Experts share suggestions for Fresh Start Housing Scheme


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30/05/2016

Experts hope that the 2016 Budget, which will be announced this Thursday (24 March), will solve some current problems with the Fresh Start Housing Scheme, reported Channel NewsAsia. This scheme helps HDB tenants purchase their own flat, with a focus on families with young children, and those who previously owned a home. But a key problem is fine-tuning the eligibility criteria to ensure that the beneficiaries really deserve such assistance, said DTZ’s Research Head Lee Nai Jia. “I t...
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Wealthy Malaysians favour Singapore property


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30/05/2016

Singapore was ranked the second top choice for wealthy Malaysians who can afford offshore real estate, according to PropertyGuru’s latest market sentiment study. Of 326 individuals surveyed online, 21 (seven percent) own a high-rise or landed home outside Malaysia. Of this, 20 percent have acquired a house in Singapore. Meanwhile, Australia took the top spot, with 23 percent having bought a home there, while India and Germany were also among the most popular choices, with a respective 18...
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Thai developers now building more luxury homes


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30/05/2016

Property firms in Thailand have already launched several residential projects targeted at the high-end market in the first quarter of 2016, reported The Nation. This is due to the high household debt, which continues to create uncertainty in other segments of the property market. Anant Asavabhokhin, Chairman of Land & Houses’ Executive Board, reckons that the government should stimulate spending in the luxury segment, to help boost the overall economy. Land & Houses recently launched an ups...
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Developers confident of disposing units before ABSD deadline


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30/05/2016

Some developers in Singapore are optimistic they can sell all the remaining units in their private residential projects before the stipulated deadline, even if they don’t offer huge discounts, reported The Business Times. Under the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rules introduced in December 2011, these companies need to build, complete and sell all units within five years of purchasing the land. If there are any unsold units after that period, they need to pay a 10 percent levy, whi...
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Chinese nationals still buying Singapore homes for their kids


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30/05/2016

Despite facing weaker currencies and slowing economies, mainland Chinese and Malaysians remain the top foreign buyers of Singapore property, revealed DTZ. Together, they bought 1,952 private homes in 2015, or 54 percent of total foreign purchases. Specifically, sales to Chinese nationals fell slightly by 3.8 percent to 998 units, while Malaysian home purchases remained largely unchanged at 954 units. “The devaluation of the Chinese yuan in August 2015 meant that mainland Chinese natio...
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Katong bungalow put up for mortgagee sale


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30/05/2016

A single-storey bungalow in Katong, one of the few available freehold properties in the area with redevelopment potential, has been put up for mortgagee sale, revealed marketing agent DTZ. Located at 85 Branksome Road, the house sits on 13,189 sq ft of land and has a gross floor area of around 9,000 sq ft. According to DTZ, the property has an indicative price of $16 million, or $1,200 psf. Recent transactions of landed homes in the area have ranged from $1,200 psf to $1,400 psf. Last year...
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HLH launches phase two of Cambodian project


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30/05/2016

Singapore-listed HLH Group has launched phase two of its maiden mixed-use development in Cambodia, after the first phase was sold out. A total of 437 units were released in the latest phase of the D’Seaview project in Sihanoukville, with one- to three-bedroom units on offer. The waterfront development was first launched in September 2015. All 300 apartments released under phase one were snapped up by local and international buyers, with prices ranging from US$675 psm (S$922 psm) to US$1,...
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Singapore’s housing market among the weakest: Knight Frank


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30/05/2016

Prices of private residential properties in Singapore continued their downward trend, falling by 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 from the previous year, according to Knight Frank’s latest Global House Price Index. On a quarterly basis, prices slipped by 0.2 percent from Q3 2015. Singapore was ranked 51st out of the 55 housing markets tracked by Knight Frank, which puts it among the weakest performers, Ukraine and Greece. Between 2009 and 2011, prices of private units surged by ...
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South Beach wins top design award


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30/05/2016

South Beach, Singapore’s biggest mixed-use development, has won the only Platinum SG Mark, presented at this year’s Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS) SG Mark awards. Jointly developed by City Developments Limited (CDL) and Malaysian-based IOI Properties, the new project at Beach Road was built on a 3.5ha plot, and took eight years to complete. It faced design challenges that involved incorporating four conserved buildings with modern structures. Several of the project’s green ...
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Malaysia’s property market has hit bottom, says developer


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30/05/2016

Home sales in Malaysia are expected to recover in the second half of 2016, said Mah Sing Group, the country’s third largest property developer by sales. “We have reached the bottom of the downturn, and it will recover in the medium term,” as Mah Sing is witnessing signs of renewed confidence from home buyers, despite the negative reports on the weak ringgit, and allegations of corruption, said Group Managing Director Leong Hoy Kum. “The bad news like 1MDB and the ringgit have alrea...
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Top property agents earn 66% more than average Singaporean


