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Jurong East hospital’s opening delayed until mid-2015

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 19th August 2014 in Blog

The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, which was supposed to be completed by December, will push back its opening by about six months due to construction delays, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the National Day Rally yesterday.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it has asked JurongHealth Services to work with the contractors to avoid further delays to the project. “MOH will continue to work with JurongHealth to actively monitor progress of the construction, and mobilise the necessary resources to speed up its development.”

Jurong East hospital’s opening delayed until mid-2015

image source: URA

The main problem is the delay in building exterior works which has also affected the schedule for the internal works, according to a statement by JurongHealth.

Foo Hee Jug, CEO of JurongHealth, said, “As we were tracking the progress of the project, we became concerned with the progress of the building exterior works which had started to fall behind schedule. We had been working closely with our consultants and the main contractor to bring the exterior works back on track. After several months of trying to bring the programme back on schedule, the contractor confirmed that the construction will be delayed despite the remedial actions.”

The exterior building works include elements such as windows, glass panels, air vents and cladding. These are critical works and are essential for some areas of interior works to continue.

Apologising for the delay, Foo said, “It is necessary to defer the opening date to allow construction to catch up and to make sure there is sufficient time to commission properly so that we open safely for our patients.”

Located along Jurong East Street 21, the 700-bed hospital will be a part of the Jurong Lakeside District and was awarded the Green Mark Platinum award by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) last year.

credits: propertyguru

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4-room flats eligible for lease buyback scheme

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 19th August 2014 in Blog

4-room flats eligible for lease buyback scheme

OWNERS of four-room Housing Board flats can now sell part of their lease back to the Government to supplement their retirement income, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced last night.

These apartments are now eligible for the Lease Buyback Scheme, which was previously restricted tothree-room and smaller flats.

Introduced in 2009, the scheme lets older home owners sell part of their flat’s 99-year lease back to the Government, keeping only a 30-year lease.

The proceeds are used to top up their Central Provident Fund Retirement Accounts, thus enabling them to receive larger monthly payouts under the CPF Life scheme.

The rest of the sales proceeds will go to the home owners as a lump sum in cash.

Mr Lee gave the example of a couple who own a four-room flat worth $450,000.

At age 65, if they have lived in the flat for 34 years, they still have two-thirds of the lease left.

“Let’s say you live in this house for another 30 years. Then you really don’t need the rest of the lease beyond that,” said Mr Lee.

If they sell the remaining 35 years of the lease back to the HDB, they can receive $27,500 in cash and an additional $900 a month in CPF payouts.

The change could improve the poor reception to the Lease Buyback Scheme since its launch in 2009. Up until January last year, only 471 households took part.

The rules were relaxed in February last year, allowing home owners who have enjoyed more than one housing subsidy and previous owners of private property to qualify. Since then, another 312 households have signed up, according to a parliamentary reply last month.

Now, by extending it to four-roomers, more than half of all public flat owners here will qualify to monetise their flats through the scheme.

Flats are eligible if all the owners have reached the CPF draw-down age, which is 65 for those born after 1953. At least one owner must be a Singapore citizen, and the gross monthly household income must be no higher than $3,000.

The move to extend the scheme comes after feedback from the ground, said Mr Lee.

He added that in last year’s Our Singapore Conversation exercise, many seniors living in larger flats wanted to be eligible too.

Other options such as selling their flat and moving into a studio apartment were attractive, but these older Singaporeans still preferred to grow old in their own homes.

Mr Lee said he fully understood this. “The surroundings are familiar, your old friends are around you. Your neighbours, you’ve known them for so long – you don’t want to uproot yourself,” he said.

credits: stproperty

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Down Toa Payoh’s memory lane

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 19th August 2014 in Blog

Down Toa Payoh's memory lane

Long-time residents and others with links to Toa Payoh have come forward to share their memories of the estate as part of a heritage trail launched today.

Temple caretaker Ng Giak Hai, 65, who grew up in Toa Payoh, shared a photo of a religious celebration at United Temple from the 1980s.

This photo is now featured on a marker erected outside the Lorong 7 temple, which was completed in 1974 and houses five different temples from the estate’s kampung days.

It pioneered the combined temple model which eventually led to the establishment of 68 combined temples from the 1970s to 2012.

“Our temple continues to be a centre of activity for worshippers and residents, just as it used to be in the old days,” said Mr Ng proudly.

Developed by the National Heritage Board (NHB), the self-guided trail comes with a detailed 64-page booklet and comprises nine heritage markers and 23 sites with historical and social significance.

Its spokesman said its team took a year to piece the trail together.

Along the way, researchers gathered anecdotes from residents and included them in the trail’s booklet to “better convey the estate’s social memory and vibrancy”, she said.

This is the 12th national heritage trail launched by NHB since the first one on the Civic District was developed in 1999 as part of the country’s millennium celebrations.

Heritage blogger and naval architect Jerome Lim, 49, who grew up in Toa Payoh and contributed photos of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to his family’s three-room Toa Payoh flat in 1972, said the trail has been a long time coming.

“It has been under the radar compared to older estates like Tiong Bahru and Queenstown,” said Mr Lim, adding that Toa Payoh is rich in history.

In the early 1900s, the swampland became home to villages, alongside large swathes of plantations from the 19th century.

By the 1950s, the colonial government began acquiring land in the area for housing.

This marked the start of the estate’s journey to modernisation, as the first housing estate planned and built by the Housing Board (HDB) in the 1960s.

