Latest Posts

A tale of New versus Resale

- December 29, 2010 4 Comments

You may have already seen these reports in the ST today.

There seem to be no let up in momentum for recent property launches, especially for new developments with "smallish" units. However, it will be interesting to see what the rental situation be like once all these "shoe-box" apartments come onto the market in the next 2 - 3years.

The resale market, on the other hand, seemed to have lost steam somewhat.

Given a choice, the wife and I will prefer Resale versus New anytime. This is especially so with the still "crazy" prices for new launches these days. With Resale (especially older, completed developments), you stand a much better chance of getting:
  • Larger units at "saner" asking prices.
  • Better layouts with spacious living/dining area and much bigger bedrooms.
  • Generally no bay windows/planter boxes/PES that eat into your living space.
  • And more importantly, you do not have base your buying decision solely on the showflat or worse, just a floor-plan, which can go horribly wrong sometimes.
But that's just us talking...


Well, we tried...

- December 26, 2010 No Comments

Our attempt to restart our showflat visit failed miserably this morning.

The wife and I had 2 hours to spare before our Boxing Day lunch. So we decided to try the sales gallery of d'Leedon but it was closed (Come to think of it, is the showflat opened to the public yet? That's a ginormous sales gallery, by the way!).
dLeedon showflat

We then drove down Bukit Timah to The Glyndebourne, and that was closed too. Our search along Newton and Balestier proved futile as well, so we ended up visiting a development of a somewhat different sort... (little/no en-bloc potential here, as the owners are unlikely to sell out)

Looks like the next review will have to wait till next week.


Just in case your thinking about the $2.4 million Pine Grove unit...

- December 25, 2010 No Comments
If you have been reading the Straits Times' Classified over the past few weeks, you might have come across several adverts on units for sale at Pine Grove. These are probably owners who are trying to cash out after the en-bloc announcement.

For those who have been following the local property market news (or our blog), you will know that Pine Grove is going en-bloc with a reserve price of $1.7 billion. This could work out to between $2.1 million and $2.75 million per unit, depending on the size of the apartment and the development charge.

The wife and I are particularly amused by this advert:

Assuming owner of a 1700+sqft unit (which we understand is the larger unit type in the development) will eventually get $2.7 million when en-bloc happens, you are asking someone to splash out about $2.4 million now in the hope of getting $2.7 million later. And if the en-bloc fails (again), the unit will probably revert back to the current market price of $1.5+ million (or lower, depending on market condition then). So we are looking at a possible upside of $300K versus a massive downside of $900K.

Good investment?! We'll let you consider the maths...

Granted that a seller is entited to quote whatever price he desires. But then again, one should not assume that the rest of the world is... well... intelligently-challenged.

Smiley Face


Season greetings!

- December 24, 2010 No Comments
Christmas 2010 copy


Capital values for landed homes rising faster than apartments/condos

- December 22, 2010 No Comments

The BT today reported that the average capital values of landed homes in Singapore have risen at a faster clip than those of private apartments/condos in the 4th quarter as well as the whole of this year. This is according to latest figures from DTZ.

DTZ’s analysis referred only to resale landed and non-landed homes, that is, properties that had already obtained Certificate of Statutory Completion.

The average capital value of prime resale freehold landed homes stood at $1,693psf on land area in Q4 2010, up 5.1% from the previous quarter, taking the full-year increase to 17%. For suburban freehold landed houses, the average capital value increased 4.3% quarter on quarter to $993psf in Q4, resulting in a full-year appreciation of 15.5%.

In the non-landed segment, the average capital value for 99-year suburban condos remained unchanged at $660psf on strata area in Q4 2010, taking the appreciation for the whole of 2010 to 8%.

The average price of prime freehold condos increased 0.4% quarter on quarter to $1,520psf in Q4, also reflecting an 8% full-year price gain.

DTZ said prices in these two segments are hitting resistance, having risen by about 18% and 36% since their respective Q1 2009 troughs following the global financial crisis. The latest capital values are also above the respective Q4 2007 peak levels, it noted.

On the other hand, the Q4 2010 average capital value of freehold luxury condos (above 2,500sqft) in the prime districts was $2,630psf, about 6% shy of the Q4 2007 peak of $2,800psf. The latest Q4 figure was unchanged from the preceding three months while the full-year 2010 increase was 9.6%.

Ms Chua Chor Hoon, DTZ’s Southeast Asia research head, predicts that resale prices of 99-year suburban condos are likely to remain flattish next year while those of prime freehold condos could rise by up to 55 if there is more buying from foreigners due to the clampdown on property purchases in their home countries.

She expects prices of landed homes to continue to outperform those of apartments and condos due to their relative scarcity appeal.


Live Connected @The Tennery

- December 19, 2010 No Comments

This from an email flyer that the wife and I received from Far East Organization on the impending launch of their new project - The Tennery :

A new trans-urban development is coming up at The Tennery, breathing new life and a refreshing cosmopolitan chic into the locale. At the junction where Upper Bukit Timah Road meets Woodlands Road, this new 16-storey project offers hip urban living, amenities and connectivity within a single address.
Art 1

The Tennery has 338 stylish SOHO apartments above a three storey retail podium Junction 10, which houses the Ten Mile Junction LRT station. These city-style SOHO apartments ranging in size from 619 - 950sqft come with high ceilings allowing owners to creatively transform their living spaces to suit multiple uses. Full recreational facilities are located on the roof of the retail podium, giving residents prominent views of the surroundings.

Across the road, the Bukit Panjang MRT and LRT stations, together with the future integrated Bukit Panjang bus interchange with commercial facilities, will be seamlessly connected by 2015. By then, the Downtown Line 2 will be operational and it will allow speedy transfer and enhanced connectivity to the rest of the island. Prominent interchanges on this line include Little India MRT station (north-east line), Newton MRT station (north-south line), Bugis MRT station (east-west line) and Botanic Gardens MRT station (circle line).

For residents of The Tennery, travelling to the Jurong Lake District is also just a few LRT and MRT stations away. Under the 2008 Master Plan, the Jurong Lake District is earmarked as the biggest lakeside destination for business and leisure in the West. The planned growth of this area will generate demand for housing and this will auger well for the leasing potential of The Tennery.

Given this fantastic connectivity, residents at The Tennery will enjoy a luxurious lifestyle of unparalleled convenience.

So, another one of those "smallish units" project to look forward to... *yawn*


En Bloc News: Serene House sold for $99 million

- December 16, 2010 2 Comments

According to a CNA report today, the tender for Serene House has been awarded to luxury-home developer Shelford Properties for $99 million.

A total of seven bids were received for the residential freehold site.

Marketing agent Colliers International said there were major and mid-tier property players who bid for the site.

The winning bid of $99 million translates to $1,400 per square foot per plot ratio.

Serene House is a four-storey walk-up residence located at Jalan Serene, with a land area of 40,000 square feet and a gross plot ratio of 1.4.

It has 24 units and is near the landed housing enclave in Bukit Timah.

The owners of the units at Serene House will each receive about $4.1 million from the sale.

The wife and I did a quick check and found that the last caveat lodged for Serene House was in June 2010 - a 1,550sqft unit sold for $537,500. Talk about missing the boat!


Private home sales up in November

- December 15, 2010 No Comments

Private home sales in November rebounded about 80 percent on-month to hit 1,909 units - the second highest in 11 months. This is according to a CNA report today.

That brings the total number of homes sold so far this year, to 15,025, surpassing the 2007 sales record of 14,811 units.

The surge in November sales comes just three months after the government introduced its latest round of measures to cool the property market.

Lakefront Residences in Jurong was the most popular property selling over 437 units at $1,075 per square foot last month.

Coming in second was Waterview in Tampines, which sold 376 units at $903 per square foot, while Spottiswoode Residences followed with 258 units sold at $1,853 per square foot.

