Search Results for: DBSS

How much is that DBSS resale flat in the window?

$700,000. This is how much one of the first DBSS units to enter the resale market recently cost.

And this could very well set the trend for all the following DBSS resale units which enter the market. The Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) has been discontinued since 2011 when the public questioned the prices at which developers were selling the public housing units at. Centrale 8 at Tampines went for $880,000 in 2011, though developers lowered it to t$778, 000 thereafter.

The Premiere at Tampines

The Premiere at Tampines

But since units at the 2006-launched The Premiere at Tampines have gone on the resale market since most of its occupants have passed the 5-year minimum occupation period (MOP), all eyes are on how much these originally premium units will go for considering the current market situation.

Although lower than the highest asking price of $800,000 for units in Tampines, the average selling price is still about double of its original. A 5-room flat at The Preimiere @ Tampines originally cost $308,000 to $450,000. Recent sales figures showed a 2 units going for $699, 888 and $671,000. Comparing its age and size with other HDB flats nearby, they are considerably pricier. Most of the other HDB flats in this mature estate may however be larger, almost 109 sq m larger, but with less than 70 years left on the lease.

Centrale 8 in Tampines under the DBSS scheme. Image by Sim Lian Group Limited.

Centrale 8 in Tampines under the DBSS scheme. Image by Sim Lian Group Limited.

Should these young HDB flats cost more than its counterparts and will buyers buy into its premium private developer fittings qualifying for its higher prices even as resale units?

HDB resale market – Prices down, Sales up

15, 914 resale HDB flats were sold last year, compared to 14, 220 in 2013. Though the numbers were up in the terms of transaction volume, prices dipped slightly. Prices of resale flats in non-matures estates such as Punggol and Sengkang fell 8.3 per cent while those in mature estates such as Queenstown and Bishan saw a 3.1 per cent decline.
Pinnacle@Duxton_2015The largest drop were in the four- and five-room flats sectors. Prices of three-room flats remained the same while a 1.8 per cent increase may have cheered up some executive flat sellers. Recent additions to the resale market, flats at The Pinnacle @ Duxton, did extremely well, with 2 units already sold at $900,000 and $918,000. Property analysts are expecting four- and five-room flats here to hit the $1 million mark soon. With it’s prime location and unique design, plus it is only five-years young, that may not be such an impossible task.

Overall, the projected decline this year for the HDB market will mirror that of last, at a single-digit fall of 5 to 8 percent. And perhaps buyers will be buoyed by this news and have a good run this year as well. Industry experts are expecting a stable transaction level in the first 2 months of 2015, followed by an increase in activity in March after the Chinese New Year break.

Married couples opt for HDB Parenthood Priority Scheme

It may or may not increase the likelihood of young Singaporean couples starting a family sooner, but more married couples are purchasing new HDB flats under the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS).

In the March sales launch alone, 32 per cent of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats were taken up by applicants under the PPS scheme. There is almost 100% possibility of all PPS applicants getting a flat. 3, 898 flats were launched in March in non-mature estates such as Sengkang, Punggol and Bukit Batok. A total of 12,000 applicants applied for BTO flats in the latest launch.

Compassvale Cape Mar2013

HDB’s next launch will be later this month, in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Sembawang and Woodlands. WIth 4, 850 new flats plus 3,000 balance flats from previous launches planned, response from PPS applicants may be even more than March’s 32 per cent. Other schemes which the HDB provides include the:

  • Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)
  • Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS)
  • Third-Child Priority (TCP) Scheme
  • Tenants Priority Scheme (TPS)
  • Ageing-in-Place Priority Scheme (APPS)
  • Studio Apartment Priority Scheme (SAPS)

It should be noted that for the hotly debated Executive Condominiums (EC), the priority schemes do not apply. And for previous Design Build and Sell developments, developers are required to give priority to buyers applying under the Married Child Priority (MCP) Scheme and the Third-Child Priority (TCP) Scheme.

Topiary Executive Condominium in Fernvale.

Topiary Executive Condominium in Fernvale.

Under the MCPS, applicants who are a first-time married couple and who have at least one child below the age of 16 qualify for up to 30% of BTO and 50% of SBF (sale of balance) flats in each launch. This scheme began in January 2013 and many have since successfully secured a HDB Flat by applying under this scheme. Whether this will help population growth and fertility rate remains to be seen, but at least it has helped Singaporean couples secure a home more quickly and without the pain of waiting endlessly.

Previously married couples had joined engaged couples applying under the Fiancee scheme. However unmarried couples made up close to 50% of the applicants under this scheme, which lessened the chances of those who are already married or already have a child securing a flat.

