New ruling: HDB flat sellers will have more time to move out of flats

To provide HDB flat sellers more time to move out of their sold flats, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) has eased current rules. Previously, flat sellers need to vacate their sold flats once the resale transaction was completed. However, with the revised ruling, flat sellers may stay in their sold flats for up to three months. Under the new ruling, flat sellers may request for a temporary extension of their stay if they have already been committed to buy a completed house. Since a temporary extension will affect the flat buyer’s minimum occupation period, any request for an extension have to be submitted to HDB. Nonetheless, flat buyers and sellers may privately negotiate the details of the extension. According to HDB, this will help about 2,700 household a year to transit into their new homes. Khaw Boon Wan, Ministry for National Development said that this may encourage more flat owners to sell their flats. However, Mohd Ismail CEO of PropNex Realty believes that this ruling is unlikely to affect HDB resale prices.

(Source: Business Times)

Number of private homes sold in Q2 up by 37.1%

According to DTZ, data from URA Realis caveats database showed that 3,369 private homes were transacted in Q2. This was a 37.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter jump in the total number of private homes that were sold in Q2 2014. Besides that, the resale market for private homes has also perked up as the number of private home units sold increased from 386 units to 1,328 units in Q2. New sales made by developers also increased by 36.8 per cent to 1,898 units. Up by 11.3 per cent from Q1, 143 units were also transacted in the subsale market in Q2. The data also showed that buyers’ interest in the property market has been increasing. In Q2, there was a 45 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the number of homes purchased by Singaporeans. The number of homes purchased by Singapore permanent residents have also rose by 24 per cent and non-PR foreigners have purchased 260 units in Q2. Nonetheless, Lee Lay Keng from DTZ said that due to the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) scheme, the overall transactions made in H1 this year, compared to H1 last year, is still lower.

(Source: Business Times)

Q2 URA’s private home price index slips 1%

Following a 1.3 per cent dip in the private home price index in Q1, the price index has fallen by another 1 per cent in Q2, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). However, the total transactions for private homes has risen 46.4 per cent from Q1 to Q2. Nonetheless, the price index in Q2 this year is still 2.8 per cent lower than the price index in Q2 2013.On the other hand, HDB resale flat price index has slipped 4 per cent in Q2 while the number of resale applications made for HDB flats rose by 16.1 per cent in Q2, from the previous quarter. Market experts believe that the release of more Build-To-Order flats and the Sale of Balance Flats will continue to shrink the market for resale HDB flats. Eugene Lim from ERA Realty believes that property prices are likely to fall as the Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework is not lifted. He also predicts that transaction volumes will remain low. Property experts have predicted that the full-year drop for the HDB index to be between 4 to 8 per cent, and they expect the URA index to fall between 5 to 8 per cent.

(Source: Business Times)

MAS not ready to ease cooling measures 

While property prices are softening, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it will not ease property cooling measures as property prices are still high. According to Ravi Menon, MAS’ managing director, over the last three quarters, property prices have fallen by 3.3 per cent. However, over the last four years, prices have also climbed by 60 per cent. Ravi Menon said that if the cooling measures are relaxed, property prices may shoot up once again as the global interest rates have been kept low. According to MAS, the number over-leveraged households, who have total debt servicing payments that exceed 60 per cent of their monthly income, to the number of property purchases has not changed since last year. Thus in order for the market to stabilise, MAS believes that it is too premature to relax current cooling measures.

(Source: Business Times)

Kheam Hock Gardens launched for en bloc sale 

A 41,245 square feet private residential development located at Kheam Hock Road has been put up for en bloc sale at $1,430 per square foot or $59 million. The freehold site which comprises of 19 apartments has a gross plot ratio of 1.05 and a gross floor area of 43,300 square feet. The site, which is within walking distance from Botanic Gardens MRT Station, can yield up to 25 strata terrace units. The tender for Kheam Hock Gardens will close on September 15.

(Source: Business Times)


URA’s Q2 growth in office rentals highest in 3 years

Among all commercial property rentals, the market for office rentals has been the most optimistic. To date, this year’s office rents have been up 5.2 per cent, which is higher than last year’s 1.3 per cent full-year growth. URA data showed that office rentals have risen 2.8 per cent in Q2 this year, which is the highest quarterly growth in three years. Furthermore, market experts expect the market for office rentals to continue increasing. As office space supply remains limited, market experts predict that Grade A office rents at the Central Business District will increase by another 7 to 15 per cent for the rest of the year. Office rentals in the Downtown Core and the Orchard Planning Area have also jumped by 3.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q2 this year to a median price of $10.03 per square foot a month. Yet, prices of office space have remained unchanged in Q2. Desmond Sim from CBRE said that the sale of office space is not as affected by land supply as it is affected by the level of investments. As such, office prices may have remained unchanged as transactions in Q2 were made at market value. On the other hand, Chia Siew Chuin believes that the Total Debt Servicing Ratio could have affected the market for office space and hence its price.

(Source: Business Times)

Telok Ayer shophouse asking for $20-22m

Located at No. 25 Boon Tat Street, near Telok Ayer MRT station, a 999-year leasehold shophouse is on sale for $20-22 million. The shophouse, which is within the Chinatown-Telok Ayer Conservation Area, is currently undergoing renovation works and will be completed in September this year. The 1,774 square feet land area has a gross floor area of 4,555 square feet and an internal lift. Its first and second storeys, along with its roof terrace, have been approved for restaurant use while its third storey has been zoned for office use. The expression of interest for this shophouse will cease on August 21.

(Source: Business Times)

JTC Industrial land prices up by 0.7 per cent

According to JTC, prices of industrial land space have increased by 0.7 per cent since Q1 this year. However, prices rose 3.9 per cent year-on-year in Q2 this year. This was lower than the average growth of 18.8 per cent over the last four years. On the other hand, rentals have slipped by 0.1 per cent in Q2, following a 0.4 per cent increase in Q1. The year-on-year growth in rentals is also less than the annual average growth of 10.2 per cent in the last four years. Alan Cheong from Savills Singapore believes that JTC’s price index is unable to reflect the price differences between land spaces of different lengths of tenures. As such Cheong said that the index may not be the best reflection of the market. Instead, she believes that occupancy rates should be used to determine the robustness of the market. According to Chia Siew Chuin from Colliers, multiple-user factories have seen a fall in occupancy to 87.3 per cent in Q2, which is the lowest occupancy rate in seven years. According to Chia, this could be due to more stringent rules on the permissible use of factories. Also, JTC’s new policy that restricts the amount of space that could be sub-let could also have impacted occupancy rates.

(Source: Business Times)

Developers less optimistic about property market

In the next half of the year, developers are less optimistic about the property market. According to the NUS-Redas Real Estate Sentiment Index Survey, there was a fall in the Future Sentiment Index from 3.9 in Q1 to 3.4 in Q2. The Current Sentiment Index has also fallen by 0.1 in Q2 from the previous quarter. According to the survey, developers may be wary of the rising cost of construction, inflation and interest rates. Survey respondents were also cautious of the excess supply of new property launches. Thus, a majority of the developers have expected unit prices to be moderately less, especially in the prime and suburban residential areas. Nonetheless, the survey showed that developers were most optimistic about the market for office space.

(Source: Business Times)

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