15th November to 21st November 2022
More than 9,500 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats will be launched by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in the upcoming sales exercise on 23 November 2022. Meanwhile, new private home sales in Singapore, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), dropped 68.4% month-on-month and 65.8% year-on-year to 312 units in October this year.
1) HDB to launch over 9,500 BTO flats in November 2022
More than 9,500 BTO units will be launched by HDB in the upcoming sales exercise on 23 November 2022, reported CNA citing National Development Minister Desmond Lee.
The offering includes three projects under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model, two of which will be located in Queenstown (Ghim Moh Natura and Ulu Pandan Banks) and the third will be situated in Kallang/Whampoa (Kallang Horizon).
Lee noted that the projects are very close to transport nodes such as Buona Vista, Dover and Kallang MRT stations. They are also “well-served by existing amenities and facilities”, he added.
“Given the attractive locations and attributes, these flats would naturally command higher market values,” he said in a Facebook post.
Lee pointed out that the third project in Queenstown – Queenstown Canopy – will not come under the PLH model since it is located further away from major retail amenities and main transport nodes.
Meanwhile, HDB will also offer two projects in Tengah that will have waiting times of just over three years – the shortest among the projects to be launched that month.
2) New private home sales plunge 68.4% in October 2022
New private home sales in Singapore, excluding ECs, dropped 68.4% month-on-month and 65.8% year-on-year to 312 units in October, showed Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.
The figure marked the lowest monthly sales since February 2016 when only 303 units were shifted.
Edmund Tie’s Head of Research and Consulting Lam Chern Woon said the low sales volume was likely due to “a dearth of new major project launches in October 2022 in the immediate aftermath of the cooling measures”.
In October, developers launched 102 units, down 90% from September’s 913 units.
Of the total sales, the Core Central Region (CCR) accounted for 54.8%, while the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) made up 26% and 19.2%, respectively.
“As the CCR tends to attract more purchases by foreigners, the proportion of foreigners in October shot up to 11.7%, up from 4.5% in September,” said Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia‘s Senior Director for Research.
The higher sales in the CCR also meant that the proportion of sales for properties priced at $2 million and above accounted for 64.4% of last month’s total sales, he added.
3) Government reviewing housing estate classification
National Development Minister Desmond Lee said the Government is currently reviewing whether its public housing estate classification should be adjusted to “keep pace with the times”, reported TODAY.
“As the non-mature estates start to come of age and the lines between them and the mature estates blur, such distinctions are becoming less relevant,” he said during a government engagement session.
“For example, those staying in Jurong East and Sengkang, currently classified as non-mature estates, may share with you the wide array of amenities in their towns, which are comparable to those in some mature estates.”
Lee shared that the Government is also looking at how it can further prioritise access to public housing for those with more pressing needs.
He noted that most Singaporeans agreed that even among first-timer applicants, lower-income families and couples with children should be given more priority.
“But it is not easy to reach a consensus on how we define whose needs are more urgent, as evident from the direct tensions observed from the suggestions we have received,” added the minister.
4) No need to review SERS since not many more eligible sites are expected, says MND
The Ministry of National Development (MND) has turned down a petition to place the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) on moratorium or further review, saying it “does not expect many more sites to be eligible”.
“SERS is highly selective and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) estimates that only around 5% of all HDB flats are suitable for SERS,” it said as quoted by TODAY.
“Most of the projects with high redevelopment potential have already been selected… As such, an extensive review of SERS would be unnecessary.”
The ministry made the statement in response to the Public Petitions Committee handling the petition submitted by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Leong Mun Wai.
Leong made the petition on behalf of five Ang Mo Kio residents who were affected by a recent SERS exercise.
5) DBS and OCBC raise fixed home loan rates
DBS and OCBC have raised their interest rates for fixed home loans, with OCBC setting the rates for its one- and two-year fixed rate packages at 4.3% per year, reported CNA.
The rates for such packages previously stood at 3.35% and 3.5%, respectively.
DBS’ fixed rate packages, on the other hand, are at 4.25% per year. The bank offers four fixed-rate packages which range from two years to five years.
For its floating rates, DBS kept it at a three-month compounded Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA), with a 1% lending margin per year and a two-year lock-in period.
OCBC also kept its floating interest rate at a “three-month compounded SORA and 0.98% lending margin for the first and second year, before the lending margin rises to 1% in the third year”, said CNA.
Maryanne Phua, Head of Home Loans at OCBC, believes the floating packages will appeal more to customers who are looking for flexibility in their prepayment.
6) URA awards Bukit Timah Link, and Hillview Rise sites to the highest bidders
URA has announced that the tenders for the Bukit Timah Link and Hillview Rise sites have been awarded to the highest bidders.
Far East Civil Engineering (Pte.) Limited and Sekisui House submitted the highest bid for the site at Hillview Rise at $320.78 million, while Bukit One offered the highest bid for the Bukit Timah Link site at $200 million.
Launched for sale on 31 August, the tenders for the two sites closed on 3 November. The Hillview Rise site received four bids, while the Bukit Timah Link site attracted five bids.
The site at Hillview Rise has an area of 10,395.2 sq m and is expected to yield 335 housing units. On the other hand, the Bukit Timah Link site spans 4,611.1 sq m and is expected to deliver 160 housing units. Both sites have a leasehold tenure of 99 years.
