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Thread: Size of the DPS behemoth

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    Default Size of the DPS behemoth,00.html?

    Published December 20, 2008

    Size of the DPS behemoth

    10,450 sold & uncompleted private homes under the DPS now; analysts worried about those getting TOP in 2010-11


    SOME 10,450 sold and uncompleted private homes are now under the deferred payment scheme (DPS), according to official data released yesterday.

    Of the amount, close to half - 4,560 units - will be completed in 2009, while another 2,540 homes will be completed in 2010, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said. Under the DPS, which was introduced by the government in October 1997 and withdrawn in October 2007, the bulk of the purchase price of a property is due only after a project obtains its temporary occupation permit (TOP).

    The data was welcomed by both analysts and the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas). Over the past several months, many market watchers and analysts have been estimating how big an impact the DPS will have on developers' cashflow and earnings if buyers default on their homes as TOP approaches.

    'I think it provides a clearer picture as to the extent of the problem,' said Citigroup's head of Singapore equity research, Chua Hak Bin. 'And it is good that the government acted to stop the system when it did. If not, things would have got a lot worse.'

    Said Redas: 'URA data, together with data compiled by Redas, helps to allay concerns that speculators may repudiate their DPS purchases at below-market prices as the completion date nears.' In its statement, Redas highlighted 10 projects - including City Developments' The Sail and Keppel Land's Park Infinia - where the DPS was offered but full payment was still made to the developers once TOP was obtained.

    Redas also said that while units may be affected by market sentiments, sales contracts cannot be repudiated easily.

    URA's data proves that the DPS scheme was 'very popular', Citigroup's Dr Chua said. To arrive at its numbers, URA did a survey among property developers of uncompleted DPS-approved projects. In total, developers of 605 projects, comprising 72,384 units, were granted approval to offer the DPS. Of this amount, there were 18,208 sold but uncompleted units as at end-November this year. And of this figure, 10,450 (57 per cent) were still under the DPS.

    The fact that the bulk of DPS units will be completed in 2009 is cause for some concern, analysts said. '2009 is going to be a tough year for the economy, and there are 4,650 units under the DPS that will be completed,' said Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore.

    But assuming a three-year construction period, a large proportion of the units that will obtain TOP in 2009 were probably launched and sold in 2006 and early 2007, at prices that are relatively lower than today's level or the expected level in 2009. So even if the property market continues to weaken in 2009, the owners of these 4,560 units could still lease out the homes or sell them, analysts said. However, if developers had offered the DPS to many sub-purchasers when the original purchasers sub-sell the units, then defaults could be expected.

    But for now, the real area of concern is thought to be the 2,540 units under the DPS that will obtain TOP in 2010. Of this number, 1,270 of the units are located in the core central region (CCR), which includes Sentosa and Marina Bay.

    'Generally, I'm more concerned over the units which will receive TOP in 2010-2011, which could have been purchased in 2007 at the peak of the property market,' said DMG & Partners Securities analyst Brandon Lee.

    And while developers have the legal right to pursue buyers who walk away from their deals, it could be harder to do this when it comes to foreigners, said Knight Frank managing director Tan Tiong Cheng.

    Normally, about 75-90 per cent of uncompleted private residential units will be bought by Singaporeans, said DMG's Mr Lee. But in 2007, the proportion fell to 63-68 per cent, with the remaining purchases made by PRs, foreigners and companies. 'We see this segment as the most likely to return their units,' he said. His back-of-the-envelope figure puts the amount expected to be returned as possibly somewhere between 20-30 per cent.

    URA said that it provided the data to enable the public to make a better assessment of the private housing market. 'This information was provided by developers in confidence and with the understanding that data for individual projects would not be released to the public. Hence URA is only releasing aggregated data and not data for individual projects,' the government agency said.

    'Conducting a survey of developers of all uncompleted DPS-approved projects requires a lot of time and resources from the developers as well as the government. Given that the number of uncompleted units sold under DPS is likely to decline as projects are completed over time, we will monitor the situation and consider whether there is a need to conduct further surveys in future,' URA said in response to a query from BT.

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    December 19, 2008, 1.51 pm (Singapore time)

    URA releases data of private homes sold under DPS


    SINGAPORE - Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday released information of private homes sold under the Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS).

    A total 10,450 units in uncompleted projects were still under the DPS as at Nov 30, 2008.

    'This number may change over time as the developers may not extend the scheme to sub-purchasers when the original purchasers sub-sell the units. It also depends on whether the buyers of the remaining units that are not launched or sold yet are offered the DPS or choose to take up the scheme private homes sold in uncompleted projects,' URA said in its release.

    URA also gave a breakdown of the 10,450 units still under DPS by three geographical locations and expected year of completion. Some 413 units are expected to be completed by the end of this month. The bulk of the stock, or 4,560 units, is slated for completion in 2009, followed by 2,540 units in 2010.

    Click here for URA news release

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    December 20, 2008 Saturday

    10,450 deferred payment homes weigh on prices

    Cash-strapped buyers may sell low if they can't get sufficient loans

    By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent

    PRICES in the the already fragile property market could be battered even more from next year if some of the 10,450 homes bought on deferred payment are dumped by cash-strapped buyers.

    The danger is that when final payments are due at completion stage, buyers faced with falling values may just sell at fire-sale levels, putting even more pressure on prices.

    And a key reason for buyers to dump units is that in today's tight credit markets, risk-averse banks will demand that buyers put in more of their own cash before they will agree to lending the balance.

    Take a flat that was bought for $1 million with a deposit of $100,000. The buyer must provide $900,000 on completion but if prices have fallen too far, the bank will not come to the party with a loan for the full amount.

