Sunday, October 21, 2007

2,000 High-End Homes May Be Launched Soon

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 21, 2007

About 30 new condos may be launched by early next year, at least half of them in Orchard, Bukit Timah and Holland

SALES of new homes took a dive last month, but they might pick up soon as developers prepare to launch a string of projects over the next few months.

AMONG THE DEVELOPMENTS SCHEDULED to come on the market are The Cascadia in Bukit Timah (left) and Wilkie Studio in Wilkie Road. -- PHOTOS: ALLGREEN, CITY DEVELOPMENTS

Almost 30 new condominiums could come on the market by early next year, said property consultancy Knight Frank.

'Market sentiments are gradually picking up following the United States sub-prime crisis, and launches could also increase in tandem,' said Mr Nicholas Mak, Knight Frank's director of research and consultancy.

He estimates that more than half of the launches will be in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11 - Orchard, Holland, Bukit Timah and Newton - as well as in luxury enclave Sentosa Cove.

If all these projects are launched as planned, about 2,000 high-end homes could flood the market over the next six months, added Mr Mak. Broadly speaking, these are properties that will cost at least $2,000 per sq ft (psf), with a three-bedroom unit going for at least $2.5 million, he said.

'We are definitely counting on foreigners to come in and help absorb these homes, so we don't end up with an oversupply problem in the top tier,' he said.

Residential areas likely to be in the spotlight include Bukit Timah, Thomson, Holland Village and East Coast. This is because prices in these areas have not moved as much as those in areas such as River Valley, Newton and Orchard.

Colliers International also predicted benchmark prices for two upcoming projects: the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Cairnhill and the development on the former Asia Hotel site. Prices at these projects could hit $4,500 psf on average, said Mr Vincent Chong, Colliers' residential sales director.

Mr Mak believes there will be few launches in the closely-watched mass-market segment until the middle of next year because developers started acquiring sites only recently.

'Most launches will come in nine to 18 months' time, and they are likely to be priced on the high side at $800 to $900 psf,' he said. 'Until then, most activity will be in the resale market, where a lack of new launches could push prices up significantly.'

Court Tells Developer Pay Up Extra $286,000

Source : The New Paper, October 21, 2007

EN BLOC TACTIC Developer pays stamp duty on each individual unit to save money

GOVT BODY SAYS: Sorry, pay stamp duty based on en bloc price and not per unit basis

THIS developer thought of a clever tactic that could save it nearly $300,000 in stamp duties in an en bloc buy.

When challenged, it went to court, but lost and ended up having to pay the entire amount, plus costs.

UOL Development (Novena) Pte Ltd paid $61 million for 53 units in Golden Towers and Eu Hock Apartments on Minbu Road in 2005.

It then decided to enter into a contract with each homeowner individually.

Stamp duty is charged at 1 per cent for the first $180,000 of the purchase price, 2 per cent for the next $180,000, and 3 per cent for the balance.

By not treating the deal as one transaction with a group, the company figured it could get the lower rates to apply 53 times over, and pay $286,200 less in stamp duties, court documents showed.

The Commissioner of Stamp Duties - who is under the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore - took the stand that the en bloc sale was a single transaction, and so the company could enjoy the lower rates only once.

UOL Development then took its case to the High Court.

The court heard that the home owners had agreed to the collective sale as their units would fetch a higher price than if they had sold their properties individually.

When UOL Development was told that its offer of $61m had been accepted, it asked the lawyers representing the home owners, Wee Ramayah & Partners, for 53 separate letters of acceptance.

UOL Development then presented the 53 contracts - one for each unit - for stamping. Based on this, it said the stamp duty payable should be assessed on a per unit basis instead of collectively.

But Mr Liu Hern Kuan, who represented the Commissioner of Stamp Duties, pointed out that UOL Development's affiliated companies had previously acquired properties on an en bloc basis.

The properties include Eng Cheong Towers, Maryland Park and Bo Bo Tan Gardens and these affiliated companies had paid stamp duty based on the en bloc price.

On Monday, Justice Tan Lee Meng ruled that UOL Development had to pay stamp duty based on the en bloc price, and not on a per unit basis.


He pointed out that in the tender, the home owners had indicated that they wanted to sell their properties as a collective entity.

And when UOL Development made an offer to purchase, it had also not indicated that it was buying the 53 units separately.

Said Justice Tan: 'Apart from the fact that there is no reference to 53 separate contracts in UOL's offer to purchase the properties, UOL didn't assert that there was any written evidence to support its claim that it had purchased the properties on the basis of 53 separate contracts.'

