Category Archives: Landed Homes

Private home prices dip 0.4% in Q2

The prices for private residential properties decreased by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year, compared to the 0.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter, according to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Jul 22).

The prices of landed properties declined by 1.5 per cent, compared to the 1.1 per cent decline in the previous quarter, while non-landed property prices dipped 0.1 per cent compared to the previous quarter’s 0.6 per cent, it said.

Rental prices for these properties also dropped 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, the figures showed.

Developers had launched 2,371 uncompleted private residential units, excluding Executive Condominiums, for sale in the second quarter, compared to 953 units in the previous quarter.

Supply aside, demand also picked up as developers sold 2,256 private residential units, excluding ECs, compared to the 1,419 units sold previously, URA said.

As for ECs, developers launched 1,260 units for sale in the same quarter, and sold 1,105 units. This was an increase from the 534 units launched and 762 units sold in the previous quarter, according to the figures.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 22 Jul 2016

Private home prices continue decline, down 0.4% in Q2

Private home prices in Singapore continued their decline in the second quarter of this year, according to flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Jul 1).

The private residential property index fell to 140.0 points in the second quarter, from 140.6 points in the previous quarter. This represented a decline of 0.4 per cent, compared with the 0.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties rose by 0.2 per cent in Core Central Region (CCR), compared to the 0.3 per cent increase in the previous quarter. In the Rest of Central Region (RCR), prices rose by 0.3 per cent, while prices in Outside Central Region (OCR) declined by 0.7 per cent, after registering a 1.3 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

The flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and data on new units sold by developers up till mid-June. The statistics will be updated four weeks later when URA releases the full real estate statistics for the second quarter of 2016, which would capture more data from the stamp duty records and the take-up of new projects.

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

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 Jul 2016

Kingsmead Road GCB sold for S$29m

In what is the biggest transaction in a Good Class Bungalow Area in nearly a year, a house along Kingsmead Road where the late Raffles Institution principal Philip Liau used to reside is being sold for S$29 million.

The price works out to S$1,065 per square foot based on the freehold land area of 27,228 sq ft.

The buyer is understood to be Darwin Indigo, a nephew of Wilmar executive deputy chairman Martua Sitorus. Mr Indigo, who is in his mid-30s, is deputy country head (Indonesia) at Wilmar International. He also sits on the board of Kencana Agri Ltd, an associate company of Wilmar.

Market watchers expect Mr Indigo to redevelop the property.

On site are two buildings. The older structure is said to have four bedrooms and a hall, while the newer building is where the master bedroom, a spacious living room, dining area and kitchen are located. There is no swimming pool though interestingly, there is a well on the site.

The squarish plot has a frontage of about 50 metres along Kingsmead Road. It is next to the former residence of the late pioneer artist Chen Wen Hsi in addition to being a stone’s throw from the popular Nanyang Primary School.

Realstar Premier Group managing director William Wong estimates that it might cost around S$7-8 million to redevelop the site into a new bungalow. Depending on the specifications, the cost may be higher, say, S$10 million. “While the site is part of the Victoria Park GCB Area, Kingsmead Road is not a commonly sought after GCB locale – unlike, say, Belmont Road or Leedon Park nearby – as it comprises properties of various plot sizes, some less than 10,000 sq ft.

“That said, Kingsmead Road is an attractive location for people looking to buy a bungalow. It is a more serene, private locale compared to some of the roads in the immediate neighbourhood such as Coronation and Duchess roads. Moreover, “Kingsmead” is a nice-sounding name in an address. And it is so near Nanyang Primary.”

The S$29 million transaction is the biggest deal in a GCB Area since a S$32 million sale along Queen Astrid Park in July last year. That worked out to S$1,169 psf on land.

The Kingsmead Road property is being being sold by the estate of the late Evelyn Liau, wife of the former RI principal. Mr Liau passed away earlier, in 1993.

Q1 deals may signal market for Good Class Bungalows looking up

THE Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market may be headed for a pick-up in transaction volumes this year, if the results for the first quarter are anything to go by.

A mix of lower price expectations by owners and pent-up demand for the limited-supply, prestigious landed housing form has helped to narrow the price gap.

The result is that more deals were sealed in Q1 than in the previous quarter and in the year-ago quarter – notwithstanding the current weak economy and the stockmarket volatility at the start of the year, noted agents.
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Realstar Premier Group managing director William Wong said: “With the economic slowdown, GCB sellers have been more realistic in pricing their properties, enticing buyers.”

