Friday, October 26, 2007

MAS Invites Comments On Proposed Change To Banks' Liquid Assets

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is inviting comments to its proposals to change the minimum liquid assets and minimum cash balances kept by banks.

The latest drafts include the feedback it received from a consultation exercise last year to enhance the liquidity risk supervision of banks in Singapore.

To ensure that these banks are better able to manage liquidity stress situations on a timely basis, the central bank is now proposing to streamline the process for drawing down of regulatory reserves.

The changes will continue to allow banks to adopt either a general methodology or a risk-sensitive methodology for determining regulatory liquidity reserves.

Their choice of method may depend on their level of sophistication and liquidity risk management capability.

Details of the proposed changes are available on the MAS website. - CNA/ch

CapitaLand's Q3 Earnings More Than Doubles To S$563.9m

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's biggest property developer, said Friday third quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier, boosted by contributions from investments in Singapore, China and Australia.

Net profit of S$563.9 million compared with S$272.4 million in the same quarter last year, the company said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Revenue for the July-September quarter was S$895.8 million, up 25 percent from S$718.7 million a year ago.

For the nine months to September, earnings totalled S$2.08 billion which was nearly four times the S$559.2 million profit during the same period in 2006.

Revenue from January to September was S$2.5 billion, up 15 percent from a year ago.

"Our core markets of Singapore, China and Australia continue to deliver sterling results," said group president and chief executive Liew Mun Leong.

"We continue to expand our footprint in growth markets like Vietnam, the Gulf Cooperation Council region and India," he said, citing the firm's expertise in the residential, office retail mall and hospitality sectors.

Liew said CapitaLand has invested more than S$8.0 billion in new businesses worldwide.

"As the region grows, our strong balance sheet and healthy earnings growth allow us to capitalise on investment opportunities that arise," Liew said.

On Friday, CapitaLand shares rose 25 cents to close at S$8.05. - AFP/ch

Real Estate Fund Manager ARA To Sell 205m Shares In IPO

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

Asian real estate fund manager, ARA Asset Management, plans to sell some 205.2 million shares in an initial public offering in Singapore.

The IPO consists of an international placement of 181.9 million shares as well as a public offer of 23.3 million shares.

Each share is priced at S$1.15.

ARA Asset Management is an affiliate of the Cheung Kong Group.

The real estate fund manager plans to use the funds from the IPO to grow its assets under management.

Justin Chiu, Executive Director, Cheung Kong, Chairman, ARA Asset Management, says: "We raise some money for our business expansion plan. Half of it (around S$40m) will be used to seed the Asian Dragon Fund. Another S$20m, we will use it as seed money for our other expansion plans.

"We plan to establish more REITS and set up more property funds.This will be used as seed money for these new ventures. The rest, another S$20 million, will be for our working capital in the future years."

As of June 30th, ARA has around S$7.2 billion, or US$4.7 billion, of assets under management.

Assets are mainly in the commercial property market in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The real estate fund manager wants to expand into new areas and markets.

Mr Chiu says: "If you look at our REIT portfolio, we are quite strong in commercial property, mainly retail and office properties, especially in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. We also want to expand into areas like hospitality and industrial logistics in the Asian region, for example, in India, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and possibly South Korea, Vietnam.

"Because our expertise is in Asia, at least in the next few years, our focus will also be in Asia. If the opportunity arises, we can also be looking at the Middle East because we have strong relationships and network in the Middle East. That could be our next step but we will concentrate in Asian region first."

The public offer will close at noon on October 31st and the shares will start trading on November 2nd. - CNA/ch

DBS' Q3 Net Profit Up 11% To S$610m After Impairment Charge

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

DBS Group Holdings, Southeast Asia's biggest bank, said Friday its third-quarter net profit rose an annual 11 percent as lending expanded due to a strong economy.

Fees earned from stockbroking, investment banking, loan syndication and wealth management also contributed to the earnings, the bank said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Net profit for the three months to September came in at S$610 million, up from S$552 million in the same period last year and was within analysts forecasts.

The bank incurred a S$38 million impairment charge from its investment in Thailand's TMB Bank. Without the charge, net profit rose 17 percent.

Net interest income climbed 15 percent to S$1.05 billion as loans expanded 23 percent, driven by lending to companies in Singapore and the region. Lending to Singapore's buoyant property sector also increased.

The Singapore economy grew 9.4 percent in the third quarter, faster than the 8.7 percent expansion in the second quarter, and full-year growth is expected between 7-8 percent.

Income from fees jumped 38 percent to a record S$403 million as strockbroking, investment banking, loan syndication and wealth management activities picked up, DBS said.

"Results for the quarter were reassuring despite turbulence in the global credit markets," said DBS chief executive Jackson Tai.

"We took steps over the last five years to diversify our earnings across business and geography to supplement our strength in corporate banking and the markets."

Tai said the diversification helped the bank withstand the fallout from global credit turmoil triggered by a crisis in the US sub-prime mortgage housing market.

DBS said it set aside S$70 million for its exposure to the US sub-prime credit market and marked down S$42 million against exposure to an investment vehicle that invests in risky debt derivatives. - AFP/ir

HDB Resale Prices Rise 6.6% In Q3

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

The booming property market shows no sign of letting up. Third-quarter prices indicate an upward climb across the private residential market and HDB resale segment.

In particular, HDB resale prices rose 6.6 percent over the previous quarter - the highest increase in 10 years.

Related Video Link - http://tinyurl.com/394ut3
HDB resale prices rise 6.6% in Q3


Buying a home in the resale market will not come cheap.

The latest data showed a 6.6 percent rise in prices across most flat types and towns.

However, housing agents said prices in some areas are rising at an alarming rate.

Mohamed Ismail, CEO, PropNex, said, "Though the overall price index says it's 6.6 per cent, but some of the locations, particularly if you look at say five-room flats in places like Ang Mo Kio or Jurong East, Bedok and as well as in Queenstown, all have recorded a median price increase of more than 10 percent, with Queenstown recording a 20 percent increase for a five-room flat."

Overall, the resale transaction volume fell 11 percent in the third quarter.

Industry watchers said this could be due to the surge in prices in the second quarter, which may have caused younger buyers to shy away.

Another thing working against younger home buyers is the climbing cash over valuation (COV) amount.

Latest figures showed the median COV for all resale transactions in third quarter was S$17,000.

However, agents said the COV for central areas has risen to an unrealistic level - at some S$100,000 above valuation for a five-room and executive flat in Queenstown.

Still, they do not expect the upward trend to last.

Eugene Lim, Associate Director, ERA, said, "Many sellers are asking for higher and higher cash over valuation and if you look at what is happening in the market, we are actually beginning to see some resistance, because a typical HDB buyer does not have so much cash or is not willing to part with so much cash, and this will put a cap basically on how prices increase over time."

The resale sector is expected to finish strongly in the next quarter, with agents forecasting a 5 to 6 percent rise in prices.

They also project total resale prices to increase between 13 and 17 percent for the year.

Industry players said the government's plan to build more new flats over the next six months will ease pressure on resale prices in the long run, and they do not expect resale prices to have a big impact on the prices HDB will charge for its new flats.

However, property agents said the prices will be competitive in popular locations.

They said the high demand for HDB resale flats came partly from buyers who have been priced out of private residential properties.

In addition, the rosy economic outlook also caused many home owners to upgrade to a larger flat.

As for the HDB rental market, industry players said the 8 percent rise in the third quarter is backed by strong demand and a spillover effect from the private property sector.

Another increase of 5 to 10 percent is expected next quarter.

For private residential properties, prices rose 8.3 percent - the same rate of increase as the second quarter.

Rentals also scaled up 11.4 percent, compared to 10.4 percent previously. - CNA/ms

Private Residential Home Prices Rise 8.3% In Third Quarter: URA

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

Singapore's private home prices are at their highest in a decade.

According to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday, private residential home prices rose by 8.3 percent in the third quarter from the previous three-month period.

The jump was just a little higher than the previous estimate of 8 percent.

However, in terms of sales, fewer uncompleted residential units were sold, compared to the previous three months.

