Friday, May 23, 2008

CapitaMall Buys The Atrium@Orchard

Source : TODAY, Friday, May 23, 2008

Getting connected — but at a cost.

CapitaMall Trust Management has agreed to buy The Atrium@Orchard from the government for $839.8 million and amalgamate it with Plaza Singapura next door.

Their shopfronts will be merged and enhanced. There will also be an elevated walkway, providing Plaza Singapura users with direct connectivity to the busy Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange station in The Atrium's basement. This is expected to increase the value of both buildings.

That's the good news. The bad news for tenants is that CapitaMall Trust believes that The Atrium is currently "under-rented". It may be 98-per-cent full, but their new landlord thinks it can double monthly rents from an average $5.87 psf to between $10 and $12 psf by 2010 to 2011, even after taking into account the rental cap conditions in certain leases. Key tenants include Barclays Capital and Temasek Holdings, which is a large shareholder in the trust's parent, CapitaLand.

CapitaMall trust's deputy chairman Liew Mun Leong said: "The proposed integration of The Atrium@Orchard and Plaza Singapura will create one of the largest integrated developments along Orchard Road, with approximately 170m of prime retail frontage and over 900,000 sq ft of net lettable space."

Some 600,000 sq ft of this would be shop space, comparable to The Paragon.

The Atrium currently comprises two Grade-A office towers of seven and 10 storeys over a single floor of ground floor retail space. Office tenants on the lower floor will be rejigged to make way for double-storey shops.

Mr Pua Seck Guan, CapitaMall trust's chief executive, said: "There is an excellent opportunity to capitalise on the long frontage along the prime Orchard Road strip to create highly visible duplex flagstores."

To help finance the acquisition, CapitaMall Trust is placing out $650-million worth of convertible bonds. The building's initial yield of approximately 2.1 per cent is higher than the bonds' coupon rate of 1 per cent. This yield is expected to progressively improve in coming years at it increases rents.

The acquisition will grow CapitaMall Trust's asset size to $6.9 billion, reinforcing its position as Singapore's largest real estate investment trust.

Singapore's Growth Forecast Remains At 4 To 6% For This Year

Source : TODAY, Friday, May 23, 2008

SINGAPORE'S economy expanded less than initially estimated in the first quarter, adding to concerns growth may ease in the coming months as global demand weakens and inflation accelerates.

Gross domestic product increased an annualised 14.6 per cent in the first three months of the year, less than the Government's April 10 estimate of 16.9 per cent, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced this morning. The economy shrank 4.8 per cent in the previous quarter.

From a year earlier, Singapore's economy expanded 6.7 per cent in the first quarter after growing 5.4 per cent in the previous three months, the Government said.

Referring to the gross domestic product outlook, the ministry announced that it is maintaining its growth forecast for the year of 4.0 to 6.0 per cent. — bloomberg

Moody's Sees Cloudy Skies Ahead For Singapore Reits

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

MORE gloomy news has come in for the property sector, this time for Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (S-Reits).

They have been stamped with a negative outlook by credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service.

While the trusts' fundamentals remain solid, with their properties enjoying high occupancies and strong demand, Moody's sees cloudy skies ahead for them in the next 12 to 18 months.

This means it thinks there are negative influences that may lead to a ratings review within that time. These ratings gauge a company's ability to repay its debts.

Moody's cited adverse sentiment and tighter liquidity in the market as the reasons for its change in outlook, saying these factors make it tougher for Reits to get funds just when they are most needed.

Several Reits are reaching a stage where they need to refinance their debts, but they are finding it more difficult and expensive to borrow funds, Moody's said.

Despite this, some trusts have been forced to rely on bank loans to pay for acquisitions they have already committed to, it added.

This is also partly because the unit prices of many trusts have tumbled in recent months, making equity funding - raising money by issuing more units - an unattractive alternative.

'Because S-Reits retain little cash, the primary source of repayment tends to come from either new debt, asset sales or equity,' said Moody's in a report yesterday.

'When these markets tighten, this financial positioning exposes those Reits that have a high level of short-term debt and lack long-term, committed funding.'

Since January, Moody's has downgraded one Reit twice, put two others on review for a possible downgrade and issued negative outlooks for another three.

