SG PropTalk Discussion Forum

SG PropTalk Discussion Forum


Anonymous said...

I was looking for a review on Kovan Residences ( as this project next to Kovan Melody will be TOP by end 2011. Do you think this project is better than The Quartz or The Minton? Hope you can drop by their showflat to give us your review. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

My property agent told me nv residences will be sold fully by end of this month is it true

Folks @PropTalk said...

Anonymous (Oct 7): We reckon it is your property agent's duty (and in his interest too) to drum up euphoria for the project. However, we do not think that NV will be sold out by month end, despite the good response it has been getting. But it may be wise to make any serious purchase consideration now (if not already), as your choice of units will be reduced as we go along.

Anonymous said...

Minton is too pricey when comparing to the nearby prices. Accessibility to nearest MRT is also not that accessible.

jansenboy said...

I agree somewhat that there maybe an oversupply of studio apartment in the near future which might affect their rental. However I think you also have to consider the fact that these "mickeymouse" apartments will not only compete within themselves but also possibly with bigger apartments for tenants. You might see expats possibly downgrading sizewise to a smaller more affordable apartment.

So it is possible that the main factor deciding whether or not these studio apartments will bring good return will simply depends on whether there are enough housing supply to go around for the market. If there IS an oversupply after these MM comes into the market, it will not just be the studio apartments returns being affected negatively but also the bigger condo units as well

Hope you get my point :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, please suggest how is your view from investment point of view for Ola Residences@ mountbatten road. we are considering to buy a 3bhk unit. your suggestion will be highly appreciated. tks!

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Anonymous (Jan 11): We must admit that we are not familiar with the units in Ola Residences, as we have not seen this project previously. But we seemed to recall that the project is right next to the Mountbatten/Amber Road junction. While the location is very convenient, traffic may be an issue especially for those units facing the main road. And that stretch of Mountbatten Road has become quite a traffic gridlock these days especially during rush hours.
We assume that you are looking at resale, since the last we checked, only 2 of the 50 units are left as of Nov 2010. And there were only 3 transactions done during 2010 - all within the $937 - $1006psf price range. The price seemed reasonable for a freehold project in that location, but you have to weigh this against the fact that it is a small development and thus cannot be compared on an "apple to apple" basis with bigger projects nearby like One Amber, The Seaview etc especially on the facilities offering.
Just our humble opinion as always, and good luck on your purchase!

Anonymous said...

thanks much :) really appreciate your help!

Anonymous said...

Hi.. am new to the property market. Looking to buy a condo. Leasehold is cheaper, but ppl say leasehold never appreciate. Is it true? Wat is the premium a freehold property commands over a leasehold property?

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Anonymous: While it is generally true that freehold properties command a premium over leasehold, this is not exactly cast in stone. During a bull market (as was the case for the past 2 years or so), you may find that there is little/no premium for a freehold condo unit over its leasehold counterpart in the same area. And it is definitely untrue that a leasehold property never appreciates. All our previous properties bought over the past 5 - 6 years were leasehold, and we have been able to make some profit each time we decided to cash-out. So we reckon your main purchasing considerations should be location, layout, affordability (i.e. buy within your means) and most importantly, timing of purchase.
Just our humble opinions as always... Good luck!

Anonymous said...

looking at the new condo "The Waterline" near Serangoon. Built by Guocoland Ltd.
Any advice and potential of the location...

Anonymous said...

Hi thinking of purchasing optima@ tanah merah. Any review ?

Anonymous said...

Is 99 years condo worth buying for stay and investment ?

Anonymous said...

When is a good time to buy ? What do you mean by afforadabllity ? Btw I like your reviews very much

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Anonymous (15/4/11, 9:38AM): Sorry but we did not get the chance to review Optima @Tanah Merah.

Anonymous (15/4/11, 9:39AM): We are not too bothered by the land tenure with our property purchases. What is more important to us is the location, timing of purchase and whether we can comfortably afford the purchase.

Anonymous (15/4/11, 9:42AM): Your first question is rather subjective. But if it is for own-stay, then ANYTIME can be a "good time to buy". This is especially if the property concerned is really to your liking, meets all the criterias you have set for a home and most importantly, is affordable. And by affordability, we are saying that the purchase should be within your means so as not to over-extend your financial limits. Else you find yourself "working for the bank" for most of your life just trying to make that monthly loan repayment...

WJ said...

Thanks I really Like your review. Very useful .

Anonymous said...

