Archive | September, 2007

Can the credit crunch dent prime office market?

MEGAN WALTERS and ALVIN TEO examine the impact of sub-prime woes on the real estate needs of financial institutions here Singapore’s fast growing financial sector has been a major user of prime office space and helped fuel the strong growth in rental and capital values of late. But the recent credit crisis in global markets […]

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Brisbane Devt to release 2nd phase of Illoura

Freehold project has 30 detached, semi- detached houses AUSTRALIAN property company Brisbane Development is all set to release the second phase of Illoura, its strata landed project in the Holland Road area, after the first 15 units in the development were sold at prices exceeding $5 million apiece. Illoura consists of a total of 30 […]

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Bright outlook for S-Reit market

With more overseas players seeking to list here and strong backing from the government to strengthen governance and the operation structure of the market, Singapore is fast developing into a regional Reit hub SINGAPORE has established itself as one of the most developed markets in Asia for real estate investment trusts (Reits), supported by new […]

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The ascent of landed housing

Solid gains await with double-digit price growth and Singapore’s scarcity of land THE private residential market has been hogging the headlines in the past 18 months. Overall prices recovered in 2004 and 2005 by 0.9 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively, and home prices shot up by 10.2 per cent in 2006 and another […]

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Redas: Mass market poised for double-digit growth

En bloc sales slow after introduction of new rules by govt By UMA SHANKARI (SINGAPORE) The Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) yesterday said that it expects ‘double-digit’ price growth in the mass market over the next 12 months. ‘The mass market hasn’t been very active and the base is low,’ said Chia Ngiang […]

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Sentosa’s strata landed site goes for $78.7m

Boutique developer Elevation bags The Green Collection SENTOSA Cove’s only strata landed housing development, The Green Collection, has been sold for $78.7 million, or some $1,099 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). Boutique developer Elevation Developments won the 71,600 sq ft site with the highest bid out of eight received, following an expressions […]

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Jalan Sultan conservation shophouses up for tender

SEVENTEEN two-storey conservation shophouses opposite KeyPoint at Jalan Sultan were yesterday offered to suitable investors by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The reserve-list site is 0.14 hectares in size. A URA spokeswoman said: ‘The land parcel can be put to commercial uses such as hotel, office, shops and restaurants. There is no control on the […]

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HK home prices may rise 33% by 2009: UBS

(HONG KONG) Hong Kong’s home prices may jump as much as 33 per cent between now and the end of 2008, extending gains as wages rise amid a lack of new housing, UBS AG said. Housing prices are strong thanks to ‘rising pay increases, record low supplies, cheap mortgages and fund flows from mainland China’, […]

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Fed adopts broker rules for banks after eight-year delay

(WASHINGTON) The Federal Reserve has approved new rules defining securities transactions that banks can conduct without registering as brokers, ending an eight-year impasse with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The rules, adopted on Monday at a Fed meeting here, will let banks continue selling mutual funds, variable annuities and other securities. The SEC, which […]

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Big loan problem credits up: US regulators

WASHINGTON – The value of big loans with problems held by US banks rose 20 per cent in 2007, but the volume of syndicated credit commitments worth US$20 million or more also rose, bank regulators said on Tuesday. Adversely rated credits – loans that are likely to result in some loss for the lender without […]

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US consumer confidence tanks, home sales slide

Weaker business conditions, less favourable job market cast cloud over consumers (WASHINGTON) Sales of existing homes, depressed by turmoil in credit markets, fell for a sixth straight month in August, pushing activity to the lowest point in five years. Meanwhile, US consumer confidence tanked in September to almost a two-year low amid weakening business and […]

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Boutique developer buys Sentosa Cove site for $79m

It beats 7 others for landed property plot; plans to build 20 houses there A YOUNG entrepreneur who became a full-time polo player after selling his Silicon Valley dot.com firm has emerged as a successful property developer here. Indian-born Satinder Garcha, 36, signalled his growing status in the industry yesterday when his company paid $78.68 […]

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UPFRONT – Viet property boom a goldmine for S’pore firms

