The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 15th February 2018


Rosier outlook could set stage for tax hike, monetary policy tightening
The Singapore economy is expected to expand at a more moderate pace this year as surging growth in the manufacturing sector stabilises and other industries pick up the baton.  This rosier economic climate sets the scene for a potential tax hike in Budget 2018 and could also prompt the central bank to tighten its Singdollar policy this year, economists say.


Social support, healthcare and education are key: PM Lee
As families gather for their reunion dinners tonight, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has signalled two key issues that will feature in the 2018 Budget to be unveiled on Monday.  These are the creation of strong social support and healthcare systems for seniors, and spending more on education and training for younger Singaporeans.

IE upgrades 2018 NODX forecast on 2017 rebound
Singapore’s trade forecast for 2018 has been upgraded, after a turnaround in 2017 which saw non-oil domestic exports (NODX) growing at the fastest pace in seven years.  NODX growth was 8.8 per cent in 2017, a stark reversal of the 2.8 per cent decline in 2016.

Signs of manufacturing moderating, but services expected to step up
The manufacturing sector – the breakout performer last year – is showing clear signs of moderating growth after consecutive quarters of accelerated expansion since the electronics boom took off at the end of 2016.  But this was more than offset by a surprise boost from services, which helped lift the overall economy to grow faster than expected in Q4 2017.

2017 labour productivity jumps to seven-year high
Singapore’s overall labour productivity in 2017 surged to a seven-year peak – the highest recorded since it rebounded in 2010 following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).  Labour productivity, as measured by real value-added (VA) per actual hour worked, grew by 4.5 per cent last year, improving significantly from the 1.8 per cent achieved in 2016.

Budget 2018 likely to focus on raising revenue: Experts
This year’s Budget looks set to focus on raising revenue to fund the big-ticket initiatives introduced in recent Budgets to strengthen the social safety net and boost economic restructuring, experts said.  In unveiling it on Monday, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will likely also explain why Singapore needs to broaden its sources of revenue, said Mr Liang Eng Hwa, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance, Trade and Industry.

LTA to take over SBS Transit rail assets on North-East MRT, Sengkang-Punggol LRT lines
The Land Transport Authority is to buy operating assets on North-East MRT and Sengkang-Punggol LRT lines from SBS Transit, and will take control of them from April as part of the new rail financing framework.  The value of these assets, which include trains as well as signalling and power systems, is currently estimated to be about S$30.8 million including GST.


Developers post best January private home sales in four years
Developers have posted their best January private home sales figures in four years but how sales pan out for the full year will have a lot to do with developers’ launch and pricing strategies, say industry players.  Generally, the view is that 11,000 to 14,000 private homes are likely to be transacted in the primary market this year – up from last year’s 10,566 units.

Jan condo rents up 0.5%; HDB rents fall 0.2%: SRX
Rents for condominiums and private apartments reversed course last month to notch a small increase while HDB rents slipped for a third consecutive month, according to the latest flash estimates from real estate portal SRX on Wednesday.  Its overall price index for non-landed private residential rentals for January increased by 0.5 per cent month on month. SRX also revised December’s dip in rents to 0.2 per cent, from its initial estimate of a 0.3 per cent decline.

Cairnhill Mansions, Riviera Point finally sold in en bloc deals
Wednesday saw the successful en bloc sales of two prime Singapore property developments.  Riviera Point, at 2 Kim Yam Road, was sold for S$72 million to the Macly Group, a Singapore property developer.  Cairnhill Mansions, at 69 Cairnhill Road, was sold to Singapore-listed property developer Low Keng Huat for S$362 million. This was the fifth time it was put up for an en bloc sale.


Roxy-Pacific all set to ride property upturn
Following a softer 2017, Roxy-Pacific Holdings is back in the game – just in time for the property upturn.  The property and hospitality firm could launch eight sites totalling 546 units here for sale this year, said executive chairman and chief executive Teo Hong Lim.  Besides The Navian at Jalan Eunos in January, sites confirmed to be launched this year include Upper Bukit Timah Road, Grange Road, Guillemard Lane, Harbour View Gardens at Pasir Panjang and River Valley. These are expected to contribute positively to earnings progressively from Q1 2019.

CBRE hires Troy Shortell to lead supply chain advisory business in Asia
Commercial real estate services firm CBRE said on Wednesday that it has hired Troy Shortell to head its supply chain advisory business in Asia.  Mr Shortell joins CBRE as its executive director, advisory & transaction services and will be based in Singapore for the role.  He co-owns digital compliance firm AssuranceBox, and led Veracity’s Asia intelligence and financial advisory business

GIC leads investor group to develop North American data centres
GIC will lead a group of investors to form an investment vehicle to develop, acquire and operate data centres across North America, it announced on Wednesday.  It has partnered Denver-based private investment company Mount Elbert Capital Partners, and OPTrust – described as one of Canada’s largest pension funds – to form EdgeCore Internet Real Estate.

Far East H-Trust Q4 payout slips to 0.97 cent per stapled security
Far East Hospitality Trust’s fourth-quarter distribution per stapled security slipped to 0.97 Singapore cent from 1.12 Singapore cents a year ago amid a slight decline in occupancy rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR).  Income available for distribution fell 9.7 per cent to S$18.2 million during the three months ended Dec 31, 2017.  For the three months ended Dec 31, gross revenue shrank 6.6 per cent to S$25.7 million year-on-year, while net property income slipped 7 per cent to S$23.1 million.


Is Singapore on the cusp of higher taxes?
After a week of exaggerated market volatility, it seems rather mundane to talk about taxes, but the truth is that taxation affects a much wider swathe of the population.  Singapore’s FY2017 Budget surplus of S$5.82 billion (1.4 per cent of GDP) and our estimate of an FY2018 surplus of S$5.4 billion (1.3 per cent of GDP) suggest that there is no immediate urgency to tweak the tax regime to boost tax receipts. But the golden rule of balancing the books through each term of government still applies.

Looking ahead to Budget 2018
Raising taxes “is not a question of whether but when”, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the PAP Convention last November. This not only raises the issue of which taxes need to be raised – but also of which new ones can be introduced, and which, if any, can be cut. Some issues on the expenditure side of the ledger are worth examining as well.  The need to raise taxes stems from the fact that the government has some huge bills to pay.

Taxing e-commerce the right way
With e-commerce having taken off in Singapore, it was inevitable for a tax on transactions to be in the spotlight. While there is a clear case for this on grounds of both revenue and fairness, there are also significant practical difficulties to be resolved before e-commerce taxes can become part of any tax system.


US household debt up as home mortgages rise

US mortgage applications fall as home loan rates hit 4-year high – MBA

US trade sanctions will hit world economy: China

Blackstone’s real estate business gets two chiefs

Real estate brokers may succumb to M&A in battered UK market

For China’s HNA, happiness is a warm HK property market

Japan’s slower growth, surging yen lock BOJ in stimulus programme

Australia’s banking regulator flags new capital rules on loans

Malaysia’s economy grows 5.9% in Q4


Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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