News

21 May 2016

Home price drop of over 20% unlikely, say experts

Analysts believe that private residential prices will continue to fall this year and into 2017, but the rate of decline is unlikely to exceed 20 percent, reported Singapore Business Review.

“We forecast private residential prices would dip five percent to 15 percent over 2016 to 2017 and that 2016 primary residential sales would remain muted at between 6,000 to 9,000 units,” said Eli Lee, an analyst at OCBC Investment Research.

At the same time, residential rental levels could drop by eight to 15 percent, while the vacancy rate could rise from the current 7.8 percent to around 10 percent by the end of 2017.

Nevertheless, a price correction of over 20 percent is improbable, given that demand rises as properties become more affordable, preventing prices from falling further, added Lee.

Echoing a similar sentiment is Maybank KimEng’s analyst Derrick Heng. He expects private residential prices to hit rock-bottom by the end of next year, decreasing by 13 to 16 percent from their peak.

Heng noted that developers appear to be winding down their construction activity to ease the supply glut. Data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) shows that home builders completed nearly 19,000 units in 2015, down from the projected 21,359 units for the year.

Picture Source: Private home prices could fall by up to 15 percent over 2016 and 2017.
Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119494/home-price-drop-of-over-20-unlikely-say-experts

PropertyGuru’s Malaysia Property Show still attracting strong interest

Speculation has been rife of late that the Malaysian property market is going to have a quiet year. Analysts anticipate that demand will remain an issue despite property prices in key areas such as Penang, Johor and Klang Valley remaining relatively stable, with house-price indices holding up.

Nonetheless, this presents a good chance for Singaporean investors, as they can still strive to capitalise on existing opportunities in the market. This was evident at PropertyGuru’s most recent Malaysia Property Show (MPS), held last weekend at Marriott Hotel Singapore. The event saw over 430 potential buyers in attendance, eager to listen to what industry leaders had to say, as well as view prime Malaysian properties by renowned developers from across the causeway.

Malaysian exhibitors who participated in the show included UEM Sunrise, Rawhide, WCT, Andaman Property Management, Bina Puri Holdings and Hatten Group.

“Malaysia has always been the top-of-mind favourite for local investors searching for alternative investment options outside of Singapore. The multiple rounds of cooling measures have played a crucial role in boosting the attraction to properties across the causeway,” said Steve Melhuish, co-founder and CEO of PropertyGuru Group.

“Cooling measures have significantly affected the prospects for attractive investments in Singapore property. Moreover, the ringgit has fallen 30 percent against the Singapore dollar, making Malaysian properties even more affordable. Infrastructural developments, such as the upcoming Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail, have also given more reasons to invest, by not only shortening the travelling time between the two countries but also possibly growing the capital appreciation for properties located within its vicinity.”

Now in its sixth year, MPS is part of PropertyGuru’s international events platform, which showcases properties from cities across Asia, leveraging on the popularity of online property searches and actual investments, to enable investors to make quicker yet smarter decisions.

Melhuish said, “The latest edition of PropertyGuru’s Malaysia Property Show has once again proven to be a hit, with immense support seen from the steady number of visitors over the weekend. We are looking to host more investor events in the coming months.”

Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119427/propertygurus-malaysia-property-show-still-attracting-strong-interest

Eye on Yishun: Ward of the north

As an HDB estate, Yishun is only 40 years old, but is one of the most popular towns in northern Singapore, thanks to the convenience afforded to residents by its accessibility and many amenities.

And though it is a fully developed residential estate with its own MRT stations (Yishun and Khatib), Yishun is continually being improved. From shopping and dining to education and housing, the estate seems to be in a state of constant development. Unsurprising, perhaps, when one considers the two words synonymous with Singapore’s reputation: growth and progress.

Drawn to the north

Ken Chan, Sales Manager at DTZ Property Network, explains Yishun’s appeal: “Yishun is one of the middle-aged housing estates that are being progressively rejuvenated by the HDB. It is also part of the URA’s Master Plan development for the northern region.

“The ongoing developments will make Yishun more well-connected by transportation. At the same time, they will provide many exciting lifestyle choices for residents.”

But even in light of its recent and current developments, Yishun, which was once a quiet, rural part of Singapore, still has much to offer its residents in terms of nature.

