UOL Tops Sengkang West Way Government Land Sales Bid

UOL top the bid of the HDB Government Land Sales two days ago amongst 7 other bidders to the plot at $262.1m (about $488.84 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr))

Just right by Punggol Reservoir, this is probably the drawing point for UOL’s new nature enclave residential project in the vicinity.

District 28 seems to have quite a fair bit of sales activity, especially pertaining to first time buyers. H2O Residences (a CDL project) has recently sold over 90% of their units and have also revised their pricing after the winning land bid.

[block type=”download”]View the winning bid details from HDB here[/block]

New Housing Developer Bill Amendments Proposed

As with the recent strong primary sale driven by first time buyers, the Parliament has further re-enhanced and looked at more ways to enforce stricter regimen to the existing Housing Development Act. The last time this was visited was just in February this year. Key notes of changes include:-

Stricter Showroom Construction

Building to scale has already been enforced as to the amendment before, but the bill will require developers to even have all the structural walls to be erected as oppose to having any forms of substitutions (ie, glass or thinner partition) that could mislead buyers.

Ceiling height of the show flat is to be he the same as that approved in the building plan. This bill introduced will empower the Comptroller of Housing to investigate and penalise instances of non-compliance.

Sales Transactions

Developers are now all required to disclose and publish all rebates, discounts and other benefits offered or extended to home-buyers. This also includes any form of reimbursement of any stamp duty or tax granted to home-buyers.

As with disclosures, this would be affecting buyers in terms of their loan applications as well since any rebates or benefits should be factored into the valuation of the sale property.

Comptroller of Housing is also given legal power to collect and publish information on building projects, unit sold and made available for sale by developers. Data collected would be published frequently to aid home-buyer in decision making.

Stricter Enforcements on Developers

Comptroller of Housing has enhancements on their power as well on grounds which they can revoke or suspend a licence.

With all these bill amendments happening, this should reassure home buyers on the transparency of the market. It should at the same time pose some difficulties to some developers as their sales model might have to change.

[block type=”download”]You can read the full speech by Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of National Development here.[/block]

Singapore Property Loan Tenure Caps at 35 Years

Amidst the heating Singapore market, MAS has released an immediate press release which will take immediate effect from tomorrow,

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will restrict the tenure of loans granted by financial institutions for the purchase of residential properties. MAS’ move is part of the Government’s broader aim of avoiding a price bubble and fostering long term stability in the property market.

2 The maximum tenure of all new residential property loans will be capped at 35 years. In addition, loans exceeding 30 years tenure will face significantly tighter loan-to-value (LTV) limits. This will apply to both private properties and HDB flats. The new rules will take effect from 6 October 2012.

[block type=”download”]Read the official press release from MAS here[/block]

These measures are somewhat expected and mirrored what Hong Kong has done after QE3 was announced by the Feds. Traditionally tenures over 30 years are not too popular, and shouldn’t affect the current property prices. This is especially a good move for home buyers whom might overestimate their affordability as well as investors who tend to stretch the loan tenures in case any volatility will to happen in the market.

Square Foot – A New Contender Tool in Singapore Property Analysis

Squarefoot is relatively new and yet it has been buzzing the Realtor’s arena as the new kid on the block which delivers property data putting itself in the ranks of StreetSine which has a more mature Singapore Realtors’ market share. What makes Square Foot tick?

Interesting Data

Shoebox yo?

Under market watch, you would be able to check out the trends on the shoebox units (definition: units less than 500sqft) in the market which is of interest to many property investors as of late on how they are doing, prior and after the TOP status on their annualized gains. You have interesting details such as returned units in the market, where such data is rarely available. This would give a more accurate forecast of the actual units which is being sold in a primary market as depicting whether the units are fully sold out (whether phases of their marketing is really doing well since you can get a good picture of how many units are returned back) Continue reading “Square Foot – A New Contender Tool in Singapore Property Analysis”

What to Expect for Singapore Real Estate after QE3

If you haven’t read about the news about the US Federal Reserves releasing QE3, announced on the 13th of September a week ago, here’s a short summary coming from Wikipedia,

QE3 was announced on September 13, 2012. In an 11-to-1 vote, the Federal Reserve decided to launch a new $40 billion a month, open-ended, bond purchasing program of agency mortgage-backed securities; to continue until at least mid-2015.[62] According to NASDAQ.com, this is effectively a stimulus program which allows the Federal Reserve to print $40 billion dollars a month for an unlimited amount of time.[63] Ratings firm Egan-Jones said it believes the Fed’s decision “will hurt the U.S. economy and, by extension, credit quality.” As a result the firm once again slashed the U.S. bond rating bringing it down to AA-. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged concerns about inflation.[64]

Read more about Quantitative Easing, Wikipedia

With QE3, the Feds are going to inject another $40 billion (printed of course) to buy back mortgage securities in the States, to allow Americans to have an improved lives by improving the job data and consumerism from the possible enhanced property market. They are guaranteed on the low-interest rate as well till mid of 2015 (I wonder whether Bernanke will still be chairman by then) Continue reading “What to Expect for Singapore Real Estate after QE3”

6 Essential Singapore Realtor Apps For Your iPhone

As Blackberry loses its market share further and failing to roll out its BB OS10 this year, I’ve mawkishly swapped to the latest iPhone 5 since we are promised by Apple that it should have a better standby battery life and talk time (the main disadvantage of the phone since the battery is integrated).

