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08 June 2013

HDB resale prices, COVs dip on fewer transactions

Analysts point to cooling measures, HDB launches, for downward trend

Source: Straits Times 
By Daryl Chin Property Correspondent

RESALE prices and cash premiums for Housing Board flats have dipped on the back of fewer transactions, according to data released by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) yesterday.

The overall median cash-over- valuation - the cash component buyers pay to sweeten the deal - dropped to $26,000 last month, the lowest since July last year.

Property analysts attributed this downward trend to cooling measures announced at the start of the year, when the median premium was $35,000.

They also said the slew of flats launched by the HDB so far this year has soaked up some of the demand.

In a report released yesterday, SRX - which collates data from larger property firms - also noted a drop in resale prices.

Its resale index takes into account the property's age, location and proximity to amenities and MRT stations. It saw a 0.1 per cent dip to 152.2 in May.

The overall median resale price was $457,000 in May, down from $468,000 in April.

ERA Realty's key executive officer Eugene Lim said softening prices and cash premiums might attract buyers back into the resale market, particularly second-timers or those who previously received a housing subsidy.

Such buyers have a lower proportion of flats reserved for them in new HDB launches compared to first-timers and are typically older and more affluent.

"The fall in transactions is due to the measures that tightened loan eligibility and prevented some buyers from purchasing larger flats," he noted.

Mortgages from banks were limited to 30 per cent of a buyer's monthly household income in January, reducing the amount buyers can borrow by up to half.

The rules have hit the resale market hard. The HDB registered just 4,335 transactions in the first quarter of this year, a 16-year low.

SRX data showed only 2,753 flats changed hands in the first two months of the second quarter (April and May), compared to 4,058 in the same period last year.

The biggest drop was for larger flats like executive apartments (43 per cent) and five-room units (42 per cent), SRX said.

Demand has also been sapped by the release of new flats, said OrangeTee's research head Christine Li. "As a result, the resale market is effectively serving only the ineligible second-timers and permanent residents now, resulting in the weakening of price and volume," she said.

Property consultancy R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said premiums and resale activity are not likely to drop substantially in the future. "What we are seeing is a knee-jerk reaction to the measures," he said. "Ultimately if the supply of resale flats is limited, and the flats on offer present good value, buyers' interest will gradually recover."

Prices up in all but four districts

Area with biggest drop over seven months was District

Source: Straits Times | Money
By Melissa Tan

RESALE prices of non-landed private homes have climbed almost islandwide from October to April but dropped in four districts, mostly in the city centre.

If new sales are factored in, eight districts recorded overall price drops from the start of the fourth quarter last year to the start of this year's second quarter.

The area with the biggest resale price drop over the seven months was the prime District 8 which includes Little India.

Resale prices there tumbled 12.2 per cent from $1,320 per sq ft (psf) in October to $1,159 psf in April, consultancy HSR's analysis of caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed.

The drop was primarily due to resale transactions in April at the 44-unit Jalan Besar Plaza which is along Kitchener Road, HSR said. A 915 sq ft unit at the freehold development, which was completed in 1980, changed hands at $874 psf. Another unit of 1,593 sq ft was sold at $1,006 psf.

The other districts where median resale prices were lower in April compared with October were districts 7, 10 and 26, but the dips were very slight.

District 7, which includes the Middle Road and Golden Mile areas, had a median resale price drop of 0.9 per cent, from $1,342 psf in October to $1,330 psf in April.

In the plush District 10 which includes the Ardmore, Bukit Timah, Holland Road and Tanglin areas, median resale prices fell 1.3 per cent from $1,661 psf in October to $1,639 psf in April.

For the suburban District 26, which includes Upper Thomson, the median price drop was 1.9 per cent from $911.5 psf in October to $894 psf in April.

District 8 also posted the biggest price drop islandwide from March to April at a sharp 21.6 per cent.

The next largest decline from March to April was in District 12 which includes Balestier, Toa Payoh and Serangoon. The median resale price in the district fell 16.6 per cent month on month.

This was mainly because a shoebox unit at the freehold 154-unit Prestige Heights in Balestier Road was sold at $2,119 psf in March, which is the highest psf price commanded so far for the development. It skewed the district's median price upwards that month.

But if new sale transactions are counted, there have been fairly large overall price drops in some other districts.

The biggest fall was in Seletar, which is in District 28, where overall median prices plummeted 18.3 per cent from $1,179 psf in October to $963 psf in April.

This was mainly driven by project launches. Most transactions in April in Seletar were new sales at H2O Residences, where units were sold at $908 psf to $1,006 psf.

In October, many new sales were lodged for Seletar Park Residence, which had an average price of $1,191 psf that month.

The second-biggest overall price drop was in District 4 which covers Telok Blangah and HarbourFront.

Prices sank 15.7 per cent from $1,792 psf in October to $1,511 psf in April, partly due to lower new sale prices at The Interlace. Units there were sold at a median $913 psf, much lower than the $1,240 psf median in September. There were no new sales there in October.

Among individual developments, Harbour View Towers in District 4 had the biggest median price drop across Singapore at 34 per cent, from $1,269 psf in October to $838 psf in April.

This is a different project from Harbour View Gardens in Pasir Panjang, where an attempted collective sale hit a snag when the court refused to clear it in April.

West condos near popular schools

Units still up for grabs in projects near schools as P1 registration nears

Source: Straits Times | Money

WITH Primary 1 registration set to start next month for the 2014 intake, many parents may be looking for homes to rent or buy near popular schools. This week, we look at private homes available in the west zone.

