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Description: Issue 24 (November 23, 2012 - December 14, 2012) of The PropertyGuru newspaper, Singapore's only property newspaper.

PropertyGuru MICA (P) 155 10 2012 Issue No 24 (23 11 2012 - 13 12 2012) The PropertyGuru The Showcase 2012 8th - 9th Dec 2012 Orchard Hotel Singapore MICA (P) 155 10 2012 Malaysia Property 10am-7pm Issue No 24 (23 11 2012 - 13 12 2012) Govt releases land sites The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing and Development Board (HDB) continue to ramp up housing supply with the release of four 99-year leasehold sites that are expected to yield 2 045 units. Two sites at Jurong West Street 41 (Parcel A) and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2 have already been launched under the confirmed list while Parcel B in Jurong West Street 41 was released under the reserve list. The Ang Mo Kio site has a land area of 18 477.5 sq m and is expected to yield some 680 units. Knight Frank expects the site to receive three to five bids with the winning offer ranging between S 630 to S 680 psf ppr. Although this site is located some distance away from Ang Mo Kio MRT station there are many good schools within 2-kilometre radius of the site said Alice Tan Senior Manager for Research at Knight Frank Singapore. However we foresee that developers may not be overly bullish in their land bid prices arising from the recent cooling measures and ample supply of homes in the pipeline for both public and private sectors. Meanwhile both sites in Jurong are expected to record healthy interest with about five to seven bidders due to its ideal location and proximity to transpor t links and amenities according to Knight Frank. The winning bids will likely be within the region of S 550 to S 600 psf ppr while the selling price of new units could be in the range of S 1 200 and S 1 250 psf. The waterfront living and growing attractiveness of the park are appealing to both upgraders and investors who are looking for convenience and lifestyle living within close proximity to the up and coming Jurong Gateway district Tan said. In addition the land bid results for Parcel A are expected to serve as an indication of future bids for Parcel B. The last site at Yishun Ring Road is slated for mixed commercial and residential use. It will be launched for public tender on 27 November. URA said that the site could generate 160 homes. The tender for the sites at Ang Mo Kio Jurong and Yishun will close on 8 January 15 January and 24 January respectively. THE AFFORDABILITY DEBATE More must be done to combat rising prices. Page 6 02 The PropertyGuru MANAGEMENT Steve Melhuish Chief Executive Officer Jani Rautiainen Managing Director James Sundram Senior Vice President International Winnie Khoo Chief Operating Officer Jagannathan Janagyraman Head of Engineering Soon Tzer Chua General Manager Sales Sarah Baker Head of Products Douglas Gan Strategy Guru New study sheds light on CPF system Romesh Navaratnarajah Senior Editor The PropertyGuru Singaporeans entering the workforce now will be planning to buy their first house in 2017 and that women would be 28-years old while men would be aged 30. The study indicated that a proper ty within the means of lower-middle income households with an overall monthly income of S 5 100 in 2017 is a three-room flat. For median-income households earning a combined monthly income of S 7 100 a fourroomer is the ideal choice while a five-room unit is the prudent choice for upper-middle income earners with a total monthly income of S 9 200. When prudence is exercised the loan instalments can be fully paid using a CPF member s monthly contributions to the CPF Ordinary Account the study added. Meanwhile members who have stretched their finances to buy a bigger house should consider monetising their proper ty later in life to supplement their retirement income if the need arises. They can look to rent out a room or move to a smaller flat to boost their retirement payouts as well as take advantage of monetisation schemes offered by the government. To see what ordinary Singaporeans think of the research results check out our Vox Pops section below. PUBLISHER Osman B.S. osman EDITORIAL Andrew Batt International Group Editor andrew Romesh Navaratnarajah Senior Editor (Singapore) romesh Cheryl Tay Editor (CommercialGuru) cheryltay Tejaswi Chunduri Regional Analyst tejaswi Christopher Chitty Content Producer christopher Farah Wahida Editor (Malaysia) farahwahida Anto Erawan Editor (Indonesia) antoerawan Im Suryani Reporter (Indonesia) imsuryani Kanchana Paha Editor (Thailand) kanchana Michelle Yee Editorial Contributor A new study by two Associate Professors from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has indicated that if young Singaporeans in today s workforce buy houses within their means they will have sufficient savings in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) account when they retire. The research commissioned by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) assumed that Romesh Navaratnarajah Clarification In Issue 23 of The PropertyGuru we published an article about Singapore s top property sales trainer Colin Tan and his training. It originally stated that one agent earned up to S 13 000 a month. In fact many of Tan s trainees are regularly earning between S 30 000 and S 100 000 a month with one agent earning up to S 130 000 a month. The PropertyGuru is Singapore s Only Proper ty Dedicated Newspaper distributed on a Complimentary basis for tnightly on Friday. It is also delivered to Residential Estates (HDB & Private) direct via Singapore Post. Exclusive Partnership You may also get your FREE copy at these fine establishments & locations Restaurants Coffee Clubs Delis Bars & Cafes Social VIP Golf & Country Clubs Central Business Districts MRT vicinities Prime City & Hear tlands Shopping Belts MRT vicinities Other fine distribution channels Private Medical Institutions within - Mount Elizabeth Paragon Medical Centre Gleneagles Automobile Showrooms Islandwide Most Petrol Kiosks Islandwide ADVERTISING Bennett Seow bennett Belinda Koh belinda Jessica Goh jessicagoh MARKETING Adeline Tan adelinetan EVENTS Joel Lee Regional Head of Events joel The Word From The Street Cheryl Tay asks members of the public What do you make of the recent NUS study which projects that a young person entering the workforce today can afford a three-room BTO flat in 2017 on a monthly household income of S 5 100 VOX POPS CUSTOMER SERVICE Loh Suet Yee suetyee REGIONAL (MALAYSIA) Alyssa Pek alyssa (THAILAND) Natthanathorn Prapharot nat (INDONESIA) Chris Antonius chrisantonius PropertyGuru Group 51 Goldhill Plaza 11-03 05 Singapore 308900 Tel 6238 5971 Fax 6534 4678 MICA No. 2010689043 Print KHL Printing (S) Pte Ltd Design The Right Company Pte Ltd All content published in The PropertyGuru is protected under copyright laws. No content should be reproduced either in par t or whole without express written permission from Proper tyGuru Group. For licensing and syndication enquiries please email andrew Currency conversions are provided for indicative purposes only. Every precaution has been taken to ensure all information is accurate. However the publisher its employees or agents accept no responsibility or liability for direct indirect or consequential losses or damages resulting from the use of any information contained herein. All adver tising enquiries osman That s realistic I suppose. Considering that most graduates are quite likely to marry other graduates their monthly household income should be around that figure or more. However as someone who has lived abroad I must say it s quite sad that we ll only be able to afford a three-room HDB flat. Sarah Ong 23 PR Officer Unrealistic. If I m still single then it ll be pretty harsh. An entrylevel job would mean a star ting salary of about S 2K after CPF. Even if I make a bit more -- say S 3K -- everything I earn will go to paying for the house. My future in Singapore looks bleak -- I ll probably live with my parents until I m 30 and bitter. Le Raine Hendrik 23 Corporate Communications Executive A S 5 100 monthly household income would be unrealistic for singles widows divorcees etc. I hope this is being reviewed and that aid will be provided as everyone needs a roof over their heads. I m concerned about those who can t earn that much. Let s hope cases of homelessness will not increase due to our home prices. Sheikh Muhammad Ally 25 University Student A S 5K income likely means a couple with a pay of about S 2.6K each. What about households with a sole breadwinner And how can a 30-year old marry and have a family when he only has a threeroom flat The government needs to provide sufficient financial aid to address social issues such as housing education and the cost of living. Danial Cheah 25 Product Manager The PropertyGuru SINGAPORE MARKET NEWS 03 Private home sales predicted to drop in 2013 The robust home buying seen this year isn t sustainable says one analyst. By Andrew Batt perennial demand along with the general aspiration of Singaporeans to upgrade to a landed property. The luxury segment has seen sales volume and values declining over the past year and according to Neubronner should bottom out any time soon. We anticipate a recovery next year given the values and opportunity on offer he added. The mass and middle market segments are expected to see most of the correcting in 2013 he said adding that these sectors have been running up rapidly over the past year. Neubronner also expects the proportion of foreign buyers which now stands at roughly 20 percent to stabilise. He said Singapore will continue to attract foreign buying interest for a million reasons and we believe the series of measures introduced over the past years will more likely subdue the Singaporeans appetite than the foreigners. Neubronner concluded by saying Although sales volume will decline we expect prices to stabilise next year. The fundamentals like a stable economy with high employment low interest rates a robust leasing market in the suburban areas and the overall bullish sentiments are still strong and we do not see these changing in 2013. What are your predications for 2013 Send yours to editor We will publish the best in our next issue. GURU INSIGHTS Are you are looking for the right space for your business needs CommercialGuru offers the most comprehensive database of commercial properties for sale and rent in Singapore. Below are a few details that we hope will help in improving your business. 11 000 Number of commercial sale listings on the website. While a correction in the market is expected in 2013 landed properties will continue to see healthy demand. The number of private home sales in Singapore could drop by more than 20 percent in 2013 after spectacular increases this year. David Neubronner Head of Residential Project Sales for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) issued the warning this week suggesting that the number of sales this year which is expected to reach 22 000 units will correct to more healthy levels of about 16 000 units in a worst-case scenario. In an exclusive interview with The PropertyGuru he said Put in perspective the jump this year from 15 800 in 2011 to probably 22 000 by the end 2012 has been spectacular. We believe this is not sustainable moving forward and should correct next year. In the worst scenario we estimate the market to correct to the healthy levels of about 16 000 units which were achieved in 2010 and 2011. This is taking into account the anticipated economic slowdown in 2013 clampdown on residency and employment of foreigners. Neubronner is also not ruling out a further wave of government cooling measures. He said The possibility is always there as long as the buying continues. Based on the recent robust sales volumes and concerns of market foaming there is always the possibility of another round of measures to take the steam out of the market. Neubronner predicts that landed property sales will remain resilient given the limited supply and INTERNATIONAL MARKET NEWS Residency on offer for Spanish proper ty purchasers Foreign buyers especially the Chinese and Russians are being lured with residency permits. By Andrew Batt Foreigners who invest in Spanish property worth more than US 200 000 (S 245 130) will be offered residency status as the beleaguered country attempts to boost sales of its unsold homes. Trade Ministry secretary Jaime Garcia-Legaz told reporters that the plan which is expected to be approved in the coming weeks is aimed principally at the Chinese and Russian markets as the domestic demand was stagnant. The country has more than 700 000 unsold homes. The latest move by Spain follows similar moves in recent weeks by both Ireland and Portugal where foreign property buyers have also been offered residency papers with house purchases of more than US 500 000 (S 612 856). The move to target Chinese buyers is particularly interesting. Last year they accounted for 868 sales equal to roughly four percent of total property sales. Russians accounted for 1 757 sales during the same period. No data is available for the proportion of buyers from Southeast Asia of Spanish property. Barbara Wood of The Property Finders a leading property search agency in the Andaluc a region of Spain told The PropertyGuru This seems like a smart move by the Spanish government to make the entry price point at 160 000 (S 251 178) Does anyone fancy a chance to stay in Spain thereby attracting a wider market. She added that potential buyers must remember that purchase costs are high in Spain so even at this base level they will need to think more in terms of having 200 000 (S 313 977) available to cover taxes fees and furniture. Buyers also need to hang onto the thought that a lot of the unsold stock in Spain is unsold precisely because it is poorly located and may not be in a place that will appeal to overseas buyers she added. Wood concluded by saying that on the positive side prices are back to 2002 levels and there are real opportunities for quality property in prime coastal and inland locations for both investors and lifestyle purchasers alike. 18 000 Number of commercial rental listings available on the portal. Number of rental listings for office space on the website. 7 000 5 000 Number of rental listings for industrial space on the website. Number of rental listings for shop space available on the portal. 