Latest property news: Frasers Centrepoint Trust joins index, muted response to Government Land Sales

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Could rooftop gardens save our cities from climate change?
ABC News – Sep 6, 2019
Australian cities are heating up, with an alarming report this year finding temperature increases from climate change and urban growth will make Brisbane “a difficult place” to live by 2050. Scientists blame what is called the urban heat island effect, which means cities are hotter than nearby rural areas due to development. But it is not too late to turn it around, and plants could be the solution. Further afield, a Victorian property developer has plans for a “sustainable shopping centre” at Burwood in suburban Melbourne

Frasers Property Buys 43-Hectare Land Parcel in Melbourne
The Urban Developer – Sep 5, 2019
Frasers Property has purchased a 43 ha land parcel from a private syndicate in Melbourne’s west for A$27.5m. The land buy marks the 2nd major Melbourne purchase for Frasers in the past 12-months, following the acquisition of a 41.3 ha land parcel in Dandenong South. Frasers Property Southern Region general manager Anthony Maugeri described the 917 Boundary Road buy as a “replenishing of depleted stock”.

Ascott eyes millennials with its first co-living space lyf Funan
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
The Ascott has opened lyf Funan Singapore – its first co-living property spanning around 121,000 sqft in GFA. The 9-storey lyf Funan property comprises 412 rooms across 279 apartments. 5 apartment types ranging from 18 to 105 sqm are available, with room rates from S$150, excluding taxes, to cater to both short and long stays.

Mapletree Commercial Trust to replace Hutchison Port Holdings Trust on STI
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) will join the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) with effect from Sep 23, replacing Hutchison Port Holdings Trust. Based on mid-year STI weightages and comparative performances to date, MCT would maintain a weightage in the STI that is close to 1.5%. This would bring the combined weightage of the 4 Reits in the STI to around 8%, said Singapore Exchange market strategist. MCT’s 2019 year-to-date total return was 43%, putting it among Singapore’s most actively traded 25 stocks by turnover over the first 8 months of 2019.

Surbana inks 10 MOUs to boost productivity and sustainability
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
Urban and infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong inked a partnership with JTC Corporation on Thursday to develop solutions that will boost digitalisation, automation and sustainability in the built environment sector. In the area of digitalisation for example, drones with artificial intelligence capabilities could be used to digitalise information-gathering and reduce time spent by engineers on manual monitoring on site.

ESR-Reit secures railway firm as tenant at Tuas industrial property
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
ESR-REIT has secured a new lease for about 168,846 sqft at its 8 Tuas South Lane property to Singapore railway firm P-Way Construction and Engineering. The company specialises in railway construction, installation and maintenance, and is contracted by the Singapore Land Transport Authority to provide track work services.

Department stores in trouble: Future of retail depends on creation of distinct brand image
The Straits Times – Sep 5, 2019
Perhaps the most notable shopping event I have seen in town this year was the weekend queue at Metro’s Centrepoint flagship. The line stretched outside of the mall, down the steps of its main entrance, snaking around side. Shoppers were in line, of course, for the department store’s moving out sale – discounts up to 90% – on the occasion of its announced closing. Retail – for department stores especially – is not in a good place at the moment.

WeWork Targets US$20B to US$30B IPO Value
Bloomberg – Sep 5, 2019
WeWork’s initial public offering won’t be quite the celebration the office-rental unicorn once foresaw. The New York-based start-up is considering seeking a valuation of about US$20b to US$30b in the IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said. The range could end up closer to US$20b, said one of the people, which would be less than half the valuation it secured from its biggest backer just a few months ago. That could put pressure on WeWork, which has a mammoth credit line tied to the success of the IPO, as well as SoftBank Group Corp., which invested at a US$47b valuation earlier this year.

Regional cities tipped to have strongest housing price growth over the next year: expert
Domain – Sep 5, 2019
Launceston’s housing market has been called the “strongest in the country” with new research showing the Tasmanian city’s property values have grown by 20% over the past 18 months. The city outperformed the major capitals across the country, some of which posted double-figure price falls over the same time. The outlook for Sydney and Melbourne was predicted to be a prolonged period of very little capital growth and low rental yields.

Chinese property sector’s troubles highlight debt-laden economy
Nikkei Asian Review – Sep 5, 2019
Recent corporate news offers a glimpse into just how much stimulus, and the extent to which China is putting the quantity of growth ahead economic quality. No one company can ever perfectly represent a nation’s economic situation, but China Evergrande Group comes pretty darn close. China’s 3rd-largest property developer by sales, is also its most indebted. It dominates a vital industry that is slowing and yet manages to skirt government efforts to curb runaway borrowing. Evergrande, it follows, is a microcosm of the risks of loading up on debt at a most inopportune moment.

37-storey tower for Chatswood as it strides towards a new CBD
Australian Financial Review – Sep 5, 2019
Private owners are selling the commercial building at 845 Pacific Highway in the growing Chatswood CBD in Sydney with a scheme that will turn the building into a new 37-tower office tower. It is understood the asking price is about A$60m. The offering comes as the NSW planning department endorsed the Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy in August which will turn Chatswood, one of the busiest sub-CBDs in Sydney, into a bigger business district.

