Singapore Property News This Week #207

Residential

April’s HDB resale flat transactions highest in 2 years while prices fall by 6%

According to flash estimates by SRX Property, in April this year, the overall resale prices of HDB flats have fallen by 6 percent year-on-year. Based on those estimates, resale prices of HDB flats in mature areas have dropped by 4 percent year-on-year. On the other hand, resale prices of HDB flats in non-mature areas have fallen by 7.4 percent year-on-year. Particularly in April, the overall price index for HDB resale flats has increased by 0.2 percent month-on-month. Also, the resale transaction volume for HDB flats has also increased by 19.3 percent from 1,349 to 1,610 units in April from the previous month. This has been the highest in two years. Nevertheless, the transaction volumes in April is still 55.9 percent below the peak in May 2010, where 3,649 HDB flats changed hands. Eugene Lim from ERA Realty predicts that around 18,000 to 20,000 HDB flats may change hands this year. Lim believes that transaction volumes will surge as there are lesser build to order flats being released by HDB this year. Lim added that he predicts that the overall price fall for the HDB resale market may be less than 5 percent. Ong Kah Seng from R’ST Research added that resale prices of HDB flats in mature estates have not suffered a big price cut due to the appeal of their locations. Also, there is a small supply of flats put up for resale in mature estates, said the Business Times.

(Source: Business Times)

Tenderreopens for temple and columbarium site at Sengkang

The Ministry of National Development (MND) has reopened the tender for a temple and columbarium site at Sengkang, after a mutual termination agreement was signed between Eternal Pure Land and the ministry. Eternal Pure Land had previously been awarded the tender. According to the Ministry of National Development, Eternal Pure Land had intended to use the site to test out its automated columbarium system and operating model. A smaller plot of land may be awarded to Eternal Pure Land to test its pilot project, said the ministry. According to the Ministry of National Development, the site has been zoned for cemetery use and will be priced at market value based on columbarium use as determined by the chief valuer.

(Source: Business Times)

Commercial

Market experts expect CBD office rents to ease for rest of year

Market experts believe that office rents in the CBD area is likely to decrease for the rest of the year. The fall in office rental prices is due to weak rental growth in Q1 this year, said experts. Also, market experts said that the office rents of Grade A offices in the CBD area have been affected by an increase in demand for office spaces in business parks. Nonetheless, tenants may benefit from the lowered office rents. According to the Business Times, the office market is expected to grow in the coming year due to a few upcoming big leasing transactions. Yet, CBRE predicts that the rental prices of offices in the CBD area will remain flat for the rest of the year, as rental levels have only increased by 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to $11.40 psf in Q1 this year. Moray Armstrong from CBRE said that despite the weak rental prices in Q1, there is strong interest in offices that are located out of the central region. Armstrong added that office occupancy rates have also been high this year. On the other hand, Savills Singapore predicts that office rental levels will drop to about $11.90 psf by the end of the year. Not only so, Savills believe that there will be a further drop in office rentals next year.

(Source: Business Times)

CPF Building to be put on market in Q3

Located at Robinson Road, the CPF Building will be marketed by CBRE. According to the Business Times, the CPF Building will be put on the market in Q3 this year. This would be done either through a tender or an expression-of-interest exercise. The CPF Building has a remaining lease of 52 years and has a net lettable area of about 325,000 sq ft, and is expected to command a price that is more than $450 million. The site has been zoned for commercial use with a maximum 50-storey height. The maximum plot raio is 12.88. According to the Business Times, the site has great redevelopment potential. Market experts believe that potential buyers need to consider the authorities’ plan for the area.

(Source: Business Times)

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