The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30th, 31st March, 1st and 2nd April 2018

Top Story

Developers send Q1 property investment sales to new high
A flurry of land-banking activities by developers propelled Singapore’s property investment sales market to its strongest quarter in the first three months this year.  Preliminary estimates by property consultancy JLL show that some S$10.84 billion worth of investment deals were sewn up in the first quarter as of March 28 – the highest first-quarter sales on record since JLL started tracking such deals in 1994.  This surpassed the preceding quarter’s high of S$8.34 billion.

Singapore Economy

Singapore ‘can lead growth in region’s digital economy’
Singapore’s chairmanship of Asean 2018 will present it a worthwhile opportunity to lead the region in developing its various digital economies, said Ravi Rajendran, managing director (Asia’s south region) at multi-cloud data management company Veritas.

Singapore can be Asia hub for MNCs as HK turns to China
Hong Kong has become more “China-centric”, enabling Singapore to take the lead when multinational companies look to set up their Asian headquarters in the region, according to the country’s Economic Development Board.

Singapore Real Estate

Amber Park, Royalville en bloc sales pushing up prices in vicinity
Resale prices of existing condos and private apartments in District 15, which includes the Katong and Amber Road areas, as well as District 10 have risen significantly following news of the Amber Park and Royalville collective sales last year.  Edmund Tie & Co’s caveats analysis of URA Realis data also showed that in some instances, prices of larger units in the resale market have seen a bigger price hike compared with smaller units.

Singapore property auction sales in Q1 up 31%
The number of properties sold in auction sales rose to 11 units in the first quarter of 2018, from eight in the corresponding quarter a year ago.  This was despite the number of new properties put up for sale staying unchanged year-on-year at 63 units in both periods.  The total value of properties sold via auction in Q1 2018 was S$19.97 million, 31.2 per cent higher from S$15.23 million a year ago, and S$9.62 million two years ago, reflecting the positive sentiments and strong demand in the market, Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co) said in a release on Thursday.

Prime Singapore office rents up 3% in Q1: JLL
Prime office rents in Singapore climbed for a fourth consecutive quarter, rising 3 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months as leasing stayed active, said JLL in a report earlier this week.  The increase brings average rents for Grade A office space in the Central Business District (CBD) to $9.51 per sq ft (psf) per month, according to JLL’s preliminary estimates.

Tiong Seng, Ocean Sky snag Cairnhill Heights for S$73m, below initial asking price
A joint venture between Tiong Seng Holdings and Ocean Sky International, both Singapore-listed companies, has agreed to buy the Cairnhill Heights condominium for S$72.6 million, less than the sellers’ initial asking price of more than S$80 million.  Their joint venture TSky Development bought Sloane Court Hotel and a small, adjoining parcel in Balmoral Road last year for S$80.5 million. It is developing a 12-storey, 80-unit condominium on the land.

New rental model offers sense of community, convenience
Bartender Benedict Poh has given up the comforts of his family home to fork out almost half his pay on a room in a Joo Chiat apartment that he shares with five others.  “My friends think it’s dumb to spend money to live on my own,” says the 23-year-old. But he feels the expense is worth it.  He moved out of his parents’ house in Marine Crescent last December because he was concerned that his unusual working hours were disrupting his family’s sleep.

Farrer Park to make way for redevelopment
An icon of Singapore sport will soon be no more.  By the end of next month, the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association (Saba) will vacate the gym at Farrer Park, its home for 50 years, to move into a space at the Bedok Sports Hall.  The move is the first step in the eventual transformation of the Farrer Park fields – a hallowed ground for sports from the 1930s through to the 1980s – into a residential area.

Companies’ Brief

Keppel DC Reit wraps up 84m euro data centre acquisition
Keppel DC Reit (real estate investment trust) has completed an 84 million euro acquisition of a key data centre in Germany.  It said before Monday’s trading hours that it had paid up the remaining consideration for the acquisition of maincubes Data Centre in Offenbach am Main on March 30, following an 8.4 million euro deposit that was initially paid up on signing the forward purchase agreement in October 2015.

Chairman of Far East H-Trust to step down
Veteran businessman and technology investor Koh Boon Hwee will step down from his position as non-executive chairman of Far East Hospitality Trust (H-Trust) on June 30.  Deputy chairman Wee Kheng Jin will assume the chairmanship on July 1.  Far East H-Trust is a stapled group comprising Far East Hospitality Reit and Far East Hospitality Business Trust.

