The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 14th, 15th and 16th July 2018

Top Story

Singaporeans’ inflation expectations fall to 3.11% for year ahead despite trade war fears
Both medium and long-term inflation expectations have eased from three months ago despite the potential of a trade war between the US and other major economies, particularly China, according to the latest quarterly survey from a Singapore Management University think tank released on Monday. Singaporeans’ median headline inflation projections for one year from now stood at 3.11 per cent in June 2018, down from 3.43 per cent in March 2018.

Singapore Q2 growth below expectations at 3.8%
Singapore’s economy expanded 3.8 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, lower than economist expectations of 4.1 per cent and down from the first quarter’s 4.3 per cent growth, according to Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) advance estimates on Friday.  Sequential momentum also slowed. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised rate (q-o-q saar) basis, the economy grew at a slower pace of 1 per cent in the second quarter, compared to 1.5 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Latest curbs could see developers lower prices up to 10%
Developers may trim prices of new launches by as much as 10 per cent from their earlier indications in response to the latest round of property cooling measures, with high-end homes likely to see bigger adjustments, analysts say.  In downgrading their stock ratings across several developers, some have started pricing in a 5-10 per cent reduction in average selling prices (ASP) in their forecasts, though they note that it is too early for any developer to consider writedowns on their projects yet.

Singapore Economy

Singapore can support region’s development through financing infrastructure and enterprise: Heng
Singapore can support regional development by financing infrastructure and enterprise in Asia, including roping in private capital, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday.  And the Republic’s adoption of digital technology can boost both transaction efficiency and financial inclusion, he added, calling higher access to financial services “a key priority under our Asean chairmanship”.

Tourism sector growth spree set to continue in 2nd half
The tourism sector will likely retain its growth momentum in the second half of the year, underpinned by burgeoning travel demand and tourist flows from markets such as China and India.  However, downside risks remain, say industry watchers, including the spectre of a full-blown trade war, which could dampen sentiment.

MOUs signed to help Singapore, French companies to innovate
More connections between the startup and innovation ecosystems in France and Singapore could be on the way after a number of freshly signed memoranda of understanding between Singapore and French institutions.  The signings were witnessed by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who is on a visit to Brussels and Paris from July 11 to 13.

Singapore Real Estate

Creating a competitive and transparent real estate market
Singapore is Asia’s most transparent market, and is well positioned to join the United Kingdom and the United States in the “Highly Transparent” tier as it advances in sustainability, proptech and open-data initiatives.  Based on our Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI), Singapore has remained in the “Transparent” group for a number of years, along with Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taiwan. However, the city-state, which ranks 12 on the index, is on the cusp of moving up into the next tier of transparency.

Cluster near Boon Keng going for S$133.66m
A cluster of freehold shophouses, terrace houses and walk-up apartments at the intersection of St George’s Road and Serangoon Road is on the market, with a reserve price of S$133.66 million.  At that price, owners of the 29 units spanning a 25,621 sq ft site located near Boon Keng MRT, are expected to receive between S$2.3 million to S$10.6 million each. 

Three families jointly sell Telok Kurau bungalows for S$37.89m
Three unrelated families are selling their adjacent bungalows along Lorong H Telok Kurau in District 15 to a developer for S$37.89 million.  The three single-storey bungalows have a combined freehold land area of 24,050 sq ft.  Inclusive of development charge payable to the state, the land rate works out to S$1,132 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) and to a lower S$1,086 psf ppr inclusive of the 10 per cent bonus balcony space.

Former school sites could become retirement villages
Schools which once echoed with the voices of children playing may one day be hubs of community living for the elderly in Singapore.  A suggestion in Parliament this week by Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai to turn vacant school sites into retirement villages is being studied by the authorities.

Coming soon to Changi Airport’s Jewel: Cinema, fast-food chain A&W
Travellers waiting to catch a flight at Changi Airport can also catch the latest movie blockbusters when the mega shopping mall and attraction Jewel opens there next year.  Shaw Theatres will operate a cinema at the airport, The Sunday Times has learnt.

