The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 13th April 2017

Top Story

Singapore’s GDP grows 2.5% in Q1, below market expectations
Singapore’s economy grew 2.5 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2017, coming below market expectations.  The latest reading showed an easing from the 2.9 per cent growth in the previous quarter, based on advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday.  Quarter-on quarter, the economy contracted a seasonally-adjusted 1.9 per cent, reversing the strong rebound of 12.3 per cent seen in the preceding quarter.

Real estate sentiment improves in Q1 2017
Developers’ sentiment for the overall real estate market appears to have improved since the last quarter of 2016, although rising inflation and interest rates are flagged as the biggest risks.  They also regard the introduction of the Additional Conveyance Duties (ACD) to have more negative impact for the industry, especially for developers.   This is according to the latest quarterly survey by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) and the Department of Real Estate at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Singapore Economy

Singapore, Shanghai deepen ties amid fresh commitments by banks
Financial institutions from both Singapore and Shanghai signed several agreements on Wednesday amid efforts to enhance capital markets, boost ties between banks and corporates, and raise collaborations with financial technology (fintech) firms.  Singapore has also attracted Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank) to establish its first overseas branch in Singapore, which was officially launched on Wednesday.

US$800b in funding eludes emerging market projects: report
Emerging economies are missing out on an annual US$800 billion in funding to corporations and infrastructure projects as a result of shallow capital markets in these countries, a McKinsey report said on Wednesday.  Emerging capital markets face challenges in the availability, diversity and pricing of capital, it said; it noted that this is true of mid-sized companies and infrastructure projects that are crowded out by larger issuers and governments.

Retail down 2.5% in Feb, with F&B worst hit
Retail sales reversed course in February after a modest rise in January, with patchy performances across segments.  Takings fell 2.5 per cent in February over the same month a year earlier, according to Department of Statistics data out yesterday. This compares with economists’ expectations of a 1.9 per cent rise.

Corruption cases in Singapore fall to record low in 2016
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has said that the number of cases registered for its investigation hit the lowest last year.  CPIB said that it received 808 complaints in 2016, down from 877 in 2015. Of these, 118 cases or 14.6 per cent were registered for investigation – the lowest in 32 years.

Governance is top issue for S’pore data professionals: survey
Of the risk, compliance and data specialists across three cities, those in Singapore appear the most sold on data governance being vitally important in the enterprise data management world.  They were among 200 professionals of this field, including their counterparts from Hong Kong and Sydney, polled recently by Bloomberg; the financial software, data and media company had hosted them at the recent Enterprise Solutions (ES17) Summits held in the three cities.

Civil works for Circle Line Extension to start in first quarter of 2018
Advanced preparatory works for a project to join the MRT Circle Line from Harbourfront to Marina Bay stations have begun.  In response to press queries a week ago, the Land Transport Authority said on Tuesday (April 11) that tenders for civil works are expected to be awarded by end of this year, and construction will begin first-quarter 2018.

Singapore Real Estate

S-Reits offer sustainable income: Schroders
Investors seeking a sustainable income source should consider Singapore real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) as part of their investment portfolio, Schroders suggested on Wednesday.  Schroders said Reits had been a popular way for investors to invest in property while at the same time receiving an income. However, they have lost favour amid concerns over rising US interest rates. This was because as bond yields rise, the yield difference between a “safer” bond and a more “risky” income stock narrows, making the latter less attractive.

HDB flats are still nest eggs for retirement needs: Lawrence Wong
Leasehold properties are still a good store of asset value, so long as you plan ahead and make prudent housing decisions, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a Facebook post.  This is a follow-up to his cautionary note on March 24 on the high prices of older Housing Board flats on the resale market, which generated discussions and debate over the 99-year lease, he said.

Eunosville latest ex-HUDC estate to be put up for collective sale
Owners of 330-unit Eunosville have put up their former HUDC (Housing and Urban Development Company) estate for sale – the third residential development to be launched en bloc this year.  Based on its asking price of S$643 million-S$653 million, Eunosville stands to be the largest former HUDC estate to be collectively sold in a decade after Farrer Court was sold for a record S$1.34 billion in 2007 to CapitaLand.