Geared with the iPhone as the main arsenal to my business, here are my must have apps for work which you might find them useful for you as well:-

1. Streetsine

The best tool ever developed to help agents get the earliest possible information on the local property market real-time. Use this and you look like a pro anytime, anywhere :) I’m on the investor subscription since Streetsine was born and I’m still loving it. Benefits of using this app includes

  • real-time update of property prices
  • location & amenities around 2km vicinity
  • comparative projects around search subject
  • useful listings from fellow Realtors using Streetsine

If you do not deal with commercial properties, you can opt for the Professional version (S$659 annually). If you’d like to use two instance of the app in both your iPad and iPhone, go for the Investor version ($959 annually).

Look out for “Streetsine” in the AppStore.

2. Sugarsync

Sugarsync

We can start the Dropbox vs. Sugarsync debacle again, but this is what I use. This great cloud storage offers 5gb free and has solutions for all your smart devices (Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone duh). Sugarsync can be useful when Continue reading “6 Essential Singapore Realtor Apps For Your iPhone”

Singapore – My Country, My Home

Note, this is meant to be a Singaporean confession, so as professional as it can be, a lot of Singlish is injected into my musings.

Remember the times when history classes in Secondary School was a chore with a huge thick purple textbook talking about pre-Singapore throughout the Malayan history through World War 2 and finally independence of the country. And I was in shorts then still singing ‘Majulah Singapura’ every morning in the basketball courts of my school every morning. The 50 cents bee hoon with curry sauce from the canteen aunty and the 30 cents grass jelly drink (sorry, but I don’t know how much canteen food costs now lol) always perks up my recess even though the teachers could be relentlessly boring in the class, scaring us with homework and assignments.

How much Singapore has transformed so far since then!

The Transformations, as far as I could remember..

The transport system has came under fire by many since it gets congested very easily these days. I would reckon that the population is really growing but do you remember there were the only two color routes namely the Red and the Green line? Now with so many short cuts that you could take, it starts to become as confusing as when you are in Japan taking their train. Before EZ-link, I remember there was these tickets that could bend like Beckham (silver thin cards, was it red for students? and purple for seniors?). Continue reading “Singapore – My Country, My Home”

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit a Landed Exhibition

Landed properties have been in focus after the cooling measures was introduced by the government this year. Since the measures, landed transactions has been picking up tremendously, with local investors seeking alternative channel as oppose to strata condominium area. There are many reasons to believe as well that the investors felt that there’s a disparity in terms of value between strata space and land prices. With such a strict supply of houses in Singapore, where could we empower ourselves to know more about this niche segment in the robust Singapore real estate market?

Getting Great Deals

As a prospective buyer or investor, you would be having houses ranging from inter terraces to detached houses available island-wide displayed right in front of you. You would be able to tell the price difference in different districts and tell whether you would be getting yourself a good deal.

Again depending on the landed exhibit, you might already have star buys identified for your easy reference.
Continue reading “5 Reasons Why You Should Visit a Landed Exhibition”

HDB Steps Up Enforcement Against Illegal Subletting & Revises PR Subletting Rules

HDB Steps up against illegal subletting by enforcing more checks and placed the heartlanders’ concerns with regards to Permanent Residents monetizing public housing.

HDB flats are primarily meant for owner occupation. Those who wish to sublet their flats must meet the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) and obtain HDB’s approval before they can do so. This rule applies to both Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs).

Enforcement Actions Taken Against Unauthorised Subletting

2In 2011, HDB carried out 7,000 flat inspections and took action against 56 flat owners for unauthorised subletting. Of these, HDB has initiated compulsory acquisition action against 18 flat owners for blatantly infringing subletting rules. (See Annex A (PDF 22KB) for details of 3 cases where HDB has initiated compulsory acquisition actions as the flat owners have blatantly abused the public housing system and flouted HDB rules.)

Revised Subletting Rules for Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs)

HDB reviews policies and rules regularly to keep them relevant. As part of ongoing reviews, the rules for subletting by flat owners who are SPRs will be revised with effect from 11 Jul 2012.

[block type=”alert”]Read the full Official Press Release from HDB[/block]

It just shows how flexible can they be when it comes to tweaking the rulings to curb with certain issues. These are measures definitely to appease the citizens to prevent possible abuse of monetizing public housing for rental income.

But of course, people who are illegally subletting their flats now should be wary.