Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jackie Chan Pays $11m For Jinriksha Station At 1 Neil Road

Source : The Straits Times, Dec 12, 2007

Celebrity plans to open piano bar, reflexology business, offices

HONG KONG movie superstar Jackie Chan's love affair with Singapore property continues with his latest purchase - the former Jinriksha Station at 1 Neil Road.

DOWN MEMORY LANE: Built in 1903, the Jinriksha Station was the central depot for rickshaw drivers. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

He fell in love with the historic building - once the central depot for rickshaw drivers in Singapore - and bought it for $11 million.

The three-storey corner building in Tanjong Pagar now houses a music lounge called EZ50 on the ground floor. Its sale price works out to $818 per sq ft (psf).

'It's a good price because the individual shophouses there are about $1,000 over psf on average,' said Mr Simon Kwan, who helped broker the deal about a fortnight back. 'As long as he purchases it at or below the market price, he will be comfortable,' he said, of Chan.

Mr Kwan, who is the star's property agent, also runs EZ50 and The 50s pubs, as well as the recently opened Jackie Chan's Cafe Coffee and Tea at 1 Nassim Road.

The star purchased 1 Neil Road from a firm owned by Mr S. L. Cheong, which also owns the 1 Nassim Road property leased to Chan.

Mr Cheong, the uncle of SC Global chief Simon Cheong, also sold Chan The 50s entertainment complex on Tanjong Pagar Road for $8.8 million in 1996.

Both the Tanjong Pagar buildings are in the Neil Road conservation area.

'You can't find buildings like this anywhere else,' said Mr Kwan. 'These are the two most outstanding buildings in Tanjong Pagar.'

The former Jinriksha station was built in 1903.

It is a commercial building with space for rent. The One Family KTV karaoke lounge used to occupy the second and third floors, but it had since closed down, according to Mr Kwan, who is managing the building on behalf of Chan.

Mr Kwan has plans for a piano bar, a foot reflexology business or offices for the 8,500 sq ft of space on the second and third floors.

'The highest possibility is to have offices,' he said, explaining that this plan would leave him time to concentrate on running Chan's new restaurant business in Singapore.

Also, office rents are currently strong, supported by tight supply.

Rents at the nearby Red Dot Traffic Building are at $6 psf a month, while those at International Plaza next to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station are going for $7.50 to $8 psf.

Mr Kwan said they could have seven to eight office units.

A decision will be made after a trip to Hong Kong to meet up with Chan and firm up plans, he said.

Apart from commercial buildings, the movie star also owns a few condominium units in the Orchard Road area, including a three-bedroom unit in The Grangeford condo on Leonie Hill Road.

The 99-year leasehold Grangeford is by now known for the property that sold en bloc for more than half of Horizon Towers' price on a psf basis.

Chan bought his Grangeford apartment, which is being rented out, for only $1.3 million back in 1996.

He will stand to reap about $3.4 million from the collective sale, which he was originally not keen on joining.

Another Hong Kong superstar, Andy Lau, also used to own an apartment at Grangeford, as well as a unit at the UE Square condo.

Mr Kwan said he had since sold these off for Andy Lau. He also used to manage the Singapore properties of the late Teresa Teng and Anita Mui.

Savills Singapore's director of business development and marketing, Mr Ku Swee Yong, said there would be more celebrities entering Singapore's property market.

'For one, the Formula One event will bring in a lot of celebrities.'

Jackie's properties

Among Jackie Chan's other properties and businesses in Singapore are:

# A three-bedroom unit in The Grangeford on Leonie Hill Road;
# Jackie Chan's Cafe, Coffee And Tea at 1 Nassim Road;
# The 50s entertainment complex on Tanjong Pagar Road; and
# A gym business through a partnership with California Fitness.

Property Investment Sales Hit Record Highs In 2007

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 11 December 2007

Property investment sales are hitting a new record high this year.

According to property consultant CB Richard Ellis, total investment sales for this year total nearly S$51 billion.

This is 66 per cent higher than the record of S$30.57 billion achieved for the whole of last year.

The growth was driven by large acquisitions from developers in both the private and public sector.

A site at Marina View which went for almost S$1 billion was among the key property deals for the year which helped to push total property investment sales to a new all-time high.

