01 & 15 Jan 2014

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Property Market Activities

Private resale home prices slip further 
Source: (BT, 14 Jan 2014)

Prices of private resale homes declined in December for a fourth straight month. According to SRX, prices of homes in CCR fell 2.3 per cent, followed by those in the OCR, which dipped 1 per cent. Only homes in RCR bucked the trend, rising 2.9 per cent. Overall, the price index eased 0.2 per cent in December. Steven Tan, MD of OrangeTee commented that property sentiment is expected to remain muted in the near future as resale prices continue to be under pressure as developers cut prices for new launches to move units. Demand will also wane as buyers favour new launches over resale units because of lower upfront cash requirements. In this softening rental market, some investors would prefer to buy new launches to avoid vacancy costs.

Call to relax some rules as property market wanes
Source: (BT, 13 Jan 2014)

One market watcher found it necessary for the Government to relex some of its property-cooling measures given the waning demand for real estate and the likelihood that interest rates will rise in 2014 and 2015. He said the Government should consider repealing the seller’s stamp duty for residential properties introduced in January 2011, as sellers may flood the market after the SSD expires in four years’ time, given rising interest rates.

Private property likely to be hit by soft HDB market
Source: (TODAY, 10 Jan 2014)
Property market analyst said that the weakening HDB resale market is expected to weigh on the private property market, as upgraders will have less money at their disposal when looking for a new home. The ABSD also hinders upgraders looking to purchase a private property, which may drive more prospective buyers to the EC market.
 

IMG_0478Hillford’s 60-year lease may pose financing hurdle
Source: (BT, 07 Jan 2014)

While The Hillford could offer potential buyers a chance to buy into the highly desired Bukit Timah address cheaply, demand could be limited by its 60-year leasehold. Marketed as the first retirement resort in Singapore, albeit with no age limit placed on potential buyers, the 281-unit project offers a mix of one-, two- and two-bedroom dual-key units which are equipped with built-in elder-friendly features. Indicative prices for units start from $980 psf, which translates to about $388,000 for a one-bedroom unit, $498,000 for a two-bedroom unit and $648,000 for a two-bedroom dual-key unit. However, the downside of the project is the 60-year leasehold cap where investors might find it harder to finance the property since it may be harder to get bank loans for a shorter lease. Unloading the property in the resale market might prove a challenge too.

Some luxury home owners sell their places at a big loss
Source: (ST, 04 Jan 2014)

Some luxury home owners who bought during market highs are selling their places at losses of up to $1.2 million as prices of posh homes take a tumble. Experts say losses on that scale are sporadic, but that the wider luxury market is clearly softening in the wake of various government curbs. Flash estimates released by the (URA showed that luxury home prices fell by 2.1 per cent in 2013, reversing the 0.8 per cent rise recorded in 2012.

Wheelock’s condo project in Ang Mo Kio stirs interest
Source: (ST, 04 Jan 2014)

The 698-unit The Panorama at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2 is a 99-year leasehold project being developed by Wheelock Properties. The project is near prominent schools such as CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, which could provide a pool of potential tenants. The Straits Times understands that the units will sell at the levels of the J Gateway project in Jurong East or higher. This could translate to prices of between $1,400 and $1,600 psf.

Large drop in private home sales in 2013
Source: (ST, 02 Jan 2014)

Measures aimed at cooling the property market appear to have worked, with fewer private homes sold by developers in 2013 compared with the preceding year. According to URA, an estimated 14,950 new homes were snapped up in the first 11 months of the year (excluding ECs). Experts had tipped sales of about 15,000 units for the year, anticipating the decline after steeper ABSD and TDSR were introduced in 2013. Even fewer homes could be sold this year, as the impact of the new rules is unlikely to wear off soon.

IMG_0510

Public Housing

HDB maisonette bucks price trend, selling for record $1.05m
Source: (BT, 14 Jan 2014)
An HDB flat in Bishan sold for a record-breaking $1.05million last month, despite declining resale prices overall. The 150 sqm (1,614 sqft) unit is on the 20th floor in a block near Bishan MRT with prime location and status. The price for the property was $250,000 over its valuation, easily trumping the median COV across the island of just $5,000.

Developers turn attention to Westwood
Source: (ST, 11 Jan 2014)

Strong interest in the Westwood Avenue EC site reflected developers’ confidence in demand for homes in the areas. The 186,052 sqft site attracted 12 bidders. A tie-up between Koh Brothers and Heeton Homes submitted a bullish top bid of $198.9 mil, translating to $382 psf ppr, which puts the selling price of units at $800 to $820 psf. Although the district has been largely unchanged for years, new residential developments and improved accessibility could soon add considerable vibrancy to the district.
 

HDB median value down for first time since Q4 ’09
Source: (BT, 10 Jan 2014)
According to SRX data, the median price for a HDB flat has dipped for the first time in four years. The median valuation for an HDB unit in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $435,000, dropped 0.7 per cent, or $3,000 q-o-q. HDB’s resale price index has dipped another 1.3 per cent in Q4 2013 after a 0.9 per cent drop in 3Q2013. The median COV as at December was $5,000. This is also an 86 per cent plunge from the peak of $35,000 in January 2013.

Government Land Sales

UOL makes top bid of $648 psf for Bartley site
Source: (BT, 15 Jan 2014)

UOL submitted the top bid of $648.3 psf ppr for the site near Bartley MRT, translating to a breakeven cost of $1,050 to 1,100 psf. This is 3.7 per cent higher than the second –highest offer by EL Development. The top two bids were quite far apart from the other five, reflecting a divergence in views among property developers amid an uncertain market outlook. The lowest bid was $340.2 psf ppr.

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