 22 at 2pm. Separately, Teakhwa Real Estate said owners at the freehold Balestier Regency have started to sign to lower the reserve price from $218 million to $190 million, in a bid to make the site "more viable and appealing to potential developers". Balestier Regency, like Gilstead Mansion, is in one of the nine areas that will face the 100 sq m rule.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 23-Oct-2018

Property sentiment hit by cooling measures: Report

Property cooling measures announced in July have dampened sentiment in the real estate market, according to a new report. The quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index (Resi) fell sharply to 4 in the third quarter from 6.6 in the second, a stark change following the July measures. Resi is jointly developed by the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) and the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Department of Real Estate, and surveys senior executives of Redas member firms. It uses a "net balance percentage" to score key determinants of sentiment in the real estate market. Survey respondents said the "unexpected and surprising" July 6 cooling measures were "extremely disruptive" and have dampened sentiment. They also said developers were "so heavily penalised with hefty ABSD" that it made land-banking decisions "challenging and risky", a trend seen in the growing numbers of unsuccessful collective-sale transactions in recent months. ABSD refers to the additional buyer's stamp duty, whose rates were raised as part of the July cooling measures. The survey also noted that 90.2 per cent of respondents felt the collective-sale market would be "seriously affected" by the ABSD hike over the next six months. Residential property in the core central region is relatively more sensitive to the ABSD policy than that in the outside core region, the survey said. New non-landed residential property launches in the central region - comprising districts 9, 10 and 11, the downtown core and Sentosa - will likely face more resistance with the new ABSD. Survey respondents cited rising inflation and interest rates, a slowdown or decline in the global economy, and tightening of financing or liquidity in debt markets as the top three potential risks that could hurt market sentiment in the next six months. External economic shocks, a slowdown in local economic growth and the latest cooling measures were also cited as risks. "The uncertainties in the external economic conditions, coupled with the high transaction costs imposed by the new ABSD policies, may have a double whammy impact on the local residential markets," said NUS Associate Professor Sing Tien Foo. "The sharp declines in the (third quarter of) 2018 reflect the bleak outlooks of the property players, especially for the residential markets in the next six to 12 months."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 22-Oct-2018

Property developers' sentiment fell sharply on cooling measures: NUS-Redas index

SINGAPORE - Property cooling measures announced in July have doused sentiment towards the Singapore property market among developers, according to the latest quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI). The index is derived from a quarterly survey of senior executives from member firms of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas). The composite index - comprising a Current Sentiment Index and a Future Sentiment Index - fell sharply to 4.0 in the third quarter (Q3) from 6.6 in the second quarter on July's additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) measures. The Current Sentiment Index - which follows changes in sentiment over the past six months - slipped to 4.0 in Q3 2018 from 6.7 in Q2 2018, while the Future Sentiment Index - which tracks sentiment change in the next six months - sank to 4.2 in Q3 2018 from 6.4 in Q1 2018. RESI is jointly developed by the Redas and the National University of Singapore's Department of Real Estate (DRE). It uses a "net balance percentage" to score key determinants of sentiment in the real estate market. For the prime residential sector, the current and the future net balances slumped to 58 per cent and -45 per cent in Q3, from 63 per cent and 58 per cent in Q2. For the suburban residential sector, the current and future net balances tumbled to -60 per cent and -45 per cent in Q3 from 53 per cent and 37 per cent in Q2, with the survey attributing the abrupt changes in respondents' sentiments to a pessimistic outlook in the residential sectors. Survey respondents said the "unexpected and surprising" July 6 cooling measures are "extremely disruptive" and have dampened sentiments in the residential market. Also, they said developers are "so heavily penalised with hefty ABSD" that it makes land-banking decisions "challenging and risky", citing the growing numbers of unsuccessful en bloc transactions in recent months. ABDS refers to the additional buyer's stamp duty, whose rates were raised as part of the Government's latest round of cooling measures in July. The government "should maintain (a) constant land supply rather than withdrawing sites or have sudden surge(s) in supply" as such actions could have "strong impact on market highs and lows", respondents said. The office sector was the strongest performing out of the sectors surveyed, with its current and future net balances each rising 45 per cent. Meanwhile, in collective sales, 90.2 per cent of all respondent felt the en-bloc market would be "seriously affected" by the latest ABSD in the next six months. Residential properties in the core central region (CCR) are relatively more sensitive to the ABSD policy compared to those in the outside core region (OCR), the survey said, with new non-landed residential property launches in CCR - comprising postal districts 9,10, 11, Downtown Core and Sentosa - likely to face more resistance with the new ABSD. Survey respondents cited rising inflation and interest rates, a slow-down or decline in the global economy, and tightening of financing or liquidity in debt markets, as the top three potential risks that could adversely impact market sentiment in the next six months. External economic shocks, a slowdown in local economic growth and the latest cooling measures were also cited as risks which could further dampen the local property market. "The uncertainties in the external economic conditions coupled with the high transaction costs imposed by the new ABSD policies may have double whammy impact on the local residential markets. The sharp declines in the Q3 2018 sentiments reflect bleak outlooks of the property players, especially on the residential markets in the next six to 12 months," said NUS associate professor Sing Tien Foo.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Oct-2018

New guidelines may price some buyers out of market: Redas

The new development control guidelines for private condominium projects could price some buyers out of the market, the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) warned yesterday. That is because, with the new rules promoting fewer and bigger units, there could be a rise in the overall average prices of new private apartments, analysts said. A smaller future supply could also firm up prices. Some maintained that the per sq ft price would have to drop if the absolute sale price of a unit with an increased floor area was to be kept affordable. Targeting potential strains on infrastructure, the revised rules announced on Wednesday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority will have the effect of curbing the proliferation of shoebox units in new projects. They will apply to new development applications submitted on or after Jan 17 next year. Analysts said developers will not be able to over-intensify land usage now, as they are required to build bigger housing units. They have been building smaller units that are more affordable for buyers in overall price terms, but also more profitable for developers who charge higher prices per sq ft for them. But Redas said developers are already scaling back the number of smaller dwelling units. "They are building fewer smaller dwelling unit sizes... as demand has reduced over the years. Notwithstanding this, with the new guidelines, developers have to build bigger units, which may affect the affordability for people who want to retire and downsize, and millennials who want smaller dwelling units and flexible living." Under new rules, the maximum number of housing units allowed in a project outside the central area is arrived at by dividing the proposed building gross floor area (GFA) by 85 sq m. The current formula divides GFA by 70 sq m. Meanwhile, nine areas will face even more stringent requirements, where the GFA will be divided by 100 sq m. This means developers can build 18 per cent fewer units with the 85 sq m control, and 30 per cent fewer units for areas with the 100 sq m control, analysts said. While the July 6 cooling measures dampened transaction volumes, they did not control over-intensification of land, said Withers KhattarWong partner Kenneth Szeto. "It would have been interesting to see if developers would still have bought land through collective sales had the revised guidelines been implemented first, instead of the cooling measures," he said. The July 6 measures, which increased the additional buyer's stamp duty and lowered loan-to-value limits for residential properties, are aimed at tempering home price growth. Meanwhile, the guidelines are also likely to impact projects that are currently in the early stages of design development. Developers are likely to speed up their design development to apply before the new rules kick in, said Ms Alice Tan, director of residential project marketing at Knight Frank Singapore. The collective sales done earlier will likely not be affected, said Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network. A CapitaLand spokesman said yesterday that its upcoming developments will not be affected. City Developments (CDL) said the revisions do not impact its four recently acquired sites - Amber Park, West Coast Vale, Handy Road and Sumang Walk executive condominium site - as planning permissions have been obtained for them. For its joint-venture Sengkang Central Government Land Sales site, which was awarded in mid-August, CDL said it is in advanced planning stages and on track to obtain its planning permission by the January deadline.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Oct-2018

New property rules will affect prices: Redas

The revised rules to cut the maximum number of private housing units allowed in a project outside the central area could price some buyers out of the market, said the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas). With developers expected to build fewer and bigger units, the overall average prices of new private apartments may rise on reduced future supply, analysts say. The rules, announced on Wednesday, kick in for new development applications submitted on or after Jan 17. The move will curb the proliferation of shoebox units and is aimed at reducing potential strains on infrastructure.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 18-Oct-2018

Plans under way to reshape Sentosa, Brani

Sweeping changes are afoot for Sentosa, the adjacent Pulau Brani and the waterfront along Tanjong Pagar, with plans being made to develop new attractions and brand the area as the Southern Gateway of Asia. There are plans, for instance, to reshape the entire Sentosa Island to provide scope for more leisure amenities and investments, and to allow better infrastructure and accessibility. More hotels and other facilities for activities related to Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) are also among the possibilities for the larger precinct. These were announced by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat at the opening ceremony of travel trade show ITB Asia yesterday. The relocation of the port terminals including those at Tanjong Pagar and Pasir Panjang to Tuas will free up some 1,000ha of land for a new waterfront city. Earlier announcements have dubbed it the Greater Southern Waterfront, which will have housing as well as commercial and entertainment facilities. Mr Chee said yesterday that government agencies are drawing up development plans for Pulau Brani and the Greater Southern Waterfront, and "this expanded canvas, which is as large as Sentosa Island itself, will provide exciting opportunities for us to develop new tourism attractions and anchor this precinct as the Southern Gateway of Asia". Speaking to the media after his speech, Mr Chee said that with the port at Tanjong Pagar moving out in the coming years, an overall view has been taken on how the whole area can be developed for tourism as well as commercial and residential purposes. The growing cruise industry may also be part of considerations, and there is scope for the Marina Bay Cruise Centre to be developed further, Mr Chee said. As for Sentosa, he said it must be "well integrated with what we are going to do on the main island of Singapore". "One area which I am personally very keen to explore and push ahead is how we can encourage more activities at night on Sentosa," Mr Chee said. Addressing the opening of the three-day conference and exhibition at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, he said the Government's overall tourism strategy includes investing in quality attractions and reinventing current ones. For example, Orchard Road, the subject of an ongoing study of measures to rejuvenate the precinct, can be more than Singapore's main shopping belt, he said. It can be a "green oasis in the city centre" and an innovation district for companies, including start-ups and social entrepreneurs, to test new ideas. More details on the plans for both Sentosa and Orchard Road will come in six to nine months, he told the media. Sentosa Development Corporation's assistant chief executive Jacqueline Tan said in response to queries that there are plans to strengthen the island's leisure experiences through new attractions, improvement of transport connectivity and enhancement of its beaches, through a masterplan for 2030. Ngee Ann Polytechnic's senior tourism lecturer Michael Chiam said integrating Sentosa with the larger precinct may help to drive traffic to the island. More nightlife and better transport options are must-haves for Sentosa, while plans for the nearby Pulau Brani may involve "creative ways to connect to Sentosa and have resorts, waterfront activities, F&B and entertainment", he said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 18-Oct-2018

Single-storey detached house in Serangoon Gardens on sale for $11.5m

SINGAPORE - A single-storey detached house in Serangoon Gardens with the potential to be developed into two homes has been launched for tender with a price of $11.5 million, or $1,085 per sq ft on land. Located at 18/20 Berwick Drive, the house spans two adjoining lots with a combined land area of about 10,602 sq ft. Subject to planning approval, the site could potentially accommodate either a pair of detached houses, two pairs of semi-detached houses or a combination of both housing types, said Savills Singapore in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 17). It also comes with a frontage of about 33m and a depth of 30m. Suzie Mok, senior director of investment sales at Savills Singapore, said: "Supply of landed plots in well-established residential neighbourhoods is becoming increasingly rare. Coupled with limited supply of landed conventional housing in the pipeline, 18/20 Berwick Drive (held under single ownership), will appeal to developers who are acquiring sites for immediate redevelopment. "The site may also be attractive to multi-generational families who favour this location for its quaint surroundings as well as the abundance of amenities." The tender for 18/20 Berwick Drive will close on at 3pm on Nov 15.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Oct-2018

New private home sales rebound in September

New private home sales bounced back as buyers snapped up 51 per cent more units last month compared with August. This comes after the latest cooling measures in July and new projects launched following the Hungry Ghost month. The Urban Redevelopment Authority survey of developers released yesterday showed that developers sold 932 private homes last month, up from the 617 units they moved in August and around 42 per cent ahead of the 657 units booked in September last year. The figures exclude executive condominiums. Last month's top-selling project was 99-year leasehold JadeScape on the former Shunfu Ville site near Marymount MRT station, with 327 units sold at a median price of $1,669 per sq ft.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 15-Oct-2018

New private home sales bounce back in September with 51% rise to 932 units: URA data

SINGAPORE - Buyers returned to the market for new private homes, after the immediate hit from the latest cooling measures and with new projects launched after the Hungry Ghost month. Developers sold 932 units in September, up 51 per cent from the 617 units sold in August and nearly 42 per cent higher than the 657 units booked in September last year. The figures were released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Oct 15), based on its survey of licensed housing developers. The above figures exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. Including ECs, developers moved 944 units last month - reflecting an increase of 47.5 per cent from August's 640 units and also 4.2 per cent ahead of the 906 units sold in September last year. Last month's top-selling project was the 99-year leasehold JadeScape, which is on the former Shunfu Ville site near the Marymount MRT station, with 327 units sold at a median price of $1,669 per sq ft (psf). At another project that was also launched in September - Selangor Dredging's freehold Jui Residences in Serangoon Road - 31 units were transacted at a median price of $1,704 psf. Oxley Holdings sold 82 units at Mayfair Gardens in Rifle Range Road - the project near King Albert Park MRT station had a median price of $1,945 psf. At The Jovell along Flora Drive in the Loyang area, Tripartite Developers moved 41 units at a median price of $1,259 psf last month. Both projects have 99-year leasehold tenure. Cushman & Wakefield Singapore senior director and head of research Christine Li described the September sales numbers as "quite encouraging", given that the Hungry Ghost Festival continued into the early part of September. Some buyers avoid entering into property transactions during the festival. "In fact, 2018's September sales are the highest September new home sales since 2013," noted Ms Li. Giving his take, JLL national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui said market confidence seems to have improved with seven new private residential projects launched in September. But while developers have become more confident in launching projects, "they are still grappling in setting an appropriate price level to attract buyers", he said. "Those who do better in pricing (taking into account location and other attributes) manage to achieve better sales take-up. Even previously launched projects such as Stirling Residences, Park Colonial and Riverfront Residences are selling reasonably well at current price levels," he added. Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE's head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, noted that September's number brings total new private homes sales for the first three quarters of the year to an "encouraging" 7,220 units. "While demand exuberance is restrained by existing measures, developers are also observed to be phasing out their launches, drip-feeding the market with supply so as to react to market movements accordingly," he said. OrangeTee's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun noted that the tighter financing rules and higher additional buyers' stamp duty (ABSD) of up to 20 per cent for foreign buyers have clipped foreign buying interest further. Based on URA data as of Oct 15, foreigners' share of the new non-landed housing pie sank to 4.2 per cent in September, down from 5.8 per cent in August and 10.8 per cent year on year, she said. In contrast, Singaporean purchases remained resilient, rising 1.5 percentage points year on year to 83.6 per cent in September, she added. Looking ahead, Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network, expects developers to move 9,000 to 10,000 private homes for the whole of 2018, down from the 10,566 units in 2017. "With a wide selection of new projects coming up, buying demand is not expected to increase significantly as buyers evaluate their housing needs, options and finances," he said. As for developers cutting prices, Mr Lim said: "We have not observed significant price discounts yet." "Developers who have bought land at high prices would need to sell even higher in order to remain profitable. This provides support for property prices in the short term, barring any external shocks."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 13-Oct-2018

Curbs won't cool private home prices: Morgan Stanley

Investment bank Morgan Stanley has deemed concerns over property cooling measures and higher interest rates as "overdone" while also predicting that house prices here will shoot up next year. The American firm said yesterday that it predicts private home prices will rise by 2 per cent each quarter until the end of next year. That points to a 2 per cent rise in this quarter and an 8 per cent rise over the course of next year. Its surprisingly bullish forecast is in contrast to other research teams. DBS Bank senior vice-president for group equity research Derek Tan said next year is "likely to be flat or slightly down given the measures", while RHB Bank predicted a 0 per cent to 2 per cent rise for next year. Morgan Stanley acknowledged that "the market remains unconvinced about the housing market's near-term outlook", but said concerns about cooling measures, interest rate hikes and an economic slowdown were "overdone". It noted that home prices rose in four of the five previous rate hike cycles between 1993 and 2007 - and rising rates "tend to coincide with improving economic growth, which supports housing demand". The firm believes investors and foreigners will still buy despite the cooling measures. It noted "healthy demand" from Housing Board upgraders and collective sale beneficiaries, adding that supply is still tight "as unsold inventory of 28,000 units (including from launches in the pipeline) is still below historical levels". But other analysts thought the bite of cooling measures and other factors have been more severe. Private home prices rose between 3 per cent and 4 per cent a quarter in the first and second quarters before slowing to a 0.5 per cent increase in the third, according to official flash estimates. Consultant JLL predicts prices to rise 8 per cent to 9 per cent this year and 2 per cent next year, given the "significant supply in the launch pipeline and the softer demand following the July 6 cooling measures", said its national director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui. The measures were imposed "to... keep price increases in line with economic fundamentals". This suggests that if prices rise too much, there will be more intervention. Next year could also see supply from collective sales coming into the market. "That would be a lot of choices for buyers. You wouldn't be able to price so aggressively," said RHB analyst Vijay Natarajan. Ms Tricia Song, Colliers International's head of research for Singapore, said: "We think home prices could remain flat in the first half of 2019 and (then) start recovering."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Oct-2018

MAS has eye on impact of property curbs

Singapore's central bank is keeping a close eye on the property market after the city-state took a "decisive set of measures" three months ago to cool things down. "It's too early to tell what the implications from the last round of tightening measures are," Mr Ravi Menon, managing director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said in an interview on Tuesday. "It will take at least two to three quarters for the full implications to be understood. So we are watching that closely." Singapore's surging property market had been out of sync amid slowing economic growth and a rising interest rate environment, and that was not sustainable, Mr Menon said. Housing prices jumped the most since 2010 before the Government stepped in with tighter curbs in July. Singapore is the sixth-most expensive city in the world, according to an annual Bloomberg global city housing affordability index. "The property market, before we implemented the cooling measures, was pretty hot," said Mr Menon. "This was a wrong time to see a renewed property bubble. Not that there was a bubble, but we wanted to pre-empt that." The extra measures appear to be taking effect, with home prices growing at the slowest pace in five quarters in the three months through September, while bulk sales of condominium buildings have collapsed. Singapore has one of the world's highest rates of home ownership at about 90 per cent and is also home to many of the region's millionaires. "The property market always warrants close watching, whichever direction it is inching towards," Mr Menon said. The latest property curbs "were taken at a time when we already knew about the risks facing the economy". "We also knew and expected that growth was going to moderate gently into the second half of this year. So all those were taken into account." BLOOMBERG

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Oct-2018

MAS watching property market closely for impact of latest cooling measures: Ravi Menon

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Singapore's central bank is keeping a close eye on the property market after the city-state took a "decisive set of measures" three months ago to cool things down. "It's too early to tell what the implications from the last round of tightening measures are," Ravi Menon, managing director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said in an interview on Tuesday (Oct 9). "It will take at least two to three quarters for the full implications to be understood. So we are watching that closely." Singapore's surging property market had been out of sync amid slowing economic growth and a rising interest rate environment, and that was not sustainable, Mr Menon said. Housing prices on the Southeast Asian island jumped the most since 2010 before the government stepped in with tighter curbs in July. Singapore is the sixth-most expensive city in the world, according to an annual Bloomberg global city housing affordability index. "The property market, before we implemented the cooling measures, was pretty hot," said Mr Menon. "This was a wrong time to see a renewed property bubble. Not that there was a bubble, but we wanted to preempt that." The extra measures appear to be taking effect, with home prices growing at the slowest pace in five quarters in the three months through September, while bulk sales of condominium buildings have collapsed. Singapore has one of the world's highest rates of home ownership at about 90 percent and is also home to many of the region's millionaires. "The property market always warrants close watching, whichever direction it is inching towards," Mr Menon said. The latest property curbs "were taken at a time when we already knew about the risks facing the economy. We also knew and expected that growth was going to moderate gently into the second half of this year. So all those were taken into account."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Oct-2018

59 shop units in Ming Arcade up for sale en bloc at $51m

Dozens of shops in a commercial building in the prime Orchard area are up for collective sale. The guide price for the 59 units in Ming Arcade - a freehold strata-titled block near the junction of Orchard and Cuscaden roads - is $51 million, or about $4,470 per sq ft. Ming Arcade, which was completed in the 1980s, has a total of 88 units on 10 floors, including three basement levels. Located in the Orchard Road shopping belt, it is near a number of private medical facilities, including the Camden and Gleneagles medical centres. The 59 units make up nearly a third of the development's total share value. The units range in size from 140 sq ft to 334 sq ft, and their combined strata floor area is about 11,410 sq ft. Marketing agent CBRE said the neighbourhood is undergoing rejuvenation anchored by The Singapore Edition, a luxury boutique hotel redeveloped on the former Boulevard Hotel site. There is also the upcoming Artyzen Hotel behind Tanglin Shopping Centre, the redevelopment of Park House, and a luxury residential project developed by a consortium that includes SC Global. Mr Jeremy Lake, managing director of capital markets at CBRE, said: "The portfolio presents a rare opportunity for investors to gain a foothold in the prime Orchard Road vicinity." The block is zoned "commercial", so it is not subject to the additional buyer's stamp duty and seller's stamp duty, and is eligible for purchase by local and foreign buyers, he added. Ming Arcade is on a 12,132 sq ft site, with a gross plot ratio of 4.2 and a maximum height of 20 floors. No development charge is payable up to the approved gross floor area of 55,046 sq ft for commercial use. The building presents a number of redevelopment options, including medical suites, office space and retail as well as hotel and mixed commercial and residential uses. Some development charges may apply, said CBRE. Recent strata medical suites at Gleneagles Medical Centre were sold in the range of $9,300 psf to $10,000 psf, it added. The sale is via an expression of interest exercise that closes at 3pm on Nov 21.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 06-Oct-2018

Cairnhill Mansions to go en bloc after settlement

The $362 million collective sale of Cairnhill Mansions will proceed at that price, due to a settlement that gives the penthouse owner who objected to the sale an extra $867,004.79. This sum is to be borne equally by the owners of the other units in the development, the High Court ordered on Thursday afternoon. Mediation between objector Djie Tjoe Nio and the collective sale committee began on Tuesday and carried on "into the wee hours of the night", said Justice Quentin Loh in his oral grounds. The $867,004.79 represents 0.25 per cent of the sale proceeds of the other 60 units. Mrs Nio, who was originally supposed to pocket close to $15.2 million from the sale, will now get around $16 million for her 792 sq m unit. The owners of the other units, each 188 sq m in size, will each get about $14,400 less than the $5.77 million apiece they were supposed to receive. The law says the court can order an increase to the sale proceeds for an objector if it is satisfied that it would be just and equitable to do so. The total sum can be paid from the sale proceeds of the owners and cannot exceed 0.25 per cent of the sale proceeds for each unit or $2,000 per unit, whichever is higher. Low Keng Huat had bought the property at 69 Cairnhill Road for $362 million in February. Four months later, the civil engineering and property development company also bought the adjacent 67 Cairnhill Road for $100 million. But the owner of the penthouse at 69 objected, saying the method of valuation was wrong and worked unfairly against her, leading the Strata Titles Board to issue a stop order and the collective sale committee to then apply to the High Court to approve the sale. "Her case was not that she would suffer a financial loss," Justice Loh said, adding that the law "is a means to address specific inequities that can arise in a collective sale".

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Oct-2018

Faber Garden in fresh bid to go en bloc at same price

Faber Garden is relaunching a collective sale exercise today at the same reserve price of $1.18 billion at which its first attempt closed without a sale six months ago. The public tender will close at 3pm on Oct 31. The collective sale committee's (CSC) minutes last month noted that members "reached a unanimous consensus" to relaunch the tender, "in view that there is no competing land supply around the same vicinity as Faber Garden". The 236-unit freehold condominium in Angklong Lane is near the Central Nature Reserve amid good class bungalows, landed housing and private condominiums, as well as the Bright Hill MRT station that is expected to open in 2021. With a site area of 544,738 sq ft, the 34-year-old condo has a plot ratio of 1.6 and a height control of 12 storeys. "Faber Garden was valued at $1.16 billion. The CSC didn't get back to us to lower the reserve price as the difference between the two prices is too small. Besides, there is a risk of not getting the 80 per cent in time," a Faber Garden resident, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times. With an 80 per cent mandate and at the same reserve price, the CSC can relaunch for tender before the collective sale agreement expires on March 21 next year. The 233 owners stand to get a gross payout of between $4.38 million and $6.75 million, and the three commercial shop units could get between $1.99 million and $4.83 million. Marketing agent Galven Tan, CBRE's executive director of capital markets, said: "Faber Garden is the largest freehold site in Upper Thomson. While developers have become more selective with land acquisitions after the latest round of cooling measures, centrally located sites such as this site are rare. "The recent strong performance of JadeScape, where 300 units were sold on the weekend launch, is further testament to the demand and popularity of the Thomson area." The CSC was unable to conclude the sale at its reserve price six months ago. Some observers say the site's appeal may be hampered further by increases in the additional buyer's stamp duty following the latest cooling measures, as well as conditions imposed on Faber Garden's redevelopment to ensure it will not cause a strain on existing infrastructure. In particular, a traffic impact assessment (TIA) was conducted and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has "confirmed that the proposed increase of plot ratio 1.6 to 2.1 cannot be supported", according to a May 23 letter from CBRE to Faber Garden owners. The LTA will support only 900 units for the redeveloped site. CBRE earlier said the site could yield 1,156 units, based on the 70 sq m guideline. "That means developers cannot build as many small units, which will affect their total gross development value. In turn, they may tender lower prices for the land," said a property research director who declined to be named. The LTA said it is unable to share details specific to Faber Garden. "A TIA would typically be done when the redevelopment plan involves building more than 700 units on the site and/or if there are opportunities for alternative ingress and egress into the site," said Colliers International managing director Tang Wei Leng.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-Oct-2018

Owner asks $41m for Three Buckley duplexes near Newton

SINGAPORE - The owner of freehold residential project Three Buckley in the Newton neighbourhood has put the development up for sale by expression of interest with an asking price of $41 million. The property at 3 Buckley Road is zoned for residential use and may be built up to a gross plot ratio of 1.4 times its land area of 1,444.64 sq m (15,550 sq ft). The asking price represents a land rate of $1,657 per sq ft. The development was completed in 2010 and comprises 11 strata duplex units. Most of the units are tenanted, and all are owned by a single company. The project sits within the prime District 11 region, and is off Newton Road about midway between the Newton and Novena MRT stations. Edmund Tie & Co senior director of investment advisory Tan Chun Ming said in a statement: "The property has many positive attributes such as a highly coveted freehold tenure, single ownership, prestigious District 11 address and many more. The property offers investors the flexibility of leasing out to different resident profiles - young families who prefer to stay in proximity to educational institutions, expatriates or working adults who prefer to live closer to the CBD (central business district) and the future health hub." Interested parties may bid for single or multiple units. The exercise closes at 2pm on Nov 8, 2018.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Sep-2018

HK home prices fall for first time in 29 months

Prices set to soften further as interest rates rise, in cooling sign for one of world's more expensive property markets HONG KONG • Hong Kong private home prices fell for the first time in 29 months in August, and are expected to soften further as interest rates rise and the US-China trade war clouds the outlook for the city's economy. Prices eased 0.076 per cent last month from July, government data showed. While slight, it marked the first decline since March 2016, a cooling sign for one of the world's more expensive property markets. Still, prices have surged 11.7 per cent so far this year, and rocketed 16 per cent year on year, according to Reuters' calculations based on an index compiled by Hong Kong's Rating and Valuation Department. Ultra low interest rates, limited housing supply and large flows of capital from mainland Chinese buyers helped push housing prices up 165 per cent over a decade, prompting repeated warnings from the authorities about the risks of an asset bubble. Soaring real estate prices have angered many Hong Kong residents and prompted the city's government to set aside plots of land for public housing and propose a vacancy tax on empty new homes to discourage developers from hoarding. The latest UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index published on Thursday ranked Hong Kong as the city with the greatest bubble risk. People who earn the average annual income in the highly skilled service sector would need to work 22 years to afford a 60 sq m (646 sq ft) flat, surging from the 12 years required 10 years ago, the study showed. A flat of that size on Hong Kong Island cost an average of HK$10.8 million (S$1.9 million) last month, according to official data. But the days of cheap money are coming to an end. Hong Kong commercial banks raised their benchmark lending rates on Thursday for the first time in 12 years, increasing the cost of home mortgage repayments. More hikes are expected into 2019. Increasingly, potential home buyers have stayed on the sidelines. According to a survey published by realtor Hong Kong Property Services last week, 33 per cent of the 379 respondents said they were considering buying an apartment in the next 12 months, less than the 36 per cent surveyed in the second quarter and 64 per cent in the first quarter. Data from another realtor, Centaline, showed total housing transaction volume this month was expected to shrink to the lowest since July last year. To lure buyers, developers were selling new flats at prices closer to the secondary market, with premiums dropping to 5.3 per cent in the third quarter to the lowest in seven quarters, according to Midland Realty data. The premium was 20.7 per cent in the second quarter. Many investment banks and realtors revised their forecasts on Hong Kong property prices in the last few weeks, predicting a 10 to 15 per cent correction in the next 12 months. "But a sharp correction seems unlikely, given the pent-up investment demand and ongoing low mortgage rates," UBS said in a report. REUTERS

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Sep-2018

Completed condo prices up 0.5% in August

Prices of completed non-landed private homes in Singapore reversed course to climb in August, rising 0.5 per cent month on month, after dipping in July. This is according to the National University of Singapore's (NUS) flash estimates for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) released yesterday. In July, prices declined 0.3 per cent, less than the 0.5 per cent drop earlier estimated. Last month's increase applied across the board. Excluding small units, prices of apartments in the central region rose 0.1 per cent, versus no change in the month before. Those outside the central region added 0.6 per cent, from a 0.5 per cent fall in July. For small units, defined as those no bigger than 506 sq ft, prices rose 1 per cent last month, compared with a 0.6 decrease in July. Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group, noted that even though it was the Hungry Ghost Month in August, "all the four price indices increased after showing weakness in July". The NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies, which developed the SRPI series, defines the central region as Districts 1 to 4, including the financial district and Sentosa Cove, and the traditional prime residential districts of 9, 10 and 11. To date this year, prices for the overall market are up 4.4 per cent, led by a 4.7 per cent increase in the non-central region. Year on year, prices have risen 7.8 per cent, with an 8.7 per cent increase in the central region, and a 7 per cent gain in the non-central districts. On the outlook for the market, Mr Mak said that "as long as there is sufficient buying demand from first-time home occupiers, residents who were displaced by en bloc sales and bargain hunters, the price index could still increase gradually in the short term".

