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Caldecott Close bungalow owned by Lee Hsien Yang and wife sold for $13m; they list another for $16.8m

Mr Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, Mrs Lee Suet Fern, have sold a two-storey bungalow in the Caldecott Hill good class bungalow (GCB) area for $13 million, and put another nearby bungalow on the market for $16.8 million. The adjoining freehold properties are located in Caldecott Close, near the old premises of Mediacorp. A search on the Singapore Land Authority website shows that Mr Lee, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Mrs Lee are joint owners of both properties. An option to buy one of the bungalows, which sits on a 921.6 sq m or 9,920 sq ft site, has been granted to a Singaporean businessman for $13 million, or under $1,400 per sq ft (psf), sources told The Straits Times. The $16.8 million asking price for the other bungalow translates to around $1,700 psf, based on its land area of 918.5 sq m or 9,888 sq ft. When contacted on Wednesday (Oct 6), Mrs Lee declined to comment. Described as a "resort-style modern bungalow", this property is listed on real estate portal PropertyGuru. It has six bedrooms, two living rooms and a dining room, a basement wine cellar and lounge, a helper's room, an infinity pool and a koi pond. Four cars can be parked inside the property, which is being sold with vacant possession. The listing was first reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday. Reflecting the demand for well-located landed properties, the total value of GCB deals in Singapore is heading for a 10-year high if sales continue at the blistering pace they have set so far this year. There have been 68 sales totalling $2.05 billion from Jan 1 to Aug 20, up 392 per cent from the 21 deals worth $415.8 million in the same period last year, noted List Sotheby's International Realty. JLL Singapore said the level of deals in the six months to June 30 was the best half-year performance in 11 years, a striking outcome given the pandemic and the severe recession that resulted in Singapore's economy contracting 5.4 per cent last year. The two-storey bungalow in the Caldecott Hill good class bungalow area was sold for $13 million. Mr Samuel Eyo, managing director of Lighthouse Property Consultants, said that the highest per sq ft (psf) price achieved for transactions in the Caldecott Hill GCB area this year was $1,537 psf, or $36 million, for a GCB in Olive Road. It was sold to Mr Ian Ang, co-founder and chief executive of ergonomic chair retailer Secretlab. In November 2020, a GCB in Andrew Road was sold for $744 psf, or $20.5 million, Mr Eyo added. Of Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Mrs Lee's two properties, he said: "Based on the past year's transactions, land in the Caldecott Hill GCB area averaged around $1,000 to $1,100 psf." But with one of the Caldecott Close bungalows being sold at under $1,400 psf, "that is a good price because it shows buyers are willing to pay above $1,000 psf for land in the Caldecott Hill GCB area", Mr Eyo said. Based on the past year's transactions, land in the Caldecott Hill good class bungalow area averaged around $1,000 to $1,100 psf. List Sotheby's senior associate vice-president Steve Tay said that buyers are starting to appreciate the value of the Caldecott Hill estate, given its access to the city centre, as well as its proximity to Caldecott MRT station and amenities in Thomson and Toa Payoh. Other recent notable landed property deals include the 752,015 sq ft site of Mediacorp's former Caldecott Broadcast Centre in nearby Andrew Road, which was sold for $280.9 million in December 2020 to PRE 10, an entity jointly owned by Perennial Real Estate Holdings and its chairman Kuok Khoon Hong. Mediacorp has been granted an outline approval by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to redevelop the site into two-storey bungalows with a minimum land area of 800 sq m per house. "There is almost no new supply of landed homes with a land size of at least 800 sq m, except for those planned on Perennial's site, so demand for bungalows in Caldecott is set to go up and, in turn, their values, " Mr Tay said.

