The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 4th April 2017

Top Story

2 positive signals from URA’s Q1 private home flash estimates
The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s flash estimate for its first quarter 2017 private home price index provided a couple of positive signals for the market, at least for the condo and private apartment segment.  For the first time after 13 quarters of decline, the price index for non-landed private homes remained flat. It had eased 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q4 2016.  It was also the first time that the sub-index tracking prices of non-landed private homes in the suburbs or Outside Central Region (OCR) turned positive, with a 0.1 per cent rise, after 13 quarters of decline.


Singapore Economy

Going global: Many Singapore businesses do get it, says IE
There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of Singapore companies – both the bigger boys and the newer start-ups – that are ambitious and hungry enough to want to expand abroad these days.  International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the government agency that partners local firms to venture overseas, says it helped to secure more than 450 deals around the world last year, the bulk of it in China and South-east Asia.

March manufacturing growth points to potential recovery
Singapore’s manufacturing sector expanded more quickly in March, recording its seventh consecutive month of expansion and thus signalling a possible manufacturing recovery.  The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a leading economic indicator, showed a 51.2 reading – the highest since November 2014, compared to February’s reading of 50.9.

SGInnovate focuses on 5 areas to help startups, entrepreneurs
Government-owned company SGInnovate has nailed down the areas it will focus on in its mission to help startups and entrepreneurs at each stage of their development.

The five areas are to:

  • Develop Singapore’s startup ecosystem;
  • Help the ones SGInnovate invests in to grow;
  • Provide branding and communications advice;
  • Provide networking opportunities for talent, and
  • Provide funding from the pre-seed phase through to Series-A stage; SGInnovate may in certain cases consider being involved in later funding stages.

S’pore design protection laws to be amended
To better support Singapore’s design industry, a series of changes governing the registration of designs were tabled by the Ministry of Law on Monday.  These include broadening the scope of registrable designs, shifting ownership from commissioning party to designer, changes to design grace period provision and procedural changes to make filing designs easier.  This is the first significant change to the Registered Designs Act proposed since it was introduced in 2000.


Singapore Real Estate

HDB resale prices surprise with 0.6% slide in Q1
Housing & Development Board (HDB) resale flat prices dipped 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 from the previous quarter, according to flash estimates out on Monday.  While this was by no means a significant decline, it surprised several property consultants who were expecting the data to show the market in consolidation mode.  The slight dip in prices came after five preceding quarters of negligible price movements; it was also the highest price drop in the last seven quarters, mainly because the rate of price decline has started to significantly slow since the start of Q1 2015.

Increase in two-room flats to aid younger singles
Younger singles may soon stand a better chance of getting hotly contested new two-room flexi flats, as the Government works to clear the backlog over the next two years by ramping up supply.  The application rate per flat last year for this group of singles aged between 35 and 54 was 6.6, much higher than the total application rate for families, the elderly and singles, which was 2.7 last year.  It means those applicants have “to try several times before they are successful”, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday.

Ezra chairman’s villa in Sentosa Cove being sold
A prime waterway-facing bungalow in Cove Grove in Sentosa held by Ezra Holdings founder and chairman Lee Kian Soo is finally being sold, said sources.  The private treaty deal is understood to have been entered into last week. An agent from Edmund & Tie Co Property Network is understood to have been involved in the transaction but the firm declined to comment when contacted by The Business Times.  While details on pricing were not available, talk in the market is that as recently as two weeks ago, the owner was prepared to consider offers of around S$16 million or S$1,390 per square foot based on the land area of 11,515 sq ft.

Sentosa condo unit auctioned off at $6.6m loss
A former condo unit owner took a hammer blow like no other in the first quarter when a bank auctioned off his high-end property at an estimated $6.6 million loss.  The 4,069 sq ft condominium apartment at Seascape@ Sentosa Cove was transacted in June 2010 for around $12.8 million but repayment problems forced a mortgagee sale in February. A canny Singaporean buyer secured the posh unit for just $6.2 million, making it the standout deal in an auction market that was going at full tilt in the three months to March 31.

