Property heirs urge to make changes in Hong Kong’s Land Policy

Recent stats show that the property heirs in Hong Kong are criticizing the land policies of the local government while suggesting the overhaul considering increased priorities of industry leaders towards housing problems in the most affordable residential market of the world.


Some local heirs in the city reveal that most of the traditional systems and procedures are time-consuming, and many of them have now become obsolete as well. Moreover, the current generation does not want to get involved in such issues, which leads to the present situation in the real estate market. The local heirs with this type of opinion are also accompanied by scholars and lawmakers these days; they are all eager to urge immediate changes to the land policies so that ongoing housing shortage issues can be addressed.

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One Out of Three HDB Resale Flat Buyers Preferred Paying Cash Above Valuation in 2021

Recent reports reveal one out of three buyers in Housing Board resale flats preferred paying an amount above-market valuation in the current year. Note that this range was one out of five in the previous year.
It is observed that this rise occurred as a result of the backdrop of few steadily rising prices in the HDB resale flat category.


As per the figures released from the Ministry of National Development, the median cash over valuation, which is paid by the buyers, was restricted to $0 per year for a long time. But a large proportion of buyers that paid increased cash over valuation price reflected the ongoing broad-based demand for the housing properties. It also included the private housing market that is widely supported by the low-interest-rate environment.

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No Heat in the Singapore Property Market but Authorities Keeping an Eye on Prices

The experts at the Monetary Authority of Singapore recently said that they would stay vigilant about possible rises in property prices, even if the market is not overheated. Mr. Menon revealed that the Singapore property market has been very resilient during the pandemic and the recession period; however, it shows an uncertain movement during the Covid-19 caused risks of the current year as well.


Stats reveal that gross domestic product and economy contracted by a considerable level in 2020; however, the residential property price index improved by 1.6%. During the first quarter of the year 2021, the PPI was observed to be around 5.6% higher as compared to the pre-pandemic level.

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Singapore Private Home Prices Rising at Slower Pace

The Singapore private home market prices are rising by the fifth straight quarter; however, at a slower pace which is burning out the speculations regarding another major property curb in the coming future.
There was an estimated rise of 0.9% from the previous quarter to June, and it is followed by an increase of 3.3% during the first quarter with a 2.1% rise during the fourth quarter of the previous year. The year-by-year rise can be estimated to be around 7.3%.

Note that the Urban Redevelopment Authority released its flash estimates recently on 1st July, and it shows that prices of top landed properties rose by 0.8% during the second quarter as compared to 6.7% in the last quarter. If we talk about the non-landed properties, they enjoyed an estimated rise of 2.5% during the first quarter; however, the recent rise is only 0.9%.

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Tengah’s First Executive Condominium Project Set a New Record


Tengah, a sought-after location due to its generous gardens and green landscapes, will soon have a new condominium to brag about. However, the project, which is an executive condominium, managed to get a lot of attention not necessarily due to its future location but for the bidding war, it generated. More precisely, a new record was set for the leasehold site of the condominium, as a square foot of land per plot ratio settled at no less than $603. The last record of the kind was set back in 2018 when the sum of $538 was reached by the Sumang Walk EC, located in Punggol.

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The difference in price between mature and non-mature properties may continue to shrink

There has always been a considerable difference between properties sold in mature estates and properties sold in non-mature estates since homebuyers preferred the mature estates more. This is due to the fact that mature estates provided a wider range of facilities and an increased living quality. However, it seems that this difference began to shrink a while ago, and the trend continues in the set direction. Plus, according to specialists, the differences between these two types of properties may continue to decrease in the near future as well.


How come the tide is turning regarding properties located in mature locations? It seems like homebuyers started preferring non-mature estates for their recent transformational efforts, stirring away from mature locations in their last part of the lease period, despite the multitude of benefits provided by such locations. As Mr. Lee Sze Teck stated, who is Hutton Asia’s director of research, it is possible to see the price of properties in non-mature estate reach the $1 million thresholds soon, if the trend keeps its ascension. Read more

Tighter Covid-19 Guidelines for Migrant Workers Leading to Longer Waiting Time and Increased Cost of Homes in Singapore



Singapore Contractors Association Limited recently revealed that the home buyers in Singapore are expected to experience higher costs and longer waiting time for the real estate properties; mainly due to the strict border restrictions posed on travelers coming from India.


It is observed that the construction sector is already going through major delays due to the increased labor crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic; as a result, the housing projects are expected to knock back by almost 9 to 12 months.