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Sep-2018

Hong Kong at greatest risk of property bubble; Singapore is 'fairly valued': UBS

ZURICH (AFP) - Hong Kong is the city at most risk of a property bubble, followed closely by Munich, Toronto and Vancouver, according to a study published by the Swiss bank UBS on Thursday (Sept 27). Chicago is the only undervalued housing market in the 20-city index, while Singapore, Milan and Boston are deemed fairly valued. Amsterdam and London were also in bubble territory, while Stockholm, Paris, San Francisco and Frankfurt were close, according to the study of 20 top cities across the globe. In Hong Kong, it now takes 22 years of labour for the median-salaried skilled service sector worker to purchase a 60 square metre apartment. A decade ago it took only 12 years. "Although many financial centres remain at risk of a housing bubble, we should not compare today's situation with pre-crisis conditions," Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, was quoted as saying in the report. In contrast to the boom of the mid-2000s, the bank didn't find evidence of simultaneous excesses in lending and construction, with outstanding mortgage volumes growing at half the rate of the lead up to the financial crisis. It even noted the first cracks in the boom, with housing prices declining in London, Stockholm and Sydney by more than five per cent in real terms. UBS also spoke of an affordability crisis, noting that "most households can no longer afford to buy property in the top financial centres without a substantial inheritance". It warned this situation "jeopardises cities' long-term growth potential". The report was released on the same day as three of Hong Kong's biggest banks raised their lending rates for the first time in 12 years, ending an age of cheap cash that could hit the city's famously red-hot property market.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Sep-2018

Freehold Serangoon Building on sale with $52m guide price

A freehold commercial property in Serangoon Road has gone on sale with naming rights possibly up for grabs. The six-storey building at 291 Serangoon Road - also known as Serangoon Building - has an indicative guide price of $52 million, or $2,611 per square foot (psf), based on a gross floor area of 19,913 sq ft. The 5,455 sq ft site on the corner of Serangoon and Burmah Roads has a gross plot ratio of 3. It could be used for retail, showroom, a fitness centre, medical suites, entertainment and serviced apartments, said marketing agent JLL yesterday. Tenants now include food and beverage operator Sitara Restaurant on the first floor, a nightclub on the second and third floors, and offices in the rest of the building. The property is less than 200m from Farrer Park MRT station and across the road from the upcoming Centrium Square project, where two floors of retail space were sold to a Bangladeshi tycoon for $135 million in 2016. JLL added that the latest transaction in the area was the Wanderlust Hotel in Dickson Road, which was sold earlier this year to a privately held property investment company for $37 million, or $2,466 psf. Mr Clemence Lee, associate director of capital markets at JLL, said the site is in an area undergoing rejuvenation and gentrification. "Due to its palatable quantum, the property will appeal to a range of investors such as boutique real estate funds, family offices, local companies and owner-occupiers," he added. The expression of interest exercise closes at 3pm on Nov 6.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Sep-2018

Two Tras Street conservation shophouses on sale for $22.6m

Two conservation shophouses in Tanjong Pagar have been put up for sale by the same owner in an expression of interest exercise. The three-storey leasehold commercial properties, which are in Tras Street but are not adjacent, have a guide price of $22.6 million, or about $2,800 per square foot based on gross floor area. They have been extensively renovated and are fully occupied, with food and beverage tenants on the first floors and a serviced apartment operator leasing the upper floors, said marketing agent JLL yesterday. It added that the properties can be bought individually or together, but did not identify the specific shophouses up for sale, citing instructions from the owner. The smaller of the two, which has a land area of 1,298 sq ft and a floor area of 3,852 sq ft, has a price tag of $10.8 million. The other, with a land area of 1,494 sq ft and a floor area of 4,218 sq ft, is going for $11.8 million. Mr Clemence Lee, associate director of capital markets at JLL, said in a statement that the firm expects strong interest from parties such as boutique real estate funds and family offices. "With competing shophouses in the market offering yields of only around 2 to 2.5 per cent, the two shophouses in Tras Street offer investors an exceptional opportunity to acquire two beautifully restored trophy assets which are stabilised at a high 3.5 to 3.8 per cent yield," he added. The expression of interest exercise closes on Nov 1 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Sep-2018

Luxe property developer going big with smaller units

SC Global Developments is known for luxury property projects with big, spacious units, but the company will be going trendy and small with a new collection. Called Petit Collectibles, the brand is the company's "answer to the demand for small units", its founder and chairman Simon Cheong told The Straits Times on Tuesday. "People in big cities such as London and New York, which are seen to be at the forefront of modern city living, just don't want to fuss too much to maintain a house," he said. Reinforcing the point, he said SC Global Developments' units measuring about 800 sq ft, which comprise half of the company's inventory, are sold out. Projects under Petit Collectibles will be designed for "those looking for a lighter lifestyle", he said. They include "empty nesters who have been freed from the responsibilities of managing larger-sized homes, or millennials who prioritise the vibrant experience of living in the heart of the city". Another group Mr Cheong is targeting is one that he terms "SC Global junkies". "We have a lot of repeat buyers. (SC Global) has been in business for tens of years, a lot of them have families that have grown bigger or smaller," he said. The first project under Petit Collectibles, Petit Jervois in River Valley, is expected to be launched by the end of the year. It will be the company's first Singapore project in three years, and have about 55 units, mostly one-or two-bedders. Prices for Petit Jervois are not set yet, said Mr Cheong, but previous media reports provided a range of between $2,800 and $3,000 per square foot (psf). With Petit Collectibles, Mr Cheong is hoping to promote the belief that big is not always luxurious. "To us, high-end means quality... We want to make sure we get the space right," he said, adding that the new property collection will focus on details such as high ceilings, ample sunlight and customisation. He said buyers usually judge their property purchases based on psf, but "if you have an apartment with a low ceiling, you're done". "People don't talk about it (but these) things really will affect you when you move into an apartment." For Petit Collectibles, "no major obstructions will prevent (owners) from opening up or closing a space", he said. "The fun part about having a nice home is being able to create your own space." Daylight will be a common denominator in Petit Collectibles projects. "There will be no corners that will be dark," said Mr Cheong. SC Global Developments' previous projects include The Marq, Sculptura Ardmore and Thr3e Thre3 Robin. Last year, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin bought a 10,300 sq ft super penthouse with a cantilevered private pool at Sculptura Ardmore for close to $60 million, or around $5,650 psf.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Sep-2018

URA launches tender of 390-room hotel site at Club Street

SINGAPORE - A Chinatown site slated for hotel use is up for grabs, with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launching the land parcel for sale by public tender from the government land sales (GLS) programme's confirmed list on Thursday. The 99-year leasehold, 5,121.4 square metre (55,130 square foot) site, at the junction of Cross Street and Club Street, has a maximum gross floor area of 24,310 sq m and could yield up to 390 rooms. It will have direct connections to Chinatown and Telok Ayer MRT stations, according to the tender brief, and will be within walking distance of the upcoming Maxwell MRT station. The development, to be completed within five years from the date that the tender is accepted, can be built up to four storeys in the low-rise zone and 75 metres above sea level in the high-rise zone. Other hotels in the vicinity include Parkroyal on Pickering and The Scarlet, as well as future projects at Far East Square and China Square. The Sri Mariamman and Thian Hock Keng temples are also nearby. The URA said that the close of tender for the site will be bundled with two residential sites, in Kampong Java Road and Tampines Avenue 10, which will be launched for sale under the GLS in October 2018. The Club Street hotel tender closes at noon on Jan 15, 2019.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 25-Sep-2018

Upper East Coast residential site goes on market for $26m

A freehold landed residential site in Upper East Coast has gone on the market with an asking price of $26 million, its sole marketing agent said yesterday. The land price works out to $914 per square foot (psf) for the 28,449 sq ft plot, which is zoned for three-storey mixed landed housing. Two pairs of semi-detached homes - 9 and 9A, Jalan Haji Salam, and 11 and 11A, Jalan Haji Salam - are being sold collectively, said agent Edmund Tie & Company. The site can be redeveloped as any combination of detached, semi-detached or terraced housing, with either conventional homes or cluster housing, subject to planning approval. Ms Swee Shou Fern, the firm's senior director of investment advisory, said in a media statement that large sites for landed housing projects "are rarely available". The property is located between the upcoming Bedok South and Sungei Bedok MRT stations, according to the Singapore Land Authority's OneMap application. Temasek Junior College and the Singapore University of Technology and Design are in the vicinity. The tender exercise closes on Oct 31 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 24-Sep-2018

Nine HDB shops in mature estates go on sale for $34m

SINGAPORE - A portfolio of nine Housing Board commercial units in mature estates is available for sale with a $34 million guide price, marketing agent CBRE said in a statement on Monday (Sept 24). The ground-floor units range from 581 sq ft to 2,776 sq ft, and are in the town centres of the Ang Mo Kio, Toa Payoh, Bedok, Tampines, Changi Village, Yishun and Ubi estates. Interested bidders may acquire the shops on an individual basis or as a set. The properties are currently fully tenanted. CBRE director of capital markets Sammi Lim said family offices, private equity funds, real estate funds and high net worth individuals could be interested in the units. End-users who are looking for shops from which to operate small businesses could also be interested. "It is rare for an HDB commercial portfolio in mature estates to be available for sale," the director said. "We believe it will appeal to investors and end-users, especially when there are only about 8,500 HDB shophouses that can be resold on the private market."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 24-Sep-2018

JadeScape sees strong sales on launch weekend

Buyers snapped up 300 of the 480 units released at JadeScape on its launch weekend by 2pm yesterday, its developer Qingjian Realty said. The buyers secured their units at an average transacted price of $1,700 per sq ft, with interest balanced across all unit types. Home buyer Ling Mee Har, 43, was one of the first to secure a unit. "I was attracted to the convenience of JadeScape - with its central location, connectivity and the amenities within and outside of the development," said the two-bedroom unit buyer. Mr Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at Savills Singapore, said that "demand will be healthy when there is a strong product offering, an easily accessible location using either public or private transport modes. There has also been a dearth of large projects sold in the vicinity for the past few years". "This strong first weekend showing should translate to a steady rate of weekly sales for the months ahead." JadeScape, the former Shunfu Ville near Marymount MRT station, is offering smart home technology for residents while also adopting a smart estate management system. It comprises about 1,200 units.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-Sep-2018

Two sites up for collective sale

Two sites easily accessible by public transport are the latest to go up for collective sale. One is the 999-year leasehold Waterloo Apartments in Waterloo Street, a site with outline planning permission for hotel use, said marketing agent Cushman & Wakefield yesterday. The other is freehold Yuen Sing Mansion in Lorong 13, Geylang. Waterloo Apartments has an asking price of $115 million and a land area of 14,369 sq ft, translating to a land rate of $1,906 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). It is zoned "residential with first-storey commercial", with a plot ratio of 2.8. Outline planning permission allows the existing block of 30 units to be changed to hotel use at a plot ratio of 4.2 or a total maximum gross floor area of 60,348 sq ft. The developer could build about 180 hotel rooms with an average room size of 20 sq m (215 sq ft). There is no development charge due, given the high development baseline of 7,168 sq m for sites under the residential use group. The site is within walking distance of Bencoolen and Bras Basah MRT stations. The tender closes at 3pm on Oct 23. The four-storey Yuen Sing Mansion sits on a 7,868 sq ft plot and houses nine apartments. All the owners have consented to the collective sale, said marketing agent JLL. They expect bids in excess of $17 million, equivalent to $779 psf ppr or $753 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent balcony bonus and an estimated development charge of about $1.24 million. The site is zoned residential/institution with a gross plot ratio of 2.8 and an allowable height of up to eight storeys, subject to 26m above mean sea level. It has easy access to entertainment and dining options in the Geylang area and is within walking distance of Aljunied and Kallang MRT stations, said JLL. The tender closes at 2.30pm on Oct 23.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Sep-2018

Waterloo Apartments in Civic District up for collective sale at $115m, with provisional nod for hotel use

SINGAPORE - Waterloo Apartments at 64 Waterloo Street is the latest site to be put up for collective sale, and the first one with outline planning permission for hotel use, marketing agent Cushman & Wakefield said in a press statement on Wednesday (Sept 19). The 999-year leasehold site has an asking price of $115 million and a land area of 14,369 sq ft, translating to a land rate of $1,906 per sq ft per plot ratio. It is zoned "residential with first storey commercial" with a plot ratio of 2.8. The outline planning permission allows the existing block of 30 apartment units to be changed to "hotel" use at a plot ratio of 4.2 or a total maximum gross floor area of 60,348 sq ft. The potential developer could build about 180 hotel rooms with an average room size of 20 sq m (215 sq ft), subject to planning approval. There is no development charge payable, due to the high development baseline of 7,168 sq m (77,156 sq ft) for sites under the residential use group. Waterloo Apartments is located in the central area of the Civic District and Bras Basah/Bugis arts and cultural precinct, within walking distance of Bencoolen MRT Station and Bras Basah MRT Station, as well as one train stop from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Interchange. Its proximity to public transport would connect tourists and business travellers directly to key locations such as Fort Canning, Marina Bay Sands and Raffles Place Central Business District. "This offering gives the potential developer an opportunity to capitalise on our city's rich heritage by building an exclusive boutique hotel befitting the Civic District," said Christina Sim, director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield. She noted that Singapore remains a choice destination for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry, government-to-government summits and tourists, with demand for hotel rooms improving and hotel occupancy rates averaging 85 per cent. The tender for Waterloo Apartments will close on Oct 23 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Sep-2018

The lost decade of Sentosa Cove, Singapores billionaire haven

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Sentosa Cove, a residential enclave nestled on an island off the coast of Singapore, is quiet at the best of times. On a weekday, its frangipani-lined streets are mostly devoid of life, save the odd domestic helper taking her four-legged charge out for a walk. The stillness, however, belies the real estate shuffling taking place behind the scenes. Property listings here have been rising. But unless you're buying, there's no cause for celebration: sellers are stomaching losses as steep as 40 per cent. Average prices are down almost 30 per cent from their 2011 highs, a far more severe slump than in prime central London areas reeling from Brexit. As luxury real estate markets boomed across Asia-Pacific over the past decade - from Hong Kong's famed Peak to the seaside mansions of Sydney - Sentosa Cove stands out as a rare cautionary tale about the perils of international property speculation. The hot money from a commodities frenzy that peaked about seven years ago has fizzled, and millionaires' preferences have shifted toward other areas on Singapore's mainland. And now, after years of predominantly loss-making transactions, the enclave on Sentosa island faces yet another blow, this time from the government's decision in July to further raise stamp duties. "Loss-making deals continue to plague the market," said Christine Li, Cushman & Wakefield's head of research for Singapore. "The recent cooling measures, coupled with the looming uncertainties arising from interest-rate hikes and trade tensions, will weigh on investor appetite in the near term." Private-home sales tumbled 64 per cent in August to the least in six months as government cooling measures took effect, data released earlier this week from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed. What was previously Sentosa Cove's main strength has lately become a liability. The area is the only place in Singapore where foreigners can buy a landed house, increasing its allure to overseas buyers, who accounted for a third of luxury purchases in Singapore last year. But with stamp duties doubling to 20 per cent since 2011 for foreign buyers compared with just 3 per cent for Singaporeans, the waterfront oasis is suffering. Singaporeans, meanwhile, prefer to buy landed property on the mainland, which is freehold, compared to Sentosa, which is leasehold. Constructed on reclaimed land, Sentosa Cove is home to more than 2,000 residences, a mix of private houses and condominium apartments. Frequently billed as Singapore's playground for the rich and famous (in 2012, Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart splashed out $57 million on two units at Seven Palms, next to Tanjong beach), the enclave also includes a golf course, marina, man-made canals with private boat berths, and a strip of upmarket restaurants and a gourmet deli. One of its newer condominiums, Cape Royale, scored a cameo in summer blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians. And Sentosa Island - a Malay word meaning "peace and tranquility" - had its 15 minutes of fame earlier this year when it hosted the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Prices began falling in Sentosa Cove in 2013 following two rounds of property cooling measures in January and June of that year. Landed-home prices are at their lowest since 2009, according to data compiled by CBRE Group Inc. Values have plummeted to the point where further declines may be limited, said Cushman & Wakefield's Li. But deep-pocketed international buyers, with plenty of luxury markets to choose from, are playing a patient game. "I have a few Russian investors that are interested in buying, they want to enjoy the island life, but they're waiting for the right price," said Chandran V R, managing director of Cosmopolitan Real Estate Pte. "Some bungalows have been on the market for four, five years." Cosmopolitan was involved in an $11 million transaction last year where the seller was a businessman from the Middle East. The seller lost about $3 million on the deal, "but he had a willing buyer and he was being realistic about the situation," Chandran said. A penthouse at The Oceanfront sold for $7.2 million in April, three years after it was first put on the market, the Straits Times reported earlier this month, citing people it didn't identify. The property last changed hands in 2007 for $9.33 million. The British owner of an apartment at Seven Palms, meanwhile, is asking $12 million, according to the newspaper report. The 4,822-square-foot unit cost $16 million in 2010. While none of the six sales in Sentosa Cove since the government's July 5 curbs have been done at a loss, according to Cushman, owners are still looking to exit. PropertyGuru Group says the number of for-sale listings on the island is up about 7 per cent from a year ago. "The new measures will affect the entire residential market," said Desmond Sim, head of research for Singapore at CBRE. "Sentosa, because of its high ticket size, may fall further down the pecking order."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Sep-2018

Freehold Yuen Sing Mansion in Geylang up for collective sale

SINGAPORE - Yuen Sing Mansion, a freehold collective sale site at Nos 6A - 10c Geylang Lorong 13, has been launched for sale by tender by marketing agent JLL. The four-storey development comprises nine apartments built on a regular shaped plot. All the owners have consented to the collective sale and no Strata Titles Board approval would be required. The owners are expecting bids in excess of $17 million, which reflects about $779 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) or $753 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus balcony and a corresponding estimated development charge of about $1.24 million. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) 2014 Master Plan, the 7,868 sq ft site is zoned residential/institution with a gross plot ratio of 2.8 and an allowable height of up to eight storeys, subject to 26 metres above mean sea level. A developer can potentially configure the allowable GFA (gross floor area) of 24,235 sq ft up to 29 apartments based on the URA's grant of outline permission recently. The site is not subject to a pre-application feasibility study on traffic impact, based on a reply from the Land Transport Authority. The plot has easy access to many entertainment and dining options in the Geylang area, with the Aljunied and Kallang MRT Stations being within an 800 m and 850 m walk respectively. Paya Lebar Centre, Singapore Sports Hub, the Central Business District as well as the future Kallang Riverside are all within a short five to 10 minutes' drive from the site. The tender for Yuen Sing Mansion closes on Oct 23 at 2.30pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 18-Sep-2018

China home prices rise at fastest rate in almost 2 years

BEIJING • China's home prices accelerated last month at the fastest pace in nearly two years, a sign that Beijing's efforts to boost a slowing economy may once again be heating up frothy real estate markets. While solid growth in the sector could cushion the impact of a vigorous multi-year government crackdown on debt and escalating trade tensions with the United States, it could also stoke fears of a bubble. Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 1.4 per cent in August from a month earlier, higher than July's reading of 1.1 per cent, Reuters calculated from an official survey published on Saturday. That marks the fastest gain since September 2016 and the 40th straight month of price hikes, Reuters calculations show, despite curbs to rein in a near-three-year real estate boom that has spilled from megacities to the hinterland. In a sign of broadening market strength, 67 out of the 70 cities surveyed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported a monthly price rise for new homes, up from 65 in July. Only one city - Xiamen in the south - had an actual price fall. Compared with a year ago, new home prices climbed 7 per cent, speeding up from July's 5.8 per cent rise, the NBS data showed. "Property price gains this year are due to looser credit and the delayed effect of strong government stimulus introduced in previous months to reduce inventories, which will slowly kick in," said Hwabao Trust analyst Nie Wen. Chinese policymakers have rolled out measures to support growth this year, including cutting the sum of cash some banks must hold as reserves several times to boost lending to smaller businesses. August price growth in the 35 small cities that the official survey tracks was more robust than in larger cities, rising 2 per cent from a month ago, the NBS said in a statement accompanying the data. The top price performer in August was Wuxi, a third-tier city near Shanghai, whose prices soared 3.4 per cent month on month, NBS data showed. That comes even as many less-regulated smaller cities are expected to gradually tighten curbs. China's four biggest cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou - posted an average monthly price gain of 0.3 per cent, compared with an increase of 0.2 per cent in July. While many property analysts believe the authorities will be more cautious about stimulating property investment than in past downturns, some suspect additional funds will inevitably flow into the market as investors look for opportunities. The latest data from China's central bank showed household loans, mostly mortgages, rose to 701.2 billion yuan (S$140.2 billion) last month from 634.4 billion yuan in July, accounting for 54.8 per cent of total new loans in August. China's real estate investment moderated in August on slower construction and home sales. A recent Reuters poll showed that sentiment on China's property market has become more bullish as analysts expected home prices to rise 5 per cent this year, faster than previously thought.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 18-Sep-2018

3 developments back with collective sale bids

Laguna Park launched its mega collective sale yesterday with a reserve price of $1.48 billion, while two prime freehold residential sites in District 9 near Orchard Road are taking another stab at a collective sale. The two freehold sites are Grange Heights in St Thomas Walk, which will be put up for public tender for $820 million, and Cairnhill Astoria in Cairnhill Rise, to go for $196 million, said Colliers International. For Laguna Park, together with an additional differential premium of about $453.5 million for the intensification of the site to a plot ratio of 2.8 and a lease top-up premium estimated at $416.1 million for a fresh 99-year lease, this translates to a land rate of $1,253 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), subject to the authorities' approval. Knight Frank Singapore's executive director and head of investment and capital markets Ian Loh said the Laguna Park sites offers both panoramic sea views and the convenience of an MRT station which is set to be completed by 2023. The tender for Laguna Park will close on Nov 1, at 3 pm. For Grange Heights, this marks the second attempt at a collective sale by its owners. Depending on the size of their property, each owner can potentially receive between $5.235 million and $10.762 million from the successful sale of the development. The reserve price works out to a land rate of $1,948 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus balcony gross floor area (GFA). No development charge is payable for the intensification of land use. The redevelopment site - spanning 12,697.7 sqm - is zoned residential and has a gross plot ratio of 2.8 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014. The new development will have a proposed total GFA of 39,108.9 sqm and a building height control of up to 36 storeys. The tender for Grange Heights will close at 3pm on Oct 29. As for Cairnhill Astoria, the pricing for the site remains unchanged from when it was originally put on the market on May 17. Mr Paul Kwek, vice-chairman of the Cairnhill Astoria collective sale committee, said: "The development is ageing and the owners are keen to sell the property. We understand that the environment has become a lot more uncertain following the introduction of new cooling measures in July. The owners are mindful of the cautious market sentiment and may be more realistic in their pricing expectation." The owners' reserve price reflects a land rate of $1,933 psf ppr, after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus balcony GFA and an estimated development charge (DC) of $33.903 million following the latest revision to DC rates. Sitting on a 3,587.5 sqm site, Cairnhill Astoria comprises 36 units across a high-rise residential tower and a low-rise block. Under the Master Plan 2014, the land parcel is zoned residential and has a gross plot ratio of 2.8. Subject to relevant approvals from the authorities, the site can be redeveloped to offer about 150 apartments, based on an average unit size of 753 sq ft. Depending on the unit size, each owner at Cairnhill Astoria could get between $2.275 million and $14.261 million upon successful completion of the transaction. The collective sale tender for Cairnhill Astoria will close at 3pm on Oct 17.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-Sep-2018

Grange Heights and Cairnhill Astoria near Orchard Road set for collective sale again

SINGAPORE - Two prime freehold residential sites in District 9 near Orchard Road are taking another stab at a collective sale on Sept 18, according to real estate service provider Colliers International. They are Grange Heights in St Thomas Walk, which will be put up for public tender for $820 million, and Cairnhill Astoria in Cairnhill Rise, to go for $196 million. This is the second attempt at collective sale by owners at Grange Heights. Depending on the size of their property, each owner can potentially receive between $5.235 million and $10.762 million from the successful sale of the development. For Grange Heights, the reserve price works out to a land rate of $1,948 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) after factoring the 10 per cent bonus balcony Gross Floor Area (GFA). No development charge is payable for the intensification of land use. The redevelopment site - spanning 12,697.7 square metres - is zoned residential and has a gross plot ratio of 2.8 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014. The new development will have a proposed total GFA of 39,108.9 sq m and a building height control of up to 36 storeys. The tender for Grange Heights will close at 3pm on Oct 29, 2018. As for Cairnhill Astoria in Cairnhill Rise, the pricing for the site remains unchanged from the tender price when it was originally put on the market on May 17, 2018. But Mr Paul Kwek, vice-chairman of the Cairnhill Astoria Collective Sale Committee, said, "The development is ageing and the owners are keen to sell the property. We understand that the environment has become a lot more uncertain following the introduction of new cooling measures in July. The owners are mindful of the cautious market sentiment and may be more realistic in their pricing expectation." The owners' reserve price reflects a land rate of $1,933 psf ppr, after factoring the 10 per cent bonus balcony GFA and an estimated development charge (DC) of $33.903 million following the latest revision to DC rates. Sitting on a 3,587.5 sq m site, Cairnhill Astoria comprises 36 apartments across a high-rise residential tower and a low-rise block. Under the Master Plan 2014, the land parcel is zoned residential and has a Gross Plot Ratio of 2.8. Subject to relevant approvals from the authorities, the site can be redeveloped to offer about 150 apartments, based on an average unit size of 753 sq ft. Depending on the size of their property, each owner at Cairnhill Astoria could potentially receive between $2.275 million and $14.261 million upon successful completion of the transaction. The collective sale tender for Cairnhill Astoria will close at 3pm on Oct 17, 2018.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Sep-2018

Gisborne Light in Bukit Timah to ask for $37m in en bloc sale

SINGAPORE - District 10 freehold development Gisborne Light will be put up for collective sale in a public tender starting Sept 13, with an asking price of $37 million, which translates to $1,671 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). "The land rate of Gisborne Light is attractive and fairly adjusts for the current market sentiment following the introduction of new cooling measures on July 6, 2018," said marketing agent Colliers International, citing transactions in the area with land rates ranging from $1,734 psf ppr for Balmoral Mansions to $1,847 psf ppr for City Towers. The 17-unit condominium at Ewe Boon Road sits on a 13,841 square foot site zoned as residential under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's 2014 Master Plan with a gross plot ratio of 1.6. Subject to relevant approvals from the authorities, it could potentially be redeveloped into a luxury boutique residential project comprising 27 units with an average unit size of 780 sq ft, said Colliers. If the sale is successful, each owner stands to receive between $1.7 million and $4.3 million. Owners of 16 out of the 17 units have signed the collective sale agreement. Said Colliers managing director Tang Wei Leng: "Based on our observation, developers are still enquiring about collective sale sites although they have become more selective and cautious after the fresh cooling measures kicked in. We believe Gisborne Light's prime location in District 10 as well as its boutique scale and relatively palatable quantum should still make it attractive to developers and investors." The collective sale tender for Gisborne Light will close at 3pm on Oct 11.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 06-Sep-2018

Facebook to build $1.4b first-in-Asia data centre in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Facebook will build a $1.4 billion data centre in Singapore, its first in Asia and its 15th in the world. To be located in Tanjong Kling (formerly known as Data Centre Park), it will support "hundreds of jobs" and form part of Facebook's growing presence in Singapore and the region, the company said on Thursday (Sept 6). The data centre targets to start operations in 2022, after which construction will continue for a few years. Facebook said: "Our data centres are highly advanced facilities that help bring Facebook apps and services to people around the world every day." When complete, it will be a 170,000 sq m, 11-storey building that features a facade made out of a perforated lightweight material, which will allow air flow and provide glimpses of the mechanical equipment inside. Fortis Construction has been appointed general contractor for the project, a result of a "joint experience building efficient data centres", said Facebook. Mr Thomas Furlong, vice-president of infrastructure data centres at Facebook, added at the launch event on Thursday that Singapore was chosen for its robust infrastructure, access to fibre, a talented local workforce, and support from government agencies including JTC Corporation and the Economic Development Board of Singapore. According to Mr Furlong, Facebook has some 1,000 employees in Singapore, and boasts programmes that help local start-ups grow their businesses and promote media literacy. Trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing, who graced the launch event, said that Facebook's presence in Singapore is important in helping the country connect to the rest of the world by transcending the "physical constraints of size and space", and making the country a part of the global data centre value chain. The project is also a milestone, in that it "helps break new ground in land utilisation and energy consumption", said Mr Chan. Facebook's new data centre in Singapore is said to be the first to incorporate the new StatePoint Liquid Cooling system, a technology that minimises water and power consumption, and reduce by 20 per cent the amount of peak water used in climates like Singapore's.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Sep-2018

Adjoining Amoy Street conservation shophouses up for sale

SINGAPORE - A pair of adjoining prime four-storey conservation shophouses along Amoy Street has been launched for sale via public tender. The guide price for 87 and 88 Amoy Street is $3,415 per sq ft (psf), or $50 million over a gross floor area of about 14,641 sq ft. The property, zoned for commercial use within the Chinatown (Telok Ayer) Conservation Area, has a combined land area of about 5,375 sq ft. "Recent shophouse transactions in the immediate vicinity such as 52, 75 and 77 Amoy Street recorded a price range of $3,500 to $3,944 psf, and 21 Boon Tat Street has been recently launched for sale with an asking price of $4,388 psf," said Sammi Lim, director of Capital Markets at CBRE. The property has a passenger lift and reinforced concrete staircases, and there are about 14m of road frontage with high visibility. An open-air public car park is located right in front of the shophouses and public on-street parking spaces are available along Amoy Street and the adjacent streets. The shophouses are within a two-minute walk to both Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer MRT Stations, and enjoy tremendous footfall from occupiers of neighbouring office buildings and tourists, said CBRE. Landmarks nearby include major integrated developments such as Tanjong Pagar Centre, the upcoming Frasers Tower, the upcoming ASB Tower (former CPF Building) and Ann Siang Hill Park. "At this price, this property is one of the most compelling options in the current market. In addition, investors will gain from the immediate rental income from the property which currently enjoys full occupancy," added Ms Lim. Currently, the entire ground floor is tenanted to a health and fitness group. A multinational corporation office is a tenant on the second floor, while a shipping company and a hospitality group are on the third and fourth floors respectively. The tender closes on Oct 11 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Sep-2018

First Government land sales after cooling measures see lower interest - except for EC site

Bidding activity was not the most bullish, going by the response to three land site tenders that closed yesterday, probably as a result of the recent property cooling measures. Of the three, the executive condominium (EC) site at Canberra Link from the Housing Board generated the most interest, with nine bids. But there were just five bids for a plot on Dairy Farm Road, and just three offers came in for a Jalan Jurong Kechil site, sharply down from the record 24 bids submitted last year for a nearby Toh Tuck Road plot that now houses Daintree Residence. For the Dairy Farm Road site, it was United Engineers' UED Residential that submitted the top bid of $368.8 million, or $830 per sq ft (psf) per gross floor area (GFA). There were five offers in all for the 211,486 sq ft site, which is meant for residential development with commercial uses on the first storey. The 99-year leasehold site, with a maximum permissible GFA of 444,129 sq ft, was launched for sale on May 31. The second-highest bid of $364.9 million came from MCC Group's MCC Land (Singapore) and Greatview Group and Yu Zhisong's Greatview Investment, and the lowest bid was from Wee Hur Development at $228.8 million or $515 psf. The others in the bidding ring included a tie-up between COHL Singapore and CSC Land Group (Singapore) ($357 million), and Chip Eng Seng's CEL Development ($333.3 million). CSC Land Group (Singapore) is a unit of China Construction (South Pacific) Development, while COHL Singapore belongs to Jiak Kim Propco Sarl, which has a Luxembourg address. CBRE's Mr Desmond Sim noted that the winning margin between the top bidder and the second-highest bidder was a mere 1.1 per cent. In contrast, the winning margin for a site along Jalan Jurong Kechil was 31.3 per cent. The top bid was by a tie-up between COHL Singapore and CSC Land Group (Singapore) at $215 million or $1,002 psf per GFA. There were two other bids: Hao Yuan Investment's at $163.8 million, and Sim Lian Land's at $130 million. This 99-year site, which was launched for sale under the Government Land Sales programme on June 28, spans 153,223 sq ft with a maximum GFA of 214,513 sq ft. Mr Sim said "the lower price quantum for this site, as well as a yield of only 280 units, has emboldened the winning bidder to put a more generous bid to secure this land bank". CBRE noted that there were fewer than 20 EC units unsold in the pipeline as at the end of the second quarter, which probably explained why Canberra Link drew the most interest of the three sites. Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments submitted the highest bid for the tender at $271 million, or $558.22 psf per GFA. The second-highest bidder was Greatview Investment and MCC Land with a bid of $258.9 million or $533.28 psf. The lowest bidder was JBE Development with a bid of $201.8 million or $415.72 psf. The 99-year land parcel was launched for tender on June 28, for a 194,187 sq ft site that will yield an estimated 450 units. It has a maximum gross floor area of 485,468 sq ft with a gross plot ratio of 2.5.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Sep-2018

Qingjian Realty to launch condo on former Shunfu Ville site at prices averaging $1,700 psf

