23rd August to 29th August 2022
More new Build-to-Order (BTO) units will be set aside for families and singles applying for the first time, starting from the upcoming August 2022 BTO launch on 30 August. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has revealed plans to redesign and upgrade Ang Mo Kio town centre.
1) More BTO flats to be set aside for first-time applicants
Starting from the upcoming BTO launch on 30 August, more new BTO units will be set aside for families and singles applying for the first time.
This comes amid the strong housing demand from this group of buyers and to improve their chances of securing their first homes.
In a release, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced that at least 85% of three-room flat supply and 95% of four-room and larger flat supply within non-mature estates will be set aside for first-time family applicants, up from 70% and 85%, respectively.
“For mature estates, we will continue to set aside at least 95% of BTO flat supply for first-timer families,” said the agencies.
For first-timer single applicants, up to 65% of non-senior two-room Flexi flats within non-mature estates will be allocated for them, up from 50% currently.
MND and HDB noted that first-timers continue to form the bulk of BTO applications, with first-timer families seeking new flats growing significantly from more than 19,000 in 2018 to around 34,000 in 2021.
“We also recognise that first-timer applicants generally have more pressing and immediate housing needs to start their life plans,” they said.
2) Ang Mo Kio town centre to be upgraded; first phase to be completed by mid-2023
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said plans to transform Singapore involve not only new towns but also mature estates.
In fact, the Ang Mo Kio centre is set to be redesigned and upgraded, reported TODAY.
“We have further plans to upgrade and redesign our town centre to make it more enjoyable and more accessible to residents, with more greenery, more seats and more shelters — suitable for old people and also young people,” said Lee during the Teck Ghee National Day Celebration Dinner.
He revealed that the first phase of upgrades will be completed by the middle of 2023.
“It will stretch from the square outside AMK Hub and 51@AMK, through our outdoor shopping street, all the way to the central stage,” said Lee, who also serves as a grassroots adviser for Teck Ghee.
Other new developments in the town include the upcoming August 2022 Ang Mo Kio BTO project, Central Weave @ Ang Mo Kio, which will be launched on 30 August 2022. The last time a BTO project was launched in the mature estate was in August 2020.
3) Frasers Property opens Sky Eden@Bedok for preview, prices start from $1.31mil
Frasers Property has opened Sky Eden@Bedok for preview over the weekend, with sales bookings to start on 10 September.
Set to receive its Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) in the first half of 2027, indicative prices at the 158-unit residential development start from $1.31 million for a 657 sq ft two-bedder, $1.73 million for an 893 sq ft three-bedder and $2.6 million for a 1,302 sq ft four-bedder.
In a release, Frasers Property noted that Sky Eden@Bedok also comes with a retail podium comprising 12 shops on the ground floor.
“We are proud to unveil Sky Eden@Bedok, the first residential launch in the well sought after Bedok Town Centre in a decade. Envisaged as an urban oasis with signature sky gardens on every level and next to each home, Sky Eden@Bedok will be a green focal point in the vicinity,” said Lorraine Shiow, Acting Chief Operating Officer for Residential at Frasers Property Singapore.
“It will cater to homebuyers’ live-play-work aspirations and wellness goals with its comprehensive facilities, retail podium and design philosophy that brings the community closer to nature,” she added.
Related article: Sky Eden@Bedok Launch: The New Sky In Eastern Singapore
4) Paya Lebar Air Base relocation to improve en bloc potential of some developments, but not automatically
Property analysts believe the relocation of the Paya Lebar Air Base and the lifting of building height restrictions around it could enhance the en bloc potential of some nearby developments, reported TODAY.
Nicholas Mak, ERA Realty Network’s Head of Research and Consultancy, however, pointed out that the lifting of height restrictions will not automatically lead to an en bloc sale boom.
“It must have a corresponding increase in plot ratio, otherwise, there may not be enough incentive for developers to buy over the land,” he said.
Lee Sze Teck, Senior Director of Research at Huttons Asia, noted that URA is set to review the master plan in 2024, which could mean increased property prices and en bloc sales in case the plot ratio is raised.
“Maybe in that review, we might see some changes to the land use zoning or even plot ratio. But for now, we don’t think there will be any effect on the property prices for homes in the area,” he said.
5) Prime freehold resale homes selling at new leasehold suburban prices
Several freehold resale condominiums located in prime districts are being offered at prices lower than the $2,110 per sq ft (psf) median selling price achieved at the new 99-year project AMO Residence in Ang Mo Kio.
Checks by The Business Times on PropertyGuru showed that around two dozen projects within prime districts 9, 10 and 11 are available for less.
At the time of writing, a freehold 797 sq ft two-bedder unit at Sophia Residence in District 9 was listed at $1.6 million, while a 1,066 sq ft two-bedder Verdure @ Holland Park unit in District 10 was being sold for $2.2 million.
