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Govt unveils land sales programme for H1 2018

Six confirmed list and nine reserve list sites will be launched under the H1 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, announced the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (13 December).

These land parcels could potentially yield approximately 8,045 private homes and 63,960 sq m in gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space.

According to Colliers International’s director and head of research Tricia Song, the amount of upcoming residential stock was within its expectations.

“The government has not bumped up the supply significantly. In fact, the total number of housing units remains relatively the same with the H2 2017 GLS programme of 8,000-plus units.

“This came about as the government took into consideration the large potential supply of around 20,000 units from awarded en bloc sales and GLS sites that have not yet been granted planning approval, on top of the around 18,000 unsold units that already have planning approval.”

In particular, the six confirmed list sites are mostly intended for private homes, including one for executive condominiums (ECs). These are expected to generate about 4,450 sq m GFA of commercial space and 2,775 private units, including 450 ECs.

Among the confirmed list sites, the plots at Cuscaden and Mattar Road are expected to be the most sought-after due to their location and size, said Edmund Tie & Co’s research head Dr Lee Nai Jia.

“For the Cuscaden site, we expect bids of around $ 1,600 to $ 1,750 psf per plot ratio (ppr), while bids at Mattar Road should range from $ 1,200 to $ 1,400 psf ppr. The number of units to be built on the land parcel at Silat Avenue may be on the high side, despite its favourable location.”

Similarly, Song believes that the land parcel in Cuscaden Road will be the most attractive. The rare luxury housing site has a palatable quantum of 170 units with an average size of 1,000 sq ft, and is projected to benefit from the recent sale of the prime Jiak Kim site.

The Mattar Road site could pique the interest of developers as it’s very close to the Mattar MRT station and there is limited supply in the area. But it is a relatively untested non-landed private residential location surrounded mainly by industrial estates, landed housing and HDB flats. 

Likewise, the Canberra Link EC site could also be popular given its proximity to the upcoming Canberra MRT station, and there is a limited supply of such residences in the vicinity, Song noted.

Meanwhile, the URA released the details of the nine reserve list sites, which consists of one commercial site and eight private housing plots, including two EC sites. These are expected to yield 59,510 sq m GFA of commercial space mostly for offices and 5,270 private houses, including 1,255 ECs.

Of these, Song is optimistic that the land parcels in Sims Drive and Peck Seah Street will be the most desirable. The former is within walking distance to the Aljunied MRT station. The latter is in the Central Business District near the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, and the last time a housing site was offered there was in 2007.

Likewise, Lee revealed that the Peck Seah Street plot is near many eateries and offices, and he thinks the site will get bids ranging from $ 1,600 to $ 1,750 psf ppr.

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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Developer sales up 15% in October despite no major launches

Sophia Hills in Mount Sophia was the top-selling private residential project last month.

UPDATED: Sales of new private homes excluding executive condominiums (ECs) rose 15.4 percent to 758 units in October from 657 in the previous month, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday (15 November).

However, developer sales fell 39.5 percent from the 1,253 units sold in October 2016 when Forest Woods and The Alps Residences were launched. 

Despite the lack of new major launches last month, analysts noted that the residential market remains buoyant.

“There is a stronger sense of urgency amongst buyers as they are sensing that developers are likely to increase prices of existing projects in tandem to new project launches in 2018,” said Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty.

Tricia Song, research head at Colliers International Singapore, noted that some buyers returned to the market following the end of the Ghost Month in September.    

The two most popular condominiums last month – Sophia Hills at Mount Sophia and Martin Modern in Robertson Quay – are both located in the Core Central Region (CCR). 

Sophia Hills sold 62 units at a median price of $ 2,029 psf while Martin Modern moved 47 units at a median price of $ 2,343 psf.

Top-selling private condos Oct 2017

PropNex revealed that the CCR remains a sought-after location for home buyers.

“Today’s CCR property prices, averaging between $ 2,000 psf to $ 2,300 psf, are deemed very attractive because 2018 new launches in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) are predicted to hit well above $ 1,700 psf, thus narrowing the price gap in these two regions,” said Ismail.

“Many home investors are seeing the CCR value entry prices now, hence these properties are going to continue to pick up in the next few months.”

Song expects the momentum in November to rise due to good sales seen at the recent launch of Parc Botannia. The project in Sengkang sold about 230 units at an average price of $ 1,270 psf.

She thinks that new private home sales could hit 11,000 units for the whole of 2017, up 38 percent from 7,972 units last year.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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Landed home sales surge as prices drop to attractive levels

The ongoing recovery in the housing market saw landed home sales surge in the first 10 months of 2017 as landed property prices fell to attractive levels from their Q3 2013 peak, reported Business Times.

Between January and October, the number of landed homes sold stood at 1,513 units, up 50 percent from the 1,009 units moved over the same period last year.

Based on Savills Singapore’s analysis of caveats data from URA Realis data, the value of transactions rose 41.1 percent from $ 4.3 billion to $ 6.1 billion.

The preliminary figure for the period have also surpassed the result for the full-year 2016 at 1,187 units, sold at $ 5.1 billion.

