21 to 27 November 2023
The lease on the land presently occupied by Raffles Town Club will not be renewed once it ends on 17 October 2026. Meanwhile, residents of Dairy Farm Residences were upset to find that their monthly maintenance fees would be way higher than what was advertised.
1. Raffles Town Club site to be returned to the state upon expiry of the lease in 2026
The lease on the land presently occupied by Raffles Town Club will not be renewed once it ends on 17 October 2026, revealed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
This comes as the site will be redeveloped for residential use, supporting housing demand and enhancing the precinct’s residential character.
URA and SLA explained that the move is in line “with the focus of redeveloping brownfield sites as much as possible to meet future demand for land, including housing”.
Nonetheless, Raffles Town Club – which is located at 1 Plymouth Avenue, near Stevens MRT interchange – can continue operating at the site until the lease expires in 2026, upon which it must return the land to the State.
If Raffles Town Club wants to continue operations following the expiry of its lease, agencies will engage the club on the availability of suitable state properties via open tender. The club could also explore other options from the open market.
2. Owners of Dairy Farm Residences upset over significantly higher maintenance fees
Residents of Dairy Farm Residences were upset to find that their monthly maintenance fees would be way higher than what was advertised, reported TODAY.
Marketing materials for the newly completed condominium in Upper Bukit Timah showed that the estimated monthly maintenance fees would range between $260 and $350, depending on the type of unit purchased.
As such, residents were shocked when they received an email informing them that the maintenance fees would be $713 to more than $800, depending on the unit bought.
They also expressed frustration, noting that the low maintenance fees had been a major reason for their decision to buy a unit within the development.
Meanwhile, developer United Engineers Limited (UEL) attributed the hike in charges to inflationary increases in cleaning, security and other related costs. They explained that they are working with authorities to reduce the approved maintenance fees.
Although some owners do not expect to see a significant decrease in charges given that condominiums around Singapore have been increasing such fees annually, they remain hopeful for a resolution that aligns the fees closer to those charged by nearby condominiums, such as Hillion Residences and Verdale Residences, which are way lower.
3. Private home rents rise at a slower pace in Q3 2023
Rents of private residential properties in Singapore rose 0.2% in Q3 2023, a much slower pace compared to the quarterly growth rate of between 1.4% and 8.3% since Q1 2021, said Savills.
By region, rental growth of non-landed properties within the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) slowed to 1.9% and 1.3%, respectively, in Q3 2023.
The Core Central Region (CCR) saw rents drop 1.7% – its first decline since Q1 2021.
Savills noted that the average monthly rent of high-end non-landed homes tracked by Savills declined 0.6% quarter-on-quarter to $6.16 per sq ft (PSF) per month. This marked the first rental decline for such properties, which registered an accumulated increase of 51.9% over the past two and a half years.
“It reconfirmed the view that rents had reached a plateau, particularly in the high-end market segment,” said Savills.
It attributed the softening in rent to a “confluence of events ranging from the uncertain economic outlook, high inflation, weakening labour market as well as the increased number of completed homes”.
4. Good Class Bungalow on Third Avenue sold for $26.5 million
A two-storey Good Class Bungalow (GCB) located on Third Avenue has been sold for $26.5 million, reported Singapore Business Review citing Knight Frank.
Spanning 14,576 sq ft, the freehold property has a total gross floor area (GFA) of about 10,000 sq ft. It was launched for sale via public tender in September 2023.
Mary Sai, Knight Frank Singapore’s Executive Director for Capital Markets, said the property drew keen interest during its tender, thanks to its prime location within a GCB area.
Notably, Third Avenue is near transport nodes, lifestyle centres, schools, and a hospital.
She shared that a good selling price was secured during a fair and transparent tender process.
“We were able to tap into our proprietary database of Ultra High Net Worth clients to secure the buyer, and to cement our place as a market leader in private wealth,” she added.
5. Siblings file three lawsuits over mother’s assets
In a cautionary tale for parents on financial management, a recent case involving an elderly woman led to three lawsuits among her children who fought bitterly over her assets.
