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 March 2017

Top Story

DC rates rise to play catch-up with land prices
Amid strong developer appetite for condo development sites which has buoyed land prices, the government has upped the average DC (development charge) rate for non-landed residential use by 4 per cent for the March 1-Aug 31, 2017 period.  This is the second consecutive hike in the average DC rate for such use, following the 2.7 per cent rise during the previous revision six months earlier.  DC is payable for enhancing the use of some sites or to build bigger projects on them.  The Ministry of National Development, in consultation with the chief valuer (CV), revises DC rates twice a year, on March 1 and Sept 1. The rates are based on CV’s assessment of land values and take into consideration recent land sales and other property transactions.


Singapore Economy

Broad-based policy, Budget 2017 measures can help firms: Iswaran
Sounding a markedly sympathetic tone, Singapore’s Minister for Industry S Iswaran reiterated on Tuesday the government’s commitment to helping companies tackle immediate and medium-term concerns, and said that its fiscal budget for this coming year can adequately address these worries.  This is because broad-based policy support built up previously are in place to support companies, while the new measures introduced in Budget 2017 will reach out to specific sectors and companies needing more help, he told Parliament on Tuesday.

Fewer business loans dent January bank lending
Bank lending in January faltered for the first time in four months as business loans shrank in the holiday-shortened month, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Tuesday showed.  Home loans remained resilient.  Domestic banking units’ loans were S$617.1 billion in January, down from S$617.3 billion in December, dragged down by general commerce and manufacturing.  But year on year (y-o-y), total loans grew 2.8 per cent, slightly slower than December’s 2.9 per cent growth rate.


Singapore Real Estate 

January private resale home prices flat
Overall prices of completed private homes stayed flat in January compared with the previous month, after inching up a revised 0.1 per cent in December, flash estimates of the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) showed yesterday.  Excluding small units, prices of non-landed units in the central region rose 0.7 per cent, following a 0.3 per cent decline in the preceding month. But prices in the non-central region dropped 0.6 per cent, reversing a 0.5 per cent rise previously.  The central region refers to properties in districts 1 to 4 and 9 to 11, while units in the other districts fall under the non-central region.

Toh Tuck site expected to be hotly contested
Property consultants expect the first site launched by the government in 2017 to be “hotly contested” due to its location in an established residential precinct and its manageable size.  The residential plot in Toh Tuck Road was put up for sale via public tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority under the “confirmed list” of the H1 2017 government land sales programme on Tuesday.  The 18,721.4 square metre site can potentially yield about 325 units. The tender closes at noon on April 11.  Property consultants said that the locality has leasing potential and the plot, with its potential to yield a maximum gross floor area of 26,210 sq m, is of a digestible size for mid-cap developers and should result in an affordable price quantum.

Painful times for owners of untenanted properties
The pain of paying property tax on untenanted property was among several issues ERA property agents raised with Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan- Jin at the company’s Asia-Pacific Business Conference yesterday.  ERA chief operating officer Marcus Chu raised the issue in a dialogue with the minister held at Marina Bay Sands about the rising number of properties for which owners cannot find tenants.

4-storey building near Beauty World Centre up for sale
Several properties, including shophouses and a freehold development, were put on the market yesterday amid a gradually improving sentiment in the real estate arena.  One is a mixed-use project – Goh & Goh Building – in Upper Bukit Timah Road, which has been put up for collective sale with an asking price of at least $120 million.  The freehold four-storey development, built in the late 1980s, has seven apartments and seven shops.

New law to help architects work abroad
It will soon be easier for architects here to internationalise their businesses and practise overseas, under changes to the law approved in Parliament yesterday.  The Architects (Amendment) Bill will enable any architect registered with the Board of Architects here to ply their trade in a “participating overseas jurisdiction”, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong told the House.  The new law will allow the Board of Architects to form arrangements with its foreign counterparts.


Companies’ Brief 

Hatten Land closes maiden trading day on Catalist at S$0.285
Hatten Land, a property developer with a niche focus in the Malaysian state of Malacca, opened its maiden day on Singapore’s Catalist at 29.5 Singapore cents on Tuesday.  At 12.22pm, the counter was up 1.5 Singapore cents, or nearly 6 per cent, at 28.5 Singapore cents after hitting an intraday high of 30 Singapore cents.  By the end of the day, it was the sixth-most actively traded stock with close to 50 million shares worth more than S$13 million done. The stock eventually closed up 1.5 cents, or 5.6 per cent, at 28.5 Singapore cents.

ERA owners exploring IPO for S’pore’s biggest property agency
Northstar Group said it is in the early stage of exploring an initial public offering of Singapore’s biggest real estate agency ERA Realty Network, which has turned out to be one of its top-performing investments thus far.  But the Singapore-headquartered private equity firm remains mum about when ERA will return to the local bourse since the delisting of its former listed parent Hersing Corporation four years ago.