LE THI Phuong Thao, 51, never planned to get rich – very rich, in fact, by Vietnamese standards – by speculating on real estate. Ms Thao, a home furnishings business operator, stumbled across buying and selling property almost by accident five years ago. And she is now seizing the opportunity presented by an extraordinary boom […]

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Case, property body seek licensing of housing agents

Calls come amid growing number of complaints lodged against agents A SHARPLY rising tide of consumer complaints against property agents has emerged in recent data, amid a spike in property sales in the current market boom. Complaints include claims of misrepresentation and a failure to explain contract terms and conditions fully, the consumer watchdog, the […]

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REDAS CHIEF ON BRIEF PAUSE – Collective sales ease as new rules take hold

THE market for collective sales has had a spectacular run this year, but new rules are likely to act as a brake to it, Mr Simon Cheong, chief executive of property developer SC Global, said yesterday. Mr Cheong, who is also chairman of the Real Estate Developers Association Singapore (Redas), said the market is still […]

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Singapore office rentals still competitive

COMPANIES are paying more for labour and rentals in Singapore than before, but prices are still competitive compared to global cities such as London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew pointed this out yesterday, but said the Government would ensure prices stayed lower than countries ‘in a similar position’. This […]

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Sale of Seletar Garden could fetch up to $75m

This works out to $683-$733 psf ppr inclusive of DC for the 73,099 sq ft site SELETAR Garden, a mixed development at Yio Chu Kang Road, is up for sale by tender with the estimated price of between $70 million and $75 million. This works out to be $684-$733 per square foot per plot ratio […]

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Second transitional office site released

THE government yesterday launched for sale its second transitional office site in a bid to improve the supply of office space. Market watchers estimate that the 1.2 hectare site in Tampines could fetch about $100 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) – which works out to some $12.4 million in total. The land […]

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Residential property launches gathering speed again

Ho Bee previews Turquoise, Wheelock properties to launch Scotts Square DEVELOPERS are slowly stepping up residential property launches again, with Ho Bee Investments previewing its Turquoise condo at Sentosa Cove and Wheelock Properties (Singapore) holding the official launch of Scotts Square later this week. Turquoise, which will have 91 apartments, will be priced at $2,500 […]

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German fund manager eyes Asia properties

Union Investment looks to quadruple its regional portfolio over a 4-year period GERMAN fund manager Difa Deutsche Immobilien Fonds (recently renamed Union Investment) is looking to quadruple its property portfolio in Asia over the next four years, its Asia-Pacific head has told BT in an interview. ‘Right now, we have 10 properties worth about 500 […]

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Foreigners snap up 87% more landed homes in first half: DTZ

Companies make 265 buys in H1 2007 vs one in H1 2006 (SINGAPORE) Foreigners, including permanent residents, bought 232 landed homes here in the first half of this year, up 87 per cent from the same period last year, according to DTZ Debenham Tie Leung’s analysis of caveats. But foreign buyers’ share of total caveats […]

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HPL: Horizon Towers sellers extend deadline

Buyer will now ask for adjournment of legal proceedings (SINGAPORE) Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL) has finally secured a much-needed extension of a deadline to purchase the Horizon Towers development. And the listed developer will now make good on its promise to apply for an adjournment of the legal proceedings it has commenced against the sellers. […]

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Foreigners snap up 87% more landed homes in first half: DTZ

Companies make 265 buys in H1 2007 vs one in H1 2006 (SINGAPORE) Foreigners, including permanent residents, bought 232 landed homes here in the first half of this year, up 87 per cent from the same period last year, according to DTZ Debenham Tie Leung’s analysis of caveats. But foreign buyers’ share of total caveats […]

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Jumeirah to open its first European resort

(DUBAI) Jumeirah Group, the hotel management company owned by Dubai’s government, leased a property being built in Mallorca, Spain from a German real estate fund to gain its first European resort and spa. The 120-room Jumeirah Port Soller resort is held on a ‘long-term’ lease from the WestInvest Interselect fund, Jumeirah said in a statement […]

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Ciputra Property to tap up to US$150m in Jakarta IPO

Developer plans to use proceeds to acquire companies and subsidiaries (HONG KONG/JAKARTA) Indonesian real estate developer PT Ciputra Property is planning to raise up to about US$150 million in a domestic initial public offering, according to a listing prospectus and a source familiar with the deal. Ciputra Property, a mixed-use commercial property unit of PT […]

