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Walking around the grounds of d'Leedon...

- May 31, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I decided to spend this long weekend doing something that we had contemplated for awhile now... to check out the recently TOP-ed d'Leedon.

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Our review on this project was done some four years ago (how time flies!). Now that it is finally up and occupied, we had to come see it for ourselves. 

The first thing that struck us while walking around the pool area at the center of the development was how far apart the apartment towers are from each other. We remembered mentioning this as one of our "likes" in our review but you can only fully appreciate the space when you are standing within the completed development itself.  

And speaking of the pool area , this is certainly the main feature of d'Leedon. The mega-sized swimming pool is really quite a sight to behold!

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Walking around the grounds, the wife and I are pretty impressed with the facilities offered in d'Leedon


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And for all exercise fanatics, you have a choice of two gyms - the standard indoor affair and also a "aqua gym" located outside and within a section of the swimming pool.


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There are also shop-spaces within the development. These were the first to be sold out when d'Leedon was first launched. However, all the shop units are still vacant at the moment but we were told that they will start operating soon.

The wife and I decided to check out the footpath that provides access to King's Road, where the wet market and food centre are located. The path also leads you towards Farrer Road MRT station, which we reckon is a 5 - 10 minutes' walk away.


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Overall speaking, the wife and I did enjoy our little excursion around the grounds of d'leedon.


But what really took our breath away are the spectacular views you get on the higher floors of the apartment towers.


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A parting shot: The wife and I cannot help but notice cranes on top of each towers. We were told that these are for the purpose of bringing construction materials up to the penthouses, where there are still some works to be done.

And finally, followers of our blog will probably realize by now that we do not typically visit a development just to walk around the grounds. The wife and I have also visited some of the actual show units ("designer series" they call it), which we will share with you in our future blog post. So stay tuned!


Please click on the link below to read our previous review on d'Leedon:
http://www.sgproptalk.sg/2011/04/d-review.html





Light at the end of the resale market tunnel finally..?

- May 29, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I have read that prices for resale private homes fell by just 0.1% in April over March. This followed a 0.3% gain in March over February and a 0.1% fall in February over January. 

Given the marginal changes seen over the first four months of 2015, some experts are suggesting that resale prices are gradually reaching a floor. This is especially if the same small percentage changes in prices are seen over the next two or three months.


The higher sales observed also provided a support for prices last month. A total of 423 private homes were resold last month, up from 351 in March. It is also up from the 386 units that were resold in April last year.

Overall prices of resale condominiums have slipped 2.2% in the past 12 months, according to the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI). The overall index is also down about 9% from its peak in July 2013. However, the drop is perceived to be modest compared to the 5% year-on-year fall seen in each month of 4Q 2014.

So are we finally seeing some light at the end of the resale market tunnel? The wife and I aren't really holding our breath yet... 






"Get rich" scheme or "Get suckered" scam?

- May 27, 2015 No Comments

Many of you would have read the news about this 50-something property agent who had gone missing with more than $60 million of her investors' money. The said investment, which had been going on for 15 years, supposedly bought into distressed properties in prime districts to be sold at a profit to overseas buyers. Investors were promised returns of up to 30%. What was touted as a "high margin, zero risk" investment scheme then was now alleged to be a ponzi scheme.

It was not too long ago when our local newspapers had reported on another scam - EchoHouse. The company, which supposedly specialized in the construction of social housing in partnership with the Brazilian government, went bust during the early part of this year. Hundreds of Singaporean investors had lost more than $50 million in what was again alleged to be a ponzi scheme. Coincidentally, one of the major local property portal were actively promoting EcoHouse when they first setup shop in Singapore to market their investments. But they were also the first to distance themselves and started running various negative reports about the company when problems started unfolding.

While not all such "alternative investments" are necessarily scams, one should really be extra careful these days before handing over his/her hard-earned money. While most experts would advise against investing in products that one does not fully understand, the wife and I found that it is not always possible to know everything about that property investment that we are interested in. 

However, we have lived by the following rules that had served us rather well thus far (* we probably have jinxed it now). These may sound elementary but looking at the two recent cases when investors were duped of millions, we feel that they may still be worth sharing:

1. If the investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is - this may sound cliche but anything that promises 20 - 30% return with little/no risk should start raising alarm bells in your head.

