Today: Marina Bay Suites may be delayed

Marina Bay Suites may be delayed


Maintaining target price of $3000 psf, project may only launch in 2012


IF THE market for luxury homes fails to pick up, the launch of Marina Bay Suites may be held off until 2012 when the project is completed, Mr Wilson Kwong, the general manager of Raffles Quay Asset Management said in an interview with Lianhe Zaobao yesterday.


Marina Bay Suites was scheduled for launch during Chinese New Year this year but the date has since been put off indefinitely amid softening property market sentiment in the wake of the United States sub-prime mortgage crisis that has sent markets plunging worldwide.


Marina Bay Suites, located near One Raffles Quay, will feature 218 three- and four-bedroom apartments, and three penthouse units.


The project, which is part of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, is a joint venture between three developers — Cheung Kong/Hutchison Whampoa, Hongkong Land and Keppel Land.


Raffles Quay Asset Management oversees the asset management aspects of the project.


Mr Kwong said it would not be lowering prices in order to boost sales. Maintaining its target price of $3,000 or more per square foot for Marina Bay Suites, it will wait for the most opportune time to launch the project.


At present, it is keeping all options open, and these include launching the development after it is completed.


Mr Nicholas Mak, consultancy and research director of property firm Knight Frank, said: “It is a wise and prudent move. The market is going through a period of uncertainty now, but the chances of the market picking up in the next four years is quite high.”


Mr Kwong said the three joint developers have a robust capital base that will allow them to hold back the launch until market sentiment improves.


“They certainly have the capacity to wait it out and the four years gives them theoption of working out the best possible strategy,” Mr Mak said.


Marina Bay Suites’ sister project Marina Bay Residences attracted strong interest when it was launched towards the end of 2006 in the midst of the property market boom, with all units sold within three days.


Although some property analysts expect the luxury segment of the market to fall by as much as 40 per cent from its highs last year, Raffles Quay Asset Management points out that there are only three luxury developments — Marina Bay Suites, Marina Bay Residences and The Sail @ Marina Bay — in the area.


So, compared to Districts 9, 10 and 11, prices will remain relatively firm in the foreseeable future.


Units in the Marina Bay Residences and The Sail achieved prices exceeding $3,000 psf at the peak of the market but have since retreated to around $2,000 psf in recent months.


Source: Today Newspaper

BT: SC Global to launch Martin No38

SC Global to launch Martin No38



SC GLOBAL will launch Martin No 38 next month at an average price close to $2,000 per square foot.




Sleek beauty: Artist’s impression of the development, designed by award-winning architect Kerry Hill. It will launch at an average price close to $2,000 psf. 



The company said in a statement yesterday that the 91-unit development in Martin Road, near Mohammed Sultan Road and Clarke Quay, will mostly comprise one-plus-one bedroom and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 969-1,130 sq ft. There will be a limited number of larger two-plus-one and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 1,335-1,485 sq ft.


Knight Frank director (research and consultancy) Nicholas Mak said the pricing appears a little ‘bullish’ but the developer may feel the project’s ‘design’ merits this.


A unit in nearby Robertson Blue sold recently for around $1,800 psf, he said.


And in March, it was reported that about 30 units at Martin Place Residences in Kim Yam Road sold for an average price of of about $1,800 psf after discounts.


SC Global is best known for developing high-end niche projects. And according to its chairman and chief executive officer Simon Cheong: ‘There is always room for the right product. Martin No 38, with the SC Global reputation for quality, will be unique and original. We are confident it will be well received.’


The development is designed by award-winning architect Kerry Hill. It is based on warehouse lofts in New York and London and features high ceilings and seamless interior spaces.


SC Global says: ‘An austere and beguiling industrial aestheticism pervades the details of this development, from the blackened tap fittings to the sheet-metal panels in the bathrooms, with their exposed bolt heads, unplastered interior concrete walls, exposed plywood edges of the cabinetry and acres of unvarnished timber.’


SC Global bought the site in 1999 but deferred development until the area had ‘rejuvenated itself and the context for this housing concept became ripe’.


