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Capitaland Commercial Trust DPU up 6.1% in 4Q2017

capitacommercial reit

Capitaland Commercial Trust’s distribution per unit was up 6.1% for 4Q2017 to 2.08 SG cents from 1.96 SG cents.

In 2017 on a full year basis, distribution per unit was up 5.0% to 8.66 SG cents compared to 8.25 SG cents in 2016.

The increase in distribution per unit is despite a fall of 3.8% and 4.0% in gross revenue and net property income respectively between 4Q2017 and 4Q2016.

Revenue and net property income

The decrease in gross revenue was due to divestments of One George Street (50% interest) in June 2017, Golden Shoe Car Park in July 2017 and Wilkie Edge in Sept 2017.

The decline was mitigated by higher gross revenue from CapitaGreen and contribution of newly acquired Asia Square Tower 2 (AST2).

Also read: 7 things to know about Viva Industrial Trust’s income support

Because of the decrease in gross revenue, net property income also declined by 4.0% in 4Q2017 compared to the same period last year.

Portfolio diversification

Capitaland Commercial Trust’s portfolio remains diversified among 9 properties, by 4Q2017’s net property income, namely

  • Raffles City Singapore (60% interest) – 27%
  • CapitaGreen – 18%
  • Capital Tower – 14%
  • Six Battery Road – 13%
  • Asia Square Tower 2 – 13%
  • HSBC Building – 5%
  • One George Street (50% interest) – 5%
  • Twenty Anson – 3%
  • Bugis Village – 2%

Raffles City Singapore is the biggest contributor to Capitaland Commercial Trust’s net property income in 4Q2017, followed by CapitaGreen.

The contribution is not largely different to that of 1Q2017’s net property income, in that Raffles City Singapore and CapitaGreen are the 2 largest contributors.

Also read: Improving property market sentiment according to PropertyGuru’s survey

The difference is the addition of Asia Square Tower 2 and the removal of Wilkie Edge and Golden Shoe Car Park, each of which contributed 3% and 2% to 1Q2017’s net property income respectively.

Portfolio valuation

All of Capitaland Commercial Trust’s property saw a valuation uplift with the exception of Bugis Village.

Valuations as at 31 Dec 2017 compared to 31 Dec 2016 are as follows

  • Capital Tower – Increase of 2.9% from S$1,325m to S$1,363m
  • Six Battery Toad – Increase of 2.3% from S$1,371m to S$1,402m
  • CapitaGreen – Increase of 0.8% from S$1,603m to S$1,616m
  • HSBC Building – Increase of 0.2% from S$455m to S$456m
  • Twenty Anson – Increase of 0.2% from S$432m to S$433m
  • Bugis Village – Decrease of 9.3% from S$48.5m to S$44m. The reason provided by Capitaland Commercial Trust for the decrease is “The valuation of Bugis Village takes into account the right of the President of the Republic of Singapore, as Lessor under the State Lease, to terminate the said Lease on 1 April 2019 upon payment of S$6,610,208.53 plus accrued interest”. In 4Q2016’s financial presentation, the same description can be found in the footnote. Between 31 Dec 2015 and 31 Dec 2016, valuation for Bugis Village fell from S$53.7m to S$48.5m. Between 31 Dec 2014 and 31 Dec 2015, valuation fell from S$55.4m to S$53.7m.
  • Asia Square Tower 2 is a new addition to the portfolio and is valued at S$2,094m
  • Raffles City’s valuation on a 100% basis rose 2.9% from S$3,169m to S$3,260m
  • One George Street’s valuation on a 100% basis rose 10.1% from S$1,014m to S$1,116m. The main driver for One George Street’s increase in valuation is a lower capitalization (3.85% in Dec 2016 to 3.7% in Dec 2017) and discount rate (7.25% in Dec 2016 to 7.0% in Dec 2017) used.

Also read: Analyst reports on Capitaland Commercial Trust

Financial position

Capitaland Commercial Trust’s financial position remains healthy, with credit rating at BBB+ by S&P, outlook stable as of 31 Dec 2017.

This is one notch lower than 31 Dec 2016’s and 31 Dec 2015’s rating of A- by S&P.

Net asset value per unit is up very slightly to S$1.78 from S$1.77 (for 31 Dec 2016 and 31 Dec 2015).

Total gross debt has been up on a yearly basis, reaching S$4,009m in 4Q2017 compared to S$3,312m in 4Q2016 and S$2,280m in 4Q2015.

The increase is due mainly to an increase in CapitaGreen’s stake in May 2016 and acquisition of Asia Square Tower 2 in Sep 2017.

Aggregate leverage of 37.3% in 4Q2017 is largely unchanged from 37.8% a year ago.

Average cost of debt at 2.6% as of 4Q2017 has been stable over the last 2 years. It was 2.6% as of 4Q2016 and 2.5% as of 4Q2015.

Rental reversion pressure

Capitaland Commercial Trust still faces pressure to achieve positive rental reversion but is finding it difficult to do so because expiring rents are substantially higher than market rents.

For example, Six Battery Road’s average expired rents were S$12.77 psf pm compared to committed rents of between S$10.69 to S$13.50 psf pm for leases signed in 4Q2017.

For One George Street, average expired rents are S$9.62 psf pm compared to committed rents of between S$9.0 to S$10.6 psf pm for leases signed in 4Q2017.

The estimation of market rents by various consultants are as follows.

For Six Battery Road’s submarket:

  • Cushman & Wakefield – S$9.37 psf pm
  • Knight Frank – S$9.1 to S$9.6 psf pm

For One George Street’s submarket:

  • Cushman & Wakefield – S$9.37 psf pm
  • Knight Frank – S$8.0 to S$8.5 psf pm

Despite the negative rental reversions, monthly average office rents for Capitaland Commercial Trust’s portfolio is up 5.9% year on year.

The main reason is the inclusion of Asia Square Tower 2 into the portfolio.

Increase in market rents

Various property consultants are noting that Grade A office market rents are on a mend, with rents up 3.3% on both a quarterly and yearly basis.

Market rents in 4Q2017 as estimated by CBRE is S$9.4 psf pm, compared to S$9.1 both in 3Q2017 and 4Q2016.

Capitaland Commercial Trust says that the rise in market rents will reduce pressure on reversions for leases expiring in 2018.

Ultimately, the higher signing rate for leases will be beneficial to the portfolio’s income and to the distribution to shareholders.

Well run REIT

On the whole, Capitaland Commercial REIT remains well run, with sound management, strong sponsor and a diverse portfolio of assets.

At a share price of S$1.82, Capitaland Commerical REIT is marginally above net asset value but not overtly overvalued.

Jurong Lake District property potential

Jurong lake district propertyinvestsg

The government has spared no expense in planning for the development of the Jurong Lake District.

From the upcoming high speed rail terminus to the taking back of the Jurong Country Club, the area is set to be a very popular work-play-live district.

Presently, some of the the well-known retail malls include Westgate, JEM, JCube, Big Box and IMM. Office buildings include those around the International Business Park such as The Strategy, The Synergy and Icon @ IBP.

Family friendly amenities include Singapore Science Centre, Jurong Regional Library, Omni Theatre and Snow City.

The Jurong District is also set to be a medical hub. Presently, there is the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital.

Read more: Updates from LTA on the Jurong Region Line

Popular residential condominiums include J Gateway and Ivory Heights Condominium in the immediate vicinity.

To the South Eastern part of the Jurong Lake District and across the Sungei Pandan River is a cluster of residential housing including condominiums such as Parc Riviera, Twin Vew, Botannia, Monterey Park Condominium, The Infiniti, Carablle, Newest, Hundred Trees, Waterfront @ Faber, Faber Crest, Park West, Regent Park and The Trilinq.

Cross Island Line

The cross island line spans Singapore and will be about 50km in length.

Targeting to be completed in 2030, the cross island line will start from Changi, pass through Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Timah, Clementi, West Coast and Jurong.

There is expected to be a daily ridership of at least 600,000 commuters and place the line higher in terms of capacity and usage.

Cross island line

Jurong Region Line

The Jurong Region Line is a 20km line that will connect the existing rail network for faster travel to the rest of the island.

The Jurong Region Line is expected to be completed by around 2025.

Mainly serving residents of Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay and future developments in the Tengah area, the Jurong Region Line will connect to main activity nodes in Jurong West such as Nanyang Technological University, Jurong Industrial Estate and the Jurong Gateway.

Jurong region lineHigh speed rail terminus

The High Speed Rail is a strategic project between the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore that aims to facilitate seamless travel between the two capital cities.

High speed rail singapore jurongWhen complete in 2026, the High Speed Rail will shorten the time taken to travel between Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to 90 mins.

Spanning 350 km, there will be 8 stops between Singapore and Malaysia.

These 8 stops are Kuala Lumpur Bandar Malaysia Terminus, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and the Singapore Jurong East Terminus.

En blocs around Jurong

With the amount of infrastructure spending initiated by the government, it isn’t a surprise that private developers have descended on the area hunting for land.

In that regard, the en-bloc activity in the area has picked up.

Also read: Condo hunting around Jurong

Park West condo

Some en-blocs that have happened include Park West Condo that was sold in Jan 2018 for a price of S$840.89m according to Business Times.

Bought by Sing-Haiyi Gold, a 50-50 joint venture between SingHaiyi’s wholly owned subsidiary SingHaiyi Land and Haiyi Wealth, an entity controlled by Gordon Tang and Celine Tang, Park West Condo is at Jalan Lempeng.

The price includes an estimated S$290.6 million differential premium and lease upgrading premium, and works out to a land cost of S$850 per sq ft per plot ratio.

Ivory heights

Ivory heights is also preparing for a collective sale, with owners eyeing a reserve price of S$1.34 billion for the 825,502 sq ft site, according to the Straits Times.

According to SLP’s marketing website on Ivory Height’s en-bloc progress, the latest milestone achieved was the holding of the mass signing at the project’s function room.

At S$1.34 billion, the price equates to S$979 psf per plot ratio based on the existing built up area and plot ratio of 1.86.

The price includes an estimated differential premium of S$160 million to top up the lease to 99 years.

Twin vew

For investors looking to get a play on the rejuvenation of the Jurong district, the most immediate new condominium that will be hitting the market is Twin Vew.

Located beside Parc Riviera, Twin Vew will consist of 520 units in 2 storeys of 36 floors each.

None of the units will be West facing, meaning no exposure to the sweltering West sun.

At prices of S$1,350 to S$1,400 psf, the pricing for Twin Vew will be very attractive compared to the pricing that developers release for future units on surrounding plots of land.

For example, the ‘pizza’ shaped plot of land to the East of Twin Vew was won by CDL at a price of S$472.4 million of S$800 psf per plot ratio in Jan 2018.

Expected selling price for units on this plot of land could likely be in the range of S$1,400 to S$1,500 psf, according to Business Times.

Therefore, for buyers of Twin Vew, if prices re-rate upwards to that sold on this plot of land, owners could be sitting on a profit of S$50 to 150 on a psf basis, or S$50,000 or S$150,000 for a 1,000 sqft unit.

New condominiums near MRTs

Boon Lay MRT 4

Following is a compilation of new projects near MRT stations that have yet to TOP.

Lake Side – Lake Grande

Queenstown – Queen’s Peak, Commonwealth Towers

Redhill – Artra

Aljunied – Tre Residences

Paya Lebar – Park Place Residences at PLQ

Tanah Merah – Grandeur Park residences

Canberra – The Brownstone, The Visionaire

Yishun – Northpark Residences

Bartley – Botanique @ Bartley

Potong Pasir – The Poiz Residences

Woodleigh – The Woodleigh Residences

Kovan – Stars of Kovan

Best performing condominiums in Feb 2018

Life Sukhumvit Bangkok property illustration (17)

Based on URA’s data, these are the condominium projects that sold the most number of units in Feb 2018.

  • Queen’s Peak
  • Kingsford Waterbay
  • Artra
  • Grandeur Park Residences
  • Parc Botannia

In Queens’ Peak at 1 Dundee Road, 47 units were sold in the month at a median price of S$1,730 psf while in Kingsford Waterbay at Upper Serangoon View, 34 units were sold at a median price of S$1,349 psf.

In Artra at Alexandra View, 30 units were sold at a median price of S$1,726 psf and at Grandeur Park Residences in Tanah Merah, 26 units were sold at a median price of S$1,487 psf.

For Parc Botannia, 19 units were sold at a median price of S$1,250 psf.

Selected projects with unsold units

Projects that have unsold units as of the recording of the information by URA include

  • The Tapestry (yet to be launched, 861 units unsold)
  • Rivercove Residences (yet to be launched, 628 units unsold)
  • Marina One residences  (618 units unsold)
  • Twin Vew (yet to be launched, 520 units unsold)
  • Parc Botannia (423 units unsold)
  • Margaret Ville (yet to be launched, 309 units unsold)
  • 8 Saint Thomas (yet to be launched, 250 units unsold)
  • Seaside Residences (238 units unsold)
  • Le Quest (228 units unsold)
  • Martin Modern (219 units unsold)
  • Park Place Residences at PLQ (219 units unsold)
  • South Beach Residences (190 units unsold)
  • Artra (164 units unsold)
  • Wallich Residence at Tanjong Pagar (155 units unsold)
  • Amber 45 (yet to be launched, 139 units unsold)
  • Kingsford Waterbay (133 units unsold)
  • Parksuites (116 units unsold)
  • Kandis Residence (110 units unsold)

Property news round up 18 Mar 2018

SRX property residential singapore

AI-enabled portal UrbanZoom aims to improve housing market data transparency

TECHPRENEUR Michael Cho believes that the man in the street should have equal access to housing market intelligence as the real estate agent – and for free.

That was the motivation that drove him to create UrbanZoom – an online artificial intelligence (AI) enabled research portal that includes an auto-valuation tool and other useful transaction data designed to be user-friendly for home buyers and sellers in Singapore.

UrbanZoom is decidedly not a listing portal, since that space is over-saturated, with even the likes of Carousell Pro and Facebook Marketplace having entered the space.

This makes it difficult to innovate, value-add or compete on that front, he says.

Changes to parking provisions will be shot in the arm for car-lite vision

SINGAPORE is making yet another stride in going car-lite, this time with proposed bill amendments that will give the Land Transport Authority (LTA) more flexibility in calibrating parking provisions in private developments.

This will pave the way for fewer carpark spaces in upcoming housing precincts such as Kampong Bugis, Holland Plain and Bayshore as well as Jurong Lake District.

While details are scant for now as the LTA consults industry players on specific provisions, one prevailing view is that this could also usher in future reductions in carpark spaces in new developments near train stations.

Lendlease upbeat about take-up at Park Place Residences for Phase 2

AUSTRALIAN-LISTED developer Lendlease is hoping to replicate its success achieved during the Phase One sales of Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) last year.

Then, 210 units, or about half of the total units of the 99-year leasehold private condominium, were snapped up within the first day of sales.

This also exceeded the inital 40 per cent Lendlease had projected.

The final 219 units will be made available for sale during the second phase, set to launch on April 7, the developer announced on Monday.

Lian Beng Group unit intending to acquire Joo Chiat property for S$27m

A WHOLLY-OWNED unit of Lian Beng Group is intending to purchase a four-storey commercial building in Joo Chiat for S$27 million that is to be satisfied in cash.

On Monday, the construction cum property developer group said in a Singapore Exchange filing that Lian Beng (Joo Chiat) had on the same day accepted the purchase option granted by TTAT Investment for the proposed acquisition.

The building, OCN Building, occupies a gross floor area of about 2,300 sqm.

Sweden responds to worst housing slump since 2008 with more supply

SWEDEN’S government wants to add supply to a housing market that’s just gone through its biggest price slump in a decade.

The Social Democrat-led ruling coalition is intending to make property construction a key plank of its campaign ahead of the September election, according to Peter Eriksson, the country’s housing minister.

“Looking in the long term, the housing shortage is still very large, so there’s still a need to increase construction,” Mr Eriksson said in an interview on Friday in Stockholm.

En bloc fever may help boost lacklustre Singdollar bond market

THE en bloc fever of 2017 may help uplift the lacklustre Singdollar bond market which has been hit by interest rate volatility though strong issuers continue to get their deals done.

On Monday, the Land Transport Authority of Singapore sold a bumper S$1.2 billion worth of bonds, comprising two tranches, a 10-year S$300 million and 30-year S$900 million bonds at 2.75 per cent and 3.35 per cent respectively.

Generally, the bond market continues to be choppy but strong issuers such as the LTA will be well-received, said Clifford Lee, DBS Bank head of fixed income.

Property agencies’ Big 3 join forces in online platform

IN A marked showing of solidarity among industry rivals in the face of disruption, Singapore’s three largest property agencies have teamed up for the first time to launch an online platform for agents and consumers.

They seek to provide real-time accurate information for agents and consumers and, in the long-run, provide the industry with a more streamlined transaction process between salespeople and consumers.

Though led by PropNex Realty, ERA Realty and Huttons Asia, these big boys say they are not about to leave the one-man agencies or smaller firms behind.

Perennial to acquire Capitol project after S$528m buy-out

PERENNIAL Real Estate Holdings is set to walk away as the sole owner of the iconic Capitol Singapore project, after a business kerfuffle held up the development of the heritage site. Mainboard-listed Perennial will buy out its co-owner, Pontiac Land Group affiliate Chesham Properties, to the tune of roughly S$528 million.

The move was welcomed by industry watchers, who expect that the development – which includes a stalled hotel component – will be better placed to operate after consolidation.

CDL prices penthouses at New Futura from S$39.8m each

CITY DEVELOPMENTS is pricing its two penthouses at New Futura in Leonie Hill Road from S$39.8 million each, which works out to S$5,079 per square foot based on the strata area of 7,836 sq ft.

The penthouses, on the top two levels of the completed project’s two 36-storey towers, have five bedrooms each.

In addition to offering 360-degree views of the city, each penthouse comes with a 13-metre private pool, sauna and shower by the pool deck.

The penthouses come with a Poggenpohl Entertainment Kitchen located next to the pool and deck.

The entertainment kitchen is designed by Porsche and imported from Germany.

The penthouses have finishes like marble flooring, fully-fitted kitchen, wardrobes and bathrooms.

However, they are not fitted with interiors like a showflat as high net worth individuals prefer to engage their interior designers, said a CDL spokesman.

Will SoReal Prop give incumbents a run for their money?

IT FELT surreal witnessing the launch of SoReal Prop, an online platform initiative that binds Singapore’s biggest rivals in the property agency business together despite their differences and competition in growth, marketing and recruitment.

