Providing you with the latest Singapore Property News relating to residential, commercial and industrial properties. We keep you updated with the latest real estate developments and analysis.
Providing you with the latest Singapore Property News relating to residential, commercial and industrial properties. We keep you updated with the latest real estate developments and analysis.
A World War II aerial bomb weighing 100 kilograms, discovered at a construction site of The Myst in Bukit Timah Singapore, is scheduled for on-site disposal on Tuesday, September 26th. According to a press release issued on Sunday, the police were notified of the wartime artifact's presence during excavation activities along Upper Bukit Timah Road the previous week. After careful evaluation revealed the potential danger of relocating the bomb, the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) explosive ordnance disposal team will execute a controlled disposal on-site between 8 am and 7 pm on Tuesday. During this operation, a 200-meter safety perimeter will be established by the police. Residents in The Linear, Hazel Park, Bukit 828, Block 154 Gangsa Road, and Hazel Park Terrace, along with occupants of shophouses along Upper Bukit Timah Road, as well as students and staff from Greenridge Secondary School, will be required to evacuate their premises during the procedure. The secondary school will transition to home-based learning for that day, and drone activities in the vicinity of the disposal site will be strictly prohibited. From 11 am to 7 pm on Tuesday, sections of the Bukit Panjang Flyover (between Woodlands Road and Petir Road) and Upper Bukit Timah Road (between Petir Road and Cashew Road) will be temporarily closed. Based on the details furnished by the police, the war relic disposal site is at 800 Upper Bukit Timah Road, which is the address for The Myst condo.. Only police, SAF emergency vehicles, and authorized personnel will be allowed access to these roads. Traffic Police officers will be present to assist and redirect motorists. Authorities have cautioned that loud noises can be anticipated during the controlled disposal of the war relic. The public is urged not to be alarmed and to steer clear of the area. A notice will be issued to the public when the roads are reopened, and it is safe to resume normal activities in the vicinity. In 2021, a suspected war relic projectile was located in Lorong 12 Geylang. The previous year, a similar discovery was made in the Thomson area, and the projectile was relocated elsewhere for disposal. In 2019, a 50-kilogram aerial bomb was uncovered in River Valley, also during construction site excavation. It too was deemed too hazardous to transport and had to be disposed of on-site.
Scammers are posting fake property advertisements on Facebook and Carousell and assuming the identities of property agents to deceive victims into making payments in order to secure appointments for property viewings or rentals. In Singapore, it is mandatory for all property agents to be registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) before they are authorized to engage in property transactions. At least 305 victims have fallen prey to rental scams with total losses amounting more than $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2023. We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public of precautionary measures to safeguard against falling victim to rental scams. 1. Do not rent from a second landlord. Subletting is illegal. 2. Request for proof of ownership. A document from INLIS or HDB to list the owner(s) of the house. 3. Physically check the identity card (NRIC / FIN) of the owner. It must tally with the proof of ownership document. 4. Meet the property agent who is representing the landlord. Get a copy of his name card then verify his full name and mobile number against CEA records. 5. Always visit the rental property in person to verify its existence, condition, and signs of potential subletting. 6. Avoid making any upfront payments until the tenancy agreement is confirmed. Use bank transfers to maintain documentary evidence. 7. Confirm the identities of the individuals you are dealing with and their relationship to the property. This is especially crucial when not engaging the services of a licensed estate agent or registered salespersons. 8. Avoid rental advertisements from Facebook and Carousell as many fraudulent cases originated from the social media platforms. Because anyone can post and pretend to be a landlord or property agent. 