22nd November to 28th November 2022
Copen Grand, the first executive condominium (EC) in Tengah, has been fully sold after second-time buyers snapped all the remaining 146 units at the 639-unit development. Meanwhile, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) launched 9,655 Build-to-Order (BTO) flats for sale on 23 November 2022 – its largest BTO offering in a single launch.
1) Copen Grand EC fully sold
Copen Grand, the first EC in Tengah Town, has been fully sold after second-time buyers snapped all the remaining 146 units at the 639-unit development, reported The Business Times citing developers City Developments Limited (CDL) and MCL Land.
Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, called the development the “best-selling EC for this year”, noting that it was the first EC project to be fully sold during a second balloting.
“The value proposition for Copen Grand is very strong. (It has the) first mover’s advantage, unrivalled accessibility to three MRT stations, proximity to future Tengah Integrated Transport Hub and Tengah Boulevard Bus Interchange,” he said.
Related article: 99 Condos Near MRT Stations (North-South Line, NSL): Prices, TOP Dates, and More (2022)
Under prevailing EC regulations, only 30% of the project can be allocated for second-time buyers during launch.
Launched on 22 October 2022, the project had an average price of $1,300 psf, with units purchased under the deferred payment scheme priced at 3% higher.
Copen Grand sold about 73% of the units during its first day of launch. Transacted prices ranged from $1.09 million for a two-bedroom plus study unit to $2.17 million for a five-bedder premium unit.
2) HDB launches nearly 10,000 flats in the November 2022 BTO sales exercise
The HDB launched 9,655 BTO flats for sale on 23 November 2022 – its largest BTO offering in a single launch.
The flats are spread across 10 projects within both mature and non-mature estates in Queenstown, Kallang Whampoa, Bukit Batok, Yishun and Tengah.
For this month’s BTO and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise, HDB extended the application period from the usual seven days to nine days, providing prospective buyers “more time to consider the wide range of flats offered”.
The application period for both BTO and SBF exercises closes on 1 December 2022, 11.59pm. Interested applicants can apply via the HDB InfoWEB.
“The bulk of the almost 10,000 flat supply, or close to 6,000 new flats, are located in non-mature estates,” said HDB CEO Tan Meng Dui.
“With 95% of four-room and larger flats in this bumper crop set aside for first-timer households, and additional ballot chances for them, we encourage first-time applicants to apply for flats in the non-mature estates to increase their chances of securing a new BTO flat,” he added.
3) Tengah November 2022 BTO project to have shorter waiting times, pilot new building tech
The Nov 2022 BTO project in Tengah – offering a total of about 2,077 units – will pilot construction technologies such as 3D concrete printing to raise productivity.
Garden Waterfront I & II @ Tengah will also have the shortest waiting times, at 3.3 years, among the projects launched during the BTO sales exercise on 23 November 2022, reported CNA.
HDB launched a bumper crop of nearly 10,000 flats across 10 different projects.
The new project in Tengah will feature 18 residential blocks ranging from nine to 16 storeys, with two-room Flexi units as well as three-room to five-room flats, including rental flats within Garden Waterfront I @ Tengah.
Related article: 7 Affordable 5-Room HDB Resale Flats Under $600,000 in Singapore
“The large offering in the non-mature estate of Tengah will cater to the diverse needs of flat-buyers, and provide ample affordable flat options with short waiting times for first-time applicants,” said HDB.
About 17,000 flats would have been offered in Tengah since November 2018, when the first BTO project Plantation Grove was launched.
Although there had been some delays due to the pandemic, “more than 70% of these projects currently have a waiting time of four years or less,” pointed HDB.
4) Government releases two residential sites, EC plot up for sale
The Government has released three Reserve List residential sites for sale under the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched the 20,572.1 sq m condominium site at Jalan Tembusu and the 13,451.1 sq m condominium site at Clementi Avenue 1. The two sites are expected to yield 825 units and 500 units, respectively.
HDB launched the third site at Senja Close, which spans 10,159.2 sq m and is designated for EC development. It is expected to yield about 300 units.
Of the three sites, the Clementi Avenue site has the highest probability of being triggered for sale due to the lack of new mass-market condominium projects within the Clementi area, said ERA Realty.
Huttons Asia’s Senior Director of Research Lee Sze Teck, however, believes developers “might want to keep their options open and not trigger these sites for sale”, given the upcoming release of the 1H 2023 GLS sites in December.
But if successfully triggered, he expects all three sites to attract three to five bids, with the Clementi site attracting a top bid of between $1,000 and $1,100 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).
5) ‘Mature’, and ‘non-mature’ HDB estate classification may be replaced, third category possible – say experts
Experts believe the review of the terms “mature” and “non-mature” HDB estates may lead to the replacement of such terms and the addition of a third category – which may be known as “emerging” or “semi-mature” estate, reported TODAY.
Chris International Founder Chris Koh said the classification of non-mature and mature estates may be removed since the distinction between these two types of estates had already become unclear.
Instead, buyers can rely on the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) or non-PLH classification to determine the proximity of homes to amenities like shopping centres, public transportation and the city centre.
Christine Sun, Senior Vice-President of Research and Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, suggested using geographical location in classifying estates.
One Global Group Senior Analyst, Research and Content Creator Mohan Sandrasegeran, on the other hand, suggested using population density in determining whether an area is developed or not.
