Property news round up 15 Apr 2018

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Further home price spikes may spell risk of renewed cooling measures

SEVERAL more quarters of private home price increases of the magnitude seen in the first quarter could leave the property market here staring at the possibility of fresh cooling measures, industry players say. While the immediate risk of that is low, the surprise 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) jump in Q1 private home prices has led some in property circles to contemplate how policymakers would respond if the uptrend of similar or even bigger price spikes continues in the next two quarters. “Looking historically, I think the authorities will start to do something when they see double-digit growth in the price index,” said Dr Lee Nai Jia, research head at Edmund Tie & Company. This suggests that the authorities will wait until the Urban Redevelopment Authority overall price index for private homes rises another 5.1 per cent from the current level.




Sliding premiums could point to cooling in en bloc fever

A YEAR after en-bloc fever gripped Singapore again, one property analyst thinks that it will hit its peak around the middle of this year. Developers are paying smaller premiums on average, and are likely to snap up smaller sites as they turn more selective, RHB’s Vijay Natarajan said in a report on Tuesday. While he predicted that 2018 will still see the value of collective sales cross last year’s S$8.2 billion mark – with the market “still fairly active” and more than 100 sites reportedly in the pipeline – Mr Natarajan said the cycle should see a peak in the second or third quarter of this year.

Also read: The Economics of DIY Real Estate Portals

Private home resale prices hit fresh highs in March: SRX flash

RESALE prices for private, non-landed homes moved up again in March to a new high, going by a private firm’s latest flash estimates. Prices for condominiums and private apartments rose by 1.5 per cent against February’s peak, according to SRX Property data out on Tuesday. These gains were seen across the island, with home prices in the central core region up by 2.2 per cent on the previous month to record levels. Homes in the rest of the central region set a record as well, posting a price increase of 1.3 per cent; among homes outside the central region, the rise was 1.3 per cent.

Frasers’ serviced residence for millennials to open in China sq

FRASERS Hospitality will open a serviced residence in China Square Central in the first quarter of next year, aimed at a growing group of millennial travellers who jet about on business assignments. The facility, to come under its Capri brand, will be called Capri by Fraser, China Square. With a gross floor area of 16,000 sq m and 304 rooms, the 16-floor residence will be kitted out with new technologies aimed at making its guests’ stay more convenient and lifestyle-focused. Frasers will roll out an app in China Square with chatbot technology, through which guests can make reservations and request for housekeeping.




1st major facelift soon for Great World City

GREAT World City will be undergoing major enhancement works beginning mid-April, ahead of the opening of the Great World MRT Station along the upcoming Thomson-East Coast line in 2021. Under its first major refurbishment in 20 years, the mixed-use development in River Valley will add about 50 new tenants and three main access points to the MRT station. Visitors to Great World City can also expect a new design and facade as well as beefed-up food and beverage offerings, owner Allgreen Properties told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

Also read: Twin Vew, the only new condo in the west in 2018

Two weekend property launches see keen take-up rates

STRONG buying momentum continued in last weekend’s property launches, for which robust take-up rates bode well for upcoming launches this year. Australian developer Lendlease sold another 149 units in the Phase 2 launch of Park Place Residences in Paya Lebar, while homegrown developer Oxley Holdings sold 129 units or 76 per cent of the 170-unit The Verandah Residences in Pasir Panjang at an average S$1,815 per square foot (psf) over the two days. Including the 210 units sold by Lendlease in a day in Phase 1 last year before it closed the show suite, the Australian developer has sold 84 per cent of the entire 429-unit residential component, sited at the mixed-use project Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) as of Sunday.

United Mansion, Landmark Tower up for collective sale

WITH en bloc fever showing few signs of abating, two developments joined the bandwagon on Monday. Real estate marketing agent Cushman & Wakefield said that owners of United Mansion have put up the freehold walk-up project at 592 to 614 East Coast Road for public tender with a reserve price of S$98 million, or S$1,485 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) with no development charges payable. The site, which has a land area of 5,135.2 square metres, or about 55,275 square feet, was put up for collective sale following approval by owners holding 89.5 per cent of the share values and strata area.




