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Freehold site located along Amber Road up for sale

THE vendors of a freehold site located along Amber Road have put it up for sale by expressions of interest, and expect offers of between S$56.6 million and S$61 million.

This divestment exercise comes shortly following the recent sale of the nearby The Albracca, a 10-storey residential development along Meyer Road by collective sale to Sustained Land for S$69.119 million in July. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia and Kandis Residence while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia prices and Parc Botannia showflat will be available shortly.

Under the 2014 Master Plan, the 22,800 sq ft site is zoned "residential" with an allowable gross plot ratio of 2.8. It may be redeveloped to accommodate a high-rise apartment development of about 24 to 26 storeys, depending on the technical height controls imposed by government departments.

The expected price reflects an estimated land rate of about S$1,199 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) to S$1,268 psf ppr. Development charges are estimated to be about S$20 million.

Subject to design and approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, a developer may potentially configure the allowable gross floor area of 63,820 sq ft into a maximum of 84 apartments with an average size of 70 square metres. Depending on the proposed design and orientation of the building, some of the residential units could potentially enjoy partial sea view, said JLL which is marketing the property.

The site is located near the future Tanjong Katong MRT station, part of the new Thomson-East Coast Line, which is expected to be completed in 2023.

There are four vacant old houses located on the plot of land, which stands out as one of the last remaining undeveloped plots along the stretch of Amber Road, JLL added.

Interested parties have until 2.30pm on Sept 21, 2017 to submit their offers.

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Latest deal in series of bulk sales of residential units

One of Singapore's richest men, veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw, has bought all 45 unsold units at upmarket condominium, The Nassim, for $411.6 million. The bulk sale gets developer CapitaLand off the hook over penalties that apply to unsold properties after a stipulated period. The penalties could have run to millions of dollars.

Mr Wee, chairman emeritus of United Overseas Bank, bought the properties through his family's private real estate arm, Kheng Leong. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia prices and Parc Botannia showflat will be available shortly.

The deal values the property at $407.2 million, or $2,300 per sq ft.

CapitaLand said the agreed property value represents a bulk sale discount of about 18 per cent on the current individual unit sale price.

This is in line with a range of discounts seen at recent bulk sale transactions, such as the 156 units sold at Nouvel 18 at a discount of about 16 per cent, as well as the 30 units sold at [email protected] with 23 per cent off.

The 45 units at The Nassim make up a strata area of 16,446 sq m, and was sold by CapitaLand subsidiary CRL Realty, which owns the property developer Nassim Hill Realty.

Other individual buyers have snapped up 10 units in the property at 18, Nassim Hill, which features 55 units in eight five-storey blocks.

It was previously reported that some of these buyers include Mr Sigid Wonowidjojo and his relative. Mr Wonowidjojo's family controls Indonesian cigarette maker Gudang Garam.

Of the 45 units purchased by Mr Wee, three are five-bedroom units, and 16 are four-bedroom units. The remaining 26 are three bedders.

The deal is the latest in a series of recent bulk sales of residential units which developers have done to avoid the Qualifying Certificate (QC) penalties.

Under the Residential Property Act, developers issued with a QC upon buying private residential land must finish building the project within five years of acquiring the site and sell all units within two years of obtaining a temporary occupation permit (TOP).

Failing that, the developer pays extension charges pro-rated to the proportion of unsold units.

The Nassim, which received its TOP in August 2015, would have had to pay extension charges by August this year on unsold units.

CapitaLand estimated that if the 45 units had been unsold by August, it would have had to pay $9.3 million in the first year. These fees would have jumped to $27.9 million by the third year.

Developers paid far more in extension charges last year compared with the same period for 2015. As at Oct 27, the Government collected about $58.2 million in fees, up from just $24.9 million collected in the whole of 2015, said the Singapore Land Authority last year.

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4,056 flats launched for sale

THE Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Tuesday launched 4,056 flats for sale under the February 2017 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise.

The flats being offered in the first tranche for 2017 span across six projects in the non-mature town of Punggol, and the mature towns of Clementi and Tampines.They range from two-room Flexi to three-generation (3Gen) flats. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botania details and Parc Botannia prices will be available shortly.

