Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Marina Bay Suites sells fast; let the good times roll

As posted in on 25 Nov 2009 by Francis

We are getting some unconfirmed reports on the ground that Marina Bay Suites is moving fast and that there is quite a crowd at the sales gallery.

The prices were lower than expected and start from ~$18xx psf. Units on the lower floors were released first, although it seems more have been made available due to good response. It seems at least one stack was said to have been sold out by mid afternoon.

If the good times keep rolling for the rest of the day, we expect around half a billion dollars or more to have exchange hands on paper at the Marina Bay today.

Some property enthusiasts online have even compared this 'feeling' with the 2007 bull run, which started at the same place in late 2006.

So the much awaited Marina Bay Suites which was held back for a year or two will finally preview tomorrow.

Word on the street is that this launch is very closely watched by key industry players, as sales performance for this project will be regarded as a forward indicator for next year’s luxury market sentiment.

Another reason why this project is so important is because the high prices would set new benchmarks for projects nearby such as The Sail, Marina Bay Residences and One Shenton. From what we heard - Marina Bay Suites is being marketed as a luxury project a few notches above other projects in the immediate area. Guesstimated price? Anywhere from $2,XXX - $3,XXX psf.

Here is the schedule of the preview event tomorrow 25 Nov 2009 (Wednesday):

  • 9am to 10:30am – Developer’s Staff preview
  • 10am to 10:30am - Developer’s VVIP
  • 10:30am to 12pm – Agency’s VIP (those who has submitted cheque)
  • 12pm onwards – Guests

2nd Floor Link Bridge between One Raffles Place (ORQ) and The Sail at Marina Bay.
Registration for VIP and Guests at 1st level of ORQ Atrium near the escalator.

Looking at the tight timing from 9am to 12pm, it seems that the developers are either very confident of the crowd tomorrow or are using pressure cooker sales tactics – making everything seem so hot by squeezing in as many people as possible in the shortest time…

How do you buy a home in 30mins? I don’t know.

Capital Gains to EC owners

CBRE: Executive Condo median prices rise 63 per cent

As posted in on 24 Nov 2009 by John

According to CBRE, the median prices of Executive Condos (EC) have risen a whopping 63% over the past two years. Median resale prices for ECs in 2009 were at $519 psf compared to Q3 2006 when it was at $319 psf. Helped no doubt by the property boom this year. The owners of ECs like La Casa will surely have a very big smile on their faces!

It seems that ECs are worth a second look! There will be two EC plots of land on the confirmed list next year. Read on to find out where they are.

One of them will be in Yishun Avenue 11 (which will surely give The Estuary a huge run for their money) and the other at Buangkok Drive/Compassvale Bow. Keep a look out for tenders coming up in the first half of next year. Find their exact locations.

ECs are a sort of HDB/Condo hybrid, similar to DBSS but with more strings attached. They were built to bridge the gap between condos and HDB during the property boom in 1996 when condo prices were sky high.

CBRE says that the price gap between ECs and mass-market condos is now at 14%.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Property Launches Preview of Marina Bay Suites

Marina Bay Suites finally launching

As posted in on 29 Oct 2009 by Francis

Note: The Sail's two towers have been omitted in this rendering...

It seems like the luxury Marina Bay Suites is finally launching after almost 2 years. Sources have confirmed that agents will be briefed about the project before the week ends. This project first came under our radar in early 2008 when we received early plans of the development.

Additionally, there have been some murmurs recently going on about reconfiguration of Marina Bay Suites to accommodate 2BR units or even Studios. While these are all just rumors (until we confirm it!), it does seem to make a little sense for the developers to cash in on the "Mickey Mouse" fever we have seen lately. The original plan was for 110 4BR units, 108 3BR units and 3 penthouses (221 total ) as seen below:

Original project details (Jan 2008):
Marina Bay suites is located just south of the sail (left bottom) and east of One Raffles Quay South tower. Units peek out at the Marina Bay and overlooks Central Linear Park. The bay view starts from the southern tower of The Sail and extends east to MBFC Commercial Tower 1.

