Starlight Starbright

All units at the Starlight Suites have now been sold, and all in good time as their Qualifying Certificate (QC) sales deadline loomed near.

StarlightSUitesA total of 23 units ranging from one-bedders to a 3,000 sq ft penthouse were sold for $48 million and the buyer was linked to Evia Capital. A few months earlier, news about developers hoping to bulk sell units to funds in order to meet their QC deadline and to recoup their losses were put out there. As the quantity of unsold stock in the market increases, developers have been coming up with new ways to entice buyers, individual or group.

For Starlight Suites, the sale price for these final 23 units worked out to be about $1,670 psf. At its launch, the average selling price was at $2,000 psf. The deal was done via a sales of shares in the development company, Meadows Property (Singapore) who are then not bound by the QC rules nor have to succumb to the extension charges. As Starlight Suites is situated near a Martin Place land plot which will be released for tender under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme next month, this purchase could be a blessing as Evia Capital will be able to use their purchase as a benchmark for units in the adjacent development.

111 Emerald HillA similar deal previously brokered at $75 million last year was 111 Emerald Hill. As the QC deadline for more projects draw near, how will developers react? Could there be further price drops?

Shunfu Ville finally sold en bloc

After many turns in the collective sale route, the Shunfu Ville estate in Bishan has finally been sold en bloc. $638 million for 358 units. As one of the few remaining HUDC (Housing and Urban Development Company) estates in Singapore, this has been a long but fruitful wait for many of its owners who will each reap an average of $1.782 million from the sale. Back in its launch days, each unit was sold at approximately $230,000.

ShunfuVilleQingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group is the proud new owner of the estate. Though the price seems steep, the potential use of the plot of land this size is even steeper. The Shunfu Ville land area is almost equivalent to that of up to 3 similar land plots offered under the the government land sales programme.

Privatised in 2013, owners of the ageing estate have found maintenance increasingly difficult and expensive and 81 per cent came to an agreement to seal the deal last Thursday. The reserve price was lowered from $688 million to $638 million.

NaturaLoftMeasuring at 408,927 sf qt, Qingjian has plans to build up to 1,000 apartment units and a number of terrace-house units on this 2.8 plot ratio land. This may mean an injection of even more private condominium units into the Bishan and Upper Thomson districts. The developer also has another project, Natura Loft, opposite Shunfu Ville.

 

Cool moves to boost property market take off

Property buyers and investors are certainly flexing their shopping muscles this year by weighing their many options carefully and taking time to do so. It has been the buyers’ market for sometime now, with sellers and developers realising that the ball is over in the other court.

Twin Peaks2Purchasing activity has certainly not ceased, but buyers are taking their time to shop their options, with most seeing about 10 to 15 units before taking the plunge. Thus interest is definitely still evident, but the speed and volume of sales may have to take a backseat for now. Some developers have taken to new and creative ways to push sales. OUE for example has offered a deferred payment scheme for their 99-year leasehold condominium Twin Peaks. The move has helped them sell around 100 more units since end March and also put them in the race against freehold properties nearby such as Ardmore Three and Gramercy Park. Average prices at Twin peaks stand at $2,300 psf while units at Ardmore Three are going for around $2,700 psf and the upcoming Gramercy Park has prices set at around $2,600 psf.

LloydSixtyFiveIn a move to help their customers tide over property cooling curbs, in particular the Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD), the developer of Lloyd Sixty-Five, TG development, is offering an “experimental purchaser scheme” which allows the buyer to pay only 12.5 per cent of the purchase price to occupy the unit without having to pay the maintenance fees and property tax for a stipulated period of time till such time when the property cooling measures may be lifted.

Resale HDB market sees rise in sales

The number of resale HDB flats exchanging hands in April rose by 10.3%, a positive sign despite prices remaining level. The last time sales volume exceeded the 1,800-unit mark was in October 2012. 1,828 units were sold in April this year.

Though property analysts are wary about calling this a market rebound, the increase in transactions could mean an eventual decrease in the number of resale flats available. Depending on how far the price gap between private property and resale HDB flats goes, the diminishing stock of resale flats in the market may entice buyers to purchase sooner rather than later. And the increase in rarity could also mean the increase in prices.

Serangoon HDB flatFor the moment however, the buyers may still have the upper hand as most are buying only after having waited for prices to fall. The cash-over-valuation prices are almost all gone, and with the purchasing process adjusted, buyers are less likely to fork out additional monies above the valuation price. In addition, data pertaining to resale flat prices can now be more easily accessed, thus buyers are seldom willing to succumb to sellers’ high asking prices.

HDB flat prices have stagnated for almost a year now, though the fluctuation either ways has not been drastic. Last month for example, 3-room flat prices rose by 0.6 per cent though 5-room flat prices fell by 0.9 per cent. This could be an indication of what the buyers are now looking for. As the population and policies shift, the property market will also need to adapt quickly to their changing needs.

