The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 27th, 28th and 29th April 2019

Singapore Real Estate

Sentosa Cove: Is a rebound in prices on the horizon?
With the Draft Master Plan 2019 outlining plans for the Greater Southern Waterfront and the recent announcement to further develop the Integrated Resorts, is a rebound in prices on the horizon for the private homes in Sentosa? An integrated residential-marina resort development on the eastern coast of Sentosa island.

Singaporeans Are Buying Most Homes Versus Foreigners in a Decade
Singaporeans’ deep-seated desire for home ownership has seen them snap up the biggest share of residential properties versus foreigners in a decade. About 79 percent of private apartments went to Singaporeans in the first quarter, the most since the first three months of 2009, according to property consultants OrangeTee & Tie Pte.

Commercial real estate deals roaring back to life
A series of commercial real estate deals amounting to $1.06 billion was inked in the past week, surpassing the total investment volume for the commercial sector in the first quarter of this year. Evia Real Estate and Metro Holdings bought 7 and 9 Tampines Grande, a pair of premium Grade A office blocks from City Developments Limited (CDL) and Alpha Investment Partners for $395 million.

Private home prices drop 0.7% in Q1
Private home prices eased again for the second straight quarter, slipping by 0.7 per cent for the first quarter of this year from the previous three-month period, according to final figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday. The decline was a notch bigger than the 0.6 per cent drop earlier estimated by URA and steeper than the 0.1 per cent price dip in the fourth quarter of last year.

Private home rents recover with 1% rise in Q1; vacancy rate dips to 6.3%
Rents of private residential properties rose 1 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months, reversing a 1 per cent fall in the previous quarter, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released yesterday morning. Rents of landed properties increased by 0.2 per cent in the January-to-March quarter, compared with the 2.1 per cent drop in the previous quarter.

Central region’s office rents dip 0.6% in Q1, first decline since mid-2017
Office rents in the central region dipped in the first three months of the year, the first quarter-on-quarter decline since the April-June period in 2017. Rents slipped 0.6 per cent from the last three months of last year, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed yesterday. This was in contrast with the 0.5 per cent rise from the third to fourth quarters last year.

Mismatch for residential take-up and launches in Q1
Some analysts say this might be a sign that potential buyers are resisting current price levels amid the mid the property cooling measures. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) quarterly figures released on Friday, developers launched 2,989 units, compared to Q4’s 1,657 units, but sold 1,838 units, similar to Q4’s 1,836 units.

Office and retail rentals reverse direction, head south in Q1
Rentals of office and retail space reversed direction to dip in the first three months of 2019, owing to uncertainties in the business outlook and continued woes in the retail sector. Going by official figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday, rentals in the central region of Singapore slipped by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, in contrast with the increase of 0.5 per cent….

HDB resale prices down 0.3% in Q1; fewer flats sold
Fewer Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats changed hands in the first three months of the year compared with the last quarter of 2018, falling 14.2 per cent to 4,835 cases. Compared with the same period at the start of last year, however, the number of transactions was still 8.5 per cent higher, according to figures released by the HDB on Friday.

URA examining project accounts of two delayed condos
The Controller of Housing at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is examining the project accounts of two delayed condominiums to check whether money earmarked for them has been misused, and if there have been other regulatory breaches. Laurel Tree at Hillview Terrace and Sycamore Tree in Joo Chiat hit the news last year after it was revealed that their construction had been delayed for over two years.


Singapore Economy

Enterprise Singapore, MAS to match startups with global investors
Startups can expect more matchmaking opportunities with global investors as Enterprise Singapore works with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to catalyse funding. This comes as 353 venture capital deals were closed in Singapore last year, more than double the number recorded in 2012, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Silver linings in economy amid weak sentiment
The indicators have not been painting a rosy picture of Singapore’s economy, but the worst might soon be over, said economists, expecting some recovery in this year’s second half. As Mizuho Bank head of economics and strategy for Asia and Oceania Vishnu Varathan put it: “The ‘half-full’ version of the lacklustre economy is that Singapore’s economy is close to bottoming, if not already bottomed.”

March output dive dashes hopes of manufacturing recovery
A Sharp plunge in March factory output dashed hopes of a recovery for the lacklustre manufacturing sector, with the gloomy spell set to continue for the rest of the year as global business uncertainty remains. Economists are seeing downside risks to their economic growth forecast for the year, with expectations mounting that the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will downgrade its official 2019 growth projection when the final first-quarter results are out in May.

Total employment rises in Q1 amid slowdown in economy
The labour market held steady in the first three months of this year, even as economic growth slowed. Total employment continued to grow, while the overall unemployment rate remained at 2.2 per cent after accounting for seasonal variations. Preliminary data released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Friday also showed that the number of retrenchments was roughly the same as in the previous quarter.

