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New programme to help fund costs of modernising HDB lifts

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 20th September 2016 in Blog
Lift Upgrading Programme-crop

The new Lift Enhancement Programme will support costs of modernisation of HDB lifts. (Photo: mailer_diablo, Wikimedia Commons)

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has launched a new Lift Enhancement Programme (LEP) to help town councils (TCs) modernise their existing lifts.

The move comes after the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) recommended lift owners to update their older lifts with several features found in newer lift models.

To be rolled out over a 10-year period, the LEP will see the HDB funding around 90 percent of the TCs’ costs to install the recommended enhancement features.

“This is a major programme, which will involve significant government expenditure, estimated at around $450 million,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a blog post.

“But given the importance of lifts in our daily lives and in our high-rise HDB living environment, the government is prepared to commit to this additional spending and maintain high safety standards.”

The LEP will apply to lifts that are not yet equipped with some or all of the enhancement features, and have been in operation for 18 years or less.

“For the older lifts, it will make more sense for the TCs to replace them with new lifts which will come with these enhanced features,” said Wong.

The HDB noted that around 20,000 lifts requiring varying extents of modernisation are expected to benefit from the new LEP.

However, TCs are responsible for the eventual replacement of all the lifts under their care, which requires significant long-term expenditure, said Wong.

As such, he advises TCs to “plan ahead and build up their Sinking Fund regularly over time to pay for these major expenses”.

To date, the total Sinking Fund balance across all TCs stands at around $1 billion. While this may sound like a healthy amount, it is not sufficient to cover the cost of future lift replacements which is estimated at almost $3 billion from now to 2035 (for some 11,500 lifts across all HDB estates), revealed Wong.

“Besides lifts, there will be other cyclical maintenance and replacement works such as façade repair of HDB blocks, cyclical repainting, and replacement of water pipes/tanks. These expenses will also go up as estate infrastructure ages,” he said.

“This is why every quarter, TCs are required to set aside between 30 to 35 percent of their S&CC (Service and Conservancy Charges) collections and government grants into their Sinking Funds.”

In fact, his ministry will also be asking all TCs to prepare and submit their financial projections for their Sinking Funds over the next 10 to 30 years.

“These projections will enable us to assess the appropriate levels of contribution to the TC Sinking Funds and Lift Replacement Funds,” said Wong.

“All TCs must take a long-term view and start planning now for asset and lift replacements in their estates. This is the basis of Singapore’s success. We do not leave things to chance. But we look over the horizon, plan, and prepare for the future. This is the way to ensure a good and safe HDB living environment for all Singaporeans,” he added.

More details on the implementation of the LEP will be provided to TCs in the coming months, said the HDB.

credits: propertyguru

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Roxy-Pacific buys another site at Jalan Eunos

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 18th September 2016 in Blog
Land for sale-crop

The developer plans to amalgamate the site with an adjoining freehold site that was previously acquired for residential development. 

RH Eunos, a unit of property developer Roxy-Pacific Holdings, has agreed to purchase a freehold residential site at Jalan Eunos for $10.978 million.

Comprising lots at 180,182 and 184 Jalan Eunos, the site has a land area of about 7,685 sq ft and an existing gross plot ratio of 1.4 under the 2014 Master Plan, revealed Roxy in an SGX filing.

RH Eunos plans to amalgamate the site with another freehold site at 178 and 180A Jalan Eunos that it had acquired in February this year for residential apartment development.

Roxy will finance the acquisition costs via internal funds and bank borrowings.

It also does not expect the acquisition to have any material impact on the group’s consolidated earnings and net tangible assets per share for the current financial year.

credits: propertyguru

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Working mum quits job to sell luxury condos, take care of kids

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 17th September 2016 in Blog
Property agent Lynn Er resize

Lynn Er quit her demanding job more than seven years ago to become a successful property agent.

Property agent Lynn Er is a married mother of two boys who quit the rat race more than seven years ago to become a property agent, so that she could spend more time with her family.

When Er was younger, she followed the path of scaling the career ladder to find success. She worked as an auditor at KPMG before joining Yum! Brands (the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) as an account manager.

But this meant working very long hours to meet deadlines. “Basically, my life revolved around work so much that I didn’t have time for other things,” said Er, who is in her 40s.

“It was normal for us to work till midnight. I remember a few projects where we had to work till 3 to 4am in the morning. Then I would have to go back home to freshen up and return to the office again.”

She soon found it difficult to provide her family with the attention they needed.

Cases such as Er’s are not uncommon in Singapore. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 75 percent of working mothers here spend less than 10 hours with their children during a work week. The study involved 480 female respondents.

“According to our survey, work-life balance is the top challenge faced by women in the workplace. However, most of them have no choice but to earn a living,” said Chook Yuh Yng, Country Manager of Singapore.

“Our survey found that 69 percent of these females are working for the need to support their families, the need to plan for retirement, and the need to be financially independent.”

As for Er, she decided to refocus her life and work by joining ERA Realty, and now handles local and foreign clients. She has closed sales at numerous luxury projects in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, including OUE Twin Peaks, Ardmore Park and Scotts 28.

Er’s job as a property agent means she enjoys flexible work hours and can plan her time better. Still, working as an agent has its challenges, especially with the current slowdown in the housing market.

“Previously, we could close sales after 10 viewings, but nowadays we need to conduct about 30 viewings,” she said.

