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 2018

Top Story

Singapore Budget 2018: Built-environment sector to get leg-up from research funds and Build-SG office
Plans are afoot to raise the capabilities of local construction players by roping in industry and the research community to help transform the built-environment (BE) sector through research funds and helping local firms to internationalise.  The Ministry of National Development (MND) and its partner agencies will launch a series of calls for research ideas under the “Cities of Tomorrow R&D” programme over the next few months, committing up to S$40 million in research funds.


Singapore Economy

A nationwide e-invoice system to link them all
If a nationwide e-invoicing system that will be rolled out soon succeeds, it will cut costs for businesses, boost productivity, speed up payments, access new financing options and reduce errors.  For that to be achieved, business owners need to get onboard, and there must be integration with currently fragmented service providers, industry players say.

Singapore Budget 2018: Govt to trim rate of late payment to business vendors
The government aims to bring down its rate of late payment to business vendors to below 5 per cent on average, down from the current 6.5 per cent, said Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Tuesday.  She said that the government processes an average of two million payments to more than 23,000 companies annually.


Singapore Real Estate

Bigger supply of HDB flats with shorter waiting time
To help more young couples buy their first home, the Housing Board will double the number of flats it offers in 2019 to shorten their waiting time.  It will also let them apply for a flat and defer the assessment of their income for the unit to nearer the time they collect the keys. This would let them get their flats earlier while they build up their finances, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday.

Regular checks on facades of older buildings soon
Regular checks on the facade of older buildings will soon be introduced, with legislative changes due to take place by year end.  The rules will apply to buildings that are more than 20 years old, and higher than 13m – about the height of three storeys. Under the proposed new rules, inspections will take place every seven years. There are now no requirements for building owners to inspect facades.


Companies’ Brief

Airbnb hopes for official role in S’pore
Home-sharing service Airbnb is open to discussing with the Government ways to collect hotel and tourism taxes from its hosts, ahead of a consultation paper setting out a regulatory framework for short-term home sharing to be released by next month, said a top executive.  Since 2014, Airbnb has remitted over US$300 million ($396 million) in hotel and tourist taxes globally.

Yoma makes push into Myanmar’s financial services market
Myanmar-focused Yoma Strategic Holdings is making a push into a “fourth pillar” of business – financial services – with plans to acquire a big share of the country’s leading mobile payment provider.  The mainboard-listed company announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire a 34 per cent stake in Digital Money Myanmar Co Ltd (Wave Money) from an associate company, First Myanmar Investment Company Limited (FMI), for US$19.4 million. FMI’s controlling shareholder is Yoma’s executive chairman and Burmese tycoon Serge Pun.


Views, Reviews & Forum

Two forward-looking Budgets with a difference
Singapore unveiled its Budget on Feb 19, and Hong Kong tabled its Budget for debate on Feb 28.  Their economies are similar in terms of size, growth rate and structure. Both economies have gross domestic product (GDP) of about US$300 billion (S$396 billion), and growth rates are 3.6 per cent for Singapore and 3.8 per cent for Hong Kong for the financial year 2017-18 (FY 2017). The services industry accounts for 70 per cent of GDP in both cities.

Glut of HDB resale flats may not materialise
Mr Ku Swee Yong made an interesting case about the impact of Singapore’s ageing population on public housing (Prepare for supply avalanche as ageing HDB flat owners die; March 5).  After these Housing Board flat owners die, their flats may be inherited by their beneficiaries. Mr Ku said that since most of the beneficiaries would already be HDB flat owners, they would not be allowed to inherit the flats from their deceased parents under current rules, leading to an escalation in the number of flats put up for resale.

Proper uses of a ‘rainy day’ fund
Lax control over a nation’s reserves, as over hard-gained personal savings, would be ruinous. A nest egg is meant to see one through abnormal times – the proverbial rainy day. By definition, such times, like a natural calamity, war or financial crisis, cannot be predicted. The damage they cause can be foretold even less. Hence, precise rules on how to use reserves cannot be drafted.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Manhattan apartment sales plummet in January to 2012 low

US economy at risk of rationally irrational exuberance

Can the US afford a trade war?

Amazon tours Washington, Maryland and Virginia in search for new HQ

EU plans to hit back if Trump imposes his tariffs

11 nations set to sign revamped TPP deal amid trade war fears

Trump name stripped from Panama hotel in property dispute

China counting on consumer spending to drive growth

Chinese owner to offload its majority stake in troubled House of Fraser

China developer Sunac flags strong 2017 profit


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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