That “historic” move led by PropNex Realty, ERA Realty and Huttons Asia came at a time when online property listings have become a major cost for agents and the fees charged by commercial property portals, mostly backed by venture capitalists, will likely continue to increase.

Healthcare benefits for PropNex agents and their dependants

REAL estate agents from PropNex, Singapore’s largest real estate agency, will be among the first to enjoy a healthcare benefits programme for self-employed workers in the real estate industry.

The real estate agency, with about 7,000 agents, has teamed up with medical benefits administrator MHC Asia Group and financial advisory SingCapital to launch the PropNex Associate Healthcare Benefits Programme for all of its agents and their dependants on Tuesday.

Under this programme, PropNex agents and their dependants will enjoy more than S$1 million in medical benefits, allowing for heavily subsidised consultation fees when they visit over 500 general practitioners (GPs), dentists, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and MHC Medical Centre (Amara).

Oxley in final negotiations to sell block in Ireland project

OXLEY Holdings is in the final stage of negotiations to sell a 300-year lease of a block in its mixed-use development Dublin Landings, which is its first project in Ireland.

Dublin Landings, which was launched in October 2016, is situated along Dublin’s North Wall Quay.

The project will consist of 65,000 square metres of flexible Grade A office and retail space and over 270 luxury residential apartments.

In an update on the project, Oxley said that the total gross development value of Dublin Landings – comprising Blocks D1, D2, A, B and E – is expected to amount to approximately 835 million euros (S$1.4 billion). It is currently in the final stage of talks to sell Block D1 in a 300-year lease.

Singapore condo resale prices up 1.9% in Feb; units sold rise 11.3%: SRX

RESALE prices of condominiums and private apartments in Singapore continued to accelerate last month surpassing the last peak in prices seen in January 2014, according to flash estimates from SRX Property on Tuesday.

Prices in February rose 1.9 per cent from the previous month – higher than the 1.3 per cent month-on-month price rise seen in January, which was revised up from an earlier estimate of a 1 per cent increase.

This was also the seventh consecutive month of growth for the resale property price index.

February’s resale prices were 1 per cent higher than the peak in January 2014 and 7.6 per cent higher than a year ago, said real estate portal SRX.

China likely to see first real Reit this year: DBS Vickers

INVESTMENT bank DBS Vickers said on Tuesday that China is likely to launch the first authentic real estate investment trust (Reit) this year, as regulators seek to provide retail investors an additional investment platform and companies a fresh fund raising channel.

Obstacles such as high transaction taxes and regulations that restrict mutual funds from investing in commercial properties have delayed the Reit market in China from taking off for years.

Instead, over the past few years the market has seen many “quasi-Reits”, which are held by private equity funds and not open to public investment.

IOI Properties removes HK Land as partner for prime CBD project

IT looks like Malaysia’s IOI Properties will remain solely responsible for the mixed-use development in Singapore’s prime business district, after terminating the agreement with HongKong Land to jointly develop and manage the project.

But the news did not sit well with market watchers, who deemed it a negative surprise that would stretch IOI Properties’ net gearing.

It also sent shares of the Malaysian developer to a two-year low on Wednesday.

IOI Properties had said on Tuesday that the termination will not impact the development of the Central Boulevard site and that it is confident of completing the project.

APAC Realty in marketing deal with Chinese real estate firm MLN Overseas

APAC Realty, which owns ERA Realty Network in Singapore, signed an agreement with Chinese overseas real estate company MLN Overseas (Singapore) to help the latter’s Chinese clients manage their properties in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Under the arrangement, MLN will refer its Chinese clients looking to buy Singapore properties, either commercial or residential to ERA.

It will see them through the buying process including after-sale services.

ERA will also help MLN clients with after-sale services in Malaysia and Thailand for its properties.

These include more than 1,000 units in Malaysia and 400 units in Thailand, all residential, currently waiting to be leased out or resold.

Fragrance buys Jervois block for S$46.3m; Eu Realty sells two shophouses

A UNIT of Fragrance Group has bought Lotus at Jervois, a four-storey freehold apartment block, for S$46.3 million.

The price works out to around S$1,683 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of an estimated development charge of S$200,000. Fragrance Group, controlled by tycoon Koh Wee Meng, is expected to redevelop the District 10 property.

The existing development – comprising 20 rental apartments ranging from one bedroom with study units to four-bedders – was built some 20-plus years ago.

Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014, the 19,741 sq ft site is zoned for residential use with 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of maxium gross floor area to land area).

Condo rents up 1% in Feb, HDB rents up 0.5%: SRX

PRIVATE non-landed home rents rose by 1 per cent in February 2018 from a month ago, higher than the 0.5 per cent rise in January, flash estimates from SRX Property on Wednesday showed.

In individual sectors, non-landed private residential unit rents in core central region (CCR), rest of central region (RCR), and outside central region (OCR) rose by 2.3 per cent, 0.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively.

On a year-on-year basis, rents last month were down by 0.7 per cent from February 2017.

The OCR led with the biggest drop of 2.3 per cent, followed by a 0.1 per cent drop in the RCR. In the CCR, however, rents saw a 0.6 per cent increase.

Minbu Villa up for collective sale with S$145.8m reserve price

THE collective sale fever in Singapore is showing no signs of abating with Minbu Villa, a freehold development located off Balestier Road, launched for collective sale by tender at a reserve price of S$145.8 million.

This translates to a land rate of S$1,355 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The site has a land area of 38,426 sq ft, and a gross plot ratio of 2.8.

Completed in 1981, the 10-storey development comprises 33 apartments and a penthouse.

Subject to approvals from the relevant authorities, the site may be developed up to 36 storeys with an allowable gross floor area (GFA) of 107,593 sq ft, marketer Savills Singapore said.

Discontent over New Zealand’s ban on foreign home buyers

RICH-LISTERS like Californian billionaire Ric Kayne have issued a warning to New Zealand – banning house sales to foreigners could hurt the country’s reputation and turn wealthy investors away.

Mr Kayne, who has built an exclusive golf course in New Zealand and wants to expand his investments, is one of several rich businessmen who claim the proposed new law will have unintended consequences.

They are seeking amendments to the draft legislation or its withdrawal in its current form. “The vision we have for what we would like to contribute to New Zealand is now being threatened,” Mr Kayne wrote in submissions to a parliamentary committee examining the proposed law change.

The new rules will “impact on us personally, and others like us who, having discovered this country, want to devote considerable resources to preserving, protecting and enhancing it”.

China’s Jan-Feb property investment up 9.9%

CHINA’S real estate investment over the first two months of 2018 grew at it strongest pace since 2015, with developers rushing to roll out new projects as a government crackdown on risky financing triggered worries about future financing.

But property sales growth softened from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, indicating efforts to stem speculation in the sector were paying off.

Real estate, which directly affects 40 other business sectors in China, is seen as one of the biggest risks for the country this year.

CNY lull, absence of launches cause 28% drop in Feb new home sales

SINGAPORE developers sold 377 private homes – excluding executive condominium (EC) units – in February, a 28 per cent drop from the 524 units sold in January, as developers held back from launching new projects during the Chinese New Year festivities, amid a depleting inventory of units for sale in the market.

This was according to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday. There were only two new launches. Parksuites, a 119-unit project by Far East Organization in Holland Grove, soft-launched 50 units and sold three at a median price of S$2,215 psf.

Nim Collection, a 99-year leasehold landed development, launched 26 units and sold three units as well, at a median price of S$1,661 psf.

Mandarin Gardens ‘likely to draw joint ventures and foreign players’

WITH an eye-popping reserve price of S$2.45 billion and sprawling size of over one million sq ft, Mandarin Gardens could be a tough sell.

But if what could be the nation’s largest residential en bloc deal ever materialises, it will likely involve several developers joining hands – perhaps including a foreign developer.

Owners of the 1,006-unit condominium at Siglap Road could pocket between S$1.58 million and S$5.07 million, Raymond Khoo, business development director and division director for marketing agent C&H Realty, told The Business Times.

Education needed to make ‘foreign Reits’ more welcome in the local market

There is a prejudice institutional funds based in Singapore sometimes have towards Singapore real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) that hold foreign assets, but as more of such instruments join the local bourse, their attitude may have to change.

This comes as the Singapore Exchange continues to woo more of such foreign-asset S-Reits to list here.

The market expects Reit listings to form a significant part of the initial public offering (IPO) pipeline this year.

The hard numbers also show that foreign-asset S-Reits have done better than their “local” counterparts on the stock market this year.

Chip Eng Seng exits Tower Melbourne project with A$55m sale

CHIP Eng Seng Corporation is exiting from Australian redevelopment project Tower Melbourne, now that it has found a buyer willing to pay A$55 million (S$56 million) for the site.

The group said on Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with the purchaser, who is not related to the company or its controlling shareholders.

This property, which was acquired by the group in September 2011 for A$25.5 million, was originally a commercial building.

CDL to launch new Tampines condominium

DEVELOPER City Developments Limited (CDL) is launching a new condominium project in Tampines, starting from S$596,000 for a one-bedder.

On Thursday, CDL announced that The Tapestry, which has 861 units, will be the “first premium suburban condominium launch” this year.

The 99-year leasehold property comprises seven 15-storey blocks, with unit sizes ranging from 441 sq ft for a one-bedroom unit to 1,765 sq ft for the largest five-bedroom, dual-key apartments with study.

Read more: The Tapestry by CDL

Surbana Jurong, Vanke to develop industrial new towns in China

TEMASEK-owned Surbana Jurong has inked a memorandum of understanding with Vanke Industrial Town Midwest (Vanke) – a unit of China Vanke – to jointly develop industrial new towns in China’s midwest regions.

According to the firms, an industrial new town is an urban development model in China which integrates industrial developments and urban living.

It aims to create sustainable cities for residents to live and work in.

The first project that both parties will work on is Vanke’s Jianzhou Dream Town in Chengdu, with Surbana Jurong providing the design for the city.

Asian investors push global property to new high

INVESTORS from Asia powered global real estate investments to an all-time high in 2017, and are likely to dominate the market in 2018 as the range of capital sources within the region continue to increase, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield on Thursday.

The findings come from its Global Investment Atlas 2018 study which found that Asian investors accounted for 52 per cent of the record US$1.62 trillion of capital deployed for all kinds of property investments globally last year, topping 2016’s US$1.43 trillion.

Asian buyers were also responsible for 46 per cent of all cross-border investments.

Oxley to raise S$78.1m from placement of 156.8m new shares

OXLEY Holdings on Thursday entered into a placement agreement for the issue of 156.8 million new shares at S$0.51 apiece to raise S$78.1 million.

The issue price represents a discount of about 8.8 per cent to the volume-weighted average price of S$0.559 for trades done on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on March 14, it said in a filing with the SGX on Friday morning.

Oxley shares traded at S$0.555 on March 14 before being halted pending the announcement of the share placement agreement.

Tenders launched for parcels at Mattar Road, Silat Avenue

SINGAPORE’S Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched two residential sites at Mattar Road and Silat Avenue for sale by public tender under the confirmed list of the first half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

The land parcel at Mattar Road, which is under a 99-year lease, has a site area of 6,230.2 square metres with a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 18,691 sq m. It can yield an estimated 250 units.

The site at Silat Avenue, also under a 99-year lease, occupies an area of 22,851.6 sq m and with a GFA of 84,551 sq m.

It can yield a maximum of 1,125 housing units. The site is zoned for residential and residential with commercial at the first storey.

En-bloc fever may be cooling

ENGINEER Andy Goh has stopped saying hello to some neighbours in his condominium. The mood in the 596-apartment Cashew Heights complex is “tense and stressed” after an initiative late last year to offer it for collective sale to a property developer, said the 49-year-old.

A firm opponent of the deal, worth at least S$1.88 billion, he feels outnumbered by owners who want to cash out.

Recalling a meeting in his condominium last month, Mr Goh, who worries the sale price won’t allow him to buy a new home of comparable size, said his dissenting voice was drowned out by the other owners.

Bukit Sembawang Estates secures Katong Park Towers for S$345m

BUKIT Sembawang Estates has successfully tendered for the en bloc sale of Katong Park Towers at a price tag of S$345 million -20 per cent above its reserve price of S$288 million, marketer Cushfield & Wakefield said on Friday.

This translates to a land rate of S$1,280 per sq ft per plot ratio up to the development baseline, taking into account an estimated S$60 million for the lease upgrading premium.

The tender attracted a total of 10 bids and all were above the reserve price.

According to director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, Christina Sim, owners at Katong Park Towers will receive proceeds ranging from S$2.25 million to S$3.23 million for typical units, depending on their floor area and size.

The Opus condo at Amber Gardens by CDL


The Opus condo at Amber Gardens by CDL is a new and upcoming condo that is set to be a prime development in the heart of the East Coast and Amber area.

Situated near East Coast Park, various shopping and entertainment amenities and the city, The Opus will offer you unparalleled convenience and quality of life.

Use the following quick navigation content page or contact us immediately to register your interest in The Opus condo at Amber Gardens.

Quick Navigation

  1. Condominium summary
  2. Condominium location
  3. Unit mix
  4. Floor plans
  5. Pricing
  6. Showflat location
  7. Site plan
  8. Gallery
  9. Condominium facilities
  10. Surrounding amenities i.e. Transport, education, healthcare, shopping/entertainment and outdoor/fitness amenities
  11. Government masterplan
  12. Macro-environment: Global and Singapore house prices; supply; vacancy
  13. Micro-market environment: Demand; supply; rents and yields; prices
  14. Potential capital gains and investment returns
  15. Interest rates
  16. Other purchase details
  17. Site background
  18. Developer background
  19. Contact us/register interest
  20. Other project information

Condominium summary

Project name The Opus Condo at Amber Gardens
District 15
Developer CDL and Hong Leong Group
Address 14/16 Amber Gardens S439960
The Opus showflat location 14/16 Amber Gardens S439960
The Opus showflat timing To be announced
No of units Approx 800
No of blocks 4
Unit mix 1 to 5 bedrooms
Site area 213,670 sqft
Gross floor area 598,300 sqft

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Condominium location

The Opus condo is located on the site of a project previously called Amber Park.

The Opus is bounded by Amber Gardens to the North and Amber Road to the South. On the East of The Opus are projects Vertis, Suites @ Amber and Chinese Swimming Club while King’s mansion is to the West.

The Opus is located in a very prime area of the East Coast and Mountbatten area given its proximity to East Coast Park and the revamped Big Splash area.

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Unit mix

We expect the unit mix for The Opus to comprise of 1 to 5 bedroom units priced affordably for owner occupiers and investors. Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus at Amber

Floor plans

The Opus condo will have units that have a functional and efficient layout.

Owner occupiers and investors will find it easy and simple to arrange the unit to maximize the space for the purposes they desire.

Please contact us so that we can send you the floor plans when they are out.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest The Opus


Pricing for The Opus condo at Amber Gardens is not out yet but we expect units to be affordable yet priced to reflect the quality, desirability and convenience the location offers.

Please contact us so that we can send you the pricing details of units once they are out.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus and find out more about pricing.

Showflat location

The showflat will be located at 14/16 Amber Gardens, the actual site of The Opus condo.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus and to find out about showflat opening and closing hours and times

Site plan

The Opus site will be in the form of an inverted L shape, with long frontages on the Eastern side facing other projects, long frontages on the Northern side facing Amber Gardens and stepped frontages on the Eastern and Southern facing areas.

All in all, the site is large enough to offer facilities that are befitting of a luxury, upmarket condominium that appeals to investors and owner occupiers who know how to appreciate the finer things in life.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest


Artist impressions, aerial views and drawings will be available for The Opus condo once released by the developer, CDL.

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Condominium facilities

The Opus condo at Amber Gardens will have full condominium facilities given it’s mid size of approx 800 units.

Facilities will include lap pools, gym, reading rooms, fitness centres and parks, BBQ pits, children play areas, children’s pool etc.

Contact us to find out more if you would like to get a piece of The Opus at Amber.

The area is definitely growing in popularity with the rejuvenation, development and gentrification happening.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to find out more and enjoy the full range of condominium facilities that CDL, the developer of The Opus has to offer

Surrounding amenities

The following will give you an idea of the transport, education, healthcare, shopping/entertainment and fitness/outdoor amenities around The Opus by CDL.


To the East of The Opus condo is Amber Road which has a bus stop with many services going around the island.

The services are 31, 36, 43, 47, 48, 134, 135, 196, 196E, 197 and 401.

To the West of the Opus are bus services 36 and 48.

These buses will take you to effectively most parts of the island.

In addition, the Tanjong Katong station of the Thomson East Coast Line is situated about 200m West of The Opus Condo.

At only 3 stops to Gardens by the Bay,  4 stops to the upcoming CBD at Marina South, 5 stops to marina bay and 6 stops to Shenton Way, professionals working in the city and those looking for convenience will find that The Opus offers them unparalleled connectivity.

If you decide to drive, the East Coast Parkway Expressway (ECP) exit 11 is only a 3 min drive from The Opus. Turn out of The Opus, turn left (west), left again (south) and you will be on your way to the city or the Airport.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus by CDL


According to OneMap, there are the following primary schools within a 2km radius of The Opus.

Within 1km

  • Tanjong Katong Primary School

Within 2km

  • CHIJ (Katong) Primary
  • Haig Girls’ School
  • Kong Hwa School
  • Tao Nan School

Other secondary schools, institutes of higher education/learning, private and international schools include (not necessarily within 2 km)

Secondary schools:

  • Chung Cheng High School Main
  • Tanjong Katong Girls School
  • Tanjong Katong Secondary School
  • CHIJ Katong Convent
  • St Patrick’s School
  • Broadrick Secondary School
  • Dunman High School

Higher education:

  • Victoria Junior College
  • Dunman High School

Private and international schools:

  • Canadian International School (Tanjong Katong Campus)
  • Chatsworth International School East Campus
  • Eton House International Pre-School
  • APSN Center for Adults


  • Marine Parade Library

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest and give your child a headstart in life by getting into the best primary school Singapore has to offer


Situated near the Marine Parade neighbourhood, there is no lack of clinics and dentists for those needing healthcare.

Marine Parade is only a 5-10min walk from The Opus.

Should there be a need for more advanced care such as a hospital, East Shore Hospital at Telok Kurau will be able to meet your needs.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus

Shopping, entertainment, food, drinks etc.

There is no lack of shopping and entertainment amenities around The Opus.

