Hill House opens for preview, prices start from $1.3mil; Forested areas in Bedok to make way for housing and Reserve Residences
1st November to 7th November 2022
Hill House, a 72-unit condominium project at 11 Institutional Hill in prime District 9, has opened for preview on 5 November with a one-bedroom unit priced from $1.3 million. Meanwhile, about 31ha of forested areas in Bedok are set to be cleared to make way for The Reserve Residences as well as a connecting road within the upcoming Bayshore precinct.
With its convenient location and its proximity to other parts of Singapore, The Reserve Residences estimated price is sure to become an enticing proposition for prospective buyers. Aside from the fact that it is located in the Bukit Timah vicinity, it will also feature many features that are not often seen in the residential sector.
1) Hill House opens for preview, prices start from $1.3mil
Hill House, a 72-unit condominium project at 11 Institutional Hill in prime District 9, has opened for preview on 5 November 2022 with a one-bedroom unit priced from $1.3 million, reported The Business Times.
Over half of the 72 units at the project will comprise one-bedroom or one-plus-one-bedroom apartments, with the latter priced at $1.4 million.
Two-bedroom units will be offered from $1.8 million, while three-bedders will go from $2.1 million.
A joint venture project of Macly Group, Roxy-Pacific Holdings and LWH Holdings, the 999-year leasehold condominium is within walking distance to Somerset MRT station, Orchard Road and Robertson Quay. It is also near various amenities including a 24-hour supermarket, bars and shopping malls.
Related article: 99 Condos Near MRT Stations (North-South Line, NSL): Prices, TOP Dates, and More (2022)
Hill House is set to achieve a temporary occupation permit in Q3 2026.
2) Forested areas in Bedok to make way for housing
About 31ha of forested areas – or the size of around 43 football fields – in Bedok are set to be cleared to make way for housing as well as a connecting road within the upcoming Bayshore precinct, reported CNA.
To commence next year in three phases, site clearance works are expected to be completed by 2029.
An environmental impact assessment report by DHI Water and Environment consultancy noted that construction works for the housing developments will also progressively commence and take between four to six years.
Plans for the Bayshore precinct include a mix of private and public homes, which will be served by two future MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line – Bedok South and Bayshore.
Members of the public can view the environmental impact assessment report on HDB’s website and have until 29 November 2022 to submit their feedback.
3) Prioritise green spaces in urban planning, says nature experts
Nature experts have called on the authorities to prioritise green spaces when planning future urban developments, instead of leaving them as an afterthought, reported CNA.
This comes after the government unveiled plans to clear around 31ha of forested area near East Coast Park in 2023 to make way for private and public housing as well as two future MRT stations.
Related article: SG Green Plan: How Living in HDB Flats Will Look Like in 2030
Shawn Lum, President of the Nature Society (Singapore), noted that the forest areas to be cleared had been intended for development since they were reclaimed in 2003. However, he believes the authorities can better manage green spaces in the future, particularly in the country’s eastern part where greenery is scarce.
“I think the provision of green spaces, rather than being an afterthought, could actually be actively planned and routed through this development,” said Dr Lum.
“So it’s not just greening the pockets that are in between buildings, but actually strategically placing greenery to allow movement,” he added.
4) URA launches Lentor Gardens, Lentor Central sites
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched two residential sites at Lentor Gardens and Lentor Central for sale under the second half 2022 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme.
With an area of 21,866.7 sq m, the Lentor Gardens site – which is on the Confirmed List – has a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 45,921 sq m and is expected to yield about 530 housing units.
The 14,703.2 sq m site at Lentor Central, on the other hand, is under the Reserve List. It has a maximum GFA of 41,169 sq m and is expected to yield about 475 housing units.
Interest for the land parcels is expected to be lukewarm, with the Lentor Gardens site anticipated to see not more than five bidders and a top bid of $1,050 to $1,150 psf ppr, said Huttons Asia’s Senior Director of Research Lee Sze Teck.
He does not expect the Reserve site at Lentor Central to be triggered for sale.
“Developers may be mindful that six new developments will be launched in this area, including Lentor Gardens and Lentor Central (reserve list),” said OrangeTee.
The tender for the Lentor Gardens site closes on 4 April 2023.
5) HDB incurs record deficit of $4.4bil in FY2021
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) registered a net deficit of $4.4 billion during the financial year 2021, up 86% from the $2.3 billion posted in FY2020.
HDB noted that it is the “highest ever deficit recorded since the inception of public housing in Singapore”.
Of this, $3.85 billion was incurred for the Home Ownership segment, which included the expected loss for flats currently under development, gross loss on the sale of flats and disbursement of Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants.
“HDB’s substantial deficit under its Home Ownership Programme shows in real terms, our commitment to ensuring that public housing remains affordable, accessible, and inclusive,” said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.
“That is why we continue to build and sell new HDB flats at prices below the market, increasing our market subsidies over this period to keep Build-To-Order (BTO) prices relatively stable, and also provide housing grants to eligible buyers of both new and resale flats,” he added.
6) Implications of US Fed’s latest signals on rate hikes for Singapore
In a bid to quell inflation, the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) has raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points taking its benchmark rate to a range of 3.75% to 4%, its highest since 2008.
