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Property News

Category of latest Singapore property news and stories

Easing of Some Property Cooling Measures - Sellers Duty and TDSR


The Government has just relaxed some of the cooling measures in place to reign in property prices in Singapore but ABSD or additonal buyer's stamp duty and the LTV or loan to valuation limits remain unchanged. Not so good news for buyers. For sellers, the SSD is cut from the 4-16% range depending on the holding period to 4-12%, a 4% cut for each holding year. The minimum holding period to escape SSD penalties was aslo reduced from 4 to 3 years.

The current TDSR restrictions state that your total loans cannot exceed a limit of 60% of your monthly gross income but now this limit will no longer apply hwen borrowers borrow against the values of their property to get cash provided the loan to value ratio is 50% or below.

Not what many investors are hoping for but its a start. To read more visit: Govt eases some property cooling measures report in the Straits Times.

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Short Term Rentals of Less than 6 Months are Illegal in Singapore

This has been illegal under URA rules for short term rentals less than 6 months in duration but is now legislated. Such homes are being listed on popular websites like Airbnb. Owners of private properties violating this law face a maximum fine of $200k and up to 1 year jail time. A major factor in this decision has to do with privacy and the sanctity valued by owners of private properties and complaints have gone up by 60% according to a CNA report. But the government is studying the option of creating a new category of homes that can be used for short term rental but for now its illegal.

To read more:

Channel News Asia Report: Short Term Rentals of Private Property Illegal but Govt Mulling

Straits Times Report: Parliament - Short Term Home Rentals Illegal Under New Law

New Paper Report: Short term home rentals like Airbnb now illegal, government looking at changes 

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HDB in the News in May 2015


May 25, 2015: 2 Bedroom Flats at Ponggol Going for As Low as $28,000!

New smart homes in Punggol boasts new smart technologies both within units and in the common facilities. 

  • Enviromental modeling to create more comfortable living conditions
  • Smart carpark management frees up more visitors lots when residents are out
  • Smart fans and lighting in the common areas
  • Smart Pneumatic Waste Management


For more read:


May 26, 2015: Stylish Dawson BTOs

In this article, two stylish BTOs in Dawson called SkyTerrace and Skyville push the standards for HDB living with innovative ideas and designs. For more read this article in the Sunday Times: In pictures: Stylish BTO projects at Dawson's SkyTerrace and SkyVille - See more at:

May 27, 2015: $1millon Resale Flats at Duxton after the Five Year MOP

Duxton has always garnered a lot of interest because of its location and  ground breaking design. After, the 5 year MOP ended, some owners decided to cash in and sell their flats. One flat even sold for over $1 million.

Astonishing? Read more:


May 27, 2015: Record 9000 BTO and Sale of Balance Flats Launched

Some 9000 BTO and sale of balance flats have been launched. 4,044 are BTO flats and the other 5387 are Sale of Balance Flats. The BTO flats are in Clementi, Tampines, Punggol and Sembawang with the ones in Punggol being equipped with smart technologies in the common areas. The balance flats are located in Woodlands, Jurong, Bukit Merah and Queenstown. The BTO launched to date this year totals 8039 with another 4860 coming up in August including those in Bidadari.

See more at:

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New Food and Commercial Hub Near Woodlands Sports Hall

In June 2012, HDB announced the relocation of some 147 flats under the SERS program. These flats were located in blocks 1A-6A along Woodlands Centre Road. Also affected by the move were some 197 rental shops/ eating houses/ offices and 78 cooked food stalls under NEA’s management.  The same annoucement mentioned a future hawker centre to replace the affected stalls. 

On Aug 5, 2017, the PropertyGuru website reported a new $31.1 million project to be built in the open space next to Woodlands Sports Hall and demarketed by Woodlands Street 12 and Woodlands Ave 3. Facilities in this hub include food stalls (80), commercial schools (5), retail shops (60) and parking for 200 cars. Road works will also be carried out to cater for the expected increase in traffic. This new hub will

ensure that there are sufficient food stalls in the area and will be the second NEA managed hawker centre in Woodlands.


Google Maps:

woodlands sports hall

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Sales of New Launch Private Homes Doubled in May 2014


Sales of new launch private homes almost doubled from April to May 2014 with 1470 units sold according to the URA. If ECs are included, the total units sold last month would be 1528 units compared to 797 in April 2014. This has been attributed to the larger number of new homes launched in May - 1790 which is greater than 3X the number launched in April (600 units).

Sales in the Core Central Region was 2%, Rest of Central Region (RCR) 34% and Outside Central Region (OCR) 64%. Three developments - Coco Palms, Commonwealth Towers and The Panorama made up 65.6% of sales. Two points may be noted for these properties - lower psfs and location. Last month Sky Habitat and Laveville were the top sellers.

In June, several factors may lead to lower sales - school holidays and World Cup Fever and although developers may launch ahead of the lunar 7th month period in August.


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)
May 2014  1470  Coco Palms (OCR, 590, $1018psf),  Commonwealth Towers (RCR, 275 units, $1626 and Panaroma (OCR, 100 units, $1241 psf, relaunch)

* Year to date sales 3963 units, Jan to May 2014.

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Posted by on in Property News

Dual Key Units

What are dual key units? In 1986, the HDB introduced units configured as a studio unit plus the main flat. The intention was to encourage multi-generational families to live under one roof. In 2009, Caspian Condo was the first to introduce the concept to the private residential market. Today, dual-key units can be found in both private and executive condos.

