"I am a BLOGGER NOT an expert. This is a BLOG not a 'go-to' website for official information. I represent no one's view save my own. I have neither legal nor financial training, nor do I have anything to do with the real estate industry. My understanding of the Collective Sale Process is from a layman's position only. My calculations, computations and tables are homespun and may contain errors. Please note that nothing in this blog constitutes any legal or financial advice to anyone reading it. You should refer to your lawyer, CSC or financial adviser for expert advice before making any decision. This disclaimer is applicable to every post and comment on the blog. Read at your own risk."
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There is one thing worse than an Enbloc ----- and that is an Enbloc done badly. Since the majority have the necessary mandate to sell, then they owe it to all SPs to make a success of it. Minority SPs can only watch and wait, if they sell then lets pray it's at a price we can move on with, if they don't sell, then we are happy to stay for a few more years.

Competition for quality land sites expected to heat up

It’s all about location for property developers who are on the lookout for quality land parcels.
Recent land tenders of government land sites close to MRT stations or regional centres have seen bids as high as S$550 million or S$869 per sq ft per plot ratio.
Market watchers say competition among developers for such sites will heat up, now that developers are churning out projects at a much faster rate.

The government land sales (GLS) programme for the first half of this year comprises 10 land parcels near MRT stations or regional centres.
Five of the land sites have already been released for sale.
Recently, Keppel Land won a tender for a Sengkang site for S$287 million. The site attracted about 11 bids.
A Bedok Reservoir site attracted eight bids earlier this month, with United Venture Development putting in the top bid of S$320 million.
And Capitaland submitted the highest bid of S$550 million for a reserve-list Bishan site. The tender attracted a record 19 bids.
Analysts say the remaining land sites should see keen interest from developers, now that the property boom is tapering off and developers are re-entering the land market in a big way to deploy their cash.
Colin Tan, head of research & consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International, said: “For the past two years, most of the developers have been highly profitable. This is a dilemma now. They have lots of cash and what do they do with it? That’s why you see quite a good participation rate for most of the state land sales.”
Analysts say competition for quality land sites will strengthen, as developers buy prime land sites to hedge against the risk of further government cooling measures and as home sales moderate. This is because a convenient location is a key selling point for property projects.
Nicholas Mak, executive director of research at SLP International, said:”(Previously) the developer might require anywhere from 12 months to 18 months from the time they acquire the land to the time they launch (homes) for sale. But nowadays this process may be shortened from 7 months to 12 months. What the developers are doing is try to reduce the risk of future market turbulence…if they are able to bring the product to the market as soon as possible.”
But land sites located near public transport hubs and everyday amenities do not come cheap.
Analysts say smaller developers may be priced out of such land tenders.
They will have to made do with public housing sites, which are less profitable than private land sites. Or, they will have to buy land at enbloc sales — which are time-consuming and often contentious.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 22 Mar 2011

‘Location, location, location’ to ‘decisions, decisions, decisions’

Gone are the days when location fundamentally mattered in most private residential purchases.
While the recent aggressive bids in Government land tenders for centrally- located suburban sites showed the importance of location and how location still underpins a property’s value, home buyers are now increasingly open to properties in more diverse places.
There are also many people who have ventured to buying homes in new locations, including some at the extreme corners of Singapore that had traditionally received limited buying interest.
If the location of a property has waned as an overriding factor, what prevails in the home buyers’ decision?
Several factors have now become more clearly noticeable than before in a home buyer’s decision – the product’s concept, the scarcity of the property and the opportunity to benefit from owning the property.
With so many factors to consider compared to only “location”, the overall home buying process is now more complicated. Home buyers are expected to critically evaluate properties based on various factors which they feel will justify their worth.
The criteria can rank differently between home buyers, resulting in some properties favoured even if they apparently have weaker underpinnings, for example, a less accessible location.

Why has the importance of location diminished?

Improved connectivity
With new MRT stations in more locations, the connectivity of many areas has been improved, especially those which were once considered remote.
Properties which have benefited from improved connectivity include those near North-East Line MRT stations which were completed less than a decade ago, those in the completed phases of the Circle Line and some new locations where the further phases of the Circle Line and Downtown Line will be completed.
With the improved transport infrastructure, residents will find it easier to travel across Singapore.

Revitalisation plans
The common question asked by home buyers is no longer how expensive a property will be, for prices of suburban private residential properties are already at record highs. It is, instead, what opportunities there are that can lead to a property’s growth potential.
The easiest way is to look for properties that can benefit from neighbourhood or regional rejuvenation plans.
The more comprehensive and longer the plans are, the more the opportunities that may be realised from purchasing the property.
These include properties in the western corridor of Singapore, which may benefit from the Jurong Lake and Jurong Gateway master plans; those in the Seletar area, which may become more vibrant after the completion of the Seletar Aerospace Park; and the north-eastern corridor of Singapore, which is continually developing with more lifestyle choices and a variety of housing options.
Home buyers who are advanced in their assessment of future investment returns are seen to be higher risk-takers who buy into these “unpolished gems”.

Dwindling new choices in built-up areas
Home buyers are now looking beyond properties in well established towns. They are seeking potential, instead of favouring homes in central locations, which are in any case priced higher since the investment returns are seemingly absolute.
Additionally, a number of mature housing areas are fairly densely built, offering wider choices of resale properties than new properties. While new housing estates do not have as many amenities as mature ones, they have space to accommodate more exciting new amenities to cater to residents.

Product sophistication and innovation
With non-landed residential properties in the same locality often considered homogenous products, developers are now increasingly focused on product design to differentiate their offerings.
To stand out from the competition and ensure that newer products justify a price premium over existing products, the quality and design must be exclusive and significantly superior. Previously, exclusive lifestyle concepts were mainly seen in properties at higher price echelons but unique product design is becoming important for suburban private residential properties, partially to offset some developments’ weaker locations or to complement the project to achieve the best home buyers response.

Critical Decisions
Buying a private residential property is a major affair, involving a huge amount of capital and often requiring a lifetime to finance the purchase. It is especially so now, with the record prices of suburban condominiums. The decision also hinges on one’s objective in buying the property – for owner occupation, for resale in the longer horizon, or for medium-term investment.
The buying of properties in less popular districts probably calls for tougher decision-making, for it requires more confidence that the purchase will appreciate in view of opportunities such as new transit stations and upcoming malls and amenities.
Purchasers of private homes in estates with rejuvenation plans are buying into the success of such plans, as well as the benefits of such transformation for property values. Nevertheless, a buyer for owner occupation may be less affected should the rejuvenation not yield the desired result, as it may not necessarily cause a dent in his property venture and profit expectations.
Against the backdrop of the latest government property cooling measures, the home buyer has to consider many more factors in the decision process.
In addition to ascertaining the potential of a property, the home buyer will now have to determine an optimal time to purchase. He will also have to recognise possibilities which will affect his financing capability as he is unlikely to sell his property within the first few years of purchase if he wishes to avoid paying sellers’ stamp duty.
Recognising one’s financial capability is fundamental to one’s home buying decision and this has been underrated by prospective buyers before the recent cooling measures. While the typical home buyer will now have to go through a tougher decision process, the private home purchase is expected to be more sustainable.
By Ong Kah Seng – senior manager, Research, Asia Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield

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