2. Do as much homework as you possibly can - you be surprised how much information you can actually get just by goggling on the company, the person running the investment or the project that your investment is going into.

3. Be proactive in "owning" your investment - for each overseas property investment that we have made so far, the wife and I will proactively inquire with the agent (sometimes even with the developer directly) about the ongoing status of the project rather than wait for them to come to us with news. We will also try to keep tab with sound-bites about the project by scanning the media and internet. Although this is not 100% foolproof, it will at least ensure that we are not the last to know if shit hits the fan.

4. Do not invest simply because your family member, best friend or supposed "experts" had done so and assured you that it's a "sure thing" -  while most of them may start with noble intentions, it may end up to be a case of "the blind following the blind". As per most cases in life, you have to work for your keeps so do your own homework!

5. Finally, only invest with what you can reasonably afford to - if having that money stuck in some fixed assets such as property for a prolonged period (or worse, losing it altogether) will necessarily mean that you have to sell the house that you are living in or take an additional loan just to make ends meet, you probably should not be making that investment in the first place... much less "alternative investments".

The wife and I will like to end this piece with a recent story: A Singapore-based developer that is supposedly doing government-backed, low-cost housing projects in the US has contacted us recently to explore avenues for mutual co-operation... advertorial, sponsored articles etc. ...to promote their company and projects. When asked, we were reassured that their business model is genuine with guarantee of relatively high returns for their investors under minimal risk (since they have the support of the US government). But being the curious creatures that we are, we scoured the internet and found some rather unflattering stories that are indirectly connected with the company concerned. After we confronted them with these stories, we have not hear back from them since...


Caveat Emptor!


Thomson Three construction update

- May 24, 2015 9 Comments

It has been more than four months since the wife and I have gone to "KPO" at the Thomson Three site. So we decide to get ourselves some update this evening.


Constructions seem to be progressing steadily. From what we can gather, Blocks 41 and 43 are already up till 19 storeys.


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We then decide to get ourselves to a higher vantage point but the best that we can do is this photo taken from 11 storey.


Have a great week ahead everyone!


Click on link below to read our previous blog-posts on Thomson Three:






New project sales update: Disappointing take-up at Pollen & Bleu

- May 22, 2015 2 Comments

According to a BT report today, the initial take-up at Pollen & Bleu, a high-end boutique condominium project by Singapore Land located in the Farrer Road area, was rather disappointing after fewer than 10 units were sold. The developer had released about 30 units for its previews and subsequent soft-launch held earlier this month.

Singapore Land is offering a 15% discount across all launched units. This translates to average prices of $1,900 - $2,000psf, which means the 549sqft one-bedders are starting from $1.05 million; 872sqft two-bedders from $1.58 million and 1,184sqft three-bedders from $2.18 million. Four-bedroom units and penthouses are also available with prices on request only.

The project sits on a 99-year leasehold plot that Singapore Land won in 2012 for $113 million, which translates to $1,049psf ppr.

The wife and I had known about Pollen & Bleu back in August of last year, when we did our review on Mon Jervois. Both projects were developed by Singapore Land and shared the same sales gallery located at Ganges Road. The showflats for Pollen & Bleu seemed all ready back then, so the developer had certainly taken their time to launch this project.


Our first impression of Pollen & Bleu was the project's location being a tad too far from the main road for our liking. And to rub salt to injury, the walk is almost totally unsheltered. So it would either be a "hot and sweaty" or "warm and wet" journey by foot to the bus-stops, MRT station or amenities along Farrer Road. But we reckoned that those who could afford a unit in this project would likely own a car (or two) and probably preferred the exclusivity over convenience.


Another issue we had was the smallish, irregular-shaped plot of land that Pollen & Bleu resided on. Everything seemed "squashed" together, with many of the facilities being built on the condominium blocks themselves - probably due to lack of real estate. Feelings of claustrophobia aside, the wife was especially concerned by the fact that the lap-pool was resting on top of several apartment stacks, which might become a problem should leakages occur.


And even at the discounted prices of $1,900 - $2,000psf, the project does come across as somewhat steep for a 99-year leasehold development, District 10 notwithstanding. This is especially given the current market sentiments.


But that's just us average-Joes speaking, of course...


Not another EC site in CCK?!