The mother relied on others to manage financial matters since she could not read or write. Her ability to manage her affairs was further affected when she suffered from dementia before her death in 2017, reported The Straits Times.
The first dispute began when her two daughters persuaded her to transfer her home to one of the sisters without paying the purchase price.
Suing on behalf of his mother, the eldest son recovered the money and used it to purchase an apartment under both their names. The youngest son later sued the eldest son after he became the legal representative of their mother following her dementia diagnosis.
In 2021, the youngest son gained control to manage the estate and pursued a case against his eldest brother to make him account for their mother’s assets.
With this, the judge ruled that the money deposited by the mother on the joint account was all hers and ordered the eldest son to return the remaining amount with interest.
He was also ordered to pay the mother’s share of rental income on the apartment, sales proceeds and legal costs.
6. Orchard Road retail rents to increase by up to 6%
Average rents on Orchard Road are expected to grow by up to 6% year-on-year (YoY) for 2023, while suburban malls will increase by 1% to 2%, amid the continuing recovery in tourist arrivals, revealed Savills.
Based on the basket of malls tracked by Savills, rents in Orchard Road rose 1.3% quarter-on-quarter to $22.40 PSF in Q3 2023, while the suburban area saw rent climb 0.7% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to $14.60 PSF.
Savills remains positive on the retail market’s overall outlook, on the back of sustained demand and limited new retail supply.
Moreover, it expects the completion of new retail projects such as Forum Mall, Marina Square, and Harbourfront Centre to lift the overall rental expectations within the Central Region.
It anticipates average rents on Orchard Road to rise by about 3% to 5% YoY in 2024, while suburban rents are forecasted to remain flat as inflation and outbound travels dampen discretionary spending.
7. E-commerce sales to fuel demand for prime logistics spaces
The steadily rising e-commerce sales in Singapore is expected to fuel demand for prime logistics facilities, revealed a CBRE report.
The city-state’s retail e-commerce market, which is valued at $5.8 billion in 2022, is forecasted to increase at 9.9% year-on-year, reaching $9.2 billion by 2027. Retailers’ adoption of omnichannel strategies and reliance on Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers for deliveries drive this upward trend in warehouse demand.
CBRE attributed the growth in e-commerce to high online penetration rates as well as high disposable income.
However, limited warehouse supply in the next few years may see demand surpass supply. In Q3 2023, occupancy rates are already at 91.3%. New warehouse supply is projected to stand at an average of 2.3 million sq ft per year, which is 34% below the six-year historical supply.
Meanwhile, prime logistics rents rose 11.7% in Q3 2023 and are expected to rise by 14% for the whole of 2023, up from 2022’s 10.2% growth.
For 2024, prime logistics rents are anticipated to increase by 4% due to economic headwinds and occupiers’ focus on operational efficiency.
8. 50 Playfair Road sold for $81,180,000
The freehold property at 50 Playfair Road has been sold for $81.18 million, revealed sole marketing agent Edmund Tie.
Zoned for “Business 1 – White” use under the 2019 Master Plan, the property within the Tai Seng Business Hub has an area of about 2,489 sq m and a plot ratio of 3.5.
Swee Shou Fern, Edmund Tie’s Head of Investment Advisory, said the tender for the property was hotly contested as it attracted developers, end-users, and investors, both foreign and local.
“Some of these parties were looking to redevelop the site for food-factory use or a mixed industrial complex with a commercial component, while owner-occupiers were looking to develop the site for their corporate headquarters,” she said.
The buyer, on the other hand, intends to transform the site into a food factory.
She shared that owners are anticipated to receive gross sale proceeds of $1.65 million to $6.22 million per unit.
9. JTC awards Tampines North Drive site
The tender for the industrial site located at Tampines North Drive 4 (Plot 1) has been awarded to Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd, after it submitted a bid of $85.8 million, revealed JTC.
With an area of 18,435.4 sq m, the site is zoned for Business 2 use and has a gross plot ratio of 2.5.
The 30-year leasehold site was launched for sale on 29 August 2023, attracting two bids during the close of its tender on 24 October 2023.
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Marcus Lee, Content Executive at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.