The latest negative outlook rating came in yesterday for CapitaMall Trust, after it said it would pay $840 million to buy The Atrium@Orchard office building.

Moody's has also given negative outlooks for Suntec Reit and Mapletree Logistics Trust because of financing pressures and high gearing, respectively.

The ratings agency downgraded Allco Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust in January and again in March on refinancing concerns.

CapitaCommercial Trust, which bought the 1 George Street office building for $1.2 billion in March, and Macquarie Meag Prime Reit, which owns stakes in the Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City malls, are still on review and may be downgraded.

Moody's also said it was possible that smaller Reits would be merged with their bigger rivals in the coming months.

'Difficult access to funding and a diminished opportunity to grow will increase the likelihood of smaller Reits being acquired as the year proceeds,' it said.



'Because S-Reits retain little cash, the primary source of repayment tends to come from either new debt, asset sales or equity. When these markets tighten, this exposes those Reits that have a high level of short-term debt and lack long-term funding.'

MOODY'S, on the risks some property trusts are facing

Planning For The LONG RUN

Source : The Electric New Paper, May 23, 2008

Joggers, rejoice - the URA's Leisure Plan means you'll be able to enjoy a 150km run around S'pore

FIND jogging along East Coast Park a bore?

How about a 150km jog around the entire country, passing through estates like Punggol, Sembawang and Jurong on the way?

The route, about 3 1/2 times the length of the Pan-Island Expressway, will be seamless - which means you will not be running across any of the expressways.

TNP Graphics: CHNG

And completing it should take you a whole day, assuming you've got the stamina to run such a distance.

The route is part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Leisure Plan, which includes provisions for a range of activities.

The plan was unveiled yesterday by Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan at the Singapore Institute of Architects 47th annual dinner.

Said Mr Mah: 'When fully completed, the round-island route will bring Singaporeans even closer to our coastline and greenery.'

The highlights of the Leisure Plan include enhancing Singapore's greenery, creating leisure destinations with unique offerings and encouraging greater buzz and nightlife in the city.

Some of the green enhancements include increasing park spaces from the current 3,300ha to 4,200ha.

The park connector network will also be more than tripled from 100km today to 360km.

The round-island route, which will allow people to cycle, stroll or run around the country, will also have sections linked by park connectors, coastal promenades and so on.

It will be ready in 10 to 15 years, said the URA.

Areas earmarked for change include Kranji and Lim Chu Kang.

New park land, agri-tainment such as farm stays, and greater access to nature areas will make this project a unique countryside attraction.

Other areas to get a revamp will be the Jurong Lake District, Mandai, Changi Point, Southern Ridges and the City Centre.

There are also plans to spice up Orchard Road, the Singapore River, Bras Basah, Bugis and Marina Bay to keep the city buzzing.

URA's chief executive officer Cheong Koon Hean said this is the first time that such an island-wide plan has been drawn up, with a range of leisure opportunities for all.

She added: 'We want to ensure that even as we continue to grow, we can still enjoy a very good quality of life.

'It is not just about providing space and facilities to play, it is also enhancing the variety and quality of leisure options we have round-the-clock, where there is something for everyone.'

The Leisure Plan is part of the Draft Master Plan 2008 Review.

The Master Plan is a statutory land use plan that URA develops to guide Singapore's development over the next 10 to 15 years. It is reviewed every five years.

Members of the public can give their feedback during the Draft Master Plan 2008 exhibition this Friday at the URA Centre.

S'pore Q1 GDP Fastest Since '05, Ups CPI Forecast

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

SINGAPORE'S economy grew in the first quarter at its fastest pace since 2005, but slightly below market expectations, and the government raised its 2008 inflation forecast and warned of increased United States recessionary risks.

Singapore's trade-dependent economy expanded at an annualised rate of 14.6 per cent in the first quarter after seasonal adjustments, as a recovery in drugs production boosted growth, the government said on Friday.

The government raised its 2008 inflation forecast to 5 to 6 per cent from 4.5-5.5 per cent on Friday, citing high oil and food prices in the near term.