Yio Chu Kang and her old-world charm

Purportedly named after an early settler, Mr. Yeo, which built his house (chu in the hokkien dialect) along the river (kang), Yio Chu Kang still has an old-world charm about her. With kampongs still in her midst till the 1980s, the area is slowly awakening while still holding on nature and space.

floravista3Photo credit: Oxley Holdings Limited

As part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)‘s rejuvenation master plan and development of the North Coast Innovation Corridor, Yio Chu Kang is situated near the Seletar Aerospace Park, which will create 10,000 jobs by 2018. Many private condominiums and mixed-used properties are sprouting in the vicinity, with Flora V (made up of Floraview and Floravista) being one of the latest. A freehold mixed-use development situated along Yi Chu Kang Road, it will hold 140 residential units and 80 commercial units. Besides one-, two- and three-bedders, the project will also feature terrace penthouses. Some penthouse units even come complete with jacuzzis and rooftop terraces.

Adding to its own mix of restaurants, shopping and lifestyle services, are nearby shopping malls such as Greenwich V, Seletar Mall and Ang Mo Kio Hub. The Yio Chu Kang MRT station is also a short distance away, and the upcoming Lentor station (Thomson- East Coast Line), also provide options to get to town quickly, aside from its connectivity to the Seletar Expressway, Central Expressway (CTE) and Kallang-Laya Lebar Expressway (KPE).

In the decade ahead, Yio Chu Kang might very well be the lion awakening. When will we hear it roar?

Prices of suburban properties dipping

Prices of new properties in the prime central districts have been rising, even as the market dulls. Suburban homes are feeling the strain put on the market by the influx of completed new homes this year.

The PanoramaBuyers seeking out properties in the suburbs tend to be more price-sensitive, and are often hampered by the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework and the additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD), leading to higher competition from an expanding pool of stock for a shrinking pool of ready buyers. Prices at The Panorama in Ang Mo Kio have fell 9.7 per cent since its launch to $1,213 psf and similarly in Clementi, units at The Trilinq are now priced around $1,408 psf, almost 9 per cent lower than its launch price.

In comparison, buyers of properties in the prime central districts are more affluent and are able to afford the prices properties here demand. For example at Robin Residences, selling prices are now hovering at $2,371 psf, 2.4 per cent higher than its launch-price. Buyers of centrally located properties also have stronger holding power and less likely to sell unless the price is right.

RObin ResidencesThe price gap between suburban and central district homes have been widening. Last year, CCR (core central region) new-home price premiums were 81 per cent over those in the OCR (outside central region). As more OCR homes hit the secondary market this year, how will smaller investors handle the competition?

 

Buangkok – The forgotten gem

When the Buangkok name is mentioned, many may remember the time when its namesake MRT station was in the news for being underused; some may still only think of it faintly as the backyard of other more mature townships such as Ang Mo Kio and Hougang. But Buangkok has since come into its own with connectivity on the North-east MRT line and as Sengkang and Punggol continues to grow.

The 616-unit Jewel @ Buangkok private condominium has taken root at this tranquil spot on the island and is just a 3-minute walk away from the Buangkok MRT station.

DnestSituated in between the Eastern and the Northern regions, it is just a short drive away on the Tampines Expressway (TPE) and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expresseway (KPE) from the Changi Business Park, planned Paya Lebar Business Hub and the Singapore EXPO. This makes the property a prime sweet spot for not only home-occupiers but also investors.

95 per cent of the property has been sold and its range of 3-bedders, dual key 4-bedders and penthouses will come into the private market this year. Most of the units boast a north-south orientation thus cutting out sun glare, and also come with smart storage systems and premium home interiors. Another similar property nearby with a 95 percent sales record is the d’Nest condominium which is expected to receive its TOP (temporary occupation permit) status next year.

Luxury apartments in Thailand taking off

Thailand – one of the many South-east Asian countries frequented not only by regional visitors, but also those from countries afar who fancy a spot of sun, great food and even greater shopping. With short-term apartment rental schemes taking off and businesses relocating headquarters regionally, the construction and property markets have seen a boom in the past decade.

Chewathai InterchangePhoto: Chewathai Interchange (photo by TEE Land)

Just a stone’s throw away from the Don Meaung airport, Singapore developer TEE Land is building its first landed property development, Chewarom Residence. The project will have 15 detached and 66 semi-detached houses, and is set to launch in the second or third quarter of this year to prices starting from $194,500 (5 million baht). Though these units are only available to locals due to foreign property ownership rules, this is nevertheless a coup for developers outside of Thailand.

TEE Land also ha a number of other condominium developments in Bangkok and Nonthaburi. One of their most exciting ventures include a 279-unit, 26-storey condominium Chewathai Interchange, which will boast a host of communal facilities such as a sky swimming pool, business centre and 24-hr security. TEE Land’s subsidary, TEE Development, owns 49 per cent of Chewathai.

Hallmark NgamwongwanPhoto: Hallmark Ngamwongwang (photo by TEE Land)

Another 560-unit condominium, Chewathai Petchkasem 27 has a freehold status and will be made available to foreign buyers by September starting from 1.5 million for a 40 sq metre unit. Situated opposite Siam University near Bang Wa BTS station, it will be ready by 2018 and can easily to rented out.