European-living in Tampine’s new condominium

It looks like the east will be getting a mountain deal of a new condominium development with a 9-block, 626-unit Swiss Alps-inspired one in Tampines. Named The Alps Residences, it is designed by a Switzerland-based architectural firm and the developers promise nature landscaping and a general ambience akin to living in well, the Swiss Alps, sans the alps of course. And resort-living it could be, as it will boast 30 facilities including a 50-metre lap pool, roof terraces, 2 shops and more than 100 bicycle lots.

alpsresidencesMCC Land launched a preview of the 99-year leasehold project last Saturday and it will be one of the larger launches this quarter, following weaker market showing due to the Hungry Ghost month in August. This will be their second private residential project in Tampines, the first being the Mediterranean-inspired The Santorini.

SantoriniThe Alps Residences is situated near the Tampines Regional Centre which consists of a hub of 3 shopping malls, the bus interchange and also the Tampines MRT station. The project has a good mix of 182 one-bedders, 416 two- and three-bedders and also larger units such as four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Unit sizes are ranging between 441 to 2,486 sq ft and prices are set between $900 psf to $1,200 psf. With one-bedroom units going for approximately $400,000, the prices are well within the affordability range of recent buyers. Completion is estimated for 2020.

 

Executive condominiums top August property sales

August was a good month for the executive condominium (EC) market, with all 3 top sellers coming from this particular property sector, namely – Treasure Crest in Sengkang, Sol Acres in Choa Chu Kang and Bellewoods in Woodlands.

Bellewoods ECUnderstandably, there were not many major property launches in August with only 590 units launched in the month at Victoria Park Villas in District 10. A total of 805 units were sold, less than half of the 1,921 sold in July, with 41 per cent of the month’s sales coming from ECs. But demand for these rare hybrid public and private properties seems to be rising.

The price gap between ECs and private properties may be closing in as resale private property prices continue to dip though there is still a considerable distance between these 2 property types. The median selling prices of all 3 top EC developments below $800 psf whereas average prices for private apartments are mostly above the $1,000 psf range.

Sol Acres Besides comparison with ECs, new developer launches have also been fighting market competition from completed resale units, providing discounts and other incentive schemes to entice buyers. As a hybrid between public and private housing, EC buyers can tap on HDB grants and subsidies in the initial purchase and after 10 years, are able to leverage on the private property status of their property, harnessing the full capacity of a private resale condominium.

 

Consumer awareness crucial for property industry

The local property industry landscape has been changing quite a bit over the past few years, in particular for the consumer. The authorities have been working on transparency and consumers now have more information at their finger tips, and perhaps even more as net prices of de-licensed projects’ will soon be available as well.

singapore-property-authoritiesCurrently, the Housing Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) both provide property statistics and data on their websites. The Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Institute of Real Estate also provides month-on-month transaction-based information for private non-landed residential properties.

ardmorethreeThere are however some caveats to take into consideration. URA’s quarterly price index for example, does not include the discounts and incentives which developers sometimes provide. Only the net-price will be recorded, thus consumers will do well to take this into consideration when viewing statistics and median monthly transaction prices. The change will take effect this month, which means the price index may have some downward pressure put on it as current figures may be inflated. De-licensed projects which have obtained their Certificate of Statutory Completion and thus do not come under the Housing Developers Rules, such as OUE Twin Peaks and Ardmore Three, are known to provide incentive schemes to their buyers such as 15% discounts and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rebate.

A recent case of a property agent who handled and misappropriated cash handed to him by his client also brings to light that consumers may not be entirely aware of what they are entitled to or what their agents are allowed and disallowed to do. In brief, it is against the law for property agents to handle any cash on behalf of their clients.

Property Titles search goes digital at SLA

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has announced that they will be moving the property title search and transaction process online, which will make it easier for everyone when the time to sell comes.

SLA MyPRopertyCurrently, property owners have to produce a physical copy of the property title during a transaction. It will shorten the process for conveyancing lawyers and owners alike. For now both hard and soft copies have to be lodged for registration at the SLA and within specific daily timelines, even online (8.30am to 1pm on weekdays).

Some banks (a pilot run was done with DBS Bank in June 2013) have already begun storing property titles with the SLA. Previously, banks have to find ways to safe keep property titles of their clients. SLA is hoping this move to go digital will eliminate or at least reduce the risk of losing and damaging property titles or fraudulent use as such. The replacement of a lost title takes 8 weeks. When the SLA online services are up and running, all banks will be expected to participate in the scheme by June 2017, and SLA will no longer issue hard copies of Certificates of Title to banks.

Belgravia villasProperty owners who wish to search and view their property title deeds and boundary plans online can now do so free-of-charge at www.sla.gov.sg/MyProperty.

