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5th October 2018

By in Weekly News Review with 0 Comments

Top News for the Week

  • 40% of Mayfair Gardens were sold at an average price of $1,900 psf on 29 and 30 Developer raised prices by 2% on 1 Oct.
  • Huttons salesperson representing the Song family of Nanshan Group in a $40 million Camden Park GCB deal
  • Ivory Heights and Thomson View fail in bid to go en-bloc
  • Katong Park Towers and Cairnhill Mansions en-bloc given the go-ahead by the High Court
  • Big-ticket property deals fall 42% in Q3 after cooling measures
  • Shophouse at 21 Boon Tat Street fetches record price in District 1 at more than $4,000 per sq ft
  • PMI returned to slower growth last month, dipping 0.2 point to 4

 

Government

Good urban design increasi ngly important

Singapore needs to continue finding innovative and sustainable ways to improve its urban design, given its space constraints and competing needs for residences, industries, leisure and amenities, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said.

This was one of three areas, on top of productivity and technology, which the Republic can capitalise on, he said at the launch of a three-day event on architecture and building services at Marina Bay Sands.

There are three areas Singapore can target to become a more liveable city.

First, good urban design will become even more important as it can boost a city’s character and identity as such spaces become similar in an increasingly globalised world.

Second, advancements in urban design will require more productive methods. There has been good progress on this front, with site productivity in the construction sector improving by 12 per cent from 2010 to last year. This is in reference to the amount of floor area completed per man day.

Third, Singapore needs to keep up with the accelerating pace of technological advancement. To continue building Singapore into a green, highly liveable and smart city, our stakeholders in our design and built environment and facilities management must come together and collaborate.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/good-urban-design-increasingly-important-heng

 

Thomson-East Coast Line on track to start operating next year

The Thomson-East Coast MRT Line (TEL) is on track to open next year.

Separately, architectural, electrical and mechanical works on the TEL are about three-quarters complete.

The new train cars feature five doors on each side – instead of four as in other MRT trains – to facilitate smoother boarding and alighting.

The 43km TEL will open progressively from next year, and be completely opening 2024. The 31- station line will stretch from Woodlands North to Sungei Bedok.

Last year, rail operator SMRT won the contract to operate the TEL for nine years with a bid of

$1.7 billion.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/thomson-east-coast-line-on-track-to-start-operating-next-year

 

New framework to take Singapore funds industry to new level

Singapore passed into law on Monday a new type of entity – the Variable Capital Company – that will be a game changer for the Republic’s fast-growing fund management industry.

The Variable Capital Companies (VCC) Bill, approved by Parliament on Monday, aims to boost the fund management ecosystem by encouraging funds to both incorporate and operate in Singapore, placing the Republic in the same league as global fund domicile centres like Cayman Islands, Dublin and Luxembourg.

With funds being domiciled here in addition to managing from Singapore, supporting service providers – for example, lawyers, bankers, accountants – are also expected to reap spillover benefits from the new framework. It is expected to create over 1,000 jobs.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/new-framework-to-take-singapore-funds-industry-to-new-level

 

Economy

Slow payments on the rise in Q3, retail sector sees highest jump in over six years

Slow payments among local companies rose for the second consecutive quarter in Q3 2018, most noticeably in the retail sector, but the overall payment performance is not seen has having deteriorated significantly with slight improvements across some other sectors.

According to the latest report from the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB), prompt payments weakened slightly to under half of all payment transactions while slow payments made up over a third of transactions.

Prompt payments dipped by 1.24 percentage points quarter on quarter to 48.31 per cent in Q3, while slow payments rose 1.76 percentage points to 38.94 per cent. Partial payments fell by 0.53 percentage point to 12.74 per cent.

Prompt payment refers to when 90 per cent or more of total bills are paid within the agreed payment terms. Slow payment is when less than 50 per cent of total bills are paid within the agreed terms, while partial payment refers to when 50 and 90 per cent of bills are paid.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/slow-payments-on-the-rise-in-q3-retail-sector-sees-highest- jump-in-over-six-years

 

S’pore factory activity returns to slower growth

Singapore’s factory activity grew at a slower pace last month, with fewer new orders and new exports, in line with a similar trend across Asia and Europe – a signal that the fallout from the US- China trade conflict may be growing.

