Landed housing gets a boost

Through semi-detached homes. Apparently prices of these landed properties have risen 4.2 per cent in the last 3 months, contrary to what most people would expect of a dimming property market. Usually the first property sectors to show significant decline are landed and luxury homes, followed by mass market suburban non-landed properties and resale HDB flats. But this rare glimmer of hope in the landed property sector has brought a little cheer to the otherwise gloomy industry.

semi-detached houseThe psf prices of semi-detached houses are now comparable to that of bungalows. But the rise could be due to the popularity of these property types with the rising group of buyers who are able to upgrade to landed properties but not yet able to afford the high quantum prices of a big landed home with a high overall land area. Add the group of buyers who may have originally been looking at bungalows but now find themselves strapped down by the property cooling measures, and there is a ready pool of potential customers for the sector.

Bungalows, being the rare commodity they are, will naturally continue to command high asking prices, which is unlikely to come down anytime soon as most owners have a strong holding power and are willing to wait out any industry recessions. However, property experts are quick to point out that the rise could be temporary and does not mean that landed property prices are on the rise per se. As the property cooling measures continue to restrict, the market will need to show significant adjustments before any change in policy will happen, which may then signify the start of a new era for the industry.

Landed home prices set to rise

The spotlight has been on new and resale private mass-market homes recently. But with that market reaching saturation, attention is now turned onto landed private homes. Everyone knows how rare these types of property are in land-scarce Singapore, but prices have been falling due to the consumers’ diminishing ability to purchase these expensive properties.

Loyang Rise HouseBut the decline may ease up by end of this year. Analysts are expecting prices of landed homes to pick up next year. This may mean more home owners will hold on to their properties in wait for better prices. This restriction of supply could also be the start of rising prices. In the long run, landed homes do generally hold up in terms of prices better than condominiums. The drop in landed homes prices was only 0.7 per cent, compared to the overall private home prices of 1.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, buyers looking for a worthy landed property to purchase could look at areas such as Bukit Batok, Loyang, Jurong or Sembawang. Terrace houses are usually more affordable than semi-detached or bungalows, and they are usually the first to rise in prices when the property market bounces back.

One possibly glitch is the rental prospects of landed homes. Compared to apartments, they are harder to find tenants for.

My HDB Story by Smith

[Blogger Special] Blogger Meryl Loh has been living in her cosy HDB flat for almost 17 years. She believes that even though Singaporeans are moving towards private housing, many others still choose to make a HDB flat their home. Read Meryl’s story on her blog.

Meryl Loh Blog1
For years, The HDB has been providing quality yet affordable homes for generations of Singaporeans! HDB (Housing Development Board), also known as public housing, is no stranger to us living in Singapore. Viewing down from a top level, block of flats can be spotted almost everywhere across the island, giving a unique landscape. Though having more Singaporean moving towards private housing, many of us (about 80%) still choose to stay in HDB and there’s definitely reason(s) why so..

I have been living in my current place (New Upper Changi Road) since Primary One, that’s like 17years already!

Previously was living in Khatib, which was quite a nice environment. One of the most memorable event back then was my six years old BIG birthday celebration! Why do i describe it as big? My mum actually arranged to help invite all my neighbors’ kids over to our place (some are my kindergarten classmates, and some are my mum’s housewives friends.) I remember how happy i was seeing how busy my granny, my mum and some of the kids mothers were cooking all our favourite dishes, seeing how playful yet helpful the kids were blowing party balloons and preparing the table. i felt like a little princess, all i did was getting myself changed and doll-up and snapping pictures with my presents! HAHA. This is one great things living in a HDB, we get to have a lot of neighbour friends, play with their kids, and they are usually very understanding and helpful when we need one another. Life is simple but happy like that.

My dad had a job offered at Singapore Changi Airport back then so my parents decided to move over to Bedok. Partly, also because for a much comfortable living space, from a 3-room flat to a current 4-room flat, with my bro having his own room and me sharing another with my sister.

My block can be found and seen on google map, wasn’t difficult to locate at all!

