Leasing market in Sentosa Cove starting to pick up

Leasing market in Sentosa Cove starting to pick up


SINGAPORE : The leasing market in Sentosa Cove is starting to pick up, as more units are ready for occupation, according to property consultants Colliers International.


With some 300 units at Sentosa Cove having temporary occupation permits, Colliers said the leasing market could be starting to take shape.


Numbers from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that some 51 leasing contracts were recorded for homes there between January last year and April 2008. Forty-six of those went to The Berth by the Cove.


Some 99.6 per cent of land parcels for sale in Sentosa Cove has been taken up by private developers and individuals – in all yielding more than 2,000 condominium units, and 400 bungalows and terrace houses.


Contracted monthly gross rents are believed to range from S$4,700 for a two-bedroom unit to as high as S$12,250 for a four-bedroom unit in a condominium development.


Landed homes are believed to command between S$12,000 and S$30,000 per unit. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

For Rent: Park Infinia 3bedroom 1464sqft

For Rent: Park Infinia 3bedroom 1464sqft




Park Infinia


District 11


3bedroom, 1464sqft


Full Condo Facilities


Tenure: Freehold


TOP: May 08


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!


For Rent: $7,500/month


View from Living and Dinning Room



View from Master Bedroom


– Location Map


– Siteplan


– Floorplan

Residents raise concerns as HDB seals off corridor air vents in old blocks

Residents raise concerns as HDB seals off corridor air vents in old blocks


SINGAPORE: A fire safety measure by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has raised a ruckus among some residents of a block of flats in Toa Payoh Lorong 5. They claim that the sealing of ventilation shafts facing common corridors has become a potential health hazard instead.


In Madam Maimon’s one-room flat, the electric fan is perpetually switched on since the HDB sealed off the air vents last month.


She said: “Before the vents were sealed, it was not hot. There’s still a breeze blowing in. And it was bright, so we did not have to switch on the lights in the flat.”


Such air vents are a familiar feature of some old housing blocks in Singapore.


The move has raised concern among volunteers at the nearby Thye Hua Kwan Seniors’ Activity Centre, which sent an appeal letter to the HDB, without success.


Social workers said these vents were a useful means of checking in on residents, especially those who keep their doors closed all the time. Foul smells could also be detected through these openings and there had been occasions in the past where dead bodies were discovered this way.


But not all residents mind. Some make do by taking more showers.


Meanwhile, HDB said the move was prompted by a blast in a Bukit Merah flat on 3 August 2007, which killed an elderly man and injured four others.


Investigations showed that the fire and smoke had spread to other units through the corridor vents. Thus, HDB is keen to prevent a similar tragedy.


Lawrence Pak, Deputy Director, Building Technology Department, HDB, said: “We understand that some residents are used to an open vent and have to make certain adjustments to their daily routine. However, the safety of our residents is of paramount importance. HDB takes a non-compromising view towards the public and towards its residents.


“So in this case, because of the past incident, we sealed up the vents to ensure that smoke would not go into the neighbour’s unit if there is a fire within the particular unit itself.”


HDB said it has completed works on eight blocks since late 2007 and will start work on another 15 soon. – CNA/vm


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Business park occupancy rates may hit new high

Business park occupancy rates may hit new high


SINGAPORE : Business parks are set to see occupancy rates go beyond 90 per cent by the end of June this year to hit a new peak, according to property consultants CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).


At the end of March, the average occupancy rate for business parks stood at about 88 per cent.


CBRE said office space shortage and persistent rent increases are driving office tenants towards industrial properties.


This has pushed up business park rents by an average of 30 per cent since the start of the year.


During the second quarter, two business park sites at one-north were awarded, which will add over 90,000 square metres of space by the end of 2009.


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Retail property market becoming more competitive: DTZ

Retail property market becoming more competitive: DTZ


Property consultant DTZ Research says the retail sub-sector is becoming an increasingly competitive market.


