Revised URA guidelines limits cluster housing development

In recent years, residents have raised concerns about overcrowding in areas such as Toh Estate and Telok Kurau Estate. With more developers building homes in these areas, problems such as traffic and parking congestions were brought up. To ease overcrowding concerns in some of these landed estates, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has revised its guidelines for cluster housing. Under the new ruling, fewer strata-landed houses will be developed in upcoming projects as the maximum number of units for cluster housing has been lowered. Besides that, developers have to use at least 45 per cent of the land space for the development of greenery and communal facilities. This was 15 per cent higher than the current 30 per cent that developers currently have set aside for such development. According to URA, these new guidelines have taken effect since August 23. Nicholas Mak from SLP International expects the new guidelines to impact strata-landed housing developments. However, he believes that only a small number of good class bungalows will be affected. Lee Lay Keng from DTZ also said that developer’s interest in strata-landed housing development will be reduced, and housing prices may be pushed downwards. Also, under the new rule, only 15 terrace units may be built per developer said Galven Tan from CBRE. However, Tan believes that as the problem of overcrowding is eased, the living quality of the private home units may improve and thus benefit sales.

(Source: Business Times)

Sin Ming and Sebawang residential sites released for tender

A residential site at Lorong Puntong, near Sin Ming Avenue and another at Sembawang Road were released for tender. Both sites are on the confirmed list for Government Land Sale. The site at Sin Ming Avenue has a land area of 10,503 square metres and has a maximum gross floor area of 22,056 square meters. This could yield about 280 homes. The Sembawang site for Executive Condominiums has a maximum gross floor area of 60,366 square meters and can yield about 605 homes. Nicholas Mak from SLP International predicts that there will be 12 to 18 bids for the site at Sin Ming Avenue due to a limited supply of private residential-zoned land in Sin Ming. However, Ong Kah Seng from R’ST Research predicts that there will only be 5 bids for that site following low interest and low winning margins in previous land tenders that are in the estate. For the Sembawang site, market analyst predict that it will attract three to seven bids with a winning offer of about $300 to $330 per square feet per plot ratio. Experts believe that the Sembawang site will face competition from the many unsold new private homes and ECs nearby. Hence developers may be less willing to take this risk and will bid lower.

(Source: Business Times)


Developers’ interest in Jurong grows

Developers’ interest in Jurong Lake area is growing as the government is expected to develop more leisure elements in the area. Not only so, market experts believe that the area will attract more interest if the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail terminus is developed in Jurong Gateway. Christine Li from OrangeTee believes that the government’s plans to realign Ayer Rajah Expressway and to develop the old industrial estate to waterfront housing will boost the image of the area and increase its appeal. Desmond Sim from CBRE said that he believes with this image overhaul, the stigma that Jurong is merely just an industrial township will be removed. Jurong Lake Gardens which is over 70 hectares large will include a park by 2017. The existing Chinese and Japanese Gardens will be revitalised. Also, the new Science Centre which is located next to Chinese Garden MRT Station will be completed by 2020. Besides that, interest in the upcoming sale of residential sites at Jurong Lake is expected to be high. However, Sim believes that current cooling measures may still push bid prices down.

(Source: Business Times)

Majority of Farrer Square project will be occupied

At least 85 per cent of Farrer Square’s medical tower has been committed in two bulk deals. Located at Little India and developed by RB Capital, the tower has 27,500 square feet and will consist of eight levels of medical suites, which comprises of 42 strata units. According to Business Times, Level 5 to 7 was bought over by HSC Healthcare for over $44 million, or $3,800 per square foot of the total strata area of 11,674 square feet. Mary Sai from Knight Frank said that this price reflects current market value. Sai said that bulk transactions are preferred for such medical suites because selling to individual investors may results in pockets of vacancies if those investors are unable to lease out all units. Furthermore, developers will have less control over the mix of tenants if units were sold to individual investors. JLL, the marketing consultant for Farrer Square said that it will launch the remaining six strata medical suites on the top floors soon.

(Source: Business Times)

Zouk’s tenancy extended

Zouk will continue to occupy its current premise at Jiak Kim Street, after it was granted a final tenancy extension. The duration of the extension depends on Zouk’s ability to secure alternative premises. To provide the popular nightspot sufficient time to relocate, it will have till December 31, 2017 to move out if it is able to find a location by June 30, 2015. However, if Zouk does not secure a new location by then, its lease will expire on Dec 31, 2015. According to a joint statement by Singapore Land Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority, this decision was made to allow Zouk ample time to relocate and to provide residents certainty on the plans for the area. Zouk said it will continue to look for central locations for its relocation. Previously, Zouk had turned down an offer to relocate to Old Kallang Airport as it was considered to be an inaccessible location.

(Source: Business Times)

En bloc market at a standstill

Despite the current standstill in the en block market, Colliers International believes that property owners and developers should still participate in collective sales. According to Chia Siew Chuin from Colliers, property owners should be more realistic about en bloc sales as the market for it has been shrinking. Chia said that developers were more willing to offer high prices for en bloc sales in the past because of higher development potential and because of the change in land use zoning for many sites. However, current cooling measures have dampened developers’ interest and hence year-to-date, there have been no successful en bloc deals. Nonetheless, according to Business Times, Tanglin Shopping Centre is in the midst of getting a requisite consent level to launch a collective sale. Chia also added that owners can still consider engaging in an en bloc sale to dispose of older assets, as they are more likely to reap a decent profit margin through such en bloc sales.

(Souce: Business Times)

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