Developers keen to build more ECs in Sengkang

Despite the substantial quantity of unsold inventory in the executive condominium (EC) market, the numbers have been decreasing as more units sold in the last quarter, developers are picking up on the changing market sentiments and have come out in full force at the most recent land sales tender for an EC site on Anchorvale Lane. There were 16 bids in total for the site which could potentially yield 630 units.

Treasure Chest ECAs the private property market continues to show price improvements, the EC market has followed suit. Executive condominiums are a hybrid between public and private properties and more often than not, offer an almost surefire appreciation in its value after 10 years when it transits from the former to the latter. It’s initial step into the market as public housing means buyers can utilise HDB grant and subsidies to shave off part of the selling prices.

There are a number of ECs in the vicinity of this Anchorvale Lane site, namely The Vales, Bellewaters and Treasure Chest. The last sold 72 units within a week of its launch in July. However developers must be positive about the outlook of the EC market. Admittedly, the situation may change in a few years’ time and as the estate matures and becomes more popular with young families, there may also be an eventual shift in demand.

The ValesThe highest bid of $240.95 million came from Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments. With this $355 psf purchase price, property analysts are expecting the developers to price their units at $820 psf and above, which is a sliver higher than other EC projects.

Sengkang properties beginning to shine more clearly

Gone is the decade when Punggol and Sengkang were considered too far flung or unpopulated sans amenities.

HighparkResidencesIf the popularity of latest offering in Fernvale, High Park Residences and other completed private condominiums were anything to go by, more similar properties might spring up in the midst as district 19 continues in its expansion and development. Other private residential developments in the Sengkang area include H20 Residences, Riverbank@Fernvale and Rivertrees Residences. More young couples and extended families are moving into the district and with the average selling price holding steady at $1,060 psf, the private properties here are a more affordable for those crossing over from public housing.

Rivertrees Residences3 new land banks will be put up for tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in the upcoming months, and there may be strong bids coming from developers and consumers may very well have more than sufficient options to choose from soon. One of the sites most likely to gain interest will be the 99-year leasehold residential site on Fernvale road with a site area of 17,196 sq m. The nearby 1,390-unit High Park Residences with a median selling price of $989 psf has already sold almost all of its units within a year of its launch in July 2015.

The proximity of this site to amenities such as Seletar Mall and the stretch of eateries along Jalan Kayu, the Thanggam LRT station and Tampines Expressway (TPE) and schools will no doubt urge developers to seriously consider its potential.

 

 

Real estate powerhouse – Thailand

Thailand has been consistently on the rise as not only one of Southeast Asia’s top tourist destination spots, but also as an emerging nation primed for commercial development and foreign investments. Her vitality comes not only from the variety of industries and sectors but also the pace and breadth of expansion which has taken place over the past decade, with an abundance of growth potential yet to be harvested. Last year, its automotive industry came out top as the largest in Southeast Asia and its manufacturing and agricultural industries continue to sustain the nation’s growth.

EsseAsokeThailand’s capital, Bangkok, has shone as a gem in terms of real estate development and foreign investors have been showing increasing interest in properties here. The Asoke, Phrom Phong and Thong Lo districts in particular are catching the eye of many property buyers. At the busy interchange of the Asoke BTS and Sukhomvit MRT stations and just a station away from the Makkasan airport express is the Asoke area popular among expatriates and local Bangkok citizens.

Properties to note in this area include the Esse Asoke, a 55-storey residential development offering up 419 units of 1- to 3-bedroom apartment units which is slated for completion by 2018. Another notable project in this area is the Singha Complex consisting of 38 floors of grade-A office and retail space built on freehold land. Both are developed by Singha Estate Plc. As a Southeast-Asian economic powerhouse, Bangkok is but a slice of the big pie which has yet to be bitten, and there is potential to be harvested yet albeit away from the city centre where the pickings have thinned over the years. Foreign investors will do well to note that only 49% of a condominium development can be owned by foreigners.

New citizens new buyers of Good Class Bungalows

Buyers and sellers of Good Class Bungalows (GCB) seem to be gradually meeting on the same page as the price gap between them narrows and more transactions were recorded thus far this year – 19 to be exact, valued at a total of $438.17 million. In 2015, 33 GCBs valued at a total of $714.78 million were sold and 28 totalling $626.14 million in 2014. Analysts are predicting up to 30 GCB sales in 2016.

Leedon Road GCBEven though prices of these rare properties have not fallen much at all, investors’ interest seems to not have waned. Developer OUE have just picked up 2 sites from the British government in Nassim road at $1,652 psf for $56.58 million, a steal considering the median price of the area stands at $2,000 psf.

An increasing number of GCB buyers are new citizens, buying over these massive-sized properties from Singaporeans moving between property transactions and investment deals. These buyers see the potential in prime properties and the slightest of price adjustments will spike their interest in their search for property upgrades and prestigious addresses. Recent sales included a $27 million GCB in Gallop road and currently on the market are a $38 million Bukit Tunggal Road GCB sized at 14,000 sq ft and a $30 million Dalvey Road property on a 15,211 sq ft site.