Ascott signs deals with China, Japan, Thailand developers

ASCOTT Limited, the serviced residence unit of mainboard-listed CapitaLand, has struck deals with developers in China, Japan and Thailand to manage apartments currently under development by them and also their future projects, it said on Monday. In China, Ascott is partnering township developer Riverside Group to launch serviced residences in Zhejiang, Chongqing and future riverside themed towns in other key cities. This tie-up will start with two serviced residences with a total of 350 units in Zhejiang and Chongqing, and follows Ascott’s contract with Riverside Group to manage the 190-unit Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing which opened in November last year, CapitaLand said.

Also read: Two new en-blocs to enter the Singapore market in April 2018

Multi-dimensional study unveiled for Orchard Road redux

ONCE a magnet for global tourists and regional shoppers, Orchard Road is today losing its draw as stores along the world-famous shopping belt battle disruption from online shopping to overseas shopping. But help is on the way: the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Singapore Tourism Board last week awarded the tender to Singapore-based Cistri to undertake a thorough study of the issues involved and come up with recommendations to set the tone for Orchard Road’s development blueprint for the next 15 to 20 years. The firm – an international offshoot set up two years ago by Australian urban development research and consultancy Urbis – beat 10 other contenders which included players that have operated here for much longer.

Lian Beng spin-off offering 238m shares at S$0.23 apiece for Catalist listing

SLB Development, a property development spin-off from mainboard-listed construction company Lian Beng Group, turned in the paperwork for a Catalist listing on April 11. It is offering 238 million shares at S$0.23 each, comprising eight million shares by way of public offer, and 230 million placement shares. This pegs the gross proceeds at S$54.7 million. Market capitalisation at the time of the initial public offering (IPO) will be S$210 million. Lian Beng Group will retain 73.93 per cent interest in SLB after the invitation. SLB was previously wholly owned by Lian Beng.




Private apartment rents fall 0.2% in March: SRX

SINGAPORE private apartment rents declined in March 2018, after three straight months of gains, even amid a pick-up in the number of units leased out. Rents for non-landed private homes fell by 0.2 per cent against the previous month, according to flash estimates from SRX Property. The index was dragged down by homes in the core central region, where rents lost 0.4 per cent, and outside the central region, where they slipped by 0.5 per cent. But some landlords can still rest assured, with rents in the non-core central region posting a rise of 0.3 per cent. Rents still rose over the previous year by 0.2 per cent overall. Homes were in greater demand in Singapore’s central region – with rents up by 1.5 per cent in the core areas in March, and 1.6 per cent in the non-core areas. Those outside the central region saw rents slide by 2 per cent from the year before.

Also read: Spotting condos with en-bloc potential

HDB flat rentals down 0.8% in March, but rental volume up 45.3%

HDB flat rentals dropped slightly in March from February, even as rental volume jumped, according to latest estimates from SRX Property released on Wednesday. Rents for HDB flats fell by 0.8 per cent in March from February. Compared with a year ago, rents in March were down by 2.4 per cent. March rents were also down 15.6 per cent compared with the peak in August 2013. Even so, HDB rental volume was up 45.3 per cent in March over February, with an estimated 2,036 flats rented in March compared with 1,401 units in the month before.

Yanlord, MCL bag Tulip Garden for S$907m, 20% above reserve price

A YANLORD Land Group and MCL Land joint venture has successfully bagged the freehold Tulip Garden for S$906.889 million, the nation’s second largest collective sales deal so far in 2018. The sale price is 20.4 per cent higher than the reserve price of S$753 million for the 316,708 sq ft freehold estate when the tender was launched on Feb 28. The tender also marks Yanlord’s maiden entry into Singapore’s prime freehold residential property market.

