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Project News
Competition to heat up at District 21 with upcoming launch
30 Jul 2020
Latest project Forett At Bukit Timah likely to sell 20 per cent of its 633 units... 
Competition to heat up at District 21 with upcoming launch
30 Jul 2020
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An artist's impression of Forett At Bukit Timah. PHOTO: FORETT AT BUKIT TIMAH


THE launch of Forett At Bukit Timah will amp up competition in District 21, delivering more options for buyers in the area.
 
Indicative prices for the 633-unit freehold project by Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group and Perennial Real Estate Holdings start from S$1,800 per square foot (psf). The former Goodluck Garden site on Toh Tuck Road was acquired via a collective sale in 2018 for S$610 million.
 
"In the vicinity, the nearest direct competitors would be View at Kismis and Daintree Residence," said Wong Xian Yang, associate director (research) for Singapore and South-east Asia at Cushman & Wakefield, noting that both of these are 99-year leasehold projects.
 
Aside from the freehold tenure, Forett's location in Bukit Timah as well as its proximity to greenery, schools and amenities could prove attractive to some buyers, he added.
 
The upcoming Linq@Beauty World, while freehold, is a smaller development with 120 units.
 
In the longer term, there could be competition from a 99-year leasehold commercial and residential site along Jalan Anak Bukit.
 
In end-June, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released the 3.22 hectare site - which can potentially yield about 845 residential units - for sale under a dual-envelope tender system.
 
However, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the URA has extended the tender period, which will now only close end-March of 2021.
 
Mr Wong reckoned that in the event of a successful tender, the project may only launch for sale in 2022 at earliest.
 
"The existing projects in District 21 have generally seen decent sales amid the pandemic and economic downturn," noted Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex, which is a marketing agent for Forett At Bukit Timah.
 
She estimated that sales for Forett At Bukit Timah - which commenced public viewings last weekend - could surpass 100 units, with the project likely selling 20 per cent of the 633 units. A 20 per cent take-up on a launch weekend could be considered a very strong performance in today's market, she added.
 
She said: "As the first major project launch after the circuit breaker and phase one, Forett At Bukit Timah will likely serve as a barometer of market confidence."
 
Last weekend, all appointment slots for the first weekend of public viewing of the sales gallery were taken up. To comply with safe distancing requirements, viewings are being carried out by appointment only.
 
The virus outbreak has prompted developers to change the way they sell and market their projects, such as by leveraging on digital technology. Prospective buyers for Forett At Bukit Timah will be able to book units virtually without having to be physically present at the sales gallery, said PropNex.
 
Yen Chong, deputy general manager for Qingjian Realty, said: "Virtual tours will be made available on the Forett website for those who may not have secured their desired appointment slot or those who would like another look at what we have planned for Forett."
 
Prospective homebuyers who viewed the sales gallery have given positive feedback on the project's landscaping and architecture, unit mix and concept, she added.
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Private housing projects facing delays of six to nine months
23 Jul 2020
PRIVATE home buyers looking forward to moving into their new homes may have to wait a little longer...
Private housing projects facing delays of six to nine months
23 Jul 2020
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Potential buyers at Frasers Property’s Seaside Residences showroom on April 22, 2017. Construction updates on its website said work on carparks, roads and drains are being done at the 841-unit condo. BT FILE PHOTO

 
PRIVATE home buyers looking forward to moving into their new homes may have to wait a little longer as builders are still trying to restart their construction works.
 
Construction activity is picking up since the economy re-opened last month but delays continue as contractors have to implement health and safety measures before getting more workers on site.
 
Over 2,500 construction projects including more than 900 residential projects have been given the go-ahead to restart work by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
 
According to The Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) president Ng Yek Meng, only about 10 per cent of construction work is happening as manpower issues remain a challenge.
 
Speaking on Chanelnewsasia over the weekend, Mr Ng said he would add six to nine months to project timelines as very few workers are able to be onsite even as many have been cleared of the virus to work.
 
"The delay between six and nine months will be depending on at which stage the project was when the circuit breaker was introduced," added Mr Ng when asked to elaborate by The Business Times. The circuit breaker was from April 7 to June 1.
 
"Some projects are at the tail end" of development and waiting for TOP, so these projects will be less affected, he said.
 