Some of the amenities include the following

Shopping malls

  • Parkway Parade
  • I12 Katong
  • Katong Shopping Centre
  • Katong Square
  • Roxy Square
  • Katong V
  • Leisure Park Kallang

Entertainment areas

  • Joo Chiat enclave
  • East Coast rd enclave
  • Big Splash (across the ECP)
  • Road safety park at ECP
  • Parkland Green at East Coast

Food and watering holes

  • Joo Chiat enclave
  • East Coast rd enclave
  • Katong Laksa


  • Grand Mecure Singapore Roxy
  • Holiday Inn Expres
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Village Hotel

Daily living

  • NTUC Fairprice at Marine Parade
  • Giant, cold storage etc at Parkway Parade

Another notable district near The Opus is the Paya Lebar Quarter.

Shaping up to be a regional centre rivaling Tampines and Woodlands, Paya Lebar Quarter will offer commercial, retail and residential space in a well located neighbourhood that is near The Opus.

With a wide range of amenities around The Opus condo, it would be a shame if you let slip such an opportunity to own a notable piece of real estate.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to get The Opus and enjoy unparalleled convenience and amenities

Outdoor/fitness amenities

One advantage of living at The Opus is the unparalleled convenience and accessibility to spots amenities.

Such sports and fitness amenities near The Opus include the Singapore Sports Hub and East Coast Park.

With these 2 prime sports amenities, there will be everything you need to get fit not flab.

Badminton courts, basketball courts, ice skating, jogging, water sports and swimming etc. are all available for you to use.

No more excuses to not exercising!

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus and live near many outdoor and fitness amenities

Government masterplan

The largest rejuvenation project undertaken in the area in recent years is that of the East Coast Park, Big Splash and Marine Cove area.

Over the years, the general area has become tired due to an increasing number of visitors and lack of maintenance.

However, NParks enhanced the area from July 2017 to improve accessibility, enhance amenities while ensuring the character of the area is retained.

NParks statement on their plans for East Coast Park

Source: Nparks

As part of efforts by the National Parks Board (NParks) to enhance park users’ experience at East Coast Park, NParks announced today plans for improvement works for three sites – Raintree Cove, and the sites of former Big Splash and Goldkist Chalets.

These plans will be implemented progressively from 2017 to 2019 to create more open spaces, improve accessibility and enhance amenities while ensuring that the character of East Coast Park is retained.

This follows the successful redevelopment of Marine Cove last year. At the Marine Parade Family Life Champion event organised by People’s Association (PA), Guest-of-Honour Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong opened the exhibition on the improvement works of the park.

“We may be constrained by our land size, but not by our imagination. NParks has done well to transform our recreational landscape and parklands, to enhance Singaporeans’ mental and physical well-being. My challenge to NParks is to make East Coast Park a beloved national icon and transcendent experience”, said ESM Goh.

Open vistas and view corridors to strengthen coastal character of the park

As Singapore’s largest and most popular park with 7.5 million visits annually, East Coast Park is known for its distinct coastal identity that has endeared it to generations of users.

To complement its beach setting, more open spaces and view corridors will be created to provide visitors with a better view of the sea that will add to the sense of openness associated with East Coast Park.

Efforts will also be made to retain and re-purpose existing landmark buildings in line with the character of the park.

Raintree Cove will be enhanced to have a natural, cove theme with open lawns for sporting or leisure activities.

This nature-themed landscape filled with open spaces will be a key focus of this node and it will provide respite from the adjacent high-activity areas, such as Marine Cove.

raintree cove nparks

Improving the diversity of recreational amenities and experiences

NParks has introduced a wider range of amenities, located strategically throughout East Coast Park to redistribute the crowds and reduce congestion in existing high traffic zones.

These activity and gathering nodes will offer a mix of family-friendly amenities and dining outlets across the park. The site of the former Goldkist Chalets will be redeveloped as a “Cyclist Park” along the 150km Round Island Route (RIR).

This node will serve to cater to the cyclists, with bicycle kiosks, circuits and trails for users of varying skill levels, complemented with cycle-through eateries.

cyclist pitstop Nparks

The revamped Big Splash will be an active node with a vibrant water theme. Part of the former water theme park’s structures will be retained and converted into a vertical playground, complemented by water play features.

Open lawns will be created to allow a flexible use of park space for various events and activities.

Big splash Nparks

Improvements to the park will be complemented by new, more user-friendly way-finding visual elements which will guide visitors to and within East Coast Park.

This aims to promote the use of public transport and encourage a car-less culture.

While sections of the park will be closed off during the two-year development, existing amenities will continue to operate, ensuring that park users’ experiences are not compromised.

Beyond the existing active areas, there are other quiet and tranquil areas within East Coast Park, where families and friends can relax and enjoy the coastal character of the park.

So what are you waiting for! The Opus offers you easy access to East Coast Park where you can spend the weekend with your family, loved ones, relatives and friends.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest and enjoy all the East Coast Park has to offer.


The following sections will provide a snapshot on the global and islandwide property market health.

Global house prices

According to The Economist, house prices in Singapore are relatively affordable compared to major economies in the region and around the World.

The following chart shows the price index for residential properties, and it can be seen clearly that Singapore’s price increase has lagged those of its regional and global peers.

The economist house price singapore

For those who worry that Singapore house prices may be ‘high’, subjective as the term may be, this chart should give pause to those thinking they are entering at a higher level (compared to peer countries).

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Singapore house prices

According to the URA, the property price index has shown 15 quarters of decline since mid 2013.

The index has fallen approximately 10% since then, but has staged a slight recovery since mid 2017.


Is this the beginning of a recovery and a turning point in the residential market? Most analysts seem to think so considering the amount of liquidity available to en-bloc windfall owners, continued low interest rates and low residential housing supply for the next 2-3 years.

In another chart, the URA shows that both non-landed and landed property prices are on a mend.

URA ppi non landed

While it may be tempting to wait and see for a few more quarters whether the recovery in property prices is fundamentally strong and stable, it may be a little too late as by that time, sellers and developers would have raised prices far above the level of getting a good bargain at the trough of the market, which possibly could be the present moment.

What the above means for The Opus is that pricing could very well be attractive during the launch, with the developers holding back some units to sell when prices rise.

So if you want VVIP previews and discounts, do contact us quickly.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest

Islandwide supply

Based on URA’s quarterly data, there will be a dearth of supply in the years 2020, 2022 and beyond.

The following chart shows the year and number of private residential units and executive condominiums that will TOP.

The greatest number of units will TOP in 2018, declining in 2019, before troughing in 2020, then slightly climbing in 2021 (due to en-bloc redevelopments) then taper off.

URA future supply

Even though this is an islandwide figure, it will spell good news for investors and owner-occupiers of The Opus which prices will stand to benefit.

This is because with fewer supply of houses, rents will climb, leading to an increase in property value.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to be the proud owner of a unit in The Opus and capitalize on the fact that supply is low and prices are likely to rise in future

Islandwide vacancy

Further to the dearth of supply over the next few years, the vacancy in the outside central region is presently at one of its lowest level since the last 4 years.

With the low supply over the next few years, it could be likely that vacancy will maintain at this low level or fall further.

URA vacancy OCR

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to make a purchase in The Opus while vacancy is low

Micro-market environment

The following sections will provide a snapshot of the micro-market health where The Opus condo is situated.


For investors seeking to get a sense of demand for The Opus, have no fear.

The East Coast area is a popular district among expatriates because of their desire to live somewhere close to the sea.

Take a walk around the East Coast, Marine Parade and Parkway area and you will see may expats and westerners having drinks, shopping or eating.

This scene is present both on weekdays and weekends.

Another reason the area is popular with expatriates is its proximity to the city centre.

A short 20 min bus ride or 15 min drive can bring someone to Raffles Place.

With the completion of the Thomson East Coast line, there will be one more option for renters to access the city.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in The Opus and take advantage of the deep pool of renters in the market.


For those who worry that there will be upcoming condos in the area around that may impact rentals in The Opus, there is no need to worry because according to Squarefoot, there aren’t any large scale developments completing in the vicinity.

The nearest is Carpmael 38 but that is a small sized apartment with fewer than 20 units.

Sandy Eight near Guillemard is also nearby but it is also a small sized apartment with fewer than 15 units.

As such, the rental resilience of The Opus will remain strong given that it is one of the newest and largest condominium development in the area.

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Rents and yields

Around the area where The Opus is located, rental yields of the projects are approximately 2% to 3% based on transactions that occurred in the last 12 months, according to Squarefoot.

The following table shows details of the project names and rental yields for the corresponding projects.

Project Rental yield (%)
King’s mansion 2
16 @ Amber 2.8
Suites @ Amber 2.7
Seaview Point 2.1
Vertis 2.4
Amber Skye 2.5
11 Amber Road 2.3
One Amber 2.8
Amber Point 2.1
The Sea View 2.5

It is likely that The Opus will be able to command rental yields of around this level, with an average of 2.5%

The newest comparable to The Opus is Amber Skye which is West of the project and completed in 2017.

Some of the asking rents per month for the project according to Squarefoot are as follows

  • 1 bedroom 527 sqft: S$3,500
  • 1 bedroom 635 sqft: S$3,350
  • 2 bedroom 1,119 sqft: S$4,500 to S$4,800
  • 3 bedroom 1,335 sqft: S$5,300 to S$5,900

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to start your journey of being a landlord of a very popular project in the heart of the East


In terms of resale prices for projects around The Opus, the range is around S$1,150 to S$1,900 according to Squarefoot.

The following table shows the projects and their corresponding average prices based on transactions in the last 12 months.

Project Average price S$psf
King’s mansion 1,153
16 @ Amber 1,665
Suites @ Amber 1,409
Seaview Point 1,314
Vertis 1,342
Amber skye 1,945
11 Amber Road 1,394
One Amber 1,436
Amber Point 1,304
The Sea View 1,659

Taking a leaf out of projects that have been completed for more than 10 years, the trend shows that prices have generally been on an uptrend.

For example, in King’s mansion prices were approximately S$600 psf in 1996 and as of 2018, they are approximately S$1,383.

For Seaview Point, it was approximately S$760 in 1996 when it first started selling, and as of 2018, the prices are approximately S$1,500 psf.

For The Opus therefore, if historical price trends are anything to go by, investors and buyers can expect the same kind of long term trend to persist.

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us. Have no fear, prices of new condominiums will be able to maintain their level going forward due to deep demand in the market.

Potential capital gains and investment returns

Assumed LTV, purchase price, int rate, loan tenure, rental, property tax, entry cap rate, exit cap rate

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Interest rates

The 1 and 3 month SIBOR rates have trended between 0.6% and 1.3% over the last 12 months and looks set to remain at this low range over the next few years if the fed chooses not to raise their interest rates.

SIBOR The Opus

Do check out the quick reference page we have on SIBOR and SOR rate

Quick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest and take advantage of the low interest rate environment presently.

Other purchase details

The usual restrictions on purchasers such as LTV limits and ABSD exist.

Please speak to us to find out more and we will advise accordingly.

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Site background

The following excerpt from Channel News Asia on Amber Park, the project which occupied the land that The Opus now sits on.

Amber Park, a 200-unit freehold condominium in Katong, has been snapped up for S$906.7 million in Singapore’s largest freehold collective sale by dollar value, marketing agent JLL said on Wednesday (Oct 4).

The condominium, which was built in 1986, was bought by City Developments Ltd (CDL), through its wholly owned subsidiary Cityzens Development, and joint-venture partner Hong Realty.

This is the fourth time that Amber Park has been put up for sale.

The sale comes as the local en bloc market continues to heat up, with the tender for Amber Park receiving as many as eight bids.

The sale price reflects a land rate of about S$1,515 per sq ft per plot ratio, based on the allowable gross plot ratio of 2.8, JLL said.

At this sale price, the owners would expect to receive gross sale proceeds of between S$4.3 million and S$8.3 million, it added.

Subject to approval, CDL and Hong Realty plan to redevelop Amber Park into a luxury condominium development comprising four 25-storey blocks with close to 800 units and a basement carpark, CDL said in a separate statement.

The current site has an area of 213,675 sq ft, and an allowable gross floor area of about 598,290 sq ft. CDL said the development will maintain its freehold status.

Ms Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield Singapore, said the latest sale will have implications on future en bloc deals.

“Looking at the price, it is relatively bullish which means choice sites are still highly contested by both the local and foreign developers.

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It probably means it is the new benchmark prices set for Katong area.

That will actually help some of the existing projects – particularly the older projects – which are interested to go for en bloc to look at the new price point.”

“From next year onwards we are going to see developers launching new projects at a higher prices, probably 10 to 15 per cent higher than what we have been seeing in the market today.”

Mr Desmond Sim, head of research at CBRE Singapore and Southeast Asia, agreed with Ms Li – he said the sale price reflects the huge appetite and optimism among developers.

“En bloc seems to be the rage now. The price points out that there are still developers out there that are still hungry for land and what’s happening at the Government Land sales at the moment does not suffice to appease their hunger.

Developers are also looking forward instead of backward pricing, that’s why we see such competitive bids coming through.”


Mr Tan Hong Boon, regional director at JLL, said: “There are not many sites of similar size that are available for redevelopment in the Amber Road location … Amber Park could possibly be one of the last collective sale sites with a land area above 200,000 sq ft in this precinct.”

The Amber Road area is an established private residential enclave that enjoys a strong following from both locals and expatriates alike, due to its proximity to the central business district, East Coast Park and the airport.

The site is also within 1km to Tanjong Katong Primary School and 2km to CHIJ (Katong) Primary, Haig Girls’ School, Kong Hwa School and Tao Nan School, which are popular primary schools.

Connectivity will be further enhanced when Tanjong Katong MRT station, located 200m from the site, is completed in 2023.

Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL CEO-designate, said: “This is one of our most significant investment deals in the Singapore residential market in recent years.

CDL was the original developer for Amber Park in the 1980s and we are honoured to be able to redevelop the site into yet another iconic landmark.”

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Developer background

City Developments Limited (CDL) is a Singapore-listed international real estate operating company with a global presence spanning 97 locations in 26 countries.

As one of Singapore’s largest companies by market capitalisation, its income-stable and geographically-diversified portfolio comprises residences, offices, hotels, serviced apartments, integrated developments and shopping malls, totalling over 18 million square feet of floor area globally.

CDL has hotel assets in one of the world’s largest hotel groups – its London-listed subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C), has over 130 hotels globally, many in key gateway cities.

Globally, CDL has developed over 40,000 homes and is one of Singapore’s largest commercial landlords, with one of the biggest landbanks amongst Singapore private-sector developers.

Building on its track record of over 50 years in real estate development, investment and management, CDL has developed growth platforms in five key international markets – UK, US, China, Japan and Australia.

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Contact us/register interest

You know you want to get rich investing in property, you want to live in a prime location in the East and want to enjoy the finer things in life.

Contact us to find out more.

Those who register for VVIP previews by the developer stand to receive discounts!

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Other project information

More information to be released as they come. In the meantime, let us know your interest in the project and we will keep you updated.

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Verandah Residences at Pasir Panjang by Oxley

Verandah residences (3)

Verandah Residences is an upcoming new launch condominium at Pasir Panjang by Oxley.

Verandah Residences quick navigation

  1. Verandah Residences development information
  2. Project location
  3. Floor plans
  4. Pricing
  5. Selling points
  6. Site plan
  7. Facilities
  8. Gallery
  9. Nearby amenities
  10. Oxley Holdings developer
  11. Contact us

Introduction video (3 min)

Verandah Residences is an upcoming condominium at Pasir Panjang. Built by Oxley, the development will feature 170 units ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms and 3 strata terrace houses.

Located near Haw Par Villa MRT, numerous good schools, business parks and institutes of higher education, there is a high potential for rental demand in Verandah Residences.

Verandah Residences development information

The following table shows a summary of the key development information for Verandah Residences by Oxley.

Project name The Verandah Residences
Developer Oxley Amber Pte ltd
Address 225 to 231C Pasir Panjang Road
Showflat location South Buona Vista Road
Tenure Freehold
District 5
Plot ratio 1.4
Site area 89,620 sqft
Gross floor area 125,468 sqft
No of units 170
TOP Dec 2023
Date of legal completion 31 Dec 2026
No of storeys 4 blocks of 5 storey residential flats and
3 two-storey strata landed houses
Unit mix 1 bedroom: 57 units
1 bedroom + study: 10 units
2 bedroom: 11 units
2 bedroom premium: 21 units
3 bedroom: 19 units
3 bedroom premium: 29 units
4 bedroom: 20 units
Strata landed house: 3 units
Total: 170 units
Architect DP Architects Pte Ltd
Landscape architect Coen Design International Pte Ltd
Number of carparks 170 carpark lots and 3 handicap lots

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The inspiration of Verandah Residences was colonial-style villas built at the turn of the previous century. These were used to house colonial officials.

These stately homes, with their distinctive black painted timber beams and white-washed walls, were also balled “black and white bungalows”.

What made these black and white bungalows distinctive, were the presence of many tropical and local design elements.

Large verandahs at the front and sides were its signature feature. Broad overhanging
sloping roofs offered shade from the sun, while high ceilings, balconies, louvered windows and open interior spaces encouraged natural air flow and kept the house cool.

Now, these black and white bungalows are highly-coveted, due to their scarcity owing to urban redevelopment. They are also very much desired for their charm, for these bungalows evoke a nostalgic longing for the romance and elegance of a bygone era.

verandah residences black and white bungalows

verandah residences cover

Verandah Residences location

Verandah residences is located at 225 to 231C Pasir Panjang Road while the show gallery is at South Buona Vista Road.

Verandah Residences showflat and projectsTo get to Verandah Residences showflat by car, turn in to South Buona Vista Road, go straight ahead for 50m and turn right to showflat.

If you’re taking the bus, take service 200, alight at South Buona Vista and walk 1 min to the showflat.

Use this Google Maps Link to get to the showflat, and the Verandah Residences site itself.

Verandah residences showflat

Verandah Residences Floor Plans

Verandah Residences consist of a mix of 1 to 4 bedroom units and strata landed units.

A select few floors plans of each type of unit is shown.

1 bedroom 463 sqft

Verandah residences 1 br1 bedroom + study 603 sqftVerandah residences 1 br study2 bedroom 646 sqftVerandah residences 2 br2 bedroom premium 689 sqftVerandah residences 2 br premium3 bedroom 969 sqftVerandah residences 3 br3 bedroom premium 1,001 sqftVerandah residences 3 br premium4 bedroom 1,249 sqftVerandah residences 4 brStrata Landed house 2,174 sqftVerandah residences strata terrace

The unit mix is as follows.

