Rail Corridor upgrade works to begin in 2018

Bukit Timah Railway Station Singapore

View of the Bukit Timah Railway Station when it was in operation. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Enhancement works along the central portion of the Rail Corridor is targeted to start next year, announced the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board (NParks) on Saturday (21 October).

The 4km stretch is located between the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station and Hillview. Aside from its lush surroundings and railway heritage structures, it is frequented by visitors due to its proximity to several nature and recreational attractions.

Before commencing the enhancement works, both agencies have launched an exhibition showcasing the preliminary design for Rail Corridor (Central) so that the public can provide more feedback. The initial design was derived from proposals submitted by consultancies as well as feedback and comments obtained from the community and other stakeholders since 2011.

The exhibition is being held at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre until 29 October. Thereafter, the showcase will be held in neighbouring constituencies. The public can share their views on the initial design at the venue or online at share your thoughts until 21 December 2017.

NParks will also organise a series of volunteer-led guided walks along the Rail Corridor’s central stretch to learn about its preliminary design, biodiversity and heritage.

Enhancement works for this stretch will be carried out in phases, with trail enhancements to be finished by end-2019 and full completion by 2021. At the same time, the authorities will improve the tracks along the 24-km corridor to enhance connectivity. However, the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is targeted to be re-opened by 2025 after the completion of the upcoming Cantonment MRT station.

Meanwhile, NParks unveiled new islandwide curated trails that intersect with Rail Corridor (Central).

The 36km-long Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail runs from Coney Island Park in the northeast to Jurong Lake Gardens in the west. Through this, the public can visit different parks, nature areas and other places of interest. From end-2018, nature enthusiasts can choose to explore the trail on their own using a do-it-yourself trail guide or mobile app.

Singapore’s Rail Corridor (Central) and the C2C Trail form the Nature Park Network (NPN), which is a 48 km network of trails that connects with the central nature parks.

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Mayfair Gardens up for en bloc sale at $265m

Mayfair Gardens crop

The asking price works out to a land rate of around $1,058 psf per plot ratio. (Photo: Knight Frank)

Mayfair Gardens off Dunearn Road has been launched for collective sale, with the owners expecting offers above the reserve price of $265 million, according to marketing agent Knight Frank.

Built in the 1980s, the 99-year leasehold condominium comprises six walk-up blocks of 124 units ranging from 100 sq m to 200 sq m (1,076 to 2,153 sq ft). The approximately 208,475 sq ft site is zoned residential with a gross plot ratio of 1.4 under the 2014 Master Plan.

The asking price works out to a land rate of around $1,058 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr), inclusive of an additional lease top-up premium of about $43.7 million for a fresh 99-year lease.

Each owner could receive about $1.45 million to $2.46 million if the sale goes through, said Knight Frank.

The site could be redeveloped into a new condominium with a maximum permissible gross floor area of 291,865 sq ft.

The immediate vicinity is surrounded by good class bungalows, landed homes and condominiums. It is also near King Albert Park MRT station on the Downtown Line, eateries and established schools.

“With the opening of the Downtown Line, the Bukit Timah area has become extremely convenient and a more coveted address to own,” said Ian Loh, executive director & head of investment and capital markets at Knight Frank Singapore.

Also located in Bukit Timah is the freehold Royalville condo near Sixth Avenue MRT station, which was put up for sale earlier this month by Edmund Tie & Co. at $368 million ($1,509 psf ppr).

The tender exercise for Mayfair Gardens will close on 16 November.

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Hougang project sold for $629m in collective sale

Florence-Regency

The owners of Florence Regency are expected to receive between $1.84 million and $1.89 million from the sale. (Photo: JLL)

The 336-unit Florence Regency development at Hougang Avenue 2 has been sold to Hong Kong-listed developer Logan Property for $629 million, marketing agent JLL said on Friday (20 October).

This is the first collective sale attempt by the owners of the privatised HUDC, and the price matches the valuation of the site by an independent valuer.

It translates to a land price of approximately $842 psf per plot ratio, after factoring in the differential premium of $288.6 million to top up the lease to a fresh 99 years, and to develop the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

“At this sale price, the owners would expect to receive gross sale proceeds between $1.84 – $1.89 million per unit,” said Tan Hong Boon, regional director at JLL.

The 389,236 sq ft site is zoned residential under the 2014 Master Plan, and is one of the last few privatised HUDC estates in the North-East region.