The report said there was a 30 percent dip in the number of uncompleted private residential units sold from the previous quarter.

But analysts said that was not alarming given the seventh lunar month.

Tay Huey Ying, Research and Consultancy Director, Colliers International, said: "The third quarter is where the seventh lunar month takes place. Traditionally, it's a rather slow month. Chinese buyers tend to avoid making housing commitments during this period and therefore developers will also tend to scale down launches during this period."

They noted that sales were still 64 percent higher than a year ago.

Private apartments in the core prime districts continued to lead price increases, with a jump of 8.3 percent, but higher prices are also seen elsewhere.

Mr Tay said: "The high-end as well as luxury home has actually been leading the price increase prior to 2007. But from 2007, in fact, from January this year we are already seeing home prices in the mid-tier as well as the mass market catching up very fast."

The number of residential units in the pipeline stands at more than 65,000, about 16 percent higher than three months ago.

But analysts said they see prices continuing to push upwards.

Mr Tay said: "The number of residential homes scheduled for completion next year stands at 5,500 units. If we take into consideration that... quite a number of homes will be demolished due to the collective sale, the overall number could hover around 3,500 for next year.

"This is actually quite low in comparison to the average of the last five years prior to the collective sale fever, which stands at around 7,500 or so.

"So I think if we look at this scenario... what it goes to show is that perhaps next year the supply of homes for rental and occupation will continue to remain very tight. Rents and prices will continue to surge for next year."

Meanwhile, private home rents rose by 11.4 percent in the third quarter, while office rentals climbed by 14.8 percent. - CNA/ch

Fruit-Themed Floating Wetland For Punggol, Sengkang Residents

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

Punggol and Sengkang residents will have a fruit-themed wetland at their doorstep soon.

The wetland being built will be ready in one and a half year's time.

The floating wetland is part of the PUB's ABCs of Water Programme, which aims to beautify water bodies in Singapore.

Two other projects in Bedok and Kolam Ayer are expected to be ready by the end of the year.

PUB said nine other projects are in the final stages of design. - CNA/ms

First Phase Of KPE Opens To Traffic

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

Drivers got their chance to experience the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway for the first time as the first phase of the road opened to vehicular traffic at 10am on Friday.

Traffic was smooth on the new Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) even though motorists could only drive through three kilometres of the 12-kilometre long tunnel, which is being opened in phases.

On Friday morning, cars were among the first to use the tunnel which links the ECP with the PIE.

The Land Transport Authority says the first phase of the tunnel is likely to benefit those who want to travel between the PIE and ECP.

The KPE is monitored at a central control room. On the ground, patrols are also carried out by new traffic marshals.

Zipping around on their motorcycles, one of their tasks is to help alleviate traffic congestion caused by minor accidents.

However, it was a smooth day for the traffic marshals as no traffic incidents in the tunnel were reported on the opening day.

In the first three hours of operation alone, almost 4,800 vehicles used the tunnel. The KPE can handle about 6,000 vehicles an hour. - CNA/ch

Govt Withdraws Deferred Payment Scheme For Property Purchases

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 26 October 2007

The government has withdrawn the deferred payment scheme for property purchases.

This applies to all residential, commercial and industrial properties.

This is seen as the clearest move yet to cool the property market.

Amid the strong growth in the property sector, there have been calls on the government to step in.

Analysts say the latest move did not come as a total surprise.

Tay Huey Ying, Research and Consultancy Director, Colliers International, says: "Just as the government has been watching the market, the market has also been watching the government very closely to see when they will be implementing measures to cool down the market. So I would say that this is something that the market is expecting. It's just a matter of time."

Under the Deferred Payment Scheme, developers could offer buyers of uncompleted private properties the option to defer part of their payment for the units they buy.

When the scheme first started, buyers had to pay an initial 20 percent downpayment in full.

They were allowed to defer payment on the remaining 80 percent of the purchase price.

But subsequently, they were allowed up to half of the downpayment.

These deferred payment plans have been seen as key to driving growth in the property market.

Property watchers say withdrawing the scheme will keep speculation in check but they expect the market to remain buoyant.

Mr Tay says: "Genuine purchasers are likely to continue to carry on with their purchases. And since demand fundamentals remain healthy, I think the level of activity will remain active especially since sub-sale currently accounts for only 12 per cent of total transactions. And in the mass market, sub-sales currently only account for only 5 per cent of total transactions."

Private home prices have risen almost 23 percent so far this year. - CNA/ch

CapitaLand's China JV Buys Township Sites

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

CAPITALAND said yesterday its joint venture company in China has acquired three land sites in Chengdu for S$137.4 million to develop a township.

The sites in Wenjiang district will yield a potential gross floor area of 1.28 million sq m.

The JV plans to amalgamate the three sites and develop a scenic township comprising about 7,400 homes, a theme park, retail facilities, a five-star hotel and luxurious serviced villas.

The township, to be developed in three phases, is expected to be fully completed by 2013.

Ascott In JV For Japan Serviced Residence

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

THE Ascott Group is to jointly develop a 126-unit serviced residence in Kyoto, Japan with Mitsubishi Estate Co.

Ascott said it will take a 40 per cent stake in the joint venture and invest about $20.6 million for the land acquisition and development.

Six CDO Tranches Under S&P's Creditwatch

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

The tranches, linked to UOB and OCBC and listed on Irish bourse, are worth US$97m

RATING agency Standard & Poor's has placed six tranches of collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) launched by the asset management arms of United Overseas Bank (UOB) and OCBC Bank under negative watch.

A negative watch is not a downgrade, which has an impact on pricing.

CDOs are currently either so thinly traded, or not traded at all, that it is difficult to gauge their prices.

In a press release, Standard & Poor's said it has placed its ratings on the six tranches of Asia-Pacific CDOs on creditwatch with negative implications. The CDOs are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

According to the Irish Stock Exchange website, the six tranches are worth US$97 million. Four of the six tranches, worth US$57 million, belong to Raffles Place II Funding Ltd, a US$1 billion asset-backed securities CDO comprising many tranches launched by UOB Asset Management last year.

Responding to a BT query on whether the rating action will have any impact, a UOB spokeswoman said the bank has taken note of the latest announcement by Standard & Poor's.

'In any case, we constantly review our investment portfolio on our own and will make any necessary adjustment when required,' she said.

The other two CDO tranches worth US$40 million that were placed on creditwatch belong to Singa Funding Ltd, which was also launched last year by Lion Capital, which is 70 per cent owned by Great Eastern Holdings (GEH) and 30 per cent owned by OCBC Bank.

GEH is, in turn, 87 per cent owned by OCBC.

According to a Nomura Fixed Income Research CDO update in June 2006, Lion Capital launched Singa Funding Ltd, a US$1 billion residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)/ CDO.

A GEH spokeswoman yesterday said the company could not comment on the rating action because of the blackout period ahead of GEH's release of third-quarter 2007 financial results on Nov 2.

Yesterday, Standard & Poor's said the six Asia-Pacific tranches are CDOs of asset-backed securities collateralised by structured finance securities, including RMBS.

'Standard & Poor's placed these CDO ratings on creditwatch negative following a review of its rated cash-flow transactions with exposure to RMBS securities that have experienced negative rating actions recently - which included the more than 3,500 classes that were downgraded during the week of Oct 15, 2007,' it said.

In total, the six CDO tranches placed on creditwatch negative account for about 17 per cent of the Asia-Pacific cashflow CDO tranches currently rated by Standard & Poor's.

In August, when UOB and OCBC disclosed their CDO exposures, both banks said the CDOs managed by their respective asset management arms to date were performing and there were no rating downgrades by ratings agencies.

Singapore To Light Up F1 Circuit With Night Race

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

Singapore made history in the air yesterday, and got the green light to make it on the roads as well. Even as the first-ever commercial flight of the Airbus 380 took off at 8am yesterday, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) finally gave the go-ahead for a night race to be held here.

Winning formula: A late evening start time for the Singapore GP means that it will get maximum exposure on European television markets

Never before has Formula One seen a race hosted after dark, under floodlights. It will provide a unique perspective for F1 fans around the world. The fact that it starts late in the evening here also means that it will get maximum exposure on European television markets. The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix is slated for Sept 28, 2008.

