Gov’t spent $1.93bil on home improvement programme

Gov’t spent $1.93bil on home improvement programme

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) revealed that $1.93 billion had been spent under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) since its launch in 2007 until 31 March this year, while another $40 million was spent under the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) scheme.

HIP is for older HDB flats built up to 1986 which have not undergone the Main Upgrading Programme.

EASE, on the other hand, retrofits flats with elderly-friendly features. It is usually offered along with HIP in order to make it more convenient for residents, since improvement works could be carried out simultaneously, reported Channel News Asia.

As at November 2017, almost 149,000 households applied for EASE since its introduction in July 2012, with around 97,000 opting for the scheme together with HIP. The rest applied for the programme under the Direct Application scheme.

Focused on improvements within the housing units, HIP helps unit owners deal with common maintenance problems connected to ageing flats. It will only proceed when at least 75 percent of the eligible households within a block had voted in favour of the programme.

Notably, there are three primary components of work under HIP – Optional, Essential and EASE improvements.

Fully paid by the government, essential improvements are aimed at enhancing public health and safety standards, with works including repair of structural cracks or spalling concrete as well as pipe socket replacements with new clothes drying racks.

Works under the optional components include the upgrade of existing toilets and replacement of gates, main doors and refuse chute hoppers, while EASE improvements include slip-resistant treatment of toilet floor tiles and installation of ramps and grab bars.

Although home owners pay for the combination of improvement works they require, such works are heavily subsidised by the government by up to 95 percent.

In fact, upgrading works at 101,000 flats from 113 projects have already been completed as at 30 November 2017, while another 139,400 flats are in different stages of progress. HDB is set to select the remaining eligible flats by end-2018.

Among those who had their flats upgraded under the HIP and EASE programmes is Mr. Chew Ang Moh. While Chew is still able-bodied, he had opted for the EASE improvements.

“Since we have the chance to do so, we have arranged for the improvement works to be done now. We know we’re not getting any younger, and we don’t know when our bodies may fail us. So it’s important that we arranged for this to be done early,” said the 70-year-old Chew, who lives in a four-room flat with his 65-year-old wife, son and three grandchildren.

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Oxley Holdings acquires freehold property from interested person

Oxley Holdings logo

Oxley Holdings, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Oxley Amethyst Pte Ltd, has exercised an option to acquire a property along Balestier Road for $38 million from Owen Private Limited.

With a land area of around 1,118.4 sq m, the freehold property is zoned residential with commercial on the first storey at a gross plot ratio of 3.0.

In an SGX filing, Oxley revealed that Owen’s shareholders – Ching Chiat Kwong, Low See Ching and Tee Wee Sien – are also Oxley’s executive chairman and CEO; deputy CEO and substantial shareholder, respectively.

It noted that the three hold 47.5 percent, 42.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of the issued share capital of Owen.

But while the acquisition is an interested person transaction, the approval of shareholders will not be needed since the purchase consideration is around 3.5 percent of the group’s latest audited net tangible assets as at 30 June 2017.

Oxley believes that the purchase will enable it “to undertake a larger development project of greater value by amalgamating the property” with No. 3 Tessensohn Road and an adjoining state land.

Separately, Oxley announced that it has taken a 25.5 percent stake in Australian firm Pindan Capital Mermaid Beach (PC Mermaid Beach).

This comes after Oxley Australia subscribed for 4.845 million fully paid ordinary shares in PC Mermaid Beach, which has an issued share capital of A$19 million (S$19.7 million).

The remaining share capital comprising 14.155 million ordinary shares is held by Pindan Capital Investments, a fully-owned subsidiary of Pindan Group, in which Oxley holds a 40 percent interest.

“PC Mermaid Beach has acquired a 1,417-square metre site in the centre of Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast, Australia and intends to undertake a high-rise residential development on the site, subject to obtaining all relevant regulatory approvals,” it said.

Oxley explained that the investment in PC Mermaid Beach is in line with the group’s expansion plans.

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Bedok gets new red cycling paths

Bedok Reservoir Park crop

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has opened the first 5km of the planned 13km bike paths, with the rest to be opened next month, reported The Straits Times.