SC Global projects under construction include The Marq on Paterson Hill and Hilltops at Cairnhill. The group has a landbank of more than 1.1 million sq ft of gross floor area in the Orchard Road and at Sentosa Cove.


Source: Business Times

ST: SC Global offers NY-warehouse living at Martin Rd

SC Global offers NY-warehouse living at Martin Rd 


The warehouse flats will boast a more rugged design. — SC GLOBAL


SC GLOBAL is introducing New York-style warehouse living to Martin Road – a first for Singapore – with prices that will be set above the market average.

Like warehouse lofts in Lower Manhattan, the flats will feature high ceilings and seamless interior spaces that can be separated at will, using walls that slide and hide away.


And unlike traditional high-end developments here, Martin No. 38, as the project is called, will have a more rugged design of raw concrete, base metal finishes and unvarnished timbers.


Australian architect Kerry Hill is designing the project, which is on the site of a former warehouse near the Singapore River.


The freehold development, which will be launched later this year, will be 15 storeys high with 91 units, including four penthouses with pools.


Most of the units will be small – from 969 to 1,130 sq ft each – but there will be some larger ones of 1,335 to 1,495 sq ft each.


SC Global is aiming to sell the units at an average of $2,000 per sq ft (psf).


Prices of projects in the same area are around $1,200 to $1,850 psf, according to Knight Frank. Newer projects like 8 Rodyk cost more – a 721 sq ft apartment sold at $1,800 psf last month.


But market sentiment remains weak, with buyers staying away, especially from the high-end sector, which surged dramatically last year.


Prices have since slipped while activity has slowed considerably. But there is always room for the right product, said SC Global chairman and chief executive Simon Cheong, who is confident Martin No. 38 will be well-received.


SC Global bought the site in 1999 but said it deferred development until the area was rejuvenated and the concept of warehouse lofts became viable.


Source: Straits Times

ST: A view to thrill

A view to thrill 

Buyers are willing to pay premiums of up to 10% for properties that come with good views 

By Jessica Cheam 


Hong Fok Corp’s upcoming condo will offer views of Kallang River and the new Sports Hub. 


WHAT do home buyers look for in their dream home?


No doubt, it is a combination of an affordable price, the perfect location and other sought-after attributes.


But if there is one factor that often makes or breaks a sale, it is the view.


Property agents agree that all things being equal, a great vista helps to seal the deal for many home buyers.


In fact, in the current softer property market, a captivating outlook might give a home that vital edge to ensure it sells, they add.


Buyers are willing to fork out a premium of anything up to 10 per cent for a home with a great view. For well-heeled home seekers, price is no issue if the outlook is stunning, they say.


As a rule of thumb, analysts say flat prices increase up to 1.5 per cent for each floor in high-rise properties – so a 15th- floor unit might be 15 per cent more expensive than a comparable fifth-storey unit.


Securing that room with a view is particularly relevant for a built-up city such as Singapore.


Recent developments such as The Sail @ Marina Bay – which has two towers, one of which is 70 storeys high – have increasingly catered to Singaporeans’ growing appetite for high-rise apartments with stunning views.


Depending on what type of view you get on the higher floors, another premium of 3 per cent can be added, said Mr Colin Tan, head of research and consultancy at Chesterton International.


To pin down exactly how much a view is worth, a ‘hedonic regression model’ can be used, said Mr Nicholas Mak, Knight Frank’s director of research and consultancy. This method breaks down individual aspects of a home and estimates the value of each characteristic.


‘This is mostly used by academics who want precise values. Developers tend to decide on the value of a view based on experience, or from valuers,’ said Mr Mak. With the model, value is calculated based on past transactions, he added.


A view can change a property’s worth as much as 10 per cent, said Mr Mak. What is difficult, though, is guessing a buyer’s preference.


‘One man’s meat may be another man’s poison. It’s hard to isolate the price difference between, say, a city view and a greenery one,’ he said.


A buyer’s willingness to cough up money for a view depends on individual tastes.


Home buyer Victoria Ho, 25, prefers a city view over a green one any day. ‘I’ll pay up to 10 per cent more for a view, but not much more, because the location matters more than, say, if I were facing barren land or another block.’


