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Issue 359

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CONTENTS FROM THE

p2 Property Prices to Double by 2030?


EDITOR
Welcome to the 359th edition of the
Singapore Property Weekly.
4 Questions on DBS Bank’s Property Report
Hope you like it!
p11 Resale Property Transactions
Mr. Propwise
(May 12 – May 18)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Property Prices to Double by 2030? 4 Questions


on DBS Bank‟s Property Report
By Property Soul (guest contributor) 2. Homeowners‟ incomes and property prices
to grow at compound growth rate of 1.5
percent to 3.2 percent

3 New private homes to cost between


S$2,300 and S$2,900 psf by 2030
I read with bewilderment an article published 4. Demand for private property to be between
on 16 May 2018 in Today titled “New private 12,000 and 16,000 units per year
homes to cost up to S$2,900 psf on average
5. Average size of private units to shrink to
by 2030: DBSreport”. The five projections
840 sq ft
made by two DBS property analysts on
Singapore‟s property projections in 2030 With no intention of pouring cold water on the
caught my attention: optimism of DBS, l would like to throw four
questions back to the two analysts writing the
1. Singapore‟s population to hit 6.3 million to
DBS property report.
6.5 million

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Question #1: Can Singapore reverse an Exactly five years later at the announcement
aging population to reach 6.5 million by of Singapore Budget 2018, Josephine Teo,
2030? Minister in the Prime Minister‟s Office in
charge of population matters, admitted that
I have covered this topic in my earlier blog
“Singapore is not expected to change its
post “Singapore‟s latest demographics: what
immigration policy, and its population is likely
it means for housing”.
to be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030”.
Remember the controversial Population
To encourage couples to have babies before
White Paper Back released in January 2013?
they get their flats, Mrs Teo told us that we
The Singapore government set an ambitious
“need a very small space to have sex”,
target to reach a total population of 6 million
without demonstrating how. Maybe the two
by 2020 and 6.9 million by 2030.
DBS analysts can share with her their
But the reality is: Our latest population of 5.61 personal tips (to hit 6.5 million by 2030), even
million shows a humble growth of merely 0.1 when the government has already given up
percent in a year. If we inch at this rate, we their target?
can only hit 5.69 million by 2030. Do you think
China‟s one-child policy that stretched over
our government will ignore public outcry to
36 years has created an unhealthy
import the balance of 1.21 million foreigners
demographic with serious imbalance in age
and make up the magic number of 6.9
and gender.
million?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

The rapidly aging population results in an the reasons why eligible couples are hesitant
elder-care crisis. China‟s age group of 60 or to have a second child.
above as a percentage of the population
China will be having a negative population
stands at 17.3 percent (Singapore total
growth in the future. If the country with the
residents stands at a higher 19.7 percent in
world‟s largest population cannot solve their
that age group).
low birth rate and aging population problem,
The one-child policy was finally ended in how confident is Singapore to get the same
2016. Couples living in the cities with one problem under control? Are we sure we can
parent as the only child are allowed to have beat China with higher fertility rate and a
two children. An estimated 15 to 20 million younger population? What optimism drives
couples are eligible and expected to have a DBS to conclude that Singapore‟s population
second baby in 2017. can hit 6.5 million by 2030?

But to everyone‟s surprise, instead of seeing Question #2: Can Singapore’s income
an increasing birth rate, the number of growth keep pace with S$2,900 psf?
newborns in 2017 dropped 630,000 or 3.5
The DBS property report said the current
percent compared with the previous year
average private home prices is S$1,500 psf
(while Singapore‟s fall is 4 percent in the
and will go up to between S$2,300 psf and
same year). High costs of living, housing
S$2,900 psf in 2030.
prices and education expenses are cited as

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Wait, have we reached S$1,500 psf yet? peak in 2007.

Well, it depends on which region or district we What about OCR (Out of Central Region)
are talking about, and whether they are new districts like 22, 23 and 25? With average psf
projects or resale properties. prices still hovering between S$700 and
$1,000, do you think they will also go up to
A check on all the non-landed private homes
S$2,300 or S$2,900 psf by 2030? Will our
transacted last month shows big gaps in
government sit there doing nothing to cool the
average price psf in different districts.
market, while happily collecting revenue from
land sales and stamp duties?

DBS claims that the steady rise in property


rises is supported by steady income growth,
with homeowners‟ incomes climbing at a
compound growth rate of 1.5 percent to 3.2
percent.