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Credit fallout to hit London office building

CBRE sees 2.5m sq ft of new space instead of 4.5m forecast earlier (LONDON) The equivalent of two to four skyscrapers per year are now unlikely to be built in London in 2009 to 2011 due to fallout from the US subprime crisis, property services firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said yesterday. CBRE said it […]

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Taipei housing market confidence dips

Rising prices push figure down to lowest in 4 years (TAIPEI) Taipei housing market confidence dropped to its lowest in almost four years because of rising prices, a Taiwan government-sponsored survey showed. The housing confidence index for Taiwan’s capital fell to 97.55 in the second quarter, slipping below 100 for the first time since the […]

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Shanghai properties draw pension funds

JLL: Foreign insurers may buy in as yields dip see short-term investors exiting ( SHANGHAI) Overseas pension funds and insurers may become main buyers of premium office and commercial properties in Shanghai as shorter-term investors could sell due to falling yields, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said last week. Property investors with a relatively short-term investment […]

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Only 20% of US sub-prime mortgages at risk

No plans to scrap such mortgages as they democratise credit: US official ABOUT 5 per cent of all US mortgages are sub-prime but only one fifth of these are at risk of default, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assistant secretary Darlene Williams said yesterday. Ms Williams was speaking at the inaugural Asia-Pacific […]

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CapitaLand gives $1m to 10 charities

TEN charities received a combined $1 million yesterday from the philanthropic arm of Asian property giant CapitaLand. Giving away 10 cheques of $100,000 each was CapitaLand Hope Foundation chairman Lim Chin Beng. Set up in 2005, the foundation aims to help young people, with children’s charities its main focus. This year’s donation – the largest […]

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HPL to ask to adjourn Horizon Towers hearing on Thursday

Decision follows official confirmation of extension of sale deadline to Dec 11 THE move by the Horizon Towers sellers to extend the sale deadline of their estate has succeeded in fending off Thursday’s High Court hearing. Hotel Properties (HPL) said yesterday that it will apply to have the hearing adjourned. This came after it received […]

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Second short-term office site released at Tampines

THE Government has released a second temporary office site for sale, this time at the Tampines Regional Centre. This followed the strong response to a similar plot along Scotts Road last month, which drew a better-thanexpected 11 bids. The two sites are the first plots of office land to be offered in Singapore on 15-year […]

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Inflation rises to 2.9% – highest since December 1994

Climbing food prices and higher transport and communication costs drive CPI up CONSUMER prices rose by 2.9 per cent last month from a year earlier, the biggest increase since 1994, as the effects of the goods and services tax (GST) hike continued to set in. The August figure came in above the median market expectation […]

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Defaults on sub-prime loans ‘stabilising’

THE default rate for strife-hit United States sub-prime mortgages is stabilising, a US housing official said yesterday at a housing conference in Singapore. Defaults on these loans, issued to homebuyers with low income or a poor credit history, triggered global shock waves recently and sparked intense scrutiny of Singapore banks’ exposure to them. Assistant secretary […]

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HSBC Holdings closes US sub-prime mortgage unit

(NEW YORK) HSBC Holdings, Europe’s biggest bank, said last Friday that it is closing its US sub-prime mortgage unit, cutting 750 jobs and taking US$945 million in charges and write-downs. It said that the business is no longer sustainable. For London-based HSBC, which is under pressure from activist investors to shake up its corporate governance, […]

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INSIDE MARKETS – Buy and sell transactions hit low levels; fund managers quiet

PURCHASES by directors and substantial shareholders was low for a second straight week with only 34 companies posting 72 ‘buys’, based on filings on the Singapore Exchange from Sept 17 to 21. The figures were consistent with the previous week’s 35 companies and 72 acquisitions. Investors should note that the buying has been low in […]

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WALL STREET INSIGHT – Investors look for direction after the rally

Impact of credit market turmoil on Q3 earnings, US economy’s ability to stave off recession, oil price surge top concerns IN NEW YORK FROM the Fed and lower interest rates to corporate quarterly earnings, the stock market enjoyed a week of nearly unmitigated good news and outright euphoria that has temporarily but dramatically banished the […]

