Thursday, September 30, 2010

VACANZA @EAST: Close to 90 units sold!

Hoi Hup and Sunway sold nearly 90 units at their Vacanza @East condo by the end of Tuesday, when the project previewed to those who had registered interest with the appointed marketing agents DTZ and Huttons. This is according to a BT report today.

A VVIP preview was held on Monday for staff/directors of Hoi Hup and Sunway as well as their special guests.

The average price for the 12-storey freehold project is about $1,090psf.

Buyers were mostly Singaporeans and the most popular units were two- and three-bedroom units.

In absolute price terms, units sold range from nearly $550,000 for a 484sqft one-bedder to slightly above $2 million for a three-bedder penthouse of over 1,900sqft.

Initially two blocks comprising 141 units were released but as potential buyers started requesting for apartments in other stacks in the 473-unit project, the developers began releasing more units.

Vacanza comprises one- to four-bedroom units as well as penthouses. It will have a clubhouse, gymnasium, a tennis court, a lap pool, fitness station and lawn.

Market watchers point out that the project, located at Lengkong Tujoh, is next to the Pan Island Expressway, near Singatronics Building and Bedok Industrial Estate. It is about a kilometre away from Kembangan MRT Station.

Hoi Hup and Sunway are developing Vacanza on a 207,000sqft site which they bought in October last year for $158 million, or about $445 per square foot of potential gross floor area, including an estimated development charge of about $36 million at the time.

The site, which was vacant at the time, was sold by Lee Tat Development. The residential site has a 2.1 plot ratio (ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area) and a 12-storey maximum height under Master Plan 2008.

Vacanza’s appeal is supposedly due to it being a freehold project in a quiet estate amidst a landed housing enclave. However, the wife and I wonder how much of the “PIE noise effect” will Vacanza be subjected to, especially when the site is located along this busy expressway…


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Non-landed private home prices remain flat in August...

According to the BT today, the latest flash estimates from National University of Singapore (NUS) show that prices of non-landed homes remained flattish in August compared to July. This period would not have shown up the impact of the government cooling measures, which were announced on Aug 30.

The Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI), compiled by the NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies, covers only completed properties.

NUS’s overall price index for non-landed homes for August rose 0.8% month on month, compared with a month-on-month drop of 0.1% for July. The June index was up 0.6% over May. In May, the index appreciated 2.4%.

NUS’s sub-index for Central region, which covers a basket of properties in districts 1 - 4 and 9 -11, was unchanged in August, following a 0.8% month-on-month drop in July. The sub-index for Non-Central region rose 1.5% in August from the preceding month, after a 0.5% increase in July.

Since the end of last year, all three indices have appreciated, to the tune of 10% for the overall index, 7.6% for the Central region and 11.8% for the Non-Central region.

The August flash estimate for Central region is still 4% below the pre-crisis high in November 2007. However, for the Non-Central region, the latest index has surpassed its respective pre-crisis peak in January 2008 by 13.9%. As a result, the overall SRPI flash estimate for August is 6.9% above its Nov 2007 high.

The SRPI is compiled based on a basket of properties for the base period Dec 2001 (* The wife and I have actually changed the period - the BT report actually says Dec 2009, which is inconsistent with the graph. So we reckon it is a typo) comprising 74,359 units in 364 projects within the 26 postal districts completed between Oct 1998 and Sep 2009. The basket is to be reviewed every two years.

Market watchers are awaiting the government’s release of the flash estimates for the Q3 2010 prices indices for private homes and HDB resale flats on Friday for an idea of the impact of the recent cooling measures.

And the wife and I will post the Q3 2010 indices on our blog once we get our hands on them…


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

VACANZA @EAST: Preview starts today!

The BT today has reported that Vacanza @East, a freehold condo in the Kembangan area, is previewing from today.

This is a joint-venture project between Hoi Hup Realty and Malaysia's Sunway group.

The average price is expected to be slightly over $1,000psf for the 141 units being released in two blocks of the 12-storey project. Vacanza @East will have a total 473 units in seven blocks.

The project comprises one to four-bedroom units as well as penthouses.

About 39% of uinits have either two bedrooms or two bedrooms with a study. Another 30% are three-bedders.

View our previous post about this project here:


Sales update from last week: NV Residences & Jupiter 18

Following are extracted from the ST and BT today:

NV Residences        
CDL has sold another 35 units last week, taking total sales to 335 units out of 380 launched units in this 642-unit development in Pasir Ris.

It sold 50 units the previous weekend and 90 units over the Hari Raya weekend.

The 99-year leasehold development had sold 160 units at its Sep 8 preview despite the Aug 30 cooling measures having kicked in by then. The average price during the preview was $830psf but this was later raised by about 1 - 2%.

Jupiter 18
Roxy-Pacific group previewed Jupiter 18 at Lorong 102 Changi. So far it has sold more than 70% of the 53 units in the freehold project, which range from one-bedders of 388sqft to two-bedroom penthouses of 1,119sqft.