But for 26-year-old Hoe Qing An, who is hunting for his dream home, greenery is of the utmost importance.


‘We already live in an urban jungle; a home needs to have that green element and I won’t mind paying for it,’ he said.


So where are the spectacular views in Singapore and how affordable are they?


Property agents told The Straits Times buyers generally look for views such as an ocean outlook, the Central Business District skyline and expansive natural vistas.


The obvious favourites are those from properties on the East Coast, and city homes that provide a bird’s-eye view of prime districts 9, 10 or 11.


For buyers who cannot get a high-floor unit, condos such as The Pier at Robertson allow all owners a view at least part of the time.


They can gaze at the Singapore River against the city skyline while at the gym or during a swim.


Property developer Hong Fok Corp has an upcoming residential project in Beach Road – still unnamed – that offers a stunning view of both the sea and the city.


The two towers, of 40 and 28 storeys and with 360 units, will offer panoramic views of Marina Bay, the sea, the city skyline or the Kallang River, depending on the direction the unit faces.


Prices have not been revealed, but in the vicinity, Southbank in North Bridge Road and Citylights at Lavender have been sold at about $1,000 to $1,200 psf recently.


Then there are homes that offer alternative views such as those near the island’s nature reserves – which can be easier on the pocket.


Orange Tee property agent Vincent Loke, 36, for example, is selling a 13th-floor unit at Parc Oasis in Jurong which offers an expansive view of Jurong Lake. The 1,507 sq ft apartment is selling for about $930,000 – up to $80,000 more than a similar unit with no view.


In densely populated Singapore, greenery is highly sought after by home owners, said agents. Take, for example, the calming landscapes of Bukit Batok’s Little Guilin, from Guilin View.


Property agent Simon Tan, 46, said a 29th-floor unit with a lake view sells for about $850,000. Units in the same block without the view cost about $780,000.


Some HDB flats in Marsiling enjoy an unblocked view of Johor Baru across the strait.


Malaysia can even be glimpsed from as far inland as former HUDC estate Braddell View. Its owners also enjoy panoramic views of MacRitchie Reservoir.


Mr Alan Lim, who owns a unit on a high floor, said he can even spot fireworks set off across the Causeway sometimes. Latest data shows homes at the estate selling for about $500 to $600 psf, or slightly under $1 million.


More affordable sights can also be found in the heartlands.


At Sengkang’s Rivervale Drive, for example, high floor unit owners can look onto the meandering Sungei Serangoon for soothing greenery.


Mr Steven Koh, 48, who is one such owner, bought his five-


room flat for $310,000 in 2000. He reckons it is now worth more than $400,000 and that his view adds at least a few tens of thousands to the value of his flat.


‘But I’m not looking to sell. I consider myself lucky to have such a beautiful view to gaze on every day. You can’t put a value on that feeling,’ he said.


Source: Straits Times

CNA: Property prices set for continued growth

Property prices set for continued growth


SINGAPORE: This year’s Hungry Ghost Festival, which is celebrated on the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar, comes at a time when the global economy is also slowing.


Traditionally, it means a quieter property market as investors and developers lie low during what they perceive to be an inauspicious occasion.


The Singapore property market is no exception, but experts said lower volumes may not be due to superstitions alone. According to market watchers, buyers in the market today tend to put bargains over and above bogeymen.


Eugene Lim, associate director, ERA Asia Pacific, said: “They tend to be less affected by their grandmother’s tales and all that kind of thing, and they basically make their decisions on what they see and the dollars and cents behind it. In that sense, they are more open to buying properties even during the Chinese seventh month.”


In fact, last year’s boom saw developers and buyers alike doing brisk business throughout the seventh month.


While no concrete data is available after just the first week of the seventh month, most market watchers expect volume to have slowed a little. But this does not mean prices will be heading south anytime soon.


Eric Cheng, executive director, HSR Group, said: “Developers out there will not price their prices even lower than the construction costs plus the land cost that they actually purchased.”


