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Issue 363

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CONTENTS FROM THE

p2 Singapore Property Game – The Winner


EDITOR
Welcome to the 363th edition of the
Singapore Property Weekly.
Takes It All
Hope you like it!
p10 Resale Property Transactions
Mr. Propwise
(June 15 – June 22)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Singapore Property Game – The Winner Takes It All

By Property Soul (guest contributor)

I used to see property investment as a means


to achieve financial freedom. That was also
the drive to build my first property portfolio in
the 2000s. Sixteen years later, my knowledge
of the subject has increased more than
tenfold. Now I finally understand that property
investment is nothing more than a game.

Property: a popular Singapore game

Many Singaporeans are big fans of the


property game. We can’t wait to play it.

But how well do we know the rules of the


game?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Are we aware of the unwritten rules? shocking price of $1,310 psf compared with
the average transacted prices of nearby
Do we know whether winning is determined
projects – The Tropica at $807 psf, Arc at
by chance, skills, strategy or position in the
Tampines at $856 psf and Waterview at $946
game?
psf.
How many of us are sophisticated players
The 21,717.7 square metre URA site at
who can see the full picture, visualize the
Tampines Avenue 10 was awarded last May
possible scenarios, and anticipate the moves
to Bellevue Properties, a wholly-owned
of other players?
subsidiary of City Developments Limited
Can we stay calm when surrounded by (CDL), at a top bid of S$370.1 million. With a
noises of speculators who constantly stir our plot ratio of 2.8, it translates to be $565.42
emotions, make us restless, create doubts psf. Assuming $350 psf construction cost and
and cause confusion? $274.63 psf ($350+$565.42 x 30%) for other
Developers are the new property flippers expenses, the total cost of the project works
out to be $1,190 psf ($565.42 + $350 +
Over the launch weekend, 315 of the 861 $276.63). With a launch price of $1,310 psf,
units at The Tapestry were snapped up by CDL is making a profit margin of above 10
buyers. percent.
The units are not cheap. They come with a

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

This is a far cry from the average profit psf and has to be sold at a minimum price of
margin of 35.7 per in 2009, or 22 to 25 $1,333.8 psf to make a reasonable profit.
percent between 2010 and 2012. Koh Wee
Mind you, the “reasonable profit” is
Meng of Fragrance Group lamented that “the
achievable based on the condition that Sim
Singapore property market has not offered
Lian can clear all units in five years after
good value for developers” and “developers
obtaining planning approval. Failing to do so
here are chasing after land (and) hoping for
means paying Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty
future price (appreciation)”.
(ABSD) for all the unsold units. On top of that,
No wonder some bigger players are missing any remaining unit after two years’ of
in action when the rest (China developers, obtaining TOP are subjected to extension
boutique developers, etc.) are riding on the charges.
en bloc bandwagon.
For the last 12 months, bidding and
Barely 4 km away, Tampines Court was sold acquisition prices have gone higher and
collectively to Sim Lian Group at $970 million higher. Developers have to mark up and
last August. A premium of $359 million on top resell new projects at even higher prices. But
of the sale price was paid to the government how high can it go?
to maximize the plot ratio to 2.8 and to top up
There is a long queue of projects waiting to
the leftover of 69 years to 99 years. The
be launched.
702,164 sq ft site costs the developer $676

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Just in the east area, the newly “en- bloced” And the overall big winner is …
sites include Eunosville, Amber Park and
Isn’t that obvious?
Eunos Mansion in the queue. There is no lack
of newly-TOPed projects and new projects Besides property taxes, government revenue
with unsold units in the same area too. from properties mainly comes from two main
streams: land sales and stamp duty.
It’s a matter of time before buyers realize the
oversupply and shun the sky-high prices. 1. Land Sales

To win the game, developers are competing Last year, developers spent close to $16
with time to “launch first” and “change hands billion on government land tenders ($7.65
fast”: Projects that launch first can tap the billion) and collective sales or private land
pent-up demand from eager buyers. Units deals ($8.2 billion). Another $5.56 billion was
sold now will minimize the ABSD to be paid spent the same ways as of mid-March this
after five years. Whoever can quickly flip the year.
uncompleted units from Government Land Besides GLS, developers are paying the
Sales (GLS) or collective sales to buyers can government top-up premiums on tenure and
win the game of musical chairs. plot ratio, development charges (DC), Buyer’s
Stamp Duty (BSD), ABSD and QC extension
charges.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

DC rates for non-landed residential use were proportion of our revenues”.


raised 22.8 percent on 1st March, barely six
months after the increase of 13.8 percent last
September.

