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Issue 127

Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

Are We There Yet?

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p16

Resale Property Transactions

FROM THE

EDITOR

Welcome to the 127th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(October 9 October 14)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127

Are We There Yet?


By Mr. Propwise
From the URAs recent 3Q2013 Private
Residential Property Price Index (PPI)
release, property prices have continued to
defy gravity, although the pace of increase
has slowed the 3Q2013 Residential PPI
was up 0.4% on a quarter-on-quarter basis,
versus the 1.0% increase of the previous
quarter.
Singapore property prices at an all-time
high
Based on analysis of the URA numbers done
by the Singapore property research site
PropertyMarketInsights.com, at the current
levels the price index is 21.9% above the
Back to Contents

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


previous 2Q2008 peak, and 19.2% above the
previous all time high in 2Q1996.

rates US (and hence globally) when the Fed


tapers, although it appears the Fed has also
tapered its tapering. And not to mention the
dampening effect of multiple rounds of
government measures since 2009, including
the onerous Total Debt Servicing Framework
(TDSR) released by the Monetary Authority of
Singapore (MAS) in June.
but is mainly supported by strength in
the Outside Central Region

Figure 1 URA Property Price Index


On the surface, it would appear that the
strength of property demand, supported by
low interest rates, has outweighed concern
over the weak economic situation in Europe
and China, and the prospect of rising interest
Back to Contents

The rate of price growth differed widely


across the various market segments. In the
Core Central Region (CCR), prices of nonlanded private residential properties actually
fell by 0.3% (the second consecutive quarter
of decline) versus a remarkable increase of
2.2% in the Outside Central Region (OCR),
on top of a frothy 3.8% increase in the
previous quarter.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


Even prices in the Rest of Central Region
(RCR) fell by 0.9%.
The PPI in the OCR continues to surpass that
of the CCR.

properties in the fringes of Singapore? While


theres been a lot of anti-foreigner sentiment
in Singapore in recent years, at least for this
surge of prices in the OCR, it appears that it
is the regular middle income Singaporeans
who are the bulk of the buyers. Since 2009
Singaporeans have been growing as a
proportion of total buyers, and made up
77.4% of buyers in 3Q2013.

Figure 2 URA Property Price Index for


the
Different
Regions
(Source:
PropertyMarketInsights.com)
Dont blame the foreigners

Who are continuing to buy these overpriced


Back to Contents

Figure 3 Singaporeans as a percentage


of total purchasers
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


(Source: PropertyMarketInsights.com)
The pullback in non-Singaporean buying has
also been affected by the much harsher
Additional Buyer Stamp Duties imposed on
Permanent Residents and Foreigners in
January 2013 in the Seventh Round of
government cooling measures.
Will property prices correct?

Figure 4 Change in URA Property Price


Index
Back to Contents

Since late 2011 property prices have been in


a sort of limbo, not rising by much but
stubbornly refusing to correct either. The
question hanging on most peoples minds is:
when will property prices correct? Prices have
been defying gravity despite the threat of a
weak global economic environment, propped
up by close-to-zero interest rates in the
United States and Singapore.

Figure 5 3-Month and 12-Month SIBOR


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


Developer inventory building up
While the main theme in Singapore property
over the last two years has been the strength
of developer sales while the resale market
has languished, we could be finally seeing a
weakening of demand for overpriced new
launches.

While the Monthly Developer Sell-Through


Rate is fairly volatile, in September 2013 it fell
to 69% from 80% the month before,
suggesting that developers are seeing slower
turnover of their inventory.

Figure 7 Developer Inventory Levels


(Source: PropertyMarketInsights.com)
Figure 6 Monthly Developer SellThrough
Rate
(Source:
PropertyMarketInsights.com)
Back to Contents

And indeed, developer inventory levels have


been increasing, approaching the highs last
seen in mid-2012.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


In September 2013, inventory levels stood at
6,546 units, a 10.5% increase from the month
before.
So are we there yet?
Ive said this before, and at the danger of
repeating myself too many times I believe that
we will only see significant levels of price
declines if: 1. There is an external crisis that
causes a panic, which we had in each of the
previous three declines (e.g. Asian Crisis,
Dotcom Bubble + SARS, Global Financial
Crisis); or 2. If interest rates rise significantly
thanks to the Feds tapering, which will
happen when the US economy strengthens
and unemployment rates fall, potentially in
late 2014 or early 2015.
In the meantime the abundant global liquidity
situation and sustained low interest rates will
continue to support Singapore property
Back to Contents

prices, although the large upcoming supply of


property and building up of developer
inventory will pressure prices, and could even
result in a price correction. Based on the
Property
Market
Cycle
Model
of
PropertyMarketInsights.com, we are in the
Late Bull Stage of the market. This means
that the upside potential risk is limited while
the downside risk is significant.

Property prices cannot continue to defy


gravity forever. Were just not there yet.
By Mr. Propwise, founder of top Singapore
property
blog
Propwise.sg
and
PropertyMarketInsights.com, an essential
property market analysis site that helps
buyers and sellers make profitable investment
decisions. Visit his sites to download free
property reports.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
20th storey of Peninsula Plaza for sale at
$21.3m
The 20th level of the 30-storey 999-year
leasehold Peninsula Plaza in North Bridge
Road has been put up for sale by an entity
linked to a Taiwanese shipping company. The
floor has six strata units ranging from about
990 sq ft to 1,776 sq ft and adding up to a
total of 8,514 sq ft. The indicative price is
about $21.3 million or $2,500 psf on total
strata area. Interested buyers may submit
bids for either individual units or the whole
floor.
(Source: Business Times)
Back to Contents

German European School to sublease its


campus in the Swiss Club
The German European School Singapore
(GESS) has launched a tender for a 26-year
sub-lease on its campus at 72 Bukit Tinggi
Road in the Swiss Club, surrounded by
international schools and near Good Class
Bungalow (GCB) areas. The site is 130,216
sq ft in size and is zoned for "educational
institution"
use
under
the
Urban
Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Master
Plan 2008. The minimum reserve price is $39
million, or $415 psf on the existing gross floor
area of 93,969 sq ft. The site is said to attract
new and existing players in the foreign school
arena looking for a long-term investment in a
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


flagship
Singapore
campus.
GESSs
enrolment, in fact, has been on the rise and
has outgrown its current premises, with a
campus on a short-lease site on Jalan Jurong
Kechil in the Bukit Batok area besides this
Bukit Tinggi site. GESSs selling a long sublease for the Bukit Tinggi site to another
educational institution would allow the school
to fund development of a new campus in
Upper Bukit Timah until 2017 to replace the
two current campus locations.
(Source: Business Times)
SkyPark
Residences
attract
most
electronic applications for ECs in 2013
The SkyPark Residences has received 1,604
electronic applications at its close on Oct 20,
more than three times the number of
available units. The 506-unit executive
condominium (EC) is located in Sembawang.
Back to Contents

It drew applications from upgraders, with a


higher proportion of applicants from Housing
and Development Board (HDB) estates in
Sembawang, Yishun, Woodlands, and Ang
Mo Kio. The developers, JBE Holdings and
Keong Hong Holdings, said that the majority
of applications apparently looked for bigger
units of four-room, five-room, and maisonette
units. SkyPark Residences are considered
the EC with the highest number of
maisonettes with a total of 28 five-bedroom
maisonettes which are 1,772 sq ft and offer
double-volume ceiling height in the living and
dining spaces. SkyPark Residences has
attracted the highest number of e-applications
for an EC so far this year, surpassing Sea
Horizon in Pasir Ris with 1,500 e-applications
(for 495 units) in August.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


8,700 shoebox units for resale until 2017
As the Seller's Stamp Duty (SSD) lock-in
period approaches expiry, 8,700 shoebox
units are expected to hit the resale market
from now until 2017. The figure was revealed
by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange
(SRX) report, with 805 resale units bought
between Aug 30, 2010 and Jan 13, 2011 and
7,910 units entering the market from 2015 to
2017. It also assumed that the first 805 units
would be sold in the fourth year of acquisition,
which attracts a 4 per cent SSD, given that
these units have achieved capital gains of
around 30 per cent over the three-year SSD
lock-in period. The figure is also more than
double the existing completed shoebox
residential stock of 3,472 units, which
suggests the market sign of relatively flexible
demand for resale units amid a slow-moving
overall resale market. The number of
Back to Contents

shoebox units transacted in the resale


market, in fact, has been increasing from 0.4
percent in the first nine months of 2009 (of
10,019 units transacted), to about 2.5 percent
this year (of 5,550 units transacted).
(Source: Business Times)
TDSR may have hit HDB upgraders more
According to a caveats analysis by property
consulting group DTZ, the total debt servicing
ratio (TDSR) framework may have had a
more adverse impacts on purchases of
private homes by those with HDB addresses
than those with private addresses. In Q3 of
2013, those living in HDB flats bought only
1,574 private homes, which decreased by 52
percent from the 3,303 units bought in Q2.
The drop was a bigger percentage drop than
the 46 percent fall in purchases by those with
private addresses of 2,102 in Q3.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


Consequently, the share of HDB owners
among private home buyers declined from 46
percent in Q2 to 43 percent in Q3, while those
with private addresses witnessed their share
increasing from 54 percent to 57 per cent in
Q3. DTZ said that HDB upgraders may be
affected more by the TDSR because they are
more likely to need a loan when they upgrade
from the HDB flat to private housing,
compared with other property investors.
(Source: Business Times)
Private homes bought
Malaysians, Indonesians
decreased 40%

by Chinese,
and Indians

In the third quarter of this year, the number of


private homes bought by mainland Chinese,
Malaysians and Indonesians each fell around
43 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 238, 240
and 149 respectively. Indians also bought 36
Back to Contents

per cent fewer private homes over the same


period, at 71 units in Q3. Conversely, US
buyers statistics, despite their small share,
remained the same at 44 units in Q3,
unchanged from Q2. According to property
consulting group DTZ, US buyers have been
less affected by the additional buyer's stamp
duty (ABSD) measures compared with other
foreign buyer groups because US citizens
who are buying their first Singapore
residential property are exempt from ABSD,
as they are given the same treatment as
Singapore citizens under the terms of the USSingapore free trade agreement. However,
mainland Chinese, Malaysians, Indonesians
and Indians still remain the top four
nationalities among all foreigners and
Singapore permanent residents (PRs) who
bought private homes in the first nine months
of this year.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


Together they made up 81.3 percent of the
4,028 private homes purchased by PRs and
foreigners in Jan-Sept 2013, similar to their
80.9 percent share of the 7,717 private
homes that PRs and foreigners bought in
2012.
(Source: Business Times)
TDSR hit Singapore buyers more than
foreigners
The total debt servicing ratio (TDSR)
framework has hit private home purchases by
Singaporeans more than foreign buyers,
which was not unexpected because the
TDSR framework was aimed at Singaporeans
rather than foreigners. In Q3 of 2013, home
purchases of Singaporean buyers and PRs
declines 51 and 44 percent respectively, while
home purchases of foreigners only fell 39.1
percent. On the contrary, with the initial rollout
Back to Contents

of the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD)


in December 2011, foreign buyers have been
hit harder. DTZ reported that the number of
caveats foreign buyers lodged for private
home purchases fell 73.5 quarter-on-quarter.
(Source: Business Times)
HDB flats resale prices drop
The resale price index (RPI) has shown the
prices for resale HDB flats fell 0.9 percent in
Q3, despite a 0.5 percent gain in the previous
quarter. The number of resale flats in Q3
decreased 13.5 percent to 4,529 units, from
5,235 units in Q2. The cash premium of cashover-valuation (COV) also fell 30 percent from
the previous quarter to only $18,000 in Q3.
This is the first time the index has dropped in
four years, since Q1 of 2009. Analysts have
attributed the drop to various measures
introduced between
Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


June and August the total debt servicing
ratio (TDSR) framework, a tighter mortgage
servicing ratio (MSR), lowering the maximum
loan tenure, allowing singles to purchase
Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, and a three-year
wait for all new PRs before they can buy a
resale flat. The official RPI drop was larger
than the earlier estimate of minus 0.7
percent, which is due to a delayed impact
from the tighter MSR introduced in August,
and the TDSR introduced in June.
(Source: Business Times)
Property
consultants
have
reactions to URAs Q3 data

mixed

The latest third-quarter private housing data


released by the Urban Redevelopment
Authority (URA) have received mixed
reactions from property consultants. Some
say mass-market sentiment is still strong,
Back to Contents

others see weakness setting in. The latter


group of consultants pointed out that the
3,951 private homes (excluding executive
condos) sold in primary and secondary
markets in Q3 of 2013 was just 57 percent of
that of Q2. Q3s figure was also the weakest
showing since Q4 2008 during the global
crisis, when 1,639 units were transacted. The
price indices for non-landed private homes in
Core Central Region (CCR) and Rest of
Central Region (RCR) also decreased 0.3
percent and 0.9 percent respectively quarter
on quarter.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Singapore CBD 8th most expensive office
area in the world
According to a Jones Lang LaSalle study, the
extended central business district comprising
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


Raffles Place and Marina Bay is the eighth
costliest office area in the world, standing at
S$11 psf per month or US$103 psf per year.
Hong Kong (US$162 psf per year) and Beijing
(US$137 psf per year) secured the second
and third places respectively for the most
expensive office areas in the world. The first
position belongs to St James's in London
which costs US$194 psf per year.

(Source: Business Times)


More weakness in developer sentiment in
Q3
Following the introduction of the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework in June,
developers sentiment has weakened further
in Q3. The Real Estate Sentiment Index,
which reflects overall market sentiment
through the Composite Sentiment Index, was
3.9 in Q3, which was down from 4.5 in Q2.
Back to Contents

The Q2 figure itself decreased from the 4.8


reading of Q1. The Future Sentiment Index
also dropped to 3.9 from 4.4 in Q2. The index
was developed by the Real Estate
Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas)
and the National University of Singapore. A
score below five is a flag for deteriorating
market conditions.
(Source: Business Times)
Far East Hospitality launches 3 Singapore
hotels
Over the next three months, Far East
Hospitality Management will launch three
Singapore hotels - the Village Hotel Katong in
the Marine Parade/East Coast area, the
Amoy at Far East Square in the
Chinatown/CBD area, and a relaunch of the
Rendezvous Grand Hotel in the Bras Basah
area acquired from Straits Trading Company.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127


The Village Hotel Katong has 229 rooms with
a modern Peranakan theme, which is a $30
million makeover of the old Paramount Hotel.
The Village Hotel Katong will be officially
launched next month with opening rates
starting from $178 per night. Far East
Hospitality is the hospitality management arm
of Far East Orchard Limited (FEOrchard).
The parent group, Far East Organization,
owns about 52 per cent of units in Far East
Hospitality Trust.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 15

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 127

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Oct 9 Oct 14

Postal
District
1
2
3
3
4
5
5
9
10
10
10
10
11
12
14
14
15
15
15
15
15

Project Name
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
INTERNATIONAL PLAZA
RIVER PLACE
HARVEST MANSIONS
REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY
HERITAGE VIEW
FABER CREST
ASPEN HEIGHTS
ARDMORE II
THE ARC AT DRAYCOTT
REGENCY PARK
THE MONTANA
RESIDENCES @ EVELYN
THE ARTE
DAKOTA RESIDENCES
CASA SARINA
MALVERN SPRINGS
OCEAN PARK
SANCTUARY GREEN
GALLERY 8
VILLA MARINA

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
883
1,033
1,582
1,023
3,391
1,206
1,744
1,119
2,024
1,270
2,250
1,141
1,141
1,055
1,313
1,281
1,001
2,110
1,356
1,163
1,561

Transacted
Price ($)
2,498,000
1,100,000
2,330,000
1,300,000
10,800,000
1,480,000
1,600,000
1,800,000
5,970,000
2,850,000
4,500,000
2,118,400
2,135,000
1,600,000
1,950,000
1,300,000
1,300,000
2,650,000
1,630,000
1,338,000
1,350,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
2,830
99
1,065
99
1,473
99
1,271
99
3,185
99
1,228
99
918
99
1,608 999
2,950
FH
2,244
FH
2,000
FH
1,857
FH
1,871
FH
1,517
FH
1,485
99
1,015
FH
1,299
FH
1,256
FH
1,202
99
1,151
FH
865
99

Postal
District
17
18
20
21
21
21
22
23
26

Project Name
LOYANG VALLEY
MODENA
BISHAN POINT
THE CASCADIA
THE RAINTREE
HUME PARK I
LAKEHOLMZ
HILLVIEW REGENCY
THE CALROSE

Area
(sqft)
1,862
2,443
936
1,421
1,292
904
1,238
1,195
1,249

Transacted
Price ($)
1,320,000
2,000,000
1,088,000
2,623,000
1,470,000
1,000,000
1,300,000
1,145,000
1,552,800

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
709
99
819
99
1,162
99
1,846
FH
1,138
99
1,106
FH
1,050
99
958
99
1,244
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.

Page | 16

Issue 128
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Trapped By Higher Interest Rates Unintended


Consequences of the TDSR

p7
p11

Welcome to the 128th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Singapore Property News This Week

Mr. Propwise

Resale Property Transactions


(October 16 October 22)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128

Trapped By Higher Interest Rates Unintended Consequences of the TDSR

By Paul Ho (guest contributor)


In this article, we will look at how the Total
Debt

Servicing

Ratio

(TDSR)

affects

refinancing. According to MAS, if you were to


refinance your loan with another bank or
even just re-price with the same bank, you
will still be required to pass the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio (TDSR) requirement of less
than 60%. All refinancing will have to pass

the TDSR rule.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128


Why would people get hurt refinancing?
So who are the people who might be hurt?
The many who bought their properties using

a 35 year loan tenure or under a less strict


Debt Servicing ratio of 60% (Note: A Debt
Servicing Ratio of 60% is not the same as a
Total Debt Servicing Ratio of 60%).

institutions provided a step-up package


home loan package, so these property
owners

are

now

stuck

with

increased

financing costs and yet cannot refinance their


home loan due to failing the new TDSR rule.
Case study of a 30 year loan refinancing
This individual got approved under a Debt

People who borrowed under interest-only

Servicing Ratio (DSR) of 60% based on a

financing would also be hurt when interest

lower interest rate set at 2%. The monthly

rates increase as they cannot switch. If they

installment works out to be $3,252 per

do switch, they will incur higher monthly

month. This means that based on the DSR,

servicing cost, and therefore could fail the

this

TDSR threshold of <60%. Many financial

calculation does not consider his car loan.

Back to Contents

person

is

only

at

36.14%.

This

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128

Figure 1: DSR of 60% using 2% interest rate to justify (Source: www.iCompareLoan.com)


He earns $9,000 a month and pays $3,255.65

loan of $1,500 a month for the Total Debt

a month on his installment, which is quite

Servicing Ratio, he would still PASS at 55.70%.

affordable. Even if the bank takes in his car


Back to Contents

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128


But with the new rule, the TDSR must be

3.5% and not the current actual interest rates

assessed using an assumed interest rate of

of 1.5% to 2%.

Figure 2: TDSR at 3.5% (Source: www.iCompareloan.com Home Loan Report)


Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128


In this case, if we use 3.5% as the
assessment interest rate, then this borrower
will fail the TDSR requirement at 74.44%. This
means that he cannot refinance away from his
current loan to get savings. As he fails the
TDSR, and the bank is starting to charge him
higher interest rates, he is trapped.
Good
intentions
consequences

but

unintended

While the MAS means well to impose financial


prudence amongst borrowers and financial
institutions, this new law actually traps a
group of property owners who now cannot
refinance to cheaper rates and are trapped by
the banks who first offered them these loans
(perhaps imprudently). And we're not even
talking about extreme cases. By all measures,
our hypothetical borrower earns a decent
salary at $9,000 a month and is considered a
high income earner.
Back to Contents

So this rule which was meant to rein in


aggressive lending by banks actually benefits
the banks who initially lent more aggressively
as they now have a group of home owners
who cannot refinance and are trapped paying
the higher rates charged by the bank.
Isn't it ironic that the regulation ended up
hurting those people who took the loan rather
than imposing financial prudence on the
aggressive financial institutions? This is like
telling the naughty boy to behave, and that if
he does you will give him a sweet. But as he
knows he will be given a sweet even if he is
bad, he may misbehave again to get another
sweet i.e. this is negative reinforcement.
By Paul Ho, holder of an MBA from a
reputable
university
and
editor
of
www.iCompareLoan.com, Singapores first
Cloud-based Home Loan reporting platform
used by Property agents, financial advisors as
well as Mortgage brokers.
Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
No oversupply in property market: Savills
Singapore
Mr. Alan Cheong, head of research and
consultancy at Savills Singapore, said that
barring external shocks, property prices,
residential prices will stay elevated, and that
there will be an oversupply of homes in 2015
is not the case at all. This came among a
recent talk of a possible residential property
market crash, especially with more supply
coming on board in 2015. Mr. Cheong made
his case at Carlton Hotel for Singapore
Management University's (SMU) homecoming

Back to Contents

celebrations for its Master of Science in


Applied Finance programme.
(Source: Business Times)
Sept SRPI worsens for three out of four
sectors of non-landed private homes
According to the flash estimates of the
Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) in
September, prices of completed non-landed
private homes fell in three out of four
categories month-on-month. The only sector
that showed an increase by 0.1 percent is for
Non-Central Region (excluding small units),
which had decreased 0.1 percent in August
based on the revised value.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128


The biggest drop in September was by the
sub-index for small units (up to 506 sqft)
islandwide, down 1.9 percent in September
compared with August, contrasting with a 0.7
percent month-on-month increase in the
revised index value for August. According to
Savills Singapore, the reason for this could be
that shoebox unit buyers in the early days
with huge profits are less inclined to argue
over pricing in todays market when they
offload their units.
(Source: Business Times)
OCBC mortgage insurance a bit hit

Four years ago, OCBC Bank launched a


mortgage protector which would refund its
buyers all the premiums paid if they are still
alive at the end of the 20-year home loan.
Currently, the Mortgage Protector Plus (a
single-premium
policy)
and
Mortgage
Back to Contents

Protector Advantage (the regular-premium


version) are still the only mortgage insurance
plans doing this and is still receiving great
response from homebuyers. Despite the
slowdown in Singapores property market, the
number of new customers who bought these
OCBCs two mortgage insurance plans
increased 60 per cent in the first nine months
of 2013.These policies are considered to play
right into the Singaporean psyche that hates
giving or paying for something for nothing in
return.
(Source: Business Times)
Good Class Bungalow market starts to
warm up
Following the introduction of the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework in
lateJune, the Good Class Bungalow (GCB)
market appears to be warming up.
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128


Options have been granted for the sale of at
least two properties in Gallop Park and
Dalvey Road. The Gallop Park bungalow is
being on sale by a Singaporean in the
banking and finance industryfor $25.2 million,
or $1,574 psf on its land area of 16,010 sq ft.
On site is a two-storey freehold property with
about 7,000 sqft built-up area, with six
bedrooms and a swimming pool. This
transaction would mark the fifth time the
property is changing hands over seven years;
- the earlier transactions about $7.5 million in
March 2006, $12.3 million in July 2007, $13.1
million in September 2008 and $21 million in
December 2010 to the current owner.

consultants to be warmly received, yet it is


another matter to have agreement on pricing
expectations. The site was one of two
released for tender by the government. The
other site is a 99-year leasehold residential
site in Lorong Lew Lian. As for the Westwood
site, the cost psfpprare expected by
consultants to be from $285 to $380.SLP
International's executive director Nicholas
Maksaid he expects a top bid of between
$285 and $313 psfppr.

(Source: Business Times)

Singapore property investors are reported to


head to overseas property markets such as
London, Australia, and new destinations like
Canada and New Zealand. According to
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL),

Westwood EC site expects warm reception


The executive condominium (EC) site in
Westwood Avenue is expected by property
Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)


Singapore
overseas

property

investors

heading

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128


there has been an increase of 60 percent in
Singapore investors interest in London
properties in the first five months of 2013,
with over 50 units per month bought by
Singaporeans. Singaporean investors are
more confident in London due to their
financial confidence against the weakening
pound. As for the Australian market,
Singaporean investors have invested up to
US$585 million worth of real estate between
January and September this year, according
to CBRE data.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial

through the confirmed list. Tenders close on


Dec 12 for three sites in Tuas South area
(Plots 20, 22 and 24), and on Dec 10 for a
plot in Gambas Crescent (Parcel 3).The fifth
plot, Parcel 4 at Gambas Crescent, is offered
through the reserve list. It will be launched for
tender only if there is a successful application
by a developer, with an undertaking of a
minimum bid price that is acceptable to the
state.The two Gambas sites are on 30-year
leasehold tenure and zoned for Business 1
use with 2.5 plot ratio (ratio of maximum
gross floor area to land area).
(Source: Business Times)

Five industrial sites released


Five plots of land have been released
through the Industrial Government Land
Sales Programme.Four of them are offered
Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Oct 16 Oct 22

Postal
District
1
3
5
5
5
8
8
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
12
14
14
15
15
15

Project Name
MARINA BAY RESIDENCES
QUEENS
BLUE HORIZON
PARK WEST
WEST BAY CONDOMINIUM
RESIDENCES @ SOMME
KERRISDALE
THE SUITES AT CENTRAL
HORIZON TOWER
THE GRANGE
THE MONTANA
MUTIARA CREST
ROBIN REGALIA
QUINTERRA
NEWTON SUITES
NEWTON IMPERIAL
GLOUCESTER MANSIONS
DERBYSHIRE HEIGHTS
PAPILLON
ASTORIA PARK
SIMSVILLE
AALTO
THE WATERSIDE
PARKSHORE

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
4,489
1,410
1,163
1,249
1,281
678
1,270
1,012
2,368
2,293
1,141
474
1,249
1,679
1,238
1,711
1,130
1,324
936
1,195
1,238
1,550
2,142
1,722

Transacted
Price ($)
13,880,000
1,880,000
1,380,000
1,200,000
1,228,888
988,000
1,468,000
2,350,000
2,930,000
5,550,000
2,097,800
810,000
2,030,000
2,150,000
2,550,000
3,000,000
1,750,000
1,680,000
1,090,000
1,430,000
1,268,000
3,280,000
2,850,000
2,256,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
3,092
99
1,333
99
1,187
99
961
99
959
99
1,457
FH
1,156
99
2,323
FH
1,237
99
2,421
FH
1,839
FH
1,710
FH
1,626
FH
1,280
99
2,060
FH
1,753
FH
1,548
FH
1,269
FH
1,164
FH
1,197
99
1,024
99
2,116
FH
1,331
FH
1,310
FH

Postal
District
15
15
15
15
16
16
16
16
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
19
19
19
19
20
21

Project Name
PARK EAST
D'ECOSIA
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
MAYBELLE LODGE
CASA MERAH
SUNHAVEN
PARBURY HILL CONDOMINIUM
THE TANAMERA
DOUBLE BAY RESIDENCES
NV RESIDENCES
NV RESIDENCES
RIS GRANDEUR
LIVIA
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
THE TROPICA
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
ELIAS GREEN
ELIAS GREEN
THE CHUAN
KOVAN RESIDENCES
STADIA
PALM GROVE CONDOMINIUM
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
THE STERLING

Area
(sqft)
893
1,227
1,572
1,259
1,259
990
1,475
947
936
904
904
1,356
1,345
1,238
1,238
1,259
1,550
1,528
936
1,259
861
1,389
883
1,044

Transacted
Price ($)
1,130,000
1,520,000
1,568,000
1,060,000
1,500,000
1,050,000
1,550,000
858,000
1,225,000
1,000,000
970,000
1,375,000
1,330,000
1,170,000
1,140,000
1,130,000
1,030,000
940,000
1,378,000
1,720,000
1,068,200
1,520,000
900,000
1,566,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,265
FH
1,239
FH
998
99
842
FH
1,191
99
1,060
FH
1,051
FH
906
99
1,308
99
1,106
99
1,073
99
1,014
FH
988
99
945
99
921
99
897
99
665
99
615
99
1,471 999
1,366
99
1,240
FH
1,095 999
1,020
99
1,500
FH

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 128

Postal
District
21
22
23
23
23
23
26
27
27
28
28

Project Name
MAPLEWOODS
PARC OASIS
CASHEW PARK CONDOMINIUM
HILLVIEW HEIGHTS
MERAWOODS
REGENT HEIGHTS
THE CALROSE
YISHUN EMERALD
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM
SUNRISE GARDENS
SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM

Area
(sqft)
1,496
1,076
893
1,668
1,345
1,173
1,163
1,023
1,679
1,324
1,302

Transacted
Price ($)
2,050,000
1,015,000
1,025,000
1,820,000
1,350,000
988,000
1,465,380
835,000
1,280,000
1,140,000
1,080,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,370
FH
943
99
1,147 999
1,091
FH
1,003 999
842
99
1,261
FH
817
99
762
99
861
99
829
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 12

Issue 129
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

Top 5 New Property Launch Gimmicks

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p14

Resale Property Transactions

FROM THE

EDITOR

Welcome to the 129th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(October 23 October 29)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129

Top 5 New Property Launch Gimmicks


By Property Soul (guest contributor)
There are many tactics employed by property
developers and their marketing agents during
the launch of off-plan properties. In this article
well go through the five most common
marketing gimmicks, namely:
1. Gather a crowd
2. Create urgency

3. Make some noise


4. Dangle the carrot
5. Promise a good return.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


Gimmick 1: Gather a crowd
When it comes to buying big ticket items like
properties, no one wants to be a guinea pig.
The traffic in the sales gallery is a
thermometer to measure the popularity of a
project. Seeing people turning up in droves
can reassure potential buyers that they are
most probably making the right choice.
It is therefore the job of the marketing agent
to ensure the following at the sales gallery, at
least during the first weekend of a new
launch:
1. Fill up the temporary carpark to make it
look full
2. Draw a crowd of enthusiastic property
agents waiting outside
3. Have a few groups of eager buyers
occupying the discussion tables
Back to Contents

When a local developer launched a property


in the east in mid-2011, instead of using the
usual industry practice of balloting for the
sequence to pick a flat, their marketing agent
asked interested buyers to line up in front of
the sales gallery.
On the day before the actual launch, close to
three hundred people joined the queue.
There were students, retirees and property
agents napping, snacking and playing cards
in the queue to kill time. Such a scene made
passers-by wonder whether the crowd really
consisted of genuine buyers, or just parttimers being paid to fake how hot the new
project was.
By coincidence, it was the beginning of the
school holidays in June. So was it the
popularity of the project, or simply the
attractiveness of the incentives?
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


Gimmick 2: Create urgency
It is the marketing agent's job to constantly
remind interested parties that units are selling
fast, and that all units are going to be sold out
soon.
There is usually a huge banner hanging at a
prominent place in front of the sales gallery
that says '80 percent sold'. The headline in a
local paper reads '70 percent sold on the first
day'.
However, some key information may be
conveniently missing, including:
1. The planned number of phases for the
project launch
2. How many units are actually released in
each phase
The full statement should probably be:

Back to Contents

1. '80 percent of 50 units sold in phase one


out of five phases'; and
2. '70 percent sold on first day after 60
percent of units already taken up by VIPs
before launch'
When customers ask about the next batch of
units for launch, sales representatives may
hint that subsequent phases will offer units
with poorer view or lower quality finishings,
despite the fact that they are sold at higher
prices.
Here is the truth: Developers tend to push the
less desirable blocks or units to the market
first. These units may present an average
view, face the west sun or have an awkward
layout.
There is a philosophy behind this: If they can
sell units which are most difficult to move,

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


the rest of the better units can definitely be
sold, and at higher prices. The tactic is known
as 'save the best for last'.
Biggest discounts go to the last few
buyers
You may be surprised to hear this. But the
biggest discount is often not the one offered
to the first batch of buyers, but the one given
to the last few takers. The reasons are many:
1. The market situation may have changed
2. The developer may feel that they have
made enough profit for the units sold

3. The marketing agent may find it too much


work to continue running the sales gallery
4. The last few units left may be the less
desirable ones
Sometimes
Back to Contents

there

is

really

not

much

advantage for the early birds who buy earlier


than others. Besides gathering a crowd there
and creating the urgency to buy, there are
other marketing gimmicks you may find
familiar at a new launch.
Gimmick 3: Make some noise
To draw the attention of potential buyers,
media coverage is a better alternative than
advertising. It sounds more convincing and
also helps to save money.
The public relations department of property
developers knows when to feed the right
stories to the journalists, for example a media
report or a rumor that a celebrity, an investor
or a government official just bought one unit
at the sales gallery.
People all want to be seen having the same
foresight as the experts in property

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


investment or the big names in their own
fields. Thus the release of these stories works
to motivate other buyers to follow suit.
In order to wow the readers, the media has a
tendency to pick up only unusual cases. An
amateur investor may have just bought a
place at a ridiculously high price. Or one
particular buyer has decided to buy a flat with
a unique design, facing or location regardless
of the asking price.
An inevitable conclusion is that prices in the
property market have just set new highs. The
obvious connotation for potential buyers is to
take action now before prices jump again.
Gimmick 4: Dangle the carrot
Goodies given away at the sales gallery are a
catalyst to close deals. Be it fee absorption,
furniture vouchers, furnishing packages, or
branded appliances, they are attractive
Back to Contents

concessions in the eyes of potential buyers.


Never mind the fact that such offers are just
peanuts compared with the price of the
property.
Tempted buyers are often unaware that the
value of these goodies can easily be offset by
a slight drop in the propertys market value. It
is therefore more practical to get an
immediate discount off the list price. Ask the
sales representative the estimated cost of
that branded appliance or furnishing package,
then request for a direct deduction from the
units asking price in lieu of the developers
goodie.
Some properties are sold with 'guaranteed
rental return'. It is a scheme that promises
owners a fixed percentage of the propertys
price as rental income, regardless of the
actual rental income, or whether the property
is rented out in the first few years.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


This tactic is usually deployed to move units
in high-end condominiums. The rental income
can be seen as a form of discount off the list
price.
'Guaranteed rental return' is different from
earning rental income from actual tenants
over the years. Since the amount given has
actually been factored into the price, one can
also argue that buyers are actually paying for
their guaranteed rental amount in advance.
Strictly speaking, the party who benefits most
from giving away the carrot is probably the
developer itself. It is because these goodies
are usually offered when the market starts to
cool down so that developers are able to
move properties off the shelves without
lowering the price.

Back to Contents

Gimmick 5: Promise a good return


Once the sales representatives know that you
are buying the property for investment, they
may claim that their units can be rented out at
a certain market rate.
There are two ways to check the validity:
1. Do your own research.
Go to the Urban Redevelopment Authority
website to check the latest published figures
on Rentals of Private Residential Properties.
Find a similar unit in a nearby project that is
relatively new. Check the range of monthly
rent to see whether the numbers given are
too optimistic.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


2. Do some mystery shopping.
Respond to the rental listings of new projects
in the same district to check the popularity of
properties for rent there.
The sales representative may claim that their
units offer an attractive rental return of a
certain percentage. It is not difficult to
calculate the net monthly ROI (Return on
Investment) on your own.
ROI = (monthly rental - loan repayment
maintenance fee - property tax) x 12 initial
investment

salesperson spoke confidently that their units


offered a minimum of five percent rental
return. But after I did my sums, the cash-oncash return was actually less than one
percent.
Next time before you walk into a sales gallery,
remember to do your homework first. When it
comes to property investment, ignorance can
be very expensive.
By Property Soul, a successful property
investor and enthusiast who shares her
experiences and knowledge on her blog.

Once I stepped into a sales gallery where the

Back to Contents

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Sentosa Cove condo prices are now
attractive
The prices of the upscale waterfront housing
district in the Sentosa Cove condo market are
now attractive to both the high-end and mass
markets on the mainland. This has been
revealed in Colliers Internationals latest
White Paper. The median price of 99-year
Sentosa Cove condo units has been reported
to decrease 44.2 percent over two
consecutive quarters, from $2,950 psf in Q1,
2013 to $1,646 psf in Q3, which is 1.5 percent
lower
than
their
99-year-leasehold
counterparts in Districts 9, 10 and 11 as well
Back to Contents

as the financial district on the mainland. This


figure of $1,646 psf is also just 25.6 per cent
more than the $1,311 psf median price of 99year mass-market condos in Outside Central
Region, the narrowest gap observed since
condos were first launched in Sentosa.
Previously in Q1, 2008, prices of condos in
Sentosa Cove climbed as high as 133.1
percent above their mainland counterparts.
Attractive deals on Sentosa Cove in the first
nine months of this year include seven condo
units with floor areas of between 1,012
square feet and 1,216 square feet transacted
at $1.71 million to $1.90 million.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


China Vanke Co. to build condos for rich
Chinese buyers in Singapore
China Vanke Co., China's biggest mainlandlisted property developer, has teamed up with
Keppel Land to develop 726 flats in east
Singapore for rich foreign Chinese buyers
who emerged as the top overseas buyers of
Singapore residential property. Another factor
in Vanke Co.s decision is reported to be
curbs on luxury residences and fundraising
back in China. Vanke has sold S$140 million
of four-year notes with a 3.275 percent
coupon on Oct 31, according to Bloomberg
data. More developments are also planned by
Vanke in San Francisco and Hong Kong.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Commercial
Feature Development buys the whole
Serangoon Plaza

Feature Development an associate company


of Tong Eng Group of Companies, already
owned more than 90 per cent of Serangoon
Plaza and has now bought the whole of the
five-storey Little India complex for $400
million through a collective sale process. The
final sale price is 9 to 11 percent more than
the indicative price of $360 million to $368
million or $1,751 to $1,790 psf, standing at
$1,946 psf. The building was up for sale in
September, and the tender closed on Oct 31.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


Hotel site in Katong up for sale
A 99-year leasehold tenure hotel site on East
Coast Road near I12 Katong has been
triggered for sale. The hotel is in a heritage
area with the leeway for up to 40 percent of
the total GFA turned over to serviced
apartments and/or commercial use. It is
88,678.4 sqft in size and has a maximum
GFA of about 266,040.6 sq ft. A developer is
reported to put up a bid of at least $160
million, or $601.41psfppr. The winning bidder
will have to restore the former JooChi at
Police Station sitting on the plot, which could
raise more construction costs.
(Source: Business Times)
A string of development proposals to get
URA permission for Q3
A string of development proposals are
reported to be granted provisional permission
Back to Contents

by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Q3,


2013. These include a 560-room hotel in
Jurong Town Hall Road by Resorts World
Singapore, an office and retail development in
Jurong East by SimLian, a revised
development proposal by Keppel Land for its
Keppel Towers and GE Tower site in Hoe
Chiang Road. Previously in the July-Sept
2013 period, less than a handful of private
residential projects received URA nod. One of
those projects is the Keppel Land unit
Harvestland Development's proposal for a
500-unit condo in Kim Tian Road, near
TiongBahru MRT Station and TiongBahru
Plaza.
(Source: Business Times)
Tanglin Shopping Centre up on en bloc
market again
Tanglin Shopping Centre is now back on the
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


en bloc market after several failed attempts.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C)
has signed a collective sale agreement on its
34 percent interest in Tanglin Shopping
Centre's share through a wholly owned
subsidiary. An independent sales committee
including representatives of the unit owners
has been authorised to obtain the necessary
approvals from other owners to market the
property and prepare for a sale given that at
least 80 percent of owners must agree to a
collective sale.
(Source: Business Times)
Rabobank signs lease for South Beach
Tower
Rabobank is said to have signed a lease for
about 26,000 sqft at South Beach Tower to
move out of 77 Robinson Road, under the

Back to Contents

advice of DTZ. In addition, Booking.com has


also signed a lease for 45,000 sqft at Marina
Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 to relocate from
its existing location at Suntec City, under the
broker of CBRE. Gunvor, a Europe-based
commodity trading group providing integrated
trading products and logistics services for the
global oil and energy markets, will be taking
22,000 sqft of the building. This steady
stream of office leasing deals shows that
there is still demand in the market in the CBD.
(Source: Business Times)
Shops at The Interlace condo up for sale

The eight strata-titled shops at 99-year


leasehold
The
Interlace
condominium
between Alexandra Road and Depot Road
have been put up for sale by Knight Frank
with a guide price of more than $2,500 psf.

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129


The shops are between 388 sqft and 1,119
sqft in size, and have a combined strata area
of about 5,340 sq ft. The sales will be done by
an expression of interest, and can be for the
whole group of shops or for individual
units.The Interlace, which has 1,040
residential units, is developed by CapitaLand
Singapore and Hotel Properties Limited.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Oct 23 Oct 29

Postal
District
1
4
4
4
4
5
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
12
12
12
14

Project Name
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY
SEASCAPE
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
TERESA VILLE
WESTCOVE CONDOMINIUM
PARC EMILY
THE INSPIRA
CAVENAGH GARDENS
ARDMORE PARK
ST REGIS RESIDENCES SINGAPORE
THE MONTANA
BALMORAL 8
VALLEY PARK
THE HORIZON
WATERFALL GARDENS
SOMMERVILLE PARK
NEWTON ONE
THE LINCOLN RESIDENCES
CASA FORTUNA
OLEANDER TOWERS
THE MORNINGTON
CENTRA STUDIOS

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
624
2,347
2,680
1,636
1,981
1,539
1,238
936
1,163
2,885
2,142
1,141
1,841
1,808
1,561
2,583
1,884
1,216
2,088
506
1,152
1,259
463

Transacted
Price ($)
1,275,000
6,116,000
6,800,000
2,730,000
2,260,000
1,400,000
2,150,000
1,525,680
1,450,000
10,500,000
5,200,000
2,267,750
3,600,000
2,880,000
2,475,000
4,000,000
2,860,000
2,380,000
3,788,000
850,000
1,255,000
1,220,000
650,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
2,042
99
2,606
99
2,537
99
1,669
99
1,141
FH
910
99
1,737
FH
1,629
FH
1,247
FH
3,640
FH
2,428 999
1,988
FH
1,956
FH
1,593 999
1,586
FH
1,548
FH
1,518
FH
1,957
FH
1,814
FH
1,680
FH
1,090
99
969
FH
1,404
FH

Postal
District
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
18
18
18
18
19
19
20
21
21
21
22

Project Name
AMBER RESIDENCES
SANCTUARY GREEN
BUTTERWORTH 8
HAIG COURT
COTE D'AZUR
SUNSHINE RESIDENCE
ESPIRA SPRING
RESIDENCE 66
THE NCLAVE
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
LANDBAY CONDOMINIUM
THE BAYSHORE
DOUBLE BAY RESIDENCES
EASTPOINT GREEN
MELVILLE PARK
LIVIA
HILLSIDE MANSIONS
COMPASS HEIGHTS
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
GARDENVISTA
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
THE BEVERLY
THE LAKESHORE

Area
(sqft)
1,249
775
1,023
1,076
1,679
775
1,206
1,119
1,356
1,572
1,238
1,238
1,367
969
958
2,486
1,141
1,862
883
1,163
1,668
2,992
1,184

Transacted
Price ($)
1,800,000
1,050,000
1,350,000
1,410,000
2,100,000
928,000
1,410,000
1,288,000
1,480,000
1,540,000
1,318,000
1,298,000
1,650,000
920,000
830,000
2,000,000
1,080,000
1,500,000
1,020,000
1,500,000
2,050,000
2,250,000
1,480,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,442
FH
1,355
99
1,320
FH
1,310
FH
1,251
99
1,197
FH
1,170
FH
1,151
FH
1,091
FH
980
99
1,065
FH
1,049
99
1,207
99
950
99
866
99
804
99
947
FH
806
99
1,156
99
1,290
99
1,229
FH
752
FH
1,250
99

Page | 14

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 129

Postal
District
22
23
23
23
23
25
26
27
27
28

Project Name
LAKEPOINT CONDOMINIUM
HILLINGTON GREEN
MERAWOODS
MERAWOODS
PALM GARDENS
CASABLANCA
SEASONS PARK
THE ESTUARY
SUN PLAZA
GRANDE VISTA

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,884 1,200,000
637
99
1,356 1,518,000 1,119 999
1,001 1,045,000 1,044 999
1,076 1,050,000
975
999
1,216 968,000
796
99
1,109 1,040,000
938
99
1,109 1,000,000
902
99
1,119 1,138,000 1,017
99
1,313 956,888
729
99
2,702 1,900,000
703
999

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 15

Issue 130
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

The 4 Fundamental Rules of

Welcome to the 130th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Property Investment

Hope you like it!

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p15

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(October 30 November 5)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, and if theyre good
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News.

Want to get your brand, product, service or property listing out to


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130

The 4 Fundamental Rules of Property Investment


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
In any investments, and especially in property
due to its highly illiquid nature, there are four
fundamental rules of property investment
ordinary investors must to adhere to if they
want to be successful:
1. You Must Preserve Your Capital (the
ability to at least preserve the initial
investment capital without losing it),
2. Money Must Be in Constant Velocity
(generating immediate returns)
3. You Must Be In Control (YOU Control the
investment, not the other way around)
4. Never Invest in Something You Dont
Understand Well
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


These are the four rules I followed religiously
ever since embarking on my property
investment journey 10 years ago, and these
crucial rules have helped cushion my property
investments in the ups and downs of the
market over the years. These rules are not
entirely created by me, but they have always
been used by successful investors and
entrepreneurs whom I have had the privilege
to learn from. One of them is my late wealthy
grandfather who had built a multi-million
dollar business and property empire by simply
adhering to these four
fundamental
investment rules.

Rule 1: You Must Preserve Your Capital


Sounds logical and simple enough, yet many
gullible investors forget this rule when greed,
arrogance, ignorance and a gambling streak
arise.

Back to Contents

When an investor tries to find those


investments that will give them the best
possible returns on their investment capital,
they will often absent-mindedly ignore the
potential downsides of the investment and
economy. Greed and arrogance will cause
them to pursue investments that promise so
called high returns that look good on the
surface with unsubstantiated claims of
potential high rental yields or capital gains
that the properties or investment can fetch.
Take for example, buying overseas property
in exhibitions and property seminars. Smart
overseas property marketers know greed and
ignorance always sells, and they know how to
use it to prey on unsuspecting investors who
may be completely ignorant of the market,
especially in an overseas market which one
may be unfamiliar with.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


Greed has foreshadowed fundamentals. Most
of the time, the investor does not realise it
unknowingly, and we all know that greed will
always lead to dire financial consequences.
If you want to do well in any investment,
you must possess some basic business
knowledge. Knowing how to differentiate
between a winning investment and a losing
investment takes many years of experience,
humble learning and a basic understanding of
reading
a
simple
business
financial
statement. The problem with most amateur
investors is that they cannot even manage
their own personal finances properly, or to
distinguish what an asset and liability is.

Back to Contents

Rule 2: Money Must Be in Constant


Velocity
If the investment does NOT give
immediate returns today, its not an
investment. Any investment bought on future
price gains and yield is gambling! For
example, buying a property off-the-plan only
to see completion four years later is more of a
consumer choice than an investment choice.
If you have an obese bank account with many
other income producing assets, I say sure, go
ahead and speculate on some off-the-plan
property projects or other investments that
will ripen years down the road. You can
afford to wait and play the game patiently.

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


However, for the ordinary investor, where time
is of crucial importance in growing wealth,
who has yet to secure his retirement funds,
and has no passive income from zero assets
nor a million dollars in the bank account
today, trapping your limited capital resources
for four years or more with zero returns in the
period (not to mention the potential downside
and economic changes that might happen in
four years time) can prevent you from seizing
other potential opportunities to grow that
wealth earlier.
Rule 3: You Must Be in Control
Its called the control of money. The rich
get richer, while the poor get poorer because
the rich understands the importance of having
control in any investment. They control the
money, sufficiently protecting their downside.
They control the investment and the returns

Back to Contents

they want through managing income cash


flow and expenses.
Holding Power is NOT a protection of
downside: Never mind, my downside
protection is if the property cannot be rented
out or fetch the price I want, I can always stay
in it or use it myself.
Its the same as saying if I fail to woo the girl I
like, I can still hope to win her heart back with
more flowers and expensive gifts. There are
plenty of other good choices around. Dump
the losing property and move on. Holding
power is for people who have already made
their wealth, and not for ordinary investors
who have very limited capital resources for
more productive uses in other opportunities.
Property developers take their initial
investment back within five years by selling
units to property buyers as soon as they can.
Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


Banks (and even loan sharks) take back their
money lent to borrowers in the form of
immediate monthly loan re-payments as
interest income.

The middle class becomes poorer because


their one and only Get Wealthy strategy is to
buy off-the-plan-properties and have mutual
funds for retirement plans. There is no control
here. The only people in control are the
property developers, the economy and the
fund managers themselves.

love to do it as it gives them an adrenalin high


and a strong sense of satisfaction (high
returns), but he/she does not view it as risky
because they follow a set of strict rules,
proper system, proper safety techniques and
constant training to minimise those risk
associated with mountain climbing. The
untrained ones like us, however, will view
mountain climbing as a very risky
investment.

You dont know what you dont know.

The point is this: If you do not know what you


are doing, it is considered risky. And
surprisingly,
most
untrained
investors
(arrogant and ignorant) think they know what
they are doing.

We need to understand Risk Vs Risky. All


investments come with risk, but not all are
risky if you know what you are doing. A
professional mountain climber knows he/she
faces risk when doing this sport, and they

Focus on ONE key investment area you


know very well, before even considering
venturing into the next. Focus, NOT diversify!
Diversification is for those with no control and
do not know what they are doing.

Rule 4: Never invest in Something You


Dont Understand Well

Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


David Beckam, the famous professional
football star, does not say he will diversify
playing professionally into other sports like
golf (and hope to become another Tiger
Woods) simply because his managers tell him
there is a danger of tearing his leg ligament
just by playing soccer alone. Yes he plays golf
but thats a hobby he can afford and not a
career.

Luciano Pavarotti, the famous opera singer


does not diversify into singing rock songs,
because there are fewer opera listeners and
rock is more popular.
Take commercial and industrial property
investment for example. With massive cooling
measures on residential property sector,
many unwitting home-buyers have gone into
the commercial and industrial sector. Being
only residential buyers for their own homes,

Back to Contents

most small-time ordinary retail investors have


very little or no knowledge of how the
commercial and industrial sector works, yet
they invest on hopes of returns (if any). The
investment dynamics and structure of the
commercial and industrial property sector is
completely different from that of residential
homes.
Implement Strict Personal
Criteria and System

Investment

Do you have a personal investment system


with a strict set of investment criteria?
I follow all four of the fundamental rules
strictly and if an investment does not meet
just one of those rules, I do not invest at all.
All my property investments are low risk, high
returns (returns which meet my criteria
according to my personal goals) because I
understand them very well,
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


they fit my strict personal criteria and system,
and they adhere strictly to the 4 Rules of
Investment.
You need to have constant training, ground
experience and implement a set of rules and
system catered specifically to your own needs
and life priorities and most importantly, follow
them without fail! I have my own set of strict
investment system and criteria, and I follow
them. If a particular investment does not meet
any of my set criteria, I do not invest, no
matter how promising the returns are.
Having a personal investment philosophy
would also help tremendously. Having first
evaluated these goals will help determine
ones preferred investment returns, to

Back to Contents

preserve or grow ones wealth, and what sort


of investments should you invest in.
As Sun Tses Art of War says, Knowing
yourself and knowing your enemy is the key
to winning all battles.
Follow strictly your rules of engagement for
any investments. The investment can either
be your dearest friend or it can be your
deadly enemy. You decide.
By guest contributor Gerald Tay, CEO of
CREI Academy Group, who exposes widelyheld property investment myths that have
proven highly ineffective in creating wealth,
and prevent a comfortable retirement for the
ordinary investor.

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Duo Residences receives good interest
During the first phase of sales at Duo
Residences,
the
99-year
leasehold
development at Ophir-Rochor Road, more
than 1,000 cheques were submitted. The
project is a joint collaboration of Temasek
Holdings and KhazanahNasional. Apartments
at the development start from $2,214 psf for a
studio apartment of about 420 sqft in size,
while prices of one-bedders of 538 sqft start
at $2,045 psf. Two-bedroom units of at least
807sqft in size are priced at $1,983 psf. The
property is a few-minute drive from

Back to Contents

TiongBahru, VivoCity, Orchard Road, MBS,


the CBD and Sentosa.
(Source: Business Times)
National Development Minister sees light
for Singapore property market
At Parliament on November 12, National
Development MinisterKhaw Boon Wan was
asked by Member of Parliament Christopher
de Souza about what can be done to ensure
a predictable regulatory regime to regulate
foreign ownership in Singapore's property
market in order to create sustainable property
prices. Minister Khaw said he was seeing
light at the end of the tunnel to achieve a

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


sustainable Singapore property market, with
the cooling measures creating the intended
effect of dampening foreign demand and
reducing speculation. The proportion of
purchases by foreign in Singapore private
housing market has decreased since 2011
from 17 percent in 2011 to only 7 percent in
Q3, 2013. The number of purchases by
foreigners has also decreased from about
1,400 per quarter to 330 in Q3, 2013. In
addition, subsales, a proportion of private
housing transactions and a gauge of level of
speculative activity in the property market, fell
from 7.6 percent in 2011 to 4.6 percent in Q3,
2013. Minister Khaw said that only citizens
are now allowed to buy new HDB flats and
provided grants to purchase resale HDB flats,
and almost all landed housing can only be
purchased by Singaporeans.
(Source: Business Times)
Back to Contents

Singapore property market to correct in


2015 or 2016
According to presentations at the 20th
Singapore Economic Roundtable Forum, one
of several medium-term challenges and risks
confronting the Singapore economy in the
future is that the property market could
correct substantially in 2015 or 2016 as
higher interest rates are expected to coincide
with large increase in housing supply. Other
challenges mentioned at the forum include
over-leveraging
in
certain
household
segments, lower cost-competitiveness and
obstacles to productivity growth. The forum
was organised by the Institute of Policy
Studies and The Business Times, and is held
twice a year under the Chatham House Rule
which participants agree to keep each other's
views anonymous to promote frank debate.

(Source: Business Times)


Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


CITY Developments Ltd raises red flags on
private housing
Following its 10.4 percent year-on-year drop
in Q3 net earnings to $120.6 million, City
Developments Ltd (CDL) has raised red flags
on the Singapore private housing market.
CDL said that although developers are cutting
their prices in existing and new projects and
willing to take lower profit margins, land
prices are continuing to increase. In addition,
non-traditional developers, especially foreign
construction companies, are entering state
tenders by bidding aggressively to secure
land, and at the same time sacrifice their
profit margins on construction. This has led to
many developers to form joint venture to bid
for land and then cause successful bid prices
to differ widely among different sites, which
would need careful study from the

Back to Contents

government.
(Source: Business Times)
Singapore banks could withstand even
50% property price plunge
According to the stress tests carried out by
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and
the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS),
Singapore banks will be able to withstand
even a 50 percent plunge in property prices
over the next two years. It was also found
that Singapores financial system is highly
developed, well regulated and supervised,
with financial-soundness indicators for the big
three domestic banks remained strong during
the global and European crises. However, the
risk which Singapore property sector could
pose to financial stability is that property
prices were already above their 2008 peak,

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


and that the rapid growth of credit and real
estate prices could exacerbate aggregate
sensitivity to macroeconomic shocks and
interest-rate cycles.

(Source: Business Times)


Singapore Land sells 150 units at Alex
Residences
150 out of 200 units released in Alex
Residences were already sold on November
13 by Singapore Land with the average price
of $1,650 psf. The popular units are one, two
and three-bedroom units to owner-occupiers
and potential investors. The Residences
condominium is located near MRT station and
has 429 units, and is a short distance from
Chatsworth Park Good Class Bungalow Area,
a wet market, a food centre, restaurants and
cafes.

Private homes
November

said

to

rebound

in

Developers' sales of private homes are


expected to rebound this month, with 468
units sold out of 540 units released at the
660-unit Duo Residencesat an average price
of $2,000 psf. Earlier, Singapore Land had
sold 150 units at Alex Residences, while later
this month, GuocoLand is expected to release
Clermont Residence in TanjongPagar at a
price above $3,000 psf. Sales of private
homes had fallen 19 percent in October to
only 1,009 units from 1,246 units in
September. The October's figure itself was
about half of the 1,949 units year-onyear.Savills Singapore predicts of about 1,400
to 1,500 unit sales this month.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


New
global
property
measurement
standard to be ready in 2014
A new global property measurement standard
tostandardise the way valuation is conducted
around the world could be ready in June 2014
the earliest, following the formation of the first
International
Property
Measurement
Standards Coalition (IPMSC).The draft of this
first standard targeting office space is being
finalized, and will likely be sent out for
consultation in January 2014 before being
sent back for approval in June or July 2014.
According to Mr. Michael Newey, president of
the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(Rics), In theory, if you are valuing a building
here in Singapore, and you're valuing a
building in Hong Kong, and one in London or
Sydney, it's the same methodology. The
problem is that properties are measured in
hugely different ways around the world. For
example, floor space in Spain would include
Back to Contents

outdoor swimming pools, while in the Middle


East it would include the hypothetical
maximum number of floors that can be built
on existing foundations.

(Source: Business Times)


Commercial
Havelock hotel site gets highest bid of $30
million

Despite a shorter tenure and the need for


parts of the original building to be conserved,
a plum hotel site at Havelock Road has drawn
the highest bid of 30.09 million or $1,303.24
psfppr out of nine valid bids. This highest bid
is 6.6 percent higher than the second highest
bid of $28.09 million or $1,216.62 psfppr from
OoiTeckHin.
Analysts
had
previously
expected the winning bid at only between
$920 and $980 psfppr.
(Source: Business Times)
Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130


All vacated City space at Millenia Tower
taken up
All of the 143,000 sqft under Citi's lease at
Millenia Tower expiring next month have been
taken up, showing a strong demand for
secondary office space.Citi started to vacate
the space earlier this year and completed its
exit from the building in July, marking the final
leg of the group's four-phase departure from
Millenia Tower and the next-door Centennial
Tower that began in 2011.Citi had occupied a
total of 440,000 sqft in the two buildings, but it
moved to Asia Square Tower 1 in 2011.

(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 14

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 130

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Oct 30 Nov 5

Postal
District
3
3
5
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
14
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
16

Project Name
QUEENS
PEARL BANK APARTMENT
THE INFINITI
ORCHARD TOWERS
GRANGE HEIGHTS
GAMBIER COURT
GARDENVILLE
THE MONTANA
THE MONTANA
THE TESSARINA
KELLOCK LODGE
DUCHESS CREST
THE SIERRA
PAVILION 11
CHANCERY COURT
STARVILLE
SIMS MEADOWS
ARTHUR 118
POSHGROVE EAST
SPRING @ KATONG
OCEAN PARK
COTE D'AZUR
LAGUNA PARK
CASA MERAH

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
915 1,330,000 1,454
99
1,324 1,118,780 845
99
926 1,150,000 1,242
FH
1,970 3,000,000 1,523
FH
3,025 4,100,000 1,356
FH
1,163 1,560,000 1,342
99
1,582 3,200,000 2,022
FH
592 1,156,090 1,953
FH
1,141 2,108,100 1,848
FH
1,324 2,130,000 1,609
FH
893 1,250,000 1,399
FH
1,593 2,050,000 1,287
99
1,141 1,460,000 1,280 947
958 1,580,000 1,649
FH
926 1,220,000 1,318
99
1,270 1,265,000 996
FH
1,066 986,000
925
FH
926 1,440,000 1,556
FH
1,238 1,750,000 1,414
FH
1,593 2,150,000 1,350
FH
1,410 1,875,000 1,330
FH
1,302 1,680,000 1,290
99
1,453 1,300,000 895
99
1,227 1,480,000 1,206
99

Postal
District
16
16
17
18
19
19
19
21
21
21
23
23
23
25
26
27
28

Project Name
THE CALYPSO
THE CLEARWATER
RIZ HAVEN
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
THE QUARTZ
RIO VISTA
CHILTERN PARK
ASTOR GREEN
SPRINGDALE CONDOMINIUM
BUKIT REGENCY
PARK NATURA
HILLVIEW HEIGHTS
GUILIN VIEW
ROSEWOOD
BULLION PARK
YISHUN SAPPHIRE
SUNRISE GARDENS

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
2,120 2,130,000 1,004
FH
1,195 1,171,100 980
99
570
680,000 1,192 946
1,023 1,000,000 978
99
1,044 1,100,000 1,054
99
1,249 1,190,000 953
99
1,249 1,150,000 921
99
1,066 1,340,000 1,257
99
1,076 1,230,000 1,143 999
1,539 1,600,000 1,039
FH
1,012 1,400,000 1,384
FH
1,668 1,830,000 1,097
FH
1,528 1,380,000 903
99
1,173 980,000
835
99
1,238 1,323,800 1,069
FH
1,206 880,000
730
99
1,862 1,460,000 784
99

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.

Page | 15

Issue 131
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

How the URAs Masterplan 2013 Will

Welcome to the 131st edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Affect the Property Market

Hope you like it!

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(November 6 November 12)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131

How the URAs Masterplan 2013 Will Affect the Property Market

By Mr. Propwise
By now youve probably read lots of media
reports about the Urban Redevelopment
Authoritys (URA) Draft Masterplan 2013, a
medium term plan which details statutory
land
use
and
guides
Singapores
development over a ten to fifteen year period.
In this post I hope to synthesize the different
views and look at how the concepts outlined
in the Master Plan will affect the property
market, and whether it throws up any
interesting opportunities.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


The changing focus of the Master Plan
The URAs role is to plan the physical
development of Singapore and to optimize
the use of the countrys limited land
resources. To this end it puts out the Concept
Plan, which is a long term strategic land use
plan that guides Singapores development
over a forty to fifty year period, ensuring that
Singapore has sufficient land to meet long
term population, economic and quality of life
goals. It is reviewed every ten years, and the
last one was completed in 2011.
Historically, the Master Plan has rendered the
broad strategies outlined in the Concept Plan
into detailed permissible land use and density
plans for developments in Singapore. It is
reviewed every five years.
In the Draft Masterplan 2013, the URA is
moving away from its previous mostly
quantitative role (i.e. mainly looking at plot
Back to Contents

ratios and land use), and starting to focus on


the qualitative aspects of living in Singapore.
We can see this shift from the 6 key focuses
as stated by the URA:

1. Housing
2. Economy
3. Recreation
4. Identity
5. Transport
6. Public Spaces
Out of the above 6 focuses, we see that half
of them (Recreation, Identity, Public Spaces)
are focusing more on the intangible and
people-centric aspects of living in Singapore,
with an aim to boost the quality of life here
beyond just the hard aspects of having a
comfortable home in a convenient location
with good transportation links and facilities.
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


Decentralization of work will create new
market opportunities
One of the trends weve been seeing in the
recent Master Plans is the decentralization of
employment centers to different areas of
Singapore, e.g. to Jurong and Paya Lebar,
partly as a means to ameliorate the
transportation capacity problem of a large
part of the population commuting to the CBD
to work.

investors is to gauge the speed and


commitment of the government to incentivize
developments in all the new centers. The
irony is that with so many potential centers,
there is a diffusion of focus and not all will
achieve an equal level of success.

