Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Breakfast in bed at The Residences at W Singapore, Sentosa

The Residences at W looks awesome! Why?

  • Apparently, shared concierge services with the luxury W Hotel
  • Next to Sentosa Cove arrival plaza (North Cove)
  • Beside Retail & F&B on Sentosa Island
  • View of marina
  • Beside One Degree 15 Marina Club

Now the only thing missing is its own beach front!

The Residences at W is located next to the luxury W hotel, along the northern cove.

The W Hotel is expected to be opening in 2012.

Gosh. Imagine living in a condo (next to a hotel) with all your hotel concierge/room services plus buggy drivers, pool attendants, security guards and berthing facilities (34 berths, ~$3,000 a year)! While you probably will pay through your nose for hotel standard room service breakfast, if you can live there you sure can afford it.

Also, the Hotel & Residences' Clubhouse will be linked through a basement connection. Finally monthly maintainence fees are going somewhere useful (anyone knows how much?).

Well sorry we got caught up in all of that, now lets get to the details:

Tenure: 99 years with effect from 31 Oct 2006
District: 4
Developer: Cityview Place Holdings Pte Ltd (City Development Limited)
Site Area: ~23,263.40 sqm / 250,407 sqft
Plot Ratio: 1.6
Estimated TOP: 30 Oct 2012
Blocks: 7
Floors: 6
Units: 244 total, 2BR(42), 3BR(86), 4BR(66), PH(34)

Notable Facilities:
  • Concierge Services (W Hotel)
  • Clubhouse (linked to hotel?)
  • Gym
  • Jacuzzi
  • Steam bath
  • BBQ
  • Pool
  • Berths

~Unit Sizes:

  • 2BR (1,227 and 1,292 sqft)
  • 3BR (1,625 and 2,616 sqft)
  • 4BR (2,067 and 2,486 sqft)
  • PH various (2,217 and 6,297 sqft)

The 2BR apartments seem yummy, although they are sized more like standard 3BR. The biggest Penthouse is touted to have 5 bedrooms and is huge at 6,297 sqft. FYI it seems like there is only Normal Progressive Payment, and the payment schedule is already halfway into itself.

So how? Want something really different in Singapore? Then check out the W Residences! And if you are going to rattle on about the negatives living in a 'condotel' *yawn* we heard it all before already!!!

Images: brochure, W Hotel website

As posted in by Francis

Monday, March 29, 2010

The silver property market

So what is the next big thing in the property market? Well...the silver property market and we are not talking about commodities!

Apart from riding the usual wave of boom and bust property cycles and flipping Marina bay and Sentosa apartments, you might want to find out more about this interesting segment: "property for aging people".

With at least 1.2 billion aging people in Asia (at least according to the brochure we found), it seems like some big time local private developers such as Frasers Centrepoint Homes and Tong Eng Group are taking the lead and already moving into the arena, and its not hard to understand why.

Singapore itself has a graying population with locals not responding to all kinds of monetary aphrodisiacs the government is dangling at us. In fact, we have been noticing lots of studios meant for the elderly being included in HDB flats recently...which means even the government is anticipating this in a big way (see: Studios in recent BTO launches, paired units in Dawson).

Artist's illustration of a HDB paired unit found in a recent BTO project SkyTerrace@Dawson, top unit for elderly, bottom unit for family.

And knowing our readers so well, we think by now a dozen of you must be drawing up plans to buy a bunch of aged friendly apartments to run a classy "gentleman's club" retirement home for the rich. The yields might be awesome, or at least better than the measly 3-4% rental yield we are receiving now.

Anyway, we MIGHT be heading for this event with a number of local and International bigshots speaking there and telling us about the potential of the market:

  • Dr Steven Choo, CEO, REDAS

  • Mr Cheang Kok Kheong, COO, Frasers Centre Point Homes, Singapore

  • Mr Daniel Teo, Chairman & MD, Hong How Group & Director, Tong Eng Group Singapore

  • Mr Edward Wong, Managing Director, AWP Pte Ltd, Architects, Singapore

  • Dato' Bill Ch'ng, President & CEO, Malaysia Pacific Corporation Berhad, Malaysia (speaking about S$2b resort township in Iskandar Malaysia)

Er...ok so this little event we discovered is actually for CEOs and senior level decision makers...which makes us all the more want to slip in and rub shoulders with them!

via Ageing Asia Investment Forum 2010 (brochure link here)

Image: HDB

As posted in by Francis

Pender Court up for en bloc

Pender Court, the 48-unit, District 4 apartment located just off Telok Blangah Road is now up for en bloc. Sitting at the foot of Mount Faber, the owners are hoping for a $100m-$108m windfall.

