The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th October 2018

Top Story

Private property price growth eases in Q3 following cooling measures
Private homes prices grew at a slower pace in the third quarter as the latest property cooling measures kicked in, although the top end of the market proved to be more resilient.  Prices edged up 0.5 per cent – in line with earlier flash estimates – in Q3, compared to an increase of 3.4 per cent in the previous quarter, according to the latest report from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).  Market watchers pointed to disruptions during the quarter, namely the July 6 cooling measures which brought higher additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) and tighter loan-to-value limits, as well as the Hungry Ghost festival which generally sees slower sales.


Singapore Economy

Trade war, mature cycles could be a drag in next few quarters
Singapore’s economy has yet to take a hit from the ongoing US-China trade war, but it could soon bear the brunt of it in the latter half of 2018 and beyond, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its half-yearly macroeconomic review on Friday.  Trade tensions, coupled with the maturation of global economic and tech cycles amid tightening global financial conditions, could potentially be a drag on Singapore’s growth in the next few quarters, it added. Nonetheless, the MAS still maintained that the economy is on track to expand at a “slower but still firm pace” for the rest of this year and in 2019.

Industrial output dips a surprise 0.2% in September
Singapore’s manufacturing output took a surprise fall in September, shrinking 0.2 per cent year-on-year in the first contraction since December 2017, preliminary estimates from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed on Friday. Excluding the volatile biomedical manufacturing cluster, output grew 1.9 per cent.  After three straight months of slowing growth, September’s contraction nonetheless confounded economists’ expectations of 3.5 per cent growth for the month, after August’s revised growth figure of 3.7 per cent.

Fewer retrenchments seen in Q3, overall unemployment rate up slightly
Fewer people were laid off in the third quarter of this year, while overall unemployment crept up slightly, according to Ministry of Manpower (MOM) statistics released on Friday.  But overall, the labour market continued to improve, with total employment growth more than doubling in this period, said the ministry.

Report: London, Singapore excel as fintech hubs
Singapore and London make for successful fintech hubs because of a confluence of five key factors – markets, talent, capital, regulation and government support.  But the cities differ in the maturity and focus of their fintech scenes, which has led to different challenges in fund-raising and in contrasting approaches to policy-making.


Singapore Real Estate

Retail rents in Central Region slip 18.1% in Q3 this year from 2014 peak
Retail rents in Singapore’s central region have slipped 18.1 per cent from their most recent peak in the fourth quarter of 2014 to the third quarter this year, based on official data.  The familiar string of woes that has plagued brick-and-mortar retailers in the last decade – including competition from online shopping and e-commerce, labour shortage and leakage of shopper dollars as residents here prefer to shop overseas – is expected to continue depressing retail rents on the whole, making the recovery long and slow.

Strong demand drives up Q3 office rents in central region
Office rents in Singapore’s central region rose at a faster clip in the third quarter – amid continuing strong demand.  Islandwide net demand of office space, as reflected in the change in occupied space, is likely to end the year on a six-year high.  Based on Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data, the figure for the first nine months of this year has already totalled 133,000 square metres. The last high, 174,000 sq m, was in 2012.

More HDB resale flats sold in Q3 as prices remain mostly flat
The HDB resale price index fell by about 0.1 per cent in the third quarter of this year, but while it undid a rise in the previous quarter, the minuscule change showed the resale market to be stable, said analysts.  Housing Board figures released yesterday showed that the resale price index dipped to 131.6 from 131.7. Analysts expect prices to stay flat.  The index tracks the overall price movement of the HDB market, with the first quarter of 2009 as the base period of the index at 100.

Concern over unapproved ‘stuffing’ in HDB blocks, flats
From newspapers and cardboard to electrical wiring and broken tiles, these normally discarded items were found to have been put to unacceptable use as “stuffing” by errant contractors at HDB blocks.  Three cases have already been flagged to the Housing Board.  In August, a resident in Block 729 Woodlands Circle saw paper wrappers stuffed in a gapbetween the metal frame of the lift door and the wall on the 10th and 11th floors. The wrappers were exposed during renovation works.

Co-working space a living lab for solutions
Members of co-working space provider District6 would have recently seen their environs outfitted with gadgets and gizmos ranging from the latest large-format monitors from Dell to ceiling sensors that detect occupancy levels by facility management solutions company, Pointgrab.

