Freehold property not necessarily better than 99-year leasehold

The two general types of property tenure in Singapore – 99-year leasehold property and freehold property – could be considered similar. However, freehold properties could hold a few advantages over leasehold properties, including higher en-bloc potential, slower pace of depreciation (as leasehold properties’ value would diminish over the course of their lease) and no restrictions on the use of Central Provident Fund for home purchases. Recent statistics have shown that new leasehold condominiums have dominated the market in recent years, with new leasehold and new freehold condo sales standing at 95 and 5 percent respectively for the first half of 2013. On the contrary, 70 percent of new sales were freehold in 2006 and 2007. This could be due to the increase of the government land sales programme in recent years and the tightening of en-bloc rules in Oct 2007.

(Source: Business Times)

Developers’ private home sales increases in Sept

Developers’ private home sales, excluding executive condominiums units, increased 65 percent to 1,246 units in Sept compared to 756 units in August. However, Sept’s figure is a decrease of more than half that in Sept 2012. For the third quarter of 2013, developers have sold a total of 2,484 private homes, which is the lowest number since Q4 2009 with only 1,860 units sold. The TDSR framework introduced in late June has been attributed for this drop. According to DTZ’s South-east Asia Chief Operating Officer Ong Choon Fah, the ranks of property investors have thinned significantly and those still around are going mostly for smaller units. The latest figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed an uneven performance among the seven new projects (excluding EC developments) that were launched last month.

(Source: Business Times)

GCB on Leedon Road up for sale

A 43,926 sq ft two-storey colonial-style good class bungalow (GCB) at Leedon Road-Belmont Road junction is put on the market with the guide price of about $1,700 to $1,800 psf on land area. The freehold site, zoned for residential use and is within the designated prime GCB area of Belmont Park, has a swimming pool and a large garden. Having dual frontages, its immediate neighbours include other GCB estates such as Victoria Park, Leedon Park, and Cornwall Gardens.

(Source: Business Times)

65% of 50 residential units released at The Venue sold

About 65 per cent of the 50 residential units released at The Venue Residences and Shoppes have been sold. The units were sold at an early bird average price of $1,380 psf. In addition, around 60 percent of the 28 retail units at The Venue Shoppes have been sold at $4,700 to $6,000 psf. The mixed development, along Tai Thong Crescent and a three-minute walk from Potong Pasir MRT station, is developed by City Developments Limited and Hong Leong Holdings with 266 apartments and 28 retail and dining units.

(Source: Business Times)

DBS sells $200m property-linked bonds

DBS Bank has successfully sold $200 million of five-year bonds on Skies Miltonia Property, a property development in Yishun comprising 420 residential condominium units and two commercial units. Private investors were the buyers of the fixed rate notes due March 2018 issued and secured by Orchis Capital Pte Ltd, a special purpose company. The bonds will be based on progress payments and it is the first of its type since 2008.

(Source: Business Times)


HDB to end assignment of tenanted business spaces

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has acted to restrain the rising operating costs and unhealthy speculation in the rental commercial and industrial properties, which would result in a fairer playing field for genuine businesses seeking spaces in these sectors. The new rule emerged after HDB noticed rising average assignment fee and tendered rent in the past few years which would contribute to higher operating costs and then would be passed on to residents and consumers. HDB would introduce a two-stage plan to stop the practice of assignment in which tenants pass on their tenancy to a new party for a one-time fee. Currently there are 8,000 commercial tenants and 10,700 industrial tenants with an average of 500 cases of such assignment for each group per year.

(Source: Business Times)

Nam Cheong buys office space at Suntec Tower Three for $30.3 million

Offshore vessel builder Nam Cheong will buy office space of 10,097 sq ft at Suntec Tower Three to house its Singapore corporate office for about $30.3 million. The wholly owned subsidiary Nam Cheong Offshore has been granted an option-to-purchase (OTP) for three office lots (units #41-01 to #41-03) at Suntec Tower Three from Vista Realty, an unrelated party. The leasehold property has a remaining lease till Feb 29, 2088, and an existing tenancy that will expire between Sept 14 in 2014 and Jan 15 in 2016.

(Source: Business Times)

Two industrial plots in Joo Koon up for sale between $7.5 and $10 million

Two industrial plots located at 9 Joo Koon Road and 20 Joo Koon Crescent with potential for additional gross floor area (GFA) development has been put up for sale at guide prices between $7.5 million and $10 million – the  latest industrial properties put up for sale in recent weeks. They are zoned for Business 2 use with a plot ratio of 1.4 each. The two sites are within walking distance of Joo Koon MRT station and are served by the Ayer Rajah Expressway or Pan Island Expressway. The marketing agent for the plots is Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). 5 Loyang Drive and Guang Ming Industrial Building are the industrial plots sold this month.

(Source: Business Times)

Singapore CBD is home to the world’s largest vertical garden

Ocean Financial Centre’s green wall of 51,000 potted plants of 25 species standing at 19 metres high and 110 metres wide – as big as eight tennis courts – is now the world’s largest vertical garden. It is located in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD). The pots of the the plants have been arranged to make up a map of Singapore, South-east Asia and the world. Not just for aesthetic purposes, the wall is designed with proprietary landscaping designs to reduce the surface temperature of OFC’s carpark behind the wall of green, and act as a green lung which filters out vehicular emissions and provides visual relief from the dense concrete landscape of the CBD. The green wall is also a show of support for the National Parks’ vision of creating a “City in a Garden” out of Singapore.

(Source: Business Times)

Far East places optimistic top bids for Gambas Crescent industrial plots

Far East Organization has placed bullish top bids for two 30-year leasehold industrial plots in Gambas Crescent which are 700 metres from Sembawang MRT Station. Its bids were about 50 percent higher than the respective second highest bids for each land parcel. Far East offered about $44.78 million or $137.90 psf ppr for Parcel 1 of nearly 129,900 sq ft, which was 48.5 percent more than the second highest bid of $92.85 psf ppr from Hock Lian Seng. Parcel 1 drew six bids. Far East bid about $46.33 million or $127.19 psf ppr for the 145,710 sq ft Parcel 2, which was 54.4 percent higher than the next highest bid of $82.36 psf ppr from Eco-I Pte Ltd. Parcel 2 drew nine bids, and is located next to the future North-South Expressway. Strata sub-division will be allowed for new projects on the sites, with the minimum strata size at 150 sq metres (1,614.59 sq ft) gross floor area.

(Source: Business Times)

BlackRock appoints agents to sell AXA Tower, 8 Shenton Way

BlackRock, the New York Stock Exchange-listed and the world’s largest asset manager, has appointed CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle as agents to find a buyer for AXA Tower at 8 Shenton Way. This shows the group’s serious intention to sell the landmark circular building opposite International Plaza and Tanjong Pagar MRT Station. The price is expected to be at least $2,000 psf based on the existing net lettable area (NLA) of 674,000 sq ft, which would amount to $1.35 billion in total.

(Source: Business Times)

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