A project in Woodlands, originally planned for launch this month, has been deferred, the HDB said on Tuesday.

Due to the site conditions, a further review is needed to better integrate it with surrounding developments. The project will be launched after the review is completed

This February exercise also marks the first time that families emplaced on the Fresh Start Housing Scheme (Fresh Start) can apply for a flat, since the scheme was launched on Dec 1, 2016, to help second-timer families with young children staying in a public rental flat, own a flat again.

Eligible families will be able to buy a two-room Flexi flat, with lease options ranging from 45 to 65 years (offered in five-year increments). The lease must last the applicants and their spouse (if applicable) until at least the age of 95. The flat price, grant amount and resale levy payable will be adjusted based on the chosen lease of the flat.

Families emplaced on Fresh Start will enjoy priority allocation of up to 10 per cent of two-room Flexi units, under the Tenants' Priority Scheme.

HDB plans to launch a total of 17,000 flats this year. In May, it will offer another 4,600 flats in Bidadari, Geylang, Woodlands and Yishun, when it will also release 3,000 sale-of-balance flats.

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Mega hub to continue to engage residents

SINGAPORE — With most of its facilities now up and running, monthly footfall at Singapore’s largest integrated community and lifestyle complex is expected to double to 1.5 million.

On Sunday, Our Tampines Hub marked its official opening, with all its amenities available to the public save for an arena that will be opened next month or in October. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia prices and Parc Botannia condo showflat will be available shortly.

The latest facilities to be ready, as part of a gradual rollout since November, include six swimming pools — the first above-ground ActiveSG pools — a 400-seat arts theatre and an eco-community garden.
The pools, on the sixth-storey of the ActiveSG Tampines Swimming Complex, opened last month and include a 10-lane competition pool and a jacuzzi.

In the first quarter of this year, the centre’s monthly average footfall was 750,000. Between April and June, this figure rose to 830,000. Beyond 2020, it is expected to draw more than two million people a month, said its director Suhaimi Rafdi.

Speaking at the opening, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the hub’s town square, which includes a 5,000-seat stadium, will allow residents to take part in an array of sporting and community activities. Previously, spaces for such activities were not purpose-built.

The hub, mooted in 2011, also houses a 150,000 sq ft library, home to a heritage gallery that takes visitors through the highways and byways of Tampines’ history. Also on display are memories from the town’s residents and workers.

The hub’s arena, which is about 80 per cent complete and will house futsal, hockey and tennis facilities, was confirmed only after the concept for the rest of the complex, an Our Tampines Hub spokesperson told TODAY.

By 2020, Tampines will be home to about 250,000 residents, up from around 220,000 now. Most residents told TODAY they were unperturbed by the expected surge in human traffic.

Mr Nicholas Chan, 35, enjoys having “everything under one roof” there and is unconcerned by the expected rise in Our Tampines Hub’s footfall: “If it’s heavily underutilised, then it’s not a good use of resources.”

Ms Brenda Kwon, 40, said the crowds do not make her uncomfortable: “This (place) is ... big enough.”

But Mdm Shafawati Wahid, 33, fears it will become “overcrowded”, leading to congested pools and a lack of seating.

Measures are in place to manage the rise in footfall, said the hub spokesperson. Initiatives like robotic cleaners and restroom sensors that alert housekeeping will enable “the hub to serve the community well”.

More bicycle bays are also being built, adding to the existing several hundreds of bays. There are also 1,400 sheltered parking spots.

To connect residents between the hub and Tampines Regional Centre, a sheltered walkway and pedestrian overhead bridge are being built. Activities are also “well-spaced” across the facilities, the spokesperson added.

On the retail front, the hub’s 105-shop mall is fully occupied, besides a store due to open in October, Mr Suhaimi said.

When asked, Mr Suhaimi said department store BHG, an anchor tenant at Century Square that closed recently as the mall prepares to shut for a major facelift next month, had enquired about relocating to Our Tampines Hub.

“But what they’ve asked for is a very large footprint, which we don’t have,” he added.

Sunday’s opening saw over 105,000 people attending, including Tampines’ Members of Parliament. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the hub will continue to engage residents in planning activities for all.

“I hope that this is a place where our residents will find real lasting memories,” he said.

