Issue 165

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CONTENTS
p2 Should You Invest in Iskandar Malaysia?
p7 Singapore Property News This Week
p11 Resale Property Transactions
(July 2 – July 8 )
Welcome to the 165
th
edition of the
Singapore Property Weekly.
Hope you like it!
Mr. Propwise
FROM THE
EDITOR
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
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By David Chong (guest contributor)
Should you invest in Iskandar Malaysia?
Some say it’s the next big thing, some say it’s
going to be the next big white elephant.
Singapore’s elder statesman, and former
Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew famously
cautioned Singaporeans: ―Let’s wait and see
how Iskandar develops. This is an economic
field of cooperation in which, you must
remember, we are putting investments on
Malaysian soil. And at the stroke of a pen,
they can take it over.‖
Should You Invest in Iskandar Malaysia?
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
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White elephant or not, Iskandar Malaysia is
dependent on 3 critical success factors I call
INC:
I – International Buy-In
N – New Metropolis
C – Connectivity
INTERNATIONAL BUY-IN
Iskandar Malaysia, also commonly referred to
as Iskandar Johor, needs foreign investments
and the participation of the international
community. Without foreign participation,
Iskandar Johor will merely be, well, Johor. For
the longest time, properties in Johor have
been lagging behind places such as Kuala
Lumpur and Penang. For many Malaysians
including myself, Johor (Bahru) is more of a
stopover city before reaching Singapore.
All this started to change in 2012 with the
completion of major catalytic projects such as
Legoland Malaysia, Mall of Medini,
Marlborough College Malaysia, and the
coastal highway. The international community
began to see the commitment of the
government in carrying through various
catalytic projects and infrastructure
development.
Lured by incentives and the lower cost of
doing business, investments poured in from
Singapore, Spain, USA, Japan, and many
other countries. The bulk of these
investments are in manufacturing and
residential properties. Every now and then,
we hear of new investments pouring in, and
new projects being launched. This has
increased the demand for properties in the
Iskandar region.
While foreign investors are attracted by the
various incentives in Iskandar, this alone is
insufficient.
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To sustain the investment flow, apart from
incentives and the lower cost of doing
business, companies need a sufficient pool of
talent in Iskandar Malaysia.
How do you attract a sufficient pool of talent?
NEWMETROPOLIS
In order to attract skilled talent, Iskandar
Malaysia needs to be a metropolis of
international standards. You do not want a
scenario where there are impressive buildings
all around but with no one living or working in
it. Iskandar Malaysia needs to be sustainable
and liveable.
Johor is traditionally a place with high crime
rates – the issues of crime and safety needs
to be tackled. Residents need to feel safe
walking the streets of Iskandar. Iskandar
needs to create not only jobs, but a diversity
of job opportunities with competitive salaries.
Modern amenities need to be abundant to
cater to the diverse lifestyle of its residents.
What attracts young urban professionals and
retirees can be very different.
Iskandar Malaysia also needs to have its own
unique flavour in attracting migrants.
Malaysians in general are friendly and
hospitable. This can be a unique advantage
in itself (hint: Some cities are known to be
rude and unfriendly). Island resorts and
beautiful beaches along the Desaru Coast
can be another unique advantage.
One clear advantage that Iskandar Malaysia
has over other cities is its close proximity to
the economic powerhouse – Singapore.
CONNECTIVITY
In 2020, there will be a High Speed Rail
(HSR) connecting Kuala Lumpur to Singapore
with an estimated travelling time of
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
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90 minutes. It will stop at Iskandar Malaysia
before reaching Singapore. A Rapid Transit
System (RTS) will also connect Iskandar
Malaysia to Singapore’s Thomson Line MRT
by 2019. Now imagine living in Iskandar and
working in Singapore by taking the RTS-MRT
(bypassing the busy traffic at Woodlands
Causeway or Second Link Expressway) and
arriving at work in 30 minutes. Or imagine
working in your Singapore office in the
morning, visiting your factory in Iskandar in
the afternoon, having your evening meeting in
Kuala Lumpur… and be back in Singapore on
the same day. All this is possible with
improved connectivity.
Once the HSR and RTS-MRT is completed,
Iskandar Malaysia will be a convenient place
to stay or work. The success of Iskandar
Malaysia is very much dependent on these
two projects proceeding as planned. Kuala
Lumpur-Iskandar Malaysia-Singapore has the
potential to be a mega region once the
connectivity is in place.