Source: Straits Times
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Hong Kong property agencies suing Evergrande to recover commissions

Two Hong Kong property agencies are suing heavily indebted China Evergrande Group over unpaid commissions, according to a court filing and media reports, piling pressure on the developer as it scrambles to raise funds and avert a collapse. Centaline filed a suit against Evergrande in September to recover HK$3.1 million ($541,000) in overdue commissions, a court filing showed, while the South China Morning Post newspaper reported that Midland Holdings is claiming unpaid commissions of HK$43.45 million for two developments in Hong Kong. An executive at Centaline China told Reuters it has also filed a suit against the property developer in a Guangzhou court in southern China, seeking to claim hundreds of millions of yuan it says it is due. Centaline confirmed to Reuters it filed a claim in Hong Kong last month, but declined to comment further. Midland declined to comment, saying the case is going through legal procedures. Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hong Kong's exposure to Evergrande is "very minimal" at 0.05 per cent, or HK$14 billion, of banking assets and will not cause any systemic risks, the newspaper reported on Sunday, citing Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan. Evergrande has vowed to repay its suppliers and contractors in mainland China as soon as possible, in some cases offering apartments or other real estate assets, as construction at many of its sites has halted because of delayed payments. With liabilities of US$305 billion (S$414 billion), Evergrande has sparked concerns its cash crunch could spread through China's financial system and reverberate globally, a worry that has eased with the Chinese central bank's vow last week to protect home buyers' interests. Growing worries about defaults at Chinese property developers triggered a rout in their shares and bonds on Tuesday (Oct 5), with fresh credit rating downgrades and uncertainty about the fate of cash-strapped Evergrande sapping investor sentiment. Last month, Evergrande missed coupon payments on two dollar bond tranches and is scrambling to sell assets to pay creditors, prioritising repayment to onshore lenders in the last few weeks.

Source: Straits Times
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Australia tweaks loan buffers to cool red-hot housing market

Australia's banking regulator has raised the minimum interest rate buffer that lenders need to account for when assessing home loan applications, citing growing risks to financial stability from a booming housing market. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority told lenders it expects them to assess new borrowers' ability to meet loan repayments at an interest rate that is at least 3 percentage points above the loan product rate, according to a statement on Wednesday (Oct 6). That is up from the 2.5 percentage points commonly used by banks at present. Property prices in Australia are soaring in response to ultra-low interest rates, a phenomenon seen across the developed world as central banks ease policy to support economies during the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund has urged Australia to introduce lending curbs, warning surging house prices raised issues about affordability and financial stability. Financial regulators are grappling with how to contain surging credit and a red-hot property market without choking off the economy's recovery. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has said consistently it does not expect to raise rates until 2024 at the earliest - leaving tighter lending rules as the only way to rein in the property market. Mr Matt Comyn, chief executive officer of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), said the move would help take some heat out of the housing market. Shares of CBA, the country's largest mortgage lender, slipped 2.3 per cent as at 11.05am in Sydney, with rival lenders showing more muted moves. "We will implement the changes this month and expect that it may be necessary to consider additional steps as lockdowns end and consumer confidence increases, " he said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. The rapid house price gains in Sydney and Melbourne have come despite protracted lockdowns, and as growing household debt raises financial stability issues. The RBA has ruled out tightening policy to cool asset prices - unlike in South Korea, and as New Zealand's central bank appears set to do - focusing instead on pushing the economy to full employment. Housing prices nationally have risen at more than 10 times the pace of wages, raising a major barrier to entry for first-time home buyers and highlighting the downside to the RBA's emergency stimulus. Australia already has one of the highest debt-to-income ratios in the developed world. Data last Friday showed that prices climbed 17.6 per cent in the first nine months of this year. About one in five new loans is being approved at levels six times the borrowers' incomes, a level viewed as higher risk. The RBA is worried that overextended households will find themselves in a precarious position in the event of job losses or when rates eventually rise.

Source: Straits Times
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S'pore man, 42, charged after allegedly packing 39 migrant workers into two shophouses