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First-timer families to enjoy higher priority

HDB unveiled on Wednesday it will offer some Build-To-Order (BTO) flats with shorter waiting time, and introduce a new sales mode, the Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF), in August to help young couples get their new homes sooner.

HDB will start construction of selected BTO projects ahead of their sales launch to cut the waiting time for young couples buying their first homes. Tender for the construction of the first batch of 1,000 flats will be called this month, and construction works are expected to commence in fourth quarter of 2017. Upcoming executive condo launches include Anchorvale Lane EC, Rivercove EC while existing ones include Parc Life, Signature at Yishun, Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC, The Vales EC, Hundred Palms Residences EC, Sol Acres EC and The Bellewoods EC. Hundred Palms Residences floor plans and Rivercove Residences EC details will be available shortly.

The flats, spread across three projects in the non-mature estates of Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun, will be launched for sale in the second half of 2018. The flats are expected to be completed between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021 - about 2.5 years from the time they apply for the purchase of the flats, instead of the typical waiting time of about 3 to 4 years for standard BTO projects.

First-timer families will enjoy higher priority when applying for these flats, with at least 95 per cent of the 4-room and larger flats set aside for them. This is a 10 per cent-point increase from the current quota of at least 85 per cent in the non-mature estates.

Under the new "Re-Offer of Balance Flats" exercise, or ROF, HDB will pool together all flats that remain unsold at the conclusion of the previous Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise. This will help those with more urgent housing needs and/or are less particular about location and attributes to have quicker access to a flat.

The first ROF exercise will be held in August 2017, in conjunction with the BTO sales launch. It will offer 1,394 units of unsold balance flats from the Nov 2016 SBF exercise. HDB will set aside at least 95 per cent of the flat supply for first-timer families and up to 5 per cent for second-timer families.
For a start, ROF exercises will be held twice-yearly, in February and August alongside BTO exercises. Together with the two SBF exercises held together with the other two BTO exercises in May and Nov, home seekers will now have four chances to apply for a balance flat in a year.

"After the initial few rounds, we will do a review and consider whether there is a need to adjust the frequency,'' Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong posted in his blog.

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EC in Choa Chu Kang was the star performer

SINGAPORE - Demand for new private homes here eased in April with developers' sales falling 12.6 per cent to 1,555 units, from 1,780 in March.

In the executive condominium (EC) segment, 371 new units was transacted in April. Upcoming executive condo launches include Anchorvale Lane EC, Rivercove Residences EC while existing ones include Parc Life, Signature at Yishun, Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC, The Vales EC, Hundred Palms Residences EC, Sol Acres EC and The Bellewoods EC. Rivercove Residences floor plans and Rivercove Residences EC details will be available shortly.

MCL Land's Sol Acres EC in Choa Chu Kang was the star performer, moving 122 units at a median price of S$787 psf.

Developers launched 1,616 private homes in April, up from 1,527 in the previous month.

No new ECs were put on the market in last month, after 924 ECs were launched in March.

This was, however, still more than double the 750 units shifted in April 2016, according to figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday (May 15). March sales were also the highest in nearly four years.

New units in the suburban areas led April's sales with 967 transactions, followed by 558 in the city fringe and 30 in the core central region.

The best selling condo development last month was Frasers Centrepoint Singapore's new project Seaside Residences in Siglap - which sold 419 out of the 560 units launched at a median price of S$1,736 psf.

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Rise in DC charges

WITH collective-sale fever heating up in Singapore, the development charge (DC) rates for non-landed residential use has been raised by a sharp 13.8 per cent on average.

DC rates went up in 116 of the 118 geographical sectors by between six and 29 per cent, with the biggest increase of 29 per cent applying in Tampines Road, Hougang, Punggol and Sengkang. Upcoming executive condo launches include Anchorvale Lane EC, Rivercove EC while existing ones include Parc Life, Signature at Yishun, Brownstone EC, Visionaire EC, Inz Residence, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC, The Terrace EC, The Vales EC, Hundred Palms Residences EC, Sol Acres EC and The Bellewoods EC. Rivercove Residences floor plans and Rivercove Residences EC details will be available shortly.

The changes to the DC are for the period between Sept 1, 2017 and Feb 28, 2018.

