Saturday, September 27, 2008

$645K HDB's Priciest Flats Go On Sale

Source : The Straits Times, Sep 27, 2008

Pinnacle@Duxton units are among 992 released for sale yesterday

FOR sale: the most expensive flats ever released by the HDB.

They are the remaining 111 five-room units at the iconic 50-storey Pinnacle@Duxton in Tanjong Pagar, which is due to be completed this year.

The seven blocks of Pinnacle@Duxton dominates the Tanjong Pagar skylin. Forty-four units cost more than $600, 000. -- ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

Prices start at $545,000 and go up to an eye-popping $645,800 for a 49th storey unit, making them Singapore's costliest new flats by a long shot. Forty-four cost more than $600,000.

The current record for a new HDB flat is held by a five-room unit at Toa Payoh, which was released for sale in February at $531,500. This excludes the premium flats built by private developers under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS).

Pinnacle@Duxton also has 317 four-room units still unsold, which were made available at prices ranging from $457,000 to $555,000. These units are left over from when the development was launched in 2004. The flats were then priced between $289,200 and $439,400 and met with overwhelming response.

But not all the units were eventually sold, and some were returned to HDB after the buyers withdrew from their planned purchases.

The remaining flats were among 992 new flats released for sale yesterday under HDB's latest balloting exercise, which also included surplus units from the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) in Ang Mo Kio, Jurong West, Kallang/ Whampoa and Queenstown.

While the prices for the Pinnacle@Duxton flats seem steep, the HDB said they were still lower than the prices of resale flats in the area.

'Despite their pricing, units at the Pinnacle@Duxton are especially attractive as they are priced below the market prices of similar flats in the resale market,' a spokesman said.

'Their high prices are supported by recent open market resale prices of comparable flat types in the vicinity, for example at Cantonment Close, Tanjong Pagar and Jalan Membina. Overall resale prices in these areas have gone up in recent years.'

HDB provided figures showing that prices for five-room flats in Jalan Membina recently hit $670,000 for a unit above the 20th floor. The average price of a five-room flat sold in Jalan Membina and Cantonment Close over the last three months was $624,000.

Still, whether buyers will respond well to these prices remains to be seen.

Housewife Lily Lee, who is in her 30s, said the prices for the Pinnacle@Duxton units were 'very high'.

'I wouldn't pay $600,000 for a five-room flat, I don't think any HDB flat is worth that value,' she said.

But Mr Zhao Bing Yao, 29, thought the price seemed 'reasonable in this market'.

'My friend just spent about $400,000 for a four-room flat in Clementi that is 30 years old, so I think it's okay to pay up to $600,000 for a brand-new five-room flat near town,' said the director of an IT company.

Mr Mohamed Ismail, the chief executive of property agency PropNex, said that HDB 'has no alternative but to price at market norms'.

'If they price too low, it will have an impact on resale prices in the area,' he said, adding that private homes in Tanjong Pagar cost mostly above $1,000 psf.

Still, he noted that the target group of buyers for the Pinnacle@Duxton flats will be 'very small', given the $8,000 monthly household income ceiling. Buyers of the five-room flats would be paying almost $3,000 in monthly mortgage instalments, he said.

For 'young couples and those who are not ready to pay the higher prices for flats in Pinnacle@Duxton', HDB suggested applying for the other types of flats released in yesterday's balloting exercise.

These include 285 flats in Jurong West along Corporation Drive, with three- room flats starting at $142,000, four- room flats starting at $213,000, and five- room flats starting at $270,000.

There are also four- and five-room flats in the Kallang/Whampoa area next to Kallang MRT, and 128 studio apartments in Ang Mo Kio that elderly buyers can opt for.

As at 5pm yesterday, 1,271 applications had been received for the 992 flats.

