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 May 2016

Top Stories

Developers must take in needs of non-motorists from July
Developers erecting new buildings or planning major redevelopments to their existing buildings will soon have to submit plans that show how they will take into account pedestrians’ and cyclists’ needs in their development designs.  Starting in July, this requirement will apply to places with high pedestrian and cyclist traffic, namely shopping centres, offices, business parks and schools; it may be extended to other property types later.

Singapore Real Estate

Muted response to launches of two residential projects
The launches of two residential projects over the long weekend were met with muted response, with the Parc Life executive condominium (EC) project in Sembawang by Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) and Keong Hong Holdings selling over 50 units of the total 628 units as at Monday.  This translates to a take-up rate of 8 per cent, despite the developers throwing in S$3,000 worth of Frasers shopping mall vouchers for people who purchase units of two bedrooms to five bedrooms on Saturday.

Commercial property rents, values seen falling further
Even as tenant demand for commercial property has fallen at its fastest pace in Q1 this year since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is anticipating a further drop in capital values and rents over the coming year.  On the occupier market front, demand fell last quarter across all sectors even as available space continued to rise. About 64 per cent of surveyors expect rents to fall further over in the next quarter, and 65 per cent expect the downward trend to continue into next year. At the 12-month horizon, respondents expect rental values to fall by 5.8 per cent, with all sectors forecast to see a substantial decline.

HDB clarifies rule change on flat ownership transfers
Amid market rumblings that recent regulatory changes on the transfer of HDB flat ownership rule are meant to plug loopholes, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) has made clear that its policies are not a reaction to potential ABSD abuse cases.  “The changes are not meant to prevent married couples from decoupling to avoid ABSD (additional buyer’s stamp duty),” HDB said in a late-night response to media queries.  Under the eligibility conditions that kicked in since April 1, changes in flat ownership are allowed only on grounds of marriage, divorce, death of an owner, financial hardship, renunciation of citizenship and medical reasons.

Large office spaces up for lease in Jurong
Sim Lian Group on Tuesday announced it would release approximately 200,000 square feet of large office spaces for lease at Vision Exchange, at a rate of S$6.80 to S$7.20 per square foot per month.  The spaces will be spread out across the top eight floors of the 25-storey mixed-use integrated development located in Jurong Lake District. Each level spans approximately 25,000 sq ft, with the minimum subdivision starting from 2,000 sq ft.  According to Sim Lian, Vision Exchange is “the only space available for tenants who require either or both large and contiguous floor configurations in Jurong Gateway”.
The Straits Times, E-Paper, Page 45

Troubled US retailer Aeropostale’s Singapore outlets open for now
Aeropostale’s outlets here will remain open “for the time being”, as the United States teen clothing retailer looks set to file for bankruptcy this week.  It is reportedly planning to close more than 100 of its roughly 800 stores, though it is not clear which outlets will be affected.  Jay Gee Melwani Group, distributor of the brand here and in Malaysia, told The Straits Times it has not heard from New York-based Aeropostale on its plans.  The firm operates four Aeropostale outlets in Singapore – at Bugis+, VivoCity, Ngee Ann City and Jurong Point – and two stores in Malaysia under a licensing arrangement.

Companies’ Brief

Manulife’s US Reit gives Singapore listing another try
Canadian financial services group Manulife Financial Corp has revived its initial public offering plan to list its office real estate investment trust in Singapore, 10 months after it pulled the plug on the first attempt amid volatile market conditions.  It is now looking to raise up to about US$470 million in its second attempt at a Singapore IPO of its three office properties in the United States, based on an amended preliminary prospectus filed with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Tuesday.

Management fees lift ARA’s Q1 earnings
Strong growth in fees from managing real-estate investment trusts (Reits) and investment portfolios has lifted ARA Asset Manage- ment’s first-quarter results.  Net profit for the three months to March 31 rose 2 per cent to $19.4 million, while total revenue rose 10 per cent to $41.4 million, the firm said yesterday. Management fees accounted for the lion’s share of the total turnover at $34.3million, a rise of 14 per cent over the previous year – underpinned by higher fees across all business segments. Reit management fees were up by 5 per cent to about $22 million, partly driven by fee contribution from Suntec Reit’s acquisition of three floors of strata office space at Suntec Tower Two and Cache Logistics Trust’s acquisition of three Australian properties in the last quarter of 2015.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Rise in China’s home prices accelerates in April

China’s Dalian Wanda in deal to build US$900m skyscraper in Chicago

Leon Black Selling at Miami’s New Billionaire Condo Tower

Live in a 18th Century Mexican Mansion Hidden Behind Plain Walls

Global economic gloom turning into a political headache

IMF cuts growth forecast for Asia as headwinds loom

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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