Clementi

Located right on the eastern tip of Singapore’s West Region, Clementi describes both the planning area, and the residential town. Of the 3.66 square miles that makes up the area, 0.78 square miles was classed as residential in 2015, with 91,630 people calling it home. Of those almost 70% were Chinese. With regards to its neighbouring towns and areas, Clementi has Bukit Batok, Bukit Timah, Queenstown and Jurong East on its borders to the north, northeast, east and west respectively.

 

Trivelis @ Clementi
DBSS Development, Trivelis @ Clementi

 

Like many places on the island its name comes from a road that ran through the area (and still does today) – Clementi Road. If things had been different, it could have been called something else entirely, as the road was originally called Reformatory Road. Then, in a meeting by the Singapore Rural Board, Clementi Road was decided upon, after finally rejecting the former frontrunner of Clifford Road. The name Clementi comes from either Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, the first British High Commissioner of the Straits Settlements, or Sir Cecil Clementi who was responsible for the development of Kallang Airport.

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Sentosa Cove – Playground for the Rich, the Famous and a lot of Bankers

Located on the eastern region of Sentosa, largely on reclaimed land, Sentosa Cove is one of the world’s most prestigious residential enclaves. It took just 20 years from the time the cabinet first approved plans for the development of what was then called Buran Darat Island, until the first residence was completed in 2006. When fully completed the oceanfront community will consist of 2,500 homes, a hotel and casino complex, a 400 berth marina – with ten spots specially designed to accommodate megayachts, a yacht club and two golf courses and will be the centrepiece of the URA’s billion dollar masterplan for the island.

 

Sentosa Cove
Sentosa Cove

 

Sentosa Cove Pte. Ltd were the Master Developer for the project, themselves a subsidiary of the Sentosa Development Corporation, who originally bought the land from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for what is believed to be a sum in the region of S$800 million. The vision of high class waterfront living that was put forward by the group and subsequently approved by the URA, was modified twice over the years, before being finalised in 1996. Seven years later the first sale was completed.

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Condos Sales Are Being Placed On Hold By Developers Looking For Market Growth Next Year

It seems likely, that CapitaLand has halted sales in Singapore because they are looking to make more profits by raising the sale costs next year. CapitaLand confirmed they have halted sales on Marine Blue and Sky Habitat but have refused to comment any further.

 

According to property agents, the developer had put on hold the units for sale on Sky Habitat and a week earlier did the same with Marine Blue. It seems a little odd that Sky Habitat has 509 units but 99 are left unsold and Marine Blue which has 124 units have 53 unsold.

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The BCA website allows you to compare building quality scores from various developers

Singapore home buyers now have the ability to compare the workmanship quality and other great features in a simple and distinct manner. The great thing to keep in mind here is that you have an unique opportunity at this point to get more value and results especially for a collective purchase.

 

There is a new function on the BCA site that is called Search for Quality Housing. What this does is it provides you to go through a database and this helps compile the building quality score for the contractors, developers and properties.

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Singapore’s Smart Ambitions and the Cashless Conundrum

The term Smart Nation has been bandied around a lot in recent years, and the country has made great strides. There is one major obstacle in the way of achieving it however, and that is in the shape of another word that has been doing the rounds probably even more frequently – cashless. A country’s ability – or rather its people’s ability to go without cash and instead carry out transactions either via an app or at least with a card – is now seen as the main measure of how “smart” a nation is. And despite Singapore’s advancements in other areas, it is this that they may very well be judged on.

 

There is certainly a desire and a push to become a cashless nation. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is aiming to have a cashless transport network by the year 2020 and last month (August) put out a joint statement with TransitLink on the encouraging progress with its latest initiative, a pilot run in conjunction with Mastercard. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong even went as far as mentioning his nation’s desire to up its game and become a cashless state quicker in his speech at the National Day rally.

Cashless Payment
Will Cash Ever Become Obsolete?

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What is the BCA Green Mark Award all about?

There are two ways of looking at the BCA Green Mark Scheme, which was launched back in January 2005. Both viewpoints are valid and much-needed additions to the residential building industry in Singapore. First of all, it is an initiative with which to encourage the industry to prioritise the environmental aspect of their projects. This should involve all parts of the industry, from designers and developers to the builders, and as a result should be embraced at every part of the process – from the initial conception, through to the design and eventually to the actual building of the project.

 

The second way of looking at the scheme is through the eyes of the end user, or the perspective buyer. It provides a credible system by which they can judge the “greenness” of their potential future home or investment. The awards use globally recognized benchmarks for best practice in both the design and performance of residential developments, and in doing so they shine a light on the work that forward thinking developers, designers and builders are doing, and in the benefits to home owners who buy and subsequently live in projects that have been awarded the green mark.

