Over the weekend, Oxley moved about a third of its residential and commercial units at 1953, a six-storey mixed development at the corner of Balestier and Tessensohn roads. Of the 58 residential units, Oxley sold 19 at an average price of S$1,875 psf, and of the 14 commercial units, it sold three at an average price of S$3,185 psf. Among the residential units, the most popular ones were the three-bedroom apartments and oneplus-study-room configurations. Over in the Meyer Road locale, on the former Albracca site, Sustained Land, which is leading a consortium to develop One Meyer, sold nine of 66 units over the weekend. Its sales were evenly split between the two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments that comprise the project.
2,203-unit Treasure at Tampines up for preview
Treasure at Tampines, the 2,203-unit condominium coming up on the site of the former Tampines Court HUDC estate, is available for preview from March 15, with sales slated to start later this month at an average price of approximately S$1,280 per square foot (psf). Developer Sim Lian Group, which acquired the collective sale site for S$970 million in 2017, said the condominium will be Singapore's largest in terms of number of units. The site spans close to 650,000 sq ft, with 40 per cent currently built up. Treasure at Tampines is one of a few mega projects launching in 2019, and is expected to receive its temporary occupation permit by 2023. Located at Tampines Street 11, the 99-year leasehold development will offer one to five-bedroom units in sizes ranging from 463 sq ft to 1,722 sq ft. It will have 128 recreational and lifestyle amenities including 13 pools and a 24-hour indoor and outdoor gym facility, it added.
Home buyers hoping for a reprieve in rising mortgage rates better not hold their breath as interest rates continue to rise and are now back at levels last seen 12 years ago. Following the latest round of hikes, the interest rate on mortgages is now some 50 per cent higher than a year ago as the mortgage benchmark, the 3-month Sibor or Singapore interbank offered rate, continues on its northwards trek. The 3-month Sibor is now at almost 2 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent 12 months ago. The last time the benchmark rate stood at 2 per cent was in the last quarter of 2007. Mortgage rates have increased 0.8 to 0.9 per cent from a year ago to about 2.3 to 2.4 per cent.
Singapore property market: developers standing firm for now in supply glut
The effects of last July's property cooling measures, as well as an abundance of choices of new private residential launches for home buyers, have started to become apparent. Sales have been generally subdued for new launches in the past two weekends. For instance, at The Florence Residences in Hougang, where sales began on March 2, close to 60 units were reported to have been sold in the first weekend out of the 200 units released in the 1,410-unit condo. The average selling price was nearly S$1,400 psf. Developers, while mindful of the supply glut, may not be able to price their projects competitively, even as they probably have had to launch at prices lower than originally envisaged. Most have paid high land prices resulting in high breakeven costs.
But even those with projects on sites bought earlier or drawn from their historical landbank predating recent rules relating to sales deadlines, seem to be adopting an aggressive pricing strategy. Based on prices at projects launched in the past two weekends, developers' profit margins still range in the double-digit, note analysts. Developers are not too motivated to trim prices. For those who bought sites between 2016 and 2018, the earliest they will hit the five-year sales deadline will be 2021. Hence slow take-up rates at launches can be expected to continue in coming months. All said, the current state of play in the market sees buyers faced with a surfeit of choice but little room for bargain hunting, as developers stand pat on pricing for now.
Singapore condo resale prices increased in February by 0.5 per cent from January, after two consecutive months of cooling in December and January. It was the largest price increase since July 2018, with year-on-year prices up by 4.6 per cent compared to February 2018. Prices were up 0.2 per cent in the core central region and 0.8 per cent in the city fringes, or rest of central region. The suburbs, or outside central region, followed suit with prices rising 0.5 per cent. February prices were 0.9 per cent lower than the peak in July 2018, when property cooling measures were announced.
An estimated 523 units were resold in February, representing an 8.7 per cent decrease from the 573 units resold in January, and a sharper 56.7 per cent decrease from the 1,207 units resold in February 2018.
Condo, HDB rents stagnate in Feb as leasing volumes drop
The rental market for non-landed private properties and HDB flats in Singapore remained unchanged in February, with volume in both markets recording a double digit percentage drop month on month, going by flash estimates. However, the fall in rental volume could be seasonal, as was similarly observed in 2018, when February recorded the second lowest rental volume for the year for both the private and HDB markets. Year on year, rents last month rose by 1 per cent from February 2018. They are still 18 per cent off their peak in January 2013. An estimated 3,597 non-landed units were rented last month, a 22.1 per cent plunge from 4,618 units in January. Year on year, rental volume last month was 6.8 per cent lower than the 3,860 units rented in February 2018. Separately, some 1,388 units HDB flats were leased last month, down 28.5 per cent from 1,940 units in January, and 9.6 per cent lower than the 1,536 units rented in February last year.
Total madness continues as mega site Mandarin Gardens raised its asking price to a new record of $2.927 billion, just one month before its collective sales agreement (CSA) is set to expire, in a bid to get the 80 per cent mandate to launch a tender. If the collective sale goes through, it would be the biggest transaction in dollar terms struck here. But the tactic does not appear to have worked so far, with signatures at just 67 per cent as of this week, compared with 64 per cent before the price was raised a second time. The 1,017-unit leasehold condo first raised its asking price to $2.788 billion in November last year from $2.479 billion after owners discovered that the land parcel was undervalued. Under the new reserve price, owners of the smallest unit (732 sq ft) can stand to get $1.86 million, while owners of the largest unit at 3,800 sq ft can get $5.98 million. Those owning 1,500 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft units can get between $3.016 million and $3.5 million
Selegie Centre sells en bloc for $120 million
The freehold Selegie Centre in prime District 7 has been sold en bloc at its reserve price of $120 million. This deal - the development's third attempt at a collective sale - is at a land rate of $1,942 psf ppr. It means owners of the 84 sq m apartments there will reap about $1.7 million while shop owners can expect between $1 million and $12 million. The 30-year-old Selegie Centre, which is at the junction of Selegie and Mackenzie roads and borders the central business district, is a mixed development consisting of 33 shops and 25 apartments. It is within walking distance of the Little India, Rochor and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations. The 10-storey building has a gross floor area of slightly over 60,000 sq ft and stands on the spot which used to be Singapore's transport hub in the 1950s and 1960s.