Property news round up 25 Mar 2018

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CBRE plans ‘living lab’ for new tech at Paya Lebar showcase

CBRE is relocating its main Singapore office to Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) in the middle of next year, and hopes to turn the new office into a “living lab” or a showcase for new proprietary technologies.

The new office spanning over 30,000 square feet at PLQ will bring together its operations currently at three different locations, including a prime CBD address at 6 Battery Road.

But CBRE will still retain a core CBD office to serve clients in the area, said Pauline Goh, chief executive officer of CBRE Singapore and South-east Asia.

Keppel Land consolidates ownership of Saigon Sports City

KEPPEL Corp on Sunday said that it has through Keppel Land’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Oil (Asia) Pte Ltd, acquired the remaining 10 per cent stake in Jencity Limited, which holds Saigon Sports City, for about US$11.4 million.

It bought the stake from Jenclub Limited. Following the acquisition, Keppel Land will hold a 100 per cent interest in Saigon Sports City, thus consolidating its full ownership of the township.

Saigon Sports City is a 64-hectare township that Keppel Land is developing in the prime District 2 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in collaboration with Keppel Urban Solutions.

Also read: New condominiums in Singapore for 2018

Victor Li finally completes decades-long apprenticeship

IT’S NOT easy being the son of a superhuman action hero.

Victor Li, 53, heir to Hong Kong’s biggest family fortune, has spent his career in the shadow of his father and billionaire property tycoon Li Ka-shing, known as “Superman” in the local press for his deal-making savvy.

On Friday, the elder Li, 89, announced his retirement as chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd and CK Asset Holdings Ltd – his two biggest companies – in a move that shifts control of the telecom, retail and infrastructure business empire to Victor, a Stanford University-educated engineer who’s preferred to stay out of the media glare.

Li is expected to focus on building profitability by cutting costs and finding synergies inside the global conglomerate that also owns utility companies and mobile-phone networks.

His father will remain as a senior adviser and will continue to work closely together.

Kwek and Quek entities secure Pacific Mansion for S$980m

ENTITIES controlled by Singapore property tycoon Kwek Leng Beng and his Malaysian billionaire cousin Quek Leng Chan have joined forces to acquire a freehold site for S$980 million in Singapore’s prime district 9.

The acquisition of Pacific Mansion marks the biggest collective sale in a more than a decade and the second-highest on record, according to CBRE, which brokered the deal.

Singapore-listed GuocoLand, controlled by Mr Quek, announced on Monday that it has successfully tendered for the Pacific Mansion site with Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty.

Peak Court up for en bloc sale with asking price of S$106m

THE freehold Peak Court at Thomson Road has launched a tender for collective sale with an asking price of S$106 million.

Marketing agent Edmund Tie & Company said in a statement that the District 11 condominium with 20 maisonette units can be redeveloped into “an upscale resort-like boutique condominium project with about 106 units.”

If authorities approve, the site could also be developed into a five-storey serviced apartment project or a healthcare development.

The 57,350 sq ft site is located near Novena MRT station and schools like Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh) as well as the Pan Island Expressway (PIE).

Far East-led consortium places 3 of total 15 bids for Holland site

PROPERTY giant Far East Organization – which has been lagging its rivals in a land shopping binge in the past year or so – is leading a consortium that has placed three bids for a prime commercial and residential site in Holland Road.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s first dual-envelope tender in eight years drew a strong turnout on Tuesday.

In all, 15 bids were received from 10 consortiums for the 99-year leasehold site near Holland Village MRT Station.

Four of the groups placed multiple bids to raise their chances of clinching the site. “The huge capital outlay with a land price possibly exceeding S$1 billion and the necessary experience in developing and managing the non-residential component would have led to the tie-ups,” said JLL national director Ong Teck Hui.

Also read: Decline in distribution per unit for Keppel REIT

CapitaLand unit to manage mall in Oxley’s The Peak in Phnom Penh

DEVELOPER CapitaLand, through its wholly owned shopping mall business CapitaLand Retail, has signed an agreement to manage a mall in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

The mall is the retail component of The Peak, an upcoming high-end integrated development majority owned by Singapore-based developer Oxley and Cambodian company Worldbridge Land.

The Peak, located the Chamkarmon district in central Phnom Penh, is a 55-storey freehold integrated development which houses an office tower, the country’s first Shangri-La Hotel, two luxury residential towers with 1,014 apartment units and the mall, which will open in 2020.

Technology advances can help secure formal land rights

NEW technology has unleashed a wave of opportunities to secure formal land rights for hundreds of millions of people, but it is not a solve-all solution in countries with weak institutions, said a senior World Bank economist.

Satellite imagery, drones, cloud computing and blockchain are among technologies with the potential to help many of the world’s more than one billion people estimated to lack secure property rights, said the World Bank’s Klaus Deininger.

“With new technologies, we have a lot of opportunities to change the picture quite dramatically,” he said in an interview ahead of the World Bank’s annual conference on land and poverty, which opened in Washington on Monday.