Verandah Residences Unit Type No of units
1 bedroom 57
1 bedroom + study 10
2 bedroom 11
2 bedroom premium 21
3 bedroom 19
3 bedroom premium 29
4 bedroom 20
Strata landed 3

All of the units are minutes walk from 2 MRT stations – Haw Par Villa and Pasir Panjang, a short drive from Vivocity, Sentosa and Mount Faber Park and 5 minutes from Science Park, NUS/NUH and Mapletree Business City.

Please see the following for Verandah Residence’s diagrammatic chart.

Starting from Units 1 to 34, a mix of 1 bedroom to 4 bedroom and strata landed houses are offered.

  • 225 Pasir Panjang Road – Unit 1 to 9. Consisting of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom premium and 4 bedroom units
  • 227 Pasir Panjang Road – Unit 10 to 17. Consisting of 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom + study, 2 bedroom premium, 3 bedroom, 3 bedroom premium and 4 bedroom units
  • 229 Pasir Panjang Road – Unit 18 to 25. Consisting of 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom + study, 2 bedroom premium, 3 bedroom, 3 bedroom premium and 4 bedroom units
  • 231 Pasir Panjang Road – Unit 26 to 34. Consisting of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 2 bedroom premium, 3 bedroom premium and 4 bedroom units
  • Strata Terrace House – 231A, B and C

verandah residence diagrammatic chart 1 verandah residence diagrammatic chart 2

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Verandah Residences pricing

1+STUDY and 2BR FULLY SOLD! Contact us for drop out units below!

Type Size Price starting from
1BR 463sqft from S$878K
3BR Classic 936sqft from S$1.608M
3BR Premium 1,001sqft from S$1.78M
4BR 1,249sqft from S$2.196M

Contact us to register interest and stay updated on the Verandah Residences at Pasir Panjang.

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Selling points

Some of the selling points of Verandah Residences built by Oxley include

  • Haw Par Villa MRT is within 5 mins walk
  • Rare freehold development with black & white colonial concept
  • Fully functional layout without bay windows and planters
  • Situated in prime location of district 5 (Core Central Region)
  • Well connected by major expressways Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), Pan Island Expressway (PIE0, Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and West Coast highway.
  • Huge tenants pool Science Park, NUS, NUH, Japanese Schools, Alexandra Business Centre, PSA and Jurong Gateway.
  • 10 mins drive to CBD, Orchard, Restorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands
  • 5 mins drive to NUS
  • 4 mins drive to Science Park 2
  • 24 hour amenities with minutes walk (famous prata shop, Macdonalds, 7-11 etc)
  • Surrounded by shopping belts within 5 mins drive e.g. West Coast Plaza, ARC, Vivocity
  • Close to educational institutions (UWCSEA, Japanese School, ACS independent, Singapore Polytechnic, NUS – Pre-school to University)

Reconstruction of traditionverandah tradition reconstructionEnjoy Verandah Livingverandah living

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Verandah Residences Site Plan

verandah residences facilities plan

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Verandah Residences Facilities

Verandah Residences has many recreational facilities that are befitting of a modern and upscale condominium project.

The facilities include

  1. Function room
  2. Swimming pool (40m)
  3. Reflective pond
  4. Water feature
  5. Aqua gym
  6. Jacuzzi
  7. Gym
  8. Outdoor showers
  9. Lawn terrace
  10. Changing rooms
  11. Dining and BBQ pavilion
  12. Kid’s pavilion
  13. Kid’s pool
  14. Playground
  15. Sand pit
  16. Chess deck
  17. Yoga deck
  18. Sky lounge

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Verandah Residences Gallery

Verandah Residences panoramic view

Verandah residences pano view

Artist impression of view from main road

Verandah residences (3)

Artist impression of third storey viewVerandah residences (4)

Verandah residences (5)

Redefining colonial modernism

Tropical splendourSwimming poolDining and BBQ pavilionVerandah Residence poolside gymSky loungeMinutes away to modern amenities

600m to Haw Par Villa MRT station, 2 mins drive to Kent Ridge Park, 2 mins drive to Mapletree Business City, 5 mins drive to one-north, 6 mins drive to Vivocity, 12 mins drive to CBD, 3 mins drive to Singapore Science Park, 4 mins drive to NUS, 6 mins drive to United World College, 8 mins drive to Nan Hua Primary, 8 mins drive to ACS independent, 5 mins drive to The Japanese School

Neighbourhood guide

Verandah residence neighbourhood guideFood TrailVerandah residences food trail Verandah residences food trail 1 Verandah residences food trail 2 Verandah residences food trail 3Southern Ridges Walking TrailVerandah residences southern ridgesParks and RecreationVerandah residences southern ridges 1 Verandah residences southern ridges 2 Verandah residences southern ridges 3 Verandah residences southern ridges 4Heritage TrailVerandah residences heritage trailMalls and ShopsVerandah residences malls and shops Verandah residences malls and shops 1

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Nearby amenities

Around Verandah Residences (built by Oxley at Pasir Panjang) are a number of shopping malls, MRT stations, educational institutions and more that provide great convenience to residents.


  • NTUC ARC: 2.4km and 4 mins drive
  • Sheng Siong Supermarket: 4.2km and 7 mins drive
  • West Coast wet market: 4.5km and 7 mins drive
  • Cold Storage (West Coast Plaza): 4.5km and 7 mins drive

Shopping malls

  • Viva Vista Mall: 0.2km and 19 sec drive
  • Alexandra Retail Centre: 2.3km and 4 mins drive
  • Clementi Mall: 2.4km and 4 mins drive
  • West Coast Plaza: 4.5km and 7 mins drive
  • Holland village: 4.9km and 7 mins drive
  • Vivocity: 5.7km and 9 mins drive
  • Orchard Ion: 12.5km and 16 mins drive
  • Bugis Junction: 12.2km and 16 mins drive
  • Marina Bay Sands: 13.2km and 17 mins drive

Educational institutions

  • ACJC: 3.6km and 5 mins drive
  • ACS Independent: 4.1km and 7 mins drive
  • United World College of South East Asia (Dover): 4.1km and 7 mins drive
  • NUS: 4.7km and 8 mins drive
  • Singapore Polytechnic: 6.3km and 10 mins drive
  • Waseda Shibuya Senior High School: 3.1km and 5 mins drive
  • The Japanese Primary School: 3.6km and 6 mins drive
  • The Japanese Secondary School: 5.2km and 7 mins drive
  • Tanglin Secondary School: 6.1km and 8 mins drive
  • Kent Ridge Secondary School: 6.1km and 8 mins drive
  • Nan Hua High School: 5.7km and 8 mins drive
  • Fairfield Methodist School (Primary): 3.3km and 5 mins drive

Markets and food centres

  • 99 Buona Vista Kitchen Pte Ltd: 0.33km and 4 mins walk
  • Fong Seng Nasi lemak: 2.6km and 4 mins drive
  • Seah Im Food Centre: 4.0km and 7 mins drive
  • Telok Blangah Market: 6km and 10 mins drive

Other amenities

  • Singapore Science Park: 2.1km and 4 mins drive
  • National University Hospital: 2.3km and 4 mins drive
  • Fusionopolis: 3.6km and 5 mins drive
  • Metropolis: 4km and 6 mins drive
  • Sentosa: 8.9km and 15 mins drive
  • Shenton Way: 10.5km and 13 mins drive
  • St James Power Station: 11.9km and 17 mins drive


  • West Coast Park: 6.9km and 9 mins drive
  • Kent Ridge Park: 1.4km and 3 mins drive
  • Telok Blangah Hill Park: 4.9km and 8 mins drive
  • Mount Faber Park: 6.7km and 11 mins drive
  • Keppel Bay: 4.2km and 7 mins drive

Bus services

  • 10, 30, 51, 143, 188, 200, 200A

Star Vista

Verandah Residences is a short drive from Star Vista, one of the more notable and popular malls in the West Coast area.

The Star Vista is an urban retail sanctuary set within a uniquely integrated and natural environment. It is Singapore’s first naturally cooled mall and residents of Verandah Residences have easy access to Star Vista via Alexandra Road and Commonwealth Avenue.

The Star Vista is part of a 15-storey mixed development built in Vista Exchange, one-north precinct. The integrated hub comprises a Civic and Cultural Zone anchored by a 5,000-seat Auditorium, as well as a Retail and Entertainment Zone. Strategically located next to Buona Vista MRT Interchange, the Star vista is well connected to 2 train lines and easy access to major roads and expressways. The integrated hub will serve the needs of more than 400,000 residents, students and working population in the immediate vicinity.

Verandah residences star vista

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Verandah Residences at Pasir Panjang is also located near Vivocity.

Vivocity is Singapore’s largest shopping mall and located in the Harbourfront precinct of Bukit Merah.

Positioned as a first of its kind one-stop retail, entertainment and lifestyle destination, Vivocity is an iconic detination.

The name Vivocity captures Mapletree’s vision for the development and is derived from the word vivacity.

The word evokes a lifestyle experience that is modern, stimulating and accessible to everyone.

Residents of Verandah Residences at Pasir Panjang road will be able to enjoy access to Vivocity for their one stop shopping, entertainment and lifestyle needs.

Verandah residences vivocity

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Labrador Nature Reserve

A short distance from Verandah Residences is Labrador Nature Reserve.

Built on the edge of the secondary forest with a prime vantage point of the cliff-side vegetation and a picturesque view of the sea, Labrador Nature Reserve is an oasis of tranquillity and natural wonders. Thriving with wildlife, the park is a favourite haunt of nature lovers. It is not uncommon for visitors to hear songs from a variety of bird species, including those of the Oriental Magpie-robin and Black-naped Oriole. Take a leisurely stroll along one of the nature trails, and you may spot the resident squirrels scurrying up trees. Labrador Nature Reserve is part of the Southern Ridges, which also comprises Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Kent Ridge Park.

For those who do not want to stay home in Verandah Residences, some things to do at Labrador Nature Reserve both on a weekday and weekend include bird watching, sightseeing, photography, barbecuing, dining & picnics, exercise & working out and fishing.

All these activities are available to residents of Verandah Residences near Pasir Panjang as Labrador Nature Reserve is about a 5 min drive away.

Labrador nature reserve verandah residences

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Kent Ridge Park

Kent Ridge Park is also another fantastic destination near Verandah Residences.

A historical park where one of the last battles for Singapore was fought during World War II, Kent Ridge Park is a great place for families and history buffs to learn about the heritage of our nation. Relive the history of World War II at the “Reflections Bukit Chandu” museum, located at one end of Canopy Walk.

Celebrate the end of civil strife by visiting the commemoration plaque at Carpark B, which was erected to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. If you are a fitness enthusiast, warm up at one of the 20 fitness stations located around the park before going for a jog on the tracks. Featuring natural vegetation and a high biodiversity of wildlife, Kent Ridge Park is also a favourite of nature lovers.

On the eastern side of the park towards the valley is a natural pond teeming with turtles and fish. Walk along Canopy Walk – an elevated boardwalk measuring 280-metres long linking HortPark to Kent Ridge Park – and you may just be able to catch sight of sunbirds, doves, squirrels, lizards, and white-crested laughing thrush.

With groves of Tembusu, Adinandras and Dillenias, you’ll hear the chirps of birds and the hums of insects as you stroll along the meandering paths of the park towards the two ponds at the foot of the ridge. Alternatively, take in magnificent views of off-shore islands such as Pulau Duran Darat from the various look-out points. Kent Ridge Park is part of the Southern Ridges, which also comprises Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark and Labrador Nature Reserve.

Verandah residences kent ridge park

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Alexandra Hospital

In terms of healthcare, Alexandra Hospital is about a 5 min drive from Verandah Residences. Located along Alexandra Road and Queensway, the hospital will be a handy place to go if one falls ill and needs emergency attention.

Verandah residences alexandra hospital

National University of Singapore

One attractive feature of Verandah Residences, besides being near West Coast Park, is its proximity to NUS.

NUS is one of Singapore’s premier institute of higher learning and has research and academic capabilities that are one of the best in the world.

For investors in Verandah Residences, there is potential for units in the development to be leased out to staff, workers and researchers of NUS. Located only a short 3 to 5 min drive from NUS, Verandah Residences will appeal to renters who are looking to stay not too far and yet not too near their workplace/school.

Verandah residences NUS

Oxley Holdings Developer

Oxley Holdings is the developer of Verandah Residences. With a long history of developing property around Singapore and the region, Oxley Holdings is set to deliver a fantastic product in the form of Verandah Residences. Some of Oxley’s previous projects include Oxley Tower, The Rise @ Oxley, Floraville, The Commerze @ Irving and Oxley Bizhub among many others.

Besides Singapore, Oxley Holdings has extensive experience in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia among other countries.

Oxley holdings track record verandah residences

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Contact us regarding Verandah Residences

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Park Colonial condo at Woodleigh by CEL

park colonial logo

Park Colonial at Woodleigh is an upcoming condominium slated to be launched by CEL.

Use the following quick navigation content page or contact us immediately to register your interest in Park Colonial.

Those who register early will get a developer discount.

Quick Navigation

  1. Condominium summary
  2. Condominium location
  3. Unit mix
  4. Floor plans
  5. Pricing
  6. Showflat location
  7. Site plan
  8. Gallery
  9. Condominium facilities
  10. Surrounding amenities i.e. Transport, education, healthcare, shopping/entertainment and outdoor/fitness amenities
  11. Government masterplan
  12. Macro-environment: Global and Singapore house prices; supply; vacancy
  13. Micro-market environment: Supply; rents and yields; prices
  14. Interest rates
  15. Other purchase details
  16. Site background
  17. Developer background
  18. Contact us/register interest
  19. Other project information

Condominium summary

Development name Park Colonial
Developer Chip Eng Seng, Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings
Address 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 Woodleigh Lane
Tenure 99 years starting from 11 Oct 2017
District 13
Site area 210,404 sqft
Gross floor area 631, 212 sqft
No of units 805 apartment units
Car park lots 644 lots (including 5 handicap lots)
1 bed 463 sqft, 153 units, 19%
1 + study 506 sqft, 14 units, 2%
2 bed classic 570 to 635 sqft, 157 units, 20%
2 bed deluxe 635 to 678 sqft, 132 units, 16%
2 + study 667 sqft, 28 units, 4%
2 bed dual key 743 sqft, 15 units, 2%
3 bed classic 915 to 980 sqgt, 146 units, 18%
3 bed deluxe 1,012 to 1,066 sqft, 71 units, 9%
4 bed classic 1,184 to 1,249 sqft, 30 units, 4%
4 bed deulxe 1,367 to 1,410 sqft, 30 units, 4%
5 bed luxury 1,712 sqft, 29 units, 4%
Total 805 units
Appliances Bosch and Whirlpool
Sanitary Ware Roca
Sanitary Fittings Grohe
TOP July 2022
Plot ratio 3.0
Legal completion July 2025

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Condominium location

Park Colonial condominium by CEL is located on the Eastern side of Woodleigh MRT.

Woodleigh MRT is on the North-Eastern purple line.

Park colonial location

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Unit mix

Park Colonial will offer a mix of 1 to 5 bedroom units.

Park colonial unit breakdown

Many of the units will have a view of either Youngberg Terrace, the landed properties and Woodleigh Park to the North.

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Floor plans

Park Colonial will offer units that have a modern and efficient layout for your storage and space needs.

Never worry about running out of space or living in cramped quarters anymore.

Check out Park Colonial’s brochure and floor plans at this link.

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Pricing for Park Colonial at Woodleigh is as follows. These are the best buys/cheapest units available for each bedroom type

Type Size Pricing starting from
1BR 463sf S$793K
1+Study 506sf S$932K
2BR Classic 603sf S$1.047M
2BR Deluxe 678sf S$1.183M
2BR Dual Key *hot* 743sf S$1.363M
2+Study 667sf S$1.232M
3BR Classic 915sf S$1.462M
3BR Deluxe 1023sf S$1.649M
4BR Classic 1,184sf S$2.098M
4BR Deluxe 1,367sf S$2.259M
5BR 1,701sf S$2.78M

Contact us to find out more about this great project that is literally at the doorstep of Woodleigh MRT.

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Showflat location

Park Colonial’s showflat is located right beside the actual site, and near Woodleigh MRT station.

park colonial showflat location

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Site plan

Information to be released shortly.

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Park colonial Park colonialPark colonial gallery photos (2) Park colonial gallery photos (3) Park colonial gallery photos (1)

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Condominium facilities

Park Colonial will offer full condominium facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness corners, reading rooms and more.

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Surrounding amenities

The following section will give you an idea of the transport, education, healthcare, shopping/entertainment and fitness/outdoor amenities around Park Colonial at Woodleigh.

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Directly outside Park Colonial is the Woodleigh MRT station.

You can easily access Punggol at the Northern end of the line or Harbourfront MRT at the southern end.

In the middle, the line cuts through Dhoby Ghaut MRT staion, offering you unparalled convenience to the Circle (Orange) and North South (Red) lines.

Should you decide to take the bus, there is a bus stop at the MRT station.

Bus services here include 13, 100, 107, 107M, 133, 135, 147, 155, 853 and NR6.

For drivers, the PIE and CTE exits are about 5 mins drive away, offering you immediate driving access to central Singapore and various parts of the island.

park colonial expressway connectivity

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According to OneMap, these are the following primary schools within a 2km radius.

Within 1km

  • Cedar Primary
  • Maris Stella High School
  • St Andrews Junior School

Within 2km

  • Bendemeer Primary School
  • Canossa Convent Primary School
  • First Toa Payoh Primary School
  • Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School
  • Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School
  • Pei Chun public school
  • St Gabriel’s Primary School
  • Yangzhen Primary School

There will be no lack of educational institutions available for investors and residents of Park Colonial.

Other secondary schools, institutes of higher education/learning, private and international schools include the following

Secondary schools:

  • Cedar Secondary School
  • St Andrew’s Secondary
  • Maris Stella High School
  • St Gabriel’s Secondary School
  • Zhonghua Secondary School

Higher education:

  • St Andrew’s JC
  • Nanyang JC

Private and international schools:

  • Stamford American International School
  • James Cook University

Other educational facilities nearby include:

  • Toa Payoh public library
  • Serangoon public library

park colonial schools within 1 or 2km

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There is no lack of healthcare options for residents of Park Colonial with the upcoming Biddadari neighbourhood.

In any case, the established town centres of Serangoon and Toa Payoh are nearby.