This is their second attempt at selling their home. They had already pocketed $12m from a failed en bloc back in April 2008 when the initial buyer decided to cut their losses.

This en bloc is the sixth one since the beginning of 2010. So far the outlook for a successful en bloc looks rather dim given the sizable number of available residential plots put out by the Government this year.

As posted in by John

Private resale home prices erupt: highest ever

Private home prices have never been higher before - at least according to Savills Singapore. This seems to be happening just when measured measures were supposed to be working. Perhaps this will give even more for the government to think about.

According to Savills Singapore, a report said that average prices for non-landed private resale homes have gone beyond the 2007 peak by 6%, and surpassed by it by 15.6% for landed homes - in short we are staring at some of the highest levels ever seen in Singapore's history:

Average resale mass market prices: $662 psf (Jan,Feb 2010), up from $555 psf (2007)*
Average resale mid market prices: $886 psf (Jan,Feb 2010), up from $740 psf (2007)*
Average resale high end market prices: $1,425 psf (Jan,Feb 2010), up from $1,254 psf (2007)*

Notably however, volume of sales are still shy of 2007 numbers.

While we aren't sure if it is right to compare a two month average versus an annual average considering there are seasonal adjustments etc, we are pretty sure that this news will certainly ruffle lots of feathers since measures are supposed to be kicking in and things are supposed to be calming down.

The general elections will eventually come around, and the last thing any government wants to do is to annoy young impressionable voters with wild home prices. While some might argue that young couples unhappy with high home prices only form a minority of voters (the rest are happy to just watch their property values grow), it just takes these few 'swing votes' to make an impact.

As posted in by Francis

Sunday, March 28, 2010

REDAS: higher property prices is the government's fault, MND: NO.

Simon Cheong, President of the Real Estate Developer's Association of Singapore (and founder of property developer SC Global Developments) today encouraged the market by urging buyers not to be too cautious and slammed the government's reserve price system while he was at it.

According to Simon Cheong hinted that the current environment presents an abundance of opportunities and that recent cooling measures were shaken off by genuine home buyers and investors. He also criticized the government's reserve price system for state land tenders as a cause for higher housing prices because higher bidding prices for land means higher selling prices from developers.

He cited Ten Mile Junction as an example. Ten Mile Junction was not sold for a low bid in April 2008 at $162 psf ppr when the economy was down, but was successfully sold only at $437 psf ppr this year after things heated up again.


This is surely a punch in the sucker for the government, who only very recently took "measured steps" to reign in a heated market.

Almost immediately, the Ministry for National Development responded with a press release:


1 In his keynote speech at the launch of the Singapore Residential Price Index yesterday, REDAS President Simon Cheong questioned the need for Government intervention to stop private residential prices from rising. MND would like to respond to the key points he raised.

2 The Government's objective is to maintain a steady and healthy property market where price movements are supported by economic fundamentals. This is important as a stable market matters to the well-being of Singaporeans and the economy. A property market bubble, if allowed to form, may not only impact housing affordability but also severely impact the economy when it bursts. In carrying out its role, the Government has to take into account the interests of all stakeholders, especially home seekers and owners and the economy at large.

3 We do so mainly by ensuring an adequate supply of land to meet demand and by providing timely and comprehensive real estate information to the public. When necessary, the Government will also introduce measures to dampen market exuberance and prevent prices from running ahead of economic fundamentals.

4 Mr Simon Cheong cited 2 GLS sites that were not awarded in 2008 as examples to illustrate that market forces were not allowed to act freely and were constrained by the Reserve Price system. As these two sites were recently awarded at much higher prices than the bids in 2008, he argued that if the Government had awarded the sites at lower prices in 2008, it could have helped to moderate recent property price increases.

5 MND disagrees totally with his view.

6 Firstly, it is arguable if awarding the two sites at the low bid prices in 2008 would have moderated property prices or simply allowed the bidders to achieve a higher profit margin.