After a brief bounce in August, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a key indicator of manufacturing activity, returned to slower growth last month by dipping 0.2 point to 52.4.

The reading was in line with a consensus forecast of analysts, with the key electronics PMI sub- index dropping 0.6 point to 51.4.

The main drags on the overall PMI were mostly broad-based and arose from lower new orders, new exports, output, order backlogs, inventory, stocks and imports.

Still, this was the 25th straight month of expansion in manufacturing, indicated by a score above 50 in the index compiled by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/spore-factory-activity-returns-to-slower-growth https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/infographics/singapore-manufacturing-outlook-cools-in-september

 

Residential

Home price flatten in Q3 as curbs arrest gains

The July cooling measures are starting to show in the moderation in the pace of the quarter-on- quarter increase of the official private home price index: Growth was 0.5 per cent in the third quarter.

Most property consultants interpret the latest flash estimate from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) as the beginning of a period of stable prices.

A minority say that a price decline might even set in as early as this quarter. A few said the key takeaway from Monday’s numbers from the URA is that the market is “still strong”.

With a 7.9 per cent gain already chalked up since Q4 last year, most consultants expect an 8 to 10 per cent hike for full-year 2018.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/home-prices-flatten-in-q3-as-curbs-arrest-gains https://www.straitstimes.com/business/private-home-price-gains-slow-in-q3-on-cooling-measures

 

Completed condominium prices rise 0.5% in August

Prices of completed non-landed private homes in Singapore reversed course to climb in August, rising 0.5 per cent month-on-month, after dipping in July.

This is according to the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) flash estimates for its Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI).

In July, prices declined 0.3 per cent, less than the 0.5 per cent drop earlier estimated.

The August increase applied across the board. Excluding small units, prices for apartments in the central region rose 0.1 per cent, versus no change in the month before. Those outside the central region added 0.6 per cent, from a 0.5 per cent fall in July. For small units, defined as those no bigger than 506 square feet, prices rose 1 per cent in August, compared to a 0.6 per cent decrease in July.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/completed-condominium-prices-rise-05-in-august

 

Busy weekend for condo hunters with new launches

It was a busy weekend for property hunters, with several condominium launches taking place at the same time.

Among them were 99-year leasehold condominiums The Jovell located at Flora Drive and Mayfair Gardens at Rifle Range Road.

At The Jovell, about 40 units were snapped up, out of the 250 units launched. The 428-unit condominium is the latest residential project offering developed by Tripartite Developers comprising Hong Leong Holdings Limited, City Developments Limited, and TID. The average selling price of around S$1,200 to S$1,400 psf with a range of one- to four-bedroom apartments. The Mayfair Gardens development comprises a total of 215 units, spread out over four five-storey blocks of residential flats. Situated in Bukit Timah, the property consists of one-bedroom to four- bedroom units, as well as penthouses.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/busy-weekend-for-condo-hunters-with-new-launches

 

Amara to launch Newton boutique project at upwards of S$2,400 psf

Amara Holdings will launch its 10 Evelyn boutique development next weekend at upwards of S$2,400 psf.

Located off Newton Road, the 56-unit freehold development will comprise mainly one bedders (46 sq m to 57 sq m) and two-bedroom units (68 sq m to 77 sq m), with four three-bedroom penthouses (114 sq m to 116 sq m). Pricing will start from S$1.2 million for the one-bedrooms.

The idea is to cater to millennials seeking luxury living.

The project is 470 metres away from Newton MRT, and 548 metres from Novena MRT, and will be completed early 2020.

On the 10 Evelyn site, which spans 2,815 square metres, originally sat two freehold bungalows that Amara had snapped up in 2011 and 2016.

Another residential project, two pairs of semi-detached houses at 15 Bedok Avenue are reaching completion and is about to go to the market soon. It is also marketing its freehold, 33-unit M5 at Jalan Mutiara.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/amara-to-launch-newton-boutique-project-at-upwards-of-s2400-psf

 

Private home sales hit by July 6 measures

The latest round of property cooling measures and the cumulative effect of three other rounds implemented since 2011 to rein in a buoyant market appear to have slowed growth in private home prices and sales.

