24th May to 30th May 2022
Property analysts do not expect the launch of two new May 2022 BTO projects under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model in Queenstown and Bukit Merah to have a direct and near-term impact on resale prices within the vicinity. Meanwhile, the Woodlands Checkpoint will be expanded beyond the Old Woodlands Town Centre, which will involve the acquisition of nine Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks nearby.
1) Launch of two new public housing projects under PLH not to affect current resale prices
Property analysts do not expect the launch of two new projects in Queenstown and Bukit Merah under the PLH model to have a direct and near-term impact on HDB flat resale prices within the vicinity, reported TODAY.
Prices of recently transacted flats within the vicinity are the main determining factor for asking prices of resale flats.
“If a current resale flat in Bukit Merah is already selling at around $750,000, a seller probably will not raise it to ask for $900,000 just because the prime location model flats were announced,” said Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s Senior Vice-president of Research and Analytics.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) launched a total of 4,583 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats for this month’s May 2022 BTO exercise, including two projects under the PLH model. Another 1,952 flats under the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) scheme were also offered.
Meanwhile, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said the number of BTO projects that have been delayed by six months or more has declined to 58 as of April this year from 74 over the same period last year, reported Channel News Asia.
This means less than 60% of all BTO projects faced such delays this year, compared to over 80% last year.
The enduring BTO construction delays have pushed young families into the HDB resale market. In turn, HDB resale flat prices have climbed to a record high, growing for 22 consecutive months. According to the PropertyGuru Singapore Property Market Report Q2 2022, prices are expected to hover at this peak or make small gains, until the BTO supply is restored.
2) Nine HDB blocks in Marsiling to make way for Woodlands Checkpoint expansion
The Woodlands Checkpoint will be expanded beyond the Old Woodlands Town Centre, which will involve the acquisition of nine Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks nearby.
Blocks 210 to 218 at Marsiling Crescent/Lane comprises 732 sold flats, 53 rental flats, six rental shops, one rental kiosk, and one rental eating house.
Affected flat owners will be offered the same benefits as those under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), including compensation based on their flat’s market value and the option to buy a new HDB flat with a fresh 99-year lease.
Tenants will also get rehousing and clearance benefits.
The affected residents and tenants will have priority for about 1,100 new replacement flats that will be built at Woodlands Street 13. Construction of such flats will commence in Q3 2023 and is estimated to be completed by Q4 2027.
The last time HDB announced that flats would be selected for redevelopment under Sers was in April 2022. Four HDB blocks in Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 were chosen, with more than 600 households affected by the decision. Prior to this, the last Sers announcement came in May 2018, with three blocks in MacPherson Lane being selected.
3) HDB mulls offering open-plan flats to provide home buyers more flexibility
The government mulls designing HDB flats with more open floor plans to give homeowners more flexibility to reconfigure their units based on their needs, reported The Straits Times citing Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.
Lee pointed that some of the flat buyers may want rooms that are suitable for teleconferencing and working from home, while others may opt for bigger rooms.
Observers said the move will help homebuyers who conduct major renovations upon receiving their flats.
However, Nicholas Mak, ERA Real Estate’s Head of Research and Consultancy, noted that such flexibility will likely apply only to bigger flats given that there is more space to play around with.
While HDB flat sizes have not changed since 1997, HDB flats have become smaller over the years. Alongside the interior design trend for open-floor plans, more families are opting to knock down walls to enjoy larger living spaces.
4) Lakeside Apartments sold en bloc for $273.89mil to Wing Tai unit
Lakeside Apartments at Yuan Ching Road has been sold en bloc for $273.89 million, which is 14% above the owners’ $240 million reserve price, revealed exclusive marketing agent PropNex Realty.
The 120-unit development was sold to Wing Tai Holdings’ subsidiary, Winville Investment.
In an SGX filing, Wing Tai revealed plans to redevelop the 12,465 sq m (about 134,177 sq ft) site into a residential development with over 300 units and “waterfront views of Jurong Lake as well as the lush greenery of the Jurong Lake, Chinese and Japanese Gardens”.
Owners of the 99-year leasehold development made its second attempt at a collective sale in March this year, after its failed bid in 2019.
“The tender was hotly contested due to its attractive location with spectacular views overlooking Jurong Lake Gardens, and its proximity to the Jurong Lake District which is envisioned to be a vibrant regional commercial hub and tourist destination,” said PropNex’s Head of Investment and Collective Sales Tracy Goh.
The nearest MRT station to Lakeside Apartments is Lakeside, giving residents access to the East West Line. Nearby shopping malls include JCube, Westgate, Jem, IMM, and Jurong Point. Parents with young children can send their kids to Lakeside Primary School and Rulang Primary School. Choice schools like River Valley High School are also a short distance away.
5) Four-bedder at The Nassim sold for $20mil
A four-bedroom freehold apartment at The Nassim has been sold for $20 million or a record price of $4,915.21 per sq ft (psf).
