MARKET UPDATES

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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