Economists pare Singapore’s 2016 growth forecast – again
Singapore’s growth forecast for this year has been pared for the fifth time in a row – and many believe more cuts could be in store. Private-sector economists now expect full-year growth to come in at 1.8 per cent, a quarterly poll by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has found. This is a slight downgrade from an earlier forecast of 1.9 per cent in March – which was itself a step down from previous estimates of 2.2 per cent (December 2015), 2.8 per cent (September 2015), 3 per cent (June 2015), and 3.1 per cent (March 2015).
April retail sales sans cars down 3 per cent
Retail sales in Singapore rose 3.8 per cent in April from a year ago but only because of motor vehicles. Otherwise, retail sales would be down 3 per cent, according to the Department of Statistics (DOS) on Wednesday. Motor vehicles sales rose 43 per cent year on year. Total retail sales in April came to S$3.5 billion, up from S$3.3 billion a year ago. Economists point to the continued decline in discretionary spending as consumers become more cautious due to the poor economic outlook.
Singapore Real Estate
Developers’ sales of private homes hit 10-month high in May
Developers’ sales of private homes surged to a 10-month high last month on the back of new launches Gem Residences and Stars of Kovan and steady sales in projects released earlier. Sales are expected to moderate this month, assuming there are no new launches. However, things should pick up again in July, when developers of at least one private condo and two executive condo (EC) projects are expected to begin sales bookings.
Private housing rents down in May, those for HDB stay flat: SRX
RENTS of private non-landed homes slipped 0.6 per cent in May while that for HDB flats remained unchanged compared to a month ago, according to SRX Property. These flash estimates, released one day after SRX Property’s price index showed resale prices of non-landed private homes rising for the third straight month in May alongside higher sales volumes, reflect a divergence in how rents and prices are trending.
More developers offer deferred payment plans
Deferred payment schemes have been catching on with property developers, with two more offering the option in a bid to move units. The moves follow the recent success of developer OUE’s Twin Peaks, which employed the scheme. Deferred payment partly bets on whether existing loan-to-value limits will be fine-tuned as most of the buyer’s payment is typically required only later. OUE has sold about 160 units at its project since late March when the scheme was introduced, along with another incentive offering a longer option-exercise date.
Katong Shopping Centre put up for collective sale for a third time
Katong Shopping Centre has been put up for collective sale for the third time. The reserve price is set at S$630 million. This translates to a land price of S$2,248 per square foot per plot ratio. The mall, which contains 425 units, sits on a freehold plot of nearly 87,000 square feet. Situated along Mountbatten Road, it houses among others, offices, employment agencies, printing and tailoring services shops, and eateries.
CapitaLand sets up venture fund to support start-ups
CapitaLand has set up a venture fund to support start-ups focusing on innovation in the construction industry. The C31 Ventures fund is part of the developer’s strategy to gain access to ideas that will become increasingly crucial in construction, such as shopping malls with complete network connectivity or residences that use digital technology.
CapitaLand has sold its 100 per cent equity interest in Citadines Hitec City Aparthotel (CHC), a wholly owned subsidiary incorporated in India, for about $8.3 million to unrelated parties. CHC owns a site in Hyderabad, India, which is not being developed. The price was arrived at based on the adjusted net asset value of CHC as at June 9 of about $8.3 million, taking into account the agreed land value of about $8.2 million, among other factors. The sale is part of CapitaLand’s strategy to strengthen its ability to pursue other projects, it said.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Most Singapore-listed firms not open to Brexit risks: analysts
Singapore-Listed companies are by and large insulated from Brexit risks except a handful that have operations in the United Kingdom such as ComfortDelGro, City Developments Ltd (CDL) and Ascott, analysts say, noting that short-term volatility in the British pound (GBP) may increase hedging costs and affect forex-translated earnings. The bigger question is what happens to Europe after Brexit, they add.
askST: Can I use the balance in my Ordinary Account to redeem my housing loan?
The following information only applies to properties with 60 years of remaining lease or more. A CPF member can use his Ordinary Account (OA) to redeem the bank loan, but his use of OA is subject to the following CPF Housing Limits. The Valuation Limit (VL) is the lower of the purchase price or the market value of a property at the time of purchase. For example, if a property is valued at $550,000 and the purchase price is $580,000, the VL would be $550,000. You can use your OA for your downpayment and to service your home loan up to the VL.
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