Property measures not hurting Malaysian property sales

And more are flocking to the local label of the new Puteri Cove Residences. This new luxury condominium is developed by local property developers, Pacific Star and DB2, with sea and harbour-view units up for offer, local investors seemed to have taken a liking to this new property.

Puteri Cove Residences. Photo by Pacific Star Singapore.

Puteri Cove Residences. Photo by Pacific Star Singapore.

450 of the 600 residential, 56 Soho and 340 serviced property units were sold within a week of its launch. Upon its targeted completion in 2017, this mixed-use development will also include a waterfront promenade housing eateries, retail stores, commercial businesses and clinics. Located strategically between the Second Link at Tuas and the Woodlands Causeway, it’s poised to have a brisk flow of traffic. Units consisted of one- to four-bedders between 600 to 4,100 sq ft. Prices ranged between RM 1, 180 (S$457) to RM 1, 580 (S$612) psf.

Most buyers were Singaporeans, followed by Malaysians and Indonesians. And with talks in the way between Singapore and Malaysia to improve transport infrastructure, such as the Kuala-Lumpur  expressway and a train system between Singapore and Johor Bahru, investors in the know are looking at long-term profitability. Will new Iskandar region properties continue to woo Singaporean investors?

Home prices down all around

Landed. Non-landed. Private. Public. Across the board, prices of all residential properties seem to have taken a hit in the last quarter.

Prices have dipped, some sectors more than the others, but signs are pointing to a possible slowdown in the market due to governmental curbs and the increased number of new property launches over the last 2 years. With the last price decline registered in 2005, resale HDB flat prices have been on the downhill slope for 2 quarters now. Private property prices have also suffered albeit to a lesser degree, with the lowest prices since 2009.

Mon JervoisMight it truly be the buyers’ market this year? Will this prompt more buyers to jump on the opportunity or are there other factors which might keep them away from the cash register? The tighter loan restrictions such as shorter loan periods, lower debt-to-income limits, and higher stamp duties may still be an obstacle to some buyers, thus sellers eager to cash in on their properties may find themselves having to wait a little longer for a good deal to come by.

Location usually still trumps all, though considerations such as space, amenities and living environment all have a part to play in the final selling price. With more new private condominium launches and new HDB flats pushing their way into the market this year, competition on the rental front is proving tough as well. Buyers now have more options for comparison and may be tempted to wait for prices to drop even further or wait it out for the best deal.

Even prices of suburban private homes, which have been the main stalwart of the property market last half of the year, have slipped 0.6 per cent. And as resale HDB flat prices drop, so have the number of HDB upgraders who may require the cash from the sale of their flats to purchase private homes. In turn, demand for mass-market suburban homes may fall.

Will it be a sombre year for Singapore’s residential property market?

Reduced BTO launches will not affect resales market

2013 was a year of new BTO HDB flats. With a sales launch almost every couple of months, it may have taken the shine off resale HDB flats. Coupled with the decreasing COV prices, will this mean a a weakening resale market?

National Development Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan recently announced that starting 2014, HDB’s “massive construction programme” will slow as the pent-up demand for public housing units have been largely elevated by the continuous supply of BTO flats over the past 3 years. Industry analysts are not expecting the resale market to be overly affected by this announcement, especially since the pool of buyers usually have different motivating factors. Most BTO flat applicants are young families and first-time buyers. Now that application rates have fallen from 5.3 to 2 in 2 years’ time, there seems reason enough for the authorities to put the brakes on the building programme.

East Lawn Canberra HDB FlatIn comparison, the resale market has suffered slightly, with stricter loan limits, competition from the private property market, and recent COV prices have come to show for it. With the median at an all-time low, many are wondering if the cease of supply of new HDB flats will once again bring resale flat prices up. But this may be unlikely, at least for the next half year or so. As long as the loan limits and private residential options remain and especially since demand has been largely fulfilled,

It will be an interesting year for Singapore’s real estate sector. Which way will the wind blow?

Paint the town red

Marina Downtown to be specific. The plans to invigorate the upcoming Marina Downtown district are in the pipelines, and it sounds exciting indeed. The aim is to shape the area in a such a way it compliments the nearby Central Business District. Akin to the infamous Canary Wharf in London, this new area will have its own transport line, and a good mix of residential homes, commercial offices, entertainment, retail and recreational facilities.

Marina DowntownAmassing 70 hectares, it will extend all the way to Harbour Front, connecting from Marina Bay, to form a new CBD area and as an extension to the existing financial districts in the city centre. With the government’s recent announcement about the Marina Coastal Expressway, properties along this stretch looks set to command higher prices, starting possibly from now. And when everything is complete, one can only wonder how much these properties will appreciate in value.

Mixed developments in this new district could be what investors are looking at eagerly. Marina One and Asia Square Towers are just two of the possibly many integrated residential and commercial projects which may also mean more skyscrapers joining the ranks of those in the city. Despite the existence (and possibly more in the future) of residential private properties in the area, industry consultants are expecting the area to be mainly dominated by commercial buildings. Existing properties have already taken up much of the market slice of residential homes in the area. Properties such as The Sail, Marina Bay Residences and Marina Bay Suites. Thus one of the main challenges the authorities will have could how best to inject vibrancy and life into the area during the weekend.

The Sail MarinaYet unclear how long the development process may be, its a delicate balance between supply and demand. And demand could be dependent on global situations. Will there be more office space than required? Or is it the government’s plan to bring in more businesses and thus tipping the scale in favour of property investors?

A little cloudy on the top

At the top of the property market, where the luxury apartments reside, sales and profits are a little hazy at the moment.

