Property Update (9 April 2015)


More HDB resale flats sold in March as prices fall further |

SINGAPORE : Housing Board resale volumes rose as prices fell 0.8 per cent in March, up from a 0.5 per cent fall in February, according to SRX Property flash figures on Thursday.

Prices are now 6.6 per cent lower than a year ago. They have fallen every month from February 2014, interrupted only by a 0.2 per cent rise in January this year.

The price fall was driven by three, four and five-room flats, the prices of which decreased 0.9 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. Resale executive flat prices, however, rose 1 per cent.

Both mature and non-mature estates saw prices fall, by 0.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively. Read more here >>


Singapore retail rents seen falling further after declining in Q1: Cushman |

SINGAPORE : Shopping mall rents in Singapore fell during the first quarter and will likely decline further over the next 12 months, hurt by falling visitor arrivals and weak retail sales, property services firm Cushman & Wakefield said on Wednesday (Apr 8).

Cushman said the biggest drop was seen in city fringe areas such as the City Hall and Marina Centre area, where rents fell 1.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter to S$23.68 per square foot per month (psf/mo).

Average monthly gross rents of prime retail space in the Orchard Road submarket slipped marginally by 0.8 per cent on-quarter to S$38.20 psf/mo, while average monthly gross rents for prime retail space in suburban locations edged down 0.5 per cent from the preceding quarter to S$31.85 psf/mo.

“Unlike the city fringe submarket, Orchard Road is still highly sought after by international retailers looking to open their first or flagship stores. Thus, rents of major retail malls in Orchard Road have held relatively firm even though economic indicators are signalling a down market,” Cushman said in a report.

It added the suburban market experienced the smallest drop in rents due to the resilient nature of suburban malls. Read more here >>


Is the next shoe dropping on Singapore property? |

Sales of Singapore’s high-end properties have been sluggish for a while, and developers faced with a ticking clock on high charges for unsold units may take drastic measures to change that, but probably not price cuts.
“Price is not the issue. The issue is there’s no demand,” Derrick Heng, a property analyst at Maybank-Kim Eng, said Tuesday.
It’s not just a matter of sitting on the unsold units while waiting for buyers to return. Developers in Singapore are running out of time: any units still unsold two years after a project’s completion face an “extension charge,” of 8 percent of the proportional land cost for the first year, rising to 16 percent in the second year and 24 percent in the third. It’s a measure aimed at preventing property hoarding by “foreign” developers in the land-starved city-state.
The only way to avoid the charges is if the developer is Singaporean or the company has only Singaporean shareholders and board members. Read more here >>


Values climb as ‘townships’ lead Philippines property charge |

PHILIPPINES : Neighbourhoods inspired by California’s Beverly Hills, fast-rising office towers and swanky malls resembling landmarks such as St Mark’s Square in Venice — it may sound like China circa 2005, but this is The Philippines in 2015.

The country’s real estate sector is experiencing a boom as new property floods a market usually stifled by low prices and developers notorious for completing projects years behind schedule.

Now supply and demand are rising fast as the national economy grows reliably at between 6 and 8 per cent a year.

Property values are increasing steadily, drawing investors. And cash-rich developers, backed by some of the country’s biggest conglomerates, are having an easier time delivering on promises.

In a metropolis clogged with traffic and where millions still live in slums, Manila’s affluent buyers particularly favoured newly built “townships” — self-contained districts where homes, offices, shops and schools were packaged together in tidy, linked com­munities, said Jericho Go, senior vice-president at Megaworld ­Corporation, the real estate subsidiary of the Alliance Global Group. “Why would you want to go out,” Mr Go asked, “when everyone else wants to come in?” Read more here >>


Government confident Philippines will grow 7-8% |

PHILIPPINES : The Aquino administration is confident the economy will still grow by seven to eight percent this year and next despite the negative impact of slumping oil prices on government revenue performance.

During its meeting yesterday, the government’s economic team agreed to keep its forecasts for the country’s economic growth unchanged even as it sees state revenues growing at a slower pace amid a sustained low oil price environment.

While low fuel prices give people more discretionary spending power, they are seen to impact negatively on the state’s revenue performance, more particularly on imports.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) sees oil prices hovering between $50 and $70 per barrel this year from the earlier assumption of $80 to $110 during its meeting in January.

Falling oil prices prompted the DBCC to slash revenue targets for this year.

Finance Undersecretary Jeremiah N. Paul Jr. said the government now expects revenues to hit P2.275 trillion this year from the original target of P2.34 trillion. This is projected to account for 16.3 percent of the country’s total economic output. Read more here >>


Where does California stand in property tax rankings? |

CALIFORNIA, USA : California has the 17th lowest property taxes among all 50 U.S. states, according to a report compiled by consumer financial website WalletHub. [LA Times]

The average property tax paid by California real estate owners in 2015 is $1,431. Hawaii has the cheapest property taxes with an average of $431, while New Jersey has the most expensive at $3,971.

Alabama, Louisiana, Delaware and South Carolina round out the five states with the lowest property taxes. Illinois, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Texas had the highest rates behind New Jersey.

Wallet Hub calculated each state’s average by dividing the median property tax payment by the median home price.

The report found that property taxes were 39 percent higher on average in blue states than in red states. Wallet Hub based that designation on whether states voted Democratic or Republican in the 2012 presidential election. Read more here >>


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