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 December 2016

Singapore Economy

Singapore’s NODX up a surprise 11.5% in November
Non-oil domestic exports surprised the market with not just a recovery, but a sharp rebound, in November. The NODX pulled back from a 12.0 per cent plunge in October to post an 11.5 per cent jump.  Month on month, the NODX recorded a sharp seasonally adjusted 13.1 per cent increase, after tumbling 3.6 per cent in the previous month, according to the latest official trade data released on Friday by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.  Except Japan, Thailand and Indonesia, the trade promotion agency said NODX shipments to all the top 10 markets rose in November.

Singdollar to slide further in 2017, say analysts
The Singapore dollar is likely to slide to levels seen in the aftermath of the global financial crisis as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) resumes easing policy in April. So says an analyst who has correctly predicted the last three central bank decisions.  The authority, which uses the currency as a tool to manage the economy rather than interest rates, is set to lower the centre of the band within which it steers the local dollar as Singapore’s export-driven economy feels more pain from China’s slowdown next year, according to Mr Vaninder Singh, an economist at NatWest Markets, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Singapore Real Estate

H1 2017 housing supply under GLS up slightly in balancing act
The government has marginally raised residential supply under the confirmed list of its Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in what is seen as a delicate balancing act of meeting improved buying demand, while managing the downside risks if the economy worsens.  The lack of commercial sites on the confirmed list – a list where sites are put up for tender according to schedule – is also providing the much-needed breathing space amid demand weakness for office and retail space, market watchers say.

Singapore-JB Rapid Transit System to make impact on Johor real estate: Analysts
Investor interest in Johor Baru properties will likely pickup with recent news that Singapore and Malaysia are expected to ink a bilateral agreement for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) next year, analysts told Channel NewsAsia.  The system promises an easier time crossing borders, and will link up with the Thomson-East Coast rail network in Singapore. Analysts, however, said it is important for investors to do their homework, before buying a stake in Johor’s developments.

Changi Airport Terminal 4 construction completed, on track for launch in 2H17
Construction of Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 (T4) has been completed, with the new passenger terminal building having received its temporary occupancy permit (TOP) this month.  This paves the way for the next phase of development, which will include interior fittings and ensuring the two-storey terminal is ready for operations. The annual handling capacity for T4 is 16 million passengers.  Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) executive vice-president (air hub development) Yam Kum Weng said: “For the next phase, we look forward to working with the airport community to prepare the terminal for opening in the second half of 2017.” CAG is the operator of Changi Airport.

Park-like living in Dawson by 2020
When retired auditor Ahmad Zulfakar moves from Tanglin Halt to the new Dawson estate in Queenstown four years from now, he will miss his current patch of green.  The wild “greenway”, site of the now-defunct Malaysian railway, snaking behind his home now is where he takes walks and has a herb and banana tree garden.  But plans are afoot to make the move as seamless as possible for Mr Ahmad, 40, and his neighbours.  Dawson will offer park-like surroundings, with thousands of trees and a pedestrian street. Many residents will come from Tanglin Halt, part of HDB’s largest Selective En- bloc Redevelopment Scheme.

Rochor Centre: Living on borrowed time
“There’s nothing much to say,” 80-year-old Mdm Lee said, when asked about the looming demolition of Rochor Centre – her home for the past 40 years. “I’m very sad.”  Authorities have yet to announce the exact date the wrecking crew turns up, but have previously said the iconic, rainbow-coloured estate would be torn down at end-2016.  Mdm Lee remembers the day the Government said it would acquire the four blocks of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats to make way for the 21.5km long North-South Expressway.

Ang Mo Kio, Hougang sites for first 3-in-1 senior centres
The first operator to run “three in one” eldercare services – nursing home, senior care centres and home care – will be in Ang Mo Kio and Hougang.  Under the Integrated Operator Scheme, first announced in April, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will appoint such operators to encourage services to be integrated and achieve economies of scale, so they are more affordable.  The first call for proposals was made by MOH last month on government procurement website GeBiz, and the locations given.

Picking a home loan package
Homeowners should choose home loan packages based on their needs instead of trying to take advantage of short-term interest rate movements, said Ms Tok Geok Peng, DBS Bank’s executive director of secured lending.  “If you prefer stability in your home loan repayment, a fixed rate package lets you enjoy a flat interest rate for a period of time and at the same time protects you from any upward interest rate movement,” she added.  DBS offers a three-year fixed rate at 1.88 per cent a year and a five-year fixed rate at 1.99 per cent.

Companies’ Brief

Ascott adds to portfolio with 31.3m-euro Irish hotel acquisition
CapitaLand has acquired the 136-unit Temple Bar Hotel in Ireland for 31.3 million euros (S$47 million).  The hotel in the Temple Bar district in the city centre of the Irish capital Dublin is owned by Ireland-incorporated Sabden Ltd, CapitaLand said in a statement on Friday morning.  It was acquired by CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Ltd, through a purpose-built wholly owned subsidiary, Ascott Operations Eight Ltd.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Should I refinance my housing loan? 10 things to consider
Home owners, who have grown accustomed to consistently low interest rates, take note.  Now would be a good time – if you are able to refinance your mortgage – to review your housing loan options carefully.  Interest rates appear to be heading north with more impetus after long periods at historic lows.  In fact, some early birds had already refinanced their home loans, ahead of the United States Federal Reserve’s rate hike announcement last Wednesday.

The right way to assess Reit value
Real estate investment trusts or Reits are a popular investment here in Singapore. Perhaps it is our love of the property sector that makes them appealing. Or maybe it is because of our yearning for regular income that makes us like them.  I suspect it could be more of the latter that is at play. In many ways, Reits can be thought of as a proxy for bonds. They even behave a little like those fixed-income instruments. Of course, it can be argued that many blue chip stocks have bond-like characteristics too. That is because they also have the ability to deliver almost-dependable dividends.

Time for cooling measures on medical properties?
I agree with the points raised by Dr Leong Choon Kit (“Increasing overheads also to blame for skyrocketing medical costs“; Dec 15).  Addressing the high and rising rents for clinics should be a top priority of policymakers.  The strong growth of healthcare real estate investment trusts and the medical suites market in recent years has made it easier for investors to purchase medical real estate.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

NYC’s new suburbia: More urban

U.S. housing starts tumble from nine-year high; permits suggest strength

Slowdown in New York’s high-end housing market

US$100 million deal to save Pier 40 in Manhattan approved

Rents in London tumble for first time since 2010

China to tackle property market to ensure stability

Vanke scraps plan to buy transit-firm stake amid ownership spat

Vancouver homes so pricey, government offering loans for down payments

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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