SINGAPORE - In the first major condominium launch after July's property cooling measures, Qingjian Realty has unveiled its latest development at Shunfu Road, which comes complete with fully-integrated smart home technologies and an intelligent estate monitoring system. The developer hopes to draw buyers at an average price of $1,700 per square foot. JadeScape, which is being built on the former Shunfu Ville site in Bishan, will also have 63 one-bedroom units set aside for active ageing residents. Called the "gold standard" units, these one-bedders will have smart technology and physical facilities that cater to older residents. The Shunfu Ville estate had been acquired en bloc by Qingjian Realty for S$638 million in 2016, marking the largest collective sale since 2007. JadeScape - comprising a total of 1,206 units - will be launched for sale in two phases. The development, which will sit on 36,985.70 square metres of land, will house 236 one-bedders, 403 two-bedders, 265 three-bedders, 261 four-bedders, 39 five-bedders and two penthouses spread across seven blocks. One-bedroom units (527 sq ft) will start from $838,000, two-bedroom units (646 to 775 sq ft) start from $988,000, while three-bedroom units (904 to 1,152 sq ft) start from $1.38 million. Prices for the four and five-bedroom units, as well as the penthouses have yet to be determined. Smart technology installed in the condo include devices in common areas that help estate managers monitor the situation through a management system. The system will also send alerts when smoke detectors in individual units are activated. Facial recognition technology will be used at the lift lobbies. Older residents living in the "gold standard" units will be able to access a range of services including health screening, medical services and dietary planning. Physical features such as pull-down hydraulic racks and support bars are also installed in their units. The condo will be accessible via four MRT lines - the Circle, North-South, future Thomson-East Coast and Cross Island lines. Drivers can head to any part of the island with the Pan-Island Expressway, Central Expressway and the upcoming North-South Corridor. Qingjian's two-storey show gallery, which is the largest in recent years, will be open to the public from Sept 8, 2018. It will come equipped with smart home features and the Smart Estate Management system. JadeScape is expected to receive its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) on Jan 9, 2023.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Sep-2018

Johor's Forest City golf course opens even as mega-project's fate is unclear

SINGAPORE - A RM1.8 billion (S$599.6 million) golf resort and golf course at Forest City opened its doors to the public as at Sept 1, with Country Garden touting its economic benefits as the mega-project comes under scrutiny. "Forest City Golf Resort and the Jack Nicklaus designed Forest City Legacy Course will attract golfing enthusiasts from all over the world and elevate the state of Johor's golfing tourism reputation in the region as this is a world-class championship course. This will also in turn draw major investments, promote the state tourism, opportunities and skill transfers to the locals," said Country Garden Malaysia director of strategy, Ng Zhu Hann, in a statement on Monday (Sept 3). The hotel in the golf resort has over 150 local employees making up 90 per cent of total hotel staff, the company said, and Forest City has so far created 1,200 job opportunities for locals, which is what it said is an 80 per cent localisation rate of the total employee workforce through master developer, Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV). CGPV is a a joint venture between Country Garden (60 per cent) and Esplanade 88 Danga Bay Sdn Bhd (EDSB), an associated company of Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ). The new golf course, designed by golf legend Nicklaus and his son, has a "desert-style" concept, surrounded by mangroves and natural water features, said Forest City Golf Resort and Golf Course general manager, Arthur Yeo. He said that there will be homes, retail shops and travel offerings surrounding the new golf resort. That brings the number of golf courses in Johor to 27. Johor Golf Tourism Association president Kol Mohd Jamal Salleh said he was hopeful that the golf course will help revive golf tourism which was popular in the 1990s, but has simmered down due to a gamut of factors including what he said was competition from golf clubs in Indonesia and Thailand, and a lack of direct flights to Johor. The launch came after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said last week that foreigners will not be allowed to buy homes or granted visas to live at the mega-project which was marketed primarily to Chinese buyers and is touted to be home to 700,000 people. Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali on Saturday said the government is scrutinising the Forest City project because free residential units in the development were allegedly being offered in exchange for investments in China. He said that the the transaction is not done in Malaysia, and this does not benefit the country and its economy. The developer is continuing with construction and reclamation work and selling apartments, and promoting the Shattuck-St Mary's Forest City International School, which opened last month.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-Aug-2018

Development charge rates raised by 9.8% for non-landed residential land use

SINGAPORE - The development charge (DC) rates for redeveloping land have gone up for commercial and industrial sites, as well as plots slated for non-landed private homes, and hotels and hospitals. Land zoned for non-landed residential use saw an average increase of 9.8 per cent, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said on Friday (Aug 31) - down sharply from the 22.8 per cent hike in March. DC rates for commercial sites were raised by 8.3 per cent on average, up from a 2.7 per cent increase previously, with the average rate for hotels and hospitals up by 11.8 per cent and the average increase for industrial sites coming in at 2.1 per cent after staying flat in the previous revision exercise. The latest change comes nearly two months after surprise property cooling measures kicked in on July 6, and the new rates will apply from Sept 1, 2018 to Feb 28, 2019. The MND revises DC rates twice a year, on March 1 and Sept 1, for land use categories across 118 sectors island-wide. The rates, based on an assessment of land values that takes into account recent market deals, are paid by developers for the right to enhance the use of some sites or to build bigger projects there. The rates have been kept unchanged for landed homes, civic and community institutions, and three other land use groups, which include nature reserves, agricultural land, drains, roads, railways and cemeteries.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Aug-2018

Over 20 units at 8 St Thomas sold well above $3,000 psf in Singapore, Hong Kong private preview

Developer Bukit Sembawang Estates will open the doors to its upmarket condominium at St Thomas Walk to the public this weekend. A private preview of the freehold condominium, 8 St Thomas was held over the past weekend in Singapore and Hong Kong and saw more than 20 units sold at prices averaging well above $3,000 per square foot. "The successful preview of 8 St Thomas has demonstrated that premium freehold quality developments in prime District 9 continue to be much sought after by discerning buyers," Bukit Sembawang chief executive Ng Chee Seng said in a statement yesterday. "With one- and two-bedders priced from $1.42 million and $1.78 million, respectively, savvy prospective buyers will find 8 St Thomas palatable for a premier freehold project located in a prestigious area," said marketing agent CBRE head of residential projects May Tan in a statement. Occupying almost one hectare of land, 8 St Thomas offers full condominium facilities and accommodates 250 units comprising one- to four- bedroom units, four-bedroom dual-key units and penthouses. Floor area of the units ranges from 441 sq ft to 2,659 sq ft As a newly completed development, 8 St Thomas offers buyers immediate ownership for occupation, investment and rental. Each 35-storey tower opens up to views of the city skyline from private balconies against the backdrop of Orchard Road and the Marina Bay. Designed to be eco-friendly, 8 St Thomas has been awarded the Building Construction Authority Green Mark Gold. The development is a short walk away from Somerset MRT station and the upcoming Great World City MRT Station.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Aug-2018

For sale: Cluster of 3 adjoining Chinatown shophouses

A freehold cluster of three adjoining conservation shophouses located in Smith Street in Chinatown has been launched for sale via public tender. The guide price for the property is about $3,500 per sq ft (psf), or $33.25 million on a built-up area of about 9,500 sq ft, which reflects a gross yield of close to 2 per cent, said its exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore. It said recent notable shophouse transactions include 64 Club Street, which sold for about $3,880 psf, 77 Amoy Street for about $3,500 psf and 75 Amoy Street for about $3,900 psf on built-up area. The Smith Street corner plot is located within two and five minutes' walk from the Chinatown and the upcoming Maxwell MRT stations, respectively. Zoned full commercial, the three contiguous shophouses have a total gross floor area of about 9,500 sq ft and occupy a combined land area of about 2,784 sq ft. The shophouses enjoy full occupancy with approved restaurant use on the first and second storeys, backpackers' hostel on the third storey and a traditional Chinese medicine clinic in the attic, said Savills Singapore. "Recent shophouse transactions in District 1 continue to shore up prices and lend proof to shophouses being an extremely attractive asset class," said Savills Singapore director of investment sales Donald Goh. "These three shophouses' excellent location along the Chinatown Food Street, smack in the heart of a tourist hot spot, puts it right up there among the creme de la creme of shophouses. It presents an unparalleled opportunity for the astute investor to own a rare freehold collectible in a bustling F&B (food and beverage) and tourist destination." The tender closes on Sept 25.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Aug-2018

Government launches sale of big 3.8ha mixed-use site at Pasir Ris Central; part of town remaking plan

SINGAPORE - A white or mixed-use site at Pasir Ris Central, spanning 3.8 hectares, was launched for sale by public tender on Monday (Aug 27) in a dual-envelope exercise, under the government land sales (GLS) programme's confirmed list for the second half of 2018. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) launched the 99-year leasehold site as part of Pasir Ris Town's "Remaking Our Heartland" plan. The commercial and residential development slated for the site must be integrated with a bus interchange, a polyclinic and a town plaza. The 38,003.7 square metre (409,070 square feet) land parcel next to Pasir Ris MRT station can also yield up to 600 private homes, and has a maximum permissible gross floor area of 95,010 sq m, said HDB. The proposed gross plot ratio is 2.5. Tenders received will be evaluated under a concept and price revenue system, which requires tenderers to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in two separate envelopes. Only short-listed concept proposals will go on to have their price envelopes considered. SSchools in the area include Elias Park Primary, Hai Sing Catholic School and Loyang Primary. The tender for the site closes at noon on Dec 14.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 21-Aug-2018

Conservation shophouse and eight townhouses up for sale

A conservation shophouse with an attic in Boon Tat Street has been put up for sale via an expression of interest exercise with price expectations of around $17 million. The shophouse in the Telok Ayer Conservation Area has permanent food and beverage (F&B) approvals granted for both floors, and houses the Michelin-starred restaurant Cheek by Jowl. The 999-year leasehold site has a land area of 1,759 sq ft and the indicative guide price is in the region of $17 million, which works out to a unit land rate of about $4,388 per sq ft (psf) on gross floor area. It is a short walk from Telok Ayer and Raffles Place MRT stations in the central business district (CBD) and accessible via the Marina Coastal and Central expressways. The property is a a well-located asset with strong tenant covenant and rental income, said Mr Clemence Lee, associate director of capital markets at marketing agent JLL. "Moreover, shophouses with F&B approval on two floors are rare as the authorities are becoming increasingly selective in granting such approvals," he added. Recent transactions for shophouses in the Telok Ayer Conservation Area include 77 Amoy Street, which sold for $25 million (about $3,500 psf) in March, and 75 Amoy Street, transacted at $18 million (about $3,900 psf) in February. Foreigners are eligible to buy the property at 21 Boon Tat Street as it is on land zoned for commercial use. No additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty will apply to the purchase. The expression of interest exercise closes on Sept 20. Separately, Cheng Hoe House, a group of eight freehold townhouses, was launched for collective sale yesterday for $28 million, marketer Teakhwa Real Estate said. The reserve price reflects a land rate of $1,082.9 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), including a development charge of about $6.1 million. Teakhwa Real Estate said the land price would be reduced to $1,052.5 psf if the 10 per cent bonus balcony area is included. The 22,484.9 sq ft freehold residential site has a plot ratio of 1.4 and allowable height of up to five storeys. Its potential gross floor area could translate into 29 apartments with an average size of 1,076 sq ft per unit for a new development. The property at 10 Kovan Road is surrounded by mostly landed and low-rise housing and is within three minutes' walk of Kovan MRT station as well as Heartland Mall and Kovan City. Rosyth School and Paya Lebar Methodist Primary School are about two kilometres away. "The potential freehold residential development will appeal very much to owner-occupiers and first-time buyers with parents living close by the estate," said Teakhwa Real Estate managing director Sieow Teak Hwa. The tender closes on Sept 19.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-Aug-2018

Cheng Hoe House in Kovan Road goes en bloc for $28m

SINGAPORE - Cheng Hoe House, a group of eight freehold townhouses, was launched for collective sale by tender on Monday (Aug 20) for $28 million, marketer Teakhwa Real Estate said. The reserve price reflects a land rate of $1,082.9 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), including a development charge of about $6.1 million. Teakhwa Real Estate said the land price would be reduced to $1,052.5 psf if the 10 per cent bonus balcony area is included. The 22,484.9 sq ft freehold residential site has a plot ratio of 1.4 and allowable height of up to five storeys. Subject to approval from the relevant authorities, the potential gross floor area (GFA) could translate to about 29 apartments with an average size of 1,076 sq ft per unit for the new residential development. The property is located at 10 Kovan Road, surrounded by mostly landed and low-rise housing and within three minutes' walk of Kovan MRT station, Heartland Mall and Kovan City. It is also within 2km of Rosyth School and Paya Lebar Methodist Primary School. "The potential freehold residential development will appeal very much to owner-occupiers and first-time buyers with parents staying close by the estate," said Sieow Teak Hwa, managing director of Teakhwa Real Estate. The tender for Cheng Hoe House will close on Sept 19, 2018 at 2pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-Aug-2018

Sengkang Central site goes for top bid of $777.8m

A CapitaLand and City Developments Ltd (CDL) tie-up has clinched a commercial and residential site in Sengkang Central. Their winning bid of $777.78 million works out to $923.59 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year leasehold site next to Buangkok MRT Station. In a joint statement yesterday, CapitaLand and CDL said their joint venture will transform the 3.7ha site - the largest commercial and residential site awarded since 2015 - into an integrated community hub with 700 residential apartments, meeting the needs of residents in Buangkok with amenities such as a hawker centre, community club, childcare centre, retail shops, as well as public rail and bus transport facilities sited in a one-stop location. The integrated development is targeted for completion in the first half of 2022, they added. The winning bid was the highest of the four shortlisted tenderers for the dual-envelope (concept and price) tender, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which awarded the site yesterday. The other three shortlisted bids came from: •A tie-up between Perennial Singapore and Qingjian Realty, which bid nearly $682 million; •A Singapore Press Holdings and Kajima Development tie-up, which bid $636.39 million; and •A Wing Tai Holdings and Keppel Land tie-up, which bid $608.9 million. These four bids were shortlisted from seven bids submitted by six tenderers; one of the tenderers submitted two concept proposals. All bidders were required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in two separate envelopes. At the first stage of the tender process, those concept proposals that had substantially satisfied the evaluation criteria were shortlisted to proceed to the second stage of tender evaluation. At the second stage, only the price envelopes submitted by the tenderers of the four shortlisted concept proposals were opened for consideration. The site was then awarded to the tenderer with the highest bid. The proposed mixed-use development will have an integrated community and transport hub with a bus interchange on the first storey, a hawker centre on the second storey and a community club that spans across three storeys. "CapitaLand looks forward to partnering CDL to shape and transform the site into a landmark development that will be an identity marker and new focal point for the Buangkok neighbourhood," CapitaLand president and group chief executive Lim Ming Yan said. "We see tremendous potential in this site which has exceptional attributes," CDL group chief executive Sherman Kwek said. "Various amenities and recreational facilities such as a hawker centre, childcare centre and civic plaza will be right at the residents' doorstep, giving rise to a vibrant and bustling community."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 08-Aug-2018

The Regalia in River Valley put up for sale at $403m

The Regalia, a freehold condo located at 2 River Valley Close, has been put up for public tender. The District 9 property sits on a freehold site of 63,371 sq ft and commands "prominent corner dual road frontages" of about 150m along River Valley Close and River Valley Road, according to CBRE, the exclusive and sole marketing agent for the collective sale. The owners have indicated a guide price of $403 million, reflecting a land price of $1,892 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). Taking into consideration the 10 per cent bonus gross floor area for balconies, the land price will be $1,814 psf ppr, said CBRE. The site is zoned "residential", with a plot ratio of 2.8 and height control of up to 36 storeys, going by the 2014 Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Master Plan. Based on URA's gross floor area (GFA) verification, the site's existing GFA is higher at 213,052 sq ft, or equivalent to a plot ratio of 3.36. This means no development charge is payable if a new development is built up to the existing GFA, including bonus area, CBRE added. The maximum allowable GFA after taking into account the 10 per cent bonus area on balconies is 234,357 sq ft. The site can potentially be redeveloped into a residential development of 302 units. The Regalia currently has 112 apartments and four penthouses. CBRE said the most recent collective sale site transacted in River Valley was Pacific Mansion in March. Located next to The Regalia, Pacific Mansion was sold by CBRE in March to a tripartite joint venture among GuocoLand (Singapore), Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty for $980 million. This translates to $1,987 psf ppr before taking into account the bonus area for balconies.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 07-Aug-2018

St Thomas Ville up for collective sale at $58m

Owners of St Thomas Ville, off River Valley Road, are eyeing bids in excess of $58 million for their District 9 property in a collective sale. More than 80 per cent of the owners have consented to the sale, sole marketing agent JLL said in a media statement yesterday. The freehold 12-storey site in St Thomas Walk comprises 23 apartments built on a regular-shaped plot. The 11,407 sq ft site is zoned "residential" under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) 2014 Master Plan, with a gross plot ratio of 2.8 and an allowable height of up to 36 storeys, JLL said. The asking price works out to about $1,816 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), or $1,754 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus balcony and corresponding estimated development charge of around $3.6 million. The site is within walking distance of Great World City and the Orchard Road shopping district, and is about 600m away from the upcoming Great World MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. Places like Robertson Quay, Boat Quay, Liang Court and Chinatown are a short drive away. JLL said the site is not subject to a pre-application feasibility study. Such a study requires potential buyers to engage an experienced traffic consultant to assess the transport impact and recommend a development proposal that is car-lite in nature, according to the URA website. The agent added that as the site is also located within the central area, the guidelines on minimum average size of 70 sq m are not applicable. "The site's excellent locational attributes would appeal to small and mid-sized developers looking for smaller development plots in prime areas," said Mr Tan Hong Boon, regional director of capital markets at JLL. The tender closes on Sept 10.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-Aug-2018

Windy Heights cuts reserve price in 2nd stab at collective sale

The Windy Heights condominium in Kembangan is having another stab at a collective sale, with some owners ready to cut the reserve price to attract buyers in a cooling market. The move comes hot on the heels of a failed bid for the freehold District 14 development that ended in April without a successful tender being lodged. It also comes after tough new property cooling measures kicked in on July 6. The $806.2 million reserve price is unchanged from the earlier attempt, but marketing agent Knight Frank Singapore said yesterday that "owners are going through a re-signing process to revise the reserve price". If enough owners agree, the price tag will drop by 6.97 per cent to $750 million. The revised price would work out to $1,089 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), including a bonus balcony gross floor area of 10 per cent, subject to approval. This is down from the original land rate of $1,171 psf ppr, or $1,288 psf ppr without the balcony area. No development charge is payable. Windy Heights, which is at Jalan Daud, comprises 192 apartments, eight penthouses and two commercial units on a 23,291 sq m (250,702 sq ft) site. Knight Frank said the plot could be redeveloped into as many as 581 new homes, at 100 sq m on average for each unit. Mr Ian Loh, Knight Frank's executive director and head of investment and capital markets, said there "isn't much impending supply in the Kembangan and Bedok area... hence new launches in the area are likely to be sought after". Windy Heights launches its new sale bid in a market that is still weighing up the new cooling measures. These included a 10 percentage point hike in the remissible Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) to 25 per cent for entities and a new, non-remissible 5 per cent ABSD. Some projects, such as Horizon Towers in Orchard's Leonie Hill Road, have extended their tender deadlines. Mr Alan Cheong, senior director of research and consultancy at Savills, said the situation has changed since a collective sale drought in 2014 and 2015 when owners were reluctant to cut reserve prices despite market conditions. "Most will refuse to budge, but some will be more flexible because they know it's different this time round," he noted. Mr Cheong predicted that sellers gunning for up to $350 million may shave off at least 5 per cent to absorb the non-remissible ABSD for developers. But bigger sites could need discounts of 10 per cent to 15 per cent to woo developers, he said, adding that having more owners meant higher chances of having more people who would not budge. The new tender for Windy Heights closes at 2.30pm on Sept 7.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 01-Aug-2018

Residential-commercial project being built in Mohamed Sultan Road put up for sale for $30m

SINGAPORE - A development under construction at 21/23 Mohamed Sultan Road, consisting of an eight-storey residential block and adjoining commercial building, has been put up for sale by tender by its owner, a privately held investment holding company. The indicative price for the property is about $30 million, said its sole marketing agent, Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI). SRI managing director Tony Koe said that seven of the eight storeys have been constructed for the apartment block, which will house 11 units and two penthouses at the rear. Work on the commercial block is up to the ground-floor construction, but has not begun on the planned basement level. Temporary planning permission has been granted for first-storey restaurant use. Located in prime District 9, the site has a combined land area of 478.1 sq m, or 5,146 sq ft, and is zoned for residential with commercial on the first storey and a gross plot ratio of 3.8 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014. The strata area for the commercial component is about 4,600 sq ft, and for residential, 8,700 sq ft. Located within the River Valley conservation area, the 999-year site, whose lease began in July 1841, is near Robertson Walk with its eateries, UE Square Shopping Mall and Liang Court. Fort Canning MRT station is about 400m away. "Sites along the Mohamed Sultan with approval for an eight-storey block are rarely available for sale and we expect this rare opportunity would be attractive to family offices, funds and astute high net worth individuals looking to diversify their portfolio into residential/commercial segment," said Mr Koe. The tender for the property closes at 2pm on Aug 30.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 01-Aug-2018

'Rare' strata office portfolio in Tanjong Pagar's GB Building up for sale

SINGAPORE - A "rare" strata office portfolio in the Tanjong Pagar area has been launched for sale via an expression of interest (EOI) exercise, commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE announced on Wednesday (Aug 1). The portfolio comprises a podium block and four office floors in GB Building, a 26-storey commercial building located at the junction of McCallum Street and Cecil Street. The guide price for the podium block is $3,200 per square foot (psf), while that for the four office floors is $2,000 psf. Collectively, the properties available for sale consist of five strata titled units with areas ranging from 3,294 sq ft to 13,067 sq ft. The combined strata floor area is about 39,590 sq ft, and commands about 27.3 per cent of the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) share value, CBRE said. According to the real estate firm, each strata floor can be partitioned into smaller units to cater to different businesses, or leased to multiple tenants. As the properties are zoned "commercial", they are not subject to additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) or seller's stamp duty (SSD), and are eligible for purchase by local and foreign buyers. GB Building is situated close to Amoy Street Food Centre and within walking distance to three MRT Stations - Tanjong Pagar station on the East-West Line, Telok Ayer station on the Downtown Line, and the upcoming Shenton Way station on the Thomson-East Coast Line. Said CBRE director of capital markets Sammi Lim, who expects interest to be strong: "This is a rare opportunity for investors to own substantial strata commercial floors in a building, and hold a significant stake in the MCST. The units offer immediate rental income, while providing flexibility for end-user occupation in the medium to long term." She added that recent strata office transactions at SBF Centre, located just next to GB Building, were in the range of $2,800 psf to $3,053 psf, and that podium floors are rarely available for sale, with the last such transaction in the central business district being Prudential Tower in 2017, which was sold at about $3,316 psf. "In addition to the ongoing rejuvenation in the area, the government's development plans for Tanjong Pagar as the next waterfront city will have positive knock-on effects on both capital and rental values of existing developments in this vicinity," Ms Lim said. CBRE is the sole marketing agent for this EOI exercise, which closes at 3pm on Sept 5.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-Jul-2018

Fragrant Gardens up for collective sale at $65m

Fragrant Gardens, located off Upper Paya Lebar Road, has put itself on the market for a collective sale with a reserve price of $65 million. This translates to a land rate of approximately $1,204 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), said marketing agent Knight Frank. With no development charge payable, and with the inclusion of a 10 per cent bonus balcony gross floor area, the land rate works out to about $1,094 psf ppr, subject to the authorities' approval. The 37-unit freehold development occupies a 38,576 sq ft plot. With a gross plot ratio of 1.4 and a maximum gross floor area of about 54,005 sq ft, the site can be redeveloped into 71 new units averaging 70 sq m each. The Land Transport Authority has confirmed that a pre-application feasibility study on traffic impact will not be required for the site, said Knight Frank. Fragrant Gardens is surrounded by landed homes and condominiums, with Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' Primary and Maris Stella High School within a kilometre of the development. It is also two bus stops away from Nex mall and Serangoon MRT station. "The reserve price for Fragrant Gardens is very competitive compared to the transaction of Sun Rosier at $1,325 psf ppr ($271 million). Despite recent government cooling measures, the price quantum of $65 million is a palatable, low-risk acquisition to mid-sized developers," said Mr Ian Loh, executive director and head of investment and capital markets at Knight Frank Singapore. "Coupled with no possible risk of development charge movements, we believe the site could attract developers with lower risk appetites looking for redevelopment opportunities."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 21-Jul-2018

Pinetree Condo up for sale en bloc at $148m

Pinetree Condominium in the upmarket Balmoral Park enclave has been put on the collective sale market, with a reserve price of $148 million. At that price, each owner in the 50-unit freehold District 10 development stands to receive between $2.57 million and $4.09 million, said SLP Scotia, the marketing agent for the deal. The development sits on 41,276 sq ft of land and consists of predominantly three-bedroom units measuring between 1,162 sq ft and 1,851 sq ft. The site is zoned "residential" with a plot ratio of 1.6 as per the 2014 masterplan, which translates to a gross floor area (GFA) of 66,177 sq ft. As the current development baseline record from the Urban Redevelopment Authority is 75,115,71 sq ft, that means no development charge is payable. SLP Scotia said the site can be redeveloped into a 12-storey project with 75 apartments with an average size of 70 sq m (753.5 sq ft) each. The site, served by Stevens and Scotts roads, is located within 1km of Anglo Chinese School (Barker) and Singapore Chinese Girls' School, and is next to Ardmore Park. The tender for the site closes on Aug 30.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Jul-2018

Kentish Green up for collective sale at $230m

Kentish Green in Oxford Road has joined the bandwagon of developments here trying for a collective sale. The owners have set a reserve price of $230 million for the 59,143 sq ft site. The 122-unit condominium is located near Farrer Park MRT station. Based on the reserve price, each owner will net between $1.736 million and $2.086 million from a successful sale. The site can be redeveloped to accommodate 219 to 259 apartments, as well as house a small commercial component. Marketing agent ERA Realty said one draw could be an upcoming Russian Cultural Centre to be built in neighbouring Rangoon Road, which it believes will drive demand for accommodation and retail activity in the area. Work on the cultural centre is expected to start some time later this year, a Russian Embassy representative said. Schools like St Joseph's Institution Junior and Farrer Park Primary School are also in the area. The buyer would have to pay a premium, estimated at $20 million, to top up the existing balance lease of 76 years to a fresh lease of 99 years. In addition, a differential premium to intensify the plot ratio may be applicable. The owners had earlier submitted an outline application to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which said it is prepared to support an increase in the gross plot ratio of the site to 3 from its current 2.8. The height control could also be raised from the current six storeys to 104m above mean sea level. This means the new development can be built up to 28 storeys, subject to a formal development application. The advice from URA has a validity of six months from May. The tender for Kentish Green closes on Aug 21.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Jul-2018

Boon Keng terraced houses, shophouses up for collective sale

A cluster of freehold shophouses, terraced houses and walk-up apartments at the intersection of St George's Road and Serangoon Road is on the market, with a reserve price of $133.66 million. At that price, owners of the 29 units spanning a 25,621 sq ft site located near Boon Keng MRT are expected to receive between $2.3 million and $10.6 million each. But a prospective buyer will also have to pay more. The tender, which will start today, comes with two conditions. The developer has to get in-principle approval from the Singapore Land Authority to purchase some 8,611 sq ft of state land for about $7.6 million within the boundary of the site. The land, which comprises backlanes and roads, has a plot ratio of 1.4. The developer will also have to get in-principle approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority for increasing the plot ratio of the residential plots from 1.4 to 2.8 with development charge payable estimated at $25.8 million. If these two conditions are met, the site will have a gross floor area of of 95,850 sq ft. Including the development charge and cost of state land, it will work out to $1,743 per square foot per plot ratio. The shophouses are zoned residential with commercial on the first storey. With a plot ratio of 3, the developer can build up to five storeys. The sale includes three rows of residential units, mostly terraced houses. Mr Terence Ng, key executive officer at Jie Sheng Housing Agency, said he was not concerned about the government's recent cooling measures, due to the commercial component of the plot. He added that developers might want to apply to the authorities to rezone the land to commercial and residential use, so it can have more retail units. The tender will close on Aug 17 at 3pm. Correction note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the development charge payable is $33 million. It should be $25.8 million. We are sorry for the error.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Jul-2018

Casa Meyfort sold for $319.88m after second en bloc sale attempt

GuocoLand bought the property. GuocoLand subsidiary First Meyer Development won the tender for the en bloc sale of Casa Meyfort and bought the property for $319.88m. The owners previously attempted an en bloc sale on December 2017 at a reserve price of $340m. The development was completed in the 1990s and comprises 76 apartment units. It has a land area of approximately 7,919.9 sqm or 85,249 sqft. Under Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.8. Casa Meyfort is located within 600 metres to the upcoming Katong Park MRT station along the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL). It is near major roads and expressways such as Fort Road, Mountbatten Road, and Tanjong Katong Road. The project is a 10 minutes' drive to the Central Business District (CBD) and a short walking distance to East Coast Park. GuocoLand said the acquisition and development of the property will be financed by internal resources and bank borrowings.