That’s why when owners of Mandarin


Gardens set a price tag of $2.48 billion for a
possible en bloc sale, the developer acquiring
the one million square feet site can potentially
be paying a whopping $3 to 4 billion to the
government.
To ensure that “those who can afford a
2. Stamp Duty higher-value residential property pay more
In Singapore budget 2018, our Finance taxes on their purchase”, the top marginal
Minister mentioned an additional revenue of BSD rate was raised from 3 to 4 percent for
$2 billion from stamp duty collections in residential properties with a value above $1
FY2017. IRAS collected an average of about million.
$8 billion in recent years from property tax
and stamp duty which is “a significant

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

And don’t think that you can do anything to competition of what we possess, while our
get away with it. In 2015, stamp duty on pool of customers (tenants or buyers) are not
share transfer has jumped to $93 million. growing.
Between 2013 and 2016, IRAS recovered
To buy any investment property in this
about $21 million in taxes and penalties from
market, we are already facing Loan-to-Value
437 stamp duty audits. Nine percent of the
and TDSR restrictions. With 4 percent BSD, 7
cases involved non-compliance of ABSD.
to 15 percent ABSD, and 4 to 12 percent
Investors and landlords are losers in every Seller Stamp Duty (SSD), it is almost
way impossible to come up with any ROI number
that makes sense without using a faulty
As investors, we all want the markets that we
calculator or setting a wrong formula in Excel.
invest in to be lucrative and the assets we
own to be in demand. To investors and landlords, property is an
investment measured by yield (annual rental
The fastest way to devalue a currency is to
income over property value). With interest
keep printing money in that currency.
rates and the cost of borrowing going up,
Similarly, the quickest way to depreciate an
either rental rates have to go up or property
asset is to oversupply it to the market.
prices have to go down in order to enjoy the
What investors and landlords are facing now same yield. When can we expect to see it
are uncontrolled supply and increased happen in this market?

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Even if we are prepared to “subsidize” Singapore residential property market –


tenants to stay in our properties, or buy a namely the developers, builders, property
home for our own stay, how can we rule out agents, mortgage banks, loan consultants,
the possibility of our new neighbours going for conveyancing lawyers, stock brokers, industry
collective sales? If we buy now, who can analysts, property portals and Inland
guarantee we will not lose our home Revenue. And yet we can only play a
immediately after buying it? Not to mention supporting role passively behind the scene.
being forced to pay SSD after paying all the
We homebuyers are no different from acting
BSD, ABSD and legal fees.
enthusiasts.
How fair is the property game?
When the market is good, we are dispensable
It is sad but true that we (the property buyers) walk-ons in movies, voluntarily taking up non-
are actually the ones footing the bill of every speaking roles that fill up the crowd scenes
single payment in the property buying game – (except we are the ones who have to pay
down payment, agent commission, stamp rather than be paid).
duties, property tax, housing mortgage, legal
When the market is bad, stakeholders in the
fee, home renovation, etc.
movie industry who have made their money
We use our hard-earned money to directly or will leave. But we are left high and dry paying
indirectly support all the stakeholders in the the debts of our depreciating liabilities.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

A game is fun when everyone can take turns Thinking I’d be strong there
to play; when all the players have equal But I was a fool
chances of winning; when it is a fair battle for Playing by the rules
all the opponents.
The gods may throw the dice
If this is not the case, is the game still fun to Their minds as cold as ice
play? Or is it only fun to play for the obvious And someone way down here
winner? Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
It is a game, after all. Whether you choose to
The loser has to fall
play or not, it is up to you.
It’s simple and it’s plain
Let me end this post with lyrics from ABBA’s Why should I complain?
“The Winner Takes It All”:
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
I was in your arms successful property investor, blogger, and
Thinking I belonged there author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
I figured it made sense Investment.
Building me a fence
Building me a home