The Master Plan 2013 introduces the North


Coast Innovation Corridor, which will see the
emergence of the Woodlands Regional
Centre, the Punggol Learning Corridor and
Creative Cluster. There will also be the
gradual development of new industrial estates
such as Jalan Bahar, Wenya, Tengah, Lorong
Halus and Seletar West.
Where people go to work, so do opportunities
to invest in and rent out property. The key for
Back to Contents

Figure 1: Proposed Holland


Extension (Source: URA)

Village

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


My sense is that the centers that are closest
to the traditional economic hubs like the CBD
and Orchard (e.g. Paya Lebar, Holland
Village) have the greatest chance of
developing quickly, and consequently have
better investment prospects.
No more premium for being close to the
MRT?

As part of the effort to improve the public


transportation system, by 2030 the rail
network will double to 360km, and 80% of all
homes will be within a 10-minute walk to an
MRT station.
Traditionally homes near to an MRT station
will usually be able to command a premium to
less well connected homes. But if 80% of

Back to Contents

homes are within a 10-minute walk to the


MRT, will this premium still exist?
I believe being near to an MRT station will
eventually become less important to which
MRT station and line you are near to. Homes
near MRT interchanges (where two or more
lines cross) will likely command a larger
premium. Homes near MRT stations on lines
with key business hubs (e.g. the East-West
line which has connectivity to the hubs of
Jurong, the CBD, Kampong Bugis, Paya
Lebar and Tampines) will have better prices
and rentals versus other lines which may
require multiple transits to get to the key
hubs.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


Lots of new homes but who will live in
them?

Figure 2: Artists impression of Marina


South urban village (source: URA)
How about new areas like the Greater
Southern Waterfront and Marina South? For
the former, I believe this will be a very long

Back to Contents

term development as the southern coastline


will only be freed up when the ports move
from Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar by
2027 thats one or two property cycles
away, so no need to worry about it for now.
For the latter, the plans to create a car-free
environment and community in the Marina
South area are interesting. But with nearby
developments costing close to $3000 per
square foot, will it be a community just for the
rich?
Also with an upcoming record completion of
homes coming in the next few years that will
weigh on the rental and resale markets, and
the curbs on foreign workers and slowing
population growth weighing on housing
demand, will there be enough demand for
homes in all of these new areas?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Upper Paya Lebar Rd private house and 3
EC sites rolled out under GLS
A private housing site in Upper Paya Lebar
Road and three executive condominium (EC)
sites have been rolled out for November
under the second half of 2013 Government
Land Sales (GLS) Programme. According to
DTZ head research Lee Lay Keng, the
government is trying to strike a balance
between adequate supply for current demand
and being mindful of upcoming supply of
private homes. The market would expect a

Back to Contents

pullback of supply of private homes for the


confirmed list in the next half-year. Jones
Lang LaSalle national director Ong Teck Hui
said the supply of private homes by the
Ministry of National Development has
decreased from 8,000 in H2 2010, H1 & H2
2011 to 7,000 for 2012 and H1 2013, and
eventually standing at just 6,000 in H2 2013.
DTZs Lee Lay Keng predicted that the
government could release 5,000 to 6,000
private homes in the next-half confirmed list,
with a shift towards more ECs.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


Marina South to house 9,000 private
homes
21.5 ha of development area in Marina South
will house 9,000 private homes with
development starting after 2017/2018 when
the Thomson Line is completed. This is part
of the Draft Master Plan 2013 of the Urban
Redevelopment Authority (URA) to create the
next major growth area. There will also be an
800-metre long underground mall between
two Thomson Line stations serving the area
Marina South and Gardens by the Bay. The
ground-level space above the mall will be
used for pedestrian walkway. A separate
elevated landscaped walkway would take
pedestrians from the Bay South Gardens to
the seafront, and cycling path would cut
through other parts of Marina Bay.

Paterson Hill: worlds 5th priciest street


According
to
Billionaire.com
report,
Singapores Paterson Hill, located in District 9
close to Orchard Road and international
schools, has been ranked the worlds fifth
priciest street, with an average price of
$4,990 psf. Prices along the road have
increased 6.5 percent in 2012. The Marq, the
most expensive condo on this road, is worth a
record $6,859 psf for a 3,003 sq ft unit in Nov
2011. The local purchase of the condo is
about $20.5 million. Standing at the top spot
for worlds priciest street is Hong Kongs
Pollock Paths with an average price of
US$11,148 psf the highest point on Hong
Kong island and a stomping ground of Hong
Kongs super-rich.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

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Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


Holland Village to be extended under Draft
Master Plan 2013
Under the Draft Master Plan 2013 of URA,
Holland Village will be extended 6 ha more for
a mixed use development and a basement
parking station. Another two residential plots
which could yield 1,500 units will also be
identified, although it has not yet been
announced to be designated for private or
public housing. The mixed-use plot is likely to
be the first to be implemented at the start of
2015. The developer who wins the tender is
required to build a basement carpark big
enough to serve Holland Village.
(Source: Business Times)
Draft Master Plan 2013 focuses on green
townships
Under the Draft Master Plan 2013 of the
URA, more townships that are green, healthy,
Back to Contents

connected and strong in community


interaction will be built. Holland Village,
Kampong Bugis and Marina South will be the
districts with 14,500 new homes and ecofriendly spaces. The 18-ha Kampong Bugis
will offer 4,000 more private homes. The
21.5-ha Marina South area will be turned into
a mixed-use residential district with 9,000
more private homes. A new commercial area
at Woodlands Regional Centre will be rolled
out to create 100,000 more jobs. A new retail
belt will also come up at Marina Bay. In
decentralising work space area, more
regional centres such as Jurong Lake District,
Tampines Regional Centre, Paya Lebar
Central and one-north will be opened.
Industrial parks including Seletar Aerospace
Park, Defu Industrial Estate and Lorong Halus
Industrial Park will continue to be developed.
Along with these decentralization plans,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


the city centre will continue to grow.
(Source: Business Times)
Kampong Bugis: new development by
URA
The URA is reported to develop Kampong
Bugis, located at the convergence of Rochor
Canal and Kallang River, into an area with
fewer cars and more public transport and
pedestrian walkways after 2016. 80 percent
of the 18-ha Kampong Bugis area will be
used to house 4,000 private housing units. It
would also be piloted for high-density, watersustainable practices to incorporate effective
stormwater management, vegetated swales,
bio-retention basins and detention ponds to
manage rainwater runoff.
(Source: Business Times)

The Draft Master Plan 2013: more peoplecentric


It is reported that the Draft Master Plan 2013
is taking a more people-centric approach to
develop new activity clusters and encourage
green spaces, beyond just numbers and land
allocation for various uses. It would focus on
quality of life, a more livable environment and
more sports and recreation. However, some
consultants were surprised that plot ratios
were largely unchanged in the plan despite
the possibility of the population hitting 6.9
million by 2030. A sampling of 22 private
residential developments launched or sold via
en bloc sales in 2013 did not show any
increase in plot ratios, yet the Holland Village
area which will be further developed under
the plan had their plot ratios raised from 2.8
to 4.6 and 3.6 for two residential plots.

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131


Commercial
JTC-owned factories to relocate
As a result of a new Master Plan still in a draft
stage, JTC-owned factories in Sungei Kadut,
Yew Tee and Kranji areas may have to
relocate. JTC is reported to be assisting the
firms in the process of relocation, with
practical and sufficient timing. As the review
of the Plan is still taking place, clarity on what
the Master Plan entails for the three industrial
sites would only be made in 2015.

listed on the Singapore Exchange. The sale


may comprise $696.9 million in cash and
units in OUE Commercial Real Estate
Investment Trust of $308.1 million. In fact,
OUE Bayfront would be one of two assets to
form the initial portfolio of OUE C-Reit. The
50-year leasehold Lippo Plaza in Shanghai is
also said to be injected into the Reit.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


OUE Ltd to sell OUE Bayfront for at least
$1 billion
Property group OUE Ltd is reported to be
selling its office and retail development OUE
Bayfront for at least $1 billion to the
commercial real estate investment trust to be
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Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 131

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Nov 6 Nov 12

Postal
District
4
4
4
5
5
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
12
12
12
14
14
15
15
15
15

Project Name
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
PASIR VIEW PARK
PALM MANSIONS
ESTILO
CUSCADEN RESIDENCES
THE MONTANA
THE MARBELLA
THE MARBELLA
SHEARES VILLE
TANGLIN PARK
THE LINCOLN RESIDENCES
NEWTON EURO-ASIA
SOLEIL @ SINARAN
THE CENTRIO
TREVISTA
CASA FORTUNA
GROSVENOR VIEW
CASA SARINA
THE SEAFRONT ON MEYER
THE ATRIA AT MEYER
HAIG COURT
CANTIZ @ RAMBAI

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,335 2,130,000 1,596
99
1,227 1,950,000 1,589
99
1,206 1,880,000 1,559
99
990 1,230,000 1,242
FH
1,130 1,080,000
956
FH
657
978,000
1,489
FH
1,238 2,800,000 2,262
FH
1,206 2,188,240 1,815
FH
1,582 2,700,000 1,706
FH
1,076 1,820,000 1,691
FH
1,475 2,200,000 1,492
FH
1,765 2,500,000 1,416
FH
1,841 3,357,000 1,824
FH
1,184 1,890,000 1,596
FH
1,485 2,000,000 1,346
99
614
990,000
1,614
FH
1,270 1,866,900 1,470
99
1,076 1,380,000 1,282
FH
883 1,066,000 1,208
FH
1,184 1,080,000
912
FH
1,604 2,980,000 1,858
FH
1,345 1,750,000 1,301
FH
1,550 1,900,000 1,226
FH
872
960,000
1,101
FH

Postal
District
16
18
19
19
19
19
19
21
21
21
22
23
23
23
23
25
25
26
27

Project Name
SUNHAVEN
OASIS @ ELIAS
KOVAN RESIDENCES
CHUAN PARK
COMPASS HEIGHTS
EVERGREEN PARK
RIVERVALE CREST
THE NEXUS
FREESIA WOODS
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
PARC OASIS
MI CASA
CHESTNUT VILLE
HILLVIEW REGENCY
PALM GARDENS
ROSEWOOD
CASABLANCA
BULLION PARK
YISHUN SAPPHIRE

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
2,077 1,700,000
818
FH
1,410 1,350,000
957
99
1,776 2,280,000 1,284
99
710
840,000
1,182
99
1,055 930,000
882
99
1,345 1,150,000
855
99
1,367 1,130,000
827
99
1,485 2,200,000 1,481
FH
1,421 1,950,000 1,372
FH
1,206 1,370,000 1,136
FH
1,378 1,400,000 1,016
99
1,259 1,335,000 1,060
99
1,658 1,532,000
924
999
1,173 1,010,000
861
99
958
815,000
851
99
1,173 1,050,000
895
99
1,195 985,000
824
99
1,259 1,270,000 1,008
FH
1,378 988,000
717
99

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.

Page | 12

Issue 133
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS

FROM THE

EDITOR

p2

Understanding the Johor Property Market

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p13

Resale Property Transactions

Welcome to the 133th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(November 20 November 26)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133

Understanding the Johor Property Market


By Getty Goh (guest contributor)
Since the Malaysia Budget 2014 was
announced in October 2013, many investors
have been adopting a wait-and-see approach
in response to the numerous property-cooling
measures. However, there are also some
who are still keen to enter the Johor and
Iskandar Malaysia property markets as they
view the uncertain times as an opportunity to
find bargains.

To help these investors better understand the


Johor market, my company recently
developed some online real estate research
tools. In this article, I will highlight some of
our findings, derived from our research tools,
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Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


that prospective buyers should look out for.
Findings 1: Where
hotspots in Johor?

are

the

property

The state of Johor has different towns and


cities. Apart from Johor Bahru, some of the
other towns that Johor has include Batu
Pahat, Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Muar,
Pontian, Seggamat, etc.

town/city. The bigger the circle, the more


transactions that took place in that specific
town/city.
Figure 1: Johor Landed Detached Houses
Heat Map (2012Q1 to 2013Q1)

If you are thinking of investing in Johor, have


you ever wondered, where are some of the
property hotspots within Johor?
To answer that question, we plotted out the
transaction data for bungalows (see Figure 1)
as well as condominiums (see Figure 2) on
the Johor state map to see where the
hotspots were.
From the figures, each circle represents
transaction volume for the respective
Back to Contents

Source: www.CoAssets.com/Research/

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


Figure 2: Johor Condominium Heat Map
(2012Q1 to 2013Q1)

transactional activity is distributed. Thus, we


can see that apart from Johor Bahru, places
like Segamat, Kluang, etc. also had many
bungalow transactions. On the other hand,
for the condominium market, we can see that
Johor Bahru had the most transactions,
followed by Batu Pahat and Muar.
Hence, unlike bungalow investors, those who
wish to invest in condominiums may want to
focus on Johor Bahru, as the other towns
have shown to have comparatively fewer
condominium transactions.
Findings 2: Which property type has the
most transaction volume in Johor Barhu?

Source: www.CoAssets.com/Research/
Comparing Figure 1 and 2, we can see that
property type has an impact on how
Back to Contents

At present, the Malaysian government does


not reveal transaction activities for Iskandar
Malaysia. Hence, to get an idea on what
types of properties would potentially do well in
Iskandar Malaysia, a detailed analysis of
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


transactions in Johor Bahru is done (see
Figure 3).
Figure 3: Breakdown of transactions for
Johor Bahru (2012Q1 to 2013Q1)

Based on Figure 2, it was found that although


Johor Barhu was a hotspot for condominiums,
the property type that saw the highest
transaction volume was terraced houses (see
Figure 3). In comparison, condominiums had
the third highest transaction volume (about
12.8%) while detached houses (i.e.
bungalows) made up about 3.0% of all
transactions that took place in Johor Bahru
from 2012Q1 to 2013Q1.
Despite the
numerous condominium launches that took
place in Johor Bahru (including Iskandar
Malaysia) in the last few months, this chart
tells us that terraced houses is very much in
demand (presumably among the locals).
Therefore, some investors may conclude that
it would be more prudent to invest in terraced
houses instead of condominium units.

Source: www.CoAssets.com/Research/
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


Conclusion
The simple analyses above are by no means
conclusive and there are many other factors
investors will have to consider before making
a purchase. Nonetheless, the key takeaway I
would like you to have is that the overseas
property markets are often not what they
seem and doing some research can
significantly increase your understanding of a
new investment destination.

University of Singapore. He is a director at


Ascendant Assets and the Co-founder of
CoAssets.com. South East Asias first crowd
funding and purchase website. For those who
wish to know more, please email him at
Admin@CoAssets.com.

It is my hope that after reading this article,


those who are still keen to invest in Iskandar
will have a better idea of what to look out for.
As the saying goes, information is power.
Who knows, these insights could be just what
you need to help you find your next big deal!
Getty Goh has a Masters in Real Estate and
a Bachelors in Building from the National

Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Reserve-list plot in Geylang draws interest
Two 99-year private housing sites in Geylang
will be launched by the government this
December.
One of them, a plot along
Geylang East Avenue 1 next to Aljunied MRT
Station and on the governments reserve list,
is expected to draw more interest from
developers. The successful applicant has
agreed to bid at least $95 million or $505.28
psf ppr at tender for the site. The site is 0.62
hectare in size and is expected to have 215
units. It is reported that the bite-sized
investment quantum has made it more
attractive to developers, compared with a
Back to Contents

larger site in the vicinity that will also be


launched for tender by the government later
this month through the confirmed list. This
larger site, which fronts Sims Drive, Aljunied
Road and the Pan Island Expressway, has an
area of 2.4 hectares and will generate an
estimated 900 private homes.
(Source: Business Times)
HDB construction to taper off in 2014
According
to
Minister
for
National
Development Khaw Boon Wan, the massive
construction of HDB flats for the past three
years will taper off in a measured way to
allow the market to gradually adjust from
2014, as balance is restored between
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


demand and supply in the market. This
announcement follows the latest launch of
8,952 Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of
Balance Flats (SBF) units last month drawing
to a close, which is the largest single launch
in the history of the HDB compared with the
previous mark set in September 2011 of
8,262 units.
(Source: Business Times)
Tiong Seng secures $204.5m HDB deal
Construction and property development group
Tiong Seng Holdings has secured a $204.5
million contract win from the Housing and
Development Board (HDB) for a public
housing project at Woodlands Crescent and
Woodlands Rise, bringing its order book
currently to $1.28 billion. The company will
construct 11 blocks of 14 or 16-storey
residential buildings, two blocks of multiBack to Contents

storey carpark, commercial and community


facilities, a precinct pavilion, and an ESS or
electrical substation. The deal is through
Tiong Seng Holdings subsidiary Tiong Seng
Contractors.
(Source: Business Times)
Governments cooling measures show
results

The governments cooling measures to the


residential property market are reported to
show significant impacts. The Monetary
Authority of Singapore Financial Stability
Review 2013 said that such measures have
dampened momentum in the market.
Transaction volumes have decreased, new
home loan sales have contracted, and loanto-value (LTV) ratios have improved.
However, the government is vigilant because
price levels still remain high.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


For example, despite slower sales, tender
prices by developers are high - two adjacent
plots at Upper Serangoon View got eight bids
each in its tender last month, with foreign
developers continuing to outbid local players.
(Source: Business Times)
MND to impose cap on HDB flats for
foreigners

The Ministry of National Development (MND)


is reported to be imposing a cap on the
number of flats that can be sublet to
foreigners in each Housing and Development
Board block (excluding Malaysians, due to
their close cultural and historical similarities),
but the appropriate cap has yet to be decided.
According
to
Minister
of
National
Development Khaw Boon Wan in his blog
post titled Preventing Foreigner Enclaves,
he said that he was mindful of the need to
balance the impact on people relying on
Back to Contents

subletting for additional income, especially


the elderly.
(Source: Business Times)
Median COV for resale flats lowest in 4
years
According to flash estimates from the
Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX),
median cash-over-valuations (COVs) for
resale HDB flats have fallen to their lowest in
more than four years, showing that the
market for HDB resale flats continued to
weaken. Median COVs decreased by 30.1
percent to $8,000 in November, compared
with $11,444 the month before the first time
it fell below $10,000 since July 2009. COVs
have also been reported to consistently falling
throughout 2013 from a peak of $35,000 in
January.
(Source: Business Times)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


Allgreen launches SkySuites@Anson
Allgreen Properties has launched sales for its
99-year
leasehold
72-storey
SkySuites@Anson project in Tanjong Pagar,
with prices starting from $968,000. The
development, expected to be completed in
2015, will have 360 one to three-bedroom
units of between 365 sq ft and 1,140 sq ft.
Compared with asking prices of $1.3-1.8
million for new one-room homes in Tanjong
Pagar and an average of between $1.2
million and $1.3 million for a similar resale
unit in the area, the $968,000 price tag for a
one-bedroom
apartment
at
SkySuites@Anson is considered attractive to
buyers.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Sales for Kaleido terrace houses starts on


Jan 4
Sales for Kaleido, a 14-unit cluster of freehold
terrace houses along Lorong K Telok Kurau,
will start on Jan 4, with an average price of
around $1,000 psf. Each unit has three
storeys, two basement carpark lots, five
bedrooms, living and dining rooms, and a lift.
The units have high ceilings and rectangular
layouts, with their sizes between 3,100 sq ft
to 3,498 sq ft. Prices start at $3.3 million in
absolute terms. The marketer for the project,
Knight Frank opened the showflat for a
private preview this weekend. The project is
by Amerald Land, a wholly owned subsidiary
of Precise Development. Amerald Land is
also behind the 16-unit Shiro freehold

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


development in Lorong H Telok Kurau.

purposes.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Commercial

New surveys shows conflicting views


towards Singapore property market

Sungei Kadut property to be sold for


$8.65m
Listed outdoor furnishings specialist Sitra
Holdings has obtained JTC approval to sell its
Sungei Kadut property to World Furnishing
Hub Pte Ltd (WFHPL) for $8.65 million. A sale
and purchase agreement has been entered
on Dec 2. WFHPL is a special-purpose
vehicle jointly owned by tile specialist Hafary
Holdings, two of its substantial shareholders
and Sitra itself. WFHPL plans to redevelop
the site into a property with a market value of
about $55 million, and a gross floor area of
about 300,000 sq ft, of which 250,000 sq ft for
industrial use and the balance for commercial

Back to Contents

According to the latest real estate forecast


jointly published by the Urban Land Institute
(ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
(PwC), Singapore has fallen four spots to
seventh place in terms of investment appeal,
and dropping six spots to ninth position in
terms of the development prospects front.
This is the first time Singapore has fallen out
of the top five spots since the report started in
2007. However, the Emerging Trends in Real
Estate Asia Pacific 2014, a property forecast
survey of over 250 real estate professionals,
showed that Singapore is still a favoured
market in Asia of considerable investment
and development appeal,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133


due to its vibrant economic growth and strong
emphasis on community livability. According
to PwC Singapore, investing in Singapore
real estate is more expensive now due to
expected higher interest rates, compressed
cap rates and tighter regulations, yet there
may still be room for better return with low
vacancy rates and more potential for higher
rentals.

such amendments taking effect on Nov 5,


JTC aims to safeguard Singapore's scarce
industrial land resources for optimal use by
genuine industrialists and reduce property
speculation. JTC also aims to ensure the
lessees allocated for its limited industrial land
in the lease contract based on their proposed
business plans remain committed to the land
for a sustained and reasonable period of time.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

JTC amends industrial property rules


JTC has now required industrialists and thirdparty facility providers such as property
funds/developers
who
own
industrial
properties on JTC-leased sites to hold these
properties for a longer period before they may
sell them. In addition, JTC has extended the
minimum occupation period for anchor
tenants of third-party facility providers. With
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 133

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Nov 20 Nov 26
Postal
District
2
4
5
5
5
5
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
12
14
15
15

Project Name
SPOTTISWOODE PARK
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
ONE-NORTH RESIDENCES
HERITAGE VIEW
KENTVIEW PARK
VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM
HILLTOPS
ILLUMINAIRE ON DEVONSHIRE
MOUNT SOPHIA SUITES
ROBERTSON EDGE
THE GRANGE
THE MONTANA
THE MONTANA
THE MONTANA
GLENTREES
DUCHESS CREST
TANGLIN REGENCY
SOLEIL @ SINARAN
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
LA SUISSE
TRELLIS TOWERS
CASA AERATA
HAIG COURT
COTE D'AZUR

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
850
1,356
1,335
1,206
1,313
2,271
807
721
549
398
1,744
614
1,141
1,206
1,442
1,367
1,259
936
1,464
1,658
1,647
463
1,453
1,141

Transacted
Price ($)
800,000
2,320,000
1,820,000
1,400,000
1,350,000
2,150,000
2,345,000
1,600,000
1,090,000
740,000
3,700,000
1,297,010
2,149,300
2,208,840
1,975,000
1,785,000
1,585,000
1,830,000
2,650,000
2,000,000
2,058,000
700,000
2,000,000
1,350,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
941
99
1,711
99
1,364
99
1,161
99
1,028
FH
947
99
2,905
FH
2,219
FH
1,986
FH
1,858
999
2,122
FH
2,114
FH
1,884
FH
1,832
FH
1,369
999
1,306
99
1,259
99
1,954
99
1,810
FH
1,207
999
1,250
FH
1,512
FH
1,376
FH
1,183
99

Postal
District
15
16
16
17
17
18
18
18
18
19
20
21
21
22
23
23
23
23
26
27
27

Project Name
LAGUNA PARK
SUNHAVEN
EASTWOOD GREEN
AVILA GARDENS
WATERCREST
NV RESIDENCES
RIS GRANDEUR
MELVILLE PARK
ELIAS GREEN
REGENTVILLE
GRANDEUR 8
THE BLOSSOMVALE
PINE GROVE
LAKEPOINT CONDOMINIUM
HILLVIEW REGENCY
MERALODGE
HILLVIEW REGENCY
REGENT HEIGHTS
THE CALROSE
YISHUN EMERALD
YISHUN EMERALD

Area
(sqft)
1,453
1,259
1,163
1,281
1,302
904
1,356
990
1,518
1,152
1,410
1,572
1,755
1,884
1,195
1,819
1,130
1,173
1,475
958
958

Transacted
Price ($)
1,238,888
1,400,000
1,058,500
1,200,000
1,023,888
924,777
1,320,000
820,000
900,000
910,000
1,560,000
1,825,000
1,588,000
1,188,000
1,155,000
1,728,050
1,040,000
1,000,000
1,880,000
830,000
819,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
853
99
1,112
FH
911
99
937
FH
786
999
1,023
99
973
FH
828
99
593
99
790
99
1,106
99
1,161
999
905
99
631
99
967
99
950
FH
920
99
852
99
1,275
FH
866
99
855
99

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.
Page | 13

Issue 137
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

How a Good Property is Like a

Welcome to the 137th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Blissful Marriage

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p13

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(December 18 December 24)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137

How a Good Property is Like a Blissful Marriage


By Property Soul (guest contributor)
Tonight while flipping through the local TV
channels in my hotel room somewhere in
Taiwan, I came across a variety show with the
hosts and guests sharing their views on 'what
makes a blissful woman'.
The blissful marriage
A local celebrity backed her argument with a
thought-provoking remark,
(What women really want is
not to be able to get married, but to be
married to a good husband.)
What a quote! It really speaks the mind of the
modern woman.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


How difficult is it to find a man and tie the
knot? If you are not picky, you can basically
marry anyone from anywhere at any time.
However, what women really want is to spend
their life with a 'good' husband --- a man who
is loving, caring, respectful, faithful,
responsible and also a good provider. And
you need that experience, wisdom and
maturity to see that these qualities exist in a
man.
It is only through the advice of a mentor, the
mistakes of others, or the past lessons you
learned that you finally understand that
getting married doesn't guarantee happiness
hereafter; that falling in love and living with
the person are two different things; that
marriage and blissfulness are two separate
matters.
If there is a probability formula of a blissful
Back to Contents

marriage, it may have one-third depending on


the husband, another one-third resting with
the wife, and the last one-third counting on
compatibility and fate. Of course, picking the
good versus the bad guy is a critical factor
here.
The good property
While browsing the new titles in a bookstore
today, I flipped through a book written by a
successful property investor. The author has
a similar advice for property buyers,

(Property investment is not just buying the


property, but being able to make a profit from
it.)
How difficult is it to buy a private property?
You can step into a sales gallery and book a
unit in an hour's time.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


You can leave a cheque with a property agent
to ballot for a unit on your behalf. You just put
down a deposit and you can call the property
your own. It is almost a no-brainer if you are
happy with buying anything at any price in
any market.
And when the market is good, everyone
makes money from properties. How can you
not be able to drift forward when you are
riding the tide, with the wind and waves in
your direction?
But do you really know what is a good
location or a good project? Can you tell units
with good facing, layout and feng shui from
the bad ones? Do you know how to pick a
good property that guarantees a handsome
profit the moment you buy? Can your unit still
fetch a good rent even when the rental

Back to Contents

market is soft? Do you see why a good


property can generate positive income
regardless of a bull or bear market?
The true measure of success
After all, the success of property investors is
not measured by how well they do when
times are good, but how they perform when
times are bad.

It is only through years' of experience, the


lessons of others, or the losses you made,
that one day you finally realize that buying a
property doesn't necessarily guarantee a
profit at the end; that buying a property and
investing in a profitable one are two separate
things; that speculators and professional
investors are two different species.

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


If there is a probability formula of finding a
good deal, it may have one-third from the
buyers insight, another one-third to do with
the buyer's discipline (hard work, patience,
persistence, etc.), and the last one-third
counting
on
market
conditions
and
opportunities.
And of course, buying the right property at the
right time makes all the difference.
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor and enthusiast
who shares her experiences and knowledge
on her blog.

Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Wheelock unveils condo The Panorama in
Ang Mo Kio
Wheelock Properties has unveiled the condo
project The Panorama in Ang Mo Kio Avenue
2, its first 99-year suburban condo project in
Singapore in two decades. The development
has 698 units in six blocks - two 20-storey
blocks, four 17-storey blocks with two levels
of basement car parks, and a three-level
clubhouse. The sales bookings are expected
to begin around Jan 17-18. Wheelock has
declined to reveal prices, while agents have
quoted absolute prices from under $700,000

Back to Contents

for a 430-sq ft one-bedroom apartment on the


ground floor, to more than $3 million for a
five-bedroom penthouse of 2,400 sqft with
nice views of Lower Peirce Reservoir.
(Source: Business Times)

HDB resale flat prices continue to fall


Resale prices for Housing and Development
Board (HDB) flats were reported to continue
to fall in Q4 2013. Property consultants
believe this trend is unlikely to reverse, and is
influenced by a convergence of measures to
cool the market and a continued supply of
new flats. HDB flash figures showed that the
resale price index in Q4 2013 was 202.1,

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


which is a 1.3 percent decrease from Q3
2013, and the second consecutive quarter of
declining prices. The index also fell 0.9 in Q3
2013, the first contraction since 2009.

affected by the Total Debt Servicing Ratio


(TDSR) framework, weaker HDB resale flat
prices, and a significant supply of nearly
20,000 private homes until end of 2014.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Mass-market condo prices begin to ease

Worst
performance
developers on STI

Prices of mass-market private condos have


eased for the first time since Q2 2009 after
the global crisis. Prices of landed homes also
declined for the first time since Q2 2009. The
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)s
latest flash estimates show that overall
private housing price index declined 0.8
percent quarter on quarter in Q4 2013,
against a 0.4 percent increase in Q3 2013.
Most property consultants expect the index to
decrease on a full-year 2014 basis with
predictions from one percent up to 10
percent. Private home prices were negatively
Back to Contents

for

Singapore

As property curbs drove home sales lower


and slowed price gains, Singapores
developers witnessed the worst performance
on the benchmark Straits Times Index 2013.
The Singapore property index decreased 10
percent this year, after last years 48 percent
increase. Property stocks in Singapore, the
most-expensive city to buy a luxury home in
Asia after Hong Kong, may further weaken in
2014 after the government took measures to
cool prices.

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


Home sales may decline 10 percent, while
prices are expected to drop for the first time
in two years.
(Source: Business Times)
HDB to build fewer larger flats and more
two-room BTO flats
As the Housing and Development Board is
transitioning to a more sustainable Build-ToOrder (BTO) flat supply, larger HDB flats will
be cut back by 18 percent, while the number
of two-room flats will be doubled in 2014.
Particularly, the supply of new three-room and
larger flats from 22,600 units in 2013 will be
reduced to 18,600 next year. The number of
two-room BTO flats in non-mature estates will
be increased from 2,600 in 2013 to 5,000 in
2014. 700 Studio Apartments will also be
offered for the needs of seniors looking for
the right size. The shift takes into
Back to Contents

consideration the high demand for singles, at


27.1 times at the latest November exercise,
which was shared by National Development
Minister Khaw Boon Wan in one of his blog
post.
(Source: Business Times)
Twentyone Angullia Park
expensive condo in 2013

is

most

Data from Singapore Property Watch shows


that the freehold Twentyone Angullia Park has
topped the list as Singapores most expensive
condominium, at an average selling price of
$5,181 psf. The 54-unit condos average
selling price hit an all-time high in June at
$5,560 psf, and then declined to an all-time
low of $4,704 psf in August. Coming at
second place is Skyline@ Orchard Boulevard,
as its units were transacted at an average
selling price of $4,230 psf.
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


The third most expensive condo is freehold
The Marq on Paterson Hill, of which one
3,089 sq ft unit was transacted at $4,046 psf.
In addition, the most viewed condominiums in
2013 are Ripple Bay in Pasir Ris, Waterbay
an executive condominium in Punggol, and
Urban Vista which is located at Tanah Merah
Kechil Road.
(Source: Business Times)
Overall SRPI increases 0.6% year-to-date
According to the latest figures from the
National University of Singapore (NUS), the
Overall Singapore Residential Price Index
(SRPI) for 2013 has increased 0.6 percent
since December 2012, compared with 4.2
percent for full-year 2012, 8.7 percent for
2011 and 11.7 percent for 2010. This shows
that prices of completed non-landed private
homes have risen at a slower pace year-toBack to Contents

date in 2013 than they did for 2012.


Separately, DTZs analysis shows that the
volume of private residential transactions in
the resale market in 2013 decreased 51.1
percent to 6,465 from 13,214 in 2012.
Subsale transactions also fell 58.1 percent to
1,032 year-to-date from 2,464 in 2012.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Westin Singapore hotel sold for $468
million
One month after its official opening, the 305room, 99-year leaseholdWestin Singapore
hotel has been sold for $468 million toDaisho
Group, a Japan-based property developer
and investor. The price translates to $1.5
million per room, a new record for a hotel in
Singapore.

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


The seller of the transaction is a fund
managed under MGPA, a private-equity
property investment advisory firm which at
first asked for $2 million per room, or about
$610 million in total.Daiso Development
Singapore is reported to acquire the hotel
because of its location (it is located in Asia
Square Tower 2 at Marina Bay), and the
groups view on room demand in the area.

(Source: Business Times)


2014 to be a quieter year for industrial
property
After an eventful 2013, 2014 is expected to
be a quieter year with subdued activity for the
industrial property market with unlikely largescale changes. The property measures in
2013 include the Seller Stamp Duty in
January, and the Total Debt Servicing Ratio
framework in late June. A longer holding
Back to Contents

period for industrial properties on JTC-leased


sites, and an extension of the minimum
occupation period for anchor tenants from
Nov 15.Chia Siew Chuin, head of research
and advisory at Colliers International, said
these measures helped to slow the real
estate cost of industrialists. The Urban
Redevelopment Authority data shows that
industrial real estate prices in Q3 2013
increased 2.8 percent from Q2 2013, lower
than the 8.9 percent quarterly growth over
2012.
(Source: Business Times)
Non-residential en bloc still gains interest
As preference for residential deals dwindle
due to the various cooling measures, the
revived interest in commercial and industrial
en bloc sales is reported to persist in 2014. In
2013 which was a great year for
Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


non-residential collective sales, there were
about $675.4 million worth of successful
commercial and industrial en bloc sales,
compared with $116.4 million in 2012 and
$126.8 million in 2011. In addition, Serangoon
Plaza was sold for $400 million in November,
and industrial en bloc sales became a new
trend. Guang Ming Industrial Building was the
largest deal at $45.8 million.
(Source: Business Times)
Signs show property auction market has
rebounded
There have been positive signs which
suggest that the property auction market has
rebounded.According to data from Jones
Lang LaSalle,the total sales value for 2013
increased 69.5 percent to hit $99.6 million,

Back to Contents

compared with $58.7 million in 2012, despite


the total number of successful auctions
decreasing from 26 in 2012 to only 21 in
2013. However, the Singapore auction market
in Q4 2013 registered a total of $3.9 million in
sales closed, which decreased 15.1 percent
from Q3 2013 of $4.6 million. The total sales
quantum of $99.6 million in 2013 was also
23.9 percent below the five-year average of
$130.8 million, and 45.9 percent below the
10-year average auction sales value of
$183.9 million. The quiet auction market in H2
2013 could be due to the credit tightening
measures of the total debt servicing ratio and
the additional buyers' stamp duty which
deterred investors.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137


Sun Venture-LKH tie-up buys Westgate
Tower for $579.4m
Sun Venture Homes has teamed with Low
Keng Huat (Singapore) for a 60:40 tie-up to
buy the 99-year leasehold Westgate Tower in
Jurong
Gateway
from
CapitaLand,
CapitaMalls Asia and CapitaMall Trust for
$579.4 million, or $1,900psf based on its net
saleable area of 304,963 sq ft. Managing
director of Sun Venture Group, Alvin Teo said
that the plan is to hold the asset long term for
rental income. The 20-storey office tower is
slated to receive Temporary Occupation
Permit by year end. A marketing agent will be
appointed soon to find tenants for the tower.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 137

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Dec 18 Dec 24
Postal
District
1
3
3
4
4
5
5
5
5
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
14
15

Project Name
EMERALD GARDEN
MERAPRIME
CENTRAL GREEN CONDOMINIUM
THE AZURE
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
WEST BAY CONDOMINIUM
FABER CREST
TREASURE PLACE
VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM
THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES SINGAPORE CAIRNHILL
HELIOS RESIDENCES
GRANGE INFINITE
HORIZON TOWER
THE MONTANA
THE TRIZON
THE TRIZON
HOLLAND PEAK
DUCHESS CREST
RIDGEWOOD
DUCHESS MANOR
THE SPRINGS
CITY PLAZA
ARTHUR 118

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,528
1,119
1,292
1,335
1,582
850
1,259
1,507
2,293
2,831
2,002
2,530
2,583
592
2,314
2,314
2,594
1,345
1,744
3,154
1,076
1,615
990

Transacted
Price ($)
2,610,000
1,570,000
1,730,000
2,630,000
2,300,000
958,000
1,325,000
1,565,000
2,050,000
10,668,000
6,530,000
6,088,000
2,900,000
1,213,208
3,587,000
3,471,000
3,700,000
1,840,000
2,000,000
2,820,000
1,600,000
1,535,000
1,485,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,708 999
1,402 99
1,339 99
1,970 99
1,454 99
1,127 99
1,052 99
1,039 FH
894
99
3,768 FH
3,262 FH
2,407 FH
1,123 99
2,049 FH
1,550 FH
1,500 FH
1,426 FH
1,368 99
1,147 999
894 999
1,486 FH
951
FH
1,500 FH

Postal
District
15
15
15
16
16
18
19
20
21
21
21
22
27

Project Name
OCEAN PARK
VILLA MARTIA
WATER PLACE
THE CALYPSO
CASCADALE
DOUBLE BAY RESIDENCES
REGENTVILLE
GOLDENHILL PARK CONDOMINIUM
GARDENVISTA
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
SUMMERHILL
THE LAKESHORE
THE ESTUARY

Area
(sqft)
2,110
1,249
1,389
1,119
1,302
1,367
1,152
1,335
861
958
947
1,141
1,313

Transacted
Price ($)
2,750,000
1,520,000
1,600,000
1,190,000
1,020,000
1,530,000
958,000
1,870,000
1,145,000
1,130,000
1,100,000
1,230,000
1,408,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,303 FH
1,217 FH
1,152 99
1,063 FH
783
FH
1,119 99
832
99
1,401 FH
1,330 99
1,180 FH
1,161 FH
1,078 99
1,072 99

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.

Page | 13

Issue 138
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

Are You an Armchair Property Investor?

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p14

Resale Property Transactions

FROM THE

EDITOR

Welcome to the 138th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(December 25 December 31)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138

Are You an Armchair Property Investor?


By Gerald Tay (Guest Contributor)
On a daily basis, I probably get 5 to10 emails
telling me investing in property is my route to
financial freedom or its a better bet than
investing in stocks. And for some, property
might be. But for many, it can be the worst
investment you make.
There are far too many companies shouting
about the benefits of property investment,
when really what they mean is Please invest
in property so WE can get rich. The reality is,
many people I have met who want you to
invest in property dont care two hoots if you
make money or not, as long as they profit
from your investment!

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


Are you an armchair investor?

knowledge.

I must admit, I find armchair investors very


perplexing.

If I invest my time and diligence in my


property business, then there is hopefully far
less chance of it going wrong than just taking
someone else's word for it.

I strongly believe that the best person to look


after my money and my financial future is the
person I see in the mirror, not a third party
with a sales agenda.
I cannot understand the concept of sitting
back and letting someone else take all the
responsibility for my money, my investment
decisions, and my financial future no matter
how trustworthy that person might seem.
I actually want to roll up my sleeves and get
my hands dirty. I want to strive to understand
my investments from every angle. I want to
take responsibility for how my money is
spent. I want to be on the "factory floor"
dealing with the everyday running of the
business so that I can grow my skills and
Back to Contents

Armchair investors sitting back in their


armchairs calling themselves "investors" are
really "armchair speculators on a third party's
ability to make the right buying decisions for
them".
Property is not a case of "one size fits all". If
you don't want to roll your sleeves up and get
your hands dirty, then maybe you shouldn't
get involved at all.
If you think of yourself as an "armchair
investor" and not get in the thick of the action,
then there's a strong possibility your
investment will go off the rails.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


Armchair investors are similar to war
generals overseeing the critical juncture of a
battle while hiding in their well-secured
bunkers.
Whom does the
Investor buy from?

typical

Armchair

These are three types of salespeople such


investors commonly fall prey to:

1. Developers - Selling local & overseas new


launches or off-the-plan properties that
comes with exotic names, addresses and
themes to investors who hope to flip at a
higher price when completed or via a subsale.
2. Overseas Property Packaged Deals Claim to pay investors a Guaranteed Rental
over a period of time and provide property
management support.

3. Seminar Gurus - claim the armchair


Back to Contents

investor concept is an easy way for anyone


to become an instant property millionaire,
then sell their students a bunch of properties
and profit themselves. Attend my powerful 3day millionaire secrets seminar and make
ME rich.
If any guru promises to give you the wealth
of your dreams with minimal effort, its safe to
assume that youre being lied to. The seminar
industry rakes in millions every year from lazy
people looking for the next quick fix, and
theyll keep doing it as long as you keep
falling for it.
Yes, I can understand that if you are cash rich
but time poor you might like a bit of help and
support. That is understandable. However, to
absolve yourself of all responsibility and "just
sign papers", which I have heard someone
say recently, is a complete anathema to me
personally.
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


It is always better for you to learn how to
invest in property (or other investments)
yourself, instead of relying on someone else
to do it for you. Many people use lack of
time as a reason why they dont get into the
gritty details of managing a property
themselves. This is just an excuse. We can
achieve anything we decide to make a
priority.

You need to determine your underlying


Investment Principles

1. To receive a solid cash flow;


2. To provide a profitable return;
3. As a hedge against inflation.

You may feel you'd like to achieve all of


these. But generally, one or two will stand out
as being more important for you.
As you're probably aware, the truly rich tend
to generate their capacity for wealth through
their business activities. But then, they turn to
Property to preserve and grow that wealth.

When it comes to Property Investing, have


you ever actually sat down and analysed your
principal aims?

And in the same way, your underlying


principles should also be to (Priority Order):

And have you then matched them against the


properties you already own or those you
may now be considering?

Obtain a worthwhile, on-going return on it.

Basically, you'll find most people purchase


property for one (or more) of three reasons.
Back to Contents

Protect your original Equity; and then

With that in mind, you would need to remove


anything of a highly-speculative nature from

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


among the properties you pursue. Because,
what you're effectively seeking is solid growth
without unnecessary risk. And that brings
us to

a regular on several forums. But they never


have enough conviction to actually invest for
themselves.

Your Investment Profile

These investors only make money when


markets are on a bull-run, and ONLY during a
bull-run. Their investment strategy is never
planned on or built for a bear market. They
believe just any property or investment can
make money because bulls are too sacred to
be killed.

More often than not, you can determine your


Profile based upon your personality type and
your past experience.

Type #1: The Risk Taker


Some people love telling stories about how
they "gambled a lot" where they would
have either made a fortune, or gone broke.
These investors can be quite entertaining to
listen to, but rather dangerous to imitate.
Type #2: The NATO Investor
No Action, Talk Only. These people certainly
know their stuff because they attend lots of
seminars, read many books and are probably
Back to Contents

Type #3: The Bull-Market Investor

This is typical of many investors today.


Type #4: The Shrewd Conservatives and
Hands-On Investor
These are the mildly-aggressive investors,
who only increase the size of the portfolio
when they have enough funds in reserve.
They do their homework before buying, and
don't put the existing properties at risk.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


These investors are likely the ones who

start conservatively, think long-term, and most

willingly to roll up their sleeves and get their

importantly, be prepared for lean years. This

hands dirty. They are highly involved in every

is not a quick or easy path to riches.

aspect from the buying, to the letting,

managing tenants, having a strong support

Gallop steadily ahead in your financial wealth


for the Horse year and beyond!

team and overseeing the entire property


management themselves.

By guest contributor Gerald Tay, CEO of


CREI Academy Group, who exposes widely-

Bottom Line: As you can appreciate, it is the

held property investment myths that have

Type #4 Investor who is most likely to

proven highly ineffective in creating wealth,

succeed. And that's the one you should strive

and prevent a comfortable retirement for the

to emulate, going forward from year 2014

ordinary investor.

onwards.
Yes, you can build wealth with real estate.

You just need to educate yourself, work hard,

Back to Contents

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Strong top bid for Jurong West EC site
Despite the latest rule changes affecting the
executive condo market, an EC site in Jurong
West drew 12 bids with the highest bid at
$381.81 psf ppr from a Koh Brothers-Heeton
Homes partnership. The second highest bid
was only 0.45 percent lower, from a joint
venture between City Developments and TID.
This highest bid is near the top end of the
predicted range at the site launch in late
October. This could reflect that demand for
ECs would remain strong. Despite the
optimistic top bids, the bottom half of the bids

Back to Contents

were
generally
expectations.

cautious

and

below

(Source: Business Times)


The Premiere sellers not likely to have
profitable resale prices
Residents at The Premiere who think that
their units better location and fittings would
help them with a good resale price may not
get what they hope, even though these units
in the five-year-old pilot Design, Build and
Sell Scheme (DBSS) project in Tampines
Avenue 6 are ripe for the resale market. The
asking prices for five-room units,

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


available in 1,173 sq ft, 1,184 sq ft and 1,227
sq ft configurations, are between $720,000
and $850,000. A scan of the advertisements
on marketing platforms shows that these
sellers are asking for higher prices than
consultants think the market will accept.
(Source: Business Times)
Hillfords 60-year lease an obstacle to
investors
Although the first retirement resort in
Singapore The Hillford could offer
potential buyers a chance to buy into the
highly desired Bukit Timah address cheaply,
its 60-year leasehold could limit its demand.
There is no age limit on potential buyers for
the project. It includes 281 units, with a mix of
one-, two- and two-bedroom dual-key units
equipped with built-in elder-friendly features.
Indicative prices for its units start from $980
Back to Contents

psf or about $388,000 for a one-bedroom


unit, $498,000 for a two-bedroom unit and
$648,000 for a two-bedroom dual-key unit.
Key pull factors for the project include its
attractive quantum and location. However, its
60-year leasehold cap could make it harder
for investors to finance the property since it
may be harder to get bank loans for a shorter
lease, and also harder for investors to unload
the property in the resale market due to its
limited remaining tenure.
(Source: Business Times)
HDB median value down for first time
since Q4 2009
Data from the Singapore Real Estate
Exchange (SRX) shows that the median price
for a Housing and Development Board (HDB)
flat has decreased for the first time since Q4
2009.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


The median valuation for an HDB unit in Q4
2013 was $435,000, a 0.7 percent decrease
from Q3 2013. Jeremy Lee, co-founder of
StreetSine, the company behind SRX said
that this decline is the first one they registered
after the global financial crisis, and is pulled
down by the lowering of the COV (cash over
valuation) and overall resale prices coming
down. Ong Kah Seng, director at R'ST
Research said that median HDB valuation
prices had been expected to fall in end of
2013, because valuations depend on
comparable recent flat sales and resale flat
prices have trended downwards since H2
2013.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Commercial
Singapore properties draw $4b foreign
investments

A report from property consultancy DTZ


shows that Singapore properties have drawn
$4.1 billion from foreign investors in 2013, 30
percent higher than 2012. Nearly 90 per cent
of these foreign investments are from Asia,
especially from China with $2.9 billion from
Chinese investors. Notable deals involving
China players include Bright Ruby Resources'
purchase of Grand Park Orchard for $1.2
billion, Kingsford Developments winning of
two adjacent private residential sites at Upper
Serangoon View,

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


and Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Groups
acquisition of two executive condominium
sites at Woodlands Avenue 5/Avenue 6 and
Anchorvale Crescent. In addition, Japan
investors contributed another $468 million.

Shop unit price to moderate this year

A freehold 34,729-sq-ft industrial site at Kim


Chuan Drive is up for sale by tender at an
indicative price range from $44 million to $46
million. The plot is located at 47/A to 65/A Kim
Chuan Drive, with a three-storey development
comprising 10 shophouses and 10 homes. It
is zoned for Business-2 development with a
plot ratio of 2.5, making heavy industrial use
possible on the plot. The plot can be
redeveloped into a factory or warehouse of 49
strata units of 1,500 sq ft in size each.

According to analysts, the price growth for


strata-titled retail property is likely to
moderate this year, after its spiraling for the
past two years with new records set. This is
because the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR)
curbed investors' ability to purchase.
However, as investors are still interested in
shopping space which has been untouched
by the property cooling measures, the
number of sales transactions may hold up to
the levels of last year. According to Savills
Singapore, prices for strata-titled retail
property increased 11.7 percent in 2013, after
a 10.5 percent increase in 2012, but much of
the price increase took place before the
TDSR was introduced. DTZ said that there
were 974 transactions in 2013, a 30 percent
decrease from 2012.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Kim Chuan Drive industrial site up for sale

Back to Contents

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


Eminent Plaza and next-door Lavender
Food Square to be redeveloped
Eminent Plaza and the next-door Lavender
Food Square are reported to be torn down
and redeveloped later this year by two
associated companies of Tong Eng Group
into a 16-storey project with office and retail
units. Some of these units would then be up
for sale. The two associated companies of
Tong Eng Group built the development back
in the 1980s. The new development called
ARC 380 will have 167 strata units consisting
of 23 retail units on ground level and 144
office units on levels five to level 16. 71 units
will be released for sales (52 office units, 19
retail units). Hawkers at the famous Lavender
Food Square will move out in six to nine
months.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Long House Food Centre sold for $45.2m


Long House Food Centre along Upper
Thomson Road has been sold for $45.2
million to TEE Ventures, a subsidiary of the
mainboard-listed TEE Land, in a deal
brokered by Knight Frank. A family-held
asset, Long House is on a 1,575 square
metre freehold site designated for commercial
and residential use under the 2008 Master
Plan. TEE Land is reported to redevelop the
property into a commercial-cum-residential
development.
(Source: Business Times)

A makeover for TripleOne Somerset


After its acquisition of TripleOne Somerset for
$970 million last month, a consortium led by
retail mall veteran Pua Seck Guan is planning
to spend $150 million to give the property a
makeover.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138


This includes increasing retail offerings,
improving the quality of the 17-storey
building's office towers, and a possible
creation of an underground pedestrian link
between the building and Somerset MRT.
TripleOne Somerset has two office towers
and two floors of retail space, with a total
gross floor area of 766,550 square feet and
an annual net property income at about $40
million.

grew 3.5 percent year- on-year in Q4 2013,


and is expected to gain further this year. The
rental market for industrial real estate also
mostly grew in line with the increased
manufacturing activity.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Industrial rents to continue upward trend
in 2014

Property consultancy DTZ said that industrial


rent would rise in 2014, continuing its upward
trend since Q4 2013. This trend is attributed
to an uptick expected in manufacturing
activity, and a moderate supply of available
space this year. The manufacturing sector
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Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 138

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Dec 25 Dec 31
Postal
District
1
1
5
5
5
9
10
12
14
15
15
15
15
16
18
18
19
19
20
20
21
23
27
28

Project Name
EMERALD GARDEN
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
HERITAGE VIEW
BANYAN CONDOMINIUM
FABER CREST
HILLTOPS
THE LEGEND
SUITES @ TOPAZ
CASA SARINA
MELROSE VILLE
PEBBLE BAY
VENTURA VIEW
BLU CORAL
COSTA DEL SOL
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
EASTPOINT GREEN
KOVAN MELODY
SUNSHINE LODGE
GOLDENHILL PARK CONDOMINIUM
FAR HORIZON GARDENS
JARDIN
PARK NATURA
THE ESTUARY
GRANDE VISTA

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft)
Price ($) ($ psf)
807
1,561,545 1,934
999
893
1,700,000 1,903
99
1,195 1,480,000 1,239
99
1,227 1,370,000 1,116
FH
1,259 1,325,000 1,052
99
1,550 5,150,000 3,323
FH
1,421 2,060,000 1,450
FH
377
590,000
1,566
FH
1,184 1,220,000 1,030
FH
517
805,000
1,558
FH
1,894 2,750,000 1,452
99
1,206 1,240,000 1,029
FH
2,088 1,780,000
852
FH
1,776 2,168,000 1,221
99
1,281 1,120,000
874
99
1,884 1,610,000
855
99
904
1,150,000 1,272
99
2,024 1,688,888
835
FH
1,313 1,930,000 1,470
FH
2,002 1,500,000
749
99
1,701 3,200,000 1,882
FH
1,378 1,600,000 1,161
FH
1,313 1,408,000 1,072
99
1,238 1,205,000
973
999

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 14

Issue 142
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

6 Reasons Why Property Curbs

Welcome to the 142th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Should NOT Be Removed

Hope you like it!

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p13

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(January 22 January 28)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142

6 Reasons Why Property Curbs Should NOT Be Removed


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
There have been recent calls to the
government asking to relax some of its
property-cooling measures as demand for
real estate wanes. MrGetty Goh, director at
Ascendant Assets voiced his view on this,
speaking at a Business Outlook Forum
recently.
He said the government should consider
repealing the Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) for
residential properties introduced in January
2011, because sellers who are keen to
dispose their properties may find themselves
tied down by it.
Many people I have met who want you to
invest in property dont care two hoots if you
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


make money or not, as long as they profit
from your investment. And the same group of
people are now calling for property curbs to
be removed because of a so-call lacklustre
property market.
Mr Getty Goh is one of the few respected
voices I listen to among the many industry
players, and therefore I believe he does not
fall into the category of those Please invest
in property so WE can get rich group. His
view on relaxing some property rules may be
a personal view of his own and not for profit
interests.
Here are six reasons why property curbs
should NOT be removed today at least till a
correction happens.
1. Its too early
Private home prices registered their first drop
in seven quarters in the October-December
Back to Contents

period, falling 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter.


Meanwhile, public housing prices posted their
second consecutive quarterly drop, down 1.5
percent - the worst reading in eight years.
Unwinding existing tightening policies for
property simply because of a slight drop?
This may be too premature as prices in both
private homes and public housing are still
very much elevated.
For the government to roll back its policies
that took four years to have an impact, a
major correction has to happen. And I believe
the government will continue its stand on
existing measures till that happens.
2. The market is not ready psychologically
Market psychology plays a huge part in rising
asset prices and Singapores economy was
resting more and more on asset based
inflation supported by cheap liquidity in
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


recent years.

on itself.

Credit growth and bank financing drive up


asset prices, causing lenders and borrowers
to believe that even more credit growth is
both safe and desirable.

This will cause more supply in future and if


theres a correction, the results will be
distastrous to the economy.

The last four years of rapid property price


escalation has been played out, not by real
estate or economic fundamentals, but simply
because everyone believes in the fallacy of
an illusionary demand/supply dominated by
the market psychology of lemmings following
the crowd.
An even more vicious inflationary cycle will
happen. If the government begins to unwind
its policies, buyers want to buy, sellers want
to sell, banks want to lend, developers see
demand and want to buy more land and
build more, the government sells and
releases more land the whole cycle will turn
Back to Contents

3. Still plenty of liquidity


Even with the recent Fed tapering, the world
is still awash with cash and developed-market
interest rates are close to zero. Liquidity
factors still have the ability to push real estate
markets to new highs and to crazy
overvaluation.
The dire consequences and outcome of
removing Sellers Stamp Duties (SSD) and
other property measures in a bullish real
estate market is unthinkable.
4. Gamblers dont deserve sympathy
On the removal of the Sellers Stamp Duty
(SSD), Mr Getty Goh explained this move
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


would help property owners offload their
properties.
He said, These owners in the event that they
own two or three properties, giving rising
interest rates and their inability to do a
refinancing because of the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio (TDSR), may be compelled to
slash their prices to offload their property.
This could snowball into a longer term
problem when sellers flood the market after
the Seller Stamp Duty expires in four years
time, precipitating a crash in prices.

market like a casino. When the Sellers Stamp


Duty and other property measures were
implemented, they got stuck and hope for
some form of salvation.
Removal of SSD by the government will only
send a negative message to more
speculators that flipping in a bullish market is
the right thing to do.

An analogy to the above:


Should we remove all casino regulations to
help more gamblers gamble?

Should we protect the interest of these


property buyers whose finances are not built
on solid foundations?

Should we extend credit to gamblers to help


them recover when they incur bad gambling
debts?

The owners who buy and sell properties


hoping to make a quick buck in a bullish
market, either during a sub-sale or when the
property T.O.Ps is gaming the property

Will the casinos in Singapore go under


because a bunch of gamblers lost money?

Back to Contents

Professional gamblers understand risk and


protect the downsides to prevent losses
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


before they step into a casino. Shrewd
property buyers are the same.
The only downside protection ignorant
gamblers have is buy and pray. So let them
pray for now.
5. Higher Cost
Singaporeans

of

Living

for

Most

Removal of property measures at current


bullish levels will cause a further spike in land
prices (See Reason 2), adding inflation to all
asset prices. And this may result in a higher
cost of living for most Singaporeans.
6. Protect Genuine Home Buyers and
Conservative Investors
If Sellers Stamp Duty (SSD) and other
property measures are removed at current
point, property prices may continue to rise
given the above reasons. This certainly does
not bode well for many genuine home buyers
Back to Contents

in both private residential and HDB.


Though most of the property measures are
targeted to the private residential market,
rising land prices have collateral effects on
the HDB BTO market as well.
Shouldnt the implementation of property
measures to curb rising prices be meant for
the majority of Singaporeans to afford and
buy a decent home at decent prices?
Or should the removal of the SSD and other
property measures be meant to protect
property speculators, and those with vested
interests?
Conservative investors can also help support
the vibrancy of a stable property market when
investing with decent yields. Todays yields
have been molested by current the indecent
high prices.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


Moving Forward
On the contrary, more cooling measures are
needed as prices have not come down to
acceptable and reasonable levels.
Removing property curbs is supposed to
allow more sellers and buyers to come into
the market, but in todays climate where
prices are still adamantly high, will only add
oil to the fire.
Historically, property curbs are removed
whenever there is a major price correction.
This removal and correction will bode well for
many genuine buyers and investors.
Property prices climb up by the escalator and
come down by the lift. A combination of rising
interest rates and increased supply in the
market could trigger a correction in 2014 to
2015, according to Barclays. The bank

Back to Contents

estimates home prices will fall 5 percent this


year and between 5 and 15 percent next year
and maybe more.
For genuine buyers and investors, my advice
to you is be patient and avoid buying with the
lemmings, as the next eventual major
correction may just be around the corner.
Debt and leverage caused the 2008 crisis and
now debt and leverage are greater than at
any point in history. History always repeats
itself and this will end in tears.
As for the speculators, their turn is soon over.

By guest contributor Gerald Tay, CEO of


CREI Academy Group, who exposes widelyheld property investment myths that have
proven highly ineffective in creating wealth,
and prevent a comfortable retirement for the
ordinary investor.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142

Back to Contents

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Optimistic
Fernvale

outlook

for

Riverbank

Sale of units at UOL Group's 99-year


leasehold 555-unit private condominium
Riverbank @ Fernvale will begin next week.
The average price indication is slightly over
$1,000 psf. Prices of a 495 sq ft one-bedroom
unit start from $476,000, or around $962 psf.
A 947 sq ft three-bedroom unit starts from
$878,000 or $927 psf. UOL Groups property
president Liam Wee Sin remains optimistic
about buyer response, despite falling resale
prices recently. Mr Liam says that their pricing
is realistic because the tender bid last year
was $489 psf ppr, and with the total debt
Back to Contents

servicing ratio (TDSR), underlying demand to


upgrade is strong.
(Source: Business Times)
Savills: private property prices to rise by
2%
The global real estate services provider
Savills has forecast that overall prices of
private property could increase by 2 percent
in 2014, contrary to market expectations of
decreasing prices which are not supported by
the facts. In fact, Alan Cheong, the senior
director at Savills Research, Singapore, said
that many mass-market and mid-tier projects
are in the hands of strong developers, who
are unlikely to lower prices below comparable

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


benchmarks just to clear their stock.

Redas-NUS index sends mixed signals

(Source: Business Times)

The latest Real Estate Sentiment Index


(RESI) survey, developed by the Real Estate
Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas)
and the National University of Singapore,
shows that the Composite Sentiment Index
capturing the overall market sentiment of
property developers increased to 4.0 in Q4
2013, from 3.9 in Q3 2013. Similarly, the
Future Sentiment Index reached 4.0 from 3.9.
However, 62 percent of the developers
surveyed anticipate a moderate decrease in
residential property prices in the next six
months, compared with 51.3 percent in Q3
2013. Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of
property consultancy Century21, said that
such mixed signals in the survey reflect
market uncertainties.

Property sector hopes for the curbs to be


tweaked or removed
Property players are reported to hope that
some of the cooling measures introduced the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) and
additional buyers' stamp duty (ABSD) - might
be tweaked or even rolled back. Donald Han,
managing director at Chesterton Singapore
said that such measures could be loosened
up because they have had the desired
results. In addition, sub-sales and foreigners'
participation rates are now at a new low
compared to two years ago thanks to the
sellers' stamp duty (SSD) and ABSD, while
the TDSR framework has significant influence
on escalating property prices and transaction
volumes.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


Resale flat COV hits 2009 crisis low mark
Median cash-over-valuation (COV) premiums
for Housing and Development Board (HDB)
resale units decreased from $5,000 in
December 2013 to $3,000 January 2014
similar to the previous low in the Global
Financial Crisis in June 2009. Eight out of the
28 HDB towns saw zero or negative median
COV. Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP
International, said that HDB resale prices are
stabilizing, and need to be read in light of the
low transaction volumes in the same period
which could translate to a wide range of COV
figures. The flash report by the Singapore
Real Estate Exchange (SRX) shows that
Sengkang and Punggol had negative overall
COVs in January; while Bishan, Geylang,
Jurong West, Sembawang, Woodlands, and
Yishun recorded zero overall median COV.
Ong Kah Seng, director at R'ST Research,
expects that prices may fall about 5 percent in
Back to Contents

the first half of this year, despite a small


increase of 0.3 percent in January 2014.
(Source: Business Times)

Commercial
Anson House up for sale
Anson Houses current owner, CBRE Global
Investors, is reported to have put the 13storey office block up for sale with an
indicative pricing of $175-180 million, or
$2,292-2,357 psf on net lettable area (NLA) of
76,362 sq ft. 20 percent of the building, which
is on a site with about 82 years of remaining
lease, is currently vacant, which suits
potential occupier who seeks to partly occupy
the building as well as provision for signage
and naming rights. The average passing rent
is about $8 psf per month with recent rent
standing at $8.50-$9.50 psf per month.
(Source: Business Times)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142


Westgate Tower back on the leasing
market

Tuas South long-lease industrial site for


sale

Westgate Tower, the 20-storey office block


next to Jurong East MRT Station, is back on
the leasing market. A Sun Venture-Low Keng
Huat (LKH) consortium has appointed Jones
Lang LaSalle (JLL) and CBRE as joint sole
leasing agents. Just last month, Sun VentureLKH was granted options to buy the office
tower at $579.4 million, or $1,900 psf, from
the developers of the Westgate mixeddevelopment
project

CapitaLand,
CapitaMalls Asia and CapitaMall Trust. Sun
Venture managing director Alvin Teo said that
the new owners' asking rent is around $6.50
psf, compared with the previous ownerss
indicating office rents of $8 psf a month.

