Katong Shopping Centre To Go On $630M Enbloc Sale


Katong Shopping Centre

Katong Shopping Centre will make a third attempt at a collective sale soon with an asking price of about $630M. More than 80 per cent of the owners by share value and total area of the 425-unit mall have consented to the proposed sale. The mall sits on a 90,000 sq ft site with a plot ratio of 3.0. It is zoned for commercial and residential use.

City Developments (CDL) owns 60 units and 323 carpark spaces of mall.

Opened in 1973, Katong Shopping Centre was the most modern and largest mall in the east at the time.

Outline planning permission for full commercial use has been applied, which would be in keeping with its current use. Additional gross floor area for medical suites has also been proposed.

Assuming a land price of over $2,000 per sq ft per plot ratio, the sale could be challenging because the market is price-sensitive and the price quantum is over $500 million. Experts consider retail with offices as the best scheme for the site.

The days of buying sites to develop, strata title and sell at lofty prices are over since commercial strata sales have slumped with the imposition of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio.

Potential interest for the site will hinge on what sites are made available through the Government Land Sales programme for the second half of the year.

On a separate note, Jalan Besar Plaza was launched for collective sale yesterday. The minimum asking price is $380 million.

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Sales Of HDB Resale Flats Peaked In April Post Property Curbs


image credit: Night Pro

HDB resale numbers hit a peak volume of 1828 units last month since the introduction of property curbs some 3 years back, according to data from SRX Property.

April 2016 was 10.3% higher in the number of units resold compared to March 2013.

“The volume reprsents a record high since the recent cooling measures of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) and the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) were introduced in 2013,” SRX Property said.

With ABSD implementation, Singaporeans must pay 7% on their second property, and 10% on subsequent ones.

TDSR restricts home loans from financial institutions to individuals where monthly repayments exceed 60 per cent of their gross monthly income.

Despite the increase in resale volumes, the number of transactions is still nearly 50% lower than its peak of 3,649 units resold in May 2010.

Price trend of public resale flats is relatively flat since April last year.

According to SRX Property, prices of public resale flats decreased slightly last month, falling by 0.1% in April from March.

Home prices in mature estates increased by 1%, whereas units in non-mature estates fell by 1%.


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HDB Flexible With 3rd HDB Loan

On a case-by-case basis, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will be flexible to assist households with a third HDB housing loan on condition that these households must have adequate savings and stable incomes to service it.
Who may qualify?
Households that need urgent assistance but who failed to secure mortgage financing from banks.

“As I said, HDB would want to assist applicants to buy a home. But HDB is also wary of people, or families, who overstretch themselves, and end up with more debt. I don’t think we want that to happen just for the pursuit of buying a home,” said Minister of National Development, Lawrence Wong.

Last year, about 900 households received a third loan from HDB. About 75 per cent of these loans are on market rates. The balance 25 per cent were meted out under HDB concessionary loans.


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Ascott Acquires Lease On One-North Serviced Apartment

CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited, has obtained a lease on a prime property in one-north business park.

The 50-unit serviced residence is currently operating and will be rebranded to Citadines Fusionopolis Singapore from April.

Mr Anthony Khoo, Ascott’s head of Singapore cluster, said demand for Ascott’s serviced residences remains strong in Singapore, driven largely by the inflow of foreign investment and various government initiatives to reinvent Singapore as an exciting business and leisure destination.

“The country is amongst our best performing markets after China, France and the United Kingdom. Ascott properties in Singapore have been achieving strong occupancy of above 80 per cent and this property at Fusionopolis in one-north business park will give us an added advantage,” he said.

Citadines Fusionopolis Singapore is part of the 30ha Fusionopolis precinct in the one-north development, Singapore’s research & development hub which houses more than 400 companies.

The area is well served by food and beverage outlets and retail amenities, including a supermarket, medical centre, post office and pharmacies.

Source: Straits Times
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First EC launch in 2016 outperforms


Wandervale, 2016’s first executive condominium (EC) launch, saw about half of its 534 available units taken up at the weekend launch. Seen against the weaker sales performances of other recent ECs launches, Wandervale’s showing demonstrated that ECs can still attract home buyers if located and priced right.

In today’s norm, to sell about 50 per cent of any launch, all the more for an EC project, is a commendable performance. It is an indication that there’s still a demand for ECs at the right price, at the right location.

Wandervale, developed by Sim Lian Group, is a 99-year leasehold development in Choa Chu Kang. It is within walking distance to the Choa Chu Kang MRT station and bus interchange.

Out of its 534 units, 130 units are three-bedroom, 322 are three-bedroom premium, and 82 are four-bedroom units. They range from 958 sq ft to 1,249 sq ft across nine residential blocks of 13, 15, and 17 storeys respectively.

An average price of S$755 per square foot was set prior to its launch.

Sol Acres EC in nearby Choa Chu Kang Grove saw 247 out of its 707 offered, or about 35 per cent, sold at its launch weekend in August last year.

Criterion in Yishun was expected to have sold 30 of its 505 units at launch in October last year.

