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Issue 87

Copyright 2011-2012 All Rights Reserved.

p9 p14 p15 p22
5 Cheapest New Property Projects of the Month
Questions from a Confused First-Time Home Buyer Property Buying Tip #1: Where to invest? Singapore Property News This Week Resale Property Transactions



Welcome to the 87th edition of the Singapore Property Weekly. Hope you like it! Mr. Propwise

(January 2 January 8)
Do you have articles and insights and articles that youd like to share with thousands of readers interested in the Singapore property market? Send them to us at, and if theyre good enough, well publish them here, on our blog and even on Yahoo! News.

Want to get your brand, product, service or property listing out to thousands of Singapore property investors at a very reasonable cost? Head over to to find out more.


5 Cheapest New Property Projects of the Month

Looking for an affordable property? In this article, based on analysis done at, we share with you the five cheapest non-landed new sale properties sold by developers in Singapore in the month of December 2012 on a per square foot basis, based on URA data. This list is a quick way for you to identify where the cheapest new projects are. By looking at the location, number of units sold and prices, you can and potentially spot interesting opportunities in projects that are nearby that could be selling at a significant discount, or identify new projects that are priced at a bargain. Dont forget to do your own due diligence before committing to any purchase!
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 5. Heron Bay, $738 PSF Heron Bay is at fifth place with $738 PSF, with 11 units sold in December. The 99 year leasehold condominium is expected to be completed by 2016 with 394 units. Some of Heron Bay's feature highlights include a discovery trail, water edge viewing deck, aquatic adventure corner, eco trellis, rainforest skylight, hydro spa pool and sensory trail. Heron Bay is located at Upper Serangoon View near Hougang MRT and Khatib MRT. Nearby schools include Serangoon Secondary School and Rivervale Primary School. Residents can visit nearby Sheng Siong, Cold Storage, NTUC Fairprice supermarkets or Hougang Plaza, Hougang Mall and Compass Point for daily amenities. (All map screenshots are taken from

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 4. The Topiary, $737 PSF The Topiary takes fourth place with $737 PSF and a total of 288 units sold in December. The 99 year leasehold executive condominium is expected to be completed by 2016 with 700 units. The Topiary offers facilities such as swimming pool, BBQ pavilion, tennis court, piano room, games room and hot spring. The Topiary is located at Fernvale Lane, near Fernvale LRT and Buangkok MRT. Nearby schools include Pei Hwa Secondary School and Fernvale Primary School. Residents can go to Fernvale Point and Greenewich Point for daily amenities.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 3. Waterbay, $736 PSF With a median price of $736 PSF, Waterbay is in third place with 31 units sold this month. The 99 year leasehold condominium is expected to be completed by 2016 with 383 units. Waterbay offers interesting array of facilities like gym, cascading waterfall, reading pavilion, children's lounge, tea pavilion, sun lounge and the rain shower. Waterbay is located at 45, Edgefield plains, near Cove LRT and Punggol MRT. Nearby schools include Punggol Secondary School and Edgefield Primary School. Residents can go to Compass Point for daily amenities.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 2. 1 Canberra, $717 PSF In second place is 1 Canberra with a median sales price of $717 PSF, with 19 units sold in the month. The 665-unit Executive Condominium is expected to be completed in 2016. 1 Canberra is located at Canberra Drive. It comes with a variety of pools and facilities like a beach splash pool, wading pool, outdoor aqua gym, reflection pool, water lounges, hydrospa and free form pool. 1 Canberra is just opposite Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School and Yishun Primary School. 1 Canberra is also close to Yishun MRT and Northpoint Shopping Centre.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 1. The Canopy, $709 PSF Located at Yishun Avenue 11, The Canopy is the cheapest in December with a median price of $709 PSF and only 1 unit sold in the month. With 406 units the Executive Condominium is expected to be completed in 2014. The Canopy offer facilities like clubhouse, fitness corner, badminton hall, gymnasium room, lap pool and playground. It is a few minutes ride away from Sengkang MRT. Nearby schools include Northb Brook Secondary School and Huamin Primary School. Residents can visit the NTUC Fairprice at Yishun Ring Road for daily amenities.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 Looking at the top five cheapest properties sold in December, we can see that most are Executive Condominiums and not in central locations. Till next month! Want a longer list of cheap new sale projects with more non-EC names? You can get this and much more at, a site that helps investors spot opportunities and time their Singapore property purchases. Click here to get your FREE report on Understanding the Property Market Cycle to invest profitably now.