The hike in transaction comes as landed residential properties registered a bigger price drop compared to non-landed private homes over 15 quarters before prices increased in Q3, said Savills Singapore research head, Alan Cheong.

He noted that the narrowed price difference between the two categories improved the attractiveness of landed homes.

Notably, URA’s price index for landed homes fell 16 percent between Q4 2013 and Q2 2017, while its non-landed private home price index contracted by only 10.2 percent.

“To some extent, buyers seem to have returned to the market with a vengeance, with sentiment buoyed by all the positive news about overall sales volume, record land prices, the influx of en bloc millionaires seeking replacement homes and improvements in the economy,” said Knight Frank Singapore executive director of residential sales and leasing Tay Kah Poh.

Cheong believes demand for landed properties in Singapore is “partly aspirational” as owning a landed home is still ranked high within the hierarchy of housing wants of Singaporeans.

Moreover, the overextended downturn in the property cycle has “unbottled pent-up demand for those wanting to buy a landed home”, he said.

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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En bloc sales soars by over 4-fold, says MND

An aerial view of Rio Casa, a 286-unit development at Hougang Avenue 7. (Photo: Knight Frank Singapore)

Collective sales have surged from around 600 units for the whole of 2016 to about 2,700 existing private homes so far this year, revealed the Ministry of National Development (MND) during a parliamentary session on Monday (6 November).

MND thinks that the strong sales growth is due to two primary factors.

“First, more developers are keen to replenish their land banks.  There has been a healthy increase in the sales of new units in the first three quarters of the year, which in turn means that the unsold supply in the pipeline has come down. To illustrate, there are about 17,200 units as at Q3 2017, down from about 40,000 units in 2012. “

“Second, successful en-bloc sales in 2016 may have encouraged more owners of ageing residential projects to initiate the en-bloc sale process this year to monetise their assets.”

These are MND’s responses to the queries of MP for Nee Soon GRC Dr Lim Wee Kiak regarding the main driving forces for the recent spike in en bloc sales.

He also asked if whether there is a need to increase the number of residential sites offered under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, and what is the effect of the robust en bloc sales on the property market’s outlook over the next six months.

In reply, the MND said that the en-bloc residential sites sold since last year are expected to be launched for sale in the next one to two years. And these upcoming units and other key factors like population and income growth as well as prevailing market conditions will be taken into account before deciding the number of state land to be made available for sale.

Specifically, it noted that the GLS programme is updated on a half-yearly basis, with Confirmed List sites designated to be released for sale within the next six months, while Reserve List plots will be triggered for sale once a developer has committed to a minimum bid price. This implies that the latter will only be purchased by home builders if they feel that there exists underlying demand.

The authorities will also continue to closely monitor market trends and take necessary actions to ensure that the property sector is stable and sustainable, said the MND, adding that the details of 1H 2018 GLS programme will be announced by year-end.

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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Land sales to hit $14b, a sign of property market resurgence

Pearlbank Apartments in Outram is a 37-storey horse-shoe shaped building that comprises 280 apartments and eight commercial units. (Photo: Colliers International)

More than $ 3.3 billion worth of land deals, including en bloc sales, are expected to be completed in Singapore during this quarter, boosting the total for the whole year to $ 14 billion, reported Bloomberg, citing data from Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

This is the highest figure since 2011, said the property consultancy, adding that this indicates that the city-state’s real estate sector is set to recover significantly by next year.

“Singapore’s residential and office market has passed its inflecion point, embarking on an exciting recovery journey,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Research Director Christine Li.

“With brighter economic prospects and improved market sentiment in the next two to three years, developers are increasingly sourcing land sites to ride the wave of growth for the rest of the decade.”

Among the top land deals set to be closed in Q4 2017 is the ‘Reserve List’ site in Jiak Kim site formerly occupied by iconic nightclub Zouk. Zoned residential with first-storey commercial use, the site has a maximum gross floor area of 51,231 sq m and can yield 525 houses.

The government is offering the land for a minimum bid price of $ 689.353 million, but Cushman & Wakefield estimates that it could fetch $ 870 million.

Another is the anticipated collective sale of the 288-unit Pearlbank Apartments in Outram for a reserve price of $ 728 million. This translates to a land cost of $ 1,505 psf ppr after factoring in a $ 195 million premium for topping up the lease for the site with a GFA of around 57,000 sq m.

In addition, the 33,358 sq m Reserve List site in Fourth Avenue is expected to yield about 445 homes. The state is selling it for at least $ 448.8 million, but Cushman & Wakefield believes that the winning buyer could get it for $ 505 million.

The public tender for the Jiak Kim and Fourth Avenue sites will close on 5 December, while the Pearlbank Apartments en bloc sale is expected to be transacted by year-end.

Meanwhile, experts from BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and UOB Kay Hian forecast that residential prices here could increase by up to 10 percent in 2018.

JLL Singapore’s Research Head Tay Huey Ying is also confident that residential units and Grade A office space in the city-state will remain sought-after by investors next year.

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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