Mixed view of Condo Sales in May

In today’s local media of BT, it was reported that the sales for private condos in the month of May doubled from the preceding month. Many new launches with heavy marketing and near transport nodes were sold well. Projects like Coco Palms, Commonwealth Towers, Panaroma and Kallang Riverside were well received in May. However another group of properties like Loft 33, Singa Hills and Sunnyvale Residences were fairly quiet in the sales volume. These properties though freehold, were launched with little fanfare and hence were out of buyers’ radar.  However based on most Singaporeans’ preference for affordable freehold properties, it remains to be seen if such properties remain quiet for long.

From Business Times (17 June2014)

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/may-sales-private-condos-double-preceding-months-20140617

Developers’ sales of private homes nearly doubled in May from a month ago as new launches were priced to target buyers who have become more price-sensitive as a result of loan curbs.

But such robust sales are unlikely to be repeated this month, a seasonally slow period because of the school holidays. Even the World Cup soccer competition could become a distraction for potential buyers in this tepid market, analysts say.

“It is premature to conclude that the market has revived from its slump,” said Ong Teck Hui, national director of Research and Consultancy at JLL, pointing to the mixed showing at new launches last month.

Latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that developers sold 1,470 private condos last month, the highest level since June 2013 and a 96 per cent jump from the 749 units sold in April. The top five projects made up 78 per cent of total sales in May.

The strong showing is driven by new launches, with 1,790 condo units launched last month compared with only 600 units in April. There were no new launches for executive condos (ECs) last month; 58 ECs were sold, up from 48 in April.

“The increase in the number of new projects launched in May and the strong launch figures do show that developers are more confident in resuming launches as there still many buyers in the market but who are now more price-sensitive,” Mr Ong said.

The two top sellers were Coco Palms and Commonwealth Towers – both located near MRT stations and deemed attractively priced. Together, they made up more than half the month’s unit launches and sales. Some 590 units at Coco Palms were sold at a median price of $1,018 per square foot (psf), and 275 at Commonwealth Towers were sold at a median price of $1,626 psf.

The Panorama in Ang Mo Kio became a top seller last month, with some 100 units sold at a median $1,241 psf after developer Wheelock Properties slashed prices by around 10 per cent in its re-launch last month. The project moved only 56 units in the initial launch in January at a median $1,343 psf.

Not all new launches fared well, however. Oxley’s The Rise@Oxley Residences – the only new launch in the Core Central Region (CCR) – sold eight units out of 120 at a median price of $2,452 psf.

Ecco Development’ Singa Hills and Macly Equity’s Loft 33 managed to move only two units and 12 units respectively. These projects were apparently launched with little or no fanfare.

“Projects that lack visibility will see greater difficulty in attracting buyers, especially if they are not near transport nodes and the price point is not attractive,” said Alice Tan, Knight Frank’s head of research and consultancy.

Colliers International director of research and advisory Chia Siew Chuin noted that Commonwealth Towers in Queenstown and Kallang Riverside in Kampong Bugis have benefited from pent-up demand, given the lack of new launches in the two locations.

But developers’ sales volume is expected to ease to 600-900 units in the traditional lull period of June, before developers resume their launches ahead of August, which is the lunar seventh month and regarded by the Chinese as an inauspicious period to commit to home purchases, Mr Chia said.

Potential launches in the pipeline include Roxy-Pacific’s Trilive, a freehold project in Tampines Road of which 70-80 per cent of the 222 units are dual-key units, which are essentially a 2-in-1 apartments.

Wing Tai opened the showflat last Saturday for its 469-unit The Crest at Prince Charles Crescent, while China Sonangol Land and OKP Land are slated to launch their 109-unit freehold project Amber Skye on Amber Road soon.

Nicholas Mak, executive director at SLP International, expects mass-market condos in suburban areas to continue leading sales islandwide.

Last month, mass-market suburban condos accounted for 64 per cent of sales and slightly over half of total units launched.