- May 20, 2015 No Comments

An executive condominium site along Choa Chu Kang Ave 5 was launched for sale on Tuesday. However, the site is expected to receive only lukewarm response from developers and moderate land bid prices. This is largely due to three negative factors:

1. The site's far-flung location - it is almost 2km from Choa Chu Kang MRT station. Yes, we're have to consider actual road distance and not how Superman will measure it!

2. The significant build-up of ECs in Choa Chu Kang - Two new projects by Sim Lian and MCL Land that are expected to launch over the next 6 - 9 months will add another 1,865 units around the area. So Choa Chu Kang may end up joining the likes of Woodlands and Sengkang in their rendition of "Where have all the EC buyers gone?"

3. No major retail facilities in the vicinity of the site and no pretty scenery either.

The 4.9-hectare, 99-year leasehold site is estimated to generate about 490 units. The tender will close on June 30 and forecast for top bid is in the range of $250 - $330psf ppr.

The last EC site that was sold in the area was along Choa Chu Kang Drive and located about 600m from Choa Chu Kang MRT station. Sim Lian Land secured the site with a winning bid of $361psf ppr at a tender last September.  


With the significant slowdown in demand for ECs versus mounting supply over the next few years - not just Choa Chu Kang but in general - the wife and I reckon that potential EC buyers may be prudent to keep these three-worded mantra at heart: Location, location, location!

Convenience aside, units in EC projects that do not offer much in terms of character or amenities and faraway from MRT stations will find it tough when it's time to rent or sell. And to rub salt to injury, the task is made even more challenging these days with the "beefed up" resale levy. 

One can always argue that Singapore is way too small for any area to remain status quo after 5 - 10 years. So there is every chance that a big mall or even a transport hub may surface near to what is deemed "unfavorably located" EC sites now. But the question remains: are you prepared to take the risk with the unknown or err towards the try-and-tested when comes to finding your new home?

Even money's on the wife and I sticking to the later...



Changes to Housing Developers Act and what they mean...

- May 18, 2015 No Comments

ST reported this afternoon that The Ministry of National Development (MND) has announced on Monday that amendments to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act and subsidiary legislation will be implemented from May 25, 2015. This is to improve safeguards and enable prospective private home buyers to make better-informed purchasing decisions.

In April 2013, Parliament approved amendments to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act to improve and update legislative safeguards for buyers of uncompleted private residential properties.

The amendments will enhance market transparency by providing the public with more comprehensive and timelier information on the private residential property market.

The legislative amendments, which were finalised through a series of consultations with members of the public and industry stakeholders, are now ready to take effect, MND said.

Below are details of the amendments and what they mean (to us anyway):

1. Weekly collection and publication of transaction data
From May 25, 2015, housing developers must submit detailed transaction information to the Controller of Housing every week. This information will include sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units in their building projects, and the value of any benefits extended to buyers.

Developers will be required to submit this information to the Controller within five days of the end of each preceding week. This information will be published on the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) website weekly from June 5, 2015.

(* The wife and I have failed to find information on the old timeline for housing developers to submit detailed transaction information, but we seem to recall that this was previously done on a quarterly basis - we could be wrong and stand corrected by anyone who knows definitively.
And no more keeping discounts and rebates given to buyer outside of the selling price so as to maintain an artificial perception of a higher psf!  *)

2. More comprehensive information in transaction documents
The Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement, which are standard forms prescribed under the Housing Developers Rules, will also be amended to enhance the safeguards for purchasers of private residential properties. For example, developers must indicate the value of any benefits offered to buyers.

The amendments to both forms will take effect on July 20, 2015. This is to provide developers sufficient time to comply with the amendments.

(* While this may again evolve more transparency, some buyers may feel "disadvantaged" as the quantum of housing loan that they can take will be reduced. *)

3. Ensuring the accuracy of show units
MND is introducing the Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules to ensure that all show units provided by developers are accurate depictions of housing units offered for sale.

For example, one rule requires the floor area of the show unit to be the same as that of the actual housing unit. Another rule requires all external and structural walls to be built in the actual unit to be depicted in the show unit.
These Rules will take effect on July 20, 2015, to provide developers sufficient time to comply with the new requirements.

