Written By: Henny Maherah
In June, Singapore has experienced pivotal developments as the economy reopens. Some of these measures are starting to take effect on the local property market. These changes were brought about by the commencement of Phase Two: Safe Transition as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
Singapore Property News
To keep you well-informed, here are three top news headlines in Singapore. Stay updated as these developments might affect your next showflat viewing or any other property plans.
1. Reopening of Showflat Viewings in Phase Two
Showflat viewings have been put on hold since the introduction of the circuit breaker. As property developers reopen the doors to showflats once again, key measures have been implemented to ensure safe distancing is maintained.
Safety Measures Introduced in Showflat Viewings
Strict crowd management measures have been introduced, with viewings strictly on an appointment basis. This means that walk-in viewings are prohibited in showflats. Additionally, contact tracing tools are currently in use to monitor crowd movement.
On 17 June 2020, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) granted more flexibility to developers by allowing alternative contracting tracking mediums apart from SafeEntry QR codes. However, concerns on privacy infringement were raised when it was discovered that clients’ addresses would be disclosed on SingPass Mobile if a SafeEntry QR code is activated for the property transaction.
Reacting quickly, agents and developers switched to the alternative manual contact tracing by asking clients to write down their particulars instead. During a real estate industry stakeholders meeting , Minister of State for National Development and Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad reported that GovTech is working on allowing property agents to generate SafeEntry QR codes independently to enhance efficiency.
Reopening Sparks Renewed Interest in Property Launches
Despite such crowd restrictions, underlying demands for property is strong among clients. Developers have observed a larger share of serious buyers who have secured units by the end of the viewing.
The Florence Residences by Logan Property successfully sold 20 units across 80 appointments, highlighting the unwavering demand for property despite uncertain times.
2. First Green Loan for Executive Condominium (EC) Development
On 9 June 2020, Frasers Property successfully secured a $350 million green loan under the Loan Market Association (LMA) and Asia Pacific Loan Market Association (APLMA) Green Loan Principles. The loan will be directed towards the development of an EC in Fernvale Lane.
This will be Singapore’s first green loan for an EC development, and Fraser Property’s 10th green financing initiative. The EC development would offer approximately 500 units. The Fernvale site was acquired by Frasers Property from the Government Land Sales exercise in March 2020. Once completed, the EC would obtain the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Gold Plus, further enhancing the appeal of the development to homeowners.
3. Revisions on Confirmed Government Land Sites (GLS) to Accommodate Current Needs of Population
In a press release reported on 24 June 2020, the Ministry of National Development (MND) added revisions to the confirmed list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for the second half of 2020.
These revisions include the addition of three new private residential sites, one of which is an EC development. The two private residential sites are in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Northumberland Road, while the EC development is located in Tengah Garden Walk.
Calculating the probable yield of all three sites, an estimate of 1,370 units, including 615 executive condominium units, could be developed. This figure is about 23% less than the GLS developments in the first half of 2020.
MND reports that the reduction of private residential supply is intended to reflect the housing needs of the current population. Furthermore, property developers are also urged to prioritise clearing unsold property from existing projects and meeting project deadlines instead of focusing on future developments.
Despite challenges faced by the property industry in recovering from the impact of COVID-19, strong responses from buyers are still observed throughout the recovery period. This resilient demand pinpoints the ever-present underlying demand for housing within the population, even amid turbulent times.