The average price is about $1,100sqft. In absolute quantum, prices start from slightly over $500,000 for a one-bedder.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Spottiswoode Park, UOL (Showflat Update)

You may recall that the wife and I have been monitoring the construction progress of the sales gallery/showflat for the above project, which we understand is named (tentatively at least) Spottiswoode Residences.

We decided to drop by the site yesterday for another update.

Spottiswoode 1(24-09-2010)

From our observation, it will probably be at least a month (or two) before the showflat can be ready for general viewing... if the developer does not decide to delay the launch, that is.

Spottiswoode 2 (24-09-2010)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NV RESIDENCES (Showflat Photos)

Here are photos that the wife and I had taken at the showflat of NV Residences.

This is a 1658sqft, 4-bedroom ground floor unit (Type Dp1).

The review will follow shortly (fingers crossed).

Living (4-brm)

kitchen (4-brm)

Yard (4-brm)

Bathroom (Yard)

Common Bedroom 1

Common Bedroom 2

Common Bathroom

Junior Suite

Bathroom (J Suite)

Master Bedroom

Master Bath (4-brm)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More mid-tier and high-end project launches over the next 9 months...

The BT today has reported that developers plan to launch another 34 residential developments with more than 8,800 units by June 2011. This is according to data compiled by Knight Frank.

Most of the new projects rolled out will be mid-tier and high-end developments. Knight Frank’s list shows that 21 out of the 34 possible launches are located in the upmarket districts of 1, 2, 4, 9, 10 and 11.

Developers that BT spoke to trust that the latest round of government measures to dampen demand for private homes and HDB flats announced on Aug 30 will impact mostly mass market homebuyers.

They are hopeful that new launches, which are mostly for homes in the mid-tier, high-end and luxury segments, will see healthy take-ups.

The large number of upcoming mid-tier and high-end developments is not a reaction to the latest round of property measures, developers and analysts said. Rather, having pushed out numerous projects targeted at upgraders, many property groups are left with pending mid-tier and high-end project launches.

But, many developers did not want to commit to a firm launch date – even though in some cases, showflats are ready and brochures have been printed.

CapitaLand recently said that it will go ahead with the launch of its new 1,715-unit condominium on the former Farrer Court site in Farrer Road by the end of this year.

The launch of the Farrer Road project will be closely watched as it is the largest single residential development likely to be offered to homebuyers in the near future.

CapitaLand is likely to hedge its bets by rolling out the development in phases, similar to what City Developments and the Hong Leong Group did with their 642-unit NV Residences in Pasir Ris.

EL Development also said that he intends to launch his 115-unit freehold project on the site of the former Diamond Tower in Jalan Rajah, in the Balestier area, in Q1 2011.

But despite the more bullish outlook for the mid-tier and high-end segments, several large suburban projects will be launched soon.

Esparina Residences, a 573-unit executive condominium (EC) project at Sengkang by Frasers Centrepoint and Lum Chang Building Contractors, will be launched next month.

Major private suburban launches in Q4 2010 include Hoi Hup Sunway Property’s 473-unit Vacanza @East at Lengkok Tujoh; Far East Organization’s 214-unit The Lanai at Hillview Avenue; and Keppel Land’s yet-unnamed residential development at Lakeside Drive, which will have more than 600 units.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ESPARINA RESIDENCES - Registration closes end of this month!


Executive Condominium (EC) is not really our thing, since it is technically not "private residential property"... especially when it is a new project.

However, this wife has received the following details and so we decided to post this for those who might be interested (and qualify) to apply.

We understand that registration for Esparina Residences has started last week and will close by end of September.

Preliminary Information of the Development

Location : Buangkok Drive / Compassvale Bow
Land Tenure: 99-year Leasehold
Site Area : 204,516 sqft
Developers: Fraser Centrepoint Homes & Lum Chang Group

Executive Ccondominium development comprising 9 Blocks of 18 storey residential flats with recereational facilities

Total No. of Units:

Unit Types: 
2-bedroom/ 3-bedroom Compact / 3-bedroom with Utility Room/ 3-bedroom "Dual-Key/ 4-bedroom with Utility Room / 4-bedroom "Dual-Key"/ Penthouses

Estimated Price (subject to developer's discretion/confirmation):
  • 2-Bedroom: $600K - $700K
  • 3-Bedroom Compact: $700K - $800K
  • 3-Bedroom + Utility/ 3-Bedroom "Dual-key": $800K - $900K
  • 4-Bedroom + Utility/ 4-Bedroom "Dual-key": $950K - $1.1M
  • Penthouses: $1.1M - $1.3M

Selling Points:
  • 3 mins walk to Buangkok MRT Station
  • 3 MRT stations to Future Serangoon MRT Interchange (North-East & Circle Line) & NEX Mega Shopping Mall
  • Approx. 15 - 20 mins MRT ride / drive to City centre and CBD
 Esparina Residences (Project Details)

Esparina Residences (Eligibility Checklist)

Sales update from last week: Twin Peaks & NV Residences

The BT has reported that private residential sales appeared quieter last week as the buzz created in the preceding week, when NV Residences was released, ebbed.

Twin Peaks
This project was officially launched last Sunday, marked by the start of its ad campaign.

