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 September 2016

Singapore Economy

Singapore, London in race to be top global fintech hub

It’s game on for Singapore, as a new Deloitte report has tied the city-state with London among the top global fintech hubs.  “Singapore is a leading international financial centre and a serious contender for the global number one spot in fintech,” said the global auditing firm, which released the report this week, and ahead of Singapore’s Fintech Festival in November.  The report shied from directly ranking the 21 fintech hubs that were evaluated, noting that the analysis focused mainly on three indices: the Global Innovation index; the Global Financial Centre index; and the Doing Business index.

Singapore tops regional corporate governance rankings
Singapore has pipped its closest competitor, Hong Kong, to emerge at the top of closely watched regional corporate governance rankings, “Corporate Governance (CG) Watch 2016”.  But the city-state’s top spot could potentially be in jeopardy, if it decides to proceed with plans to allow listed companies here to adopt dual-class share structures.  The much-anticipated CG Watch 2016 was released by brokerage and investment group CLSA and independent, non-profit organisation, the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA), yesterday morning. The report is produced once every two years.

Singapore Real Estate

Prices of high-end homes bottoming out: JPMorgan
Prices of high-end residential homes are bottoming out on the back of a host of reasons such as a significant volume pick-up, return in foreign interest, relatively cheaper pricing compared to global peers and a limited supply in the medium to long term.  This is according to the projections of JPMorgan, the latest among market watchers to call for a bottom in the high-end segment here.  A list of some 39 relatively liquid high-end projects tracked by JPMorgan in districts 9, 10, 11, Sentosa Cove and the CBD area shows an average price decline of 25 per cent from the peak. The declines range from as low as 4 per cent at Nassim Park Residences to as steep as 49 per cent at Seascape at Sentosa Cove.

Time to tackle real estate’s structural changes
Structural changes are taking place in the real estate sector and will one day pull the rug from under our feet if we are not prepared to tackle the challenges.  The rise of e-commerce, a weak consumer market and changing shopping preferences have sent the retail sector reeling. Vacant retail space increased from 3.7 million sqf (or a 5.9 per cent vacancy rate) in the second quarter of 2014 to 5 million sqf (7.8 per cent vacancy) in the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile, as fintech spreads its wings and cashless transactions become more widespread, banks will consolidate their retail branch networks, further reducing demand for retail space.

Crowds throng showflats of two new projects
Thousands of potential buyers thronged the showflats of private condominium projects Forest Woods and The Alps Residences over the weekend when they were first opened for preview.  MCC Land’s spokesman said some 6,000 visitors were recorded over Saturday and Sunday, attributing this to a lack of new condo launches in Tampines since the launch of The Santorini, also a MCC Land project, in 2014.

$21m in auction sales this quarter, says JLL
The property market overall has been muted in this quarter but the auction scene has thrived, according to consultancy JLL.  It noted that real estate worth $21.2 million has been sold under the hammer, up 42.8 per cent from the second quarter.  The total sales value was also up by “an impressive 120 per cent” from the first quarter’s $9.6 million, added JLL, which said the “uptrend brings the total to $45.6 million (to date) as we enter the last quarter of 2016”.

More buying, selling flats the DIY way
More Housing Board flat buyers and sellers are choosing not to use the services of property agents, while online portals that make such transactions easier have also sprung up.  Property agencies say the impact is limited for now – but are nonetheless seeking ways to stay relevant.  At events held by property firms recently, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong highlighted the issue.

Weak August sales hit prices of private homes
The reluctance of home buyers to make deals last month was partly behind a fall in the prices of completed private apartments.  Values declined 0.6 per cent in August, compared with the previous month, offsetting a 0.3 per cent rise in July over June, according to the NUS Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) out yesterday.  The biggest fall came in the non-central region, with prices dipping 0.9 per cent. “August coincided with the seventh lunar month,” said Mr Ong Kah Seng, director of R’ST Research. “Buyers tend to hesitate in purchasing private homes unless the prices are very attractive.

Companies’ Brief

GIC venture buys UK student housing portfolio worth $1.2b
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and student accommodation developer GSA have acquired a portfolio of student accommodation assets in Britain from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.  The transaction is the largest student accommodation deal struck in Britain this year, GIC said yesterday, although it declined to disclose the purchase price.  Separately, The Telegraph reported that when completed, the total portfolio comprising 7,150 beds will be worth around £700 million (S$1.2 billion).

Keppel Land acquires Shanghai mall
Keppel Corp’s real estate subsidiary Keppel Land China is acquiring a newly completed retail development in Shanghai’s Jiading District for 500 million yuan (S$102 million).  The retail development has a gross floor area of 40,927 square metres (sqm) and a net lettable area of about 32,800 sqm. It is part of a mixed-use development comprising offices, shops and residential towers. Keppel Land Retail Management will be appointed manager.

YTL Hotels buys three properties in Britain
Malaysia’s YTL Hotels has bought three properties in Britain for an undisclosed sum.  One is Edinburgh’s The Glasshouse, a 77-room luxury boutique hotel with a 0.8ha hidden rooftop garden. It is formerly the Lady Glenorchy Church, built in the mid- 19th century.  The second acquisition, Money Island, is a retreat in Bray-on- Thames on the River Thames in Berkshire. It is surrounded by gardens and accessible only by a footbridge or boat. The retreat is a 10-minute drive from Windsor and less than an hour’s drive from Central London.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

UK mortgage approvals sink to lowest since Nov 2014 in August: BOE

Q2 GDP growth revised up as businesses boost investment

US pending home sales drop as inventory remains weak

Worst year for China markets since 2011?

China property tycoon warns of bubble

Yuan joins SDR basket on Oct 1, but analysts say full liberalisation not in sight

Here’s the Smoking Gun That China Has a Huge Housing Bubble

M’sia pension fund to diversify to PE, property, infrastructure

Vietnam’s growth eases to 6.4% in Q3

Japan retail sales down more than expected; govt to review data reliability

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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