The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 12th July 2016

Singapore Economy

New CBD in Jurong to offer flexible spaces for future economy
Singapore’s second central business (CBD) district, the Jurong Lake District (JLD), will feature adaptable spaces for the future economy, given that business cycles will be shorter, and that businesses will have to adopt rapidly emerging technologies and more flexible business models.  CBRE’s managing director of industrial and logistics for Asia, Dennis Yeo, welcomed the announcement by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday about the approach taken in the master planning of the JLD.

Brexit likely to dampen global growth: Tharman
There are many uncertainties as a result of Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU), and these will weigh on the UK, Europe and the global economy for a few years and are likely to dampen growth.  This was Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s take on “Brexit”, when asked by two members of parliament on Monday about the possible impact it will have on Singapore’s economy.  “We can expect repeated bouts of volatility in financial markets as Brexit is debated and negotiated. But what is of greater concern are the economic and political uncertainties resulting from Brexit,” he told the House.

MAS can make grants to IMF with House’s approval
Parliament passed amendments to the Bretton Woods Agreements Act on Monday to allow the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to participate in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).  Singapore’s central bank can do so through a US$20 million grant paid from Singapore’s share of the IMF’s gold sales profit. The grant is subject to parliament’s approval, and all future grants to the IMF will first need to get the go-ahead from the House.

Singapore Real Estate

HDB inks pact to explore materials that cut noise
One potential problem of living in a crowded city is having noisy neighbours, and now the Housing Board is taking a fresh approach towards addressing this issue.  The HDB will work with 3M Singapore to study suitable materials for walls, floors and windows that can absorb, reflect or reduce the transmission of noise within flats.  “My neighbours can be a bit noisy sometimes, knocking tables and playing computer games. I think this will be a good thing,” said Madam Lai Mooi Lan, a 60-year-old retiree.  The agreement was one of three with industry players, signed at the World Cities Summit yesterday, in an effort to tap the knowledge and experience of the private sector to improve the planning and design of HDB estates.

Surbana Jurong launches ‘Smart City in a Box’
From the monitoring of city traffic conditions, security, energy efficiency to predicting lift breakdowns, mayors and city officials are finally able to do so through one integrated solutions platform.  Surbana Jurong said on Monday that it has come up with a platform dubbed “Smart City in a Box”, which gels various smart city solutions together. This open platform allows customisable applications (Apps) to be loaded on a dashboard for city officials to monitor cities, collate and analyse data, and in so doing, deploy solutions to specific problems in a timely manner.

Asia Square Tower 1 sets Asia-Pac record
Singapore’s Asia Square Tower 1 has set the record of being the largest single-asset and office transaction in the Asia-Pacific region with a sale value of US$2.45 billion, according to real estate consultancy JLL.  The 43-storey retail and office building was sold earlier this month by global investment management firm, BlackRock, to Qatar Investment Authority’s sovereign wealth fund.  According to figures released by JLL, the sale of the property exceeded the previous largest single-asset transaction. Festival Walk, a retail and leisure complex in Hong Kong, was sold to Singapore’s Mapletree Investment for US$2.41 billion in 2011.

Tee Land unit buys Geylang site for S$20 million
Property developer Tee Land announced that Development 35, a unit which it owns 51 per cent of, completed the acquisition of a property at 20 Lorong 35 in Geylang on Monday (July 11).  The site was bought for S$20 million and has an area of about 1,115 sq m.  Development 35 plans to build a block of residential flats and this is subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

Companies’ Brief

Chiwayland making foray into US property market
Chiwayland International is taking its first step into the US property market with a half-stake in a joint venture to develop a US$69 million residential and hotel project in Los Angeles.  The China and Australia-focused company said that it plans to convene an extraordinary general meeting in August to seek shareholders’ approval for expansion into North America, Western Europe and Asia. The company said that it has “earmarked” revenue contribution from overseas projects to be at least 50 per cent within the next five years.

SGX S-Reits outperform benchmark MSCI World Reit Index
The SGX S-Reit (real estate investment trust) Index of Singapore Exchange-listed Reits has significantly outperformed the benchmark MSCI World Reit Index, an SGX My Gateway report said yesterday.  The index generated a total return of 12.2 per cent from Jan 1 to July 8, while the MSCI World Reit Index generated a total return of 7.6 per cent in Singapore dollar terms over the same period.  The report said Singapore’s Reit sector comprises 31 Reits and six stapled trusts, which refer to those such as hospitality trusts.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Playing it safe with escalators
When matters of lift safety and maintenance arise, they generate a flurry of debate, Forum letters and even parliamentary questions.  In contrast, there seemed to be little response to last Friday’s announcement of stricter rules for the 6,000 or so escalators in Singapore. From Nov 1, escalator owners must engage registered escalator contractors to conduct monthly maintenance.  Escalators must also be examined, inspected and tested annually by an independent authorised examiner and then certified. And under a new system to be introduced in phases, escalator owners must use the above certification to apply for a permit to operate. Some might question whether all these measures are necessary and whether they might impose a burden on building owners.

MOM concerned with “deteriorating” workplace safety situation: Lim Swee Say
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is concerned with the deteriorating Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) situation, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, noting that in the first half of 2016, there have already been 42 fatalities – 12 more compared to the same period last year.  Mr Lim added that the construction sector remains the top contributor with 18 fatalities – an 80 per cent increase from last year, which saw 10 fatalities in the sector.  The Manpower Minister made his comments on Monday (Jul 11) in a written reply to a question by Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef in Parliament. She asked what the root causes of the recent cases of workplace injuries and death were, and whether there were strategic and targeted interventions planned.

Do more to protect against rogue contractors
I refer to the letter “Changes to consumer law will also better protect against errant contractors” (July 1). It is good that the Government is looking closely into this currently loosely-regulated industry.  However, owing to the various modus operandi and legal loopholes these rogue contractors can undertake and exploit, we need a more holistic and judicious framework to protect consumers better.  Besides the measures the Ministry of Trade and Industry has laid out, I have some suggestions. First, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) or any other relevant government body should undertake an expanded regulatory, investigative and enforcement role.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

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Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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