Property Update (8 May 2015)


HDB resale prices hit 2-year high in April |

SINGAPORE : After a steady decline in Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale prices, there are signs that the market is bottoming out as its transaction volume hit a two-year high last month.

As more upgraders let go of old units, new launches of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats subside, and sellers’ expectations become more realistic, prices are likely to stabilise by the second half of the year, the analysts said.

Figures released by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX Property) today (May 7) showed 1,610 HDB flats changing hands last month, up 19.3 per cent from March’s 1,349 units, and the highest since April 2013.

This came as resale prices rose 0.2 per cent month-on-month after dipping by 0.8 per cent in March.

Last month saw the price tags of three- and four-room flats going up by 0.3 and 0.9 per cent, respectively. Prices for five-room and executive flats, however, fell by 0.8 and 2 per cent, respectively. Read more >>


Ex-columbarium site in Fernvale to be re-tendered for Chinese temple |

SINGAPORE : A Sengkang site that was the subject of controversy following plans by a company to build a commercial columbarium there will open for re-tender soon, after the Ministry of National Development (MND) terminated the original tender awarded in July last year.

In a press release today (May 7), the MND said the new tender would restore the original planning intent of a Chinese temple. The ministry has also signed a termination agreement with Eternal Pure Land. Under the agreement, the Government will refund the company the full land premium of about S$5.2 million, as well as the associated taxes and duties that it paid for the site.

“This is only fair as the contract of the Fernvale Link site has been terminated. There is no other separate payment,” the MND said. Read more >>


Signs point to stabilising HDB resale market |

SINGAPORE : More signs are emerging that the Housing Board (HDB) resale market is stabilising, with prices edging up last month.

This was on the back of the highest transaction volume in two years, according to flash figures from SRX Property yesterday.

Resale prices were up 0.2 per cent in April compared to March.

But while the slight rise bucks the downward trend, analysts said that it is far from certain if a turnaround is around the corner.

ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim expects prices to “decline moderately” in the coming months.

But he added: “The good thing to note is that the rate of price decline seems to be slowing down and that is a sign that we may see prices stabilise by year end.”

Prices might fall by less than 5 per cent for the full year, he said.

The slight uptick last month supports the picture of a stabilising market.

– See more at:



UK housing market activity remains strong despite election |

UK : Housing market activity in the UK was stronger across the board last month than at the same point last year, regardless of the general election, according to the latest research from valuers.

There were 13% more property valuations conducted in April than a year ago, despite last month’s total dipping by 32% compared to March 2015, the data from Connells Survey and Valuation shows.

According to John Bagshaw, the firm’s corporate services director, all indicators from first time buyers right through to remortgagers are up on compared to a year ago and he said this demonstrates the broad momentum in the property market, which he expects to continue through into the new Parliament. Read more >>


Property market boom weighs on Australia |

AUSTRALIA : A sustained property market boom in major Australian cities partly fuelled by a flood of foreign money is pricing first-time buyers out of the market — and causing problems for policy makers and the country’s central bank.

Record low interest rates, a rise in property speculation and a surge in overseas buyers are causing residential prices to rocket in some of the world’s biggest cities, including London, Singapore and Hong Kong. Regulators warn of an increased risk of destabilising bubbles, and it is becoming ever harder for first-time buyers to get their foot on the property ladder.

“We’d prefer a house but they are just too expensive,” says Kate Homan, one of dozens of people squeezed inside a two-bedroom apartment in a Sydney suburb listed for sale at A$750,000 (US$600,000). “The heartbreaking thing is when you come to these auctions and see investors outbidding everyone else.”

Fears of a housing bubble in Sydney are complicating the Reserve Bank of Australia’s efforts to stimulate growth. The central bank has cut interest rates to a historic low of 2 per cent but further monetary easing may depend on a moderation in house inflation in Sydney and Melbourne.

“The RBA would find it hard to cut again if prices continue to surge,” says Ivan Colhoun, economist at National Australia Bank. Read more >>


Home Flipping Trend Continues Decline in U.S. |

US : According to RealtyTrac’s Q1, 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report, 17,309 single family homes were flipped — sold as part of an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period — in the first quarter, 4.0 percent of all single family home sales during the quarter. The share of homes flipped in the first quarter was the lowest since the second quarter of 2014, when 3.4 percent of all single family home sales were completed flips.


The average gross profit — the difference between the purchase price and the flipped price — for completed flips in the first quarter was $72,450, up from $65,290 in the previous quarter and up from $61,684 in the first quarter of 2014 to the highest level going back to the first quarter of 2011, the earliest where data is available.

The average gross return on investment (ROI) — average gross profit as a percentage of the average original purchase price — was 35.1 percent for completed flips in the first quarter, down slightly from 35.3 percent in the fourth quarter but up slightly from 35.0 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Read more >>


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