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60% of flat buyers opt for open kitchen concept

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 23rd December 2014 in Blog


60 percentage of flat buyers opt for open kitchen concept

Image: Hdb

The “open kitchen” concept has gained popularity, with 60 percent of Built-To-Order (BTO) flat buyers going for the said option, reported the media.

Notably, the choice of having an open kitchen was piloted in September 2012 during a BTO exercise at Teck Ghee Parkview, and about 70 percent of house buyers opting for the open kitchen concept (pictured).

The option of not having a wall to separate the kitchen from the rest of the house comes under the HDB’s Optional Component Scheme, which was introduced in 1989 to provide flat buyers more options when customising their units.

Kelvin Tan, co-founder and interior designer at Celsius Ink, noted that said options help new home owners save costs.

“Without the open kitchen concept, they have to knock down walls, remove tiles, and a lot of submissions are required in order for them to achieve this new design…With the savings, if this option is provided, they’re able to use their funds in some other areas for renovation,” he said.

“I think you can save a good amount of money, because if you’re talking about hacking, on a high price side, you’re looking at anywhere between $400 and $500. Touching up might cost you about $300 to $400 if it is a big wall. Easily, you can save up to $700 or $800,” added Alvin Chan, Managing Director of i.Haven Design Consultants.

The first batch of HDB flats offering the open kitchen concept are set to be completed by Q1 2017.

credits: propertyguru


RES exam to be held once in three months from next year

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 23rd December 2014 in Blog

RES exam to be held once in three months from next year

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) has adjusted the frequency of the Real Estate Salesperson (RES) and Real Estate Agent (REA) examinations from 1 January 2015.

The RES exam will be held once in three months while the REA exam will be conducted once in four months. The CEA website states the RES exam will be held in February, May, August and November 2015, while the REA exam are scheduled in March, July and November 2015.

Additionally, Paper 1 will be rescheduled to Saturday (instead of Sunday), and Paper 2 which is will be rescheduled to Sunday (instead of Saturday).

To ensure new entrants to the real estate agency profession have a basic level of competency and knowledge on property related matters and the real estate agency industry, the RES exam is an entry-level assessment for those who wish to be salespersons in the industry.

On the other hand, the REA exam is for those who intend to assume the role of the Key Executive Officer (KEO) / Practising Director or Practising Partner of an estate agent.

The RES and REA exams are administered by NTUC Learning Hub, and the passing mark for each exam paper is 60 percent and is subject to review by CEA.

credits: propertyguru


Private home prices down almost 5% in 2014

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 15th December 2014 in Blog

Waterfront at Faber Perspective 5

image: Waterfront @ Faber

Prices of private properties in Singapore fell by 4.79 percent during the first nine months of 2014, compared to an annual increase of 2.1 percent in the same period last year, revealed a report from Global Property Guide.

On a quarterly basis, prices of private units dipped by 0.38 percent in Q3 from the previous three months.

At the same time, residential demand in the city-state is dropping. The report stated that sales of housing units plunged 38.6 percent to 1,465 units in the third quarter from last year, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Singapore’s economy is also slowing, with forecasts of 2.96 percent growth this year, down from 3.9 percent in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Of the 10 Asian markets tracked in the report, only Singapore and China saw house prices decline during the year.

credits: propertyguru


81% of Popular’s Balestier condo unsold

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 12th December 2014 in Blog

Ei8ht Raja

For the three months ended 31 October 2014, Popular Holdings’ turnover dropped by eight percent from $136.5 million to $125.5 million.

This was largely due to less revenue achieved in its Property and Retail & Distribution Divisions.

Only one unit of its freehold condominium in Balestier, Ei8ht Raja (pictured) was sold for $2.5 million in the said quarter, compared to two units of 18 Shelford for a total consideration of $8.8 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

18 Shelford is Popular’s freehold condominium in District 11.

In a statement, the group said there are still 21 unsold units in Ei8ht Raja as at 31 October 2014, and only five units were sold since obtaining the Temporary Occupation Permit in May 2013.

According to media reports, its Permai Residences project in District 4 is slated be completed by end of next year.

Popular’s core business lies in retail and book publishing, but the group ventured into the property market in 2006 to shore up the capital needed for retail and publishing expansion.

Credits: propertyguru


Hiap hoe sells upscale condo to controlling shareholder

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 11th December 2014 in Blog
Hiap hoe sells upscale condo to controlling shareholder

Image: Hiap hoe

Hiap Hoe Group is selling its high-end condominium, Treasure on Balmoral, to its controlling shareholder, Hiap Hoe Holdings, to dodge hefty extension fees under the qualifying certificate (QC) rules, reported the media.

In a statement, the company revealed Hiap Hoe Holdings, which owns 69.85 percent of Hiap Hoe, is buying all 48 units in the upscale condominium development in District 10 for $72.83 million after accounting for shareholder loans and other liabilities. The purchase price is based on a market value of $185 million or $1,789 psf for the 103,439 sq ft project.

Treasure on Balmoral (pictured) was first launched in September 2012 at an initial launch price of between $2,044 and $2,375 psf.

The project’s last expression of interest (EOI) in July failed to attract satisfactory offers, with the highest at $1,750 psf, which is below the guide price of $1,850 psf.

Since the project received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in November 2012, Hiap Hoe has to pay extension fees for unsold units from this period. Notably, Hiap Hoe paid around $5.52 million of fees for a further six months from 2 November.



25.7% of private Home to get tax cut

Posted by Singapore Property Launch on 11th December 2014 in Blog

25.7% of private Home to get tax cut

Amidst rising vacancies and a sluggish residential market, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will reduce the property tax for next year of about 73,300 private houses, according to media reports.

This translates to 25.7 percent out of 285,000 private homes in Singapore. Of these, 70,000 are landed and 215,000 are high-rise units. Last year, only two percent saw a reduction in taxes due to a dip in their annual values.

Basically, the property tax of private houses depends on their annual value, which is reviewed each year by the government based on the rents of similar homes in the area.

However, some believe the tax collector’s yearly review does not completely and accurately gauge the annual values of properties. Nonetheless, IRAS pointed out that Hong Kong holds an annual review, while some countries have longer review periods of three to five years.

Home owners can also raise objections if they feel there is a mistake in the assessment of their properties’ annual values, but some are held back from doing so due to an absence of reliable rental data.

“It’s not that the process is not transparent, but both IRAS and home owners are handicapped,” said Leung Yew Kwong, Principal Tax Consultant at KPMG Singapore. “It’s impossible for IRAS to go into every house to assess its condition, and rental information is difficult for individuals to get.”

In the 12 months to 31 March 2014, IRAS collected $720 million property taxes from private homes.

Credits: property guru