Overseas Union Enterprise, the project’s developer, is understood to have sold about half of the 70 units it has released so far of the 99-year leasehold condo at Leonie Hill Road.

While OUE has been previewing the project for a few weeks, the bulk of the options are said to have been issued over the weekend. The average price is about $2,870psf. Prices start from about $1.5 million for a one-bedroom unit of 550sqft.

The buyers were mostly Singaporean and OUE is also said to have garnered strong interest from a further 16 to 17 potential buyers who need time, perhaps to do a quick check with their bankers.

Market watchers reckon OUE is probably eyeing a further recovery in high-end residential prices before releasing more units in its 462-unit project.

About 60% of the units in Twin Peaks are one-bedders; the rest comprise two and three bedders. OUE is selling the units on a fully-furnished basis.

NV Residences
City Developments has sold about 50 units of NV Residences since last Thursday, when it reopened the project’s showflat – a slower pace compared with the 250 units sold in the preceding week, when the project was released.

As of 5pm last Sunday, the developer had sold 300 out of the 350 units released of the 642-unit, 99-year leasehold condo in Pasir Ris.

Singaporeans make up about 80% of buyers at NV Residences.

CDL reopened the NV Residences showflat last Thursday, followed by an official launch – marked by the start of an advertising campaign – on Saturday last week.

At NV Residences’ preview on Sep 8, 160 out of 200 units released were transacted. CDL sold a further 90 units over the rest of that week, which included a holiday-extended weekend.

CDL initially priced its project at $830psf on average but later raised prices marginally by 1 – 2%.

The wife and I have visited NV Residences last Sunday. We will try to post our review within the next 2 days...

Monday, September 20, 2010

En-bloc news: Third time lucky for Robin Court!

The ST today has reported that Sing Holdings had been awarded the tender of the 15-unit Robin Court and an adjoining bungalow in Robin Drive.
Robin Court

It is paying $77.33 million, which works out to approximately $1,363psf ppr for the freehold site.
1 Robin Drive

This is a better-than-expected price tag for a completed collective sale since the property cooling measures announced at the end of last month.

The site’s key selling point is that it is less than 200m from the upcoming Stevens MRT station – part of the Downtown Line expected to be completed in 2015.

The site’s land area is 40,518sqft with a gross floor area of 63,606sqft.

Mr. Karamjit Singh, managing director of Credo Real Estate, had expected the offering to do well, projecting offers of between $66 million and $74 million, or about $1,046 to $1,172psf ppr.

Given the higher selling price of $77.33 million, the break-even price is estimated to be $1,800psf and the selling price could be around $2,200psf.

About 60 apartment units of an average size of 1,000sqft – depending on layout and configuration – can be built on the plot.

The land is zoned for residential development with a plot ratio of 1.4. No development charge is expected.

This is third time lucky for the residents of Robin Court and No. 1 Robin Drive. The two properties had been launched for sale in 2007, together with a third property. But there were no takers. A second attempt in July 2008 for the two properties again yield no results.

Need Help... "Recent Comments" Widget

The previous "Recent Comments" widget that we were using suddenly went dead on us last week.

We have found several such widgets from the Web but none of these seemed to work on Blogger. The only one that does work (and which we are currently using) is less than ideal as it does not allow us to show the date of the comment and the post title that it relates to.

So if any kind folks out there have our  "Ideal Recent Comments" widge that will work on Blogger, PLEASE give us a shout.

"Kum Sia" very much!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Especially for you who asked about KOVAN RESIDENCES...

The wife and I have extracted the August 2010 transacted prices (from the URA website) for Kovan Residences versus some of the other projects (mostly uncompleted, except for The Quartz) in District 19 .

All of these are 99-year developments, around the same vicinity and within close proximity of an MRT Station, so it should be quite interesting comparison.

Hope you will find the data useful.

D19 Projects Comparison

Friday, September 17, 2010

THE GREENWICH (Review... finally!)

District:   28
Location:   Seletar Road/ Yio Chu Kang Road
Tenure:   99-years wef 21 December 2009
Developer:   Far East Organization
Site Area:   226,044sqft
Development Type:   Condominium consisting of 12 towers of 5-storey each, with commercial component
No. of Units:   319
No. of Parking Lots:   324
Expected TOP:   31 December 2013

This one is long overdue, as the wife and I have visited the sales gallery of THE GREENWICH two Sundays ago. However, we were unable to post our review till now – due to a combination of the rigorous demand of our “day” jobs and some vacation time we have decided to take this week.

Here are some things that you may have already heard about THE GREENWICH:
• Over 65% of the units are already sold to date.

• Phase 2 was officially launched to the public last weekend. It had sold out 174 units in its Phase 1 launch previously.

• The average transacted price for the Phase 2 units sold so far is around $1,065psf.

• There are a total of 150 “SOHO” apartments available within this project – these are basically 1-bedroom Loft units.

• One of the main selling features of THE GREENWICH is the extremely high ceiling height for each unit – these ranges from the standard 3.35-metre up to a whopping 4.75-metre for units on the ground level.

• The commercial component, Greenwich V, is a 45,000sqft retail podium that will offer amenities like supermarket, F&B outlets and even clinics and hair salons. The development is slated to become the next “Holland Village” of the North.

