Kaeden Ong

Private property prices continue to drop in Q3

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 12th October 2014 in Blog

The private residential property index fell 1.3 points from 209.4 points in Q2 2014 to 208.1 points in Q3 2014, according to URA flash estimates released today.

This represents a decline of 0.6 percent, compared to the one percent decline in the previous quarter. This is the fourth continuous quarter of price decrease.

The Core Central Region (CCR) was the hardest hit as prices fell 0.9 percent, while prices in Outside Central Region (OCR) fell 0.2 percent. In Rest of Central Region (RCR), prices fell 0.1 percent, compared to the 0.4% decline in the previous quarter.

Desmond Sim, Head of CBRE Research in Singapore said, “The price index has fallen for the last four consecutive quarters at a total magnitude of 3.8% since a year ago in Q3 2013.”

The flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in caveats lodged during the first ten weeks of the quarter, supplemented by survey data on new units sold by developers in the quarter.

Sim said it probably did not include the units sold from Highline Residences and Seventy Saint Patrick’s.

“By the time these units are added in the computation, it is probable that the q-o-q fall in the URA price index for Q3 2014 might be less than 0.6%, in line with market expectations since the new projects launched in Q3 were mostly located in the Central Region,” he added.

Credits: Property Guru

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Kaeden Ong

Private landed property transactions fall to lowest since 1995

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 22nd March 2014 in Blog

Transaction volume of private landed properties fell last year to its lowest since 1995. A total of 867 landed properties changed hands in the first half of last year — a reduction of about 40 per cent, compared to the same period the year before.

SINGAPORE: Transaction volume of private landed properties fell last year to its lowest since 1995.

A total of 867 landed properties changed hands in the first half of last year — a reduction of about 40 per cent, compared to the same period the year before.

In the second half of 2013, the number of transactions was 492, which is a decrease of close to 70 per cent, compared to the same period in 2012.

And compared to the year before, the total number of transactions in 2013 has more than halved.

While the sector typically does not see high transaction volumes, some analysts say the decline could be driven by recent property cooling measures and limited supply in the market.

Chris Koh, director of Chris International, said: “We also had (property cooling measures) in place — seven rounds of measures and then followed by the Total Debt Servicing Ratio last year.

“Landed properties are more expensive — in terms of quantum, prices, if I can’t get financing for it, I will have difficulty buying the landed properties.”

The report also pointed out the limited supply of such units — there are about 70,000 units available.

Majority of owners have bought such properties to live in, and not for investment purposes.

“You have a second group of buyers who are really the richer people, the high net worth people who own landed properties. They don’t buy it for a flip to make money quickly, or they buy it for rental returns.

“We all know that landed properties don’t give you good rental returns. They buy it to hold,” said Mr Koh.

In the past five years, the percentage of units rented has remained around seven per cent.

There are also measures in place to restrict foreign ownership.

Generally, foreigners are not allowed to buy landed properties. However, there are exceptions, such as units in Sentosa Cove.

Supply is not expected to increase. The Government Land Sales Confirmed List for the first half of this year is also not expected to yield any sites for landed units.

Credits ChannelNewsAsia

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Kaeden Ong

Condo 40% sold before launch

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 9th March 2014 in Blog

Condo 40% sold before launch

CLOSE to 40 per cent of the 52 units at upmarket freehold condominium Cluny Park Residence have received purchase commitments ahead of its official launch tomorrow.

Condo 40% sold before launch

These commitments – by mainly professionals and businessmen – were made at private previews since its soft launch last August. Of the buyers, 70 per cent are Singaporeans, William Liem, chief executive officer of the developer Tuan Sing Holdings, told reporters at a media preview yesterday.

The strong interest comes amid an uncertain residential property market still reeling from cooling measures implemented last year.

Mr Liem attributed this to the development’s excellent location and long-term investment potential, thanks to its freehold status at a prime location.

The District 10 condominium, nestled in an enclave of good class bungalows in Bukit Timah, overlooks the Singapore Botanic Gardens and is next to the French Embassy.

Incidentally, this brought about several development and design constraints as the embassy was “very strict” about the facing of its units.

As a result, a “really painful” compromise was made to do away with balconies for certain units overlooking the embassy, Mr Liem said.