    So the buyer either dips into his own pocket or cuts his losses and sells - likely into a falling market.

    The numbers, revealed for the first time by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday, are sobering.

    Two-thirds of the 10,450 uncompleted homes will come on stream in the next two years - 4,560 in 2009 and 2,540 in 2010.

    They were sold from 2005 to this year. That includes a period when many properties were being snapped up by eager buyers with little regard for price.

    Deferred payment was introduced during the Asian financial crisis to boost the market, but scrapped late last year. It was blamed for encouraging speculation, as buyers could secure a property for little cash down and then flip it for a profit before a brick had been laid.

    Down payments are 10 to 20 per cent with the rest deferred until completion a few years down the track.

    To make things worse, the URA said that the 10,450 new homes include sub-sale units.

    They were likely bought at even higher prices from speculators, who had already flipped the units for a profit.

    The figures also show that the homes are spread far and wide - about 4,000 each in the core central and city-fringe areas and the rest in the suburbs.

    Analysts say that the real danger lies in the 1,270 prime units in the core central region that will be completed in 2010. These were boom-time buys.

    Knight Frank managing director Tan Tiong Cheng said possible defaults will likely come from people who bought at the height of the market last year.

    'It is cause for concern but it is not a big problem when you look at it in percentage terms,' he said.

    In contrast, projects slated for completion next year were bought in 2005 and 2006 when prices were not that high, so chances of defaults are slim, added Mr Tan.

    Prime area projects in Orchard Road, Sentosa Cove and Marina Bay like Marina Bay Residences, One Shenton and The Orchard Residences were known to have lured the speculators.

    Some of these projects also attracted consortia, which bought one floor at a time, but yesterday's data did not offer any insight into such buyers.

    'This is the 'high-risk' group, particularly as banks have become cautious and demand has fallen,' said Standard Chartered economist Alvin Liew.

    Jones Lang LaSalle's South-east Asia research head, Mr Chua Yang Liang, said: 'The 10,450 number seems large but...if buyers can get loans, the problem won't be as severe as some people think.

    'But psychologically, buyers may see it as a reason to bring prices down.

    Responding to the news, the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore said the figures released by the URA underscored the popularity of the scheme.

    It maintained that the scheme was beneficial to the market and reminded buyers that although they can sell their units to other buyers on the market, they cannot easily repudiate sales contracts and return the homes they bought to developers.

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    Weekend, December 20, 2008

    D-Day for homebuyers

    7,100 units ready in next two years, buyers may face difficulties: Analysts

    Christie Loh

    deputy business editor

    [email protected]

    JUST how vulnerable is Singapore’s :souring economy to a wave of defaults from private home buyers who had made use of the popular Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS)?

    It’s a question that continues to split analysts, even as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday released, for the first time, data on private homes sold under the DPS, a decade-old plan scrapped in October last year.

    To “provide transparency”, the agency revealed that 10,450 uncompleted private homes had been sold under the scheme as at end-November.

    As the DPS tends to be used by speculators, the data breakdown reflects the potential number of homes that could be returned to developers, should buyers fail to secure financing by the time a project is completed and receives the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP).

    For many, D-day approaches Most of the units — 4,560 — will be ready next year, followed by another 2,540 units in 2010.

    With these two years likely to be weighed down by a global economic slump, buyers with shallow pockets will have difficulty coughing up the bulk of the price tag by the TOP date, especially as banks have become tight-fisted. If the purchase falls through, units will return to the market, possibly depressing prices.

    To Chesteron Suntec International research director Colin Tan, the statistics paint a grim picture.

    “If we assume all the people buying under DPS meant to flip, the 4,560 units represent one year of supply for a bad year. It’s bad,” Mr Tan told Today.

    Only 4,000 to 5,000 new private homes are expected to be sold this year, he said, way below last year’s 14,800.

    Under the DPS, the downpayment is only 10 to 20 per cent of the unit’s price and the customer makes no other payments during the construction period — typically two to three years — until completion. The arrangement appeals to speculators who, during boom time, made just a small payment upfront and managed to “flip” the unit for a quick buck before the TOP date.

    Some feel the DPS may create a local version of a sub-prime meltdown. Will the market soon be flooded with desperados cancelling purchases or defaulting? Developers are putting up a brave front.

    “We note that DPS cases will peak in 2009. These units would have been purchased in 2005/6 before property prices peaked in late 2007. As the purchase prices of these units are likely to be below current market price, we are confident that such property purchasers will want to proceed with completion of their sale, upon their unit’s grant of the TOP,” the Real Estate Developers’ :Association of Singapore (Redas) said in a statement.

    Redas also stressed that buyers have no right to cancel sale-and-purchase agreements; only the developer does. So if the buyer fails to adhere to the contract, the developer could not only keep the downpayment but also demand claims and resell the property.

    Redas did not say if their members were witnessing an increase in customers asking to repudiate contracts.

    According to Knight Frank director of consultancy and research Nicholas Mak, people who bought units outside the Core Central Region – plum areas including Orchard and Sentosa – are “less at risk of default because a relatively higher proportion of these homes were bought for owners’ occupation”.

    Two-thirds of the unfinished homes bought on DPS are outside the Core Central Region.

    In the first place, said Savills Singapore director of marketing and business development Ku Swee Yong, DPS customers do include genuine home buyers, not just speculators.

    Mr Mak said even if the property market weakened further next year, homebuyers collecting their keys “could either lease out the homes at relatively good returns or sell the homes at their breakeven level or with a profit”.

    As for those taking delivery in 2010, they are unlikely to be pressured to sell at distress prices as “we expect the property market to stabilise in 2010 and may show some signs of recovery”.

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