Facilities of Marina Bay Suites.

More facilities for Marina Bay Suites.

Example of a 4BR floorplan.

Example of a 3BR floorplan

Stacks 3 and 4 are 3BR units, Stacks 1 and 2 with better views are 4BR units.

Lease: 99 years (wef 8 March 2007)
Site Area: 57,047 sqft
Address: Khiang Guan Avenue (to be confirmed)
Developer: Cheung Kong (Holdings)/ Hutchison Whampoa, Hongkong Land and Keppel Land)
Estimated TOP: 2012
Floors: 66
Units: 221 total
3BR (108)
4BR (110)
Penthouse (3)
Typical Sizes:
3BR (1572 - 1628 sqft)
4BR (2045 - 2691 sqft)
Penthouse (4682, 8181 sqft)

Major Facilities:
  • Lap Pool
  • Wading Pool
  • Entertainment Terrace with BBQ areas
  • Spa Lounges
  • Gym
  • Steam Room with male and female changing rooms

Other facilities:
  • Landscaped Garden
  • Sun Decks
  • Terrace Deck
  • Quiet Corner
  • Reflecting Pool
  • Sky Cabanas
  • Yoga Deck
  • Massage Terraces & Tea Decks
  • Lounge Terraces
  • Look-out Deck
  • Outdoor Dining Areas
  • Function Room
  • Games Room

There you go folks, but remember all these details are from 2 years ago so take it with a pinch of salt. If anyone gets their hands on updated floor plans (or a proper rendering of the actual building!) do send it in!

The Marina Bay Suites is touted to be a luxury project, which could mean a steeper Per Square Foot price than what is currently seen in The Sail or Marina Bay Residences.

Preview of Marina Bay Suites next week

As posted in Business Times by Kalpana Rashiwala

AFTER an almost two-year wait, Marina Bay Suites will finally be previewed next Wednesday to VVIPs and invited buyers, BT understands.

Pricing for the preview has not been finalised, but some market watchers suggest it could be a shade below $2,500 per sq ft on average. Others tip the average price at about $2,300 psf. No interest absorption scheme will be offered.

Early last year - when the 99-year leasehold project was expected to be released - the average price was tipped at about $2,800 psf.

The 66-storey condo block has 221 units, comprising 218 three- or four-room apartments and three penthouses.

Three-bedders range from about 1,570 to 1,620 sq ft; four-bedders will be 2,050 to almost 2,700 sq ft. The penthouses include two duplex units of about 4,700 and 8,100 sq ft and a single-level unit of around 5,600 sq ft.

Marina Bay Suites was due to be released early last year, but steadily worsening market conditions that culminated in the global financial slump meant the project could not be released in 2008. In March this year, Keppel Land - which is part of the consortium developing the condo - confirmed the project's construction was deferred.

The other members of the consortium are Hongkong Land and Cheung Kong Holdings/ Hutchison Whampoa. Marina Bay Suites will be the second residential project on the Business and Financial Centre site, which the consortium bagged in a Singapore Government tender in 2005.

The first residential project - the 428-unit Marina Bay Residences (MBR) - sold out in three days in December 2006. The 55-storey development achieved an average price in the region of $1,850 psf, according to a statement by the developer at the time.

Many buyers flipped their units - in some cases within days of their purchase - for handsome gains as high as $1 million or even more for four-bedroom units that face Marina Bay.

MBR has one and two-bedroom units in addition to three and four-bedders. The project, along with the neighbouring completed development, The Sail @ Marina Bay, continues to make news in the secondary market. Sources say a 900 sq ft bay-front unit on the 50th floor at The Sail sold recently for about $3,000 psf, while a 30-odd storey four-bedder at MBR facing the bay fetched just above $2,700 psf.

Marina Bay Suites' preview will be held on the mezzanine level of One Raffles Quay.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Adria in District 11 for the expats

Adria from FEO launching soon

As posted in on 19 Nov 2009 by Francis

Far East Organization seems to be defying the market sentiment and launching the Adria. But perhaps the right time to move in is when everything is all quiet!

