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 April 2017

Top Story

URA to tackle developers that misrepresent info: Lawrence Wong
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will take developers to task if they misrepresent important information about the units they are selling to prospective home-buyers.  Making this point in parliament on Tuesday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong stressed that it is mandatory for developers to provide a drawn-to-scale floor plan of the unit.  They must also present a detailed breakdown of the area by various types of spaces, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, air-conditioner ledges and balconies.


Singapore Economy

Singapore making progress in advanced manufacturing
Singapore is making some headway in advanced manufacturing with some 25 companies making strategic investments here.  Among others, Seagate Technology has embarked on its “dream factory” project – the first initiative in the industry to explore full automation in manufacturing hard disk drives.  The company is one of a number of manufacturers that have decided to conduct first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing initiatives from Singapore, as revealed by Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, during the opening of Manufacturing Technology Asia 2017 on Tuesday.


Singapore Real Estate

Contractors’ cash flows worsen; small guys hardest hit
Contractors’ cash flows continued to deteriorate in the first quarter, with the small guys hurting the most in the economy’s worst-performing sector.  Slow payments by the construction sector in Q1 2017 jumped to 55.22 per cent, up from 47.97 per cent in Q4 2016, said the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau on Tuesday.

Tengah environmental study findings to be out soon
The environmental baseline study to be done at new housing estate Tengah is expected to be completed by the first half of this year, and its key findings would be made known to the public, the Ministry of National Development said of Singapore’s first housing estate dubbed a “forest town”.


Companies’ Brief

Ascott sets its sights on South America
The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, is looking to expand in South America with franchise agreements for its first two serviced residences in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Brazil 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.

Oxley grants leases for some London properties for £18.5m
Property developer Oxley Holdings on Tuesday said it has agreed with two buyers to grant overriding reversionary leases for certain private flats at the Royal Wharf Development, for about £18.5 million (S$32.2 million).  The two purchasers are Weathercourt Limited and Claycourt Limited, and the agreement is over private flats in Plots 13, 14, 17, 18, 20 and 24 of the Royal Wharf Development in London.

Company Briefs: Ascendas Reit
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) said its purchase of a Melbourne logistics property for A$24.8 million (S$26.3 million) from Goodman Dandenong Trust has been completed.  Construction of the logistics property, which was slated to be completed in the first quarter, would coincide with lease commencement of 68 per cent of the space to a pre-committed logistics user, the Reit had said earlier. Goodman will provide rental support for the remaining space.  The property is expected to generate net property income yield of about 6.5 per cent in the first year.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Pushing for greater accountability of Reit managers in Singapore
While Singapore is now the second largest Reit market in Asia, recent headlines have highlighted possible deficiencies of the Reit industry, including the accountability of Reit managers.  This issue has not gone unnoticed by the authorities. While the conduct of Reit managers is currently regulated by the Code on Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and the common law, Parliament in January 2017 passed the Securities and Futures (Amendment) Act 2017, which introduces statutory protections for unitholders against the failure of Reit managers and their directors to act in the best interests of unitholders.

Allow private home owners to buy HDB flats to live in
The announcement about 880,000 households that will receive $120 million worth of rebates for service and conservancy charges (S&CC) brings to mind an existing Housing Board policy that seems rather inequitable (880,000 HDB households to benefit from S&CC rebates; last Friday).  HDB flat owners are allowed to purchase private property, but private home owners are not allowed to buy HDB flats.  Instead, they have to dispose of their private property should they wish to buy a HDB resale flat.

Tuas port’s focus should be on port-related work
Plans for the mega Tuas port project to include retail, leisure and public-intensive spaces are laudable. However, there is a need to weigh such plans against other key considerations (Tuas mega port may have lively area for leisure; Sunday Times, last Sunday).  There is no shortage of retail, hospitality, leisure and entertainment spaces in Singapore, and yet, another mammoth complex, which will likely lose its shine once the novelty wears off, is in the works.

Odds stacked against getting windfall from Sers
I refer to the report, “HDB leases: Buyers’ short-term focus may lead to future woes” (March 28).  A check on the Housing and Development Board website shows that of the 80 Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) sites, 34 were announced between 1995 and 1999, 39 in the 2000s and only seven since 2010.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Feb trade deficit falls as exports hit two-year high

New type of tenant in US growing like a weed

Manhattan home resales rebound as sellers agree to cut prices

US retail mall vacancies flat in first quarter: Reis

Bad Brexit deal will hurt some EU states more than others

Goldman sees reasons for foreign investors to return to Japanese stocks

Australia keeps rates on hold, sizzling housing market a worry

RBA’s Lowe Lashes Out at Australian Banks for Risky Home Lending

An Asian Lesson for Sydney’s Property Bubble

Yen hits high against euro; A$ drops to 3-week low


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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