Is considering The Minton for family stay. Now price gg at 940psf for 3 bedroom.. is this an ok price? Thanks

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Anonymous (aka Panda?):
Firstly, we are unable to compare The Minton with Terrasse, as we have not seen the later (yet).

As far as we can tell, there were 18 transactions from Jan - May 2011 for the 3-bedroom units (for both standard and premium types) at The Minton. Out of these, only 3 has gone above $900psf with the highest price being $937psf (1216sqft in Jan 2011).

There was a 1216sqft unit transacted at $910psf in April but also a 1302sqft unit that was sold at $610psf (probably ground floor).

Looking at the data, the $950psf you mentioned seems a tad high. The price is probably based upon the latest unit transacted in May, which was at $940psf. However, this was a small (700sqft) unit so you are not exactly comparing "apple to apple".

We must caution that our opinion does not take into account of the actual size of your unit, whether it is a "standard" or "premium" unit type, what floor your unit is located and the orientation/facing, since we do not have these information. Such factors will ultimately impact the price that your unit may command.

Also, if you are buying the unit from the resale market, the seller will also want to make a decent enough profit for him to let go of his unit. We reckon he is looking at about $100psf profit.

Given the current market sentiments especially with mass-market projects (i.e. many buyers are adopting a wait and see attitude in anticipation that prices will soften), you may not want to rush into buying by paying the highest psf price.

On the other hand, if it is for your own stay (i.e. you intend to live in that unit for at least a couple of years) and you really like the unit and can comfortably afford it, you probably can err on the side of your heart abit. It is anybody's guess what the property market will be like in 4 - 5 years' time!

Hope the above helps!

Panda said...

Hi.. Yes, its me Panda :-)

We are looking for a 3 Bedroom 1216 sqm (Std) on a 13th flr facing the pool. We are intending to buy direct and not from the resale market. It seems like they still hv quite a number of units unreleased.. From what the agent showed me, about 4 blocks. I am guessing that they are trying to hold and wait for the price to go up again?

I am requesting for a discount but they are quite firm of not giving... so still considering if it is worth while..

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Panda,

The wife and I must admit that we have not been keeping tab with the sales development at The Minton.

It does sound like the developer is still trying to hold out on price at the moment. But with more new projects coming up in the Serangoon/Hougang area and especially if the "less than bullish" sentiments for mass-market projects do pan out, developer may be more willing to listen to alternative offers in the coming months.

And with pool-facing units, we generally prefer mid-floor (e.g. 6th - 8th) units. We do not want to be too high up if we are overlooking the pool area (can't really see a thing especially if you are myopic) or too low either as it may be a tad noisy especially during weekends. And besides, a unit on the 6th - 8th floor will probably saves us a couple of thousands of $$ compared to higher-floor units.

But that is just our preference of course. :)

Good luck on your search/purchase!

Panda said...

thanks a lot for yr feedback. Do you know what other projects are coming up in Serangoon and Hougang area?

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Panda,

You are probably aware that Terrasse @Hougang Ave 2 is already opened for sale.

In addition, Bartley Terrace in Upper Serangoon will be redeveloped after going en bloc earlier this year. However, we have no details on the intended new project yet.

Panda said...

Yap.. I went to Terrasse but they are already selling around 1K psf.... zzzzz

Alex said...

I went to see the Terrasse showflat over the weekend. The site layout, building facade, facilities theme and condo landscaping appeals to me. On the downside, the price is pretty high (as Panda has pointed out, around 1k psf and likely to go up slightly when the developer MCL Land publicly launches the project), finishings are not really luxurious and it's not near any MRT station.

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Alex/Panda:

Thanks - You guys are well ahead of us on Terrasse. The wife and I did try to visit the showflat last week but it was storming so badly when we hit Upper Serangoon Road so we ended up at Nex Mall instead!

But we will get to it soon (* fingers crossed *)

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks@PropTalk

Thanks for a wonderful blog. Would like to tap on your views. Simply put, should one

(a) Sell in 2011, stay in rental for 1yr, Buy in 2013

(b) Sell in 2012, stay in rental for 1yr, Buy in 2014

(c) Sell in 2013, stay in rental for 1yr, Buy in 2015

Considering that they are selling and buying a unit that is owner-occupied and not for investment.



The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Lee aka Anonymous (9/6/11, 8:26PM):

Firstly, we are no experts so our advise are based solely on our perceptions and gut feel. So take it at your own peril! :-)

But if what the experts say is true, we are heading for a supply glut come 2013.

