3 new MRT stations – Opportunity for property growth

76 Shenton
3 new MRT stations, part of the sixth phase of the Circle Line to be completed by 2025, have just been announced last week:

  • Keppel
  • Cantonment
  • Prince Edward

These areas are yet to be heavily populated, thus the breadth and depth for growth could potentially attract residential developers and commercial and retail businesses alike. These 3 new stations will link the rest of the island to the new Greater Southern Waterfront district under URA’s redevelopment and rejuvenation Masterplan which will take the place of the Keppel docklands.

Currently, residential areas in these districts are few and far in between. The nearest HDB area might be The Pinnacle @ Duxton and some HDB blocks in the Cantonment and Spottiswoode Park estates. The nearby Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown districts have already seen a positive revival with new apartment buildings and retail shops injecting some life into the previously sleepy region.

The Beacon

Some of the properties near the Prince Edward MRT station which will also benefit from the redevelopment of these districts include Spottiswoode 18, Spottiswoode Residences, The Beacon, 76 SHenton and Lumiere. Nearer the Keppel station, there are private apartment blocks such as The Pearl@Mount Faber and Mount Faber Lodge.

Developers and industry players are hoping this redevelopment project will revive property interest this region as sales have been a little quiet last year due to the property cooling measures.



500 potential new homes near Serangoon MRT station

Say Lorong Lew Lian and the name brings to mind the spiky durian fruit – but you might not be far off with the fruit metaphor as the site might yield a bumper crop of new homes in a few years’ time.

Bartley Ridge

Photo: Bartley Ridge

Hoping to plant the investment seed early, several property developers have already placed juicy bids for a 1.4 ha condominium site on Lorong Lew Lian. The top bid came from a joint venture between City Developments Limited (CDL), Hong Leong Holdings and TID at $321 million. The site could yield up to 500 new units in a 12 or 13-storey condominium project. The developers are old hands at building in this area, having already developed residential projects in the vicinity including Bartley Residences and Bartley Ridge. Sales at both properties have been more than positive, with Bartley Residences 100% sold and 99% of the units at Bartley Ridge snapped up.

As the authorities may not be releasing many more land plots anytime soon, putting in bids for tenders with good locations might be a good way to go. Despite recent concerns that an oversupply of homes might descent on the market as soon as next year, buyers may hardly tire of homes with good locations, near transport nodes such as MRT stations or bus interchanges and schools. This Lorong Lew Lian site is located near Serangoon MRT station and bus interchange and the NEX shopping mall. With the new Bidadari Housing Estate coming up along the North East Line, properties along this and the Circle Line are likely to enjoy some attention from property seekers.

Compact apartment units popular with buyers

At a couple of the most recent property launches – Principal Garden and Thomson Impressions, smaller units such as one- and two-bedders were the stars of the show.

The developers of both properties have managed to hit it off with the buyers with smaller apartments. As buyers are now more price-conscious, it was no surprise that these units priced below the $1 million dollar mark sold fast and furious. At Principal Garden alone, 120 of the 200 units launched last weekend were sold at a $1,600 psf median; 70 per cent of the 663-unit Prince Charles Crescent project consists of one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging rom 484 to 807 sq ft. For a gauge of the quantum prices here, selling prices of a one-bedder started from $777,000 and $1.18 million for a two-bedder.


Photo: Principal Garden

Another much talked-about new property, Thomson Impressions, also launched 150 units last week, and 87 have since been sold at an average of $1, 393 psf. Similar to Principal Gardens, 60 per cent of the 288-unit Lorong Puntong property near Sin Ming Avenue are made up of one- and two-bedders. With its prime location near the future Bright Hill MRT station and many good schools, one-bedroom apartments at Thomson Impressions were going from $670,000.

About 85 per cent of the buyers at the launch were Singaporeans, which could signify a comeback of sorts for the private property market. Sales figures may indicate a shift to more palatable quantum pricing and smaller apartments.

Sembawang – Quiet enclave bustling

It may be quite ironical that in such a small city-state like Singapore, there could still be areas considered “far-flung”. Sembawang used to considered one of these districts. But new condominiums, ECs (executive condominiums), landed homes  and HDB flats have sprouted in its midst within the last 10 years, injecting a comfortable buzz to the area. It still however holds its exclusiveness with some wonderful, untouched historic treasures and spots to call its own.

Sunway Avant PArc

Photo credit: Sunway Property

Near the Sembawang Road End region, in a quiet haven with its own sea-front view, sits a cluster of new 15 landed houses – Avant Parc. Owned by Sunway Developments, this 99-year leasehold development features 9 intermediate and 6 corner terraces each 3-storeys high and with up to 7 bedrooms, an attic, a basement and even a private lift. The estate is situated opposite the Sembawang Park, and just a short 6-minute drive away from Sembawang Shopping Centre and Sembawang MRT station. Some units have already been sold, and all have been completed and ready for immediate occupation.

Private condominiums have also been coming up in the district, including The Nautical which sits just next to Sembawang Shopping Centre and Canberra Residences. Public housing in the area include Skypark Residences, Parc Life EC and the latest Brownstone EC. Resale HDB flats are also becoming popular, with prices hovering between $390,000 and $460,000 on the average.

