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31 July 2012

31st July, Tuesday




Another week of brisk sales for private homes

Source: Business Times

Developers continued to do brisk private housing sales last week. In the CBD, United Industrial Corporation (UIC) is said to have moved close to 50 units at its V on Shenton project, taking total sales in the project to over 140 units. UIC began selling the project on 20 July.

The average price for the 99-year-leasehold project is $2,200 per sq ft (psf). UIC has released about 190 of V on Shenton's 510 residential units, which will be in a 54-storey tower.

Buyers are said to be mostly Singaporeans, with others from Indonesia, China and India.

Near Punggol MRT Station, Wee Hur Holdings is said to have found buyers for about another 100 units at the Parc Centros condo last week, the project's second week on the market. This means that about 480 units in the 99-year project have been sold to date. Buyers are predominantly Singaporeans. The average price is $950 psf.

In the Upper Changi area, Koh Brothers is thought to have sold about 20-plus units last week at Parc Olympia, taking sales past the 200-unit level. It began selling the 99-year condo at Flora Drive on 12 July and to date has released 358 of the project's 486 units.

At The Line@Tanjong Rhu, a freehold project of 107 units released last week, some 15 units are said to have been picked up. The average price is $2,100 psf. The project is developed by Lakeview Investments.


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Reserve site at Prince Charles Crescent triggered

Source: Business Times

A residential site at Prince Charles Crescent has been triggered for sale by public tender after a developer offered a bid of at least $390 million for the plot.

Based on a maximum permissible gross floor area of some 537,656.8 sq ft, this translates to approximately $725.40 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The 99-year leasehold site has a site area of about 2.38 hectares and a height limit of 153 metres above mean sea level. The regular-shaped site is nestled within a prime residential area next to Crescent Girls' School and is a short drive away from the CBD and Orchard belt.

"Bids for the site are likely to be cautious taking into account the performance of projects in the central region of Singapore, the requirement to complete and sell the project within five years to avoid paying the additional buyers' stamp duty (ABSD), and the absolute quantum of the bid," said Lee Sze Teck, senior manager, research and consultancy, at DWG.

Mr Lee said he expects up to six bidders for the site, with the top bid in the range of $800-$850 psf ppr.

Another analyst expects keen interest (between five to eight bidders) in the site, given its prime location. He expects the winning bid to come in at between $780-$850 psf ppr, and the selling price to be between $1,500 and $1,600 psf.

The subject site will be launched for public tender in about two weeks.


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Resale prices of shoebox flats fall as investors turn cautious

Source: The Straits Times

Resale prices of tiny apartments dipped last month, with the once red-hot segment seeming to fall out of favour.

Prices of resale flats of 506 sq ft or less fell by 1.4 per cent in June compared with the month before, according to preliminary figures in the Singapore Residential Price Index yesterday. Values in May rose 0.7 per cent over April.

Overall resale prices held steady last month compared with a 1.4 per cent increase from April to May. Prices of centrally located homes eased 0.9 per cent while that of non-central homes increased 0.7 per cent.

The figures were compiled by the National University of Singapore's Institute of Real Estate Studies.

Experts say that some investors might have been spooked by the Government's comments that it is watching the shoebox segment closely, with additional measures possible.

Prices of shoebox units have also hit highs in recent months and the segment is now facing price resistance from buyers, experts add. While rental yields for smaller homes are still acceptable, many investors have decided not to take the risk, with the huge supply of such homes in the pipeline.

The total number of these small homes is expected to double from about 4,100 units later this year to 8,200 units by the end of 2015.


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Law firms taking up more office space in CBD

Source: Business Times

Even as the challenging global economic environment inhibits expansion generally, law firms appear to be bucking the trend and expanding.

According to a real estate firm, Singapore's office space is seeing growing interest from international law firms, with this growth spurred by a number of new market entrants, including UK-based firms Taylor Vinters, Withers, Lawrence Graham, Addleshaw, Goddard, and Freshfields, plus the expansion of existing Singapore-based firms such as Olswang.

Indeed, legal firms are showing a preference for these newly completed Grade A buildings, including Asia Square (White & Case), MBFC (Ashurst LLP and Clifford Chance), and Ocean Financial Centre (Stamford Law).

Firms are favouring relocation over renewal and expansion to accommodate the firm on a single floor and showcase the firm's customer focus through design-led fit-out, said the real estate firm.

Another notable trend is the preference for floor plate efficiency, with an average of 20,000-30,000 sq ft being taken up, and a preference for a cellular and open-plan hybrid office layout.


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