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jun 15 – Jun 22

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1 THE SAIL @ MARINA BAY 1,313 2,350,000 1,790 99 9 ORCHARD SCOTTS 936 1,655,000 1,767 99
1 ONE SHENTON 829 1,440,000 1,737 99 9 UE SQUARE 1,528 2,360,000 1,544 929
2 CRAIG PLACE 657 1,220,000 1,858 99 9 CAVENAGH COURT 1,819 2,750,000 1,512 FH
3 THE CREST 1,518 2,931,000 1,931 99 9 THE WHARF RESIDENCE 4,445 6,550,000 1,473 999
3 THE METROPOLITAN CONDOMINIUM 1,399 1,750,000 1,251 99 10 CLUNY PARK RESIDENCE 1,959 5,280,000 2,695 FH
5 WHITEHAVEN 947 1,400,000 1,478 FH 10 CLUNY PARK RESIDENCE 1,249 2,880,000 2,307 FH
5 THE ROCHESTER 1,216 1,620,000 1,332 99 10 ONE DUCHESS 883 2,025,000 2,294 999
5 HUNDRED TREES 1,475 1,850,000 1,255 956 10 BALMORAL HILLS 1,841 4,000,000 2,173 FH
5 HERITAGE VIEW 1,195 1,500,000 1,255 99 10 LATITUDE 1,324 2,870,000 2,168 FH
5 THE TRILINQ 2,648 3,238,000 1,223 99 10 THE OLIV 3,337 7,000,000 2,098 FH
5 BOTANNIA 1,270 1,550,000 1,220 956 10 THE CORNWALL 614 1,150,000 1,874 FH
5 BOTANNIA 1,270 1,480,000 1,165 956 10 LOFT @ NATHAN 388 715,000 1,845 FH
5 VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,615 1,750,000 1,084 99 10 ASTRID MEADOWS 1,023 1,828,000 1,788 FH
5 BLUE HORIZON 1,152 1,215,000 1,055 99 10 JERVOIS LODGE 1,238 2,050,000 1,656 FH
5 VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM 2,024 1,980,000 978 99 10 THE TWINS 2,260 3,700,000 1,637 FH
8 8 FARRER SUITES 624 1,232,900 1,975 FH 10 DORMER PARK 1,658 2,600,000 1,568 FH
8 CITY SQUARE RESIDENCES 570 940,000 1,648 FH 10 THE SIXTH AVENUE RESIDENCES 1,313 1,830,000 1,394 FH
8 KERRISDALE 1,259 1,450,000 1,151 99 10 ONE TREE HILL MANSIONS 1,625 1,750,000 1,077 99
9 THE PEAK @ CAIRNHILL II 904 2,347,000 2,596 FH 11 NEWTON SUITES 1,238 2,600,000 2,100 FH
9 MARTIN NO 38 969 2,410,000 2,488 FH 11 LINCOLN SUITES 1,561 2,980,000 1,909 FH
9 MARTIN NO 38 1,335 3,300,000 2,472 FH 11 NOVENA SUITES 797 1,440,000 1,808 FH
9 PATERSON RESIDENCE 1,496 3,400,000 2,272 FH 11 SOLEIL @ SINARAN 1,722 3,022,188 1,755 99
9 THE INSPIRA 1,206 2,420,000 2,007 FH 11 SOLEIL @ SINARAN 958 1,628,888 1,700 99
9 THE LIGHT @ CAIRNHILL 2,443 4,380,000 1,793 FH 11 CUBE 8 1,905 3,028,800 1,590 FH

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
11 STRATA 1,066 1,680,000 1,577 FH 15 ONE EIGHTIES RESIDENCES 1,281 1,838,000 1,435 FH
11 AMARYLLIS VILLE 1,690 2,650,000 1,568 99 15 VERSILIA ON HAIG 1,442 1,950,000 1,352 FH
11 NINETEEN SHELFORD ROAD 732 1,100,000 1,503 FH 15 EASTBAY 958 1,260,000 1,315 FH
11 ROCHELLE AT NEWTON 1,905 2,855,000 1,499 99 15 WHITESCAPE 743 975,000 1,313 FH
11 THOMSON 800 1,399 1,970,000 1,408 FH 15 SANCTUARY GREEN 1,572 2,050,000 1,304 99
12 PRESTIGE HEIGHTS 334 565,000 1,693 FH 15 COTE D'AZUR 1,539 1,950,000 1,267 99
12 RIVERBAY 388 645,000 1,664 999 15 THE GERANIUM 990 1,148,000 1,159 FH
12 RIVERBAY 388 582,000 1,502 999 15 RICCHEZZA 883 1,000,000 1,133 FH
12 TRELLIS TOWERS 1,141 1,650,000 1,446 FH 15 THE LUCENT 2,551 2,680,000 1,051 FH
12 RIVERBAY 657 930,000 1,416 999 15 MERLOT VILLE 1,238 1,250,000 1,010 FH
12 DE ROYALE 1,259 1,738,000 1,380 FH 15 CASA AROMA 1,345 1,350,000 1,003 FH
12 ONE ST MICHAEL'S 1,249 1,680,000 1,345 FH 15 SIGNATURE RESIDENCE 2,314 2,205,000 953 FH
12 BEACON HEIGHTS 893 1,180,000 1,321 999 15 D-MANSIONS 1,572 1,488,000 947 FH
12 BEACON HEIGHTS 926 1,100,000 1,188 999 16 COSTA DEL SOL 947 1,368,000 1,444 99
12 CITY REGENCY 990 1,130,000 1,141 FH 16 ECO 1,141 1,600,000 1,402 99
12 GLOBAL VILLE 1,184 1,244,000 1,051 FH 16 ARCHIPELAGO 527 690,000 1,308 99
13 PARC MONDRIAN 1,399 1,750,000 1,251 FH 16 CASA MERAH 958 1,200,000 1,253 99
14 AVANT RESIDENCES 527 832,900 1,579 99 16 WATERFRONT WAVES 1,324 1,500,000 1,133 99
14 EUHABITAT 527 673,000 1,276 99 16 THE CLEARWATER 2,433 1,870,000 769 99
14 EUHABITAT 1,141 1,300,000 1,139 99 17 FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,066 950,000 891 FH
14 CENTRA RESIDENCE 1,109 1,158,000 1,044 FH 17 JLB RESIDENCES 1,615 1,438,000 891 946
14 CENTRAL GROVE 1,173 1,170,000 997 99 17 PARC OLYMPIA 1,163 1,030,000 886 99
14 THE VINES 1,981 1,650,000 833 FH 17 EDELWEISS PARK CONDOMINIUM 915 800,000 874 FH
15 ONE AMBER 1,701 3,135,000 1,843 FH 18 SEA ESTA 1,119 1,300,000 1,161 99
15 THE SEAWIND 646 1,119,000 1,733 FH 18 SEASTRAND 710 690,000 971 99
15 THE SEAWIND 635 1,088,319 1,714 FH 18 SEA ESTA 904 870,000 962 99
15 THE ARISTO @ AMBER 1,636 2,360,000 1,442 FH 18 NV RESIDENCES 1,270 1,210,000 953 99

