The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 24th, 25th and 26th March 2018

Singapore Economy

Caution the watchword as US-China trade tensions hang over MAS policy
Escalating trade tensions between the United States and China could prompt Singapore’s central bank to adopt a more cautious policy stance than it originally intended at its upcoming April meeting, economists say.  Market watchers were widely expecting the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to tighten its Singdollar policy in response to improving growth and rising inflation. However, protectionist sabre-rattling by the world’s two largest economies has shifted the needle.

Consumer prices up 0.5% in Feb
Singapore’s headline inflation picked up last month but stayed muted, after having been flat the month before.  The consumer price index – the main measure of inflation – rose 0.5 per cent in February compared with the same month a year ago, said the Department of Statistics yesterday.  This was comparable with economists’ estimates of a 0.4 per cent increase.

Market volatility expected to continue this week
Volatility in trading – not just in Singapore but globally – is expected to continue this week, after major US benchmarks last Friday got walloped hard over the potential United States trade war with China.  Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average moved into the red for the year. The Dow fell 1.77 per cent to 23,533.2, while the S&P 500 lost 2.1 per cent to 2,588.26 – close to its February low.

Singapore Real Estate

315 units of The Tapestry in Tampines snapped up
Some 315 units, or 70 per cent, of the 450 units released of The Tapestry were snapped up over the weekend.  The average price per square foot is S$1,310.  On Sunday, developer City Developments Limited (CDL) said all unit types had a “good take-up rate”, particularly the one-bedder and two-bedroom units.

Mandarin Gardens condominium approves asking price of S$2.48b
If Mandarin Gardens condominium does end up going on the market, potential developers could end up paying over S$4 billion to purchase and build the new property.  Marketing agent C&H Properties told owners this at a second extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on the afternoon of March 25, where they approved the asking price of S$2.48 billion as well as the method of apportionment, according to sources present.

More commercial sites eyeing collective sales
More commercial developments are jumping onto the collective sale bandwagon even as the success rate for such deals pales in comparison with that for residential developments.  So far this year, there has been no commercial sites sold en bloc, with all 15 collective sale sites sold being residential developments.

Companies’ Brief

WeWork to open offices in four regional cities as part of Asian push
US-based co-working space provider WeWork plans to open offices in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila by end-2018, as part of a US$500 million effort started in August last year to grow in South-east Asia and South Korea.  That continues WeWork’s pattern of aggressive expansion in the region. Industry watchers say that in seven months, WeWork has opened, confirmed or been in talks for over 300,000 sq ft of space in Singapore.

OrangeTee & Tie teams up with Carousell on property listings
OrangeTee & Tie, Singapore’s third-largest property agency by sales force, has tied up with homegrown Carousell to add the property listings and reviews of its more than 4,000 agents to the online marketplace.  The collaboration comes on the heels of the launch of SoReal Prop last week, an online platform initiative led by top agencies PropNex Realty, ERA Realty and Huttons Asia.

HLH to sell hotel in Cambodia mixed-use project for S$15.7m
HLH Group Limited said it has entered into a sales and purchase agreement to sell its 98-room hotel in its D’Seaview project in Sihanoukville, Cambodia for S$15.7 million.  D’Seaview is HLH group’s first freehold mixed-use development venture in Cambodia, comprising 737 residential units and 67 commercial units. The four blocks of commercial segment include a mix of commercial shop space, retail units and a boutique hotel.

Far East Group to sell Lavender Street property for S$27m
[Unrelated to Far East Organisation]
Industrial refrigeration systems and products distributor Far East Group is intending to dispose its Lavender Street property for about S$27 million.  In a late Friday announcement on the Singapore Exchange, Far East said that it has issued a conditional option to purchase agreement to Chang Hua Construction, an independent and unrelated third party.


Homing in on a tool for home buyers and sellers
Techpreneur Michael Cho believes that the man in the street should have the same access to housing market intelligence as the real estate agent – and for free.  That was the motivation that drove him to create UrbanZoom – an online artificial intelligence-enabled research portal that includes an auto-valuation tool and other useful transaction data designed to be user-friendly for home buyers and sellers in Singapore.

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital marks end of major revamp
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) opened its doors yesterday to about 800 people for its first community event since the completion of redevelopment works that have transformed it into the largest single-site nursing home in Singapore.  The $96 million works, which included demolishing six buildings and renovating four others, took more than two years to complete. Hospital facilities were, meanwhile, housed in a temporary two-storey building on the compound.

Bullish equity trend intact unless consumer sentiment falls sharply
The news flow on trade wars recently has been weighing down on the US equity market. For the past two weeks, the US equity market moved in a depressed manner. On March 9, US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminium imports with Canada and Mexico exempted. On top of that, back in January, Mr Trump had also imposed tariffs on imported washing machines and solar cells.

Amid trade war fears, US is finally standing up to China
It is the most serious warning shot yet from President Donald Trump – notice of up to US$60 billion (S$79 billion) of tariffs on Chinese imports if China does not reduce its trade surplus with the US and extend reciprocal treatment to US companies, allowing them market access without forcing them to take minority stakes in joint ventures and transfer their technology.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Making a fast buck out of misery

Mortgage rates recommence their upward trajectory

Britain will find it hard to freeze Russian assets

Under new rules, secret buyers of UK luxe properties face jail

Markets savaged as US-China tariff brinkmanship escalates

Asian bourses and greenback fall amid US-China trade spat

Asia steels itself for impact of US tariffs

China to open financial sector further amid reforms

China fires warning shots over US tariffs

China pledges level playing field for foreign companies

Steve Wynn sells stake in the company he founded

Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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