BCA issues TOP or temporary occupation permit on completion of building works and the project can be handed back to the developer. But buyers have to wait for a date of vacant possession - usually several months after TOP - to get their keys to their new homes.
 
A Frasers Property spokeswoman said construction schedule is under review for its projects and customers will be updated on developments.
 
TOP for its Seaside Residences in Siglap, a 841-unit condo, is in the second half of 2020. Construction updates on its website said work on carparks, roads and drains are in progress. Units sold up to June have reached 796 with 45 unsold.
 
While the Covid-19 situation is still evolving and uncertain, the well-being of employees and workers at the residential sites and the community remains our utmost priority, said the spokeswoman.
 
"Our workers are currently awaiting the relevant clearance to resume working. Meanwhile, we are making the necessary preparations to ensure their safe return to the sites. These include implementing health and safety measures such as safe distancing, staggered shifts and mealtimes, split team arrangements, constant reminders on observation of good personal hygiene, ensuring the cleanliness of workplace premises, providing them with personal protective equipment and conducting regular health checks," she said.
 
The 519-unit Forest Woods, a City Developments Ltd joint venture has an indicative TOP for Q4 2020 while the date of vacant possession is on May 10, 2021. Only two units at Forest Woods located in Upper Serangoon remain unsold.
 
As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, work processes remain fluid, said a CDL spokeswoman.
 
"We will continue to keep our homebuyers updated on the latest project status. We are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our workers and the community," she said.
 
CDL has currently eight projects in various stages of construction, and indicative TOP ranges from Q4 2020 to Q2 2023.
 
Last week, the HDB said some new Build-To-Order projects may be delayed by up to nine months.
 
The HDB told The Straits Times that while the delay is still up to six months for most projects, there are some blocks in a few projects where the delay could be longer, by up to nine months.
 
It did not specify how many projects are facing a nine-month delay or the number of units affected.
 
"The delay is due to various reasons, such as the disruption in supply of precast components and materials from overseas, the availability of manpower and the ability of contractors to meet the safety pre-requisites by the authorities for works to restart," HDB said in a statement.
 
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Beauty World site set to catalyse area's rejuvenation
01 Jul 2020
A JUST-RELEASED 99-year leasehold commercial and residential site near Beauty World MRT station has many strong attributes, say property consultants...
Beauty World site set to catalyse area's rejuvenation
01 Jul 2020
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According to URA, the Beauty World precinct is envisioned to be a green urban village that will be a centre of community life and southern gateway into Bukit Timah's nature attractions. PHOTO: URA

A JUST-RELEASED 99-year leasehold commercial and residential site near Beauty World MRT station has many strong attributes, say property consultants.
 
However, the cloud of uncertainty amid the Covid-19-induced economic slowdown and its big-ticket investment quantum - the land price alone is widely expected to be at least S$1 billion - may cause potential bidders to be cautious, they added.
 
On a brighter note, overall business sentiment may lift by the time the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) dual-envelope tender for the 3.22-hectare plot along Jalan Anak Bukit closes in nine months' time, on March 30, 2021.
 
Knight Frank Singapore research head Leonard Tay said: "Interested parties will have the chance to wait for more clarity as Singapore emerges from the Covid-19 crisis."
 
Property consultants polled by The Business Times expect the site to fetch anywhere from just a single bid to 10 bids. Their forecasts of the top bid too vary widely, from S$750-1,250 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). In absolute price terms, this would range from S$780 million to S$1.3 billion.
 
Given the large investment outlay in this project and to reduce risk, developers are expected to form consortiums to bid for the site.
 
"Due to the scale of the project and its impact on the surrounding, a concept-and-price tender is indeed appropriate to ensure the quality of the development," said JLL Singapore senior director of research and consultancy Ong Teck Hui.
 
The subject site is envisioned to be a landmark residential and commercial development to help rejuvenate the Beauty World area, he added.
 
URA said that bidders are required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices separately.
 
The concept proposals will first be evaluated against a set of criteria specified - the three broad categories are: quality of design concept, quality of public realm, and the track record of the developer and design teams.
 
"Only compelling concept proposals will be shortlisted to proceed to the second stage of evaluation, which will be based on price only. Tenderers are encouraged to propose quality concepts that are closely aligned with the planning vision for the site, while submitting a competitively-priced bid," the URA added.
 
