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, 29th and 30th July 2018

Top Story

Private home price increases to moderate rest of the year
The property cooling measures will tame the upswing in private residential prices in the first half of the year and moderate growth in the rest of the year, but as the pipeline of units eases in the near term, rentals and occupancy rates will find firmer footing, analysts said.  Private residential prices in Q2 rose 3.4 per cent, its fourth straight quarter of increase. Transaction volumes soared to a five-year high, according to second-quarter real estate statistics released on Friday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Central area retail rents, prices resume slide after short recovery
The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s rental and price indices for retail space in Singapore’s central region both resumed their downtrend in the second quarter after inching up briefly in the previous quarter.  Islandwide, the vacancy rate of retail space fell to 7.3 per cent as at the end of Q2 2018, from 7.5 per cent at the end of the previous quarter.

Strong net absorption of office space in first half
Rentals as well as prices of office space in the central region of Singapore continued to climb in the second quarter, show latest government numbers.  Island-wide, net absorption of office space in the first half of this year has surpassed the annual figures of the past four years (2014 to 2017), according to JLL’s analysis of the latest figures released by Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Number of HDB flats resold rises 33.3% in Q2 2018
More Housing Board resale flats were sold in the second quarter of this year, with the number of transactions rising 33.3 per cent from the previous quarter.  Public housing data released by the HDB on Friday showed that there were 5,941 resale transactions from April to June, up from 4,458 in the first three months of the year. 


Singapore Economy

More capital outflows from emerging Asia expected in H2
Capital outflows from emerging Asia could persist in the second half of this year on the back of rising trade tensions, a strengthening US dollar and tightening monetary policies by central banks around the world with countries facing current account deficits – such as Indonesia, India and the Philippines – at higher risk.  One estimate from Credit Suisse put the capital outflows from Asia ex- China and Japan equity markets year-to-date at close to US$25 billion – the highest the private bank has seen since the global financial crisis.

Unemployment inches up as better economy lures more back to labour force
The labour market showed slight signs of slowing down in the second quarter of the year, after a sustained improvement since June last year, preliminary estimates released on Friday by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) showed.  Unemployment figures edged up, even as total employment grew – a result of more people being lured by a recovering economy to enter the labour force and look for work.

Asean integration, disaster response, trade on agenda as foreign ministers meet in Singapore
Officials from Asean countries and their key counterparts across the region will be in Singapore for a series of annual meetings this week, starting on Monday (July 30).  The Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings will, as they do every year, take stock of regional integration and a host of issues, from preparing and responding to disasters, to staying committed to free trade amid rising protectionism.

New online portal offers guide to laws of each Asean country
Firms looking to invest in an Asean country can now look for the relevant laws of the country on an online portal launched on Friday.  Called the Asean Judiciaries Portal, it also provides information such as the directories of law firms, mediators and public notaries in each country.


Singapore Real Estate

Singles and small families occupy public rental flats: HDB data
Drink stall operator Tan Bai Chen may not own the two-room flat in Upper Boon Keng Road he has lived in for the last decade, but it is very much home for his family.  The 52-year-old lives in the flat with his wife and two sons, aged 10 and five. His younger son has learning difficulties and attends special classes.

Orchard Road shop vacancy dips to 5.6% in Q2
Despite the advancing e-commerce threat, Orchard Road shops appear to be holding their own, with vacancy rates having fallen to 5.6 per cent in the second quarter, says CBRE.  This is the lowest vacancy rate in 14 quarters and well below the 9.3 per cent seen in the second quarter of 2016.

Daintree Residence sells 50 out of 80 units in weekend launch
Developer SP Setia moved 50 of the 80 apartments launched at Daintree Residence over the weekend, in the private property market’s first new launch since the latest cooling measures kicked in earlier this month.  The first phase of the 327-unit Daintree’s launch achieved an average selling price of $1,710 per sq ft (psf), the developer told The Business Times on Sunday, with two-bedders making up the bulk of apartments sold, followed by three-bedroom homes.

Court gives go-ahead for Albracca en bloc sale
The Albracca condo at Meyer Road was granted a sale order by the High Court on Friday afternoon, following proceedings last month to decide on the fate of its collective sale.  The 11-unit development was sold for S$69.1 million to Sustained Land last July, but one owner – who represented himself in court – had objected to the sale.