The sales gallery is on the actual site of the project, which is located at the junction of Seletar and Yio Chu Kang Road. But the future “main entrance” into THE GREENWICH is via Seletar Road. The plot that houses the “condominium” portion of this mixed project is actually rather small (approx. 180,000sqft) and forms an L-shaped that wraps around the commercial plot (Greenwich V).

In terms of unit types, THE GREENWICH offers a combination of 1- to 3-bedrooms. The sizes available for each unit type are:
• 1-Bedroom:  603 – 731sqft
• 2-Bedroom:  900 – 1152sqft
• 3-Bedroom (Compact):  1076 – 1323sqft
• 3-Bedroom (Standard):  1225 – 1509sqft

The typical 3-bedroom (compact) is 1076sqft while the 3-bedroom (standard) unit is 1225sqft. So for those seeking bigger-sized or 4-bedroom units, THE GREENWICH is probably not for you.

Facilities wise, one can expect to find in THE GREENWICH all the “bells and whistles” associated with a full-facility condominium. There is quite a lot of “water” (i.e. swimming pools/Jacuzzi) within the project, which covers most of the space on the ground level not occupied by the tower blocks. Of notable interests are the rooftop tennis court (above Tower D1 & D2) and floating dining pavilion.
Site Plan

There are a total of 324 parking lots (inclusive of handicapped lots) available for the 319 units, which is rather typical of new projects these days.

The 2 showflats on display are
• 1076sqft, 3-Bedroom (Compact)
• 624sqft, 1-bedroom Loft

1076sqft, 3-Bedroom (Compact)
3-Bedroom (Compact)

As you enter the main door, a short walkway leads you into the living/dining room. This is a rather small rectangular area, so you probably need small furniture should you decide to put both a dining table and sofa set in here. The area comes with 60cm x 30cm marble-slab floors and either 4.25m (ground level) or 3.35m (2nd – 5th levels) ceiling height.

The unit comes with a dry kitchen, which the wife and I felt it can ill afford given the small unit size. The dry kitchen has its own sink and many owners will probably use the solid-surfaced worktop as a dining table. Full height storage cabinets are found behind the worktop, which also houses the “Ariston” microwave/coffee machine and “Samsung” fridge – these come standard with the unit.

And if still prefer a separate dining table but find the living/dining room too small, another option is to move the dining table out into the balcony. The space here is so big (especially relative to the living/dining area) that you can easily fit a rectangular dining table that sits 6.

The wet kitchen is a rectangular strip, with an L-shaped kitchen worktop. It comes with “De Lizia” hob/hood/oven and top/bottom storage cabinets.

The “yard area” is actually just a small extension from the wet kitchen, so forget about hanging your laundry up to dry here. But we liked the idea of a dedicated (separate) sink that is build on top of the washing-machine. There is also a tiny home shelter/maid’s room, but no bathroom.

The common bathroom is good sized and comes with marble floors and ceramic-tile walls.

For the common bedrooms, one is pretty decent sized and this is probably because of the fact that there are no bay windows to content with.

The other so-called “Compact” bedroom is almost square-shaped and small (thus the name). However, the developer is quite clever with its design in here by building a “bunk-bed” on top of the wardrobe – this comes standard with each unit and is possible because of the 3.35m ceiling height. Both bedrooms have timber-strip flooring.

The master bedroom actually felt quite spacious, but the master bathroom is rather small. However, it is the design of the master bathroom that takes the cake:
• You have an option of either a full wall (for the more modest/conservative) or “bottom-half wall/top-half glass” partition between the bathroom and bedroom

• Marbled floors and walls with handsome looking bathroom furnishings and fittings

• A sunken bath with overhead “rain-shower”

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the master bathroom is really the centrepiece of the whole apartment unit. You will probably look forward to take that daily shower (or two).

624sqft, 1-Bedroom Loft
This is one of those SOHO units that the marketing agents for THE GREENWICH have been raving about. And the wife and I cannot help but agree with them this time around - we actually quite liked the unit layout.

Everything is self-contained within the 600+sqf of space and yet the unit does not feel as tiny as we have expected. Maybe the high ceiling has something to do with this.

The home shelter is located right next to the main door as you enter the unit, while the bathroom (only one) is across from the shelter. The bathroom comes with the same sort of furnishing/fittings (sunken bath and rain shower inclusive) as the master bathroom of the 3-bedder unit.

A kitchenette is found beneath the bedroom loft platform – this is equipped with all the kitchen appliances as per the 3-bedder, minus the yard area. The wife and I reckon that one would not be expected to do much heavy-duty cooking here.

The living (or work) area actually felt quite spacious and a set of well-designed stairs (with some functional storage spaces incorporated) lead you up to the bedroom loft. However, we do have one reservation with the loft platform – the floor to ceiling height is only 1.35 metres. This means that most people will not be able to stand upright in your own “bedroom” of your loft unit. But other than this, there is really little else we can find fault with the loft unit.

