Fall in housing, transport costs pulls CPI down again
Consumer prices fell for the 17th consecutive month in March, the longest decline on record, primarily due to a significant decline in private road transport costs. Economists do not expect headline inflation to pick up in the near term, due to the ongoing slump in oil prices, the slowdown in Singapore’s growth momentum and the impact of earlier macro-prudential measures on housing and car purchases. The All-Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 1 per cent year-on-year in March, compared with the 0.8 per cent decline in February, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) showed on Monday (April 25). Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 0.7 per cent decline.
Singapore tourism industry to get S$700 million boost over next five years
The local tourism industry will get a S$700 million shot in the arm over the next five years through the latest tranche of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), which is designed to help the industry reposition itself for growth with an eye on near-term headwinds and future opportunities. While the fundamentals for tourism remain strong in the long term – thanks to Asia’s emerging middle class and a rising demand for travel in the region – short-term headwinds will come from an uncertain global economy, regional competition and domestic resource constraints.
Singapore Real Estate
100 AM mall in Tanjong Pagar to be new home for Parco
AMARA Holdings’ shopping mall in Tanjong Pagar, 100 AM, will soon be home to Parco, after the group inked a lease agreement with the Singapore subsidiary of the Japanese department store operator. Parco (Singapore) Pte Ltd agreed to take up some 14,000 square feet of food and beverage (F&B) space at the mall. It plans to open a new restaurant zone named “itadakimasu by Parco”, housing a variety of Japanese cuisines, in the last quarter of 2016.
25% of Qingjian’s EC units sold at weekend launch
QINGJIAN Realty (South Pacific) Group sold 25 per cent or 158 units of its executive condominium project in Sembawang, The Visionaire, during the first weekend of launch. Those with “smart home” package were sold at an average of S$811 per square foot (psf). Close to 70 per cent of the buyers opted for the package, while the rest who opted out were given price cuts of S$6,500 to S$8,000 depending on the unit size. More than 60 per cent of the buyers were first-timers.
More launches in the offing as residential market picks up
More launches are in the works in the coming months as the residential market continues to show signs of waking from its slumber. Two projects where sales started last weekend had decent take-ups while bookings for an executive condominium begin this weekend. “Buyers have all along been very interested in property despite the measures, but they are very selective,” said ERA Realty key executive officer Eugene Lim. “Project attributes and pricing are important, and developers are likely to price attractively.” New launches last weekend included The Visionaire Executive Condominium (EC) by Qingjian Realty. The project in Canberra Link sold 158 of 632 units at an average price of $811 per sq ft (psf).
Singapore property investment sales tumble 74% to $1.75b in Q1 from previous quarter: DTZ
Real estate investment sales fell 74 per cent to S$1.75 billion in the first three months of the year from S$6.7 billion in the final quarter of 2015, said consultancy DTZ. In terms of volume, or number of investment deals in Q1 2016 was the lowest since the third quarter of 2009, which was during the global financial crisis. Investment sales hit a low of S$192 million in Q1 2009, said DTZ in its report released on Monday (April 25). DTZ defines investment sales as the sale of land, building and multiple units with value above S$5 million. It excludes single strata or residential units, except for landed sites large enough to be redeveloped into two or more residential units.
HDB flats more affordable despite shorter loan tenures
Despite the shortening of maximum loan tenures, housing affordability — as measured by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) — has improved over the last three years, with first-time buyers of new flats in non-mature estates last year using less than a fifth of their monthly income on average to repay their housing loans. The debt-servicing ratio (DSR) — which looks at the proportion of monthly income used to pay off a mortgage — has fallen from 24 per cent in 2013 and 22 per cent in 2014, to 19 per cent last year, a HDB spokesperson said in response to TODAY’s queries.
More HDB flats approved for subletting as resale prices fall
The number of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats approved for subletting rose slightly in the first quarter of this year, the latest HDB figures showed. Between January and March, a total of 385 applications for subletting were approved, a 0.2 per cent increase from the cases approved in final quarter of last year. As of March 31, a total of 48,338 HDB flats have been sublet, up from 48,120 units in the previous quarter.
Mapletree Industrial Trust’s DPU rises 6% for Q4
Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) on Monday posted a 6 per cent increase to its distribution per unit to 2.81 Singapore cents for its fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016. This was up from 2.65 cents a year ago. Gross revenue rose 5.8 per cent to to S$84 million, boosted by higher rental rates across its property segments, as well as contribution from the build-to-suit project for Equinix Singapore at 26A Ayer Rajah Crescent. Net property income rose 7.4 per cent to S$62 million.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
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