(* No more misrepresentations at showflats to give potential buyers a false sense of space or having a piano straddling between the balcony and living room - we kid you not! 
But to be fair, the wife and I have observed that developers are generally quite "disciplined" about the depiction of their showflats these days. However, the wife and I are not entirely convinced that all current showflats have the same exact floor area as the actual units. The new rules will make certain of that *)


Below is the MND Press Release:

Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules
The requirements on show units are set out in the Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules and include the following:

a. The floor area of the show unit must be the same as the depicted unit;

b. External and structural walls must be built, unless they need to be removed to provide access to and from the show unit. If these walls are removed, the position, thickness and width of the removed wall must be clearly marked on the floor and labelled;

c. All erected walls must be of the same thickness as that shown in the approved plans;

d. If any internal non-structural wall is not built in the show unit, the position, thickness and width of the removed wall must be clearly marked on the floor and labelled;

e. A drawn-to-scale floor plan of the show unit must be displayed at the entrance to the show unit;

f. Any models of the housing project displayed must be based on the approved plans; and

g. A list of materials, finishes, fittings and appliances which will be provided in the actual unit must be displayed in the show unit.

Exemption
Existing show units which have been erected, set up and made available for viewing before July 20, 2015, will be exempted from the new show unit requirements.

However, the developer must inform purchasers of the differences between the existing show unit and the actual unit as shown in the approved building plan, by prominently displaying a detailed list and description of the differences at the entrance of the show unit and giving purchasers a copy of the detailed list and description of the differences.


New private home sales in April hit 11-month high!

- May 16, 2015 No Comments

Developer sales in April has hit a 11-high of 1,124 units (excluding ECs). This is a 83.4% increase from the 613 units in March and a 47.5% year-on-year improvement from the 762 units in April 2014.

Below are some underlying facts:

1. The strong rebound in April sales is primarily due to the launch of two large projects - Frasers Centrepoint's North Park Residences in Yishun and UOL Group's Bontanique at Bartley. The two projects accounted for close to 66% of the total volume sold last month.

2. The sales number is expected to ease dramatically in May, as no major launched are expected. The near-doubling month on month in the number of private residential units that developers sold came amid a more-than-trebling in the number of units launched - 1,344 in April up from 400 in March. There has been a set pattern for supply-led demand in the Singapore's private resident property market for some time now.

3. Buyers are drawn to the two large projects in view of their attributes (proximity to MRT stations) and more importantly, reasonable pricing. 73% of the sales at North Point Residences and 84% of units sold at Botanique at Bartley were for units below $1.2 million.

4. North Park Residences performed better than Botanique at Bartley despite the former's higher median price - A total of 486 units (52.8% of total) of the former was sold at a median price of $1,374psf versus 254 units (31.9% of total) of the later at a median price of $1,290psf. This was attributed to the fact that residential projects that offer proximity to both MRT stations and malls still attract more buyers than those near MRT stations but without any nearby retail amenities.

5. Frasers Centrepoint said on Friday that to date, it has sold 526 of the 670 units released at North Point Residences, with Singaporeans accounting for 88% of buyers. About two in three buyers are current HDB dwellers. Another 20% have private non-landed addresses and 14% have a private landed address. Only a small number have foreign addresses. Two-thirds of units sold in the 920-unit project are two-bedders or smaller.


Including executive condominiums (ECs), developers moved 1,218 units last month, higher than the 692 units in March this year and 810 units in April last year.
Info sources: BT/ST


So here's to those who are about to take out the bubbly and celebrate the return of confidence in the private home market...



"Troubles @Trivelis": Our Two Cents

- May 14, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I typically do not comment on public housing matters - not that we are "atas" (snobbish) but more because we have little to none in terms of personal experiences when come to HDB/DBSS/BTO flats. However, an article that we came across in today's TODAY has stirred up some food for thoughts.

It was reported that over 500 flat-buyers in a recently completed DBSS (Design, Build and Sell Scheme) project - Trevelis in Clementi - are upset with various design and quality issues found in their flats. These include exposed sanitary pipes in the kitchen (which was not depicted in the project's showflats), living floor-tiles that are scratched, shattered shower glass panels and narrow common corridors that are prone to flooding.

The group of affected residents have accused the developer of being slow to respond to their emails and refusing the team's request to meet the managing director in person. The developer have also taken the position that since their designs and building works were cleared by the relevant authority (it was not stated who such "relevant authority" is but the wife and I assumed that it was HDB) and had met all minimum requirements, they are not obligated to entertain requests for redress.