7 000 04 The PropertyGuru TEJ SAYS... SINGAPORE MARKET NEWS UOL scoops Best Developer South East Asia award Close to 400 distinguished guests turned out in force for the SEA Property Awards 2012. By Andrew Batt UOL Group collected the Best Developer award at the second annual South East Asia Proper ty Awards which took place on Wednesday night. More than 370 guests from around the region including from Thailand Singapore Malaysia Vietnam Philippines Cambodia and Indonesia were in attendance to congratulate the winners and highly commended companies in the 35 award categories. Terry Blackburn the CEO of organisers Ensign Media said We have seen some real world beating developments awarded here this evening that really represent the full gamut of what South East Asia real estate has to offer. More than 1 400 nominations were received for the awards and from those over 300 entries with the most hotly contested categories being the Best Condominium awards for both Singapore and Malaysia. New categories this year included the expansion of the design awards to recognise Hotel Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Best Consultancy categories were also introduced to cover all major markets. It was also great to see the consultancies getting recognition this year. These companies provide invaluable data and really help drive sales across the region and internationally and the winners tonight really represent the best in the business added Blackburn. Demand for mass market homes remain resilient Developers launched 2 410 new private homes in October nine percent lower than total sales in the month. They were probably being cautious following the latest cooling measures placing restrictions on home loan tenures for residential property purchases in Singapore. Nevertheless 2 624 new homes including executive condominiums (ECs) were sold in the month. Excluding ECs 1 948 homes were sold last month 26 percent down from the 2 621 in September but 40 percent up from a year ago when 1 392 units were sold. Overall new home sales in the first 10 months of 2012 stands at 22 723 units 18 percent more than the 19 306 for the whole of last year. Home sales volume in the Outside Central Region (OCR) was recorded at 2 158 units and five projects in the region sold more than 100 houses that constituted close to 50 percent of the total sales volume in the month. Heron Bay Launched in the last week of October this EC project is more than 90 percent sold. 354 units out of the 394 launched were sold at a median price of S 738 psf. The lowest psf price recorded was S 597. Skies Miltonia Located in Yishun and overlooking Lower Seletar Reservoir this upcoming project is 82 percent sold with 309 out of the 420 units launched in the month being sold. The median price achieved was S 1 034 psf. Riversails Waterbay and eCO sold 271 221 and 149 units at median prices of S 848 S 752 and S 1 392 psf respectively. Meanwhile Riversails and eCO were among the top 30 most searched projects in October on Nine units were sold in the month at a psf price of Source URA PropertyGuru more than S 3 000. The costliest unit was recorded at S 4 289 psf for the District 10 project - Sage along Nassim Road. Another unit from The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Cairnhill was sold at S 4 128 psf. The most affordable unit last month came from Waterbay at S 538 psf. 162 units were left unsold out of the 383 units in the project. Sited close to Punggol and Sengkang MRT stations this recently launched EC development is set to be completed in 2016. Prices range from S 560 000 for a two-bedroom unit to S 1.04 million for a five-bedder. Over in the Core Central Region (CCR) 144 units were sold in the month. V On Shenton was the most popular project in the region and sold 33 units at a median price of S 2 263 psf. The most affordable unit in the CCR came from Leedon Residence which was sold at S 1 413 psf. Sales in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) reached 322 units strongly supported by Sky Green. The project sold 145 units at a median price of S 1 516 psf. As mentioned earlier supported by strong take-up at Heron Bay and Waterbay 676 EC units were sold in the month. As the festive season approaches new home launches as well as sales are expected to slow down for the remainder of 2012. The latest government measures might also affect home sales. Some buyers may postpone their purchasing decision as they adopt a wait-and-see approach as to how the measures will affect them. Nevertheless keeping in mind the current strong buying momentum and other demand drivers private home sales are expected to break all previous records by the end of the year. Do you think amid strong demand drivers such as low interest rates strong buying activity a low unemployment rate and no liquidity threat in the market will the recent home loan measures help to bring a resultant price correction in the market Do write to me at research Winners of the South East Asia Property Awards 2012 DEVELOPER AWARDS Best Developer South East Asia Winner UOL Group Limited Best Developer Singapore Winner UOL Group Limited Best Developer Thailand Winner Charn Issara Development Plc Best Developer Malaysia Winner Sunway Berhad Best Developer Indonesia Winner PT Lippo Karawachi Tbk Best Developer Philippines Winner Ayala Land Premier Best Developer Vietnam Winner VinGroup Joint Stock Company DEVELOPMENT AWARDS Best Villa Development South East Asia Winner Banyan Tree Residences Phuket Thailand by Laguna Banyan Tree Limited Best Condo Development South East Asia Winner The River Bangkok by Taksin Properties Co. Ltd. Best Commercial South East Asia Winner Vattanac Capital Cambodia by Vattanac Properties Limited Best Housing (Singapore) Winner Mont Timah by Maylands Investment Pte Ltd Best Condo (Singapore) Winner The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singapore by Cairnhill Hayden Properties Pte Ltd a subsidiary of KOP Properties Pte Ltd Best Villa (Thailand) Winner Banyan Tree Residences Phuket by Laguna Banyan Tree Limited Best Condo (Thailand) Winner The River by Taksin Properties Co. Ltd. Best Villa (Malaysia) Winner The Residences Putra Heights by Sime Darby Property Berhad Best Condo (Malaysia) Winner The Haven Lakeside Residences by The Haven Sdn Bhd Best Villa (Indonesia) Winner Jakarta Garden City Phase 1 Landed Houses by PT. Mitra Sido Sukses a subsidiary of Keppel Land Singapore Best Condo (Indonesia) Winner 1Park Residences Condominium by PT. Intiland Development Tbk Best Residential Development (Philippines) Winner Arya Residences by ArthaLand Corporation Best Villa (Vietnam) Winner Vincom Village by Sai Dong Urban Development & Investment Joint Stock Company Best Condo (Vietnam) Winner Hyatt Regency Danang by Marble Mountain Beach Resort JSC Best Shared Ownership Winner Anantara Vacation Club Phuket Mai Khao Green Development Winner BSD Green Office Park by Sinar Mas Land ARCHITECTURAL & INTERIOR DESIGN AWARDS Best Residential Interior Design Winner Axis ID Pte Ltd for The Residences at W Singapore - Sentosa Cove by City Developments Limited Best Residential Architectural Design Winner Brennan Beer Gorman Architects (BBG) New York and Plan Architect Co. Ltd. Thailand for The Residences at St. Regis Bangkok Thailand by Minor International PLC Best Commercial Architectural Winner Benoy and RSP Architects for Ion Orchard Singapore by Orchard Turn Retail Investment Pte Ltd Best Hotel Architectural Design Winner Foster Partners (London) for Capella Singapore by Millenia Hotel Pte Ltd Best Landscape Architectural Design Winner Bensley Design Studio for Residences at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Thailand by Sribathana Garden Co. Ltd. REAL ESTATE SERVICES Best Property Consultancy (Singapore) Winner CBRE Pte Ltd Best Property Consultancy (Thailand) Winner Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels Best Property Consultancy (Malaysia) Winner Savills Rahim & Co. Best Property Consultancy (Indonesia) Winner PT. Jones Lang LaSalle Indonesia Best Property Consultancy (Philippines) Winner Jones Lang LaSalle Best Property Consultancy (Vietnam) Winner Savills Vietnam Ltd Tejaswi Chunduri is Regional Analyst with PropertyGuru. 06 The PropertyGuru COVER STORY Widespread Affordability A Dream or A Reality Amid rising HDB prices an opposition party has released a policy paper to offer home buyers with alternatives. But just how feasible is it -- and what impact will it have on the asset we call home By Cheryl Tay R ecently Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan admitted in Parliament that there is much more to be done in the HDB market. The topic of the HDB Resale Price Index was broached when Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah raised a question about soaring resale flat prices. According to Mr Khaw RPI growth had eased to 3.9 percent in the first nine months of 2012 compared to 14.1 and 10.7 percent in 2010 and 2011 respectively. alimony payments are further disadvantaged by regulations which allow only one party to buy a flat directly from the HDB within five years of the date of divorce. TIME FOR CHANGE Three years after the first property cooling measures home prices have not decreased significantly. A possible explanation is that instead of dealing with the root problem --the prices themselves -- the measures focus on other aspects such as a lower borrowing ceiling the Additional Buyer s Stamp Duty (ABSD) Sellers Stamp Duty (SSD) and tax for those buying their second and subsequent homes. While such measures directly affect investors and upper-middle to high-income buyers they do little to help middle- to low-income buyers. To tackle the issue the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) crafted a policy paper entitled Housing a Nation Holistic Policies for Affordable Homes. Notably the SDP is the only political party in Singapore to have released a comprehensive paper on housing though Workers Party NonConstituency MP Gerald Giam and former National Solidarity Party candidate Goh Meng Seng had previously made suggestions regarding public housing affordability. But just how feasible are its proposals NEVER-ENDING ESCALATION Considering that prices are still rising there is indeed more to be done.There are issues beyond resale flat prices increasingly young couples looking to start families find high HDB prices a major obstacle. Many senior citizens have had their CPF savings depleted by the mortgages on their flats. Divorcees who are often already saddled with YOUR VOICE Our Yahoo Singapore article New home sales slide after spike (http d482xe4) highlighted how Singapore s private home sales fell 26 percent in October after surging in September. Here are some of the edited comments readers posted in response. Anonymous Home sales have dropped but home prices are still going up. This is not good news. Lim People don t care about the sales volume going down. They care about sales prices going down. Mata Mata We don t care about the new home sales slide. What we care about is the drastic increase in public housing prices which are beyond the reach of many Singaporeans. Meyson If prices drop investors will be the first to feel it as the drop in rental income will be a killer for them. Genuine homeowners will worry more about the banks interest rates. Miffy Prices will never drop if the government continues to open the floodgates to foreigners and PRs. As long as prices stay high they can continue selling flats to Singaporeans at higher prices. PropertyGuru is a proud regional content provider for Yahoo Each day we publish premium property news and features on our websites in Singapore Malaysia Thailand and Indonesia. Join the debate now at Many young Singaporeans feel that public housing prices are a major concern. A BRIEF ASSESSMENT The chief components of the paper are the Non-Open Market (NOM) and Open-Market (OM) schemes.The former seeks to lower HDB flat prices mainly by removing land cost from home prices based on the rationale that land in Singapore already belongs to its people and as such they should have to pay only construction and administration costs for HDB flats. The latter will allow homeowners to sell their flats on the open market at market value. An OM flat can also be converted to an NOM flat. Under the NOM scheme average guide prices for 99-year leasehold flats range from S 70 000 for a two-room unit to S 240 000 for a fiveroom unit depending on location and other flat characteristics. A NOM flat cannot be sold on the open market but can be sold back to the HDB at purchase price minus the consumed lease. At the same time OM flat owners can choose to convert to the NOM scheme where the government will return to them an amount based on the flat s original HDB purchase price and the price of an identical or similar NOM flat which will go to their CPF. While this sounds promising one might question how realistic it is for the government to return money to those who convert their flats. Leong Yan Hoi a member of the SDP housing policy panel that crafted the paper explained When homeowners bought their flats the land cost was paid into the Singapore reserves. If they convert their flats to NOM status they ll be reimbursed a portion of this cost which is already in the reserves. Still in The Sunday Times on 18 November Opinion Editor Chua Mui Hoong called the proposal drastic saying I...don t think it s a good idea to deny lower-income households the opportunity to benefit from increases in the value of their homes . YAY OR NAY In his blog Singapore Alternatives Goh said that NOM flat owners cannot upgrade themselves as their flats cannot be rented out and can only be sold back to the HDB at a loss. He also argued that monthly mortgage payments make the scheme inferior to simply renting from the HDB which is a cheaper option. PropNex Realty CEO Mohamed Ismail said that though similarly sized NOM flats are cheaper than new BTO flats the latter does not have resale value. The SDP s proposal will deprive lower-income Singaporeans of a property asset to enjoy its capital appreciation . Like Goh he believes the scheme is tantamount to flat rental. Chen countered this assumption A S 6 000 monthly income means a S 1 200 monthly mortgage for just under 14.5 years. (A lowerincome individual) could rent a four-room flat for S 143.10 per month if the rental rate increases with the inflation rate. However for the government to recover its costs every new flat will have to be rented out for its full 99 years -- hardly possible and highly impractical. A CRITICAL PATTERN It is worth noting that the aforementioned criticisms of the SDP s proposal use capital appreciation of HDB flats as their common argument. But one wonders if investment is even a priority