The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 18th September 2018

Singapore Economy

Singapore’s payments transformation pushes ahead with single QR code
A long-awaited piece is finally in place that will get Singapore’s electronic payments transformation going. Singapore on Monday launched a single, standardised QR or Quick Response code for e-payments in what could be a global model for other jurisdictions.

Non-oil exports grow at slower but forecast-beating 5% in August
Growth of non-oil domestic exports (NODX) eased in August but still beat forecasts, with a year-on-year rise of 5 per cent following July’s unexpectedly high 11 per cent expansion, according to Enterprise Singapore data released on Monday. Economists had forecast August’s figure to be 3.9 per cent.

Nine chosen to be Nominated MPs in Parliament
Nine individuals have been selected to represent the views of various segments of Singapore society in Parliament as the next batch of Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs).


Singapore Real Estate

2018 new home sales forecast to wilt by a quarter
This year’s new home sales could be as much as 25 per cent lower than last year’s levels, market watchers said, after government data revealed subdued home-buying activity in August as a result of the cooling measures and also the Hungry Ghost Festival.

New private home sales fall 64% in August from July on cooling measures, Hungry Ghost Festival
Developers in Singapore sold 616 private homes last month, making for a 64.3 per cent fall from the 1,724 units they moved in July and a 50.6 per cent drop from the 1,246 units booked in August last year. The decline comes on the back of a double whammy of property cooling measures that took effect on July 6 and the Hungry Ghost Festival in August when some would avoid entering into property deals.

CapitaLand invests US$25.9m in Indonesian hotel operator
CapitaLand has invested US$25.9 million for a 70 per cent share in Indonesian company Green Oak Hotel Management (GOHM), the real estate developer announced on Monday. The investment in GOHM, which is the holding company of Tauzia, one of Indonesia’s top five hotel operators, is part of CapitaLand’s strategy to grow its hospitality business through The Ascott, its wholly-owned serviced residence business unit.

9 new precincts to join pilot Business Improvement District programme
Nine new precincts will join the pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme to drive efforts in enlivening the city, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Monday. With more active participation by stakeholders, the public can look forward to more vibrant districts and attractive public spaces, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said at URA’s annual Place Management Seminar.

3 developments back with collective sale bids
Laguna Park launched its mega collective sale yesterday with a reserve price of $1.48 billion, while two prime freehold residential sites in District 9 near Orchard Road are taking another stab at a collective sale. The two freehold sites are Grange Heights in St Thomas Walk, which will be put up for public tender for $820 million, and Cairnhill Astoria in Cairnhill Rise, to go for $196 million, said Colliers International.

Laguna Park up for sale with S$1.48b reserve price
Private residential estate Laguna Park in the East Coast area has been put up for sale at a reserve price of nearly S$1.5 billion. The en bloc offering follows those of Horizon Towers and Faber Garden – both of which also dangled price tags of more than a billion dollars in their individual collective sales attempts and closed without a sale.

Grange Heights, Cairnhill Astoria have another go at en bloc sale
Two prime freehold residential sites in District 9 near Orchard Road will be offered again for collective sale on Sept 18, according to real estate service provider Colliers International. They are Grange Heights in St Thomas Walk, which will be up for public tender for S$820 million, and Cairnhill Astoria in Cairnhill Rise, which relaunches with a S$196 million asking price.

Singapore Grand Prix helps drive up hotels’ occupancy rates
It is turning out to be an encouraging year for hotels here, with occupancy rates higher than they have been over the last four years. And the fillip is being felt during the Formula One (F1) period.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand buys 16 multifamily properties in US for US$835m
CapitaLand has acquired 16 multifamily properties in the US for US$835 million (S$1.14 billion), the real estate developer announced on Tuesday morning. The portfolio comprises 3,787 apartment units located in suburban communities of the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Portland, Greater Los Angeles and Denver. CapitaLand said it marks the group’s foray into the country’s multifamily asset class to ride on the growing demand for long-term rental housing.

Is Ascott trust mulling sale of Ascott Raffles Place?
Word on the street is that an expression of interest (EOI) exercise closed recently for Ascott Raffles Place, a 20-storey conserved building with 146 serviced apartments. Located at 2 Finlayson Green and a stone’s throw from the Raffles Place MRT Station, the 999-year leasehold property is owned by the listed Ascott Residence Trust (ART), the sponsor of which is The Ascott Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand.

Centurion to buy 133-bed UK student housing asset for £10.2m
Dormitory developer Centurion Corp has agreed to buy a 133-bed student housing asset in the British city of Nottingham for £10.2 million (S$18.25 million). The asset, Castle Gate Haus, comprises 69 studios and 64 en-suite rooms sitting on the even-number lots of 32 to 44 Castle Gate near Nottingham Trent University and within driving distance of the University of Nottingham. Centurion will manage the properties under its dwell brand.

BBR wins S$60m of contracts
BBR Holdings has snagged several contract wins totalling S$60 million, the mainboard-listed construction and specialised engineering company announced in a Singapore Exchange filing on Monday night.

Sembcorp inks 20-year deal to supply solar power to Facebook’s Singapore operations
Sembcorp Industries on Tuesday announced a 20-year solar energy deal with Facebook to provide locally-sourced renewable power to support Facebook’s recently announced 170,000 square metre Singapore data centre, as well as its other Singapore operations, for an undisclosed sum.

Debao Property Development applies for third extension to hold FY2017 AGM
Debao Property Development has submitted an application to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for a third extension to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) for the 2017 fiscal year, the company said in a filing late on Monday night. It has requested a two-month extension to hold the AGM on Nov 30 instead of Sept 30 this year.

Singapore-listed equity offerings strongest since 2014
Singapore-listed equity offerings totalled US$3.8 billion so far this year, a 6.1 per cent increase in proceeds compared to the first nine months of 2017 – the strongest first nine-month period since 2014. This was driven by follow-on offerings that raised US$3.3 billion, up 130.3 per cent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Changing hands
Tracking fund flows in the Singapore stock market



New interactive forum to showcase global thought leaders 
The Straits Times and The Business Times will launch a new public interactive forum next month to showcase prominent thought leaders from around the world in various fields. Called “Cutting Edge,” the series will feature live interviews with audience participation, and will also be videocast to reach global audiences. The forums, which will take place every quarter and are sponsored by GuocoLand, will be moderated by Straits Times Associate Editor Vikram Khanna.

New academy to send Singapore students overseas for internship at startups
To groom future innovators with a global view, a new academy has been set up to send Singapore students abroad for internships at startups or companies that undertake entrepreneurship and innovation. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced this at the opening of this year’s Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (Switch).

NRF to invest S$25m in quantum engineering programme
The National Research Foundation will invest S$25 million into a Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) to develop quantum technology and devices, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Monday (Sep 17). “The QEP will facilitate collaboration between researchers and industry partners … in domains like communications, sensors, cybersecurity and diagnostic imaging,” Mr Heng said at the opening of Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology.

How safe is your personal data collected by your smart devices?
These days, just about every business in town is touting the interlinkage of multiple devices to produce smart homes, smart lights, smart locks, smart TVs, smart cars, smart everything. And consumers are buying into all the connectivity and convenience of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) without really understanding how their personal confidential information is being collected and used, while companies, keen to offer technologically innovative solutions, are tapping IoT opportunities without fully appreciating the challenges they present under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

Asians can build new patterns for business
Globalisation – the broad catch-all term we use to describe global labour flows, global trading of ideas and products and global supply chains – is under the spotlight as never before. At a macro level, critics are feeling vindicated watching the cracks in the current version of globalisation begin to deepen, as citizens who feel left behind and unheard are driving political and economic shocks, and fuelling a growing tide of nationalism and populism.

Days of fear, years of obstruction
Lehman Brothers failed 10 years ago. The US economy was already in a recession, but Lehman’s fall and the chaos that followed sent it off a cliff: six and a half million jobs would be lost during the next year. It was a terrifying time. Still, we didn’t experience a full replay of the Great Depression, and some have argued that the system worked, in the sense that policymakers did what was needed to avoid catastrophe.

Brexit: countdown to March 2019
The United Kingdom leaves the European Union forever at the end of March 2019. Which sounds a big deal but is only a tiny blip in the history of Europe. Singapore as a nation is older than the EU and the UK’s involvement with it. And Europe (if you count the whole Greek Empire) has been at war with itself for several thousand years, culminating in the two worst slaughters in human history. The first one ended a hundred years ago and the second is within living memory.

Machines to handle half of work tasks by 2025: WEF study
Machines and automated software will be handling fully half of all workplace tasks within seven years, a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) forecasts. But the group said that technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and precision medicine, could create more jobs than they threaten.

Don’t let lease angst overshadow HDB’s great job in public housing
There has been a great deal of public debate over whether HDB flat buyers are lessees or owners and whether their ageing flats can maintain their value till the end of the lease.

Will Korean denuclearisation post-S’pore be a mirage?
South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets with Kim Jong-un on Tuesday in a bid to turbo-charge flagging peace talks. After the cancellation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip last month to Pyongyang, the key question for Mr Moon and Mr Kim is whether sustained moves towards “denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula will ultimately prove anything more than a mirage.

China wants to work with other countries to develop AI
China is promoting artificial intelligence (AI) in an open environment and seeks to work with other countries to develop the field, Vice-Premier Liu He told technology honchos in Shanghai yesterday. It supports Chinese firms and research institutes in cooperating widely with their foreign counterparts, and welcomes countries to invest in China to tap its vast market of 1.4 billion people, he said.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

UK economy will shrink without Brexit deal, IMF warns

Saudi sovereign fund secures US$11b loan to boost diversification blitz

Trump slaps tariffs on US$200b in Chinese goods, threatens US$267b more

China won’t just play defence in trade war, ‘Global Times’ warns

Canada trade minister pushes quick ratification of trade deal with Asia Pacific

Growth in Chinese home prices hits two-year high in August

Price gains in Hainan property market moderating after curbs

Equity Residential seeks buyers for two NYC buildings

Trump’s Scottish golf homes attract interest even before approval

UK house prices recover amid signs of pickup in London

Germany plans tax incentives to encourage housing construction

Hilton splashes into the Caribbean with all-inclusive resort deal

Och-Ziff to seek US$2 billion for its biggest real estate fund

One of China’s wildest housing markets Is broken

Sapphire Corporation secures 436m renminbi contract

Ping An Real Estate Head Named Winter Properties’ President


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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