This buying fever in November caught many analysts by surprise.

Tay Huey Ying, Director (Research and Advisory), Colliers International, said: "It just goes to show or prove that a lot of investors are still viewing property as a safe place to park their wealth in spite of the high exposure to policy risks.

And I think another driving factor for November's high sales volume could also be foreign purchases, diverted from the HDB resale market, as well as from Hong Kong and China, in light of their recent property curbs.

With high sales volume, with feverish buying fever, there is bound to be some upward pressure on prices although the ramped up government land sales programme could put a check on the rate of price growth.

If what is driving the November sales happens to be foreign purchases, who may not be too bothered about potential launches, potential supply, then I think it does warrant certain further measures to cool the buying fever."

Industry watchers say the government may end up introducing another harsher set of cooling measures, such as a tax on profits from property sales in the next few months.

Colin Tan, Head (Research and Consultancy), Chesterton Suntec International, said: "What's going to happen if the buying doesn't stop and while we may not feel the impact now, but the consequences may come maybe a year or two later and it can be pretty adverse.

We'll have a lot of units up for rental, then the rentals could collapse especially when there's a lot vested buying.

The worse is of course when rentals come down, and holding cost go up as well, so that will reduce the yield and when yield is miserable, some investors may opt to sell or are forced to sell and that may start a domino effect."

Analysts say the latest figures also show that properties with strong branding and good locations remain the most attractive.

Although the November statistics came as a surprise, many believe the number for December will come back down as developers launch fewer properties over Christmas and New Year.

For the month of December, property watchers expect between 800 and 1,300 units to be sold.

It's that time of the year... to pay your property tax!

- December 13, 2010 No Comments

Most of you should have received a copy of below with your property tax returns.

However, just in case you chucked it as trash without realizing and would like the info.
Prop Tax 2011


Spottiswoode 18

- December 11, 2010 No Comments

The BT today reported that some agents are gathering interest for Spottiswoode 18, which will come up on the site of the former Dragon Mansion near Tanjong Pagar.

Roxy-Pacific Holdings had bought Dragon Mansion en bloc late last year. There are plans to build a 36-storey residential tower on the site, with 251 apartments measuring 387sqft to 1,324sqft. Prices are said to be above $2,000sqft.


Record deals for Good Class Bungalow

- December 9, 2010 No Comments

The BT today reported that the value of Good Class Bungalow (GCB) transactions so far this year has reached nearly $1.85 billion, a new record and up 7.3% from the $1.72 billion worth of deals done for the whole of 2009. This is based on CB Richard Ellis’s analysis of URA Realis caveats information as at Dec 8.

However, based on information gathered by BT, there could be at least another $100 million of GCB deals where options have yet to be exercised and which could be finalised by year’s end.

The $1.85 billion of GCB deals YTD 2010 involved 101 transactions – slightly shy of the 109 deals in 2009 and 119 deals in 2006. The average price of GCBs sold has doubled from $501psf on land area in 2006 to $1,056psf for YTD 2010. The latest figure is also 27.1% higher than the $831psf average price for last year.

As well, the average GCB transaction size has also grown from $10.3 million in 2006 to $18.3 million so far this year. The latest figure is up 15.8% from last year.

CBRE forecasts about 100 GCB deals next year at about $2 billion with average price appreciation of about 8 – 10%.

Typically, one has to be a Singapore citizen before one can own a GCB. However, PRs who have made sufficient economic contribution are known to have been granted permission by the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit on a case-by-case basis to buy a small GCB with land area up to 15,000sqft for owner occupation.

Some foreign companies, depending on their economic footprint here, have also been given LDAU’s nod to buy a GCB.

Typically the minimum land area of a GCB is 15,069sqft. However, when GCB Areas were gazetted in 1980, there were some existing sites smaller than that in these locations. They are still considered GCBs and bound by the other planning rules.

“Good to know” information – yes. For all practical purpose – no… not to the wife and I anyway. We can never afford a GCB (even the smallest one), at least not in THIS lifetime...


We are ONE!

- December 7, 2010 4 Comments
Time does fly, especially when your having fun.

It felt only like yesterday that the wife and I did our very first blog posting – at about 11pm on December 7, 2009 - We were waiting at the airport lounge in KLIA for our flight to Shanghai, and frantically typing away at the computer to complete our review for Adria, which we had visited over that weekend. That was the official birth of our modest little blog that is SG PropTalk.

The whole idea of SG PropTalk originated from some “over the dinner table, after a few bottles of wine later” talks we had with certain close friends. They were aware of our favourite past-time (i.e. visiting new launches and the showflats) and the conversation went along the lines of “hey, why don’t you guys start a blog about your showflat visits? Consider it public service and you may even end up with fans!” And the wife and I thought to ourselves… why not?!

Fast forward to a year, 285 posts and over 66,000 page views later (we must admit that some of the page views were from the 2 of us), we are both delighted and amazed by the fact that SG PropTalk is still alive and kickin’. We are also pleasantly surprised (and humbled) by the fact that SG PropTalk actually have some - ok, probably just the odd few - regular followers.

While we strived to update our blogs regularly, there have been challenging times – when we were overseas (especially China, where access to Blogger is banned), when our regular day jobs got in the way of our blogging, or when we just could not afford the time off our schedules to visit new launches and write about them at certain period of the year (e.g. the last couple of weeks and probably the rest of the month). For this, we seek your continual patience and understanding.

We will continue to blog for as long as we can afford the time, have the energy and find it fun to do so. We will also try to be as impartial as we can on our reviews and comments (TRY being the operative word), and continue to welcome any suggestions/comments/constructive criticisms that our readers may have about SG PropTalk.

Last but not least… the wife and I thank you for supporting SG PropTalk during the past year. It is really heartening to see the daily ‘hit rate’ gone from about 20 when we first started to the current 400 on average – not quite the same league as Xia Xue or Dawn Yang (yet), but we hope that SG PropTalk will eventually become the first place you go to for information concerning the Singapore private residential market scene. Well, one can always dream…

And with any luck (* fingers crossed *), SG PropTalk may still be around this time next year! :-)

Yours Sincerely,
The Folks @SG PropTalk

P/S: Have HELP us be better! Drop us a note and tell us what you like about SG Proptalk and what needs improvement.


Sales status: Robinson Suites & d'Leedon

- No Comments

According to a BT report today, several new residential projects sold well last week.

Robinson Suites
All but the 5 penthouses at the 167-unit freehold Robinson Suites are said to have been sold over a three day period last week beginning on Thursday. Three shop units on the ground floor of the 42-storey project have also found takers.

A total of 132 residential units and the three shops were released on Thursday. Of these, everything was sold by Saturday, except for the five penthouses.

The remaining 35 apartments on the lower floors are believed to have been sold to a fund.

All the apartments in the development are either one-bedroom-plus-study or two-bedders. Unit sizes start at 484sqft.

The apartments are said to have sold at prices ranging from $2,600psf to $3,300psf. In lumpsum quantum, prices began at $1.2 million for a one-bedroom-plus-study and $1.5 million for a two-bedder.

In addition to this relatively affordable lumpsum investment size, buyers were drawn to the pitch for the project as the first freehold apartments at Robinson Road. The units face the low-rise Lau Pa Sat and will enjoy a relatively unblocked view.

Robinson Suites will rise on the former VTB Building site; the project is being developed by a consortium whose shareholders include Cheong Sim Lam (whose family developed International Plaza), Fission Holdings, Tan Koo Chuan and Saw Pik Kee.

CapitaLand and its partners sold a further 153 units last week at d’Leedon on the former Farrer Court site. This takes total sales to 205 apartments, inclusive of the 52 units sold the previous weekend (Nov 27-28) when sales were open to former owners of Farrer Court.