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Questions from a Confused First-Time Home Buyer

By The Folks (guest contributor)
The wife and I came across an article in the Forum page of our de facto English newspaper (So many questions, so few answers) from a certain Mr. Tan who happens to be an enthusiastic first-time home buyer. He claimed that the numerous doubts and anomalies he had noticed after viewing several new and completed projects could not be explained clearly even by experienced real estate agents. He went on to list the questions he is stilling seeking answers to. While maintaining that we are not real estate experts (and thus not dispensing professional advice here), we like to have a crack at Mr. Tan's questions:
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 1. What constitutes part of total floor area and what does not? Technically speaking, everything that is shown on the floor plan of an apartment/house will form a part of the total floor area. The obvious ones are open roof terraces and private enclosed spaces. But areas labeled as RC ledge, A/C ledge, void, void over staircases, flat roof of houses (no access except for maintenance) etc are generally included as part of the total floor area as well. The wife and I have previously come across a new project in the Holland area (recently TOPed) where a planter box located on the outer wall of the master bathroom toilet was included as part of the total area, despite the fact that one has no access whatsoever to this planter box! The areas that generally do not constitute part of the total area are what we term common
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areas, e.g. the walkway outside your apartment, the lift landings (unless your apartment has a private lift, in which case the lift landing is also part of your total area) etc. 2. Is it true that unusable space constitutes 20% to 35% of a units total floor area (jumbo penthouses excluded)? Although this differs between projects, 10% to 20% of unusable space is a realistic ballpark. 3. Why are secondary market units valued at a hefty discount to primary market ones? The can be due to various factors: age and condition of the older development, pedigree of older development versus new, and in some cases, the perception of owners in the older development as to how much they can move prices of their units up vis-a-vis the price of neighboring new development.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 But the primary reason is due to the obscene bids that developers have made for land parcels over the last two to three years, coupled with increase in construction costs. As such, their break-even price is much higher now resulting in higher selling prices for new projects. 4. Can small office, home office (SOHO) units with commercial titles like those at Southbank and The Central be purchased for residential use? Is office-cumresidential use allowed? This is best explained by URA on their website, which has this to say: Increasingly, we are seeing more developments marketed as SOHO in the property market. SOHO is essentially a marketing term used by property developments to refer to Small Office, Home
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Office. Many would-be buyers are unsure whether SOHO units are approved for office or home use, or both. URA does not recognize SOHO as a planning term and does not specifically approve a development for SOHO use. Rather, developments being marketed as SOHO today are approved either as Office or Residential but not for both uses. We have noticed that some office developments are being marketed as residential apartments by calling themselves SOHO. This is misleading and inappropriate as the office development may not fully meet the guidelines and various technical agencies requirements for Residential use (eg. provision of sufficient parking facilities). Similarly, home buyers should not be misled by the term SOHO to think that they can convert the residential unit to a pure office.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 Residential homeowners or tenants who want to conduct selected small-scale businesses from homes can make use of the existing Home Office Scheme. This is not to be confused with SOHO as these units under the Home Office Scheme are still approved and used primarily for Residential purposes. To ensure that the home office uses do not disturb the neighbors, applicants under the Home Office Scheme must meet the stipulated conditions and performance criteria. For example, there is a limit on the number of employees and type of business uses that can be conducted within the homes. More details on the Home Office Scheme can be found at ainPage/HOindex.jsp. Would-be property buyers should be cautious and are advised to check the approved use of
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the property purchases.





5. Some formerly freehold estates that went en bloc are now being sold as new 99-year leasehold condos. Are there any implications to buyers - legal or otherwise? We are talking about the likes of The Shore Residences in Katong (formerly Rose Garden), which is sold on a 103-year lease but resides on a freehold site. Realistically speaking, this is no difference to buying a leasehold property. The only major implication to buyers (that the wife and I can think of) is that, at the end of the 103-year lease, the land owner can rightfully take back the land and do whatever with it as they please, with the buyers/owners having little/no recourse.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 6. Why are new developments prohibited from enclosing balconies and having covered structures built on top of open roof terraces whereas old estates aren't? are used interchangeably these days to mean one and the same thing. However, Gross Floor Area is typically referred to in formal and legal documents while Strata Floor Area is used when determining share-values of the unit concerned. 8. Why is photography disallowed in showflats? This question is best left to the developers, but we reckon they do not want people to just go to their showflats to steal ideas without the slightest intention of buying. There you have it! So if Mr. Tan happens to read our blog, hope the above helped in some small ways towards explaining your numerous doubts and anomalies... By The Folks, who blog about Singapore property at SG PropTalk.