The paths run along Sims Avenue East, Chai Chee Road, Bedok North Street 2, Bedok North Avenue 3 and New Upper Changi Road.

“When the entire network is completed, it will feature additional bicycle crossings, bicycle parking boxes and wheeling ramps to make it safer and more conducive for cycling,” said the LTA spokesman.

Painted red, the new paths around Bedok are modelled after the paths first used in Ang Mo Kio, which served as the test bed for new cycling infrastructure.

The LTA noted that the red lanes are popular with residents since they could be easily distinguished from regular footpaths.

“The prominent hue of these cycling paths also help alert pedestrians to the presence of cyclists and personal mobility device users,” it added.

The government began construction of the cycling network in the middle of 2015.

Bedok is poised to be Singapore’s ninth cycling town by 2018, joining the likes of Pasir Ris, Punggol and Jurong Lake District.

The government targets to construct cycling paths along all 26 Housing Board towns comes 2030, contributing to a nationwide network of 700km.

To date, the network is now at over 400km.

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Tampines new condo The Tapestry

This plot of land the Tapestry condo is sitting on is highly contested by 9 hopeful bidders upon the tender closure on 25th April 2017. Located diagonally opposite the Tampines Quarry, the land is eventually sold to Bellevue Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDL who submitted a top bid of SGD $370.1 million. This translate to a Tampines avenue 10 condo psf of SGD $565.42 per plot ratio which is also 17.2% higher than the land price of Alps Residences that MCC Land paid for at S$483 per square foot per plot ratio. Comparing to the adjacent projects such as The Santorini and Alps Residences which are selling at an average price of $1070 to $1090 psf, analysts are expecting the Tapestry condo price to be in the range of $1200 psf. This is in consideration of the construction and other miscellaneous costs on top of the land price that CDL paid for. Please kindly fill in the Contact Us form to view the Tapestry condo showflat NOW! Excellent Connectivity – Tampines avenue 10 condo location is exceptional. Residents can to the rest of the island easily using major expressways and viaducts that is located nearby. Drivers exiting from Tapestry condo Tampines is able to get to the central area by way of the Bartley viaduct, it links up Bartley road, Braddell road and Bishan with ease with no traffic lights. Comprehensive Condo Facilities – Tapestry condo review should be superb with its well planned facilities within to provide a lifestyle packed with activities and yet conducive for families to live in

West Coast Vale residential site launched for tender

West Coast Vale land parcel

View of the residential site at West Coast Vale. (Photo: URA)

The residential site at West Coast Vale has been launched for sale by public tender after a developer had committed to a bid price of at least $379.988 million, revealed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday (19 December).

Made available for sale on the Reserve List of the second half 2017 Government Land Sales Programme, the 99-year leasehold site has an area of 19,591.5 sq m and a maximum gross floor area of 54,857 sq m.

Expected to yield up to 730 housing units, the site is conveniently linked to Ayer Rajah Expressway and West Coast Highway, and is near shopping and dining options such as Westgate, Jem and Big Box at the Jurong Lake District.

Meanwhile, nearby schools include Nan Hua Primary School, The Japanese School and Commonwealth Secondary School.

The tender for the site will close on 30 January 2018, along with “two residential sites at Handy Road and Chong Kuo Road and HDB’s Executive Condominium site at Sumang Walk”, said URA.

“Any tender below the minimum bid price of $379.988 million will not be accepted,” it added.

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Govt unveils land sales programme for H1 2018

GLS site-crop

Six confirmed list and nine reserve list sites will be launched under the H1 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, announced the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (13 December).

These land parcels could potentially yield approximately 8,045 private homes and 63,960 sq m in gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space.

According to Colliers International’s director and head of research Tricia Song, the amount of upcoming residential stock was within its expectations.

“The government has not bumped up the supply significantly. In fact, the total number of housing units remains relatively the same with the H2 2017 GLS programme of 8,000-plus units.

“This came about as the government took into consideration the large potential supply of around 20,000 units from awarded en bloc sales and GLS sites that have not yet been granted planning approval, on top of the around 18,000 unsold units that already have planning approval.”

