7 to 14 November 2023
J’den, CapitaLand Development’s (CLD) mixed-use project in Jurong East, sold 88% of its 368 residential units during its launch at an average price of $2,451 per sq ft (PSF). Meanwhile, a 5-room Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat in Toa Payoh has been sold for $1.56 million recently, making it the most expensive HDB resale flat in Singapore.
1. J’den sells 88% of units over its launch weekend
J’den, CLD’s mixed-use project in Jurong East, sold 88% of its 368 residential units during its launch at an average price of $2,451 PSF, reported The Business Times.
CLD revealed that 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units emerged as the most popular, with all 148 1-bedroom, 1-bedroom with study, and 2-bedroom units sold out.
The development’s 3-bedders and 4-bedders also witnessed “strong” take-up, the developer added.
Sizes of the units ranged from 527 sq ft for the 1-bedders to 1,485 sq ft for the 4-bedders.
Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) accounted for more than 99% of the homebuyers, with about 60% aged 40 or below. CLD also noted that around 62% of the buyers presently live within Singapore’s western region.
Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru said, “J’den has all the attributes of a new launch that would perform well, namely, an integrated development. Coupled with the Jurong Lake District (JLD) narrative, the enthralling 88% sales achievement over one weekend is in tandem with market expectations.
However, apart from 1-bedders and 2-bedders, the larger units continue to take more time for property seekers as they could be pulling financial resources together through the sale of their existing properties and/or considering multi-generational family purchases.”
With a leasehold tenure of 99 years, J’den comprises a 38-storey residential tower sitting atop a two-storey commercial podium. It is nestled on JCube shopping mall’s former site, which was acquired by CLD in January 2022 for $340 million.
J’den drew over 7,000 visitors during its first weekend of public preview – making it one of the biggest preview crowds over the first weekend this year.
Related article: Jurong Region Line (JRL): What the Upcoming JRL Means for Singaporeans (2023)
2. A 5-room DBSS flat in Toa Payoh sold for a record $1.56 million
A 5-room HDB flat in Toa Payoh has been sold for $1.56 million recently, making it the most expensive HDB resale flat in Singapore, reported AsiaOne. The last time we reported on the most expensive HDB flat transacted was in June 2023, when a 1,894 sq ft 4-room jumbo HDB flat in Moh Guan Terrace, Tiong Bahru, sold for $1.5 million.
ERA revealed that the unit is situated at The Peak, a DBSS development at Lorong 1A Toa Payoh, with the sellers being a self-employed middle-aged couple who want to upgrade to a private home.
The buyers, on the other hand, are transitioning from a 4-room HDB flat.
Dr Tan Tee Khoon noted, “That this 5-room DBSS unit of more than 1200 sq ft on the top floor in Toa Payoh fetched $1.56m, is really not out of sync with expectations. Toa Payoh is a sought-after HDB precinct and DBSS flats are no longer built.
As these flats were designed by private developers, this would be the closest one can get to a private residential development whose equivalent size may cost close to $3m depending on the location.
Looking ahead, Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Real Estate Intelligence, Data and Software Solutions, PropertyGuru Group, expects that “We should continue to witness such transactions over the next few years, barring any economic shock. Equity-constrained property seekers for private homes will likely be priced out of private homes amid the high-interest rate environment and pivot to premium units in the HDB resale market.
That said, such transactions remain a minority, and those first-time buyers will have more options when the Government rolls out the launches under the new classification.”
Related article: National Day Rally 2023 Summary: Standard, Plus, Prime Flat Categories, More Single Housing Options, and More
3. 27.6% of Hillock Green units sold over its launch weekend at an average price of $2,108 PSF
Hillock Green, a 99-year leasehold private condominium at Lentor Central, sold 131 units or 27.6% of its 474 units during its launch over the weekend.
The units achieved an average selling price of $2,108 PSF.
Buyers comprised “a healthy balance” of first-time homebuyers, upgraders and investors from across Singapore. Notably, a significant number of buyers live within the Ang Mo Kio Planning area as well as the northeast region.
There was also a good balance of units sold across all unit types. Interestingly, more investors bought larger units instead of the usual one- and two-bedders.
The third project to be launched within the Lentor Hills estate, project is being developed by a joint venture comprising Soilbuild Group Holdings, Forsea Holdings and United Engineers Ltd.