7 Secondly, the Reserve Price has not deterred the successful sale of sites under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. In 2008, seven residential sites, which could yield a total of 2,464 units, were sold via the Confirmed List. The Tampines and Ten Mile Junction sites, which were released for sale via the Confirmed List but not awarded, were amongst the few exceptions. A total of 71 sites have been successfully triggered and sold under the Reserve List system since it started in 2001.

8 Thirdly, the potential yield from the two sites is small – estimated about 800 units – compared to the total supply of 60,476 uncompleted units of private housing from projects in the pipeline (as at the 4th quarter 2009), of which 34,234 units are still unsold. It is thus questionable if the added supply from the award of these sites in 2008 would have affected prices today in any way.

9 Finally, a Reserve Price is necessary, as it is Government’s duty as the custodian of state land to ensure it obtains a fair market price for a site. But the Reserve Price only serves as a guide, and is not a rigid formula for the Government in deciding whether to award a sale site. The Government had awarded sale sites in the past even when the top bid was below the Reserve Price. However, for the two sites cited by Mr Cheong, the Government was not convinced that the bids represented fair market value rather than opportunistic bids, as there were very few bids for the sites, and the bids were exceptionally low.

Issued by: Ministry of National Development
Date: 25 March 2010

Well now that the big honcho representing developers in Singapore has become so bullish is it the time to be scared?

As posted in by Francis

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New record price for HDB flat

Hot on the heels of record private home prices is a record per square foot paid for a HDB flat along Bain Street in Bugis Estate.

The previous record was set back in November 2009 in Queenstown for a 4RM flat.

Hmmm. Very interesting don't you think? We do recall some announcement regarding some sort of measure by some Govt agency not that long ago...

The 25th floor 4 room flat cost a Taiwanese couple $650,000 or a record smashing $736psf - which is sure to raise some eyebrows and create a big headache for agents selling HDB flats. Now everyone will want to sell for that price! Our hearts go out to you poor agents!

We wonder how the buyers are feeling now that they know (if they haven't before) they are the best HDB buyers ever in Singapore, and that amount could have got them a shiny new condo somewhere else in the Singapore suburbs. The average prices we see for that area over the past few months hover between $668 and $677psf.

As posted in by Francis

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Singapore Residential Price Index : NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies


The National University of Singapore (“NUS”) Singapore Residential Price Index Series (“SRPI”) is a transactions-based index that tracks the month-on-month price movements of private non-landed residential properties in Singapore. Developed by a team of researchers at IRES, the SRPI provides a resource for the development of property derivatives that would help to expand the suite of financial products offered in Singapore, particularly in the context of obtaining exposure to and managing risks associated with the real estate market. It will also complement existing property information on the state of the residential market.

Currently, SRPI indexes are published in the form of value-weighted indexes. The SRPI is the index for the overall non-landed residential market in Singapore based on the whole SRPI property basket. Two sub-indexes are also produced for the Central and non-Central regions. The Central region sub-basket comprises properties within the overall SRPI basket located in Postal Districts 1 through 4 and 9 through 11 while properties in the other postal districts are in the non-Central region sub-basket.

NUS - Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI)

January 2010 Flash SRPI Values

SRPI Basket as at December 2009 Index Value
(Dec 2001= 100)
SRPI Overall 141.8 2.0%
SRPI Central 151.1 1.2%
SRPI Non-Central 138.1 2.6%
(Reflective of transactions received as at 21 Feb 2010)

December 2009 Revised SRPI Values

SRPI Basket as at December 2007 Index Value
(Dec 2001= 100)
SRPI Overall 139.0 -0.6%
SRPI Central 149.3 -1.0%
SRPI Non-Central 134.5 -0.3%

(Reflective of transactions received as at 21 Feb 2010)

Central Region and Non-Central Region (Dec 2001 - Jan 2010)

Monday, March 22, 2010

1st look at Market Trends affecting Singapore Property Market


Feb 22nd - Government Budget 2010, changes in property tax calculation, will now be a tiered taxation structure as opposed to old flat rate set way back in 1994.

