Tuesday, May 19, 2009

US Housing Starts Slump

Source : The Straits Times, May 19, 2009

US home building starts, permits fall to record lows

WASHINGTON - US HOUSING starts and building permits slumped in April to record lows, highlighting the crisis in the real-estate sector as the economy struggles with recession, government data showed on Tuesday.

Housing starts plunged 12.8 per cent from March, to 458,000 units. -- PHOTO: AFP

The number of construction permits on new US homes fell to an annual rate of 494,000, a decline of 3.3 per cent from March, the Commerce Department reported in seasonally adjusted data.

The pace was the lowest since the data began to be tracked in 1960 and eclipsed the prior record set in March of a revised 511,000 permits.

The April decline surprised most analysts, who had expected a rebound in the indicator of the future direction of the housing market, to 530,000 permits.

Housing starts plunged 12.8 per cent from March, to 458,000 units, the lowest level since that data began to be tracked in 1959. -- AFP

Price Cuts Draw Buyers To 3 Condo Relaunches

Source : The Straits Times, May 19 2009

Prices of Parc Centennial were about 20 per cent lower than last year’s.

THREE prime condominium projects that struggled to generate interest last year saw a surge of buyer activity over the weekend after developers cut their prices.

Parc Centennial sold 32 units at $1,115 psf to $1,233 psf over the weekend – PHOTO: EL DEVELOPMENT.

The freehold 19-storey Parc Centennial in Kampong Java Road - where all 51 units are served by private lifts - sold 32 units at $1,115 per square foot (psf) to $1,233 psf, or from $1.27 million to $1.93 million. This price level is about 20 per cent lower than last year's $1,450 psf, and the interest absorption scheme is included.

Developer EL Development sold only six units in April and May last year when the project was originally released for sale. And at a private preview in March this year, it sold a 2,486 sq ft penthouse unit for $1,005 psf.

It held a preview this past weekend and has now sold all the two-bedroom units, which start from 1,098 sq ft. The three-bedders increase in size to 1,572 sq ft.

Managing director Lim Yew Soon said he had raised the prices of the remaining 12 three-bedroom units at Parc Centennial by 2 per cent.

Over at the 302-unit Martin Place Residences in River Valley, a soft launch over the weekend saw sales of 80 units at $1,450 psf on average, out of a total of 100 units launched.

Developer Frasers Centrepoint Homes said the 'attractive pricing' drew buyers. It released units priced from $1,260 psf to $1,700 psf, compared with the initial 28 units sold at $1,700 psf to $2,000 psf last year.

Singaporeans made up 62 per cent of the buyers at Martin Place Residences, with the rest being permanent residents and foreigners.

Earlier, CapitaLand had reported strong weekend sales at its 173-unit The Wharf Residence. About 95 per cent of the buyers chose not to take up the stamp duty waiver and interest absorption, preferring a straight 8 per cent price cut, it said yesterday.

Prices started at just below $1,000 psf for units with private enclosed space and many of the weekend deals were done at less than $1,300 psf, industry sources said.

Attractive price cuts, coupled with the recent stock market rally and a fear of losing out, are some of the key factors spurring buyer interest, experts said.

Compared with the situation late last year, buyers are more confident and developers seem to be taking advantage of improving sentiment to relaunch projects at attractive prices, said PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail.

Eight Winners For BCA Awards

Source : The Business Times, May 19 2009

6 awards, 2 merit certificates to be given for excellence.

Six awards and two certificates of merit will be given out in the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Construction Excellence Awards this year, out of 15 nominations.

There was notable improvement in the quality of the projects and performance of the winners, BCA said.

Citylights Condominium is one of the winning projects.

Of the eight winners, five were private residential developments.

Woh Hup won two Construction Excellence Awards for their projects Blossoms @ Woodleigh and Icon this year, both private residential developments achieving high Conquas (Construction Quality Assessment) points of 92.6 and 90.4 respectively.

The company built nine out of 16 private residential projects which have a Conquas score of 90 and above, and seven of these have also received the BCA Quality Mark certification.

The other winning projects are St Regis Hotel, Residences @ Evelyn, Citylights Condominium, The Tresor, Ferry Terminal at Marina Coastal Drive and 36 Kaki Bukit Place.

The assessment of nominations is based on the builder's overall management of the project, the builder's technical capability and innovations, and the quality of the completed project.

Launched in 1986, the annual competition principally recognises builders' workmanship, focusing on downstream post-design work such as project management, technical capability and quality of the completed project.

BCA added that about 44 per cent of units launched last year were committed to their BCA Quality Mark Scheme, which seeks to ensure the consistent delivery of quality homes from a prescribed standard.

About 26,000 residential units have been committed or assessed to date.

Projects that received the mark have reportedly scored much higher in Conquas and received little or less feedback on defects, BCA said.

Potential major defects and leakages in about five per cent of total units assessed were also detected and rectified before being handed over to home owners.

The awards ceremony will be held next Wednesday.

通过削价刺激买气 三房产上周末卖出八成

Source : 《联合早报》May 19, 2009

发展商继续通过削价策略来刺激买气,让楼市的温度持续延烧。上个周末,几个新项目——Parc Centennial、Martin Place Residences和The Wharf Residences,都在削价5%至25%后,将推出的单位卖个七七八八。


Martin Place Residences去年2月以每方英尺1700元至2000元预售,这一次降价15%至25%,结果成功吸引到一些买家回头,卖出另80个单位。



星狮地产(Frasers Centrepoint)的Martin Place Residences曾经在去年2月举行过预售活动。由于当时的价格高达每平方英尺1700元至2000元,所以只卖出28个单位。






益民林发展(EL Development)也在这个周末,将Parc Centennial的售价压低至每平方英尺平均1200元。这比它在去年4月预售时的每平方英尺1400元调低了大约15%。


至于嘉德置地的The Wharf Residence,也在上个周末卖出上百个单位。这个靠近莫罕默苏丹路和罗拨申码头的999年地契项目,去年有公寓以每平方英尺1429元至1708元成交。这一次,发展商却将售价调低至每平方英尺1300元至1600元,下调5%至10%,结果成功卖出大约134个单位,也就是八成的单位。


The Wharf Residence共有173个公寓单位,以及13间受保留旧店屋。公寓单位介于1012至2196平方英尺,店屋则介于4478至4930平方英尺。