A long-lease 34,189 sq ft industrial site in 17


Tuas South Street 5 has been launched for
sale by Expression of Interest for $8.9 million.
The site has a two-storey building with
production and storage space, a mezzanine
office with a GFA of approximately 39,795 sq
ft. The lease tenure is about 45 years.
Nicholas Ng, local director of investments at
Jones Lang LaSalle the sites exclusive
marketing agent, said factories with lease
tenures of more than 40 years are rare, and
that this site would be attractive to
industrialists with huge upfront costs or
leases expiring in the next few years.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

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Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 142

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jan 22 Jan 28

Postal
District
4
5
8
8
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
14
14
15
15
15
16
16
16
17
20
20

Project Name
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
REGENT PARK
KERRISDALE
KENTISH GREEN
8 NAPIER
8 NAPIER
GOODWOOD GARDENS
THE MONTANA
GALLOP GABLES
CASA JERVOIS
STRATA
STARVILLE
ASTOR
PEBBLE BAY
CELESTIA
RIVEREDGE
COSTA DEL SOL
CHANGI GREEN
EAST MEADOWS
COASTAL BREEZE RESIDENCES
SIN MING PLAZA
FAR HORIZON GARDENS

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
2,583
1,152
1,485
1,076
2,777
2,777
1,044
775
2,842
1,227
1,066
1,270
1,119
1,894
646
1,593
1,755
904
1,216
1,173
1,593
1,389

Transacted
Price ($)
2,715,000
1,295,000
1,700,000
1,070,000
8,608,700
8,391,300
2,125,000
1,533,690
4,800,000
1,925,000
1,750,000
1,220,000
1,000,000
2,620,000
855,000
2,060,000
2,550,000
988,000
1,200,000
1,080,000
1,755,000
1,100,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,051
99
1,124
99
1,144
99
994
99
3,100
FH
3,022
FH
2,035
FH
1,979
FH
1,689
FH
1,569
FH
1,642
FH
961
FH
893
99
1,383
99
1,324
FH
1,293
99
1,453
99
1,093
FH
987
99
920
99
1,102
FH
792
99

Postal
District
21
21
23
23
23
25
25
25
26

Project Name
1 KING ALBERT PARK
BEAUTY WORLD CENTRE
THE MADEIRA
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
CASABLANCA
CASABLANCA
THE WOODGROVE
FOREST HILLS CONDOMINIUM

Area
(sqft)
1,012
1,873
936
1,087
2,002
936
1,184
893
1,894

Transacted Price
Tenure
Price ($) ($ psf)
1,385,000 1,369
FH
1,615,000 862
99
970,000 1,036
99
850,000
782
99
1,200,000 599
99
900,000
961
99
1,018,000 860
99
755,000
845
99
1,395,000 736
99

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.

Page | 13

Issue 143
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Exemption of the TDSR Rules Tweaking or


Loosening?

p7
p13

Welcome to the 143th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Singapore Property News This Week

Mr. Propwise

Resale Property Transactions


(January 29 February 4)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143

Exemption of the TDSR Rules Tweaking or Loosening?


By Property Soul (guest contributor)
On February 10 2014, the Monetary Authority
of Singapore (MAS) issued a press release to
broaden the existing exemption from the Total
Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) rules introduced
in June last year. Market watchers have
debated whether this just a tweak or a sign
that the government is loosening its cooling
measures due to the recent weak market
sentiment.

Fine-tuning financing restrictions a norm?


Financing restrictions introduced by MAS
under the context of prudent borrowing are
usually made effective the following day.
However, it is not uncommon to see
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


subsequent
fine-tuning
announcement.

after

the

Motor vehicle loans are a good example:

- On 25 February 2013, MAS imposed


financing restrictions on car loans that cap
maximum loan-to-value to 50 or 60 percent
and loan tenure to five years.
- On March 8, after carefully considering the
feedback received from different groups, the
physically disabled and their caregivers are
exempted from such restrictions.
- On April 5, after taking into account the
distinct conditions in the used car market, a
grace period of 60 days was granted for the
purchase of used cars that were inventory
before February 25.
The TDSR framework was announced in
June 2013. But it was not until eight months
Back to Contents

later that some details were fine-tuned after


receiving feedback from borrowers who face
challenges refinancing loans for owneroccupied properties.
Anyway, all lenders and borrowers are now
used to MAS being the modifying authority of
financing restrictions introduced in Singapore.
Although MAS stands firm on their policies,
they know do tweak some terms and
conditions based on public feedback.
So the question is: Are more fine-tuning
announcements on the way?
What is the exemption this time?

With immediate effect, any borrower who


bought his owner-occupied residential
property before 29 June 2013 is exempted
from the TDSR rules during refinancing of this
property, even if he owns more than one

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


property and has other outstanding property
loan. He can also enjoy the same remaining
tenure in his refinanced loan.
Refinancing of all investment property loans
above the 60 percent TDSR threshold is
allowed during the transition period until 30
June 2017, provided that:
1. The option to purchase was granted before
29 June 2013;
2. The borrower commits to a debt reduction
plan with the financial institution (FI) during
refinancing; and
3. The borrower
assessment.

fulfils

the

FIs

credit

How can property owners benefit from the


exemption?
The exemption is meant to enable home
owners to refinance their properties when
Back to Contents

interest rates go up. On the other hand,


property investors are given sufficient time to
right-size their loans when the 4-year lock-in
period of their loans expires in 2017, so they
will be able to service or refinance their loans
and wont suffer a huge loss in a forced sale.
With interest rates still around two percent
now, not many property owners will bother to
refinance their properties. For those who
bought their properties recently, their housing
loans are most likely still under the lock-in
period of 2 to 4 years. As the saying goes,
you only cross the bridge when you come to
it.
It is only when interest rates shoot up to over
3 or 4 percent that owners will start feeling
the pain. In 2006 and 2007, banks would
inform borrowers of a revised interest rate
and a higher monthly repayment every few
months, to be effective the following month.
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


Foreign banks were even more aggressive in
updating their interest rates.
Mortgagors should be aware of the fact that
applications for refinancing or re-pricing takes
time. When the new loan package is finally
approved, it can only be made effective three
months later.
Who doesnt benefit
exemption?

much from the

1. Developers, agents and sellers


It is an exemption, not an abortion. And the
exemption doesnt apply across the board to
include all new property purchases. Buying
new projects launched by developers or
resale units in the market after 29 June 2013
are still subject to the limit of the TDSR rules.
2. Other buyers

Buyers who unfortunately bought after the


Back to Contents

magic date of 29 June 2013 or have


purchased commercial properties still have to
go through the tedious TDSR evaluation
process during refinancing.
Buyers waiting on the sidelines are unlikely to
see many units selling at depressed prices
due to failure in securing refinancing. There
may not be a drastic drop in property prices
this year.
3. Financial institutions
FIs are relieved that they can probably meet
their sales quota on refinancing of home
loans now. But not the quota on new housing
loans.
Even if the target group of the TDSR
exemption fails to pass the stress test, FIs
are now unable to hold them hostage to
monthly repayments with higher and higher
interest rates.
Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


Well, there is no clear definition and guideline
on
debt-reduction
plan
and
credit
assessment. At least the FIs do not have to
give up too much business from their
overleveraged mortgagors with no holding
power, especially after toiling for weeks with
all that paperwork!
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor and enthusiast
who shares her experiences and knowledge
on her blog.

Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
A breather for homeowners who bought
before last June 29
With immediate effect from Feb 10 this year,
the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
has announced that refinancing of loans for
homes bought before June 29, 2013 will be
exempted from the total debt servicing ratio
(TDSR) cap of 60 percent. The cap means
that a borrower's monthly installments for all
debt servicing including mortgage payments
cannot exceed 60 percent of gross monthly
income. This is a breather from the strict debt
rules governing mortgages for homeowners
who are considering refinancing of their
mortgages. Before this, owner-occupiers with
Back to Contents

an intention to refinance their loans could only


be exempted from this rule if they owned no
other property and had no other home loan.
Banks are also likely to welcome this policy
tweak because it may revive the refinancing
market, after the sharp decrease in new
home loan sales since the introduction of the
TDSR framework.
(Source: Business Times)
Riverbank @ Fernvale
strong interest

project

draws

UOL Development's newest condominium


development Riverbank @ Fernvale is
reported to be gaining strong interest from
buyers. It has received more than

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


500 cheques since its showflats opened for
preview a week ago. The 555 residential
units prices will be above $1,000 psf on
average. Anthony Wong, UOL's deputy
general manager (marketing) said that he
saw strong interest across all unit types.
(Source: Business Times)

Development Board's Home Ownership for


the People Scheme the programmed that
offers subsidized mortgages to buyers of
HDB flats and has culminated in the
Republic's high home ownership rate.
(Source: Business Times)

Home ownership a key social pillar

TDSR tweak a lifeline for struggling


owners

Minister for National Development Khaw


Boon Wan said that home ownership remains
a key social pillar for Singapore, and that the
government
will
continue
to
help
Singaporeans realize their dreams of owning
a home in a post on his blog. Mr Khaw wrote
that HDB estates are lasting intangibles
where Singaporeans build homes, start
families and form strong bonds with their
neighbors and communities. Feb 12 marked
the 50th anniversary of the Housing &

Following the MASs decision to exempt


owner-occupiers from the TDSR cap of 60
percent, analysts are reported to say that the
tweak is targeted at a small group of stressed
households struggling to get mortgage
refinancing. This revision to the rule may
mean that the group of households with a
debt-servicing ratio (DSR) of 40-60 percent
may be larger than expected earlier.
However, analysts also said that the tweak is
not likely to indicate a rollback of property

Back to Contents

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


cooling measures. In fact, the measures are
expected to stay, and a reversal may only
happen next year.

EC homes, and demand for ECs in the


Sengkang area has been encouraging
recently.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Anchorvale Crescent EC site attracts


strong interest

DBS: home prices to fall 10-15% this year

The 99-year leasehold site at Anchorvale


Crescent attracted 12 bids at the close of its
tender period on Feb 13. The top bid was
$192.89 million, or $366.91 psf ppr, by
SingHaiyi Group's Phoenix Real Estate. The
second highest bid was $191 million, or
$363.32 psf ppr, by MCL Land (Brighton).
Ong Teck Hui, national director, research and
consultancy, at Jones Lang LaSalle said that
the site has attracted a particularly strong
interest with 12 parties contesting and the top
six bidders within a 4.8 percent margin. This
reflects developer's confidence in demand for
Back to Contents

Speaking at DBS's Q4 results briefing, DBS


Bank chief executive Piyush Gupta expects
home prices to decrease 10 to 15 percent in
2014, more than the 10 percent forecast by
property consultants. Yet he said that such
decline would not make a material impact on
the bank's loan book. As for the higher
interest rates expected with the shrinking of
monetary stimulus policy by the US, he was
not expecting it to have any effect on DBS.
DBSs own stress tests in the past have
shown that DBS can easily withstand a 20
percent reduction in Singapore property

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


prices without
portfolio.

material

impact on

their

(Source: Business Times)

Rivertrees pricing set to top next-door


Riverbank's

Resale transactions of non-landed private


residential homes decreased 70.2 percent to
310 in Jan 2014 from 1,039 deals of last year.
Flash estimates from the Singapore Real
Estate Exchange (SRX) also indicated that
the number of resale deals last month was
9.1 percent lower than 341 transactions in
December. However, resale prices measured
by the SRX index increased 2.3 percent from
the December level. Analysts said the lower
number of transactions in Jan might have
caused the overall price index more sensitive
to deals that changed hands at a higher price.

Rivertrees Residences is expected to be


launched at a premium of $50-100 psf,
topping its next-door competing project, UOL
Development's Riverbank @ Fernvale.
Rivertrees is a project jointly developed by
Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Orchard and
Sekisui House. Prices for the units will start
from $950 psf when the project is open for
booking on Feb 22, with the average price for
the initial phase likely to be within $950$1,150 psf. Chief executive Cheang Kok
Kheong noted that Rivertreess advantage
over Riverbank is that it offers the waterfront
view, and its slight premium to the other is
considered fair. Riverbank @ Fernvale has
an average price indication of slightly more
than $1,000 psf.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Jans resale of non-landed homes down


70%

Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


Commercial

put to other uses.

Keppel Club and one SICC course affected


by review

(Source: Business Times)

Under the government's plans for land use,


Keppel Club may not be able to keep its golf
course when its lease expires in seven years,
and at least one of the Singapore Island
Country Club's (SICC) locations may be
affected. The fate of these and other golf
courses has long been discussed before 16
Feb, when representatives from government
agencies meet the members of four clubs Keppel, SICC, Tanah Merah Country Club
(TMCC) and the National Service Resort &
Country Club (NSRCC) - at separate briefing
sessions. The Ministry of Law said that there
would be no new land allocations for golf
courses, and that some of the golf courses
would have to be phased out and the greens

Back to Contents

KH Kea Properties seeking partner to


develop building
KH Kea Properties Pte Ltd is seeking a jointventure partner to tap on the best use of its
small building next to Bras Basah Complex
with McDonald's as tenant on the lower floors
- the nine-storey building at 333 North Bridge
Road. The building's existing gross floor area
(GFA) is 29,049 sq ft, or an equivalent plot
ratio of 7.145 which exceeds the 5.2 plot ratio
allocated for the site under Master Plan 2008.
The company is controlled by an Indonesian
family with business interests across Asia. It
also owns an adjacent 635 sq ft piece of land
along Cashin Street. Both properties have
balance lease tenure of 812 years,

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143


are zoned for commercial use, and yield a

Type A (32,754 sq ft to 33,615 sq ft), Type B

total of 32,351 sq ft GFA.

(10,613-14,574 sq ft) and Type C (2,195-

(Source: Business Times)

8,697 sq ft). The Indexs average price is a


bit lower than the $360 psf average for the

Far East to begin sales for Tuas factory

groups nearby project The Westcom in Tuas

complex next week

South Avenue 6. The group has sold about

Far East Organization is expected to begin

92 percent of the 144 warehouse and factory

sales at a 30-year leasehold strata factory

units in The Westcom. The Westcom is on a

project, The Index in Tuas South Avenue 3

site with a remaining 41 years on its 60-year

next week. The expected average price of

lease term.

the factory units is around $330-350 psf. 98

(Source: Business Times)

strata factories as well as a staff canteen will


be on sale. There will be three unit types:

Back to Contents

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 143

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jan 29 Feb 4
Postal
District
5
9
10
10
10
11
11
11
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
18
21
21
26
26
26
27

Project Name
VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM
PATERSON RESIDENCE
THE MONTANA
BALMORAL 8
ONE JERVOIS
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
HILLCREST ARCADIA
CHANCERY COURT
THE WATERINA
THE WATERINA
LE CRESCENDO
POSHGROVE EAST
RIVEREDGE
MABELLE
THE VESTA
RIS GRANDEUR
SPRINGDALE CONDOMINIUM
PINE GROVE
THE CALROSE
CASTLE GREEN
CASTLE GREEN
YISHUN SAPPHIRE

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,345 1,590,000 1,182
99
1,313 2,830,000 2,155
FH
614 1,286,710 2,097
FH
2,928 4,900,000 1,674
FH
2,777 4,600,000 1,656
FH
1,464 2,400,000 1,639
FH
926 1,050,000 1,134
99
2,271 2,520,000 1,110
99
635
834,388 1,314
FH
1,066 1,230,000 1,154
FH
3,391 3,480,000 1,026
FH
1,238 1,767,000 1,427
FH
1,518 1,750,000 1,153
99
1,119 1,250,000 1,117
FH
1,561 1,580,000 1,012
FH
1,539 1,400,000 910
FH
1,130 1,280,000 1,133
999
1,755 1,539,000 877
99
1,249 1,570,000 1,257
FH
1,281 1,100,000 859
99
1,152 950,000
825
99
1,399 1,020,000 729
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 13

Issue 144
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS

FROM THE

EDITOR

p2

How Much Will Property Prices Fall in 2014?

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Welcome to the 144th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(February 5 February 11)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144

How Much Will Property Prices Fall in 2014?


By Mr. Propwise
Okay so youve read various outlooks for the
property market in 2014 and beyond, youve
heard everyones arguments about why the
property market should go up (yes someone
actually predicted that), down or sideways.
But what you really want to know is how
much will property prices fall (if at all) in
2014?
The danger of expert forecasts

Long-time readers of Propwise.sg will know


that I dont believe in making forecasts.
Instead, I believe we should keep track of
where we are in the Property Market Cycle
and prepare ourselves for it (HINT: we should
be preparing for a bear market ahead).
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144


Others have written about the folly of

What the experts are predicting

following expert forecasts, but suffice to say

Heres the table of forecasts Ive compiled

that nobody knows what will happen in the


future. At best, we can only make an
educated guess based on our analysis of the
data, and that guess is only one of many
possible future outcomes. That being said, I
thought it would be helpful to compile the
property market forecasts that a wide range

Ive also included details on the person

making the forecast, organization he or she


belongs to, their position, and the type of
organization they belong to. It is sorted
roughly in the order from the most positive to
most negative.

of market watchers are making, and share


some of my thoughts about them.

Back to Contents

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144

Figure 1 2014 Singapore Residential


Property Price Forecasts

We can see a few things from the table


above.
First, the range of forecasts is wide, from an
increase of 2% to a fall of 20%. This should

Back to Contents

tell you something about how predictable the


market is not very. Theres a lot of
uncertainty due to the myriad factors that
influence the market interest rates,
employment, supply, taxes, financing rules
etc.

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144


Second, most of the forecasts are for the
property market to fall. And while it is not
possible to take a simple average as we will
not
be
making
an
apples-to-apples
comparison, if I had to summarize the
forecasts I would say the general range is
looking at a 5% to 15% fall in property prices.
While a single forecast is likely to be
inaccurate, the average of a large number of
forecasts is likely to be closer to the eventual
outcome, if you believe in the Wisdom of the
Crowds.
Third, the type of organization matters when
trying to determine how reliable a forecast is.
When you next hear a forecast, one of the
key things you should ask yourself is what
vested interest does this person have in the
property market? From the table above we
can see that the most positive forecasts are

Back to Contents

from property agencies and developers.


Hmm Ill leave you to figure that one out
yourself, Sherlock.
Cooling measures not going away anytime
soon
While property developers and agencies were
hoping (praying?) for a loosening of property
measures after a mild 0.9% quarter-onquarter decrease in the 4th quarter of 2013
(after rising by 61% since mid-2009), their
hopes were dashed post the announcement
of Budget 2014.
Take a look at what Finance Minister
Tharman Shanmugaratnam said about the
property market: Given the run-up in prices
in the last four years, it is too early to start
relaxing our measures We are not
engineering a hard landing.

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144


But neither are we able to eliminate cycles in
the property market, with upswings in prices
in some years followed by corrections.
My read is that the government is not going to
support the property market at all costs it
will let the cycle play out and try to minimize
the damage to Singapores financial system
and the impact on household balance sheets.
In other words, the government will allow
property prices to fall, as long as that fall is
not too extreme.
When you read news about market watchers
calling on the government to relax the cooling
measures, think again about the vested
interests we discussed above. Who is calling
for it and what do they have to gain from it?
Wisdom from the Wolf of Wall Street
One of the most interesting movies Ive

Back to Contents

watched in a while, the Wolf of Wall Street, is


probably Leonardo DiCaprios and Martin
Scorseses finest work. Among the best
scenes in the movie, in my opinion, occurs at
the beginning when a young Jordan Belfort is
taken to lunch by his new boss Mark Hanna
(played by Matthew McConaughey).
At lunch, Mark gives Jordan some
fundamental advice about succeeding in the
financial industry, including this gem: First
rule of Wall Street, nobody, and I dont care if
youre Warren Buffett or Jimmy Buffett,
nobody knows if a stocks going up or down,
or sideways, least of all stock brokers. But we
pretend to know.
As you listen to the various forecasts of the
market from property experts, just remember
that for some it is their job to convince you
that they know exactly where it is going to go.
Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
New launches to boost private housing
sales
New property launches are expected to give
a boost to developers' private housing sales
in February and March, after only 565 units
being sold in the primary market in January
2014. Although this figure for is higher than
the 259 private homes sold in Dec 2013, it
decreased 72 percent year-on-year, and is
also the lowest figure recorded for the month
of January since the 108 units in January
2009 after Lehmans collapse. Developers
were thought by market watchers to hold
back launches before Chinese New Year due
to the weak sentiment since the introduction
Back to Contents

of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) in


June 2013. The top-selling project last month
was the 281-unit The Hillford in Jalan Jurong
Kechil in the Upper Bukit Timah area with a
median price of $1,105 psf.
(Source: Business Times)
Good Class Bungalow market recovering
The Good Class Bungalow market is reported
to recover with at least 6 transactions since
the start of the year which total about $170
million. Along Margoliouth Road off Stevens
Road, an old two-storey bungalow was sold
by a retiree couple to Imelda Tanoto for $30.8
million, or $1,696 psf on its land area of
18,161 sq ft.
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144


Tanoto is reported to own an adjoining
bungalow while her parents own another
bungalow nearby.

lower loan-to-value limits (for those taking


their
second
or
subsequent
home
mortgages).

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Cooling measures to stay in place

Rivertrees draws strong buyer interest

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam


declared last week that it is now too early to
start relaxing the property cooling measures
given the run-up in prices in the last four
years, and that the government will continue
to monitor the property market in the coming
quarters and adjust the measures when
necessary.
Property
developers
and
consultants had called for a rolling back of the
seven rounds of property cooling since 2009,
including
the
seller's
stamp
duty
(discouraging short-term trading in property),
additional buyer's stamp duty (targeting
property investors and foreign buyers) and

The waterfront condominium project in


Sengkang, Rivertrees Residence, received
585 cheques from interested buyers prior to
its official launch on Feb 22. It attracted both
owner-occupiers and investors across
apartments of different sizes. The project is
jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint, Far
East Orchard and Sekisui House. In the initial
phase, 300 out of 495 units will be launched
with the average pricing ranging from $950 to
$1,150 psf at a premium of $50-100 psf to
its next-door competing project, Riverbank @
Fernvale by UOL Development.

Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)


Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144


Development in Moulmein up for collective
sale

(Source: Business Times)

Country Club expire in 2021, 2024 and 2021


respectively. The leases for both Keppel Club
and Marina Bay will not be renewed, while the
Orchid Country Club's lease will be renewed
for nine years until 2030 after which there will
be no further extension. Parts of the fairways
at Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC) and
National Service Resort and Country Club
(NSRCC) will be acquired by end of 2014 for
the expansion of Changi Airport. One of
Singapore Island Country Club's (SICC) golf
courses will be made public, and SICC can
decide which golf course to give up.

Commercial

(Source: Business Times)

200 ha of golf course freed for other uses

Singapores prime office rents up 19% in


2013

Despite expectations of a quiet en bloc


market in 2014, residents of a freehold
Moulmein Road development have put the
site up for sale by public tender at more than
$40 million, or $1,687 psf ppr for the 16,936
sq ft site with a plot ratio of 1.4. The 16apartment development is located at 165165Q Moulmein Road, and is marketed by
CBRE.

The government announced that some 200


hectares of golf course land will be freed up
for other uses after the land leases for Keppel
Club, Marina Bay Golf Course and the Orchid
Back to Contents

Singapores office rents in the central


business district (CBD) were reported to
increase 19 percent in 2013.
Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144


However, office space in Singapore is still
considered more affordable compared to
other major financial centers. Singapores 803
Euros (S$1,389) psm per year was lower than
London's West Ends 2,122 Euros, Hong
Kong's Central districts 1,432 Euros, Tokyo
CBDs 1,003 Euros, and New York Madison
and 5th Avenues 993 Euros. Cushman &
Wakefield said that rental growth in Singapore
was demand-driven and led by the
professional services and technology sectors.
Its increases were also tempered by tenants'
aggressive focus on reduced budgets and
operational expense discipline. Yet rents will
remain competitive due to the Singapore
government's strong urban planning and a
healthy supply pipeline.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 144

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Feb 5 Feb 11
Postal
District
5
5
5
8
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
11
12
14
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
16
16

Project Name
HERITAGE VIEW
PARC REGENCY
PASIR PANJANG COURT
CITYLIGHTS
THE COSMOPOLITAN
PARC SOPHIA
ASPEN HEIGHTS
CHELSEA GARDENS
OLINA LODGE
QUINTERRA
RIDGEWOOD
SOLEIL @ SINARAN
MORIMASA GARDENS
CASA FORTUNA
ESCADA VIEW
SANTA FE MANSIONS
PALM GALLERIA
LEGENDA AT JOO CHIAT
DUKU APARTMENTS
AXIS @ SIGLAP
CHANGI GREEN
THE BAYSHORE
EAST MEADOWS
THE CLEARWATER

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,313 1,555,000 1,184
99
1,356 1,290,000
951
FH
1,335 1,238,000
928
FH
893 1,390,000 1,556
99
1,324 2,738,000 2,068
FH
732 1,340,000 1,831
FH
1,324 2,180,000 1,647
999
2,228 3,438,000 1,543
FH
1,324 1,800,000 1,360
FH
1,679 2,170,000 1,292
99
1,206 1,500,000 1,244
999
4,930 10,800,000 2,191
99
1,679 2,398,000 1,428
FH
1,044 1,200,000 1,149
FH
1,163 900,000
774
FH
1,163 1,450,000 1,247
FH
861 1,030,000 1,196
FH
1,044 1,020,000
977
99
1,055 960,000
910
FH
1,819 1,400,000
770
FH
1,001 1,005,000 1,004
FH
969
969,000
1,000
99
1,249 1,239,000
992
99
1,313 1,270,000
967
99

Postal
District
16
16
17
18
19
20
21
21
21
21
21
22
23
23
23

Project Name
THE TROPIC GARDENS
AQUARIUS BY THE PARK
THE GALE
NV RESIDENCES
THE SPRINGBLOOM
RAFFLESIA CONDOMINIUM
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
SIGNATURE PARK
PANDAN VALLEY
SIGNATURE PARK
GOODLUCK GARDEN
THE MAYFAIR
GUILIN VIEW
PALM GARDENS
NORTHVALE

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,249 1,200,000
961
FH
1,227 1,140,000
929
99
1,464 1,550,000 1,059
FH
904
975,000
1,078
99
1,302 1,450,000 1,113
99
1,195 1,290,800 1,080
99
1,668 1,980,000 1,187
FH
1,033 1,140,000 1,103
FH
1,647 1,800,000 1,093
FH
1,044 1,100,000 1,054
FH
1,055 1,060,000 1,005
FH
947
935,000
987
99
1,259 1,148,000
912
99
958
818,000
854
99
1,087 918,000
844
99

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.

Page | 11

Issue 145
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

A Bank Employee, a Property Purchase

Welcome to the 145th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

and a Tragic Death

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(February 12 February 18)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145

A Bank Employee a Property Purchase and a Tragic Death


By Property Soul (guest contributor)
On 18 February 2014, a 33-year-old
employee of JPMorgan Chase jumped to his
death from the rooftop of the company's 30storey office building in Hong Kong. This was
the third suicide in three weeks for the
financial institution.
In January, a 39-year-old Vice President of
Corporate
and
Investment
Banking
Technology plunged to his death at the bank's
33-storey London office. He joined the
company since 2004.
Earlier this month, the body of a 37-year-old
Executive Director of the Global Equities
Group in the New York office was found in his

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


suburban home. The Harvard graduate had
been working in the company for the last 14
years.
The sad story of the victim
For the latest suicide, the victim studied in
Canada and had been working in Hong Kong
for a few years. In August 2011, he joined
JPMorgan Chase and became an Associate
in Asia Investment Banking Billing Liaison last
year.
Friends told the media that he was a cheerful
person but had been complaining lately about
stress at work. His colleagues believed that
he was informed about his retrenchment right
before his suicide. He had bought a unit in a
luxurious condominium just two years ago.
He wouldn't have imagined that his company
would fire him when he was paying the
mortgage on his single income.
Back to Contents

Being employed by the biggest bank in the


US may have given him a taste of career
success. Joining the circle of well-paid
bankers may have misled him into buying a
home at an unaffordably high price at the
peak of the property market. But he certainly
doesn't deserve to end his life at such a
young age for this common mistake that
many others make.

On the same day of his death, by


coincidence, CNN Money published an article
titled "Making 6 figures on Wall Street, but life
stinks", highlighting the problems of young
executives in investment banking long
working hours, a stressful environment, job
uncertainty and a guilty conscience. This is a
far cry from what we see in the movie The
Wolf of Wall Street, with the privileged few
making big money, driving fast cars, dating
sexy girls and taking drugs.
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


To what extent is the bank responsible?
With new technologies displacing manpower,
JPMorgan Chase has announced its plans to
cut 4,000 jobs in its consumer banking
division. In addition, the plan to lay off 15,000
employees in the mortgage division has been
brought forward earlier than scheduled. The
bank now tops the list of the top ten jobcutting companies by trimming the most
headcount in the US.
Streamlining its workforce seems inevitable
with the Department of Justice asking the
bank to pay $13 billion as the settlement over
mortgage bond sales that went bad. It is also
facing the breach of antitrust together with
five other international banks and preparing to
pay another astronomical sum for the penalty.
Ironically, JPMorgan Chase has just given its
CEO a 74 percent raise or a whopping $20
Back to Contents

million for his 2013 compensation. This


phenomenon in the banking industry is best
summarized in that CNN Money article:
"Financial firms hold the power to write rules
that disproportionately benefit a rich minority."
That is why 46 percent of the world's wealth
is controlled by the richest one percent of the
world's population. That is what makes life so
unfair.
The metaphor of snails
That evening I went for a walk in my
neighborhood. A few children formed a circle
around a big snail. At first they did an
experiment to see how the snail would react
after they touched it. Feeling threatened, it
withdrew its whole body into its coiled shell.
After a few rounds, they intensified the game
by stamping and kicking it.

"Get out of your shell and run away silly,


Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


cried one child.
"No, it can't. It moves everywhere with that
bulky thing on its back. Snails die with their
shells." Another child explained.
The rest continued their bullying game. The
poor thing was unable to defend itself except
hiding inside its shell which was close to
being smashed.

I was taken by a sudden sadness. We need a


roof over our head like snails need their
shells. The moment we take up a housing
mortgage we are carrying the financial burden
on our back wherever we go, and no matter
what happens.
We toil day and night, endure any hardship at
work, accept our boss' unreasonable
demand, and do everything we can just to be
able to keep that shell house on our back. But

Back to Contents

even if we compromise, we may still have to


sacrifice at the end. Some of us simply can't
escape our fate when the time comes. All
because the rules of this world are written by
the 'rich minority' who 'hold the power'.
The life of a snail is miserable. Given a
choice, I would rather be a cicada. It may not
own a shell, but at least it can shed off its skin
at the most critical moment to survive any
foreseeable
crises
or
unforeseen
circumstances. Above all, it has the freedom
to fly wherever it wants.
What do you choose to be? A snail or a
cicada?
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor and enthusiast
who shares her experiences and knowledge
on her blog.

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Minister Khaw: more help for elderlys
housing
In a post-Budget dialogue with grassroots
leaders
on
February
23,
National
Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan was
reported to say that the ministry will consider
expanding the Lease Buyback Scheme which
can aid the elderly in monetising their housing
assets. The ministry is also reviewing
suggestions of expanding the scheme to four
and five-room flats, because as of now only
elderly people who own three-room and
smaller flats are eligible under the scheme.
(Source: Business Times)
Back to Contents

Forecast drop in stamp duty not negative


for property market
An analysis by The Business Times showed
that the Budgets forecast drop of 30 percent
in stamp duty revenues, which seemed
troubling at first, is not likely to predict a
terrible year for the property market.
Previously
Finance
Minister
Tharman
Shanmugaratnam's Budget announced that
revenue from stamp duties could decrease to
$2.8 billion for the year ending March 2015,
although it could be $4.1 billion for the year
ending March 2014. In addition, property
consultants are expecting a 10 percent
correction for the property market this year,
while DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta
Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


estimated a 10-15 percent drop.
(Source: Business Times)
MCL Land wins top bids for both Choa
Chu Kang EC plots
MCL Land (Brighton) has won the top bids for
both adjoining executive condominium (EC)
plots in Choa Chu Kang. MCLs top bid for
one site was $375.05 psf ppr, and was
$338.94 psf ppr for the other site, which
translates to a tender price of $232.5 million
and $210.1 million for Plot A and Plot B
respectively. The second highest bid for Plot A
was $373.26 psf ppr from JBE Holdings. The
second highest bid for Plot B was $333.14 psf
ppr from Verwood Holdings and TID
Residential.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

CDL chairman hopes


property timelines

for

easing

of

As the current rules on qualifying certificates


(QCs) require developers and foreign
stakeholders to have strict timelines for
completing and selling a residential
development,
QC
rules
may
cause
developers who purchase private land to
push their projects quickly and deplete their
land bank at the same time. Those
developers then would turn to Government
Land Sales sites with high bids to secure the
land to restore their land bank, said City
Developments (CDL) chairman Kwek Leng
Beng at the groups full-year results briefing.
Mr Kwek also expressed his hope that the
government will change or remove the rules
on QCs.

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


With the QCs, bidding for sites will be
competitive, yet business has to bid at higher
prices and sell the units at high prices
although market conditions do not allow this
at the moment.
(Source: Business Times)
Singapore private home rental rates to
slide

Analysts currently have a consensus that


private home rental rates are expected to
decrease in the next two years. According to
official data, private home rental rates have
had the first quarter-on-quarter decline in four
years. As the government continues its
restrictions on the foreign labor force, the
hope that Singapores expatriate population
and resilient economic growth will support
housing rents is unlikely. Savills Research
said that demand in the residential leasing
Back to Contents

market will decrease as the pool of overseas


nationals is shrinking with employment
restrictions, and that rents in some locations
may see a correction, especially in the massmarket segment with strong competition and
the smaller rental budgets with rising cost of
living.
(Source: Business Times)
Prince Charles Crescent site up for sale
A residential site at Prince Charles Crescent
(Parcel B) is now up for sale in a public
tender by the government. The site has a 99year leasehold and is expected to yield 655
residential units under the confirmed list of
the
Government
Land
Sales
(GLS)
programme for the first half of 2014. It has an
area of 24,964 sq m with a permissible gross
floor area of 52,426 sq m. The sites prime
location is also reported to attract
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


interest it is within an established residential
estate, 10-minute drive to Orchard Road, and
close to schools such as Crescent Girls'
School and Gan Eng Seng School.
(Source: Business Times)
220 of 300 units sold at RiverTrees
Residences
The condominium project in Sengkang
Rivertrees Residences has attracted great
interest from buyers including both HDB
upgraders buying the first private apartment
and investors. 220 out of 300 launched units
across all unit types have been sold, with twobedroom units and strata-titled landed homes
or Cove Houses selling especially well. The
two-bedroom units start from $618,000, while
the price of the eight duplex three-bedroom
"Cove Houses" is below $2 million.
Permanent residents have to get approval
Back to Contents

from the Land Dealings Unit under the


Singapore Land Authority to be eligible for the
landed homes.
(Source: Business Times)
Riviera Point up for en bloc sale
The 33-unit freehold residential project
Riviera Point has been launched for en bloc
sale by public tender for the fifth time for $68
million or $1,379 psf ppr on its gross floor
area by marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle
(JLL). JLL has been the agent for Riviera
Point for two times. JLL first attempted to sell
the project last October when the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio interrupted the interest of
prospective buyers. In 2011, under the
marketing agent Knight Frank, the residential
development had an asking price of $70
million, or $1,420 psf ppr.

(Source: Business Times)


Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


Development charge rates increase
Development charge (DC) rates are the fee
applicable to the enhancement of the use of
sites or the building of bigger projects on
sites. DC rates were reported to have
increased by an average of 15 percent for
commercial use, 13 per cent for hotel/hospital
use, one percent for landed and non-landed
residential uses, yet remained the same for
industrial use. Property consultants said that
such rise in residential DC is in alignment with
decreasing home prices for the second half of
2013, while emerging moderation in the
industrial property market could be the reason
behind the unchanged DC rates for industrial
use.
(Source: Business Times)

No concern of a housing bubble in


Singapore
Citigroup said that since Singapores
household debt tied to the real estate market
is only a small part of property values, a
housing bubble is unlikely. Citigroups
analysis of government data showed that the
$203 billion of mortgages only accounted for
24.2 percent of the value of residential
properties in Q3. Michael Zink, Head of
Citigroup's operations in South-east Asia, also
said that 90 percent of households live in a
home they own, making a housing bubble
improbable. As the government has been
introducing more taxes and restrictions,
Singapores home prices in Q4 decreased 0.9
percent.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145


Commercial
JTCs five slots launched in Tuas
As JTC Corporation plans to offer affordable
land parcels to small and medium-sized
industrialists, it has launched five small
industrial sites on February 25. Plots 45 and
47 of 6,988 sq m each in Tuas South Street 6
were launched under the confirmed list of the
industrial government land sales (IGLS)
programme with a lease of 21 years and
three months. The two sites are also zoned
Business-2 and have maximum permissible
gross plot ratios of 1.0. Ong Kah Seng,
director at R'ST Research, said that the sites
could attract a minimum of five bids each and
predicted the top big to be between $80 and
$100 psf ppr.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 145

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Feb 12 Feb 18
Postal
District
2
7
9
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
15
15
16
16
18
18
20
21
25
27

Project Name
SPOTTISWOODE PARK
BURLINGTON SQUARE
ST THOMAS SUITES
FOUR SEASONS PARK
CUSCADEN RESIDENCES
MARTINA MANSIONS
PALM SPRING
NEWTON SUITES
SKY@ELEVEN
HILLCREST ARCADIA
ONE AMBER
CRYSTAL RHU
COSTA DEL SOL
BAYSHORE PARK
EASTPOINT GREEN
LIVIA
RAFFLESIA CONDOMINIUM
PANDAN VALLEY
CASABLANCA
SUN PLAZA

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft)
Price ($) ($ psf)
1,270
923,400
727
99
840
1,200,000 1,429
99
2,605 4,928,000 1,892
FH
2,153 5,000,000 2,323
FH
1,442 3,000,000 2,080
FH
1,259 1,980,000 1,572
FH
2,131 3,100,000 1,455
FH
797
1,550,000 1,946
FH
2,271 3,827,000 1,685
FH
452
600,000
1,327
99
1,335 1,890,000 1,416
FH
1,281 1,580,000 1,233
FH
1,475 2,000,000 1,356
99
936
1,058,000 1,130
99
1,173 1,040,000
886
99
1,539 1,335,000
867
99
1,216 1,350,000 1,110
99
1,755 1,820,000 1,037
FH
1,130
915,000
810
99
1,023
860,000
841
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 12

Issue 146
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

7 Singapore Property Market Trends in

Welcome to the 146th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

2014 and Beyond

p11
p16

Hope you like it!

Singapore Property News This Week

Mr. Propwise

Resale Property Transactions


(February 19 February 25)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146

7 Singapore Property Market Trends in 2014 and Beyond

By Paul Ho (Guest Contributor)


The numerous property cooling regulations
imposed by the MND, URA, MAS and IRAS
have done much to curb the speculative fever
in the property market, but regulations to stop
the latent demand are futile. In short, if there
are 20,000 people needing houses and only
10,000 houses, then prices will surely go up.
Brute force measures to artificially restrict
10,000 people from changing their minds to
stop buying or defer buying will only
momentarily solve the problem.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


A

brief

background

to

Singapore's

prices will continue to shoot up. We believe

housing woes

that this is also the reason behind Mr. Ku

Its not clear if the Singapore government is

Swee

sincere in wanting to solve these problems


given the way government land sales are
structured, where the chief valuer lets the bid
price meet an undisclosed minimum before
releasing the land out for tender.

Yongs

observation

of

unique

Singaporean phenomenon that when land

supply is released, prices shoot up. Why?


Because when land is released, developers
are already starved of land, and will bid
aggressively for the land. Developers would
also know that this supply is released on the

By the time the prices of land parcels rise to

back of demand outstripping supply. Why else

meet the minimum bid price the Singapore

would they bid so high?

government wants, the pressure of demand


outstripping supply has already been built up.
And given that houses need two to three

years to build, during this phase, the land

Back to Contents

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


Here is a chart of the sequence of events that
is behind a run up in property prices:

market or solve the issue of property prices


running out of control, they would do well to
solve the inherent problems in the system.
Many people have already suggested the
remedies for fixing wild property price swings,
but I doubt anything has been adopted thus
far.
The following are seven trends I see shaping
the Singapore property market in 2014 and
beyond.
Trend #1 Pockets of extra HDB supply
from PRs will be an overhang on the
market

Figure 1: Sequence of events behind a run


up in property prices

Since January 2013 Permanent Residents


have not been allowed to rent out their units
after the expiry of their current lease. This
means that by January 2014 or 2015 many of
these Permanent Residents will be looking to

So if the government really wants to cool the


Back to Contents

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


sell their HDBs if they continue to be away

Trend #2 It may be more difficult to get

from Singapore. This creates a small pocket

financing for an HDB or EC than a condo

of extra supply of HDB flats that will be an


overhang on the market.

The imposition of the Mortgage Servicing

Ratio (MSR) of 30% or less for Executive

Permanent Residents who are away from

Condominiums (EC), combined with the

Singapore and cannot secure permission to

income ceiling of $12,000, means that the

rent out their HDB flats have no economic

maximum price of an Executive Condominium

benefit from keeping these units and will be

is about $880,000 (assuming an 80% loan).

keen to sell their HDB units. We have come

Buying an EC or HDB will be tough as many

across several Permanent Residents who

will fail the MSR criteria. A couple would have

have left Singapore to work overseas and

an easier time to borrow a larger quantum for

decided to sell their HDB due to being unable

Condominiums than for an HDB flat or an EC.

to obtain a license to rent out their HDB flats.

Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


Many property buyers have chosen to buy

Currently, new PRs are barred from buying

private residential homes instead of ECs or

HDB resale flats for three years after

HDB flats due to financing difficulties. And

obtaining their PR. By 2016, these new PRs

since they could not afford a large quantum,

(numbering in the tens of thousands) would

they ended up buying very tiny private

be eligible to buy HDB, causing a demand

apartments or condos.

and supply imbalance. As HDB is the base

Trend #3 Artificially depressed HDB

benchmark for property prices, if HDB prices

demand and prices may bounce back from


2016

rise, every property class will likely follow.


Thus HDB prices may bounce back from

2016, after the elections.

HDB prices will be artificially depressed due


to the MSR of 30% or less, at least for the
short term. But at the same time, the
government has deliberately slowed down the

supply of HDB flats. This may lead to a


buildup of demand pressure for HDB flats in a
few years time.

Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


Trend #4 The private residential vacancy rate will increase

Figure 2: URA Q4 2013 stock, vacancy and supply in the pipeline


Back to Contents

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


For private property, there are 18,003 vacant
units representing a vacancy rate of 6.2% in
the 4th Quarter of 2013. This is considered a
low rate versus historical comparisons. If you
take a look at the Property Price Index (PPI)
from 2002 to 2005, the vacancy rate at which
property price is more or less at equilibrium
(i.e. neither increasing nor dropping) is about
7.5% to 8%. Hence prices for private
properties are still holding up fairly well even
though we hear anecdotal evidence of
softening ahead of the actual supply coming
on-stream.
The supply in the pipeline is 83,702 units,
versus an annual demand of about 11 to 15
thousand units, thus representing roughly 5 to
7 years of supply that will be coming onstream in the next 5 years. While this might
seem like a lot, there is some room for more

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supply to come in before the vacancy rate


reaches 7.5% to 8%.
Trend #5 A larger share of household
incomes will be going into property
purchases and loan repayment servicing
The artificial channeling of buyers into private
residential dwellings may increase the long
term sales trend line, even though the
average household income has been falling.
In other words, more and more people are
buying private residential housing despite
having weaker incomes. And it is not because
they really want the luxurious lifestyles or
high life as the government is prone to
highlight, but because they could not wait for
the HDBs anymore having been repeatedly
rejected by the BTO balloting process, or
were not able to obtain a loan due to the
MSR.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


Hence developers are building ever smaller
private residential units for this substantial
group of people, while charging ever higher
per square foot (PSF) prices.

Trend #6 Developers will be under


pressure, but prices may not crash
There is pressure on developers to launch
uncompleted units for sale to ease their
financing costs. Highly leveraged or weaker
developers may be more hard pressed to
launch and garner sales faster. As many
developers
rush
to
launch,
these
uncompleted units come into the market (as
uncompleted supply), giving rise to the
impression that the market is softening
dramatically or even crashing with so many
units for sale.
The stronger developers will have holding
power and not act rashly. Once the weaker
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developers stock is absorbed, prices will firm


up again. HDB shortages will set the baseline
prices and all the other classes of properties
will have upward pricing pressure. It's
basically a scarcity game.
Trend #7 The Core Central Region is
becoming more attractive
The Core Central Region (CCR) has become
very attractively priced relative to the Outside
of Central Region (OCR). This is an anomaly
which is not justified. There is currently no
change so material that makes Punggol or
Sengkang more attractive than Orchard
Road.
Historically prime regions in the CCR always
command a premium relative to the other two
regions. The OCR overshooting the CCR may
indicate that many people are buying into the
hype and are overpaying for these
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


properties (on a per square foot basis).

not too expensive after all. The CCR will have


more good pickings for long term rental
income, capital downside protection as well
as capital gain potential. But the relatively low
per square foot prices could reflect poor total
quantum affordability as many of the units
there are bigger in size and hence could cost
between $3 million to $10 million.
Many of the buyers of OCR properties could
be sitting on stagnant prices for years to
come. If there is no recession or further
regulatory actions, we expect property prices
to soften about 10% based on the current
trend.

Figure 3: Property Price Index Q3 2013


Non-landed Private Residential Property
If property buyers start to look at the prime
areas, they may realize that these areas are
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By Paul Ho, holder of an MBA from a


reputable
university
and
editor
of
www.iCompareLoan.com, Singapores first
Cloud-based Home Loan reporting platform
used by Property agents, financial advisors
as well as Mortgage brokers.
Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Resale HDB flat COV hits zero for the first
time in almost a decade
The overall median cash-over-valuation
(COV) for resale HDB flats hit zero in
February, the first time since 2006, as
demand for resale public homes dropped.
The overall median COV for January was
$3,000. According to the transaction records
from agencies registered with the Singapore
Real Estate Exchange (SRX), 37.3 percent of
HDB resale deals last month closed below
valuation compared with 29.4 percent in
January. HDB resale prices also fell 1.8
percent month-on-month, the hardest since
April 2013. Resale volume stood at 734
deals, down 20 percent from a month ago. 12
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out of 26 HDB towns had zero or negative


median COV, compared with 8 HDB towns
previously.
(Source: Business Times)
Property players divided on COVs for HDB
resale flats
As the latest COV fell to zero from $32,000 a
year ago and might even decrease further,
property analysts and agencies are divided
on having cash over valuation (COV) in HDB
resale transactions. COV is the cash premium
paid by buyers in excess of the valuation of
an HDB flat. ERA Realty key executive officer
Eugene Lim said that COV figures and cash
under valuation figures should be scrapped
as negative COVs will trigger a downward
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


spiral of HDB resale prices, and that only the
market price should be released. Mr. Lim said
when HDB started to publish COVs for
different estates and flat types to educate the
public and deal with the perception of COVs
being too high, people then used these as a
benchmark to mark up their prices above it,
thus making the next valuation higher.
However, Ong Kah Seng, director of R'ST
Research, said that COVs are relevant as
they are a brake to over-buying during
average and thriving market conditions.
(Source: Business Times)
Cluny Park Residence receives strong
interest
Although up-market freehold condominium
Cluny Park Residence was not launched for
sale until March 8, 40 percent of its 52 units
had received purchase commitments from
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professionals and businessmen at private


previews. 70 percent of the buyers are
Singaporeans. The strong interest was
believed to be due to the condos excellent
location and long-term investment potential,
despite the current uncertain residential
property market affected by cooling
measures.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Macpherson Mall confirms inclusion of
FairPrice and ibis Styles
Macpherson Mall (M2) has announced that it
will feature NTUC FairPrice as its anchor
tenant and ibis Styles as its hotel operator
upon its opening in the second half of 2015.
The mall is 53,000 square foot in size and is a
freehold mixed development at the junction of
Aljunied Road and Macpherson Road, where
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


the Windsor Hotel previously stood. The mall
has one basement level, three shopping
levels above ground with NTUC Fairprice
supermarket on the second floor, and a ninestorey economy hotel on top of the shopping
levels.
(Source: Business Times)
Borneo Motors Pandan site to receive
makeover
Borneo Motors Singapore (BMS) will be
giving its Pandan Crescent property a
makeover which will turn the site into an
eight-storey complex to house motor vehicle
businesses. The makeover is estimated by
property analysts to cost $40 million. BMS is
part of the spreading Inchcape Group (UK)
and is located at 33 Leng Kee Road in
Singapore. It distributes Toyota, Lexus,
Suzuki, and Hino.
Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)


More benefits for property market from
Reits

According to an independent report


commissioned by the non-profit Asia Pacific
Real Estate Association (APREA), Reits are
now considered a positive force to help with
the development of property markets. Reits
are thought to offer predictable income, low
cost of exposure to property, and will improve
the operation of real estate market by
attracting capital, in particular foreign capital,
and allowing institutional and retail investors
to invest in commercial real estate. Reits
fundamentally break large pieces of property
into smaller, tradable pieces, guarantees
income, and improves liquidity.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


Developers encounter more difficulties
from cooling property market
As property valuations drop, developers are
reported to encounter more difficulties in a
tougher operating environment, such that
some are pushed to make provisions for their
projects. For instance, Wheelock Properties
made an accounting provision of $110 million
for 99-year leasehold condominium The
Panorama in Ang Mo Kio, while also posting a
loss of $91.3 million for its fiscal fourth quarter
compared with the $30.8 million profit the
year before. Wheelock had a net profit of $40
million as of the full year ended December,
which was a 36.7 percent decrease from the
previous year. OUE also posted a net fair
value loss of $76.8 million on its investment
properties, and a net attributable loss of $36.6
million for the full year ended December. One
year ago, it had a net profit of $90.1 million.
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(Source: Business Times)


Mixed responses over Reit impact
Although there are calls in Parliament for the
government to control industrial and
commercial rents to stop them from
increasing, as well as for the reversal of
JTC's
land
divestment
programme,
economists are divided on this issue. JTC
divested most of its industrial property a
decade ago to create a more open and
vibrant market, and give the private sector
more freedom. However, Member of
Parliament Inderjit Singh (Ang Mo Kio) now
said the divestment was a mistaken policy
during the Budget debate, since the
government failed to influence rental prices,
allowing developers and investors to make
more passive income instead of productive
income. However, other economists said Mr.
Singh had too quickly used Reits as the
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146


reason behind business rents, and suggested
that it could be due to supply lagging
demand.
(Source: Business Times)
Government to take action on unfair Reit
practices
At the Committee of Supply debate on the
Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Minister
of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck
said that the government will take action upon
seeing collusion or abuse of market
dominance by any landlord including Reits.
This statement came along the louder calls
for help with increasing business costs,
especially that Reits were blamed for shorter
lease renewals and larger increases in
rentals. Some of those Reits were formed
after JTC and HDB divested space to private
owners. Minister Teo said that Reits
accounted for only 13 and 16 percent of retail
and industrial rental spaces respectively, and
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they are not the leading players in the rental


market. He also believed that rents for space
will moderate in the medium term after the
government has released a large amount of
land.
(Source: Business Times)
3 industrial sites up for sale
Three industrial sites were up for sale. One of
them is a four-storey property in the JTC
Food Zone and has a corporate office, a
research laboratory, a factory floor and cold
rooms located in Pandan Loop. It has an
asking price of $17 million, a gross floor area
(GFA) of 90,762.6 sq ft on a 100,070.90 sq ft
site. The site is zoned for Business 2 use with
a plot ratio of 2.5 and has 18 years left on its
tenure, and is marketed by Jones Lang
LaSalle (JLL). An expression-of-interest
exercise is held from now until April 16.

(Source: Business Times)


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 146

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Feb 19 Feb 25
Postal
District
1
3
5
8
9
9
9
10
10
10
12
14
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
16

Project Name
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
LANDMARK TOWER
DOVER PARKVIEW
OXFORD SUITES
THE TRILLIUM
THE PROMONT
UE SQUARE
THE MONTANA
BOTANIC GARDENS VIEW
HOLLAND RESIDENCES
BALESTIER PLAZA
DAKOTA RESIDENCES
THE ALCOVE
AALTO
THE ESTA
THE MAKENA
ONE AMBER
AXIS @ SIGLAP
VILLA MARINA
SUNSHINE RESIDENCE
RIVIERA RESIDENCES
EAST MEADOWS
EASTWOOD LODGE

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Area
(sqft)
614
1,270
936
1,141
1,798
2,013
915
614
1,259
1,356
1,367
1,313
1,324
1,442
1,410
1,582
1,259
861
1,087
1,582
786
1,195
786

Transacted
Price ($)
1,325,000
1,250,000
1,100,000
1,650,000
3,800,000
3,100,000
1,400,000
1,266,110
2,288,800
2,400,000
1,468,000
1,828,000
1,200,000
3,180,000
2,080,000
2,300,000
1,785,000
1,128,888
1,100,000
1,435,000
1,045,000
1,200,000
750,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
2,160
99
984
99
1,175
99
1,446
FH
2,114
FH
1,540
FH
1,530 929
2,064
FH
1,817
FH
1,770
FH
1,074
FH
1,392
99
906
99
2,205
FH
1,475
FH
1,454
FH
1,417
FH
1,311
FH
1,012
99
907
FH
1,330
FH
1,004
99
954
99

Postal
District
16
18
18
19
21
21
23
23
23
25

Project Name
FAIRMOUNT CONDOMINIUM
TROPICAL SPRING
TAMPINES COURT
THE SPRINGBLOOM
THE BLOSSOMVALE
FREESIA WOODS
CASHEW HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUM
REGENT HEIGHTS
REGENT GROVE
ROSEWOOD SUITES

Area
(sqft)
904
1,378
1,711
1,302
840
1,690
1,227
1,023
1,163
678

Transacted
Price ($)
818,000
1,250,000
1,010,000
1,500,000
1,140,000
2,080,000
1,250,000
925,000
930,000
705,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
905
99
907
99
590
101
1,152
99
1,358 999
1,231
FH
1,019 999
905
99
800
99
1,040
99

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.

Page | 16

Issue 147
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS

FROM THE

EDITOR

p2

Real Estate Crowdfunding A Growing Trend?

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Welcome to the 147th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(February 26 March 4)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147

Real Estate Crowdfunding A Growing Trend?


By Getty Goh & Dr SehHuanKiat (Guest
Contributors)
In the recent Budget Speech, Singapores
Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam
commented that the government was
studying the potential of equity crowdfunding.
To the casual observer, this may appear to be
just another way for start-ups to secure
funding. In reality, the benefits of such a
policy, if introduced, could have far reaching
economic and social benefits. Although I
cannot speak for the other sectors, perhaps I
can share my take on how crowdfunding can
potentially change Singapore as well as the
regions real estate landscape.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


A bit of background on crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is defined as the pooling of
funds via the Internet to support projects
initiated by individuals or companies. The
crowdfunding movement started to take off in
the US, with the Federal government passing
legislative acts to promote economic growth.
This was done via the Jumpstart Our
Business Startups Act (also known as the
JOBS Act), which was intended to encourage
funding of US small businesses by easing
various securities regulations. Specifically,
this meant that small companies were now
able to raise more funds by having more
shareholders, without having to list on the
stock exchange.
In Singapore, there is presently no similar
legislation. Based on the Companies Act, the
maximum number of shareholders a private
limited company can have in Singapore is
50.If companies wish to have more
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shareholders, they would either have to find


some legal way to work around the current
regulations or be listed on the stock exchange
as a public company.

So how can crowdfunding benefit the real


estate sector?
Unlike other types of business, property
development tends to be more capital
intensive. While it could cost just several
hundred thousand dollars to get most
businesses off the ground, it would typically
cost several million dollars to kickstart a
development project. Most aspiring property
developers would have some seed capital to
buy the land and get the project started.
However, they often require additional funds
to keep the project going. This is especially
true for countries where construction loans for
foreign developers are not available. In those
instances, where can these developers turn
to for the funds they need?
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


Although approaching banks for such
financing needs may seem like the obvious
choice, these financial institutions are
typically not interested in deals that are less
than S$5million, as the fees from making
those loans may not be commensurate with
the effort.
Another possible funding avenue could be
from wealthy individuals. However, even if
they find the project attractive, many of them
would not be keen to take the huge financial
risk of investing several million dollars in a
single project. Hence, many aspiring property
developers currently face difficulties in
realising their projects that is where real
estate crowdfunding comes in.
How does real estate
benefit stakeholders?

crowdfunding

Pooling different like-minded individuals


together to support viable projects through a
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real estate crowdfunding platform results in


several benefits for the various stakeholders.
Developers are able to raise the funds they
need to push ahead with projects and some
of
these
developments
could
bring
opportunities to improve the wellbeing of
members within that community. Also,
through these platforms, developers will be
able to proceed with projects in burgeoning
regions (i.e. Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand,
etc.) where construction loans are not readily
available
On the funders end, these crowdfunding sites
help make the real estate markets more
transparent. The most immediate benefit to
users would beto give them access to
opportunities that were once reserved for
banks, funds and wealthy individuals. Apart
from that, by aggregating different likeminded individuals to partake in the same
deal, each crowdfunder would have to come
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


up with less capital (often just several
thousand dollars) to take advantage of the
good returns that some developers offer.
These crowdfunders can also spread their
risks by not putting all their eggs in one
basket as they do not have to invest in whole
units, unlike regular real estate investments.
Being in an online environment, users can do
their research by using interactive online
property tools to understand the overseas
markets before making a decision. Users can
also exchange notes with other crowdfunders
to do cross- references about a particular
developer or project. When these developers
know that their reputation is at stake, some of
them would definitely think twice before
putting up a dud deal.
Teething Issues Gaining user confidence
Having listed some of the benefits of real
estate crowdfunding, it is important to
highlight that such sites are not without risks.
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Having been around for only the last 2 to 3


years, the crowdfunding industry is still in the
infancy stage. One of the common concerns
relating to crowdfunding is the lack of
recourse should the project fail to materialise.
Interestingly, this is actually less of an issue
for real estate crowdfunding as there is
usually some form of asset (i.e. land title) that
crowdfunders can stake a claim to.
Apart from that, another issue that has to be
overcome is the scepticism that some users
could have. Many people are not comfortable
with the anonymity of the opportunity
providers and would prefer to meet with the
developers before considering funding their
projects, especially if they are doing it for the
first time. This is especially important for real
estate crowdfunding, as the funding amounts
can be substantial. Therefore, having offline
contact is an important step to gaining user
confidence.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


Is there a demand
crowdfunding?

for

real

estate

At present, it is still too early to say if there is


sustained
demand
for
real
estate
crowdfunding. However, based on what we
have seen on CoAssets, areal estate
crowdfunding platform my company operates,
we have observed a growing trend.
As there is currently no legislation that is
similar to the JOBS act in Singapore,
CoAssets is simply a targeted leads
generation site that connects opportunity
providers (i.e. developers, bulk sellers, etc)
and users. Akin to any regular property site,
we do not get involved in the deal and any
arrangement is directly between the
stakeholders.
Based on this approach, the crowdfunding
platform grew from 200 to more than 1,300
engaged users (with a reach of more than
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20,000 secondary contacts) within the first 6


months. More thanS$12million worth of deals
were also shortlisted and put on the site, with
many more turned away. As a whole, even
though this may not appear to be much, it
validated the business process and suggests
that more can be achieved in time to come.
Apart from that, we are also seeing keen
interest in the inaugural Expo for Property
Investing and Crowdfunding (EPIC)that
CoAssets is putting together. This is the first
time that a real estate crowdfunding event is
being organised in South East Asia. Real
estate crowdfunding is gaining traction in the
region.
Conclusion
This article just scratches the surface of the
topic of real estate crowdfunding and there
are definitely other risks as well as issues not
highlighted.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


Despite my apparent bullish view towards real
estate crowdfunding, the reality is that only
time will tell how this will pay out.
Nonetheless, when you put all the
considerations together, crowdfunding is
definitely an area for the government and
industry stakeholders to explore further as the
pros outweigh the cons. The true potential
behind real estate crowdfunding, if correctly
executed, will be the ease in channelling
resources from one region to another, in
support of financially viable or socially
beneficial projects. And the full potential can
only be achieved if there is more clarity in the
crowdfunding regulations.

Assets Pte Ltd, a real estate research


consultancy and think tank. Dr Seh Huan
Kiathas a PhD from Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT) and he is the CTO
ofCoAssets.com.

