Another HUDC estate tries for collective sale – Rio Casa

HUDCs certainly seem to making the news this year as yet another HUDC estate tries for an en bloc sale. Earlier last month, Braddell View became the last HUDC to be privatised and Shunfuville successfully completed their en bloc journey in May last year.

RioCasaHUDC HougangThis time, Rio Casa, formerly called Hougang N3 is trying their hand at the collective sale game. The process was surprisingly easy as 80 per cent approval was achieved within 3 weeks. Bidding is expected to hover around $450.3 million for the 286-unit site. If successful, each unit owner will receive $1.5 million which is approximately $586 psf. The property has about 73-years left to its lease and the new owner will have to fork out $57.5 million for a new 99-year lease. In addition, $141.5 million will be required for site-intensification.

Kingsford WaterbayThe site should be quite desirable as it features 200m of riverfront and greenery views with schools such as Holy Innocents’ Primary and High Schools and CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity nearby. With the recent uptick in buying sentiments and the competitiveness in the Government Land Sales segment, developers may pay for the site despite its slightly pricier tag. There are considerations however, as the site is not near any MRT station and the nearby Kingsford WaterBay has unsold units remaining. It is still however early days and the Hougang area has a deep potential for redevelopment which may very well happen in the decade ahead. The tender for the site closes on May 23.

Sparks of hope in property market

Despite the prolonged property lull, analysts are hopeful that a few sparks of recovery will begin to rejuvenate the market this year. The office sector may boost the commercial market while high-end luxury homes will hold up the residential property segment.

dleedonAs far as regions go, the core central region is heating up in terms of foreign interest in both residential and commercial properties. The sliding private home prices, by 11 per cent since 2013, have brought investors back into the luxury homes market. Currency valuation will however continue to play a part in the movement of investment money, and Singapore will still have to compete with other cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Shanghai for investors’ attention.

Compared to other major cities such as Hong Kong, New York and London however, apartment prices here have fallen and will become more appealing to foreign buyers as the potential for yields in the medium term is considerable, especially as these specific market segment is expected to perform well this year.

skylineorchardboulevardThe collective sales market is another to watch in 2017, as developers are expected to collaborate to build up their store of land sites for long term yields. There might also be acquisitions of smaller developers by larger ones in order to participate in the government land sales programme. Property prices are expected to remain stable but depending on a property’s rental yields as a means of investment or profit could become less attractive as investors find it more difficult to find tenants in an increasingly competitive market.

Will current property bright spots continue to shine in 2017?

Private home prices have continued to fall in 2016, and while that may have coloured the market atmosphere somewhat grey, bright spots are beginning to shine through the gloom, with 3 sectors performing particularly well this year.

Miro condo on Lincoln Road, just off Novena at the City Fringe districts.

Miro condo on Lincoln Road, just off Novena in the city fringe.

The luxury residential property, commercial office and collective sales segments have all shone this year. And industry players are no doubt hoping that the positive streak will continue in 2017. In this year alone, 3 en bloc sales were closed. Only 1 such transaction was recorded for 2015 and none in 2014. Even for the private home market, sales volume has risen 9.8 per cent this year despite 10.8 and 10.7 per cent fall respectively in sale prices and rents in 12 consecutive quarters.

Some property analysts however consider the fall in property prices a good thing, as this has enticed more buyers back into the market. Buyers who may have previously stayed away from the market due to the increased stamp duties and fees implemented by the authorities in the past few years to attempt to cool the market, have now returned and are now swiftly closing transactions.

2 RVG condo apartment in River Valley

2 RVG condo apartment in River Valley

In the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, private home transactions were already 42.6 per cent higher than the total in 2015. 2,601 deals were sealed in the Orchard, River Valley, Bukit Timah and Novena areas as of mid-December. With more land allocated under the Government Land Sales (GLS) scheme and developers on the lookout for smaller prime location sites, the market may see a lot more activity quite soon.

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.