More collective sales in store next year
The success of three residential enbloc deals this year may be igniting the interest of more property owners to go down that route, considering the number of projects that have kick-started the collective sale process. Among at least eight collective sale hopefuls, owners of Lakeside Towers in Jurong have set up a collective sale committee (CSC), which has invited 14 property consultancies and seven legal firms to submit their proposals for consultancy services to execute the collective sale process. This came after three en bloc deals racked up over S$1 billion in value this year, up from one S$380 million deal in 2015 and zilch in 2014. The average annual value of collective sales from 2010 to 2013, however, was S$1.9 billion, comprising mainly small and medium-sized deals.
Takings in service industry slip in Q3
The service industry suffered a lacklustre third quarter, with takings sliding 0.4 per cent over the same quarter last year. Statistics Department data on receipts showed patchy performance across the sector, with some segments faring better than others. The latest numbers followed from almost flat growth in the second quarter, when service firms saw takings inch up just 0.5 per cent. The health and social service cluster logged the largest expansion in the July to September quarter, growing 9 per cent year on year.
October factory output rises amid doubts about manufacturing strength
Singapore’s factory output expanded again in October after an exciting September, although there are signs that the pickup may not last. It grew 1.2 per cent year on year in October, in comparison to a revised 7.7 per cent growth in September, figures from the Economic Development Board (EDB) showed on Friday. September’s number itself was revised upwards from 6.7 per cent earlier. When compared to September, October’s output still seemed pretty firm. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output contracted 0.1 per cent in October.
Six govt agencies under one roof at Tampines’ new hub
A new community and lifestyle hub in Tampines with some services operating round the clock was officially opened yesterday. A key feature of the sprawling Our Tampines Hub, which sits on 5.3ha of land – the size of about seven football fields – is a first-of-its-kind Public Services Centre housing six government agencies under one roof. This means residents can register for People’s Association (PA) activities or pay Housing Board-related fees like mortgage payments or parking fines at a 24-hour e-lobby.
S’pore retailers hitch ride on Black Friday bandwagon in search of sales bump
The annual American shopping extravaganza, which traditionally takes place the day after Thanksgiving, has been gaining traction in Singapore in recent years. And for some retailers, the sale will continue over the weekend, with shopping taking place both online and offline. “Our first Black Friday saw sales double over a regular Friday, and sales have been steadily growing since,” said country chief of Courts Singapore, Stan Kim. Courts has been offering Black Friday sales since 2013.
Singapore Real Estate
Lendlease shifts its focus back to Asia
Australian developer Lendlease – in a new global strategy to shift its focus from its home ground to Asia, Europe and America – has refreshed its targets for the region for the next five years. In his first media interview since being appointed Asia CEO in May, Tony Lombardo says he wants to grow Lendlease’s portfolio of urban regeneration projects of around S$6 billion to over S$10 billion in the next five years by adding 3-5 such projects in the region. Urban regeneration projects involve revitalising places that have fallen into disuse.
Penthouse at Bishopsgate Residences sold for S$20.68m
Two big-ticket freehold residential properties changed hands recently at an almost identical price. Kajima Overseas Asia has sold a penthouse at Bishopsgate Residences in District 10 for S$20.68 million, or S$3,462 per square foot (psf) based on the strata area of 5,974 square feet. The unit has four ensuite bedrooms, kitchen, living, dining and family areas on the fifth level – above which is a rooftop terrace and private pool.
Chinese, Japanese Gardens to get major upgrade
Masterplans for the central and eastern segments of the Jurong Lake Gardens development were unveiled yesterday – the final pieces to complete a 90ha national garden in the heartland. The proposed plans will see the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, built in the mid-1970s, receive an upgrade with new community spaces, tropical and aquatic gardens, as well as food and beverage outlets. Along the eastern shore of Jurong Lake, residents will be able to enjoy a new waterfront promenade and a “water gallery trail” for leisure boaters to explore nature and art.