Source: Singapore Business Review
Dated: 04-Jul-2018

New $80 million Seletar Airport passenger terminal to open in December

SINGAPORE - A new $80 million passenger terminal will open at Seletar Airport in December, to provide more space for Singapore's private and business jet traffic to grow, and free up capacity at Changi Airport for larger planes. The new facility - six times bigger than the current terminal - is designed to handle up to 700,000 passengers a year. The departure area will have four check-in counters, six immigration lanes, two security screening stations and a gatehold room big enough for about 200 passengers. A separate section with a dedicated check-in and waiting area will serve passengers travelling on chartered business flights and private jets, said Mr Khoh Su Lim, associate general manager of Seletar Airport, which is managed by Changi Airport Group. To free up capacity at Changi, scheduled turboprop flights will be moved to Seletar when the new terminal opens, he said. At the moment, only Malaysia's Firefly operates turboprops at Changi Airport. It currently offers 20 daily flights at Changi Airport - to and from Subang, Ipoh and Kuantan. Firefly passengers, who now pay $47.30 in airport fees and levies at Changi, will pay $29 when the airline moves to Seletar. The opening of the new terminal at Seletar will allow the airline to grow its operations and attract other airlines that also operate turboprops, experts said. Turboprops, which come with propellers, fly at lower altitudes, and are able to land at smaller airports with short runways, unlike most jet planes. Mr Christophe Potocki, general manager for South-east Asia and Pacific at turboprop manufacturer ATR, noted that airlines that wanted to launch flights to Changi Airport using turboprop aircraft were hampered in recent years due to slot constraints. He told The Straits Times: "There is potential for air operators to launch new services linking Singapore to more destinations in Peninsular Malaysia and neighbouring Sumatra. This will reinforce Singapore's position as an international air hub and help to bring more business travellers and tourists to Singapore." ATR estimates that more than four in 10 turboprops expected to be delivered over the next 20 years will be for Asian customers. The construction of the new passenger terminal at Seletar is part of a renewal of the airport located within Seletar Aerospace Park, which houses more than 60 aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul firms. Since 2008, Seletar Airport has seen several enhancements, including the lengthening of its runway, the construction of a new control tower and fire station, a doubling of the number of parking stands, additional taxiways and upgraded aircraft parking aprons.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 04-Jul-2018

Blocked in 2009, Horizon Towers goes on collective sale again with $1.1b reserve price

SINGAPORE - Back in 2009, Horizon Towers was to be collectively sold for S$500 million but the sale was overturned. Now the prime District 9 condominium has been launched for sale at a reserve price of S$1.1 billion. Built in the late 1970s, the 99-year leasehold development comprises 211 units in two towers located on an elevated site with double road access. The 1.9ha site is zoned "Residential" in the 2014 Master Plan, with an allowable height of up to 36 storeys. It has an "as-built" gross plot ratio of around 3.28 and may be redeveloped into a luxury high-rise residential development. This could make it the largest high-rise residential redevelopment offering in the Orchard Road area in at least two decades, said sole marketing agent JLL in a press statement on Wednesday (July 4). Tan Hong Boon, regional director of capital markets at JLL, said: "The property has all the ingredients needed for branded residences with unparalleled services, comfort and convenience." Horizon Towers nearly sold in 2007 for $500 million to a consortium lead by Hotel Properties. However, a group of minority owners disputed the sale and it was eventually overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2009, which found that the sales process was not properly handled. In recent weeks, two collective sales - Goodluck Garden and Cairnhill Mansions - have hit obstacles after the Strata Titles Board issued separate stop orders on owner objections. In the case of Cairnhill Mansions, the owner of the penthouse unit has refused to withdraw her objection to the method of apportionment of the sales proceeds after two rounds of mediation, The Business Times reported this week. The issuance of the stop order puts an end to mediation, and gives the collective sales committee two weeks to apply to the High Court to approve the sale. This comes on the heels of the stop order issued for the collective sale attempt at Goodluck Garden in Toh Tuck Road over the reserve price and development charge. The Horizon Towers site is 150m away from the upcoming Great World MRT station and 600m to the Orchard MRT Interchange (Thomson-East Coast Line), which is integrated into the existing Orchard Station. At a reserve price of $1.1 billion, Horizon Towers' land price works out to about $1,964 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf/pr) after factoring in a lease top-up premium estimated to be around S$220 million. There is no development charge or differential premium for the intensification of the site. This compares favourably with the recent sale of a 99-year Government Land Sale site in Cuscaden Road for $2,377 psf ppr, said JLL. It is also in line with the sale in May of the nearby freehold Pacific Mansions site in River Valley Close for $1,987 psf ppr, JLL highlighted. The tender for Horizon Towers closes at 3pm on Aug 7.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 04-Jul-2018

Two small sites up for collective sale

Two small condominium blocks went on the collective sale market yesterday, adding to the growing list of sites looking for buyers. The modest sizes of the developments also mean relatively small price tags. Owners at the 12-unit Jansen Mansion near Kovan MRT station want $22 million, while Blossom Mansions, which has 20 homes in Lorong 37 Geylang, has a target of $32.8 million. Marketing agent Huttons Asia noted the small sizes make the sites suitable for boutique developers. All owners at Jansen Mansion have given their consent to sell. The 1,541.5 sq m plot has 857 years left on its 999-year lease, with a plot ratio of 1.4 and a height limit of up to five storeys. The site can be redeveloped into a project of 21 units, each about 100 sq m, said Huttons Asia. An estimated $1.14 million development charge (DC) is payable to build up to the plot ratio of 1.4, and another $1.74 million for an additional 10 per cent of bonus balcony space. Including the DC, the land rate for the Jansen Mansion site works out to $996 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), or $974 psf ppr if the 10 per cent bonus balcony space is factored in. The Blossom Mansions sale attracted the backing of 90 per cent of the owners. Its reserve price of $32.8 million translates to $1,262 psf ppr based on the maximum gross floor area of 25,990.73 sq ft, with no DC payable, given its high development baseline. The 823.8 sq m site is zoned "residential/institution" and has a plot ratio of 2.8 and a height limit of eight storeys. A developer could redevelop the land up to 34 units averaging about 70 sq m each. Market watchers noted that collective sale tenders have been closing without success or even without bidders lately, as many developers have replenished their land banks for the next two to three years. There have been 30 or so collective sale tenders that failed to find buyers since the start of the year. Colliers International Singapore research head Tricia Song said the market has become saturated, adding: "It is not about pricing or size or location, it is just the sheer volume of choices available. "Most developers in general have replenished their land banks and are now in a position to wait or pick and choose." Savills Singapore senior director Alan Cheong said: "Their immediate task now has shifted from buying land to substantially clearing the units from the new developments on the site." On Monday, St Thomas Lodge, a five-unit development in prime District 9 held under single ownership, was launched for sale under an expression of interest exercise by Singapore Realtors. Its indicative price of $40 million reflects a land rate of $2,293 psf ppr, inclusive of a DC to intensify the 664.4 sq m site. The land has a gross plot ratio of 2.8. The tender for Blossom Mansions closes on July 31, and that for Jansen Mansion on Aug 2.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Jul-2018

Home buyers flock to Park Colonial and Stirling Residences' weekend showflats

They offer more value than other projects launched in the weekend like Affinity and Garden Residences, an analyst said. With the soft launches of residential projects made over the weekend, DBS Equity Research analyst Rachel Tan said Singapore home buyers are currently being spoilt for choice. In a report, Tan noted that two new showflats (Park Colonial, Woodleigh and Stirling Residences, Queenstown) were equally crowded which lasted until Sunday evening, not distracted by the World Cup matches. The indicative pricing for both projects was quite similar with an average selling price (ASP) of $1,700 psf. "Strong interests that drove the crowd to these showflats could be due to their close proximity to MRT stations," she said. Park Colonial is next to Woodleigh MRT station whilst Stirling Residences is just three minutes' walk away from the Queenstown MRT station. Park Colonial, according to Tan, marks the awakening of Bidadari Estate. "Chip Eng Seng presents Park Colonial with a British colonial architecture concept and located close to Woodleigh Park and next to the Stamford American International School. On Saturday, there was a traffic jam turning into the showflat," she observed. Property agents seem to suggest that for Park Colonial, most viewers stay in the vicinity and are looking to buy for investments. Meanwhile, for Stirling Residences, property agents indicated that some interested buyers have "en-bloc money" whilst some are looking to upgrade. Stirling Residences marks Logan setting foot in Singapore. Tan added, "Stirling Residences presents a 1,259-unit condo with 80 facilities including stargazing lawn, bubble water push, reflective stream, tennis court, herb garden, etc. The developer expects to launch two blocks out of the three in phase 1 and is likely to launch the remaining block in phase 2." Stirling Residences has a higher percentage of smaller units with 1- and 2-bedroom units making up 73% of the total, whilst Park Colonial has 62%. The sizes for 3- bedroom units appear to be quite similar for both projects, ranging from 915-1,066 sqft for Park Colonial versus 883-1,055 sqft for Stirling. Based on the indicative prices, whilst Park Colonial was launched at a record price of ASP $1,700 psf in the Woodleigh/Potong Pasir area (Poiz, last new launch in Potong Pasir was sold at ASP of $1,300-1,400 psf in 2016), Stirling Residences' launch prices were quite similar to previous recent new launches such as Queenspeak in 2017 ($1,600-1,700 psf), "We note that Stirling Residences is Logan's first residential development in Singapore and the developer would likely want to set a good track record," Tan said. Overall, the analyst said that these two projects appear to offer more value compared to Affinity and Garden Residences that were launched last month, both recorded 10-11% of total units sold thus far. The balloting day for both projects will be on 14 July 2018. Separately, there will be three upcoming launches in the vicinity with a total of more than 1,500 units. Upcoming launches around the vicinity include Tre Ver Residences (UOL) expected in July 2018, Woodleigh Residences (SPH and Kajima) and Jui Residences (Selangor Dredging), both in September 2018.

Source: Singapore Business Review
Dated: 28-Jun-2018

Four residential sites up for sale under GLS programme

They can yield up to 1,920 units in total. 4 residential sites are up for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) under the H1 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. With a total site area of 709,961.7 sqft and a 99-year lease period, they could yield about 1,920 units, an announcement revealed. Under the Confirmed List are the URA site at Jalan Jurong Kechil and the HDB Executive Condominium site at Canberra Link. Meanwhile, the URA site at Clementi Avenue 1 and the HDB Executive Condominium site at Anchorvale Crescent are both under the Reserve List for application. The Jalan Jurong Kechil site could yield 5-storeys and around 280 units with its site area of 153,223.19 sqft . It is accessible through the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE), Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and Beauty World MRT Station and is also nearby Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Meanwhile, another part of the Confirmed List is the HDB Executive Condominium in Canberra Link which has a site area of 194,202.47 sqft. Available for tender, it has a proposed gross plot ratio (gpr) of 2.5 and can yield up to 450 units. The 178,074.90 sqft URA site in Clementi Avenue 1 which is nearby the National University of Singapore (NUS) can yield up to 640 units. It is linked to Ayer Rajah Expressway and Clementi Road giving it a strategic access to the city centre, Jurong Lake District. Also in the Confirmed List is the HDB Executive Condominium in Anchorvale Crescent with a site area of 184,461.13 that can yield up to 550 units. URA revealed that the tender for the land parcels at Jalan Jurong Kechil and Canberra Link will close at 12 noon on 4 September.

Source: Singapore Business Review
Dated: 27-Jun-2018

Oxley sells all 170 units in The Verandah Residences

Units were sold at an average of $1,795 psf. The Verandah Residences has achieved 100% sales of its 170 units within three months since its official launch on 7 April 2018, Oxley Holdings said. Average price for the units was at $1,795 psf. According to an announcement, the freehold development comprises 167 apartments in four blocks of five-storey buildings and three strata houses. It achieved total revenue of $248.8m for the company. Oxley purchased the 89,620 sqft site at the former 231 Pasir Panjang Road in July 2017, for $121m, or $964 psf ppr. Oxley has 100% stake in the project. Oxley executive chairman and CEO Ching Chiat Kwong commented, "So far we have launched four residential projects in Singapore in 2018, and overall the sales progress has been very healthy. Our projects cater to various tiers of the residential demand, and this requires us to take a pragmatic approach in deriving sensible, optimal sales strategies for each project to realize its value."

Source: Singapore Business Review
Dated: 27-Jun-2018

Government keeps land supply for private homes steady in second-half 2018; 6 confirmed sites, including for EC, hotel

SINGAPORE - The Government will be launching six land parcels for sale in the second half of this year (2018), including the first hotel site in several years. They comprise four private residential sites, including one executive condominium (EC) site, one "white" site in Pasir Ris Central and one hotel site which can yield 2,705 private residential units (including 695 EC units), 42,200 sq m of gross commercial space and 390 hotel rooms. Another nine sites are placed under the Reserve List under the Government's Land Sale (GLS) programme for H2 2018. These will be triggered for sale if a developer's indicated minimum price in his application is acceptable or there is sufficient market interest in the site. These Reserve List sites comprise seven private residential sites - including one EC site, and two "white" sites. They can yield 5,335 private residential units (including 515 EC units), 82,000 sq m of gross commercial space and 540 hotel rooms. A "white" site is a land parcel where a range of uses are allowed, although the Government is likely to stipulate a minimum component of a specific use or specific uses to meet its planning intentions. All in, sites under the Confirmed List and Reserve List can yield up to 8,040 private residential units, 124,200 sq m gross floor area of commercial space and 930 hotel rooms, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Wednesday (June 27). The residential land supply in H2 2018 GLS thus keeps pace with that in H1 2018 when the Government made available 2,775 residential units under the Confirmed List and 5,270 units under the Reserve List. Explaining its rationale, the URA stressed that there is a healthy supply of private housing in the pipeline. Around 20,000 units from GLS and collective sale sites are pending planning approval, on top of the 24,000 unsold units from projects with planning approval. In addition, more than 30,000 existing private housing units remain vacant. "Nevertheless, there continues to be strong demand for land from developers. Transaction volumes are also rising," the URA observed. "Hence, the Government has decided to keep the total supply of units for the H2 2018 GLS programme at about the same level as the supply from the H1 2018 GLS programme. Taken together, the total supply in the pipeline will be able to meet home buyers' demand over the next one to two years, and to meet our population's housing needs. "The Government will continue to monitor the property market closely and adjust the supply from future GLS programmes, when necessary," the URA added. For commercial land supply, there is a jump in both the Confirmed and Reserved List of H2 2018 - representing a 94 per cent surge in commercial gross floor area compared with H1 2018. This includes a "white" site at Woodlands Square/Woodlands Avenue 2 and one at Marina View on the Reserve List of the H2 2018 GLS programme. URA said the Woodlands site will help to sustain the development momentum of Woodlands Regional Centre as a major commercial node outside the city, in line with the Government's objective of decentralising employment centres to bring job opportunities closer to homes. For the first time after several years, the Government is also reintroducing hotel rooms supply in its GLS programme amid a rosier tourism outlook for Singapore in the next few years. Visitor arrivals and tourism receipts for 2017 hit record highs for the second time in two years. International arrivals increased by 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million last year, while tourism receipts rose by 3.9 per cent to $26.8 billion. "With the favourable global economic outlook, the Singapore Tourism Board is optimistic about tourism prospects for Singapore in the next few years," the URA said. To-date, three Confirmed List sites in H1 2018 GLS programme have been sold and the tender for the remaining three Confirmed List sites will close by September. Two Reserve List sites in Peck Seah Street and Woodlands Square will be removed from H1 2018 Reserve List to facilitate a review of development plans in the area. As a result, a total of seven residential sites remain on the H1 2018 Reserve List and will be carried over to the second-half 2018 GLS programme, the URA said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Jun-2018

15 sites launched for H2 government land sales programme

They can yield 8,040 homes, 124,000 sqm of commercial space, and 930 hotel rooms altogether. For the second half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, Singapore launched six Confirmed List sites and nine Reserve List sites which cumulatively can yield 8,040 private home units, 124,200 sqm of commercial space, and 930 hotel rooms. The new supply has been kept at the same level as that of the 1H2018 GLS programme. According to an announcement, the six Confirmed List sites comprise four private residential sites (including one Executive Condominium site), one White site, and one hotel site which can yield 2,705 private residential units (including 695 EC units), 42,200 sqm GFA of commercial space, and 390 hotel rooms. Meanwhile, the Reserve List comprises seven private residential sites (including one EC site) and two White sites. These sites can yield 5,335 private residential units (including 515 EC units), 82,000 sqm GFA of commercial space, and 540 hotel rooms. "There is a healthy supply of private housing in the pipeline," the Ministry of National Development (MND) said. "We expect around 20,000 units from GLS and en bloc sale sites that are pending planning approval, on top of the 24,000 unsold units from projects with planning approval. In addition, more than 30,000 existing private housing units remain vacant." There continues to be strong demand for land from developers, the ministry said. It noted that transaction volumes are also rising, hence the same amount of supply as 1H2018. Meanwhile, Huttons Asia head of research Lee Sze Teck said it is "puzzling" why there has not been an increase in the supply of land for EC in 2H2018 despite evidence showing strong demand for such projects. "The timing of the launch of the EC site in October 2018 will only exacerbate the tight supply of EC. Assuming policy remains unchanged, this site will probably launch in 2020. This means for three consecutive years in a row from 2018 to 2020, there will only be one EC launch each year," he said. Meanwhile, OrangeTee & Tie head of research & consultancy Christine Sun argued, "The government has probably chosen to maintain the land supply as they want to control the escalating property prices by injecting a reasonable number of new units without causing an oversupply situation." Moreover, the government is releasing a White site at Woodlands Square / Woodlands Avenue 2 on the Reserve List of the 2H2018 GLS Programme. "This site will help to sustain the development momentum of Woodlands Regional Centre as a major commercial node outside the city, in line with the government's objective of decentralising employment centres to bring job opportunities closer to homes," MND said. The ministry is also releasing two new sites that can supply new hotel rooms at Club Street and Marina View via the 2H2018 GLS Programme. "These sites will allow developers to provide additional hotel rooms to meet the expected growth in demand," it added.

Source: Singapore Business Review
Dated: 25-Jun-2018

Dalvey Court in Bukit Timah goes en bloc with $160 million reserve price

SINGAPORE - Dalvey Court owners have put the condominium development near the Singapore Botanic Gardens up for collective sale with a reserve price of $160 million, according to a press statement on Monday (June 25). The freehold, nine-storey building comprises 32 apartment units on 4,103.1 sq m, or 44,165 sq ft, of land off Bukit Timah Road. The site is zoned residential under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, and may be built up to 1.6 times the site area, also known as the plot ratio. There is a 12-storey height control on the site. The reserve price represents a land rate of about $2,009 per sq ft per plot ratio, based on a gross floor area of 7,400.69 sq m, or 79,660 sq ft. Marketing agent Cushman & Wakefield estimated that a potential developer may build up to 93 apartments based on an average unit size of 70 sq m. There is no development charge payable for the site, and no requirement for a traffic impact study. The site is located in the prestigious District 10 region. Besides being close to the Botanic Gardens, the site is also near to the stretch of high-profile schools along Bukit Timah Road that includes St Joseph's Institution, Singapore Chinese Girls' School, Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) and Nanyang Primary School. The tender closes at 3pm on Aug 2.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 23-Jun-2018

Selegie Centre and Peace Centre eye collective sales

The rejuvenation of Selegie Road is gathering steam, with the owners of two buildings in the midst of putting them up for collective sale. Selegie Centre, a 10-storey freehold commercial building, has obtained approval from around 90 per cent of owners by share value and strata area for a sale by tender, with a reserve price set at $120 million or a land rate of $1,942 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). Over at Peace Centre/Peace Mansion, a mixed-use development located at 1 Sophia Road, off the main Selegie Road, it is 10 per cent shy of the requisite 80 per cent approval level. Its owners are said to be eyeing a reserve price of $650 million. This will mark the third attempt for Selegie Centre and the fourth for Peace Centre. Owners of Selegie Centre, which has 33 shops and 25 apartments, are looking to launch the tender next week with a closing date of July 26, said Mr M. Thomas, chairman of the collective sale committee. "We already have inquiries from several potential buyers, and we hope to sell our building fast," he said. For Peace Centre, over 70 per cent of owners in share value and strata area have consented to the sale. With some 50 years left on its original 99-year leasehold tenure, the buyer of Peace Centre will have to fork out an estimated $200 million in lease top-up premium. Development charges are not payable. Considered to be located on the fringe of Orchard Road, Peace Centre is also near the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, School of the Arts and Singapore Management University. It sits on a 76,617 sq ft site, with a gross floor area of slightly over 600,000 sq ft. The property is made up of Peace Centre, which houses the commercial space, and Peace Mansion - a 22-storey residential tower with 84 apartments and two penthouses. There is a growing list of commercial buildings whose collective sale tenders have closed this year but remain unsold. They include The Stradia, Jalan Besar Plaza and Verdun House.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 22-Jun-2018

Major developers vying for site in Sengkang Central

Some big-name developers are in the hunt for a commercial and residential site in Sengkang Central, with seven bids lodged at the tender closing yesterday. Most of them joined forces in joint ventures for the government land sale site, which was put on sale via what is called a dual-envelope system. There was a joint bid from CapitaLand and City Developments (CDL), and one from Wing Tai Holdings and Keppel Land. Perennial Real Estate Holdings and Qingjian Realty also tabled a bid together. Singapore Press Holdings again tied up with Japanese developer Kajima Development, while Chinese developers MCC Land and Grantral Land, which owns Grantral Mall here, joined forces. Far East Organization, which recently won the Holland Road site tender that was also launched under the dual-envelope system, is again contesting for the Sengkang Central site. It submitted two separate tenders with different concept proposals. The dual-envelope system requires bidders to describe their concept for the site and, in a separate envelope, to state the price they would pay. The 37,284.8 sq m Sengkang site next to Buangkok MRT station was launched for sale last December by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It is on a 99-year lease and expected to generate about 700 units. Market watchers note that interest has not been as keen as that seen for the Holland Road site, which attracted 15 bids. CapitaLand, CDL, Perennial and Qingjian Realty were unsuccessful then, but are now vying for the Sengkang site. The concept proposals will be first evaluated by a committee based on a set of criteria specified in the tender. Only tenders that meet these criteria will be considered. At the second stage, the price envelopes of those left in the running will be opened, and the site awarded to the highest bidder. ZACD executive director Nicholas Mak noted that the size of the site and relatively complicated technical conditions related to the tender mean most of the bidders are consortiums or big players in the property market. He added that four out of the six groups of bidders in the tender are sponsors for Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts. "This is not surprising as it is increasingly difficult to acquire well-located shopping malls in Singapore at attractive prices. Hence, these developers would have to acquire land for retail malls." This site is envisioned to be an integrated community hub with amenities such as a hawker centre, community club, childcare centre and shops, as well as public rail and bus transport facilities, all in a one-stop location. Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE's research head for Singapore and South-east Asia, noted: "The six consortia who have thrown in the bids comprise experienced developers with proven track records. We expect the selection process to be challenging and very comprehensive. "While there is already a large public housing estate surrounding this site, there is potential for further developments that may reinforce the significance of this commercial/transport node."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 14-Jun-2018

Heated bids may fuel Orchard home prices to $4,000 psf

Breakeven levels for Park House is estimated at $3,300 psf. Aggressive bids for prime sites in Orchard Road may push home prices to hit or even go beyond the $4,000 psf mark, according to a flash note by DBS Group Research. This comes as Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak snapped two prime residential sites in Orchard Road, 21 Orchard Boulevard (Park House) and 14 & 14A Nassim Road, for a combined $593.5m in a move that significantly widened its real estate exposure as the company has selectively invested in commercial and hospitality projects in the lion city. "These are bold bids placed by Shun Tak as the bid prices imply that selling prices will test new highs in the Orchard vicinity," said DBS analyst Derek Tan. After assuming a 10% balcony bonus, break-even levels for Park House and 14 & 14A Nassim Road clock in at $3,300 psf and $3,100 psf respectively, according to DBS estimates, suggesting that projects in the pipeline could hit or even breach the $4,000 psf mark. "We note with over 20 sites sold within the core central region year to date, supply in the CCR for new developments is building up in the near term and competition for buyers' attention is also heating up," he added. With nearly the entire stretch of Cuscaden Road up for sale including YTL's 77-unit 3 Orchard by the Park and a GLS site scored by SC Global, Far East Consortium and New World Development, it would come as no surprise if property prices would breach benchmarks and set new records in the coming months.

Source: Singapore Business Review
Dated: 14-Jun-2018

Lakeside Apartments up for sale en bloc with $240m reserve price

Lakeside Apartments is now on the market with a reserve price of $240 million - the latest to wade into the wave of collective sales here. More than 80 per cent of owners at the 134,176 sq ft site in the Jurong Lake District area have agreed to sell and the tender was launched on Tuesday. This means each of the owners at the 120-unit development stands to pocket $2 million. The site in Yuan Ching Road is zoned residential with a plot ratio of 2.1. It comprises two tower blocks of 15 storeys, and has 58 years left on its 99-year lease. Developers will have to also cough up an enhancement premium of $55.56 million for both the lease top-up and the intensification of land use from the current baseline of 24,721 sq m, or an equivalent gross plot ratio of 1.98. "Given its continuous unblocked frontage alongside the Jurong Lake, Lakeside Apartments presents an exceptional redevelopment opportunity for developers seeking to create an iconic residential development," said marketing agent SLP International. Another feature of Lakeside Apartments is that JTC used to manage the land, but the management has since been handed over to strata title unit owners, according to Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group. Lakeside joins three freehold plots, two of which are in prime districts, that have been launched for sale recently. Elizabeth Towers, the largest of the three, is a high-rise residential redevelopment in Mount Elizabeth in District 9 with a reserve price of $610 million, which translates to a land rate of approximately $2,416 per square foot per plot ratio. Another collective sale site being launched is Gilstead Court in the Newton/Novena enclave. The 75,479 sq ft residential site, with JLL as its sole marketing agent, has a reserve price of $168 million. It consists of 24 apartments of 1,390 sq ft each and 24 units each of 1,464 sq ft, in three four-storey apartment blocks. The tender for Lakeside Apartments will close on July 24, while those for Gilstead Court and Elizabeth Towers close on July 10 and July 19, respectively. Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we said that ZACD Group is the parent company of SLP International. This is incorrect. ZACD Group and SLP International are separate legal entities.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 14-Jun-2018

Park House sold for record price of $2,910 psf per plot ratio

Orchard property Park House has fetched a record collective sale price of $2,910 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), marketing agent CBRE said yesterday. The freehold District 10 development at 21 Orchard Boulevard sold for $375.5 million. This translates to $2,910 psf ppr on the maximum allowable gross floor area of 129,035 sq ft, excluding the 10 per cent bonus for balconies. This new benchmark price beats the previous peak of $2,526 psf ppr, which Hong Kong's Swire Properties paid for the Hampton Court collective sale site at Draycott Park in 2013 - a deal also brokered by CBRE. The public tender for Park House was awarded on June 1 to Shun Tak Cuscaden Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak Holdings. Zoned as residential under the 2014 Master Plan, the 46,984 sq ft Park House site has a plot ratio of 2.8. Shun Tak Holdings intends to redevelop the site into a luxury residential development with expected completion by 2023. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's baseline record, no development charge is payable. Park House is a rare freehold 60-unit development, comprising 56 apartments and four shop units. Each apartment unit owner stands to receive a gross payout of about $6.1 million and each shop unit owner, $8.1 million. Said CBRE managing director of capital markets Jeremy Lake: "The response from local and foreign developers was overwhelming; we conducted more than 20 site inspections with developers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Indonesia." He added that Park House's positive attributes include its prominent yet exclusive location in Orchard Boulevard, accessibility to the Orchard Road shopping belt, and the short walking distance to the upcoming Orchard Boulevard MRT station, slated for completion in 2021. Park House collective sale committee chairman Edward Ong said: "This wonderful outcome has certainly exceeded the expectations of all owners." It had been put up for sale with a guide price of $308 million. This is the sixth collective sale brokered by CBRE this year, following Villa d'Este ($93 million), The Estoril ($224 million), Pacific Mansion ($980 million), Cairnhill Mansions ($362 million) and Riviera Point ($72 million). Pacific Mansion holds the record for the largest collective sale transacted in the current collective sale cycle, said CBRE.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 14-Jun-2018

Far East's Oasia Hotel Downtown bags best tall building award

Oasia Hotel Downtown in Tanjong Pagar has been named this year's Best Tall Building Worldwide by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a global authority on tall buildings and future cities that confers the award annually. The 27-storey skyscraper by developer Far East Organization, and designed by award-winning architecture firm Woha, features a plant-covered facade of red and green and outdoor communal spaces along its height, which CTBUH felt "connects to the green of the cityscape" and "provides respite and relief to its occupants, neighbours and city". "This project won not only because it incorporates 60 storeys of green walls along the exterior but also because of its significant commitment to communal space," said CTBUH executive director and awards juror Antony Wood. "The tower has given over 40 per cent of its volume to open-air communal terraces in the sky." It clinched the award at the 2018 Tall + Urban Innovation Conference from May 30-31 at Aqua Tower in Chicago. Oasia Hotel Downtown, which was also named the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia, beat out other regional winners, namely the American Copper Buildings (Best Tall Building Americas), The Silo (Best Tall Building Europe) and Zeitz MOCAA (Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa.) It now joins the ranks of past Best Tall Building Worldwide winners such as the Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, Bosco Verticale in Milan, and One Central Park in Sydney. Oasia Hotel Downtown was added to Far East H-Trust's portfolio in April.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Jun-2018

Condo resale prices rise 1.2% to new high in May: SRX Property

SINGAPORE - Prices of private condominiums and apartments continued their climb in May, hitting a new high although volumes dipped slightly, according to flash data from real estate portal SRX Property released on Tuesday (June 12). This comes as the monthly price increase for April 2018 was revised sharply upwards to 1.2 per cent, from SRX's earlier estimate of a 0.6 per cent rise. Resale prices of non-landed private properties last month rose 1.2 per cent compared to April and jumped 10.8 per cent from last May, according to the SRX estimates. Resale prices in the prime district, or core central region (CCR), hit a new high, after increasing 1.3 per cent over the previous month. Those outside of central region (OCR) rose 1.8 per cent month-on-month, while prices in the rest of central region (CCR) remained unchanged. Compared to last year, resale prices increased across all locations, with the CCR, RCR and OCR recording rises of 11.2 per cent, 11.4 per cent, and 9.9 per cent respectively. Resale volume stood at 1,560 units, 0.6 per cent lower than the 1,570 units resold in April, but 25.5 per cent higher than the 1,243 units moved in May 2017. However, resale transactions were still lower by 23.9 per cent compared to the peak of 2,050 units in April 2010. Overall median transaction over X-value (TOX) was positive $18,000 in May, a decrease of $2000 compared to the previous month's showing. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying or underpaying on a property based on SRX Property's computer-generated market value. Among areas with more than 10 resale transactions in May, District 9's Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley posted the highest median TOX at positive $80,000 which suggests that a majority of the buyers in that district purchased units above the computer-generated market value. Meanwhile, the Kranji and Woodgrove areas that constitute District 25 recorded the most negative median TOX of a negative $7,000, suggesting that a majority of the buyers in that district purchased units below the computer-generated market value. District 27 - formed by Yishun and Sembawang estates - posted a negative TOX of $15,000, meaning that a majority of the buyers in that district potentially purchased units below the computer-generated market value.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 07-Jun-2018

Cooling measures working in some Asia-Pacific markets, including Singapore: S&P housing report

SINGAPORE - Cooling measures and an accommodative monetary policy have helped to control house-price inflation in Singapore among other Asia-Pacific nations, a housing report published by S&P Global Ratings (S&P) on Thursday (June 7) has found. The study noted that mortgage credit expanded across the region, albeit at a slower pace than six months ago, while monetary policy remains highly accommodative - which has lowered mortgage interest rates, and eased mortgage financing conditions. "At the same time, cooling measures have been imposed to tame house prices in place in several markets in the region. These policies have had some success in controlling house-price inflation in China and Singapore," economists at S&P said. Among other things, the report also highlighted that public housing in Singapore is still undergoing "mild price declines", while the private residential market improved in the first quarter of this year, following a long period of price falls. Said S&P Asia-Pacific economist Vishrut Rana: "Out of the markets we cover, prices in the latest quarter only fell in three places: mainland China's Tier 1 markets, public housing in Singapore, and Sydney." Australian residential property markets appear to have slowed, particularly in Sydney, where additional housing supply is in the pipeline, the report said. "Several residential market indicators, including residential transactions and housing starts, are showing cyclical downturn. Macro-prudential policies have been effective in slowing down new mortgage borrowing, particularly by investors." In China, tight house-price cooling measures in Tier 1 cities led to property prices decreasing slightly for the first three months this year, and cooling measures in Tier 2 cities, while milder, remained very stringent, S&P said. Although mortgage credit growth has slowed partly due to these measures, China's residential mortgage market is still expanding at the fastest rate in the region, the report noted. Conversely, stringent price-cooling measures in Hong Kong have not been very effective in slowing house-price inflation due to strong property demand. "Hong Kong's residential property market stands out in the region for being unstoppable," said Mr Rana. Nonetheless, taken together, residential property markets in the Asia-Pacific region have remained resilient since October - thanks to favourable economic conditions, tight labour markets, and an accommodative monetary policy, S&P noted.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 07-Jun-2018

HK-listed FEC acquires Singapore property

Hot on the heels of other recent property dealings here in the prime district, Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium International (FEC) has just acquired 21 Anderson Royal Oak Residence. FEC's indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Advance Delight Global, has agreed to purchase all of the issued and paid-up capital of Highest Reach Investments, which owns the freehold, 34-unit site at 21 Anderson Road through its subsidiaries, it said in a statement yesterday. FEC will pay about $93 million and assume Highest Reach's existing bank loan under a credit facility of approximately $103 million. The seller is private equity giant Blackstone, acting through Amber Investment Holding (Cayman), which bought the property in late 2014 for approximately $164 million. It is believed that Blackstone had intended to divest the site, which has a total gross floor area (GFA) of 87,000 sq ft, since 2016. Mr Chris Hoong, managing director of FEC, said it intends to hold the site as an investment before potentially redeveloping it. "This acquisition is a good opportunity for the group to replenish the land bank in Singapore, generating recurring cash flow before the redevelopment and adding to its overall development pipeline following the successful launch of Artra in 2017," he added. The 400-unit Artra is a mixed-use development in Alexandra View that was launched about a year ago. "FEC will continue to adopt the regionalisation strategy and expand residential pipeline in order to deliver long-term benefits to our shareholders," said Mr Hoong. A consortium that included its unit, FEC Properties, last month clinched a 5,722.5 sq m residential Government Land Sales site in Cuscaden Road, at a bid of $410 million, to develop a luxury residential project. Earlier this year, it also teamed up with locally listed Koh Brothers Group to acquire and develop the Hollandia and The Estoril collective sales sites for $183.38 million and $223.94 million respectively. FEC shares yesterday closed one Hong Kong cent higher at HK$4.65.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 06-Jun-2018

Katong Plaza on sale en bloc at $188m

Freehold Katong Plaza will be launched for collective sale tomorrow with a $188 million price tag, sole marketing agent Huttons Asia announced yesterday. The expected price translates to $1,969 per square foot per plot ratio for the mixed commercial and residential development, after factoring in the payable development charge. The public tender closes at 2pm on July 16. The site has a land area of 34,044 sq ft with a gross plot ratio of 3.0, and can yield a possible 102,133 sq ft of gross floor area (GFA) after redevelopment, Huttons Asia's head of investment sales Terence Lian said. It is located 120m away from the future Marine Parade MRT station, and is in the vicinity of schools such as Tao Nan School and amenities such as Parkway Parade, 112 Katong and East Coast Park. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) guidelines, a minimum of 60 per cent of the GFA in the new development will need to be zoned for residential use, with the remaining 40 per cent for commercial purposes. With "continued strong demand" for residential homes in the Katong area, the winning developer could also choose to increase residential use to 80 per cent, with the remaining 20 per cent for commercial use under the current master plan zoning, subject to URA approval, said Huttons Asia's deputy head of investment sales Angela Lim. "Katong Plaza is strategically nestled within an established food and beverage and retail belt in the heart of Katong. We see a huge potential for the site to be transformed as the successful developer could introduce lifestyle cafes and eateries along the plot's existing 150m frontage along Brooke Road. "We envisage Brooke Road to form a vibrant weather-friendly thoroughfare lined with alfresco dining and activities that would help seamlessly link up the Katong/Joo Chiat area with the future Marine Parade MRT station," she said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Jun-2018

