The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 22nd, 23rd and 24th July 2017

Top Story

Hundred Palms EC sells out in a day; over 80 units sold at Martin Modern
The sell-out of executive condominium (EC) project Hundred Palms Residences in a single day and a credible showing at high-end project Martin Modern have become the latest indications of an earlier than expected property uptrend.  All 531 units at the Hundred Palms Residences by Hoi Hup Realty were sold out within seven hours on the first day of launch on Saturday, at an average S$836 per square foot (psf), said one of its marketing agencies ERA Realty.

Singapore Economy

E-payments in Singapore get a Stripe fillip
Advancements in digital payments shaped Singapore’s payments landscape in July, allowing many Internet businesses to sell to a wider audience and more quickly adapt to “new retail”, a phenomenon coined by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba that entails retailers leveraging the Internet and customer data to sell better.  San Francisco-based payments technology company Stripe said recently that Internet businesses in Singapore can now accept payments via Alipay (Alibaba’s digital payment platform) and WeChat Pay using Stripe’s software.

Singapore retailers can move faster to embrace ‘new retail’
While Singapore retailers are innovating and coming to terms with e-commerce, they can move even faster to adapt to “new retail”, said observers. “New retail”, a phenomenon recently coined by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, entails retailers integrating their online and offline businesses, and leveraging the Internet and customer data to sell better.

S’pore economy to benefit from global growth, China: VP Bank
Singapore shows a clear pattern of further economic strength for the rest of the year, but VP Bank AG remains neutral on the city-state.  The Liechtenstein private bank, which has a 2.7 per cent growth forecast for Singapore’s economy in 2017, noticed that in the second quarter, the Singapore equity market has underperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets Asia benchmark.

Revenue growth expected, but external risks remain: Deloitte
Revenue growth for Singapore businesses is expected to catch up with that in the rest of the Asia-Pacific in two years, but external risks such as macroeconomic and political factors remain top concerns, Deloitte’s first biennial cost survey has found.  The report said Singapore businesses had the lowest annual revenue growth in the Asia-Pacific in the last two years; only 53 per cent of respondents in the city-state reported increases in revenue, compared to a 75 per cent average in the region.

T4 to give Changi Airport a boost in meeting growing demand
Terminal 4 will give Changi Airport a much-needed boost in handling capacity amid growing passenger traffic and allow the testbedding of automated solutions on a big scale when it opens later this year.  Last year, Changi handled a record 58.7 million passengers, putting it fairly close to the combined 66 million annual handling capacity for terminals 1, 2 and 3.

Power grid revamp among projects for $19b R&D fund
Singapore’s power distribution system could see its most ambitious overhaul a decade from now, following research on a new Grid 2.0 power system.  This new energy grid aims to consolidate gas, solar and thermal energy into a single intelligent network, with the end goal of more efficient, sustainable and resilient energy networks.

Multi-agency effort to address hotel industry employment woes
Multi-agency agencies are collaborating to help employers in the hotel industry better communicate with jobseekers, potentially addressing mismatches and missed matches in the employment landscape.  The Adapt and Grow SkillsFuture Career Advisors Programme for the Hotel Industry was introduced at the Hotel Day 2017, on Friday, co-organised by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

Singapore Real Estate

Uptick in private home sales in first half of year amid renewed optimism
The first half of this year saw developers selling 72 per cent more private residential units from a year ago, as the market saw renewed optimism amid tweaks in the cooling measures in recent months.  There are signs of the market bottoming out, said experts, with the supply glut easing and developers’ inventory of launched and unsold private housing units at a six-year low.

Cambodian picks up S$17m penthouse in Gramercy Park
City Developments Ltd (CDL) has sold a penthouse at the completed Gramercy Park condo in Grange Road to a Cambodian buyer for S$17 million.  The price works out to S$3,073 per square foot (psf) based on the 5,533 square feet (sq ft) strata area spanning the top two levels of the 24-storey freehold project.

Malls roll out more choice parking spaces for ‘green’ cars
To reward drivers who choose eco-friendly cars such as hybrid or electric vehicles, property developers are setting aside for them more parking spots that are near the entrances and lift lobbies at shopping malls, for greater convenience.

