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)?

Most home buyers in Singapore are willing to offer up to S$25,000 in COV

Survey results by iProperty.com.sg highlights home buyers’ willingness to secure their dream homes 

Singapore’s number one property website, iProperty.com.sg, revealed in a recent Quick Poll in July, the market’s willingness to secure their dream property, even if it meant paying more than $45,000  in cash-over-valuation (COV) to seal the deal.

Key findings from the survey revealed that:

  1. Most survey respondents (63.3%) are willing to offer between S$10,000 to S$25,000 in COV to ensure they secure their dream HDB homes.
  2. The remaining respondents are willing to offer higher COV for their dream homes, with 16.8% willing to offer between S$25,001 to S$35,000, and 6.7% are willing to offer between S$35,001 to S$45,000.
  3. 13.2% of respondents are willing to offer S$45,001 and above.

If given the opportunity to own the HDB home of your dreams, with ideal location and facilities, how much COV (cash-over-valuation) are you willing to offer to ensure you secure that property?

A total of 327 respondents took part in this online survey from 28 June 2011 to 19 July 2011.

This comes on the heels of recent reports of a Tampines unit at Block 151 of Tampines Street 12 which sold at $150,000 COV, further reinforcing current market sentiments that saw the return of higher COV with the tightened supply in the housing market.

In response to Singapore’s all-time-high property prices, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan recently commented, during his first official visit to the HDB Hub, that prices of HDB’s new flats are typically pegged to prevailing resale prices, but are discounted.

Acting on the public’s call for more affordable housing, the HDB had seemingly lowered indicative starting prices for new flats recently launched in Sengkang, Tampines, Jurong West, Bukit Panjang and Yishun – as compared to the previous BTO launch in May 2011.

Commenting on Minister Khaw’s recent measures to alleviate the demand-supply conundrum, Shaun Di Gregorio, Chief Executive Officer of iProperty Group Limited “Home buyers are now getting closer to obtaining their dream homes – be it new or resale flats – as signs of the stabilising housing market are beginning to appear. Not only are we going to see more and more new HDB flats being offered in bumper BTO launches in months to come, our recent Quick Poll also suggests that most home buyers are willing to fork out top dollar to secure flats in ideal locations and with good facilities nearby.”

He added, “However, there is still some way to go in addressing affordability issues – home buyers are still anxious to see what comes with the review of the income ceiling for first- timers to buy BTO flats, as well as the review of the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS), and how this affects prices of the remaining 9,500 new flats by year end, and subsequently, the impact on resale prices.”