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Private resale up 0.1% in September: SRPI

- October 28, 2015 3 Comments

Resale prices of private homes rose last month, according to Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) estimates, which were released on Wednesday (Oct 28).

The SRPI, compiled by the National University of Singapore's Institute of Real Estate Studies, showed overall prices increased 0.1% in September from the previous month, when prices fell 0.7% from a month earlier.

Prices of small units, which have a floor area of 506sqf or below, led the rise with a 0.4% increase.

Prices of homes in the non-central region, excluding small units, were up 0.3% in September. Prices of home in the central region, excluding small units, declined 0.4%.
Source: CNA

September private resale volume down 10.6%: SRX

- October 13, 2015 2 Comments

The private housing market remained in the doldrums in September, with sales of non-landed units continuing to decline, according to flash estimates from SRX Property released on Tuesday (Oct 13).

A total of 446 non-landed private homes were resold last month, down 10.6% compared to the 499 units resold in August. On a year-on-year basis, resale volume was down 4.7% from the 468 units resold in September 2014.

Resale prices inched down 0.1% from August, with the fall led by units in the Rest of Central Region and Outside of Central Region, which posted price declines of 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively. In contrast, prices of units in the Core Central Region rose 2.8%  from the previous month, SRX Property said.

The median Transaction Over X-Value (TOX) for private property, which measures whether people are overpaying or underpaying SRX Property’s estimated market value, rose for the first time in six months to $1,000.

For districts with more than 10 resale transactions, District 15 (Katong, Joo Chiat, Amber Road) posted the highest median TOX of $20,000. The lowest median TOX was in District 19 (Serangoon, Hougang, Punggol), with -$5,000.
Source: CNA

Private home prices continue to slide for 8th straight quarter: URA

- October 4, 2015 1 Comment

The overall private residential property index fell for an eighth straight quarter, with prices down by 1.3% in the July to September period, compared to the 0.9% decline in the previous quarter, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) flash estimates released on Oct 1.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties declined in all market segments, the URA said. In the Core Central Region, prices fell 1.3%, higher than the 0.6% decline in the previous quarter. Prices in the Rest of Central Region fell 1.5%, compared to the 0.6% decline in the previous quarter. In the Outside Central Region, prices fell 1.6%, higher than the 1.1% decline in the previous quarter.

The flash estimates are compiled based on transaction prices given in contracts submitted for stamp duty payment and survey data on new units sold by developers during the first 10 weeks of the quarter. The statistics will be updated four weeks later when URA releases the full real estate statistics for the third quarter of 2015, which captures more data from the stamp duty records and the take-up of new projects.

"Past data have shown that the difference between the quarterly price changes indicated by the flash estimate and the actual price changes could be significant when the change is small. The public is advised to interpret the flash estimates with caution," the URA added.
Source: CNA

Everything seems to be falling these days... private home prices, the stock market and even COE. Only thing that keeps going up is the darn PSI!

