The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29th September, 1st October and 2nd October 2017

Singapore Economy

Singapore SMEs wary about prospects over next 6 months
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore are less optimistic about their business prospects over the next six months and continue to be cautious, despite recent cheer in the economy.  While the overall SBF-DP SME Index, which measures the business sentiment of SMEs over the next six months, remained in positive territory at 50.6, it is 0.3 point down from the previous quarter’s poll.

Singapore Real Estate

Future condos could have open design, fewer fences
Singapore could see more fenceless condominiums in future, with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) nudging more developers to explore more open designs, The Straits Times understands.  Such developments in land-scarce Singapore could feature more connectivity, boundaries of vegetation rather than fences, and be strategically located to encourage the sharing of courtyards and public amenities, said industry players.

Private home prices rise 0.5% in Q3, ending nearly four years of decline: URA flash data
Singapore Private property prices have officially turned a corner, ending 15 quarters of decline that began in October 2013.  Prices in the three months to September of this year rose 0.5 per cent from the previous quarter, according to flash data released on Monday (Oct 2) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

HDB resale prices fall by 0.6% in Q3
Singapore Housing Board resale flat prices fell by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, compared with the previous quarter.  Compared with a year ago, third-quarter prices dropped 1.3 per cent.  This is according to latest flash estimates released by the HDB on Monday (Oct 2) and follows a general downward trend in prices from 2013.

Comparing HDB and bank home loan
A home loan is likely to be one of the biggest loans Singaporeans will take out in their lives. It’s no wonder choosing between an HDB loan and a bank loan can be so stressful.  You might be daunted by the choices available, but it gets simpler once you know what to look out for.

Use of pop-up rental platforms on the rise
When local lifestyle retailer Naiise wanted to secure a pop-up space in London, it turned to Storefront, an online marketplace for rental pop-up spaces.  With one website, Naiise could view the thousands of store vacancies across the city, without having to approach individual landlords.

Old Zouk site up for sale as housing-commercial plot
The site of the former Zouk nightclub will soon be home to a high-rise residential and commercial building.  The Jiak Kim Street site is up for sale by public tender.  The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has accepted an application from a developer – unnamed for now – to put up a mixed-used development with a commercial first storey and residential units above it

Cap seen for any upside in property stock
Even as a residential price recovery looks imminent to many analysts who have an “overweight” view on the sector, some are seeing limited growth headroom for developers’ share prices.  Most developer stocks, especially the large-caps, have priced in the looming recovery, they say. But a more bullish report from Daiwa Capital Markets on Thursday noted that the valuations of developers with meaningful landbank are still undemanding ahead of the residential market recovery.

A look at valuations and reasons to buy – or sell
Usually at any given point in time, it is possible to find compelling reasons to either buy or sell. After all, that is how markets work – investors with opposing views jostle for the best prices and as long as the playing field is level and all investors have equal access to the same information, then the outcome should be that the market finds its own level, which should be a fair reflection of the consensus opinion.  The problem with the present state of the local market – as well as others in the region such as Hong Kong – is that having enjoyed a stellar first half, it is becoming more difficult to justify continued buying; yet neither is it possible to be wholly negative because the fundamental outlook is improving and growth appears to be picking up.

Shell to end partnership with 7-Eleven chain
Oil giant Shell will end its 11-year-old partnership with convenience store chain 7-Eleven this year, as it looks to rebrand its petrol stations to be in line with its “long-term business strategy”.  Shell Singapore retail general manager Aarti Nagarajan said the move started with the launch of its Tampines Avenue 2 station in June, adding that a “national revamp will take place gradually in phases with the introduction of Shell Select and Deli by Shell”. This will effectively end Shell’s venture with 7-Eleven.  In 2006, Shell engaged the 24-hour chain to run its network of petrol stations here, saying the move would allow it to focus on more profitable activities.

Siting solar energy farms at reservoirs
Reservoirs could soon play host to floating solar energy farms, national water agency PUB announced in a press statement yesterday.  It said it was planning to explore the implementation of floating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in reservoirs to utilise their vast surface areas.

Companies’ Brief

ARA’s CEO named chairman of APREA
ARA Asset Management group chief executive John Lim has been elected to succeed Lim Swee Guan as chairman of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA), a non-profit association that represents the real estate industry in the region.

Brokers’ Call: Mapletree Industrial Trust
Mapletree Industrial Trust has announced its intention to expand its investment into data centres worldwide. This is an extension of its existing portfolio, which holds four data centres in Singapore (including one under development), which are build-to-suit or leased to third-party operators. Currently at 6.5 per cent of its assets under management (AUM), these are expected to grow to contribute up to 20 per cent of its AUM, implying further entrenchment of its high-tech segment to 45 per cent of AUM (up from 29 per cent).

Roxy-Pacific unit to pay $62m for NZ office building
A subsidiary of Singapore-listed Roxy-Pacific Holdings – Roxy-Pacific NZI – will pay NZ$63 million (S$61.8 million) for an office building in Auckland, New Zealand.  NZI Centre is a five-storey block in the central business district with a lease that runs until 2036.  Roxy-Pacific told the Singapore Exchange:

Thakral invests $22m more in senior-home projects in Australia
Baby boomers who want to retire in comfort will have more options in Australia as a Singapore-listed company has invested a further A$20 million (S$21.5 million) in its joint-venture resort-style senior housing.  Thakral Corporation’s GemLife brand – a partnership with Living Gems Lifestyle Resorts, which is controlled by Australia’s Puljich family – will develop two properties, one in the state of Victoria and the other in New South Wales.

HK Land eyes mainland China, Singapore to drive growth
WITH limited prime office space in Hong Kong, property investment, management and development group Hongkong Land is looking to South-east Asia and mainland China as avenues for further growth.

Views, Reviews & Forum

The ABCs of Reits
There are many reasons why real estate investment trusts (Reits) continue to attract retail investors – not least because of their relatively high yields and stable dividends.  One number from United Overseas Bank tells the story: Singapore-Reits (S-Reits) have provided an annualised total return of 8.4 per cent over the past five years, nearly double the 4.4 per cent return of the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI).  The first S-Reit was listed in 2002 and there are now 32; alongside six stapled trusts listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Lehman, Citigroup settle US$2 billion financial crisis-era dispute

Mortgage rates, applications stall as US housing market stumbles

Build homes for the homeless? Sure, just not in my backyard

Australia home prices slow as Sydney suffers rare fall

Two Japanese sushi chains plan merger as they set their sights on overseas expansion

China unveils plan for targeted lending to aid growth

Chinese money seeping into world’s housing markets

Luxury goods back in vogue in China

Hong Kong shareholder buys remaining Golden Village Singapore stake after blocking mm2’s bid

HK Mid-Levels apartment sold for record $18,213 psf

Hong Kong apartment in Mid-Levels sets Asia price record despite government curbs

Why neighbourhood toy stores boom while Toys R Us goes bust

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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