In particular, the six confirmed list sites are mostly intended for private homes, including one for executive condominiums (ECs). These are expected to generate about 4,450 sq m GFA of commercial space and 2,775 private units, including 450 ECs.

Among the confirmed list sites, the plots at Cuscaden and Mattar Road are expected to be the most sought-after due to their location and size, said Edmund Tie & Co’s research head Dr Lee Nai Jia.

“For the Cuscaden site, we expect bids of around $1,600 to $1,750 psf per plot ratio (ppr), while bids at Mattar Road should range from $1,200 to $1,400 psf ppr. The number of units to be built on the land parcel at Silat Avenue may be on the high side, despite its favourable location.”

Similarly, Song believes that the land parcel in Cuscaden Road will be the most attractive. The rare luxury housing site has a palatable quantum of 170 units with an average size of 1,000 sq ft, and is projected to benefit from the recent sale of the prime Jiak Kim site.

The Mattar Road site could pique the interest of developers as it’s very close to the Mattar MRT station and there is limited supply in the area. But it is a relatively untested non-landed private residential location surrounded mainly by industrial estates, landed housing and HDB flats.

Likewise, the Canberra Link EC site could also be popular given its proximity to the upcoming Canberra MRT station, and there is a limited supply of such residences in the vicinity, Song noted.

Meanwhile, the URA released the details of the nine reserve list sites, which consists of one commercial site and eight private housing plots, including two EC sites. These are expected to yield 59,510 sq m GFA of commercial space mostly for offices and 5,270 private houses, including 1,255 ECs.

Of these, Song is optimistic that the land parcels in Sims Drive and Peck Seah Street will be the most desirable. The former is within walking distance to the Aljunied MRT station. The latter is in the Central Business District near the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, and the last time a housing site was offered there was in 2007.

Likewise, Lee revealed that the Peck Seah Street plot is near many eateries and offices, and he thinks the site will get bids ranging from $1,600 to $1,750 psf ppr.

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Lian Beng, KSH, Heeton buy Geylang properties for $60mil

Geylang Road

Lian Beng Group Ltd, via its 42 percent-owned associated company Development 24 Pte. Ltd., has exercised an option to acquire the freehold properties known as 31 to 51 (ODD) Lorong 24 Geylang.

KSH Holdings and Heeton Holdings also holds a 48 percent and 10 percent stake in Development 24.

In a separate SGX filings, Lian Beng, KSH and Heeton said the aggregate consideration for the properties is $60 million, of which $6 million has already been paid during the exercise of the option. They noted that the balance shall be paid within 12 weeks.

Located on a total of 12 lots of land, the properties – which comprise around 26,188 sq ft of land area – could be redeveloped into an eight-storey residential development with a maximum allowable gross floor area of around 73,325 sq ft.

Lian Beng, KSH and Heeton revealed that their respective share of funds for the purchase will be financed by external borrowings and internal funds.

They do not expect the acquisition to materially affect the groups’ net tangible assets and earning per share for the current financial year.

Lian Beng added that Ko Chuan Aun, “an independent director and shareholder of the company, is also an independent director of KSH Holdings Limited”.

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Jervois Green sold for $52.9mil, Brookvale Park up for en bloc sale

Jervois Green

Singapore property collective sale market continues to heat up with the sale of  Jervois Green and the launch of Brookvale Park.

A four-storey freehold development at 100A Jervois Road, Jervois Green has been sold for $52.9 million to investors led by Mike Ho, third-generation owner of Spring Court, one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Singapore.

The sale price – which was 10 percent higher than the $48 million asking price of the owner – translates to a land rate of $1,601 psf per plot ratio (ppr) inclusive of a development charge of around $6.95 million, noted Colliers International, which brokered the deal.

With a site area of around 26,700 sq ft, Jervois Green comprises eight apartments and was held under single-ownership. As such, the sale is not subject to the approval of the Strata Titles Board/High Court.

