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Rising rents are now a business challenge

Demand and supply mismatch has caused office rentals in the CBD to skyrocket OFFICE rentals in the Central Business District (CBD) have been climbing relentlessly as a result of the demand and supply mismatch. Conversion of buildings for residential use and the redevelopment of ageing office blocks such as Ocean Building and Overseas Union House […]

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Retail rents rise in Q3 but retail sales at a high

Some shops expand even as rents rise, others more sensitive to psf sales (SINGAPORE) Rents for shops on Orchard Road may have increased by another 12 per cent in the third quarter to $44.30 per square foot (psf) per month, but retailers are unfazed, especially as the latest figures show that the second quarter of […]

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Subsales picking up after lull as sellers temper their demands

Lock in profit if margin is good, some agents advise (SINGAPORE) After a lull of about six weeks, activity seems to be picking up in the subsale market on the back of the stock market rally and more reasonable demands from sellers. ‘It’s not as good as before sub-prime but much better than during the […]

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S’pore still hot despite office space crunch

Its overall value proposition is what counts ultimately, not just rental costs ASIA today is different from what it was 10 years ago – all the countries have undergone changes politically, economically and socially. Likewise, Singapore has emerged stronger fundamentally and is now one of Asia’s most conducive environments for business and investment, earning accolades […]

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Ang Mo Kio attracting many suitors, high prices

District now a top draw for its accessibility, amenities and job opportunities nearby A RECENT battle over a condominium site should silence those who still doubt whether Ang Mo Kio is becoming a property hot spot. The land attracted 14 suitors and eventually went for more than $200 million – probably a record bid for […]

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Gap between new and resale homes at a high

But the difference is expected to narrow down the road, say analysts (SINGAPORE) The gap between prices fetched by new and resale homes in the prime districts is now at a record high, an analysis of official data shows. A preliminary analysis of caveats lodged in the third quarter of 2007 by Jones Lang LaSalle […]

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Wise not to ignore market risks

SINCE the US Federal Reserve’s somewhat surprising 50-basis points interest rate cut on Sept 18, investors all over the world have piled back into stocks with much gusto. Wall Street on Monday rose to a new all-time high while most Asian markets continue to set records of their own. The mood is once again bullish, […]

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Growth of office rentals to slow

Tenants prepared to explore lower-cost locations and alternative premises: CBRE ENOUGH is enough. Or so it seems for those having to pay high office rents. CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) executive director (office services) Moray Armstrong foresees further rent rises but reckons that the pace of increases will slow. ‘We have observed tenants’ increasing resistance to […]

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S’pore’s private home prices soar to 10-year high in Q3

Prices went up by 8% in July to Sept, more land may be released to meet demand PRICES of both public and private homes in Singapore, continuing the upward trend, reached their highest level in a decade, early government estimates for the period July to September showed on Monday. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said […]

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Prices and rentals rising fast in Upper East Coast

Spillover demand from nearby districts and rumours of collective sales push prices up THE buzz in the property market these days is all about the price recovery in the suburban areas. Cheaper private homes on the outskirts of town are seeing a rebound in prices and rentals, as the strong market sentiment at the top […]

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Mass-market sector rebounded in ’06: CBRE

Non-landed projects in non-prime areas turn in strong sales volume MASS-MARKET property sales actually staged a recovery last year, earlier than widely believed, said property consultant CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) yesterday. In a study of the take-up rates of new non-landed projects in non-prime areas, CBRE found that the mid-tier and mass-market projects turned in […]

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S’pore property seen as top buy in Asia-Pac

Sentiment strongest in rental apartment, office, hotel/resort, retail sectors: survey SHANGHAI, Singapore and Tokyo have emerged as the top three most promising Asia-Pacific cities for real estate investment prospects, according to a report from the US-based Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). ‘Sentiment was strong among survey participants to either buy or […]

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Will the en bloc fever start cooling?

