The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30th, 31st Mar and 1st April 2019

Singapore Real Estate

Private home price index down 0.6% q-o-q in Q1 2019: URA flash estimate
The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) flash estimate for the first quarter of 2019 shows that its overall price index for private homes fell 0.6 per cent over the preceding quarter. This is a bigger decline than the 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter dip in the fourth quarter of 2018.  Year on year, the index is up 3.2 per cent.  URA data released on Monday morning also showed that prices of non-landed private homes fell 1 per cent quarter on quarter in the first quarter of 2019, contrasting with the 0.5 per cent gain in the fourth quarter of 2018.

HDB resale prices slip 0.3% in Q1: Flash data
Housing Board (HDB) resale flat prices dipped 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the quarter before, according to the latest HDB flash estimates released on Monday.  The resale price index was 131, down from the 131.4 in the fourth quarter of 2018.  The final figures, with more detailed public housing data, will be released on April 26.

Feb home loans shrink for first time since 2006
Housing loans in Singapore hit another low in February, with mortgages contracting over the month for the first time since April 2006, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of SIngapore showed on Friday.  Mortgages booked in February on a net basis came in at S$203.8 billion, falling from S$204.3 billion in January. From a year ago, housing loans in February continued to grow, but at its slowest yet of 1.2 per cent since BT began compiling bank lending data from 1991.

Tan Quee Lan Street site expected to grab developers’ attention
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has launched the tender of a site on Tan Quee Lan Street under the Confirmed List of the first half 2019 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme which is expected to attract keen interest from developers owing to its location.  The 99-year leasehold site sits on an area of 11,530.9 square metres and has a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 48,430 sq m. It can potentially yield up to 580 residential units while a maximum of 2,000 sq m of the total GFA can be used for commercial use on the first storey.

UBS said to be mulling move to 9 Penang Rd
UBS is understood to be mulling a consolidation of its Singapore office footprint by relocating from One Raffles Quay and Suntec City into 9 Penang Road, which is coming up on the former Park Mall site opposite Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station.  This could potentially be one of the biggest office leasing deals on the island in recent years if the bank decides to lease the entire development in Penang Road comprising about 352,000 sq ft net lettable area of office space and 15,000 sq ft of retail space.

JTC awards Tuas industrial site to sole bidder Transmare-Chemie
JTC has awarded the tender for an industrial site at Tuas South Link 3 to chemicals distributor Transmare-Chemie for S$2.05 million.  The tender for the site was launched on Nov 27 and closed on Jan 22, with just one bid submitted.  The 4,456 square metre site has a tenure of 20 years and a gross plot ratio of 1.4. The project completion date is 5 years.

New waterfront lifestyle area to open in Sentosa
A new lifestyle quarter featuring eateries, shops, concerts, event spaces and waterfront accommodation is set to open in Sentosa by the end of the year, as part of plans to increase the resort island’s night-time offerings.  Called Siloso Green, it will take over the 24,500 sq m space that was vacated by Underwater World in 2016. Bars, food trucks and live music under the stars are among the draws of the new attraction, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said on Friday.

Savings for building firms as BCA, MOM streamline registration
Construction companies will be able to save on worksite registration fees, as they no longer need to make two separate applications before starting work.  From Monday, they will only need to apply to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for a permit to carry out structural work at a site. There will be no need to register their worksite with the Manpower Ministry (MOM), as the information it requires will be collected through the BCA permit application, the two government agencies announced yesterday.


Companies’ Brief

CRCT, CapitaLand to divest interests in CapitaMall Wuhu
CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) announced on Friday that it will be divesting its 51 per cent interest in a company that owns CapitaMall Wuhu to an unrelated third party for 92.7 million yuan (S$18.3 million).  CapitaLand, which holds the remaining 49 per cent interest in the company, will also be divesting its stake for an undisclosed sum.

Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust to divest Australia facility for A$17.25mFrasers Logistics & Industrial Trust’s (FLT) manager announced on Friday that it will be divesting its property at 63-79 South Park Drive, Dandenong South, Victoria, Australia for A$17.25 million (S$16.6 million).  The sum is at a 13.1 per cent premium to the property’s book value of A$15.25 million as at Sept 30 2018, and a 4.5 per cent premium to the original purchase price of A$16.5 million at FLT’s initial public offering in 2016.