Net fair valuation loss dents Centurion Q4 net profit
Centurion Corporation posted a lower net profit for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016, dented by a net fair valuation loss on its investment properties.  The dormitory operator saw its net profit fall 61 per cent to S$2.9 million, compared to S$7.5 million a year ago. Its investment properties comprising workers and student accommodation assets were fair valued by independent valuers end of 2016, and a net fair valuation loss of S$3.1 million was recognised in Q4 2016, compared to a S$3.6 million net fair valuation gain in Q4 2015.

Tiong Seng unit secures S$113.8m Alexandra View project
Tiong Seng Contractors, the subsidiary of mainboard-listed construction group and property developer, Tiong Seng Holdings, has been awarded a S$113.8 million contract at Alexandra View by FEC Skyline.  Beginning from March this year, the project updates the group’s construction order book size to about S$1 billion, extending till 2020.  The project involves the use of advanced precast construction, prefabricated bathroom unit (PBU) and design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA).

Hong Leong Asia FY2016 loss deepens 17% to S$71.3m
Hong Leong Asia, the trade and industry arm of Hong Leong Group, on Tuesday posted a 17.3 per cent deepening of net loss to S$71.3 million for the full year ended Dec 31, 2016 (FY2016), from S$60.7 million a year ago.  Revenue fell by 8.8 per cent year on year from S$4.08 billion to S$3.72 billion, due mainly to slowing economic growth in China which affected Yuchai and Xinfei, the company said.  Loss per share came up to 19.05 Singapore cents for FY2016, versus 16.24 cents in the previous year.

GSH posts S$3.3m loss for Q4 on lower revenue
Mainboard-listed property developer GSH Corporation on Tuesday reported a net loss of S$3.3 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of S$6.6 million a year ago, dragged by a plunge in revenue.  For the three months as at end December 2016, revenue fell 69.8 per cent year on year to S$17.7 million.  For Q4 2015, its property business contributed S$45.4 million in revenue, compared with S$1.7 million in Q4 2016.

Sabana Reit manager’s non-exec director quits
The plot thickens at Sabana Shariah-compliant Reit, with Ms Ng Shin Ein, a non-executive director of the trust manager, quitting amid a minority-investor revolt.  Ms Ng, who has had a board seat since the Reit’s listing in November 2010, raised concerns in her resignation letter about “certain internal dynamics within the company”.  She said she resigned on Jan 16, but stayed on “out of a sense of duty” after unitholders mounted a campaign to oust the Reit manager.

Singapore’s GLP to Shortlist At Least 3 Bidder Groups
Global Logistic Properties Ltd. has shortlisted at least three groups in the bidding for the Singapore-based warehouse operator, people with knowledge of the matter said.  Bottom of Form
GLP invited a management-backed consortium that includes Chinese investment firms Hillhouse Capital Management and Hopu Investment Management to study detailed information on the business, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The industrial property developer, which has a market value of $8.8 billion, also granted due diligence to Blackstone Group and a separate Warburg Pincus-led investor group, the people said.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Centurion’s next stop: senior housing?
Listed accommodation provider Centurion Corp has shown itself to be a nimble company that is adept at moving with the times.  Since its emergence from a 2011 reverse takeover, the company has transformed from selling obsolete optical disks to selling beds in workers’ dormitories, and is now also into student accommodation. It says it wants to become a hospitality player. It has even created brands for its workers’ and students’ housing, called ‘Westlite’ and ‘dwell’ respectively.

A welcome boost for home buyers
Last week’s Budget provided additional support for families on several fronts, including the perennial need to make public housing affordable for different segments of the population. The CPF Housing Grant has been increased from $30,000 to $50,000 for couples who purchase four-room or smaller resale flats, and from $30,000 to $40,000 for couples who purchase five-room or bigger resale flats. Together with the Additional CPF Housing Grant and the Proximity Housing Grant, a couple can now receive up to $110,000 in housing grants when buying a resale flat, depending on its location and type and on their income.

Securing the vertical space of cities
A passenger drone (unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV) —EHang 184 — was unveiled last month at the World Government Summit held in Dubai, where the Road and Transportation Agency of the United Arab Emirates then announced plans to commence regular flights (flying taxis) by July this year. In Singapore, researchers at the Nanyang Technological University are designing an air traffic management system for drones. In London, the new mixed-use Canaletto tower was designed to create vertical communities.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

U.S. home prices rise faster than expected in December

How to save a dying mall: Start by buying it on the cheap

New York’s historic Waldorf Astoria closing for facelift

Starwood in talks on raising initial bid for Milestone, say sources

London will continue attracting the super-rich even as Brexit bites, says report

Chinese group to buy London Cheesegrater Tower

China targets ‘prudent’ 12% growth in broad money supply for 2017 to cool credit expansion

From luxury villas to office space, Hong Kong investors pile into depressed Singapore property market

Hong Kong’s Biggest Developer Sees Profit Rise 57% as Sales Soar

Australia home prices jump most in 6 years in Feb, ring policy alarms


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

Scroll to Top