Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dalla Vale - Spa Homes

Return to nature, Revitalise your Senses…

A luxurious FREEHOLD semi-detached cluster development nestled in an exclusive enclave in Springleaf Avenue, off Upper Thomson Road, amidst lush surrounding Beautiful modern tropical spa homes with a cosy guest room and four spacious bedrooms over five floors of stylish living comfort

Resort-style facilities including Club House, Lap Pool and Lounge Pool with Spa features, jacuzzi, Gymnasium, Spa Bed, Water Reflexology Foot Massage, Hydrotherapy Foot Massage and Vichy Shower Massage.

Near the natural greenery of Sungei Seletar Nature Reserve, Upper Seletar Reservoir and many golf courses

Choice array of eateries and shopping centres including Northpoint, Thomson Plaza, Sembawang Shopping Centre and Sun Plaza in the vicinity

Various education options such as Ai Tong Primary School, CHIJ, St Nicholas Girl’s School, Anderson Junior College and Nanyang Polytechnic

Developer : Boo Han Holdings Pte Ltd (Far East Organization)
Tenure : Freehold
Type : Semi-D & Bungalows
TOP : Estimated End 2008
Sizes : 3218 – 3671sf
Price : From $800/psf
Total Units : 60, Each unit has five bedrooms and comes with two basement carparks.

Features & Facilities :-
A -Club House/Gymnasium
B -Sentry Post
C -Entrance Water Feature Wall
D -Children's Playground
E1-Reflective Pool
E2-Water Reflexology Foot Massage
F -Sun Deck
G -Side Gate
H -Reflexology Area
I -Jacuzzi
J -Lounge Garden
K -Hydrotherapy Foot Massage
L -Jacuzzi Lounges
M -Lounge Pool with Spa Features (Spa Bed)
N -Pavilion
O -Vichy Shower Massage
P -Lap Pool
Q -Shower Jet
R -Wading Pool
S -Waterplay Area

Dalla Vale – Location Map

KepLand's Q2 Net Profit Increases 42.2% to $63m

Source : The Business Times, July 25, 2007

Developer sees contributions from high-profile projects like MBR

KEPPEL Land, Singapore's third-largest developer by asset size, yesterday said that net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, rose 42.2 per cent to $63.0 million - from $44.3 million a year ago - as it saw contributions from high-profile projects Marina Bay Residences (MBR) and Reflections at Keppel Bay.

Mr Wong: 'We believe that both prices and rents will continue to move up in the near future'

Turnover for the three months rose 55.1 per cent to $359.2 million, from $231.6 million a year ago.

KepLand said that profit for the first half jumped 55.7 per cent to $125.5 million. Turnover for the first six months of the year climbed 86.8 per cent to $654.6 million.

No dividend was declared for the period.

For the first half of 2007, the company drew 37.7 per cent of its net profit from overseas, down from 65.1 per cent in the same six months in 2006.

KepLand sold about 600 homes in Singapore in the first half of the year, a jump of more than 50 per cent over the number of units sold a year earlier.

For the rest of 2007 and 2008, another 558 units could be launched, the developer said yesterday. The 250 homes in phase two of MBR could be put on the market as early as the end of this year, said KepLand managing director Kevin Wong.

Another big project that investors will be watching is Reflections at Keppel Bay, where another 151 units will be launched.

Mr Wong remains upbeat about the prospects of the residential property market in Singapore. 'We see that there is strong demand (for homes), while the supply is steady,' he said. 'We believe that both prices and rents will continue to move up in the near future.'

Prices for homes in Singapore have climbed 13.1 per cent since the start of the year, official data show.

Similarly, KepLand expects its office portfolio to continue performing strongly. Mr Wong said that capital values and office rents here can be expected to continue their steady increase.

Citigroup analyst Wendy Koh said that KepLand's second-quarter results are in line with market expectations, but below her estimates.

'We have lowered 2007 full-year earnings estimates by 7 per cent to reflect slower-than-expected sales at the Reflections at Keppel Bay,' Ms Koh said.

So far, 97 per cent of the 493 apartments launched have been sold at the development, but the project has some 1,129 units in all. Citigroup is maintaining its 'buy' call and target price of $10.25 on the stock.

Shares of Keppel Land rose 15 cents - or 1.8 per cent - to close at $8.70 today. The stock has advanced 26 per cent since the start of this year.

Will Property Market See A Repeat Of 1996?

Source : The Business Times,July 25, 2007

Industry watchers expect govt to take more calibrated approach this time round

THERE'S a sense of deja vu in the air for those of us who witnessed the last residential property boom in the 1990s. Record prices being reported by developers, an en bloc sale being attempted in just about every private estate, foreign buying at record levels, and subsales again in favour.

Even the government's approach to dealing with the situation seems reminiscent of 1996, according to some market watchers.

The Ministry of National Development and Urban Redevelopment Authority have been giving assurances lately that there will be sufficient supply of homes and that they will make more sites available, if necessary. And just like over a decade ago, MND and URA have recently been making public more information on the property market to provide greater transparency.

Flashback to the mid-90s. As far back as 1994, the government raised booking and forfeiture fees to curb speculative activity. But speculation picked up again and in January 1996, URA announced that the government had set aside enough land for 100,000 private homes for the five-year period from 1997 to 2001 - more than thrice the amount necessary to meet its target of releasing land for 6,000 private homes a year.

The following month, URA revealed the sales status (as defined by options granted by developers) of individual private residential projects, and said it would do this each quarter. This was to correct any wrong impression of high take-up rates.

Fast forward to 2007. Last month MND announced the biggest Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme with enough land for about 8,000 private homes.

Earlier this month, URA said that there were about 32,700 yet-to-be-sold private homes in uncompleted projects as of Q1 2007 - possibly enough to meet demand for the next three years.

On the transparency front, URA last week released for the first time information on the number of units sold for each uncompleted private residential project by price bracket, in the month of June. Such information will henceforth be released monthly.

But what if, like in 1996, such measures fail to calm the market?

The thing with the property market is that it is primarily sentiment driven. In a bull run, people may not heed reason and logic and are driven by fear and greed instead.

When the strategy of giving assurances of adequate supply and releasing more market information failed to stem speculation in 1996, the authorities were forced to announce a slew of measures on May 14 that year. These included taxing as income the gains made from selling properties within three years of purchase and introducing a sellers' stamp duty for those who sold residential properties within three years of purchase.

Financing was also clamped down. Banks could not make housing loans for more than 80 per cent of the purchase price or value of a property, whichever was lower. Permanent residents were limited to one Singapore dollar housing loan each while foreigners were denied such loans altogether.

All of the May 1996 anti-speculation measures were subsequently removed during the property doldrum.

To many market industry participants now, the writing is on the wall. They figure that the government may come up with measures to cool the market if the property bull run threatens Singapore's competitiveness.

However, the stakes are higher now. Many credit the current property boom to the government's efforts to promote Singapore, which have put Singapore on the radar screens of overseas property investors again, and its embrace of foreign talent and high net-worth individuals.

In short, many of the foreign investors in the local property market today were wooed by Singapore. Slapping a set of harsh measures might send out a negative message about Singapore as an investment destination as a whole.

Also, speculation is yet to reach the heady levels seen in 1996.

Some in the industry think a 'whisper campaign' by the government to tighten financing targeted at banks and developers may be less harsh and avoid a panic crash.

For example, banks could be asked to be more careful in screening housing loan applications. 'Maybe, instead of giving loans up to the maximum 90 per cent of the value of homes, they could limit this to 80 per cent. This will make people think twice before they pay record prices for homes,' reckons a seasoned industry observer.

Deferred payment schemes extended by developers could also be moderated or suspended, some industry players said. The ability to buy a property by making an initial payment of just 10 or 20 per cent of its value, with the next payment postponed to after the project is completed, makes things a whole lot easier for those thinking of flipping properties for a quick gain. Removing deferred payments should help take the froth from the market.

But there is a school of thought which believes that getting rid of the deferred payment, which often entails buyers paying 3 to 5 per cent more for the price of a home than under a progressive payment scheme, could crash the market.

Some suggest that taxing gains from selling properties within a short period of time may be a fairer way to contain the current exuberance. Those who make quick gains from flipping their properties should be prepared to part with a portion of their gain by paying income tax on it.

It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself.

SC Global Makes Top Bid For Sentosa Site

Source : The Business Times,July 25, 2007

It offered $268.3m for a 99-year leasehold condo plot near Tanjong Beach

LUXURY residential developer SC Global Developments has finally made a catch at Sentosa Cove.