The site is close to the Hougang and Kovan MRT stations, Hougang Mall, and eateries along Upper Serangoon Road. Several schools including Holy Innocents’ Primary School and the French School of Singapore are also nearby.

Logan Property marked its maiden foray into Singapore in May with a record $1.003 billion bid for a prime residential site at Stirling Road in Queenstown with Nanshan Group.

Earlier this month, JLL helped broker the sale of Amber Park in Katong to City Developments Limited for $906.7 million ($1,515 psf ppr), making it the largest freehold residential collective sale.

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Foreign developers warm up to en bloc sales

HDB flats in Ghim Moh

View of HDB flats in the Ghim Moh area.

Despite its cumbersome and protracted process, the en bloc fever has started to catch on among foreign developers – especially those from China – signalling a paradigm shift, reported Business Times.

JLL regional director of investments Tan Hong Boon noted that en bloc sites were hardly considered by developers before 2016 since more sites were available under the government land sales (GLS) programme than in the collective sale market.

But as more attractive en bloc sites are offered in the market on the back of the limited supply of GLS sites, more developers are now turning to the en bloc market. With this, increased enquiries regarding the collective sale process have since been observed among foreign players.

A corporate lawyer revealed that Chinese developers may have even surpassed a mental hurdle towards the collective sale concept, which is uncommon in China or Hong Kong.

This is evidenced by the fact that several Chinese firms have already snapped en bloc sites. Just this month, Kingsford Hurray Development acquired Normanton Park for $830.1 million, while SingHaiyi Properties and Huajiang International Corporation acquired freehold condominium Sun Rosier for $271 million. Qingjian Realty, on the other hand, purchased Shunfu Ville for $638 million in May last year.

A buyer said to be connected to the Zhao family from China also bought a freehold industrial complex Citimac in July.

Other Chinese firms believed to be scouring for deals include Hao Yuan Investment, China Construction and Nanshan Group. MCC Land has also expressed its interest for en bloc sites.

“We have been closely observing the recent wave of en-bloc activities and will be keen to participate in a tender if an opportunity arises,” said MCC Land CEO Tan Zhiyong.

However, he remains cautious of the developers’ over-exuberant bids.

“The current residential property market seems to be stabilising and recent new launches have also been well received. However, with a likely rise in the supply of new projects coming into the market in the next couple of years arising from these en-bloc activities, how the future market will react to home prices that may rise in tandem with tender prices remains to be seen.”

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Cluster House along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 by Tong Eng Group

Belgravia Villas is a brand new strata housing project by Fairway Developments Pte Ltd(Tong Eng Group). First founded in 1940, the developer has a rich history of building exquisite commercial developments, condominiums and landed homes such as Stratton Green, Belgravia park, Stratton Park, 8 @ Stratton.

Belgravia Villas is strategically located in Belgravia drive of the Seletar Hills Estate which is surrounded by low rise homes and comprises of mainly semi-detached and bungalows. The Central Business District(CBD) is approximately only 12 minutes driving distance away while Ang Mo Kio MRT at only 6 minutes. From the MRT station, it is only 1 stop away from Bishan Interchange, 6 stops away from Orchard shopping belt and 8 stops away to Raffles Place. On top of that, residents can also get to the nearest bus stop right in front of the Belgravia Villas Ang Mo Kio avenue 5. With bus services 50, 72 and 88, you can get to Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Upper Serangoon Road, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Yio Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and even Toa Payoh directly!

  • Premium Fittings and appliances from SMEG, De Dietrich, Velleroy & Boch and Grohe provided in every extremely spacious unit, with state-of-the-art private lift that serves you from Basement to Level 3. SMEG is an Italian manufacturer of upmarket appliances founded by Vittorio Bertazzoni in 1948 while De Dietrich is a renowned French manufacturer of water and space heating system and products. Velleroy & Boch is an established European brand for sanitary ware and fittings while Grohe is the leading provider of premium bath faucets and shower systems. Only the most premium fiitings will go with the prestigious Belgravia Villas development.
  • Great Investment Potential with the ever expanding Seletar Aerospace Park which will boost employment and increase the demand of housing in the area. Not to forget the busy Sengkang West Industries and Ang Mo Kio Industries where expansion is also in the pipeline. With growing employment comes rising demand for homes and thus a potential in capital appreciation and favorable rental yields. Additionally, developer is offering a 5% discount for all units for a limited period, this means that the Belgravia Villas price will only bw starting from $2.5m or $6xx psf!!Please visit the Belgravia Villas showflat to find out more.

