4,630 BTO flats launched in September

4,630 built-to-order flats will be launched in September, said the Housing & Development Board (HDB). These flats will be launched in non-mature estates such as Bukit Batok, Hougang and Jurong West. Projects will also be released in mature estates like Kallang and Whampoa. Flat applications will begin from September 24 to September 30. According to HDB, existing flat owners can choose to pay half the downpayment of a new flat, if they move into a two-room or three-room flat, in a non-mature estate. Flat owners who are on the HDB loan will only be required to pay 5 per cent downpayment instead of the current 10 per cent. Also, flat owners who are taking up a loan with financial institutions will only be required to pay 10 per cent downpayment, instead of the current 20 per cent. The remaining amount will be paid with the balance purchase price, when the keys for the new HDB flat are ready for collection. National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that this scheme will benefit cash-tight flat owners who want to rightsize their apartments. In particular, retirees-to-be will stand to benefit the most from the flexibility of the new scheme, said Ong Kah Seng from R’ST Research.

(Source: Business Times)

No further discounts for re-launched units at Waterfront@Faber

According to World Class Land, there will be no further price discounts at the re-launch of Waterfront@Faber. While sales of the waterfront condominium had slowed down since May, its developer will not cut prices significantly for units that have already been released. Instead, at its re-launch, prime-facing units will be released. The indicative mid-level prices for launched units are from $910,000 for a dual-key two-bedroom unit; $1.28 million for a three-bedroom unit that faces the pool; $1.308 million for a three-bedroom unit facing the river and $1.53 million for a four-bedroom unit facing the river. Unit sizes range from 753 square feet for a two-bedder to 1,281 square feet for a four-bedroom unit. Since August, all two-bedroom units have been sold. Furthermore, 77 units out of the 210 units at the condominium have been sold at a median price of $1,247 per square foot.

(Source: Business Times)

Good response at freehold condo sale at East Coast

More than half of the launched units have been sold at Seventy St Patrick’s, a freehold condominium in East Coast. Each unit at the 186-unit condominium was sold at an average price of $1,630 per square foot. Out of the 36 launched penthouses, 16 have already been sold at its private launch. The penthouses, which are about 1,647 square feet large, are going for about $2.4 million each, while a two-bedroom unit, which is about 700 square feet large, is selling for $1.2 million. The condominium is estimated to be completed in 2017. It will comprise of nine blocks of five-storey buildings, and will have facilities such as a 50-meter pool.

(Source: Business Times)


Colliers: retail rents at Orchard to remain flat

A report released by Colliers International said that the average monthly gross rents for prime ground floor retail space at Orchard Road will fall by a maximum of one per cent for the rest of 2014. Chia Siew Chuin from Colliers International said that since March, the influx of tourists and retail sales has slowed. This is likely to impact the rental prices of the malls at Orchard Road. According to the Colliers’ report, the average monthly gross rents of prime retail space in Orchard have fallen by 0.5 per cent to $36.25 per square foot from the previous quarter. Nonetheless, rent in the regional centres is expected to grow by one to two per cent in 2014 as businesses in these areas are less dependent on tourist money. In Q3 2014, the average imputed capital value for prime strata-titled retail space in Orchard is at $6,942 per square foot. On the other hand, the imputed capital value for regional centres is at $4,491 per square feet in Q3 this year. According to Calvin Yeo from Colliers International, this may result in smaller brands exiting the market. As such, Yeo predicts that shopping malls in Orchard Road will be predominately occupied by larger brands if this trend continues.

(Source: Business Times)

Grade A office rents will be the highest since 2008

Cushman & Wakefield predicts that Grade A office rents will be the highest since 2008, by the end of this year. According to market experts, Grade A office rents have been the highest in three years. This quarter, the overall rents for Grade A offices are at $10.20 per square foot per month. This is 2 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 9.9 per cent higher than in 2013. Cushman & Wakefield predicts that there will be strong leasing activities in Q4 this year as CapitaGreen and South Beach are expected to be completed by then. Not only so, vacancy rates at the Marina Bay Financial Centre have also decreased from 6.6 per cent to 6.1 per cent. Vacancy rates in the suburbs have also fallen from 2.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent, said market experts. As Grade A office rents at prime locations surge, more tenants may look to the suburbs for rental space. As such office vacancies in those regions are expected to fall even further.

