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 Jun, 1st and 2nd Jul 2018

Top Story

Singapore private home prices up 3.4% in Q2: URA flash estimates
Private home prices rose 3.4 per cent in the second quarter, keeping pace with the 3.9 per cent increase in the first quarter, flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) shows.  The quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter was led by a 3.8 per cent rise in the prices of landed homes, followed by a 3.3 per cent increase for non-landed homes.

HDB resale prices down 1.5% in Q2 y-o-y; 2018 BTO supply to be cut to 16,000 from 17,000
Housing Board resale flat prices fell 1.5 per cent in the second quarter in 2018 from a year ago, according to latest flash estimates released on Monday.  Compared with the first quarter of this year, second quarter resale prices rose slightly by 0.1 per cent.

Residential sector dominates property investment sales in Q2
The residential sector once again dominated property investment sales in the second quarter of 2018 with S$7.1 billion of sales. This accounted for 65 per cent of the total investment volume. The residential collective sales market is now keeping at a more sustainable pace.  During Q2, 15 sites worth a total of S$3.8 billion found buyers. This compares with Q1 where 16 sites with a total price tag of S$5.8 billion were sold. A sizeable number of the projects that were launched in the second quarter were in the prime areas, and this has presented developers with a good number of quality projects to cherry pick.


Singapore Economy

RCEP countries ‘on track for major deal by year-end’
Trade ministers of 16 countries that account for 30 per cent of global trade have re-affirmed their resolve for a regional trade deal that will benefit economies at different levels of development.  The ambitious deal is on track for a substantial agreement by the end of this year, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Sunday, in what will be a major boost for free trade. It comes as the threat of a global trade war looms after the United States imposed tariffs that affect imports from China, Europe and Canada, among others.

Banking stocks lead June’s broad-market slide
Banking stocks led a broad-market slide in June that saw the Singapore equity market take a beating from fund outflows on fears over a US-China trade war.  Total market capitalisation of some 738 listed companies on the Singapore Exchange stood at S$947.3 billion as at June 29, down 3.4 per cent from S$981.0 billion for 739 Singapore-listed companies as at May 31.

Trade tension curbs Singapore bank lending in May
Bank lending may be “restrained” until the fog over trade tensions clears, said a top economist on Friday, as growth in business lending eased in May.  Business loans through the domestic banking unit – which captures lending in all currencies, but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending – stood at S$403 billion in May, up 5.8 per cent from a year ago. This was weaker than the 6.1 per cent increase noted in April, the data showed.

New job redesign framework launched for retailers
A new framework has been launched to help retailers tweak their operations and build a more productive workforce in today’s digital age.  The Retail Job Redesign Framework offers step-by-step guides for companies to identify potential areas for job redesign, develop and deploy suitable solutions and measure the outcome.

Electricity tariffs to increase by average of 6.9% in Q3 of 2018
Electricity tariffs are set to rise by an average of 6.9 per cent in the third quarter of this year, SP Group said on Friday.  From July 1 to Sept 30, electricity tariffs will increase by an average of 1.50 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) as compared with the previous quarter.


Singapore Real Estate

CCT sells Twenty Anson for S$516m in biggest pure-office deal this year
CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) is selling Twenty Anson, a 20-storey office building in Tanjong Pagar, to an undisclosed buyer for S$516 million, in the biggest pure-office, real-estate deal this year.  The announcement by the trust’s manager on Friday confirms a report by The Business Times last month that such a divestment was in the works as part of CCT’s ongoing asset portfolio reconstitution.

Standard but standout flats that sell for over $1m
IT professional K.S. Gee paid $1.068 million for a five-room flat at Clementi Towers, the highest to date for the first Housing Board project to be integrated with a mall.  He believes it is “a fair deal”.  He is the fourth person to have paid over $1 million for a flat at Block 441A Clementi Avenue 3 since the block, which is linked to Clementi Mall, reached its five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) last year

Eco-friendly Oasia hotel is world’s best tall building
Think of skyscrapers – and shimmering glass and dull grey concrete come to mind. But in Singapore, a hotel by Far East Organization in Tanjong Pagar is putting the “jungle” in “urban jungle”.  Oasia Hotel Downtown, designed by local architecture firm Woha, was named this year’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in May by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a global authority on tall buildings and future cities.


