HDB investigating “vacant” BTO flats being sold on the open market, Sloane Residences obtains TOP, sells close to 90% of units, and more

HDB investigating “vacant” BTO flats being sold on the open market, Sloane Residences obtains TOP, sells close to 90% of units, and more
HDB investigating “vacant” BTO flats being sold on the open market, Sloane Residences obtains TOP, sells close to 90% of units, and more

20th December to 27th December 2022

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) revealed that it is probing cases of “vacant” Build-to-Order (BTO) flats – or those which appear to have never been lived in – that are being sold on the open market. Meanwhile, Tiong Seng announced that Sloane Residences has obtained a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) and sold close to 90% of its units.


1) HDB investigating “vacant” BTO flats being sold on the open market


HDB revealed that it is probing cases of “vacant” BTO flats – or those which appear to have never been lived in – that are being sold on the open market.

“This includes the cases mentioned in recent media reports, some of which have already been under investigation at the time of media’s reporting,” it told CNA.

In fact, it had taken enforcement action in 53 cases where BTO owners did not occupy their flats during the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) between 2017 and November this year. Of these cases, 21 involved compulsory acquisition by HDB, while the rest were issued warnings or financial penalties.

The Straits Times reported that the MOP breaches irked some Singaporeans, with reactions ranging from disappointment towards the inadequacy of policies curbing such unlawful practices to anger towards the flat owners.

It noted that the public outcry mirrors “broader unhappiness over public housing issues and the difficulties that some Singaporeans face in getting their BTO flats”, added the report.


2) Sloane Residences obtains TOP, sells close to 90% of units

sloane residences

Sloane Residences, a 12-storey freehold condominium project in prime District 10, has obtained TOP and sold close to 90% of its units, reported The Business Times.

Construction group Tiong Seng shared that the development witnessed a “sharp uptick” in buyer interest since it achieved TOP on 18 November 2022, with eight units snapped up within four weeks.

The units were sold for between $2,677 and $3,366 per sq ft (psf), with the overall average selling price hovering at $2,907 psf.

Singaporeans accounted for 54% of the buyers, while foreigners and permanent residents comprised the remaining 46%.

Located at 17 Balmoral Road, Sloane Residences is 70% owned by TSKY development, which is a joint venture (JV) between Ocean Sky International and Tiong Seng, with the latter holding a 60% stake in the JV.


3) En bloc tenders for People’s Park Centre, Loyang Valley close without bids

People's Park Centre

People’s Park Centre and Loyang Valley became the latest collective sales sites not to receive any bid during the close of their tender, reported The Business Times.

This is the second collective sale attempt for People’s Park Centre. The 13-storey development was first put up for collective sale on 6 July 2022 carrying a reserve price of $1.8 billion. It was relaunched on 8 November 2022 at the same reserve price, after its first attempt closed with no bids.

Industry observers pointed to its hefty price tag – at above $1 billion – as a stumbling block for developers.

Meanwhile, this is the first attempt for Loyang Valley, which had a reserve price of $980 million.

“There are a few expressions of interest,” said Terence Lian, Huttons Asia’s Head of Investment Sales. “We are following up with the interested developers and remain hopeful of a good outcome for Loyang Valley subsidiary proprietors.”

Looking ahead, property consultants expect many residential en bloc sites to remain unsold next year, due to a mismatch in price expectations between sellers and buyers.

For this year, 37 collective sale sites were put on the market, of which 12 were successfully sold.

Related article: Will En Bloc Make a Comeback in 2023? We Review the Past Failed En Bloc List


4) HDB launches Tampines Avenue 11, Plantation Close sites for tender

Source: HDB

Source: HDB

HDB has launched two land parcels – a mixed-use commercial and residential site at Tampines Avenue 11 as well as an executive condominium (EC) site at Plantation Close – for tender.

Related article: 13 Freshly MOP-ed Resale Executive Condos in 2022/2023

With a leasehold tenure of 99 years, the two sites can potentially yield around 1,685 residential units. Tenders for the sites will close on 27 June 2023.

OrangeTee expects the Tampines Avenue 11 site to attract about two to five bidders, with the highest bid ranging from about 1,150 to $1,250 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Huttons Asia, on the other hand, expects the EC site at Plantation Close to attract up to eight bidders, with the top bid ranging from about $630 to $680 psf ppr.

Tenders for the Plantation Close site will be evaluated under a modified concept and price revenue tender system, in which tenderers will be required to submit “an alternative bid on top of a base Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) bid”.

“The alternative bid may be of a non-PPVC technology or a hybrid of technologies which could yield the specified productivity improvement,” said HDB.


5) Freehold bungalow in Braddell Heights on sale for $23mil

A freehold single-storey bungalow in Clifton Vale within the Braddell Heights estate has been put up for sale with an indicative price of $23 million or $1,465 per sq ft (psf) on the land area, revealed marketing agent PropNex Realty.

The detached house occupies an elevated plot spanning 15,705 sq ft in District 13. The site is within an area designated for two-storey bungalow landed housing.