A 42-year-old Singaporean has been charged with 11 counts for abetting employers to house migrant workers in unacceptable accommodation, which allegedly involved packing 39 of them into two shophouses. Lau Liang Thye has also been charged with one count of illegally employing a migrant worker without a valid work pass and three counts for the unauthorised development of private residential units into dormitory accommodation. Another Singaporean man, Tay Kim Kiat,58, faces three charges, which include converting a private residential unit to provide unauthorised dormitory accommodation and for permitting Lau to provide dormitory accommodation at another two units. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a joint statement on Tuesday (Oct 5) that they inspected a pair of three-storey shophouses in Lorong 23 Geylang on Dec 3,2018. A total of 39 occupants were found to be living on the two premises that had been partitioned. Investigations revealed that Lau had rented the second and third floors of the two premises from Tay and sublet them to other tenants, including 22 migrant workers. In addition, Lau had allegedly sublet partitioned rooms on the rooftop of the two premises without Tay's knowledge. The 39 tenants found residing on the two premises had exceeded URA's occupancy cap rules of no more than six unrelated occupants at each of the premises. The migrant workers' employers were ordered to relocate all affected workers to proper and approved accommodation within two weeks, the agencies said. Lau also allegedly employed one of his tenants, Zhu Guangpeng, a 46-year-old Chinese national, as a housekeeper and rent collector in exchange for a reduction in his rent when Zhu did not have a valid work pass to do so. Under URA's regulations, private residential properties are subject to an occupancy cap of six unrelated people. All occupants must also stay for a minimum of three consecutive months. Home owners should ensure their properties are not used for unauthorised purposes. Those who have rented out their residential properties should verify the names of work pass holders registered to be residing at their addresses using the Foreign Worker Tenant Enquiry Service. They should physically check their premises periodically for fire hazards and overcrowding. Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012, employers are required to ensure that their migrant workers reside in acceptable accommodation that complies with the various statutory requirements. Employers who fail to do so can be fined up to $10,000, or jailed for up to 12 months, or both, for each charge. Migrant workers who have accommodation issues can report the matter to MOM at 6438-5122 or call the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) helpline at 6536-2692. Note: The story has been updated for accuracy.

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore overseas property investments reached $5.2b in Q3: Knight Frank

Singapore recorded $5.2 billion in outbound real estate investment deals in the third quarter of this year, representing a 53.9 per cent growth from the $3.4 billion transacted in the same period last year, according to Real Capital Analytics data. This was highlighted in a report by Knight Frank analysts on Tuesday (Oct 5). The analysts said that Singapore as a "key exporter of capital" made significant outbound deals such as the acquisition of One Town Centre, an office building in Florida, United States, for around $133.9 million by Prime US Reit in July this year, as well as the purchase of an office building in Barcelona, Spain, by IReit Global for about $43.1 million last month. The report also noted an upbeat pace of deals in the Singapore real estate market, as a total of $7.5 billion in investment deals were made in the third quarter of this year, increasing 58.1 per cent from the $4.8 billion in the third quarter of last year. This is also a 38.7 per cent increase from the $5.4 billion achieved in the previous quarter. Despite the increasing Covid-19 infection rates in the past few months, Knight Frank believes that the investment market still remains en route to a projected transaction volume of $30 billion for the whole of this year, given the encouraging pace of investment deals in the first nine months of the year. "Keeping up with the pace of activity in the investment market, we expect investment sales for the fourth quarter of 2021 to exceed $12.5 billion and the whole of 2021 to breach $30 billion, " said Mr Ian Loh, Knight Frank's head of capital markets (land and building, collective and strata sales). The report added that the bulk of the investment volume was driven by the sale of four Government Land Sales (GLS) sites, with the award of the Marina View reserve site at $1.5 billion being the top land sale, followed by the Jalan Anak Bukit parcel at $1 billion. The analysts said: "With frenzied bidding at certain recent GLS tenders, other land-hungry developers may shift their focus towards the greater diversity offered by smaller-sized plots in a variety of locations, such as sites with more palatable quantums where owners are attempting a collective sale." Projects in the range of $600 million and below with about 600 units "might just find willing buyers", in the analysts' view. This comes after the seal of the Flynn Park collective sale deal at $371 million, or $1,355 per sq ft per plot ratio, which the analysts said could cause a ripple effect in the collective sale market given that many owners are keen to collectively sell their ageing units. "Much of the investment activity in the coming months would comprise of the limited supply of new GLS parcels available for tender in the confirmed list of the second half of 2021. It is also possible that well-located smaller sites on the reserve list could also be triggered as the unsold stock of private residential units runs down, " said the analysts. The good class bungalow (GCB) market also followed the positive trend to register a healthy sum of $452 million in deals in the third quarter of this year. Although it is a lower transaction volume compared with the previous quarter, the analysts note that more GCB deals are currently being negotiated and expect those to complete by the end of the year. The analysts observed that the increased investor activity is not only seen in the residential sector, but also in strata offices and shophouses, both of which remain top choices for acquisition. "With interest running high and activity moving at an encouraging pace, continued activity is expected in the commercial and shophouse markets, with more spaces being launched for sale in the coming fourth quarter, " they said.