Resale prices of private homes down 0.6% in August: SRPI

- September 28, 2015 No Comments

Prices of completed private apartments appear to be stabilising after months of decline, despite some ambiguous data out yesterday.
The new numbers point to a 0.6% dip in values from July to last month following stagnant pricing in June and July, according to flash estimates for the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index.
Such marginal price changes are expected and should be the case for a while, said PropNex key executive officer Lim Yong Hock.
"Many home owners are not pressured into selling as interest rates are still relatively low. There won't be many distressed sales for the time being, barring other market forces - such as expectations of an interest rate hike, or a recession, which could force some owners to sell their properties at lower prices."
Last month's dip in prices was probably due to lower volumes, given the Hungry Ghost Festival, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.
"It was also just before the general election and potential buyers may have put their decisions on hold in case there were any changes to cooling measures, or incentives to encourage home buying."
Resale transactions of central units, excluding small units, were down 23% to 114 last month, while non-central unit sales fell 23.6% to 272, he noted.
The slight price decline last month was led by completed units in the central region - Districts 1 to 4 and 9 to 11, which posted a 0.7% month-on-month drop.
But prices for this segment rose in June and July and are up about 0.2% from May.
Sale volumes also seem to be rising, said OrangeTee research manager Wong Xian Yang.
There were 986 resale apartments in the central region shifted in the first eight months of the year, up 41.3 per cent over the same period last year. "While it is a bit too early to say if prices for central units are bottoming out, there is a higher chance prices will move sideways," said Mr Wong.
He believes prices of non-central units are more likely to decline. They fell 0.5% last month, after dropping 0.7% in July.
The increasing supply of units in this area is putting pressure on rents, and vacancy rates are on the rise, said Mr Ong.
Yesterday's flash estimates also indicate that the market has some ground to make up.
The overall index is down 4%, compared with August last year, and is 10.5% below July 2013, when prices were at their highest in recent years.
Small units - up to 506sqft - are one of the brighter spots. Prices were flat last month after rising 0.5% from June to July.
The index indicates that this segment seems in better health than the three other price categories, said SLP International executive director Nicholas Mak.
It contracted 2.7% year on year - the smallest rate of decline among the four - and fell in only four out of the past 12 months, the lowest number of months of decline.
"However, the strength of the small-apartment market segment will be tested in the next two years as an increasing number of shoebox units are completed," Mr Mak said, noting that most of these homes are bought for investment.
If the inflow of foreign labour continues to be tight, the leasing market will stay soft.
"In a tenants' market where the tenants are spoilt for choice, shoebox units may not be as attractive to some tenants as housing units with two or more bedrooms," Mr Mak said.
Lower rental returns will likely hit unit prices as well.

Source: ST

Private home sales slump 69.3% in August!

- September 15, 2015 No Comments

Sales of private homes by developers slumped 69.3% last month amid a quiet market with few launches.
Excluding executive condominiums (ECs), developers sold 495 new units in August, down from the 1,611 units sold the previous month, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed on Tuesday (Sep 15). Including ECs, 961 units were sold last month, down from 2,106 units in July.
Excluding ECs, 598 units were launched in August, down from the 1,468 units launched in the previous month. Including ECs, 1,305 units were launched, down from July’s 2,623 units.

Source: CNA

Three-month Sibor has hit 7-year high!

- September 14, 2015 No Comments

Singapore’s key mortgage benchmark jumped to a seven-year high on Monday (Sep 14), ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting later this week that could mark the start of US interest rate hikes.

The three-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) rose to 1.13100%, up from 1.07483% on Thursday, according to latest data from the Association of Banks in Singapore. Monday’s level was the highest since 2008.

Many variable mortgage plans have interest rates linked to Sibor. For instance, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation currently offers home loans at three-month Sibor plus 0.9 percentage points for the first three years. Rising interest rates could put further pressure on residential property investors who are already grappling with falling rents and lower resale values.

A small majority of forecasters are predicting the US Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade when it meets on Wednesday and Thursday this week, according to a Reuters survey. 
Source: CNA

And the downward spiral continues. Get set for higher monthly repayment on your mortgage folks...

Are the Chinese mainly to blame for escalating Australian home prices?


The article below has suggested that all them "Chinese bashing" when comes to the escalating Australian home prices may be misdirected. Then again, the data are more than a year old but still an interesting read nonetheless.

Photo: Sam Mooy/APP

Polling day... with some Thomson Grand "spotting" thrown in!

- September 11, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I were at Peirce Secondary School this morning to perform our once-in-every- four-year citizen duty. 

We always knew that the school is beside Thomson Grand but it was only when we stepped into the school grounds for the first time today that we could fully appreciate the proximity - the two were literally separated by a row of metal fence!

And the bedroom of the apartments looked very small from where we were standing.

After we were done voting, the wife and I walked out to Upper Thomson Road and found that the hoarding boards in front of the strata-houses had been removed. You can now get a clear view of the houses and the lap pool that runs along the back of the row of houses.

You can also see the private jacuzzi in each strata house.

And of course of the much-talked-about "temple view"

And in case you are wondering how the wife and I had voted, we had decided to heed the advise of our good friend Kim Huat to suka suka vote...

