Three condominium projects that were the first launches this year saw over one-third of their released units sold. An analyst said that the results reflected a "very, very cautious" market while another said this showed that there is still demand post-cooling measures. Of the 63 units released in RV Altitude, 20 were sold at average prices of S$2,729 psf to S$3,100 psf, net of discount. This project in River Valley Road has a total of 140 units and all are twobedders, ranging in size from 441 sq ft to 624 sq ft. The 71-unit Fyve Derbyshire had 13 units sold, out of the 36 units released on Saturday. According to Roxy-Pacific's chief executive officer Teo Hong Lim, the apartments sold at average prices of S$2,200 to S$2,700 psf are a "good mix" of two- and three- bedroom units.
The project in District 11 offers two- and three-bedders in one 19-storey block, with the units ranging from 560 sq ft to 936 sq ft in size. Allgreen Properties moved 70 units of one- to four-bedders in the 99-year leasehold Fourth Avenue Residences over the weekend. One- and two-bedroom units total 320 units and account for about two-thirds of the total 476 apartments. There are 132 three-bedroom units in the development located in Bukit Timah. Under Phase 1 of the launch, 168 units were released. The average price of the units under this phase was S$2,375 psf after a 5 per cent plus 3 per cent early-bird discount.
Home owners of Ampas Apartment sue Oxley Holdings unit in collective sale dispute
Forty home owners of the 43-unit freehold Ampas Apartment, which was sold last year in a $95 million collective sale, have sued the buyer for wanting to pull out of the deal. Oxley Jasper, a subsidiary of public-listed Oxley Holdings, said it was entitled to call off the deal after its proposal for a new residential development was rejected by the planning authorities. Under the sale and purchase agreement, the deal was subject to outline planning permission for a new development comprising at least 120 units, each averaging 700 sq ft. But the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the maximum allowable number of dwelling units for the site is 112, adding that the formula for computing the permissible number of units can be found in guidelines issued in 2012. The 40 owners, who are suing for damages, argued in a High Court suit filed earlier this month that the buyer was not entitled to rescind the agreement. The suit, filed in the name of five owners representing 35 others, says the alleged rescission should be declared null and void. Oxley has applied to strike out the lawsuit, arguing that the 40 plaintiffs do not have the legal standing to sue.
Elizabeth Towers up for en bloc sale again at reserve price of S$610m
Elizabeth Towers, a freehold high-rise residential redevelopment site off Orchard Road, has been relaunched for sale by tender. The owners have set a reserve price of S$610 million, unchanged from their asking price in the earlier collective sale bid last year. This translates to a land rate of about S$2,416 psf ppr (per sq ft per plot ratio) based on its current gross floor area (GFA) of about 23,452 sq m. With the inclusion of a 7 per cent bonus balcony GFA subject to the authorities' approval, and a minimal development charge payable for the balcony area, the land rate will be lowered to about S$2,297 psf ppr. The tender closes on Feb 26 at 3pm.
A new freehold, five-storey mixed development off Serangoon Road is up for sale at a guide price of S$8.5 million. The property, which comprises residential and commercial space, sits on a site area of about 1,791 sq ft. The total gross floor area is 6,068 sq ft, inclusive of bonus gross floot area of 446 sq ft. Located at 2 Ruby Lane, about 500 metres from Potong Pasir MRT station, the property is currently held under one single title, with the potential for strata sub-title division. The expression of interest exercise will end on Feb 21.
Grange Heights owners relaunch collective sale bid
Owners of the Grange Heights condominium are the latest to relaunch a collective sale bid in what is a decidedly chillier market. The reserve price remains at $820 million, the same as in the second tender exercise that closed without a deal in October. This translates to $1,948 per sq ft per plot ratio, including bonus balcony gross floor area. No development charge is payable for the 136,676 sq ft site, which has a gross plot ratio of 2.8. The property sector has been slowing since cooling measures were imposed last July amid a rash of collective sale bids hitting the market. The Urban Redevelopment Authority later tightened rules on the maximum number of units in non-landed residential developments outside the central area. Grange Heights will not be subject to the new average size requirement of 85 sq m, as it is in the central region. The site could yield as many as 508 new apartments in various sizes, it added. The estate has 114 apartments and maisonettes and six penthouses, ranging from 1,884 sq ft to 4,575 sq ft. Each owner could make between $5.24 million and $10.76 million.
Yongnam Holdings CEO Seow Soon Yong is selling his good class bungalow (GCB) in the Binjai Park enclave with a guide price of $40 million. The price tag, which works out to S$1,464 psf on a land area of 27,320 sq ft "will certainly pique buyers' interest”. The tender closes on March 1 at 3pm.
Developers get creative to push unsold condos
Buying a condominium may just land the purchaser a car as well, or at least a discount for one. Developers are getting creative in flogging unsold units, with some offering luxury cars in lucky draws and others giving out cash vouchers for such vehicles. Until recently, Mont Botanik Residence in the Hillview area was giving out $50,000 vouchers for Jaguar cars for every apartment unit purchased. The Straits Times understands that in the past month or so, the promotion has been replaced by a 3 per cent discount for the apartment units. After this discount, prices start at around $1.18 million for a two-bedroom unit in the freehold 108- unit condominium, which was launched for sale in the second half of last year. The project's developer, Tuan Sing Holdings, as well as the distributor for Jaguar, Wearnes Automotive, declined to comment on the collaboration. Industry observers said partnering a luxury car label is a way to brand the project and, more importantly, helps to attract buyers without lowering prices, which may devalue the condominium. National University of Singapore real estate professor Sing Tien Foo said the move by Mont Botanik Residence helps to "differentiate the residential development from other mid-range-priced projects in the Hillview area".
HK housing ranked world's least affordable for 9th year
Hong Kong has been ranked the world's least-affordable housing market for a ninth straight year. Not only did it retain the notorious title, homes in the city got further out of reach for most residents. The city's median property price climbed to 20.9 times median household income in 2018, up from 19.4 times a year earlier. Vancouver was ranked the second-most unaffordable market, leapfrogging Sydney - where the housing boom has gone into reverse. Melbourne came in fourth, followed by San Jose and Los Angeles. London was the worst European city, coming in equal 10th with Toronto.
US home price rise slows sharply in December 2018
US home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years in December and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market. The weak report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was the latest indication of slowing economic growth. A survey showed that consumer sentiment dropped in January to its lowest level since US President Donald Trump was elected more than two years ago. Existing home sales were now the weakest since Mr Trump was elected, said MUFG chief economist Chris Rupkey, "signalling the initial confidence boost from the new ideas and new legislation is falling flat".
America's most pricey home sold to billionaire Ken Griffin
Just days after buying one of the most expensive residential properties in London, the Citadel founder set a US record with the US$238 million penthouse at 220 Central Park South. The approximately 24,000 sq ft apartment will give him a place to stay when he's working in New York, a Citadel spokeswoman said. The price makes it America's most expensive home. Earlier this month, Mr Griffin paid about £95 million (S$168 million) for a 200-year-old home overlooking London's St James's Park not far from Buckingham Palace. The 20,000 sq-ft home includes a gym, pool and underground extension.