3 upcoming precincts to yield about 18,500 homes

Kallang Riverside and Kampong Bugis

Artist’s impression of future development in Kallang Riverside and the Kampong Bugis area. (Photo: URA)

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong has launched an exhibit on Monday (16 October) that showcases some preliminary ideas regarding three upcoming residential precincts that can potentially yield a total of 18,500 houses.

The exhibit entitled “Our Neighbourhoods: A Look into the Future” is being held at The URA Centre Atrium until 20 November 2017.

In particular, Wong said the 34ha Holland Plain in Holland Plain is expected to accommodate around 2,500 private homes, while about 4,000 private houses would be built in the 17ha Kampong Bugis along Kallang Road.

But the largest is the 60ha Bayshore next to the East Coast Park that can potentially yield a total of 12,000 HDB flats and private housing, he said, adding that all three will be within a 5- to 10-minute walk to one or more MRT stations.

In addition, he revealed that the government will improve the last-mile connection from these estates to MRT stations.

For instance, they will build a new underpass and footbridge directly linking Kampong Bugis with the nearby Kallang and Lavender MRT stations, while they are considering to construct new pedestrian walkways to connect Holland Plain with the nearby King Albert Park MRT Station. In Bayshore, the authorities will install sheltered walkways linking the housing estate to the upcoming Bayshore and Bedok South MRT stations.

“In the coming months, we will actively engage the communities around the three precincts to better refine our plans in the lead-up to their launches,” Wong noted.

Kampong Bugis is expected to be launched in the next one to two years, followed by Holland Plain by 2021, while Bayshore would take longer by 2024, as the government will have to wait for the completion of the MRT stations in the area.

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New Executive in Sengkang Anchorvale

Rivercove Residences is a brand new EC situated in Anchorvale Lane, Sengkang of District 19. The large 226,000 square feet land is expected to house 635 residential units with communal facilities and parking space for residents. To be jointly developed by Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments, the new Anchorvale lane EC is poised to attract home buyers with its unique location.

The land parcel attracted a whopping 16 bidders to cast a bid, it is the highest number since the tender for a Yuan Ching Road site, now Lake Life, in July 2013. The emerging winner submitted the top bid of $240.95 million or $355 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Taking into consideration construction and other miscellaneous cost, the Rivercove Residences price is expected to be starting from approximately $720k to $750k.

 

  • Investment potential – With a whole range of developments going on since more than 10 years ago from medical facilities such as the Sengkang Community Hospital and the increasing number of private condo nearby such as Riverbank at Fernvale, it is evident that our government and developers are confident of the growth in the North-East region. Rivercove Residences TOP date is expected to be around year 2021, just in time to be part of the evolution in the region where owners can also tap onto the future rental potential in the nearby Seletar Aerospace.
    In 2006, the government of Singapore has announced the plan of developing a new aerospace park together with other agencies such as the Economic Development Board(EBD) and JTC Corporation. This is derived with the exceptional growth potential of aerospace industry and the increasing demand of aviation related services locally. The entire Seletar Aerospace Park will feature businesses such as  repair & overhaul, design & manufacturing of aviation systems and peripheral, aerospace maintenance and even a campus for training of aviation professionals, technical staff and pilots.Located approximately 7 minutes away from Rivercove Residences EC Anchorvale Lane, the Selatar aerospace park occupies an enormous land size of 140 hectares just beside the Seletar Airport where S$60 million will be invested to further strength our position as an aviation hub.
    Large Multi-National Companies(MNCs) such as Jet Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Airbus Helicopters South East Asia, EADS Innovation Works and Singapore Technologies Aviation are already in operation there. Moving forward, there will be more expansion and hence more job opportunities in the area which in turn translates into housing needs for the nearby properties capital appreciation.

New home sales slow in Sept due to Ghost Month

Singapore residential area

View of private residential properties in Singapore.

Property developers sold 657 private housing units in September, down 47.3 percent from 1,246 units in the previous month, according to data released on Monday (16 October) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Analysts attributed the big drop in sales to the lack of major new launches during the Ghost Month, which is considered an inauspicious time to buy property.