Director acquisitions continue, Sasseur debuts with 12 cornerstone investors
For the four sessions ending March 28, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 3.1 per cent compared to an average 2.8 per cent decline for the benchmarks of Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. In terms of SGD total returns, the STI has continued to be the most resilient of the benchmarks in the 2018 year through to March 28, declining 0.2 per cent compared to their average decline of 4.2 per cent.

8M buys shophouses, building for $82.5m
Local investment property company 8M Real Estate has bagged nine conservation shophouses and a commercial building in District 1 near the Singapore River for a total of $82.5 million.  The properties are in two clusters – one in Boat Quay/Circular Road and the other in New Bridge Road.

Board changes at URA and JTC
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has appointed five new members – including Standard Chartered’s chief executive officer for Singapore and Asean markets Judy Hsu, and DP Architects chief Angelene Chan – with effect from yesterday.


Are Reits worth considering when rates rise?
With interest rates on the way up, an argument can be made for avoiding Real Estate Investment Trusts or Reits. After all, why opt for a distribution that is not certain, when it is possible to get a guaranteed return from money in the bank.

Tax filing for landlords made easy
A hefty $7.37 million in taxes and penalties have been recovered by the taxman in the past three years following audits on 1,500 taxpayers concerning their rental income.  That alone should serve as a stark reminder that we must declare all sources of income in our annual individual tax returns, including money derived from renting out property.

Modern home upsets neighbours in Tudor-style Toh Tuck estate
When Dr Michael Teo’s modern terrace house was built last year, it caused a ruckus, with neighbours complaining that it did not blend in with all the other houses in the private estate near Toh Tuck Road.  His three-storey flat-roofed corner terrace house in Greenridge Crescent stands out among the more than 70 Tudor-style homes – with a timber and pitched-roof design – that were built in the 1980s.

HDB resellers given enough time to dispose of their flat
We thank Mr Dennis Tan Seow Koon for his letter (Give HDB resellers more time to sell flats; March 14).  In buying or selling a flat, homebuyers and sellers are encouraged to plan ahead and work out their budget, taking into consideration their financial situation and living arrangements.

Govt to seek views on short-term private home rentals
We refer to the recent letters and reports on the use of private homes for short-term accommodation (Airbnb must play by S’pore’s residential market rules, by Mr Toh Cheng Seong, March 10; NZ family’s Airbnb woes highlight lack of clarity on listings, March 16; Airbnb rules, Singapore-style, March 18; and Govt should penalise enablers like Airbnb, by Mr Christopher Liu Chih Wei, March 20).

Short-term rentals at private properties can throw up a host of operational issues
It makes no sense to allow short-term rentals at all private properties, even if these are subjected to some caveats, when one also acknowledges the immense challenges of regulating such a market (Airbnb rules, Singapore-style; March 18).

If this is home, truly, it should look like home
Steel, glass, Starbucks, Uniqlo.  Looking out at the skyline to anchor ourselves in this perfectly functional but completely generic city we call home in the near future, what might Singaporeans see?  Moshe Safdie’s three phallic structures rising out of Marina Bay, Russell Johnson’s prickly Esplanade, Kisho Kurokawa’s Singapore Flyer – there’s some specificity for you.

The evolving business of asset management
The business of asset management (not to be confused with the skill in investing) is a business like any other, where the primary objective is to maximise the return to shareholders, and where a number of ongoing disruptions will redefine the product strategy, the organisation design and the business model of asset managers.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Stock prices up but first-quarter correction may not be over yet

Warehouses now worth more than offices, thanks to e-commerce

Buffett’s home brokerage booms, with No 1 ranking in sight

UK’s small football clubs fight evictions in race for valuable city land

UK house prices fall, with weakest showing again by London

China March factory growth stronger than expected: official PMI

Listed Chinese developers flag higher sales to gain rank

M&A values in financial industry to surpass 2017 levels: Baker McKenzie

Saudi Arabia to issue tenders to consolidate consultancy services

Broccolini Construction to build tallest residential tower in Montreal

Building struck by car collapses in India, killing 10

Vietnam’s economy expands 7.38%, best rate in a decade

Cambodian port city’s Little China

Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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