Issuing a report today, DTZ said Singapore’s retail market was relatively stable in the second quarter this year due to positive consumer sentiments.


Turnover rents over that period had increased due to the Great Singapore Sale.


But there was limited growth for fixed gross rents as tenants are increasingly resisting committing to higher rents for both new retail space and lease renewals.


First-storey monthly fixed gross rents remained unchanged, averaging about 42 dollars per square foot in Orchard and around 27 dollars per square foot in other city areas.


Looking ahead, DTZ says the retail market should remain fairly stable despite increasing competition from the surge in forthcoming completions in the next few years.


About 5.4 million square feet of retail space will be completed by 2012 with three strategic malls in Orchard.


DTZ’s Retail Associate Director Anna Lee said the increase in future new supply will put a cap on price and rental increases.


She added that the new malls will offer opportunities for the retail market to re-invent itself with new concepts and offerings


Source: 938Live

SIM to open hostel

SIM to open hostel


430-bed hostel believed to be biggest off-campus facility, monthly rent of $500 to $900


FROM today, students at one of Singapore’s biggest private education providers – SIM – will have their own hostel.


By Karen Wong



02 July 2008


FROM today, students at one of Singapore’s biggest private education providers – SIM – will have their own hostel.


It is believed to be the first private education organisation to have its own hostel facility here.


The hostel is at 100 Ulu Pandan Road, the former army camp for the School of Military Medicine, opposite Pandan Valley condominium.


It is a five-minute drive from the school’s Clementi Road headquarters.


The hostel is owned and managed by EM Services, a property management company whose core business is managing Housing Board estates, under its hostel brand Yo:HA (Your Habitat).


Speaking at the site yesterday, EM Services marketing director Andy Low said the company had invested more than $8 million in developing the hostel.


However, Mr Low, while revealing that the company is inking a deal with an educational institution to take up the hostel space, declined to say which institution is involved.


The New Paper understands that it is SIM Global – the arm which offers undergraduate and graduate programmes with partner overseas universities.




When contacted yesterday, SIM declined to reveal details of the hostel, pending its official opening in September.


But sources told The New Paper that SIM has been searching for hostel space for the last couple of years.


It has more than 3,000 international students.


A check on the school’s website found that details of the hostel are already uploaded, so that students can book their accommodation.


According to the website, students taking triple-sharing rooms will pay a monthly rent of about $550.


The rent will go up to $900 for those in single rooms.


It is understood that students will be moving in as early as today.


Sitting on a land area of about 4.5 hectares – or the size of six football fields – it is believed to be the biggest off-campus hostel in Singapore.


It will have six blocks of accommodation, with about 430 beds in single, double or triple occupancy for full-time students, as well as four studio apartments for visiting parents and lecturers.


There will also be sports and leisure facilities, including a fully-equipped gym and a dance studio.


Other facilities include tennis courts, a touch rugby field, a cafeteria and a mini-mart.


EM Services, which runs a student hostel in Boon Lay, beat six others in the tender for the site in January.


A Singapore Land Authority spokesman said: ‘This state property had attracted an impressive seven bids at tender closing, with four other hostel tenants putting in bullish bids that were higher than guide rent and those by (international) and commercial schools.’


She added that there is a growing interest by hostel tenants to provide more student accommodation on state properties.





Other hostel spaces


·  Former Alexandra Fire Station at Queensway: Being developed into a student hostel by the same company that runs Katong Hostel.


·  Former National Environment Agency district office at 333 Clementi Avenue: Being developed into a student hostel.


·  Former Upper Aljunied Technical School at Upper Aljunied: Re-developed into two schools and a student hostel.


Source: The New Paper

Singapore Expo to beef up services, facilities

Singapore Expo to beef up services, facilities




THE Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre is introducing new services and facilities to boost efficiency and attract bigger groups of visitors.


One initiative is a porter service – Porter Xpress – at the Expo’s business centre. The service will transport luggage to the airport from hotels or the Expo for business executives and meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) participants with late flights.