Just basing on the 53,000 units of new apartment that will come online from 2013 onwards and assuming that the annual take-up rate remains at around 10 - 12000 units, it will take more than 4 years for these new apartments to find buyers. And in the meantime, developers will still be rolling out new units on the lands that they have acquired. So it's one hell of alot of new units for the market to absorb over the next few years.

Even our new housing minister is getting somewhat worried that property prices may be heading south, given the somewhat tainted global economic outlook going forward.

Given such, we believe the best time to sell is probably in 2011 or 2012 at the latest, i.e. before all the new apartments come onto the market. When that happens, it will be even more challenging for sellers due to increased competition.

And in the same token, the best time to buy is probably in 2013 or after.

Having said that, if our population do hit the magic 6 million within the next 3 - 4 years, it will be a totally different ballgame then!

HOWEVER, if one is buying for own-stay, ANYTIME can be a good time to buy if:

- it is a unit that he/she really likes and will live-in for the foreseeable future.

- he/she can afford the unit comfortably enough, without having "to work for the bank" his/her whole life.

We always believe that if someone is buying a home (as opposed to an investment property), he/she can afford to err with the heart a little.

Hope the above helps. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the timely response.

Well, I think its right to say that when you only have one unit, there isn't much you can do about it. Sell High, Buy High or Sell Low, Buy Low. Equates to about the same.

The only way to break out of the cycle is to take a gamble by SELL HIGH, RENT and hopefully BUY LOW. Easier said than done but this is indeed happening now. Have asked around and agents are reporting seeing an increase in rental demands by those who have sold and are waiting out the next 12-24 months before their next purchase.

I wonder, it is worth the gamble?

For example, 1200sqft unit @ $1300psf today. In 2 years times, same 1200sqft unit, will it drop by 10%? If it does, it will present a savings of $156,000 less rental for 24 months at say $3,500 per month, nett gain will be $72,000 - worth the punt?


Panda said...

Personally, I don't foresee a big drop if not, a lot of ppl will have negative asset. That is what happen to Hong Kong a few years back. I don't think our govt will allow that to happen. It is going to cost them the vote again... when the new flats are ready, it is almost time to vote again.

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Lee:
Based on past experiences, property prices go through cycles and we still believe that what goes up must eventually come down.

Trouble is nobody can foretell exactly how soon/much the market will turn, else he/she be rich!

So you are the only one who can decide on whether it's worth the gamble. :-)

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Prada:
Even our almighty government cannot control the fall of home prices should the world goes into another recession, if past experiences are any indication - you may recall the drastic fall in private home prices during the Asian Financial Crisis (1997 - 1999) and then after the Lehman Brother collaspe (2008 - 2009)?

We are not saying that the world is definitely heading for another recession, but recent problems with the Eurozone and supposed economic slowdown in the United States are definitely causes for worry.

At the end of the day, home prices are dictated by demand and supply. And in a recession, demand will plummet and so will prices.

marcus said...

hi, when lehman brother collapsed, did the housing market correct alot? for all the corrections, i think the "operating environment" were all different. with US and Europe not doing too well, but our property prices are still holding up quite well. this could be a "new normal" in prices and perhaps we would have to wait for a much bigger crisis to see a big and sustain correction. But what i do observed, all governments are trying to work very hard to avoid another major crisis. i hope our economy can continue to do well.

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Marcus:

We reckoned the private residential price index fell between 20 - 30 points during the period of Sep 08 (when Lehman Brother collapsed) to June 09. And it took about 15 or so months for the index to recover back to the Sep 08 level.

And just before the price collaspe, property prices were holding up very well too...

Panda said...

FYI. There will be a new condo launching soon near Seng Kang MRT... i am guessing it would cost at least 1k psf...XD

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks @ PropTalk-
Need some advice from you. I bought a unit at terren at Bukit Timah... from what I can see from the outside construction is completed till 3rd floor(out of 5)... any advice on how long it will be before TOP? also, my home loan hasnt started yet... when do the builders typically draw down from the bank? P

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Anonymous (6/9/11, 12:50PM):
We have not been following the construction progress of Terrene, but if the level of completion is as per what you have mentioned, the payment schedule should already have hit at least 40 - 50%. So the possible reasons (that we can think of) why your home loan has yet to be drawn down are

1. Your loan quantum is smaller than what the current payment schedule is at, e.g. if you have taken a 50% loan and the current payment schedule is at 40%, then it has not reach the level for the bank to disburse their share of the payment yet.

