Real News‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎February 2013‎ > ‎

16 February 2013

16th February, Saturday




Rush to beat curbs propels home sales

Source: Business Times

Private home sales surged 42.8 per cent in January from the month before, as developers dished out discounts and rebates to entice buyers in the wake of the seventh round of cooling measures.

Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), a total of 2,013 transactions were clocked in in January, up from 1,410 in December. This was the highest in four months, and exceeded the 1,799 units launched by developers.

The surge in sales was powered by strong take-up in the first 11 days of the month (prior to the announcement of cooling measures), and subsequent aggressive marketing in the form of price discounts and rebates to buyers and/or higher incentives to agents to encourage sales, said an analyst.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), about 60 per cent of the units (excluding ECs) sold by developers were sold before 12 January while the remaining 40 per cent were sold from 12 January.

Consultants expect slower sales in February, in the light of the usually quiet Chinese New Year, even though a handful of developers had opened their showflats over the festive season.

Lee Sze Teck, senior manager, training, research and consultancy, at DWG, said barring any major project launches, he expected transaction volume to be low, at around 1,000 units.

Another analyst expects sales volumes to moderate to about 1,500-1,800 transactions per month on average in the first half of 2013. "There is a limit on further discounts, rebates and incentives developers are willing to give," he said.


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Developers anxious about cooling measures

Source: Business Times

The new head of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) says developers here are "naturally anxious" about the latest round of cooling measures, but they understand the government's push for "a soft landing of the property market" and will thus support the population roadmap set out for 2020 and beyond to 2030.

Chia Boon Kuah, in his maiden speech since being elected to the post this month, noted Friday that real estate is a cyclical business, buffeted by global economic performance, geopolitical developments and domestic market conditions.

And with property players here facing added challenges from limited land and high development costs, they are, he said, "naturally anxious" about the cooling measures implemented amid a maturing property cycle and global uncertainties.

He was speaking at Redas's annual Spring Festival lunch, at which Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam was the guest of honour.

"As a major stakeholder in the wellbeing of our ecosystem, Redas acknowledges the government's desire to achieve a soft landing of the property market."

He said Redas would build on its role as a partner of the government to add value to national development; it will also plan for business interests to align with national objectives.

Describing the Population White Paper for Singapore up to 2030 as bold and wide-ranging, Mr Chia said: "It is a vision to ensure a good quality of life in a dynamic city with future infrastructure to accommodate an enlarged population of 6.9 million, if necessary.

"Redas stands ready to support the execution of this important blueprint."


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New projects inject vibrancy into Yishun

Source: The Straits Times

Yishun may be one of Singapore's largest and most mature property estates, but it tends to be seen as a quieter cousin to neighbouring towns such as Ang Mo Kio and Woodlands.

That could change as interest in the fast-emerging Iskandar development region just over the border in Malaysia grows stronger, according to property experts.

Yishun's industrial property market has been fairly dynamic in the past year, with a focal point of activity centred on the stretch between Yishun Avenue 6 and Yishun Avenue 7. This stretch includes developments such as A'Posh Bizhub, Northpoint Bizhub and North Spring Bizhub.

The area has also seen a number of new residential launches in recent years, including private property projects like Skies Miltonia and The Miltonia Residences.

The average prices in January 2013 were $874 per sq ft, roughly the same as those a year ago. Prices have come off the high recorded in October 2012... achieved due to the launch of Skies Miltonia.

Experts say Iskandar's rise could bring on a radical change in Yishun's residential market.

"As Singapore becomes more connected and with the population increasing significantly, prices in this estate may find a sudden uplift," an analyst said. He added that part of this push might need to involve building more public and private housing, which would attract younger buyers with greater earning power. "Given an older population with a lower-income profile, getting the public part of the estate to undergo a revival would need much greater effort."


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Home sales brisk during Lunar New Year holiday

Source: Channelnewsasia

Home sales were brisk during the Lunar New Year holidays.

Five buyers each bought a unit at La Fiesta in Sengkang between 9 and 11 February. They comprise four Singaporeans, who are first-timers, and one Indonesian.

In total, property developer Far East Organization sold some 20 units at its projects like eCO in Bedok South, The Seawind in Telok Kurau and The Lanai at Hillview.

Other developments like Frasers Centrepoint's Q Bay in Tampines saw six units sold over the long weekend and another four units on Wednesday.

Lee Sze Teck, senior research manager at DWG, said: "The sales figures that we know of are encouraging, especially in this type of market environment. Moreover, this is also a holiday period. Some of the projects sold are not new project launches... So some of these choice units have been snapped up by earlier buyers."

CapitaLand saw a steady stream of visitors to their showflats over the long Lunar New Year weekend. But its latest sales figures will only be made known when its full-year results are announced next Thursday.

Another developer, City Developments Limited said its showflats are usually closed unless there are launches close to the Lunar New Year holidays.

Experts say Lunar New Year promotions like discounts have lured buyers to sign on the dotted line. The successful launch of Watertown condominium in Punggol during the last Lunar New Year was a sign that buyers are keen to shop during the festive season.


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Net allocation of JTC ready-built factories dips

Source: Business Times

Net allocation of JTC's ready- built facilities (RBF) was a negative 3,200 sq m for the final quarter of 2012, making the October-December period the second consecutive quarter that net allocation has fallen into negative territory.

The quarter-on-quarter weakening was largely due to a smaller gross allocation of 9,700 sq m.

Terminations in 4Q, however, eased to 12,900 sq m from 25,000 sq m in the previous three months. Of that, 10,500 sq m came from terminations in standard factory space.

The occupancy rate during the period edged 0.6 point lower to 95.5 per cent, but was still within the healthy range.

Together with the 4Q numbers, the full-year's net allocation was 9,530 sq m, rising above the axis from a negative 23,150 sq m last year.

JTC expects to secure the temporary occupation permit for its Small Footprint Standard Factories in the first quarter of the year.

Its Surface Engineering Hub is slated for completion in the third quarter of this year, and the MedTech One, in the fourth. Besides these, CleanTech Two in CleanTech Park and Fusionopolis' Towers A through C are scheduled for completion between 2014 and 2015.


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Investment Sales


Talks on, Park Regis S'pore sale in the offing

Source: Business Times

Negotiations are going on for a potential sale of Park Regis Singapore.

The list of potential buyers is said to include CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT), an Indonesian party, a local property investor and an international hotel investment group.

Some industry analysts believe that the property, at New Market Street/Merchant Road, could fetch around $220-230 million. The asset comprises the 203-room hotel and a seven-storey office block with about 42,000 sq ft net lettable area on a site with a balance lease term of about 94 years.

The asset is being offered for sale by Park Regis Investments, which is now controlled by a British Virgin Islands company, Great Fortune Capital, which, in turn, is thought to be owned by a Singaporean investor.

The hotel is currently managed by Australia-based StayWell Hospitality Group, but analysts reckon most bidders would want to acquire the property with vacant possession, that is, without the existing hotel management contract. This would involve a pre-termination of the long-term management contract and this would incur compensation.


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