On the market

# Pinnacle@Duxton, Tanjong Pagar Units: 428 (317 four-room, 111 five-room)

Prices: $457,000 to $645,800

# Ang Mo Kio Units: 128 studio apartments

Prices: $80,000 to $115,000

# Kallang/Whampoa Units: 103 (39 four-room, 64 five-room)

Prices: $364,000 to $554,000

# Queenstown Units: 48 five-room flats

Prices: $481,000 to $539,000

# Jurong West Units: 285 (91 three-room, 164 four-room, 30 five-room)

Prices: $142,000 to $306,000


'I wouldn't pay $600,000 for a five-room flat, I don't think any HDB flat is worth that value.'

Housewife Lily Lee, who is in her 30s and looking for a new flat


'My friend just spent about $400,000 for a four-room flat in Clementi that is 30 years old, so I think it's okay to pay up to $600,000 for a brand-new five-room flat near town.'

Mr Zhao Bing Yao, 29, director of an IT company

S'pore Property Still An Investment Choice

Source : My Paper, Wed, Sep 24, 2008

DESPITE an uncertain economic outlook, Singapore property is still being viewed as an attractive investment option, according to a survey by the Group, a network of property portals.

Some of the factors contributing to this sentiment include the potential profit from capital appreciation and the potential rental income.

The survey studied the buying habits and trends of 949 people - both Singaporeans and foreigners - who visited iProperty's Singapore website last month.

With Singapore property prices stabilising in recent months, respondents said they are open to buying a property in the next 12 months - almost 85 per cent said they intend to or may purchase one.

They are most interested in completed condominiums (25 per cent), followed by uncompleted condos (18 per cent), completed landed properties (16 per cent) and resale Housing Board flats (12 per cent).

Among those polled, 42 per cent expect prices to rise, with almost the same number (41 per cent) expecting them to fall.

Given the slowing down of the economy, a majority of respondents (48 per cent) are looking at properties from US$110,000 (S$155,700) to US$500,000. Only 4 per cent are looking for a property in the price range of US$1.1 million to US$3 million.

'Even though people are keen on investing in property, we can see that the bearish economic outlook has resulted in investors looking at more conservative property choices,' said Group executive chairman Patrick Grove.

However, some things about buying a property, such as the emphasis on location, remain unchanged. Whether the property is for personal use or for investment, location is the most important factor, said 51 per cent of the respondents.

The other factors are price (36 per cent) and potential capital appreciation (20 per cent).

992 HDB Flats Go On Sale

Source : AsiaOne, Fri, Sep 26, 2008

HDB is launching the sale of 992 flats under the Balloting Exercise today.

They include surplus flats available from the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) in Ang Mo Kio, Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown and Jurong West and balance flats in The Pinnacle@Duxton (TP@D).

The flat supply comprises 128 Studio Apartments in Ang Mo Kio, 91 units of 3-room flats, 203 units of 4-room flats and 142 units of 5-room flats in Kallang/Whampoa, Queenstown and Jurong West.

428 units from Singapore's first iconic 50-storey public housing project, TP@D, will also be offered under this exercise. TP@D boasts an internationally award-winning design, with sky bridges linking its seven tower blocks and sky gardens at the 26th and 50th storeys and plug-ins like planters, balconies, bay windows and extended bays. The flat prices range from $457,000 to $555,000 for S1 flats and $545,000 to $646,000 for S2 flats.

"This is in line with the project's prevailing market value, reflecting its prime location in the city, its accessibility, and design attributes," according to a press statement from the HDB.

For those with a smaller budget, HDB suggests looking for more affordable options at other locations, such as Jurong West, where prices of 3-room and 4-room flats range from $142,000 to $160,000 and $213,000 to $253,000 respectively.

Buyers who do not find a flat of their choice in this balloting exercise can consider applying for a new flat under the Build-to-Order (BTO) exercises in future. The BTO is the mainstay of HDB's new flat supply.

Alternatively, they can also consider buying a resale flat where there is a range of choices in terms of budget and location.

Eligible first time flat buyers can enjoy CPF Housing Grant of up to $40,000 to buy a resale flat.

