The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 8th March 2016

Top Stories

Global economic uncertainty to last for next 3-5 years: Hng Kiang
SINGAPORE’S government expects global economic uncertainty to weigh on the country’s growth until the end of the decade, and it is ready to provide more help when necessary, said Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang.
Even so, the government continues to fashion Singapore’s external environment through trade agreements, and is making efforts to help companies and specific sectors to overcome challenges.

Singapore Economy

Sectoral, company-level help to tackle economic challenges: Iswaran
CURRENT challenges require the government to come up with sectoral measures, even as help is rendered to individual companies to help them grow, said Minister for Industry S Iswaran.  Replying on Thursday to questions from Members of Parliament about the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI) plans for expenditure in financial year 2016, Mr Iswaran detailed how the Industry Transformation Programme (ITP) can work hand-in-hand with other measures that help at the company level.

Budget 2016: Businesses must take next step
Despite the gloomy economic outlook, Singapore is not only persevering with its restructuring plans but also entering a new, more advanced stage of the game.  The Government embarked on its economic restructuring journey in 2010 by urging local businesses to raise their productivity and take the first steps towards innovation, research and development, and automation.  But five years on, it is signalling that it is time to take things to the next level.  This was clear from Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Budget speech on March 24, in which he announced that the broad-based Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme, aimed at encouraging companies to take that first step, will end soon.

Singapore Real Estate

SRX’s HDB resale price index continues flattish performance
IN A further sign of stability setting in the public housing resale market, SRX Property’s flash estimates for March 2016 showed prices continuing their flattish performance, amid a 37.6 per cent month-on-month jump in the number of Housing and Development Board flats resold to 1,651 last month.  The marginal 0.1 per cent month-on-month drop in SRX’s overall HDB resale price index in March follows a 0.2 per cent gain in February.

OUE dangles 15% discount for Twin Peaks condo
OUE’S latest marketing campaign for its high-end condominium project Twin Peaks has caught the attention of market players – for the steep discounts of 15 per cent off the price list and for its creative schemes.  Reflecting its sense of urgency, OUE has engaged five marketing agencies for the project – PropNex, CBRE, Savills, Centaline Property and SLP International.  With the tantalising discounts, prices now start at S$2,300 per square foot (psf) for selected “star-buy” units on the lower floors of this District 9 development at the junction of Leonie Hill Road and Grange Road.

CBD office rents fall for third straight quarter
OFFICE rents in Singapore’s central business district (CBD) declined 3.9 per cent in the first quarter of the year from the previous quarter – their third straight quarterly drop – as concerns over a global economic slowdown dampened demand for office space.  Office rents fell to S$9.90 per square foot (psf) per month in Q1, according to DTZ Southeast Asia, which expects them to continue falling due to weak demand and substantial office space coming onstream.

Digestible plot size helps draw bids for Sembawang Park site tender
A RELATIVELY small land size, affordable lumpsum investment and the absence of competition in the locale helped a 99-year leasehold private housing site near Sembawang Park to attract nine bids at a state tender that closed on Thursday.  The top bid was also slightly above the higher end of market expectations. Tuan Sing Holdings’ fully-owned unit Dillenia Land placed the highest bid of S$51.07 million, which works out to S$481 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Property consultants had earlier predicted a winning bid of up to S$470 psf ppr for the 0.7-hectare site along Jalan Kandis.

GIC buys 25% of French property firm
SINGAPORE sovereign wealth fund GIC said on Thursday that its affiliate has bought a 25 per cent stake in CeGeREAL at 35.65 euros per share from Northwood Investors, a privately held global real estate investment and management firm.  The transaction values the French property management firm at 476.73 million euros (S$732.7 million) based on the total number of shares at the end of 2015. After the sale, Northwood’s entities will hold in concert 57.48 per cent of CeGeREAL.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Property needs both valuation models
I REFER to the article “SISV rejects computer-generated valuations” (BT, April 7).  I completely agree with SISV officials that there is a role for physical inspections and human expertise in the final pricing of property, mortgage underwriting, and the protection of any investment.  Indeed, SRX Property specifically created V-8 Full Valuation System to exceed SISV valuation guidelines and practices, and make valuations more accessible, affordable, fast and transparent to individual consumers – so that they too can enjoy the same type of inspections, valuer expertise and legal protections that deep-pocketed institutions and other property insiders currently enjoy.

Mortgage planning: Investment vs own-use property
It is only a little more than a year to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) deadline for the refinancing of investment property that many are still not aware of. While there is no end-date for the exemption of the 60 per cent Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) threshold for the refinancing of own-use property as long as it is bought before June 29, 2013, this exemption expires on June 30, 2017, for investment property.  What this means is that after June next year, investors who are still unable to bring their TDSR down to within 60 per cent of their monthly income will not be allowed to refinance their loan at better rates, even if they are willing to pay down a small portion of their outstanding loan. Currently, most banks do allow for refinancing by making use of the MAS exemption and requiring investors to pay down 3 per cent of the outstanding loan before taking over.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Croesus Retail acquiring mall in Hiroshima

Bulk buyers of apartments in London getting 20% discounts

Manhattan renters get a break after two years of surging costs

Inside the Stunning, Luxury Homes of Architect Annabelle Selldorf

UK home prices surge but Halifax flags Brexit uncertainty

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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