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 and 27th November 2017

Top Story

Singapore investors making foray into Irish property
Ireland is gaining its own limelight as Brexit unravels. With banks and other corporations seeking another European Union (EU) hub, Irish commercial and industrial spaces have seen increased demand – including from Singapore companies.  For instance, Singapore investment firm Fine Grain Property made headlines in Ireland earlier this year when it joined hands with sovereign development fund, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif), to invest 100 million euros (S$158.6 million) in commercial property there.

Singapore Economy

Innovation, traditional strengths key to S’pore’s role in Belt and Road
There is a palpable buzz to the innovation scene in China, and opportunities are growing for Singaporeans to learn from and collaborate with their Chinese counterparts, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Sunday.  Singapore also has unique strengths, such as in legal and finance, that it should capitalise on to capture a slice of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Mr Heng told reporters at the close of his five-day trip to Suzhou and Beijing.

Factory output still running hot, but ‘likely to cool off next year’
Singapore’s factory production delivered another impressive showing for the month of October, shrugging off a steep decline in biomedical output as electronics continued to power ahead.  But economists say that while manufacturing growth is still expected to continue, the pace is likely to ease in the fourth quarter and into 2018, as a result of less favourable base effects and slowing semiconductor demand.

Productivity growth expected to hit 3% this year – highest rate since 2010
As the economy recovers, productivity growth is expected to reach about 3 per cent this year, accounting for all or almost all the economic growth for this year, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said on Friday.  This will be the highest productivity growth rate since 2010, and a marked improvement from the 1 per cent growth last year. Productivity growth ranged from -0.2 per cent to 0.9 per cent from 2012 to 2015.

Singapore economy on target for strong showing
Singapore’s economy is on track for a standout performance this year thanks to an improved global outlook, with the labour market showing signs of recovery.  But economists expect growth to moderate in the coming year due to a possible tapering in electronics demand and the slowdown in key markets such as China.

Joining global festive online mega-sales gives local retailers’ cash registers a merry peal
Although Singapore shoppers are no stranger to retail fever over Black Friday sales in the United States or Singles’ Day in China, local retailers are also joining in, with a growing number banking on overseas Web sales to expand their horizons.  That tourists from China head to Hong Kong, Thailand or Singapore to track down Tiger Balm products prompted Haw Par Corporation – the group behind the iconic ointment – to take part in the global online shopping extravaganza on Nov 11.

E-commerce tax may level playing field, say local retailers
Snapping up that deal from a website overseas may soon be costlier, if plans to subject lower-value imports to the goods and services tax (GST) come to pass.  Now, goods purchases totalling less than $400 and digital services such as music downloads from e-commerce firms based abroad are exempt from the 7 per cent GST.  But Singapore could join other countries such as Australia and South Korea in levying GST on foreign companies that sell goods and services to their residents online.

New initiative launched to connect Singapore and China tech firms
The Singapore government launched in China on Friday the first overseas initiative under the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), a network to promote entrepreneurship and innovation with a focus on technology.  The GIA (Beijing) initiative will see International Enterprise (IE) Singapore create launch pads for Singapore firms to connect with the business community in China, and let both sides benefit from the innovative ideas springing from their respective startup scenes.

Singapore Real Estate

En bloc veteran Karamjit Singh launches Showsuite
A year after leaving JLL’s residential team to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests, en bloc veteran and JLL senior consultant Karamjit Singh has launched the fruit of his labour.  It is a new portal called Showsuite which he believes will transform how new homes are presented, marketed and sold.  The website cum application is designed differently from agents’ usual property websites.

Co-working spaces boosting office and retail market
The growth of co-working spaces has boosted the office and retail market and created new opportunities for landlords, say property watchers.  The rise of the gig economy is one factor feeding demand for such spaces, according to Ms Susan Sutherland, head of corporate solutions research for JLL Asia-Pacific.  Edmund Tie & Company head of research Lee Nai Jia noted late last month that this new way of working has helped to lift office occupancy and rents.