for lower-income households. For many if not most a home fulfills exactly what Ismail had mentioned a basic need for shelter. Making it a dream home can follow when one has settled in and is more financially comfortable. For that to happen however lower-income households not only need sufficient grants but also less exorbitant home prices. WORTH A SHOT As with any other proposal there is no pleasing everyone. But if such policies when implemented achieve their goal of making homes affordable to the general Singaporean public they would certainly lead to one very important step in the right direction for our society. The HDB was contacted for comment but was unable to provide any at the time of press. The PropertyGuru COMMERCIAL NEWS POWERED BY 07 Prime retail rents unchanged Cautious landlords have maintained retail rents for about one year. By Cheryl Tay Editor for CommercialGuru With landlords largely cautious rents of prime retail property in Singapore remained unchanged over the past 12 months. Nonetheless retail space demand along the Orchard Road shopping belt was strong particularly for ground level spaces with good accessibility according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). As a result of the country s decentralisation with regional commercial hubs new suburban shopping centres are increasingly attracting attention from international retailers stated Toby Dodd Country Manager at Cushman & Wakefield Singapore. Although luxury brands are generally featured on Orchard Road Marina Bay has also emerged as a new luxury destination with new brands including Prada Dior Cartier Hermes Burberry and Louis Vuitton coming in. Moving forward Singapore will continue to attract international luxury brands with the high spending power of tourists and local consumers added the report. However retail rents are expected to remain the same for the rest of 2012 as economic uncertainties may still negatively affect consumer spending. Economic uncertainties may still negatively affect consumer spending. (Source Wikimedia Commons) High tourist and local spending will ensure more luxury brands in Singapore. Commercial Property Invest in Quality Not Quantity As businesses continue to grow in Singapore so do demands for infrastructure that can provide efficient support for their practices. Which developments fit the bill CommercialGuru finds out. Solaris West Park BizCentral one-north Central Ayer Rajah Avenue Solaris is par t of the Fusionopolis cluster made to house info-communications media science and engineering R&D MNCs. The vast multi-tenanted facility features a spiral landscaped terrace green corridor roof gardens sun-shading rainwater harvesters and a solar shaft which makes for a naturally lit and ventilated atrium. The flagship project has won multiple accolades for its green design including the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award. Green features aside Solaris comprises a nine-storey North Tower and 15-storey South Tower which house units ranging in size from 1 500 to 22 000 sq ft. Located a short walk from Buona Vista MRT station and one-nor th MRT station it is also accessible via the AYE. Pioneer Road West Park BizCentral is an industrial development ideal for the engineering manufacturing logistics and warehousing industries. The project comprises a six-storey stack-up factory and an 11-storey flatted factory all of which boast high ceilings with dedicated parking lots that allow direct loading unloading for every unit. Fur thermore an 18m-wide driveway with single loading runs through the entire development ensuring smooth traffic flow. With its roof gardens and central cour tyard West Park BizCentral won a Gold Award in 2009 from the BCA under its Green Mark scheme. Located near Jurong Island the development is easily accessible via the AYE PIE and Tuas Checkpoint and is close to Pioneer Boon Lay and Joo Koon MRT stations. 08 The PropertyGuru SINGAPORE PROPERTY PICKS Are you in the midst of searching for a property for residential living or for investment purposes Well look no further than these gorgeous residential enclaves located in the heart of the city Helios Residences Reflections Keppel Bay 15 Cairnhill Circle Great location excellent facilities tasteful d cor and value for money are some of the alluring factors that affect a buyer s decision in a proper ty purchase. Helios Residences is a luxurious residential development that ticks all four of those boxes. Strategically located within prime District 9 of the Orchard area this 140-unit development is within hopping distance to the city but yet it also able to provide residents with a soothing respite thanks to an abundance of lush greens and serene landscapes that flanks this residential enclave. Featuring a mix of two- to four-bedroom apar tment units each exudes exquisitely designed interiors bespoke furnishings and outstanding fittings. The star of the development is undoubtedly the unique Tree Top Recreation Deck which comprises of a treetop pool Jacuzzi pools a sun deck a tree top bridge steam rooms sauna rooms a gymnasium and many more it is a place that is suitable for both children and adults and where everyone in the family can gather to have a great time together. In addition occupants will also be able to enjoy easy access to various transpor tation links including Newton Orchard and Somerset MRT stations as well as various reputable schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) Singapore Chinese Girls Primary School and many more. 1-33 Keppel Bay View If you are in search of an unrivalled waterfront proper ty look no fur ther than Reflections at Keppel Bay which is an intimate residential enclave of luxurious condo units surrounded by lush greeneries and picturesque waterscapes. Nestled within a calm spot in Keppel Bay View this 1 129-unit development which is made up of a good mix of two- to fourbedroom apar tment units and penthouses feels like a private hideaway. Thanks to its fantastic location inhabitants will be treated to abundance of magnificent views - of the nearby bay golf course parks and Mount Faber - which are considered to be a rare sight for city dwellers but will serve to be a daily splendor for residents of Reflections at Keppel Bay. In addition to the verdant backdrop the fresh bay breeze is surely capable of rejuvenating every urbanite s wired and weary soul. Reflections at Keppel Bay is also equipped with a bevy of recreational facilities and amenities such as a visually-stunning clubhouse and gymnasium an Olympic-sized swimming pool Jacuzzis tennis cour ts dining pavilions and a jogging pavement along the waterfront promenade. Lastly residents will also be able to enjoy easy access to various shopping precincts and reputed schools including Vivocity shopping mall and ISS International School. Other recreational facilities within close proximity include the Keppel Marina and Keppel Club. d Leedon Farrer Road Designed by internationally renowned architect Zaha Hadid d Leedon features a stunning distinctive and bold fa ade which is set to capture the attention of all who pass by. Located within prestigious District 10 this 1 715-unit residential development by CapitaLand comprises a mix of one- to four-bedroom apar tment types and spacious penthouse units with each one of them offering sweeping views of nearby attractions including the Singapore Botanic Gardens Orchard Road city skyline and many more thanks to the absence of high-rise buildings around the area. Ideally located in the hear t of the city residents will enjoy easy access to popular dining shopping and enter tainment precincts including Dempsey Hill Holland Village and Orchard Road. For families with schoolgoing children they would be delighted to know that this development is also within close proximity to several highly sought-after schools such as Hwa Chong Institution Nanyang Primary and many more. In addition d Leedon boasts of full-fledged amenities and a myriad of facilities including two large swimming pools children and relaxation pools two clubhouses and a series of par ty houses as well as outdoor fitness facilities. Latitude 35 Jalan Mutiara Nestled within one of the city s most exclusive residential enclave District 10 at Jalan Mutiara off River Valley Road Latitude is the perfect place to stay for an urban living experience. A tranquil retreat from the hubbub of Orchard Road the Central Business District and the surrounding city attractions inhabitants can expect to enjoy the best of both worlds a sense of serenity and seclusion yet still be close to a slew of conveniences. Latitude features 127 exclusive units which comprise a good mix of two- to four-bedroom apartment types and spacious penthouse units. Each unit has been designed and styled with utmost comfor t and luxury in mind boasting upscale fittings and quality finishes. Discretion luxury and privacy are some of the keywords here as this development has the atmosphere of a private members club offering excellent facilities for its owners including a well-equipped gym tennis cour ts steam rooms sumptuous swimming pools and Jacuzzis. The Vermont on Cairnhill 12 Cairnhill Rise Located within exclusive District 9 The Vermont on Cairnhill is the perfect epitome of city living at its best. Just imagine having one of the world s most vibrant shopping destinations the Orchard shopping belt - at your doorstep Featuring 158 exclusive units housed within three sleek towers that soar 20 storeys high The Vermont on Cairnhill is made up of a mix of one- to four-bedroom apar tment types five-bedroom penthouse units and Super Sky Villa units which have been specially designed to suit the needs of various individuals with different budgets. The Vermont on Cairnhill is not just situated within close proximity to the pulsating bustle of Orchard Road but it is also conveniently located within a few minutes walk to a slew of reputed schools popular country clubs and transpor tation links such as Anglo Chinese School (Junior) Tanglin and American clubs and Newton MRT station. 10 The PropertyGuru DISTRICT 9 C omprising Orchard Road Cairnhill and River Valley District 9 has long been known as a prime district for shopping lifestyle and luxury living. Homes and schools in the district always have a cer tain degree of prestige attached to them due largely to their soughtafter location. Additionally its central location enjoys good connectivity to other par ts of Singapore making it especially attractive to buyers and investors. The presence of prominent embassies and its proximity to the CBD mean that homes in the district have the three Ps both locals and foreigners seek - prestige price and place. HOTBED FOR INVESTMENT District 9 abounds in private properties The Laurels The Trizon The Vermont on Cairnhill Helios Residences and Scotts Square are all located there. Celine Kong Senior Group Director at Dennis Wee Realty Pte Ltd said The Laurels is located at the hear t of Cairnhill a freehold project in that location with its attractive pricing and layout is rare. It s also a fiveminute walk from Orchard Shopping Belt. It is also just outside the ERP Gantry Restricted Zone so driving to The Laurels means there s no need to pay more for ERP. As for public transport Somerset MRT station is just a three-minute walk away. Another development in the hear t of Cairnhill is The Vermont on Cairnhill whose prices are comparable to those of older projects in the area making it less costly than other new projects in the area which are being launched from S 3 000 psf. Kong said It s located close to prestigious schools like ACS (Junior) SMU LaSalle SOTA and NAFA. For expats international schools such as the Overseas Family School Chatsworth International School and DISTRICT WATCH In every edition of The PropertyGuru we ll be taking a closer look at one district in Singapore. We ll be looking at the key buying factors and identifying properties worth a closer look. In this edition Cheryl Tay shines the spotlight on District 9. Artist s Impression Luxury development The Vermont On Cairnhill is within walking distance to vibrant Orchard Road. Singapore International Focal Point are also nearby. PRICES SET TO RISE In terms of proper ty prices in the area it seems the only way is up. Kong said Since interest rates are at a historical low now it can only go up from here not down. In fact interest rates on home loans can shoot up to three to four percent. In my opinion this will probably take place in 2013 when US interest rates star t to climb due to the threat of rising inflation. In the next two years more than 30 000 condominium units will be completed. With a huge supply of new condominiums rental rates will go down and interest rates will go up. Kong also advises buyers and investors to keep an eye on the Hong Kong proper ty market as the two countries are always closely linked in terms of proper ty market trends and movements noting that seasoned market players tend to have the impression that proper ty prices in Singapore are slightly lower than prices in Hong Kong. Considering that the latest land sales in Hong Kong have been fetching prices below market expectations investors and buyers may well keep an especially keen lookout on Singapore s proper ty market especially in District 9. Ngee Ann City s variety of tenants include luxury retailers lifestyle and art supplies shops bookstores eateries and offices. The homes along Cairnhill Road are just opposite The Heeren making shopping at Orchard Road extremely convenient. Also opposite The Heeren is Chatsworth International School. The PropertyGuru 11 QUICK FACTS Compiled by Cheryl Tay District 9 comprises of Cairnhill Orchard Road and River Valley. While Orchard Road is best known today as one of Singapore s prime shopping destinations it was once home to numerous plantations and nutmeg orchards until the 20th century. River Valley is widely considered a residential and lifestyle enclave for the wealthy but apart from restaurants bars and caf s popular local eateries are the highlights of the area s food options. The famous Boon Tong Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice and River Valley Nasi Padang keep customers coming back for more. Have an interest in photography Then head down to 2902 Gallery at 11 Mount Sophia (up the hill from The Cathay) Southeast Asia s largest dedicated photo gallery. It features different exhibitions workshops and lectures with an emphasis on local talent. Being Singapore s main shopping street Orchard Road is lined with malls eateries and nightspots to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. You can even indulge your inner geek at Paradigm Infinitum on the third floor of Midpoint Orchard. Though the shopping centre is not as popular as its flashier more upscale neighbour The Centrepoint the shop is usually filled with customers playing board games buying figurines and browsing its collection of comics and novels. Mandarin Gallery underwent a major refurbishment a while back and now comprises a number of branded boutiques. Property Price Trends District 9 By Tejaswi Chunduri Source URA PropertyGuru Source PropertyGuru The PropertyGuru says... Average transacted and asking rental psf prices for condominiums rose by just one percent in Q3 2012 (y y). For landed property rents jumped by 20 percent in the same period but prices fell by five percent. non-landed homes were sold in the district during Q3 at a median price of S 2 078 psf. Stellar RV Leedon Residence d Leedon and The Trizon were some of the more popular nonlanded new projects. price of S 1 783 and S 2 546 psf respectively. 