The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 06 April 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

URA extends Jalan Anak Bukit site’s tender deadline to June 29
The tender for the commercial and residential site along Jalan Anak Bukit, near Beauty World MRT station, will now close on June 29, 2021.  This is due to a new requirement for a centralised cooling system to serve the future mixed-use integrated transport hub, a spokesperson for the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in response to The Business Times’ (BT) queries.

Grade A offices could lead recovery in Singapore office market: report
Grade A offices could lead the recovery of Singapore’s office market in 2021, said a CBRE report on Monday. This comes amid announcements that work-from-home arrangement no longer remains the default arrangement in Singapore.

Tharman warns Singapore home buyers about rising interest rates
Singapore’s government is warning home buyers to think carefully about purchasing properties as interest rates increase in tandem with those in the US, potentially boosting debt servicing costs.  “The risk of rising interest rates is a reminder that everyone should continue to exercise caution in their property purchase decisions,” Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) chairman and Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said. He was speaking in response to a parliamentary question on Monday on the impact of rapidly rising US long-term rates on the city-state.

Relief period for options to purchase, S&P agreements extended
The relief period for options to purchase and sale and purchase agreements with developers will be extended for an additional three months, up to June 30.  This will help buyers of residential, commercial and industrial properties who require more time to make their payments, following amendments to the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Act which were passed on Monday (April 5) to provide further reprieve for the built environment sector. The relief measures, which took effect from April 20, 2020, are being extended for the third time.

Singapore Economy

All 23 ITMs to be refreshed by end-2022: Heng Swee Keat
Each of the 23 Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) will be refreshed to meet the accelerated changes brought about by Covid-19, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday.  He added that the aim is to complete the update of the ITMs’ sectoral strategies by the end of next year.

Circuit-breaker low base and return to office work to spur Singapore retail rebound
Retail sales were back in the black in February, on consumer cheer from the Chinese New Year festive season, Department of Statistics (SingStat) data showed on Monday. Singapore retail is now on track to return to full-year growth in 2021, after posting annual declines since 2018. In the wake of the month’s momentum, industry observers pointed to both the low base in the coming months, and relaxation of Covid-19 controls, as drivers for the sector.

Cash surpluses are not a valid reason to defer GST increase: Indranee
The government’s cash surpluses do not reduce the need for the planned increase in goods and services tax (GST), said Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Monday.  Ms Indranee took issue with a recent social media post by the Workers’ Party (WP), which questioned the need to increase GST while citing Singapore’s annual average of S$29 billion in cash surpluses from 2011 to 2019. She called this “inaccurate and misleading”.

Efforts taken to ramp up manpower supply for construction sector
There have been about 1,100 notifications for relief for construction and supply contracts as of March 19 of which about 180, or about 10 per cent, eventually applied for assessor’s determination.  Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How stressed that the relief provided by the law provides a “framework for conversations to happen” and that the government does not take intervention into private contracts lightly.

Singapore PMI climbs to 50.8 in March, highest since March 2019
The manufacturing sentiment in Singapore continued to improve in March and recorded a faster rate of expansion at 50.8, up 0.3 points from February, according to the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) release on the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) on Monday.

Companies’ Brief

Knight Frank hires Christine Li as Asia-Pacific head of research
Christine Li has joined Knight Frank as head of research for the Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore, the real estate consultancy said on Monday. The announcement confirms The Business Times’ report in January about the impending move. Ms Li was previously head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at Cushman & Wakefield.

KSH Holdings wins S$171.8m design and build contract for Biopolis Phase 6
Property group KSH Holdings has clinched a S$171.8 million contract for Biopolis Phase 6 in one north as well as the adjacent Buona Vista node of the rail corridor, the mainboard-listed company said in an exchange filing on Monday.

PropNex unit to acquire 70% stake in online marketplace Ovvy
A Wholly-owned subsidiary of real estate agency PropNex is set to acquire a 70-per-cent stake in online marketplace Ovvy for S$1 million, the mainboard-listed company said in an exchange filing on Monday.  The acquisition by PropNex Grandeur Homes expands the group’s footprint in proptech, paving the way for it to offer more value-added real-estate services through an additional technology platform, PropNex said.

Straits Trading unit to acquire JL Family Office’s 10% stake in Straits Real Estate
A Subsidiary of The Straits Trading Company is set to acquire JL Family Office’s (JLFO) 10 per cent stake in Straits Real Estate (SRE) for S$105 million in cash, the mainboard-listed investment company said in an exchange filing on Monday.  The share sale and purchase agreement is between STC Capital, Straits Trading’s wholly-owned subsidiary, and JL Equity II, a unit of the JLFO.

