Week in Review – 12 March 2015

Home prices more affordable with cooling measures, Sentosa Cove units most affected by downturn in luxury residential market, Increase in 2-room flat quota for singles, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Pasir Ris to undergo restructuring, Yishun’s North Park Residences to have access to integrated development Northpoint City
Home prices more affordable with cooling measures
For the first time in several years, home prices have fallen for an entire year, due to government cooling measures. In 2014, prices of HDB resale and private homes dropped by six and four per cent respectively, down from the 2013 peak. Between 2009 and now, home prices are up 37 percent, while median household income has risen by 38 per cent. 
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan acknowledged concerns by MPs Ms Foo and Ms Lee Bee Wah about how overdoing the correction in the housing market could affect the elderly, who rely on housing assets as a backup for their retirement. Mr Khaw noted that some of the measures taken to prevent this included reducing the number of new flats. He said that the government will be vigilant as the property market undergoes transition. 
Sentosa Cove units most affected by downturn in luxury residential market
Hit by the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) imposed on foreigners, luxury residential buyers have taken a step back. The slowdown in interest in Sentosa Cove properties has been especially evident. One of the Cove’s newest condominiums, W Residences, has sold less than half its units and a unit at the Turquoise sold at a S$3 million loss compared to its purchase price.
Increase in 2-room flat quota for singles
The Ministry of National Development (MND) has announced an increase in the quota for new two-room flats set aside for singles. 4,000 two-room flats will be launched and 50 per cent (up from 30 per cent) of the two-room flat supply will be allocated to singles, beginning in May. 
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan also addressed concerns involving the income ceiling for new HDB flats. He explained that the income ceiling should not be eradicated completely, but instead would look into adjusting the income ceiling as income levels in Singapore rise. 
Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Pasir Ris to undergo restructuring
Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Pasir Ris will be part of the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) Remaking Our Heartland (ROH) programme. The programme, launched in 2007, has since disbursed $8.4 million to revitalise estates. Plans for the restructuring include a revamped town centre and town park in Toa Payoh, more recreational spaces created along Woodlands and redeveloped neighbourhood centres and parks with family-centred facilities in Pasir Ris. 
Yishun’s North Park Residences to have access to integrated development Northpoint City
Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) has announced plans to build North Park Residences within Northpoint City, an upcoming integrated development slated for completion in 2018. Northpoint City will be the largest integrated development in the North, comprising a library, a childcare centre, Nee Soon Central Community Centre, a Town Plaza and more than 500 retail and F&B outlets. Mr Cheang Kok Kheong, FCL’s CEO of development and property, says it will “raise the liveability quotient in Yishun and desirability factor for North Park Residences”. 
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