Singapore Property News This Week #54

Residential

Latest CBS figures reflects effective cooling measures

58.3% of the 15,410 Singaporeans/PRs granted private home mortgages (including refinancing cases) in Q1 2012 did not have any outstanding home loans either for a HDB flat or private residential property, compared to the 56.4% and 53% for the whole of 2011 and 2010 respectively. This may be due to effects of ABSD in deterring property investment.

However, the data may not be very accurate since some banks classify ECs as private homes while others classify it as HDB flats, which are excluded in the analysis. Also, as some borrowers could be joint applicants for a single loan, the total number of private home mortgages granted in Q1 2012 to Singaporeans and PRs is 10,741 but if individual applicants were looked at, the number would be a higher 15,410. Furthermore, the data includes both both new home loan and refinancing cases since the cases uploaded on the CBS database are not differentiated. However, since refinancing cases may be due to the lower interest rates and more attractive loan terms, the inclusion of such cases may not affect the analysis significantly.

The proportion of first-loan cases for non-PR foreigners increased from 77.8% in 2010 to 82.5% in 2011 before falling to 79.7% in Q1 2012, compared to the proportion for Singaporeans/PRs, which is around 60%, suggests that the non-PR foreigners are mainly buying their first property.

NUS Singapore Residential Price Index shows a fall in prices for small apartments

The NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) sub-index for small apartments (up to 506 sq ft) fell by 1.2% in April while the overall SRPI for April increased by 0.8%. The SRPI sub-index for the Central Region (excluding small units) increased by 1.6% but the sub-index for the Non-Central Region (excluding small units) remained unchanged. The increase in the sub-index for the Central Region was predicted since there was more higher value transactions in April with a median price for properties in the region at $1,580 psf and 36 transactions of $2,000 psf or higher, compared to a median price was $1,500 psf and 20 transactions of $2,000 psf or higher in March.

99-year leasehold Jurong Gateway condo site draws 12 bids

The 99-year private residential site located near Jurong East MRT Station attracted a total of 12 bids, with the top bid from MCL Land at $369.388 million or $705.10 psf ppr, a mere 0.08% above the second highest bid of $369.1 million or $704.55 psf ppr. The 12 bids reflects the potential of the site, which is located in the Jurong Gateway precinct, near Jurong East MRT Station and bus interchange and the upcoming malls Jem and Westgate as well as the upcoming Ng Teng Fong Hospital and Ng Teng Fong Community Hospital. MCL plans to develop the site into a part 25-storey and part 38-storey development with almost 600 residential units that comprises mainly one and two-bedroom units with some three-bedroom and four-bedroom units. The expected breakeven cost is around $1,100 psf while the expecting average selling price is around $1,300-1,500 psf.

4,627 new flats launched with six new BTO projects

HDB is launching six BTO projects with 4,627 flats ranging from studio apartments to five-room flats in three non-mature towns (Choa Chu Kang, Punggol, and Sengkang), and one mature town (Kallang/Whampoa). At least 95% and 85% of the flats (excluding studio apartments) in mature towns and non-mature towns respectively are reserved for first timers and additional balloting chances for the BTO projects at Compassvale Boardwalk in Sengkang, Keat Hong Pride in Choa Chu Kang, Punggol Edge and Waterway SunDew (in Punggol Town) will be given to first-timers who had been unsuccessful in previous applications for two or more BTOs in non-mature towns/estates.

Punggol Edge near Edgedale Plains and Tampines Expressway consists of five blocks making up 688 flats and one block of 446 rental units. Prices for a three-room flat at Punggol Edge and Waterway SunDew start from $163,000 while prices for a five-room unit start from $326,000. In Choa Chu Kang, a three-room flat in in Keat Hong Pride start from $138,000 while prices for a five-room flat start from $284,000. Prices for studio apartments at Bendemeer Light and McNair Towers start from $124,000 while a four-room unit in the same town starts from $467,000.

Top bid for 99-year Sengkang condo site at $383.333m

The 99-year leasehold site located near Sengkang MRT Station and Compass Point mall attracted a total of five bids, with the top bid at $383.333 million or $527.65 psf ppr from EL Development. While the five bids reflect the expected competition in the region from upcoming supply, the top bid, which was 10% higher than the next highest bid suggests EL Development’s thirst for land. EL Development’s plan for the project includes 14 15-storey blocks making up a total of more than 800 units ranging from one-bedroom to four-bedroom and dual-key units. There will also be an Olympic-sized pool and at least one tennis court and a clubhouse. The project, which may be launched by Q! 2013, have an estimated breakeven cost and average selling price of $900 psf and $1,000-1,050 psf, respectively.

Commercial

99-year leasehold hotel site in Jurong on reserve list

A 97,166 sq ft hotel site along Jurong Town Hall Road has been released under the reserve list. The first hotel site released in the Jurong Lake district, its 2.1 plot ratio means that it can yield a maximum GFA of 204,051 sq ft or 500-530 hotel rooms. Some believe that the site would not be triggered since there is no established hotel market in suburban areas and the proposed Jurong Lake District commercial hub is not fully developed, despite the site’s proximity to Jurong East MRT station. However, if the site is to be triggered, the site may fetch a top bid of $170-185 million or $833-907psf ppr.

House of Tan Yeok Nee said to be sold to ERC Holdings

Two-storey freehold House of Tan Yeok Nee, a gazetted national monument, is said to be in the process of being sold to private commercial-school operator ERC Holdings for around $60 million. Located at the corner of Penang Road and Clemenceau Avenue, its 58,000 sq ft of strata area is currently occupied by The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which will likely continue to lease the space for a few years.

Peace Centre/Peace Mansion units and 700 Beach on the market

90 retail and office strata-titled units at Peace Centre/Peace Mansion are up in the market for $200 million. These units are owned by Colliers International, which is seeking a joint venture partner or partners to co-own and manage the units by selling partial equity stakes in the investment holding company. The total strata area of the units (including 11 residential units) makes up 283,908 sq ft and 46% of the total share value of the development. The mixed development on a 76,617 sq ft site with 57 years of lease remaining includes a part-seven and part-10-storey commercial podium block, Peace Centre, and a 32-storey residential tower with 84 apartments and two penthouses, Peace Mansion. The office and retail units are over 90% occupied while the residential units are 84% occupied. The units are expected to be popular since it is located near the CBD and the Orchard Road shopping belt and can be redeveloped to the maximum GFA of 627,852 sq ft if approval is granted by the authorities. Any offer for this property would have to be made by noon, June 28.

Also on the market is a 100% strata interest in 700 Beach, a fully-occupied eight-storey office building at Beach Road near Nicoll Highway MRT station. The building sitting on an 18,400 sq ft site zoned commercial with a 4.2 plot ratio is asking for $120 million for the total strata area of 67,429 sq ft from its 55 strata title units.  It is expected to be fairly popular, being located near developments such as the Sports Hub and its potential for redevelopment into a 200-room hotel. The expression of interest exercise will close at 3pm on July 5.

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