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Properties Market News


    Singapore's measures discouraging foreign property investment

    Thursday, 17 April, 2014

    Overseas real estate investments tend to flow into countries with fewer tax regulations, according to Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru in a recent interview with Channel NewsAsia.

    "There is a lot of money out there right now looking for investments in property, so the countries where it becomes easier to invest, where there are less tax regulations, the money is going to go to those kinds of places," he said. 

    On the other hand, Singapore's cooling measures have effectively reduced the percentage of foreign property buyers just like what happened in Hong Kong, where expatriates are still subject to a 15 percent tax.

    "Going back two-and-a-half years, 17 percent of all property transactions in Singapore were from non-Singaporeans. As of the third quarter of last year it had dropped to seven percent, so that could be down to the additional buyers' stamp duty. It could be down to economic reasons as well," said Batt.

    Meanwhile, the RM1 million minimum price threshold for foreign buyers in Malaysia is expected to impact investors who bought properties below that amount in Johor.

    "The reason being, from 1 May, overseas buyers can only buy at one million ringgit and above. Let's say you are Singaporean and you have purchased a property in Johor state for RM750,000, there has not been that much capital appreciation yet. Let's say you need to get rid of it fairly quickly for one reason or another, you can only sell to a Malaysian below one million and, honestly, there are not that many Malaysians buying at that kind of price level right now so you could be stuck with something," he added.

    Nevertheless, the latest ruling does not cover the Medini area in Iskandar, even though it has already taken effect in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

    Muneerah Bee, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email muneerah@propertyguru.com.sg

    Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg

    Govt considers allowing couples to co-rent larger flats

    Wednesday, 16 April, 2014

    The Ministry of National Development (MND) is looking at allowing some couples to co-rent larger HDB flats under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS).

    This was revealed recently by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament, in response to a query about the scheme's take up rate and rental formula.

    Media reports stated that when it was launched in January 2013, the scheme was exclusively for married couples with children applying as first-timers in need of interim housing while waiting for the completion of their new flats.

    The scheme was extended in September to widowed and divorced parents as well as to couples where one spouse is a first-time applicant while the other is a second-timer.

    Although the number of applicants peaked at 409 in September, it has since dropped to 81.

    To date, more than 900 of the 1,150 flats have been occupied and the remaining 250 units consist of four- and five-rooms.

    "Currently, three-room PPHS flats are most in demand because PPHS applicants tend to be small families and a smaller flat is sufficient to meet their needs," said an MND spokesman.

    In his response, Mr Khaw also noted that rents under the scheme are 40 to 60 percent lower than market rents within the area.

    Moreover, the cost of providing flats includes the cost of retrofitting the units before they are let out as well as the units' management and maintenance fees, he said.

    Muneerah Bee, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email muneerah@propertyguru.com.sg

    Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg

    S'pore has most X factor in Asia

    Wednesday, 9 April, 2014

    Singapore has emerged in joint third place with Paris in a global ranking of international cities, which classifies them by their "X factor" for real estate investors.

    Released today by property consultancy Savills, the report ranked 12 cities based on a combination of global competitiveness and measures such as connectivity, international visitors and web search data. It does not necessarily reflect traditional measures of real estate costs, but instead indicates the city's longer term stability and attractiveness.  

    It jointly ranked New York and London first, while major Asian cities Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai occupied the fifth, sixth and seventh positions respectively.

    "Our definition of a world city is not just based on size or economic prosperity, but other less tangible factors," said Yolande Barnes, Director of Savills World Research.

    "These include fame, prominence, international reach and investability - all factors that are not revealed by population and GDP figures alone."

    She explained that these intangibles affect "the appeal of a city to business and wealth generators, which in turn influences the pace of residential and commercial real estate market growth and contraction and levels of market stability". 

    The study also showed that Singapore is fifth in the world city rankings for residential as well as commercial real estate investment yields, while Tokyo took top spot on both lists.

    Muneerah Bee, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email muneerah@propertyguru.com.sg

    Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg

    62% drop in private resale home sales

    Wednesday, 9 April, 2014

    Sales of resale private homes in Singapore sank in the first quarter this year with only 906 units in the secondary market changing hands, revealed a DTZ report.

    This is a decline of 34 percent compared to the previous quarter. Year-on-year, it represents a stunning 62 percent drop.

    Aside from the cooling measures, particularly the TDSR framework, the slowdown in activity is also due to buyers being more selective and holding back their purchases in anticipation of further price declines. This is especially so after the government recently said it was still too early to start relaxing the measures.

    As a consequence, prices of non-landed private resale homes across the island fell further in Q1.

    Based on a basket of completed properties tracked by DTZ Research, resale prices of luxury condominiums declined by a further two percent last quarter, following a two percent quarter-on-quarter drop in Q4 2013.

    Meanwhile, resale prices of prime freehold and suburban leasehold condos fell by another 1.5 percent and 1.1 percent quarter-on-quarter respectively in Q1 after similar price declines in the quarter before. 

    Over in the landed segment, resale prices in all areas stayed flat in Q1 after a slower year-on-year growth in 2013.

    Going forward, the consultancy expects demand for private homes to be affected by the competition from a higher number of project completions this year as well as reduced demand from HDB upgraders amidst falling HDB resale prices.

    "These will impact private residential resale prices, which could decline by up to 10% this year," said Lee Lay Keng, DTZ's Regional Head (SEA) Research.

    Photo by Nikki De Guzman 

    Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

    Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg

    Demand for GCBs picks up

    Wednesday, 9 April, 2014

    Although buying activity in the private residential market remains weak due to stricter financing rules, demand for ultra-luxurious good class bungalows (GCBs) picked up in Q1 2014 as wealthy buyers returned to the market, a DTZ report said. 

    Eight GCBs found buyers for a total of $225.8 million in the first quarter, which is higher than the five GCB transactions in the second half of last year that amounted to $134.6 million. 

    "The overall value of the eight transactions in Q1 2014 was also higher than the $192.5 million from nine transactions in Q1 2013," the report added.

    According to DTZ, GCB buyers are mostly buying for their own occupation, and as such could be less affected by the TDSR and ABSD measures. The limited supply of GCBs also enhances their appeal as a good store of value.

    Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

    Source: PropertyGuru.com.sg

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