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 September 2016

Singapore Economy

Whole-economy PMI edges up to 52.3 in August
Singapore firms posted an improvement in operating conditions in August, with the headline Nikkei Singapore purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rising to 52.3 from July’s 50.7.  Although this represented only a modest strengthening, the latest reading signalled the fourth consecutive monthly improvement, said IHS Markit, the financial-information services provider which compiles the index.  Both output and new orders rose further and more quickly than in the previous month.

Tourist influx brings no joy to Singapore hotels amid room glut
An influx of tourists to Singapore this year has brought little joy to the city’s hoteliers, as a glut of rooms sends a key revenue measure to a six-year low.  Revenue per available room, a metric used by the hotel industry, slumped 7.4 per cent in June to S$179.40 a night, the lowest since 2010, according to data from the Singapore Tourism Board.  Even as tourist arrivals have risen each month this year, room rates have fallen because of shorter trips by visitors and a 5 per cent increase in the number of hotel rooms.

Singapore Real Estate

Farrer Square’s last 6 medical suites offered for sale via EOI
The top two strata floors of medical suites, comprising six units in the Farrer Square development in Little India, are being offered for sale through an expression-of-interest (EOI) exercise that will close on Oct 6.  The six units are the remaining medical suites in the 99-year leasehold project, which also houses ground-floor retail units and the 300-room Park Hotel Farrer Park.  The project, slated to receive Temporary Occupation Permit in the fourth quarter of this year, is opposite the Connexion project, which includes a hospital, a hotel, a medical centre and lifestyle/retail amenities.  Farrer Square’s remaining six medical suites are available for sale on a bulk or individual-unit basis; their indicative asking price is about S$5,100 per square foot (psf).

Sky villages and eco-landscapes win HDB accolades
Sky-high gardens and a “terraced” landscape that develops ponds and streams after rain are among the design features of 11 projects for which architectural consultants were recognised in this year’s Housing Board (HDB) Design Awards.  Twelve HDB Construction Awards for quality building were also given to construction firms.  One of the winning projects for design was SkyVille@ Dawson by WOHA Architects. The community-centric design includes the concept of “sky villages”, with each cluster of 80 homes sharing one sky garden where residents can mingle.

Under study: Paperless property titles
Home owners may eventually be able to do away with paper property titles and instead have them stored digitally with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).  That would save having to hunt for their physical titles when the time comes to sell.  The SLA is studying the feasibility of the service as it moves towards making property transactions paper-free processes.”Going paperless allows us to achieve greater efficiency and cost-savings while reducing potential risks for the parties involved in the conveyancing process,” said Mr Bryan Chew, assistant chief executive of SLA and the registrar of titles.  The SLA said it believes only New Zealand has gone fully paperless in this area.

CapitaLand holds party for Sky Vue owners
CapitaLand and its joint venture partner, Mitsubishi Estate Asia held a party for home buyers last Saturday to celebrate the completion of Sky Vue condominium.  Sky Vue, which got its temporary occupation permit in July, was 97 per cent sold at the end of last month. The 694-unit Bishan complex was also the best-selling project in September 2013, when buyers snapped up about 90 per cent of 505 units launched in a single weekend.  About 1,800 guests turned up for Saturday’s party, the fourth of its kind organised by CapitaLand for its home buyers.  Such completion parties started in 2013 with The Interlace, followed by d’Leedon and Sky Habitat.

Singapore real estate and debt crowdfunding site debuts on ASX
CoAssets, a homegrown real estate and debt-crowdfunding platform, on Monday debuted on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with an estimated market capitalisation of A$66 million (S$67.73 million).  The three-year-old startup, believed to be first crowdfunding platform to be listed in Australia, raised some A$6.55 million from its IPO (initial public offering) on ASX, at an issue price of A$0.40 a share, its offer price.  Co-founder Getty Goh said CoAssets’ share price reflected the newness of the field and the absence of comparables on ASX. He told The Business Times: “As crowdfunding gains more traction, our share price will become more reflective. We’re just happy it didn’t tank!”

IDA-accredited startups can now tap Surbana Jurong, Lendlease projects
Local tech startups recognised under an accreditation scheme run by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) now have a shot at bagging larger global-infrastructure and urban-development projects beyond those offered by the more than 60 government agencies here.  On Monday, the IDA sealed two partnerships with Surbana Jurong and Lendlease, which will open the way for companies accredited under Accreditation@IDA (A@IDA) to be considered for – and to win – projects contracted by the two property firms.  Surbana Jurong provides consultancy for urbanisation and infrastructure development with projects in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Through the partnership, IDA-accredited companies will be able to participate in master-planning projects and to build on successful deployments.

