Home prices fell slightly in Q2. Bottom could be in sight.

Home prices of private residential properties fell by 0.3% in the last quarter, though it is nothing to fret over as it is the smallest dip since Q4 of 2013, which was when prices started to show a decline.

Thomson Grand3Since the April 2013 peak, private home prices have fallen 11.6%. Nothing too alarming considering the rate of its fall, but nothing to scoff at either. After a year or so of buyers retreating from the market in wait of prices falling further, new launches this year have brought them out of the shadows and the overall market sentiment has been positive thus far.

The first indication of a possible market recovery in the near future is the slowdown in rate of decline of property prices. This could indicate that the bottom is nearing and may draw even more buyers into actually committing to a purchase – when the price is right.

Non-landed private residential properties in the “rest of central region” such as Marine Parade and Bishan fared the best last quarter, with a 0.5% growth. The core central region saw the steepest fall of 0.9% as most of the transactions recorded were from older establishments and from mortgagee sales.

Activity in the landed property market is surprisingly heightened last quarter, with 527 units sold, a whooping 56.8 per cent higher than in Q1. In the resale HDB flat front, prices fell very slightly at 0.1%, a smaller decrease compared to the 0.5% in Q1, though sustained interest may be questioned here as more buyers could be considering upgrading into the private property market as older HDB flats with fewer years left in their lease may mean fewer takers.

Release of new land sites in H2 may not satisfy developer demand

After holding back for the past few quarters, 16 new land sites will be released under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in the second half of this year. That is in addition to other private land sites which might go on sale as well during the same period.

CUscadenResidencesDespite this ramped up supply of land plots, property analysts expect continued aggressive bidding from developers as they seem to be on the hunt for resources to replenish their land banks and especially as the demand for new homes has grown steadily in the last few months. As the nation’s population continues to grow, the authorities also recognise the need to keep up with the demand for new private housing in the years ahead.

The 16 sites from the GLS programme can potentially yield up to 8,125 private homes. And yet, analysts still consider this allocation inadequate in meeting developer demand. The sites most likely to draw the most number of bids are those in Jiak Kim StreetFourth Avenue and Cuscaden Road due to their locations. New record high bids are expected for these sites.

With  the possibilities of more joint ventures between developers and funds, the potential for higher bids for limited land plots may very well drive land prices up. Could that mean eventual increases in property prices, even if not now then sometime in the future? How would that then affect the market then?

Private homes’ rental rates continue to decline

While HDB rental rates inched up ever so slightly in May, private home rents have gone in the opposite direction and fallen 0.8 per cent in May. Compared to the same month last year, rental prices have fallen 3.9 per cent.

Ballota Park condominium in Pasir Ris

Ballota Park condominium in Pasir Ris

In the private home sector, prime district rents fell the hardest at 1.8 per cent while rental prices of units in the city fringes and suburbs fell 0.5 and 0.4 per cent respectively. The number of leases closed last month did however increase by 12.5 per cent from April with 4,650 condominium units rented out in May compared to the 4,134 in April.

HDB rents have risen 0.7 per cent though property analysts are taking it to be a temporary adjustment which is unlikely to be sustainable as the rental market may remain weak through the months ahead. HDB rents are expected to fall 4 to 5 per cent this year while private property rentals are expected to fall 8 to 10 per cent as more units are left vacant and competition for a limited tenant pool applies downward pressure on the market. The entry of new condominium units into the burgeoning market has not aided matters as well and expatriates’ housing budgets have also shrunk, leading to weaker demand in particular for high-end luxury housing.

Much of the future of the real estate sector is dependent on the job market as well. Should the job market take a turn for the better, the number of tenants looking for units nearer their workplace, in the Central Business District or regional commercial hubs, may also then increase.

Market recovery uncertain despite rise in resale condo prices

May was a rather good month for the resale private condominium market as prices rose 0.4% and sales volume increased by 17.4%. In comparison with the same month last year, prices have risen 1.5%.

CreekBukitTimahAll signs seem to be pointing to a market recovery after 3 years of lacklustre performances. However, some property analysts are taking a more conservative stance with regards to the recent price adjustments. The leasing market remains weak and rental prices have fallen, putting additional pressure on an already-weak market hence the market is still a ways from bottoming out. Private property values have fallen 11.6 per cent since the peak in Q3 of 2013.

skyline-residencesPrices of resale properties in the core central and city-fringe regions have shown improvements with a 1.1 per cent rise from April. In the suburbs, prices fell slightly by 0.4 per cent. A moderate look at the current situation would more likely than not mean a gradual rise in prices over the course of a year rather than a quick and immediate recovery. A recent hash of high land bids and the gradually diminishing stock of unsold private homes do however seem to be beacons of light, however dim, pointing towards the promise of a market stabilisation at the least. Positive sentiments and sales at new project launches and continued low interest rates may add icing to the cake if developers can have it and eat it too.

 

Outlook for prime London homes seem brighter

2016 was a bit of a hectic one for the UK real estate industry, especially with Brexit and stamp duty hikes dampening demand for properties in London.

