Category: News

Sengkang New Condo Residents Upset over Defects

In June, they received the keys to their homes at La Fiesta, a 810-unit leasehold condominium in Sengkang.

Yesterday, nearly a hundred residents gathered at the development to attend an informal meeting to share their woes.

They claimed they have been hit with a series of problems, including water seepage. The property is built by EL Development (ELD).

Last year, the property developer was in the news as well after residents received their keys to the Trivelis flats in Clementi.

About 500 home owners hit the developer with complaints of shoddy workmanship and poor design for the Design, Build and Sell Scheme flats.

La Fiesta, a 810-unit leasehold condominium in Sengkang. TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

One buyer of La Fiesta wrote to ELD seeking assurances on May 15 last year.

That prompted the developer’s managing director Lim Yew Soon to write an e-mail to the condo buyers four days later: “We can understand the concerns of the purchasers of La Fiesta after learning of what happened in Trivelis. 

ANGRY: (Above) Nearly 100 La Fiesta residents gathered to discuss their problems. PHOTO: TNP READER

“We would like to assure you that we will learn from the lessons in Trivelis and not let history repeat itself in La Fiesta.”

Some residents at La Fiesta feel otherwise.


The development received its temporary occupation permit in May, and by August, some residents said they were already experiencing problems.

Residents claimed their cabinets and shelves were showing signs of wear and tear. They also spoke of cracked bathroom tiles and ponding in parts of the units.

ANGRY:  (Above) They say their cabinets already show signs of wear and tear. TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Some residents claimed their units were also hit by water seepage that stained walls, damaged furniture and attracted insects to the wood rot.

Others complained that the finish was not what they had expected. 

ANGRY: (Above) Water seepage found at Mr Lim Chee How’s unit. TNP PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Senior program manager Tan Swee Yong, who has been living there for a month, claimed his bed left deep indentations on the flooring.

Mr Tan, 39, said he had to climb 14 storeys to his unit as both lifts had broken down at the same time.

Residents paid between $1.1 million to $1.5 million for the units. Some said the developer provided only stopgap solutions.

IT consultant Lim Chee How, whose home is hit by water seepage, said: “The first time it happened, they patched it up and assured me it was fixed. Then water seeped through again at the same spot and in another (adjoining) room as well.

“We have been calling the developer every day to fix the problem.”

The residents have gathered signatures from 120 units to petition the developer to enter a mediation session with them.

Several residents also communicate via WhatsApp groups and on Facebook.

Resident Chook Kheen Choong, 44, who is the owner of an Uber car rental, said: “Actually I see this as a happy problem because it brought the neighbours together to solve something.”


Top 5 Selling Projects in July 2016

Artist’s impression of the Treasure Crest EC in Sengkang. Source: Sim Lian Group

Singapore developers sold 1,921 housing units in July, including executive condominiums (ECs), compared to just 768 units in the previous month, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed.

Analysts attributed the surge in transactions to more launches and the end of the school holidays in June, which is traditionally a quiet time for the property market.

There were 1,486 units launched (including ECs), up from a mere 234 in June when no EC projects hit the market.

The chart-topping project in July was Lake Grande, a private condo in the up-and-coming Jurong Lake District, followed by three EC projects. The Trilinq rounds out the top five list.

1. Lake Grande (OCR)
Developer: MCL Land
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Jurong West
Nearest MRT station: Lakeside MRT
Median price: $1,368 psf
Total no. of units: 710
Sales update: 464 units sold in July

2. Treasure Crest EC (OCR)
Developer: Sim Lian Group
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Anchorvale Crescent
Nearest MRT station: Sengkang MRT
Median price: $751 psf
Total no. of units: 504
Sales update: 398 units sold in July

3. Bellewaters EC (OCR)
Developer: Qingjian Realty
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Anchorvale Crescent (D19)
Nearest MRT station: Sengkang MRT
Median price: $790 psf
Total no. of units: 651
Sales update: 70 units sold in July

4. Sol Acres EC (OCR)
Developer: MCL Land
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Choa Chu Kang Grove
Nearest MRT station: Bukit Panjang MRT
Median price: $796 psf
Total no. of units: 1,327
Sales update: 43 units sold in July

5. The Trilinq (OCR)
Developer: IOI Properties
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Location: Clementi Avenue 6
Nearest MRT station: Clementi MRT
Median price: $1,393 psf
Total no. of units: 755
Sales update: 42 units sold in July


Clementi flat above MRT sold above $1m

A flat in Clementi has fetched more than $1 million on the resale market, setting a record for a five-room Housing Board flat outside the Pinnacle @ Duxton.

