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, 14th and 15th January 2018

Toy Story

Home loans get pricier as banks hike interest rates again
Home loans are getting more expensive as banks jack up mortgage rates again to as high as 2.05 per cent, the second increase in as many months, in line with sharply higher interest rates.  This could dent some of the enthusiasm in the buoyant property market. One banker also warned that rising interest rates, coupled with declining rents and increasing vacancies raises the risk of defaults in investment properties as borrowers may not be able to cover the higher servicing costs.

Singapore Economy

Singapore among 25 countries leading the world in advanced manufacturing
Singapore is among 25 countries best positioned to benefit from the rise of advanced manufacturing and smart factories, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.  The report analysed 100 countries and economies to see how they might benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution – also known as Industry 4.0 – and the rapid rise of new manufacturing technologies.  Singapore was identified among 25 “leaders in manufacturing today that are also well positioned for the future of production”.

iPhone helps dial up Nov retail sales growth to 2-year high
Retail sales surged in November with their strongest growth in almost two years, reversing course from the slump seen in October possibly due to the launch of the iPhone X and improved consumer sentiment, say economists.  Total takings grew 5.3 per cent in November compared to the same month a year ago – its best showing since March 2016, according to latest data by the Singapore Department of Statistics.

Port will tap tech, data to optimise ops
The future Tuas mega port will be an “efficient and intelligent” port that harnesses emerging technologies and data analytics to optimise operations, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

These will include capabilities such as “just-in-time” vessel arrival applications and the upcoming Maritime Single Window, which will facilitate quicker port clearances.

Fixed deposit deals for scaredy-cats
Disturbed by how markets keep going up? Feeling left out of the cryptocurrency boom (or bust)? Think it’s too late to make any return on your money? Have no fear. Thanks to US Fed rate hikes, we are now getting an opportunity to earn some kind of return on our savings.  Yields on two-year US Treasuries, for example, have shot up from 0.6 per cent in mid-2016 to 2 per cent today. This means yields have more than tripled in one and a half years.

No signs of January spurt slowing
It may be too early to trot out the stock market cliche “as goes January, so goes the year”. But there is no denying the exuberance.  The market has started the year with a bang and while there are still two weeks left to go before February, one would be hard-pressed to find reasons to deflate the air of optimism among investors.

Over $12b in market value lost through delisting last year
More than $12 billion in market value was erased last year due to companies relinquishing their listed status.  The figure is almost 40 per cent higher than the $8.7 billion in market value generated by new companies joining the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in the same period.  Experts say delistings will continue this year, even with the pipeline for initial public offerings (IPOs) looking robust.

Singapore Real Estate

Mapletree awards SMU S$3m for new real estate programme
Starting from August, the Singapore Management University (SMU) will offer a course specialising in real estate investment and finance.  The Mapletree Real Estate Programme, as it is called, was announced on Friday and is the result of a gift of S$3 million from Mapletree Investments. With a one-to-one matching grant from the government, the total of S$6 million will go towards the setting up of a professorship, awards, grants and speaker events supported by Mapletree.

Companies’ Brief

CWG injects US$25m debt financing in US hospitality business
Singapore-listed real estate group, CWG International, has extended US$25 million of debt financing to Delaware-incorporated US Hospitality Investments.  CWG said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Saturday night that its wholly owned subsidiary, Chiwayland Group (S), has subscribed to a promissory note with a principal amount of US$25 million that was issued by Delaware-incorporated US Hospitality Investments, LLC.

Far East Hospitality Reit buys Oasia Hotel Downtown for S$210m
Far East Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit), which trades as part of the stapled Far East Hospitality Trust, is buying the 314-room Oasia Hotel Downtown in the Tanjong Pagar district for S$210 million in cash before fees.  The 65-year leasehold property is being sold by Far East Soho, a unit of the hotel and serviced residence trust’s sponsor, the Far East Organization Group.

Lian Beng’s Q2 net profit falls 43% on higher costs
Construction cum developer group Lian Beng on Friday said its net profit fell 43.2 per cent to S$3.2 million for its second quarter ended Nov 30, 2017, due to higher cost of sales and higher distribution expenses and finance costs.  For the quarter, revenue rose 2.5 per cent to S$50.5 million. Cumulatively, its revenue for the first six months of its fiscal year fell 27 per cent to S$87.6 million, due to lower contribution from the construction segment.

Singapore-based M&L Hospitality launches third property in Sydney
Singapore-based M&L Hospitality has opened a new 182-room boutique hotel in Sydney, which is its third property in the city and its sixth Down Under.  The West Hotel is the second new hotel to be constructed in Sydney’s central business district in the last 17 years, the hotel group highlighted.

RHT Health Trust and Fortis extend exclusivity period for talks on proposed sale of assets
Singapore-listed RHT Health Trust said it has entered into an agreement to extend the exclusivity period with Fortis Healthcare by an additional period of 31 days commencing from Jan 12, 2018.  This is to facilitate the continued negotiations and finalisation of the definitive agreements on the proposed disposal of its entire portfolio of healthcare assets for close to S$1 billion to Fortis.

Divestments, lower costs help raise SPH Q1 profit by 32%
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is starting to benefit from cash streams from its other investments amid a decline in its media segment.  The conglomerate, which owns The Business Times, reported net profit of S$60.4 million for its first quarter ended Nov 30, 2017, up 32 per cent from S$45.7 million a year ago.

Shopper360 first-half earnings up 31% at RM4.6m
Shopper360’s first-half net profit rose 31 per cent to RM4.61 million (S$1.5 million) as non-controlling interests and earnings from continuing operations both fell.  Earnings per share grew to 4.03 sen for the six months ended Nov 30, 2017, from 3.08 sen in the year-ago period, the marketing company announced. Net asset value per share rose to RM40.95 as at Nov 30, from RM37.90 six months earlier.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Upgrade to a S$2.5m home with a S$60k top-up
Your home is an important storage of wealth. There are six property investment strategies for unlocking its value: 1. Zero cash outlay upgrade. 2. Cash out and upgrade. 3. Cash out and right-size. 4. Cash out and maintain a similar home. 5. Cash out and rent. 6. Cash out completely

Home owners need to look beyond ‘en bloc windfalls’
There were a record 20 projects that were sold en bloc last year.  A variety of reasons were cited as factors for owners cashing in: The estates are getting old; it is getting costlier to upkeep the lifts and the swimming pools; and some of the owners themselves are getting on in age and finding it hard to maintain their homes in an older condominium, which are usually larger than new apartments.

Goodbye, Shunfu
Up till last week, the Shunfu Ville estate seemed like an Instagrammer’s paradise, thanks to artful shots of the passage of time.  Stacks of old furniture lined the pavements. Piles of rubbish were strewn across the void decks. A resident cat snoozed on a pile of aged mattresses as a dead bird lay at the foot of a nearby block.  If it looked like the entire estate of six blocks was moving out, it was.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Stronger growth expected for global economy in 2018

US tax code rewrite favours real estate over art

Bitcoin fever hits US real estate market

Fed’s quantitative tightening likely to hit consumer spending

Mud ravages seaside haven for celebrities and billionaires

Fidelity values Compass at US$2b in real estate tech deal

US core inflation quickens amid higher housing costs

US core consumer prices post biggest gain in 11 months

China’s 2017 trade surplus hits new high, but momentum likely to slow

Crowds throng HK property launch as city’s housing boom continues

Hong Kong economy likely to ease up this year after strong 2017 gain

Uniqlo owner’s cash pile won’t wear well with shareholders

Airbnb ‘disappointed’ by Amsterdam plan to cut rentals

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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