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Recent blog posts

Sales of New Launch Private Homes Rebounded in April 2014


With property stats being released in all forms and rather frequently, its hard to keep track of stats especially when buried in long prose. Here's the data for the last several months collected in one handy table. It shows the sales of new private homes.

Month No of Units Comments
Dec 2013 259 15k homes sold in 2013 
Jan 2014 565 2028 in Jan 2013
Feb 2014 739
Mar 2014 480
Apr 2014 745 Lake ville Condo (207), Sky Habitat (130, 1377psf avg)

A possible reason for the uptick is more realistic pricing such as the 13% discount in the case of Sky Habitat which was sold at a median psf of $1377 compared to $1583 a year ago. Laveville Condo also saw strong interests from buyers due to its location in the Jurong Lake District which is being developed under the URA masterplan.

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41k sqm Retail Mall at Sports Hub Named Kallang Wave

Several news reports on May 14, 2014 mentioned that the 41k sqm retail space at the Singapore Sports Hub will be named Kallang Wave. The mall is managed by a joint venture between NTUC and SMRT. The Sports Hub is scheduled to be opened next month and is across the Kallang River from the latest mixed development in the area called Kallang Riverside. It will feature climbing walls (Climb Central) that start from the basement and soar up to the 3rd storey as well as a rooftop water park. Visitor convenience is facilitated by nearby MRT stations such as Stadium, Mountbatten and Dakota stations on the Circle Line and direct access from both Nicoll Highway and Stadium Boulevard. There are 3000 parking lots of which 500 are under the mall area.

Tenancy at Kallang Wave is already at 80% as of the date of this post. Some tenants of Kallang Wave include NTUC Fairprice, H&M and Harvey Norman. The size of the mall is about twice that of 313@Somersett, JCube or North Point Shopping Center.The Fairprice outlet called Fairprice Xtra is a sports themed hypermart. H&M, the Swedish fashion outlet will offer the widest Olympic grade sports collection. Other well known brands to showcase their wares at Kallang Wave include UNIQLO and New Balance. Apart from retail, visitors will have a comprehensive range of F&B outlets to choose from including western, Japanese, Thai, Mexican and Indian cuisines.

Earlier, OCBC snagged the naming rights for 5 venues at the Sports Hub - the 6,000-capacity aquatic centre, 3,000-seat sports hall, two club lounges in the National Stadium and a VIP lounge at the SIS (Indoor Stadium)  for 15 years for a cool $50million. The 55000 capacity stadium itself retains the old name of National Stadium. The Sports Hub will be managed by Sports Hub Pte Ltd for a period of 25 years. The Sports Hub is poised to take Singapore sports to the next level.



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Recent Property Stats Condensed

stockfresh 3420855 drowning-in-data-too-much-overwhelming-information sizeS 7cfbfc

No time to read the almost daily reports on property stats? Here's a condensed version.

Resale Private Non-Landed (April 2014)

  • Transactions rise 24.6% (476 yunits) from March
  • 26.7% drop in resale volume compared to March 2013
  • Resale prices decreased 1.7% (16 month low)
  • RCR (rest of central region) dropped 3.6%
  • CCR (central region) dropped 2.3%
  • OCR (outside central region) increased 0.4%
  • Overall median Transaction Over X-Value (TOX) was -$20k, down 5k from Mar 2014
  • 19 out of 27 districts had negative TOX.
  • Districts 10 (Bukit Timah, Holland, Tanglin), 19 (Part of Serangoon, Hougang, Punggol) had positive TOX of $37.5k and $16k
  • Districts 9 (Orchard, Cairnhill, River Valley) and 12 (Balestier, Toa Payoh, part of Serangoon) had -$130k and -$40k respectively.
  • Overall - non-landed private property resale volumes went up but prices still moderating.
Rental Private Non-Landed (April 2014)
  • Rental volume is flat (3202 vs 3206 in Mar 2014)
  • 9.8% increase in rental volume compared to Apr 2013
  • Rental prices increase 0.27% (27 month low just last month)
  • Condominium rents dropped 1.3% from Mar 2014 (lowest since Dec 2011), 5.5% drop from January 2014
  • RCR (rest of central region) dropped 3.6%
  • CCR (central region) dropped 0.6%
  • OCR (outside central region) increase 0.2%
  • Overall - non-landed private property rental volumes and rents largely flat, tenants market
  • Possible reasons - increase in number of completed private homes and tighter restrictions on foreign employment
To read further:



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One Third of Home Buyers Do Not Understand TDSR

The TDSR or Total Debt Servicing Ratio cooling measure has been highly effective in cooling down the market. According to this article by PropertyGuru -, a UOB survey has shown that one out of three home buyers do no understand TDSR. Borrowers know less about how TDSR affect them than they think. TDSR takes into account all personal debt including vehicle loans and credit card bills when determining how much a borrower can loan to invest in property.