Yee Lee Development clinches Tuas South industrial site for S$26.8m
Government agency JTC has awarded the tender for the industrial site at Plot 13 of Tuas South Link 1 to Yee Lee Development at a tendered sum of S$26.8 million.  Yee Lee Development submitted the higher of two bids that were received for the tender, which was launched on April 24 and closed on June 19.

Hong Leong Asia’s JV company wins BCA tender
A joint venture company of Hong Leong Asia has been awarded a tender by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore for a 30-year lease of a piece of land at Pulau Punggol Barat, where an integrated construction and pre-fabrication hub will be developed.  HL-Sunway JV is a joint venture between HL Building Materials (HLBM) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Leong Asia – and Sunway Concrete, which is a subsidiary of Sunway Construction Group Berhad.

Singaporean family puts Crowne Plaza resort on sale
Tourism complex Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise in Australia has been put on the market by its owners – a Singaporean family – for more than A$100 million, said marketing agent CBRE Hotels.  Standing on a 1.2-hectare site, the resort complex comprises the 269-room Crowne Plaza Hotel currently operated by IHG, management rights for the 104-room Gold Tower, retail space, a tavern, 15 function venues and multiple food and beverage outlets, including Queensland’s only revolving restaurant.


Companies’ Brief

OUE H-Trust posts fall in Q2 DPS, gross revenue
OUE Hospitality Trust’s (OUE H-Trust) distribution per stapled security (DPS) fell 3.3 per cent year-on-year to 1.17 Singapore cents for the second quarter ended June 30, with both gross revenue and net property income (NPI) declining.  Gross revenue was 1.4 per cent lower at S$30.7 million as both its hospitality and retail segments posted lower revenue.

UIC net profit up 47% in Q2 on fair value gains
Property group United Industrial Corp (UIC) has posted a net profit of S$108.5 million in the second quarter, up 47 per cent from the same period last year, lifted by fair value gains.  In the three months that ended June 30, UIC booked a $49.8 million fair value gain on investment properties (net of non-controlling interests), reversing from a fair value loss of S$3 million in the same period last year.

Fortune Reit posts higher first half DPU of 26.34 HK cents
Positive rental reversions gave a fillip to Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Reit) first half results, with the Hong Kong-based trust on Friday announcing a 3.2 per cent rise in its distribution per unit (DPU) for the six months ended June 30, 2018 to 26.34 HK cents, up from 25.53 HK cents in the same period a year ago.  Unitholders will get their share of the payout on Aug 29, 2018.

Starhill Global Reit’s Q4 DPU dips to 1.09 cents
Weaker contributions from its office portfolio, lower revenue from the retail portions of its Wisma Atria property and Myer Centre Adelaide in Australia as well as China Property in Chengdu dented results for retail landlord Starhill Global Reit in its fourth quarter.  Distribution per unit (DPU) dipped to 1.09 Singapore cents from 1.18 Singapore cents in the previous year, the group said on Friday evening.

Perennial embarks on third HSR integrated development in China
Perennial Real Estate Holdings’ 45 per cent-owned joint venture is making a 2.7 billion yuan (S$564.3 million) investment in an integrated development next to Tianjin South High Speed Railway (HSR) station, the group announced on Friday.  The joint venture, Perennial HC Holdings, was awarded the tender to develop the 76,900 sq m site in Tianjin, China at a price of 718 million yuan, with a tenure of 40 years.

Ryobi Kiso receives letters of demand from creditors; winding up petitions filed against subsidiary
Ryobi Kiso Holdings and some of its subsidiaries have received letters of demand from certain creditors, it said on Friday.  Among them are United Overseas Bank for some S$24.4 million; Singapura Finance for S$74,492; Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation for S$2.94 million; and Hong Leong Finance for S$429,341.

Takashimaya Singapore rises to the challenge
Takashimaya Singapore, which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of its department store on Orchard Road, looks to achieve a 3 to 4 per cent increase in sales this year, after posting flat growth last year.  For the year ended Dec 31, 2017, the operator of the popular Orchard Road department store saw sales inching up 0.3 per cent or S$2 million to S$644 million from the previous year.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Cooling measures may keep lid on private home prices: Experts
The cooling measures put in place earlier this month are likely to cap the growth in private home prices for the rest of the year.  “Sales are likely to be slower as more buyers, especially those buying a second home to invest, are likely to wait on the sidelines. Notwithstanding that, buyers will still purchase if the project offers a value proposition,” said Dr Lee Nai Jia, senior director and head of research at Knight Frank Singapore.