Country Garden’s annual core profit doubles to record

COUNTRY Garden Holdings Co Ltd, one of China’s most aggressive property developers, said on Tuesday annual core profit doubled to a record on robust sales and higher margins.

Despite Beijing’s efforts to cool a heated market, many of China’s major property developers are expected to book their annual best-ever profits for 2017, benefiting as they speed up the pace of developments and from their bigger size as M&A activity makes the market less fragmented.

Country Garden’s core profit, which excludes non-recurring income and revaluation gains, grew to 24.7 billion yuan (S$5.1 billion).

Sasseur Reit offers public tranche of 13.8m units at S$0.80 apiece

SASSEUR Reit is offering 266.6 million units at 80 Singapore cents each in the first initial public offering (IPO) of a real estate investment trust (Reit) this year in Singapore.

This comprises 252.8 million placement shares and a public tranche of 13.8 million, according to its registered prospectus filed March 21.

When it begins trading here on March 28, Sasseur Reit will also offer investors here a new asset class, exposure to Chinese outlet malls, and will be the first outlet mall Reit to be listed in Asia.

The Reit is forecasting a distribution yield of 7.5 per cent between March 1 and end-2018, and 7.8 per cent in 2019.

Also read: Best performing condos in Feb 2018

More commercial sites hop onto collective sale train

MORE commercial developments are jumping onto the collective sale bandwagon even as the success rate for such deals pale in comparison to residential developments.

Among them is Singapore Shopping Centre at Clemenceau Avenue, which has only 29 years left on its tenure and where the secretariat of Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) is located.

Redas, which owns 5,264 sq ft of space at the top floor of Singapore Shopping Centre (including 2,390 sq ft of roof terrace) since 1987 under a trust, is not part of the collective sale committee (CSC).

Freehold Olina Lodge launched for collective sale at S$220m

OWNERS of Olina Lodge, a freehold project at 15 Holland Hill in prime district 10, hope that third time’s the charm in their collective sale attempt.

They have launched their properties collectively this time with a reserve price of S$220 million.

This translates to a land rate of S$1,631 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), said sole marketing agent Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI).

Good Class Bungalow deals start to rev up

A FEW big ticket deals in Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Areas were sealed recently.

These include a bungalow in Dalvey Road near the Israeli Embassy that went for S$35.4 million – or S$1,757 per square foot on the freehold land area of 20,143 sq ft.

Located within the White House Park GCB Area, the property spans two storeys and a basement.

One Raffles Place Shopping Mall gets facelift

OUE Commercial Reit announced on Wednesday that its portfolio property, One Raffles Place Shopping Mall, will undergo asset enhancement initiatives in mid-2018 as part of efforts to revitalise the mall with a “more diverse and dynamic tenant mix”.

The enhancements include improving the circulation areas of the mall, as well as creating more inviting and open retail space with better visibility.

These upgrades will help provide a better shopping experience while simultaneously driving the per square foot productivity of the mall, said OUE C-Reit in a filing to the bourse.

It also announced the opening of a co-working space on an area of more than 35,000 sq ft across a few levels at the mall.

More private spaces for hotel

IN AN industry challenged by Airbnb and other home-sharing competitors, hotels are happy to attract locals with laptops and the cocktail crowds to their lobbies.

But popularity risks frustrating guests, who may be forced to retreat to their rooms, which has led to an expansion of guest-only areas like meeting spaces, libraries, quiet rooms and bars.

For hotel operators, these private spaces are similar to the concierge-floor perks, where guests pay a premium for access to a lounge with business facilities and food.

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

OrangeTee & Tie teams up with Carousell on property listings

ORANGETEE & Tie, Singapore’s third-largest property agency by sales force, has tied up with homegrown Carousell to add the property listings and reviews of its more than 4,000 agents to the online marketplace.

The collaboration comes on the heels of the launch of SoReal Prop last week, an online platform initiative led by top agencies PropNex Realty, ERA Realty and Huttons Asia.

OrangeTee & Tie, which has not joined SoReal Prop yet, said its tie-up with Carousell allows over 20,000 listings and more than 9,000 agent reviews from OrangeTee & Tie to be added to the Carousell platform within the next three months for free.

Mortgage rates recommence their upward trajectory

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average inched up to 4.45 per cent with an average 0.5 point.

(Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 per cent of the loan amount.)

It was 4.44 per cent a week ago and 4.23 per cent a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate average ticked up to 3.91 per cent with an average 0.5 point.

It was 3.90 per cent a week ago and 3.44 per cent a year ago.

The five-year adjustable rate average edged up to 3.68 per cent with an average 0.4 point.

It was 3.67 per cent a week ago and 3.24 per cent a year ago.

As expected, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark rate on Wednesday, raising it to 1.75 per cent, the highest level in a decade.

The central bank doesn’t set mortgage rates, but its decisions influence them.

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