Sabana Reit’s response to Quarz, Black Crane reflects box-ticking culture that pervades market
The response last week from the manager of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) to recent letters and public releases from Quarz Capital Management and Black Crane Capital was understandably self-serving.

Sun Venture obtains 85.5 million-pound green loan from OCBC
Investment firm Sun Venture has obtained an 85.5 million-pound (S$159.2 million) green loan from OCBC through the bank’s London branch, the two entities said in a joint release on Monday.  The loan will be used for the refinancing of 1 New Oxford Street, an office and retail development that Sun Venture owns in central London.

Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

ERP rates to go up by $1 at certain stretches of CTE, AYE from April 12 during peak hours
The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) rates for some gantries located along two expressways will be raised by $1 with increased congestion as more people return to workplaces.  The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Monday (April 5) said that the new charges will kick in from next Monday to manage congestion at certain stretches on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and Central Expressway (CTE) during peak hours in the morning.  The LTA added that it had observed heavy traffic on these stretches from 7am to 10am with the progressive easing of safe management measures.

STI up 0.88% as positive US jobs data propels some regional markets
United States’ strong non-farm payrolls data helped to lift a few Asian indexes, with Singapore shares benefiting from the favourable sentiments.  Singapore’s blue-chip barometer, the Straits Times Index, closed 28.06 points or 0.88 per cent higher at 3,209.74 points.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Covid-19 jabs to be extended to those below 45 from June
Residents aged below 45 are set to receive invitations to book their slots for Covid-19 vaccination from June, as Singapore makes steady progress in its inoculation drive. This estimated timeline is based on the current schedule for the vaccine roll-out, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary told Parliament yesterday.  “If all goes well, we will complete the vaccination programme as scheduled by the end of the year,” he said.

Johor to start Covid-19 vaccination app for Malaysians who commute to Singapore
The Johor state government will roll out a Covid-19 vaccination app aimed at Malaysians who commute between Malaysia and Singapore.  Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad said in a Facebook post on Sunday (April 4) that for a start, 100,000 people are recommended to register for their vaccination through the ImmuPlan Johor app.  “Any updates will be announced from time to time,” he said. “I hoped this will help in the efforts to reopen the Malaysia-Singapore border and restore Johor’s economic prowess.”

Showing vaccination status to be made easy even without smartphone
It will be easy and convenient in future for people to show they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, including for those without smartphones.  Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said the Ministry of Health will, when ready, release details of how individuals can show their valid vaccination status.

About 1% of people who turned up for vaccine rejected due to issues like allergies
About 1 per cent of people who turned up for their Covid-19 vaccinations were rejected owing to concerns about allergies and conditions that could make them ineligible to receive the jab.  And close to 98 per cent of people who booked appointments for vaccination in the last 30 days showed up – meaning that about 2 per cent did not.

S’pore contributing $28m to help low-income countries tackle Covid-19
Parliament yesterday approved a contribution of US$20.57 million (S$27.7 million) to help low-income countries tackle the economic fallout of the pandemic, with Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung stressing that Singapore needs to do its part in an interdependent world.

All 17 new Covid-19 cases imported; none in community
Another 17 Covid-19 cases were confirmed at noon yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 60,495.  They were all imported, and the patients had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).  There were no community cases, and none from migrant workers’ dormitories.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Affordable housing shouldn’t be an oxymoron

Japanese luxury hot spring resorts operator eyeing US locations

Malaysia confident of attracting more foreign investment this year

World economy risks ‘dangerously diverging’ growth

Gold steady as inflation bets counter firm US dollar, yields

Oil falls more than 4 per cent on rising Opec+ supply, Covid-19 spikes

Made-in-US reflation trade is one export the world doesn’t want

US factory orders decline in February

Saudis hike oil prices for key Asia market in sign of confidence

Malaysia, Brunei agree to jointly develop two offshore oil fields

Vietnam shifts leaders, keeps key policies in place

Phuket in mass vaccination drive ahead of rest of Thailand

Bangkok to close 196 nightlife venues amid new coronavirus cluster

New IMF reserves could fund vaccinations for low-, middle-income countries: report

BlackRock breaks Wall Street ranks with planned racial audit

WTO rules must not block the developing world’s access to vaccines

England starts mass testing as economy opens again

India records over 100,000 new cases a day, election rallies still drawing crowds

Key aspects of reopening plan

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