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 September 2016

Top Story

Built environment sector urged to keep up with tech changes: SMS Desmond Lee
Singapore’s built environment sector has to constantly evolve to address pressing needs and challenges facing the industry – especially in reducing the reliance on foreign manpower and the impact of climate change.  This according to Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who opened the Architecture & Building Services 2016 (ArchXpo 2016) at the Marina Bay Sands on Wednesday (Sep 28) morning.  Mr Lee called on the sector to adopt high impact productive technologies upfront in order to reduce the reliance on foreign manpower.  In particular, the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) which allows companies to build virtually before building for real. Such technology also enables architects, engineers and contractors to work together seamlessly, and allows them to anticipate issues and fix problems before construction.  Last year, developers sold 7,440 private homes (7,146 units in uncompleted projects and 294 units in completed ones that were still licensed). So the 21,489 unsold supply would be the equivalent of three years’ demand, going by last year’s volume of developers’ new sales.

Suburbs may be headed for private housing under-supply
At its recent mid-Autumn festival lunch, the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) flagged the nearly 21,500 unsold private residential units in the pipeline as at the second quarter, and warned that if industry experts expect only between 7,500 and 8,500 units to be sold by year’s end, it would take about three years for the market to sop up these unsold units.  Indeed, official government numbers indicate that there were 21,489 unsold private homes in uncompleted projects in the pipeline as at the end of June. This figure refers to projects with planning approval, but excludes executive condominiums.

Singapore Economy

2016 growth to be at lower end of 1-2% forecast: Tharman
“I think we’re in for a tough period, and it will last for a while. This year we had some growth in the first half, (and) the second half will be weaker,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event to open transport engineering firm Wong Fong Industries’ refurbished headquarters in Joo Koon Circle.  In August, the Ministry of Trade and Industry narrowed the growth forecast for Singapore’s economy to between 1 and 2 per cent, down from the earlier wider range of between 1 and 3 per cent.  The latest Monetary Authority of Singapore survey of professional forecasters has predicted economic growth to come in at 1.8 per cent for both this year and next.

Singapore retains No. 2 competitiveness spot
Singapore has been named the second-most competitive economy in the world – the sixth year in a row it has been runner-up.  It came just behind Switzerland, which topped the list for the eighth consecutive year in an annual report compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF).  The United States was third, while the Netherlands and Germany rounded off the top five.  Each country is assessed based on 12 categories that collectively provide a comprehensive picture of its competitiveness.  Singapore was ranked best in the world in two of the 12 categories – higher education and training, and goods market efficiency – and second in five: public institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education, labour market efficiency, and financial market development.

Private equity deals in S-E Asia fall in H1, notably in tech sector
PRIVATE equity (PE) activity in South-east Asia tapered off in the first half of 2016, as investors adopted a more selective approach in assessing investments, particularly in the technology sector, a new EY report shows.  The overall value of PE deals completed in H1 fell 17 per cent year-on- year (y-o-y) to US$1.56 billion, while the total number of deals slipped 36 per cent to 56.  A key driver of the fall in deal count is the slowdown in investment made in the tech sector. That fell more than 40 per cent, said EY.

Singapore Real Estate

Prices of completed private apartments, condos ease 0.6% in Aug: NUS index
Prices of completed private apartments and condominium units in Singapore fell 0.6 per cent in August over the preceding month.  This is according to the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) August 2016 flash estimate for its Overall Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) released on Wednesday.  Last month’s decline in the index contrasts with a 0.3 per cent month-on-month gain in July 2016, based on the revised index value for that month.  NUS’s data also showed the the sub-index for the Central Region (excluding small units of up to 506 square feet) was flat last month after ascending 0.6 per cent month on month in July.

Shophouse owners roll out more prime properties on market
More prime shophouse properties have been put on the market as owners ride on a renewed wave of buying interest from local and foreign investors.  JLL is launching an expression of interest (EOI) exercise for 22 and 23 Mosque Street, a pair of restored freehold conservation shophouses spanning three storeys and a mezzanine level. The two shophouses are on a single land lot of about 2,688 sq ft and have a total gross floor area (GFA) of around 7,800 sq ft. The property is fully leased and based on the indicative price of around S$23 million (or S$2,950 psf on GFA), the gross yield works out to 2 per cent.  The property is owned by a Singapore-incorporated company that is owned mostly by Hong Kong investors.

3 prime district properties on sale
Three plum residential properties close to Orchard Road, and ripe for redevelopment, have been put on the market.  Estimated to fetch $200 million combined, the three multi-storey buildings are owned by a group of three investment holding firms. JLL and CBRE have been appointed as joint agents for the sales.  The owners are said to be part of a trust operating out of Britain, The Business Times reported earlier this month. The assets are reportedly under a London-based wealth management firm that makes investments for rich people, families and charitable endowments.  CBRE declined to comment on the ownership.  However, it disclosed that the three properties are leased, with the occupancy rate across the entire portfolio at about 50 per cent.

Companies’ Brief

Yanlord subsidiary takes 50% stake in Tianjin property developer
Yanlord Land Group’s wholly owned subsidiary Yanlord Development (Tianjin) Co has acquired a 50 per cent stake in a company in Tianjin, China for 19.91 million yuan (S$4 million).  The company, Tianjin Shenglin Property Development Co, is in property development.  “The consideration was arrived at on a willing buyer, willing seller basis and has been fully paid,” said Yanlord in a release to the Singapore Exchange.  The net tangible asset of the acquisition based on a valuation report dated March 1 was valued at approximately 19.91 million yuan.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Replace concrete sunshades with steel ones
It is quite a challenge for engineers to carry out detailed inspections of sunshades similar to the one that dislodged on Sunday and carry out any rectification works (“Sunshade dislodged at Tampines block“; Monday, and “HDB to find out if sunshade was installed properly“; Tuesday).  Perhaps the authorities should look into the feasibility of replacing existing concrete sunshades with steel-frame ones.  Steel frames are light and can be installed to the existing structures easily.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China’s rich flocking to leveraged bets on notes with yields of up to 15%

China’s Red-Hot Property Market Risks Missing Lessons From Japan’s Crash

China’s runaway housing market poses latest challenge for yuan: RBS

Watch Out Singapore, Hong Kong: Shanghai Top Pick to Become Next Financial Hub

China Evergrande to sell non-core assets worth 2.7b yuan

Goldman Sachs invests US$70m in Red Planet Hotels

Zhongmin Baihui unit to acquire retail premises in Fujian for 22.24m yuan

Brexit real estate backlash fans Sweden property market

Dubai developers feel growing sense of restraint

Vancouver commercial real estate likely to be new focus

Vancouver tops list of cities at risk of housing bubble: UBS

Top Malaysian pension fund seeks to diversify assets for returns

Surbana Jurong to work with Japanese firm on potential regional projects

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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