Meryl Loh Blog2Neighbourhood was much quieter here even though we live here for a much longer period, probably there are lesser kids here.. BUT we love this place because its super convenient and accessible to our needs. Dad has his direct bus to work, market was less than 5mins walk away, and our (siblings and i) primary and secondary schools were just next to our block!

Here’s the map of my neighbourhood, as you can see.. everything my family and i need  is within walking distance for us, sports complex, marketplace, schools and bus stops to both Bedok and Tanah Merah train stations (heading to town was 23mins away); It’s super convenient! This explain why we live here for so many years and won’t be moving house again unless exception..

Meryl Loh Blog3
Of course my house may not be the best spot and surrounding facilities might not suit your preference.. but fret not, there are so so many other locations out there, there have to that one particular place that you will like or suits your needs, that one area that you prefer most!

So, how and where to start your search? Look for of course! The one-stop service for everything we need to know and need to find! Me too, am looking at for some future planning as i  will be moving away from my family a few years later so as to build my own family. It’s better to plan ahead and set ourselves a direction, yea?

About Singapore is the country’s leading property website. They have the largest database of listings that cover hdb flat, property for rent, private apartments, condos, landed property, commercial property, newly launched projects and even overseas property. Ultimately, known as a smart search engine for property. Whether we are looking to buy a home or property for sale, their network of real estate agents who are subscribed to their service will be on hand to help us navigate the property market. We can also search for specialist agents using their property agent directory or developers using their property agent directory.

For more information, check out their;

This post was originally published at Meryl Loh’s blog.

Landed homes earning big bucks

Compared to non-landed properties, landed homes are drawing forth rich buyers willing to pay big bucks for land of their own. Terrace houses in particular have been rising in prices at a much quicker rate than apartments.

Whitley Residences

According to a recent DTZ survey, freehold landed homes in prime districts 9, 10 and 11 rose 3.1 per cent in H1 of 2013. In comparison, freehold non-landed homes only rose 1 per cent. Even leasehold landed properties have become rising stars in the suburbs, with a rise of 5.1 per cent, more than double that of apartments’ rise of 2.2 per cent. Freehold landed homes in the suburbs however did not perform as well as their leasehold counterparts, with a rise of only 2.6 per cent. Perhaps outside of the prime districts, the variety of new and resale condominiums have taken some shine away from the lure of owning a landed home.

In H2, landed properties are expected to take the lead in rising housing prices. A new wave of new properties, both landed and non-landed, are expected to enter the market in H2. This includes about 495 landed homes in the prime districts 9, 10 and 11 or 2,000 islandwide, and 33,000 high-rise residential apartments.


Foreign buyers have only taken a short hiatus from the property investment market and are back in the market, snapping up units in the luxury segment. The effects of January’s cooling measures have been almost entirely forgotten. Most of this new wave of foreign investors are now armed with deeper pockets and stronger holding power. What they aim for are long-term investment opportunities and new luxury properties are expected to benefit as well. Ferra condominium by Far East Organization, designed by Italian car designer, Paolo Pininfarina, is one such property. Prices are expected to start from $2.3 million for a 721 sq ft unit.

The rise of the Private Homes

Prices, that is. Private home prices look like they are on the way up. As suburban land prices steadily head upwards, a total of 22 per cent in 2012 alone, prices of new private properties may follow suit. 20, 879 private units were sold in January to November last year, boosted mainly by the regular supply of residential sites from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

Cashew Crescent Terraces

And in 2013, as long as the supply of land sites continue, demand may be sustained at a respectable level. While the new private homes market is expected to do relatively well this year, they may stay just under last year’s numbers. The Government is keeping a close watch on the shoebox apartments sector and has implemented a cap on the number of non-landed private homes outside of the Central area. Property developers may find a drop in buyers due to subsiding rental demand.

However, landed property seem to top of the leader board with a 9.7 per cent increase, the largest rise in the private property sector. Is this because investors are expecting further rise in prices this year or at least within the next two years? Resale condominiums have also reflected a 3.4 per cent increase, though at a much slower pace compared to 2011’s 8.4 per cent.

Studio MarneForeign interest in the luxury segment is increasing, as more Chinese flock back to the market, especially as China’s economy improves. Reports reflect a hike in the numbers of Chinese buyers of properties above the $5 million mark.