Two of the markers on the trail are the Toa Payoh dragon playground in Lorong 6 and the Toa Payoh Town Park at the junction of Lorong 2 and Lorong 6.

They are among some of HDB’s celebrated works.

Mr Lim said: “The HDB’s approach was a rather integrated one and the estate was regarded as the jewel in the Housing Board’s crown.”

Toa Payoh was also the site of many firsts – it was where the first NTUC Welcome Supermarket and the first fully air-conditioned POSB branch were set up.

Mr Lim also noted the numerous religious institutions scattered across the neighbourhood that were built to serve the community.

Volunteer guide Vasanthi Veera, 43, an administrative executive who studied in the now-defunct East Payoh Secondary School, said the tour will be useful for both residents and visitors.

She added: “Hundreds of people from across Singapore flock to the HDB Hub (in Toa Payoh) every day but have little idea about its role in Singapore’s housing history and the changes the place has undergone.

“The trail and the markers will help raise awareness and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”

 

credits: stproperty

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Asians attracted to Galliard’s Riverdale

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 18th August 2014 in Blog

Asians attracted to Galliard’s Riverdale

More than 60 percent of sales at Riverdale House, Galliard Homes’ new project n Lewisham, London, have been made to buyers from Asia and India, according to the British developer.

Buyers, the developer reported, have been attracted by the regeneration opportunity provided by the project, and its proximity to the City of London.

Currently more than 50 percent of the 137 luxury apartments at Riverdale House are now sold as part of the first phase launch, with the next phase being released next month to coincide with the opening of a new sales suite on site at the development.

David Galman, Sales Director at Galliard Homes, said: “The first phase have all sold off-plan. Purchasers have been a combination of domestic and overseas end-user and investor buyers, with more than 60 percent originating from the Asian and Indian communities.

“Buyers have been attracted by the regeneration opportunity of both the building and Lewisham town centre, and the location’s easy access to the City of London and Canary Wharf. We will release phase two of the scheme in September 2014 with the unveiling of a new sales suite on site.”

Riverdale House consists of the conversion of a landmark office building into a riverside scheme of studio, one- and two- bedroom apartments complete with communal roof terraces, lower ground parking, reflection pool and historic Victorian mill with retained water wheel.

Lewisham is well served for public transport. It is five minutes to Greenwich, eight minutes to London Bridge and 17 minutes to Charing Cross. Canary Wharf is 18 minutes away, whilst it takes 23 minutes to reach Bank.

The new residential development will have a double height entrance and reception foyer, providing a stunning first impression for visitors. Grand stairwells and communal corridors will be complimented by high-speed lifts serving all floors including the lower ground car parking and cycle storage facility. On the 4th and 5th level of the stepped building there will be large communal rooftop terraces for the private use of residents of Riverdale House.

Prices at Riverdale House start from £237,000.

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Two residential sites that could yield 900 housing units launched for sale today: URA

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 18th August 2014 in Blog

Two residential sites that could yield 900 housing units launched for sale today

An EC site is part of the deal.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) unveiled that two residential sites estimated to yield about 900 housing units have been launched for sale today.

According to the URA, the residential site at Lorong Puntong and Executive Condominium site at Sembawang Road / Canberra Link are launched for sale today under the Confirmed List.

“To provide home buyers with more choices for private housing, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing & Development Board (HDB), as the Government’s land sales agents, will be releasing two residential sites for sale in August 2014 under the 2nd half 2014 (2H2014) Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme. Together, these two sites can yield about 900 residential units,” noted the URA.

credits: singapore business review

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Panic selling may happen if current property downtrend persists: CDL

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 17th August 2014 in Blog

Panic selling may happen if current property downtrend persists

SINGAPORE — City Developments Limited, the second-largest developer in the Republic, has flagged concerns about a downward spiral of property prices if the current declining trend continues, but it is confident that the government will take “timely action” if such a scenario arises.

“The general trend in a downturn cycle is that residential sales volume will start to fall and prices will dip slightly, leading to a more acute downward pressure, with spiralling effects, as panic selling or forced sales seep in. This applies across all segments of the residential property market,” said executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng.

“Various industry stakeholders have called for the Government to review and tweak some of its measures. The timing of when to review the cooling measures is a judgment call. (We are) hopeful that timely action will be taken by the Government if and when the situation warrants it.”

Despite the headwinds in the Singapore market, Mr Kwek said residential projects that tick the right boxes can still attract buyers, as evident by the company’s joint-venture developments Coco Palms and Commonwealth Towers, which have, respectively, sold 86 per cent and 78 per cent of the units released.

City Developments’ relatively resilient property development business helped increase its revenue by 5.9 per cent to S$861.1 million in the second quarter of this year. But net profit fell 32.8 per cent to S$137.9 million due to the absence of divestment gains that boosted earnings in the same period last year. On a like-for-like comparison, profits were 89.7 per cent higher in the three months to June.

City Developments said it intended to launch its District 9 freehold condominium, New Futura, subject to market conditions.

As the home market remains challenging, with cooling measures still working their way through the property sector, the developer is looking to accelerate its overseas expansion plans. It has made steady progress in markets such as the United Kingdom and China, and plans to make further inroads into Japan and Australia, said chief executive Grant Kelley.

“In the short term … whether it’s London residential, Japanese hospitality, Chinese residential or mixed-use developments, we’ve got a very clear direction and we will carry that forward with our other geographic expansion in the coming years,” he said.

credits: Today online

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