The Lower Seletar Reservoir is a splendid place for a relaxing evening stroll, and the three little-known waterways (the Seletar, Khatib Bongsu and Simpang rivers) are perfect for water sports and trekking on weekends.

Parks include the Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, Yishun Park and Nee Soon East Park; the former has a small water sports rental facility and occasionally sees dragon boat competitions held there.

For those who prefer the indoors, there are plenty of shopping, F&B and entertainment options to enjoy, be it with family or friends. Northpoint Shopping Centre is right next to Yishun MRT station, while Asia’s first multiplex, Golden Village (GV) Yishun, now boasts wheelchair-friendly berths and three 3D digital halls to cater to a wide variety of moviegoers.

Furthermore, Chong Pang City in Neighbourhood 1 has everything one could need: shophouses, a hawker centre, a market, supermarket, department store, drugstores and convenience stores.

Essentially complete

Apart from food, shopping and entertainment, Yishun’s eight neighbourhoods also have schools, community clubs and centres and country clubs, as well as medical and sports facilities. The Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), named after the late Khoo Teck Puat after it received a hefty $125 million donation from his family, is located in the Yishun Central Area, next to Yishun Polyclinic. It boasts 590 beds amid comprehensive healthcare and specialist medical services and facilities, as well as a recently added feature that overlooks Yishun Pond.

The latest healthcare facility to have been developed in the area is the Yishun Community Hospital (YCH), which opened in late December last year. With approximately 425 beds, YCH’s primary purpose is to accommodate post-surgery patients from KTPH while they recover.

There are seven community clubs and two country clubs (SAFRA Yishun Country Club and Orchid Country Club) in Yishun, as well as the Yishun Stadium and Sports Hall and Yishun Swimming Complex.

Schools such as Ahmad Ibrahim Primary and Secondary, Chung Cheng High School (Yishun), ITE College Central and Yishun Junior College are also located in the region.

Reputable residences

Yishun has plenty of residential developments, from HDB flats to condominiums and executive condominiums (ECs). The area has been consistently popular amongst buyers, and developments such as The Wisteria and North Park Residences have been attracting a great deal of attention.

Chan says of the two aforementioned 99-year leasehold projects: “The Wisteria and North Park Residences are built by very reputable developers. The latter, for example, is known for its well-planned functional residential design.

“At the same time, both The Wisteria and North Park Residences are two of the newest local projects to feature the latest mixed development concept. Retail shops and restaurants in The Wisteria, for instance, are not sold as strata-titled units, giving the developers good control of the retail tenants’ marketing mix, and enhancing the overall value of the residential and commercial components of the project.”

Furthermore, North Park Residences will also be one of the first private residential developments to be integrated with a community club linked to the Yishun MRT station and bus interchange. Residents will be spoilt for choice when it comes to lifestyle options, as there will be over 500 retail and F&B outlets and healthcare establishments located just below their homes.

Where and how much

Yishun is an ideal place for both home buyers and sellers. It all simply boils down to two things: price and location. The former, when set at a price that takes into consideration the house’s market value, the seller’s asking price range and the buyer’s offered price range, can attract genuine buyers overnight.

Chan says, “We can observe from the well received Wisteria and North Park Residences that the correct pricing of a home really determines its selling power. For homeowners looking to sell, price your home right, and it will literally sell overnight.

“As for homebuyers, it’s always about location. A location generally popular with tenants / residents, either for transport convenience or a close proximity to lifestyle amenities or schools would be a great start. And of course, a website such as PropertyGuru.com will make searching for that dream home so much easier.”

Positive prospects

With all its ever-changing and constantly improving amenities and infrastructure, Yishun’s foreseeable future looks bright. Residents have easy access to food, shopping, entertainment, healthcare, education, recreation, nature and sports, making Yishun highly convenient and therefore, attractive.

Chan is positive about the estate’s prospects: “I think Yishun is progressing towards (becoming) a very liveable suburban region in the north. Transport links are well integrated and lifestyle amenities are abundant. The latest mixed-use commercial and residential projects certainly support the transformation of Yishun into a rejuvenated and choice residential region.

“The residential market in Singapore and Yishun may be undergoing some adjustments in tandem with the global economy at the moment, but in the longer term, the attractiveness of Yishun as a choice home will ensure it will be a shining star in the future.”

