The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 5th, 6th and 7th May 2018

Singapore Economy

Openness, connectivity remain key to success: Chan Chun Sing
In his first public speech as Minister for Trade and Industry, former labour chief Chan Chun Sing stressed Singapore’s commitment to free trade and connectivity, highlighted its pro-business stance and openness to talent, and reiterated the hope for an eventual trade pact between the European Union (EU) and Asean.

The digital economy challenge for Asean
There are many challenges remaining before the Asean economies are able to embrace the digital economy, a report put out by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) noted.  However if the region can do so successfully, it can reap substantial productivity gains.  In its recent Macroeconomic Review, MAS issued a special report on the digital economy of Asean.

Any trade war would affect all economies in Asean: Heng
All of South-east Asia’s economies would be hit if a trade war erupts among the world’s largest economies, said Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.  “The fact that Asean is much more integrated provides some buffer. But we cannot escape the negative effects of a trade war simply because the global economy is so much more integrated now. Any action will affect all of us,” he added.

More soured loans in South-east Asia to whet appetite of private investors
The stacking pile of distressed debt in South-east Asia could lure more private investors to circle the region for alternative assets, consultants told The Business Times.  Distressed debt is expected to grow further amid greater stresses expected from structural constraints in certain sectors. Further pressure could come from the broader trend of monetary tightening after a decade of extraordinary economic stimulus.


Singapore Real Estate

How to go en bloc
Singapore netted S$8.7 billion from 27 residential and 3 industrial and commercial collective sale sites in 2017, and the frenzy continues into this year with an estimated S$5.83 billion from 17 residential collective sale deals in the first quarter.

5 top office Reits deliver minus 3.2% return in 2018
The five largest office real estate investment trusts (Reits) on the local bourse with assets in Singapore have brought home an average negative total return of 3.2 per cent year-to-date as of May 3.  This brings their one-year and three-year total returns to 14.3 per cent and 21.8 per cent respectively. They maintain a 5.6 per cent average distribution yield.

CSC Land sells 85% of Twin Vew units on launch weekend
CSC Land Group saw a “strong response” at the weekend launch of Twin Vew in West Coast Vale, the Chinese developer’s head honcho has said.  Buyers snapped up 442 of the condominium’s 520 apartments – including four of its six penthouses – for a take-up rate of 85 per cent.  They coughed up an average sales price of S$1,399 per sq ft (psf) for the 99-year leasehold development, which is expected to be ready by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Buyers with HDB addresses acquiring taste for pricier condos
HDB dwellers appear to be acquiring an appetite for pricier homes in recent years, with a caveats analysis by OrangeTee & Tie showing that the increase was led by luxury home purchases worth at least S$5 million.  It said the proportion of private condos bought by those with HDB addresses in the price range below S$1 million fell from 97 per cent in 2003 to 37 per cent in Q1 2018.

Reitas picks new president and spells out plans to engage regulators
Among the issues the Reit Association of Singapore (Reitas) hopes to bring up with various regulators is that of lifting the gearing cap for Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (S-Reits).  Other issues it plans to address are the consolidating of all guidelines governing S-Reits into a single rule book, and getting clarity on lease top-ups for older industrial properties.


Companies’ Brief

Straits Real Estate eyes adaptive China retail
Straits Real Estate (SRE), a subsidiary of Straits Trading Company (STC), is exploring more investments in China’s retail scene, seemingly undeterred by the explosive growth of e-commerce there.  This is because it finds that offline sales, including sales at shopping centres, have continued to expand despite the online competition, and Chinese retailers have in fact adapted quickly to changing consumer needs by reinventing themselves with new offerings.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels’ Q1 profit doubles to £26m
London-listed Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) posted a profit before tax of £26 million (S$46.92 million) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018, double that of the same period a year ago in constant currency terms.  The rise in profit was helped by a gain of £3 million from the disposal of Mercure Brisbane and Ibis Brisbane, both owned by CDL Hospitality Trust (CDLHT).

Keppel DC Reit to raise $303m from private placement to acquire Jurong data centre
Keppel DC Reit announced on Monday (May 7) it is seeking to raise some $303.1 million in a private placement to pay for the acquisition of a new data centre.  The Reit (real estate investment trust) is looking to place 224 million new shares at $1.353 apiece, which is a 4.9 per cent discount to the volume-weighted average price of $1.4220 per share for trades last done on the Singapore Exchange on May 4.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Prime heritage play
A Niche market often bypassed by real estate investors due to its specific guidelines on use, the prime conservation shophouse market in Singapore’s city core has been buzzing with activity of late. Shophouses in the CBD and Chinatown (the old postal districts 1 and 2) have seen increased transaction activity, along with price appreciation since the second half of last year.

Going en bloc: The long road for Pine Grove Condo
Residents of Pine Grove near Ulu Pandan Road have been trying – and failing – for 10 years to hit the collective-sale jackpot, but this time, they may just make it.  The signs look more favourable now than they did in 2008 and 2011, when owners at the 660-unit development fell short. This time they are making fast progress at reaching the required approval of 80 per cent, with 75 per cent reached in just seven months. Reaching 80 per cent took a year in 2011.

Address growing price gap in HDB resale, private homes
The price gap between Housing Board resale flats and private homes is widening, with no sign of abating.  HDB resale flat prices are falling, with the constant supply of new public housing units and the Government’s announcement that not all old HDB flats will be eligible for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme.  In contrast, private home prices are rising steadily, helped along by strong collective sales and bullish bids put in by developers.

Govt must not shy away from regulating apartment sizes
It saddens me to see some people in Hong Kong living in such poor conditions (City of shrinking homes; April 24).  This is a classic case of a rich-poor divide that tears the social fabric when it is not managed immediately.  I am afraid Singapore may be heading in that direction, as we start to see more developers shrinking apartments to sizes that are barely conducive for even small families.

Short-term rental benefits a vocal minority
I disagree with the suggestion that Singapore should find ways of legally accommodating the Airbnb phenomenon (Short-term home stays need rules; April 20).  First, we should recognise that the overriding purpose of short-term rentals is not any idealistic notion of enriching the visitor experience or to facilitate a “taste of authentic life”.  Tourists almost always choose Airbnb-style lodgings because they are significantly cheaper than the prevailing market rate of other accommodations.

Don’t ignore disruptive force of home-sharing
The outcome of any decision to allow short-term rentals at private condominiums will be a one-size-fits-all approach, whether or not this hurdle is passed with a minimum 80 per cent vote or a unanimous one (URA right to let residents decide on home-sharing, by Mr Yew Chii Ming; April 26).  The former situation does not benefit the minority, who must either live with the consequences of home-sharing at their estate against their wishes, or sell their property and move out.

A new pace for Singapore’s manufacturing sector
After a heady run last year, Singapore’s manufacturing sector seems to have settled into a more moderate pace of expansion, one in line with both public-and private-sector economists’ expectations.  Manufacturers recorded their 20th straight month of growth last month, according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index out last Wednesday.  The index polls about 150 industrial companies.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US dollar hits 2018 high despite weaker jobs data

Deal reached to sell New York’s Plaza Hotel for US$600 million

New York’s Plaza Hotel to go global after US$600m sale, says new buyer

Nearly a third of UK homebuyers fail to get best mortgages, says watchdog

Expect more difficult and long negotiations in China-US trade talks

China and US reach some deals in trade row, but Beijing says big sticking points remain

China’s gambling fever is stoking Manila’s property boom

Vonovia offers 9.56b Swedish crowns for Sweden’s Victoria Park

Foreigners snapping up Bangkok luxury condos


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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