The grass is greener on Nature’s side
With the announcement of recent cooling measures on Jul 6, 2018, the decision-making matrix facing prospective home owners and investors is likely to become an even more complex one.  Amid such uncertainty, the grass has literally become greener on the side of estates nestled within natural and green nodes, such as rivers, green trails and urban parks. As urbanisation takes over cities, developments in proximity to nature have grown limited, thus positively impacting the value of such properties.

Prudent approach to land sales
Although the residential market has been the star performer since the beginning of the year – before the latest property cooling measures were introduced – the Government saw no immediate need to inject additional residential supply through its half-yearly Government Land Sales (GLS) programme announced in the last week of June.  The Government may have considered that demand for residential land could slow, as many developers have already secured at least one site during the collective sale boom over the last 21/2 years.

The Big Read: Malls change tack to draw crowds, never mind if they aren’t there to shop 
Singapore — With the rise of e-commerce, Ms Sabrina Poh, 25, had few reasons to set foot in a shopping mall in recent years, buying almost everything she needs online.  However, that changed in March when pole dancing studio Brass Barre took up 3,300 sq ft of floor space at Orchard Gateway.

Needless delay to short-term stay ruling
The Urban Redevelopment Authority has commissioned a more detailed survey of Singaporeans’ views on short-term accommodation. This is because a consultation exercise earlier this year yielded mixed results. The survey is meant to complement that exercise, which received feedback from public consultations and also involved meetings with stakeholders. While consultation is a good idea in principle, the question is what another survey will yield when the views already obtained suggest there is a clear divergence between those for and against allowing Airbnb-style short-term rental of condominium apartments and stays. It is perhaps best for the authorities themselves to decide on the best way forward.

Real estate game changer
Imagine you are looking for office space that can accommodate 500 workstations in the central business district of Paris. Previously you would likely engage a real estate agent who might take you to see 10-20 buildings before you make a decision. A new technology now allows you to shortlist buildings within an hour or so, making your search 85 per cent faster.

In Good Company: For Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua, it’s all about kampung to the city
From the 18th-floor boardroom of Keppel Bay Tower, the view is of the open sea as well as land on which stands upscale housing blocks and a mall – pretty much the way Keppel Corporation’s main business is arranged these days.

Net rental income put to good use
Mr Josh Liaw had his sums all worked out when he decided to live in a rental property in Seletar while letting out his apartment in the prime River Valley area.  Doing so nets him an additional monthly cash flow of $1,000, which comes in handy for his other investments in shares and real estate investment trusts (Reits).

Govt support, private efforts needed to build Smart Nation
It will do us well to not forget the political dimension of building a Smart Nation, especially its related misconceptions (What does a Smart Society look like?; July 24).  One misconception is that the Government will exploit the technologies to intrude into the private lives of citizens and create an Orwellian society with mass state surveillance.

Capturing spirit of Queenstown through cultural mapping
A sea change is set to happen in Queenstown.  The Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) will see 31 Housing Board blocks comprising 3,480 flats, and almost 200 market and hawker stalls, shops and eating houses in Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive demolished.

Household gas prices up by 3.78% from Aug
Households will pay more for gas starting next month, with gas tariffs set to increase by 3.78 per cent, or 0.7 cent per kilowatt hour (kwh), City Gas said.  This will be the third time this year that gas tariffs for homes have risen, and it comes on the back of hikes in electricity and water prices in recent months.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

The junk debt that tanked the economy? It’s back in a big way

Despite Trump rebuke, US Fed seen continuing steady course of rate hikes

Consumers, soybeans fuel US Q2 growth

This piece of Beverly Hills is selling at US$1b

China’s central bank not seeking yuan depreciation

China eyes infrastructure boost to cushion growth amid trade war

China’s June industrial profits rise 20% y-o-y

China ‘waterfall’ skyscraper hit by torrent of ridicule

Beijing city reports slowest mortgage growth in five years

Beijing to shut 1,000 manufacturing firms by 2020: state media

Japan retail sales pick up in positive sign for spending

Construction of Patimban port to begin in August

Moving towards a brighter future

NH Hotel bidder says counteroffer from Hyatt has come too late


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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