Mr Cheong: 'We've been waiting for this ... it's a rare site on Sentosa Cove.'
It yesterday placed the top bid of $268.3 million - $1,799.78 psf of potential gross floor area - for a 99-year leasehold condo plot next to Tanjong Beach, according to provisional tender results.

This is around 32 per cent higher than the previous record for condo land in the area, of $1,361 psf per plot ratio, set in March this year, by a Ho Bee-IOI joint venture. That was for The Seaview Collection plot, which can be built up to eight storeys high.

The Ho Bee-IOI tie-up is believed to have emerged as the second-highest bidder at yesterday's tender for the The Beachfront Collection. Its bid was around 3 per cent below SC Global's.

SC Global had bid for earlier sites on Sentosa Cove but not aggressively, says it chairman and CEO Simon Cheong.

'We've been waiting for this site. This is a rare site on Sentosa Cove - the only site where you can come out of your condo and walk directly to Tanjong Beach. We'll be able to create on this plot a product which is synonymous with the SC Global branding.

'This is also the only condo plot on Sentosa Cove flanked by the sea and the golf course.'

Mr Cheong could not say just how many apartments he is planning to develop on the site, but the maximum allowed by Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd - the master planner for the upmarket waterfront district - for the plot is 88 units. The 113,797 sq ft plot has a 1.31 plot ratio (ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area) and a four-storey height limit.

Analysts reckon SC Global's break-even cost for a new condo on the site could be around $2,300 to $2,400 psf.

The project should be launch-ready in Q3 next year. Based on SC Global's track record of commanding premium prices for its projects, it would not be surprising if it is hoping for an average selling price of $3,000 psf or higher, market watchers reckon. Currently, subsale prices at condos on Sentosa Cove are said to have surpassed the $2,300 psf mark.

Yesterday's tender drew a total of five bids. Besides the bids from SC Global and the Ho Bee-IOI tie-up, the other contenders are said to include Frasers Centrepoint and Hong Leong.

City Towers' Asking Price Doubles In 3 mths

Source : The Business Times,July 25, 2007

CITY Towers on Bukit Timah Road is for sale by tender with an indicative price of $458.7 million, almost double the price indicated just three months ago.

City Towers: The successful bidder can build an estimated 183 units of average 1,200 sq ft each

An expression-of-interest exercise was held in April by marketing agents Knight Frank. Senior manager (investment sales) Steven Tan said it drew about five bids.

At the time, only 75 per cent of the owners had agreed to proceed with a collective sale.

'The owners believe the new indicative price is reflective of market prices,' said Mr Tan. The minimum 80 per cent approval from owners to sell has now been obtained.

The development is on 104,535 sq ft of freehold land, which is zoned for residential use at a plot ratio of 2.1, with a height restriction of 24 storeys.

Mr Tan says the successful developer can build an estimated 183 units of average 1,200 sq ft each.

Together with an estimated development charge of about $2.2 million, the indicative price reflects a land value of $2,100 per square foot per plot ratio.

As the current development is close to the maximum gross floor area, the development charge is only slightly more than the estimated $1.7 million it would have been three months ago before the rates were revised.

The break-even price is estimated at $2,870 psf, and Mr Tan expects the new units to sell for at least $3,000 psf.

On East Coast Road, Savills Singapore is marketing 48 strata-titled commercial units at EastGate, a 52-unit freehold development, for sale en bloc by expression of interest.

'All 48 units are currently near full occupancy and are generating good cash flows from its rental collections,' said Steven Ming, director (investment sales) of Savills Singapore. The freehold property has an indicative price of $80.3 million or $1,350 psf, based on current net lettable area.

'Investors and buyers have begun to look at opportunities beyond the traditional CBD locations for good commercial buildings that could still present good upside potential in terms of both rental rates and capital value appreciation,' said Mr Ming.

Potential average rentals are expected to be $5 psf.

Property Shares Slide Again

Source : TODAY,Friday,July 20, 2007

Bad performance due to concern over increased fees for redevelopment

SINGAPORE’S stocks rose yesterday but property shares fell for a second day on concern higher government fees for redevelopment projects will erode earnings.

“The drop in the market (on Wednesday) provided buying opportunities for bargain-hunters,” said Mr Leslie Phang, who helps manage $1 billion at the Commonwealth Private Bank in Singapore. “For property companies, however, the rise in development charges could hurt profitability.”

The ST Index gained 20.65, or 0.6 per cent, to 3604.62 at the close, having lost 1.8 per cent the day before. The measure is valued at 15 times earnings, compared with 20 times profit for the Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia Pacific Index.

DBS, the nation’s largest bank, gained 20 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $23.60. UOB, the No 2 lender, advanced 30 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $22.90. OCBC, the smallest
of the three local lenders, climbed 10 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to $9.40.

All three stocks fell the previous day on concern an increase in redevelopment fees will curb construction, damping loan demand.

CapitaLand declined 5 cents to $7.50. City Developments Ltd, the second-largest
property company, fell 1.3 per cent to $15.70. Allgreen Properties Ltd, which acquired a site for redevelopment last month, fell 4.1 per cent to $1.88. Wing
Tai Holdings Ltd, the best-performing property stock on the benchmark this year, fell 3.2 per cent to $3.58.

A measure of property shares lost 0.4 per cent, making it the worst performer among nine industry groups included in the Singapore All Equities Index.

Singapore levies a so-called development charge if the value of land increases
because of rezoning or due to the government easing restrictions on the size of a property project. The tax will rise to 70 per cent of the increase of the land’s value, up from 50 per cent, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement on its website yesterday.

“If the latest move is seen as only a first of more anti-speculation measures,
it could have a sustained adverse impact on sentiments for property stocks,” wrote Mr Sean Quek and Mr Kwee Hong Ching, Singapore-based analysts at the Credit Suisse Group, in a note yesterday.

Singapore Exchange, which operates the city-state’s securities and derivatives exchanges, climbed 2 per cent to $10.10. Turnover yesterday was $3.1 billion, higher than the 12-month average of $1.7 billion, but was below Wednesday’s $4.3 billion.

Twenty-seven of the 49 stocks on the benchmark advanced and 12 declined. July futures added 1.2 per cent to 445.2. — AGENCIES


Expected TOP : Dec 2007 (may be bring forward to as early as Sept End)
Developer : Woodsvale Land Pte Ltd, Capitaland
Tenure : 99
District : 08
Address : 80,82(Townhouses),84(Clubhouse),86,88,90 Jellicoe Rd

Location :-
·In Prime District 8,
·Next to Lavener MRT Station [Opposite Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA)]
·Close proximity to Sports, Arts & Education Hub @ Stamford Rd & Victoria Street - The famed Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore Management University (SMU), the National Library, the Kallang Sea Sports Club, the National Stadium, Sculpture Square, Singapore Art Museum & the Esplande-Theatres on the Bay
·Minutes to CBD & Orchard (Singapore Prime Shopping Belt)
·Easy Access to Major Roads & Expressways (PIE, ECP)
·Near Major Shopping Malls (Parco Bugis Junction, Raffles City & Suntec City Mall)
·Spectacular Views

Total Units :-
601 units (590 residential units + A row of 2 Storeys Post War Art–Deco Heritage Conservation Townhouses- 11units) in four majestic towers of 40 over storeys each, commanding breath taking views

Units Descriptions:-·Townhouses (11 units): sizes varies
·1 Room (82 units) 52 to 55 sq.m. (560 to 592 sq.ft.)
·1 Room+study (158 units) 63 to 68 sq.m.(678 to 732 sq.ft.)
·2 Room (164 units) 81 to 88 sq.m. (872 to 947 sq.ft.)
·3 Room (151 units): 122 to 156 sq.m. (1313 to 1679 sq.ft.)
·3 Room+study (20 units): 171 to 187 sq.m. (1841 to 2013 sq.ft.)
·4 Room (12 units): 171 to 235 sq.m. (1841 to 2530 sq.ft.)
·Penthouse (3 units): 334 sq.m. (3595 sq.ft.)
All comes with Kitchen Cabinet, Oven, Wardrobes, Aircons.