SLB’s Matthew Ong named president of Association of Catalist Companies
Matthew Ong, executive director and CEO of SLB Development Limited, was elected the second president of the Association of Catalist Companies (ACC), a non-profit association which draws its membership primarily from companies listed on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange.  He is replacing founding president Phil Rickard, who had relinquished his position due to personal reasons.

Tee International bags engineering contracts worth S$22m
Tee International, together with its subsidiaries, has secured two new engineering contracts worth S$22 million in total, the engineering, infrastructure and real estate group said Friday during the market’s mid-day trading break.  The new contracts awarded include another contract for the fit-out works of a data centre, as well as addition and alteration works to industrial buildings for a repeat client. The group did not disclose the identity of these clients.

PSA, JTC to get new chairmen on Monday
Reshuffles are afoot at port operator PSA International and several government bodies, with various personnel changes announced on Friday.  Fock Siew Wah will step down as PSA’s group chairman next Monday, after serving in the role since 2005. The banking veteran will stay on as a special adviser to the group until his retirement on July 31, PSA said.

AMP Capital completes sale of AA Reit management rights, stake to AIMS Financial
AMP Capital has completed the sale of its 50 per cent shareholding in the management companies of AIMS AMP Capital Industrial Reit (AA Reit) to its joint venture partner, AIMS Financial Group, it said in a pre-market exchang filing on Friday.  As part of this transaction, AMP Capital also sold its 10.26 per cent stake in AA Reit to AIMS Financial, which becomes the sole owner of the management companies, with a 17.88 per cent stake in AA Reit.

IREIT strengthens position, looks for opportunities
Not one to shy away from adversity, real estate veteran Aymeric Thibord views setbacks and obstacles as opportunities for creativity and growth.  “What excites me is developing the entrepreneurial spirit – embracing challenges and finding solutions to address these challenges,” the chief executive officer of the manager of SGX-listed IREIT Global said.

Stephen Riady joins Asia Society board
Businessman Stephen Riady, 59, has been elected to the global board of trustees of the Asia Society, an international organisation that focuses on educating the world about Asia.  Dr Riady, elected at a meeting in Hong Kong last Friday, is executive chairman of Singapore real estate company OUE and chairman and executive president of Hong Kong-listed company Lippo.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Reimagining Singapore’s CBD
Last week, the announcement of Singapore’s Draft Master Plan 2019 cast the spotlight on the Central Area.  The blueprint is the Singapore government’s effort to ensure that the work, live and play concept fully takes root, to enhance Singapore’s status as a talent hub in the region, or even globally. The plans for the Central Business District (CBD) present tremendous opportunities for placemaking, curating experiences around working, living and playing in the CBD.

Beyond the core: Singapore’s office decentralisation
When property developer Ho Bee Land bought a commercial site at North Buona Vista Drive for S$410.99 million in 2010, observers said then that the resulting office product would be untested for the area. The project, sited outside the Central Business District (CBD) in a university and R&D enclave, was targeted at multinationals keen to set up headquarters near their research facilities. But as Ho Bee tells The Business Times, getting corporates to sign up “was not easy…

Bringing life into heart of city after dark
It is hard to take a casual stroll around the Central Business District (CBD) during peak hours.  The trains are packed, restaurants and hawker centres are full, and one has to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the tens of thousands of people trying to cross the street to their next meeting under the blazing sun.  But after office hours, the heart of the city beats a lot more slowly.

Opening new vistas for Singapore
The Urban Redevelopment Authority has revealed exciting plans for a greener and deeper Singapore at its Draft Master Plan 2019 exhibition. The Master Plan is a statutory land use plan that guides Singapore’s development in the next 10 to 15 years, and is reviewed every five years. Key to the plans are a new 50km Greater Rustic Coast running along the northern coast, district-level underground plans, and a 24km “green vein” called the Rail Corridor running through the country that will be connected by 2021.