HK co-working firm launches its largest global site in Singapore
Hong Kong-based co-working outfit Campfire Collective is muscling in on Singapore’s shared office space, with the startup announcing it has leased 16 floors at 139 Cecil Street.  The site is currently an 11-storey building undergoing major renovations to add five more floors, which Campfire said includes a roof terrace with an “industry-first sky pool, rooftop bar, outdoor dining area and cabanas” for members.

SLA appoints Colliers to lease, manage 183 heritage bungalows
Colliers International has been appointed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to lease and manage 183 black-and-white heritage bungalows across various Singapore neighbourhoods.  The bungalows under Colliers’ care range in land area from 800 to 13,200 square metres and are located at various exclusive residential neighbourhoods, including Adam Drive, Holland Road, King Albert Park, Tanglin Road and Watten Estate Road.

SP Group launches platform for households, small producers of solar energy to sell ‘green credits’
It is now easier for small producers of solar energy in Singapore to sell “green credits” to buyers keen to offset their carbon footprint.  To link up these buyers and sellers, SP Group has launched a digital marketplace powered by blockchain technology, thus ensuring safe, transparent and fast transactions.  The power utilities firm believes that this is the world’s first blockchain-powered marketplace in renewable energy certificates (REC), a tradable document used to offset the use of non-clean energy.

New integrated development The Woodleigh Residences unveiled
The Woodleigh Residences, a new integrated development in Bidadari Estate, was unveiled on Friday, a day ahead of its soft launch and preview for the public.  Members of the public may view the showroom flats and express their intention to purchase at the soft launch.  The development comprises 667 two-, three- and four-bedroom units. Prices will start at S$1,873 per sq ft, it was revealed on Friday.

Two shophouses in Duxton Hill and one on Stanley Street sold for S$37.3m
Entities connected to veteran property investor Stanley Quek are understood to be selling a pair of adjoining shophouses in Duxton Hill and a shophouse in Stanley Street in separate deals totalling S$37.3 million.  The pair of shophouses at 40 and 41 Duxton Hill are changing hands at S$24.8 million. They are on two separate land lots, but the units are linked, forming a distinctive corner shophouse lot.

Global investors eye Vietnam’s domestic real estate market
When discussing the most dynamic emerging markets globally, it is hard to lose sight of Vietnam. Driving its strong economic growth is an expanding middle class with thickening wallets. Rapid urbanisation supported by a young, growing and educated population all bode well for an economy with one of the world’s fastest growing gross domestic product (GDP) rates.


Companies’ Brief

CDL buys London’s former Stock Exchange Tower for £385m
City Developments (CDL) has bought an office tower in London’s 125 Old Broad Street – formerly known as the Stock Exchange Tower – for £385 million (S$686.48 million) amid an expected tightening supply of office space in the city.  The acquisition of the prime freehold Grade A office space – the developer’s second London commercial property acquisition in 2018 – translates to £1,170 per square foot across its net lettable area (NLA) of 329,200 square feet (sq ft), which spans 26 floors with panoramic views of the city and three basement levels. It has also secured parking facilities.

Aims Property Securities Fund faces another wind-up vote
Boutique Australian firm Samuel Terry Asset Management has launched another attempt to wind up Aims Property Securities Fund, less than two years after its previous bid.  Samuel Terry and fellow unit holder Sandon Capital Investments, which together control 18.6 per cent of the fund, have called for a shareholder vote in Sydney on Dec 10.

Figtree Holdings to dispose Australian mixed development project for A$35m
Property investment firm Figtree Holdings announced on Monday that its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Figtree La Trobe will be selling a mixed development project, 303 La Trobe, in Melbourne for A$35 million (S$34.3 million) to an undisclosed third party.  The properties, located at 293-303 La Trobe Street, were acquired by Figtree La Trobe in 2015 for an aggregate consideration of approximately A$17.4 million for the purposes of redevelopment into the development project.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s Q3 DPU up 8.9% to 2.2 cts
CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) has posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.2 Singapore cents for the third quarter, up 8.9 per cent from the same period last year.  Gross revenue for the three months ended Sept 30 was S$100.5 million, up 35.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier on contributions from the acquisitions of Gallileo in Frankfurt as well as Asia Square Tower 2, which offset the loss in revenue from divesting Wilkie Edge and Twenty Anson.