It would appear that the property industry as a whole has fewer reasons to be spooked.


Source: Channel NewsAsia

ST: Private home prices starting to dip

Private home prices starting to dip


Experts expect gradual downtrend, but not lows of financial crisis days


By Joyce Teo


IT IS a bit like the dog that didn’t bark in the night: Economic growth is slowing, shares are crashing and property sales have slowed, yet private home prices have refused to take the hint and fall.


Indeed, they have barely budged since the slowdown began about nine months ago, despite conventional wisdom saying they should be plunging.


But property experts see increasing signs that a price fall is coming, and while no one knows by how much, few believe a crash is on the cards.


Anyone waiting for bargain basement deals might be out of luck, with the local market trading at a higher range based on the country’s rosier long-term prospects.


Prices are being kept up partly by low mortgage rates and the ability of developers flush from last year’s bumper returns to hold off launching new flats.


A seasoned market watcher said the impression that Singapore was not dramatically hit by the United States’ sub-prime woes has helped keep prices stable.


However, new sales have slowed significantly, and prices are starting to reflect this. The Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that private home prices inched up just 0.17 per cent in the second quarter – the least in four years and well below the 3.8 per cent in the first quarter.


With price growth disappearing amid sluggish demand, a downtrend – with a bigger blip seen for the luxury sector – seems inevitable, said market watchers.


Private home prices are still beyond the reach of most owner-occupiers, said Chesterton International’ s head of research and consultancy, Mr Colin Tan.


But any correction is likely to be gradual, with experts tipping a timeframe of a year or more. It will not be steep at this point as interest rates are low and the economic outlook is not that bad.


Mr Tan said home prices will take a long time to fall because the decline is being led by individual investors. They will be forced to sell when their rentals cannot meet mortgage payments, a situation that will become increasingly apparent as more units go on market.


These will mostly be the flats bought at the market’s peak around the middle of last year, said the market watcher.


Investors who bought low under the deferred payment scheme will be able to sell below developers’ asking prices and still make a profit. When they do, their deals will weigh on the market, he said.


‘The decline will not be led by developers as they have profited immensely from the price run-up in 2006 and 2007,’ added Mr Tan. ‘At the moment, they only have to sell enough units to keep revenue streams flowing.’


If the market remains weak in the next six months, prices could easily fall 20 per cent to 30 per cent on average over a period of time to levels seen in 2006, with the high-end sector bearing the brunt.


Still, the lows seen in the post-Asian financial crisis days or the Sars period are gone forever unless Singapore is hit by a major catastrophe, experts say.


‘We do not see a repeat of the prices in 1997 or 2003 because those were big shocks,’ said National University of Singapore associate professor, real estate, Mr Sin Tien Foo. ‘There is no bubble effect.’


Besides, prices hinge on quality. ‘Nowadays, people are looking for better designs and materials, which would increase developers’ costs,’ he said.


Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of research for South-east Asia, Dr Chua Yang Liang, said: ‘Theoretically, property values appreciate over time.’


While poor fundamentals can send prices below the replacement cost level, this is an unlikely scenario here as fundamentals have been good and look to remain stable, he said.


Singapore‘s employment rate is still strong and income growth stable. As the director of Savills Residential, Mr Ku Swee Yong put it: ‘The sellers are not losing their jobs.’


Source: Straits Times

For Rent: Park Infinia 2 bedroom 850sqft

For Rent: Park Infinia 2 bedroom 850sqft


Property Address: Park Infinia at Lincoln road

Property Type: Private Condominium 

Property District: D11 (Newton) 

Property Status: FOR RENT 

Asking Price: $4000 Nett 

Prices are in: Singapore Dollar (SGD) 

No. of Bedrooms: 2 rooms 

Property Tenure: Freehold 

Built-In Area: 850sqft- 

Property Age: Brand New! 

Property Description  : Situation at the largest plot of land in District 11, Park Infinia is a condo that is meant for family. Inside the condo, not only you will find 2 tennis courts and 2 children playgrounds, there is a jungle spa for a unique experience. Aquagym, beach, Volcano Island….. the activities never stop!