Companies’ Brief

OUEHT leads volume jumpers last week
Two real estate investment trusts (Reits) saw the biggest jumps in trading activity on the local bourse last week, according to data from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) My Gateway.  OUE Hospitality Trust (OUEHT) was the biggest volume jumper, with its volume surging to eight times its three-month average, while Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT) jumped to twice its three-month average volume.  For hotel and mall owner OUEHT, on Friday, volumes surged due to a few block trades, which led to more than 117 million shares changing hands. This accounts for about 7 per cent of the trust’s share capital.

CDL to invest 100m yuan in China online apartment rental site mamahome
Hotel owners are buying stakes in the very disruptor of their own businesses. City Developments (CDL) on Monday said that its wholly owned subsidiary CDL China will invest 100 million yuan (S$20.4 million) for a 20 per cent stake in mamahome, a fast-growing Chinese online apartment rental platform.  This follows in the footsteps of CapitaLand’s serviced residence arm, The Ascott, last year, when it invested US$90 million in, an online apartment-sharing platform that has been dubbed China’s Airbnb.

New Frasers serviced residence to open in Putrajaya
Frasers Hospitality Group, a division of Frasers Centrepoint, will be launching its first serviced residence in Putrajaya in 2019.  Fraser Residence Putrajaya will add to its growing portfolio in Malaysia, which is targeted to increase to eight properties with more than 2,400 units by 2019.  The 253-unit property faces the Putrajaya Lake and has unobstructed waterfront views and easy access to restaurants, retail outlets and offices within its mixed-use development, as well as other dining options, supermarkets, schools and a hospital located within the area.

Alpha’s Draycott Eight units may go on the market soon
A stack of 22 units in one of the three blocks of Draycott Eight is expected to come on the market soon for bulk sale. Market watchers reckon the stack could fetch around S$143 million to S$150 million, which would translate to S$2,180-S$2,300 per square foot (psf) on a total strata area of 65,401 square feet.  The units are held by a fund managed by Alpha Investment Partners, which in 2010 paid a Morgan Stanley-managed fund S$2,300 psf or slightly over S$157 million for a stack of 23 units – comprising 22 four-bedroom apartments and a penthouse – in the block. In late 2012, the Alpha fund sold one of the four-bedders, an eighth-floor unit, for S$7.18 million or S$2,480 psf, leaving it with 21 apartments and a penthouse.

Sim Lian names PwC as IFA, says privatisation offer now unconditional
Sim Lian Group (SLG) on Tuesday said that PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance has been appointed the independent financial adviser (IFA) for the privatisation offer by Coronation 3G.  The latter, a consortium led by the founder of SLG, is making a voluntary conditional cash offer of S$1.08 per share for all the outstanding shares in SLG that it doesn’t already own or has agreed to acquire.

Park Hotel Group set for S. Korean venture
Park Hotel Group has signed a deal to manage its first hotel in South Korea – the latest step on its regional expansion plan.  The 150-room Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo in Seoul is under construction and scheduled to open early next year.  Park Hotel Group signed the management contract with a member of the Seoul-based K2 Group, which is looking to diversify from its core functions of credit card authorisation and financial transaction systems. The hotel is K2 Group’s first such project.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Greening buildings inside-out: A collective effort
With accelerated urbanisation across the globe, half of the world’s population – 3.5 billion people – now reside in cities and by 2050, most of the world will live in cities and buildings. City dwellers spend 90 per cent of their lives in buildings.  Against a backdrop of rapid population growth, energy footprints have been rising steadily and can be expected to continue to increase in highly urbanised cities such as Singapore.

Condo booking fee paid but second viewing not allowed
My husband and I recently bought a completed condominium from CapitaLand.  After paying the initial booking fee, we asked for a second viewing to decide if we should exercise the Option to Purchase (OTP).  This was not possible.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US rate hike unlikely this month with weak job data

UK economy will suffer after Brexit vote: PM May

China’s productivity growth is the worst since the Asia crisis

Hong Kong residents-only housing project sells out on first day

Saudi state fund plans stake in big industrial zone: source

Dubai plans new US$20b district in the city

NZ house prices rise in August, but new lending curbs may be working

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