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 August 2016

Top Story

New CPF schemes open up more options: Lim Swee Say
Central Provident Fund (CPF) members have now been offered more options for their retirement needs, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said yesterday.  They can choose between fixed payouts and one that starts lower but keeps rising. There is also a new investment option for those who seek higher returns on their CPF funds, but may not have the time or know-how to invest on their own.

Singapore Economy

DBS CEO underscores psychological impact of negative rates
The negative interest rate environment in two-thirds of the world, including most of Europe and Japan, are spooking global markets not just because of its impact on the financial sector – below zero rates hurt banks’ profitability – but it also affects the “psychology” on what it means for the future of the global economy, said DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta.  This is a “fundamental” issue that requires careful consideration. “Why is there negative interest rates? How does one deal with it? And what does this portend for the future of the global economy?”, said Mr Gupta in his welcome address at the sixth DBS Asian Insights Conference 2016 in Singapore on Thursday.

Singapore shares perk up amid regionwide rally
Singapore shares climbed higher yesterday, helped by a regionwide rally and a positive showing in the United States.  The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 4.38 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,831.96, putting a halt on its decline since the start of the week.  A total of 1.31 billion shares worth $1.05 billion changed hands across the board.

Singapore Real Estate

HDB resale prices up 0.7% in July; volume down 13.7%: SRX
Resale prices of Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats rose 0.7 per cent in July compared to June, according to the SRX Property data released on Thursday.  But in terms of transactions, resale volume fell 13.7 per cent to about 1,573 flats last month, from about 1,823 units in June. This compared to a 0.6 per cent drop in resale prices in June, as transaction volume held steady.

Hub Singapore opens second co-working space
Co-working spaces – popular with startups and foreign companies looking to set up shop here – are proliferating, making for an extremely fast-growing segment in land-scarce Singapore. On Thursday, Hub Singapore (HS), one of the country’s largest co-working spaces, opened its second facility – at Cuppage Terrace.  This comes a year after HS opened its first facility, on Prinsep Street, an 8,000 square foot workspace that is home to some 500 entrepreneurs, creatives and techies. Hub@Prinsep is now “almost operating at 100 per cent occupancy”.

HarbourFront Centre is latest mall to face rat problem
HarbourFront Centre has become the latest mall to face a rat problem, with the National Environment Agency (NEA) taking action against 13 food shops there for failing to keep their premises clean and having rodent droppings.  The NEA did not specify the names of the food shops and the actions taken, but said it has conducted 123 inspections of the “implicated licensed food shops and food stalls within HarbourFront Centre, as well as the common areas”, from January to early July this year.

Companies’ Brief

A-HTrust’s Q1 DPU rises 0.8%
Hotel owner Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust) on Thursday posted a 0.8 per cent increase in its distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.29 Singapore cents for its first quarter ended June 30, 2016.  Gross revenue dipped 0.8 per cent to S$52.4 million, while net property income climbed 5.5 per cent to S$22.6 million. The revenue dip was mostly due to its divestment of a hotel, Pullman Cairns International, in June 2015. The trust said: “Excluding contribution from Cairns operations of S$1 million for Q1 FY15/16, current year’s gross revenue would be an increase of S$0.6 million over last year. Overall underlying performance of the portfolio has improved S$1 million over last year in local currency terms but the increase was partly offset by adverse currency movements in the Australian dollar (AUD) and the renminbi.”

CapitaLand Q2 profit slides 36.6%
CapitaLand Limited has posted a 36.6 per cent fall in net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 from a year ago to S$294 million, dragged by higher cost of sales and lower fair value gains of investment properties.  But group chief financial officer Arthur Lang noted that the downbeat headline number “masked the fact that there were significant improvement in the underlying performance of the assets”.

Perennial Q2 profit drops 93.2% on lower rents, absence of year-ago fee
Perennial Real Estate Holdings’ second-quarter net profit fell 93.2 per cent to S$594,000, or 0.04 Singapore cent per share, in the absence of a year-ago acquisition fee and on lower rental revenue.  For the six months to June 30, net profit fell 25.6 per cent to S$9.1 million.

UOL’s Q2 profit eases 55% at S$68.8m on fair value losses on investment properties
Property and hospitality group UOL Group’s (UOL) second quarter net earnings slipped 55 per cent to S$68.8 million from the same quarter of the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday evening.  This was due largely to fair value losses on investment properties. Attributable fair value losses and other losses totalled S$21.5 million against S$53.8 million gain in the previous corresponding quarter.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Does inheritance property attract Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty?
Reader Madam M Lee wrote in to askST to say that she co-owns a property with her husband. Her husband is due to inherit a separate property soon.  She asked: “Will the inheritance property attract additional ABSD once the probate is done?  “If it attracts additional ABSD as it is my husband’s second property, does it help to sell off our first property? What can we do to avoid the additional taxes?

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

BOE surprises with rate cut to record low, £170b stimulus

Pound slides against Singdollar after Bank of England’s aggressive stimulus

Analysts say another KL rate cut would push ringgit further down

More suburbs with A$1m houses on Australia’s map

Minmetals Land outbids Hong Kong rivals for Kowloon site

More cities measuring climate footprint after Paris deal

Where first-time US home buyers can go big

US county rejects bill against housing discrimination

China IPO market hots up with new stocks up 420%

The World’s Most Expensive Homes on the Market Now

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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