A breather for homeowners who bought before last June 29

With immediate effect from Feb 10 this year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced that refinancing of loans for homes bought before June 29, 2013 will be exempted from the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) cap of 60 percent. The cap means that a borrower’s monthly installments for all debt servicing including mortgage payments cannot exceed 60 percent of gross monthly income. This is a breather from the strict debt rules governing mortgages for homeowners who are considering refinancing of their mortgages. Before this, owner-occupiers with an intention to refinance their loans could only be exempted from this rule if they owned no other property and had no other home loan. Banks are also likely to welcome this policy tweak because it may revive the refinancing market, after the sharp decrease in new home loan sales since the introduction of the TDSR framework.

(Source: Business Times)

Riverbank @ Fernvale project draws strong interest

UOL Development’s newest condominium development – Riverbank @ Fernvale – is reported to be gaining strong interest from buyers. It has received more than 500 cheques since its showflats opened for preview a week ago. The 555 residential units’ prices will be above $1,000 psf on average. Anthony Wong, UOL’s deputy general manager (marketing) said that he saw strong interest across all unit types.

(Source: Business Times)

Home ownership a key social pillar

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said that home ownership remains a key social pillar for Singapore, and that the government will continue to help Singaporeans realize their dreams of owning a home in a post on his blog. Mr Khaw wrote that HDB estates are lasting intangibles where Singaporeans build homes, start families and form strong bonds with their neighbors and communities. Feb 12 marked the 50th anniversary of the Housing & Development Board’s Home Ownership for the People Scheme – the programmed that offers subsidized mortgages to buyers of HDB flats and has culminated in the Republic’s high home ownership rate.

(Source: Business Times)

TDSR tweak a lifeline for struggling owners

Following the MAS’s decision to exempt owner-occupiers from the TDSR cap of 60 percent, analysts are reported to say that the tweak is targeted at a small group of stressed households struggling to get mortgage refinancing. This revision to the rule may mean that the group of households with a debt-servicing ratio (DSR) of 40-60 percent may be larger than expected earlier. However, analysts also said that the tweak is not likely to indicate a rollback of property cooling measures. In fact, the measures are expected to stay, and a reversal may only happen next year.

(Source: Business Times)

Anchorvale Crescent EC site attracts strong interest

The 99-year leasehold site at Anchorvale Crescent attracted 12 bids at the close of its tender period on Feb 13. The top bid was $192.89 million, or $366.91 psf ppr, by SingHaiyi Group’s Phoenix Real Estate. The second highest bid was $191 million, or $363.32 psf ppr, by MCL Land (Brighton). Ong Teck Hui, national director, research and consultancy, at Jones Lang LaSalle said that the site has attracted a particularly strong interest with 12 parties contesting and the top six bidders within a 4.8 percent margin. This reflects developer’s confidence in demand for EC homes, and demand for ECs in the Sengkang area has been encouraging recently.

(Source: Business Times)

DBS: home prices to fall 10-15% this year

Speaking at DBS’s Q4 results briefing, DBS Bank chief executive Piyush Gupta expects home prices to decrease 10 to 15 percent in 2014, more than the 10 percent forecast by property consultants. Yet he said that such decline would not make a material impact on the bank’s loan book. As for the higher interest rates expected with the shrinking of monetary stimulus policy by the US, he was not expecting it to have any effect on DBS. DBS’s own stress tests in the past have shown that DBS can easily withstand a 20 percent reduction in Singapore property prices without material impact on their portfolio.

(Source: Business Times)

Jan’s resale of non-landed homes down 70%

Resale transactions of non-landed private residential homes decreased 70.2 percent to 310 in Jan 2014 from 1,039 deals of last year. Flash estimates from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) also indicated that the number of resale deals last month was 9.1 percent lower than 341 transactions in December. However, resale prices measured by the SRX index increased 2.3 percent from the December level. Analysts said the lower number of transactions in Jan might have caused the overall price index more sensitive to deals that changed hands at a higher price.

(Source: Business Times)

Rivertrees pricing set to top next-door Riverbank’s

Rivertrees Residences is expected to be launched at a premium of $50-100 psf, topping its next-door competing project, UOL Development’s Riverbank @ Fernvale. Rivertrees is a project jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Orchard and Sekisui House. Prices for the units will start from $950 psf when the project is open for booking on Feb 22, with the average price for the initial phase likely to be within $950-$1,150 psf. Chief executive Cheang Kok Kheong noted that Rivertrees’s advantage over Riverbank is that it offers the waterfront view, and its slight premium to the other is considered “fair”. Riverbank @ Fernvale has an average price indication of slightly more than $1,000 psf.

(Source: Business Times)


Keppel Club and one SICC course affected by review

Under the government’s plans for land use, Keppel Club may not be able to keep its golf course when its lease expires in seven years, and at least one of the Singapore Island Country Club’s (SICC) locations may be affected. The fate of these and other golf courses has long been discussed before 16 Feb, when representatives from government agencies meet the members of four clubs – Keppel, SICC, Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC) and the National Service Resort & Country Club (NSRCC) – at separate briefing sessions. The Ministry of Law said that there would be no new land allocations for golf courses, and that some of the golf courses would have to be phased out and the greens put to other uses.

(Source: Business Times)

KH Kea Properties seeking partner to develop building

KH Kea Properties Pte Ltd is seeking a joint-venture partner to tap on the best use of its small building next to Bras Basah Complex with McDonald’s as tenant on the lower floors – the nine-storey building at 333 North Bridge Road. The building’s existing gross floor area (GFA) is 29,049 sq ft, or an equivalent plot ratio of 7.145 which exceeds the 5.2 plot ratio allocated for the site under Master Plan 2008. The company is controlled by an Indonesian family with business interests across Asia. It also owns an adjacent 635 sq ft piece of land along Cashin Street. Both properties have balance lease tenure of 812 years, are zoned for commercial use, and yield a total of 32,351 sq ft GFA.

(Source: Business Times)

Far East to begin sales for Tuas factory complex next week

Far East Organization is expected to begin sales at a 30-year leasehold strata factory project, The Index in Tuas South Avenue 3 next week. The expected average price of the factory units is around $330-350 psf. 98 strata factories as well as a staff canteen will be on sale. There will be three unit types: Type A (32,754 sq ft to 33,615 sq ft), Type B (10,613-14,574 sq ft) and Type C (2,195-8,697 sq ft). The Index’s average price is a bit lower than the $360 psf average for the group’s nearby project The Westcom in Tuas South Avenue 6. The group has sold about 92 percent of the 144 warehouse and factory units in The Westcom. The Westcom is on a site with a remaining 41 years on its 60-year lease term.

(Source: Business Times)

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