Singapore Property News This Week #61

Residential

H1 2012 sales are higher than H1 2011’s despite fall in June

Developers sold a total of 1,371 units, excluding ECs, in June, a 19.5% fall from May’s figures but a 16% increase from June 2011. Despite this, the total for H1 2012 is 12,098 units, up from H1 2011’s 8,039 units and nearly the 15,904 units sold in the whole of 2011. The total for 2012 is expected to hit a record high of 18,000-22,000 units.

Meanwhile, Q2 2012’s private home price index increased by 0.3% from Q4 2011, and is expected to remain stable with 0.5-1% increment, no change or just a slight fall in H2 2012, especially with competition from the constant supply from new launches. Competition also comes from the resale market, as evident from the increase in transaction volumes from 1,906 units in Q1 2012 to 3,402 units in Q2. The proportion of homes sold in the below $1,000 range also increased from 35.2% to 55% from May to June, suggesting the stabilising home prices. Prices are unlikely to fall, however, especially if the demand is sustained with help from the low interest rates and affordable lumpsum investment size of shoebox units.

Developer sales are driven mainly by the mass-market projects in the Outside Central Region (OCR), which accounted for 81% of the 1,371 units sold in June, excluding ECs, though it fell by 8% from May’s figures.  Sales in the Rest of Central region fell by 67.1% to 119 units while sales in the Core Central Region increased by 4.4% to 141 units in the same period. If ECs are included, the total number of units sold in June is 1,725, a 16.3% fall from May but a 23.7% increase from June 2011.

Three freehold residential sites up for sale

The first are two adjoining sites at Upper Serangoon, asking for $40 million. Including a $6.1 million development charge, the price comes up to $934 psf. The total combined land area of 42,846 sq ft (20,228-sq-ft from 1 Surin Avenue and 22,618-sq-ft from 790 Upper Serangoon Road) can potentially be redeveloped into 3,500 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft 26 cluster terrace houses, which are attractive to investors because of the higher rental yield of 4-5% compared to 3% for conventional landed housing. The tender closes on Aug 15.

The second freehold site up for sale is Chancery Garden, a mixed landed site in District 11 which is asking for $45 million or $1,527 psf.  It consists of 10 apartment and townhouse units in a three-storey block sitting on a 29,468 sq ft site. Zoned for two-storey mixed landed housing, a total of 18 units of strata terraces, six strata semi-detached and 10 strata terraces, or other configurations can be built on the site, subject to approval. Given the site’s regular configuration and location, it is expected to be very popular. The tender closes at 3pm on Aug 23.

The final site is Kismis Lodge located at Toh Tuck Road, which is asking for $90-95 million or $1,281-1,352 psf.  No development charge is expected to be payable for the site which consists of 64 walk-up apartments on a 70,283 sq ft site. Zoned for three-storey mixed landed housing, the site can be redeveloped into a combination of conventional terrace houses, semi-detached houses and detached houses; or cluster landed housing with strata terrace houses, strata semi-detached houses and strata bungalows with communal facilities. Since the site has a regular layout with four frontages, it is expected to be popular among developers. The tender for Kismis Lodge closes at 2.30pm on Aug 15.

Roxy-Pacific Holdings Limited buys Sophia Mansions for $43.3m

Freehold 19-unit Sophia Mansions at Mount Sophia was sold was sold to Roxy-Pacific Holdings Limited for $43.3 million or $1,175 psf ppr based on the 2.1 gross plot ratio on the 17,545 sq ft land area. There can be an additional GFA of 1,105 sq ft built for balconies without any development charge, resulting in a $1,140 psf ppr land price. The site is close to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, and shopping malls such as Plaza Singapura and The Pomo.

28 of 40 terrace houses released at 99-year leasehold Haus@Serangoon Garden sold

28 of the 40 terrace houses previewed at Haus@Serangoon Garden had been sold. Prices for an intermediate terrace unit with a 1,615 sq ft land area costs $2.4 million while a corner unit with a 2,284 sq ft land area costs $2.8 million. There will be a total of 18 corner units and 79 intermediate terrace houses, each with two storeys, a basement and an attic. 40% of the buyers live in the neighbourhood.