2. Are you on Progress Payment or Interest Absorption scheme? If it is the later, then you probably won't see any drawdown from the bank until the project is coming to completion.

But the best way to know for sure is to check with your bank.

On your question about TOP, we do not really know. But short of saying the obvious, the project will probably TOP before March 2014.

Hope the above helps!

Anonymous said...

I am considering the suites @ bukit timah. Its a FH and going for 13xx psf for a 2 bedder 860 sqft unit.

its next to the train station, but in terms of a proper condo, its more like a walk up.

would you be able to share the prices of terrene which is diagionally across the road past 2 traffic lights?


The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi WR:
The wife and I do not know very much about Suites @Bukit Timah, but understand that it is a mixed-development (i.e. shops on the ground floor and apartments on the 2nd - 5th floors).

And for such a small development (16,000+sqft land size and total of 71 apartment units), it has quite a lot of retail units (42 shops + 2 restaurants). While the shops/restaurants (if the tenant-mix is good) can be a boon, the higher pedestrian traffic expected within the development and the increased noise level it generates may be something to consider about.

We are also unsure of how close Suites @Bukit Timah is located along Jalan Jurong Kechil, which is quite a busy road. So again the traffic noise may be an issue.

However, we understand that the upcoming Beauty World MRT Station is supposedly just a 2-minute walk away. So this will be one of the main attraction/selling points for this project.

With regard to your question about Terrene, the recent transacted prices in the secondary market for small units range from $1200 - $1300psf. However, we felt that the two developments cannot be compared on an "apple to apple" basis -Terrene is a wholly residential project with full condo facilities.

Hope the above helps and have a great week ahead!

best said...

Hi, am new to the prop mkt. Looking to buy a 3 rm in the east. Hv seen The Palette, like the location n layout. Understand there're 2 other development coming up soon. Not sure if we shld wait. Wld prefer the location where these 2 developments will sit. What do u think? We also like The Waterview for it unobstructed view of the reservoir but not for the location. Any advice pls?

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi best:

Firstly, welcome to the exciting new world of the Singapore property market!

The wife and I have not seen The Palette yet (we have been somewhat slacking on our showflat visits lately due to our busier schedules). But if it is the Pasir Ris area that you are looking at, we believe there are quite a number of "old" (i.e. previously launched projects, e.g. NV Residences etc) and upcoming (e.g. several plots around Seastrand in Pasir Ris Drive 3) developments that you may consider.

And if you are not in real hurry to put money down on an apartment, you probably can afford to wait till next year. Although property analysts have been saying that there will be continual strong demand for mass-market homes going forward, we do believe that prices will soften next year given the poor economic climate. Besides, there will probably be more options in terms of new projects to choose from.

We have seen The Waterview but were not really impressed with the project - it is located at what we felt as the "remotest" corner of Bedok Reservoir. And speaking of Bedok Reservoir, it has lost its shine somewhat given its newly acquired "fame" of being the favourite spot for drowning... but that's just us.

Good luck on your search. And if you have any more questions, you know where to find us! :)

ursula said...

I am looking a unit at lakeshore or lakefront for own stay, either this year or next year. its about $1,050-$1,100 psf. I find the prices a bit high. What do you think of the prices for leasehold properties like this?

And another thing is somehow I couldn't find any freehold properties in the jurong area for sale. Thats weird...

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Ursula,

If you are looking for an apartment to move into either this or next year, then Lakeshore (i.e. The Lakeshore) is your only bet between the two developments mentioned. This is because Lakefront (we take it you meant The Lakefront Residences) will only TOP end-2014.

Prices for properties along Boon Lay Way has increased substantially over the past 2 years. This is especially after the announcement that the Jurong Lake District area will be redeveloped into a new commercial hub.

At present, it looks like $1,000 - $1,100psf is the price norm. However, units at Lakeshore were only selling at $700+ - $800+psf just 2 years ago. Many may say that those price levels are a thing of the past, but given that the property market goes in cycles, we have learned to "never say never".

And yes, there are very few freehold condos (we cannot think of any, actually) around the vicinity of Lakefront/Lakeshore. We reckon that this has something to do with the existing zoning laws but are not absolutely certain. However, if you can afford to look slightly further away at the West Coast Road area, there are quite a number of options in terms of freehold condo developments - e.g. Botannia, Monterey Park & Carabelle, just to name a few.

Hope the above helps and good luck on your search!

ursula said...

Thanks for your reply!
I wasn't really into lakefront purely because the view of the lake may get blocked as there is another empty plot of land in front of it. I am not in a rush to move so am looking slowly for a good place at a good price (since a few research houses mention that prices will drop 10-20% in the next few years).