'Given that one of our objectives is to showcase Singapore to Formula One fans around the world, our late start-time will help us achieve this. The stunning city skyline backdrop will be an added bonus,' said Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP.

However, as the approval is only in-principle, additional tests to the lighting system and track circuit will still have to be conducted in the run-up to the race.

Minister of State for Trade & Industry S Iswaran said the approval was both a 'milestone' and very welcome affirmation from the FIA.

'They have been satisfied with all the efforts in the preparations for this night race. They need to now make sure they test it out completely in the local context, make sure that it is fully functional and workable in the Singapore environment. Once that is completed, then we should have the clear signal to go ahead.' The minister reckoned that everything should be wrapped up by sometime next year.

Nonetheless, Mr Syn appeared confident. 'We are well on our way - with two positive lighting tests under our belt, we are on track to delivering the first night race in Formula One history,' he said. The confirmation of a night race came as more than welcome news to avid F1 fan Anisha Merchant. Ms Merchant has previously travelled to both Shanghai and Monaco to catch the Grand Prix in action. 'Watching the F1 is already such a thrill but racing at night will add a whole different dimension. It'll be interesting to see how the drivers and teams handle it,' she enthused.

The confirmation of the night race also means a clearer picture of hotel room rates during the race period in time to come, which has been subject of much speculation since the announcement by the government that trackside hotels would be slapped with a 30 per cent levy. Various hotels have cited uncertainty about the race time as one of the key factors holding them back from announcing official prices.

DBS' Q3 Profit Rises 11% To $610m

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

Singapore's DBS Group Holdings on Friday posted better-than-expected 11 per cent rise in third-quarter profit, after South-east Asia's biggest bank wrote down some investments in structured credit and took a charge on its investment in Thailand's TMB Bank.

Without the $38 million impairment charge on TMB, DBS' net profit would have been up 17 per cent at $648 million.

The Singapore-based bank, in which state investor Temasek Holdings has a 28 per cent stake, posted a net profit of $610 million for its third quarter from July to September, compared with $552 million a year ago and against an average forecast of $481 million from five analysts polled by Reuters.

Excluding the $38 million impairment charge on TMB, the net profit was up 17 per cent at $648 million.

The stock was hit in August after it disclosed that it had US$1.6 billion of holdings in collateralised debt obligations including US$188 million exposure to US sub-prime mortgages.

DBS said that its exposure to CDOs was almost double what it had initially declared after it had to inject cash into a special-purpose vehicle that invests in CDOs.

This was the second straight quarter of write-downs for the bank after it took an impairment on the value of its 16 per cent stake in Thailand's TMB Bank in the second quarter.

DBS derives about one-third of its earnings from Hong Kong, where it has around a third of its assets. The bank is also in the process of building up its China operation. -- REUTERS

S'pore Private Home Pices Rse 8.3% In Q3

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

Singapore private home prices rose 8.3 per cent between July and September to their highest level in a decade, but fewer uncompleted residential units were sold versus the previous quarter, government data showed on Friday.

Prices of non-landed properties rose 8.3 per cent in Q3 2007, compared with the 8.4 per cent increase in the previous quarter

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said there was more supply in the pipeline to meet the overall rise in property demand, adding that there remained a number of residential projects with 'a significant number' of unsold units.

Related Link - http://www.ura.gov.sg/pr/text/2007/pr07-118.html
URA's news release


The government agency's price index for private residential homes rose to 160.0 for the three months ended September, from 147.8 in the previous three-month period.

Private home prices also rose by 8.3 per cent rise in the April-June period.

Private apartments in Singapore's core prime districts continued to lead the price gains although homes in the rest of the country also commanded higher prices.

A total of 3,367 uncompleted private units were sold by developers in the third quarter, down from 4,820 units in the April to June period.

Analysts said lower sales reflected investor unease following the sub-prime mortgage debt fallout in the US, as well as government moves to cool property prices that include hikes in redevelopment charges for real estate firms such as CapitaLand and City Developments.

Private home rents rose 11.4 per cent in the July to September period, a slightly higher rate than the second quarter's 10.4 per cent.

Office rents rose 14.8 per cent in the third quarter, higher than the 11 per cent increase recorded in the previous three months and bringing the total rise over the nine months since the start of the year to 40.7 per cent.

The URA said it would make more sites available for development into office buildings next year to further boost supply. -- REUTERS

CapitaLand Says Q3 Net Profit Doubles

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

CapitaLand, Singapore's biggest property firm by market value, said on Friday that its third-quarter net profit more than doubled, boosted by higher home sales and strong demand for office space.

The company, which is partly owned by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, said it earned $563.9 million (US$387.6 million) net profit in the July to September quarter this year, higher than the restated $272.4 million it chalked up in the same period last year.

Like rivals Keppel Land and City Developments, CapitaLand has benefited from a property market boom that has seen prices for Singapore luxury homes hit unprecedented levels. -- REUTERS

Related Link -
http://tinyurl.com/2xlln6
Capitaland's news release

http://tinyurl.com/285m5v
Financial statements

http://tinyurl.com/2z23d3
Presentation slides

S'pore Ends Delayed Home Payments Scheme

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

Singapore said late on Friday that real estate developers could no longer let home buyers delay payments on the bulk of their property purchases, a move that could douse the rise in housing prices.

Residential property prices in the city-state have soared to their highest levels in a decade, fuelled by a strong economy and a supply crunch as well as liberal payment schemes that allow buyers to make a 10 to 20 per cent deposit and delay the bulk of payments until a project nears completion.

But Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said these schemes, introduced in 1997 when the economy was in recession, were no longer necessary.

'In view of the current buoyant property market, the Government has decided to withdraw the deferred payment scheme for the sale of uncompleted private residential and commercial properties with effect from 26 Oct 2007,' URA said on its website.

Up to 90 per cent of buyers in projects by Singapore developers such as City Developments and Keppel Land opt for such payment schemes.

The URA said the move would encourage greater financial prudence among investors by compelling them to seek sufficient funds or adequate bank loans before they commit to buying a property.

According to government figures released earlier on Friday, Singapore private home prices rose 8.3 per cent between July and September, or over 21 per cent since the start of the year.

Some government leaders have expressed concern that the rapid rise in housing prices could threaten Singapore's competitiveness with rival regional cities such as Hong Kong.

Fewer uncompleted residential units in Singapore were sold in the third quarter versus the previous quarter, reflecting investor unease following the sub-prime mortgage debt fallout in the United States.

'I think we're at the peak of property prices. If this move doesn't cool property prices, we could see the reintroduction of the capital gains tax to further weed out property speculators,' said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB-GK Research.

Analysts said the move could also hit investor sentiment on Singapore property shares, although bigger firms such as CapitaLand were well diversified out of the city-state.

'There is still a lot of demand for homes. The underlying market fundamentals are still strong because of robust wage and jobs growth,' Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at consultancy Savills, said. -- REUTERS

ARA Prices $277m S'pore IPO At Top End

Source : The Business Times, October 26, 2007

Real estate firm ARA Asset Management has priced its $277 million (US$190 million) Singapore initial public offering at $1.15 per share, the top end of its indicative price range.

The firm, partly owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's flagship group Cheung Kong (Holdings), sold 243 million new and vendor shares, according to its prospectus on Friday.

It said it would use proceeds from the public share sale as seed capital for an Asian investment fund as well as real estate investment trusts (Reits).

ARA manages Suntec Reit and Fortune Reit in Singapore as well as Prosperity Reit in Hong Kong and AmFIRST Reit in Malaysia.

Credit Suisse and DBS Group are lead managers for the public offer. -- REUTERS

Property Transactions With Contract Dates Between Oct 1st-6th, 2007

Capitaland Buys Land In China

Source : TODAY, Friday, October 26, 2007

CAPITALAND said yesterday it has bought three adjacent land parcels in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, in for RMB692.03 million ($137.4 million) through its joint venture with Sichuan developer Chengdu Zhixin Industrial Company.

