The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 11th May 2016

Top Stories

Bringing back Orchard Road buzz
Orchard Road is meant to be Singapore’s premier shopping belt, but you wouldn’t know it if you strolled into many of the malls along the 2.2km stretch these days.  The vacancy rate in malls within the Orchard planning area hit a five-year high in the first quarter at 8.8 per cent . Islandwide, vacancy rates are 7.3 per cent. In contrast, vacancies in malls outside the city area are 6.4 per cent.  To be sure, the retail scene is in trouble nationwide. Retailers’ takings fell 3.2 per cent in February against the same month a year ago. Stripping out motor vehicles, retail sales dropped by a heftier 9.6 per cent.

Developers to get incentives to provide cycling facilities
Developers will be given incentives to provide facilities such as bicycle parking, showers and locker rooms in their new buildings, as part of a new government plan to encourage people to cycle.  They may not have to pay for the floor area occupied by these facilities, as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has said it is prepared to grant gross floor area (GFA) exemptions for such facilities.  A URA spokesman told The Straits Times such exemptions will complement the Walking and Cycling Plan, adding that “the details are still being studied”.  Under the plan announced last week, cycling and walking facilities will be incorporated when buildings are designed from the get-go, starting from July.

Trade associations get S$90m funding boost
OVER the next five years, around S$90 million of government funds will be set aside for trade associations and chambers (TACs) to support their efforts to drive industry transformation in Singapore.  This is a 20 per cent increase from the S$75 million that was carved out for the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme in 2011. The initiative is jointly managed by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Spring Singapore, and is designed to help TACs undertake projects specific to evolving sectoral needs.

Latest MAS easing move ‘appropriate’: IMF
Singapore’s central bank acted fittingly when it eased monetary policy last month, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday.  “The April 14 adjustment by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) of the slope of its exchange rate band represents the latest of a series of moves to ease monetary policy that commenced in January 2015.”

Singapore Real Estate

Resale condo prices, volume up again in April
The latest April data from SRX Property showed that prices and transaction volume of resale private apartments and condos have risen for two consecutive months.  Based on flash estimates for April by SRX Property released on Tuesday, prices in the Central Region increased last month, on a month-on-month as well as year-on-year basis. On the other hand, prices in the suburbs fell over both periods.  SRX Property’s overall resale price index for non-landed private homes in Singapore rose 0.5 per cent in April 2016 over the previous month, based on its flash estimates for last month released on Tuesday.

Job fears, cooling moves will continue to hurt home sales: FCL CEO
Frasers Centrepoint Ltd (FCL) chief executive Lim Ee Seng deems it a “no-brainer” that residential demand will continue to dwindle as buyers become increasingly jittery about job security and property cooling measures remain intact.  His comments followed the dismal showing of the 628-unit Parc Life EC project in Sembawang, which FCL is jointly developing with Keong Hong Holdings. Since its launch during the last weekend of April, some 60 units were sold as of May 8 despite more than 700 e-applications received.

Property market emerging from the doldrums?
Slowly but surely, the property market is emerging from its slumber, with more activity expected in coming months, going by recent data.  Both private apartment and Housing Board flat resale volumes last month were the highest in about three years, according to flash estimates from SRX Property.  Some of the resale transactions included developer sales of completed stock, where price cuts and creative methods of structuring payments have proved successful in selling units.  And in the new sales market, developers have been pricing to sell, although many launches fizzle out after an initial surge in sales.

More Malay families living in rental flats
The proportion of Malay families living in one and two-room rented flats has doubled in the last decade, government figures show.  Last year, there were 14,600 households headed by a Malay living in such flats.  This was 10.9 per cent of all Malay-headed households, up from 4.9 per cent – or 5,779 households – in 2005, according to the latest General Household Survey released in March.  While some may have been renting on the open market, most would be tenants under the Housing Board’s public rental scheme, which is meant to help the needy.

Yishun 10 ground floor podium for sale at $48M
Property firm Bonvests Holdings is selling the ground-floor retail podium at Yishun 10 at an indicative price of $48 million.  The retail segment is part of the four-storey Yishun 10 complex, which comprises a 10-hall cineplex on the upper floors operated by Golden Village.  The move announced on Monday comes after the mainboard-listed company said on Friday that it had found buyers for two other assets.  It is selling a coffee shop at Midpoint Orchard for about $13.67 million and an HDB coffee shop in Tampines Street 81 for $14.55 million.

Fullerton Health to raise S$300m in proposed SGX listing
IN WHAT could be one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) in more than a year, managed healthcare provider Fullerton Health is said to be seeking to raise some S$300 million through a listing on the local bourse.  The group – which owns almost 200 clinics and facilities straddling the Asia-Pacific – is understood to have a pro forma market capitalisation of about S$1.5 billion under the proposed deal, making it the third largest healthcare outfit after IHH Healthcare Bhd and Raffles Medical Group (RMG), market sources told The Business Times.

Companies’ Brief

Frasers Centrepoint Ltd’s Q2 profit hit by fair value losses
FRASERS Centrepoint Limited (FCL) posted a 13.8 per cent decline in net profit for the second quarter ended March 31, 2016, to S$123.3 million, due mainly to its share of fair value losses of joint ventures and associates compared to a fair value gain in the year-ago period.  Group CEO Lim Ee Seng noted that FCL’s growing base of recurring income – which made up 69 per cent of operating profits from 59 per cent a year ago – underpinned its performance amid a tapering of development projects in Singapore and lower development contributions from Australia and China due to the completion schedule.

One Raffles Place boosts OUE C-Reit’s Q1 DPU
Bolstered by its One Raffles Place acquisition, OUE Commercial Reit’s (OUE C-Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016, jumped 33.3 per cent to 1.32 Singapore cents, up from 0.99 cent in the corresponding period a year ago.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Creating a more people-friendly city
Steps towards a car-lite policy for Singapore appear to be gathering pace in urban-planning decisions. From July, developers will have to also consider the “safety, convenience and accessibility” of pedestrians and cyclists when conceptualising spaces. Facilities like bicycle parking, shower rooms and lockers would help make cycling and walking more attractive transport options for those frequenting shopping complexes, office buildings and business parks. The strategy can help to create a more vibrant city by offering transport systems that cater to a wide variety of tastes and needs, while being ecologically responsible. For far too long, cars have been kings of the road and status symbols. The price for this, paid by all, is a disproportionate claim on land and built space in a land-scarce country, not to mention pollution and a wasteful use of energy.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

London campaigners organise tour of houses bought with ‘dirty money’

Abu Dhabi developer Aldar reports rise in Q1 net

Marriott’s bid for Starwood challenged in suit by hotel owners

This $8.6 Million British Manor Will Have You Living Like a Lord

Midtown TGI Friday’s to Become the One57 of Assisted Living

China’s April inflation stable, tempering fears of deflation

China at an inflection point: what’s in it for Asia?

Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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