Property consultants said the strong numbers were driven by a strong appetite for acquisitions.

Jeremy Lake, Executive Director of CB Richard Ellis, said: "I think the property market is probably in the sweet spot at the moment, and by that I mean everything seems to be looking very positive. We've seen developers have a very story appetite for sites. We've seen individual investors buying a large amount of condominiums and houses and then on the office side the office market has been very strong. We've seen a large number of foreign investors buying office buildings for investment."

The residential sector took the lead with 60 per cent of the investment sales pie.

There were 109 en bloc sales alone, amounting to S$13.3 billion.

Public sector land sales were also brisk.

36 government sites were sold for a total of S$11.5 billion.

These comprised purchases of government land sites and the tender awards of luxury water front residential land parcels.

A total of 36 government sites were bought by developers during the year so far consisting of three white sites, nine residential sites, eight commercial sites, six hotel sites and 10 industrial sites.

Meanwhile, investment activity in the office sector remained strong with almost S$14.89 billion of sales.

This accounts for 29 per cent of the overall sales pie.

Office investment sales account for 29 per cent of this year’s total investment sales so far.

CBRE notes that although sentiment in the residential sector has been hit by concerns over the US sub-prime market, it expects the office sector to remain resilient.

“I think the sub-prime has reached Singapore for the residential sector which has been driven largely by sentiment. Sentiment is a little bit bruised at this point in time so your individual home buyer or residential investor is perhaps watching and waiting for more signs of how the market will respond,” said Mr Lake.

CBRE says it expects investment sentiment to remain positive in 2008, given continued economic growth. -CNA/vm

Goldman Seeks $1 billion Windfall On DBS Building

Source : The Business Times, December 12, 2007

US bank could be tweaking portfolio, sources say; DBS may move to new location

Goldman Sachs is said to be discreetly looking around for a buyer for DBS Building along Shenton Way. The US bank, which bought the two office towers two years ago, could reap a tidy gain of almost $1 billion should a deal go through.

DBS Building: Given the property's age and tenure, it may be hard to find takers at $2,000 psf, say analysts

Market watchers say that it makes sense for Goldman Sachs to reshuffle its office portfolio to more prime locations in Singapore.

Goldman is believed to be seeking a price of at least $2,000 per square foot of net lettable area (NLA), which would work out to about $1.75 billion, compared with the $789 psf or $690 million that it paid for the property in late 2005.

Meanwhile, DBS which sold the property to Goldman and leased back the space it occupied, is expected to relocate to Marina Bay Financial Centre (Phase 2), as reported by BT.

DBS occupied the entire 49-storey Tower 1 - which is more than 30 years old - when it sold the property to Goldman in 2005. It also occupied almost 40 per cent of the 34-storey Tower 2, which is just 13 years old. It leased the premises for eight years, with an option for renewal.

The Singapore bank is now said to be eyeing a move to its prestigious new location, expected to be completed in late 2011. This suggests a period of overlap with its existing lease on DBS Building, that runs till late 2013.

Goldman, on the other hand, has been snapping up new office assets of late.

In August this year, it inked a deal to buy Chevron House at Raffles Place from CapitaLand and other parties for $730 million or $2,780 psf of NLA.

The building stands on a site with a remaining lease of about 81 years. Goldman Sachs is also expected to purchase the 37-storey Hitachi Tower next door, in which CapitaLand also has a stake. The price is understood to be around $3,000 psf, or about $840 million in total. Hitachi House has a 999-year leasehold tenure and faces Collyer Quay.

'It's good business sense for Goldman to move its Singapore office holdings from the old Shenton Way area to Raffles Place/Collyer Quay, where rental and capital values are likely to appreciate faster.

'The new financial district at Marina Bay will be connected to the Raffles Place/Collyer Quay vicinity, which will also be rejuvenated with the Ocean Financial Centre development,' a seasoned industry market watcher said.

Some office market watchers estimate that in the current market, Goldman Sachs may fetch around $1,750 psf to $1,800 psf of NLA for DBS Building - instead of the $2,000 psf minimum price it is seeking - given the property's age and short balance land tenure.

'A lot will also depend on what sort of rentals the building can fetch after DBS moves out,' a property consultant said.