Source: Straits Times
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Chuan Park gets 80% mandate for collective sale after raising guide price to $938m

Chuan Park Condominium, a 99-year leasehold project in Lorong Chuan, has secured an 80 per cent mandate for its third collective sale bid, after raising its reserve price to $938 million from $900 million. The owners of the development's 710 sq ft units stand to get $1.22 million each, while owners of the 2,045 sq ft units may receive as much as $2.66 million each, according to a July 13 letter from the Chuan Park collective sales committee (CSC) to owners seen by The Straits Times. As at Sept 4,579 owners making up 81.33 per cent of total share values and 80.39 per cent of the total area of all lots in Chuan Park have signed the collective sale agreement. The collective sale tender closes on Nov 18 at 3.30 pm. Chuan Park failed in its 2018 sale bid with a guide price of $900 million, and subsequently lowered the price to $820 million. "Since launching the first EOGM (extraordinary general meeting) in early October 2019, the CSC has diligently tracked land sales indexes as well as property market developments, and where the market has moved upwards, we have done research to ensure a suitable response to these changes, " the Chuan Park CSC said in the July 13 letter. "As such you have seen us moving the reserve price from the initial $820 million to $850 million and in early May (back) to $900 million, " it added. But the CSC has further raised the guide price to $938 million "as this is sustainable and still within the tolerance threshold of developers, given our location and the current market conditions". "The most recent government land sales exercise has been extremely encouraging, particularly in the case of the Ang Mo Kio residential site, which concluded at $1,118 psf ppr (per square foot per plot ratio), a result exceeding any previous awards where pricing for out-of-city centre plots generally stayed below the $1,000 psf mark, " the CSC said. The 37,216 sq m site has a gross plot ratio of 2.1, with an achievable proposed gross floor area (GFA) of 78,153 sq m. The site, which is located near Lorong Chuan MRT, can be redeveloped into 900 to 919 units. With no development charge payable, the land cost works out to about $1,042 psf ppr, after factoring in the 7 per cent bonus GFA, according to marketing agent ERA. Collective sale activity among private residential condominiums has been heating up this year, with Braddell View set to convene an EOGM on Oct 8 to form its collective sale committee for its second attempt. The 920-unit Braddell View, which was privatised from Singapore's last and biggest privatised Housing and Urban Development Company estate, failed in its initial collective sale bid as there were no bidders for the mega site at $2.08 billion, or a land rate of $1,199 psf ppr. Meanwhile, the 596-unit,999-year Cashew Heights condominium in Upper Bukit Timah is now trying to get an 80 per cent mandate to launch a collective sale at $1.9 billion after its attempt in 2018 at $1.88 billion failed. Owners stand to get between $2.8 million and $3.29 million each depending on the size of their units, according to an Aug 12 document showing the apportionment of sale proceeds based on the $1.9 billion reserve price.

Source: Straits Times
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Chinese property developer Fantasia misses debt payments