Activity may slow down with tighter regulation, higher costs and longer sales periods THE past two years have been stellar for en bloc sales which saw some 160 redevelopment sites being sold across the island. From 2006 till 2008, more than 11,000 units would have been withdrawn, to be redeveloped into 16,000 to 19,000 new […]

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Time for some retail-tainment

Today’s malls – a careful mix of the right tenants, themes and well-planned layout to draw people in and keep them occupied longer RETAILING these days is more than just about the shopping, it’s a total experience. That means both ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ have to work together to give shoppers that feel-good factor. This is […]

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The price of luxury

Flush with cash, the high-end residential market is flourishing. Look at what $5 million gets you STRONG corporate profits and a global commodities boom in 2006 helped grow fortunes and sparked a surge in demand for trophy homes. A survey by Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch shows the number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) worldwide […]

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Talking dollars and sense

Effective deployment of funds can boost the capital appreciation and rental yield of an estate IT IS an important mandate of the management council to keep watch over the expenditure of their estate, ensuring that funds are sensibly ploughed into areas which best meet the estate’s needs. For example, should the money in your sinking […]

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Sentosa Cove turns sea to gold with $3b land sales

Relaunched Pearl Island could see luxury villas going at hefty prices, market watchers say (SINGAPORE) The combination of sand, sea and location have worked wonders for Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd (SCPL). It has raised more than $3 billion selling land parcels in its namesake upscale waterfront housing district since late 2003, market watchers have calculated. […]

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Rush to launch collective sale sites

Chateau Eliza, Toho Garden, Vista Park among those offered for en bloc DESPITE the cooling off in the property market, there seems to be something of a rush to launch collective sale sites this week. The latest offerings are Chateau Eliza at Mount Elizabeth, Toho Garden in Yio Chu Kang, Vista Park at South Buona […]

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Real estate derivatives next for Singapore?

Despite their complexity, ONG CHOON FAH points out the distinct advantages this financial product can offer THE management of risks is central to all investments, including real estate. The financial markets have, since the 1970s, managed risks in the form of derivatives – financial instruments where the return is based on the return of another […]

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Property investing – doing the math

ROY A VARGHESE examines two real-life scenarios to show investors the importance of timing in calculating risks and returns MOST individual investors of real estate have a gut feel about whether they made, lost or broke even after holding their property for a certain period. In reality, few attempt to do the math to measure […]

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Mass market on the rebound

The outlook for this sector is bright, riding on strong demand fundamentals PRICES of mass market residential property are finally seeing a clear uptrend, as reflected in the latest Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) statistics. Non-landed residential properties sited outside the central region (OCR) – where most suburban mass market properties are located – enjoyed a […]

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Industrial space gets snapped up

Vacancy rates are the lowest in eight years, as Reit players push up demand for warehouse and factory space IN TANDEM with the growth in residential and office space, average rents for the less glamorous but nonetheless expanding industrial space sector increased by 7.7 per cent in the second quarter this year. This is all […]

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HDB resale market rides high

It’s certainly a seller’s market as prices trend upwards and demand for larger units rise HDB resale prices have been recovering slowly but surely since a dip in late 2005 when anti-cashback measures were introduced to stamp out the illegal over-declaration of resale prices. The recovery was based purely on the market fundamentals of an […]

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A glowing report card for the hotel industry

Business is brisk as visitor arrivals climb steadily, pushing up room rates and triggering a flurry of new hotel construction SINGAPORE is all set to spur tourism in the next few years with high-impact projects like the two integrated resorts, the Singapore Flyer, the Formula One (F1) Grand Prix and a rejuvenated Orchard Road. Last […]

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Enjoying the sponsorship edge in acquisitions

Strong developer sponsorship allows Reits to trade at lower yield levels while boosting the former’s risk management portfolio, says LESLIE YEE SINGAPORE commercial Reits have been enjoying rising office rents in 2007 but are facing fierce competition to acquire prime office assets amid competition from private equity funds and yield compression. Three events stand out: […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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‘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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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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Property investment sales may hit record $50b this year

MAJOR property deals in Singapore are set to reach an all-time high this year, according to property consultancy CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). It predicted that a record $50 billion in investment property sales would be done by year-end. These are transactions above $5 million each. CBRE said in a report yesterday that $37.91 billion worth […]

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Sales of office units jump amid space crunch

SALES of office units have shot up this year in the face of a crunch in office space here. An impressive $491.79 million worth of single units in larger office buildings has changed hands since January. This already outstrips the $386.39 million in deals for the whole of last year, according to new figures from […]

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Is red-hot property market starting to slow down?