The developer plans to develop a township on the 922,709-square-metre Wenjiang District site, which will comprise about 7,400 homes, a theme park, retail facilities, a five-star hotel and luxurious serviced villas.

It said the project, expected to be fully completed by 2013, is in line with its strategy to expand its multisector footprint from key gateway cities — including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and its respective surrounding areas — to the second- and third-tier cities in the central and western regions of China.

DBS Third-Quarter Profit Rises 11% To $610m

Source : TODAY, Friday, October 26, 2007

DBS Group Holdings Ltd, South-east Asia's biggest bank by assets, said third-quarter profit rose 11 per cent as economic growth led to an expansion in lending.

Net income rose to $610 million for the three months ended Sept 30, from $552 million a year earlier, the bank said today in a statement to the stock exchange. That is higher than the median estimate of $600 million by seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from $503 million to $640 million.

"Net interest and fee income reached records as DBS captured the benefits of the region's continued growth in a wide range of customer businesses," the bank said in the statement.

DBS reported the profit after one-time items including gains from the sale of buildings in Hong Kong, an allowance write-back for a Singapore property and impairment charges for its 16 per cent stake in TMB Bank in Thailand.

The charge reflected the further reduction in the market valuation of TMB to $270 million as of the end of September, DBS said.

The bank's customer loans rose 23 per cent to $104.7 billion on demand from home-buyers in Singapore, where apartment prices have risen 23 per cent since the start of the year, set for their biggest annual increase in eight years.

None of DBS's $2.36 billion of CDOs as of the end of September is in default. DBS has set aside $70 million for the $275 million of CDOs that had exposure to US subprime home loans. — bloomberg

HPL To Build Hard Rock Hotel In Penang

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007

HOTEL Properties (HPL), which manages the Hard Rock brand of properties in the region, plans to build a Hard Rock Hotel in Penang, Malaysia.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang will be a luxury resort on Batu Ferringhi beach, north-west of Georgetown.

HPL will completely revamp an existing five-storey main building, add more rooms and convert one of the two beachfront bungalows into a full-service luxury spa.

Four food and beverage outlets are planned for the resort, which will include a Hard Rock Cafe, an all-day dining restaurant and a bar/lounge.

The hotel will also feature an oversized free-form pool, boasting sand islands and luxurious poolside cabanas.

'Hard Rock Hotel Penang could not be more perfect,' said Mr Stephen Lau, chairman of HPL Hotels & Resorts on Friday.

Hard Rock Hotels are located in places like Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago, and in Bali and Pattaya in Asia.

Mr James Allen, president and chief executive of Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, which owns Hard Rock International, said that Singapore would be a tremendous market for a Hard Rock Hotel, but it does not have anything specific to announce at this time.

'Certainly, with the international gateway that it is, we think a Hard Rock Hotel would be a tremendous success in Singapore,'

Mr Allen told The Straits Times in a phone interview.

HDB Resale Flats Going For $17,000 Above Valuation

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007

The driving force behind soaring HDB resale prices rides on the back of the strong rebound in the private home market.

IF YOU are looking to buy a HDB resale flat, make sure you have plenty of cash on hand.

Due to pent-up demand, an average five-room HDB resale flat now costs $17,000 above its valuation, from $7,000 just three months ago.

This cash-over-valuation amount has to be paid in cash by a buyer under the current rules.

In popular areas like Queenstown, five-room flats are going for some $110,000 above valuation, according to data released by the Housing Board on Friday.

In addition, more flats are being sold at higher prices.

Between April and June, only three out of every 10 resale flats were sold above valuation. But since July, it was eight out of 10 flats, the HDB said.

However, the higher prices are starting to deter buyers. The number of resale flats sold in the third quarter fell 11 per cent to 8,700, after rising 38 per cent in the previous three months.

The driving force behind the soaring HDB resale prices rides on the back of the strong rebound in the private home market that has filtered down to the public housing segment.

As prices of private homes climb, home buyers are being pushed out to cheaper properties such as HDB resale flats.

Taking advantage of growing demand, flat sellers are now asking for prices that are significantly higher than valuations.

But this is creating unhappiness among buyers, said property agents.

'With these kinds of asking prices, we are beginning to see some resistance in the market,' said Mr Eugene Lim, assistant vice-president at property agency ERA Singapore.

'The typical HDB home buyer does not have or does not want to fork out too much cash. It just doesn't make sense.'

ERA's data show that in the third quarter, there were fewer resales of all types of flats, from one-room units to executive condominiums.

But another property agency, PropNex, suggested that the drop in flat sales is 'only slightly significant'.

Over the last 10 years, the number of resale flats sold was 6,500 to 8,000 for most quarters.

Even with the fall in transactions in the third quarter, 7,700 resale flats were sold, noted PropNex's CEO Mohamed Ismail.

According to the HDB figures, buyers of executive condominiums in Clementi are forking out the highest median cash-over-valuation amounts.

The median amount - the point at which half the homes sold for more cash and half for less - hit $155,000.

In the other towns, the median cash-over-valuation amounts for executive condos ranged from zero in Jurong West to $137,000 in Bukit Timah.

For five-room flats, buyers paid between $5,000 above valuation in Woodlands and $91,500 in the Central area.

But the HDB cautioned that in some of these cases, there were fewer than 10 transactions of the specific flat type in that area.

This means the figures may not be representative.

CapitaLand's 3Q Profits More Than Doubled

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007

CAPITALAND, South-east Asia's biggest property developer, said on Friday third quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier, boosted by contributions from investments in Singapore, China and Australia.
Net profit of S$563.9 million Singapore dollars compared with S$272.4 million dollars in the same quarter last year, the company said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Revenue for the July-September quarter was 895.8 million dollars, up 25 per cent from S$718.7 million dollars a year ago.

For the nine months to September, earnings totalled S$2.08 billion dollars which was nearly four times the S$559.2 million-dollar profit during the same period in 2006.

Revenue from January to September was S$2.5 billion dollars, up 15 per cent from a year ago.

'Our core markets of Singapore, China and Australia continue to deliver sterling results,' said group president and chief executive Liew Mun Leong.

'We continue to expand our footprint in growth markets like Vietnam, the Gulf Cooperation Council region and India,' he said, citing the firm's expertise in the residential, office retail mall and hospitality sectors.

Mr Liew said CapitaLand has invested more than 8.0 billion dollars in new businesses worldwide.

'As the region grows, our strong balance sheet and healthy earnings growth allow us to capitalise on investment opportunities that arise,' Mr Liew said.

CapitaLand shares rose 25 cents to close at S$8.05 dollars. -- AFP

Deferred Payment Schemes For Property Purchases Withdrawn

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007











THE Government has withdrawn deferred payment schemes for all property purchases with immediate effect.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement that this is 'in view of the strong economic and property market conditions'.

Such schemes - first approved in Oct 1997 - previously allowed buyers of uncompleted private homes and offices the option to defer part of the progress payments, after forking out an initial 20 per cent downpayment.

This move was introduced 'at a time when the property market was lacklustre and the economy was in recession.'

But since the market has now recovered and is 'buoyant', the URA added, the Government has decided to withdraw the scheme with regard to the sale of all uncompleted properties with effect from 26 Oct.

The URA added that this removal will 'encourage greater financial prudence, as buyers will have to ensure that they have sufficient funds or are able to secure adequate loans from banks before they commit to buying a property.'

Berjaya To Invest US$600m In IR On S.Korea's Jeju Island

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007

Malaysia conglomerate Berjaya Corporation will pump US$600 million (S$873 million) into building an Integrated Resort on South Korea's Jeju Island.

The project, which broke ground on Tuesday, will give the island's tourism drive a boost, when it is completed by 2011.

Spread over 743,700 square metres, the size of 10 soccer fields, the development will include a 500-room five-star hotel, luxury condominiums, medical facilities, commercial buildings and a casino to attract visitors and businesses from South Korea, Asia, Middle East and elsewhere.

The resort is expected to create 6,000 jobs for Jeju.

Berjaya and Jeju Free International City Development Centre (JDC) set up a US$30 million special project company as a joint venture for the project.