Without this understanding, buyers may find that they don't qualify for a loan for the property they desire and have to consider downsizing their investment or even give up the idea altogether. They may aspire to own a property in a good location and growth potential only to find that its out of their financial reach. The best way to start the property search is for buyers to visit their banker and get a better idea of how much they can borrow for a new property based on their current debt situation and to consider their overall financial plan carefully.

property investments


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Fall in Non-Landed Resale Property Transactions in January 2014

The resale market for non-landed resale property as dropped in Jan 2014 when compared to December 2013. 

To quote a report in the Today paper on Apr 12, 2014, "An estimated 310 non-landed private homes were resold in January, a 9.1 per cent drop from December’s 341 resale transactions, according to data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX). On a year-on-year basis, sales fell 70.2 per cent." 

On a year to year basis this is a drastic drop and reflects the overall bearish market sentiment brought about by the TDSR cooling measure. On a more positive note (or negative depending on your intentions), the same article stated, "According to the SRX Property Resale Index, overall resale prices of non-landed private residential units gained 2.3 per cent in January, marking the second consecutive monthly rise in prices."

For more browse to:

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New Private Residential Estate To Be Build In Forested Area Bordered by Lentor Drive, Yio Chu Kang Road and Tagore Road

Channel News Asia reported plans to build new private residential units in a 38 hectare plot of land delineated by Lentor Drive, Yio Chu Kang Road and Tagore Road. This land is now forested so with the scarcity of land in Singapore, another patch of forest has to make way for housing purposes. The CNA article can be found by clicking here. Its a matter of time before land sales start to show up for plot. This Google satelite map shows the location of the land and is basically the forested area in the centre.

new amk estate


To quote, "The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said there will be high-rise, medium-rise and landed housing options alongside parks and a variety of amenities. Other plans in the pipeline include a mixed-use development next to the new MRT station. The development of the area will be phased in tandem with the opening of the new MRT station, which is expected to be around 2020." The MRT station mentioned is the future Lentor station on the Thomson Line.

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New Launches in the Coming Months Despite TDSR 

stockfresh 3446662 business-graph-chart-diagram-bar-up-down sizeS 78de68

Despite the slow down in the market, several new launches are being planned for the next 6 months. In Mar, the number of private dwelling sold fell to only 480 from 739 units in Feb and 572 units in Jan for a total of 1791 units for that quarter. This is the lowest since late 2009 as reported by Savills. Sales are down about 29% from last quarter and 57.9% year on year. The last cooling measure, the TDSR has shown its efficacy in cooling down the market as well as the buying sentiments and ability of many would be buers. But, it has been demonstrated by several projects that there are still buyers for projects with the right combination of design, location and prices. Examples of these are the Hillford (all 281 sold out), Riverbank in Sengkang (84% sold), RiverTrees Residences (73% sold) and The Panorama in Ang Mo Kio (48% sold). The recently launched Commonwealth Towers in Queenstown has also seen a lot if interest due to its location near the city and across the road from the Queenstown MRT. Many developers who bought their land at high prices are relunctant or unable to lower their prices down to what the market now expects. On a positive note, there is recent evidence that developers are now more cautious about their land bids and hopefully this will lead to a moderation of prices in the future with the caveat being that should the market turn around, developers will want to price their units to maximize profits even with land bought at lower prices. Developers who own freehold land from days of old are the ones with the most leverage in terms of timing and profits. Examples would be The Tembusu and Kallang Riverside.

Despite the slow down, several residential developments are in the horizon of the next half year:

  • Kallang Riiverside - Freehold mixed development along the Kallang River offering great views, river side living and proximity to the city and its amenities
  • Coco Palms - Leasehold condo in Pasir Ris Grove offering 1 bedroom units at less than $500k
  • The Rise @ Oxley near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Interchange.
  • Sunnyvale Residences in Teluk Kurau, near Kembangan MRT
  • The Crest by Wing Tai in Tanglin
  • The Bijou in Pasir Panjang
  • Condo at Yishun Central (to be announced)
  • Pollen and Bleu, Farrer Drive
  • New Futura, Leonie Hill Road,
  • Gramercy Park, Grange Road
  • Robin Residences, Robin Road
  • Marina One Residences in the city
  • South Beach Residences in the city
  • Highline Residences by Keppel Land
  • Marine Blue in Marine Parade
  • Others to be announced

Buyers will have multiple choices going forward but if they think it is the right time to jump in, they should be on the look-out for gems based on the benefits and price points and be prepared to act as shown by some of the successful launches last quarter. 