9. Do not answer calls from +65 because such phone numbers can be spoofed by a scammer to pretend that he is the owner of this phone number. For additional information regarding scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or contact the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. If you possess any information related to such scams, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 Rental scams are on the rise since 2021 when COVID-19 caused a surge in demand for rental housing. It prompted many tenants to book a house without a physical viewing. Rental Scam Case Study 1 - Fake listings on Carousell and Facebook A 42-year-old woman has been apprehended by law enforcement authorities in connection with a series of rental scams that occurred recently. From June 10th to July 24th, 2023, the police received numerous complaints from victims who had responded to online listings on platforms such as Carousell and Facebook. These listings purportedly offered rooms for rent in the Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 area. Victims, after physically inspecting the rental units, were asked to provide a deposit to secure the accommodation. Subsequently, the woman allegedly canceled the rental agreements and delayed the return of the deposited funds. Following diligent investigations, officers from the Woodlands Police Division successfully identified and arrested the suspect on July 26th, 2023. Preliminary findings suggest that she may be connected to eight similar rental scam cases, resulting in losses exceeding $7,000. The woman is scheduled to appear in court on July 28th, 2023, facing charges of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code 1871. This offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment and a fine. Rental Scam Case Study 2 - Telegram A 32-year-old man has been apprehended by the police on suspicion of orchestrating a series of rental scams through a Telegram group chat. From March to May of 2023, the police received multiple reports from victims who fell prey to fraudulent home rental schemes. The suspect engaged with these victims in a Telegram group chat, ostensibly offering rooms for rent in a housing unit located along Yishun Avenue 11. After collecting deposits exceeding $7,500 via bank transfers from these victims, the man allegedly reneged on the agreements and failed to provide the promised rooms or housing unit. Following thorough investigations, officers from the Woodlands Police Division were able to ascertain the identity of the suspect, leading to his arrest on May 30th, 2023. The man is set to face charges in court on May 31st, 2023, under Section 420 of the Penal Code 1871 for the offense of cheating. This offense carries a potential penalty of imprisonment for up to ten years, in addition to a fine. Rental Scam - Case Study 3 A 34-year-old man has been apprehended by the police due to his suspected participation in a series of fraudulent flat rental schemes. Starting from August 2022, the police have received a total of 28 reports related to flat rental scams occurring along Yung Kuang Road. The suspect initiated contact with victims who had shown interest in renting either individual bedrooms or entire housing units through various social media platforms. Upon receiving deposits from these victims, the man provided various excuses to breach the agreements and subsequently failed to fulfill his promise of refunding the victims. Through diligent follow-up investigations, officers from the Jurong Police Division were able to identify and apprehend the 34-year-old man on April 5th, 2023. Preliminary investigations have also uncovered his alleged involvement in another case related to a visa application scam. The man is scheduled to appear in court on June 13th, 2023, where he will face charges under Section 420 of the Penal Code 1871 for the offense of cheating. This offense carries a potential penalty of imprisonment for up to ten years, in addition to a fine. Rental Scam - Case Study 4 - Impersonating a property agent Benedict fell victim to an online rental scam when he responded to a fraudulent listing for a HDB 2-room flat. The scammer, posing as a CEA-registered property agent, employed various tactics to appear credible. Via WhatsApp, the scammer shared an image of an Estate Agents card, falsely presenting it as evidence of his identity. Additionally, the scammer fabricated official documents, including a Letter of Intent, in an attempt to enhance his legitimacy. To further deceive Benedict, the scammer requested a two-month rental deposit and the initial month's rent, assuring Benedict that they would arrange a property viewing and the signing of the tenancy agreement the following day. In an effort to verify the scammer's authenticity, Benedict conducted a search for the scammer's contact number in the CEA Public Register. However, this search yielded no results. Suspecting foul play, Benedict confronted the scammer, who then managed to trick him by spoofing the registered agent's contact number (including the "+65" country code) during a call to Benedict Unfortunately, Benedict transferred a partial payment to the scammer before taking further action. It was only when he reached out to the registered contact number again and spoke with the legitimate agent, who was completely unaware of the ongoing deception, that Benedict realized he had fallen victim to a scam. Subsequently, he called police to report the scam.
