The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29th March 2018

Singapore Economy

SMEs more upbeat about business prospects in Q2, Q3
Optimism seems to be on the rise for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with expectations of strong sales and profit performance in the next two quarters.  The Singapore Business Federation-DP Info (SBF-DP) SME Index ticked up from 51.2 to 51.8 in its latest survey, signalling an improved outlook for Q2 and Q3 2018.

Singapore says it’s beating Hong Kong in Asian business hub race
Hong Kong has become more “China-centric,” enabling Singapore to take the lead when multinational companies look to set up their Asian headquarters in the region, according to the country’s Economic Development Board.  With Hong Kong becoming more focused since 1997 on servicing the massive Chinese economy, it’s given Singapore a leg up as a hub for companies’ Asia-Pacific operations, said Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the EDB, a government agency that helps attract investment to the Southeast Asian city.


Singapore Real Estate

SPH, Kajima break ground on landmark Bidadari project
The first private residential-cum-retail project in the new Bidadari estate will offer some 680 residential units and close to 28,000 sq m of retail gross floor area.  The development – a maiden tie-up between Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Japanese developer Kajima Development – will be connected to Singapore’s first air-conditioned basement bus interchange and will also boast a police post and community club.

Singapore prime office rents up 3% in Q1; demand to stay strong: JLL
Prime office rents in Singapore climbed for a fourth consecutive quarter, rising 3 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months as leasing stayed active, said JLL in a report on Wednesday.  The increase brings average rents for Grade A office space in the Central Business District to S$9.51 per sq ft (psf) per month, according to JLL’s preliminary estimates.

Singapore office rents seen rising twice as fast as Hong Kong
Singapore office rents are set to post the biggest gains among Asian cities as an increase in demand runs into moderating supply, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.  Office rents in all major Asian cities, with the exception of Tokyo, are set to rise over the next two years, according to forecasts from Cushman.

Two prominent women named to URA board
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will see the appointment of five new members – including Standard Chartered’s chief executive officer for Singapore and Asean markets Judy Hsu, and DP Architects chief Angelene Chan – with effect from April 1, 2018.  Chairman of the board Peter Ho will be reappointed, along with seven other members, while five members are stepping down.

PSA’s Tan Chong Meng and four other new members join JTC board
JTC Corporation (JTC) will see the appointment of five new board members, including PSA International’s group chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Chong Meng as deputy chairman of the board, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Wednesday (March 28). The appointments will take effect on April 1.


Companies’ Brief

Kajima hopes to double S’pore revenue contribution
Japan-listed Kajima Corporation is looking to double revenue contribution from Singapore within three years, mainly driven by construction and engineering contracts.  It is also keen to take part in more joint development projects with Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) here, particularly mixed-use developments.

Sasseur Reit debuts on SGX mainboard at S$0.805
China outlet mall operator Sasseur Real Estate Investment Trust on Wednesday made its first appearance on the Singapore bourse – opening at S$0.805 per unit, marginally above its initial public offering (IPO) price of S$0.80.  In a filing to the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Sasseur Asset Management, the manager of Sasseur Reit, announced that 1.18 billion units in the trust currently in issue and held by Sasseur Cayman Holding II (Cayman Holdco) were listed on SGX’s mainboard.

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust to buy 6 Japan office properties
Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust (MGCCT) Management on Wednesday announced that it has entered into various conditional agreements to acquire a 98.5 per cent stake in a portfolio of six freehold commercial properties in Greater Tokyo, for 60.9 billion yen (S$753 million).  Subject to and upon completion of the proposed acquisition, MGCCT will be renamed Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust.

Keppel Corp now strives for sustainable urbanisation
Keppel Corporation has evolved from a group of diverse entities that share a common name to an eco-system of companies working together to provide solutions for sustainable urbanisation, its group chief executive said.

Cushman & Wakefield interviewing advisers for IPO
TPG-backed Cushman & Wakefield is interviewing advisers to help take the company public, according to people familiar with the matter.  The century-old real estate brokerage giant could have an initial public offering (IPO) as soon as this year, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Oxley sells Irish block for 164m euros on 300-year lease
A unit of Oxley Holdings has agreed to sell a 300-year lease of No 1 Dublin Landings for a total of 164.20 million euros (S$266.87 million) to Sol Estate Propco IE Dublin Landings SARL, the developer announced on Wednesday evening.  The unit, Oxley Docklands, will take 77.53 per cent of the sale price, which Oxley said was negotiated based on “prevailing market conditions” and market prices of surrounding properties.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Singapore can shine in a post-Brexit world
Today marks the mid-way point of when the United Kingdom first invoked Article 50, Britain’s two-year extrication process from the European Union (EU). There is still one year left before the UK officially leaves the EU, but the looming spectre of Brexit still presents much uncertainty in global markets, lingering doubts over Britain’s future and several unanswered questions over the impact on the rest of the world, including Asia.

Entering a brave new world
After four years of decline, the residential property market has switched direction and is now back on an ascent – even with almost the entire slew of cooling measures still in place. For the whole of 2017, prices appreciated one per cent – contrasting with the 3.1 per cent decline in 2016.

