MARKET UPDATES

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S'pore office rents flat, while retail rents dip

Office rents in the central region remained unchanged in the second quarter after a 0.8 per cent drop in the first, but prices for space fell, data showed yesterday. It noted that buying offices in that zone was cheaper after values contracted 4.3 per cent after they eased 4 per cent in the first quarter. There was a total supply of about 668,000 sq m gross floor area of space in the pipeline as of June 30, compared with 682,000 sq m as of March 31. Occupied office space decreased by 55,000 sq m of net lettable area in the second quarter, a much bigger drop than the 7,000 sq m decrease in the first. But the stock of space expanded by 43,000 sq m of net lettable area after rising 33,000 sq m in the first quarter. This drove the islandwide vacancy rate for offices to 12.1 per cent as of June 30, up from 11 per cent as of March 31. But retail rents in the central region shrank 3.5 per cent in the second quarter, compared with the first three months, when they had eased 2.3 per cent. Prices of retail space in the central region fell 1.5 per cent in the second quarter, a smaller drop than the 3.1 per cent decrease in the first. The amount of occupied retail space contracted by 93,000 sq m of net lettable area in the second quarter, compared with a 43,000 sq m drop in the first. But the stock of retail space rose by 4,000 sq m of net lettable area in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 15,000 sq m in the previous quarter. This sent the islandwide vacancy rate to 9.6 per cent as of June 30, up from 8 per cent as of March 31.

Source: Straits Times
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Surprise 0.3% rise in new private home prices in Q2

Private home prices defied the pandemic to edge up in the second quarter, but the lack of launches during the circuit breaker period kept sales numbers down. Yesterday's data also prompted analysts to warn that a market recovery is far from certain as business closures, salary cuts and job losses take their toll in the months ahead. The data showed that prices rose 0.3 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months, reversing the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) flash estimates of a 1.1 per cent decline. The rise is in stark contrast to the 1 per cent decline in the first quarter, and puts prices up 1.2 per cent from the second quarter of last year. "This surprising turnaround was due to pent-up demand in the latter half of June as show-flats were opened (from June 19) as well as viewings... allowed, " noted Knight Frank Singapore head of research Leonard Tay. "In the first half of 2020, the overall prices of private residential homes fell by 0.7 per cent, a very mild decline considering the pandemic and economic disruption." But Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, warned that prices and take-up could drift lower in the second half of the year depending on the extent of the economic fallout. The price recovery in the second quarter was uneven, she noted, with the increase led by non-landed homes in prime areas, which jumped 2.7 per cent compared with a 2.2 per cent drop in the first quarter. Non-landed property prices in the city fringe fell 1.7 per cent compared with a 0.5 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Prices in the suburbs edged up 0.1 per cent compared with a 0.4 per cent fall in the previous quarter. Landed home prices were flat in the second quarter, after dipping 0.9 per cent in the first, the URA said. Ms Song noted that prices of most new projects in prime districts were at best unchanged, and there were deep discounts at completed estates such as 8 Saint Thomas. This recorded 14 caveats in the second quarter at a median price of $2,730 per sq ft (psf), while earlier units sold at $3,100 to $3,200 psf. That said, some larger recently completed projects in the financial district saw renewed interest. Marina One Residences sold 78 units in the first quarter at a median price of $2,295, and 35 units at $2,312 psf in the second, Ms Song noted. Developers launched 1,852 uncompleted private homes excluding executive condominiums (ECs) in the second quarter, compared with 2,093 units in the first. They sold 1,713 units (excluding ECs) in the second quarter,20.3 per cent fewer than the 2,149 units sold in the first. New homes sales slowed in April and May but rebounded last month due to the end of the circuit breaker and reopening of show-flats. There were 3,862 new private homes sold in the first half, just 7.8 per cent lower than in the same period last year, noted Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL. But the resale market was hit much harder by the circuit breaker, as only 951 units were sold in the second quarter - the lowest since the first quarter of 1998 when 644 units were transacted, he added. The growing number of transactions as well as relative price stability in the second quarter may prompt developers to launch more projects in the coming months. ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said 17 new projects with a total of 5,243 units would be ready for launch in the next six to nine months. Meanwhile, rents are expected to continue to trend lower in the coming quarters as leasing demand weakens due to the economic slowdown and ongoing border controls, Mr Ong said. Private home rents fell 1.2 per cent in the second quarter versus a 1.1 per cent rise in the first. Rental volume dipped below 20,000 for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2017, he noted. There were 49,090 uncompleted private homes (excluding ECs) in the pipeline with planning approval as of the end of the second quarter, up from 48,868 units in the first quarter. There were 27,977 units unsold compared with 29,149 in the first quarter. But Ms Song noted that due to the construction halt in the second quarter, only 86 private homes (excluding ECs) obtained temporary occupation permit, well down from the 1,528 units completed in the first quarter and 2,298 in the last three months of last year. "The number of completions in 2020 will be significantly below the 10-year historical average of 12,948 units."

