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03 September 2012

3rd September, Monday




Developers delay high-end launches

Source: The Straits Times

Developers seem to be delaying the launches and, in some cases, completions of their luxury residential projects as they await the anticipated uptick in the high-end segment.

A property consultancy noted in a report that prices of new non-landed luxury homes dipped 6 per cent to $2,230 per sq ft (psf) in the second quarter. This is on top of a 5 per cent fall in the first three months of the year.

But things might change for posh homes with volumes picking up again now as the price gap between high-end homes and suburban apartments narrows.

Experts say that developers have, in the meantime, held back their official launches as they wait for this turnaround.

One property consultant, who declined to be named, said that one mode of sale considered for luxury projects is the private preview. Some developers are said to have chosen to tap their network of contacts too.

Some developers have also appealed for a waiver of extension charges.

These fees are incurred by foreign developers who do not dispose of all homes in a project within two years of its completion. Foreign developers refer to any firm with at least one non-Singaporean shareholder or director, and thus includes all the listed developers here.

Experts add developers could also choose to delay completions for some projects so they do not get caught by the two-year rule. This is especially so for projects that have not sold well.


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Chinatown Point to reopen with new look, tenant mix

Source: The Straits Times

One of Chinatown's most recognisable buildings, Chinatown Point, is set to reopen with a snazzy new look in the coming months.

Located at the junction of New Bridge Road and Upper Cross Street, Chinatown Point was bought for $250 million from City Developments in July 2010.

The 311,725 sq ft mall was closed to the public last year for renovation, which cost more than $90 million. Its committed occupancy now exceeds 50 per cent. As part of other works carried out, the former basement carparks were scrapped and relocated to the third to sixth floors.

A direct link to the upcoming Downtown Line MRT station in the area will be built at Basement 1. The building will also be linked with the existing Chinatown station on the North-East Line.

Tenants, 220 in all, include returning ones previously based there such as fast-food chain McDonald's. First-timers include Daiso, Cortina Watch and NTUC FairPrice. A library, fashion retailers, travel agencies, traditional Chinese retail outlets and eateries are part of the mix. An office tower consisting of strata-titled units will also form part of the development.


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Property market not affected by Hungry Ghost Festival

Source: Channelnewsasia

It is that time of the year when many Chinese Singaporeans shy away from undertaking major projects or "risky" activities during the Hungry Ghost Festival.

The festival, which occurs during the 7th month of the lunar calendar, has affected everything from renovation to marriages.

But observers said the property market has not really been affected this year.

Property analysts said new projects are still being pushed out, and the number of people holding back on property purchases during the seventh month has fallen quite drastically in the last 10 to 15 years.

But contractors said the renovation business has been hit for some, by about 20 per cent.

Marriages during this period have also been affected. As of last week, the Registry of Marriages saw 550 couples booking an appointment to register their marriages during this period, compared to about 1,800 registrations in July.

Some are also scaling back on leisurely activities. The Singapore Sports Council said the number of people frequenting public pools has fallen by about 15 per cent, compared to the last two months.


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