Singapore Property News This Week #82

Residential

Freehold Whitley Residences and Village held previews

19 freehold cluster homes at The Whitley Residences near the upcoming Mount Pleasant Station under the Thomson Line were sold to Singaporeans at about $5 million each or $850 psf on strata area after a 12% discount and absorption of the 3% buyer’s stamp duty at its preview. These includes 18 semi-detached houses which were sold at $4.9 million (for a 6,125 sq ft unit) to $5.12 million (for a 6,071 sq ft unit) while the 6,620 sq ft corner terrace sold for $4.85 million. There are a total of 58 semi-Ds of 5,156 sq ft to 7,190 sq ft, and three terrace homes (the sold 6,620 sq ft corner terrace, another 6,448 sq ft corner terrace priced at $4.8 million and a 4,801 sq ft intermediate terrace house priced at $4.3 million). All units has four levels (including a basement and attic) and offers five bedrooms, private enclosed space lift, void areas, a roof terrace and a car parking area. Shared facilities include a clubhouse, pool, gym, hot spa and playground.

40 over units of the 80 released units at the 148-unit five-storey condo project, Village at Pasir Panjang, have also been sold at its preview. Typical apartments with no private enclosed space or roof terrace are sold at an average price of $1,650 psf. The project consists of two to four-bedroom units, and penthouses.

Meanwhile, 230 units at the 700-unit The Topiary in Seletar have been sold at an average of $720 psf, with all 16 penthouses in the development ranging from 1,970 sq ft to 2,476 sq ft and priced from $1.3 million to $1.5 million sold within the first one-and-a-half hours.

E-applications for Forestville EC at Woodlands Avenue 5 next to the La Casa EC will also be open from Dec 21 to 26 with an average price of over $700 psf. 30% of the 653 units are dual -key units, and 29 units will be penthouses in the range of 1,550 sq ft to 2,756 sq ft. To attract buyers, the developer is offering “a holiday bonanza” package, absorbing the first-year maintenance fees, and offering free fibre-optic broadband service, a basic cable TV package and a fixed-line service for the first three years in a tie-up with Starhub.

(Source: Business Times)

Private home sales may fall by 25% in 2013

Private home sales may fall by over 25% as a result of the increase in supply from completions and new launches, leading to a fall in units transacted from 20,000 units sold his year to 16,000-18,000 units in 2013 though prices are expected to continue increasing by 10-15% for the mass-market non-landed properties and 3-5% for the luxury properties as a result of increased land costs and increased demand. The average unit price of luxury condos increased by 2% from $2,350 psf in Q3 to $2,395 psf in Q4, a 5% increase from 2011’s $2,286 psf. With the quantitative easing in the US and low interest rates, there could be an increased foreign demand though this will be moderated by the ABSD. ECs will likely see much demand given the current trend, with nearly 3,500 EC units sold by October this year and possibly 4,000 by year end. Demand for shoebox units also fell to 7%, possibly due to the governmental regulation though the smaller supply could drive up the median prices of such units. Prices of shoebox units hit $1,474 psf in Q4 this year, a 6% increase from Q3 and 10% increase from 2011.

(Source: Business Times)

99-year Alexandra View residential site attracts $332.7m top bid

The site at Alexandra View attracted a total of six bids with the top bid of $332.7 million, or $970.18 psf ppr from Singland Homes. The developer plans to develop a 43-storey residential tower with mainly 800-1,000 sq ft two-bedrooms or two-plus-one units with a breakeven cost of $1,500 psf and a selling price of $1,700 psf. The site is located near the Redhill MRT station and the town area.

(Source: Business Times)

Investment sales of property to hit $28.7b in 2012

Investment sales of property (transactions of $10 million and above) in Q4 (up to Dec 11) hit $6.9 billion, compared to $9.3 billion in Q3, likely due to the fall in private sector deals to $3.7 billion in Q4 so far from $7.2 billion in Q3. On the other hand, deals in the public sector rose to $3.2 billion in Q4 so far from $2.2 billion in Q3. This is attributed to the aggressive bidding by developers at GLS tenders. The total investment sales of property in Q4 are expected to hit $7.6 billion, bringing the total for the year to $29.5 billion. Investment sales are likely to fall to $25-$27 billion next year, a result of the economic conditions and the present wide bid-ask gap, though the government is likely to continue releasing a large number of GLS sites.

Meanwhile, the en bloc sale market has seen only 24 transactions at a total of around $2 billion, compared to 51 transactions at $3.2 billion last year. This is attributed to a lack of supply. However, the relatively poor performance is likely to improve next year, with more developers turning their attention from GLS sites to en bloc sites, and the recent changes in rules regarding en bloc sites.

The residential sector accounts for $13.1 billion or 45% of the $28.7 billion transacted year-to-date, and could potentially hit $13.5 billion by year end while the commercial sector (office $4.9 billion and retail $2.3 billion) accounts for $7.5 billion compared to $8.2 billion in 2011.  The investment sales of hospitality assets including both private and public sectors increased from $1.6 billion in 2011 to $3.8 billion and industrial property transactions fell from $4 billion in 2011 to $3.4 billion so far.

