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 May 2016

Singapore Real Estate

S’pore prime land ‘exorbitant’: CityDev
Singapore’s second-largest developer has taken a potshot at prices of prime land in the city-state, describing them as exorbitant and predicting that they will go even higher.  “In land-scarce Singapore, it is increasingly difficult to secure prime land of this scale and even if available, the asking price for land alone is exorbitantly high,” City Developments Ltd said in an earnings statement on Wednesday. The comments referred to the 170,000 square foot site the company bought for its Gramercy Park project, just off the prime Orchard Road shopping belt.

Roxy Pacific plans upscale Maldives resort
ROXY Pacific Holdings Limited has finalised its plans to create an upscale Noku-branded resort in the Maldives. The acquisition of Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru was completed on Wednesday and cost Roxy Pacific US$31 million.  The company announced the purchase of the Noonu Atoll property in February and was exclusively advised by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group.  This will be Roxy Pacific’s second property under its premium brand, Noku, and its first purchase in the Maldives. The first Noku property opened in Kyoto, Japan, in November last year.

Singapore Fund Likes Hong Kong Property as Curbs to Stay at Home
SC Capital Partners, a Singapore private equity real estate firm with $1.2 billion in assets, said recent price declines make investing in Hong Kong property attractive.  Founder Suchad Chiaranussati said he expects the Singapore government to maintain residential curbs in the city-state until the end of next year. Hong Kong offers more value after prices for homes, offices and hotels dropped, he said in an interview at his bungalow office off Singapore’s prime Orchard Road shopping belt.  “Singapore property measures are working, it’s working like clockwork, I see no reason why they would remove the curbs,” Chiaranussati said. “The big correction in prices has already happened in Hong Kong” and SC Capital sees value emerging, he said.

Orchard Road’s future lies in its past
As an “Orchard Road kid”, I remember when the stretch was about much more than just retail.  In the 1970s, it was about pubs, bars, nightclubs, discos, restaurants and other attractions that were trendy, yet affordable.  It offered good, clean fun and drew tourists.  It was a lively stretch, to say the least, with a reputation for the unexpected; activities also spilt out onto the pavement, which helped bring in business.  In those days, it was not all about the money.  Now, we see a glut of shopping centres on the length and breadth of the street (“Bringing back Orchard Road buzz”; Wednesday).

Stiffer penalties for workplace safety lapses
Companies found lacking in workplace safety and health standards will now face stiffer penalties, including a longer minimum period in which they have to stop work.  Stop-work orders will now last at least three weeks, up from two previously. Companies slapped with a stop-work order or found with a workplace fatality will also risk having their work pass privileges temporarily curtailed, making them unable to hire new foreign workers until they have resolved safety issues.

Enabling Village among 3 developments to receive top design award
A community facility that opened last year to provide employment opportunities and space for disabled persons to interact with others will be recognised for its inclusive design, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said in a press release on Thursday (May 12).  The Enabling Village is receiving the platinum award, the highest honour for BCA’s Universal Design Mark Award (UDMA), BCA said.  The statutory board added that one of the ways that the Village had “demonstrated innovation and practical proof of concept even with challenging terrain and physical barriers” was how the developers transformed a previously undulating terrain into an amphitheatre integrated with ramps and seats.

Phantom EC applicants, phantom households
Certain housing market figures are puzzling. Let us consider two cases. First, while there are many headlines about the high rate of e-applications for executive condominiums (ECs), the large queue numbers dished out have not translated into many such hybrid private-public homes sold. Second, despite the slowing population growth and low foreigner employment growth, the increase in the number of occupied residential units has far exceeded the number of new households.

Companies’ Brief

Ascendas Hospitality Trust’s Q4 DPS rises 4%
Better margins in Australia and China for Ascendas Hospitality Trust along with some of the proceeds from its sale of the the Pullman Cairns International hotel in Australia lifted its fourth-quarter income available for distribution.  Distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the three months ended March 31 rose 4 per cent from the previous year to 1.3 Singapore cents, the trust said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday. This was after retaining some income for working capital purposes, it added.

UOL Q1 profit up on higher property development revenue
UOL Group, which is involved in property and hotels, has posted a 4 per cent increase in net profit to S$77.08 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 – due mainly to higher revenue contribution from ongoing as well as new property development projects.  Revenue rose 39 per cent to S$330.12 million, mainly because of higher progressive recognition of revenue from on-going property development projects, Riverbank@Fernvale and Seventy Saint Patrick’s, as well as revenue from new projects, Botanique at Bartley and Principal Garden which were launched in March and October 2015 respectively.

Manulife US Reit prices S’pore IPO at US$0.83 per unit
Manulife US Reit, the first initial public offering on Singapore’s mainboard this year, has priced its offer at the top end of the indicative range at US$0.83 per unit.  This translates to a distribution yield of 6.6 per cent for the forecast period of eight months to Dec 31, 2016 and 7.1 per cent for the full year of 2017.

Manulife US Reit comes with single ownership cap of 9.8%
Being the first US office Reit to be listed in Asia, Manulife US Reit has some unique features that are new to Reits listed in Singapore.  Probably the most salient is the rule that no unitholder can own more than 9.8 per cent of the outstanding units, and this is enforced by a rare “automatic forfeiture” mechanism.

Hotel Properties
Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) reported a net profit of S$14.34 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016, rising slightly from S$14.3 million a year ago. Revenue fell from S$158.85 million to S$143.67 million due to lower contributions from the Tomlinson Heights condominium development and the group’s resorts in the Maldives. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, is undergoing a major refurbishment, which has hit its performance; Holiday Inn at Vanuatu has been closed for repairs since the cyclone in March last year, said HPL.

FJ Benjamin
LOWER foot traffic in malls and consumer spending pushed fashion and lifestyle group FJ Benjamin deeper into the red in the third quarter. The firm made a net loss of S$5.1 million for the three months to March 31, compared with a deficit of S$7.0 million in the same period last year. It is the fifth consecutive quarter of red ink for the mainboard-listed firm.

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