Singaporeans have picked up 80% of the units sold so far.

The developers have released 250 of the 1,703 apartments in the 36-storey, 99-year leasehold project. They have yet to release the six pairs of strata semi-detached houses in the development.

The 250 apartments released have been priced at $1,680psf on average. A typical one-bedroom-plus-study apartment of 635sqft costs about $1.1 million. A typical two-bedder of 1,055sqft is priced at about $1.5 million.

The condo also has three- and four-bedroom apartments as well as penthouses.


En bloc news: Tulip Garden up for collective sale!

- December 6, 2010 No Comments

According to a Channel News Asia report today, Tulip Garden has been put up for collective sale. Credo Real Estate, which is handling the sale said the owners of the 164-unit development, are asking for a minimum of S$650 million.

Tulip Garden

That works out to about S$3.14 million to S$5.45 million for the apartment's owners.

This tender launch is the first large scale freehold en bloc sale offering, valued above S$500 million, in 3 years.

Credo said if sold, Tulip Garden stands to be the third largest successful en bloc sale by deal value in Singapore's history, after Farrer Court and Leedon Heights.

The other two developments were both sold in 2007 for S$1.3 billion and S$835 million.

Tulip Garden has a land area of some 317,000 square feet and is zoned for residential development under the 2008 Master Plan.

It has a gross plot ratio of up to 1.6 and can be built up to 12 storeys.

At the minimum price of S$650 million, Credo said the per square foot per plot ratio works out to S$1,250.

"We would not be surprised that the highest bidder crosses $700 million," said Karamjit Singh, MD of Credo Real Estate.

Tulip Garden is located at the corner of Holland Road and Farrer Road in the prime district 10 area

The tender will close at 2.30 pm on January 20, 2011.


En bloc news: Hawaii Tower

- December 1, 2010 No Comments

The BT today reported that one of the biggest collective sale sites in dollar terms so far this year is expected to be launched for sale next week.

Hawaii Tower, on Meyer Road, has a reserve price of $700 million. This works out to about $1,401psf ppr inclusive of a development charge (DC) of about $55 million. The all-in investment for the successful developer of the 192,340sqft freehold site is expected to be around $1 billion.

Based on the unit land price of $1,401psf ppr, the breakeven cost for a new luxury condo project on the site could be about $1,950 - $2,100psf. A 25th floor unit at the nearby Aalto was transacted at $2,373psf this month. Over at Seafront @Meyer, units on the 17-20th floors have traded at $1,875-$2,501psf in the past few months.

The Hawaii Tower site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area) and height of up to 36 storeys. The plot may potentially be developed into a new condo project with about 345 units of an average size of $1,500sqft or 430 units averaging 1,200sqft.

A new development on the site will boast unobstructed views towards the sea, Marina Bay Sands and the city skyline as well as the Mountbatten landed housing estate. The regular-shaped plot has frontage of 130 metres along both Meyer Road and the East Coast Parkway.

CB Richard Ellis is marketing Hawaii Tower’s collective sale through a tender which will close on Jan 26.

Owners controlling slightly over 80% of share values and strata floor area have signed the collective sale agreement. They stand to receive about $5 million-plus per apartment and $8.8 million-plus per penthouse. Hawaii Tower comprises three blocks holding 129 apartments of about 2,200sqft each and six penthouses of about $4,300sqft each.

For Hawaii Tower, this would be the third attempt at an en bloc sale. The two previous attempts were in 2007. The initial effort began in the first half of that year, starting at $700 million and rising to $800 million; about 70-odd % consent level from owners were secured before the deadline for obtaining the minimum consent passed.

Another attempt was launched in late 2007 at $800 million but this soon petered out as market sentiment began to weaken and developers lost their appetite for land.


0.7% fall in non-landed private home prices in October

- November 30, 2010 No Comments

Prices of non-landed private homes fell by 0.7% in October, according to the monthly index compiled by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

According to a BT report today, NUS’ Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) shows overall home prices fell last month, after having climbed 1.1% per month in both August and September.

The last time the overall index fell was in July, when it dipped 0.1%. NUS has been compiling the index since March this year.

October’s drop was caused by falling prices in the “central” and “non-central” locations.

Home prices in central locations fell 1.1% last month, after climbing 0.9% in September. The central SRPI last fell in July, by 0.8%.

And in a sign that the slowdown in the property market is now spreading to the mass market segment, the non-central SRPI dipped 0.5% in October – the first time it has fallen since NUS started compiling the index. The non-central SRPI rose 1.3% in September.

Year-to-date, the overall SRPI is up 10.7%. Non-central prices are up 12.8%, while prices in the central region have climbed a smaller 8.1%.

The October flash estimate for the central region is now 3.6% below its pre-financial crisis high in November 2007.

However, for the non-central region, the latest index has surpassed its pre-crisis peak in January 2008 by 14.9%.

As a result, the overall SRPI flash estimate for October is 7.6% above its November 2007 high.

Looking ahead, analysts expect mass market home prices to moderate further, given the impending large supply of development sites being offered for sale by the government.

“Most of the sites in the H1 2011 Government Land Sales programme will inject supply to the mass market segment, and this may rein in mass market home prices,” said Christine Sun, senior manager at Savills Research & Consultancy. But it will have little impact on the mid-tier and luxury home prices, which could rise further, given the positive economic outlook for next year, she said.

DMG & Partners Research analyst Brandon Lee, for example, expects a 10% fall in mass market home prices due to supply and continued policy risks.

NUS’ index, which is compiled by the Institute of Real Estate Studies, was launched to serve as a resource for developing property derivatives in Singapore.

It is computed using the market values of a basket of completed properties.

Uncompleted projects are not included in the basket, as price movements for such projects can be different from those in the rest of the market.

But the impact of new launches on the prices of completed properties in the vicinity is factored in.


Sales Status: d'Leedon, Spottiswoode Residences & Waterview

- November 29, 2010 4 Comments

During the weekend, CapitaLand sold 48 units at d’Leedon – where Farrer Court used to be – for an average of $1,680psf. It previewed the project only to former Farrer Court owners and 266 households visited the show gallery.

Units sold included one+study, two- and three-bedder units. The former residents were able to choose from 200 units of various sizes across all floors in two towers.

The 99-year leasehold d’Leedon will have 1,703 apartments spread over seven towers and 12 semi-detached houses. Official sales will start this Thursday.

Spottiswoode Residences
UOL Group has sold a total of 252 units out of 320 launched at the freehold Spottiswoode Residences. Selling prices ranged from $1,720 to $2,270psf.

Sales at the project near Tanjong Pagar have been brisk. It was first launched about two weeks ago and 130 units were taken up during a three-day preview, out of 150 released then. The highest price achieved for those 130 units were $2,150psf.

A UOL spokesman said sales of the three-bedroom units were good and almost all of the development’s seven penthouses have been sold.

Over at Tampines, Sim Lian Group has sold 375 units at Waterview at an average price of $838psf. It has launched 500 units in the 99-year leasehold project so far.

Sales have risen from last Monday, when the developer said that it sold 332 units.


Farewell Uncle Pete...

- November 28, 2010 2 Comments

You may wonder what this has got to do with the Singapore private property scene, but do bear with us for the moment.

Uncle Pete was a family friend of ours. My dad used to work under him while he was GM for a foregin-based insurance company.

I remembered the Chinese New Year visits to his home in the Sembawang area when I was a teen. The piece of land that his bungalow stood on was so huge that you can easily park 8 cars in his front porch. Uncle Pete also used to hold big parties in his garden.

However, Uncle Pete's fortune began to turn with the 1997-98 financial crisis. During the property bull runs prior to 1997, he has accumulated several residential properties for investment purpose at what was considered then "market prices". As the financial crisis unfolded, all of these properties had gone "underwater" and his financial resources became severely overstretched.