Picture Source: Completed in 1986, Lower Seletar Reservoir is located to the east of Yishun New Town. (Photo: Balaji Dutt M V, Wikimedia Commons)/PropertyGuru Analytics,URA
Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119371/ward-of-the-north

One of the most affordable homes above a lifestyle mall

Special Advertising Feature

Offering thoughtfully-designed residential spaces, state-of-the art facilities, as well as a good mix of retail and F&B shops under one roof, The Wisteria presents itself as the ideal space for live and play.

In recent years, mixed-use developments, which encompass both commercial and residential units in a single complex, have become increasingly popular, with a growing number of developers starting to roll out mixed-use developments across the island. This comes as no surprise, as the fast growing population in land-scarce Singapore has resulted in a surge in demand for homes and amenities alike.

Those looking to invest in a mixed-use development that offers utmost convenience, easy accessibility, as well as a slew of amenities within one location, should look no further than The Wisteria – a mixed residential and retail development in Yishun.

Jointly developed by Northern Resi Pte Ltd and Northern Retail Pte Ltd, the development comprises 216 residential units, which are built on top of the Wisteria Mall – a unique lifestyle mall comprising F&B and retail shops. There is a good mix of one- to four-bedroom apartment units that range in size from 441 sq ft to 1,171 sq ft. Discerning home buyers and investors will like that most units come fully outfitted with a fine selection of kitchen and sanitary fittings from reputable brands such as Electrolux and Hansgrohe, as well as a well-edited selection of fittings.

The 216 residential apartments will be spread across three blocks and will occupy the 4th to 12th floors, while the retail units will be housed within basement 1 and level 1 of the development. The lifestyle mall, with over 100 units of F&B and retail offerings, are held under one strata-owner, who will operate and manage the entire mall.

Smart living

One of the main highlights of The Wisteria is no doubt the in-built home automation system – ABB-free@home system – that is installed in each residential unit. With this innovative system, residents can intelligently control virtually any device in their home – lighting, air-cons at the dining / living area and master bedroom, and even main door locks via their smart devices.

Spaces to relax and retreat

Residents can expect to be spoilt for choice when it comes to leisure and relaxation pursuits. Equipped with an array of state-of-the-art facilities, fitness enthusiasts can choose to take a refreshing dip in either the 50m free-form lap pool or sweat it out at the aqua gym and gymnasium. For those who prefer to just sit back and lull the afternoon away, there are also plenty of spaces for you to do just that including the wine pod, jaccuzi, water lounge, steam room, sun deck and leisure deck among others. The specially designed BBQ Pavilion is also ideal for intimate parties or even just a spontaneous evening dinner outdoors.

A host of amenities and conveniences

Among the advantages of living in a mixed-use development, convenience ranks high on the list. And when it comes to convenience, The Wisteria – located at the juntion of Yishun Avenue 4 and Yishun Ring Road – is truly unbeatable. The development is situated within close proximity to various transportation links including Khatib MRT station and the Seletar Expressway (SLE), which make travelling to other parts of the island a breeze. The future North-South Expressway (NSE) will also reduce travelling time to and from the city – the NSE will connect the city centre with towns along the north-south corridor – Woodlands, Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Toa Payoh.

The star of this integrated residential and retail development has to be the Wisteria Mall, which offers residents a slew of dining and shopping options at their doorstep. Housing a handful of specialty cafes and restaurants, a FairPrice Finest supermarket, Kopitiam food court and many other lifestyle shops, residents will be able to indulge in an array of gastronomical delights and shop for their daily necessities without even having to set foot out of the development.

For families with school-going children, the development is located within a stone’s throw away of several established educational institutions, such as Chongfu Primary School, Naval Base Primary School and GEMS World Academy.

Great investment potential

The position of The Wisteria is further strengthened by its proximity to nearby commercial clusters such as Woodlands Regional Centre, Seletar Regional Centre and the upcoming Seletar Aerospace Park.

Seletar Aerospace Park, which is envisioned to be a world-class dedicated aerospace regional facility, is expected to create about 10,000 jobs upon its projected completion in 2018, while the Woodlands Regional Centre, which is part of a larger commercial belt called the North Coast Innovation Corridor, will house the first business park cluster in Singapore’s northern area.