Additionally, in conjunction with media partner At-life, advertisements will be broadcast on LCD TV screens at the Expo, some food outlets and ferry terminals. The screens will allow organisers to publicise events to more than two million viewers monthly.


Free Wi-Fi is available at selected areas of the Expo, with wireless connectivity for 3.5G mobile phones. But 3.5G wireless broadband service users will have to buy a SIM card. Four digital information kiosks will also be installed at the Expo.


In June, JTC Corporation launched a concept and price tender for the development of a 4.7 hectare integrated business park project with retail and hotel components at Changi Business Park, which is near the Expo.


The hotel will make accommodation more convenient for overseas exhibitors and visitors attending events.


Proposals for the tender have to be in by Aug 19. According to the tender document, bidders may opt for either a term of ’30 years with an option for a further term of 30 years’, or 60 years.


Source: Business Times

:Brake on home prices

:Brake on home prices


:Slowdown in private market spells end of en bloc fever


IT ROSE to fever pitch just 12 months ago, but as the latest property market figures roll in, the en bloc charge could be all but over for property owners and developers alike.


Price growth in the private residential market slowed for the third straight quarter to 0.4 per cent, even as Housing Development Board resale prices grew strongly by 4.4 per cent between April and last month.


This petering off in the private home market comes after 6.8-per-cent growth in the last quarter of 2007 moderated to3.7 per cent in January to March, as the sub-prime crisis and global uncertainties took their toll, and developers lowered prices.


For would-be en bloc sellers, this spells weakened bargaining powers. One Pacific Mansion owner said residents of the River Valley condominium are trying to revive the en bloc process “at a much lower reserve price” than that set by the sales committee last year — then a record price of between $3.3 million and$3.5 million per unit at about $2,400 psf.


:Cushman and Wakefield managing director Donald Han said that in such a weak market, it would be futile for sellers to wait for their right price. “In some cases, you are better off making a decision to sell your unit directly on the open market.”


At the height of the en bloc frenzy in mid-2007, Koh Brothers bought freehold Lincoln Lodge in Newton with Heeton Holdings, KSH Holdings and Lian Beng Group for a record $1,449.30 psf per plot ratio.


:Mr Nicholas Mak, Knight Frank director of research and consultancy, said some developers who bought during the high face the challenge of waiting out weak market sentiment — although different developers will have different holding strength.


Mr Han said: “A small developer who is over-geared and has to sell may have to take a cut in pricing. But one that sold more than50 per cent of its projects last year would be quite comfortable holding on to whatever it has left until the market returns to normal.”


The worst-case scenario – where a developer has to sell at less than cost, resulting in a write-off on the balance sheet – will only happen in a recessionary scenario, such as during the Asian Financial Crisis or Sars period, said Mr Mak.


For now, some are temporarily leasing their acquired en bloc properties – such is the case with Lincoln Lodge, as well as Guocoland-acquired Sophia Court at Adis Road and Leedon Heights off Holland Road.


But even as developers have clearly lowered prices in recently-launched new properties, analysts are mixed on whether the mass market will bite.


For example, although prices for 122 units of the 348-unit Dakota Residences released recently averaged around $970 psf – lower than the $1,100 psf a year ago – research head of Chesterton International, Mr Colin Tan, thinks prices are still too high for the genuine HDB upgrader and owner-occupier.


“The addresses of most buyers for Dakota Residences are still private addresses, suggesting they are investors,” said Mr Tan.


But Mr Han thinks it boils down to clever strategy – “developers combining a package of pricing together with banks offering favourable mortgage rates” might succeed in luring buyes.


The slowing property prices should also bring good news on the rental front, especially to expatriates for whom this forms a large part of living expenses.


Already, rentals appear to have moderated, having risen just 10 per cent since the beginning of this year. Over the course of last year, private rental rates grew almost 40 per cent.