Well-known schools there include Nanyang Primary School in Bukit Timah, Nan Hua Primary School in Clementi, De La Salle School in Choa Chu Kang, Rulang Primary School in Jurong West and Bukit Panjang Primary School in Bukit Panjang.

Nanyang Primary

NANYANG Primary is in the upmarket Bukit Timah estate, with many landed homes nearby. There are also several completed private condominiums within a 1km radius of the school.

Some of those with units for sale include Dukes Residence, Charming Garden and The Levelz, according to listings on the STProperty website.

At the freehold Dukes Residence in Duchess Road, the average asking price is $1,907 per sq ft (psf) for two-bedders and $1,838 psf for three-bedders.

The 99-year leasehold Charming Garden condo in King's Road has a handful of three-bedders for sale at $1,677 psf on average.

The Levelz, a freehold condo in Farrer Road, has a few one-bedders on the market at an average asking price of $1,555 psf, and around 20 up for rent.

Nan Hua Primary

NAN Hua Primary is a few streets away from Clementi MRT station. Nearby condos with units on the market include Botannia, Carabelle and The Infiniti.

There are more than 10 three- and four-bedders in total for sale at the 999-year leasehold Botannia condo at West Coast Park, at an average asking price of $1,361 psf and $1,224 psf respectively. More than 20 units are up for rent.

The 999-year leasehold Carabelle condo offers over 10 units for sale and for rent, ranging from two- to four-bedders. The average asking price ranges from $1,283 psf to $1,379 psf depending on the unit type.

A handful of units are available at the freehold condo The Infiniti, where average asking prices are $1,007 psf for three-bedders and $1,073 psf for four-bedders.

De La Salle

DE LA SALLE School began in Kampong Bahru but has moved to Choa Chu Kang. Condos within a 1km radius include Northvale, The Warren and Yew Tee Residences, all on 99-year leaseholds.

Several two- and three-bedders are for sale at Northvale at Choa Chu Kang Loop at an average price of $899 psf and $812 psf respectively. More than 50 units are up for rent.

At The Warren, two- to four-bedroom units are on the market with asking prices of between $882 psf and $938 psf. More than 20 units are available for rent.

Homes at Yew Tee Residences are slightly more expensive with an average asking price of $1,033 psf for three-bedders.

Rulang Primary

RULANG Primary in Jurong West is a few streets from Lakeside MRT station. Parc Vista and The Lakeshore are some of the closest condos to the school that have units available. Both are on 99-year leaseholds.

At Parc Vista, there are several two-bedroom units going for an average $970 psf, and three- bedders asking for an average $1,006 psf. Nearly 20 units are for rent.

The Lakeshore is pricier, with two-bedders on sale for $1,238 psf on average and three-bedders priced at $1,194 psf. This project has nearly 40 units up for rent.

Bukit Panjang Primary

BUKIT Panjang Primary School in Cashew Road is a few minutes' walk away from the Pending LRT station in Bukit Panjang.

Condos within a 1km radius of the school include Hazel Park, Maysprings and The Linear.

The 999-year leasehold Hazel Park has two- to four-bedders listed on, with average asking prices between $1,103 psf and $1,214 psf based on unit type. Nearly 10 units are seeking tenants.

Many more rental units are available at Maysprings, which is a 99-year leasehold property. The project has two- and three-bedders up for sale, asking $1,062 psf and $949 psf respectively.

There are slightly fewer rooms for sale or rent at the 999-year leasehold The Linear, but they are cheaper. Three-bedders have an asking price of $964 psf on average.

Schools, street life draw buyers

Checking out the page views on the STProperty website gives an instant snapshot of what projects buyers are keen on. This week, we look at what's attracting attention in districts 5 and 8.

Source: Straits Times | Money
By Rachel Scully

BEING near good educational facilities is always a key attraction for home owners, and District 5 has plenty of appeal on that score.

The National University of Singapore, Anglo- Chinese School (Independent) and Nan Hua High School are just some of the institutions in the area to lure buyers.

There are also green features such as West Coast Park for recreational activities, and shopping malls like The Clementi Mall and The Star Vista.

Buona Vista, Dover, Pasir Panjang and West Coast fall into District 5, which is also known as the south-west district.

The most-viewed development in the district on STProperty from May 27 to June 3 was the Hundred Trees condo in West Coast Drive, with an average asking price of $1,379 per sq ft (psf).

The 396-unit development has a 956-year leasehold tenure.

The Trilinq in Clementi was next, followed by Blue Horizon in West Coast Crescent. Both projects are 99-year leaseholds.

Freehold Whitehaven in Pasir Panjang and The Rochester, a 99-year leasehold estate, rounded up the top five by page views.

The attractions of District 8, on the other hand, are of a different nature, with oodles of Indian culture to the fore in Little India, Farrer Park and Serangoon Road.

Beyond its cuisine and vibrant street life, Little India is close to the city and MRT stations on the North-East Line.

The top condo in the district by STProperty page views was the freehold City Square Residences.

The 910-unit project had an average asking price of $1,676 psf for its two- or more bedroom units over the May 27 to June 3 period.

Citylights condo was second by page views but led the way on asking price with an average of $1,781 psf.

The 600-unit condo is also the only 99-year leasehold in the top five.

The 250-unit Cityscape@Farrer Park had the lowest average asking price of $1,472 psf.

Hertford Collection and Loft@Rangoon rounded out the top five by page views.