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SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) expects this year's economic growth to come in at 2.5 per cent or "a touch lower", bringing it closer to its potential.

"This is not a bad outcome," said MAS managing director Ravi Menon.

"It will bring the level of GDP closer to its potential. There is no need to stimulate the economy."

He explained at the Citibank Asia Pacific Investors Conference on Wednesday (Feb 27) that the Singapore economy is "moderating towards a more sustainable pace" in line with the global economy.

The economy did well last year (2018) by growing 3.2 per cent but Mr Menon expects external demand to be softer this year, "reflecting slower global GDP growth and the maturing of the global tech cycle".

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SINGAPORE - Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2019 is expected to drop to 2.4 per cent "against a more challenging environment for exports and the manufacturing sector", according to a report on Monday (March 18) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

This is in line with easing growth across South-east Asia, as export growth slows amid increased trade protectionism and slower Chinese import demand, said ICAEW, which sees regional growth at 4.8 per cent in 2019 and 4.7 per cent in 2020, down from 5.1 per cent in 2018.

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With close to 1,900 units, the new development on the former Normanton Park en bloc site was going to be one of the biggest residential projects to be launched in 2019. It would be second only to the 2,203-unit Treasure at Tampines – the biggest private condo in Singapore to date – which was launched last month.

However, the new launch at Normanton Park is likely to be delayed. In January 2019, the Controller of Housing (COH) slapped the developer Kingsford Huray Development with a no-sale licence “as the company had failed to meet the requirements for a sale licence”, says an Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) spokesperson in an email response to queries from EdgeProp Singapore.

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With the new cooling measures, those buying a second property for investment purposes might have to set aside almost half of the property price for upfront payments, stamp duties and fees, say two observers.

SINGAPORE: Days after the release of Urban Redevelopment Authority’s flash estimates, the Government announced a new round of cooling measures, which caught many in the housing market by surprise.

Authorities might have been right in principle to impose these harsh cooling measures, amidst a private property market heating up. The private housing market experienced an inflexion in prices last year after 15 consecutive quarters of decline since fourth quarter of 2013.

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The idea of a HDB resale flat has taken on a lot of emotional baggage lately; blame it on public and media conversations about 99-year leases. And while there’ve been a healthy volume of resale flat sale transactions in the last quarter, transaction prices in the HDB resale market have remained stagnant. But at the same time, private property are on the pricey side right now, with many condos out of reach for many first-time homeowners and even upgraders.

With many sellers and buyers stuck between a rock and a hard place, where’s the HDB resale market to go from here? Well, here’s what you might see come 2019:

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SINGAPORE: Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats that are older than 30 years depreciate less than private non-landed housing, according to a study conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The results of the study, which were announced in a press release on Wednesday (Feb 13), also revealed that differences in depreciation between freehold and leasehold residential properties and HDB flats only appear after 10 years.

Depreciation rates are related to building age, said NUS. Other factors such as land tenure and size have also been adjusted in price changes.

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A letter published in the Straits Times claimed recently that the promise of owning a 99-year-leasehold HDB (Housing & Development Board) flat as an investment for old age is no longer valid today. The letter writer, Ronnie Lim Ah Bee, pointed to the announcements by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong to bolster his claims.

Writing for his Ministry’s blog in March last year, Mr Wong asked HDB flat owners to not assume that all old HDB flats will become eligible for Sers (Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme). He said that “only 4% of HDB flats have been identified for SERS since it was launched in 1995”, and that “it is only offered to HDB blocks located in sites with high redevelopment potential”.

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This comes as the prospect of Brexit has cast a negative impact on the London property market’s status as a safe haven investment for overseas buyers.

A turning point in the United Kingdom’s history, the Brexit referendum held in 2016 brought about far-reaching effects – they could even be felt here in Singapore, according to a blog post by OrangeTee.

This comes as the prospect of Brexit has cast a negative impact on the London property market’s status as a safe haven investment for overseas buyers, while boosting that of Singapore.