And while the Singapore office market has sizzled this year because of an acute shortage of offices, investors have become a little cautious lately on fears that the US sub-prime contagion could clip the space requirements of big financial institutions here.

'Perhaps Goldman Sachs stands a higher chance of achieving its target price range it if waits a little longer and hopefully by then, the current sub-prime woes may ease,' an observer suggests.

Investment in Singapore's office sector, including land for development into offices, has seen a staggering $14.9 billion worth of deals sealed so far this year. This is about three times the figure for the whole of last year.

The supply crunch has also seen prime office capital values rise from about $2,000 psf at the start of this year to nearly $3,000 psf, as seen in the price that Goldman Sachs is believed to have negotiated for Hitachi Tower.

Some Reliefs Already Based On Annual Value

Source : The Straits Times, Dec 12, 2007

I REFER to Mr On Giin Jau's letter, 'Give reliefs based on flat valuation, not flat type' (ST, Dec 8), suggesting that the Government provides tax reliefs and rebates based on the Annual Value (AV) of a flat rather than flat type.

We agree with Mr On that the AV of a flat is a better proxy of wealth than flat type. He may wish to note that the Government already uses the AV of a property as the criterion for the disbursement of GST credits and tax-related reliefs, specifically property-tax rebates.

Such forms of relief are provided to all Singaporeans, including those living in private properties, and households with lower AVs enjoy more relief.

For rebates that are provided only to HDB households, like rebates on utilities charges, service and conservancy charges and rental charges for one- and two-room rental flats, they are based on flat type, with smaller flat types enjoying a higher rebate.

This is simple to understand and to administer, and serves the intended purpose of helping those more in need.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge Mr On's point that flat type may not always be an accurate proxy of wealth. Going forward we will continue to review how to improve the disbursement of government reliefs and rebates in a way which is fair and reasonable.

We thank Mr On for his feedback.

Tan Li San (Ms)
Director (Social Programmes)
for Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Finance

SLA Offers 100,000sqm Of Office Space For Sale

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 12 December 2007

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is offering another 100,000 square metres of office space in three properties on short-term leases.

The tenders are aimed at meeting market demand.

The three properties are the site of the former Alexandra fire station, a former office of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the former Upper Aljunied Technical School.

The former Alexandra fire station site in Queensway has a land area of under 12,000 square metres and a gross floor area of 3,200 square metres.

The CAAS site in Changi has a land area of about 1,500 square metres and a gross floor area of slightly over 1,000 square metres.

The former Upper Aljunied Technical School site has a land area of about 20,000 square metres and a gross floor area of 7,700 square metres. - CNA/so

Residential Property Market To Be Driven By Mass Market Rather Than High-End In 2008

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 12 December 2007

The residential property market continued to chalk up strong gains in 2007.

It was the high-end segment that took the lead, with prices there jumping by as much as 55% this year.

But towards the second half, prices in the mass market started to catch up.

Analysts say this is the segment to look out for in 2008.

New high-end residential launches like St Regis kept the momentum going this year, with prices hitting new benchmarks as the months wore on.

But those staggering numbers could not put a dent in the frenzied buying that went on.

Knight Frank's director for consultancy and research, Nicholas Mak, said: "It has been a wonderful year for developers, especially those involved in residential properties. Residential sales this year have actually hit a record high, we haven't seen anything as high as this. The typical 10-year average is about 7,200 private homes sold a year. This year, we're gonna see slightly more than double that figure."

Analysts say this was reminiscent of the mid 1990s.

Knight Frank's Nicholas Mak said: "Some of the sharp spikes in property prices brought back memories of the similar run-up in the mid 1990s when the government came in with anti-speculation measures, and it was followed by the Asian financial crisis.

"Interestingly, now it's 10 years after the Asian financial crisis and we also have a similar bull run in the property market. The government has come in with some measures and thankfully they are not as heavy-handed as the anti-speculative measures of 1996. There's question of whether history will repeat itself, but thankfully it looks like it won't."

Things at the top end appear to be cooling as the year end approaches.

Cushman & Wakefield's managing director, Donald Han, said: "If you look at just the last 3, 4 months of the year, prices for the top end, especially, have started to stabilize, and we see the bulk of the residential prices and activities dominated by the mass market segment. So we think moving forward over the next 12 months in 2008, we expect a single-digit or potentially a 10 to 12 per cent increase in terms of capital values for the high end (segment)."