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore retail rents down 3.5% in Q2 as vacancy rate rises to 9.6%: URA

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Rents of retail space in Singapore's central region shrank 3.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 over the previous three months, after easing 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020. Data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (July 24) also showed that prices of retail space in the central region fell 1.5 per cent in Q2 2020, although this was a smaller drop than the 3.1 per cent decrease in the previous quarter. Islandwide, as at the end of the second quarter of 2020, there was a total supply of 364,000 square metres (sq m) gross floor area (GFA) of retail space from projects in the pipeline, slightly higher than the 358,000 sq m at the end of the previous quarter. The amount of occupied retail space contracted by 93,000 sq m net lettable area (NLA) in Q2 2020, slightly more than double the 43,000 sq m drop in the previous quarter. On the other hand, the stock of retail space rose 4,000 sq m NLA in Q2 2020, contrasting with the decrease of 15,000 sq m in the previous quarter. As a result, the islandwide vacancy rate of retail space rose to 9.6 per cent as at the end of Q2 2020, from 8 per cent as at the end of Q1 2020.

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore office rents flat in Q2 as vacancy rises to 12.1%: URA

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Rents of office space in the central region of Singapore remained unchanged in the second quarter of 2020 over the previous three months. This compares with a 0.8 per cent drop in the first quarter of this year. Figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (July 24) also showed that prices of office space in the central region contracted 4.3 per cent in Q2 2020, after easing 4 per cent in the previous quarter. Islandwide, as at the end of the second quarter of 2020, there was a total supply of about 668,000 square metres (sq m) gross floor area (GFA) of office space in the pipeline, compared with 682,000 sq m at the end of the previous quarter. The amount of occupied office space decreased by 55,000 sq m of net lettable area (NLA) in the second quarter of 2020, a much bigger drop than the 7,000 sq m decrease in the previous quarter. On the other hand, the stock of office space expanded by 43,000 sq m NLA in the second quarter, after rising 33,000 sq m in the previous quarter. As a result, the islandwide vacancy rate of office space rose to 12.1 per cent as at the end of Q2 2020, from 11 per cent at end-Q1 2020.

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore private home prices eke out surprise 0.3% rise in Q2: URA data