880,000 HDB homes to get utilities rebate
About 880,000 Singaporean Housing Board households will receive the next instalment of the GST Voucher – Utilities-Save (U-Save) rebate this month, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.  Eligible households will receive up to $65, depending on their HDB flat type.  For instance, those living in one- and two-room flats will get the maximum amount, while families living in five-room flats will receive $50.

Tenants told to move before BTO flats are ready
Their Build-To-Order (BTO) flats are not ready yet, but some home buyers who rent units in Dover Road as interim housing from the Housing Board have been told they still have to move.  This has upset some tenants because it means that they will have to move twice.  The Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), meant to give these home buyers a chance to start their families earlier, has a clause that caps the tenancy duration at three years, or when the PPHS site is unavailable, whichever is shorter.

One-way Sentosa Gateway Tunnel to open on April 27
It is one of the shortest roads with one of the longest project durations. And when it finally opens in three weeks’ time, on April 27, the 1.4km Sentosa Gateway Tunnel would have taken nearly 10 years from concept to completion.  The tunnel is open only to traffic leaving the resort island, and is accessible only to motorcycles and cars no higher than 3.5m.


Companies’ Brief

FCL, TCC Assets plan 120b-baht Bangkok mixed-use project
Frasers Centrepoint (FCL) on Monday said it is teaming up with TCC Assets to build a mixed-use development project in central Bangkok.  To be called One Bangkok, the project is the largest private sector property development initiative undertaken in Thailand, with an estimated investment value of over 120 billion baht (S$4.9 billion).

Ascott expands to South America with two franchise properties in Brazil
The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, has set its sights to expand in South America with franchise agreements for its first two serviced residences in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Sao Paulo real estate company Vitacon will franchise and operate the 92-unit Citadines VN Jardins Sao Paulo and 122-unit Citadines VN Faria Lima Sao Paulo.

EWI makes firm debut, mulls over redevelopment of GuocoLand’s UK assets
Eco World International Bhd (EWI) made its debut on the main board of Bursa Malaysia with a 9 per cent premium on Monday, riding on a market rally fuelled in part by the return of foreign funds in the first quarter.  Profit taking saw EWI close at RM1.28 over its retail price of RM1.20 a unit, while its warrants added 30 sen to 30.5 sen.

GIC, Indonesia developer in joint venture
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and an Indonesian property developer have formed a joint venture to own and manage South Quarter, an integrated mixed-use complex in Jakarta.  The South Quarter complex occupies 7.2ha in the TB Simatupang corridor in South Jakarta. The location has a direct toll access to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and is along the Mass Rapid Transportation lane, which is expected to be completed next year. The TB Simatupang corridor is a popular business hub, where the offices of many national and multinational firms across multiple industries are located, GIC said yesterday.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Recent policy changes to give property market a boost
Buoyed by an increase in the number of skilled workers, Singapore’s property market will likely see a recovery in office demand and retail sales growth, while the residential segment is set to improve following the recent easing in cooling measures, JLL Research said on Monday (April 3).  “The Government’s ambitious target to create new jobs means that Singapore will continue to allow more skilled workers into the country,” said Ms Regina Lim, head of South-east Asia Capital Markets Research at property consultancy JLL.

Asia’s economic outlook sunny with chance of rain
Economic prospects across most of Asia have taken a quite sharp turn for the better in terms of trade and output levels as well as a surge in capital flows into the region, senior economic officials in Washington told The Business Times in weekend interviews.  “The outlook for the Asia-Pacific region remains robust – and globally the strongest – and recent data point to a pickup in momentum,” Changyong Rhee, director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told BT.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

New York office rents hit new highs on robust demand: Colliers

China’s plan for new economic zone sparks speculative surge 

China’s plan for new Shenzhen sparks frenzy of speculation

Bottom lines of China consumer firms paint patchy picture of spending

Asia posts strong manufacturing growth numbers

Aussie regulators crack down as home prices, building permits jump


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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