4 to 10 July 2023
Lentor Hills Residences sold 298 units or about 50% of its 598 units at an average price of $2,080 per sq ft (PSF) over its launch weekend. Meanwhile, City Developments Limited’s (CDL) The Myst sold 27% of its 408 units at an average price of $2,057 PSF during its launch over the weekend.
1. Lentor Hills Residences sells 50% of units on launch weekend
Lentor Hills Residences sold 298 units or about 50% of its 598 units at an average price of $2,080 PSF over its launch weekend, reported The Business Times.
Most of the buyers were Singaporeans and the rest were permanent residents.
All unit types were “well-received”, with two-bedders and two-bedder plus study units emerging as the most popular among buyers.
Sizes for the units ranged between 452 sq ft for a 1-bedroom unit and 1,399 sq ft for a 4-bedroom unit. The apartments were priced from $945,000 for a 1-bedroom unit and $1.36 million for a 2-bedroom unit.
Meanwhile, 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom units were offered from $1.82 million and $2.53 million, respectively. The project’s dual-key units, which saw “healthy take-up”, were priced starting from $2.64 million.
Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Real Estate Intelligence, Data and Software Solutions, PropertyGuru Group commented that the robust sales showcases a thriving demand for homes tailored for owner occupancy.
“Lentor is renowned as a beacon for affluent residents, given its rustic neighbourhood. We’ve witnessed a surge in demand for homes from the next generation residing in nearby landed properties and a significant influx of interest from upgraders residing in Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio.
While the heightened interest rates and a somewhat uncertain economic climate may temper demand, this may be a brief pause in an otherwise dynamic real estate market. As the regional economic outlook stabilises, we anticipate a more vibrant property market, reflective of Singapore’s resilient economy.”
2. 27% of The Myst units sold on launch weekend
City Developments Limited’s (CDL) The Myst sold 27% of its 408 units at an average price of $2,057 PSF during its launch over the weekend, reported The Business Times.
Singaporeans accounted for about 99% of the buyers, and the remaining 1% were Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) from China.
Prices started from $998,000 for a 517 sq ft 1-bedroom unit plus study, $1.33 million for a 678 sq ft 2-bedroom unit, and $1.708 million for an 850 sq ft 3- bedroom unit.
4-bedroom units, spanning 1,518 sq ft, are offered from $2.826 million and $3.18 million for a 1,690 sq ft 5-bedroom unit.
Commenting on the Myst’s launch weekend performance, Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru said, “Given the multiple previews that were going on simultaneously with The Myst and a couple of them only launching for sales in the coming week, the take-up of 27% is decent considering the fact that these purchasers are high intent and 100% of them are locals (99% Singaporeans and 1% PRs from China).
We believe property seekers are keeping an eye on this development while making comparisons with other upcoming launches to make a final, confident decision. The best is yet to come.”
3. Toa Payoh HDB flat is Singapore’s most expensive 5-room HDB resale flat
A five-room HDB resale flat in Toa Payoh was sold for an eye-watering $1.42 million in June 2023, surpassing the previous record held by a 5-room resale HDB flat at SkyTerrace@Dawson which was sold for $1,418,000 in 2022, reported Mothership.
This also makes the unit the most expensive HDB resale flat to be sold in Toa Payoh and Singapore’s second most expensive HDB resale flat after a Tiong Bahru flat, which was sold for $1.5 million a week ago.
Located between the 40th and 42nd storeys of Blk 139B Lorong 1A Toa Payoh, the unit spans 1,259 sq ft and has 88 years left on its 99-year leasehold.
Blk 139B forms part of The Peak@Toa Payoh development.
4. Mixed reaction to proposed repainting designs for Tampines BTO blocks
The proposed repainting designs for HDB blocks in Tampines North received mixed reactions from netizens, with some happy with the design while others were not impressed, reported TODAY.
In a Facebook post, MP for Tampines Group Representation Constituency Baey Yam Keng shared three design options that residents of Blocks 472 to 484 could choose.
The first involves retaining the blocks’ current design and grey colour. The second option consists of a vibrant colour scheme of blue, yellow, green, and red, while the third comprises a muted colour scheme of red, white, and grey.
Baey said the last two designs were inspired by Aeroplane Chess, a plane board game.
Many residents and netizens were impressed by the vivid colour scheme, saying that the vibrant colours will make the blocks “Instagrammable”.
However, not all were happy with the proposed designs.
“Childish designs don’t help with the property value,” remarked one Redditor.
Baey said residents could vote for their preferred design until 16 July 2023.
5. Singapore Land Authority (SLA) exploring longer leases for black-and-white bungalows
The SLA is looking into the feasibility of granting longer leasehold periods, such as 30 or 60 years, for an entire black-and-white bungalow estate, to allow private developers to rejuvenate the entire estate as a master leaseholder, reported TODAY citing Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong.
Currently, the maximum tenancy granted for black-and-white bungalows in the first instance is three+three+three years.
The move to extend longer leasehold periods is being considered due to the difficulty in finding prospective tenants for such properties, said Tong, who also serves as the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
This comes as these bungalows lack modern amenities such as water heaters, air-conditioning, and cooking hobs, noted the minister, adding that retrofitting these amenities is also subject to conservation requirements.