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30/05/2016

The median gross monthly commission earned by the top 300 property agents at ERA Realty Network hit $11,686 in 2015, according to latest statistics released by the property agency. This is 66 percent more than the median gross monthly income of full-time employees in Singapore, which averaged $3,949 last year, based on data from the Ministry of Manpower. These 300 agents are aged 23 to 65, with four of them above 60 years old, earning more than $133,876 annually despite being of retirement...
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Expats still paying top dollar for historic bungalows


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30/05/2016

Sales of black-and-white bungalows, a type of good class bungalow (GCB), are few and far between given their limited number, reported The Wall Street Journal. Designed after the mock-Tudor architectural style, these houses come with whitewashed exteriors that contrast with black-stained timber details. To make them more suitable for the tropics, they feature broad verandas, wide eaves and tall shutters for shade, as well as masonry piers to elevate the structure and alleviate humidity. Acc...
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Colombian city wins LKY prize


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30/05/2016

Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, has been named a 2016 recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday, 16 March. It beat out four other finalists – Auckland, Sydney, Vienna and Toronto, which will be honoured with a special mention. “Medellín’s transformation has been extraordinary. It has gone from being one of the world’s most dangerous cities into a liveable and innovative city,” said Kishore Mahbubani, Ch...
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Developer sales down almost 23% from year ago


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30/05/2016

New private home sales in Singapore fell by 22.8 percent to 301 units in February 2016, from 390 units in the same period last year, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday, 15 March. On a monthly basis, the sales volume fell by 6.8 percent from the 323 units sold in January 2016, even though new launches surged 31.4 percent to 209 units from 159 units previously. According to JLL, the “slower developer sales were expected due to the Lunar New Yea...
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Economists cut growth forecast for Singapore economy to 1.9%


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30/05/2016

Economists polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are cutting down their growth forecast for the economy for 2016 from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent, the central bank’s latest quarterly survey revealed Wednesday (16 March). “As reflected by the mean probability distribution, the most likely outcome is for the Singapore economy to grow by between 1.0 to 1.9 percent this year, below the 2.0 to 2.9 percent range reported in the last survey,” the MAS said. Manufacturing is now ...
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Temasek overtakes GIC as Singapore’s biggest property firm


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21/05/2016

Temasek Holdings has been named the biggest real estate firm in Singapore, with total assets under management at US$39.9 billion, according to the latest Estates Gazette ranking, which pulled together the world’s top 100 investors. The state-linked investment firm overtook the sovereign wealth fund GIC, last year’s top performer, for the number one spot. Temasek has stakes in major local and regional players such as CapitaLand, M+S, Mapletree and Pulau Indah Ventures. CapitaLand took s...
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MAS, China central bank renew bilateral currency swap arrangement


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21/05/2016

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Tuesday (15 March) announced the renewal of the existing bilateral currency swap arrangement (BCSA) for another three years. “The BCSA is a key pillar of cooperation between PBOC and MAS to strengthen regional economic resilience and financial stability,” said MAS. The arrangement aims to enhance banks’ confidence in carrying out their business in the two markets and enables both central banks to provi...
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Pinnacle@Duxton prices unlikely to climb much higher


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21/05/2016

The Pinnacle@Duxton in Tanjong Pagar has recorded three transactions of above $1 million so far this year for its 5-room flats, similar to the four deals seen in the first three months of 2015. The development has regularly made headlines in recent months. For example, a unit was sold for $1.08 million ($945 psf) in November 2015, the most expensive sale ever for a 5-room flat in Singapore. In January this year, a unit changed hands for approximately $1.07 million. According to Eugene Lim,...
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900 families got a third HDB loan in 2015


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21/05/2016

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) granted a third housing loan to around 900 families last year, according to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong during a parliamentary session on Monday (14 March), reported Channel NewsAsia. Of this, 25 percent are concessionary loans, while about 75 percent consisted of non-concessionary loans, which are based on market rates. He explained that the agency is willing to help families obtain a third HDB housing loan, but it will only be allow...
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JLL remains top in the region, data shows


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21/05/2016

For the fifth year in a row, JLL has been named the top real estate investment advisory firm in Asia Pacific, based on the total value of sales completed, according to data from Real Capital Analytics (RCA). RCA is an independent body that monitors global real estate transaction volumes. JLL has been ranked in first place since RCA began releasing data in 2011. In 2015, the consultancy advised on investment deals worth US$16.6 billion, which corresponds to a 27.8 percent market share in th...
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Solid weekend sales at The Wisteria, Cairnhill Nine