Strong competition expected for Farrer Road reserve list site

The 99-year leasehold site private housing site at Farrer Road, near Botanic Garden MRT Station, has been triggered for release at $28.888 million. The 0.27- hectare site could potentially be developed into 41,323 sq ft of gross floor area, which can support 40 new homes. The expected winning bid is in the range of $950-$1,000 psf ppr from 10 to 15 bidders, with an expected selling price at $1,800 to $1,900 psf since it has a prime address and has a lowland price quantum of around $40 million.

UIC to launch residential segment of V On Shenton

100 to 200 units of the 510 residential units at V On Shenton, a 99-year leasehold commercial and residential development located at Shenton Way will be launched at an indicative pricing of $2,200 to $2,300 psf, with the cheapest unit (under 500 sq ft) at under $1 million. Unit sizes range from 441 sq ft to 474 sq ft for a studio apartment, 484 sq ft to 506 sq ft for one-bedroom units, 689 sq ft to 743 sq ft for one-bedroom-plus-study units, 883 sq ft to 1,033 sq ft for two-bedroom units, 1,055 sq ft to 1,216 sq ft for two-bedroom-plus-study units, 1,356 sq ft to 1,765 sq ft for three-bedroom units, and 3,315 sq ft to 7,255 sq ft for penthouses. The 53-storey residential tower also offers a lap pool, gym, laundromat and outdoor island kitchens, and city and sea views for many of the higher-floor units, as well as 588 car park lots, and six handicap lots and three power charging lots. The development is located near the Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations, the Marina Bay Financial Centre, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Flyer and Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. None of the units in the23-storey office tower of the development will be put up for sale.

Commercial

AEW said to be selling Robinson Point

The 21-storey freehold CBD office block is said to be sold to a small group of Asian investors through sale of shares at $284 million or $2,132 psf based on its 133,214 sq ft net lettable area. Its GFA reflects an 11.2 plot ratio, meaning that it has been developed to its maximum potential. It can however, be strata titled into smaller units and resold and a profit.

Record sales registered for strata commercial properties

A record high of 669 strata shops and 632 strata offices were transacted in H1 2012 and may remain so. The strong sales for the first half of this year were driven by the primary market, which accounted for 66% of the former’s sales and 72% of the latter’s sales.

Strata shop supply was mainly in the suburbs last year, unlike this year, which are mainly in the central region, bringing the average unit price up by 24% to $3,273 psf. New strata shops with longer tenures and good locations also attracted buyers since they are considered good long-term investments. Meanwhile, older resale strata shops also attracted buyers with their lower prices, bringing the average unit prices up by 23% to reach $2,825 psf in the secondary market, despite a fall in sales volumes.

The primary sales transactions for strata offices increased by 19 times from 2011 to $814.9 million while the average unit price increased by 56% to $2,129 psf, driven by the increase in new strata office projects in the CBD and smaller-sized strata office units. The secondary market, however, saw a 24% fall in transaction volume and lower average unit prices of $1,706 psf.

Transaction volumes of shophouses decreased by 25% to 132 units from last year, possibly a result of the increase in unit prices by 34% to $2,804 psf, bringing the overall value of sales up by 4% to $674.6 million.

The commercial sector is likely to continue seeing brisk sales and price increments, especially for strata shops and shophouses in good locations. However, investors may be more cautious since office rents have been on the decline.

Two adjacent Chang Charn Rd sites up for sale

The two sites, at 8 and 10 Chang Charn Road, are asking for $45 million. A quality six-storey building with a built-up area of 34,907 sq ft sits on the 12,519 sq ft site at 8 Chang Charn Road, while the 8,762 sq ft site at 10 Chang Charn Road consists a single-storey detached factory and a two-storey office block in front. The latter site has a 2.5 plot ratio and an existing built-up area of 5,274 sq ft. The two sites have a remaining tenure of 45 years and are zoned Business 1. Given its central location (near Redhill MRT Station), redevelopment potential, and the lack of supply of similar plots, the site is expected to be popular.

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