38 units that came under sub-sale transactions were taken up at a median price of S 2 155 psf. (COV) hitting S 41 000 while subletting rentals range around S 2 950 per month. District 9 is home to the world famous shopping and entertainment belt of Orchard Road and the swanky River Valley residential area. A popular location with locals and foreigners alike the region is home to luxury homes upmarket shopping malls and fine dining establishments. As per caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) 130 new 252 resale non-landed and nine landed homes changed hands in the same period at a median Certain par ts of the district such as Delta Avenue fall under the Bukit Merah HDB estate. The median resale price for four-room HDB flats here is S 617 000 with the cash-over-valuation 12 The PropertyGuru MORTGAGE & HOME FINANCING ADVICE POWERED BY By Desmond Chua Head of LoanGuru 3 Golden Rules of Proper ty Loan Acquisition Buyer mindsets have changed over the years but the rules for property purchasing remains constant. instalments during that time. If we look back at the 1995-1997 period just before the property bubble burst we would notice that the interest rates at the time were eight times the present level at eight to nine percent. As such the DSR for all segments easily breached the 50 percent mark. Notably the DSR for HDB owners was at 101 percent. LOW INTEREST RATES WON T LAST FOREVER These scenarios happened in the past and are factual. The prevailing low interest rate environment in Singapore will not last forever. So take action now and be prepared. If you want to buy a completed condominium or HDB flat you will need to plan your home loan solution right now.This also applies to buyers of uncompleted condo units but their loan packages are more complicated due to the normal progressive payment scheme. While buyer mindsets have changed over the years the golden rules for property purchases remain constant. First borrowers should always set aside more than enough (24 times) for their monthly instalments either in cash or CPF contribution. If an economy downturn happens this ensures that they will have an emergency fund to pay off their mortgage. The second important rule is to always buy a property within your means. If you over commit now you will be overburdened with your mortgage instalments if an economic crisis happens and this will diminish the amount of money available for your family s other needs. Lastly always choose a mortgage package that meets your needs. If you are a risk taker you can consider a SOR or SIBOR package to take advantage of the low interest rate environment at present. If you are a risk-averse person you may consider a fixed-rate loan. However fixed-rate loans are not suitable for all property segments. The majority of deals of late have involved completed properties and the bulk of purchases involved non-landed private homes. Mortgage rates in Singapore are largely determined by the existing Swap Offer Rate (SOR) and Singapore Interbank Offer Rate (SIBOR). Of these two rates the SOR is influenced by the situation in the US. Fortunately with the Federal Reserve committing to a low interest rate of 0.25 percent LoanGuru expects the citystate s interest rates to remain low until 2014 at the very least. On top of that the Singapore government is monitoring the situation as indicated by the latest cooling measures introduced in view of the hot property market. However LoanGuru believes not all buyers are prudent with their home purchases. According to transaction data for Q3 2012 the majority of deals during the period involved completed properties and the bulk of purchases were from the condo segment. Hence LoanGuru has come to the conclusion that buyers preferred completed private condominiums during the quarter. Moreover based on LoanGuru s mortgage data for Q3 we see a healthy distribution of the consumer profile across private condominium landed EC and HDB segments. Projection of the DSR if interest rates increase by two to eight times. One of the methods used by banks to measure the ratio of total liabilities over income is the Debt Servicing Ratio (DSR). For example if a new property purchase results in a monthly instalment of S 2 703 and the combined income of the borrower is S 7 950 per month the resulting DSR is 34 percent meaning the DSR is manageable and the borrower will not have a hard time servicing the loan. A DSR below 30 percent is considered healthy whereas a 30 to 40 percent DSR is still manageable. On the other hand a DSR of 40 to 50 percent denotes that a borrower may have a hard time paying off the loan. Additionally a DSR above 50 percent is considered very risky as more than half the monthly household income is consumed by mortgage instalments. Aside from that if the interest rate rises by two-fold from its current level borrowers will be facing the same situation three years back. At that time the DSR for all segments was healthy except for condo and HDB flat owners. If this happens borrowers from those two segments will need to examine their finances. Should mortgage interest rates increase by four-fold the DSR of borrowers from all segments will exceed 50 percent except for landed property owners. This situation happened back in 2003 whereby interest rates of loans ranged from 3.25 to 4.75 percent. Notably borrowers were heavily burdened by their monthly Calculation of the DSR for Q3. HELP IS HERE Let LoanGuru help you process your In-Principle-Approval before placing the deposit for a property purchase. We assess your situation and offer two to three loan options for you to decide your next step forward. Our unbiased advice deserves the best decision maker like you. On top of that this service is free of charge. Whether your property is for new purchase or refinancing talk to LoanGuru to find out what benefits you could get out of a home loan package. We have a dedicated portal for property and home loan research. Stay updated with the latest news. You can get the full version of this report at Like us on Facebook to bookmark our latest news and share it with your friends. Should you need to compare a home loan package please go to or call our friendly mortgage consultant at ( 65) 6572 9299.You may also email us at enquiries for a free discussion. The PropertyGuru SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE 13 Architectural gem adds sparkle to Singapore s skyline Designed by Zaha Hadid d Leedon is an architectural masterpiece set in a highly sought after location. d Leedon will rise majestically above the surrounding good class bungalows and low-rise condos. Futuristic is one way to describe d Leedon designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. ICONIC DESIGN Ever since CapitaLand first announced in 2008 that it had roped in internationally-renowned Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid to design its residential development at the former Farrer Court site the property market has been buzzing with excitement on what to expect from this designer development. First unveiled in 2010 as d Leedon the iconic residential project by CapitaLand Hotel Properties Limited and its partners is a landmark development in many ways. Firstly it marks Hadid s first condominium project in Singapore. Secondly it features Hadid s signature style that adds an iconic touch to Singapore s exciting skyline. This project presented an opportunity to continue exploring the architectural language of fluidity. For d Leedon our first residential project in Singapore we have been inspired by the site s unique spatial qualities allowing us to introduce new design concepts said Hadid. Indeed Hadid is a visionary who is known for her bold futuristic and cutting edge architectural designs like the BMW Central Building in Leipzig Germany and London Aquatics Centre in the United Kingdom. For d Leedon Hadid has incorporated her distinctive sensuous and seamless lines featuring seven residential towers rising majestically above the surrounding good class bungalows and low-rise condominiums. The seven towers emerge from the d Leedon s garden landscape with the lower floors tapering inwards before blooming into full bloom flowers . The floor plan of each tower is arranged into a flower that is subdivided into petals according to the number of units per floor. These organic design principals are evident in all seven towers generating a diversity between each building yet giving d Leedon the natural elegance of coherence said Hadid. The development boasts full condo facilities including a lap pool children s wet play area and pool. Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Parents will also be pleased to know that d Leedon is surrounded by many good schools like Nanyang Primary School Raffles Girls Primary School and Hwa Chong Institution an important consideration when choosing a home. In addition d Leedon is within walking distance to Farrer Road MRT station which connects residents to the Circle Line. Entertainment and lifestyle options are also just a stone throw s away at Dempsey Hill Orchard Road and Holland Village. Given its prestigious District 10 location and striking Zaha Hadid design we are confident that d Leedon will be well received by investors and discerning home buyers who appreciate living in a beautifully-designed architectural icon. We are excited to play a part in shaping Singapore s landscape with this striking landmark said Wong Heang Fine CEO of CapitaLand Residential Singapore. in its 12 exclusive strata Garden Villas. There are several choice units to choose from depending on your lifestyle needs. Choose from one plus study- two- three and four-bedroom units as well as penthouses. Apartment units range from 590 to 2 400 sq ft while penthouses start from around 2 800 sq ft. For those who want the luxury of living in a landed property while enjoying the full facilities of a condominium there are also three-storey Garden Houses and strata Garden Villas to choose from with areas ranging from 5 500 to 7 400 sq ft. The landscaped space is especially generous at over 650 000 sq ft as the residential towers only occupy 22 percent of the site. This allows residents to enjoy the myriad of recreational facilities and lifestyle options such as the two 50-metre lap pools dipping pools gymnasium Jacuzzi water gym and children s wet play pool just to name a few. In addition there are five designated landscaped bands for residents to explore. Revolving around the components of a mountain eco-system the thematic bands comprise rock forest water foothills and meadow. Perfect reasons to own your home at d Leedon in District 10. EXCEPTIONAL LOCATION GREAT INVESTMENT Situated in the prestigious District 10 area d Leedon s seven 36-storey residential towers will enjoy unobstructed views of Singapore s skyline as well as the lush greenery of the surrounding EXPANSIVE LIVING SPACE WITH CHOICE UNITS d Leedon sits on an expansive site measuring 840 049 sq ft. Comprising 1 715 units investors have a choice to live in its 1 703 stylish apartment units spread across seven residential towers or Showcase 2012 8th - 9th Dec 2012 Orchard Hotel Singapore OVERSEAS PROPERTY Malaysia Property 10am-7pm Why the United Kingdom continues to demand attention By Andrew Batt International Group Editor ProperyGuru Many overseas investors are confident in the London property market as it has proven to be stable even in tough times. Just a year ago the range of U.K. properties being showcased to Singaporean buyers was limited to Prime Central London. This year we ve seen more properties from outside zones one and two and we ve also seen more properties from other parts of the country being exhibited. Interest from Singaporeans has been growing fast and even without the spotlight of a dedicated event in the city state buyers and investors from the city state have been active in cities like Oxford Manchester Liverpool and Leeds. Scotland and in particular Edinburgh have also seen a spike in interest from Southeast Asian buyers. Attracted by the safe haven status that London enjoys the relative strength of the Singapore dollar against sterling and the depressed state of the British property market it s likely that more Singaporeans will look to London and other parts of the United Kingdom for their overseas property investments in coming months. Prime Central London the target of the majority of buyers is a unique market with macro-economic fundamentals that make it more similar in many ways to New York and Sydney than to other parts of the United Kingdom. It s been bucking the generally depressed trend this year showing tremendous growth largely on the back of interest from overseas buyers. There s no doubt at all that Singaporean s love affair with London has been stronger than ever in 2012 but not all is rosy when it comes to the United Kingdom s property markets when viewed as a whole. Knight Frank recently predicted that United Kingdom house prices will not reach their 2007 peaks until 2019. This will be one of the longest housing market recoveries on record. The number of transactions is expected to rise by 2 percent in 2013 but will remain well below peak levels for the rest of the decade. Gr inne Gilmore Head of U.K. Residential Research for Knight Frank explained that some five years after the start of the financial crisis the housing sector in the United Kingdom still does not bear the hallmarks of when she described as a fully functioning market. Transaction levels have roughly halved since the last market peak in 2007 and are 35 percent below the 20 year average