Cache Logistics Trust’s Q3 DPU down 4.3% to 1.475 cts
Cache Logistics Trust reported a 4.3 per cent drop in distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.475 Singapore cents for its fiscal third quarter.  The drop was attributed to lower capital distribution compared with the same period last year. The real estate investment trust (Reit) also retained about S$0.2 million (net of relevant expenses) with respect to a tax matter relating to its property at 51 Alps Ave in Changi. Income available for distribution fell 3.6 per cent to S$15.86 million.

Frasers Hospitality Trust posts 4.8% drop in Q4 DPS
Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT) clocked a fourth fiscal quarter distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 1.2154 Singapore cents, down 4.8 per cent from the 1.2763 Singapore cents for the same period last year.  For the period under review, its net property income (NPI) also took a hit, falling 6.7 per cent to S$29.4 million, on the back of a 6.9 per cent drop in gross revenue to S$38.7 million.

Revenue drop leads to lower Q3 DPU for Sabana
A drop in rental revenue on the back of lower occupancies and negative rental reversions for some master leases signed earlier took a toll on the results of industrial landlord Sabana Reit in its third quarter.  Distribution per unit dipped to 0.77 Singapore cent from 0.79 Singapore cent in the previous corresponding period, the group said on Friday. That came as Q3 income available for distribution slid 3.2 per cent to S$8.1 million from the year-ago period.

ESR-Reit DPU up 4.1% in Q3
ESR-Reit has posted a third-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.004 Singapore cents, up 4.1 per cent from the same period last year.  Gross revenue in the three months ended Sept 30 rose 19.4 per cent to S$32.36 million.  Net property income rose 15 per cent to S$22.55 million on contributions from 8 Tuas South Lane and 7000 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, which were acquired in December last year.

Far East H-Trust Q3 DPS creeps up to 1.05 Singapore cents; net property income up 11.8% to S$27.7m
The improvements in the tourism sector plus the addition of Oasia Hotel Downtown to its portfolio lifted Singapore-focused hospitality owner Far East Hospitality Trust (Far East H-Trust) for its third quarter.  Distribution per stapled security (DPS) crept up to 1.05 Singapore cents from 1.03 Singapore cents in the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday morning.

mm2 Asia wants its cinemas to be a hip place for movie goers
Mainboard-listed mm2 Asia has a cinematic vision. The local movie producer bought Cathay Cineplexes’ Singapore theatre chain last November and it doesn’t plan to stop there.  While the group has been forced to reconfigure its cinema strategy after a deal to acquire Golden Village (GV), Singapore’s leading cinema operator, got scuppered in August last year, it doesn’t mean they won’t try again.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Think out of the box for Greater Southern Waterfront developments
It is preposterous that St James Power Station’s landlord Mapletree is planning to refurbish the national monument into an office complex, especially considering the site’s potential as a lifestyle, cultural and entertainment hot spot (Live, work, play: Life by the water calls; Oct 21).  In fact, most of the ideas thrown up for the Southern Gateway of Asia lack fire and imagination, in contrast to the other developments in the world.

Getting shoppers into stores takes more than inventory
As many as 12,000 stores are expected to close in the United States this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm. Nine thousand storefronts shut down last year.  Yet despite this very real reckoning, countless retailers are not only surviving but also thriving.

askST: Focus on needs when buying first HDB home
Before Ms Rachel Au-Yong bought her first home, she and her husband viewed 43 Housing Board (HDB) flats.  After much consideration, they settled on a four-room unit in a mature estate, which they moved into in August.  “Go in with your eyes open so you don’t end up spending money buying a flat you do not like,” said Ms Au-Yong, a housing correspondent with The Straits Times (ST).


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

More volatility ahead as investors take in jobs data and Fed rate impact

The fight to reconsider rent control in California

Solar movement gaining popularity in New York City

Consumer spending rises for 7th straight month in Sept

Undeterred by Brexit, hotelier perseveres with UK expansion

HK’s new-home sales tumble in first data since rate rise

Japan retail sales growth slows in September; likely a drag on Q3 GDP

India home builders next in line of fire from banking fallout

World’s worst currency shattering home buyers’ dreams in Argentina


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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