SINGAPORE - Defying Covid-19 circuit breaker measures and a recession, private home prices in Singapore edged up 0.3 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months, according to final data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (July 24). But analysts warned that a market recovery is far from certain as business closures, salary cuts and job losses will eventually take their toll in the months ahead.  The 0.3 per cent gain in the second quarter of 2020 bucked the 1.1 per cent drop in the URA's flash estimate released on July 1. It comes after private home prices dropped 1 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, their first quarterly decline in a year. Year on year, prices have risen 1.2 per cent from the second quarter of 2019. "This surprising turnaround was mainly due to pent-up demand in the later half of June as showflats were opened -  with safe distancing precautions - as well as viewings being allowed under stringent conditions, " said Mr Leonard Tay, head of research, Knight Frank Singapore. For the first half of 2020, overall prices of private home dipped 0.7 per cent, a very mild decline considering the unprecedented pandemic and economic disruption, " he noted.  Developers launched 1,852 uncompleted private residential units excluding executive condominiums (ECs) for sale in Q2 2020, compared with 2,093 units in the previous quarter. They sold 1,713 units (excluding ECs) in Q2,20.3 per cent less than the 2,149 units taken up in the previous quarter. "The imposition of the circuit breaker in April seemed to stop activity in the private residential market. However, new home sales volume picked up from the end of April as buyers got used to "transacting-from-home", increasing by 75.8 per cent from April to May, and then more than doubling between May to June when showflats were allowed to reopen on 19 June, " said Mr Tay. The growing number of transactions as well as relative price stability in the second quarter, may prompt developers to launch more new projects in the remaining half of the year, analysts say. Seventeen new residential projects with a total of 5,243 units will be ready for launch in the next 6 to 9 months,   ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said. "About three quarters of these units are located in the prime or core central region, which is a significantly higher proportion than that launched in 2019. Last year,54.7 per cent of the units launched were in the core central region. This would contribute to a higher percentage of more expensive properties being transacted in the primary market, and help support prices, " he said. Still, prices may remain soft in the coming months due to growing economic uncertainties and escalating tensions. "We estimate that overall prices may dip up to 3 per cent this year, " OrangeTee & Tie's head of research and consultancy Christine Sun said . For the second quarter, prices of non-landed properties rose 0.4 per cent from the previous three months, compared with the 1 per cent drop in the previous quarter. Giving a breakdown by region, the URA said that prices of non-landed properties in the core central region jumped 2.7 per cent in Q2, compared with the 2.2 per cent drop in the previous quarter. Prices of non-landed properties in the city fringe or rest of central region fell 1.7 per cent, compared with the 0.5 per cent fall in the previous quarter. Prices in the suburbs or outside central region edged up 0.1 per cent, compared with the 0.4 per cent fall in the previous quarter. The URA also said that prices of landed properties remained unchanged in the second quarter of this year, after dipping 0.9 per cent in the first quarter. Unlike prices, rents of private residential properties weakened in the second quarter, after edging up in the first three months of the year. Rents fell 1.2 per cent in Q2 2020, compared with a rise of 1.1 per cent in the previous quarter. Rental volume dipped below 20,000 in the second quarter, marking the first time since Q4 2017 that rental volume fell below 20,000. Huttons Asia research director Lee Sze Teck blamed rising unemployment, travel restrictions and border closures.  "The third quarter of the year is usually the busiest but this year, we do not expect volume to pick up. Rents may ease by up to 3 per cent in the second half of the year, " he said. Ms Sun noted that the bulk of the rental volume seems to be renewals as many tenants chose to renew their contracts, due in part to the difficulty arranging house movers.   Developers did not launch any EC units for sale in the second quarter, and sold 71 EC units in the quarter. In comparison, they launched 1,044 EC units and sold 590 EC units in the previous quarter. As at the end of Q2, there was a total supply of 49,090 uncompleted private residential units (excluding ECs) in the pipeline with planning approvals, compared with 48,868 units in the previous quarter. Of this number,27,977 units or more than half remained unsold as at the end of Q2, compared with the 29,149 units in the previous quarter. After adding the supply of 3,613 EC units in the pipeline, there were 52,703 units in the pipeline with planning approvals. Of the EC units in the pipeline,1,899 remain unsold. In total,29,876 units with planning approvals (including ECs) remain unsold, down from 31,099 units in the previous quarter.

Source: Straits Times
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Hoe Chiang Road hospitality site in CBD up for sale with $715m guide price