88 Market Street secures JPMorgan as anchor office tenant

88 MARKET Street, the landmark 51-storey tower coming up on the site of the former Golden Shoe Car Park, has secured US investment banking giant JP Morgan as its first anchor tenant. CapitaLand announced the news on Thursday and also unveiled the project’s name – CapitaSpring. JP Morgan will take up 155,000 sq ft – or about a quarter of the 635,000 sq ft of net lettable area at CapitaSpring, occupying levels 24 to 30 of the tower in prime Raffles Place, CapitaLand said in a media statement.




Cache Logistics Trust converts commodity hub to multi-tenancy lease

CACHE Logistics Trust will convert its CWT Commodity Hub property from a master lease to a multi-tenancy lease structure from Thursday, said the Reit’s manager. The CWT Commodity Hub, located at 24 Penjuru Road within the Jurong Industrial Estate, is a ramp-up logistics warehouse. It has an average floor plate of about 448,000 sq ft, ceiling height of up to 10 metres, and an average of 70 loading bays per floor. Daniel Cerf, the chief executive officer of the Reit manager, said that CWT, which provides logistics services and is the Reit’s sponsor, will continue to lease approximately 61 per cent of the premises. Mr Cerf said: “Together with the existing end-users who have committed to leases directly with Cache, the retention rate per lettable area is 86 per cent, including leases secured through joint marketing efforts with CWT.”

Also read: Why pre-paying your home loan could be wise

Manulife US Reit acquires 2 US properties for US$387m; sets up US$1b multicurrency debt issuance programme

MANULIFE US Real Estate Investment Trust (Manulife US Reit) on Friday announced it has entered into agreements to acquire two properties in the US for US$387 million, and has established a US$1 billion multicurrency debt issuance programme aimed at increasing its financial flexibility by diversifying its sources of funding. The properties acquired are 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC and the Phipps Tower in Buckhead, Atlanta, Manulife US Reit said in filings with the Singapore Exchange. The property in the US capital, purchased for US$182 million, is a 13-storey, 277,243-square foot Class A office building that is located a block away from the White House and in proximity to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Federal Reserve.

Ensuring Singapore’s Smart Nation ambitions are future-proof

THERE has been a lot of discussion about smart cities in recent months as cities across the Asia-Pacific promote their digital offerings. In January, Taipei revealed it is using a variation of blockchain technology known as IOTA to drive its smart-city efforts, starting with digital citizen cards. Meanwhile, the Hengqin New District in Guangdong province has tied up with Chinese insurance giant Ping An to facilitate the building of smart cities. And at the Asean-Australia Special Summit last month, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull put forth an A$30 million (S$30.7 million) initiative that includes deepening the partnership between Asean and Australia on smart and sustainable cities design.




Manulife US Reit acquires two US properties for US$387m

MANULIFE US Real Estate Investment Trust (Manulife US Reit) on Friday announced it has entered into agreements to acquire two properties in the US for US$387 million, and has established a US$1 billion multicurrency debt issuance programme aimed at increasing its financial flexibility by diversifying its sources of funding. The properties acquired are 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC and the Phipps Tower in Buckhead, Atlanta, Manulife US Reit said in filings with the Singapore Exchange. The property in the US capital, purchased for US$182 million, is a 13-storey, 277,243-square foot Class A office building that is located a block away from the White House and in proximity to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Federal Reserve.

OCBC, CIMB downgrade LMIRT on new Indonesian tax rules

ANALYSTS at OCBC Investment Research and CGS-CIMB have downgraded their call on Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT). OCBC downgraded the Reit to “sell” from “hold” with a lower fair value of S$0.31, a 23.5 per cent decrease from the previously assessed fair value of S$0.405. CGS-CIMB downgraded the Reit to “reduce” with a target price of S$0.33, a 23.3 per cent decrease from its previous target of S$0.43.

REITS 15 apr 2018


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