It won‟t be surprising to see non-landed According to Singstat‟s latest Key Household


private properties in District 1 and District 9 to Income Trends report, the median monthly
go back to S$2,900 psf at least once in the income of Singapore residents increases 2
next 12 years. In fact, many luxury homes percent or 1.5 percent after factoring in
could have already reached there at their inflation.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Mind you, this happens when Singapore‟s private residential properties in 2009 1Q is
economy is performing well these few years 100. Last quarter in 2018 1Q, the number
with unemployment rate at ±2 percent and goes up to 141.6. The compound annual
retrenchments near 7-year low. growth rate is 3.94 percent, which has gone
up twice as fast as our income growth (1.5 to
The Singstat report also points out that, as a
2 percent).
developed country, Singapore is experiencing
slower pace of income growth, especially for DBS said private home prices will increase
the bottom 50 percent of households. from S$1,500 psf now to S$2,900 psf in 2030.
That is an annual compound growth rate of
And could I check with any economics or
5.65 percent. Wage earners will be overjoyed
finance teachers whether it is possible for
if this “steady rise in property rises” can be
Singapore wage earners to enjoy salary
supported by “steady income growth”.
growth at that rate for 12 years, even while
going through potential economic downturns But wait, do we want our labor force to enjoy
and a global crisis? high wages that are commensurate with a
rise in property prices, or a labor force with
Can our income growth keep pace with the
competitive wages comparable with other
rise in private home prices?
countries‟ to survive in the global labor
URA‟s Property Price Index for non-landed market?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Question #3: Can we depend on HDB employment is terminated, they must leave
upgraders and foreigners to buy units the country.
averaging 840 sq ft?
Besides, foreigners must pay 15 percent
The DBS report expects annual transaction Additional Buyers Stamp Duty for private
volume for private homes to reach between properties. No wonder only 6 percent of last
12,000 and 16,000 units, mainly due to year‟s total sales transactions are by foreign
demands by HDB upgraders and foreigners. buyers.
And the average size of private units will
2. HDB Upgraders
shrink to 840 sq ft by 2030.
According to SRX, HDB Resale Price Index is
Really?
131.8 in April, down by 13.5 percent
1. Foreigners compared to its last peak of 152.4 in April
2013. For transaction volume, only 1,850
The low population growth of 0.1 percent last
HDB resale flats were sold last month, down
year is mainly due to the negative growth of -
by 49.3 percent from the last peak of 3,649
1.6 percent for non-residents. The current
units in May 2010.
size of PRs hasn‟t changed much for the last
four years. Our government is not granting The SRX T-O-X for HDB is negative S$1,000,
many permanent resident approvals for meaning buyers are underpaying S$1,000 of
foreigners staying here. Once their the HDB flat‟s estimated market value.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

The days when selling HDB flats can make a are strictly internal living space, excluding
generous sum from Cash-Over-Valuation as unusable spaces such as planter boxes and
down payment for condos are over. aircon ledges as counted into the floor area of
condo units.
How many HDB upgraders are preparing to
sell their flats at zero or negative COV, and Does that make sense for HDB owners to
pay S$1,500 psf now, or $$2,300 to S$2,900 give up their current HDB home, top up a few
psf in 2030to upgrade to a condo? hundred thousand dollars from their savings,
only to “downgrade” (I mean downsize) to an
3. Average size of private units
840 sq ft private home?
Unlike cities such as Hong Kong or Tokyo, 80
Question #4: Can we trust the DBS
percent of Singapore‟s population are
property report is unbiased?
benefiting from subsidized HDB flats with very
decent living space. I own private properties and I live in my
private home too. I don‟t have problem seeing
According to the Housing Development
a rise in private home prices. But I have a
Board, the size of an older 4-room flat is
problem seeing any party predicting the rise
between 914 and 1,129 sq ft, while a 5-room
of private home prices without full disclosure
flat is about 1,322 sq ft. The new 4 and 5-
of their vested position.
room flats built are 968 sq ft and 1,183 sq ft
respectively. Note that these measurements

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Has DBS declared somewhere in their S$73 billion to housing loans).


property report the bank‟s interests in the
It adds up to 42 percent (20 percent in
housing and construction sector, except a
building and construction; 22 percent in
long disclaimer at the end emphasizing that
housing loans) out of total customer loans of
they cannot be held responsible if their
DBS. And S$140 billion is a 14.5 percent
projections do not materialize?
increase in construction and housing loans
compared with a year ago (S$122 billion in
1st quarter 2017).