Berjaya owns 81 per cent of the company while JDC holds the remaining 19 per cent.

'We see great promise in Jeju because of its pristine natural environment, good infrastructure and central location in East Asia,' said Tan Sri Dato Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, Chairman and CEO of Berjaya Corporation, a conglomerate with diverse interests, ranging from hotels to financial services and lottery management.

'It is good to give people alternatives. After all you cannot always go to Macau.'

There are 17 cities with over five million people within a two-hour flight radius from Jeju.

The latest venture will add to Berjaya's existing 16 hotels and resorts within and outside Malaysia.

For Jeju Island, the tie-up is part of its strategy to attract 10 million visitors, including one million foreign tourists, annually by 2011.

Private Home Prices Up 8.3% In Q3, Rentals Up 11.4%

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007

PRIVATE home prices in Singapore climbed 8.3 per cent between July and September to their highest level in a decade.











SINGAPORE private home prices rose 8.3 per cent between July and September to their highest level in a decade.

This follows a 13.5 per cent jump in the first half of this year. From the end of last year to the end of the third quarter of this year, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said private home prices have jumped 22.9 per cent.

Private home rentals have jumped even higher - up 11.4 per cent in the third quarter, and hitting 32.2 per cent since the end of 2006.

Office prices have also climbed 8.1 per cent from July to September, with office rentals up 14.8 per cent.

But the URA also has this assurance.

'While demand for properties has generally increased, more supply is in the pipeline,' it said in a statement.

For example, some 65,400 new private homes are now being built or have been given approval to be built - a 16.4 per cent jump in supply compared with the situation during the second quarter of the year.

1.4 million square metres of extra office space can also be 'potentially realised', with 0.61 square metres expected to be ready between the fourth quarter of this year and 2010.

Private homes: landed, non-landed

The URA said prices of non-landed properties, meaning condominiums and apartments, rose 8.3 per cent in the third quarter, compared with 8.4 per cent in the second quarter.

This was led by properties in the Core Central Region - comprising Districts 9, 10 and 11 plus the downtown and Sentosa areas - which rose 8.3 per cent. Prices elsewhere rose 7.9 per cent.

As for landed homes, these rose 7.5 per cent, up from the 7.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Prrices of terrace houses jumped 8.1 per cent, while those for detached homes rose 7.7 per cent.

Semi-detached house prices, in the meantime, were up 6.2 per cent.

Private homes: rentals

Private home rentals which went up 11.4 per cent overall, also jumped higher than the second quarter's 10.4 per cent increase.

Rentals of condominiums and apartments in the Core Central Region rose 12.2 per cent, the highest throughout Singapore.

Rentals in the rest of the Central Region went up 11.9 per cent, while those outside the central areas climbed 11.8 per cent.

65,400 New Private Residential Units In The Pipeline

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007











HOMEBUYERS can look forward to some 65,400 private residential units coming on stream in the next few years to meet surging demand.

This new supply in the pipeline comprises projects that are already under construction and those that have been granted planning approval but are not being built yet as at the third quarter of this year.

This is 16.4 per cent higher than the 56,200 units at the end of the second quarter, according to the latest quarter data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday.

About 44,500 units are expected to be completed between the last quarter of this year and 2010. Construction has begun for almost all the units scheduled for completion up to 2008. About 48 per cent of the units that are expected to be completed in 2009 and 2010 are also being built, while the remaining units not under construction yet can be ready on schedule.

Of the Q3 supply, 38,013 units, were still unsold. These comprised 1,897 units that had been launched for sale by developers and 6,546 units which had the pre-requisite conditions for sale and could be launched for sale immediately.

The remaining 29,570 units with planning approvals did not have the pre-requisite conditions for sale. But the sale license from the Controller of Housing and Building Plan approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) could be obtained quite quickly and these units could be made available for sale quite soon, if the developers choose to do so.

The URA said more supply will also come from the sites made available by the Government in the second half year of the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, which can yield about 8,000 new units.

When sold, the supply from these sites can be made available for sale within the next one year or so.

The Government will also increase supply in the first half of next year, if necessary, said the URA.

It added that there will also be additional supply from new private residential developments on private land which will be coming in for planning approval, including those on sites where the existing developments have been sold en-bloc. This will further increase the number of units for sale in the next few years.

According to the URA data, a total of 3,709 uncompleted private residential units were launched for sale by developers in the third quarter, compared with the 4,362 units launched in the previous quarter.

Of the 3,709 uncompleted units launched in the quarter, 1,360 units were in the core central region, 1,148 units were in rest of central region, and 1,201 units were outside the central region.

Major residential projects launched in the quarter included The Parc Condominium at West Coast Walk (659 units), The Soleil @ Sinaran at Sinaran Drive (417 units) and The Rochester at Rochester Park (366 units).

During the 3rd Quarter 2007, 3,367 uncompleted private residential units were sold by developers, compared with the 4,820 units sold in Q2.

Tthe number of sub-sales fell across the board during the region, to 1,163 in the third quarter, compared to 1,791 three months ago.

However, subsales accounted for 12.7 per cent of all sale transactions in the quarter, compared to 12.1 per cent in Q2.

A total of 2,229 private residential units were completed during the quarter. Major residential projects completed included the Icon at Gopeng Street (646 units), 8@Mount Sophia at Mount Sophia (313 units) and The Lakeshore at Jurong West Street 41 (280 units of the total 848 units).

The vacancy rate of completed private residential units was 5.4 per cent as at the end the quarter, compared with 4.9 per cent the previous quarter.

For Executive Condominiums, there were 444 units in the pipeline, all of which were under construction.

The total stock of completed EC units remained unchanged at 9,986 units as at the end of Q3, while the vacancy rate stood at 0.8 per cent.

Prices Of HDB Resale Flats Keep Accelerating

Source : The Straits Times, Oct 26, 2007

RIDING on the property boom, HDB resale prices are on the rise.

The price index of resale flats was 6.6 per cent higher in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, the HDB said in a press release on Friday. Price increases were seen across most flat types and towns.

'As at end-September, the HDB resale price index has increased by about 11 per cent since the start of the year,' the HDB said.

For five-room flats, the median resale price in Queenstown is the highest at $603,000, followed by Marine Parade at $560,000 and Bukit Merah at $530,000.

Queenstown tops the list for median resale prices of four-room flats as well, fetching $410,000. This is followed by Bukit Merah which commands a price of $396,500 and Central at $382,500.

The median Cash-Over-valuation (COV), which is the difference between the Resale Price and Market Value of the flat, in the July to September period was $17,000.

Eighty per cent of all resale transactions required COV while 20 per cent of the transactions were conducted at or below valuation.

Five-room flats in Queenstown commanded the highest median COV of $110,000, followed by the Central region with $91,500 and Marine Parade at $85,000.

For four-room flats, apartments in Central fetched the highest median COV of $57,500. Queenstown at $57,000 and Bukit Merah at $40,500 were the next two highest on the list.

Highly popular in the last quarter were four-room flats, which made up the bulk of resale transactions. There were 2,833 in total.

Three-room flats were more popular than 5-room flats in the last quarter, with 2,179 transactions compared to 1,901.

New flats
With good take-up rates for public housing projects launched under the Build-To-Order system, HDB launched about 2,700 new flats under four BTO projects in the first three quarters of the year.

It launched another 916 units on Thursday and has plans to offer another 3,500 in the next six months.

'There are also plans to release another three Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) sites with an estimated combined yield of 1,500 units over this period,' the HDB said.

The new flats will be in addition to those offered under the Balloting Exercises for surplus Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) flats and the bi-monthly or monthly sales exercises for unsold flats.

Rental market
Rents for subletting HDB flats were also up in the last quarter in line with higher rents for private residential properties.

Marine Parade commanded the highest median subletting rents for both three- and four-room flats at $1,250 and $1,700 respectively.

HDB approved the subletting of 3,500 flats in the third quarter, bringing the total number to about 16,000 units, up from about 14,600 units in the second quarter.

HDB said it will be leasing out flats vacated under Sers to the general public under a special pilot project. It recently concluded a tender for the leasing of vacated Sers flats at Tiong Bahru Road, and will assess the response to this pilot project before deciding whether to expand the scheme in future.