Property consultancy JLL noted that the Place-8 strata landed development in Paya Lebar was the only new project to hit the market in September, selling one of its eight units at $904 psf.

The best-selling private condo was the previously launched Kingsford Waterbay in Upper Serangoon, which moved 45 units at a median price of $1,289 psf.

Other projects that also saw good sales last month included Symphony Suites (42 units at median price of $1,098 psf) and Principal Garden (40 units at median price of $1,761 psf).

“According to (URA) caveats, the majority of buyers were Singaporeans. Foreigners (non-permanent residents) were also active, buying 14 of the 40 units transacted at Principal Garden,” said Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie & Co.

Meanwhile, 249 executive condominium (EC) units were sold last month, a 27 percent decline from 341 in August. Parc Life in Sembawang was the most popular EC project, selling 48 units at a median price of $795 psf.

Looking ahead, ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim predicts that new private home sales will be boosted with the launch of Parc Botannia in Sengkang next month. Jointly developed by Sing Holdings and Wee Hur, the project will comprise 735 units.

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Canada home prices down after two interest rate hikes

Vancouver

While Vancouver prices declined after British Columbia implemented its own foreign buyers tax last year, they have since rebounded, Teranet said. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Canada’s housing boom showed signs of slowing down, with resale home prices falling 0.8 percent month-on-month in September, making it the first monthly decline since last year and the biggest since 2010, showed the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.

National price gains also cooled on an annual basis, with prices climbing by only 11.4 percent from the previous year, compared to August’s year-on-year growth of 13.1 percent.

This comes after the Bank of Canada recently rolled out two interest rate hikes to rein in demand, reported Reuters.

Toronto saw price increases of over 30 percent early in the year, sparking fears of a housing bubble. To cool speculation, the provincial government introduced a 15 percent tax on foreign property buyers within the city.

Separately, data from Statistics Canada revealed that new home prices, excluding condominiums and apartments, increased by 0.1 percent nationally in August, lower than the forecasted gain of 0.3 percent.

Out of the 27 markets, 15, including Vancouver and Toronto, saw prices remain unchanged. This is the third straight month new home prices in Toronto stayed flat.

In fact, Toronto’s resale home market also led September’s price decline as Canada’s largest city posted a 2.7 percent monthly drop, said Teranet.

“Many might worry about the fact that the last time we saw a string of monthly (Toronto) declines of such magnitude was during the last economic recession. They should not … market conditions appear to have stabilized over the last four months,” said Marc Pinsonneault, economist at National Bank Financial, in a note to clients.

“If that is the case, a large part of the price correction to be seen in the Toronto home resale market might be behind us.”

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Lian Beng Group posts 47.5% revenue drop

Lian Beng Group

Lian Beng Group’s revenue slumped by 47.5 percent year-on-year to $37.18 million in the first quarter ended 31 August 2017 primarily because of lower contributions from its construction business, revealed an SGX filing on Thursday (12 October).

Consequently, gross profits and its earnings for the period fell by 33.1 percent and 29.4 percent to $12.41 million and $8.94 million respectively.

Nevertheless, the construction firm’s other operating income increased by more than three-fold to $10.46 million from $3.35 million previously mainly due to the sale of its investment property at 247 & 249 Collins Street in Melbourne, Australia.

“Our investments in property investment have helped us mitigate the cyclical nature of project-based segments such as construction and property development. The returns from property investment have enabled us to sustain our profit level despite the lower contribution from construction and property development segments,” said Lian Beng Executive Chairman Ong Pang Aik.

As of 31 August 2017, the company maintained healthy cash level of $146 million, while its net construction order book reached $661 million.

In addition, it acquired more land bank for future redevelopments. Last May, a 20-percent-owned associate firm successfully acquired Rio Casa via en bloc sale for $575 million. Another firm where it owns a similar amount of stake acquired Serangoon Ville for $499 million in July 2017.

Meanwhile, Lian Beng announced on Thursday that it is mulling to spin-off its property development business and list it on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange.

Pursuant to this, the construction company has appointed SAC Capital Private Limited as the financial advisor for the proposed spin-off as well as the sponsor and issue manager for the contemplated floatation.

The rationale for the move is to provide a transparent valuation for its property development business and to let the management focus on their assigned business segments. Another reason is to enable this subsidiary to be financially independent and raise its own funds.

credits to propertyguru