Property news round up 11 Mar 2018

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Surbana Jurong guns for S$3.8b in fees in 3-5 years; eyes two architectural firms

THE goal posts for Surbana Jurong have just moved by a notch, after initial targets were exceeded earlier than planned on the back of successive acquisitions.

Still on a prowl for more acquisitions, the urban and infrastructure consultancy is now aiming for S$3.8 billion in revenue and 20,000 employees globally in the next three to five years.

Meeting these targets will signal a more-than-doubling of revenue from S$1.5 billion as at end-2017 and a jump in staff strength from more than 13,500 employees currently.

SingHaiyi aims to build branding as a Singapore company

SINGAPORE-LISTED SingHaiyi Group is well-aware of industry perception of the group as a foreign-owned developer and hopes to change that with its upcoming residential projects on the collective sale sites that it recently secured.

While looking to build its branding in property development with an emphasis on product quality, it will also continue its diversification from residential projects to commercial development here and abroad.

The group is studying the Australian and European markets, where it has gained an exposure through a 9 per cent stake in Australia-listed Cromwell Property Group that is collectively held by SingHaiyi and its parent Haiyi Holdings.

Changes to parking provisions in private buildings proposed

MOTORISTS of the future will have more reason to leave their cars at home, with a proposed change to parking provisions in private buildings that will also free up land for other uses.

If accepted, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be able to more finely calibrate the amount of parking provided through a cap, the authority said on Monday.

Private developments in future “car-lite precincts”, for instance, may have less available parking, but more connectivity to public transport and alternative options such as walking and cycling.

Booking website RedDoorz launches its first fully leased and run hotel

A SINGAPORE-BASED web platform that markets hospitality spaces is venturing into brick and mortar as part of efforts to transform the hospitality industry in South-east Asia.

RedDoorz, which runs a budget accomodation booking website, has expanded into directly leasing and operating hotels.

It recently launched its first, fully-leased and -operated hotel property in Singapore as part of a long-term strategy to provide predictable, consistent customer experiences, as well as to “grow deeper in the hospitality value chain”.

The target is to open 100 such hotel properties across the region this year, with its second one launching in Indonesia as early as May, The Business Times has learnt.

Chip Eng Seng sees opportunity in education sector

CONSTRUCTION and property group Chip Eng Seng Corporation has proposed a diversification of its business by venturing into the education sector.

It said on Monday that it hoped to construct, own, and operate educational facilities and schools as well as manage their programmes.

For a start, it plans to focus on growing this proposed business in the Asia-Pacific region, but will consider expanding globally when the opportunity arises.

KSH, Lian Beng and Heeton unveil plans for Geylang plot

PROPERTY companies KSH Holdings, Lian Beng and Heeton Holdings on Monday said that their joint venture has completed the acquisition of odd-number properties 31 to 51 along Lorong 24 Geylang for S$60 million.

KSH Holdings owns the lion share in the JV at 48 per cent, followed by Lian Beng (42 per cent) and Heeton Holdings (10 per cent). The properties have a combined land area of about 2,432 square metres.

The vendor is an independent and unrelated third party.

Nicon Gardens up for sale for at least S$110m

NICON Gardens, a 99-year leasehold strata landed development located at Choa Chu Kang Road, will be launched for collective sale this Thursday, with owners expecting at least S$110 million.

Its appointed marketing agent ERA Realty said that the collective sales committee is expecting strong interest from developers as there have not been any government land sales for landed housing in Singapore over the past few years, especially in the vicinity.

The development currently consists of 47 units of townhouses, with each unit expected to yield sale proceeds of S$2.3 million based on the reserve price.

Singapore Budget 2018: Built-environment sector to get leg-up from research funds and Build-SG office

PLANS are afoot to raise the capabilities of local construction players by roping in industry and the research community to help transform the built-environment (BE) sector through research funds and helping local firms to internationalise.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) and its partner agencies will launch a series of calls for research ideas under the “Cities of Tomorrow R&D” programme over the next few months, committing up to S$40 million in research funds.

Bigger supply of HDB flats with shorter waiting time

TO HELP more young couples buy their first home, the Housing Board will double the number of flats it offers in 2019 to shorten their waiting time.

It will also let them apply for a flat and defer the assessment of their income for the unit to nearer the time they collect the keys.

This would let them get their flats earlier while they build up their finances, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday.

Announcing the moves in Parliament, Mr Wong said the about 2,000 flats to be offered next year will have a waiting time of two to three years compared with the usual three to four years.

Phase 1 of Nim Collection to be launched at average of S$2.8-S$3m

AS the first developer to launch its private residential project this year, Bukit Sembawang Estates is releasing 30 out of 47 units in Phase 1 of its landed development, Nim Collection, with an average price of S$2.8 million to S$3 million.

The launch of the project on Saturday follows a recovery in landed home prices, marked by two quarterly price upticks in the second half of last year.

Located in Nim Road off Ang Mo Kio Ave 5, this project is one of the first to adopt the new “envelope” control guidelines, which offer greater flexibility in the design and configuration of interior space.

Frasers Hospitality aims for 13 properties in Middle East

FRASERS Hospitality announced plans on Thursday to double its Middle East footprint to 13 properties over the next few years as it seeks to capitalise on the growing number of business tourists to the region.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expected to be the top three business travel markets in the Middle East, Frasers said in a press statement.

Bahrain has also seen a large influx of business tourists due to hosting large events like the World Islamic Banking Conference.