The $1,005,000 deal, closed earlier this month, was for a 116 sq m flat on the 18th storey.

Resale prices for HDB flats rarely reach $1 million. The exceptions are units at the iconic Pinnacle @ Duxton and rare types such as executive maisonettes or HDB terrace houses. 

Such prices have also been reached by units in Design, Build and Sell Scheme projects – public housing developed and sold by private developers, not by the HDB.

The record-setting flat in Clementi Avenue 3 belongs to a unique development: Clementi Towers, the first HDB project to be integrated with both a mall and a bus interchange.

Resale prices for HDB flats rarely reach $1 million. The record- setting flat in Clementi Avenue 3 belongs to a unique development: Clementi Towers (above), the first HDB project to be integrated with both a shopping mall and a bus interchange.

“The location is so good, just above Clementi MRT Station and the shops in the mall. That is how we managed to get this level of pricing,” said LHG Properties agent Rose Har, who represented the seller in the transaction.

The development comprises two 40-storey HDB blocks of three-, four- and five-room units, connected to The Clementi Mall and Clementi bus interchange, which is linked directly to the MRT station.

The Clementi Mall is owned by SPH Reit, which is sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Straits Times.

Commenting on Clementi Towers, SLP International Property Consultants head of research Nicholas Mak said: “It is a unique project. In that sense, it is like the Pinnacle – you cannot compare it to other HDB projects nearby.” 

The specific unit might also have been renovated particularly well, allowing it to fetch a premium, said Mr Chris Koh, director of property firm Chris International.

He added: “I don’t think you will see $1 million flats in other estates.” 

The two Clementi Towers blocks are also notable for being replacement flats under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme. They were offered to residents from the former Blocks 436 to 438.

Another HDB integrated development, Kampung Admiralty, is set to be completed next year. 

Located next to Admiralty MRT Station, it puts public housing, eldercare and childcare facilities, a medical centre, as well as shops and eateries, all under one roof. But all the flats there are studio apartments, for buyers who are at least 55 years old. 


Boon Keng Flat Sold for $1.1m

Despite a depressed resale market, a 28th-floor flat at City View @ Boon Keng was sold for $1.1 million – a record price for a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) unit, reported The Straits Times.

The 5-room flat comes with views of the sea and the Sports Hub. 

Boon Keng flats

The deal underscores what housing experts call a persistent demand by some home buyers for centrally located premium units. They noted that units commanding such sky-high prices are ‘outliers’.

The 35-year old seller, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, said he was trying his luck given that “the location is very convenient”. 

Two weeks ago, Tan and his wife signed the option to purchase. 

The sale works out to a profit of over $300,000, as they acquired the flat for around $700,000 in 2008, when the DBSS project was launched. 

City View in Kallang is the second DBSS development to enter the resale market in January, following The Premiere in Tampines in 2014. 

City View, however, has been sold at higher prices due to its central location, with three other units breaching the $1 million mark. 

The question now is whether other DBSS projects will be able to replicate such unusually high prices.

Last month, units at Park Central in Ang Mo Kio began meeting the five-year minimum occupation period, while those at Natura Loft in Bishan will become eligible this month.

Meanwhile, units at Parc Lumiere in Simei have been placed on the market since February, with some priced at $738,000. 

Industry players believe that there is still demand for premium units despite the sluggish resale environment. Aside from quality and location, such units also have attributes that ‘money can’t buy’, said ERA Realty agent Kavin Kuah, who represented Tan in the record deal, citing the view from the unit. 

R’ST Research Director Ong Kah Seng noted that while the majority of resale flat buyers will be cautious and work within their budget, a couple of buyers “with deep pockets will hold contrarian views and see the worth of the flat beyond the current gloomy statistics and pessimistic property picture”. 

