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UOL’s profit plunges 55% in Q2 on investment losses

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 7th August 2016 in Blog
Botanique at Bartley resize

Artist’s impression of Botanique at Bartley by UOL Group.

Property developer UOL Group has reported a 55 percent slump in net profit to S$68.8 million in the second quarter ended 30 June 2016, due mainly to fair value losses on investment properties.

The Singapore-listed company recorded losses totalling S$21.5 million against a S$53.8 million gain in the previous corresponding quarter.

But group revenue in Q2 rose by six percent to S$363.6 million from a year ago, due mainly to higher progressive revenue recognition from residential projects under development, such as Riverbank@Fernvale, Seventy Saint Patrick’s, Botanique at Bartley, and Principal Garden – which was launched in 2015.

Specifically, property development revenue was up 14 percent to S$185.5 million in the quarter.

Meanwhile, UOL remains cautious on the outlook for the housing market. In a statement, Deputy Group CEO Liam Wee Sin said: “Most of our residential projects have achieved relatively good take-up rate due to our strong product attributes. But with the intense competition and lack of confirmed sites in the government land sales, our concern is that land prices will be driven to an unhealthy level.”

At the same time, UOL expects office rentals to be under pressure from a large supply in the second half of the year. It also sees retail rents being buffeted by weak retail sales and increased competition.

credits: propertyguru

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West Coast Road site up for SERS

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 4th August 2016 in Blog
Replacement flats in Clementi resize

Artist’s impression of the replacement flats at Clementi Avenue 1. Source: HDB

A new site along West Coast Road has been identified for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said on Wednesday, 3 August.

This is the 80th site to benefit from SERS since its introduction in 1995.

The 994 sold flats in Blocks 513 to 520 were built in 1979. The SERS plan also involves 14 sold shops and an eating house.

According to the HDB, SERS only applies to areas with good redevelopment potential, and offers residents an opportunity to move to new flats on fresh 99-year leases.

Other benefits include compensation for their flats based on market value at the time of the SERS announcement, as well as payment of expenses to help in the relocation.

In addition, eligible singles looking to purchase a replacement flat can apply for a SERS grant of $15,000, while joint singles and families are eligible for a $30,000 grant.

Meanwhile, the replacement flats at Clementi Avenue 1 and West Coast Link will range from 2-room Flexi to 3Gen flats. These new flats are scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

The two sites are located near several amenities, including the Clementi MRT station and bus interchange, Clementi Mall and West Coast Plaza.

The Housing Board will inform all SERS flat owners and commercial property owners individually of these plans.

For more information on SERS, flat owners can call 1800-866 3070, while commercial property owners can call 1800-866 3073.

credits: propertyguru

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Toa Payoh flat sold for $980,000

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 3rd August 2016 in Blog
View of HDB flats in Toa Payoh

View of public housing blocks in Toa Payoh.

A 23-year-old executive flat in Toa Payoh was sold for a whopping $980,000 in June this year, reported AsiaOne.

Based on figures on the HDB website, the price is comparable to those sold at the iconic Pinnacle @ Duxton.

Located between the 10th and 12th floors of Block 101B, Toa Payoh Lorong 2, the 1,560.77 sq ft unit is situated behind the Braddel MRT station on the North-South line. The flat is also just a five-minute drive from Toa Payoh Town Centre, HDB Hub and Toa Payoh MRT station.

Aside from being the most expensive flat to be sold in Toa Payoh this year, the sale also ties as the most expensive executive flat to be sold within the area with a unit sold in March 2014 from neighbouring Block 99B, noted property portal The Edge.

An executive unit located on a lower level of the same block also breached the $900,000 mark when it was sold for $910,000 in March.

Figures on the HDB website showed that a total of four HDB flats, comprising two executive apartments and two five-roomers, have been sold in Toa Payoh for $900,000 or more so far this year.

Last year, only one HDB unit within the area crossed the mark. Located opposite Toa Payoh MRT station, the five-room unit fetched $955,000.

Huttons Asia Associate Senior Marketing Director Zavier Zhang attributed the high price to a combination of various factors, such as its size and location within a mature estate in central Singapore.

“In general, executive apartments are more sought after due to their more spacious layout, especially compared to executive maisonettes where the staircase takes up a considerable amount of space. Moving forward, new Build-To-Order (BTO) units are also significantly smaller in size. This means executive apartments built in the 1990s are considered premium and rare units,” he said.

The price is also more affordable compared to the private residential market, he said, noting that five-bedders at the recently launched Gem Residences are being sold for $1.8 million despite their smaller size.

credits: propertyguru

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Jurong Lake District to have bicycle-sharing scheme by end-2017

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 30th July 2016 in Blog
Marina Bay bicycle sharing scheme-crop

Artist’s impression of the proposed bicycle-sharing infrastructure in Marina Bay / City Centre. Source: Land Transport Authority

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will pilot a self-service bicycle-sharing scheme in the Jurong Lake District (JLD) by end-2017.

To encompass over 1,000 bicycles and 100 docking stations, the scheme will provide the public with access to a bicycle at all times without having to own a bicycle.

Users can pick up a bicycle at any self-service docking station and return it to any other docking station within the system’s service area.

Spaced about 400 metres apart, the stations will allow residents to make short trips from their homes to nearby transport nodes like bus interchanges and MRT stations, where they can return the bicycle and continue their journey on the public transport system.

