The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 28th December 2017

Top Story

Office market starts shifting in landlords’ favour again
It took a while, but the high end of Singapore’s office rentals finally hit the bottom this year – earlier than expected.  This was because the take-up rate for Grade A office space in new developments in the Central Business District (CBD) was more robust than anticipated. Another reason was the rosier economic outlook.

Singapore Economy

SMEs see brighter skies in the new year
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore are increasingly optimistic about future business prospects, as more of them anticipate improvements in the wider economy to filter through to them in the coming year. In the latest Singapore Business Federation – DP Info (SBF-DP) SME Index, business sentiment for the next six months rose across all six industries, lifting the index from 50.6 to 51.2.

Chinese consortium to bid for high-speed rail project linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
A Chinese consortium led by China Railway Corp will, in 2018, participate in bidding for a high-speed railroad linking Singapore and Malaysia. This marks another step in China’s ambitious strategy to export its high-speed railway technologies to South-east Asia.  The media office of the Beijing-headquartered China Railway Rolling Stock confirmed this move but declined to give any specific details as the matter is still in the works.

Singapore Real Estate

Govt trims industrial land supply after market responds to previous spike
The government is trimming its industrial land supply for the first half of 2018, after industrial prices and rents showed themselves to be responding as hoped to the government’s supply spike in recent years.  The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday said that it is launching six sites in the Confirmed List and seven sites in the Reserve List, with a total site area of 12.56 hectares (ha) for the next six months.

Another HDB block hit by Sigma lift malfunction
Another case of malfunctioning lifts by Sigma Elevator has surfaced – this time at Block 805D, Keat Hong Close in Choa Chu Kang, leaving residents with just one of two lifts working until at least next month.  The Chua Chu Kang Town Council said it has been working with the lift manufacturer to hasten the process of shipping the required lift parts here.

HDB to use tech to stall tailgating at carparks
The Housing Board is turning to technology to catch motorists who try to evade parking charges by tailgating.  It will be installing a system with sensors and cameras in HDB carparks to record motorists who pass the gantries without paying.  The Tailgating Detection System (TDS) will be introduced in the second half of next year. A six-month trial this year nabbed the drivers of 130 vehicles.

Understanding what happens at the end of a 99-year lease
Calling for a reality check on surging resale prices for ageing 99-year leasehold properties, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong raised eyebrows in March when he reminded Housing Board residents that the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) will not apply to all flats, only a few.  This led to a discussion on what it means to have the value of leasehold homes depreciate to zero.  With 70,000 of the total stock of one million HDB flats at more than 40 years old, nearly 10 per cent of today’s public housing will face lease expiry in 50 years.

New rules on short-term private rentals
In February, Parliament passed a new law that forbids private apartment owners from renting out their whole flat or rooms for a short period on websites such as Airbnb.  The changes to the law came on the back of growing complaints last year regarding short-term rentals. But the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is also studying the option of creating a new category of private homes that will be allowed for short-term rentals.  Until then, the Planning Act states that it is illegal to rent out homes for less than three months, unless the owners have obtained permission from the URA.

Smoke detectors mandatory for new homes
It will be mandatory to install smoke detectors in all newly built homes, including Housing Board flats, from June next year. This applies to those that have their building plans submitted after the new Fire Code kicks in.  Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo said last month that the ageing demographic of residents was an “important consideration” when updating the Fire Code, which is currently in its seventh edition.  All new single-storey homes will need only one device in the living room. For multi-storey homes, each floor will need at least one device, and floors with combined living and dining room spaces of more than 70 sq m will require at least two.

Companies’ Brief

Oxley unit takes stake in Australian developer
A subsidiary of international property developer Oxley Holdings has taken a 25.5 per cent stake in an Australian firm.  The mainboard-listed group on Wednesday said in a filing with the bourse operator that Oxley Australia has subscribed for more than 4.8 million fully paid shares in Pindan Capital Mermaid Beach (PC Mermaid Beach), which has an issued share capital of A$19 million (S$19.7 million).  The remaining share capital, comprising 14.2 million shares, is held by Pindan Capital Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pindan Group.

CapitaLand, Lum Chang acquire Frankfurt office building for 234.3m euros in cash
A joint venture between CapitaLand and Lum Chang Holdings has acquired a Frankfurt, Germany office building for 234.3 million euros (S$375.1 million) in cash.  CapitaLand, a real estate developer, holds 94.9 per cent of the joint venture and paid 222.3 million euros of the consideration. Lum Chang, a construction company, holds the remaining 5.1 per cent.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Orchard Road must not lose its bloom
Orchard Road has had many incarnations. It got its name from the many nutmeg and fruit orchards that existed in the last century. It has always been an important street, connecting the residential area of Tanglin to the business and commercial areas of Raffles Place and High Street. At one point, the road hosted car showrooms and even a sprawling cemetery.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US homeowners rush to pre-pay 2018 tax ahead of deduction cap

House prices in 20 US cities up by the most since mid-2014

Retailers see biggest spike in sales since 2011

Trump’s border wall one year into his term is no more than prototype

Hotels recast themselves as their city’s social hubs

S. Korea expects slightly slower growth next year

Xi’s tighter grip will put a crimp on Chinese real estate

China’s industrial profit growth at slowest in 7 months

Global economy back to ‘normal’ after 2017 upside surprises

Crowdfunding saves tumbling down French chateau

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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