21-unit Charlton Residences to launch in November

Charlton Residences, a freehold cluster housing project on Charlton Road will be launched by SingXpress Land in November. Prices for the units (larger than 5,000 sq ft) are not fixed but a 2,982 sq ft unit was sold for $838 per square foot at Charlton Villas. SingXpress’ two upcoming projects include a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats development project in Pasir Ris in 2012 and a planned 50 apartments at Waldorf Mansions at Balestier Road. The gross development value of these three sites is more than $300 million despite the company’s market capitalisation of $5.6 million. The company is in the market for more sites and partners and associates for acquisitions and development.

En bloc sales at Pearlbank Apartments, St Patrick’s Garden and Crystal Tower again

Leasehold Pearlbank Apartments (land area 82,379 sq ft) zoned for residential use with a 7.2 plot ratio on Pearl’s Hill near Chinatown, asks for $725 million including an estimated charge of $161.7 million to extend the lease to 99 years. There is no development charge payable for the site. The tender will close at 3pm on Nov 3. 98-unit St Patrick’s Garden (land area 137,559 sq ft with plot ratio of 1.4.) located at St Patrick’s Road near the Kembangan MRT station, and 38-unit Crystal Tower (land area 60,482 sq ft with a plot ratio of 1.6) at Ewe Boon Road, near Newton MRT station, both freehold and zoned for residential use, wants the market to give them a price. The earlier indicative price was $188 million for the former and $155 million for the latter. The tender for St Patrick’s Gardens and Crystal Tower closes on Nov 1 at 12pm and Nov 14 at 12pm respectively.

JLL reports: Lowest auction transactions since Q1 2009.

Investor morale is low in the auctions market, having only 7 transactions in Q3 of the year, the lowest since Q1 2009, a result of the US and Europe’s debt crises reported Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). The percentage of properties sold also decreased to a mere 6 per cent. JLL claims that while the fall may be a seasonal slowdown, it is more likely that investors are unwilling to commit given the uncertain global economic climate. JLL predicts that interest will be low, with the investors focusing on other sectors after actions taken by the government that discouraged residential purchases. However, they may be more properties going on the market as interest rates are still low enough to attract buyers.

11 bids for the Pasir Ris EC site

The first tender closing for a 99-year leasehold EC plot near Pasir Ris Park and beach has drawn 11 bids. The previous EC plot at Punggol Way attracted a mere 3 bids. The highest bid yesterday was about $291.02 psf ppr, from Ho Lee Group and Maxdin. They planned for about 400 units, to be launched in late March 2012. This response is due to the increase in income ceiling for EC buyers, which allows for a bigger market therefore increasing the confidence of developers to bid. The estimated breakeven cost is $650 psf with an expected average selling price at above $700 psf.

Good response expected for Bt Panjang mixed-use site

A 99-year leasehold commercial and residential was launched for sale by public tender by URA. 214,000 sq ft of the 612,000 sq ft maximum permissible gross floor area has to be set aside for commercial uses. Good responses are predicted, given its central location in the heartlands and proximity to Bukit Panjang LRT station and the upcoming Bukit Panjang MRT Station. A top bid of between $600 to $700 psf ppr is predicted. The tender for the site will close at noon on Nov 30.

Applications for Bedok’s First DBSS Project to start on 14 Oct

Belvia located along Bedok Reservoir Crescent is developed by CEL Development. It has a land area of more than 16,657 square metres and consists of 488 three-room, four-room, and five-room units. Strong response is expected from home buyers who want proximity to their parents and ready amenities. E-applications are open from 14 Oct to 18 Oct. Allocation of booking slots will begin on Nov 7 for buyers who qualify. The tender for this project were given out before the government’s review of the DBSS scheme after a public protest of the scheme due to the high asking prices at a Tampines DBSS project, Centrale 8.

13 projects won in Fiabci Singapore’s inaugural property awards

13 projects won the inaugural Fiabci Singapore Property Awards. The Awards was introduced by Fiabci Singapore to recognise excellence in real estate development projects or individual properties and to encourage more Singapore projects to participate in the Fiabci Prix d’Excellence Awards. Winners include Duchess Residences (by UOL Group), Belle Vue Residences (by Wing Tai Land), Hillvista (by Far East Organisation), Marina Bay Residences (by Raffles Quay Asset Management), St Thomas Suites (by Frasiers Centrepoint), Raffles Quay Asset Management’s Marina Bay Financial Centre (Phase 1), 11 Tampines Concourse by (City Developments Limited), Treelodge@Punggol (by Housing & Development Board), Mapletree Business City by Mapletree Investments, HDB’s Clementi Town Mixed Development Citi Campus, Plaza 8 (by HSBC Institutional Trust Services) and ICON @IBP (by Ascendas Tuas)

Less PRs qualified to buy landed homes

With more rigid criteria, applications to purchase a landed home from PRs are likely to drop by more than 50%. Law Minister K Shanmugam stated that landed properties are primarily for Singaporeans and that exceptions should be rare. He refused to provide an exact date of when the criteria were revised. With the revised criteria, the number of approvals could fall from around 138 a year to less than 50. Without the approval of the law minister, foreigners cannot buy such properties and even then only the PRs can apply. They currently own about 3.5 per cent of the total stock of 70,000 landed homes in Singapore. PRs who want to buy landed properties must also demonstrate their economic contribution and commitment to Singapore.

