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 September 2018

Top Story

Private resale prices post first dip since July’s property curbs
Resale prices of private non-landed homes in Singapore took their first dip last month, breaking a 12-month climb to record highs, with the latest property cooling measures having taken effect in July. Going by flash estimates released on Tuesday on real estate portal SRX Property, resale prices of condominiums and private apartments declined by 0.2 per cent in August from the previous month.


Singapore Economy

Business optimism moderates for Q4
Business sentiment has moderated slightly for the upcoming final quarter of 2018, ending the rising trend of the preceding three quarters, according to the latest quarterly Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau’s (SCCB) Business Optimism Index released on Tuesday.  The overall index eased from +10.58 percentage points for Q3 2018, which was a three-year high, to +9.19 percentage points for Q4 2018. But compared to a year ago, this was up significantly from +2.60 percentage points for Q4 2017.

A$ slide a pain point for Singapore firms with Australian exposure
The Australian dollar’s (AUD) recent dive against the Singapore dollar (SGD) to hover at 0.98 will hurt Singapore firms with exposure to the currency. While analysts do not see a silver lining on the immediate horizon, they expect a rebound back above parity when the ongoing US-China trade war cools.  The currency was trading at a peak of S$1.063 in late January this year but has since lost about 7 per cent. It slipped further below parity recently and has been trading sideways at 0.98. The last time it went under S$1 was back in 2015/2016.

Singapore still the top choice for US investments in Asia
Singapore remains the biggest catchment area for American direct investments in Asia. Some US$15 billion were poured into factories and offices in the city state last year, raising the level of investments from the United States to a book value of US$274.3 billion in Singapore – more than the combined US investments in China (US$107.6 billion) and Japan (129.1 billion), the world’s second and third biggest economy respectively.


Singapore Real Estate

Laguna Park sets $1.48b price tag in 3rd bid to go en bloc
Laguna Park in East Coast is trying its luck at the collective sale lottery for a third time with a reserve price of $1.48 billion, joining a number of mega sites that remain undeterred by the latest round of property cooling measures.  With 58 years left on its 99-year lease, owners of the 528-unit former HUDC estate reached the 80 per cent mandate about two months ahead of a Sept 30 deadline, and are launching its tender sale on Sept 18, collective sale committee chairman Tony Sum said.

4.8ha park to be built in Bukit Gombak
Residents in Bukit Gombak can enjoy a new park by next year-end, with facilities such as a cafe, a community garden and a dog run.  Construction of the 4.8ha Bukit Gombak Park, which is almost the size of seven football fields, is expected to start by the end of the year.  It will be located on an empty field in Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, opposite Bukit Batok Driving Centre. It is about 1.6km away from Little Guilin in Bukit Batok Town Park, and about 3.1km away from Bukit Batok Nature Park.

Singapore’s small construction firms likely to face debt woes
Singapore’s small construction firms are likely to face more difficulties repaying debt as a clampdown on property speculation worsens their already tight liquidity.  The island’s economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter than initially projected as construction plunged.  Singapore increased stamp duties for developers in July, and also tightened borrowing limits for individuals taking up their first housing loan, after property prices jumped this year.


Companies’ Brief

OUE C-Reit to buy Shenton Way offices from sponsor for S$908m
OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (C-Reit) has agreed to buy the office components of the OUE Downtown development from sponsor OUE for S$908 million.  To help pay for the acquisition, OUE C-Reit is proposing to raise S$587.5 million through an underwritten and renounceable rights issue on the basis of 83 new units for every 100 units held at S$0.456 per rights unit.

GIC, GLP set up US$2b fund to acquire logistics facilities in China
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and logistics facilities provider GLP have teamed up to establish a US$2 billion fund that focuses on acquiring income-generating logistics facilities in China.  In a joint statement on Tuesday, the parties agreed that GLP China will act as the fund’s asset manager, as well as contribute seed assets to the fund.

HSR fined S$12,500, banned from dealing in foreign property for six months
Property agency HSR International Realtors has been fined S$12,500, and banned from transacting or marketing foreign properties for six months from Sept 10.  This is for not informing two investors of the risks involved in their purchase of units in a Bangkok condominium project that was later abandoned by the developer.

BuildTech Asia to showcase industry technologies and smart solutions
The latest industry technologies and smart solutions aimed at enhancing digital transformation in the built environment sector will be showcased in late October at the Singapore Expo’s MAX Atria.  Organised by Sphere Exhibits, a subsidiary of BT’s parent Singapore Press Holdings, the eighth edition of building and construction industry trade exhibition BuildTech Asia will be held from Oct 22-24. The exhibition is also supported by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and industry stakeholders.

Big Box Singapore starts liquidation proceedings
Big Box Singapore (BBS), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of TT International Limited, initiated voluntary liquidation proceedings yesterday.  Prior to the commencement of its liquidation, BBS’s principal activities were general retail trade under the warehouse retail scheme (WRS), which included selling of goods on the ground floor of the Big Box building and operating supermarkets in the building.

Sabana Reit chief strategy officer and head of investor relations leaves
Sabana Real Estate Investment Management chief strategy officer and head of investor relations Tay Chiew Sheng has left the Reit (real estate investment trust) manager with effect from Sept 11, after nearly eight years in the role.  The manager of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) announced Mr Tay’s departure to “pursue other interests” in a regulatory filing late on Tuesday night.

Straits Trading to acquire Australian logistics properties for A$40m
Property firm Straits Trading Company on Tuesday said that it plans to subscribe for A$40 million (about S$39.3 million) worth in trust units that would allow it to acquire a portfolio of logistics properties across Australia.   The ILP No 1 Trust, through its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a distribution facility in Port Adelaide, South Australia. It will also be assigned a land sale contract for the acquisition of a freehold redevelopment property located in Kilkenny, South Australia. Straits Trading will be purchasing 80 per cent of the issued units in the trust.



The rate of interest holds the key
Back in November 2002, Ben Bernanke, then a governor of the US Federal Reserve, attended Milton Friedman’s 90th birthday party.  In his writings, the legendary monetarist had pinned the Great Depression on policy failures of the American central bank.

What could happen when the next crisis strikes?
Amid the inflated asset prices, excessive borrowing and threat of the unknown as central banks unwind their crisis-era policies, what impact could these have on the various asset classes?

Before next financial crisis strikes, fix property market’s weak spots
On the upcoming 10th anniversary of the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers on Sept 15, 2008, which deepened the Great Recession, what lessons can we draw that might be relevant for Singapore?

Apple to open second store in Singapore?
Tech giant Apple has put up new job postings for retail staff for a location in the east of Singapore, sparking speculation over the opening of a second Apple store here.  The listings on its website include jobs such as store managers, operations staff and Apple’s Geniuses – tech support staff typically stationed at its retail stores.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Rising US-China trade tensions play into hand of trade hawks

Emerging markets threatened by US-China trade war: Lagarde

Industry must help build Asean digital community

Canadian housing starts decline for a second month in August


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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