90% of retail space at upcoming Bukit Panjang mall taken up
Retail space is filling up at Bukit Panjang’s upcoming shopping centre called Hillion Mall, announced Sim Lian Group on Friday (Nov 25). It said in a press release that 90 percent of the approximately 174,730 sq ft of lettable area has been taken up by about 100 retail as well as food and beverage (F&B) tenants. There are five anchor tenants – NTUC FairPrice, PCF Sparkletots Preschool, Amore Fitness and Boutique Spa, Kopitiam and Best Denki.
HDB flat owners to pay less property tax next year
HDB flat owners will pay less property tax next year, while almost all private residential property owners will see lower or no change in their property tax, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Monday (Nov 28). Owners of three-room flats will pay a maximum of S$18.40, down from S$37.60 this year. Those with four-room flats will pay between S$52 and S$100, down from S$71.20 to S$119.20, five-room flats will pay S$83.20 to S$131.20, down from S$104.80 to S$152.80, while executive flats will pay S$95.20 to S$143.20, down from S$116.80 to S$164.80.
Surbana Jurong, Microsoft to develop technology to reduce lift breakdowns
Urban planning consultancy firm Surbana Jurong and Microsoft inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday (Nov 25) to develop cloud-based technology for governments and city planners to better monitor common estate facilities like lifts, and in turn better manage their cities. The agreement is the first such collaboration for Microsoft in the region and also comes after Surbana Jurong launched its Smart Cities in a Box initiative in July, which allows city officials to track city assets like lights, water tanks, buildings and lifts through a series of applications.
Gunning for large infrastructure projects
Even as its industry is facing headwinds, leading architectural and design firm Aedas Limited is gunning for large infrastructural projects in Singapore as well as in emerging overseas markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka. It is focusing on areas that present a sturdy pipeline of work which include transport-oriented developments, aviation projects and data centres – now that the pool of pure residential and commercial projects has shrunk.
Surbana Jurong says more acquisitions, tie-ups ‘in the works’
Surbana Jurong is still on a mission to continue refining its “smart city in a box” city management technology system. Following two acquisitions in the last four months to boost its capabilities, the consultancy on Friday announced a tie-up with Microsoft to move the solution to the cloud. This will especially benefit clients in developing countries, it says. Group CEO Wong Heang Fine, when asked if the company is still eyeing more acquisitions of other companies as well as partnerships with complementary peers, says there is “quite a lot in the works”.
Views, Reviews & Forum
BTO flats: Lower age limit for singles
I applaud the Housing Board for offering 5,110 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and 5,008 unsold balance flats in its latest launch (“Over 10,000 new flats up for selection“; Nov 23). Would the HDB consider lowering the minimum age of singles who intend to apply for a BTO flat from 35 to 32, as it takes about three years from application to the allocation and construction of the flat?
Is S’pore ready for rising sea levels?
Reader Pairoj Jirundorn had read about the trend of rising sea levels because of climate change and wrote in to askST: “The impact could be so serious that some major cities around the world could be drowned in the future. Will that really happen to Singapore? If yes, how soon? Are we fully prepared for such a scenario?” Environment reporter Audrey Tan answers. The symptoms of climate change are clear: Floods, droughts and heat waves are affecting countries around the world.
What gross external debt means to S’pore
Reader Lam Peck Heng wrote in to askST after senior correspondent Goh Eng Yeow answered a question about Singapore’s foreign reserves last month. Mr Lam asked, citing information from a Wikipedia article: “Can you explain why Singapore had an external debt of US$1.766 trillion (S$2.5 trillion) as at Nov 13 last year?” Here is our correspondent’s answer. The external debt of US$1.766 trillion, quoted in the Wikipedia article cited by the reader, refers to Singapore’s gross external debt. As the Wiki article explains, this is defined as the “total public and private debts owed to non-residents which are repayable in internationally acceptable currencies, goods, or services”.
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Shining a light on cities’ abandoned properties
Black Friday shoppers curb spending as they chase discounts
Waterfront homes losing appeal as sea levels rise
Trump’s name may not stay on Toronto tower
Profit growth in China industrial sector up on higher prices, sales
Red flags raised as household debt in China grows unabated
Shenzhen-HK stock link to launch on Dec 5
House-hunting in Hong Kong with the app that flags death
Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article