The site is zoned for residential use under the 2014 Master Plan with a plot ratio of 1.4. Not subject to the Pre-Application Feasibility Study, it can be redeveloped into a five-storey development comprising 42 units of around 850 sq ft each, subject to approval by the relevant authorities, said Colliers.

“The future selling price for the new development is envisaged to be above $2,500 psf or from $2.1 million per unit,” it added.

Closing on 5 December, the tender for Jervois Green “drew strong interest with six bids received from a wide spectrum of investors and developers”, said Tang Wei Leng, managing director at Colliers International.

“The tight bids not only reflect the market consensus on the pricing in the locale, but also signal the positive sentiment among bidders on the back of a comeback in the residential property market.”

Meanwhile, Brookvale Park in the Sunset Way estate, off Clementi, has been put up for en bloc sale, with a minimum price of S$530 million, said marketing agent JLL.

Comprising 160 units, Brookvale Park was built in the early 1980’s on a 999-year leasehold site.

JLL said the 373,008 sq ft site may be “redeveloped into a residential development of up to 12 storeys, with a total gross floor area of about 656,494 sq ft, including a 10 percent bonus balcony area”. The new development could yield 550 units with an average size of 1,100 sq ft.

Inclusive of an estimated development charge of around $26 million, the minimum price works out to a land cost of $932 psf ppr, with the breakeven price at around $1,480 to $1,500 psf.

“This compares favourably with recent land sales in the vicinity, such as Royalville at $1,960 psf ppr, Mayfair Gardens at $1,244 psf ppr and the Government Land Sales sites at $939 and $1,540 psf ppr for Toh Tuck Road and Fourth Avenue respectively,” added JLL.

The tender for Brookvale Park will close on 25 January 2018.

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5 family-friendly condominiums

5 family-friendly condominiums

Grandeur Park

So, you’re ready to start a family and upgrade to a condominium. While a BTO flat is more suitable for families since they’re bigger and more affordable, condominiums make up for their lack of space (comparatively) by having a multitude of facilities built within the development. A far cry from a neighbourhood playground, we’re in a time where childcare centres, kids’ pools, children play & exercise corners and exclusive classes for the young are as much selling points as location and price.

But what makes a condo family-friendly? Facilities are all fun and good but if a project doesn’t do anything different other than include a pool and gym for the children, how is it distinguishable from the horde of clones out there?

Fortunately, we’ve got some idea.

If you’re looking for a condo to put down roots in, where some family-friendliness exist, here’s five suggestions, in no particular order:

Grandeur Park

How many projects are there in Singapore that offer not just the typical kids’ pool and gym but also guitar and violin classes in-house? That number can be counted on one hand, maybe even half a hand. Managed by Mandeville Conservatory of Music, Grandeur Park knocks the ball out of the park by including extra-curricular activities for the whole family.

The development being a minute walk from Tanah Merah MRT station (and bus stop) is another tick in the right place. When you live in the east, it’s to live in an extremely well-connected area.

Artra

This is one of those must-have projects if you’re not already mortgaged to your ears. A rare execution of class, style and substance, Artra offers big, spacious units with unique layouts. At a glance, it’s suitability for accommodating large gatherings at home is immediately apparent. And when kids are thrown in the mix, there’s plenty lot of room for them to run and play in.

Artra

3BR living and dining

On top of that, there’s a childcare centre and several retail shops in Artra. That it’s also a minute’s walk from Redhill MRT station makes it even harder to ignore. A true gem amidst a sea of sameness, Artra is a fantastic option if family-friendliness is high on your list of wants when choosing to live in Redhill.

Sims Urban Oasis

Not all family-friendly condos need to have crazy facilities. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a childcare centre, which Sims Urban Oasis has. Other times, it’s walking distance to schools, which Sims Urban Oasis is. Let’s face it, buying a condo for a kids’ pool is great only if you’re playing The Sims and have entered a cheat code to keep your kids from growing up.

In real life, they will grow up and migrate from kids’ pool to regular pool. Distance to schools is a far better requirement of kid-friendliness. And in this regard, with the James Cook University within walking distance, Aljunied MRT station also close-by and the upcoming gentrification of the Kallang area, there’s much to enjoy here for the long term.