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LEASEBACK DEAL – MapletreeLog pays $15m for Tuas warehouse

MAPLETREE Logistics Trust Management (MapletreeLog) has bought a warehouse in Singapore for $15.2 million, marking the latest in a rapid run of acquisitions over the last few months. Yesterday, it announced that it had bought the warehouse in Tuas from Pioneer Districentre, which will lease back the property for seven years – with an option […]

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HSBC to shut down sub-prime lending unit

Bank says US unit is no longer sustainable; closure will cost $1.3b in goodwill charge NEW YORK – HSBC Holdings, the British-based banking giant, announced recently that it would close its subprime mortgage subsidiary in the United States, saying the unit was ‘no longer sustainable’. HSBC’s earnings have been hit by its heavy exposure to […]

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25% more HDB flats rented out since March

MORE Housing Board (HDB) flatowners are cashing in on the rising rental market by letting out their units following a relaxation of the rules on doing so. The new rules have spurred 5,700 more people to rent out their flats over the past six months. The latest figures from the HDB show that a total […]

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En blocked: How Horizon Towers made history

The Leonie Hill condo was just one of scores of estates snapped up by developers in a collective sales frenzy over the past two years. Now its owners are being sued by a developer in a landmark case that will go before the High Court on Thursday. How did it all come to this? THE […]

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The rant over rent: Landlords strike back

We’re not greedy, we’ve been ‘subsidising’ tenants with low rates since 2003, they say RETIRED doctor S.M. Soon, 62, is one happy landlord. She collects $16,000 a month from her tenant at Emerald Hill, which means she doesn’t have to use her own funds to top up her monthly mortgage payments. But things weren’t always […]

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Potential risks of buying undeveloped land

THE gains from investing in undeveloped or raw land might sound attractive, but experts say retail investors need to take care. Mr Ku Swee Yong, the director of marketing and business development at property consultant Savills Singapore, said such investments can be ‘a good tool’ because of the potential for capital gains and because they […]

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Banking on overseas land

Thousands of Singaporeans have sunk money into undeveloped plots overseas in the hope of getting high returns. Finance Correspondent Lorna Tan talks to three investors who have ventured into this foreign territory FOR some, it is not enough to have a roof over their heads. Singaporeans’ love affair with property has extended to owning raw […]

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85% of MCL Land’s Hillcrest Villas sold in the past fortnight

Average price for the 163-unit cluster terrace homes project is $871 psf MCL Land has sold 85 per cent of its 163-unit cluster terrace homes development Hillcrest Villas over the past fortnight. The average price for the 99-year leasehold project in the Dunearn Road area on the former SingTel Academy site is about $871 per […]

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Fed rate cut a blessing and a curse for China

AS THE Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a point this week, it is doubtful much thought went into what it would mean for China. And that is fine. The Fed has 12 districts around the United States, and it acts to influence the domestic economy. Globalisation has globalised the Fed, though. It is […]

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Investor’s Choice! Amber Towers For Sale!!!

Dear Investors / Buyers, I’m most excited to introduce a District 15 property for sale!!! FREEHOLD!!!! Check out this latest property for sale! Suitable for Investors’!!! Here are the details: Project: Amber Towers Property Type: Apartment No. of Rms: 4 (Penthouse) Size: 2929 sqft Tenure: Freehold Remarks: 360 degree unblock view! Check out The View! Seaview AND City […]

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Home market will grow even if punters retreat: report

Developers may go for higher volumes, lower margins in mass, mid-segment (SINGAPORE) Recent events could make the residential property market vulnerable to declines in collective sales and speculative activity. However, Goldman Sachs believes that other demand drivers such as the increase in resident population will help mitigate the fall in those selling their homes through […]

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Horizon Towers resolution may be in sight

Owners of 135 units vote to extend sale deadline to Dec 11 (SINGAPORE) There may finally be a resolution, of sorts, for the long-running Horizon Towers saga. Owners of 135 units at the Leonie Hill development – who attended a hastily convened meeting at the Raffles Town Club last night – voted in favour of […]

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House okays changes to en bloc sale rules