Developers pay a DC for enhancing the use of some sites or if they want to build bigger projects on them.

Analysts say the hike is no surprise, given how bullish land prices paid by developers have been in the last six months.

Fifteen residential estates are going through or have been put up for collective sale so far this year; of the 15, seven have been successful.

Executive director of research consultancy ZACD Group Nicholas Mak noted that this was the highest average increase since September 2007, when the average increase was 57.8 per cent. "The latest round of increase in the DC for non-landed residential properties could temporary cool the en bloc sale fever. Depending on the location, the increase in DC could have a greater impact on the en bloc sale of 99-year leasehold projects, as it can increase the charges payable by developers for increasing the floor area of the new development, as well as for topping up the 99-year lease of the land.

"As a result, some developers would offer lower prices to acquire older 99-year leasehold properties collectively. This could discourage some owners of such properties from putting up them for collective sale," he said.

JLL Singapore head of research and consultancy Tay Huey Ying said the raise "is within our expectations as there has been a spike in demand for residential development land".

In the year to date, more than S$7 billion in residential-development sites in the public and private domains have changed hands, surpassing the S$4.32 billion amassed for the whole of last year, she said.

The active collective sales market between March and August was a key contributing factor, accounting for almost two-fifths of the more than S$7 billion, she noted.

Ms Tay said that, arising from the intense competition for land, the prices achieved for these sites "consistently exceeded their corresponding land values derived from the March 2017 DC rates by 10 per cent to 79 per cent". For example, the sale price achieved for the collective sale of Rio Casa, a condominium in Hougang Avenue 7, lends support to the DC being raised by 29 per cent for the geographical sector that includes Hougang. "The estimat d land price of S$709 per square foot per plot ratio price (psf ppr), inclusive of fees for land-use intensification and lease upgrading, was 66 per cent above the implied land value for the sector," she said.

Ms Tay also cited the en bloc sale of Eunosville, which raked in the highest premium of 79 per cent. It was transacted at an estimated S$910 psf ppr, inclusive of estimated fees for land-use intensification and lease upgrading. The DC rate for this sector was raised by 28 per cent, the second highest adjustment rate in this latest review.

Karamjit Singh, senior consultant at JLL, added: "For the collective sale deals that we are working on currently, the increase in DC is not a deal breaker, but it does shave off some of the premium that owners stand to receive."

The Ministry of National Development (MND), in consultation with the Chief Valuer (CV), revises DC rates twice a year, on March 1 and Sept 1. The rates are based on the CV's assessment of land values and take into consideration recent land sales and other property transactions.

The rates are stated according to use-groups across 118 geographical sectors. These rates are also up for commercial and landed residential uses - at an average of 3.8 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

Cushman & Wakefield's research director Christine Li said in the first half of this year, the total commercial and residential transactions recorded S$6.9 billion and S$6.2 billion, reflecting a 23 per cent and 130 per cent rise respectively. "Analysis by Cushman & Wakefield Research showed that developers paid an average of 29 per cent premium over comparable sites for the first five months of 2017, a marked increase when premiums were sub-zero in late 2015 and early 2016.

"The increasingly bullish bids by developers in recent land tenders is a testament that home prices are likely to increase when these projects reach the market," she added.

MND said on Thursday evening that DC rates remain unchanged for industrial use. They are also unchanged for hotels/hospitals, place of worship/civic and community institutions, and three other use groups.

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Safeguarding the living environment of residents in neighbourhood

SINGAPORE: The use of private property for accommodation of less than six months was legislated as illegal in Singapore on Monday (Feb 6), making it unlawful for owners to rent out their homes via online homestay networks such as Airbnb and Roomorama.

“Private residential properties should not be used for other purposes without planning approval, as there is a need to safeguard the living environment of residents in the neighbourhood,” Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong told Parliament.Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botania prices and Parc Botannia condo showflat will be available shortly.

Such short-term rentals of private property were already prohibited under guidelines by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and those who flout the rules face up S$200,000 fine or jail for up to a year if a private residence is rented or sublet for less than six months. The same penalties will apply going forward.

He said URA had consulted Neighbourhood Committees and managing agents of private residential developments on the matter back in 2015, and found strong endorsement of the need to preserve the privacy and sanctity valued by the vast majority of homeowners.