With the banks on his back calling back loans given the drastic reduction in valuations on his investment properties, Uncle Pete was forced to dispose of all his properties at loss and also had to sell his bungalow to pay off the balance of his bank loans. His misery was compounded by several miscalculated career moves.

Uncle Pete was a pale shadow of himself thereafter. He lost his high-flying job and was unable to find a similiar position given his age (despite his experience and status within the industry). The last I have heard, he was working as an insurance agent and living in a 3-room HDB flat. His health also begun to fail on him.

Uncle Pete passed away last evening due to his protracted illness. May he rests in peace!

And given the subtle indications that we may be turning the corner from this red hot property market, Uncle Pete's story is probably another timely reminder that we should buy within our means...


It's d'Leedon NOT D'Leedon: More info about launch

- November 26, 2010 1 Comment

The wife and I have posted an article on Wednesday about d’Leedon (yes, it now looks like the first ‘d’ in d’Leedon is not capitalized). The ST today has provided more information about the launch of this new development.

Units will be launched at an average price of $1,680psf. That makes the cheapest apartments – 635sqft units with a bedroom and study (this ran contrary to earlier report by the BT that the smallest units in d’Leedon will be about 900sqft) – less than $1 million. A typical two-bedder of 1,055sqft would set a buyer back $1.5 million.

The project is on the site of the former Farrer Court estate, which was sold in a collective sale in 2007. A first phase of 200 units will be launched for sale this weekend to fromer Farrer Court residents. Developer CapitaLand said a public launch would likely follow soon after.

There has been a healthy level of interest among former Farrer Court residents, said Mr. Wong Heang Fine, chief executive officer of CapitaLand Residential. He told a briefing yesterday that 300 of the 600 former residents said they would attend a preview last night.

CapitaLand could adjust prices, depending on how this weekend’s launch goes. The 200 units being launched ranged from one- to four-bedroom apartments and are in two 36-storey towers. The entire project consists of 1,703 apartments in seven towers and 12 semi-detached villas.

Although d’Leedon sits on a huge site of over 840,000sqft, only 22% of the land area is being taken up by homes. The rest is slated for gardens, facilities such as two swimming pools and a gym and retail outlets, which could include restaurants, a Laundromat and a clinic.

And from a RODYK news report that we have managed to gather over the internet, the wife and I understand that the ex Farrer Court estate was sold to Morgonite Pte Ltd, a consortium comprising CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and Wachovia Development Corporation, in June 2007 for $1.3388 billion.

Each of the 618 owners received sums of $2.238 million or $2.722 million per unit, depending on the size of their units, which were either 1,615 sq ft or 1,453 sq ft. Based on the apartments' existing strata areas, the proceeds worked out to $1,386 psf and $1,460 psf respectively.


D'Leedon (or Ex-Farrer Court) open for sale!

- November 24, 2010 No Comments

As the wife and I were busy moving into our “temporary shelter for the next year or so” yesterday, we only had the time to read the papers today.

It was reported in the BT yesterday that CapitaLand has started marketing D’Leedon, the 1,715-unit, 99-year leasehold residential project it will build on the site of the former Farrer Court.

The D’Leedon showflat has been built and agents have started distributing flyers to prospective buyers.

Units in the District 10 project on Farrer Road will mostly be priced upwards of $1,600psf for the most part.

In terms of the number of units, D’Leedon is believed to be the largest single condominium project ever in Singapore.

But CapitaLand is expected to rollout the projects only in phases.

The developer paid a record $1.3 billion for Farrer Court in a collective sale in June 2007 at the peak of the property boom.

That worked out to as much as $783psf of potential gross floor area.

In 2008, CapitaLand said the entire development would cost around $3 billion and would be in the recognised style of architect Zaha Hadid, the first female recipient of the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Patricia Chia, who was then head of CapitaLand’s residential arm, pegged the project’s breakeven cost at around $1,350psf to $1,450psf.

D’Leedon will comprise seven high-end residential towers and 12 villas.

The smallest condominium units will be about 900sqft, while some villas will be larger than 4,000sqft.

Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for D’Leedon consists of seven 36-storey, 150-metre towers that will appear to “grow” from sunken private gardens in the project’s landscape.

The towers themselves are sub-divided into “petals”, according to the number of residential units on each floor.

The tops of the buildings will be a series of "fingers" stepped at different heights.

Given the "upwards of $1,600psf" price-tag for D'Leedon, the wife and I certainly expect the quality of interior furnishings of D'Leedon to be much better than what we last saw at The Interlace. Marble floors for the living/dining area for starters, perhaps...?


High-end condominium, anyone?

- November 23, 2010 1 Comment

The ST today reported that many high-end condominium units are sitting unsold even after completion, as the luxury home market remains quieter than in previous years.

Twelve developments have been completed this year, each with more than 10 units still unsold as of last month, according to new data released by property consultancy CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). Of these, 10 are in prime areas.
ST (22-11-2010)
Source: URA & CBRE

Another 8 projects are expected to receive TOP soon, each with at least 10 unsold units, added CBRE.

Seven of these are also in prime locations: Districts 9, 10 and 11 - which cover Orchard, Holland, Newton and Bukit Timah - and the Sentosa and Tanjong Pagar areas.

In all, buyers are still needed for more than 1,000 posh homes in projects already completed or expected to be ready by early next year.

The wife and I wonder if the recent property market tightening measures announced in countries like Hong Kong and China will result in some of these unsold luxury homes finding foreign buyers soon...?


Waterview: 200 units sold!

- November 19, 2010 2 Comments

According to BT today, Sim Lian Group is understood to have sold about 200 units at its Waterview condo at Bedok Reservoir since it began previewing the project on Tuesday this week. The average price is $838psf.


On the other side of Bedok Reservoir, along a stretch boasting a more scenic view of the water, Frasers Centrepoint and Far East Organization are selling units at their Waterfront Gold project at about $980psf and at Waterfront Key at around $1,000psf.

Sim Lian has so far released about half or 348 units of the 696-unit Waterview condo.

The 99-year leasehold project will be officially launched today, accompanied by an advertising campaign.

Units in the 15-storey development range from two- to four-bedders; there are also six-bedroom penthouses. Sizes range from 786sqft for a two-bedroom apartment to 4,768sqft for a penthouse.

The project is at the corner of Tampines Avenue 1 and 10, next to The Tropica.

Sim Lian is developing the project on a site that it clinched at a state tender in March this year for $421psf of potential gross floor area.

Most of the units in the Waterview’s 12 blocks face the reservoir, Tampines Quarry or swimming pools in the development.

The condo’s walls will be washed white and have blue glass windows to reflect the water theme for the project.

After reading the BT report, the wife and I wonder if the quality of Waterview condo will be any better than what we have seen of Sim Lian's projects so far. As some of you may be aware, Sim Lian is also the developer of Clover by the Park in Bishan. And speaking from our once “close association” with this project, the interior furnishings and fittings of Clover are not much to shout about. But this is just our… humble opinion… as always.


En-bloc news: Pine Grove

- November 17, 2010 No Comments

It could be third time lucky for Pine Grove along Ulu Pandan Road.

Pine Grove

The 99-year leasehold estate could be up for collective sale again with an estimated reserve price of $1.7 billion, said Channel NewsAsia yesterday.

The deal, if successful, would be the largest in the collective sales market since Farrer Court changed hands for $1.34 billion in 2007.
Channel NewsAsia said that property agents have been gathering residents'signatures since November last year, and they have amassed 80% of votes for the collective sale to start.
The next stage of the en-bloc attempt is the preparation of tender documents, but the votes have to be first audited by the appointed law firm Lee & Lee.

There is also a "cooling off" period where residents who had signed can withdraw their consent to sell within a week.

