The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 19th October 2016

Top Story

Road map to raise construction productivity
Construction site productivity has increased by an average of 1.3 per cent each year since 2009, but there is still room for improvement as manpower will remain a “key constraint”, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday.  The government plans to increase productivity by up to 3 per cent annually until 2020, and it will do so in several ways, Mr Wong added. He was speaking at the launch of the Singapore Construction Productivity Week at Singapore Expo.  One of these ways is the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) new construction and productivity research and development (R&D) road map. Under this, the construction industry will step up on 35 technologies in seven R&D clusters in the long term.

Singapore Economy

ADB works to ease risks for investors in infrastructure deals
Private investors remain averse to taking commercial and political risks in infrastructure projects, so multilateral development banks (MDBs) have to work a lot behind the scenes to cajole them to take part in these projects.  Michael Barrow, director-general of private-sector operations at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said at a panel discussion on Tuesday that the ADB works with commercial banks to come up with the right mix of loan structure and tenor that the commercial lenders are comfortable with; it also provides guarantees for the tenor that banks are otherwise unable to take on because of capital ratio requirements.  But an indignant member of the audience at the event, the sixth Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable organised by IE Singapore, gave vent to this tension with a snappy retort, interrupting Mr Barrow: “The private sector is not going to take that risk, full-stop.”

Singapore Real Estate

Major changes proposed for Town Councils Act
Town councils may be penalised in future for not submitting their audited financial reports, under wide-ranging proposals to change the law governing town councils.  The Ministry of National Development (MND) is seeking public feedback on 12 amendments to the Town Councils Act, which will give the ministry more regulatory oversight, clarify the roles of town councils, improve governance and strengthen financial management.  In a statement yesterday, MND said the proposals “seek to ensure that town councils deliver essential public services in a consistent, fair and sustainable way that serves the interest of residents, while retaining the autonomous nature of town councils”.

Singapore Reits turn from worst to first as BNP, Samsung buy
Singapore real estate investment trusts have gone from last year’s biggest losers to this year’s best performers as their world-beating yields attract investors including BNP Paribas Investment Partners to Samsung Asset Management.  Singapore Reits, which mostly invest in malls, offices and industrial buildings, offer the highest dividend yields among developed markets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  That’s propelled a 8.9 per cent increase in the FTSE Straits Times Real Estate Investment Trust index this year as yield-hungry investors flock to the offerings amid record-low interest rates.

Companies’ Brief

CDL to take 20% stake in 163-unit Tokyo residence
City Developments Limited (CDL) plans to buy a 20 per cent stake in a 163-apartment development in the Aoyama area of Tokyo for an undisclosed amount, the company announced on Tuesday.  The exact price that CDL will pay to developer Mitsui Fudosan Residential Co has not been disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement, said CDL, a property developer. But the project, called Park Court Aoyama The Tower, has a total gross development value of more than 50 billion yen (approximately S$668 million).  The 26-storey tower has 93 parking lots, and facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, sky lounge and private garden. Apartment sizes range from 389 to 3,789 square feet. Showflat previews have begun, and prices for the initial 55 units range from 178.8 million yen for a one-bedroom unit to 271 million yen for a three-bedroom unit.

Keppel Reit’s Q3 DPU falls on property’s sale
Keppel Reit’s sale of a Sydney commercial building earlier this year affected its third-quarter results.  On a brighter note, the real estate investment trust (Reit) – which has a sizeable Singapore office portfolio – reported that rent reversion for new, renewal, forward renewal and review leases was positive at about 3 per cent for the first nine months of this year.  The manager of the Reit has also brought down expiring leases in 2017 and 2018 further to a minimal 5.2 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively as at Q3 2016.

Capitaland Commercial Trust Q3 DPU up 7.5% to 2.3 Singapore cents
Capitaland Commercial Trust (CCT) on Wednesday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.30 Singapore cents for the financial quarter ended Sept 30 (Q3 2016). This marks a year-on-year DPU growth of 7.5 per cent from last year’s 2.14 cents.  Distributable income increased by 8.1 per cent to S$68.3 million, up from S$63.15 million a year ago.  As at September, CCT’s portfolio comprises Capital Tower, Six Battery Road, One George Street and HSBC Building.  Gross revenue for Q3 grew 8.9 per cent to S$74.4 million and net property income grew 8.3 per cent to S$57 million. CCT said that the increase was due to CapitaGreen’s 100 per cent contribution since the completion on Aug 31 of CCT’s acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in MSO Trust, which owns CapitaGreen, a Grade A office building.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Digitisation matters in Singapore’s construction sector
Digital technology is unlocking big productivity gains in many sectors, but one has lagged well behind: construction. Construction is the second least digitised industry, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, well behind other labour- and equipment-intense industries like utilities and mining.  The gap isn’t just a matter of sectoral pride. Construction activity constitutes 14 per cent of global GDP. In Singapore alone, the Building and Construction Authority projects that construction spending this year will total S$27 billion to S$32 billion. The public sector could account for two-thirds of that spending. Now consider that large construction projects typically overshoot their schedules by 20 per cent and their budgets by 80 per cent. Taxpayers and shareholders deserve better.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Country’s housing is a story of mismatch, not bubbles: Macquarie

Top fund is cautious on China property stocks amid cooling steps

China Overseas Land Q3 operating profit doubles on Citic assets buy

China Life invests in US$2b of Starwood Capital Hotels

China third-quarter economic growth seen steadying but property, debt key risks

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Rethinking Singapore’s urban form
Singapore’s transport is already reasonably efficient, and it also notably has an extensive system of expresswaus. But when thinking about how to redevelop the Greater Southern Waterfront area, policymakers can consider the economic implication of a cul-de-sac versus a grid design.

The Business Times | Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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