When contacted by TODAY, a spokesperson of the developer said that they are in the process of resolving some of the issues that are not restricted by technical or regulatory controls, such as replacing three shower screens that had shattered because of impurities in the glass, and clearing drainage pipes to ease flooding in the corridors. However, they are unable to resolve the issue of the placement of sanitary pipes - the spokesperson had acknowledged that these were originally depicted in the showflats as being placed at the air-con ledges outside the flat. However, due to technical and regulatory constraints during construction, the pipes had to be placed in the service yard inside the unit instead.

And in response to TODAY's queries, HDB said that the flat-buyers' concerns have been referred to the developer to address. And discussions are currently ongoing between the developers and buyers.

The "Troubles @Trivelis" seems to suggest that the supposed higher design quality (over a regular HDB flat) that buyers are promised of their DBSS flats may not necessarily be a sure thing. This is despite the fact that such projects are tendered out to private developers to design/built and cost quite a premium over regular flats.

Three things came to our minds after reading the news article:

1.  If the sanitary pipes were depicted in the showflat mock-ups as being located outside of the flats but subsequently installed within the actual units, can this be construed as misrepresentation on the part of the developer? If it is indeed misrepresentation, should the developer be allowed to get away easy by hiding behind "technical and regulatory controls"? It is probably too late to make any ratification to the pipes now but surely the affected buyers are entitled to more compensation than simply an apology + offer of smaller front-load washing machines at discounted prices?  

2. Speaking of technical and regulatory controls, the developer claimed that they were informed of such constraints (which ultimately dictated where they can install the sanitary pipes) only during construction. This is rather incredulous as the developer concerned is supposedly quite established in the market and should be more than experienced when comes to what can/cannot be done. If this is not the case, it then raises a bigger question on the qualifying process of developers that HDB allow to bid for their projects.

3.  And speaking of HDB, do our public housing authority not have an obligation to intervene and resolve the buyers' concerns with the developer, rather than just "refer and request" and letting the buyers deal with the developer by themselves? If we understand the relationship correctly, private developers are acting as contractors to HDB in DBSS projects , i.e. instead of building the flats themselves, HDB allow private developers to tender and build the DBSS projects on their behalf. So the response from HDB did come across as merely "passing the buck".
* Correction (May 16): We read in the ST today that HDB only oversees DBSS projects, which are designed, built and sold by private developers who are responsible for any defects. And the developer concerned had beaten 10 other bidders for the Trivelis site by offering $271psf ppr. So maybe HDB is not to be faulted even if they are perceived as "passing the buck".

Finally, our take-away from the whole "Troubles @Trivelis" saga: it is probably wiser for buyers to just go with the regular HDB flats - you pay a lower price than BTO/DBSS and since the unit comes "bare", i.e. without the promised fancy furnishing that may turn out to be not that fancy after all, you can probably better manage your expectations. And once you get the keys to your flat, you can engage your own (hopefully reliable and trustworthy) designer/contractor to do up your home in the exact manner that you want it to be!















Private rentals flat in April, down 6% y-o-y: SRX

- May 13, 2015 No Comments

Rentals for non-landed private residential units remained unchanged in April from the previous month, according to the latest data released by SRX Property on Wednesday (May 13).

Units in the Core Central Region experienced a 0.7% increase in rents, but those in the Rest of Central Region and Outside Central Region saw decreases of 0.1% and 0.7%, respectively, according to the data.

On a year-on-year basis, rents in April were down 6%, and down 11.2% compared with its peak in January 2013, it added.

Rental volume dropped 11.9% from March's 4,111 units rented to April's estimated 3,621 units, SRX Property said.

Source: CNA


Private resale down 0.7% in April: SRX Property

- May 12, 2015 No Comments

Non-landed private residential resale prices have slipped 0.7% in April 2015 compared to a month ago, according to data by SRX Property released on Tuesday (May 12).

Year-on-year, resale prices dropped 4% from April 2014, and compared to the peak in January 2014, prices have fallen 6.9%, the data showed.

Resale prices of non-landed private homes in the Core Central Region and the Outside of Central Region dipped 0.1% and 1.5%, respectively. In contrast, prices in the Rest of Central Region rose by 0.4%.

Resale volume was also down in April, with 440 non-landed private residential units sold - a 2.7% dip compared to March 2015. But year-on-year, resale volume was 1.9% higher compared with the 432 units sold in April last year.

