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Weekly News Review / Issue 34

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Top News for the Week


HDB flats among 9,000 homes planned for Keppel Club site

About 9,000 housing units – both public and private – will be built on the site of Keppel Club as part of the future Greater Southern Waterfront, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

There will be private and public housing elsewhere too, he added during his National Day Rally speech, confirming for the first time that the mega waterfront development will have HDB flats. In sketching out what the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW) will look like, PM Lee said the entire area will be double the size of Punggol town.

First announced in 2013, the GSW comprises 30km of coastline stretching from the Gardens by the Bay East area to Pasir Panjang.

It contains 2,000ha of land – six times the size of Marina Bay and twice the size of Punggol.

PM Lee noted that prime land will be freed up for redevelopment after PSA moves its city terminals in Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Pulau Brani to Tuas by 2027, as well as Pasir Panjang terminal by 2040. The moves will “be an opportunity to reshape the GSW into a new place to live, work and play”, he said.

As for housing, Keppel Club will become one of the first developments in the zone, he said, showing an artist’s impression of what the area would look like, though he added in jest that the homes would not pop up “quite so fast”.

Link to the story:



HDB flats on prime Keppel Club site: Premium prices or tweaked sales terms?

The prospect of having public housing on the plum Keppel Club site after its lease expires in two years has excited property market watchers.

They have, however, offered ideas on how to find an equitable solution to the “lottery effect”, given that public-housing owners stand to make windfalls from selling these units after having been lucky enough to land them through a ballot.

The site will be part of the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW), comprising 30 km of coastline stretching from Gardens by the Bay East to Pasir Panjang.

Given its prime city-fringe, waterfront location, property consultants say Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats on the site will not come cheap.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/hdb-flats-on-prime-keppel-club-site-premium-prices-or- tweaked-sales-terms



Greater Southern Waterfront plans offer opportunities for developers

Moves to rejuvenate the Greater Southern Waterfront area offer major opportunities for developers, said a report.

It noted that Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) stands to gain as VivoCity, which it owns, is likely to be the “bedrock of the rejuvenation”.

Other potential beneficiaries include Frasers Commercial Trust – which owns the nearby Alexandra Technopark – Keppel Corporation and Genting Singapore, said analysts Derek Tan and Ho Pei Hwa.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/greater-southern-waterfront-plans-offer-opportunities-for-developers https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/greater-southern-waterfront-a-boost-to-likes-of-kepcorp-    mct


Park Place Residences nearly sold out; just 3 units available

Park Place Residences – the residential component of the new Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) mixed- use development – is nearly sold out, with just three of the 429 units still available.

Park Place Residences is Lendlease’s maiden residential property development in Singapore. The 99-year leasehold condo has a mix of one- to three-bedroom units.

The three Grade A office towers and the mall are 90 per cent leased or under final negotiations, Lendlease said in a news release. The office towers are home to 18 multinational corporations and top Singapore brands.

Lendlease has also launched its flexible workplace solution at PLQ, called csuites. The company said it offers clients the flexibility of shorter leases, among other benefits.

As for the mall, there are more than 200 shops that are ready for business. The anchor tenants are Shaw Theatres, FairPrice Finest and KopiTime, a new thematic food court by Kopitiam.

Link to the story:



New measures soon to help first-time buyers of HDB flats

This month’s sale of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats has been postponed until next month so that buyers can benefit from new measures to help first-time buyers.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post that his ministry and the Housing Board have been reviewing “how we can extend further support to first-timers” in buying new and resale flats, and he will share more details next month.

In his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the younger ministers have “a few more ideas to support couples to have more kids, and to keep HDB flats affordable”.

The next BTO exercise is expected to offer about 3,350 flats in Punggol and Tampines.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/new-measures-soon-to-help-first-time-buyers-of-hdb-flats https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/housing/first-time-buyers-of-hdb-flats-to-get-more-help-soon


15 strata offices at Peninsula Plaza up for sale with S$17.6m guide price

Fifteen strata offices at Peninsula Plaza have been put up for sale via tender with an indicative price of S$17.6 million.