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Popular shopping malls near Park Colonial at Woodleigh include:

  • Upcoming Nex Shopping mall just across the street
  • Nex at Serangoon
  • Heartland Mall at Kovan
  • HDB Hub at Toa Payoh
  • In just a few MRT stops, the Dhoby Ghaut, Somerset and Orchard area is reachable from Park Colonial

Other popular entertainment places include

  • Playgolf Game Centre Golf Range

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Outdoor/fitness amenities

For fitness buffs, there is no lack of fitness and exercise areas around Park Colonial at Woodleigh (by CEL).

Some of them include

  • Toa Payoh Stadium, sports hall and swimming complex
  • Toa Payoh Town Park
  • Upcoming Biddadari Park (integrated with memorial garden)
  • Serangoon stadium
  • Kallang Riverside park leading all the way south to Marina Bay and the sports hub

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Government masterplan

According to various news sources, Biddadari is shaping up to be a popular district in Singapore’s future property landscape.

Once known for its cemetry grounds, Biddadari is being transformed into a new HDB town that will be fully completed by 2019 or 2020.

Since the launch of the first batch of flats, subsequent launches in 2016 attracted many potential buyers.

Biddadari 1
Green lung complemented by a lake is centrally located

Biddadari is close to good schools such as St. Andrews Secondary and Maris Stella High School are nearby as well. Other education institutions include Stamford American International School, and James Cook University.

Mention very big scale masterplans e.g. Punggol digital district, Jurong second CBD, Kallang Riverside, Woodlands development, Paya Lebar area etc.


The locational attributes, along with the government’s push toward a car-lite society will benefit many future residents of the town.

According to the 2014 Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Masterplan, the Bidadari estate will be designed with a garden-like setting where a 10-ha Bidadari Park will be built in the estate to promote green, community spaces.

There are also plans to convert part of Upper Aljunied Road (from Upper Serangoon Road to Vernon Park) into a heritage walk for pedestrians.

As for development of amenities near Bidadari, the government plans to make Bidadari estate into a cycling and pedestrian-friendly town.

The estate will also be equipped with a new commercial development next to Woodleigh MRT station, a bus interchange, a neighborhood police centre and other community facilities located nearby.

The estate will also have various places of worship, health, and medical facilities located within reach of each other to cater to the residents’ needs.

Source: Propertyguru

Connectivity in the area is also likely to improve, with the Today reporting that 3 new roads in Biddadari have been opened since 14 Jan 2018.

Here is a video (2 mins 40 sec) from Today showing a fly through of Biddadari.

Spaces for the community

A vibrant Market Square, located next to Woodleigh MRT Station, will include a housing development integrated with a bus interchange and community facilities, as well as a mixed-use development.

Bidadari Park with Alkaff Lake and Heritage Walk
Bidadari Park with Alkaff Lake and Heritage Walk

Bidadari residents can enjoy a green environment, and the convenience of more facilities and better connectivity. Park and connect to other public spaces within Bidadari, keeping its present park-like ambience

biddadari green fingers
Biddadari green fingers

The Bidadari Greenway will traverse the full length of the estate from Bartley Road to Upper Serangoon Road.

A cycling and pedestrian network has been mapped out, much of which would run through the green corridors, the Bidadari Greenway and the Bidadari Park, enabling the residents to safely cycle and walk around the estate.

Precinct shops and communal facilities will also be strategically located along the Bidadari Greenway to serve the residents and to inject greater vibrancy to the estate.

Biddadari greenway
Biddadari greenway

Future development

A future development, comprising public housing, integrated with a bus interchange, food centre, and social community facilities, will be located at the centre of Bidadari estate.

The development will connect to Woodleigh MRT Station

biddadari future developmentSources: HDB

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The following sections will provide a snapshot on the global and Singapore’s property market health.

Global house prices

According to The Economist, Singapore’s house price is relatively lower compared to major economies around the world.

Singapore economist house price


According to IMF’s quarterly report, Singapore’s house prices also registered negative year on year changes.

This is lower than many other countries around the world.

IMF Singapore

On a relative basis therefore, Singapore property is actually affordable.

Investors looking for value in their property and real estate investments are unlikely to go wrong to consider Singapore, seeing as the run up in prices isn’t as drastic as neighbouring economies such as Hong Kong.

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Singapore house prices

According to URA’s property price index, the residential property market saw a price decline of 15 quarters since 2013.

Prices have started to turn up since the middle of 2017.

URA ppi singapore house price

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Islandwide supply

Based on URA’s statistics, the amount of future property supply is peaking in 2018 and then falling thereafter.

What this means for prices is that there will be support going forward since supply will be depressed.

Home buyers would do well to consider a property investment right now in the light of possible price increases in the next 2 to 3 years.

URA low property supply

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Islandwide vacancy

Supporting the anticipated increase in prices, the Outside Central Region is seeing one of the lowest vacancy levels over the last 4 years.

At a level of 5.9%, vacancy is far below the peak of 9.6% recorded in 2Q2016.

What this means for investors or purchasers is that it will be easier to find tenants in such a landlord’s market, and there may be opportunities to increase the rental in a well renovated house.

URA vacancy

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Micro-market environment

The following sections will provide a snapshot of the micro-market health where the Park Colonial at Woodleigh is situated.


In terms of future completions, there is not much in district 13 and this is likely to lend support to landlords when they rent out an investment unit at Park Colonial.

Based on Squarefoot data, only The Poiz Residences is expected to TOP in 2019. Thereafter, there will be no more new developments for the year.

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Rents and yields

Rental yields for properties surrounding Park Colonial at Woodleigh are about 2.4 to 3.4%.

New projects in the area such as Park Colonial could expect higher rental yields given the new-ness factor and the better location (right beside Woodleigh MRT).

Project Rental yield %
Avon Park 2.4
8 @ Woodleigh 3.4
Blossoms @ Woodleigh 2.6
Euro-Asia Park 2.7
Parc Mondrian 2.8

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In district 13 where Park Colonial is located, latest transacted prices stand at S$1,339 psf.

This is a 47% increase since Mar 2010.

We can expect that prices could continue to rise as the Woodleigh and Biddadari area begins to be heavily developed.

District 13 non landed price trend

District 13 non landed prices
District 13 non landed prices

For projects around Park Colonial, resale prices over the last 12 months have registered between S$1,000 to S$1,283 psf.

Some of the projects include:

Project Price psf S$
Avon Park 1,186
8 @ Woodleigh 1,283
Blossoms @ Woodleigh 1,218
Euro-Asia Park 1,001
Parc Mondrian 1,196

How condo prices surrounding the development has moved – to show that prices are continuing to go upwards

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Interest rates

Interest rates continue to remain low. At 1.7% for the 12 month SIBOR, rates are in line with the level over the last 1-2 years.

This means that investors can lock in a relatively cheap loan if a purchase is made today.

Interest rates are not expected to fall much further in the future given its already low levels.

It may also not be likely to rise unless the Fed in the US sees much stronger growth that warrants a monetary policy response.

SIBOR rates


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Other purchase details

Usual restrictions such as LTV and ABSD remains for buyers. Speak to us to find out more and for us to help you plan on getting the condominium of your dreams.

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Site background

A unit of Chip Eng Seng Corp and Unique Real Estate has put in the top bid for a plum site in Woodleigh Lane.

The Government land sales site tender attracted 15 bidders – close to what analysts had predicted – with offer amounts exceeding expectations.

The 99-year leasehold site launched on May 30 under the confirmed list for the first half of this year drew a top bid of $700.7 million from CEL Unique Development, which is 60 per cent owned by Chip Eng Seng Corp, and 40 per cent by Unique Real Estate.

Unique Real Estate is a joint venture of Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings units.

The land is next to Woodleigh MRT station, adjacent to Bidadari New Town and near amenities such as Nex shopping mall.

The 19,547 sq m site has a maximum gross floor area of 58,641 sq m.

Woodleigh GLS bid

Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL, said: “The bidding war for residential sites has escalated further in this tender, driven by bidders’ determination to secure this attractive site in a market that is potentially recovering.”

He noted that about half the bids were above expectations, with the top four within a tight 3.6 per cent margin.

Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ZACD Group, said many bids were aggressive, “despite the large size of the site and the heavy financial commitment required”.

About one-third of the 15 bids were above $1,000 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at consultancy Edmund Tie & Company, was not surprised, given that the parcel is in a highly attractive location.

“Depending on how the development orientates itself, residents will enjoy unblocked views as the site is adjacent to the landed housing area,” he added.

Based on the land bid, he expects the selling price of the proposed development to range from $1,720 psf to $1,800 psf.

However, Ms Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, noted that such selling prices are not supported in the vicinity, and the plot could face some competition from the mixed-use site in Bidadari estate secured by entities linked to Singapore Press Holdings and Kajima Development.

Source: Straits Times

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Developer background

Since 2000, CEL has been actively acquiring sites for property development and investment.

These developments include residential, commercial and industrial properties. The current portfolio of CEL includes mid-market and high-end prime properties. CEL believes in growth through partnerships.

It has established joint ventures with reputable foreign funds such as Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partner II and Citadel Equity Fund Ltd.

CEL has also teamed with local partners like NTUC Choice Homes Co-operative Ltd and Keppel Land Limited on several highly successful property projects.

Going beyond local boundaries, CEL has launched an expansion into the emerging regional economies, beginning with Vietnam, where it is actively seeking property development opportunities. It is also exploring other markets in South East Asia.

Source: CEL

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Property news round up 11 Mar 2018

dining room singapore

Surbana Jurong guns for S$3.8b in fees in 3-5 years; eyes two architectural firms

THE goal posts for Surbana Jurong have just moved by a notch, after initial targets were exceeded earlier than planned on the back of successive acquisitions.

Still on a prowl for more acquisitions, the urban and infrastructure consultancy is now aiming for S$3.8 billion in revenue and 20,000 employees globally in the next three to five years.

Meeting these targets will signal a more-than-doubling of revenue from S$1.5 billion as at end-2017 and a jump in staff strength from more than 13,500 employees currently.

SingHaiyi aims to build branding as a Singapore company

SINGAPORE-LISTED SingHaiyi Group is well-aware of industry perception of the group as a foreign-owned developer and hopes to change that with its upcoming residential projects on the collective sale sites that it recently secured.

While looking to build its branding in property development with an emphasis on product quality, it will also continue its diversification from residential projects to commercial development here and abroad.

The group is studying the Australian and European markets, where it has gained an exposure through a 9 per cent stake in Australia-listed Cromwell Property Group that is collectively held by SingHaiyi and its parent Haiyi Holdings.

Changes to parking provisions in private buildings proposed

MOTORISTS of the future will have more reason to leave their cars at home, with a proposed change to parking provisions in private buildings that will also free up land for other uses.

If accepted, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be able to more finely calibrate the amount of parking provided through a cap, the authority said on Monday.

Private developments in future “car-lite precincts”, for instance, may have less available parking, but more connectivity to public transport and alternative options such as walking and cycling.

Booking website RedDoorz launches its first fully leased and run hotel

A SINGAPORE-BASED web platform that markets hospitality spaces is venturing into brick and mortar as part of efforts to transform the hospitality industry in South-east Asia.

RedDoorz, which runs a budget accomodation booking website, has expanded into directly leasing and operating hotels.

It recently launched its first, fully-leased and -operated hotel property in Singapore as part of a long-term strategy to provide predictable, consistent customer experiences, as well as to “grow deeper in the hospitality value chain”.

The target is to open 100 such hotel properties across the region this year, with its second one launching in Indonesia as early as May, The Business Times has learnt.

Chip Eng Seng sees opportunity in education sector

CONSTRUCTION and property group Chip Eng Seng Corporation has proposed a diversification of its business by venturing into the education sector.

It said on Monday that it hoped to construct, own, and operate educational facilities and schools as well as manage their programmes.

For a start, it plans to focus on growing this proposed business in the Asia-Pacific region, but will consider expanding globally when the opportunity arises.

KSH, Lian Beng and Heeton unveil plans for Geylang plot

PROPERTY companies KSH Holdings, Lian Beng and Heeton Holdings on Monday said that their joint venture has completed the acquisition of odd-number properties 31 to 51 along Lorong 24 Geylang for S$60 million.

KSH Holdings owns the lion share in the JV at 48 per cent, followed by Lian Beng (42 per cent) and Heeton Holdings (10 per cent). The properties have a combined land area of about 2,432 square metres.

The vendor is an independent and unrelated third party.

Nicon Gardens up for sale for at least S$110m

NICON Gardens, a 99-year leasehold strata landed development located at Choa Chu Kang Road, will be launched for collective sale this Thursday, with owners expecting at least S$110 million.

Its appointed marketing agent ERA Realty said that the collective sales committee is expecting strong interest from developers as there have not been any government land sales for landed housing in Singapore over the past few years, especially in the vicinity.

The development currently consists of 47 units of townhouses, with each unit expected to yield sale proceeds of S$2.3 million based on the reserve price.

Singapore Budget 2018: Built-environment sector to get leg-up from research funds and Build-SG office

PLANS are afoot to raise the capabilities of local construction players by roping in industry and the research community to help transform the built-environment (BE) sector through research funds and helping local firms to internationalise.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) and its partner agencies will launch a series of calls for research ideas under the “Cities of Tomorrow R&D” programme over the next few months, committing up to S$40 million in research funds.

Bigger supply of HDB flats with shorter waiting time

TO HELP more young couples buy their first home, the Housing Board will double the number of flats it offers in 2019 to shorten their waiting time.

It will also let them apply for a flat and defer the assessment of their income for the unit to nearer the time they collect the keys.

This would let them get their flats earlier while they build up their finances, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday.

Announcing the moves in Parliament, Mr Wong said the about 2,000 flats to be offered next year will have a waiting time of two to three years compared with the usual three to four years.

Phase 1 of Nim Collection to be launched at average of S$2.8-S$3m

AS the first developer to launch its private residential project this year, Bukit Sembawang Estates is releasing 30 out of 47 units in Phase 1 of its landed development, Nim Collection, with an average price of S$2.8 million to S$3 million.

The launch of the project on Saturday follows a recovery in landed home prices, marked by two quarterly price upticks in the second half of last year.

Located in Nim Road off Ang Mo Kio Ave 5, this project is one of the first to adopt the new “envelope” control guidelines, which offer greater flexibility in the design and configuration of interior space.

Frasers Hospitality aims for 13 properties in Middle East

FRASERS Hospitality announced plans on Thursday to double its Middle East footprint to 13 properties over the next few years as it seeks to capitalise on the growing number of business tourists to the region.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expected to be the top three business travel markets in the Middle East, Frasers said in a press statement.

Bahrain has also seen a large influx of business tourists due to hosting large events like the World Islamic Banking Conference.

ARA unit to acquire 19.5% stake in Aussie real estate firm

A WHOLLY owned subsidiary of Singapore-based ARA Asset Management will acquire a 19.5 per cent stake in Australian real estate firm Cromwell Property Group for A$405.9 million (S$416.9 million).

ARA will acquire the stake from South African-based real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties.

The sale will involve about 386.5 million stapled securities at A$1.05 per stapled security.

HDB resale flat prices fell in Feb, but number sold rose

PRICES of Housing Board (HDB) resale flats dipped slightly for the second month running, but the volume of flats sold increased.

February’s prices fell 0.6 per cent compared with January prices, according to SRX flash estimates on Thursday.

January prices had also fallen 0.5 per cent from last December’s prices. However, there was a 9.6 per cent increase in resale flats sold last month – from 1,090 units to 1,195 units.

Shophouse deals gain momentum in Jan-Feb

THE Singapore shophouse market has had a good start to the year in terms of transactions volume with deals in places like Tanjong Pagar and Mosque Street in the CBD to Tanjong Katong Road and Joo Chiat Road

Prices are also holding well, if not appreciating, amid a dearth of new listings, say industry watchers.

In the first two months, 26 caveats totalling S$220.8 million were lodged for purchases of shophouses island-wide, based on CBRE’s analysis of URA Realis caveats data as at March 5.

For the whole of last year, the tally was 148 caveats amounting to just over S$1 billion – a jump from the 107 caveats totalling S$707.1 million in 2016.

Ng brothers are Singapore’s top billionaires: Forbes

REAL estate barons Robert and Philip Ng have retained their No 1 spot as the top billionaires in Singapore, with a combined net worth of US$10.8 billion, in financial magazine Forbes’ 32nd annual ranking of the world’s billionaires.

Their net worth is up from the previous year’s US$9.4 billion.

Four residential sites launched for sale by tender

FOUR more residential sites have been placed on Singapore’s burgeoning property market – with Asia Gardens along Everton Road leading the way at an asking price of S$338 million.

The other three developments are Park View Mansions near Jurong Lake with an expected price of S$320 million; 27 Moulmein Rise with a reserve price of S$110 million; and Katong Omega Apartments with an indicative price of S$41 million.

According to Edmund Tie & Co (ET&Co) which is marketing the collective sale of Asia Gardens, the asking price of S$338 million works out to a land rate of S$1,675 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), or S$1,523 psf on the maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), including the 10 per cent bonus balcony area.

Sasseur Reit cornerstone investors include JD.com and YCH boss

E-COMMERCE giant JD.com, Singapore’s CKK Holdings which owns the the Charles & Keith group of companies, and Entrepolis, a private investment firm of Robert Yap, the executive chairman of local logistics firm YCH Group, are among the cornerstone investors of Sasseur Reit.

The trust’s preliminary prospectus, lodged on Wednesday, contained no information on pricing or issuance size, but an earlier report in The Business Times, citing a term sheet it had seen, said the initial public offering (IPO) could raise between S$500 million and S$600 million, and Sasseur Reit would have a market cap of S$1 billion upon its debut.

Tanjong Katong bungalow market on a roll

A STRING of large freehold bungalow deals have been sealed in the past few months in the Tanjong Katong area.

These include transactions in Boscombe, Branksome, Lyndhurst, Wilkinson and Arthur roads.

Some of these are old bungalows that were bought by families already living in the area for redevelopment into their new homes.

Among the bigger deals is an old single-storey bungalow on a 12,767 sq ft site in Boscombe Road that is being transacted for S$17.5 million.

This works out to nearly S$1,371 per square foot on the land area of 12,767 sq ft. The buyer is understood to be a family member of Hoi Hup Realty director Wong Sjew Hung.

She and her family already live in the area.