Previous ECs have not had an equally good showing at their launches because there were too many taking place in a short period of time.

Wandervale’s bright performance at launch comes even as Sim Lian adopted a cautious stance on the local market.

Sim Lian’s group executive director Kuik Sing Beng told BT in an interview published last month that the group is mulling over a stronger presence overseas as Singapore’s market softens.
“We foresee that the office, retail and residential markets will soften in the next one to two years. Looks like the government is unlikely to lift the cooling measures at the moment and they are trying to engineer a soft-landing,” Mr Kuik said.

This means that developers’ margins have been squeezed, and sales dampened, prompting many of them to seek new avenues for profitability.

Based on ballpark estimates, development margins for ECs have come down to 10-12 per cent from 15 per cent previously, while that for private condominiums have eased to 12-15 per cent from 15-20 per cent before the onset of cooling measures.

In response to continued calls by real estate developers for property curbs here to be tweaked or lifted amid continued sluggishness in the local property market, the Ministry of National Development said last month that it is “too early” to lift property market cooling measures now.

Source: Business Times


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Time To Ease Property Curbs, Say Developers


Image credit: Paul Bica

It is time to wind back property cooling measures given an oversupply of housing and a fragile economy, says Augustine Tan, president of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas), given the measures had already succeeded in reducing home prices and sale volumes.

In July last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said it was premature to lift property curbs, as the price correction had been modest.

The real estate market is reeling from the compounding effects of oversupply, rising vacancy rates, weak demand and rising interest rates amid economic challenges. “There is therefore an urgent need for action to bring stability and ensure a soft landing to prevent further damage to the fragile economy,” he said.

Private residential prices here fell for the ninth straight quarter in the October to December period last year, easing 0.5 per cent, bringing the full-year fall to 3.7 per cent.

Singapore’s private residential market had a supply pipeline of over 60,000 units and a record 26,500 vacant units as at the end of last year.

He said about 700 unsold units across 13 developments will be hit by QCs this year, with estimated charges of close to $100 million.

The QC rules require developers with at least one foreign shareholder or director, to complete construction within five years, and to sell all units within two years of completion. Developers that need more time have to pay extension charges.

The ABSD rules – introduced in December 2011 – mean developers here have to develop and sell all new units within five years.
If not, they must pay the 10 per cent ABSD. The levy was later raised to 15 per cent for sites acquired from Jan 12, 2013 onwards.

“The kick-in at end 2016 of the ABSD remission claw-back for developments with unsold units will put further pressures on prices,” Mr Tan said.

About 6,000 unsold units in 33 developments – excluding executive condominiums – are set to be hit by the ABSD remission claw-back next year and in 2018, he said.

One analyst said the Government could consider relaxing the ABSD rate of 7 per cent for Singaporeans buying a second residential property.

Another suggestion was to scrap the Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) for residential property – introduced in 2010 to curb speculation.

With falling prices and the property market remaining weak, the concern of speculation is much reduced. So the SSD removal or relaxation should not have the unintended effect of price rebound.


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Bidadari In Demand

Bidadari is hot. Once again it is oversubscribed. Perhaps many are hoping for a repeat of the success story of Bishan, once a cemetery but now  a highly sought after and highly priced HDB estate.

alkaff garden

credit: Alkaff Garden

Despite a higher priced tag, demand for new HDB flats in Bidadari is overwhelming – 408 applicants chasing 236 five-room and 3-generation flats in Bidadari Alkaff Oasis, as of Feb. 24.

Alkaff Oasis is located between Bidadari Park Drive and Alkaff Crescent and within walking distance to Woodleigh and Potong Pasir MRT stations. It has a total of 1,594 units spanning two-room Flexi, three-room, four-room, five-room, and 3-Gen flats. There were 1,605 applications for 2,830 three-room and bigger flats while there were 510 applications for the 1,340 two-room Flexi flats, by 5.00pm on Wednesday,

The first build-to-order (BTO) flats in Bidadari released in November last year also saw overwhelming response.

A total of 4,170 new flats were launched under HDB’s February BTO exercise across three projects in Bukit Batok, Sengkang, and Bidadari. This is the first tranche of 18,000 BTO flats to be launched this year. Application will close on March 1.

West Plains @ Bukit Batok has 1,655 units of two-room Flexi, three-room, four-room, and five-room flats housed in nine residential blocks.

Bounded by Sengkang East Way and Anchorvale Lane, Anchorvale Plains comprises five blocks offering 921 units of 2-room Flexi, three-room, four-room, and five-room flats.

HDB said: “Applicants are advised to apply for a BTO flat in non-mature towns to enjoy a higher chance of success in securing a flat,” adding that new flats are priced considerably lower than transacted prices of comparable resale flats in the vicinity.

Eligible first-timer families can also enjoy up to S$80,000 of housing grants.
The monthly household income ceiling for buying new HDB flats was recently raised to S$12,000 for Singaporean families and S$6,000 for singles.

In May, HDB will offer about 4,070 BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang and Sembawang. About 5,000 balance flats will be offered in a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise.

Source: The Business Times

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