15 to 20 November 2023
Watten House, UOL Group and Singapore Land Group’s (SingLand) freehold condominium project in District 10, sold 57% or 102 of its 180 units during its private preview on 18 November 2023. Meanwhile, the owner of a luxury 4-bedroom apartment in Farrer Road saw rainwater leaks extensively damage wooden floors, wardrobes, and door frames, costing the owner around $30,000 in repair and another $30,000 for temporary housing during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
1. Watten House sells 57% of its units over its launch weekend
Watten House, UOL Group and Singapore Land Group’s (SingLand) freehold condominium project in District 10, sold 57% or 102 of its 180 units during its private preview on 18 November 2023.
The units were transacted at an average price of $3,230 per sq ft (PSF), reported The Business Times.
UOL shared that Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) accounted for 96% of the buyers.
Ismail Gafoor, Chief Executive at PropNex Realty, said the development’s sales were beyond expectations.
“Initially, there were some concerns as to whether buying demand would be severely affected due to the April 2023 cooling measures where the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates were hiked, and the developer had opted to build larger luxury homes which would mean higher overall price quantum,” explained Gafoor.
He noted that the positive response witnessed at J’den and Watten House indicates that the market continues to have ample liquidity to be deployed once highly attractive developments become available.
Watten House’s show flat was closed following the private preview and will reopen for its public launch next year.
2. Rainwater leak costs condo owner $60,000
The owner of a luxury 4-bedroom apartment in Farrer Road saw rainwater leaks extensively damage wooden floors, wardrobes, and door frames, costing the owner around $30,000 in repair and another $30,000 for temporary housing during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, reported The Straits Times.
It was found that the leak came from a concealed rainwater downpipe, which was not visible in the construction plans. With this, the unit owner filed legal action against the condominium’s management.
While the Strata Titles Board found no delay in establishing the leak’s cause and repair of the pipe, it still ordered the management to pay the owner around $50,000, citing its strict duty to maintain common property.
However, the decision was overturned on appeal, with High Court Judge Andre Maniam ruling that the law does not mandate condominium management to cover all damages caused by common property issues. The management would only be liable if it failed to maintain the common property or was negligent in its work.
“If (it) has acted reasonably in the discharge of its duty to maintain common property, it has not breached its statutory duty,” said Justice Maniam.
3. New private home sales down 6.5% in October 2023
New private home sales, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), dropped 6.5% to 203 units in October 2023 from 217 units in September 2023– marking its third consecutive monthly decline, reported CNA citing Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.
On an annual basis, new home sales fell 35.4%.
Analysts attributed the slowdown to the absence of major property launches, with buyers anticipating upcoming projects such as Hillock Green and J’den.
October’s sales were mainly concentrated within the city fringe as well as the suburbs, with the Rest of Central Region (RCR) making up 40.4% (82 units) of the total sales.
The Outside Central Region (OCR) accounted for 37.4% (76 units), while the Core Central Region (CCR) made up 22.2% (45 units), reported Singapore Business Review.
Looking ahead, analysts expect new private home sales in November to range between 700 and 800 units, before slowing to fewer than 200 units in December 2023.
Related article: Singapore District Map: Defining the CCR, RCR and OCR by the 28 Districts
4. More landlords add ‘no WFH’ policy in rental listings
More landlords are adding a “no work from home (WFH)” policy in their property rental listing, reported TODAY.
The policy is linked to concerns about increased utility bills, especially if the tenant is home all day and privacy invasion.
A property agent noted that some landlords feel stifled, with their privacy invaded if the tenant is home all day.
A landlord who wanted to be known only as Ms Tham explained that a “no WFH” policy safeguards them from forking out extra costs once the utility bills exceed the threshold for the month.
Another landlord cited the noise at her house – caused by her five grandchildren whom she takes care of during the day – for her no-WFH policy.
Meanwhile, tenants find the requirement unreasonable, arguing that working from home should not be an issue if they also pay for utilities.
Tenants said they prefer listings that offer more freedom.
A property agent noted that the clear restriction could also help tenants make informed decisions. However, having many unreasonable demands could lead to longer vacancy periods for landlords.