This has to do with not changing the facade of the estate. Imagine what a brand new development will look like if every owner decides to have their own way with their balconies and roof terraces? So a rule is generally put in place at new developments prohibiting any additions/alterations that will alter the facade of the estate. But these rules will generally be relaxed as the estate gets older, although we are unsure if there is a stipulated number of years before this happens.
7. What is the difference between unit size, gross floor area and strata floor area? This is one that we are not exactly sure (so we stand corrected) but we believe the terms
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Property Buying Tip #1: Where to invest?

(Reference: One of the most important websites to gather information about Singapores physical development is Some of the key information available on this website includes: The Concept Plan which maps out the countrys vision for the next 40 to 50 years based on the population scenario meet the anticipated population and economic growth in order to provide a good living environment. The Master Plan is the statutory land use plan which guides Singapores

development in the medium term over the next 10 to 15 years. The Master Plan is reviewed every five years.

projections and taking into account the

scarcity of land. The Concept Plan is reviewed every ten years. This long-term plan ensures there is sufficient land to

You can consider investing in the Regional Highlights and Growth Areas identified in the Master Plan.
By Eileen Tan and Ui Wei Teck, property investors and authors of Enjoying Mid-Life Without Crisis.
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Singapore Property This Week

Few units sold at showflats following new cooling measures The new cooling measures which include the cap on EC unit sizes at 160 sq m, and the inclusion of private enclosed spaces and private roof terraces in the 10% bonus GFA had resulted in slower sales at showflats CityLife@Tampines, which had only 20 threebedroom units left for sale, sold only two units on Sunday. Other developments which had a quiet weekend at their showflats include the 52-unit SeaSuites and 148-unit Village along Pasir Panjang. The new cooling measures was targeted at keeping the size and the price of ECs down but some believe that it might be
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better to introduce a ratio for balcony space to interior space rather than simply capping the GFA. While sales volume is expected to fall, it is expected to recover a little the next month as potential buyers might start buying in their childs name. (Source: Business Times) Private home sales and prices to fall Following the latest round of cooling measures, analysts have predicted a fall in transaction volumes ranging from 20 to 50% to 10,000 units in 2013 while prices fall by 510%. Investment demand and the massmarket is likely to be affected the most, and resale transactions is likely to fall by 30-50%