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SINGAPORE remains the world's second-most expensive housing market after Hong Kong, according to an annual CBRE report which compares private residential property markets across 35 cities. But average price growth was significantly slower, at just 1.1 per cent.

Hong Kong kept its top position with an average residential property costing US$1.235 million or US$2,091 per square foot (psf). Singapore came a distant second at US$874,372 or US$1,063 psf, with Shanghai third at US$872,555 or US$714 psf. CBRE noted that these top three cities have all introduced cooling measures to keep prices under control.

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SINGAPORE: An incentive scheme will be rolled out to encourage building owners to convert existing office developments in the Central Business District (CBD) to mixed-use developments, as part of plans to rejuvenate the city centre.

The CBD Incentive Scheme was announced on Wednesday (Mar 27) at the launch of the URA Draft Master Plan 2019 exhibition. It applies to areas around Anson Road, Cecil Street, Shenton Way, Robinson Road and Tanjong Pagar.

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Close to 50 new launches can be expected, some of them mega-projects, amid cautious demand and tighter financing. Analysts generally expect prices to be flat or rise slightly in 2019. Displaced en bloc owners are likely to contribute to demand, while prices of new launches are likely to take into account the high prices locked in by developers when they acquired those sites

Singapore THE private residential property market here could face some demand tests ahead as higher interest rates and heftier duties from the authorities' cooling measures weigh on buyers' wallets.

As it is, property curbs unleashed in July have already sent the private property market on roller-coaster year in 2018.

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SINGAPORE: Since the last property cooling measures rolled out in July 2018, market sentiments have remained subdued.

The new measures have led to higher acquisition costs for buyers and curbed their ability to take out larger loans to purchase private property, so from a theoretical standpoint, one would expect demand to decline together with prices.

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99 years, 999 years, and Freehold: Defining the terms

A freehold property can be held by the owner indefinitely. A 99 year leasehold property reverts back to the state, upon the expiry of its lease.

A holdover from the Colonial era are properties with 999 year leases. This is, for all intents and purposes, similar to freehold.

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Singapore, a country with a population of just about 5.6 million, is one of Asia’ top financial centers and a global trading hub.

It has for decades been one of the world’s most impressive growth stories. The Southeast Asian nation is among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest GDP per capita, according to World Bank statistics.

However, the country’s central bank warned late last year that its export-driven economy would likely be hurt in the coming months by the ongoing U.S.-Chinatariff fight.

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The project, which is set to be completed by early 2022, comprises 770,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, as well as 30,000 sq ft of retail and entertainment area and more than 200 residential units.

The former Beach Road Police Station, a conserved building, is a part of the development as well.

Guoco Midtown full concept and design will be unveiled in the first half of 2019.

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SINGAPORE: The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is using special 3D technology to study the underground as a strategic resource, it said on Wednesday (Mar 27) at the launch of its Draft Master Plan 2019. 

The master plan is a blueprint that guides Singapore's development over the next 10 to 15 years and is reviewed every five years. 

URA said it has rolled out 3D underground maps for Marina Bay, Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District, and plans to expand the pilot to include more areas.

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SINGAPORE: More homes will be built in the central business district (CBD) and Marina Bay area, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Wednesday (Mar 27).

Under its Draft Master Plan 2019, which includes plans to rejuvenate the central area, URA said it will increase housing in sites such as Downtown, Marina South and Rochor so that more people can live closer to their workplaces and other amenities.

The plan for a larger live-in population in the office-dominated CBD and Marina Bay area is part of a move by URA to bring more life to the area after office hours.

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SINGAPORE - Freehold luxury development Boulevard 88 in prime district 10 has sold 20 residential units at an average selling price of $3,550 per square foot, of the 25 units released to date.

City Developments Limited (CDL) and its joint venture partners, Hong Leong Holdings and Lea Investments, launched exclusive private previews of Boulevard 88 - which are by appointment only - on March 8. In total, sales of over $160 million have been achieved so far, said CDL in a media release on Wednesday (March 20).

