The Principal Garden condo

663unit condo to come up on city’s fringe

unnamedThe Principal Garden condominium on the city fringe in the Alexandra area will be launched at the end of the month with average prices of around $1,600 per square foot.

The 663-unit project in Prince Charles Crescent has four 24- storey blocks and is next to the Alexandra Park Connector that extends 4km towards the Central Business District. It is also within a 10-minute walk from the Redhill MRT Station.

It comprises 182 one-bedroom, 304 two-bedroom and 69 three- bedroom units, as well as 66 three- to five-bedroom apartments with private lifts.

The smaller units in the 99-year leasehold project are seen as being particularly appealing to investors, according to the joint developers, UOL Group and Kheng Leong Company.

“Being near the city, the investment angle is strong and some parents (living nearby) may want to get a unit for their children,” UOL deputy group chief executive Liam Wee Sin said at a showflat viewing yesterday.

The one-bedders range from 484 to 506 sq ft, the two-bedroom units are 764 to 807 sq ft while three-bedders are between 1,076 and 1,195 sq ft. Units with private lifts range from 1,238 to 2,347 sq ft.

Prices are around $1,600 per sq ft, making one-bedders cost around $770,000, two-bedders around $1.18 million, and three-bedders around $1.7 million.

The showflats will be open for public viewing from next Saturday, for about two weeks.

Mr Liam said the units will be launched in phases, with around 250 being made available initially.

“We secured the Prince Charles Crescent site last year at a reasonable bid price (at $821 psf per plot ratio), by which we are now able to pass on value and savings to buyers,” he said.

“We believe buyers can see the strong upside potential.”

Analysts noted that the development has attributes that could sit well with investors – competitive pricing, a good location as well as a large number of smaller units, especially the popular two-bedders.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 10 October 2015

New rules to protect home buyers

New rules to protect home buyers

Prospective buyers of private homes can look forward to a more transparent property market when changes to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing Act) kicks in from 25 May 2015, revealed the Ministry of National Development (MND).

The new rules for residential developers will ensure more comprehensive information on prospective property purchases while showflats must accurately depict the housing units offered for sale.

Here is the full statement from MND:

In April 2013, Parliament approved amendments to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act to improve and update legislative safeguards for buyers of uncompleted private residential properties. The amendments will enhance market transparency by providing the public with more comprehensive and timelier information on the private residential property market.

Since then, MND has worked on the subsidiary legislation, the Housing Developers Rules, to effect these policy changes. The effort includes the implementation of a new set of rules on show units, the Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules.

The legislative amendments, which were finalised through a series of consultations with members of the public and industry stakeholders, are now ready to take effect. The amendments will enable prospective home buyers to make better-informed purchasing decisions.


Weekly collection and publication of transaction data

From 25 May 2015, housing developers must submit detailed transaction information to the Controller of Housing every week. This information will include sales volumes and transacted prices of individual units in their building projects, and the value of any benefits extended to buyers.

Developers will be required to submit this information to the Controller within five days of the end of each preceding week. This information will be published on the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) website weekly from 5 June 2015.


More comprehensive information in transaction documents

The Option to Purchase and Sale & Purchase Agreement, which are standard forms prescribed under the Housing Developers Rules, will also be amended  to enhance the safeguards for purchasers of private residential properties. For example, developers must indicate the value of any benefits (such as cash rebates, absorption of legal fees or stamp fees, rental guarantees and furniture vouchers) offered to buyers.

The amendments to both forms will take effect on 20 July 2015. This is to provide developers sufficient time to comply with the amendments.


Ensuring the accuracy of show units

MND is introducing the Housing Developers (Show Unit) Rules to ensure that all show units provided by developers are accurate depictions of housing units offered for sale.

For example, one rule requires the floor area of the show unit to be the same as that of the actual housing unit. Another rule requires all external and structural walls to be built in the actual unit to be depicted in the show unit.

These Rules will take effect on 20 July 2015 to provide developers sufficient time to comply with the new requirements. For more information, go to:

Source: propertyguru

Jurong’s rise boosts condo sales

jurong property

The housing market in the vicinity of Jurong Gateway is expected to heat up in the coming months after recent news on the upcoming terminus for the much-anticipated Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high speed rail (HSR) project, revealed Knight Frank and reported in the media.

Given the bullish projection, developers will likely launch more units at residential projects close to the terminus site at the current Jurong Country Club, the consultancy said.

“New units are expected to be rolled out in projects situated within the vicinity of the terminus, as developers look to capitalise on the positive developments in the area,” noted the report.

These include Waterfront @ Faber with 30 yet-to-be released units and Lakeville with 246 unlaunched units. Both developments are about two kilometres from the future HSR terminus.

Source: Propertyguru

Why Mature HDB Estates Retain Their Value Better

In an era of whiz kids, Millennials and twenty-something Internet millionaires, maturity often gets short-changed. Not so in HDB property.

Mature HDB estates have outperformed youthful estates during the Cooling Measures.

Both types of estates have lost market value since the peak of the HDB market. However, the impact on homeowners in non-mature flats has been far more severe.

According to SRX Property, HDB estates have lost an estimated total of $6.6 billion in market value, as measured by the X-ValueTM, since April 2013.

The market value for non-mature estates has declined about $4.4 billion.

This translates to an average loss of $58,371 per flat for homeowners.

In contrast, mature estates have experienced a $2.2 billion decline in market value.

This means homeowners in mature HDB estates have lost an average $40,708 per flat or about $18,000 less than their counterparts in non-mature estates.

Typically, mature estates are better at weathering Cooling Measures and other external shocks (i.e., a financial crisis) because their fundamentals are well-established.

Mature estates tend to be located in areas that are well-developed with easy access to public transportation, established shopping areas, and mature neighborhoods with parks, popular schools, and other amenities.

In other words, they are like a blue chip stock or an experienced manager. They are predictable and stable.

Non-mature estates, however, are located in new areas in which the surrounding infrastructure is still developing. There hasn’t been enough time for their neighborhoods to establish a track record of predictability and stability. In the case of brand new estates, we don’t know how they will react to different economic conditions.

In addition, when the government introduces built-to-orders, they are usually located near non-mature estates. More supply means more competition in the resale market and prices decline faster.

Is all hope lost for the younger generation?

Of course not. Eventually they will grow up, mature, and settle into similar patterns as the older estates.

But, in the short run, the data shows that non-mature estates are more vulnerable to Cooling Measures and other shocks to the market.