“Over the past year, URA has already seen a 60 per cent rise in complaints from home-owners about breaches of this rule in their residential properties. The complaints related to public nuisance or even safety concerns for their families,” revealed Mr Wong. “So we must enforce the current rules, and make sure the issue does not worsen further.”

He noted that advertising on home-sharing or rental websites in itself was not an offence nor regulated, but URA will work with managing bodies of private properties listed online to notify residents of the rules.

“If the short-term rentals persist and cause disamenities for other homeowners, then URA will step in,” said Mr Wong.

He also announced that URA will now have enhanced powers to investigate suspected infringements. If officers believe a person might have knowledge of a violation, they can ask the person to attend interviews and question them.

Apart from verbally examining witnesses and recording statements, URA officers will also be able to require the production of information or documents relevant to the violation, and to take video evidence on site.

Where necessary, officers will be able to effect forced entry to carry out their investigation.

POTENTIAL TO REDUCE TIMEFRAME, CREATE NEW CLASS OF RESIDENCES

The minister also said, however, that the six-month period was an adjustable parameter. “URA had received feedback from a number of respondents … that there was scope to reduce the minimum period,” said Mr Wong. “So URA is studying this carefully, and will consider a possible reduction in the minimum rental time-frame.

“But whatever adjustments we may make to this minimum period, it is clear that we will not accommodate residential homes that are put up for daily rental,” he said. “Such premises which are rented out daily ought to be regulated more like hotels rather than residential homes and should be subject to relevant license and conditions to ensure proper standards.”

“Many cities in Asia and around the world are also regulating short-term home-sharing platforms in a similar way to hotels.”

Mr Wong said URA was thus studying the option of creating a new use category for private residences whose owners wish to engage in short-term rentals.

“Such properties would then be approved for that specific purpose, like service apartments or hotels today,” he explained. “New residential sites can be sold with such an approved use, allowing flexibility for short-term rentals.

“For existing residential buildings, they would then require planning permission for change of use, and this would be subject to a set of guidelines which URA is looking into.”

Under Housing and Development Board rules, the minimum subletting period for a flat is six months as well.

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Latest transaction number dropped

Housing Board (HDB) resale flat prices dipped by 0.3 per cent last month as transactions fell by 8.5 per cent, according to flash estimates released by property portal SRX Property yesterday. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia showflat and Parc Botannia prices will be available shortly.
Last month, 1,074 flats were sold, down by 8.5 per cent from 1,174 units in January. Compared with February last year, the latest transaction number was a drop of 10.9 per cent.

The volume of resale units peaked at 3,649 units in May 2010.

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Interest growing for Sentosa Cove properties

A waterway-facing luxury apartment at Seascape in Sentosa Cove has been sold at a loss of nearly $4 million. Owned by Dyna-Mac Holdings chairman and chief executive Lim Tze Jong, the 4,069 sq ft unit was bought for about $12.8 million in 2010, but the market for high-end homes on Sentosa has been in the doldrums for years.

The downturn meant that the apartment could command only $9 million when it was sold last month, price data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed. Upcoming local new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia condo details and Parc Botannia prices will be available shortly.

The Straits Times understands that the unit had been on the market for about six months before it was sold to a foreigner.

Dyna-Mac, an engineering and fabrication firm, has been hit by the weak energy market. It recorded a net loss of $12.8 million for the three months to June 30, compared with a net profit of $6.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue nosedived 84.2 per cent to $5.4 million.

The sale of Mr Lim's unit at $2,212 per sq ft (psf) is an improvement from earlier this year when a similar unit on a higher floor at Seascape chalked up an eye-watering loss of $6.6 million.

That apartment, also 4,069 sq ft, was put up for auction and sold in February to a buyer with a Housing Board home address for $6.2 million, or $1,524 psf, after being bought for $12.8 million in June 2010. It was the most red ink from the 16 loss-making transactions from April last year to March 31, according to Knight Frank. Only 11 of the 30 Sentosa Cove transactions during that period notched up gains.

While interest in Sentosa Cove has picked up in the past two months, prices are still depressed.
n the core central region, which includes Sentosa, private non- landed home values fell 0.47 per cent in the second quarter this year from the previous quarter. Overall, prices were 2.7 per cent lower in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier.