The Singapore government recently announced that the short-term visitors, as well as long-term pass holders who have recently travelled to India, will not be allowed to transit or make entry to Singapore. These new guidelines are also applicable to people who have received prior approval from authorities to enter Singapore. Lawrence Wong, the Education Minister of Singapore, who is handling the decisions related to Covid-19 said that these new guidelines may leave a major impact on the construction sector.


The experts in the Housing Sector have now given warnings regarding longer waiting times for the development of Build to Order flats as well as private apartments in the Singapore real estate market. Other than this, the buildings such as infrastructure projects and those containing major health care facilities will be also delayed above the expected date of completion.


Singapore Contractors Association Limited also forecasted that Singaporeans may also end up paying higher construction costs if this ongoing situation doesn’t come to an end at the earliest. This is because the cost of materials and labor has also increased from 30% to 50% during these days. Furthermore, the tightening guidelines for the inflow of a large number of construction workers from India will leave a negative impact on real estate construction projects along with the increased delays.


It is important to mention that the construction sector experienced a serious labor crunch right from the previous year when most of the migrant workers returned to their native places due to pandemic. Experts also revealed that many companies may be also forced to close due to the ongoing crises and it will leave a considerable impact on more than 100,000 residents indulged in the construction sector.


The tight measures at borders were implemented in view of the increased coronavirus cases in India. There were 332,730 new cases reported on Friday which is the largest single-day surge in the world for a second consecutive day. The recently reported double-mutant variant is fuelling the second wave of Covid-19 in the country.


Note that the construction industry requires a large number of migrant workers as they form the backbone of all ongoing projects and a maximum of these workers come from Bangladesh and India. The country is in major need of these workers as no permanent residents of Singapore are ready to give services as construction workers.


The experts also revealed that they are currently working on the sourcing of manpower from few other nations in the Asian region with a stay-home notice cost and the added benefits of the vaccination program.



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Rents for Apartments in Hong Kong Drop to an Unforeseen Limit


When it comes to Hong Kong, everybody knows that rent there was never in the affordable range. And, even so, it was very hard to find available flats in desired areas, due to high demand. However, the current background generated by the pandemic changed things in ways no one expected, turning Hong Kong into a favorable market for renters. Thus, anyone interested in getting rent in this city should know that now is probably the best time to start looking for a flat.


How much did rents drop in Hong Kong? The last significant drop happened in the last part of the year 2016, when the lower value of rents was recorded. The first quarter of this year brought decreases of US$5.77 per square foot, which is quite significant. Thus, a 2-bedroom apartment can now be rented for approximately US$3,500 per month, compared to US$4,200, which was the value of the rent of the same kind of flat about two years ago.


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New Private Home Prices Experience Sharper Jump of 3.3%, Fuelling Expectations for Cooling Measures

As per the recent reports, the new private home prices jumped by 3.3% during the first quarter, which is much above the early estimate of 2.9%. The main reasons behind this steep rise are observed to be the new launches during this economic recovery mode, vaccine optimism, and the low-interest rate opportunities.
It is believed to be the fourth consecutive rise in price with a steep quarterly hike right from the second quarter of the year 2018. At that time, the pricing of private residential homes was increased to 3.4% before the property curb issues were reported in the July month of that year.

The information presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on 23rd April shows that there was a 3.3% price rise during the first quarter this year and it is higher than the reported 2.1% growth during the fourth quarter of the previous year.

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For the 4th year consecutively March strikes a record in the sales of private homes

The period near the Chinese New Year is known to be slower when it comes to investments in the real estate market. However, after this celebration is over, homebuyers start hovering around properties and making purchases, in many instances exceeding the expectations of both developers and real estate specialists. Thus, the month of March appears to be the most fruitful month in terms of property transactions, for the fourth year. More than this, this year’s March exceeded all expectations, recording the highest number of properties sold since 2017.


More precisely, March enjoyed double the number of units sold during the month of February, which means a total of 1.296 units. The last significant take-up during March happened back in 2017, so this year something happened that made homebuyers be more active than in any month of March in the past 4 years. However, the most amazing aspect is that high-end units were highly appreciated this year. Maybe what happened during the pandemic, with the lockdown and people needing to spend more time at home, made comfort and quality priorities when looking for a new home. Thus, in March of 2021, almost half of the units sold represented high-end units, located in the top districts of Singapore.

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The month of April brought an increase of 2.8% in the resale prices of HDB units

For the 4th quarter of a year in a row, HDB units recorded a price increase, this time of 2.8%. Over the past three quarters, the prices of these units grew slowly yet steadily. Thus, the price increases summed up by the first three months of 2021 got the increase mentioned previously. From one year to another, the overall increase is 8%, which shows the steady interest of homebuyers in these types of units.

