Friday, December 28, 2012

Echelon: 80% of launched units sold on first day of preview!

A new private condominium project located in Alexandra View, called Echelon, has seen strong sales.

Its developer City Developments Limited (CDL) said 80% of the units launched have been snapped up on the first day preview of the project.

In a statement, CDL said that as at 4pm on Friday, 200 out of 250 launched units have been sold.

The 508-unit development is jointly developed by CDL, Hong Leong Holdings Limited and Hong Realty.

Located near the Redhill MRT Station, Echelon offers a range of one- to four-bedroom units, loft units and penthouses spread over two 43-storey towers.

CDL said the "early bird" prices for the units average $1,700psf.

It added that a one-bedroom unit costs about $800,000, while the two- and three-bedroom units are priced from $1.19 million and $1.34 million respectively.

Larger apartments such as a four-bedroom suite will cost at least $2.13 million, and a penthouse will come with a price tag of $7.15 million.
Source: Channel News Asia

The news article above caught our attention even while we are vacationing in Taiwan this week. And those who have bought into Ascentia Sky earlier must be rubbing their hands with glee after reading the report..

November private home prices up 1.9%!

Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums picked up pace in November, with those in the central region leading the gains.

According to the National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI), prices of private non-landed homes climbed 1.9% in November.

This follows a 0.8 per cent increase in the previous month.

In particular, prices of private non-landed homes in the central area (excluding small units) advanced by 2.6% in November, compared with a 0.4% rise in October.

NUS' Institute of Real Estate Studies, which published the SRPI flash estimates, said the sharp rise in prices of private non-landed homes (excluding small units) in the central area was driven by strong resale activity. Units in the central region made up about 35% of the total volume of transactions in October and November compared to 25% in January .

Associate Professor Lum Sau Kim of the NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies added that the housing market is still enjoying "favourable demand conditions with low nominal interest rates and low unemployment".

Meanwhile, prices of resale private homes in the non-central regions (excluding small units) edged up 1.3%, compared to a 1.2% increase a month earlier.

Prices for small units with a floor area of 506sqft or below rose 1.7%.

HSR Property Consultants' special advisor, Donald Han, said: "Developers launched less units for sale but instead focused on sales of existing projects that have been completed.

"For example, Reflections at Keppel Bay saw sales of six units in the month of November. The lack of new projects also caused investors to turn to the secondary market."

He added that centrally-located projects have also been re-rated by investors, given that their price increases have lagged behind those in the suburban area.
Source: Channel News Asia

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pre-Christmas Folly

While trying to clean up some of the spam on our comments page, the wife and I (more "I" than the wife actually) have accidentally deleted some of the recent comments made by our readers and our responses over the past month.

So if your contribution has gone missing, please be reassured that it is not a case of we don't like  what you wrote (or you, for that matter).

And in the spirit of the season,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Real Deals (20-12-2013)

In this latest issue, the good folks at Maybank-Kim Eng Research have provided us with their take on the private home market scene in 2013.

And for those who are sussing out the Tanah Merah and Farrer Road area, this is definitely one report for you!

Click on the link below to read the full report:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Property Spotlight: District 4

Investors are turning their attention again to developments in District 4, especially the Telok Blangah and Keppel Bay neighborhoods. With the construction of the 1,040-unit The Interlace at an advanced stage, buying interest has also picked up. Developed by a CapitaLand-led consortium and designed by world-class architect Ole Scheeren, the project is a redevelopment of the former Gillman Heights, a privatized HUDC estate in Telok Blangah. The project is pitched at the mid- to upper-end of the condominium market, and contains a mix of two- to four-bedroom apartments and penthouses. The 99-year leasehold condo is scheduled for completion sometime next year.

Only mainly large units are left for sale at The Interlace, according to David Neubronner, head of residential project sales at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), and the developer is pricing them at an average of $1,500psf. As at end-October, 737 units or 70,9% of the units have been sold by the developer, with the latest median price achieved at $1,294psf.

