Private home prices down for 15th straight quarter; pace of decline eases

SINGAPORE: Private home prices in Singapore fell for the 15th straight quarter in the April to June period, although the pace of decline eased, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Jul 28).

Prices fell by 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter, compared with the 0.4 per cent decline in the first quarter and the 0.5 per cent decline in the last quarter of 2016.

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Private housing resale market shines as buyers get off sidelines


TODAY reports: Property cooling measures and loan curbs have made private homes more affordable.

SINGAPORE: After waiting more than one year for an opportune time to purchase a condominium to house his family of three, Mr Amrit took the plunge in early 2015 after coming across a resale unit in his choice location with a “reasonable” price tag.

He had always intended to upgrade to a private home, and when prices for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats started falling in 2013, he decided to cash out before the value of their four-room flat dipped further.

But instead of immediately upgrading to a private property, Mr Amrit, who is in his 40s, decided to bide his time and rent a place with his wife and teenage daughter while they went about hunting for the ideal home. This came about one year later, in the form of a two-bedroom resale condominium in the Western part of Singapore.

“We heard that prices would fall even more, so we thought we should take our time to look around,” said Mr Amrit, who works in the media industry.


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Private home sales in Singapore up 79% year-on-year in November

Developers sold 759 units last month, up from 423 units in November 2014, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

SINGAPORE: Sales of private homes by developers in Singapore rose 79 per cent in November compared with a year earlier, Government data showed on Tuesday (Dec 15).

The Urban Redevelopment Authority said developers sold 759 units last month, up from 423 units in November 2014. Sales rose 38.5 per cent from the 548 units sold in October 2015.


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Property Update (21 July 2015)

Singapore delivers final phase of Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city masterplan |

SINGAPORE : The final phase of this masterplan involves drawing up a vision for an almost 17-square-kilometre area representing Amaravati’s core. It will contain government buildings, residential and commercial developments and possibly light industries.

New Pasir Ris hawker centre to open by mid-2017 |

SINGAPORE : The two-storey hawker centre, located within the existing Pasir Ris Town Park, will offer 45 cooked food stalls, and family-friendly amenities.


Non-bank lending for property on the rise |

SINGAPORE : Tougher rules on bank lending in the Asia-Pacific region are forcing investors and property firms to turn elsewhere to secure funding.

Banks in the region have been hit on two fronts since the financial crisis: Global regulations such as the Basel III requirement have increased the level of capital they must hold, while local rules in markets such as Hong Kong, like caps on loan-to-value ratio and additional stamp duty, have belted their mortgage business.

As a result, bank lending for real estate has slowed in the Asia-Pacific region. Average annual growth fell from 15 per cent to 7 per cent between 2005 and last year. Read more >>


Five charged with cheating HDB residents by posing as HDB or town council contractors |

SINGAPORE : Five Malaysians from a renovation company who allegedly claimed to be HDB or town council contractors were charged yesterday with duping residents into giving them deposits for repair works.

The five – from Shinden General Contractor – each face between two and five charges involving sums of $300 to $830. Khaw Ee Leong, 27, allegedly cheated a Potong Pasir resident of $200 on April 8 last year.

A second charge accuses him of scheming with Chong Sin Yu, 33, to cheat residents of Block 12, Lorong 7 Toa Payoh, and inducing a 64-year-old man into delivering $200 to Chong on May 9 last year.

Chong’s five charges involve a total of $830. He is accused of also conspiring to cheat residents in Yishun Street 11 and Jalan Batu, as well as deceiving two women into giving him $10 and $200 respectively. Read more >>


Living in the east, you’ll be at ease |

SINGAPORE : It would be hard to find a bunch of Singaporeans more loyal to their neighbourhood than those who live in the east.

“We have everything: good hawker food, good schools and we are near to the airport,” said marketing and sales executive Angela Oh, 26.

Like many other east-siders, Ms Oh, who has lived in Bedok all her life, says she cannot imagine living anywhere else.

“Unlike the west where there are a lot of industrial estates, the east is really a place where you can live, play and be at ease,” she said.

According to boundaries drawn by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the east stretches from Changi all the way to Bedok. Read more >>


Property Update (5 June 2015)


HDB resale market shows signs of stabilisation |

SINGAPORE : Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale flat prices and transaction volumes were little changed last month from April, the latest flash estimates by SRX Property showed yesterday in what analysts said might be signs that the market is stabilising.

HDB resale prices were flat in May compared to the previous month, but down 5 per cent from the same month a year ago, the SRX data showed.

Last month, 1,575 resale flats changed hands, a slight 2.2 per cent dip from April, but a 19.3 per cent surge from May a year earlier.

Property analysts said prices may have hit rock-bottom after two years of declines. Read more >>


Singapore’s homebuyers to seek bargains on discounts disclosure |

SINGAPORE : Singapore homebuyers will drive harder bargains in an already depressed housing market as new rules that require developers to disclose discounts and other perks unmask the actual value of properties for sale.

Starting Friday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority will publish weekly net prices on home transactions that will take into account incentives and rebates, such as those for stamp duties, to improve transparency.

“It will give homebuyers more bargaining opportunities,” said Donald Han, managing director at real estate broker Chesterton Singapore Pte. “Buyers are already asking for more perks, so this gives them additional information that they can use to negotiate a better price.” Hefty furniture rebates became the subject of a S$181 million lawsuit in November after United Overseas Bank Ltd claimed it was a “victim of a conspiracy” and handed out larger-than-permitted housing loans after some buyers at the luxury Marina Collection on Sentosa island didn’t declare perks that cut prices by as much as 34 per cent.

