The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29th, 30th September and 1st October 2018

Top Story

Private home sales hit by July 6 measures
The latest round of property cooling measures and the cumulative effect of three other rounds implemented since 2011 to rein in a buoyant market appear to have slowed growth in private home prices and sales, a study by OrangeTee & Tie Research found. While prices continued to rise in the aftermath of three previous rounds, they fell by 0.1 per cent from $1,513 per sq ft to $1,511 psf after the July 6 measures.

Singapore Economy

Wong Kim Yin to helm SkillsFuture Singapore
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will welcome a new chairman, Mr Wong Kim Yin, on Oct 1. Mr Wong, who is group chief executive officer of Singapore Power, will take over from incumbent chairman Tan Pheng Hock. Mr Tan will retire from the board on Sunday, the agency in a statement on Friday.

Rules-based multilateral system ‘crucial’ for survival of small countries like Singapore: Vivian Balakrishnan
Amid global uncertainty, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan highlighted the importance of the multilateral system and defended the need to uphold it, as he addressed the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday (Sep 30).

Singapore Real Estate

Private home price index gain slows to 0.5% q-o-q in Q3: URA flash estimate
The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) widely-watched private residential property price index rose 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 over the preceding quarter, based on a flash estimate released by the authority on Monday morning.

GCB deals hit S$220m in third quarter
Transaction volumes of bungalows in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas have held up in the third quarter against the latest property cooling measures which took effect on July 6. Based on an analysis by List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR) of URA Realis caveats data as of last Friday, there were 11 transactions in GCB Areas, totalling S$220 million in Q3 2018 – up from the eight deals amounting to S$169.1 million in Q2 and also ahead of the seven deals worth S$123.1 million in Q3 of last year.

Busy weekend for condo hunters with new launches
It was a busy weekend for property hunters, with several condominium launches taking place at the same time. Among them were 99-year leasehold condominiums The Jovell located at Flora Drive and Mayfair Gardens at Rifle Range Road. At The Jovell, about 40 units were snapped up, out of the 250 units launched.

In a quieter property market, small is no longer beautiful
Smaller property agencies could suffer collateral damage as the latest cooling measures work their way through the private housing market. Already, ERA Realty, one of the leading agencies, has struck “strategic collaborations” with two agencies – both in a week.

Industrial sites find favour in auction market
Following cooling measures for the private housing segment in July, investors seem to have turned their attention to other asset classes, going by recent action in the auction market. In the third quarter, auctioneers in Singapore hammered down nine properties – four industrial and five residential units – worth S$10.44 million. This sum was 77.1 per cent lower than in the corresponding quarter last year and also 47.4 per cent lower than in the preceding quarter.

Revamped Funan mall to open by June 2019, months ahead of schedule
The revamped Funan mall and office complex will open months ahead of schedule by the second quarter of next year and use facial recognition technology to offer shoppers recommendations. The launch of its co-living serviced residence component lyf, managed by The Ascott, will meanwhile be brought forward from 2020 to the fourth quarter of next year.

Completed condominium prices rise 0.5% in August
Prices of completed non-landed private homes in Singapore reversed course to climb in August, rising 0.5 per cent month-on-month, after dipping in July. This is according to the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) flash estimates for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) released on Friday. In July, prices declined 0.3 per cent, less than the 0.5 per cent drop earlier estimated.

Real estate is next on tech’s agenda
Opendoor, a startup that flips homes, attracted attention in June when it announced it had raised US$325 million from a long list of venture capitalists. The financing valued the four-year-old company at more than US$2 billion.


Ivory Heights fails in bid to go en bloc
Ivory Heights, a 654-unit privatised HUDC estate in Jurong East, has failed to secure the requisite 80 per cent approval rate by yesterday’s deadline, making it the first mega site to fail to get the mandate to launch a public tender, analysts say.

HDB resale prices down slightly in Q3, continuing declining trend
Prices of resale flats for the third quarter fell 0.2 per cent, continuing a declining trend, according to flash estimates released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Monday (Oct 1). The resale price index – which provides information on the general price movements in the resale public housing market – is estimated to have slid to 131.5 from 131.7.

Housing agents turning to videos to make their pitch
A trio of women sip from dainty cups on a plush sofa while a chandelier hangs overhead. Lush greenery can be seen outside the window. This scene is not of an afternoon tea session with ladies of leisure at a Victorian-style mansion, but one from a video advertisement for a four-room HDB flat in Yishun.

Companies’ Brief

Keppel in joint venture for first commercial project in India; to buy land for 4.05b rupees
Keppel Corporation’s property arm Keppel Land has entered into a joint venture with Indian property developer Puravankara Limited to buy a 3.09 hectare site in Bangalore and develop Keppel’s first commercial development in India, the group announced on Monday morning.

New chiefs for Keppel Land, Keppel Reit Management from Jan 1
Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Reit Management, will be appointed CEO of Keppel Land from Jan 1 next year, while Paul Tham, the deputy CEO of Keppel Reit Management, will assume Mr Tan’s role as chief of Keppel Reit management.

Keppel Land to raise shareholding in Nam Long Investment Corporation
Keppel Land (Keppel Land), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ibeworth, has entered into an agreement with third party investors to divest 51 per cent of its  500 billion Vietnamese dong (about S$29.4 million) convertible bonds issued by housing developer Nam Long Investment Corporation (NLG) for 393 billion dong.

CDL exec lauded for green efforts
City Developments (CDL) chief sustainability officer Esther An has been named one of the 2018 UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Pioneers for Green Infrastructure and a Low-Carbon Economy. She is the first person from Singapore and one of the first two South-east Asian women to receive this recognition.