Mr Getty Goh has a Masters in Real Estate


from the National University of Singapore
(NUS) and heis the CEO of CoAssets.com,
South East Asias first crowdfunding website.
Mr Goh is also a director with Ascendant
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Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Procedure for resale HDB transactions to
be changed
The procedure for reporting resale Housing
Development Board (HDB) transactions has
been changed to shift the focus from cashover-valuation (COV) to market prices.
Buyers now are required to get the option to
purchase (OTP) before asking for a valuation
from HDB who will not accept such requests
from sellers. Thus, instead of focusing on the
COV, buyers and sellers will negotiate resale
prices based on the latest transacted prices.
Buyers now also have 21, instead of 14,
calendar days to exercise their obtained OTP.
Daily prices of resale transaction will also be
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posted on HDB InfoWeb every day, instead of


every fortnight, after they are registered.
(Source: Business Times)
Non-landed resale home volume remains
low
Due to cooling measures and the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio framework, non-landed
private home resale volume remained low at
a levels not seen since the 2008 global
financial crisis. According to flash figures
released by the Singapore Real Estate
Exchange (SRX), resale volume decreased
18.5 percent month-on-month, standing at
242 transactions in February; and decreased
22.2 percent year-on-year, from 311 deals in

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


February 2013. Resale prices also went down
2 percent, which was seen as a natural
pullback from unsustainable price increases
of the previous months.
(Source: Business Times)
EL Development wins top bid for Yishun
condo site
With an offer of $278.8 million or
$450.06psfppr, EL Development has won
over four other bids for the Yishun Avenue 9
site. This price exceeds the expected price of
$380-$431 psfppr, and makes a historical
high for a Yishun residential non-landed
government land sales site compared with the
previous record of $405.53 psfppr for another
Yishun sitein August 2010. Ong Teck Hui, the
national director for research and consultancy
at Jones Lang LaSalle, said that this winning
bid is in fact the lowest price for Outside

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Central Region.
(Source: Business Times)
Productive technologies
developers margins

will

not

hit

According to some analysts, productive


technologies adopted by developers for
Government Land Sale (GLS) properties are
unlikely to hit their margins despite increasing
costs. Regina Lim, head of Singapore equity
research and ASEAN property research at
Standard Chartered, said that with more
developers adopting prefab components,
costs might decline, while it is expected that
land bids by developers may slow down due
to higher construction costs. Switching costs
for technology and manpower upgrades are
said to be passed to developers through their
tender pricing.
(Source: Business Times)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


Three adjoining freehold properties up for
sale
Three adjoining freehold properties along
Queen's Road and Duke's Road with a
combined land area of 25,425sqft are now up
for sale with an estimated price of more than
$45 million or $1,430 psfppr under marketing
agent Knight Frank. It has a plot ratio of 1.4,
and can yield a maximum permissible gross
floor area of 35,595 sqft with an expected
development charge of $5.8 million.
(Source: Business Times)
Far East Organisation Centre awarded
Sentosa hotel site tender
Far East Organization Centre, a member of
Far East Organization (FEO), was reported to
have won a hotel site tender on Sentosa to
develop a cluster of conserved buildings and
their repurposing into hotels. The site is
planned by FEO to be called The Outpost
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with two hotels of 700 rooms. The Artillery


Avenue site, however, has been gazetted for
conservation, so FEO has to take heritage
and
conservation
requirements
into
consideration during its development process.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Silicon
revealed

Valley-inspired

LaunchPad

JTC LaunchPad @ one-north, considered as


Singapores startup valley inspired by Silicon
Valley, was revealed to comprise three
adjoining buildings in Buona Vista (one new,
one repurposed and the startup hub Block
71), several cafes and food points, sport
facilities, and indoor and outdoor collaborative
spaces the same facilities as Google and
Facebook in Silicon Valley. The startup
community in one-north, thus, is expected to
increase to reach 500 startups with 2,000
Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147


entrepreneurs, or even 800 startups and
3,200 entrepreneurs. Exploit Technologies,
Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, SingTel Innov8
Ventures and NUS Enterprise are reported to
be interested in being part of LaunchPad.
Iconic projects coming up
A group of iconic integrated mixed
development projects with a value of more
than $15 billion are reported to be coming up,
which will enhance Singapores luxury
residential property landscape. The group
includes collaborations between Temasek
Holdings and KhazanahNasional for the
Marina One and DUO developments.
Malaysian tycoon Quek Leng Chans
GuocoLand is also developing TanjongPagar
Centre with the tallest residences in
Singapore Clermont Residence at 290 m
high. A joint venture between City
Developments and Malaysian group IOI is
also springing up to include two towers.
Back to Contents

Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and


Stamford House are being integrated into the
Capitol Singapore project. Another project
with 39 exclusive residences including Eden
Residences Capitol will also be available
soon. Such iconic residential projects are
expected to generate monetary value, attract
foreign investors and attract global high net
worth talents to reside in Singapore.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 147

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Feb 26 Mar 4

Postal
District
5
5
5
5
9
9
9
10
10
11
11
11
12
12
14
14
15
15
15
15
16
16

Project Name
THE ROCHESTER
THE PARC CONDOMINIUM
DOVER PARKVIEW
FABER CREST
PATERSON RESIDENCE
LEONIE SUITES
WATERFORD RESIDENCE
PALM SPRING
SECOND AVENUE JUNCTION
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
ADAM PARK CONDOMINIUM
ADAM PARK CONDOMINIUM
THE TIER
THE TIER
DAKOTA RESIDENCES
THE SUNNY SPRING
THE VIEW @ MEYER
BUTTERWORTH 8
ST PATRICK'S LOFT
LAGOON VIEW
BLEU @ EAST COAST
BAYSHORE PARK

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
840 1,150,000 1,370
99
1,302 1,660,000 1,275
FH
936 1,100,000 1,175
99
2,067 1,680,000 813
99
1,496 3,100,500 2,072
FH
936 1,900,000 2,029
99
1,399 1,890,000 1,351 999
2,659 3,980,000 1,497
FH
1,668 2,150,000 1,289
FH
1,464 2,750,000 1,879
FH
1,389 1,815,000 1,307
FH
2,336 2,160,000 925
FH
549
830,000 1,512
FH
538
760,000 1,412
FH
1,313 1,690,000 1,287
99
1,195 1,100,000 921
FH
1,690 2,750,000 1,627
FH
1,313 1,598,000 1,217
FH
1,259 1,380,000 1,096
FH
1,647 1,210,000 735
101
1,173 1,398,000 1,192
FH
1,173 1,300,000 1,108
99

Postal
District
17
18
18
19
19
19
20
20
21
22
22
22
23
27

Project Name
DAHLIA PARK CONDOMINIUM
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
TROPICAL SPRING
KOVAN 81
REGENTVILLE
RIVERVALE CREST
RAFFLESIA CONDOMINIUM
RAFFLESIA CONDOMINIUM
GARDENVISTA
THE MAYFAIR
THE MAYFAIR
IVORY HEIGHTS
THE WARREN
SELETARIS

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,292 1,100,000 852
FH
1,259 1,050,000 834
99
2,271 1,810,000 797
99
1,076 1,035,000 962
999
1,152 910,000
790
99
1,216 930,000
765
99
1,302 1,450,000 1,113
99
1,216 1,295,000 1,065
99
1,130 1,486,888 1,316
99
893
888,000
994
99
1,055 1,045,000 991
99
1,701 1,230,000 723
100
1,475 1,200,000 814
99
1,389 990,000
713
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.

Page | 12

Issue 148
Copyright 2011-2013 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

4 Upside Down Strategies to Build

Welcome to the 148th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Property Wealth

Hope you like it!

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p14

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(March 5 March 11)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148

4 Upside Down Strategies to Build Property Wealth


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
Being "upside down" is usually a negative
term when applied to financial matters. But in
my book there are two positions when it
comes to wealth: right side up and broke, or
upside down and rich. Personally, I prefer
upside down. The best way to build and
maintain wealth, -- once considered the "least
likely to succeed"-- is by adopting
unconventional strategies you never think and
hear from experts when building wealth.
Here are four upside-down (unconventional)
strategies employed by rich

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


successful investors in upside-down order of
course.

over the place like ants on a hot plate. You will


find this knowledge builds upon itself quickly.

Strategy #4: Focus on ONE New Emerging


Location and Segment

Once you have acquired knowledge, you will


have a tremendous advantage and youll be able
to determine where you should focus your
investment efforts and what types of property
you should be looking to invest in. Naturally you
will have insight into how much you can pay for a
property as well.

Strategy #3: Become a Low-Cost King

Strategy #2: Build Your Property Portfolio on


a Mountain of Cash
Strategy #1: Remodel Your Thoughts to
Grow Positive Wealth
Note: The upside-down strategies should be
geared towards preparing yourself financially for
a property downturn or an economic chaos. Stay
wealthy and accumulate more wealth when that
happens!
Strategy #4: Focus on ONE New Emerging
Location and Segment
Understand Your Market and FOCUS start with
a single area of knowledge and avoid going all

Back to Contents

Students who become successful real estate


investors take the time to learn their specific
market and are handsomely rewarded for their
efforts. One would be wise to follow the path of
those who have previously succeeded, and
learning about your specific market is a path that
can quickly start paying dividends.
Your chances of survival are MUCH better if you
focus on ONE new emerging location and ONE
property segment at the right point on the SCurve.
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


Strategy #3: Become a Low-Cost King
Save like a pauper in good times, spend like
a king in bad times!

Living on a shoe-string budget during


good times will help you accumulate more
wealth in bad times:

Youll need to become lean and mean for

the great economic shakeout. Whatever cash

drain your income dry. Cut those fixed costs

you do spend today should go to strategic

and variable overheads that produces nothing

assets such as continuing education, training

for you (branded cars, bags and expensive

and personal development.

vacations?)

Most investors and buyers are often overleveraged when borrowing costs are low and
times are good. They plan their expenses as
if their income will always stay the same. And

Identify the unnecessary expenses that

Dump all non-strategic assets such as an

over-priced car. This will give you a huge leg


ahead many others and create more cash to
fight your strategic war ahead.

they have too many liabilities that produce

Strategy #2: Build Your Property Portfolio

nothing.

on a Mountain of Cash

These will be the type of people slaughtered

Now, you may have heard some financial

during an economic shakeout.

experts babbling about the importance of

Back to Contents

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


why you must remain invested during a
period of high inflation to protect your
retirement nest egg. And how some property
experts in times of euphoria, urge you to buy
now or regret later. They have no interest in
making you rich, only themselves! During a
downturn, deflation makes cash the most
valuable asset in your possession.
The deflationary spiral will push down asset
prices, drive up the cost of repaying debt and
slaughter thousands of over-leveraged
investors.
Most investors will unwittingly commit suicide.
Theyll tighten their belts in a race to the
bottom. But this is good news for you
because youll be able to scoop up strategic
assets at fire-sale prices!
Thats why you need as much cash on hand
as possible to go bargain-hunting in a major
Back to Contents

property correction, instead of irresistiblegreed in a hot market.


Things you should do NOW before any
downturn: Its the best time to borrow money during
a downturn! Never make major capital
expenditures today that affects your
borrowing capacity tomorrow, i.e. a upgrading
of home and car, unpaid credit card dues, etc.
Understand your propertys real profit
margin and how to correctly identify the profit
potential. You can use this knowledge to
identify the true value of your property.

Identify if your property is funnelling


money out of your pocket today and why its
extremely important you dump it now.
Take advantage of economic woes to
acquire properties at steep discounts start
Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


studying world history and economic trends.

time.

Education starts today, and not during a


downturn! Only invest money during chaos,
and only invest in education during good
times.

And if youre doing one or more of the above,


youre much more likely to generate positive
wealth, become rich. and stay rich!

Strategy #1: Remodel Your Thoughts to


Grow Positive Wealth

Always Buy to Rent, Never Buy to Sell

In or Out isnt an investment strategy its


gambling with time.
Popping in and out of markets trying to catch
the wave at just the right moment rarely
works for the vast majority of investors.
Neither get in nor get out are investment
strategies; theyre gambling on a moment in
Back to Contents

Invest in Yourself

This might be the single biggest obstacle on


your path to riches. If youre not investing in
continuing education, training and personal
development, youre limiting your ability to
make more money in the future. Your own
earning power rooted in your education and
job skills is the most valuable asset you'll
ever own, and it can't be wiped out in a
market crash.

Follow Rules, Not Herds

Following the herd works when you shop for a


product. A car or washing machine thats
performed well in the past is likely to excel in
the future. The opposite is often true in
finance. Whats hot today is likely to be cold
tomorrow, and vice versa.

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


In fact, the herd tends to gather the most
strength right before the investment it is
chasing goes off a cliff.
These rules can be as simple as refusing to
buy or sell in response to news reports, or
making sure you follow your own rules no
matter what the market is doing. Resisting the
urge to follow the crowd can prevent you from
committing the sin of buying high and selling
low.
Positive Cash flow as Strategic Victory,
Not Capital Gains
Real estate, like business, is always about
cash flow. If you want the property as a rental
property, then you need to analyse the
income minus the expenses then minus the
debt service. I recommend that you have at
least a $1,000 per unit per month positive

Back to Contents

cash flow after all expenses and debt service.


Now if the numbers are in the profit range
that you are looking for and/or have the ROE
(return on equity) that you want.make the
offer!

Eliminate Negativity

Many people self-limit. They get in their own


way sabotaging potential success BEFORE
theyve even tried. Its important to realize
that in everything we do, theres always a
chance that well fail. Facing that chance, and
embracing it, is not only courageous it also
gives us a fuller, more rewarding life.

A Final Note about Wealth

Personally, I believe even on the road to


wealth, it's important to have the right mindset and realize you're rich already with

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


family, friends, health, freedom and
appreciation for what you have already and
the gifts that are yet to come.

By guest contributor Gerald Tay, CEO of


CREI Academy Group, and a professional
real estate investor whose real estate
portfolio is now worth over $8 million and
generates a 6-figure sum in rental income
annually. He exposes widely-held property
investment myths that are highly ineffective in
creating wealth and prevent a comfortable
retirement for the ordinary investor.

Back to Contents

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Private home sales increase in Feb
Singapores new private home sales were
reported to increase in February 2014, but
are expected to slow down this month due to
the cautious mood and limited new launches.
As of last month, 724 new private homes
were sold including top selling projects
outside the central region (OCR), compared
with 565 in January and 712 in February
2013. 45 executive condominiums (ECs)
were sold last month, the same as January.
671 units were launched last month,
compared with 549 units in January. Alan
Cheong, Savills Singapore research head,
Back to Contents

said that the Lakeville Project in Jurong West


of MCL Land may bring the total sales in
March up to 650 units. Without this, sales in
March could be as low as below 350 units.
(Source: Business Times)

Commercial
Premium and Grade
increase in Q1, 2014

office

rents

Colliers International said that premium and


Grade A office rents in Raffles Place and New
Downtown increased in 1Q2014, as office
vacancies declined and companies actively
reviewed expansion and relocation options to
keep the rents before they rose.

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


Asia Square Tower 2 also saw its 200,000 sq
ft of space being committed in the past six
months. Mizuho and Westpac signed up for
105,000 sq ft and 38,000 sq ft, while Mercuria
Energy Trading, Scor RE, Nikko Asset
Management and Platinum Equity Partners
signed up for 21,000 sq ft, 20,000 sq ft,
17,000 sq ft, and 4,000 sq ft respectively.
Tower 2 had an occupancy rate of 60 percent,
while it was 90 percent for Tower 1. Six whole
floors of 30,000 sq ft each are available in
Tower 2, and three floors of 35,000 sq ft each
are left in Tower 1, with monthly asking rent
standing at $18 psf.

completion basis including 300 hotel rooms


and an assignment of a management contract
with the United Kingdom's Whitbread group
that would operate the hotel under the
Premier Inn brand. Master Contract was
reported to expect $1 million per room for the
hotel, or a $300 million in total. The total
development cost of the hotel could be $180$190 million. 700 Beach is between Golden
Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower, and is
near Nicoll Highway MRT Station.

(Source: Business Times)

RB Capital is reported to be renovating its


Gallery Hotel along Robertson Quay and the
retail podium of The Quayside, which costs
about $50-70 million to bring more energy
and excitement along the Singapore River.

700 Beach up for sale as a hotel


After acquiring the boutique office block 700
Beach earlier this year, Master Contract
Services has decided to sell it on a
Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)


RB Capital to renovate two of its assets

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


This would result in 100,000 sq ft of prime
lettable retail space, 80 food and beverage
outlets with the two properties river frontage
of more than 200 metres. The renovation is
expected to finish in early 2016. RB Capitals
442-room Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay
will also start trading soon. All three assets
total $1 billion for the property group.
(Source: Business Times)
Vision Exchange on sale
Sim Lian Groups integrated development
Vision Exchange has been put on sale on
March 22. Vision Exchange has a 99-year
leasehold, 25-storey office tower with two
levels of food & beverage (F&B) space and
medical suites, and is understood to be one
of the few strata offices in Jurong Regional
Centre. It will have 740 units sized 183-1,690
sq ft upon its completion in 2018 with a total
Back to Contents

gross floor area of about 690,000 sq ft. 640


out of the 740 units are office units, 47 are
F&B units and 53 are medical suites. In this
first phase, 250 units will be released with
average prices of $2,150 psf for office units,
$4,498 psf for medical suites and F&B units.
(Source: Business Times)
Two warehouse in Tampines on sale

Architecture and interior design firm HC


Design has put two adjacent multi-storey
warehouses at 21 and 23 Tampines along
Street 92 on sale by expression of interest
(EOI). The two slots are on a Government
Land Sales (GLS) site, with a 30-year
leasehold
tenure
from
the
Urban
Redevelopment Authority since July 9, 2007
and will be zoned for Business 2 or heavier
industrial use. The total indicative price for
these two properties is about $70 million.
Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


They stand on a site of about 214,880 sq ft,
with an allowable gross plot ratio of 1.4, or
$235 psf ppr.

medical suites at Mount Elizabeth Hospital


was about $7,100 psf in 2013, compared with
only $5,000 psf in 2010.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Medical suites to attract more investors

Blackstone may sell StarHub Green

Medical suites are reported to attract more


and more interest from property investors,
and are now seen as alternative asset
classes. These suites are meant for medical
usage and traditionally sold mainly to doctors.
Some developers said that about 30 percent
of new suites which are being developed will
go to investors, as they are not affected by
cooling measures and are good investment
assets in the long run. Knight Frank and
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) estimated that
there are about 1,400 medical suites in
Singapore. Their prices have been increasing
recently. For instance, the average price of

The worlds largest alternative asset manager


Blackstone is reported to consider the sale of
StarhubGreen in Ubi Avenue 1 which it
bought two years ago for SGD$215 million.
StarhubGreen is now mainly occupied by
StarHub Ltd, Singapores biggest broadband
Internet and cable TV operator for 220,000 sq
ft out of its total 405,000 sq ft, alongside
engineering services company Boustead
Singapore and independent non-hospital
based Quest Laboratories. Rents at industrial
properties were reported to increase 5
percent in Q4 2013, and rentals of multipleuser factory and warehouse space also went

Back to Contents

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148


up 3.5 percent and 5.4 percent from last year.
(Source: Business Times)
Mapletree Industrial Trust develops facility
for HP
Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) is reported to
be developing a built-to-suit (BTS) facility for
Hewlett-Packard Singapore. The facility will
be at MITs Telok Blangah Cluster property
and will cost $250 million including
construction and other costs but excluding the
book value. This will be MITs biggest BTS
development, which will reposition the
property to higher-value industrial use and
maximise current plot ratio as well as
strengthen MITs high-tech building segment
and BTS track record.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 148

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Mar 5 Mar 11
Postal
District
3
3
3
4
5
5
8
10
10
11
11
12
12
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
16
18
19
19
19

Project Name
RIVER PLACE
ASCENTIA SKY
TANGLIN VIEW
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
REGENT PARK
REGENT PARK
KERRISDALE
TANGLIN PARK
SIXTH AVENUE VILLE
THE ARMADALE
THOMSON 800
OPAL SUITES
THE VERVE
SIMSVILLE
ATRIUM RESIDENCES
ASTON MANSIONS
THE BELVEDERE
MEYER RESIDENCE
THE MAKENA
EMERY POINT
COSTA DEL SOL
NV RESIDENCES
SUMMER SCENT
PALM GROVE CONDOMINIUM
RIO VISTA

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,582 2,500,000 1,580
99
958 1,500,000 1,566
99
1,152 1,600,000 1,389
99
1,270 1,860,000 1,464
99
1,141 1,275,000 1,117
99
807
850,000
1,053
99
1,281 1,438,888 1,123
99
1,604 2,750,000 1,715
FH
2,486 3,231,800 1,300
FH
1,033 1,580,000 1,529
FH
1,432 1,658,000 1,158
FH
409
581,000
1,420
FH
1,485 1,320,000
889
FH
1,249 1,205,000
965
99
1,001 900,000
899
FH
1,227 950,000
774
99
2,766 4,680,000 1,692
FH
904 1,425,000 1,576
FH
1,152 1,430,000 1,242
FH
1,324 1,525,000 1,152
FH
1,755 2,225,000 1,268
99
743
870,000
1,171
99
1,711 1,650,000
964
999
1,701 1,600,000
941
999
1,636 1,350,000
825
99

Postal
District
19
19
19
19
20
20
21
21
21
21
21
22
22
23
23
23
23
23
25
27
27
28

Project Name
HOUGANG GREEN
REGENTVILLE
HOUGANG GREEN
RIO VISTA
BOONVIEW
GRANDEUR 8
MAPLEWOODS
SIGNATURE PARK
CLEMENTI PARK
PARC PALAIS
PINE GROVE
PARC OASIS
IVORY HEIGHTS
GLENDALE PARK
REGENT GROVE
PALM GARDENS
NORTHVALE
MAYSPRINGS
WOODGROVE CONDOMINIUM
THE ESTUARY
YISHUN SAPPHIRE
SUNRISE GARDENS

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,141 858,000
752
99
1,335 1,000,000
749
99
1,141 850,000
745
99
1,679 1,220,000
727
99
646
880,000
1,363
FH
1,130 1,260,000 1,115
99
1,324 2,000,000 1,511
FH
1,701 1,850,000 1,088
FH
2,131 2,300,000 1,079
FH
1,238 1,271,330 1,027
FH
1,679 1,420,000
846
99
1,076 998,000
927
99
1,701 1,320,000
776
100
1,313 1,425,000 1,085
FH
926
780,000
843
99
1,216 980,000
806
99
1,270 1,000,000
787
99
1,528 1,175,000
769
99
2,486 1,460,000
587
99
1,528 1,610,000 1,053
99
1,389 968,800
698
99
1,496 1,065,000
712
99

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.
Page | 14

Issue 149
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

How New Property Launches are Changing


in the Face of a Slowing Market

Welcome to the 149th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(March 12 March 18)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149

How New Property Launches are Changing in the Face of a Slowing Market

By Property Soul (guest contributor)


With property developers rushing to launch
new projects, the once quiet market is buzzing
again. I spent a few Saturdays visiting the
sales galleries of some property new
launches, including the Jewel@Buangkok,
Sant Ritz, Bartley Ridge, the Panorama, etc. I
also went to see some mixed developments
like the VENUE Residences, Midtown
Residences and Nine Residences.
Figure 1: One of the new launches visited

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


When sellers outnumber buyers
The URA recently released the sales figures
of new condos. Developers managed to sell a
total of 724 units in February. It is 28 per cent
higher than January but is still some 55
percent lower than last years monthly
average.
With all the cooling measures, it is very
challenging to find buyers who can fit the
following criteria:
1. People who are keen to buy in this market.
2. People who are buying for the first time, or
dont mind paying the additional stamp duties.
3. People who have the financial muscle (and
patience) to go through the TDSR test.
Although developers claim that the project is
60 or 80 percent sold, no one can tell how

Back to Contents

many of those buyers can successfully pass


the TDSR test and get financing from the
banks.
I am impressed by the rate developers are
building new projects. Even at the same
location, there is more than one project
launching at the same time. Some condos
nearby have just obtained TOP. And there are
a few more construction sites building in high
gear just across the street.
Apart from projects within the first two weeks
of a new launch, the sales galleries are very
quiet, even on Saturday afternoons. There
are obviously more agents than buyers.
Sometimes I find myself as one of the one or
two buyers there. In other words, there are
plenty of launches, lots of unsold units and
many property agents, but few buyers.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


How things are changing in sales galleries
Like many others, I have no urgency to
plunge into the market right now. I am just
doing routine research to see what is on offer.
But the scene is completely different from
what I have witnessed one or two years ago
in the following ways:
1. Length of setup

In the past, sales offices at actual sites are


quickly torn down to start building after most
units are sold. Now they can still be found at
the same place waiting for potential buyers
after six to nine months.
2. No more crowds
There is no more queue of eager buyers
waiting to submit a blank cheque. Gone are
the days when it is a common sight to see
countless pair of shoes lying in front of the
Back to Contents

showflats. The half-empty carpark is now


filled with the cars of the sales
representatives instead.
3. Inside the sales galleries
Developers have become more sensitive
amid slower sales and intensified competition.
More sales offices are prohibiting visitors from
taking photos. One new launch even decided
not to distribute sales brochures until buyers
book a unit. They have someone from the
developer stationed there to ensure the
compliance of their policy.
4. In the showflats

Marble floorings are replaced with more


economical homogenous tiles. Functional
wardrobes are being substituted with simple
two-door wardrobes. Bathrooms that used to
feature branded accessories become no-frills
toilets with the absence of bathtubs.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


The explanations are 'easy maintenance by
the new generation of buyers.'
The project site is maximized to build more
units. A 650 sq ft flat can fit in two bedrooms.
A three-bedroom unit is now barely 900 sq ft.
They say this is the trend of new condos.
Some new sales tactics
There is no more sales pitch of 'if you don't
buy now prices will climb soon.' The promises
of quick profits and optimistic rental return are
also gone. Instead, buyers are told that
property is a long-term investment and it is
always profitable if they can hold it for more
than five years.

more cash on hand.


2. To avoid the 7 percent additional buyer
stamp duty, one agent asked me to sell my
shares to my husband to decouple our jointtenant property.
3. Another agent suggested to sell my
existing property before (or six months after)
the TOP of the new project in order to claim
the refund of the additional stamp duty.
Property agents as stalkers?

Now agents are adopting a problem-solution


approach:

When I was about to leave a sales gallery for


another one only a stone's throw away, the
property agent volunteered to accompany me
for the short trip. When I told her that I could
find my way, she insisted that it was their
company policy to do so.

1. Given I already own a private property, I


was asked to refinance it in order to have

She followed me to go inside her competitor's


sales office.

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Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


Just when I was about to do the registration,
she pre-empted me by hurriedly entering her
own particulars. Then I heard her saying
aloud,
"She is my client. I am the exclusive agent
representing her. This is a co-broke case."

which new launch I was planning to go next. I


said I just wanted to go home!
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor and enthusiast
who shares her experiences and knowledge
on her blog.

I was taken aback by this new arrangement


but was unsure whether I should clarify it
under these circumstances. It is a similar
situation when a guy follows a girl everywhere
to mislead everyone into believing that he is
her boyfriend. But the girl finds it hard to
clarify for fear of embarrassing him, herself,
and the others too.
The property agent continued to follow me
throughout the visit until we left her
competitor's sales office. She asked me

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Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Record proportion made by sub-800 sq ft
units
47.6 percent of non-landed private homes
sold in 2013 were reported to be small units
of up to 800 sq ft a record for the unit type,
compared with 43.4 percent in 2012 and over
40 percent in 2011. CBRE Research
associate director Desmond Sim commented
that this shows a function of supply where
developers reduced unit sizes to make the
absolute price quantum affordable to buyers
affected by tighter loan limits. This increase
was not due to shoebox apartments (below
500 sq ft) but due to 500-800 sq ft units. In
fact, the proportion of 500-800 sq ft units
Back to Contents

went up to 34.4 percent in 2013, compared


with 29.7 percent in 2012 and 25.9 percent in
2011; while the proportion of shoebox units
went down from 13.8 percent in 2012 to 13.2
percent in 2013.
(Source: Business Times)
New BTO flats still in demand
In HDBs second Build-To-Order (BTO)
launch in 2014, another 3,497 flats in the nonmature towns of Sembawang, Sengkang and
Yishun will be released, making the total
number of flats for sale reach 6,636 for this
year. These newly launched flats are of tworoom, five-room, three-generation (3Gen)
types for the needs of first-timers, secondtimers, multi-generation families and singles.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


Analysts said that healthy interest in BTO
flats is still expected, in spite of decreasing
prices and slowing sales in the resale market.
(Source: Business Times)
Government
releases
leasehold sites

(Source: Business Times)

Fixed-rate loans rise among home buyers


three

99-year

The government has released three 99-year


leasehold sites which will yield 1,300 housing
units. The first two sites are executive
condominium (EC) sites as Yishun Street 51
up for tender from the confirmed list of the
Government Land Sales (GLS) programme,
yielding 1,010 units. The gross floor area
(GFA) of Parcel A is 50,302 sq m, and of
Parcel B is 51,139 sq m. Their closing date is
May 22. The third site is the condominium site
at Margaret Drive with a permissible gross
floor area of 22,195 sq m, yielding 275 units.

Back to Contents

It will be put on sale upon the lodging of an


acceptable offer.

DBS Bank said that one in two home buyers


took up fixed-rate loans, compared with 30
percent in early 2014 due to rising interest
rates. The key three-month Sibor (Singapore
interbank offered rate) increased to 0.40568
per cent, up 0.9 percent from the previous
week, and up 9.3 percent from about a year
ago. This could make buyers aware of the
quickly changing rates in reaction to market
events, and choose an attractive set of rates
in a mostly low-interest environment. DBS
Bank expected the interest rates to continue
going up.
(Source: Business Times)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


Units at the Draycott condo up for sale
38 units at the Draycott condominium (30
units in the tower block facing Goodwood Hill)
have been put on sale by expression of
interest by the investment holding company of
the family that developed the condo. The
estimated absolute price is $198 million, or
$1,900 psf for the 104,429 sq ft of the total
strata area, which comprises 31 percent by
share value and strata area of the whole
development that has a total of 133 units. The
site is along Draycott Park, next to Ardmore
Park.
(Source: Business Times)
Tampines condo launched on March 29
597-unit condominium The Santorini at
Tampines Avenue 10, developed by MCC
Land a unit of Hong Kong and Shanghailisted Metallurgy Corporation of China, has
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been launched on March 29. The


development is surrounded by Bedok
Reservoir and Tampines Quarry, and is
Mediterranean-inspired.
The
expected
average price is from $1,100 to $1,200 psf,
consistent with consultants price forecasts of
above $1,100 psf as the break-even price for
the project is from $940 to $1,050 psf.
(Source: Business Times)
More properties up for auction, few sold
As sellers have difficulty moving sales in the
secondary market, they turn to the auction
market, causing the number of properties put
up for sale via auction to increase. However,
cautious buyers did not quickly make
transactions. Colliers International said that
132 properties were put up for sale via
auction in Q1 2014, compared with 120 in Q4
2013.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


Only six properties were sold in Q1, making
$17.87 million and which was a 76.5 percent
drop from 2013 with the sale of four highvalue properties.
(Source: Business Times)
Q1 investment sales stayed quiet in Q1
2014
Figures from CBRE and Savills showed that
investment sales of Singapore property were
stagnant for Q1 2014. Residential property
sales under the Government Land Sales
(GLS) Programme accounted for 49 percent
of the $3.8 billion of investment sales volume.
The final figure of the sale volume is expected
to be more than the $3.9 billion of Q4 2013,
although both figures were the lowest since
the $3.3 billion tally of Q4 2009. Savills said
that the situation could be caused by weak
investment during the Chinese New Year

festivities, the Total Debt Servicing Ratio, and


the price gap between buyers and sellers.
(Source: Business Times)

Commercial
Retail rents remain sluggish in Q1
DTZ Research said that retail rents remained
sluggish in Q1, 2014. Transactions were
reported to take longer, retailers were
unaffected by rent increases, and landlords
asking
prices
were
unshaken.
An
approximately 2.4 million sq ft of net lettable
retail space completed in 2014, however, was
thought to be able to change the situation
since it accounts for 45 percent of the total
5.4 million sq ft retail space released until
2018. 56 percent of this 2.4 million sq ft is in
suburban areas, 24 percent in city fringes,
and 20 percent in Orchard/Scotts Road.

(Source: Business Times)


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Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149


399 Eunos industrial units to be relocated
Under
the
Industrial
Redevelopment
Programme (IRP), the 14th batch of 399 units
across 26 blocks in the Eunos Industrial
Estate will be relocated by HDB for future
redevelopment. The tenants will be given
replacement units in the Industrial Complex in
Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 3, which will be
completed in the middle of 2018. The
remaining units will also be relocated in other
IRP batches. The IRP was launched in 1997
with 13 IRP batches until now and has
relocated 3,000 industrial units.
(Source: Business Times)
2 JTC industrial sites for bids
Two ready-to-build industrial sites Plot 49 and
Plot 51 at Tuas South Street 9 under the
Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS)
programme have been launched by JTC for
Back to Contents

bidding. Each site is 8,369 sq ft in size and


the gross plot ratio is one. The tenure for both
sites is 21 years two months.
(Source: Business Times)
Detached shophouse block at Kampong
Glam up for sale
The freehold, detached shophouse block at
Kampong Glam and three adjoining plots of
prime good class bungalow land were up for
sale by expression of interest. The shophouse
block in particular has three shophouse units
of part one-storey and two-storey shophouses
at 32, 34 and 34A Sultan Gate. The current
tenant is in the food and beverage industry,
and their lease ends in September 2015. The
indicative price is around $28 million for a
land area of about 7,401 sq ft. The site is
flanked by a public car park and a side lane.
(Source: Business Times)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Mar 12 Mar 18
Postal
District
1
1
3
3
5
8
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
12

Project Name
MARINA BAY RESIDENCES
RIVERWALK APARTMENT
ASCENTIA SKY
QUEENS
DOVER PARKVIEW
CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES
HELIOS RESIDENCES
VIDA
THE LIGHT @ CAIRNHILL
ESTILO
LEONIE SUITES
CAIRNHILL PLAZA
EURO-ASIA COURT
ASPEN HEIGHTS
THE TRESOR
GALLOP GABLES
CORONATION GROVE
THE MERASAGA
THE TESSARINA
VERDURE
TANGLIN REGENCY
NEWTON ONE
THE LINCOLN MODERN
D'LOTUS

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,066 2,250,000 2,111
99
818 1,250,000 1,528
99
947 1,590,000 1,679
99
1,184 1,445,000 1,220
99
1,249 1,500,000 1,201
99
1,195 1,750,000 1,465
FH
1,668 4,900,000 2,937
FH
506 1,155,000 2,283
FH
2,443 4,950,000 2,026
FH
549
970,000 1,767
FH
926 1,610,000 1,739
99
3,305 5,450,000 1,649
FH
1,066 1,580,000 1,483
FH
1,561 2,230,000 1,429 999
1,012 1,900,000 1,878 999
3,175 5,400,000 1,701
FH
1,249 1,980,000 1,586 999
1,399 2,200,000 1,572
99
1,313 1,980,000 1,508
FH
1,733 2,600,000 1,500
FH
1,044 1,430,000 1,370
99
1,916 3,368,888 1,758
FH
1,378 1,928,888 1,400
FH
1,066 1,290,000 1,211
FH

Postal
District
12
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
16
16
16
16
16
16
17
17
17
18
18
18
19
19
19
19

Project Name
KEMAMAN POINT
DAKOTA RESIDENCES
STARVILLE
STARVILLE
ONE FORT
COSTA RHU
EAST ELEGANCE
THE ESTA
COSTA DEL SOL
WATERFRONT KEY
CASA MERAH
BAYWATER
THE BAYSHORE
PALMWOODS
FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM
FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM
EDELWEISS PARK CONDOMINIUM
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
THE TROPICA
MELVILLE PARK
KOVAN MELODY
SUNGLADE
RIO VISTA
RIVERVALE CREST

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,292 1,300,000 1,006
FH
1,023 1,430,000 1,398
99
581
740,000 1,273
FH
1,216 1,095,000 900
FH
1,227 1,818,000 1,482
FH
2,239 3,300,000 1,474
99
441
600,000 1,360
FH
1,593 2,100,000 1,318
FH
1,313 1,670,000 1,272
99
1,173 1,408,000 1,200
99
1,227 1,470,000 1,198
99
1,292 1,430,000 1,107
99
980 1,010,000 1,031
99
1,023 970,000
949
99
915
980,000 1,071
FH
936
895,000
956
FH
2,691 2,220,000 825
FH
1,023 955,000
934
99
1,238 1,150,000 929
99
1,475 1,070,000 726
99
1,410 1,650,000 1,170
99
1,109 1,250,000 1,127
99
1,238 1,060,000 856
99
1,141 930,000
815
99

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 149

Postal
District
20
20
21
21
21
23
23
26
27
28

Project Name
BISHAN POINT
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM
THE CASCADIA
THE CASCADIA
THE HILLSIDE
HILLVISTA
THE LINEAR
BULLION PARK
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM
SUNRISE GARDENS

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,270 1,300,000 1,023
99
1,324 1,215,000 918
99
1,184 2,012,800 1,700
FH
1,184 1,980,000 1,672
FH
1,356 1,628,000 1,200
FH
1,206 1,618,000 1,342
FH
1,378 1,280,000 929
999
807
838,000 1,038
FH
1,249 975,000
781
99
2,034 1,500,000 737
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 13

Issue 150
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Think You Can Profit From Your Home?

Welcome to the 150th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Think Again

Hope you like it!

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(March 19 March 25)

Contribute

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with thousands of readers interested in the Singapore property
market? Send them to us at info@propwise.sg, and if theyre good
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News.

Want to get your brand, product, service or property listing out to


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cost? Head over to www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150

Think You Can Profit From Your Home? Think Again


By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)
Since 10 March 2014, the Housing
Development Board only accepts valuation
requests from resale flat buyers or their
property agents after the granting of the
Option to Purchase by the sellers. This
Revised HDB Resale Procedure is believed
to encourage buyers and sellers to focus their
price discussions on the recent sales
transactions, rather than the Cash Over
Valuation (COV) that sellers expect buyers to
pay on top of the flats value.

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Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


The end of the Singapore dream to profit
from HDB?

and get a windfall from the high COV that the


buyer paid.

Back in 1996, 2007 and from 2010 to 2013,


the media liked to pick up stories of HDB
sales transactions that came with very high
COVs, sometimes up to $100,000 to
$150,000. There were also reports that
mentioned extreme cases with the transaction
prices of HDB flats crossing the one million
dollar mark.

To an ordinary family, a few hundred


thousand dollars of profit and tens of
thousands more from the COV is a
considerable amount that can take years to
save. Above all, to realize the dream of
upgrading the family home to a condominium,
the amount would come in handy for the
downpayment.

These might be exceptional incidents but


were often considered by reporters as
newsworthy stories to cover in the paper.
Nonetheless, the stories raised the hope of
HDB owners to secure a high COV when it
was their turn to sell their flat. The HDB flat
became part of the Singaporean dream
whereby you could buy a first-hand flat from
the government at a subsidized rate, resell it
at a high price after staying there for years,

Since when have HDB flats become a


goldmine?

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People who think that they can make some


cash out of their HDB flat have probably
forgotten one important thing: HDB is a
government home ownership scheme to meet
the housing needs of Singaporeans. It was
never meant to be sold as an asset for
investment or for speculation.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


There is definitely no guarantee that owners
can make a profit when they sell it one day.
Over the last few decades, the housing
market benefited from the rapid growth of
Singapores economy. Prices of private
properties increased by leaps and bounds.
The cost of HDB flats have followed suit.
However, Singapore has long passed the
stage of growing from a developing to a
developed country. It is therefore unrealistic
for anyone to expect the value of properties
to jump tenfold like those flats bought by
Singaporeans decades ago.
Looking at the selling prices of first-hand or
resale HDB flats in recent years, it is doubtful
anyone can make a windfall selling it after the
minimum occupation period of five years.
In fact, the median COV for HDB flats is
reaching zero in February this year the
Back to Contents

lowest in the last eight years. Twelve HDB


towns report zero or even negative median
COVs, especially in non-mature estates like
Sengkang.

Are there enough buyers for all the resale


HDB flats?
Above all, there is a large supply of new flats
from the government over the next few years.
Just within these two years in 2014 and 2015,
there are already a total of 55,000 new flats
built by the Housing Development Board
getting ready for occupation. And dont forget
that the government can jack up the supply
by adding new plans, building new flats, and
rebuilding old blocks any place any time.
In last years National Day speech, our Prime
Minister promised to keep the HDB flats
affordable for future flat buyers. Later that
month, the government announced that there
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


is now a 3-year waiting period for newlyconverted Singapore PRs to buy HDB resale
flats.
I just have one question on my mind: Do we
have enough potential buyers for all the
resale HDB flats in the market?
What about private properties?
Even if you are staying in a private property, it
is also not that easy to profit from selling your
home.
In a booming market, assuming that you
manage to sell your home at a good price,
you may still end up spending all the profit on
your next home that is most likely bought at a
high price in a sellers market. Worse still,
while waiting to buy your next home, prices
are climbing so fast that the profit from your
old home may prove to be insufficient to buy
Back to Contents

the next one.


If you dont want to sell high, buy high,
unless you are willing to downgrade, it is
nave to believe that you can profit from the
value appreciation of your home.
Selling your home is different from selling
an investment
Once you stay in a property, whether its value
goes up or down has little to do with you now.
Remember your total net worth is calculated
by your assets minus your debts, but
excluding your own residence. It is because
you need a roof over your head under all
circumstances.
If it is your home, it is inevitable that you will
be emotional about it, especially if you have
been staying there for many years, because it
is your residence and you need to find a new
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


shelter after the sale; because you are used
to your home and whatever profit wont make
you part with it; because few people can
easily move out of their home without being
sentimental.
Selling a home is never as straightforward as
selling an investment. So always make it a
point to separate your home from your
investments.
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the newly released No B.S. Guide to
Property
Investment
http://www.propwise.sg/nobsguide/.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150

Back to Contents

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Private home and HDB resale flat prices
decrease in Q1
The government's flash estimates showed
that prices of private homes and HDB resale
flats declined in 1Q 2014. This is expected to
continue for the rest of the year, mostly due to
the cooling measures and increasingly
competitive pricing by developers. Resale flat
prices decrease of 1.5 percent was for the
third consecutive quarter, which was believed
to prevent HDB upgraders to move to private
property. The index for private residential
property also decreased 1.3 percent,

Back to Contents

compared with the 0.9 percent decrease in


4Q2013. Sale transactions went down from
4,260 in the last quarter to only 1,676 caveats
lodged this quarter.
(Source: Business Times)

More marketing tools to attract potential


buyers
As fewer projects could move more than half
of their units in the month of their launch,
developers and marketing agencies are
adopting more marketing tools to draw more
potential buyers. For instance, developers
may have multiple marketing agencies for
one project, offer higher commission to

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


agencies or discounts to buyers for certain
periods, while property agencies hold more
seminars to attract crowds.
(Source: Business Times)
Sales at The Santorini were disappointing
Sales
at
the
Mediterranean-inspired
Tampines condominium The Santorini were
reported to be disappointing. Only 80 out of
the 200 launched units were sold, making up
only 40 percent. Analysts said that this could
show the market is not favorable towards
mass-market
projects,
especially
lowquantum compact units which were affected
by the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)
framework that lower the loan-to-value limits
for buyers with existing home mortgages. Half
of The Santorinis units are one and twobedders.

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

Spring Grove for en bloc sale


Spring Grove in the prime Grange Road area
can now be sold en bloc, after it acquired the
requisite 80 percent consensus from its
owners. 264 out of 325 units have signed the
collective sale agreement, as reported on
March 23, which translates to 81 percent of
the condo's total share value and strata area.
Its five-day cooling-off period after the
approval has ended. The sales agent for the
deal Knight Frank said that the unit owners
will receive an average $2,600 psf for two- to
four-bedroom apartments and penthouses.
(Source: Business Times)
Jurong condos price set at $1,250-1,350
psf
Lakeville,
the
upcoming
696-unit
condominium project in the Jurong Lake
District by MCL Land, will be launched with an
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


average price of $1,250 to $1,350 psf the

Reits cause retail rents to go up. Yet, some

early-bird pricing on the balloting day to

property consultants said that some landlords

attract potential buyers. MCL Land, however,

use the listed Reits as benchmarks for their

has yet to decide on how many units to

rates, thus giving Reits their indirect pricing

launch because it will depend on the demand.

power. This effect is called herding. More

The marketing agent for the project is

specifically, R'ST Research director Ong Kah

Huttons. Lakevill is located on a 240,654 sq ft

Seng said that since information is made

site with a 99-year lease. MCL acquired it in

transparent

2013 for $439 million, or $651 psf ppr.

shareholders,

commercial

reporting
or

to

industrial

for their potential rentals.

Commercial

(Source: Business Times)

Reit benchmarks could be the reason for


increasing retail rents
has

quarterly

property landlord may make back-calculations

(Source: Business Times)

Statistics

in

proved

that

real

estate

investment trusts (Reits) neither own the


majority of retail space nor prime malls in

Industrial building in Kallang up for sale


A five-storey industrial building located at 12
Kallang Way on a 51,264 sq ft leasehold site
is reported to be up for sale.

Singapore. Hence, it may not hold true that

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150


Its owner is asking for offers higher than $25

$11.50 in Marina Bay. The occupancy rates

million, or about $213 psf on a gross floor

for these two areas were 97.9 percent and

area (GFA) of 116,940 sq ft without having

88.1 percent respectively, which increased

maximized its 2.5 plot ration. The property

from last quarter. DTZ expected the rents in

has a 34 years remaining in its lease term.

CBD to further increase 10 to 15 percent for

Together with its unutilised 11,220 sq ft of

2014.

GFA, the asking price is $195 psf ppr.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

High take-up for office leasing market


The office leasing market was reported By
DTZ to witness strong take-up for 1Q2014.
The average gross rental rates in the central
business district (CBD) increased between
3.9 to 4.5 percent quarter-on-quarter from
higher occupancy rates. Average monthly per
square foot rents were $8 in Shenton Way,
Robinsons Road and Cecil Street, and were

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Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Mar 19 Mar 25

Postal
District
2
3
5
5
5
8
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
12
13
14

Project Name
CRAIG PLACE
RIVER PLACE
THE ROCHESTER
BLUE HORIZON
PARK WEST
CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES
HELIOS RESIDENCES
THE METZ
PARC EMILY
REGENCY PARK
MILL POINT
MILL POINT
THE MONTANA
HOLLAND COURT
SOMMERVILLE GRANDEUR
CORONATION SHOPPING PLAZA
RESIDENCES @ EVELYN
MULBERRY TREE
RESIDENCES @ EVELYN
ROCHELLE AT NEWTON
AIRSTREAM
SOMMERVILLE LOFT
STARVILLE

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,152
2,573
1,302
1,216
1,249
1,216
1,668
570
904
3,175
915
915
700
1,948
1,195
1,098
1,109
452
1,109
2,164
474
1,163
1,270

Transacted
Price ($)
1,700,000
2,600,000
1,900,000
1,300,000
1,120,000
1,800,000
4,988,000
1,500,000
1,568,000
5,620,000
1,500,000
1,490,000
1,090,000
3,000,000
1,770,000
1,310,000
1,950,000
790,000
1,930,000
3,300,000
695,000
1,100,000
1,250,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,476
99
1,011
99
1,459
99
1,069
99
897
99
1,480
FH
2,990
FH
2,629
FH
1,734
FH
1,770
FH
1,639 999
1,629 999
1,558
FH
1,540
FH
1,481
FH
1,193
FH
1,759
FH
1,747
FH
1,741
FH
1,525
99
1,467
FH
946
FH
984
FH

Postal
District
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
16
17
18
18
18
18
18
19
19
19
21
21
21

Project Name
THE SUNNY SPRING
ARTHUR 118
ONE AMBER
PEBBLE BAY
WATER PLACE
DAWN VILLE
CANARY VILLE
VILLA MARINA
THE BAYSHORE
BAYSHORE PARK
BAYWATER
AZALEA PARK CONDOMINIUM
DOUBLE BAY RESIDENCES
LIVIA
OASIS @ ELIAS
MODENA
MELVILLE PARK
THE YARDLEY
RIVERVALE CREST
REGENTVILLE
PARC PALAIS
SHERWOOD TOWER
PINE GROVE

Area
(sqft)
1,119
990
1,259
2,336
1,453
1,195
1,550
1,625
958
936
1,302
1,679
1,313
1,410
980
1,410
1,044
1,281
936
1,152
1,227
1,539
1,938

Transacted
Price ($)
1,080,000
1,435,000
1,780,000
2,900,000
1,790,000
1,270,000
1,520,000
1,280,000
985,000
930,000
1,215,000
1,408,000
1,430,000
1,340,000
905,000
1,280,000
860,000
1,600,800
833,000
870,000
1,250,000
1,330,000
1,580,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
965
FH
1,449
FH
1,413
FH
1,242
99
1,232
99
1,063
FH
981
FH
788
99
1,028
99
993
99
933
99
839
999
1,089
99
950
99
924
99
908
99
824
99
1,250
FH
890
99
755
99
1,019
FH
864
99
815
99

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 150

Postal
District
22
22
23
23
23
25

Project Name
PARC VISTA
LAKEPOINT CONDOMINIUM
THE WARREN
HILLVIEW REGENCY
YEWTEE RESIDENCES
CASABLANCA

Area
(sqft)
1,055
2,217
1,249
1,130
1,195
1,119

Transacted Price
Tenure
Price ($) ($ psf)
985,000
934
99
1,128,000 509
99
1,128,000 903
99
980,000
867
99
1,020,000 854
99
960,000
858
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 13

Issue 151
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS

FROM THE

EDITOR

p2

Who Manages the Land Supply in Singapore?

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Welcome to the 151st edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(March 26 April 1)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151

Who Manages the Land Supply in Singapore?


By Paul Ho (guest contributor)
Have you ever wondered how Singapore's
land supply is managed? Who controls the
largest land supply? You often see that the
URA and HDB launches land for sale do
they own this land? In order to shed light on
this topic, it is important to understand the
role of each statutory body.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is


primarily in-charge of urban renewal,
designing Singapore's land use master plan
and various other initiatives. Their role spans
residential dwelling, entire township designs

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


which includes commercial, industrial as well
as residential zoning and density.
The URA also acts as an agent for the State
in carrying out land sales for commercial,
hotel, private residential and industrial
developments. In addition, the URA also sells
sites for special uses, for example for heavy
vehicle parks, conservation shophouses and
recreational developments.
Housing Development Board (HDB)
The HDB as most people are already aware,
involves itself in building low cost public
homes for Singaporeans as well as
Permanent Residents. Apart from that, HDB
is also involved in many other facets of
properties.
The HDB also manages a total of close to
12,000 ready-built factories and industrial

Back to Contents

land leases located island-wide catering to a


wide spectrum of customer needs. These
properties include low-rise workshops,
warehouses, high-rise factories with vehicular
ramps for access, specialized high-rise food
factories and motor-vehicle service and repair
complexes, and land-based properties. The
majority are for rental. Most of the trades that
can be accommodated within these
properties and developments are Clean and
Light industries and some small-scale
General industries.
It is still a puzzle why the HDB is involved in
industrial properties to begin with. The HDB
also acts as an agent for the state to sell land
for various uses, though the bulk of this land
is residential HDB or EC use, it is not
restricted to these.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


Singapore Land Authority (SLA)
The SLA helps the government to manage its
land sales system. Its role is to make sure
that the land achieves optimum returns. The
SLA also manages the land title system, and
is also in-charge of appointing sales agents
for state land. Hence it is the authority
responsible for appointing sales agents such
as the HDB, URA, JTC, and LTA and to make
sure that compliance and statutory guidelines
are adhered to for the land sales process.
Certain parcels of land are also available for
sale by the state under the SLA. These lands
are remnant lands (landed developments)
which cannot be economically used by the
state and could also be odd shaped. These
lands hold great value to the adjacent land
owners as they can extend their development
and combine it with these remnant lands to
create better economic value, or more
Back to Contents

luxurious consumption. Other lands such as


agricultural land on short leases are also sold
by SLA to bidders.
Contrary to popular belief, SLA is a statutory
board of the Ministry of Law.
Jurong Town Corporation (JTC)
The JTC is mainly focused on building
Singapore's industrial infrastructure, and has
developed 7,100 hectares of industrial land
and 3.2 million square metres of ready-built
facilities across the entire spectrum of
industrial space.
The JTCs role is to help Singapore
concentrate industrial and economic clusters
together by grouping the suppliers and
services close to the end users coupled with
funding and support, to promote the economic
growth of Singapore.

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


JTC is also appointed to be the sales agent of
state lands, hence it launches land under the
government land sales program (GLS). JTC is
under the purview of Ministry of Trade and
Industry.
Ministry of National Development (MND)
This is the ministry where Minister Khaw Boon
Wan sits. This is the hottest seat. The MND
develops the land use planning for Singapore
and pushes through various visions such as
the endearing home and global city" initiative.
As such, the MND has purview over national
well-being, namely food (via Agri-Food &
Veterinary Authority, AVA), safety of dwellings
(via the Building and Construction Authority,
BCA),
housing
(via
HDB),
housing
transactions and orderliness (via the Council
of Estate Agencies, CEA), nature and
enjoyment (via the National Parks, NParks)

Back to Contents

and land use planning, zoning and land user


master
planning
(via
the
Urban
Redevelopment Authority, URA), and aims to
provide a superior living environment for
Singapore citizens, Singapore PRs as well as
other nationalities.
The URA is often appointed as the sales
agent for government land sales relating to
private condominiums and commercial
properties, but less so in other property
segments. The SLA helps to appoint sales
agents for the government land sales (GLS)
program for sales of state land. The URA,
HDB, JTC, LTA as well as SLA can be
appointed sales agents for state land. The
MND overlooks the URA and HDB, the
Ministry of Trade and industry (MTI) overlooks
JTC, the Ministry of Transport overlooks the
LTA, and the Ministry of Law overlooks the
SLA.
Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


Hence for any researcher to do a
comprehensive research of property and land
supply, he cannot overlook any of the above
organizations.

Perhaps it has veered a little off its original


aim of providing housing for the masses.
What do you think? Leave a comment below
to let us know what you think.

For example, if there is an over-supply in


condominiums (private properties), but an
under-supply in commercial properties, it is
possible for condominiums to be converted to
commercial properties by paying a Differential
Premium (DP) to the Singapore Land
Authority (SLA) for change of use. Hence
often we cannot analyze any particular
property segment in isolation of the other
segments.

By Paul Ho, holder of an MBA from a


reputable
university
and
editor
of
www.iCompareLoan.com, Singapores first
Cloud-based Home Loan reporting platform
used by Property agents, financial advisors
as well as Mortgage brokers.

Is HDB veering too far off?


And some statutory boards such as the HDB
seem to be more enterprising and even have
industrial properties under management for
rental, which is weird considering its mission.
Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151

Singapore Property This Week


Resale condo prices up in March

Residential
Condo project The Sorrento
launched at Easter weekend

to

be

The freehold five-storey condominium project


The Sorrento (the former Regent Gardens)
by Allgreen Properties at West Coast Road
will be launched on the Easter weekend of
April 19. The indicative pricing was between
$1,380 and $1,600 psf. The project is on a
site of 78,100 sq ft, and has 131 one to threebedroom units of between 441 sq ft and
1,808 sq ft. The marketing agent for the
project is CBRE, which said that the pricing is
considered attractive compared to other
nearby developments.

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

The resale prices of non-landed private


homes in March 2014 increased 0.2 percent,
alongside an increase in transaction prices in
the Rest of Central Region (RCR), compared
with the 3.1 percent decline in resale prices in
February. The number of resale transactions
in March also went up to 451 transactions,
which is the highest figure since October
2013, and is 82.6 percent higher than the
previous month and 22.5 percent lower than
that of March, 2013. Analysts said that this
recovery shows the higher demand in March
from buyers after the festive January and
February, but it will be too early now to cheer.
(Source: Business Times)
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


HDB resale prices go up slightly
Data from the Singapore Real Estate
Exchange (SRX) shows that the resale prices
of HDB flat has slightly increased for 0.3
percent in March, as price increases in
smaller units balanced the declines in larger
units. Prices for three- and four-room units
went up 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, as
buyers looked for units with smaller quantum
due to the loan cap of the Mortgage Servicing
Ratio (MSR). Transaction volumes also
significantly went up since buyers returned
after the festive months of January and
February.
(Source: Business Times)
Hillview House up for sale
The freehold Hillview House is now up for
sale with an asking price of $55 million, or
$875 psf based on its potential gross floor
Back to Contents

area including an $18.2 million estimated


development charge payable to the state
the same price as of last round when it was
offered in a tender exercise closing in July
2013. This times tender closes on May 12. Its
owner will offer the site in a vacant state, after
having pulled down the old Hillview House
industrial building to meet the Urban
Redevelopment Authority's Feb 23, 2014
deadline of ceasing industrial activities and
clearing the site for the qualified 1.92 plot
ratio, including a 0.3 additional plot ratio.
(Source: Business Times)
Sky Habitat to be relaunched at lower
prices
CapitaLand's Bishan project Sky Habitat is
reported to be relaunched at lower prices of
$1,370 psf on April 19, according to its
marketing agent Knight Frank.
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


At the projects first launch in 2012, the prices
was from $1,435 to $1,893 psf, and the
average selling price was about $1,650 psf
with the initial 3 per cent discount given to all
buyers. 36 percent of 509 units have been
sold as the project is near its temporary
occupation permit in 2015. The relaunch price
of one-bedroom cum study could be from
$1.05 million or $1,485 psf, compared with
the previous price of $1,600 psf.

million. The decision of acquisition was


negotiated on an arm's-length basis between
FCAM and the vendor Ascendas Frasers,
which is a 50-50 joint-venture between
Frasers Centrepoint Limited and Ascendas
Development.

(Source: Business Times)

The joint venture between Far East


Organization, its listed unit Far East Orchard
and Sekisui House was reported to have had
the highest bid of nearly $634 million, or
$906.29 psf of the potential gross floor area
for the office site in Woodlands Regional
Centre in a state tender. The venture is
planning to build two 16-storey office towers
on the site with large and small strata office
units for sale and lease.

Commercial
Frasers Centrepoint
Changi City Point

Trust

purchases

Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) was reported


by its manager Frasers Centrepoint Asset
Management (FCAM) to have reached a
conditional sale-and-purchase agreement for
Changi City Point mall for a possible $305
Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)


Far East-Sekisui House joint venture wins
highest bids for Woodlands office site

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


Some retail space will also be expected for
the ventures long-term investment. The
second highest bid was $887.42 psf ppr by
CapitaLand units Mahogany One and
Mahogany Two.

late 2012, early 2013 for prices between


$2,920-$3,150 psf.

(Source: Business Times)

The new 40-storey Grade A office tower


CapitaGreen, which will be completed in Q4
2014, has landed its first tenant, as Cargill
has signed a lease of 50,000 sq ft on two
floors with the monthly rents of $9 psf. Swiss
private bank Bordier & Cie may be the next
tenant as it could be signing a lease for
11,000-12,000 sq ft - or half a floor in the
tower as it leaves its current location at GB
building along Cecil Street. A serviced office
operator could also be in negotiation to lease
a floor at the building.

14th floor of Samsung Hub sold for $39.72


million

The 14th floor of Samsung Hub was sold at


$39.72 million, or $3,030 psf on its 13,110 sq
ft strata area. It has also been speculated that
Arch Capital Management is selling the whole
office floor of four strata units to a mainland
Chinese company, but the floor is still leased
until the end of 2014 to a law firm. If this
happens, Arch Capital will be leaving the 999year leasehold office tower, as it had already
sold its 13,110 sq ft space on the 13th floor in

Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)

CapitaGreen has its first tenant

(Source: Business Times)

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151


Hotel room rates increase in early 2014
Initial figures from the Singapore Tourism
Board (STB) showed that average room rates
(ARR) increased 2.5 percent year-on-year to
$260.10 in January and February 2014,
painting an optimistic outlook for the industry.
The industry-wide occupancy also increased
0.8 percent to 86 percent. The revenue per
available room (RevPAR), a performance
indicator based on ARR and average
occupancy went up to $223.60. Luxury,
upscale and mid-tier hotels were all reported
to slightly increase in their ARR and RevPAR.
However, economy hotels lost 4.7 percent in
ARR to only $95.80, while its RevPAR
declined 8 percent to $76.20.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 151

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Mar 26 Apr 1
Postal
District
1
1
1
3
3
4
5
7
8
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
12
12
12
15
15
15

Project Name
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
EMERALD GARDEN
RIVER PLACE
ALESSANDREA
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
LANDRIDGE CONDOMINIUM
SOUTHBANK
CITY LOFT
MARTIN NO 38
RIVERGATE
RIVERGATE
ROBERTSON 100
LATITUDE
MUTIARA VIEW
THE TRIZON
HOLLAND RESIDENCES
M21
AIRSTREAM
RIO GARDENS
MOONSTONE RESIDENCES
THE SEAFRONT ON MEYER
ESPIRA SUITES
DE CENTURION

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
614
614
926
786
1,098
1,335
1,765
958
344
969
1,841
1,755
1,033
1,615
1,345
2,067
1,755
1,066
334
1,152
1,238
1,066
441
1,044

Transacted
Price ($)
1,520,000
1,290,000
1,750,000
1,200,000
1,480,000
2,158,000
1,970,000
1,565,000
613,000
2,665,000
4,045,000
3,780,000
1,900,000
3,700,000
1,950,000
2,960,000
2,000,000
1,531,000
550,000
1,250,000
1,300,000
1,920,000
728,500
1,220,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
2,477
99
2,103
99
1,890
999
1,527
99
1,348
FH
1,617
99
1,116
FH
1,634
99
1,780
FH
2,751
FH
2,198
FH
2,154
FH
1,839
FH
2,292
FH
1,449
FH
1,432
FH
1,140
FH
1,437
FH
1,648
FH
1,085
FH
1,050
FH
1,802
FH
1,651
FH
1,168
FH

Postal
District
15
16
16
16
16
17
17
18
19
19
19
19
19
21
21
22
23
26
26

Project Name
PEACH GARDEN
COSTA DEL SOL
WATERFRONT WAVES
THE BAYSHORE
RICH EAST GARDEN
COASTAL BREEZE RESIDENCES
LOYANG VALLEY
EASTPOINT GREEN
KOVAN GRANDEUR
KOVAN MELODY
CASA ROSA
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR
HOUGANG GREEN
THE BLOSSOMVALE
PARC PALAIS
THE MAYFAIR
GUILIN VIEW
THE CALROSE
THE CALROSE

Area
(sqft)
2,766
1,313
1,259
1,012
2,573
1,184
1,873
969
570
1,152
1,130
1,249
1,141
1,324
1,389
1,163
861
1,238
1,238

Transacted
Price ($)
3,050,000
1,858,000
1,460,000
1,058,888
2,600,000
1,166,000
1,100,000
900,000
680,000
1,200,000
1,060,000
938,000
790,000
1,888,000
1,380,000
950,000
800,000
1,600,000
1,580,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,103
FH
1,415
99
1,159
99
1,047
99
1,011
FH
985
99
587
99
929
99
1,192
99
1,042
99
938
99
751
FH
692
99
1,426
999
994
FH
817
99
929
99
1,293
FH
1,276
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.

Page | 12

Issue 154
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS

FROM THE

EDITOR

p2

5 Things to Do Before You Visit Any Showflat

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Welcome to the 154th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(April 16 April 22)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154

5 Things to Do Before You Visit Any Showflat


By Marcus Sim (guest contributor)
Before you make the trip to that swanky new
launch condominium showflat, it is useful to
first determine your financial strength. Your
purchasing power is not just limited by your
income, but also by the number of existing
properties under your name. Moreover, the
maximum amount of money you can loan
from the bank is also restricted by the
combined sum of your monthly financial
commitments.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154


To simplify matters, here is a comprehensive
to-do list before you make the trip to the show
flat.
1. Check on how much CPF you are able to
use for the property purchase
2. Speak to a banker to find out how much
you are eligible to loan based on your
current property portfolio and monthly
financial commitments
3. Know exactly which ABSD bracket you fall
into

1. Check how much CPF you can use for


the property purchase
If you are a first time property buyer, the
maximum amount of CPF you can use is your
entire Ordinary Account (OA) funds. If you are
purchasing your second property, you will
have to ensure that you fulfill the minimum
sum of $75,000 (as of 01/07/2013) in your
combined OA and Special Account (SA).
Below is an illustration of your allowable CPF
usage for your second property.