The tax rate for owner-occupiers will be adjusted from the current 4% flat rate to:
  • 0% for the first $6,000 of Annual Value
  • 4% for the next $59,000 of Annual Value
  • 6% cent for the balance of Annual Value in excess of $65,000

Non-owner-occupied residential properties and other properties are taxed at 10%.Th Budget 2010 speech

Feb 20th - Government introduce measures to contain property speculation to temper sentiments and pre-empt a property bubble from forming. Introducing a Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) on all residential properties and residential lands that are bought after today and sold within 1 year from the date of purchase. Lowering the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit to 80% for all housing loans provided by financial institutions regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).


Sep - The Government introduce measures to temper the exuberance in the private residential market. The removal of Interest Absorption Scheme (IAS) and Interest-Only housing loans, resumption of the Confirmed List under the Government Land Sales Programme in 1st Half of 2010 and non-extension of property-related measures announced as part of Budget 2009 which expired in Jan 2010.


Property sales plunge.


Oct 26th - Withdrawal of Defferred Payment Scheme for the sale of uncompleted private residential and commercial properties.


Dec - Stamp duties for buyers implemented, must be paid within 14 days of the date of acceptance of Option.

Oct - The 1st Public Housing Project under the Design, Build & Sell Scheme (DBSS) launched for sale.


Jul - Loan-to-Value Limit raised from 80% to 90%.

Cash payment for residential properties reduced from 10% to 5%.

Non-related singles allowed to use their CPF to jointly buy private properties.

Apr - Government announces plans to build 2 Integrated Resorts.


Dec - Tsunami Tragedy.

Aug - Foreigners allowed to buy land in Sentosa Cove.


Jul - Formation of HDB Corp = Public Housing building programme.

Outbreak of SARs

The Gulf war = Property prices plunges.

CPF minimum sum raised to S$80,000.


Sep - For EC purchase, 10% of downpayment must be in cash and balance 10% can be paid using CPF.


Oct - Capital gains lifted. Foreigners allowed to use S$ for housing loans.

Sep 11th - Terrorist attack on New York World Trade Centre.

Dotcom bubble burst.


Jun - HDB owners required to seek approval before booking of private property even if 5 year time bar fulfilled.


Stamp duties for buyers of uncompleted properties until TOP or subsequent sale.

More anti speculation policy reversal.


Stamp duties for sellers suspended.

Reversal of Anti speculation policy implemented in 1996.

The Asian financial crisis = Property prices plunges.

HDB mortgage pegged to bank rates.

HDB owners allowed to book a new private property only after occupying the flat for 5 years.


May - Anti speculation measures implemented, 80% financing restriction for property purchase.

Feb - Property prices peaked to it's historical level.


Aug - HDB introduces EC, Executive Condominium costing 10% les than 99 year lease condos.


CPF relax rules on withdrawal amounts.

HDB relax rules, buyers allowed to take higher mortgages = Property prices soar.


Oct - HDB introduces scheme, allow singles citizens above 35years old to buy 3room flats.


Gulf War = Property prices falls.


HDB relax rules, PRs allowed to buy HDB flats.

HDB relax rules, HDB owners allowed to invest in private property.


Nov - CPF increased withdrawal limit from 80% to 100% of the value of the property = Property price rises.


CPF implements Minimum Sum Scheme to ensure retirement income for Singaporeans.


Economic recession = Property prices plunge.


CPF implements scheme for private home ownership allowing Singaporeans to use 80% of their CPF ordinary account to buy property = Property price rises 300% to 400%.


Residential Property Act introduced = Foreigners allowed to buy flats of 6 levels or higher.


Oil Crisis = Property prices plunge.


Foreigners not allowed to buy residential properties.


CPF implement Public Housing Schemes for home ownership.


Property Tax introduced.

Formation of HDB to provide low cost subsidised housing for Singaporeans.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Condo Review: The Estuary

About The Estuary

Yishun's latest condo is one we've been watching for some time now. This District 27 condo saw brisk sales with many of the small 1 and 2 BR units taken up before the showroom doors opened on 25 February.

Yishun has a distinct lack of new condos and judging by the strong interest, it shows that there is a demand for condos in that area. Developers have taken note too with the EC site in Yishun Avenue 11 seeing some 10 bids recently.

As we've mentioned in our previous Condo Watch: 2010 article, The Estuary was bought at a record price by MCL Land back in 2007. Prices however, were lower than what analysts predicted.