Click HERE to read our previous review on Thomson Grand.

August private resale volume rises16%, prices down 1.7% year-on-year: SRX

- September 8, 2015 2 Comments

The resale volume of non-landed private residential units was up 16% year-on-year in August, with 466 units resold, according to latest data from SRX Property released on Tuesday (Sep 8).

However, compared to the previous month, resale volume declined 16.8% from the 560 units resold in July.

Resale prices inched up 0.2% from July, driven by units in the Rest of Central Region, which posted a price increase of 1.8%. In contrast, prices of units in the Core Central Region and Outside of Central Region, were down 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.

Overall resale prices were down 1.7%, however, when compared on a year-on-year basis.

The median Transaction Over X-Value (TOX), which measures whether people are overpaying or underpaying SRX Property’s estimated market value, remained neutral. TOX has remained neutral at zero for the past five months.

For districts with more than 10 resale transactions, District 14 (Geylang, Eunos) posted the highest median TOX of $14,000. The lowest median TOX was in District 21 (Upper Bukit Timah, Ulu Pandan) at -$20,000.
Source: CNA

Singapore Residential Sales Briefing Q2 2015

- September 7, 2015 No Comments

For your reading pleasure, courtesy of...

En bloc news: Shunfu Ville

- September 3, 2015 No Comments

Shunfu Ville, a privatised former HUDC estate on Marymount Road, launched its collective sale by tender on September 3, confirming a report by The Business Times in July.

Owners of the 358-unit residential development in the popular Bishan/Thomson area are said to be expecting offers in excess of $688 million minimum price, according to JLL, which has been appointed as the sole marketing agent.

The estate comprises three 16-storey apartment blocks and three low-rise blocks of six-storey maisonettes. Sitting on a prime plot of about 408,927sqft   and zoned "residential" with a gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.8 under the Master Plan 2014, the site could potentially yield about 1,100 plus units with an average size of 1,000sqft.

Tan Hong Boon, regional director of JLL's capital markets, added that the new project could likely be the tallest residential development within its one-kilometre radius, as the Master Plan provides for a building height of up to 36 storeys.

Mr Tan said the minimum price translates to a land rate of about $791psf ppr on the potential GFA, after adding an estimated differential premium of $218 million payable to the state to top up the lease to a fresh 99 years and for intensification of use, subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

"At this rate, the estimated breakeven cost for the successful purchaser should be around S$1,250 psf, with the new units expected to fetch between $1,400psf and $1,450psf. At the minimum price of $688 million, owners can look forward to receiving gross sales proceeds of at least $1.9 million per unit, or about 50% more than what they could obtain by selling their units individually," he said.
Source: BT

It was not that long ago when Shunfu Ville had gotten itself privatized (more precisely, in 2013) but even at that time, owners were already targeting the estate for en bloc. So looked like it is finally happening. Only questions that remain are whether developer will bite and at what price. But the wife and I have always like the actual site, with its proximity to Shunfu market and food centre and especially Marymount MRT Station, which is like a stone throw away. So here's wishing them luck on the "in excess of $688 mil"!

Meadow's Point @Quartermile launching in Singapore next week!

- September 1, 2015 1 Comment

OK, the wife and I must state from the onset (again) that we are vested in this project However, this is NOT an advertorial.

We have just got words that the next phase of the Quartermile Project in Edinburgh, Scotland will be launching in Singapore next week. 

This is for the Meadow's Point collection, which we believed is the Q25 phase that we have talked about in our previous post about THE PROJECT

The wife and I understand that the rental market had remained strong in Edinburgh given its status as one of the leading financial centres in the world. Demand for apartments still far outweighs supply especially near to the city centre and as such, rental returns are pretty decent. 

But as with all investments, there is always the flip side that one should be aware of. The £ has already appreciated against S$ by about 8% over the past 3 months, which makes current purchases in the UK more expensive than before. Having said that, the payment scheme (if it remains the same) is 10% down with balance 90% payable only upon legal completion. As such, the exposure to the current expensive £ is largely mitigated - this is unless the currency continues to appreciate over the next 2 or so years.

