Daily property news 8 Apr 2020

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BUSINESSES that apply to defer payments for their secured property loans, as well as property owners doing so for residential mortgages, will not be subject to the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Tuesday.

Businesses that have taken up mortgage equity withdrawal loans secured on residential or non-residential properties are also not subject to property curbs such as TDSR and loan-to-value (LTV) limits.

The TDSR sets limits on how much property buyers can borrow against their monthly income.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/tdsr-waived-for-deferred-mortgage-payments

CHINESE tycoon Tong Jinquan has sold a substantial stake in IReit Global to the real estate investment trust’s key unitholders and strategic partners, Tikehau Capital and City Developments (CDL), for S$64 million.

A Tuesday announcement said that French asset management and investment group Tikehau Capital has raised its stake to 29.2 per cent from 16.64 per cent, while Singapore-based developer CDL increased its stake to 20.87 per cent from 12.52 per cent in the Reit. This takes their aggregate shareholding to over 50 per cent. Following this transaction, Mr Tong’s stake will be reduced to about 6 per cent.

The Business Timesreported on March 27 that Mr Tong offloaded 8.2 million IReit Global units for S$4 million from March 13 to March 23, effectively paring his stake from 34.4 per cent to 32.89 per cent.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/chinese-tycoon-tong-jinquan-sells-substantial-stake-in-ireit-global-to-key

FITCH Ratings has lowered its outlook on Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust’s (LMIRT) long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to negative from stable due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The negative outlook is based on an expectation that the pandemic will impact operating earnings, with average occupancy rate dropping to around 50 per cent in 2020, Fitch Ratings said on Monday.

It also affirmed the mainboard-listed retail real estate investment trust’s long-term senior unsecured rating at BB.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/fitch-ratings-cuts-lmirt-outlook-to-negative-due-to-coronavirus-impact-0

MARKET watchers are expecting office rents in Singapore to decline in the coming months, amid the coronavirus pandemic that is showing no signs of abating.

“The office market has peaked, with Grade A central business district (CBD) rents falling by 0.5 per cent to S$10.61 per square foot per month (psf pm) during the first three months of 2020 over the last quarter of 2019,” Cushman & Wakefield said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Likewise, Colliers International on Tuesday also noted that the negative impact of the pandemic on office rents could start rearing its head in the second quarter this year.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/singapore-office-rents-to-decline-amid-covid-19-pandemic

CHINA’S top developers are prising open their war chests to snap up land this year as local governments sell more prime real estate to boost revenues and smaller, distressed property firms look to offload assets as the coronavirus takes a toll.

Many of the country’s major property companies said at recent earnings conferences that they planned to ramp up spending, thanks to a faster-than-expected sales recovery in the first quarter and more abundant liquidity.

Others said they would maintain purchasing levels on par with last year as they were confident demand for housing will remain intact in the long run.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/chinas-big-developers-shrug-off-short-term-virus-impact-to-splurge-on-land

The Covid-19 pandemic will hit demand, supply and prices of condos in Phuket as 90% of buyers are foreigners from heavily affected countries: China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Nattha Kahapana, executive director of property consultant Knight Frank Phuket Co, said discounts are useless at the moment as all activities including sales office are locked down.

“When everything resumes, sales prices will not be decreased by more than 5%,” he said. “Some developers will offer campaigns to attract buyers.”

https://www.bangkokpost.com/property/1894590/foreign-buyers-still-rule-phuket-condos

Britain’s housing market is largely on pause due to the government’s coronavirus lockdown which will make it hard to calculate price changes, but it is too soon to gauge the long-term impact, mortgage lender Halifax said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-economy-houseprices/uk-housing-market-on-hold-due-to-coronavirus-crisis-halifax-idUSKBN21P0X0

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