Singapore's real estate investment market has been ranked second in the Asia Pacific region in a real estate forecast jointly published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). This is due to a large number of major office deals in the last 12 months, with domestic investors being the biggest buyers, ULI and PwC said in a joint statement. The forecast report titled "Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2019" listed the top five Asia Pacific markets for investment and development in 2019 as Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Osaka. It also indicated that Singapore continues to rebound from cyclical lows of a couple of years ago, as it climbed to second place from third last year. Office rents have risen strongly due to a lack of supply and revived tenant demand, while coworking and other flexible office space operators are now among the biggest lessors of office space.
More Singaporeans employed; saw faster pay gains in 2018
A greater share of younger and older Singapore residents were employed in 2018, and the average full-time worker enjoyed faster income growth, with the labour market improving as economic growth picked up. The unemployment rates for resident workers, both professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), and non-PMETs, also dipped slightly as at June this year, compared with the same period last year. The positive labour market outcomes this year were in line with good economic growth, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM. The unemployment rate for PMETs was 2.9 per cent in June, compared with 3 per cent a year earlier. For non-PMETs, the rate was 4 per cent, down from 4.5 per cent. The real median gross monthly income of residents in full-time jobs grew by an average of 3.5 per cent per year from 2013 to 2018, taking preliminary inflation figures into account for this year. The median income was S$4,437 this year, including employer contributions to the Central Provident Fund, up from S$4,232 last year.
Newly-minted en bloc millionaires offer rich pickings for banks
Banks have been homing in on residents who have sold homes through an en bloc sale, a property transaction process which is throwing up a uniquely Singapore species of freshly minted millionaires who are collectively worth billions of dollars. 11 United Overseas Bank bankers descended on the residents of Dunearn Gardens as they got their cheques for the sale of the 114-unit freehold residential development located off Newton Road. Marketing to en bloc sellers is usually done at the invitation of the MCST, or the Management Corporation Strata Title, the managing body of the condo, one banker said. Other banks which have reached out to en bloc sellers include OCBC, DBS Bank and Citi.
Goodluck Garden gets court's nod for sale despite missteps by committee, advisers
The High Court granted a sale order to Goodluck Garden, making it the latest property to have its collective sale resolved by the courts, though the court also found several missteps in the sale process. Justice Woo Bih Li also found that the conduct of the collective sale committee (CSC), marketing agent and the lawyers for the CSC Rajah & Tann was "wanting in various respects". Still, after considering all the facts, Justice Woo said that he found "no bad faith after taking into account the sale price", which was some 12.6 per cent higher than the independent valuation. He also said that the valuation of the property at S$542 million, was not flawed; whereas a belated S$637 million valuation - which objectors relied on - was. The latter valuation had assumed a higher gross plot ratio than the one used in the Master Plan. One major area of dispute was that of the development charge (DC). The marketing agent had provided various DC estimates from S$48.4 million to S$63.19 million to the owners, and had advised owners that DC rates could increase from March 1.
The marketing agent and the CSC launched the collective sale without yet getting an official response from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) about the actual amount of DC; but a little more than a week before the tender closing date on March 7, they were officially informed that there would be no DC. Justice Woo said that the results of the DC verification was "material" to potential bidders, and for the purposes of determining the reserve price. The CSC and marketing agent should have been more careful about the possibility that the DC might be materially different, he said. Justice Woo said that the CSC should have extended the tender by at least a week to give more time to spread this information. The CSC should also have informed and consulted owners and let them have their say as to what to do next, Justice Woo said.
Justice Woo also said that the apportionment of sale proceeds and of the terms and conditions of the collective sale agreement (CSA) should have been approved at a general meeting of the management corporation, and through "overt means" such as voting. Rajah & Tann had advised the CSC that it was enough for those owners who were in agreement to sign the CSA after the meeting, which Justice Woo said was wrong advice as it was in conflict with the Land Strata Titles Act. It is not yet known if the objectors will appeal.
A row of apartments with commercial shops in Phoenix Road, Bukit Panjang will be put up for collective sale via public tender tomorrow for $42 million. It marks the first time the owners are embarking on a collective sale. The asking price translates to a land rate of $617 psf ppr, or to $566 psf ppr after factoring in the 7 per cent bonus balcony gross floor area. No development charge is payable. The property sits on a 5,853.1 sq m site and comprises a row of 36 units, with 24 apartments and 12 commercial shops spread over two three-storey blocks. The site has a 99-year leasehold tenure with effect from Jan 1, 1969. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned residential and has a gross plot ratio of 1.4. Subject to relevant approvals, the site can be redeveloped to offer 84 residential units, with an average size of 950 sq ft (88 sq m) each.