PARLIAMENT yesterday approved changes to the Land Titles (Strata) Bill, which spells out proper procedure for en bloc sales. The changes will now become law sometime next month after it has been cleared by the President’s office. During the second reading of the Bill in Parliament yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Law Minister S Jayakumar […]

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Steep rates likely for F1 trackside hotel rooms

Companies seeking to entertain guests may have to pay top dollar for packages over race period (SINGAPORE) Corporations preparing to entertain their guests at trackside hotels during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in September next year may have to dig deep into their pockets. Though most hotels have not publicised their rates yet, indications […]

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Sands raising $5b to fund building of S’pore IR

Banks roped in are said to include DBS, UOB, OCBC (SINGAPORE) Las Vegas Sands Corp, the world’s largest casino operator by market value, is seeking a record loan in Singapore currency to fund construction of the nation’s first integrated resort (IR), which will include a casino, three people familiar with the deal said. The gaming […]

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Funding squeeze tightens as China reins in asset markets

Policy shift could spell trouble for stock, property markets: analysts (SHANGHAI) A massive squeeze in China’s money market suggests the authorities are getting serious about reining in soaring asset markets to control inflation. Funding squeezes have occurred a few times this year in response to initial public offers of equity and seasonal demand for money. […]

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Sunshine to acquire China property firm for 61m yuan

Henan Jinjiang has 2 mixed-devt projects in Zhengzhou SUNSHINE Holdings is buying a China property company for 61 million yuan (S$12.2 million). The acquisition, Henan Jinjiang Real Estate Co Ltd, will be 90 per cent owned by Xinxiang Huilong Real Estate Co Ltd and 10 per cent by Henan Huilong Property Management Co Ltd. The […]

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Fresh sub-prime concerns in Europe?

Local session turns more sober with ST Index down 41.9 points and a weak broad market IT’S possible to argue that since the Straits Times Index had rocketed by almost 117 points on Wednesday, it would be reasonable to expect some kind of pullback yesterday. This, indeed, was the case, with the index dropping 41.9 […]

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New, tighter rules for en bloc sales passed

Further changes may follow if necessary, Jaya tells MPs who want more to be done A SLEW of intensely-debated changes aimed at making the red-hot collective sales market fairer was passed in Parliament yesterday. The revisions – keenly watched since they were mooted in March – will make it harder for residential developments to go […]

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Horizon Towers sellers vote to extend sale deadline

New sale committee formed and they hope to avert potential lawsuit A LARGE group of Horizon Towers sellers voted last night to extend a deadline for the sale of the condominium, in a bid to head off a lawsuit over an earlier $500 million sale that fell through. The sellers last night voted to do […]

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All new buildings to go green from next year

IN A major push to make developers go green, the Government will require all new buildings to meet minimum environmental standards from next year. Developers will be required to be more efficient in using water and energy than under current industry practice. The Building Control (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday to give the […]

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HDB launches sixth build-to-order project in Fernvale

The 698 4-room flats will have full floor finishes, sanitary fittings TO MEET the increasing demand for homes, the Housing Board (HDB) yesterday launched 698 flats for sale in Sengkang. HDB’s latest build-to-order (BTO) project, Coral Spring, offers premium four-room units of 95 sq m to 96sq m, priced between $188,000 and $252,000. These premium […]

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Rising costs, competition top list of SME concerns

Annual poll shows firms are squeezed by higher wages, input costs, rents RISING business costs have overtaken staffing issues as one of the top hurdles faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), an annual survey has found. Stiff competition, a perennial worry, is the top concern, but escalating costs were the next biggest worry cited […]

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The Aspine up for en bloc sale with $145m price tag

This is lower than indicative price for nearby Pinetree Condo THE owners of The Aspine at 5 Balmoral Road are teaming up to sell their homes collectively, with an asking price of $145 million or $1,966 psf per plot ratio – lower than the $2,100 psf ppr indicative price announced last week for nearby Pinetree […]

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71 Robinson Rd to be developed for $450m

Lehman Brothers- Kajima office project will be up by mid-2009 US INVESTMENT bank Lehman Brothers and Japan-based Kajima Corporation said yesterday they will spend about $450 million developing their upcoming office project at 71 Robinson Road. The 280,000 sq ft building – aimed mainly at finance and banking companies – will be up by mid-2009, […]