Facilities :-
·Swimming Pool
·Lap Pool
·Splash Pool
·BBQ Area
·Garden Pavilion
·Children's Playground (Blk 80 23rd Floor)
·Fitness Area
·Waterfall Features
·Water Cascades
·Ornamental Pond
·Two Tennis Courts
·Basement Carpark
·24 Hrs Security
·Sky Terrace & Outdoor Gym @ Blk 86 to 90 24th Floor
(Jacuzzi, Reading Corner, Yoga Corner, Multipurpose Deck, Viewing Deck)

Carabelle @ West Coast Way

Enjoy your space
Siiting on a Amazing Spacious Land Area of 237,000 sqft where space perfectly blends into your surroundings, giving you to grow, to live and to enjoy your space where you indulge in all the luxurious facilities & experience the delight of comfort and spaciousness in your home @ Carabelle

Tenure : 959 yrs w.e.f 27 May 1928

Expected Date of T.O.P : March 2010/11

Total Units : 338 Units
.2Bdrm 97 units
.3Bdrm 170 units
.4Bdrm 42 units
.Penthouse 29 units

Developer : Sim Lian Group []
Track Records

At The Heart Of It All day

Location : Along West Coast Way (District 5, Former Hin Seng Garden Site, besides AYE)

Travel Conveniences : With AYE, West Coast Highway, Clementi MRT, Jurong East Bus/MRT Interchange nearby, travel throughout the island are made like a breeze. Buses available outside : 97, 154, 197, 198

Buses Available : No. 97, 154, 197, 198

Life's all about fun at Carabelle with so much excitement around you

Amenities & Entertainments Nearby : Hong Leong Shopping Centre, Ginza Plaza, Clementi Stadium, Clementi Sports Hall, Science Centre, National Library, Jurong4 (Cinemas) Jurong Country Club, IMM, West Coast Park, Vivocity / Integrated Resort / Sentosa (Mins of Drive by West Coast Highway)

Carabelle caters to every parent's wish of a sound education for their children

Schools Nearby :-

.The famous Nan Hua Primary School are within 1 km
.Nan Hua Secondary School
.Japanese Kindergarten, Japanese Secondary School, International Community School (Provide Good Prospects for Tenancy)
.Singapore Institue of Management
.NUS (Provide Good Prospects for Tenancy)
.NUS High School
.Spore Polytechnic
.ACS Independent School
** Others Tenancy Prospects can be find @ International Business Park

Full Condo Facilities :-

Let your senses come alive and enjoy a wide variety of pleasures as you step into your new home at Carabelle. Rejuvenate yourself admist an abundance of facilities - Sport a game of tennis or basketball, take a stroll in one of the gardens, have a sumptuous weekend BBQ gathering, take a dip in one of the many pools or simply laze at the lounging areas.

.50m Lap Pool
.Children's Pool
.Lounge Pool with Bubble Jets
.Recreational Pool
.Clubhouse with Function Rm, Gymnasium and Reading Room including sauna inside Male & Female Changing/Shower Room
.Pool Terrace
.Children's Playground
.BBQ Area
.Tennis Court
.Basketball Court
.Jogging Path
.Fitness Stations

5+HS (Household Shelter) Maisonette Penthouse for sale : 2077sqft (Type D7) Facing (Landed). Quiet Facing. No Afternoon Sun. Bay View (Jurong Straits). Asking only $1,68m NETT($808/psf). Foreigners Eligible

Sim Lian Group

Source : The Business Times 24 May 07

Sim Lian Group (


Sim Lian Group Limited is one of Singapore's most established property development and construction companies, backed by an outstanding track record in construction that spans three decades.

The Group's evolution into an established player in Singapore's property sector was marked by its listing on the Mainboard of the Singapore Exchange in 2000. This standing is reflected in the Group's broad portfolio of developments today, embracing both freehold condominiums in prime districts as well as public housing.

To date, the Group has successfully launched seven well-received projects. Among them are: The Dew Executive Condominium, The Jade, The Pearl @ Mount Faber, Viz at Holland and Bleu @ East Coast.

Last year, the Group became the first private developer in Singapore to embark on the pilot HDB's Design, Build & Sell project. The Premiere @ Tampines underlines the Group's commitment to continual innovation and was a resounding success, attracting applications almost tenfold that of the units available.

Most recently, the Group launched Carabelle with great success, selling out all units of the contemporary West Coast condominium within one month of the launch.

Today, the Group's two core activities of property development and construction are highly synergistic, allowing the sharing of resources and the creating of greater efficiencies on various fronts. As a result, the Group is a well-rounded business entity that is able to offer greater value to its customers.

With this, Sim Lian Group has carved out a formidable niche in the market, having won the confidence and esteem of homebuyers and having garnered a reputation as a progressive, customer-oriented company dedicated to providing innovative and high-quality developments.

Ahead, the Group will continue to dedicate itself to the mission of: Creating Space, Creating Home

Deferred Payment Scheme Set To Stay

Source: The Business Times, 13 April 2007

The deferred payment scheme is a good option for buyers, and developers that BT spoke to reckon the number who opt for this is manageable. Ho Bee Group general manager (business development and marketing) Chong Hock Chang said: ‘The number who opted for the scheme varies from project to project and we are comfortable with the current arrangement.’

‘Some of our buyers opt for deferred payment schemes even though there is a price differential because they prefer the flexibility of managing their own finances,’ he added.

Whether the scheme encourages property speculation is an issue that has recently surfaced though.

Official property data reveals that the level of speculation remains below the levels recorded during the previous peak in the mid-1990s, even before the scheme was introduced.

Still, Lippo Realty executive director Thio Gim Hock believes the scheme will ‘encourage’ speculation. ‘If you defer payment, the transaction is actually virtual,’ he said, adding: ‘It’s like gambling.’

Lippo did not offer a deferred payment scheme on either The Trillium, launched last month, or Newton One, launched in March 2006. Newton One is fully sold and The Trillium is over 85 per cent sold.

Even for projects where both deferred payment and progress payment schemes are offered, the former does not always appear more popular.

At Sim Lian Land’s 338-unit Carabelle in the West Coast, 80 per cent of the 240 buyers so far opted for the progress payment scheme. Although it came with a 2 per cent discount, Sim Lian executive director Diana Kuik believes ’serious buyers do not have a problem with the progress payment method’.

Interestingly, for its sell-out 616-unit Premiere @ Tampines, Sim Lian did not offer deferred payment at all, and met with some displeasure from buyers.

The Premiere was aimed at the HDB market, and there was some initial concern that, as with HDB flats, some newly married couples could back out early, leaving the developer in the lurch.

Indeed, a developer’s over-exposure to debt was a concern the Monetary Authority of Singapore raised recently.

But even on this point, one developer who spoke to BT on condition of anonymity said there were several ‘mechanisms’ within the preferred payment scheme that ensured that a developer was rarely more than 55 per cent exposed to debt at the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) stage. ‘Most developers will ask for at least 20 to 30 per cent upfront,’ he explained.

‘If a buyer defaults on payment before TOP, I will have at least 20 per cent in the pocket. So unless the prices fall dramatically, I do not perceive deferred payment as a risk,’ he said. ‘The crux of the matter is that a developer is not 100 per cent exposed.’

Even in the case of a sub-sale, he said the developer has the option of transfering the structure of the deferred payment scheme on to the new buyer and in instances like this, an additional cash deposit is often required.

The deferred payment scheme looks set to stay then, judging from its support from developers. A spokesman for CapitaLand said: ‘Where there is an option between progress and deferred payment schemes, the bulk of our homebuyers prefer the latter. We will continue to give payment choices to our homebuyers where appropriate.’

City Developments Ltd said: ‘The percentage of the take-up rate for the deferred payment scheme varies depending on the type of properties as well as the type of schemes offered . . . in general, we have more buyers who opt for the normal payment scheme.’

Construction Stocks Plunge After Tax Hike

Sources : TODAY, Thursday July 19th 2007

20% rise in development charges takes wind out of property sector’s sails.

SINGAPORE stocks fell the most in three months after the Government increased the fee builders pay to redevelop sites.

The Government increased the Development Charge (DC) from 50 per cent to 70 per cent effective yesterday.

DC is the tax that developers have to pay to build a bigger new development on an existing site. Developers are buying and tearing down ageing properties to build bigger developments as home prices in the city-state rise. Higher fees for redevelopment will erode their earnings on these projects.

CapitaLand, the city-state’s biggest developer, and DBS Group Holdings, the largest lender, paced the decline.

CapitaLand stocks fell 2.6 per cent to $7.50. DBS, the nation's largest lender, declined 20 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $23.40.

Yongnam Holdings, the best-performing construction stock this year, tumbled the most in more than four months. Yongnam, which provides structural steel for highrise buildings, dropped 8.7 per cent to 47 cents.

“Raising the charge is one of the most obvious ways to take earnings away from developers,” said Mr James Chua, who helps oversee $330 million at Phillip Capital Management in Singapore.

“If you remove the upside to property prices, home lending and construction activity will likely slow. That’s bad for banks and building stocks,” Mr Chua added.

Chip Eng Seng, a construction company, tumbled 11 per cent to 89.5 cents.

