Cooling measures deter foreign home buyers

RESIDENTIAL MARKET

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

COMMERCIAL MARKET

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