There are few details about the Adria, but what makes it yummy is it's Freehold status in prime District 11, just off Orchard Road. For the uninformed, District 11 is a well-known fishing pond for corporate leases to expats.


  • 28M Lap Pool
  • Spa Pavilion
  • Lounge Pool
  • Spa seats
  • Sunbathing Deck
  • Water Pavilion
  • Garden Pavilion
  • Gymnasium

Artist's impression of the lobby.

Siteplan of the Adria.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Singapore declares recession over

Singapore on Thursday declared a severe recession over as data showed its economy grew for the second straight quarter in the three months to September.

Official data released Thursday showed gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 14.2 percent in the July-September period on a quarter-on-quarter annualised basis following a 21.7 percent surge in the previous quarter.

"Effectively, the recession in Singapore is over," Ravi Menon, the permanent secretary with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), said at a media briefing.

Year-on-year, Singapore's GDP grew 0.6 percent in the third quarter compared with a 3.3 percent contraction in the April-June period, the MTI said in its third quarter economic survey.

In its outlook for 2010, the ministry forecasted economic growth of 3.0-5.0 percent while maintaining its existing projection of a contraction of 2.0-2.5 percent this year.

Singapore's trade-reliant economy was the first in Asia to sink into a recession last year as the global downturn hit demand for its exports, especially from the United States.

Friday, November 13, 2009

HDB 4-room Flat for S$653,000.00

Record $673 per square foot for Queenstown HDB flat

As posted in on 13 Nov 2009 by Francis

An Indonesian Permanent Resident (PR) and a Singaporean woman paid $674 per square foot (psf) or $653,000 in total for a 4rm flat in Queenstown. This breaks the earlier record of $609psf made in January 2008.

Are we surprised? Nope. With the flexible PR policy, lack of immediate supply, skyrocketing mass market condo prices and most importantly location...this was bound to happen sooner or later.

The unit is found along Strathmore Avenue, and if you are wondering why it sounds so familiar...that's because it is shares the same street address as the much anticipated Dawson Build-To-order next month. Even if we exclude the $68,000 cash-over-valuation, we are guessing the previous owners would still have made a killing from the difference of the original don't say we didn't tip you on whats hot! (Editor: Application for TOTO BTO is only $10...)

But before everyone starts asking their agent to sell their flats at $674 psf, here are some prices to put that price into perspective:

So with $653k, you could get a brand new 4rm Sengkang flat plus a brand new Mercedes-Benz E200 Class Saloon and $100k+ to spend on rims the wife.

*Average Price October '09
** URA September '09
via Straits Times


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Land Parcel Upper Thomson winner revealed

As posted in on 9 Nov 2009 by John

Upper Thomson land parcel winner revealed

We should have known there was a Hong Kong hand behind the bid. Just look at the bid numbers - 251338668. The bidder, Treasure Well Investments, is actually a unit of Cheung Kong Holdings, which belongs to - who else - Hong Kong's richest tycoon Li Ka-Shing.

If you've been hiding under a rock, Li Ka-Shing is one of the world's richest men (#16 at $16.2 billon). Singapore's richest - Far East's Ng Teng Fong - is at #118 with a paltry $6.1 billion. No wonder Far East lost the bid (they were second)!

The question is: are they overpaying? Their bid was a good 21.5% over Far East's. Are they flush with funds thanks to the property boom in China and Hong Kong? Maybe. But we think the answer is simpler: they have better feng-shui masters.

As you know Cheung Kong's bid was a nice $251,338,668.00. It shows far greater detail and thoughtfulness, all the way down to the dollar. Far East's on the other hand, was a mere $206,800,000.00. Where are the combo threes and the sixes?

On a more serious note, according to their spokesperson, they plan to build around 340 to 350 units. They added that the breakeven cost will be around $850 to $900 psf.