Private home prices fell by 0.1 per cent overall in the second quarter compared with the first, according to URA data. This was the slimmest decline in 15 straight quarters of falls, and is seen as a signal that the market is on the cusp of recovery.

"More people are looking at Sentosa Cove, but it is not a prime target compared with prime districts 9 and 10," said Knight Frank head of consultancy and research Alice Tan.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said: "The property market is stirring but Sentosa is a very fickle market. Prices have reached a point where they are close to the mid-tier market on the mainland, which is why interest is growing for Sentosa Cove properties."

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Home prices starting to fall as stamp duty deadline nears

Apartment prices are starting to be cut as the spectre of the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) looms over developers.

The possibility of buyers picking up some bargains now all comes down to the date the ABSD was introduced - Dec 8, 2011. Upcoming new launch condo include
Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia showflat and Parc Botannia priceswill be available shortly.

It stipulated that developers had five years to complete a residential project and sell all the units. If not, they must pay ABSD. The rate was initially set at 10 per cent of the purchase price of the site, and was raised to 15 per cent on Jan 12, 2013.

The first five-year deadline comes up at the end of this year.
Take The Trilinq, believed to be the first site under these rules to still have many unsold units.

The median price for 20 units sold in the fourth quarter last year was $1,329 per sq ft (psf), down from $1,545 psf for eight units sold when the project was launched in the first quarter of 2013. The project in Clementi had sold 220 of its 755 units as of the end of last year.

At Mon Jervois, which could attract ABSD from early next year, the median price for two units sold in the fourth quarter was $1,852 psf, down from $2,087 psf for nine units sold when it was launched in the second quarter of 2013. The project had sold 46 of 109 units as of the end of last year.

And at [email protected] Peak, which could also attract ABSD from early next year, the median price during the quarter was $1,288 psf on 23 units, down from $1,340 psf on 97 units in the second quarter of 2013. The project had moved 242 of 512 units as of the end of last year.

Overall, not too many projects will have to pay ABSD this year as they generally sold well if launched before the second half of 2013, or before the Total Debt Servicing Ratio kicked in, said R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

Developers of projects on Government Land Sales (GLS) sites could fork out as much as $39.6 million this year in ABSD, about $566 million next year, and up to $568 million in 2018, he added.

Developments built on non-GLS sites may incur ABSD from the end of this year and early next year.

Some have stepped up incentives to agents to promote sales, said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.

Qualifying Certificate (QC) rules, which stipulate that non-Singaporean developers must finish building a residential project within five years of buying the site and sell all units within two years of completion, are another source of pressure. A developer that wants extra time on either deadline must pay extension charges. However, unlike ABSD, the amount is pro-rated according to the number of unsold units.

"As the ABSD charges will kick in first, developers are now given a shorter timeline to clear the units if they want to avoid the hefty fine," said Ms Christine Li, research director at Cushman & Wakefield.

ABSD charges will apply even if there is only one unsold unit, "in stark contrast with QC extension charges, which are more progressive, especially in the first year".

Developers can deal with ABSD by buying the unsold units themselves, provided it is a manageable number, she added. But they will have to pay 15 per cent ABSD on these units, so they must see if the cost saving is indeed worth it.

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HK’s new shoe box flats sellout in a day

HONG KONG — A real estate developer offering nano-sized flats in Mong Kok sold all the units on offer in one day despite the parking-space-sized apartments costing around HK$3 million (S$522,400), in another sign of their growing popularity.

The first batch of 98 units offered on Sunday were all sold by the evening, according to figures obtained by the South China Morning Post. Upcoming local new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia condodetails and Parc Botannia prices will be available shortly.

The Novi development featuring 138 one-room flats, with saleable areas between 157 sq ft and 312 sq ft, attracted more than 1,200 prospective buyers to register prior to the sale.
Developed by Lai Sun Group, the smallest apartment at the 25-storey Novi in Mong Kok is a 157 sq ft flat on the second floor, which includes a 38 sq ft terrace, being offered for HK$3.06 million. It is little bigger than a Singapore parking space.

