Residential

Strong sales at Parc Rosewood

99-year leasehold five-storey 689-unit Parc Rosewood located along Woodlands Avenue 2/Rosewood Drive had sold 165 of its 236 released units. A good 120 of them (mainly one- and two-bedroom units with a few three-bedroom units and penthouses) were sold during the first four hours of the preview launch, and this may be due in part to its lower price tag of $925-998 psf, 8-10% lowered than that of recent transactions ($1,030-1,100 psf). This is likely made in anticipation of effects from the ABSD. With the lower price tag, a one-bedroom unit start from around $398,000, a two-bedroom unit from $568,000, and a three-bedroom unit from $778,000.

2011 saw an increase in prices for small apartments by 11.8%

In flash estimate figures released by the National University of Singapore for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) series, it was shown that prices of small apartments, defined as units up to 506 sq ft, increased by 11.8% in2011. Prices for apartments, other than small apartments, located in Non-Central Region increased by 11.7%, twice as fast as prices for those located in Central Region, which had increased by 5.7%. The overall SRPI rose by 9.2% for the year of 2011, lower than that in 2010, which had an 11.7% increase. Between November and December 2011, only the prices for small apartments increased (by 3.4%) while prices of large Central and Non-Central regions decreased by 0.4% and 1% respectively.

Two freehold residential sites at Balestier up for collective sale

Both sites, one located along 2 to 16 (even numbers only) Kim Keat Lane, another along 1 to 19, 21 and 23 Kim Keat Close, have a 2.8 gross plot ratio and can be built up to a maximum of 36 storeys.

One site can be amalgamated with a 1,439 sq ft adjoining state land to form a plot with a 74,151 sq ft GFA which can potentially yield 88 800sq ft residential units. This site is asking for $68 million or $940 psf ppr, including a $745,000 development charge and a $4.45 million land premium.

The other site can also be amalgamated with a 2,832 sq ft adjoining state land, yielding a GFA of 90,179 sq ft that can in turn yield 107 800sq ft units. The asking price of the site including a development charge and land premium is $81 million or $940 psf ppr.

The two sites are expected to be popular given their proximity to Toa Payoh MRT Station, Novena MRT Station and Boon Keng MRT Station, and developers can bid for either or both sites by March 1.

Surprising strong private home sales in January

Excluding ECs, the number of private homes sold by developers in January may have reached 1,700-1,800, compared to the mere 632 in December. This figure is likely to increase if ECs are included. Most of the units contributing to this figure came from Far East Organisation’s Watertown and The Hillier. The two sold 771 units and 387 units respectively at an average price of $1,224 psf. Including units it sold at other developments, the total came up to 1,253 private homes. Meanwhile, another developer, City Developments sold 224 units including ECs. For other developments, Parc Rosewood condo in Woodlands had sold almost 200 units, The Nautical in Sembawang sold 85 units, and Riversound Residence in Sengkang 80 units.

The sales are surprisingly strong, and are driven mainly by Watertown and The Hillier, which were probably more popular because of their proximity to MRT stations and their integration with a retail section of the developments. Sales figure in other developments are much lower, despite having steady sales and steady stream of visitors to their show flats. Potential buyers are less willing to commit because of the ABSD, the uncertain economy and the expectation that prices will fall.

ABSD is working as number of foreign purchase have decreased

According to DTZ, the proportion of non-PR foreigners purchasing private homes has decreased from 23% in December to a mere 3% in January 2012. This may be due to the small number of caveats lodged so far.  Nevertheless, this sharp drop is significant, analysts say.

The sales at the recent launches show that ABSD is working as foreign share in purchases have decreased. Only 5% of the 771 units sold so far at Watertown condo and 10% of the 387 units sold at The Hillier were bought by non-PR foreigners. Compared to the 23.2% bought by foreigners at The Tennery last year, this is a sharp decline.

While some believe that the foreigner’s share of purchase is going to decrease, others believe that the full impact will only be apparent in six months’ time. If prices stabilise and the economy proved resistant, foreigners may start buying property in Singapore again.

Freehold Crystal Tower and Seletar Garden site up for en-bloc sale

Freehold residential Crystal Tower located near Bukit Timah Road is back on the collective sale market, and is asking for $150 million or $1,458 psf ppr, slightly below its earlier asking price of $155 million, or $1,600 psf ppr. The 28-unit 11-storey residential development sits on a 60,482 sq ft site with a 1.6 gross plot ratio (GPR). Including an additional 10% balcony space, the plot ratio will be increased to 1.76, after paying a $5.22 million development charge.

The freehold Seletar Garden development located along Cactus Road is asking for $80-85 million, or $712-751 psf ppr. The 30-unit development sits on a 73,098 sq ft site with a GPR of 1.4 and an allowable height of up to four storeys. An amalgamation with adjoining state lands will bring the total site area to 92,3111 sq ft and the GFA to 129,235 sq ft. Any development on this site may prove attractive to aviation professionals who want the convenience of living near where they work.

