Property 2017 (Sept Issue)

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SPOTLIGHT

Property market on verge of turning

PROPERTY market turnarounds do not happen overnight but there are increasing signs that a turning point is on the horizon.

In our modern-day internet society, boundaries between public and private space, work and play, and work and life have broken down.

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In our modern-day internet society, boundaries between public and private space, work and play, and work and life have broken down.

THE bidding of the land parcels in the H1 2017 government land sales (GLS) programme witnessed a record number of bids and historic high price quantums for land parcels zoned for residential use in the suburban areas.

THE landed property market remains in the doldrums, after 15 consecutive quarters of price decline. In the first half of 2017, landed property prices fell 2.1 per cent, slightly less than the corresponding period in 2016, which saw a decrease of 2.6 per cent.

SO far, 2017 has been a remarkable year for the private residential market, as signs of a recovery have become clearer with a robust run-up in transactions and prices showing signs of bottoming out. Buying activity in suburban areas, where units are more affordable, has led the transaction recovery. But a question has also arisen as to whether buyers can yield their expected returns.

WHEN all 531 units of Hundred Palms Residences were reportedly sold within the first day of the launch in July, it was remarkable in more ways than one. Firstly, it may be the first time that all the units in an executive condominium (EC) project were sold out within one day. Secondly, this is only the second time in a decade that a major residential project launch achieved such a feat. Thirdly, it illustrated a turning point in the dynamics in the EC market.

PUBLIC housing continues to be the most affordable option for both newly married couples and permanent residents (PRs) who want to set up their home in Singapore. Recently, the market has seen increased activity in the resale segment, with the highest number of transactions - 6,001- concluded in the second quarter of 2017.

SINCE 2016, there has been a gradual improvement in the number of overseas nationals buying into non-landed private residential properties in the Core Central Region (CCR). This followed a drop that coincided with the termination of the Financial Investor Scheme (FIS) towards end-April 2012. The FIS was then an alternative but popular avenue to gain Singapore Permanent Residency (PR) status and had been a source of overseas demand for real estate here.

THE industrial revolution started with steam power and mechanised tools, then electricity and assembly lines. Next, electronics and computers came along. We are now into the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 whereby the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced machine learning algorithms will come together to automate part or most of the manufacturing process, creating "smart factories".

RECENT retail sales data in Singapore showed positive signs of recovery but weak retail sentiment is seen persisting. Though retail sales in July went up 1.8 per cent year on year, there were other lacklustre indicators in the first half of 2017.

AT this year's National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated the need for Singapore to become a "smart nation" using the latest technology, making life better for the people and more. There are plans to bring together the current piecemeal uses of technology cohesively nationwide to make Singapore's economy more productive, our lives better, and our society more responsive to the people's needs and aspirations.

AS business confidence strengthens, a turnaround in office leasing activity in the Central Business District (CBD) is on the horizon.

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority recently called for public feedback in late August on the master plan proposal for Jurong Lake District (JLD) as it looks to take one step closer to transforming the area into the country's second Central Business District (CBD).

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