4. Understand how the Normal Progressive


Payment Scheme works
5. Understand how the Balloting system
works

Back to Contents

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154


2. Get Your Housing Loan Approval-inPrinciple
This is one of the most important things to do
that buyers often overlook. Getting a loan
approval-in-principle (AIP) is now one of the
most essential requirements when it comes to
purchasing a property. Without it, you will be
unable to properly set your property purchase
budget.
With an AIP, you will know exactly how much
the bank is willing and able to lend you for
your property purchase. Best of all, it is
absolutely free to get it done and takes
approximately three working days for the
bank to process your request.
Here are the set of documents you will
require.

Copy of NRIC
purchasers

Back to Contents

or

passports

of

all

All your latest Credit Card Statements

Application form

Declaration form of all credit facilities

HDB page to show your HDB status (HDB


loan / do not own any HDB / did not take
up a loan with HDB)

Latest 3 months payslip and IRAS Tax


Assessment Return (For Employed)

Latest 12 months of CPF contribution (For


Employed)

Latest 1 year of IRAS Tax Assessment


Return
(For
Employed
and
Self
Employed)

3. Know Your ABSD Bracket


Knowing which Additional Buyer Stamp Duty
(ABSD) bracket you fall into is another
important consideration in todays market.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154


For Singaporeans, your first property will be
free of any ABSD. However, your second and
third property purchases will be taxed 7% and
10% on the purchase price respectively.
For Permanent Residents (PRs), your initial
property purchase will be taxed 5% on the
purchase price. Subsequently, your property
purchases will be taxed 10% on the property
transacted price. For Foreigners and Entities,
your property purchases will be taxed 15% on
the price of each property.
Here is a helpful chart to illustrate which
ABSD bracket you fall into:

4.
Understand
how
the
Normal
Progressive Payment Scheme (NPS)
works
The NPS is currently the standard payment
scheme used in almost all new launch
condominium projects. Understanding the
progression of payments will be helpful in
planning your cash-flow for your property
purchase.
Upon selection and confirmation of your
choice unit,

A payment of 5% in cash has to be made


in favor of the developers project account
in exchange for the Option To Purchase
(OTP)

Within 2 weeks, the developer will send


the Sales and Purchase Agreement (S&P)
to your correspondence address

Figure 1: ABSD rates


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154

Upon date of receipt of the S&P, you will


have 3 weeks to exercise the contract at
your solicitors office. If the contract is not
exercised, 75% of the initial Option Fee
paid will be refunded to your account.

After exercising the agreement, the


Stamp Duty and ABSD will be payable
within 14 days from the date of exercise.

The remaining 15% of the down payment


is payable within 8 weeks from the initial
OTP date

Here is a timeline to illustrate the payment


process.

5. Understand how the Balloting Process


works
Prior to the launch of a new condominium, a
preview period of one to two weeks will be
allocated for you to preview the showflat and
have a feel of the unit sizes and prices.
Buyers who preview the showflat during this
period are given the opportunity to register for
a non-obligatory seat during the launch date.
This registration allows you to be eligible to
ballot for units before the public launch where
units are sold on a first-come-first serve
basis. Very often, early bird discounts are
also given for purchasers who purchase
during the launch day.
To register for the balloting, a few documents
are required.

A copy of the registrants NRIC

Figure 2: Timeline of payments


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154

An Expression of Interest form (EOI) filled


and signed
A cheque addressed to the developer
project account

In the event that you decide not to


purchase any unit during the launch, the full
set of documents will be returned to you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What if I am only eligible for a maximum loan
of 50% of the property price? When will the
loan start to take effect?
After your initial 20% down payment, the
developer will call for payment in cash or CPF
after each stage of the development is
completed.

10% after the concrete framework

5% after the partition of walls

And another 5% after the completion of


roofing of the units

After which, the loan will start to take effect.


What if I dont have a banker to work with?
Contact us for a list of recommended bankers
from the various banks by clicking here.
What are the other miscellaneous fees in the
transaction?
The only other miscellaneous fee is the legal
fees which are in the range of $2,500 to
$3,000 depending on your choice of law firm.
By Marcus Sim of SG Property Reviews.

10% after the foundation works

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
175 units at Commonwealth Towers sold
on launch day
Commonwealth
Towers,
a
high-rise
condominium at Queenstown, sold more than
half of its 300 units on its launch day. Then,
its developer, Hong Leong Holdings added
another 100 units to the launch in view of the
175 units sold. The 99-year leasehold
condominium, which resides near shopping
malls like Anchorpoint, is selling from $1,635
per square foot for a 441 sqft one-bedroom
apartment to $1,690 for a 1,302 sqft fourbedroom apartment.
(Source: Business Times)

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Declining housing sales likely to push


down land prices
As housing sales slows, developers are more
wary and land prices are likely to cool in H2 of
2014 said Chong Kang Ho, BNP Paribas
analyst. DBS Research analyst, Lock Mun
Yee predicts housing sale transactions to fall
by 20 per cent and prices to dip by 5 per cent
this year. The Singapore Residential Price
Index that was released by NUS showed a
1.1 per cent month on month decline for
prices of completed condominiums. These
reasons are likely to push land prices down
as developers try to limit their risks.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154


Waterfront@Faber opens for preview
99-year leasehold development at Sungei Ulu
Pandan, WATERFRONT@FABER, which
consists of 199 units and 11 strata houses, is
on preview this May. Two-bedroom dual key
units, ranging from 753 square feet to 764
square feet are priced from $863,000; threebedroom dual key units, which are about
1,023 square feet, will cost about $1.125
million; and four-bedroom units, ranging from
1,173 square feet to 1,292 square feet are
priced from $1.32 million. The 2,799 to 3,035
square feet strata houses will cost at least
$2.48 million.
(Source: Business Times)
Potong Pasir site expected to draw bids as
high as $900 psf ppr
A 99-year leasehold tenure site near Potong
Pasir MRT station is expected to draw bids
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from $650 to $900 per square feet per plot


ratio. Closing on August 19, the tenure is
likely to attract four to eight bids. The
commercial and residential site, which is
under
the
Government
Land
Sales
programme, may be developed into a 13 to
16-storey development to give 685 residential
units. Other sites on reserved lists, such as
an
executive
condominium
site
at
Sembawang, have also been launched for
application.
(Source: Business Times)
Housing plot at Sims Drive fetches lower
bid price than nearby site in Geylang East
GuocoLand won the bid for a private housing
site at Sims Drive for $687.88 per square foot
of potential gross floor area, which was lower
than a nearby site at Geylang East that was
sold in January for $775.96 per square foot of
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154


potential gross floor area. There was higher
interest in the Geylang East site as it had a
superior location. Its maximum gross floor
area was also smaller and thus was more
attractive to developers. The Sims Drive site
will be developed into a 19-storey
condominium with 800 to 850 units and is
expected to be launched in 2015.
(Source: Business Times)

Commercial
Extension to 6-year grace period for
commercial & industrial tenants
The Housing & Development Board makes an
extension from three to six years for the
grace period for tenants, who have rented
HDB spaces for at least 15 years, affected by
the rule restricting the transfer of business
spaces. Under this new rule, introduced in
October 2013, tenants need to return their
spaces to HDB after exiting the business,
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permitting new tenants to bid for those


spaces without paying assignment fees to
the ones moving out. An estimated 7,100
long-time tenants, or 40 percent of HDB
commercial and industrial tenants, will benefit
from the extension.
(Source: Business Times)
Singapore attracts US$ 217 billion in real
estate investments from the ultra-rich
Singapore beats New York to be among the
top four locations for real estate investments
made by ultra-high net worth individuals
(UHNWI). Singapore, which attracted US$217
billion, trails behind Hong Kong (US$ 798
billion), London (US$ 676 billion) and Moscow
(US$ 263 billion). According to Savills, global
interior design house Candy & Candy and
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, 40
per cent of all global real estate investments
come from the top five cities.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154


Also, 72 per cent of the worlds real estate is
owner-occupied residential property; and
residential property remains the hot favorite
for 200,000 UNHWIs according to Savills.

(Source: Business Times)


Prime spot
increase

retail

rents

expected

to

While retail rents are expected to fall by three


to five per cent this year, they have risen by
0.8 per cent in Q1 for prime locations such as
Marina, City Hall and Bugis. Furthermore, a
report by Knight Frank expects rents for
prime locations to increase by three to five
per cent this year. Nonetheless, data from
URA showed a marginal 0.3 per cent quarter
on quarter decline in rental index for the
Central region. This was due to an increase in
supply.

More industrial sites for tender under the


IGLS scheme
Two industrial sites at Tuas and one other at
Woodlands are open for tender till July 1, as
part of the Industrial Government Land Sales
(IGLS) scheme. The sites at Tuas Avenue 11
and Tuas South Street 11 are for B2 industrial
uses. While the Woodlands site is for B1
industries uses such as clean and light
industries. Nicholas Mak, executive director of
SLP International predicts that the Tuas
Avenue 11 site, which has a 30-year lease,
will attract bids as high as $95 per square foot
per plot ratio. However, the site at Tuas South
Street 11, which is on lease for only 20 years,
is expected to be less attractive to the other
sites.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 154

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Apr 16 Apr 22
Postal
District
2
3
5
8
9
9
9
10
10
11
11
12
14
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
16

Project Name
ICON
TANGLIN VIEW
BOTANNIA
CITYLIGHTS
SCOTTS HIGHPARK
MACKENZIE 88
ORCHARD SCOTTS
NASSIM MANSION
THE SERENADE @ HOLLAND
THE LINCOLN RESIDENCES
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
NOVA 48
CENTRAL GROVE
STARVILLE
THE SEA VIEW
THE SEAFRONT ON MEYER
THE MAKENA
COSTA RHU
AQUENE
SANCTUARY GREEN
LE MERRITT
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
THE DAFFODIL
AQUARIUS BY THE PARK
FAIRMOUNT CONDOMINIUM

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Area
(sqft)
581
1,141
1,292
1,356
3,466
484
2,282
3,412
1,539
1,884
1,442
1,238
1,206
1,238
560
1,066
1,518
1,776
915
1,399
1,238
1,528
743
1,324
1,894

Transacted
Price ($)
1,110,000
1,560,000
1,600,000
1,730,000
6,380,000
792,000
3,700,000
9,500,000
2,038,000
3,390,000
2,500,000
1,490,000
1,250,000
1,200,000
1,005,000
1,580,000
2,100,000
2,300,000
1,128,000
1,560,000
1,280,000
1,400,000
850,000
1,010,000
1,430,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,910
99
1,367
99
1,239 956
1,276
99
1,841
FH
1,635
FH
1,621
99
2,784
FH
1,324
99
1,800
FH
1,733
FH
1,204
FH
1,037
99
969
FH
1,796
FH
1,483
FH
1,384
FH
1,295
99
1,233
FH
1,115
99
1,034
FH
916
99
1,144
FH
763
99
755
99

Postal
District
18
18
19
19
19
19
19
19
20
20
21
21
21
22
22
23
23
23
23
23
25
25
27

Project Name
MELVILLE PARK
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
FONTAINE PARRY
SUNGLADE
KENSINGTON PARK CONDOMINIUM
KOVAN MELODY
KOVAN RESIDENCES
KOVAN MELODY
FLAME TREE PARK
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
PANDAN VALLEY
HIGHGATE
THE RAINTREE
THE LAKESHORE
PARC VISTA
HILLVIEW 128
THE WARREN
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
CASHEW HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUM
PALM GARDENS
CASABLANCA
WOODGROVE CONDOMINIUM
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM

Area
(sqft)
1,044
2,045
915
1,152
1,658
1,292
1,442
1,227
1,862
1,948
2,239
1,905
1,378
926
1,066
1,044
1,238
936
1,658
1,216
1,119
1,184
1,141

Transacted
Price ($)
825,000
1,550,000
1,180,000
1,350,000
1,900,000
1,450,000
1,570,000
1,330,000
1,962,500
1,900,000
2,400,000
2,000,000
1,430,000
1,022,800
1,000,000
960,000
1,100,000
810,000
1,400,000
918,000
970,000
838,000
840,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
790
99
758
99
1,290 999
1,172
99
1,146 999
1,123
99
1,088
99
1,084
99
1,054
FH
975
99
1,072
FH
1,050
FH
1,038
99
1,105
99
938
99
919
999
889
99
865
99
845
999
755
99
866
99
708
99
736
99

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.
Page | 12

Issue 155
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

An Example of Bad Property Advice

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p14

Resale Property Transactions

FROM THE

EDITOR

Welcome to the 155th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(April 23 April 29)

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Want to get your brand, product, service or property listing out to


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155

An Example of Bad Property Advice


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
I can't help it. I read some bad advice recently
and have to say something. I'll try to keep it
positive, but my tongue is already bleeding
from biting it. In Singapore, inflation is on the
rise, but this one thing is still offered for free
advice. Its really funny to observe people
taking it so lightly. But only the advice that
makes you profit in reality (i.e. real profit not
imaginary) is good, otherwise its useless or
even disastrous.
Most people dont know the difference
between advice from rich people and advice
from sales people.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


Most get their financial advice from the latter
people who profit even if you lose. In this
post, I explore why one recently written article
by experts (sales people in disguise) will
prove disastrous for both average investors
and home buyers. Your task is to look for any
hidden agenda.
An example of bad property advice
The article, Why 2014 is going to be the best
year in buying property, appeared in Yahoo
Singapore News on 16th April, 2014.
The article aims to sell readers three benefits
of buying a suburban condo today:

1. Because You Can Afford a Better First


Home Than You Realize
BAD ADVICE: The monthly salary needed to
get the most out of your property purchase is
$10,000 to $12,000. I know, its not the
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easiest number to reach. But if you and your


spouse can climb your way to this number,
youll be in a prime position to afford a
fantastic first home.
BAD ADVICE: According to ERA key
spokesman Eugene Lim, depending on
whether your income is fixed and your
finances are well within the Total Debt
Servicing Ration (TDSR) framework, you
should be able to afford properties priced
between $600,000 and $1.2 million.
REALITY CHECK: Having a combined
income of $10,000 to $12,000 for married
couples does not justify a worthwhile reason
to own an expensive suburban condominium
as their first home. The purchase is more
conspicuous
spending
than
financial
prudence.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


Most married couples I know simply live from
pay-check to pay-check servicing expensive
home and car loans to keep up with societys
expectations. If one spouse loses his/her job,
their financial position gets tougher with kids
along the way.
Suburban condos that are priced lower than
$1 million today are very small units, either
the 1-bedders or 2-bedders, spaces that may
be too small for a married couple who wants
to start a family. Todays $1.2 million condos
do not get you much space either, only larger
mortgage payments. Even at a low 1.5%
interest rate for a 30-year loan tenure on a
20% down-payment, a couple would have to
fork out $3,300 every month. With interest

Back to Contents

rates at 3.5%, the mortgage payments jump


to $4,300 every month.
REALITY CHECK: Total Debt Servicing Ratio
(TDSR) guidelines are meant to serve the
business interests of a lending bank to a
borrower. They are not meant to serve as
financially prudent advice for buyers.
Most couples with a combined income of
$10,000 to $12,000 would do a lot better
financially buying less expensive re-sale HDB
flats instead. They could use that savings to
acquire financial freedom instead of paying
through their noses for a cage in the sky.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


2. Because Falling Prices Make the
Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD)
Less Scary

BAD ADVICE: If property prices drop by 7%


to 10% over the course of 2014, which
everyone expects will happen the pain of
ABSD actually gets nullified.
REALITY CHECK: I have received many
emails from readers telling me they have
gotten a great price on a property. One
particular lady approached me excitedly
about discounted developer prices for a
project called Sky Habitat in Bishan recently.
How good is the price? I asked

BAD ADVICE: What a 7% property drop


would save you on ABSD - As you can see,
falling property prices take the bite out of
ABSD when it comes to purchasing a second
or third property. Youll even be able to save
money, as the example above shows.

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During launch, developer is selling units at


$1,600 to $1,800 psf. And now they are
selling only at $1,300 psf. What do you think?
Is it a good buy?
How would I know? I replied. All you have
given me is the price.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


Yes! she squealed. Now my husband and I
can afford it.
Only cheap people buy on price.
Just
because something is cheap or cheaper
doesnt mean its worth the cost.
One of my most basic money principles: I buy
value. I will pay more for value. If I dont like
the price, I simply pass. If the seller wants to
sell, he will come back with a better price. I let
him tell me what he will accept. I know some
people love to haggle; personally, I dont. If a
person wants to sell, they will sell. If I feel
what I am buying is of value, Ill pay the price.
Value rather than price has made me rich.
Whether you pay ABSD or not constitutes a
small part of whats important in the scheme
of things. Looking at the overall picture of
what really constitutes a quality investment is
a better gauge than simply looking at savings
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and price alone.


REALITY CHECK: Banks do not lend money
to borrowers because theyve bought the
property at discounted prices or cheaper than
their neighbour.
Banks lend solely based on the ability of the
borrower to repay the loan. They dont care if
you bought the property with great savings by
buying at discounted prices, cheaper or less
expensive than your neighbour.
The banks only concern is, Is the borrower
able to service his/her loan on time?
3. Because Youll Be Able to Purchase
Additional Properties with Little or No
Financing
BAD ADVICE: But theres another way to
purchase property in this buyers market
buying property from new launches through
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


the progressive payment scheme.
BAD ADVICE: In most new launches, units
priced below $1 million are usually purchased
quickly. Thats because payment for new
developments is made progressively, allowing
buyers who arent severely affected by tighter
loan rules to buy smaller units with cash
instead of financing larger units.
REALITY CHECK: If a buyer decides to buy
a smaller unit because he/she is severely
affected by tighter loan rules, it simply shows
he/she may already be overstretching on
finances, never mind a smaller unit.

This is the equivalent of saying, If I cannot


afford a Ferrari, I will throw my money
modifying a cheap Toyota Vios to look and
sound like one.

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If I cannot afford a second property in


Singapore, Ill just throw my money into a
cheap overseas property Ive never seen
before.
Many experts have given advice that
suggests buying with no or little money down
is more important than buying a quality
investment property. In your overall
investment analysis, how you finance the
property isnt as important as buying one that
will be a sound, long-term investment, i.e.
quality properties that have positive cashflow. Even if its 100% financed, a bad
property is a bad property!
When you look at the noise out there, you will
come across numerous suggestions on what
you should do, and have to determine the
legitimacy of every idea presented to you.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


Its often not easy to differentiate between
good advice and a bad advice, so take care
before you act on it.

By guest contributor Gerald Tay, CEO of


CREI Academy Group, and a professional
real estate investor whose real estate
portfolio is now worth over $8 million and
generates a 6-figure sum in rental income
annually. He exposes widely-held property
investment myths that are highly ineffective in
creating wealth and prevent a comfortable
retirement for the ordinary investor.

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Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
14 out of 18 HUDC estates have been
privatized
Serangoon North HUDC Estate is the
fourteenth out of eighteen HUDC estates to
be privatized. Out of the remaining four
estates, three estates at Hougang North
Neighbourhood
3,
Hougang
North
Neighbourhood 7 and Potong Pasir are in the
process of privatization; while another at
Braddell View is in the midst of garnering
support. Such privatization requires support
from at least 75 per cent of the residents. En
bloc sales in mature sites such as Serangoon
North HUDC are still attractive to developers
due to the sheer difficulty in applying for such
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land parcels under government land sales


programmes.
(Source: Channel NewsAsia)
Aprils HDB resale prices continues to
soften
From March to April, HDB resale prices for
three, four and five-room flats have fallen 0.2
per cent, 0.8 per cent and 0.4 percent
respectively. While prices of executive flats
have surged by 1.2 per cent, overall prices
are 0.2 per cent lower this April, as compared
to in March. In April, prices plummeted
despite a 4.4 per cent month-on-month
increase in resale transactions, resulting in a
total of 1,484 transactions.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


HDB resale prices also saw a drop of 5 per
cent year-on-year in April, as total resale
transactions dipped by 14.4 per cent year-onyear, according to the Singapore Real Estate
Exchange. The overall median transaction
over X-value, which measures how much
people pay over recent prices, have been
pushed down even further from a negative
$3,000 in March to negative $4,000 in the
April. This is expected to keep resale prices
low and is likely to attract more buyers
according to Eugene Lim, key executive
officer of ERA Realty.

some are unsure of how the TDSR framework


would affect loan applications, others do not
understand how the new ruling would apply to
them. Through the TDSR framework, the
Monetary Authority of Singapore aims to
encourage
Singaporeans
to
borrow
judiciously. Introduced in June 2013, the
framework states that a maximum of 60 per
cent of ones gross monthly income can be
used to service loans.

(Source: Business Times)

Following price cuts by its competitors,


Wheelock Properties may be slashing prices
for The Panorama, a condominium at Ang Mo
Kio. At its re-launch, unit prices may be as
much as 10 per cent lower than at the initial
launch. Depending on unit size, The
Panorama will be sold from $1,100 to $1,310

Home buyers unsure about how TDSR


affects loan applications
According to a survey by UOB, one in three
home buyers are unfamiliar with the total debt
servicing ratio (TDSR) framework. While
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(Source: Business Times)


Prices for The Panorama slashed by 10%

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


per square foot. One-bedders at The
Panorama which are between 431 and 474
square feet will start from $565,000; twobedders between 678 to 700 square feet are
marketed from $820,000; and three bedroom
units will sell from $1,175,000 for 990 to
1,066 square feet. Previously, 58 of the 698
units at The Panorama were sold for a
median price of $1,343 psf in January.
However, the show flat was closed in midMarch due to poor turnout.
(Source: Business Times)
Minister says studio apartments make a
lot of sense for seniors
In his blog, Housing Matters, Minister for
National Development Khaw Boon Wan said
that senior citizens profit about $200,000 by
selling their old flats and moving into studio
apartments. This is possible if outstanding
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loans have been paid off and if the new studio


apartment is fully paid for. Thus, according to
Minister Khaw, it is practical for senior citizens
to move into studio apartments, especially if
their children have moved out, as the net sale
proceeds may support retirement needs.
Beyond that studio apartments, which are
elderly-friendly, are more conveniently located
within HDB towns. Minister Khaw suggested
that besides moving into a studio apartment,
senior citizens may also rent out available
rooms in their old flats so as to support their
retirement.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
CBRE releases early-bird discount for
Parkway Centre office units
Located at Parkway Centre, 22 strata office
units that are between 732 square feet and
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


1,356 square feet are on sale. Marketed by
CBRE at a three per cent early-bird discount,
from $1,649 to $1,746 per square feet, the
units have leases that will expire between
November this year and July 2017. The 22
office units which are located between the
third and thirteen floors are part of an office
complex that has a 66-year lease remaining.
They are part of the 51 units that were
acquired in 2012 by the Parkway Investment
Holdings. In 2012, units in the office complex
were priced from $1,600 to $1,810 per square
feet.
(Source: Business Times)
50% cut in lease for prepared industrial
land
Although net allocation of prepared industrial
land (PIL) is positive, their leasing and rental
to companies is 50 per cent less than in Q1
Back to Contents

2014 said JTC Corporation. Gross allocation


of PIL dipped from 118.1 hectares in Q4 2013
to 48 hectares in the following quarter.
According to JTC, this was due to lower gross
allocation in the generic land and Jurong
Island segments; not only so, take-up rates
were higher in the chemical and logistics
sectors in the following quarter. Nonetheless,
the gross allocation in the earlier quarters of
2013 was an average of 50 ha per quarter.
This is comparable to the gross allocation this
quarter.
(Source: Business Times)
New operator wanted for newly revamped
hotel along Robertson Quay
The Gallery Hotel at Robertson Quay is
looking for a new operator after it has
undergone a facelift. RB Capital, which
manages the 223 rooms at the Gallery Hotel,
Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


has appointed JLLs Hotel & Hospitality Group
to launch a Request For Proposal exercise
from hotel management companies to
operate the hotel. RB Capital has invested
$50 million to $70 million to give a new life to
the hotel, and to integrate the retail podium of
The Quayside with the hotel. The hotel which
was acquired for $232.5 million last year is a
10-storey freehold building that will lease out
about 63,000 square foot of retail space.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Apr 23 Apr 29
Postal
District
2
5
8
9
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
11
12
12
12
12
12
14
14
14

Project Name
THE BEACON
HERITAGE VIEW
CITYLIGHTS
MARTIN PLACE RESIDENCES
THE PATERSON
THE INSPIRA
THE INSPIRA
RIVERSIDE 48
ST REGIS RESIDENCES SINGAPORE
ONE JERVOIS
TANGLIN REGENCY
RIDGEWOOD
TREVOSE PARK
SHELFORD SUITES
TRELLIS TOWERS
DE ROYALE
PAPILLON
PAPILLON
THE ABERDEEN
LA BRISA
STARVILLE
ASTOR

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,163
969
1,356
1,421
1,216
1,561
1,259
797
1,959
990
1,109
1,744
1,701
893
1,141
1,281
936
1,238
1,399
409
1,238
872

Transacted
Price ($)
1,540,000
1,120,000
1,730,000
2,750,000
2,350,000
2,880,000
2,290,000
1,200,000
4,700,000
1,700,000
1,443,000
2,010,000
2,600,000
1,360,000
1,510,000
1,675,000
1,080,000
1,360,000
1,500,000
625,000
1,200,000
760,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,325 99
1,156 99
1,276 99
1,935 FH
1,932 FH
1,845 FH
1,818 FH
1,507 FH
2,399 999
1,717 FH
1,302 99
1,153 999
1,529 FH
1,522 FH
1,323 FH
1,308 FH
1,153 FH
1,099 FH
1,072 FH
1,528 FH
969
FH
872
99

Postal
District
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
17
18
18
18
18
18
19
19
19

Project Name
AMBER RESIDENCES
THE SEAFRONT ON MEYER
COTE D'AZUR
KATONG GARDENS
VERSILIA ON HAIG
POSHGROVE EAST
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
STILLZ RESIDENCE
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
VILLA MARINA
KNOX VIEW
CHANGI COURT
LAGUNA GREEN
CARISSA PARK CONDOMINIUM
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
STADIA
KENSINGTON PARK CONDOMINIUM
CHUAN PARK

Area
(sqft)
1,163
1,604
840
1,948
1,130
990
1,528
1,528
1,528
2,024
2,207
969
1,141
1,324
1,130
1,238
1,281
1,130
2,045
743
1,658
1,528

Transacted
Price ($)
1,977,100
2,580,000
1,150,000
2,608,000
1,460,000
1,240,000
1,600,000
1,578,000
1,400,000
1,670,000
1,800,000
1,010,000
1,180,000
1,200,000
985,000
1,080,000
1,090,000
950,000
1,550,000
880,000
1,900,000
1,330,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,701 FH
1,609 FH
1,370 99
1,339 FH
1,292 FH
1,252 FH
1,047 99
1,032 FH
916
99
825
99
816
FH
1,043 FH
1,034 99
906
FH
872
99
872
99
851
99
841
99
758
99
1,185 FH
1,146 999
870
99

Page | 14

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 155


Postal
District
20
21
21
21
22
22
23
23
23
23
23
27

Project Name
BISHAN 8
THE BLOSSOMVALE
CLEMENTI PARK
THE HILLSIDE
THE CENTRIS
THE LAKESHORE
YEWTEE RESIDENCES
THE WARREN
THE WARREN
PALM GARDENS
HILLTOP GROVE
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,528 1,575,000 1,030
99
840 1,200,000 1,429 999
1,722 1,850,000 1,074
FH
1,302 1,320,000 1,013
FH
1,001 1,190,000 1,189
99
1,184 1,350,000 1,140
99
850
938,000 1,103
99
1,238 1,100,000 889
99
1,055 930,000
882
99
1,345 1,125,000 836
99
1,485 1,000,800 674
99
958
728,000
760
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 15

Issue 156
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

New HDB Resale Rules A Disaster

Welcome to the 156th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

in the Making?

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p10

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(April 30 May 6)

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156

New HDB Resale Rules A Disaster in the Making?

By Paul Ho (Guest Contributor)


On March 10 2014, the Ministry of National
Development (MND) issued new rules on
HDB resale procedures. As usual, the
headline is almost the same: A stable
housing market, better homes for all. How
ironic!
Over the following two months, we have
observed how this new rule has affected the
market, and will share our views in this article.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156


Overview of the past practices and current
rules
Here is an overview of the property purchase
process under the old system and the current
rules:
Before March 10 2014

Property sellers obtain a valuation report

The property buyer and seller agree on a


price based on the valuation, i.e. cash over
valuation, at valuation or under valuation. For
example if a unit is valued at $350,000, if
buyers and sellers agree on $20,000 above
valuation, the transacted price will be
$370,000.
The buyer pays for an Option to Purchase
(OTP) and exercises the option
After March 10 2014

OTP form
The property buyer and seller agrees on
the price
Property buyer pays a deposit for the
Option to Purchase (OTP)
Once an OTP is obtained, buyers and
sellers can seek a valuation.
What is the impact of such a measure?
Cash-over-valuation was previously criticized
as it gave the impression that the valuations
of HDB flats were micro-managed.
For example, how could the valuation be
correct if the Cash Over Valuation (COV) is
consistently different from that of the official
valuation by a large margin and for an
extended period of time? Would it not make
sense for the valuation to eventually catch up

Property transactions must use the new

Back to Contents

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156


based on large COV premiums or discounts?
If the valuation did not catch up, would it not
give the impression that the valuations are
somehow managed? But if it was managed,
by who?
So the question is: Would it not make more
sense that the valuations should catch up
with actual transacted prices, thereby
eliminating the need for COV totally? Based
on this, we support the MND's stand of
removing Cash Over Valuation or Cash Under
Valuation as a mechanism for determining the
property price.
HDB to provide recent 2 years of HDB flat
transacted prices
In its place, HDB will announce the recent two
years of HDB flat transacted prices more
frequently. So property buyers can then make
a more informed decision.
Back to Contents

However, we understand that the market is


currently chaotic, which runs counter to the
aim of a stable housing market, better
homes for all. This is because many HDB
buyers are not even sure what the prices
should be. Worst still, they may approach a
sellers agent who will sometimes discourage
the property buyer from co-broking, citing that
prices may become higher if they engage a
buyers agent. So what then is an appropriate
price to offer?
Market practice of Singapore
property transactions

private

Whilst it may not be the proper valuation


practitioner's process, asking for a desktop
valuation for a property is the market practice.
This serves to ensure that the buyer can find
a bank that can back up the valuation of the

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156


property and agree to the home loan
financing.
If the seller offers to sell at $500,000, you
agree on it. Then you go to seek a valuation,
only to find out that the valuation is $450,000.
The buyer will have to find CASH for this
extra $50,000. This is effectively a Cash Over
Valuation. If the buyer is not prepared for this
surprise, the buyer will have to forfeit their
Option To Purchase deposit.
The new rules thus serves to create doubts
for buyers and artificially halt demand in the
form of regulatory impediments to the market.

Potential for more fraud and a proposal


Property sellers and buyers may then be
encouraged to enter into private agreements
to alter the Option To Purchase by redoing it

Back to Contents

or by making private arrangements and


adjustments in prices. This is even more
dangerous and fraught with potential
monetary losses and fraud, and does nothing
to create a stable and sustainable housing
market.
Perhaps one way is to keep the previous
process, but allow the valuations to be based
on a three month or six month moving
average, such that over time, the valuations
will rise to close the gap with asking prices.
By Paul Ho, holder of an MBA from a
reputable
university
and
editor
of
www.iCompareLoan.com, Singapores first
Cloud-based Home Loan reporting platform
used by Property agents, financial advisors
as well as Mortgage brokers.

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
6,948 residential units remain unsold in
March
As of March 2014, 6,948 residential units that
were launched are still unsold. This was 252
units more as compared to the previous
month. Market analysts believe that the sale
of private residential units will remain slow in
the next few months. A recently launched
residential property in Pasir Ris, Coco Palms,
saw more than 3,000 visitors since its
opening last weekend. A 1-bedroom unit is
priced at about $1,075 per square foot while a
2-bedder is priced at $960 per square foot.
Property analysts believe that while prices
Back to Contents

have been competitive, demand might still


trickle in slowly due to heavy competition from
other residential projects in the area.
(Source: Channel NewsAsia)
Non-landed private resale prices plunge
1.7% in April
Resale prices of non-landed private houses
are the lowest since December 2012 as it
plunged 1.7 per cent in April this year, thus
encouraging buyers to re-enter the market.
According to flash estimates by the Singapore
Real Estate Exchange, from March to April,
there was a 24.6 per cent increase in resale
transaction volumes.

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156


Eugene Lim, ERA Realty key executive officer
believes that the market is stabilising as
resale volume was the highest since October
2013. Prices in the Rest of Central Region
and Core Central region fell by 3.6 per cent
and 2.3 per cent respectively. However,
prices in the Outside Central Region
increased by 0.4 per cent. Declining investor
interest may have resulted in weakening
prices, said RST Research director, Ong Kah
Seng.
(Source: Business Times)
Aprils private home sales highest since
Nov 2013
Developers are offering more competitive
prices as loan restrictions and cooling
measures are taking effect. With the price
cuts, Aprils private home sales are the
highest since November last year and
Back to Contents

property observers predict that prices will


continue to fall. According to the Urban
Redevelopment Authority (URA), private
home sales upped from 480 units in March to
745 units in April. The 55 per cent increase in
sales transaction indicates a favourable
response to the re-pricing strategy that
developers
have
undertaken.
Despite
dwindling buying sentiments, it appears that
there is still demand, if the price is right.
According to property consultants, discounts
of 10 to 15 per cent below previous levels are
likely to encourage buyers to return to the
market.

(Source: Business Times)


Commercial
Kallang Wave to open in July
FairPrice Xtra, Uniqlo, H&M and Harvey
Norman are among the tenants that will be
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156


retailing at Kallang Wave, an up-and-coming
41,000 square meter mall in the Singapore
Sports Hub. The retail mall is expected to
open in July and more than 80 per cent of its
space has already been occupied said SMRT
Alpha, Kallang Waves manager. Dawn Low
from SMRT Alpha said that the tenants were
chosen to appeal to a broad spectrum of
Singaporeans. The sports-themed mall will
feature a 1,000 square meter climbing wall,
the largest and tallest indoor climbing wall in
Singapore.
(Source: Business Times)
92.8% stake in Prudential Tower sold for
$512 million
A consortium comprising of KOP Limited, Lian
Beng Group, KSH Holdings and Centurion
Global have bought over a 92.8% stake in

Back to Contents

Prudential Tower from Keppel Reit for $512


million. The 221,080 square foot net lettable
area is going for $2,316 per square foot,
which reflects a net yield of 3.5 per cent
based on current income generated by the
space. The tower which is a 30-storey Grade
A office building near Raffles Place MRT
station, has a remaining lease term of 81
years. Its sale is expected to be completed on
September 26.
(Source: Business Times)
DFS Changi Airport stores undergoing
facelift

DFS stores in Changi Airport will undergo an


$85 million facelift for its existing stores and a
new 20,000 square feet outlet is expected to
open in the new Terminal 4 in 2017.

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156


The current store at the airports Terminal 2 is
likely to increase by another 10,000 square
feet by 2016, which means the DFS retail
footprint for liquor and tobacco concessions
will grow to 85,350 square feet. The Terminal
1 stores will be completed by December this
year while the Terminal 3 store will be
updated by 2015.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Apr 30 May 6

Postal
District
1
2
3
3
5
5
5
8
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
10
11
11
11
15
15

Project Name
ONE SHENTON
LUMIERE
ASCENTIA SKY
THE ANCHORAGE
PARC IMPERIAL
CARABELLE
WESTCOVE CONDOMINIUM
TYRWHITT 139
SCOTTS SQUARE
THE TRILLIUM
ONE OXLEY RISE
THE PATERSON
THE WHARF RESIDENCE
ST THOMAS SUITES
CAIRNHILL PLAZA
PARVIS
TREVOSE PARK
THOMSON 800
EVELYN MANSIONS
VERTIS
THE SUNNIFLORA

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,141
678
1,475
1,507
452
1,130
1,227
366
1,227
1,798
732
1,206
1,066
2,013
2,293
990
1,679
1,625
1,227
2,099
818

Transacted
Price ($)
2,196,425
1,132,260
1,900,000
1,720,000
688,000
1,400,000
1,180,000
538,000
4,050,000
3,700,000
1,400,000
2,291,400
2,000,000
3,750,000
3,650,000
1,990,000
2,520,000
1,999,888
1,390,000
2,700,000
935,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,925
99
1,670
99
1,288
99
1,141
FH
1,522
FH
1,239 956
962
99
1,470
FH
3,300
FH
2,058
FH
1,913
FH
1,901
FH
1,877 999
1,863
FH
1,592
FH
2,010
FH
1,501
FH
1,230
FH
1,133
FH
1,286
FH
1,143
FH

Postal
District
15
15
15
16
16
16
17
17
18
18
18
19
19
19
20
20
21
21
21
21
22

Project Name
TAIPAN GRAND
VILLA MARINA
NEPTUNE COURT
BAYSHORE PARK
THE CLEARWATER
KEW GREEN
CASA PASIR RIS
COASTAL BREEZE RESIDENCES
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
MODENA
LIVIA
3@SANDILANDS
THE QUARTZ
COMPASS HEIGHTS
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
SUITES DE LAUREL
SPRINGDALE CONDOMINIUM
SIGNATURE PARK
SIGNATURE PARK
PARC OASIS

Area
(sqft)
1,345
1,249
1,270
936
1,001
3,046
1,130
2,207
1,023
1,410
1,539
764
1,076
1,281
883
1,152
517
1,389
1,367
1,389
1,507

Transacted
Price ($)
1,500,000
1,200,000
1,060,000
1,048,000
980,000
1,908,000
850,000
1,400,000
980,000
1,267,000
1,330,000
908,888
1,139,980
910,000
970,000
1,232,500
800,000
1,575,000
1,420,000
1,410,000
1,380,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,115
FH
961
99
835
99
1,119
99
979
99
626
99
752
946
634
99
958
99
899
99
864
99
1,189 999
1,059
99
710
99
1,099
99
1,070
99
1,548 999
1,134 999
1,039
FH
1,015
FH
916
99

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 156

Postal
District
23
23
23
23
23
25
26
27
28

Project Name
PARK NATURA
HILLBROOKS
REGENT HEIGHTS
REGENT GROVE
THE WARREN
CASABLANCA
BULLION PARK
EUPHONY GARDENS
SUNRISE GARDENS

Area
(sqft)
1,378
1,098
1,023
1,259
1,238
1,119
1,238
1,023
1,281

Transacted
Price ($)
1,555,000
1,150,000
900,000
1,000,000
950,000
1,000,000
1,250,000
740,000
950,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,129
FH
1,047
FH
880
99
794
99
767
99
893
99
1,010
FH
724
99
742
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 11

Issue 157
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

5 Tips for Dealing with Repairs in

Welcome to the 157th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Rental Properties

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(May 7 May 12 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157

5 Tips for Dealing with Repairs in Rental Properties


By Property Soul (guest contributor)
I parked my car outside the house. A neighbor
accidentally kissed it and damaged the
license plate. It was replaced after a week so
I drove it to an 8 a.m. meeting on Monday.
Unfortunately, I was stuck on the highway for
an hour. When I reached the carpark, the
agitated vehicle was already complaining with
strange noises. It waited till I was on the way
back that it finally broke down on the left lane.

Three nice guys volunteered to push the


grumpy fellow to a side road. But somehow it
ended up outside a Singapore Pools outlet.
Patrons took the hint from the license number
to buy lottery. I was totally amused by the
embarrassment!
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


Breakdowns are sometimes unavoidable in
the lifespan of cars. Similarly, breakdowns are
also commonplace in rental properties.
What do you expect to fix?
After a decade as a landlord, I have
experienced countless incidents of different
things not working in my tenanted units. From
the date of TOP to a few years down the
road, sooner or later things will start giving
you problems. It can be the air-conditioners,
water heaters, home appliances, fixtures and
fittings, or water leaks and seepage.
The developer may have installed something
substandard. Or a fixture is reaching almost
the end of its lifespan. Depending on your
luck, defects can range from wear and tear,
out of order, to damage beyond repair.
If you look around, you may notice that your
neighbor may be having the same fate. Talk
Back to Contents

to the neighbors or the management office.


Most probably another unit has recently done
similar repair work. They can share the
contacts of any reliable contractor or
repairman with you.
Why don't things last?
When you visit sales galleries of property new
launches, the showflats usually showcase
top-of-the-line
branded
fixtures
and
appliances. However, you will soon realize
that looking good and working fine are two
different things.
The air-conditioners, water heaters and builtin home appliances may be from prestigious
European or Japanese brands. But the
developers are buying them in bulk from the
manufacturers. Developers are looking for
models that offer the biggest discount, not the
latest models selling at a premium.
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


Anyway, with concealed air-conditioning, no
one will check the model number of the airconditioners. And it is rare that anyone will
open the false ceiling of the bathrooms to
check the models of water heaters.
There is also considerable time lap between
orders placed by developers, to building
construction to project completion. By the
time your tenant moves in, chances are those
models installed at your unit have long been
discontinued.
How to make your life easier as a
landlord?

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to give


your tenant a one months warranty for
everything in your unit, except for damages
done by the tenant. You are also responsible
to keep all the home appliances you put in the
unit in good and working condition.
Back to Contents

Nonetheless, there are a few tips that can


make your life as a landlord much easier:
1. File the operation manuals of all the
appliances and leave the file with your tenant
for easy reference. Ask your tenant to check
the operation manual for any machine
malfunction before contacting you or your
property agent.
2. Specify in the tenancy agreement that the
tenant is responsible for any repairs not
exceeding $100 or $150. This can save you
the hassles of going there to do all the minor
repairs, such as repairing a blown fuse or
changing a light bulb.
3. For the convenience of arranging repair
work, the tenancy agreement should state
that your tenant has to allow you or your
agents to enter the unit to inspect and do any
repair at a time agreeable by both parties.
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


4. Request your tenant to sign up for a
maintenance contract that services the airconditioners every quarter at the expense of
the tenant. Before the handover of the unit
back to you, your tenant has to service the
air-conditioners again and provide a copy of
the receipt that shows the last service date.

By guest contributor Property Soul, a


successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the newly released No B.S. Guide to
Property Investment.

5. Avoid having any built-in home appliances


such as a fridge, oven, washing machine,
dryer, etc. at the unit. They only look neat and
nice at the showflat. Once anything breaks
down, it is difficult to repair. When it is beyond
repair, you can hardly find the same model or
model with exact measurements that can fit
perfectly. And even if space allows, having a
duplicate appliance next to the faulty one
looks odd.

Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
9,707 BTO flats to be released by HDB this
year
A total of 9,707 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will
be released by the Housing Development
Board (HDB) this year. Out of the 6,454 flats
that are put on sale this month, 3,383 are
balance flats that are offered under the Sale
of Balance Flat exercise, while the remaining
flats are offered under the BTO scheme.
Subsequently, another 3,071 BTO flats will be
released in non-mature estates such as Bukit
Batok and Woodlands. According to Nicholas
Mak from SLP International, two-room flats
are most popular among singles at the last

Back to Contents

BTO launch. Flats in Woodlands are expected


to a hot favourite among buyers as the
Woodlands Regional Centre is slated to be
constructed as part of the draft Master Plan
2013. Eugene Lim from ERA Realty predicts
that HDB prices will smoothen as demand for
resale flats stabilises.
(Source: Business Times)
Sale of Coco Palms driven by price cuts
Price cuts at the launch of Coco Palms
helped to drive sales. According to the
developer, 490 out of the 600 units available
at its weekend launch have been sold for an
average of $980 per square foot.

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


This was marked down from its initial pricing
of $1,100 to $1,200 per square foot. Located
at Pasir Ris Grove neighbourhood, the joint
venture between City Development and Hong
Realty (Pte) Ltd consisted of a total of 944
units which are between 463 square feet for a
one-bedroom unit to 3,111 square feet for a
penthouse.
(Source: Business Times)
Hougang HUDC: 15th to be privatised
Joining 14 other Housing and Urban
Development Co (HUDC) estates, 336 flats at
Hougang Avenue 2 have been privatised after
obtaining support from at least 75 per cent of
the owners. The Aljunied- Hougang- Punggol
East Town Council will cease managing the
estates common properties as it will be
converted into a strata-titled property. While
the estate is the 15th estate to be privatised
Back to Contents

out of the 18 HUDC estates, Ong Kah Seng,


RST Research Director, predicts that in the
short run, developers may not be willing to
offer a high price for the Hougang estate, due
to the tight property market.
(Source: Business Times)
Buyer and investor interests in dual-key
units remain undiluted

According to global consultancy Knight Frank,


demand in dual-key units will persist as buyer
and investor interests remain undiluted. Alice
Tan, director and head of consultancy and
research at Knight Frank claimed that dualkey units are popular among developers as
they are easier to market as compared to
similar sized non-dual key units. Introduced in
1986 to promote multi-generational living, the
dual-key unit comprises of 2 sub units with
two separate keys and entrances.
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


In January and February this year, four
projects were launched with dual-key units.
This reflected developers continued interest
in the dual-key model. Also, according to Ms
Tan, dual-key units are popular among young
families who want to stay near their parents.
Nonetheless according to Ms Tan, demand
for dual-key units has dipped from 100 per
cent in 2011, to 84 per cent in 2012, and
eventually to 58 per cent in 2013 following the
implementation of the total debt servicing
ratio framework.
(Source: Business Times)
Changes in ruling affected EC tender bids
New rules for executive condominium (EC)
buyers have affected bidding for EC land. A
pair of 99-year sites at Yishun Street 51 has
been tendered to different developersa first
since the introduction of the system of
Back to Contents

simultaneous tender closings for adjacent


residential sites in 2013. Parcel A at Yishun
Street 51 has been sold to a City
Developments Ltd-TID joint venture for
$330.13 per square foot per plot ratio, while
the neighbouring Parcel B is sold for $334.57
per square foot per plot ratio to JBE Holdings
which is run by Patrick Lam from Hong Kong.
Six bids were placed for Parcel A while Parcel
B had two more bidders. According to Eugene
Lim from ERA, Parcel B had more bidders as
it was located nearer to Lower Seletar
Reservoir.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
MTI: Rental hikes due to inflation
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)
revealed in the latest Economic Survey of
Singapore that the recent increase in rent
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


prices observed is in line with inflation over
retailers lease period. Not only so, for 25 per
cent of retailers who renewed their leases last
year, there was no increase in rents; in fact,
some even renewed their leases at a lower
rent. MTI refuted speculations that retail rents
have been pushed up by real estate
investment trusts. However, property market
watchers and small and medium sized
enterprises that The Business Times spoke to
were unconvinced. The median cumulative
increase in rental in 2013 was 5.5 per cent
and 75 per cent of the leases were renewed
at rental increases of 14 per cent or less. On
average, rents doubled or more than doubled
in one per cent of the 2,100 leases renewed
each year, according to MTI.

Irving Industrial Building on sale for


$220m
Irving Industrial Building, a 30-years-old, sixstorey property near Tai Seng MRT is on sale
for $220 million. Tender for the collective sale
will close on July 15. The freehold building
which comprises of 65,309 square foot, is
selling for $1,164 per square foot of potential
gross floor area (GFA) including an estimated
$46 million development charge. It is
expected to be redeveloped into 228,581
square feet maximum GFA, with a 3.5
maximum gross plot ratio that is zoned for
Business 1- White use. Of this, 163,272
square feet GFA have been reserved for
Business 1 use while the remaining 65,309
square feet is zoned for white uses.

(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157


Christina Sim from Cushman & Wakefield
claimed that the substantial white component
of the project justifies the steep asking price.
(Source: Business Times)
Two new hotels to be run by Accor
Two hotels located along Stevens Road,
which were developed by Oxley Holdings, will
be run by Accor, thus bringing the hotel
operators portfolio to nine hotels in
Singapore. The hotels which are under the
Novotel and Ibis brand names are expected
to open by the end of 2016. The land which
was acquired last March by Oxley is about
198,000 square feet and has a gross
permissible floor area of about 318,000
square feet and a 103-year leasehold tenure.
The new hotel, Novotel Singapore will have
254 rooms while the Ibis Singapore hotel will
have 528 rooms.

Next generation industrial facility will be


launched by JTC
JTC will be launching next generation
industrial buildings that are designed to
integrate land-based facilities with high-rise,
multi-user factories at Tampines North. Such
buildings, which are targeted to appeal to
small and medium sized enterprises that are
involved in heavier manufacturing, will feature
higher ceilings and wide corridors. The JTC
Space @ Tampines North will be a ninestorey complex that comprises of five landbased units between 1,200 and 1,900 square
meter; and 105 high rise units from 160 to
260 square meter. The industrial space is
expected to be completed by 2016 and will
begin construction by the end of this year.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 157

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of May 7 May 12

Postal
District
3
4
4
5
5
5
8
8
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
13
14
14
14
15
16
16
18
18

Project Name
THE ANCHORAGE
THE PEARL @ MOUNT FABER
THE PEARL @ MOUNT FABER
VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM
THE MAYLEA
DOVER PARKVIEW
URBAN LOFTS
KENTISH GREEN
THE PATERSON
CAIRNHILL RESIDENCES
2 RVG
THE PIER AT ROBERTSON
MIRAGE TOWER
WILKIE 80
HIGH POINT
THE ACACIAS
LA BRISA
SIMSVILLE
THE ALCOVE
PEBBLE BAY
CASA MERAH
CHANGI GREEN
NV RESIDENCES
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,163
1,604
1,389
1,033
1,249
1,249
420
1,324
1,313
904
893
743
1,227
635
2,928
1,378
431
980
1,378
1,894
1,238
1,216
797
1,281

Transacted
Price ($)
1,630,000
1,850,000
1,540,000
1,280,000
1,500,000
1,500,000
620,000
1,309,770
2,650,000
1,820,000
1,638,000
1,320,000
2,000,000
1,030,000
4,350,000
1,430,000
628,000
928,000
1,100,000
2,280,000
1,430,000
1,120,000
913,000
1,200,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,402
FH
1,153
99
1,109
99
1,239
99
1,201
FH
1,201
99
1,477
FH
989
99
2,018
FH
2,013
FH
1,833
FH
1,777
FH
1,630
FH
1,622
FH
1,486
FH
1,038
FH
1,459
FH
947
99
798
99
1,204
99
1,155
99
921
FH
1,146
99
937
99

Postal
District
18
18
19
19
19
21
21
21
22
22
22
22
23
23
26
28
28
28

Project Name
MELVILLE PARK
THE TROPICA
KOVAN MELODY
THE QUARTZ
RIO VISTA
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
PARC PALAIS
SOUTHAVEN II
THE CENTRIS
THE LAKESHORE
PARC VISTA
LAKEPOINT CONDOMINIUM
HAZEL PARK CONDOMINIUM
HILLVIEW PARK
SEASONS PARK
SERENITY PARK
GRANDE VISTA
SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM

Area
(sqft)
936
1,238
1,292
1,130
1,249
969
1,528
1,539
1,313
1,109
1,076
1,033
1,550
1,238
1,292
1,324
1,367
1,636

Transacted
Price ($)
840,000
1,008,000
1,480,000
1,180,000
1,020,000
1,030,000
1,530,000
1,500,000
1,400,000
1,175,888
1,008,888
870,000
1,538,000
1,104,300
1,200,000
1,348,000
1,190,000
1,020,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
897
99
814
99
1,146
99
1,044
99
817
99
1,063
FH
1,001
FH
974
999
1,066
99
1,061
99
937
99
842
99
992
999
892
FH
929
99
1,018
FH
871
999
623
99

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.

Page | 11

Issue 158
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

[Reader Story] From HDB Flat to Landed


Property on an Average Salary

Welcome to the 158th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(May 13 May 20 )

Contribute

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158

[Reader Story] From HDB Flat to Landed Property on an Average Salary

By Mr. Propwise
This post is part of a series where I share
reader stories about their experiences (both
good and bad) buying, selling and investing in
property. I hope to share the lessons that can
be drawn from their stories, and will
intersperse my comments throughout on
points I think are noteworthy. If you have a
story to share (whether yours or of someone
you know), please email it to me at
info@propwise.sg.
This weeks story is from KH, who shares
how he managed to end up living in a landed
property despite knowing little about investing
and earning just an average salary.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


Enter KH:
I bought my first property, an HDB flat in
Taman Jurong in 1994. In 2003, I was looking
for a cheap landed property even though I
could only afford a condo. When I saw a bank
sale, I went to take a look.
Mr. Propwise (PW): When times are bad,
bank sales can often be a good source of
deals. These deals are a result of the
previous owner being unable to pay the
monthly mortgage to the bank, often due to
unexpected unemployment or if the mortgage
payments balloon as interest rates rise. In the
period of very low interest rates that were
currently in, many people assume that this is
the natural state of things, only to be caught
off-guard when rates normalize. If mortgage
rates rise to a more normal level of 4%,
many peoples mortgages can go up by

Back to Contents

around 50%. If this coincides with an


unexpected loss of employment during a
downturn, you can be sure the number of
bank sales will go up. Banks are primarily
concerned with getting back their principle, so
they are often willing to sell the property at a
price that is 20 to 40 percent below what the
owner paid for it.
The house being sold was so run-down: there
was no door, and the glass sliding doors and
all the windows were smashed to pieces.
PW: Properties in poor condition often offer
the best deals as most people cannot be
bothered to invest the time and money
needed to repair it.
But what caught me was the house number.
Combined with the Lorong number, the house
number was exactly my car plate number! I
was sure this house was for me.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


PW: What can I say? Sometimes fate does
play a part
The bank sale was an urgent one as they
were not able to sell it for some time due to
the bad condition of the house. So when I
asked for the discount I was surprised they
offered the huge amount. I haggled over the
price and the bank gave me a $100,000
discount! The entire process took me less
than a week.
PW: Always negotiate you never know how
much lower the price can go. Especially in the
case of a bank sale, where the person
making the decision to sell is a bank
employee and not the owner, they dont really
care what the price is as long as they can
recoup the outstanding loan amount.
I bought the house but decided to continue
living in my flat. I rented the house out for 9
Back to Contents

years.
PW: Here we can see how KH delayed
gratification by renting out the house instead
of upgrading his lifestyle and living in it. By
choosing to live in his flat he managed to
collect 9 years of rental (likely in the hundreds
of thousands of dollars), building up his
savings to make his next purchase. This is
how wealth snowballs.
I sold it for a profit of $850,000 at end 2011
and used the proceeds to buy an inter-terrace
in early 2012.
PW: After making huge capital gains on his
first landed property KH finally sells it to
realize those gains and then rolls it into his
second landed property.
My HDB flat is rented out for $2800 which I
use to help pay my house installment.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


The flat is valued at $700 thousand and my
landed house is valued at $2.8 million (based
on the sale of older houses around my area).
PW: 20 years from the purchase of his first
HDB flat, KH now lives in a landed property of
his dreams and is sitting on very large
property gains, as well as receiving a steady
stream of rental income from his HDB flat.
Because he has two properties, he can
choose to cash in one if he needs the money
for medical emergencies, investment etc. Id
say that he is very well prepared for a
comfortable and stress-free retirement.
Congratulations KH!
Thats our reader story for this week. Please
do share any interesting stories you have
about buying, selling and investing in property
(both good and bad experiences are
welcome) so we can all learn from them just
email them to me at info@propwise.sg.
Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
EC in Sembawang Ave launched for tender
Under the Confirmed List of the Government
Land Sales programme in the first half 2014,
a 99-year leasehold executive condominium
(EC) at Sembawang Avenue is up for tender
till July 10. The 22,189.7 square metres land,
which has a maximum gross floor area of
62,131.2 square metres, is most likely to
consist of 620 residential units. Last week,
two other EC sites in Yishun were closed for
tender. Following the winning bids of those
sites, Eugene Lim from ERA Realty predicts
that the site will be moderately popular. He
predicts that there would be around 5 bidders,

Back to Contents

and the winning bid would be between $320


and $380 per square foot per plot ratio. Lim
said that bid prices are not expected to be
high due to the tight property market.
(Source: Business Times)
40,000 new HDB flats in the pipeline
As part of the Draft Master Plan 2013, the
Housing & Development Board (HDB) will be
launching 40,000 new units in three new
towns, namely in Tampines North, Punggol
Matilda and Bidadari. The former two towns
will be launched in the second half of 2014;
while the latter is expected to be launched in
the second half of 2015. Four new housing
districts will be launched in Tampines North.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


The first parcel, Park West District, will
include 1,500 units. Designed for multigeneration families, 50 of the units in this
district are 3Gen flats. In Punggol Matilda,
two Build-To-Order housing projects, Matilda
Edge and The Verandah@Matilda, were
launched in September 2013 and are
expected to be completed in 2017. Another
BTO project comprising of 1,000 units, will be
launched in July this year. The 1,000 units will
range from two-room to five-room flats.
Subsequently, a total of 8,000 units are
expected to be built in Punggol Matilda, a
waterfront home area. Lastly, Bidadari Estate
will consist of a 10-hectare park, public
housing and a commercial development.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Private housing land supply expected to


fall
Property consultants expect the government
to cut land supply for private homes even
further in the second half of 2014 as home
sales have plunged and as there are still
private housing developments to be released.
However,
to
aid
commercial
hub
development, commercial sites at Paya Lebar
and Woodlands are expected to be released
under the Confirmed List and/or Reserve List
of the upcoming Government Land Sales
(GLS) programme. On the other hand, no
hotel sites were offered on the list in H1.
Property watchers believe that there is
sufficient supply, contrary to Chesterton
Singapores concerns over a shortage of
hotel rooms in the future.

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


Furthermore, it is believe that a majority of
the sites that will be launched for tender will
be put on the Reserve List of the GLS
programme in H2 2014. In H1 this year,
through the Reserve List, the Ministry of
National Development will launch 7,000
residential units, including 605 executive
condominium units.

same time as a 2.4% increase in HDB flats to


961,800 units last year. This is likely to be
due to an increase in build-to-order flats,
tighter mortgage rules and a three-year
waiting period for new PRs to buy resale flats,
said Nicholas Mak, the executive director
from SLP International.

(Source: Business Times)

Aprils private home prices fall 1%

HDB flat values fell in 2014


The value of HDB flats held by households
have fallen 0.7% year-on-year to $412.8
billion in 2013, according to the Department
of Statistics (DOS). According to the data
from DOS, the value of HDB flats may be
tapering off as it rose 14.5% year-on-year in
2010, then 11.5% year-on-year in 2011 and
6.5% year-on-year in 2012 before its recent
fall in 2013. The fall in HDB value came at the
Back to Contents

(Source: Business Times)

According to Singapore Residential Price


Index (SPRI) estimates that were released on
May 28, resale prices of private homes have
fallen by another 1% in April as compared to
March. Also, in March, prices dipped 1.4%
from February. The data which was collected
by the National University of Singapores
Institute of Real Estate Studies excludes
prices of small units measuring less than 506
square feet.
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


Prices of those units fell 0.4% in April from
March. According to the SPRI, home prices in
the suburban region suffered a 2% decline in
April as compared to Marchthe sharpest fall
among all regions. Nonetheless, prices in the
central region remained stable.
(Source: Channel NewsAsia)
First-timer BTO application rates dipped in
May
Demand for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats
among first-timers has slowed as application
rates fell from 1.4 in April to 0.9 in the May.
Property consultants believe that this was due
to the clearing of backlog units. Also, as
buyers opt for units from the Sale of Balance
Flats, there was a fall in demand for BTO
flats. Overall application rates of BTO flats
from singles fell from 19.4 in May to 14.9 in
April. However, Eugene Lim from ERA
believes that demand from singles is
Back to Contents

expected to be high for subsequent BTO


exercises.
(Source: Channel NewsAsia)
Commercial
New State Courts
completed in 2019

complex

will

be

In a ground-breaking ceremony that was


graced by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon,
plans for the new States Courts were
revealed. The new complex will comprise of
110,000 square metres of space with twin
towers that are 150 metres high and linked by
sky bridges. The new building will hold more
than 60 courtrooms and over 50 hearings
chambers. This is in comparison to the 40
courtrooms and 28 hearings chambers that it
currently holds. The complex will be fully
completed in 2019.

(Source: Business Times)


Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158


One Raffles Place reopens after facelift
Following a major renovation, One Raffles
Place, which is located above Raffles Place
MRT station, has reopened for business. The
six-storey complex, which has a net lettable
area of 98,500 square feet, has a committed
occupancy of more than 90%. It major
tenants include clothing retailers, H&M,
Uniqlo and Victorias Secret. Besides the
retail mall, the complex which is managed by
OUB Centre Limited has two Grade-A office
towers. Tower One is 62 storeys high while
the other tower is 38 storeys high.

price reflected a 4.5% gross yield based on


current rental generated by the building which
is named Tides. The building is fully leased
with food and beverages outlets on its first
level, shops on its second level and offices on
the remaining levels. The net lettable area of
Tides, which is located at District 15, is
22,927 square feet.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


East Coast building sold for $43m to
Automobile Association
A freehold five-storey commercial building at
East Coast Road was sold for $43 million to
Automobile Association of Singapore. This
Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 158

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of May 13 May 20
Postal
District
3
5
5
5
5
8
9
10
10
10
11
11
11
13
14
14
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
18

Project Name
TWIN REGENCY
DOVER PARKVIEW
THE SPECTRUM
THE PARC CONDOMINIUM
THE ESTIVA
CITYLIGHTS
THE CLAYMORE
BELMOND GREEN
SPANISH VILLAGE
VIZ AT HOLLAND
THOMSON EURO-ASIA
TREVOSE PARK
THE TREVOSE
LEICESTER LODGE
THE SUNNY SPRING
WING FONG MANSIONS
ONE AMBER
THE WATERSIDE
VERSILIA ON HAIG
COSTA RHU
VILLA MARTIA
BAYSHORE PARK
AQUARIUS BY THE PARK
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,442
1,249
1,389
1,302
1,808
689
3,348
1,055
1,539
2,648
1,292
1,345
1,733
1,335
1,195
1,227
1,302
2,400
1,206
1,012
1,259
1,292
1,410
1,023

Transacted
Price ($)
2,350,000
1,460,000
1,500,000
1,353,000
1,750,000
1,050,000
9,000,000
1,850,000
2,250,000
3,300,000
2,100,000
1,800,000
2,250,000
1,430,000
1,180,000
933,000
1,865,000
3,315,000
1,518,000
1,263,000
1,481,000
1,320,000
1,005,000
970,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,629
FH
1,169
99
1,080
FH
1,039
FH
968
FH
1,524
99
2,688
FH
1,754
FH
1,462
FH
1,246
FH
1,626
FH
1,338
FH
1,298
99
1,071
FH
988
FH
760
FH
1,432
FH
1,381
FH
1,259
FH
1,248
99
1,176
FH
1,022
99
713
99
949
99

Postal
District
18
18
18
19
19
19
19
19
21
21
21
21
22
22
23
25
26
27

Project Name
MELVILLE PARK
MELVILLE PARK
TAMPINES COURT
CHILTERN PARK
THE QUARTZ
SANCTUARY @ 813
CHILTERN PARK
REGENTVILLE
THE CASCADIA
THE BLOSSOMVALE
GARDENVISTA
PARC PALAIS
PARC OASIS
PARC OASIS
HILLTOP GROVE
CASABLANCA
MEADOWS @ PEIRCE
EUPHONY GARDENS

Area
(sqft)
1,345
1,378
1,679
936
1,141
893
1,098
1,152
1,184
1,399
872
1,550
1,227
1,378
1,324
1,130
2,669
1,195

Transacted
Price ($)
995,000
1,000,000
900,000
1,070,000
1,242,000
950,000
1,000,000
912,000
2,012,800
1,912,800
1,080,000
1,520,000
1,090,000
1,200,000
1,160,000
940,800
2,320,000
820,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
740
99
726
99
536
101
1,143
99
1,089
99
1,063
FH
911
99
792
99
1,700
FH
1,367 999
1,239
99
981
FH
888
99
871
99
876
99
832
99
869
FH
686
99

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.

