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Buyers and developers turn attention to River Valley

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 15th August 2017 in Blog
Robertson Quay

View of high-end apartments in Robertson Quay. (Photo: Christopher Chitty)

Move over Marina Bay and Sentosa Cove because there is a growing number of luxury home buyers in Singapore who are turning their attention to the River Valley area in District 9, particularly the Robertson Quay stretch.

Already an established residential enclave with several exclusive projects such as Martin Place Residences, Rivergate and Martin 38, its proximity to the Central Business District (CBD) in Raffles Place and the Orchard Road shopping belt makes it a much sought-after address among high-income expatriates.

Over the years, this has led to greater vibrancy in the area with new shops, cafés and restaurants offering alfresco dining and boutique hotels.

“River Valley is popular among investors because it is in a more affordable part of the prime districts, yet enjoying proximity to the CBD, Orchard Road and abundant amenities,” said Ong Teck Hui, National Director, Research & Consultancy at JLL.

“These attributes also help to attract tenants which augurs well for investors as they could lease their units more competitively.”

Aggressive land bids

Not surprisingly, property developers continue to bid aggressively for land sites in River Valley. In June 2016, GuocoLand outbid 12 other bidders for the Martin Modern site at Martin Place, submitting the top bid of $595.1 million, or $1,239 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Launched for sale last month, the 99-year leasehold project is the first large-scale condo there in the past eight years.

To date, 110 out of the 450 units (24 percent) have been sold at an average of $2,009 psf to over $2,500 psf, said a spokesperson for GuocoLand. The developer noted that buyers “appreciate the chic lifestyle at Robertson Quay”.

“The area is also growing and transforming, especially with two new MRT lines and upcoming MRT stations at Great World and Fort Canning, as well as redevelopment of the Kim Seng Road corridor,” said GuocoLand.

Waterfront living

In addition, the presence of the nearby Singapore River means that new projects, including the future one located at Jiak Kim Street, will offer waterfront views.

Formerly home to the popular Zouk nightclub, the 99-year leasehold site measuring about 145,123 sq ft was made available for application in June under the reserve list of the first half 2017 Government Land Sales programme.

It could be triggered for sale in the coming months if a developer submits a minimum bid that’s acceptable to the government.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, its prominent river-fronting location offers developers the opportunity to create an iconic landmark of up to 36 storeys high, which could yield more than 500 homes and commercial space on the ground floor. Three conserved warehouses built in 1919 will be integrated with the development.   

Ong expects the project, which is about 0.5km away from the upcoming Great World MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line, to see strong demand from buyers and investors.

“Its uniqueness is the river and promenade frontage with amenities along the Singapore River and the Havelock area within easy reach. We expect 10 to 14 bidders if there is a tender. (The) top bid is estimated at $1,350 to $1,500 psf ppr.”

Premium price tag

Meanwhile, Roxy-Pacific Holdings is expected to launch a much smaller residential project close to Great World MRT station along River Valley Road in Q3 2018. The developer purchased the prime freehold site measuring 28,798 sq ft for $110 million earlier this month.

“The future development will definitely command a premium price and be well sought-after by both foreign property investors and local buyers,” said Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty.

“We foresee there to be around 60 to 80 units and since this is a freehold residential site, the price based on current market conditions would be around $2,800 psf.”

credits: propertyguru

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Greater Southern Waterfront project may start sooner than expected

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 14th August 2017 in Blog
Greater Southern Waterfront

Artist’s impression of the Greater Southern Waterfront. Source: URA

PSA Singapore’s decision to move from Tanjong Pagar Terminal to Pasir Panjang Terminal earlier than expected has sparked speculation of the Greater Southern Waterfront project kicking off faster, reported the Straits Times.

Three times the size of Marina Bay, the 1,000ha development is set to be built on land freed up once the ports in the city, which includes Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar, are relocated to Tuas.

The move allows the government to set aside some land for release earlier, depending on market demand and conditions, said Alice Tan, Knight Frank’s research head.

“With real estate needs changing rapidly along with consumer and business trends, it could make sense for land use planning to evolve more flexibly ahead of changing needs.”

Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia, however, believes it is still too early to say if the Greater Southern Waterfront project will start earlier.

“It is a huge project, and there is still a lot of elasticity in land supply today, especially at Marina Bay. So, there is no need to rush and trigger plans for the waterfront area,” he said, adding that both the state planner and PSA would benefit if the land is vacated prior to the end of the lease.

“This would give PSA more buffer time to sort out any teething problems and ensure the handover goes smoothly. For the state planners, getting control of the land earlier… allows them to have more flexibility with planning.”

Tanjong Pagar Terminal’s lease will expire in 2027, while Pasir Panjang’s lease will run out in 2024.

Sim believes that the “prime piece of land” would be best used if it is primarily set aside for mixed developments.

credits: propertyguru

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Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub opens 4 Sept

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 13th August 2017 in Blog
Bukit Panjang ITH

Artist’s impression of Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub.

Residents and commuters in Bukit Panjang can look forward to a more convenient transport system when the new Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) opens on 4 September 2017, said the Land Transport Authority on Tuesday (8 August).

This is Singapore’s ninth ITH and it will be fully integrated with Hillion Mall, which opened in February this year. The 546-unit Hillion Residences sits atop the mall.

To be managed by SMRT Buses, the new 7,350 sq m air-conditioned bus interchange is seamlessly linked with the Bukit Panjang MRT and LRT stations. It will be equipped with barrier-free facilities, priority queues with seats for the elderly and the less mobile, a nursing room and 120 bicycle racks.  

Other ITHs are located at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay, Clementi, Joo Koon, Sengkang, Serangoon and Toa Payoh. Works on the Yishun ITH are on-going and it is scheduled to open by 2019. 

