Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kallang Pudding Site Gets One Bid

Source : The Business Times, October 8, 2008

AN Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) tender for an industrial site on Kallang Pudding Road closed yesterday with only one bid received.

The $10.8 million bid came from Orion-Four Development. Based on the site area of 61,819 square feet and a plot ratio of 2.5, the bid translates to a unit land price $69.88 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) - the same as a committed bid received by URA in August.

Dominic Peters, director of industrial services at Savills Singapore, said he is surprised that just one bid came, especially as the site seems well located.

He said that if URA awards the site, the unit land price of $69.88 psf ppr will be about 20 per cent lower than the $85 psf ppr paid for an industrial site in Ubi Avenue 4 this month by Sim Lian Land.

In that tender, only two bids were received, with Orion-Four Development being the losing bidder. Mr Peters said this could have reflected cautious market sentiment. On the lack of interest in the Kallang Pudding site, he said: 'There could be some concern that there may be an over-supply of industrial space in that vicinity.'

Prices for industrial sites appear to be falling.

In March, Sim Lian Development's unit 3 Link Development emerged the highest bidder for a 60-year leasehold industrial site at Ubi Avenue 4/Ubi Road 2, offering $23.9 million or $88.74 psf ppr.

In February, another Sim Lian unit, Trio Link Development, paid $142 psf ppr for an industrial site in Playfair Road in Ubi/Paya Lebar/Eunos area.

Legends Fort Canning To Undergo $70m Revamp

Source : The Business Times, October 8, 2008

Town club will have boutique hotel, members' block

THE Legends Fort Canning Park will get a luxury boutique hotel and a new members' block as part of a $70 million revamp.

Upscale: Artist's impression of the revamped club, with luxury hotel rooms and new food and beverage outlets

The town club has been operating for five years out of a colonial building, which will be remodelled to include the hotel and new dining outlets.

The hotel will have 82 rooms and suites on the second and third floors of the building. The ground floor will house new food and beverage outlets managed by the GGR Garibaldi Group of restaurants. Italian, Japanese and modern Asian restaurants are in the plans.

The club said that a survey of members showed guest rooms were one of the things they wanted most. 'With the luxury hotel rooms added, members will not only have another excellent facility at their disposal, but I think their membership will increase in prestige and value,' said club CEO Oh Chee Eng.

The boutique hotel concept could also be a stepping stone to bigger things for the club, he said. 'If the business model grows and is exciting, we intend to replicate it regionally.'

The hotel will have a separate identity from The Legends Fort Canning Park, and the new brand will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2009.

The hotel will cater not only to business and leisure travellers, but also to club members at preferential rates. 'We are comfortable that we can achieve a 70-80 per cent occupancy rate,' said Mr Oh.

Besides the hotel, club members can look forward to a new three-storey glass building with a gym and spa and swimming pools.

The club is tapping shareholder funds and bank borrowings to finance the redevelopment. Renovation starts on Oct 15 and the club will reopen on April 1 next year.

Because of the closure, members will not have to pay subscription fees from Oct 16 this year to April 1, 2009. In the meantime, the club will tie up with an established fitness chain to offer alternative gym facilities at special prices.

Dubai Plans To Build A US$95b City

Source : The Business Times, October 7, 2008

Mixed use Jumeirah Gardens will be built over 12 years

(DUBAI) A Dubai government firm yesterday announced it will build a 'new city' in the booming Gulf emirate at a projected cost of US$95 billion, shrugging off the global financial turmoil.

A gleaming city within a city: Jumeirah Gardens will comprise business, residential and leisure facilities linked by a transportation network and include some of the city's biggest towers. It also will have a large canal running through the development.

The mixed use Jumeirah Gardens development will be 'an integrated city within a city', to be built over 12 years, Meraas Development said at the opening of Cityscape 2008, a four-day international real estate exhibition.

The announcement came one day after Dubai developers Nakheel said it planned to build a tower which could stand one kilometre tall.

Jumeirah Gardens will stretch north of Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai's main thoroughfare linking it to the oil-rich emirate and UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, 150 kilometres to the south.

Meraas Development said that Jumeirah Gardens will comprise business, residential and leisure facilities linked by a transportation network and including some of the city's biggest towers, and with a large canal running through the development.

The announcement came at the opening of the Cityscape exhibition, an annual feature on the property calendar of Dubai, a regional business and tourism hub which is in the midst of a construction frenzy and aims to rival financial centres like London and New York.