Dr Lee Nai Jia said, “Lentor is fast becoming a real estate hotspot in the Outside Central Region, with Hillock Green at its core drawing attention from both upgraders and newcomers from the Ang Mo Kio locale. Offering an appealing average price of $2,108 PSF, Hillock Green stands out for its affordability amidst a market that often sees new launch prices hitting $2,400 and beyond.
The area is poised for further growth and transformation with the anticipated completion of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, which is expected to inject dynamism into the North Coast Innovation Corridor. This strategic development could herald a new era of connectivity and urban development for Lentor.”
Hillock Green attracted over 1,600 visitors during the first weekend of its preview.
4. SP Group waives cooling system usage fees till end-2023, reduces rate from 1 January 2024
National grid operator SP Group announced that it will waive the centralised cooling system usage charges for Tengah residents until end-2023 as well as reduce the usage rate from 1 January, reported CNA.
The move comes after residents complained of excessive charges, misleading information, lack of transparency, poor communication, and cancellation policy issues.
In a “further gesture of goodwill”, SP Group said it will also reduce the cancellation fees by 50% for homeowners who opt to cancel the system’s installation.
Residents have raised issues with the centralised cooling system, which was touted as a sustainable alternative to air conditioning in the new Tengah housing estate, since before they started collecting their keys at the end of August 2023.
These include concerns about costs, leakages, aesthetics, and the temperatures not being cold enough.
Residents also expressed disappointment over the discrepancy between the promised savings and the actual costs.
SP Group acknowledged the concerns, laid out the reasons for the increase and committed to adjust the rates from 1 January 2024.
It also shared that it had rectified 88% of the reported defects, adding that it will rectify the remaining cases as soon as possible.
HDB said it will monitor the feedback and support SP Group in ensuring a smooth rollout of the centralised cooling system in Tengah.
5. Better aesthetics at HDB rental flats could help families achieve upward social mobility faster
Carrie Tan, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon GRC, has urged the government to improve the design of public housing rental flats by incorporating more pleasing aesthetics, lighting and colour to boost the mental well-being of families staying there as well as their potential for upward mobility, reported TODAY.
MP Tan also pointed to overcrowding as a key issue facing HDB rental flat families and rejected the notion that providing a comfortable and pleasing environment would only demotivate such families into working hard to have their own place.
She noted that overcrowding due to smaller flat sizes could lead to poor health, which could in turn lead to more frequent school absences as well as poor employment retention.
“Home becomes a place just to survive but not to thrive in. We underestimate the amount of energy it takes to overcome challenges inherent in the current rental housing premises, leaving less energy for constructive actions such as focusing on job performance, or school performance,” said Tan.
Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim stated that his ministry empathises with the point raised by Tan while sharing the “progressive improvements” made to enhance the public rental flats’ design and living environment.
6. Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) closes tender for Clementi, Pine Grove, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh sites
The tenders for three sites located at Clementi Avenue 1, Pine Grove and Lorong 1 Toa Payoh have closed, with one site receiving six bids, announced the URA.
With an area of 13,451.1 sq m, the site at Clementi Avenue 1 attracted six bids, with CSC Land Group (Singapore) and Caspian Residential 3 putting forth the top bid of $633.448 million.
Meanwhile, the Pine Grove (Parcel B) and Lorong 1 Toa Payoh sites both attracted three bids.
Golden Ray Edge 3 submitted the top bid of $692.388 million for the Pine Grove site, while a consortium comprising CDL Constellation, Frasers Property Phoenix, and Sekisui House submitted the highest bid of $968 million for the Lorong 1 Toa Payoh site.
“This is not an announcement of the tender award,” said URA, adding that a decision on the award of the tender will be made following an evaluation of bids.
7. More buyers looking for HDB flats without resale restrictions
With the implementation of the new housing categories just around the corner, more buyers are now seeking HDB resale flats without resale restrictions, especially in the Central region, reported Singapore Business Review.
This comes as only Prime and Plus BTO flats will be sold within the area from H2 2024, said Huttons.
It noted that buyers are also willing to fork out a little bit more for such flats.
Huttons said the preference for HDB flats without resale restrictions may have supported HDB resale prices as well as the number of million-dollar flats last month.
“This is the first time that no million dollar flat was sold in non-mature estates,” noted Huttons.
PropNex shared that October’s 41 million-dollar HDB flats were in mature towns, particularly in Bishan and Bukit Merah (seven units each), Queenstown (six units), Clementi and Kallang Whampoa (five units each), Ang Mo Kio (four units) as well as Central Area and Toa Payoh (two units each). Moreover, Serangoon, Geylang, and Bukit Timah each registered one transaction.