CSC Holdings, which provides excavation and piling services, dropped 9.2 per cent to 39.5 cents.

A measure of construction stocks dropped 8.7 per cent, the biggest slide among nine industry groups included in the Singapore All Equities Index.

The Straits Times Index declined 67.08, or 1.8 per cent, to 3583.07 at the close, its steepest one-day drop since April 19.

Of 49 stocks included in the benchmark, 43 fell and three rose. July futures dropped 2.3 per cent to 439.9.

Neptune Orient Lines and Singapore Airlines led transportation shares lower on concern that crude oil prices near an 11-month high will erode earnings.

City Developments dropped 2.5 per cent to $15.90, while prices for Keppel Land dropped by 1.7 per cent to $8.55.

Rising Rentals In Singapore Have Led To More Expatriates Buying Properties Here.

Source: Channel NewsAsia,09 July 2007

More expats buying homes as rents jump 35% in first half: analysts

Property market watchers say a growing number of foreign executives are choosing to trade off living in upscale locations for bigger properties outside the city area and home ownership.

According to some calculations, average rents in Singapore went up by 35 percent in the first six months of this year over the same period last year.

This is causing expatriates to move to cheaper districts.

And anecdotal evidence is suggesting that of late, more are thinking of buying their flats.

Nicholas Mak, Consultancy and Research Director, Knight Frank, said: "Another group of expatriate tenants are actually considering buying properties - either buying the apartments they are renting, ... or considering asking for their rental package - their housing accommodation package - to be paid as a lump sum so that they can use that to purchase a home, maybe even a landed property."

Flats in prime districts now rent for an average of S$3.26 per square foot a month, while those just outside of the central areas are letting for $2.30 per square foot a month.

The districts of 9, 10 and 11 may be rental hotspots for most higher-end expats.

But analysts say those seeking to buy tend to go for the upper-mid level properties between 15 to 20 years old in outlying areas like Clementi, Toh Tuck and even Loyang and Pasir Ris.

Such expats, some of whom are permanent residents, typically have a budget of just over a million dollars.

Donald Han, Managing Director, Cushman and Wakefield, said: "We've actually started to see out of 10 expatriates that we serve, at least one will be looking into either leasing or potentially even buying. And quite a fair bit of those will ultimately decide to purchase rather than lease. Typically they'll look into the fringe of Districts 9, 10, and 11.

"They will look into properties which are not the top end, more into the upper-mid level, potentially within the S$800 to as much as S$1,200 per square foot. And the units could be of the size of one- to two-bedroom kind of apartments. For landed property, typically perhaps a District 21, landed terrace houses which might go in the region of a million to S$1.2 million."

Property market watchers say the upward pressure on rental prices is unlikely to let up over the next 12 months.

Mr Mak said: "Private home rentals are still going to face a lot of upward pressure for the rest of this year and probably for the first half of next year. This year alone, we could easily see average rentals go up by anywhere from 15 percent to even as much as 25 percent."

Mr Han said: "Rental will continue to rise by virtue that it's really a landlord's market. I suspect rental in the next 12 months will probably continue to rise between the range of about 20 percent to 25 percent from current levels."

This comes as demand continues to grow and collective sales aggravate the already limited supply available. - CNA/ch

New Hotel Site Near Hong Lim Park Up For Tender

Sources : The Straits Times, Thu, Jul 19, 2007

A NEW hotel may soon rise beside Hong Lim Park near Chinatown on a fairly large site that the Government released for sale yesterday.

The 74,905 sq ft plot is bounded by Upper Pickering Street and Upper Hokkien Street.

It carries a 99-year lease and has a plot ratio of 4.2, giving it a total potential gross floor area of 315,000 sq ft.

A three-star hotel with 450 to 500 rooms can be built on the site, said Mr Donald Han, managing director of property firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Part of the building may go up to 20 storeys. The height of its other parts, however, has been capped at only 16 storeys.

Mr Han expects bids for the site to come in at about $450 to $500 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) or about $141.5 million to $157.3 million.

But despite a boom in Singapore's hotel sector, he believes that interest in the site will be lukewarm at best.

'I don't think we'll see a whole lot of bidders as we would see for commercial or residential sites,' he said.

'The thing is, although there are a lot of investors looking at hotels to buy, a developer buying a site to build a hotel would have to be in it for the long term.'

Mr Han predicted that 'fewer than five bids' would be submitted for the site, adding that the last hotel site released in nearby Tanjong Pagar area attracted only two bids.

The contract to develop that site went to the Carlton hotel group last month. The group's $123 million bid worked out to about $573 psf ppr.

The hotel industry in Singapore is seeing a good year. Hotel room rates have reached record highs for the second time this year on the back of rising occupancy rates and a tourism boom.

The Upper Pickering site, however, has been on the Government's reserve list for land sales for a year without any takers.

Under the current system, a site can be put up for sale only if a developer commits to bid for it at a minimum price acceptable to the Government.

But no developer came forward for the Upper Pickering site. This led the Government to transfer the plot to its confirmed list last month, which meant the site would be put out in the market at a fixed date regardless of developer interest.


'The thing is, a developer buying a site to build a hotel would have to be in it for the long term.'
MR HAN, on why he expects the site to attract fewer than five bids despite a boom in the hotel sector

Prices At 8 HDB Towns Up By 5% Or More

Source : The Straits Times 19th July (Thursday)

But second-quarter figures from two agencies show some estates yet to pick up ----By Jessica Cheam

THE long dormant public housing market has bounced back with a vengeance, although some areas remain sluggish.
New figures from property agencies show that prices of flats sold in Queenstown, for example, shot up by 11.8 per cent on average in the second quarter over the first quarter.

Another hot spot was the Kallang/Whampoa area, which was in second place with a 10.2 per cent rise.

As many as eight Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates registered quarterly price rises of 5 per cent or more on average.

Prices in Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon and Marine Parade grew by about 7 to 9 per cent. One 116 sq m sea-view flat in Marine Parade sold at a record of $695,000 for the area.

Property agency PropNex's chief executive Mohamed Ismail said the strong upswing in prices was not surprising as many buyers, cash-rich from recent collective sales, were paying premium prices for HDB flats in prime locations, or with good views.

Other estates such as Clementi, Bukit Merah, Jurong East and Bishan also posted a healthy growth of about 4 to 6 per cent.

One executive flat in Queenstown sold for $628,000, well above the average of $559,000 for the area.

These figures were released to The Straits Times yesterday by two of the largest property agencies ERA Singapore and PropNex. Both claimed to have a 30 to 40 per cent share of the HDB market.

The agencies say they give a clearer picture of recent HDB price movements.

This follows HDB's unexpected move on Monday to disclose average resale prices and the average cash-over-valuation (COV) - the sum paid over market valuation - of flats by region on its website

Property experts expressed misgivings over the HDB figures, which were grouped according to five clusters of towns, instead of individual towns. 'The figures may not be the true reflection of what the current market is willing to pay for specific estates,' said Mr Ismail.

For example, the overall average COV for the West region is $7,400, but in Clementi, the current average market price is $20,000 over valuation, he said.

The property agencies' figures show that some areas are still sluggish. One group of estates, which includes Bedok, the Central area and Geylang, had slower growth at about 1 to 3 per cent. Prices at other towns such as Bukit Batok, Pasir Ris and Yishun hardly moved.

Mr Ismail said this was probably because the 'excitement and price awakening' of the second quarter had not reached the outskirts yet. He expects prices in most HDB towns to move upwards in the third quarter.

One effect of the new statistics released from the agencies and HDB is that they serve as a reality check for sellers currently demanding unreasonably high prices due to 'headline' sales reported in some areas recently, analysts say.

A five-room flat in Bukit Merah, for example, sold for a mind-boggling $720,000 recently. But the average price for such flats is far lower at $467,000.

ERA assistant vice-president Eugene Lim said sales volumes could have been higher if not for flat-owners looking to 'catch on the initial euphoria'.

Buyers and sellers are now beginning to digest the deluge of information. But 'it will take a few weeks for the dust to settle', and for the market to see the real effects, said Mr Lim.

An HDB spokesman said yesterday that it is monitoring the market very closely, and will assess the need to provide such data on a regular basis.

Property Charge Hike May Cool En Bloc Fever

Source : Strait Times July 19, 2007

Tax payable to enhance use of sites to be raised from 50% to 70%

THE Government sprung a surprise on property developers yesterday by dramatically ramping up a tax payable to enhance the use of a site.
The move triggered a selldown of property shares on the Singapore Exchange.

Developers pay the tax - called a development charge - if they want to enhance the value of a site by building a bigger project, for example.

