6 to 12 June 2023
The May 2023 BTO launch saw robust demand for Serangoon North Vista and Bedok South Blossoms, with application rates of 5-room BTO flats among first-timer applicants reaching up to 13. Meanwhile, freehold residential condo Grange 1866 will open for preview on 17 June 2023, with prices for homes starting from $1.577 million.
1. Robust demand recorded for the Serangoon and Bedok May 2023 BTO projects
The May 2023 BTO sales exercise saw robust demand for bigger BTO flats in mature estates Serangoon and Bedok, reported The Straits Times.
As of 8 June 2023, the 129 5-room BTO flats offered in the Serangoon North Vista May 2023 BTO project attracted 2,390 applicants, which works out to over 13 first-timer applicants for every available unit.
The project’s 4-room BTO flats, on the other hand, attracted more than nine first-timer applicants for each unit offered.
In Bedok South Blossoms, 5-room and 3Gen BTO flats were also oversubscribed, with over three first-timer applicants battling for every available BTO flat.
Analysts attributed the positive response to pent-up demand, as Serangoon and Bedok have not seen a BTO launch for about nine and seven years, respectively.
HDB revealed that the median application rate for first-time applicants for 3-room and larger BTO flats in the May 2023 BTO sales exercise was 2.2 for every unit offered.
Related article: 4 Reasons Why Singaporeans Snatched Up the Serangoon May 2023 BTO Flats
2. Grange 1866 opens for preview on 17 June 2023
Grange 1866, a freehold condo at 74 Grange Road in District 10, is set to open for preview on 17 June 2023, with prices starting from $1.577 million.
Located near Orchard MRT station, the 60-unit single tower block project will feature 1- and 2-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 527 to 829 sq ft.
Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru said: “Under the current Master Plan 2019, the initiatives to refresh Orchard Road can be summarized under two key thrusts:
The first thrust of the Orchard Road plan is to make her a lifestyle destination. As a lifestyle destination, Orchard Road will offer differentiated experiences in each of the four sub-precincts identified – Tanglin, Orchard, Somerset, and Dhoby Ghaut. The art and artisanal mixed-use neighbourhood is a shopping paradise that features luxury and flagship products, new events and lush green spaces, and family-friendly attractions.
This multivariate transformation of Orchard Road will infuse excitement, diversity and culture that will enhance the livability of the location to different people groups.
Secondly, the government has plans to ‘Bring Back the Orchard’. The initiative includes enhancing Orchard Road as a green urban corridor, linking the Singapore Botanic Gardens to Fort Canning Park, and ending at the Singapore River.
Grange 1866 is that rare gem of a boutique, freehold development that will benefit from the Master Plan 2019 rejuvenation initiatives for Orchard Road. Given its coveted District 10 residential address, this development holds enormous potential for property seekers looking for capital preservation and appreciation in the long term.”
Each unit will be equipped with walk-in wardrobes, appliances, and sanitary fixtures. They will also come with full marble finishes in the living room, dining room, and bathroom.
The development will boast a modern, contemporary design, with facilities including a swimming pool and a gym.
With completion slated for December 2029, the project is expected to obtain its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in December 2026.
3. 48 cheques collected for Eleven@Holland, seven more homes put up for sale
The mortgagee sale of 48 semi-detached homes at Eleven@Holland attracted strong buying interest, with 48 cheques collected from buyers.
Priced from $3.7 million to $4.4 million each, the properties are part of the 99-year leasehold project, which comprises 82 units of semi-detached, strata-landed cluster homes.
Tracy Goh, PropNex Realty’s Head of Investment and Collective Sales, said all 48 cheques came from Singaporean buyers.
“By our estimates, more than 100 interested buyers came to view the properties on 3 June, when the units were opened for viewing,” she added.
In view of the robust interest received, seven more semi-detached homes at the development were put up for sale.
With an average strata area of 3,735 sq ft, the seven properties come with three-storey, an attic, and a basement. Six of the units are being sold with existing tenancies, while the remaining unit is being sold with vacant possession.
The tender for the seven properties will close on 12 June 2023.
Related article: Landed Property in Singapore: Good Class Bungalows (GCB), Cluster Houses, and More (2023)
4. Singapore is among the strongest markets for super-prime homes
Singapore has been listed among the world’s strongest markets for super-prime homes, with 37 transactions for such homes registered in Q1 2023, revealed Knight Frank.
Notably, Singapore is the fifth strongest market globally. Dubai topped the list with 88 sales, followed by Hong Kong, New York and Long Angeles.
The average super-prime sales registered in Singapore stood at $20.96 million.
Knight Frank said global super-prime residential sales increased 11% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 417 transactions in Q1 2023. Despite the hike in volume, total sales value declined 4% QoQ to $9.7 billion.
The consultancy sees more subdued conditions for the super-prime home market for the full of 2023, with transactions hitting $33.6 million to $36.3 billion.
5. HDB resale flats near green spaces fetch higher prices
A new study found that HDB resale flats located near tree covers – such as street trees, urban forests, woodlands and nature reserves – fetched higher prices over the last three decades, reported The Straits Times.