DBS Bank is no doubt heavily vested in the


property industry. No wonder the bank is so
bold in its estimates and so optimistic in its
projections for Singapore‟s property market.

According to RHB Research, UOB has 27.6


percent and OCBC has 26 percent of its total
According to the DBS First Quarter 2018 loans in the housing segment. UOB KayHian
financial data, the bank lent a total of S$140 confirmed that “housing loans and building &
billion to the housing and construction sector construction accounted for 40 – 50% of total
(S$66 billion to building and construction, loans for the three banks”.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

When the researchers commented that Just because Morgan Stanley speculates
Singapore banks are “best-placed to cash in “Singapore‟s property prices to double by
on the property boom”, the opposite is also 2030” doesn‟t mean that DBS should follow
true. By lending heavily to a single industry suit, especially when DBS is positioning itself
sector, the banks are making themselves as the leader in Asia banking.
vulnerable to any possible property downturn
As I mentioned before, trust is a rare
in the future.
commodity in properties. The same applies to
In January, the Monetary Authority of banking. In this digital world, trust is more
Singapore (MAS) said it is monitoring closely valued than ever. Unfortunately, trust is
how the banks are financing property increasingly rare to be found with industry
projects. MAS is collecting data on the size of stakeholders and in the mass media.
banks‟ exposures and details of the loan
We have no choice but rely on our own
facilities granted for each project.
judgement to tell the truth.
To coincide with its 50th year anniversary,
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
DBS is spending S$30 million across Asia on
successful property investor, blogger, and
their new rebranding campaign. The
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
advertising tagline is „Live more, Bank less‟.
Investment.
Maybe they can change it to „Say less, Trust
more‟?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of May 12 – May 18

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
2 ONZE @ TANJONG PAGAR 1,044 2,600,000 2,490 FH 5 MONTEREY PARK CONDOMINIUM 2,056 1,850,000 900 999
2 ONZE @ TANJONG PAGAR 1,044 2,463,400 2,359 FH 7 SUNSHINE PLAZA 1,130 1,380,000 1,221 99
2 SPOTTISWOODE 18 388 810,888 2,093 FH 8 CITYLIGHTS 872 1,386,000 1,590 99
2 ICON 786 1,240,000 1,578 99 8 SOHO 188 592 930,000 1,571 FH
3 ECHELON 732 1,400,000 1,913 99 8 CITYLIGHTS 689 1,070,000 1,553 99
3 ECHELON 1,130 1,770,000 1,566 99 8 LOFT @ RANGOON 420 650,000 1,548 FH
3 THE ANCHORAGE 1,119 1,600,000 1,429 FH 8 CITYSCAPE @FARRER PARK 1,076 1,538,000 1,429 FH
3 RIVER PLACE 818 1,160,000 1,418 99 8 BRISTOL LODGE 969 1,020,000 1,053 FH
3 RIVER PLACE 1,281 1,810,000 1,413 99 9 RICHMOND PARK 1,259 3,350,000 2,660 FH
3 THE ANCHORAGE 1,238 1,700,000 1,373 FH 9 ESPADA 377 1,000,000 2,654 FH
3 ALESSANDREA 1,098 1,500,000 1,366 FH 9 RIVERIA GARDENS 1,432 3,434,400 2,399 FH
3 TANGLIN VIEW 1,141 1,490,000 1,306 99 9 MARTIN PLACE RESIDENCES 1,044 2,220,000 2,126 FH
3 QUEENS 1,195 1,520,000 1,272 99 9 CAIRNHILL CREST 1,970 3,980,000 2,020 FH
3 QUEENS 1,195 1,470,000 1,230 99 9 MACKENZIE 88 807 1,250,000 1,548 FH
4 CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY 893 1,388,000 1,554 99 10 THE NASSIM 1,927 6,986,000 3,626 FH
4 CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY 1,582 2,380,000 1,504 99 10 ARDMORE II 2,024 5,620,000 2,777 FH
4 THE INTERLACE 1,615 2,088,000 1,293 99 10 ST REGIS RESIDENCES SINGAPORE 1,507 3,850,000 2,555 999
4 THE INTERLACE 5,210 5,224,000 1,003 99 10 CUSCADEN RESIDENCES 2,077 4,800,000 2,311 FH
5 THE PEAK@BALMEG 990 1,600,000 1,616 FH 10 DRAYCOTT EIGHT 2,863 5,900,000 2,061 99
5 HUNDRED TREES 786 1,080,000 1,374 956 10 GOODWOOD RESIDENCE 3,907 8,000,000 2,047 FH
5 THE TRILINQ 1,345 1,775,000 1,319 99 10 LATITUDE 2,788 5,600,000 2,009 FH
5 BOTANNIA 829 1,080,000 1,303 956 10 LEEDON RESIDENCE 6,125 12,300,000 2,008 FH
5 BLUE HORIZON 904 942,000 1,042 99 10 THE TRESOR 1,927 3,828,000 1,987 999
5 FABER CREST 1,270 1,258,000 990 99 10 ZENITH 775 1,480,000 1,910 999