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Land in Potong Pasir and Sembawang Are Up For Tender

The URA release two plots of 99-year leasehold land for sale on Apr 30, 2014. Both sites are expected to yield a total of 1300 homes.

The first plot of land is in Potong Pasir, on Meyappa Chettiar Road next to the Potong Pasir MRT station. Its on the Confirmed List. It's near St Andrew's Jr, St Andrew's Secondary and St Andrew's Junior College and close to the Woodsville and Whampoa flyovers that access the PIE and the CTE. 

The second EC site is in Sembawang. This particular plot is on the reserved list and is flanked by Canberra Link, Sembawang Road and Canberra Drive. Its close to the Sembawang MRT statioln (NS11).

For more information:

URA website for Meyappa Chettiar Road

URA website for Sembawang Road.

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Woodlands Square Land Tender Draws 8 Bids

The 99-year leasehold site at Woodlands Square was put up for tender in Dec 2013 and drew 8 bids from heavyweight Singapore property developers. The site has an area of over 199k sq ft and will yield a total of almost 700k ssft of gross floor area (GFA). It consists of 5 separate plots of land with two of them underground. At least 90% of this area must be dedicated to office space with the other 10% for childcare and F&B. Strata sale of the office units are allowed. The highest bid was by a consortium that Includes Far East Civil
Engineering and Sekisui House for $634 million or $902 pre square foot which was within the expected 500 to 1100psf range. The lowest bid of $308million was way below the leading bids. The high bids for this site shows that developers are positive about URA plans for the Woodlands area. In 1991, the concept of decentralized regional centers was introduced and Woodlands Regional Center one of its realizations. One of the objectives is to create a regional employment areas bringing jobs closer to home. There will be extensive pedestrian links to Causeway Point, Civic Cente, Woodlands MRT station and bus interchange and the upcoming Thomson Line MRT station.

More information about the URA's tender of this site and the intended land use can be found here:


Satellite Photo of Woodlands Square from Google Map:

woodlands square

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Cambodia The Bridge

Property investments in Malaysia, Bangkok, the UK and US have been marketed in Singapore for many years but in recent weeks, a property in Cambodia has joined the stable. Located in Cambodia's prime district and developed by Oxley, The Bridge will be a mega mall with 627 shops, 963 offices and 762 homes making it a very large development by any standards. Investments start as low as USD156k or about SGD192k putting it in the affordable range for more Singaporean investors some of whom are putting up 800-900k for 1-2 bedroom condos in Singapore. Local sales in Cambodia have started and the 2-3 bedroom units are almost gone but this property offers 2 kinds of investments - retail space, offices and condos. There is little doubt that more Cambodia properties are going to be marketed here. If The Bridge piques your interest call us at 97323160 to discuss your investment in this mixed development.


The Bridge Corner View 850

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Kallang Riverside Condo With Retail Space

Kallang Riverside is a new launch condo with retail space, otherwise known as a mixed development to be developed on the site of the existing Singapore Johore Factories Building.

The first photo below is a aerial view of the existing Singapore Johore Factories Building (in the middle of the photo) and clearly shows its potential with the Sports Hub at the top right. This whole area will be developed under the URA master plan 2013 which means price upside potential, making Kallang Riverside an even more attractive proposition. On top of that, the owners of the land are developing the property which means more leeway in terms of pricing and quality of finishings. 

Photo of the Existing Site:



Here's what the new condo will look like. 


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In Dec 2013, we blogged about Queenstown S9a, a piece of land sold as part of GLS for condo development. That article can be found here:

Just over a year later, the name of the condo has been revealed to be Commonwealth Towers. There will be two rather tall (43 storeys) towers with a total of 895 units. Queenstown has always been a popular area and there will be a lot of interest in this development.

Artist Impression of the Front of Commonwealth Towers

front view



Siteplan of Commonwealth Towers Showing Facilities


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Upcoming Residential and Commercial Integrated Development at Yishun Central

A mixed-use commercial and residential plot at Yishun Central was launched for tender on Feb 28, 2013 with the tender results announced on Sept 5, 2013. The tender was won by North Gem Development P/L and FC North Gem Trustee P/L, units related to Fraser Centerpoint P/L for $1.43 billion dollars. This was 47% higher than the next highest bidder, a consortium that includes Far East.  This price works out to be $1,077 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 99-year leasehold site, somewhat higher than the $750-850 psf ppr expected.