Pricing wise, here are the selling prices (after discount) for units that were available 2 weeks ago:
• #03-23, 603sqft 1-Bedroom Loft (Pool facing) -  $829,000 or $1375psf
• #04-20, 603sqft 1-Bedroom Loft (Greenwich V facing) -  $811,000 or $1345psf
• #02-53, 1076sqft 3-Bedroom Compact (Pool facing) -  $1,260,000 or $1171psf

The monthly maintenance for the 1- and 2-bedders is expected to be around $268, while for the 3-bedder is about $313.

The wife and I were told that we can expect a rental return of about 4% for units in THE GREENWICH, while the Loft units can be rented out for at least $3.3K a month. How the agents can come up with such rental projections for a development that will only be ready for occupation in 2014, we will never know.

What we like:
• It is quite obvious that Far East has put in quite a fair bit of thoughts to the design of the units in THE GREENWICH. And we were rather impressed with the quality of the furnishings and fittings provided. Then again, you would expect good quality since you are putting good money on it... $1100 - $1300+ sqft for a leasehold project in the North?

• Did we tell you that we really liked the Loft unit? But alas, it will be quite a stretch trying to fit a family of three into a 600+sqft unit.

• THE GREENWICH is located within the vicinity of the upcoming Seletar Aerospace Park and near to the Ang Mo Kio business cluster. And if the idea of the area around THE GREENWICH/Greenwich V becoming the “Holland Village of the North” does really takes off, one can expect good rental demand and returns – and the 4% return projected may not be that far-fetched. However, this is still a big IF… at the moment.

What we dislike:
• The units in THE GREENWICH are too small for our liking, and probably so for those with a family and looking to buy for “own-stay”. So the development is more suited as a bachelor/bachelorette’s pad or for DINKs, but mostly for rental investments.

• The wife has pointed out a slight design flaw in the wet kitchen of the 3-bedder showflat – the oven is positioned only inches above the kitchen floor and is too low for comfort for most users.

• Main access to the City/CDB area is via the CTE, which by now some of you may already know that it is a dirty word in our 3-letter vocabulary. Although we been told that the traffic situation along the CTE is already greatly improved – thanks to the numerous ERP gantries – but our personal experiences so far have indicated otherwise.

In summary, the wife and I cannot deny that THE GREENWICH looks to be a quality project. However, we believe that it is again an “acquired” taste, i.e. buyers will probably be those who are (a) used to living in or (b) with workplace around the Northern part of Singapore. But to the rest of us (yours truly included), the location is just … far. The point is probably exemplified by the fact that during our brief 30 minutes or so visit to the sales gallery that day, we came across two sets of buyers

• One retired couple who wants to sell off their landed property in the Yio Chu Kang area and move into a smaller condo unit in THE GREENWICH

• Another couple currently living around the vicinity who has bought a Loft unit in THE GREENWICH for their son, as they want him to have his own pad but nearby to where the rest of the family is staying.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Private Residential Units Sold (Aug 2010)

The following data is courtesy of Urban Redevelopment Authorities (URA).

The list includes projects that the wife and I have reviewed to date.

URA Data (Aug-2010)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Singapore Market Beat - by Colliers International

A bit late in posting this one, as the wife and I are in Tokyo this weekend and over the next couple of days.

And you think the weather in Singapore is hot...

Colliers Market Beat Logo

PMI in August down after 15 straight months of growth,4582,402465,00.html?

Singapore's manufacturing economy shrank in August for the first time after 15 straight months of growth. But economists are not alarmed. They say a winding-down - after production surged earlier this year - was expected.

The Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) dipped into negative territory with a reading of 49.4 last month - down from 52.2 in July. A reading above 50 indicates growth, while one under 50 indicates contraction.

Overall new orders, new export orders, production output and employment all shrank in August, driving the PMI down, said the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM), which compiles the monthly index from surveys of purchasing executives at more than 150 companies.

Stocks of finished goods went back into expansion mode, while the sub-index for inventory levels expanded faster reading than in July. Imports and input prices grew too, but at a slower pace.

The decline is 'nothing alarming and reflects a healthy normalisation of economic activity after strong growth in the first half, as companies brace themselves for weaker demand,' DBS economist Irvin Seah said.

The electronics PMI - tracking the sector that accounts for 30 per cent of the manufacturing economy - fell to 50.6 in August, from 55.7 in July, reversing a sharp uptick from June's 50.5.

The current pause ahead of the busy year-end shipping season says little about how the peak production period will pan out, he added. Companies will be watching the major US retailers' 'back-to-school' August sales reports - due late yesterday - for an indication of how strong end-demand is.


New rules cool PR hunt for resale flats,4582,402458,00.html?

New rules that prevent people from owning both public and private properties appear to have discouraged some permanent residents (PRs) from buying resale flats here - at least for now.

Some agents have seen PRs delay house hunting, and they expect PRs to account for fewer resale flat sales going forward.

Behind the change in sentiment are rules introduced by the government this week to cool the residential property sector. PRs, some of whom already own or intend to buy properties back home, could be caught by the new rules.

A market watcher is among those who believe PRs' demand for resale flats will weaken. Currently, PRs account for about 20 per cent of all resale flat transactions. But there are also agents who do not expect the new rules to affect PRs' appetite for resale flats much.

