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 2018

Singapore Economy

Severe trade war could lop 0.3 percentage point off Singapore’s growth
A severe trade war between the United States and China could shave 0.3 percentage points off Singapore’s GDP growth for 2018, OCBC economists said on Wednesday.  They are considering two possible scenarios: a mild trade war with US tariffs on US$50 billion of imports, and a more severe one with tariffs on US$250 billion worth of goods.

Chan Chun Sing in EU to boost trade ties
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday met Member of the European Parliament David Martin in Brussels, to discuss developments in global trade policy and the economic benefits of the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Earlier in the day, Mr Chan also met with Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schrambock. Mr Chan leaves Brussels today for Paris.

Singapore ranks 5th in Global Innovation Index
Singapore is the most innovative country in the world outside Europe, according to this year’s Global Innovation Index.  The Republic moved up two spots to place fifth among 126 countries and also retained its spot as first in class in Asia.

Singapore slips a notch to 21st in global ranking of soft power
Singapore: An annual ranking released on Thursday (Jul 12) has put Singapore in 21st position among 30 countries in terms of soft power, down one spot from last year.  The “Soft Power 30” index, first launched in 2015, measures a country’s soft power via objective data on six categories, such as government and culture, and international polling on seven other indicators. It was produced by communications consultancy Portland in partnership with the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy.

Singapore stock pullback offers buys, but no clarity on H2 outlook
THE storm of uncertainties, ranging from US-China trade tariffs to the recent tumbles in the local equity market, have made it more difficult to predict the outlook for local equities, but analysts are mixed on what the second half could bring.  At the start of the year, many were predicting that the Straits Times Index (STI) would hit nearly 3,600 by the end of 2018, following a bull run at the end of last year, when the index jumped 18 per cent to close at 3,402.92 points.

Singapore Real Estate

June condo, HDB rents fall as volumes drop
Rentals for private condos and apartments in Singapore fell 0.2 per cent, while HDB rents fell 0.8 per cent in June from the previous month, with volumes continuing to decline as well, according to flash estimates released by real estate portal SRX Property on Wednesday.  Year-on-year, rents from non-landed private rentals decreased 0.3 per cent, and the June showing was 19.3 per cent lower compared to its peak in January 2013.

Smaller plots still in en bloc game
Property owners sitting on smallish plots of land are still hopeful of pulling off en bloc deals despite recent cooling measures, which are seen to hit large residential sites hardest.  Owners at the freehold, 12-unit development Casa Sophia are putting up their Mount Sophia homes for a reserve price of S$36 million.

No rush to change laws on Airbnb: Lawrence Wong
New laws allowing for Airbnb-style stays are unlikely to come any time soon.  The reasons include the “mixed views” given in a recently-concluded public consultation and the global trend showing that such short-term stays raise rents and home prices, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in Parliament yesterday.

Companies’ Brief

Oxley deputy CEO buys 2.5 million shares
Oxley Holdings executive director and deputy chief executive officer Eric Low See Ching has purchased a total of 2.5 million company shares on the open market for a total of S$872,803, according to company announcements on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday, a purchase was made for 1,974,700 of the property developer’s shares at S$0.35246 per share. It was followed by another purchase of 500,000 shares at S$0.3536 on Wednesday.

As Q3 earnings jump 64%, SPH plans new growth thrusts
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is looking at overseas opportunities to expand its real estate asset management and aged care businesses, as well as sharpening its digital capabilities even as the decline in its core media business shows signs of slowing down.

First Sponsor unit inks supplemental agreement over Chengdu project payment
A unit of mainboard-listed First Sponsor, Chengdu Gaeronic Real Estate Co, has inked a supplemental agreement with Minyoun Industrial Group related to the proposed disposal of certain parts of Chengdu Cityspring, a mixed-used residential and commercial project.  Under the supplemental agreement, Minyoun Industrial will pay an amended first instalment of 116.5 million yuan (S$23.79 million) comprising of 50 million yuan – which was paid on July 11 – and around 66.5 million yuan to be paid before July 18, 2018.

Koufu prices IPO at S$0.63 a share
Food court operator Koufu has priced its initial public offering (IPO) at S$0.63 a share, ahead of a listing on the Singapore Exchange mainboard.  The IPO will raise net proceeds of S$70.5 million, through the sale of 51.2 million new shares and 45.8 million shares currently owned by Koufu founder Pang Lim and his wife.


Property curbs make leap harder for first-time buyers, upgraders
The latest round of property curbs has come as a surprise to buyers as well as developers, who have greeted the new rules with unhappiness.  Developers, in particular, have been hit with a higher Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) – 25 per cent instead of 15 per cent – and an extra ABSD of 5 per cent that cannot be waived, even if they sell all their units in time.

ABSD hike: Pre-emptive but prudent
After repeated warnings of market exuberance, the Government finally announced a new set of property cooling measures which took effect on July 6. The measures included a hike of five percentage points in Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for individuals and 10 percentage points for entities; a new 5 per cent non-remittable ABSD on purchases by developers of residential properties for development, as well as a lowering of loan-to-valuation limits.

Call to ease housing rule for divorcees sharing care of kids
Divorced parents who share care and control of their children should each be allowed to list them as essential occupiers – a necessary step for them to be considered an eligible family unit for a subsidised Housing Board flat.  This suggestion was made by three MPs who, in a spirited discussion, sought help for a small group of divorcees caught in a bind.

Cooling Singapore project comes up with new ways to beat the heat
People in Singapore have been feeling the heat since long before climate change dominated discussions on rising temperatures around the world.  The reason? The urban heat island effect – a phenomenon where buildings, roads and vehicles release heat into the environment, especially at night. Studies show this has caused temperature differences of up to 7 deg C between urban and less built-up areas of Singapore.

Smarter cities for a smarter world
Traffic congestion, air and noise pollution, or overcrowded public transport. These are just a few of the growing pains of a rapidly urbanising Asia, a region which is expected to be home to 64 per cent of the world’s urban population by 2050.

Urban farming social enterprise bears fruit for local community
Becoming a farmer in Singapore sounds risky enough, but former digital marketer Bjorn Low decided to take it a step further by starting his own urban farming social enterprise, Edible Garden City.  Established in 2012, the company aims to bring people together through farming, by building community farms and sharing its knowledge on urban farming.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China says it won’t back down in a trade war started by Trump

US threat of more tariffs on China hits yuan  

France warns against rushing into tariff cut to defuse tensions

Services, motor vehicles lift producer prices in June

Hot Rents in Hot Shale Basin

Convene raises US$152m to fuel expansion

London House Prices Extend Decline as Demand for Property Wanes

UK builder expects pre-tax gain to rise 9% amid slowdown

New Malaysia central bank chief strikes neutral tone on rate

BlackRock Is Preparing to Open a Sales Office in Argentina

Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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