External factors weighing on Singapore economy
Global uncertainty will continue to cloud Singapore’s economy, and the country will have to look to domestic drivers for growth this year. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its twice-yearly macroeconomic review yesterday that the contribution from trade-related sectors is expected to recede, and slower growth in Singapore’s trading partners will continue to weigh on the economy.

Digital push, construction to prop up growth this year: MAS
Singapore’s economic outlook continues to be clouded by global uncertainty for the next few quarters, and it will have to turn to domestic drivers for growth this year, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday. “This will be led by the ongoing expansion in services arising from the digital transformation of the economy and the recovery of the construction sector,

Inflation in check, but higher costs expected for essential services
Inflationary pressures remain in check, although higher costs are expected for essential services in areas such as education, healthcare and domestic services, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said yesterday. It noted that cheaper oil and reduced prices stemming from the open retail electricity market here will help keep a lid on overall costs.

Labour costs to go up faster in 2019: MAS
ULC, which measures the cost of labour for each unit of economic output, is tipped to pick up – despite milder wage growth – as productivity slackens, according to the latest half-yearly economic review from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Productivity growth has been on the decline – and the central bank anticipates it to come in below last year’s 2.5 per cent, especially as economic output falls in a cooler climate.

Singapore becomes fastest in the world to grant patents for AI inventions
Innovators applying for artificial intelligence-related (AI) patents in Singapore can expect to have their applications granted within just six months, instead of a typical two years or more. This makes Singapore the fastest in the world to grant such applications, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced on Friday.


Companies’ Brief

Keppel Corp ups limit of medium-term note programme to US$5b from US$3b
Offshore and marine company Keppel Corp has increased the investable limit of its multi-currency medium-term note programme to US$5 billion from US$3 billion. Net proceeds from the issue of the notes under the upsized programme will be used for general corporate or working capital purposes, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

US mutual fund adds to Parkway Life Reit stake
On April 18, the deemed interest of Cohen & Steers Inc in Parkway Life Reit (PLife Reit) exceeded the 7 per cent threshold. This was due to its wholly owned subsidiary, Cohen & Steers Capital Management Inc, purchasing 1,356,600 units in PLife Reit.

Nikkei buys Singapore-based media startup DealStreetAsia
Nikkei, owner of the Financial Times (FT) and publisher of Nikkei Asian Review, is acquiring a majority stake in DealStreetAsia, a media startup that tracks private equity and venture capital activity across South-east Asia and India. The deal is meant to deepen Nikkei’s coverage of the Asian startup and tech scene, the “fastest-growing sectors in the region”, said the group.

ARA US Hospitality Trust’s IPO likely to be priced at US$0.88 per unit: term sheet
The indicative offer price for the upcoming initial public offering (IPO) of ARA US Hospitality Trust is US$0.88 per unit, according to a term sheet seen by The Business Times. The base offering, which excludes cornerstone investors, stands at US$334.2 million. The indicative forecast distribution yield is 7.8 per cent for the eight-month forecast period of May to December 2019…

UOB shareholders pleased with its performance, but raise questions about expenses, practices
Many shareholders seemed pleased by United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) performance last year, by the looks of those taking to the microphones to thank the bank at its annual general meeting on Friday. But that didn’t stop them from airing gripes about the bank’s service and probing its expenses at the Pan Pacific Hotel, where the meeting was held.

Mapletree Logistics Trust posts higher Q4 DPU
Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) on Friday posted a 4.5 per cent rise in distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.024 Singapore cents for the fourth quarter ended March 31, bringing total DPU for the year to 7.941 cents. Unitholders can expect to receive their fourth-quarter DPU on June 13.

iFast Q1 profit falls 41.8% amid weak revenue growth, higher expenses; AUM up 8.7% over quarter
Singapore – Wealth management fintech platform iFast Corporation on Saturday (April 27) posted a 41.8 per cent decline in its bottom line to $1.6 million for the three months ended March 31, from a net profit of $2.75 million in the year-ago period. This translates to an earnings per share of 0.60 cent for the first quarter, compared to 1.04 cent in the previous year.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Building owners, home owners play a part in building safety
Building owners and home owners have a duty to regularly inspect and maintain their building facades. For windows of residential units which are subject to wear and tear from opening and closing, it is the home owners’ responsibility to check them regularly and repair them if necessary, to ensure that the windows are always safe and secure.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Canadian dollar rises as US growth composition weighs on greenback

US growth of 3.2% tops forecasts on trade, inventory boost

Macron pledges more tax cuts to quell protests

Trade war’s silver lining for Asia economies

First Sponsor units buying land in Guangdong for about 400m yuan

Warren Buffett bets on Dubai property as market slump drags on


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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