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 May 2017

Singapore Economy

Higher Q1 profits meet analysts’ forecasts, but valuations still lofty
First-quarter corporate earnings met analysts’ expectations with the banks turning in a surprisingly strong performance, analysts said.  But an uncertain outlook and relatively rich valuations raise doubt about whether the mildly positive start can lift market prices.

Business sentiment in Singapore improves in Q1
Business sentiment in Singapore improved in the first quarter of 2017, on the back of better sales, profits and orders, while pessimism over business prospects in the next six months has diminished substantially, said the latest Business Times-Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Business Climate Survey.

GSS taps tech to make S’pore sale great again
Amid a softened retail market, the 24th edition of the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) hopes to revitalise sales with its digital transformation.  An annual two-month affair, GSS has lost some of its lustre in recent years due to increased e-retail alternatives, growing regional competition and a stronger Singapore dollar.

More Singapore companies consider moving to Hong Kong bourse
The competition between the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the stock exchange of Hong Kong for listings looks set to intensify as more companies here mull over moves to head to the Republic’s rival to raise capital.  Market watchers said this reveals that a growing number of companies are hoping to deepen their business presence in the Greater China market, but these moves are not a guaranteed success.

Singapore retail sales up 2.1% in March, reversing February’s fall
Retail sales rose 2.1 per cent in March from a year earlier, recovering from a revised 2.6 per cent fall in February, according to data from the Department of Statistics on Friday (May 12).  Sales without motor vehicles, whose turnover rose by 6.9 per cent, were up by a smaller 0.7 per cent year-on-year.   March sales were also boosted by an 11.3 per cent year-on-year rise in takings at petrol service stations and smaller rise in other categories.

Singapore can help finance projects, says Lawrence Wong
Singapore can play a complementary role in financing projects in the Belt and Road initiative, particularly those in South- east Asia, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.  As an international financial centre and one of the largest offshore yuan centres, Singapore can join Hong Kong and London in facilitating lending to the major infrastructure projects aimed at improving connectivity between China and countries along the trade routes linking Asia, Africa and Europe.  Mr Wong suggested roping in private and commercial partners to help make projects more bankable or more acceptable to lenders.

Singapore Real Estate

S’pore on track for record real estate deals in 2017: RCA
Singapore posted one of the strongest performances in inbound real estate investment volume in the Asia-Pacific region for the first quarter this year.  The total deal value increased 170 per cent to reach US$2.3 billion, from US$838.2 million a year ago, according to a report released by Real Capital Analytics (RCA) on Friday.

No ABSD on $6.6m unit for charity: Court
The High Court, in a landmark case, has ruled that property bought by a charitable purpose trust was not subject to the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD), and ordered the taxman to refund the $986,965 in duty and late fees paid last year by the trustees on the deal.  The Commissioner of Stamp Duties had imposed the 15 per cent ABSD on the $6.56 million unit in Goodwood Residence condominium in Bukit Timah Road, bought by trustees of the Chew How Teck Foundation in 2015.

Can Singapore millennials afford to buy a home?
A recent survey by CBRE found that almost two-thirds of Asia-Pacific millennials are still living with their parents and 18 per cent have no plans to move out, with unaffordable real estate cited as the common factor.  So is home ownership simply beyond reach for millennials or do they just have no desire to take on the responsibility and commitment to finance a property?

New cap on tenants for private homes, deadline looms for agents, landlords to ink deals
When she moved out of her family home last year, Ms Yvette Lim, 34, thought she could eventually sublet her old bedroom to help her family pay the rent.  With a floor area of 4,500 sq ft, her spacious Choa Chu Kang house, where six of her family members now live, could easily accommodate a few more tenants, she calculated.  But her plans have been dashed.

Companies’ Brief

Heeton’s Q1 profit falls 56% to S$2.6m
Heeton Holdings’ first-quarter net profit fell 55.9 per cent to S$2.56 million in the absence of recognised profit from completed projects.  On a per-share basis, the property developer recorded profit of 0.79 Singapore cent for the three months ended March 31.  Revenue increased 12.4 per cent to S$15.49 million as Heeton recognised S$9.78 million of sales proceeds from the Onze@Tanjong Pagar residential project, which launched in September 2013.

Far East Hospitality Trust’s DPS down 13.9% in Q1
Weighed down by softness in demand for its hotels and serviced apartments, Far East Hospitality Trust’s (Far East H-Trust) distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the first quarter ended March 31 fell 13.9 per cent to 0.93 Singapore cents.  Net property income slipped 10.4 per cent to S$22.12 million while gross revenue was down 9.5 per cent to S$24.78 million during the period as the master lease rental fell.

Genting Singapore’s Q1 net profit up 17 times
Genting Singapore’s Q1 net profit for 2017 was 16.7 times higher than in the first quarter of 2016, standing at S$181.1 million for the quarter ended March 31, the group reported on Friday.  Total net profit including holders of perpetual capital securities was S$210.17 million, up from S$40.23 million in Q1 2016.

UOL plans to launch 3 projects in Singapore, London next year
Wee Cho Yaw-controlled UOL Group (UOL) plans to launch three projects next year – two in Singapore and one in London – with a total of about 1,050 apartments.  The property and hospitality group, which posted a 4 per cent increase in first quarter net profit to S$80.3 million, is looking to begin sales in 2018 for a 99-year leasehold private housing project in Potong Pasir Avenue 1. It bought the plot on the Raintree Gardens site via a collective sale last year, through an equal joint venture with its listed associate United Industrial Corporation. The plan is to redevelop the 201,403 sq ft site into a project with about 750 units.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Belt and Road to rebalance global economy
The world economy is going through a turbulent time, but the Belt and Road Initiative might just rebalance the things and help restore faith in globalization. The current global economic order favours the strong and rich, those who write the rules and reap the lion’s share of the profits, while the weak and poor are sidelined and neglected.

The Straits Times A16 [Advertorial] | Monday, May 15, 2017

Chengdu seeks to be the new global innovation and entrepreneurship centre
Proven businesses and start-ups alike flock to China’s western hub for breathing room, inviting policies and an optimal landscape for cultivating success. Beyond the unique cultural significance and long-standing history of Chinese culinary innovation and excellence, the city of Chengdu is becoming one of the world’s most elite breeding grounds for not only its beloved native – the panda – but also for entrepreneurship and innovation. With the full backing and support of the Chinese government, the Sichuan capital has in recent years implemented a set of new and enticing policies specifically designed for start-up businesses in hopes of molding Chengdu into a new-age “Silicon Valley” of sorts.

The Starts Times A18 [Advertorial] | Monday, May 15, 2017

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Foreclosed home sales in US to come under closer scrutiny

Rents for no-doorman apartments in Manhattan reach a record

U.S. retail sales rise broadly; consumer prices rebound

Kushner Real Estate Project Still Seeking First Chinese Investor

Markets mispricing Fed hikes: Fullerton

London landlord home sales slump on tax changes

May pledges new right-to-buy plan to boost UK social housing

Sumitomo Mitsui may be in talks to lease new London HQ

China pledges US$124b for new Silk Road as champion of globalisation

HK growth may taper off in coming quarters, warn analysts

HK curbs lending to developers as risks soar

Rise of ‘nano’ flats in Hong Kong

Australia seeks foreign funds to develop Far North Queensland

Home Capital sees uncertainty over ability to continue

Price boom far from over in Danish mortgage market

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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