Ms. Christine Sun, who is the senior vice-president of research and analytics at Orange Tee & Tie, made a comparison between the peak recorded by HDB units, which took place in the 2nd quarter of 2013, and notices that today’s prices were just 5% lower than that peak. In other words, if the price increases continue in the same manner, the last half of 2021 may bring along a new peak in this sector, one that will subclass the one in 2013.

Still, things didn’t look this way all the time. After the peak in 2013, the prices of HDB units started to decline. This decline took place up to 2019 when the second half of the year started to bring signs of recovery. Also, as Ms. Sun noticed, after taking a look at the info provided by the HDB, 22 HDB cities, out of a total of 26, recorded price increases in the January – March 2021 period. Toa Payoh is in the lead, with an increase of 17% and 244 units. Bukit Timah follows in the second place, recording an increase of 11.2% in 28 units. And, finally, in the third place, we have Bedok, with an increase of 8% in 402 units.

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For the 4th Month in a Row Factories in Singapore Record an Unexpected Growth

The growth of factory output in Singapore manages to surprise everyone from one month to the other. Because of the increasing demand for products in certain sectors, more precisely semiconductors and other similar equipment, devices for the medical domain, and pharmaceuticals, the output continued to grow, the numbers exceeding predictions once more. So, as the numbers show, the month of February brought an increase of 16.4% in the production of factories. Experts expected a growth of only 15.8%, so reality brought in a surprise, especially since January ended with an increase of only 9.2%.

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The Recovery Level of Domestic Economy in Asia-Pacific Area Depends on the COVID-19 Vaccine

The countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific area managed to keep the Covid-19 virus under control quite effectively, which can be seen in the good recovery levels of the economy in this part of the world. However, the extent to which this recovery can be taken doesn’t depend entirely on the Asian or Pacific countries. A desirable recovery relies on the economic relationships with other countries of the world, countries in which the continuing occurrence of infections is stalling the recovery. According to the Chief Economist of the World Bank representing Pacific and East Asia, Dr. Aaditya Mattoo, things will speed up only when vaccines will be implemented at a wider scale.

If we are to take the statements of Dr. Mattoo, no matter how much effort countries in the Asia-Pacific area deposit in making the recovery happen, they will reach a plateau at some point and even slide backward if vaccines don’t start to be used fast. In his opinion, the countries that still struggle with infections should make the vaccine a priority, making room for the recovery of their economy and the economy of the rest of the world, eventually.
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The Recent Midtown Modern Launch Generated Immediate Sales of 60% Out of Available Units

Developer GuocoLand recently launched its newest project, the Midtown Modern condominium, located at Tan Quee Lan Street. Over 60% of the available units provided by the project were sold on the weekend of the launch alone, which is a great success for the developer. According to the developer, the majority of the customers were residents of Singapore, part of them being owners and part investors. Thus, it is possible to say that the launch went great since 340 units were sold immediately after the launch was made official, considering that 558 is the total number of units available.

The most sought-after units were the one- and two-bedroom apartments, which were sold in a proportion of 90%. Three-bedroom units were also highly appreciated since half of them found new owners right away. Regarding prices, the units of this project had price tags ranging between $2,401 and $3,501 per square foot, most of the apartments sold recording an average of $2,800 per square foot. Created to be a complex condominium, ready to deliver solutions for all types of homebuyers, Midtown Modern also provided four-bedroom units and penthouses with five bedrooms. Some of these units sold fast as well. Buyers purchased four units with four bedrooms and one penthouse, showing that large apartments have their place on the market.

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The Market Surrounding Private Home Sales Could Boost due to the Spread of the Covid-19 Vaccine

The real estate market revolving around the private home sector is enjoying interesting growth, due to the upgrades provided by the HDB and the unsatiated interest of homebuyers. However, it is expected for things to get spiced up even more, now that the Covid-19 vaccine is being widely spread and used. Very soon, the borders abroad will open for those who got vaccinated, which could mean a significant increase in sales of private homes in Singapore.

Mr. Chia Ngiang Hong, who is the group general manager of City Developments, said that there is still room for development in this area if we are to look at the numbers. Compared to the peak period, which happened between 2013 and 2014, when 23,000 properties were sold, last year only 9,982 properties enjoyed closed transactions, while 2019 concluded with an even smaller number of units, of only 9,912. Thus, until the former peak values are reached, there’s plenty of room for growth.

Considering that the vaccine is now becoming widely available and that the number of vaccinated people is growing steadily from one day to another, plus countries are looking to reach arrangements regarding safe travels, the country expects to see more foreign buyers soon. Foreign homebuyers and investors are welcome to the country, as it is obvious that they can contribute to the revival of the market.

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