Property highlights of the week from March 5 to March 9:
1) Shorter waiting time for HDB flats
Minister of national development, Lawrence Wong, has announced that about 1,100 HDB flats with a shorter waiting time of two to three years, compared to the current three to four, will be launched for sale in 2H2018. The flats launched will spread across three projects in Sembawang, Sengkang, and Yishun. Another 2,000 such flats will be launched in 2019.
Wong also announced new measures, including one to defer income assessment, which will be effective from the May 2018 sales exercise. First timer couples will be allowed to apply for their flats first, and defer the assessment of their income for housing grants and loan till just before the key collection for their new flat.
HDB has also removed its three-year time-bar policy for divorcees to buy subsidised flats. From March 6, both parties in a divorce would be able to buy or own a subsidised flat each upon divorce, as long as each are able to meet the eligibility conditions for flat purchase. Previously, only one party of a divorced couple can buy or own a subsidised flat within three years from the date of their divorce.
2) Four properties put up for collective sales
Four properties were put up for collective sales in the past week. They include Katong Omega Apartments, a freehold project that was launched for sale with 100% owners’ consent. Located on East Coast Road, the 18-unit development is expected to fetch at least $41 million or $1,062 psf on potential gross floor area (GFA).
Elsewhere in the Spottiswoode enclave, the 84-unit freehold project Asia Gardens has been put up for collective sale by tender at an asking price of $338 million ($1,675 psf per plot ratio). This translates to $1,523 psf on the maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), including the 10% bonus balcony area.
At Jurong Lake District, the 160-unit Park View Mansion along Yuan Ching Road has been put up for collective sale with an asking price of $320 million. The land rate of the 99-year leasehold project works out to $1,183 psf per plot ratio (ppr), after factoring in $157 million of estimated differential premium and lease upgrading premium.
At Choa Chu Kang Road, the 47-unit Nicon Gardens has been put up for collective sale by tender. Owners of the 99-year leasehold strata landed development are expecting a minimum of $110 million (about $800 psf per plot ratio).
3) Singapore ranked fifth on Knight Frank’s City Wealth Index
Singapore has been ranked fifth in Knight Frank’s new City Wealth Index, making it the highest-ranking Asian city as part of The Wealth Report 2018 by the global property consultancy.
Ranking criteria include a city’s current wealth, investment, lifestyle, and future economic performance.
According to Knight Frank, Singapore is also the fifth most expensive city to buy prime residential property, where US$1 million ($1.31 million) can buy just 39 sqm of prime residential property in Singapore. However, this more than double the 16 sqm the same amount would buy in Monaco, the most expensive city.
The report also found that Singapore investors allocate about 35% of their portfolio to property – excluding primary residences and secondary homes. This is lower than Hong Kong investors who allocate 47% of their portfolio investment to property. About 39% of Singapore investors are thinking of buying an investment property in Singapore in the next few years, while 30% are thinking of buying overseas investment properties.