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As the slowdown in Singapore’s housing market grows, investors are wondering when the government will relax its anti-speculation curbs.

According to an estimate by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday, the prices for private residences in the city-state dropped 1.1 percent in the April-to-June period, marking three consecutive quarters of declining prices. In the previous two quarters prices had dropped 1.3 percent and 0.9 percent.

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For the 5th consecutive month a drop has been seen in resale prices for HDB properties. From May to June the figure was recorded at 0.6% which has marked a new 2 year low since April of 2012. This equates to a drop of 6.1% from one year ago as well as a fall of 3% year to date if going by Singapore Real Estate’s data which took into account unit rental information and any pre-caveat resale transactions.

A downturn could be seen, in resale figures for last month, in 3, 4 and 5 room resale flats. However, executive HDB flats saw a 1.3% rebound in resale prices for month on month in June. It has been forecasted by property consultants that HDB resale prices will show a further 8% softening for the entire year of 2014.

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Kwek Leng Bend, a long time veteran as a property developer, has shown concern that Singapore may lose its reputation as being a go to place for investment opportunities if the Government does not review the property cooling measures put in place almost a year ago.

Mr. Kwek is the executive chairman of Hong Leong Group Singapore and City Developments. He has stated that foreign investors were now putting most of their investment dollars into countries such as the US, Australia and Britain rather than Singapore. And Singapore natives have been making their investments abroad. Kwek further adds that they are losing investments to these other countries even though there is a higher risk profile on these foreign properties. In an interview with The Stratis Times, Mr. Kwek stated that he feels it is not likely that these investment dollars are going to come back to Singapore.

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Housing Board flats in Bidadari has raised interest among investors pretty fast. However, private homes in the growing residential land also attracts them as well. This results in the quick purchase from investors. Nevertheless, the original form of the neighborhood is burial grounds of the former Bidadari Cemetery.

Despite the trend, Government’s efforts to transform it into a housing estate will be a waste if this continues. According to analysts, in order to bring more convenience to the people, the development of upcoming mixed complex in the suburb is necessary.

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The Office leasing market continues to be very busy with many transactions either completed or at a very advanced negotiation stage. A 30,000 square foot office unit at Asia Square Tower 2 has been leased by Vodafone. At CapitaGreen, a site which was formerly the Market Street Car Park, due for completion by the end of 2014, it is believed that Jardine Lloyd Thompson is close to a lease agreement.The Insurance Broker, Willis (Singapore) has signed a lease agreement on a 20,000 square foot unit at SGX Centre 1 in Shenton Way. Business Times understands that Aon is in advanced negotiations to lease a 70,000 square foot unit.

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Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently promised that the government would keep housing affordable for all Singapore’s people, when he detailed the progress the government had already made on the affordable housing issue during the last three years. He said that 52,000 flats were built since 2011, which were equal in number to twice that available in Clementi New Town. He also said that government subsidies awarded for flats has nearly doubled in the last three years, and that the government believed and many Members of Parliament agreed that the affordable housing situation was now under control. The Prime Minister warmly praised the excellent efforts made by The National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan and his ministry and the Housing Development Board and the house applauded this sentiment. The Prime Minister noted that Singaporeans are still concerned about affordable housing.

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There were more flats available in the latest Build to Order exercise, in Woodlands and Bukit Batok, than applicants for them. This means that 1st time applicants should be guaranteed a flat and that there is not likely to be a ballot, as at 5pm on the relevant day there were only 0.9 buyers for each flat and the Build To Order exercise closed at midnight on that same day. This is the first time since May 2013 that 1st time applicant rates were lower than 1, when the Build to Order flats in Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, Sembawang, Hougang, and Woodlands were offered and the application rate for 1st time applicants was 0.7.

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Figures from the Minister Khaw Boon Wan, for National Development, have shown that those senior citizens who have sold off their old apartments in lieu of moving into an SA, or studio apartment, have gained many benefits, including $200,000 in net sales proceeds per apartment. This was posted in the Ministers “Housing Maters” blog post. The figures were arrived at after calculating ay outstanding debts for loans on the old apartments had been paid off, as well as the new SA’s being fully paid for.

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Serangoon North HUDC estate is the 14th former public housing estate to be successfully privatized. A Housing Board statement explained that the estate is now a strata-titled property under the Land Titles (Strata) Act. The estate at blocks 128-134 Serangoon North Avenue 1 comprises 244 apartments. Mr. Poon Mun Wai said that residents have no plans at present to attempt a collective sale, preferring one step at a time.

It is possible though that some residents may try to sell their individual apartments to make some money.The successful privatization of Serangoon North means that there are now just four others undergoing the process currently, Braddell View, Hougnag Avenues 2 and 7, and Potong Pasir Avenue 1.

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Media experts report that Oxley Holdings, a homegrown property developer, intends to invest $300 million towards the development of a Phnom Penh, dual tower small office/home office (SoHo) project. The project, which has been nicknamed “The Bridge”, is a joint investment between Cambodia World Bridge Land and Oxley Holdings. The residential building is lifestyle focused which is aiming to be completed by 2018. Developers aim to make The Bridge an iconic mark on the city’s landscape.

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