The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 16th February 2017

Top Story

Govt reviewing land-use policies and planning guidelines
A number of Singapore government agencies are working together to review land-use policies and planning guidelines to facilitate flexibility in land use, the Ministry of National Development (MND) has said.  “The implementation details are being finalised, and we will share them when ready,” it said.  The brief comments came in response to queries from The Business Times following the call by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) for greater land-use flexibility by allowing complementary activities to be located near each other; this way, value chains and industries can be integrated and synergies enabled among developments in a precinct.  The CFE also proposed that flexibility of land use be allowed in industrial areas, given the blurring line between services and manufacturing; it added that this will open the way for businesses of different sectors and functions to co-locate, find synergies and catalyse innovation.

Rents rise for condos, but ease for HDB flats in January: SRX
Rentals for non-landed private homes rose in January over December amid an increase in leasing volume, while HDB flat rents and leasing volume headed south over the same period.  The latest flash estimates released by SRX Property on Wednesday morning showed its rental index for private apartments and condos climbed 1.3 per cent month on month in January 2017 after retreating 1.4 per cent in December 2016. The index has contracted 5.0 per cent year on year from January 2016 and is also 18.9 per cent below its peak in January 2013.

Developers in Singapore off to good start in housing sales
Developers got off to a good start in housing sales this year, based on the latest government numbers, and industry players are sanguine this will set the tone for the rest of the year as well.  Urban Redevelopment Authority data shows that developers moved 381 private homes (excluding executive condominiums or ECs) in January – up 3.8 per cent from December’s 367 and 17.6 per cent higher than the 324 in January 2016.  The year-on-year (y-o-y) sales improvement contrasts with the report card for January 2016, with declines of 15.6 per cent month on month (m-o-m) and 13.8 per cent y-o-y.

Singapore Economy

Faster, cheaper access to Singapore market soon for VC funds
Venture Capital (VC) funds looking to set up shop here can soon get approval in a matter of weeks and without capital requirements, as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) proposed on Wednesday to relax some rules for VC managers.  The changes come as Singapore’s drive to attract and build startups and growth companies from Asia kicks into high gear, with hopes for a more diverse pool of VC funds to support young companies that can be developed into the next unicorns.  MAS said it would offer a simplified authorisation process and regulatory framework for managers of VC funds, as soon as by July this year.

Singapore firms eye Indonesia for growth
Indonesia has jumped to top spot as the most attractive overseas destination for Singapore companies looking to spread their wings.  For many companies here, it is a no brainer, given the vast size of the market of 250 million people sitting right at Singapore’s doorstep.  Mr Kenny Tan, chief executive of logistics firm Keyfields, said the company is preparing to move into Jakarta by the third quarter of this year. “It is the biggest market in South-east Asia, and we see a lot of opportunities. Many companies are headed there, but with a population of 250 million, we feel that it is big enough for many players.”

Retail sales up 0.4% in December as vehicle sales slow
Retail sales edged up 0.4 per cent in December from a year ago as vehicle sales, which have been enjoying double-digit percentage increases, slowed to a crawl.  For many months last year, strong car sales have single-handedly stopped total retail sales from sinking into the red. But in December, excluding vehicles, retail sales saw a 0.3 per cent year on year increase, after declining a revised 2.5 per cent in November.  Vehicle sales rose 0.9 per cent in December from a year ago, and were down 11.9 per cent from November, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (Singstat) on Wednesday (Feb 15).

More spending on rooms, but not all rosy for hotels
Tourists spent more on accommodation for the first nine months of last year, an increase of 28 per cent compared with the same period the year before.  But it was not good news for all hotels. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) fell nearly 5 per cent to $199, according to preliminary full-year estimates from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).  This came on the back of falling room rates, due to a surge in supply of hotel rooms. There was a 4.8 per cent year-on-year increase in room stock last year, which brought total inventory to 63,850 rooms across 413 hotels, according to STB.  The average occupancy rate dropped 0.9 percentage point to 84.2 per cent, though the decline was less than expected.

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore property curbs set to stay in ’17, CapitaLand CEO says
Singapore’s residential property curbs are set to stay in place for at least another year amid signs the city’s housing market is stabilising, the chief executive officer of South-east Asia’s biggest developer said.  “We see volume picking up and the price declines have slowed,” Lim Ming Yan, the president and CEO of CapitaLand Ltd, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. “We see this trend continuing for 2017. There is no compelling reason for the government at this point to make major changes,” to property curbs, he said.

URA calls for ideas to perk up public spaces
Have an idea to brighten up the public spaces around you?  The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is looking for proposals to create art installations and pop-ups around the island.  The My Ideas for Public Spaces contest, in its third year, is part of the agency’s Our Favourite Place scheme to get people to help make public spaces more interactive.

Companies’ Brief

Shareholders raise storm over valuation of Sabana acquisition
The new-found activism of Sabana Syariah-compliant Reit’s unitholders who are fed up with the trust manager’s underperformance has morphed into a drama never before witnessed in Singapore’s otherwise staid Reit space.  One of the “disgusted” and “angry” unitholders Jerry Low, a retired stockbroker who has been invested in the trust since last year, has lodged a complaint with Singapore’s white-collar crime buster against three big property valuers – Colliers, Savills and Knight Frank – in relation to their independent valuation of a property to be acquired by Sabana Reit from its sponsor Vibrant Group.

CapitaLand’s Q4 profit surges on strong operating income
Property developer CapitaLand ended 2016 on a strong note with a 73.8 per cent surge in net profit to S$430.5 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31.  The growth was led by more handover of residential units in China and shopping malls in China, higher fair value gains on revaluation of investment properties as well as lower impairments.  This brought the group’s full-year net profit to S$1.19 billion, an 11.7 per cent increase from a year ago, on the back of improved operating performance. A record 12,789 homes were sold by CapitaLand last year.

LMIRT’s Q4 DPU 7.4% higher; net property income up 10.9%
Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) posted a distribution per unit of 0.87 Singapore cent for its fourth quarter 2016, an increase of 7.4 per cent from a year ago.  Its net property income went up 10.9 per cent to S$44.6 million while its gross rental income went up 8.9 per cent to S$39.9 million.  For Q4 2016, gross rental revenue increased by S$3.6 million year-on-year, mainly due to positive rental reversion within the existing malls.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Abide by rules for good condo living
Condominiums are governed by house rules, and all dwellers are expected to strictly abide by the rules.  I have had the opportunity to work as a security supervisor in several condos, and have observed residents blatantly flouting the rules.  Very often, they fail to carry their access cards, abuse condo parking regulations, stack items in common areas, carry out unapproved renovations and make a nuisance of themselves through excessive noise and other inconsiderate acts.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

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