This is followed by city-fringe condos in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) that made up about 34 per cent of sales and 39 per cent of units launched. There were only 32 units sold in the CCR or 2 per cent of total islandwide sales.

Mr Mak noted that some developers hurried to launch mass-market condos last month ahead of new EC launches this year. From August to December, five EC projects with a total of 3,100 units could potentially be launched for sale.

With the increased competition, some developers may adopt “a more flexible pricing strategy” to boost their sales, he added. For the whole of 2014, sales volumes in the primary market could total 9,500-12,500 units, Mr Mak predicted. This compares with some 15,301 units sold by developers for the whole of last year.

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For Singtel mobile users — new plans in place soon.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/new-singtel-service/1164996.html

SINGAPORE: Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has launched a new mobile plan that allows users to customise their tariff plans every month to suit their needs and budget, the telco said on Monday (June 16).

Named Easy Mobile, the postpaid mobile service allows customers to tweak their voice, SMS and data bundle within four tariff plans: Small, Medium, Large and XLarge. Each plan comes with a set allowance of units that can be used for voice calls, SMS and data. Customers decide how many units will be allocated for their voice, SMS and data bundle, and they can tweak this every month to suit their needs.

All transactions and plan changes are made via the MySingTel smartphone app or the Easy Mobile website.

Monthly subscriptions start at S$33 for the Small plan with four units of combined voice, SMS and data, through to the XLarge plan at S$105 with 26 units of voice, SMS and data. One unit is equivalent to 50 minutes of outgoing local calls or 500 SMS/MMS or 0.5GB of local data usage.

Customers also have the flexibility to change to another tariff plan each month, SingTel said.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, SingTel’s CEO Consumer Singapore, said: “The one-size-fits-all approach of conventional mobile plans may not suit all customers, as their usage may vary from month to month. With Easy Mobile, customers can now tailor-fit their plans to exactly what they need, and adjust them as their needs change.”

The new mobile plan is currently open to new subscribers only, but will be rolled out to existing customers in the coming months, SingTel said.

CNA: Increased Condo sales in May

According to today’s CNA’s report, the primary condo sales market in Singapore rebound to life from increased sales. The improved sales volume came as developers launched 1,790 new units in May, nearly three times more than the 600 homes in the previous month. Is this trend sustainable?

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/new-private-home-sales/1165100.html

SINGAPORE: The private residential property market sprang to life in May after months of remaining in the doldrums, with developers’ sales surging 96 per cent as buyers snapped up units at the slew of new launches last month.

Developers sold 1,470 new private homes last month, nearly doubling the 749 units that they moved in April, latest data by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed on Monday (June 16). Including executive condominiums (ECs), new developer sales rose to 1,528 units in May from 797 units in April.

The improved sales volume came as developers launched 1,790 new units into the market in May, nearly three times more than the 600 homes recorded in the previous month.

Two projects by City Developments topped the best-selling list for the month. Coco Palms at Pasir Ris Grove moved 590 of the 600 condominium units launched at a median price of S$1,018 per square foot (psf), while Commonwealth Towers at Commonwealth Avenue sold 275 of 400 homes at S$1,626 psf.

Besides the successes of new launches, May also saw another re-launch that did well: Wheelock Properties’ The Panorama at Ang Mo Kio sold 100 of the 126 units offered last month at a median of S$1,241 psf.

IMF starts a property index in cities including Singapore

As reported in Bloombeg, the International Monetary Fund has started publishing analysis of housing markets around the world to help ensure boom-to-bust cycles are identified and avoided before they start another financial crisis.

“While a recovery in the housing market is surely a welcome development, we need to guard against another unsustainable boom,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min wrote in a blog post today. The fund’s Global Housing Watch will be updated quarterly.

Global housing prices have risen for seven straight quarters, according to the Washington-based fund’s new global index. Countries where housing remains “still too pricey” include Belgium, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and the U.K., according to the fund.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-11/imf-starts-global-housing-index-to-analyze-boom-bust-cycles.html

Similarly in local business Times a similar article is given. In a development seen as being of global importance for recording property price movements and preventing asset bubbles and financial crises, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday announced the launch of an index to monitor prices and how these are moving across countries and relative to incomes and other factors.