as first-time buyers and those further up the housing ladder struggle with tighter mortgage lending rules. House prices have been flat or modestly declining across the country as a whole since 2010. This stasis is underpinned by unusual economic conditions rather than a genuine equilibrium in the market. The fundamentals suggest that a further correction in prices is needed as the relationship between average earnings and average house prices is well above the long term average. Prices have been supported to date by ultralow interest rates. This has resulted in monthly mortgage payments falling for some borrowers. But it has not all been good news for borrowers. Those with only a small slice of equity in their property have struggled to re-mortgage given that many lenders have scrapped the high loanto-value (LTV) deals seen before the financial crisis. Instead lenders in general now lend a maximum of 75 percent LTV. Only a handful of deals are available above this threshold and the most competitive deals are for those who have 30 percent or 40 percent equity. Indeed most homeowners who do not have a 25 percent chunk of equity in their property must stay with their current lender and are unable to reduce their monthly mortgage payments by shopping around the mortgage market for a more competitive deal. First-time buyers without a 25 percent deposit find it hard to climb onto the housing ladder at all although some government initiatives have tried to open up the market to those with more modest deposits. The Bank of England and Treasury Funding for Lending scheme designed to boost mortgage lending as well as the availability of loans to small businesses has yet to prove that it is really having a significant effect on the market although there are initial signs that mortgage rates may have fallen slightly. The recent Mortgage Market Review (MMR) which is likely to be implemented in 2014 underlines the fact that the current conditions in the mortgage market are not a post-crisis blip. Rather this should be considered the new normal and the housing market will certainly reflect that taking years to reach the transaction levels seen at the peak of the market. Knight Frank has forecasted only a 2 percent rise in transactions next year. As the United Kingdom economy struggles to deliver convincing growth there seems little chance of interest rates rising any time soon. A recent polls of economists show that the first interest rate rise is not expected until 2014 at the earliest with some analysts expecting rates to stay at current levels until 2017. The lowinterest rate environment will probably continue to put a floor under prices to a certain extent. This signals that rather than another sudden large price shock homeowners face a slow real-term erosion of value in their property until the priceto earnings ratio once again hits levels closer to the long-term average. At some point interest rates will rise. If they rise slowly in tandem with a growing economy where new jobs are being created and average earnings are rising faster than inflation the housing market can weather the change. But it must be noted that a sudden and unexpected sharp rise in interest rates could have an immediate effect causing a price shock as already over-extended homeowners are pushed past the limit. In the wider economy there is more austerity to come. Finance Minister George Osborne is being pushed hard for a fiscal plan B but so far shows little sign of deviating from the schedule of public sector cuts which will continue well into next year and 2014. Knight Frank and others are expecting overall UK house prices to end this year down 4 percent with some exceptions in local hotspots. Knight Frank has also predicted a further average 1 percent decline across the market in 2013 before some growth returns as the economy starts to make more solid progress. Continued on page 16 16 The PropertyGuru Continued from page 14 UNITED KINGDOM PROPERTY PICKS Prime London is bucking the trend THE CAVENDISH BUILDING CLAPHAM The newly built Cavendish Building apartment building lies at the heart of Clapham Park London s new parkland residential quarter located on Dragmore Street Clapham SW4 a few minutes walk from the Clapham South tube station. It comprises 120 one- and two-bedroom apartments 30 of which are available for private buyers. Clapham is a vibrant area of South London and it has proved to be highly desirable location for young families with children. Apartments are priced from 250 000. Annual price growth forecast for the UK market. According to CBRE average values in Prime Central London continue to rise and were up 12.6 percent this year at the end of last month. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in particular has undergone an intense period of growth with average prices increasing by 14.5 percent over the same time. Following such strong growth the prime market is swelling in size. For example the volume of sales in new-build schemes over 1 000 per sq ft has doubled since last year. Prime values can now be achieved across a greater area with selected developments breaking local price ceilings in the City Canary Wharf the Southbank and now in areas like Vauxhall. This trend is likely to continue west along the Thames as schemes come onto the market at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. Lumpur are the most common sales platforms for South East Asia buyers but it is clear that new markets are now opening up particularly across mainland China Vietnam and Indonesia. Going forward the recent tax changes are forecast to weigh on prime central London prices with no price movement expected in 2013 says Liam Bailey Global Head of Research for Knight Frank. Prime property prices in central London have bucked the trend of the wider housing market in the United Kingdom over the past few years bouncing back 50 percent after the post-crisis trough to reach a new high. The stamp duty charge for purchases of homes worth more than 2 million was raised to 7 percent in March up from 5 percent. For those buying through a company structure the charge was raised to 15 percent. But crucially the Chancellor also announced a consultation on further charges for those buying through a company structure an annual charge of up to 140 000 a year as well an extension of considering buying a property in this fashion. As a result there is an air of wait and see in the market and this has had an impact on transactions with 2 million sales volumes down by 25 percent year-on-year in the three months to the end of October 2012. SEVEN ACRES CAMBRIDGE Global construction and development firm Skanska has unveiled its first residential property in the under its Homes by Skanska brand. The Scandinavian company - best known in the UK for its development of The Gherkin in the City of London - has been moving into residential property since the end of 2010. It has a clear focus on meeting the long-term need for highquality residential properties in the U.K.. The Seven Acres development in Cambridge will deliver 128 new homes ranging from two-bedroom apartments to two- and three-storey townhouses with three- and four-bedrooms. Each home is built with a fabric-first approach and is equipped with the insulation and energy-efficient technologies required to meet level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Prices range from 295 000 for a two-bedroom apartment to 760 000 for a four-bedroom three-storey townhouse. The super prime market with prices in excess of 2 000 per sq ft is limited to much tighter areas within a certain sphere of golden postcodes . There is also greater pressure to include panoramic views of park river or cityscape which narrows prospective areas. Investors from South East Asia continue to play an important role in the Prime Central London market. This is particularly the case with new build developments many of which still perform well selling off-plan in exhibitions across Asia. Singapore Hong Kong Bangkok and Kuala A once in a lifetime project Exemplar is one developer who has found the right formula when it comes to selling London property in Southeast Asia. Fitzroy Place the developer s central London project enjoyed more sales success during October in a series of exhibitions in Bangkok Singapore and Hong Kong. ESPRIT ST MELLION CORNWALL New homes at St Mellion International Golf Resort near Plymouth in Cornwall come with an Investment Guarantee Scheme which offering 8 percent return for three years to investors. The homes on the new Esprit development are situated in the heart of the St. Mellion resort overlooking a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and the Kernow Golf Course which have hosted a total of 12 European Tour events. There are 66 new properties with the first planned for completion by Easter 2013. Properties range from two-bedroom apartments at 205 000 rising to four-bedroom detached family homes at 450 000. Built with an energy efficient timber frame the homes feature high quality fixtures and fittings under floor heating throughout bespoke modern kitchens bathrooms and oak staircases. All rooms on the upper floors are characterised with high vaulted ceilings. In an exclusive interview with PropertyGuru co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Van Gelder acknowledged the part that buyers from Southeast Asia are playing in the central London market. He said When we first brought Fitzroy Place to Southeast Asia in May we were targeting 20-30 sales. We achieved 110 within the first month alone. Van Gelder admitted to being surprised at the interest from Bangkok the first stop on his latest road show. We achieved five sales there each worth more than S 2 million. We also had a Malaysia who visited our Singapore event who flew to London the following day to view the location. He described the project as being a once in a lifetime project that has also been attracting interest from British buyers as well as those from the United States Italy and Spain. Showcase 2012 8th - 9th Dec 2012 Orchard Hotel Singapore INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY FOCUS Malaysia Property 10am-7pm Uncertainty pushes prices higher By Andrew Batt International Group Editor ProperyGuru Hong Kong has seen 52.9% price growth in its prime property prices since 2009. One person s crisis is another person s opportunity as the saying goes. Uncertain times in the global property markets are good for some but bad for others yet history has shown us how investments in bricks and mortar have in the long term rarely gone wrong. The fractured nature of the global economy is reflected in the process of luxury property in top global cities. Prices have risen in some yet remain stagnant or are falling in others. Prices of luxury homes in the world s key cities rose by 1.1 percent in the third quarter of 2012 and by 3 percent on an annual basis. While buyers await clearer signals as to the downside risks for the global economy both in terms of the Eurozone s debt crisis and the US s impending fiscal cliff luxury bricks and mortar look to be retaining their safe haven status. Fifteen of the 26 cities tracked by the Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index recorded flat or positive price growth in the year to September but during the last quarter 20 of the 26 cities (77 percent) have seen flat or positive growth indicating an improving scenario. The index now stands 18.7 percent above its financial crisis low in Q2 2009 with Hong Kong London and Beijing having been the strongest performers over this period recording price growth of 52.9 percent 45.4 percent and 39.5 percent respectively. Five cities recorded double-digit price growth in the year to September Jakarta Dubai Miami Nairobi and London a city from each of the five key world regions. Although Asia heads the pack Jakarta recorded 28.5 percent annual growth the results this quarter suggest that demand for luxury homes is only loosely linked to the strength of regional economies. Asia Pacific has only two cities in the top ten compared to Europe s three. Instead the flow of international wealth and the attitudes of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are increasingly influential. Cities such as Dubai Miami Nairobi and London are increasingly considered investment hubs for HNWIs in their wider regions. In the wake of the Arab Spring Dubai has been seen as a relative safe haven for buyers from the Middle East and North Africa while Venezuelan and Brazilian investors have looked to Miami to limit their exposure to domestic political and economic volatility. Not all prime residential markets are benefitting from the global economic uncertainty. In Paris although prices held firm in the third quarter sales activity was muted as buyers of all nationalities adopted a wait and see attitude. Vendors are unwilling to reduce prices until there is greater clarity from President Hollande and the Eurozone leaders in relation to the debt crisis. Asia s prime markets look to be entering a period of more moderate growth due in part to the regulatory measures aimed at cooling prices and improving domestic affordability. James Price of Knight Frank s International Residential Development team said Aside from London it would appear the other strong performers are either those established international markets that experienced a lull but are now kicking on again (e.g. Miami Dubai) or those that could be described as second tier international cities strong established markets but not global gateway cities (e.g. Zurich Vienna San Francisco) where interest has driven price rises from a lower base. While some of the more traditional prime second-home markets are recording negative movement this should not disguise their long-term popularity and strength instead it suggests a cooling from previous higher levels. Continued on page 20 Showcase 2012 8th - 9th Dec 2012 Orchard Hotel Singapore Continued from page 18 Malaysia Property 10am-7pm Not all prime residential markets are benefitting from the global economic uncertainty. In Thailand the market has slowed as demand plays catch-up.This year has seen less supply come onto the Bangkok condominium market as existing stock is slowly absorbed. Consequently listed developers have tended to diversify towards the resort destinations of Phuket Pattaya and Hua Hin where the demand and supply dynamics are considered to be more favourable. In Bangkok with surprisingly little difference in selling prices of condominiums in the city and city fringe areas buyers tend to favour condominiums in the city area while