Thomson Medical sells hospitality unit to tycoon Gordon Tang’s vehicle for $3.4m
Thomson Medical Group has sold a hospitality unit to the private vehicle of property tycoon Gordon Tang for $3.38 million in cash as part of its divestment strategy to focus on its healthcare business, according to a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Friday (Sept 28) during the midday trading break.

Certis’ Aussie buy aims to conquer security market down under
Less than half a year after his family business was snapped up, Thomas “Tom” Roche holds what he calls “ambitious growth targets” for Australian security services firm SNP Security. These goals include leapfrogging the competition, to go from third-largest player to market leader in five to seven years, and snagging contracts for a 50 per cent to 60 per cent share of the aviation security market, a historical business niche for SNP.

M&C group CEO leaves post just three months into the job
Hotel veteran Jennifer Fox left her roles as group chief executive and director of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) on Thursday, the London-listed firm announced the next day. She was named to the post of CEO in April and joined on June 19. M&C said her exit was mutually agreed upon with the board of directors.

OCBC debt market efforts in China’s Greater Bay area bearing fruit
OCBC Bank’s capital market efforts in China’s Greater Bay (GBA) area are bearing fruit. Year to date, the bank has been involved in 10 GBA international bond transactions worth US$8.4 billion. The 10 bonds were made up of eight USD transactions totalling US$8.18 billion and two SGD transactions worth S$300 million. One notable deal last month was the green bond for China General Nuclear Power Corporation, a state-owned enterprise headquartered in Shenzhen.

Singapore market cap up slightly in September
The value of the Singapore bourse edged up slightly in September from the previous month, rising by S$5.7 billion or 0.6 per cent. The total market capitalisation of the 736 companies on the Singapore Exchange clocked in at S$931.9 billion, up from the S$926.2 billion in August.

Asian markets end week on positive note
Asian markets closed out the week – and this month’s last trading day – on a positive note following a strong showing on Wall Street. American tech giants like Apple and Amazon lifted markets, as did the Federal Reserve’s rate hike in the face of a robust United States economy.


Global banks in Singapore ride regional growth, BRI moves
As Asean infrastructure and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects take off, experienced bankers are in demand as Singapore-based global banks move to seize the opportunities. A recent report by recruitment consultant Hays Singapore said corporate and institutional banking is flourishing in Singapore as banks play a crucial role in financing BRI projects and heady growth in the region.

Bank lending recovers to post gains in August
Bank lending in Singapore crept higher in August from a month ago after July saw the first decline since January, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Friday.

When data replaces cash
As Singapore pushes ahead with becoming an e-payments society, what risks or pitfalls should we be mindful of?

Commentary: Expats, foreign talent and immigration make Singapore economically better off
For many years, and probably more commonly expressed since the Population White Paper with its projected population of up to 6.9 million by 2030 was released in 2013, many Singaporeans have been vocal, especially online, in voicing their objection to the inflow of foreign talent and immigration.

From the occult to a derelict pool: 12 things about Golden Mile Complex you didn’t know
As kids, Ritz Ang and his friends used to freely roam the long, open corridors of Golden Mile Complex, playing police-and-thief or hide-and-seek in the many nooks and crannies. But there’s one particular corner on the fifth floor – purportedly haunted – that is deemed off-limits even now. The fourth to the ninth floors are where the offices are, occupied by the likes of small accounting, law, shipping, architecture and secretarial firms.

Commentary: The golden age of the small state is almost over
In his motorised dash through Singapore this month, the triumphant Lewis Hamilton made short work of land that did not exist when he was born. The island state won it from the sea as part of its restless bid for space. The Grand Prix circuit embodies a technical miracle — and a small nation’s quest to be less small.

Capitalism, politics and despair: Banyan Tree’s Ho Kwon Ping goes On the Record
Ho Kwon Ping has an almost sage-like quality about him and while his pronouncements on business people’s role in solving problems such as income inequality often make the headlines and seem to resonate with the public, I wonder how far he actually walks the talk. But first, knowing what shapes his thinking is vital.

Improved flood prevention measures around Orchard Road from this month
Two new flood protection measures to help divert stormwater and reduce flood risks around Orchard Road will go into operation this month, national water agency PUB announced on Friday (Sept 28). The completion of the Stamford Detention Tank (SDT), which began construction in 2013, will allow for the temporary storage of up to 38,000m3 – or 15 Olympic sized swimming pools – of stormwater from the drains on Holland Road during heavy rainfall.

What are China’s growth prospects in an all-out trade war?
The US announced on Sept 17 new tariffs on US$200 billion of imports from China, starting with an initial rate of 10 per cent on Sept 24 and rising to 25 per cent in January 2019. The move came two months after the implementation of the 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion of imports from China. President Donald Trump also threatened to impose more tariffs on another US$267 billion of Chinese exports to the US if Beijing retaliates. That would put all Chinese exports to the US under punitive tariffs.

Fintech is growing, and continues to evolve
The industry has expanded since 2010 with global investments increasing 800% to a peak of US$26b in 2015.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Dim prospects for Macau ahead of China’s Golden Week

South Korea’s factory activity rebounds, fastest growth in 5-1/2 years

Doomsayers begin to see cracks in a healthy world economy

China’s total tax cut to exceed 1.3 trillion yuan this year, above target

May plans to hike UK property tax for foreign buyers

Hong Kong home prices fall for first time in 29 months

Study: Hong Kong most at risk of property bubble

The world’s biggest real-estate bubbles

Most expensive home Down Under sold for $99 million

AIG Is Seeking More Than $200 Million for Manhattan Hotel

Miami’s First Waldorf Set to Rise 1,000 Feet Over Biscayne Bay

Rising Rates No Problem for Philippine Property-Stock Traders

British Columbia Cracks Down on Dirty Money in Real Estate

Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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