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, 18th and 19th June 2017

Top Story

Singapore property stocks may build on best rally in five years
Singapore property stocks are set for their best annual performance in five years, and strategists believe the rally is far from over.  With an expected pickup in real estate following the easing of housing curbs, developers are expected to be the bright spot in Singapore equities as gains in the city-state’s stocks may be limited for the rest of the year.

Singapore Economy

Asia to see firm growth this year as global trade recovers: economist
Asia’s economic growth is forecast to remain resilient in both 2017 and 2018, supported by solid growth in China, said Michael Heise, chief economist at Allianz SE, at a briefing on Friday.  This comes as trade shows signs of revival amid improving new orders in China, the US and the European Union.

Traditional F&B businesses, disruptive startups get together
Impeccable robot-cooked omelettes, exotic vending-machine cuisines and freshly-roasted specialty coffee beans ordered online were on the menu at the second edition of DBS’s flagship event “Disrupt @ the Bay” on Friday.

May exports slide despite solid electronics shipments
Singapore’s electronics shipments continued to soar last month on strong global demand, but it was not enough to arrest a slide in overall exports.  Non-oil domestic exports slid 1.2 per cent, according to trade agency IE Singapore yesterday. It was the second straight month of contraction after five months of growth.

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore housing market buzzes with return of en bloc sales
Chalk up another sign Singapore’s housing market is recovering: redevelopment deals are back.  After slowing to a trickle the past three years as housing prices fell, four redevelopment deals – where a group of owners band together to sell entire apartment blocks at a hefty premium – have already been struck this year, with a combined value of S$1.5 billion.

Construction industry faces tough times
For more than 15 years, Mr Fong went underground.  As the founder of a construction firm that specialises in geotechnical engineering services, he toiled at making sure that the soil is stable enough to be built on. But a few years ago, he threw in the towel.  “Contract prices were dropping to such low levels and profits were paper-thin. It was highly risky to take on such business,” Mr Fong, who is in his 60s, told The Straits Times.

Small contractors still resistant to change
At the construction site for a two-storey house in Cluny Hill, contractor GA Construction is doing things the old-fashioned way.  Close to 40 foreign workers are building scaffolds – erecting the formwork, placing the metal rebars, pouring the concrete and waiting for it to set.  This has been the tried-and -tested process of construction here for decades, said GA’s general manager Joseph Liew.

Harnessing prefab tech to save time, manpower
Two local construction firms saw technological advancement as an opportunity and not a threat.  Teambuild and Tiong Seng – among Singapore’s largest construction firms – have become the first adopters of prefab technology here and are well-placed for the industry’s high-tech transformation.

Companies’ Brief

Hiap Hoe ventures into UK hospitality sector with £26m hotel purchase
In its first foray into the UK hospitality sector, construction and property group Hiap Hoe Limited has acquired the Holiday Inn Express Trafford City in Manches-ter, UK for £26.29 million (S$46.44 million).  The agreement was entered into on Friday between its newly incorporated subsidiary Meteorite Manchester Limited (MML) and three companies – Topland (No 18) Limited, Mill Lane Estates Limited and Marick Capital Limited – to acquire Trafford City Hotel Limited (TCHL), which owns the hotel.

Asia’s theme park hunger prompts Aecom to offer new service
Asia is getting more serious about having fun, and that’s prompting multinational engineering and infrastructural services firm Aecom to come up with a new service for aspiring theme park operators.  While having more operators crashing the party in Asia is an opportunity for Aecom, the competition has, on the other hand, weighed on Singapore’s Universal Studios which saw its first-ever dip in visitorship last year.

How family upgraded from HDB flat to terrace house with prudent financial planning
Investors use arcane-sounding financial gauges, such as the price to earnings ratio and book value, to evaluate a firm’s overall health before taking the plunge to buy its shares, for example.  The same holds true for people wanting to assess their personal financial circumstances with rigour before making a big investment decision, such as buying a house.

UE/WBL takeover not a straightforward exercise
How the times have changed.  Four years ago, engineering and property development firm United Engineers (UE) was riding high after launching an audacious but ultimately successful bid for WBL, emboldened by the support it had received from its biggest shareholders.  Its acquisition was a company then larger than it was by market value, which it then delisted from the Singapore Exchange.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Some condo laws prevail over data protection needs
When it comes to protecting your personal data, there is a limit to what owners can do if their personal information is available to the public and the management at their private estate chooses to display it.  This emerged after unit owners at three private estates took issue with their individual management corporations (MCs) and managing agents displaying their personal information, including addresses, on notice boards and a website which can be accessed by many others.

More traffic issues with more tenants in private homes
While I agree with Ms Chiang Kah Peng that large landed houses can accommodate more tenants than apartment units, there are other issues to consider (Big houses can accommodate more tenants; June 13).  These big houses could, for instance, become hostels for various companies to house their staff.

Ensure proper fire safety procedures in HDB blocks
The devastating fire in a London apartment block holds useful lessons for Singapore (At least 12 killed in fire at London tower block; June 15).  Owing to land constraints in Singapore, more and more commercial, hotel and residential buildings are high-rise. This raises the issues of fire prevention and evacuation procedures, as well as the construction materials used.

Start-up owner knows how to flip properties
The secret to staying energetic at work every day is to be passionate about what you do, according to start-up entrepreneur Olive Tai.  Hong Kong-born Ms Tai, 42, migrated to Australia at 20 and studied marketing at the University of Wollongong before coming to Singapore in 2003 as a regional analyst for Johnson & Johnson.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed’s exit from low interest rates leaves room to be flexible

US retailers revamp, reinvent as mall attrition hits

San Francisco residents flee city’s pricey homes for Sacramento

Don’t underestimate US expansion: it’s headed for a record

UK property asking prices see first June fall since 2009: Rightmove

Danger signs for Asia

Major Belt and Road gains for Asean

China’s skyscraper age is likely coming to an end

China’s fledgling securitisation market showing signs of risk

China-backed AIIB touts growth, sustainability

Vanke said to be in talks to join China group bidding for GLP

Ready for a Tesla-sized apartment? In Hong Kong, it’s about US$500K

Australia economy to pick up speed after slow Q1: RBA

Home Capital, Canadian regulator settle allegations of misleading shareholders

BOJ upbeat about economy but cautious on monetary policy

Crowdsourced maps in Africa are going where Google does not

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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