ADB poised to meet new development challenges: Swee Keat
Asian countries have made good progress in development over the last 50 years, but new needs and challenges have surfaced. These call for new solutions and new ways of delivering them, which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is poised to do, noted Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last Saturday. Mr Heng was speaking at the ADB’s annual meeting in Yokohama, Japan. The event coincides with the ADB’s 50th anniversary.
Singapore Real Estate
Lum Chang snags first en bloc site this year for S$65m
The price translates to a land rate of S$1,664 per square foot (psf), based on the site area of 3,629.1 sq m (39,063 sq ft). The option to purchase all 13 strata units and common areas in the residential property was exercised on Friday by Lum Chang Auriga Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the group. The transaction is subject to approval by the Strata Titles Board. Owners at One Tree Hill Gardens are expected to receive between S$4.3 million and S$9.1 million in gross sale proceeds.
No plans yet to redevelop Southern Islands: SLA
There are no immediate plans to redevelop the Southern Islands, said the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in response to queries from The Straits Times. Singapore’s southern islands – which include St John’s, Kusu, Lazarus and the Sisters’ Islands – remain relatively unspoilt and are popular for day trips. They are zoned for sports and recreation or open space under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014.
Prime sites lined up for residential development
More homes could eventually be built in sought-after areas such as Tanglin Road and Paterson Road in the city, with some rare sites earmarked for future residential use. The most eye-catching are the former Ministry of Home Affairs Phoenix Park site in Tanglin Road, and the former Overseas Family School plot in Paterson Road, near Orchard Road. These sites have been returned to the Government, or have been put to temporary alternative use.
Views sought on changes to Property Tax Act
The Ministry of Finance is inviting public feedback on three proposed changes to the Property Tax Act. In one proposed change, the Act will be amended so that taxpayers who wish to continue receiving hard copies of their property tax notices can opt out, while others will receive electronic tax notices for greater convenience, security and timeliness. Currently, property taxpayers must give their specific consent before they can opt for digital notices.
Goodbye to Jubilee Hall in Raffles Hotel makeover
Jubilee Hall, the Victorian-style theatre playhouse which opened in 1991 after the Raffles Hotel’s last makeover, is bowing out. When the hotel’s ongoing restoration is completed mid-next year, the arts venue at the Arcade extension will be transformed into a wedding dinner venue – as a grand ballroom that will be able to host 300 people under its high ceiling.
Hotel industry’s prospects bright, say Park Hotel and RB Capital
The outlook for the hotel industry is bright, with rates for upscale rooms going higher amid healthy occupancy, according to the Park Hotel Group. The company, which is opening a new hotel at the Farrer Square mixed development in Farrer Park on May 15, expects to raise room rates by nearly 5 per cent on average this year.
Changi’s T4 to have heritage zone and 80 outlets to eat and shop
When Changi Airport opens Terminal 4 later this year, travellers and visitors will be able to eat and shop at more than 80 outlets – about a quarter of which are new to the airport. The outlets include home-grown footwear label Pazzion, British retailer WHSmith, and Tiger’s Den – which serves bar food and light snacks – as well as Treasures Yi Dian Xin by Imperial Treasure, which serves dim sum.
Tee International to sell 37.2% stake in associate CMC Infocomm for S$5.37m
Tee International said on Monday it has agreed to sell a 37.21 per cent stake in associate CMC Infocomm (CMCI) to Yinda Pte Ltd for S$5.37 million. CMCI is listed on Singapore’s Catalist board. The sale and purchase agreement was entered into on Friday. After the sale of 56.55 million shares, Tee International will still be left with 7.45 million CMCI shares, and CMCI will cease to be an associate company of Tee International.
OUE posts 85% surge in Q1 profit
OUE reported an 85 per cent surge in net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 to S$15.4 million on the back of stronger revenue, reversal of impairment losses on OUE Twin Peaks and lower finance expenses. Its revenue of S$196.3 million, a 60 per cent jump from a year ago, was bolstered by strong contributions from both the property development and property investments divisions.
DPU for OUE Commercial Reit slips 6.8% in Q1
OUE Commercial Reit (real estate investment trust) reported a strong performance for its properties in the first quarter. Distribution per unit slipped 6.8 per cent to 1.23 cents for the three months to March 31, compared with the same period a year earlier. The amount available for distribution dipped 2.3 per cent to $16.6 million, owing to prudent measures regarding China-sourced profits from Lippo Plaza in Shanghai.
