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Faster and easier HDB resale process by 2018

The Housing Board plans to launch a new website that will significantly expedite the selling and buying of HDB resale flats.

At present, an HDB resale transaction usually takes about 16 weeks to complete, where both parties need to fulfil two appointments with the Housing Board. The first appointment evaluates the buyer’s financial plan and determines the seller’s sale proceeds, while the second appointment is where both parties sign the documents to complete the deal.

Before the first appointment, the buyer and the seller must also complete an online resale checklist to verify their eligibility to buy and sell before the deal can proceed.

However, with the new HDB Resale Portal that will go live on 1 January 2018, the entire resale process will be shortened to just eight weeks. Both parties would only need to set one appointment to physically sign the documents after the Housing Board’s approval of their application.

The new website will integrate all eligibility checks on one platform making the entire process accessible and convenient to both buyers and sellers. “The portal will display an individual’s eligibility to buy or sell their flat. Flat buyers will also be able to view their eligibility for housing grants and an HDB concessionary housing loan through the portal, and apply for an HDB Loan Eligibility Letter if they intend to take up an HDB housing loan.

“Buyers using their CPF monies and/or taking up a housing loan to finance their flat purchase will also use the portal to request HDB to confirm the value of their flat to determine their housing loan and/or CPF usage,” said the Housing Board.

All new resale applications must be submitted through the portal from next January, and applicants need to pay a processing fee of $120, inclusive of GST.

Former Zouk site up for sale with $689.35m reserve price

The site previously occupied by iconic nightclub Zouk has been put up for sale with a minimum bid price of $689.35 million.

The tender for the 99-year leasehold site will close on 5 December, and offers below $689.35 million will not to be considered, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Zoned residential with first-storey commercial use, the site has a maximum gross floor area of about 551,446 sq ft and could yield 525 housing units.

“The land parcel enjoys a waterfront view of the historic Singapore River with direct access to the river promenade accompanied by a good mix of retail, dining and entertainment options,” noted the URA.

It is also accessible via the Central Expressway as well as the upcoming Havelock and Great World MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line.

With this, analysts expect the site to draw strong interest from developers.

“With the optimism around the residential market in the mid- to long term, we expect 10 to 15 bids at possibly 30 percent above the minimum bid,” said Desmond Sim, research head for CBRE in Singapore and Southeast Asia, when the site was triggered for sale last month.

It is also expected to set a record for Government Land Sales (GLS) sites in terms of the land rate, reported the Straits Times.

ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak expects the land price for the site to hover between $728 million and $800 million, or a record $1,320 to $1,450 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr).

“Just as the tender for the site of GuocoLand’s Martin Modern resulted in a record GLS residential land price rate of $1,239 psf ppr when that tender closed in June 2016, the tender for this land parcel at Jiak Kim Street would also produce a new record GLS residential land price,” said Mak.

En blocs can be stressful for residents

While this year’s collective sale fever has yielded $5.2 billion worth of deals, experts warn that en bloc sales could also prove to be a stressful experience for owners, reported the New Paper.

“There can be disagreements and different camps,” said PropNex Realty associate division director Aaron Wan.

A resident of Tampines Court, who tracked the estate’s collective sale in a blog, posted pictures of anonymously-written fliers he received in June that urged residents to write to the sales committee for an increase in the reserve price.

“I can hardly keep up with all the letters flying about under doors, in letterboxes and surreptitiously passed from hand to hand.”

62-year-old resident Alfred Chong, on the other hand, felt it was unfair that the 80 percent requirement meant he would have to move out even if he did not consent to the sale.

Estates not less than 10 years need the support of 90 percent of the owners for it to go through an en bloc sale, while estates older than 10 years only require 80 percent.

Blocking an en bloc sale, however, could result in strained relationships with other residents. In fact, R. Jayakumar – who launched a legal fight to prevent Shunfu Ville’s sale – believes that some residents may be bitter towards him for delaying the sale.

Meanwhile, those rooting for a successful sale may suffer an emotional roller coaster while waiting for the sale to push through.

Two Tampines Court residents revealed that they had been worried when their previous attempt at a collective sale in 2008 and 2011 fell through.

“This place is very run-down. I was stressed out as it would be hard to sell on the market if there was no en bloc,” said a 60-year-old private tutor, who wanted to be identified only as Mrs Tan.

Housing precincts

3 upcoming precincts to yield about 18,500 homes

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong recently launched an exhibit that showcases some preliminary ideas regarding three upcoming residential precincts that could potentially yield a total of 18,500 homes.

The exhibit called “Our Neighbourhoods: A Look into the Future” is being held at The URA Centre Atrium until 20 November.

Wong noted that the 34ha Holland Plain precinct is expected to accommodate around 2,500 private homes, while some 4,000 private homes will be built at the 17ha Kampong Bugis precinct along Kallang Road.

But the largest is the 60ha Bayshore precinct next to East Coast Park that could potentially yield a total of 12,000 HDB flats and private housing units, he said, adding that all three will be within a short walk to one or more MRT stations.

In addition, he revealed that the government will improve the last-mile connection from these estates to MRT stations.

“In the coming months, we will actively engage the communities around the three precincts to better refine our plans in the lead-up to their launches,” Wong said.

Kampong Bugis is expected to be launched in the next one to two years, followed by Holland Plain by 2021, while Bayshore would take longer by 2024 as the government will have to wait for the completion of the MRT stations there.


  The PropertyGuru News & Views   This article was first published in the print version PropertyGuru News & Views. Download PDFs of full print issues or read more stories now!