demand for luxury condominiums in the heart of Bangkok remains high with supply tight and few projects launching. Slightly further afield there has been significant polarisation in the price performance of the Indian residential market. Although average prices grew by 3.3 percent in Q2 2012 across the whole country this average masks difference between cities with Bangalore Pune and Patna notably booming while Hyderabad Jaipur and Indore seeing price falls during this period.The difference between Pune (up 10 percent) and Jaipur (down 3 percent) was a staggering 13 percent. Macroeconomic instability over 2012 in India has meant residential markets that rely more on speculators have shown more volatility in terms of pricing whereas markets that rely on predominantly owner occupier demand have been more stable. Australia a firm favourite with Singaporeans has seen further interest rate cuts and home buyer incentives hope to boost the market. Although prices moved into positive territory in Q2 2012 The Reserve Bank of Australia s interest rate cuts totalling 150 basis points since November 2011 has not significantly stimulated the Australian housing market. The connectivity between the Australian economy and the Chinese slowdown continues to impact market sentiment although a number of home buyer incentives introduced in various states have increased opportunities for first time buyers. There s no doubt that Singaporeans have been besotted with overseas property investment opportunities this year. From Brazil to Japan and all point in between they ve been snapping up residential and commercial property investments in larger numbers than even. No official figures are collected which reflect the number of overseas properties that are being purchased by local buyers but if there were it would likely show that 2012 has been a record year. With as many as 15 separate property exhibitions happening each and every weekend in the city state overseas developers who fail to plan a sales trip to Singapore could well be planning to fail. This year has seen a number of high profile residential projects have their world launch in Singapore proof if ever you needed some that Singaporean buyers and investors are held in very high esteem by overseas developers. My prediction for 2013 is that we ll see more overseas developers showcasing their projects here and from an even wider range of cities and countries than we ve seen previously. Hong Kong has seen 52.9% price growth in its prime property prices since 2009. Jakarta s 28.5% price growth for prices of luxury property is the highest anywhere in the world. Closer to home it s Jakarta and Bangkok that according to Jones Lang LaSalle s Asia Pacific Residential Review published last month which are the outstanding performers of the year so far with prime residential price growth pushing towards 30 percent. While in Jakarta this positive price appreciation is in parallel to the rest of the housing market in Bangkok this is in contrast to mass market price drops. Luxury condominiums are in tight supply and prices have been pushing upwards. In Indonesia the introduction of a Loan to Value (LTV) cap of 70 percent in July has not dampened demand as positive buyer sentiment continued to fuel price growth in the Jakarta market. In Q2 2012 house prices increased 1.2 percent across Indonesia with the CBD Jakarta condominium market subjected to the strongest demand increasing 16.7 percent year on year. With strong fundamentals confidence in the development market remains strong with development activity remaining unabated. 22 The PropertyGuru OVERSEAS PROPERTY Investing in India Indian laws do not permit foreign nationals to purchase immovable property in India if they reside outside India however immovable property may be purchased by foreign nationals residing outside India to carry on a business activity with the approval of the Reserve Bank. For Indian nationals investing in India you need to determine your residential status. Do you qualify as a Non Resident Indian (NRI) or are you still a Resident Indian The Income Tax Act states that an individual is said to be resident in India if he satisfies at least one of the following basic conditions He or she is in India during the financial year for a period of 182 days or more. He or she is in India for a period of 60 days or more during the year and 365 days or more during four years immediately preceding the year in question. The second condition is not applicable to the following An Indian citizen who leaves India during the year for the purpose of taking employment outside India or an Indian citizen leaving India during the year as crew of an Indian ship. An Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin who comes on visit to India during the year (a person is said to be of Indian origin if they or any parents or grandparents were born in undivided India). If he or she satisfies any of the above conditions there is further categorisation of his being an Indian resident into Resident and ordinarily resident Resident but not ordinarily resident Resident and ordinarily resident- ROR. If a resident further satisfies the following conditions he will be a resident and ordinarily resident 1. He has been resident in India in at least two out of 10 years [according to basic condition noted above] immediately preceeding the relevant year. 2. He has been in India for a period of 730 days or more during seven years immediately preceeding the relevant year. If he doesn t satisfy one or both of these conditions he is treated as a Resident but Not Ordinarily Resident RBNOR. If an individual doesn t satisfy either of the conditions stated previously then he or she is a NRI Non Resident Indian. The next thing to consider is banking requirements. To invest in India you must have a NRO NRE or a FCNR account with a bank in India. The Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account (NRE Account) and Non-Resident Ordinary Account (NRO Account) are denominated in rupees and can be opened as a savings or fixed deposit account. A NRO account allows you to make payments and receive rental and other income from your property in India and also allows credit of funds from overseas. However funds in this account can be repatriated within a limit of US 1 million per year on paying applicable charges to the bank. This limit includes any receipts from the sale of property. If you intend to repatriate the income from such investments you need to make that investment from a NRE account. Accrued interest income and balances held in NRE accounts are exempt from incometax and wealth tax respectively. The FCNR (foreign currency non-resident) account on the other hand is a foreign currency account and can be opened only as a term (fixed) deposit account. Since the rupee was depreciating against the dollar rapidly last year the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in an effort to bring more dollars into the country deregulated interest rates on NRO savings accounts and term deposits and NRE term deposits in December 2011. Subsequently the RBI also freed up interest rates on the FCNR accounts. You also need to consider the impact of tax. Interest on the NRO account is taxable with tax deducted at source of 30 percent. If you live in a country that has a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India this TDS rate would be lower but you need to submit a tax residency certificate to the bank. SPECIAL ADVERTISTING FEATURE 24 The PropertyGuru SPECIAL ADVERTISTING FEATURE LEGAL NEWS CEA takes action against unlicensed moneylenders Two men have been charged for operating an unlicensed moneylending business. Pearl Beach Delivering highest standards Pearl Beach a 70 acre gated beachfront community near Chennai. Pearl Beach is a real estate company dedicated to providing you with more than just a great deal on plots and housing. Pearl Beach is an entity consisting of dedicated professionals over a period of three decades building structures - both commercial and residential - combination of latest design and technology creating trends never seen or experienced before. If found guilty both men could face hefty fines and jail time. Our mission is to deliver the best real estate projects at the highest professional standards. Our vision is to revolutionise the real estate and building industry with fresh concepts and innovative creations that both please and satisfy the consumer. We have successfully completed 70 acres of gated community beach property in Pearl Beach ECR near Chennai. This great success is due to enthusiasm shown by our valued and satisfied customers. Now we are proud to inform you that we have launched a Resort Apartments in the famous tourist destination of Courtallam (Tirunelveli District) which is called the Spa of South India . The awesome location is surrounded by various aspects of nature which make it a popular trekking destination which cannot be found in the hustle and bustle of crowded cities. Our project is named 5 Falls Resort which is an opulently fashioned resort lifestyle that is serene charming and luxuriously different. Relaxation and tranquility meets indulgence and splendor in an ornately landscaped lush site of 3.57 acres. A total of 222 units sparkle with unspoiled natural beauty and inspiring peace. Balancing contemporary architecture with world-class amenities and captivating style this resplendent retreat houses a remarkable selection of fully furnished studio apartments and two-bedroom apartments with prices starting from Rs.18 lac onwards with guaranteed monthly rental income. Surround yourself in nature.The shimmering natural waterfalls at Courtallam are famed for having therapeutic properties since its runs through a forest rich in medical herbs and witness a huge surge of tourists every year. It s time to own a 4-star resort living resort apartment. Upcoming massive projects like Kodaikannal Coimbatore and Tropical Hide out project in ECR.In Kodaikannal Pannaikkadu Village Dindigul district Kodaikannal Taluk we are developing a beautiful project of 35 acres. This is hilly area with plenty of herbal plants and less pollution. It has fine weather and also a famous summer resort. Initially we are developing about 5 acres and obtained from DTCP and local town Panchayath authorities. This a good investment and the value will increase considerably in a few years. In Kalapatti Village in Coimbatore a 2.1 acres site is strategically located along Avinashi Road with a frontage to 100 Road. It is most suited for an integrated commercial development. This will house a mall bureau hotel and condominium. This high-end complex will be designed as a one-stop complex and is connected to the airport train and bus services. Many colleges including agricultural college and textile mills are close by. In ECR in Paramankeni Village on about 7.06 acres a housing project is being developed with affordable prices. Also proposed is a hotel project. DTCP and local Panchayath authorities have given approval for these projects. The famous historical place Mahabalipuram is about 30 km away. A nearby Special Economic Zone and other projects have developed and few colleges with foreign collaboration are planned. The Singapore Police Force has charged two male Chinese Singaporeans for operating an unlicensed moneylending business in violation of the Moneylenders Act. The legal action was taken after the police had collaborated closely with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) on the case. The first accused person is a Key Executive Officer and Director 44 of a licensed estate company and is also a registered salesperson. He allegedly issued loans ranging from S 5 000 to S 15 000 to sellers of HDB flats. The sellers were then supposed to repay the loans with interest from the profits gained when the sales of the flats had been completed. He will be charged with four counts of operating a moneylending business without a licence under the Moneylenders Act (Rev Ed 2010) Chapter 188. Meanwhile the second person a 50-year-old former property agent will be charged for assisting in the unlicensed moneylending business. The CEA and Singapore Police Force have warned property agents involved in unlicensed moneylending activities and who take advantage of HDB flat sellers that they will not hesitate to prosecute such offenders in court . If convicted under the Moneylenders Act the accused may be fined not less than S 30 000 and up to S 300 000 (for each charge) and face up to four years imprisonment as well as not more than six strokes of the cane. CEA has advised the public to report errant property agents and salespersons that engage in unlicensed moneylending or assist unlicensed moneylenders in their criminal activities. The CEA and Singapore Police Force will not hesitate to prosecute such offenders in court. 