“The era of benign neglect of housing booms is over,” IMF deputy managing director Min Zhu said, acknowledging that property prices have not until now been the subject of enough official attention matching their ability to create asset inflation and financial crises.

The classic case of this linkage was during the 2008 global financial crisis, which was preceded by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, but house price inflation has also contributed to spectacular asset booms in Japan, Hong Kong, the UK and elsewhere. China’s property market is now the centre of attention in this regard.

“To share cross-country information, analysis on housing markets and discussions on the effectiveness of policy response, the IMF has launched a webpage – the Global House Price Watch – that will provide a one-stop shop for our data on housing indicators,” Mr Zhu said in an IMF release yesterday.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/imf-launches-index-avert-property-bubbles-20140612

The actual link to the IMF index can be found here:

http://www.imf.org/external/research/housing/index.htm

2 districts are going against the trend

In SBR, it was reported 2 districts are going against the trend.

Non-landed private residential property prices have continued its downward slide in May. Overall resale prices of non-landed private homes slipped by 0.3%, representing a 17-month low since December 2012.

However, two districts are going against the grain by recording the highest transaction over x-values (TOXs) in the past month. The TOX measures how much people pay compared to recent transaction prices.

A report by the Singapore Real Estate Exchange released today revealed that District 10 (Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Tanglin) posted the highest positive TOX value of $80,000 in May.

District 21 (Upper Bukit Timah, Ulu Pandan) is a far second with a TOX value of $29,000 last month.

“This means that majority of the non-landed private property buyers last month in these districts purchased their units above what other buyers who came before them paid for in similar units,” the report noted.

This is in sharp contrast to overall median TOX recorded for the past month, which stands at negative $10,000 for non-landed private resales.

– See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/residential-property/in-focus/bucking-trend-two-districts-record-soaring-resale-prices-in-may#sthash.ouNy9oHk.dpuf

URA announcement for H2 GLS

The Government today announced the second half 2014 (2H2014) GLS Programme, which will comprise 9 Confirmed List sites and 14 Reserve List sites. These sites can yield up to 10,200 private residential units, including 1,500 Executive Condominium (EC) units, and 352,000 sqm gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space (see Appendices 1 & 2).

The supply from the 2H2014 GLS Programme, together with the large supply from projects in the pipeline, is expected to be adequate to meet the demand for private housing and commercial space over the next few years.

The Confirmed List contains 6 private residential sites (including 3 EC sites), 2 commercial & residential sites and 1 commercial site. These sites can yield about 3,900 private residential units (including 1,500 EC units) and 159,000 sqm GFA of commercial space.

The Reserve List contains 12 private residential sites, 1 commercial site and 1 White site. These sites can yield about 6,300 private residential units and 193,000 sqm GFA of commercial space.

Supply of Private Housing

The residential sites to be placed on the 2H2014 Confirmed List are located across all regions (i.e. Outside Central Region, Rest of Central Region and Core Central Region). These sites are expected to provide a supply of about 3,900 private residential units (including 1,500 EC units), which will be added to the existing large pipeline supply of more than 90,000 private residential units (including ECs).

A commercial & residential site at Holland Road will be placed on the Confirmed List as part of the Holland Village Extension plan unveiled in the Master Plan 2014. The sale of the site will further enhance the existing urban village character of the area. It will provide new housing options within a mixed use development that is well connected via pedestrian linkages to surrounding transport nodes and public spaces.

Supply of Commercial Space

The Government is releasing a commercial site at Paya Lebar Road for sale on the Confirmed List of the 2H2014 GLS Programme. The 3.98 ha site at Paya Lebar Road comprises a commercial site that was on the first half 2014 (1H2014) Reserve List and another plot of land immediately south of Paya Lebar East-West Line MRT Station. The two plots of land will be connected via a subterranean space under Sims Avenue. The sale of the larger land parcel provides greater flexibility for building design, layout and placement of uses. It will also facilitate the development of Paya Lebar Central into a commercial node, which is in line with the Government’s objective of decentralising employment centres and bringing jobs closer to homes.