Koh Brothers unit wins bid for Toho Mansion

KBD Ventures, a subsidiary of construction and property developer Koh Brothers, has won the en bloc tender for Toho Mansion on Holland Road for S$120.43 million, or around S$1,805 per square foot per plot ratio.

The freehold site, with an area measuring 4,427.8 sq m and a plot ratio of 1.4, can be redeveloped to a project with potential gross floor area of 6,818.7 sq m, including a 10 per cent bonus balcony area, Koh Brothers said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange early on Friday.

Zoned for residential use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s 2014 Master Plan, the plot enjoys enjoys a high development baseline, with no development charge to redevelop the te, said the marketing agent for the site, Edmund Tie & Company, on Friday

Singapore’s strata office market gains momentum

THE strata office market seems to be rousing in the last half a year. While the sales volume and pricing are still lower than the pre-TDSR period of 2013, activity seems to have steadily returned since 2015.

At the peak of its cycle in 2012, property sales of strata-titled offices were at an all-time high with a record S$2.29 billion worth of new and resale strata offices traded – almost three times more than the sale transactions of S$760 million in 2017.

The market then was dominated by a 70-30 ratio of investors to end-users at that point in the cycle.

Ready credit enticed many investors to purchase a slice of the office strata investment market. Developers, egged on by the frenzy, used the opportunity to convert whole commercial floors into strata units, parcelled out for sale to investors.

Goodluck Garden sold to Qingjian for S$610m

GOODLUCK Garden, a 210-unit residential development on Toh Tuck Road, has been sold collectively to the Qingjian Group of Companies for S$610 million.

This is the second-largest en bloc deal to be awarded this year, after Park West’s S$841 million transaction in January.

Based on a potential gross floor area of 46,840.08 sq m, the sale price translates to a land price of about S$1,210 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Due to a high development baseline, a development charge will not be payable for the 10 per cent bonus balcony and this will lower the land price to S$1,100 psf ppr.

How to spot condominiums with en-bloc potential

Eunosville potential en bloc

En bloc fever is upon the Singapore non-landed residential condominium/apartment market again.

Looking for a development with en-bloc potential? Have a fear of missing out?

Going by how land prices have moved in the past, and how developers have bidded, the potential for more en-blocs remains strong.

This en-bloc cycle isn’t the first, the last time the en-bloc fever hit the property market was in the period 2005-2007.

At that point of time, 12,710 en-bloc units were sold with a total value of S$22.3 billion, according to Ms Christine Li, Head of Research at Cushman & Wakefield.

As of writing of this post, Business Times reports that “there were 27 collective sales of residential redevelopment sites and three involving commercial or industrial redevelopment sites in 2017, bringing the total collective sales value to S$8.7 billion. This was a stark jump from 2016, when there were only three residential sites sold collectively for S$1 billion”.

For investors who are keen to jump on the en-bloc bandwagon but do not have a property that has en-bloc potential, how can they get started?

In this post, we scoured the internet and added a few of our original ideas to come up with a list of signs that investors can spot to identify apartments/condominiums that have en-bloc potential.

Rising land and property values in the area

Do you know the saying of “driving while looking in the rearview mirror”?

Investors and developers sometimes fall pray to this behavior when they approach the en-bloc market.

Looking in the rearview mirror when driving

Take a look at the chart below of a certain stock index.S&P500

Has been rising, yes?

Keen to buy into the market in anticipation that it will rise further?

I’m quite sure you’d be leaning on the fence to buy in rather than wait it out.

Let’s see what happened shortly after you had bought into the index.

It dipped.

S&P500 longerI use this as an illustration that everyone, rich, poor, tall, short, investors and developers can fall prey to “driving while looking into the rearview mirror” in their investments.

In the en-bloc market, this manifests itself by developers looking at how prices have shot up in a certain area, such as the central region, thinking to themselves that it will continue to rise, we can’t miss, and we need to enter.

And therefore these developers enter into the market and conduct an en-bloc. They have a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

The key for a regular homeowner like yourself, is to spot the en-bloc potential in the area by looking at how prices have moved.

The movement in prices could portend a move by developers in making an en-bloc sale.

Developers may be thinking to themselves, “prices have risen, and while we don’t know for sure whether it will continue to rise, let’s buy into the market, tear it down and build it up, and by the time we launch the units for sale, cross our fingers and relying on our expert research analysts, prices would still have continued to rise.”

You as a regular homeowner wouldn’t need to take on the development risk. You however would need to piece 1+1 and try to anticipate the developer doing an en-bloc and ride on that potential.

In any case, a trend of rising price would result in developers keeping tabs on a certain location, and investors can use this knowledge to their advantage.

Also read: DC rates and en-bloc deals

Underutilized plot ratio

The URA 2014 masterplan has plot ratios for every piece of land in Singapore.

For example, the following screenshot of Singapore’s CBD shows the various plot ratios (the numbers with one decimal place) of different parcels of land.

URA masterplan plot ratios

Generally, apartments/condominiums where the plot ratio is underutilized has a higher potential for en-bloc.

Eunosville and Shunfu Ville en-bloc

For example, the en-bloc sale of Eunosville saw the developer paying about S$194m in government charges to intensify land use to a gross plot ratio of 2.8 (and to also top up the lease to a fresh 99 years), according to Straits Times.

Another example is Shunfu Ville, where part of the purchase price of $638 million includes a differential premium payable to the state to top up the lease for another 99 years and intensify the land use.

In these two cases (and many others in the market), the existing developments did not fully utilize the plot ratio.

Therefore the was the opportunity for developers to buy over the development, knock it down, and intensify and increase the land use by rebuilding more units than there were so that the plot ratio is maximized.

Also read: Free home reports and how they can help your property investments

Freehold condominiums

Looking at the list of en-bloc sales tracked by Edgeprop, what stands out is the number of freehold condominiums that go through collective sales.

For example, the following screenshot shows a good many developments that went through en-bloc in 2017 had a freehold tenure.

Edgeprop freehold en blocThe same situation can be found in 2016.

Edgeprop freehold en bloc 2016And also in 2007. There were too many to select so the en-bloc deals completed later in 2007 are shown.

Edgeprop freehold en bloc 2007From the above where a larger number of freehold apartments/condominiums relative to leasehold condominiums underwent en-bloc, one can infer that en-bloc developers seem to have an affinity for freehold sites.

EdgeProp’s en-bloc calculator

EdgeProp’s logit regression also pointed out that between Jan 2017 and Mar 2018, freehold projects were 1.75x more likely to go en-bloc than 99-year leasehold projects.

One reason for this is that developers will not be required to pay any lease upgrading premium to top up the lease from, for example, 60 years to 99 years.

Considering that most projects that undergo en-bloc are more than 30 years, the lease upgrading premium may amount to a significant sum for developers.

This amount can be avoided if the project going through a potential en-bloc is freehold in nature.

Also read: Improving Singapore residential market according to Propertyguru’s survey

Many housing choices in the vicinity

There will be a higher chance of an en bloc going through if there is a greater availability of housing in the vicinity.

For residents of the development that may potentially en-bloc, many of them can look around the immediate area for alternative housing, increasing the chances of them going through with the dea.

Low amount of land released by government land sales (GLS) in the area

En-blocs generally happen because developers are hungry for land.

The availability of land is key to the survival of property development companies because it is a raw material for developers to generate revenue, much like flour is raw material for an F&B outlet to produce food to sell.

Since 2013, the amount of land released by the government through GLS tenders has fallen.

This can be seen in the following chart by Colliers.

Colliers low gls supplyWith a reduction in government land supply, Colliers note that the supply is inadequate to meet the strong take-up (demand).

Therefore, with limited GLS offerings, developers are turning to developments with en-bloc potential.

Development is old in age

According to EdgeProp, developments that are older in age have a higher chance of going through en-bloc.

For example, between Jan 2017 and March 2018, the average age of properties that went en-bloc was 31.6 years.

There are a multitude of reasons for why older developments undergo en-bloc, one of which is that older developments require more money to upkeep.

More money has to be spent by the Management Corporate Strata Title to perform maintenance and CAPEX (for larger repair and upkeep) works.

Ultimately, it is the owners paying these monies.

Another reason could be that over time, surrounding plots of land have had their plot ratios lifted and been redeveloped.

If the said development isn’t utilized (because of the passage of time), there is a chance for a developer to en-bloc it.

In addition, the government could have slated the area for rejuvenation and over time, the character of said development is not in line with surrounding buildings.

Also read: The RES exam is getting more difficult to pass with only a 30% passing rate

Few or no resale transactions in the development

One sign that can spell an impending en-bloc sale is the lack of resale transactions in the development.

If there are recent transactions, some buyers would have to pay Seller Stamp Duties (SSD).

If the developer hoping to buy the development on an en-bloc basis, the developer would have to fork out a higher price to ensure none of the owners have negative proceeds.

This would result in a higher price to be paid to present owners, which means developers need to be more aggressive in their underwriting, which is risky.

If the last resale transactions were many years back, none of the owners would need to pay any SSD, and this would be less taxing and onerous on the developer in raising capital to pay off the present owners.

Also read: 8 Hullet condo in the heart of Orchard Road at Somerset (1BR from S$1.8xx)

Rejuvenation of surrounding area

Another reason that may increase the potential for en-bloc of a project is the rejuvenation of developments in the surrounding area.

One of the ways en-bloc help the government is through the renewal and rejuvenation of a neighbourhood.

The risk of development is undertaken by a private developer, they engage the residents, coordinate the activities required to carry through the en-bloc and ultimately help the government renew the neighbourhood.

There is no financial risk to the government at all.

One example of an en-bloc that took place near an area that is slated to be renewed is that of Raintree Gardens.

Sited beside a reserve site and a residential plot that is subject to detailed planing, there is a high chance that URA’s planners will look to develop the area over the coming years/decades.

Raintree gardens URA masterplanFor Raintree Gardens that is older and less well-built, it would look a little out of place once the surrounding areas are built up with swanky and spanking new condominiums over the next 5 to 10 years.

To the West of Raintree Gardens is Kallang which has been earmarked by the government for rejuvenation.

Given it’s riverside position, there is likely to be substantial financial gain for a developer to buy it en-bloc and tout it as a riverfront development as the entire area becomes rejuvenated.

Low number of units in development

According to PropEdge’s logit regression model, smaller developments have a higher success of en-bloc.

For example, between Jan 2017 and March 2018, projects with less than 50 units made up for over half of all succesful en-bloc transactions.

It is not difficult to see why projects with fewer number of units are more likely to undergo en-bloc.

With fewer stakeholders in a decision, it will be easier to achieve the desired 80% to go ahead with an en-bloc.

For other matters such as the consultant’s calculation of en-bloc proceeds, developer’s calculation of how much to offer, cost of engineering and building works etc., these can be done much quicker than a larger project with, for example, more than 500 units.

Also read: Life Sukhumvit 62 – a piece of Bangkok at S$1xxk for 1BR

All about DC rates and en-bloc deals

Singapore residential property prices

Development charge (DC) rates has been in the news quite recently because of the spate of en-blocs going on around Singapore.

Even though someone may be familiar with the en-bloc market, DC rates may be something new.

DC rates are not something that is thrust into the spotlight but has a big role to play in how present owners of en-bloc’d properties are remunerated, how reserve prices are calculated and how developers make their money.

This post sheds some light on what DC rates are all about, how they figure in an en-bloc process, why the government tweaks the rates up and down and how they can affect you.

What are DC rates?

From URA’s website, the definition of DC rate is as follows –

“Development charge is a tax levied when planning permission is granted to carry out development projects that increase the value of the land (e.g. when a development is rezoned or has its plot ratio increased). The development charge rates are received in consultation with the Chief Valuer at the Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS) every six months (on 1 March and 1 September).”

Other news publications and research analysts covering the property market define DC as

JLL’s Tay Huey Ying: “The DC is a tax that is levied when planning permission is granted to carry out development projects that increase the value of the land.”

TodayOnline: “The development charge is a tax levied on developers when planning permission is granted to carry out development projects that increase the value of land, including rezoning to a higher value use and increasing the plot ratio of the property.”

How do you check DC rates?

DC rates can be checked from URA’s website.

As of writing, the latest DC rates are as of 1 March 2018.

URA dc rates

Alternatively, DC rates are available in a map provided by URA.

To find out the DC rates from the map, go here.

In the left toolbar, go to “Property use and Approval” and click on “Development Charge Rates”

URA dc rates mapAfter clicking through, you will notice that the map has been segmented into various districts by a grey line/boundary.

Click on anywhere in the map and you will see a red highlight and a number in the middle of the section you just clicked.

On the right is the DC sector, the effective date, use groups and dates.

The table on the right will also show the various use groups and their corresponding rates.

URA dc rates map detailed

What are DC use groups?

DC use groups are categories created by URA that correspond to various property asset groups.

The following table from URA shows the various use groups and the purposes for which development is permitted or to be authorized.

Most popular among property owners, investors and developers are use groups A, B1, B2 and D which correspond to shops/offices etc, residential landed, residential non-landed and industrial uses.

Use Group Purposes for which development is permitted or to be authorised
A Shop, office, association office, cinema, place of entertainment, clinic, medical suite, restaurant, petrol station, auto-service centre, commercial garage, market, sports and recreation building
B1 Residential (landed dwelling-house1)
B2 Residential (non-landed residential building)
C Hospital, hotel room and hotel-related uses
D Industrial, warehousing, science park, business park, transport depot, airport, dock, port uses, utility installation, telecommunication infrastructure, Mass Rapid Transit Station, Light Rail Transit Station
E Place of worship, community building, community sports and fitness building, educational and institutional uses, government building
F Open space, nature reserve
G Agriculture
H Drain, road, railway, cemetery, Mass Rapid Transit Route, Light Rail Transit Route

What are DC geographical sectors?

DC sectors are various areas of Singapore that has been classified by URA into numbers 1 to 118.

The breakdown of DC geographical sectors can be found here.

For example, DC sector 1 corresponds to a section of Raffles Place.

To the east of DC sector 1 is DC sector 6 which corresponds to a section of Collyer Quay and Esplanade Bridge.

URA makes it easy to find the various DC sector numbers with their mapping tool.

How do historical DC rates look like?

Yours truly has compiled historical DC rates since 1989.

They are available from URA’s website anyway.

The following chart shows the historical DC rates for use group B2 (non-landed residential).

The chart starts from year 2000 because prior to year 2000, both landed (presently use group B1) and non-landed (presently use group B2) were considered as use group B.

Historical URA DC ratesVery evidently, the trend of DC rates follows very closely with that of the URA property price index.

Click here to contact me for the full history of DC rates in an excel file.

The peak of prices in 2007/2008 corresponds to a peak in DC rates during that period, followed by a trough in 2009.

Thereafter, DC rates climbed till 2013 before falling, all these in tandem with the property price index.

Recently, DC rates have made a historical high not seen since 2007/2008.

URA property price indexWhy do DC rates rise and fall?

Naturally, a question would be why DC rates rise and fall?

It would be good to take a step back and understand how DC rates are used as a policy tool by the government.

When the market is hot and booming for example when there are many en-bloc sales (or high priced sales or increasing volume) happening, the government may be concerned that prices would run ahead of fundamentals and/or a bubble could form.

During en-bloc sales, developers buy land that is underutilized (meaning that the present built up area is not as much as what the land and its plot ratio can accommodate), and redevelop them.

In the process of redeveloping (and maximizing the plot ratio), developers will have to the government the development charge.

Remember I mentioned earlier that DC is payable when the value of land is increased?

In the process of redevelopment, the developer will have more units than in the past to sell (e.g. the apartment has 20 units, but the developer is maximizing the plot ratio and building 40 units – this is where value is increased).

The government won’t let the private developer take all the profit and not have a share.

Therefore, DC is payable by the developer to the government.

In an en-bloc sale, developers bid very bullishly and buy over older developments and give the present owners a windfall.

If a higher DC were payable to the government, the developer would have less profit to take home.

In this case, the developer would lower the amount they offer to present owners to preserve some profit for themselves.

Through this method of raising DC rates, the government has in effect made developers more cautious in their bidding.

This is how DC rates affect the ebb and flow of en-bloc sales.

How are development charges calculated?

This is a pretty technical question, so it would be best to refer to SLA’s document on the calculation of differential premium (DP).

The calculation of a DP and DC is similar. Both calculations are based off the DC rates table I pointed out earlier.

In the event there is a top up of lease from, for example, 60 years, to 99 years, there is also an increase in value of the land, and therefore DC or DP needs to be paid.

Generally, DC does not need to be paid if an applicant applies to pay for DP.

Whatever the case may be, any increase in the value of land will require the applicant to pay a sum of money to the government.

Other questions related to DC rates

How often are DC rates revised?

DC rates are revised every 6 months, in March and September of each year.

Who pays for development charges?

The owner of the land or the applicant for the planning permission is liable for payment.

What is the Bala’s table?

On the topic of DCs and increasing the value of land, since most properties in Singapore have a 99-year leasehold tenure, the Bala’s table (appendix 1) will be important to consider.

This is because there can be an increase in the value of land when a lease is topped up from, for example, 60 years, to 99 years.

And as mentioned earlier, when there is an increase in the value of land, DC needs to be paid.

Parkwood residences condominium at Yio Chu Kang by Oxley


Parkwood Residences is an upcoming condominium slated to be launched at Yio Chu Kang by Oxley.

Use the following quick navigation content page or contact us immediately to register your interest in Parkwood Residences.

Quick Navigation

  1. Condominium summary
  2. Condominium location
  3. Unit mix
  4. Floor plans
  5. Pricing
  6. Showflat location
  7. Site plan
  8. Gallery
  9. Condominium facilities
  10. Surrounding amenities i.e. Transport, education, healthcare, shopping/entertainment and outdoor/fitness amenities
  11. Government masterplan
  12. Macro-environment: Global and Singapore house prices; supply; vacancy
  13. Micro-market environment: Demand; supply; rents and yields; prices
  14. Interest rates
  15. Site background
  16. Developer background
  17. Contact us/register interest

Condominium summary

Project name Parkwood Residences
Developer Oxley Holdings
Tenure Freehold
Address 208 Yio Chu Kang Road
District 19
Unit mix 3 bedroom
4 bedroom
4 bedroom penthouse
5 bedroom penthouse
Total number of units 18
No of blocks 2
No of levels 4
Car park lots 18 (1 for each unit)
Site area 14,136 sqft

Condominium location

Parkwood Residences sits on the former site of Toho Green at 208 Yio Chu Kang Road.

Nestled in between Serangoon and Hougang, with easy access to major roads Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 and Hougang Ave 2, Parkwood residences is highly accessible by key forms of transport.