Cluny Park Residence is also within close proximity to popular schools such as Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Hwa Chong Institution.

The development sits on a 49,000 square foot plot of freehold land and houses two to four-bedroom units, including eight penthouses.

Each unit comes with a private entrance foyer, and every ground floor unit also has a private pool.

Units are priced from $2.3 million for an 800 sq ft two-bedder to $4.5 million for a 1,400 sq ft four-bedder. Penthouse units come in compact (about 1,200 sq ft) and large (about 2,800 sq ft) sizes, costing about $5 million and $8 million, respectively.

All these work out to a price range of about $2,860 to $4,170 per square foot.

Mr Liem, who lives in a ground floor unit of Botanika, a Holland Road condominium also developed by Tuan Sing, revealed that he has also bought “one of the bigger” units at Cluny Park Residence.

“I like to stay at our own condos to experience and see what we can do to improve. Certainly, I will stay here (at Cluny Park Residence) when it is completed.

Chief financial officer Chong Chou Yuen said: “We want to sell and design our property to the extent that we ourselves feel comfortable (in them). We will not sell a property that is not comfortable, too restrictive or too cramped.”

The project is expected to receive its temporary occupation permit in the third quarter of 2016.

Its showflat at Dempsey Road will be open from Saturday between 10am and 7pm daily.

Credits STproperty

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Kaeden Ong

CDL may turn condos into serviced homes

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 28th February 2014 in Blog

CDL may turn condos into serviced homes

PROPERTY giant City Developments (CDL) says it might consider turning some of its upcoming high-end condominium projects into serviced residences.

This drastic move is being contemplated as thinner profits from property development in a rapidly slowing market weighed down the company’s earnings released yesterday.

CDL executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng also said yesterday that property prices could fall by up to 10 per cent this year.

But he added that it depended on the world economy.

“I used to make a forecast, 10 per cent. It hasn’t reached 10 per cent yet… the worst worldwide scenario is over, but we are still facing a lot of uncertainty.”

CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong told reporters after the briefing that converting some of its unlaunched high-end residential projects into serviced apartments “may be difficult but we won’t rule it out… if we have not sold the project yet”.

Other developers of luxury condos have also contemplated such a conversion recently. Developer OUE was said last year to be planning to convert part of its Twin Peaks condo at Leonie Hill into serviced apartments, though that has not happened.

Mr Chia said CDL’s Nouvel 18 at Anderson Road, which is still unsold, was on track to be completed by the end of this year.

CDL also successfully applied last year to extend the qualifying certificate (QC) construction deadlines for its Gramercy Park condo on the former Lucky Tower site at Grange Road and its New Futura condo on Leonie Hill Road to until the end of next year, he added.

He said CDL plans to open the whole South Beach complex by next year, before the project’s 2016 completion deadline.

Mr Chia said CDL plans to launch a 944-unit condo at Pasir Ris Grove in March or April and then an 845-unit condo at Commonwealth Avenue in the second quarter of this year.

Mr Kwek also called on the Government to modify its QC rules this year, saying that these rules were driving up land tender bids.

“If they will not tweak it or will not do anything about it, we have other plans,” he added, but decline to elaborate.

Mr Kwek noted that “with QC in place, there is competition for every site… Without any sites, business comes to a standstill. They (developers) have no choice but to bid higher and higher”.

The QC rules effectively mean developers cannot hold onto sites very long, since a QC gives them up to five years to finish building a project and two more years to sell all the units. They are not allowed to rent out unsold units.

Developers whose shareholders and directors are not all Singaporeans have to get a QC to buy residential property for development. This is imposed to control foreign ownership of land here.

To ensure compliance, the developer has to put up a banker’s guarantee of 10 per cent of the purchase price of the property, which may be forfeited if it fails to fulfil the QC’s conditions.

Mr Kwek was speaking at CDL’s full-year results briefing yesterday, which also happened to be new chief executive Grant Kelley’s first at CDL.

Mr Kelley, who spoke little yesterday, took the reins on Feb 17 this year.

Mr Kwek said CDL chose Mr Kelley because “we can promote from within – we have also third generation, they are very good – but we want to build an international, external wing”.