In addition, the 2H2014 Reserve List will have 2 sites for office developments: a white site at Marina View and a commercial site at Beach Road. These 2 sites will provide opportunities for the market to initiate the development of more office space if there is demand.

Other Government Supply to be Made Available in 2H2014

Apart from the GLS Programme, the Government will also make available other supply of land and properties through its various agencies to meet economic or development objectives. These include localised retail facilities at HDB estates, industrial estates, MRT stations, sport facilities and community centres, as well as the leasing of vacant state properties for commercial uses.

http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/media-room/news/2014/jun/pr14-34.aspx

H2 GLS to speed up development in Holland V and Paya Lebar among others.

In today Business Times (11 June), it was reported that even as the government adopted a cautious approach to private housing in the latest land sales programme for H2 2014 to account for the twin factors of oversupply and weaker demand, the new sites rolled out yesterday stirred excitement in the market,

The new sites were rolled out under both confirmed and reserve lists in the residential and commercial property sectors.

In particular, the strategy to accelerate the development of various growth areas as identified in the latest land-use master plan is made clear in the latest slate. For instance, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will launch the tender for a much-awaited commercial and residential development site in Holland Village in December. “The sale of the site will further enhance the existing urban village character of the area,” said the Ministry of National Development (MND). The 2.31-hectare site is estimated to yield about 580 private residences in addition to 13,500 sq m GFA of commercial space. It is being placed on the H2 confirmed list as part of the Holland Village Extension plan unveiled in Master Plan 2014. It will provide new housing options within a mixed-use development that is well connected via pedestrian linkages to surrounding transport nodes and public spaces. An existing car park that will be part of the sale site will be shut by the first half of next year to facilitate development of the sale site. Future development on the site will provide parking lots to meet the demand in the area. In the meantime, an interim car park will be built to replace the public parking lots affected.

In addition, URA has enlarged a commercial site next to Paya Lebar MRT Station and moved it up from the reserve list to the confirmed list, reflecting its commitment to drive the growth of Paya Lebar as a regional commercial hub. Elaborating on the enlarged 3.98-hectare commercial site in Paya Lebar, MND said yesterday that the site comprises a plot that was on the H1 reserve list and another plot immediately south of Paya Lebar East-West Line MRT Station.

The two plots of land will be connected via a subterranean space under Sims Avenue. The sale of the larger land parcel provides greater flexibility for building design, layout and placement of uses. It will also facilitate the development of Paya Lebar Central into a commercial node, which is in line with the government’s objective of decentralising employment centres and bringing jobs closer to homes.

The earlier plot has a drain running diagonally across it, severely constraining any potential design scheme. While the additional plot to its north also has a drain running through it, the drain divides the plot into two more regular-shaped rectangular plots, which would allow a developer to put a tower on each half. Market watchers reckon that besides a minimum office component, the enlarged sale site is likely to have retail and residential elements, and possibly hotel uses too. The enlarged Paya Lebar site can generate about 167,160 square metres (nearly 1.8 million sq ft) gross floor area (GFA), compared with 86,940 sq m for the old plot. This will limit participation at its tender to big players, say market watchers.

With the focus on decentralisation, two sites for office developments in the city – a commercial site on Beach Road and a “white” site in Marina View – will take a “back seat on the reserve list. The 2.14-ha Beach Road plot, a new site that includes the former Central Police Station grounds, can generate 89,880 sq m GFA of commercial space. Meanwihile the Marina View plot, which can produce about 101,400 sq m GFA, has been on the reserve list for more than two years, though MND yesterday announced a new sale condition: banning strata subdivision of office space for the future project on the site. This is in line with the vision for quality office developments within Marina Bay, Singapore’s key financial and business district.

See: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/push-speed-development-new-sites-released-20140611

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