HDB rental slide in March outpaces that for private condos
Rents of HDB flats eased at a bigger pace year on year (y-o-y) in March 2017 compared with rents of non-landed private homes, according to latest flash estimates from SRX Property.  On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, rents for both categories fell.

AHTC broke town council rules: MND
Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) did not comply with the Town Councils Act and Town Councils Financial Rules on several counts in the 2015 financial year, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said yesterday.  Three issues were flagged by AHTC’s external auditor of its annual financial statements ending March 2016, it noted.

Companies’ Brief

Oxley to issue 6.5% USD-denominated bonds
Oxley Holdings is looking to issue a four-year USD-denominated senior unsecured bond, with an initial yield at 6.5 per cent, according to It is not yet known how much in proceeds it will raise.  The content aggregation portal for bond investors said the indicative yield represents a spread of 482 basis points (bps) over four-year US risk-free bonds, or 467 bps over four-year mid-swaps.

Centurion issues S$65m notes due 2020 with 5.25% coupon
Centurion Corporation on Wednesday issued S$65 million worth of bonds due 2020. These will be listed on Singapore Exchange on Thursday, the group said.  The notes, which will provide a coupon of 5.25 per cent, will be quoted and traded in Singapore dollars. They will be in denominations of S$250,000 and traded in a minimum board lot size of S$250,000.

Ascendas India Trust plans to acquire warehouses near Mumbai for up to S$116m
Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has signed a term sheet with Arshiya Limited for the proposed acquisition of operating warehouses totalling 832,000 sq ft near Mumbai, India, for up to a total of S$116 million.  The consideration for the proposed acquisition of the warehouses at the Arshiya Free Trade Warehousing Zone located at Panvel, near Mumbai, indicatively comprises the upfront payment of S$94.3 million and an additional deferred consideration of up to S$21.7 million to be paid over the next four years, linked to certain performance milestones.

Soilbuild Reit Q1 DPU falls 4.4%
Soilbuild Business Space Reit reported a 4.4 per cent drop in distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.489 Singapore cents in the first quarter to March, from 1.557 Singapore cents a year ago.  Gross revenue came in 9.2 per cent higher at some S$22 million mainly due to higher revenue from Bukit Batok Connection amounting to S$2.0 million.

Tuan Sing buys land for S$47.8m at Jalan Remaja
Tuan Sing Holdings’ wholly-owned Episcia Land exercised an option on Wednesday to purchase a piece of vacant land at 1 Jalan Remaja, Singapore, for S$47.8 million from Andermatt Investments Pte Ltd.  The freehold site, zoned residential, has a land area of some 4,046.6 sq m. At a plot ratio of 1.92, subject to Episcia’s payment of development charge, the site can potentially yield about 100 residential units taking into account the permissible gross floor area of 7,769.5 sq m (83,630 sq ft), said Tuan Sing in a statement.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Acquiring Asia Square Tower 2 makes sense for CapitaLand Group|
Property giant CapitaLand has been in exclusive due diligence with a view to buying Asia Square Tower 2 in Marina View from a BlackRock-managed fund. Word has it that the pricing is around S$2,800 per square foot (psf) on the net lettable area of about 780,000 sq ft.

Various initiatives explored to future-proof Tuas port
We thank Ms Wee Kwee Keng, Ms Lynne Tan Sok Hiang and Mr Toh Cheng Seong for their feedback on the development of our Tuas port (Tuas port’s focus should be on port-related work; April 5, Ports are dangerous places for public; April 7 and Plans for Tuas port in keeping with status as global port city; April 10).

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

New York affordable housing programme gets tax break boost

US housing demand seen holding up despite rising rates

Trump sends US dollar sliding after saying it’s ‘too strong’

Los Angeles poised for a makeover with US$1.2b bond

Airbnb signs dozens more tax agreements in the US, France

LSE turning to Middle East for IPO revival after Brexit vote

UK looks to EU-S’pore FTA for ways to ensure trade continuity

UK households feel the pinch as real earnings almost stagnate

Beijing clamps down on property websites

12 Chinese cities restrict home sales by owners to fight speculation

China’s central bank quietly increases its power in battle to curb risks

Hong Kong aims to turn airport into destination centre

Hong Kong plugs property tax loophole amid home-buying spree

Abu Dhabi’s property market under pressure from sluggish economy

Aussie govt urged to rein in runaway home prices

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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