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CDL to benefit from property upcycle, calls for review of QC policy

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 12th August 2017 in Blog
Kwek Leng Beng crop

CDL’s Kwek said the property market appears to be getting stronger, but warned of dangers such as an upward spiral in land costs and housing prices.

UPDATED: Property giant City Developments Limited (CDL) said it is well-poised to benefit from the property upcycle after several years of subdued market conditions coupled with macro headwinds.

At a results briefing on Friday (11 August), the group revealed that it sold 691 units with a sales value of $1.15 billion in Singapore during H1 2017, triple that from last year.

The strong sales momentum is expected to continue, especially at high-end projects.

For instance, the luxury freehold Gramercy Park condominium at Grange Road has sold 117 out of the 174 units (67 percent) at average prices ranging from about $2,650 psf to $2,880 psf. This included two five-bedroom penthouses which found buyers for around $17 million each.

For the second half of the year, CDL plans to launch another high-end condo called New Futura in the Orchard Road vicinity. The 124-unit freehold project comprises two- to four-bedroom units and is expected to obtain its temporary occupation permit in Q3 2017.

Meanwhile, CDL said it will monitor market conditions before it launches South Beach Residences.

“Sales and rental options are being considered for the 190-unit luxury residence,” the developer said in a statement. “The group will decide on the opportune launch timing, so as to achieve maximum value for this prime property.”

In early 2018, the group is expected to launch a new project at Tampines Avenue 10, near the upcoming Tampines West MRT station.  

The 99-year leasehold condo will comprise seven 15-storey blocks with about 861 units. There will also be a childcare centre on site.

Commenting, Kwek Leng Beng, CDL’s Executive Chairman said: “The ‘heartbeat’ of Singapore’s residential property market appears to be getting stronger with increased activity and some vital signs of a possible stabilisation. CDL is well-poised to benefit from an upcycle.”

At the same time, the group will look at potential collective en-bloc prospects for some of its mature assets, and will deploy a war chest for land bank replenishment in Singapore while remaining disciplined.

However, Kwek hopes that the government will review the restrictive Qualifying Certificate (QC) policy, which requires developers to build and sell all units within five years of being awarded the site.

“(This is) so that developers can look towards both Government Land Sales and private sales for land replenishment and avoid a dangerous spiral in land cost and property prices that is not in line with the growth of the economy,” he said.

For H1 2017, CDL posted revenue of $1.6 billion and profit of $195.3 million.

credits: propertyguru

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GuocoLand cuts back unit releases at Martin Modern

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 11th August 2017 in Blog
GuocoLand cuts back unit releases at Martin Modern

The developer plans to increase the selling price of Martin Modern in 2018. (Photo: Christopher Chitty)

Believing that private home prices will increase, property developer GuocoLand trimmed the number of units offered for sale at its luxury condominium Martin Modern in Martin Place, reported the Straits Times.

It noted that 110 out of the 450 units at the project have already been sold about two weeks following its launch, with the average selling price ranging from $2,009 psf to more than $2,500 psf.

GuocoLand also revealed plans to increase the selling price in 2018.

“We’ve already started to moderate the releases… you want to achieve a good start so there is confidence in the project, I think we already achieved that. We should not be selling too much too fast,” said GuocoLand (Singapore) group managing director Cheng Hsing Yao.

Other developers also have the same sentiment.

Chinese developer Qingjian Realty put off the second phase of its sales launch at mixed-use development Le Quest, while Lendlease held back on releasing new units at Park Place Residences in Paya Lebar – in the hope of offering the remaining units at higher prices.

While Cheng declined to comment on how much prices may increase next year, he acknowledged the existence of “pressure for prices to go up” given the aggressive bidding of developers and fewer condo completions.

“The margin is already quite thin among developers, and land constitutes 60 percent to 70 percent of total cost, so when the land cost goes up so much, it is not a choice for the developers not to sell higher.”

credits: propertyguru

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280 units at Le Quest sold within hours of launch

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 10th August 2017 in Blog
Le Quest sales launch

Buyers waiting to book their units at Le Quest. (Photo: Qingjian Realty)

The Le Quest at Bukit Batok opened for sales on Saturday (5 August), with the residential units attracting strong interest from buyers.

A total of 280 of the project’s 516 units (54 percent) were sold on the first day, an oversubscription as only 200 units were initially released for sale.

According to developer Qingjian Realty, the units were transacted at an average of $1,280 psf.

The studio and one- to three-bedroom units sized from 431 sq ft to 1,206 sq ft were the most popular among buyers. There are also four-bedders available from 1,130 sq ft to 1,528 sq ft.

In addition, the mixed-use development will have over 64,583 sq ft of commercial space comprising F&B outlets and retail units.

Home buyer Chen Si, 26, was one of the first to purchase a unit. “I plan to stay at Le Quest with my parents. We are drawn to the prospect of living close to new developments like the Jurong Lake District and Tengah. The price is reasonable considering the convenience of having everything we need in the development.”

Another buyer William Yeo, 37, an auditor based in Vietnam said: “I flew in two weeks ago to preview Le Quest and really liked what I saw. While I intend to stay here with my family, I also want a property that has high growth potential.”

Property analysts were not surprised about the enthusiastic response.

“Not many new developments are expected to launch in the area in the short term, so that is definitely a main factor in buyers’ consideration,” said Alan Cheong, Senior Director of Research & Consultancy at Savills. 

Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty added: “Its Bukit Batok location is a huge draw with its proximity to up-and-coming projects like the Singapore-KL High Speed Rail Terminus and the rejuvenation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan.”

Details on the next phase of sales will be announced later, said Qingjian. The 99-year leasehold project is expected to be completed by end-2021.

credits: propertyguru

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