For more information, on the numbers used in this article, see SRX Research.

HDB resale prices gain 0.6% in January 2015

HDB resale prices gain 0.6% in January


  1. HDB resale prices showed slight pick-up in January. HDB resale prices picked-up by 0.6% in January 2015 compared to December 2014.  The price increase was driven by HDB 4 and 5 Room flats whose resale prices increased by 1.1%, and 1.5%, respectively. On the other hand, the resale prices for HDB 3 Room and Executive flats saw a decrease of 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively.

According to the SRX Property Price Index for HDB Resale:

  • The last time HDB resale prices posted an increase was in January 2014;
  • Year-on-year, prices have dropped 5.7%, compared with January 2014;
  • Prices have declined 9.4% since the peak in April 2013;
  • Price change in Dec 2014 has been revised from a 0.4% decrease to a 0.3% decrease;


According to the SRX Property Price Sub-Indices for HDB Resale:

  • The increase of HDB Resale prices in January was seen by both mature and non-mature estates;
  • In Jan, HDB resale prices increased 0.5% and 0.7% in mature and non-mature estates, respectively;
  • Year-on-year, prices in mature estates have declined 3.0% from Jan 2014;
  • Year-on-year, prices in non-mature estates have declined 7.8% from Jan 2014;

  1. Resale volume dropped slightly. According to HDB resale data compiled by SRX Property, 1,255 HDB resale flats were sold in January 2015, a 3.1% decrease from 1,295 transacted units in December 2014.
  • Year-on-year, resale volume increased by 15.3% compared with 1,088 units resold in January 2014;
  • Resale volume is down 65.6% compared to its peak of 3,649 units in May 2010.

  1. Overall median Transaction Over X-Value (T-O-X) improved but stayed negative. According to SRX Property, HDB prices continue to face downward pressure and negative market sentiment in January 2015.  The median T-O-X for HDB measures whether people are overpaying or underpaying the SRX Property X-Value estimated market value.
  • Overall Median T-O-X was NEGATIVE $1,000 in January 2015, a $3,000 improvement from NEGATIVE $4,000 in December 2014;
  • Median T-O-X for HDB 3 and 4 flats were negative while 5 room and Executive flats saw a neutral and positive median T-O-X, respectively.

  1. Geylang posted the highest median T-O-X. For HDB towns having more than 10 resale transactions with T-O-X in January 2015, Geylang reported the highest median TOX of $8,400, followed by $8,000 in Bukit Merah and Kallang/Whampoa.

This means that majority of the buyers in these towns has purchased units above the computer-generated market value.

5. Among relatively active towns, Clementi posted the most Negative median T-O-X. Among HDB towns having more than 10 resale transactions with T-O-X in January 2015, the lowest median T-O-X were in Clementi, Bukit Batok, and Toa Payoh, at NEGATIVE $ 15,500, NEGATIVE $10,500, and NEGATIVE $7,500, respectively.

This means that majority of the buyers in these towns has purchased units below the computer generated market value.


RESIDENTIAL MARKET:TDSR tweak a lifeline for stretched owners: analysts

This week’s tweak in the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework is targeted at a small group of stressed households that are struggling to get mortgage refinancing, analysts said in reports yesterday.

They were referring to the move on Monday by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to exempt owner-occupiers from the TDSR cap of 60 per cent – specifically those looking to refinance the homes they bought before TDSR took effect last June 29.

The cap mandates that a borrower’s monthly instalments for all debt-servicing – including mortgage payments – must not cross 60 per cent of his gross monthly income.

Analysts commented that the revision to the rule, designed to prevent people from over-extending themselves, may suggest that the group of “fringe households” – those with a debt-servicing ratio (DSR) of 40-60 per cent – may be larger than earlier anticipated.

However, they say that in light of the small numbers affected, the tweak hardly foreshadows a rollback of property cooling measures. Instead, they expect the measures to stay, with some predicting a reversal only next year.

The exemption also applies to investment property loans, though the borrowers must go through with refinancing by June 30, 2017, and commit to a debt-reduction plan at the point of refinancing.

Last year, the MAS said that 5-10 per cent of borrowers here risk being over-leveraged – defined as having a DSR of more than 60 per cent – and that this proportion could rise to between 10 and 15 per cent if mortgage rates edge up three percentage points.

HSBC analyst Pratik Ray said in a report: “Refinance holds will be problematic if the TDSR framework is applied – and an increase in interest rates or loan margins would increase their repayment burden, resulting in possible forced sales.”

Citi analyst Adrian Chua said in a note that stretched borrowers have been held to ransom by lenders in the post-TDSR period.

Credit Suisse analysts Yvonne Voon and Anand Swaminathan, concurring, wrote in a report: “Post-TDSR, banks raised their spreads, taking the view that the borrower would have no choice but to stay with the current bank”, given that refinancing could mean a breach of TDSR.

Credit Suisse estimates that 40 per cent of property-owners qualify for the TDSR exemption, which took effect immediately on Monday. However, under 20 per cent of them are actually hit, because, given the low interest rates in the last three years, most of them would have already refinanced their loans.

Mortgage rates typically have a lower spread to the Singapore interbank offered rate (Sibor) in the first two or three years, but jump from the fourth year, noted Citi economist Kit Wei Zheng in a report. This has prompted borrowers to undertake refinancing in the third year to enjoy “teaser” rates again.

He questioned whether there was a larger proportion of borrowers deep in debt than earlier envisioned. The MAS had said this year that one in five borrowers (20 per cent) has a DSR of 40-60 per cent.

Mr Kit believes the proportion to be higher; as much as 25-30 per cent of existing borrowers may already have a DSR of more than 40 per cent at the current low interest rates, he said.

“Even if household balance sheet data suggests more cash than debt on aggregate, the new exemption may hint at a skewed distribution of debt.”

As a whole, analysts predict that regulators would create a cushion for a “soft-deleveraging”. Since short-term interest rates are still low, any “meaningful policy reversal” would come only late next year, HSBC said.

Looking at the impact on banks, Credit Suisse analysts said that the TDSR tweak should boost refinancing volumes – which has historically made up a third of the new-loan market – but may also hit the banks’ margins.

Source: Business Times – 12 February 2014

Buyers home in on Pasir Ris, Punggol

GOING by recent searches on the STProperty website, the Pasir Ris and Punggol areas are attracting the most interest from potential home buyers.
The most searched project on the site in the week ended May 5, based on page views, was the Waterbay executive condominium (EC) in Punggol, which was launched last October.