Companies’ Brief

UOL Group CEO to retire end-Jan, 2019; CapitaLand group CEO to relinquish some roles
UOL’s group chief executive Gwee Lian Kheng will retire on Jan 31 next year, after 45 years of service.  Mr Gwee, 77, will remain as director on the board.  He joined the company as group financial controller and company secretary in 1973; in 1987, he became the executive director and general manager of the company.

PropNex’s IPO public tranche 24.6 times subscribed
The initial public offering (IPO) of PropNex closed with its public offer tranche 24.6 times subscribed.  The homegrown real estate services group, which will make its trading debut on July 2 at 9 am, said that the 2.125 million shares that it offered for public subscription at S$0.65 apiece drew 1,796 valid applications for roughly 52.24 million shares. The public offer closed at noon on June 28.

Frasers Commercial Trust renews lease for 2 units at Alexandra Technopark
Frasers Commercial Trust’s trustee has entered into an agreement to renew the lease at #08-05 and #08-08 Alexandra Technopark for three years beginning July 1 to tenant Frasers Property Corporate Services.  Frasers Property Corporate Services is a unit of Frasers Property, the sponsor of Frasers Commercial Trust.

Koh Brothers Eco Engineering proposes rights cum warrants issue
Koh Brothers Eco Engineering Limited said on Friday that it is proposing a renounceable non-underwritten rights cum warrants issue of up to 523.32 million new shares at an issue price of 4.5 Singapore cents apiece.   The issue will be on the basis of one rights share for every two shares. The rights shares come with up to 523.32 million free detachable warrants, with each warrant carrying the right to subscribe for one new share at an exercise price of five cents each.

KTL Global changes end of financial year to Dec 31
KTL Global will change its financial year to end on Dec 31 from June 30, it announced in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday night.  “The change of financial year-end is to facilitate better management of resources for business operations and financial reporting, resulting in better administrative and operational efficiencies,” said KTL Global.

Ryobi Kiso Holdings’ unit begins winding up process
Ryobi Kiso (S) has begun winding up proceedings against its subsidiary Ryobi Tactics, their parent Ryobi Kiso Holdings announced in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday.  The group is currently assessing the financial impact of the winding up of Ryobi Tactics on the group for its financial year ending June 30, 2018.

Hearing of winding-up application against Big Box owner adjourned
Struggling mainboard-listed consumer electronics retailer TT International on Friday said the hearing of the winding up application by SCB Building Construction against the company’s 51-per-cent-owned subsidiary, Big Box Pte Ltd (BBPL), has been adjourned.   It was previously fixed to be heard on June 29, 2018.

Ex-interim CEO of Ipco taking company to court
The former interim CEO of Ipco International has served two writs of summons against the listed construction and turnkey project company.  The first writ of summons issued against Ipco’s subsidiary, Nueviz Investment, pertained to a claim of S$266,159.48, Ipco said on Saturday.

SMRT Trains posts $86m loss, but rail reliability up
Higher maintenance costs, coupled with lower ridership and fare revenue, have dented SMRT’s train business in the latest financial year.  In its annual operations review report published yesterday, SMRT Trains posted an after-tax loss of $86 million in FY2018. It made an after-tax profit of $26 million in the previous financial year.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Prudent policy on land supply
The Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the second half of this year reflects a prudent approach in ensuring sufficient supply to meet home buyers’ demand without contributing to a glut when the homes are completed.  While its impact on developers’ land bids is unclear, the programme will grant developers more options apart from what is currently available in the collective sales market.

Improve ways for older folk to move into smaller flats
The option of right-sizing, where those above 55 years old choose to move out of bigger flats to smaller ones, is becoming popular.  However, there some ways to help this group of older Singaporeans ease into this arrangement.  Many people prefer to right-size to a two-room flexi-lease flat as these are often newer and more affordable.