The tenders for the two sites close on Feb 27 and March 7 respectively.

This trend of having several developments being put up for en bloc sales is not expected to continue for long as a result of the current economy outlook. Analysts expect the collective sale market to be quiet in the first half of the year, and what happens in the second half is dependent on the global economy.

Since redevelopment of en bloc sites will take around two-and-a-half years to two-and-three-quarter years to complete, developers may bid for these sites based on their prediction of what will happen in 2013 to 2014. The ABSD imposed on developers who did not build and sell all units on the residential sites within five years may also deter some developers from purchasing some sites.

The Tampines Trilliant attract 1,000 applications

99-year leasehold 670-unit The Tampines Trilliant, an EC located in Tampines, attracted around 1,000 applications in its first application period from Jan 27 to Jan 31, 60% of whom lives in the East side. Another one-third is by people already residing in Tampines. The popularity of the project is expected, it being located near shopping malls, Tampines MRT station and the future Downtown Line 3 Interchange. The booking for the development on Feb 4 will be conducted using balloting and buyers can either choose normal payment or a deferred payment scheme. The development will include 12 residential blocks housing  127 units of 872-1,141 sq ft three-bedroom units, 397 units of 1,001-1,378 sq ft three-bedroom plus utility units, 1,302-1,593 sq ft four-bedroom units and 1,841-2,465 sq ft penthouses.

99-year leasehold private residential site at Jervois Rd draws 17 bids

The highest bid for the District 10 plot next to the Chatsworth Park Good Class Bungalow Area came from Singapore Land unit SL Development, which bid $118.9 million or $880.74 psf ppr. The earlier predictions for the top bid ranged from $630 to $950 psf ppr. SL Development said that the expected breakeven cost is $1,300 psf and they intend to sell units built at around $1,500-1,600 psf. The developer plans to develop the site into a 130 to 140-unit five-storey project with one- and two-bedroom units and some three-bedroom units. The proposed development also includes seven to eight strata three-storey-plus-basement terrace houses.

More upcoming launches despite ABSD

Upcoming launches will include 99-year leasehold Twin Waterfalls, an EC located near Punggol MRT station, with e-applications beginning on Feb 10. The prices will be lower 20% lower than that of the recently released Watertown at around $720 to $750 psf. Another launch to look out for is the release of 99-year leasehold Palm Isles, a 429-unit condo development located at Flora Drive. It will be launched around the first week of April with prices set at around $900 psf.

However, whether prices in general will fall remains to be seen. At the Redas (Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore) Spring Festival luncheon, developers were unwilling to say for certain that prices will fall since they feel that it is too early to determine the impact of the ABSD. Even then, prices set will depend on the target market and the product itself. Nonetheless, foreign buying had definitely decreased and a fall in prices by 3-5% is predicted.

Revisions to Conditions of Sale for property transactions

The revisions made in the Law Society of Singapore’s latest edition of Conditions of Sale 2012 for property transactions include some addition and deletion of certain conditions.

One new condition included the vendor giving a warranty to the buyer stating that there were no unauthorised additions or alterations to the property. Another is a three-month maximum postponement of the scheduled completion of sale from the date of death, should the buyer or vendor pass away. The risk of damage will also only be transferred to the buyer when the sale is completed or when the buyer takes possession of the property, depending on which is earlier. Sellers can also now rescind the option or affirm it if there is dishonoured cheque payment.

Other conditions were also revised or removed in light of policy changes since the last edition.

Commercial

JTC releases 58-year leasehold Business 1 industrial site in Serangoon

The site located at Serangoon North Avenue 4 has a site area of 0.8 ha and a 2.5 gross plot ratio. Some analysts believe that the site will not be very popular, attracting bids of $130 – $140 psf ppr from developers intending to build small strata units. Others believe that it will be popular since it has a good location, and may draw bids $150-160 psf ppr before the tender closes on March 13. Nevertheless, this is below what the site could have fetched last year. The new conditions on strata subdivision for industrial sites are likely the reason for the lower predictions.

99-year leasehold hotel site on reserve list released for sale

The site located on Rangoon road was on the government reserve list until an unnamed developer applied for it to be released from the list, after committing to bid for the site at a minimum price of $56.5 million or $403.65 psf ppr. The 4.2 gross plot ratio of the 33,326 sq ft site brings the maximum GFA to 139,974 sq ft. Despite the competition that it will likely have from upcoming new hotels in the same region, the site is expected to be popular, drawing bids of $770 to 830 psf ppr.

However, the hotel property sector in general is expected to be quieter this year, given the expected fall in room rates from the increase in supply by 1,400 in 2012 and 3,100 in 2013.

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