The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 6th January 2017

Top Story

HDB resale prices down 0.3% in Dec, 0.2% in 2016: SRX
HDB resale prices slipped 0.3 per cent in December from a month ago, pulled down mainly by the declines for bigger flats, flash estimates from SRX Property show.  This translated to a 0.2 per cent drop for the whole year and 10.9 per cent from the peak of the SRX resale index in April 2013. Resale prices in mature estates rose by one per cent for the whole year, smaller than the 1.2 per cent drop in non-mature estates.  The official flash estimates released by HDB on Tuesday showed that resale prices slipped 0.15 per cent last year.

Singapore Economy

Oil and property stocks look interesting this year, says OCBC
The Singapore market has solid picks on offer that can deliver good dividend yield amid the volatility this year, especially those in the property sector, said head of OCBC Investment Research Carmen Lee.  “At the start of this year, we decided to look more at the undervalued stocks, and property is one of the key sectors to watch,” she said at the bank’s annual investment seminar yesterday.  Seven out of her top 10 local stock picks are either real estate investment trusts (Reits) or property developers or owners, including Ascendas Reit, CapitaLand, Frasers Centrepoint Trust and Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust.

S$ continues to rise on accelerated US$ profit-taking
The Singapore dollar stayed on the rebound against the US dollar on Thursday in line with other currencies, reaching S$1.43 as dollar profit-taking gathers momentum.  At S$1.43, the Singdollar is up 1.4 per cent from S$1.45 on Tuesday, noted Philip Wee, DBS Bank senior currency strategist.  The dollar has been struggling since the waning days of 2016, and the profit-taking and correction is pretty much across the board, he said.

Singapore Real Estate

Freehold industrial building near Tai Seng MRT sold for S$33.5m
An eight-storey freehold industrial building along Little Road near Tai Seng MRT Station is being sold for S$33.5 million. The price works out to S$771 per square foot based on the net lettable area of 43,451 sq ft.  The seller, Kim Loong & Sons, developed the property which was completed about two years ago, said Kim Chong Wah, the company’s managing director, when contacted by The Business Times. This was a redevelopment project; previously on the site were three low-rise detached factories.

Dispute resolution gets boost from Red Dot building
To strengthen Singapore’s position as a legal hub in the region and to cater to the growing demand for international dispute resolution, the Red Dot Traffic building would be taken over by the Ministry of Law on May 1 as part of plans to expand Maxwell Chambers.  Restoration works on the conserved heritage building adjacent to Maxwell Chambers, an integrated dispute resolution complex, would begin in May and is expected to complete in 2019.

Surprise land acquisitions not likely to go on, say experts
Golfers might feel hard done by following the acquisitions of Raffles Country Club and Jurong Country Club, but such surprises are not likely to continue, said experts.  The two golf clubs are making way for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR).  Long-term planning might not have included the need to set aside land for this relatively recent development, hence the “last resort” of acquisition, said private sector urban planner Sarah Lin.

Two-tier housing market likely this year
Our forecast for housing prices to drop by 8 to 10 per cent in 2016 was off the mark. The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) private residential index turned out to be surprisingly resilient, dropping a mere 3 per cent for the whole of last year, while the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) resale price index ended the year almost where it began.  While it appears that policy measures have managed to stabilise prices in the residential market, a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the overall B-grade result was achieved through A grades in a couple of subjects and B, C and D grades in other subjects.

Companies’ Brief

UEL said to be assessing bevy of potential suitors
United Engineers Ltd (UEL), one of Singapore’s most venerable property companies, is said to be on a beauty parade and has pulled in a strong lineup of suitors looking to acquire it.  The Business Times understands these interested bidders range from property developers to Chinese companies and private-equity funds.  News broke on Thursday that UEL’s largest shareholders have started formally assessing buyer interest in the century-old property group; word is that they had been sending preliminary financial information on UEL’s business to potential bidders since late last month.

GLP confirms preliminary talks on possible sale of the company
Global Logistic Properties Limited (GLP) confirmed on Thursday that it is in preliminary discussions with various parties on a possible sale of the company.  But it emphasised that no definitive transaction has been entered into with any party, and there is no assurance that any transaction will materialise from the strategic review.  It had in December appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co to help conduct a strategic review of options to improve shareholder value, following a request from its single largest shareholder GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

Ascott’s plans for luxury London residence hit snag
CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced-residence arm The Ascott Limited has hit a snag in its plans to refresh its luxury London hotel, The Cavendish – and will have to appear before the UK courts to see things through.  Ascott’s attempt to replace a 100-year-old art gallery in its premises in The Cavendish with retail stores has now turned into a legal wrangle. It will have to come before the Royal Courts of Justice in London, from Jan 16, to show why it has grounds to evict Franses Gallery.  The situation reflects the seeming change in tide in local London authority plans to develop the area in which The Cavendish is situated.

CapitaLand to appear before London courts over dispute with UK art gallery
Singapore property giant CapitaLand is locked in a legal dispute with a 100-year-old London art gallery – in a case that has been described as one that pits profits against the arts.  CapitaLand will have to come before the Royal Courts of Justice in London, from Jan 16, to show why it has grounds to evict Franses Gallery from The Cavendish hotel, run by CapitaLand’s wholly owned subsidiary, The Ascott Limited.  Franses Gallery has occupied its purpose-built premises in The Cavendish for a quarter of a century, while Ascott purchased the hotel in August 2012.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US mortgage applications stabilise as loan rates slip

Manhattan home prices fall as sellers concede to slowing market

Trump ditches US$250m tower plan in Black Sea town

Inherited homes to widen great British social divide as richest benefit the most

Hong Kong’s Richest Man Sees Property Prices Rising Amid Curbs

Vancouver home sales dive for 5th consecutive month in Dec

Saudi builder Khodari secures 69m riyal government contract

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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