That works out to S$2,255 per sq ft, with the offices also for sale individually. This is within the price range of recently transacted units at Peninsula Plaza which hit S$2,500 psf earlier in April this year.

Three adjoining office units at Peninsula Plaza had been put up for sale in April with an indicative price of about S$9.3 million or S$2,180 psf.

For the latest sale, the offices are located on the sixth floor with a combined strata area of about 7,804 sq ft, with the smallest available unit starting from 549 sq ft.

Peninsula Plaza sits on a 999-year leasehold plot, and is a 30-storey mixed-use building comprising a five-storey retail podium and a 24-storey office block and a car park.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/15-strata-offices-at-peninsula-plaza-up-for-sale-with-s176m-guide- price-0


Two floors at Southpoint sold for S$78.4m

A couple of commercial property deals were sealed recently.

Along Cantonment Road, two floors of the 16-storey freehold Southpoint office building are being sold for S$78.4 million or S$2,444 per sq ft based on the strata area of 32,076 sq ft.

In the Katong area, a pair of freehold adjoining shophouses at the corner of East Coast and Joo Chiat roads, currently leased to German restaurant chain Brotzeit, have been sold for S$17.28 million.

The freehold site of about 2,872 sq ft is zoned for commercial use with a 3.0 plot ratio. This means that it can have a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 8,616 square feet.

The transacted price reflects about S$2,215 per sq ft based on the maximum GFA, inclusive of an estimated development charge of S$1.8 million, payable to the state for building a bigger property on the site

Link to the story:




33 units at Parklane Shopping Mall up for sale

A block of 33 strata retail units on the first-level basement of Parklane Shopping Mall is up for sale with an indicative value of $55.7 million.

The price translates to around $2,200 per sq ft based on a total strata floor area of 2,352 sq m. Parklane’s commercial-use zoning means foreigners can buy the units, while additional buyer’s stamp duty and seller’s stamp duty are not applicable.

The 33 units range in size from 23 sq m to 186 sq m, and are on a 99-year lease that started on Dec 1, 1974. The Selegie Road property will be sold with tenancy, with units occupied by firms such as McDonald’s, Comics World and cyber gaming cafes.

Leases for 14 units expire next year, which offers investors the opportunity to reposition the tenant mix or raise rents

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/33-units-at-parklane-shopping-mall-up-for-sale https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/33-strata-retail-units-at-parklane-shopping-mall-put-up-for-sale


Unmanned stores one way to beat retail manpower crunch

Singapore retailers must evolve and adopt technology solutions to compete effectively in a difficult economic environment; and unmanned store concepts are one way in which some local enterprises are doing just that, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

Speaking at the Singapore Retail Industry Conference and Exhibition (SRIC.E) 2019, Mr Chan said he was encouraged that the solutions unveiled at the exhibition by three local retailers show how the industry is “not just wallowing in all the difficulties” but instead re-inventing itself.

In all three solutions, customers have to set up accounts and scan Quick Response (QR) codes or their palm.

Two of the unmanned store solutions employ radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging. Items are scanned instantly when placed in a payment kiosk at OMO Store, or when customers enter a checkout room or area at Octobox.

Customers do not even have to go through a checkout process at Pick & Go. A system of artificial intelligence (AI), cameras and customised smart shelves tracks their movements around the store and notes the items that they pick up. Once they exit the store, those items are automatically charged to their accounts.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/unmanned-stores-one-way-to-beat-retail-manpower-crunch https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/enterprise-spore-sees-scope-for-unmanned-stores https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/convenience-stores-going-high-tech-to-stave-off-competition


Wet market store goes digital to reel in younger customers

Seeing fewer customers at his family’s wet market seafood store in Bukit Gombak, Sin Chwee Mini Market second-generation owner Jimmy Goh decided to swim with the tide and digitalise the business to reach out to customers of his generation.

In April, Mr Goh, 28, rolled out an e-commerce arm of the business called Tankfully Fresh that allows customers to order fresh seafood online and get it delivered to their doorsteps islandwide the next day.