Enforcing the new rules is one concern that several market watchers voiced. HDB has yet to say how it will keep track of foreign property ownership or what penalties it will impose on those who flout the rules.

While some prospective flat buyers have got cold feet, one group of private property hunters has gone full steam ahead, snapping up all 68 units at the newly launched Dorsett Residences above Outram Park MRT station.

The 99-year leasehold project was previewed on Wednesday and sold out in a day, said its marketing agent. The project has one and two-bedders ranging from 484-1,615 sq ft in size, and the average selling price was $1,800 psf. Business Times understands that agents had been gathering interest as early as July and started collecting cheques around two weeks ago.

Has the market reached its peak?

The prices of completed condominiums and apartments showed early signs of stabilising in July from the peak levels recorded in previous months.

This is according to the latest reading of the Singapore Residential Property Index (SRPI) developed by the National University of Singapore's Institute of Real Estate Studies.

In its latest reading, the overall SRPI recorded a marginal 0.1 per cent increase to 151.8 points in July from the previous month.

This compared to the index's overall reading of 151.6 in June, up 0.6 per cent from a month earlier.

Meanwhile, the SRPI for the central areas dipped 0.6 per cent in July to 161, while the reading for non-central areas rose 0.7 per cent to 148.5.

Industry experts attributed the price slowdown to dampened buyer sentiment amid uncertainty over the global economy.

Market observers added that it might take a few months to get a feel of how the local property market would respond to the new cooling measures announced earlier this week.

This response can be tracked by attendances at property launches and responses to land tenders, they said.

A $2 million dream$2-million-dream

With property prices hovering near record highs, can some home buyers still realise their dream of owning a landed property? Those who are serious about purchasing a landed property should start with $2 million as a realistic budget to work with, property experts said.

Of the 259 freehold landed properties sold for less than $2 million from January to August this year, 247 were terrace houses, 11 were semi-detached houses and one was a detached house, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

In comparison, around 31 semi-detached houses and 2 detached houses were bought during the same period last year.

Market experts said that as a guide, terrace houses located in the central region would cost some $2 million to $2.6 million, a semi-detached house would cost above $3 million and a bungalow would be more than $5 million.

But if buyers look east, they may find some good buys. At under $2 million, some terrace houses in the East offer a land area of 1,600 sq ft to 1,700 sq ft, property market observers said.

And if the buyer is fine with a 99-year lease, they could also opt for terrace house at $1.3 million or a semi-detached house for $1.6 million to $ 1.8 million, said a property agent.

Property experts said with the recent cooling measures, buyers may be able to pick up good deals as sellers may become more amenable to negotiation.


Big MRT improvements planned over 10 years: LTA,4582,402352,00.html?

New initiatives are in the works to upgrade and expand Singapore's rail network over the next decade, with the Jurong East MRT Station modification project the first to be completed next year.

Among the initiatives is the upgrading of the signalling system for the North-South and East-West MRT lines starting next year. This will shorten waiting times for passengers and increase capacity by 20 per cent. Additional trains will be bought for the North-South and East-West lines to take full advantage of the upgraded signalling. It will be upgraded in stages, with the North-South Line taking an estimated six years and the East-West Line eight years.

Meanwhile, the Jurong East modification project - the station is being modified to accommodate another platform and track - is slated for completion in May 2011, by which time LTA expects to have received five of 22 new trains.

Capacity on the North-South and East-West lines will rise 15 per cent by 2012 once all 22 trains have been deployed in the system, effectively reducing MRT waiting time to 2-3 minutes during peak periods, from 2.5-4.5 minutes now.

There will also be more trains for the 20km North-East Line (NEL), with plans to inject an additional train during peak hours next year and more trains to be bought, for delivery in about 4-5 years. This is to cater to expected ridership growth along the north-east corridor from HarbourFront to Punggol.

The Circle Line from Marymount Station to HarbourFront is scheduled to open next year, bringing down loading along Toa Payoh to Novena by 10-15 per cent.

All the initiatives will be funded from $60 billion that the government is setting aside to improve the rail network over the next decade.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

NV RESIDENCES: 160 of the 200 units released sold during preview!

Both the ST and BT today reported that developers sold 160 of the 200 units released at the preview of NV RESIDENCES by 6pm yesterday. The average price was $830psf.

nv residences

NV RESIDENCES is a 642-unit, 99-year leasehold project in Pasir Ris, developed jointly by City Developments and Hong Leong Group. It is next to Livia, which was re-launched at $620psf early last year.

The preview was widely watched as this is the first project to be released since Aug 30, when measures to cool the property market were announced. That’s why observers are keenly studying NV RESIDENCES for signs of impact.

Although the number of units sold at the NV RESIDENCES’ preview is not deemed a bad outcome, market watchers could not help comparing the result with the 300 units sold on the first day of preview of the Tree House condo in Chestnut Avenue in April. That 99-year leasehold project was priced at about $800psf on average and is also jointly developed by CDL and Hong Leong.

