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 June 2017

Top Story

Prices of completed private units up 0.4% in May: NUS index
Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums edged up 0.4 per cent in May, reversing a revised 0.8 per cent drop in April.  Excluding small units, prices in the central region – defined as districts one to four and the traditional prime districts 9, 10 and 11 – rose 1.3 per cent in May after a 0.4 per cent drop in April. Those in the non-central region dipped 0.3 per cent in May after a one per cent drop in April.

Singapore Economy

IE Singapore inks MOU to help Singapore firms expand presence in Sichuan (Chengdu) Free Trade Zone
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore on Wednesday (June 28) signed a framework agreement with the Commission of Commerce of Chengdu to help Singapore companies expand their presence in Sichuan (Chengdu) Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

Infocomm sector sees rise in customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction in Singapore’s info-communications sector has improved on a year to year basis while the retail sector approximated its previous year’s score.  Nonetheless, efforts by the retail sector to adopt digital channels seem to have paid off, with consumers particularly appreciative of initiatives such as self-checkout and omnichannel approaches.

Dept stores ‘can gain edge if they go online’
The growth of e-commerce may pose a serious threat to bricks- and-mortar stores, but there is a silver lining for department stores here.  A nationwide survey has found that department stores with both a physical and online presence can have a competitive edge over online-only stores.  Department store customers who shopped via the store’s online channels – such as its website or mobile app – reported higher levels of customer loyalty than shoppers at e-commerce sites such as Zalora and Groupon.

Singapore Real Estate

UBS to set up private fund to invest in hotel assets in Japan
UBS Asset Management’s Real Estate & Private Markets (REPM) business is planning to set up a private fund to invest in hotel assets in Japan, targeting to raise capital in the range of US$500 million. It is also keen to partner with developers to build high-end manufacturing facilities in China.  This is driven by the longer term prospects of Japan’s tourism market and stable yields from high-specification factories in China, said Graham Mackie, managing director and head of global real estate for Asia Pacific at UBS Asset Management.

Futuristic Store Fixtures boss buys Gallop Park bungalow
Entrepreneur David Low Chor Hoon, the chairman and chief executive of Futuristic Store Fixtures, is buying an old corner bungalow in Gallop Park for S$22.888 million.  The price works out to S$1,343 per square foot on the land area of 17,042 sq ft. The property is within the Cluny Hill Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area.

Heavyweight deals anchor preliminary Q2 investment property sales
Singapore’s investment property market put in a robust showing in the second quarter of 2017. Preliminary investment property sales volume increased by 76.2 per cent quarter on quarter to S$9.019 billion, outperforming the previous high of S$8.014 billion in Q4 2016.

Options limited as 99-year leases shorten, but homeowners not in rush to sell
In three years’ time, the apartment in People’s Park Complex that Mr Goh Boon Teck and his wife and son have been living in since 1980 would be at the mid-point of its 99-year lease.  Although he intends to sell the unit, the 68-year-old shop owner is not rushing into letting go of the place on the cheap. What matters is pocketing a good profit from the S$400,000 he forked out in buying the unit, he said.

En-bloc market stirs, but frenzy unlikely to ensue
The residential en-bloc market is seeing some interest, with four collective transactions conducted so far this year generating a total value of S$1.5 billion — exceeding the combined value of en-bloc deals done last year.  Property experts that TODAY spoke to, however, said conditions are unlikely to return to the peak of 2007, when global economic growth and immigration fuelled a spike in real estate prices. The past three to four years were “relatively quiet” on the property front, and are a low base of comparison, they said.

Companies’ Brief

Blackstone’s S$900 million offer for Croesus seen as attractive
Units of Japanese mall owner Croesus Retail Trust (CRT) soared past Blackstone’s offer price to hit a record high after the US private equity firm made an offer for all the units in CRT.  The trust added 12 cents or 11.4 per cent to close at S$1.175, with 45.2 million units traded, making it the third most active counter on the market. This is significant for a counter with low trading liquidity usually.

A bird in hand for Hongkong Land
So, Hongkong Land is going to be a partner of IOI Properties Group in the latter’s Central Boulevard project in Singapore’s Marina Bay area.  And analysts are upbeat about how that’s good for IOI. But what’s in it for Hongkong Land? Especially when it means entering at a relatively pricey land cost of S$1,689 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) or close to S$2.57 billion in total.

CapitaLand to manage three more China malls
Property developer CapitaLand said on Wednesday that it has added three new mall management contracts in China through subsidiary CapitaLand Mall Asia.  This brings the total number of malls it is managing for third parties in Singapore and China to six.  The latest contracts are for malls in Chengdu, Foshan and Shanghai.

CapitaLand’s 2 units divest 100% equity interest in Somerset Whitefield Hospitality
CapitaLand Limited announced on Wednesday that its two wholly owned subsidiaries have divested 100 per cent equity interest in Somerset Whitefield Hospitality Private Limited (SWHPL) to parties unrelated to CapitaLand.  CapitaLand said that the equity interest comprises 7,030,775 equity shares of 10 Indian rupees each and 2,947,190 non-cumulative redeemable convertible preference shares of 100 rupees each. The two selling subsidiaries are Ascott International Management Pte Ltd and Ascott International Management (2001) Pte Ltd.

Views, Reviews & Forum

HDB needs clear action plan in managing faulty lifts
I refer to the report “Residents of Punggol block lament faulty lifts installed by suspended firm” (June 20). Punggol is not the only estate suffering from such woes.  The lift in Block 66 Kallang Bahru, where a My First Skool centre is located on the fifth storey, breaks down frequently. Even when it is in operation, we hold the lift door open, instead of pressing the button, to ensure that the door does not close.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Yellen keeps rate hikes on track amid ‘rich’ asset prices

Golden age in property investing fading but market still strong: PGIM

US pending home sales unexpectedly drop in May

Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan raises the stakes

When Trump raises funds for Trump at the Trump Hotel

UK house prices rebound after worst streak in eight years

China’s securities regulator issues rules to shore up investor protection

China to further relax curbs on foreign investment

China economy growing but harder times beckon

Emerging market debt build-up in Asia a cause for concern: IIF

Japan retail growth slows as wages continue to disappoint

Arab sanctions hurting Doha hotels during Eid holidays

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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