Tenure: 99-year leasehold
District: 27
Developer: MCL Land
Site Area: 290,077 sqft
Estimated TOP: 31 December 2013
Blocks: 7
Floors: 15-17
Units: 608 total, 1BR (85), 2BR (153), 2+1BR (50), 3BR (265) and 4BR (55)

Unit Sizes (without PES / with PES):
1BR (592 - 603 sqft / 678 sqft and 689 sqft)
2BR (904 - 1,130 sqft / 1,098 - 1,119sqft)
2+1BR (1,119 and 1,281 sqft)
3BR (1,184 - 1,302 sqft / 1,302 - 1,442 sqft)
4BR (1,453 and 1,528 sqft / 1,614 sqft)

Notable Facilities:
Basement Parking
Full condo facilities - i.e. Swimming Pool, Gym, Function Rooms, etc.
Jogging Track
Not one but TWO tennis courts!!

Quite a crowd on opening day

Very obviously the main selling point of The Estuary is the view of Lower Seletar Reservoir. It's what we would call "untouched". Looking across the reservoir, one can see trees and trees with nary a single building in sight.

A view like this is quite rare. Even Bedok Reservoir doesn't offer such a picturesque view.

Some might notice the MRT tracks close to the development, but we hardly heard any trains go by while we were there at noon.

Khatib MRT is about a 10 minute walk away. Fans of local soccer would be able to catch a free match at Yishun Stadium just next door.

Visitors unfamiliar with the area need to know of the Khatib 'town centre', which has shops, NTUC Fairprice and a number of coffeeshops. It's about a 10 minute walk.

Let's also not forget that Seletar Aerospace Hub is not too far away, this could be a suitable place for expats working at Rolls Royce or Eurocopter.

Images: Google Maps

When we were there for the opening, prices were going at about $735 to $830 psf. But these were prices with a 10% "developer launch" discount. Back then, a 915sqft 2BRs are going at around $830 to $870 psf (or about $760,00 - $810,000) and a 1,200 sqft 3BR was going for about $735 psf after discount (about $817 before).

Prices were much lower than the analysts' initial prediction of $900psf. Sadly, brand new condos with a psf of $750 - $800 are becoming a thing of the past. The Estuary could be the cheapest condo to launch in 2010.

Orchid Park Condominium (1994, 99 years), just up the street and located opposite Orchid Golf and Country Club, saw caveats lodged at an average of $580.40 psf for Jan-Feb 2010. Lilydale, an executive condominium nearby, saw caveats average $513 psf in the same period.

District 27 average for Jan 2010 was $542.40psf.

Potential Views

View of Lower Seletar Reservoir from Blk 816 11th floor

View of Yishun Stadium from Blk 816 11th floor

Contruction has already begun

Choice of units
We'd go for high floor 3BR units in stacks 8, 9, 17 and 16. They are a good distance from the main road, close enough to the side entrance, face the condo pool and with a decent view of the reservoir.

Did we mention that those units are shielded from the ugly bright floodlights of the Orchid Country Club at night?

4BR units in stacks 25 and 33 might be also worth considering. They are open on both sides so one gets a view of the main condo pool as well as the reservoir.

Image: Google Maps. Note: Site overlay is approximate. Circled numbers indicate ideal units. Green arrows = good views, orange = fair, red = poor.

Facilities and Layout

Final Word
People who live in the North will find this place attractive, especially Yishun/Khatib/Sembawang HDB upgraders. There aren't many new condos to choose from in those areas. It's proxmity to Seletar Aerospace Hub is a plus to those looking for rental yield.

The price is on the high side for a District 27 condo, but then no condos in that area offer such a view and such proximity to MRT and amenities. Furthermore, in this climate of increasing buyer confidence, a brand new condo at launch prices of $750-$800 is a rarity these days.

Head down to the showroom to take a look. There are still plenty of choice units to choose from.

A sample of floorplans below:

1BR floorplan

2BR floorplan

3BR floorplan

4BR floorplan

More photos:

Living room



Images: Brochure and tipster Simon L.

As posted in by John

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Live among skyscrapers with 76 Shenton Way

Fancy living among skyscrapers, a-la New York City? Now you can with 76 Shenton Way. Formerly a very empty office building, the geniuses at CDL have decided to convert this shell of a skyscraper to a 99-year, 39-storey development complete with 202 one and two-bedroom units.