The high-end property market has been a little quiet for sometime now. But there are still undercurrents under the still surface, as some buyers have been able to reap considerable profits. Despite some properties having been bought at a time where prices are are a record high, seven units at The Reflections at Keppel Bay were resold with a profit of between 6.5 and 23.8 per cent.

Reflections at Keppel Bay boasts waterfront living with a marina and a good many luxury amenities as well.

Reflections at Keppel Bay boasts waterfront living with a marina and a good many luxury amenities as well.

Orchard Residences was another development with positive sales, where 11 units were sold at a 20.6 per cent profit in 2011 and one for 13.4 per cent recently. Most buyers in the luxury market have the financial ability to hold onto their properties are are unlikely to sell lower than their buying price. Those who have been overambitious would have already left the market, either at a loss or without much padding in the pocket.

Some luxury residential developments have not however been able to keep up with the high selling prices. Demand is lower and it is also harder to secure rents. Orchrard Boulevard and The Marq on Paterson Hill took a slight hit on some units. The Marq previously sold units at $6, 850 psf shortly after launching, but a recent unit sold at a 6.1 per cent loss. A unit at the Orchard Residences bought in 2007 also went at a 2.6 per cent loss.

Orchard Residences condo

Orchard Residences condo

Although these losses are less than 10 per cent, at the prices they were purchased for, the loss is considerable. Could these losses indicate a loss of interest from investors, both foreign and local? How long will this lull last and when will the undercurrents stir up enough interest and create some big waves?

No mixed feelings about Mixed-use properties

In comparison with suburban and city fringe homes, properties in the downtown area has been languid for awhile. But that looks set to change as the growing popularity of mixed-use developments return with a vengeance. There are a total of 4 mixed-used properties currently in the planning stage and that includes one which might claim the title of the new tallest building in Singapore.

Marina One residential project with 1,042 new condominium units. Photo by

Marina One residential project with 1,042 new condominium units. Photo by

These properties are:

Although these projects sound more like shopping malls and offices, which they will have, they will also include hotels and residential units. Their prime location will command high prices for these apartments, and developers are expecting most buyers to be foreigners or those looking for a worthy piece of investment property. But rental yields might also be considerable as these projects are close to the city centre and central business district (CBD) and also provides the prestige of a downtown address.

Tanjong Pagar CentreResidential units at the DUO, which is situated between Rochor and Ophir road, will be put up for sale before the end of the year. The 49-storey residential block will hold 660 studio apartments and one- to four-bedders and penthouses. Just below is the Bugis MRT station of the new Downtown Line.  Marina One is touted to be one of the only developments in the Marina Bay district to have 65,000 sq ft of greenery. Rare in a built-up city like Singapore, and especially in the city centre. It is also twice the size of DUO.

Tanjong Pagar centre might be the tallest feature in Singapore when it’s built. At 290m, its residential units, Clermont Residences, will be up for sale also end 2013. At South Beach, only 190 residential units will be available.

Will the launch of these mixed-use developments inject some fervor into the year-end property market?

New Suburban home launches

It’s an exciting time for the suburbs as three new launches make their entrance, most of them in the North.

Nine REsidencesYishun welcomed a new mixed-use property, Junction Nine and Nine Residences. The residential units are selling at an affordable $1, 070 psf. The options are plenty, with 495 sq ft one-bedders to 700 sq ft two-bedders, 915 sq ft three-bedders, 1,001 sq ft four-bedders and 1, 173 sq ft four-bedders. Bigger units such as a 1,367 sq ft five-bedder and 1,550 sq ft duplexes are also available. Though the retail units were the best sellers here, as investors see their potential as residential properties rise in price but not necessary in sale numbers. Also, retail properties are able to skirt around the additional buyers’ stamp duty which has deterred some.

$400,000 one-bedders are available at The Inflora, a 395-unit condominium on Flora Drive. If it’s a dual-key apartment you’re looking for, here’s where to look as well. These units are often rare and hard to come by, thus if you’re looking for one for your extended family, it might be a good time to snap one up.

The Venue ResidencesIn Potong Pasir, there is the mixed-use development, The Venue Residences. There is a range of 495 sq ft one-bedders and bigger units to 2.142 sq ft penthouses. It will only be launched on Friday and prices are expected to hover around $1,450psf.

E-applications for executive condominium (EC) Skypark Resiences in Sembawang has also opened last weekend. Could this launch detract some from going for private condominiums?



90 per cent of Marina Bay Suites sold

Luxury properties may not be hogging industry headlines right now, but from the looks of it, sales of high-end apartments may not be slipping as much as we think. Buyers know what to look out for, if the 90% of units sold at Marina Bay Suites is anything to go by.

Marina Bay SuitesAThe residential private condominium development is situated next to The Sail @ Marina Bay and has already received its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). 198 of its 221 units have been sold at an average of $2, 700 psf. Singaporean buyers made up half of the owners of units in the establishment and Indonesians, Malaysians and Chinese made up majority of the other buyers.

Though Marina Bay Suites has yet to be launched, units sold have been through previews in Singapore as well as in Malaysia and Indonesia from as far as five years back. One of the highest priced units sold was a penthouse for $19.3 million. Out of the 23 units left are 2 four-bedders and 2 penthouses above the 48th floor. Mr. Thomas Tan, head of residential marketing at Raffles Quay Asset management is certain all will be sold by the end of this year.

Marina Bay Financial Centre

With the fast and furious development of the area since the inception of Marina Bay Sands, the Marina Bay Financial Centre and other private condominiums, prices of units of residential property in the area, such as Marina Bay Residences, have risen from $2,000 to as much as $3,000 psf since 2006. By the looks of it, the area could indeed be a money-making machine.