Possible correction seen but underlying demand is still strong, say experts AFTER months of racing along at a feverish pace, Singapore’s residential property market seems to be finally taking a breather. Home sales and collective sales slowed last month, and property watchers have started to speak of a possible correction in the market. ‘A correction […]

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No signs of bubble in property sector, say two bankers

SINGAPORE’S buoyant property market shows no signs of a speculative bubble, two leading bankers said yesterday. DBS Group Holdings chief executive Jackson Tai said home prices may have risen but this simply reflects the strong fundamentals of a balanced economy. Mr Philip Lee, senior country officer of investment bank JPMorgan Chase, echoed Mr Tai’s views. […]

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Property boom far from over: Kwek Leng Beng

CITY Developments executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng believes that the property boom here is far from over, despite the current financial market turmoil. ‘The boom actually just started in 2005, and if you’re thinking of a relapse, I don’t think that is possible,’ he told chief executives yesterday at the Forbes Global CEO Conference. ‘Sub-prime […]

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Plenty of upside left in mid-tier property market: Kwek Leng Beng

DESPITE woes in the United States’ housing market, there is still plenty of zing in Singapore’s red-hot property market. Banks are still lending a lot of cash and mid-tier homes are still on offer at prices below 1996’s peak, says Mr Kwek Leng Beng, executive chairman of leading developers City Developments and Hong Leong Group. […]

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A quick guide to sub-prime issues

How individual loan defaults in a faraway land can have a domino effect all over the world – including here PAUSE for a moment to consider these facts: HSBC, the world’s third-largest bank, announced that 50 per cent of its earnings in 2006 were wiped out by sub-prime losses from its US subsidiary. Since the […]

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Property loans: local banks turn cautious

(SINGAPORE) Banks are tightening up on the way they lend money for buying homes while the property market is coming off the boil, housing agents report. With the world’s financial markets in turmoil, following a crisis in US mortgage lending to people with bad credit records, bankers in Singapore say that when it comes to […]

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InCity Lofts offered for sale at $70m

INCITY Lofts, an eight-storey block of small office, home office (Soho) units at Beach Road completed about three years ago, is being offered for sale at a minimum price of $70 million or $1,149 per square foot (psf) of strata area. The land lease tenure of the site has been extended to a full 99-year […]

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Property stocks sink on news of higher DC charges

Higher development costs likely to cool en bloc fever PROPERTY stocks fell yesterday after Friday’s news that the government will increase development charge (DC) charges as much as 112 per cent. Analysts said the revised DC rates will push up costs and also discourage developers from paying ever-increasing prices for collective sale sites. The Singapore […]

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Sub-prime will hit global economy: bank CEO

(FRANKFURT) Global economic growth will take a hit as a result of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, says the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank. ‘Growth, especially of private consumption in the United States, will suffer because of the housing crisis and that can naturally not go without negatively affecting the world economy […]

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Wild ride for investors ahead: analysts

WALL STREET INSIGHT But they expect rally once sub-prime uncertainty clears IN NEW YORK ON Wall Street, stock market analysts and money managers see stocks ready to register gains once the considerable cloud of dust kicked up by the turmoil in the world’s credit markets sparked by the sub-prime mortgage market settles in the weeks […]

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DC rates hoisted by as much as 112%

Average rate raised by 58% for non-landed residential use, and 42% for commercial use (SINGAPORE) The government yesterday announced what is possibly the sharpest hikes in development charge (DC) rates, which are payable for enhancing the use of some sites or building bigger projects on them. The Ministry of National Development (MND) cited the rise […]

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Wing Tai chief cautiously upbeat on property prices

WING Tai Holdings’ head honchos yesterday said the US sub-prime woes have slowed property transactions across the whole market here but believe that property prices are still on a growth path ‘if the sub-prime (crisis) stabilises within a reasonable period’. Wing Tai chairman Cheng Wai Keung said: ‘Yes, temporarily, it has affected some of the […]