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Servcorp expands in S’pore as office market booms

OFFICE space provider Servcorp is looking to expand in Singapore to take advantage of the booming office market here. Last year, the Australia-based company grew the office space in its Singapore portfolio by 35 per cent with the opening of a new location in Prudential Tower and the addition of another level in Suntec Tower […]

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MGPA puts in record $2.02b bid for office site

All eyes are now on the plot next door, say consultants (SINGAPORE) Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA) is enlarging its footprint in the Singapore office market, putting in a record bid yesterday of $2.02 billion, or $1,409 psf of potential gross floor area, for a site slated for mostly office use. Market watchers reckon MGPA’s […]

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HORIZON TOWERS SAGA – Ong Beng Seng meets owners to talk extension

‘Hilton tea party’ shows no consensus among sellers (SINGAPORE) Hotelier Ong Beng Seng took centre stage yesterday in a meeting with some 40 Horizon Towers owners to try to convince them of the need to extend the en bloc sale deadline. The meeting came after repeated attempts by Mr Ong’s Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL) failed […]

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Lehman moves global property unit to S’pore

Bank to jointly invest $450m with Kajima in CBD office building US investment bank Lehman Brothers has moved the base for the South-east Asian operations of its global real estate group from Bangkok to Singapore, it said yesterday. The group has of late been beefing up its presence here, said Blake Olafson, senior vice-president of […]

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Kajima to invest $900m in Asia over 2-3 years

(SINGAPORE) Construction and property conglomerate Kajima Corp plans to invest around S$900 million in Asia over the next 2-3 years to further diversify outside of its Japan home base, a senior executive of the firm told Reuters yesterday. The Asian arm of the group said it was also looking to double its contribution to overall […]

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Asian stocks surge on Wall St gains

S’pore market scores 3.4% rise, led by banks and property stocks (SINGAPORE) Asian stocks surged yesterday in tandem with Wall Street, following Tuesday’s move by the US Federal Reserve to slash its funds rate 50 basis points from 5.25 to 4.75 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index led the way, […]

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Irish investors buy iconic Beverly Hills shopping centre

(BEVERLY HILLS, California) Two Rodeo, a well-known Beverly Hills shopping centre that houses some of the world’s biggest names in luxury goods, has been bought by Irish investors for US$275 million. The purchase of the complex at Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard by Sloane Capital demonstrates how choice real estate remains in demand even though […]

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China property investment swells 29%

Investments total 1.4 trillion yuan in Jan-Aug 2007 (BEIJING) Investment in China’s property sector soared to 1.43 trillion yuan (S$285.5 billion) in the first eight months, 29 per cent up from the same period last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Of the total, 1.02 trillion yuan went to commercial housing, an […]

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Japan commercial land prices inching up after 16-year slump

(TOKYO) Japan’s average commercial land prices rose in the year to July 1 for the first time in 16 years, led by office demand in the three biggest cities and reflecting the leading role big companies play in economic growth, a government report showed yesterday. A recovery in land prices – after a long slide […]

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Asia-Pac real wages seen climbing further next year

Singapore salaries to go up a ‘very healthy’ 3.8%, says HR consultancy Hays SALARIES in the Asia-Pacific will keep rising in 2008 as companies remain confident about business prospects and growth for next year, despite market talk of a post-Olympics slowdown, according to a report from a human resources consultancy released yesterday. The Hay Group’s […]

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FED RATE CUT – Shares of banks, mortgage lenders, home builders rise

But size of reduction signals that there’s much risk lurking under the surface (NEW YORK) The Federal Reserve came to the aid of US banks on Tuesday when it cut rates in a move that should improve their lending margins and give them breathing space to deal with the fallout from the sub-prime mortgage crisis. […]

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Surveyors see 10% chance of UK crash

RICS revises earlier forecast of 3% rise in house prices to flat over 12-15 mths (LONDON) There is a ‘one-in-10 chance’ of a 1990s-style UK housing market crash, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Tuesday, after scaling back its expectations for British house price inflation. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’s chief economist, said his […]

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Wall Street rallies after Fed sends strong signals