Applications for the new flats can be submitted online from Sep 26 to Oct 9.

For enquiries, the public can:

# Email;
# Call the Sales/Resale Customer Service Line at 1800-866 3066 on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm; or
# Visit the HDB Sales Office to speak with our Customer Service Officers during office hours (Mon to Fri: 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday: 8 am to 1 pm).

Property Prices, Rents Set To Fall In Asian Cities

Source : The Straits Times, Sep 26, 2008

HONG KONG: Property prices and rents in Asia's financial centres of Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo are set to fall as banks scale back hiring and investments in the global financial turmoil.

But while banks lay off tens of thousands in the United States, in Asia they are more likely to step back from ambitious expansion plans, so property markets will slip rather than slide.

In Hong Kong, property agents were scrapping to clinch a deal to put new tenants into three floors at the IFC2 building occupied by Lehman Brothers, which could have won them as much as US$2million (S$2.8 million) in commission.

But with Nomura Holdings snapping up Lehman's Asia operations, the Japanese bank will probably keep most of the space as its own Hong Kong office is in the same building.

However, a reshuffling of tenants in the city is still likely.

Although the Central district, dominated by landlord Hongkong Land, is chock-a-block, rents will probably fall by 25 per cent by the end of next year as cheaper new offices across the harbour hit the market, says Macquarie Securities.

'There's a lot of supply coming on to the market,' said Mr Richard Pyvis, chairman of CLSA Capital Partners, which runs private equity property funds. 'Just look at that big joint out there,' he added, pointing across Hong Kong's harbour to the 118-storey International Commerce Centre (ICC) built by Sun Hung Kai Properties.

With prime Hong Kong office rents almost quadrupling since Sars ravaged the economy in 2003, the likes of Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have agreed to move to the ICC building.

But now they could choose not to take up options for more space, or even off-load some.

'Lots of banks are committed to long leases but some tenants could look to sub-lease space like they did after the bubble burst,' said a property agent who works with several global banks but asked not to be identified because of commercial sensitivity.

'That will put pressure on rents.'

The situation is similar in Singapore.

A whole new office project called the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) is under construction, spurred by the creation of 50,000 jobs since 2004 as hedge funds and banks lapped up incentives to expand in the city-state.

A loss of a fifth of those new jobs would cause monthly office rents to fall 47 per cent and capital values to drop 34 per cent by 2012, according to UBS analyst Regina Lim. It would hit landlords such as City Developments and CapitaCommercial Trust.

Mr Wilson Kwong, general manager of the management firm for MBFC, said two-thirds of the 150,000 sq m of office space in the project's first phase had been pre-leased, but conceded that some tenants might choose to sub-let space if they could not fill it.

The US$2 billion development, built by a venture between Cheung Kong Holdings, Hongkong Land and Keppel Land, will eventually provide over 300,000 sq m of office space.

'Given the current uncertainty in the global economy, we expect some caution from larger corporations with their leasing commitments,' Mr Kwong said.

'But many international companies still see Asia as an engine of growth and are confident of Singapore's role as a key hub in the regional and global financial systems.'

In Tokyo, more gloom will fall on the property market because Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will probably scale back their Japanese property investments, said Credit Suisse analyst Yoji Otani.

As they switch to commercial banks regulated by the US Federal Reserve, the two investment banks are expected to sell high-risk assets such as properties and unlock equity in real estate funds to meet capital adequacy requirements.

Mr Otani predicted falling values will be accompanied by a 5 per cent fall in average Tokyo office rents next year and a 10 per cent drop for grade-B buildings.