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - A prime development site at 15 Hoe Chiang Road will be put up for sale with a guide price of S$715 million via expression of interest on Wednesday (July 22), exclusive marketing agent JLL said on Tuesday. The freehold 39,337 square foot (sq ft) site has been approved for hospitality use with a gross floor area (GFA) of about 248,483 sq ft, or an equivalent gross plot ratio (GPR) of above 6.31 based on written permission issued in November last year. Provisional permission was granted early this year, which allows for an additional 25 per cent of GFA approved for proposed use on the site with ancillary facilities and car parks of up to 37 storeys. This effectively increases the GFA to about 310,604 sq ft or an equivalent GPR of 7.896 under the Central Business District (CBD) Incentive Scheme, JLL said. Currently, the development site has non-residential zoning, which means there is no additional buyer's stamp duty payable and no foreign ownership restrictions. The building which sits on the site - Tower Fifteen - has since been decommissioned, according to JLL. Buyers of the site will be able to capitalise on the additional GPR accorded under the CBD Incentive Scheme for the Anson area, JLL said. 15 Hoe Chiang Road was previously put up for sale in 2015 via expression of interest but did not change hands, The Business Times understands. The 2015 expression of interest exercise took place before the launch of the CBD Incentive Scheme in March 2019. The scheme was created to encourage the conversion of existing office developments to hotel and residential uses, and applies to the Anson Road, Cecil Street, Shenton Way, Robinson Road and Tanjong Pagar areas. Subject to planning approval, developers and investors will have several options of converting the plans under the incentive scheme. These include an option of "residential and commercial" with at least 60 per cent residential GFA or a full hotel with 25 per cent additional GPR. There is an option of "residential with commercial at the first storey" with an additional 30 per cent GPR. 15 Hoe Chiang Road is bounded on three sides by Hoe Chiang Road, Lim Teck Kim Road and Cantonment Road to the south of the CBD and is across from the Tanjong Pagar Terminal container port. It is in the centre of many established Grade A offices occupied by multinational and international corporations, hotel establishments and food and beverage offerings along Shenton Way, Anson Road, Tanjong Pagar Road, Cantonment Road and heritage clusters of conservation shophouses. High-end residential developments such as Wallich Residence, Altez, V on Shenton, Icon and Skysuites?@?Anson are near the development site. The development site is about 500 metres from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station and 650 metres from Outram Park Interchange. The site is also near the upcoming Cantonment MRT Station and Prince Edward MRT station, both slated to complete in 2025. Tan Hong Boon, JLL executive director of capital markets, said: "Given its highly coveted freehold tenure, prominent corner location and allowable height,15 Hoe Chiang Road presents developers and investors with a rare opportunity to own a flagship building with excellent visibility and naming rights for their commercial or hospitality uses." Developer and investors can develop a mixed-use project with Grade A offices cum luxury residential units exploiting the prized scenic views. These scenic views are sought after by well-heeled international residential investors who are prepared to pay good premiums for their sky abodes on the highest floors in the city, Mr Tan said. Upon redevelopment with a new tower,15 Hoe Chiang Road will provide future occupants panoramic sea views towards Sentosa and the Southern Islands in the context of the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront master plan, JLL said. The latest expression of interest exercise will close on Sept 11,2.30pm.

Source: Straits Times
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A new landmark for thriving White City in West London

