The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 1st February 2017

Top Story

JLL argues for a new property tax in place of ABSD
Weeks ahead of Budget 2017, real estate consultancy JLL has proposed that the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) on residential purchases be removed or reduced, and replaced by an annual tax on non-owner occupied units. This “property tax” would be over and above the unit’s current property tax.  But such an argument has not gained traction with other market watchers – some have a different reading of the market altogether.


Singapore Economy

STI one of Asia’s top performers so far this year
Singapore stocks chalked up handsome gains through January, but pulled back on the last day of the month as the Trump trade turned into a Trump rout.  But still, the total value of the market managed to gain about 4 per cent month on month to S$915 billion.  This is the third straight month-on-month gain and the highest one-month increase since October 2015, when the market capitalisation surged 6.3 per cent.

Bank lending ends 2016 with 2.9% gain in December
A last burst in bank lending in the final month of 2016 led to a 2.9 per cent growth in December from a year ago, higher than the 1.1 per cent registered in November, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday showed.  This level of growth was last seen in February 2015, but it remains unclear whether this was just a blip.  The gasp in gains came from business lending; lending to financial institutions and the construction sector more than made up for persistent weakness in lending to trade-related industries.

Singapore gaming revenues likely flat in 2017: Fitch
Total gambling revenues in Singapore are expected to remain at about US$4 billion in 2017 as the high-roller or VIP segment remains weak, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said in a note on Tuesday.  It said gaming revenues continued to slide last year largely due to a sharp contraction in the VIP segment, despite a 12.5 per cent gain in Chinese visitors – the biggest source of VIP revenue – in the first six months of 2016.

Manufacturers slightly upbeat, service firms gloomy: Surveys
Manufacturers are slightly more upbeat about business prospects for this half of the year but service firms are gloomier, according to two separate surveys out yesterday.  An Economic Development Board (EDB) poll found that a net weighted balance of 2 per cent of manufacturers expect more favourable conditions over the January to June period, compared with the fourth quarter of 2016.  The net weighted balance is the difference between the percentage of firms that expect improvement and those that expect conditions to worsen. Individual responses are weighted by their contribution to employment and value added.

Singapore Real Estate

Bishan DBSS flat sold for record S$1.18m
A new record high in HDB resale prices was achieved at Natura Loft, an HDB Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project in Bishan where a five-room flat was transacted at S$1.18 million last month.  This already marks the third HDB resale transaction in the first month of 2017 that crossed a million dollars, according to SRI Pte Ltd, whose property agent represented the seller.  This translated to S$914 per square foot (psf) for the 120 sqm penthouse on a high floor above 35 stories. The DBSS project built by Qingjian Realty just crossed the five-year minimum occupation period.

JTC launches sale of first industrial site this year
The first of six sites in the Industrial Government Land Sales programme for the year was launched by JTC yesterday.  The 0.5ha plot in Tuas South Link 3 is zoned for Business 2 development, which is typically for heavy industrial use. The site has a 20-year tenure with a maximum permissible gross plot ratio of 1.4.  Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of South-east Asia research at property consultancy Edmund Tie and Company, said demand for industrial land, as well as the bid prices, has been relatively stable. He estimated that there will be one to three bidders for the site, with offers coming in at $30 to $35 per sq ft per plot ratio.

Private home prices remain flat in Dec
Overall prices of completed private homes were unchanged in December from the previous month, after dipping 0.8 per cent in November.  This was according to the Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) flash estimates, released yesterday.  The SRPI is compiled by the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate Studies.  Resale prices of homes in the central region, excluding small units, declined 0.6 per cent month on month, while those outside the prime districts edged up 0.4 per cent.


Companies’ Brief

Fragrance eyes Liverpool property, forms UK unit
Fragrance Group is continuing with its British property purchases.  The real-estate and hospitality company announced on Tuesday that it has set up a wholly owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom, in connection with its efforts to acquire a property in Liverpool.  This follows on from its announcement last week that it was intending to purchase the Imperial Hotel Blackpool, situated in the resort town of Blackpool in England.

New buildings, rent increases lift Ascendas India Trust’s Q3 DPU
Additional income from two new buildings – an IT park in Chennai which was acquired in March 2016 called CyberVale 3, and the recently completed Victor building at the International Tech Park Bangalore – coupled with rental increases at existing properties boosted Ascendas India Trust’s third-quarter performance.  On Tuesday, the business trust reported a 5 per cent increase in distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.42 Singapore cents for the three months ended Dec 31, 2016. Total property income rose 5 per cent to S$39.3 million, while net property income rose 7 per cent to S$26.4 million.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US home prices increase faster than expected in November

US Fed meets amid fiscal policy uncertainty

Trump Tower has rental bargains, if you can get past security

Why Single Women Are Buying Homes at Twice the Rate of Single Men

Citi plans to exit mortgage servicing by end of 2018

UK asylum seekers housing is vermin-infested

As climate change accelerates, floating cities look like less of a pipe dream

Hackers use new tactic at Austrian hotel: locking the doors

Australia home prices off to flying start in January, Sydney soars

India’s affordable housing plan won’t fix homelessness: campaigners

Bigger land holdings key to preventing farmer suicides in India: activists

Brazil to let foreigners buy airlines, agricultural land


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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