The group yesterday posted an 11.4 per cent drop in fourth-quarter net profit to $221 million. Revenue for the three months to Dec 31 dropped 12.6 per cent to $774.4 million from the preceding year.

For the full year, net profit inched up 0.7 per cent to $683 million while revenue slipped 5.7 per cent to $3.2 billion.

Earnings per share fell 11.6 per cent to 23.6 cents for the quarter from the year before.

Net asset value per share was $8.63 as at Dec 31 last year, up from $8.03 as at Dec 31, 2012.

CDL proposed an ordinary dividend of eight cents per share.

Credit STproperty

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Kaeden Ong

Strong launch for Riverbank @ Fernvale

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 18th February 2014 in Blog

Strong launch for Riverbank @ Fernvale

LOW selling prices helped the Riverbank @ Fernvale condominium in Sengkang rack up healthy sales at its launch yesterday.

The 555-unit project at Sengkang West Way had sold more than 200 units by 6pm, its developer UOL said in a statement.

Consultants said the solid demand showed that home buyers were increasingly price sensitive.

Worries that Housing Board (HDB) resale flat values would fall further could have prompted some HDB upgraders to pick up a private home while they can still afford it, they added.

“Many people are realising that public housing prices are not going to hold up,” said PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail.

“They may decide that if they don’t upgrade now, their ability to upgrade in future could be more challenged.”

A UOL spokesman said buyers were a mix of investors and owner-occupiers.

One-bedders and two-bedders were the most popular, and 10 out of the 17 five-bedders at the project were sold, she said.

Prices began at $480,000 for one-bedders and $660,000 for two-bedders.

She added that UOL would release more three-bedders for sale today and tomorrow, with prices starting from $870,000.

The 99-year leasehold project’s average selling price is slightly above $1,000 per sq ft (psf).

UOL said earlier this week that its agents had collected more than 500 cheques, signalling keen buyer interest.

The project is near the Layar LRT station in Fernvale and has riverfront views of Punggol Reservoir.

Buyers yesterday told The Straits Times they were drawn to the project primarily because of its low total prices, with its location being a secondary factor.

Ms Alicia Wong, an accounts executive, said she picked up a unit at Riverbank to live in after comparing prices with many other projects. “Among all of them, this was the cheapest.”

The 34-year-old lives with her family in Johor Bahru, and commutes to Singapore for work. She paid $508,000 for a 495 sq ft one-bedder, which works out to about $1,027 psf.

Another buyer, Ms Rachel Yao, said she and her husband decided to buy a unit at the project because its price was within their $1.05 million budget.

The couple in their early 30s, who both work as regional managers in the telecommunications industry, bought a 1,044 sq ft three-bedder for about $1.02 million, or $981 psf.

Competition for buyers in the Fernvale area could be intense over the next few weeks, with more than 1,000 new homes going on the market this month.

Another condominium project in Fernvale, the 495-unit Rivertrees Residences, will open for preview today.

Its developers, a Frasers-led consortium, declined to reveal the average selling price, but said prices would range from $950 psf to $1,150 psf.

Rivertrees will launch for sale next Saturday.

Credits STproperty

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Kaeden Ong

Singapore’s new private home sales remain low in January

Posted by Kaeden Ong on 17th February 2014 in Blog

New private home sales in Singapore remained in the doldrums in January. Developers sold just 565 new private homes last month, up from December’s four-year low of 259 units. This was, however, well below the 2,028 units sold in January 2013.

SINGAPORE: New private home sales in Singapore remained in the doldrums in January, as developers held back launches and lending restrictions depressed demand.

According to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), developers sold just 565 new private homes last month, up from December’s four-year low of 259 units.

Last month’s figure was, however, well below the 2,028 units sold in January 2013.

Singapore’s residential property market has slowed since the middle of last year, following moves by authorities to cap the amount of money people can borrow.

Investors are also concerned about the upcoming supply of new units, and property analysts say private home prices could fall by as much as 15 percent this year.

In the final quarter of 2013, private home prices fell 0.9 per cent from the previous three months — the first decline in nearly two years.

Developers in Singapore sold around 15,000 new homes last year, some 30 per cent down from 2012.

Credits ChannelNewsAsia

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