He is confident of being able to carve out a niche in the grocery delivery space that includes the major supermarket chains here and online supermarket RedMart.

Tankfully Fresh’s website works in a similar way to most online marketplaces, with customers placing their desired items into a virtual cart and paying upon checkout. Each item comes with a photo, a short description and suggestions for how it should be stored and cooked.

Customers then choose one of two delivery periods the next day, either from 9am to noon or 2pm to 5pm. They can also ask for the fish to be prepared or cut in specific ways.

Link to the story:



Furniture brand Commune taps tech tools for AR, VR experience

Shopping for furniture will be made easier as customers can soon digitally visualise how the furniture will look like in their homes.

This is thanks to the mobile augmented reality (AR) app that will be rolled out by homegrown furniture brand Commune at the end of the month.

Using AR and the camera function of smart devices, homeowners will be able to virtually place 3D models, which are 90 per cent accurate to the actual products, in their homes.

Commune, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed furniture maker Koda, announced at its showcase event that the new app aims to enhance customers’ shopping experiences by allowing them to make more informed decisions.

The new tools are the result of an experience technology roadmap that was developed through a design thinking workshop organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The app will also complement the new mobile point-of-sales system, which was developed for sales staff, to reduce the time taken to serve customers by 70 per cent.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/technology/furniture-brand-commune-taps-tech-tools-for-ar-vr-experience https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/wonder-how-that-sofa-will-look-in-your-home-turn-to-this-app


National Day Rally highlights


Retirement, re-employment ages to go up

  • Retirement age to go from 62 to 63 in 2022, then to 65 by 2030
  • Re-employment age to go from 67 to 68 in 2022, then to 70 by 2030

Higher CPF contribution rates

  • CPF rates for workers aged above 55 to be raised in stages, starting in 2021 and taking about a decade
  • CPF rates for those aged 60 and below to eventually be the same as those for younger workers

Support for firms

  • Support package to help firms adjust, to be announced in Budget 2020



Enhanced preschool subsidies

  • Higher quantum across the board
  • Additional subsidy income ceiling raised from S$7,500 per month to S$12,000 per month

Extension of KidSTART

  • Scheme for children from low-income families to be extended, reaching another 5,000 children over the next three years

More affordable tertiary education

  • Annual fees for full-time general degrees at Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore University of Social Sciences lowered to S$7,500
  • Government bursaries for university raised from current level of up to 50 per cent of general degree fees, to up to 75 per cent; raised even more for medical courses
  • Government bursaries for polytechnic diplomas raised from current level of up to 80 per cent, to up to 95 per cent



Coastal defences

  • Singapore to examine options for defending against rising sea levels, from polders to reclaiming islands and creating a reservoir

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/national-day-rally-highlights https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/pm-unveils-plans-to-secure-spores-future https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/national-day-rally-2019-8-things-to-know-about-pm-lee-hsien-loongs-speech


Retirement age, CPF rates for older workers to be raised: PM

From helping older workers stay employed to tackling climate change, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed major issues for Singapore’s future in Sunday night’s National Day Rally – while noting that the current economic slowdown does not warrant stimulus measures, for now.

To help older workers keep working and be more financially independent, the retirement and re- employment ages will be raised, along with their Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates

– with no change to CPF withdrawal policies or ages.

In the even longer run, Singapore must think of climate change defences as an existential need, comparable to military defence, with possibly S$100 billion needed to protect against rising sea levels, he said.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/retirement-age-cpf-rates-for-older-workers-to-be-raised-     pm


https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/changes-hurt-but-early-notice-helps-business-response https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/singapore-a-city-of-layers-built-by-multiple-generations-pm-lee https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/defending-and-developing-singapores-coasts


Govt to engage businesses on support package for retirement, re-hiring age changes: Heng

Ministers from the Finance Ministry will continue to actively engage businesses, unions and other stakeholders, and develop a support package to help with the transition to higher retirement and re-employment ages.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said he had spoken to many unionists, students, grassroots leaders and community partners after the National Day Rally last Sunday.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced in his rally speech that the statutory retirement age will go up to 63 in 2022, and eventually to 65 by 2030.