Despite these, house hunters continue to buy 99-year leasehold properties within the Outside Central Region (OCR) at comparable or even higher psf prices.
Catherine He, Director and Head of Research at Colliers, point to the progressive payment scheme for new launches as key reasons, noting that resale units require buyers to make payments upfront with the mortgage kicking in immediately.
She added that snapping new launches also allows buyers to ride long-term price uptrends.
Other reasons cited by analysts include familiarity with the suburban location, elderly parents and proximity to children’s school.
6) Fewer HDB owners buying private homes
Fewer HDB upgraders have acquired private residential property in the first half of 2022 even as the resale prices of HDB flats increased 5.3% during the period under review, compared to the 4.2% price hike registered for private homes, reported The Straits Times.
In 1H 2022, about 3,649 new and resale non-landed private homes were purchased by those with HDB addresses, down 26.2% from 4,942 over the same period last year, revealed JLL citing transactions registered in URA’s Realis database.
Analysts believe that the hike in the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates from 12% to 17% in December last year may have deterred those acquiring their second residential property.
“Some may have difficulty paying the ABSD upfront even if they are able to get the ABSD remission after selling their flats,” said Christine Sun, Senior Vice President of Research and Analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.
Moreover, some buyers may have been priced out amid the widening gap between the median transacted price of new non-landed private homes and HDB resale flats. PropNex data showed that the price differential stood at $1.39 million in 1H 2022, $1.088 million in 2021 and $911,000 in 2020.
7) Residential site at Bukit Batok East Avenue on the market for $42mil
A freehold residential site at 30 Bukit Batok East Avenue 6 has been put up for sale with a guide price of $42 million, reported The Straits Times.
Currently, the site is occupied by a single-storey car workshop with a three-storey annex building that is leased to Japanese automotive retail and services firm, Autobacs Singapore.
Located right next to Bukit Batok Nature Park, the 37,575 sq ft site is zoned “Residential” under the 2019 Master Plan with an allowable plot ratio of 1.4. Inclusive of bonus balcony area, the site has a maximum permissible gross floor area of 56,287 sq ft.
It can yield 57 new housing units, subject to the approval of relevant authorities.
Marketing agent SRI noted that the guide price translates to a land rate of $1,127 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), inclusive of the development charge payable and bonus balcony area.
The tender for the site closes on 21 September.
8) New residential sales up 31.3% in Q2 2022
Singapore saw residential sales jump 31.3% quarter-on-quarter to 2,397 units in the second quarter of 2022, reversing the 39.5% decline registered in the previous quarter, according to Savills.
Secondary sales also rose 25.5% quarter-on-quarter to 4,414 units, following two consecutive quarterly drops.
“The dearth of new launches and the significant time gaps between each launch is allowing the market to unearth new pockets of demand,” said Savills Singapore’s Executive Director of Research Alan Cheong.
Notably, the private residential market is expected to set record prices within the mass and mid-tier markets.
Looking ahead, Savills forecasts private home prices to increase 7% year-on-year for the whole of 2022, before moderating to 2.4% year-on-year in 2023.
“The increase may be more if inflation continues to simmer, which is highly likely,” it said.
9) Changi Village resort to ‘upcycle’ out-of-service public buses as rooms
A new resort in Changi Village will open in April 2023, featuring 20 decommissioned public buses from SBS Transit as guest rooms, reported TODAY.
The new resort – tentatively named “The Bus Resort” – will be nestled on an over 8,600 sq m site at the vacant state land right next to Changi Village Hawker Centre.
The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the resort is the brainchild of WTS Travel, in partnership with LHN Group and Sky Win Holdings.
Each room, which comes with about 28 sq m interior and 15 sq m exterior, will be priced at about $300 to $400 per night.
“This unique project is one where we demonstrate the green and sustainability elements of new developments,” said Siglap Grassroots Adviser Dr Maliki Osman during the resort’s groundbreaking ceremony.
10) Conservation shophouse at Lor Telok up for sale for $18.8mil
A three-storey plus attic conservation shophouse at 10 Lor Telok has been put up for sale via expression of interest (EOI) with a guide price of $18.8 million, revealed marketing agent Huttons Asia.
Located in the Boat Quay Conservation area, near Raffles Place MRT station, the freehold property occupies a 1,410 sq ft site and has a built-up area of about 4,000 sq ft.
The ground floor, which boasts of a floor-to-ceiling height of 4.5m, is currently occupied by an F&B operator. The second level is being used as an office space, while the third level and attic are occupied by a yoga gym operator.
With a leasehold tenure of 999 years, the site is zoned “commercial” under the URA Master Plan – which means no ABSD is payable, and foreigners and companies are eligible to acquire the property.
The EOI exercise for the shophouse closes on 14 September 2022.
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: email@example.com.