The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st May 2019

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore residential market resilient due to strong foundations
Despite the cooling measures introduced on July 5, 2018, Singapore’s residential property market has stayed resilient and quarterly primary home sales rose in the last three quarters, to the surprise of many.  In the first quarter of 2019, developers sold 1,838 new private homes, 16 per cent higher than the same period the previous year.

Copper-cladded Sentosa Cove bungalow sold for S$32 million
A seafront bungalow in Cove Drive on Sentosa, dubbed the Copper House, changed hands last month for S$32 million.  Covering an area of 18,053 square feet (sq ft), this translates to S$1,773 per square foot (psf). The property with a 99-year lease tenure – which commenced in November 2006 – offers views of the Southern Islands.

First batch of flats in Tengah’s Garden District to be launched for sale in May
Singapore: The first housing project in Tengah’s Garden District will be launched for sale in the Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise this month, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Monday (May 20).   Garden District is the second of five housing districts in Tengah to be developed, after Plantation District.

What you get for S$1m: A HDB flat with view of Sentosa fireworks, Singapore Flyer and city skyline
Singapore — Skyscraper flats, towering above the ground at 40 storeys and higher, have been available on the resale market for over a decade, but in recent years it has become increasingly common for buyers to fork out seven-figure sums for them.  Call it the Pinnacle effect – this trend began in 2015, when the first ever million-dollar resale transactions for standard Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats were recorded.

Reits to continue providing high returns: Panel
While real estate investment trusts (Reits) are still good investment vehicles, investors should be wary of the assets and acquisitions made by Reit managers, said a group of panellists at a symposium last Saturday.  Although the panel unanimously agreed that Reits will continue to provide high returns in the long run, a key challenge will be in making good, sizeable investments that are accretive to the existing portfolio.

One-north draws big players with its vibrant tech buzz
A seven-storey building with streaks of electric green will add buzz to the skyline at one-north business park in Buona Vista next year.  It will look like something out of a sci-fi movie but gamers will know the colour is the hallmark of gaming company Razer, which is setting up its new South-east Asia headquarters there.

Older business parks may need overhaul, say experts
Some economic hubs, especially those that opened decades ago, may need an overhaul if they are to compete with new regional centres on the horizon, said industry observers.  Older industrial areas have plenty of years on the clock already: Singapore Science Parks 1 and 2 opened in the 1980s and 1990s, while International Business Park was set up in 1992.

JTC awards Woodlands industrial site to sole bidder Whye Wah for S$3.4m
JTC has awarded the tender for an industrial site at Woodlands Industrial Park E2/E5 to sole bidder Whye Wah Development & Construction Pte Ltd for S$3.4 million.  The 5,000 square metre (sq m) land parcel, zoned “Business 2” for heavier industrial use, has a 20-year lease, gross plot ratio of 2.5 and project completion period of 60 months.


Singapore Economy

MTI downgrades Singapore’s 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.5-2.5% on weak outlook
In a clear signal that Singapore’s economic growth is likely to be muted for the rest of 2019, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) narrowed its forecast range downwards to 1.5 to 2.5 per cent on Monday morning, from an earlier 1.5 to 3.5 per cent.  This comes as the economy saw growth of 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, coming in a notch lower than earlier estimates of 1.3 per cent and revised figures from Q4 2018. This was also below economist expectations of 1.5 per cent.

2019 growth forecast for Singapore non-oil exports cut to -2 to 0%; fell 6.4% in Q1
Singapore’s key non-oil domestic exports (NODX) extended their quarterly decline in the first three months of the year, posting a 6.4 per cent drop year on year, according to trade promotion agency Enterprise Singapore on Tuesday.  This was much sharper than the 1.1 per cent drop in NODX in the final quarter of 2018.

No respite for Singapore exports; trade recovery unlikely in 2019
The escalating US-China trade war is likely to further hurt Singapore’s exports for the rest of 2019, as hopes fade for a sustained trade recovery in the near future, said economists.  Exporters will have to hang tight as there remains no clear end in sight to the trade conflict, which is happening alongside a tech down cycle and slowing global growth, they added.

Firms adapting to trade wars, but there’s more pain ahead
While business performance continued to worsen in the first quarter of 2019, firms are no more pessimistic over business prospects in the next six months than they were a quarter ago.  This is according to the latest Business Times-Singapore University of Social Sciences (BT-SUSS) Business Climate Survey, which was led by consultants Chow Kit Boey and Chan Cheong Chiam and polled 144 firms between March 20 and April 17.

Singapore is third most innovative city globally: JLL report
Singapore is the third most innovative city in the world, with innovation now an important part of real estate investment strategies, according to a new report from global property consultant JLL.  The republic, coming in behind San Francisco and Tokyo, is supported by significant levels of foreign domestic investments and a rapidly growing startup scene.


