Government increasing income ceiling for HDB flats and EC units

Besides introducing 25,000 BTO units in 2012 and 8,000 flats in September 2011, the Government will be increasing the income ceiling for HDB flats from $8,000 to $10,000 and ECs from $10,000 to $12,000. The $10,000 HDB income ceiling will be applicable for the purchase of new flats, resale flats with a CPF housing grant, and the application of a HDB loan for a new or resale flat. However, the income ceiling for DBSS will remain at $10,000. This means that DBSS will face direct competition from BTO flats as buyers who earn at least $10,000 per month can choose between BTO and DBSS flats. These adjustments will certainly affect flat sellers and some private developers. JLL predicted that the annual demand for new housing in the private market will likely decrease by 5% to 15% (approximately 700 to 2,000 units). Both Credo Real Estate and Global Property Strategic Alliance believed that the resale flat market will not be affected significantly since units in matured estates remain attractive.

After 2 months of gloomy results, private home sales finally see improvement in July

The number of private houses (excluding ECs) sold by developers in July was 1,386 units, a 17.3% hike from the 1,182 units sold in June. The number of ECs sold by developers also increased from 212 units in June to 569 units in July. Including ECs, developers’ private home sales in July added up to 1,954 units, a 40.2% month-on-month hike. The improvement in July home sales can be linked to low home loan rates, home buyers returning after the June school vacation, and buyers speeding up their home purchases to avoid buying during the Hungry Ghost Month.

A top bid of $105 million obtained for a landed housing site at Serangoon Garden Way

A 99-year, 305,711 sq ft landed housing site at Serangoon Garden Way received 16 bids at a tender. The highest bid of $105 million ($343 psf of land area) came from a joint-bid between City Developments and Hong Realty. The top bid was 10.4% higher than the second highest bid of $95.13 million ($311 psf of land area) offered by ZACD Investments. Credo Real Estate linked the strong responses for the site to the scarcity of landed sites. City Developments is planning to use the site for a terraced-housing project which will be launched next year.

Private home sales increased 21.6% in Q2, with Chinese nationals making up the highest proportion of foreign buyers: DTZ

DTZ’s analysis of caveats lodged for both new and secondary sales revealed that the number of transactions for private houses increased 21.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q2 2011, from 6,958 deals in Q1 to 8,458 deals in Q2. Chinese nationals still make up the greatest proportion of foreign buyers of residential properties in Singapore; the number of private residential units purchased by them increased from the more than 527 units in Q1 to 640 in Q2. DTZ also noticed that the proportion of buyers with HDB addresses has been rising over the last three quarters; such buyers purchased 38.7% of all private houses in Q2, a hike from the 37% in Q1.


URA launched a Woodlands industrial site

URA launched a 60-year leasehold industrial site at Woodlands Avenue 12 (Parcel 3) under the Reserve list after receiving an application from an interested bidder who offered to bid for the site at not less than $56,150,000 (approximately $111 psf ppr). The site, which has a site area of 202,362 sq ft and a maximum gross plot ratio of 2.5, is zoned for Business 1 use and has a maximum building height of 61m above mean sea level. URA will put the site up for sale via a public tender.

Alpha put up 135 Cecil Street and Robinson Centre up for sale

Alpha Core Real Estate Fund has put up two office blocks in the CBD, freehold 135 Cecil Street and Robinson Centre, up for sale via separate EOI. Marketed by DTZ and CBRE respectively, the two office buildings can possibly fetch a total of near $500 million. The 14-storey 135 Cecil Street, which has an existing GFA of 100,900 sq ft, has a NLA of 83,076 sq ft and can potentially fetch $183 million to $191 million. It is currently 92% occupied and its average monthly passing rent is $8.23 psf. The 20-storey Robinson Centre has a NLA of 132,288 sq ft and can likely fetch $291 million to $304 million. It is currently 96.5% occupied and has 71 car park lots.

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