CBRE Singapore, which brokered the sale, revealed that the unit has a total gross floor area (GFA) of about 4,069 sq ft and had undergone major refurbishment to feature a whisky bar and wine storage display cabinet, among others.
“An opportunity like this is hard to come by, considering that there are so few four-bedroom units above 4,000 sq ft available in the market for sale and in a move-in condition,” said Tricia Ang, CBRE’s Vice President for Residential Services at Singapore.
She noted that the luxury residential market has not been severely impacted by the property cooling measures introduced by the government in December 2021. In the first four months of 2022, 15 luxury apartments above $10 million each were transacted compared to 16 over the same period last year.
While the luxury market has remained unscathed, the same cannot be said for the non-landed private property market. The lack of new launches in Q1 2022 saw sales volume slump and price growth slow in the first quarter of the year. However, the major Q2 2022 launches – North Gaia EC, LIV @ MB, and Picadilly Grand – are likely to bring some cheer to the market this quarter.
6) Prime location HDB projects receive stronger buyer response than other BTO projects
The first two projects launched under the PLH model in Rochor received “good response”, with about 80% of the buyers who were invited to take part in the selection process have proceeded to book their flats, reported TODAY citing National Development Minister Desmond Lee.
The figure is higher than the average 60% seen for most BTO projects.
Property experts attributed the stronger take-up of the PLH projects to the height of the housing blocks, which is 47 storeys.
“The flats are going to be taller than the older resale flats in the location and given that it is younger than other flats nearby, when they go to the resale market, the price will be higher. Everything spells to eventual price appreciation,” said Nicholas Mak, ERA Singapore’s Head of Research and Consultancy.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) website showed that the two PLH projects – River Peaks I & II – launched in November last year saw almost 7,000 applicants vying for the 680 units offered.
As of 31 May 2022, 11am, the number of applications received for 3-room and bigger flats for the May 2022 BTO exercise shows the Yishun launch is the most popular.
The final figures will come in on 3 June 2022, 2pm.
7) More developers expect home prices to increase
A new survey showed that about 71% of developers in Singapore expect unit prices of new residential launches within the next six months to be moderately or substantially higher, reported The Business Times.
The Q1 2022 Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) – published by the National University of Singapore Real Estate – also showed that about 24% of developers expect prices at new launches to remain at the same price level, while 5% see prices dropping substantially.
Comparatively, the Q4 2021 poll showed that about 60% of respondents expected new launches to be moderately or substantially higher, while 35% expected prices to maintain at the same level.
Notably, Savills expect residential property prices to increase 7% year-on-year this year as the industry is seen as a hedge against inflation as well as the shrinking inventory of unsold stock, reported Singapore Business Review.
“With global inflation expected to persist for the rest of 2022, the yearning to hedge against it using residential properties will remain strong, despite expectations that interest rates are expected to rise further,” said Savills.
8) Primary sales of private homes to moderate to over 10,000 units
Edmund Tie & Company expects primary sales for private homes to moderate to more than 10,000 units, amid slower overall launch activity, reported Singapore Business Review.
The market’s anticipated moderate performance could also be due to tighter financing rules and rising interest rates.
Buyers are also expected to take a “wait-and-see” stance as they observe the impact of the cooling measures introduced in December last year, said the property consultancy firm.
But for the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) market segments, the sustained economic growth and border reopening may fuel demand for private homes.
While private home sales are expected to be moderate, the opposite is true for the private rental market. With borders reopening, expatriates have begun returning to the city in droves, evidenced by the spike in rental private property asking prices recorded on PropertyGuru in Q1 2022. In the coming quarter, it is expected that the already red-hot rental market will continue to gain momentum, with prices soaring amid declining supply.
9) Proposals for Paya Lebar Air Base to be ready next month
Proposals for the Paya Lebar Air Base area – which will be freed up for development once the airbase relocates in 2030 – are expected to be ready next month, reported The Straits Times.
Currently, two teams from the Singapore Institute of Planners and the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) are developing the conceptual ideas and proposals for the 800ha site.
SIA President Melvin Tan shared that the concept master plan for the site has already been completed and the teams are now moving on to the urban design phase, which is set to be completed next month.
He noted that the public sector has now been engaging more extensively with the public and the private sector in the long-term plan review.
10) Pair of Chinatown shophouses up for sale for $53mil
A pair of three-storey shophouses at 79 and 81 Pagoda Street in Chinatown has been put up for sale, with a guide price of $53 million, revealed exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore.
Rebuilt in 1995, the shophouses feature a basement and attic levels. It has also been installed with a passenger lift and is fully leased to a food and beverage operator.
The freehold shophouses occupy a combined land area of about 2,493 sq ft site that is zoned for “Commercial” use under the 2019 Master Plan.
Located near the Chinatown MRT Interchange Station, the shophouses are also a mere five-minute walk to the Central Business District (CBD).
The tender for the shophouses closes on 30 June.
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.