The re-employment age will also go up from 67 now to 68 in 2022, and eventually to 70 by 2030.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/govt-to-engage-businesses-on-support-package-for- retirement-re-hiring-age-changes



Singapore welcomes all players to test 5G innovations: Iswaran

Singapore welcomes global and local companies to partner the Government in using the country as their base to experiment and trial innovative 5G mobile network use cases, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran.

And he believes it is timely for tech firms to consider Singapore as a test bed as the Republic will start its next-generation mobile network roll-out next year.

Mr Iswaran is on a six-day working visit to the United States to enhance collaborations with the vibrant tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“From 5G to Mixed/Augmented Reality to Cybersecurity – the first day of my working trip… was off to an interesting start with tech demos and good discussions,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Also encouraged that tech companies here, big and small, remain optimistic about the sector’s prospects and expressed keen interest to work with Singapore, in particular for 5G,” he said, adding that he shared that Singapore sees 5G as the backbone of its digital economy.

Link to the story:



‘Productive longevity’ is behind proposals for older workers

A vision of “productive longevity” lies behind the recommendations made by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers, said Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo. She was speaking at the annual dinner of the Economic Society of Singapore at Mandarin Orchard hotel.

Mrs Teo was explaining the thinking behind the recent move to raise the retirement and pre- employment ages, as well as Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for older workers.

Mrs Teo said that this vision of productive longevity is political, social and economic in nature. “It is a political choice to treat our ageing workforce as an opportunity and not a burden, to enable our people to contribute as long as they wish . . . We allocate resources and update policy to support this choice,” she said.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/productive-longevity-is-behind-proposals-for-older- workers

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/retirement-re-employment-changes-driven-by-vision-of- productive-longevity


Accounting bodies, IMDA roll out plan to help smaller firms adopt technology

Singapore’s accountancy sector will push ahead with digitalisation through a new accountancy industry digital plan (IDP) developed by the Singapore Accountancy Commission (SAC), the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The plan will help small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) – which make up 98 per cent of the accountancy industry – adopt technology for greater productivity and competitiveness.

It comprises a digital roadmap that provides guidance to SMPs on the digital solutions to adopt, and employee training to undergo at each stage of their digital development.

An SMP Centre and an Accounting Technology & Innovation Centre (AccTech Centre) were also launched to support SMPs’ digital development.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/accounting-bodies-imda-roll-out-plan-to-help-smaller- firms-adopt-technology



Singapore exports fall 11.2% in July amid electronics slump

Singapore’s exports plunged again in July – the fifth straight month of double-digit falls – on the back of the prolonged electronics slump.

Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) fell 11.2 per cent last month, according to data.

But the decline was not as grim as the 15.4 per cent fall tipped by experts in a Bloomberg poll. July shipments were also 3.7 per cent ahead of their level in June, when they had fallen 7.8 per cent from May.

Revised numbers also noted that exports fell 17.4 per cent year on year in June – the biggest drop since a 33.2 per cent dive in February 2013.

June’s large fall could be “the bottom of the current cycle, but double-digit declines might persist over the next few months” as orders continue to weaken. Electronics exports were the main culprit last month. They shrank 24.2 per cent over the same month last year, and followed the 31.9 per cent drop in June.

Non-electronics shipments were down 6.6 per cent last month, easing from the 12.6 per cent fall in June.

the outlook for electronics exports “for the rest of the year remains bleak as hopes for a recovery in the global semiconductor cycle are dimming amid the escalating US-China trade conflict and Japan-South Korea trade spat”.

The fall in non-electronics exports was led by pharmaceuticals, down 32.7 per cent, specialised machinery, which fell by 31.3 per cent, and primary chemicals, which dropped 30.9 per cent, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/spore-exports-fall-112-in-july-amid-electronics-slump https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/july-nodx-slide-improves-but-no-rebound-in-sight


Singapore fintech firms to raise headcounts: Poll

Some 94 per cent of financial technology firms in Singapore intend to expand their current workforce within the next 12 months, according to a survey.