I am also hoping for any new developments or launches near chinese garden mrt but so far none yet.

By the way, I love to read your reviews, especially when you take the effort to put in arrow signs of where the toilet etc, and also where the 'real' wall ends (as opposed to the ID designed showroom). Looking forward to your next property review!

Shveta said...


Thanks for your comments/views of singapore property market. It has been a great help.

We are planning to buy a unit (just TOP or to be TOP soon) for our own stay. Few projects which we think can suit our bill are: Double Bay Residences, Waterfront Waves/Key.

May i have your opinion on these projects, specially Double Bay Residences. Also would appreciate if you could suggest other projects which are below 1000psf and new builds

Thanks a lot.

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Shveta,

Thanks for your query.

The wife and I did visit the showflat of Double Bay Residences when it was first launched. However, we have not started our blog then and given that it was some years back, our memories of the project is now somewhat fuzzy. But we do vaguely recall that we quite liked the general layout of the apartments.

For Waterfront Waves/Key, we did post our "2-cents" on these projects in our blog. Just do a search using the "Search this Blog" function.


Anonymous said...

When i examined the details of ABSD guide lines issued by IRAS on 8/12/2011, I was shocked to learned that ABSD also applicable to transfer of property via will. i.e beneficiary need to pay ABSD if he inherited a property which happened to be the third count. I do not think it is the government intention to tax the death person.

The Folks @PropTalk said...

Hi Anonymous (13/12/11, 4:50PM),

The inclusion is not so much to tax the benefactor rather the beneficiary, since such transfer is considered by Iras as a form of property acquisition.

Nance Jaman said...

QBAY RESIDENCES @ TAMPINES is another exciting development which will set to capture your hearts at the fringe of Bedok Reservoir Park and with a unblock view of the Tampines Quarry.
The site is well connected to major arterial roads and expressways such as Tampines Expressway and the Pan Island Expressway. The new Bartley Viaduct provide direct access to Bartley Road, Braddell and Lornie Road. The Tampines MRT station, bus interchange, and a future Downtown Line 3, Tampines West MRT Station located nearby, which provides convenient access to all parts of the island.
Well-established malls such as Tampines One, Tampines Mall and Century Square, located within the Tampines Regional Centre provide diverse and convenient shopping, dining and entertainment options. Favourite household names like Courts Megastore, Giant Hypermarket and IKEA Tampines are also nearby.
Residents can engage in outdoor recreational activities such as kayaking, wakeboarding or enjoy a leisure stroll at the adjacent Bedok Reservoir Park. Tampines Sports Complex and Tampines West Community Club are also located about 10–minutes’ drive away.
QBAY RESIDENCES is an ideal home for families with school-going children. The development is near educational institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic, St. Hilda’s Primary and Secondary School, Red Swastika, Yu Neng Primary School, SOKA Kindergarten and the upcoming United World College of South East Asia.
qbay residences
qbay residences
qbay residences

Anonymous said...

You can try to look at some of the new launch projects.. Although right now you can feel that there are some fears in real estate now..

Anonymous said...

Definitely Condo prices are going to fall by 30 to 40% by May 2013. This is good for property buyers. Wait for another 3 to 4 months.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm.....u think? unless msia and phiphipians war.

Anonymous said...

north and south korean compatriots too...if they nuke each other.

Anonymous said...

I agree that drop in price already started and will extend to coming months. Will know exactly by 15th March. What happens to those who bought condos recently for sky high prices???? Slow and Steady always wins the race....

Anonymous said...

Do you think Jade Residences @ Serangoon is worth buying ? I did some research and noticed that:
- The project location is excellence – just minutes walk to Serangoon MRT and NEX with 2 MRT lines crossed over
- Expect rental yield of approx 3%, even though units are small and cost $1500 psf +
- Freehold properties around that area are not many (only 2 in fact, Jade Residences itself and old Cherry Hill right across the road); and this is the closest you can get near Serangoon MRT station; the expectation is the if old Cherry goes enbloc with new project pops up in the coming years, we may see capital gain on Jade Residences
- The ground unit and penthouses’ ceiling of 4.5 meters is really “OMG” factor… really WOW ! Love it.
Your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hi, just to warn would-be owners, the developer for my condo decided to charge us double the maintenance fees that they informed in the preview. This is just for your information, tks

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anonymous (13/8/14 )
Really? sad to hear that, btw, is yr condo TOP?