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 October 2018

Singapore Economy

Singapore inflation expectations down to 2.88% for year ahead: poll
Singaporeans median inflation expectations for one year ahead slid further to 2.88 per cent from last quarter’s 3.11 per cent, as according to a Singapore Management University (SMU) think tank, actors like the strength of the US economy and the resulting policy normalisation, and a new trade deal appear to have outweighed concerns of the trade war between US and China.

Q3 growth better than expected; economists upgrade 2018 forecasts
Singapore’s economy turned in a better-than-expected report card for the third quarter, which led several economists to upgrade their full-year growth forecasts. Even with trade tensions and emerging market uncertainties casting a pall on the outlook, the economy is still on track to grow at a steady but more subdued clip for the rest of the year and 2019, said economists.

MAS further tightens Singdollar policy
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is slightly increasing the pace of the Singapore dollar’s appreciation in keeping with a “modest and gradual appreciation path… that will ensure medium-term price stability”, in the second consecutive tightening at its half-yearly policy review. The width of the policy band and the level at which it is centred will be unchanged.

USD expected to continue rising against Singdollar
Even as the Singapore dollar is set to continue its “modest and gradual appreciation” against a basket of currencies, analysts expect it to keep weakening against the US dollar in coming months. On Friday morning, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its half-yearly policy statement that it would “slightly” steepen the slope of the Singdollar nominal effective exchange rate (S$NEER) policy band.

Retail sales dip by 0.4% in August in second straight month of decline
Singapore retail sales were down for the second straight month in August, dipping by 0.4 per cent on the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Statistics. Receipts shrank again on lower vehicle sales, as automotive takings fell by 12.8 per cent. With motor vehicles excluded, the retail sector notched 2.4 per cent year-on-year sales growth.


Singapore Real Estate

Companies eye Singapore for data centre storage, cloud leasing
When it comes to big data, Singapore is going large. More companies are looking to lease existing buildings for data storage, and some tech companies are building their own facilities. With the announcement from Google and Facebook that they are setting up data centres here, this burgeoning new sector has been thrust into the limelight.

No end in sight for buyers of 2 new condos; still under construction despite 2016 TOP
In May 2012, Ms Emmeline Ho’s parents bought a studio apartment at the Sycamore Tree condominium in Joo Chiat, due to be completed by end-2016, on her recommendation. Her parents, who are in their 60s and run a drinks stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, invested most of their life savings into the unit. It is almost 350 sq ft and cost nearly $500,000.

Pine Grove raises reserve price in attempt to get collective-sale nod
The collective sale committee (CSC) of Pine Grove has raised its reserve price to $1.86 billion from $1.72 billion in a last-minute bid to secure the 80 per cent mandate to launch a public tender, even as developers turned cautious after the recent cooling measures. The move came after “pressure and petitions from a small group of owners who feel Pine Grove ought to be marketed at a higher reserve price”,

Morgan Stanley sees 8% home price hike in 2019 despite cooling measures
Morgan Stanley has predicted an 8 per cent increase in private home prices in 2019 despite cooling measures introduced in July to tame the market, a projection that stands in stark contrast to other research houses’ much tamer outlook.


Companies’ Brief

UOB reviewing insurance deal with Prudential
Singapore lender United Overseas Bank (UOB) is reviewing its insurance business, including an existing partnership with Prudential, after South-east Asia witnessed a wave of lucrative distribution deals, people familiar with the matter said.

Feel-good investing gaining ground: DBS
Impact investing is a hard sell but, increasingly, the millennial generation is interested in investing not just for return but also for good, said Tan Su Shan, DBS Bank group head of consumer banking and wealth management. Last year, when DBS tried to raise a Women’s Livelihood Bond, clients were not keen, said Ms Tan, who ended up roping a few colleagues to join her in chipping in to get it going.

Lian Beng Q1 profit falls 39% on share of losses from SLB Development
Singapore – Mainboard-listed construction player Lian Beng Group saw smaller profits in the first quarter, as new accounting standards ate into its share of profits from a Catalist-listed spin-off. Net profit fell by 38.9 per cent year-on-year to $6.97 million for the three months to Aug 31, according to unaudited results released on Friday (Oct 12). The drop came even though revenue was up by 15.9 per cent to $83 million on higher turnover from construction and investment holdings.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Trade bodies can do more to help local SMEs grow
Trade associations and chambers can play a greater role in helping local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow locally and overseas, says Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
Speaking at Berita Harian’s inaugural seminar for SMEs on Friday, he outlined a few ways in which trade associations and chambers could pull their weight, one of them being taking on the role of an intermediary.

Growing dividends from property developers
Private investors love shares in property developers. And they can find them in just about every stock market in the world. But shares in these builders can also be unnervingly volatile. That’s because developers are affected by a host of factors that is often out of the control of shareholders. These include government policies, prevailing interest rates, the availability of credit, economic conditions, unemployment levels and even sociological and technological change.

G-20 panel urges reset of global financial system to better tackle challenges
Wide-Ranging reforms are needed to reset the global financial system and make it work amid turbulent times, an international panel of top economists and leaders said on Friday. The Group of 20 (G-20) Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, in a report issued at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, underlined that the open and competitive world order of the past 70 years has lifted many out of poverty and fostered unprecedented peace.

Iras recovers $10m from high-earning tax avoiders; returns of 145 doctors, dentists under scrutiny
The taxman is clawing back millions of dollars in back taxes from high earners such as doctors, property agents and lawyers who avoided paying their proper dues. It is still early days, but about $10 million has already been recovered from them. This includes taxes that they should have paid in the four previous years.

Climate of fear: Time for change? It boils down to you acting on global warming
If there is one thing the latest report by an international panel of scientists has highlighted, it is that everyone can do something to help the world avoid catastrophic climate change.  Not just governments or businesses – but individuals, too.  Whether it involves eating less meat, reducing food waste or using less power, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in Incheon, South Korea, last Monday emphasises that “behaviour change and demand-side management can significantly reduce emissions” and keep global warming to just 1.5 deg C instead of 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels.

Climate change will make the next global crash the worst
Late last month, Indonesia was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left thousands of people dead and missing. This week, the International Monetary Fund arrived in the country to hold its annual meeting on the island of Bali.  On the day when the IMF issued a warning about trouble ahead for the global economy, the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the world had only a dozen years left to take the steps necessary to prevent a global warming catastrophe. The message is clear for those willing to hear it: Get ready for a time when economic failure combines with ecological breakdown to create the perfect storm.

Conservationists set out Blue Plan to preserve marine landscape
Conservationists have drawn up an extensive new plan to preserve more of Singapore’s marine landscape – from mangroves and seagrass meadows to coastal forests and coral reefs. Responding to the ground-up initiative, the Government has said it will see how it can work with the marine community to realise common goals.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Central London defies worst UK housing market since 2010

Investors move downmarket seeking juicier UK property returns

A luxury rental in New York, from a low-key landlord

Sports Direct pays £95m for Glasgow building housing Frasers department store

US 30-year mortgage rate hits 7-1/2 year peak after sell-off in bond market

Midtown Manhattan office leasing at a high

Jared Kushner ‘likely’ paid little or no income taxes for years: NYTimes

Trump threatens another round of China tariffs

Trade will evolve, not shrink with US-China trade war: Citi

Seeds of next global financial crisis are being sown, top finance officials warn

PBOC chief sees plenty of room for monetary adjustments

China speeds up small town redevelopment programme to support slowing economy


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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