About 28 per cent of respondents also expect to double their headcounts within the next 36 months. The fintech industry in Singapore is estimated to employ 6,500 to 10,000 people, based on the extrapolated survey results.

The number of firms and employees within the industry is expected to surge over the next 12 to 36 months, with hiring expected to increase significantly.

The FinTech Talent Survey 2019 was done in April and received 93 responses covering 81 companies.

Link to the story:



Firms looking for support in next Budget for upcoming CPF hikes for older workers

Companies are gearing up for a rise in business costs with an upcoming hike in Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for older workers – with many looking to a support package in next year’s Budget to ease the pain.

But some said the cost was likely to be manageable as the rise would be gradual, over 10 years or so from 2021, and older workers formed a smaller part of their workforce.

They added that the change could encourage experienced staff to continue working, particularly for industries facing a labour crunch.

They were responding to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s announcement that the CPF contribution rates for workers aged 55 to 70 will be raised gradually from 2021, with both employers and employees coming up with more.

PM Lee, who announced the change at the National Day Rally, said the move is one of several to help older workers to work longer and be more financially independent.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/manpower/firms-looking-for-support-in-next-budget-to-upcoming-cpf- hikes-for-older-workers



Singapore one of 4 markets to post double-digit growth in Swiss watch imports in H1

In the first half of this year, when Swiss watch exports grew by only 1.4 per cent globally, the Singapore market clocked a strong 12.6 per cent growth to 599.5 million Swiss francs (S$845.3 million), making this Little Red Dot the sixth biggest market for Swiss watches.

Last year, the Singapore market languished, chalking up just 0.6 per cent growth for the whole year to 10.7 billion Swiss francs from the 2017 figure. Global exports outperformed this, registering an impressive 6.2 per cent growth.

The Swiss watch export figures released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reflect only what local watch retailers order – not sales to final consumers.

Link to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/consumer/singapore-one-of-4-markets-to-post-double-digit-growth-in-swiss- watch-imports-in-h1


Kaki Bukit Place factory up for sale with S$5.5m indicative price

A five-storey intermediate terrace factory at 9 Kaki Bukit Place has been put up for sale by expression of interest for an indicative price of S$5.5 million.

This works out to approximately S$420 per sq ft based on a gross floor area of 13,110 sq ft. No payable land rent or additional buyer’s stamp duty will be imposed on foreigners and companies that are eligible to purchase the property.

The building sits on a rectangular site of around 4,795 sq ft, and is zoned Business 2 with a gross plot ratio of 2.5 under the 2014 Master Plan.

The property, which was completed in the late 1990s, has a balance lease of 36 years and will be sold on a vacant possession basis.

The property is in good move-in condition, having undergone refurbishment in 2014. Building specifications include passenger and cargo lifts, and sheltered loading bays for containers up to 20 ft. Occupants are also given a minimum of four car park lots.

Link to the story:



Senoko Drive industrial site tender not awarded after 2 rejected bids

The tender for a JTC industrial site at Senoko Drive will not be awarded after bids for the parcel came in below its reserve price.

JTC said it received two bids for the 1.22 ha site, which site has a tenure of 30 years and a gross plot ratio of 2.5.

The site is zoned for Business-2 food use only and is the last of five confirmed list sites for the first half of 2019 Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme.

Its tender was launched on May 28 and closed on July 23.

Link to the story:



‘Downtown South’ resort likely to be built on Pulau Brani

A “Downtown South” resort is likely to be built on Pulau Brani in future, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

To that end, the authorities will set aside land for the National Trades Union Congress to build a resort, “probably on Pulau Brani”, he said.

The island is between the main island of Singapore and Sentosa, near Keppel Harbour. A large part of the island makes up the current Brani Terminal, which is among the PSA city terminals that will move to the Tuas mega port by 2027.

Meanwhile, Sentosa’s beach areas will be revitalised, and its nature and heritage trails expanded, “to keep its island character”.

These additions are part of the future Greater Southern Waterfront, a mega waterfront development in the southern part of Singapore.