But Dubai has not been spared the turmoil on world markets.

Dubai Financial Market dropped 7.6 per cent yesterday to its lowest level in more than 18 months.

The market has lost around 14 per cent in the past two days amid the world financial crisis. -- AFP

US$7.2b Project Planned Near Riyadh

Source : The Business Times, October 7, 2008

(CAIRO) Saudi Arabia's Al-Shoala Group and Dubai-based Emaar Properties have teamed up on a US$7.2 billion community project near the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Emaar said the Rawabi Rumah project will have luxury homes, apartments, commercial and retail space, hospitals and community centres. The community project will include a 162-hectare park.

Al-Shoala's chairman Prince Meshal bin Abdul-Aziz said in a statement on Saturday that the project will create 25,000 jobs.

'Rawabi Rumah will be a trend-setting development and a new lifestyle destination for the Saudi people,' Prince Meshal said.

The community plan is the latest in a series of ambitious mega-projects in the region. Gulf Arab countries, flush with oil funds, are looking to revamp their landscapes with gleaming skyscrapers and full-service gated communities, while trying to diversify their oil-based economies.

The push for new job creation in Saudi Arabia comes as the country struggles with rising unemployment that has in the past been blamed by some for the radicalisation of the youth.

Some economists and analysts, however, say such efforts fail to address education and other key areas requiring reform that are critical to sustainable economic growth in a country where the bulk of the work force are foreigners.

Emaar said in a statement that several international designers are aiding in plans for the community. It said 60 per cent of the area was allocated for residential development.

Construction on the site is expected to begin next year, with the first villas ready for handover in 2011, Emaar said in a separate email statement.

The company added in the email that the project 'is a reiteration of our confidence in the regional economy. While the global financial meltdown has its impact across all economies, the Middle East region - particularly, (the Gulf) economies - have cushioned the effect through its focus on infrastructure development projects'. -- AP

New 1km-High Nakheel Tower Beats Burj Dubai's 688m

Source : The Business Times, October 7, 2008

Taking 10 years to complete, building's final height is secret

(DUBAI) With its world's tallest building nearing completion, Dubai said on Sunday that it is embarking on an even more ambitious skyscraper: one that will soar more than a kilometre into the air.

Skyhigh ambitions: Nakheel chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem unveiling plans to build a skyscraper that will soar more than a kilometre into the air and take more than a decade to complete

That's the height of more than 10 American football fields, 13 Airbus A380 'superjumbo' jets or three of New York's Chrysler Buildings stacked end-to-end.

'This is an unbelievably groundbreaking design,' chief executive Chris O'Donnell said during a briefing at the company's sales centre, not far from the proposed site. 'This still takes my breath away.'

The tower, which will take more than a decade to complete, will be the centrepiece of a sprawling development that state-owned builder Nakheel plans to create in the rapidly growing 'New Dubai' section of the city. Foundation work has already begun, Mr O'Donnell said.

The area is located between two of the city's artificial palm-shaped islands, which Nakheel also built. The project will include a man-made inland harbour and 40 additional towers up to 90-floors high.

About 150 elevators will carry employees and workers to the Nakheel tower's more than 200 floors, the company said. The building will be composed of four separate towers joined at various levels and centred on an open atrium.

'It does show a lot of confidence in this environment' of worldwide credit problems and a souring global economy, said Marios Maratheftis, Standard Chartered Bank's Dubai-based regional head of research.

As part of government-run conglomerate Dubai World, Nakheel has played a major role in creating modern-day Dubai, a city that has blossomed from a tiny fishing and pearling village into a major business and tourism hub in a matter of decades.

Besides the growing archipelago of man-made islands for which it is best known, Nakheel is responsible for a number of the city's malls, hotels and hundreds of apartment buildings.

The company said that the new project is inspired by Islamic design and draws inspiration from sites such as the Alhambra in Spain and the harbour of Alexandria in Egypt.

'There is nothing like it in Dubai,' said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Nakheel's chairman.

Perhaps not quite. But Dubai is already home to the world's tallest building, even if it remains unfinished.

That skyscraper, the Burj Dubai, or Dubai Tower in Arabic, is being built by Nakheel's chief competitor Emaar Properties.

Emaar has kept the final height of the silvery steel-and-glass tower a closely guarded secret, saying only that it stood at a 'new record height' of 2,257 feet (688m) at the start of last month. It's due to be finished next September.

