The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 21st, 22nd & 23rd July 2018

Singapore Economy

Smart Nation projects paused pending review of cyber security
Singapore has hit the “pause” button on all its Smart Nation projects that have yet to be rolled out following the largest data breach in the country’s history.  The 2023 deadline by which citizens would be able to complete between 90 per cent and 95 per cent of transactions with the Government digitally may also be pushed back, pending the outcome of a thorough cyber-security review across agencies.

Singapore asks KL to clarify position on HSR project by July 31
Singapore’s Transport Ministry has asked the Malaysian government to provide a written response clarifying its position on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project by July 31.  A ministry spokesman also said yesterday that if Malaysia wishes to meet Singapore to discuss the HSR project, it should do so by that same date.


Singapore Real Estate

AEW boosts Singapore office exposure
AEW is increasing its presence in the Singapore office market. The US-based global institutional property investment manager is understood to be the buyer of 55 Market Street in the traditional Raffles Place financial district.  Last week, vendor Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) announced the S$216.8 million sale of the 16-storey building but did not name the buyer. This is the second Singapore office asset AEW clinched in less than two weeks. In late June, it entered into a deal to buy Twenty Anson from CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) for S$516 million. CCT in its announcement of the sale also did not name the buyer.

Daintree Residence to launch for sale on July 28
All eyes will be on Daintree Residence when it launches for sale on July 28 – the first condominium to do so since the latest round of cooling measures came into effect.  But the pricing has left analysts divided: the Toh Tuck Road condo will likely go in the region of an average of S$1,800 per square foot (psf), Neo Keng Hoe, general manager for the developer SP Setia, told The Business Times.

Pinetree Condo at Balmoral Rd up for collective sale with S$148m reserve price
Pinetree Condominium in the upmarket Balmoral Park enclave has been put on the collective sale market with a reserve price of S$148 million.  At that price, each owner in the 50-unit freehold District 10 development stands to receive between S$2.57 million and S$4.09 million, said SLP Scotia, the marketing agent for the deal.


Companies’ Brief

Singapore-listed firms on share buyback spree in H1 2018
Share buybacks in the Singapore bourse boomed over the first half of this year as companies dipped into the kitty to shore up their stocks amid an extremely volatile trading environment, fuelled by trade war and geopolitical risks and worries over the quickening pace of rising interest rates in the US.  According to market watchers the uptrend could persist for the rest of the year.

CapitaMall Trust ups Q2 DPU after sale of Sembawang mall
CapitaLand Mall Trust is handing out a higher second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU), after the recent sale of Sembawang Shopping Centre.  DPU came in at 2.81 Singapore cents for the three months to June 30, or a 2.2 per cent increase over the same period the year before, the manager said on Friday. Net property income grew by 2.8 per cent to S$120.8 million, on a 1.6 per cent rise in gross revenue to S$171.4 million.

Oxley appoints CFO as group financial controller resigns
Developer Oxley Holdings has hired former Amara Holdings group financial controller Chan Yean Chun as chief financial officer and company secretary.  Ms Chan will replace outgoing financial controller and company secretary Ooi Chee Eng, who resigned to “pursue other career opportunities”, Oxley said in announcements through the Singapore Exchange over the weekend. Ms Chan’s appointment and Mr Ooi’s resignation were effective on Friday, July 20.

Chip Eng Seng, Lum Chang have new ventures
Developers cum construction firms Chip Eng Seng and Lum Chang on Friday announced acquisitions of new businesses in education and healthcare respectively.  Chip Eng Seng said that its subsidiary has signed a sale and purchase agreement with an affiliate of private equity firm Navis Capital to acquire 70 per cent of White Lodge Education Group Services for S$13.3 million in cash.

A homecoming for Hong Lai Huat in name and substance
It has been 10 years since real estate and property developer Hong Lai Huat Group put its Singapore operations on hold and focused on diversifying into a new agriculture business in Cambodia.  Pummelled by periodic financial crises affecting the property sector, the company took a step back in 2008 to find something that could anchor it during difficult times.

Singapore listing on the cards for Crown Group’s Indonesia business
Crown Group is considering listing its fledging Indonesia business on the Singapore bourse as the privately-held Australian property group bets big on South-east Asia’s largest economy, its co-founder and chief executive officer Iwan Sunito told The Business Times.  A listing of its Australian operations also on the local bourse could be on the cards in the future, but the group is “waiting for the right time” to do so.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Address root cause of housing issue
The need for government intervention to smoothen out market overshooting, for stability and sustainability, is not what is being questioned (Sustainable property market benefits all, by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Development and Monetary Authority of Singapore; July 17 ).  Rather, the concerns are the unintended consequences of the Government’s cooling measures, which may just result in a wild swing to the other extreme.

Make lowering property prices a goal
I can understand the primary motivation for the implementation of the cooling measures – to reduce systemic risk and the chance of a more severe correction later on (Sustainable property market benefits all, by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Development and Monetary Authority of Singapore; July 17).  Still, I would urge policymakers to go a step further and make lowering property prices an objective in itself, as suggested by editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang (Govt can do more to increase housing choices; July 15).

Private housing market unlikely to head into oversupply situation: Analysts
Singapore: About 3,000 visitors flocked to the opening day preview for private project The Tre Ver in Potong Pasir on Saturday (Jul 21), just two weeks after higher stamp duties and tighter loan limits were introduced.  Units at the 729-unit condominium, which will be completed in 2022, are priced from around S$1,400 psf. But even with the tighter loan-to-value limits, homebuyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to were not deterred.

Commentary: Did the Government intervene too early in Singapore’s private housing market?
Singapore: Days after the release of Urban Redevelopment Authority’s flash estimates, the Government announced a new round of cooling measures, which caught many in the housing market by surprise.  Authorities might have been right in principle to impose these harsh cooling measures, amidst a private property market heating up. The private housing market experienced an inflexion in prices last year after 15 consecutive quarters of decline since fourth quarter of 2013.

Residents’ Network to help spur social mixing in estates
Singapore is to have a new grassroots organisation that will serve residents of new private as well as public housing estates.  Called Residents’ Network (RN), it will erase the existing distinction in which residents’ committees (RCs) serve HDB estates and neighbourhood committees (NCs) cater to private estates.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Trump “ready to go” with US$500 billion in tariffs on all China imports

US proposals to drop trade barriers taken seriously by allies: Mnuchin

US housing starts hit 9-month low in June, permits drop

Relief in sight for US homebuyers in high-priced West Coast cities

NYC’s Home Inventory Is Piling Up

Coworking surge in Manhattan raises asset-liability quandary

Manhattan’s commercial-property sales are stirring from a 2-year slump

Poundworld to close all stores costing thousands of jobs

Hillhouse, Alibaba said to be cornerstone investors in China Tower’s IPO

Hong Kong Property Bears Rear Their Heads (Yet Again)

Japan’s inflation inches higher in June due to energy costs

China deleveraging plan may impact S Korea economy

Malaysia’s growth forecast cut to 5%: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng

North Korea economy declines at sharpest rate in 20 yrs in 2017

Dubai’s recipe for economic success takes a beating

Canadians feel little pain of rate hikes – so far

Oregon weighs record bond for housing as real estate prices jump


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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