Page | 11

Issue 159
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

The Great Singapore Property Sale: Buy

Welcome to the 159th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Now or Wait Till Later?

Hope you like it!

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(May 21 May 27 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159

The Great Singapore Property Sale: Buy Now or Wait Till Later?
By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)
The annual GSS (Great Singapore Sale) may
have started only on May 25. But for property
new launches, the GSS started much earlier.
The sale is now on
With the steam of an overheated property
market dying down, the buzz has now shifted to
developers playing discount games to push new
projects or clear old stock. With so many 'great
deals', buyers are spoiled for choices.
1. MCL Land cut prices for Hallmark Residences
in Bukit Timah and sold 39 units in February and
March.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


2. CapitaLand's Sky Habitat in Bishan
managed to move over 100 units after
relaunched at 10 to 15 percent off its original
prices set two years ago.
3. Wheelock Properties put up 95 units of The
Panorama in Ang Mo Kio for balloting. With a
discount of 12 percent, they claimed to sell 80
to 85 units.
4. China developer Ximeng Land relaunched
the balance of 12 luxury villas on Pearl Island
in Sentosa Cove, offering an 8 percent
discount from a year ago.
It proves that 'early birds' enjoy no advantage.
We don't see developers giving rebates back
to early buyers who have paid at premium
prices.
Let's face it: It's a buyers' market now!
I am particularly amazed by the 180 degree
Back to Contents

change of attitude at The Panorama. I visited


the sales gallery three months ago. A
developers representative was patrolling
there to ensure no photo-taking, no sales
brochure before booking a unit ...
Back in early January, a newspaper article
mentioned that "hundreds of people visited
the showflat" and "60 units out of the 120
units released were booked on the first day".
But the caveats show that only 56 units were
transacted by end of April. So what happened
to the units for the next 140 days after selling
like hot cakes on the first day?
Anyway, the project won't be completed until
2019. Who knows what the property market
will be like five years from now?
Developers are now trying to transfer the risk
of an unknown market to the buyers.
Nonetheless, many buyers,
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


especially first-time buyers and HDB
upgraders, are excited by the new round of
discounts and can't wait to rush into the
market.
More irresistible bargains on the way?
An HSR report revealed that 50 residential
projects sold less than half of total units,
including Hillion Residences in Bukit Panjang,
Hillview Peak in Bukit Batok, Vue 8
Residence in Pasir Ris, The Glades in Tanah
Merah, Treasure in Balmoral, Victory Ville,
Devonshire 8, One Balmoral and 8 Raja.

pay 8 to 24 percent of the land price to the


government if they fail to sell their units two
years after TOP. Projects that have already
missed the deadline include Emerald Hill and
The Marq.
All these facts are only the tip of an iceberg:
1. Many luxury homes in prime districts like
Ardmore Park and Grange Road have been
completed but not yet launched.

Eight of these new projects sold less than 10


percent while two did not manage to sell any
unit since their launch last year.

2. According to URA, as of 1st quarter 2014,


there are a total of 6,733 private residential
units launched but unsold. On top of that, an
additional 80,261 private residential units are
in the supply pipeline from the rest of this
year to beyond 2018.

A Straits Times article on June 7 highlights


the fact that 24 projects may be liable to
$55.1
million
in
extension
charges.
Developers with foreign shareholders have to

3. While developers are clearing their existing


stock, every month there are new projects
obtaining their TOP and new sites released
by the government to build more private

Back to Contents

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


housing.
4. New project is not the only choice for
buyers. There is strong competition from
countless resale units whose owners are
more flexible to slash prices if they are
desperate to sell.
5. Local developers are competing with their
counterparts
from
Malaysia,
Thailand,
Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Japan, UK,
US, etc. targeting the same buyers to move
their current and future projects.
How can developers find so many buyers for
their new units if they are only giving 15
percent discount? This is just the beginning of
the big sale!
Where are the foreign shoppers?
In the midst of this 'uniquely Singapore'
Property GSS, our most wanted foreign
shoppers are nowhere to be seen.
Back to Contents

Can participating developers seriously look


into promotions targeting tourists from topspending destinations? How about partnering
with Singapore Tourism Board for organized
shopping tours with free sightseeing, flight
and accommodation bundled with booking a
luxury home, with the 15 percent foreigner
Additional Buyer Stamp Duty absorbed by the
developers?

After all, individual developers have already


stepped up their marketing efforts in overseas
countries. For instance, S P Setia is now
marketing Eco Sanctuary at Chestnut Avenue
to buyers in Hong Kong who are suffering
from Double Stamp Duty introduced by the
local government.
Lesson learned: Sales of any product not
meeting expectation at home can often find a
new market in other countries.

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


The sale that worth waiting for
This year GSS is in its 20th year. Experienced
shoppers like you and me have long become
savvy buyers.
When the sale just starts, I am not in a hurry
to buy. It is different from a private sale open
for privileged customers for one day only.
Every sale starts with 10 percent discount for
end of season sale; changes to 20 percent
discount storewide; follows by further
reduction of 50 percent; and ends with final
reduction of 70 percent or more. Sometimes
there is even a warehouse sale or moving out
sale with massive mark-down of prices for
stock clearance.

Back to Contents

By then, I may not be able to find my size, or


the color or style that I want. But it doesn't
matter. I have a limited budget and I will be
very happy spotting a few 'gems' from the
leftovers!
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the newly released No B.S. Guide to
Property Investment.

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
HDB resale prices lowest in two years
In May, HDB resale prices have fallen for four
consecutive months, hitting a new low in two
years since April 2012. According to an HDB
flash report by SRX, resale prices of HDB
flats fell by 1.2 per cent in May as compared
to the previous month. HDB executive flats
saw the sharpest decline in its resale prices,
with a 2.8 per cent fall. Ong Kah Seng from
RST Research believes that demand for
executive flats have fallen due to lower
mortgage limits, as the mortgage servicing
ratio is currently capped at 30 per cent of
gross monthly salary. Besides the low resale
Back to Contents

prices, transaction volumes have also been


low. While there was a 4.4 per cent month-onmonth increase in transaction volumes in
April, transaction volumes also fell by 11.1 per
cent from April to May. Christine Li,
OrangeTee research head believes that
potential resale flat buyers could have turned
to Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) as they are
cheaper and ready for occupation.
(Source: Business Times)

Fewer HDB flats sold immediately after


Minimum Occupation Period
HDB said that fewer HDB flat owners are
selling their flats immediately after meeting
the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


Last year, only 470 HDB flats were sold within
a year of their MOP. This was less than half of
the 1,006 units sold in 2012. In 2010 and
2011, 1,338 and 1,231 flats were sold upon
meeting their MOP respectively. Under the
MOP scheme, flat owners cannot buy or
invest in a private residential property during
their MOP. Not only so, the flat has to be
occupied for five years before they can sublet
the unit, or sell it. According to Eugene Lim
from ERA Realty Network, the slowdown in
flat sales shows that the market is moderating
and that flat owners may be waiting for the
next upturn to sell their flats.

(Source: Channel NewsAsia)


Analyst says developers may adjust price
to move sales in the near term
According
to
OrangeTee
Research,
developers may be adjusting prices of some
Back to Contents

of their projects to encourage sales and to


avoid paying an extension fees. Under the
governments Qualifying Certificate (QC)
rules, developers have to pay additional
charges to extend their sales period after two
years of the projects temporary occupation
permit (TOP). 24 condo projects are still not
fully sold, two years after receiving their TOP,
between 2010 and 2012. Thus, developers
with unsold units may have to pay another
$80.7 million to extend sales for another year.
This is in addition to the $55.1 million that
developers have previously collectively paid
to extend the sales period of their projects
from 2012. As such, analysts predict that
developers may adjust prices to clear their
stock by the deadline, in order to avoid hefty
extension charges.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


Online survey by MND: Singaporeans in
favour of more three-generation flats
According to an online survey by the Ministry
of National Development, Singaporeans
support the development of more threegeneration flats, and are supportive of giving
priority to those who apply for a HDB flat that
is near to their parents. The survey which has
1,927 participants since May 25 is part of the
governments new housing conversation with
Singaporeans
to
understand
housing
preferences and to find out how the
government can encourage families to live
together or close by. Also, the survey
revealed that Singaporeans want higher
housing grants for those who live with their
parents, or live close to them. 72 per cent of
the 949 courting Singaporeans who
responded to the survey said that they want
to live close to their parents. Also, 68 per cent
Back to Contents

of the 41 seniors who currently live apart or


plan to live apart from their children reflected
that they want to live in the same town, or
closer, to their children in future. However,
only 31 per cent of the 880 married couples
surveyed live in the same town with their
parents. Dr Lee Bee Wah, chair of the
Government Parliamentary Committee for
National Development, said that this could
mean that there are insufficient BTO flats in
the same estates where parents are living.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial

Overseas
developers
increasing
marketing efforts in Singapore
Due to continued interest in overseas
projects, more overseas developers are
increasing their marketing efforts in

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159


Singapore. Overseas developers, Crown
Group from Australia and UMLand from
Malaysia have opened a sales office at
Suntec Tower Two and a property gallery in
Anson House at Tanjong Pagar respectively.
Also, Galliard Homes from London is
expected to open a sales office in Singapore
soon. HSR International Realtors analyst,
Wong Shanting said that Singaporeans may
be encouraged to look elsewhere due to high
property prices and due to the implementation
of cooling measures such as the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio, thus encouraging overseas
developers to step up marketing efforts in
Singapore.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of May 21 May 27

Postal
District
3
3
3
3
4
5
5
8
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
12
12
13

Project Name
ALEXIS
ALESSANDREA
THE ANCHORAGE
TANGLIN VIEW
REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY
THE PEAK@BALMEG
THE PARC CONDOMINIUM
CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES
HELIOS RESIDENCES
ILLUMINAIRE ON DEVONSHIRE
PATERSON LODGE
VILLE ROYALE
GARDENVILLE
BELMOND GREEN
BALMORAL HILLS
THE SERENADE @ HOLLAND
L'VIV
PAVILION 11
AMARYLLIS VILLE
THE CALLISTA
MAR THOMA MANSIONS
THE SCENIC @ BRADDELL

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
603
1,098
1,830
2,120
2,626
1,507
980
1,195
1,281
463
850
1,292
1,808
980
1,389
1,787
1,001
958
1,259
1,141
1,528
1,539

Transacted
Price ($)
1,105,000
1,480,000
2,350,000
2,500,000
4,398,000
2,168,000
1,270,000
1,700,000
3,500,000
1,200,000
1,680,000
1,850,000
3,435,000
1,780,000
2,000,000
2,200,000
2,180,000
1,530,000
1,870,000
1,190,000
1,200,000
1,650,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,833
FH
1,348
FH
1,284
FH
1,179
99
1,675
99
1,439
FH
1,297
FH
1,423
FH
2,732
FH
2,593
FH
1,976
FH
1,432
FH
1,900
FH
1,817
FH
1,440
FH
1,231
99
2,178
FH
1,597
FH
1,485
99
1,043 999
785
999
1,072
FH

Postal
District
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
17
18
18
18
18
19
19
19
20
20
20
21
21
21

Project Name
THE SUNNY SPRING
PALM OASIS
DUNMAN VIEW
MERLOT VILLE
LAGUNA PARK
EAST MEWS
NEPTUNE COURT
BAYWATER
CARISSA PARK CONDOMINIUM
NV RESIDENCES
LIVIA
THE TROPICA
MELVILLE PARK
THE CHUAN
THE CHUAN
REGENTVILLE
BISHAN 8
PEIRCE VIEW
BRADDELL VIEW
CAVENDISH PARK
ASTOR GREEN
HILLVIEW GREEN

Area
(sqft)
990
743
1,335
1,744
1,615
2,131
1,270
1,292
1,324
764
1,270
1,518
1,475
1,281
1,367
980
1,173
1,270
1,798
1,313
1,378
1,302

Transacted
Price ($)
963,000
950,000
1,350,000
1,665,000
1,420,000
1,820,000
960,000
1,380,000
1,228,000
890,000
1,238,888
1,360,000
1,116,000
1,820,000
1,800,000
780,000
1,360,000
1,315,000
1,380,000
1,570,000
1,420,000
1,330,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
972
FH
1,279
FH
1,011
99
955
FH
879
99
854
FH
756
99
1,068
99
928
FH
1,165
99
975
99
896
99
757
99
1,421 999
1,317 999
796
99
1,159
99
1,035
FH
768
99
1,196
99
1,031
99
1,021 999

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 159

Postal
District
21
21
22
22
23
23
23
23
27
27
27

Project Name
THE RAINTREE
PANDAN VALLEY
PARC OASIS
PARC OASIS
THE JADE
GUILIN VIEW
REGENT HEIGHTS
MAYSPRINGS
YISHUN EMERALD
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM
EUPHONY GARDENS

Area
(sqft)
1,582
4,026
1,227
1,227
1,475
1,528
1,023
1,292
1,152
1,152
1,152

Transacted Price
Tenure
Price ($) ($ psf)
1,570,000 992
99
3,175,000 789
FH
1,170,000 953
99
1,100,000 896
99
1,600,000 1,085
99
1,385,000 906
99
870,000
851
99
939,988
728
99
900,000
781
99
835,000
725
99
780,000
677
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 12

Issue 171
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

6 Key Considerations When Buying into

Welcome to the 171st edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

an Older Development

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(August 13 August 19 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171

6 Key Considerations When Buying into an Older Development


By SG Proptalk (guest contributor)
So you are on a budget and desire a home
with an interior living space that is much
larger than what new condominium projects
can offer these days. Your current option,
other than moving to Iskandar, is to look at
apartments in an older development.
By "older", the wife and I are talking about
developments that are at least 10 years old.
For those that really crave space, this is not
so much a "choice" rather than a
"requirement". There are few options, for
example, for a 3-bedroom apartments of at
least 1,600sqft that was built after 2004 (as
far as we know anyway).
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


And if you only want to consider those that
come with no bay windows and planter
boxes, you would probably have to go further
back than 10 years!

account before
development?

buying

1. Number of years
leasehold condos)

in

an

remaining

older

(for

You may want to think hard before buying a


leasehold condo that has less than 60 years
on its land lease. This is because should you
need to resell your unit, it will be challenging
as many buyers still frown upon older
developments with less than 60 years of
lease remaining.
2. General upkeep of the estate

So your best bet if you want space is to buy


an older apartment. But what are some of the
key considerations you have to take into
Back to Contents

This is especially important for older


developments. Other than keeping an eye
open on the general cleanliness around the
estate and whether the landscape is properly
maintained, you may also want to inquire
about when the estate was last repainted and

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


when the last time the lifts (especially for
high-rise developments) were upgraded. All
these will have a direct impact on the
maintenance and sinking funds of the
development, which will ultimately affect your
purse.
3. Maintenance/Sinking funds
It may be prudent to ask how much the estate
has in terms of maintenance/sinking funds.
This tells you how financially adequate the
estate is currently and more importantly,
whether you need to be around during the
next AGM to vote on any proposed increase
in the maintenance/sinking fund contribution.
And by knowing whether an estate repainting
or lift upgrading exercise is round the corner,
this gives you further idea on whether more
money is needed from each household vis-vis the current amount of funds that the
estate has.
Back to Contents

4. Your immediate neighbours


While it is normally a case of "what you
moved-into is what you get" for brand new
developments, you can typically make
"informed decisions" about your neighbours
when you buy into an older estate. If you are
a sucker for tidiness and you see tons of
shoes and other knick knacks lying all over
the outside of your immediate neighbours'
home, you have to decide if you can live with
that mess whenever you step out of the lift
coming home.
The wife and I will also advise you to make at
least two visits to the apartment before you
make that purchase decision once during
the day over a weekend and once on a
weekday evening (say, between 7 to 8pm,
when all the school-going kids have come
home).
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


This will give you a true indication of the noise
levels generated by your immediate
neighbours, especially the family that lives on
top of you. Doing so may save you from
another "Everitt Road" type of incident.
5. Any impending/on-going collective sale
activity?
Some people will deliberately buy into an
estate when they hear that it is preparing to
go en-bloc. But if you are really buying to
stay, the last thing you need is to spend time
and money completing that ideal renovation,
move into your new home and then realize
that 80% of your neighbours are ready to sellout within the next 12 months!

thing on your mind. But we deem it important


to have some idea of how "marketable" your
estate is when comes to collective sale before
you consider buying into it. Even if this does
not happen anytime soon, the likelihood
persists simply because the estate is, well,
old.
The above considerations may be elementary
to some of you. Please bear with us if this is
so. And if you have anything else to add to
our list, we would be most happy to hear from
you!
By The Folks @ SG Proptalk, a blog and
forum on buying Singapore property.

6. Plot ratio and building restrictions


As potential new owners, questions about plot
ratio and building restrictions may be the last

Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Development charge rates for private
residential land lowered
The development charge rates for non-landed
residential use fell by an average of 1.6 per
cent from 25 August to 30 August. According
to an analysis by JLL, this is the first time
since March 2012, that there is a drop in the
average development charge rates for nonlanded residential use. According to Ministry
of National Development, development
charge rates for non-landed residential use
have fallen between 2.8 per cent to 5 per cent
in 55 sectors. On the other hand,
development charges for industrial use rose
by 1.9 per cent in the same period of time.
Back to Contents

Development charges which are imposed on


sites that are undergoing enhancements have
been revised on 1 March and 1 September
across 118 sectors. The revision will be
effective from 1 September this year to 28
February next year. Changes in the rates
were made by the Ministry of National
Development, based on current market
values. According to Business Times, the
development charge rates on hotels, hospital,
places of worship and civic and community
institutions are expected to increase by an
average of 9 per cent. As hotel values remain
inflated, it is no surprise that there the
government will be increasing development
charges, said Donald Han from Chestertons.

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


Chia Siew Chuin from Colliers International
said that development charge on industrial
land has not changed this year most likely
because bid prices for industrial land tenures
have been unpredictable. Chia believes the
government might still be monitoring the
industrial market before any making changes.
(Source: Business Times)
Fall in home equity reduces credit for
consumption
According to Citi economist Kit Wei Zheng,
the amount of credit for consumption may
have decreased because there is a drop in
home equity prices. Data from the
Department of Statistics showed that the total
value in housing assets fell to $820.6 billion
due to corrections in home prices. On the
other hand, mortgages went up by 5.6 per
cent year-on-year to $210.8 billion in Q2 this
Back to Contents

year. While Kit is concerned about the effect


of falling home equity on consumption, other
experts argue that there is no cause of
concern as employment rates have been
high. Nonetheless, Song Seng Wun from
CIMB Research believes that the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio has moderated private
consumption. Selena Ling from OCBC Bank
said that the falling prices may negatively
affect property owners who already have
difficulties financing their properties.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial

Straits Trading Building predicted to sell


for record prices
The Straits Trading Building, which is located
at Battery Road, is expected to sell for at
least $2,800 per square foot or $450 million,

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


the highest offer made for any office block in
the past six years. The 999-year leasehold
office tower has a net lettable area of about
159,000 square feet. If the transaction pulls
through, the Straits Trading Building will
generate a net yield of about 3 per cent. Its
long leasehold tenure and its prime location
justified the high pricing, said market experts.
According to market experts, other nearby
office blocks sold for similar prices this year.
For example, a strata office floor at the 999year leasehold Samsung Hub, at Church
Street, was sold for $3,030 per square feet.
Nonetheless, the Straits Trading Building has
been priced higher than office blocks at
Equity Plaza, which sold for $2,181 per
square feet, because it had a longer lease
remaining. Furthermore, Straits Trading
Building is almost fully let. While it was built in
1972, it has undergone renovations and was
Back to Contents

redeveloped in 2009.
(Source: Business Times)
Land bids for industrial sites fall
Land bids for a site at Gambas Crescent and
another at Tuas South Avenue 7 have fallen.
Both sites have a 30-year leasehold and were
released for tender as part of the H1 2014
Industrial Government Land Sales list. The
winning bid for the Gambas Crescent site was
sold for $83.03 per square foot per plot ratio
to NSS Realty. This was 19 per cent lower
than Parcel 3, a neighbouring site that was
sold last December for $102.20 per square
foot per plot ratio. Parcel 2 and 1 were sold in
October last year for about $127 per square
foot per plot ratio and $138 per square foot
per plot ratio respectively. The four sites have
been zoned for B1 use and have a maximum

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


gross floor to land area of 2.5 plot ratio.
Parcel 1 has since been converted into 130
factory units. 44 out of its 55 released units
have been sold for an average of $325 per
square feet. On the other hand, the Tuas site
was sold for $56 per square foot per plot
ratio. This was about half the value of the
winning bids for earlier sites such as The
Index, at Tuas South Avenue 3. Ong Kah
Seng from RST Research said that the site at
Tuas South Avenue 7, which was released
this year, may have been less appealing to
investors because it was zoned for B2 use.
According to Ong, industrial land zoned for
B1 zone are more popular because it typically
attracts tenants that require modern strata
factories.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Tender launched for 7 sites at Bukit Merah


Seven industrial units at Kewalram House in
Bukit Merah Industrial Estate have been
launched for tender on Aug 25. The total land
area of all seven units is 18,800 square feet.
All units are 99-year leasehold units and still
have 45 years remaining on their tenures.
They have been zoned for B1 use and have a
maximum gross plot ratio of 2.5. Of the seven
units, two units are sized 3,100 square feet
and 4,300 square feet respectively. They are
located on the ground floor and can be
converted into a warehouse or factory space.
The other five units are located on the third
floor and are between 2,100 square feet to
2,400 square feet. The units are priced
between $480 per square foot and $620 per
square foot. Its marketing agent,

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171


JLL believes that there are en bloc
opportunities for the building, because its
gross floor area is within the maximum gross
floor area permitted under the Master Plan
2014.

such, they may be redeveloped. Both


buildings are being marketed by Chestertons
Singapore. Their indicative price is about
$17.5 million or $1,433 per square feet.
(Souce: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Jln Besar commercial sites on sale
A three-storey freehold commercial site that
has about 2,726 square feet and a gross floor
area of about 7,887 square feet is on sale.
The commercial building has a mechanised
car park and an internal lift. Another fourstorey residential building with commercial
land space on its ground floor is also on sale.
The four-storey building has about 1,335
square feet of land and has a gross floor area
of about 4,324 square feet. Both properties
are located at Sam Leong Road, at Jalan
Besar, but are not zoned for conservation. As
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Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 171

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Aug 13 Aug 19
Postal
District
3
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
9
9
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
11
11
12
14
14
15
15
15

Project Name
CENTRAL GREEN CONDOMINIUM
THE AZURE
THE PEARL @ MOUNT FABER
HARBOUR VIEW TOWERS
CARABELLE
LE HILL CONDOMINIUM
DOVER PARKVIEW
NORMANTON PARK
THE ORCHARD RESIDENCES
CAVENAGH COURT
ARDMORE PARK
CUSCADEN RESIDENCES
GARDENVILLE
THE LINCOLN RESIDENCES
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
THE LINCOLN RESIDENCES
RESIDENCES @ EVELYN
SKY@ELEVEN
THE TREVOSE
PRESTIGE HEIGHTS
THE TRUMPS
SIMS MEADOWS
PARC SEABREEZE
IMPERIAL HEIGHTS
AXIS @ SIGLAP

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,292
1,765
1,173
1,615
1,259
1,206
1,249
1,270
1,808
1,862
2,885
1,485
2,874
1,367
893
1,884
1,539
2,713
1,776
344
947
1,066
1,378
592
818

Transacted
Price ($)
1,620,000
2,950,000
1,420,000
1,650,000
1,520,000
1,280,000
1,310,000
1,090,000
5,600,000
2,400,000
7,750,000
3,000,000
4,250,000
2,550,000
1,650,000
3,449,000
2,750,000
4,650,000
2,338,000
603,000
1,150,000
820,000
2,780,000
885,000
1,055,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,254
99
1,671
99
1,210
99
1,022
99
1,207 956
1,062
FH
1,049
99
858
102
3,097
99
1,289
FH
2,687
FH
2,020
FH
1,479
FH
1,865
FH
1,847
FH
1,831
FH
1,787
FH
1,714
FH
1,316
99
1,751
FH
1,214
99
769
FH
2,018
FH
1,495
FH
1,290
FH

Postal
District
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16
16
18
18
19
20
21
21
21
22
23
23
25

Project Name
PEACH GARDEN
THE MAKENA
SANCTUARY GREEN
SUITES @ EASTCOAST
VILLA MARINA
UNITED MANSION
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
EAST BAY GARDENS
COSTA DEL SOL
BAYSHORE PARK
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
SUITES @ PAYA LEBAR
SEASONS VIEW
JARDIN
CASA ESPERANZA
HIGH OAK CONDOMINIUM
THE CENTRIS
REGENT HEIGHTS
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
CASABLANCA

Area
(sqft)
2,766
1,636
1,356
1,292
1,249
1,367
1,528
1,711
1,561
936
1,023
1,367
1,249
1,141
1,098
1,152
1,044
915
1,023
980
926

Transacted
Price ($)
3,280,000
1,840,000
1,500,000
1,340,000
1,250,000
1,275,000
1,370,000
1,348,000
2,080,000
920,000
970,000
1,005,000
920,000
1,180,000
1,870,000
1,400,000
970,000
1,140,000
855,000
812,000
830,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,186
FH
1,125
FH
1,106
99
1,037
FH
1,001
99
933
FH
896
99
788
99
1,333
99
982
99
949
99
735
99
737
FH
1,034
99
1,703
FH
1,216
FH
929
99
1,246
99
836
99
829
99
897
99

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.
Page | 11

Issue 175
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Jurong Lake District the Next Hotspot

Welcome to the 175th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

for Property Hunting?

p7

The Jurong Lake District A Jewel or

Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

the Next Punggol 21?

p13

Singapore Property News This Week

p20

Resale Property Transactions


(September 10 September 16 )

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Want to get your brand, product, service or property listing out to


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175

Jurong Lake District the Next Hotspot for Property Hunting?


By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)

I have to admit that Prime Minister Lee


HsienLoongsrecent 10th National Day Rally
speech failed to get my attention the whole
time. But the moment when I heard our PM
sayI thought tonight I should show ... Jurong
Lake at sunset, my heart immediately
skipped a beat.
He devoted a big part of his speech to paint a
heavenly picture of the Jurong Lake District,
followed by all the possibilities for future
development of the area, before he ended his
speech with a sentimental note on believing
in Singapore.
Wow, as property-obsessed Singaporeans,
how could our imaginations not run wild with

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Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


the potential upside of properties in the west?
The future roadmap of Jurong Lake
District

The 'Jurong Lake Story' was first introduced


as part of the draft Master Plan 2008. It is the
'remaking our heartland' plan to shift business
activities from the CBD to the west by building
a commercial and residential hub in Jurong
for both business and leisure.

Jurong Gateway, as well as the community


boulevard to bring residents to the lakes. The
heartland corridor will link up estates and the
green spine will connect Teban and Pandan
Gardens.
When completed, the Jurong Lake Gardens
will be a family-friendly residential district
close to nature, watersports and outdoor
activities.

Five years on, the Jurong Gateway area was


almost there with office buildings, a training
centre, three shopping malls in three years,
as well as a hospital and a condominium on
the way.
The Jurong Lake Gardens area will also
undergo a facelift for the housing estates and
waterfront living. There will be a new cycling
network, cycling trails in Taman Jurong along
the town to town boulevard, Bukit Batok to
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Should buyers take the plunge in the
west?

What hardcore property investors and


landlords want

A strategic coverage of Jurong Lake District


at the National Day Rally can stimulate
interest from developers to bid for new sites
released in that area. But I am not from a
developer or a property agency who cant
wait to sell you the J Gateway, Lakeville,
Jurong West Condo or Vision Exchange.

As a hardcore property investor, I only want


to buy value-for-money and good quality
properties minus all the market hype. The
moment I buy I have to be sure that I can
make a profit, and not have to hope that
prices will go up.

I still recall vividly the day (29 June 2013)


when 1,400 blank cheques were submitted to
MCL Land to ballot for the 738-unit J
Gateway. Successful buyers paid $1,400 to
$1,800 psf for their units, only to find out later
in the evening that the government just
announced the TDSR framework with effect
from the very same day.
What signal do you think the government was
sending to the market?
Back to Contents

As a sophisticated landlord, I only want to buy


properties that attract expatriates with good
budgets, preferably on company leases. I
dont want to deal with difficult tenants, late or
no payment, etc.

I am not sure what you are looking for as a


buyer or a landlord, but ask yourself four
questions before you take the plunge:
1. Are you buying the hotspot area at the
peak or bottom of the market?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


2. How long are you prepared for the hotspot
area to realize its full potential?
3. Do your dream tenants like to stay in
exclusive or heartland districts?
4. Will your tenants like to have the terminal
of Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail
at their doorstep?
Jurong Lake District the next East Coast
or Punggol?
Where do you stay? It is a casual question
commonly asked by Singaporeans. But you
can be sized up by your answer. Because in
Singapore, many judge your financial status
from the area where you live.
1. East Coast
East Coast in the Katong area has been
inhabited by the wealthy elite from the late
nineteenth century. It was where the
Back to Contents

privileged class of Caucasians or prominent


local families built their seaside villas and
mansions. With the prestigious status and
rich heritage of the location, it is no doubt that
East Coast continues to be the preferred
choice for many expatriates and middle class
families.
2. Punggol
Punggol was traditionally a rural area with
animal
and
vegetable
farms.
With
urbanization and government planning, it has
been completely transformed into a new town
under the Punggol 21 initiative. Punggol has
changed from dotted farmhouses to crowded
HDB blocks and condominium projects
popular with young families.
3. Jurong
Jurong was planned to be an industrial area
for big factories from heavy industries.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Jurong Island was constructed for oil,
petrochemical and chemical plants. HDB flats
were built to house workers and their families
working in nearby factories. The working
class is thus the foundation of the Jurong
community, especially in the Jurong West
area. That is why Jurong often gives the
impression of having factory pollution and
traffic congestion.

The three shopping malls at Jurong Gateway


are frequented by heartlanders in flip flops
and short pants. The upscale Robinsons and
Isetan have their regional branches there.
They dont attract many customers like their
main stores in Orchard. For some reason I
still prefer to patronize the latter.

Garden. We make every effort to visit an


outlet mall in a foreign country. Yet tourists
here only flock to the two integrated resorts
but not IMM with 55 outlets and which is just
30 minutes drive from town.
Is Jurong Lake District a property gem?
Well, it is too early to tell.
Will the transformation of Jurong make it the
next East Coast?
Wait, we are not there yet. We have a long
way to go.
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
Investment.

There is going to be a new hotel. It is absurd


that you dont see tourists in the Jurong Lake
area, the Chinese Garden and the Japanese

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Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175

The Jurong Lake District A Jewel or the Next Punggol 21?


By Paul Ho (guest contributor)
The Punggol 21 Masterplan was rolled out
twenty years ago amidst much fanfare and
high expectations. Twenty years on, the
Punggol 21 Masterplan remains largely
unfulfilled. The Jurong Lake District idea was
mooted around 2008 as part of the
Masterplan, but did not garner much
confidence due to the failure of Punggol 21
(those people staying in Punggol East can
testify to the lack of amenities).
Apart from that, people who have witnessed
the natural beauty of the British Lake District
will find our Jurong Lake District a far cry from
it.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


I thus initially dismissed the Jurong Lake
District Masterplan. However, fast-forward to
2014, and various developments have
mushroomed around the Jurong Gateway.
Making up for a lack of natural beauty
Whatever Singapore lacks in natural beauty, it
has a way of making up for with beautifullylandscaped gardens and a wide range of
amenities. The Urban Redevelopment
Authority (URA) has delivered excellent town
planning that is purposeful and elegant.

Back to Contents

(Source: Jurong Lake District brochure, URA)

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Developments around Jurong East MRT have
started to take shape, anchored by the
Jurong East MRT interchange, established
businesses around the International Business
Park, major shopping malls, a hospital,
education hub, high-rise offices and
residential units.

Jurong East MRT Station

The Jurong Lake district is not exactly a


green field site as there are many
developments already in place. As such, the
effort required to realize this Masterplan may
be smaller than that for Punggol 21 thus it is
less likely to fail.

4.
Jurong
Entertainment
Centre
redevelopment (28,000 sqm of retail space
and an Olympic-size ice skating rink)

Upcoming developments in the Jurong


Lake District

Most of these developments are centered


around Jurong Gateway, the crown jewel of
the Jurong Lake District. With a catchment
consumer base of Jurong East HDB dwellers,
the Lakeside village (a designated F&B hub)
is likely to be developed fast and find

According to the Masterplan, these are the


developments planned for the Jurong area:
1. New Infrastructure such as a new bus
interchange, road network and upgrading of
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2. 1.9 ha White site next to Jurong East MRT


Station available for application in the
Government Land Sales Reserve List
3. Big Box Warehouse Retail Outlet (34,000
sqm of new retail space)

5. New Jurong General Hospital and


Community Hospital (the integrated hospital
will serve residents staying in the west region)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


success. The Lakeside village is connected
via bridges to the Japanese Garden and
Chinese Garden, bringing lakeside enjoyment
to residents staying nearby.
Developments along Yuan Ching Road have
yet to materialize. We estimate that the
Jurong Lake District could become a reality in
5 to 7 years. Once this area develops to
include waterfront hotels, it could revitalize
the Jurong area.
Hotspots in the Jurong Lake District
Ironically, the crown jewel of the Jurong Lake
District the Jurong Gateway is not
anywhere along the lake. The Jurong
Gateway is anchored by Jurong East MRT
station, and is a major MRT hub in the vicinity
of a newly-built hospital, new residential units,
and the International Business Park which
houses many multi-national companies.
Back to Contents

Properties located near the Jurong Gateway


will thus be sought after.
Jurong
Gateway
condominiums
have
transacted above $1700 psf for smaller sized
units. Some businesses may relocate to so as
to better manage their operations in Tuas or
in Johor/Iskandar. The Jurong Gateway is
likely to develop into the Orchard Road of
the West.
By contrast, developments along Yuan Ching
Road are largely incomplete. The area will be
revitalized when the lakefront hotels as well
as edutainment clusters are completed. The
prime locations in Yuan Ching Road will be
around Lakeside MRT station, which are
already being priced in the $1,300 to $1,500
psf range based on Lakefront Residences
figures.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Other areas of Yuan Ching Road will be more
residential and therefore quieter. These
residences will be further from the MRT and
will likely be priced lower than those nearer to
Lakeside MRT.
Some HDB flats around Ho Ching road were
built in 1972 and are 42 years old. They are
ripe for selective en-bloc redevelopment
(whether residents like it or not). As land
becomes premium along Yuan Ching, Ho
Ching, Tah Ching and Kang Ching roads,
these HDB units may consequently become
targets for redevelopment.
More residential development to come
around the lake
We expect that premium residential housing
in the Jurong vicinity will be around Jurong
East MRT (Jurong Gateway) or Yuan Ching
road. Just like Bedok Reservoir, more
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condominium clusters may form around the


lake. If selective en-bloc development takes
place, it is likely that premium housing will be
introduced in its place to capture maximum
land revenue for the government. As the
Jurong Gateway economic cluster and Tuas
relocation of factories take shape, more
people may opt to stay in and around Yuan
Ching Road, given the limited supply of
condominiums around Jurong Gateway.
Yuan Ching Road residences are connected
by bridges to the Japanese and Chinese
Gardens. If cycling is allowed in the gardens,
one can cycle to work in the Jurong Gateway
from Yuan Ching Road in 15 minutes. Given
the beautiful lake with bridges to walk
through, the distance from Jurong East MRT
to Yuan Ching could easily become an
enjoyable 15 to 30 minutes walk home,
thereby raising the value of housing along
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Yuan Ching Road. Thus we expect the
housing around Yuan Ching Road to narrow
the gap with those in the Jurong Gateway.
Some potential downsides
Most properties (if not all) in the area are 99
years leasehold. All things being equal, we do
not like leasehold properties. Not having a
choice for 999 and Freehold titles is a major
downside especially in newly-developed
estates.
Also, pricing will be capped and compared
against more established areas or regional
centers such as Orchard Road.

Furthermore, Jurong is an industrial hub with


factories in Tuas and a catchment workforce
of 100,000 people. Being more industrial in
nature and surrounded by historically-cheaper
HDB housing, Jurong is perceived to be more

Back to Contents

working-class and blue-collar. It will take time


to change this perception. Capital upside may
be limited for buyers if developers get greedy
and price new developments too high.
Conclusion
The Jurong Lake District is an up and coming
district which looks very likely to be realized in
5 to 7 years in its entirety. It will also be the
most well-connected recreational, business,
edutainment, education and medical centre in
the West zone.
By Paul Ho, holder of an MBA from a
reputable
university
and
editor
of
www.iCompareLoan.com, Singapores first
Cloud-based Home Loan reporting platform
used by Property agents, financial advisors
as well as Mortgage brokers.

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
4,630 BTO flats launched in September
4,630 built-to-order flats will be launched in
September, said the Housing & Development
Board (HDB). These flats will be launched in
non-mature estates such as Bukit Batok,
Hougang and Jurong West. Projects will also
be released in mature estates like Kallang
and Whampoa. Flat applications will begin
from September 24 to September 30.
According to HDB, existing flat owners can
choose to pay half the downpayment of a new
flat, if they move into a two-room or threeroom flat, in a non-mature estate. Flat owners
who are on the HDB loan will only be required
to pay 5 per cent downpayment instead of the
Back to Contents

current 10 per cent. Also, flat owners who are


taking up a loan with financial institutions will
only be required to pay 10 per cent
downpayment, instead of the current 20 per
cent. The remaining amount will be paid with
the balance purchase price, when the keys
for the new HDB flat are ready for collection.
National Development Minister Khaw Boon
Wan said that this scheme will benefit cashtight flat owners who want to rightsize their
apartments. In particular, retirees-to-be will
stand to benefit the most from the flexibility of
the new scheme, said Ong Kah Seng from
RST Research.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


No further discounts for re-launched units
at Waterfront@Faber
According to World Class Land, there will be
no further price discounts at the re-launch of
Waterfront@Faber. While sales of the
waterfront condominium had slowed down
since May, its developer will not cut prices
significantly for units that have already been
released. Instead, at its re-launch, primefacing units will be released. The indicative
mid-level prices for launched units are from
$910,000 for a dual-key two-bedroom unit;
$1.28 million for a three-bedroom unit that
faces the pool; $1.308 million for a threebedroom unit facing the river and $1.53
million for a four-bedroom unit facing the river.
Unit sizes range from 753 square feet for a
two-bedder to 1,281 square feet for a fourbedroom unit. Since August, all two-bedroom
units have been sold. Furthermore, 77 units
Back to Contents

out of the 210 units at the condominium have


been sold at a median price of $1,247 per
square foot.
(Source: Business Times)
Good response at freehold condo sale at
East Coast
More than half of the launched units have
been sold at Seventy St Patricks, a freehold
condominium in East Coast. Each unit at the
186-unit condominium was sold at an
average price of $1,630 per square foot. Out
of the 36 launched penthouses, 16 have
already been sold at its private launch. The
penthouses, which are about 1,647 square
feet large, are going for about $2.4 million
each, while a two-bedroom unit, which is
about 700 square feet large, is selling for $1.2
million. The condominium is estimated to be
completed in 2017.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


It will comprise of nine blocks of five-storey
buildings, and will have facilities such as a
50-meter pool.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Colliers: retail rents at Orchard to remain
flat
A report released by Colliers International
said that the average monthly gross rents for
prime ground floor retail space at Orchard
Road will fall by a maximum of one per cent
for the rest of 2014. Chia Siew Chuin from
Colliers International said that since March,
the influx of tourists and retail sales has
slowed. This is likely to impact the rental
prices of the malls at Orchard Road.
According to the Colliers report, the average
monthly gross rents of prime retail space in

Back to Contents

Orchard have fallen by 0.5 per cent to $36.25


per square foot from the previous quarter.
Nonetheless, rent in the regional centres is
expected to grow by one to two per cent in
2014 as businesses in these areas are less
dependent on tourist money. In Q3 2014, the
average imputed capital value for prime
strata-titled retail space in Orchard is at
$6,942 per square foot. On the other hand,
the imputed capital value for regional centres
is at $4,491 per square feet in Q3 this year.
According to Calvin Yeo from Colliers
International, this may result in smaller
brands exiting the market. As such, Yeo
predicts that shopping malls in Orchard Road
will be predominately occupied by larger
brands if this trend continues.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 15

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Grade A office rents will be the highest
since 2008
Cushman & Wakefield predicts that Grade A
office rents will be the highest since 2008, by
the end of this year. According to market
experts, Grade A office rents have been the
highest in three years. This quarter, the
overall rents for Grade A offices are at $10.20
per square foot per month. This is 2 per cent
higher than the previous quarter and 9.9 per
cent higher than in 2013. Cushman &
Wakefield predicts that there will be strong
leasing activities in Q4 this year as
CapitaGreen and South Beach are expected
to be completed by then. Not only so,
vacancy rates at the Marina Bay Financial
Centre have also decreased from 6.6 per cent
to 6.1 per cent. Vacancy rates in the suburbs
have also fallen from 2.5 per cent to 1.8 per
cent, said market experts. As Grade A office
Back to Contents

rents at prime locations surge, more tenants


may look to the suburbs for rental space. As
such office vacancies in those regions are
expected to fall even further.
(Source: Business Times)
Singapore is 6th most expensive city to
rent offices
In June 2014, Singapore has been ranked the
sixth most expensive city to rent offices and
homes, according to a report by Savills that
measured the costs of renting living and
working spaces. London came up top in the
rankings, followed by Hong Kong, which
topped last years ranking. Savills explained
that Hong Kongs competitiveness was
boosted by a weakened currency and falling
residential rents. Total real estate costs went
down by 5.6 per cent in the first half of 2014
in Hong Kong.
Page | 16

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


On the other hand, London real estate grew
at an annualised rate of 10.6 per cent, due to
the appreciation of the pound in relation to the
dollar. Savills added that despite slower
economic growth, Singapores office market
has been robust. Thus, rents have increased
by 7.3 per cent in H1 this year in Singapore.
The report predicts that a shortage of land
supply in Singapore may force employees to
relocate lower value industries to Malaysia.
Employers may find it more difficult to attract
and retain talent from abroad due to the high
cost of real estate in Singapore.

MRT Station. It has a 3.5 maximum gross plot


ratio; of this, at least 2.5 plot ratio of the land
has been zoned for Business 1 use and the
remaining gross floor area is zoned for white
use. Its tender will close on October 30. Tan
Hong Boon from JLL believes that such
freehold industrial sites are rare. While the
complex is located at a prime area, market
experts do not expect it to draw many bids
due to its high minimum bidding price.
Nonetheless, market experts believe that
potential overseas buyers may bid more
aggressively in the sale of the complex.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Citimac complex on en bloc sale

Cooling measures push bid prices for


Tuas site down

Citimac Industrial Complex is on en bloc sale


for a minimum price of $550 million or $1,350
per square foot of potential gross floor area.
The freehold site is located near Tai Seng
Back to Contents

An industrial site at Tuas Bay Close was sold


for $25.5 million or $51.28 per square foot per
plot ratio in a recent tender.
Page | 17

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


This land price is the lowest for an industrial
plot, since October 2010, said Nicholas Mak
from SLP International. In August, another
site at Tuas South was sold for $56.01 per
square foot per plot ratio. This was
significantly higher than the recent selling
price of the Tuas Bay Close site, even though
both sites had the same size and tenure. The
lukewarm sales could be due to the
implementation of the cooling measures. Not
only so, Mak believes that the expected
increase in B2-zoned sites near Tuas Bay
Close in the future may have also pushed bid
prices down. The Tuas Bay Close site has a
maximum gross plot ratio of 1.7. It is 2.7ha
large and can be strata-divided for sale.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Property investments increases in Q3


from Q2
Savills Singapore reported that property
investment sales increased by 13.6 per cent
from $4.7 billion in Q2 2014, to $5.4 billion in
Q3 2014. Nonetheless, investment sales in
Q3 this year is still 61.2 per cent lower than in
2013. Since investment sales can be used to
estimate developer and property investors
interest in the market, the total debt servicing
ratio framework, which was announced in
2013 could have impacted market sentiments
this year. Nonetheless, Savills is optimistic
about the office market. From Q2 2014,
property investments in the office market
have surged to $1.25 billion in Q3. Jeremey
Lake from CBRE said that as the rental
market strengthens and as supply of office
space remains tight, prices of office buildings
will continue to increase.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Yet, Savills reported that the overall
investment saes for commercial properties
have fallen by 14.6 per cent to $1.97 billion.
This is likely because there were no
commercial land sites released under the
Government Land Sales Programme. While
market experts believe that there will be
sustained interest in Singapores market, the
competition from overseas property markets
will continue to challenge Singapores market.
(Source: Business Times)
More properties auctioned in 2014
According to data from Colliers International,
the number of properties put up for auction by
mortgagees have increased to 112 in the first
nine months of 2014, from 20 in the same
period last year. Not only so, JLL said that 80
per cent of the 44 properties have been
successfully auctioned off since 2013. Yet,
Back to Contents

according to Colliers International, the


number of properties that were sold by
owners fell from 348 to 274. Grace Ng from
Colliers International believes that stricter
loan curbs have made it difficult for cash-tight
owners to finance their homes. As such, more
houses have been put up for auction by
mortgagees. High-end residential homes in
prime districts like Marina Bay and Sentosa
Cove are increasingly auctioned off as
demand for them falls. This is likely to be due
to the implementation of the total debt
servicing ratio framework and the additional
buyers stamp duty. This year, a total of 9
auctioned properties have changed hands for
a total of $30.5 million. Ng predicts that the
total value of the transactions made at
auctions, will be around $80 million by the
end of 2014.

(Source: Business Times)


Page | 19

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Sep 10 Sep 16
Postal
District
4
5
5
5
5
8
9
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
11

Project Name
REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY
PARC IMPERIAL
ONE-NORTH RESIDENCES
THE PARC CONDOMINIUM
WEST BAY CONDOMINIUM
CITYLIGHTS
VISIONCREST
MARTIN PLACE RESIDENCES
MARTIN PLACE RESIDENCES
CAIRNHILL CREST
THE EDGE ON CAIRNHILL
THE GRANGE
DRAYCOTT EIGHT
ONE TREE HILL RESIDENCE
CASABELLA
PINEWOOD GARDENS
THE TESSARINA
LEEDON 2
VALLEY PARK
SOLEIL @ SINARAN
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
PAVILION 11
AMARYLLIS VILLE
HILLCREST ARCADIA

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,539
398
1,421
1,518
893
592
700
646
1,722
1,733
3,175
2,282
2,863
2,454
1,884
1,658
1,367
840
1,550
581
560
958
1,259
958

Transacted
Price ($)
3,300,000
695,000
1,940,888
1,940,000
830,000
940,000
1,460,000
1,330,000
3,500,000
3,428,000
5,100,000
4,880,000
5,800,000
4,000,000
2,976,720
2,525,000
2,080,000
1,200,000
2,150,000
1,315,000
1,060,000
1,550,000
1,865,000
870,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
2,144
99
1,745
FH
1,366
99
1,278
FH
929
99
1,588
99
2,087
FH
2,059
FH
2,032
FH
1,978
FH
1,606
FH
2,139
FH
2,026
99
1,630
FH
1,580
FH
1,523
FH
1,522
FH
1,429
FH
1,387 999
2,262
99
1,894
FH
1,618
FH
1,481
99
908
99

Postal
District
12
12
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
16
16
16
16
16
17
18
18
18
18
18

Project Name
THE TIER
OLEANDER TOWERS
BLISS VILLE
ASTORIA PARK
CENTRAL GROVE
STARVILLE
THE SUNNY SPRING
BALMY COURT
SUNFLOWER REGENCY
PEACH GARDEN
FORTUNE JADE
BUTTERWORTH VIEW
LEGENDA AT JOO CHIAT
PARBURY HILL CONDOMINIUM
CASA MERAH
CASAFINA
FAIRMOUNT CONDOMINIUM
AQUARIUS BY THE PARK
AVILA GARDENS
EASTPOINT GREEN
SAVANNAH CONDOPARK
EASTPOINT GREEN
RIS GRANDEUR
MELVILLE PARK

Area
(sqft)
538
1,141
1,195
1,173
1,206
1,238
1,066
1,119
1,184
5,231
1,098
1,227
1,033
1,453
1,227
1,378
1,238
1,227
893
958
1,453
1,884
1,356
958

Transacted
Price ($)
780,000
1,180,000
1,350,000
1,250,000
1,250,000
1,230,000
928,000
925,000
870,000
7,350,000
1,240,000
1,280,000
1,010,000
1,628,000
1,280,000
1,230,000
1,065,000
1,055,000
775,000
900,000
1,350,000
1,730,000
1,210,000
735,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,449
FH
1,034
99
1,130
FH
1,065
99
1,037
99
994
FH
871
FH
826
FH
735
FH
1,405
FH
1,129
FH
1,043
FH
977
99
1,120
FH
1,043
99
893
99
860
99
860
99
867
FH
939
99
929
99
918
99
892
FH
767
99

Page | 20

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 175


Postal
District
19
19
21
22
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
27
28

Project Name
KOVAN GRANDEUR
THE QUARTZ
HUME PARK I
LAKEHOLMZ
HILLVISTA
DAIRY FARM ESTATE
GUILIN VIEW
THE MADEIRA
THE WARREN
GUILIN VIEW
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
NORTHVALE
THE SENSORIA
SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
388
620,000 1,600
99
1,195 1,195,000 1,000
99
1,356 1,300,000 959
FH
1,238 1,100,000 889
99
1,130 1,456,570 1,289
FH
2,131 2,130,000 999
FH
861
840,000
975
99
1,356 1,180,000 870
99
1,238 1,042,000 842
99
1,259 1,030,000 818
99
980
780,000
796
99
1,270 990,000
779
99
1,475 1,280,000 868
FH
2,077 1,350,000 650
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 21

Issue 177
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

How to Tell Good Property Agents from

Welcome to the 177th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Bad Ones

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p13

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(September 24 September 30 )

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177

How to Tell Good Property Agents from Bad Ones


By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)
After I sold one of my properties exclusively
by my property agent, another agent who
used to lease that property for me learned
about it and said, "What? Only $XXX,XXX? I
could have easily sold thirty to fifty thousand
higher for you!"
I know how the deal can be pushed higher.
There are many agents and owners in this
market who will do anything to sell properties
at the top price.
But I am also aware that these transactions
almost always come with special conditions
that I dont think is worth taking the risk.

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Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


But even without any condition, I am not keen
to bag that extra tens of thousands from
another offer.
The peace of mind from engaging the
service of someone whom I can truly trust
is beyond money.
Over the years, my agent was the one who
coordinated between my tenants and her
contractors to get all the repair work done.
She could have added her 'management fee'
or inflated the repair costs. Instead, she
bargained hard to get a reasonable price,
settled the bill on behalf of me, and sent me
the invoices later.
If she doesnt mind forgoing the tips for all
her extra work, why do I have to chase that
extra thirty thousand?

Back to Contents

When there is trust, there is business.


We all want to find a good property agent to
represent us when we are renting, leasing,
buying or selling our properties.
But how can you tell the good from the bad
ones?
Say 'no' to a bad agent
Bad property agents share similar attributes.
Like bad boyfriends, they are a big
disappointment.
It is not uncommon to see them glorifying
their past performance or exaggerating
their experience in the industry. But when
there are hiccups and you need their help,
they are nowhere to be found.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


Some agents have obviously mastered the
skills of playing a vanishing act. They
disappear after pocketing their commission,
leaving you alone to deal with difficult tenants,
late payments, neighbors complaints, etc.
Dont pick an agent out of convenience.
Dont use anyone just because the person
is a relative or an acquaintance. Dont use
anyone without strong recommendations
from a reliable source.
Forget about agents who dont put your
interests first. Its time you looked for a new
one when:

Your agent always refers you to contact


someone else when there is any undesirable
task; or
Your agent presses you to do something
that you don't feel comfortable with.
Qualities of good agents
Always look out for the following qualities in
property agents:

1. Passion: Possess a burning fire of


enthusiasm even after many years in the
industry.

Your agent knows no better than you about


most of your property questions;

2. Experience/knowledge: Know current


market trends, project details, market prices,
etc.

Your agent keeps marketing to you specific


projects that dont meet your requirements;

3. Negotiation skills: Act calmly and patiently.


Target win-win for both parties.

Your agent asks you to compromise on an


unreasonable offer just to close the deal;

4. Honesty: Never oversell. Tell both pros and


cons and let you make your own decision.

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Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


5. Trustworthiness: Build trust by keeping
their word. Deliver what they promise.

but her ability to help her clients in propertyrelated matters.

6. Reputation: It is easy to speak highly of


themselves, but it is far better if former clients
speak highly of them.

Good property agents understand the fact


that building a long-term relationship is
far more valuable than getting the highest
commission from a single deal. It is also
the close partnership with clients that
helps them ride though all the ups and
downs in a property cycle.

A long-term relationship
As an investor, it worth spending the time to
find an agent that you can trust, someone
that you can work with in the long run.
When you are building your property portfolio,
your agent can be your assistant or advisor to
secure the good deals. When you need
someone to manage your properties, your
agent is your indispensable partner to ensure
that things run smoothly.
My property agent told me that she gets her
job satisfaction not from the compensation,

Back to Contents

Know your rights and ways to protect yourself


when
dealing
with
property
agents.
Remember, successful investors get the edge
from using a good agent.

By guest contributor Property Soul, a


successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
Investment.

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
HDB resale price falls again
For the eighth consecutive month, resale
prices of HDB flats have fallen in September,
according to flash estimates by the Singapore
Real Estate Exchange (SRX). Data from SRX
showed that HDB resale prices have fallen by
0.5 per cent from August to September.
Resale prices of three room flats fell by 0.2
per cent; while resale prices of four-bedders
fell by 0.2 per cent and five-bedders fell by
1.6 per cent. However, market experts believe
that the fall in prices is within expectations.
This is because of the recent implementation
of loan curbs and because of the increase in
supply of build-to-order flats. Eugene Lim
Back to Contents

from ERA Realty said that price moderation is


gradual because buyers and sellers are more
cautious and realistic now. On the other hand,
executive flat prices have increased by 0.1
per cent from August to September. Overall
resale volumes for HDB flats have increased
by 10.7 per cent from the 1,327 units in
August to 1,469 units in September. Wong
Xian Yang from OrangeTee added that sales
in August were low due to the Hungry Ghost
Festival. The rental market, on the other
hand, has remained weak, according to SRX
estimates. Rental prices have fallen by 0.3
per cent in September from August. Ong Kah
Seng from RST Research added that HDB
owners are less inclined to sell their flats due
to low demand.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


As such, more owners are offering their flats
at competitive rental prices to attract tenants.

units. On the other hand, the public launch of


Marina One has begun on October 11.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

More than 300 units sold at Marina One

High demand for Jurong EC

Out of the 372 units released at its launch,


more than 300 units have been sold at Marina
One Residences. Marina One Residences
comprises of 1,042 units, and two 34-storey
towers. One bedroom units start from $1.4
million and range between 657 square feet to
775 square feet. On the other hand, two
bedroom units, which are between 969
square feet and 1,130 square feet, cost about
$2 million each. The condominium is
expected to cost between $1,960 per square
feet to $3,100 per square feet after a 10 per
cent early bird discount. Since October 3,
buyers who are looking to purchase multiple
units have already balloted for their choice

Since the launch of Lake Life, an executive


condominium located at Jurong Lake District,
more than 1,380 applicants have expressed
interest in the property. The e-application will
end on October 12. Market experts predict
that Lake Life will break the record for the
highest number of applications received for
an executive condominium launch. Given that
only 546 units were released for this project,
the project has been oversubscribed by 2.5
times. Lake Life, which is located at Yuan
Ching Road, is the second executive
condominium to be released this year. Not
only so, it is the first to be launched in Jurong
in the last 17 years.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


It has a 99-year leasehold tenure and has
129,135 square feet. Despite the high
demand
for
Lake
Life,
executive
condominium transactions have been slow in
2014, said the developer of Lake Life.
Nonetheless, a total of 1,758 units are
expected to be released this year. Two other
executive condominiums, Bellewoods in
Woodlands and Bellewaters at Anchorvale
Crescent will be released in the upcoming two
months.
(Source: Business Times)
Resale volume of condos fall

Resale volume of private condominiums has


not picked up in areas such as Yishun and
Sembawang. According to Business Times,
18 transactions were made in those districts
in Q2 this year. Yet, in Tampines and Pasir
Ris, resale volumes have risen by 5.6 per
Back to Contents

cent in Q2 this year, compared to the same


period last year. Market experts believe that
sellers with strong holding power might have
been unwilling to let go of their properties at a
lower price, despite of the total debt servicing
ratio framework. A total of 1,314 private
condos were resold in Q2 2014. This
represents 31.9 per cent of all private nonlanded residential transactions. While the
total private condo resale volume in Q2 2014
is higher than in Q2 2013, it is about 9 per
cent lower than in Q4, 2012, before the
implementation of the total debt servicing
ratio framework. The fall in resale volume in
Q2 was led by condo units at Middle Road,
Golden Mile, Serangoon Garden, Hougang
and Punggol. Nicholas Mak from SLP
International said that the lack of new
launches in some districts might have an
impact on the resale market.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


Ong Kah Seng from RST Research added
that interest for homes in Pasir Ris is due to
high leasing demand. On the other hand,
Christine Li from OrangeTee predicts that
there will be a drop in foreign purchases in
the core central region due to the additional
buyers stamp duty.
(Source: Business Times)
Property agencies affected by slow sales
Profit margins for property agencies have
fallen by 20 to 50 per cent this year, due to
the slump in the property market. Of the
1,425 registered agencies, more than half are
expected to have made a loss in the last one
year. While some agencies have looked to
overseas markets to regain sales, others
have merged or been acquired to share
resources. Mohammed Ismail from PropNex
said that sales have dipped by 3 per cent in
Back to Contents

2014. Not only so, as property prices fell, the


total value of transactions also fell. This fall in
profits has also affected large agencies, said
Jack Chua from Era Realty. Market experts
expect the market to worsen. In July, SLP
International, OrangeTee, HSR and Dennis
Wee Realty have banded together to form the
Project Alliance Group to consolidate
resources. RE/MAX, C&H Group and More
Property have followed suit in August too to
form Real Alliance.
(Source: Business Times)
Private home index eases gradually

According to Moodys, the gradual decline in


private home index in Q3 this year can help
Singapore banks ease pressure on bank
asset quality. According to URAs Private
Residential Property Price Index, the price
index fell by 0.6 per cent quarter on quarter in
Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


Q3 this year; and the price index for Q3 this
year fell by 3.8 per cent year on year from
2013. Despite the fall in price index, market
experts expect the asset quality of housing
loans to remain robust in these two years due
to favourable economic conditions, such as
low unemployment. Moodys believe that the
fall in housing price index was due to the
cooling measures implemented by the
government. According to Business Times,
the increase in house loans slowed after the
implementation of the total debt servicing
ratio framework. In fact, the year-on-year
growth in housing loans for this year was the
lowest in five years.

has been sold for $41.7 million or $3,175 per


square foot. The floor has a strata area of
13,121 square feet and is said to have been
purchased by a foreign investor. In August,
the buildings 18th storey was sold for $3,225
per square feet. The lease of the 19th storey
of Samsung Hub has been renewed until
2017. Thus, the net yield for the buyer is
expected to be about sub-3 per cent. The 19th
storey comprises of six strata units. Market
watchers believe that the total debt servicing
ratio framework will make it harder for strata
office investors to get loan approvals,
compared with those buying the space for
their own use.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Commercial

Da Vinci Building sold for $58 million

Samsung Hub fetches $3,175 psf

Da Vinci Building, which is located at 191


Upper Bukit Timah Road, has been sold for

Level 19 of Samsung Hub, at Church Street,


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


$58 million to Sim Lian Holdings Pte Ltd.

harder to find when secondary industrial

According to Business Times, Sim Lian

space becomes available from expiring sale

Holdings will be leasing out the building after

and leaseback transactions. Chia Siew Chuin

Da Vinci Holdings Pte Ltd moves out of the

from Colliers expects rents and yield to be

building. The Da Vinci Building is located

impacted when leasing space from third-party

beside the Sim Lian Holdings headquarters

facility providers. Nonetheless, Chia believes

and is a freehold site that has a plot ratio of

that rents for business parks and independent

1.4. It has been zoned for commercial use

high-specs buildings will remain constant from

under the Urban Redevelopment Authoritys

Q3 to Q4 this year due to a slowdown in land

Master Plan 2014. It has a gross floor area of

supply. Chia also predicts that the sale of

about 30,000 square feet and has a land area

strata-titled industrial land will remain slow.

of 21,415 square feet. It also has a basement

Despite

car park and comprises four storeys.

believes that the outlook for the industrial

strong

leasing

activities,

Chia

market will remain mixed. According to URA

(Source: Business Times)

Realis caveats, sale transactions of strata-

Strata-titled industrial sales expected to be

titled industrial properties have fallen by 36

slow

per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 from Q2 this

A report by Colliers International said that

year. According to DTZ, the decline in sales

replacement

volume is due to the implementation of the

Back to Contents

anchor

sub-tenants

will

be

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177


total debt servicing ratio framework. Not only
so, CBRE said that there is a widening gap in
rents between business parks located in the
city fringe and in the rest of the island.
(Source: Business Times)

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Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 177

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Sep 24 Sep 30
Postal
District
2
2
4
5
5
8
9
10
10
11
11
11
12
13
14
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16

Project Name
THE ARRIS
INTERNATIONAL PLAZA
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
THE INFINITI
VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM
SOHO @ FARRER
ESPADA
VILLA AZURA
SOMMERVILLE PARK
IRIDIUM
ADAM PARK CONDOMINIUM
THE ARCADIA
THE TIER
ONE LEICESTER
ASTORIA PARK
STARVILLE
AALTO
THE SHORE RESIDENCES
GRAND DUCHESS AT ST PATRICK'S
COSTA RHU
THE ESTA
WATER PLACE
FERNWOOD TOWERS
BLU CORAL
NEPTUNE COURT
TEMBELING CENTRE
IDYLLIC EAST

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,464 2,420,000 1,653
FH
1,496 1,960,000 1,310
99
1,281 1,880,000 1,468
99
1,302 1,200,000 921
FH
2,293 2,100,000 916
99
441
700,000 1,586
FH
355
970,000 2,731
FH
1,604 2,080,000 1,297
FH
624
700,000 1,121
FH
1,066 1,615,000 1,516
FH
958 1,340,000 1,399
FH
4,639 4,640,000 1,000
99
538
738,000 1,371
FH
915 1,150,000 1,257
FH
958 1,000,000 1,044
99
1,216 1,120,000 921
FH
1,550 2,800,000 1,806
FH
893 1,390,000 1,556 103
1,410 2,121,000 1,504
FH
2,228 3,050,000 1,369
99
1,313 1,750,000 1,333
FH
1,227 1,590,000 1,296
99
1,636 1,800,000 1,100
FH
1,141 1,220,000 1,069
FH
1,636 1,380,000 843
99
1,959 1,600,000 817
FH
1,281 1,400,000 1,093
FH

Postal
District
16
16
16
17
18
19
19
20
20
21
21
21
21
21
23
23
23
23
23
23
23
25
26
27

Project Name
THE BAYSHORE
SUNHAVEN
AQUARIUS BY THE PARK
THE GALE
WATERVIEW
SUNGLADE
EVERGREEN PARK
RAFFLESIA CONDOMINIUM
GRANDEUR 8
SUMMERHILL
SOUTHAVEN II
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
SELANTING GREEN
PINE GROVE
GUILIN VIEW
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
REGENT HEIGHTS
REGENT HEIGHTS
MAYSPRINGS
PALM GARDENS
REGENT GROVE
WOODGROVE CONDOMINIUM
HONG HENG MANSIONS
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
936
900,000
961
99
1,281 1,200,000 937
FH
1,227 1,020,000 831
99
969
995,000 1,027
FH
1,324 1,480,000 1,118
99
1,044 1,080,000 1,034
99
1,023 820,000
802
99
915 1,135,000 1,241
99
1,227 1,320,000 1,076
99
1,206 1,320,000 1,095
FH
1,507 1,620,000 1,075 999
969
945,000
975
FH
1,658 1,600,000 965
FH
1,927 1,400,000 727
99
861
785,000
912
99
980
838,888
856
99
1,023 868,000
849
99
1,173 931,000
794
99
1,410 1,070,000 759
99
1,216 920,000
756
99
1,173 860,000
733
99
1,604 1,150,000 717
99
1,302 1,000,000 768
FH
872
738,000
846
99

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.
Page | 13

Issue 181
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Should You Buy a Property Before You Reach


55 to Use Up Your CPF?