CBRE’s analysis shows that nine properties GCB Areas were transacted for a total S$209 million in Q1. In the fourth quarter of last year, there were also nine deals, but they were worth only S$161 million; in Q1 last year, there were just four transactions that added up to S$95 million.

Douglas Wong, head of luxury homes at CBRE Realty Associates, commented: “Owners who bought GCBs several years ago have found it profitable to sell at today’s prices rather than later, in view of the uncertainties in the economic outlook.”

Realstar’s Mr Wong estimates that GCB prices posted in Q1 this year were nearly 15 per cent lower than they were in the peak in 2013. “Prices are gradually stabilising. However, a few GCBs sold below market valuation from late last year to Q1 this year would have an impact on overall GCB pricing. So there’s likely going to be a further marginal drop of 2 to 5 per cent before prices stabilise by the fourth quarter of this year.”

CBRE’s Mr Wong also predicts “a very marginal price decline” at most for the rest of this year, citing a build-up in pent-up demand as well as the strong holding power among most owners.

He said: “When owners lower their price expectations, buyers who have identified a property they fancy will start biting, in the fear that someone else may beat them to it and they’ll miss the boat to buy their dream home. It could then take them many more months to hunt for another another bungalow they like.

“When buyers jump into the market in this fashion, owners will start to hold prices.”

Another GCB veteran, Newsman Realty managing director KH Tan, argued that prices have stabilised and in some cases, started going up last month, when the stock market began to recover.

Last month, he brokered the sale of a bungalow along Swettenham Close off Holland Road at S$1,354 psf on land area – higher than the S$1,258 psf fetched last November for a bungalow along Peel Road, just 100 m away.

Mr Tan said: “And don’t forget, the Peel Road bungalow was built about four years ago, while the Swettenham Close house is around 25 years old.”

Agents say the mood among buyers has improved lately, with a pick-up in viewings.

Mr Tan said: “We’re receiving more serious offers, unlike in Q4 last year, when many potential buyers were still throwing low-ball numbers at owners.

“For the whole of this year, I’m predicting 5 per cent price growth.”

CBRE Research expects 30 to 35 GCBs to be sold this year – similar to the 33 transactions last year.

The 2015 sales tally amounted to almost S$715 million and was an improvement from 2014, when 28 deals adding up to S$626 million were sealed.

Mr Wong of Realstar predicts 20 to 30 per cent growth in the number of deals this year, though the value of transactions may increase just 20 per cent, factoring in lower GCB prices in the earlier part of this year.

Agents told The Business Times that those in the market to buy a GCB include upgraders. Mr Tan of Newsman Realty said: “Some are moving from a smaller landed house or even an apartment, to a GCB.

“I’m working with several HNWI (high-net-worth-individual) Singaporeans who’re switching from overseas property markets back to Singapore.

“They believe that following the price correction, prospects for high-end residences will be better in Singapore in the next two years vis-a-vis the UK, the US, Australia and Japan and Hong Kong, where they had previously focused on.”

Some of these buyers include those who have become Singapore citizens in the past few years. “What they are doing now is looking to reduce exposure to the ABSD (additional buyer’s stamp duty) for instance, by selling their existing properties here or transferring them to family members,” Mr Tan added.

As for the profile of sellers, Mr Wong of Realstar has lately seen a number of people looking to divest their GCB because it has become too big for their needs, as their children may be working abroad.

Mr Tan said “in the past year, there have been more estates/trustees wanting to divest GCBs because of higher property taxes and weaker rents”. Among those who bought a GCB in Q1 this year was David Teo, chairman of listed Super Group. He is paying S$24.5 million or S$1,626 psf for a freehold property along Fifth Avenue off Bukit Timah Road.

Cairnhill Nine sells 70% of units launched

Cairnhill Nine has sold 70 per cent of the units launched last Saturday.

The 99-year leasehold residential development, located in the heart of the Orchard Road district, is part of an integrated development that includes serviced residence Ascott Orchard Singapore.

Developer CapitaLand launched 200 of the development’s 268 units last Saturday, and sold 134.

The units sold ranged from 591 sq ft to 3,864 sq ft, including one-bedroom, one-bedroom and guest, two-bedroom, two-bedroom and guest, and four-bedroom units, as well as penthouses.

The most well-received so far are the one-bedroom and guest units, with 80 per cent out of 90 such units sold.

“We are pleased with the strong response to the VIP preview and official launch, and will be stepping up our marketing efforts by having roadshows in cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Solo, Shanghai and Hong Kong,” a CapitaLand Singapore spokesman said.