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
10 NASSIM JADE 3,272 6,000,000 1,834 FH 14 PRIMEDGE 474 670,000 1,415 FH
10 STELLAR RV 506 902,000 1,783 FH 14 WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 2,820 3,770,000 1,337 99
10 CLIFTEN 1,066 1,860,000 1,745 FH 14 EUHABITAT 538 708,888 1,317 99
10 GALLOP GABLES 2,174 3,700,000 1,702 FH 14 VACANZA @ EAST 560 708,000 1,265 FH
10 D'LEEDON 775 1,300,000 1,677 99 14 VACANZA @ EAST 807 925,000 1,146 FH
10 THE LEVELZ 1,281 2,000,000 1,561 FH 14 THE SUNNY SPRING 1,109 1,260,000 1,136 FH
10 D'LEEDON 4,489 6,259,920 1,395 99 14 CASSIA VIEW 2,411 2,680,000 1,112 FH
10 D'LEEDON 3,800 5,005,040 1,317 99 14 VACANZA @ EAST 840 908,000 1,081 FH
10 D'LEEDON 5,134 6,648,160 1,295 99 14 D'WEAVE 829 895,000 1,080 FH
11 26 NEWTON 775 2,027,455 2,616 FH 14 ASTORIA PARK 958 945,000 986 99
11 LINCOLN SUITES 1,033 2,180,000 2,110 FH 14 STARVILLE 1,238 1,080,000 872 FH
11 THOMSON EURO-ASIA 1,292 2,650,000 2,052 FH 15 THE ESTA 1,313 2,400,000 1,828 FH
11 D'CHATEAU @ SHELFORD 915 1,620,000 1,771 FH 15 38 I SUITES 463 742,000 1,603 FH
11 CUBE 8 893 1,500,000 1,679 FH 15 IMPERIAL HEIGHTS 775 1,100,000 1,419 FH
11 AMARYLLIS VILLE 1,259 2,000,000 1,588 99 15 FORT GARDENS 958 1,350,000 1,409 FH
12 PRESTIGE HEIGHTS 344 575,000 1,669 FH 15 COSTA RHU 1,776 2,380,000 1,340 99
12 TRELLIS TOWERS 710 1,055,000 1,485 FH 15 THE AMARELLE 1,152 1,515,000 1,315 FH
12 VISTA RESIDENCES 1,152 1,680,000 1,459 FH 15 MARINE BLUE 1,270 1,621,000 1,276 FH
12 AIRSTREAM 495 650,000 1,313 FH 15 MELROSE VILLE 872 1,060,000 1,216 FH
12 NOVA 48 1,066 1,350,000 1,267 FH 15 LAGOON VIEW 1,647 1,880,000 1,142 99
12 BEACON HEIGHTS 667 825,000 1,236 999 15 DUNMAN VIEW 1,324 1,440,000 1,088 99
12 D'MIRA 1,507 1,850,000 1,228 FH 15 LEGENDA AT JOO CHIAT 1,033 1,030,000 997 99
13 BARTLEY RIDGE 732 1,130,000 1,544 99 15 DUNMAN VIEW 1,216 1,200,000 987 99
13 BARTLEY RIDGE 495 735,000 1,484 99 15 NEPTUNE COURT 1,636 1,455,000 889 99
13 BARTLEY RIDGE 850 1,220,000 1,435 99 15 ESPIRA SPRING 2,099 1,750,000 834 FH
14 AVANT RESIDENCES 398 665,000 1,670 99 16 COSTA DEL SOL 1,227 1,700,000 1,385 99
14 AVANT RESIDENCES 484 774,600 1,599 99 16 WATERFRONT ISLE 915 1,120,000 1,224 99