Companies’ Brief

SGX firms report insipid Q1 earnings; nearly one in three posts losses
Corporate earnings for the first quarter were hit, to some extent, by provisions and trade war impact.  With the reporting season for non-full year results having ended on May 15, a tally by The Business Times shows nearly one in three Singapore-listed companies chalked up losses. In all, there were 215 companies in the black and 91 in the red.

FCT’s private placement 2.3 times subscribed, S$369.6m raised
Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) said on Friday its private placement exercise was 2.3 times subscribed at an issue price of S$2.382 a unit – the top end of a price range of S$2.30 to S$2.382.  Closing one day after its launch on Thursday, the placement – including an upsize option that was fully taken – will result in 155.2 million new units being issued and net the retail landlord gross proceeds of about S$369.6 million.

Rich Capital clarifies partner’s concerns over Batam project
Rich Capital said on Friday that it has received a letter from a joint-venture partner of Oxley Batam, its 80 per cent-owned indirect subsidiary, informing it of concerns in relation to the Batam development project in Indonesia.   The project is being developed by Oxley Karya Indo Batam (OKIB), a company incorporated in Indonesia that is equally owned by Oxley Batam and joint-venture partner Karya Indo Batam (KIB).

OKH Global puts 5 Pioneer Sector Lane factory on auction
Property developer OKH Global is launching a public auction to sell its property located at No 5 Pioneer Sector Lane.  The public auction will be held at 10am on Tuesday, June 4 at the above address.

Eagle Hospitality Trust’s lower-than-indicated IPO price of US$0.78 offers ‘more potential upside’
Eagle-eyed investors would have noticed that Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT)’s initial public offering (IPO) pricing of US$0.78 a unit turned out to be lower than an earlier indicative range of US$0.80 to US$0.81.  According to the prospectus registered on Thursday, projected annualised yield will be 8.2 per cent for the forecast period from May 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019 and 8.4 per cent for 2020.

New Lippo Karawaci CEO to improve management, governance
Newly appointed CEO of Lippo Karawaci John Riady has, in a sense, been brought in to “clean house”, after news last year of an investigation into an alleged bribery linked to the conglomerate’s US$21 billion Meikarta development project, which the company has continued to deny involvement in.  In a recent interview with The Business Times, Mr Riady, grandson…

Goldman Sachs in talks to buy B&B Hotels for 2b euros
Goldman Sachs Group is in exclusive discussions to buy the B&B Hotels chain from European buyout firm PAI Partners.  The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year, PAI Partners said in a statement on Monday, without providing any financial details.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

CPF Rule Change: What’s in it for you as a homebuyer?
The much-awaited rule change for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) was announced recently. Home owners would be able to withdraw more from their CPF to buy ageing flats from May 10, provided that the remaining lease can last them until the age of 95.  These changes are not expected to affect most of the CPF transactions today, as 98 per cent of Housing Board (HDB)…

Changes to CPF, HDB rules present many challenges
The changes to the policies on housing loans and Central Provident Fund (CPF) usage are helpful towards reducing the liabilities of home owners who take a housing loan, and increasing their retirement income in the long term (Rules on HDB housing loans, CPF usage updated, May 10).  However, the changes also add to home owners’ stress in the short term.

Does Victor Li have the same golden touch as his father?
Hong kong billionaire Li Ka-shing built his fortune and legendary reputation by displaying an uncanny ability to time asset markets. Investors in Shanghai real estate need to ask whether his son has the same touch.  Victor Li’s CK Asset Holdings is considering selling its 60 per cent stake in a commercial building that is valued at almost US$3 billion, Bloomberg News reported earlier this week, citing people familiar with the matter.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Trump lifts steel, aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico

Trump delays decision on auto tariffs for up to six months

US consumer sentiment jumps to 15-year high on upbeat outlook

Trump took out 30-year loan on US$18.5m home in 2018

A floating life away from the maddening crowd

Amazon plans two eco-friendly towers with parks, day care and bike path in Virginia

Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret Built His Version of the American Heartland

Office space in London bucks the Brexit trend with record rentals

London office building at post-Brexit referendum high

Four more Chinese cities warned over pace of home price growth

China’s mortgage rates slide for first time since 2016

Hong Kong: Q1 GDP growth slows to 0.6%

Japan’s economy grew 0.5% in first quarter

Tokyo’s Olympic Village condos to become apartments

Morrison rushes to buoy economy after shock election win

Sinking Australia Housing Market Boosted as Lending Rules Eased

Consumer survey finds Thais and Indonesians in upbeat mood

Qatari banks face growing risks from real estate downturn: Fitch


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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