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 October 2017

Top Story

Foreign developers throwing lines into Singapore’s en bloc pond
Foreign developers – those from China in particular – sense there’s a killing to be made from Singapore’s feverish en bloc market.  Amid limited options under the government land sales (GLS) programme, a few have plunged headlong into the game while several others are sussing out information on available en bloc sites and learning how the process works. It may only be a matter of time before more will emerge with en bloc trophies in hand, market watchers say.

URA unveils plans for 19,000 homes in 3 residential precincts
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday unveiled its proposed plans for some 19,000 units in three upcoming neighbourhoods: Kampong Bugis, Holland Plain and Bayshore.  In line with its car-lite vision, it plans to develop seamless and comprehensive networks of walkways and cycling paths so that planners can set aside less space for roads and carparks.

Developers’ sales fall to 657 private homes in Sept from 1,246 units in Aug: URA
Singapore developers sold 657 private homes in September 2017 – down from 1,246 units in August 2017, on the back of a pullback in new launches amid the Hungry Ghosts Festival. However, the September 2017 figure is higher than the 509 units developers moved in September 2016.  The preliminary third-quarter 2017 figure stands at 3,015 private homes, down slightly from 3077 units in Q2 2017 but higher than the 1,981 units in Q3 2016.

Singapore Economy

Singapore tax incentives meet global standards
An international body overseeing global tax practices has said that Singapore’s tax incentives meet the international standards on countering corporate tax avoidance.  The Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) said in a report yesterday that it had reviewed 164 tax regimes, finding that governments have dismantled, or are in the process of amending, nearly 100 preferential tax regimes as part of efforts to improve the international tax framework.

SMEs grapple with rising costs, stiff competition: survey
The recent economic data in Singapore may paint a rosy picture, but a recent report found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not out of the woods yet.  The Annual Business Survey 2017 by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry showed mixed findings; business sentiment may have gone up marginally, but more SMEs face rising business costs compared to the year before.

SGD bonds still hot as interest rates stay low
Singapore-dollar (SGD) bond deals continue to hit the market, and are being snapped up by investors who fear the “low-for-long” interest rate mantra is sticking.  Yields have thus been falling, as strong demand leads to spreads tightening.  Clifford Lee, DBS Bank head of fixed income, said: “From last year to this year, yields of investment grade bonds have continued to tighten.”

VC, PE investments for Q1-Q3 top SEA total for all of 2016
More than US$8 billion in venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investments was recorded in South-east Asia in between Q1 and Q3 this year. The figure exceeds gross investments in the region for the whole of last year (US$7.1 billion), said the Singapore Venture Capital Association (SVCA).  Total VC and PE investments for Q1 to Q3 last year amounted to US$5.1 billion.

Tuas mega port will boost S’pore as global maritime hub: PM Lee
While Singapore has enjoyed much success as a maritime hub, it cannot rest on its laurels, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post yesterday.  While Singapore has a port in a strategic location, there are “ports in the region competing for business” and “new trade routes opening up”, he added.

Singapore Real Estate

Fewer launches as developers await upturn
Developers launched just 73 private homes last month – less than a tenth of what they released in August, and the lowest figure since December 2014’s 53 units.  The Chinese Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, two-thirds of which fell in September, may have been partly the reason for this, but observers suggest that developers have also been holding back on launches of private residential projects lately, in the hope of riding a price recovery next year.

46-room Regin Hotel in Sims Avenue up for sale
A budget hotel on freehold land near the junction of Sims Way and Sims Avenue is up for sale.  Regin Hotel’s 46 rooms spread over five levels now cater to budget travellers, mostly from the region.  But “interested parties can consider repositioning the hotel to a different category, such as a themed boutique hotel or a hip and trendy hostel”, said the property’s exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore.

Companies’ Brief

Keppel DC Reit Q3 DPU up 16.8%
Keppel DC Reit on Monday posted a 16.8 per cent rise in its Q3 distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.74 Singapore cents from 1.49 Singapore cents a year ago, as acquisitions and more rental income helped to lift earnings.  For the three months ended Sept 30, 2017, the mainboard-listed real estate investment trust’s (Reit) adjusted DPU stood at 1.74 Singapore cents, up from 1.67 Singapore cents the previous year.

Keppel trust manager responds to report of underwater cable sale
The manager of Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT) on Monday responded to a report in The Australian claiming that the trust’s underwater cable linking Tasmania’s hydro power-dependent grid to the mainland is up for sale. This is owned by KIT’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Basslink.

GIC to invest in Vietnamese mall operator’s US$680m IPO
Vincom Retail JSC, the Vietnamese mall operator backed by Warburg Pincus, has started taking investor orders for a domestic initial public offering that could raise as much as US$680 million.  Existing shareholders including Warburg Pincus and Credit Suisse Group AG are offering a combined 380.2 million shares at 37,000 to 40,600 dong (S$2.20 to S$2.42) apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg.

Chip Eng Seng buys Changi Garden for S$248.8m
Property developer Chip Eng Seng has won the tender for the en bloc sale of Changi Garden at a price of S$248.8 million. It plans to redevelop the freehold property into a low-rise residential condominium with full facilities.  The purchase price is about 27 per cent above the asking price of S$196 million and works out to S$888 per square foot per plot ratio (psr ppr).

OKH can’t complete S$49m sale of warehouse unit, cites buyers’ default
Logistics and industrial property developer OKH Global failed to complete a S$49 million disposal of a warehouse investment and developer unit after the buyers said that they could not complete the deal, the company announced on Monday after the market closed.

Hiap Seng Engineering secures three contracts worth S$52m
Hiap Seng Engineering Ltd said it has secured three contracts worth S$52 million in Singapore and Thailand.

One contract was awarded by Sembcorp Project Engineering Company to Hiap Seng to provide engineering, procurement, and construction of new pipelines.  The other two contracts came from Evonik Methionine South East Asia for modular pipe racks and mechanical packages.

Hai Leck wins Jurong Island project
Hai Leck Holdings – an engineering and construction services firm – said on Monday it has been awarded a new project from an existing customer in Jurong Island, boosting its order book by S$28 million.  The group said it was successful in securing the project due to, among others, its use of “mechanisation initiatives” that raises productivity and reduces reliance on manpower.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Self-service transactions: penny wise, pound foolish?
Self-service property websites lure property buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants – let us collectively address all of them as “clients” – with the bait of substantial savings in agents’ fees.  The proliferation of self-service portals and mobile applications has resulted in an increasing number of clients who help themselves in transacting properties, particularly those who have more time and are a bit more tech- and legal-savvy.

Keeping collective sales on even keel
The high number and value of collective sale deals done this year has expectedly become the talk of the town. Such sales offer a useful way to optimise the use of land, allow older developments to make way for fresh designs that appeal to today’s buyers, and perhaps even offer “green” features. From a national point of view, there is much to be said for freeing up scarce land in Singapore. Indeed, collective sales reflect the current value of a piece of land, one that takes into account the effects of economic growth and the benefits of infrastructure and amenities which have sprung up since the erection of the original building.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Yellen says US economy in good health; sparks talk of rate hike

Northern Virginia counties vying to host Amazon’s second HQ

London house prices fall at fastest pace since 2009

China’s Sept producer price index spikes 6.9%

China central bank surprises with 7% H2 growth forecast

Li Ka-shing’s HK tower sells for record HK$40.2b

No sign of slowing down in HK commercial property market

China poised to be top foreign buyer of Thai property

Thai hotels booked up ahead of funeral of revered king

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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