Cause of Cradels condo pool glass shattering

Water caught in drain between pool and glass walls, building up pressure on panels: BCA

Singapore condo resale prices slip 0.4% in July: SRX Property

SINGAPORE – Resale prices of non-landed private residential homes slipped last month, after edging up the last four months, according to flash estimates from SRX Property on Wednesday (Aug 10). 

Building in construction

Prices declined 0.4 per cent in July compared to June, SRX said. It also revised down the month-on-month price increase in June to 0.4 per cent from 0.5 per cent. 

The price decline in June was across all locations – with the prime districts, city fringe and suburban areas recording dips of 0.5 per cent, 0.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively. 

Year-on-year, resale prices last month were marginally up – 0.1 per cent – from July 2015. They are still down by 6.6 per cent from their last peak in January 2014. 

SRX Property’s data also show that 10 per cent more resale units were sold in July compared to June – 770 from 700. But overall, sellers were more willing to go below the estimated market value of their property to make the sale. 
SRX’s median TOX – which measures whether buyers are overpaying or underpaying its computer-generated market value – came in at negative S$10,000 in July from negative $7,000 in June. 

For districts with more than 10 resale transactions in July, district 20 (Bishan, Ang Mo Kio) posted the highest median TOX of +S$10,000. 

District 3 (Queenstown, Tiong Bahru) posted the most negative median TOX of -S$40,000. 

Year-on-year, the 770 resale units moved in July 2016 were 31.4 per cent higher compared to the 586 units resold in July 2015. Resale volume was still down by 62.4 per cent compared to its peak of 2,050 units hit in April 2010. 


Blossom Residences’ Close Knit Neighours

Residents of Blossom Residences watching a Lion Dance performance during the Chinese New Year celebrations. The close-knit neighbours often organise activities such as running, basketball and barbecues. Some of them even share meals and keep in touch via WhatsApp group chats.

While their homes were being built, future neighbours at Blossom Residences were already building friendships.

Two years before the executive condominium in Bukit Panjang was ready, internal auditor Ethan Lim arranged to meet with about 30 of his future neighbours over coffee and sandwiches at a cafe.

“Where I lived previously, neighbours weren’t very close,” said the 35-year-old, who set up a Facebook group where buyers of the 602 units could connect. “I thought it might be nice to see familiar faces when you come home.” 

Running enthusiasts used the site to ask about running routes, photography fans posted shots of the building progress, and others shared ideas for renovation and furniture shops. The group has since grown to more than 700 members.

The kampung spirit continued to flourish after the residents moved in about two years ago. They organise regular activities such as running, basketball and barbecues. 

Many of the residents are young parents who help to look out for each other’s children. They share recipes and meals, and keep in touch via WhatsApp group chats. Some like to keep their doors open, as in the kampungs of old.

“As long as someone’s at home, we keep the door open and our neighbours do, too,” said 15-year-old Joel Goh, a Secondary 3 student who lives with his parents, a younger brother and two grandparents. “It’s a better feeling than being isolated as a family.”

Relations are not always perfect and there is the occasional complaint in the Facebook group – for example, about a noisy party going on or cigarette ash dropping onto a balcony from above.

But Mr Lim and some of the more active users try to promote positive sentiments, chipping in with suggestions when possible conflicts arise. Over time, people started using the site to ask for help to solve problems and even offer help, too. 

“We’re just so fortunate to get to know such nice neighbours,” said financial consultant Paul Tay, 46, who has become known as the cun zang, or village leader, for his efforts in getting to know his fellow residents. “To have a close neighbour is better than a distant relative.”

The father of three hopes to continue organising gatherings for the estate at least once a month.

Marketing manager Selina Ang, 40, once had to call on her neighbours for help when her nine-year- old son Caleb Lim went missing during a family run with the estate’s running group.

The running group, which has about 40 members and organises runs three times a week, took part in two races together last year.

“Even those who weren’t running came down to help us look for him,” said Madam Ang, who found him with a group which was running further ahead.

She has also found her neighbours keen to lend a hand, even if it is just sharing pandan leaves when she ran out. “It’s heartwarming to know that there are people ready to help, whether in emergencies or ’emergencies’,” she said. 

Mr Lim acknowledged that it is impossible to get all the residents to participate in activities, but said that he was happy just to provide a platform for them to get to know more people.

“Even if your spouse is not around, you know there are friends around and activities to do,” he said.

“You always find that you want to come home.”