Unit mix

Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Floor plans

Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Showflat location

Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Site plan

Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Condominium facilities

Information will be out shortly. Contact us to stay updated.

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Surrounding amenities

The following sections will provide an idea of the transport, education, healthcare, shopping/entertainment and fitness/outdoor amenities around Parkwood Residences.


Immediately outside Parkwood Residences is a bus stop that has bus services 43, 43M, 70, 73, 76, 103, 109, 116, 147, 156 and 534.

The nearest MRT station is Kovan to the East of Parkwood Residences.

For drivers, Exit 12A of the CTE is about a 3-5min drive from Parkwood Residences.

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According to OneMap, there are the following primary schools within a 2 km radius.

Within 1km:

  • Rosyth School
  • Xinmin Primary School
  • Zhonghua Primary School

Between 1-2km:

  • CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel
  • Holy Innocents Primary School
  • Hougang Primary School
  • Montfort Junior School
  • Xinghua Primary School
  • Yio Chu Kang Primary School

Other secondary schools, institutes of higher education/learning, private and international schools include

Secondary schools:

  • Serangoon Garden Secondary School
  • Bowen Secondary School
  • Xinmin Secondary School
  • Peicai Secondary School

Higher education:

  • Serangoon Junior College
  • Nanyang Junior College
  • ITE College Central and ITE Headquarters

Private and international schools:

  • Australian International School
  • Dimensions International College

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The town centres of Kovan, Hougang and Serangoon provides healthcare facilities such as clinics, dentists and pharmacies.


There are a few nearby shopping malls from Parkwood Residences which are Heartland Mall at Kovan, Nex at Serangoon, Hougang Mall and Ang Mo Kio Hub.

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Outdoor/fitness amenities

For fitness lovers, Serangoon Stadium and Hougang Stadium/Swimming Complex are nearby.

Punggol Park and Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park River Plains are slightly further away but within reach.

Government masterplan

Kovan MRT station, which is the nearest station to Parkwood Residences, is only 5 stops from Punggol, which is slated to be developed over the next 10 years into the Punggol Digital District.

The government has plans for the Punggol Digital District to bookend the North Coast Innovation Corridor, housing technology firms involved in key growth fields such as cyber-security, as well as fostering industry-academia collaboration at the new Singapore Institute of Technology Campus.

The Digital District will be created by extending the existing Punggol Town Centre towards the waterfront, and developed as a mixed-use district comprising residential, commercial and business park uses, alongside the new Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) campus.

The district will be geared towards the digital and cyber-security industries cluster, and will be used to drive Singapore’s Smart Nation push through the incorporation of innovative technologies and ideas.

The district will create 28,000 jobs and open gradually from 2023.

This will be good news for those who own a property in the area considering the rental demand and wealth that will be created in the district.

Source: URA, Today

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The following sections will provide a snapshot on the global and islandwide property market health.

Global house prices

Compared to other countries in the region and globally, Singapore’s house prices as measured by The Economist is still on the lower end.

Parkwood Residences

As measured by the IMF, Singapore’s real house price growth on a yearly basis is on the lower end compared to the other countries tracked.

IMF Parkwood ResidencesThis shows that on a relative scale, Singapore house prices are still fairly affordable.

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Singapore house prices

On a micro level, the property price index as measured by URA show that there has been a turn in property prices.

URA PPIQuick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in Parkwood Residences at Yio Chu Kang by Oxley.

Islandwide supply

While prices start their gradual recovery, the number of units expected to be completed over the next 5 years continue to remain low.

The following chart from URA shows a peaking of units to be completed in 2018 followed by a sharp drop all the way till after 2021.

URA pipeline supply 3Q2017

Islandwide vacancy

While the number of units that are expected to be completed over the next few years are declining, the vacancy of private residential units in the Outside Central Region (OCR) has been on the decline as measured by URA.

Falling from a high of 9.6% in 2Q 2016, the OCR vacancy rate now stands at 7.3% as of 3Q 2017.

URA OCR vacancyQuick links: 1) Quick navigation 2) Contact us to register your interest in Parkwood Residences at Yio Chu Kang by Oxley.

Micro-market environment

The following sections will provide a snapshot of the micro-market health where the development condominium is situated.


According to URA and SLA, Parkwood Residences which is located in the Hougang Planning Area has a total Singapore Resident population of 224,390 people.

Out of this total, about 171,470 are living in HDB with the remaining in condominiums and landed properties.

Hougang planning area total residentSource: Singstat

With a large number of HDB residents, there is a potential pool of upgraders that may be likely to purchase should you decide to sell Parkwood Residences.

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Supply location scan 1) future completions 2) present rental competitors 3) Mention why condo can overcome supply

Rents and yields

Immediately around Parkwood Residences are the following projects with their respective rental yields based on transactions in the last 12 months.

On average, the developments in the area are commanding a rental yield of about 3 to 3.5%.

Project name Rental yield (%)
The Waterline 3.1
Nouvelle Park 2.7
Serangoon Ville 1.4
Terrasse 3.1
[email protected]
Rosyth Lodge
Rosyth Ville 4.2
One Rosyth 4.0
Fontaine Parry 2.9

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Parkwood Residences is located in District 19 and according to Squarefoot, prices have risen from S$781 psf to S$1,130 psf from Mar 2010 to Feb 2018.

This represents an increase of 45% on an absolute basis or about 5% on an annualized basis.

If an investor had rented out the unit and taken leverage, the annualized returns would be much greater than 5%.

District 19 prices

According to Squarefoot, the table shows the condominiums and apartments around Parkwood Residences and their average transacted prices

Project name Avg $ psf
The Waterline 1,020
Nouvelle Park 849
Serangoon Ville 1,232
Terrasse 1,082
[email protected] 826
Rosyth Lodge 769
Rosyth Ville 757
One Rosyth 924
Fontaine Parry 1,057

Interest rates

For more information on interest rates, please visit this page to check what the banks are offering.

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Site background

Previously known as Toho Green, the purchase of the development was made by Oxley.

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Developer background

Oxley Holdings Limited (“Oxley” or “the Group”) is a home-grown Singaporean property developer.

Oxley is principally engaged in the business of property development and property investment.

Since its inception, the Group’s accelerated growth has resulted in a burgeoning presence both locally and overseas. It now has a presence across twelve geographical markets.

The Group has a diversified portfolio comprising development and investment projects in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, Australia, Japan and Vietnam.

Oxley’s expertise does not lie solely in property development; the Group also renders project management and consultancy expertise in Myanmar.

Source: Oxley

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Property news round up 4th Mar 2018

singapore property residential reit dividend

Few districts see chance of oversupply of homes: study

A NEW study on the upcoming supply of private residential units from development sites sold suggests that oversupply risks, if any, may be contained within certain districts.

Islandwide, only Districts 3, 5, 13, 18 and 19 appear to have a relatively high number of upcoming residential units in relation to the current completed units there – in the proportions of 12 to 34 per cent.

Each of these districts has at least 2,000 units that can be launched from sites sold to developers under government land sales (GLS) and collective sale sites, the study by Cushman & Wakefield shows.

Developers’ war chest of cash keeps collective sale party going

ARE developers still on a prowl for land? That question naturally cropped up when the public tenders of 10 or more collective sale sites closed without concluding a sale in recent months.

But four of such sites have since found buyers under private treaty, which market watchers were quick to attribute to developers’ sustained interest for land though they are proceeding more cautiously than before.

Also read: Pre-paying your home loan could be a good idea

Keeping this en bloc train going is their war chest of cash reserves built up by massive project completions in recent years.

Estimates from Cushman & Wakefield suggest that developers still have another S$18.9 billion for land acquisitions in the near term.

This is a conservative estimate since it assumes developers re-invest only profits from completed projects.

BCA orders developer to stop work on Kingsford Waterbay

KINGSFORD Development’s condominium project in Upper Serangoon View has hit a snag, after the Singapore authorities issued an order to the developer to stop building works because of its failure to meet certain requirements.

When contacted, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) confirmed that an order has been issued to the Chinese developer under the Building Control Act for its 1,165-unit project Kingsford Waterbay.

BCA said it had on Nov 22 last year received feedback on suspected construction safety issues at the project.

Banyan Tree to bid for rest of Laguna Resorts & Hotels

BANYAN Tree Holdings Limited said on Monday that it intends to make an offer for the remaining shares it does not already own in its subsidiary Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited, but has no plans to delist the Thai-listed unit.

The acquisition will be by way of a voluntary tender offer for 57.08 million shares in Laguna Resorts & Hotels at 40 Thai baht apiece by Banyan Tree and its subsidiary Banyan Tree Resorts & Spas (Thailand) Company Limited.

The offer price represents a 34 per cent premium to the last traded price of Laguna Resorts & Hotels of 29.75 baht immediately preceding the date of the tender offer.

The Estoril at Holland Rd up for sale with S$220m guide price

THE Estoril, a condominium project along 95 & 97 Holland Road, is up for collective sale with a guide price of S$220 million, reflecting a land price of about S$1,625 per sq ft per plot ratio.

Sitting on a freehold site of about 84,600 sq ft and zoned “residential” with a height control of up to 12 storeys, the development comes with a plot ratio of 1.6 based on the 2014 Master Plan.

It has a maximum allowable gross floor area of about 148,896 sq ft, including a 10 per cent bonus area on balconies.

China’s January home prices rise even as top cities post decline

CHINA’S new home prices grew in January although major cities saw early signs of softening, as the government continued its efforts to rein in speculative demand to fend off bubble risk.

Also read: Stay beside the river at Serangoon with Jui Residences

The acceleration in prices across the nation suggests moves by provincial governments to support first-time buyers and upgraders by relaxing some purchase restrictions may be further fanning price gains in a market where fear of missing out is strong and mortgage fraud is rampant.

Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 5 per cent in January from a year earlier and 0.3 per cent month on month, according to Reuters calculations based on the data from the statistics bureau on Saturday.

Pension funds bid for stake in Sydney road project: sources

AT least two Australian pension funds and one Canadian fund are participating in competing groups bidding for a majority stake in one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, people with knowledge of the sale told Reuters.

Australia’s New South Wales government is trying to sell a 51 per cent stake in Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC), the company building the A$16.8 billion (S$17.4 billion) WestConnex project, which links Sydney’s centre with its fast-growing western suburbs.

Preliminary bids for a 51 per cent stake were due on Monday with final bids due by mid-year.

Three people familiar with the bidding process said local pension funds IFM Investors and AustralianSuper and Canada’s La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) were each part of separate consortia bidding for the stake. The sources did not want to be identified because the details of the sale were confidential.

Windy Heights in Eunos launched for collective sale at S$806.2m

THE owners of Windy Heights in Eunos have put their property up for collective sale, billing it as one of the largest freehold residential redevelopment sites to come on the market in the area.

The property along Jalan Daud comprises four blocks of 192 apartment units, eight penthouses and two commercial units. Under the Government’s 2014 Master Plan, the 23,291 square metres (250,702 square feet) site is zoned “Residential” with a Gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.1.

It can be redeveloped to accommodate 581 apartments of 100 sq m per unit, based on the current built-up gross floor area (GFA) of 58,150.74 sq m, said Knight Frank Singapore, the property’s marketing agent.

EC supply crunch powers Punggol site to record price

THE under-supply in the executive condominium (EC) market is so acute that all 17 bidders at a state tender for a site in Punggol have placed bids that are higher than the record for EC land set in July 2013, at the previous peak of the residential market.

The top bid for the Sumang Walk site at Tuesday’s tender closing, from a joint venture between wholly-owned subsidiaries of City Developments Ltd (CDL) and TID, was S$583 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Also read: High class address at Orchard Road with 8 Hullet

This was 64 per cent higher than the top bid of S$355 psf ppr for the Anchorvale Lane site in August 2016, during the last EC tender.

JLL national director Ong Teck described this as “stunning” and “way above market expectations”.

Tulip Garden, Windy Heights join en bloc wagon

DEVELOPERS can add another two more freehold plots to the long list of en bloc projects being pitched to them, with Tulip Garden in Farrer Road and Windy Heights in Eunos launching collective sale tenders.

With seemingly no let up in the number of estates hopping onto the collective sale bandwagon, analysts expect the success rate of such deals to slow with developers getting more choosy as their landbanks fill up.

Residential en bloc sales in the first two months of this year have already topped S$3.1 billion, almost twice the S$1.66 billion seen in the last such market frenzy in 2007, according to Nomura analyst Sai Min Chow.

Sold in 12 minutes: House found with skeletal remains went for S$2.23m

THE Sembawang Hills Estate terrace house where two sets of skeletal remains were found has a new owner.

It was sold on Tuesday for S$2.23 million to a local contractor in a frenzied auction that lasted just 12 minutes.

The auction held by real estate agency Knight Frank was made on behalf of the Public Trustee’s Office, which comes under the Ministry of Law.

Cuscaden Road site up for tender under govt land sales programme

A SITE within the prime Orchard Road district has been launched for sale by public tender on Tuesday under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA’s) Confirmed List of the first half 2018 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

Also read: Stay in the upcoming Tampines district with Tapestry condo

The 5,722.5 square metre 99-year leasehold site is zoned for residential use under URA’s 2014 Master Plan and has a gross floor area of 16,023 sq m with a maximum building height of 100 m.

The site, which the URA said could potentially yield about 170 residential units, faces Regent Singapore along Cuscaden Road, and is a stone’s throw from Tanglin Mall and Camden Medical Centre.

Hike in DC rates unlikely to derail en bloc fever soon

THE current collective sale market is unlikely to be derailed by the average 22.8 per cent hike in development charge (DC) rates for non-landed residential use in the next six months, say property consultants.

However, they say the latest set of DC rates, payable by developers seeking to enhance the use of a site or to build a bigger project on it, could tame developers’ land bids.

Some en bloc sellers may also need to rethink their price expectations.

JLL senior consultant Karamjit Singh said that generally, in about 20 per cent of en bloc sales, the DC quantum makes up more than 5 per cent of the total land cost.

CDL’s Q4 net profit falls 23% against ‘very strong’ 2016

CITY Developments (CDL) on Wednesday posted a 23 per cent fall in net profit to S$186.7 million for its fourth quarter, but the property developer put it down to an exceptionally strong 2016 that proved hard to beat on a year-on-year comparison.

In FY16, the group’s performance was boosted by a sizeable contribution from Hong Leong City Center (HLCC) in Suzhou, higher profit margin projects such as Coco Palms and D’Nest (which were built on cheaper legacy land bank) and Lush Acres executive condominium, as well as the divestment of its stake in City e-Solutions in Hong Kong, sale of Exchange Tower in Bangkok, and recapitalisation of a Profit Participation Securities (PPS) platform that holds the Nouvel 18 condominium.

CDL’s fund management platform targeting US$5b in assets by 2023

THOUGH admittedly “late to the game”, City Developments on Wednesday said it is planning to build its own fund management platform, with a target to manage US$5 billion in assets by 2023.

This is to tap into some US$5 trillion in private capital from institutional investors in the real estate industry.

Also read: 7 things to know about Viva Industrial Trust’s income support

Management also signalled that it will be “very different” from what they have done with their three Profit Participation Securities (PPS) platforms – which are versatile instruments that can achieve multiple objectives including fund-raising and structuring transactions to provide an attractive risk-return profile that investors are willing to put capital to.

GIC, global investors to take 4.4b euro majority stake in AccorInvest

SINGAPORE’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, along with a group of international investors, have signed an agreement to acquire a 55 per cent stake in AccorHotels’ property business arm, AccorInvest.

The majority stake will be sold by the French hotel chain to investors including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund, also known as the Public Investment Fund, as well as institutional investors Credit Agricole Assurances, Colony NorthStar, and Amundi, among others.

For AccorHotels, the sale would result in a cash contribution of 4.4 billion euros (S$7.1 billion).

HK warns potential home buyers to assess risks fully before jumping in

HONG KONG’S Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday that the city’s red-hot property market will gradually come under pressure as more flats hit the market and interest rates are expected to rise.

Hong Kong is one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, where private home prices shattered historic records for the 15th month in a row in January, rising 1.27 per cent month-on-month and 15.4 per cent year-on-year, the latest government data showed on Wednesday.

Singapore Budget 2018: Constitution protects land & proceeds from its sale as past reserves: Swee Keat

INCLUDE a portion of land sales proceeds in the Budget, or use more of the returns from the reserves – these are tempting suggestions to raise government revenue and easier to swallow than hiking taxes.

But it would be “ill-disciplined and unwise” for the government to do so by amending the rules as a first resort, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told Parliament on Thursday.

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Singapore’s approach strikes a balance between present needs and preserving resources for future generations, said the minister in a speech rounding up the three-day Budget debate.

Singapore Budget 2018: Singapore’s population expected to be below 6.9 million by 2030

SINGAPORE is not expected to change its immigration policy, and its population is likely to be “significantly below” 6.9 million by 2030, said Josephine Teo, who is in charge of population matters in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The figure refers to a projection set out in the 2013 Population White Paper for planning purposes, but which had sparked a public outcry.

Mrs Teo also said that Singapore’s population is expected to be below 6 million by 2020, as she outlined the strategies to meet the challenges of a falling birth rate and slow population growth.

How OUE could craft its exit strategy for OUE Downtown

OUE’S full-year results released recently revealed that its revamped Downtown property in Shenton Way helped to contribute to an increase in the group’s revenue.

The mixed-development’s retail podium, Downtown Gallery, opened in May last year, followed by the 268-unit Oakwood Premier serviced residences the following month.

The remaining component, offices, are not a new addition, although the facade of OUE Downtown 1 tower (which includes some office space) was changed.

OUE Downtown has a total gross floor area of about 1.24 million sq ft and is the reincarnation of the former DBS Towers 1 and 2 and DBS auditorium.

OUE, previously known as Overseas Union Enterprise, acquired it in 2010 for S$870.5 million from Goldman Sachs real estate funds, which in turn bought it in 2005 for S$690 million from DBS.

Year’s first successful auction of Sentosa Cove home sold at S$2.4m loss

A TWO-LEVEL penthouse on the sixth storey of The Berth By The Cove has become the first mortgagee sale unit on Sentosa Cove to go under the hammer and be sold this year.

This took place at Edmund Tie & Company’s (ET&Co) auction on Thursday. The property received five bids, and was eventually sold for S$3.25 million, or S$1,105 per sq ft (psf).

This was about S$2.4 million lower than what the last owner paid for the unit in 2011 – at S$5.64 million, or S$1,919 psf. It translates into a 42 per cent loss.