If Singapore’s real estate market continues to walk the current path, it certainly puts big beams on property investors and sellers’ faces. In terms of the overall property and housing market however, uncertainty is masked. Are we heading towards the point of no return? Or is this merely healthy growth?

Mount Sophia and Wilkie Highlights

A bungalow at Wilkie was sold recently. $24 million was the number. No, not the selling price, merely the profit made. An old building that was possibly bought for only $450, 000 ($48 psf) in 2005 seems almost impossible. But the search on Realis, URA’s real estate transaction website, shows that there were not other transaction since then. Other similar transactions of landed property went for $561 psf in 1996 and $779 psf in 2001.

The site was bought by Roxy-Pacific for $24.5 million. Zoned for residential development, the 9, 321 sq ft site could possibly yield 85 one-bedders. With its close proximity to many creative art schools such as School of The Arts, La-Salle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, it is set to gain popularity, if not already.

Wilkie 80

The relatively quiet enclave adds to the exclusivity, with a quaint little park at the top, and some boutique hotels and eateries along the way, not to mention its expensive and desirable city fringe location, properties in this area have been flying out from under the radar in recent years. Populated usually by low-rise apartments, some new properties have been popping up here. 8 Mount Sophia, 1919, Mount Sophia Suites, Wilkie 80, Wilkie Studio are just a few of the private apartments available for sale.

On another note, bungalows and landed properties may be popular with home investors and upgraders this year. Areas such as Thomson, Tanglin, Bukit Timah, Lornie and Sentosa Cove of course, are just a few areas to do some home-spotting.

Good Class Bungalows – Fewer sales but Prices Up

2, 400 in 39 gazetted areas. 49 sold in 2012. That’s the GCB real estate market for you.

Good class bungalow in Binjai Park.

Good class bungalow in Binjai Park.

Despite the property cooling measures implemented last year, the buyers are still biting and the prices remained resilient. Although the restrictions of a 16 per cent seller’s stamp duty and 60 per cent loan-to-value ratio may have stopped some in their tracks, the psf pricing of these rare commodities have risen 10 per cent to $1, 276 psf. The limited supplies definitely has a part to play. But perhaps as more are investing for the longer term and are more likely to be home occupiers, they may be willing to pay more. GCBs can be found in the Nassim, Dalvey, Tanglin, Binjai Park, Leedon Park, Ridout Road, and Chatsworth Road area.

The highest selling Good Class Bungalow in 2012 was one in Ridout Road which went for $60.6 million. Bought for $37 million by former goldman Sachs banker Thomas Chan, it changed hands in late March and now belongs to the Tecity Group which falls under the control of the family of the late OCBC Bank chairman Tan Chin Tuan. The second most expensive GCB sold, in Leednon Park, was for a much lower amount at $33 million. At 10, 800 sq ft, it holds six bedrooms and a pool.

The value of these bungalows seem only set to rise in then new year, though perhaps at a slower pace, depending on whether the weak market sentiment set about by the Europe debt crisis will take a turn for the better. Even as Singapore braces herself for slower growth this year, the global economy will affect Asia perhaps in a bigger way this year than the last.

Many units in High-end residential projects unsold

At least 8 residential property developments are reaching the end of their 2-year sales deadline and if they do not sell all their units by the stipulated date, the property developers will have to foot the deadline extension bill to buy themselves more time.

Martin No38Most are high-end private apartments such as The Marq on Paterson Hill, Hilltops in Cairnhill Circle, Scotts Square in Scotts Road, Martin No. 38 and Residences at Emerald Hill. One of the reasons cited for the dip in sales in the high-end market was the additional buyer’s stamp duty. Foreign home demand seems to however to going way off the charts to the luxury landed properties in Sentosa Cove with a number of bungalows going for sky-high prices of late.

But if you’re thinking that prices might start dropping, it might be way to early to wish for a christmas present. Industry experts say property developers are unlikely to drop the prices as this may affect their reputation and stir up unpleasant sentiments amongst earlier buyers. However they might give incentives such as stamp duty absorption or rental guarantees.

Ultimately, it might just boil down to a matter of how much holding power these developers have and how the immigration and housing policy change over the next year.