Property news round up 27 May 2018


Managers of Reits with overseas assets address investors’ concerns at symposium

WHILE real estate investment trusts (Reits) with overseas assets present additional risks, they also provide higher growth opportunities, and managements take several measures to allay investors’ concerns, said experts at a panel discussion at the Reits Symposium 2018.

The annual one-day event, held last Saturday at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, is in its fourth edition.

It was jointly organised by Reit Association of Singapore (Reitas) and ShareInvestor, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings. Goh Toh Sim, chief executive officer of EC World Reit manager, a Reit focused on e-commerce logistics properties in China, said: “Reits with Singapore assets have reached a point where it is rather hard to grow.

With overseas assets, they allow investors to have opportunities to participate in the growth of overseas markets.”

Buyers snap up 80 units at Le Quest Phase Two sales

LE QUEST, a Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group mixed development project in Bukit Batok, sold about 80 units during the first weekend of its Phase Two sales.

Qingjian Realty has offered 115 units for sale, just a week after it opened up the development for Phase Two preview.

Deputy general manager Yen Chong said: “Homeowners clearly appreciate the tech-enabled lifestyle offered at Le Quest. The enthusiastic response we saw in Phase One has continued this weekend.”

Also read: Tre Ver condo at Potong Pasir

GIC in joint venture to acquire office portfolio in California’s ‘Silicon Beach’

GIC and a group of investors have formed a joint venture led by Rockwood Capital to acquire a portfolio of Class A office assets in Playa Vista, California, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund announced on Tuesday.

The portfolio assets are Water’s Edge, a 259,000 sq ft, two-building creative office campus and Playa Jefferson, a 251,000 sq ft, five-building multi-tenant complex. The venture has also commenced construction on the second phase of Water’s Edge – a 160,000 sq ft office building which will be known as WE3.

Construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. Thereafter, Water’s Edge will feature approximately 450,000 sq ft of Class A office space “in a supply-constrained market”, said GIC.

Macly Group purchases 5 terrace houses in Guillemard area

MACLY Group is buying five terrace houses in the Guillemard Road/ Lorong 28 Geylang locale for nearly S$20.55 million. The five properties – comprising 331, 333, 335 and 339 Guillemard Road and 56 Lorong 28 Geylang – are on total freehold land area of 12,839 sq ft.

The price works out to around S$700 per square foot per plot ratio. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014, the land is zoned for residential use with 2.8 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area).

“We have approval to redevelop the site into a part-eight storey, part-five storey project with 47 apartments. We plan to begin redevelopment in the first half of next year,” Macly Group founder and managing director Herman Chang told The Business Times.

Buxani Group buys 117-room hotel in Glasgow

SINGAPORE-BASED property investment firm Buxani Group has bought its first property in the United Kingdom, a 117-room hotel in Glasgow, for £10 million (S$18 million).

While this is a modest investment, it is likely to be the first of more to come for the group in the UK as well as other parts of Europe.

“We are aiming to buy more three- and four-star hotels across the UK as well as in Europe, especially older properties where we see significant upside potential from additional capital expenditure or value-add opportunities,” said the group’s chief executive, Kishore Buxani.

Also read: Alternative and infrastructure news update

Hatten Land in JV to launch new platform

CATALIST-listed property developer Hatten Land and proptech startup FundPlaces will form an 85:15 joint venture to operate what is supposedly South-east Asia’s first hospitality blockchain platform for hotels and malls.

Called StayCay, it will allow the Malaysia-headquartered company to issue “hotel tokens” that can be exchanged for discounted hotel packages in the hotels managed by Hatten Land as well as major shareholder Hatten Group conglomerate.

StayCay will also operate a blockchain-based rewards programme whereby points can be used in Hatten Group’s retail, F&B and wellness or hospitality outlets.

The platform is expected to go live by December 2018 with the more than 3,400 hotel rooms and 5,000 retail outlets by Hatten Land and Hatten Group.

House of Tan Yeok Nee back on the market

THE House of Tan Yeok Nee , a gazetted national monument at the junction of Penang Road and Clemenceau Avenue, will soon be put on the market.

The price expectation is “above S$90 million” for the two-storey freehold property, the last remaining traditional Chinese courtyard house in Singapore.

It has a land area of 26,321 sq ft and a strata area of 58,480 sq ft; its net lettable area is 29,912 sq ft.

The Business Times understands that the owner, an equal-stake joint-venture between Perennial Real Estate Holdings and a Chinese party, has appointed Cushman & Wakefield and PropNex to run an expression-of-interest exercise to find a buyer.

UE forks out S$9m to build WBL stake

THREE months after its minority shareholders foiled its buy-out bid, United Engineers (UE) has gone ahead to expand its equity holding in WBL by acquiring more than 4.3 million shares for S$9 million from OCBC Bank, its subsidiaries and independent third parties.

UE made the announcement after trading closed on Wednesday.

The deal priced WBL shares at S$2.07 apiece, compared to WBL’s net asset value per share of S$2.64 as at Dec 31, 2017.

Also read: Emerging trends in real estate by PWC and ULI

72-unit condo complex Balestier Regency up for sale for S$218m

BALESTIER Regency, a 72-unit condominium complex off Balestier Road, has been launched for collective sale by tender and is expected to fetch some S$218 million, marketer Teakhwa Real Estate said on Wednesday.