And unlike local property investment, one will have to be alot more mindful of exchange rate movements as this may have a rather huge impact on returns.

Then there is the other concern that Scotland may hold another referendum for independence within the next 2 or so years. Should they succeed this time, it may create a turmoil within the country and cause the property market to tank, as many banks and financial institutions had indicated during the last referendum that they would pull out of Edinburgh if Scotland become independent of the UK.  

But for those who are still looking at putting money in overseas property investments and bravehearted enough, it may be well worth a trip down to check out Meadows Point.

So which district in Singapore provides the best rental returns?

- August 31, 2015 No Comments

According to data compiled by property research portal Square Foot Research based on transactions over the past 6 months, district 18 in the east - meaning areas around Pasir Ris, Tampines and Simei - have the largest number of private non-landed homes in Singapore with high rental returns.  

The rental returns of developments such as Tampines Trillant, Tampines Court, Simei Green, The Eden, Melville Park, Savannah, Eastpoint Green and Changi Rise is more than 4%.

Research also indicates that many condos in the western part of Singapore (district 5) such as Pasir Panjang and Clementi can also command rental returns that exceed 4%. These include West Bay Condominium, Faber Crest, Vista Park, Park West, Dover Parkview and Heritage View.

Next up is district 3, which are areas around Queenstown/Tiong Bahru (Mera Prime, Emerald Park, Domain 21, River Place and Queens) and district 19, which comprise of Serangoon Gardens, Hougang and Punggol (Compass Heights, Rivervale Crest, The Florida, Sunglade and Regentville). 

On the other hand, condos in the prime districts 9, 10, 15 and 21are attracting far lower rental returns. Developments that are popular with investors such as Marina Bay Suites currently command rental returns of just 2.2%, while the returns at Ardmore Park and St Regis Residences are 2.3% and 2.6% respectively.

Private home resale prices stayed flat in July: SRPI

- August 29, 2015 No Comments

Resale prices of completed non-landed private homes were unchanged in July from the previous month, the Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) flash estimates released on Aug 28 showed, with gains in the central region offsetting the declines in the non-central areas.

The SRPI, compiled by the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate Studies, showed overall prices stabilised last month after the revised 0.1% drop in the previous month.

Prices of completed private apartments have fallen about 1.7% in the first six months of this year. The decline follows falls of 3.7% and 1.3% in the first and second halves of 2014 respectively.

Prices of homes in the central region, excluding small units, rose 0.2% to extend June’s 0.6% rise. Prices for these units have fallen the furthest so far at 4.2% from a year back and down an estimated 12.3% from their peak in May 2013.

Home prices in the non-central region eased a further 0.2% following the 0.7% decline previously. They are down 1.9% year on year and have fallen an estimated 8.6% from their peak in April 2013.

Prices of small units — those with a floor area of 506sqft and below — rose 0.3%, reversing from the 0.9% decline a month earlier, the data showed. They are down 2.9% year on year and have fallen about 9.5% from an August 2013 peak.

Even as cooling measures and loan curbs continue to weigh across the entire housing market, the resale sector is facing more competition for the buyer’s dollar as developers are making their new launches more affordable.

Sales of new private homes last month jumped to the highest level since the Total Debt Servicing Ratio came into effect two years ago, largely due to the launch of High Park Residences in Sengkang, where 1,169 of the 1,186 units offered were snapped up. The median launch price of $989psf – below the $1,000psf psychological threshold – was a key factor in its strong sales, analysts said.

In all, developers sold 1,594 private residential units last month, more than four times the 375 units sold in June and thrice the 511 units offloaded in July last year, Urban Redevelopment Authority data showed.

Analysts are expecting resale private property prices to decline by 3 to 4% for the full year, given looming new supply.

A total of 21,563 private homes are scheduled to be completed this year, up from 19,941 last year. A further 21,043 are expected to be completed next year.