Ripple Bay condominium in Pasir Ris was next, followed by Bartley Residences, next to Bartley MRT Station.
Knight Frank consultancy and research head Alice Tan said rising private home prices, especially for mass market units, are prompting home buyers to look at ECs as an affordable alternative.

Waterbay is the only EC in the top 10 so its popularity could be linked to growing interest in the Punggol area.

“Waterbay EC could be attractive to budget-conscious home buyers, for its lower price points and location attributes with its proximity to the Punggol Waterway and future retail amenities at Waterway Point,” she added.

There is also keen interest in projects that have launched within the past year or so, including Bartley Residences, launched in February last year, and Urban Vista, released in March.

Interest also rises when developments are close to receiving their temporary occupation permit (TOP) status, hence the clicks on Hundred Trees, located at West Coast.

The condo, which expects to receive its TOP next year, has recorded a slight increase in its average price from $1,322 per sq ft (psf) last October, to $1,394 psf in March.

Upcoming projects in an area could have created renewed interest in older projects such as the 646-unit Icon in Tanjong Pagar, one of STProperty’s popular searches.

A mixed-use development called Tanjong Pagar Centre by Singapore-listed GuocoLand will open in the area in 2016 with the boast of being Singapore’s tallest building at 290m.

Knight Frank’s Ms Tan said: “The development has heightened the attractiveness of Tanjong Pagar in terms of business vibrancy.
“This has promoted the interest of private homes in the locality, such as the Icon, which is near the future mega development.”

Source: Straits times 11 May 2013
Projects in the two areas are ‘most searched for’ on STProperty website
By Rachael Boon

Condo site near Lakeside station attracts 12 bids

A 99-year private condo plot about 450 metres from the Lakeside MRT station attracted 12 bids yesterday, in an indication that developers’ interest in prime suburban sites may not have been curbed by the round of property-cooling measures unveiled this month.

However, industry players and market watchers offered mixed readings of MCL Land’s top bid of $651.33 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), which was 3.3 per cent above the second highest bid of $630.57 psf ppr from the UOL Group. The top six bids were within a 10 per cent range.
Some property consultants said MCL’s bid exceeded their expectations; in November, when the site was launched, they had forecast that the winning bid would come in at up to $600 psf ppr.
Even then, he commented that “the tender result shows that market confidence has not been dented by the latest cooling measures, effective Jan 12 – at least for the higher bidders”.
Some developers said yesterday’s top bid would have been even higher if not for the cooling measures.
The site, bounded by Jurong West Street 41 and Boon Lay Way, is next to the Canadian International School; it is also adjacent to another condo plot available for application under the government’s reserve list.
Koh Teck Chuan, chief executive of MCL Land, told BT that if not for the latest cooling package, the group’s bid would have been higher – probably $710 to $720 psf ppr.
In May last year, MCL paid $705 psf ppr for a condo plot near Jurong East MRT station, where it is developing a 738-unit project; this is expected to be launch-ready by mid-year.
Suburban residential land prices have moved up since last May, Mr Koh pointed out. Moreover, the Jurong East location, where a new commercial hub is coming up, offers more “positive attributes” than the area around Lakeside MRT station two stops away. He noted, however, that the Lakeside plot would have a plus in the form of unobstructed views of Jurong Lake.
“We bid lower for the Lakeside land parcel than we would have if there had been no cooling measures because, No 1, we’ll have to factor in a slower pace of sales and, No 2, we’ll have to pay development charges for the private enclosed space and roof terrace.”
Mr Koh agreed with some property consultants’ suggestion that, based on its $651 psf ppr bid yesterday, MCL could break even at about $1,050 psf and look at posting an average selling price of around $1,300 psf.
ERA Realty Network’s key executive officer Eugene Lim said that units in Lakefront Residences nearby are changing hands in the subsale market at between $1,100 and $1,300 psf.
Analysts noted that the 12 bids at yesterday’s tender were identical to the number of bids received for the Jurong East tender last May as well as the tender for a site in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2 near the future Mayflower MRT station, which closed on Jan 8 with a top bid of $790 psf ppr.
Yesterday’s tender was supposed to have closed on Jan 15, but the Urban Redevelopment Authority postponed it to yesterday to give developers more time to weigh the impact of the measures.
Source: Business Times –30 January 2013

Need for 700,000 more homes by 2030

Enough land has been set aside for 700,000 more homes here by 2030 – more than half the 1.2 million households currently – to cater to a growing population.

This is part of a plan to provide good and affordable housing for Singaporeans detailed in the Population White Paper yesterday, as the population may reach 6.9 million by then.
“To support that kind of trajectory, we estimate that we will need another 700,000 new homes,” said Minister for National Development
Khaw Boon Wan at a press conference.
The idea is to create a sufficient buffer, he said.
The White Paper acknowledged that Singapore had fallen behind in its planning and investment for infrastructure development, and accordingly discussed other improvements, such as a better and more extensive transport system.
Mr Khaw called for patience and understanding as solving the issue will take time.
“We are determined to address the current problem and definitely the overcrowding will ease,” he said, noting that housing matters can be improved at a slightly faster pace than transport.
“If you decide to build a line, it might take you 10 to 12 years,” he said. “Housing, you decide to start building and (in) four to five years, you can realise those houses.”
Of the 700,000 homes that can be built, about 200,000 are already under construction.
Of the remaining half a million houses, many will be in new towns, such as Tengah, Tampines North and Bidadari.
There will also be new homes built in mature estates where land is available. “We do want our children, when they get married, to stay nearby,” Mr Khaw said.
More details will be revealed in a Land Use plan report by the MND later this week.
Having a buffer stock also keeps prices in check, market watchers said.
However, Mr Khaw warned that building this buffer comes at a cost.
“Underdo and you have today’s problem. Overdo and it’s too costly for taxpayers. Like all things, we have to find that sweet spot and achieve that balance going forward,” he said.
Mr Khaw noted how MND was heavily criticised not too long ago for over-building homes, which led to a lot of empty flats.
The government also responded to concerns that Singapore could become as congested as cities such as Hong Kong at the conference.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said Hong Kong’s population density is about 22,700 per square kilometre (sq km), while Singapore’s is about 11,000 per sq km. Even with a 6.9 million population, Singapore’s population density will be around 13,700 per sq km.
Source: Business Times –30 January 2013