The soaring Cassini Tower at White City Living brings much more than stunning views When it comes to London property, up-and-coming regeneration areas that breathe life into the landscape and birth vibrant new communities are best-placed to reap returns for investors. One of these is the rejuvenated White City, in the northern part of Shepherd's Bush, in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Here, a comprehensive £8 billion masterplan covering 110 hectares will see 6,000 new homes,20,000 new jobs,2.2 million square feet of office space and plenty of dynamism created. Right in the thick of the action is White City Living, an upscale residential project with over 2,300 residential units by design-conscious developer, St James. St James is a member of The Berkeley Group, a UK leader in major urban regeneration schemes. With the project's recent release of its Cassini Tower, investors now have the chance to participate in a thriving new growth area in the heart of White City - complete with the best views of West London, while being close to everything that London has to offer. Bustling and magnetic Located in London's Zone 2, White City's rejuvenation - also known as the White City Opportunity Area - has turned the former broadcasting hub into a thriving district for media, art, technology, science and education, with a focus on new areas of open space, improved facilities and better connections. The capital's leading world-class luxury brands, businesses and educational institutions - from ITV, BBC, Net-a-Porter, Soho House and the Royal College of Art to Imperial College London's new 23-acre innovation campus - are in White City, which is fast becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in West London. Meanwhile, after being based in Knightsbridge for over 170 years, world-famous luxury department store, Harrods, has chosen to open an exclusive branch in White City's Westfield London - Europe's largest shopping centre. Post-refurbishment, the Dimco East Building in White City is also set to become London's hottest new music venue and event space, now known as Exhibition London. Masterful design, breath-taking views In the heart of all this is White City Living on 54 Wood Lane, which offers a refined lifestyle amid eight sprawling acres of beautiful landscaping, including a unique oriental Water Gardens with soothing water features, waterfalls and streams. Offering the most exclusive homes as the centrepiece of this development is the newly-released 35-storey Cassini Tower. Boasting spectacular views of West London and a new vantage point across the city over to The Shard, Gherkin and The Cheesegrater, Cassini Tower sets a high standard of living in its collection of carefully-crafted one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The sweeping curves and striking exterior façade of Cassini Tower reach into the sky, each residence featuring a wrap-around balcony with generous private outdoor space capitalising on priceless views - uninterrupted panoramic vistas across the whole city on the higher levels and gardens and water features on the lower levels. The apartments offer a choice of three colour palettes, underfloor heating throughout, comfort cooling and ultra-fast broadband, plus a range of upgrade options. Touch-free access technology means residents need not touch door handles or press lift buttons and switches, all the way to their front door. A luxurious new lifestyle The well-appointed homes at Cassini Tower are complemented by access to a private concierge, as well as White City Living's unrivalled residents' facilities that include a state-of-the-art Home Club. Occupying over 20,000 sq ft across two buildings, the Home Club brings together the best of London's favourite members' clubs, health clubs, modern workspaces and leisure venues, including a ground floor swimming pool with adjoining sun terrace, fully-equipped gym with personal training rooms, two 12-seater cinemas and a private dining room with kitchen. In addition, residents can access two individually-designed private residents' lounges - one by the edge of the Water Gardens with a large outdoor terrace overlooking the water, and the other a relaxed space with sunken seating and a feature fireplace. The surrounding landscape is fully equipped with Wi-Fi access for optimum connectivity indoors and out. Perfectly located White City Living is in an enviable location, surrounded by world-class retail, entertainment, education, culture and shopping. With Westfield London at its doorstep, residents have access to a mind-boggling array of retail and dining options. Families with school-going children will appreciate the proximity of the prestigious Notting Hill Preparatory School and St Paul's Girls' School, while Eton College and Harrow School can be reached within 40 minutes. White City Living is also within 30 minutes of four of London's top five universities, including University College London, London School of Economics and Imperial College London. With White City and Wood Lane Underground stations right by the development's entrance, three tube lines - the Central, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines - provide fast and easy connectivity to Central London and elsewhere. Given the excellent transportation infrastructure, the capital's many premier attractions can be reached in minutes. Bond Street is just 12 minutes away, while the West End is less than 15 minutes away and Hyde Park merely 1.5 miles away. A distinctive investment White City is undergoing a remarkable renaissance, and Cassini Tower - the jewel at White City Living - offers investors a unique opportunity to be part of an exciting West London growth story. After all, it is the only residential project in London that can lay claim to being part of an £8 billion regeneration plan and having world class universities, Europe's biggest shopping centre and two underground stations at its doorstep.

Source: Straits Times
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New private home sales post surprise rebound

