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 September 2017

Top Story

HDB widens use of prefab to hit building productivity targets
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Wednesday announced new initiatives that will enable it to chalk up a 25 per cent improvement in construction productivity in the decade between 2010 and 2020.  To get there, it plans to – by 2019 – fit all new HDB flats with bathroom units pre-assembled off-site. These prefabricated bathroom units (PBUs) will be kitted out with copper piping, partial tiling, window frames and waterproofing systems, and then transported to the work site, where they will be hoisted onto the blocks for installation.

Singapore Economy

Singapore economy expected to grow by 3.1% in Q3: economists
Private sector economists expect Singapore’s economy to grow by 3.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, according to a poll of economists and analysts by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).  For the full-year of 2017, the analysts maintained their growth forecast of Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.5 per cent, unchanged from the previous survey.

Roadmap to vibrant ecosystem for Singapore’s wholesale trade sector
Singapore’s wholesale industry is shifting gear to create a vibrant ecosystem with clear targets, its own digital marketplaces and robust talent pipeline.  The Wholesale Trade Industry Transformation Map (ITM) – the eighth to be launched so far out of a total of 23 – will help companies digitalise to enhance global growth and productivity, and aims to create 10,000 new jobs by 2020.

Singapore faces double whammy in labour supply: Study
Singapore has the most to fear from an ageing population among Asia-Pacific nations, according to a new study.  It noted yesterday that the country faces a double whammy: a shrinking workforce coupled with slower progress than its Asian neighbours in getting more people into the labour market.  The report by Oxford Economics said Singapore’s labour supply will shrink by 1.7 percentage point in the 10 years through 2026, and by 2.5 percentage points in the following decade, after accounting for changes to the participation rate.

Singapore among top 10 places to live and work for expats: Survey
Singapore edged into the top 10 in a list of good places to live and work for expatriates, while reputations of the United States and United Kingdom are in free fall among some of the world’s most mobile and cosmopolitan people.  The Expat Insider survey – conducted each year by InterNations – ranked Singapore on the ninth spot in this year’s list, a jump of four places from 2016. Regional rival Hong Kong was on 39th spot, while Taiwan slipped to No. 4 from top spot last year.

Months of dry runs wind down at Changi’s T4 ahead of Oct 31 debut
Major trials to fine-tune operations at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 have been held in the run-up to its launch on Oct 31.  The first flights to arrive and depart from the terminal, which has been fitted with new technologies and systems, will be operated by Cathay Pacific. Flight CX659 from Hong Kong will touch down at Changi at 5.40am that day, and flight CX650 will make the return journey at 6.50am.

Singapore Real Estate

One-stop centre to help S’pore startups ace it abroad
Startups can now get more support for their plans to expand internationally, with the setting up of the ACE International Centre (ACEIC).  The one-stop centre, launched on Wednesday and located at the JTC LaunchPad @one-north, will provide local startups with resources, advice and access to new networks and markets; it will also help global startups leverage local networks to find investment, tech and business opportunities in Singapore.

Church buys Elite Building in collective sale
Elite Building, a freehold six-storey property near Aljunied MRT Station, has been sold through a collective sale for S$52 million to The Tabernacle Church and Missions Limited.  The price works out to S$1,242 per square foot based on the existing gross floor area of 41,866 sq ft.  Completed about two decades ago, Elite Building comes with 19 carpark lots in the basement. It has a 60-metre-long frontage along Aljunied Road.

Reits, banks hit in weak session
There were no real surprises on Wednesday as the Straits Times Index (STI) dropped 18.79 points to 3,232.47 in response to Wall Street’s large overnight fall that came about because of concerns over the North Korea situation and the US government’s debt ceiling.  What was surprising however, was a large sell-off in real estate investment trusts (Reits) which saw 18 of the top 20 actives close lower. As a result, the FTSE FT Reit index recorded a 0.83 per cent drop. According to market watchers, the Reit sell-off was a reaction to a proposed rights issue by Cache Logistics Trust which comes a few days after Manulife US Reit also announced a rights issue.

Companies’ Brief

US real estate investment firm plans US$500 million IPO in Singapore, Keppel tie-up: Report
An American real-estate investment firm is planning to raise about US$500 million (S$675 million) via a Singapore initial public offering of some of its US office assets, according to a report.  California-based KBS Realty Advisers is said to be in talks with the asset-management arm of Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp to form a joint venture that they plan to list as a real-estate investment trust later this year (2017).

CapitaLand boosts presence in Indonesia
CapitaLand remains bullish about Indonesia’s growth prospects and is further building up its presence there with a S$74.3 million investment through its wholly-owned serviced residence business unit.  The group is acquiring on a turnkey basis a 192-unit serviced residence, Ascott Surdirman Jakarta, through The Ascott Limited’s (Ascott) global serviced residence fund with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

Heeton-led consortium begins first phase of regeneration scheme in Leeds
A consortium led by Heeton Holdings has started the first phase of a new regeneration scheme at Bridge Street in Leeds.  The scheme will create a sustainable urban destination on the 2.45-acre site at the city centre that was once occupied by British Gas prior to their relocation to Holbeck.

HPL subsidiary to buy land to build luxury hotel in Republic of Palau
Hotel Properties Limited said on Wednesday that its subsidiary, HPL Properties (Pacific Ocean) Pte Ltd (HPLPPO), has incorporated a wholly owned unit to acquire land at US$8.5 million to develop a luxury hotel in the Republic of Palau.

Emerging Towns & Cities Singapore raises effective interest in Yangon Golden City project
Catalist-listed Emerging Towns & Cities Singapore (ETC) has proposed to acquire a 17 per cent stake in Uni Global Power (UGP) for US$11.9 million through the issuance of 179.1 million new shares at S$0.09 apiece.  The price of the new shares represents a premium of 5.9 per cent over the last closing price of S$0.085 a share.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US home refinancing activity hits 11-week high

NYC landlords that can’t find buyers turn to borrowing instead

Retrofitting a Long Island lighthouse for a second act

HK to launch ‘starter homes’ for those priced out of private housing

Shenzhen economy set to outshine HK’s

Vancouver home sales surge a year after foreign buyers tax

Malaysia’s July exports up 31%, led again by manufactured goods

Buildings too antiquated to use, too grand to demolish

Aussie economy rebounds in Q2 amid infrastructure spree

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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