In short, residents of The Wisteria can look forward to a wealth of job opportunities near where they live. The 99-year leasehold development is expected to receive its temporary occupation permit (TOP) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Picture Source: Facade of The Wisteria and Wisteria Mall.
Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119458/one-of-the-most-affordable-homes-above-a-lifestyle-mall

Strong property potential for northeast Singapore

With the first quarter of 2016 well underway, property seekers were keen to find out about current property market statistics and what these data trends could tell them about the outlook for the local property market. This interest was reflected by the large crowd at the Kingsford Waterbay show suite, where the latest edition of PropertyGuru’s Guru Talk was held.

Guru Talk is a series of property knowledge empowerment seminars aimed at providing a comprehensive Guru View of the property market. The edition held on 27 February 2016 saw Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer of ERA Realty Network, providing some highly regarded insight to the local property scene, as well his expert predictions for the rest of the year.

Giving attendees a holistic view of Singapore’s property market, Lim covered vast ground, sharing his views on data trends across both the government and private housing sectors.

Broaching the topic of the HDB resale market first, he pointed out that though prices had been on the decline for two consecutive years, this trend stopped in the last quarter of 2015. In fact, prices saw an increase. This, however, does not mean a quick price rebound but rather, price stabilisation.

“Property prices have been trending downwards over the last two years but what is interesting to note is that the price decrease stopped in the last quarter. In the final quarter of 2015, based on HDB statistics, prices have edged up by 0.1 percent.

“Is this going to carry on? Are we expecting a price rebound? As a homeowner, you would most definitely want to see that. However, the government has been ‘balancing’ the market with increased supply. We see that the HDB has been launching a lot more new flats, especially in mature estates. They will not be flooding the newer estates anymore, so on a high level, all this points to the stabilisation of HDB resale prices.”Continuing with his coverage of the local property market, Lim went on to speak about the private residential sector, where he pointed out trends similar to the HDB resale market — the rate of year-on-year price decrease had slowed down, indicating price stabilisation, something reflected in price points from recent months.

Continuing with his coverage of the local property market, Lim went on to speak about the private residential sector, where he pointed out trends similar to the HDB resale market — the rate of year-on-year price decrease had slowed down, indicating price stabilisation, something reflected in price points from recent months.

“Year-on-year, we see very little change (in private residential price points), which means the market has started to stabilise. The rate of decline has actually slowed down and monthly prices are quite stable. Now, with all the moderations in the market, you’ll find that price lines plotted across a monthly chart have stabilised, and the prices in the private property market are expected to maintain a status quo, ” Lim said.

He cautioned: “One thing we need to be aware of is that we are a very small country, and as a small country, we are a ‘price taker’. Any external shock will affect Singapore today, more so than in the past, as we continue to be a very open market.”

When asked to look into his crystal ball Eugene mentioned that the northeast region holds good potential for property investments, citing reasons such as the rise of nearby business and industrial parks, and estates in the region, like Hougang, which is part of the Remaking our Heartlands (ROH) programme. Furthermore, the Cross Island Line, which will cut through the region, will be complete by 2030.

As a bonus, fengshui master Jet Lee, Principal and Founder of Yi-Culture, shared with attendees his views on how fengshui can be involved in a property purchase. He also gave his Singapore property market outlook, while boldly predicting the lifting of certain cooling measures by Q3 2017.

Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119432/strong-property-potential-for-northeast-singapore

Small island, big plans

It is often said that a man’s reputation precedes him. In the case of Cui Zhengfeng, owner of Kingsford Development, part of the impression I had of him prior to our first meeting was that he took great pride in his work.

After all, he had decided this interview was to be conducted at the Kingsford Hillview Peak showflat in Bukit Batok, and seemed rather pleased that I had arrived slightly early to view the condominium, which happens to be Kingsford’s first project in Singapore.

Another trait that stood out was his ambitious streak. Though English is still the main challenge for the Chinese national, the language barrier has not stopped him from expanding the company’s operations from China to not only Singapore, but Australia as well. He says he relies on a translator when it comes to doing business with English speakers, and reading English-language documents.

In person, he comes across as friendly and chatty, eager to commence the interview and share his experiences with us. Speaking in Mandarin, his excitement is evident in his hand gestures, rapid speech and tone of voice.