It is understood that Jones Lang LaSalle, which is the marketing agent, is unlikely to launch a sale this year, and will likely wait for more favourable market conditions.

Analysts believe that potential buyers are likely to take a consortium or joint-venture route so as to spread the risk.

A collective sale also faces challenges from a successful Government Land Sales programme.

"Developers sometimes prefer the straight forward government sale of sites," said Donald Han, vice chairman, Cushman & Wakefield, Singapore. "The collective sale process on the other hand can become protracted."

The 660-unit Pine Grove is a former HUDC estate, which covers over 893,000 square feet of land area. Several discussions had taken place between agents and residents to sell the estate in the last few years. The en-bloc fever was particularly strong in 2007 as the property market heated up and developers snapped up several estates.

The collective sales market took a breather during the financial crisis and has revived recently, but deals have involved mostly smaller estates with more affordable price tags.
Pine Grove's reserve price of $1.7 billion could work out to between $2.1 million and $2.75 million per unit, depending on the size of the apartment and the development charge.

The current record for an en-bloc sale is held by Farrer Court, located along Farrer Road, also a former HUDC estate. It was sold in 2007 for $1.34 billion, and had a development charge of about S$500 million.

Observers said Pine Grove could attract a similar development charge.


Spottiswoode Residences: Sales status

- No Comments

The BT today reported that 130 of the 150 units released at Spottiswoode Residences last week were sold during the project's preview.

The units sold thus far have achieved prices ranging from $1,720psf to $2,150psf. Four of the project's seven penthouses were sold, with one fetching $1,850psf. 86% of the buyers were Singaporean.

The freehold 36-storey development comprises 351 apartments - mostly one- and two-bedroom apartments. It is near Outram MRT Station.

The 130 units sold include a dozen bought by former owners of apartments in the two developments that used to stand on the site - Spottiswoode Apartment and Oakswood Heights.

UOL Group acquired the two adjoining sites through separate collective sales in 2007. It paid $740psf ppr for Oakswood Heights; no development charge was payable for this site.

UOL bought the next-door Spottiswoode Apartment site for $732psf ppr including a development charge based on an earlier media report.

UOL said it will release another 80 units for the project's official launch today.


More on the October Private home sales rebound...

- November 16, 2010 No Comments

We have posted the October private home sales figure (1,058 units) yesterday, which saw a 16.1% increase from September’s figure (911 units). In addition, developer sold 529 units of EC in October, taking the total developer sales to 1,587 units.

Following are more info extracted from the BT today:

In the first 10 months of this year, developers sold 13,109 private homes excluding ECs – against 14,688 units for the whole of last year. Property consultants reckon the full-year tally may reach 14,700 – 15,000 and could surpass the record 14,811 units sold in 2007.

The number of private homes (excluding ECs) sold by developers in the Core Central Region and Rest of Central Region rose, but sales in Outside Central Region (where mass-market homes are found) fell about 25%.

In tandem with this trend, Colliers International’s analysis shows that the number of private homes (excluding ECs) costing up to $1,000psf sold by developers declined from 427 units in September to 183 last month.

Some of the demand in the low-price band was probably siphoned off to the two new EC projects released last month – Esparina Residences in Buangkok and The Canopy in Yishun – the first EC launches in five years, with sales of 425 units (at $761psf median price) and 104 units (at $658psf median price).

The number of private homes sold in the $2,000 to $2,500psf price band in October was 207 units, or about eight times the 26 units developer sold in September. The increase was partly due to the release of The Glyndebourne (along Dunearn Road) and Suites at Orchard (at Handy Road).

Developers also continued to roll out smallish units to drive up sales and per square foot prices, such as Suites @Sims, RV Point along River Valley Road and Kovan Grandeur.

The most expensive home sold by a developer last month was a $4,800psf unit at Boulevard Vue, a 33-storey freehold development at Cuscaden Walk. The deal involved a 4,500sqft high-floor apartment, amounting to $21.6 million (??!!).

Excluding ECs, developers released 1,070 private homes in October, slightly above the 1,058 units in September.

Other than the 2 ECs, projects that sold well last month include The Glyndebourne (112 units at $2,149psf median price), NV Residences (81 units at $831psf), Suites at Orchard (80 units at $2,140psf) and Vacanza @East (77 units at $1,081psf).


Fresh off the news: Private property sales rebound in October

- No Comments

Sales of private home units rebounded in October, climbing above the 1,000 units level yet again.

According to CNA, data released on Monday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed that 1,058 private units were sold last month.

Including Executive Condominiums (EC), the total sales would have reached an even more impressive figure of 1,587.

That is higher than the 911 units sold in the previous month.

Chalking up the best sales was Esparina Residences, a EC project at Buangkok Drive, which sold 425 units. Another EC project, The Canopy at Yishun, also sold 104 units.

Despite the higher sales in October, prices for high-end projects are still some 5% off its previous 2007 peak. Conversely, prices for mass-market projects have overshot the previous peak by 10%.

Sales fell in September after the government imposed property cooling measures that took effect from August 30.


Lakefront Residences: Weekend sales update

- November 15, 2010 No Comments

Keppel Land sold some 70 units of The Lakefront Residences over the weekend, bringing its total sales since Friday’s preview to 320 units. This is according to a BT report today.

The 320 units, which represent 80% of 400 units currently up for sale, were sold at an average price of $1,020psf.


Spottiswoode Residences: Floor-plans, anyone?

- November 14, 2010 No Comments

The wife and I have gotten our hands on the brochure of Spottiswoode Residences, so here is for those who are interested in the project.

Two things we observed while browsing over the floor-plans:
  • The bomb-shelter is actually located in the master bedroom for the 1- and 2-bedroom units (Type A & B). And you probably have to use it as a wardrobe too!
  • If you intend to air-dry your clothes, you can only do so in the balcony area of the 1- and 2-bedroom units as there is no yard in these unit types.
And according to BT yesterday, about 70 cheques were said to have been received by agents ahead of the freehold condo's preview last Friday afternoon. UOL has so far released 100 units at $1,720 - $2,100psf, and is expected to offer more units in the 351-unit project's main launch on Wednesday.

Location Map
Site Plan
Site Map1
Site Map2
Leisure Terrace
Level 2
Entertainment & Wellness TerraceLevel 10 & 22
Schematic Chart
Schemmatic Chart

Floor Plans (click on the link below):


The Lakefront Residences: 250 units sold in preview

- November 13, 2010 No Comments

Yes, the wife and I are back from our one-week vacation...ANYWAY,

The BT today reported that Keppel Land sold about 250 units of The Lakefront Residences at the project’s preview yesterday.

The units sold in the 99-year leasehold condo – next to Lakeside MRT Station and near Jurong Lake – were priced at about $1,020psf on average – a new record for the location.

Next door, units at Caspian have been changing hands mostly at $700-800psf in the subsale market since August.

Caspian – which was the first major property launch in Singapore after Lehman’s collapse – was previewed in February last year by Frasers Centrepoint at the carefully researched average price of $580psf; it sold like hot cakes, drawing out pent-up demand and sparking a revival in home sales.

This means that prices in the location are now 1.75 times what they were 21 months ago.

KepLand’s The Lakefront Residences is a 629-unit development comprising three 18-storey blocks. Unit sizes range from 484sqft for a one-bedder to about 3,000sqft for a penthouse. The project includes 69 one-bedders, 158 two-bedders, 255 three-bedders and 98 three-bedroom-plus-study units. There are also 32 four-bedroom apartments and 17 penthouses.

Keppel Land said it sold a range of unit types yesterday. The positive response was credited to the project’s choice location next to an MRT Station, unique lifestyle and recreational amenities in the upcoming Jurong Lake District as well as KepLand’s expertise in developing waterfront homes.

The Jurong Lake District is planned as a commercial, leisure and residential hub by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. In addition, the project is close to the Canadian International School, which is slated to open next year.