Market watchers say NV RESIDENCES had been pre-marketed, ahead of yesterday’s preview, for about a month. The average pricing indication given earlier was in the mid-$800psf range, according to some sources, although one agent said he had seen emails pitching the project at an even higher average price of $875psf.

About 75% of the NV RESIDENCES’ buyers were Singaporeans, with foreigners (including permanent residents) making up the rest.

CDL said the 200 units released yesterday were priced between $557,000 for a 506sqft one-bedder on the second floor (working out to $1,100psf) to $1.9 million ($761psf) for a 2497sqft penthouse.

More units will be released over the rest of this week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New project details: VACANZA @EAST

The wife and I have received the following details on VACANZA @EAST from one of our contacts (thanks John!).

This is a project that may be of interest to those looking for a freehold condo unit in the East and do not mind smaller units. But it's location right next to the PIE may be an issue...

Project Name:  Vacanza @East
District:  14
Location:  34 Lengkong Tujoh (Kembangan)
Description:  7 towers of 12-storey each, contemporary designed building with full facilities 
Total number of units:  473
Land Size:  200,000sqft
Land Tenure:  Freehold
Expected TOP:  December 2014

Unit Mix (Typical)
  • 1-Bedroom (46 units):  484sqft 
  • 1+Study (24 units):  560sqft
  • 2-Bedroom (183 units):  807sqft
  • 3-Bedroom (142 units):  1012sqft
  • 4-Bedroom (44 units):  1253 sqft
  • 2 – 4-Bedroom Penthouse (34 units):  1400 - 2600sqft
Marketing Brochure

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three new launches expected in September/October...

The BT reports today that some developers plan to go ahead with property launches despite uncertain market conditions brought about by the government’s latest move to cool rising prices.

There will be at least three new launches in the next two months:

• OUE will officially roll out Twin Peaks, a high-end project at Leonie Hill Road, on September 18.
twin peaks

• Frasers Centrepoint has said it will go ahead with the launch of Esparina Residences – an executive condominium (EC) project at Sengkang – in October as planned.
Esparina Residences (location)

• MCC Land is also scheduled to launch The Canopy – another EC project – in October.
the canopy location

The launch of the EC projects suggests developers are confident of demand for such homes. HSR executive director (agency) Jeffrey Hong points out that the EC market is unlikely to be significantly affected by the new rules.

ECs cater largely to first-time home buyers – people who genuinely need a home, he noted. Also, even before the new rules set in, EC owners already have to adhere to a five-year minimum occupation period before they can sell the units.

However, the launch of Cityscape by IOI group and Kim Seng Heng Realty will apparently be pushed back because of the market uncertainty. City Developments’ NV Residences is slated for launch this quarter, but no date has been set.

Measures introduced by the government last week to cool the property market have pushed some home seekers to the sidelines. They are trying to work out the impact of the tighter rules that cut the amount they can borrow if they already have a housing loan, or restrict them from owning public and private property at the same time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

THE GREENWICH (Review... sorta!)


District:  28
Location:  Seletar Road / Yio Chu Kang Road 
Tenure:  99 years w.e.f. 21 December 2009
Site Area:  226,000sqft
Total Units:  319 (12 towers of 5-storey each)


Unit Types:
• 1 bedroom ~ 618-731 sqft
• 2 bedroom ~ 900-1152 sqft
• 3 bedroom compact ~ 1108-1323 sqft
• 3 bedroom ~ 1259-1509 sqft

Gymnasium • Steam Room • Two Pools - 40m & 50m • Children’s Pool • Hydrotherapy Pool • Sun Lounging Deck • Pool Deck • Dining Pavilion • Children’s Play Area

Showflat 1: 1076sqft, 3-Bedroom Compact (Type C2c)
Living Area

wet&dry kitchen



Common Bathroom

Compact Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Showflat 2:  624sqft, 1-Bedroom Loft (Type A3p1)
1-Brm Loft


Bathroom (Loft)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rise of the resale private homes...

Resale private properties are getting more popular with home buyers. This is according to a report on Channel News Asia yesterday.

According to the latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), one in two private homes sold this year is a resale unit, up from 30 per cent in 1997.

While the sale of new private homes remained strong in the first 7 months of the year, analysts said resale private properties are also changing hands at a faster rate.

Private resale units now make up 50 per cent of total private home sales, compared to 30 per cent 13 years ago.

"The resale (private property) market likely to continue ease upwards, we’ve seen that happening over the last few quarters, starting from Q3 of 2009. Median price for resale (property) has been easing up, averaging about 3—5 per cent per quarter. I think the trend will likely continue, (but) the rate of increase has slowed down a little," said Dr Chua Yang Liang, head of Research and Consultancy at Jones Lang Lasalle.

Analysts said new prime districts have emerged in the non—landed private resale market, displacing popular areas like Orchard Road, Bukit Timah and Thomson.

In the second quarter this year, median prices of private resale homes in the new Marina downtown and Tanjong Pagar of districts 1 and 2 respectively out—stripped those in the traditional prime districts.

Dr Chua said: "You’re looking at the remaking of Singapore story that has taken a new form now. District 1 downtown area, and these projects (at) the Marina, The Sail... have actually moved prices. Downtown living has caught on for the last few years, gathered momentum now, and it’s likely to continue.