Mr Han attributed this moderation to recent completed projects “and some developers leasing out en bloc sites instead of tearing down – effectively not taking stock out of equation but putting it back”.


Source: Today Newspaper

PRs help drive flat resale prices

PRs help drive flat resale prices


HDB upgraders’ demandfor condos outside central region could also rise


AS SOARING rental rates add to their cost burden, more Permanent Residents (PRs) are snapping up Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale flats.


“Two years ago, you would pay less than $1,000 a month in rent for a four-room flat but now, you would be paying almost $2,000,” said PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail.


“If you are going to be here in the long run, it doesn’t make sense to rent when you can use the same money to buy a flat. One of my colleagues sells just three-room flats, and seven out of 10 units she sells are to PRs.”


The strong immigrant market is just one factor behind the strong 4.4 per cent growth in HDB resale prices between April and last month, even as the private property market is cooling. PRs cannot buy flats direct from the HDB unless they are married to a Singapore citizen.


ERA Singapore, which corners 40 per cent of the HDB resale market, has seen a four-fold increase in their PR clientele — from just 5 per cent in 2004, to some 20 per cent now.


Also fuelling the “pent-up demand” :— as Chesterton International’s consultancy and research head Colin Tan put it :— are HDB upgraders who cannot afford private housing and downgraders from the private housing segment.


With private homes still priced out of reach of the mass market for now, analysts believe the HDB resale market will remain bustling for some time.


This upbeat outlook echoed what National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan had said last month of this sector: “It’s a real demand, a real market for people to buy a flat to live in, unlike the privatemarket where some people buy to live, some to invest, some for speculation.”


“So long as there are new families being formed and new immigrants coming in, the HDB market will remain a very active one.”




Private homes withinreach of HDB upgraders?


While this is good news for the flat values of home-owners, young couples and new families have been concerned about a limited supply of new HDB flats to choose from, and about affording the Cash-Over-Valuation of resale flats.


With the housing board announcing a steady stream of upcoming projects this year, these first-timers’ needs areaddressed.


But those who cannot wait to have a roof over their heads :— given that new flats will go up on a built-to-order basis, and the reduction of balloting exercises for excess flats to just two a year :— and those who cannot buy direct from the HDB continue to fuel resale demand.


Looking ahead, with HDB resale prices continuing strong as private home prices taper off, would more HDB upgraders be able to move to private property?


Recent launches of condominiums outside the central region such as Dakota Residences have gone for less than $1,000 per sq ft on average. Clover By The Park at Bishan is going at an average price of $750 psf.


Compared to the average $550 psf for executive condominiums now, the price may just be right for some to go private.


“We could see anything from $600 to $1,000 psf in upcoming launches for condominiums outside the central region,” said Cushman and Wakefield Singapore managing director Donald Han. “Developers will be targeting the HDB upgraders.”


Source: Today Newspaper

Spring’s Bt Merah HQ for sale

Spring’s Bt Merah HQ for sale


Wednesday • July 2, 2008


SPRING Singapore is putting its headquarters up for sale ahead of a possible move to the second phase of Fusionopolis at One North.


The Government’s enterprise development agency hopes to then lease half of the building’s units :back for the next two years for its roughly 300 employees while its new headquarters is being built.


While no deal has been signed for Fusionopolis, it is understood that Spring Singapore will be located alongside other Government agencies at Fusionopolis such as the Economic Development Board and A*Star.


International property consultancy Colliers International has been hired to help find a buyer for the 22-storey :Spring Singapore building at Bukit Merah Central (picture). The building has a gross floor area of 198,744 sq ft and is almost fully occupied. James Cook University is another big tenant.


The Urban Redevelopment Authority will allow the new buyer to use the building for commercial purposes.


“The successful buyer could reconfigure the existing floor layout to maximise the lettable area,” said Colliers executive director Ho Eng Joo. “To achieve maximum returns, investors can also potentially convert thepodium block to retail use.”


Source: Today Newspaper