Aggressive cut surprises investors but statement still wary of inflation IN NEW YORK THE US central bank sent a strong and decisive message to the world’s financial markets with a fifty basis point short term interest rate cut on Tuesday, that it intends to combat the economic effects at home of the global credit crunch […]

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Marina View plot draws record $2b bid

It’s a vote of confidence in market, say property watchers, who had expected much lower bids A PRIME plot in Marina View has drawn a top bid of $2.02 billion – the first time the price of state land here has crossed the $2 billion mark. The whopping bid yesterday pipped two other close offers, […]

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Ong Beng Seng urges Horizon Towers sellers to resolve sale

HOTEL Properties (HPL) chief Ong Beng Seng and his lawyers last night urged a group of Horizon Towers owners to cooperate in resolving the bungled $500 million collective sale of the condominium. Mr Ong met the group at 4pm at Hilton Hotel yesterday – his first meeting with owners of the estate that he and […]

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Buy second home but don’t over-commit

MANPOWER Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday cautioned against over-committing when buying property at the expense of putting aside money for retirement. The good news though is that with the latest changes, Central Provident Fund (CPF) members will be able to achieve both home ownership and retirement security, he said. Indeed, with the new CPF system, […]

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Frasers unit plans 10 service apartments in China

FRASERS Hospitality is set to open 10 new service residences in China by 2009. Half of them will be ready before the Beijing Olympics next year, the Singapore-based service apartment operator said in a statement yesterday. The company, a subsidiary of Frasers Centrepoint, will invest US$130 million (S$197 million) in one of the properties. The […]

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Housing starts at lowest in 12 years

WASHINGTON – HOME construction starts in the United States fell 2.6 per cent last month to their lowest level in more than 12 years, a government report showed yesterday. Building permit activity, a sign of future construction plans, also dropped to a low not seen since mid-1995. The Commerce Department said housing starts set an […]

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US rate cut welcome, but…

THE United States Federal Reserve’s policy-making Open Market Committee (FOMC) slashed short-term interest rates by a surprising 50 basis points. Global stock markets reacted deliriously, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising by 2.5 per cent on Tuesday. Happy days are here again? The sub-prime crisis is over? Fears of inflation have been laid to […]

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Fed’s aggressive rate cut sparks global markets

A BIGGER-THAN-EXPECTED interest rate cut by the United States central bank sent global bourses sprinting ahead yesterday. The half-percentage point cut by the US Federal Reserve was double the quarter-percentage point cut that most analysts expected – and immediately caused a surge in US stocks. Last night, the optimism continued on Wall Street, with the […]

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Interest rate cut expected to help lift US economy

For house owners saddled with big mortgages, analysts say impact will not be significant NEW YORK – THE Federal Reserve’s half-point benchmark interest rate cut on Tuesday will have little impact on United States home owners with hefty mortgages but will help boost the US economy, said analysts. The Fed controls two key rates. The […]

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Locals dwarf home-buying spree by foreigners in Q2

Koreans become major players; foreign buying hits record 2,864 units (SINGAPORE) Foreigners, including permanent residents, bought a record 2,864 private homes in Singapore in the second quarter, up 34 per cent from the preceding quarter and more than twice the 1,221 private homes that they invested in during the same period a year ago. But […]

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Two prime residential sites put up for tender

Bids of over $1.2b seen for Pinnacle Collection condo site at Sentosa TWO prime residential sites have been put up for tender, including the one at Sentosa which has been creating some buzz in the market, not least because of its billion-dollar price tag. Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd launched its final condominium land parcel – […]

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61% of Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre for sale

SOME 61 per cent of Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre has been put up for sale by its owner, who is asking for $35-37 million for the stake. The price works out to an average of $595 to $629 per square foot (psf) over available floor area. The 61 per cent share is made up of […]

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US home foreclosures jump 36% in Aug

(NEW YORK) The number of homes entering foreclosure, being auctioned and repossessed by banks jumped by 36 per cent in August from the month before, with cities in California, Florida and Nevada showing the biggest increases, according to a report scheduled to be released yesterday. The report from RealtyTrac, a company that tracks public foreclosure […]

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Another Enggor St plot up for tender