About 96% of the supply this year and the next are non-landed homes.
Source: TODAY, ST

UK annual house price growth lowest since June 2013

- August 28, 2015 No Comments
UK house prices rose by 3.2% year-on-year in August, according to the latest survey from mortgage provider Nationwide.

That is the weakest annual pace since June 2013, and marks a slight slowdown from July.

Month on month, prices rose by 0.3% in August, compared with 0.4% the month before.

The average house value in August was £195,279, according to the Nationwide house price index.

One reason why house price inflation has apparently weakened is a rapid growth in prices at this time last year, the Nationwide said.

"This month's data provides further evidence that annual house price growth may be stabilising close to the pace of earnings growth, which has historically been around 4%," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

"Clearly house price trends are determined by a wide range of factors, but labour market developments are amongst the most important," he added.
With demand for homes rising, new home construction needs to increase to keep houses affordable, he said.

The figures from the Nationwide are in marked contrast to those from its rival, Halifax.

Earlier this month the Halifax reported that house prices across the UK were rising at 7.9% a year, and it expected strong growth to continue.

Halifax and Nationwide use different "mix adjustments" in their methodology.

This involves a different emphasis on property sizes, to account for the fact that more small or large properties may be sold in any one month.

Source: BBC

And speaking of UK properties, the wife and I made a boo-boo by not exchanging for Pounds back in May ahead of the completion of our UK property in September. This has become a rather expensive lesson when the £ went from S$2.02 to the current S$2.18 in just 3 months! So for those who are dabbling in foreign property investments, do be real mindful of exchange rate fluctuations!

Adana @Thomson (Review)

- August 26, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I have decided to check out Adana @Thomson (Adana) last weekend, since one of our readers had asked about it.

Adana is a low-rise, freehold project developed by Fortune Properties Pte Ltd - a boutique developer whose previous projects had included RV Suites, RV Edge and Estrivillas. The actual site of Adana is along Upper Thomson Road, but the sales gallery/showflat is located at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Avenue 2, besides the Ang Mo Kio Telephone Exchange.

First off, let's talk about awards. Nature-lovers will be pleased to know that Adana is one of three developments that have been recognised under National Parks Board’s (NParks) Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) as an "Outstanding Project" for their efforts in providing greenery and ecologically friendly landscapes. What this essentially means is that the project features 100% usage of native species of shrubs, trees and creepers for its landscaping and a green gardenscape will cover the entire rooftop of the development, which is interweaved with walkways, jogging tracks, community gardening and recreational spaces for residents. The entire development will also serve as an extension of Central Catchment Nature Reserve and a green corridor to the Thomson area and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. 

Adana consists of just 74 units that is housed over 3 blocks of 5-storey each. It sits on a small rectangular plot of land of about 41,000sqft, which currently houses the showroom of Star Furniture. Entry into the development will be via Old Upper Thomson Road, which is the same stretch of road that one will use when visiting the Lower Pierce Reservoir Park. 

In terms of unit offerings, Adana has apartment types ranging from 2- to 4-bedrooms. And you get one standard size per apartment type, which makes for easier selection.
            2-bedroom (25 units):                         560sqft
            3-bedroom Compact (20 units):          721sqft
            3-bedroom (20 units):                         872sqft
            4-bedroom (4 units):                        1,152sqft

The development is currently scheduled for TOP in 2019.

Facility wise, these are located on the ground and roof-top levels. Offerings are fairly limited as can be expected with small developments but you still get your share of swimming pools (though the main lap-pool looks to be rather narrow despite its 30m length), gym (both indoor and outdoor), BBQ areas and even a children playground. And a side-gate will allow residents to access Upper Thomson Road by foot directly from the development. 

You also get underground parking but your visitors may have to find their own parking outside of the estate. Consolation is that there is a public parking area for about 20 cars (currently catering to those who visit Lower Pierce Reservoir Park) just across from the development. 
There is only one showflat available for viewing in the sales gallery. This is the 3-bedroom (Type B2).

As you enter the main door, the kitchen is directly ahead of you while the living/dining area is to your right.