CONCLUSION
Lee Kuan Yew’s full quote is ―And at the
stroke of a pen, they can take it over. They
are not likely to because they want more
investments―. Investments in Iskandar
Malaysia have reached a total cumulative
committed investment of RM131.64 billion in
2013 with 64% contributed by domestic
investors. It has reached a point where there
is too much at stake for Iskandar Malaysia to
fail. There is such a thing as ―too big to fail.‖
Fuelled by the domestic and foreign private
sector, Iskandar Malaysia has created a
momentum of its own.
Remember Iskandar Malaysia ―INC‖ – the
three critical success factors when making
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your investment decision. If you feel that
Iskandar Malaysia is able to transform itself in
these 3 major areas, then this represents a
window of opportunity for Iskandar properties.
Once Iskandar Malaysia has reached its
maturity, you might have already missed the
boat. Then you might be lamenting, ―Why are
properties in Iskandar Malaysia suddenly so
expensive?‖
David Chong is a Property Infopreneur and
founder of InsideIskandar.my, an online
magazine which helps property investors
understand Iskandar Malaysia.
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
Singapore Property This Week
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Residential
Resale condo transactions on the rise but
prices still dipping
Data from Singapore Real Estate Exchange
(SRX) revealed that while there was a 7.9 per
cent increase in resale volumes for private
condominium units in the June from May,
resale prices have fallen by 1.4 per cent
month-on-month, across all regions. Condo
resale prices in June this year are the lowest
since December 2012. The total number of
resale transactions made this June is also
23.8 per cent lower than in June 2013. Ong
Kah Seng from R’ST Research believes that
property owners are adjusting their prices to
fit buyers’ demand. Furthermore, he believes
that sales have been affected by the June
holidays and the World Cup season. Data
from SRX showed that condo units in the
Rest of Central Region (RCR) suffered a 3.2
per cent fall in prices—the largest decline
among all regions. Also, condo units in the
Core Central Region (CCR) saw a 1.7 per
cent dip in prices, while those in the Outside
Central Region (OCR) only suffered from a
0.3 per cent price fall. Eugene Lim from ERA
Realty said that loan restrictions, increase in
developer stock, and a weak rental market
could have affected the resale market in the
CCR region.
(Source: Business Times)
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Experts expect weak demand for condos
in H2
Although developers have lowered condo
prices, market experts still expect condo
demand to remain low. Data from URA
showed that developer’s sale of private
condos have fallen by 68 per cent to 482
units in June from May. Mohd Ismail from
PropNex predicts that 600 to 800 condo units
will be sold per month in the second half of
2014. Similarly, Chia Siew Chuin from Colliers
International also expects the market for
condos to shrink as buyers are less willing to
commit. Nonetheless, developers’ price cuts
in the previous months have captivated the
interest of some price conscious buyers. At
the re-launch of The Panorama at Ang Mo Kio
in May 2014, Wheelock Properties have cut
prices by 10 per cent to push sales. 100 units
were sold at the discounted median price of
$1,241 psf, proving that discounts may attract
price-sensitive buyers. However, sales have
cooled for other projects such as Kallang
Riverside and Waterfront @ Faber. Ong Teck
Hui from JLL said that the overall weak
demand for condos was due to the Total Debt
Servicing Ratio. Furthermore, Nicholas Mak
from SLP International expects the total
number of private homes sold by developers
in 2014 to be less than 11,000 units if
demand remains weak.
(Source: Business Times)
Spring Grove selling for $1.39b
In an en bloc sale, Spring Grove
condominium which is located at Grange
Road is asking for $1.39 billion or $2,512 per
square foot per plot ratio. The condominium
which is marketed by Knight Frank has a
maximum gross floor area of 553,377 square
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
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feet. Located within the Core Central Region
(CCR), Spring Grove currently has three
blocks of 20-storey apartments with 325 units.
Its tender will close on September 10, 2014.
Besides the large land space and its prime
location, analysts believe that Spring Grove’s
own unit owners, who may have demanded
for higher compensation, may have pushed
its selling price up. Due to the hefty price tag,
market analysts are not optimistic about the
sale. Not only so, previous billion-dollar sales
that are similar in nature have failed to attract
committed buyers. Nonetheless, if it is
successfully sold, Spring Grove will triumph
Farrer Court’s $1.34 billion en bloc sale in
2007. Nicholas Mak from SLP International
said due to the hefty land cost, developers
may have to partner up in a joint venture to
purchase Spring Grove so as to spread risks.