Spanish Village up for collective sale

Yet another property development has been put up for sale. Owners of the 226-unit freehold property along Farrer Road known as Spanish Village are asking for $882 million, jumping on the bandwagon of collective sales hopefuls in the prime districts. There are at least 10 other launched redevelopment sites in the prime districts waiting for buyers. Edmund Tie & Company, the marketing agent for Spanish Village, said the asking price for the freehold residential site reflects a land rate of $1,721 per sq ft per plot ratio, inclusive of a development charge of about $30 million. Built in the 1980s and spanning 331,457 sq ft, the site is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 1.6. "With all the surrounding good schools and proximity to lifestyle options and the CBD, the location holds great appeal for families with school-going children and expatriates alike," said Edmund Tie & Company's senior director of investment advisory Tan Chun Ming. "URA's recent tender award of the Holland Village GLS (government land sale) site for a mixed-use and pedestrian-oriented development will also add to the vibrancy of the locale." JLL senior consultant Karamjit Singh noted that the en bloc upswing from 2016 to date has been led by the lower end of the private residential market, with strong demand for mass-market homes and shortage of land kick-starting the en bloc wave. As land prices rose for the lower end of the market, the upper tiers of the market are starting to look relatively under-priced. This in turn has spurred collective sales in the medium to upper-end segments. But he pointed out that prime land does not interest all types of developers. "Some would prefer mass-market sites as they are good at building such homes. "They also feel the demand for affordable homes is much wider, as such projects mainly cater to HDB upgraders to whom additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) and total debt servicing ratio are lesser of an issue. "On the other hand, developers who specialise in the luxury end would welcome opportunities to build what they are good at," Mr Singh said, adding that Singapore's luxury home market still compares favourably to several global peers, despite ABSD payable by foreigners. Savills Singapore senior director Alan Cheong noted that the flavour of the season has swung to prime districts as developers have stocked up their landbank with suburban and city-fringe sites. The prime property owners have also been waiting for prices to rise before pushing their units for collective sale, he said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-May-2018

URA, HDB release sale sites in Dairy Farm Road, Sims Drive and Tampines Avenue 10

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing Board (HDB) have released three sites with residential components for sale in Dairy Farm Road, Sims Drive and Tampines Avenue 10. These come under the first half of the 2018 Government Land Sales programme, the authorities announced on Thursday (May 31). For sale is one Confirmed List site in Dairy Farm Road launched for residential development with commercial uses on the first storey. This land parcel has a site area of 19,647.5 sq m, with a 99-year lease period, and a permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 41,260 sq m. The project completion period is five years, and tender for this development will close at noon on Sept 4. Separately, the URA residential site in Sims Drive and the HDB executive condominium site in Tampines Avenue 10 are available for application under the Reserve List. This means developers can trigger the tender of these sites if they indicate interest with bid commitments acceptable to the URA. The development in Sims Drive has a site area of 16,225.3 sq m, with a lease period of 99 years, and a permissible GFA of 48,676 sq m. Project completion period also stands at five years, or 60 months. Lastly, the executive condominium in Tampines has a site area of 2.56ha, and a proposed gross plot ratio of 2.8. Taken together, these three sites can yield about 1,880 residential units, the URA and the HDB said in a joint statement.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-May-2018

Completed condo, private apartment prices slip 0.3%

Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums dipped 0.3 per cent from March to April. The decline comes after prices rose 1 per cent from February to March, according to the National University of Singapore's flash estimates yesterday. Property analyst Nicholas Mak, the executive director of Singapore-based ZACD Group, said the slight decline last month could be a "technical blip" as the market factors that are driving the real estate price growth are still intact. "The Singapore economy and job market remain healthy. The sentiment in the real estate market is still positive. The residential en bloc sale market is still active," he said. "Property owners who had sold their homes in recent collective sales would still need to buy properties to replace the ones that they had sold. All these factors would contribute to healthy demand and price growth." April's price drop was driven by a 0.8 per cent fall in prices for apartments in the central region. This excludes small units, which saw no price change in March. The central region is defined in this survey as Districts 1 to 4 - including the financial district and Sentosa Cove - and the traditional prime zones of Districts 9, 10 and 11. Unit prices in the non-central region were flat after rising 1.7 per cent in March, but small or "shoebox" apartments - those not more than 506 sq ft - dropped 0.6 per cent last month compared with an increase of 0.8 per cent in March. Prices of completed non-landed homes have climbed 1.7 per cent so far this year, led by a 2.3 per cent increase for non-central locations. Central region values are up 0.9 per cent. Overall prices are 7.9 per cent higher than at the same point last year, with apartments in the central region up by 9.1 per cent while the non-central units are 7 per cent ahead. Prices of shoebox units have gone up by 2.1 per cent so far this year and 3.1 per cent year-on-year. Mr Mak said he expects prices to continue to rise this year but added: "However, for monthly price indices, there will always remain the possibility that there could be road bumps, such as technical blips, in the climb to the top."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-May-2018

St Thomas Walk property owned by one family on sale for $68m

SINGAPORE - A freehold residential redevelopment site at St Thomas Walk has been put up for sale by a single family for $68 million. The asking price reflects a land rate of $2,190 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) including an estimated development charge of $10.56 million to intensify to plot ratio 2.8, said its marketing agent Edmund Tie & Company. Located in prime District 9, the property has a land area of about 1,190 sq m or 12,809 sq ft and is zoned for "residential" use at gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.8 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Master Plan 2014. Subject to regulatory approvals, the site can be redeveloped into a high-rise boutique project of a maximum height of 36 storeys. As the property is in the central area, the usual restriction on the maximum number of dwelling units (based on an average unit size of 70 sq m or 100 sq m) does not apply and there is no specific cap on the number of dwelling units according to URA's guidelines. Edmund Tie & Company senior director of investment advisory Tan Chun Ming noted that in recent months, with improvements in the global economy, there have been brisk sales for new residential projects in the vicinity such as Gramercy Park, New Futura and Martin Modern. "These positive take-ups highlight the confidence of the market in the luxury and high-end residential segment. This property, given its single-owner status, provides certainty in completion timeline, offering developers the opportunity to leverage the current upbeat market sentiments," Mr Tan said. The tender exercise for the site will close on July 3 at noon.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 25-May-2018

Leonie Gardens launched for sale en bloc with $800m reserve price; as is Lakeside Apartments at $240m

SINGAPORE - Huttons Asia announced on Friday (May 25) that it is launching Leonie Gardens for collective sale by tender with a reserve price of $800 million. The reserve price translates to $2,104 per sq ft based on existing gross floor area, or $2,021 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) if a 10 per cent balcony space is included, subject to approval. The tender will close at 3pm on Thursday, June 21. Leonie Gardens, located at 23, 25 and 27 Leonie Hill in District 9, has 71 years remaining on its 99-year leasehold, which expires on Sept 14, 2089. The condo consists of 138 units, with a total strata area of 324,972.90 sq ft and a gross floor area of 410,431.80 sq ft. The site is zoned residential under the Urban Redevelopment Authority Master Plan 2014, with a plot ratio of 2.8. According to Huttons, it can be developed into 544 condominium units averaging at about 70 sq m each, or 380 condominium units at about 100 sq m each. Subject to approval, it is possible to have a 10 per cent balcony space added, increasing the area to 449,031.63 sq ft. No development charge is payable as its existing baseline is above the current plot ratio of 2.8. However, a development charge of about $44 million will be levied if the additional 10 per cent balcony space is utilised. Meanwhile, Lakeside Apartments has also joined the collective-sale fray with a reserve price of $240 million, which translates to around $1,057 psf ppr after adding the estimated $58 million lease top-up quantum and development charge. The estimated lease top-up and development charges are subject to confirmation, said marketing agent SLP International. The agent added that the public tender would likely begin in early June, with the tentative closing date set for July 17. Lakeside Apartments, located in Yuan Ching Road in the Jurong Lake District, has a land area of 134,176 sq ft and consists of 120 units in two towers. It is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 2.1. SLP International said the site has the potential development height of 24 storeys, subject to approval. The 99-year leasehold property was completed in the 1970s.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 25-May-2018

Liang Seah Street, Little India shophouses for sale and auction

Three adjoining shophouses at 33 Liang Seah Street have been put up for sale via private treaty at $30 million, marketer Colliers International said yesterday. The three units, which have multiple tenants, are on a single land title within the Beach Road Conservation Area and are zoned commercial and residential. They have an estimated total gross floor area of 11,500 sq ft and a gross plot ratio of 4.2. The land has a 999-year lease tenure beginning from 1827. Colliers International said the shophouses were rebuilt and the external facade reinstated to its original specification in 1997. The units are opposite Bugis Junction mall and within walking distance of Bugis MRT station. Mr Steven Tan, director of capital markets and investment services at Colliers International, said: "Shophouses have always been a sought-after class of real estate among investors, owing to their prime locations, heritage charm and scarcity. "We expect to see keen investment interest. "The rare 999 years' tenure of these shophouses and their prime location in the city centre will boost their potential for asset value retention and future capital appreciation." Separately, a batch of six freehold conservation shophouses in Little India are up for auction. The corner unit and five adjoining units in Desker Road were bought in 2010 for $10 million. A 25-room hotel - Marrison@Desker - operates on the second floor of the shophouses. There is also food and beverage and retail units on the ground level. The six shophouses occupy a total land area of 619.1 square metres and a total build area of approximately 1,140 sq m. The auction will be on May 31, PropNex announced yesterday.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 24-May-2018

Balestier Regency up for collective sale at $218m

Balestier Regency, a 72-unit condominium complex off Balestier Road, was launched for collective sale by tender yesterday, with a minimum expected price of $218 million, Teakhwa Real Estate said. The indicative price translates to a land rate of $1,264.90 per square feet per plot ratio (psf ppr), including a development charge of $1.35 million. The land price will fall to about $1,220.90 psf ppr if the 10 per cent bonus balcony area is included, Teakhwa said. The 61,952 sq ft freehold residential site has a plot ratio of 2.8, and an allowable height of up to 36 storeys. If approved by the authorities, the maximum allowable gross floor area of 173,409 sq ft could potentially yield about 230 apartments, with an average size of 753 sq ft per unit for the new condo development, Teakhwa said. The property is located next to Shaw Plaza, a five-storey shopping mall that houses Shaw Theatres, a FairPrice supermarket, and fast-food outlets like McDonald's. It is also located within 1km of Hong Wen School, and within 2km of St Joseph's Institution (Junior) and CHIJ Toa Payoh. The nearest MRT stations are Novena and Toa Payoh MRT stations. Mr Sieow Teak Hwa, managing director of Teakhwa Real Estate, said: "For its central city location, freehold tenure, huge land size and undemanding land rate expectation, we can expect strong developer interest for this attractive site." The tender for Balestier Regency closes on June 21.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-May-2018

Buyers snap up 70 units at Le Quest Phase Two launch on Saturday

SINGAPORE - Le Quest, a Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group mixed development project in Bukit Batok, sold 70 units on the first day of its Phase Two sales. Qingjian Realty has offered just 115 units for sale on Saturday (May 19), just a week after it opened up the development for Phase Two preview. Deputy General Manager, Yen Chong said: "Homeowners clearly appreciate the tech-enabled lifestyle offered at Le Quest. The enthusiastic response we saw in Phase One has continued this weekend. We should sell about 80 units by the end of this weekend." Last August, the mixed development, which is a short drive away from Singapore's second central business district in Jurong East, sold 280 units on the first day of sales. Speaking on future plans for Le Quest, Ms Chong said that the developer is "not in a hurry to release the rest of the units". "With an average psf of $1,380, buyers can get a four-bedroom unit in the mixed-use development Le Quest from $1.8 million. So there will still be a steady demand." The 516-unit development with one- to four-bedroom units will house a childcare centre, a supermarket, retail outlets and other food and beverage establishments over 6,000 square metres. Prices for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, which proved popular among new buyers, start from S$703,000. Senior director of Research & Consultancy at Savills Singapore, Alan Cheong noted that prices of the units offered in Phase Two, though higher than at first launch, did not deter buyers from snapping up the units. "Despite the increase, it is still one of the most competitive among the recent launches. Buyers who are looking for growth regions across the island will find it a good buy," he said. PropNex Realty's CEO, Ismail Gafoor said that the developer's "strategy of catering to all homebuyers" with "a good mix of one-bedroom to four-bedroom units" worked. Le Quest is expected to receive its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) by end-2021. Qingjian Realty is planning to launch JadeScape, formerly the HUDC estate known as Shunfu Ville, this year. It is located at the intersection of Shunfu Road and Marymount Road, within easy walking distance of Marymount MRT station.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-May-2018

Chinatown Plaza sells en bloc for $260m

Chinatown Plaza has been sold for $260 million to a property unit affiliated to Singapore-based RGE (Royal Golden Eagle), the pulp and paper and palm oil giant founded by Sukanto Tanoto. The price translates to a land rate of $1,915 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), said Edmund Tie & Company, which handled the collective sale. Located in Craig Road, Chinatown Plaza has a land area of 33,953 sq ft and is zoned for commercial and residential use. The site has the potential to be redeveloped up to its existing gross floor area of 135,742 sq ft. Outline planning permission for serviced apartments with commercial use has been granted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Apartment owners are expected to receive gross sale proceeds of between $3.44 million and $4.79 million per unit, while shop owners can expect between $1.64 million and $10.62 million per unit. "Such freehold mixed-use sites within the city are rarely available," said Ms Swee Shou Fern, senior director for investment advisory at Edmund Tie & Company. "Given its city centre location in a popular and vibrant enclave within close proximity to MRT stations, the property is perfectly situated for use as serviced apartments. This development option will allow the purchaser to hold the invaluable freehold property for long-term investment." RGE manages a group of resource-based manufacturing companies with global operations and assets exceeding US$18 billion (S$24.5 billion).

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 18-May-2018

Chancery Court sells en bloc for $401.78m

Chancery Court, a privatised HUDC estate across the road from Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), has fetched $401.78 million in a collective sale tender, 6 per cent higher than its reserve price, sole marketing agent OrangeTee Advisory said yesterday. The buyer was not named but it is thought to be Far East Organization. The winning bid for the Dunearn Road site translates to a land price of about $1,610 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), after factoring in a differential premium and lease upgrading premium of some $182.4 million. This is to redevelop the site to a gross plot ratio (GPR) of 1.4, based on the maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 362,788 sq ft, and to top up the lease to a fresh 99 years. The estate comprises a 16-storey tower block and seven blocks of four-storey walk-up maisonettes on a site area of approximately 259,134 sq ft. The owners of the 136 apartments and eight commercial units stand to receive gross sale proceeds of $1.8 million to $3.5 million and $934,000 to $4.7 million respectively. The 99-year leasehold site in prime District 11 is a five-minute walk from Newton MRT station, near landed estates and Good Class Bungalows, and is within 1km of St Joseph's Institution Junior and less than 2km to Singapore Chinese Girls' Primary School. Subject to the authorities' approval, the site can be redeveloped into a five-storey residential development, with a maximum of 481 units, based on an average size of 70 sq m, said OrangeTee Advisory. "A pre-application feasibility study on traffic impact was commissioned by us and it has provided certainty to developers during the bidding process," said the firm. It added that recent sold collective sale sites in Bukit Timah Road, Dunearn Road and Balmoral Road exhibited developers' confidence in the prime locality. With the sale of Chancery Court, only five of 12 former HUDC estates remain for now - Ivory Heights, Pine Grove, Laguna Park, Braddell View and Lakeview. All five are in various stages of the collective sale process.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-May-2018

Tenders for sites in Cuscaden Road, Mattar Road and Silat Avenue go to highest bidders

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA) on Thursday (May 17) announced that the tenders for the sites in Cuscaden Road, Mattar Road and Silat Avenue have gone to the highest bidders - or, in the case of Silat Avenue, the sole bidder. The site in Cuscaden Road, a 5,722.5 sq m residential development, was awarded to Amberden, FEC Properties and Orchard Square. The tendered price is some $409.99 million, which set a new record price for government land sale sites of $25,588.22 per sq m (PSM) of gross floor area (GFA). The site in Mattar Road, a 6,230.2 sq m residential development, has gone to FSKH Development at a tendered price of $223 million. The PSM of GFA is $11,931.89. The site in Silat Avenue, a 22,851.6 sq m part-residential and part-residential with commercial-at-first-storey development, was awarded to UOL Venture Investments, UIC Homes and Kheng Leong Co. The consortium submitted the sole bid of $1.035 billion, which works out to PSM of GFA of $12,244.68, for the huge site which can yield 1,125 units. The tender for the site in Cuscaden Road was launched on Feb 27, while those for the sites in Mattar Road and Silat Avenue were launched on March 16. All three tenders closed on April 26. The land parcels were offered for sale on 99-year lease terms.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-May-2018

Far East-led group clinches Holland Rd site

A consortium led by Far East Organization has been awarded a plum commercial and residential site in Holland Road, with a winning bid of $1.213 billion or nearly $1,888 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which awarded the 99-year leasehold site yesterday, said the winning bid was the highest of the five shortlisted tenderers for the dual-envelope (concept and price) tender. Far East's fellow consortium members are Sekisui House and Sino Group. The other four shortlisted bids came from a consortium comprising GuocoLand, Hong Leong Holdings, TID and Hong Realty, which bid $1.06 billion or $1,650 psf ppr; a tie-up between Perennial Real Estate Holdings and Qingjian Realty, which bid $1.055 billion or $1,641 psf ppr; a CapitaLand and Hotel Properties tie-up, which bid $1.02 billion or $1,585 psf ppr; and a Pontiac Land and Lendlease tie-up, which bid $950 million or $1,478 psf ppr. The five bids were shortlisted from 15 received for the tender, which closed in March. The bids were submitted by 10 consortiums. Three consortiums submitted two bids each, while the Far East-led partnership submitted three bids. Tenderers that submitted multiple bids had different concept proposals for each bid. All bidders were required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in two separate envelopes. Only the envelopes containing the concept proposals were opened on the day when the tender closed, and URA released on the same evening the name of the bidders but not the bid prices. A committee then evaluated the proposals against the evaluation criteria. All tenderers were given the opportunity to present and explain their concepts to the committee. The five shortlisted had substantially satisfied the evaluation criteria, said URA. At the second stage, the price envelopes of the five were opened, with the site being awarded to the highest bid. URA said that overall, the concept proposal by the winning bidder was "compelling in its design concept and planning of the public realm". The winning bid's plans will allow the development to sit comfortably with the existing Holland Village and is laid out according to the present street block grid. The future development will include a series of ground-floor public spaces divided into three zones: Commons Square, which can hold events such as weekend markets and outdoor performances; Communal Green, which is a courtyard flanked by shops leading to a water court and a terraced water feature; and Pocket Park, which opens into Lorong Mambong in Holland Village. A series of open walkways will connect these public spaces to the surrounding areas. Through street-paving design, the existing Lorong Liput and Lorong Mambong will be extended into the future development, creating a consistent and distinctive streetscape for the larger Holland Village precinct.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-May-2018

Cairnhill Astoria up for sale en bloc at $196m

Freehold development Cairnhill Astoria will be launched for collective sale today via public tender for $196 million. The reserve price reflects a land rate of $1,964 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), inclusive of an estimated development charge of $16.34 million. This is comparable to the land rate of $1,914 psf ppr at Cairnhill Heights, which was sold last month, and less than the $2,311 psf ppr at Cairnhill Mansions, which was transacted in February, marketing agent Colliers International highlighted. Sitting on a 3,587.5 sq m (38,615 sq ft) site in prime District 9, Cairnhill Astoria - built in 1983 - comprises 36 apartments across a high-rise residential tower and a low-rise block. Under the Master Plan 2014, the land parcel is zoned "residential" and has a gross plot ratio of 2.8. Subject to approvals from the authorities, the site in Cairnhill Rise can be redeveloped to offer about 200 apartments, based on an average unit size of 540 sq ft. The property is near Orchard and Somerset MRT stations, as well as popular schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), St Margaret's Primary School, ISS International School and Chatsworth International School. Ms Tang Wei Leng, managing director at Colliers International, said: "It is clear that collective sale interest among developers has shifted from the suburban to prime sites. From January to May 15, 2018, there were 13 successful collective sale deals valued at over $3.85 billion in Districts 9 and 10, up from five transactions worth $870 million for the whole of 2017." Based on the size of the property - ranging from 700 sq ft to 6,060 sq ft - each owner could potentially receive between $2.275 million and $14.261 million if the sale goes through. Mr Paul Kwek, vice-chairman of the Cairnhill Astoria collective sale committee, said: "We believe the market conditions have improved and are hopeful of achieving a positive outcome with the advice and expertise of Colliers International." The collective sale tender for Cairnhill Astoria will close on June 27.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-May-2018

Cavenagh Gardens, Flynn Park, Rosalia Park, La Ville, Telok Kurau houses - total worth $1.2b - up for en bloc sale

SINGAPORE - Sole marketing agent JLL has launched five freehold residential sites for collective sale with a total value exceeding $1.2 billion. The five sites are Cavenagh Gardens off Orchard Road, Flynn Park in Pasir Panjang, Rosalia Park near Serangoon Central, La Ville at Tanjong Rhu Road, as well as the joint sale of three single-storey detached houses at Lorong H Telok Kurau. Tan Hong Boon, regional director at JLL, expects "keen interest" for the sites from both local and foreign developers and investors. He said: "While many developers and investors have successfully acquired sites over the past year, there is still strong demand for residential lands given that the prices of private residential properties have reached the lowest point and they look set for further upswing over the medium term. Developers, encouraged by their recent strong sale performances at new price levels, will continue their land acquisition efforts." He also highlighted that 26 sites amounting to $8.33 billion have sold over the past four-and-a-half months, already close to the $8.79 billion done for the whole of 2017.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-May-2018

21 of 30 New Futura units sold over weekend

The upmarket New Futura condo has sold 21 of the 30 units released over the weekend at its 60-unit North Tower. They were snapped up at an average price of around $3,500 per sq ft (psf), said developer City Developments Limited (CDL) yesterday. Most of the buyers in this second-phase soft launch were permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners, who targeted the larger apartments of up to $10 million each. CDL, which began previews on May 11, said it has also seen "robust demand" for the 64-unit South Tower that was soft launched in January. It has sold 62 apartments, or 97 per cent, at an average price of around $3,350 psf. This included the 7,836 sq ft penthouse, which went for $36.28 million or $4,630 psf. CDL said 72 per cent of the buyers were foreigners and PRs, mainly from Asia, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. North Tower's penthouse, which is the same size as the one at South Tower, remains unsold. The freehold New Futura in Leonie Hill Road in prime District 9 has 124 units in all. Besides the two five-bedroom penthouses, it has 28 two-bedroom units of 1,098 sq ft to 1,367 sq ft, and 54 three-bedroom units of 1,830 sq ft. There are also 20 four-bedroom units of 2,250 sq ft and another 20 of 2,691 sq ft with higher ceilings in the dining area. All units have private lift access, and the penthouses come with a 13m-long private pool, a sauna and a shower by the pool deck. There is also a two-level basement carpark with more than 250 parking spaces. "The Singapore residential market has continued to show promising signs of recovery," CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong said in a statement. "Propelled by pent-up demand, sales volumes are strengthening and property prices are trending up, especially for high-end projects with strong value proposition. "Foreigners are also returning to invest in Singapore's high-end property market, given the city's attractiveness, economic stability, price recovery and value."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-May-2018

Fernhill Court up for collective sale at $125m

Fernhill Court - a prime development located next to the Nassim Road, Dalvey Road and White House Park Good Class Bungalow areas - will be put up for collective sale at a reserve price of $125 million. The sale via public tender will start today, Colliers International said yesterday. The reserve price translates to a land rate of $1,885 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), after factoring in a development charge of $3.7 million payable for the intensification of land use, Colliers said. "This compares favourably against the land rate of $1,898 psf ppr achieved for the collective sale of Villa D'Este in Dalvey Road recently," it noted. With 100 per cent consensus from the owners already obtained, the successful bidder will not be required to obtain approval from the Strata Titles Board for the sale, and will be able to take possession of the site following the end of the vacant possession period, Colliers added. Built in 1981, Fernhill Court comprises 18 maisonettes with sizes ranging from 2,271 sq ft to 2,982 sq ft. Each owner will stand to receive a minimum of between $6.32 million and $8.3 million from the successful sale of the development.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 15-May-2018

Goldhill Shopping Centre up for sale en bloc at $425m

Goldhill Shopping Centre in Novena has been launched for collective sale with a reserve price of $425 million. With a development charge of around $61.2 million, the land rate for the freehold site translates to around $2,597 per square foot per plot ratio. It is the first fully commercial collective sale site to be launched this year, said Cushman & Wakefield, the agent handling the sale. The tender is set to close on June 27 at 3pm. The existing development, with a site area of 62,422 sq ft, comprises three blocks of walk-up commercial units, with retail shops on the ground floor. The site is zoned "commercial", with a plot ratio of three, translating to a maximum gross floor area of around 187,266 sq ft. It has a building height limit of 117m above mean sea level. The Goldhill site represents an opportunity for developers to "create a trophy landmark commercial development in an established location", said Ms Christina Sim, Cushman & Wakefield's director of capital markets. It is within walking distance of, among other developments, United Square, Novena Square, Square 2 and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. "With the impending North-South Expressway in the pipeline, there may also be a possibility of a direct connection to the Novena MRT station through the basement, subject to planning approval," Ms Sim noted.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-May-2018

As flat prices soar in Hong Kong, investors park money down in the lot

HONG KONG (REUTERS)- Esther Fan's nest egg is tucked away in an old residential complex on the outskirts of Hong Kong - two parking spaces in a dimly-lit lot alongside dozens of luxury cars and a Mini Cooper with fake eyelashes on its headlights. Her parking spots, marked out in mustard-coloured paint, have more than doubled in value in the past 18 months, with one surging to HK$1.6 million (S$272,630) from HK$720,000. Those gains have greatly outpaced the price growth of the flats in the building above them in Tai Wai district, some 30 minutes' drive from the central business district on Hong Kong island. It took about seven years for the flats, measuring only around28 square metres, to record the same growth of 120 per cent, according to data from Centaline Property Agency. The flats currently go for about HK$4.7 million per unit. City-wide, while Hong Kong's private homes roughly doubled in value between 2010 and 2017, the price of a parking spot in residential complexes around the city tripled to an average of HK$1.4 million, according to data from an independent website dedicated to the asset, CarparkHK.com. "Flats are expensive, but their value won't jump 100 per cent in roughly a year," said Ms Fan, who does not drive and rents both spaces out for HK$2,300 a month each. "But that's what's happening with parking spots. It's incredible." The boom is being fuelled by a surge of cars on Hong Kong's roads and a red-hot housing market that pushes investors to park their money in assets with lower entrance fees. A GRID OR A FLAT? Over the past 15 months, two thirds of parking spaces fetched more than HK$1 million, while one in five cost more than HK$2 million, according to data compiled by Midland Realty Services. Last year, a parking spot inside a luxury residential complex was sold for an eye-watering HK$5.18 million, or US$664,200 at the time - a record for the city. The parking spot's price per square foot, at about US$3,500 (S$4,680), outpaced the typical per square foot price of prime residential flats in major cities like Tokyo (S$4,380), London (S$2,360) and New York (S$2,100), according to data from property consultancy Savills. The only city that could top that is Hong Kong, at US$4,000 per square foot. In 2014, a parking space in London's South Kensington went for a staggering £480,000 - now equivalent to US$651,600 but US$759,500 at the time. A big reason for the parking space boom in Hong Kong is a jump in car ownership. From 2006 to 2016, the numbers of private cars on Hong Kong roads increased 45 per cent, according to a government report last year. Meanwhile, the number of parking spaces only edged up 9 per cent, contributing to an "aggravating shortage", it added. Buggle Lau, director of property data and research at Midland Realty Services, said it was hard to predict when the fervour would end."At this moment I can't see the economy becoming worse, so I don't see a drop in demand. But I also don't see a rise in supply," Mr Lau said. AN EMPTY SPACE The market for parking spaces has also been fuelled by a series of government measures since 2012 to cool the property sector, including a 15 per cent stamp tax on buying second flats. Jason Or, the owner of Big Fortune Property Limited, cited the stamp duty as a trigger for a jump in demand for parking spots. "Some people even buy 50 at a time," he said. Mr Or, 37, began investing in parking in 2015, and said the seven spaces he owns had doubled in value to a total of nearly HK$10 million. Many banks in Hong Kong - including HSBC and Standard Chartered - even offer mortgages tailor made for parking spots. But Sharmaine Lau, chief vice-president of mReferral Mortgage Brokerage Services, said the market was not very competitive as values were small compared to the residential sector. While some investors are cashing in, those just looking for places to keep their cars are unhappy about the sky-rocketing prices. Andrew Ng, 55, said parking woes were a common topic of conversation for him and fellow members of the Classic Car Club. "It's crazy it takes a few million to buy a grid, a space with nothing, which you can't do anything with apart from parking," Mr Ng said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-May-2018

Bulk sales of 22 River Valley apartments, 5 Bartley terrace houses

SINGAPORE - Some 22 private apartments in 336 River Valley Road, previously known as AA Centre, have been put up for bulk sale by tender. Their indicative price is $2,200 per square foot to $2,300 psf, or about $86 million to $90 million in total. The property, known as 336 RV, sits on a site area of about 33,757 sq ft. The land is zoned "residential" use with a plot ratio of 2.8 and a height restriction of 10 storeys. 336 RV, which is within walking distance to Somerset MRT station, is a 14-storey freehold residential cum commercial development, with 90 basement carparking lots. The units for sale are located from the seventh to 14 storeys, comprising a total strata area for sale of about 38,976 sq ft. There are still six residential units pending approval for sale, subject to the tender close. If included, the incoming buyer could potentially acquire up to 49,805 sq ft, said property consultant Richmond Capital Invesments, which is handling the sale. In 2013, car insurance company The Automobile Association sold the first to sixth storeys, which is the commercial component of the building, to Far East Organization, which now uses the space for its office operation. Richmond Capital Invesments said the residential unit owners decided to unite in the joint sale for the residential component in the development, after noticing the momentum in en bloc sales in the market. "The investor could potentially convert the residential units into service apartments, subject to relevant authorities' approval," it added. The tender for the apartments closes on June 6 at 4 pm. Separately, a row of freehold terrace house, units 17 to 25, along Quemoy Road was also put up for sale with an indicative price "in the range of $23.87 million" on Wednesday. This translates to a land price of $1,142 psf per plot ratio. The plot of land within walking distance to Bartley MRT station, is located near Maris Stella High School, St Gabriel's Secondary School and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Secondary). Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned for residential use with a 1.4 plot ratio. The 14,918 sq ft freehold site can be redeveloped into a five-storey boutique development, subject to the URA's approval. Mount Everest Properties is marketing the collective sale of the terrace houses. The tender exercise closes on June 12.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-May-2018

Ava Towers condo up for collective sale at $248m

The freehold Ava Towers condominium is up for collective sale with a reserve price of $248 million. The 124-unit condo in Ava Road, Balestier, sits on a sizeable land area of about 64,471 sq ft with a gross plot ratio of 2.8. The site can be redeveloped up to a gross floor area of 180,519 sq ft, with a proposed plot ratio of 2.8. It is near Thomson Medical Centre and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, the Whampoa wet market and food centre, and a 24-hour FairPrice supermarket. Curtin Singapore, the Global Indian International School and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine are also nearby. The reserve price translates to a land rate of about $1,374 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), said marketing agent ERA Realty Network. Given the site's high development baseline, there is no development charge payable for redevelopment up to a gross plot ratio of 2.8. But if a 10 per cent bonus gross floor area for balconies is included, the land rate would be reduced to $1,274 psf ppr, after factoring in about $5.03 million in development charge. ERA said the Land Transport Authority has stated that a pre-application feasibility study on traffic impact will not be required. The winning developer can retain the structure of the development with additions and alterations, or rebuild it into a contemporary design with a minimum of 215 units that average 753 sq ft, said ERA. The tender opens on May 16 and closes on July 2.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-May-2018

