The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29, 30 Apr & 1 May 2023 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate


Retail space rents fall by 0.3%, vacancy rate rises to 7.6%: URA
Retail rents fell by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, a smaller dip compared to the 1.1 per cent decrease in Q4 2022, data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed. On Friday (Apr 28), URA said prices for retail space in the central region fell by 0.9 per cent, following a 2.1 per cent decrease in the previous quarter.


Singapore hotels’ average room rate slips to 7-month low in March; overall revenue rises
Singapore hotels’ average room rate (ARR), revenue per available room (RevPAR) and occupancy rates dipped in March, after February data recorded recovery from January’s falls. Overall room revenue, however, rose to the highest since November 2022, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) data showed on Friday (Apr 28).


Three-quarters of Blossoms by the Park in Buona Vista snapped up despite cooling measures
Two days after new property curbs kicked in to raise additional stamp duties for some home buyers, a development in Buona Vista sold more than 200 of its 275 units at its launch on Saturday.


Blossoms By The Park: China buyers pick up 4 units despite doubling in foreigner ABSD rate to 60%
Eight of the 198 apartments that EL Development sold at the launch of its 275-unit Blossoms By The Park project on Saturday (Apr 29) were bought by foreigners. Buyers from China picked up four apartments – either two-bedroom units or two-bedroom-with-study units; they will have to pay the 60 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) rate that kicked in on Apr 27 for foreign buyers of any residential property here.


Investors who exploit ABSD loopholes have more to lose than gain
The investigation into property investors who used the 99-to-1 loophole to avoid the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) has brought into sharp focus other seemingly legitimate ways that investors are using to dodge this levy.


Commentary: Reintroducing some form of inheritance tax could help address wealth inequality in Singapore
Singapore: Singapore seems to be doubling down on wealth taxes, with a new round of property cooling measures that apply from Thursday (Apr 27) arguably a form of indirect wealth tax even if they are intended as an anti-speculative measure.


Demand causes rents for some 5-room HDB flats to soar to over $6,000
Singapore has unseated New York as the city with the strongest rental growth globally, after the costs of renting homes here hit a record high in March. The hike even spilt to the Housing Board market, with some five-room flats in Ang Mo Kio and Cantonment Road scoring record monthly rents of over $6,000 a month.


More streamlined process to buying HDB flats from May 9
Singapore – From May 9, potential buyers of Housing Board flats just need to make a single application to get a letter informing them if they are eligible to buy a new or resale flat, how much in Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants they can use and how much HDB housing loan they qualify for.


Money Talks: Why a BTO flat is the top choice for young home buyers
Singapore: Almost every other week, property agent Jooann Tay, 34, meets clients who have failed in their bid to secure a Built-to-Order (BTO) flat. After many unsuccessful attempts, these couples have now turned to the HDB resale market. “They have given up on that (BTO) dream,” says Ms Tay.



Singapore Economy


Singapore still has ‘archaic ideas’ about skills-based jobs, says President Halimah
Although there are greater efforts to recognise workers with technical skills, Singapore needs to move faster on this front, said President Halimah Yacob in her annual May Day message on Saturday (Apr 29).


While ‘cautiously optimistic’ about growth, Singapore must support those hit by headwinds: PM Lee
Singapore can be “cautiously optimistic” about its economic prospects this year, with slowing growth but no outright contraction, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. But facing external risks and disruptive technological change, the country must adapt “while doing all we can to buffer those adversely affected”.


Singapore manufacturers, services firms slightly more upbeat about outlook for next 6 months
Singapore manufacturers and services firms appear slightly more upbeat about business conditions in the next six months compared to the previous quarter, separate quarterly surveys showed on Friday (Apr 28).


Singapore retrenchments rise for 3rd straight quarter, unemployment stays low
Singapore — Retrenchments in Singapore rose for the third consecutive quarter though unemployment rates remained low amid robust hiring demand. According to advance labour market estimates released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday (April 28), the number of retrenchments continued to grow, hitting 4,000 in the first quarter of 2023 and up from 1,300 and 2,900 in the previous two quarters.