26 The PropertyGuru REMEMBERING SINGAPORE Playgrounds of yesterday PropertyGuru takes a trip down memory lane to look at why old playgrounds in Singapore are such a celebrated national treasure. By Christopher Chitty During the national pledge we speak the words regardless of race language or religion. For a child who grew up in the 70s to 90s there was no truer place where these virtues were put into practice than at the neighbourhood playground. While not a common sight these days the old playgrounds were community builders as much as they were for fun. Children climbed up structures and invented new impromptu games while the parents sat nearby mingling with other adults. Having a big playground stocked with things to do was the highlight of moving to a new estate and for a child back then a real treat. These playgrounds came in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can be attributed to Mr Khor Ean Ghee a Housing and Development Board (HDB) staff who was given the task of designing playgrounds in the early 70s. By 1979 there were many uniquely designed playgrounds built in and around HDB estates. Mr Khor employed dynamic shapes inspired by animals such as rabbits and fruits like the watermelon to appeal to children. In a bid to preserve the colour and reduce maintenance costs he had the original painted metal facades replaced with terrazzo and square glass tiles. These came in four colours red blue orange and green and are the reason why even now these playgrounds look relatively new. The mosaic look while unconventional ultimately became as iconic as the designs themselves. Yet as avant-garde as these designs were it was the Dragon playground which stood out the most. This ferocious mythological beast turned fun play space provided children with hours of excitement. Some of these playgrounds had fully functional pieces such as slides monkey bars and a spiral gangway leading to the Dragon head. With plenty of room to crawl climb and hide the playgrounds undoubtedly became the centrepiece of most HDB estates. Not all designs were complicated though. Simpler designed Dragons consisted mainly of a spiral slide with the dragon head up top. Children would climb up the stairs and slide back down. It might not seem Source Time is told a little differently in Bishan. like much but back then this simple activity was hard to walk away from. However with only four Dragon playgrounds left in Singapore the symbol which many young Singaporeans of that generation identified with began to fade. By 1993 most of the playgrounds in the estates gave way to new ones that fulfilled the international safety code. The sand pits were replaced with rubber mats as a safety precaution and the new designs were identical lacking the character of their predecessors. As time progressed and Singapore evolved playgrounds soon became nostalgic mementos of a generation all grown up. Children of the 90s and beyond began to spend less time outdoors and at the playgrounds and more time in the shopping malls and at home in front of their computers. Yet some of these playgrounds still exist in high value estates. You can find the spiral dragon slide in Ang Mo Kio the watermelon playground in Tampines Central Park and an intricately clockshaped playground at Bishan Interchange. Like most things old in Singapore it may be inevitable that they would be demolished for newer and more modern alternatives. We can only hope that these new local icons would embody the virtues of race language and religion as effectively as the playgrounds of yesteryear. SPECIAL ADVERTISTING FEATURE Brigade Exotica The address of the future THE FEATURES The ambience in and around Brigade Exotica is designed by world-class landscape architects from Bali Tropland Studio. The ground level is designed to give the impression of a mini forest with trees shrubs and water bodies. Poolside lawns and a viewing deck complete the picture. The patios will have a provision for edge planting. The ten acre property has over 80 percent open space plus a landscaped atrium for each tower. A jogging trail swimming pool billiards table tennis court and basketball court will cater for sporting needs and that inner desire to excel maybe run the marathon even. A well-equipped clubhouse with fitness space can satisfy any diehard fitness freak. THE MERITS Brigade Exotica has been rated as a five-star project by CRISIL Real Estate rating. It is also pre-certified Gold rated by the IGBC Green Homes for green initiatives. The best methods have been employed to ensure soil ecology indoor environmental quality water energy and efficiency. There are 454 apartments in Brigade Exotica three-bedroom apartments (2640 -3140 sq ft) and four-bedroom apartments (3630 3800 sq ft). Prices from Rs.115 Lakhs upwards Contact details 91-80-4046 7666 salesenquiry Brigade Exotica has been rated as a five-star project. The brand Brigade never fails to impress be it their revolutionary integrated enclaves their residences or destination malls. Brigade Exotica is already dubbed the address of the future by customers and industry watchers for its innovation and refreshing concept. Brigade Exotica has the answers for those who value flawless design superior craftsmanship and the finest finishes. The design of Brigade Exotica is unique and futuristic. The apartments are well planned and have an excellent layout. Brigade Exotica is truly a landmark in the making said M R Jaishankar Chairman and Managing Director Brigade Group. THE LOCATION Brigade Exotica revels in its connectivity. On Old Madras Road the property is equidistant to the airport and city centre both a half hour drive. ITPL (Whitefield) and the Byappanahalli metro station are almost equidistant from the property. Shopping facilities educational institutions and hospitals are well accessible making the location extremely convenient. BRIGADE EXOTICA THE LOOK Two futuristic 35-storey towers positioned to be among the tallest residential buildings in the city will have unparalleled views. The two towers can be considered as isometric stacks with patio flips which means the patios change orientation after every six levels. Because of this there is a clever optimisation of natural lighting and ventilation. The layouts of the three- and four-bedroom apartments are expansive and have a grounded look and feel. The living space converges into the patio which commands a stupendous view. The large patio can hold dense greenery and become the lungs of the house. Large corner windows in the bedrooms let in the natural light not to speak of the view - 90 percent of every unit area is day lit. 28 The PropertyGuru Top of the Props As part of plans to keep our readers better informed of what s hot in the housing market The PropertyGuru will provide an update in every issue of the most searched properties on the PropertyGuru website the projects recording the highest and lowest transaction prices and popular buying and renting locations in Singapore. By Tejaswi Chunduri In the first half of November Caspian (TOP by 2013) Frasers Centrepoint s condominium along Lakeside Drive (District 22) once again topped the list as the most searched condo on the website. New entries into the top 10 were Trilight Waterfront Key and d Leedon among others. In fact Trilight (TOP by 2013) saw close to a 70 percent hike in the number of searches done over the past fortnight. Meanwhile as per searches done on the website District 15 remained the most popular area in the first half of the month for home sales followed by districts 19 and 9 with District 12 being a new entry this time to the top 10 list. For rentals District 9 came up as the most searched choice followed closely by District 15. At the same time Central Area tops the chart as the most searched HDB estate for rent pushing Ang Mo Kio to sixth place this time. This is closely followed by Clementi and Serangoon. Woodlands again secures its position as the most popular HDB estate for sale followed by Sengkang and Jurong West. As per caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) a unit from the project Waterfall Gardens was the highest transacted condo unit in the first half of the month. Completed in 2010 this freehold project is located in prime District 10 and boasts full condo facilities. The data reinforces that older more established developments and regions with convenient transport amenities are popular with property buyers renters and investors in Singapore. A full list of the Top 10 Condos Top Districts for Sale and Rent and Top HDB Estates for Sale and Rent can be found below. We have also provided the highest and lowest condo transaction prices in the first half of the month. Happy House Hunting Source URA Source URA 30 The PropertyGuru MALAYSIA PROPERTY FOCUS More Singaporeans look across the causeway By Andrew Batt International Group Editor ProperyGuru Kuala Lumpur is responsible for 24% of all housing units in the Klang Valley. Driven by a young population rapid urbanisation and a reduction in household sizes Malaysian property investments have arguably never looked so attractive for Singaporeans. Sky high prices here along with a quest for a safe overseas investment with attractive rental yields and potential for capital appreciation and it s easy to see why more local buyers are looking across the causeway. PropertyGuru s most recent Singapore Sentiment Survey underlines this perfectly. Of the 29 percent of respondents who said they would definitely or probably buy overseas more than a third stated Malaysia as their preferred investment destination. That s evidence indeed that Malaysian property is firmly in the spotlight for Singaporean property buyers and investors. This decrease in the rate of loan approvals can be largely attributed to the introduction of new lending guidelines from Bank Negara Malaysia earlier this year. The number of transactions is also thought to have declined although this isn t necessarily a bad thing as prices for some asset classes in parts of Kuala Lumpur saw significant increases between 2007 and 2010. A number of projects have debuted in Kuala Lumpur this year including Arcoris SoHo the second phase of the Arcoris Mont Kiara development. This development offered some 366 units in sizes ranging from 500 sq ft and with an average selling price of RM900 per sq ft. Other launches were primarily concentrated within the city fringe areas and included Seri Riana Condominium (Wangsa Maju) Bayu Sentul (Sentul) Empire Remix (USJ) Zeva Suites (Seri Kembangan) and AraGreens Residences (Ara Damansara). Despite the lower loan approval rates buyer interest in new launches typically of smaller units in secondary locations has remained strong with developers continuing to offer attractive incentives to entice purchasers. existing supply of residential properties in Klang Valley stood at about 1.74 million units as of Q2 2012 (the latest available data) registering growth of 0.4 percent from the end of 2011. Landed residential properties i.e. terraced houses cluster houses semi-detached and bungalows account for about 754 880 units (approximately 43.5 percent of total supply) while high-rise units account for 22.9 percent of the total residential accommodation. Supply growth has declined significantly since 2006 and often-raised fears of a bubble are largely unfounded. Some 76 percent of total residential units in the Klang Valley are located in Selangor with the remaining 24 percent located in Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya the country s administrative capital accounts for just under 4 700 units which are primarily housing of civil servants. Available development land has long become scarce within Kuala Lumpur itself and even within Selangor new housing projects are being developed further and further out from established areas. As at the end of June 2012 a total of 173 152 units were classified as incoming supply which is defined as units for which construction permits have been approved whether or not construction has begun). Some 160 303 units were deemed to be under construction implying that construction work had begun on 92.6 percent of units at projects with construction permits. New starts were recorded as 12 800 units during Q2 and the first half of this year saw a total of 24 100 units of new starts approximately equal to the total annual figures for new starts for each of 2009 and 2010 but swell below the annual pace for 2003 2007 where some 60 000-70 000 new starts per annum were recorded. Overall average asking rents for high-end condominiums in Kuala Lumpur was registered RM3.32 per sq ft per month at the end if June 2012 down by 2.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and by 3.8 percent year-on-year. This translates into KLCC average rents of RM3.84 per sq ft per month Bangsar average rents of RM3.24 per sq ft per month and Mont Kiara average rents of RM2.87 per sq ftf per month. Although average rents have declined over the past five years it now appears as though rents in most submarkets have stabilised. Tat said the large numbers of completions scheduled between now and 2015 are likely to impact the market negatively unless there is an increase in demand. Continued on page 35 MARKET SUMMARY The total amount of loans approved during the first five months of this year was reported to be RM37.3 billion a similar figure to the same period during the previous year but this data hides what CBRE Malaysia described as a significant decline in loan approval percentages down from 49.9 percent in 2011 to 46.2 percent in the first five months of 2012. In 2008 approvals reached 60.5 percent but that number has been declining steadily ever since. SUPPLY AND DEMAND According to figures from CBRE the total The PropertyGuru Continued from page 30 35 The number of overseas buyers in Penang is widely expected to have grown this year. STABILISATION CBRE expects 2012 to have been a period of stabilisation within the luxury residential market with transactional activity depressed by uncertain economic conditions and the reduction in loan approval percentage which remains well below 50 percent. With uncertain economic conditions developers will continue to launch smaller units in city fringe areas and offer attractive financing and incentive packages to buyers. Capital values and demand for units at slightly older developments such as those in Mont Kiara should continue to benefit from the higher per sq ft prices at new launches. Good prospects also exist for properties in some secondary (non-prime) areas such as Setapak Wangsa Maju Taman Desa Bukit Jalil and others which offer good access to the city centre and the capital s main commercial areas. A reduction in the numbers of speculative purchases has been seen this year while rental demand has stabilised in most submarkets after a period of decline from 2008. With supply projected to grow strongly over the next three years yields are likely to be pressured further unless there is a considerable increase in rental demand. JOHOR BAHRU AND ISKANDAR Understandably much of Singaporean s attention in the Malaysian property market has been reserved for Johor Bahru and Iskandar. Gavin Tee founder of SwhengTee International Real Estate Investors Club puts it well when he says that Singapore and Johor Bahru have entered into a symbiotic relationship not unlike that of Hong Kong and Shenzhen a model where both sides leverage on each other to further their respective development agenda. The biggest foreign involvement comes from our southern neighbour and the rise of Iskandar saw unprecedented levels of involvement from Singapore. Investments started flowing in from the island republic and the Singaporean government actively encourages its people to invest in the region he said. Yet many in Kuala Lumpur do not understand the situation and the level of interest shown in Iskandar and its popularity with Singaporeans and other overseas buyers. Although property prices in southern Malaysia are rising the still represent value when compared to Singapore s heated real estate market. With increase connectivity between the two countries over the coming years Johor Bahru and Iskandar can only see their popularity increase. PENANG Penang s economy is predicted to have grown by 4 percent this year on the back of a burgeoning manufacturing and services industry. Population