Overhaul of building design system for right maintenance
A building manager takes over a building, only to find that his maintenance equipment cannot fit through the narrow corridor of the new structure.  It is a scenario that building managers here say happens all too often because maintenance is typically regarded as an afterthought – something to be considered only after the gleaming building is complete.

Orchard Road to try out another ‘scramble crossing’
Orchard Road will be doing a month-long trial of a pedestrian “scramble crossing” like that in Tokyo’s Shibuya district starting from Dec 16, in a bid to make the precinct more pedestrian-friendly.  Shoppers will be able to cross the Cairnhill Road-Orchard Road junction diagonally, such as from H&M to Robinsons at The Heeren for a period of 30 seconds.

A garden city’s green veins
Land-scarce Singapore is one of the few countries in the world to have more than 300km of cycling and jogging paths.  Originally built for recreational purposes, the Park Connector Network (PCN) was conceptualised by Japanese landscape architect Junichi Inada in 1987 when he was working with the National Parks Board (NParks), then known as the Parks and Recreation Department.

Companies’ Brief

Yanlord founder eyes century-old legacy for firm
It seems a remarkable feat for century-old companies to have weathered the turbulence of wars, financial crises and political transitions, and yet remain steadfast in their development path. This is what makes United Engineers Limited (UEL) and WBL Corp venerable – and has in a way stoked the interest of Yanlord Land Group to invest in these companies.

Sabana Reit’s talks with suitor fall through
A wholesale takeover of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) now seems more distant after the trust’s manager said over the weekend that talks with Warburg Pincus-backed ESR-Reit has fallen through.

GuocoLand’s EcoWorld enters option to buy Sydney residences
GuocoLand’s Malaysia-listed unit, EcoWorld International, has entered into an option agreement that will allow it to buy 25 out of 30 strata units in a Sydney site for A$33.8 million (S$34.7 million).  EcoWorld has until Sept 7, 2018, to exercise its option to purchase.  If it does not exercise the option by that date, the owners of the 25 apartments have 30 days to force EcoWorld to buy the units from them.

CapitaLand and UnionPay to launch cashless payment in China
CapitaLand has struck an alliance with China UnionPay to enable cashless payment in China through the former’s cardless rewards programme, CapitaStar.  This was announced at the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore – CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit in Beijing on Friday.

Oxley confirms talks to buy Chevron House; shares to resume trading
Oxley Holdings has confirmed that it is negotiating to buy the Chevron House building in Singapore’s financial district.  Oxley, a property developer, said in an announcement before the market opened on Monday (Nov 27) that it is in the process of conducting due diligence, and no definitive agreement has been executed yet.

Views, Reviews & Forum

The taxman cometh, and he means to have a hike
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday that it was “not a matter of whether, but a matter of when” taxes would have to be raised, setting off a frenzy of speculation that some kind of tax hike might be announced in the next national budget.  The leading candidate for a revision at the moment is the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which currently stands at 7 per cent and was last changed in 2007.

Dakota Crescent lives on… in JB
Dakota Crescent is now a ghost town, after it was vacated this year as part of redevelopment plans for the estate. But across the border in Johor Baru, a parallel universe exists.  Just 10 minutes from the Causeway, in Stulang Darat, elderly residents chit-chat near a playground that boasts the same key design elements as the landmark dove playground in Dakota Crescent.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Wealth effect fuelling US consumer spending

US Black Friday online sales climb to record high

Final nights in Trump SoHo before the Trump name checks out

Everton sign deal to lease old dock as site for new stadium

Needy families in limbo as Britain struggles with housing shortage

South-east Asia’s roaring economies

Hong Kong’s House Prices Could Soar Another 10% Next Year

Infrastructure boom boosts GDP

Sydney to spend A$2b to rebuild its two biggest stadiums

Developer urges Greece to show ‘political will’ on resort plan

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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