"What’s prime in Singapore now is more diverse, it’s a sign of a maturing real estate market," he added.

Industry players said the recent property cooling measures will affect the sales of new private homes and resale units.

But some analysts believe resale properties offer better value if buyers are priced out by newer projects.

Other experts said there’s also an upside potential of adding value to an old unit through renovations.

"If you buy a single storey, 20-year-old landed property, there’s a potential for you to adapt, reuse, and refurbish it into a two-storey development. Through the value-add process, you will be able to gain much higher capital appreciation, versus a project under construction," said Donald Han, Regional MD of Cushman and Wakefield.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

BELLE VUE relaunching...

It is reported in the BT today that Wing Tai Holdings will relaunch the remaining apartments in its Oxley Walk luxury Belle Vue Residences at prices between $2,300 and $2,800psf.

Currently, about 62% of the 176-unit  freehold project have been sold, with slightly more than half of the apartments snapped up by foreigners. Units were sold for $2,000 - $2,700psf, Wing Tai said. The new bunch of apartments that are being released are "choice units", so they are priced higher on a psf basis, the company added.

The size of a three-bedroom apartment starts from 1,600sqft and a four-bedroom apartment begins at 2,900sqft.


Friday, September 3, 2010

DORSETT RESIDENCES sold out within one day!

It is reported in BT today that one group of private property hunters has snapped up all 68 units at the newly launched Dorsett Residences above Outram Park MRT station. This is despite the slew of property cooling measures announced by the government on Monday.
dorsett residences

The 99-year leasehold project was previewed on Wednesday and sold out in a day, said marketing agent Knight Frank. The project has one and two-bedders ranging from 484 - 1615sqft in size, and the average selling price was $1800psf.

The wife and I must admit that we have not heard of Dorsett Residences until this morning. But looking at the developer's (Tangs Group of Companies) website, we understand that Dorsett Residences is one part of the Dorsett Regency Hotel and Dorsett Residences development. The mixed use development comprises hotel, commercial shops and residential. The ten-storey 285 room hotel fronts the prominent main junction of New Bridge Road and Cantonment Road, while the adjoining six storey residential slab block with 68 units is aligned along New Bridge Road offering views over Bukit Pasoh and Outram Park.

The development is connected directly and conveniently to the Outram Park MRT interchange station. The first storey of the development is blend of public accessible amenities such as MRT station entry, food & beverage shops, residential lobby, hotel lobby and drop-off.

The development offers a swimming pool and landscape deck on the third storey. The infinity edge swimming pool overlooking Chinatown is designed amid green planters, shady trees and sunbathing deck recliners.

The 68 residential units comprise three unit types, i.e. 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 2+1-bedroom. And according to the developer, "the residential units are efficiently planned and designed to create an ideal urban home. The bright and inviting apartments are equipped with open kitchen combined with living cum dining leading onto a good size balcony. In addition, the premium quality finishes and top-of-line home fittings in clean-line interiors and well-planned layouts exemplify the distinctive art of modern city living".

Buyers getting cold feet after latest government moves... what cold feet?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

En-bloc news: Melrose Court & Maison Royale

Melrose Court
According to reports in ST & BT today, Colliers International said yesterday that it brokered the sale of Melrose Court en bloc for $44 million. This is below the $48 million asking price but about 5 - 10% above the reserve. Including a development charge of $277,235, the land price works out to $665psf ppr.

Melrose court
Melrose Court, at 10 Lorong Limau off Kim Keat Road, is a four-storey 32-unit development. It is on a freehold site with a gross plot ratio of 2.8. Colliers had previously said that the Melrose Court site can be redeveloped into a 22-storey project of 88 apartments, each measuring 830 sq ft. The new project would have a total gross floor area of 73,271 sq ft, including an additional 10 per cent of space allowed for balconies.

The buyer is Melrose Land, formed by a group of investors. The sale is subjected to the approval of the Strata Titles Board.

If it goes through, each owner will reap gross proceeds from $1.129 million to $2.261 million, depending on unit sizes.

Maison Royale
Maison Royale, a freehold site in the Newton area, is the latest development put up for en bloc sale. This is according to a Channel News Asia report yesterday.

Maison Royale
The development located at No.1 Surrey Road is going for at least S$48 million. This translates to about S$1,220psf ppr.

The site has a land area of about 14,107sqft and  is designated for residential use with a plot ratio of 2.8 and an allowable height of up to 117m above mean sea level.

Currently, it has 20 apartment units with sizes of 1,249 and 1,636 sq ft.

The marketing agent, Urban Front Real Estate, said the site can be redeveloped into a 40-unit residential project with an average size of 988 sq ft per unit.

Owners can reap about $2.2 million to $2.59 million each, depending on unit sizes.
The closing date for the public tender is September 28.

And according to BT today, owners of Maison Royale had tried to sell their estate for at least $50 million in 2008.
With the recent property market cooling measures announced by the government earlier this week and the release of more government land for private residential housing, it will be interesting to see how much interest the Maison Royale en bloc will generate from developers.