Moreover, tenants can only enjoy the benefits of retrofitting during the duration of the tenancy since the property and upgrades will have to be returned to SLA when the tenancy lapses – effectively limiting the pool of prospective tenants.
Related article: Black and White Houses in Singapore: How to Rent Colonial Houses from SLA (2023)
6. Government not closed to measures to ease rental pressures
The Ministry of National Development (MND) said it is “not closed” to any option to address rental hikes within the city-state.
However, it noted that international experience “has shown that while rent controls may moderate rental increases for some tenants in the short run, they are likely to distort the housing market.”
MND made the statement in a written parliamentary reply to whether it would legislate maximum rental fee adjustments for landlords.
It pointed out that rent controls may reduce rental supply, causing demand to outstrip supply. It could also distort property prices as well as disincentivise landlords from properly maintaining their rental units.
The ministry said rental rates had shown early signs of stabilising in Q1 2023, with rental growth moderating to 4.4% for public housing and 6.2% for non-landed private housing, after rising 8.1% and 7.5%, respectively, in the previous quarter.
In fact, MND expects rental pressures to further ease in the coming quarter, amid the ramped-up supply of public and private housing as well as the completion of a significant number of residential units.
“Nevertheless, we are not closed to any option and will continue to monitor the situation closely and adopt such measures as may be necessary,” said MND.
7. FY2022 property stamp duty collection down 12% year-on-year (YoY)
Singapore saw property stamp duty collection for the financial year 2022 drop 12% to $5.95 billion from the previous year’s record high of $6.76 billion, reported The Business Times.
Despite this, revenue from stamp duty collected for FY2022 remains 52.7% higher than FY2020’s $3.9 billion and FY2019’s $4.2 billion, showed the Accountant-General’s Department data.
The FY2022 revenue was also 13.5% higher than the $5.24 billion projection of the government.
Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield Research Head, attributed the decline in stamp duty collection to slower transaction volumes across the property market.
“While consecutive rounds of cooling measures implemented since December 2021 and a muted economic outlook in 2022 could have deterred some buying demand coming into the market, a tight launch pipeline in 2022 was a significant contributor to the slowdown in volumes,” he said.
Dr Lee Nai Jia believes the slower transaction volumes were also due to the “widening divergence” between the asking price of sellers and buyers.
8. Private home prices to ‘trade sideways’ in the next few quarters
While some property experts expect private residential prices to stabilise over the next few quarters, following a decline in the first quarter of 2023, Edmund Tie believes it is still “too early to call the peak of the market cycle”.
Instead, the real estate consultancy sees prices trading sideways over the next one to two quarters, reported Singapore Business Review.
Dr Tan Tee Khoon said, “The adjusted Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates from the April 2023 property cooling measures ’ when purchasing a property. While some are re-evaluating their buying decisions and have become more selective of their choices, many have still decided to proceed, nonetheless.
This corresponds to the PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2023 results, where 75% of respondents indicated they would still be open to purchasing a residential property in the next 12 months (from November 2022 to November 2023).
That said, the recent announcements of more land released for residential property development in the 2H2023 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, as well as the 6.5ha Jurong Lake District (JLD) site, could see prices and rents moderate further in the next two to three years.”
9. Alliance launches five-year plan to revitalise Kampong Glam
A five-year blueprint to liven up Kampong Glam as well as to attract more visitors to the historic district has been launched by the Kampong Gelam Alliance – a group of residents, businesses, and cultural institutions within the area, reported The Straits Times.
The proposed initiatives focus on five areas – maintaining the district’s cultural identity via art, creating more public spaces, sustaining businesses, improving the precinct’s accessibility, and introducing new activities and events.
For instance, the open space at Sultan Gate would soon host community events like fairs, weddings, and performances.
Art installations capturing the area’s stories, heritage, and people will also be put up in September 2023.
According to Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, a key aspiration for the heritage district is to ensure that both new businesses and traditional trades remain viable.
With this, the alliance is looking into putting up an apprenticeship scheme where young entrepreneurs will work with older businesses within the area to learn traditional trades.
10. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) remains confident in JLD tourism potential
While no proposal was received during its launch in 2022, the STB remains confident about the tourism potential of the JLD, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling told the parliament on 5 July 2023.
She was responding to Member of Parliament (MP) Ang Wei Neng, who asked for updates on the development, reported CNA.
In March 2022, a Request for Proposal (RFP) to develop the site within JLD was launched. It closed in October 2022 with no submissions received.
Low explained that the war in Ukraine and the global economic slowdown created an uncertain economic environment during that time – hence, the lack of proposals.
“However, STB remains confident in the tourism potential of the site as it is adjacent to the new Science Centre and Jurong Lake Gardens,” said the minister.
“We are monitoring market sentiments and exploring other possibilities to harness this potential,” she added.
Related article: Jurong Lake District, Tengah: 4 Most Exciting Features Coming to the West Side of Singapore By 2033
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Marcus Lee, Content Executive at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.