Welcome to the 181st edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

p10

Singapore Property News This Week

p15

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(October 22 October 28 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181

Should You Buy a Property Before You Reach 55 to Use


Up Your CPF?
By Paul Ho (guest contributor)
For Singaporeans, reaching 55 years old
marks a major milestone from the perspective
of personal financial planning. At 55, you can
withdraw a portion of your Central Provident
Fund (CPF) savings. Yes, finally after years of
waiting, you can use the money locked up in
your CPF!
But hang on before you start planning for
your next holiday destination or researching
your second property, reaching 55 does not
mean you can simply go to the CPF to
withdraw any amount you want. The CPF,
Singapores pension scheme, has other plans
for your funds.
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


What happens to your CPF when you turn
55?
First, you need to make sure that you have
enough savings in your Special Account (SA)
and Ordinary Account (OA) to make up the
Minimum Sum (MS) of $155,000 in your
newly set up Retirement Account (RA).
Up to 50% of the Minimum Sum (MS) can be
accounted for with your property if you had
used CPF savings to pay for your property.
However, if you sell your property after 55,
any amount drawn down from the CPF
previously to purchase the property plus
accrued interest will now have to go back to
your CPF.
On top of that, there is still the Medisave
Account which has a mandated Minimum
sum of $43,500 which will have to be topped
up before any funds are withdrawn.
Back to Contents

This means that the Total Minimum sum is a


whopping $198,500 (Minimum Sum (MS) +
Medical Minimum Sum (MMS) = $155,000 +
$43,500).
CPF Life a Compulsory National Annuity
Scheme
Most of the funds in your RA will be for a
compulsory national annuity scheme, also
known as CPF Life, which gives you a
monthly payout when you reach 65 for as
long as you live.
There are two plans:
a) CPF Life Standard Plan, which provides
higher monthly payouts and lower bequests;
and
b) CPF Life Basic Plan, which provides lower
monthly payouts and higher bequests.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


Under the CPF Life Standard Plan, the first
installment of your annuity premium of up to
$77,500 (or half the MS) will be deducted
from your RA.
And before you hit 65, the rest of your money
in the RA will go into the second installment of
your annuity premium.
This means that basically all the money in
your RA will go towards an annuity scheme
under this CPF Life Standard plan, which
happens to be the default plan if you do not
select one.
Under the other plan, CPF Life Basic Plan, a
small portion of about 10% of your RA
savings will go into your first installment and
another portion will be made for the second
installment as you approach 65. The amount
of annuity premium deducted depends on
your age and gender.
Back to Contents

Buy a Second Property Before 55 to


Protect Your CPF Money?
Many people have called us to enquire about
buying a second property using their CPF as
they are afraid that the money gets taken
away into Retirement account. Also the
controversies regarding how the CPF funds
are channeled by the government has
increased the anxiety of some.
Lets take the scenario of Mr. Tan who is
currently 54 years old and evaluating whether
to buy a property. He currently owns a private
property. This property is used as a pledge for
50% of the Minimum Sum. He has the
following savings in his CPF:
Ordinary Account = $120,000
Special Account = $55,000
Medisave Account = $23,500
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


At 55 years old, a Retirement Account would
be created. All the monies will be transferred
from the Special Account (SA) into the
Retirement Account (RA) and his Medisave
Account (MA) will be topped up. After this
transfer his account situation will look like
this:

65 years old, there is practically no additional


income.

Special Account = $0

Many people who are now in their early 50s


and who have some CPF monies are
approaching us to discuss using their CPF
Ordinary account to buy another house. If
they buy a second house, they only need to
meet 50% of the Minimum Sum, which is
$155,000 * 0.5 = $77,500. Anything in excess
of $77,500 can be used. We can see this rule
from the CPF website:

Medisave Account = $38,500 (Medisave


Minimum Sum is $43,500)

C. USE OF CPF TO PURCHASE MULTIPLE


PROPERTIES

Only a $5000 withdrawal is possible.

If you already own a property bought with


your CPF and wish to buy another property
with CPF, you should take note that you may
do so only after you have set aside half of the
prevailing Minimum Sum in your Ordinary and
Special Accounts.

Retirement Account = $155,000


Ordinary Account = $0

There is still a Medisave Account (MA)


Shortfall of $5,000.
However, only $5,000 can be withdrawn at 55
years old. This means that between 55 and
Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


The maximum amount of CPF you and your
co-owner(s) may use for your second and
subsequent property is capped at its VL.

it does not go into the Retirement Account.


However buying a second property has the
following implications:

* The Minimum Sum changes every July.


Please refer to the CPF website for
information on the prevailing Minimum Sum.

The Additional Buyer Stamp Duty of 7%


(for the second property) is a whopping
$70,000 of tax if the cost of the property is
$1 million.

His first property is used as a pledge and


upon sale of the property, proceeds from
the sale will go into topping up his CPF
account together with accrued interest.

He can only borrow up to a reduced


Loan-to-Value of 50% (i.e. only 50% loan
size and 50% downpayment) if his first
residential property has an outstanding
loan.

Mr. Tan is already 54 years old. Hence the


loan eligibility is lower as the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio criteria is tough.

(Source: CPF)
Mr. Tan, has $120,000 in his OA and $55,000
in his SA. In other words, since he already
has a private property as a pledge towards
the Minimum sum of $155,000, he can use
any sum of money in excess of $77,500 for
his second property purchase, provided it is in
the Ordinary account (OA).
$120,000 + $55,000 - $77,500 = $97,500.
Thus Mr. Tan can use $97,500 for his second
property purchase.

If this money is used ahead of him turning 55,


Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181

His loan tenure will be short at 10 to 11


years tenure (max 65 years old for 80%
loan). If he earns $10,000 a month, he
can only pass the TDSR if his loan

Back to Contents

amount is around $656,000. He will need


another borrower to join him if he wants to
buy a dearer property.

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


Issues you should consider if you are
approaching 55
While a monthly payout in your old age
sounds good, having a substantial portion of
your savings being tied down for this
compulsory annuity scheme raises a few
issues worth considering:

Am I better off reinvesting the money on


my own?

Will I live long enough to be able to use


my hard earned money?

What can I do now to better plan for


myself financially?

Should I downgrade to a smaller flat since


funds received from the sale of property
now goes into meeting the MS in my RA?

Back to Contents

Should I take the opportunity to buy


another property now to use up my funds
before all the money goes into my RA
when I reach 55?

Should I use my CPF to pay down my


existing housing loan (if it is not paid up in
full)?

Each individuals needs and aspirations are


different. And it helps if you think about these
issues so as to prepare yourself for this major
milestone.
Buying another residential property at 55 is a
major decision. The repayment commitment
is heavy given the short loan tenure. Apart
from that, you still have to do proper research
to make sure you are not overpaying.

Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


Suggestions for the Government
While the governments plan to make
everyone compulsorily save for retirement is
legitimate, it places an undue strain on
citizens. Structural income inequalities need
to be sorted out. Part of the inadequacy in
retirement funds could be due to the low
returns from CPF funds. Hence the
government can explore ways to ameliorate
this shortfall this would ensure that
Singaporeans can live and age gracefully.
By Paul Ho, holder of an MBA from a
reputable
university
and
editor
of
www.iCompareLoan.com, Singapores first
Cloud-based Home Loan reporting platform
used by Property agents, financial advisors
as well as Mortgage brokers.

Back to Contents

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Luxury home prices fell by 10% over the
last year
According to Knight Franks Prime Global
Cities Index, luxury home prices in Singapore
have fallen by 10 percent, despite an average
of 4 percent growth in most other leading
cities, from September 2013 to September
2014. Nonetheless, luxury home prices have
also fallen in six other cities. For example,
luxury home prices in Hong Kong have fallen
by 1.1 percent. Market experts believe that
home prices in Singapore have fallen due to
the cooling measures that were implemented
in the recent years. Alice Tan from Knight
Back to Contents

Frank predicts that prices for luxury homes


will continue to fall as transaction volumes are
typically low during the festive seasons at the
end of the year. Comparatively, in the United
States, annual prices have risen between 6.7
percent and 16.3 percent in cities such as Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New
York.
(Source: Business Times)
TRE Residences priced at $1,560 psf
TRE Residences, which is located in
Geylang, will be sold at an average indicative
price of $1,560 psf when it is launched on
November 15. A 5 per cent early bird discount
will be offered during the launch.
Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


With the discount, prices at TRE Residences
will start from $690,000 for a one bedroom
unit; $899,900 for a two bedroom unit; $1.179
million for a three bedroom unit and $1.38
million for a four bedroom dual key unit.
Nicholas Mak from SLP International believes
that the average indicative pricing for TRE
Residences is steep compared to prices of
neighbouring projects. The condominium has
a 99-year leasehold and its unit sizes start
from 420 square feet to 947 square feet.
(Source: Business Times)
HDB resale prices up by 0.1% month-overmonth
In October, HDB resale prices rose by 0.1 per
cent from the previous month according to
SRX. Prices of executive flats increased by
0.8 per cent while prices of four room and five
room HDB flats fell by 0.4 per cent and 0.1
Back to Contents

per cent respectively. Nonetheless, market


experts believe that the market will soften
further given that the governments cooling
measures have not been lifted. Yet, resale
volumes have improved in October from the
previous month by 5.7 percent as 1,553 HDB
flats changed hands in October this year.
According to SRX, this was the highest
monthly resale volume for 2014. Ong Kah
Seng from RST Research believes that high
resale volumes and the slight increase in
prices show that buyers may be rushing to
close deals before the year ends.
(Source: Business Times)
The Terrace is launched
The Terrace which is located near Punggol
Waterway, has been launched at an average
indicative price that is between $770 and
$840 psf.
Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


More specific quantum prices will be provided
by the developer, Kheng Leong, when closer
to the start of its e-application on November
21. The executive condominium comprises of
a total of 747 units. Unit sizes range from
1,001 square feet for a three bedroom unit to
1,711 square feet for a penthouse unit. Ong
Kah Seng from RST Research expects 40
percent of The Terrace to be sold within the
first two months as it is priced reasonably. Not
only so, it is conveniently located near
amenities such as the upcoming Waterway
Point shopping mall.
(Source: Business Times)
Holland Park GCB to be sold for $30m
A brand new Good Class Bungalow at
Holland Park will be sold for $30 million, or
$1,989 psf. The property has a built up area
of 11,368 square feet and is freehold. The
Back to Contents

bungalow has a pool, lift, five bedrooms and


is two storeys high. It has received its
Temporary Occupation Permit a few months
ago. Market experts believe that the asking
price of the bungalow is slightly high, given
current market conditions. Not only so, the
property is not situated in the top-tier Good
Class Bungalow area.
(Source: Business Times)
23 GCBs sold this year
According to the Business Times, 23 Good
Class Bungalows (GCB) were sold this year
for a total of $526 million. This was only
slightly lower than last years tally of 29
transactions. Ku Swee Yong from Century 21
said that there is a steady demand for GCBs
because high-net-worth Singaporeans prefer
the low density environment of GCB areas.

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


Thus, the sale of GCBs is less affected as
compared to the sale of properties at Sentosa
Cove. This year, only 2 bungalows located at
the Sentosa Cove waterfront have been
transacted for a total of $27.5 million. This is
significantly lower than the $367 million that
was amassed from the sale of 18 bungalows
at Sentosa Cove last year.
(Source: Business Times)
Site at Serangoon to be launched as first
GLS under new policy
From November 1, new rules to improve
productivity in the construction sector will be
rolled out. Under the new ruling, government
land sale (GLS) sites have to higher building
design and constructability standards. Also,
developers have to meet certain levels of
prefabrication. A site at upper Serangoon

Back to Contents

Road will be the first GLS site that will be


affected by the new ruling. The site has a 99year leasehold and has a plot size of about
10,000 square meters. It can yield about 340
homes. Market experts believe that the site
will attract about 10 bidders. Besides the
Serangoon site, other sites at Yishun and
Jurong have also been selected for
prefabricated
pre-finished
volumetric
construction
(PPVC),
which
involves
assembling
whole
rooms
that
are
manufactured off-site. The Building and
Construction Authority (BCA) has said that it
is still identifying more GLS sites for PPVC.
Nicholas Mak from SLP International believes
that the increase in construction costs may
push GLS tender prices down or be passed
on to property buyers.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181


Commercial

Reitas will engage regulators

Oxley Hotel on auction

The Reit Association of Singapore (Reitas)


has been formed by several real estate
investment trusts to promote the growth of
Singapores Reit sector. The association will
be helmed by nine committee members that
are from major Reits and sponsors such as
Mapletree, CapitaLand and Keppel. Reitas
aims to engage regulators and to educate
investors. According to market experts,
Singapores Reit market is the third largest in
Asia pacific, and as such, it is important to
manage the sector. Reitas has been
engaging MAS and IRAS on issues such as
tax exemptions for foreign-sourced income as
well as stamp duty remission for properties
sold to S-Reits. According to the Business
Times, Reitas will officially launch on
November 17.

Oxley Hotel, which is located at Lorong 6


Geylang, is a freehold site that has eight
storeys. It has a plot area of 3,725 square
feet and a total gross floor area of 12,238
square feet. Its indicative price is $25 million
and has been put up for sale on auction. The
hotel has 56 guest rooms and has a gross
plot ratio of 2.8. It has been zoned for
residential or institution use in 2008. The
auction will begin on November 21. Grace Ng
from Colliers International believes that the
auction will attract many bidders as it is
unlikely for new hotel sites to be approved in
the vicinity.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Back to Contents

Page | 14

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 181

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Oct 22 Oct 28
Postal
District
1
3
4
4
5
5
8
8
9
9
9
10
10
10
11
11
12
12
12
13
14
14
15
15
15
15

Project Name
MARINA BAY SUITES
QUEENS
THE INTERLACE
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
HERITAGE VIEW
HERITAGE VIEW
KERRISDALE
KENTISH COURT
THE TATE RESIDENCES
VISIONCREST
MACKENZIE REGENCY
HOLT RESIDENCES
LUSH ON HOLLAND HILL
GLENTREES
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
THE PARK VALE
VISTA RESIDENCES
ECOVILLE
CASA FORTUNA
ONE LEICESTER
SIMSVILLE
EUNOSVILLE
MARINE MEADOWS
WATER PLACE
PALMERA RESIDENCE
SUITES @ AMBER

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
2,691 7,263,000 2,699
99
915 1,200,000 1,312
99
5,253 3,560,000
678
99
1,227 1,930,000 1,573
99
1,163 1,350,000 1,161
99
969 1,170,000 1,208
99
1,270 1,400,000 1,102
99
1,227 1,200,000
978
99
3,208 7,150,000 2,229
FH
1,152 2,200,000 1,910
FH
990 1,335,000 1,348
FH
2,067 3,400,000 1,645
FH
1,561 2,618,000 1,677
FH
1,711 2,460,000 1,437 999
1,464 2,600,000 1,776
FH
1,701 2,350,000 1,382 999
1,313 2,065,000 1,572
FH
1,184 1,380,000 1,166
FH
710
780,000
1,098
FH
958 1,200,000 1,253
FH
1,528 1,250,000
818
99
1,679 980,000
584
102
1,690 1,950,000 1,154
FH
1,216 1,500,000 1,233
99
893 1,050,000 1,175
FH
474
738,000
1,558
FH

Postal
District
16
16
17
17
17
18
18
19
19
19
20
21
21
23
23
23
23
23
23
25
26
27

Project Name
COUNTRY PARK CONDOMINIUM
TANAMERA CREST
DAHLIA PARK CONDOMINIUM
LIGHTHOUSE
BALLOTA PARK CONDOMINIUM
ELIAS GREEN
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
CHILTERN PARK
COMPASS HEIGHTS
SUNGLADE
BRADDELL VIEW
FLORIDIAN
SIGNATURE PARK
CASHEW HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUM
TREE HOUSE
PALM GARDENS
HILLVIEW REGENCY
REGENT GROVE
NORTHVALE
CASABLANCA
MEADOWS @ PEIRCE
YISHUN EMERALD

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,227 1,230,000 1,002
FH
1,206 1,130,000
937
99
1,862 1,380,000
741
FH
1,841 1,230,000
668
99
1,421 900,000
633
FH
1,518 980,000
646
99
1,130 978,000
865
99
1,518 1,270,000
837
99
1,755 1,250,000
712
99
1,001 1,180,000 1,179
99
1,453 1,100,000
757
99
1,862 2,850,000 1,530
FH
1,421 1,480,000 1,042
FH
1,658 1,550,000
935
999
1,292 1,300,000 1,006
99
1,938 1,300,000
671
99
1,130 920,000
814
99
1,173 858,000
731
99
1,087 820,000
754
99
1,184 990,000
836
99
1,830 1,976,400 1,080
FH
1,152 880,000
764
99

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.
Page | 15

Issue 185
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Property Valuation Valuing Leasehold

Welcome to the 185th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Property

Hope you like it!

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(November 19 November 25 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185

Property Valuation Valuing Leasehold Property


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
Suppose you intend to buy a leasehold
property with 30 years or less remaining on
its lease how would you know whether it is
worth the price you are paying? Or put in
another way, what price justifies your making
the purchase?
This is the thrust of this final article on
Property Valuation.
Valuing leasehold
complex

properties

is

more

Previously, weve covered critical financial


ratios to measure the worth of a property.
This is straightforward for freehold properties.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


But for leasehold properties, the answer is
more complicated due to their limited shelflife.

purposes, heres a general rule for the


Practical or Real tenure of different kinds of
properties:

The following is the typical tenures for


different types of leasehold property:

Residential 40 years

Residential 99-year

Commercial 60 years or remaining tenure,


whichever is lesser

Commercial 99-year

Industrial Remaining tenure

Industrial 60- or even 30-year

Never bank on en-bloc as a profit


strategy

However, we need to know that the real


tenure does not equal the leasehold period
remaining. Leasehold properties seldom
maximise their entire lease tenures. After 35
to 40 years, the vast majority of leasehold
properties are demolished and rebuilt with
their leases topped up.
Therefore, when valuing property, we need to
be more aware of the Real or Practical
tenure of the property. For our valuation
Back to Contents

We should remember that theres no certainty


a property will be granted an extension on the
lease (top-up) by the Singapore Land
Authority (SLA).
Thus, we should never bank on collective
sales or en-bloc as a profit strategy. Therere
many instances where forced en-bloc sales
are unprofitable for some people.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


Example: Comparing different leasehold
properties

The learning points from Table 1 can be


summarised as follows:

Mr Lim has short-listed three properties with


different leasehold tenures for consideration,
as illustrated in Table 1 below.

Compared with Properties A and B,


Property C has a lower Net Operating
Income (NOI) and a lower tenure with
only 20 years left on the lease. We can
thus derive that Property C is the best
value for money, with the highest ROE of
251.82%

Its important to derive the actual Present


Value/Worth of the property using the
Time Value of Money money now is
more valuable than money later on.

Property Cs asking price is closest to the


actual Present Value/Worth its POV is
the lowest.

Ive simplified and removed the financial


calculations (which need a financial calculator
to be derived) to aid in your understanding.

Table 1: Comparison of three properties


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


Based on our calculations in Table 1:

We can negotiate for a lower price. We


dont ask for the sake of asking and
neither do we become cheap in our offer
and lose the deal.

Weve a clear target price to work on - if


the asking price is far from our target
price or if we dont get it, we simply walk
away from the deal.

Example: Long Term Rental Increments


Lets inject more realism into our valuation by
adding some rent increases rather than
keeping it fixed for the entire lease tenure.
Do be prudent and realistic on the rent
increases, even though rents do go up in
general over time.

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Table 2: Comparison of three properties


including rent increases

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


The learning points from Table 2 can be
summarised as follows:

provides clarity for owners, buyers, sellers or


investors in the form of:

We use dollar value for rental increments


for simplicity.

A percentage rate increase may suffer


from a compounding/cumulative effect
and cause unrealistic projections 30-40
years into the future.

Conceptual clarity: A number of different


yield metrics exist on the market it is
important to be clear about how the
specific terms are defined.

Operational clarity: To have a clear


overview of rental incomes, operating
costs and property values for the ordinary
buyer/seller.

Weve to compare at least 2 or more


properties to effectively make an objective
buying decision.
Property C is still the best value for
money with the highest ROE return, even
with periodic rent increments.

Finally, do remember that:

Reported yields can be manipulated by


choosing
metrics
and
massaging
estimates of uncertain factors that are
favourable to the people with vested
interests.

We should be clear about the purpose for


which each yield metric is used.

Conclusion
As a conclusion for the entire Property
Valuation series, I would like to emphasize
how using critical financial metrics and ratios
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185

The most important distinction is between


using yields/income/price returns for
ownership purposes and using yields as
benchmarks or bubble indicators for
investors.

Always have a clear view of the propertys


price-income-yield ratio. For example,
how it relates to the real return on other
investments, inflation levels, risks and
expectations for both buyers and sellers.

By guest contributor Gerald Tay, who is the


founder and coach at CREI Academy Group
Pte Ltd, an organization dedicated to
empowering retail property investors with
smarter investing philosophy and strategies.
He is a full-time investor with over 13 years of
solid experience in building his wealth
through Property Investment and is financially
wealthy today.

Back to Contents

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
HDB resale prices fell by 0.8%
According to the Singapore Real Estate
Exchange (SRX), resale prices of HDB flats
have fallen by another 0.8 percent in
November, and have fallen by 6.3 percent
year-on-year from November 2013 to
November this year. This is the lowest in the
last 40 months. Market experts believe that
prices will continue to slip due to the
completion of new BTO flats and executive
condominiums. In November, 1,350 units
have changed hands. This is a 13.1 percent
month-on-month fall from the October.
Mohammed Ismail from PropNex said that
demand for HDB flats have been weak hence
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threatening resale prices. Eugene Lim from


ERA Realty added that the fall in prices is
due to the implementation of cooling
measures such as the Mortgage Servicing
Ratio.
(Source: Business Times)
Supply for private housing land expected
to shrink
Due to weak market sentiments, market
experts believe that the government will cut
the land supply of private housing on the
confirmed list for the first half of 2015. Alan
Cheong from Savills Singapore said that the
reduction in land sales for private housing will
be in line with the shrinking demand in the
residential market.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


In H2 this year, 3,915 private homes were
released in comparison to the 4,630 units
released in H1 this year. Market experts
predict that the H1 2015 confirmed list will
consist of 1,900 units to 3,700 private home
units. Nonetheless, market experts believe
that at least one office site will be put up for
tender on the Government Land Sales
Programme for the first half of next year.
Experts predict that that site will likely be
located in the suburbs so as to increase office
space supply. Ong Choon Fah from DTZ
predicts that more mixed-use development
sites will be allocated near MRT stations.

(Source: Business Times)


BTO flats to be launched in Bidadari next
year
According
to
Minister
for
National
Development Khaw Boon Wan, 2,200 buildBack to Contents

to-order flats will be released in Bidadari for


the first time next year. Under the Married
Child Priority Scheme, parents or children
living in Toa Payoh will be given priority for
the build-to-order flats in Bidadari. Not only
so, the Ministry of National Development will
be launching another 360 three-generation
flats, including 150 units in Tampines to
support families who want to live with their
parents. Also, another 1,200 new flats will be
released in Tampines North to help those
whose parents or married children are
already living in Tampines.
(Source: Business Times)
GuocoLand will launch a 1,024-unit condo
in Aljunied next year
A 1,024-unit condominium project will be
launched at Aljunied Road early next year.
The 99-year leasehold site,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


Sims Urban Oasis, will have facilities such as
a childcare centre. The childcare centre,
which is about 300 square metres large, is
able to accommodate about 30 to 50 children.
Cheng Hsing Yao from GuocoLand said that
the condominium project is targeted at a
diverse group of owner-occupiers, ranging
from young couples to multi-generation
families.

account for transactions made in newer towns


such as Punggol and Sengkang. Also,
Minister Khaw believes that the Resale Price
Index needs to be adjusted in order to reflect
the age variance among flat buyers. Eugene
Lim from ERA Realty believes that the
changes in the Resale Price Index will
increase the indexs sensitivity to price
movements.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

HDB: Resale Price Index will be revised

Commercial

The HDB Resale Price Index will be reviewed


according to the Minister for National
Development Khaw Boon Wan to accurately
reflect trends in the resale market. According
to Minister Khaw, there is a need to revise the
computation of the Resale Price Index to
include the variety of flat models. Not only so,
the current resale price index does not

Holland Road site will not have stratatitled shops and offices

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A mixed-development site at Holland Road


will be launched on the Government Land
Sales reserve list. Strata-titled shops and
office units will not be allowed at the site. The
site, which has a total of 2.3 hectares will be
sectioned into two zones.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185


Zone 1 is reserved for residential use and can
be developed into a maximum of 570 units.
On the other hand, Zone 2 is slated for
commercial and service apartment use. Zone
2 can also be developed into retail and office
units. The maximum gross floor area for Zone
2 is 21,000 square meters. However, only
13,500 square meters can be developed for
retail use, said a spokesperson from URA.
This is to maintain the quality of the site and
its public spaces. Ong Choon Fah from DTZ
predicts that the site will attract many
developers due to its uniqueness and prime
location. Desmond Sim from CBRE added
that he expects that the site will generate
about 8 to 12 bids. He also predicts that the
winning bid would be at least $1,200 psf ppr.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Attractiveness of Singapores property


market falls to 9th in Asia
According to a report by PwC and Urban
Land Institute, the attractiveness of the
Singaporean property market has fallen from
the 7th position to the 9th in Asia. This comes
as no surprise as the government have been
implementing cooling measures to slow the
increase in property prices. Nonetheless,
Yeow Chee Keong from PwC believes that
the Singaporean market is still going strong.
He expects an increase in demand for
commercial space next year. The report
added that other countries such as Hong
Kong and China have also experienced an
outflow of property investments, into other
markets such as Australia.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 185

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Nov 19 Nov 25
Postal
District
3
4
5
5
5
5
8
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
12
12
14
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
16

Project Name
QUEENS
SEVEN PALMS SENTOSA COVE
VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM
DOVER PARKVIEW
MONTEREY PARK CONDOMINIUM
MONTEREY PARK CONDOMINIUM
PARC SOMME
DUCHESS CREST
CITY TOWERS
BOTANIC GARDENS MANSION
ONE TREE HILL RESIDENCE
THE MARBELLA
GOODWOOD RESIDENCE
LA SUISSE
AMARYLLIS VILLE
EURO-ASIA APARTMENTS
D'LOTUS
ASTORIA PARK
LAGUNA PARK
VILLA MARINA
TIERRA VUE
OCEAN PARK
WATER PLACE
COTE D'AZUR
HAIG 162
CHANGI GREEN

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,195 1,450,000 1,214
99
6,910 28,550,000 4,131
99
2,271 2,050,000 903
99
969 1,010,000 1,043
99
1,625 1,700,000 1,046 999
1,625 1,780,000 1,095 999
355
600,000 1,689
99
936 1,298,000 1,386
99
1,550 2,200,000 1,419
FH
1,755 2,700,000 1,539
FH
2,454 3,850,000 1,569
FH
1,744 2,750,000 1,577
FH
1,970 4,880,000 2,477
FH
2,110 2,300,000 1,090 999
1,238 1,938,000 1,566
99
1,722 1,500,000 871
FH
807
950,000 1,177
FH
958
898,000
937
99
1,615 1,200,000 743
99
1,658 1,250,000 754
99
2,067 2,420,000 1,171
FH
1,302 1,600,000 1,228
FH
1,561 1,919,888 1,230
99
840 1,100,000 1,310
99
355
665,000 1,872
FH
1,335 1,200,000 899
FH

Postal
District
16
16
17
17
17
19
19
19
20
20
21
21
21
21
22
22
22
22
23
25
27

Project Name
BAYSHORE PARK
COSTA DEL SOL
CARISSA PARK CONDOMINIUM
CARISSA PARK CONDOMINIUM
ESTELLA GARDENS
KOVAN ESQUIRE
KOVAN MELODY
FONTAINE PARRY
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
PINE GROVE
THE HILLSIDE
SIGNATURE PARK
THE NEXUS
LAKEHOLMZ
THE CENTRIS
THE CENTRIS
THE CENTRIS
MI CASA
PARC ROSEWOOD
THE ESTUARY

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
2,196 2,300,000 1,047
99
1,238 1,770,000 1,430
99
1,324 1,030,000 778
FH
947
915,000
966
FH
657
685,000 1,043
FH
1,001 968,000
967
FH
1,292 1,390,000 1,076
99
1,507 1,740,000 1,155 999
1,324 1,000,000 755
99
883
955,000 1,082
99
1,755 1,500,000 855
99
1,776 1,800,000 1,013
FH
1,055 1,150,000 1,090
FH
614 1,000,000 1,630
FH
1,507 1,356,000 900
99
1,152 1,150,000 998
99
936 1,070,000 1,143
99
1,066 1,260,000 1,182
99
1,259 1,170,000 929
99
969
999,000 1,031
99
1,302 1,030,000 791
99

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.

Page | 12

Issue 188
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

Mr. Propwises 2015 Singapore Property

Welcome to the 188th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Market Outlook

Hope you like it!

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p13

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(December 9 December 16 )

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188

Mr. Propwises 2015 Singapore Property Market Outlook

By Mr. Propwise
How quickly yet another year has flown by.
Its that time of the year where I look back at
whats happened over the past twelve
months, then try and say something intelligent
about the future direction of the property
market over the next year.
As always, 2014 was an interesting year for
the property market. Id sum it up as the year
when policy finally worked. In 2013, despite
seven rounds of cooling measures and a
property tax hike,

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


the residential property market simply
shrugged it off for the first three quarters,
resulting in the URA Property Price Index
(PPI) clocking a positive 2.0% move.
TDSR the straw that broke the property
markets back
But the figurative straw that broke the camels
back was the MAS Total Debt Servicing Ratio
(TDSR) framework introduced at the end of
June 2013, which significantly limited the
ability of buyers to lever up and buy property
despite the signs pointing to an overheated
and overpriced market. Really, the MAS was
just trying to save buyers from themselves
(sometimes there are benefits to living in a
nanny state).
This final straw then led to four consecutive
quarters of decline of the PPI from 2013Q4 to
2014Q3 for a total decline of 3.9% over this
Back to Contents

period. This figure likely understates the


magnitude of the decline as we know that
developers have been offering all kinds of
incentives (e.g. tax rebates, renovation
vouchers etc.) to get buyers to bite without
having to lower the headline price.
How much further will the property market
fall?
Looking at monthly property indices such as
the SRX Property Index (SPI) and the NUS
Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI)
suggests that the Fourth Quarter of
2014should to continue to be weak, although
the decline is likely to be small.
And despite the warning, threatening and
finally pleading of the property developers
and agents, the government is right the
correction of property prices so far has been
very mild.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


and then more recently from 2008 to 2009
during the Global Financial Crisis. During
those downturns, the URA PPI corrected by
19.9% and 24.9% respectively. So if I had to
hazard a guess, Id say wed have another 10
to 20 percent more downside to go before the
government would deem the correction to be
meaningful and start easing some of those
measures.
Figure 1 Change in URA PPI since 2000
(Source: URA,
PropertyMarketInsights.com)
The million dollar question is what does the
government think a meaningful correction
is? Its important because theyve indicated
that the property cooling measures are here
to stay until such a correction has occurred.
We can get some clues from the previous two
corrections that occurred from 2000 to 2004
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3 reasons why the market will continue to


be weak in 2015
There are three reasons why the current
market weakness is likely to continue into
2015 and beyond.
First, the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) has
continued to decline and has been weaker
than the URA PPI since 2013Q2. A doubling
of HDB prices since 2005 created a wealth
effect that supported mass market prices as
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


HDB flat owners could sell their unit at a high
price and upgrade to a private condominium.
Now that HDB prices are falling, this effect
will shift into reverse gear, where HDB
owners find it difficult to sell their flat at a
good price, thus sapping demand from the
mass segment of the market, which
incidentally has been the strongest segment.

Second, record upcoming completions are


likely to put pressure on both property prices
and rentals, especially coupled with slower
expected
population
growth
as
the
government continues to tighten the inflow of
foreigners coming into Singapore due to the
locals unhappiness. Conspiracy theorists
posit a loosening of the foreign talent spigot
post a surprise 2015 General Election, but
really, who knows?
Based on URA data, there are close to
75,000 units of private residential properties
that will be completed in the next few years.
Looking at the breakdown of supply, 2015
and 2016 will see completions of over 20
thousand units per year. This is nearly twice
the yearly average of fewer than 10 thousand
units per year between 1996 and 2012.

Figure 2 URA PPI vs HDB RPI (Source:


URA, HDB, PropertyMarketInsights.com)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


multiple rounds of Quantitative Easing (QE)
by the US Federal Reserve post the Global
Financial Crisis. This has propped up the
prices of most yield-based assets, including
property. While the Fed has indicated a gentle
pace of QE tapering, the market reaction to
any significant tightening of liquidity could be
stronger and more violent than people expect.

Figure 3 Upcoming private residential


supply (Source: URA,
PropertyMarketInsights.com)
And if we add on the completions of public
housing, the upcoming supply tsunami looks
daunting.
Prospects of QE tapering
Finally, we should keep in mind that the root
cause of the buoyant property prices is the
protracted low interest rate environment after
Back to Contents

Figure 4 URA PPI vs 3-Month SIBOR


(Source: URA,
MAS,PropertyMarketInsights.com)
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


And even if interest rates do not shoot up
right away, borrowing costs can still rise as
banks charge a higher margin (SIBOR + X%)
to give themselves a buffer against rising
interest rates and greater mortgage
defaults.And when borrowing costs rise, the
stress on heavily leveraged buyers will go up,
and the attractiveness of property itself as an
asset class also decreases as the net
cashflow it provides falls. This will be
exacerbated if rentals are also under
pressure at the same time.
Ive talked about this before, but I think many
property buyers are still blas to the impact of
rising mortgage rates (whether from rising
interest rates or banks raising their lending
spread) on their ability to meet their monthly
payments, so I hope to make it more concrete
by using an example.

Lets take the case of the Lees, a young


Back to Contents

professional couple who bought their dream


condo for $2 million (before the TDSR rules
came into effect). They took an 80% loan
($1.6 million) with a 30-year tenor. With the
current low floating mortgage rate of 1.2%,
their monthly payment is $5,294, a
manageable 50% of their total household
income.
Fast forward a couple of years, when the Fed
has raised rates and mortgage rates in
Singapore have returned to their long term
average of around 4%. The monthly payment
will get re-priced upwards to $7,639, and now
accounts for a hefty 72% of their household
income (assuming no pay increments). This
represents a 44% increase.
The Lees are starting to sweat, and are
barely making ends meet. And Lord forbid if
either of them were to lose their job. Not to
mention that this rise in rates is coupled with
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


weak rentals and record completions, and
property prices falling every quarter.
Have you imagined
happening to you?

such

scenario

So what should buyers and investors do?


I do not like making forecasts about when or
how much property prices will fall, because I
believe the exact timing and magnitude of
property price movements is dependent on
too many unknowable events. Instead, I
prefer to base my property investment
decisions (there are different considerations if
you are buying for own stay) on my analysis
of where we are in the cycle and what has
historically been the best actions to take at
each point.

know that we are currently in the Early Bear


stage of the Property Market Cycle Model.
This means that the best thing to do is to sit
tight and wait for further correction before
entering. The time to buy will come when we
enter the Late Bear and Early Bull stages of
the market. You might have to wait for years,
but its much better than giving in to the
pressure to buy now at a high price and then
see your life savings get wiped out, dont you
agree?
Heres wishing everyone a Happy New Year
and a Healthy and Wealthy 2015!
By Mr. Propwise, the founder of Singapore
property blog www.propwise.sg, which aims
to help people make better real estate buying,
selling, renting and investing decisions.

Members of Property Market Insights will

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Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
More properties sold at auctions in Q4
According to JLL, properties at auctions sold
at a faster rate in Q4 as compared to the
previous quarters. JLL said that as buyers
and sellers expectations converge, property
sales at auctions have picked up in 2014. In
its report, JLL said that to meet buyers
expectations, sellers have been more willing
to lower their prices. In Q4 this year, the
proportion of properties sold during their first
auction listing has increased to 90 percent
from 80 percent in Q3. As such, $13.7 million
worth of properties were sold at auctions in
Q4 this year. However, this year, the total
sales value of properties sold at auctions fell
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by 27 percent from that in 2013 to $72.5


million. Nonetheless, Mok Sze Sze from JLL
is optimistic about property sales at auctions
in the coming year. She believes that there
will be a steady increase in mortgagee sales.
Despite the weak leasing market, buyers
investment sentiments have not been
affected, added Mok.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Centurion
and
LianBeng
Group
collaborates to build workers dorm
In collaboration with Centurion Corporation,
LianBeng Group will build a 7,900-bed
dormitory at JalanPapan.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


This dormitory will be catered to workers from
the process industry, and it will include a
3,000 sq metre training centre for residents of
the dormitory. The dormitory is expected to be
about 1.5 ha and should be completed by
2016. It will be located near Jurong Island so
that workers may commute to work easily.
The tender for the dormitory was awarded by
Association of Process Industry (Aspri), which
aims to increase productivity of workers
through skills upgrades and other training.
(Source: Business Times)
Two tenders awarded for industrial sites

An industrial site at Tuas South Street 9 and


another at Tampines North Drive 1 has been
awarded by JTC Corporation to Prospaq
Group and Goldprime Land respectively. The
former plot was awarded for $6.88 million
while the latter plot of land was awarded for
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$64.4 million. The industrial site at Tuas is


zoned for Business 2 use and has a gross
plot ratio of 1.0. It is 8,369 sq metres large
and has a 20-year-and-8-months tenure. On
the other hand, the industrial site at Tampines
is larger at 27,395.2 sq meters. It has a gross
plot ratio of 2.5 and its tenure will last 30
years.
(Source: Business Times)
DTZ expects rental demand for small retail
units to fall
According to DTZ, rental demand for smaller
retail units may fall as competition from eretailers heightens. Furthermore, DTZ
predicts the low labour supply and tough
operating environment will affect rental
demands for such retail units. Nonetheless,
capital values of strata retail space increased
by 1.3 percent in 2014 from 2013 in
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


Orchard/Scotts Road and other suburban
areas, said the Business Times. This is
despite the implementation of the total debt
servicing ratio. However market experts
caution that rentals for retail space may fall
further in Q4 this year due to reduced
shopper traffic particularly in the financial
districts. According to DTZ, the gross fixed
monthly rental value for Orchard/Scotts Road
has fallen by 0.3 percent to $30.03 psf in Q4
this year from the previous quarter. Similarly,
the rental value of units in the other city areas
have also fallen by 0.7 percent quarter-onquarter to $17.98 psf in Q4 from Q3 this year.
Ong ChoonFah from DTZ said that the limited
supply of new units in the Orchard/ Scotts
Road area may have contributed to the
relatively better retail rents compared to retail
units in the other areas. Not only so, Orchard
Road is a known tourist destination and as
Back to Contents

such is expected to command a higher rent


compared to the suburban areas.
(Source: Business Times)

Gross floor area for medical clinics to be


capped at 20%
Medical clinics that are located in commercial
developments will not be allowed to expand
beyond 3,000 sq meters or 20 percent of the
total floor area that has been approved for
commercial use, whichever is lower. This new
guideline has since been effective according
to a circular issued by the Urban
Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the
Ministry of Health (MOH). Nonetheless,
existing medical clinics and formal planning
applications that were submitted before Dec
23 this year will not be affected by the new
guidelines.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188


This new guideline aims to prevent
commercial buildings from turning into de
facto medical centres. According to the
circular, medical centres need to be located at
sites that are zoned for that specific use.
Nicholas Mak from SLP International said that
this new guideline will help to regulate the
supply of medical centres in commercial
buildings and will help to optimise the use of
the space.

the new site. Other tenders that have closed


recently include a site at Tuas South Street 9
that was won by Asiaone Logistics and
Warehousing Pte Ltd for $78.13 psfppr; and
another site at Tampines North for $87.34
psfppr.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


Bid for TanjongPenjuru site won by UBTS
A logistic and warehousing company, UBTS
Pte Ltd won the highest bid for a site at
TanjongPenjuru at $9.3 million. The 1.6 ha
site has a 20-year tenure and is zoned for
Business 2 use. It also has a plot ratio of 2.5.
Nicholas Mak from SLP International believes
that UBTS will be relocating its operations to
Back to Contents

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Dec 9 Dec 16

Postal
District
3
4
4
5
5
5
8
8
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
12
13

Project Name
RIVER PLACE
REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY
CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY
BLUE HORIZON
HERITAGE VIEW
DOVER PARKVIEW
CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES
CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES
ESPADA
THE METZ
WATERMARK ROBERTSON QUAY
ST THOMAS SUITES
NASSIM PARK RESIDENCES
NASSIM MANSION
THE GRANGE
BELMOND GREEN
GALLOP GREEN
TEN @ SUFFOLK
SHELFORD SUITES
ADAM PARK CONDOMINIUM
VISTA RESIDENCES
BELLA VISTA

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
797
1,798
1,356
1,216
1,163
936
1,216
1,518
344
3,240
893
4,672
3,477
2,852
2,293
1,270
3,272
1,087
3,584
1,765
646
893

Transacted
Price ($)
1,320,000
3,650,000
2,000,000
1,425,000
1,360,000
990,000
1,820,000
2,100,000
925,000
6,000,000
1,608,000
7,250,000
13,700,000
8,362,500
4,200,000
2,300,000
5,824,160
1,549,000
3,800,000
1,663,000
1,060,000
910,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,657
99
2,030
99
1,475
99
1,172
99
1,170
99
1,057
99
1,496
FH
1,384
FH
2,685
FH
1,852
FH
1,800
FH
1,552
FH
3,940
FH
2,932
FH
1,832
FH
1,811
FH
1,780
FH
1,425
FH
1,060
FH
942
FH
1,641
FH
1,019
FH

Postal
District
14
15
15
15
16
16
18
18
18
18
18
18
19
19
19
19
19
21
23
23
23
23

Project Name
THE WATERINA
RIVEREDGE
SANCTUARY GREEN
ESTERINA
CASA MERAH
CASAFINA
WATERVIEW
LIVIA
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
EASTPOINT GREEN
RIS GRANDEUR
THE QUARTZ
PALM GROVE CONDOMINIUM
COMPASS HEIGHTS
RIO VISTA
EVERGREEN PARK
PINE GROVE
TREE HOUSE
MI CASA
GLENDALE PARK
PALM GARDENS

Area
(sqft)
893
1,604
1,281
2,045
1,259
1,238
786
915
1,130
1,130
1,173
3,294
1,141
1,399
1,324
1,238
1,345
1,755
1,249
1,098
1,216
1,216

Transacted
Price ($)
1,015,000
2,000,000
1,425,000
1,630,000
1,530,000
1,030,000
850,000
900,000
945,000
900,000
900,000
2,120,000
1,220,000
1,420,000
1,250,000
996,000
1,050,000
1,580,000
1,250,000
1,030,000
1,058,000
890,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,136
FH
1,247
99
1,112
99
797
FH
1,215
99
832
99
1,082
99
984
99
836
99
796
99
767
99
644
FH
1,069
99
1,015 999
944
99
805
99
780
99
901
99
1,001
99
938
99
870
FH
732
99

Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 188

Postal
District
25
27
27
27
28
28

Project Name
THE WOODGROVE
THE ESTUARY
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM
EUPHONY GARDENS
SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM
SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM

Area
(sqft)
1,184
1,119
1,572
1,076
1,335
2,077

Transacted Price
Tenure
Price ($) ($ psf)
868,000
733
99
1,050,000 938
99
1,150,000 732
99
750,000
697
99
958,000
718
99
1,300,555 626
99

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.

Back to Contents

Page | 14

Issue 189
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

Exposing the 5 Myths of Property Tax

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

FROM THE

EDITOR

Welcome to the 189th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!

Mr. Propwise

(December 17 December 23 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189

Exposing the 5 Myths of Property Tax


By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)
On December 5, the Inland Revenue
Authority of Singapore (IRAS) announced the
reduction of property tax for HDB flats in
2015. Three days later, there was an article
titled "Property Tax cut for one in four private
home owners" in The Straits Times. A week
after their announcement, a representative
from the IRAS further elaborated how annual
values are calculated in The Straits Times
Forum ("Annual values of homes reflect
market rents"; Dec 15).
Below are my thoughts on this matter after
being a private home property tax payer for
twelve years.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


In this article I will attempt to demystify the
five common myths of property tax.
Myth #1 Lower annual valuesmeans
lower property tax
According to the IRAS, effective Jan 1 next
year, the annual values of 25.7 percent of
private homes have been reduced while only
1.4 percent of annual values have been
adjusted upwards.
However, the IRAS has implemented
progressive tax rates for owner-occupied
private residential properties since 1 Jan
2011. A property tax rate of 4 percent of
annual value applies unless the annual value
is over $65,000 (where a 6 percent tax rate
applies). For non-owner occupied properties,
new progressive tax rates are implemented
since 1 Jan 2014.

By the end of November 2014, property


Back to Contents

owners should have received a letter from the


IRAS, informing them of the revised
progressive property tax structure for both
owner-occupied and non-owner occupied
private residential properties.
For rental properties, the brackets of annual
values are narrower, with an upward
adjustment on the percentages of tax rates
that ranges from 10 to 20 percent. Even if you
are one of the lucky ones with a lower annual
value for your property, you may still end up
paying more property tax next year.
Myth #2 Annual values are reviewed
annually
The December 8 article in The Straits Times
mentions that some feel that the volatility in
the property market cannot be captured by
annual reviews. Together with the statement
from IRAS about the property tax relief of
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


property owners, it gives the wrong
impression that annual values of properties
are reviewed once a year. If there are
changes, they will be made effective at the
beginning of every year.
However, besides the end of the year, in the
past I have received notices from IRAS in
March, August and October about changes in
annual value. And it is not unusual to have
two adjustments in one year.
Myth #3 Owners will be notified of
changes in advance
Unlike a hike in bank interest rates for your
housing loans, you wont receive a notification
telling you in advance the new rates and
changes in repayment amounts that will be
effective from the following month.
IRAS usually gives owners one months
notice. However, on two separate occasions,
Back to Contents

the new annual value was made effective


immediately. One letter I received in midDecember had the new annual value
backdated to November. Another one sent in
early March backdated the change to
February.
Myth #4 The annual value reflects the
performance of the rental market
Property tax is calculated by the annual value
of the property. And annual value is estimated
based on the rental transactions of similar
properties nearby.
In other words, the annual value of your
property is determined by the rentals of
comparable homes, not the performance of
the prevailing rental market.
There are currently 285,000 private
residential properties in Singapore. From 1
Jan 2015, only 25.7 percent will have their
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


annual value lowered. Do you think that only
one in four private property owners are
affected by the slowdown of the rental
market?

Below is a chart that shows the annual values


of four of my private residential properties as
compared to the URA Rental Index from 2002
to 2014. You can see that three properties
have their annual values reduced slightly only
once throughout the years. For most of the
time, they climb up in big steps.

Myth #5 All private residential properties


are treated equallly
Property tax is a wealth tax based on property
ownership. The pricier the property you buy,
the higher the rental it can generate, and the
more property tax you need to pay.
Depending on the annual value, the new
property tax rate for non-owner occupied
properties ranges from 10 to 20 percent.
If your property is in an affluent
neighborhood, there are chances that your
neighbors have newly renovated their flat or
built a swimming pool. The good rent they
fetch can inevitably result in a higher annual
value for your property.
In a bad economy, it is difficult to find tenants
with a good budget. High-end properties are
therefore most susceptible to high vacancy
rate in a slow rental market.

Back to Contents

Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


However, the annual value is the same
whether a property is self-occupied, tenanted
or vacant. Despite the fact that you don't have
a tenant to help you pay for your mortgage
and maintenance fee, you still have to pay a
high property tax.
From 1 Jan 2014, landlords of non-owner
occupied properties can no longer claim any
refund of property tax for an unoccupied
property. The same applies for properties you
are unable to rent out or that are undergoing
repairs.

Straits Times,"It's not that the process is not


transparent ... it's impossible for IRAS to go
into every home to access the condition it is
in."

Remember the famous saying from Benjamin


Franklin?"In this world nothing can be said to
be certain, except death and taxes."
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
Investment.

Lastly, if you find the annual value of your


property unreasonably high, you can appeal
to the IRAS to raise your objection. However,
you have to be prepared that the subsequent
adjustment can be lower, the same, or even
higher.
As what Mr Leung Yew Kwong, Principal Tax
Consultant at KPMG Services, told the The
Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
SRPI for completed small units fell by
4.4% in Nov 14
The National University of Singapores
Singapore Residential Price Index (SPRI) for
units smaller than 506 sqft has fallen by 4.4
percent in November 2014 from December
2013. In November 2014, the price index for
small units showed a 1.9 percent drop from
the previous month, this was the biggest
month-on-month fall this year. About 3.9
percent of the 78,877 completed non-landed
private homes that are accounted for in the
SRPIs basket are made up of units smaller
than 506 sq ft. 429 private residential projects
from October 2003 and September 2013 are
Back to Contents

also accounted for in the SRPI basket.


Market experts believe that the weak price
index for small units will continue. This is
because by end-2015, the number of
shoebox units would stand at 11,000 units, up
from the 2,400 units in 2011. Nicholas Mak
from SLP International added that in 2015
and 2016, 6,200 shoebox apartments will
receive their Temporary Occupation Permit.
Mak predicts that rentals for such apartments
will fall by 5 to 9 percent in 2015. Ong
ChoonFah from DTZ said that owners of
shoebox units may find it difficult to lease out
their apartments and thus may be inclined to
dispose of their units sooner.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


Q3 2014 HDB resale prices fell by 6.1%
year-on-year
HDB resale prices have fallen by 6.1 percent
year-on-year according to the Business
Times. Minister for National Development
Khaw Boon Wan said that a single digital fall
in resale prices in 2015 may be beneficial to
the market. Lee NaiJia from DTZ also added
that as the supply of new flats is expected to
fall from 22,400 in 2014 to 16,900 in 2015,
thus it is unlikely that there will be a doubledigital fall in HDB prices. Lee added that
subsidies to increase income ceiling and
changes in policies directed at singles buying
public housing may improve demand and
hence moderate the fall in prices. Khawsaid
that there may be a possibility that some
cooling measures may be lifted in 2015.
Nonetheless, Khaw said that the total debt
servicing ratio framework will likely stay.
Back to Contents

Khaw said that other central banks, such as


in Australia are also implementing similar
frameworks to monitor the housing market.
According to Khaw, the focus in 2015 is to
assist singles and low-income families who
cannot afford flats and are renting houses.
(Source: Business Times)
URAs private residential property price
index falls by 4% in 2014
Data from the Urban Redevelopment
Authority (URA) showed that the private
residential property price index had fallen by
4 percent in 2014. Market experts believe that
this decline will continue into 2015. Ong Teck
Hui from JLL said that developers are holding
back launches as they expect the government
to relax the current cooling measures. URAs
private home price index in Q4 2014 also
showed a one percent fall from the previous
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


quarter. This was the fifth quarter that prices
have fallen. Particularly, flash estimates by
URA for Q4 non-landed private residential
properties in the city fringe or rest of central
region have suffered the biggest hit with a 5.2
percent decline in prices in 2014. Also, prices
in the core central region fell by 4.1 percent in
2014. However, areas outside the central
region were the least affected with just a 2.2
percent fall in the price index for private
residential properties.
(Source: Business Times)
Bellewaters and Bellewoods introduces
CoSpace flexi concept
To attract buyers, developers of Bellewoods
and Bellewaters have introduced a CoSpace
flexi concept and have offered units at a
discounted price without interior fit-outs or

Back to Contents

floor finishing. In November 2014, Bellewoods


sold 79 of its 561 units at $800 psf while
Bellewaters sold 170 of its 651 units at $813
psf. The executive condominiums (EC) were
both launched in that month. A 5 bedroom
unit may cost around $955,000 after discount,
according to the Business Times. Yet, Ong
Kah Seng believes this unique marketing
strategy may improve sales only slightly, as
some buyers may be unwilling or unable to
fork out additional amount for renovation. Ong
believes that a direct reduction in price to
$780 psf may be a better alternative. The
CoSpace flexi concept allows buyers to
merge the utility room and a study to create a
larger room. About 40 percent of those who
bought CoSpace units have opted to merge
their utility room and study.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


Tender for Sengkang EC to close on Jan
20
The closing of a tender for an executive
condo (EC) at Sengkang East has been
postponed to Jan 20, 2015. The EC is a 99year leasehold site. It is expected to be
developed into 525 EC units and will consist
of 88 bicycle parking spaces. The space
allocated for bicycle parking may be
exempted from the calculation of the gross
floor area. The bicycle parking facilities will be
kept for use by residents only. The inclusion
of a bicycle parking area is in line with LTAs
Land Transport Masterplan 2013 that was
previously launched, said Business Times.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Commercial
Less industrial land sites up for tender on
H1 2015 confirmed list

In H1 2015, the Ministry of Trade and Industry


(MTI) has put up only 9 industrial land sites
for sale under the confirmed list. The 9 sites
will provide a total of 6.46 ha. This is about
half the amount of land that was put up for
tender in each half of 2014. MTI said that it
will be reducing land supply to support prices
and rentals. From 2010 to 2014, it has
released an average of 42 ha of industrial
land per year, including reserve list sites. This
is significantly higher than from 2005 to 2009
when an average of 32 ha of industrial land
per year was released. Ong Kah Seng from
RST Research said that this move will
reduce the probability of an oversupply.

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189


Nicholas Mak from SLP International added
that there will be a large supply of strata-titled
industrial developments in the next two years
as 10 large projects are expected to be
launched. As such, the move to reduce the
number of units of strata development in H1
2015s list may benefit developers.
(Source: Business Times)
Industrial property market expected to be
weak in 2015
According to the Business Times, the
industrial property market is expected to be
slow in 2015 as JTC will further increase
supply of industrial land despite a weaker
manufacturing outlook. Particularly, demand
for multi-user factories and ready-built
factories are likely to be affected in 2015. This
is because such properties are typically

Back to Contents

owned by players in sunset industries. Rental


of factories may also be affected by an
increase in supply of factory spaces in 2015.
According to the Business Times, about 2.6
million sqm of factory space is expected to be
built in 2015. Nonetheless, high specification
factories, business parks, warehouses and
niche developments may continue to
command stable rental prices due to
optimistic growth
in biomedical
and
petrochemicals industries. While Nicholas
Mak from SLP International said that
developers may be unwilling to adjust prices
of launched projects downwards, Chia
SiewChuin from Colliers believes that
industrial property prices may fall by another
3 percent.
(Source: Business Times)

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 189

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Dec 17 Dec 23
Postal
District
1
1
3
4
4
4
4
5
5
5
5
5
8
8
8
9
10
10
10
11
12
12
14
14
15
15

Project Name
MARINA BAY RESIDENCES
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
TANGLIN VIEW
THE BERTH BY THE COVE
THE INTERLACE
HARBOURLIGHTS
THE PEARL @ MOUNT FABER
CARABELLE
BLUE HORIZON
WEST BAY CONDOMINIUM
DOVER PARKVIEW
FABER CREST
TYRWHITT 139
OXFORD SUITES
CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES
MARTIN NO 38
THE GRANGE
DRAYCOTT EIGHT
BOTANIKA
MONTEBLEU
BALESTIER POINT
SCENIC HEIGHTS
ESTA RUBY
LE REVE
SANCTUARY GREEN
RIVEREDGE

Back to Contents

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
743 1,795,000 2,417
99
667 1,274,000 1,909
99
1,711 2,200,000 1,285
99
1,658 2,570,000 1,550
99
1,873 2,730,000 1,458
99
764 1,060,000 1,387
FH
1,356 1,620,000 1,194
99
1,259 1,550,000 1,231
956
1,163 1,210,000 1,041
99
1,249 1,250,000 1,001
99
936
855,000
913
99
1,744 1,500,000
860
99
463
720,000
1,556
FH
893 1,230,000 1,377
FH
1,496 1,920,000 1,283
FH
969 2,450,000 2,529
FH
1,744 3,550,000 2,036
FH
2,863 5,750,000 2,008
99
1,636 3,200,000 1,956
FH
1,475 2,065,000 1,400
FH
883
950,000
1,076
FH
1,292 1,300,088 1,007
FH
1,130 1,530,000 1,354
FH
861 1,050,000 1,219
FH
786 1,083,000 1,378
99
1,518 2,000,000 1,318
99

Postal
District
15
15
16
16
17
17
18
18
18
19
19
19
19
20
20
21
22
22
22
22
23
23
27

Project Name
AMBER POINT
SPRING @ KATONG
CASA MERAH
BAYSHORE PARK
FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM
AZALEA PARK CONDOMINIUM
WATERVIEW
LIVIA
LIVIA
THE SPRINGBLOOM
THE SPRINGBLOOM
THE QUARTZ
SUNGLADE
BISHAN PARK CONDOMINIUM
FAR HORIZON GARDENS
HIGHGATE
THE CENTRIS
PARC VISTA
THE MAYFAIR
PARC OASIS
MAYSPRINGS
MAYSPRINGS
THE SENSORIA

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,690 2,150,000 1,272
FH
1,163 1,370,000 1,178
FH
1,389 1,470,000 1,059
99
1,173 1,130,000
963
99
1,023 928,000
908
FH
1,335 1,150,000
862
999
1,141 1,260,000 1,104
99
1,270 1,185,000
933
99
1,270 1,150,000
905
99
1,119 1,180,000 1,054
99
1,302 1,350,000 1,037
99
1,141 1,170,000 1,025
99
1,378 1,320,000
958
99
1,550 1,400,000
903
99
1,948 1,380,000
708
99
1,496 1,440,000
962
FH
872
988,000
1,133
99
1,055 950,000
901
99
1,163 1,030,000
886
99
1,227 1,070,000
872
99
915
800,000
874
99
1,302 1,010,000
775
99
1,270 1,140,000
898
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.
Page | 12

Issue 190
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

When is the Right Time to Enter the

Welcome to the 190th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Property Market?

Hope you like it!

p13

Singapore Property News This Week

p18

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(December 24 December 30 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

When is the Right Time to Enter the Property Market?


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
This the key question on everyones mind
today: When is it a good time to re-enter the
property market as prices continue on their
downward spiral?

This aims to provide an overview of the


Singapore Private Residential Property
Market and allow investors, buyers and
sellers to:
1. Form their own view of when to buy and
sell
2. Understand the historical property market
trends
3. Manage risks rather than predict an
unknown future
Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


4. Make
better
decisions

property

investment

I am a property investor, not a property


consultant, analysis or expert. Like many
savvy investors, I dont predict the unknown
future, rather I manage my risks with current
and available information.
The charts and tables are based on public
information collected and collated from
various sources, including:

Urban Redevelopment Authority, URA

Monetary Authority of Singapore, MAS

Singapore Statistics, Singstat

PropertyMarketInsights.com, PMI

SingaporePropertyCycle.com.sg

Back to Contents

Notes for readers:

The charts show market trends of the


Singapore private property residential
market over a 38 year period (from 1975
to 2013)

Over a 38-year period, the compounded


annual inflation rate was close to 2%.

The Real Returns on an investment


measures not how much you can buy
with the money you get out of the
investment, but how much more you can
buy with the money you have after taking
consumer
price
inflation
into
consideration.

It would be meaningless if our property


prices hardly beat the increase in inflation
and stayed the same after long years of
mortgage payments and other costs.

Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


Firstly, a quick look at historical market
trends.
Singapore Private Residential Property
Price Index (1975 2014)

and high economic growth rates in excess


of 7%.

Note how the sheer climb for each peak


became shorter over the maturing years.