Muted response to two Government Land Sale sites, but third site pulls in nine bids
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
At the close of 3 Government Land Sale tenders on Thu, a site in Tan Quee Lan Street in Bugis had secured only 2 bids, and 1 in Bernam Street in Tanjong Pagar, 4 bids. The third site in one-north Gateway, which required the least outlay, pulled in 9 bids. All 3 are 99-year leasehold sites. Head of research (Singapore) for Colliers International, noted that the Tan Quee Lan Street site was widely anticipated to be hotly contested, and that some developers could have been deterred by expectations of aggressive bidding.

Europe’s buoyant property markets help hide executives’ failings
The Business Times – Sep 5, 2019
A lot of real estate executives in Europe are doing nothing to add value to their firms, and buoyant property markets are helping to hide their failings. The managers of about 40% of european Reits have failed to take action that enhanced their companies’ returns over the past 3 years. The management team at Intu Properties, whose shares have plunged 68% this year, placed last in the study. It focuses instead on how executives managed their balance sheets and allocated capital, highlighting companies that outperformed regardless of the hand they were dealt

Far East Hospitality to open its first hotel in Japan ahead of Tokyo 2020
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
Far East Hospitality (FEH) on Thu said it is opening its first hotel in Japan in Q2 2020, with an aim to do so before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Called Village Hotel Ariake Tokyo, the hotel will be the first under the group’s Village brand outside of Singapore. The 306-key hotel is owned under a 50-50 JV between FEH and Far East Organization, and is located in Koto City in the eastern part of Tokyo, near the Ariake waterfront area. Within the hotel’s vicinity is wholesale seafood and food market Toyosu Market, convention centre Tokyo Big Sight and Tokyo 2020 Olympics venue Ariake Arena.

Firms chase sustainability expertise
The Business Times – Sep 6, 2019
With increasing corporate and investor awareness of sustainability issues, demand for related expertise is growing, said industry players. And while there is still a reliance on consultants, larger corporates are expected to shift towards in-house teams. With the new requirement, EY, which has offered sustainability services here since 2009, has seen a “steady increase in interest and demand” in the last two years.

The Unlikely Chinese Cities Where House Prices Rival London
Bloomberg – Sep 5, 2019
London, Seattle, Manchester and, um, Xiamen. Some of the world’s priciest housing markets aren’t where you might think. A 4-year property boom in China has elevated a collection of little-known cities and turned them into real estate gold. Another risk is increasingly stretched family budgets: The average household debt-to-income ratio in China soared to a record 92% last year from just 30% a decade ago.

PLQ Mall almost 90% leased ahead of October official opening
The Edge Singapore – Sep 5, 2019
Ahead of its grand opening on Oct 24, PLQ Mall by Lendlease is about 90% leased, with some rentals under final negotiations. The new mall will have over 200 shops. Anchor tenants are Shaw Theatres, FairPrice Finest and KopiTime, a new thematic food court by Kopitiam. Shaw Theatres will feature 12 halls and an Imax theatre.

A Cheaper WeWork Still Looks Too Expensive, Analysts Say
Bloomberg – Sep 6, 2019
Even at half-off, WeWork still has plenty of bears. At least 2 analysts on Thu said a discounted IPO valuation of US$20bto US$30b is still too ambitious. But that’s the price WeWork may ask from IPO investors, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg earlier. A recent private funding round valued the New York-based start-up at roughly double that amount, US$47b. The valuation that’s under consideration implies a roughly 4×2020 revenue multiple, assuming sales keep doubling each year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jeffrey Langbaum.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust to join FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Developed Index
Singapore Business Review – Sep 5, 2019
Frasers Centrepoint Trust will be included in the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate Index Series (Global Developed Index) from Sep 23, 2019. The FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate Index Series is an international real estate investment index developed by FTSE Group in cooperation with the European Public Real Estate Association and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts to track the performance of listed real estate companies and REITs worldwide. Richard Ng, CEO of FCAM, said being a part of the benchmark index for listed real estate companies and REITs worldwide would enable FCT to reach out to a larger pool of institutional investors. He added it would raise FCT’s profile in the international investment community and further improve the REIT’s trading liquidity

Surf’s up: Co-working comes to the beach
Australian Financial Review – Sep 5, 2019
Surf-loving workers of Manly will soon have even more reason to stick with their local break, as co-working hub operator WOTSO Workspace sets up a new facility at a former polio hospital just metres from the sand. While the charity is putting together plans – overseen by architects Glenn Murcutt and Angelo Candalepas – to transform its 4000sqm former centre into a health and wellbeing campus, WOTSO will take it over in the interim with a view to establishing a longer-term presence on the redeveloped site. For RFW, the arrangement with WOTSO is a handy way to generate income to maintain the building and its services supporting country kids as its redevelopment plans take shape.

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