Spoilt For Choice

Source : The Business Times, September 26, 2008

Home buyers have a wide range of projects to choose from that will match their lifestyles

PROPERTY investment requires substantial capital outlay and it takes a longer time to dispose of it compared to other assets like shares, especially in a soft market. Important factors to consider before making a purchase therefore include:

# Purpose of purchase, ie whether for owner-occupation or investment;

# Your budget and the price of the property;

# Surrounding environment;

# Proximity to amenities such as MRT stations, schools, and shopping centres;

# Rental and resale values (especially if you are buying for investment);

# and Reputation of the developer.

Many of these factors are related to location, which is often cited as the most important criterion in property purchase. Besides the traditional prime districts 9, 10 and 11, there are other areas worth considering.

The east coast has always been a favourite among Singaporeans, being close to the city and beach, easily accessible to the airport, and with many amenities like shopping, food and beverage, and the Marina Bay golf course. Faced with high rents in the prime districts, the East Coast has also become a popular alternative with many expatriates.

Joo Chiat and Katong are rich in the culture of Eurasian and Peranakan communities, and their food and architecture. Residents in the East Coast will also enjoy proximity to the Sports Hub when it is completed in a few years' time. Besides Parkway Parade and Kallang Leisure Park, the Sports Hub will offer 441,000 sq ft of commercial space and the redevelopment of Katong Mall is expected to have about 185 retail units.

There are ample choices of developments to suit different budgets. Developments with sea views such as The Belvedere, Water Place and Sanctuary Green enjoy strong leasing interest with monthly median rentals ranging from $3.80 to $4.50 per sq ft.

The last three years have seen other areas getting popular as they offer alternative quality lifestyle living.

Waterfront living, which in the past had been mostly confined to the east and by the Singapore River, gathered momentum in the last few years with areas like Sentosa Cove, Keppel Bay and Marina Bay coming up.

Sentosa Cove offers luxurious houses and condominiums with sea or canal views, and more than 50 per cent of the buyers are foreigners. Many of the properties are bought as weekend or holiday homes. Keppel Bay offers exhilarating views of Sentosa, ships cruising in and out of the harbour front and pleasure boats berthed at Marina at Keppel Bay.

Since the completion of Caribbean at Keppel Bay in 2004, the Harbourfront area has livened up with many lifestyle amenities such as VivoCity, St James Power Station, Marina at Keppel Bay and Jewel Box at Mount Faber.

Future developments that residents in Sentosa Cove and Keppel Bay can look forward to are the integrated resort at Sentosa and the government's development of the Southern Ridges and waterfront.

The Southern Ridges, Labrador area and Keppel waterfront will collectively form a major recreational and leisure destination at the southern part of Singapore. Already bridge connections have been made to link the 9km chain of green, open spaces across Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park. Soon, an elevated boardwalk over the sea will be built skirting the foothills of Bukit Chermin, and connect eastwards to the future promenade at The Reflections at Keppel Bay condominium project and westwards to Labrador Park.

According to URA statistics, Caribbean at Keppel Bay consistently enjoys one of the highest rentals among condominiums islandwide. Its median rent was $6.40 per sq ft in 2Q 2008. The potential supply in the area is fairly limited. Besides the uncompleted The Reflections at Keppel Bay, with 507 units available out of a total 1,129 units as at end 2Q 2008, the only other projects in the pipeline in the area are 307 units on a parcel next to Caribbean at Keppel Bay and 94 units on Keppel Island.

At Marina Bay, there will be plenty of buzz from the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, Marina Bay Shoppes, and events and activities that are being/will be held in the bay. Marina Bay Shoppes will provide 800,000 sq ft of retail space, close to the one million sq ft in VivoCity. Nearby is the uncompleted Gardens at Marina South which will provide nature relief from the hustle and bustle.

Tiong Bahru, with its MRT station, Tiong Bahru Plaza, conserved buildings, Tiong Bahru market and hawker centre and freehold condominiums like Twin Regency, Regency Suites and The Regency at Tiong Bahru, has a strong following for its convenience of transport and amenities. The area is attractive with many expatriates and working professionals who like the quaint living environment near their workplaces. Monthly rents of Twin Regency, which was completed in 2007, are generally above $4.50 per sq ft.

