Property Update (20 March 2015)

Property Brothers spill 4 DIY ways to upgrade your bathroom |

The Property Brothers stuck around on Thursday to share DIY ways to update one of the most common home renovation projects: the bathroom. Drew and Jonathan Scott shared four ways to update a bathroom’s style without its losing character — or big bucks.


28 shades of red: Condo market down S$15 billion since market peak |

SINGAPORE : The private condominium market in Singapore has lost more than S$15 billion in value since the peak in prices in January last year, calculations by SRX Property have shown.

SRX Property used X-Value, its valuation algorithm, to calculate the value of all transacted flats recorded at the market’s peak and then compared this with the value at the end of last year. At the peak, the measurable market value was about S$392 billion, but by year’s end it was S$377 billion. The difference of S$15 billion is widening as prices continue to drop.

Homeowners in different regions across the island have suffered disproportionately. The worst-hit regions, as designated by the darker red, include Districts 13, 1 and 28, SRX Property data showed.

In District 13, which consists of the MacPherson and Braddell neighbourhoods, 38 per cent of homeowners would sell at a loss if they sold at their unit’s X-Value. This would translate to a market loss of about S$92 million.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of homeowners in District 1, which consists of the Temasek Boulevard and Raffles Link neighbourhoods, would sell at a loss of about S$516 million. The Seletar area, or District 28, would have the largest percentage of loss makers at 44 per cent, which translates to a market loss of about S$117 million.

In contrast, residents in District 26, home to the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, are in relatively good shape. Only 9 per cent would sell at a loss if they sold at their unit’s X-Value. However, the loss would still be significant in dollar terms at more than S$21 million.

So why have the property market cooling measures disproportionately affected homeowners in the various regions? Why are the 28 shades of red so discombobulating with no clear pattern? Read more here >>


Is S’pore property still attractive to property investors? |

SINGAPORE : Many economic and social activities move in cycles. There is a time for investing and a time for harvesting the fruits of one’s investments.

For the real estate market, it is no different. In 2014, investment sales transacted totalled S$17.8 billion, a sharp 40.3 per cent drop from 2013’s figure of S$29.7 billion.


To those outside the field of real estate, the sharp drop may indicate waning sentiments among investors, but in fact, it belies feverish activity in the background, as works in progress carried over into 2015.

For the private sector, what this means is that although the number of investors who put pen to paper fell, they were nonetheless active in the background pursuing deals.

Either the transactions did not materialise or they have rolled over the consummation of the deals into 2015.

Over the years, as capital values have risen substantially, the quantum of investments needed to participate in a commercial or residential en bloc transaction have also grown to a point where institutions and corporate players now have to spend more time running their financial models and gleaning market research data to present a case.

Declining yields in the face of a potential sharp increase in interest rates has often been cited as the reason for waning buying interest in Singapore’s income-yielding real estate. This may be true for some buyers, but others would beg to differ. Read more here >>


Venturing into overseas property investment |

SINGAPORE : During the last six years, the Singapore government had introduced a number of cooling measures to moderate the demand for residential properties on the back of rising property prices.

These measures include the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD), and the Total Debt-Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework.

On the supply side, the government has also been releasing an ample supply of build-to-order (BTO) flats to meet public housing demand.

The challenging local market conditions have spurred buyers, especially investors and local developers, to look abroad.

According to figures released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in its Financial Stability Review 2014 report, the value of overseas property purchases transacted in Singapore rose from S$1.9 billion in 2012 to S$3.0 billion in 2013, before moderating to S$1.1 billion in the first six months of 2014.

Properties in the UK, Malaysia and Australia accounted for 91 per cent of the total transactions by value and 76 per cent by number in the first six months of 2014. Buyers have similarly purchased properties in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand. Read more here >>


Savills warns of housing market ‘hiatus’ ahead of the election |

UK : International property group Savills has reported record results following a wave of recovery that has boosted some of the world’s major and emerging real estate markets, but warned of a “hiatus” in the UK housing sector ahead of May’s election.

Savills’ management team led by Jeremy Helsby, said the company had broken through the £1bn group revenue target for the first time in its history in the 2014 results after the housing and office market boomed in the UK and investors snapped up cheap deals in recovering European markets, such as Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands – despite continued economic instability in the eurozone.

However, Mr Helsby admitted that the first half of 2015 would be far quieter in the British residential sector as buyers and sellers wait for the outcome of the general election.

It’s not about who wins, but the uncertainty, he said. Read more here >>


Toys R Us plans Times Square exit as New York City rent gets too high |

US : Toys R Us will leave its flagship location in Times Square by February of next year. Goodbye, life-sized T rex dinosaur. Goodbye, 60-foot indoor Ferris wheel. Goodbye, 4,000-sq foot Barbie dollhouse.

Rumors that the toy retailer would be leaving its Times Square location had been swirling since 2013, when the brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield first began marketing the space. In 2000, when the construction of the store was announced, Toys R Us was said to be paying about $12m in rent each year. That’s about half the current asking price, Brad Mendelson of Cushman & Wakefield told Commercial Observer, which first reported the move.

The space is too big – and too expensive – for just one tenant, said Mendelson. As such, it might be divided into small parcels.

“There really is not a tenant that can rent that. The market has just escalated so,” he said. The lower level is being marketed at $150 per sq foot, the main ground-floor at $2,500, and the second floor at $350. “We could never get that from any one tenant.” Read more here >>


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