Seletar Hills EC set to open for e-application

  The Topiary, a 700-unit executive condominium (EC) development along Fernvale Lane, at Seletar Hills, will be open for e-application come Friday.
While official prices have yet to be disclosed, consultants project that the development, which has a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom, dual-key, and single-storey penthouses, could fetch from $700-$720 per square foot (psf).
The majority of the units are in the three-bedroom and four-bedroom category – a three-bedroom unit ranges from 904-1,130 sq ft while a three-bedroom dual-key ranges from 1,259-1,539 sq ft. A four-bedroom dual-key unit ranges from 1,389-1,636 sq ft.
The project, which is being developed by Kheng Leong and Qingjian, also features 16 penthouses, which range from 1,970-2,476 sq ft.
The e-application period for The Topiary is from Nov 30 to Dec 4; booking day is on Dec 7.
Source: Business Times –27 November 2012

Exec condo site at Pasir Ris draws top bid of $207m

An executive condominium (EC) site at the intersection of Pasir Ris Drive 3 and Pasir Ris Rise was keenly contested, fetching a top bid of $207 million, or $331.10 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).
There were 10 bidders in all for the 99-year leasehold plot, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said after the tender closed yesterday.
Hao Yuan Investment, controlled by mainland China parties, put in the highest offer. This edged out World Class Investments’ bid of $206.7 million, or $330.60 psf ppr.
Eugene Lim, key executive officer at ERA Realty, said the latest tender shows that developers continue to be interested in EC sites, and expects the latest plot to have a breakeven price of between $600 and $650 per square foot (psf).
The nearby Watercolours EC has a median price of $719 psf, with 270 of its 416 units sold as of end-October.
Demand from buyers should stay healthy too, Mr Lim said.
“Upgraders chasing condominium lifestyles at more affordable prices will continue to be enticed by ECs,” he said.
Mr Lim noted that private developments in the area have also been doing well, citing strong sales at Sea Esta, Ripple Bay and Seastrand.
Other bidders for the site included Frasers Centrepoint’s FCL Tampines Court and Keong Hong Construction; Chinese developer Qingjian Realty, as well as a group comprising Evia Real Estate, Ho Lee Group and CNH Investment.
The lowest offer for the land parcel was $169 million, or $270.30 psf ppr, which came from Mezzo Development.
Source: Business Times –23 November 2012

Cooling measures deter foreign home buyers


Cooling measures deter foreign home buyers
Last December’s cooling measures have continued to deter overseas buyers from the property market.
Foreign purchases made up just 7 per cent of the private market in the three months to Sept 30, well down from their 18 per cent share for the whole of last year.
The trend was equally evident over the first nine months of the year with only 6 per cent of purchases coming from foreigners.
There were just 504 purchases by non-permanent resident foreigners in the third quarter, with eight being for landed home sales.
Suburban project Bartley Residences topped the table with 18 sales to foreigners while city fringe development One Dusun Residences and V on Shenton, in the central business district, were tied for second with 14.
Other mass market projects also enjoyed keen interest from foreign buyers, including Hillsta in Choa Chu Kang, Parc Centros in Punggol, The Palette in Pasir Ris and My Manhattan in Simei.
While sales are down from a year earlier, interest from some nationalities seems to be creeping back with the market share of mainland Chinese buyers – including permanent residents (PRs) – climbing again.
After an initial sharp pullback in the first quarter as the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) of 10 per cent for all foreign purchases hit, mainland Chinese buyers overtook Indonesians in the third quarter to clinch second place after Malaysians.
Including PRs, Chinese buyers accounted for 22 per cent – or 397 units – of all purchases made by non-Singaporeans in the three months to Sept 30. This is below the 28 per cent recorded by this group for the whole of last year.
Purchases by Americans also received a boost after the ABSD was implemented as they are one of the five nationalities exempt from the extra 10 per cent tax.
Americans bought 10 homes in the exclusive Sentosa Cove estate this year – Chinese buyers snapped up eight – to become the top non-Singaporean buyers group there.
This is a striking increase from 2010 and last year when only four Sentosa Cove purchases were made in total by Americans.
The cooling measures last December slapped a 10 per cent ABSD on all home purchases by foreigners.
PRs had to fork out an extra 3 per cent on their second and subsequent home purchases, while Singaporeans had to do so only for their third home on.
There was increased demand for landed homes above $5 million, particularly in the $5 million to $10 million price band.
More good class bungalows and Sentosa Cove houses were bought in the third quarter compared with the three-month period before.
Source: The Straits Times –20 November 2012


The Index strata offices seen going for at least $2,400 psf
Investor interest in the strata office market is expected to go up a few notches in coming weeks as Far East Organization gets ready to release The Index at Robinson Road/Cecil Street. Talk in the market is that strata offices in the 99-year-leasehold project next to Capital Tower will start from around $2,400 per square foot (psf).
The Index will also have some medical suites on the lower floors and these are expected to be priced from $3,500 psf.
Far East and its listed unit, Far East Orchard Limited, are developing the project on a 99-year-leasehold site, which they clinched at a state tender in September last year. They paid $311.777 million or $882 per square foot per plot ratio. The project’s total development cost including land has been previously reported as around $520 million. The Index is about 200 metres from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.
BT understands that the top eight levels of the 31-storey tower will offer larger whole-floor office units of 10,548 sq ft per floor. Levels 10 to 23 will house 136 smaller office units ranging from 592 sq ft to 1,442 sq ft.
Medical suites will be located on the third to fifth levels. In all, there will be 50 such units ranging from 613 sq ft to 1,345 sq ft. The medical suites will have a floor-to-floor height of 4.5 metres and the office units, five metres – higher than the three to 3.5 metres for typical offices.
Far East is also setting aside some space in The Index for civic and community institutional use, which will be exempted from the calculation of the building’s maximum approved gross floor area.
At street level, there will be separate double-volume lobbies for the offices and medical suites, accessed through a fully sheltered plaza that will be landscaped. There will also be two food-and-beverage outlets with outdoor dining areas and a shop unit – which are expected to be made available for sale.
Far East group is dedicating three basement levels to car parking lots.
A Platinum Green Mark building, The Index will feature a roof garden and pool on the ninth floor.
During a weekend in March this year, Far East sold all 100 office units at PS100 at Peck Seah Street at an average price of $3,000 psf.
Office units in the 99-year-leasehold project have sizes of between 420 sq ft and 517 sq ft.
URA Realis caveats data shows that this year, office units at the 99-year Eon Shenton project have fetched an average price of $2,554 psf, while freehold offices at Oxley Tower in Robinson Road have sold for $3,197 psf on average.
SISV Realink caveats data shows that nine medical suites at the completed Novena Medical Centre, on a site with a remaining lease of about 89 years, have changed hands for an average $3,147 psf this year.
In Bencoolen Street, a Guthrie-Sun Venture tie-up which acquired 66 office units from a partnership between Wing Tai and City Developments earlier this year has resold 25 of these units over the past month at $1,782-$1,893 psf. The sold units are from a batch of 43 which Guthrie-Sun Venture released on the fifth to eighth levels of Burlington Square.
The 66 office units are between 549 sq ft and 1,066 sq ft. CBRE is the marketing agent.
Burlington Square is on a site with 82.5 years’ remaining lease.
Source: Business Times –20 November 2012