The new district, twice the size of Punggol, will boast public and private homes, offices and recreation options. Development of the area is expected to start in five to 10 years.

Link to the story:



Hotels of the future

Some hotels have leaned on technology to ease workloads and streamline processes in recent years. Park Avenue Rochester, which is owned by United Engineers Limited, introduced a robotic linen- delivery assistant in 2017 that can move trolleys of clean and dirty linen in loads of up to 100kg at a time.

Similarly, Pan Pacific Singapore, under UOL’s Pan Pacific Hotels Group, rolled out two autonomous delivery robots this year to transport linen to the housekeeping stores. Last year, it introduced a luggage management system that uses QR code chits to trace guest bags.

Also, Pan Pacific Hotels’ Parkroyal on Kitchener Road will have radio-frequency identification luggage tagging by early next year, after a refurbishment.

Meanwhile, Millennium Hotels and Resorts has rolled out half a dozen service delivery robots, which are dubbed “Aura”, at five of its six Singapore properties since 2017. While Aura was originally used to take amenities to guest rooms, M Hotel Singapore last month deployed the robot to also patrol twice a day while taking live surveillance footage.

Along those lines, Marina Bay Sands has said it will unveil autonomous vacuum cleaners, or “maidbots”, by the year end, allowing housekeepers to multitask while cleaning rooms.

Links to the story: https://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/hotels-of-the-future https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/consumer/hotels-of-the-future


Start-up RedDoorz raises $97m, eyes new tech hub in Vietnam

Hospitality start-up RedDoorz has raised US$70 million (S$97 million) in its ongoing Series C funding round, the company announced.

This injection of funds follows the Singapore-based budget hotel management and booking platform’s US$45 million Series B round, which closed in April. The firm has raised around US$140 million to date.

A significant portion of the latest funds raised will be used to build a second technology hub in Vietnam, which will complement RedDoorz’s current regional tech hub in India. It also intends to ramp up its hotel staff and quality training programmes across its properties.

Vietnam is the company’s newest market, having entered the country in July last year, and accounts for about 10 per cent of its business, he said. The new hub in Vietnam will be its Asean hub, which will allow the company to localise its business further.

Developing the firm’s technology, which includes artificial intelligence-based pricing engines, is paramount to the company’s continued development, since the budget hospitality space cannot be a people-dependent business, he added.

Links to the story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/start-up-reddoorz-raises-97m-eyes-new-tech-hub-in- vietnam

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/once-sleepless-in-singapore-now-giving-sweet-dreams-to-the-budget- conscious


HK property market withstands unrest that is roiling economy

On a recent sweltering Sunday afternoon in Hong Hong’s Sha Tin district, not long before police battled protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets in several locations nearby, eager homebuyers lined up for hours.

They were there to view mock-up apartments for an 840-unit development currently under construction, and many liked what they saw.

Subscriptions exceeded the number of apartments on offer by 24 times, thanks in part to prices that were 10 per cent lower than comparable homes in the area.

Hong Kong’s worst political crisis in decades has stunned the world with near-daily scenes of violent anti-government demonstrations. But so far at least, the turmoil has done little to dent the city’s passion for real estate.

Even as some protesters rail against stratospheric housing costs, there are plenty of bargain hunters willing to bet that prices won’t fall much in an economy with record bank deposits and a chronic lack of supply.

Links to the story:

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/hk-property-market-withstands-unrest-that-is-roiling-economy https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/analysts-expect-hk-property-market-to-withstand-turmoil


London homes’ asking prices post first annual increase in 2 years

Asking prices for London homes showed their first annual increase since 2017 this month, as the Brexit-battered market started to show signs of life.

New seller prices were up 1.3 per cent from a year earlier, according to a report published. They eased just 0.1 per cent on the month, the smallest decline for any August since 2006.

A shortage of supply is helping to underpin prices, with the number of new sellers down almost 11 per cent on the year.

Meanwhile, sales agreements jumped in what is normally a slow month, suggesting buyers and sellers alike are now taking the plunge after years of waiting for Brexit to be resolved.

Link to the story:






Lee Sze Teck Head, Research




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