While some analysts suggested the strong response for The Lakefront Residences could be a sign that the initial effects of the Aug 30 property cooling measures could be wearing off, others said it is erroneous to draw this conclusion as The Lakefront has two big pluses – a plum location next to an MRT Station and the exciting plans for Jurong.


Off on vacation, back in 1+ week!

- November 3, 2010 No Comments
The wife and I have decided to spend the next week or so in one of them Eastern European (read: Cooooold) capital city. As such, we will not be doing much blogging while we are away.

For those of you on our email list, you'll know once (when) we make our next post...



Robinson Suites

- No Comments

Here are some preliminary info we have received on Robinson Suites.

Location: Current VTB Building VTB location

Units Mix
  • 1 + Study (484sqft): 32 units
  • 1 + Study (495sqft): 32 units
  • 1 + Study (506sqft): 32 units
  • 2-Bedroom (603sqft): 32 units
  • 2-Bedroom (614sqft): 32 units
  • 2-Bedroom Loft Garden Suites (1001/1098sqft): 2 units
  • 1 + Study Penthouse (1098/1087sqft): 3 units
  • 2-Bedroom Penthouse (1346/1410sqft): 2 units
1+Study (floor-plan)

2-Bedroom (floor-plan)

1+Study Penthouse (floor-plan)
1+1 PH

2-Bedroom Penthouse (floor-plan)
2-brm PH

So if you fancy living in the heart of Shenton Way, do not require a whole lot of living space and have in excess of $1.5 million to spend, this may just be the project you been waiting for...


Weekend sales update/ Upcoming new launches

- November 2, 2010 No Comments

Below are complied from ST and BT reports today:

Weekend Sales Update:

The Glyndebourne
CDL’s freehold project The Glyndebourne saw 112 apartments – or about 75% - of the 150 units snapped up during a private preview which began last Friday.

The apartments – housed in eight blocks of five storeys each – were sold at an average price of $2,100psf.

However, prices ranged from $1,900psf to $2,350psf, ranging from about $1.59 million for a one-bedroom plus study unit to about $7.15 million for a five-bedroom penthouse, CDL said.

The project – located on the Copthorne Orchid Hotel site – saw all one-bedroom with study, two-bedroom and three-bedroom with study units sold. CDL said that 10 out of the 23 penthouses, which ranged from 3,541sqft to 3,565sqft, were also snapped up.

75% of the buyers were local, with permanent residents and foreigners from countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and China making up the remaining 30%.

Upcoming Project Launches:

The Lanai
Far East will be officially launching the 214-unit The Lanai – which consists of two-, three- and four-bedroom units that range from 947sqft to 1,615sqft – along Hillview Avenue this weekend.

The 999-year leasehold project has already sold 76 units at a preview last month, which included a bulk purchase, with prices starting from $1,290psf.

Spottiswoode Residences
UOL Group is expected to preview the freehold Spottiswoode Residences condo next week, and the price is expected to be about $2,000psf. About 90% of the 351 units comprise one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus study and two-bedroom apartments.

The project, a 36-storey tower, is next to Spottiswoode Park, a green lung in the area, and close to Tanjong Pagar, which is slated to be transformed into a new bustling waterfront district after the container terminals in the vicinity eventually move out.

The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station site is also expected to be redeveloped after Keretapi Tanah Melayu vacates the site under a historic land-swap deal between Singapore and Malaysia announced in September.

Robinson Suites
Agents are said to be gathering interest for the freehold Robinson Suites at prices ranging from $2,300psf to $3,300psf. The 42-storey project along Robinson Road, to be developed on the VTB Building site, comprises 167 apartments and three ground-floor shop units. All apartments are either one-bedroom plus study units or two-bedders. Unit sizes start at 484sqft.

The developer – a consortium whose shareholders include Cheong Sim Lam (whose family developed International Plaza), Fission Holdings, Tan Koo Chuan and Saw Pik Kee – is pitching the project as the “first ever freehold apartments along Robinson Road”.

Former Farrer Court site
CapitaLand is getting ready to release the first phase of its 1,715-unit condo on the 99-year leasehold Farrer Court site. The 36-storey Zaha Hadid-designed project will feature one to four-bedrooom apartments, penthouses and six-pairs of strata-detached houses.

Sim Lian is said to be gunning to release Waterview, a 99-year leasehold condo comprising 696 units at Tampines Ave 1/10 facing Bedok Reservoir, as soon as it gets all the necessary approvals from the authorities.

The mass-market project will comprise tow, three and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. The average price is expected to be in the $820 - $920psf range.


Vacanza @East: Showflat photos

- November 1, 2010 1 Comment

The wife and I were at the sales gallery of Vacanza @East over the weekend.

We were surprised to learn that this project is still in its "previewing" stage despite being marketed since end-September.

Here are some of the photos we have taken of the sales gallery and showflat - a 1,399sqft, 4-bedroom ground-floor unit (Type D2-G).

Actual Site
Sales gallery
C.Bedroom 1
Common Bathroom
bathroom floor tiles
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom (2)
Master Bath

We will post our review...soon.


New project in Jurong: Lakefront Residences

- October 31, 2010 No Comments

The wife has received some preliminary info about Lakefront Residences - the first new condo project to be marketed for its proximity to the upcoming Jurong Lake District and Jurong Gateway. Jurong Gateway will supposedly be the major business district/commercial centre for the western part of Singapore.

The target launch date is around mid-November 2010. We will keep you posted when we have more.

Project Name: Lakefront Residences
Developer: Keppel Land
Location: Lakeside Drive (Next to Lakeside MRT Station)
District: 22
Tenure: 99-year Leasehold
Site Area: approx. 173,000sqft
Type of Development: 3 blocks of 18-storey condominium
Total number of Units: 629
T.O.P Date: approx. 2Q 2015

Location Plan

Site Plan
Lakefront Residences: Site Plan

Units Mix & Prices
Lakefront Residences: Unit Mix & Price

Reasons to buy (according to marketing agents):
• Lakeside MRT right at your doorstep

• Near to upcoming Jurong Lake District + Jurong Gateway

• 1km to Rulang Primary School + close proximity to upcoming Canadian International School

• Great Layout + Functionality - No household shelters or long corridors

• Quality Finishes - Choice of natural/compressed marble for living dining areas + Kitchen appliances by renowned German Brand (TEKA)


The Glyndebourne: Sales Update (unofficial)

- October 30, 2010 No Comments

According to some friends of ours who have visited The Glyndebourne yesterday, more than 90 of the 150 units have been sold.

The average selling price for the units is $2,200psf, which is higher than the $2,000psf expected.

So if you are thinking about buying into this project, it may be wise to head on down to the sales gallery tomorrow to check it out...


Fancy living next to Capitol Building/Theatre?

- October 28, 2010 No Comments

As reported in BT today, the landmark site that includes Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House is ready for a makeover. It has been awarded to a partnership comprising a syndicate of investors arranged by Pua Seck Guan’s Perennial Real Estate, Kwee Liong Seen’s Chesham Properties, and Sukmawati Widjaja’s Top Global group for $250 million or $460.93psf ppr.

The group that won the tender is expected to invest $700 million in total (including land price) to transform the site into an iconic hotel, theatre, retail and residential development. The group is allocating about half of the 542,382sqft maximum gross floor area to retail and entertainment use, with 25% each for hotel and residential use.

US-based architectural firm Richard Meier & Partners will work with Architects 61 of Singapore to develop the project.

Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House will be conserved and restored while Capitol Centre will be torn down to make way for a new 15-storey building that will also house four basements. Basements 3 and 4 will be for car parking while Basements 2 to Level 2 will be for retail. Above that will be about 80 apartments of about 1,066sqft to 2,368sqft, which will be sold to help part finance the development.

