The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 13 April 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Million dollars for a coveted HDB unit not an aberration
A million dollars and more for a HDB flat? That’s what 53 such flats each commanded in the first three months of this year. And this may not be an aberration. Million-dollar transactions of HDB resale flats could become more prevalent if resale prices grow in line with household income, say at 2 per cent annually. First, to be clear, such transactions are a small minority.

Higher prices, Covid-hit household income lower relative affordability of HDB resale flats in 2020
Households in Singapore might need to save up more or take a slightly bigger mortgage to buy a Housing Board (HDB) resale flat, based on median incomes and prices in 2020. Overall median prices of HDB resale flats transacted last year were about 3.9 times a household’s median yearly earnings. This is a tad higher than 3.5 times in 2019, based on The Business Times’ (BT) analysis of data from SRX, OrangeTee & Tie and the Department of Statistics (DOS).

Late payment charges on HDB mortgage, public rental payments further suspended
[SingaporeE] Homeowners and public rental tenants who are unable to pay their Housing Board mortgage and rental payments in time will have their late payment charges suspended for a further six months till Sept 30 this year. In a Facebook post on Monday (April 12), Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim announced the extended suspension of late payment charges on both HDB mortgage and public rental arrears, in a targeted move to help households that have financial difficulties.

Sinarmas, Mitsubishi, Surbana Jurong to develop a transit-oriented development in Greater Jakarta
Mitbana, a joint-venture company of Mitsubishi and Surbana Jurong, together with Sinarmas Land through its subsidiary Bumi Serpong Damai, on Monday announced that they will be jointly developing the first interconnected multi-modal transport complex in Greater Jakarta. Spanning about six hectares in the Intermoda district of Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) City, the new transit-oriented development (TOD) will offer access to multiple public transportation options, including road, rail, and park-and-ride facilities.



Singapore Economy

Promising economic data in Q1 boosts business confidence of a recovery
Dark clouds seem to be receding, as Singapore’s economic performance in Q1 shows encouraging clues of a nascent recovery from its worst recession on record. Beyond economic data, business confidence levels appear to be rising, with surveys reflecting the highest level of optimism the Republic has seen since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Companies should look global to seize growth opportunities: Chan Chun Sing
Companies should take a global perspective from the beginning and look beyond the domestic market to fuel growth, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at a visit to Ascent Solutions on Monday. “While they are serving markets across the world, the proprietary technology, the control of the IP (intellectual property) is in Singapore,” he said, noting the importance of innovative technologies and a keen sense for opportunities.

Sanofi plans to invest 400m euros to manufacture vaccines in Singapore
Global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi plans to invest 400 million euros (S$639 million) over five years to create a new vaccine production site in Singapore. The facility will provide Sanofi with the ability to produce innovative vaccines on a massive scale for Asia, and quickly respond to future pandemic risks, according to the company’s press statement on Monday. In partnership with Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), the facility will use cutting-edge manufacturing and digital technologies, and create up to 200 local jobs, while enhancing Singapore’s position as a regional innovation hub for the healthcare industry.

S’pore companies should get ready for post-pandemic supply chains
Singapore – A broad overhaul of global supply chains is gradually picking up pace, with the focus now shifting from cutting costs to building resilience against unforeseen shocks like the coronavirus pandemic. Companies in Singapore that are directly or indirectly involved in the supply chains of large corporations should start to invest now in building resilience in their own supply channels to be compatible with the changes.



Companies’ Brief

LHN inks S$16.8m sale and purchase agreements for eight Beach Road flats
LHN Limited on Monday signed the binding sale and purchase agreements to acquire eight flats in Beach Road for a total of S$16.8 million. Half of the units have an area of 128 square metres (sq m), while the other four are 125 sq m. All of the units are located at 75 Beach Road. The purchases were made through LHN’s indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries HQ and Coliwoo. They each paid a S$420,000 deposit for their respective S$8.4 million purchases. The remaining amounts will be paid by the group’s internal funds and bank borrowings.

Caring, fun culture helps S’pore firm build cohesive team
The building industry may be seen as a tough, traditional working environment.  But Sunray Woodcraft Construction has overcome that with a caring and fun culture.  About two-thirds of its more than 1,400 Singapore workers are under 40.  The company works with Building and Construction Authority, Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and universities to offer scholarships and attract young talents. 

Will UIC’s 4G leader change more than its name?
United Industrial Corp (UIC) is seeking approval from its shareholders later this month to change its name to Singapore Land Group. In its circular to shareholders, UIC said that “Singapore Land” has a strong historical brand equity within real estate circles. This proposed name change comes on the heels of a change in leadership at UIC. Lim Hock San retired as chief executive officer (CEO) and president of UIC on Sept 30, 2020 after 28 years in both roles.