In August, developers in the real estate market faced a notable slowdown, with sales of new private residential units totaling just 394. This figure marked a substantial decline of 72.1% compared to July's sales, and a 10% decrease when compared to the same month last year. When including executive condominiums (ECs) in the tally, the total number of new private homes sold in August reached 649, a significant drop from the 1,471 units sold in the previous month, as reported by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on September 15. August has traditionally been a sluggish period for property transactions, influenced by cultural beliefs that discourage home purchases during the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Developers typically refrain from launching new projects during this period as well. In August, only 590 units were introduced to the market, representing a 72% decrease from the preceding month but a notable increase compared to the 134 units launched in the same month last year. Developers focused their sales efforts primarily in the first half of August, managing to sell 283 units before the start of the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts on August 16. Interestingly, there were no sales of residential properties priced at S$10 million or higher in August, mirroring the trend observed in July. However, June saw two significant transactions at Les Maisons Nassim for S$32.7 million and S$30.8 million. The number of units purchased by foreigners also declined, with only 12 units sold in August compared to 19 units in July. Half of these purchases were in the prime Core Central Region (CCR), while the other half were in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) city-fringe areas and suburban Outside Central Region (OCR) locations. The standout performer in August's new home sales was Altura, an executive condominium project located in Bukit Batok West Avenue 8. This project sold 62.5% of its units, translating to 225 out of 360 units. Private home sales saw a dip in August, mainly due to the absence of major project launches during the month. The bulk of developer sales came from four projects: Orchard Sophia, The Arden, The LakeGarden Residences, and TMW Maxwell. According to property transaction records, Liv @ MB reported 13 units sold in July and 12 units in August, marking the only months with double-digit sales since May 2022 when the project launched with 224 units sold. Additionally, One Berman had 13 transactions in August, representing the highest sales volume in six months. Breaking down the geographical distribution of sales, nearly half (48.7%) of the units sold in August were in the Outside Central Region (OCR), followed by the Rest of Central Region (RCR) at 26.9% and the Core Central Region (CCR) at 24.4%. Looking ahead, the market anticipates new launches including Marina View Residences with over 700 units, the suburban project Hillock Green, and J’Den, the redevelopment of JCube mall. These developments could potentially inject fresh energy into the real estate landscape.
Six property developers expressed their interest in a state-owned land parcel situated in the Woodlands region, with City Developments Ltd (CDL) emerging as the frontrunner in the bidding process. CDL submitted the highest bid, amounting to S$294.9 million, equating to S$904 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), during the tender's closure on September 12. The parcel of land, known as the Champions Way site, boasts an expansive area of approximately 14,433 square meters (sq m) and offers a maximum gross floor area of 30,309 sq m. In a press release, Sherman Kwek, the CEO of CDL, stated, "Following a string of successful project launches in Singapore, our available project inventory has diminished. This site acquisition will replenish our land portfolio and ensure a consistent stream of upcoming launches." He further added, "It has been over a decade since the last private residential project was introduced in Woodlands, making this a unique opportunity to establish a dynamic and sustainable landmark in line with the government's urban renewal initiatives." CDL intends to construct four 11-story residential buildings comprising around 350 residential units, along with an Early Childhood Development Centre and an underground parking facility. The proposed development has been conceived with the objective of achieving the BCA Green Mark Platinum (Super Low Energy) certification, including the Maintainability Badge, aligning with CDL's commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The residential site along Champions Way in Woodlands has a lease period of 99 years and it is under the first half 2023 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Propertyforsale Pte Ltd Managing Director, JT Chia predicts the launch price of the Champions Way site to be $1,800 PSF. “I totally agree with CDL Sherman that the lack of new private residential launches in Woodlands to be a strong impetus for their upcoming project,” he said.
On July 12, 2023, the Company entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the sale of its property situated at No. 20 Cecil Street, units #28-01 through #28-09, PLUS Singapore 049705 (referred to as the "Property"). The terms and conditions of this transaction, known as the "Proposed Disposal," were outlined in the SPA. Situated in the heart of Cecil Street within Raffles Place, the Property encompasses nine strata units of office space, with a generous gross floor area of approximately 901 square meters. The agreed-upon Consideration for the Property's disposal amounted to S$38,800,000, with the Purchaser initially remitting a deposit of $3,880,000 to the Vendor upon the SPA's signing. The remaining balance of $34,920,000 was scheduled to be transferred from the Purchaser to the Vendor upon the completion of the Proposed Disposal. This valuation was established through a fair and impartial assessment conducted on an arms-length and willing-buyer willing-seller basis. On July 7, 2023, an independent professional valuer, RHT Valuation Pte. Ltd., appraised the Property's value at S$37,000,000. It's important to note that the Purchaser, unrelated to the Company or the Group, held no direct or indirect shareholding interest in either entity. Furthermore, the Purchaser had no familial or business connections with any of the Company's Directors, substantial shareholders, or their associates. Reciprocally, none of the Company's Directors or substantial shareholders, along with their respective associates, had any ties to the Purchaser. However, a significant development arose today as the Company's solicitors received notice from the Purchaser's legal representatives, communicating the Purchaser's inability to fulfill the Property purchase. After careful consideration, the Company has elected to terminate the SPA. In accordance with this decision, the Company will retain the 10% deposit amounting to S$3,880,000 already submitted by the Purchaser. This deposit forfeiture serves as comprehensive compensation and marks the full and definitive resolution of the SPA termination. Consequently, GSH Corporation will recognize the S$3,880,000 deposit as other income in its financial statements for the current fiscal year.
Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management Ltd. (FCAM), the manager of Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT), has announced the sale of Changi City Point (the "Property") to an unrelated third party for a cash consideration of S$338.0 million. The completion of this divestment is expected to occur on November 15, 2023. Changi City Point is a retail mall situated at 5 Changi Business Park Central 1, Singapore 486038. This mall holds significance due to its connection to the Expo Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, which serves as both an interchange station on the Downtown line and a branch line connecting to Changi Airport on the East West line. The configuration of the Property comprises three above-ground storeys and an additional basement level. Its net lettable area (NLA), which indicates the leasable space, is approximately 19,366 square meters (or 208,453 square feet). As of September 30, 2022, the Property hosted a total of 128 tenants. Notably, some key tenants include FairPrice Finest and Daiso. In terms of tenant distribution, the largest trade sectors within the mall are Food & Beverage, Fashion & Accessories, and Sports Apparel & Equipment. These sectors collectively account for around 70% of the Property's NLA. Over the period spanning from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, the mall received a total shopper traffic of 7.5 million, underscoring its significance and popularity among consumers. Changi City Point has a title of 60-year leasehold starting from 30 April 2009. Mr. Richard Ng, the Chief Executive Officer of FCAM, stated that this divestment is part of their strategic portfolio review to enhance the resilience of FCT's portfolio and create value for FCT's unitholders. The estimated net gain from the divestment is approximately S$10.9 million, with a capital gain of approximately S$20 million. This divestment is also expected to strengthen FCT's financial position by reducing its aggregate leverage, lowering the average cost of borrowings for the nine-month period ending on June 30, 2023, and improving the hedge ratio of fixed-rate loans from 63% to 73%, all on a pro forma basis. Following the divestment, FCT anticipates improvements in various portfolio performance metrics, including committed occupancy rate, average gross rent per square foot, tenants' sales per square foot, and the average remaining lease tenure of the retail portfolio. These enhancements will enable FCT to focus on its core suburban retail strategy moving forward. The Consideration for the divestment of Changi City Point was negotiated based on a willing-buyer-willing-seller approach, taking into account the independent valuation of the Property, which was S$325.0 million as of July 31, 2023. The estimated net proceeds from the divestment, after accounting for divestment fees, related expenses, and the transfer of tenants' security deposits, is approximately S$329.7 million. The net proceeds will be used to repay loans with higher interest rates and reduce FCT's pro forma aggregate leverage from 40.2% to 37.1%. JTC Corporation ("JTC") has provided official written approval for the Divestment, in line with the terms outlined in JTC's preliminary written approval for the Divestment. Both the Trustee and the Purchaser are obligated to adhere to the terms and conditions stipulated by JTC and any relevant competent authorities. This compliance is required as a condition for the grant of the JTC Consent Letter. Both parties must also acknowledge and accept the JTC Consent Letter, following the guidelines specified within the document. This confirms that all parties involved are aligned with the regulatory and procedural requirements set forth by JTC in relation to the Divestment. After the completion of this divestment, FCT's retail portfolio will consist of nine retail properties, all located in suburban regions of Singapore. The total net lettable area of FCT's retail property portfolio will be approximately 2.7 million square feet, with a strong emphasis on essential trades and services. The nine retail properties in FCT's portfolio include Causeway Point, Northpoint City North Wing (including Yishun 10 Retail Podium), NEX (FCT holds an effective 25.5% interest), Waterway Point (FCT holds a 50.0% interest), Tiong Bahru Plaza, White Sands, Hougang Mall, Century Square, and Tampines 1. About Frasers Property Frasers Property Limited (“Frasers Property” and together with its subsidiaries, the “Frasers Property Group” or the “Group”), is a multinational investor-developer-manager of real estate products and services across the property value chain. The company is listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) and has its headquarters in Singapore. As of March 31, 2023, the Group possesses total assets valued at approximately S$40.1 billion. The operations of Frasers Property Group are diverse, encompassing five main asset categories: residential properties, retail properties, commercial and business parks, industrial and logistics facilities, as well as hospitality properties. The Group's reach extends across several regions, including Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, and China. Notably, their well-established hospitality arm owns and/or manages serviced apartments and hotels situated in more than 20 countries and spanning over 70 cities across Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Frasers Property is also the sponsor of two real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and one stapled trust listed on the SGX-ST. Frasers Centrepoint Trust and Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust are focused on retail, and industrial & commercial properties, respectively.