A five-star hotel with over 200 rooms will be housed on the second to fourth levels of the 4-storey Capitol Building and Stamford House.

Capitol Theatre will be transformed into a single-screen cinema with the largest seating capacity in Singapore (some 800 to 1,000 seats) to be operated by Golden Village for most of the year. The building will also alternate as a performance venue for in-residence theatre groups for the rest of the time, and will be a choice venue for red carpet movie premiers and film festivals.

There will be an underground link to City Hall MRT Station.

The group has intended for the project to be completed in about three to four years’ time, although URA has given them up to eight years to complete the project.

Fancy a guess on the psf price of the apartments, anyone..?


Looking for affordable freehold property? Try Geylang!

- October 27, 2010 No Comments

Geylang is providing another housing option for those who want to buy condominium units at relatively affordable entry price levels, but which offer steady rental income. This is according to a report in this week’s TheEdge Singapore.

One such example is Atrium Residences, a 142-unit freehold apartment block at Lorong 28 Geylang, which saw four transactions at prices ranging from $715 to $743psf in the Sep 28 to Oct 5 period.

Developed by niche developer Novelty Properties Pte Ltd, the two-year-old Atrium Residences is a freehold development where typical two- and three-bedroom units are from 807 to 1,302sqft, while penthouses are from 1,604 to 2,203sqft.

At around $700psf, units at Atrium Residences are probably “some of the most reasonably priced freehold apartments you can find in Singapore’, says Marcus Fan, associate team director at PropNex, who specialises in properties at Geylang.

When the project was first launched in March 2006, prices at Atrium Residences were $300 to $500psf.

One of the four latest transactions, based on caveats lodged with URA, was for a 1,259sqft, three-bedroom, sixth floor unit that was sold for $900,000 ($715psf). For the seller who bought the unit from the developer for $712,888 ($566psf) in December 2008, this represented a 26% price appreciation in less than 2 years. On the same block, a 1,023sqft, three-bedroom unit on the third floor was sold for $760,000 or $743psf – the highest psf price achieved at Atrium Residences.

In another block, a 1,227sqft, three-bedroom unit on the sixth floor was sold for $880,000 ($717psf), representing a 25.8% gain for the seller who purchased the unit from the developer for $699,888 ($570psf) in March 2007. Meanwhile, a 1,216sqft, three-bedroom unit was sold for $880,000 ($723sqft) on Sep 29.

Several streets away on Lorong 40 Geylang are two much-larger freehold condominium projects – the 398-unit The Waterina developed by CapitaLand and the 338-unit The Sunny Spring by Sing-Indo Development Pte Ltd.

Even though they are older, both developments command higher psf prices than Atrium Residences owing to their location further away from the centre of the red-light district of Geylang, notes a property agent. The latest transaction at The Waterina was for a 667sqft unit that changed hands for $725,000 ($1,086psf), according to a caveat lodged with URA on Sep 16. Asking prices for units in the project are now said to be around $1,000psf.

Meanwhile at Sunny Spring, a 1,109sqft, three-bedroom unit on the third level changed hands at $830,000, or $749psf, according to a caveat lodged with URA on Sep 29. Asking prices of units in the project are said to be in the range of $700 - $800psf.

According to Fan, monthly rental rates for two-bedroom units at Atrium Residences are around $2,800 to $3,200, while three-bedroom units could easily fetch between $3,500 and $3,800. In fact, Fan reckons at least 65% of the apartments at Atrium Residences are tenanted, mostly to European, Japanese and Chinese expatriates.

The location is convenient for these expatriates as Atrium Residences is a 10-minute drive from the CBD, and there are two MRT stations – Dakota and Aljunied – just 10 to 15 minutes walk away.

Apartments at Atrium Residences are also popular with young Singaporean couples as they are reasonably priced. For them, the proximity to the CBD outweighs the red-light district location, explains Fan.

The Geylang area tends to attract a niche group of homebuyers and investors who are cash rich as getting a home loan can sometimes be a challenge, says Fan.

Say all you want, but the wife and I will definitely NOT buy into a development in Geylang (at least in the foreseeable future), as the area is still far from being “family conducive”. Even when it comes to rental, it will probably appeal only to a very selected group of tenants.


En-bloc news: Cardiff Court & Marine Point

- October 26, 2010 No Comments
As reported in the ST and BT today:

Cardiff Court
Cardiff Court, a 43,500sqft leasehold site at Cardiff Grove off Lorong Chuan, is being put up for collective sale for $25 million.
Cardiff Court

The 21-unit project, on a 43,491sqft residential leasehold site in District 19, can be redeveloped into a project of up to 5 storeys.

The price works out to $519psf ppr, including the estimated development charges of about $6.63 million to top-up the lease to 99 years. The property currently has 72 years left on its lease.

It is zoned residential use with a 1.4 gross plot ratio, giving it a maximum potential gross floor area (GFA) of about 60,887sqft.

About 96 apartments of about 600sqft each can be built on the site, estimated Sieow Teak Hwa, director of investment sales at Teakhwa Real Estate. Teakhwa Real Estate is marketing the project.

He said that based on a land cost of $519psf, the breakeven price will be $860 - $900psf. That means prices in excess of $1,100psf can be expected at the launch.

Units at nearby 99-year leasehold project Hong Leong’s The Scala were recently sold for between $1,100psf and $1,500psf while another project in the area, Kovan Residences, has also sold above the $1,000psf mark.

Marine Point
Marine Point, a freehold 18-storey residential block at 95 Marine Parade Road, was launched for collective sale last Wednesday at an indicative price of about $110 million. Marine Point consists of 30 apartments and two penthouses on a 51,185sqft site. Its potential GFA is 107,489sqft.
Marine Point

This works out to about $1,116psf ppr, including an estimated development charge of $10 million.

It can be redeveloped to accommodate about 90 to 100 apartments average 1,000sqft each, said marketing agent ERA Asia-Pacific associate director Eugene Lim.

For both Cardiff Court and Marine Point, the requisite more than 80% of owners by share value and strata floor area have signed the collective agreement.

Both tenders will close on Nov 18.


Land Titles (Strata) Act - Latest Revision

- October 25, 2010 No Comments

Following is contributed by a friend of ours who spends quite a bit of his waking hours pouring through the Governmental legistrations.

We reckon this may be of interest to some of our "like-minded" readers, so here goes... all 57 pages of it.

Have fun!

Cap 158 Land Titles (Strata) Act


Never heard of Oxley Holdings?

- October 22, 2010 No Comments

Join the club! The wife and I only knew about this boutique developer when we visited Viva Vista. But it looks like you be hearing a lot more about Oxley Holdings, as they will soon be listed on the Singapore Exchange’s Catalist board. Oxley also plans to launch another five residential and commercial projects by end-2010.

Chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong told BT and ST that Oxley will roll out freehold projects at Devonshire Road, Holland Road, Kovan Road, Stevens Road and Telok Kurau Road with a total of 338 residential units and 28 shops in all by end of this year.

And according to ST, they will be mid-tier to high-end developments, either incorporating a retail element or supported by existing commercial centres nearby, with most having fewer than 50 flats each. Units will range from studios of about 300sqft to penthouses of between 700sqft to 1,000sqft. About half of its residential units will be so-called shoebox apartments of less than 500sqft.

Including the five developments due to be rolled out by end of this year, Oxley has in its landbank a total of nine residential and residential-cum-commercial sites on which a potential 517 homes and 35 shops can be built.

The property developer also owns a 60-year leasehold industrial site at Ubi Road. It also bought a 21-storey freehold office block at Robinson Road, The Corporate Office, from City Developments for $215 million last month. Oxley intends to redevelop the project in the future.