The rise in the land's value was taxed at 50 per cent, but will now be levied at 70 per cent, similar to what it was in 1985. The same rate will also apply to fees paid to rewind a site's lease back to 99 years.

For example, a site that rises in value by $2 million will now be taxed $1.4 million, compared to $1 million previously.

Its broader effect will be to make certain sites more costly, and perhaps take some heat out of a roaring property market that has seen record prices across many housing types.

S'pore property market is 'world's hottest'
SINGAPORE'S property market is the hottest in the world for major real estate investments, according to a new study by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Astounding rental growth and rising values were cited as reasons for the strong showing for the first half of this year.
... more
Analyst David Lum from Daiwa Institute of Research said the move is 'another piece of evidence that the Government might be a little uncomfortable with the rapid appreciation in certain segments of the market'.

An immediate casualty could be the buoyant en bloc market, which has seen developers pay huge sums for estates over the past 12 months.

And by stemming en bloc sales, which reduce housing stock in the short-term, the hike may even take pressure off rents.

Developers will have to recrunch their numbers now - and hopeful owners might have to lower expectations of a bumper en bloc bonanza.

Sing Holdings said yesterday that with the change, it expects the land cost for acquiring Hillcourt Apartments to rise by about 1.2 per cent - from $1,444 per sq ft of potential gross floor area to $1,461.

'The rate revision will add a few percentage points to the total costs of some developments,' said a Savills Singapore director, Mr Ku Swee Yong, who felt the impact on developers will not be great.

Knight Frank's head of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak, agreed: 'There was a knee-jerk reaction, but it's not going to derail the property boom.'

Still, property shares took a hit yesterday. Giants such as CapitaLand and City Developments fell by around 2 per cent or more, while the sector index plunged 2.7 per cent.

The rate rise is a double whammy for some firms. Deve- lopment charges are reviewed every six months, with new rates due on Sept 1.

These charges are designed to mirror property values and are almost certain to rise, given the surging market, thus adding more costs to developers over and above yesterday's rise.

Yesterday's change took immediate effect.

It will hit developments that have yet to receive provisional permission to enhance land value, or those granted an extension to their provisional permission from yesterday.

This means developers which have done deals over the past two to three months could be hit, said Credo Real Estate managing director Karamjit Singh.

URA Releases More Information On Uncompleted Private Residential Projects & Launch Of Home Buyers Guide

Source : Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) News Release 25th July 2007

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released today data on the prices and the number of units launched and sold by developers in June 2007 for uncompleted private residential properties.

The data was obtained through a survey of developers by the URA. This information will be released on a regular basis. Initially, it will be announced by the URA on the 15th day of every month, until further notice.

URA also launched today a new online guide that provides useful information on the process of buying uncompleted private residential properties. This “Home Buyers Guide” (“HBG”) is particularly useful for first-time buyers of uncompleted private residential properties.

The Minister for National Development had said in Parliament on 21 May 07 that URA would obtain more information from developers on uncompleted private residential properties1 and release them to the public. With this additional information and the launch of the Home Buyers’ Guide, there will be greater transparency in the property market and home-buyers can make decisions based on the availability of more information.

More Information on Uncompleted Private Residential Projects

The key statistics released today are:

a The median, lowest and highest price of units sold2 in the month for individual uncompleted private residential projects.

b The number of units sold in each project in the month in various price brackets e.g. number of units sold that are priced between $500 to $750 per sq ft, $750 to $1,000 per sq ft, etc.

c The number of units launched and sold in the month, and cumulative to date, for each project.

The information released today will supplement the existing data released to the public by URA on individual private residential units transacted, which are compiled based on the caveats lodged for the sale of the units. It will provide home-buyers with a more timely benchmark of current transaction prices for uncompleted private residential projects as the information is obtained directly from the developers.

Members of the public are encouraged to make use of this new information, rather than rely solely on information from media reports which may highlight only the prices of the most expensive units sold in selected projects. With this information, home-buyers can be more discerning when considering a property as they will have more complete price information for comparison. For example, the information released by URA shows that the record high prices for a project could be for very few units only and are significantly higher than the median price, which is a better reflection of the typical price of a unit within the project. Home-buyers will also be able to see that there are a large number of new private residential projects in the suburban areas where prices are still at a more affordable level.

The new information can be found on URA’s website at the following url:

Home Buyers’ Guide

The HBG gives a step-by-step guide on the basic considerations and procedures that are involved at each stage of the buying process. This ranges from understanding the contractual obligations under the sale and purchase agreement to taking possession of the property.

The HBG is organised according to the stages that a typical home buyer will go through :

a Basic Checks: This highlights issues buyers should note before visiting a showflat e.g. checking the buyer’s eligibility to purchase private property and CPF policies on the use of CPF savings for the purchase of a property. This will help buyers decide on a budget that they would be able to commit to property purchase.

b Visit Showflat: This is a checklist of items for buyers to look out for e.g. specifications of the property.

c Option to Purchase: The procedures involved in the issue and exercise of the Option to Purchase is explained.

d Sale and Purchase Agreement: Buyers can find information on the key contractual obligations of the developer and purchasers e.g. developer’s obligation to complete the development within the agreed date.

e Progress Payments: This gives information on the payment schemes that are commonly offered by developers.

f Moving In: This sets out the procedures to follow to take over possession of the property; and

g Completion of Sale: Explains the procedures for the completion of sale when legal title to the property is transferred to the home buyers.

The HBG can be found on URA’s website at the following url:

1 Refers to projects which are licensed by the Controller of Housing. A project will be delicensed when the Certificate of Statutory Completion and Certificates of Title or Subsidiary Strata Certificates of Title are issued for the all the units in the project.

2 The number of units sold refer to the units for which the developers have issued the option to purchase.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Serene Tng
Manager, Public Relations
DID: 63293224

Former ‘Remiser King’: Equities Still Have Legs

Source: The Business Times, 16 July 2007

Peter Lim, the man formerly known as the ‘Remisier King’ and who is estimated to be worth more than $2 billion today, reckons the stock market still has two good years to go. But he is getting concerned about the property market.

‘The market won’t collapse for the next two, three years. It’s all sentiment-driven. People are making more money, and so long as people are spending, we are OK. But one has got to start to think how to exit at the end of 2-3 years - 2009, before the casino starts operating,’ he said.

Mr Lim is, of course, well known as an influential stockbroker and deal-maker in the Singapore and Malaysian markets in the early 1990s. That was also when he made his millions, but quit at his peak to take care of divorce proceedings.

Despite being out of the industry, it was in the last few years that his fortunes took a leap forward, thanks to the booming stock market. He was recently in the news for agreeing to put $150 million into Rowsley for its reverse takeover of a China solar company.

In a near four-hour interview with BT to talk about his market views and investment philosophy, Mr Lim said a lot of the big companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) today have a global presence.

Like Keppel Corp, for instance; it can’t fulfil all the orders for its oil rigs. So even if there is a shift in investor sentiment and the market corrects severely, investors can still ride out the whole cycle, said Mr Lim - barring a global recession, of course.

The danger, he said, is in the small-cap sector. ‘Some of these stocks have gone up a lot. Much of the potential has been priced in. If this potential is cut short by any unexpected unfortunate event, they will come down like a rock.’

Small-cap stocks run up fast because of their small float. But when the sentiment turns, everyone is a seller, he said.

As for the property market, Mr Lim thinks prices have gone up too fast. The sharp increase has taken everyone by surprise, even the government. ‘Actually, it’s quite simple. Singapore is small. You get a small bucket, and pour a lot of water, it’ll overflow. This is what’s happening. I think the demand just comes together at the same time. I don’t think it’s sustainable.’

Demand is so strong that people are knocking down buildings, and that’s curtailing supply even more.

But the thing is, the buildings knocked down will have three times more apartments when they get rebuilt a few years down the road. ‘When the supply comes out, property prices will drop,’ he said.

Comparisons have been drawn between Singapore and London. ‘But you tell me: how many en bloc (redevelopments) do they have in London? No en blocs means no additional supply.’ he said.

Mr Lim is worried about the impact of high rentals on businesses - office rentals have gone up by 200-300 per cent in the last few years. ‘Costs are going to bloat . . . most businesses’ margins are going to be eaten up by costs.’

At the moment, many individuals and companies are making money from asset inflation, he said. ‘You hope that this asset inflation becomes an income, becomes regular. But I don’t think so. These are all situational. But it will go one day.