Mass market homes are expected to surpass that, with growth rates of 10 to 15 per cent next year.

Property watchers say the government has done well so far in handling the property boom.

Cushman & Wakefield's Donald Han said: "The government has been very successful in managing the rise and trying to come up with more information in educating the public and investors as to what the median and average prices are. Information does provide a certain kind of ammunition for buyers, so you know you're not overpaying and don't have to rush out to buy on hearsay statistics. At the same time some of the incentives the government has taken out which were more deferred payment."

"Sometimes it's not just the measure itself. It's the signal that's sent. For example, the removal of the DPS (deferred payment scheme) is interpreted as the government is stepping in to remove speculation, and indeed the speculation level has come down," he added.

The government is also releasing more residential sites for sale in its Land Sales Programme and rolling out plans for more HDB flats to be sold.

It is putting eight suburban sites on its confirmed list for the Government Land Sales programme for the first half next year.

It has also rolled out plans for some 6,000 public housing units for the same period.

This is largely seen as a move to prevent prices in the residential mass market from rising too sharply.

With the government keeping a close eye on the market, analysts are dismissing talk of a property bubble.

They say the fundamentals remain strong.

Knight Frank's Nicholas Mak said: "In the regional property market, we are somewhere ahead of Shanghai in the property cycle. We are still in the rising phase although our prices are increasingly reaching mature levels. For some other markets like Jakarta, Malaysia, their price increases have already experienced a longer period, they're actually experiencing a more mature stable rate of growth. It's only a matter of time before we reach that stage."

Analysts say the major risk to current growth is the possibility of a US-led global recession. However, while this could lead to a slowdown, they say it will not completely derail the market. - CNA/ir

Banyan Tree To Triple Investment In Vietnam Resort To US$900m

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 11 December 2007

Luxury resorts operator Banyan Tree is planning to bump up its investment in a beachfront resort in Vietnam.

Coastal site of the proposed Laguna Vietnam resort

It is planning to spend about US$900 million, more than three times its original investment of US$270 million.

Banyan Tree is expanding the project to include more resorts on an expanded site of 300 hectares.

The development in the central Vietnamese city of Danang will be its first in the country.

It will comprise seven resort properties, two spas, an 18-hole golf course, and facilities for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry.

The project will also include 1,000 residential villas and apartments for sale.

Funding for the project will come from bank debts and proceeds from property sales.

There will also be equity to be injected from a new private equity fund to be set up and managed by Banyan Tree.

The SGX-listed company said its executives were in Vietnam earlier this month to present its development master plan for the site.

The project, to be called Laguna Vietnam, will be the country's first integrated resort development. - CNA /ls

DBS Signs Deal To Move HQ To Marina Bay Financial Centre

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 12 December 2007

DBS on Wednesday signed an agreement to take the lion's share of Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) with a 700,000 sq ft lease.

The lease deal for the bank's new headquarters is the largest in Singapore to-date.

The agreement signifies DBS' efforts to consolidate all their facilities in a comprehensive strategic occupancy programme.

The site at Marina Bay has also attracted financial institutions such as Standard Chartered which has already secured a 500,000 sq ft lease.

DBS will now anchor the Marina Bay Financial Centre as the development's sixth and largest tenants.

DBS tenancy brings the development, as a whole, close to 50 percent leased.

The 12-year lease, with options to renew, will begin in 2012 as part of DBS' plans to consolidate and modernise working environments.

Jackson Tai, CEO of DBS, said: "Well there are two things that are important here. First of all, we are securing first-class space for our employees and this allows us to attend to our expansion needs throughout the region. The second thing is that it allows us to lock in what we think are optimised occupancy costs and that is good for our shareholders."

At the signing ceremony on Wednesday, DBS announced that various customer-facing units and trading operations would be moved to Tower 3 at MBFC – the latest tower to be built in the area.

Southeast Asia's largest lender is also the first tenant to sign for Phase Two of the development which comprises a 48-storey commercial tower and luxury accommodation. DBS will take 22 floors of the luxury building.

The new building will be the work of Hong Kong Land Ltd., Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. and Keppel Land Ltd.

In addition, further operations will be moved to a 500,000 sq ft space at Changi Business Park.

