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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.