New government measures to counter higher demand for housing

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced that the government is building more HDB flats, speeding up their completion and increasing the income ceiling (such as the one for executive condominiums) so that more citizens can purchase public housing. More land will be released for private homes while keeping prices affordable. More subsidised rental flats are also being built to provide housing for lower income families. He promised better-designed and sustainable towns that have ample public spaces and community facilities built with feedback from experts and public feedback. Mature estates will also undergo works for redevelopment, including an increase of housing. Housing will also be increased near MRT stations and commercial development will occur near housing estates to bring jobs closer to homes.

DBSS flats available in the West now

Lake Vista @ Yuan Ching, developed by a joint venture between Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Development and S C Wong Holdings, near Jurong Lake and Lakeside MRT station, will go on sale on 18 Oct, offering 145 three-room flats, 279 four-room flats and 258 five-room flats. The three-room flats (721 sq ft) and four-room flats (925 to 980 sq ft) will cost $360,500 to $399,500 and $481,000 to $575,300 respectively. The five-room flats (1,130 to 1,163 sq ft) will cost $584,300 to $680,400, the biggest of which features a walk-in wardrobe. Showflats will be open from Oct 18.


Next Robinsons Expansion may be at Wheelock Place

Robinsons may lease a retail space of about 29,000 square feet in Wheelock Place, where Borders used to be. This may be to prepare for a potential redevelopment or collective sale of the space they occupy at The Centrepoint. A 3-level space at The Heeren was considered earlier, but the Borders location is more prominent. If the talks are successful, this will be the fourth Robinsons store after Robinsons Marina Bay Sands, The Centrepoint and Raffles City. A new 85,000-sq-ft store will also open in Lend Lease’s Jem mall, set to open in 2013 next to Jurong East MRT. Shaw Properties is also expected to revamp Shaw House/Shaw Centre.


Slowdown in industrial property sector, reports DTZ and SLP

DTZ and SLP International Property Consultants report that industrial rental growth rates have slowed down in Q3. This is likely to continue as the Europe and US faces financial problems. The average rent for both hi-tech industrial properties and upper-storey private industrial space remained unchanged at $3.45 per sq ft. and $1.75 per sq ft per month respectively. It is believed that rents may go down, given the decrease in manufacturing output of 4.7% month-on-month and 10.5% year-on-year and upcoming completion of 19.8 million sq ft of private industrial space. There are also fewer and lower bids for industrial land available in Q3. A 60-year leasehold industrial site at Woodlands closed its tender with a top bid from OKH Development of about $142psf ppr – 6.6 per cent lower than the $152 psf ppr that it had paid for the next-door plot at a tender earlier this year.

DNV’s new building at the Singapore Science Park to be designed and developed by Ascendas

Ascendas announced on Tuesday that it will design and develop Norwegian risk management company Det Norske Veritas (DNV)’s new seven-storey building, intended as the company’s Asia Pacific headquarters, at the Singapore Science Park. To be completed in 2013, it will house more than 400 staff involved in all aspects of the group’s business for the region. The project will meet DNV’s specific business space requirements and reflect the company’s commitment towards sustainable development.

Restructuring of Royal Brothers group’s assets for succession planning

The Royal Brothers group are restructuring its $1 billion worth of assets to allow its successors, sons of brothers Raj Kumar and Asok Kumar Hiranandani flexibility to grow their own business styles. Mr Asok Kumar’s share in the 999-year leasehold Royal Brothers Building at Malacca Street near Raffles Place MRT Station will be sold to RB Capital (started by Mr Raj Kumar’s son) with the other half remaining in his brother’s hands. They are expected to tidy up their stakes in strata units in other buildings in the Orchard/Scotts roads belt and Peninsula Plaza with each gaining full control of some units, but continue their joint stakes in properties with potential for collective sale. While the Royal Brothers group will remain for the purpose of continuing ownership of jointly-held properties, the two sides might use different variations of the name Royal for their separate businesses.

Park Regis S’pore now owned by CTC Tourism Holdings

203-room Park Regis Singapore Hotel with its adjacent 42,000 sq ft 7-storey office building at New Market Street/Merchant Road, situated on land with 95 years of lease term remaining was sold to CTC Tourism Holdings at $270 million. The transaction was signed on 7 Oct with Collins International as broker, was first reported by TTG Asia. The expression of interest exercise which closed on the 23 September drew bids from both local and international companies. CTC Tourism Holdings group, whose sole owner is South Korean citizen Chung Sunmook, will buy the entire equity of Park Regis Investments Pte Ltd, and likely take over the existing loan on the property. Australia-based StayWell Hospitality Group will continue to manage the hotel.

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