998 non-landed private homes sold last month, up 105% from May, when 487 units were soldWith the reopening of Singapore's economy - and show-flats - on June 19, new home sales posted a surprise rebound last month as pent-up demand was unleashed. Singapore is undergoing its worst recession since independence, but developers sold 998 non-landed private homes last month, up 105 per cent from May, when 487 private homes were transacted.It was also the highest number of monthly sales recorded for June in seven years, and seems to indicate resilience in the property market despite the recession and the absence of major new launches. New units booked last month saw an increase of 21.6 per cent from the 821 sold in June last year. Not all buyers are affected by the recession. Workers in technology and the civil service - sectors that have not yet felt the pain of the pandemic-induced recession - as well as discounts and lower interest rates, underpinned demand, said Mr Nicholas Mak, ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy. But buyers largely remain price-sensitive. "We estimate 86 per cent of the total developer sales in June were (transacted) at the median price of $1,000 psf to $2,000 psf, similar to May, "said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International. She warned that the sales momentum may slow down as job losses and economic realities sink in. For the first half of this year, new home sales totalled 3,911 units, a drop of 6.6 per cent year on year. "With home prices highly correlated to household income and job security, we expect private residential prices could decline 5 per cent this year, "Ms Song added. Last month,597 new private homes were launched for sale, down from 615 units in May and a decline of nearly 11 per cent from the 670 sold a year ago. The figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. Including 33 EC units sold,1,031 new non-landed homes were taken up last month, about 25 per cent more than a year ago. Only one new project was launched last month: the 18-unit Parkwood Residences in Yio Chu Kang, which sold one unit at $1,323 psf, or $1.74 million. The bulk of last month's sales came from projects launched earlier, driven by demand for mass-market homes in suburban areas or outside the central region, PropNex said. Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL, said:"OCR (outside central region) posted a 4.2 per cent increase over the first quarter, while RCR (rest of central region) and CCR (core central region) suffered declines of 10.7 per cent and 60.4 per cent respectively. "The OCR sub-market has proven more resilient, due to more affordably priced projects and demand from HDB upgraders." The rebound might cause developers to launch more projects in the second half of the year, according to some analysts. New launches may include the 633-unit Forett at Bukit Timah, the 566-unit Penrose in Sims Drive and the 640-unit Clavon in Clementi Avenue 1. Developers may offer selective discounts to maintain sales momentum, said Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore. More foreign buyers with deeper pockets returned to the Singapore market, said Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie. According to URA Realis data yesterday, foreigners bought 49 non-landed homes last month, up from 33 units a year ago, while permanent residents purchased 120 units, up from 86 units a year ago. The data also showed that, excluding ECs, the number of private homes transacted at $2 million and above rose to 129 units last month from 23 units in May. In the luxury segment,15 Holland Hill sold two units for $7.7 million and $15 million respectively, or a median price of $2,914 psf, while Boulevard 88 sold two units for $6.3 million and $10.2 million respectively, at a median price of $3,621 psf, said Ms Song. Ms Sun said:"Many foreigners bought properties last month as macroeconomic uncertainties drove more overseas investors to seek shelter in safe-haven assets here. "Although show-flats reopened last month, more foreign buyers are purchasing private homes remotely due to border lockdowns or travel restrictions. This is in stark contrast to the past, where many foreigners typically bought a unit only after visiting the show-flat."

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore new home sales rebound, hit 7-year high for month of June: URA data

New home sales posted a surprise rebound, with developers selling 998 non-landed private homes in June, up 105 per cent from 487 private homes in May, as showflats were allowed to reopen on June 19 after a two-month partial lockdown ended.The numbers - the highest monthly sales for June in seven years - seem to indicate resilience in the property market, as also evidenced by a 22 per cent rise in new home sales from 821 a year ago. Fewer new private homes were launched for sale: 597 in June, slightly lower than 615 units in May, and down nearly 11 per cent from 670 a year ago. The figures, released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (July 15), exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. First-time home buyers taking advantage of a drop in prices and lower interest rates, plus workers in sectors that have not yet felt the pain of the pandemic-induced recession, such as technology and the civil service, are underpinning demand, Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, told Bloomberg. Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, noted that last month's sales volume increase was broad-based across all market segments. New homes sales transacted in the city fringes or rest of central region jumped 127.5 per cent month on month to 430 units in June, while those in the outlying areas or outside central region rose 90.3 per cent to 489 units, and those in the prime districts or core central region (CCR) surged 92.7 per cent to 79 units over the same period. New sales were propped up mainly by Treasure at Tampines, Parc Clematis, The Florence Residences, Parc Esta, Stirling Residences and JadeScape. Kopar at Newton remained as the top-selling project in the CCR, with 25 transactions in June. With the circuit breaker period lifted, more foreign buyers with deeper pockets returned to the Singapore market. According to URA realis data downloaded on July 15, the number of non-landed homes bought by foreigners last month rose to 49 units, higher than the 33 units in June 2019, said Ms Sun. The number of such homes bought by Singapore permanent residents also surged, to 120 units from 86 units a year ago. The URA realis data also showed that the number of private homes, excluding ECs, transacting at $2 million and above rose from 23 units in May to 129 units in June. In terms of proportion to the total sales (excluding ECs),13 per cent of new homes were transacted at $2 million and above in June, compared with 5 per cent in May, Ms Sun noted. "Many foreigners have bought properties last month as macroeconomic uncertainties have driven more overseas investors to seek shelter in safe-haven assets here, "she said. "Although showflats reopened last month, more foreign buyers are purchasing private homes remotely due to the border lockdowns or travel restrictions. This is in stark contrast to the past where many foreigners typically buy a unit only after visiting a showflat, "she added. Including 33 EC units,1,031 new non-landed homes were taken up last month, about 25 per cent more than a year ago, the URA data showed.