Tenure: 99 year
District: 2
Developer: Hong Leong House Private Limited (City Developments Ltd)
Site Area: 32,456 sqft
Estimated TOP: 2014
Blocks: 1
Floors: 39
Units: 202 total, 1BR(134), 2BR(68)

Notable Facilities:
35m lap pool, gym and two spa suites.

Unit Sizes:
1BR (588 and 620 sqft)
2BR (963 and 973 sqft)

Location Map

Images: Google Maps. Note: Site overlay is approximate

Site Layout

Units all put together. Click here for high-res version.

Facilities Layout

Doesn't the swimming pool look like somebody's torso?

Nearby Altez @ Enggor has seen a price range of $1,600 to $2,300 psf and a median price of $1,817 psf last month according to recent URA data. So expect to see something around the $2,000 psf mark.

Our Facebook fan has given us an update on the prices -

Level #06 to #08 : $1600+/- psf
Level #12 to #17 : $1700 - $1870+/- psf
Level #23 to #27 : $1950 - $2200+/- psf
Level #33 to #35 : $2150 - $2510+/- psf

As always, we appreciate your contribution!

Early thoughts
We suggest taking the high floor 2BR units facing East. They are larger than average and one gets a nice view of the City as well as the Marina Bay Sands.

Low floor units will have to contend with the AYE to the south. Tanjong Pagar Terminal could be a turn off for some.

Looks like it would be ideal for renting to expats working in the CBD.

More beautiful Architectural renders

View in the day

Evening views

Spiderman-view at night


1BR (Type A1)

1BR (Type A2)

1BR (Type A3)

1BR (Type A4)

2BR (Type B1)

2BR (Type B2)

Images: Brochure

As posted in by John

Urban Suites, a piece of Orchard area

Only 11 units more of 4 bedroom available!

Available units and Prices as attached below

Unit Size (sqft) *Price
#04-03 2,002 $5,242,400
#05-03 2,002 $5,263,800
#04-07 2,002 $5,043,100
#05-07 2,002 $5,063,900
#06-07 2,002 $5,084,500
#09-07 2,002 $5,167,700
#11-07 2,002 $5,209,100
#12-07 2,002 $5,229,900
#13-07 2,002 $5,250,600
#14-07 2,002 $5,271,400
#15-07 2,002 $5,292,000

*Prices are subject to changes without prior notice
All prices quoted are based on Normal Payment Scheme

Sales Gallery Along Grange Road (Off Paterson Road)
Viewing Strictly By Appointment ONLY
Call 98533323

The Laurels plants itself in Orchard

The Laurels - District 9's latest offering along Cairnhill Road has 229 units ready for your viewing pleasure. Come in and take a look at this freehold condominium in the prime district.

Tenure: Freehold
Site Area: 78,047 sqft
Developer: Sing Holdings Limited
Estimated TOP: 2013
Blocks: 2
Floors: 19
Units: 229 total 1BR(45), 2BR(60), 2+1BR(30), 3BR(75), 4BR(15), PH(4)
Trivia: Built over the former Hillcourt Apartments

Key facilities include 50m pool, gym, tennis court and function room.

Unit Sizes:
1BR (549 - 721 sqft)
2BR (883 sqft)
2+1BR (1,001 - 1,345 sqft)
3BR (1,281 - 1,927 sqft)
4BR (1,819 - 2,573 sqft)
PH (3,853 - 4,833 sqft)


Location Map

Images: Google Maps. Note: Map overlay is approximate

Unit Distribution

Click here for the high-res version

Sales already started in late Feb and more recently The Straits Times reports that 135 of the 179 units released have been sold. Prices range from $2,500 to $2,800 psf.

As posted in by John

Monday, March 15, 2010

Private home sales in February hit 1,196

According to the latest property data released by URA, February 2010 sales of new condos (or private non-landed homes) reached 1,196, slightly short of the 1,476 seen in January. Though that figure is lower, let's not forget that last month had fewer days as well as the long Lunar New Year break.

Seems that the buying fervour hasn't been tempered by the cooling measures put in by the Govt. We've done some maths, come in and take a look.

If we divide the total sales by the number of days, we'd get 42.71 sales per day in February. For January, it works out to 47.61, or around 5 more units sold per day.