Another Chinese developer fell into crisis on Monday (Oct 4) after failing to repay a maturing bond, adding to the strains of the nation's heavily leveraged property firms following industry giant China Evergrande Group's debt woes. Fantasia Holdings Group didn't repay a US$205.7 million (S$279 million) bond that was due on Monday, according to a company statement. Separately, property management company Country Garden Services Holdings said that a unit of Fantasia didn't repay a 700 million yuan (S$147.4 million) loan that also came due on Monday and that a default was probable. Signs of stress in China's property sector are spreading, as lower-rated developers face a surge in bond yields to a decade high. Evergrande, the world's most indebted developer and biggest issuer of junk bonds in Asia, is headed toward what could be one of the nation's biggest restructurings and fueling concern about wider market contagion. Shares in Evergrande and its property management unit were suspended from trading on Monday, pending an announcement on a "major transaction." Fantasia itself poses fewer risks to broader markets than Evergrande due to its smaller size. It ranked 60th in a list of contracted sales in the first quarter of this year versus third for Evergrande. Fantasia's total liabilities were US$12.9 billion as of June 30, according to the company's first-half report, compared with US$304.5 billion for Evergrande. It has about US$4.7 billion in outstanding offshore and local bonds, versus Evergrande's US$27.6 billion, Bloomberg-compiled data show. The market had also already been expecting problems. Fantasia was among the worst performers last month in a Bloomberg China high-yield dollar bond index. The private-banking units of Citigroup and Credit Suisse Group had stopped accepting its notes as collateral, Bloomberg reported in September. Still, Fantasia's nonpayment spotlights concerns that have become increasingly common throughout China's real estate industry as investors struggle to quantify often hard-to-see debts. Just last week, the developer refuted a report that money for a privately placed bond hadn't been transferred. The risks of opaque obligations were also flagged in recent days when people familiar said that a widely unknown dollar note with an official due date of Oct 3 issued by an entity called Jumbo Fortune Enterprises is guaranteed by Evergrande. Prices on Fantasia's bonds tumbled earlier on Monday as speculation mounted that it would struggle to meet its obligations. The company's 6.95 per cent of US dollar-denominated notes due in December plunged nearly 30 cents on the dollar to 38 US cents, according to the bond-price reporting system Trace. Shenzhen-headquartered Fantasia's management and board "will assess the potential impact on the financial condition and cash position of the Group" stemming from the skipped bond payment, it said. Country Garden Services announced an agreement last month to acquire the property management business assets from Fantasia's Colour Life Services Group. Country Garden said on Monday that it was enforcing a provision in the deal that would transfer shares of the Fantasia unit to one of Country Garden's companies. Chinese authorities have maintained strict rules on leverage, while measures to cool the housing market are damping sales. Recent days have brought more examples of stress at other property firms. Sinic Holdings Group has received a demand to repay some debt after missing two local interest payments. Fitch Ratings followed its peers on Monday by cutting Fantasia's credit grade several notches to CCC-, deep into junk territory. S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term rating on Fantasia on Sept 29 to CCC from B, citing "elevated risk" that it may not be able to implement a concrete repayment plan over the next several weeks for upcoming maturities. Moody's Investors Service also cut its rating by one notch to B3. Fantasia said last week it had wired principal and interest on a US$100 million privately placed bond, refuting a report that funds had not been transferred.

Source: Straits Times
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China Evergrande to raise $6.8 billion from property unit sale