‘I’m not a pessimist, but this is how I see it. That’s why at the end of a bull market, you see a new generation coming up. Because all the old ones die. Now and then, you see one of those who stays - then he becomes a legend. And if you observe those legends, most of the time, they spend their time scolding people: ‘don’t gear, don’t gamble’.’

And that exactly was the message that he kept harping on during the interview.

‘A lot of people get it wrong. When the bull market is here, they build debts. Bull market is the time to build cash. Because today’s market turns very quickly. When the market turns, you cannot sell, especially for the property market. You can only sell when things are going up.

‘So I always tell my friends: ‘Make sure you stay alive. The market won’t die, so there’s always a next time.’ ‘

By BT’s estimates, Mr Lim is worth in excess of $2 billion. He has just under 5 per cent in Wilmar International. Based on the company’s current market capitalisation of $22 billion on SGX, that stake alone is worth $1.11 billion. He has about 11 per cent in FJ Benjamin, and that’s worth $52.6 million. Meanwhile, his 25 per cent stake in Rowsley has a market value of $37 million. So his Singapore equities alone are worth $1.2 billion. On top of that, he has some Australian mining stocks bought in the 1970s and ’80s.

Mr Lim says 50 per cent of his portfolio is now in equities, another 10 per cent in properties and the remaining 40 per cent in cash. The cash is from the dividends he received, which he has not reapplied to the market. So all in, he’s worth more than $2.4 billion.

The 54-year-old believes that the fortune he has today is pre-destined. ‘This size - substantially, it’s your destiny. If today I have $10 million, I’d say over 90 per cent is due to my hard work. But getting it right is not $1 billion. Maybe it’s $100 million. How that $100 million becomes $1 billion, you know it’s because somebody likes you. You must believe it’s somehow a path that’s been drawn.’

The bulk of his net worth is in Wilmar, in which he was asked to pump in under $10 million in the early 1990s. By the second half of the decade, he had totally written off that investment. That was when the Indonesian currency fell from 2,500 rupiah against the US dollar (the exchange rate he invested in Wilmar), to 16,000 rupiah, and president Suharto was ousted. There were riots in Indonesia. There was no way of cashing out the assets. But in a few years, things stabilised in Indonesia and the pieces began to come together for Wilmar. Its China operations began to pick up, businessman Robert Kuok decided to inject his Malaysian palm oil operations into Wilmar and palm oil prices started to go through the roof because of the scramble to produce biofuels.

‘My Indonesian partner was asking me the other day: ‘How the hell did we make so much money?’ ‘

‘Up to a point after people tell you a story and a vision, don’t write it off. Sometimes it comes true. You just make sure that if it doesn’t come true, you don’t get hurt too much,’ he said.

The most important factor to consider when investing in a company is the person running it; you look at whether the person is honest, and whether he or she is master of their trade.

‘It works. It’s a tested method of assessing companies,’ Mr Lim said.

Wilmar is not his only lucky break. He escaped the Asian crisis as he had quit the broking profession in 1996 to prepare for his divorce proceedings. And he spent the next six months liquidating most of his stock positions. So when the crisis hit, he was mostly in cash.

He was also not in the market during the dotcom bubble as the hearing on the division of matrimonial assets dragged on until 2001. He thanks his lucky stars for having avoided the Asian financial crisis, but thinks he would not have been caught in the insanity of the dotcom bubble.

Nowadays, Mr Lim spends his time dispensing advice to deal-makers in the industry - and sends them a bill of $300,000 or more for it. He still gets a thrill out of structuring deals, which he says is similar to a chess game.

He described the recent Rowsley deal to acquire a solar energy company in China as ‘beautiful’, as one which allows existing shareholders to ‘lock in the upside, but hedge the downside’.

He’s also having to cope with the problems of having too much money. He worries if his children, a 15-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, will be spoilt by his wealth. He reckons he may give the bulk of his money to charity eventually.

But going by the four-hour lunches that he takes - with Imperial Treasure at Great World City being his Canteen No 1 and Kuriya his Canteen No 2 - and sometimes squeezing in a game of tennis or two before dinner, the money problem can’t be all that bad.


Cutting deals

Maybe it’s in the blood. It’s quite exciting to pitch a deal, to make sure that you don’t catch me. It’s like a chess game: you make this move, the next one I make. I don’t want to get checkmate.


Money is a funny thing. When you don’t have it, you want it. But when you have it, you have a lot of problems. I believe that if I’d had no money, I wouldn’t have had my divorce. Things wouldn’t be good, but it wouldn’t end up in a divorce.

Growing old

Once you are old, every year makes a lot of difference. Your lease gets shorter, there’s no extension. You go, you go.


Some of my school mates have passed away. So once you start to see all these things, your perspective on life becomes more measured, more considered.

Making money

It’s very difficult to make money from trading. People who get rich are those who buy a company, build it, run it. Most of the traders, they come, they make money, because they have this gambling instinct. They take the money and spend it. The minute they lose money, they got no money to pay up.

The next downturn

Today’s bull run can get cut short by a number of things. Just like our recent experience with Sars, or a bomb drops on the wrong person’s head. Like anything else, the least expected thing can happen at the wrong time. I got a feeling the next downturn will be very severe.

Non-Prime Landed Home Prices Rising Fast

Source: The Business Times, 12 July 2007

The prices of landed property have started rising - and this time the pace is being set in locations such as Pasir Ris, Toa Payoh and Clementi.

Data from Savills Singapore show that prices of landed property have climbed by between 8 and 91 per cent across most districts in Singapore from the second quarter of 2005. That is when this segment of the market first started stirring.

And while landed property in the traditional prime districts of 9 and 10 grew at a fast clip from the second quarter of 2005 to the second quarter of 2007 - increasing by 55 per cent and 58.5 per cent respectively - prices in non-prime districts 5, 12, 18 and 21 registered even bigger climbs.

Market watchers said that landed home prices in the non-prime districts are growing from a smaller base and so are seeing faster growth.

Savills?data shows that landed property prices in district 18 - consisting of Pasir Ris, Simei and Tampines - grew the fastest, increasing by 90.9 per cent over the last two years. Landed homes in the area are now going for about $490.50 per square foot (psf), up from $257 psf in the second quarter of 2005.

Similarly, prices in district 12 (Balestier, Moulmein, Novena and Toa Payoh) have climbed by 74 per cent over the past 24 months, while prices in district 21 (Clementi, Upper Bukit Timah and Hume Avenue) grew 66.5 per cent. In district 5 (Buona Vista, Dover, Pasir Panjang and West Coast) prices rose 64.2 per cent over the last two years.

In just the past one year, prices in districts 8, 13 (Potong Pasir and MacPherson) and 18 have seen price climbs of more than 40 per cent.

It is not surprising that landed homes in non-prime districts are seeing faster price climbs as they are starting from a lower base,?said Knight Frank's director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak. Prices in the good class bungalows (GCB) market started to stir in 2004, even before prices of non-landed luxury homes started climbing. As most GCBs are in districts 9 and 10, their prices are already quite high, which means that their price growth is likely to be slower.?lt;/FONT>

By contrast, landed home prices in districts 5, 12, 18 and 21 are just starting to move, driven partly by homeowners looking for new properties after selling their non landed homes in collective sales, market watchers said.

Analysts also attribute the growth in landed property prices to quantifiable factors such as developers selling rebuilt landed homes as well as the rising land and construction costs.

Starting from around mid-2004, certain individuals and developers have been buying landed homes around the island, reconstructing them and then selling them,?said Savills Singapore's director of marketing and business development Ku Swee Yong. The higher selling prices are partly due to the value-add.?lt;/FONT>

Construction costs for landed property, for example, have climbed to around $300 psf, from about $150 two years ago.

About half of the price increase for landed homes can be attributed to such factors, while the rest of the hike is probably due to market sentiment, Mr Ku said.

Growth of landed property prices still lag non-landed homes mainly because of a lack of foreign investment, analysts say. Under Singaporean law, foreigners are not allowed to buy landed properties without special permission. Prices of luxury condominium units here have set consecutive records over the last year - and a lot of it was thought to be fuelled by foreign money.

Prices of landed properties haven't moved as much because the market is limited to locals,?said Mr Ku. The value of landed property is also very subjective - a potential homeowner might not want to pay for a house if it faces the wrong direction, for example.

Going forward, the limelight will still be on non-landed property because of the foreign participation? said Mr Mak. There is a possibility that landed property (prices) could move faster, but I don't think they will climb as quickly as high-end condos,?he said.

Margate Mansion En Bloc Sale Seeks $63.8m

Source: The Business Times, 12 July 2007

Margate Mansion, just off Meyer Road, is now available for collective sale at an indicative price of $63.8 million, or $929 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The 34,804 sq ft site is the first to go on the market in this area since The Seafront on Meyer set new benchmark prices when it was launched earlier this year. Average prices for The Seafront were reported to be between $1,400 and $1,800 psf.