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 from 10,000 units per year as owners hold on to their property if they have more than one to avoid incurring the ABSD when they purchase another. Further, the luxury property market is likely to suffer as a further 5% ABSD is imposed on foreigners (bringing it to 15%) who make up 30% of the buyers. Some thought this unnecessary since the foreign non-PR purchases had accounted for 7% of the transactions in each quarter in 2012 and below 10% of the transactions involving properties priced below $1,670 psf. Given the low interest rates, it is likely that more cooling measures will be introduced. (Source: Business Times) Private property rentals likely to stay stable The latest cooling measures such as increased minimum cash downpayment for
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second and subsequent homes, increased ABSD and lowered LTV limits for individuals with outstanding housing loans may result in less demand for private homes and possibly an increase in demand in the rental market since potential buyers affected by the new measures may choose to rent instead. However, most analysts do not expect an increase in rentals but instead, a stabilisation. The HDB rental market, on the other hand, may see an increase by 3% since PR owners are now disallowed from subletting the entire flat leading to a smaller supply. (Source: Business Times) Developers go ahead without change in plans It would seem that most developers planning to launch their projects would continue to do so without changes in dates and pricing while
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 developers who have recently launched their projects also have no intention of changing their prices yet. For example, prices in the 46unit Liberte in Sarkies Road still start at $1.8 million for a 743 sq ft two-bedroom apartment. In the last round of cooling measures, developers had offered incentives such as furniture vouchers and reimbursements. However, these incentives have yet to been seen as possibly many are still uncertain of what to expect. Some, such as the 630-unit Q Bay Residences in Tampines Avenue 10, may see a 5-7 % fall in prices to below $1,000 psf. (Source: Business Times) 2012s record breaking numbers unlikely to repeat 22,290 private homes excluding ECs were sold in 2012, breaking 2010s record of
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16,292 units. However, this is unlikely to be seen now following the recent cooling measures. This can already be seen in the proportion of sales OCR accounted for in December, 640 of the 1,410 units or 44%, compared to the earlier monthly average of 1,441 units or 75% of the total in January to November 2012. Likewise, only 25% or 248 of the 1,011 private homes excluding ECs launched in December were in the OCR, compared to the earlier monthly average of 1,355 units and 66% from January to November. A total of 21,487 private homes (excluding ECs) were launched in 2012, a 21.3% increase from 2011. 4,521 ECs were also sold last year, a 56.8% increase from 2011. Looking ahead, a price fall of up to 5% and 57% is expected in the mid and mass-market segments,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 and the high-end market respectively while a 10-46% fall in sales volume to 12,000 to 20,000 units is predicted. (Source: Business Times) Land bids expected to fall The latest round of cooling measures includes an increase in ABSD, lower LTV limits and higher cash downpayment; these will result in a reduced demand for residential property. In addition, by including private enclosed spaces (PES) and private roof terraces (PRT) in the 10% bonus GFA of which development charges are payable, the saleable strata area will fall by 4-5%, leading to a corresponding 5% fall in land prices. This change in guideline will affect low-rise sites the most. Developers demand for large sites is also likely to fall as a result of the increase in the ABSD rate residential land purchases
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from 10% to 15%. In particular, there is likely to be a fall in overall sales of residential en bloc sites since developers less willing to pay more and owners may be reluctant to lower their asking price. (Source: Business Times) Q Bay Residences launched at $985 psf ppr 630-unit Q Bay Residences at the junction of Tampines Avenue 1 and Tampines Avenue 10, the first private condominium launched in 2013, was launched at an average of $985 psf ppr, a 7% fall from the planned $1,050 psf ppr following the introduction of the new property cooling measures. This meant that a 527 sq ft one-bedroom unit and a 1,981 sq ft five-bedroom unit will cost $525,000 and $1.7 million respectively after a 15% early bird discount and a 7% stamp duty discount,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 which can either be taken upfront or as a rebate. Despite the cooling measures, demand for Q Bay Residences is expected to remain strong given the fact that it is the first condominium to be launched in Tampines in the last two years, and its wide range of unit configurations (11 different types; from one bedroom, two bedroom, Trio to four bedroom verandah units). Looking ahead, transaction volumes are expected to fall by 20-25% this year especially with the increase in ABSD rates, accompanied by a 5-7% fall in prices for mass and mid-tier condos and a 10-15% fall in prices of higher-end condos. PRs are also expected to demand more private property rather than HDB flats. (Source: Business Times) Slow showflat sales at Q Bay Residences Only 214 of the 400 people at Q Bay Residences preview launched bought a unit at the private condominium project, much smaller than the expected 300 had the latest round of cooling measures not be introduced. Nevertheless, there are potential buyers who may return after sorting out financing issues brought on by the new loan restrictions. While demand for one to two-bedroom units expected to fall, given that such units are usually bought for investment, they made up 46% of the 214 units sold. The strong demand may be a result of the lack of new condominium in the Tampines area for a few years, and the pool of buyers who are likely upgraders less affected by the latest round of cooling measures.

(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 200,000 new homes by 2016 National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had announced in his blog an upcoming supply 200,000 new housing units by 2016, including 80,000 private properties, 10,000 ECs and 110,000 HDB flats. He noted that there is imbalance in the market as a result of pent-up demand from undersupply and increased investment demand in recent years. He also added that the latest round of cooling measures is necessary and designed to protect first-time buyers. (Source: Business Times) sector of the property market, with another, a SSD in the industrial property market, the commercial property market may see more investments as they are diverted from the former two sectors. In particular, demand for strata-titled office and retail units will likely increase. Given the limited supply of such property, prices are expected to increase. The government, however, is not likely to introduce new measures in this sector unless the rate of price increase is too high or the strata units being subdivided are getting too small for end users. (Source: Business Times) 4 freehold North Bridge Road shophouses up for sale The four shophouses at 762, 764, 766 and 768 North Bridge Road have been launched for sale by public auction with existing
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Cooling measures may boost commercial property market Since most of the cooling measures recently introduced are targeted at the residential
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 87 tenancies at an indicative asking price of $15.5 million. They sit on a 5,765 sq ft site and have a total GFA of around 9,600 sq ft. The site is located near Bugis Junction, Bugis Plus, Golden Landmark, Sultan Plaza and Key Point. The auction will be held on Jan 23. (Source: Business Times) 21% strata interest in prime freehold Orchard Towers up for sale at $190 million Sinarmas Land Ltds subsidiary Golden Bay Realty is selling its 21% stake at around $190 million in Orchard Towers by tender. The space being sold comprises of three components the 7,449 sq ft strata retail space from 21 units, the 70,536 sq ft strata area in 37 office units in the front tower and 50,084 sq ft of office space in the rear tower along Claymore Road. Potential buyers can purchase each of the three components
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separately or as a whole. If sold separately, the retail space and the office space have asking prices of $3,000 psf and under $2,000 psf respectively. Orchard Towers which also has residential spaces has 595,066 sq ft of strata area in 25 floors and 361 carpark lots. The tender closes on Feb 27 at 3pm. (Source: Business Times)


Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jan 2 Jan 8
Postal District 2 3 5 5 5 5 7 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 Area Transacted Price Tenure (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) 1,109 1,610,000 1,452 99 990 1,200,000 1,212 FH 1,496 1,800,000 1,203 99 1,830 2,088,000 1,141 FH 893 895,000 1,002 99 1,281 1,130,000 882 99 732 1,000,000 1,366 99 1,808 6,180,000 3,417 99 1,819 4,300,000 2,364 FH 1,206 2,450,000 2,032 FH 732 1,425,000 1,947 FH 527 918,000 1,740 FH 915 1,580,000 1,727 FH 1,206 2,020,000 1,676 FH 1,109 2,300,000 2,075 99 2,174 3,804,500 1,750 FH 1,410 2,300,000 1,631 FH 1,539 1,825,000 1,186 FH 1,464 2,828,000 1,932 FH 775 1,240,000 1,600 FH 926 1,340,000 1,448 99 1,281 1,700,000 1,327 99 1,625 2,100,000 1,292 FH 1,249 1,575,000 1,261 FH Postal District 12 12 12 12 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 17 17 18 18 Area Transacted Price Tenure (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) 893 1,080,000 1,209 99 883 990,000 1,122 999 1,302 1,380,000 1,060 FH 1,991 2,000,000 1,004 FH 1,647 2,860,000 1,737 FH 1,615 2,710,000 1,678 FH 495 755,000 1,525 FH 495 665,000 1,343 FH 2,239 2,980,000 1,331 FH 1,582 2,100,000 1,327 FH 1,001 1,150,000 1,149 FH 990 1,098,000 1,109 FH 1,130 1,138,000 1,007 FH 1,647 1,270,000 771 99 1,313 1,730,000 1,317 99 1,281 1,530,000 1,194 99 2,476 2,520,000 1,018 FH 1,227 1,218,000 993 99 1,001 980,000 979 FH 1,173 1,060,000 903 99 1,195 1,183,050 990 FH 1,292 1,180,000 914 FH 1,216 1,150,000 945 99 1,109 1,045,000 943 FH



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Postal District 18 18 19 19 19 21 21 21 21 21 22 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 26 27 28 Project Name CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM TAMPINES COURT THE QUARTZ COMPASS HEIGHTS COMPASS HEIGHTS THE STERLING MAPLEWOODS GOODLUCK GARDEN SELANTING GREEN HIGHGATE THE MAYFAIR MONTROSA HILLINGTON GREEN CHANTILLY RISE THE MADEIRA PARKVIEW APARTMENTS MAYSPRINGS THE LINEAR GUILIN VIEW SEASONS PARK EUPHONY GARDENS SERENITY PARK Area Transacted Price Tenure (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) 1,130 996,888 882 99 1,690 1,145,000 678 101 1,066 1,000,000 938 99 1,324 1,180,000 891 99 2,390 1,700,000 711 99 1,453 2,155,000 1,483 FH 1,496 2,160,000 1,444 FH 1,916 2,105,400 1,099 FH 1,302 1,250,000 960 FH 1,485 1,400,000 942 FH 893 930,000 1,041 99 1,163 1,255,000 1,080 999 1,776 1,776,000 1,000 999 947 900,000 950 FH 1,302 1,218,000 935 99 936 795,000 849 99 1,550 1,230,000 794 99 1,916 1,450,000 757 999 1,572 1,188,000 756 99 1,066 938,000 880 99 1,023 788,000 771 99 1,722 1,750,000 1,016 FH

NOTE: This data only covers non-landed residential resale property transactions with caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority. Typically, caveats are lodged at least 2-3 weeks after a purchaser signs an OTP, hence the lagged nature of the data.

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