Resale volume was down 78.5% compared to the peak of 2,050 units resold in April 2010.

The overall median Transaction Over X-Value (TOX), which measures whether people are overpaying or underpaying the SRX Property X-Value estimated market value, has improved by $10,000 to reach S$0 in April.

For districts with more than 10 resale transactions, district 16 (Bedok, Upper East Coast) had the highest median TOX of $20,000. This means that majority of the buyers in this district has purchased units above the computer-generated market value, said SRX Property.

Conversely, district 15 (Katong, Joo Chiat, Amber Road) had the lowest median TOX with -$21,000. 

Source: CNA



DC Residency@Damansara Heights launching in Singapore this weekend!

- May 7, 2015 2 Comments

GuocoLand Malaysia is launching about 60 units in DC Residency, the residential component of Damansara City, a luxury integrated development, for sale to Singapore buyers this weekend. 


This comes ahead of the actual launch in Kuala Lumpur next month, and presents "a last chance" to purchase these residences at lower prices of about RM1,400 ($518)psf on average - versus the listing prices of RM1,600psf.

DC Residency consist of two 28-storey residential towers with 185 units each. Units range from 899sqft one-bedders to 2,075sqft three-plus-one bedders.

For now, only one tower is for sale, and already, half of its 185 units have been snapped up even before the launch, via private placement. Units in the second tower will be only released for sales after the construction is completed.

The integrated development also comes with two Grade A office towers, a F&B-centric lifestyle mall and a five-star hotel run by The Clermont Hotel Group from London. These will be fully operational by mid-2016, but their units are not for sale.


The office towers are already 80% committed while the retail mall is 30 - 40% committed.

DC Residency will be the first phase to be completed, and buyers will get their keys at the end of 2015.

Damansara Heights, where the development is located, is an affluent suburb in western Kuala Lumpur, five kilometres from the city centre, sometimes dubbed the "Beverly Hills of KL". 


Properties there have seen valuations increase 8 - 12% over the past two years, and DC Residency is expected to garner net rental yields of 5 - 6%.

The entire integrated development has a gross development value of RM2.5 billion. GuocoLand Malaysia is also investing RM48 million to develop nearby infrastructure - specifically one flyover and one tunnel - to minimise congestion for the benefit of residents, office-goers, and shoppers.

A mass rapid transit (MRT) station is being built next to Damansara City, which the developer is in talks with authorities to connect the development to. The MRT station will be linked to this Singapore-KL high speed rail when the later is completed.

The special pre-launch sale will be held at The Island Suite, Marina at Keppel Bay, this weekend.
Source: BT


Forget Iskandar and Dunga Bay, DC Residency is one Malaysian residential development that is probably worth a "look-see". This is in view of its prime location, integrated-development concept and the future MRT station that will be linked to the high-speed rail. However the wife and I noticed that there is another condominium development next-door to DC Residency - Twins@Damansara Heights - and decided to research a little into this development. 

Twins@Damansara Heights was completed in 2010 and consists of 318 units spread over two 36-story towers. The current asking prices of 3- and 4-bedders units are around RM1,000psf while the monthly rentals being sought on the 3-bedders (1,500+sqft) are around RM4,000.

Then again, we are comparing a brand new development versus one that's already 5-years old. So it may not be exactly "apple-to-apple" but a relevant gauge nonetheless.

So for those who are looking to invest in Malaysia, it may be worth the trip down to Marina at Keppel Bay this weekend...


5,000 more EC units expected this year!

- May 4, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I read over the weekend that some 5,000 executive condominiums (ECs) are slated for launch this year. This is on top of the estimated 2,100 unsold units from 12 EC projects already launched.

Take-up rate for some of the recent EC projects have been poor. The Amore, which was launched in January, sold just a quarter of its 378 units in the first three months. Bellewaters (651 units)  in Sengkang and Bellewoods (561 units) in Woodlands were launched last November and have only sold 34% and 22% of their units respectively as at end-March.

According to data from URA, vacancy rate of available and completed ECs have shot up to 15.1% in the first quarter of this year from 11.5% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Given the weak market demand, exacerbated by loan restrictions that are still in place, the upcoming EC launches are likely to worsen the unsold inventory situation.


So the question becomes: Given the potential oversupply and the "not quite so hot" locations of these new launches, how "motivated" will developers be to drop prices in order to move units?