Source: Straits Times
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Condo resale volume recovers in June while prices hold steady: SRX

More private non-landed homes were sold in June compared with May, while prices held steady for a third consecutive month as Singapore gradually reopened its economy after a two-month circuit breaker, according to flash data on Tuesday (July 14). The number of condominiums and private apartments resold increased to an estimated 497 units in June, a 174.6 per cent increase from the 181 units moved in May, flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property showed.Still, last month's resale volume was 26.3 per cent less than in June last year and 40.7 per cent lower than the five-year average volume for the month. Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said that the sales volume recovery was within expectation given that house viewings resumed after the circuit breaker period ended in June. She noted that the private resale market picked up quickly because of"technological tools"that helped buyers shortlist their options during the circuit breaker period. "Virtual house tours and e-open houses have helped to speed up the buying process for some buyers as they could select and shortlist units remotely prior to the resumption of house viewings, "Ms Sun said. Last week, the SRX flash estimate for the Housing Board resale market reflected a similar rebound where close to seven times more flats were sold in June when compared with May after the circuit breaker period. ERA Realty head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak noted that the rebound for resale condos was"less spectacular"as compared with that of the HDB resale market. This could be because more first-time home buyers would buy an HDB flat than a private condominium as the former is more affordable, he said. "HDB flat buyers would feel a sense of urgency to buy their first homes. By comparison, some of the buyers of private resale condominiums are HDB upgraders or they already own a private property. There is a lower sense of urgency among these buyers, "he added. Overall, prices remain unchanged month on month over May. Year on year, overall prices dipped by 0.6 per cent last month. June resale prices for units in the core central region (CCR) and rest of central region (RCR) decreased over May by 1.8 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, units in the outside central region (OCR) increased by 1.4 per cent. More than half of the units resold last month were located in the OCR, at 52.3 per cent. Units in the CCR and the RCR make up 27.4 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively. June's overall SRX transaction over X-value (TOX) data stands at a negative $10,000, no change from May's number. TOX measures how much a buyer is overpaying (positive value) or underpaying (negative value) for a property based on SRX's computer-generated market value. The data includes only districts with more than 10 resale transactions. District 23 (Dairy Farm/Bukit Panjang/Choa Chu Kang) posted the highest median TOX at positive $5,000, followed by District 3 (Alexandra/Commonwealth) at zero TOX. The lowest medians are found in District 9 (Orchard/River Valley) and District 16 (Bedok/Upper East Coast) at negative $80,000 and negative $38,000 respectively. The highest price for a resale unit last month was the $12.2 million paid for a unit at Skyline@Orchard Boulevard. In the city fringes, a unit at Floridian in Upper Bukit Timah resold for $3.9 million, while the most expensive in the suburbs was a unit at The Tembusu in Hougang, which went for $4.6 million. Looking forward, ERA's Mr Mak said resale condo transaction volume could continue to rise in the coming months, as 26,000 HDB flats reach the end of their five-year minimum occupation period this year. This would likely spur some upgraders' demand for a completed resale condo after the sale of their HDB flats to avoid paying additional buyer's stamp duty. He estimates a total of 8,000 to 10,000 units to be transacted for the whole of this year, while prices could remain flat with a slight downwards bias.

Source: Straits Times
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