Distressed developer China Evergrande Group will sell a half-stake in its property management unit to Hopson Development for more than US$5 billion ($6.8 billion), Chinese media said on Monday (Oct 4), after both Evergrande and Hopson requested trading halts ahead of a major transaction. Once China's top-selling developer, Evergrande is facing what could be one of the country's largest-ever restructurings as a crackdown on debt leaves it unable to refinance US$305 billion in liabilities. Evergrande said it requested a trading halt pending an announcement about a major transaction, and Evergrande Property Services Group said the announcement constitutes "a possible general offer for shares of the company". China's state-backed Global Times said Hopson was the buyer of a 51 per cent stake in the property unit for more than HK$40 billion (S$7 billion), citing unspecified other media reports. Hopson said it had suspended trading in its shares, pending an announcement related to a major acquisition of a Hong Kong-listed firm and a possible mandatory offer. Both Hopson and Evergrande did not respond to requests for comment on the Global Times report. The possible deal seemed to rekindle broader concerns about the risk of contagion or of a hit to China's property sector and the broader economy if Evergrande collapses or is liquidated at rock-bottom prices. "Looks like the property management unit is the easiest to dispose of in the grand scheme of things, indicative of the company trying to generate near-term cash, " said OCBC analyst Ezien Hoo. "I'm not sure this necessarily means that the company has given up on surviving, especially as selling an asset means it is still trying to raise cash to pay the bills, " the analyst added. Beijing has prodded government-owned firms and state-backed property developers to buy some of Evergrande's assets, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last week. It was unclear whether Hopson's statement was related to Evergrande Group. However, Hopson stands in good stead compared with other property developers, owning more assets than liabilities, improving profit in the first half and paying a dividend. Shares of Hopson, which has a market value of HK$60.4 billion, have jumped 40 per cent so far this year, and it was rated B+ by Fitch in June. Evergrande's property development unit was also profitable in the first half of 2021 and revenue rose compared with a year earlier. With its liabilities equal to 2 per cent of China's gross domestic product, Evergrande has sparked concerns its woes could spread through the financial system and reverberate around the world. Initial worries have eased somewhat after China's central bank vowed to protect home buyers' interests, but ramifications for China's economy kept investors on edge. Monday's share trading suspension sent a shiver through the offshore renminbi, which fell about 0.3 per cent against the dollar, and weighed on the Hang Seng benchmark index, especially financials and other developers. Bank of Singapore analyst Moh Siong Sim said the authorities are expected "to limit systemic risk from Evergrande". But there is "a bit of nervousness", he added. Guangzhou R&F Properties fell 6 per cent, while Sunac China Holdings and Country Garden stocks came under pressure before paring losses. Shares in Evergrande's electric vehicle unit rose more than 10 per cent. Shares in Evergrande have plunged 80 per cent so far this year, while its bonds trade at distressed levels. Shares in its property services unit have dropped 43 per cent as the group scrambles to pay its many lenders and suppliers. The cash-strapped group said last month that it had negotiated a settlement with some domestic bond holders and that it had made a repayment on some wealth management products, largely held by Chinese retail investors. Holders of the company's US$20 billion in offshore debt appear further back in the queue and bond holders have said interest payments due on bonds in recent weeks have failed to arrive. Evergrande faces deadlines on dollar bond coupon payments totalling US$162.38 million in the next month.

Source: Straits Times
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HDB resale prices hit new record high after rising 8.9% this year: Flash data

The resale prices of Housing Board flats climbed for the sixth consecutive quarter to exceed their previous peak in the second quarter of 2013 by 0.7 per cent, flash estimates showed on Friday (Oct 1). HDB resale prices for the July-September period rose 2.7 per cent over the previous three months, slightly lower than the 3 per cent increases recorded in the first and second quarters of this year. Year on year, prices are up by 12.3 per cent. Defying the Covid-19 economic slowdown, prices have risen strongly this year, in part due to delays in the completion of new HDB flats as the pandemic caused manpower shortages, supply chain disruptions and forced some construction firms out of business. "The bottlenecks, shortages and challenges in the construction industry, which is contributing to the increase in demand for HDB resale flats and subsequently, the increase in HDB resale prices, is expected to continue in the short term, " said ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak. But he also said the 2.7 per cent increase this quarter could mean that HDB resale prices have peaked and will be slowing down. The 3 per cent quarterly rate of HDB resale increase is unsustainable, as neither the average household income nor the local population is growing at that rate, Mr Mak observed. Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior director for research at Huttons Asia, noted that HDB resale prices have increased by 8.9 per cent so far this year,14 per cent since the circuit breaker in the second quarter of last year and 15 per cent since prices hit bottom in the second quarter of 2019. Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie, said the current housing boom is largely fuelled by couples turning from the Build-To-Order (BTO) market to the resale market and upgraders who are buying bigger flats. "More couples are opting for completed homes in the secondary market amid growing uncertainty about the completion dates of new BTO flats, " she said. "As private home prices have been rising and private home supply is dwindling in the suburban areas, some flat owners have chosen to upgrade to bigger flats which are still relatively more affordable than private housing. They may need more space as their families have expanded or to work more comfortably as work-from-home or hybrid work arrangements may become a norm." Dr Tan Tee Khoon, PropertyGuru Singapore country manager, added that the number of million-dollar HDB flat transactions continued to rise, driving prices up. There were 67 such HDB flats sold this quarter, the most expensive of which was a five-room flat in Bishan which changed hands for $1.295 million in July, he said. HDB also announced on Friday that it will offer about 4,400 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang/Whampoa and Tengah next month. The projects are under review, and more details will be announced when ready. HDB said it is on track to launch about 17,000 BTO flats this year, which is higher than the 14,600 flats launched in 2019 and the 16,800 flats launched last year. The BTO flat supply will be supplemented by balance flats which are offered via the Sale of Balance Flats exercises and open booking, HDB added. In February next year, HDB will offer about 2,000 to 3,000 BTO flats in Geylang, Tengah and Yishun. The supply is also subject to review and more details will be firmed up closer to the launch date. More information on the BTO flats is available on the HDB InfoWEB. "HDB will continue to monitor the housing demand and make adjustments where necessary, " it said. Ms Sun said if construction delays are prolonged, more people may turn to the HDB resale market, and the increased demand may push prices higher in the coming months. Resale prices may rise between 11 per cent and 12 per cent this year, which is one of the fastest gains since 2010, when prices surged by 14.1 per cent, she said. Mr Lee said that while he estimates HDB resale transactions in the third quarter to have risen by 19.8 per cent from the previous quarter, the slower price increase indicates price resistance has set in. Prices may increase by another 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, bringing the price gains for the whole year to more than 11 per cent, he added. He forecasts resale volume for the whole of this year to total between 28,000 and 29,000 flats.