Mr Tai said: "DBS' various customer-facing units and trading operations will be consolidated into MBFC. Our strategic operations programme also includes the re-location of various core support functions to a purpose-built nine-storey building at Changi Business Park near the Expo MRT Station. That will be in 2010. The business park site has a permissible ground floor area of about half a million sq ft and will be developed in phases."

In October, DBS signed a lease for more than 220,000 sq ft of office space at One Island East – a 70-storey building in Hong Kong. DBS will be the anchor tenant and the move will commence in 2008. - CNA/so

成龙1100 万元买新加坡尼路一号1 Neil Road百年古建筑

《联合晚报》Dec 11, 2007

国际巨星成龙刚在一个月前以1100万元,买下新加坡的一栋百年古迹建筑物——尼路一号(One Neil Road)。这栋前人力车局(Jinriksha Building)所处的受保留建筑物,现在底层是中文酒廊歌厅“轻松50”(EZ50)的所在地。



成龙11年前 买了附近一栋楼



钟燊南的家族成员分别掌控了香港上市公司——天德地产和本地房地产上市公司——鸿福控股(Hong Fok),钟燊南本身是天德集团董事。家族与本地豪宅发展商——SC全球掌舵人钟世平(现任房地产商公会会长)也有亲戚关系。管伟强也是“50年代”酒廊的老板。他说,由于三方合作过,所以对再次的“三角”生意关系相当高兴。

他透露,成龙其实早在去年第一次到尼路一号时,就已相当喜欢它的古典建筑特色。几个月前,他托管伟强问价钱,10月底他再来新加坡为两人合作的成龙咖啡与茶(Jackie Chan's Cafe Coffee & Tea)餐厅开幕,听了价钱后就一口答应了。

管伟强已向成龙 租下整栋大厦


他已经向成龙把整栋大厦租了下来,底层的“轻松50”歌厅将照旧营业。至于目前空置的二三层楼面,他心里有三种想法:“第一种是经营钢琴吧(piano bar)、第二种是经营足浴中心,第三种最简单省事,就是直接租出去给人作办公室。”






想当年 门口排了不少人力车……





HDB双月组屋销售计划 316间组屋待售

《联合晚报》Dec 11, 2007






这是建屋局取消直接选购计划(walk-in selection)后第五次以双月组屋销售计划出售组屋。前四轮销售活动在4月、6月、8月和10月展开,出售3034个单位。其中,8月和10月的销售活动反应最热烈,843间位于已完全发展组屋区、西部和北部的滞销单位被预订一空。







今年新加坡房地产交易金额 突破五百亿元 同比猛增66%

《联合晚报》Dec 12, 2007


本地房地产代理公司世邦魏理仕(CB Richard Ellis)昨天发表的报告显示,从今年1月至今,房地产发展商和投资者已经花了507亿8000万元,来购买大型房地产。

房地产投资销售(investment sales)指的是市场上的大宗房地产交易,这包括发展地段、整栋大楼,以及分层地契单位,每一宗交易的金额至少要有500万元。






今年成交的大型房地产交易,仍以私人土地或房地产为主,成交金额高达396亿元。其余22%,即111.5亿元则来自政府售地。在政府售地方面,最引人瞩目的是第四季以9亿5289万元卖给MGPA的滨海景(Marina View)地段。全年来说,政府卖出了36幅官方土地,这包括三幅“白色”地段、9幅私宅地段、8幅商业地段、6幅酒店地段,以及10幅工业地段。另外,它也以11亿元卖出了五幅住宅地段,这包括以2亿1565万元卖给中国公司——玺萌资产控股(Ximeng Asset Holdings)的珍珠岛(Pearl Island)。


其中133亿元来自集体出售交易,这个数字超越了2006年的82亿元旧纪录,是过去十年来最高的水平。其中最引人瞩目的包括以8亿3500万元卖给国浩置业的礼敦岭(Leedon Heights)、以5亿1600万元卖给Bravo建筑的金香园(Tulip Gardens),以及4亿3500万元卖给马来西亚上市公司杨忠礼(YTL Corp)的良园(Westwood Apartments)。


毗邻是公教中学·名校有价! 碧山四房组屋 售价44万创记录

《联合晚报》Dec 11, 2007