Kallang Riverside

The coolest thing about Kallang Riverside has little to do with its facilities and everything to do with the utter uniqueness of its design and implementation into the land. As a fenceless type of development of which there is only one tower, Kallang Riverside will be surrounded by a swath of green and the Kallang river. The image is of a large communal garden open to everyone since it’s not gated.

Families can exit the development and walk out to picnic under a tree, or cycle around. Verdant greenery lasts far longer than facilities. Furthermore, they’ll always be relevant, even when your kids grow up. The riverside is one to watch because it looks primed to introduce something visually arresting and special to Singapore.

High Park Residences

Rounding up our list is High Park Residences. It’s no small feat to end on a high note but this is one of the handful of projects that take family-friendliness to another level. For the first two years, the management is offering fitness classes (aerobics, yoga, kickboxing, Pilates), cooking lessons (baking, cuisine, aqua-related lessons (swimming, aqua aerobics), tennis lessons for both adults & children and violin lessons for kids.

It’s also across the road from Thanggam LRT station, one stop away from Seletar Mall and about a five-minute walk to Jalan Kayu and its eateries. To top it off, there are some shops to be available at High Park. Therefore, High Park’s extensive suite of family-friendly facilities and services makes it a perfect bookend to this article and probably why it was voted best condo development at the 2017 PropertyGuru Awards for its practicality and family-friendliness.

Source: Developer brochure

Source: Developer brochure (High Park)

Choosing the appropriate home for you and your own family is a decision only you can make based on your lifestyle. Some people prefer condos with plenty of features and facilities while for others, it’s irrelevant how large the pool is; they’re only in it because of convenience or they have a bit more buying power.

Ultimately though, purchasing a condo for family-friendly facilities is to think short-term. Not a whole lot of people are committed to utilising the facilities consistently a few months or even a year after they’ve moved in and the novelty has settled. Look for projects with more holistic features, such as High Park and Grandeur Park’s classes. Having access to yoga, aerobics and even music lessons are timeless attributes compared to things like a kid’s pool.

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CapitaLand builds residential project in Vietnam

d'Edge Thao Dien

Strategically located in the heart of Thao Dien, d’Edge is at the epicentre of an ultimate metropolitan lifestyle befitting a global standard. (Photo: CapitaLand)

Singapore-listed CapitaLand has invested $53.5 million to acquire a 1.45ha site in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where it intends to build an 870-unit residential project with a gross development value (GDV) of US$177 million (approx. S$247 million).

The property developer announced on Thursday (16 November) that the unnamed development in District 4 marks its ninth housing project in the capital and 11th in the country.

“For the first time in Vietnam, we plan to introduce dual-key apartments to cater to the young and vibrant rental market in District 4 and to attract potential investors,” said Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam.

In particular, the newest development consists of three 24-storey towers — one triple block and two single blocks — with retail units on the lower levels. On average, the apartments will measure about 79 sq m.

The company embarked on its latest acquisition after recording robust property sales in the country so far this year. As of 30 September, its sales soared to $412.9 million, exceeding the $282.1 million for the whole of 2016.

“2017 marks a record year of growth for CapitaLand in Vietnam with the highest home sales value achieved in nine months, surpassing that of FY2016 by close to 50 percent,” noted Chen.

Moreover, d’Edge Thao Dien project in Ho Chi Minh City sold nearly all of its 273 units in less than two months after its launch last July.

“This is a testament of customer confidence in the CapitaLand brand and underscores the strong demand for quality projects in Vietnam. With our latest development in a prime location, we are optimistic that it will similarly be well-received.”

Aside from being a five-minute drive from Districts 1 and 7, residents in the latest project will enjoy breath-taking views of Saigon River and the city skyline.

With the newest acquisition, CapitaLand now has 11 housing projects, 21 serviced residences totalling 4,700 units and one Grade A office development across six cities in Vietnam.

Furthermore, the country represents its third largest market after Singapore and Malaysia, with $2 billion gross assets under management there as of 30 September 2017.

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