While prices continued to rise in the aftermath of three previous rounds, they fell by 0.1 per cent from $1,513 psf to $1,511 psf after the July 6 measures.

That suggests the compounded effect of previous measures, coupled with the latest round, did finally slow price growth.

Excluding the last-minute buying frenzy, transactions fell by 36 per cent. That is still more than the 33 per cent drop after the December 2011 hike and the 33 per cent fall after the TDSR was revised.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/private-home-sales-hit-by-july-6-measures https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/home-prices-flatten-in-q3-as-curbs-arrest-gains

 

Nanshan family in S$40m GCB purchase

The Song family behind Nanshan Group Singapore is understood to be in the early stage of buying a freehold bungalow in the Camden Park Good Class Bungalow Area for S$40 million.

The price works out to S$1,373 psf on the land area of 29,143 sq ft.

On the elevated site is a 10-year old bungalow spanning two levels and a basement. It is understood to have seven ensuite bedrooms, an entertainment room and a large swimming pool.

The District 11 property is less than 1 km from the Singapore Botanic Gardens Market watchers expect the Song family to redevelop the property into their new home.

Davin Samuel of Huttons Asia is acting for the buyer

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/nanshan-family-in-s40m-gcb-purchase

 

GCB deals hit S$220m in third quarter

Transaction volumes of bungalows in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas have held up in the third quarter against the latest property cooling measures which took effect on July 6.

Based on URA Realis caveats data, there were 11 transactions in GCB Areas, totalling S$220 million in Q3 2018 – up from the eight deals amounting to S$169.1 million in Q2 and also ahead of the seven deals worth S$123.1 million in Q3 of last year.

In the first nine months of this year, caveats were lodged for a total of 28 transactions in GCB Areas totalling S$639.2 million – up from the tally of S$587 million in the year-ago period.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/gcb-deals-hit-s220m-in-third-quarter

 

Cairnhill Mansions en bloc: It’s a ‘go’

The S$362 million collective sale of Cairnhill Mansions will proceed at that price, thanks to a settlement that gives the penthouse owner who objected to the sale an extra S$867,004.79.

This sum is to be equally borne by the owners of the other units in the development, the High Court ordered.

The S$867,004.79 represents 0.25 per cent of the sale proceeds of the other 60 units. In other words, Mrs Nio, who was originally supposed to pocket close to S$15.2 million from the sale, will now get around S$16 million for her 792 sq m unit.

The owners of the other units, each 188 sq m in size, will each get about S$14,400 less than the S$5.77 million apiece they were supposed to receive.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/cairnhill-mansions-en-bloc-its-a-go

 

Katong Park Towers gets Court’s nod for en bloc sale to proceed

The sale of Katong Park Towers has been given the green light by the High Court, following some owners’ objection to the sale over factors like the method of apportionment.

One objector believed the method of apportionment to be unfair, taking issue with the valuation of their shop unit at S$365,000.

The method of apportionment was based on 90 per cent valuation, five per cent strata area and five per cent share value; that objector argued that these three factors should have been given equal weight in determining the value of a unit.

The High Court does not approve a collective sale if the transaction is not in good faith, considering the sale price, method of apportionment or relationship between the owners and the sellers.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/katong-park-towers-gets-courts-nod-for-en-bloc-sale-to-proceed

 

Faber Garden in fresh bid to go en bloc at same price

Faber Garden is relaunching a collective sale exercise today at the same reserve price of $1.18 billion at which its first attempt closed without a sale six months ago.

The public tender will close at 3pm on Oct 31.

The 236-unit freehold condominium in Angklong Lane is near the Central Nature Reserve amid good class bungalows, landed housing and private condominiums, as well as the Bright Hill MRT station that is expected to open in 2021.

With a site area of 544,738 sq ft, the 34-year-old condo has a plot ratio of 1.6 and a height control of 12 storeys.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/faber-garden-in-fresh-bid-to-go-en-bloc-at-same-price https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/faber-garden-tries-again-for-en-bloc-at-unchanged-s118b-price

 

Ivory Heights fails in bid to go en bloc

Ivory Heights, a 654-unit privatised HUDC estate in Jurong East, has failed to secure the requisite 80 per cent approval rate before its deadline, making it the first mega site to fail to get the mandate to launch a public tender, analysts say.