Collective sale sites near Mountbatten, Holland V up for grabs

Two collective sale sites have hit the market - in Margate Road and near Holland Village. It will be the first attempt to sell en bloc the 15-unit Margate Point, which has a minimum expected price of $38 million. Owners representing 14 of the 15 apartments have already inked their consent to the sale, said marketing agent JLL yesterday. If the last holdout gives the green light, the owners can bypass the Strata Titles Board application process and work towards legal completion taking place within three months of contract. Margate Point in Margate Road is near Meyer and Mountbatten roads. It has a land area of about 12,800 sq ft with an allowable gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.1. The site could be redeveloped into a maximum of 35 apartments with an average size of 70 sq m per unit, said JLL. JLL senior consultant Karamjit Singh said: "Margate Road happens to be the dividing line that segregates the high-rise residential zone from the safeguarded two-storey landed estate. "The new high-rise development at Margate Point's site would stand to enjoy excellent, unobstructed views across the vast Meyer Road and Goodman Road landed zones up to the low-rise residential areas in Joo Chiat." He added that Margate Point's reserve price translates to a land rate of about $1,417 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) for a redevelopment up to GPR 2.1 - before any bonus gross floor area for balconies. Mr Singh deemed this "reasonable" in view of the transacted prices and asking prices of other land parcels in the vicinity. Meanwhile, the owners of the 19-unit Holland Tower condominium near Holland Village have put their site up for sale with a reserve price of $65 million. The freehold site at 10 Holland Heights occupies a land area of 21,871 sq ft. Marketing agent Singapore Realtors said the site sits within a district zoned for good-class bungalows, but developers may redevelop the land to its current intensity subject to approval. The reserve price works out to $1,489 psf ppr, which implies that the site has a maximum allowable built-up area of about 43,650 sq ft, or a plot ratio of about two times. Recent sales in the upscale District 10 area include Olina Lodge at $1,712 psf ppr, Tulip Garden at $1,790 psf ppr, and Hollandia at $1,703 psf ppr. "Holland Tower offers the successful tenderer the opportunity to develop a unique product of exceptional quality with sweeping views over the luscious greenery," Singapore Realtors head of investment sales Andy Gan said in a statement. The tender for Holland Tower closes at 2pm on May 30, while that for Margate Point closes at 2.30pm on June 6.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-May-2018

Holland Tower launches collective sale with S$65m reserve price

SINGAPORE - Owners of the 19-unit Holland Tower condominium near the Holland Village neighbourhood have put their site up for collective sale by tender with a reserve price of S$65 million. The freehold site at 10 Holland Heights occupies a land area of about 21,871 sq ft, or 2,031.9 sq m. The marketing agent, Singapore Realtor Inc, said that the site sits within a district zoned for good-class bungalows, but that developers may redevelop the site to its current intensity subject to approval from the authorities. Singapore Realtor said that the reserve price works out to S$1,489 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), which implies that the site has a maximum allowable built-up area of about 43,650 sq ft, or a plot ratio of about two times. Recent sales in the upscale District 10 region include Olina Lodge at S$1,712 psf ppr, Tulip Garden at S$1,790 psf ppr and Hollandia at S$1,703 psf ppr. "Holland Tower offers the successful tenderer the opportunity to develop a unique product of exceptional quality with sweeping views over the luscious greenery," Singapore Realtor head of investment sales Andy Gan said in a statement. The tender for the site closes at 2pm on May 30. To date this year, 24 collective sale sites have sold for S$8.06 billion, almost surpassing the S$8.52 billion achieved in 2017.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-May-2018

Margate Point in Katong up for sale in maiden offer en bloc with S$38m reserve price

SINGAPORE - Margate Point, a 15-unit apartment development in Margate Road, has been put up for sale by tender in its maiden collective sale attempt at a minimum expected price of S$38 million. To date, owners representing 14 out of 15 of the apartments have already inked their consent to the collective sale, said marketing agent JLL on Wednesday (May 2). Should the last unit's consent be obtained, the owners can bypass the Strata Titles Board application process and work towards legal completion taking place within three months of contract. Located off Meyer Road and Mountbatten Road, Margate Point has a land area of about 12,800 sq ft and is zoned "residential", with an allowable gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.1 under the 2014 Master Plan. Subject to design and approval from the authorities, the site may be redeveloped into a maximum of 35 apartments with an average size of 70 sq m per unit, said JLL. Karamjit Singh, senior consultant at JLL, said: "Margate Road happens to be the dividing line that segregates the high-rise residential zone from the safeguarded two-storey landed estate. "When redeveloped, the new high-rise development at Margate Point's site would stand to enjoy excellent, unobstructed views across the vast Meyer Road and Goodman Road landed zones, until the low-rise residential areas in Joo Chiat. The stunning views, combined with its central Katong location and its close proximity to a future MRT station, would be sought-after selling points." He added that subject to confirmation on the property's development baseline, Margate Point's reserve price translates to a land rate of about S$1,417 per sq ft per plot ratio for a redevelopment up to GPR 2.1 - before any bonus gross floor area for balconies - which is "reasonable", in view of the transacted prices and asking prices of other land parcels in the vicinity.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Apr-2018

Private home prices rise 3.9% in Q1

The price gap between private and public housing widened in the first quarter. While resale prices dipped 0.8 per cent for Housing Board flats - the sixth consecutive quarter of decline - private home values climbed 3.9 per cent. This easily beat a flash estimate of 3.1 per cent growth, and marks the steepest quarter-on-quarter gain in the private sector since the second quarter of 2010, when the Urban Redevelopment Authority index gained 5.3 per cent. Ms Christine Sun, head of research at OrangeTee and Tie, said the price divergence stemmed from an oversupplied HDB market while the amount of completed homes remained low in the private market. Some projects raised prices as well. Non-landed homes led the way this quarter with a 4.4 per cent price increase compared with a 0.8 per cent rise in the fourth quarter. Landed property prices rose 1.9 per cent compared with 0.5 per cent increase in the final three months of last year. Non-landed homes in the outside central region outperformed the rest with 5.6 per cent in gains, compared with the 0.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter. Prices in the core central region were up by 5.5 per cent in the quarter compared with a 1.4 per cent lift in the fourth quarter of 2017. City fringe increased 1.2 per cent, higher than the 0.4 per cent growth in the previous quarter. The vacancy rate for completed private homes fell by 0.4 percentage points to 7.4 per cent. Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research for Edmund Tie & Company (ET & Co), said: "The market is on the uptrend. The increase in price is supported by strong demand from buyers seeking replacement homes and foreign home buyers." PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor added: "We can see buyers and investors now taking action in both new and resale segments, with the bullish lands bids and continuous collective sales." Private home rents edged up 0.3 per cent after declining 0.9 per cent in the previous quarter. Landed property rents remained unchanged after a 1.3 per cent decrease in the fourth quarter. But rent for non-landed property increased 0.3 per cent compared with the 0.8 per cent decrease in the fourth quarter. Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group, said the en-bloc market could be pushing private residential property rents into recovery since residents, including tenants, would have to find alternative housing when a development is sold. There were also fewer options in the secondary market as more sellers were holding out for a collective sale, said Dr Lee. There were 44,261 units in the pipeline with planning approvals as at March 31, including executive condominium units, while there were 24,193 unsold units in the pipeline - the highest since the third quarter of 2016. Mr Ismail predicts private home prices will rise 8 to 10 per cent for the whole year: "Higher price points at new launches will bring up the overall selling prices of the resale and existing launches moving forward." But Dr Lee believes prices could go up by 8 to 12 per cent for the year, and that the supply of unsold units will not derail the upswing in sales and prices. Based on the level of demand seen between 2009 and 2013, he thinks this upcoming supply can be absorbed.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 24-Apr-2018

Jalan Besar commercial site, Park House in Orchard put up for sale

A commercial property in bustling Jalan Besar and an upmarket development site off Orchard Road have been put up for sale. The freehold commercial site at the former New World Amusement Park in Jalan Besar Road is being sold at an indicative guide price of about $13.5 million, reflecting a unit land rate of about $1,392 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), marketing agent JLL said yesterday. No development charge is payable to intensify the 3,230 sq ft site. Mr Clemence Lee, JLL's associate director for capital markets, said that after factoring in the development cost, the blended break-even for the new development would be around $1,925 psf. "This compares favourably to the average price of $5,000 to $5,500 psf achieved for the strata retail units and $2,400 to $2,500 psf for the strata office units at the nearby Arc 380 and Centrum Square," he added. Potential commercial uses for the new development include food and beverage services, offices, co-working and retail. JLL said written permission has been obtained by the existing owner to develop the site to accommodate two four-storey units with a temporary eating house on the ground floor and office use for the upper floor. The approved gross floor area is 9,694 sq ft. There is also no additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty imposed on the purchase of the property, JLL said. The sale exercise closes on May 30. Separately, Park House in Orchard is up for sale by tender with a guide price of $308 million. This reflects a land rate of about $2,387 psf ppr, or $2,170 psf ppr after taking into consideration the 10 per cent bonus gross floor area allowed for balconies. Owners at the 56 apartments will receive at least $5 million each, while owners of four shops in the development will get no less than $6.65 million each, said marketing agent CBRE. The 46,084 sq ft freehold site has an allowable plot ratio of 2.8. Development charges are not payable as the baseline plot ratio is equivalent to about 3.66, CBRE said. Located at the junction of Orchard Boulevard and Tomlinson Road, Park House is close to the malls like Paragon, ION Orchard, the St Regis Hotel and Four Seasons Hotel. It was completed about 50 years ago. Mr Jeremy Lake, managing director of capital markets at CBRE, said he expects at least eight to 10 tender bids from developers based here and overseas in places like Hong Kong, Malaysia and China. "We have talked about a collective sale on and off for the last 12 years or so but this time we were able to achieve 80 per cent support from the owners with the help of CBRE," Mr Edward Ong, chairman of the sales committee, said. "Each of the residential owners should be able to get a handsome amount which is a very generous budget to buy a replacement property." The tender closes on May 31.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-Apr-2018

Local tie-up snaps up Sembawang mall for $248m

A joint venture comprising two local business groups is buying Sembawang Shopping Centre from CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) for $248 million - almost the double the complex's latest valuation. Lian Beng-Apricot Sembawang, as the venture is called, is a 50:50 partnership between construction firm Lian Beng Group and Apricot Capital, the private investment firm of the Super Group's Teo family. The bid lodged by the joint venture for the mall was almost double the $126 million valuation for the property as of Dec 31 last year. This valuation commissioned by CapitaLand Mall Trust was carried out by Knight Frank using the capitalisation method and the discounted cashflow method. Conversely, Lian Beng's valuation was done on a market comparable basis. It said its bid price took into consideration prevailing market conditions and current prices of properties in the vicinity. The purchase price works out to $1,203 per sq ft (psf) for the mall, which has a gross floor area (GFA) of 206,087 sq ft, and $1,727 psf based on its total net lettable area of 143,631 sq ft. "Considering that Sembawang Shopping Centre is a 999-year leasehold property, we think the purchase price in per square foot is reasonable," said Lian Beng executive chairman Ong Pang Aik yesterday. Mr Terence Tang, managing director of capital markets and investment services at Colliers International, Asia, noted that based on the mall's income, the $248 million price works out to a net income yield (gross revenue less operating expenses) of 4.2 per cent. Colliers brokered the deal. In July last year, Lian Beng and Apricot Capital acquired mixed-use commercial and residential building Wilkie Edge near Little India for $280 million from CapitaLand Commercial Trust. This worked out to $1,299 psf based on GFA and $1,812 psf based on net lettable area. Sembawang Shopping Centre's major tenants include Giant, Yamaha Music School, Food Junction and Daiso Japan. It has four retail levels and three carpark levels. CMT told the Singapore Exchange yesterday that the divestment is expected to generate a net gain of about $119.6 million. CMT Management chief executive Tony Tan said: "As the mall accounts for only about 1 per cent of CMT's total asset value, its sale will have minimal impact on CMT's financial performance and distribution per unit."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 19-Apr-2018

Choon Kim House up for collective sale at over $55m

The collective sale bandwagon rolls on with freehold Choon Kim House in Upper Serangoon Road the latest to launch itself on the market. Owners of the four-storey, mixed-use development expect bids above $55 million, said marketing agent JLL yesterday. That would be a land rate of $1,287 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), or $1,257 psf ppr after factoring in the 10 per cent bonus balcony for the residential component. It also includes an estimated development charge of $4.9 million. JLL said the location offers an "appealing opportunity for owner-occupiers who are looking for a freehold building at a manageable quantum in a central location". Choon Kim House at 780 Upper Serangoon Road was completed in the early 2000s and consists of 20 commercial units and 10 apartments with 19 basement carpark spaces. The 14,988 sq ft site is zoned commercial and residential, with a gross plot ratio of 3.0. It could support a total gross floor area of 47,661 sq ft, inclusive of the 10 per cent bonus balcony area. That could accommodate 35 homes and 22 commercial units, assuming a 60:40 mix, JLL said. Choon Kim House is near the Serangoon bus and MRT interchange and is accessible by the Central Expressway and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway. Nex mall as well as schools such as Paya Lebar Methodist Girls', Maris Stella High, St Gabriel's Primary and CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel are nearby. Ms Yong Choon Fah, JLL's national director of capital markets, described the location as popular among "families and young couples who appreciate the convenience, ready amenities and one-of-a-kind dining options in the Serangoon area". The tender closes at 2.30pm on May 21.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Apr-2018

Faber Garden to launch sale en bloc with $1.18b reserve price; could be biggest collective sale this year

SINGAPORE - With a reserve price of S$1.18 billion, the freehold Faber Garden off Upper Thomson Road could be Singapore's largest collective sale deal this year and the second largest ever, if it succeeds. The 544,738 sq ft site at Angklong Lane, next to Singapore's Central Nature Reserve amid Good Class Bungalows, landed housing and private condominiums, will be launched for sale by public tender on Tuesday (April 17), said marketing agent CBRE on Monday. The 236-unit development, which is about 34 years old, is right by the upcoming Bright Hill MRT Station slated to open in 2021, and within walking distance of Windsor Nature Park and Lower Pierce Reservoir. The site has a plot ratio of 1.6 and a height restriction of 12 storeys. The maximum allowable gross floor area (GFA) is about 871,581 sq ft and 958,739 sq ft, including a 10 per cent bonus for balconies. It could yield more than 1,150 units based on the 70 sq m guideline. The total development charge (DC) payable is about S$106.7 million, which comprises charges payable for intensifying the gross floor area of about S$52.8 million, as well as further charges for the 10 per cent bonus balconies' GFA. Including the DC charges, the land price works out to S$1,414 psf ppr, or S$1,342 psf ppr with the 10 per cent bonus balconies. Galven Tan, executive director for capital markets at CBRE, said: "In land-scarce Singapore, large sites such as this is hardly available, or would otherwise be 99-year leasehold. Faber Garden's attributes are exceptional - the plot is freehold; it is next to a nature reserve, and an MRT Station at its doorstep makes it a compelling development proposition." Should the sale go through at the reserve price, it will beat Pacific Mansion in River Valley, which was acquired by GuocoLand, Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty, and sold for S$980 million in March this year. The record for a residential sale en bloc is held by Farrer Court, which sold for S$1.34 billion in 2007. The tender will close at 3pm on May 23.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 13-Apr-2018

Freehold Tulip Garden sold en bloc for $907m

A joint entity of Chinese developer Yanlord Land Group and MCL Land has bought freehold Tulip Garden for $906.9 million - the second biggest collective sale this year. The price is 20.4 per cent higher than the reserve of $753 million submitted by owners of the 316,708 sq ft estate completed in 1985. Tulip Garden, comprising 162 apartments and maisonettes and two shop units, is in District 10 and close to Holland Village and a Good Class Bungalow area. Each residential unit owner could get between $4.3 million and $7.6 million, depending on the size of the home - unit sizes range from 1,701 to 3,412 sq ft. It is a case of fourth-time lucky for Tulip Garden owners. The development was actually sold in July 2007 during its first try, but the buyer - a consortium led by Bravo Building Construction - backed out after struggling to raise funds amid the developing financial crisis. Bravo forfeited its 5 per cent deposit of $25.8 million, which the owners kept. Reports suggested at the time that they each stood to reap about $100,000. This time the process should be far smoother. Colliers International managing director Tang Wei Leng said: "Despite a spate of collective sale deals done in the Holland Road area in recent months and a large slate of redevelopment sites on the market, the tender for Tulip Garden still attracted very keen interest - a testament to its excellent locational attributes." The sale price works out to a land rate of $1,790 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). This is higher than recent collective sales in the area such as the $1,703 psf ppr for Hollandia, the $1,654 psf ppr for The Estoril and $1,536 psf ppr for The Wilshire. The Tulip Garden site could yield up to 670 residential units with its plot ratio of 1.6, said Yanlord in a Singapore Exchange announcement after trading hours yesterday. There is no development charge payable for redevelopment up to a gross plot ratio of 1.6, said Colliers. The acquisition is Yanlord's first venture in Singapore's prime freehold residential property market. The biggest collective sale deal this year is Pacific Mansion in River Valley, which was acquired by GuocoLand, Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty for $980 million. Yanlord said the acquisition and development of the project will be financed by internal resources and bank borrowings. Yanlord Land shares closed two cents up at $1.75, before the announcement was made.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Apr-2018

88 Market Street, on former Golden Shoe Car Park site, secures JPMorgan as anchor office tenant

SINGAPORE - 88 Market Street, the landmark 51-storey tower coming up on the site of the former Golden Shoe Car Park, has secured its first anchor tenant, US investment banking giant JP Morgan, CapitaLand announced on Thursday (April 12). Its new name - CapitaSpring - was also unveiled. JP Morgan will take up 155,000 sq ft - or close to a quarter of the 635,000 sq ft of net lettable area at CapitaSpring, occupying levels 24 to 30 of the tower in prime Raffles Place, CapitaLand said in a statement. CapitaLand and CapitaLand Commercial Trust each hold a 45 per cent stake in the joint venture developing CapitaSpring, while Mitsubishi Estate Co has the remaining 10 per cent interest in the office and serviced residence components of the development. Said Lynette Leong, chief executive officer of CapitaLand Commercial: "As a longstanding tenant of ours since 2001, we look forward to extending our partnership at this dynamic new location in the heart of Singapore's CBD. JPMorgan's choice of CapitaSpring speaks volumes about the development's strong appeal to progressive companies seeking a prestigious address with modern future-ready facilities." According to Ronald Tay, CEO of CapitaLand Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia: "The name CapitaSpring reflects our vision of a refreshing, vibrant, future-ready vertical community enabled by technology and seamlessly connected to transport nodes." Upon completion, CapitaSpring will be one of the tallest and greenest buildings in Raffles Place, with treetop cocoons, sky hammocks, and the Green Oasis, a four-storey high botanical promenade between the Grade A office floors and a modern serviced residence. It will also boast Singapore's highest urban farm and a fine-dining restaurant on its rooftop 280m high. Community events such as fitness sessions and lunchtime performances will be held at the ground-floor City Room, which will blend into a 12,500-sq-ft public park. The development will also house a 299-unit Citadines serviced residence managed by The Ascott Limited, ancillary retail space, as well as a food centre located on the second and third levels of the development. Construction on the development began in February 2018. It is slated for completion in the first half of 2021. CapitaLand shares traded 4 cents or 1.1 per cent down to S$3.65 as at 2.30pm.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Apr-2018

Private apartment, HDB rents down in March: SRX

Rentals in both the private property market and for Housing Board flats registered declines last month, according to flash estimates from SRX Property. Private apartment rents declined in March, after three straight months of gains, even amid a pick-up in the number of units leased out. Rents for non-landed private homes fell by 0.2 per cent against the previous month. The index was dragged down by homes in the core central region, which refers to prime areas such as Orchard Road, where rents lost 0.4 per cent. The index was also affected by rents in the suburbs or outside the central region, where rents slipped by 0.5 per cent. But some landlords can still rest assured, with rents in the non-core central region - which includes areas such as Tanjong Rhu - posting a rise of 0.3 per cent. However, compared with the previous year, rents have still risen by 0.2 per cent overall. Meanwhile, the first three months of this year saw a quarter-on-quarter rise in rents of 1 per cent, but landlords are still taking 18.9 per cent less in rent than at the market's peak in January 2013. The dip in rents came even as the rental volume stood at about 4,580 units last month - a 28.3 per cent improvement on February, but 4.4 per cent lower than the volume a year ago. Rents for HDB flats fell by 0.8 per cent last month from February. Compared with a year ago, rents in March were down by 2.4 per cent. Rents for that month were also down 15.6 per cent compared with the peak in August 2013. Even so, HDB rental volume was up 45.3 per cent last month over February, with an estimated 2,036 flats rented compared with 1,401 units in the month before. The jump in rental volume could be attributed to a rise in transactions following a seasonal dip, said Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at real estate agency OrangeTee & Tie. "Leasing activity usually picks up after the Chinese New Year festivities, which are traditionally a lull period for all property transactions," she said. However, rental volume in March fell by 3.6 per cent from a year ago. Estimates showed that rents for the first quarter of the year dropped 0.7 per cent from the fourth quarter of last year. Rentals for three-, four-and five-room HDB flats fell last month by 0.7 per cent, 1.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively, from the previous month. Rentals for HDB executive units rose by 2.5 per cent. For mature estates, HDB rents fell 1.1 per cent in March from February. Compared with a year ago, March rents dipped 2 per cent. As for non-mature estates, March rents slipped 0.5 per cent month-on-month. Year-on-year, rents fell 2.8 per cent. The highest median monthly rent for HDB flats last month was $3,400 for five-room flats in the central area. This was followed by $3,000 for four-room flats, also in the central area, and $2,950 for five-room flats in Bukit Merah. For the remainder of this year, HDB rents are expected to stabilise, said Ms Sun. "Foreign workforce numbers have stabilised from 2016 to 2017, and so the numbers are expected to remain stable for the rest of the year," she added.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 11-Apr-2018

March condo resale prices up 1.5%: SRX

Resale prices of condominiums and apartments moved up again last month to hit a new high, according to the latest flash estimates from real estate portal SRX Property. Data released yesterday showed that the prices of private, non-landed homes rose 1.5 per cent against February's peak. These gains were seen across the island, with home prices in the core central region up by 2.2 per cent compared with February to touch record levels. Homes in the rest of the central region set a record as well, posting a price rise of 1.3 per cent over February, while homes outside the central region also saw their value increase by 1.3 per cent. Meanwhile, the monthly price change for February was revised upwards to 2 per cent, from an earlier estimate of 1.9 per cent. All in all, last month's performance marked an increase of 8.5 per cent compared with the same month last year. Prices in the core central region last month stood at 8 per cent higher than in March last year. They appreciated 11.4 per cent in the rest of the central region, and by 7 per cent outside the central region over the year. Prices in the first three months of this year were 3.5 per cent higher than in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, resale volume last month swelled by 11.4 per cent to 1,310 units, compared with February, said SRX - although this was still 36.1 per cent lower than the peak in April 2010. In response to the SRX figures, OrangeTee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said resale prices are expected to keep rising in the coming months. Sellers are likely to ask for higher prices amid growing demand from those who sold en bloc and are looking for new homes. She added that some of those who sold en bloc are already buying a new home before the completion of the collective sales, as they expect the replacement cost to rise significantly in the months ahead.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Apr-2018

Oxley sells 129 units or 76% of The Verandah Residences over weekend launch

SINGAPORE - Oxley Holdings sold 129 units, or 76 per cent, of the 170-unit The Verandah Residences over the weekend launch of the freehold condominium near the South Buona Vista neighbourhood. The units were sold at an average of S$1,815 per square foot (psf). Oxley said that demand was particularly strong for the one- and two-bedroom units in the project, which comprises 167 apartments and three strata houses. All one-bedroom, one-bedromo with study, two-bedroom and two-bedroom premium units were sold out at the launch. Of the buyers, 85 per cent were Singaporeans, while the remaining 15 per cent comprised permanent residents and foreigners. The site sits at the junction of South Buona Vista Road and Pasir Panjang Road. Oxley purchased the 89,620 sq ft site in July 2017 for S$121 million, or S$964 psf per plot ratio. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023. "The market response to the Verandah launch has been very encouraging. There were a lot of enquiries for the project before the launch, and the sales progress proved that the pent-up demand was real, especially for quality projects with excellent location and reasonable prices," Oxley chairman and chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong said in a statement.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 05-Apr-2018

Far East Consortium bags The Estoril for $223.9m

The Estoril, a freehold development in Holland Road, has been sold en bloc for $223.9 million to Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium's unit FEC Properties. This works out to a land rate of $1,654 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Inclusive of the 10 per cent bonus balcony gross floor area (GFA), the land rate works out to a lower $1,504 psf ppr. No development charge is payable even after factoring this bonus area, due to the high baseline for the property. The 84,600 sq ft site is zoned for residential use with a 1.6 plot ratio under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014. Owners controlling slightly more than 80 per cent of the development's share value and strata area have consented to the collective sale. Unless unanimous approval is obtained, the transaction will be subject to approval by the Strata Titles Board and, if necessary, the courts. The Estoril is a six-storey development with 44 units comprising 40 apartments and four penthouses. Owners stand to receive a gross payout of about $4.6 million per apartment unit, and $9.85 million to $9.95 million per penthouse unit. This is The Estoril's fourth collective sale attempt. Separately, Perennial Real Estate Holdings said it has teamed up with Qingjian Group to jointly develop the Goodluck Garden freehold site that was sold en bloc to Qingjian for $610 million last month. This marks Perennial's maiden foray into pure-play residential development, the mainboard-listed company said. Perennial, through subsidiary PRE 9, entered into a 40-60 deal with China-based Qingjian Group of companies, comprising subsidiaries of Hong Kong-listed CNQC International Holdings and its minority partners. The 210-unit development in Toh Tuck Road sits on a land area of about 360,130 sq ft. Perennial said that based on the 2014 Master Plan, the site is zoned for residential use and has a gross plot ratio of 1.4, which translates to a maximum permissible GFA of about 554,605 sq ft, inclusive of a 10 per cent bonus balcony GFA. This translates to a land price of about $1,210 psf ppr, said Perennial. "Due to a high development baseline, no development charge is payable for the 10 per cent bonus balcony GFA, thus providing certainty to the land price, which works out to a lower $1,100 psf ppr."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Apr-2018

Joint venture acquiring Cairnhill Heights for $72.6m

A joint venture between construction and engineering firm Tiong Seng Holdings and civil engineering company Ocean Sky International has agreed to acquire Cairnhill Heights condominium for $72.6 million, less than the sellers' initial asking price of more than $80 million. Tiong Seng holds a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture company TSky Development, while Ocean Sky holds the remainder. TSky had earlier acquired Sloane Court Hotel and a small adjoining parcel in Balmoral Road last year for $80.5 million. It is developing a 12-storey, 80-unit condominium on the land. Tiong Seng and Ocean Sky, both Singapore-listed companies, said in separate regulatory filings yesterday that they will, through TSky, set up a project company to undertake the redevelopment of the Cairnhill Heights site. Located in the prime District 9 next to the Orchard Road shopping belt, the freehold site of Cairnhill Heights spans 1,431.4 sq m, with a gross plot ratio of 2.8. It may be redeveloped into a residential development of about 42 units based on an average size of 95 sq m. Owners of the condominium had last December agreed to put the project up for collective sale, and had asked for over $80 million. This was estimated to result in a land rate of $2,045 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), inclusive of a development charge payable at that time. Tiong Seng and Ocean Sky did not provide an estimate on the land rate based on their purchase price. ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak estimated that the purchase price of $72.6 million would translate to a break-even price of $2,680 psf to $2,760 psf. Should Cairnhill Heights be sold at its initial asking price of more than $80 million, the break-even level for the incoming developer would exceed $2,800 psf - "a risky proposition" for the densely built-up location, Mr Mak said. "The joint venture got Cairnhill Heights at a fair price. In today's market, this is the going rate for prime land sites," he added. In the vicinity, Singapore-listed Low Keng Huat (Singapore) in February acquired Cairnhill Mansions in a collective sale deal for $2,311 psf ppr - the highest land rate for a pure residential site in this collective sale cycle.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Apr-2018

Former HUDC estate Chancery Court up for collective sale at $390m

Chancery Court has launched its collective sale by tender with an asking price of $390 million. A successful sale will further trim Singapore's 18 former HUDC estates to just five. Chancery Court, which sits on a 99-year leasehold site in Dunearn Road, has an enviable location: a five-minute walk from Newton MRT station and within 1km of popular primary schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and St Joseph's Institution Junior. The development comprises 136 apartments and eight commercial units spread over one tower block and seven blocks of four-storey walk-up maisonettes. The site has a land area of 259,134 sq ft, and is zoned residential with a gross plot ratio of 1.4 under the 2014 Master Plan. A redevelopment of the site could potentially yield up to 480 units, averaging 750 sq ft in size, said its sole marketing agent OrangeTee Advisory. The site is subject to the Pre-Application Feasibility Study (PAFS) on traffic impact. A traffic consultant has been commissioned to undertake the study, said OrangeTee. After including an estimated differential premium of about $180 million to the Government to top up the lease from about 62 years to a fresh 99 years and the intensification of the site to a gross plot ratio of 1.4, the asking price works out to a land rate of $1,572 psf per plot ratio, which OrangeTee executive director Alex Oh said "is comparatively attractive in relation to recent land sales nearby". The firm's managing director Marcus Oh added: "To give more certainty to developers, we took the initiative to undertake the PAFS and would expect the advisory on the maximum dwelling units from the authority before the tender closes. "With this, developers will be able to conduct the redevelopment feasibility with peace of mind." Twelve former HUDC estates have been sold to developers, with five of the deals - Rio Casa, Serangoon Ville, Eunosville, Tampines Court and Florence Regency - done last year, the most in any one year. The remaining five - Ivory Heights, Pine Grove, Laguna Park, Braddell View and Lakeview - are at various stages of the collective sale process. The tender for Chancery Court closes on May 15.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 03-Apr-2018

Private home prices jump by 3.1% in first quarter

While the private property market registered the sharpest rise in prices since 2010, prices of HDB resale homes fell in the first quarter of this year, based on flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Housing Board yesterday. Private home prices rose 3.1 per cent over the preceding quarter in the steepest quarter-on-quarter hike since the second quarter of 2010, when the index rose 5.3 per cent. In contrast, HDB resale prices registered a drop of 0.8 per cent for the same period, an acceleration from the decline of 0.2 per cent seen in the final quarter of last year. ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim said the positive numbers in the private property market indicated that a market recovery was well on track. "With almost all the cooling measures still in place, this indicates very positive market sentiment, and the market is on an upswing trend," he said. Mr Lim believes more buyers are purchasing now for fear of bigger price increases going forward. "This, coupled with more opportunistic sellers who are revising their prices upwards, could have contributed to the higher -than-expected price increase in Q1, 2018." PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said: "Moving into 2018, we can feel that buyers and investors are now taking action, propelled by the ongoing market exuberance with the bullish land bids and continuous collective sales in the market." Analysts expect the positive sentiments in the private residential property market to continue. Mr Ismail added: "We predict that not only transaction volumes will pick up, but prices are set to increase by up to 5 per cent as well by the first half of the year." ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak said: "Most of the home buyers and sellers observed the ever-increasing land prices paid by developers in the past year and deduced that future residential property prices will be significantly higher. As a result, some sellers have increased their asking prices, while some buyers are eager to buy before further increase in prices." He expects URA's overall private home price index to rise by 8 per cent to 15 per cent for the whole of this year. ERA's Mr Lim predicted a lower 8 per cent to 10 per cent rise, as did PropNex's Mr Ismail, who said: "The price growth will be mainly contributed by higher price points at new launches, which will in turn bring up the overall selling prices of the resale and existing launches moving forward." The private property index is now up 4.6 per cent from a year ago. The URA said that prices of non-landed private residential properties increased by 5 per cent in the prime area or Core Central Region (CCR) in the first quarter, compared with the 1.4 per cent increase in the previous quarter. In the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR), prices rose 1.1 per cent, after posting a gain of 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter. Prices in the suburbs or Outside Central Region expanded 3.8 per cent, following a 0.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter. The public property market remains subdued. Last year, HDB resale prices fell 1.5 per cent, due to factors such as the increase in housing grants, the shorter waiting time for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in certain housing estates and the introduction of the Re-offer of Balance Flats. Last month, HDB announced it would offer more flats with shorter waiting times, to help more young couples buy their first home. But ERA's Mr Lim said the current situation is not worrying. "Although HDB resale prices have declined for six consecutive quarters, the decreases are rather marginal, 2.3 per cent over the period," he said, comparing it to 2014, when prices fell more than 1 per cent a quarter. "The Government has introduced several new measures designed to make HDB resale flats more attractive in the past year, and now that prices are dipping, more buyers would be willing to consider resale flats," he added. Final numbers will be released later this month.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-Apr-2018