CB Richard Ellis director (investment properties) Charles Hoon, whose company is marketing the property, said: Meyer Road is the best stretch in District15 in terms of locality and sea views. The area allows high-rise developments unlike others in the East Coast which allow only up to five storeys.?lt;/FONT>

Mr Hoon also estimated that at the asking price, the potential developer can expect to break even at about $1,330 psf. Recent new launches in the vicinity are averaging above $1,600 psf,?he added.

The asking price may be higher than any recent transaction in the area but the Meyer Road area is fast becoming the alternative address for those choosing to live outside the traditional prime districts.

As such, market sources revealed that several other older developments, including Hawaii Tower, will soon be put on the market at similar prices.

The last collective sale transaction in the Meyer Road area was Eastern Mansion in 2005. As an indication of how much prices have risen, Eastern Mansion was sold for $152.9million, or around $500 psf ppr.

Margate Mansion has a gross plot ratio of 2.1 and an allowable building height of 24 storeys.

Mr Hoon estimated that a 60-unit development of about 1,200 sq ft can be built on the site.

Meyer Road still commands a premium in the East Coast. Further down the road, Credo Real Estate is marketing Rich East Garden, a 40-unit development at Upper East Coast Road. The indicative price for the site is $92 million-$95million, which translates to a land rate of about $630-$650 psf ppr, including an estimated development charge of $330,000.

The East Coast is already undergoing significant transformation.

Recently launched projects which are all under construction include: Wheelock Properties?546-unit The Sea View; MCL Land's 400-unit The Esta; the 562-unit One Amber by United Industrial Corp and United Overseas Land; and Ho Bee's 42-unit Vertis. At least five more sites have been offered for collective sale this year.

Sub-Sales Of Private Homes Hit 10-Year High

Source: The Straits Times, 14 July 2007

They have not even been built yet, but apartments at popular new projects like The Sail @ Marina Bay are changing hands at a rate not seen in almost a decade.

Sales of these uncompleted homes, known in the industry as sub-sales, almost doubled to 1,184 between April and last month for private non-landed homes, according to new figures released by property firm Savills Singapore yesterday.

Such transactions comprised 13.9 per cent of all private home sales in the June quarter - up from 6.3 per cent in the first three months of this year and the highest level in almost 10 years.

Sub-sales are often used to measure speculative activity in the private home market and as such are closely watched - now more than ever, as the Government tries to gauge how far it should go to calm the red-hot property market.

The latest figures show that more buyers are quickly reselling recently-bought homes, adding to the growing property frenzy.

But while the numbers are rising fast, property consultants are not too concerned yet.

It's surprising that sub-sales have doubled in three months, but they still haven't reached the same levels as in 1996, which triggered government intervention,?said Mr Nicholas Mak, director of research and consultancy at Knight Frank.

At the height of the property boom in 1996, sub-sales reached 28.4 per cent of all home sales.

But Mr Mak warned: if it keeps going at this rate, the authorities may step in

At projects such as the uncompleted Sail, sub-sales have been roaring along. There were 61 Sail units resold three times each in the last two years, according to investment bank JP Morgan.

Six more units changed hands four times, and one unit found new buyers five times.

Most of these sellers made big bucks, thanks to escalating prices - some units have tripled in price since their 2004 launch.

One buyer paid $750,000 for a unit in early 2005 and resold it for $1.8 million recently, said Savills.

But not all sub-sales turn profits.

At Icon in Tanjong Pagar, one seller made more than $314,000 in three months, while another resold his unit at a $348,000 loss after two months.

Savills, whose estimates were taken from the Urban Redevelopment Authority's caveat database ahead of official Government figures due on July 27, pointed out that more sub-sales do not necessarily imply more speculation.

These sellers may not have bought their units with the intention to speculate,?said Mr Ku Swee Yong, Savills?director of marketing and business development.

But prices have risen so quickly that they are tempted to cash in.

Indeed, projects in the prime districts - where home prices have shot up the fastest - made up the bulk of the sub-sales in April to June, said Savills.

More than half the sub-sales in the period took place in Districts 1 to 4 and 9 to 11, which cover Orchard, River Valley, Bukit Timah, Newton, Shenton Way, Marina Bay and Tanjong Pagar.

Sub-sales accounted for about one in five of all home sales in these areas. But some districts saw higher figures of up to 80 per cent.

In District 2, where Icon is located, four out of every five sales were sub-sales. In District 1, where The Sail is, the figure was 64 per cent.

The proportion of sub-sales was a lower 25 per cent in District 9 and only 11 per cent in District 10.

The Sail and Icon topped the sub-sale list in the quarter, with 81 and 71 deals, respectively. Sky@Eleven in Thomson Road was third with 51, while City Square Residences and Citylights in the Jalan Besar area saw 40 deals each.

With most of these projects due to be completed soon, Mr Ku added that the spike in sub-sales could backed by genuine buying demand from displaced collective sale sellers.

This may be a balm to the Government, which has periodically referred to low levels of sub-sales as a sign that rising property prices are fuelled by genuine home demand.

Last year, there were just 989 sub-sale deals, accounting for a mere 4.1 per cent of total private home sales.

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District : 15
Location : Siglap Hill
Facilities :-
Car Parks - Each unit are entitled to 2 Carpark lots
Swimming Pool

Payment Scheme : OCBC is providing the Deferred Payment to the purchaser i.e u r paying the standard 1% (Option Fee) + 4% (Exercise Fee) + 15% (On signing the S&P agreement or within 8 weeks of option whichever is later), Balance 80% will be payable upon TOP

P.S : Bank Loan must be from them

Developer : Galaxy Homes (Same Developer for Mackenzie 88)

Size from 314sqm to 374sqm. TOP Dec 2009

Promotional Prices (Discount 20%) ~$760/psf, will be lifted anytime. SO HURRY b4 its gone

Type 33 - 383sqm, 4122.6sqft - $3.11m,
Type 33a - 339sqm, 3649sqft - $3m,
Type 33b - 328sqm, 3530.6sqft - $2.93m,
Type 33c - 325sqm, 3498.3sqft - SOLD
Type 33d - 364sqm, 3918.1sqft - $3.07m,
Type 33e - 398sqm, 4284.1sqft - $3.21m

P.S : Showflat not at the actual Site. Let me know if you want to have a look at the showflat.

Thanks & Best Regards

Richard Yeo [Orange Tee]
+65 94595405

Luma @ River Valley Grove

Atmosphere. Energy. Luxury. Luma puts you at the centre of everything you’ve come to expect and deserve. In prestigious District 9, explore the bustle of an ever-growing metropolitan in Central Business District or explore an ever-changing palette of recreational options at Mohamed Sultan, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay.

With reputable schools and institutions closeby, spend less time on the road and more time enjoying life to the fullest.

First impressions are unquestionably important. A cut above the rest, Luma proves that style and substance are alive. Towering at 106m akin to a 36-storey building, the 27-storey development comprising 75 exclusive units takes a modern opulence to another level. Luxury lovers will adore the uncommon flavours of this minimalist masterpiece whose clean lines give way to open spaces and full-height glass architecture reflects colourful surprises at every turn.

Waking up the rising sun and invite friends to barbecue on the rooftop pavilion by moonlight. There’s plenty to do and view to keep your senses entertained at the rooftop sky terrace. Feel on top of the world with a function room that is designed to cater to any occasion from private parties to social functions. With swimming pool and elevated water jet corner that open up to the city skies, retreat to you personal oasis in the sky.

Elevating the ambience are the sophisticated interiors, which pair form and function seamlessly. Just by simply connecting to the Internet with your PDA or laptop. Get in touch with home, control air conditioning and water heater systems or indulge in pulsating light, using pre-programmed mood setting that allows for different light scenarios. With designer switches that add a modish touch to the apartments, the state-of-the-art home has all the luxurious details you desire. Featuring 3 units per floor, Luma makes it easier to enjoy a private and complete, balance living.

Project Name : Luma (meaning “shrubs of small trees with evergreen foliage”)
Novelty (Developer) believes its brand-name imported finishes will call out to “connoisseurs” of “uber- premium living”.

