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02 October 2012

2nd October, Tuesday




Jury is out on outlook for private homes

Source: Business Times

The jury is out on just how private home prices will fare next year, after the Urban Redevelopment Authority's third-quarter flash estimate shows a return to firmness in private home prices, with much of the gain coming from the suburban condo market.

URA's flash estimate shows its widely watched overall private home price index rose 0.5 per cent in 3Q over the preceding quarter. This is slightly better than the 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase for 2Q. In 1Q the index dipped 0.1 per cent.

The authority's split of regional performances in price indices of non-landed private homes reflects a 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter gain in Outside Central Region (where suburban homes are located) in 3Q, compared with a 0.5 per cent rise in 2Q. In city-fringe locations, or what URA terms Rest of Central Region, the price index was up 0.7 per cent in 3Q, again a stronger showing than 2Q's 0.4 per cent increase.

The index for Core Central Region (which includes the traditional prime districts 9, 10 and 11 as well as the financial district and Sentosa Cove) edged up 0.2 per cent in 3Q, a smaller rise than 2Q's 0.6 per cent gain.

An analyst reasons that marginal price increases posted in recent quarters are evidence that "although developers may not be able to adopt an aggressive pricing strategy compared with one or two years ago as a result of growing price resistance from home buyers, neither do they need to resort to a price-to-sell strategy to move sales".

Views diverge on the outlook for next year.

One analyst suggests "2012 may be a year of quiescence for private home prices before they come roaring back in 2013". He points to an "inflationary bias" in the market arising from Government Land Sale (GLS) sites fetching higher prices. He also cites specific instances of land parcels sold over the past 18 months in Pasir Ris, Bedok, Farrer/Jervois Road and Alexandra Road which have seen winning land bids rise 15-27 per cent. He forecasts URA's private home price index could rise 10 per cent next year.

Others project a more modest increase of 2-4 per cent. There is an estimated 18.5 per cent increase in the island's private housing stock over the next three years, growing buyer resistance to prices that are already at record levels, and the likelihood of more cooling measures if there are excessive price hikes.

Upcoming launches include Skies Miltonia in Yishun (420 units), The Sennett (338 units) next to Potong Pasir MRT Station, projects at Jalan Lempeng (755 units) and Alexandra Road (560 units). Three or four EC projects may also be launched, including Waterbay and The Topiary.


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HDB resale prices up 2 per cent to new record

Source: The Straits Times

Prices of resale Housing Board (HDB) flats are estimated to have risen 2 per cent in the third quarter to hit another record, even as the Government ramped up the supply of new units to rein in prices.

The increases seem to be accelerating, according to preliminary data released Monday by HDB. Resale prices grew 0.6 per cent in the first quarter and 1.3 per cent in the second.

An analyst said: "This shows real demand. Buyers are confident about the property market, given low interest rates and the relatively positive outlook of the economy."

Analysts reckoned that the HDB resale market will be the busier of the two, and transactions will top the 7,011 logged in the second quarter of this year.

As for who has been showing strong interest in resale HDB flats, Dennis Wee Group spokesman Lee Sze Teck said that permanent residents and second-time HDB flat buyers constitute the bulk of buyers. They are followed by singles and private property downgraders. "First-timers such as newly married couples are still going for new BTO (Build-to-Order) projects," he noted.

The Government has acted to meet the demand for HDB flats by building more flats and providing more location options in regular sales launches. HDB recently upped its supply of BTO flats this year to a record 27,000 units, spread out in both mature and non-mature estates.


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Investment Sales


Joo Chiat's Katong Junction up for sale

Source: The Straits Times

A commercial block in Katong has been launched for sale by public tender by a property consultancy.

The four-storey, freehold Katong Junction building is opposite the 112 Katong mall in Joo Chiat Road and zoned for commercial use. It has 13,346 sq ft of area, a 30-space basement carpark as well as a wide frontage.

The property was valued in August at $62 million. Bids are expected at that level.

The building can be used for various activities including retail, food and beverage, offices and learning centres or even a hotel, if approval is granted.

The tender closes at 3pm on 2 November.


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Villa Des Flores up for collective sale with $165m price tag

Source: Business Times

Villa Des Flores, a freehold development sitting along Whitley Road, is being relaunched for collective sale by tender with its asking price of $165 million unchanged from its previous launch in June.

The marketing agent said that it is keeping to the price after receiving inquiries about the site following the en bloc sale of several sites over the last few months. The cost of the 104,370 sq ft site for landed housing works out to a land price of $1,581 per sq ft. No development charge is payable.

According to the Master Plan 2008, the site can be developed into 2-storey mixed landed housing: the developer has the option to build detached, semi-detached, terrace housing or a combination of such, either based on conventional housing types or as a cluster housing development.

As a cluster landed project, the site can accommodate about 24 strata bungalows, 48 strata semi-detached or 64 strata terrace houses.

The tender closes on 23 October at 3pm.


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