Japan opens its doors to property start-ups
The number of foreigners working in Japan topped one million for the first time this year, but official data showed that nearly 40 per cent of foreign residents who sought housing in the last five years were turned down at least once as they are not Japanese.

Historic mosque reopens after $1.46m revamp
Congregants at the Haji Muhammad Salleh Mosque can enjoy greater accessibility and comfort, following the completion of upgrading works to its facilities and main prayer spaces.  The mosque in Palmer Road, near Shenton Way, officially reopened yesterday with new features, including a toilet for people with disabilities, a platform lift and a new extended prayer space covered by a glass canopy.

Tiong Bahru CC reopens with better facilities, new programmes
Singapore’s first community centre reopened yesterday after two years of renovation work, with better facilities and new programmes.  Built in 1951 during the colonial days, the Tiong Bahru Community Centre has undergone five major facelifts.

Tengah Air Base expansion: When the dead have to make way for development
Come September, youth development officer Shah Reza’s family will receive a letter notifying them that his grandfather’s remains will be reinterred elsewhere in Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.  His grandfather’s grave is among some 80,500 Muslim and Chinese graves that will make way for the expansion of Tengah Air Base, as announced by the authorities last Tuesday.

Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand’s Ascott to triple US portfolio with US$33.7m acquisition
CapitaLand’s serviced residence arm The Ascott is tripling the size of its US portfolio by buying an 80 per cent stake in US-based Synergy Global Housing for US$33.7 million.  Synergy, which has had a cross-selling relationship with Ascott since 2013, will increase Ascott’s US portfolio to about 3,000 units from the current size of more than 1,000 units.

Sabana Reit drops plan to acquire property at 72 Eunos Avenue 7
Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Reit (Sabana Reit) said it has dropped its plan to acquire a property located at 72 Eunos Avenue 7 after the agreement to do so lapsed.  This followed earlier terminations on two other acquisitions of 107 Eunos Avenue 3 and 47 Changi South Avenue 2 with different vendors.

CMT’s distribution per unit up 0.4% for Q2
CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) reported a 0.4 per cent rise in distribution per unit for the second quarter ended June 30 to 2.75 cents, notwithstanding a challenging retail landscape and the closure of Funan for redevelopment.

Cache Logistics Trust’s DPU drops 9.5%
Lower turnover and higher expenses sent distribution per unit (DPU) down in the second quarter at mainboard-listed Cache Logistics Trust.  DPU for the three months to June 30 came in at 1.8 cents, 9.5 per cent under the 1.989 cents recorded in the same period a year earlier.

Centurion plans to buy US student housing assets for US$136m
Centurion Corp is entering the US market with plans to take up to 30 per cent of a portfolio of student housing assets that are being sold for a combined US$136 million.  Centurion said it is in talks with third parties to take up the remaining interest in the portfolio.

Hot stock Rowsley returns to winning ways
Rowsley, which set off a scrum for its stock after it unveiled plans to acquire the firm that owns Thomson Medical from its majority shareholder Peter Lim, returned to the black in the second quarter.  The group reported a net profit of $1.2 million for the three months to June 30, reversing from a loss of $5.3 million. Revenue was near flat at $22.5 million, compared with $22.3 million in the same period last year.

Stars aligning for Pacific Star Development
Nothing screams more effectively for investor attention than a company that has remade itself and is starting to show the money after two years of losses.  Take Singapore-based Pacific Star Development – a real estate firm with a flagship project in Iskandar Malaysia and a joint-venture in Bangkok.

Hatten Land unit’s wellness-themed project in Malacca launched
Malacca’s chief minister has launched a mixed-use wellness-themed development located in the heart of the city called Satori.  Hatten Land’s wholly-owned subsidiary Prolific Properties Sdn Bhd will develop the project over the next three years and construction is expected to be completed by 2020.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Singapore property at a turning point?
Property markets don’t turn around in a week. But data that comes out in early July often yields some insights into what happened during the first half of the year. Especially interesting are some of the most recent numbers which suggest that, after more than three years in the doldrums, Singapore’s residential property market might just be on the verge of turning.

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