HDB resale prices drop 0.8% in Q1; 3,900 BTO flats in four estates to be offered in May

SINGAPORE - Prices of resale flats have dropped for six consecutive quarters, according to flash estimates from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Monday (April 2). HDB resale prices fell 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months, an acceleration from the price decline of 0.2 per cent seen in the final quarter of 2017. Last year, HDB resale prices fell 1.5 per cent, due to a combination of factors, including the increase in housing grants, the shorter waiting time for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats in certain housing estates and the introduction of the Re-offer of Balance flats. Remarks from National Development Minister Lawrence Wong indicating that not all HDB flats will be chosen for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme and that flats that reach the end of their leases will be returned to the state also likely depressed prices of older resale flats. Some analysts had expected HDB resale prices to stabilise this year, given the relatively small 0.2 per cent price decline in the last quarter of 2017. ERA Realty Network's key executive officer Eugene Lim said the current situation is "not worrying". "Although HDB resale prices have declined for six consecutive quarters, the decreases are rather marginal, 2.3 per cent over the period," he said, comparing it to 2014, when prices fell more than 1 per cent a quarter. "The government has introduced several new measures designed to make HDB resale flats more attractive in the past year, and now that prices are dipping, more buyers would be willing to consider resale flats," he added. Mr Lim cited as measures the raising of the maximum amount of grants available to buyers to S$120,000 and the new resale portal halving transaction processing time. He predicts that prices will remain flat this year, not moving more than 1.5 per cent either way. The decline in HDB resale prices last year came with a pickup in sales, with transactions up 6.1 per cent from 2016 to 22,077. HDB also announced on Monday that it will offer about 3,900 BTO flats in Sengkang, Tampines, Toa Payoh and Yishun. They are part of some 17,000 BTO flats up for sale this year, comparable to the 17,584 flats launched in 2017. There will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise in May, said HDB. Last month, Mr Wong announced that HDB will double the number of flats with shorter waiting times it offers in 2019, so as to help more young couples buy their first home. About 2,000 flats with a waiting time of two to three years will be offered next year. HDB will release its final price index for the first quarter, together with more detailed public housing data, on April 27.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 31-Mar-2018

8M buys shophouses, building for $82.5m

Local investment property company 8M Real Estate has bagged nine conservation shophouses and a commercial building in District 1 near the Singapore River for a total of $82.5 million. The properties are in two clusters - one in Boat Quay/Circular Road and the other in New Bridge Road. They are being sold by Lee Brothers (Wee Kee), which is held by the family of the late Lee Wee Nam, a well-known Teochew businessman who set up the Four Seas Bank that was later sold to OCBC Bank. He was also a founding member of Boys' Town, as well as the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. JLL handled the sale through a tender exercise that closed on Feb 5. "We received a lot of bids - from boutique property funds, family offices, high-net-worth individuals both Singaporeans and foreigners, along with a variety of local companies," said Mr Clemence Lee, JLL's associate director of capital markets. Some parties bid for individual properties, some for an entire cluster and others for the whole portfolio, he added. The acquisition will boost 8M Real Estate's portfolio to more than 40 conservation shophouses, all in Districts 1 and 2, worth about $500 million. 8M is also acquiring a freehold five-storey commercial building at 23, New Bridge Road. JLL and 8M would not give details of the price paid for each property. However, based on the $45.5 million caveat lodged for the Boat Quay/Circular Road cluster, the blended price works out to about $3,150 per sq ft on gross floor area. Market watchers expected that the shophouses along Boat Quay would have fetched slightly higher prices than those in Circular Road, which is just behind Boat Quay. 8M managing director Ashish Manchharam said the group plans to eventually refurbish the 10 properties when leases come up for renewal. He noted the redevelopment potential of the prominently located block of four shophouses at the corner of New Bridge Road and Carpenter Street. A six-storey extension can be built at the back, increasing the gross floor area by about 11,500 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft, but the front facade has to be retained. These four shophouses are nearly fully occupied and the tenants' leases run out at the end of this year. The group intends to make an application to top up the site leases to 99 years, subject to payment of a lease-upgrading premium. The two Boat Quay shophouses 8M is buying - numbers 61 and 77 - will bring its collection of 999-year leasehold waterfront conservation shophouses to five. It already owns numbers 70, 71 and 72 on the same street. "The efforts of Singapore River One to rejuvenate the Singapore River area, including Boat Quay, have helped with leasing activity of our three existing shophouses in Boat Quay," said Mr Manchharam. Singapore River One is a private sector-led partnership of property owners and business operators that oversees the place management of the Singapore River precinct, which includes Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 30-Mar-2018

Value of homes sold at auctions up 31.2% in Q1

Auctioneers started the year on a positive note, with 11 homes sold under the hammer in the first quarter - up from eight in the same period last year. The higher number of transactions came despite the number of new properties put up for sale staying unchanged year on year at 63. The total value of properties sold via auction in the first quarter was $19.97 million, 31.2 per cent higher than the $15.23 million recorded a year ago and well up on the 2016 total of $9.62 million. The lift reflects the positive sentiment and strong demand in the market, Edmund Tie & Company said.The company noted that the figures do not include private treaty sales and units transacted before or after the auction. Ms Joy Tan, Edmund Tie's head of auction and sales, said the good response may be due to pent-up demand from buyers, who have been waiting on the sidelines for news on changes to stamp duty. The Government surprised the market by increasing the buyer's stamp duty in last month's Budget. Yet, instead of being deterred, local and foreign buyers seem to be returning to the auction market. Ms Tan said: "We expect a steady increase in sales throughout this year, especially as owners who are cashing out on their (collective) sales begin to search for replacement units for occupation or investment." In line with previous trends, lender sales were still the most popular among bidders, with eight units sold, totalling $13.42 million. There were two owner's sales that reaped a total of $4.32 million while the one public trustee's sale - at 17, Jalan Batai, where the skeletal remains of two sisters were found - was closed at $2.23 million. Eight apartments and one landed unit were sold for $15.56 million in total. Only two commercial units - they had a total sales value of $4.41 million - were sold in the quarter. Ms Tan said: "In the last six months, we noticed that older developments completed before 2000 are attracting more interest, with some investors looking to ride the (collective sale) wave. "During the marketing period of the units, we often receive queries about the (collective sale) potential of the development." Six of the 11 units sold in the quarter were completed before 2000.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Mar-2018

Auction market heats up with 31% more properties sold in Q1, including abandoned Upper Thomson house

SINGAPORE - The number of properties sold in auctions rose to 11 units in the first quarter of 2018, from eight in the corresponding quarter a year ago. This was despite the number of new properties put up for sale staying unchanged year on year at 63 units in both periods. The total value of properties sold via auction in Q1 2018 was S$19.97 million, 31.2 per cent higher from S$15.23 million a year ago, and S$9.62 million two years ago, reflecting the positive sentiments and strong demand in the market, Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co) said on Thursday (March 29). The figures do not include private treaty sales and units transacted before or after the auction. ET&Co head of auction and sales Joy Tan said that the good response may be due to pent-up demand from buyers, who have been waiting on the sidelines for news on changes to the stamp duty. The Government surprised the market this quarter by announcing the increase in the buyer's stamp duty (BSD) last month. Yet, instead of being deterred, both local and foreign buyers seem to be returning to the auction market. Ms Tan said: "We expect a steady increase in sales throughout this year, especially as owners who are cashing out on their successful en bloc sales begin to search for replacement units for occupation or investment." In line with previous trends, lender sales were still the most popular among bidders, with eight units sold, totalling S$13.42 million. Owner's sales and a public trustee's sale at 17, Jalan Batai in Upper Thomson - where the skeletal remains of two sisters were found - contributed S$4.32 million and S$2.23 million, respectively. Eight non-landed residential units and one landed unit totalling S$15.56 million were sold. Transactions were distributed evenly between core and non-core regions, whereas in the past, it was more common for the non-core regions to achieve a higher number of sales due to their affordability. Only two commercial units with a sales value of S$4.41 million were sold during this period. Ms Tan said: "In the last six months, we noticed that older developments completed before the year 2000 are attracting more interest, with some investors looking to ride the en bloc wave. During the marketing period of the units, we often receive queries about the en bloc potential of the development." Illustrating this, six out of the 11 units sold this quarter were completed before the year 2000.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 29-Mar-2018

First residential-cum-retail project shaping up in Bidadari

The first private residential-cum-retail development shaping up in the new Bidadari estate will offer some 680 residential units and close to 28,000 sq m of retail gross floor area. This maiden joint-venture project between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Japanese developer Kajima Development will also connect to Singapore's first air-conditioned basement bus interchange. Condominium units of The Woodleigh Residences range from two-to four-bedroom units. SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung told reporters at the project's ground-breaking yesterday that the actual date of launch and the number of units to be released have not been determined yet. Ahead of the mixed-use project's completion in the second half of 2022, the developers are looking for potential partners to develop retail concepts, including food and beverage offerings, educational offerings and medical services. The project's ground-breaking was attended by Japan's Ambassador to Singapore Kenji Shinoda. This marks SPH's second residential project after Sky@eleven in Thomson Lane, which was completed in 2010 and sold out not long after. Its mall portfolio now comprises the Paragon and The Clementi Mall, which are now part of SPH Reit, as well as The Seletar Mall. "SPH's diversification into properties is an important element in our strategy to seek out new opportunities to add to our core media business," SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang said at the project's groundbreaking. "Faced with an evolving media environment, we believe that such selective and carefully considered diversifications will contribute significantly to SPH." Singapore-based Kajima Overseas Asia is the South-east Asian arm of Tokyo-listed Kajima Corporation, while Kajima Development is the property development arm of Kajima Overseas Asia. In June last year, SPH and Kajima Development had tabled a top bid of $1.13 billion for the much-coveted commercial and residential site, the first Government Land Sales site offered in the new Bidadari estate. Widely referred to as the "future Bishan" due to its central location, the Bidadari estate, spanning 93ha, is part of Toa Payoh town, and is bounded by Bartley Road, Sennett Estate, Upper Serangoon Road and Mount Vernon Road. New HDB flats launched in the area, envisaged as "a community in a garden", have so far been over-subscribed. "We are encouraged by the demand around the area," Mr Ng said. "We believe The Woodleigh Residences will provide excellent value for those who want to have a home in this area." Dr Lee also noted that the development will complement and benefit from the adjacent Bidadari Park, while residents will enjoy views over the Alkaff Lake and Bidadari Heritage Walk. Visitors going to the mall, too, will be able to enjoy the surrounding park amenities. Kajima Development project director Kazunori Ichihashi, who is based here, said Japanese design concepts will be introduced in the residential component. As part of the integrated project, Kajima Development and SPH will work with the People's Association and the Singapore Police Force respectively to build a 6,000 sq m community club and a 2,200 sq m neighbourhood police centre.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Mar-2018

Singapore prime office rents rose 3% in Q1, could hit last high in next 12 months: JLL

SINGAPORE - Prime office rents in Singapore climbed for a fourth consecutive quarter, rising 3 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months as leasing stayed active, said JLL in a report on Wednesday (March 28). The increase brings average rents for Grade A office space in the Central Business District to S$9.51 per sq ft (psf) per month, according to JLL's preliminary estimates. Rent growth was broad-based across all sectors, with the Marina Bay sub-market continuing to enjoy a competitive edge, it said. The average monthly gross rent of Grade A office space in Marina Bay rose 3.3 per cent to S$10.84 psf from S$10.49 psf three months ago. The remaining sub-markets of Raffles Place, Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar and Marina Centre posted rent growth ranging between 2.7 per cent and 3 per cent. The 3 per cent rent growth in the first quarter is a slight moderation from the 4.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent on quarter increases recorded in Q32017 and Q42017, respectively. This is likely due to the higher rental base, given that rents have recovered by a strong 12.7 per cent from their bottom in Q12017, said JLL. Leasing momentum remained robust with more than 60 per cent of the 0.8 million sq ft of net lettable space in Frasers Tower and 18 Robinson - the only two office developments due for completion in 2018 in the CBD - estimated to be already pre-committed, said JLL. According to JLL's research, the average vacancy rate of Grade A office space in the CBD has fallen sharply from the recent peak of 11.9 per cent in Q3 2017, to 8.1 per cent as of Q1 2018. Said Chris Archibold, JLL Singapore's head of leasing: "We expect leasing demand to stay robust throughout 2018, driven by companies from a broad industry base looking to upgrade their premises. Co-working operators, in particular, are still bullish about demand and remain keen to set up new centres. "However, as many of the large occupiers with lease expiry before 2019 have already locked in their accommodation, we expect leasing activity in 2018 to be dominated by smaller occupiers, or those with lease commencement dates more than 18 months away." Ms Tay Huey Ying, the firm's head of research and consultancy, said Grade A office CBD average monthly gross rents, now at S$9.51 psf, could potentially reach the last high of S$10.56 psf recorded in Q12015 within the next 12 months given the 10 per cent gap today. She said: "Grade A CBD office average monthly gross rents have recovered 12.7 per cent over four quarters as of Q1 2018. This has been stronger than the rebound seen in 2013 wherein over a similar four-quarter period from the bottom, rents edged up only 7.4 per cent. "Given that the market will be void of new Grade A supply in the CBD in 2019, the current rent recovery will have more legs and could possibly surpass the last in magnitude and length, barring the materialisation of downside risks such as a full-blown trade war between the United States and China."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 28-Mar-2018

SPH, Kajima break ground on 680-unit The Woodleigh Residences at landmark Bidadari project

SINGAPORE - The first private residential-cum-retail development that is shaping up in the new Bidadari estate will offer about 680 residential units and close to 28,000 sq m of retail gross floor area. The project, being developed jointly by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Japanese developer Kajima Development, will also be connected to Singapore's first air-conditioned basement bus interchange. Condominium units of The Woodleigh Residences, ranging from two- to four-bedroom units, are likely to be priced at above $2,000 per sq ft (psf) when the development is launched, likely in September, sources say. OrangeTee & Tie and Savills Singapore are the marketing agents for The Woodleigh Residences. The developers will retain the retail component, The Woodleigh Mall, for recurring income. The mixed-use project by SPH and Kajima Development marked its ground-breaking on Wednesday (March 28). SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang said at the project's ground-breaking. "We aim to transform this parcel of raw land into a much sought after oasis for homeowners to live close to park-land surroundings yet enjoy the convenience of a well provisioned and vibrant mall." SPH and Kajima Development had in June last year tabled a top bid of S$1.13 billion for the much-coveted commercial and residential site, which is the first Government Land Sale site offered in the new Bidadari Estate. Their winning bid worked out to a land rate of S$1,181 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) based on the maximum gross floor area allowed for the 99-year leasehold site. Widely referred to as the "future Bishan" due to its central location, the Bidadari estate spanning 93ha is developed as part of Toa Payoh town, bounded by Bartley Road, Sennett Estate, Upper Serangoon Road and Mount Vernon Road. Built atop what once was Singapore's largest grave site, it is envisaged to be "a community in a garden", with new HDB flats launched in the area so far being over-subscribed. Dr Lee noted that the development will complement and benefit from the adjacent Bidadari Park and residents will enjoy views over the Alkaff Lake and Bidadari Heritage Walk. Visitors to the mall will also benefit from the surrounding park amenities. "Connectivity will be another key attraction, with multiple transport links such as Woodleigh MRT station and direct access to Singapore's first air-conditioned basement bus interchange," he said. The development at the junction of Upper Serangoon and Upper Aljunied Road is within the 1-2km catchment area of popular primary, secondary and international schools. This marks SPH's second residential project after Sky@eleven in Thomson Lane, which was completed in 2010 and sold out not long after. Its mall portfolio comprises Paragon and The Clementi Mall, which are now part of SPH Reit, as well as The Seletar Mall. "SPH's diversification into properties is an important element in our strategy to seek out new opportunities to add to our core media business," Dr Lee added. "Faced with an evolving media environment, we believe that such selective and carefully considered diversifications will contribute significantly to SPH." Kajima Development is the property development arm of Singapore-based Kajima Overseas Asia, which in turn is the South-east Asia arm of Japan's Kajima Corporation, whose businesses include construction, property development, engineering and design. The groundbreaking was attended by Japan's ambassador to Singapore Kenji Shinoda. The Japanese developer has undertaken real estate projects in seven countries in this region. In Singapore, it has developed Regent Singapore and Millennia Singapore, and luxury residences such as Sui Generis and Bishopsgate Residences. Mr Keisuke Koshijima, senior managing officer of Kajima Corporation, said the group has established local subsidiaries in each region, tailoring them to specific conditions in regional markets to deliver quality projects."Having our own platform that encompasses every aspect of the development process is a major competitive advantage that increases the opportunities available to us through partners and networks," he added. The Woodleigh Residences & The Woodleigh Mall is scheduled to complete in the second half of 2022. As part of the integrated project, Kajima and SPH will work with the People's Association (PA) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to build a 6,000 sq m Community Club and a 2,200 sq m Neighbourhood Police Centre.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Mar-2018

Mandarin Gardens owners approve $2.48b price tag

If the Mandarin Gardens condominium does go on the market, potential developers could be looking at an overall price tag of $4 billion to acquire the property. Marketing agent C&H Properties said this to owners at the second extraordinary general meeting on Sunday afternoon, when the owners approved an asking price of $2.48 billion as well as the method of apportionment. The owners also approved the collective sale agreement at the meeting held at Touch Centre in Marine Parade Central, according to C&H Properties key executive officer Nelson Lim. With that approval, the 99-year leasehold estate in Siglap Road has begun the process of collecting signatures from owners to get the requisite 80 per cent for the collective sale to be launched. "In the optimal situation, we hope to get the 80 per cent in three months, but looking at the size of Mandarin Gardens, it might take a bit more time," said Mr Lim. In addition to the asking price, buyers would have to pay an estimated $325.4 million as a top-up for a fresh lease, as well as an estimated $1.28 billion in differential premium payable to the Government. All that could bring the total tab to nearly $4.09 billion, which translates to $1,236 per sq ft per plot ratio. Mr Lim said C&H Properties is expecting a consortium of developers to go for the land, given the size. The 1,006-unit development sits on a one million sq ft plot. He also said lawyers stressed to owners during the meeting that there would be procedural and legal measures in place to ensure there is no conflict of interest arising from C&H being majority-owned by a real estate company. Wen Way Investments, the real estate arm of Chinese conglomerate Amer International Group, acquired the majority stake of C&H Properties' parent company C&H Group in 2013. If the sale does eventually go through, Mandarin Gardens could break the existing record for the largest collective sale in Singapore by dollar value. That record is currently held by the former Farrer Court, which went for $1.3388 billion in 2007 when a consortium bought the 838,488 sq ft estate and redeveloped it into D'Leedon. The second-largest collective sale deal here belongs to Pacific Mansion in River Valley. It was acquired last week by Singapore-listed GuocoLand, along with Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty, for $980 million.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 26-Mar-2018

Buyers snap up 70% of units launched at The Tapestry

About 315, or 70 per cent, of the 450 units released at The Tapestry in Tampines were snapped up over the weekend. The average price per sq ft is $1,310. Yesterday, developer City Developments (CDL) said all unit types had a "good take-up rate", particularly the one-and two-bedroom units. The Tapestry, which has 861 units, is a 99-year leasehold property comprising seven 15-storey blocks, with unit sizes ranging from 441 sq ft for a one-bedroom unit to 1,765 sq ft for the largest five-bedroom, dual-key apartments with a study. Prices start from $596,000 for a one-bedder. The two-bedder units are going at $796,000, and the three-bedders at $1.15 million. Prices are $1.65 million for the four-bedroom units and $2.1 million for the five-bedroom, dual-key with study apartments. The remaining 411 units will be released progressively. CDL said 76 per cent of the buyers for the first launch were Singaporeans, while the remaining 24 per cent were permanent residents and foreigners from Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Among the buyers was Singapore Paralympic swimmer and medallist Theresa Goh, who bought a two-bedroom premium unit. On March 15, CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong said the firm had received "very strong inquiries" for the launch of The Tapestry. He added that CDL expects "good take-up" from new home buyers, upgraders and investors. The property, which is located in Tampines Street 86, is developed by Bellevue Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDL. The Tapestry is the "first premium suburban condominium" to be launched this year, said CDL, with over 50 facilities, including a 100m infinity pool, 24-hour gym, and a childcare centre. Home owners will have the option to adopt a smart voice assistant that enables them to control most smart-home devices by voice. CDL closed down 31 cents, or 2.4 per cent, at $12.88 last Friday.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 25-Mar-2018

Mandarin Gardens owners approve $2.48b asking price for en bloc; next step is to get 80% approval

SINGAPORE - If the Mandarin Gardens condominium does end up going on the market, potential developers could end up with an overall price tag of $4 billion to acquire the new property. Marketing agent C&H Properties told owners this at a second extraordinary general meeting on the afternoon of March 25, where they approved the asking price of $2.48 billion as well as the method of apportionment, according to sources present. The owners also approved the collective sales agreement at the meeting held at Touch Centre at Marine Parade Central. With that approval, the 99-year leasehold estate has begun the process of collecting signatures from owners to get the requisite 80 per cent for the collective sale to be launched. Sources say that the target is to get the mandate within three months. In addition to the asking price, it is understood that buyers would have to pay an estimated $325.4 million as a top-up for a fresh lease, as well as an estimated $1.28 billion for development charges. This could bring the total tab to close to $4.09 billion, which translates to $1,236 per square foot (psf) ppr. C&H also told owners at the meeting it is hoping to attract either a consortium of local developers or Chinese buyers, sources added. If the sale does eventually go through, Mandarin Gardens could smash the existing record for the largest en bloc sale here by dollar value, currently held by the former Farrer Court, which went for S$1.3388 billion in 2007 when a consortium bought the 838,488 sq ft estate and redeveloped it into D'Leedon. The second-highest en bloc deal belongs to Pacific Mansion in River Valley, which last week was acquired by Singapore-listed Guocoland, along with Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty, for $980 million.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 23-Mar-2018

Makeway View sold for $168m

A unit of Bukit Sembawang Estates has successfully tendered for the collective sale of freehold Makeway View for $168 million. This was also the asking price when the collective sale tender was launched on Jan 23. The sale price reflects a land rate of $1,626 per sq ft per plot ratio, including an estimated development charge of about $21.26 million, said marketing agent Edmund Tie & Company. Owners of the estate's 28 apartments and four penthouses are expected to receive gross sale proceeds of between $3.86 million and $10.74 million per unit. The 10-storey freehold development in District 9 was built in the late 1980s on a 41,582 sq ft plot with an allowable gross plot ratio of 2.8. It is located across the road from Newton Food Centre and close to Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and St Joseph's Institution Junior. Newton MRT station is about 400m away. Bukit Sembawang Estates, which tendered for Makeway View through its unit Bukit Sembawang Land, intends to redevelop the area into residential apartments with communal facilities, it said in a Singapore Exchange announcement yesterday evening. Edmund Tie & Company said that subject to the authorities' approval, the site can be developed into a high-rise apartment block of about 21 to 22 storeys with around 154 units, assuming an average apartment size of 70 sq m. "Units in the new development will potentially enjoy 180-degree unobstructed panoramic views of the city and lush greenery in its surroundings," said Edmund Tie's senior director of investment advisory Swee Shou Fern. Bukit Sembawang Estates will fund the acquisition and redevelopment through internal resources and bank borrowings. The purchase of Makeway View is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share for Bukit Sembawang's financial year ending March 31 this year. Earlier this month, Bukit Sembawang successfully tendered for the collective sale of Katong Park Towers at $345 million, 20 per cent above its reserve price of $288 million.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 21-Mar-2018

State tender for Holland Rd site draws 15 bids

A state tender for a plum 99-year leasehold commercial and residential site in Holland Road closed yesterday after attracting 15 bids. Some developers placed more than one bid with different concept proposals for the site, in order to boost their chances of clinching it. Under the dual-envelope concept and price tender mode for the site's sale, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released only the bidders' names but not their bid prices. A consortium with Far East Organization, an affiliated company and Sekisui House put in three bids. Three consortiums placed two bids each: Lendlease in a tie-up with Pontiac Land; Perennial Real Estate Holdings in partnership with Qingjian Realty; and GuocoLand in partnership with Hong Leong Holdings' fully owned unit Intrepid Investments, TID and Hong Realty. The rest of the bidders, with one bid each, were City Developments, in partnership with RB Capital; Allgreen Properties in partnership with Kerry Properties; UOL Group, teaming up with United Industrial Corporation; CapitaLand, in partnership with Hotel Properties; SingHaiyi Group in a tie-up with its controlling shareholder Haiyi Holdings; and Chip Eng Seng in partnership with Roxy-Pacific Holdings and JBE Properties. Bidders were required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in two separate envelopes. Under this system, only the envelopes containing concept proposals were opened yesterday. A Concept Evaluation Committee will first review the proposals against the criteria of quality of the design concept, quality of the public realm, and track record. Only those that substantially satisfy the criteria will be shortlisted for the second stage of the tender evaluation. At this stage, the price envelopes of proposals with acceptable concepts will be opened for consideration. The site will then be awarded to the tender with the highest bid. The Holland Road site can have a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 59,715 sq m, of which up to 13,500 sq m can be used for retail. The URA has set a cap of 570 residential units for the project. At least 60 per cent of the total GFA should be for residential use, and the remaining 40 per cent may be for commercial use. The land parcel is divided into two zones: Zone 1 for residential development, allowing for flats, serviced apartments and/or strata landed houses; and Zone 2 for commercial and/or serviced apartment uses. Dual "office/residential" use units may be allowed. Market watchers expect it could take about two months before URA awards the site. The successful bidder will have seven years to complete the project. JLL national director Ong Teck Hui said the response reflected the attractiveness of the site, the upturn in the residential and commercial property sectors and the stabilising retail property segment. "As expected, many major players submitted bids with a number of them as consortiums. The huge capital outlay with a land price possibly exceeding $1 billion and the necessary experience in developing and managing the non-residential component would have led to the tie-ups." ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak noted the presence of Chinese developers in this tender. "These developers were primarily developing residential projects in Singapore. Now they appear to be ready to expand into commercial development and possibly hold such commercial developments for investment. They will be giving other Singapore developers a run for their money."

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-Mar-2018

2-envelope government land tender for Holland Village site draws 15 bids

SINGAPORE - A government tender for a plum 99-year leasehold commercial and residential site in Holland Road closed on Tuesday (March 20), attracting a total of 15 bids. Some developers have placed multiple bids with different concept proposals for the site. Under the dual-envelope concept and price tender mode for the site's sale, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which conducted the tender, has released only the names of the bidders but not their bid prices. Among those who put in bids were City Developments, in partnership with RB Capital; Allgreen Properties in partnership with Kerry Properties; Far East Organization in partnership with an affiliated company and Sekisui House. Also bidding were Lend Lease which tied up with Pontiac Land Group; UOL Group, which teamed up with United Industrial Corporation; CapitaLand in partnership with Hotel Properties; SingHaiyi; Perennial Real Estate Holdings in partnership with Qingjian Realty; GuocoLand in partnership with Intrepid Investments, TID and Hong Realty; and Chip Eng Seng in partnership with Roxy-Pacific Holdings and JBE Properties. Bidders were required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in two separate envelopes. Under this system, only the envelopes containing concept proposals were opened on Tuesday. The concept proposals should demonstrate how the proposed development on the land parcel will address the following evaluation criteria: quality of design concept, quality of public realm, and track record. A Concept Evaluation Committee (CEC) will first evaluate the concept proposals against the evaluation criteria. Only those that substantially satisfy the evaluation criteria will be shortlisted by the CEC for the second stage of the tender evaluation. At the second stage, the price envelopes of proposals with acceptable concepts will be opened for consideration. The site will then be awarded to the tenderer with the highest bid. The Holland Road site can have a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 59,715 sq m (642,766 sq ft), of which up to 13,500 sq m can be used for retail. The URA has also set a cap of 570 residential units for the project. At least 60 per cent of the total GFA should be for residential use and the remaining 40 per cent may be for commercial use. The land parcel is divided into two zones. Zone 1 is intended for residential development. The types of housing units that can be allowed in this zone are flats, serviced apartments and/or strata landed houses. Zone 2 is intended for commercial and/or serviced apartment uses. To create a vibrant "live, work and play" setting, dual "office/residential" use units - whereby each unit is allowed to be used for both office and/or residential uses interchangeably without planning permission - may be allowed as part of this zone subject to compliance with government requirements. No strata subdivision is allowed in Zone 2. The plot is the first Government Land Sales site launched as part of the Holland Village Extension plan unveiled in URA's 2014 Master Plan. Market watchers expect that all in, it could take about two months before URA awards the site. The successful bidder will be given seven years to complete the project.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-Mar-2018

Peak Court in Thomson to sell en bloc for $106m

The freehold Peak Court in Thomson Road has launched a tender for collective sale with an asking price of $106 million. Marketing agent Edmund Tie & Company said in a statement that the District 11 condominium with 20 maisonette units can be redeveloped into "an upscale resort-like boutique condominium project with about 106 units." If the authorities approve, the site could also be developed into a five-storey serviced apartment project or a healthcare development. The 57,350 sq ft site is located near Novena MRT station and schools like Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh), as well as the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). With a gross plot ratio of 1.4, the asking price translates to a land rate of $1,398 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), or $1,342 per sq ft on the maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), including the 10 per cent bonus balcony area. "The site offers flexibility for developers with the choice of serving young families who look to be close to schools, or expatriates and working adults who wish to be close to the future health hub and CBD," said Mr Tan Chun Ming, senior director for investment advisory at Edmund Tie & Co. The fact that 100 per cent of the owners have consented to the sale also offers certainty in the completion of the deal, he added. The tender exercise for the site closes on May 9.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 20-Mar-2018

Pacific Mansion sold en bloc for $980m in second-highest deal

Entities controlled by Singapore property tycoon Kwek Leng Beng and his Malaysian billionaire cousin Quek Leng Chan have joined forces for the $980 million purchase of a freehold site in Singapore's upscale River Valley precinct. Their acquisition of Pacific Mansion in District 9 marks the biggest collective sale in more than a decade and the second-highest on record, according to CBRE, which brokered the deal. Singapore-listed GuocoLand, controlled by Mr Quek, announced yesterday that it has successfully tendered for the site with Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty. Both Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty are majority-owned by Hong Leong Investment Holdings (HLIH), which is effectively controlled by Mr Kwek, though other family members also own stakes in these companies. GuocoLand and Intrepid Investments each hold a 40 per cent stake in the project, while Hong Realty owns a 20 per cent interest. The latest deal marks the largest transaction in the current collective sale cycle, exceeding Tampines Court's $970 million and Amber Park's $907 million, and is surpassed only by the sale of Farrer Court for $1.34 billion in 2007. CBRE director of capital markets Galven Tan said that the tender for Pacific Mansion drew interest from a handful of local and foreign developers. Consultants estimate that the land cost for the Pacific Mansion site may translate to a break-even price of $2,530 to $2,800 per sq ft (psf), and a potential selling price of $3,000 to $3,200 psf for the upcoming project. In just the first three months of this year, 14 collective sales have clocked total proceeds of $5.6 billion, which is already 64 per cent of the total proceeds of $8.7 billion from 30 collective sale sites for the whole of last year. As HLIH is deemed a substantial shareholder of GuocoLand, Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty are deemed interested persons of GuocoLand under Singapore Exchange's listing rules. Pacific Mansion comprises 288 apartments and two commercial units. Owners representing more than 80 per cent of the strata area and share value of the development have consented to the collective sale. Each residential unit owner will stand to receive a gross payout of $3.26 million to $3.48 million. The shop units will receive between $2.2 million and $4.5 million. Retiree Peter Chia, 60, who has been living in Pacific Mansion for the past 10 years, welcomed the news of the collective sale. "It is a good price," he said, adding that he has not decided where he will live in the future. He said a new development could help breathe new life into the area, noting that the ageing property was not well-maintained. But not everyone is glad. A resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lim, said he bought a three-bedroom apartment in Pacific Mansion in 2016 and would incur a 12 per cent seller's stamp duty (SSD). He said he has failed to get an SSD waiver from the authorities even though he did not sign on the collective sales agreement. The SSD, estimated to be $384,000, would have to be paid even before he receives the sale proceeds. "This defeats the purpose of the SSD because I am not a speculator," said Mr Lim, adding that he spent $40,000 to $50,000 on renovations.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 17-Mar-2018