The Straits Times in this article "Developer 'still keen'on dual-key units" published on May 20, 2014 stated that the proportion of large residential projects offering dual key units has risen over recent years: 2011: 3.4%, 2013: 7.5%.

What do dual-key units offer? Basically a dual key layout has two subunits sharing the same foyer. The subunits can be self contained or consist of one full unit with an attached room. For couples, it offers a way to live next to your parents while maintaining some privacy. For others, one sub-unit can be used to generate rental income without loss of privacy.

According to the same article, dual-key units command a premium but this has dropped from 16% at its peak in 2012 to 12% max last year. The take-up rate has also dropped from 84% to 58%. Despite of these stats, dual-key units will appeal to young couples who would also like to be their parents or to investors who see such units as a way to generate another income or to help pay their property loans. Indeed, both units can be rented out to generate even more income. 

All potential buyers of any kind of property should first visit their banker and understand how much they can loan in the light of the TDSR cooling measure. This will help ground their expectations and narrow the range of properties or units that they can invest in. As previously mentioned in this blog: 1 in 3 buyers do not understand the TDSR and its going to save them a lot of time if they make an upfront assessment of the maximum amount they can loan.

Some properties launched or to be lauched with dual key units include:

The Crest @ Tanglin

Coco Palms

RiverTrees Residences

Sunnyvale Residences

Guillemard Suites

Highline Residences

Liv on Wilkie


Bentley Residences

The Tembusu

dual key








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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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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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Big Drop in The Number of Private Properties Sold in December 2013 Vs November 2013

Aerial View - 800

Figure 1: Guillemard Residences

The URA released figures today that showed a plunge in both the number of properties sold (-80%) and the number of units launched in December 2013 when compared to November 2013. The cooling measures, especially the TDSR, are taking a real toll on property sales as is evident from these figures and more visibly from the low traffic at showflats in recent times. The TDSR has sidelined buyers who do not meet the 60% debt ratio, reduced the funds of others and generally made buyers more cautious. Worries about interest rates and the reduction in quantitative easing in the US may have an impact on sentiment. Finally, the decline in HDB resale prices may dampen the flow of upgraders from HDB to private property. All these factors appear to support a slow down in sales and prices in the near future.


Table 1: Number of Units Sold Per Month 

Month Total
December 2013 333
November 2013 1714


Of the 333 units sold in December, 74 units were ECs of which 24 were from Forestville EC in Woodlands and another 18 from Skypark Residences EC in Sembawang. The median psf for these two ECs were 736 and 791 respectively. The best selling private developments were Guillemard Residences (26 out of 146 units, 1494psf), The Glades (1477psf) and La Fiesta (1197 psf). These are located in the Guillemard, Tanah Merah and Sengkang areas, all in OCR or RCR. 

*This author notes that the range of psf values above overlap some freehold psfs which means that even in this climate, decent freehold deals can be found if one knows where to look. 

Singapore Business Review (see mentions estimates of a 5% drop in property prices in 2014 Vs. a small gain of 1.2% in 2013. The total number of units is also estimated to drop from 15015 in 2013 to 12500-14500 in 2014. The sizeable supply coming onstream as well as the general sentiment of the buyers of a price correction will also put more downward pressure on prices. It's becoming a buyers market but any property in a good location and priced attractively will still generate interest and sales.

Another article in SBR ( mentioned more data that expects a 5% drop in 2014 and 5-15% drop in prices in 2015. The 4th quarter of 2013 saw the first drop in prices in 7 quarters and prices are not 61% above the last trough in 2Q09.


Table 2: Number of Units Launched Per Month

Month Total
December 2013 118
November 2013 2172


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HDB COV prices have been dropping over recent months. COV was $15000 and $12000 in September and October respectively and is predicted by some to fall to $10000 by year's end. HDB prices have dropped 1.6% in October compared with a small 0.2% gain in September which correlates with the rise in the number of resale HDB units in October, a 26.5% increase over September.

Over in the private residential market, resale prices declined only 0.1% from September. The suburban and central areas fell the most at 1.4 and 0.9% respectively vs a slight gain of 0.4% in the city fringes. Mirroring the increase in sales in the HDB market, 13.6% more units (486 units) exchanged hands in the resale market in October compared with September. This however is quite a drop compared to Oct 2012 when 1,435 unts exchanged hands. 

Both HDB and private residential markets have seen cooling measures introduced. HDB has capped the mortgate servicing ratio at 30% of the borrower's gross monthly income and reduced the tenure of loans to 25 years for HDB loans and 30 yrs for bank loans. Also, permanent residents are now barred from purchasing flats during the first 3 years after receiving PR status. The large number of new flats in the pipeline may also dampen the HDB resale market. For private residential properties, the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) limits borrowers total debt obligation to 60% of gross monthly income and there is the additional buyer's stamp duty or ABSD have worked to dampen the market. For more details on the above, visit

For new private properties, many buyers are also staying in the sidelines as they perceive a bear market coming and are waiting for prices to drop. Units that are still moving tend to be the units in the lower quantum range as demonstrated by the success of the InFlora recently. Property developers have started to respond to market conditions by reducing prices.


Credit TodayOnline

Tagged in: ABSD cov hdb Resale TDSR
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Posted by on in Property News reports good response for The Tembusu with 200 out of 337 units sold two weeks after the VVIP preview. For details see Propertyguru article on The Tembusu.

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