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Supply of private homes to soar over next 2 years

The supply of private homes available for sale in Singapore is expected to surge by over two-fold in the next one to two years, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong revealed recently.

According to a Business Times report, he said most of the housing pipeline will come from redevelopment projects built on sites purchased via en bloc sales, in addition to residential plots acquired by developers through the Government Land Sales programme.

This means there is ample supply to meet demand, so Singaporeans are advised to “do their homework carefully” before buying a residential property.

For instance, Wong noted that the overall vacancy rate for private houses here has surpassed eight percent for nearly two years at a current rate of 8.4 percent. The last time that it had remained at this high level was in 2005.

“What this means is that, in terms of actual physical units, there are currently more than 30,000 vacant private housing units — all still looking for occupants. To put things in perspective, this is more than the total number of dwellings in the whole of Bishan today.”

He said this during the 58th-anniversary dinner of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore.

Developers must now study traffic impact for en bloc sites

Residential en bloc redevelopment proposals must now include a pre-application feasibility study (PAFS) to assess traffic impact and recommend car-lite measures, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a circular published on 13 November.

This follows an increase in applications from developers for more housing units to be built on such sites, which could cause traffic problems in future.

Effective immediately, developers or property agencies acting on behalf of collective sales committees must submit a PAFS to LTA for evaluation and approval before submitting an outline application or development application to URA.

The study, which is applicable to sites zoned residential, residential with commercial at the 1st storey and commercial & residential, is not required for proposals approved before 13 November.

Interested parties will need to engage an experienced traffic consultant to assess the estimated number of units that can be built, impact of traffic on nearby junctions, and propose car-lite initiatives, traffic demand management measures and/or feasible transport improvement plans, such as setting aside land for road widening.

The study will also reduce the need to revise development plans and expedite the approval process.

LTA and URA will continue to monitor and assess if there is a need to extend the PAFS to other types of developments in future.

3 HDB flats resold for over $1 million

Despite a steady drop in HDB resale prices, at least three units in Holland Village and Commonwealth have been sold for more than $1 million so far this year, reported the Straits Times.

According to PropNex, one of them is a 36th-floor unit at Block 18D, Holland Drive that changed hands for $1.03 million in July. The other two are situated at Block 50, Commonwealth Drive. One fetched $1.028 million in August, while the other sold for $1.035 million in October.

PropNex property agent Michelle Chia, who was involved in the Holland Village deal, revealed that the unit was bought by a couple in their 20s, who were attracted by the “million-dollar view” of the landed properties in the vicinity and the flat’s proximity to amenities like the Holland Village MRT station.

Surprisingly, the trio are just regular HDB flats and are not among those that have often commanded high prices, such as units in Pinnacle@Duxton, executive apartments, and homes constructed under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS).

For instance, a DBSS penthouse at Bishan’s Natura Loft was sold for $1.18 million in February.

A Pinnacle@Duxton flat that fetched $1.12 million set a record for the most expensive HDB resale transaction last year, while a five-roomer at Clementi Towers went for $1,005,000.

While Clementi Towers was the first HDB development integrated with a shopping mall and bus interchange, HDB blocks in Commonwealth and Holland Village don’t enjoy such features as they were intended to house those displaced by the Housing Board’s Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from PropNex noted that an HDB flat at Block 18C, Holland Drive changed hands for $975,000 in August.

“We can expect prices at this block to be around this rate, possibly crossing the million-dollar mark again in the near future, as buyers are prepared to pay over $1 million for the units’ size and their central location,” said the spokesperson.

GuocoLand lauded as Asia’s top developer

GuocoLand was recognised as the region’s Best Developer at the recent PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final held at Marina Bay Sands, after being named as Singapore’s top home builder in the local leg of the awards.

“One of the Singapore’s leading developers, GuocoLand believes that every project should possess ‘poetic ambience’ and offer a lifestyle that’s comfortable and usable. GuocoLand achieves its goal by incorporating well-designed public spaces, sustainable and green amenities, and choosing the most premium locations for the benefit of consumers,” said the judging panel.

Not only was its GuocoTower project hailed as Asia’s Best Office Development, its Tanjong Pagar Centre was crowned as Singapore’s Best Green Development, with the latter’s Wallich Residence component securing the top local prize for luxury condominiums.

Other local regional winners were Stars of Kovan by Property Enterprises Development, which bagged the Best Residential Interior Design in Asia, while High Park Residences by Fernvale Development was recognised for the Best Landscape Architectural Design.

Overall, Singapore received the most number of regional awards (four), followed by Macau (three). Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines each got two. Hong Kong and Malaysia each won one.

The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final presented a total of 17 regional prizes. It was even bigger this year as 33 local awards were handed out to new participating markets, namely Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Macau.

  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!