Real News‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎November 2012‎ > ‎

09 November 2012

9th November, Friday




Loan tenure curb may moderate housing demand, says UOL

Source: Business Times

UOL Group, which yesterday posted a 13 per cent year-on-year drop in third-quarter net profit to $87.8 million, said that the recent restrictions to the tenure of housing loans could moderate housing demand in Singapore. This, combined with more supply coming on-stream, means any rise in private home prices is expected to be moderate.

"The residential market is still driven by high liquidity and low interest rates...Competition for acquisition of new (residential) sites is expected to remain intense," it added.

On the Singapore office sector, it warned that the slowing rate of economic growth and new supply could put pressure on rents. However, retail rents are expected to remain stable, it added. UOL - which owns 82 per cent of Pan Pacific Hotels Group - also noted that while the outlook for hotels in Singapore remains positive with the addition of new attractions, global economic uncertainties could impact demand for hotel accommodation in the Asia-Pacific.

Next year, UOL is expected to launch a five-storey freehold condo on the former St Patrick's Garden site and a 22-storey condo on a 99-year site in Bright Hill Drive. The latter is a tie-up with SingLand.


Links to the story:$88-million



CDL unit top bidder for Sengkang EC site

Source: Business Times

City Developments' (CDL) unit Verspring Properties has emerged as the top bidder with its $135 million bid for the 99-year-leasehold executive condominium (EC) site at the junction of Sengkang West Way and Fernvale Link. The site drew six bidders, with Verspring Properties' bid translating into a per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) price of $296.50.

CDL's spokeswoman noted that the group is familiar with the Sengkang area, having launched the H2O Residences condo next to Layar LRT Station last year. "In the event that we are awarded, CDL will explore a high-rise EC development with an estimated 380 units. Given the popularity of ECs in Singapore and its convenient access to the nearby LRT station, we expect this development to be well received," she added.

Verspring Properties' offer is just 0.1 per cent higher than that of the second bidder, JBE Development - whose directors are said to include boutique developer Patrick Lam. Verspring's bid is also close to the $296 psf ppr price that Peak Living - a subsidiary of Kheng Leong Group - paid for an EC site along Fernvale Lane in April this year.

According to Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of training, research and consultancy at real estate agency DWG, the $148,000 difference between the first and second bid is "probably the tightest spread ever seen in tenders for EC sites".

Overall, offers ranged between $265 and $296.5 psf ppr.

The 151,779.6-sq-ft plot has a maximum gross floor area of about 455,338 sq ft. It is expected to yield 420 homes.

Mr Lee noted that the level of interest in the site was healthy, and showed continued confidence among developers that demand for ECs will be robust. He believes that the break-even price for Verspring is between $560 and $610 psf, while the estimated selling price is around $670 to $720 psf. Another analyst estimates the break-even price to be about $590-$610 psf, while the selling price could be $720-$750 psf.

Sengkang is expected to see more activity over the next one to two years following the completion of nearby HDB estates, condominium project H20 Residences and facilities, such as the Aerospace Park and The Seletar Mall at Fernvale LRT Station.

DWG's Mr Lee noted that the site is near the Layar LRT Station - which is just a five-minute walk away. It is also within walking distance to primary and secondary schools, the Sengkang Riverside Park, Punggol Reservoir and Sengkang Sports Complex.

"Buyers of units in the development will enjoy all the amenities by the time the EC development is completed," he said.

Existing EC projects in the Sengkang and Punggol areas have sold out, according to one analyst. They include Austville, Esparina Residence, Prive, Riverparc and Twin Waterfalls.

Should Verspring Properties be awarded the tender, the new project will be CDL Group's sixth EC development - after The Florida, Nuovo, The Esparis, Blossom Residences and The Rainforest.


Links to the story:$135m-top-bid