7) Tracking $1 million resale flats faddish, unnecessary
Transactions for large-sized resale flats at more than $1 million are not news, given the inflation and red-hot property market due to the rise in demand following the reopening of borders and the shortage of supply, said Chua Mui Hoong, Associate Editor at The Straits Times.
As such, the sale of a jumbo-sized or executive maisonette – which spans 1,500 sq ft to over 2,000 sq ft – for above $1 million should not be surprising even if it is located in suburban areas such as Woodlands, Hougang or Yishun.
“Tracking $1 million resale flats is faddish, but unnecessary,” she said in an opinion piece.
According to Chua, what is useful is tracking median resale prices for four-room flats across all estates.
“Analysing these on a psf basis, and by age of flat, would be even better,” she explained.
In fact, an article by PropertyGuru, titled “Rise of the Four-Room Million-Dollar HDB Flats in Singapore: Where Are They Found?”, looked at such a trend.
“If any million-dollar transactions deserve attention, they would be the four-room flat resales that cross that threshold outside the city centre area,” said Chua.
8) Widow who co-owns flat with brother-in-law seeks a court order to sell flat
A widow, who holds a 30% share in the HDB flat, has turned to the High Court to seek orders for the flat to be sold and for her to be granted full control of the sale.
However, Madam Sun Yunyuan’s brother-in-law, who holds the other 70% share of the flat, claims that selling the flat immediately would cause hardship to him and his family, reported CNA.
And while Ng Yit Beng did not oppose the sale of the flat, he wanted to exercise his right of first refusal to buy over the 30% share of Sun.
In deciding the case, Judge Commissioner Goh agreed that the immediate sale of the flat would cause Ng and his family hardship, pointing out that it would not be fair considering that Ng is the majority owner.
He also barred the two parties from marketing the flat on the open market within six months.
During the six-month moratorium period, Ng will have the right to acquire Sun’s 30% share of the flat, at a price of 30% of the flat’s market value or higher, said the judge.
If after such a period Ng did not acquire Sun’s share, then both parties can sell the flat in the open market.
9) Ming Arcade on sale for more than $140 million
Ming Arcade, a freehold development project at 21 Cuscaden Road, has been put up for sale, with marketing agent Savills Singapore “very confident” that it will fetch over $140 million or $2,542 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).
Completed in 1982, the seven-storey commercial complex features three basement levels, 88 units and an existing verified development baseline of 55,046 sq ft, which is equivalent to a plot ratio of 4.54.
It occupies a 12,132 sq ft site that is zoned for “Commercial” use under the 2019 Master Plan with a height limit of up to 20 storeys.
Savills noted that while the property’s “zoning is commercial, hotel and or residential use may be possible subject to approval by the URA”.
The commercial zoning also means that the successful bidder need not worry about Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD), it added.
The tender for Ming Arcade closes on 15 December 2022.
10) Real estate investment volume down 30% in Q3 2022
After witnessing strong real estate investment momentum during the first two quarters of 2022, investment volume dropped 30% quarter-on-quarter to $5.33 billion in the third quarter of this year, reported Singapore Business Review citing Colliers.
Year-to-date, however, real estate investment volume represented 85% of the total figure for last year at $23.93 billion.
Colliers attributed the decline in Q3 2022 to increased borrowing costs, higher inflation and greater economic uncertainty.
Looking ahead, Colliers expects market players to reassess their portfolios on the back of more significant uncertainty.
“Additionally, the search for high-quality and inflation-proof assets will intensify as the market braces for additional challenges, such as higher operating costs stemming from rising interest rates,” it said.
Colliers expects institutional investors to look again to the city-state for opportunities, particularly in the commercial, logistics and office segments once the interest rates and inflation taper off.
“We also envisage more joint ventures and platform investments leveraging third-party expertise as investors seek to de-risk,” it added.
11) Public tender for freehold residential redevelopment site located along Dorset Road
A property at 103/A/B and 105/A/B Dorset Road has been launched for sale, with ERA Realty Network the exclusive marketing agent for the Tender exercise, which closes on 15 December 2022, Thursday, at 3pm.
The three-storey walk-up apartment block features dual frontages onto Dorset Road and Truro Road, with a combined site area of 1,025.2 square metres, which could potentially yield 16 units with an average unit size of 85 sq m, subject to relevant authorities’ approval.
The property is situated less than 500 metres away from Farrer Park MRT station (North-East Line) and is located near the Central Expressway (CTE). There are also numerous dining, shopping, medical and schooling options in the vicinity.
“This site is ideal for developers who are keen to build a boutique residential development that is nestled in a quiet residential enclave, yet only minutes away from the buzz of activities and a plethora of amenities,” commented Tay Liam Hiap, Managing Director of Investment Sales at ERA Realty.
“Given the recent excellent sale results of Piccadilly Grand, strong demand for new residential units in the area is likely to continue as there are no upcoming new launches in the pipeline. An advantage for this sale is that it does not require the Strata Titles Boards’ approval, thus allowing the successful buyer to quickly turn the site around and launch the new project for sale,” added Mr Tay.
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Farhan Shafie, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.