S’pore private home prices little changed in Q2

S’pore private home prices little changed in Q2


SINGAPORE – Singapore private home prices registered a third straight quarter of slower grow, rising just 0.4 per cent between April and June, in a further sign that a four-year boom in the republic’s housing market has peaked.


The rise in the index was the smallest since the middle of 2004, underlining a fall in home sales as slowing economic growth and rising inflation dampen confidence in the real estate market.


‘It’s starting to turn into a buyers’ market, as developers hold off on launches while homebuyers look for bigger discounts,’ said Nicholas Mak, research head at property consultants Knight Frank in Singapore.


The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Tuesday that early estimates showed its price index for private residential properties rose to an unadjusted 177.9 points for the three months ended June from 177.2 at the end of March.


The 0.4 per cent increase marks a sharp slowdown from a rise in the index of 3.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year.


However, from a year earlier, the index was still up 20.4 per cent. House prices jumped 31 per cent in 2007.


The slowing housing market puts further pressure on developers such as CapitaLand , Keppel Land and City Developments , already been hit by a fall in private home sales to a five-year low in the first quarter.


Sales improved, however, in April and May as some developers cut prices.


The weakening property sector is a risk for local banks, which rely on building, construction and home loans for about 45 per cent of lending, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore shows.


Price increases for the mainly high-end homes within the core central region of the island saw the greatest moderation as foreign investors, who make up about half of the buyers in the segment, sought safer investments in other markets, Mr Mak said.


But demand from Singaporeans for cheaper housing continued to be relatively strong during the April-June period.


In a separate release, the government said resale prices for government-built flats, home to over 80 per cent of Singaporeans, gained an estimated 4.4 per cent in the April-June period, compared with a 3.7 per cent rise in the first quarter.


The advance estimates are compiled from transaction prices lodged during the first 10 weeks of the quarter as well as data from new apartments that have been booked. The URA will release the official price index in four weeks. — REUTERS


Source: Business Times

Ophir/Rochor Rd white site for sale

Ophir/Rochor Rd white site for sale

But developers are not expected to bid bullishly


A 2.7 hectare prime white site at Ophir/Rochor Road has been offered for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) – but developers are not expected to bid bullishly.


The site, in the new Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor, has been put on the confirmed list of the first-half 2008 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.


And according to URA, it is a ‘natural extension from the established convention, office, hotel hub at Marina Centre’.


But given current quiet market conditions and rising construction costs, property analysts say that developers are unlikely to bid strongly. Bids are expected to range between $600 and $900 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).


Cushman and Wakefield managing director Donald Han believes the site does not compare with a ‘super prime’ Beach Road site awarded in September 2007 for $1,068.6 psf ppr.


He also said that with a North Bridge Road site already identified as part of the second-half GLS programme, ‘developer and investor interest in the Ophir/Rochor Road site could be diverted’.


The new ‘corridor’ will be a 24/7 mixed-use area comprising integrated office, hotel, retail, entertainment and residential projects, according to URA.


‘New developments in the Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor will inject vibrancy and activities into this part of the city and form a new office cluster for financial and business institutions that will complement the existing financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay,’ it says.


The first development site for sale in the ‘corridor’ will have a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of about 160,000 sq m, (1,722,224 sq ft). At least 40 per cent of the total GFA is for office use, with at least 15 per cent for hotel and hotel-related uses. The remaining GFA can be for office, hotel or other complementary commercial and residential use.


CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said that if awarded, the office development is likely to be ready in 2013 and could offer city-fringe office occupiers an option to ‘upgrade or expand into a higher-grade quality building without moving into the CBD’.


Mr Li said that occupancy rates in the Beach Road/City Hall area remain strong at 93.3 per cent.


Although the market is subdued, sites on the confirmed list are generally expected to sell faster compared to those on the reserve list.


DTZ Debenham Tie Leung executive director Ong Choon Fah reckons the Ophir/Rochor Road site could appeal to developers who want to position a project ‘differently’.


‘Not everybody wants to be in Marina Bay,’ she said.


Source: Business Times

Allco REIT gets go-ahead to build hotel at China Square Central

Allco REIT gets go-ahead to build hotel at China Square Central


SINGAPORE : Allco Commercial REIT has been given the green light to build a 10-storey hotel with about 350 rooms at China Square Central.


The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has granted Allco REIT permission to add 16,000 square metres of gross floor area to the development in the central business district.


The development currently consists of a 15-storey office block and 38 conservation shop house units.


Allco REIT has also been granted permission to convert some existing car parks into office space.


The URA approval is valid for six months starting from the end of June. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia