Bigger average unit size expected to temper condo prices
The average size of new private flats outside the central area will have to be at least 85 sq m, a regulatory change that will cut the number of units allowed in a project – something that developers say would sound the death knell for en bloc deals and moderate condo and land prices in the affected areas.
Singapore ranks 2nd in updated Global Competitiveness Index
Singapore ranks second out of 140 economies in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, an updated version of the annual ranking. With a score of 83.5 out of a possible 100 in the ranking released on Wednesday, Singapore came in behind only the United States; the Republic was ranked third in last year’s Global Competitiveness Index.
Flexible working could contribute S$54.8b to Singapore economy by 2030
A study of flexible working in 16 markets has found that this non-traditional working arrangement could contribute S$54.8 billion to the Singapore economy come 2030. Regus, the global workplace provider which commissioned the study, said in a press release on Wednesday that 73,000 more jobs are likely to be created in the flexible working category in Singapore by then.
Consumer spending may be hit by inflation in 2019
Real private consumption next year is likely to rise by 4 per cent amid real wage growth and a tight labour market, but consumer spending and sentiment may be weighed down by the threats of rising imported inflation. That’s the prediction of a Fitch Solutions Macro Research report published on Wednesday. The projected 4 per cent increase in real private consumption would be an increase from the 3 per cent for this year.
Sept NODX trails forecasts; electronics expected to slow
Growth of Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) continued to push ahead in September, buoyed by favourable low base effects and an upswing in the volatile pharma sector. But economists are not convinced that the export momentum can be sustained as the ongoing trade war could be muddying data. As such, the outlook for the next few months will be a lot less rosy, they warn.
Singapore Real Estate
New guidelines on maximum allowable units in private flats and condos outside Central district
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has revised guidelines on the maximum allowable units in new private flats and condominium developments outside the Central Area. The revised guidelines will apply to new applications for private non-landed residential developments, including executive condominiums and the residential components of mixed-use projects, received on or after Jan 17, 2019.
New rules on condominium balcony size and width
In the light of a growing trend of oversized condominium balconies, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) moved on Wednesday (Oct 17) to cap balcony sizes for the first time. The URA will impose a limit on the sizes of balconies in private homes to no more than 15 per cent of the internal floor area of the unit. Balconies must also now have a minimum width of 1.5m so that the outdoor space can be used meaningfully by residents.
Keppel-KBS US Reit’s Q3 DPU above forecast
A stable performance in line with its initial public offering (IPO) forecast, supported by strong leasing momentum, positive rental reversion and lower property expenses, boosted results for US office landlord Keppel-KBS US Reit in its third quarter. Distribution per unit crept up to 1.5 US cents from 1.49 US cents in its IPO forecast, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Wednesday evening.
Keppel T&T Q3 net profit down 12% on higher operating costs
Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (T&T) on Tuesday reported a third quarter net profit of S$11.8 million, 12 per cent lower than the S$13.5 million recorded last year. The data centre operator said that the decrease was due mainly to higher operating costs, as well as the absence of gain from the partial disposal of a data centre, Keppel DC Singapore 4, in the third quarter of 2017.
Soilbuild Reit DPU down 9.4% at 1.245 cents
Soilbuild Business Space Reit on Wednesday announced a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.245 Singapore cents for the third quarter ended Sept 30, down 9.4 per cent from Q3 2017’s 1.374 Singapore cents. Income attributable to unitholders fell 8.6 per cent to S$13.2 million from S$14.4 million in the year-ago period. Earnings per unit for the quarter were 1.072 Singapore cents, down from 1.188 Singapore cents.
Real estate veteran Edmund Tie to retire
Edmund Tie, the founding executive chairman of the 400-strong local property consultancy Edmund Tie & Company, will retire effective Jan 1, 2019. Mr Tie, who is 71 this year, will remain senior adviser and the firm will continue to be led by chief executive Ong Choon Fah, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
VIEWS, REVIEWS, FORUM & Others
Singapore to attract more tourists with revamped attractions, data analytics
Even as Singapore continues to enjoy its status as a choice destination for quality events, the island state is working to enhance its overall attractiveness as a tourist destination, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said on Wednesday. Speaking at the opening ceremony of travel trade event ITB Asia, Mr Chee noted that visitor arrivals to Singapore increased 7.7 per cent year-on-year to 9.2 million in the first half of 2018, with about 15 per cent of visitors here for business travel and meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (BTMICE).
Bulls are not dead yet, but trading calls turning defensive
Private bank strategists are telling clients to brace for more volatility as higher interest rates and the ongoing US-China trade tussle prompt a fresh look at risk. Most strategists, however, have stopped short of calling an end to the US bull market. One of the more optimistic is UBS which calls the downdraft “a bull market resetting, not an ending”. Still, portfolio calls and positions have mostly turned defensive.
Building a new era of global innovation
In August, the chairman of Enterprise Singapore, Peter Ong, suggested a simple but radical idea. In the future, he said, Singaporean firms should see innovation and internationalisation as one process, not two separate tracks. As the first Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia-Pacific, based here in Singapore, this is an idea I believe has far-reaching potential for both our countries, and especially so as we grapple with how to innovate and succeed in a new era of rapid but turbulent globalisation.
Tough call for developers thinking of walking away from en bloc sale
Since the latest property cooling measures took effect on July 6, at least two developers have called off their purchases of residential collective sale sites. In late July, Tee Land announced that it had decided against exercising its option to purchase Teck Guan Ville in Upper East Coast for S$60 million. It would forfeit its one per cent deposit; Tee Land had signed the ‘option to purchase’ agreement in late June.
BreadTalk returns to India with outlet in Delhi
Singapore home-grown food company BreadTalk has returned to the Indian market with an outlet in Delhi kicking off sales on Tuesday, a day before its actual opening. The venture is BreadTalk’s second foray into India, where modern-style bakeries and bakery cafes are becoming increasingly popular. The Singaporean chain, which has tied up with India’s Som Datt Group for the expansion, plans to open 15 outlets within three years to tap an upwardly mobile and increasingly well-travelled population willing to try different foods.
Plans under way to reshape Sentosa, Brani
Sweeping changes are afoot for Sentosa, the adjacent Pulau Brani and the waterfront along Tanjong Pagar, with plans being made to develop new attractions and brand the area as the Southern Gateway of Asia. There are plans, for instance, to reshape the entire Sentosa Island to provide scope for more leisure amenities and investments, and to allow better infrastructure and accessibility. More hotels and other facilities for activities related to Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) are also among the possibilities for the larger precinct.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
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Sears liquidation to cost landlord nearly half its rent income
Citigroup Tower could be sold for £$1.2b
US home construction dips in September
US stocks fall modestly on housing data, mixed earnings
Tesla secures Shanghai site for China Gigafactory
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