Ascott to open first Citadines serviced residence in US
The Ascott Limited, property developer CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence arm, has bought a property on New York’s Fifth Avenue and plans to invest “close to” US$50 million in it, CapitaLand said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday morning. Ascott will renovate the operating 125-unit Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York at 15 West 45th Street and rebrand it as Citadines Fifth Avenue New York in 2018.
FLT Q1 DPU marginally above forecast
Being granted an exemption for a tax levy in Australia helped industrial landlord Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust (FLT) post results that were slightly above forecast in its fiscal first quarter. The trust, which listed in June 2016, recorded a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.75 Singapore cents for the quarter, more than the projected 1.64 Singapore cents.
Roxy-Pacific Q1 net profit down 40%
Roxy-Pacific Holdings on Friday posted a 40 per cent decrease in net profit to S$5.91 million for its first quarter ended March 31. This came on the back of a 36 per cent fall in revenue to S$65.43 million, down from S$102.98 million a year ago – due mainly to lower contribution from the property development and hotel ownership segments.
Millennium & Copthorne posts strong revenue in Q1, Singapore RevPAR slips marginally
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) posted its first quarter results for the three months to March 31 on Friday (May 5), with revenue per available room (RevPAR) rising 17.7 per cent to £70.66 (S$127.37) during the period, and total revenue improving 16.1 per cent to £223 million.
Property firms buy hotels in Manchester, NY
Singapore real estate companies are heading West to buy hospitality assets. Developer CDL has acquired a luxury hotel in Manchester popular with the city’s United football stars, while CapitaLand has landed a prime property in New York’s Fifth Avenue through its serviced residence arm The Ascott. The Manchester deal – undertaken by CDL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust and CDL Hospitality Business Trust – involved paying £52.9 million (S$96 million) for The Lowry Hotel.
Capital World slips on Catalist debut
Malaysian property developer Capital World slipped on its debut on the Catalist board on Friday, its shares having lost 7.14 per cent or S$0.014 to close at S$0.182 apiece. Capital World opened at S$0.198. It listed by a reverse takeover (RTO) of marble company Terratech Group. The Johor-based company has a market value of more than S$250 million. It is developing a shopping mall in Johor Baru called Capital 21 and a wellness hub in Perak, Singapore Exchange (SGX) said in a press release.
Views, Reviews & Forum
Condo buyers need better protection
The report on issues faced by the home owners of Austville Residences executive condominium (Austville residents seeking compensation for alleged defects; May 1) is timely, and highlights the concerns of new condo buyers. Buyers are often faced with the problem of determining what constitutes misrepresentation by developers, especially on features in the common areas, as well as on what constitutes real defects.
Hidden costs drive up rent, price smaller shops out of Orchard
Editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang hit the nail on the head with his balanced and succinct piece on the problems facing Singapore’s most famous street (What’s special about Orchard Road?; April 30). However, he seems to have missed a point – hidden costs that translate indirectly to the myriad woes we face now in Orchard Road and other shopping areas in Singapore.
Lessons from the Sabana Reit saga
As an asset class, real estate investment trusts (Reits) have done so well in the past decade that investors could not go wrong by taking wagers on them. According to some estimates, Reits have enjoyed an average compounded annual return of 10 per cent over the past five years, assuming that the dividends were reinvested. This makes them far better as investments than keeping money in the bank, which attracts close-to-zero interest rates.
Reviving Orchard Road
This week’s topic: Should Orchard Road become totally and permanently vehicle-free? How else might Singapore bring the buzz back to its premier shopping belt – and more broadly to the retail industry?
Global Economy & Global Real Estate
Most US homes worth less than before the crash
NY Residential Reit seeks US$50m to buy costly Manhattan apartments
Brooklyn’s hip, its office supply is rising, but big Manhattan tenants still not biting
US unemployment rate drops to 10-year low of 4.4%
Asean PMI up on higher global demand, stronger domestic markets
IWH, China Railway consortium rejects TRX’s termination of Bandar Malaysia deal
Chinese deals in Malaysia under scrutiny
Shanghai tightens supervision over property market, moots sales lottery
Hainan’s US$3b injection to turn itself into medical tourism hotspot
Investors rush to develop rental housing as China’s home prices surge
Chinese firms harbour doubts over Malaysian port projects
Toronto April home price gains slow, new listings increase
Walton International in creditor protection
Irish mortgage drawdowns improve 40% in first quarter
Outcry over plan to raze Soviet-era flats in Moscow
Indonesia records 5.01% growth in Q1 on higher prices of commodities
Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate
Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article