Property Market Cycle - A Pattern of Bulls


and Bears

Note the period from1983 to 1996. This


section forms a shelf that dropped off
precipitously.
It corresponded
with
Singapore joining the ranks of the worlds
richest nations with rapid industrialisation

Back to Contents

Note an obvious pattern of bulls and


bears from 1996 to 2014.
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

Note a bowl-shaped curve from 2000 to


2008. For some Generation X property
buyers like myself (born 1965 to 1976),
we owe our first real estate wealth to this
period of the property cycle.
I started my research on the Singapore
Property Market in 2001(Early Bear) and
bought my first property in 2003(Late
Bear)

to capitalise on opportunities than those who


are less prepared (remember the fable of
The Ant and the Grasshopper).
Private Residential Property Price Index
(1975 2013)
Property Returns at Different Buy-Periods
Peak to Peak

Investors Tip of the Day:


As according to PropertyMarketInsights.com
were in the Early Bear period currently, I
strongly urge ordinary investors who are
serious to enter/re-enter the property market
to kick-start their property and financial
education today, rather than wait till the Early
or LateBull stages of the Property Market
Cycle to do so.

When it does, youll be in a stronger position


Back to Contents

Even though periods from year 2000 to


2013 gives a positive real return of 1% or
less, a buyers risk/returns trade-offs are
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

unjustifiable if they are buying at or close


to the market peak. Taking on such
substantial risks in property is poorly
rewarded.

rescued from becoming porkchops. Tons of


printed money were injected by world
governments into the worldwide financial
system immediately after the crisis.

Real property growth has evidently


declined with each new peak over the last
38 years, dropping drastically from
14.18% in the early growth years to an
insignificant 0.68% in a maturing market.

We may just run out of financial rescue


options in the years ahead. And you dont get
lucky twice!

Unfortunately, well expect most buyers


who enter at or close to the peak of
2013Q3 to face negative Real Returns on
their property values for a very long time.

The property market recovered extremely


quickly after the 2009 Global Financial
Crisis.

Bottom to Peak

A Warning for Buyers


For most of the lucky buyers who bought
during the peak period of 2007/8, they were
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For the last 38 years entering from close


to or at the bottom of the market,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

a buyers Real Returns have diminished


from high double-digit grow thin the early
years to single-digit today. In the future,
this growth rate may further decline to low
single-digits due to mature economic and
market conditions.

properties to give 0% to 3%Real Return


seven if I bought them low. Rental Yield is my
main investment consideration, but if property
price does grow beyond my conservative
figures, Ill simply take the extra capital gains
as bonus.

In the future, I conservatively estimate a


range of 3% to 5% in Real Return seven if
buyers do enter at or close to the bottom
of the market. And likely negative Real
Returns for buyers who enter at or close
to the peak of the market.

However, going in and out of market is simply


foolish, even though you may realise capital
profits. If the worlds greatest investor Warren
Buffet does not, why should you?

Peak to Bottom

The next time you hear someone says the


property market has historically registered
double-digit price growth, refer him/her to
these trends and question which period
he/she is referring to, and also ask, From
the bottom? or From the Peak?

Wisdom for Investors

To be conservative, I always project my


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

Other than 2000Q2 to 2004Q1, a period


which was just recovering from Asian
financial crisis and subsequently hit by
dot-com burst and SARS crisis, the rest of
the periods registered an annualized
double-digits percentage decline in
property prices from peak to bottom.
Many buyers who entered at or close to
the peak experienced gruesome losses in
these unfortunate periods.
The latest market crisis of 2008Q2 to
2009Q2 registered the largest price
decline since 1983.

Buyers Kopi Topic-of-the-Day


Many people believe that prudent financial
regulations and government measures will
provide better stability to the property market.
But the Global Financial Crisis of 2009

Back to Contents

experienced a steeper and larger price


decline than during the 1997 Asian Financial
Crisis within a very short period of just four
quarters.
In coming years, if another crisis hits our
shores, compounded with an over-supply
situation, are we currently expecting the worst
in property prices?

Is property really a good Mid to Long


Term investment and hedge against
inflation?
From the two tables below, the answer greatly
depends on whether a buyer enters at or
close to the bottom or peak of the market.
Both tables show Real Returns of buyers who
enter a peak property market and holds on to
the next peak, which takes between 5 to 17
years.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


Mid-Term Holding (Less than 10 years)

Property can be a negative hedge against


inflation even after holding for the mid-tolong term if a buyer enters at or close to
the market peak.

From 1996 onwards, only two out of five


periods result in property acting as a
positive hedge against inflation even after
a mid-to-long term holding period.

A buyer who bought into the peak market


of 1996, held a depreciating property with
negative Real Returns in 2013, even after
17 years.

All other periods showed poor or negative


Real Returns for buyers who enter at or
close to the peak of the market, except for
the 13-year period from 1983Q4 to
1996Q2, and 38-year period 1975Q1 to
2013Q3.

Long-Term Holdings (10 years and above)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

We see tremendous property price growth


which corresponds with Singapores early
rapid growth years, especially period
1975to 1996.

same rate as in the past.


Properties have negative cash flows and
low rental yields

Frequently Asked Questions

Net Rental Yields are below the inflation


rate.

What are the significant red-flags to


indicate when the property market is
peaking?

Low interest rates and higher consumer


price inflation.

Buyers buying at inflated or recordbreaking prices:

Professional investors stay out of the


market. Owner-occupiers and speculative
investors remain core buyers.

Owner-occupiers being scared of prices


rising beyond their affordability so they
buy a property for more than what it is
worth.
Owner Occupiers buying lower price
quantum units at high PSFs due to
perceived affordability.

Speculators bank on prices rising at the

Back to Contents

Property
cooling
measures
are
implemented to curb further property price
increases.
What are the significant hints to indicate
when the property market is bottoming?
Owner-occupiers are unwilling to buy and
force prices down further.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


After
significant
declines.

double-digit

price

Low but positive yields even as property


prices fall further (rent is static but price is
volatile)
Removal of property cooling measures.
Peaking interest rates and low consumer
price inflation.
Property has a bad name and buying
property is now considered a stupid thing
to do.
The lower end of the market plummets
due to lack of interest.
Repossessions are higher than theyve
ever been.
Professional investors, like vultures,
watch property prices on a daily basis to
see when the price falls to a level that will
Back to Contents

put money in their pocket.


Professional investors start bidding wars
(some are cheeky and do not care if they
offer 20% below what seller is asking!)
When is it time to enter/re-enter the
property market?
Cooling measures will stay on for a long time.
So sit tight and wait patiently for further
correction. Historically, expect a 20% fall in
prices before well see the bottom of the
market.
Say bye-bye to the high growth years
Its 2015. Todays smart phones are the size
of our palms and getting smaller. In the
1980s, mobile phones were the size of onelitre water bottles, and not smart!
Technology evolves quickly and so do the
markets.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


It certainly does not take an expert economist
to know the high growth years of our parents
generation are gone.
Im no expert and neither do I try to be one.
All I did was to use logic to value my
investments, rather than follow the crowd and
listen to experts whose investments
contribute little their net worth.

empowering retail property investors with


smarter investing philosophy and strategies.
He is a full-time investor with over 13 years of
solid experience in building his wealth
through Property Investment and is financially
wealthy today.

If you believe a projected 6.9 million future


population and addition of MRT lines will fuel
general property price growth till 2030, you
are short sighted. Buyers who buy areaspecific opportunities at close to or at the
bottom of the market will profit. Buyers who
buy at future prices in over-hyped areas will
see poor returns.
By guest contributor Gerald Tay, who is the
founder and coach at CREI Academy Group
Pte Ltd, an organization dedicated to
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
December 2014 HDB resale prices lowest
in the past 41 months
The HDB resale prices in December 2014 are
the lowest in 41 months. HDB resale prices
had fallen 0.4 percent in December from the
previous month while resale volume also fell
by 4.1 percent to 1,295 units. Market experts
believe that stricter mortgage servicing ratio
limits had affected demand for resale HDB
flats. According to the Business Times, fourroom and five-room flats had led the fall in
HDB resale prices, falling by 0.7 percent and
0.3 percent respectively. Ong Kah Seng from
RST Research believes that supply for HDB
resale flats increased as more owners had
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wanted to upgrade to private homes or


executive condos. Nicholas Mak from SLP
International added that an increase in buildto-order flats had also affected demand for
HDB resale flats. Nonetheless, HDB resale
volumes in December increased by 28
percent year-on-year.
(Source: Business Times)
$20 million allocated to upgrading projects
in 9 private estates

The Ministry of National Development (MND)


will be allocating $20 million to upgrade 9
private estates. Under the Estate Upgrading
Programme (EUP), upgrading works will be
made to improve the living environment of
older estates.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


Clover Estate, Lentor Estate, Thomson Faber
Island Gardens, Toh Tuck Estate, Meng
Suan/ Springleaf Estate, Happy Gardens,
Sea Breeze Garden, Toh Estate and Jalan
Merbok,
Jalan
Layang-Layang,
Jalan
Kakatua, Jalan Selating, Jalan Rajawali and
Shamah Terrace Estate are among the 9
private estates that would undergo upgrading.
More than 4,800 households will be impacted
by this cycle of EUP and the EUP project is
expected to be completed in three to four
years.
(Source: Business Times)
Singapore imposes one of the highest
property taxes on foreign investors
According to a report by Knight Frank,
Singapore imposes one of the highest
property taxes on foreign investors. Market
experts believe that investors may be
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attracted to countries such as South Korea,


Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, as they
have more relaxed tax regimes. Nicholas Holt
from Knight Frank said that taxes have been
imposed to cap growth in the property
market. Particularly in Singapore, cooling
measures were implemented to keep prices
in check. These measures include the
imposition of higher taxes for foreigners. For
example, foreign investors are subjected to
an additional 15 percent buyers stamp duty.
According to the Business Times, property
prices had fallen by 4 percent in 2014,
following the implementation of the cooling
measures.
(Source: Business Times)
Duxton flat changed hands for $918,000
A five-room unit at the Pinnacle@Duxton has
changed hands for $918,000.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


The 106 sqm flat is located on the fifth floor of
the housing development. This is the second
Duxton unit that was sold, following the end of
a 5-year occupation period for home owners
at the Duxton. According to the Straits Times,
a four-room flat on a higher level had
previously fetched a price of $900,000.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Industrial building at Geylang on sale
A light industrial building that is located at
Lorong 23 Geylang has been put up for sale.
According to Colliers International, the 60year-leasehold building has an indicative
price of $115 million and it will receive its
temporary occupation permit (TOP) by the
end of Q1 this year. However, the building is
not permitted to be strata-subdivided for sale
in the first 10 years upon receiving its TOP.
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The 67,944 sq ft site consists of seven stories


and its total provisional strata floor area is
about 237,000 sq ft. Tan Boon Leong from
Collier International believes that the building
will appeal to institutional investors because it
has a longer tenure as compared to most
sites offered under the government land sales
programme. Furthermore, the site is expected
to appeal to tenants who are ineligible for JTC
sites as it is not under the purview of JTC,
said Tan.
(Source: Business Times)
Colliers: Retail rents expected to stabilise
in 2015
Colliers International predicts that rental
growth will remain flat this year. According to
Colliers, rental growth for prime ground floor
retail space in Orchard Road will fluctuate
between -1 percent and 1 percent in 2015.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


Similarly, retail rents in other areas such as in
the suburban regions, are expected to
fluctuate by just 2 percent. Nonetheless,
Colliers predicts that there will be a moderate
increase in rents of retail spaces located in
niche and diverse areas such as in the
heartlands. According to the Business Times,
the average monthly gross rent of prime retail
space in Orchard Road had fallen by 0.8
percent to $36.17 psf in Q4 last year. Yet, the
average monthly gross rent of prime retail
space in regional centres had increased by
1.1 percent to $33.83 psf in Q4 last year.
Market experts believe that labour shortages
and higher operating costs have weighed on
tenants abilities to afford a higher rent. Due
to a reduction in retail activities in Orchard
Road, the rental premium that prime retail
space in Orchard Road had commanded over
similar spaces in the regional centres have
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fallen from 9 percent to 6.9 percent, said


Colliers.
(Source: Business Times)

Q3 2014 occupancy costs increases by


14.6% year-on-year
According to CBRE, the rate of growth in
prime office occupancy costs in Q3 2014 had
increased to US$112.91 psf per year in
Singapore. This was a 14.6 percent year-onyear increase in occupancy cost. CBRE
added that this increase in cost is likely to be
due to higher monthly rents in prime
locations. Moray Armstrong from CBRE said
that as new supply for office spaces is
expected to shrink by H2 of 2016, office rental
growth is expected to surge. Globally, prime
office occupancy costs had also increased by
2.5 percent year-on-year in Q3 2014.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190


The Asia-Pacific region saw a 2.8 percent
increase in occupancy costs while America
experienced a 4.1 percent increase in costs.
Richard Barkham from CBRE predicts that
this trend will persist this year.

However, other market experts have said that


the site had been priced highly, because they
believe that such a site should have
commanded a price below $2,000 psf.
(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)


6 shophouses at Peck Seah Street sold for
$42.8 million

A row of six shophouses at Peck Seah Street


have sold for $42.8 million or $2,155 psf. The
total gross floor area of the six shophouses is
$19,860 sq ft and the shophouses have lease
tenures of about 78 years left. Under the
Chinatown (Tanjong Pagar) Conservation
Area, in URAs Master Plan 2014, the site had
been zoned for commercial use. According to
Sammi Lim from CBRE, the site was sold for
a price that was in line with the market value.

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Page | 17

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 190

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Dec 24 Dec 30

Postal
District
1
3
9
10
11
11
12
15
15
16
16
16
18
19
20
21
22
22
27

Project Name
THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY
QUEENS
VISIONCREST
THE TOMLINSON
NEWTON SUITES
HILLCREST PARK
THE ARTE
THE ESTA
THE GRANDIFLORA
OPTIMA @ TANAH MERAH
BREEZE BY THE EAST
THE BAYSHORE
EASTPOINT GREEN
KOVAN MELODY
CLOVER BY THE PARK
HILLVIEW GREEN
PARC OASIS
THE MAYFAIR
YISHUN EMERALD

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
99
678 1,188,000 1,752
99
1,195 1,480,000 1,239
FH
1,206 2,290,000 1,900
FH
2,368 5,000,000 2,111
FH
1,238 2,350,000 1,898
FH
1,152 1,518,000 1,318
FH
1,625 2,130,000 1,310
FH
1,130 1,670,000 1,478
FH
1,033 1,118,000 1,082
99
1,302 1,660,000 1,275
FH
2,045 2,230,000 1,090
99
1,238 1,150,000
929
99
958
808,000
843
99
1,410 1,496,000 1,061
99
1,292 1,570,000 1,215
999
1,905 1,830,000
961
99
1,076 1,000,000
929
99
1,163 895,000
770
99
1,184 900,000
760

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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Page | 18

Issue 191
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

3 Property Investment Mistakes You

Welcome to the 191st edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Should Avoid In 2015

Hope you like it!

p6

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(December 31 January 6 )

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191

3 Property Investment Mistakes You Should Avoid In 2015


By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)

Mistake #1: Rush in and get burnt


According to the URA, there are 88,627
uncompleted
private
residential
units
(including ECs) in the pipeline. As at 3rd
Quarter 2014, 28,120 units (excluding ECs)
have been launched but remain unsold. For
public flats, the HDB will launch another
16,900 BTO flats this year.

No matter what your New Year resolutions


are, its time you said goodbye to your bad
habits in property investment. If you are
buying a private home in 2015, avoid making
these three common mistakes.

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Do the math. Ninety percent of resident


households already own their homes.
Population growth in Singapore is a recordlow 1.3 percent in 2014.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


For the past five years, the annual increment
in the number of resident households ranges
from 3,000 to 22,500. Assuming there are two
persons in each new household, every year
only 1,500 to 11,250 new homes are needed.
Among the 81.9 percent of HDB dwellers who
have plans to upgrade to condominiums, the
sale of their home is difficult due to falling
HDB resale prices. Furthermore, buyers of
HDB flats and ECs have to pass the 30
percent Mortgage Servicing Ratio, just like
many owners with multiple properties have
their hands tied by the Total Debt Servicing
Ratio.

Foreign buyers have to bite the bullet for a


higher Additional Buyer Stamp Duty and
lower Loan to Value. In 2014, the growth of
foreigners has slowed down to 2.9 percent.
Foreign employment growth also dropped to
3 percent.
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Even if you build, they wont come.


Let developers solve their own problem. But
dont let their problem become yours. You
dont want to be left holding a hot potato.
The property market slowdown is just starting.
Patience is key if you are looking for a real
bargain. Sit back and wait for the demand to
dry up.

Mistake #2: Be caught unprepared


We've heard the Fed talking about raising
interest rates too many times. Just when
everyone grows tired of the cry wolf game,
the untamable animal is getting ready to
attack in 2015. It stalks the prey silently in the
dark. And when it finally attacks, it bites
agilely and furiously, pouncing on it
repeatedly in a short period of time.
Take an example from one of my rental
properties.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


In mid-2005, I was still paying an interest rate
of 1.3 percent. After three to four rounds of
interest rate revisions, with the step-up rate of
a variable-rate loan, the rate had already
been raised to 4 percent by the end of 2006.
If you are contemplating buying a private
home, rather than using the arbitrary 3.5
percent interest rate from TDSR, you are not
being too conservative to use 4 percent for
your calculations.
For those who have an existing home loan,
call the banks now to ask for their latest
housing loan packages. Don't wait till your
bank sends you the letter on an interest rate
revision.
Paying higher interest takes effect the
following month, but repricing and refinancing
will take time to process. Even after approval,
it needs another three months to be effective.
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You have no choice but to pay higher interest


before the adjustment takes place.
Mistake #3: Expect to get rich quick with
properties
If someone tells you that you can buy
properties with little money or using other
peoples cash, dont be too carried away.
They promise to share with you where the
money is. But these profitable investment
opportunities and undervalued assets are
most likely unsold units of overseas property
projects being marked-up and marketed to
you.

I have received countless proposals from


overseas developers who want to market
these projects to my Property Club Singapore
members. Some even put forward the
commission they will offer right in their first
message.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


You can close one eye, buy any property and
still make a handsome profit in a growing
market. But prices in many foreign property
markets are currently at their all-time highs.
There are also countries with structural
economic problems but no turnaround in
sight.
Frankly, real property investors will keep quiet
about which projects they are buying. Instead
of buying jointly with complete strangers
without any background checks, they only
invest with people they know very well.

pill in property investment. And you really


dont have to pay so much for a course and
go around in circles to learn that.
Lastly, don't be distracted by all the noise
around you. Make sure that all the
fundamentals are sound before you make any
decision.
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
Investment.

Besides, what make you think that you too


can become a property millionaire, without
the punishing discipline to save, and the
enormous effort to do all the legwork?
The problem of these get-rich-quick property
seminars is that they tend to over-simplify the
strategies. There is no short-cut and no magic
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
230 private homes sold in December 2014
In December 2014, developers sold 230
private homes. This was significantly lower
than the 423 units that were sold in
November last year. According to the
Business Times, the lack of launches and
marketing effort could have affected sales of
private homes in December. Not only so,
weak market sentiments could have affected
demand of private homes, said Alice Tan from
Knight Frank. Nonetheless, the sale of new
homes in December last year was
comparable to the 259 units sold last year,

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year-on-year, according to the Urban


Redevelopment Authority. Market experts
predict that there will be fewer units sold this
year, and theyexpect developer sales to
reach 7,000 to 10,000 units this year. Prices
of private homes are expected to fall by 5 to 8
percent, compared to 2014. Nonetheless,
Ong Teck Hui from JLL is optimistic about the
property market in 2015 because he believes
that as the government ease the cooling
measures, buyers will attempt to time their
purchases.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


SRX: Decs non-landed private residential
rent falls by 0.8%

Decs private condos


increase by 0.1%

From November to December 2014, rents of


non-landed private residential properties have
fallen by 0.8 percent. According to Singapore
Real Estate Exchange, this is the 10th month
that non-landed private residential rents have
fallen. Ong Kah Seng from RST Research
believes that this falling trend will continue
into 2015. He expects rents to fall up to 8
percent by the end of 2015. As foreign labour
supply shrinks, demand for private residential
properties will likely weaken further, said Ong.
Residential rents in the core central region
have fallen by 1.2 percent in December from
November in the last year. On the other hand,
rents in the rest of central region and outside
central region had experienced a smaller fall
of 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

According to SRX Property, there was a 0.1


percent rise in resale prices of private condos
in December. However, market experts
believe that this was a blip. Resale prices in
December had been driven by transactions in
suburban areas, according to the Business
Times. Resale prices from units in the outside
central region had increased by 0.5 percent in
December. Nonetheless, transactions in the
core central region and rest of central region
had fallen by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent
respectively. The SRX non-landed private
residential price index has fallen by 4.2
percent in December, year-on-year. Prices
have fallen by 6.1 percent from January to
December 2014. Christine Li from OrangeTee
said that the current total debt servicing ratio
(TDSR) favours the mass market segment,

(Source: Business Times)


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resale

prices

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


as buyers from that segment have a lower
quantum. Li said that the year-on-year
increase in sales volume could mean that
buyers and sellers are adjusting to the TDSR.
(Source: Business Times)
Property prices expected to fall by 3% per
year in 2015 and 2016
Residential property prices are expected to
fall in 2015 and 2016. According to Fitch
Ratings, private and public home prices are
likely to slip by 3 percent per year. On the
other hand, mortgage rates are expected to
increase from 1.5 percent to 2 percent.
Despite the increase in mortgage costs, debt
burdens are still considered low due to a
strong labour market. Singapores macroprudential policies are also likely to cool
demand in the property market.

URA: Geylang will be rezoned


commercial and institutional use only

for

Lorong 4 to Lorong 22 at Geylang will


undergo a rezoning exercise, according to the
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The
rezoning exercise will stretch across 14 ha of
land. Under this exercise, residential projects
will no longer be approved for development
within the 14 ha stretch. Instead, the rezoned
section may only be developed for
commercial or institutional use. Nonetheless,
the maximum plot ratio remains at 2.8. Also,
existing residential projects will be allowed to
remain as they are. The rezoning is expected
to boost land values in the locale and
increase collective sales, said market experts.
URA believes that the rezoning exercise will
decrease friction on the ground between
residents and other users of the area.

(Source: Business Times)


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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


Mary Sai from Knight Frank believes that in
the short run, residential value in Geylang will
not improve due to the rezoning. However,
when the commercial developments in the
area matures, residential property value may
increase.
(Source: Business Times)
Units at Marine Blue sold for $1,800$2,000 psf
Marine Blue, which is located near the Grand
Mercure Roxy Hotel at Marine Parade Road,
has been put up for sale. Of the 50 units
released, 31 have been sold for an average
price that is between $1,800 and $2,000 psf.
These include one-bedroom-plus-study, twobedroom units and a penthouse. According to
the Business Times, the average selling price
is about 10 percent lower than the listed
price. The 120-unit condominium is expected
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to attract young professionals and families


due to its proximity to amenities and schools.
(Source: Business Times)

Commercial
JTC: industrial space will be built to meet
demand
To ensure that supply will meet demand, JTC
Corporation will be building a new industrial
space.
The
site
will
target
niche
semiconductor firms, and will consist of
facilities to cater to corporations from the
aerospace,
biomedical
and
chemical
industries. JTC will work with trade
associations, industrialists and partner
agencies to design a ready-built facility to
cater to the specific needs of such
companies. The industrial building is
expected to be four stories high. It would
comprise of common utilities such as bulk
Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191


gases and chilled water to help ease upfront
capital costs for companies, according to
JTC. The site will be located at Tampines
High Tech Park. It would have a total gross
floor area of 22,700 sqm and a plot ratio of
1.7. It is expected to be ready for use in 2017.
(Source: Business Times)
3 office floors at Anson Rd sold for $30
million
3 floors on Hub Synergy Point, a 28-storey
freehold office block on Anson Road has
been sold for $30 million. The 26th level was
sold for $9.97 million or $2,400 psf while both
levels 27 and 28 were sold for $20 million or
$1,512 psf. The 26th level had a strata area of
4,155 sq ft and the levels 27 and 28 had a
total strata area of 13,299 sq ft. With the sale
of these three levels, Donald Han said that
the building is now under a single ownership.
This would allow the owner to reposition or
Back to Contents

redevelop the building.


(Source: Business Times)
Fewer bids made for site at Yishun

A mixed-use site at Yishun attracted only five


bids. This was lower than expected.
Previously, market experts had predicted that
there would be between six and eighteen
bidders. Market experts also expected the
highest bid to be about $650 psf ppr.
However, the site was won by Northern Resi
and Northern Retail for $185.09 million or
$629.24 psf ppr. The site has a gross floor
area of 27,327 sqm, and uses prefabricated
prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC)
technology. Due to the mandatory use of
PPVC, most of the bidders were developers
with a construction arm, said Desmond Sim
from CBRE.
(Source: Business Times)
Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 191

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Dec 31 Jan 6

Postal
District
1
3
4
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
12
14
14
14
14
15
16
16
18
21

Project Name
THE CLIFT
ASCENTIA SKY
THE INTERLACE
THE COSMOPOLITAN
ASPEN HEIGHTS
THE HORIZON
THE TESSARINA
TANGLIN REGENCY
GLENTREES
THE ARCADIA
THE CITRINE
BLISS VILLE
THE WATERINA
THE TRUMPS
CENTRAL MEADOWS
STILLZ RESIDENCE
EASTWOOD REGENCY
THE BAYSHORE
TROPICAL SPRING
PARC PALAIS

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,076
1,012
1,055
1,679
1,109
1,561
1,615
1,292
1,991
3,810
1,141
1,163
1,130
1,356
969
1,001
452
969
1,528
990

Transacted
Price ($)
1,900,000
1,620,000
1,608,000
3,250,000
1,650,000
2,320,000
2,250,000
1,715,000
2,410,000
3,880,000
1,240,000
1,310,000
1,230,000
1,439,000
950,000
988,000
635,000
900,000
1,350,000
1,050,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,765
99
1,601
99
1,524
99
1,935
FH
1,488 999
1,486
FH
1,394
FH
1,328
99
1,210 999
1,018
99
1,087
FH
1,127
FH
1,088
FH
1,061
99
981
FH
987
FH
1,405
FH
929
99
883
99
1,060
FH

Postal
District
23
23
23
25
27

Project Name
HILLVIEW REGENCY
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS
NORTHVALE
ROSEWOOD
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM

Area Transacted Price


Tenure
(sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1,119 995,000
889
99
1,119 900,000
804
99
1,087 860,000
791
99
1,173 950,000
810
99
893
712,000
797
99

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.

Page | 11

Issue 192
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

What is the Impact of Population

Welcome to the 192th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Growth on Property Prices?

Hope you like it!

p9

Singapore Property News This Week

p13

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(January 7 January 13 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192

What is the Impact of Population Growth on Property Prices?


By Gerald Tay (Guest Contributor)
Heres the burning question this article will try
and answer: Will a 6.9 million population by
2030 support property prices or increase it
exponentially?

To answer it we will analyse the historical


price indices of the Singapore private
residential property market and compare that
to population growth.
This article aims to help investors, buyers and
sellers to:
1. Do their own analysis when buying or
selling
2. Understand
in-depth
property market trends
Back to Contents

the

historical

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


3. Manage risks rather than predict unknown
future

Over a 38-year period, property price


growth is 7.8% per annum.

4. Make
decisions

What mid to long term means depends


on each individual buyers preference.

better

property

investment

The charts and tables are based on public


information collected and collated from
various sources, including:

Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Singapore Statistics (Singstat)

Some notes for readers


The tables below show real property
returns after consumer inflation versus annual
population growth rates over a 38-year period
(1975 to 2013)
Over a 38-year period, the population
growth rate is 2.3% per annum.
Back to Contents

The ONLY period that produces a high


property price growth rate from7.5% to
14%was
during
Singapores
rapid
industrialisation years of 1975 to 1996.
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192

From peak to peak, the years after 1996


produces negative or very low returns for
property buyers, even with population
growth exceeding 2% per annum.

The table above proves a simple point


entering the market close to the bottom
will always provide generous returns for
property buyers regardless of population

Back to Contents

growth. From 1998 to 2000, population


growth was at a low of 1.7%, yet
registered a high return of 22.57% for
buyers

Regardless of a high 3% population


growth rate in the period from 2008 to
2009, property prices plummeted 28%
after inflation.
Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192

Even with a population growth of 2.33%


between year 1996 to 2000, property
return was a negative 7.14% compared
with other periods.

Mid-term holding-wise, property returns


was unjustifiable even with population
growth above 2% per annum between
from 2000 to 2013.

Back to Contents

Long-term property holding proves


disastrous for buyers who enter at or
close to peak market after 1996. Property
Real Returns were negative even with an
increasing population growth rate as high
as 2.5% per annum.

Summary Points
1. Population
correlation
prices.

growth has NO direct


whatsoever with property
Page | 5

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


2. Singapore property prices are highly
dependent on a confluence of complex
factors such as government policies,
monetary policies, economic conditions
(internal and external), monetary supply,
bank lending curbs, interest rates, etc.

5. Future land use for both infrastructure


and housing have already been allocated
and planned for a future 6.9 million
population. Buyers who bought properties
at or close to the 2013 peak market will
have bought into far future prices.

3. Large property price growth occurred


primarily in the early years of rapid
industrialisation from 1975 to 1996. After
1996, Property Real Returns have
diminished regardless of population
growth.

Who will win in the future property


market?

4. From 2015 to 2030, a population target to


reach 6.9 million population represents a
growth rate of 1.5% per annum. It is one
of
the
lowest
since
Singapores
independence. This growth rate may even
be capped lower with a tightening of
foreign workers and productivity policies.

Back to Contents

For sceptical readers, you can say Im wrong


about the lack of correlation between property
prices and population growth. Before Im
proven wrong and you start jeering away, let
me point this out: smart property buyers will
win on either outcome for the future property
market regardless of which occurs:
First outcome: Going forward to 2030,
property prices rise exponentially due to the
6.9 million population,

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


or perhaps a comprehensive MRT network as
some believe.
Properties will go up in value tremendously,
especially for properties bought at a low price.
As an added bonus to savvy buyers, their
rental income will also rise exponentially with
an increasing population.
Second Outcome: Going forward to 2030,
property prices stagnate or rise marginally
due to a mature property market.
If property values do stagnate, smart
investors will still make a decent rental
income.

prefer short-cuts and choose to believe


owning a home can make them property
tycoons. Many Japanese, European and
American middle-class home buyers paid
dearly for this belief.
Scared home-owners are scared of prices
rising beyond affordability so they buy a
property for more than what it is worth,
coupled with a foolish belief that a future 6.9
million population will support or boost future
property prices.
2. The Not-So-Rich Speculators

1. Middle Class Home Owners

Some sold their first HDB homes for $1


Million dollars. Others were lucky to gain
some inheritance from their late parents. With
sudden wealth, they falsely believe they have
finally joined the ranks of the rich.

There are buyers who aspire to be rich but


are too lazy to attain it the right way. They

For home owners sitting on paper profits, they


feel rich.

Who will lose in the future property


market?

Back to Contents

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


You find them showing off photos of their
latest branded purchases, expensive dine-ins
and luxury holidays to gain likes in
Facebook and tell the world they have
arrived.
They buy overpriced properties at a
deceivingly low price quantum but with high
PSFs. Those slightly richer buyers dabble in
mid to high-end luxury investment properties
to emulate the rich.
3. Rich Speculators
They believe land is limited and they belong
to an all-exclusive club where their spouses
eat beluga caviar instead of salmon roe. They
are primarily buyers who dabble in highly
speculative high-end properties to add to their
collection of exotic trophies.
They may be one of those buyers who bought
Sentosa Cove properties and have lost half
Back to Contents

the value today. Certain rich people have


eccentric habits. In particular, Sentosa Cove
landed-property owners have paid many
millions to ogle at container ships and breathe
smelly fumes as they sail by their sea-front
property.
But then again, they are rich. So why should
we care if they can afford to lose millions or
how they spend their money on worthless
toys. Its peanuts for them anyway.
By guest contributor Gerald Tay, who is the
founder and coach at CREI Academy Group
Pte Ltd, an organization dedicated to
empowering retail property investors with
smarter investing philosophy and strategies.
He is a full-time investor with over 13 years of
solid experience in building his wealth
through Property Investment and is financially
wealthy today.
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Resale volumes of private
increased 8.4% in H2 2014

homes

In H2 2014, 2,528 more private homes


changed hands than in H1 that year.
According to DTZ, there was an 8.6 percent
increase in the resale volumes of private
houses. Lee Nai Jia from DTZ said that as
sellers adjusted their prices to fit demand,
resale volumes increased. Lee added that the
weak rental market has pushed home owners
to sell their properties. Ong Choon Fah from
DTZ believes that resale volumes will
continue to increase. On the other hand, new
sales by developers fell by 36 percent to
2,520 units in H2 from H1 last year. Despite
Back to Contents

that, Ong believes that developers would not


be cutting prices any time soon as they have
reserves to tide through the lull sales period.
(Source: Business Times)
Land bids for EC site hits a new low
Land bids for an executive condominium
located at Sengkang have been the lowest
since 2011, according to the Business Times.
Sim Lian won the bid for the site near
Anchorvale Crescent for $280.04 psf ppr. This
was lower than the $367 psf ppr bid that was
made for a neighbouring site in February
2014. The Anchorvale Crescent site had only
managed to attract 3 bids.

Page | 9

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


Christine Li from OrangeTee said that the 30
percent mortgage service ratio cap on
executive condo units have dampened
demand for executive condo units by
developers. As such, developers have been
less willing to bid for executive condo land
sites. The recent increase in executive condo
launches in Punggol and Sengkang have also
added on to developers negative sentiments,
said Li.
(Source: Business Times)
HDB resale prices down by 1.5% in Q4
In Q4 last year, resale prices of HDB flats
dropped by 1.5 percent from Q3.
Nonetheless, resale transactions of HDB flats
increased by 2.7 percent to 4,635 units from
October to December last year. According to
HDB, resale prices have fallen by a total of 6
percent by the end of 2014. Eugene Lim from
ERA believes that the fall in HDB resale
Back to Contents

prices and transaction volumes was due to


the implementation of cooling measures such
as the Mortgage Servicing Ratio. Lim said
that the increase in supply of new Built-ToOrder flats and Sale of Balance Flats have
also impacted resale volumes of HDB flats.
Nonetheless, resale volumes are expected to
increase in 2015, according to market
experts. Not only so, Ong Kah Seng from
RST Research added that resale flat prices
are expected to fall as the demand for private
houses
and
executive
condominiums
increases. HDB rentals are expected to
increase by 7 percent in 2015, said Ong.

(Source: Business Times)


Short-term rental policy for private homes
under review
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
will be reviewing its policy on short-term
rentals of private homes.
Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


Under URAs guidelines, private homes have
to be rented out for no less than 6 months to
safeguard the living environment of residents.
While some believe that a relaxation in the
short-term rental policy will benefit tourists
and home owners, Minister for National
Development, Khaw Boon Wan, said that
leasing private homes on short-term basis will
raise concerns about noise and security.
Donald Han from Chesterton Singapore said
that vacancy rates for private homes have
increased to about 8 percent since Q3 2014,
and be predicts that more private homes will
be left vacant in the next 12 to 18 months.
Han added that he believes there will be a 10
percent increase in vacancy rates of private
homes in the next year.
(Source: Business Times)

JTC to provide more detailed rental data


Rental price indices have been reviewed by
JTC to provide more detailed data for
businesses. JTC had increase the number of
industrial price and rental indices from 6 to
24, according to the Business Times. This
would include price and rental indices for
single-use factory space, and sub-indices for
multiple-users factories. Furthermore, the
indices would be expanded to cover more
areas. JTC have also reclassified properties
based on their location, remaining tenure and
land-use zoning so as to improve industrial
prices and rental indices. Following the
launch of the Fair Tenancy Framework, these
changes have since been in effect.
(Source: Business Times)

Commercial

Back to Contents

Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192


Industrial property prices fall by 0.1% in
Q4 2014

Office rents up by 9.8% in 2014

Industrial prices and rentals have fallen by 0.1


percent and 0.6 percent in Q4 last year,
based on the updated price and rental indices
by JTC. Since Q4 2014, more geographies
and property types have been included in the
calculation of industrial price and rental
indices. According to JTC, multiple-user
factories saw a 4.4 percent year-on-year
increase in the previous year. Also,
occupancy rates remained at 90.9 percent
last year. JTC believes that industrial prices
and rents will continue to moderate in 2015
as an ample supply of industrial space is
expected to be released from 2015 to 2016.
However, Chia Siew Chuin from Colliers
predicts that industrial property prices may
decrease by up to 3 percent this year.

According to the Urban Redevelopment


Authority (URA), office rents increased by 9.8
percent while prices for office units increased
by 4.5 percent in 2014. Particularly, in Q4 last
year, office rents increased by 1.7 percent
after a 2.6 percent increase in the Q3. On the
other hand, rents and prices increased by 0.9
percent in 2014 for the retail market.
Nonetheless, market experts believe that
retail rents will fall this year due to decreased
demand. However, the office market should
continue growing, said experts. Alice Tan from
Knight Frank said that prime office rents are
likely to experience slower growth as demand
for rental units in the central business district
falls. She predicts that the annual growth in
the office market will be around 5 to 7
percent.

(Source: Business Times)

(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 12

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jan 7 Jan 13

Postal
District
3
5
5
9
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
11
11
14
15
16
16
17
18
18
18
18
19
19

Project Name
QUEENS
THE ROCHESTER
DOVER PARKVIEW
NOMU
URBAN RESORT CONDOMINIUM
URBAN RESORT CONDOMINIUM
URBAN RESORT CONDOMINIUM
URBAN RESORT CONDOMINIUM
BELMOND GREEN
HOLLAND MEWS
RICH MANSION
PAVILION 11
HILLCREST ARCADIA
THE WATERINA
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
BLEU @ EAST COAST
KEW GREEN
THE GALE
NV RESIDENCES
THE TROPICA
CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM
THE TROPICA
PALM GROVE CONDOMINIUM
CHILTERN PARK

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,195
840
936
1,389
2,120
2,120
2,120
2,120
1,270
904
1,765
958
1,970
1,356
1,572
1,173
3,025
1,044
797
1,518
1,130
1,238
1,496
1,249

Transacted
Price ($)
1,438,000
1,230,000
1,000,000
3,380,000
4,902,000
4,858,000
4,814,000
4,726,000
2,077,000
1,450,000
2,400,000
1,610,000
2,000,000
1,628,000
1,400,000
1,300,000
2,080,000
1,080,000
860,000
1,250,000
905,000
968,000
1,520,000
1,250,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,204
99
1,465
99
1,068
99
2,434
FH
2,312
FH
2,291
FH
2,270
FH
2,229
FH
1,635
FH
1,604
FH
1,360
FH
1,681
FH
1,015
99
1,200
FH
891
99
1,108
FH
688
99
1,034
FH
1,080
99
824
99
801
99
782
99
1,016 999
1,001
99

Postal
District
19
20
21
21
21
21
23
23
25
26
27
27

Project Name
EVERGREEN PARK
THE GARDENS AT BISHAN
THE CASCADIA
SYMPHONY HEIGHTS
HIGH OAK CONDOMINIUM
SPRINGDALE CONDOMINIUM
CASHEW HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUM
GUILIN VIEW
CASABLANCA
MEADOWS @ PEIRCE
ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM
YISHUN EMERALD

Area
(sqft)
1,173
1,152
581
1,152
1,216
1,130
1,647
1,701
926
1,195
958
1,399

Transacted
Price ($)
890,000
1,160,000
1,045,000
1,100,000
1,120,000
1,030,000
1,508,000
1,360,880
818,000
1,300,000
725,000
1,030,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
759
99
1,007
99
1,798
FH
955
FH
921
99
911
999
916
999
800
99
884
99
1,088
FH
757
99
736
99

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.

Page | 13

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 192

Back to Contents

Page | 14

Issue 193
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

7 Tactics to Maximize Your Investment

Welcome to the 193th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Property Returns

Hope you like it!

p7

Singapore Property News This Week

p11

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(January 14 January 20 )

Contribute

Advertise

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 info@propwise.sg, 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 www.propwise.sg/advertise/ to find out more.

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193

7 Tactics to Maximize Your Investment Property Returns


By Property Soul (Guest Contributor)
As an investor, you have two major objectives
when you own property:
1. To generate an optimal return from your
investment;
and
2. To increase its value to be sold at a good
profit in the future.
To achieve that, you have to maximize the
rental income and minimize the costs at the
same time. In other words,
Maximizing the return of your property =
cost savings + value creation

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


Below are seven useful tactics that you as a
landlord can use to save money while adding
value to your property.
1. Ask for early completion
You have submitted the cheque with the last
payment to your lawyer. Instead of waiting for
twelve weeks, you can request for an early
completion of the sale in ten weeks, so that
you can get the keys earlier and rent out your
property faster. Your lawyer should be able to
liaise with the attorney of the seller to make
the necessary arrangement.
2. Start your work early

Once the seller hands over the property to


you, you need to rent it out as soon as
possible.
If it is agreeable by both the seller and the
existing tenant, you can request for one or
Back to Contents

two timeslots before the handover date for a


short viewing. This is meant for your
renovation contractor to inspect the place and
give you a quotation.

However, except for cleaning a vacant flat,


resist the temptation to begin any renovation
work at the place before you collect the key
in case any accident happens during
renovation or the sale cant be completed for
some reason.
3. Avoid festive seasons
Take note of the completion date of the sale.
Try to avoid Christmas, year-end or Chinese
New Year. This is the time when the
renovation contractors go for home leave and
potential tenants go on holidays. It
unnecessarily prolongs the vacancy of your
property and affects the return of your
investment.
Page | 3

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


4. Compare before committing
Get at least three quotes for all planned
expenditure, including legal fees, mortgage,
insurance, renovation and repairs. Contacting
different vendors may be time-consuming but
you are most likely rewarded with better
options and more savings.
You dont have to use the one that submits
the lowest price. But you can use the lowest
quotation as a reference to negotiate the
price with your chosen vendor.
Never let those negligible numbers add to
up a considerable sum.

5. Look for savings constantly


When interest rates have decreased, take
action immediately to refinance or reprice
your housing mortgage.

Back to Contents

You can specify in the tenancy agreement for


the tenant to pay for minor repairs and routine
maintenance under the cost of $150.
Before the tenancy starts, tell your tenants to
notify you if they spot anything wrong or
anything out of order. Many repairs in the flat
are simpler and more cost-effective to do if
they are done earlier, especially leakage of
water, gas or electricity.
Similarly, if your tenant complains about a
loose window, fix it the next day. Dont take
the chance to let any accident happen in your
property.

6. Raise the rent


Remember to increase the rent regularly.
Tenants are more likely to accept it with
moderate increases every year rather than a
big jump after three years.

Page | 4

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


When negotiating for a raise, an initiative from
you to fix or upgrade something in the flat can
give you the upper hand. It makes the
increment look more justified and you will
receive less resistance from the tenant.
You can also consider signing a lease with
progressive rental increments from your
tenant. For example, a three-year lease can
specify a fixed increment on the second and
third year.
If it is a month-to-month contract or a shortterm lease that lasts shorter than a year,
always propose a rent higher than the market
rate to compensate for the hassle of finding
the next tenant.
When I first started as a DIY landlord, I made
the mistake of befriending my tenant. That
makes negotiations on rental increment

Back to Contents

difficult. Maintain a cordial but business-like


relationship with your tenant so that you can
win the cooperation of your tenant on
inspection, maintenance, flat viewing, etc.,
but wont make it awkward to discuss a rental
increment.
7. Shorten the vacancy period
If you are buying a property with an existing
tenant, get a copy of the tenancy agreement
to check the actual expiry date and the
renewal clause. If the tenancy is ending soon,
negotiate with the existing tenant to adjust the
rent upwards to match the market rate.

If the tenant is not renewing the contract,


have your agent to look for a replacement as
soon as possible to avoid any loss of rental
income from a vacant flat.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


If the tenant wants to terminate the contract,
he/she should give your agent sufficient time
to find a replacement. To avoid any rental
loss, you can ask the tenant to continue
staying and pay a pro-rata rental on a daily
basis until the handover of the flat to a new
tenant.
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
successful property investor, blogger, and
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
Investment.

Back to Contents

Page | 6

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Higher home vacancies expected to push
prices down further
Property values are falling following the
governments implementation of cooling
measures. These measures include a stricter
restriction on property loans. After a spike in
property prices in 2013, the government tried
to regulate the market by capping borrowers
total debt repayments at 60 percent of their
income. With such measures, Singaporeans
found it harder to refinance loans. Besides
that, the government had also implemented
additional property taxes on purchases made
by foreigners. These cooling measures had
been effective in reducing home prices by 4
Back to Contents

percent in 2014. However, the cooling


measures had weakened the rental market.
Vacancy rates for private residential homes
increased by 1.6 percent from Q3 to Q4 last
year, according to data from the Urban
Redevelopment Authority. The data also
showed that rental prices had fallen by 3
percent last year. Other signs that the
property market is weak include increased
sentiment that property prices will slip further,
according to the Business Times. Not only so,
the number of repossessed homes that are
on auction had increased about 10 times to
118 in 2014 from 2013, according to Mok Sze
Sze from Jones Lang Laselle Inc.
(Source: Business Times)
Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


Non-landed private home prices slip by
1.2%
From November to December last year,
prices of non-landed private homes fell by 1.2
percent according to flash estimates from the
National University of Singapore. This is well
within expectations, said Ong Kah Seng from
RST Research. In December, resale prices in
the non-central region and the central region
had also fallen. The sub-index for the central
region had fallen by 1.7 percent month-onmonth in December last year, while the subindex for the non-central region had fallen by
0.8 percent within the same period of time.
Ong believes that the continued loan curbs
and decreased interest in resale properties
are reasons for the fall in resale prices.
Nonetheless, prices of small apartments and
condo units that are up to 506 sq ft had
increased marginally by 0.5 percent in
Back to Contents

December last year.


(Source: Business Times)
NUS-Redas Real Estate Sentiment Index
falls by 0.3 from Q3 to Q4 2014
According to the NUS-Redas Real Estate
Sentiment Index, the overall market sentiment
in Singapore had fallen by 0.3 from 3.7 in Q3
to 3.4 in Q4 last year. Sing Tien Foo from the
National University of Singapore said that the
weak residential market had dampened
market sentiments. Particularly, sentiments
about the residential sector had been mostly
negative. The proportion of respondents who
picked positive options and those who picked
negative answers were a net minus 59
percent for the prime residential sector.
Nonetheless, the current net balance for
office properties was a positive 38 percent.
Not only so, 43.5 percent of respondents had
Page | 8

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


indicated that they would want the
government to review its property cooling
measures in 2015.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Tuas site launched for tender
Under the Industrial Government Land Sales
programme, JTC Corporation has launched a
0.8 ha site at Tuas South Street 11 for tender.
The land parcel is zoned for business
development and its tender will close on
March 24. The Tuas site has a maximum
permissible gross plot ratio of 1.0. Eight other
sites will also be launched under the
confirmed list for the Industrial Government
Land Sales programme in the first half of
2015, according to the Ministry of Trade and

Back to Contents

Industry (MTI). Another five sites will also be


added onto the reserve list during the same
period of time. This would mean that a total of
14 hectares of land will be made available by
H1 2015. Of the 14 hectares, the nine sites
on the confirmed list will make up 6.46
hectares while 7.62 hectares will be yielded
from the reserve list.
(Source: Business Times)
AXA Tower acquired for $1.17b
AXA Tower will be acquired by a consortium
of investors for $1.17 billion or $1,735 psf of
net lettable area. The AXA Tower, which is 50storeys high, has a total net lettable area of
about 674,000 sq feet. Its total gross area is
about 1.03 million sq ft. The building is
currently made up of Grade A office spaces
and other retail spaces.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193


Located at Shenton Way, the building has a
99-year lease from 1982. Investors in the
building say that they will look into optimising
the value of the property by utilising the
additional 212,000 sq ft that is currently not in
use.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

Page | 10

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 193

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jan 14 Jan 20

Postal
District
1
3
4
5
8
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
12
12
15
15
15
15
16
16

Project Name
RIVERWALK APARTMENT
TANGLIN VIEW
TURQUOISE
VENTANA
KERRISDALE
THE METZ
ST THOMAS SUITES
MACKENZIE REGENCY
ST REGIS RESIDENCES SINGAPORE
MELROSE PARK
BALMORAL GATE
TANGLIN REGENCY
PARK INFINIA AT WEE NAM
CUBE 8
MONTEBLEU
SUFFOLK PREMIER
CASA FORTUNA
BALESTIER PLAZA
NATURALIS
BUTTERWORTH 8
MANDARIN GARDEN CONDOMINIUM
THE BECCAGAYLE
CASA MERAH
AQUARIUS BY THE PARK

Back to Contents

Area
(sqft)
1,259
1,464
2,777
1,518
1,485
1,023
2,605
1,087
4,941
1,292
1,259
1,259
1,464
1,335
1,475
1,001
506
1,625
646
1,313
1,001
1,475
1,550
1,324

Transacted
Price ($)
1,580,000
1,510,000
4,550,000
1,675,000
1,488,000
2,300,000
5,100,000
1,250,000
9,500,000
2,060,000
1,700,000
1,470,000
2,854,800
2,000,000
2,180,000
1,180,000
738,000
1,600,000
800,000
1,570,000
1,080,000
1,520,000
1,680,000
1,270,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
1,255
99
1,031
99
1,638
99
1,104
FH
1,002
99
2,249
FH
1,958
FH
1,150
FH
1,923 999
1,595 999
1,350
FH
1,167
99
1,950
FH
1,498
FH
1,478
FH
1,179
FH
1,459
FH
984
FH
1,239
FH
1,196
FH
1,079
99
1,031
FH
1,084
99
959
99

Postal
District
16
16
16
17
19
19
19
20
22
23
23
23

Project Name
THE BAYSHORE
THE CLEARWATER
STRATFORD COURT
BALLOTA PARK CONDOMINIUM
KOVAN MELODY
THE FLORENTINE
CENTRAL VIEW
SIN MING PLAZA
LAKEHOLMZ
HILLINGTON GREEN
REGENT GROVE
PALM GARDENS

Area
(sqft)
980
1,356
2,034
1,281
1,313
958
1,206
2,971
1,249
1,356
1,163
2,336

Transacted
Price ($)
930,000
1,150,000
1,480,000
920,000
1,435,000
1,000,000
1,060,000
2,680,000
1,050,000
1,360,000
855,000
1,580,000

Price
Tenure
($ psf)
949
99
848
99
727
99
718
FH
1,093
99
1,044 947
879
99
902
FH
841
99
1,003 999
735
99
676
99

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.

Page | 11

Issue 194
Copyright 2011-2014 www.Propwise.sg. All Rights Reserved.

CONTENTS
p2

FROM THE

EDITOR

What Investment Opportunities Will

Welcome to the 194th edition of the


Singapore Property Weekly.

Geylangs Rezoning Create?

Hope you like it!

p8

Singapore Property News This Week

p12

Resale Property Transactions

Mr. Propwise

(January 21 January 27 )

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194

What Investment Opportunities Will Geylangs Rezoning Create?


By Gerald Tay (guest contributor)
On Jan 13, 2015, the Urban Redevelopment
Authority (URA) announced a proposal to
rezone
parts
of
Geylang
from
Residential/Institution
to
Commercial/Institution. This is a proposed
amendment to the URA Master Plan 2014.
A reader asked if I could kindly share my
insights on Geylang's rezoning plans and
whether there are any future opportunities
for sellers and buyers. Being very familiar
with the location, I've addressed her
questions below.

Back to Contents

Page | 2

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


Since 2001, Geylang has always been on my
location radar for great property buys. At the
time, people thought I was crazy to buy into
Geylang, butIve achieved profitable results.
In the last few years, Ive predicted that
Geylang will have major changes in its
commercial and residential landscape, with
an increase in locational prestige, better
government initiatives and much more.
Almost all of them came true
1. What does the rezoning mean for
existing property owners in Geylang?
URA proposes to rezone the area bounded by
Geylang Road, Lorong 22 Geylang,
Guillemard Road and Lorong 4 Geylang, from
Residential/Institution
to
a
new
Commercial/Institution zoning,excluding the
parcels of land zoned Road, the lots fronting
Geylang Road and the sports field bounded
Back to Contents

by Talma Road and Lorong 12 Geylang.


In short, URA will not approve any more new
residential projects in a 14-hectare stretch of
Geylang from Lorong 4 to Lorong 22 under
the proposed rezoning exercise. Existing
residential projects may remain as they are.
Likewise, new residential projects in the area
which have been approved may proceed to
be built. Residential use is barred in the new
zone.
The maximum plot ratio (ratio of maximum
gross floor area to land area) will remain at
2.8.

The rationale, according to the URA: With


more new residential developments in the
area, there has been an increasing spill over
of disagreements and friction on the ground
between residents and the diverse uses in the
area.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


Thus, in consultation with the police and other
agencies, our assessment is that the growth
of the residential community between
Lorongs 4 to 22 needs to be rebalanced and
moderated to minimise friction with residential
uses and avoid eroding the character of the
area.
There are more commercial activities in the
lower Lorongs versus the upper Lorongs.
There are more residential enclaves in the
upper Lorongs versus the lower Lorongs. The
proposed rezoning, which would bar new
residential projects, will allow issues arising
from conflicting uses to be better managed,
and prevent the spill over to surrounding
areas.
2. Does this rezoning have a positive or
negative impact on enbloc potential?
The rezoning is expected to boost land values
Back to Contents

in the location generally and spur collective


sales.
Any residential properties in the earmarked
belt that wants to undergo redevelopment in
the future will have to comply with the
approved uses permitted in the new
commercial/institution zone.
There will be spill over effect from the
earmarked belt to the upper Lorongs since
residential developers who want to tap on
future opportunities from the area and nearby
redevelopment areas, need to find more land
to build new residential projects in that area.
And with its current high plot ratio of 2.8,
freehold land and 'cheaper to enbloc'
properties, developers will find Geylang very
profitable indeed.
There are many freehold residential
properties in the upper Lorongs that are older,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


smaller in size and more cost-effective for
developers to enbloc. There could possibly be
some interest from developers or investors to
amalgamate existing residential clusters
through a collective sale process for
redevelopment.
Given that by 2030, PayaLebarAirbase will be
moved to accommodate higher building ratios
in the area, developers will further tap on
these opportunities in the early years for
economic reasons.

the government has a strong intention for that


to happen and help give SMEs easy access
to the CBD and other nearby business hubs
at more affordable rents. The vision of
JurongLake District and Woodlands as
commercial hubs for SMEs are good
examples of what we can expect of Geylang
and PayaLebar.

3. What might be the government's vision


for Geylang as a business hub? How
would it fit in with the PayaLebar and
Kallang business hubs?

Being located 10 minutes away from the


CBD, Marina Bay and city centre, the locale
of Geylang and its reputation forms a 'huge
thorn on a rose' for the government. For the
last 15 years, the government has
implemented hard measures to crack down
on the many illegal activities popular in the
area such as illegal street-walkers and
gambling. Today's Geylang is very different
from the old Geylang of the past.

Will Geylang become a jewel for businesses,


especially SMEs? Most likely yes and I think

Both the upper and lower Lorongs


complement each other very well in the mix of

Over the mid to long term, I expect a positive


impact on land values in this precinct.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


residential and commercial uses.
With the new zoning, we can expect property
values and rental incomes to rise strongly
because of a stronger synergy in the area as
a business hub and with the nearby business
hubs as well.
The current commercial development of
PayaLebar, close-by Marina Bay, future
TanjongPagar, and removal of PayaLebar air
base in 2030, will add even more prestige
and commercial viability to Geylang as the
next place to be for living and legitimate
commercial activities.
4. Should investors start looking out for
opportunities in Geylang, if they have not
already invested there? Or do you think
the sellers would have priced in the
proposed changes?
In 2003, Geylang properties were priced in
the region of $300 per square foot. In 2014,
Back to Contents

prices are below $1,000 per square foot for


older freehold properties in the area. This has
made Geylang one of the most affordable
places for living and business today.

The plot ratio is unchanged at 2.8 currently.


But this may move to a higher ratio once
PayaLebar airbase is moved from 2030
onward.
Geylang has 4 MRT stations situated within a
12 min-walking radius the furthest is Dakota
MRT. No other location in Singapore has such
access. It is easily accessible to major
expressways such as the PIE, KPE, ECP,
MCE, and CTE. It's also a 10 min drive to the
CBD, Marina Bay and future TanjongPagar
redevelopment areas. Yet, prices and rents
are low for now.
Summary
The Geylang area is very fragmented with
many different owners, both businesses
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


and residential. Enbloc can be challenging for
developers. But for the successful ones, the
sky is the limit.
Most investors including myself have no
intention to sell our properties in the mid or
even long term. It's difficult to find similar
ones at inexpensive prices. There were
enbloc proposals by developers recently but
they were turned down because of 'lowball'
offers.
For owner occupiers, most of them would
have been living in the area for many years
and have developed an emotional attachment
to the area. Unless a developer can offer a
very attractive collective sales proposal that
takes into account the future positive
developments of the area, they will have a
tough time.

Back to Contents

For savvy and well-informed investors,


Geylang may be a gold mine in the future, but
for now, the area can be a land mine
especially for novice investors or flippers. It is
a long term game as it will take at least 10
years before we see the above changes
becoming reality.
Without a proper understanding of the many
risks, one should tread carefully.
By guest contributor Gerald Tay, who is the
founder and coach at CREI Academy Group
Pte Ltd, an organization dedicated to
empowering retail property investors with
smarter investing philosophy and strategies.
He is a full-time investor with over 13 years of
solid experience in building his wealth
through Property Investment and is financially
wealthy today.

Page | 7

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194

Singapore Property This Week


Residential
Increase in Januarys HDB resale prices
unlikely to be sustained
According to the Singapore Real Estate
Exchange, HDB resale prices in January had
increased by 0.6 percent month-on-month.
Resale prices of HDB units in mature estates
increased by 0.5 percent and resale prices of
HDB units in non-mature estates increased
by 0.7 percent in January, from the previous
month. Particularly, four and five-room flats
saw a 1.1 percent and 1.5 percent increase in
resale prices. Nonetheless, the resale
transaction volume in January was lower than

Back to Contents

in December last year, when 1,295 units that


were transacted. However, Eugene Lim from
ERA Realty believes that this slight increase
in resale prices will not be sustained. Ong
Kah Seng from RST Research added that
strong interest in the Pinnacle @ Duxton may
have inflated resale prices this January.
However, Lim predicts that HDB resale prices
in the first half of the year will be muted.
According to data from HDB, resale prices
had fallen by a total of 6 percent last year.
Not only so, resale prices this January are
5.7 percent lower year-on-year as compared
to a year ago.
(Source: Business Times)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


ERA predicts growth in auction market
ERA Realty predicts that there will be more
auctioned properties to be sold this year as
the market for it expands. Jack Chua from
ERA Realty said that sales in the auction
market were slow last year as sellers were
not realistic in pricing their properties.
Nonetheless, market experts believe that
demand will increase when the gap between
buyers expectation and sellers willingness to
sell narrows. According to data from Colliers,
529 properties were auctioned in 2014. This
was a significant increase from the 488
properties that were auctioned in 2013. Not
only so, $36.9 million was made from
mortgagee sales. This was more than twice
the amount that was amassed from the $12.6
million sale in 2013.
(Source: Business Times)

Back to Contents

16 units at Emerald Hill sold for $75


million
16 units located at 111 Emerald Hill have
been sold by Savills to Blackstone. The 12storey freehold development consists of 40
completed condo units, which have all been
sold following the sale of the remaining 16
units. Since the development has a strata
area of about 44,000 sq feet, the 16-unit sale
is believed to be valued between $75 million
and $76 million, or about $1,700 psf. Market
experts believe that the low psf pricing could
be a result of declined interest in luxury
condos. Shaun Poh from Cushman &
Wakefield added that such bulk purchases
are rare. The 16 units that had changed
hands include four penthouses, which have
roof terraces. On the other hand, the other 24
units changed hands between November
2010 and January 2014.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


The Business Times added that the
development had received its Temporary
Occupation Permit in 2011.
(Source: Business Times)
Colliers: rising mortgage costs will not
significantly impact servicing abilities
Due to higher interest rates, homebuyers may
have to foot higher monthly mortgages.
However,
Grace
Ng
from
Colliers
International
believes
that
increased
mortgage costs are not expected to impact
buyers ability to service monthly mortgages.
This is because interest rates are still
relatively low as compared to that in 2008,
during the financial crisis. Not only so, while
interest rates have been increasing, Ng said
that as the US economy remains weak, global
interest rates should remain relatively muted.
Nonetheless, Song Seng Wun from CIMB
Back to Contents

expects interest rates to climb following policy


changes made by the Monetary Authority of
Singapore. Chua Yang Liang from JLL added
that with slower economic growth and
increasing interests rates, homeowners may
be negatively affected as the residential
market will be destabilised by the economic
conditions. The weak leasing market may add
on to homeowners burden as it may be more
difficult for them to finance their mortgages,
said market experts.
(Source: Business Times)
Effect of URAs guideline remains unclear
in curbing surge of shoebox units
According to a study by Knight Frank, the
effect of URAs current measures to moderate
the development of shoebox apartments may
be unclear. The study, which included a select
number of private residential projects,
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194


saw an increase in the number of shoebox
apartments outside of the central area since
November 2012. This suggests that URAs
cap on the maximum number of dwelling units
may not have been effective. Nonetheless,
the share of shoebox units in the North and
West regions fell following the implementation
of URAs guidelines. Alice Tan from Knight
Frank believes that to stay competitive,
developers will still build smaller units. This is
especially so as there is weak property
demand for properties.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial

Tanjong Pagar Centre to be completed by


mid-2016
Tanjong Pagar Centre is expected to be
completed by mid-2016, according to
GuocoLand. As such, GuocoLand will be
increasing its marketing efforts for office and
Back to Contents

rental components of the mixed development.


When the development is completed, it would
be the tallest building with residential units
located at the highest floors. GuocoLand
believes that the 100,000 sq feet of net
lettable retail space that has been allocated
for F&B usage will attract crowds to the
centre. Cheng Hsing Yao from GuocoLand
intends to brand the centre as a national
food haven. Not only so, it is believed that
the 150,000 sq ft landscaped Urban Park will
also be a crowd puller. According to the
Business Times, about 70 percent of the retail
space at the centre will be occupied by F&B
outlets. Cheng said that the office spaces at
Tanjong Pagar Centre have also garnered
high interest. He added that potential tenants
will have a lot of flexibility in configuring their
offices as large column-free floor plates of
27,000 to 30,000 sq ft are available.

(Source: Business Times)


Page | 11

SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 194

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jan 21 Jan 27
Postal
District
4
5
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
12
12
14
15
15
15

Project Name
THE INTERLACE
THE MAYLEA
URBAN SUITES
URBAN RESORT CONDOMINIUM
URBAN RESORT CONDOMINIUM
PATERSON SUITES
THE