stands at just over 1.61 million and unemployment is just 1.5 percent. In recent time the Penang real estate sector has been booming. The area will soon boast Asia s second longest bridge in the 24km second Penang bridge and work on the international airport is expected to be completed soon. Residential transactions dominate in Penang yet in 2011 just 2.26 percent of all deals were done by overseas buyers according to information from the Penang State Government. That number is widely expected to have grown during 2012. Sentiments on the island are described as being cautiously optimistic and the potential is underlined by the growing number of Kuala Lumpur-based developers who have been setting their sights on the island. Penang is certainly a market that overseas property buyers should keep a close eye on. offers non Malaysians a ten year renewable visa and other incentives when purchasing a home subject to various requirements. To date more than 18 000 people have been approved with nationals of China Bangladesh Japan the United Kingdom Iran and Singapore occupying the top six positions.The programme is primarily attracting people who wish to retire in Malaysia or spend extended time there. According to the Malaysian government s website any foreigner may purchase any number of residential properties in Malaysia subject to the minimum rates established for foreigners by the different states. The rates start from RM500 000 per unit for most states from 1st January 2010. We advise buying homes which are already issued with certificates of fitness but if you intend to purchase from developers ensure that it is a reputable company it states. MALAYSIA HOME. MY SECOND Sources CBRE Malaysia Henry Butcher Malaysia - Penang Malaysia Property Incorporated The Malaysia My Second Home programme SUBSCRIBE NOW TO SINGAPORE S ONLY PROPERTY NEWSPAPER HURRY ACT NOW & RECEIVE THIS LIMITED EDITION FLASH DRIVE WORTH 19.90 Gift Promotion ends 13th December 2012 PROMOTION PRICE FOR 1-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION 39.90 ONLY ( DELIVERED TO YOU TWICE A MONTH - 24 ISSUES A YEAR) TO SUBSCRIBE EMAIL TO PLEASE MAIL YOUR CHEQUE TO THE PUBLISHER subscription-tpg PLEASE INCLUDE THESE DETAILS NAME DELIVERY ADDRESS COMPANY NAME YOUR DESIGNATION HANDPHONE HOME TEL. Cheque should be written to AllProperty Media Pte Ltd AllProperty Media Pte Ltd 51 Goldhill Plaza 12-08 Singapore 308900 Please allow 2 weeks for delivery upon sending your payment. We will contact you once your cheque is received. For more proper ty insights visit PG-SubForm_tpg issue 24.indd 1 21 11 12 11 52 AM 48 The PropertyGuru POWERED BY Thailand showcase a huge success PropertyGuru shines spotlight on Thailand at property exhibition in Singapore. The recent event was PropertyGuru s first Thai focused property show in Singapore. Deals worth more than THB88 million (S 3.67 million) were done at PropertyGuru s inaugural Thailand Property Showcase which took place at Orchard Hotel in Singapore earlier this month. More than 660 property buyers and investors attended the two-day exhibition and seminar with 16 residential units sold and an additional 646 leads with a potential value of S 139 million generated for the exhibiting developments from Bangkok Phuket and Hua Hin. Prospective home buyers with a keen interest to park their money in overseas property assets found the exhibition helpful in providing the latest relevant information on the Thai property market. A large number of visitors attended seminars presented by a panel of distinguished property experts. High visitor numbers were driven by PropertyGuru s integrated marketing campaign across print radio and online platforms. The Thailand event was part of the company s drive towards highlighting its regional initiatives of bringing up-and-coming property developments from specific cities and countries throughout Asia to local buyers and investors. Participating developers and real estate agencies such as Knight Frank Millennium and H-Condominium reported brisk sales and high levels of interest. Steve Melhuish co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of PropertyGuru Group said Our first event with a focus on Thailand has definitely surpassed our expectations. Not only has the high interest and volume of transactions shown how strong the demand for regional property is in Singapore but it is also indicative of the importance of generating an avenue for overseas developers to tap and expand their networks and business opportunities to potential clients locally. A number of prestigious developments from around the Kingdom were exhibited. Many buyers and investors turned up at Orchard Hotel hoping to get good deals. Participating developers and real estate agencies reported brisk sales and high levels of interest. Property experts specializing on Thailand were also on hand to help educate visitors. 50 The PropertyGuru ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FEATURE EntEr thE rarEfiEd World of Art ColleCting Experts say that buying art pieces and sculptures during these uncertain times can prove to be a good way of diversifying your portfolio - but before plunging into the art market investors have to be sure to do their homework and seek sound advice from avid art collectors and experts. By Michelle Yee Art can be fun functional and fashionable. I Solo exhibition of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat running from now till 15 December at Art Plural Gallery. 2012 total to well over 1 billion and we still have tomorrow s Day auction as well as our upcoming sale in Paris. The Rothko was the undisputed highlight of the evening surpassing the Rockefeller Rothko to become the second highest price ever achieved for the artist at auction. The wonderful consignment from the Collection of Sidney and Dorothy Kohl brought more than 100 million led by the Jackson Pollock which sold for 40.4 million well above expectations. If you are looking for evidence that today s market is alive and well look no further. Alexander Rotter Head of Sotheby s Contemporary Art department in New York added We were thrilled to achieve great results on behalf of our consignors tonight in an auction that showed just how vibrant the market is. We were especially encouraged by the strong depth of bidding from around the world on works like the Rothko Bacon and many more. In addition to the great prices achieved for paintings by the Abstract Expressionists Warhol was the other star of the night. His works together achieved 54 million well over their 35 million low estimate and included the incredibly important Suicide that brought a price nearly three times the previous auction record for a work on paper by the artist. t s official the art market is booming. Despite the turmoil in the global financial markets - with equity returns being eroded by volatility and bond yields at a record low analysts are observing a rising trend among high-net-worth individuals and discerning investors and that is putting their money into collectible assets such as cars wines diamonds antiques and of course art. One of the world s leading art auction houses Sotheby s has been a beneficiary of booms in the art market and their recent sales figures from the Contemporary Art Evening Auction are a testament to this. Held less than a week ago on 13 November 2012 the auction achieved over US 375 million the best auction result in any category in the company s history. The highlight of the night was undoubtedly a seminal large-scale masterpiece by Mark Rothko No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) which was estimated at 35- 50 million but sold for over 75 million. Artist records were also set for Jackson Pollock Franz Kline Hans Hofmann Arshile Gorky Robert Motherwell and Wade Guyton as well as for a work-on-paper by Andy Warhol and a painting by Takashi Murakami. This has been an extraordinary year for Contemporary Art at Sotheby s commented Tobias Meyer Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby s. Tonight s record results bring our Solo exhibition of French artist Bernar Venet running from now till the end of November at Art Plural Gallery. The PropertyGuru 51 Bernar Venet s Saturations and Shaped Canvases Series. EXPERTS SHARE THEIR VIEWS... 1. What are some of the things investors should look out for before parking their money in art pieces Mr Fr d ric de Senarclens It is important to take time to understand the art market and at the same time to follow your instinct. It is also advisable to pay due diligence to learn more about artists and their works to visit galleries art fairs and auction houses. Every young collector should have an advisor - a professional dealer who would help him to pick the right piece at the right price. At Art Plural Gallery we pride ourselves on sharing the insider s expertise to assist with creating and customizing the appropriate art investment strategy to not only build a collection but also a wealth platform for future generations. Ng Cai Lin Liquidity concerns art investors should look at holding onto their investments for at least 10 years. Selling your art can be quite long and there would be additional costs when you sell through an auction house. So art is definitely not a flipping asset. For investors looking to park their funds in art funds they should be looking at the fund s track record and the fund manager s ability to acquire a diversified portfolio of art below market value in a market dominated by dealers and auction houses and sell it at a profit in eight to 10 years. 2. Currently which are some of the ideal areas to look at if an investor is keen to include Art Pieces into his her portfolio Mr Fr d ric de Senarclens Living in Singapore I personally pay close attention to Asian Art especially from the Southeast Asian region. Art Plural Gallery brings modern art with works by Pablo Picasso Jean Dubuffet prominent artists like Marc Quinn Fernando Botero and Manolo Valdes Chu Teh-Chun Barry Flanagan and at the same time looking at emerging talents like Thukral & Tagra Qiu Jie Li Tianbing. This creates an opportunity for the collector to diversify his portfolio through our plurality of artistic talents from the Eastern part of the world and its Western counterpart. Ng Cai Lin For investors with limited budget an option would be to purchase artworks Bernar Venet GRIB 1 (Torch-cut waxed steel 245 x 310 x 3.5 cm). Mr Fr d ric de Senarclens Chief Executive Officer of Art Plural Gallery. Fabienne Verdier Meandres (White ink and mixed media on canvas Polyptyque Horizontal 141 x 203 cm). Ng Cai Lin co-founder of Artyii. from emerging lesser known artists. There can be quality art from fairs such as the Affordable Art Fair which is held annually in Singapore. It can also be rewarding to visit exhibitions at local art schools Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle College of the Arts. WHY CHOOSE ART So why should one pick art over other collectible assets Of course interest and passion are some of the crucial factors affecting the big ticket purchase but aside from that are there more alluring reasons why one should include art into their investment portfolio Art experts share their views on this. Art is a secure asset-based vehicle like real estate gold or other asset-backed financial investments. To invest in art it not only diversifies portfolios but it serves to protect against inflation and currency devaluation and provides returns that are uncorrelated with those in the main financial asset classes said the Chief Executive Officer of Art Plural Gallery Mr Fr d ric de Senarclens. Ng Cai Lin co-founder of Artyii Asia s leading community for emerging paint artists said In my opinion successful art investors are art lovers. To them art is not an investment rather they buy art simply because they love it. They would eventually become investors as they would have gradually developed a keen eye for art and a good network within the industry from years of art collecting. These are the two key qualities of a successful art investor. So for those who appreciate art this alternative investment might provide that splash of colour to your investment portfolio. Singapore has attracted a lot of wealth from Asia in recent years. In response we have witnessed higher frequency of auctions and new art fairs such as Art Stage and Affordable Art Fair. The overall appreciation for art has increased and this is happening against the backdrop of market uncertainty. Therefore investors inevitably turn to art as an alternative asset. Art is a tangible asset like properties which make them popular when worries of inflation and currency devaluation are rife. That said another good example that we can look at is the high profile failure of Lehman Brothers when they filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008 among its assets was one of the most distinguished corporate collections of modern art in the world. The collection was then auctioned off by Sotheby s bringing in a total of US 12.3 million. Among the pieces were early works by many of the leading artists from the late 20th and early 21st centuries including artists such as Damien Hirst Gerhard Richter and Neo Rauch. WHERE TO GO... 1. Art Plural Gallery is a unique space dedicated to Modern Contemporary Art and Design in the heart of Singapore s cultural district. This innovative platform nestled in a four-storey Art Deco heritage building presents solo and group exhibitions installations public art projects conferences and art publications. Currently on show are two solo exhibitions. French artist Bernar Venet s exhibition takes place over three of four floors of the gallery space and runs through the end of November while Iranian artist Shirin Neshat s exhibition takes place on the top floor of the gallery running through 15 December. In 2013 from 25th January the gallery will present the first solo exhibition of French artist Fabienne Verdier in Southeast Asia. 2. is a Singapore based startup. It is a sales and social platform for emerging Asian artists to sell learn and network with the art circle which includes gallery owners art schools independent art groups and curators. The site also provides a dedicated suite of services such as payment logistics framing liaison and escrow for Asian artists. THINGS TO NOTE While the art market is booming it is however important to understand that art investing is not for everyone. Art experts share that prices may not be as transparent it is also considered to be illiquid and public information is limited. 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