6) More Singaporeans face difficulties paying housing loans
A new survey found that more Singaporeans are facing “some difficulties in paying off their mortgage loans”, at 40%, up from 31% last year, reported CNA citing OCBC’s Financial Wellness Index report.
OCBC noted that more Singaporeans are unable to pay their housing loans on time at 14% versus 9% in 2021. In fact, those looking to sell or downgrade their homes in order to pay for their loans have also increased from 6% in 2021 to 8%.
Related article: Cash, CPF, or Both? 5 Singaporean Households Share How They’re Paying Off Their Mortgage
“This has resulted in more Singaporeans worried about home financing – 38% worry about not being able to afford a home, an increase from 36% last year,” it said.
Despite these, banks said mortgage foreclosures are rare, with DBS saying that it has not seen delinquencies due to higher home loan interest rates.
UOB, on the other hand, shared that the proportion of borrowers impacted by the interest rate hikes was “insignificant compared to the total mortgage portfolio of the bank”.
The banks added that they would do their best to help those facing financial difficulties.
7) Rent for co-living spaces to increase amid strong demand
Demand for co-living spaces in Singapore has been on the uptrend, with operators registering occupancy rates of above 95% – thanks to more people seeking temporary housing while they wait for their new homes to be completed, reported CNA.
The hike is also attributed to the return of expatriates for work in Singapore following the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this, industry players expect rental for such spaces to shoot up.
“This is a trend that we don’t see (just) for co-living, it’s actually across the industry. So we actually did increase the rates to be aligned with the market,” said Lyf’s Area Manager Genevieve Khua.
Co-living operator Lyf said rents for their spaces will increase by 20% to 25%.
Competitor Coliwoo, on the other hand, said it will also raise its rent, albeit the hike will be capped at $200 to keep prices affordable.
Despite the rising rent, those staying in co-living spaces believe they are still cheaper compared to those in the open market.
8) HDB rental prices increase the most in the heartlands
After dropping or staying mostly stagnant during the 10 quarters before the COVID-19 pandemic, rental prices of HDB flats have soared, and mostly in the heartlands rather than the central regions, reported CNA.
HDB data showed that some of these towns saw HDB rents hit record highs in Q3 2022.
Related article: HDB Rental Flat Prices in Singapore: How Much You Need to Earn to Afford Different Flat Types (Q3 2022)
In fact, rental prices for five-room flats jumped by 47.4%, as compared with Q1 2020. Punggol registered the biggest hike, with the median monthly rental prices hitting $2,800, followed by Woodlands and Sengkang.
Rents for four-room flats also increased by 13% to 47.4%, with the same three towns registering the highest increases in rents.
In fact, even smaller three-room flats also posted rent increases, with demand driven by lower-salary migrant workers who were afraid of losing jobs if they decide to go home during the pandemic, said Savills Executive Director for Research and Consultancy Alan Cheong.
In search of cheaper accommodation, these workers looked to towns with lower rents pushing up rental prices for three-room flats in Woodlands, Hougang and Jurong West.
9) Private home sales volume down 9.7% in Q3 2022
Singapore saw the transaction volume of private homes drop 9.7% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 6,148 units in the third quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter’s 6,811 units, reported Singapore Business Review.
Edmund & Tie attribute the decline in volume to “macroeconomic headwinds, rising interest rates and a slowdown in sales activities during the Hungry Ghost month that happened from 29 July to 26 August 2022”.
Notably, the proportion of homes sold to foreigners remained stable at 4.7% in Q3 2022 from 4.8% in Q2 2022.
Foreign demand improved both within the Rest of Central Region (RCR) at 4.7% and the Outside Central Region (OCR) at 2% during the quarter under review.
Related article: Singapore District Map: Defining the CCR, RCR and OCR by the 28 Districts
“This is likely that foreign buyers are casting their nets wider to include more affordable properties located in the fringe and suburban locations, amid rising prices,” the real estate expert said.
The residential overall price index rose 3% in Q3 2022 – marking its 10th consecutive quarter of increase.
Looking ahead, Edmund & Tie expects private home prices to soften to around 9% compared to 10.6%, while primary sales are expected to rise by 1% to 3% to around 7,000 to 8,000 units in 2023.
10) Retail vacancy eases to a three-year low in Q3 2022
Overall retail occupancy in Singapore improved in the third quarter of 2022, due to higher take up within the Central Region – bringing the retail vacancy rate to 7.8% or its lowest since 2019, revealed Savills Research.
The Central Region saw the vacancy rate drop 0.5% QoQ to 9.3%, while that within the OCR held firm at 5.1%.
“Concurrently, prime retail rents continued to rise in Q3 as more foreign brands, who are more willing to match up to the landlords’ higher rental expectations, entered the local market,” said Savills.
With this, Savills monthly prime rents within Orchard and suburban areas climbed 1% QoQ to $21.30 per sq ft (psf) and 0.7% quarter-on-quarter to $23.20 psf, respectively.
“With the return of the office crowd, CBD prime retail rents have firmed and businesses that are continuing their operations around the Raffles Place micro-market can anticipate paying higher rents, especially so with Clifford Centre at Raffles Place closing end-2022,” noted Savills.
Looking for a property in Singapore? Visit PropertyGuru’s Listings, Project Reviews and Guides.
Farhan Shafie, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: email@example.com.