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21/05/2016

Two newly launched private residential projects reported brisk sales over the weekend, an indication that units within integrated developments remain popular despite the lacklustre housing market. The Wisteria in Yishun sold more than 80 percent, or 116 of the 138 units released for sale. Its developer Northern Resi initially launched 108 units on Saturday (12 March), priced from $1,030 psf to $1,050 psf on average. Subsequently, another 30 units were released due to keen interest for the ...
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218 HDB flats were sold before MOP in 2015


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21/05/2016

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) allowed 218 flats to be sold last year, even though the owners did not fulfill the required minimum occupation period (MOP) of five years, reported The Straits Times. But this figure only represents around one percent of the 19,306 flats sold last year, as this practice is only permitted under “exceptional circumstances”, said a HDB spokesperson. Valid reasons include emigration, wanting to live near a terminally ill family member, and financial ...
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Foreigners shying away from US property


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21/05/2016

The US National Association of Realtors (NAR) has stated that demand from foreign buyers is weakening, with the strong US dollar and rising home prices forcing some investors to look at other countries that offer more value, reported The Wall Street Journal recently. Many experts had predicted that foreigners would flood the US property market last year, as they seek a safe haven from the volatile global economy. Realtors revealed that the Chinese had surpassed Canadians as the top foreign bu...
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Wandervale’s sales outperform EC launches in 2015


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21/05/2016

The 534-unit Wandervale project in Choa Chu Kang, the first executive condominium (EC) to launch in 2016, has beaten market expectations after its developer managed to sell 50 percent of the units last weekend. “Despite tepid market conditions, it was well received by the market,” said Wong Xian Yang, Senior Manager for Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee. The good performance is unsurprising, given the lower prices of Wandevale’s units. Prices for a three-bedroom apartment start f...
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Home price drop of over 20% unlikely, say experts


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21/05/2016

Analysts believe that private residential prices will continue to fall this year and into 2017, but the rate of decline is unlikely to exceed 20 percent, reported Singapore Business Review. “We forecast private residential prices would dip five percent to 15 percent over 2016 to 2017 and that 2016 primary residential sales would remain muted at between 6,000 to 9,000 units,” said Eli Lee, an analyst at OCBC Investment Research. At the same time, residential rental levels could drop by ...
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PropertyGuru’s Malaysia Property Show still attracting strong interest


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21/05/2016

Speculation has been rife of late that the Malaysian property market is going to have a quiet year. Analysts anticipate that demand will remain an issue despite property prices in key areas such as Penang, Johor and Klang Valley remaining relatively stable, with house-price indices holding up. Nonetheless, this presents a good chance for Singaporean investors, as they can still strive to capitalise on existing opportunities in the market. This was evident at PropertyGuru’s most recent Malay...
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Eye on Yishun: Ward of the north


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21/05/2016

As an HDB estate, Yishun is only 40 years old, but is one of the most popular towns in northern Singapore, thanks to the convenience afforded to residents by its accessibility and many amenities. And though it is a fully developed residential estate with its own MRT stations (Yishun and Khatib), Yishun is continually being improved. From shopping and dining to education and housing, the estate seems to be in a state of constant development. Unsurprising, perhaps, when one considers the two wo...
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One of the most affordable homes above a lifestyle mall


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21/05/2016

Special Advertising Feature Offering thoughtfully-designed residential spaces, state-of-the art facilities, as well as a good mix of retail and F&B shops under one roof, The Wisteria presents itself as the ideal space for live and play. In recent years, mixed-use developments, which encompass both commercial and residential units in a single complex, have become increasingly popular, with a growing number of developers starting to roll out mixed-use developments across the island. This com...
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Strong property potential for northeast Singapore


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21/05/2016

With the first quarter of 2016 well underway, property seekers were keen to find out about current property market statistics and what these data trends could tell them about the outlook for the local property market. This interest was reflected by the large crowd at the Kingsford Waterbay show suite, where the latest edition of PropertyGuru’s Guru Talk was held. Guru Talk is a series of property knowledge empowerment seminars aimed at providing a comprehensive Guru View of the property mar...
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Small island, big plans


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21/05/2016

It is often said that a man’s reputation precedes him. In the case of Cui Zhengfeng, owner of Kingsford Development, part of the impression I had of him prior to our first meeting was that he took great pride in his work. After all, he had decided this interview was to be conducted at the Kingsford Hillview Peak showflat in Bukit Batok, and seemed rather pleased that I had arrived slightly early to view the condominium, which happens to be Kingsford’s first project in Singapore. Anothe...
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