Meanwhile, those who bought units when the project was launched in late-2009/early 2010 at prices from $900 to $1,000psf are offloading them on the secondary market as it approaches completion. Sub-sale prices achieved over the last two months have ranged from $1,096to $1,353psf, according to caveats lodged in October and November. For instance, a 1,464sqft, three-bedroom unit on the seventh floor was sold in a sub-sale for $1.98 million ($1,353psf). according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis in November. The original owner purchased it from the developer in April 2010 for $1.5 million ($1,024psf), thus realizing a capital appreciation of 32%.

Meanwhile, a 1,550sqft, three-bedroom unit on the eighth floor in another block recently changed hands in a sub-sale for $1.89 million ($1,218psf). The seller purchased it for just $1,003psf two years ago, thus enjoying a capital appreciation of 21.4%. Owners who bought their units two years ago are now putting them on the secondary market with price tags of $1,300 to $1,400psf, says Neubronner. At such prices, they still get a capital upside of 20% to 30%, he estimates.

However, for those who plan to hold on to their units at The Interlace, Neubronner reckons that, based on an estimated rental rate of $4psf per month, they are likely to achieve rental yields of about 5%, relative to the more recent buyers where the yields for their units will likely be 3% to 4%.

Meanwhile, at the 969-unit Caribbean at Keppel Bay, a handful of units have been sold in November at prices ranging from $1,561 to $1,735psf based on caveats lodged to date. The 99-year leasehold condo project was completed in 2004.

The most recent caveat registered with URA Realis was for the sale of an 893sqft, two-bedroom unit on the sixth floor of one of the blocks for $1.55 million ($1,735psf). The previous owner paid just $671,175 ($751psf) for the unit seven year ago, hence seeing its price increase by 2.3 times over that period.
Elsewhere at Caribbean at Keppel Bay, a 1,227sqft, three-bedroom unit on the eighth floor of another tower recently changed hands for $1.86 million ($1,516psf). Three years ago, the same unit was sold for $1.73 million ($1,410psf), according to a caveat lodged with URA Realis.

Caribbean at Keppel Bay is popular with expatriate tenants and investors, with rental rates hovering from $5 to $6psf per month, according to JLL's Neubronner. This means, based on today's selling prices, the gross rental yield is likely to be compressed to 3% to 3.5% per annum.

Meanwhile, also in the Telok Blangah neighborhood, Bukit Sembawang Estates has substantially sold its freehold Skyline Residences, which is still under construction. To date, around 80% of the 283 units at the high-end condo project have been sold at an average price of $2,000psf. The last recorded transaction captured by URA Realis was in August - a 1,346sqft, three-bedroom unit on the 22nd level was sold for $2.82 million, or $2,096psf. "Skyline Residences stands out for its freehold status and hence it commands a premium," says Neubronner.

The wife and I first visited The Interlace's sales gallery around this time of the year back in 2009, when the average price for this project was around $1,000psf. We were not particularly impressed by the furnishing (homogenous-tile flooring for a supposedly upper-end project) and the fully-enclosed bathroom (no ventilation). But looking at the current median price of about $1,300psf, what a difference 3 years make!

Click on links below to read our review of The Interlace:

Click on link below to read our previous review of Skyline Residences:


Monday, December 17, 2012

Singapore Property Update (17-12-2012)

The latest report by Maybank-Kim Eng Research provides more insight into the November private home sales figures, and what to make of this going forward.

Click on the link below to read the report:

November home sales drop 44%, school holidays to blame.

According to an online report, home buyers snapped up 1,087 new private homes last month. This is 44% down from the close to 2,000 homes sold in October as the school holiday period dampened sales momentum.

Including executive condominiums (ECs), 1,266 homes were sold. Last month, the figure was 2,624 units.

Top selling projects for November include Eco Sanctuary which moved 140 units at a median price of $1,050psf, d'Leedon which sold 133 units at $1,431psf and Bartley Residences where buyers picked up 43 units at $1,230psf.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Project Info: The Whitley Residences

It was reported in our de facto business newspaper today that Hoi Hup have sold 19 freehold cluster homes at The Whitley Residences at about $5 million each during a preview on Sunday. The average price is about $850psf on strata area - after a 12% discount and absorption of the standard 3% buyer's stamp duty.