Er relies a lot on the support of her existing clients, who provide her with referrals.

However, the career change has made her home life more fulfilling, as she’s able to make her family a priority. Er now spends much of her time bonding with her children.

Her daily routine includes sending her seven-year-old son to school. She also tries to communicate more with him, to understand what he’s going through at school and whether he needs help with his studies.

“I will spend time with him to go through his homework everyday. After sending the older boy to school, I will spend time with my seven-month-old baby, teach him new things and prepare food for him,” she said.

Er has this advice for other working mums struggling to strike a work-life balance. “Dare to dream and do what you like. There are many opportunities that allow you to fulfil your career goals and take care of your kids.

“I think as a modern woman, being financially independent is important, as you can always afford to pursue things you like,” she said.

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5 best-selling projects in August 2016

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 16th September 2016 in Blog

Artist’s impression of the pool at Bellewoods EC

Property developers sold 805 housing units in August, including executive condominiums (ECs). The five top-selling projects, all located in the Outside Central Region (OCR), are:

1) Treasure Crest EC (OCR)
Developer: Sim Lian Group
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Anchorvale Crescent (D19)
Nearest MRT station: Sengkang MRT
Median price: $745 psf
Total no. of units: 504
Sales update: 56 units sold in August

2) Sol Acres EC (OCR)
Developer: MCL Land
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Choa Chu Kang Grove (D23)
Nearest MRT station: Bukit Panjang MRT
Median price: $781 psf
Total no. of units: 1,327
Sales update: 46 units sold in August

3) Bellewoods EC (OCR)
Developer: Qingjian Realty
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Woodlands Avenue 5 and 6 (D25)
Nearest MRT station: Admiralty MRT
Median price: $769 psf
Total no. of units: 561
Sales update: 37 units sold in August

4) Lake Grande (OCR)
Developer: MCL Land
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Jurong West Street 41 (D22)
Nearest MRT station: Lakeside MRT
Median price: $1,317 psf
Total no. of units: 710
Sales update: 35 units sold in August

5) The Trilinq (OCR)
Developer: IOI Properties
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Clementi Avenue 6 (D5)
Nearest MRT station: Clementi MRT
Median price: $1,413 psf
Total no. of units: 755
Sales update: 30 units sold in August

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Leedon Park GCB could fetch over $70 million

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 13th September 2016 in Blog
Leedon Park GCB-crop

The 46,879 sq ft plot located on high ground can be subdivided into 3 GCBs. (Photo: JLL)

A sprawling good class bungalow (GCB) located on one of the highest points of the Leedon Park GCB area has been launched for sale, revealed sole marketing agent JLL.

Built in the early 1990s, 17 Leedon Park sits on 46,879 sq ft of land and comprises a two-storey bungalow with a built-up area of about 9,000 sq ft. The estate also comes with a 21-metre long in-ground swimming pool and a lush garden.

The sellers are expecting offers in the range of $70 million to $75 million, which works out to $1,493 psf to $1,599 psf on the land area.

The property is close to the Botanic Gardens, Holland Village and The Star Vista mall.

According to Karamjit Singh, International Director and Head of Residential at JLL, the site is large enough to be redeveloped into two or three GCBs.

“Such opportunities to build three GCBs side-by-side do not come by often. Over the last five years, there have been as many as 174 GCB transactions. Out of these, only 14 plots could have been subdivided into two or more GCB parcels. This included the British government’s land at Nassim Road of 34,252 sq ft, which was sold for $56.58 million ($1,652 psf) last month.”

Singh added: “Of the 14 plots, only one could be split into three or more GCBs. That was 35 Ridout Road, which has a land area of 73,280 sq ft and was sold for $91.68 million ($1,251 psf) in May 2015.”

The tender for 17 Leedon Park closes on 18 October, said JLL.

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Tengah new town to be built right into nature

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 10th September 2016 in Blog
Tengah new town-crop

Artist’s impression of Tengah town centre, which will offer a car-lite environment with vehicles plying underneath. Source: HDB

Singapore’s 24th HDB town, Tengah, will be the first forest town in Singapore with a car-free town centre.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong unveiled the masterplan for the new town at the HDB Awards ceremony on Thursday (8 September).

Located in the western part of Singapore, Tengah is bounded by major roads and expressways.

The Jurong Innovation District (JID), a futuristic industrial district housing learning, research, innovation and manufacturing activities, will be located next to Tengah.

Featuring five housing districts – the Plantation District, Garden District, Park District, Brickland District and Forest Hill District – the area will contain about 42,000 new homes, of which some 30,000 will be public housing units and the rest private units.

The HDB revealed that the first batch of flats will be launched in the Plantation District from 2018.

One of Tengah’s main attractions will be a 5km long forest corridor, which will form part of the larger network of greenery that connects the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Western Water Catchment Area.

Tengah town centre, which will be designed amidst a lush park, will offer a car-lite environment with vehicles plying underneath the town centre. It will also have dedicated walking and cycling paths on both sides of the road.

A large central park, about the size of Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, will be complemented with canals and ponds to provide lush greenery and blue spaces, while community farms will allow for urban farming and community gardening.

Road networks within the town will be designed to meet future needs and could support future forms of mobility, such as autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars.

An exhibition on Tengah’s future plans will be held from 9 to 25 September at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

The public is invited to visit the exhibition and give their feedback.

credits: propertyguru

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