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 September 2016

Singapore Economy

More job-seekers than jobs – a first since 2012
The job market went from bad to worse in the second quarter: job seekers outnumbered job openings for the first time in four years, and the jobless rate among graduates rose to its highest since 2009.  Job vacancies fell from 50,000 in March to 49,400 in June, extending the downward trend that has been in place since March 2015, said the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Report for the second quarter released on Thursday.  There were only a seasonally-adjusted 93 vacancies for every 100 job hunters in June, down from 103 in March, with the decline in openings cutting across all industries. The last time job vacancies fell short of job seekers was in June 2012, when there were 98 vacancies for every 100 job seekers, the report said.

Retail sector urged to shop for ideas
Shoppers at electronics retailer Challenger’s e-commerce store can either collect their purchases at one of its physical shops or have them delivered.  They can also check whether a specific product is available at a certain store, so they will not have to make a wasted trip.  This integration between the firm’s online and offline stores was held up by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran yesterday as an example of a traditionally brick-and-mortar retailer that remodelled its business to escape becoming irrelevant.

Singapore Real Estate

Executive condominiums are top-selling projects by developers in August: URA
Amid a lack of new residential project launches in August, executive condominiums (ECs) turned out to be best sellers.  Developers sold a total of 805 private residential units and EC units in August, down from July’s 1,921 units – with ECs taking up 41 per cent of the sales volumes in August.  Excluding ECs, some 473 private residential units were moved in August, about 8 per cent fewer than a year ago. But this marked a 57 per cent plunge from the active month of July, though the number of units launched (590 units) in August was only a 5 per cent fewer than in July.

110 Robinson Rd sold at S$45.1m to Indonesian tycoon Tahir
A string of commercial property transactions has taken place recently.  These include a 12-storey freehold office block at 110 Robinson Road, owned by OCBC, which has sold it to Indonesian tycoon Tahir. The sale will be completed in three months, a spokeswoman for the bank said when contacted by The Business Times.  The price is understood to be S$45.1 million or nearly S$3,169 per square foot based on the net lettable area of 14,233 sq ft. The property is between Finexis Building at 108 Robinson Road and Robinson 112.

Units at top of towers here ‘8th most expensive’
Office units on the top floors of Singapore skyscrapers are the eighth most expensive in a new global ranking but there is a high risk of a sharp fall.  A looming supply glut and slowing economy sent prime rents here declining 7 per cent over the first six months of the year, while they either climbed or held steady in the 22 other cities surveyed for the twice-yearly index.  The skyscraper index, compiled by Knight Frank and released yesterday, examines the rental performance of commercial buildings over 30 storeys high.

S’pore has second-worst office rental prospects out of 31 cities
Prime office rents in Singapore are forecast to drop 14 per cent between end-2015 and end-2019, the second worst among 31 cities worldwide, showed a report by real estate consultancy Knight Frank yesterday.  Besides the large impending supply hitting the market this year and next, demand for prime office space is also undermined by slower economic growth and a lack of support from the thriving technology sector, whose companies are setting up shop outside the Central Business District (CBD).

Turning Singapore into a Smart Property Nation
One of the big trends in human development is the digitisation of our physical world. It is happening all around us: We are digitising social interaction. WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are just some of the many apps we now use to communicate with each other. On the retail front, we buy physical goods but only after reviewing their digital versions on Qoo10, RedMart, Carousell, Lazada and traditional global sites such as Amazon.  The digitisation of the financial world is moving at light speed. Traditional stock exchanges adopted electronic trading a long time ago but are under continued pressure from 
alternative ways of trading, including crossing networks and dark pools.

Companies’ Brief

Keppel sells Shanghai mall stake for S$73m profit
Propertyr and rigbuilding group Keppel Corporation has sold its stake in a Shanghai mixed-use development that will reap its subsidiary Keppel Land a S$73 million profit.  The mall, Life Hub @ Jinqiao, is located in Shanghai’s Pudong district. Completed in end-2009, it has 114,730 square metres of gross floor area of retail shops over 10 low-rise buildings. The development also includes a 10-storey office tower with a retail podium.  Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land, said that the sale was in line with Keppel Land’s strategy to continually recycle assets for higher returns.

ARA said to clinch deal to purchase Capital Square office tower stake
ARA Asset Management Ltd has won the bid for a stake in Singapore’s Capital Square office tower in the city’s central business district, according to people familiar with the matter.  ARA, which is listed in Singapore, is buying the 50 per cent stake in the building that was put up for sale last year by Alpha Investment Partners, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.  The purchase will be concluded by month-end, one of the people said, without disclosing the price of the deal.  The 16-story prime office building in the Raffles Place financial district was expected to fetch about S$2,500 per square foot, valuing the 50 per cent stake at roughly S$415 million, according to an estimate from Donald Han, a Singapore-based managing director at real estate broker Chestertons.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Are bond risks of developers really that worrying?
While debt woes have continued to plague the offshore marine sector since the fallout of Swiber Holdings, concerns over the health of the local bond market have risen. It is no surprise that the real estate sector have drawn some flak for potential repayment risks as it forms the lion’s share of outstanding bond issuance.  Last week, credit rating agency S&P cast a spotlight on the bond risks of developers, saying that some small developers may face liquidity squeeze, making them more vulnerable to repayment risks on bonds outstanding.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Malaysia to review proposal to let property developers lend to buyers

Li Ka Shing returns to Hong Kong housing after four-year absence

Bank of England signals new rate cut despite Brexit bounceback

China’s Housing Gets Scarily Expensive

Yen edges up as investors seek safe havens

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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