A quick review before the year ends, we’ve singled out the top performers of this year. Here's a look at what caught your attention most in 2012 on Property Investment, Condo Developments, EC developments, Mature Estates, New Policies, Neighborhoods with a Foreign Population, Upcoming Development Sites and not forgetting, Neighborhoods for the Elderly!
Top 3 areas for Property Investment:
Developments in Punggol
Prices for resale flats in Punggol have risen significantly in 2012, and are now 1.4% higher than the national median. In addition, its recent record bid for an EC site indicates that healthy developer confidence in the neighbourhood. This year, Queenstown made headline news when a resale executive maisonette in the district transacted for a record breaking $1 million. The mature estate has also seen rejuvenation, with some old flats being replaced by new 30 and 40-storey blocks. The district's investment potential may take a while to fully materialise, but the government has plans for it to become the largest commercial hub outside the city in a few years’ time, with 500,000sqm of office space and 250,000sqm of retail, F&B and entertainment space. At least 1000 new homes will also be added around Jurong East MRT station.
Top 3 Condominium Developments:
Photo courtesy of Hamilton Scotts
Leading the list has to be Hamilton Scotts with its Sky Porch, a parking space for the residents’ super cars right in the living room. It's also one of the most luxurious developments in Singapore at the moment, in the most coveted address, and enjoys stunning views of Orchard Road.
The prestigious Building of the Year Award winner at Singapore Institute of Architecture Design Awards 2012, Martin No. 38 is a luxurious property with the finest of services, such as concierges who have been trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers. Its unconventional design uses raw concrete, base metals and natural timbers.
Located at Orchard, the 140-residence property has 2 to 4 bedroom units, with more than 23,000sq ft recreational space that includes a TreeTop pool and a Private Dining area. The property is adorned with lush greenery, a welcome Water Wall & Reflective Pool – all design elements that helped it win the BCA Universal Design Award 2012.
Top 3 EC developments:
This development has everything going for it: enjoying unblocked views of the award-winning Punggol Waterway, it offers residents waterfront living in the most popular suburban district in Singapore. No surprise then, that it’s also one of the most popular properties in Singapore, with a majority of its units already sold.
Artist Impression of Forestville
This EC is a short drive away from the Admiralty and Woodlands MRT stations. It offers dual key units, currently one of the most popular unit types among property buyers. Residents enjoy several pools, a fitness alcove, a BBQ Area and a Wine Pod. We think it’s time a property outside of Punggol gets some attention.
Artist impression of Heron Bay
The development is perhaps known best for the couple who paid $1.77 million for one of its penthouse units. But some experts still consider such a price to be fair, as the property is in a good location, enjoys unblocked views, and has a large 2800 sq ft penthouse.
Top 3 mature estates:
A glimpse of Toa Payoh Neighbourhood
The neighbourhood enjoys close proximity to the central business district, Orchard Road and City Hall. On top of that, it is bordered by the PIE and CTE. Despite Its ultra-accessible location, property prices remain attractive, with none of the record-breaking shocks that fellow mature estate Queenstown have been hogging the headlines with. We like that.
This mature estate will be getting a second lease of life as the Jurong Lake District is being revamped into a business and commercial hub, with leisure and entertainment facilities that include water sports at Jurong Lake. The existing infrastructure is also being enhanced in preparation for when the area gets busy.
The recent surge of indie cafes and stores has transformed the district into a serious contender for the trendy neighbourhood title on par with the likes of Duxton Hill and Arab Street. The new developments may also encourage a younger demographic to move into the neighbourhood.
Top 3 new policies:
The scheme is off on a successful start this year with 10 stray dogs being adopted into new homes. The one-year project by Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) puts selected strays through basic obedience training before matching them to suitable residents.
Reduction of home loan tenure to 35 years
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) introduced this new restriction in October this year as part of the property cooling measures. We think this is a wise move – Japan has seen news of hundred-year mortgages that have to be paid for across 2 generations. We definitely don’t want that to happen to us.
2012 has seen a marked increase in the supply of HDB flats, both under the Build to Order and Sale of Balance Flat exercises in both mature and non-mature estates. The total BTO flat supply this year was a record 27,000 units, 2,000 more than was originally planned. More units are planned for 2013.
Top 3 Neighbourhoods With a Foreign Population:
Home to many successful businessmen and well-known personalities, this neighbourhood has one of Singapore's highest percentages of expatriates. Their preference for the area is possibly due to the abundance of landed properties, great for those used to more space.
Another expatriate hot spot is Holland Village, where there are a variety of choices for dining, cafes, bars and shopping. It’s also just a short distance from the prime areas of Districts 5, 10 and 21, which include Duchess Crest and Fifth Avenue.
Photo courtesy of Sentosa Cove
For those seeking waterfront living with private docks for small yachts in the concrete jungle that is Singapore, Sentosa Cove is an unbeatable (and probably the only) location to live in. this has made it attractive to many well-heeled expatriates who see the area as a getaway from the bustling metropolis.
3 Top Upcoming Development Sites
Developers, seeing the potential in Punggol as a hot spot for property investment with the government’s ongoing plans to build more amenities in the area, have bid a record high for an EC site in the area. The winning bid was $351 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) in a 7-way bidding contest.
A land parcel at Alexandra was sold, after a 6-way bid, to developer Singland Homes at $970 psf ppr. Although the mature neighbourhood is not usually one to make the headlines, this bid was considered to be a great price considering the site’s proximity to Orchard Road and Redhill MRT Station.
Perhaps the most hotly contested this year has to be the reserved list land site at Farrer Road, which received 15 bids with the winning bid at $1108 psf ppr. The interest is possibly due to its fantastic location near good schools, the Botanic Gardens and Farrer Road MRT station, and the CBD and Orchard Road just minutes away by car.
Top 3 Neighbourhoods for the Elderly
The residents here, especially in Blocks 134 to 139 in Bedok North Street 2, were the first to try out the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) plan, first announced in March. Bedok is one of the oldest towns in Singapore, with many seniors living in the estate. These seniors can now benefit from grab bars, slip-resistant bathroom tiles and ramps installed at the flat's entrance. The EASE scheme is also available here; it is one of the 3 neighbourhoods that have been shortlisted for this plan. In addition, to encourage young families to stay closer to their parents, who may be seniors in this neighbourhood, the government has extended the Married Child Priority Scheme to the area's Build to Order (BTO) flats. The last of the first 3 towns to benefit from the EASE Programme, Redhill residents have also enjoyed all the necessary upgrades to their residential area and homes. In additoin to that, needy elderly residents can also benefit from a Senior Activity Centre in the estate, where they can enjoy better day care and home care services.