Optimistic outlook for Riverbank @ Fernvale

Sale of units at UOL Group’s 99-year leasehold 555-unit private condominium Riverbank @ Fernvale will begin next week. The average price indication is slightly over $1,000 psf. Prices of a 495 sq ft one-bedroom unit start from $476,000, or around $962 psf. A 947 sq ft three-bedroom unit starts from $878,000 or $927 psf. UOL Group’s property president Liam Wee Sin remains optimistic about buyer response, despite falling resale prices recently. Mr Liam says that their pricing is realistic because the tender bid last year was $489 psf ppr, and with the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR), underlying demand to upgrade is strong.

(Source: Business Times)

Savills: private property prices to rise by 2%

The global real estate services provider Savills has forecast that overall prices of private property could increase by 2 percent in 2014, contrary to market expectations of decreasing prices which are not supported by the facts. In fact, Alan Cheong, the senior director at Savills Research, Singapore, said that many mass-market and mid-tier projects are in the hands of strong developers, who are unlikely to lower prices below comparable benchmarks just to clear their stock.

(Source: Business Times)

Property sector hopes for the curbs to be tweaked or removed

Property players are reported to hope that some of the cooling measures introduced – the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) and additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD) – might be tweaked or even rolled back. Donald Han, managing director at Chesterton Singapore said that such measures could be loosened up because they have had the desired results. In addition, sub-sales and foreigners’ participation rates are now at a new low compared to two years ago thanks to the sellers’ stamp duty (SSD) and ABSD, while the TDSR framework has significant influence on escalating property prices and transaction volumes.

(Source: Business Times)

Redas-NUS index sends mixed signals

The latest Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) survey, developed by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) and the National University of Singapore, shows that the Composite Sentiment Index capturing the overall market sentiment of property developers increased to 4.0 in Q4 2013, from 3.9 in Q3 2013. Similarly, the Future Sentiment Index reached 4.0 from 3.9. However, 62 percent of the developers surveyed anticipate a moderate decrease in residential property prices in the next six months, compared with 51.3 percent in Q3 2013. Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of property consultancy Century21, said that such mixed signals in the survey reflect market uncertainties.

(Source: Business Times)

Resale flat COV hits 2009 crisis low mark

Median cash-over-valuation (COV) premiums for Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale units decreased from $5,000 in December 2013 to $3,000 January 2014 – similar to the previous low in the Global Financial Crisis in June 2009. Eight out of the 28 HDB towns saw zero or negative median COV. Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International, said that HDB resale prices are stabilizing, and need to be read in light of the low transaction volumes in the same period which could translate to a wide range of COV figures. The flash report by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) shows that Sengkang and Punggol had negative overall COVs in January; while Bishan, Geylang, Jurong West, Sembawang, Woodlands, and Yishun recorded zero overall median COV. Ong Kah Seng, director at R’ST Research, expects that prices may fall about 5 percent in the first half of this year, despite a small increase of 0.3 percent in January 2014.

(Source: Business Times)


Anson House up for sale

Anson House’s current owner, CBRE Global Investors, is reported to have put the 13-storey office block up for sale with an indicative pricing of $175-180 million, or $2,292-2,357 psf on net lettable area (NLA) of 76,362 sq ft. 20 percent of the building, which is on a site with about 82 years of remaining lease, is currently vacant, which suits potential occupier who seeks to partly occupy the building as well as provision for signage and naming rights. The average passing rent is about $8 psf per month with recent rent standing at $8.50-$9.50 psf per month.

(Source: Business Times)

Westgate Tower back on the leasing market

Westgate Tower, the 20-storey office block next to Jurong East MRT Station, is back on the leasing market. A Sun Venture-Low Keng Huat (LKH) consortium has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and CBRE as joint sole leasing agents. Just last month, Sun Venture-LKH was granted options to buy the office tower at $579.4 million, or $1,900 psf, from the developers of the Westgate mixed-development project – CapitaLand, CapitaMalls Asia and CapitaMall Trust. Sun Venture managing director Alvin Teo said that the new owners’ asking rent is around $6.50 psf, compared with the previous owners’s indicating office rents of $8 psf a month.

(Source: Business Times)

Tuas South long-lease industrial site for sale

A long-lease 34,189 sq ft industrial site in 17 Tuas South Street 5 has been launched for sale by Expression of Interest for $8.9 million. The site has a two-storey building with production and storage space, a mezzanine office with a GFA of approximately 39,795 sq ft. The lease tenure is about 45 years. Nicholas Ng, local director of investments at Jones Lang LaSalle – the site’s exclusive marketing agent, said factories with lease tenures of more than 40 years are rare, and that this site would be attractive to industrialists with huge upfront costs or leases expiring in the next few years.

(Source: Business Times)

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