BTO flats affordable for first-timers

Monday, 19 November, 2012


BTO flats affordable for first-timers: Khaw
The rise in prices of new Housing Board flats is less than that of resale HDB units, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament yesterday.
Since January 2009, the price of new HDB flats for first-time buyers has risen by 12 per cent, which is lower than the corresponding 34 per cent rise in the HDB resale price index.
These homes for first-time buyers are also affordable, he added.
“We take affordability fully into account when pricing BTO (Build-To-Order) flats. New flats enjoy generous discounts off market prices,” he told the House when replying to Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC).
But Ms Lee argued that a 12 per cent rise could still be higher than the salary increase of many Singaporeans.
She asked if the Government could keep prices stable.
Mr Khaw replied that first- time buyers of new flats in non- mature estates used, on average, 23 per cent of their monthly income for housing loans.
Also, they were able to pay their monthly instalments using their Central Provident Fund contributions, with minimal or no cash outlay.
“You judge by the figure that I’ve given – 23 per cent of their monthly income – I think that is affordable for BTO,” he said.
The price of a four-room HDB flat in Sengkang or Choa Chu Kang ranges from $250,000 to $310,000, he said. “Looking at it from the situation that we are facing today, I find these figures very reasonable,” he added.
Mr Khaw said a lot of the misunderstanding over HDB home prices resulted from people looking at the resale price index – which hit a record high in the last quarter. The Government is trying to stabilise that, he added.
“Resale price is beyond my control. That is set by buyer and seller. But for first-timers buying BTO flats, that is within my control and it is my job to ensure it will be affordable,” he said.
In fact, he added, it is “quite an achievement” to have brought about a 12 per cent price rise in new flats compared with the 34 per cent increase in resale prices.
“I think not enough credit has been given to my ministry,” he said, with a smile.
Source: The Straits Times –17 November 2012
Hot in the suburbs
City fringe and eastern suburban estates have broken new home price records in the past six months as clear pricing hot spots emerge across Singapore.
Once considered sky-high outside upscale precincts, the $1,500 per sq ft (psf) mark is fast becoming the norm in some hot spots – most dominant in the east.
Many new mass market projects eclipsing the $1,500 psf mark are tied to “titillating new lifestyle concepts” to attract buyer interest, experts say.
But the eastern suburban estates, with their ample, appealing lifestyle amenities, have surged ahead of the western districts in terms of prices.
One reason could be that the east was one of the first parts of Singapore outside the city centre to be developed, experts add.
Another factor is the substantial number of government land sale sites in eastern towns where developers have launched new projects at benchmark prices.
This has driven up other prices in the vicinity in tandem.
Freehold homes on the city fringe and suburban planning areas of Bukit Timah, Geylang, Marine Parade and Bedok have recorded the most transactions surpassing $1,500 psf so far this year.
This includes The Seawind project in Bedok, with a median price of $1,520 psf, and The Sound, at $1,650 psf.
Developments in the Marine Parade planning area, such as The Seafront on Meyer and Aalto, have also easily eclipsed the $1,500 psf mark.
For 99-year leasehold homes, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah, Bishan and Kallang areas saw the most number of homes topping the price chart, said Mr Ong.
For instance, Citylights had a median price of $1,550 psf, while Southbank was sold at $1,590 psf. Both projects can be found in the Kallang planning area.
Experts note that home prices in western districts such as Jurong Gateway and one-north in Buona Vista are also expected to catch up when they are fully developed.
Moreover, the improvement of transport links across the island will also change the landscape of suburban living, they add.
The completion of Downtown Line 2, for instance, will boost the Bukit Panjang and Upper Bukit Timah areas, and Housing Board upgraders are likely to review their many housing options.
Suburban home prices have inched up 2.7 per cent in the first nine months of this year, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
This is more than the 0.7 per cent rise for city fringe areas and the 0.1 per cent gain for city centre homes.
Source: The Straits Times –17 November 2012
Amber Rd condo enclave hot with expats
It used to be a quiet beachfront road lined with old bungalows, but today Amber Road is packed with condominiums and popular with expatriates.
The area, in District 15 and near the Parkway Parade mall, still retains some pre-war flavour with historical landmarks such as the Chinese Swimming Club, founded in 1905.
Most homes here are private. Major condominium projects in the area include the 400-unit The Esta, which was completed in 2008, and One Amber, with 562 apartments finished in 2010.
Both are freehold properties.
The 114-unit freehold Amber Residences obtained its temporary occupation permit (TOP) last year, while the freehold The Cape, with 76 apartments, was launched with a TOP expected in 2015.
The upcoming Silversea, which was launched in 2009 and expected to obtain its TOP in 2014, is also nearby.
383-unit project on a 99-year lease had sold around 370 of the 377 units launched as of September.
Analysts expect about 700 new homes to be completed in the next few years.
The bulk of these will come from Silversea, as well as from the collective sale in January last year of Marine Point on Marine Parade Road, which is expected to be redeveloped into around 150 freehold private residential units.
Overall, developer prices for 99-year leasehold and freehold properties in the Amber Road area range from $1,600 per sq ft (psf) to $2,000 psf, analysts said.
Reputable schools such as Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Katong Primary School and Tao Nan School are also close by..
Monthly rents at Amber Residences range from $5,000 to $6,800, and at One Amber, from $3,700 to $6,600.
Resale activity has been relatively healthy, but waned recently, in line with an islandwide slowdown.
The number of resale transactions for Cote D’Azur on Marine Parade Road has ranged from five to 10 each quarter since the final three months of last year.
Another newer project, the 546-unit The Seaview, which obtained its TOP in 2008, has seen a similar level of resale activity.
In comparison, there were 10 to 20 transactions every quarter in 2010 and the first half of last year for the Cote D’Azur and The Seaview.
Source: The Straits Times –17 November 2012
Cooling measures likely to boost sales of sub-$1.5m homes
Demand for homes under $1.5 million is expected to increase thanks to recent cooling measures aimed at preventing buyers from over-extending themselves.
Demand for lower-priced, non-landed private homes is likely to be healthier as the measures restrict the maximum term of loans.
It offered some examples to show the impact of the latest cooling measures on affordability.
For instance, a home buyer aged 35 with a monthly household income of $12,000 can now afford a residential property with a maximum value of $1.5 million to $1.6 million on a 30-year loan period.
This assumes a debt-servicing ratio – a buyer’s total monthly debt payments divided by net income – of 35 per cent, which is the recommended position of affordability, the report noted.
An older home buyer aged 40 years with a similar monthly household income can now afford a home that costs $1.3 million to $1.4 million. This takes into account a 25-year loan term under the new rules.
These buyers could look to District 19 – comprising Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol – to meet their housing needs.
The area has the highest concentration of homes of at least 70 sq m in size sold for under $1.5 million in the past four months.
It is followed by District 18, which includes Pasir Ris, Tampines and Simei.
The sixth round of cooling measures introduced last month sought to restrict all home loans to more reasonable time frames, of up to 35 years.
Home buyers who take up a loan that lasts more than 30 years or extends past their retirement age of 65 will now have to fork out much more in cash.
Where previously a buyer may borrow up to 80 per cent of the property’s value for his first mortgage, he can now do so for up to 60 per cent if he busts the 30-year loan or 65-year-old age limit. Under a similar scenario, the borrowing ceiling shrinks to just 40 per cent for his second and subsequent mortgages.
Overall demand for homes could moderate in the coming quarter as the pool of local investors and foreign buyers thins on the back of multiple rounds of cooling measures.
Investors who have already bought homes would also be monitoring the market changes before making their next move.
“Any potential lower demand coupled with ample upcoming supply of new homes will put downward pressure on residential property prices.
“Competition in the secondary market will set in if the economy cools and unemployment rate increases,” it added.
The firm expects overall prices to increase marginally by around 0.1 to 0.3 per cent in the last three months of the year.
Source: The Straits Times –17 November 2012
8 projects may be nearing sales deadline
At least eight private housing projects, mostly in prime areas, are likely running out of time to sell their units within two years of completion, as stipulated by the authorities.
High-end developments such as The Marq on Paterson Hill and Hilltops in Cairnhill Circle, for instance, have been completed for at least a year but still have hundreds of new units sitting unsold.
If they are not sold within the next 12 months or less, developers may have to fork out extension charges to buy themselves more time after the two-year deadline.
Developers pay 8 per cent, 16 per cent and 24 per cent of the property purchase price for the first, second and third extra years, respectively. The amount is pro-rated based on the proportion of unsold units.
SC Global’s 241-unit Hilltops, for example, was completed in the second quarter of last year and has till about June next year to sell its 196 apartments still unsold as at the end of September.
Its other luxury project, the 66-unit The Marq on Paterson Hill, completed in the first quarter of last year, has till about March next year to find buyers for its 33 unsold units.
Wheelock Properties’ Scotts Square in Scotts Road also has 72 units unsold. It was completed in the third quarter of last year and also has less than a year to move its remaining units.
Other projects facing a similar predicament, with at least 10 units still unsold, include 88-unit Martin No. 38 with 21 units left and Residences at Emerald Hill with all its 33 units unsold.
SC Global and Wheelock Properties declined to comment about whether they had obtained or are planning to get an extension.
The high-end market has been languishing with slow sales and prices that are still below their peak. The additional buyer’s stamp duty of up to 10 per cent introduced last year also whittled down foreign home demand, further hurting sales.
Under the Residential Property Act, housing developers whose shareholders and directors are not all Singaporeans have to get a Qualifying Certificate (QC) to buy residential property for development. This is imposed to control foreign ownership of land here.
This gives developers up to five years to build the project and requires them to sell all the units within two years of obtaining the temporary occupation permit (TOP). They are not allowed to rent out unsold units.
To ensure compliance, a developer has to put up a banker’s guarantee for 10 per cent of the purchase price of the property, which may be forfeited if it fails to fulfil the QC’s conditions.
Since January last year, a developer has been given the option to pay an “extension charge” if it cannot meet the five years’ deadline from the issue of the QC to complete its project.
It might also be liable for a pro-rated extension charge, based on the proportion of unsold units it still holds, if it cannot meet the two-year deadline to sell all its units after the project is completed.
Some developers are understood to have sought extensions to the two-year window. However, since the implementation of the extension charge scheme last year, six developers have paid charges, the Ministry of Law said.
The Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore has also submitted a proposal this year to extend this two-year period. The Law Ministry said that it is “looking into the feedback”.
Experts say that while indirect discounts such as rental guarantees or stamp duty absorption might be offered by some projects as the deadline nears, large cuts in prices are unlikely.
Source: The Straits Times –19 November 2012


