Market News

12 Sep 2019

Changes in HDB grants: No price spikes for resale flats but EC crunch could worsen

While the resale market for ageing flats is set to see a boost from changes to housing grant schemes that kicked in yesterday, the prices of such flats may not necessarily rise in tandem with increased demand, property observers said. This is because the Government is likely to increase the supply of new flats to match the higher overall demand and keep housing prices under control, they added. The analysts were responding to changes announced on Tuesday, which included the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG). The EHG - given to first-timer families earning $9,000 or less - replaces two previous grants. It allows more people to benefit, as it has a higher income cap and does not impose any restrictions on flat size or location. PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor said the EHG will increase buyer interest in resale flats and could help owners who have found it difficult to sell their older flats. He noted that while resale flats are about 20 per cent pricier than comparable new flats, the additional grant money (up to $40,000), coupled with other advantages such as saving on renovation and a shorter waiting time, could narrow the price gap for first-time buyers. But he does not expect prices to rise significantly just because there are more buyers. To keep public housing affordable, the Government will most likely monitor the market and ramp up the supply of new flats if needed, he said. Prices may increase slightly with inflation but should remain stable overall, he added. ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the changes may not mean that buyers will now rush for resale flats in mature estates, as many consider multiple factors in buying homes. Some who have specific wants, such as living near their parents, may be prepared to pay a higher price or receive less in grants to get their desired flat through the resale market, he noted. Buyers who get a resale flat with a lease that does not cover them till age 95 will see their grants pro-rated. But for most, the specific flat's proximity to amenities like MRT stations and schools, or to undesirable elements like columbariums and expressways, is more significant than the type of estate, Mr Mak said. And younger buyers generally tend to prefer newer flats that are easier to sell off a few years down the road, he added. The housing policy changes include raising the income ceiling for executive condominiums (ECs) from $14,000 to $16,000. In the short term, this will likely widen the gap between the high demand and low supply of ECs as the land supply for such projects is scarce, Mr Mak said. "The supply in the short term is quite inflexible," he added, noting that the rules require developers to wait at least 15 months before they can launch EC projects after acquiring land parcels. So even if the Government were to sell more land parcels next year, new ECs would be launched in 2021 to 2022 at the earliest, he said. Mr Mak noted that there are currently three EC projects set to be launched next year. There were no would-be buyers yesterday afternoon when The Straits Times visited the showroom for Piermont Grand in Punggol - the only EC launched this year. "It's still early days. I'm hopeful for the weekend when more people have heard about the news and are not working," said OrangeTee & Tie property agent Andrew Yew. "The EHG has been a long time coming and really helps young couples who might have been considering ECs previously but whose income exceeded the ceiling." Source from The Straits Times 12 Sept 2019

05 Sep 2019

GuocoLand to launch freehold Meyer Mansion on Sept 13

GUOCOLAND will open the sale of units in its freehold condominium Meyer Mansion on Sept 13. The public preview will be held on Saturday. GuocoLand declined to divulge the pricing for the project but analysts expect prices to be above S$2,700 per square foot (psf). "The new freehold development along Amber Road has been going at between S$2,300 to S$2,800 psf," said Nicholas Mak, head of research at ERA Realty. He was referring to Amber Park. "We can expect Meyer Mansion to be priced above S$2,700 psf given its location and high quality finishes." Located at the former Casa Meyfort along Meyer Road, the development is a 25-storey residential tower comprising 200 units. It offers a range of units from 484 sq ft one-bedroom apartments to 2,142 sq ft four-bedroom premium units. GuocoLand bought the former Casa Meyfort residential site through a collective sale for S$319.88 million last year. The price works out to about S$1,580 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), including an estimated development charge of S$57.2 million. Higher floor units of the condo boast unblocked panoramic views of the sea while lower floor units offer views of Meyer Mansion's own gardens, said the developer. Meyer Road is in District 15 and is touted as a prime seafront residential district. Said GuocoLand group managing director Cheng Hsing Yao: "It is extremely rare for a high-rise freehold site along Meyer Road to become available, and it will be increasingly so in the future. An opportunity like Meyer Mansion will be very hard to come by going forward." The development is a 450-metre walk via an underpass to East Coast Park, with Changi Airport a 10-minute drive away. The upcoming Thomson-East Coast MRT Line is also set to open in 2023 for prospective residents to access Katong Park MRT station within six minutes by foot. Limited supply of freehold developments is likely to drive demand, said PropNex Realty's head of luxury team Dominic Lee. "There has not been much freehold development so it will be quite sought after and the sea view is a big draw point for people who are looking out for projects in this area," he said. Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Knight Frank, shared similar views. "Buyers are actually willing to pay a premium for freehold units in good locations as we have seen in some of the recent developments like Amber Park," he said. Amber Park has moved 157 units at a median price of S$2,475 psf as at Q2 2019. Other upcoming developments nearby include UOL's and Kheng Leong's MeyerHouse (the former Nanak Mansions) on Meyer Road and Bukit Sembawang Estates' former Katong Park Towers site. Meyer Mansion is GuocoLand's first residential property launch in the past two years and is expected to be completed in 2024. Its last residential development was Martin Modern, which was launched in 2017 and has a current take-up rate of 77 per cent for its 450 units, said the developer. Looking ahead, Mr Cheng said that GuocoLand will be focusing its efforts on the commercial front with its recent development of Guoco Midtown. The mixed-development features a 30-storey office block, a residential tower with more than 200 units and a range of public spaces across a gross floor area of almost one million square feet. "We are now pushing along the leasing of the office block and the interest has been very strong among prospective tenants," said Mr Cheng. Source from The Business Times 5 Sept 2019

01 Sep 2019

SingHaiyi sells 324 units of Parc Clematis on launch day

SingHaiyi Group’s newly launched Parc Clematis sold 324 of the 465 units released for sale by the end of the launch day on Aug 31. This worked out to an average selling price of about S$1,580 per square foot (psf). The developer said that 48 per cent of the units sold consisted of one-bedroom and various dual-key bedroom units. Situated along Jalan Lempeng at the junction of the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and Clementi Avenue 6, the 99-year leasehold, 1,468 unit-development has units ranging from one- to five- bedrooms as well as larger strata landed houses. Residential unit sizes range from 452 sq ft for a one-bedroom unit to 2,669 sq ft for the largest five-bedroom penthouse unit. The strata Terrace units start from 2,659 sq ft and the Bungalow units are 3,832 sq ft each. Prices start from S$699,000 for a one-bedroom unit, S$1.05 million for a two-bedroom unit, and S$1.32 million for a three-bedroom unit. Celine Tang, group managing director of SingHaiyi, said: “We are very encouraged by the strong take-up by homeowners and investors for Parc Clematis. In particular, we are heartened to see brisk sales of larger apartment types which typically appeal to buyers looking to stay in them, in addition to strong sales demand for one- and two-bedroom units which are suitable for both residents and investors.” Source from The Business Times 1 Sept 2019