Companies’ Brief

Optimistic Koh Brothers senses opportunities
Despite the government’s recent cooling measures, Koh Brothers Group’s managing director and chief executive, Francis Koh, will still tender for one or two more mass market sites in Singapore to balance out his slate of Holland Village projects.  “There may be an opportunity although the market may see it as a negative thing and there’s a knee-jerk reaction,” he says. “But we think we can price in the higher costs and go in conservatively – there may still be a chance.”

DBS leads buybacks; directors build UOL and Oxley stakes
For the 2018 year through to July 12, the Straits Times Index (STI) recorded a 2.7 per cent decline in total return, compared to the Nikkei 225, Hang Seng and S&P/ASX 200 indices averaging a 0.7 per cent gain. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones has gained 4 per cent in SGD terms. For the five trading sessions ended July12, the STI declined 0.1 per cent, with the three regional benchmarks averaging a 1.1 per cent gain.


A bitter pill that needs to be swallowed
This week’s topic: Is the latest round of property market cooling measures well-timed or a tad early? What effects, if any, will there be beyond the property sector?

Private property still a viable asset class: What you need to know about the latest cooling measures
Owning a private residential property has always been seen – rightly or wrongly – as a pretty sound investment for most of us but the surprise imposition of tough new cooling measures a week or so ago has upped the stakes.  Nevertheless, financial experts say real estate is still a viable asset class.

Millennials faring better in real estate ownership
Millennials – those aged 21 to 36 – are more likely than most generations here to own multiple properties while also being the quickest to save for housing deposits.  The findings from new research note that this group are in a stronger position in terms of real estate ownership than many would assume.

Government can do more to increase housing choices
Goal! It was a stunning strike from outside the penalty area catching everyone by surprise.  There was disbelief in their faces at such an audacious kick against the run of play.  Foul! Some protested, but the referee waved them away.

Will property curbs put Singapore’s construction sector on shaky ground?
Singapore: The local construction sector, which has been showing signs of bottoming out, could find itself on shaky ground again following the latest property cooling measures, some economists said.  Advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Friday (Jul 13) showed the industry shrunk by 4.4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, as weakness in private sector construction activities persisted.

Cool ways to beat urban heat
Scientists and policymakers are studying ways to make the Republic’s outdoor environment cooler, and earlier this week, the team from the Cooling Singapore research project unveiled 86 possible ways of doing so.  The measures range from the use of greenery and water bodies to reduce ambient temperatures to arranging buildings so that wind is better captured.

Duo win $10k for design to boost wellness in malls
When the co-founders of local start-up StandCraft entered a competition for ideas to improve wellness in urban spaces, they did not think they would win it, let alone be close to securing a business deal.  But that is exactly what happened for Mr Galven Lee, 29, and Ms Shirley Lee, 27, who started their company last November to create designs for physical spaces. The two are not related.

More nursing homes and flats installing ceiling hoists
At a growing number of nursing homes and even flats, the heavy lifting is done not by nurses or caregivers, but motorised hoist systems more common in hospitals.  Such systems save time and manpower, as caregivers no longer need to strain to lift bed-bound patients for showers or meals.

Zouk to open restaurants, hotels in lifestyle expansion
Singapore – Soon, people will be able to do more than just party at Zouk, as the iconic Singapore nightclub extends its brand into restaurants, bars and even hotels.  The new offerings are part of a move by Singapore’s longest-running nightclub to transform itself from a nightlife operator to lifestyle group.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China’s trade surplus with US hits record

Brexit White Paper alarms UK business leaders

The new entry point for US luxury homes: US$1m

Trump uses UK visit to promote his money-losing golf resort

Buying a home sight unseen

The New Entry Point for American Luxury-Home Buyers: $1 Million

Westchester Home Sales Plunge After Trump’s Tax Overhaul

U.K House Prices Fall as London Decline Intensifies

Keeping Their Cribs in Manhattan

London’s hottest properties are urban warehouses

New Zealand Q2 inflation expected to pick up, but underlying pressures weak

Vancouver, continent’s least affordable city, has a wage problem

Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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