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 May 2017

Top Story

Intense bidding for GLS sites to continue, analysts expect bigger supply in H2
Developers’ hunger for land has clearly translated into more intense bidding for sites sold under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, with more throwing their hat in the ring and the winning bidders footing price premiums that are higher than those for comparable sites sold earlier.  Research by Cushman & Wakefield on predominantly residential GLS sites found that the average number of bidders in the first half of this year was 13.3, up from, for example, H2 2015, when it was 8.25.

Singapore Economy

Early gains seen for Singapore in EU court ruling on FTA
Singapore can look to scoring early gains from a top European Union court ruling on a free-trade pact that the city-state has with the regional bloc, observers told The Business Times.  This comes even as the ruling by the EU Court of Justice on Tuesday is expected to lengthen the time for the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) to come into force.

New Silk Road brings opportunities and challenges: Lawrence Wong
Singapore’s partnership with China on its ambitious new Silk Road initiative brings both opportunities and challenges, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in Beijing yesterday.  Singapore can play a role to help finance Belt and Road projects, and provide expertise in infrastructure planning. Singapore companies can also partner Chinese companies to invest in South-east Asia, he said.

Most Singaporeans pick e-payments over cash: Poll
A big majority of Singaporeans prefer making payments electronically over using cash, a new poll has found.  According to the survey conducted by Visa, 87 per cent of Singaporeans prefer to make electronic payments instead of using cash. This is up 11 per cent from the previous year’s survey and it represents the highest preference for electronic payments in the region.

Singapore Real Estate

GIC tells why it is still under-invested in real estate
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is trying to raise its allocation in real estate from about 7 per cent of its portfolio to the target allocation of 9 to 13 per cent.  Its difficulty, however, lies in the high valuations of assets around the world, and competition from many other sources of capital.  The chief investment officer of GIC Real Estate, Lee Kok Sun, said on Tuesday: “That’s just a reflection of the market, because asset values are at an escalated level. Given the size of the assets that we manage, it’s just difficult to move the needle.

Two rescued in Punggol construction site fire
Two workers trapped in a gondola were rescued by firefighters in the midst of a blaze at a Punggol construction site yesterday.  The men were taken to Changi General Hospital to be observed for smoke inhalation, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).  No one else was injured.

Companies’ Brief

Listing hindered ARA’s growth: John Lim
Being listed hindered ARA Asset Management’s growth strategy, group founder and chief executive officer John Lim said at the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA)’s AsiaPac Property Leaders Summit on Tuesday.  Asked during a panel discussion for his thoughts on how property investors’ business strategies are evolving, Mr Lim said: “This question was asked during my privatisation shareholders’ meeting. People were upset that we privatised, not because the price is not right, (but because) they think that they want to ride along with the growth of the organisation. They think that there is a lot of future in this, and I do agree.”

Aspial to spin off property arm in Catalist listing
Aspial Corp is spinning off its property development arm in a listing on the Singapore Exchange’s Catalist board to raise funds for property acquisition and construction, and for working capital.  The amount that will be raised and the timing of the initial public offering have not been set.  World Class Global undertakes the property development business in Australia and Malaysia for Aspial, which also runs jewellery stores and pawnshops.

UOL Group and its associate complete acquisition of Raintree Gardens
Wee Cho Yaw-controlled UOL Group, with its listed associate United Industrial Corporation, has completed the en bloc purchase of Raintree Gardens in Potong Pasir.  The acquisition is done via UVD (Projects) Pte Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between UOL group and United Industrial Corporation.  The leasehold property at 110-112 Potong Pasir Avenue 1 will be redeveloped into a project with about 750 units, UOL said in its results released on May 12.

Mapletree to boost presence in China
Real estate developer Mapletree will look to ramp up its logistics presence in China in the next few years to ride on the increased demand created by China’s huge One Belt, One Road initiative as well as the burgeoning e-commerce sector.  In an exclusive interview yesterday, the company unveiled its plans to increase its logistics gross floor area across China from 2 million sq m to 4 to 5 million sq m as it caters to its customers’ increasing needs.

Europe still has untapped real estate potential: Cromwell
The boss of a major asset manager reportedly planning the Singapore listing of a billion-dollar Reit comprising European properties is bullish on some of Europe’s smaller cities.  The hunt for yield has sent plenty of capital flowing into Europe’s major cities but greater opportunities lie outside of the capitals and retail centres, said Cromwell Property Group chief Paul Weightman.  “In the city of London, a 3 per cent yield is considered attractive because the investor believes there’s a limited downside. We have a different view,” Mr Weightman told The Straits Times over lunch on Monday, during a regular visit to meet investors here.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US hotel chain looking to spin off its real estate

US home construction slows unexpectedly in April

Want to buy a home? Skip the avocado toast, real estate mogul suggests

London office space rising despite Brexit uncertainty: Deloitte survey

China’s Copy of Manhattan Is No Longer a Ghost Town

China tightens rules on wealth management products, flags more curbs

Developer snares rare HK commercial site with $4.2b bid

NZ housing market most at risk of bust, Goldman warns

Canada home sales fall in April as market feels the chill of govt cooling measures

Australia focuses on infrastructure with $78b investment

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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