From regiments to residences

A Shenyang native, Cui joined the army at the age of 18, before taking a job as a tax officer at age 30. Not long after, he decided to use his pension fund to invest in factories, venturing into property development in 2000. He eventually came to Singapore and, finding the market favourable, decided to start developing property here. Last year, the business expanded to Australia, though Singapore remains Kingsford’s primary focus, apart from China.

Cui says of his real estate journey so far: “It’s not an easy business. 20 years ago, there was no Kingsford, and you cannot study to become a CEO. In this industry, there are many responsibilities (because) what you sell is not just a product, but a family’s dream.”

Service-oriented strategy

When it comes to Kingsford Development, Cui is happy to talk about its portfolio. The company focuses mainly on China, Singapore and Australia, and its biggest undertaking so far is a 460,000 sq m project in China. After entering the Singapore property market with Kingsford Hillview Peak, it embarked on its second condominium development here, Kingsford Waterbay.

Throughout the interview, Cui emphasises repeatedly that in order to further build Kingsford’s brand, its priority must be to “help aspiring homeowners fulfil their dreams and get their dream homes”.

He says: “I am more concerned with service than with profit. I want Kingsford to have lasting power and a long legacy, and in order to achieve this, I must constantly provide high-quality homes for my customers.

Cui’s ambitions are clear. He says resolutely: “Kingsford is looking at the whole world. From China to Singapore to Australia, we keep up with the goings-on in all countries. Our main operations are in China, while Singapore is our base for overseas operations; Australia is the next country we have decided to explore, and have set up our business there.”

Uniqueness amid commonality

So what sets Cui apart from other prominent names in the real estate business? Well, he believes one must first determine what he shares with his industry peers before he can determine his unique selling point.

“In order to understand the difference between oneself and others in the same industry, we must first find common ground with them. We share the same goals and pursuits: to excel in our work and develop our businesses.

“More time must be focused on the quality of the property and your employees’ performance. We must respect every project and every person. And for us, as a young company, we need to learn from our predecessors and competitors, retaining the positive so we can be more professional and eventually, overtake them in the industry.

“What sets me apart is my dogged determination to succeed. I choose not to give up but to persevere, because the qualities of the head of the company represent the qualities of the company itself. Perhaps this statement is a little dramatic, but there is some truth to it. Once I have set my mind to something, I will do whatever it takes to achieve it. I am also grateful to my staff for their support.

“Kingsford is also unique because instead of being profit-focused, we focus on providing quality homes for our customers.”

Looking to the future

Going forward, Cui certainly has grand ambitions for Kingsford. He has plans for the business to expand into Vietnam and India, largely due to their recent respective GDP growth of over six percent. He is also eyeing Canada and New Zealand as potential candidates for Kingsford’s expansion.

The company still has over 600 units to sell in Brisbane, Australia, after which he will observe the market before making further decisions.

Back home in China, Kingsford is working on a development in Cui’s hometown of Shenyang. It will launch at the end of the year, and with 10,000 units and an area of 800,000 sq m, is purported to be 10 times the size of Kingsford Waterbay.

When asked for his predictions for Singapore’s housing market, he immediately gives an answer with which many Singaporeans are likely to disagree: “Even though home prices in Singapore are high, they should not be reduced. Doing so will hurt the economy and in turn, the people of Singapore.”

However, he does feel the government should relax the cooling measures. He explains, “Like Singapore, the Chinese government has been introducing many of its own measures and policies to cool the market. But because of the long period of government control of the market, even removing the measures now will not encourage more people to buy.

“Now it has to introduce another set of measures to encourage them to enter the market. The same might happen here if the government does not relax or remove some of the measures soon.”

Lessons and challenges

Cui’s foremost challenge is the language barrier he faces outside of his homeland. He says this was particularly trying when he first set up shop in Singapore. While he has not yet learnt the language, he still insists on handling all his research and documents personally, with a translator on hand to help him.

After 15 years in the business, his advice to younger property entrepreneurs is this: “It is most important to maintain the enthusiasm you had at the beginning. It is your career’s driving force. You must always remember why you started the business, and what your beliefs are.”

Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/3/119423/small-island-big-plans