August sale of private homes hit a new low

According to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the monthly sale of private residences has hit a new low this August. Developer’s residential sales have fallen by 15 per cent to 432 homes from July to August. However, including the sale of executive condominiums, developers would have sold 490 homes in August. This would have reflected a 13 per cent fall from the previous month instead. Nicholas Mak from SLP International said that the fall in residential sales could be due to the Hungry Ghost Festival in August. Developers tend to postpone launches during this period as demand is traditionally weak during this month. Indeed, as compared to July, there was a 20 per cent fall in launched units in August, and only 351 units were launched. This is the lowest number of units launched in a month this year. As such, Desmond Sim from CBRE said that the fall in private home sales is not indicative of the market’s demand. Alice Tan from Knight Frank believes that potential buyers may be expecting property prices to fall further as such they have been more cautious about purchasing a unit now. On the other hand, Lee LiatYeang from Rodky& Davidson LLP believes that there will not be any drastic price cuts due to high land costs. Also, developers may refrain from cutting prices as they would not want to offend buyers who had bought earlier units. Market experts thus predict that 8,000 to 9,000 units would be sold by the end of the year as they expect launches in September to pick up.

(Source: Business Times)

Profit yields for luxury condos slipping

Data from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Realis that was compiled by showed that from January to August this year, 7 per cent of the transacted luxury condominium units in districts 9, 10 and 11 were sold at a loss. This was 5.5 per cent more than the same period last year. Furthermore, the percentage of home owners profiting from the sale of their luxury condominiums fell from 83.5 per cent in 2013 to 62.2 per cent this year. Also, 4.5 per cent of home owners have sold without making any profit or loss this year. Buyers are finding it more difficult to finance their mortgages as the rental market has weakened. Christine Li from OrangeTee said that the weak rental market has affected luxury condominium home owners the most as the monthly rentals cannot cover their mortgages. Thus, home owners with less holding power would have to let go of their units, she added. Market experts believe that property owners may be exiting the market as they do not expect the market to pick up. This is because they believe that the government’s cooling measures will continue to suppress demand. Lee Lay Keng from DTZ added that falling demand has pushed prices down. According to the Business Times, in the first eight months of 2014, a unit at The Hillier at Bukit Timah was resold at a loss of $9,300; and a unit at St Regis Residences in Tanglin was resold at a loss of $2.06 million. Market experts believe that property owners, who had purchased these units in 2007, during the peak of the property market, would have made the most losses. Nonetheless, they believe that profit yields would not worsen significantly as long as the economy remains robust.

(Source: Business Times)

80% of launched units sold at Highline Residences

Highline Residences condominium which recently launched 160 units in its closed-door sale has received good response, said Keppel Land. More than 80 per cent of the launched units have been sold at an average price of $1,900 per square foot after discounts ranging from $28,000 to $68,000 were offered to buyers during the preview. Keppel Land believes that the good sales response was due to pent-up demand for new private housing in TiongBahru. Highland Residences has 500 units, and consists of two 36-storey towers, a 22-storey tower and 4 low-rise blocks. Single bedroom units are about 506 square feet while a four bedroom dual key unit is from 1,227 square feet. The condominium also has six penthouses that are between 2,174 square feet and 2,260 square feet. Highline Residences will also feature a rooftop communal garden. Residences will enjoy lifestyle services that are provided by Keppel Land, such as the limousine services and housekeeping. Keppel Land said that the condominium has attracted both investors and homebuyers. Other projects in the vicinity have had mixed responses. While the sale of The Crest at Prince Charles Crescent has been slow, the sale of Alex Residences at Redhill has been encouraging.

(Source: Business Times)

Mechanised car parks to be constructed in HDB estates

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will be building high-rise mechanised car parks in three HDB estates. These mechanised car parks are expected to be completed by Q3 2015. The mechanised car parks are part of HDB’s pilot project to build more sustainable living environments that use technology. National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that these car parks will ease car park shortages in older estates as they will free up car park slots for visitors according to the number of available car park slots. Since this is a pilot study, HDB said that parking charges will remain the same despite the construction of the mechanised car parks. The mechanised car parks will also add another 219 parking spaces to the current 717 spaces.

(Source: Business Times)


JTC launches Tuas site for sale

Under the Industrial Government Land Sales Programme, JTC Corporation has launched an industrial site at Tuas South Street 11 for sale by public tender. The Tuas site has a land area of 9,000 square metres and has a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 1. According to JTC, the site the minimum bid for the site is $6 million. It has been zoned for business-2 development and has a remaining tenure of 20 years and 10 months.

(Source: Business Times)

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