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14 August 2012

14th August, Tuesday




50-year mortgage won't affect public housing much: MND

Source: Business Times

The government said Monday that a novel 50-year mortgage is unlikely to be popular and will not have significant impact on the public housing market.

The 50-year housing loans will cost the borrowers more, besides imposing a longer-term financial burden on them, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) Monday.

"While such loans offer lower monthly instalments, the borrowers will end up paying higher interest in total, and servicing the loan past their retirement when they no longer have a steady income," said MND in a written response to Member of Parliament Chen Show Mao.

HDB does not offer 50-year loans as they are not necessary and BTO (build to order) flats are priced to be affordable, well within one working lifetime, said MND. "There is no need for working couples to take 50-year mortgages to buy HDB flats."

The maximum loan tenure for HDB housing loans is 30 years, with an age ceiling of 65. In practice, the average loan tenure taken up is lower, at 24 years. At this loan tenure, the monthly housing loan instalment constitutes about a quarter of the monthly household income, and can be mostly paid for using CPF contributions with zero or minimum cash outlay, said MND.


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Two launches planned despite Hungry Ghost Festival

Source: The Straits Times

Two launches are on the cards over the next few weeks despite the traditionally inauspicious Hungry Ghost Festival starting on Friday.

Developers have tended to shy away from launching in the Chinese seventh month but there are increasing signs that superstition is taking a back seat when sales are in the offing.

Marketing agents say the 752-unit eCO project in Bedok South Avenue 3 is expected to launch early next month.

Units are likely to be priced from $1,150 per sq ft (psf) to $1,300 psf, meaning a typical 1,166 sq ft three-bedder will be about $1.4 million.

The 99-year leasehold project, jointly developed by Far East Organization, Frasers Centrepoint and Sekisui House, will feature various units, including suites, small office, home office (Soho) apartments and townhouses.

The freehold mixed development One Dusun Residences at Jalan Dusun in Balestier is also readying for launch.

It consists of 154 Soho apartments - largely two-bedders or two-plus-study units - and 76 shop units. Marketing materials suggest its preview will be at the end of this month.

Two-bedroom units - from 452 sq ft to 786 sq ft - are estimated to cost more than $600,000 while buyers of commercial units will have to stump up between $700,000 and $1.3 million.

Some experts say that the habit of developers avoiding new launches in the seventh month could be less common now as the younger generation of home buyers might be less superstitious.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, Dennis Wee Group's senior manager of research and consultancy, said sentiment, rather than superstition, might be the key factor guiding launch dates instead.

"If interest is strong, there is no reason to avoid the seventh month. Only if sentiment is uncertain then maybe there's cause to avoid the period," he added.

However, another analyst said most developers still avoid the seventh month for launches. "Developers might do the ground work by gathering buyer interest and holding the preview during that time but the main launch is often after the seventh month," he added.


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Investment Sales


Shan Gate offered for en bloc sale

Source: Business Times

Shan Gate apartments, a 27-unit residential development located along Shan Road (off Balestier Road), has been offered for en bloc sale.

The sellers are expecting offers in the region of $51.5 million to $53.5 million," according to the marketing agent.

The prices reflect land rates of about $1,010 to $1,049 per sq ft per plot ratio - excluding balcony allowance - based on a gross plot ratio of 2.8 times or $918 to $953 should the balcony allowance be factored in.

The residential site has an approximate land area of 18,305 sq ft, which can yield a potential gross floor area of 51,254 sq ft based on the existing plot ratio.

The tender will close on Tuesday, 18 September at 3 pm.


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