They pointed to factors such as the July 6 cooling measures as well as the postponement of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, which had been touted as a unique selling point.

Built on 825,502 sq ft of land and with 68 years left on its lease, Ivory Heights offers unblocked views of Jurong Lake, the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden. According to the URA Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned for residential use with a gross plot ratio of 1.6.

Ivory Heights’ failed attempt could be a harbinger of what is to come for other mega sites undergoing the collective sale process, analysts say.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/ivory-heights-fails-in-bid-to-go-en-bloc

 

Thomson View fails in fourth bid to sell en bloc

Thomson View condo has failed in its fourth attempt to launch a collective sale – just the latest in a growing list of projects that have been unable to secure the requisite 80 per cent approval rate to kick-start a sale.

The 255-unit estate in Upper Thomson Road had raised the reserve price three times in the past year to $938 million, but still garnered backing from only 76 per cent of owners.

Townhouse owners would have received around $5.5 million, and apartment owners between $2.6 million and $3.7 million, if the sale had gone through.

It was earlier reported that 215 unit owners at Thomson View had agreed to the collective sale in 2013, and their legal costs had been in the six-figure range.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/thomson-view-fails-in-fourth-bid-to-sell-en-bloc

 

Big-ticket property deals fall 42% in Q3 after cooling measures

The tally of big-ticket property transactions of S$10 million and above across all sectors tumbled 42 per cent to S$6.5 billion in the third quarter from S$11.2 billion in Q2 – after the July property curbs put the brakes on residential collective sales.

However, a pick-up in activity for the commercial and industrial property segments helped to mitigate the drop in the residential sector.

Preliminary Q3 investment sales tally, based on information as at Oct 3, also reflects a 39.5 per cent decline from the S$10.7 billion in Q3 last year.

Giving a sectoral breakdown, investment sales for the residential sector totalled S$2.0 billion during July to September this year – down 72 per cent from the nearly S$7.3 billion in Q2 2018 and also 52 per cent below the S$4.3 billion in Q3 last year.

As for the value of residential collective sales plunged to S$370 million in the third quarter of this year – about a tenth of the S$3.87 billion in the preceding quarter. The number for Q3 last year was S$2.1 billion.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/big-ticket-property-deals-fall-42-in-q3-after-cooling-measures

 

HDB resale flat prices resume slide with 0.2% dip in Q3

The prices of resale Housing Board flats declined 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of this year after inching up 0.1 per cent in the second, according to HDB flash estimates released.

The second-quarter increase, coming after nine quarters of decline, had raised expectations that HDB resale prices may have bottomed out.

Going by flash data, resale prices for the third quarter are down nearly 1 per cent from the same period a year ago.

HDB announced that about 3,800 BTO flats would be offered for sale next month-in Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines, Tengah and Yishun. Home buyers can expect waiting time of 2.5 years for BTO flats in Sembawang, Sengkang and Yishun. This is shorter than the typical three to four years, HDB said. It added that there will also be a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats exercise.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/hdb-resale-flat-prices-resume-slide-with-02-dip-in-q3 https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hdb-resale-prices-down-02-in-q3-reversing-uptick-in-q2

 

HDB resale prices and volume down from August figures

Housing Board resale prices fell by 0.7 per cent last month from August, and by 2.1 per cent compared to a year ago.

While four-room flats recorded a price increase of 0.6 per cent from August, prices for three- roomers and five-roomers dipped by 1.3 per cent. Executive flats saw a drop of 1.9 per cent in prices.

Prices in mature estates fell by 1.2 per cent, while the drop in non-mature ones was 0.3 per cent. These flash figures also showed that 1,996 flats changed hands – a 3.9 per cent drop from August. However, the number of transactions was 18.7 per cent more than the year before.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/housing/hdb-resale-prices-and-volume-down-from-august-figures-srx https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hdb-resale-prices-drop-07-in-sept-volume-falls-39

 

No plans for Govt to buy back flats hit by ethnic quotas

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong has turned down an MP’s suggestion that the Government buy back HDB flats from owners who cannot sell them owing to the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP).