Now, freebies such as luxury goods vouchers, jewelry and furniture used to entice homebuyers will be made public. Home sales dropped to a six-year low last year, while prices fell for a sixth straight quarter in the three months ended March 31, the longest losing streak in more than a decade. Read more >>


Pricing power boosts Japan’s big developers |

More than two years into Abenomics, Japan’s prime property developers may finally be about to reap its benefits.

Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rolled out his ambitious stimulus programme, office vacancy rates in Tokyo have fallen steadily to such low levels that there may be little room for further significant declines.

Now, however, with a recovering economy and the likelihood of limited additions to supply, these developers are back in a position to command higher rents for the first time in years.

Developers with properties in desirable locations such as Tokyo’s Marunouchi district are poised for a solid recovery. A key feature of the recovery in the Tokyo office market since mid-2013 has been how it has largely bypassed grade A properties.

Japan’s economic rebound, fueled by the Abe government’s fiscal expansion and the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing, has raised companies’ optimism only to a limited degree. Read more >>

Property Update (12 May 2015)


Jurong East may see more manufacturing firms moving in: Analysts |

SINGAPORE: Property analysts have said the location of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) terminus at Jurong East is strategic to future commercial developments.

But even as Jurong East is being envisioned as the second Central Business District, some analysts said the area is unlikely to replicate the downtown core. Instead, the area may see more manufacturing companies moving in, especially firms that have production plants in the Iskandar development zone, or further into Malaysia.

The terminus is located about 600 metres away from Jurong East MRT interchange, and also lies adjacent to land parcels zoned for hotel and other commercial developments. But the terminus will only occupy 20 per cent of the site. Read more >>


Fewer residential properties sold for more than S$1.5m last year: MND |

SINGAPORE: The number of residential properties sold for more than S$1.5 million in 2014 dropped by 42.4 per cent from the previous year, but they fetched higher prices on average, according to the Ministry of National Development.

A total of 4,153 residential units were sold for more than S$1.5 million last year, compared to 7,218 sold in 2013, said the ministry on Monday (May 11), in a written reply to a parliamentary question from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Gerald Giam.

The number of residential units sold for more than S$1.5 million in 2014 was an 80.9 per cent increase from that of 10 years ago. In 2005, 2,295 units were sold.

The average price of the residential units in 2014 was S$2.83 million, while the median price was S$2.13 million. Both saw an increase compared to 2013, which recorded S$2.76 million and S$2.10 million for the average and median price respectively.

The data was collected by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC). They cover private property transactions and do not include HDB properties and executive condominiums, the ministry said. Read more >>


Outlook for Singapore’s residential property market remains muted: Frasers Centrepoint |

SINGAPORE: The outlook for Singapore’s residential property market remains subdued, although there still are opportunities for well-placed and well-priced developments, according to mainboard-listed Frasers Centrepoint.

“Projects with good locations and pricing continue to have the ability to attract buyers. It is clearly demonstrated by North Park Residences,” said Group CEO Lim Ee Seng at Frasers Centrepoint’s quarterly results briefing on Monday (May 11).

“We do believe in the long-term stability of the Singapore residential market so we will continue to participate, but selectively and opportunistically, in whatever is available in the market.”

For the second quarter ended in March, Frasers Centrepoint posted a net profit of S$143 million. This was more than double when compared to the same period a year ago, thanks to fair value gains of S$44 million from a joint venture.

Revenue for the quarter remained stable at S$442 million. Read more >>


Changes to bankruptcy laws proposed |

SINGAPORE: First-time bankrupts could be eligible for discharge after seven years in bankruptcy even if they cannot resolve their debts during that period. This is under a new framework that makes it harder for people to be declared bankrupt and easier for them to exit bankruptcy.

It is one of the major changes proposed under the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill, which was tabled by the Law Ministry for the first time in Parliament on Monday (May 11).

Under the framework, bankrupts will pay what is called a target contribution. It is determined based on their earning potential and serves as a repayment scheme to help them resolve their debts.

But those unable to pay the amount in full can still be discharged from bankruptcy. First-timers will be eligible for discharge after seven years, and repeat cases, after nine years. Read more >>


Punggol marks new chapter in growth |

SINGAPORE : When Mr Low Ser Hui was growing up in Punggol in the 1960s, it was largely an area of pig farms and squatters – but it was home. With marriage and a move with his new family to Pasir Ris, he made the decision to return 12 years ago when plans to turn it into a residential new town were announced.

“When we moved back, it was not exactly a jewel,” said Mr Low, 50, who works in sales. “But there were big plans for it, and it was exciting to see it grow. “There’s been a tremendous change; it’s a place I have no regrets coming back to.”

Its growth was one of the key themes at the opening of Punggol North’s latest community club, the Punggol 21 CC.

Mr Low was one of 3,000 residents and grassroots leaders who packed the floors of the four-storey CC for its opening by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

In his speech, PM Lee congratulated Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Penny Low and grassroots leaders who helped shape the development of Punggol New Town since its inception in 2001 – the year Ms Low was elected. Read more >>


Air Pockets Ahead for Commercial Sector After Close UK General Election |

UK : As per usual the opinion polls got it wrong, and the Conservative party has won the election with a small majority. This is a far better result than the fractured Parliament of shifting coalitions people were led to expect, says international real estate consultant Knight Frank.

Knight Frank further suggests there is good reason to now suppose the UK economy, that appeared to slow in the run-up to the election, can now resume a strengthening recovery. This will be good news for both the commercial leasing and investment markets.

However, there remains a great deal of political uncertainty as a result of the earthquakes that occurred last week. These will influence but not derail the property market. Read more >>