The company has launched five developments in Singapore since Mr Ching set it up with other investors in 2009. Three of the projects – Suites @Katong, Parc Somme and Loft @Rangoon – have been fully sold. The remaining two, Viva Vista and RV point, are around 99% and 84% sold respectively.


Sales Update: NV Residences, Suites at Orchard etc…

- October 21, 2010 No Comments

NV Residences
CDL has sold 48 units so far this month at its NV Residences condo in Pasir Ris, taking total sales to 395 out of 450 units released in the 642-unit project.

The 99-year leasehold condo was previewed on Sep 8 at $830psf on average initially. Prices were later raised 1 – 2%.

Suites at Orchard
Allgreen is said to have sold about 80 units at its Suites at Orchard project at Handy Road, which was released last week.

The average price for the 99-year leasehold project, which comprises 118 units of mostly one and two-bedders and is located near The Cathay and Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, is said to be about $2,100psf.

The Cityscape at Farrer
Sales have been tepid at The Cityscape at Farrer, a 250-unit freehold condo at Mergui Road (near Rangoon Road, facing the CTE) by IOI Group and KSH Holdings.

The project was previewed last week and about 15 units are said to have been sold.

Potential buyers may have found the price, understood to be about $1,400psf on average, steep.

The 31-storey project comprises two and three-bedders as well as penthouses.


The Glyndebourne to launch next week!

- No Comments

The Glyndebourne, a 150-unit proposed freehold condo slated to be built on the Copthorne Orchid Hotel site along Dunearn Road, is expected to go on the market as early as next week, according to a BT report.

Market watchers suggest the average price could be about $2,000psf.

Unit sizes are said to range from about 690sqft for a one-bedroom apartment with a study to 3,563sqft for a five-bedroom penthouse.

City Developments Ltd (CDL) is managing the marketing of the condo on behalf of its hotel unit Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, which owns the hotel.

Earlier this month, BT reported that the closure of the hotel has been delayed by at least three months.

It will now continue to take bookings until March 31, 2011, instead of shutting down at the end of this year as initially announced.


Rules tighten on foreign ownership of residential properties...

- October 20, 2010 No Comments

Citizens and permanent residents who cut their ties with the Republic cannot expect to continue owning landed property in the city, according to a Channel News Asia report yesterday.


That is the message the Singapore government is sending through the Residential Property (Amendment) Bill, tabled in Parliament on Monday.

Analysts said the Bill puts former citizens and PRs in the same boat as foreigners when it comes to landed houses.

Individuals who give up their citizenship or PR status in Singapore will now have to dispose of their landed properties within two years.

There will be a penalty of S$20,000 or a three-year jail term for failing to adhere to the rules.

Meanwhile, foreigners inheriting property will have to dispose of it in 5 years, versus the current 10-year time frame.

Analysts said the moves are part of government efforts to update current legislation deemed too lax in today’s vibrant property market.

Analysts said the impact on the market is expected to be minimal, as PRs currently own only 3 per cent of landed homes.

Besides, landed housing only makes up about 5 per cent of Singapore’s total real estate market, according to observers.

But rules are also being tightened for foreign property developers, and they may feel the squeeze.

Developers who fail to complete and sell developments within the current stipulated period, will now have to pay for any extension of their time frames.

"The incentive is for them to try to sell everything within a two-year period rather than extend it. I think the measures being updated is to create more of a hurt aspect of the extension so they will be incentivised to want to use the two-year period to fully sell their units," said Donald Han, MD of Cushman & Wakefield.

The Residential Property (Amendment) Bill will go for a second reading in Parliament in November and is expected to be passed as law by year-end.


EC a better investment than private housing?

- October 19, 2010 No Comments

It certainly seems so, if price gains are anything to go by.

According to The Sunday Times last weekend, some executive condominiums (ECs) – the poshest type of public housing – have gone up more in price over the years than private mass market condominiums in the same areas.

EC such as Bishan Loft, Woodsvale in Woodlands and The Eden in Tampines have beaten the big boys by chalking up higher price gains compared to nearby mass market condos launched during the same periods.

Pinevale, for example, an EC in Tampines launched in 1997 at $450psf, has seen an average selling price of $569psf for its 13 transactions this year – an increase of 26%.

Nearby, however, Hong Leong’s 537-unit The Tropica – also launched in 1997 – has sold an average of $663psf this year, an 11% increase from its launch price of $600psf.

ECs were first introduced for homeowners with rising housing aspirations and whose household income is above $8,000 but below $10,000.

They are more popular when the gap between public and private housing widens and lose popularity when mass market condos become more affordable.

The last EC launch was La Casa in Woodlands in 2005 before Esparina Residences near Buangkok MRT station was launched this month.

ECs, like other Housing Board (HDB) flats, are subject to a minimum occupation period (MOP) of five years. After that, they can be sold only to Singaporeans and permanent residents. They become private property after 10 years, and can then be sold to foreigners.

They are usually priced up to 25% lower to compensate for these sales restrictions and thus start off from a lower base, experts say.

They note, however, that since EC owners need to meet a MOP of five years, they might not be able to profit even if residential capital values are on the uptrend.

Mr Png Poh Soon, Knight Frank senior manager of consultancy and research, said that an analysis of the ECs that have met their MOP has shown a 66.9% price appreciation from 2004 to this year.

This is higher than the 51.8% price increase in mass market residential homes based off the change in the Urban Redevelopment Authority price index of non-landed properties outside the central region, he said.

However, some experts say that buying an EC requires some good luck and timing if an owner is looking for an investment as well. Historically, EC prices have shot up only when mass market prices increased since demand for mass market condos would filter into ECs that have fulfilled their MOPs. But the quality of ECs is still generally inferior to that of private property. When private property prices decline, the difference in quality will show and ECs will become less popular.

Buyers however are still biting, with recent launches of ECs – the first in five years – such as Esparina Residences and The Canopy in Yishun Ave 11, receiving keen interest.

But Knight Frank’s Mr Png added that as the Government launches more EC sites, not all will be equally attractive.

Interested buyers should assess the location of the development, as well as how much lower the price of the EC units will be compared with surrounding private properties, before making a purchase.

So…there you have it!


Cassia View: A case of rethink, revamp and resell...

- October 18, 2010 No Comments

The New Paper last Friday ran a rather interesting article on how a developer revamps units at a condominium for better earnings.

The offer price to buy the development en bloc was below expectations. So the developer, Melodies Limited, which owns Cassia View, decided to refurbish the place and then resell each unit individually.
Cassia View

The units, which had been rented out, are all owned by the developer.

The company is now expecting to get $15 million more from the sale of the units. And with 80% of the units sold so far, the developer looks to be on target.

It started when the 20-storey, 72-unit freehold project on Guillemard Road was put on the market last year.
At that time, it attracted a $70 million bid, or about $780psf of strata area. But Melodies felt that the offer price was too low. So they decided to spruce up the apartments and sell them individually.

The $3 million renovation bill it chalked up included refitting kitchens with new tiles, cabinets and appliances. Bathroom fixtures from high-end brands were installed, doors were changed and bedroom parquet floors were polished. External walls also received a new coat of paint. The renovations started in May.

Post-makeover, the average price is about $980psf. The bulk, or 67 of the 72-units, is three-bedroom units with area of between 1,100 and 1,200sqft. The two-bedroom apartment has an average floor area of 900sqft, while a penthouse averages about 2,300sqft.

To date, buyers have taken up more than 57 units in the single tower located next to Kong Hwa school.

Overall, the units are expected to fetch $85 million – or $15 million more than if it were sold at last year’s rejected offer price for the development en bloc. Demolishing and rebuilding the property would have resulted in a $30 million price tag.

Buyers, too, end up paying less for a refurbished apartment. A three-bedroom unit is priced between $1 million and $1.3 million. A similar unit can cost up to $1.6 million if it was built from scratch in that area.