Katong Junction sold for $55.28m
Katong Junction, a four-storey freehold commercial building at Joo Chiat Road, has been sold for $55.28 million.
This works out to $1,162 per square foot based on the building’s existing gross floor area of 47,558 sq ft.
Katong Junction has been bought by East Coast Holdings, whose shareholders comprise real estate investor Kishore Buxani and offshore investors advised by Mukesh Valabhji of Seychelles-based Capital Management Group.
The property is being sold by a company controlled by Tan Suat Hua, an architect by training and one of the original shareholders of Singapore Healthpartners Pte Ltd (now known as The Farrer Park Company), which is developing Connexion, a hospital, medical centre and hotel project. She later sold her stake.
Katong Junction is almost fully tenanted. Two restaurants occupy the ground level while offices fill levels two to four.
Mr Buxani, who confirmed the purchase when contacted by BT, said the plan is to spruce up the asset when the existing leases run out by late 2014 and reposition it as a retail property comprising mostly food outlets. “F&B outlets are thriving in the East Coast area, which is shaping up as the Holland Village of the east.”
A strong selling point of Katong Junction is the 30 car park lots in the basement, adds Mr Buxani.
BT understands that the average monthly passing rent in the building is in the $3-4 psf range, which spells considerable upside if the asset is successfully repositioned.
At the nearby 112 Katong in East Coast Road, F&B outlets are generally fetching rents of $10-20 psf.
However, Mr Buxani is not ruling out the possibility of strata titling Katong Junction and selling individual units.
The building was completed in the late 1990s and refurbished in 2007-2008.
Its existing 47,558 sq ft gross floor area (GFA) reflects a plot ratio of about 3.56 based on the land area of 13,346 sq ft. This exceeds the 3.0 plot ratio for the site under Master Plan 2008. The site is zoned for commercial use.
Market watchers consider the $1,162 psf on GFA price for Katong Junction reasonable. Earlier this year, Oxley Holdings paid $76.1 million or $1,298 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charge for GRTH Building at 66 East Coast Road.
Katong Junction’s $55.28 million transacted price is 10.8 per cent below the latest valuation of $62 million ($1,303 psf on GFA) for the property in August this year.
Mr Buxani, a former Goldman Sachs banker, has also partnered Mr Valabhji’s Capital Management Group for other property investments in Singapore.
Earlier this year, they bought 51 strata-titled office units at Parkway Centre in Marine Parade Central for $53.375 million or $1,043 psf on strata area.
Since then, 10 of these units have been resold at an average price of $1,600 psf. Parkway Centre is on a site with a balance lease term of some 68 years.
In 2007, the partnership acquired six floors at Samsung Hub at Church Street from OCBC Properties for $122.4 million or $1,560 psf. Last year it divested one of these floors – the 20th level – to a Chinese investor at $2,800 psf.
“We’ve recently received an offer of $3,000 psf for another floor,” said Mr Buxani. Samsung Hub has 999-year-leasehold tenure.
Mr Buxani and Capital Management also own a half stake in Finexis Building (formerly GMG Building) at 108 Robinson Road.
Source: Business Times –17 November 2012

