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15 December 2012

15th December, Monday




HUDC flats' median price crosses $1m mark

Source: The Straits Times

The Ministry of National Development (MND) brought some joyous tidings with the announcement that it will release some plum sites for private housing in the first half of the coming year. Many are in locations that have been rarely touched of late as part of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

MND is trying to pull off a balancing act. It will be releasing roughly the same quantum of land over the next six months as it did in the current half-year. It is seeking the right balance between developers' appetite for residential land and potential oversupply as a record number of homes come onstream in the next few years.

Still, market watchers were surprised by the choice sites up for grabs. These include a landed housing site in Coronation Road/Victoria Park Road that can generate about 140 landed homes. The plot is next to the Victoria Park and Rebecca Park Good Class Bungalow Areas. It used to be a Chinese cemetery, where graves were exhumed sometime ago. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will launch this site in March.

In June, the URA will roll out a site on Mount Sophia, a chunk of which comprises an area which most recently housed the arts enclave called "Old School" and formerly accommodated the Methodist Girls' School. The 2.4-ha site - which includes the former Trinity Theological College and Nan Hwa Girls' School - can be developed into a low-rise condo of about 505 units.

Yet another low-rise condo site is at Faber Walk in the Ulu Pandan area which can yield about 210 units, slated for launch in April. All three land parcels are on the confirmed list, where sites are launched according to a pre-stated schedule, regardless of demand.

In the reserve list, a 2-ha plot on Siglap Road - next to Victoria School, flanked by Mandarin Gardens and Laguna Park, and facing East Coast Park and beach - will be made available in May. As it is on the reserve list, it will be launched for tender only upon successful application by a developer.

Developers are also expected to be keen on two new commercial and residential sites introduced in the 1H 2013 programme - a confirmed list plot in Yishun Central (next to the MRT station, bus interchange and Northpoint Shopping Centre) and a reserve list plot next to Potong Pasir MRT Station.

MND will be launching confirmed-list sites that can generate some 6,935 private homes (including 3,110 executive condos or ECs). Through the reserve list, it is offering land for a further 7,100 private homes. The quantum is similar to the current H2 2012 slate.

The 1H 2013 confirmed list will supply about 33,360 sq m gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space, with reserve list sites that can generate a further 281,320 sq m. Both figures are lower than the 80,280 sq m and 308,200 sq m respectively in the current half. Market watchers suggest MND's strategy reflects the current soft mood in the office leasing market.

MND noted that 1H 2013's reserve list will have three sites for office developments - at Marina View/Union Street in the new Downtown, Cecil Street and Sims Avenue - which are being carried over from the H2 2012 reserve list. These can be triggered by the market, if there is demand. Currently, there is about 1.17 million sq m (12.6 million sq ft) GFA of office supply in the pipeline.

Hotel rooms supply from 1H 2013's sites will halve to 1,740 rooms, from 3,655 in the current half. In both periods, the supply is solely through the reserve list.


Links to the story:,000-homes-in-pipeline-for-first-half-of-next-year



Plethora of residential sites for developers to choose from

Source: Business Times

Releasing sites in the Central Region will bring more live-in population nearer to the city centre and help cut commutes to work. At the same time, releasing sites near MRT stations will enable more residents to have better access to the public transport network.

These include a rare landed housing plot in Coronation Road, abutting the Victoria Park and Rebecca Park Good Class Bungalow Areas. The District 10 site, scheduled for launch in March next year, is expected to yield some 140 landed homes.

Analysts forecast the winning bid for the 3.8-hectare plot to come in at $880-$1,200 per sq ft (psf) on its land area.

A District 9 plot on Mount Sophia near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Stations that can accommodate 505 homes will be launched for tender in June. The 2.4-ha site will have a 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area) and the rest, 1.6 plot ratio - taking into account the existing terrain and building height control for the area. The total GFA allowed for the development will be about 35,500 square metres (382,118 sq ft), which is estimated to yield about 500 homes.

Analysts expect the top bid for the site to touch $950-$1,200 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Another attractive site in the 1H 2013 Programme is on the reserve list - a coveted District 15 plot in Siglap Road, which analysts say could fetch $780-$900 psf ppr.

Property consultants also point to an agglomeration of sites in the vicinity of city-fringe MRT stations on the Western line, such as Tiong Bahru, Redhill and Queenstown, in recent GLS programmes.

The Kim Tian Road condo plot on the confirmed list of the 1H 2013 slate may fetch at least $970 psf ppr, rivalling or even exceeding the recent $970.18 psf ppr bid by Singapore Land for the Alexandra View plot.

Five executive condo sites have been earmarked for launch on the confirmed list in the first half of next year, adding up to to 3,110 units. They comprise a site in Woodlands Avenue 5/Avenue 6, one in Sengkang, two in Punggol and site near Jurong Lake. The last site can generate about 610 units and is located at the corner of Tao Ching and Yuan Ching roads - opposite Fairway Country Club, Lakeside Fishing Village and overlooking the lake. Given the popularity of ECs (a hybrid of public and private housing) and that the site is located in a growth region, the plot will be contested strongly at tender. It is due to be launched in June 2013.


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Record $1.33m for HUDC flat at Shunfu Road

Source: The Straits Times

Another fresh record has been set for the most expensive HUDC apartment - again at the popular Shunfu Road enclave.

A 1,660 sq ft maisonette, located at the heart of the yet-to-be privatised estate, was sold for $1.33 million last month, according to data-crunching firm Singapore Real Estate Exchange. This tops the $1.28 million mark reported in September for the same type of flat at the same estate.

Analysts say records in the HUDC market will continue to tumble as long as sellers hold out for higher prices under the current exuberant market conditions, and buyers are lured by choice locations and hopes of a collective sale windfall after privatisation.

The Straits Times understands that the seller of the Shunfu flat is an engineer who had bought it 16 years ago at a "good price". Back then, such apartments sold for less than $400,000.

The buyers are a young Singaporean couple.

No cash premium was paid above the flat's valuation, as the property was valued by a bank at $1.38 million.


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Investment Sales


Park Regis Singapore being put up for sale again

Source: The Straits Times

Park Regis Singapore Hotel will be put up for sale again - for the second time in two years.

The integrated development is being put up for sale again, with an expression of interest exercise to be launched on Wednesday.

The four-star business and leisure hotel, with a remaining lease of about 95 years, is owned by Park Regis Investments, and sits on a site with an approximate area of 37,762 sq ft.

The Straits Times understands that interest levels in the hotel are at about $250million.

Interested buyers will have to submit their offers by 9 January.


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More hotels to meet demand

Source: The Straits Times

More hotels are on the way for the iconic Victoria Street corridor, a heritage district in the city centre which has been revitalised by recent development.

Already, a number of new hotels have been popping up in the area surrounding Victoria Street and Middle Road.

Opposite Fortune Centre, the site of the former 16-storey Prime Centre was bought for $103 million in late 2010 by private commercial-school operator ERC Holdings, which is building a 302-room hotel.

On the other side of Fortune Centre, nine-storey Midlink Plaza is also being redeveloped into a 492-room hotel after a $126.8 million collective sale to 122 Middle Investment late last year.

Other new kids on the block include V Hotel Lavender, Hotel Ibis in Bencoolen and Parc Sovereign in Albert Street. They join older hotels such as the Carlton, Hotel 81, Hotel Bencoolen and Rendezvous Hotel.

More projects are on the way, backed by some big names.

A five-star hotel, part of the upcoming Duo project in Bugis, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017. Duo is being developed by M+S, a 60:40 joint venture between Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings.

A 168-room six-star hotel is also expected to be built as part of the redevelopment of a land parcel at the junction of Stamford Road and North Bridge Road on which conserved heritage buildings Stamford House, Capitol Building and Capitol Theatre stand.

In October, a hotel site in Victoria Street/Jalan Sultan was sold at $994 per sq ft per plot ratio to Forward Land, a firm linked to the Hotel 81 chain. This is likely to be turned into a four-star hotel with more than 600 rooms.

Another hotel site in Victoria Street/Ophir Road, formerly Victoria Street Wholesale Centre, was made available for application under the reserve list of the Government Land Sales programme on 30 November.

Analysts are optimistic about the area's outlook.

Citing government plans to revamp the nearby Civic District, an analyst said hotels and commercial properties will benefit as the area becomes "more attractive and vibrant, leading to a healthy increase in room rates, rentals and capital appreciation".

The Government has set aside $50 million to make the Civic District more pedestrian friendly and strengthen the area's identity as an arts and cultural hub by 2015.


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TT Int'l stock surges after it secures funding to revive Big Box

Source: Business Times

Shares in TT International surged 20 per cent Friday after the company said it had joined hands with two new partners to try to revive the stalled Big Box development in Jurong East. The counter closed at 17.8 cents after trading resumed following a trading halt since Thursday.

TT International said it had entered into an investment agreement with Prima BB, which comes under the Prima Group, and Utraco Investment that will see a combined commitment of $92 million from the two new partners.

The deal is conditional on certain terms being fulfilled by March 12 next year. This includes TT International getting all regulatory approvals, as well as a nod from creditors. The company had entered into a Scheme of Arrangement sanctioned by the Singapore High Court in 2010 as part of its debt restructuring.


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