BCA Green Mark
BCA Green Mark (Source : BCA)

 

So what makes a development green? There are many different techniques that are adopted, but some good examples include:

• Use of passive design features. By clever orientation, buildings can make the most of the Singaporean winds, as well as protecting the homes from the worst of the sun.
• Maximising the use of natural daylight.
• Choosing appropriate building materials, as well as fixtures and fittings.
• Utilizing appliances, techniques and designs that reduce the need for energy and electricity.
• Adopting appliances and facilities that save water.

 

The benefits of building and living in a green home are tangible and various, and can largely be separated into four distinct categories, namely financial, health environmental and corporate.

 

Financial Benefits

Green homes make the most of natural lighting and ventilation, and coupled with their use of energy efficient appliances the end result is a very real reduction in their energy and water usage, and hence a similar reduction in the property’s utility bills.
At a baser level, the design of green homes often employs innovative use of raw materials and resources meaning that less are required, once again resulting in reduced costs.

Green homes and buildings are also designed to minimise the need for costly modifications and alterations throughout their lifetime. This means it saves money in the short to mid-term, and also makes for an attractive proposition for future owners and tenants.

 

Health Benefits

Through their use of natural lighting and ventilation – both proven to have positive health benefits, green homes provide a healthier living environment.

They also reduce, or eliminate all together, the use of toxic chemicals, providing a healthier and happier home.

Environmental Benefits:

By their reduced reliance on natural resources, such as water, building materials as well as being more energy efficient, green homes have a far smaller carbon footprint, and a vastly reduced negative impact on the environment as a whole.

 

Corporate Benefits

If a company is seen to be championing environmentally friendly initiatives and techniques, it can only be a good thing for their corporate image. It also opens up many more marketing and business opportunities. It has also been proved that a green building is more valuable in terms of its leasing and resale value.

 

New Launch Condos that have been awarded the Green Mark Award

 

Upcoming new launches

 

 

 

Kovan – A Guide

Kovan is very much one of those neighbourhoods that largely flies under the radar of the majority of Singaporeans. Residents, in equal parts are happy to keep it that way, while desperate to tell anyone who will listen about what they consider to be a hidden gem.

 

Situated in the North East Region of the island, Kovan is actually a small suburb within Hougang New Town. Its boundaries are fairly ill defined and for most people it merges into the neighbouring Serangoon and Hougang proper. Officially however, it is the triangular area enclosed by Hougang Avenue 2, Yio Chu Kang Road and Upper Serangoon Road.

 

Traditionally, Kovan was home to members of the Teochew community, with several of its road names to this day bearing the names of the more prominent members of Teochew society.  Its name in Teochew is “La gou Jio”, which literally translates to “6 miles from the Fullerton Hotel.”

 

Kovan has come to be characterised by its landed housing, with the vast majority of homes being made up of terrace houses, semi-detached properties and bungalows. In recent years however there has been a handful of Singapore condominiums being built in the area, as property developers seek to take advantage of this quiet neighbourhood that offers residents the benefits of a laid back, tranquil existence, while still being within easy commuting distance of the CBD.

 

That commute is made possible by Kovan MRT Station, on the North East Line.  It is 7 stops from there to Dhoby Ghaut, which connects to the North South Line, from where City Hall and Raffles Place are 1 and 2 stops respectively. Kovan station, opened in 2004, features artwork by Eng Tow. Set in tiles in the floor, they depict the progress and development of the area between 1945 and today.

 

Kovan is well placed in terms of the major expressways, with the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), Central Expressway (CTE) and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) all within quick and easy access, meaning that in good conditions the city is only just over a 10-minute drive away. There are still a number of buses that serve the area, though the bus interchange was closed down when the MRT Station opened its doors, with most of the bus routes moving to nearby Hougang Central Bus Interchange.

 

As well as the MRT station, the other main amenities of note in the area are the Kovan Sports Centre, which boasts no less than 8 indoor futsal courts, and Heartland Mall which is home to a good number of retailers and food and beverage outlets. The area around the mall also has a bowling alley, a small neighbourhood park and several bars and cafes.

 

There is a lack of schools in the immediate area, though there are several international schools a short drive/bus ride away such as the DPS International School, Australian International School, Stamford American International School and Dimensions International College which makes Kovan and attractive proposition for expats.

 

 

 

 

 

New launch condo, Stars of Kovan is located just a stone’s throw away from Kovan MRT station. If you prefer new launch that is closer to the Hougang neighbourhood, you might want to take a look at Kingsford Waterbay.

 

Sengkang

Sengkang often flies under the radar when it comes to Singapore’s best residential options. The more you look into it, the more surprising that is, and there are undoubtedly many residents hoping it remains that way. Geographically speaking, Sengkang is situated in the North East Region, sandwiched between Seletar and Punggol to the north and Hougang and Serangoon to the south while Pasir Ris and Paya Lebar, and Yishun and Ang Mo Kio lie to the east and west respectively.

