The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 17th January 2018

Singapore Economy

Malaysia and Singapore look forward to stable ties
Domestic developments came up for mention at the eighth Singapore-Malaysia leaders’ retreat on Tuesday, with both leaders alluding to the impending general election in Malaysia.  Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at a press conference at the Istana, the venue for his meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak, concluded his remarks by saying he looked forward to visiting Malaysia for the next leaders’ retreat later this year, “after, probably, their general election”.

Binding deal inked for new JB-Woodlands train service
The human and vehicle congestion that is a common sight at the Causeway these days is likely to be significantly alleviated come the end of 2024.  That is when the new Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link – a major cross-border project between Singapore and Malaysia – is expected to begin operations.  The 4km-long MRT line between Woodlands and Johor Baru, first announced back in 2010, will allow commuters to board a train every 8 minutes on average.

Households here expect inflation to inch up to 2.97%: Poll
Inflation expectations in Singapore stay tame as geopolitical uncertainties cool the euphoria from global economic growth, a survey by the Singapore Management University (SMU) showed yesterday.  The results of the survey last month showed that Singapore households expect the median one-year-ahead headline inflation to inch up to 2.97 per cent from their forecast of 2.93 per cent recorded in September last year.

STI rises to highest level in over 10 years
The bull run that has been turbo-charging shares in recent months put in a stunning performance yesterday by driving the market to its highest level in more than 10 years.  The actual rise of just 13.8 points was small change, but it made for a memorable day and left investors reaching for the bubbly.  The modest increase left the Straits Times Index (STI) at 3,550.21 – its highest level since it finished at 3,570.5 on Dec 11, 2007.

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore slips to 8th costliest place in Asia for mid-market home rentals
Singapore continued to slide down the list of most expensive places in Asia for mid-market rentals, according to a survey by ECA International published yesterday.  The country is now ranked eighth, down one notch from the previous year. In 2016, Singapore was placed fourth.

Balmoral Gardens to be launched for collective sale; owners expect more than S$92m
Balmoral Gardens – located near the Orchard shopping belt in prime district 10 – will be launched for a collective sale on Jan 17, 2018, sole marketing agent Huttons Asia said in a press statement on Tuesday night.  Owners of the freehold residential land expect offers above S$92 million, with the land rate estimated to be at S$1,872 per sq ft per plot ratio inclusive of development charge.

Two Singapore Airbnb hosts to plead guilty to illegal letting charges, says lawyer
Two Airbnb hosts charged in Singapore with unauthorised short-term letting of four apartments are expected to plead guilty next month, their lawyer said on Tuesday.  The two men face four charges under the city-state’s Planning Act for renting out four units in a condominium for less than six months without permission from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, according to court documents last month.

HDB sees rise in reports of popped tiles in flats
The Housing Board has seen an increase in reports of popped or dislodged tiles in flats, with about 700 cases reported in the first half of this month alone, which is about a third of the total reported in the whole of 2016.  But HDB said yesterday that the new figures are “consistent with the experience of previous years”, where there tends to be a higher number of feedback on the dislodgement of tiles during the cooler months.

Companies’ Brief

Singapore-based ZACD Group in modest debut on HKEX
Shares of Singapore-headquartered ZACD Group closed 1.6 per cent higher than its initial public offering (IPO) price of HK$0.32 on Tuesday, its first day of trading on the GEM board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX).  The asset management company, which offers integrated solutions in real estate in Singapore and Asia-Pacific, opened one Hong Kong cent higher than the offer price at HK$0.33 on Tuesday, and hit an intraday high of HK$0.355, before closing at HK$0.325.

Ascendas-Singbridge JV starts construction on office tower in Ho Chi Minh City business park
Urban solutions provider Ascendas-Singbridge and its joint venture partner, Saigon Bund Capital Partners, on Tuesday announced that construction works for an office tower in Ho Chi Minh City’s first fully integrated business park has begun.  The construction involves Office Tower 1 at OneHub Saigon in Saigon Hi-Tech Park. With a gross floor area of about 12,000 sq m over six floors, the tower is expected to commence operations from the first quarter of next year.

ESR-Reit’s DPU drops 6.7% for Q4
ESR-Reit reported a 6.7 per cent drop in distribution per unit (DPU) to 0.929 Singapore cent for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017.  For fiscal 2017, the Reit (real estate investment trust) reported an overall fall in DPU of 7.7 per cent to 3.853 Singapore cents.  This came as net property income (NPI) rose 1.2 per cent to S$19.928 million for the fourth quarter, but fell 4.7 per cent for the fiscal year to S$78.445 million.

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust expands investment mandate to include Japan
Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust (MGCCT) is expanding its investment mandate to include Japan.  The trust manager said in a bourse filing on Tuesday that the expansion will allow MGCCT to better diversify its portfolio and enhance the manager’s ability to provide balanced and long-term returns for unitholders.

First Reit secures up to S$400 million in syndicated secured loans from OCBC
First Real Estate Investment Trust (First Reit) has secured up to S$400 million in syndicated secured financing facilities from OCBC Bank, its manager Bowsprit Capital Corporation announced on Tuesday.  The facilities consist of a three-year, four-year, and five-year Singapore dollar term loan facility, as well as a three-year dual currency revolving credit facility available in Singapore or US dollar.

CDL will not extend offer for M&C beyond Jan 26
City Developments (CDL) said on Wednesday that it will not extend the deadline for its offer to privatise London-listed Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) if there are insufficient acceptances for the bid to turn unconditional by Jan 26.  The acceptance condition requires valid acceptances of the final offer of more than 50 per cent of the M&C shares not already owned by CDL.

Sysma Holdings unit awarded S$5m deal to build two landed homes for deputy chief executive
A unit of Sysma Holdings has been awarded a S$5 million contract to build two landed houses in Medway Drive for a senior executive.  Sysma Construction will carry out the project for Sin Ee Wuen, who is deputy chief executive of Sysma, the group said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday.  Mr Sin is also the son of Sin Soon Teng, executive chairman and group chief executive, who holds a 66.02 per cent stake in the company.

Top Global terminates proposed purchase of South Bridge Road shophouses
Developer Top Global has aborted its proposed purchase of a pair of adjoining shophouses along South Bridge Road.  This was because the condition for a change of use at the second to fourth storeys of the property as “Hotel or Hostel” could not be fulfilled, it told the Singapore Exchange in a filing on Tuesday.  Top Global said the termination request was acknowledged, and that it received the refund for the S$265,000 option deposit on Jan 16.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Relax manpower rules to help firms with digital transformation: KPMG
Professional services firm KPMG has joined a growing chorus calling for more flexible manpower policies to help companies go digital.  The firm’s recommendations for Budget 2018 include a suggestion to allow companies to hire more foreigners – especially in fast-growing tech segments such as cybersecurity and data analytics.

Brokers’ take
Going into 2018, we anticipate primary home sales to improve year on year to 11,000-12,000 units, and private home prices to rise by up to 5 per cent year on year.  We expect displaced homeowners from en-bloc sales and organic household formation to continue to underpin demand for housing.

Home buyers should not be swayed by the fear of missing out
What a difference a year makes.  This time last year, many property investors and industry players were still hopeful that the authorities would roll back some of the cooling measures that had kept a lid on the recovery in the Singapore residential market.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US report releases details on Trump properties

UK inflation eases for first time since June as Brexit woes wane

China 2017 non-financial overseas investment falls 29.4% y-o-y

Canada home sales hit record ahead of tougher mortgage rules

Canadian housing agency shuffles management as CFO leaves

Germany to add China’s yuan to currency reserves

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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