Sembawang is slowly being redeveloped but as one of the rare areas which yet still hold the rustic charm of old Singapore, it is a region with potential.


12,000 new HDB flats to launch in November

Come November, HDB applicants will have 12,000 new units to choose from. As an effort to allow more applicants to benefit from the new housing policies which were announced in August, the Housing Board has decided to merge the last 2 major launches of HDB flats, one of which was originally planned for September, to allow for this massive combined offering in November.

Out of the 12,000 units to be launched, 7,000 will be BTO (build-to-order) flats in Bidadari, Punggol Northshore, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang and Sengkang. Another 5,000 units will be made available under the Sale-of-balance-flats (SBF) scheme.

BIdadari HDBMain changes in housing policies which may apply to the upcoming launch include:

Market analysts are however expecting the 2,130-unit Bidadari launch to be oversubscribed by up to 5 times and with units costing 20 per cent more than other BTO flats, perhaps even up to $400,000 for a four-room unit. Likening it to Bishan, which was also built on cemetery ground, Bidadari is situated near the Potong Pasir MRT station and will have a park and lake in its midst.

But considering Bidadari is a new estate, and future launches may be slated for this area, buyers may hold back in wait rather than rush to be first, unlike launches in mature estates.

Waterfront living from East to West

Waterfront living is no longer restricted to those living at Sentosa or by the coastal lines mainly in the eastern districts. With a number of lakes being developed all across the island, waterfront living is becoming more possible than ever before.

In North-east, there is the Punggol Waterway; in the West, Jurong Lake; and in the East, there is the Bedok Reservoir area which has already seen the development of 3 massive private condominium establishments – Waterfront Gold, Waterfront Key and Waterfront Isle.

WaterfrontFaberNow, there is Waterfront@Faber near Sungei Ulu Pandan – a 210-unit private residential development boasting a wide variety of units including increasingly popular dual-key apartments and strata houses. The property consists of 11 such landed houses and 5 high-rise apartment blocks and holds a substantial amount of potential value in terms of its location near the future Singapore-Kuala Lumpur Speed Rail Terminus, as well as its current proximity to the Clementi MRT station and bus interchange. The latter makes it easy for travel to The International Business Park, JTC Summit, National University of Singapore and neighbouring towns and industrial hubs in Jurong and Bukit Batok.

Families will also be happy to know that the property is surrounded by a number of good schools including Nan Hua Primary and High School, The Japanese School Singapore, United World College, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and SIM University. There is also no lack of medical facilities as the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Jurong Community Hospital and the National University Hospital are all just a stone’s throw away.

No longer does the East have monopoly of well-amenitized townships and waterfront living. It seems the West is doing well in cultivating well-rounded environments for their old and new residents.

Sell now or later?

In real estate, it is often a timing game. How do you exactly know when to sell and when to buy? If you’re currently looking to sell your property, what should you be looking at for when making your decision of whether to sell now or later?

Just like buying a home, you first have to figure out why exactly you are selling. Is it to finance a new home upgrade, to invest in another property, or because you need the money urgently? The push factors are often stronger than you think when it comes to how much and how quickly you are willing to sell for.

KingsfordWaterbayAnother important question to ask yourself is “How much is my property worth?” Aside from getting a trustworthy real estate agent and valuator, spending a bit of time doing your own market research will help you determine where your property stands. A quick look at property websites, some of which provide tools to help you keep track of property trends and transacted property prices, or checking out resale HDB flat prices from the HDB website as well as attending property talks and seminars are just a few of the many ways to hone your pricing skills.

Market competition is also an important factor which affects pricing. Have a look at how other properties similar to yours are currently prices for a guide to pricing your property. But that said, if you know what qualities your property has above others in the market, list them. These may help you price above the market median. You do however have to be prepared to justify these premium prices and once you are confident the edge your property has, you will have a relatively easy time asking for higher prices. Location and proximity to transport nodes or schools are often a big plus; and sometimes the configuration of rooms, quality of renovation and age of the property could also be added to your property’s calling cards.


Choa Chu Kang’s Executive Condominium Future

With 11 bids for an EC (Executive condominium) site in Choa Chu Kang, it looks like the estate may be looking at 490 new homes in the next 5 years. The avid response could be due to the huge decrease in land supply this year and the possibility of the government further reducing the supply of land in the next year. In 2012, 6 EC sites were released in the second half alone; whereas this is the only EC site release by the government in the first half of  this year.

The BrownstoneCompared to last year’s EC site sales in Choa Chu Kang, the current site went for lower bids, and selling prices are expected to hover around $800 psf. The previous sites which were sold last March and September last year are however, closer to the Choa Chu Kang MRT Station.

Though there are 7 EC properties waiting in the wings for their big debut, and despite news that the EC vacancy rate was at 14.1 pre cent in Q2, developers are positive about the potential earnings from these public-private hybrid properties and are confident about the uptake. In Q2 alone, there were 2, 232 unsold EC units.

But if sales at last weekend’s launch of The Brownstone EC were anything to go by, the developers have little to worry about. 185 units were sold in the weekend alone, making it one of the most-sold EC launches this year.