News and Views

Friday, 16 November, 2012


New private home sales cool rapidly in October
New private home sales plummeted 26 per cent last month as the sixth round of cooling measures took some heat out of the market.
Buyers snapped up 1,948 units in October compared with 2,621 in September – a decline likely caused in part by an Oct5 policy change aimed at preventing buyers from over-extending themselves.
If executive condominium units were included, last month’s sales would total 2,624, with suburban units again powering the new-homes market.
Last month’s slower sales will not prevent this from being a landmark year for residential property. There were 19,507 private homes sold in the first 10 months – easily eclipsing the record of 16,292 sold in all of last year.
Experts say the latest cooling measures probably hit buying sentiment, but developers also took a breather, holding back launches as they took stock of the possible impact.
ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim said that while sales volumes fell, the fact that almost 2,000 new units were transacted indicates that the market remains robust. Home buyers have quickly got used to the new restrictions, he added.
New-sales figures last month also look strong given that the average monthly sales were 1,364 units last year and 1,385 in 2010.
“The market will continue to be fuelled by high liquidity and attractive home loan interest rates. Also, private property and Housing Board home owners who have made profits are re-investing their gains into the property market,” Mr Lim said.
“So market confidence is still high, despite warnings of a slower economy going forward.”
As developers have sold most units in previously launched projects, especially in suburban areas, more launches can be expected in the lead up to Christmas.
These include the 483-unit Eco Sanctuary, the Echelon with 508 units, the 338-unit Sennett Residence and Spottiswoode Suites, a development of 175 homes.
Most experts expect sales this year to hit a record of about 22,000 units.
Source: The Straits Times –16 November 2012
Sale of 4 suburban sites to yield 2,045 private homes
Four sites located in suburban areas and which can yield 2,045 private homes are being pushed out for sale to meet the continuing strong demand for property away from the city.
Two plots of land, one at Jurong West Street 41 and the other at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2, were launched for sale yesterday under the confirmed list.
A third land parcel, also at Jurong West Street 41, was made available for application under the reserve list. Confirmed-list land goes on the market regardless of interest, while reserve-list sites need to be triggered for sale by an acceptable initial offer.
Then there is a commercial and residential site at Yishun Ring Road, which will be launched for sale by public tender on Nov 27.
All four sites will offer 99-year-leasehold homes. Property consultants say that overall, the plots should see moderately keen interest from developers.
In particular the Ang Mo Kio plot, which is expected to yield 680 homes, should be keenly contested, and may see as many as 15 bidders.
Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Realty Network, said of the Ang Mo Kio site: “It is an excellent location as it is an established estate, and there have not been any new launches in that locality. It can cater to upgraders and downgraders in the locality.”
The land parcel at Jurong West launched for sale yesterday should see five to 13 bidders.
The 240,661.7-sq-ft site, which has a maximum GFA 673,853.1 sq ft, could potentially have 660 homes.
It is also within walking distance to Lakeside MRT Station.
The Yishun Ring Road mixed-use plot is a 95,346.7-sq-ft site with a maximum GFA of 266,970.8 sq ft and is expected to yield 160 homes.
ERA’s Mr Lim noted that the plot is the first mixed residential and commercial site released by HDB this year. “The mixed site gives developer the flexibility. Mixed developments have been popular as seen from the successes of those that have been launched in the past.”
He added that the area comprises predominantly HDB flats, and the new mixed development will “add live to rejuvenate Yishun”.
“The newest condominium launched in Yishun was Skies Miltonia, and it was the top-selling project for the month of October,” said Mr Lim.
Source: Business Times –16 November 2012
Multiple-lease site attracts 23 bids
The first-ever residential site launched with multiple lease options at Jalan Jurong Kechil in the Upper Bukit Timah area has received an overwhelming response from developers – attracting 23 bids for the 1.02-hectare land parcel.
The highest bidder was World Class Developments (North), a subsidiary of Aspial Corporation, which bid $73.8 million or $481.51 per square feet per plot ratio (psf ppr).
Only one bid was tendered for the shorter lease term of 45 years while there were none for the 30-year tenure, the third option offered by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
The top bid of $73.8 million is 10.3 per cent higher than the second highest bid of $66.9 million by CEL Property.
Most bids clustered around the median bid of $246 psf ppr, ranging from $198 to $302 psf ppr.
The lowest bid came from Kwan House, with a bid price of $23.3 million or $151.99 psf ppr for a 45-year lease. URA indicated that the 60-year leasehold equivalent of Kwan House’s bid would be $25.6 million or $169.3 psf ppr.
Property consultants BT spoke to expressed surprise at the number of bids, saying the site received the highest number of bids since the Westwood Avenue residential site, that closed in December 2009 with 32 bids.
 The experience of existing properties with substantially run-down leaseholds is that most buyers are less keen on them due to concerns about long-term value depreciation. However, the keen competition among bidders in this tender shows that they are confident of demand despite the shorter leasehold.
In a statement released by Aspial Corp yesterday evening, the management said they would explore various development options which include condominium and retirement housing.
But ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim felt the high price and competitive bidding reflected the location of the land parcel. “It is located in an established residential estate. It has a tranquil environment, is close to the nature reserve and is attractive to residents who prefer serenity,” he explained.
He expects the selling price to start from $1,100 psf owing to the average selling price of $1,600 for a one-bedroom unit at Suites at Bukit Timah, which is located down the road from the land parcel.
Mr Lim added that the development will likely consist of small units with an affordable quantum that targets investors, and it is likely to be popular among those looking to gain a foothold in the Bukit Timah area.
Source: Business Times –16 November 2012