They seem to be quite confident, Mr Raymond Chui, GM of the group's Singapore-based unit Property Enterprises Development tells the Business Times,

We've done our sums. The site is in a very good location and we have confidence in the future of the Singapore property market.

Far East's bid came in at $206.8m, which works out to $438.8 psf ppr, suggesting a breakeven of price around $840psf and a potential selling price of around $940-$1,040 psf. Cheung Kong Holding's on the other hand works out to a potential selling price of $1,000-$1,100psf.

Note to Ng Teng Fong, time to get a new geomancer!

Fifth reserve site triggered by developer; The Gardens at Bishan might lose view

Another plot of land on the Reserve List at Upper Thomson Road will be put up for public tender. This is the fifth that has been triggered since July.

Located in District 20, this 99yr leasehold residential parcel sits close to the reservoir and squarely in mass market condominium land.

Residents of The Gardens at Bishan(plot ratio 2.5) will be very disappointed considering this plot sits in the way of their currently unblocked reservoir view, although the plot ratio of this new parcel of land is slightly lower at 2.1.

The new land parcel will be in the way of the wonderful reservoir view of The Gardens at Bishan. (Image for illustration purpose only).

The land parcel is 20,847.7 square meters large and has a maximum permissable gross floor area of 43,781 square meters.

The previous land parcel winner for the seletar site was won by Far East Organization only recently. Are Singaporeans really so hard up for mass market condos, or is this going to be tragedy of the masses?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Property Launches Parvis at Holland Hill

Preview 1st week November 2009

As posted in on 10 Oct 2009 by Francis

Located at Holland Hill, off Holland Road and Queensway, Parvis (formerly known as Holland Hill Mansion) boasts a popular address well-received by both locals and expatriates. Nestled in a quiet neighbourhood in the desirable district 10, the residential redevelopment of this well-located purchase parcel is one to look out for! This prime lot is highly accessible via major trunk roads, such as Holland Road, Queensway and Farrer Road. Potential residents can also look forward to ready MRT access with the completion of nearby Circle Line Stations, Farrer MRT Station and Holland MRT Station, expected to be in operation by 2010. Prestigious schools such as Anglo Chinese School International and St. Margaret’s Secondary School are also situated in close proximity. Urban comforts are also a short ride away, with Holland Village and Orchard Road offering a variety of exclusive lifestyle indulgences.

Parvis at Holland Hill also has big units

Parvis at Holland Hill has got big and comfortable looking units, bucking the trend of tiny units. The project is located at the former Holland Hill Mansion site close to Holland Village and is part of District 10.

2rm units without Private Enclosed Space (PES) come in a standard size of 990 sqft and are by far some of the larger ones we have seen lately. The 3rm units without PES also have a uniform size of 1,701 sqft while the 4rm units start from 1,991 sqft. Notably, units with PES have the extra space clearly spelled out in the brochure and are approximately anywhere from 333 - 785 sqft.

The 4rm master bedrooms are luxurious with room even for a seperate bathtub and shower. In general, the rooms have squarish layouts without those oddly shaped corners.

The location of Parvis at Holland Hill.

The siteplan superimposed on a satellite image (for rough illustration purposes only).

Project Details:

Lease: Freehold
Site Area: 243,527 sqft
Address: 12, 16, 18 Holland Hill
Developer: Ho Bee Group and MCL Land
Estimated TOP: 2013
Floors: 12
Units: 248 total, 2rm (51) , 3rm (100), 4rm (76), Penthouse (21)
Typical Sizes:
2rm (990 sqft, 1,195 sqft, 1,442 sqft)
3rm (1,701 sqft, 2,002 sqft, 2,260 sqft)
4rm (1,991 sqft, 2,013 sqft, 2,325 sqft, 2,347 sqft, 2,583 sqft, 2605 sqft)
Penthouse (2,293 sqft - 3,229 sqft)
Carpark: 273

Unit distribution for the project.

Unit distribution for block 12.