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For more affluent property buyers who are looking to buy a freehold condo in the East, they typically come to decide between two mid-to-upscale residential areas of District 15: Amber Road and Meyer Road.

Location-wise, these two prime city fringe neighbourhoods are just right next to each other, but visit both of them and you’ll realise that they actually have very different qualities. To make things easier for homebuyers and investors, here’s our in-depth analysis of the Amber and Meyer Road residential areas in D15, and how the freehold condos there stack up against one another.

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Before we answer this question, some context is needed. In the property boom in Singapore over the past two years, the buyer appetite for the 99-year leasehold condo has been appreciably greater than that for a freehold condo. Focus on the volume of transactions in the chart below, which pretty much says it all:

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District 1
Marina Bay Condo | Shenton Way Commercial | Marina Bayfront Condo | Central Boulevard Condo | Central Boulevard Towers | Marina View | V on Shenton | Marina South Pier Condo | Marina One Residences | Shenton Way Condo |
District 2
Pearl Bank En Bloc | Outram Park MRT Condo | Silat Residences | Avenue South Residence | Outram Road Condo | Pearl Bank Apartments | Asia Gardens | Tanjong Pagar Condo | Tanjong Pagar Commercial | Greater Southern Waterfront | Wallich Residence | Tanjong Pagar Centre |
District 3
Queenstown Condo | Queens Peak Condo | Dundee Road Condo | Margaret Ville | Margaret Drive Condo | Alexandra View Condo | Prince Charles Crescent Condo | Rest of Central Region Condo | Principal Garden | Silat Avenue Condo | Jalan Bukit Merah Condo | Kampong Bahru Road Condo | Stirling Road Condo | Stirling Residences | Commonwealth Avenue Condo | The Crest @ Prince Charles Crescent | Commonwealth Towers | Highline Residences | Alex Residences |
District 4
Corals at Keppel Bay | Skyline Residences | Reflections at Keppel Bay |
District 5
Park West Condominium En-Bloc | West Coast Vale Condo | Park West Condominium | Parc Clematis | Parc Riviera | The Trilinq | Bijou | West Coast Way Condo | One Normanton Park | Normanton Park Condo | Clementi Avenue 1 Condo | Jalan Lempeng Condo |
District 7
CityGate Condo | Selegie Road Condo | Sophia Road Condo | Tan Quee Lan Street Condo | Middle Road Condo | South Beach Residences | Duo Residences | Beach Road Bugis Rochor Condo | Midtown Suite | Midtown Bay | Beach Road Commercial | Golden Mile Complex | Textile Centre | Golden Mile Complex En Bloc | Textile Centre En Bloc | The Oasis |
District 8
Peace Centre Mansions En Bloc | Perumal Road Condo | Uptown at Farrer | 1953 Condo | LYF | Tessensohn Residence |
District 9
Cairnhill Mansions En Bloc | Orchard Bel-Air En-Bloc | Pacific Mansions En Bloc | Robertson Quay Condo | Paterson Road Condo | Cavenagh Gardens En-Bloc | Cavenagh Gardens | Cavenagh Road Condo | Orchard Boulevard Road Condo | Orchard Road Condo | Scotts Road Condo | Cairnhill Road Condo | Riviera Point | Cairnhill Mansions | One Tree Hill | River Valley Road Condo | Martin Place Condo | Martin Modern | Kim Seng Road Condo | Handy Road Condo | Haus on Handy | Jiak Kim Street Condo | Riviere Condo | Fraser Residence Promenade | Pacific Mansions | Great World MRT Station Condo | Martin Place Residences | The Rise at Oxley Residences | Orchard Paterson Cairnhill Road Condo | Core Central Region Condo | Robertson Quay Condo | Paterson Collection | St Thomas Walk | Leonie Hill Road Condo | Horizon Towers | Leonie Gardens | New Futura | Cairnhill Nine | 3 Orchard by the Park | Twin Peaks |