The plot of land located between Yishun Ring Road and Yishun Avenue 9, the location of the upcoming Junction 9 mixed development was sold at just $794.44 psf ppr so Frasers is betting on the benefits of the location raising the psf that investors are willing to pay. The plot of land at Yishun Central is right next to Northpoint Mall, Yishun 10 and Yishun Library, which explains the high bid by Frasers who  also owns Northpoint Mall. It's all about market domination and the track record of Northpoint which is also owned by Frasers.

The plans for the site include a 12-storey integrated development consisting of about 900 residential units sitting on top of a retail mall, community club and bus interchange. Subject to approval this development may also be connected to Northpoint via link bridges and a covered pedestrian promenade. Another big plus is that the Yishun MRT is just across the road (Yishun Ave 2), a big advantage over other mixed developments such as Junction 9. The commercial units in this development will benefit from the heavy foot traffic associated with bus interchanges and MRT stations and the attractiveness to shoppers of having a large number of shops in the same local area.

The residential units need to be attractively priced to sell as shown by recent launches such as Riverbank and RiverTrees Residences in Sengkang which generated a lot of interest because of the lower psfs. Reported estimates are in the $1300-$1450 range. "Skies Miltonia, a 99-year leasehold condominium project in the Yishun area recently transacted an median price of $1,070 psf and it is 1.7km from the nearest MRT station which is Khatib.


hdb map

Photo credits - HDB

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Posted by on in Property News

MAS Makes It Easier to Refinance Properties Bought Before the Introduction of TDSR

On Feb 10, 2014, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced some exemptions that would please owners having difficulties refinancing older properties due to the TDSR measures. In their press release entitled, "MAS Broadens Exemption from TDSR Threshold for Refinancing of Owner-Occupied Residential Properties Purchased before the Implementation of TDSR Rules", it was announced that some exemptions will be allowed for owner occupied and investment properties.

Owner Occupied

In the first exemption. owners of properties with the Option to Purchase or OTP granted before June 29, 2013 (the date of the introduction of the TDSR measures) will be exempted from the 60% requirement when seeking to refinance their properties. This is provided they do not own any other property or have any other outstanding property loans.

The second exemption applies for owners of HDB or Executive Condominium units. They are exempted from MSR the property is owner occupied and are purchased before the respective MSR implementation dates.

The third exemption applies to loan tenures, where owners are allowed to keep the previous loan tenure when refinancing their properties.


Investment Properties

For investment properties, refinancing must be done before Jun 30, 2017. The owner can refinance above the 60% threshold but there are restrictions: a) OTP must be before June 29, 2013, b) the owner must commit to a debt reduction plan with the FI at the point of financing and 3) fulfil the FI credit assessment. These measures are to help investor rethink their financial commitments and readjust their debt and perhaps avoid having to sell off their properties.


So, for those stuck with not being able to refinance to take advantage of better loan packages because of the TDSR, these exemptions will be a welcomed adjustment.

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What's Going to Happen to Singapore Property Prices in 2014?


In recent weeks, there has been a constant stream of news about property prices and housing supply in 2014. By and large, most of it has been pessimistic for property prices. has come up with a 70 page ebook on its predictions for 2014 and is worth a read. It's free and downloadable from this link: You have to fill in a form so they really want your email in exchange but I think the report is worth looking at. Feel free to comment about the contents after you have read the report.

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On Dec 18 2013, the URA published the Government Landsales for First Half 2014 (1H2014) in their media release entitled: First Half 2014 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme.

The details in this report can be summarised in the following table:



Private Sites (including ECs)

Units (including ECs)

Commercial Sites

GFA (sqm)

White Site

Confirmed List

7 (4 EC)

4600 (incl. 2200 ECs)

1 (Mixed)



Reserved List

13 (1 EC)

7000 (600 ECs) 





  1. ECs - Executive Condominium
  2. GFA - Gross Floor Area
  3. Reserved List - sites on this list go on sale if a developer meets the minimum price that is acceptable to the government

 The 4600 residential units from the Confirmed List will join an existing large pipeline of 97,400 private housing units (ECs included). Again, to discourage sky high bids, two pairs of sites, one pair at Yishun St 51 for ECs and another at Fernvale Road for condos will be batched together for the tender exercise.

