Minister Khaw: more help for elderly’s housing

In a post-Budget dialogue with grassroots leaders on February 23, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan was reported to say that the ministry will consider expanding the Lease Buyback Scheme which can aid the elderly in monetising their housing assets. The ministry is also reviewing suggestions of expanding the scheme to four and five-room flats, because as of now only elderly people who own three-room and smaller flats are eligible under the scheme.

(Source: Business Times)

Forecast drop in stamp duty not negative for property market

An analysis by The Business Times showed that the Budget’s forecast drop of 30 percent in stamp duty revenues, which seemed troubling at first, is not likely to predict a terrible year for the property market. Previously Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s Budget announced that revenue from stamp duties could decrease to $2.8 billion for the year ending March 2015, although it could be $4.1 billion for the year ending March 2014. In addition, property consultants are expecting a 10 percent correction for the property market this year, while DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta estimated a 10-15 percent drop.

(Source: Business Times)

MCL Land wins top bids for both Choa Chu Kang EC plots

MCL Land (Brighton) has won the top bids for both adjoining executive condominium (EC) plots in Choa Chu Kang. MCL’s top bid for one site was $375.05 psf ppr, and was $338.94 psf ppr for the other site, which translates to a tender price of $232.5 million and $210.1 million for Plot A and Plot B respectively. The second highest bid for Plot A was $373.26 psf ppr from JBE Holdings. The second highest bid for Plot B was $333.14 psf ppr from Verwood Holdings and TID Residential.

(Source: Business Times)

CDL chairman hopes for easing of property timelines

As the current rules on qualifying certificates (QCs) require developers and foreign stakeholders to have strict timelines for completing and selling a residential development, QC rules may cause developers who purchase private land to push their projects quickly and deplete their land bank at the same time. Those developers then would turn to Government Land Sales sites with high bids to secure the land to restore their land bank, said City Developments (CDL) chairman Kwek Leng Beng at the group’s full-year results briefing. Mr Kwek also expressed his hope that the government will change or remove the rules on QCs. With the QCs, bidding for sites will be competitive, yet business has to bid at higher prices and sell the units at high prices although market conditions do not allow this at the moment.

(Source: Business Times)

Singapore private home rental rates to slide

Analysts currently have a consensus that private home rental rates are expected to decrease in the next two years. According to official data, private home rental rates have had the first quarter-on-quarter decline in four years. As the government continues its restrictions on the foreign labor force, the hope that Singapore’s expatriate population and resilient economic growth will support housing rents is unlikely. Savills Research said that demand in the residential leasing market will decrease as the pool of overseas nationals is shrinking with employment restrictions, and that rents in some locations may see a correction, especially in the mass-market segment with strong competition and the smaller rental budgets with rising cost of living.

(Source: Business Times)

Prince Charles Crescent site up for sale

A residential site at Prince Charles Crescent (Parcel B) is now up for sale in a public tender by the government. The site has a 99-year leasehold and is expected to yield 655 residential units under the confirmed list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the first half of 2014. It has an area of 24,964 sq m with a permissible gross floor area of 52,426 sq m. The site’s prime location is also reported to attract interest – it is within an established residential estate, 10-minute drive to Orchard Road, and close to schools such as Crescent Girls’ School and Gan Eng Seng School.

(Source: Business Times)

220 of 300 units sold at RiverTrees Residences

The condominium project in Sengkang – Rivertrees Residences – has attracted great interest from buyers including both HDB upgraders buying the first private apartment and investors. 220 out of 300 launched units across all unit types have been sold, with two-bedroom units and strata-titled landed homes or “Cove Houses” selling especially well. The two-bedroom units start from $618,000, while the price of the eight duplex three-bedroom “Cove Houses” is below $2 million. Permanent residents have to get approval from the Land Dealings Unit under the Singapore Land Authority to be eligible for the landed homes.

(Source: Business Times)

Riviera Point up for en bloc sale

The 33-unit freehold residential project Riviera Point has been launched for en bloc sale by public tender for the fifth time for $68 million or $1,379 psf ppr on its gross floor area by marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). JLL has been the agent for Riviera Point for two times. JLL first attempted to sell the project last October when the Total Debt Servicing Ratio interrupted the interest of prospective buyers. In 2011, under the marketing agent Knight Frank, the residential development had an asking price of $70 million, or $1,420 psf ppr.

(Source: Business Times)

Development charge rates increase

Development charge (DC) rates are the fee applicable to the enhancement of the use of sites or the building of bigger projects on sites. DC rates were reported to have increased by an average of 15 percent for commercial use, 13 per cent for hotel/hospital use, one percent for landed and non-landed residential uses, yet remained the same for industrial use. Property consultants said that such rise in residential DC is in alignment with decreasing home prices for the second half of 2013, while emerging moderation in the industrial property market could be the reason behind the unchanged DC rates for industrial use.

(Source: Business Times)

No concern of a housing bubble in Singapore

Citigroup said that since Singapore’s household debt tied to the real estate market is only a small part of property values, a housing bubble is unlikely. Citigroup’s analysis of government data showed that the $203 billion of mortgages only accounted for 24.2 percent of the value of residential properties in Q3. Michael Zink, Head of Citigroup’s operations in South-east Asia, also said that 90 percent of households live in a home they own, making a housing bubble improbable. As the government has been introducing more taxes and restrictions, Singapore’s home prices in Q4 decreased 0.9 percent.

(Source: Business Times)


JTC’s five slots launched in Tuas

As JTC Corporation plans to offer affordable land parcels to small and medium-sized industrialists, it has launched five small industrial sites on February 25. Plots 45 and 47 of 6,988 sq m each in Tuas South Street 6 were launched under the confirmed list of the industrial government land sales (IGLS) programme with a lease of 21 years and three months. The two sites are also zoned Business-2 and have maximum permissible gross plot ratios of 1.0. Ong Kah Seng, director at R’ST Research, said that the sites could attract a minimum of five bids each and predicted the top big to be between $80 and $100 psf ppr.

(Source: Business Times)

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