District 10
Grange Road Condo | Farrer Road Condo | Tulip Gardens En Bloc | Tulip Garden | Tanglin Road Condo | Jervois Gardens | Crystal Towers | Juniper Hill | The Hyde | Balmoral Road Condo | Jervois Road Condo | Petit Jervois | Jervois Prive | Jervois Treasures | Tanglin Shopping Centre En Bloc | Tanglin Shopping Centre | Jervois Gardens En Bloc | Spring Grove En Bloc | Spring Grove | Hallmark Residences | Wilshire Residences | Sloane Residences | Ewe Boon Road Condo | Bukit Timah Road Condo | Bukit Timah Collection | Cluny Park Residence | Cuscaden Road Condo | Petit Cuscaden | Boulevard 88 | Pollen and Bleu | Leedon Residence | Gramercy Park | Ardmore Three 3 | Sculptura Ardmore | RV Residences | Robin Residences | 18 Nouvel@ Anderson Road | Holland Road Condo | The Estoril | The Estoril En Bloc | Hollandia En Bloc | Hollandia | TwentyOne Angullia Park | D'Leedon | Mon Jervois | Holland Village Residences | One Holland Village | Holland Village Condo | Van Holland | 15 Holland Hill |
District 11
Chancery Court En Bloc | Chancery Court Condo | Thomson Road Condo | Novena Condo | Newton Road Condo | Dunearn Road Condo | 386 Dunearn | Dunearn Court Condo | Derby Court | Fyve Derbyshire | Derbyshire Road Condo | Kampong Java Road |
District 12
Balestier Road Condo | Toa Payoh Condo | Neem Tree | Riverbay | Boon Teck Towers | Eight Riversuites | Boon Teck Towers En Bloc | Gem Residences | Kallang Riverside Condo |
District 13
Woodleigh Residences | Upper Serangoon Road Condo | Park Colonial | Woodleigh Lane Condo | Mattar Residences | Woodleigh MRT Condo | Woodleigh Condo | Woodleigh Link Condo | Bidadari New Estate Condo | Upper Aljunied Road Condo | Tre Ver | Raintree Gardens | Potong Pasir Avenue 1 Condo | Potong Pasir Condo | The Maisons | The Quinn | Mattar Road Condo | The Poiz Residences | The Venue Residences | Sant Ritz |
District 14
Eunos Condo | Eunos MRT Condo | Sims Avenue Condo | Changi Road Condo | Parc Esta | Eunosville | Eunosville En Bloc | City Plaza | City Plaza En Bloc | Paya Lebar Road Condo | Sims Drive Condo | Park Place Residences | Paya Lebar Quarters | Sims Avenue Condo | Paya Lebar Central |
District 15
Dunman Road Condo | Coastline Residences | Amber Sea | One Meyer | Albracca | Siglap MRT Station Condo | Marine Parade Road Condo | Casa Meyfort Condo | Meyer Mansion | Nanak Mansions | Meyerhouse | Meyerbank | Nyon | Amber Park | The Opus | Parkway Mansion | Amber Park En Bloc | Hawaii Tower En Bloc | Parkway Mansion En Bloc | Albracca En Bloc | Laguna Park | Laguna Park En Bloc | Tanjong Katong MRT Station Condo | Meyer Road Condo | Hawaii Tower | Katong Park MRT Condo | Katong Park Towers | Amber Gardens Condo | Amber Road Condo | Neptune Court | Neptune Court En Bloc | Lagoon View | Lagoon View En Bloc | East Coast Marine Parade Condo | Katong Shopping Centre | Katong Shopping Centre En Bloc | Mountbatten Road Condo |
District 16
Siglap Road Condo | Mandarin Gardens | Mandarin Gardens En Bloc | New Upper Changi Road Condo | The Glades | Bedok South Condo |