All  the buyers were Singaporeans. Non-Singapore citizens need permission from the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit to buy units in the development, as it is a form of landed housing.

The units sold comprise a corner terrace and 18 semi-detached houses. The semi-Ds fetched $4.9 million (for a unit with a strata area of 6,125sqft) to $5.12 million (for a 6,071sqft unit). The 6,620sqft corner terrace sold for $4.85 million.

Cluster housing developments are landed homes that have shared condo-like facilities. At The Whitley Residences, these will include a clubhouse, pool, gym, hot spa and playground.

The District 11 project is near the upcoming Mount Pleasant MRT Station under the Thomson Line. All 61 units in the development span four levels, including a basement and attic, and each has its own lift.

The project comprises 58 semi-Ds and three terrace homes - all with five bedrooms.

Strata areas of the semi-Ds are 5,156sqft to 7,190sft. Following the sale of a corner terrace unit, the remaining corner unit of 6,448sqft (priced at $4.8 million) and a 4,801sqft intermediate terrace house costing $4.3 million are available.

Strata area includes car parking area, private enclosed space lift, void areas and roof terrace.

For its preview, Hoi Hup released 27 semi-Ds and all three terrace units.

This is definitely one project that the wife and I are interested to go have a look-see. For the uninitiated, the site that The Whitley Residences sit on is supposedly the largest freehold land site in District 9, 10 and 11 since the 1950s, with grounds exceeding 130,000sqft. The project also has the honor of being the first ever landed housing estate in Singapore to achieve the top-tier Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Award.

Here are more details about The Whitley Residences for those who are interested:

Name:            The Whitley Residences
Location:       141 Whitley Road
Developer:     Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd
Tenure:          Freehold
District:         11
Est. TOP:      31 Dec 2017
Total Units:   58 strata Semi-Detached & 3 Strata Terraces
Car Park:      Basement Parking (private & visitor parking lots)

MRT Stations & Schools:
0.4 km: Mt Pleasant MRT Thomson Line (Due 2021)
0.87 km: Novena MRT
0.99 km: Bukit Brown MRT Circle Line U/C 


Schools & Institutions
0.80 km: Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)
0.77 km: Balestier Hill Primary School
0.97 km: CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh)
1.17 km: Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS)
1.17 km: Singapore Chinese Girls' Primary School (SCGPS)
1.65 km: Marymount Convent School
1.74 km: Kheng Cheng School
1.85 km: Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) 


Friday, December 7, 2012

Private home sales climb but rental is softening!

Resale home prices of both non-landed private residential units and HDB flats continued to climb to new highs in October and November against the third quarter 2012.

But according to data released by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX), the rental market for private homes is showing signs of softening.

As a result, overall gross rental yield dropped to a six-year historic low of 3.77% in the first two months of the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, prices of private resale homes rose to $1,222 per square foot (psf) in the first two months of the fourth quarter, up 5.4% from the previous quarter's average of $1,159 psf.

The report found that resale prices of private homes rose across all regions, with non-landed homes in the suburban region seeing the sharpest increase at 4.5%, compared to the third quarter of 2012.

This is followed by a 3.3% increase in the city fringes and a 2.8% increase in the core central region.

Compared with the first two months of the third quarter this year, transaction volume rose by 6% to reach 2,483 resale transactions in the October to November period.

Meanwhile, the average unit monthly rent of private homes dropped by 1.0%, from $3.88 psf in the third quarter to $3.84 in the first two months of fourth quarter.

Leading the drop is non-landed homes in the city fringe where prices fell by 2.5% to $3.91 after rising for the first three consecutive quarters in this year.

The other regions remained relatively stable compared to the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the report included for the first time data about the sales of small private apartments, commonly known as shoebox units in Singapore.

Year-to-date, just 198 shoebox units changed hands in the resale market.

But the report said there was strong demand for rentals of shoebox units, with 1,328 rental contracts signed this year. This represents 6.7 times more rentals than resales for shoebox units year-to-date. In contrast, the average is 2.4 times more rentals than resales for other types of units.

As a result, shoebox units continue to draw higher rental offers in the fourth quarter.
Source: Channel News Asia