The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 7th March 2017

Top Story

Singapore lines up 4 key strategies to create enough, better jobs
Net employment growth has slowed sharply from more than 200,000 before the 2009 financial crisis to around 33,000 jobs yearly, on the back of business uncertainty and low births and an aging population.  Manpower minister Lim Swee Say told Parliament on Monday, during the Committee of Supply debate on the budget for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), that his ministry is working on four key strategies to not only ensure that there would be enough jobs for Singaporeans, but better ones as well.

Deferred Upper Serangoon site back on the public tender trail
A Housing & Development Board (HDB) site that was deferred for public tender last December has now been launched for sale.  HDB on Monday put up the mixed commercial and residential site at Upper Serangoon Road for sale under the confirmed list of the government land sales (GLS) programme.  As part of the development of Bidadari estate, the 99-year leasehold site was deferred to allow the site requirements to be finalised for “comprehensive development”.  HDB said that this was mainly to straighten out details for the requirements to build a community club and a neighbourhood police centre to be integrated with the development. These are new criteria and therefore needed time to be clarified. There are also criteria to build a commercial bridge and underpass for connectivity purposes.

Singapore Economy

Government to help SMEs become digitally savvy: Yaacob
The government has been working hard to help Singaporean companies, particularly SMEs (small and medium enterprises), to be better prepared for the digital economy, Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information told Parliament on Monday.  Responding to questions during the committee of supply debate for his ministry, Dr Yaacob said that digital technology could help companies across all sectors drive productivity, create growth, catalyse innovation and boost competitiveness.

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore building costs fall 5 rungs in global ranking by Arcadis
Singapore has dropped five positions on the global ranking for construction costs, making it the 15th most expensive city in the world to build in, says the International Construction Costs Index published by global design and consultancy firm Arcadis.  However, it is still the third most expensive Asian city for construction, after Hong Kong and Macau.  This relative decline in construction costs here against other global cities came amid a slowdown in the Singapore construction market since 2014; the slowdown has been in terms of contracts awarded, particularly in the private sector.

OCBC joins home loans war among local banks
A fierce home loans battle among the local banks has intensified, with OCBC Bank joining the fray with a tempting new mortgage offer.  The package, rolled out on Saturday, is pegged to the bank’s variable internal rate, or board rate. Many mortgages are pegged to publicly set benchmarks, such as the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate.  OCBC’s latest offer works out to 0.7 per cent for the first year, 0.65 per cent for the second year, 0.60 per cent for the third year and 0.55 per cent for the fourth. After that, the rates are 1.55 per cent a year.

Older buyers opt for shorter HDB flat leases
The majority of older buyers who booked flats under the two-room Flexi Scheme opted for shorter leases, the Housing Board said on Sunday.  Around 2,100 – or 85 per cent – of those aged 55 and above chose leases shorter than the usual 99 years. The most popular option was the 40-year lease, with 697 bookings. This was followed by 35- and 30-year leases, with 559 and 344 bookings respectively, according to the HDB.

MOM stops work on Braddell flyover
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued a stop-work order against Feng Ming Construction (FMC), the main contractor of the Braddell Road flyover project, after a random spot check on Feb 23.  This means the completion date for the flyover project, designed to ease congestion around Braddell Road, will be pushed back from end-March.  In a reply to The Straits Times, an MOM spokesman said: “MOM discovered that shoring was not provided at excavated areas when required and the excavation (works) were not constructed in accordance with the professional engineer’s design.

Companies’ Brief

Ascott Reit to raise S$442.7m to buy three properties
Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) has launched a fully underwritten renounceable rights issue to raise S$442.7 million, which will be used to buy two properties in Germany and one property in Singapore.  Announcing this in a press statement last evening, Ascott Reit said the funds will be used partly to buy two properties in Germany from The Ascott Limited (Ascott) for 65.4 million euros (S$97.2 million), while the remaining S$381.6 million will be used to buy Ascott Orchard Singapore.

CDL strengthens its foothold in Chongqing
City Developments Limited (CDL) has gained a strong foothold in Chongqing with two new properties in the Chinese city.  In a statement to the media, the group said its newly launched Eling Residences and a second development, Huang Huayuan, stand CDL in good stead to benefit from the continual collaborative efforts between Singapore and Chongqing.  Perched on the highest plateau of Eling Hill, the luxury 126-unit Eling Residences is centrally located in the middle of the Yuzhong Peninsula. It is 15 minutes away from the central business district.

Lian Beng secures S$435m construction contract, its biggest so far
Construction and property group Lian Beng has clinched its biggest-ever construction contract – of about S$435 million.  In a news release on Monday evening, the group said its wholly owned subsidiary, Lian Beng Construction (1988), was awarded the contract by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) to build a high-rise multi-user industrial complex along Kim Chuan Road in the Defu South area.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Tight housing market could spur construction

Prime London office values may fall 20% this year on Brexit

Chinese cities with rising home prices need to boost land supply: PM Li

China to acquire 13 Oceanus abalone farms for urban planning

China confirms 7% hike in 2017 defence budget

Chinese Property Investors Could Exit U.S. as Asia Beckons

No Relief for Hong Kong Tycoons Riled by High Chinese Land Bids

Beijiing to maintain exchange rate policy framework

RBA may leave rates on hold as Sydney house prices soar

Emaar chairman hopes for better year after tough 2016

Four Lotte retail stores closed after ‘inspections’

BOJ faces call to release handbrake, let longer yields rise

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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