District 17
The Inflora |
District 18
Tampines Court | Treasure at Tampines | Tampines Court En Bloc | Tampines Street 11 Condo | Tampines Avenue 10 Condo | Coco Palms |
District 19
Florence Regency En-Bloc | Florence Residences | Florence Regency | Rio Casa | Kensington Park En-Bloc | Kensington Park | Serangoon Ville | Serangoon Ville En Bloc | Forestwood Residences | Hougang Avenue 2 Condo | Hougang Condo | Riverfront Residences | Hougang Avenue 7 Condo | Affinity | Serangoon North Avenue 1 Condo | The Garden Residences | New Condo | Serangoon Gardens Condo | Serangoon Central Condo | Lorong Lew Lian Condo | Riverbank Sengkang West Way Condominium | Yio Chu Kang Road Condo | Toho Green | Rivertrees Residences | Parc Botannia | Fernvale Road Condo | High Park Residences | Sengkang West Condo | New Tampines Road Condo | Kingsford Waterbay | Botanique at Bartley | Buangkok Condo | Buangkok MRT Station Condo | Sengkang Central Condo |
District 20
Marymount Road Condo | Braddell View En Bloc | Braddell View | Shunfu Road Condo | Jade Scape | Far Horizon Gardens | Far Horizon Gardens En Bloc | Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 Condo | Faber Gardens | New Lorong Puntong Condo | Thomson Impressions Condo | Adana | Panorama | Upper Thomson Road Condo | Yio Chu Kang Road Condo | Lentor Road Condo | Lentor Drive Condo |
District 21
Beauty World Condo | Goh & Goh Building En Bloc | Pine Grove | Pandan Valley Condo | Ridgewood Condo | Ridgewood Condo En Bloc | Mayfair Collection | Mayfair Gardens Condo | Mayfair Modern | King Albert Park MRT Station Condo | Mount Sinai Condo | Ulu Pandan Road Condo | Pine Grove En Bloc |
District 22
Jurong Condo | Lake Grande Condo | Lakeville | J Gateway |
District 23
Goodluck Garden | Toh Tuck Road Condo | Goodluck Gardens | Kismis View | Dairy Farm Road Condo | Foresque Residences | The Lanai | Hillion Residences | Bukit Batok Condo | Hillview Rise Condo |
District 25
Woodlands Square Condo | Woodlands Square Commercial | Woodlands Central Condo |
District 26
Springside Road Condo |
District 27
NorthPark Residences | Watercove Ville @ Sembawang | Canberra Drive Condo Sembawang | Canberra Link Condo Sembawang | New Yishun Ave 4 Condo | The Wisteria | Condominium Yishun Central | Symphony Suites | Yishun Avenue 9 Condo |
District 28
Jalan Kandis Condo | Kandis Residence |
Executive Condo
Parc Life EC | Choa Chu Kang Drive EC | Sol Acres EC | The Vales EC | Tampines Avenue 10 EC | Fernvale Lane EC | Tampines EC | Signature at Yishun | Choa Chu Kang Grove EC | Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 EC | Woodlands Avenue 12 EC | Sembawang Avenue EC | The Visionaire | Canberra Link EC Sembawang | Yishun Street 51 EC | The Criterion EC Yishun | Yio Chu Kang Road EC | New EC | Serangoon North EC | Yishun Avenue 1 EC | The Terrace EC Punggol | The Amore EC Punggol | Westwood Residences EC | Anchorvale Lane EC Sengkang | Sungei Punggol Reservoir EC Sengkang | Anchorvale Street EC Sengkang | Anchorvale Crescent EC Sengkang | Westwood Avenue EC | Choa Chu Kang Way EC | Canberra Drive EC Sembawang | BrownStone EC | Choa Chu Kang EC | LakeLife EC Jurong | Jurong EC Jurong | Punggol Drive EC Punggol | Woodlands Avenue 5 EC Woodlands | Sumang Walk EC Punggol | Piermont Grand | Punggol Central EC Punggol |