ARA unit to acquire 19.5% stake in Aussie real estate firm

A WHOLLY owned subsidiary of Singapore-based ARA Asset Management will acquire a 19.5 per cent stake in Australian real estate firm Cromwell Property Group for A$405.9 million (S$416.9 million).

ARA will acquire the stake from South African-based real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties.

The sale will involve about 386.5 million stapled securities at A$1.05 per stapled security.

HDB resale flat prices fell in Feb, but number sold rose

PRICES of Housing Board (HDB) resale flats dipped slightly for the second month running, but the volume of flats sold increased.

February’s prices fell 0.6 per cent compared with January prices, according to SRX flash estimates on Thursday.

January prices had also fallen 0.5 per cent from last December’s prices. However, there was a 9.6 per cent increase in resale flats sold last month – from 1,090 units to 1,195 units.

Shophouse deals gain momentum in Jan-Feb

THE Singapore shophouse market has had a good start to the year in terms of transactions volume with deals in places like Tanjong Pagar and Mosque Street in the CBD to Tanjong Katong Road and Joo Chiat Road

Prices are also holding well, if not appreciating, amid a dearth of new listings, say industry watchers.

In the first two months, 26 caveats totalling S$220.8 million were lodged for purchases of shophouses island-wide, based on CBRE’s analysis of URA Realis caveats data as at March 5.

For the whole of last year, the tally was 148 caveats amounting to just over S$1 billion – a jump from the 107 caveats totalling S$707.1 million in 2016.

Ng brothers are Singapore’s top billionaires: Forbes

REAL estate barons Robert and Philip Ng have retained their No 1 spot as the top billionaires in Singapore, with a combined net worth of US$10.8 billion, in financial magazine Forbes’ 32nd annual ranking of the world’s billionaires.

Their net worth is up from the previous year’s US$9.4 billion.

Four residential sites launched for sale by tender

FOUR more residential sites have been placed on Singapore’s burgeoning property market – with Asia Gardens along Everton Road leading the way at an asking price of S$338 million.

The other three developments are Park View Mansions near Jurong Lake with an expected price of S$320 million; 27 Moulmein Rise with a reserve price of S$110 million; and Katong Omega Apartments with an indicative price of S$41 million.

According to Edmund Tie & Co (ET&Co) which is marketing the collective sale of Asia Gardens, the asking price of S$338 million works out to a land rate of S$1,675 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), or S$1,523 psf on the maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), including the 10 per cent bonus balcony area.

Sasseur Reit cornerstone investors include JD.com and YCH boss

E-COMMERCE giant JD.com, Singapore’s CKK Holdings which owns the the Charles & Keith group of companies, and Entrepolis, a private investment firm of Robert Yap, the executive chairman of local logistics firm YCH Group, are among the cornerstone investors of Sasseur Reit.

The trust’s preliminary prospectus, lodged on Wednesday, contained no information on pricing or issuance size, but an earlier report in The Business Times, citing a term sheet it had seen, said the initial public offering (IPO) could raise between S$500 million and S$600 million, and Sasseur Reit would have a market cap of S$1 billion upon its debut.

Tanjong Katong bungalow market on a roll

A STRING of large freehold bungalow deals have been sealed in the past few months in the Tanjong Katong area.

These include transactions in Boscombe, Branksome, Lyndhurst, Wilkinson and Arthur roads.

Some of these are old bungalows that were bought by families already living in the area for redevelopment into their new homes.

Among the bigger deals is an old single-storey bungalow on a 12,767 sq ft site in Boscombe Road that is being transacted for S$17.5 million.

This works out to nearly S$1,371 per square foot on the land area of 12,767 sq ft. The buyer is understood to be a family member of Hoi Hup Realty director Wong Sjew Hung.

She and her family already live in the area.

Koh Brothers unit wins bid for Toho Mansion

KBD Ventures, a subsidiary of construction and property developer Koh Brothers, has won the en bloc tender for Toho Mansion on Holland Road for S$120.43 million, or around S$1,805 per square foot per plot ratio.

The freehold site, with an area measuring 4,427.8 sq m and a plot ratio of 1.4, can be redeveloped to a project with potential gross floor area of 6,818.7 sq m, including a 10 per cent bonus balcony area, Koh Brothers said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange early on Friday.

Zoned for residential use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s 2014 Master Plan, the plot enjoys enjoys a high development baseline, with no development charge to redevelop the te, said the marketing agent for the site, Edmund Tie & Company, on Friday

Singapore’s strata office market gains momentum

THE strata office market seems to be rousing in the last half a year. While the sales volume and pricing are still lower than the pre-TDSR period of 2013, activity seems to have steadily returned since 2015.

At the peak of its cycle in 2012, property sales of strata-titled offices were at an all-time high with a record S$2.29 billion worth of new and resale strata offices traded – almost three times more than the sale transactions of S$760 million in 2017.

The market then was dominated by a 70-30 ratio of investors to end-users at that point in the cycle.

Ready credit enticed many investors to purchase a slice of the office strata investment market. Developers, egged on by the frenzy, used the opportunity to convert whole commercial floors into strata units, parcelled out for sale to investors.

Goodluck Garden sold to Qingjian for S$610m

GOODLUCK Garden, a 210-unit residential development on Toh Tuck Road, has been sold collectively to the Qingjian Group of Companies for S$610 million.

This is the second-largest en bloc deal to be awarded this year, after Park West’s S$841 million transaction in January.

Based on a potential gross floor area of 46,840.08 sq m, the sale price translates to a land price of about S$1,210 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Due to a high development baseline, a development charge will not be payable for the 10 per cent bonus balcony and this will lower the land price to S$1,100 psf ppr.