Although US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signalled a future slowdown in rate hikes, he underscored that he was prepared to raise rates as high as needed.
“We still have some ways to go. Incoming data from our last meeting suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected,” he said.
With this, economists told TODAY that Singapore households will have to face higher mortgage payments or car loans, while businesses will have to deal with higher borrowing costs.
Related article: Rising Interest Rates: More Singaporeans Comparing Home Loans and Delaying Property Purchases
Irvin Seah, Senior Economist at DBS Bank, said Singaporeans need to understand that higher interest rates are here to stay and may even go up in the coming months.
“They need to be more prudent on the financing of big-ticket items, such as property and cars,” he said.
7) September 2022 cooling measures affect larger HDB flats
The latest cooling measures unveiled by the Government in September have taken a toll on the HDB resale market, with transaction volumes dropping 24.1% month-on-month while price growth declined by over half, reported Singapore Business Review.
Huttons noted that the curbs were harsher towards bigger flats.
In fact, prices of executive flats fell 1% in October – its first decline since July last year, while price growth for five-room flats held firm.
“As anticipated, the biggest flat types experienced the most significant impact,” said OrangeTee, noting that demand for larger flats may also witness a temporary pullback.
Huttons noted that the pullback can divert demand to four-room and smaller flats.
OrangeTee also expects demand for smaller flats to increase, particularly within mature estates. This comes as the wait-out period does not apply to private homeowners aged 55 and above, who are acquiring smaller flats.
Consequently, we may see the prices for 4-room resale flats increase. On the possibility of seeing more 4-room million-dollar resale flats being transacted, Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru says that this is likely to happen only in mature estates close to the city centre.
“These areas are mature estates that have distinct and strong location attributes not always found in other precincts. Demand may remain resilient for these sought-after areas, despite the recent round of cooling measures.”
“Prices for 4-room flats in non-mature estates or areas further from the city centre may stagnate or see modest price growths. Given that the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) of 30% now takes into consideration an adjusted 3% floor interest rate, buyers are less likely to stretch their purse strings.”
8) A look at how HDB resale prices increased in the current property boom
Median prices of HDB resale flats have increased the most in heartland areas in the last two and a half years, with some non-mature estates registering over 40% hike since Q1 2020, reported CNA.
Median resale prices of five-room flats, for instance, jumped 40% across the country, showed HDB data.
Choa Chu Kang posted the largest increase, from $420,000 to $588,000. Woodlands also registered a 38.3% hike, with median resale prices growing from $408,000 to $566,000.
Analysts pointed to hybrid working arrangements due to the pandemic as the main reason why people were willing to spend more on bigger flats in non-mature towns.
“The pandemic made people realise the need for more space as the home becomes an office, a school and a place to rest. Hence there was a shift in demand for five-room and larger flats,” said Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia’s Senior Director of Research.
Meanwhile, Kallang/Whampoa recorded the highest jump in median resale prices for four-room flats at 55.7%.
For three-room flats, median resale prices increased most significantly within mature estates. Notably, Geylang posted the biggest hike at 42.2%
9) Row of HDB shophouses at Toa Payoh on sale for $15.9mil
A row of six HDB shophouses along Toa Payoh has been put up for sale via expression of interest (EOI) carrying a guide price of $15.9 million, reported The Business Times.
The shophouses have an estimated gross built-in area of 8,501 sq ft. This means the guide price works out to $1,865 per sq ft (psf), said marketing agent Shophouse Collective, which is a division under PropNex Realty.
Of the six shophouses, four are adjoining units and each unit has a ground floor area of 743 sq ft. A fifth adjoining corner unit has an additional ground floor area of 1,506 sq ft.
“(This) enhances the space planning in conjunction with the other four adjoining units,” noted Shophouse Collective.
“Therefore, it is possible for a single buyer to subsequently combine the four adjoining shops and the corner adjacent unit into one larger retail shop or supermarket, subject to relevant authorities’ approval.”
Currently, all of the units on the ground floor as well as the living quarters are fully tenanted.
The EOI exercise for the shophouses closes on 2 December 2022.
10) CapitaLand Ascott Trust launches IFC’s first sustainability-linked bond in the hospitality sector
CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) has teamed up with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to launch the latter’s first sustainability-linked bond within the hospitality sector globally.
The World Bank Group’s private investment unit, IFC is the sole subscriber for the 16.5 billion yen ($157.4 million) sustainability-linked bond.
The bond is issued as part of the $2 billion Multicurrency Debt Issuance Programme of CLAS. To be paid semi-annually in arrears, the seven-year bond comes with a fixed coupon rate of 1.05% per annum and will mature in November 2029.
“Proceeds from the bond will be used to refinance CLAS’ existing borrowings and to further decarbonise three of CLAS’ serviced residences in Southeast Asia, namely Ascott Jakarta in Indonesia as well as Ascott Makati and Somerset Millennium Makati in the Philippines,” said CLAS in an SGX filing.
“The three serviced residences are expected to achieve a 40.5% reduction in electricity consumption by 31 December 2028. The projects must also obtain IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification within the same timeframe,” it added.