(Source: Business Times)
Commercial
Real estate investments fell 11 per cent in
Q2
According to a report by DTZ, the overall real
estate investments in Q2 have fallen by 11
per cent from the previous quarter to $4.4
billion. Non-residential investments such as
investments in office units have also fallen by
6 per cent to $2.9 billion. However, market
experts believe that non-residential deals will
continue to push investment activities for the
rest of the year. While the total non-residential
transactions made in Q2 have driven real
estate investment volumes in H2 of 2014 to
$9.4 billion, it is still 17 per cent lower year-
on-year, compared to 2013. According to a
report by Colliers, the fall in residential
investment sales could be due to weak
investor interest in en bloc sales
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and strata-titled properties. However, interest
in commercial properties is expected to
increase as the office rental market recovers
from its slump.
(Source: Business Times)
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
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Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jul 2 – Jul 8
Postal
District
Project Name
Area
(sqft)
Transacted
Price ($)
Price
($ psf)
Tenure
1 THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY 861 1,500,000 1,742 99
5 HERITAGE VIEW 1,313 1,500,000 1,142 99
8 CITYLIGHTS 678 1,175,000 1,733 99
9 VISIONCREST 926 1,730,000 1,869 FH
10 THE MONTANA 893 1,600,000 1,791 FH
10 ONE JERVOIS 1,701 2,820,000 1,658 FH
10 GALLOP GABLES 1,528 2,430,000 1,590 FH
10 ALLSWORTH PARK 1,959 2,900,000 1,480 999
11 NOVENA LODGE 732 1,120,000 1,530 FH
11 HILLCREST ARCADIA 1,970 2,230,000 1,132 99
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 2,608,000 1,850 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 2,450,000 1,737 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 990 1,680,000 1,696 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,109 1,838,000 1,658 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 2,256,000 1,600 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,109 1,552,200 1,400 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,091 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,104 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,034 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,091 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,119 1,455,298 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,104 1,300 FH
Postal
District
Project Name
Area
(sqft)
Transacted
Price ($)
Price
($ psf)
Tenure
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,034 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,091 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,119 1,455,298 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,119 1,455,298 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,109 1,441,284 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 990 1,287,364 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,119 1,455,298 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 990 1,287,377 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,109 1,441,284 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 990 1,287,364 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,119 1,455,280 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,109 1,441,284 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,034 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,104 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,034 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,104 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,410 1,833,092 1,300 FH
12 BALESTIER TOWERS 1,496 1,945,060 1,300 FH
15 THE ESTA 1,399 1,980,000 1,415 FH
15 HAWAII TOWER 2,239 2,600,000 1,161 FH
SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 165
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NOTE: This data only covers non-landed residential resale property
transactions with caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority.
Typically, caveats are lodged at least 2-3 weeks after a purchaser
signs an OTP, hence the lagged nature of the data.
Postal
District
Project Name
Area
(sqft)
Transacted
Price ($)
Price
($ psf)
Tenure
15 ROYALE MANSIONS 1,216 1,250,000 1,028 FH
15 SUITES @ EASTCOAST 1,787 1,700,000 951 FH
16 CASA MERAH 1,238 1,400,000 1,131 99
17 THE GALE 1,356 1,450,000 1,069 FH
18 MELVILLE PARK 1,044 826,000 791 99
19 KENSINGTON PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,658 1,828,000 1,103 999
20 THE WINDSOR 1,873 2,080,000 1,111 FH
21 THE CASCADIA 1,184 2,036,480 1,720 FH
21 THE STERLING 1,507 2,380,000 1,579 FH
21 SPRINGDALE CONDOMINIUM 1,119 1,090,000 974 999
22 THE LAKESHORE 1,270 1,260,000 992 99
22 PARC OASIS 1,227 1,060,000 864 99
23 HILLVIEW REGENCY 1,109 1,000,000 902 99
23 HILLVIEW REGENCY 1,130 948,000 839 99
26 FOREST HILLS CONDOMINIUM 1,163 950,000 817 99
27 ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM 958 753,000 786 99

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