Meanwhile, the LTA revealed that it will call a tender to appoint an operator who will own, build, operate and maintain the pilot bicycle-sharing scheme in the JLD for eight years, with options to bid to operate a bicycle-sharing scheme in Marina Bay / City Centre as well as Tampines and Pasir Ris.

The LTA added that it will provide a grant to defray parts of the costs involved in setting up and operating the bicycle-sharing pilot in the JLD. The potential operators will bid for a fixed amount of grant they need in each year of the contract.

Aside from appointing an operator for the bicycle-sharing scheme, the LTA will also call a tender to appoint a sponsorship consultant, who will work with it to engage suitable sponsors. Much like other bicycle-sharing systems in global cities like Santander Cycle in London and Citibike in New York, these sponsors will receive advertising and naming rights to the bicycle sharing system.

“This is the first public bicycle-sharing scheme that will be implemented on such a large scale in Singapore. We believe this will catalyse take-up of cycling as it provides a convenient and healthy way to commute between homes, nearby amenities and the MRT stations,” said LTA Chief Executive Chew Men Leong.

“Through the pilot, we will study the scheme’s feasibility and determine if and how it can be extended to other residential towns as well,” he added.

The scheme is in line with the government’s efforts to facilitate cycling and to improve first-and-last-mile connectivity to key amenities and public transport nodes.

By 2030, over 700 kilometres of cycling paths will be provided island-wide under the National Cycling Plan.

credits: propertyguru

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Demand remains for waterfront homes: Keppel Land

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 29th July 2016 in Blog
Corals Keppel Bay condo perspective 2

Corals at Keppel Bay

Despite the slow home sales in Sentosa, Keppel Land President Tan Swee Yiow believes that waterfront homes will continue to be sought after as such homes are rare, reported The Straits Times.

“How many units can you find in Singapore with such a view? There is demand from people who enjoy this lifestyle,” he said.

Over the years, Keppel Land has shown buyers the attractiveness of living in this area, with projects like Reflections at Keppel Bay and Caribbean at Keppel Bay, he said.

The company is also set to complete Corals at Keppel Bay in August, and plans to relaunch the remaining 44 percent unsold units later this year.

The 366-unit luxury condominium is situated on the mainland with views of Keppel Bay and Sentosa.

Keppel Land does not have to worry of Qualifying Certificate (QC) extension charges for its unsold units at the project since it acquired the site prior to December 2011 when the government introduced the rule.

During its launch in 2013, units at Corals at Keppel Bay went for an average price of $2,200 psf. Pricing for the next launch will be revealed closer to the date.

Notably, units at the project will now be equipped with the latest smart home technology.

The move comes after Keppel Land introduced such technology for 30 households at its 622-unit The Luxurie earlier this year. This included lighting control as well as a home security package which alerts residents of any motion or unwanted entry within the home’s off-limit areas.

Corals at Keppel Bay residents, on the other hand, will enjoy a more personalised and enhanced version of smart home technology via an application known as Habitap, which was created by Philip Tang & Sons.

“(Implementing smart home technology) is a continuous process of improvement, not a one-off exercise… We think residents will enjoy and benefit from it,” said Tan, adding that the company is also looking at introducing these features at its other projects like Highline Residences.

Philip Tang & Sons Chief Executive Franklin Tang noted that Habitap differs from other smart home technology as it is a fully integrated platform that allows a user to control devices within his home, as well as manage his lifestyle and community.

Corals at Keppel Bay, for instance, is said to be the first condominium to feature an RSVP system built into its smart home system.

Habitap also comes with a lifestyle section that is connected to transport companies, restaurants as well as food and grocery delivery companies, among others.

“We hope to become the standard for smart home living,” said Tang, who revealed that he is in talks with various companies in the hospitality and commercial sectors over the use of Habitap’s customised version.

credits: propertyguru

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Wheelock sells third HK mansion for S$110m

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 22nd July 2016 in Blog
Mount Nicholson project

View of homes at the Mount Nicholson project. Source: Getty Images

Property developer Wheelock Properties has sold a five-bedroom luxury villa in Hong Kong’s exclusive Peak neighbourhood to an unidentified buyer for HK$630 million (S$110 million), or HK$78,000 psf (S$13,657 psf), reported Bloomberg.

This is the third luxury home that Wheelock has sold at the Mount Nicholson project, which it is jointly developing with Nan Fung Development.

The mansion’s sale price is lower than the two previous villas it sold at the said development.

In fact, it is an 11 percent discount compared to the first villa Wheelock sold in February. The second villa was sold in April for HK$740 million (S$130 million), or HK$80,672 psf (S$14,130 psf).

The decline shows that a slowdown within the broader housing market, which has seen secondary home prices fall by almost 12 percent from its September peak, is trickling over to the ultra-luxury segment.

The downturn has prompted developers to dangle discounts for new projects and other enticements, such as mortgages of up to 120 percent of the property’s value.

Wheelock’s Assistant General Manager of Project Marketing Cello Chan noted that the price difference between the three units reflects the uniqueness of each home.

“Every villa has a different-sized garden, pool and location, so direct comparisons aren’t possible,” said Chan.

The 8,054 sq ft mansion comes with a 5,906 sq ft garden, underground parking for two cars and private swimming pool.

credits: propertyguru

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