The site can be developed upto a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 96,551 square metres (sq m), or nearly 1.04 million square feet (sq ft). Of this, at least 5,000 sq m shall be for a bus intechange. Up to 20,000 sq m GFA shall be for commercial use.
 
The remaining GFA shall be for residential use - potentially equating to about 845 residential units. The residential component could comprise private flats, serviced apartments, or a combination of the two.
 
Of the maximum 20,000 sq m GFA for commercial use, no more than 7,500 sq m can be for shop and restaurant use, including such use within the bus interchange and any outdoor refreshment areas.
 
The remaining commercial GFA can be allocated for other commercial uses including office, commercial school, medical clinic, gym and recreation/entertainment uses if permitted by the authorities.
 
The successful bidder will be reimbursed the cost of designing and building the bus interchange by the Land Transport Authority.
 
ERA Realty's head of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said: "The new mixed-use development that will eventually be built on the subject site would be a much-needed catalyst to rejuvenate the Beauty World neighbourhood."
 
Noting that the project's residential component is likely to be launched for sale in 2022, Mr Mak added: "By then, the negative impact of the Covid-19 outbreak would have subsided and the Singapore economy would have recovered. Hence, if this project is reasonably priced, it will likely be one of the more popular developments among the new residential launches at that time."
 
That said, Cushman & Wakefield's associate director of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia Wong Xian Yang highlighted possible competition from several nearby existing and upcoming launches, including View At Kismis, Daintree Residence, Verdale, The Linq@Beauty World and Forett @ Bukit Timah.
 
And despite the site's strong attributes, one drawback is that it is right beside the Pan Island Expressway, which could result in higher noise and dust levels for the future development.
 
The attractions of the site include its being located within 1km of top primary schools such as Methodist Girls' School (Primary) and Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School, noted Mr Ong of JLL.
 
Huttons Asia's research director Lee Sze Teck said that "integrated developments are favoured by (home) buyers for the seamless connectivity to a MRT station and bus interchange and a mall".
 
The upcoming Bukit Timah Community Building, which will include a market and hawker centre, will bring added convenience to the whole Beauty World area, he added.
 
Colliers International's head of research for Singapore Tricia Song said: "This site has good potential for placemaking, to capitalise on the mainly private residential catchment, education institutions, and the vast nature elements including Bukit Timah Hill in the vicinity."
 
The site is being offered under the confirmed list of the first-half 2020 Government Land Sales Programme.
 
In its release, the URA said: "Located within one of Singapore's endearing identity nodes, the Beauty World precinct is envisioned to be a green urban village that will be a centre of community life and southern gateway into Bukit Timah's nature attractions."
 
With the completion of the Coast-to-Coast trail, upcoming completion of the Rail Corridor and Rifle Range Nature Park, as well as the new public and private development projects in the area, the sale of this site for a mixed-use integrated transport hub will further spur the rejuvenation of Beauty World, inject vibrancy into the area and enhance the overall commuting experience with convenient connection between the Downtown Line and bus services.
 
"The vision is for the... site to be a distinctive development and identity marker for the Beauty World precinct when completed. It is envisaged to offer a lushly landscaped and attractive living environment that is well connected to the surrounding nature attractions. It should include thoughtfully-designed public spaces and pedestrian networks that are well integrated with transport and community uses," the URA added.


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Mass to mid-tier properties draw interest as showflats reopen after 10-week halt
22 Jun 2020
SALES for new private homes got off to an encouraging start for developers as showflats reopened...
Mass to mid-tier properties draw interest as showflats reopen after 10-week halt
22 Jun 2020
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Visitors at The Florence Residences sales gallery. Over 20 units of the 1,410-unit development were sold over the weekend. PHOTO: PROPNEX

SALES for new private homes got off to an encouraging start for developers as showflats reopened their doors over the weekend after a 10-week hiatus.

Starting on Friday, visitors made their way to sales galleries for the first time since the circuit breaker kicked in, with mass market and mid-market segments garnering the attention, real estate agencies told The Business Times.

The pace of sales has picked up compared to the circuit breaker, possibly due to pent-up demand, said Emily Eng, executive director (residential services) at OrangeTee & Tie, adding that some projects saw sales of between five and fifteen units each over the weekend. OrangeTee & Tie was marketing over 50 projects.