After factoring in a discount of 9 per cent, the price will come down to HK$17,788 per sq ft (psf), or HK$2.79 million — the cheapest flat offered in the project.

Many buyers were young and came to the sales office with their parents, said Mr Sammy Po Siu-ming, residential chief executive of Midland Realty. He estimated that 30 per cent of Novi buyers were investors, not end-users.

“About 60 per cent of the buyers were born after 1980, with a half of them needing certain help from their parents to fund the downpayment,” Mr Po said. Local developers are offering the smallest flats they can because sky-high home prices in Hong Kong have greatly stymied purchasing power in the city.

The flood of lower-priced nano flats onto the market seems to support the continued demand for new flats.

The Hong Kong authorities have also forecast that almost half of all flats completed next year will be smaller than 400 sq ft in size. In contrast, 206 nano flats were completed last year out of a total of 15,595 units across the city, making up 1.4 per cent of new apartments, up from only 81 nano units completed in 2013.

The strong sales results at Novi were in contrast to a Citibank survey released late last month that indicated only one out of 100 Hong Kong people considered the second-half of this year a good time to buy homes in the city.

That’s despite more than half, or 57 per cent of the respondents, still expecting home prices to rise in Hong Kong. Buyers of Novi units need only to come up with an initial deposit of HK$280,000, or 10 per cent of the cost of the smallest 157 sq ft flat, compared with the 40 per cent down payment for flats costing more than HK$7 million.

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HDB homes to get utilities rebate

About 880,000 Singaporean Housing Board households will receive the next instalment of the GST Voucher - Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebate this month, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

Eligible households will receive up to $65, depending on their HDB flat type. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botania prices and Parc Botannia condo showflat will be available shortly.

For instance, those living in one- and two-room flats will get the maximum amount, while families living in five-room flats will receive $50.

The rebate is one of three components under the permanent GST Voucher scheme, which helps households offset part of their utilities bills and lower overall household expenses.

It is distributed every quarter and is estimated to cost $190 million each year.

Annually, the rebate enables households in one- and two-room flats to receive support that is equivalent to about three to four months of their utilities bills on average.
The U-Save rebate will see a permanent increase of $40 to $120 annually from July, after Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in February's Budget that the move will help households offset some of the increase in water prices.

This means that families in one- and two-room flats will receive $380 each year, up from the current $260.

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Rivercove Residences Sengkang Anchorvale Lane

Rivercove Residences is a brand new EC situated in Anchorvale Lane, Sengkang of District 19. The large 226,000 square feet land is expected to house 635 residential units with communal facilities and parking space for residents. To be jointly developed by Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments, the new Anchorvale lane EC is poised to attract home buyers with its unique location.
The land parcel attracted a whopping 16 bidders to cast a bid, it is the highest number since the tender for a Yuan Ching Road site, now Lake Life, in July 2013. The emerging winner submitted the top bid of $240.95 million or $355 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Taking into consideration construction and other miscellaneous cost, the Rivercove Residences price is expected to be starting from approximately $720k to $750k. 
Layout – With reference to hoi Hup Realty’s past project launches, we can expect the practicality to be presented in Rivercove Residences EC floor plan. From a small family startup to multi generations, there will definitely be a suitable unit for everyone!
Extensive Facilities – Rivercove Residences Anchorvale Lane residents will get to enjoy a full fledged gym, 50m lap pool, bbq pit, function room, clubhouse etc. 
Abudance of Amenities & Facilities -With the constant development to the North-East region of Singapore, the lifestyle of residents are only getting more convenient with malls such as Compass Point, Rivervale Mall, Rivervale Plaza, the new Seletar mall and Punggol Waterway point are all within close proximity. On top of that, Rivercove Residences EC Sengkang is also near to Sengkang Riverside Park, Sengkang Sculpture Park, Sengkang Sports and Recreation Center, Anchorvale Community Club, the upcoming Sengkang General and Community Hospital.
Layout - With reference to hoi Hup Realty's past project launches, we can expect the practicality to be presented in Rivercove Residences floor plan. From a small family startup to multi generations, there will definitely be a suitable unit for everyone!

Please kindly fill in the Contact Us form or Call us @ 6100 8987 to register for an appointment to view the Rivercove Residences showflat NOW!
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