The EIP is an important policy that is applied to all ethnic groups consistently. The EIP specifies the proportion of units in a Housing Board block and precinct that can be owned by a particular racial group.

It was implemented in 1989 to ensure a balanced mix of ethnic groups living in HDB estates, in a move to promote racial harmony and strengthen social cohesion.

But some minority home owners have complained the EIP makes it difficult for them to resell their flats and, last month, three of them wrote to The Straits Times’ Forum page, spelling out their difficulties.

Between 2015 and last year, the HDB received 1,600 requests to waive the quota rule.

The figure is higher than the 1,200 appeals received between 2013 and 2015, according to statistics disclosed previously by the ministry. Four in five of those appeals were not successful.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/no-plans-for-govt-to-buy-back-flats-hit-by-ethnic-quotas

 

MPs still homing in on new HDB upgrading schemes

Two new Housing Board (HDB) upgrading programmes to be rolled out in one to two decades’ time continued to be of interest, with four MPs trying to glean more specifics on what they would cover.

HIP II, a second round of upgrading for HDB flats around 60 to 70 years old, will focus on common maintenance issues which occur in ageing flats. But what these would be will be revealed only later.

Older rental flats will be eligible for HIP II, as they are under the ongoing HIP I.

There will be no wastage of public funds in carrying out both HIP II and Vers, which lets HDB dwellers vote to go en bloc and sell their ageing flats to the Government. The Government will ensure that Vers is “fiscally sustainable in the long term.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/mps-still-homing-in-on-new-hdb-upgrading-schemes https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/older-rental-blocks-eligible-for-next-home-improvement- programme

 

Sharp rise in number of people living alone

Family life may hold a special place in Singapore but increasing numbers of people are living alone, either by choice or circumstance.

There has been a stark rise over the past two decades or so in what are called one-person resident households. These are households headed by a citizen or permanent resident.

In 2000, there were 75,400 such households, comprising 8.2 per cent of all resident households. That figure rose to 116,400, or 10.8 per cent, in 2007. This increased further to 167,900 last year, or 13 per cent of all resident households, according to Department of Statistics data.

One reason behind the trend is the growing number of singles.

An increasing number of divorces has also led to more people living alone, say sociologists and social workers. Singapore is also ageing rapidly, and more seniors – who may or may not have children – have chosen to live out their twilight years alone after their spouse dies.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/sharp-rise-in-number-of-people-living-alone

 

Commercial

3 office floors od The Octagon up for bluk sales with S$45.5m indicative price

Three freehold office floors of The Octagon at 105 Cecil Street have been put up for bulk sale via tender.

The tender exercise for the 14th, 15th and 17th floors of the 25-storey office building will close on Nov 1, 2018, at 3pm.

The Octagon is located at the junction of Boon Tat Street and Cecil Street, within walking distance of the Raffles Place and Telok Ayer MRT stations, and has two levels of basement car parks for season parking.

Total strata area of the three floors is about 18,567 sq ft, and each floor has a plate size of about 6,189 sq ft.

The indicative price is S$2,450 psf or about S$45.5 million for all three floors.

Two lower floors of The Octagon were sold at the same rate in May, while recent transactions of nearby freehold or 999-year strata office space at Samsung Hub and Crown @ Robinson sold above S$3,500 and S$3,100 psf respectively.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/3-office-floors-of-the-octagon-up-for-bulk-sale-with-s455m- indicative-price

 

Shophouse at 21 Boon Tat Street fetches record price in District 1

A 999-year leasehold shophouse at 21 Boon Tat Street in the Telok Ayer Conservation Area is being sold for S$16.5 million, which works out to S$4,259 psf on the estimated built-up area of 3,874 sq ft.

According to property agents, the psf price is a new high for a conservation shophouse in District 1.

In the past 12 months, the prices in the area have not crossed the S$4,000 psf mark.

Market watchers attribute the record psf price being paid for 21 Boon Tat Street to its prime location in the CBD as well as the property’s rare permanent approval, in the locale, for food and beverage use for both levels 1 and 2.