According to CapitaLand, about 50 per cent of buyers are Singaporeans while the rest are from Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

SIBOR climbs to four-month high

A key interest rate benchmark hit a four-month high on Thursday (Aug 13), as sentiment towards the Singapore dollar remain weak following the depreciation of the Chinese Yuan.

On Wednesday, the three-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) rose to 0.9345 per cent. On Thursday, the rate climbed further to 0.9388 per cent.

Property analysts said banks have not yet adjusted mortgage rates that are pegged to SIBOR, which are currently hovering around 1.5 to 1.7 per cent. The rate is expected to rise to 2 per cent by the end of this year.

The vacancy rate for residential properties is also expected to climb, following the tightening of the labour market and slowing down of the economy. Experts said some owners may be forced to sell their properties due to difficulties servicing their loans.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 13 Aug 2015

Price, location still key factors for private home buyers: Market watchers

Getting world-renowned architects to design private housing projects may boost sales, but market watchers have said that pricing and locations remain key factors for buyers at large, especially in today’s lacklustre market.

The latest designer condominium to be completed in Singapore is Sky Habitat at Bishan Central, which had buyers collecting keys to their units in April this year. It is designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, who is also the man behind Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

After working on MBS, which is one of Singapore’s most recognisable projects, Mr Safdie is adding to his plate Project Jewel, a new retail and lifestyle complex at Changi Airport. The internationally-acclaimed architect is no stranger to Singapore’s private housing scene as well, having designed Ardmore Park and The Edge on Cairnhill, both of which received Temporary Occupation Permits before 2005.

The 38-storey Sky Habitat by CapitaLand is his latest project.

Said Mr Eng Tiang Wah, vice president for Design Management (Residential) at CapitaLand Singapore: “From the visit by Moshe earlier, you could see that residents actually pop by and say, ‘Hey, that’s Moshe’. One quick-thinking resident got his brochure and even his autograph and shook his hand, so I think the recognition for these star architects is quite apparent.”

The 509-unit Sky Habitat is not the firm’s only project involving big designer names. d’Leedon, located at Farrer Road, had Zaha Hadid – the first female winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize – on board. It was also Ms Hadid’s first high-rise residential project in Singapore. This project was completed in October last year.

Market watchers said big developers are typically the ones hiring star architects as they have deeper pockets, but they could also have other reasons for wanting to add that star element.

Said Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director for Research & Consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants: “If you have a very prime location, very near to Orchard Road or Paterson Road for instance, that project may not really need top-end architects to design it because the main selling point is the location.

“At the same time, for a mass-market suburban condominium, the developer may also not hire a top-end architect because the buyers of such mass market condos are quite price sensitive and they just want value for money.”

Mr Mak added: “Most of the iconic architecture tends to be within the city fringe area and they may want to command a price higher than other competing projects within the neighbourhood.”

The 99-year leasehold Sky Habitat was launched at between S$1,650 and S$1,750 per square foot (psf) in April 2012, when the property market was still bullish. It was said to rival prices of condominiums in the city area then, although prices have since come down – in June 2014, median prices of sold units stood at about S$1,340 psf. But the project still has almost 140 units unsold, as at June this year.

As to whether CapitaLand will hire top designers for more of its projects, the developer was coy on the prospect, revealing only that it would have to study the “right potential” for the sites and the “value-add” to the projects.

Nevertheless, Mr Safdie said: “Like anywhere, there are opportunities. It takes a good client, a good architect – you never get a good project without a good client and the good client needs the good architect. And when there is good planning by the city, that is a winning combination.”

Commenting on Project Jewel, the lead architect for the project said it will be an “intense Downtown”, but” connected to nature”.

“I think what you should look forward to is a place where there are two co-existing environments – the market place (that is) intense, full of the excitement of shops, food and beverage and all that, and also a paradise garden, a place of fantasy and relaxation,” said Mr Safdie.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 12 Aug 2015

EL Development top bidder for condo site at West Coast Vale

EL Development has placed the top bid of S$314.1 million or S$551.15 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for a 99-year private condominium site at West Coast Vale.

The state tender attracted six bids.

The second highest bid, from a tie-up involving Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments and Oriental Worldwide Investments, was nearly S$534 psf ppr.

The lowest bid, from a joint venture between Singland Homes and Kheng Leong Company, was S$415.69 psf ppr.

Located along the waterfront of Sungei Pandan, the site can potentially generate an estimated 595 homes.

Future residents will enjoy greenery as the plot is next to the park connector along Sungei Pandan, part of the Southern Ridges Loop linking to Bukit Batok Nature Park and Pandan Reservoir.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority conducted the tender, which closed at noon on Tuesday.

Source : Business Times – 4 Aug 2015