(Source: Business Times)

Slow property auction market in 2012

Only 24 of the 377 properties put up for auction were sold in 2012, with a total sales value of $62.4 million, a 35% fall from 2011’s $95.6 million. However, the market situation is expected to improve a little next year, with a total sales value of $70 million predicted, driven by liquidity and low interest rates in H1 2013. There is still demand for property in the auction market since properties are considered good hedges against inflation, especially demand for landed properties and those located in prime districts. There may also be more mortgagee sales in H2 2013 if the economy worsens or unemployment rate increases, with some being industrial properties. The slower auction market is attributed to the cooling measures in the residential sector, which affected the secondary market (with owners reluctant to sell and buyers unwilling to purchase at high prices) and demand for luxury properties. Residential properties account for $29.7 million or 48% of the auction sales, retail properties account for $8.1 million while industrial properties account for $10.1 million.

(Source: Business Times)

Rents of luxury homes to fall

Rents of luxury homes are likely to continue falling, with a fall of 5-10% to below $5 psf per month predicted for 2013, given smaller budgets and increased supply. In Q4, rents of high-end condos fell from Q3 by 7.4% to $4.88 psf per month, compared to the $5.27 psf per month in the same period in 2011.  According to the URA, over half of the 91,869 new homes to be released to the market in the next five years have been sold. This, coupled with the current rise in vacancy rate to 7.9% in Q3 2012 (compared to the five-year average of 7.5%), will result in a fall in rental rates, particularly when owners move to their homes, leading to the increase in shadow spaces.

However, the mass market rental market is expected to remain resilient in 2013, with the increase in demand and smaller rental budgets leading to higher per-sq-ft rents. The island-wide median rents for condos and apartment units excluding ECs reached $3.75 psf per month in October, a 7% increase from a year ago. The median rates for houses however, fell by 0.4% in October to $2.65 psf per month.

The total value of all leasing transactions from January to October 2011 was $208 million and is likely to exceed the 2011 record of $218 million.

(Source: Business Times)

MND announces GLS private housing sites for H1 2013

The confirmed-list sites can generate up to 6,935 private homes (45% of which or 3,110 are ECs) while the reserve-list sites can potentially generate 7,100 private homes. Most of the sites in the confirmed list are in the Outside Central Region or Rest of Central Region where private housing is more affordable. The confirmed lists has some choice sites such as the ones on Coronation Road, Kim Tian Road and Mount Sophia which accounts for 16% of the supply in the confirmed-list, while choice sites on the reserve list includes the ones in Siglap Road, Stirling Road, Alexandra View (Parcel A) and Prince Charles Crescent (Parcel B) which accounts for 3,055 private homes or 43 per cent of the reserve list’s supply.

The landed housing site in Coronation Road/Victoria Park Road next to the Victoria Park and Rebecca Park GCB Area which can generate about 140 landed homes will be launched in March while the 2.4-ha site on Mount Sophia which can be developed into a 505-unit low-rise condo will be launched in June. There will also be another low-rise condo site at Faber Walk in the Ulu Pandan area with a potential of 210 units that will be launched in April. These are all on the confirmed list.  In addition, there are also two mixed commercial-residential plots available which are expected to be popular – the Yishun Central site next to the MRT station, bus interchange and Northpoint Shopping Centre on the confirmed list and the plot next to Potong Pasir MRT Station on the reserve list.

Meanwhile on the commercial end, there will be 33,360 sq m GFA made available under the confirmed list and another 281,320 sq m GFA under the reserve list, compared to 80,280 sq m and 308,200 sq m respectively currently. Three sites for office developments under the reserve list – at Marina View/Union Street in the new Downtown, Cecil Street and Sims Avenue – are from the H2 2012 reserve list. There is currently about 1.17 million sq m (12.6 million sq ft) GFA of upcoming office supply. Hotel room supply (only on the reserve list) has fallen from 3,655 rooms to 1,740 rooms though the Havelock Road hotel site that can generate potentially 35 hotel rooms is expected to be highly popular.

(Source: Business Times)

Commercial

Freehold 79 Anson Rd expected to be sold at over $400m

Both German fund manager SEB and Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) are said to be selling their space at the 23-storey 79 Anson Road near Tanjong Pagar MRT Station at an expected price of $1,400 psf based on the its GFA of 289,185 sq ft or over $405 million. This translates to $2,000-2,050 psf based on its current NLA of around 200,000 sq ft. The buyer could possibly redevelop the site when the existing leases run out in 2016. The current GFA however, is higher than the 236,566 sq ft GFA based on the 8.4 plot ratio designated for the 28,163 sq ft site zoned commercial with a 35-storey height restriction under the Master Plan 2008 though it might potentially be redeveloped up to its existing GFA without having to pay any development charge. The buyer could also retain it for rental income. The building offers a 145-lot carpark on the second to the fourth levels.

(Source: Business Times)

Allianz Group leases 90,000 sq ft at Asia Square

Allianz Group is said to be leasing 90,000 sq ft of space on levels 13, 14 and 15 of the 46-storey Asia Square Tower 2, and may also lease level 12, bringing the total to 120,000 sq ft. When completed, there will be 790,000 sq ft NLA of Grade A offices on levels 6-31, a 305-room Westin hotel on levels 32-46, and 40,000 sq ft of retail space on the first two levels, of which a third has been pre-committed. While rents in Tower 2 are determined on a case-by-case basis, the monthly rents for the 43-storey Tower 1 is around $12-15 psf. 82% of Tower 1’s 1.25 million sq ft NLA has been leased, with levels 36 to 39 and some other space scattered throughout still available. There is also a Food Garden in Tower 1.

(Source: Business Times)

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