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The collective sales of Sun Rosier Condo

The Bartley Road in Singapore is holding a beautiful 78-unit freehold condominium, named Sun Rosier. Recently, the owners of this development decided to put it out for sale, opting for a collective sale and a price tag of $235 million. To their surprise, the Sun Rosier Condo got them a sum that was 15% higher than what they initially requested, reaching the amazing sum of $271 million. This means that each of the owners of this development is ready to make their bank accounts bigger with sums that range anywhere from $2.86 million and $4.77 million. But, as they stated, the competition between bidders was tight, as the offers were very close to one another.

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Singapore is on the 27th spot when it comes to retirement security

According to the Global Retirement Index, it seems that Singapore is now on the 27th place, which is one place better than the last year. There are multiple factors to take into consideration when creating this type of index. The quality of life, material wellbeing, health and finances in retirement have a lot to say in this regard.

 

Norway is known for being one of the best countries in this regard. Then you have Iceland and Switzerland which are known for offering great retirement security. But these are European countries. When you go towards Asia, you will see that things tend to shift a bit.

 

Singapore’s government and the focus on retirement benefits are some of the things that did bring in front some really good results. It’s safe to say that the results are getting better and better, which is a crucial thing to take into consideration in this regard. The overall set of benefits provided here is pretty good, but there are some other places to improve. For example, the environmental factors indicators are very good.

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Private property pricing will be higher with up to 10% by the end of next year!

According to the Morgan Stanley bank in the US, the private property pricing in Singapore will be higher, up to 10% higher. They state that these prices are going to increase each month, although this is not exactly related to the housing board flats. There was a cooldown for the market, but the outcome is pretty much better at this point thanks to the numerous improvements. There’s still a need for some very important changes in the sector, but it’s safe to say that this year was great when it comes to the transaction volume.

 

The real estate prices are reaching a high point right now and the developer sales volumes are sustaining a growth rate which is around 50% per year. It’s an unprecedented thing to have, so that will obviously translate into higher property prices.

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The Pine Grove residents are planning a massive $1.65 billion collective sale

The Pine Grove owners want to make a collective sale that is going to be around $1.65 billion in value. If this will be successful, it will surely have the ability to become the most successful sale, eclipsing the Farrer Court sale that had around $1.38 billion 10 years ago.

 

This really goes to show that such a collective sale can be successful. In order for that sum to actually be received, it seems that each owner will need to get at least $2 million on his property. The location of Pine Grove is very good, near the Ulu Pandan Road, and it really is among some of the best features out there.

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Redesigning Jobs for an increasingly Older Workforce

The demographic makeup of Singapore has literally turned on its head in the space of a generation. In 1970, there was one over 65 year old on the island for every thirty people under that age. In 2015 the 65 and older age group made up one in every eight members of society. It is expected, that in 2030, they will make up a quarter of the population.

 

A lot has been written and spoken about both the causes (predominately the fact Singapore is a developed nation with good healthcare, living and working conditions), and the potential problems that lay in store (an increasingly smaller proportion of the population paying for the rest), but there is a topic related to this that is steadily gaining traction.

 

old workforce

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The Changi Garden condo is up for collective sale

The collective sale process is in full effect, and yet another great condo is up for sale. The Changi Garden has a set of 60 apartments, but it also includes 12 shops and 12 penthouses too. The asking price is $196 million here, so the overall sq ft per plot ratio is around $700. Not a bad price at all, and it goes to show that there’s plenty of value to be had in here as a whole.

 

Apparently, in case the owners will receive that asking price, the gross sales that you can get here can go up to $.179 million, the penthouse can be $3.18 million and so on. The Changi Garden establishment is right at the Upper Changi Road North and the Jalam Mariam junction.

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Adequate regulatory framework for property valuers

 

One thing to keep in mind is that real estate valuers need to use a dedicated set of practices so they can create proper valuations fast and easy. Doing that will help safeguard the investor interest, and the entire set of results can be second to none in the end. Recently, the SISV and the SGX brought in a rather inquisitive situation. Is the current regulatory framework an adequate one, or are there any bad influences that make this thing not as good as it should be, to begin with?

 

The work of valuers is more pervasive than what a lot of people believe at this time. Valuations need to be precise, and a Singapore property has to be valued correctly. After all, valuations can be used in the case of public listings, financial reports, insurance, property acquisition or disposal and so on. The regulatory framework that governs over valuers is not as studied as it once was. The IRAS is a licensing body for the valuers and it issues licenses to them. On the other hand, the valuation profession is thoroughly represented by the SISV.

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