Beauty World Plaza up for tender with $165m reserve price
The owners of Beauty World Plaza are putting up the retail and residential development for tender with a reserve price of $165 million, said its marketing agent. The 2,305.6 sq m site in Upper Bukit Timah comprises a single block with 61 retail and 30 residential units. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned "commercial and residential" with a gross plot ratio of three times the site area. With no development charge payable, the land rate works out to $2,189 psf ppr based on a maximum permissible gross floor area of 7,001.38 sq m. An outline application for the change of use of the residential component to serviced apartments has been submitted to URA. The freehold property at 110 to 122 Upper Bukit Timah Road was built in the late 1980s and comprises seven apartments and seven shops. The tender for Beauty World Plaza will close on Jan 30 at 3pm.
Completed condo, private apartment prices fall 0.6% in Oct
Prices of completed private apartments and condominiums in Singapore fell further by 0.6 per cent in October from the previous month, accelerating from a 0.2 per cent month-on-month decline in September. This is according to the National University of Singapore's flash estimates for Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI), which tracks prices of completed non-landed private homes. October's decline was driven by a 0.9 per cent drop in prices for apartments in the non-central region, excluding small units, versus a 0.3 per cent fall in the previous month. Prices of apartments in the central region, excluding small units, also fell more steeply - by 0.3 per cent in October, compared with a 0.1 per cent decline in September. However, prices of small units, which are defined as being no bigger than 506 sq ft, rose 0.3 per cent last month, after falling 0.3 per cent in the previous month.
Coming soon: A one-stop app for HDB residents
Residents will soon have a mobile device application that allows them to make appointments with banks or clinics in Housing Board estates or apply to use public spaces such as void decks. It will even prompt them when shops nearby are having promotions. While the beta version that will be released by the first quarter of next year contains only a digital directory of commercial shops, the app will have more features adapted to residents' needs by the year end. It is part of a tie-up between the HDB, StarHub and tech start-up Sentient, and is the first app in a planned "digital ecosystem" to use smart technologies and data analytics to create services that benefit residents.
Malaysia-based property developer YTL Land & Development (YTL Land) will launch a 77-unit freehold condominium in Orchard Boulevard, with 53 apartments to be released for sale on Saturday. Located at 3 Orchard Boulevard, 3 Orchard By-The-Park will have an average selling price of S$3,400 per sq ft, depending on the size of the unit.
The condominium - envisioned by its Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio as "villas in the sky" - is a short walk to the Botanic Gardens, and within the enclave of the Orchard Road shopping belt and amenities such as the Camden Medical Centre. 3 Orchard By-The-Park is YTL Land's third luxury residence collection in Singapore and Mr Citterio's first residential development in South-east Asia. The condominium features two-, three- and four-bedrooom apartments, with two five-bedroom penthouses in three towers named "Wood", "Wilderness" and "Water", YTL Land said. For this Saturday's launch, 30 apartments from the "Wood" Tower and 23 apartments from the "Wilderness" Tower will be released for sale. This comprises a mixture of 14 two-bedroom, 22 three-bedroom, 15 four-bedroom, one double storey garden suite with four bedrooms, as well as one five-bedroom penthouse on the top floor.
Shaw Tower alerts tenants it may be redeveloped
Shaw Tower at 100 Beach Road is the latest in a string of post-independence landmarks that could undergo redevelopment, following the advance notice its 150 tenants have been given to relocate elsewhere on or before June 30, 2020. According to an update to tenants seen by The Straits Times, the property's management said it has appointed a project team to undertake a study to "evaluate the most scalable-cum-feasible option for the building". Owned and managed by Shaw Towers Realty, Shaw Tower comprises a 35-storey office/retail block with 260,000 sq ft of office space and 100,000 sq ft of retail space. According to an analyst, the property is "a prime site for redevelopment". "Sandwiched between GuocoLand's Guoco Midtown and the South Beach project by City Developments and IOI Properties, if Shaw Tower were to be redeveloped, then the entire area will be re-gentrified”, he said.