The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 19th, 20th and 21st November 2016

Singapore Economy

Govt watching economic numbers closely, will step in to do more if needed: Chan Chun Sing
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing on Friday said the government is keeping a close watch on the economy and will not hesitate to step in to help if needed.  “It is still early days, we are watching the numbers very closely,” said Mr Chan, who is also labour chief.  “We’ve done some things in a very specific and targeted way. For example, we have rolled out industry transformation plans, we have gone in to help groups of workers affected by the current economic slowdown or structural changes,” he added, reassuring Singaporeans that measures are in place to ride out the slowdown.

Singapore on course to be cashless society: Swedish minister
Singapore could soon become a cashless society – but it must do it at its own pace, says Per Bolund, Sweden’s Minister for Financial Markets and Deputy Finance Minister.  Mr Bolund – who on Friday gave the keynote address at the Singapore FinTech Festival’s ABS-MAS RegTech Forum – told The Business Times in an interview that it’s only a matter of time before cashless transactions become the norm in the Republic.

Singdollar drops further against surging US$
The Singdollar has weakened further against the surging greenback in the wake of comments from United States Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen that an interest rate rise could come “relatively soon”.  One US dollar could buy about S$1.43 yesterday, up from S$1.42 on Thursday and S$1.39 on Nov 8 before the US presidential election. This is the weakest the Singdollar has been against the greenback since February.

Singapore’s domestic wholesale trade down 13.8% in Q3
Domestic wholesale trade in Singapore contracted by 13.8 per cent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2015, said the Department of Statistics Singapore on Friday (Nov 18) in its latest report.  While still on a decline, the drop was less than the 20.5 per cent year on year fall in the second quarter.  Excluding petroleum, domestic wholesale trade fell 10.6 per cent.

Singapore Real Estate

Three HDB projects win green awards
The Housing Development Board (HDB) bagged the most number of accolades for its efforts in going green.

Its three winning projects – SkyResidence @ Dawson, SkyOasis @ Dawson and Oasis Terraces in Punggol – were awarded the National Parks Board Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) certification for excellence in landscaping and greenery.  They are among 12 projects that have been recognised by LEAF for their greening initiatives that boost environmental conservation and biodiversity. The winners in 2016 come from diverse developments that include residential housing, community and institutional development, a commercial complex and a hospital.

Cool ideas for HDB living to get full funding
Leaving pans on the stove for too long used to be a problem for Madam Lim Kim Choo, 68.  “I always forget about the pan, then it becomes charred and I have to throw it away,” the housewife, who has lost four or five pans that way, said in Mandarin.  But a new set of gas hobs has changed all that, with a digital timer that turns off the gas supply once the specified time is reached.

How low can Reits go?
It has been a strange year where investors piled into certain stocks for their bond-like yields, while trading bonds for stock-like gains.  But with US long-term yields rising sharply when Donald Trump was elected US President, it is worth asking whether a paradigm shift has occurred.  A unified Republican government is more likely to push through inflation-boosting policies, be it a giant infrastructure-related stimulus bill to help the white working classes that voted Mr Trump, or protectionist policies that will likely raise the cost of goods sold.

Stamp duty assessed falls amid market lethargy
The amount of stamp duty assessed by the taxman has declined over the last two years, as the tepid property market took a hefty toll.  For the year ended March 31, 2016, stamp duty assessed totalled $2.96 billion, a 28 per cent slide from $4.11 billion two years ago.  This is according to the latest figures from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) obtained by The Straits Times.  The slowdown is likely the result of a raft of cooling measures, such as the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) introduced in late 2011 to help cool the red-hot market then.

Paying stamp duty on property not as easy as 1-2-3
Lorna Tan Nothing is certain but death and taxes, as the saying goes, but some of us still have difficulty getting those taxes, particularly stamp duty payments, right.  Ignorance is not bliss; the penalties for committing mistakes can be costly. Documents that are not stamped or those with an insufficient stamp duty can attract penalties of up to four times the undercharged amount.  Stamp duty is paid on documents or agreements relating to immovable property such as tenancy or lease agreements, acceptance of options to purchase, and sale and purchase agreements. Duty is also payable on share transactions.

Companies’ Brief

StreetSine taking SISV to court
StreetSine Singapore Pte Ltd is taking the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) to court for allegedly injuring its business and reputation by saying that the valuations it generates are “not considered valuations” according to SISV standards and guidelines.  It also claims, among other things, that SISV had intimidated or attempted to intimidate its licensed appraisers as well as those intending to seek employment with the firm.  StreetSine has suffered loss and damage as a result, the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) subsidiary said in its statement of claims seen by The Business Times. It is also alleging that SISV has abused its dominant position in the real estate sector, in breach of Section 47 of the Competition Act.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Remove unsightly fliers from lifts, walls in HDB estates
Fly-posting, especially in lifts, appears to have become an accepted norm in Housing Board estates.  However, it is unsightly and unappealing. It damages the overall image of a community, and makes the place look neglected and uninviting.  The HDB and town councils played a part in setting this ugly scene when they posted notices on the lift lobby walls, despite the presence of proper noticeboards.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Possible outcomes of Trump’s economic policies

UK lenders seen more cautious after Brexit vote: survey

Paring financial risks when buying UK property

Wang’s theme-park bet more of a China real estate gamble

Chinese firms piling into London properties

China home prices continue to rise in October but monthly growth slows

China home-price growth slows as property curbs start to bite

Greenland Hong Kong raises US$300m for real estate fund with Kuwait

Canada could raise home downpayments: housing agency head

Yen falls to six-month low after post-Brexit high

Japan October exports fall 10.3% in sign of sluggish global demand

Vietnam developer seeks first overseas bond sale

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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