Eagle Hospitality Reit to dispose of hotel for US$18m
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Eagle Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust (EH-REIT) entered into a sale-and-purchase agreement on April 7 for the sale of one of the 18 hotels in Eagle Hospitality Trust’s (EHT) portfolio, DBS Trustee said on Monday. In an exchange filing, DBS Trustee, in its capacity as trustee of EH-REIT, said that the subsidiary entered into the agreement with Lockwood Development Partners for the sale of Crowne Plaza Dallas Near Galleria-Addison (CPDG) property in Texas for US$18 million.



Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Singapore corporates need to get serious about sustainability
Temasek Holdings chief executive officer (CEO) Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara recently said he sees huge opportunities across sectors such as food, water, waste, energy, materials, clean transportation and urban development in the coming years. Having committed to deliver a net-zero emissions portfolio by 2050, with a mid-term target of 25 per cent reduction in carbon footprint by 2030 – and having achieved carbon neutrality themselves as a company – it seems clear that the investor is serious about sustainability.

Yes to raising GST rate, but later; other alternatives exist
I refer to the article by Danny Quah (“The case for a 9 per cent GST”, The Business Times, April 7) Mr Quah made the case for raising the current Goods and Services Tax rate from 7 per cent to 9 per cent. He said that raising the rate will increase tax revenues; that GST will become the leading generator of tax revenue in Singapore; that the tax increase does not distort the market and would avoid problematic issues surrounding income tax; that GST is inherently neutral to foreign trade; that GST is a relatively easy tax to administer and enforce.

Digital transformation is not just about technology
Over the last decade, we have seen how in the context of a global crisis, the global digital narrative is capable of advancing in leaps and bounds. The Sars outbreak in 2003 was a watershed moment for Chinese Internet retail giants, as millions stayed home during the epidemic, driving businesses and consumers to buy and sell goods online. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, tech companies accelerated what is now the gig and sharing economy.

2,500 on-site attendees expected at upcoming trade show
Singapore’s largest trade show since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic will welcome 2,500 on-site participants and some 5,000 online visitors, paving the way for larger business events to take place, event organiser Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) announced last Thursday. The Architecture & Building Services (ABS) 2021, a hybrid event for the built-environment and related sectors from June 30 to July 2, will be among the first trade shows to exempt fully-vaccinated local attendees from pre-event Covid-19 testing, said Andrew Phua, executive director of exhibitions and conferences at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), at a media conference.

Singapore gears up to tackle shipping backlog from Suez Canal blockage
The port here is preparing to deal with the shipping backlog caused by the Suez Canal blockage last month, with many vessels heading this way. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore chief executive Quah Ley Hoon yesterday said more workers have been roped in to handle the expected increase in traffic, and shipping companies are being updated on the availability of berths so that they can better plan their schedules.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

25 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
[Singapore] There were 25 new coronavirus cases confirmed as at Monday noon, taking Singapore’s total to 60,678. All of the cases were imported and had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were no community cases and no cases from migrant workers’ dormitories. On Sunday, a 23-year-old Indian work permit holder who had received both doses of Covid-19 vaccination was the sole locally-transmitted case reported.

Vaccines thwart disease but may not stop infection: Experts
Covid-19 vaccines protect people from the symptoms and more severe forms of the disease but are not designed to fully prevent them from being infected, experts said yesterday, following the case of a migrant worker who tested positive despite having both doses. They said inoculation was vital because although those who have had the jabs can still catch the virus, they were much less likely to get seriously ill than unvaccinated patients.

Most polled still observing good hand hygiene amid pandemic
It has dragged on for more than a year. But despite the nation’s weariness with the pandemic, Singaporeans at least appear to still be washing their hands properly. Of 53 people surveyed by The Straits Times yesterday, around three-quarters said that they had developed better hygiene habits over the past 12 months. Their main reasons included the impact of public health campaigns and the fear of contracting Covid-19. Almost all the respondents washed their hands more than three times a day, and had made a habit of doing so before meals and after returning home.

*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at and refer to for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Big fight brewing in NY over what to do with possibly polluted area

Companies selling their real estate at fastest pace ever: JLL report

London wins ‘super prime’ property hot spot: survey

Post-Covid era of hybrid work beckons in UK

UK revises foreign takeover bill to reduce burden on companies

New Zealand introduces climate change law for financial firms in world first

Australian business conditions surge to record in March: survey

Australia shelves plans to buy J&J’s one-dose Covid-19 vaccine

China exports rise at robust pace in March, imports growth highest in 4 years

China tells Ant Group it will be regulated like a bank

Alibaba penalty not just about market regulation

Japan wholesale prices rise for first time in over a year

Japan’s slow vaccine roll-out threatens recovery

HK to ease rules for those who are vaccinated

Thailand considers visa rule changes to lure expats, long-term tourists

Crisis looms as experts warn Myanmar economy will shrink up to 20%

Flipkart partners Adani Group to build new warehouse

Looming job crisis threatens India’s economic recovery

Improving business climate a draw for S’pore firms

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