Top 10 Stories of 2012

(2012-12-28 21:23:45) 下一個
Dec 24, 2012 -
By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

2012 has been a bright year for Singapore’s property market, and as the year draws to a close, we take another look at the 10 most read stories on PropertyGuru this year.

1.    First to make the list was a story published on 12 April about the record-breaking sales of three resale HDB flats that hit the S$900,000 mark only a few months apart. To ease the concerns of many Singaporeans, several property experts noted that these sky-high prices are exceptional and do not represent HDB prices as a whole. Read more>

2.    Second on our list is an exclusive story that revealed how some HDB resale units have become more unaffordable than private homes. In fact, some resale flats proved to be “severely unaffordable” using a globally-recognised formula. Read more>

3.    In early January, Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted that Singapore home prices would drop by 12.5 percent in 2012 (a prediction that never took place) and a further eight percent during 2013. Moreover, the firm forecasted a substantial oversupply in the private residential market over the next four years. Read more>

4.    PropertyGuru also reported on a S$39 million bungalow sold at Sentosa Cove that once belonged to Deepak Sharma, Chairman at Citi Private Bank and his wife Susan Lim, a well-known surgeon. The property stirred much interest after it fetched the highest selling price for a bungalow on Sentosa Cove at the time. Read more>

5.    In February, it was reported that a Malaysian female official accused of squandering government loans had acquired two high-end condo units for over S$7 million each at Marina Bay Suites in Singapore. Read more>

6.    In a story titled “Are we Singa-poor?” PropertyGuru touched on how a growing number of Singaporeans spend their savings paying off home loans, with many suffering financially after their savings have dried up. Published in May, the story also mentioned how several buyers are not high-income earners and are yet paying very high mortgages. Read more>

7.    After the government’s property cooling measures in December 2011, private home sales dropped to their lowest level in two years, with data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) indicating a 64 percent decline in home sales for December last year. Read more>

8.    Singaporean property buyers and investors were urged to be cautious when buying property in London amid on-going concerns that they sometimes pay too much for homes in undesirable locations. Published on 8 February, the report also stated that over 40 percent of off-plan purchases in London are carried out by Southeast Asian buyers and include Singaporeans. Read more>

9.    Back in Singapore, PropertyGuru had initially reported that a naturalised Singaporean and her China citizen father were the buyers of a resale executive maisonette at Mei Ling Street, Queenstown, which famously became the first public housing unit sold for a million dollars. It has since been clarified that the buyers were born and bred Singaporeans. Read more>

10.  This year, there has been much debate over the popularity of shoebox homes. Among the critics, CapitaLand’s outgoing CEO Liew Mun Leong called such homes “almost inhuman” earlier in the year. In its defence, Oxley Holdings Chief Ching Chiat Kwong said he saw nothing wrong with shoebox apartments, adding that these homes are an affordable option. Read more>

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email

GCB prices up, despite weaker sales

Dec 28, 2012 -
By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

Although fewer good class bungalows (GCBs) were sold in 2012 compared to the previous year, their average selling prices were higher, said analysts.

Deals involving GCBs fell due to poor market sentiment caused by the city-state’s property cooling measures and weak global economic situation, reported The Straits Times.

In total, there are around 2,400 GCBs in 39 gazetted areas such as Tanglin, Dalvey and Nassim. Compared with 2011’s full-year sales of 56 homes, only 49 were transacted as of the first week of December 2012.

Overall transaction value slipped to S$1.05 billion compared to last year’s $1.16 billion. However, psf prices have increased significantly.

This year, the average price of GCBs rose 10 percent to S$1,406 psf from last year’s S$1,276 psf.

Douglas Wong, Director (Luxury Property Division) at CBRE, said: “This demonstrates the resilience of GCB prices as well as the premium they command because of limited supply.”

He noted that recent cooling measures have changed the profile of GCB buyers. These curbs include the revised sellers’ stamp duty of up to 16 percent and the 60 percent loan-to-value (LTV) cap for buyers with an outstanding mortgage.

The revised stamp duty “more or less removed speculators and short-term traders from the GCB market. Today, buyers are owner occupiers and very long-term investors”, Wong explained.

This year also saw the most expensive GCB sale in two years when a bungalow along Ridout Road was sold for S$60.6 million or S$1,490 psf in March.

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email

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