Commentary: Can shifting the emphasis to renting help solve Singapore’s public housing puzzle?
Singapore: With significant CPF funds being funnelled to housing, and a substantial reason why Singaporeans’ retirement savings may be inadequate, Singapore needs to consider that housing and retirement security are two sides of the same coin.  We need to look at other ways to unlock housing equity in a way that resolves the conundrum of the ageing flat and gives home owners adequate retirement funding without disrupting the property market which so many Singaporeans rely on as a source of wealth.

Fixing issue of falling facades in HDB blocks
Less than a year after moving into her new three-room HDB flat at Bendemeer Light, a decorative panel fell from the 40th storey of Block 10B, where housewife Betty Tan lives.  It was not what the 68-year-old expected, as she had moved into her new Build-To-Order flat just last September.

Commentary: Did the KL-Singapore high-speed rail unravel because of costs? Note other railways in Asia
Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sent shock waves when he announced in May that Malaysia will scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project on account of its high cost.  Its purported price tag is simply too expensive for Malaysia, he said.

Innovation can’t fix urban transport’s woes
Urban transportation is undergoing a revolution. Offerings such as Uber and Lyft, as well as car- and bike-sharing services are widely believed to reduce congestion and generally make urban dwellers more mobile; driverless cars are expected to provide further benefits. Yet the notion that these innovations always make things better is far from a given: The new services are a net good only if they complement traditional public transportation systems rather than compete with them.

Sembawang to get integrated hub by 2020
By June 2020, Sembawang residents will no longer have to go to Yishun for their daily swims or cheap meals.  Instead, a car-lite sports and community hub, with facilities such as swimming pools and a hawker centre, will spring up on a 12ha site next to Sembawang MRT station.

A year on, some Sungei Road vendors still searching for a home
In an emotional farewell on July 10 last year, some 200 vendors and scores of Singaporeans bid the historic 1930s Sungei Road free hawking zone goodbye.  The site was repossessed to make way for future residential developments.

Rochor demolition casts a pall over nearby stall vendors
Mr Lim Dunxing, 63, meticulously set out his stall selling bags and children’s clothes last Friday morning in a daily routine.  Across the road, a lifeless Rochor Centre clad in grey sheets loomed. The public housing estate is being levelled to make way for the North-South Corridor expressway, in a process that started last Tuesday and is expected to end next April.

$5.8m attraction opens at Botanic Gardens
Visitors to the Singapore Botanic Gardens can now check out a new ethnobotany garden, the first of its kind in Singapore, which explores how plants are used by indigenous people in South-east Asia.  The $5.8 million garden was opened yesterday after 11/2 years of construction. Housed in a 1ha space historically known as the economic garden, the new attraction features more than 300 species of plants native to South-east Asia which are traditionally used for medicinal, cultural or craft purposes.

Second phase of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city launched
The second major phase of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city (SSTEC) project has formally been launched, focusing on the development of a glitzy but green central business district (CBD) in the heart of the 30 sq km township.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Trump’s trade war arrives in the data as China awaits tariffs

China makes big tariff cuts to help increase imports

Canada hits back at US with tariffs on metals, bourbon and orange juice 

You can earn six figures and still be ‘low income’ in San Francisco

JPMorgan buys air rights from Midtown church to build new HQ

There’s a discount if your parents pay for your UK apartment

China factory growth slows in June as trade tensions rise

China unveils easing of investment curbs as trade war looms

China expected to defend yuan at key level as losses mount

Chinese firm eyes ‘strata-sales’, high debt for flipping Hong Kong towers

China Southern Invests $1.5 Billion in Xi Jinping’s Dream City

Pricey Hong Kong set to impose vacancy tax on empty new flats

Japan’s jobless rate falls to lowest in 25 years

Australia Property Prices Fall for Ninth Month on Tighter Credit

Indonesia raises its reverse repo rate to 5.25%

JLL aims to conquer Canadian real estate with a boost from tech

Bankers scurry for space as tiny Luxembourg fills up ahead of Brexit


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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