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22 June 2012

22nd June, Friday




Singland puts in top $113m bid for prime Farrer Drive site

Source: The Straits Times

Six developers have lodged strong bids for a prime residential site on Farrer Drive.

Singland Development put in the top bid of $113.2 million, or about $1,049 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

If bids for Sentosa sites are excluded, this would be one of the highest land prices in terms of psf ppr for a non-landed site under the Government Land Sales programme, said an analyst.

Far East Soho, a unit of giant developer Far East Organization, bid $102.8 million, or about $952 psf ppr, while Tang Boulevard was fourth with $98 million, or about $908 psf ppr. Keppel Land unit Sherwood Development placed the lowest bid of $91.5 million, or about $848 psf ppr.

Dennis Wee Group's senior manager of research and consultancy, Mr Lee Sze Teck, noted that the site attracted only six bidders despite being in the prime District 10.

He attributed the low number to 'lacklustre sales at some centrally located projects' recently, renewed concerns in Europe and the prospect of more sites being released in the second half of the year.

Experts said the site's breakeven price is between $1,450 psf and $1,550 psf. Launch prices for the new units could be from $1,750 psf to $1,800 psf.


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Far East dangles 'club with condo' deal

Source: The Straits Times

Buy an apartment and get a free country club term membership worth more than $16,000.

Developer Far East Organization recently dangled this offer to tempt home hunters to buy a unit at the upcoming Seastrand condo.

Far East is offering a nine-year term membership at Seletar Country Club, as well as five-year condo maintenance fee absorption, for those who buy three- or four-bedroom units - the only sizes left.

This promotion, publicised in advertisments and mailers, comes even as the 473-unit project at Pasir Ris posts a healthy take-up rate, with 388 units sold to date.

The membership plus the maintenance fee absorption - worth about $15,000 for five years - translates into a discount of about 3per cent on a $1 million unit.

Property experts The Straits Times spoke to said it is common for developers to run such promotions from time to time.

Holding onto unsold stock could be risky, as developers face market changes and competition from new projects, they said.

In this case, Far East might be trying to raise more awareness of Seastrand, said Mr Lee Sze Teck, Dennis Wee Group's senior manager of research and consultancy.

He said the project may have been overshadowed by other pending condos like Sea Esta and Ripple Bay, launched after Seastrand.

But it is unlikely developers would cut prices if plenty of units have been sold, as this could upset earlier buyers, he said.

Still, another analyst noted that 'nothing comes for free', and that developers could have factored the discounts into the pricing. He warned such offers could trigger a freebie war among developers, which could end up as a disservice to buyers who might have no use for some of the freebies.


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Bugis Cube to tap strata commercial fever

Source: Business Times

The strata commercial property space continues to be abuzz with activity with yet another development coming onto the market this weekend.

Notably, 91 out of 119 units in Bugis Cube - a 999-year leasehold development in the Bugis district - is expected to be launched tomorrow.

Located opposite Bugis Junction and a short walk from Bugis MRT Station, the development (which is 92 per cent owned by ERC Holdings subsidiary Griffin Real Estate Investment Holdings) will comprise over six floors of prime retail and food-and-beverage space. It will offer a mix of shop sizes ranging from 129 to 635 sq ft, with prices starting from as low as $2,900 psf to as high as $7,500 psf.


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Third unregistered estate agent sentenced this year

Source: Channelnewsasia

Another unregistered estate agent has been sentenced. 48-year-old Lim Beng Kwang is the third unregistered salesperson to be sentenced this year under the Estate Agents Act.

Lim was fined S$6,000 for holding himself out as a salesperson, when he was not registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).

Another count of him doing estate agency business without a licence was taken into consideration.

Lim is the third unregistered salesperson to be sentenced under the Act this year.

CEA said it will be prosecuting several more persons for doing estate agency work without being registered over the next few months.

The CEA has advised property owners who intend to rent out their properties to check CEA's Public Register of Estate Agents and Salespersons at for the identity and registration number of the salesperson whom they are engaging.

CEA said consumers should only engage salespersons who are registered with it.

Consumers are also advised not to respond to any real estate agency flyer, leaflet or advertisement that does not provide a salesperson's details or registration number.

Consumers should report to CEA when they encounter any person not listed on the Public Register but carrying out estate agency work illegally.


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