However, Huttons believe the effect of buyers’ preference for centrally located flats will likely be “one-off”.
8. Singapore may see a first rental slump in four years
After climbing by up to 15% this year, housing rents in Singapore are expected to drop by as much as 10% in 2024 amid the rising completion of homes, revealed a Bloomberg report.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Ken Foong believes the drop in rents may be even greater if a crisis emerges or the macro-economy worsens.
“Tenants are likely to push back on sky-high rents due to higher vacancy, with more units to choose from, macro uncertainties and the rising cost of living,” said Foong.
The Singapore government’s index for private housing rents inched up by only 0.8% in Q3 2023, its slowest growth since rents began climbing at end-2020.
Meanwhile, the number of vacant homes has increased to 34,341 units in Q3 2023, surpassing the 27,000 average set from 2014 to 2017, when rents dropped for four consecutive years.
Despite the expected decline in overall rents, some landlords may still raise prices on expiring leases which were entered into two or three years ago, albeit at a lower rate, said Foong.
9. First EV chargers at open-air HDB carpark now operational
The first charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) at a surface-level or open-air HDB carpark are now operational, reported The Straits Times.
Located at Block 209 Jurong East Street 21, the six chargers are the latest to be rolled out under a tender awarded in November 2022.
The carpark spaces for EV charging are situated in a row, right next to one another. There is also a motorcycle parking just around the corner, which means electric motorcycles can make use of the charging service since the area is still within the reach of charging cables.
“From our experience operating chargers in HDB carparks, the presence of EV chargers will provide confidence and peace of mind to HDB residents to make the switch to EVs,” said Goh Chee Kiong, CEO of Charge+, the EV charging operator at Jurong East Street 21.
EV-Electric (EVe) Charging, Land Transport Authority’s subsidiary overseeing the deployment of public EV chargers, shared that 30 surface-level HDB carparks will be equipped with EV chargers by end-2023.
10. Shophouse transaction volume, value down in Q3 2023
Singapore saw transaction volume for shophouses decline 21.3% quarter-on-quarter to 37 in the third quarter of 2023, following the money laundering probe in August, reported The Business Times citing Huttons Asia.
Transaction value also dropped 26.6% to $317.1 million in Q3 2023 from $432.3 million in Q2 2023.
Both the transaction volume and value for shophouse deals in Q3 2023 were a far cry from their recent peak in 2021 when 73 units were sold in Q2 2021 and $606 million worth of shophouse sales were registered in Q4 2021, showed a PropNex report.
In September 2023, only eight shophouse deals were posted, down from the 19 transactions in August 2023.
Market watchers believe the heightened customer due-diligence checks after 10 foreign nationals were investigated in August for money laundering cases, have affected demand from legitimate buyers.
Dr Lee Nai Jia, however, said there could be various factors that may have led to the drop in shophouse transactions.
“High property prices, in combination with an uncertain economic forecast and a climate of rising interest rates, may be making potential buyers hesitant to engage in such significant investments at this time,” he said.
11. The SEAA and Law of Society of Singapore sign two MOUs surrounding co-broking disputes
Two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) surrounding co-broking disputes were signed today (14 November 2023) between: 1) Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA) and the Law Society of Singapore, and 2) SEAA and selected Property Agencies.
The first MOU between SEAA and the Law Society of Singapore promotes the use of the Law Society of Singapore’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) schemes, including their Mediation and Arbitration Scheme by SEAA Members. The goal is to allow SEAA members to adopt these resolution schemes at affordable rates.
The second MOU between SEAA and selected property agencies promotes the “use of the mediation and arbitration schemes” offered by SEAA and Law Society of Singapore, in the event of co-broking disputes between agencies and agents. The Dispute Resolution Scheme will take effect from 1 January 2024.
A best practices guide on co-broking commission will also take effect as of 1 July 2024. Currently, there is no uniform practice on how property agents are remunerated in both sales and rental transactions, which can sometimes create a conflict of interest.
Today’s event was also attended by Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) & Ministry of National Development (MND).
SEAA’s President, Mr Adam Wang, expressed his excitement about these partnerships, highlighting how “these schemes can help our members save time and costs as well as achieve better outcomes for any disputes they may face between property agents or property agencies on co-broking matters.”
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Marcus Lee, Content Executive at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.