District : 09 (Prime Area, Near Orchard)
Address : 6 River Valley Grove ,
Location : Sits on the land of the razed 50-unit Eng Tai Mansion, besides "2RVG"

Tenure : Freehold (Foreigners Eligible)
Nearest MRT : Somerset MRT

Legal Project Description : Proposed Erection of a Block of 27 storey Residential Flat (Total of 75 units) with swimming pool, sky terrace and a basement carpark

Expected TOP : 30 June 2011
Developer : Novelty Holdings Pte Ltd

Unit Types:-
1 Bedroom 743sqft
2 Bedrooms 904-1173sqft

Price : From $3250/psf onwards

Facilities @ Sky Terrace 1 (2nd storey)
-Swimming Pool
-Wading Pool
-Heated & Cold Water Jet Corner
-BBQ Area
-Children's Playground
-Changing Room

Facilities @ Sky Terrace 2 (Roof)
-Swimming Pool
-Water Jet Corner
-Function Room
-Roof Top Pavilion
-BBQ Area
-Changing room

Don’t Buy – It’s Better To RENT

Source: Weekend Today, 07 July 2007

Sense of satisfaction Singaporeans get with home ownership comes at too high a price, argues CHARLES TAN

IT’S a topic that became a popular conversation piece a few years ago when homeowners found themselves caught in the nadir of the property slump and “negative equity” entered the layman’s dictionary. “Buy or Rent?” went the question.

For almost everyone, this was ridiculously rhetorical. Why would anyone, in his right mind, want to enrich another by paying rent when he had the option to be an almighty property owner himself?

What puzzled me then — and continues to puzzle me now — is the dogged Singaporean obsession with home ownership.

Although much has changed in the past decade, many people still wouldn’t bat an eyelid at taking a 5-per-cent-per-annum compound interest, 30-year mortgage in order to buy a new condominium unit.

In countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, renting homes is always considered a good alternative, and many who could easily qualify for a mortgage still choose to rent.

So, what makes us different?

For one, Singaporeans strongly value owning the roof over their heads. There is a mystical sense of satisfaction that we derive from the knowledge that we are not merely tenants at the whim of some capricious landlord.

Such sentiments would be justified — if we truly owned the property to begin with. All too often, we forget that even when we “buy” a home, it is the bank that really owns it. Stop paying your dues, and you get evicted all the same.

Secondly, thanks to our uncanny ability to squirrel money away, domestic borrowing costs are cheap relative to those in developed economies, while consistent growth in GDP and foreign direct investment drive property demand — and thus prices — higher.

In this sense, one might view property purchase as a profitable arbitrage opportunity. Which would be fantastic if Singapore were still a developing economy with double-digit growth, and if one’s income were as certain as one’s instalments.

Speculators must also bear in mind that property values are closely linked to economic health and employment. Thus, over-extending one’s credit line in the hope of capital gains is highly risky because things can get ugly very quickly.

An economic recession can mean paycut or retrenchment, both of which adversely affect one’s cash position. If interest instalments cannot be financed as a result of this cash flow problem, banks are also more likely to exercise their right to foreclosure. It is this double whammy of losing both “occupational income” and “home equity” that plunged many into bankruptcy after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Thirdly, many bemoan a dearth of alternative assets which “renters” can profitably invest in. Rental yields (at about 3 per cent) in Singapore are the lowest in Asia, but in comparison to domestic one-year fixed deposit rates (1 per cent), or Singapore Government Securities bond coupons (2 per cent), you might be forgiven for thinking 3 per cent is positively princely … until you consider that even the risk-free CPF Special Account offers 4 per cent, your loan interest is charged at 5 per cent, and that blue-chip proxies like the ST Index average well in excess of all the above-mentioned figures.

Lastly, most people who choose to buy also point to the exponential trend of housing prices. But extrapolative expectations often make for bad estimates. For example, anyone who held Microsoft stock from 20 years ago would be a millionaire today, but would you expect that performance to be replicated?

Absolutely not. That’s because while Microsoft has experienced stellar growth since its formation, its financials (and thus stock price) are starting to plateau — just as property prices in developed economies do.

Take all these things into account and you will begin to appreciate the flexibility that comes with renting. The liquidity that you free up acts as a security blanket during unforeseen periods of financial hardship, and gives you the freedom to invest in profitable projects.

Dissenters might argue that flexibility comes at a price. When the economy is doing well and property prices defy gravity — like they have recently — tenants must usually stomach rent increases without concomitant wage increases. But a rising tide lifts all boats, so while tenants pay higher rent, buyers must also pay higher interest on their flexible-rate mortgages. And given time, wages, too, must rise as workers demand more money to cope with their increased cost of living.

In short, although tenants might have to put up with higher rents in the short term, their long-term expenses should be moderated by lower rents in recessionary periods or corrections; whereas their paychecks should swell steadily, as should their savings.

With property prices as high as they are now, the case for renting has never been stronger. Would you rather pay higher rent for the next six months or get caught with negative equity when en-bloc fever subsides or a cyclical correction begins? Personally, the need for accommodation does not justify purchasing a house, and while buying property may be a good investment, I certainly would not condone doing so with borrowed money.

Ultimately, residential ownership is a very personal decision and it is a concept that has been actively promoted by the Government as part of its nation-building efforts.

For buying a house is not just another financial decision: It can also forge a sense of home and identity — and that is surely the hardest thing to put a value on.

Don’t Rent – It’s Better To BUY

Source: Weekend Today, 07 July 2007

… but buying your own home ensures you’re not at the mercy of fluctuating rental prices, says VASU MENON

BUYING a home is probably one of the most important financial decisions an individual will make in his lifetime, especially since the outlay is significant and the decision involves a long-term commitment.

But if you plan to stay in your country of residence for the long haul and make it your home, a good way to invest in your future is to invest in a home. It not only assures you of a roof over your head, it also protects you from the vagaries of the property market, as many expatriates and even some Singaporeans have discovered in the past nine months.

Let’s set aside the expatriates for now and just look at a Singaporean who chose to rent a property instead of buying one because he felt that his money wouldn’t be tied up in bricks and mortar. To him, renting offered financial flexibility and greater peace of mind.

I personally know of such a Singaporean, a colleague who was leasing an apartment near Orchard Road. He chose the apartment because it was large and comfortable and he managed to negotiate a “good” rental a couple of years ago.

The apartment was also centrally located and a short walk from the MRT station, which meant that he didn’t need to own a car and could travel to work and get back home fairly quickly. It all seemed ideal, except that he didn’t own the apartment and when his two-year lease came up for renewal recently, his landlord was asking for a rent that was 60 per cent higher.

The tide in the property market had turned against him as prices and rents surged, especially in the past nine months. Unfortunately, my colleague wasn’t able to stomach the sharply higher rent and had little choice but to move out. He relocated to an apartment in an outlying area, which was less convenient.

Fortunately for him, being single, he was the only one affected by the relocation. If he were married with children, the decision to relocate would have been a lot more painful.

For married Singaporeans with kids, owning a home is also one way to ensure financial security and a roof over the head for their families should they pass on unexpectedly. With mortgage insurance, a home can become fully paid for should the owner of the property pass away. This can help to alleviate the financial burden on the late owner’s family and give them some peace of mind — a benefit that the family may not enjoy if the property had been rented.

My local colleague isn’t the only one suffering from the surge in rents. Many expatriates here are also feeling the pain. In fact, some are even thinking of leaving Singapore to work elsewhere just because the additional rents they have to fork out are eating significantly into their pay packets.

Among expatriates who have chosen to stay and work in Singapore for a few more years, I know of some who are looking to buy properties here as a way of safeguarding themselves against the risk of further increases in rents.

One could always argue that property markets are cyclical and consequently, prices and rents could fall in future, which could diminish the attraction of owning a property. But if you look at the history of Singapore’s property market, you’ll see that property prices are much higher today compared to 15 to 20 years ago. So, if you’re prepared to take a long-term view and plan to live here for many more years, investing in a roof over your head would seem like a better proposition than renting a home.

If you haven’t already taken the plunge and intend to buy a property, be sure that you don’t get caught up in the euphoria and over-extend yourself — buy something that’s within your means so that you’re not financially strained and will have peace of mind while enjoying a roof over your head.

Often people run into financial trouble because they borrow too much to buy properties and have difficulties repaying their debts. This can happen if you lose your job and have insufficient savings to continue your mortgage payments. To avoid the debt trap, make sure that your total debts (including your mortgage) are less than 50 per cent of your total assets.

Also, make sure your annual loan payments are less than 35 per cent of your annual take-home pay. These are two simple ratios that you can apply to make sure you don’t over-borrow when purchasing property.

Also, as with all investments, never over-invest in anything, including properties. Be sure to spread your bets to protect your downside. So, aside from the property market, also look at investing elsewhere into other assets like stocks, bonds and unit trusts, to enhance the returns on your funds.