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Real Estate Daily News

2nd, 3rd and 4th December 2017 (Sat, Sun and Mon)

Singapore Economy

Singapore to deepen business collaboration with Zhejiang: minister
More opportunities are opening up for Singapore companies in Zhejiang, China, in areas of trade, cross-border e-commerce, professional services and innovation, said Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, at a council meeting on Friday.  A growing number of local firms - such as e-commerce company M-DAQ and logistics business Ninja Van - have made headway there, she added. Ms Sim was speaking as co-chair of the Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council, together with Zhejiang vice-governor Liang Liming.

Singapore retailers enjoy higher Black Friday sales this year
This year's Black Friday weekend beginning on Nov 24 saw shoppers flock to online and bricks-and-mortar shops to snag some good buys, with stores in Singapore pulling out all the stops to attract consumers.  Aside from offering various promotions, retailers like Robinsons, Sephora and Metro also extended their opening hours and it seems like their efforts have paid off, with retailers The Straits Times spoke to reporting higher Black Friday sales compared with last year's.

Singapore's alternative investment industry is alive and kicking
Singapore’s alternative investment fund industry continues to evolve and grow amid on-going regulatory change, constructive government support and increased allocations from sophisticated local and international investors.  The hedge fund sector grew by 16 per cent last year to S$138 billion in assets under management (AUM), according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's recently published asset management survey.

Singapore IPOs raise double the funds secured last year
Initial public offerings (IPOs) in Singapore this year have raised twice the amount of money racked up in all of 2016.  The 19 IPOs in the first 11 months of the year hit $4.6 billion, double the $2.3 billion raised for the whole of 2016, according to the Singapore Exchange (SGX).  The market capitalisation of the 19 stocks, including Netlink NBN Trust and Union Gas Holdings, was $8.3 billion, compared with $4.4 billion of 16 stocks that made their debut on the bourse in 2016.

Upbeat news for stock market bulls
The latest newsflow over the weekend continues to be positive for stock market bulls.  In the United States, tax reform is moving closer to reality, even while interest rates are poised to go up again amid a strong economy.  Separately, oil markets are upbeat after oil cartel Opec and other oil-producing countries, including Russia, agreed to keep production cuts throughout 2018.

Singapore Real Estate

Allgreen scoops up 2 Singapore land parcels after 6-year hiatus
Robert Kuok's Allgreen Properties has scooped up land parcels in Singapore for the first time in recent years through two collective sale tenders in the upscale Bukit Timah area.  It acquired Royalville for S$477.94 million and Crystal Tower for S$180.65 million, or land rates of S$1,960 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) and S$1,840 psf ppr for the freehold sites respectively. The bullish bids came just after Singapore's central bank on Thursday joined National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in warning developers and homebuyers to proceed with caution.

Singapore home loan rates start upward climb
All three local banks have raised their home loan rates as interest rates continue to spike - and mortgage advisers warn of more hikes to come.  DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB), which collectively account for the lion's share of the housing loan market, have increased the interest rates on their fixed-rate and floating-rate packages since last month.

Sports Hub a massive project that 'cannot fail': Oon Jin Teik
At a little over three years old, the Singapore Sports Hub complex in Kallang is still considered to be in its infancy.  But the S$1.33-billion project has already had its fair share of negative publicity since opening its doors in June 2014, be it pitch woes at the National Stadium, complaints about the sound system during some major concerts, or the sudden resignation of its chief executive officer earlier this year.

Decades of groundwork for T5 to take flight
Singapore has thrived by betting big on future trends that make or break economies, whether in air or sea transport, urban development or water sustainability. It is how the Republic rose to become the world's top transhipment hub, a leading air hub and a model liveable city. In the first of a three-part series on major infrastructure projects, Insight looks at what it takes to get Changi Airport Terminal 5 off the ground.

Companies' Brief

Apac Realty CEO upbeat about S'pore property market
Mr Jack Chua, the chief executive officer of Singapore Exchange-listed Apac Realty, is passionate about all things property. The genial 57-year-old, who has lived and breathed real estate most of his life, has a penchant for land, buildings and architecture.

Fragrance CEO's offer for New Wave lapses
Real estate tycoon Koh Wee Meng's bid to take over New Wave Holdings has fallen through, with the lapse of his voluntary conditional cash offer for all the shares in the electronic component supplier.  In a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Friday afternoon, New Wave said that at the offer's close of 5.30pm on Thursday, the total number of shares owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by the offeror and parties acting in concert with it, together with valid acceptances of the offer, amounted to about 308.6 million shares.

SPH to step up transformation via wide-ranging projects: chairman
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will step up transformation by embarking on wide-ranging projects to rejuvenate, reinvent and reposition itself in order to seek new growth areas, chairman Lee Boon Yang said, citing challenges led by disruption from social media and digital advertising.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Supertall Skyscrapers: Vision Or Vanity?
In 2008, two years before Burj Khalifa in Dubai became the world's tallest building at 828 metres, development officials in Saudi Arabia were already soil-testing around Jeddah city in early preparations for a building that would beat that record. By 2020, Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia will steal the crown with its staggering height of 1,000m when completed.

Unlocking the value of our homes in retirement
A Housing Board flat means different things to different people - a home, of course; an investment; a source of income; and for couples, an application for a flat can even mean an informal proposal.  People are now far more financially savvy and would consider long and hard the long-term financial impact of buying their first home, but things were simpler in my time.

Realign HDB policies to reflect changing reality
While Housing Board policies favouring married couples were enacted in the first place to encourage citizens to get married and have children, it is a fact that Singapore's fertility rate is plunging and the number of people choosing not to have children has increased (Single parents who petitioned for changes to housing policy disappointed at rejection; ST Online, Nov 30).

China factor in property market exuberance
I was at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne recently with a friend, browsing, when I came across a stall selling boots.  It's summer in Australia, but my Singaporean habit of thinking ahead got me thinking of stocking up on winter boots ahead of time. The prices for the iconic Australian wool-lined boots looked reasonable.

Keep cool in hot property market
Collective sale fever may be going strong, property prices are rising again and sales volumes are picking up, but regulators have given a clear warning that these signs may be more cause for caution than celebration.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its 2017 Financial Stability Review published last Thursday that there is "excessive exuberance" in the property market as well as risks from rising land prices and a possible oversupply of housing stock.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

How the ferry is changing the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront

Work halts at NYC condo tower after council rules it's too tall

WeWork rides lifestyle change to become new economy star

US warehouses get bigger, taller and faster

Manafort reaches new bail agreement with prosecutors

China's October PMI remains strong, but cracks appearing

Asian manufacturing expands further, but China remains a risk

Japan household spending, consumer prices hold steady

Australia home prices stall as Sydney hits air pocket

New Zealand examines Matt Lauer's ranch purchase after his firing

Additional Articles of Interest - Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate - Full Article

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