The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 25th 26th & 27th February 2017

Singapore Economy

S’pore manufacturing may show the way for future economy
Take a look at the underdog manufacturing sector and you may see what Singapore’s economic restructuring can turn out to be, observers told The Business Times.  Long deemed as being in decline, the sector’s surprise output surge at end-2016 has suddenly made it everybody’s darling.  There’s even an übermensch quality to it: its performance was so stellar, it helped lift overall economic growth well beyond earlier forecasts.

Singapore, Chongqing boost transport, logistics collaboration
Singapore and Chongqing have deepened efforts to drive transport and logistics collaboration between the two cities, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said on Sunday.  IE has partnered the Chongqing Municipal Government on a “1+1” Collaboration Framework under the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) to facilitate the implementation of two projects: the Chongqing Logistics Development Platform (CLDP) and the Multi-Modal Distribution and Connectivity (DC) Centre.

Pacts inked to boost eco-city infrastructure, services
Singapore and China yesterday signed five pacts to cooperate on improving the infrastructure and services in Tianjin Eco-City.  These agreements cover areas such as water resources management, digital media, healthcare, research and development as well as the implementation of a “smart city” masterplan.  The government-led eco-city project – referring to a 30 sq km green township in the north-eastern port city – broke ground in 2008. Before it was developed, the site was a mix of saltpans, barren land and a large wastewater pond.

Finance firms eyeing bigger slice of the SME pie
Singapore’s three listed finance firms are poised to reap benefits from regulatory changes that will boost their customer reach and capacity to lend.  Already, Hong Leong Finance, Sing Investments & Finance and Singapura Finance have enjoyed hefty run-ups in their share prices.  But the trio are not counting their chickens just yet, amid issues such as competition with banks and stressed asset quality.

Singdollar remains strong, back to November levels
The Singdollar rose to S$1.4057 on Friday from Thursday’s S$1.4149 on continued US dollar weakness on realisation that US President Donald Trump’s tax reforms will take time and also because expectations of a March interest-rate hike by the US Federal Reserve fade.


Singapore Real Estate

Major shareholder moves to take GP Hotels private
Shares of Global Premium Hotels (GP Hotels) jumped yesterday after majority shareholder and real estate tycoon Koh Wee Meng launched a cash offer to take the firm private.  The stock rose four cents, or 12.5 per cent, to 36 cents – just below the offer price of 36.5 cents a share.  Mr Koh already controls 71.86 per cent of GP Hotels.

195 units of Clementi Canopy sold in first weekend
The Clementi Canopy, a new condominium project in Clementi Avenue 1, has sold 195 units (38.6 per cent) of the 505-unit development during its first weekend launch.  Some 250 units were released over the recent weekend, according to property developer UOL Group.  Anthony Wong, general manager for marketing at UOL, said: “Out of the 250 units released on the first weekend launch of The Clement Canopy, we saw a strong take-up of 195 units (about 78 per cent).”


Companies’ Brief 

UOL full-year gains fall despite higher revenue
Strong sales from its core Singapore property development business were not enough to prevent a drop in full-year earnings at developer UOL Group.  A lower share of profits from joint venture companies and fair value losses on its investment properties helped send net profit for the 12 months to Dec 31 down 27 per cent to $287 million. This was despite a 13 per cent increase in revenue to $1.44 billion, which was largely driven by strong property sales.

Singapore firm takes on eldercare project in Hubei
Singapore-listed developer Perennial Real Estate Holdings has expanded its presence in China’s healthcare industry with another eldercare project in central Hubei province.  The 1,077-bed project, comprising a nursing hospital and a retirement home, is based on a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Wuhan municipal government.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Crème De La Crème
Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) have been dubbed the “creme de la creme” of Singapore’s landed homes and are a coveted status symbol. They are rare and outsizedly priced – the average price of GCBs transacted last year was S$21.3 million. Today, only Singapore citizens are allowed to buy landed properties in Good Class Bungalow Areas (GCBAs).  In the past 12 months, bungalow purchases in GCBAs have been buoyed by families with old money, as well as the nouveau riche and foreigners who have become Singaporeans.

With no hints from Budget speech, analysts expect status quo for property sector
When he delivered his maiden Budget speech last year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat devoted just three sentences to the closely watched property sector and said the Government had assessed that it was “premature” to relax the cooling measures.  Last Monday (Feb 20), in his 80-minute Budget speech for this year, Mr Heng made no direct mention of the property market or the curbs currently in place, though he announced increased housing grants for couples looking to buy their first resale flat.

In betting on property, prepare to win big and lose big
The Government is right not to shift its position on the property cooling measures (“Tweak property cooling measures to help retirees” by Madam Tan Bee Cheng; Feb 19).  I find it hard to sympathise with the plight of those organisations or individuals who decided to invest in property, and who indeed had it very good before 2009, but have since had a change in fortunes.

Give residents breakdown of service and conservancy fees
Mr Ong Boon Hua is right to ask for a breakdown of the service and conservancy charges (S&CC) (“Higher service, conservancy fees soon for most HDB residents“; Feb 18).  It has been only three years since the last increase in the S&CC in 2014. How did the town councils determine the amount to raise the S&CC by?  How are operating expenses calculated, given that different estates have flats that are of different design, size and age?

A delicate balancing act
This week’s topic: How might Singapore strike a balance between ensuring a sustainable fiscal system and maintaining a progressive and internationally competitive tax structure?

A desire to discover city’s charms
For Ms Wang Ying, 35, shopping in Singapore is a breeze compared with Tianjin, China, where she is from.  “The service attitude here is good,” she said in Mandarin.  “And they won’t pressure you into buying anything. If you want to buy something, you buy it. If you don’t, you don’t,” added Ms Wang, who works for the highway bureau in the northern metropolis.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Rising policy uncertainty driving slowdown in global trade: World Bank

Warnings of global debt build-up keep mounting

Property industry calls for tax cuts to lift London market

Britain’s Intu Properties hikes full-year dividend

U.S. new home sales rebound; consumer sentiment dips

The untold secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Landlords taking over America’s housing market

Twin records for Hong Kong property flout bid to tame hot market

China to stabilise, further open markets  

China appoints new economic chiefs

Cooling measures likely as Canada home prices keep heading north

Olympic housing boom fades in Tokyo with glut at 7-year high

Scandinavians take drastic steps to get into housing boom

Egyptian developers suspend Saudi project amid tensions


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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