He also said that UOL Development's move to ask for 53 separate contracts was for the sole purpose of lowering the stamp duty payable.

'The plan for 53 separate contracts had no sound commercial basis and was so contrived that it was clearly intended to reduce or avoid tax liabilities,' said Justice Tan.


《联合早报》Oct 20, 2007



坐落在实龙岗路Rosyth Ville共管公寓里的这间顶楼双层公寓(penthouse),不但将紫色融进家居空间,而且,不同层次、不同色调的紫色在不同空间里运用自如,营造出静谧舒适的生活天地。














新加坡房地产市场火热 发展商为找建筑商发愁

《联合早报》Oct 20, 2007






联明集团(Lian Beng Group)董事主席王邦益说:“由于建筑业低迷了超过10年,在这个世纪初期很多大型的建筑商都陆续倒闭了,因此现在有规模,能承包大工程的建筑商不多。”他指出,两个综合度假胜地(IR)、滨海湾金融中心(Marina Bay Financial Centre, 简称MBFC)和新高档住宅项目等的兴建,加上集体出售地段的重新发展项目都需要大批的建筑商和工人。

集永成(Chip Eng Seng Corporation)集团执行总裁谢礼铭表示,建筑商目前面对的最大问题不是建筑材料价格上涨,而是工人短缺。








吉宝置业(Keppel Land)商业建筑董事陈瑞耀表示,他们会尽量采用较简单的设计,同时让建筑商在投标时能更自由的选择建筑材料和建造方式。“我们的新海洋金融中心(暂译,Ocean Financial Centre)就采用从简的设计,建筑商也可以自行选择利用钢铁或其他材料。”

今年2月买下集体出售项目Anderson Green的香港发展商Hillcrest Capital,则采用外国流行的改建与加建(Alteration & Addition,简称A&A)方式兴建新项目。

集团不打算把整座大楼全部拆除,而是在原有架构(existing structure)上“锦上添花”,设计出新高档豪宅21 Anderson。  

Hillcrest Capital董事刘理安指出,保留建筑“外壳”,重新打造内部的A&A建筑方式在香港已被普遍采用,尤其是高档住宅项目方面。

他说:“这么做不但环保,还能缩短建筑时间。发展项目登场的时机是我们选择A&A的主要原因。通过改建与加建,我们能把建造时间缩短至少一两年,屋主最早将能在2008年中迁入21 Anderson。”



新加坡更多旧国有建筑 将让商家改为办公室

《联合早报》Oct 20, 2007






6月份推出市场的河水山民众联络所旧址,共吸引了三份投标书,出价都比4万1200元的预示月租高。成功标得这个地段的均富集团(Equation Corp),标价更比预示月租高了超过一倍,达9万元(每平方公尺月租为35.40元)。
另一个位于亚历山大路991号的前校舍则由RichZone Properties Investment以每平方公尺14.21元月租标得,同样比9.85元预示月租高。

最近成功租出的国有地段还包括位于白姑路3号的前托儿所。这个地段由伟达控股(Vita Holdings)属下子公司Vita Property Management以1万3824元的月租标得。伟达控股属下另一家子公司Whitehouse Holdings Private Limited近期也以10万1788元的月租标下大巴窑6巷3号,比7万6900元预示月租多。伟达控股(Vita Holdings)是国有建筑的最大租户之一,自1998年开始租用旧国有建筑,目前的15个建筑当中,12个是国有建筑。公司除把这些建筑转换为宿舍和精品酒店外,也把旧校舍装修成办公室,转租给其他企业。



她指出,相比商业园区以及短期办公楼(transitional office)地段,国有房地产项目没有严格的用途限制,也无需花好几个月的时间重新建造,只需对现有建筑进行装修,不但能快速缓和办公楼短缺的情况,租金较低也对面对成本压力的中小型企业具非常大的吸引力。


Indian International School To Open In January At Balestier

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 21 October 2007

Three more Indian international schools are being opened by the Global Indian Foundation which runs the Global Indian International School in Singapore.

The announcement was made at the fifth anniversary celebration of the foundation.

One of the campuses will open in January in the Balestier area. There will be a primary and secondary school.

The other campuses are in Japan and Vietnam.

A four-hour performance was put on specially to mark the occasion by thousands of students from countries like Thailand and Malaysia.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Professor S Jayakumar said the Global Indian International School offers parents more choice.

"You compliment the range of educational options and opportunities available in Singapore from both public and private institutions and I believe it also strengthens the presence of quality institutions in Singapore," said Mr Jayakumar. - CNA /ls