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore private home prices up 0.9% in Q3, rising for 6th straight quarter: Flash data

Private home prices in Singapore climbed for the sixth straight quarter at a continued moderate pace, driven largely by the gains in landed properties. The 0.9 per cent price gain in the third quarter follows an increase of 0.8 per cent in the second quarter, and a 3.3 per cent rise in the first quarter, according to flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Oct 1). Year on year, private home prices have increased by 7.3 per cent. And in the first nine months of this year, they have risen by 5.1 per cent, compared with 2.2 per cent for the whole of last year. The overall index gain was modest because resale and mass market homes - which typically fetch lower prices compared with other market segments - accounted for a bigger proportion of total sales in the third quarter, said Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie. Prices of landed properties climbed 2.5 per cent in the third quarter, compared with a 0.3 per cent fall in the previous quarter, the URA data showed. Analysts noted that the luxury segment notched several notable deals. A 6,049 sq ft unit at Les Maisons Nassim fetched $35 million, or $5,786 per sq ft (psf), last month, while nine units at 15 Holland Hill transacted at above $5 million each in July and August this year, Huttons Asia chief executive Mark Yip, said. "The luxury market may get a boost when more vaccinated travel lanes are set up and foreigners are able to travel to Singapore, " he said. In contrast, non-landed properties saw just a 0.5 per cent gain, after climbing 1.1 per cent in the second quarter, due to fewer new launches and new sales amid tightened Covid-19 curbs and the Hungry Ghost month. The city fringe or the rest of central region led the non-landed submarkets with a 2.2 per cent gain compared with a 0.1 per cent rise in the previous quarter. While there were no large new launches in the city fringe area in the third quarter, some existing projects transacted at higher prices, Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA, noted. The median transacted prices of top-selling condos such as Normanton Park rose to $1,828 psf in the third quarter, from $1,809 in the second quarter. Ki Residences at Brookvale climbed to $1,858 psf from $1,827 psf, while Avenue South Residence jumped to $2,249 psf from $2,221 psf, he said. But in the suburbs or outside central region, non-landed home prices dipped 0.2 per cent following a 1.9 per cent rise in the previous quarter. This was despite two new launches - Pasir Ris 8 (425 units sold) and The Watergardens at Canberra (281 units sold), which together accounted for 37 per cent of new sales in the suburbs, said Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL. Mr Mak noted that even though Pasir Ris 8 was the best performer in terms of units sold, the median transacted price for the project was only $1,627 psf for the third quarter. This compares with the median transacted price of $1,617 psf for non-landed properties in the suburbs. Prices in the prime districts or core central region (CCR) fell 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, following a 1.1 per cent gain in the second quarter, the flash data showed. There was only one new launch - Klimt Cairnhill - in the third quarter, compared with five in the second quarter, Mr Ong said. Mr Mak noted that some luxury condo developers may have lowered prices to attract local buyers as border restrictions continued to curb foreign demand. The median price of Leedon Green, the top selling project in the prime district in the third quarter, was 2 per cent lower compared with the second quarter, he noted.

Source: Straits Times
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