Take away 3 days in February to account for Chinese New Year however, and the figure rises to 47.84. That's roughly the same rate as January. So going by these numbers, perhaps the fever hasn't subsided as much as the Govt wants.

Developers also launched 1,161 units in February, compared to 1,424 units in January.

Notably these developments have also managed to secure some interesting prices:

Seven Palms at Sentosa Cove - $3318psf
Ritz Carlton Residences - $3762psf
The Orchard Residences - $3587psf
The Laurels - $2970psf
Nassim Park Residences - $3460psf
Jardin - $1903psf
Altez - $2397psf
The Estuary - $921psf

The Estuary in Yishun walks away with the crown in February, with 386 units sold (32% of all February sales). The Altez takes runners up with 150 units sold. But what is interesting is how we are seeing more developments being sold above $3000psf in February - there was only one in January (Orchard View).

As posted in by John

Saturday, March 6, 2010

HDB launches anti-speculation measures

After all that chatter about flats not being affordable, HDB has hit back with a roundhouse combo of anti-speculation measures. Sure they call it 'Reinforcing Owner-Occupation Among HDB Flat Owners', but we know what this means - no more making a quick buck off your resale flat.

There are changes to the HDB concessionary loan and the Minimum Occupation Period. Here's a rundown of what these new measures are and how they will affect you.

1. Lifting of Upgrading Condition
Current Situation
If you're upgrading to a larger flat, HDB will give you their super-low second concessionary loan; but only if you are upgrading (ie. 4rm to 5rm). Downsizers have to trawl the banks for a market-rate loan.

New Situation
HDB will give you a second concessionary loan regardless. So whether you're upgrading, downgrading or 'rightsizing' as they call it, HDB will be there with their loan.

Private property owners, you're on your own. You won't get a second HDB loan when you sell your condo/landed/apartment.

2. Right-sizing the Quantum for the Second Concessionary HDB Loan aka 'No more cash, baby'
Current Situation
Say you've just sold your old flat and bought a new one for $500k. From the sale of your old flat, you pay back the CPF refund of $100k, take a loan of $450k from HDB for the new flat and walk off with $100k in cash.

New Situation
After using your $100k CPF refund to offset the loan for the new flat, half of your $100k cash ($50k) proceeds have to be channeled to your loan. This means that you will get a reduced loan of $300k ($450k - $100k - $50k), but you will only have $50k in cash.

So sorry guys, the cash you will get from your COV has been effectively reduced by 50%. There's an exception though, you will get to keep at least $25k from your cash proceeds. This means that if your cash proceeds is $40k, you'll get to keep $25k and the remaining $15k will be channeled to your loan.

Also, in the event that you've bought your new flat before you sold your old one, HDB will lend you a larger loan first (since you've haven't got the money to offset your new house yet), but at average bank market rates. When you've sold your old flat, they will take the proceeds to offset your loan as per above and give you a new loan based on their concessionary rates.

Oh yeah, this measure is WITH EFFECT FROM TODAY.

Confused? Look at this example by HDB.

3. Raising the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for the resale of non-subsidised HDB flats
Current Situation
a. Resale HDB/DBSS Buyers who take a housing grant and New HDB flat buyers have a Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) of 5 years before they can sell their flat.

b. Those who did not take a housing grant, but took a HDB concessionary loan will have an MOP of 2.5 years.

c. Those who did not take a housing grant, and took a bank loan will have an MOP of 1 year.

New Situation

b. MOP changed to 3 years

c. MOP changed to 3 years

This will take effect from today onwards, BUT existing flat owners need not be worried, this does not affect you, only those resale transactions filed after today.

In summary
Looks like the measures are coming hard and fast - halving your cash from your COV will be sure to make some sellers baulk. Will these measures help to cool the resale market? Or will people just keep cranking the COV higher to get more cash?

Honestly, it all seems quite confusing. We're pretty sure the HDB hotline will be inundated with calls tomorrow morning.

Readers, we'll get our best brains around this and analyze these measures in closer detail. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, tell us what you think.

Via HDB - "Revisions to HDB Loan Policy to Support Right-sizing and Financial Prudence" and "Reinforcing Owner-Occupation Among HDB Flat Owners"

As posted in by ZH Yeo