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 363

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
18 LIVIA 1,259 1,050,000 834 99 23 HAZEL PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,324 1,510,000 1,141 999
18 LIVIA 1,152 850,000 738 99 23 HAZEL PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,335 1,500,000 1,124 999
19 KOVAN REGENCY 1,055 1,490,000 1,412 99 23 TREE HOUSE 797 855,000 1,073 99
19 KOVAN REGENCY 1,130 1,550,000 1,371 99 23 HILLVIEW RESIDENCE 1,249 1,300,000 1,041 999
19 PRIMO RESIDENCES 495 600,000 1,212 FH 23 TREE HOUSE 1,410 1,460,000 1,035 99
19 SANCTUARY @ 813 1,023 1,038,000 1,015 FH 23 PARKVIEW APARTMENTS 926 710,000 767 99
19 THE MINTON 980 978,000 998 99 25 CASABLANCA 1,119 810,000 724 99
19 PARC VERA 872 861,000 988 99 26 CASTLE GREEN 947 800,000 845 99
19 KOVAN MELODY 1,055 1,028,000 975 99 26 FOREST HILLS CONDOMINIUM 1,163 860,000 740 99
19 JANSEN 28 1,679 1,480,000 881 999 27 THE MILTONIA RESIDENCES 840 775,000 923 99
19 GRAND REGALIA 2,314 1,800,000 778 FH 27 ORCHID PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,615 1,158,000 717 99
19 EVERGREEN PARK 1,173 790,000 673 99 28 N.A. 1,604 2,060,000 1,281 999
20 THOMSON THREE 732 1,135,000 1,551 99 28 GRANDE VISTA 1,636 1,750,000 1,070 999
20 THE GARDENS AT BISHAN 883 980,000 1,110 99 28 SELETAR SPRINGS CONDOMINIUM 2,067 1,540,000 745 99
21 PARC PALAIS 1,270 1,680,000 1,323 FH
21 SPRINGDALE CONDOMINIUM 926 1,100,000 1,188 999
21 THE RAINTREE 1,313 1,500,000 1,142 99 NOTE: This data only covers non-landed residential resale property
21 REGIS MANSIONS 1,206 1,260,000 1,045 FH transactions with caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority.
21 TOH TUCK LODGE 2,486 1,970,000 792 FH Typically, caveats are lodged at least 2-3 weeks after a purchaser
22 THE LAKEFRONT RESIDENCES 721 1,100,000 1,525 99 signs an OTP, hence the lagged nature of the data.
22 THE LAKEFRONT RESIDENCES 592 800,000 1,351 99
22 THE LAKESHORE 1,173 1,288,000 1,098 99
22 THE LAKESHORE 1,141 1,225,000 1,074 99
22 THE LAKESHORE 1,141 1,220,000 1,069 99
23 THE TENNERY 614 730,000 1,190 99
23 TREE HOUSE 1,012 1,188,000 1,174 99
23 THE TENNERY 614 720,000 1,174 99

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