  • Junior Pool
  • Lap Pool
  • Dip Pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Steam rooms
  • Clubhouse
  • Gym
  • Multi-purpose Room
  • BBQ
  • Playground
  • Fitness Station
  • Tennis Court
Updated siteplan:

Stacks 11-25 now get a healthy dose of west sun at an angle. Stacks 1-10 have a lovely North-south facing.

Siteplan showing facilities and stack numbers.

The 2rm layouts mostly come in one standard size.

The 3rm units are pretty big. But note the large balcony and planter.

The huge 4rm units with a luxurious looking bathroom.

Rendering of the pool side.

Another rendering of the lounge area by the pool.

They enbloc Holland Hill Mansions at S$749.39psf/ppr so add another S$500psf for construction, S$200psf for profit. A good guess should be around S$1,450psf to S$1,500psf.

Latest Update: Parvis going for an average of $1480 psf

85 of the 248 units are being launched this week at an average price of $1,480psf. The 12-storey freehold condo at Holland Hill is jointly developed by Ho Bee and MCL Land. That works out to about $1.62m for a 990sqft 2BR and $3.02m for a 1,991aqft 4BR.

Somehow we don't see huge crowds thronging the showrooms. Where have all the mass market condo launches gone? Are all the landbanks used up?

Via Business Times- "Ho Bee, MCL launching Parvis condo at $1,480 psf average"

Latest 11 November 2009

Parvis sells 51 units, Trilight moves 61 units

With the opening of the two integrated resorts round the corner, will the luxury and high end market gain momentum as many punters have been anticipating, or has all the hype been priced in already?

Although not a sell out crowd, it seems that there are some hints of movement at Parvis at Holland Hill and Trilight - Parvis sold 51 units while Trilight has moved 61 units to date. Parvis comprises of 248 units, Trilight has 205 in total.

Both of these condos are considered to be in the mid to high end range, with Parvis (District 10) calling an average price of $1,480 and Trilight (District 11) asking for $1,650psf.

Interestingly, the units that moved the most at Parvis were 4BR units. Fourteen 3BR and fifteen 2BR units were also sold at the development. However the interest still seems very much localized with Singaporeans picking up 39 of the 51 units sold.

Aside from that, it does not take a genius to notice that the market has been eerily pretty quiet. But we detect some undercurrent...perhaps all the developers are waiting for the IRs to open and ride on the frenzy, rolling out not-seen-before projects at never-seen-before prices.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Foreigners are buying again

As posted in on 5 Nov 2009 by John

More foreigners buying our private homes

Savills Singapore has confirmed what most of us already know by now - foreign buyers are on the rise. According to their research, foreigners (including PRs) bought 22.7% of homes during July-Sept this year. A huge increase from the 15.2% recorded in Jan-Mar this year. Not only that, China has overtaken India as the 3rd largest group of foreign buyers after Malaysia and Indonesia.

Malaysian and Chinese buyers favoured homes under $1m, while Indonesians preferred more expensive homes ranging from $1.5m to $5m. Favourite among the buyers are Sophia Residence, Caribbean at Keppel Bay, Ascentia Sky, One Devonshire and Viva (looks like the Indonesians were cashing in on our low low prices).

According the Straits Times,

Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of residential, Ms Jacqueline Wong, said the firm has had rising interest from new potential buyers from India, China and Russia in the past four months.

‘We are one of the places they are considering. They see Singapore as a safe haven,’ said Ms Wong.

A senior private banker at a foreign bank said: ‘We are seeing some clients consider buying a Singapore property as one of a string of homes they have around the world. Luxury homes have come down 30 per cent from the peak, so they are better value now.’

DTZ’s Ms Chua said foreign buyers see the growing attraction of Singapore as a global city and expect prices to keep rising as the economy strengthens.

‘Prices of prime and luxurious units have not reached 2007 levels and there is still the potential of capital appreciation depending on the rate of economic recovery,’ she said.

Wow, looks like there's plenty of foreign money coming in, hmm...I wonder where all this money is coming from (WSJ-"Fears of a New Bubble as Cash Pours In").

Via Straits Times - "Foreigners back in private home market". Fancy graphic here.