Not easy to keep the spirit of EC

What was the initial purpose of creating this particular hybrid property type? Wasn’t it to help the so-called “sandwich class”?  But now as property developers of new executive condominiums (ECs) are creating options which are comparable to private properties, does it still serve its original purpose? Who are the ones actually benefiting from the EC scheme?

Forestville EC in Woodlands

First up, one does need to be reminded that land sold under the Government Land Sales programme are priced cheaper than those for private properties. Considering that permanent residents (PRs) are the most avid buyers of resale executive condominiums, are the eligibility criteria too lax thus pushing the prices up as both property buyers and developers alike recognise the hidden value of ECs? And with the narrowing of the price gap between ECs and private properties, will this instead nudge the price tag of the latter even higher?

If you compare a penthouse in an EC at $1.7 million to one in the private market at more that $3 million, which would you go for? The answer is clear. Should ECs have penthouse units or should they belong in the private market altogether. Do you think the government should step in to manage this sector as they did the Design Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS)?

Executive Condominium prices = Private Condominium prices?

And it might be that way for a while more as new executive condominiums present luxe features, giving private mass market homes a run for their money. The current price gap is 17.2 per cent this year, down from 32.2 per cent in 2007′s property high. Executive condominiums are hot ticket property buys in the local real estate market.

Some of the pros of buying an executive condominium include:

1. The income ceiling for ECs has increased to $12, 000 per household, thus if you earn less than that, you are still eligible for a housing grant from HDB.

2. After the minimum occupation period (MOP) of 5 years, the EC unit can be sold to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents in the open private property market.

3. After 10 year, the EC unit can then be sold to foreigners.

Property buyers see a great deal of rising value in this particular property type. And it is usually the areas where EC units are limited that see the most active sales. Districts with the greatest number of resale ECs are usually those with the narrowest price gaps.  Areas such as Bishan and Ang Mo Kio, and Pasir Ris, Simei and Tampines, saw the narrowest price gap of 10 per cent whereas in Sengkang, Punggol and Hougang, the price gap was 22.4 per cent. Average psf of units at Bishan Loft and Nuovo in Ang Mo Kio is only $100,000 below the average price psf of private condominiums in the same district.

The recent EC launches, CityLife in Tampines for example, has pushed this market up a notch into the private property arena with its  luxury penthouse, infinity pool and sky terraces.

Is this narrowing of the price gap between public and private housing a true reflection of the housing situation in Singapore?  If the rise in prices continue, would the Executive Condominium market eventually suffer the same fate as the Design Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS)? In the end, the only question we are truly left with is, should it be that way?

More HDB Flats at lower prices

By the 20th year into the 21st century, Singapore’s largest property developer, the HDB, has made a promise to deliver cheaper HDB flats and quicker.

Depot Heights – New BTO Flats in one of HDB’s many sales launches throughout the year.

Tapping on the flourishing construction industry, the Senior Minister of State for National Development, Lee Yi Shyan has stated that they hope to increasingly rely on mechanisation to reduce on-site construction time. HDB has launched more that 52, 000 flats in the last 2 years, and 20, 000 more are expected within the next few. How will the quality and floor area of these new flats compare to the older ones and are we to expect any improvements?

What does this mean for the property market? Will it affect the private residential property sector and what does it signify about the population growth rate of the nation-state? Will the now-defunct Design-and-build scheme be reinstated as the demand for HDB flats is expected to increase by 2020? And as singles could possibly enter the playing field albeit with stipulated criteria, what changes are expected of Singapore’s real estate market by then?

Looking back on 2011: Key Property Highlights of the Year

As we ring in the New Year, iProperty.com takes a look back to remind you of the highlights of the real estate market over the last 12 action-packed months:

1. Cooling Measures 2011

The additional cooling measures introduced by MND (Ministry of National Development) was by far the most talked-about topics within the property industry this year. These included the increase of seller stamp duty rates to 4 to 16% for residential properties sold within four years of purchase, as well as the lowering of LTV (Loan-to-Value) limits from 70% to 60% per cent for buyers financing two or more properties.

In November 2011, MND also shocked the market by announcing the increase in Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty of 10% for foreigners purchasing private residential property.

2. Relief for The Middle-Class Masses

Those in the “sandwiched middle-class” had much to rejoice about this year, when MND announced that the income ceiling for buyers of HDB flats would be raised from $8,000 to $10,000, and from $10,000 to $12,000 for buyers of ECs (Executive Condominiums).

Other measures included the release of large numbers of BTO (Build-To-Order) flats, accompanied by a SBF (Sale of Balance Flats) exercise in September earlier this year.