Prime Marina Bay site expected to lure aggressive bids

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has recently released a 1.1 ha prime site at Marina Bay in Central Boulevard. Coupled with news that Asian banks are expected to strengthen their presence in Singapore, this could be an office development site developers hanker after.

Asia Square

Photo credit: www.thehumanbuilding.com

The last time a site at Marina Bay was put up for tender was in 2007 – Asia Square now stands on this site. With the Central Business District location and size of the site taken into consideration, it will no doubt yield a number of plum Grade A offices. Bids are expected to come from mid- to large-sized developers as well as real estate investment funds, at aggressively too, as the site holds the potential for an impressive building with a huge number of units.

Despite the softening commercial sales and rental market, the successful bidder will be likely to have the project completed by 2020, which allows sufficient time for a market upturn. The bid closes on 8 November and investment entities from China and the Middle East may show particular interest. In fact, China’s Nanshan Group is said to be the ones triggering the release of the site as it was originally on the Government’s reserve list and was said to have been released after a developer committed to bidding at least $1.536 billion. But as more buildings are seeing increased levels of commitment from companies looking to stake a presence in Southeast-Asia, developers may have more confidence taking on commercial projects.

New homes in District 10 – Victoria Park Villas

Soon to nest in the midst of District 10 will be 106 semi-detached houses and 3 bungalows totalling 403,000 sq ft.

VictoriaParkVillas

Victoria Park Villas is a new development by CapitaLand situated in the junction of Coronation and Victoria Park Roads. Prime area indeed as it is only a 10-mins walk away from Farrer Road and Tan Kah Kee MRT station, not to mention having the selection of many choice schools down Bukit Timah road.

Launching tomorrow, 3 Sept, these 109 homes making up Victoria Park Villas are 99-year lease properties projected to sell at around $2,000 psf. Though on the high side, consumers will have to realise that having your own land even for awhile, will cost. The property sizes will range between 2,153 to 3,835 sq ft for semi-detached houses and 10,904 sq ft to 11, 539 sq ft in floor area for the 3 bungalows. Prices are expected to reach $12 million for the latter. Other similar properties in the King’s Drive, Hillcrest road and Greenwood Avenue have sold for between $906 to $1,351 psf last year.

Ventura HeightsNew cluster landed properties are not a dime a dozen, thus the property size, exclusivity and location Victoria Park Villas offer may very well be worth its calling price. CapitaLand has previously offer deferred payment schemes for their other properties such as d’Leedon, The Interlace and perhaps soon, Sky Habitat and Marine Blue as well. Will they be likely to extend the scheme to their upcoming projects once they are completed?

 

Developers keen to build more ECs in Sengkang

Despite the substantial quantity of unsold inventory in the executive condominium (EC) market, the numbers have been decreasing as more units sold in the last quarter, developers are picking up on the changing market sentiments and have come out in full force at the most recent land sales tender for an EC site on Anchorvale Lane. There were 16 bids in total for the site which could potentially yield 630 units.

Treasure Chest ECAs the private property market continues to show price improvements, the EC market has followed suit. Executive condominiums are a hybrid between public and private properties and more often than not, offer an almost surefire appreciation in its value after 10 years when it transits from the former to the latter. It’s initial step into the market as public housing means buyers can utilise HDB grant and subsidies to shave off part of the selling prices.

There are a number of ECs in the vicinity of this Anchorvale Lane site, namely The Vales, Bellewaters and Treasure Chest. The last sold 72 units within a week of its launch in July. However developers must be positive about the outlook of the EC market. Admittedly, the situation may change in a few years’ time and as the estate matures and becomes more popular with young families, there may also be an eventual shift in demand.

The ValesThe highest bid of $240.95 million came from Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments. With this $355 psf purchase price, property analysts are expecting the developers to price their units at $820 psf and above, which is a sliver higher than other EC projects.

More resale private properties sold in July

No movement may be good movement – as far as the current property market situation goes. Property analysts say any fluctuations in property prices or sales volume may be minimal for now. And as long as there are no drastic dips, the market is in good stead. Recovery may take awhile and it will probably be slow, a sudden rebound unlikely.

Hills TwoONeThere was a rise in property prices in Q2, though followed by a slight fall in July. Sales volume of resale private non-landed properties however has increased 31% and 770 units were sold last month, compared to the 586 in a year-on-year comparison. Buyers are back in action and are picking up deals which seem to be aplenty as more private properties enter the market, heating up competition in and between new and resale segments. The number of deals closed have been rising steadily since May with a 35.5 per cent increase followed by a 27.4 per cent increase in June.

For the rest of 2016, the resale market may see some heightened activity as stabilising prices prompt buyers who have waited long enough in the sidelines to jump back into the fold. The number of new launches this year is also considerably fewer than the last, and as buyers come to realise that prices are unlikely to fall further anytime soon, more may see the diminishing choices in the primary market as a sign to reconsider possibilities in the resale market.