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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.