This scheme puts 'the vacated Sers flats to better use in the interim period, pending their redevelopment', it said.

HDB said it 'has a potential supply of about 4,000 to 5,000 units that can be introduced to bolster rental supply in the HDB market over the next 3 years'.

麦卡特库克2080万元购樟宜南一地产

《联合早报》Oct 26, 2007

麦卡特库克工业房地产投资信托MacarthurCook Industrial REIT,MI-REIT)以2080万元,收购位于樟宜南3街11号的地产。

这项买卖的托管方是汇丰银行机构信托服务新加坡公司(HSBC Institutional Trust Service)。麦卡特库克将把这份地产转租给现在的租户鲁班行(Builders Shop),租期还剩七年。

这份60年地契的地产占地1万4016平方米,靠近樟宜物流中心,到樟宜机场和新加坡海港交通方便。据世邦魏理仕(CBRE)于本月10日的估价,这份地产价值2080万元。

这项收购使麦卡特库克2008年财年的每股可派发股息增长0.23分至7.64分,后一个财年的每股可派发股息上涨0.22分至7.81分。

麦卡特库克总裁克斯·卡弗特(Chris Calvert)表示,这项收购把信托的总投资额增加到了5亿零90万元,总地产数量为16个,平均租期从6.3年略增到6.4年。

他也指出,这使麦卡特库克的投资更加多元化,减少了对友乃德科技园(UE Tech Park)的依赖,友乃德科技园收入所占总收入的比率则从31.6%降至29.7%。  

这项收购预计将于2008年财年的第四季完成,麦卡特库克将以贷款来支付所有的费用。

澳洲一酒店集团出高价 一亿元投标新加坡马真路地段

《联合早报》Oct 26, 2007

一家澳洲酒店集团出高价投标位于纽马吉路(New Market Road)/马真路(Merchant Road)的酒店地段,希望借此开拓海外业务。  

占地0.35公顷,属于99年地契的纽马吉路/马真路地段昨天截止招标,共吸引七份投标书,投标者大多为海内外酒店业者。开出最高投标价的为澳洲酒店集团Leisure Inn Group旗下的Park Regis Invest- ments,标价为1亿零70万元投标,相等于容积率每平方英尺762元。

这个投标价比市场之前预测,以及开价第二高的投标者Landeal Properties高出逾30%,可见该集团势在必得。分析员之前估计,这块地的预估成交价可能介于7000万元至8000万元,或每平方英尺530元至590元之间。

Leisure Inn Group酒店业务Leisure Inn Hotels & Suites总裁万志兴(Simon Wan)接受本报越洋访问时说,这是集团第一次在澳洲以外购置地皮兴建酒店,希望借此开拓海外业务。

他说:“选择新加坡是因为我们看好新加坡将成为亚洲区的旅游焦点。考虑两个综合度假胜地(IR)、新加坡摩天观景轮(Singapore Flyer)、F1等多个大型观光旅游项目的登场,我们对新加坡酒店业的前景非常乐观。”

在澳洲拥有17家酒店Leisure Inn Group,目前也在物色收购本地的酒店,同时在洽谈收购位于中国主要城市的37间酒店。

至于这个地段的发展,万志兴透露,集团计划在这个地段上兴建拥有300个客房、以及餐饮设施和会议室等设施的四星级酒店。  

世邦魏理仕(CBRE)执行董事李晓和指出,这个地段的售价比去年两个附近出售的酒店地段高出至少45%。不过,相比上个星期截止招标,位于必麒麟街上段,俗称单边街(Upper Pickering Street)的酒店地段,以上地段的标价稍微低了5.6%。由华业集团(UOL)控制的文雅酒店(Hotel Plaza),上个星期以2亿5320万元(即容积率每平方英尺(805元)成功标下单边街酒店地段。

纽马吉路/马真路地段的其他投标者包括:相信是旅店置业(HPL)旗下的Landeal Proper- ties,贵族保龄球控股(SuperBowl),Garden City Hotel Holdings,Lotus View,上市公司大中酒店(Hotel Grand Central)和Fairvalue 128,标价介于5287万元至7530万元。

Release Of 3rd Quarter 2007 Real Estate Statistics

Source : Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) News Releases, 26 October 2007

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released today the real estate statistics for the 3rd Quarter 2007.

SUMMARY

Prices of private residential, office, shop and industrial properties continued to increase, by 8.3%, 8.1%, 3.0% and 3.2% respectively in the 3rd Quarter 2007, bringing the overall increase from end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007 to 22.9%, 22.7%, 9.5% and 15.8% respectively.

Rentals of private residential, office, shop and industrial properties increased by 11.4%, 14.8%, 8.1% and 8.7% respectively in the 3rd Quarter 2007, bringing the overall increase from end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007 to 32.2%, 40.7%, 17.5% and 22.4% respectively.

While demand for properties have generally increased, more supply is in the pipeline. For example, as at 3rd Quarter 2007, there were about 65,400 private residential units in the pipeline, comprising the supply from projects that are already under construction and those that have been granted planning approval but are not under construction yet. This was a 16.4% increase over the potential supply of about 56,200 units as at 2nd Quarter 2007. For office space, 1.4 million sq m Gross Floor Area (GFA) of office space can be potentially realized from various Government and private land sources. Of these, about 44,500 private residential units and 0.61 million sq m GFA of office space are expected to be completed between 4th Quarter 2007 and 2010.

PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

Prices

Overall prices of private residential properties rose 8.3% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, the same rate of increase as in the previous quarter (see Annexes A-1 and B-1 & B-2). This followed an increase of 13.5% in the first half 2007. From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the overall prices of private residential properties have thus increased by 22.9%.

Prices of non-landed properties rose 8.3% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 8.4% increase in the previous quarter. Prices of apartments rose 8.3% while those of condominiums rose 8.4%.

Prices of non-landed properties in Core Central Region1 (CCR) rose 8.3% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, while prices of non-landed properties in Rest of Central Region2 (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) both rose by 7.9% (see Annex A-2).

Prices of landed properties rose 7.5% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 7.1% increase in the previous quarter. Prices of detached, semi-detached and terrace houses rose 7.7%, 6.2% and 8.1% respectively.

The prices of private residential properties are not uniform and vary from project to project. Home-buyers can view the data on individual uncompleted private residential projects at the following url: http://www.ura.gov.sg/realEstateWeb/Price.jsp. From the database, it can be seen that there are a number of uncompleted private residential projects in the suburban areas with prices at a more affordable level. There are also a number of projects with a significant number of units that have not been sold yet.

Besides the data on the sale of uncompleted units direct from developers, home-buyers can also access information on all private residential property transactions on URA’s website at the following url: http://www.ura.gov.sg/realEstateWeb/Transaction.jsp. This database, which is based on caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), contains comprehensive information on the prices and floor areas of the units.

Rentals

Rentals of private residential properties3 rose 11.4% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 10.4% increase in the previous quarter (see Annex A-3). From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the overall rentals of private residential properties have increased by 32.2%. Rentals of non-landed properties in CCR rose 12.2% in the 3rd Quarter 2007. Rentals of non-landed properties in RCR and OCR rose 11.9% and 11.8% respectively (see Annexes A-3 & A-4).

In addition, URA also released data on the 25th percentile, median and 75th percentile rentals for individual private residential projects for 3rd Quarter 20074 . This data would help the public make better informed decisions related to the renting of private housing. The data on the rentals of individual private residential projects is available in URA’s website at the following url: http://www.ura.gov.sg/realEstateWeb/rental.jsp.

Supply in the Pipeline

As at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, there was a total supply of 65,406 uncompleted units of private housing from projects in the pipeline5 , about 16.4% higher than the 56,182 units as at the end of the previous quarter (see Annex F). Of these 65,406 units, 38,013 units were still unsold. These comprised 1,897 units that had been launched for sale by developers and 6,546 units which had the pre-requisite conditions for sale and could be launched for sale immediately. The remaining 29,570 units with planning approvals did not have the pre-requisite conditions for sale. However, the pre-requisite approvals for sale, ie sale license from the Controller of Housing and Building Plan approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) could be obtained quite quickly and these units could be made available for sale quite soon, if the developers choose to do so6 (see Annex C-1).

