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14 January 2013

14th January, Monday




Showflats quiet as new cooling measures kick in

Source: Business Times

Showflats were quiet Sunday, following a surge of customers last Friday eager to beat the new cooling measures which kicked in on Saturday.

The government announced its seventh and most sweeping package of property cooling measures on Friday, including higher additional buyers' stamp duty as well as stricter borrowing limits.

The executive condominium (EC) market, which has recently been in the limelight due to the increasing size and quantum of certain EC units, was one of the segments cut down to size.

One analyst demurred, arguing that the government should have capped prices instead of sizes.

He added: "Roof terraces and private enclosed spaces are now part of your GFA, but why should the review solely focus only on roof terraces and private enclosed spaces? What about developers who sell a 1,000 sq ft apartment with 30 sq ft of aircon ledges? What about voids? Double-volume units make your dollar psf seem cheap, but this fools many investors."

Instead, the government could consider introducing a ratio for balcony space to interior space, he suggested.

The showflats of two newly launched projects along Pasir Panjang - the 52-unit SeaSuites and 148-unit Village - were quiet as well.

"Transaction volume for this month will definitely fall . . . but next month should have some recovery because in the medium term, everybody with some extra cash is already thinking, can I buy a unit in my child's name?" said the analyst.

"The other issue that will pan out over the next two weeks is that some of the buyers who put in cheques on Friday night will realise that no matter how much they stretch their finances, they can't meet the requirements. So there will be some cancellations."


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Property bull an abnormal one: consultancy MD

Source: Business Times

The bull run that the property market has been on has been an unnatural one. After all, the bull, to take the analogy further, has been fuelled by six pit stops. The seventh, which came into effect on Saturday, however, may well take the wind out of the beast.

"I think the measures will dampen the property sales market tremendously, but you will only know the full results after six months. I know of a lot of investors who've made 20-30 per cent profits and have been trying to unload (their investments) in the last six months. Now, finding a buyer will be a problem," he said.

He lauded the move to stabilise the HDB market.

Alternatively, the government could consider rethinking the concept of 99-year leasehold flats, he said. "Why not offer HDB flats on 60-year or 70-year leaseholds? This way, you can get a five-room HDB flat for maybe $250,000? Young couples will be very happy because this doesn't stress their finances. After all, how many couples keep their units for 30-50 years? After five to 10 years, they sell their units and upgrade!"


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Discounts draw the crowds at Tampines showroom

Source: The Straits Times

The latest round of cooling measures did little to dampen the spirits of buyers at Q Bay Residences at Tampines, who were lured by attractive discounts on offer.

Although it is slated to launch only this Saturday, hundreds of people turned up Sunday at the showroom for the 630-unit project, which is a joint venture by Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Organization and Sekisui House.

The developer offered a 22 per cent discount as part of a "pre-launch offer and stamp duty discount".

A spokesman for Frasers Centrepoint said it received more than 300 registrations of interest.

It was previously reported that agents quoted prices for the units at around $1,050 per sq ft, but some told The Straits Times Sunday on condition of anonymity that they could be priced even lower.


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