These flats were also more popular than those located close to grass patches, showed the study, which was published in Elsevier’s Sustainable Cities and Society.
This comes as grass patches are usually vacant state lands that may soon be redeveloped.
“With declining green areas all around Singapore, buyers tend to value greenery closer to their homes a lot more. Improvements to some of our parks, and nature reserves could also explain why people value them a lot more,” said Teo Hoong Chen, the study’s lead author and a PhD student at the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions.
In fact, being close to greenery accounted for up to 11.7% of the flat’s average resale price in the 2010s. This works out to a premium of up to $50,000.
6. More homeowners engage defect inspection firms
Demand for defect inspection at newly-built homes has been on the rise following the completion of many housing projects that had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reported The Straits Times.
Jay Ng of defect inspection firm Uncle Defect shared that demand increased by around 20% year-on-year (YoY) in 2023. He revealed that their company conduct inspections at four houses each day, two to three times per week.
“This rise in demand is largely fuelled by a surge in project completions post-pandemic, as well as greater awareness among new homeowners for defect inspection services,” said Absolute Inspection director Tan Wee Kwang.
He shared that the checks are focused on workmanship defects, which could range from minor issues like the misaligned door to a missing screw to more serious problems like choked pipes or water seepage.
7. Lower interest rates are not enough to bring back home buyers
Fixed home-loan rates in Singapore have been on the downtrend, indicating that banks are expecting a slowdown in US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, reported The Business Times.
Fixed-rate loans with two to five years lock-in periods at DBS are currently offered at 3.75%, down from 4.25% in January 2023.
Despite the decline in borrowing costs, analysts do not expect buyers to return to the housing market immediately, noting that the dip is not significant enough.
Department of Statistics data showed an easing of households’ debt burden in Q1 2023, which could also indicate a weaker resale market.
“Our valuers have been noticing a weakening resale market in Q1 2023, with significantly fewer requests for valuations by banks for resale properties,” said Alan Cheong, Executive Director of Research and Consultancy at Savills Singapore.
Nonetheless, the lower borrowing costs may force home seekers with immediate housing needs to enter the market.
Related article: Will Interest Rates Increase Further In 2023? How This Affects Your Mortgage in Singapore
8. AI technology is still a long way from replacing real estate agents
With the rise of ChatGPT, more real estate agencies have been integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their suite of applications.
Singapore-based property agency ERA has customised ChatGPT into its app, known as Sales+, allowing its agents to quickly generate emails, property listings and blog posts, reported South China Morning Post.
“We see great improvements in productivity levels, which means better client service,” said Marcus Chu, ERA’s Singapore and Asia-Pacific CEO.
“I believe ChatGPT has added significant value to our agents and that AI can benefit the real estate industry.”
But while ChatGPT has been helpful to agents, there are still some tasks – such as price negotiation, service customisation and research into client demands – that could not be delegated to AI-based assistants.
This comes as these tasks require more interaction, decision-making and critical thinking.
“While ChatGPT can replace some of the work and save agents time, AI technology has a long way to go before it can attempt to replace agents,” said Laura O’Connor, COO at US-based brokerage firm JPAR Real Estate’s Affiliated Network.
9. Household net worth rises in Q1 2023, liabilities drop
Singapore saw household net worth grow 8.2% YoY to $2.6 trillion in Q1 2023, outpacing the 7.6% hike recorded in Q3 2022, reported The Business Times.
The growth was driven by the 11.7% YoY increase in residential asset value, mirroring the growth within the private residential market, where home prices rose 11.4% YoY.
Meanwhile, household liabilities – comprising personal debt and mortgage loans – dropped 0.02% YoY to $359.2 billion in Q1 2023.
Notably, mortgage loans climbed 0.2% QoQ and 2.5% YoY during Q1 2023.
Personal loans, on the other hand, declined 2.3% QoQ and 6.5% YoY.
Alan Cheong, Executive Director of Research and Consultancy at Savills Singapore, attributed the drop in household liabilities to higher interest rates and to households turning more conservative amid economic headwinds.
Meanwhile, the hike in residential assets may indicate greater wealth for those who own property and a widening wealth gap between property owners and those without property of their own.
10. Singapore Turf Club redevelopment to open a mix of possibilities and challenges
Analysts believe the planned redevelopment of the Singapore Turf Club site will open up a mix of opportunities and challenges given the proximity of the area to the Kranji industrial area as well as the Central Catchment Area and Mandai, reported TODAY.
With the Kranji industrial area close by, work will have to be done to shield homes from the pollution coming from the industrial area.
“But this can be easily overcome with the placement of non-residential buildings to create the necessary buffer,” said Lee Sze Teck, Huttons’ Senior Director Of Research.
Meanwhile, the site’s proximity to the Central Catchment Area and Mandai offers opportunities to integrate recreational elements into the site’s redevelopment.
Spanning around 120 hectares (ha), the Singapore Turf Club can accommodate 20,000 to 40,000 new homes when redeveloped, said analysts.
Looking for a property in Singapore? Visit PropertyGuru’s Listings, Project Reviews and Guides.
Marcus Lee, Content Executive at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.