URA launches 2 residential sites for sale under GLS

Two residential sites - in Mattar Road and Silat Avenue - have been put on the market under the confirmed list in the Government Land Sales programme. The Mattar Road plot, which is on a 99-year lease, is 6,230.2 sq m with a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 18,691 sq m. It can yield an estimated 250 units. Around 1,125 units can be built on the Silat Avenue site, which is also on a 99-year lease. It occupies 22,851.6 sq m with a GFA of 84,551 sq m. The site can have residential and commercial components on the first storey. Dr Lee Nai Jia, the head of research at Edmund Tie & Company, said the Silat Avenue parcel would draw eight to 10 candidates, given its location on the fringe of the Central Business District. Dr Lee noted that the most recent land deal in the area was the collective sale of Pearl Bank Apartments at an estimated land rate of $1,515 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). This suggests the winning bid would likely be around $1,300 to $1,400 psf ppr. Dr Lee said the Mattar Road site would probably benefit from its proximity to Paya Lebar, where Paya Lebar Quarter will open in a few years. "The most recent land sale near the site is the collective sale of Eunosville in 2017, with an estimated land rate of $909 psf ppr. "Based on current market conditions, we project the winning bid to be around $1,100 psf ppr. "This site is likely to attract eight to 12 bidders," said Dr Lee. The Urban Redevelopment Authority said tenders for the two sites close at noon on April 26. The tender closing will be batched with a residential site in Cuscaden Road that was launched for sale on Feb 27.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Mar-2018

Katong Park Towers sold to Bukit Sembawang Estates for $345 million

SINGAPORE - The obscene windfall an enbloc sale can bring to lucky homeowners can best be exemplied by the sale of Katong Park Towers, a 99-year leasehold condominium that has seen better days. The owner of the biggest penthouse in the development will rake in a cool $12.08 million after a unit of Bukit Sembawang Estates bought the estate for $345 million following a competitve tender. There are altogether five penthouses and these owners can expect to received proceeds ranging from $4.95 million to $12.08 million. "These premiums are fairly substantial, compared to units which were sold individually in the open market," said Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the deal. Other owners will receive proceeds ranging from $2.25 million to $3.23 million, depending on their floor area and size. The sale price was some 20 per cent above the reserve price of $288 million. The tender attracted a total of 10 bids and all were above the reserve price. Katong Park Towers, which comprises 111 standard apartments, five penthouses and two commercial units, sits on a land area of 140,758 sq ft. It is located about 200 metres from the future Katong Park MRT Station, which is slated for completion in 2023. According to Singapore's 2014 Master Plan, the site is zoned "residential", with a plot ratio of 2.1 and a maximum building height of up to 24 storeys. The site is not affected by any traffic impact study. The recent increase in development charges in this precinct has minimal impact on the price as Katong Park Towers has a fairly high baseline. At the sale price of $345 million, the land rate for Katong Park Towers translates to $1,280 per sq ft per plot up to the development baseline, taking into account an estimated $60 million for the lease upgrading premium. Mr Ng Chee Seng, CEO of Bukit Sembawang Estates said: "We are pleased to be awarded this coveted residential address in a prime district. Our planned development is nestled in low-rise landed houses along Meyer & Mountbatten Road, and will offer rare, unobstructed panoramic views of the city skyline. "We see good potential in this site because it is well-connected to the future Katong Park MRT Station. With Katong's rich heritage and rejuvenation initiatives under the Kallang Masterplan, we are confident that this will be another quality development added to our portfolio." The sale is subject to approval from the Strata Titles Board.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Mar-2018

URA tenders residential sites at Mattar Road, Silat Avenue

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched two residential sites at Mattar Road and Silat Avenue for sale by public tender under the confirmed list of the first half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. The land parcel at Mattar Road, which is under a 99-year lease, has a site area of 6,230.2 square metres with a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 18,691 sq m. It can yield an estimated 250 units. The site at Silat Avenue, also under a 99-year lease, has occupies an area of 22,851.6 sq m and with a GFA of 84,551 sq m. It can yield a maximum of 1,125 housing units. The site is zoned for residential and residential with commercial at the first storey. The building height for both developments will vary. The Mattar Road site has a low rise zone of five storeys and a high rise zone of 64 metres above mean sea level (AMSL), while the Silat Ave site will have a low rise zone of 50 metres and a high rise zone of 200 metres AMSL. The tender for the two sites will close at noon on April 26. The tender closing for these two sites will be batched with another residential site at Cuscaden Road, which was launched for sale on Feb 27.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 16-Mar-2018

CDL to launch new Tampines condo

City Developments (CDL) is releasing units at The Tapestry condominium in Tampines next week. It announced yesterday that the 99-year leasehold project, which has 861 units, will be the "first premium suburban condominium launch" this year. The Tapestry comprises seven 15-storey blocks with units from 441 square feet for a one-bedder to 1,765 sq ft for the largest five-bedroom dual-key with study apartments. One-bedders go from $596,000; the two-bedroom units start at $796,00; while $1.15 million gets a three-bedder. Prices for the four-bedroom units are $1.65 million, with the five-bedder dual-key with study apartments going from $2.1 million. The Tapestry in Tampines Street 86 is being developed by Bellevue Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDL. CDL Group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong said: "Given The Tapestry's location in the much sought-after mature Tampines estate, we have received very strong inquiries for this launch. "Close proximity to major transportation nodes, popular schools, amenities, offices and business parks has fuelled demand for residences in this area." Mr Chia added that CDL expects a "good take-up" from new-home buyers, upgraders and investors. The Tapestry has over 50 facilities, including a 100m infinity pool, 24-hour gymnasium and a childcare centre. CDL said home owners will have the option to adopt a smart voice assistant, which enables them to control most smart-home devices by voice. Other smart technologies available for selection include a smart home gateway with a pan and tilt camera to enhance security with remote surveillance, two-way audio function, speaker siren for unauthorised door opening and video recording. The Tapestry will be launched on March 24. Earlier this week, CDL said it was pricing its two penthouses at New Futura in Leonie Hill Road from $39.8 million each, which works out to $5,079 per square foot based on the strata area of 7,836 sq ft. The penthouses, on the top two levels of the completed project's two 36-storey towers, have five bedrooms each. Each penthouse offers 360-degree views of the city and comes with a 13m private pool, sauna and shower by the pool deck.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 15-Mar-2018

Asia investors behind record global real estate investments last year: Cushman & Wakefield

SINGAPORE - Investors from Asia powered global real estate investments to an all-time high in 2017, and are likely to dominate the market in 2018 as the range of capital sources within the region continue to increase, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield on Thursday (March 15). The findings come from its Global Investment Atlas 2018 study which found that Asian investors accounted for 52 per cent of the record US$1.62 trillion of capital deployed for all kinds of property investments globally last year, which topped 2016's US$1.43 trillion. Asian buyers were also responsible for 46 per cent of all cross-border investments. But while investors from the Asia-Pacific increased their exposure to most markets, the US was a notable exception as a range of factors including the stage of the market cycle, uncertainty over US policies and domestic capital controls in China, all combined to deliver a fall in activity. North America's loss was Europe's gain however, as investment from Asian sources grew by 96 per cent year-on-year, mainly due several very large-scale transactions, including acquisitions preparing the way for the implementation of China's Belt and Road Initiative. Contrary to the conviction of some that European and American populism would result in a less adventurous investment community and a strengthening of domestic purchasing, local buying in both Europe and North America decreased on the year with the global increase in domestic investment driven exclusively by Asia Pacific buyers of residential properties, whose investments rose 39.9 per cent year-on-year. In terms of countries, the US remained the main target for international investors but its lead fell and, as a regional, Europe was strongly ahead of North America, attracting 50 per cent of all cross-border spending.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 14-Mar-2018

Singapore's 2018 growth forecast raised to 3.2% by private economists

SINGAPORE - Private sector economists have raised their forecast for Singapore's economic growth this year to 3.2 per cent, on the back of rising optimism in the electronics and property sectors. The latest projection - from a survey of 24 economists in February - is higher than the 3 per cent median forecast in the previous survey in December last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a press release on Wednesday (March 14). The services and financial sectors are expected to expand faster than the December projection, according to the economists. However, they lowered their estimates for growth in the manufacturing sector and for non-oil domestic exports. The Government expects Singapore's economy this year to grow "slightly above the middle of the forecast range of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent". The Republic's economy beat expectations to grow by 3.6 per cent last year, boosted by strong growth in the manufacturing and services sectors. About half of the economists who responded to MAS' latest survey cited expectations for stronger growth in the electronics sector as the main potential upside for Singapore's economy. About 41 per cent of respondents also pointed to increased optimism in the property sector as a potential driver for stronger growth, noticeably higher than the 27 per cent who cited this as a factor in December's survey. The private-sector experts cited uncertainties surrounding global trade and the Chinese economy as their two biggest concerns. "The possibility of a global trade war scenario presents significant concerns for a large proportion, or 88 per cent, of respondents. This is more than double that in the December survey," said MAS. "The threat of a slowdown in the Chinese economy is comparatively more subdued, at 53 per cent of responses, down from 67 per cent previously." For next year, the economists polled expected Singapore to grow 2.8 per cent.

Source: Today Online
Dated: 14-Mar-2018

Condo rents rise 1% in Feb, HDB rents up 0.5%: SRX Property

SINGAPORE - Private non-landed home rents rose by 1 per cent in February 2018 from a month ago, higher than the 0.5 per cent rise in January, flash estimates from SRX Property on Wednesday (March 14) showed. In individual sectors, non-landed private residential unit rents in core central region (CCR), rest of central region (RCR), and outside central region (OCR) all rose, increasing by 2.3 per cent, 0.2 per cent, and 0.7 per cent respectively. On a year-on-year basis, rents last month were down by 0.7 per cent from February 2017. The OCR led with the biggest drop of 2.3 per cent, followed by a 0.1 per cent drop in the RCR. In the CCR, however, rents saw a 0.6 per cent increase. Rents in February 2018 were down by 18.8 per cent compared to their peak in January 2013. Some 3,376 non-landed private residential units were rented in February, SRX said. This was down from the 4,242 units rented in January 2018, a fall of 20.4 per cent. On the public housing front, HDB rents rose by 0.5 per cent in February 2018 from a month ago. Breaking it down, rents for HDB executive units fell by 0.2 per cent, while HDB three-, four- and five-room units all rose, increasing by 0.7 per cent, 0.3 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. Compared to a year ago, HDB rents last month were down 1.9 per cent from February 2017. They are lower by 14.8 per cent from their peak in August 2013. HDB rental flat volumes fell by 19.1 per cent in February to 1,441 flats leased from 1,781 in January this year. Year-on-year, February's rental volume fell by 11.8 per cent from a year ago.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 14-Mar-2018

Foreigners form bulk of buyers at two CDL upmarket projects

Foreign buyers, including Singapore permanent residents, have accounted for $1.03 billion of sales at the New Futura and Gramercy Park prime district condominiums. That amount made up over 70 per cent of the total sales value of $1.3 billion at the two City Developments (CDL) projects, the firm said. Gramercy Park in Grange Road received its Temporary Occupation Permit in May 2016; New Futura in August last year. Foreign buyers - mainly from China, Indonesia and Malaysia - have bought 34 of the 48 units CDL has sold since it released New Futura's 64-unit South Tower in January. Those sales were valued at about $206 million in all. The 48 units sold in the Leonie Hill Road development add up to about $302 million. Both towers in the complex are 36-storeys high. CDL said the 48 units sold at New Futura achieved an average price of above $3,200 per square foot (psf). Prices started from $3.8 million for two-bedroom units, $5.5 million for three-bedders, and $6.9 million for four-bedders. Typical unit sizes range from 1,098 sq ft for two-bedders, 1,830 sq ft for three-bedders, and 2,250 sq ft for four-bedders. The jewels of New Futura are its two penthouses, priced from $39.8 million. Each is 7,836 sq ft spanning two storeys and with five bedrooms. Besides offering 360-degree panoramic views of the city, each penthouse comes with a 13m private pool, sauna and shower by the pool deck. The penthouses also have an entertainment kitchen on the pool deck. The 174-unit Gramercy Park is further along the sales process. CDL released the first tower for sale in May 2016, and the second in late March last year. It has moved 170 units totalling $1.01 billion in the district 10 project with 132 units worth $827 million going to foreign buyers. The project comprises two blocks of 24 storeys each. Gramercy Park's average sale price was over $2,800 psf. All four penthouses in the development have been sold to foreigners at prices ranging from $16.88 million to $24.5 million. CDL noted that Knight Frank's recent Wealth Report 2018 named Singapore as a favoured destination for property investments among the world's ultra-wealthy, taking the fifth spot. CDL has two more luxury projects on the boil. Both are joint ventures. The 190-unit South Beach Residences is slated for release in either the second or third quarter of this year, but the firm has not indicated a launch time for the 154-unit The Biltmore, which is in the Cuscaden Road/Orchard Boulevard area.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 13-Mar-2018

Condo resale prices up 1.9% in February to surpass last peak in prices four years ago: SRX Property

SINGAPORE - Resale prices of condominiums and private apartments crossed an important mark last month by surpassing the last peak in prices seen in January 2014, according to flash estimates from SRX Property on Tuesday (March 13). Resale prices in February climbed 1.9 per cent from the previous month - higher than the 1.3 per cent month-on-month price rise seen in January, which was revised up from an earlier estimate of a 1 per cent increase. February's resale prices were one per cent higher from the peak in January 2014 and 7.6 per cent higher than a year ago, said real estate portal SRX. The price appreciation was seen across all locations. The core central region (CCR), rest of the central region (RCR), and outside central region (OCR) recorded month-on-month price increases of 1.5 per cent, 1.7 per cent, and 2.2 per cent respectively. Compared to a year ago, CCR, RCR, and OCR recorded price increases of 6.2 per cent, 11 per cent, and 6.2 per cent respectively. In another sign of a strengthening market, the number of resale non-landed private homes sold last month jumped 11.3 per cent from January, said SRX. Year-on-year, resale volume in February was 68.6 per cent higher compared to 719 units resold in the corresponding month a year ago, but nearly 41 per cent lower than the April 2010 peak.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 13-Mar-2018

Lendlease upbeat on sales at Paya Lebar condo

Australian developer Lendlease hopes to repeat the success of phase-one sales at Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) last year when it releases the next batch early next month. The firm shifted 210 apartments in the initial launch - about half the total units at the 99-year leasehold project - on the first day of sales. Lendlease had estimated that only 40 per cent would go on day one. The remaining 219 units go on sale on April 7, the developer announced yesterday. Lendlease Asia chief executive Tony Lombardo said: "We do know there is pent-up demand; we haven't had the show suite open for months, so there are people wanting to buy into the product and we haven't launched that back to market." The show suite reopens on March 24 to display the condo's mix of one-to three-bedroom units. There will be 43 one-bedders, between 480 sq ft and 580 sq ft in size, up for sale, with prices starting from $900,000. The 110 two-bedroom units of between 650 sq ft and 900 sq ft start from $1.15 million, while 66 three-bedders ranging from 1,080 sq ft to 1,350 sq ft start from $1.8 million. This is a slight increase - about 5 per cent, said Mr Lombardo - compared with prices of similar units sold in the first phase. Ms Alice Tan, Knight Frank Singapore's head of consultancy and research, said: "Looking at the past year's trend - where the overall residential market is clearly recovering - a 5 per cent adjustment is rather compelling, in the light of potential price escalation in future projects." She added that it is widely anticipated that sale prices at upcoming launches will be at least 10 per cent higher than last year's. Knight Frank is one of the agents for Park Place Residences. Mr Lombardo said 95 per cent of buyers in the first phase were Singapore citizens or permanent residents. The condo is scheduled to be completed in the first half of next year. Lendlease announced that Shaw Theatres will join other anchor tenants, FairPrice Finest and Kopitiam foodcourt, at PLQ Mall, which is the retail section of the mixed-use development. The new cinema complex will have 12 screens, including Imax.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Mar-2018

3 biggest property agencies band together to form online platform for agents, consumers

SINGAPORE'S three biggest property agencies have joined forces for the first time to launch an online platform for agents and consumers to provide the latest information for their real estate needs and to tackle the current challenges they face with existing property portals. This inaugural collaboration between PropNex Realty, ERA Realty and Huttons Asia comes on the heels of proposals under the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (ITM) to future-proof the sector. Named SoReal, this concept was first mooted in early 2016 by these agencies' chiefs as they gathered feedback from agents on the current challenges faced when subscribing to property portals for their business. Some of the challenges include duplicated listings, high subscription, increasing fees and outdated information that is not refreshed in real-time.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 12-Mar-2018

Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter to launch final 219 units for sale on April 7

SINGAPORE - Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) - a mixed-use development - will launch its second phase of sales on April 7, developer Lendlease announced on Monday (March 12). The show suite will be opened to the public next Saturday, March 24, and the final 219 units will be available for sale. This comes after 210 units, or about half of the total units, were sold in the first phase last year, exceeding the inital 40 per cent planned after strong interest from buyers. A total of 43 one-bedroom units, between 480 square feet (sq ft) and 580 sq ft in size, will be up for sale, with prices starting from S$900,000. Another 110 two-bedroom units, between 650 sq ft and 900 sq ft in size, will have prices starting from S$1.15 million. The remaining 66 three-bedroom units, between 1080 sq ft and 1350 sq ft in size, will start from S$1.8 million. This is a slight increase compared to prices reported from transactions during the first phase. The Business Times had then reported that prices ranged from S$800,000 for a one-bedroom unit to S$2.1 million for a three-bedroom premium unit. Tony Lombardo, Lendlease Asia's chief executive, said; "The strong take-up during Phase One sales is testament that discerning buyers and investors recognise the great value, superior connectivity, green spaces, convenience and quality that Park Place Residences at PLQ offers." It was also announced that Shaw Theatres will join other anchor tenants, FairPrice Finest and Kopitiam food court, at PLQ Mall - the retail section of the mixed-use development.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Mar-2018

Another sale en bloc: Toho Mansion in Holland Village goes for $120.4m

SINGAPORE - KBD Ventures, a subsidiary of construction and property developer Koh Brothers, has won the collective sale tender for Toho Mansion in Holland Road for S$120.43 million or around S$1,805 per sq ft per plot ratio. The freehold site, which has an area of 4,427.8 sq m and a plot ratio of 1.4, can be redeveloped into a potential gross floor area of 6,818.7 sq m, including a 10 per cent bonus balcony area, Koh Brothers said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange early on Friday (March 9). Zoned for residential use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's 2014 Master Plan, the plot enjoys enjoys a high development baseline with no development charge to redevelop the site, Edmund Tie & Company, the marketing agent for the sale, said on Friday. Toho Mansion is a walk-up apartment complex with two four-storey residential blocks consisting of a total of 32 apartments. It sits on an elevated site next to a Good Class Bungalow housing estate and is in close proximity to Holland Village Shopping Centre and Chip Bee Gardens. The sale and purchase of the property are expected to be completed three months after the date of the acceptance. Said Francis Koh, managing director and group chief executive of Koh Brothers: "We are excited to have won this prime and rare freehold site that is in the heart of the vibrant Holland Village lifestyle enclave." KBD Ventures intends to redevelop the property, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals from the authorities. Koh Brothers said that the purchase would allow the group to expand its development portfolio in Singapore. "We look forward to creating a fresh concept that will offer a seamless and integrated experience with the great convenience and connectivity in this up-and-coming neighbourhood, which has been earmarked by the Government for a highly anticipated makeover and expansion," Mr Koh added. The Toho Mansion site "will mark the third site to be added to our land bank, as we continue to prudently seek attractive development sites at choice locations". "In view of the recovering residential sector in Singapore, we will monitor the market closely to launch the project at an opportune time to capitalise on the upcycle," Mr Koh said. Edmund Tie & Company's senior director for investment advisory Swee Shou Fern commented: "This is a very attractive site that stands out from the crowd. Its many positive attributes include the coveted freehold tenure, single ownership, prestigious Holland Road address, high development baseline and the convenience of Holland Village, Chip Bee Gardens and the MRT station located right at its doorstep." Koh Brothers shares were trading 0.5 cent down, or 1.5 per cent, at 33 cents as at 12.34pm on Friday.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 09-Mar-2018

Developer releasing 30 units in Nim Collection

The first developer to launch a private residential project this year, Bukit Sembawang Estates, will release 30 out of 47 units in the first phase of its landed development, Nim Collection, at an average price of $2.8 million to $3 million. The launch of the project tomorrow follows a recovery in landed home values, marked by two quarterly price upticks in the second half of last year. Located in Nim Road off Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, this project is one of the first to adopt the new "envelope" control guidelines that offer greater flexibility in the design and configuration of interior space. The guidelines do away with some of the current "micro-controls", such as the attic profile, floor-to-floor height and basement protrusions, and instead control the envelope or the overall bulk of the house. Mr Ng Chee Seng, executive director and chief executive of Bukit Sembawang Estates, said the development offers homes that break away from the usual conventional design. "This includes a unique blend of high spatial heights, volume, luxury of space and layout." The 99-year leasehold project is designed in partnership with Mr Mok Wei Wei of W Architects and is jointly marketed by CBRE, Edmund Tie & Company, and Huttons Asia. Phase 1 of the project comprises 37 inter-terraced units, eight corner terraced units and two semi-detached houses. The first two phases of the project have planning permission for 98 units. Bukit Sembawang Estates' land bank in the area is said to be able to house some 300 landed homes in total. For Phase 1, the developer is selling the inter-terraced units spanning 1,916 sq ft of land with 4,478 sq ft of built-up area for around $2.75 million, sources say. CBRE executive director for residential Joseph Tan said: "Landed terraced homes are very limited in supply. Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited has chosen a very opportune time to put the houses on the market, at a time when the sentiments around Singapore's residential market have improved." The official index for landed homes rose 1.2 per cent in the third quarter and 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. This brought the full-year price change for landed homes to a 0.5 per cent decline, following three years of a price slump. Prices fell 4.5 per cent in 2016, 4.1 per cent in 2015 and 5.4 per cent in 2014, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The previous major landed project launch was Kismis Residences by Low Keng Huat (Singapore) in May last year, which had sold 11 of 31 units as of January this year, for $4.1 million on average. These sold units span an average land area of 1,624 sq ft. Bukit Sembawang Estates' last landed project launch was freehold Luxus Hills Phase 7, where 32 units were fully sold.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 08-Mar-2018

4 residential sites join collective sale market

Another four residential sites have hit the collective sale market to meet what appears to be an insatiable demand from developers. Asia Gardens in Everton Road leads the way with an asking price of $338 million, followed by Park View Mansions near Jurong Lake at about $320 million. Firms may also consider 27 Moulmein Rise with a reserve price of $110 million, or Katong Omega Apartments at $41 million. Edmund Tie & Company, which is marketing Asia Gardens, said the asking price of $338 million works out to a land rate of $1,675 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), or $1,523 psf on the maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), including the 10 per cent bonus balcony area. The site has a high development baseline, so no development charge is payable, including the 10 per cent bonus balcony area. Freehold Asia Gardens, which was completed in the late 1980s, is in the Spottiswoode enclave. It comprises 80 apartments and four penthouses on a land area of about 72,059 sq ft with a gross plot ratio of 2.8. It could yield a condominium of up to 36 storeys with about 270 units, assuming an average size of 70 sq m, said Edmund Tie & Co. Asia Gardens is near the Central Business District, a short drive from Orchard Road and HarbourFront, and only 400m from the Outram Park MRT interchange, serving the East-West and North-East lines and the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line. Mr Swee Shou Fern, Edmund Tie's senior director of investment advisory, said: "The property (enjoys) unobstructed panoramic views of the city skyline and sea beyond the Tanjong Pagar port area." Meanwhile, owners at Park View Mansions are expecting $320 million in their collective sale attempt. That translates to $1,183 psf ppr, inclusive of $157 million to intensify the land and to top up to a fresh 99-year lease, marketer Huttons Asia said. Park View Mansions has a land area of 191,974 sq ft, with an allowable gross plot ratio of 2.1. The site can yield about 403,145 sq ft of GFA upon redevelopment. Developers can also target 27 Moulmein Rise near Novena and an adjoining plot of land with a combined reserve price of $110 million. This translates to a land rate of $1,525 psf ppr, based on a maximum allowable GFA of 72,147 sq ft, including a 10 per cent balcony area, Savills Singapore said. Both plots are owned by 27MR and no development charges are payable. The sites, which have a total land area of 22,198 sq ft, could yield up to 87 units. 27 Moulmein Rise is in prime District 11 and near the upcoming Health City Novena, which is due for completion by 2030. The fourth site released by tender is freehold Katong Omega Apartments at 357 to 367C, East Coast Road, in District 15. All owners of the 18 units have unanimously agreed to sell, so strata board approval is not required. Marketer Teakhwa Real Estate said the site is expected to fetch at least $41 million, or about $1,062 psf ppr, including a development charge of $480,000. Katong Omega Apartments is in a heritage district on a land area of about 27,902.4 sq ft, with a plot ratio of 1.4, and an allowable height of up to five storeys. Tenders close on April 5 for Katong Omega Apartments, April 16 for Asia Gardens, April 18 for 27 Moulmein Rise, and April 20 for Park View Mansions.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 07-Mar-2018

Katong Omega Apartments up for collective sale at S$41m

SINGAPORE - The slew of recent collective sales of private apartments continues unabated with the latest addition of Katong Omega Apartments, up for sale en bloc with an indicative price of S$41 million. Strata board approval is not needed for the sale as all 18 owners of the freehold District 15 residence at 357, East Coast Road, have signed on, marketing agent Teakhwa Real Estate said in a statement on Wednesday (March 7). The guide price translates to S$1,061.90 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area, including the differential premium of about S$480,000, subject to confirmation by the relevant authorities. The land rate will be reduced to S$1,021.50 psf if the 10 per cent bonus balcony gross floor area (GFA) is included. The site is expected to fetch an average selling price of about S$1,750 to S$1,850 psf, said Teakhwa Real Estate's managing director Sieow Teak Hwa."For its freehold tenure, superb location and undemanding land rate expectation, we can expect very strong developers' interest for this rare site," he added. The plot is zoned "residential" and has a land area of around 27,902.4 sq ft, with a plot ratio of 1.4 and allowable height of up to five storeys. The potential GFA is about 39,063.4 sq ft, Teakhwa said, which could yield 36 apartments of about 1,076 sq ft per unit for a new residential development. Teakhwa highlighted the three to four-minute walk from the development to the future Marine Terrace MRT station, currently scheduled for completion in February 2023. Marina Bay, the Central Business District and Changi Airport are also 10 to 15 minutes away by car. It is within 1km to Tao Nan and CHIJ (Katong) primary schools, and is near shopping malls like i12 Katong, Parkway Parade and Roxy Square. The tender will be launched on Thursday and close at 3pm on April 5, 2018.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-Mar-2018

FEC Properties buys Hollandia in collective sale for $183.4m

A unit of developer Far East Consortium International (FEC) has bought a collective sale site in prime Holland Road for $183.38 million. Hollandia, which sits on a 4,970.8 sq m freehold plot at the junction of Holland Road and Queensway, is in a popular residential enclave of landed homes and high-end condominiums. It is also near bustling Holland Village and an MRT station. The six-storey block of 48 apartments was built in the mid-1980s. Owners can expect gross sale proceeds of $3.3 million to $4.2 million, which works out to over $2,000 psf on strata area. The site can be developed up to 12 storeys with an allowable gross floor area (GFA) of 10,004.56 sq m. Owing to its high development baseline with an equivalent gross plot ratio of 2.01, no development charge is payable, including the additional 10 per cent GFA for balconies. The price for Hollandia condominium translates to a land rate of $1,703 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), said marketing agent Savills Singapore. The last major collective sale site in the Holland vicinity was in December 2011, when Henry Park Apartments in Holland Grove was sold. FEC said it plans to redevelop the site into a high-end residential development, with total GFA of about 10,000 sqm. "The acquisition is... a great addition to the development pipeline in Singapore following Artra, which was successfully launched last year," it said. The firm's unit, FEC Properties, launched the 400-unit Artra near Redhill MRT station last April. The project, which FEC is jointly developing with New World Development in a 70-30 joint venture, had sold 191 apartments as at the end of last year. The Chiu family that controls Hong Kong-listed FEC also has privately held businesses through its Tang Group of Companies. FEC has also undertaken projects in Australia and mainland China. Including the Hollandia deal, the nine collective sales so far this year have totalled $3.3 billion, after 30 deals last year of $8.7 billion in all.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 02-Mar-2018

Sentosa Cove penthouse sold at $2.4m loss

A two-level penthouse at The Berth by the Cove was sold for $3.25 million, or $1,105 per square feet (psf) - almost half its original value - at an auction on Wednesday. Edmund Tie & Company received five bids for the sixth-storey property. The last owner had bought the unit for $5.64 million, or $1,919 psf, in 2011. This means a loss of about $2.4 million, or 42 per cent. This transaction is the first auction sale of a Sentosa Cove property this year. It is a mortgagee sale, which means it is a sale put up by the lender, usually because the borrower has difficulty servicing the mortgage. According to the real-estate consulting firm, this is the fourth Sentosa Cove property since 2017 to be sold for almost half of its initial purchase price. In January this year, a unit in Sentosa Cove's Turquoise was sold for $3.59 million, 43 per cent lower than its last purchase price of $6.29 million. In March last year, an apartment in Marina Collection was sold for $3 million, or at a 42 per cent discount, while a Seascape unit was sold at $6.2 million in February last year - representing a loss of 51 per cent from its original value of $12.8 million. Said the firm's head of auction and sales, Ms Joy Tan: "Mortgagee sale units along this stretch of Sentosa Cove are hard to come by, given its healthy rental and resale transactions. The auctioned price of $1,105 psf is very reasonable." The four-bedroom unit at The Berth by the Cove has a floor area of about 2,939 sq ft, and features unblocked views of the marina, as well as the landed enclaves of Paradise Island and Coral Island. It comes with a double-volume ceiling in the living area, private lift access and a private spa pool attached to the master bedroom. Located along Sentosa's coastline, this condominium is also one of the few developments on the island which offer residents 25 berths for their private yachts. Ms Tan said: "Sentosa Cove properties are on the upward swing this past year, and we still see ready buyers looking to invest in good buys on the island. "We expect another five units to be placed for auction for the rest of the year." The next auction by Edmund Tie & Company will be on March 21.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Feb-2018

Cuscaden Road site up for tender under Goverment Land Sales programme

SINGAPORE - A site at Cuscaden Road has been launched for sale by public tender on Tuesday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) under the confirmed list of the first half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. The tender for the site will close at 12 noon on April 26. The tender closing for this site will be batched with two other residential sites at Silat Road and Mattar Road which will be launched for sale in March 2018, the URA added. These two sites are also under the confirmed list of the first half 2018 GLS programme. The 5,722.5 square metre 99-year leasehold site - zoned for residential use under URA's 2014 Master Plan - at Cuscaden Road has a gross floor area of 16,023 sq m. The maximum building height of the site stands at 100 m and can potentially yield about 170 residential units, the URA said.

Source: Straits Times
Dated: 27-Feb-2018

Holland Road condo up for collective sale

The Estoril, a condominium at 95 and 97, Holland Road, is up for collective sale with a guide price of $220 million, reflecting a land price of about $1,625 per sq ft per plot ratio. Sitting on a site area of about 84,600 sq ft and zoned "residential" with a height control of up to 12 storeys, the development comes with a plot ratio of 1.6 based on the 2014 Master Plan, and has a maximum allowable gross floor area of about 148,896 sq ft, including a 10 per cent bonus area on balconies. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority development baseline record, no development charge is payable. The site could potentially be redeveloped from its current 44 units into a residential development of 166 units. CBRE capital markets director Sammi Lim believes a land price of less than $250 million will be "palatable" for developers. "The spotlight on the current collective sale cycle seems to have started to shift to the prime districts," he said. "The recent sale of Cairnhill Mansions, the first residential development site sold in the prime district in the current cycle, will kick-start more prime activity en bloc in the coming months." CBRE is the exclusive and sole marketing agent for The Estoril. The public tender for The Estoril will close on April 3.

Source: Straits Times