Of the 65,406 units, about 44,484 units are expected to be completed between the 4th Quarter of 2007 and 20107 . Construction has commenced for almost all the units scheduled for completion up to 2008. About 48% of the units that are expected to be completed in 2009 and 2010 are already under construction, while the remaining units not under construction yet can be completed as scheduled8. Details of the supply in the pipeline in the 3 locations are given in Annex C-2.

In addition, more supply will also come from the sites made available by the Government in the 2H2007 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme, which can yield about 8,000 new units. When sold, the supply from these sites can be made available for sale within the next one year or so. The Government will also make additional supply available in the 1H2008 GLS Programme if necessary.

Apart from the additional supply from GLS sites, there will also be additional supply from new private residential developments on private land which will be coming in for planning approval, including those on sites where the existing developments have been sold en-bloc. This will further increase the number of units that can be made available for sale in the next few years.

Launches and Take-up

A total of 3,709 uncompleted private residential units were launched for sale by developers in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 4,362 units launched in the 2nd Quarter 2007. Of the 3,709 uncompleted units launched in the quarter, 1,360 units were in CCR, 1,148 units were in RCR, and 1,201 units were in OCR (see Annex D-1). Major residential projects launched in the quarter included The Parc Condominium at West Coast Walk (659 units), The Soleil @ Sinaran at Sinaran Drive (417 units) and The Rochester at Rochester Park (366 units).

During the 3rd Quarter 2007, 3,367 uncompleted private residential units were sold by developers, compared with the 4,820 units sold in the 2nd Quarter 2007. Of the 3,367 uncompleted units sold in the quarter, 1,123 units were in CCR, 975 units were in RCR, and 1,269 units were in OCR (see Annex D-2). Developers also sold 83 completed private residential units in the 3rd Quarter 2007.

Sub-sales

During the 3rd Quarter 2007, the number of sub-sales fell across the board for CCR, RCR and OCR (see Annex E). The total number of sub-sales fell to 1,163 in 3rd Quarter 2007, compared to 1,791 sub-sales in the previous quarter. In percentage terms, however, sub-sales accounted for 12.7% of all sale transactions in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared to 12.1% in the 2nd Quarter 2007. The number of sub-sales in CCR in the 3rd Quarter 2007 accounted for 21.6% of all the property sale transactions in this area in the quarter, compared to 24.1% in the previous quarter. The percentage of sub-sales in the 3rd Quarter 2007 for RCR, at 14.0% and OCR, at 5.5% were slightly higher than the corresponding percentages of 12.2% and 4.1% in the previous quarter, though the level was still relatively low in OCR.

Stock and Vacancy

A total of 2,229 private residential units were completed (granted TOP) in the 3rd Quarter 2007. Major residential projects completed in the quarter were Icon at Gopeng Street (646 units), 8 @ Mount Sophia at Mount Sophia (313 units) and The Lakeshore at Jurong West Street 41 (280 units of the total 848 units).

The vacancy rate of completed private residential units was 5.4% as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with 4.9% as at the end of the previous quarter (see Annex F).

Executive Condominiums

As at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, there were 444 units of Executive Condominiums (EC) in the pipeline, all of which were under construction (see Annex G-2). All the 444 units had been issued with sale licenses and building plan approvals (i.e. pre-requisites for sale). As at the end of the quarter, 398 units had been launched for sale, of which 340 units had been sold.

The total stock of completed EC units remained unchanged at 9,986 units as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007. As at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the vacancy rate was 0.8%, compared with the vacancy rate of 1.3% as at the end of the previous quarter.

OFFICE SPACE

Rentals

Rentals for office space in Singapore increased by 14.8% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 11.0% in the 2nd Quarter 2007 (see Annex A-3). From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the rentals for office space have increased by 40.7%.

The median rental for “Category 1”9 office space was S$10.95 per square foot per month (psf pm) in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared to the median rental of S$9.50 psf pm in the 2nd Quarter 2007. In comparison, the median rental for “Category 2”10 office space was S$5.14 psf pm in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared to the S$4.48 psf pm in the 2nd Quarter 2007 (see Annex A-5). As shown, the rentals for “Category 2” office space were much lower than “Category 1” office space. As “Category 2” office space accounts for about 80% of all office space in Singapore, the rental for such space is more reflective of the typical rental paid by office tenants in Singapore. These statistics were compiled based on IRAS’ records of rental contracts in Singapore where the leases have commenced in the 3rd Quarter 2007.

The median rentals for “Category 1” and “Category 2” office space based on rental contracts signed in the 3rd Quarter 2007 were S$11.89 and S$5.29 psf pm respectively (see Annex A-5). These statistics were compiled based on IRAS’ records of rental contracts which were signed in the reference quarter, regardless of whether or not the leases commenced in the reference quarter11.

Prices

Prices of office space rose 8.1% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 8.9% increase in the previous quarter (see Annex A-1). From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the prices of office space have increased by 22.7%.


Supply in the Pipeline

As at the end of the 3rd Quarter 2007, there was a total supply of 612,000 sq m GFA of office space from projects in the pipeline12 , from Government and private land sources which were expected to be completed between the 4th Quarter 2007 and 2010. This includes the office space from the following new projects which were granted planning approval for development in the 3rd Quarter 2007:

a) Redevelopment of former Robinson Towers and former International Factors Building at Robinson Road (24,000 sq m13)
b) Office development at Fusionopolis Phase 2A at One North Gateway (14,900 sq m)

More supply will also come from the GLS sites which were recently awarded or launched for sale by the Government. In September 2007, URA awarded the tender for a White site at Marina View (Land Parcel A) to MGP Berth Private Limited, a unit of Macquarie Global Property Advisors. This site can yield about 130,000 sq m GFA of office space which can be completed by 2010 or 2011. The tender for a second site at Marina View (Land Parcel B) which can generate an additional supply of about 80,000 sq m of office space will close in November 2007. URA has in recent months also awarded the tender for three other sites, two at Anson Road and one at Beach Road, which together can generate a total supply of about 130,000 sq m of office space.

Apart from sites in the GLS Programme, the Government has also awarded the first transitional office site at Scotts Road, which can be built by the successful tenderer quickly in about a year and can generate about 16,000 sq m of office space. The tender for a second transitional office site at Tampines Concourse, which can potentially yield an additional 12,000 sq m of office space will close in November 2007. The Government will release more of such sites for tender in the coming months. More details will be announced to the public in due course. In addition, the Government has made available several vacant State properties for office use. These properties can be retrofitted and be made ready for occupation quickly.

In all, the total amount of office space, from Government and private land sources that can potentially be realised, is about 1.4 million sq m. The Government will make available new sites that can generate additional supply of office space in the 1H2008 GLS Programme. Details of the 1H2008 GLS Programme will be announced in end-2007.

Apart from office space, as at the end of the 3rd Quarter 2007, there was a total supply of 377,000 sq m of business park space from projects in the pipeline14 from Government and private land sources which were expected to be completed between the 4th Quarter 2007 and 2010. This includes 100,100 sq m of business park space from Fusionopolis Phase 2A at One North Gateway and a business park development at Science Park Road which were granted planning approval for development in the 3rd Quarter 2007. In addition, JTC is in the process of allocating a number of other business park sites, which will provide another 120,000 sq m of business park space. Business park space can meet the office needs of some firms, e.g. backroom operations of companies.

Stock and Vacancy

The amount of occupied office space increased by 60,000 sq m (nett) in the 3rd Quarter 2007, higher than the increase of 39,000 sq m in the 2nd Quarter 2007. A total of 10,400 sq m of office space were completed (granted TOP) in the 3rd Quarter 2007.

The island-wide vacancy rate of office space was 7.3% as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with 8.0% as at the end of 2nd Quarter 2007. The vacancy rate for “Category 1” office space as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007 was 2.8%, compared to the 5.0% as at the end of 2nd Quarter 2007. The vacancy rate for “Category 2” office space as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007 was 8.4%, compared to the 8.7% as at the end of 2nd Quarter 2007 (see Annex A-5).