ANOTHER residential skyscraper of up to 60 storeys high could be built in Tanjong Pagar after a site was put up for sale yesterday, which is set to fetch more than $200 million. The 99-year leasehold, 0.28ha site on Enggor Street went on sale just two weeks after an adjoining plot also hit the market. […]

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En bloc sellers ‘set to spend over $4b buying new homes’

Savills expects sales to pick up as owners get paid and seek replacement homes CASH windfalls will soon be arriving for the hundreds of home owners who sold their property en bloc during the frenzied April to June period. As they look for new homes, they could pour more than $4 billion into the market […]

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Horizon Towers majority owners break ranks ahead of court battle

Some approach HPL group to seek resolution, avoid possible payout SOME majority owners at Horizon Towers have broken ranks ahead of a courtroom showdown with a developer over the condominium’s bungled $500 million collective sale. Some owners, keen to avoid the potentially costly legal battle, have written to the Hotel Properties-led (HPLled) consortium which agreed […]

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WORLD HOUSING MARKETS – Bubble trouble

By Robert J. Shiller THE future of the housing boom, together with the possible financial repercussions of a substantial price decline in the coming years, is a matter of mounting concern among governments around the world. I learnt this first-hand while attending this year’s Jackson Hole Symposium in the remote wilderness of Wyoming where, ironically, […]

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Fed’s interest rate cut for 1st time in 4 years

WASHINGTON – THE US Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate for the first time in four years, seeking with an aggressive half-point move to prevent a steep housing slump and turbulent financial markets from triggering a recession. The Fed announced yesterday that it was reducing its target for the federal funds rate, the interest […]

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‘Iconic’ condo site at Sentosa Cove up for sale

THE best of the condominium sites in the wildly-popular gated residential enclave of Sentosa Cove was left till last. That site went on sale yesterday, at a reserve price of $964 million, or $1,600 per sq ft per plot ratio – the price psf of the potential floor space. But property consultants are already expecting […]

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Property: Mass market sales up in August, speculation slows

Fall in subsale deals as sub-prime fallout and Ghost Month cool buying fever (SINGAPORE) In the traditionally quiet ‘Ghost Month’ of August – when property transactions slowed dramatically – two significant trends emerged. The Urban Redevelopment Authority released its update on private residential properties yesterday, showing that sales by developers actually went up compared to […]

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Prime office rents up 3.3% in August

Raffles Place buildings led rise, with average rents there climbing 5.6% PRIME office rents in Singapore climbed some 3.3 per cent in August to hit an average of $12.21 per sq ft per month (psf pm), Cushman & Wakefield’s new office report shows. The property firm used a basket of about 50 buildings to calculate […]

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Investment sales to hit $50b in ’07: CBRE

Target up from $35b set 3 months ago, with some $12.7b deals done since July PROPERTY investment sales could hit $50 billion by the end of 2007, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) predicted yesterday – increasing its full-year target from the figure of $35 billion it set just three months ago. If CBRE’s target of $45-50 […]

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URA data a boon for property market watchers

THERE has been a general welcome for the release by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of updates on the volume of property transactions and prices of new developer sales for three months now. URA releases the details of transacted prices of new developments in different price brackets on its website. So for the 536-unit The Cascadia […]

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Govt: CPF move won’t hit capital market

Manpower minister fleshes out plan to enhance CPF returns first outlined by PM Lee (SINGAPORE) Even as he spelt out how all CPF members would enjoy higher interest rates on their contributions and have a more comfortable cushion for their retirement years, Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen said that the restrictions put on investing in […]

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US rate cut likely to boost S’pore growth

GDP may rise 1.4% points with 75 basis point cut in Fed rate: Citigroup SINGAPORE’S economic growth may jump by another 1.4 percentage points, if the key US interest rate is cut by 75 basis points, says Citigroup. In a report, its economist Chua Hak Bin said he expects the Fed funds and discount rate […]

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Sub-prime’s impact on S’pore ‘hard to gauge’

MAS is monitoring the situation and stands ready to inject funds if needed, says Iswaran IT is ‘quite a difficult task’ at present to quantify how much the US sub-prime crisis will impact Singapore, Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said in Parliament yesterday. However, the risks have ‘increased’, and Singapore’s central […]

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