Demand for strategy, tech-related consulting could fall amid downturn: analysts
Demand for strategy and technology-related consulting services could fall as businesses reduce growth plans and tighten budgets amid economic weakness, said market watchers. But conversely, weak conditions could spur demand for advisory on operations management, restructuring and insolvency. Longer-term demand also remains in areas such as environmental, social and governance (ESG).


Rise in number of Singapore companies being wound up
Singapore – The sputtering economy here and overseas as well as rising interest rates are taking their toll on local firms, with an increasing number of companies shuttered.



Companies’ Brief


GIC buys six Japan logistics assets from Blackstone for more than US$800m
GIC will pay over US$800 million for six logistics facilities in Japan from global asset manager Blackstone, both parties said on Friday (Apr 28). The move will expand the Singapore state investor’s exposure to logistics assets and provide stable and diversified income streams with attractive growth potential, said GIC chief investment officer Goh Chin Kiong.


Ex-chief of defence force Melvyn Ong to be permanent secretary for defence development at Mindef
Singapore – Former chief of defence force Melvyn Ong will be appointed permanent secretary for defence development at the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) from June 1, the Public Service Division said on Friday.



Views, Reviews, Forum and Others


Commentary: COVID-19 vaccine deaths a reminder that benefits of vaccination must outweigh risks of side effects
Singapore: It was just three years ago that countries around the world, including Singapore, resorted to circuit breakers and lockdowns to attempt to stem the surge of COVID-19 cases and strains on healthcare systems.


‘Haphazard parking, speeding’: Some condos ban or restrict access to food delivery riders over errant behaviour
Singapore — Some condominiums here are resorting to banning or restricting access to personal mobility devices (PMDs) or motorcycles of food delivery riders over concerns at their haphazard parking, speeding and other errant behaviour.


Service and conservancy charges for HDB residents likely to go up
Singapore – Service and conservancy charges (S&CC) are likely to go up soon for Housing Board residents, but the Government will provide temporary support to cushion the impact on households.



Global Economy & Real Estate


US Fed expected to hike rates again despite signs of slowing economy

Fed decision this week will signal Powell’s priority: financial stability or inflation control

Fed report on SVB collapse could buoy shareholder lawsuits, say experts

Fed seeks sweeping changes to bank rules in aftermath of SVB failure

US consumer spending flat in March; core inflation still strong

Canada’s economy slowed in Feb, backing up pause on rates

Bank of England projects £100 billion loss for QE programme

French GDP edges up in Q1 despite strikes and high inflation

German inflation slows unexpectedly after economy stagnated

Germany expected to dodge recession with weak Q1 growth

German unemployment rises more than expected in April

Australia poised to extend rate-rise pause as inflation cools

Australia home prices rise in April for second consecutive month

South-east Asia’s strong IPO markets an outlier as global deals fizzle

China’s home sales by top developers rise for third month

Chinese homes loans grow by the smallest amount on record

China’s digital talent gap widening amid hi-tech, smart sectors push, reports say

China’s factory sector contracts in April as recovery concerns linger

China’s travel rush over holiday leads to soaring tourism, spending

Shanghai on road to recovery but hobbled by geopolitical tensions and expat flight

Hong Kong’s MTR Corp to make Oyster Bay project ‘as attractive as possible for developers’ in relaunch, executive says

Hong Kong hotel property buying spree looms as investors bet on tourism rebound, analysts say

Sun Hung Kai sells out all 150 flats on offer in Tai Po’s University Hill with price cuts

Hong Kong approves 33,000 talent visa applications: SCMP

Taiwan slips into recession as Q1 GDP hits 14-year low

Japan lifts all Covid-19 border controls for Golden Week holidays

Inflation, labour crunch prodding Japan’s smaller firms to raise pay

Japan’s factory activity contracts at slower pace in April – PMI


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