Battersea2

Photo credit: Sime Darby

Some industry analysts are cautious about their predictions on market outlook for this year, concerned that buyers are still rather price-sensitive. With the British election taking place next month, and in light of current political uncertainties, the real estate and related industries may face some challenges in the path ahead.

On the other hand, other industry players are upbeat about the potential for a 5 to 10 per cent rise in property prices of prime London homes within the next 2 years. One of the latest new property projects is the Battersea Power Station Development. Owned by Malaysia’s Sime Darby, S P Setia and Employees’ Provident Fund, the mixed-use development is spread over 17 hectares in London’s Southwest and will potentially yield £100 million worth of homes. For the most recent 50 deals transacted, yields average at 4.6 per cent, higher than the 3 per cent average for the city.

Battersea1Photo credit: www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk

The Battersea Power Station project will be developed over 8 launches and the first 2 are already almost sold out while almost one-third of the 1,363 units have already found buyers. The development is slated for a 2025 or 2026 completion. Numbers from some other property agencies have also shown a 5 per cent price-rise and a 6.3 per cent sales volume in the first quarter of 2017.

 

 

 

Resale non-landed residential property prices hold steady in April

After 5 consecutive months of climbing figures, resale condominium prices have steadied themselves in April. Resale transactions fell by 21 per cent as a number of new launches drew the attention of buyers and investors in the past couple of months.

Thomson Impressions2Though the numbers are still shy of that during the peak of 2010 and 2013, things have been looking up for the private property market this year. Year on year, private resale prices and transaction volume were 1.8 and 48 per cent higher than in April last year. In comparison with March 2017, April’s resale private property market numbers dipped slightly. Prime district property prices fell 1.2 per cent last month while prices of units in the city fringes and suburbs rose 1.2 per cent.

In the 5 months prior, private resale prices have risen 0.6, 0.3, 0.9, 1 and 0.8 per cent from last November to March this year. The improving market sentiments seem to be reflected in the overall above-market-values which rose to $5,000 from $0 in just a month. Districts which posted the highest median above-market-values at $37,000, and had more than 10 resale transactions, were District 16 and 21. Despite higher resale activity in the city fringes, District 11 which consists of Newton and Novena, posted the highest negative median above-market-value of -$40,000.

the-crestThe year is almost at its mid-point and the latest new launches have boosted numbers in the new private home sales market, but how will the resale private property sector fare in H2?

New 153,000 hectare township near KL planned for next 30 years

There are big plans for a big project spanning 153,000 hectares in Negeri Sembilan, just beside the administrative capital of Putrajaya. At twice the size of Singapore, the township will launch its first phase which at 11,000 hectares is 22 times the size of Sentosa, in Q3 this year. 

MVV ipropertyMYThe Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV) is a major township development which encompasses the Seremban and Port Dickson districts near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and just an hour’s drive away from downtown Kuala Lumpur. The masterplan is managed by 2 government-linked entities – Sime Darby Properties and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan – and  is reflective of the Iskandar Malaysia development in Johor. The MVV will consist of 5 main clusters, namely: a Central Business District (CBD), residential estates, a nature city, an education and technology hub and a tourism and wellness precinct.

SenadaResidencesSimeDarbyPhoto credit: Sime Darby Properties

The residential offerings in this new township is expected to be at lower costs in comparison with the higher property prices in KL city. There seems to be future plans for an eventual merging of KL and Seremban within the next 2 decades and the current impetus is for the development to accrue RM290 million (S$93.9 billion) in investments and to become the hotbed of potentially 1.38 million job opportunities. The federal government has also put aside RM560 million to develop transportation infrastructure that will serve the MVV district.

 

$653 million asking price makes Eunosville largest collective sale

Should the asking price of between $643 to $653 million for the HUDC estate of Eunosville truly go through, it would be the largest collective sale of late as it surpasses the $638 million paid for Shunfuville last year and the expected $450.8 million asking price for Rio Casa in Hougang which went on sale last month.

EunosvilleAnd it would mean each unit owner at the Sims Avenue estate would receive $780 to $790 psf or $1.9 to $2 million approximately. The estate has already reached the 80 per cent requirement for consent and the sheer size of the estate would be a dream for the winning developer. The 376, 713 sq ft site currently holds 225 maisonettes in 10 blocks and upon redevelopment, could yield 1,035 units of approximately 90 sq m each.

With 70 years left on its lease, $181 million on top of the bid will be required for intensification and a new 99-year lease. The site is just 100 metres away from the Eunos MRT station and strong showings at recent property launches show that buyers are still keen on new launches at good locations. Recent sales at Grandeur Park were a good example. All 420 of the units available at the launch were sold with the first weekend at the average price of $1,350 psf.

GrandeurParkResidencesThough bidding will be prudent as developers are keenly aware of the completion and sales deadlines imposed by the qualifying certificate and additional buyer’s stamp duty, some may be willing to put more into sites with long-term potential as land banks have been running low for the past year or so.