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
16 WATERFRONT GOLD 1,378 1,570,000 1,140 99 19 D'HIRO@HILLSIDE 1,819 1,650,000 907 999
17 PARC OLYMPIA 495 560,000 1,131 99 19 RIVER ISLES 1,206 1,088,000 902 99
17 FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,356 1,320,000 973 FH 19 RIO VISTA 1,249 1,080,000 865 99
17 FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,023 915,000 895 FH 19 EDEN VIEW 2,002 1,580,000 789 FH
17 PALM ISLES 1,507 1,300,000 863 99 19 RIO VISTA 1,249 970,000 777 99
17 CARISSA PARK CONDOMINIUM 947 800,000 845 FH 20 SKY HABITAT 872 1,300,000 1,491 99
18 MY MANHATTAN 861 1,150,000 1,335 99 20 SKY HABITAT 1,292 1,840,300 1,425 99
18 D'NEST 775 850,000 1,097 99 20 COUNTRY GRANDEUR 1,442 1,928,000 1,337 FH
18 SEA ESTA 646 700,000 1,084 99 21 FLORIDIAN 936 1,680,000 1,794 FH
18 D'NEST 1,259 1,285,000 1,020 99 21 THE CASCADIA 990 1,625,000 1,641 FH
18 THE TROPICA 1,518 1,435,000 945 99 21 N.A. 1,033 1,330,000 1,287 999
18 RIS GRANDEUR 1,292 1,210,000 937 FH 21 THE RAINTREE 1,270 1,400,000 1,102 99
18 SAVANNAH CONDOPARK 1,453 1,250,000 860 99 21 THE CASCADIA 2,465 2,700,000 1,095 FH
18 EASTPOINT GREEN 1,130 940,000 832 99 21 SYMPHONY HEIGHTS 990 1,060,000 1,070 FH
18 LIVIA 2,486 1,980,000 796 99 21 HIGH OAK CONDOMINIUM 1,206 1,198,000 994 99
18 LIVIA 1,119 880,000 786 99 22 THE LAKEFRONT RESIDENCES 721 1,100,000 1,525 99
19 THE SCALA 850 1,200,000 1,411 99 22 THE CENTRIS 936 1,070,000 1,143 99
19 THE MINTON 614 730,000 1,190 99 23 THE HILLIER 560 740,000 1,322 99
19 A TREASURE TROVE 775 900,000 1,161 99 23 FORESQUE RESIDENCES 1,281 1,590,000 1,241 99
19 PALM GROVE CONDOMINIUM 1,302 1,500,000 1,152 999 23 HILLVIEW HEIGHTS 732 850,000 1,161 FH
19 PARC CENTROS 990 1,103,000 1,114 99 23 THE PETALS 1,227 1,348,000 1,099 FH
19 A TREASURE TROVE 1,206 1,338,000 1,110 99 23 THE TENNERY 850 900,000 1,058 99
19 PARC VERA 1,410 1,435,000 1,018 99 23 MERAWOODS 1,345 1,370,000 1,018 999
19 THE QUARTZ 1,066 1,050,000 985 99 23 THE LINEAR 1,227 1,200,000 978 999
19 FLO RESIDENCE 926 912,000 985 99 23 MERALODGE 1,701 1,620,000 953 FH
19 PARC VERA 786 760,000 967 99 23 THE LINEAR 1,249 1,110,000 889 999
19 RIVER ISLES 1,679 1,550,000 923 99 23 NORTHVALE 1,292 975,000 755 99

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 359

Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
23 NORTHVALE 1,087 767,000 706 99
23 REGENT GROVE 1,163 780,000 671 99
25 WOODGROVE CONDOMINIUM 1,184 830,000 701 99
26 THE BROOKS I 710 1,110,000 1,562 FH
26 BULLION PARK 1,873 1,950,000 1,041 FH
26 SEASONS PARK 1,249 1,088,000 871 99
26 CASTLE GREEN 1,216 948,000 779 99
27 THE NAUTICAL 1,130 1,160,000 1,026 99
27 THE NAUTICAL 990 950,000 959 99
27 EIGHT COURTYARDS 1,087 1,005,000 924 99
27 EIGHT COURTYARDS 1,012 895,000 885 99
28 H2O RESIDENCES 883 905,000 1,025 99
28 SELETAR PARK RESIDENCE 1,507 1,306,000 867 99
28 SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM 1,216 900,000 740 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.

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