The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 5th January 2016

Top Story

Raffles Country Club faces its final tee-off next year
Another Singapore golf club will soon bite the dust.  The government will take over the Raffles Country Club’s (RCC) premises in Tuas by July 31, 2018, to build the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) tracks that run immediately after the bridge crossing near the Second Link.  In a media briefing on Wednesday morning shortly after the the club had been informed of its fate in writing, representatives from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) stressed to reporters that the decision was made after “extensive, careful reviews with development agencies”.

Singapore Economy

Pressure on Sibor and SOR continues with spectre of Fed hikes
Local interest rates remain under pressure and have continued to rise in the New Year.  The key three-month Sibor – a benchmark used to price mortgages – stood at 0.96918 per cent on Wednesday, up marginally from the previous 0.96893 per cent. Sibor stands for Singapore interbank offered rate and is updated at 11.30 am. The three-month SOR or swap offer rate typically used to price corporate loans was unchanged at 1.01175 per cent on Tuesday. The SOR rate is updated late at night.  The pressure on Sibor and SOR will continue in line with expected hikes in US interest rates.

Panel calls for third growth engine and broad-based support for SMEs
The recommendations for Budget 2017 proposed by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) fall into two main categories – developing globally competitive companies (GCCs) as a third engine of growth, and giving broad-based support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) so they can ride out this rough period.  The recommendations by the federation’s SME Committee (SMEC) come on the back of an uncertain global outlook, slowing growth and increased pessimism among SMEs.  A survey commissioned by SBF, the results of which were released last week, has found that the economic climate worsened for 63 per cent of businesses last year; 48 per cent said they believe 2017 will be even worse.

Singapore to deliver new growth map with economy under strain
Singapore is due to deliver a blueprint outlining strategies to boost the economy as the export-dependent nation seeks new growth engines.  The Committee on the Future Economy will publish its recommendations in a few weeks time, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his New Year Message, days before the government reported that growth slumped to a seven-year low in 2016. South-east Asia’s only developed economy faces risks including rising trade protectionism in the US and a slowdown in China.

Singapore Real Estate

Rise in last quarter’s landed home prices not seen to be sustainable
The surprise rebound in prices for landed homes at the end of last year does not spell recovery, with analysts warning that they could face more pressure this year.  Prices rose 0.9 per cent from the third to fourth quarter last year – the first such increase since the third quarter of 2013.  The uptick was a sharp reversal from the 2.7 per cent decline recorded from the second to the third quarter, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data on Tuesday.  SLP International Property Consultants research head Nicholas Mak said: “The increase could be a statistical blip… I don’t think it’s sustainable. I don’t think it signals a start of a recovery in the landed home segment.”  Mr Wong Xian Yang, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee, added: “Landed property prices still remain under pressure, amid weak economic conditions and current cooling measures.”  Falling prices – they fell 14.8 per cent from the third quarter of 2013 to the same point last year – have wooed buyers back to landed homes, putting a floor under values in the process.

High Court approves Shunfu Ville collective sale
Property developer Qingjian Realty yesterday obtained High Court approval for the collective purchase of Shunfu Ville estate.  The Straits Times understands that two owners who had objected to the sale were at the High Court yesterday, but were not represented by lawyers.  No written judgment was issued, but the objecting owners have 30 days to file an appeal.  Dentons Rodyk and Davidson senior partner Lee Liat Yeang, who is acting for Qingjian, said: “This is an important jab of confidence in the collective sale market, which has not seen much success in the past few years.”

Likely fall in home prices a lure for bargain hunters
Housing prices are set to come under considerable pressure this year as consumers concerned about a subdued economic environment and rising interest rates tighten their purse strings. But with analysts projecting a fourth consecutive year of price decline since the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework was implemented in 2013, bargain hunters on the scout for cheap properties in good locations could help push transaction volume higher.  Analysts TODAY spoke to are projecting prices for private residential properties to decline by about 3 per cent this year. The decline — similar to the estimated fall in 2016 but far shy of the 60 per cent surge between 2009 and 2013’s peak — could draw potential buyers and push transactions higher for the third consecutive year.

Companies’ Brief

London gallery takes CapitaLand to court
A world-leading London art gallery specialising in antique textiles is locked in a bitter dispute with its landlord, Singapore property giant CapitaLand, which wants to evict the gallery and redevelop the space.  In a legal battle that the gallery owner, Mr Simon Franses, has called a “David versus Goliath” fight, he is taking CapitaLand to court on Jan 16 in a bid to remain on the premises that his gallery has called home for the last 25 years.  S Franses gallery was founded in 1909 by Mr Franses’ grandfather, Sidney, and is recognised as an expert in historic textiles, tapestries and carpets.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Project owners must take control over how subcontractors are paid
It is not unusual for main contractors to practise “pay when paid” clauses with their subcontractors and suppliers (“Company steps in to cover arrears in pay dispute issue“; Dec 23, 2016).  While there are good main contractors who pay their subcontractors on time, without waiting for funds from the project owner, many do not.  To protect workers from delays in payment, project owners should adopt the system of nominated subcontractors rather than domestic subcontractors.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Net capital flows to EMs at their lowest since global financial crisis: IIF

Property bubbles may burst, OECD warns

Eurozone inflation in December hits 3-year high

Citing Trump ‘uncertainty,’ Fed says faster rate hikes possible 

US office vacancy rate falls in fourth quarter

US mortgage activity stabilizes as loan rates slip

Manhattan home prices fall as sellers concede to slowdown

Mar-a-Lago resort: Trump’s future winter White House

Trump Organization says it has no plans to build Buenos Aires tower

China regulator sets rules to curb property insurance products risk

Evergrande boss’s excesses earn him ‘China’s Trump’ moniker

Vancouver home sales plunge for fifth consecutive month in December

Japanese stocks in for a bull market this year, say analysts

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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