News and Views

Thursday, 15 November, 2012


Signs of HDB resale market stabilising: Khaw

The HDB resale market has shown signs of stabilising, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament yesterday.
He cited latest figures that showed how the annual Resale Price Index (RPI) growth had fallen from 14.1 per cent in 2010, to 10.7 per cent last year and to 3.9 per cent in the first nine months of 2012.
He was responding to queries by MP Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon group representation constituency), who had asked whether there was any cause for concern due to HDB resale prices hitting a high in the third quarter of this year.
In his reply, Mr Khaw added that while the uptick in quarterly RPI growth to 2 per cent in the third quarter of this year showed that the situation was improving, there was still much more to be done.
“We have implemented a number of measures but they will take some time to work their way through the market. For example, the huge supply of new housing units will be available only over the next 2-3 years,” said Mr Khaw.
Separately, the minister was also quizzed by MP Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) on the success rate for HDB loans in the last three years.
Mr Khaw said that just 2 per cent of a total of 178,000 applications – or 3,500 cases – were rejected from January 2010 to September this year.
They were turned down because the applicants had already taken two or more HDB loans previously.
“The rejection rate is rather low, but in any case we do exercise discretion and provide sympathy where we can,” said Mr Khaw.
He shared that the success rate for appeals for HDB loans was currently about one in three, or 36 per cent – a figure which he described as “pretty high” and “quite good”.
Mr Khaw later said that while home ownership was a social objective for the government, this had to be “underpinned by prudence” as well.
“Let’s not forget that (there was) a huge problem in the US with the sub- prime (mortgage) crisis. While we will try to make sure everyone can afford to own a home, I think that for everyone to get a loan is a bit unrealistic,” said Mr Khaw.
Source: Business Times –15 November 2012
KL-S’pore venture unveils plans for Bugis project
Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings yesterday unveiled details of their second development project together.
DUO, as the project has been named, will comprise two towers of residential, retail, hotel and Grade A office space in Bugis, and be directly connected to the Bugis MRT station.
Designed by architect Ole Scheeren, it will have a gross floor area (GFA) of 1.8 million square feet, and a development value exceeding $3 billion.
Nearly half its GFA – 45 per cent or 810,000 sq ft – will be dedicated to residential space; the 660 units will occupy a 50-storey tower.
Offices, retail outlets and a 300-room, five-star hotel will be in the other tower, which will stand 39 storeys tall.
The hotel will take up 15 per cent of the GFA, or 270,000 sq ft.
The remaining 40 per cent or 720,000 sq ft will be given over to offices and shops, with the offices taking the bulk of that space.
M+S, the 60:40 joint venture vehicle between Khazanah and Temasek that is behind the project, said it aims to complete the development in the second quarter of 2017.
Plans are being made to launch the sale of the units in the residential tower early next year.
M+S chairman Azman Yahya said he expects demand for the residential and office space in DUO to be strong; in particular, he expects the 99-year leasehold homes to attract international buyers.
“We do expect strong demand. We think around that area it is quite a unique development. There are not that many offerings around the Bugis area. And based on cold calls we have been getting . . . there seems to be a lot of interest, both in the commercial as well as the residential site,” he said.
DUO is one of two projects undertaken by M+S – the other is in Marina South – in a 2010 land swap deal between Singapore and Malaysia, under which Malaysian railway land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji, Bukit Timah and Woodlands was returned to Singapore in exchange for four land parcels in Marina South and two in Ophir-Rochor. The projects have a total development value of $11 billion.
M+S unveiled details of the Marina South project, called Marina One, in July this year, but will do so for its design only next year, said Mr Azman.
CapitaLand and UEM Land Holdings are project managers for DUO.
UEM is partnering Mapletree Investments to manage Marina One, also expected to be completed in 2017.
Mr Azman disclosed that M+S is in talks with several five-star hotel operators to manage the hotel component.
“I think we’ll probably finalise the operator some time in the later part of next year,” he said.

Source: Business Times –15 November 2012

Lego S’pore among latest tenants at MBFC’s Tower 3
Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) has secured new leases in its Tower 3 building, which brings the overall commitment level at the tower to 76 per cent, or nearly 960,000 square feet.
Raffles Quay Asset Management (RQAM), the manager for MBFC, said yesterday that the building, which offers 1.3 million sq ft of prime Grade A office space, had secured new tenants such as Lego Singapore, which supplies products of Denmark-based firm Lego, and New York-based international legal firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
Earlier this month, BT reported that French banking group CIC, now located in Market Street, had signed a lease to take up 31,000 sq ft of space on the 37th floor of Tower 3.
The new tenants will join existing ones such as DBS Bank, Ashurst LLP, Clifford Chance, WongPartnership, Mead Johnson and McGraw-Hill in the 46-storey tower.
Said Warren Bishop, chief executive of RQAM: “We continue to see a healthy pipeline of interest from companies and prospects for Tower 3 who want to be part of this . . . development.
“With Singapore being positioned as the Asian financial gateway, we are confident that MBFC remains the choice location for multinational corporations.”
RQAM also said yesterday that the 179,000-sq-ft Marina Bay Link Mall, the retail component of MBFC, is now 100 per cent leased.
Urban Redevelopment Authority data indicates that the net increase in demand for islandwide office space for the third quarter of this year was 764,237 sq ft, taking the figure for the first nine months to 1.69 million sq ft.
The figure for last year was 2.3 million sq ft.
On the supply side, CBRE estimates that this year, 1.4 million sq ft of office space would be built, down from last year’s three million sq ft.
Next year, some 2.6 million sq ft of offices are slated for completion from projects such as Asia Square Tower 2 in the central business district, Jem next to Jurong East MRT station and The Metropolis in Buona Vista.

Source: Business Times –15 November 2012