The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30th August 2017

Top Story

Plans for CBD underground road network shelved
Plans to build the Singapore Underground Road System (SURS), an extensive subterranean road network linking Singapore’s central business district (CBD), Marina Bay Downtown and Southern Waterfront District, have been called off.  In a joint announcement by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the agencies said that the land previously safeguarded for this road system will now be “de-safeguarded” with effect from Tuesday.

Singapore Economy

Singapore looks into common QR code for cashless payments
By the end of this year, Singapore may have a common quick-response (QR) code through which users can make payments by just scanning those squiggly squares with their smartphones.  A successor to the vertical bar code, a common QR code promises to bring Singapore closer to its dream of becoming a Smart Nation – one where cashless payments are embraced by both young and old.

E-payments use in Singapore only scratching surface: PayPal
Smack on the heels of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s call to transform Singapore into a Smart Nation is global online payments service provider PayPal’s research showing just how much further Singapore needs to go to achieve that.  New research by the American company, released on Tuesday, showed that while Singapore may be one of the world’s most digitally literate countries, the city-state’s current usage of e-payments is only scratching the surface of what it could be.

Singaporeans cut back on shopping, entertainment, holidays
Singaporeans were more watchful about their discretionary spending in the second quarter of 2017, according to a Nielsen survey.  The latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending covering the second quarter found that local consumers cut back on lifestyle expenses, such as shopping for new clothes (54 per cent of respondents), out-of-home entertainment (45 per cent), and holidays and short breaks (43 per cent).

Singapore an overlooked gem, say panellists
Singapore is an overlooked gem that is poised to ride South-east Asia’s demographic growth as the region’s services centre, panellists at the SGX-Smarkarma Singapore Research Forum said on Tuesday.  “For Singapore, sitting here as the crux of Indonesia, India and the Mekong, three of the fastest and potentially biggest growing markets in the global economy today, it just couldn’t be better positioned,” Asianomics chief economist Jim Walker said in the event’s keynote presentation.

S’porean consumers less pessimistic in Q2: Nielsen
Consumers in Singapore turned less pessimistic in the second quarter as apprehension over economic growth and job prospects eased, according to a survey released yesterday by global research firm Nielsen.  The Singapore consumer confidence index registered 89 points in the second quarter, according to the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending report, up from 86 in the fourth quarter of last year, when the survey was last conducted.

Singapore dollar rallies further as investors seek refuge
The Singapore dollar (SGD) continued to rally on Tuesday as investors turned to safe-haven assets following the latest North Korean provocation.  The SGD surged to S$1.3515 against the US dollar, from Monday’s S$1.3545. It has risen four days in a row and is now up almost 7 per cent year-to-date.

Getting ready for Industry 4.0 takeoff
Manufacturing remains a key driver of Singapore’s economy, at close to 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. However, given its position among high-growth economies and low-cost production centres, Singapore is turning to Industry 4.0 to preserve and enhance the competitiveness of its manufacturing industries, and maintain its attractiveness as an energy and chemicals hub within the region.

Harnessing collective genius for innovation
We live in exciting times. The rapid pace of technological evolution has led the world into the age of digital transformation. With the increasing inter-dependence of different disciplines and the advent of technologies applicable to almost every industry, innovators have much to look forward to when creating and engineering breakthrough real world solutions that can impact society, businesses and lives in positive ways.

Singapore Real Estate

Private home transactions soar, with more Singaporeans buying
Private home sales have rebounded to levels not seen since 2013, in what is the clearest sign yet that the residential property market is emerging from its lengthy slump.  The rally that has marked the first seven months of the year is being fuelled by local, rather than foreign, demand, analysts say.  There were 10,565 new and resale private homes sold in the seven months to July 31, up a striking 56 per cent on the 6,785 transacted in the same period last year, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data.

Consumer watchdog concerned over rising home renovation spend, complaints against industry
Home owners are spending more on renovation packages in recent years and the consumer watchdog is worried, given the many complaints made about the renovation contractor industry.  For the past decade, the industry has been among the top 10 in the number of complaints received by the Consumer Association of Singapore (Case).

Strong Singdollar, stringent stamp duty scare off foreign property buyers
Even while transaction volumes in the housing market continue to pick up, foreign demand for homes in the Republic has been muted, largely as a result of the strengthening Singapore dollar and the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD).

Companies’ Brief

GLP sells four properties in Japan for 51.6b yen
Global Logistics Properties (GLP) has signed an agreement to sell four wholly owned properties in Japan for 51.6 billion yen (S$642.4 million), a continuation of its capital recycling strategy, it said on Tuesday.  The four properties are 100 per cent leased, single-tenant facilities comprising a total gross floor area of 206,000 square metres (2.2 million square feet).

GIC, Indonesian developer in 2nd joint Jakarta venture
Sovereign wealth fund GIC and Indonesian property developer Intiland Development have joined hands for shared ownership and development of the first phase of Fifty Seven Promenade – an integrated mixed-use, high-rise project in Jakarta.

Tiong Seng, Ocean Sky clarify proposed acquisition of Sloane Court Hotel, Balmoral site
Building construction and civil engineering groups Tiong Seng Holdings and Ocean Sky International on Tuesday issued a clarification on their proposed acquisition of Sloane Court Hotel and an adjoining site in Balmoral Road for S$80.5 million.

Views, Reviews & Forum

How Singapore can gain from One Belt, One Road initiative
On Monday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam spoke about the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, an effort by China to recreate the Silk Road through infrastructure projects that connect Asia, Europe and Africa. He discussed the implications of the initiative for geopolitics and Singapore in his talk at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Building projects must have highest fire safety standards
Our Tampines Hub opened only this month. Hence, I am surprised that it is one of the buildings that was found to have used combustible cladding.  The People’s Association (PA) has said that the problematic cladding comprised less than 5 per cent of the building’s external facade (Affected buildings to be rectified as soon as possible; Aug 25).

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Trump’s ‘America first’ would inflate cost of houses in the US

Comcast changes channels to ‘smart homes’ as cable shrinks with cheaper options

California schoolchildren help to build homes in LA

Harvey may wash away Houston hotels’ revenue

Consumer confidence up, but no reason to party

UK house price growth cools to 3-month low in August

Brexit? Britain’s still part of a world community and outward-looking

China’s Greenland Holdings discloses overdue debt in first half

Evergrande profit surge brings share price gains to almost 400%

Curbs on interest-only home loans start to bite in Australia

Japan’s household spending falls unexpectedly in July  

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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