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En bloc sales without tears

SELLERS both eager and reluctant in collective property deals will find out in time if the legislative changes Deputy Prime Minister and Law Minister S. Jayakumar tabled in Parliament on Monday balance their competing interests. What the latest draft amendments to the Land Titles (Strata) Act will do, as much as they can do for […]

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Property, financial boom drives growth in services

Overall turnover in the sector expands by 15.6 per cent in second quarter SINGAPORE’S services sector racked up a robust second quarter, thanks to the booming property and financial sectors. Overall business receipts for the three months ended June 30 were up 15.6 per cent over the same period last year, according to the Department […]

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Rents, wages up but S’pore cheaper than HK, Tokyo

Also, it has qualities like liveability that economies in region cannot easily copy, says Lim Hng Kiang. But it has to keep an eye on costs EVEN though property costs and wages are on the rise, Singapore remains cheaper than global cities in the region such as Hong Kong and Tokyo, said Trade and Industry […]

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What will happen from here on?

Few dare assume that the worst is really behind us FINANCIAL markets have come back from the brink after last week, thanks to the Fed’s deft move to stave off a meltdown in global financial markets. But only the very brave dare believe the worst is now over. When massive injections of short-term liquidity into […]

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Market crisis just a speed breaker?

While agreeing that the bull market is intact for long-term investors, analysts say it would be prudent to revisit your asset allocation in the wake of the sub-prime crisis. THE fallout from the crisis in sub-prime mortgages in the US has sparked a rout in credit and equity markets in recent days. The biggest question […]

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Still plenty of liquidity, says CDL’s Kwek

But foreign funds seeking investment property are likely to proceed more carefully ‘THERE is still plenty of liquidity around,’ City Developments’ executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng said yesterday. But foreign funds seeking investment property are likely to proceed more carefully given the escalation of the US sub-prime woes, he noted. Mr Kwek was speaking at […]

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Prime office rents in Singapore still competitive

Corporates still see value in operating out of Singapore, says DTZ (SINGAPORE) Occupancy cost in prime Singapore office locations has risen 54 per cent in the first six months of the year. Though the cost is still lower than in Hong Kong, the increase here is still the fastest in the Asia-Pacific region. DTZ Debenham […]

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Sub-prime mess just a Chicken Little flap

Recent global market tremors are a disturbing commentary on the power of fear THE job of an economist, among many other duties, is to put things into perspective. So, because I am an economist, among other duties, here is a little perspective on the recent turmoil in the stock and bond markets. First, when the […]

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Portfolios take a ‘sub-primal’ beating

HOW quickly investment sentiment can sour. Up till a few weeks ago, punters were still betting on penny stocks like there was no tomorrow. But the turning point came last month when a US bank, Bear Stearns, spooked the markets with news of major losses and accounting difficulties with its investments linked to risky US […]

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Markets fear more volatility ahead

Uncertainty as traders watch developments THE dramatic intervention by the world’s central banks helped to calm jittery bourses on Friday, but as Asian markets reopen for trading today, investors will be watching to see if the relief is only temporary. Many traders believe that any move by the more optimistic investors or ‘bulls’ to stage […]

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Sizzling real estate sector

Bullish investors may drive 2007 sales to a record high, while home prices and rents continue to surge. AFTER years of being in the doldrums, the Singapore property market has been staging a spectacular recovery in the past couple of years. The rally is being fuelled by a surge in confidence from foreign investors as […]

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Hot Spot – Kallang Basin

New condos coupled with the Government’s plans to revitalise the greater Marina Bay area will inject a lot more buzz into the Kallang Basin district. Already, the values of some residential projects in this area have risen. Check them out. Kallang Basin    TANJONG RHU Residential oasis near the city TANJONG Rhu is a large upmarket […]

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Foreign Buying of Residential Land Soars

(SINGAPORE) Foreign investors have pumped $885.5 million into residential land purchases here so far this year, outstripping the $651.84 million for the whole of last year. And CapitaLand said yesterday that it hopes to redevelop the $420 million Char Yong Gardens with US-based Wachovia Development Corporation, so the sum invested by foreigners is set to […]

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