The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 20th, 21st, 22nd May 2017

Singapore Economy

TPP nations to push trade deal forward without US
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has got a new lease of life after the remaining 11 signatories, including Singapore, agreed yesterday to move the trade deal forward without the participation of the world’s largest economy, the United States.  The support for the ambitious pact was remarkable as it came on the sidelines of a fractious meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in Hanoi, which failed to come up with its usual joint statement after the US took issue with proposed wording.

Singapore Q1 GDP likely to be revised higher on manufacturing boost, but outlook more clouded
Singapore’s economy likely performed better than initially expected in the first quarter thanks to a surge in factory output, although the outlook is clouded by slowing exports to China, according to analysts surveyed by Reuters.  The median estimate by the 11 economists polled put gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 2.7 per cent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier.  That would be better than the official advance estimate of 2.5 per cent growth released last month.

Singapore Real Estate

Luxe condo deals see higher transactions in 2016
The number of private apartments and condo units transacted at S$10 million and above each rose to 36 units last year – from 21 units in 2015 and 24 units in 2014. And the momentum continued this year, with 16 units sold from January to April.  These figures were compiled by Savills Singapore based on its analysis of URA Realis caveats data. However, a breakdown of buyer profiles into Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners as well as nationality details are not available in the above -S$10 million price category in Realis.

Heritage East condo MC has 4 months to fix carpark system
Frustrated by an 18-month shutdown of a Katong condo’s faulty mechanised carpark system, a resident sought redress from the Strata Titles Board.  Last month, the board gave the Heritage East’s management council (MC) a four-month deadline to fix the system.  The board, which heard the application of Ms Ker Lee Ping, rued the ” unsatisfactory” situation.

Concerns raised over high cost of One Canberra’s first AGM: Shanmugam
MP for Nee Soon GRC K Shanmugam has written to the managing agent of One Canberra after concerns were raised over the high cost of the condominium’s first annual general meeting (AGM).  Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law and Home Affairs Minister, said in a Facebook post on Sunday (May 21) that he heard about the matter from several of the Yishun condo’s residents.

Stroll through ‘grand’ Tuas Link MRT station
Commuters at the new Tuas Link MRT station will have a bird’s eye view of the platform below, and look out onto a space reminiscent of grand central stations.  Tuas Link is one of four stations on the new 7.5km Tuas West Extension that will open on June 18, extending the East-West Line to the western tip of the island.  It is the first elevated station with a ticketing concourse level built above the platform.

Companies’ Brief

Koh Brothers forays into S Korea with maiden property buy
Homegrown construction and property development firm Koh Brothers on Friday announced its maiden entry into the Korean real estate market, with its first property acquisition in the Gangnam district of Seoul.  It had set up a joint venture with local developer Daeryun D & I Co (owning a 45 per cent of the JV) to acquire a freehold site for 95.8 billion Korean won (S$119 million). The existing YMCA building which sits on the site has a gross floor area of 17,798.5 square metres and sits on a land area of 4,610.9 sq m.

GLP posts 61.7% jump in Q4 profit on higher asset values
Global Logistic Properties (GLP) reported a 61.7 per cent jump in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017, to US$247 million, fuelled by higher asset values in Japan, US and Brazil.  This brought its full fiscal-year earnings to a record US$794 million, registering a 10.4 per cent growth.  But core earnings, which include revaluation changes related to development profit and net operating income (NOI) but adjusted for non-recurring items, slipped 5 per cent from a year ago in the fourth quarter to US$155 million. This was mainly due to lower contribution from GLP’s second US portfolio after its stake in the portfolio was pared down to 10 per cent through fund syndication in the fiscal second quarter.

Divestment gain helps IHH double Q1 net profit
The gain from divestment in Apollo Hospitals helped double global healthcare provider IHH Healthcare Berhad’s net profit for the first three months of the year.  Its first-quarter net profit rose to RM470 million (S$151 million), following a RM313.4 million gain from the group’s divestment of a non-core 6.07 per cent stake in Apollo Hospitals.  The group had on May 18 sold off its remaining 4.78 per cent stake in Apollo for about RM551.1 million.

Heeton eyes growth in its hotel business
Property firm Heeton Holdings aims to scale up its hospitality business as part of its diversification strategy, possibly rolling out its new Luma brand hotels to more markets.  Heeton, along with three consortium partners, opened the first Luma Concept Hotel in Hammersmith in London last month. The firm has a 60 per cent stake in the the joint venture.  Chief executive Eric Teng said the firm is “test-bedding” the new hotel concept which is shorn of the usual facilities – such as a restaurant, bar and pool – but is focused on offering four-star-quality rooms.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Developers haven’t learnt lesson about bidding high for land
I was alarmed to read that developers were bidding aggressively for land (Aggressive land bids drive premiums up at govt sites; May 17).  It seems that they have not learnt their lesson.  When they submit high bids for the plots, they have to sell the completed units at sky-high prices to cover their land and construction costs. But the exorbitant prices may turn potential buyers away.

Renting a home can be a savvy decision
After two years living abroad – the last six months in a beautiful but mouse-infested house in hipster East London – I was over the moon to be back in Singapore.  I relished my parents’ clean flat, the gym downstairs and my mother’s delicious home-cooked meals.  Still, after a month or two, I was keen to move out as my place in the suburbs is over an hour’s commute to the office. I had also enjoyed living downtown abroad, which I feel is the best way to fully appreciate a cosmopolitan and vibrant city.  

Are newly-vacant school buildings being put to use?
The major restructuring of Singapore’s education is laudable (8 junior colleges among 28 schools to be merged; April 21), but this leaves a significant number of unused buildings.  These Institute of Technical Education (ITE) buildings, junior colleges and other school facilities are now vacant, or soon will be.  Most are still in good condition and some have even been recently refurbished.

Rooting for urban produce
This Week’s Topic: Can Singapore go big on agriculture? What is needed to encourage high-tech farming here?

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

The Trump-market honeymoon is officially over

Mortgage rates retreat amid political turmoil in Washington

How tales of ‘flippers’ led to a housing bubble and economic flop

High-renters in NYC – they’ve money to buy, but they ask ‘why?’

Trump’s ‘huuuuuge’ Caribbean estate on the market for US$28m

China’s Future Land warns of property developer price cuts as cooling steps bite

Beijing’s new weapon in economic war: Chinese tourists

Ghost of ’97 stalks Hong Kong economy infected by housing debt

New moves to rein in HK home prices

Land disputes cloud fast-developing Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar

Concerns prevail, but Iskandar slowly taking shape

Malaysia’s economy grows 5.6% in Q1 on strong domestic demand

Tokyo intensifies efforts to be global financial centre

Once-drab Indonesian slum rejuvenated into “Rainbow Village”

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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