(Source: Business Times)

Singapore is 6th most expensive city to rent offices

In June 2014, Singapore has been ranked the sixth most expensive city to rent offices and homes, according to a report by Savills that measured the costs of renting living and working spaces. London came up top in the rankings, followed by Hong Kong, which topped last year’s ranking. Savills explained that Hong Kong’s competitiveness was boosted by a weakened currency and falling residential rents. Total real estate costs went down by 5.6 per cent in the first half of 2014 in Hong Kong. On the other hand, London real estate grew at an annualised rate of 10.6 per cent, due to the appreciation of the pound in relation to the dollar. Savills added that despite slower economic growth, Singapore’s office market has been robust. Thus, rents have increased by 7.3 per cent in H1 this year in Singapore. The report predicts that a shortage of land supply in Singapore may force employees to relocate lower value industries to Malaysia. Employers may find it more difficult to attract and retain talent from abroad due to the high cost of real estate in Singapore.

(Source: Business Times)

Citimac complex on en bloc sale

Citimac Industrial Complex is on en bloc sale for a minimum price of $550 million or $1,350 per square foot of potential gross floor area. The freehold site is located near Tai Seng MRT Station. It has a 3.5 maximum gross plot ratio; of this, at least 2.5 plot ratio of the land has been zoned for Business 1 use and the remaining gross floor area is zoned for white use. Its tender will close on October 30. Tan Hong Boon from JLL believes that such freehold industrial sites are rare. While the complex is located at a prime area, market experts do not expect it to draw many bids due to its high minimum bidding price. Nonetheless, market experts believe that potential overseas buyers may bid more aggressively in the sale of the complex.

(Source: Business Times)

Cooling measures push bid prices for Tuas site down

An industrial site at Tuas Bay Close was sold for $25.5 million or $51.28 per square foot per plot ratio in a recent tender. This land price is the lowest for an industrial plot, since October 2010, said Nicholas Mak from SLP International. In August, another site at Tuas South was sold for $56.01 per square foot per plot ratio. This was significantly higher than the recent selling price of the Tuas Bay Close site, even though both sites had the same size and tenure. The lukewarm sales could be due to the implementation of the cooling measures. Not only so, Mak believes that the expected increase in B2-zoned sites near Tuas Bay Close in the future may have also pushed bid prices down. The Tuas Bay Close site has a maximum gross plot ratio of 1.7. It is 2.7ha large and can be strata-divided for sale.

(Source: Business Times)

Property investments increases in Q3 from Q2

Savills Singapore reported that property investment sales increased by 13.6 per cent from $4.7 billion in Q2 2014, to $5.4 billion in Q3 2014. Nonetheless, investment sales in Q3 this year is still 61.2 per cent lower than in 2013.  Since investment sales can be used to estimate developer and property investors’ interest in the market, the total debt servicing ratio framework, which was announced in 2013 could have impacted market sentiments this year. Nonetheless, Savills is optimistic about the office market. From Q2 2014, property investments in the office market have surged to $1.25 billion in Q3. Jeremey Lake from CBRE said that as the rental market strengthens and as supply of office space remains tight, prices of office buildings will continue to increase. Yet, Savills reported that the overall investment saes for commercial properties have fallen by 14.6 per cent to $1.97 billion. This is likely because there were no commercial land sites released under the Government Land Sales Programme. While market experts believe that there will be sustained interest in Singapore’s market, the competition from overseas property markets will continue to challenge Singapore’s market.

(Source: Business Times)

More properties auctioned in 2014

According to data from Colliers International, the number of properties put up for auction by mortgagees have increased to 112 in the first nine months of 2014, from 20 in the same period last year. Not only so, JLL said that 80 per cent of the 44 properties have been successfully auctioned off since 2013. Yet, according to Colliers International, the number of properties that were sold by owners fell from 348 to 274. Grace Ng from Colliers International believes that stricter loan curbs have made it difficult for cash-tight owners to finance their homes. As such, more houses have been put up for auction by mortgagees. High-end residential homes in prime districts like Marina Bay and Sentosa Cove are increasingly auctioned off as demand for them falls. This is likely to be due to the implementation of the total debt servicing ratio framework and the additional buyer’s stamp duty. This year, a total of 9 auctioned properties have changed hands for a total of $30.5 million. Ng predicts that the total value of the transactions made at auctions, will be around $80 million by the end of 2014.

(Source: Business Times)

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