 

New HDB flats in non-mature estate prove popular

BuangkokWOods1Usually it’s the new HDB flats in matures estates which receive the most applications. But in Wednesday’s launch of 4,841 new Build-to-order (BTO) HDB flats, it were the units in Buangkok woods in Hougang which caught the most attention. In the same launch were units in the mature estate of Tampines and also in the non-mature estates of Sembawang and Yishun. The price difference between 3-room HDB flats in the 2 estates differ by about $20,000 with those in Tampines starting from $202,000 and $185,000 in Hougang.

The lower prices may have been the deciding factor for HDB flat seekers. Units in Yishun were starting from $156,000. As of Wednesday evening, the Hougang flats were already seeing 6 applicants for every 10 units while the 2 projects in Tampines had 2 to 3 applicants for every 10 units.

ValleySpringYishunHDBIncluded in the launch were 2-room flexi flats, which are much sought-after by singles who are now allowed to purchase new flats directly from HDB but only in non-mature estates. As per other HDB flats, they have 99-year leases or shorter ones for the elderly. These popular property-types were almost completely subscribed for within the first day of the launch.

For young families and couples looking for a flat in mature estates, the next launch might prove worthy of the wait, with 2,910 units in popular HDB towns of Bedok, Kallang/Whampoa and Bidadari. The last on the list will probably be of most interest to buyers.

Applications for the current launch will close on Tuesday, 23 August 2016.

Incentive schemes may reduce Home loan amount

Pay the full sum for a $2 million dollar property within 10 weeks? Or have the payment deferred and pay within 3 years? Most buyers would be enticed by the latter option. And developers have been dangling that carrot to move their unsold stock.

HilltopsBut now the authorities may have caught on to their game and have issued a circular to banks last week stipulating that the amounts deferred are to be taken into account when computing the final amount a buyer can loan from the banks. This may impact some buyers, especially those who may not have sufficient cash upfront and who may need the time to move monies around in order to make the full payment.

Deferred payment schemes are offered by developers of some completed residential properties such as OUE Twin Peaks whereby buyers are allowed to move into their new home upon exercising the option to purchase and paying a down payment, allowing them to the period of 1 to 3 years to make the full payment. With the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) most recent specifications, any benefits will have to be taken into account prior to loan calculation.

Twin Peaks2Under the deferred payment scheme, the amount deferred needs to be deducted from the final purchase price before the loan ratio is applied, thus diminishing the amount the borrower can ultimately loan and raising the upfront down payment.

On top of that, rental guarantee scheme is also under MAS’ scrutiny as these are also considered benefits to the buyer. Under such schemes, properties such as Hilltops apartments on Cairnhill, developers offer guaranteed rental returns for a specific time period.

New Jurong launch boosts July’s private home sales

MCL Land‘s Lake Grande took the lead in July’s property sales with 42.5 per cent of the month’s sales coming from this development. 464 out of its 500 units have already been sold at the median price of $1,368 psf.

LakeGrandeAcross the board, new private home sales have hit a one-year high last month with 825 suburban new private homes sold. In the city fringes and central districts, 213 and 53 units were sold respectively. This could be partly due to the rise in number of units launched, 624 in total, in July plus investors are taking advantage of the low interest rates and lower property prices to buy up available units with long-term potential.

Though the government has not yet eased up on the property cooling measures, they have held back the release of new land plots this year, which could have in turn helped clear unsold inventory. The executive condominium (EC) market is coming out strong with 830 units snapped up in July, more than thrice the 232 units sold in June. The 2 major EC launches last month were Treasure Crest in Anchorvale Cresecent and Northwave in Woodlands.

NorthwaveECPhoto credit: MCC Land

August may be a slower month as fewer deals are likely to be closed during the Hungry Ghost month, but as long as interest rates remain low, buyers will continue to scour the market for good deals. Property analysts are expecting the positive sentiments and increased interest to carry on to the end of the year.

New yields for Japan’s properties

With the rise of the popularity of Airbnb and with travellers flocking back to Japan, property owners are finding themselves in the midst of a  short-term accommodation boom. Hotels may not quite fancy this turn of events, but the property market, property owners and investors could be rejoicing. The number of travellers entering Japan is expected to grow to a whooping 21 million in 2016.

JapanPropertyThose who have been quick to jump on the bandwagon may already be reaping in some profits, as properties in popular districts and in particular those close to major train stations are in strong demand from travellers within and outside of Japan. The Shibuya district in Tokyo is an excellent example. As a major landmark and with connecting trains to 10 different lines (including the important Yamanote Line) and the Narita Express, properties in its vicinity are seeing a huge increase in short-term bookings.

Photo credit: www.japan-guide.com

Photo credit: www.japan-guide.com

And with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics just 4 years away, Japan’s hotel chains could be facing a shortage of accommodation and these privately-owned apartments could very well be a welcome relief to the city and help property owners earn a tidy sum at the same time. The number of platforms out there that connect property owners and travellers are growing and new launches though few will no doubt garner strong interest from investors.