The kitchen is a small rectangular strip that may pose a bit of a challenge even for two people working alongside. It comes equipped with hood/hob, oven, fridge and washing machine by Electrolux and the huge window located at the back will ensue proper ventilation and an outlet for the cooking smell that is likely to overwhelm the tiny kitchen. And since this unit type do not come with a yard/laundry area, you will have to get creative if you are one who prefers to "air-dry" your clothing.

The living/dining area is again a longish strip of real estate. The dining area is particularly narrow - do not be misled by the photo as the line on the floor actually demarcate where the walls will be. So other than the need for a small rectangular dinning table, those who sit on the outer side will probably have to stand up every time someone wants to pass from the living area to the kitchen/main door.  Alternatively, you can take your dining al fresco, i.e. at the balcony, which is definitely sizable enough to house a dining table for four but will probably need to double up as the laundry drying area as well.

The living area has sufficient wall for a three-seater sofa. And you need not worry about splashing on that 80" flat-screen given the narrow space. But what the wife and I liked about the living/dining area is the large-slab compressed marble flooring and the 5.5m (no typo here) ceiling height, which creates an extra dimension of space... or makes it seems so anyway.


The two common bedrooms are "petite" (aka small) but the saving grace is again the 5.5m high ceiling, which means you have the option of putting in a double-deck bed or raise the bed and leave the floor-space for alternative use (a study table, for example). The wife and I were told that one of the common bedroom will be pre-approved for building of a loft of no larger than 3sqm, which will allow you to add more space to that room. 

The common bathroom looks fairly plain-vanilla. That said, it comes with high-quality floor and wall tiles and sanity fittings from Laufen, Geberit and Hansgrohe. 

The master bedroom will not leave you with much space after putting in a Queen bed. You also get another balcony area which the small apartment can ill-afford. 

The master bathroom is almost an exact replica of the common bathroom. But the wife and I were rather stunned (but not quite like a vegetable yet) by how tiny the shower cubicle is. The wife and I reckon that an average-sized individual will need to be quite restrained while bathing to prevent knocking himself/herself against the glass partitions. Even with the rain-shower, the cubicle will offer little cheer to the overall shower experience.

Pricing wise, a second-floor unit in Stack #15 (which we opine to be the best stack) will cost you $1,372,600, which translates to $1,574psf. 

Adana was officially launched about 2 weeks ago (after an extended period of "preview" as per current practice) and as of last weekend, about 40% of the project has been sold. The wife and I also understand that all but one the 4-bedders have already found buyers.

What we like:

1. The project's freehold status, which for new developments these days are more the exception than the norm and will be increasingly so moving forward.

2. The quality furnishing and fittings provided, which adds that bit more class to the apartment.

3. The tall ceiling at 5.5m not only make the apartment feels more spacious than its square-feet will suggest, but may also allow you to carve out additional functional spaces through some creative ID.

4. Amenities such as F&B establishments, supermarkets and even a Singapore Pools outlet are about a 5-minute walk away across the road at Jalan Leban, where Sembawang Hill Food Centre is also located.

5. There is almost a zero chance that your car will run flat on petrol as there are 3 petrol kiosks lining side-by-side next to Adana  and another 2 more within close proximity across the road.

What we do not quite like:

1. At just a tad over 800sqft, the 3-bedroom unit in Adana is way too small for our liking, regardless of the high ceiling.

2. Call us pampered but we cannot quite get use to not having a proper yard to do our laundry, iron our clothes etc. And hanging them out in the balcony to air-dry is an eye sore.

3. Adana is located right along Upper Thomson Road, which is serviced by quite a number of public buses (to places like Clementi, Orchard and even CBD, according to the wife). It should also allow you to flag a cab rather easily. However, the nearest (upcoming) MRT station, which we understand to be Bright Hill station, is quite some distance away and probably a bit laborious to get to on foot. And being right next to a busy road will mean that apartments closer to the main road may bear the full brunt of traffic noises.