"Activities are still concentrated on mass to mid-tier projects, as opposed to the luxury segment," Ms Eng added. Projects marketed by OrangeTee & Tie that have been selling well include Daintree Residence, The Florence Residences, Parc Esta, JadeScape, Stirling Residences and Treasure at Tampines.

According to ERA Realty Network key executive officer Eugene Lim, viewing slots for showflats were full. As at Sunday night, developers had sold a total of 140 units over the weekend across nearly 60 show galleries, he added. The tally includes units sold by other real estate agencies in addition to ERA.

Not all developers chose to reopen their showflats over the weekend, BT understands.

Alvin Tan, executive director of PropNex International, told BT: "People are coming in to the showflats, most of the slots were taken."

Of the sales conducted, most were for the mass-market projects, while the high-end segment is still on the slow side, added Mr Tan, who thinks that new home sales for June could top May as sales pick up. PropNex is currently marketing 90 Singapore residential projects.

During the circuit breaker, overall sales of new private homes took a massive tumble, plunging 58 per cent month on month to 277 units in April, before rebounding by over 75 per cent month on month to 486 units in May. Sales for both months were down significantly from the 737 units and 952 units sold in April 2019 and May 2019 respectively.

As per guidelines from the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Controller of Housing, viewings of the show galleries have to be by appointment, with a maximum of five people per group (including the real estate agent). Generally, developers appear to be allotting time slots of between one and two hours.

Developers also have to limit the number of people in the show gallery and within show units to not more than one person per 10 square metres of space. As such, the number of groups that the show gallery can entertain at any one time will vary depending on its size.

Logan Property sold over 20 units for 1,410-unit The Florence Residences over the weekend, which takes the total number of units sold over the 51 per cent mark, group executive director CB Chng told BT. Meanwhile, another of its projects, the 1,259 unit-Stirling Residences in Queenstown, sold over 10 units; with this, it is more than 80 per cent sold.

"We're encouraged with the sales performance, said Mr Chng. "I hope the momentum can be sustained."

Over 100 units at The Florence Residences were sold during the circuit- breaker period while Stirling Residences sold more than 40 units, he added.

SingHaiyi Group opened its show gallery for the 1,468-unit Parc Clematis on Saturday and Sunday, during which it received 550 visitors (including real estate agents). Over the two days, seven units were moved, the majority of which were two- and three-bedroom units.

Gregory Sim, deputy chief executive officer of SingHaiyi, said: "We are encouraged by the response from potential buyers who visited the Parc Clematis sales gallery over the last two days. We hope that being able to visit the sales gallery and seeing for themselves our unit layouts and quality fittings will help potential buyers make up their mind."

In April and May, the developer sold nine units and 55 units at Parc Clematis respectively, and a further 52 units from June 1 to 18 before Singapore commenced Phase 2 of the circuit breaker.

According to SingHaiyi, about half of the sales during the period before Phase 2 when the sales gallery was closed came from home buyers who made their decision after virtual viewings, and the other half from those who had visited the sales gallery prior to the circuit breaker.

Over the weekend, Sim Lian sold 14 units for Treasure at Tampines, while Chip Eng Seng Corporation's subsidiary CEL Development sold five units at its Kopar at Newton project. These included one two-bedroom unit at S$1.55 million, three three-bedroom units at S$2 million to S$2.45 million and a three-bedroom junior penthouse for S$3.7 million.

CSC Land moved a four-bedroom, 1,249 square foot (sq ft) unit for close to S$1.9 million at its 520-unit Twin VEW project. To date, 90 per cent of Twin VEW - which was launched for sale in May 2018 - has been sold.

Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group sold 11 units of JadeScape since it re-opened its sales gallery on June 19.

Cheryl Huan, chief operating officer, sales and leasing group, for Far East Organization, said: "Since Friday, we have opened seven properties for viewing by appointment and have brought more than 25 groups of potential homebuyers to the show galleries."

She noted that some prospective homebuyers are still cautious, adding: "We have been scheduling our viewings gradually, while we continue to host virtual appointments where our staff talk potential homebuyers through a virtual viewing."

On Friday, it sold a 3,068 sq ft triplex unit at Parksuites after a virtual viewing. The mixed-use development in Holland Grove Road has 119 residential units and 18 retail units.


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