The two commercial sites on reserved list are a White site at Marina View and a commercial site at Sims Avenue.  These will contribute an additional 188000 sqm GFA to the 1.1 million sqm GFA of office space already in the pipeline if there is demand.

From these figures, there is a healthy supply of residential units and commercial space already in the pipelines to which the sites on the confirmed list will add to and in addition, there are more sites on the reserved list that can cater if there is demand.

There are already 12700 hotel rooms in the pipeline and the hotel site at Race Course Road which has been on the reserved list since May 2011 will be taken out.

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Cheap Prices Equals Good Investment?

hillford-perspective 0

On Jan 17, 2014, all 281 units of the first retirement resort in Singapore were sold out. This was reported in the media including this article in the Today paper, titled "All 281 units of The Hillford sold out on the first day." The question is whether investing in this particular property made sense. This was covered in an interesting article in the same paper on Jan 17 with the headline, "Are 60-year leasehold residences here to stay?" This article had the following points to make.

The first one applies to all properties bought for rental. How much can the buyer realistically charge for rental? The investor needs to do his/her homework on what similar size units and larger units nearby command in terms of rental and factor this into their financial equations. The second point applies to leasehold properties and that is as properties age, the maximum loan term drops and it will be less attractive for the next buyer because it limits how much he can borrow. This is exerbated by the shorter 60 year lease of The Hilford. The third point has to do with how the psf for 60-year property translates to a higher equivalent psf for a 99-year lease. For The Hillford, the psf of 1,100 translates to a 99-year equivalent of $1320 which is significantly higher. He argued that if banks do not lend if there are less than 30years of remaining lease left, the equivalent psf is even higher at that point. The article ended with the author stating that more properties may be released for such developments if The Hillford scores well in terms of meeting its original objectives as a retirement village.

One critique of this development has been the lack of an age limit placed on investors. Afterall, this was meant to be a retirement resort. The lack of such a limit has led to much younger buyers coming into the fray because the prices are deemed more affordable. But as mentioned above, low price does not necessarily mean good investment!

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Hexacube @ Changi is an upcoming mixed development that combines office space with retail and F&B which is a great combination for those working here. Stay tuned for more as details are just coming in.

Day Facade 800

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Developments in the Vicinity of RiverTrees Residences

RiverTrees Residences is located in the North-East Region of the URA Draft Master Plan, a region that includes AMK, Hougang, Serangoon, Pungool, North Eastern Islands, Sengkang and Seletar Planning Areas. According to the URA plan, the Sengkang area will see the following developments and enhancements:

  • More residential developments near the Town Centre to provide residential choices near major public transport hubsand to the west of Sengkang and around Jalan Kayu.
  • More amenities such as Seletar Mall (next to Fernvale LRT station) will open in 2016.
  • Waterway Point, shooping and lifestyle destination in the Town Centre
  • A new hospital, Sengkang General Hospital and Community Hospital will be ready by 2018.
  • New neighbourhood parks at Rivervale Crescent, Compassvale Walk, Compassvale Lane, Compassvale Bow and Jalan Kayu.
  • Round Island Loop linking Seletar, Punggol Promenade and Sengkang Riverside Park as part of a 150km long island wide recreational corridor
  • Improved transportation and roads
  • Enhancements to the Jln Kayu area while retaining its rustic charm.
  • More places to work with the phased development of Sengkang West Industrial Park and the expansion of Seletar Aerospace Park.
  • 5 Future Schools (2 Primary, 2 Secondry and 1 Foreign) planned for the vicintiy of RiverTree Residences.

Photos from URA:

Sengkang General Hospital  Waterway Point Seletar Mall SengKang Riverside Park


URA Draft Master Plan 2013, North-Eastern Region:
URA Regional Highlights Brochure:
URA Amenities Graphic:

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RiverTrees Residences AKA Boardwalk Residences is coming to the market soon. Buyers can enjoy being near to nature and a river without a big price tag. 90% of the units in RiverTrees Residences boast a view of Sungei Punggol. There are 8 strata homes nearest to the river and a guest chalet for accomodating guests in style. A park connector across the river leads to the pictureresque Sengkang Riverside Park. Property prices will appreciate as more amenities are built in this developing area. Quality is assured by the involvement of 3 reputable developers including Fraser Centerpoint. Prices will be attractive with 1 bedroom units starting from $5XXk. Stay tuned as more details about this development is made available. Call our sales hotline at 97323160 to be among the first to view and book a unit of your choice.

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