CBD needs more than just injection of homes, hotels
Perhaps if our urban planners had taken regular strolls along Shenton Way over the past decade, they might be more careful with making a correlation between the injection of homes and hotels in the precinct and an increased vibrancy of the area (More homes planned in city centre to inject vibrancy, March 28).  By rough estimates, at least 3,000 to 4,000 residential units have been added to the Marina Bay-Shenton Way precinct alone since 2009.

Commentary: Would you want to raise a family in Singapore’s CBD?
Singapore: The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has announced plans to add more homes in the CBD area so that more people can live closer to their workplaces.  Its rationale is to increase the live-in population in the business districts to bring more life to the area after office hours.  Imagine living across the river from the iconic Marina Bay Sands or waking up to the sight of the towering Supertrees of Gardens by the Bay?

How Asian cities can survive – and thrive
Asia’s economic boom has occurred alongside one of the greatest rural-to-urban migrations in human history.  The region is home to 16 of the world’s 28 megacities, with populations in excess of 10 million. Their cumulative population will double by 2030, from their 2010 total, according to the United Nations. And as our cities grow, commute time lengthens and the impact on our environment worsens, leading to a degradation of the quality of city life which we dearly treasure.

Fancy a walk from Punggol to Jurong?
Nature lovers have a new trail to explore, with the launch of the 36km Coast-to-Coast Trail yesterday.  The trail, which links Jurong Lake Gardens in the west to Coney Island Park in the north-east, also features parks such as Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Bukit Batok Nature Park in one continuous route.  Also launched yesterday is a park at Rower’s Bay in Lower Seletar Reservoir. This is part of the first phase of works for the 150km Round Island Route, slated to be completed by 2035.

Bukit Gombak to get new park with walking trail next year
A park the size of seven football fields will open in Bukit Gombak early next year.  Located opposite Bukit Batok Driving Centre in Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, the Bukit Gombak Park will feature a 400m walking trail modelled after that in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.  A total of 2,000 trees from more than 16 species will be planted, including critically endangered varieties such as the yellow flame and kula gardenia.

URA plan to retain Farrer Park’s sports heritage cheered
Lawyer Nicholas Narayanan became “emotional” when he learnt about the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) draft Master Plan, which was unveiled last Wednesday.  The 46-year-old is part of the “Friends of Farrer Park” group that set up an online petition to retain the area’s sporting heritage, and was pleased to hear that the Government plans to do just that, as part of its redevelopment blueprint.

What termites can teach us about cooling our buildings
In the capital of Zimbabwe, a building called Eastgate Centre holds nearly 350,000 square feet of office space and shops. It uses 90 per cent less energy than a similar sized building next door.  What’s Eastgate Centre’s secret? Termites.  In the 1990s, Mr Mick Pearce, the building’s architect, took his inspiration from mounds built by fungus-farming termites he saw on a nature show. The insects created their own air conditioning systems that circulated hot and cool air between the mound and the outside.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US pending home sales fell by more than expected in Feb

US apartment vacancy rate flat at 4.8% in first quarter: Reis

WeWork faces uphill climb from Europe’s lenders

New York’s Trendiest New Hotels Get Cheaper—and Far More Expensive

No-deal Brexit fears rise as parliament sinks May’s deal

London property slide continues with biggest drop in decade

Elton John joins call for boycott of Brunei-owned hotels

China’s factory rebound heralds improvement in global outlook

China-based firms look to moving supply chain to S-E Asia

China home prices expected to rise as credit conditions improve: poll

Further delay likely for China’s property tax law

New study proposes way forward for Greater Bay Area

Hong Kong home prices rise for second month, up 1.3% in Feb

Japan’s factory output rises, unemployment stays low

Japan business confidence drops in April: BoJ survey

Australian business conditions bounce but confidence sags

Australian Property Slide Spreads on Lending Crackdown, Election

Vietnam’s Q1 GDP growth at 6.79% y-o-y vs 7.45% growth in Q1 last year: govt

Look beyond the hype before booking a vacation rental

Saudi Arabia’s economy expands in Q4 on boost from crude; non-oil growth slows


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

Scroll to Top