This indicative price translates to a land rate of S$1,264.9 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), including a development charge of S$1.35 million.

The land price will be reduced to about S$1,220.9 psf ppr, if the 10 per cent bonus balcony area is included.

Owners can expect to receive proceeds ranging from S$2.82 million to S$3.05 million.

In addition, the 61,951.8 sq ft freehold residential site has a plot ratio of 2.8, and an allowable height of up to 36 storeys.

Singapore is 4th most expensive city in Asia to build in

SINGAPORE is the fourth most expensive city in Asia to build in, behind Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo, in that order, according to a survey by global design and consultancy firm Arcadis.

The Republic also ranks 27th in the world on Arcadis’s construction cost index, which looks at the relative cost of building in 50 of the world’s major cities in 2018.

The index covers 13 building types, with costs representative of the local specifications used to meet market needs.

Following a stronger-than-expected 2017, countries around the world are experiencing an economic upturn, which will accelerate the demand for construction, said Arcadis.

Malaysian state-backed funds ‘looking for a loan for London-property project’

TWO Malaysian state-backed funds that acquired London’s Battersea Power Station building are sounding out banks for a loan of about £1.5 billion (S$2.7 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and state-owned asset manager Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) are expected to hire banks shortly, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the proceedings are private.

The funds will refinance existing borrowings and complete the purchase of commercial assets being developed under the second phase of the Battersea Power Station project, these sources said.

Also read: Don’t miss out on getting a unit at Affinity Condo (ex. Serangoon Ville)

Bukit Sembawang posts sharp increase in Q4 earnings

PROPERTY developer Bukit Sembawang Estates reported a substantial increase in quarterly net income on Thursday, as it recognised higher profits from its development projects.

Its net profit after tax increased to S$21.5 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2018, from S$2.3 million the year before.

Its revenue more than doubled to S$32.8 million in Q4 FY2018, from S$15.2 in Q4 FY2017. Its earnings per share were 8.3 cents, from 0.87 cents last year.

Bukit Sembawang Estates said it recognised higher sales and higher profits on its development projects during the period.

3 Liang Seah shophouses seeking S$30m; 6 Little India conservation units up for auction

THREE adjoining shophouses at 33 Liang Seah Street have been launched for sale via private treaty at S$30 million, while six conservation shophouses at Desker Road are up for auction.

In a press statement on Thursday, marketer for the Liang Seah shophouses, Colliers International, said the three units, which are held under a single land title, sit on a 2,694 square foot (sq ft) site within the Beach Road Conservation Area.

The estimated total gross floor area (GFA) stands at 11,500 sq ft, and the site is zoned “Commercial and Residential”, with a gross plot ratio of 4.2 under the Master Plan 2014.

The land also has a 999-year lease tenure beginning from 1827.

No wonder the ultra-wealthy are now flocking to Sydney

WITH its pristine beaches, glistening harbour and enviable climate, you’d be forgiven for thinking of Sydney as a holiday destination.

But for an increasing number of the world’s wealthy, their ticket to Sydney is one-way.

More high-net-worth-individuals (defined as US$1 million +) immigrated to Sydney than any other city in the world at last count; a trend which is expected to continue.

As more of the world’s wealthy head Down Under, the number of Sydney’s high-net-worth-individuals is expected to increase 70 per cent by 2026; while its population of ultra-wealthy (defined as US$50 million +) is expected to increase by 37 per cent in the next five years.

Also read: Keppel DC REIT’s Kingsland Acquisition

Indonesian tycoon buys 2 Bt Pasoh shophouses

THE family office of Indonesian tycoon Prajogo Pangestu has picked up a pair of adjoining freehold shophouses in Teo Hong Road in the Bukit Pasoh Conservation Area for nearly S$22 million.

The properties are a stone’s throw from Outram MRT Station. One of them is understood to have been sold by Lim Chun Shuang, son of Lim Hock San, president and chief executive of United Industrial Corporation.

The deals were brokered by Clemence Lee, associate director of capital markets at JLL who declined to comment on the seller’s and buyer’s identities.

Leonie Gardens goes en bloc with S$800m reserve price

HUTTONS Asia announced it is launching Leonie Gardens for collective sale by tender with a reserve price of S$800 million.

The reserve price translates to S$2,104 per square foot based on existing GFA (gross floor area), or S$2,021 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) if a 10 per cent balcony space is included, subject to approval. The tender will close at 3pm on June 21.

Leonie Gardens, located at 23, 25 and 27 Leonie Hill in District 9, has 71 years remaining on its 99-year leasehold, which expires on Sept 14, 2089.

The condo consists of 138 units, with a total strata area of 324,972.90 square feet (sq ft) and a gross floor area of 410,431.80 sq ft.

Frasers Property buys warehouse in the Netherlands for 25m euros

REAL estate firm Frasers Property said on Friday it has acquired a new freehold logistics warehouse in the Netherlands.

Its indirect subsidiary Frasers Property Investments (Europe) BV entered into a sale-and-purchase agreement with Acacia BV and LocMeppel BV to acquire all the issued and paid-up share capital of LocMeppel BV in the Netherlands.

Upon the completion of the acquisition, LocMeppel BV will be Frasers Property’s indirect wholly-owned subsidiary. LocMeppel BV holds the freehold interest in the warehouse, which comes with ancillary office space, located in the industrial estate Noord II in the Dutch town of Meppel.