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Price gap between freehold and leasehold shrinking

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 7th April 2015 in Blog

Price gap between freehold and leasehold shrinking

Prices of freehold non-landed homes have suffered a sharper drop of more than four percent since Q3 2013 versus the one percent dip for leasehold units, according to media reports citing Cushman & Wakefield’s study of URA data.

As a result, the disparity between prices of non-landed freehold homes over its leasehold counterparts has shrunk, said the consultancy’s research director Christine Li.

“If you look at Newton 18, which is a freehold property as compared to its neighbour Amaryllis Ville, (which has a) 99-year lease – if you compared the price gap in the early days, say 2002-2003, the difference is actually about 35 percent or so. But in recent quarters, the gap has narrowed to 15 percent, which means that over time, leasehold projects might outperform freehold projects,” Li shared.

“In terms of outlook, if everything is status quo, if the Government does not loosen the cooling measures, Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) or stringent requirements for en bloc sales, we think leasehold properties could outperform freehold properties, given that attributes of some leasehold properties are better in terms of location and amenities,” she added.

However, experts cautioned that the statistics may have been distorted by the low transaction volumes.

The price performance between the two segments also depends on their potential to be sold via a collective sale. Usually, freehold properties fetch a higher price premium when the en bloc market is hot.

Meanwhile, a Knight Frank study of caveats showed a different trend whereby the price gap between freehold and leasehold non-landed homes in Singapore has increased further to 44 percent in 2014 from around 33 percent in the previous year.

Last year, average prices of freehold units rose 9.8 percent to $1,532 psf on an annual basis, while for leasehold it dipped 0.4 percent to S$1,045 psf.

“Going forward, in the next few years, as the Government gradually releases land sites which are all leasehold tenure, the availability of freehold properties is slated to remain stagnant or decline,” said Alice Tan, Knight Frank’s research head.

“Given that limited supply, I think buyers will still have freehold properties as their first choice,” she added.



Former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to open on Good Friday

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 4th April 2015 in Blog
Former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to open on Good Friday

Image: SLA


The former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will open its doors to the public on Good Friday from 9am to 6pm, announced the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Back in February, SLA said the historical landmark would be open to visitors on all public holidays, starting from the second day of the Lunar New Year.

This is to allow more people to visit the national monument and enjoy the surroundings.

Meanwhile, visitors have been reminded to keep the area clean and litter free.

To help preserve the monument, several activities will not be allowed on the premises including cycling and roller blading, smoking, consumption of alcohol and bringing pets (except for guide dogs).

credits: propertyguru


Sky Habitat nears completion

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 3rd April 2015 in Blog

sky habitat perspective 8

CapitaLand’s iconic Sky Habitat condominium in Bishan Central is expected to be ready soon with the 38-storey development now towering above other buildings in the area.

Designed by renowned international architect Moshe Safdie, a key selling point is its futuristic design which includes a rooftop swimming pool offering views of Bishan Park and the city, and three sky bridges connecting the two tower blocks.

The 99-year leasehold project comprises 509 apartments of two- to four-bedrooms as well as one-bedroom + study and two-bedroom + study units, with sizes ranging from about 680 to 3,000 sq ft. The floor area is reportedly much bigger than typical developments nowadays, making it ideal for large families.

Located near Bishan MRT station and Junction 8 shopping mall, Sky Habitat was relaunched a year ago to make it more attractive to price-sensitive buyers and investors.

Based on recent caveat data, units have been transacted at around $1,365 psf compared to transacted prices of around $1,580 psf when it was first launched in 2012, making it the most expensive suburban condominium at the time.

credits: propertyguru


Condo prices fall at slower pace

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 1st April 2015 in Blog

Waterfront at Faber Perspective 5

Image: Waterfront @ Faber

Prices of non-landed private homes continued to drop in February 2015, but the overall pace of decline has slowed compared to the previous month, revealed flash estimates of the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI).

Across the island, prices dipped 0.3 percent last month after registering a 0.9 percent fall in January.

Excluding small units, prices in the central region slipped further by 0.7 percent – less than the 1.2 percent decrease at the start of 2015. But the non-central region has seen no price change since January.

As for small units, prices went down 0.2 percent in February after rising 0.2 percent in the month before.

The NUS price index for the central region looks at properties located in districts 1 to 4 and 9 to 11. Properties outside these districts fall under the non-central region.

credits: propertyguru


Two owners appeal ruling on Gilstead Court sale

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 29th March 2015 in Blog

Serangoon Garden bungalow up for auction

Two homeowners at Gilstead Court in Newton have appealed a decision by the High Court which gave the green light for the en bloc sale of the condominium, according to media reports.

Represented by Stamford Law Corporation director Adrian Tan, the minority owners are asking the Court of Appeal to review a part of last month’s decision by High Court Judge Quentin Loh supporting the $150.2 million sale.

Notably, five owners who objected to the deal were imposed with financial penalties under the sales agreement.

One of the penalties required them to pay twice the contributions given by consenting owners towards a common fund that was set up to cover the costs related to the en bloc sale.

They were also made to pay an additional $135,000 for the Strata Titles Board proceedings.

The case was brought up to the High Court following failed mediation efforts with the Strata Titles Board.

In his decision, Justice Loh acknowledged the basic rights of dissenting owners to object to the collective sale, adding that they were not bound by the sales agreements since they were not signatories to it.

“This cannot be right. Otherwise, a majority can embark on an ill-advised collective sale and yet call upon to detractors to contribute to the costs thereof,” he said.

While it may have been easier to scrap the sale, he ruled that it would not be in the interest of the majority to do so, considering the current market state.

He noted that the decision to let the sale proceed, albeit more tedious than refusing it, was “the fair one”.

credits: propertyguru


Govt may review cooling measures this year, say reports

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 27th March 2015 in Blog

Bellewoods perspective 4

Image: Bellewoods EC @ Woodlands

Analysts expect the government to review the property cooling measures this year, media reports said.

This is because the government’s four key metrics – speculation, home prices, foreign buying and interest rates have begun to move in desired directions, shared Maybank Kim Eng analyst Derrick Heng.

At the same time, HSBC economist Joseph Incalcaterra noted that the government’s macroprudential measures such as the TDSR have been effective in curbing household debt accumulation.

“The MAS is likely to maintain its macroprudential policy to assist in the deleveraging of households; however, it is possible that they tweak some measures in 2H 2015,” he added.

In a Q4 2014 consumer sentiment survey published by PropertyGuru which polled 940 Singaporeans and permanent residents, two in three people wanted the government to maintain the cooling measures, but hoped to see some curbs relaxed.

The top three measures they’d like loosened are:

–    Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on a second or subsequent property;

–    Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework;

–    Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) on HDB loans.

The survey polled 940 Singaporeans and permanent residents.

credits: propertyguru