SHOP SPACE

Rentals

The overall rentals for shop space in Singapore increased by 8.1% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 7.1% increase in the 2nd Quarter 2007. From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the overall rentals for shop space have increased by 17.5%. The median rental for shop space in the Orchard Planning Area (Orchard), Rest of City Area (RCA)15 and Outside City Area (OCA) were S$10.36, S$6.47 and S$5.36 psf pm respectively in the 3rd Quarter 2007 (see Annex A-5). These statistics were compiled based on IRAS’ records of rental contracts in Singapore where the leases commenced in the 3rd Quarter 2007.

The median rentals for shop space in Orchard, RCA and OCA based on all rental contracts signed in the 3rd Quarter 2007, regardless of whether or not the leases commenced in the quarter, were S$10.25, S$6.62 and S$5.35 psf pm respectively (see Annex A-5).

Prices

Prices of shop space rose 3.0% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 4.6% increase in the previous quarter (see Annex A-1). From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the prices of shop space have increased by 9.5%.

Supply in the Pipeline

As at the end of the 3rd Quarter 2007, there was a total supply of 520,000 sq m GFA of shop space from projects in the pipeline16, from Government and private land sources, which were expected to be completed between the 4th Quarter of 2007 and 2010. This includes the shop space from the following new projects which were granted planning approval for development in the 3rd Quarter 2007:

a) Redevelopment of the Hotel Phoenix, Specialists’ Shopping Centre and Orchard Emerald at Orchard Road (29,200 sq m)
b) Redevelopment of Sembawang Shopping Centre at Sembawang Road (8,700 sq m)

Stock and Vacancy

The amount of occupied shop space decreased by 12,000 sq m (nett) in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with an increase of 7,000 sq m in the 2nd Quarter 2007. A total of 27,700 sq m of shop space were completed (granted TOP) in the 3rd Quarter 2007.

The vacancy rate of shop space was 7.7% as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with 7.2% as at the end of 2nd Quarter 2007. The vacancy rates for shop space in Orchard, RCA and OCA as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007 were 3.6%, 8.3% and 8.1% respectively. In comparison, the vacancy rates for shop space in Orchard, RCA and OCA as at the end of 2nd Quarter 2007 were 4.6%, 8.7% and 7.0% respectively (see Annex A-5).

INDUSTRIAL SPACE

Prices and Rentals

Prices of multiple-user factory space rose 3.1% in the 3rd Quarter 2007, compared with the 8.0% increase in the previous quarter (see Annex A-1). Rentals of multiple-user factory space increased by 10.7%, compared with the 6.1% increase in the previous quarter (see Annex A-3). From end-2006 to the end of 3rd Quarter 2007, the prices and rentals of multiple-user factory space have increased by 15.8% and 22.8% respectively.

Stock and Vacancy

The amount of occupied factory space increased by 373,000 sq m (nett) in the 3rd Quarter 2007, higher than the increase of 252,000 sq m in the 2nd Quarter 2007. A total of 221,600 sq m of factory space were completed (granted TOP) in the 3rd Quarter 2007.

The vacancy rate of factory space declined by 0.7 percentage point to 8.4% as at the end of 3rd Quarter 2007.


URA’s REAL ESTATE INFORMATION SERVICE

More detailed information on the price and rental indices, supply in the pipeline, stock and vacancy position of the various properties can be found in the Real Estate Information System (REALIS), an online database of URA.

Subscribers of REALIS can obtain the information from the system after 12.30 pm today. More information on REALIS can be found at http://spring.ura.gov.sg/lad/ore/login/index.cfm. You can also contact the REALIS hotline at 6329 3456.

1 Core Central Region comprises Postal Districts 9, 10, 11, Downtown Core Planning Area and Sentosa.

2 Rest of Central Region comprises the area within Central Region that is outside postal districts 9, 10, 11, Downtown Core Planning Area and Sentosa.

3 URA’s rental data for private residential properties are compiled based on IRAS’ records of rental contracts for such properties where leases commenced in the reference quarter.

4 The rental data released are for private residential projects where there were at least 10 rental transactions in the reference quarter.
5 Refers to uncompleted projects that have been granted planning approval (i.e. Provisional Permission or Written Permission).

6 Sale licenses could be obtained within 9 days and building plan approvals could be obtained within 7 days from the date of application for cases where clearances from various technical agencies are obtained and relevant documents are in order during formal submissions.

7 The expected completion dates of private residential projects in the pipeline are declared by the developers of these projects, and not estimated by URA.

8 Private residential projects can be completed within 18 months from the point when construction commences. Examples of projects that were completed within this timeframe include The Spectrum at Pasir Panjang Road and The Geranium at Mangis Road.

9 Refers to office space in buildings located in core business areas in Downtown Core and Orchard Planning Area which are relatively modern or recently refurbished, command relatively high rentals and have large floor plate size and gross floor area. A map of Central Region showing the locations of Downtown Core and Orchard Planning Areas is available in URA’s website at: http://www.ura.gov.sg/ppd/mp2003/index.jsp?content=central®ion=central.

10 Refers to the remaining office space in Singapore which are not included in “Category 1”.

11 Tenancy agreements for office space are usually signed up to 3 months before lease commencement. The methodology and sample size may differ from those used by some property consultants. For example, URA only uses actual contracted rentals in the computation of the statistics, whereas some property consultants use estimates of achievable rents in addition to actual contracted rentals in the computation of their statistics.

12 Refers to projects with planning approvals (i.e. Provisional Permission, Written Permission).

13 This is the total office GFA that will be built on the amalgamated sites of the Robinson Towers and International Factors Building.

14 Refers to projects with planning approvals (i.e. Provisional Permission, Written Permission).

15 A map of Central Region showing Orchard and RCA is available at
http://spring.ura.gov.sg/lad/ore/login/map_city_area.pdf.

16 Refers to projects with planning approvals (i.e. Provisional Permission, Written Permission).

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Serene Tng
Manager, Public Relations
DID: 63293224
Email: serene_tng@ura.gov.sg

Award Of Tender For Industrial Site At Sin Ming Lane

Source : Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) News Releases, 26 October 2007

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has awarded the tender for the industrial site at Sin Ming Lane to MV Land Pte. Ltd. who submitted the highest bid in the tender for the site.

The tender was launched on 30 August 2007 (http://www.ura.gov.sg/pr/text/2007/pr07-93.html) and closed on 24 October 2007 (http://www.ura.gov.sg/pr/text/2007/pr07-116.html). The Land Parcel was offered for sale on a 60-year lease.

The particulars of the awarded Land Parcel and the successful tenderer are:







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For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Serene Tng
Manager, Public Relations
DID: 63293224
Email: serene_tng@ura.gov.sg

Withdrawal Of Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS) For Property Purchases

Source : Urban Redevelopment Authority News Releases, 26 October 2007

The Government announced today the immediate withdrawal of the Deferred Payment Scheme (DPS) for property purchases in view of the strong economic and property market conditions.

Deferred Payment Scheme

In Oct 1997, the Government allowed developers to offer to purchasers of uncompleted private residential and commercial properties the option to defer part of the progress payments due after the initial 20% downpayment, to a later stage.

In Nov 2001, the Government further allowed developers to defer up to half of the initial 20% downpayment up to the issue of Temporary Occupation Permit or any time before that. These DPS were introduced at a time when the property market was lacklustre and the economy was in recession.

Buoyant property market and strong economic growth

The property market has since recovered and has been growing strongly in the last few years, driven by economic fundamentals including our robust economic growth and rise in wages. In view of the current buoyant property market, the Government has decided to withdraw the DPS for the sale of uncompleted private residential, commercial and industrial properties with effect from 26 Oct 2007.

The removal of the DPS will also encourage greater financial prudence, as buyers will have to ensure that they have sufficient funds or are able to secure adequate loans from banks before they commit to buying a property.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Ang Hwee Suan
Head, Public Relations
DID: 63218134
Email: Ang_Hwee_Suan@ura.gov.sg