Return of foreign buyers to S’pore property scene
Year 2017 was a watershed for the private residential market, with prices starting to recover in H2 2017.  According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s price index for non-landed residential properties, prices for non-landed residential developments rose by 1.3 per cent year-on-year as at Q4 2017, after dropping by about 10.1 per cent from its peak in Q3 2013 to Q4 2016.

S’pore luxury homes still in demand among foreigners
The housing market recovery is, by now, firmly entrenched. After almost four years of tepid growth brought on by a series of cooling measures and a sluggish economy, housing unit sales and land prices have rebounded strongly since mid-2017.  The cooling measures remain largely in place despite small tweaks to the seller’s stamp duty (SSD). In fact, these measures were marginally strengthened when, at Budget 2018, the Finance Minister announced that the buyer’s stamp duty was raised to 4 per cent for properties above S$1 million and purchased from Feb 20, 2018.

New condos can cost up to 13% more than existing neighbours
In the current market upturn, prices and sales of private residential properties have risen across all market segments in Singapore.  As the mass market condominium segment makes up about 45 per cent of the sales volume in the entire private housing market, it might enjoy its share of the recovery.

Cluster housing is hot again
The landed home segment has staged a positive recovery after being in the doldrums for the past four years.  According to URA Realis caveats data, the number of caveats lodged for landed homes rose 145 per cent from 968 in 2014 to 2,369 in 2017.

Supply of executive condos needs to be increased to meet red-hot demand
Based on increasing private property prices and the tender bid for the Sumang Walk executive condominium (EC) site of S$583 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf), we predict that EC prices will cross S$1,000 psf in the year 2019.

Mismatch in price expectations breaks sales
In 2017, the market was astonished by the upswing in residential en bloc and private land sales when deals worth S$9.1 billion were sealed, second only to the record S$12.3 billion fetched in 2007.  A lack of sites under the government land sales (GLS) programme, coupled with developers’ acute need to replenish land inventory and a recovering residential property market, were the main driving forces behind the en bloc sales boom in 2017.

Enhanced grants, HDB Resale Portal to boost resale transactions in 2018
Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats form the bedrock of housing for Singaporeans, with an estimated 82 per cent of residents living in more than a million HDB flats island-wide.  As the government conducts sales launches for new flats only quarterly, many who wish to buy an HDB flat often turn to the secondary market.

Proptech – the emerging disruption in real estate
Looking at the relentless wave of innovation in the past decade, it is not surprising that this trend will sweep over real estate, an age-old industry ripe for disruption.  We know that a trend is established when it becomes a noun or verb on its own.

Office, retail recovery may boost shophouse segment
The private residential market enjoyed the limelight in 2017 with sales increasing and prices bottoming out.  The revival of the en bloc market also fuelled the optimism as developers shored up land banks in anticipation of price increases amid a shrinking unsold inventory.

Technology, co-working led leasing demand in 2017
The office market ended 2017 on a high note: Island-wide office net absorption as tracked by CBRE Research was 783,621 sq ft in Q4 2017, contributing significantly to a full-year net absorption figure of 2.1 million sq ft.

Co-working goes from fad to fixture
The modern work places have come a long way, shifting from sterile fluorescent tube-lit and cubicle-filled offices to swanky spaces resembling a chic apartment or hotel lobby. The demand for co-working or flexible workspace – led initially by startups, freelancers and tech firms – has grown substantially since 2015 as large businesses embrace the sharing economy.

Clicks and bricks paving way for future of retail
Singapore’s retail scene has been under the spotlight as structural shifts in consumer demand, competition and mode of retailing evolve faster than before.  The health of Singapore retail also hinges on consumer sentiments and economic performance, which saw improvements in 2017.

Industrial property market thawing
The Singapore industrial real estate market has been in the doldrums in recent years. However, there are signs that the industrial property market is finally reaching the bottom of the price and rental cycle.  While the overall industrial property price index fell further in Q4 2017, the rate of decline has been slowing down.

Decentralisation a key long-term strategy
The Urban Redevelopment Authority called for public feedback in late August 2017 on the master plan proposal for Jurong Lake District (JLD) as it looks to take one step closer to transforming the area into the country’s second Central Business District (CBD).

HSR to generate multiplier effects on local economies
Transport infrastructure, such as the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore (KL-SG) High Speed Rail (HSR), plays a major role in opening access to a region’s raw materials and labour.  The regional impacts of the HSR in Europe and Japan confirmed the theoretical expectation that accessibility to a transport network brings about regional development.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Q4 GDP growth revised up to 2.9% from 2.5%

US apartment vacancy rate up slightly in first quarter: Reis

US-China trade spat shouldn’t rock Asian markets: Maybank economist

Brexit and the City: the real estate agent’s view

For London prime housing buyers, a penny saved is a penny earned

China’s expansion stayed strong in Q1, but outlook cloudy: survey

Troubled CEFC China Energy to put property portfolio up for sale

Broccolini Construction to build tallest residential tower in Montreal

Diverging outlooks for Japan’s office and retail real estate


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Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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