The final height of Nakheel's proposed tower is likewise a secret, as is the price tag. The company would only say it will be more than a kilometre tall.

Mr O'Donnell said that he was confident that Nakheel could pay for the project despite the financial troubles roiling the world's economy.

He also brushed aside concerns by some analysts that Dubai's property market is becoming overheated and due for a potentially sharp correction.

'In Dubai, demand outstrips supply,' he said. 'There might be a slowdown, but there definitely won't be a crash.' - AP

China May Move To Revive Property Market

Source : The Business Times, October 7, 2008

Specific measures and rate cuts may be used to prevent sharp slowdown, says JPMorgan

(BEIJING) China may use targeted measures and interest-rate cuts to revive a sagging property market and sustain economic growth, said Jing Ulrich, chairwoman of China equities at JPMorgan Chase & Co in Hong Kong.

Toil and trouble: China can't afford a housing-market slump because the property sector accounts for a quarter of fixed-asset investment and 10 per cent of employment, says Ms Ulrich

'Expectations are building for the government to introduce policies supporting lower-income home buyers and a selective easing of credit for some developers,' Ms Ulrich said in a note yesterday.

Policymakers are trying to prevent a sharper slowdown in the world's fourth-biggest economy as the credit crisis undermines demand in export markets. China can't afford a housing-market slump because the property sector accounts for a quarter of fixed-asset investment and 10 per cent of employment, Ms Ulrich said.

House prices in China's 70 major cities fell 0.1 per cent in August from July. Morgan Stanley analysts warned last month that the sector could be heading for a 'meltdown'.

'As the property market's woes spill over into other areas of the economy, we expect the government to selectively loosen restrictions on the sector,' Ms Ulrich said. 'Specific measures to boost the property sector may be necessary to forestall a sharper slowdown in the broad economy.'

The steel industry relies on construction work. Steel company shares tumbled yesterday after the China Securities Journal reported that some steelmakers will cut output by 20 per cent this month as demand cools.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd fell 8.8 per cent and Angang Steel Co declined 10 per cent. The broad market gauge, the CSI 300 Index, closed down 5.1 per cent.

'It looks like the Chinese construction sector has some fairly serious issues,' Richard Jerram, chief economist at Macquarie Securities Inc in Tokyo, said in a Sept 30 interview. 'They had a bubble and the bubble burst; it's a familiar story.'

Property demand in Chinese cities has dropped by as much as half since the government last year raised minimum downpayment requirements and increased rates on some mortgages to cool home prices, according to CSC Securities HK Ltd analyst Liu Bin.

Oriental Daily reported on Sept 10 that developers China Vanke Co, Hengda Real Estate Group, and Shimao Property Holdings Ltd were cutting apartment prices by 15 per cent to 35 percent.

According to Ms Ulrich, possible measures to support the property sector include: lower interest rates and bank reserve requirements; reduced downpayment requirements; and allowing more bond sales to finance property developers.

The government could also reduce or eliminate land appreciation tax and let home buyers deduct mortgage payments against personal income tax.

Local governments have already stepped in to aid some property markets, Ms Ulrich said, citing the examples of reduced downpayment requirements in Sichuan and loosened loan limits for developers in Shenzhen.

China cut borrowing costs last month for the first time in six years.

'Policies will likely be geared up to stimulate the economy while minimising those financial and economic impacts of an imminent real estate bust,' said Lu Ting, an economist with Merrill Lynch & Co in Hong Kong.

China's economy expanded 10.1 per cent in the second quarter, the fourth straight quarter that growth has slowed. This year's expansion may be 9.6 per cent, down from last year's 11.9 per cent, UBS said yesterday.

Weakness in the property sector may shave half a percentage point off China's economic growth next year, Ben Simpfendorfer, an economist with Royal Bank of Scotland plc in Hong Kong, said in a Sept 26 report.

Still, the migration of rural people to the cities requires the annual construction of enough apartments to house the populations of London and New York combined, meaning there's strong underlying support, he said. -- Bloomberg

Dubai Housing Prices May Stay Flat: Report

Source : The Business Times, October 7, 2008

Colliers expects slowdown in price rise till 2010 after 5 years of steep gains

(DUBAI) Home prices in Dubai, the second-biggest of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, are likely to remain flat until 2010 after five years of steep gains, Colliers CRE plc said.