CapitaLand acquires Hanoi site; sets up second fund in Vietnam

CAPITALAND has acquired a prime site for its first integrated development in Hanoi, Vietnam, and has set up its second commercial fund in the country – the CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Value-Added Fund.

The land in Tay Ho district will be developed into a 25-storey mixed-use development worth roughly US$217 million.

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It will comprise of a 380-unit residence, including small office home office (SoHo) apartments, around 230,000 square feet of office space and over 208,000 sq ft of retail space, CapitaLand said.

The fund – with a lifespan of eight years – has closed at US$130 million. CapitaLand and MEA Commercial Holdings will each hold a 50 per cent stake.

The fund will focus on grade A commercial properties in Vietnam.

New Savills managing director forecasts ‘AAA’ office rental growth to hit 10% this year

BELLS are ringing for landlords amid a shortage in supply in the core CBD area and increased demand from various industry groups, Savills Singapore’s new managing director Marcus Loo told The Business Times yesterday.

He added that the global real estate service provider, which is listed in the London stock exchange, forecasts rental growth for ‘AAA’ grade office buildings to more than double to 10 per cent this year.

Mr Loo will succeed Chris Marriott, who will now focus on his role as the chief executive of Savills South-east Asia, with immediate effect.

Mr Loo was the executive director of Savills Singapore for close to three years.

Frasers Property’s Thai unit prices 3 more debenture offerings totalling up to 5b baht

FRASERS Property said on Friday that its subsidiary, Frasers Property Holdings (Thailand), is making three more offerings under its 25 billion Thai baht (S$1.05 billion) debenture programme.

They are expected to be issued on March 7.

In a filing to the Singapore Exchange, Frasers said that under the programme, Frasers Property Holdings (Thailand) has priced the offering of up to two billion baht in aggregate principal amount of 2.19 per cent debentures due 2021, up to one billion baht in aggregate principal amount of 2.55 per cent debentures due 2023, and up to two billion baht in aggregate principal amount of 3.54 per cent debentures due 2028.

Interest is payable on each series of debentures every six months throughout the tenor of the relevant series of debentures.

The debentures will be guaranteed by the company, Frasers added.

FEC Properties snags Hollandia collective sale site for S$183.4m

The sale price for Hollandia translates to a land rate of S$1,703 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), said its marketing agent Savills Singapore.

In a regulatory filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Far East Consortium said it plans to redevelop the site into a high-end residential development with a total gross floor area (GFA) of about 10,000 sq m.

It said: “The acquisition is consistent with the company’s regionalisation strategy and is a great addition to the development pipeline in Singapore following Artra, which was successfully launched last year,” it said.

Australia home prices fall for fifth month in February

HOME prices across Australia’s major cities fell for a fifth straight month in February as tighter rules on investment lending chilled the once red-hot Sydney market, a relief to regulators but a weight on consumer spending power.

Also read: Technology taking over the property industry

Property consultant CoreLogic said on Thursday that its index of home prices for the combined capital cities slipped 0.3 per cent in February after it fell 0.5 per cent in January.

Annual growth in prices slowed to 2 per cent, from 3.2 per cent in January and 10.5 per cent in the middle of 2017.

Why Pre-Paying Your Home Loan Could Be Awesome

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Sometimes, I wish I were a 4th-century king in medieval England.

I would spend all day sitting on my throne, deep in thought, slowly sharpening my broadsword and staring out into the abyss. My subjects, fearful of breaking my concentration, would whisper amongst themselves. “Perhaps His Majesty is coming up with a way to reduce taxes? Maybe he’s planning an invasion of France?”

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And then I would suddenly stand up, skewer an unsuspecting roast pig, and roar, “YES! IT TOTALLY MAKES SENSE TO PREPAY YOUR HOME LOAN!!!!”

Then I would sit back, smile, and tuck into my meal. Peace would return to the kingdom. No longer will my people be subject to the yoke of interest rate slavery ever again.

(Sorry – it’s been a long week and I had to let off some steam)

The Conventional Advice And Why I Think It’s Misguided

Maybe you’re like me: You met your soulmate, got married, settled down, and before you knew it, found yourself servicing a (ugh) home loan. Getting a home loan is like a fast track into adulting – you realise that you actually have to be responsible for stuff. Who would’ve known?

Most people simply pay their home loan over the standard 20-30 years and don’t think much about it. But weirdos like me often spend our Sunday afternoons pondering deep philosophical questions like, “Does it make sense to prepay your home loan?” (I actually DID spend a Sunday afternoon pondering over this question – I really need to get a life).

Prepaying simply means that instead of faithfully making your mortgage payments every month, you pay some of it upfront. So if you owe the bank $300,000, you could pay say, $10,000 right now and reduce your liabilities to $290,000.

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Conventional advice says this is stupid. I Googled “Should you prepay your mortgage”, read the first 5 articles, and they all basically said: Instead of reducing your home loan which has a measly interest rate, you could take that $10,000 and invest it at a higher return. Then you’ll become rich and spend your days swimming in a jacuzzi and playing with beautiful (airplane) models”

However, I have a different view. Today, I wanted to share why it might make sense to make partial repayments of your home loan, if you fulfil 2 conditions:

  • You service all or most of your home loan using CPF
  • You have some spare cash every month to invest

Let’s math this shizz out!

Prepaying Your Home Loan Is Like An Investment

Let’s say that you took out a 20-year home loan of $300,000 at a 2.6% interest rate*. Using a mortgage calculator like this one, you calculate that you’ll need to pay $1,604 every month for the next 20 years. Like most Singaporeans, you decide to service your mortgage from your CPF account.

Now, let’s say that your boss was feeling especially generous this Chinese New Year, and decided to give you a $10,000 cash bonus. HUAT AHHHHHHH! Now let’s say that you used that $10,000 to make a partial repayment of your home loan, reducing your liability from $300,000 to $290,000.

Assuming you keep the same payment term of 20 years, your monthly payment has now been cut down from $1604 to $1,551, saving you $53 per month which you get to keep your CPF account (use the mortgage calculator again to get these figures). That means that you now have an additional $53 per month that will keep on earning that delicious 2.5% annual interest rate from CPF.

Over 20 years, you’ll end up with $16,628 more in your CPF account, compared to if you didn’t pre-pay your home loan.

Money saved is the same as money earned. Imagine 2 twin brothers who park their car illegally to buy some tauhuay:

  • Tim strolls back to his car, only to discover that the saman aunty has fined him $400
  • Tom gets back to his car in time, driving off as the saman aunty stares murderously at his departing car

Tom is now $400 ahead of Tim, simply because Tom avoided paying the fine. In the same way, saving $16,628 was the same as earning $16,628 on your $10,000 “investment”. Working backwards, that’s a return of 2.5% per year. Not bad, and definitely better than your savings account.

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But as they say in those strangely addictive infomercials: But wait! There’s more!

Use Your Home Loan To Diversify Your Portfolio

At this point, some smart aleck will say, “This is stupid. If I had spare cash, I will invest it at 7% and become a gazillionaire while you losers are busy paying off your home loan.”

Okay, wise guy. Let’s examine this.

If you had say, $2,000 in spare cash every month, you could plonk it all down in stocks. But only overconfident amateurs do that. Smart investors understand the importance of diversification. Why? Because investing ALL your money in stocks is risky. You can’t predict the future, so it’s always a good idea to split your investible funds into a mix of high risk/high return and low risk/low return assets.

For example, you could split out your $2,000 in cash into:

  • $1,200 in stocks yielding 7%
  • $800 in bonds yielding 2%

Not bad, but can you improve this even further? Of course. The more asset types you have, the more diversified you are. Remember what we’ve learnt so far: 1) Prepaying your mortgage is like an investment, and 2) it earns you a guaranteed return of 2.5%*.

So here’s one possible way of diversifying your cash even further:

  • $1,200 in stocks yielding 7%
  • $400 to prepay your home loan “yielding” 2.5%
  • $400 in bonds yielding 2%

Boom! You’ve now diversified the conservative part of your portfolio into two parts: Bonds yielding 2% and your home loan payment yielding 2.5%. In this case, the difference isn’t that large, but I could see some savvy investors employing this as an investing tactic when interest rates are low.

Now, you’ve improved your overall returns, and have the added psychological advantage of reducing your debt, which makes you less fragile. Nassim Taleb would approve.

Optional: The Accrued Interest Benefit

There IS one less obvious benefit of prepaying your home loan. This will only apply if you sell your house before you turn 55, so if your brain hurts from all those numbers, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.

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Still here? Okay, the subtle benefit of prepaying your mortgage is that you can convert some of your accrued interest into cash. Let me explain.

CPF has an accrued interest rule where 1) If you use CPF to pay for your house, and 2) you sell your house before you turn 55, you have to “refund” your own CPF account with what you would have earned if you left that money in CPF. This is easier to explain in numbers, so let’s go back to our original example.

In our original example, you took out $1,604 per month from your CPF to service your home loan. Had you kept this money in your CPF account, it would have compounded into $498,915 over 20 years. Now, suppose that you sold your house for say, $600,000 after 20 years. You now have to “pay back” that $498,915 into your CPF account, so you only get to keep $101,085 in cash.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds, since you’re paying it back into your own CPF account. However it DOES mean that you will have less cash proceeds from the sale of your house.

HOWEVER, if you prepaid your mortgage using your $10K bonus, you now only have to withdraw $1,551 from your CPF each month to pay for your home loan. Compounded over 20 years, that leads to $482,288 that you “owe” your CPF account. If you sell your house for $600,000, that means that you get to keep $117,712 – a difference of $16,628 – in cash.

In short, you sacrifice $10K in the short term for $16K in cash in the long term. Whether this is a suitable trade-off or not differs from person to person, but it’s a benefit to keep in mind.

Don’t Get Lost In The Numbers 

Okay, this post became a lot more number-y than I intended. My bad! If you’re lost, don’t worry too much about the numbers. Here’s the key message:

Pre-paying your home loan might make sense because:

  • It’s like making an investment
  • It helps diversify your investible funds
  • It frees up part of your accrued interest if you sell your house

And let’s not forget the main benefit of prepaying your loan: It just feels good to reduce your debt. It might make quantitative sense to simply invest the additional cash, but personal finance isn’t just about the numbers. It’s also about how you feel. And personally, I prefer to balance my cash between 1) Investing for the future and 2) paying down my debt.

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My wife and I set aside some money each month and use it to prepay our mortgage once a year. By doing so, we’re hoping to clear our debt in less than half the time of our original mortgage. That puts us on a path towards early financial freedom, plus it’s just a super shiok feeling to see your debt shrink faster and faster each year.

If you’re on a HDB loan, it’s pretty easy to make partial repayments: Log into MyHDBPage, go to My Flat > Purchased Flat > Financial Info > Other Related Services. From there, you can make a payment via Nets, and boom – it takes away a chunk of your home loan.

Here’s A Joke Because I Feel Like It

Okay, because you’ve been so good at following this post all the way through, here’s a random joke I heard from the play Mama White Snake, which still gives me the chuckles sometimes:

A guy gets on a boat to cross the river. The boatman asks, “Do you have cash?”
The guy, checking his wallet, says, “Yep.”
The boatman, “Okay good. The other day some fisherman got into my boat and tried to pay me by giving me his net.
I had to tell him, ‘Cash only. No Nets.”

(Like I said – It’s been a long week)


*PS: Of course, not everyone has a 2.6% interest rate on their home loan. Some of you might be on a lower interest rate of say, 1.8%. In that scenario, your effective “investment returns” might be lower. However, it might still make sense to do cash prepayments if you normally use CPF to service your loan, since you’re essentially sacrificing a 2.5% CPF interest rate to service a loan with a lower interest rate. 

PPS: You can also download my Prepayment calculator in Excel to see how I came up with these calculations. Also, I just learnt how to use the FV, PV, and RATE functions in Excel so I just wanted to share my little piece of geeky joy.

This article first appeared on Cheerfulegg

(How to) Passing the RES exam

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In this post, James recounts his experience on passing the Real Estate Salesperson (RES) exam, which according to trainers, have had a 30% pass rate in the last few sittings.

At that rate, the percentage is even more abysmal than most finance and professional accreditation courses out there!

Need tips on passing your RES? Contact us and when there’s enough requests we can set up a help-group.

I don’t know how true that is, but having sat through the paper myself, it certainly isn’t easy. And I feel for those who have a hard time getting through the economics concepts, land law and stuff like that.

There was quite a bit of memorization, a little bit of financial calculator usage and knowing a lot about HDB, URA, BCA, Ministry of Law regulations etc (that change almost every half a year).

Anyhow, James will tell us how the whole experience went. And for those interested to take the exam that is only getting more difficult (it is only held 3 times a year and the official passing mark is 60%), this might be helpful.

Passing the RES exam

So I’ve passed my RES exam on the first try.

Many of you out there may be wondering how to pass the RES exam and I’ll share my experience with you.

I did my RES exam with Hastor and training was held at Braddell.

There are a lot of other RES exam providers out there for you to choose. A list of training providers can be found on the CEA website.

I was working full time while studying for the RES exam so there was a whole lot of rushing to finish work before heading to the class venue.

There was 2 months of doing this twice over the weekdays and once every weekend.

Read also: Free home reports for your buying and selling decisions. Need tips on passing your RES? Contact us and when there’s enough requests we can set up a help-group.

Needless to say, the rushing around, expenditure on cab fares and reading of the RES material was not easy.

CEA also requires minimum 75% of participation. And those who are more than 15 mins late will not get their attendance marked.

Talk about going back to school. This time in a real estate school.

So in the first few sessions, I madly rushed down to class hoping to meet the 15 min grace window.

But as you know in school, friends tap or sign in for each other 😉

Do try to be early, but if work, family or other commitments crop up, your trainer might be lenient and kind enough to overlook it (a few times).

In any case, do attend all the sessions because the trainers, at least in my case, give very good information.

The RES exam is split into two papers – very intelligently named Paper 1 and 2.

Paper 1 tests on Competency Units 1 and 2.

Paper 2 tests on Competency Units 3 and 4.

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Competency Unit 1 is titled Real Estate Agency Industry Overview & Basic Land Law Concepts while Competency Unit 2 is titled Dealings with Interests in Land.

Competency Unit 3 is titled Regulation of Real Estate Agency Industry & Real Estate Marketing while Competency Unit 4 is titled Property Transactions.

I took paper 1 on a Saturday from 9:30am to 12pm and paper 2 on a Sunday from 9:30am to 12pm.

I remember the evening before the exam, I was out with friends, playing games, enjoying myself without a care in the world regarding the RES exam.

Kidding. I was mugging quite a bit. Poring through the lecture notes, chatting with classmates and the trainer on WhatsApp (my trainer was good as he set up a WhatsApp group and was very responsive to questions) and cramming my brain with RES course material.

I had an eventful night. I didn’t sleep much.

The next day, when I woke up at 7:30am, I noticed 100+ messages on the RES chat group.

Some people didn’t sleep. Wait no, a lot of people didn’t sleep. They must have been out partying 😉

I quickly perused the messages, answering in my mind some of the questions posed by fellow students and making sure the answer was the same as the one our instructor gave.

Thankfully, most were similar. I had a good feeling about the exam.

Suiting up, I headed out for the exam venue at SMU.

NTUC tipped us to bring a jacket as the hall would be pretty cold. I checked my bag for my sweater and great, it was there.

Also read: Capitaland buys Pearl Bank apartments. Need tips on passing your RES? Contact us and when there’s enough requests we can set up a help-group.

Making sure I had 10 2B pencils (kidding, I had 2), a few erasers and my financial calculator, I scooted out for SMU.

Upon reaching the exam venue, I saw a counter manned by 3 staff, 2 sitting in front of their computer and a third asking passers-by if they were there for the RES exam.

Being a public venue, I reckon most of the exam takers wouldn’t be immediately certain the counter was for RES exam takers.

Nevertheless, I went up, produced my IC, and was told to double check my exam room and was given my table number.

Crunch time and no turning back.

It was still half an hour to the start of the exam and even though NTUC told us to be seated 30mins before the exam, I knew this was standard exam instructions and it wouldn’t matter if I went in 5 mins before the start.

I don’t recommend you doing what I did, but I like going through the exam material as much as I can before entering the exam hall.

Call me Kiasu but I like the RES material fresh in my mind.

Also read: Proptech taking over the property industry. Need tips on passing your RES? Contact us and when there’s enough requests we can set up a help-group.

You might want to try this strategy if you’re taking the RES exam. Just make sure you don’t go in 15 mins late.

NTUC is very very strict on later comers. I’ve not heard of any late comers being denied entry, but you don’t want to test this system, especially now that the RES exams only happen 3 times a year.

Pin drop quiet in the seminar room (SMU calls it that, but your venue may call it a training or lecture room or something similar).

The format is very similar to secondary school, poly, ITE, uni exams.

Before entering, the exam proctor checks that phones are turned off. Yes, turned off, not even silent or airplane mode.

I knew that CEA takes this very seriously.

Putting the brick (sorry, turned off phone) in my bag, I searched for my seat.

Seated like everyone else, I put my pencil, pen, eraser, calculator and identification documents on the table.

CEA is very strict and no calculator cases, eraser cases (the paper that wraps the eraser) are allowed.

The invigilator, one adult looking person who looks in charge and two other people who look like temporary staff gives out the papers.

One question book and one answer sheet.

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The question book was about 20 pages thick. The answer sheet was only one sheet and 2 pages.

The first page of the answer sheet was all ovals that you circle with the right answer. The next page had more ovals and fill in the black spaces.

Seated down, I tried to remember the tax rates, HDB family nucleus requirements and what estate in fee simple means. Whatever, can’t remember much. I’ll just wing the RES exam.

Come 9:30, the invigilator calls us to start.

Flipping through, I realized everything I could remember was last night’s hanging out session with my friends. Not a good start.

Nevertheless, I put my head down, got started and before I knew it, 12pm was here.

Handing in the paper, I knew I had to focus on tomorrow’s RES paper 2. Putting aside the thoughts on whether I did well for RES paper 1, I headed home to make sure I knew how to tackle paper 2.

I won’t go into anymore details on how I tackled the rest of the RES exam but it’s generally the same idea as paper 1.

So there, it wasn’t easy, but the journey is worth it.

And with the entry to the real estate industry getting tougher, it is definitely worth your time and effort to get past this obstacle!

Drop us a comment on this page or on PropertyInvestSG’s Facebook page if you would like to find out or ask me or James more about the exam!

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