Other growing fringe city areas are at Selegie and Beach Road/Kallang area. Both are near the Bras Basah/Bugis area which is developing nicely into a bustling arts, cultural, entertainment and education hub. The rich history and conserved shophouses at Beach Road and Kampong Glam offer a variety of experiences with their traditional trades, interesting shops and food outlets. Nearby at Bugis, Illuma will be completed soon by end of the year.

At Selegie, there are upcoming malls like Wilkie Edge, while Tekka Mall is being re-positioned and re-named The Verge. New residential developments include Parc Emily and Parc Mackenzie. Monthly rents of Parc Emily are at least $4.50 per sq ft while some units were recently sold for about $1,100 to $1,200 per sq ft. Projects currently available for sale include Parc Sophia and Mount Sophia Suites, with the latter not fully released.

At the Beach Road/Kallang area, the government plans to develop the Ophir-Rochor corridor into a vibrant office cluster for financial and business institutions that will complement the financial district at Marina Bay and Raffles Place. The Circle Line will further enhance the accessibility and connectivity of the vicinity.

Further up at Kallang Riverside, plans are announced in the draft Master Plan 2008 to develop it into a commercial hub with a residential enclave capitalising on the beach and waterfront. Launched at about $1,400 per sq ft last year, The Riverine by the Park, a 96-unit development at Kallang Road, was well-received and fully sold in weeks. A more recent launch is Concourse Skyline with selling price of $1,500-$1,800 per sq ft, which will be able to take advantage of an area that is anticipated to grow into a sought-after mixed commercial and residential area at the city fringe and with waterfront views of the Kallang River and the sea.

Property buyers are now spoilt for choice, as more areas take off, backed by the government's plan to introduce city living and develop different parts of the island to provide for varied lifestyle needs. Understanding the attractions and potential of each area is therefore important so that it will be easier to sell or rent the property that is purchased and to ensure that there is better capital protection or appreciation.

Chua Chor Hoon is senior director, while Ong Kah Seng is assistant manager, DTZ Research Singapore

4年价涨20万 达士岭卖剩组屋再推出供选购

Source : 《联合早报》September 27, 2008

建屋发展局昨天在抽签选购制度下,推出达士岭(The Pinnacle@Duxton)卖剩的428个摩天组屋单位。其中最引人注目的是,一个约五房式大小的新组屋要价64万6000元,比四年前首次推出时高出20多万元。























“子承父业”设计 莱佛士坊一号紧贴华联

Source :《联合早报》September 26, 2008

大华银行将耗资5亿4000万元,与华联中心有限公司联手发展莱佛士坊一号(One Raffles Place)。

这栋38层楼高的办公大楼将紧贴现有的华联中心大厦(OUB Centre)而建,可以说是华联中心的第二大厦。


受委负责这项工程的建筑师丹下宪孝(Paul Tange)说:“对我来说,(莱佛士坊一号)是一个很特别的项目,因为原来的华联中心大厦是我父亲在20多年前设计的。这是他设计的首几栋摩天大楼之一,一直到20年后的今天它仍是全世界首100栋摩天大楼之一。”

丹下宪孝是已故建筑师丹下健三(Kenzo Tange)的儿子。丹下健三曾经获得建筑界的诺贝尔奖Pritzer奖,属于殿堂级的国际建筑大师。丹下健三在1988年设计的华联中心大厦,高280公尺共60层,这不但是当时新加坡最高建筑物,也是美国以外世界最高建筑物。






华联中心有限公司已委任仲量联行和世邦魏理仕为莱佛士一号的房地产代理,负责该办公楼的招租活动。仲量联行(新加坡与东南亚地区)董事经理傅司克(Chris Fossick)说,2010年后新加坡虽然会增添一些新的办公楼供应量,但位于莱佛士坊的不多,除了莱佛士一号,只有海峡商行大楼(Straits Trading Building)和海洋金融中心(Ocean Financial Centre)。