Related article: Singapore District Map: Defining the CCR, RCR and OCR by the 28 Districts

Henry Benjamin Lim, Head of Good Class Bungalows and Prestige Landed at PropNex, noted that the site can be subdivided “into three plots (of about 5,200 sq ft each) with a detached home to be built on each plot”.

He also expects the site to attract keen interest from the developers “in view of the of the limited supply of brand-new detached houses in the area and growing demand for larger homes among families”.

The tender for the freehold bungalow closes on 18 January 2023.


6) Freehold semi-detached house at Goodman Road on sale for $9.6mil

A freehold semi-detached house along Goodman Road in District 15 has been put up for sale via expression of interest (EOI) with a guide price of $9.6 million, revealed exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore.

The house occupies a 4,271 sq ft site zoned “Residential, two-storey semi-detached” under the 2019 Master Plan. This means the price is $2,247 per sq ft (psf) based on the land area.

“This is a rare opportunity for a buyer to acquire a sizeable freehold residential plot within an affluent district at a palatable quantum. Given the limited supply of these landed plots and the rarity of them coming up for sale, we expect strong demand from owners residing within the enclave,” said Yap Hui Yee, Savills Singapore‘s Senior Director of Investment Sales and Capital Markets.

The EOI exercise for the property closes on 12 January 2023.


7) 39 properties auctioned in 2022, total sales value at $88.93mil

Singapore saw 39 properties sold under the hammer in 2022, with the total sales value at $88.93 million.

Edmund Tie said it represented a 22.3% year-on-year decline as 2021 registered 32 properties sold under the hammer for a total sales value of $114.42 million.

“Against the robust primary and secondary markets this year, bolstered by the strong rental market, particularly in the residential segment, 2022 is still, nonetheless, a relatively healthy year for the property auction market,” said Joy Tan, Edmund Tie’s Head of Auction and Sales.

She believes that the lower sales value for this year is partly due to “fewer high-value transactions of $5 million and above”.

For this year, 459 properties were put up for auction, of which 58% (267) were owner listings, and 34% (158) were mortgagee listings. The rest comprised other types of listings, such as estate, sheriff, and MCST sales.

Related article: How to Buy a Property on Mortgagee Sale in Singapore: An Easy 5-Step Guide

The share of owner listings is the highest in seven years. It is also the second consecutive year that owner listings surpassed mortgagee listings.

Looking ahead, Edmund Tie expects more distressed sales in 2023, amid the rising interest rates and economic uncertainties.


8) Optimistic outlook for the construction industry


Singapore’s construction sector is slowly but surely tackling cost and labour issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine, reported CNA.

Notably, a drop in metal prices has provided the sector with some breathing space, albeit construction firms still need to contend with a manpower crunch which has affected productivity.

To make up for the lost time, some construction firms leveraged technology to raise productivity and save on labour costs.

In fact, authorities said construction output this year had recovered close to pre-pandemic levels.

With this, Bao Te, Associate Professor for Economics at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Social Sciences, has described the construction sector’s outlook for the coming years as “pretty good” thanks to rising demand for the industry.

“Basically, there is increasing demand for both residential properties and commercial properties in Singapore,” he said.

But whether supply can meet the increasing demand depends on how fast the construction industry can overcome material and labour shortages, while contending with factors that are beyond its control, such as energy prices, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions.


9) Prime retail, suburban rents to move up next year

Savills Research expects inflationary pressures to push up retail sales revenue and increase advertising and conservancy costs next year, reported Singapore Business Review.

Savills believes these factors will “override the softer economic conditions and ultimately lift rents marginally”.

With this, prime Orchard retail rents are expected to increase up to 1% to 2% year-on-year, while prime suburban rents will increase 2% to 3% year-on-year.

Singapore’s retail market is undergoing significant changes, with landlords raising rental expectations while some tenants struggle with increased operating costs.

This saw some retailers being forced to move to less prime locations, and the vacated space is being occupied by new entrants or more successful retailers willing to pay the higher rental expectations.


10) ESR-Logos REIT sells aerospace training facility for $7.1mil

ESR-Logos REIT (E-LOG) has agreed to sell 70 Seletar Aerospace View for $7.1 million, announced its manager in an SGX filing.

Located within Seletar Aerospace Park, the property is an aerospace training facility with a gross floor area of 4,992 sq m. It has a remaining lease of around 19 years.

The manager does not expect the sale to materially affect “E-LOG’s net asset value and distribution per unit for the financial year ending 31 December 2022”.

It added that the net proceeds will be “deployed to repay outstanding borrowings and/or fund general working capital requirements”.

The sale, which is subject to JTC’s approval, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

Once completed, E-LOG’s portfolio will consist of 81 properties – exclusive of 48 Pandan Road which is held via a joint venture – across Singapore, Australia and Japan as well as investments at three property funds within Australia.


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Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: cheryl@propertyguru.com.sg.

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