4. One of the major marketing point for Adana is its proximity to nature and the lower pierce reservoir park. However, given the orientation of the development due to the plot size, none of the units actually faces the reservoir directly. One row of apartments actually face the petrol kiosks, which is not exactly appealing. However, we were told that the leases for these will be up in a few years and that they are unlikely to be renewed. But nobody knows for certain what's gonna happen at current time, so you may still end up watching vehicles taking petrol or getting a car wash while breathing in petrol and exhaust fumes all day long.

5. Being in sync with nature is good. Having to deal with roving gangs of monkeys, not so. The wife and I are all too aware about the monkey infestation problem especially around the forested parts of Upper Thomson. When we asked about this, we were told that monkeys should not be a major problem. But our visual inspection of the area around the Adana site may suggest otherwise.

6. Primary school wise, we can only identify one -  CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School - that is within 1km of Adana. This may be a concern for some parents, especially those with boys.

Our Parting Shot 

While we are generally happy with what we see in terms of quality, the wife and I are not too hot over the small apartment sizes and location/orientation of Adana. And despite all the hype about this being a freehold project, we still feel that at almost $1,600psf, it is probably a tad over-priced.

Speaking of bells and whistles...

- August 22, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I have read on CNA today that property developers are getting "creative" in terms of the amenities being offered in their new projects these days, in an attempt to win back buyers after home sales - weakened by multiple rounds of cooling measures - dropped to a six-year low last year.
Long gone are the days of impressing homebuyers solely with location, view, resort-style living or the usual trappings of 50m swimming pools, Jacuzzis, tennis courts and air-conditioned gyms. Instead, developers today are going all out to design and develop dwellings that provide a new way of living for buyers with a more assured sense of value and quality and very specific tastes. This is evident in some of the recent launches:
  • High Park Residences, a  condominium at Fernvale which is scheduled to obtain its TOP in 2019, has a carnivalesque spread of 118 facilities over 366,000sqft of land designed to lure even the most house-proud hermit out of his cave. Besides the requisite pools, playgrounds and BBQ pits, the development’s array of facilities also include: Indoor and outdoor movie theatres, boxing rings, a three-metre high swirl and splash water slide, a flying fox, hammock garden and a jamming room for budding musicians. And as if that were not enough, the developer is also throwing in an additional seasoning of free lifestyle classes for two years, including kick boxing, yoga, baking, swimming, tennis and violin lessons

  • Westwood Residences, an EC project in Jurong launched in May this year, is the first bicycle-themed development in Singapore. The development, which is expected to get its TOP in August 2018, comes complete with an outdoor mini-velodrome, a covered bicycle garage to house up to 500 bikes and even a specially designed bike maintenance area with washing, drying and repair provisions. Developers Koh Brothers and Heeton Homes are also throwing in a free bicycle with every purchase of a home, while stocks last.

The report has got us thinking and the wife and I have come up with a few other "bells & whistles" that developers should consider offering in their upcoming projects:

1. Enrichment centre by Amy Chua: We have friends who went for the official launch of her enrichment centre "The Keys Academy" located at (no, not the Singapore Zoo) Odeon Tower and came back telling us that the event was packed! This may be indicative of the vast number of women out there who aspire to become "tiger moms" and their desire to produce brilliant (but lifeless) kids. 
2. Distribution centre for limited-edition Hello Kitty collectibles: Have you seen the queues (and occasional scuffles) for these outside McDonalds every time they are introduced?
3. Exchange counter for new dollar notes: This will be especially welcomed whenever Chinese New year approaches as residents can skip the lines in banks and just concentrate on queuing for Lim Chee Guan instead!
4. Sound-proof mahjong rooms: We have heard that playing mahjong is a good way to keep dementia at bay. The sound-proof rooms may also help foster closer relationships between neighbours when people stop complaining about the shuffling of tiles and shrill of delight/despair at two in the morning.
5. Dedicated pool for those who insist on wearing improper attire: And we aren't referring to the babes/dudes in skimpy swimwear rather those who choose to swim in everything else BUT swimwear.  

And before you said it developers, you are most welcome!