3. En-Bloc Schemes a Plenty

Rochor Centre, Redhill Close, East Coast Road and Clementi Avenue 5 were all examples of the areas which were ear-marked for SERS (Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme) this year. While the sentiment of residents affected was mixed, a good many were most concerned about compensation and replacement programs – with some even writing some (very public) letters to voice their unhappiness, contributing to the extensive media coverage on this topic.

4. DBSS Sticker-Shock

While high property prices in Singapore are nothing new, the price tag of $880,000 for a unit at Centrale 8, a DBSS (Design, Build & Sell) project in Tampines proved too much even for the locals to swallow.

Very quickly, petitions from the public led to MND stepping in to freeze all land sales under the DBSS program. However, prices of Centrale 8 were eventually lowered, and DBSS sales soon continued into the year, with projects such as Lake Vista @ Yuan Ching, the first DBSS project in western Singapore, launched at more affordable prices, from S$360,500 for the smallest unit to S$680,400 for the largest flat.

5. ECs: the Hot Property of 2011

ECs were in high demand in 2011, with notable launches including the Arc at Tampines –which commanded higher average PSFs as compared to Belysa, the previous EC launch in Pasir Ris earlier in the year.

ECs particularly appealed to home-buyers whose income was below the revised ceiling of $12,000, and who wanted accessibility to condo facilities such as 24-hour security, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

6. Record-Breaking PSFs

Developers certainly had reason to pop out the champagne at their annual company dinners this year. Earlier this month, more 80% of the freehold Charlton Residences was sold, even before its official launch. New benchmark prices were also set at the preview of Thomson Grand in Upper Thomson, with PSFs for apartments topping a jaw-dropping $1,600 psf. EC developers also had much to celebrate this year, as mass-market EC projects like Blossom Residences enjoyed strong consumer demand during the first weeks of their launch.

Home buyers in Singapore positive about prices of public housing

Survey results by iProperty.com.sg signal increased confidence in market stability

Recent government measures taken to address concerns surrounding the public housing market appear to have brought about some positive sentiments among home buyers, as demonstrated by a recent Poll conducted by iProperty.com.sg, Singapore’s number one property website.

The poll, conducted from August to November this year, asked respondents for their opinions on whether public housing prices will stabilise within the next three to five years – as mentioned by Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan earlier this year. 1,033 participants responded to the poll.

Key findings as follows:

1.   More than a third of respondents (36.9%) believe that three to five years is a fair assessment for public housing prices to stabilise.

2.   Trailing slightly behind are 31.9% of respondents who, on the other hand, think that prices will never stabilise and more radical measures need to be taken.

3.   19.9% of respondents think that the government is doing a stellar job and prices will stabilise over the next 1 to 2 years.

4.   11.3% thinks approximately 5 to 7 years is needed for prices to stabilise.

From the findings, it can be seen that a clear majority – 56.8% – are of the opinion that the government is either on track or will likely exceed expectations on their three-to-five year projection to cool the public housing market.

However, a significant minority – 43.2% – remain skeptical that public housing prices will stabilise in the timeframe put forward. Further to this, a large portion of this group – 31.9% of respondents – appear unconvinced of the current measures adopted by the government and feel further action needs to be taken.

Much of the positive sentiment can be attributed to the range of measures and plans the government had rolled out in the second half of the year. These measures include a series of new Built-to-Order (BTO) launches in July, September and November, injecting several thousand new units into the market. These include developments in highly-coveted mature estates such as Bedok, Yishun and Hougang. Complementing this were recent announcements made to enhance chances for repeat applicants bidding for new units, lifting of the income ceiling for Executive Condominiums, and for Barrier-Free Accessibility (BFA) features to be made available across all HDB estates by the end of December 2011.

“The findings of our Poll paint an encouraging picture, showing that measures taken by the government have borne some fruit,” said Shaun Di Gregorio, Chief Executive Officer of iProperty Group Limited. “However, as encouraging as these numbers are, we should also not forget that there is still a significant level of dissatisfaction still pervading the market.”

Referring in particular to the 31.9% of respondents who said that prices will never stabilise, Shaun Di Gregorio said that what the government does in the next six to 12 months will be crucial in winning over this group of skeptics. Key issues that may have contributed to this outlook include the pricing of units under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and exceptionally high cash-over-valuation figures for some highly sought-after resale units.

“Affordability and lack of suitable options will continue to be the two most important factors for home buyers. While we are seeing a gradually-increasing level of positivity in the market, other concerns, such as the still-increasing price of property and fears of a potential economic downturn in 2012, will be key considerations that may mean the difference between a positive and less-than-positive 2012 for potential home buyers,” he added.