The property, which is being sold by a seasoned property investor, occupies a land area of 1,759 sq ft and is zoned “commercial” under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/shophouse-at-21-boon-tat-street-fetches-record-price-in-district-1

 

Retail

Revamped Funan Mall to open by June 2019. Month ahead of schedule

The revamped Funan mall and office complex will open months ahead of schedule by the second quarter of next year and use facial recognition technology to offer shoppers recommendations.

The launch of its co-living serviced residence component lyf, managed by The Ascott, will meanwhile be brought forward from 2020 to the fourth quarter of next year.

These were announced by owner CapitaLand Mall Trust at a ceremony to mark Funan’s structural completion.

Funan mall will be the first here to use technology such as a smart directory that uses facial recognition to provide shoppers with customised recommendations, said CapitaLand.

The mall will have a touch screen directory, equipped with a camera, that can scan the faces of shoppers to sort them into general profiles such as young female and senior male, and recommend stores that target that demographic.

The new six-storey Funan mall will also utilise video analytics to study shopper traffic and crowd density, which will help CapitaLand to adjust tenant mix and placement. Shoppers will also be able to search for their car in the carpark, thanks to a video system that can scan licence plates.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/revamped-funan-mall-to-open-by-june-2019-months-ahead-of- schedule

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/revamped-funan-to-open-by-q2-of-2019

 

Smart surveillance system at malls in $2.5m tech push

An automated surveillance monitoring system that flags unusual activities such as fights has been deployed at seven shopping malls, as part of a $2.5 million innovation drive to help the security industry modernise.

This project is one of four pilots supported by the Government, to help firms develop solutions to meet increasing demand for security services, fuelled by the heightened security threat and growing number of buildings islandwide.

Security firms face challenges in meeting this demand as a result of their manpower-intensive operating models and stiff competition for workers.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/smart-surveillance-system-at-malls-in-25m-tech-push

 

Industrial

Industrial sites find favour in auction market

Following cooling measures for the private housing segment in July, investors seem to have turned their attention to other asset classes, going by recent action in the auction market.

In the third quarter, auctioneers in Singapore hammered down nine properties – four industrial and five residential units – worth S$10.44 million. This sum was 77.1 per cent lower than in the corresponding quarter last year and also 47.4 per cent lower than in the preceding quarter.

The four industrial sites went for S$2.67 million, up from the two sites worth S$1.4 million that such sites fetched in Q2.

The five residential units were auctioned for S$7.78 million, 57.9 per cent lower than what was sold in Q2.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/industrial-sites-find-favour-in-auction-market

 

Logistics sector rolls out plan to accelerate technology adoption

Singapore’s logistics sector is stepping on the gas pedal in its technology adoption efforts, with a three-year plan outlining ways for various stakeholders to digitalise their processes and collaborate with each other.

The industry-led roadmap, developed by the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA) by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon at the Singapore Logistics Forum 2018. It is expected to benefit over 700 companies.

Under this plan, there will be platforms for showcasing innovative technology and digital applications in logistics. The plan also involves piloting proof-of-concept projects through the Centre of Innovation Supply Chain Management @Republic Polytechnic (COI-SCM@RP) and other partners, as well as driving the adoption of automation.

SLA will work with the Logistics Alliance, a six-member industry group, on these initiatives. Besides technology adoption, the roadmap will focus on areas such as attracting talent, strengthening collaborations between companies, internationalisation and providing support and advice to firms.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/logistics-sector-rolls-out-plan-to-accelerate-technology- adoption

 

Overseas

Hong Kong home prices fall for first time in 29 months

Hong Kong private home prices fell for the first time in 29 months in August and are expected to soften further as interest rates rise and the US-China trade war clouds the outlook for the city’s economy.

Prices eased 0.076 per cent last month from July, government data showed. While slight, it marked first decline since March 2016, a cooling sign for one of the world’s more expensive property markets.

Still, prices have surged 11.7 per cent so far this year, and rocketed 16 per cent year-on-year, according to Reuters’ calculations based on an index compiled by Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

Ultra-low interest rates, limited housing supply and large flows of capital from mainland Chinese buyers helped push housing prices up 165 per cent over a decade, prompting repeated warnings from authorities about the risks of an asset bubble.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hong-kong-home-prices-fall-for-first-time-in-29-months-0

 

HK banks, developers offer sweeteners after rate increase

Banks and developers in Hong Kong are offering homebuyers cash rebates and discounts just a week after mortgage rates rose, in the latest sign the city’s red-hot housing market is cooling.

BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) and CMB Wing Lung Bank are offering rebates of up to 2 per cent of the loan value for new-home mortgages, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

Citigroup is said to have lowered the cap for its Hibor-linked mortgage rate by 10 basis points, the newspaper said.

The moves come after lenders in the city last week raised their best lending rates for the first time in more than 12 years, heralding the end of ultra-low rates that had helped fuel a property boom and made the city one of the world’s most expensive places to buy a home.

Developers are also offering perks to attract buyers. Lai Sun Development Co cut the price of some units at its Monti project by 10 per cent on Wednesday, and is giving buyers furniture vouchers worth as much as HK$120,000 (S$21,120).

Link to the story

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hk-banks-developers-offer-sweeteners-after-rate-increase

 

The world’s biggest real-estate bubbles

Most cities in UBS Group AG’s Global Real Estate Bubble Index are overvalued or at risk of a bubble, according to the Swiss bank’s 2018 report on housing prices.

Chicago is the only undervalued housing market in the 20-city index, while Milan, Singapore and Boston are deemed fairly valued, the report released on Thursday showed. Ten cities – from New York to Sydney to Stockholm – are overvalued, while six are in bubble-risk territory, with Hong Kong’s market the most inflated. A year ago, New York had been scored as fairly valued.

Typical signs of a bubble include real estate prices rising out of sync with incomes, as well as economic imbalances such as excessive lending and construction activity, according to the bank’s researchers. Unlike the boom of the mid-2000s, there is no evidence of simultaneous excesses in lending and construction, the report said, and outstanding mortgage volumes are growing at about half the rate of the pre-crisis period.

Housing prices in major cities have increased by 35 per cent on average over the past five years.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/the-worlds-biggest-real-estate-bubbles

 

Keppel in tie-up to develop its first commercial project in India

Keppel Corporation’s property arm Keppel Land has entered into a joint venture with Indian property developer Puravankara to buy a 3.09ha site in Bangalore and develop Keppel’s first commercial project in India.

The two entered into agreements through Keppel Puravankara Development (KPDL) to acquire the prime site in Yeshwantpur, Bangalore, from Metro Cash and Carry India (MCCIN) for about

4.05 billion rupees (S$81 million).

KPDL will build a 160,000 sq ft retail-cum-office facility and a Grade A office tower with a gross floor area of 1.02 million sq ft on the site, which is located about 5km north-west of Bangalore’s city centre.

The retail-cum-office facility will be handed over to MCCIN upon completion, while the Grade A office tower will remain under KPDL’s management.

Keppel owns a 51 per cent stake in KPDL, with Puravankara holding the remaining 49 per cent.

Link to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/keppel-in-tie-up-to-develop-its-first-commercial-project- in-india

 

Mapletree acquires logistics assets in the US, Europe

Mapletree Investments has acquired a 16.5 million sq ft logistics portfolio for US$1.1 billion (S$1.54 billion) from Prologis, Inc.

The assets are located in established distribution centres within major logistics markets such as Chicago, Dallas and Seattle in the US, as well as France, Germany and Poland.

This acquisition is in line with Mapletree’s strategy to increase its global footprint as a logistics real estate provider and to venture beyond Asia.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/mapletree-acquires-logistics-assets-in-the-us-europe

 

Australia’s property downturn marks one-year anniversary

Australia’s property slump has reached the one-year mark as the nation’s two major cities have become the biggest drag. National dwelling values dropped 0.5 per cent last month, weighed by declines in Sydney and Melbourne.

Prices in the two east coast cities, which make up more than half of the national value of housing, have fallen 6.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively from a year earlier.

Dwelling values in Australia have fallen for 12 straight months, down 2.7 per cent from the peak in September last year as tougher credit rules, increased supply and subdued wage growth combine to put an end to Australia’s housing boom.

Link to the story

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/australias-property-downturn-marks-one-year-anniversary

 

 

 

 

By:

Lee Sze Teck Head, Research

 

 

 

 

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