About 140,000 new homes will be completed in Dubai by the end of 2010, adding to the existing stock of about 300,000 units, Colliers said in a report released in Dubai on Sunday.

Home prices average US$5,420 per square metre, or US$504 per square foot, in Dubai, compared with US$6,500 a square metre in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the report said.

'We've not seen a drop-off in demand, but there has been a slowdown in value appreciation,' Ian Albert, Colliers regional director, told reporters in Dubai.

'As we sit here today there is insufficient supply in property across the Middle East and North Africa, in residential, office, leisure and retail.'

Dubai is aiming to become a regional financial centre and is spending billions of dollars on finance and tourism projects to diversify its economy.

Property values in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, have quadrupled over the last five years, investment bank Al Mal Capital PSC said in a report on March 9. Dubai's residential property prices rose 40 per cent from a year earlier, slowing from an annual 41 per cent in May, Al Mal said on Aug 14.

Emaar Properties PJSC, the Middle East's biggest publicly traded real estate company, lost the most since 2000 on concerns that the US bank bailout won't be enough to stop the global credit crisis reaching Dubai.

It fell as much as 13.4 per cent to 6.67 dirhams, the biggest one-day drop since March 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The biggest threat facing the Dubai property market is liquidity, Mr Albert said. The departure of speculators from the market may also lead to prices falling, he said.

'We are concerned about developer bias toward the high end residential segment, when demand for housing from the middle income segment is most acute,' Colliers said in the report, titled 'MENA Real Estate Overview'. -- Bloomberg

Prime Non-Landed Home Prices Fall 4.2% In Q3

Source : The Business Times, October 8, 2008

PRICES of non-landed private residential properties fell in Q3 2008 with those in prime districts taking the largest hit, said real estate adviser DTZ yesterday.

Prime freehold non-landed resale residential units saw a 4.2 per cent quarter-on- quarter drop in prices. This marks the second consecutive quarter of price fall for the segment.

Outside the prime districts, freehold non-landed resale residential units reflected the first correction of 1.3 per cent.

DTZ highlighted that landed housing was the only segment that held firm since prices stabilised in Q2 2008, due to demand from owner occupiers and reduced supply. The Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) flash estimates for Q3 2008 also registered a fall in overall private residential prices.

URA's numbers, however, reflected smaller declines. Prices of non-landed private housing in the Core Central and Rest of Central regions slid 2 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively, while those in the Outside Central Region actually edged up 0.1 per cent.

According to URA, its estimates are based on transaction prices in caveats lodged during the first 10 weeks of the quarter, supplemented by information on the number of new units sold.

The fall in the private residential market will accelerate as the US financial crisis deepens, said DTZ. It also pointed out: 'Like in 1998 and 2002, there will be a higher proportion of buyers with HDB addresses as the price gap between HDB resale flats and private residential properties narrows.'

Besides prices, launches also fell in the private residential market, said DTZ. New launches in Q3 2008 generally involved small boutique projects and developers sold only 320 units in August, about a third of the 901 in July.


Source :《联合早报》October 8, 2008

位于福康宁公园的丽景福康宁园(The Legends Fort Canning Park)将改头换面,转换成豪华精品酒店,同时加建一个三层楼高的会员俱乐部。建筑和装修费估计约7000万元,工程预计在明年第一季完成。





除了客房外,新酒店的地面层将设有由本地著名意大利餐饮集团GGR Garibaldi经营的三个新餐饮设施。





Source :《联合早报》October 8, 2008


戴德梁行(DTZ Tie Leung)昨天发表的第三季私宅市场研究报告也显示,在价格方面,除了有地住宅坚守价位外,其他非有地私宅的价格都已失守。





发展商第三季度推出的新项目,除了嘉德置地的The Wharf Residences(平均价格为每平方英尺1400至1700元)和鸿福集团在这个季度结束前推出的Concourse Skyline(平均价格为每平方英尺1500至1800元)之外,多以小型的精品项目为主。

其他在这一季推出售卖的房地产还包括MCL地产发展的D'Pavilion(平均推出价格为每平方英尺770至930元)、金英控股(Kim Eng Holdings)的Beacon Heights(平均推出价格为每平方英尺1050至1400元)以及Ascender Capital的Urban Lofts(平均推出价格为每平方英尺870至1200元)等。




Source :《联合早报》October 8, 2008