5. Asking rents drop 2.5% in Q3 2023
PropertyGuru expects rents for residential properties to ease further, particularly in the private residential market, as asking rent already dropped 2.5% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) in Q3 2023, reported The Business Times.
This comes as rental demand, which PropertyGuru monitors based on the number of enquiries for all rental listings on its portal, declined 10.4% QoQ in Q3 2023.
Moreover, overall rental supply – based on the number of rental listings on its portal – grew 11.3% in Q3 2023. It attributed the hike in rental supply to the completion of more homes and the reopening of borders, which reduced the need for temporary rentals.
Notably, about 9,000 private home units, excluding ECs, were completed in Q3 2023 – marking the highest quarterly completions since Q2 2016. This brings the number of completed units during the first three quarters of 2023 to 17,199 units or more than three times over the same period last year.
The landed private property segment registered the biggest decline in rent, falling 7.6% in Q3 2023. The non-landed property segment saw asking rents decline by 4%.
Over at the public housing segment, asking rent rose 3.5% in Q3, possibly due to tenants exploring more affordable options within the HDB rental market.
6. Prime residential rents surge in Singapore
Major cities across the world saw luxury rents soar, amid limited supply, frustrated house hunters and returning residents post-pandemic, reported Bloomberg.
Prime residential rents, of the top 5% of the market, grew by an average of 7.9% year-on-year (YoY) in the 12 months till September, according to Knight Frank, which monitors 10 global cities.
Singapore saw a 14.5% hike in prime rents, while London registered an 11.2% gain. Sydney recorded the biggest increase, with prime rents jumping 18.3% due to constraints in housing construction.
However, there were signs of stabilisation following the pandemic real estate frenzy, which led to higher rent and home prices.
In fact, prime residential rents in Singapore and New York fell 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, in the third quarter.
Looking ahead, Knight Frank expects the rate of increase to slow globally over the coming months as tenants reach their affordability limits.
7. URA launches Holland Drive, De Souza Avenue sites
Two residential sites at Holland Drive as well as De Souza Avenue have been released for sale under the H2 2023 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, said URA.
Available for application under the Reserve List, the sites can potentially yield around 680 housing units and 355 housing units, respectively.
The Holland Drive site has an area of 12,386.8 sq m and a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 58,218 sq m.
The site at De Souza Avenue, on the other hand, spans 19,245.2 sq m and has a maximum GFA of 30,793 sq m. Both sites come with a 99-year leasehold tenure.
8. URA awards tenders for three sites
The tenders for the three sites at Clementi Avenue 1, Pine Grove and Lorong 1 Toa Payoh have been awarded to their highest bidders, revealed URA.
The 13,451.1 sq m site at Clementi Avenue 1 was awarded to CSC Land Group (Singapore) and Caspian Residential 3 after it submitted the top bid of $633.448 million.
The 25,039.2 sq m site at Pine Grove was awarded to Golden Ray Edge 3, while the 15,743.0 sq m site at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh was awarded to a consortium comprising CDL Constellation, Frasers Property Phoenix, and Sekisui House. They submitted the top bids of $692.388 million and $968 million, respectively.
URA noted that the Pine Grove (Parcel B) and Clementi Avenue 1 sites were launched for sale on 15 August, while the Lorong 1 Toa Payoh site was launched on 5 September 2023.
The tenders for the 99-year leasehold sites closed on 7 November 2023.
9. Residential property demand down 14.4% in Q3 2023
Singapore saw supply and demand for residential properties decline in the third quarter of 2023, reported Singapore Business Review, citing PropertyGuru data.
The Singapore Property Sale Demand Index witnessed a significant decline of 14.4% QoQ, while the overall Sale Supply Index registered a slight drop of 0.7% QoQ.
With this, the Singapore Property Sale Price Index contracted 1.8% QoQ, reversing the 1% increase posted in the previous quarter.
“The combination of rising home acquisition costs and economic uncertainties may have given would-be sellers some pause from putting their properties on the market,” said PropertyGuru.
It added that foreign property owners may have also held back in selling their property, as they face high replacement costs should they opt to purchase a new property due to the current ABSD framework.
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: email@example.com.