Analysts said rising consumer prices would force the Singapore central bank the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to let the Singapore dollar , its main policy tool, rise further to tame inflation.

'The pressure will be on to keep the currency strong. The bigger news here is the inflation number. The MAS has been forced finally to raise their inflation forecast range,' said Mr Robert Prior-Wandesforde, a HSBC economist.

Singapore's April inflation accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace of 7.5 per cent from a year ago, matching a high reached 26 years ago due to higher housing, food and oil prices.

First-quarter economic growth was below an advance official estimate of a 16.9 per cent expansion. A Reuters poll estimated the economy would grow an annualised 15.9 per cent in the January-March period.

Singapore's export-driven economy is seen by analysts as a barometer of demand for Asian goods. Exports were worth twice its $229 billion economy last year.

From a year earlier, Singapore's economy expanded 6.7 per cent in the first quarter, compared with an advance estimate of 7.2 per cent. The Reuters poll forecast growth of 7 per cent.

Manufacturing expanded 12.4 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while construction grew 14.7 per cent. The financial services sector grew 13.4 per cent.

Economies across Asia are expected to slow this year as a stumbling US economy cuts demand for the continent's exports, a key driver of growth, but evidence of a slowdown has been mixed so far.

Growth in Japan, China and Hong Kong were surprisingly resilient in the first quarter, although South Korea's economy grew at its slowest quaterly pace in more than three years in the January-March period.

The government reiterated on Friday that the Singapore economy is expected to grow between 4 to 6 per cent this year, well below an average growth rate of 8.1 per cent in the last four years.

Analysts said the economy's surprisingly strong growth in the first quarter gave Singapore's central bank room to tighten monetary policy in April by allowing the Singapore dollar to rise further.

However, some economists said the strength of the Singapore dollar would crimp exports growth at a time when demand in the key US and European markets are weakening.

United States and Europe buy about a third of Singapore's non-oil domestic exports.

Singapore's growth is largely fuelled by manufacturing of goods such as electronics, drugs and oil rigs. However, the economy is leaning more on other sectors such as tourism, financial services and construction to underpin growth. -- REUTERS

S'pore April CPI Rises 7.5%, 26-Yr High

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

SINGAPORE'S April inflation accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace of 7.5 per cent from a year ago, matching a high reached 26 years ago due to higher housing, food and oil prices.

Consumer prices rose 0.9 per cent in April from March after seasonal adjustments, the Department of Statistics said in a statement on Friday.

Economists had expected annual consumer prices to rise by 7 per cent in April according to a Reuters poll, above March's 6.7 per cent and matching the 7.5 per cent gain in March 1982.

Central banks from China to the United States are fighting rising inflation as higher oil and commodity prices push up consumer prices.

A sub-index for housing costs gained 11.8 per cent in April from a year ago while food prices, which carry the largest weighting in the index, rose 8.5 per cent.

The statement does not include seasonally adjusted figures for the sub-indices. -- REUTERS

Work, Live And Play At Paya Lebar Central And Kallang Riverside

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

These are two new growth areas under URA's Draft Master Plan 2008 for a 'lively yet liveable global city' by 2020

SINGAPOREANS will have two new areas - Paya Lebar Central and Kallang Riverside - to work, live and play, under the URA's Draft Master Plan 2008.
Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan announced details for the two new areas during the launch of the Draft Master Plan 2008 exhibition on Friday morning.

Mr Mah said: 'The Draft Master Plan 08 envisions Singapore in 2020 as a lively yet liveable global city.'

He said the plan will guide Singapore's land use for the next 10, 15 years and ensure that there is enough land to support economic growth.

He added that the plan will also look at providing quality housing and leisure space, as well as cutting down on commuting by bringing jobs closer to where people live.

Paya Lebar Central
The two new growth areas are part of the plan to increase the number of commercial hubs or nodes outside the CDB, said Mr Mah.

Paya Lebar Central will be developed around Paya Lebar MRT station and will have more than 500,000 sq m of commercial floor space within the 12ha zone.

Mr Mah said: 'Paya Lebar Central will be an attractive location for businesses that do not need to be located within the city centre but still want to be close by.'

He added that the area is well known for its local Malay heritage and the URA will encourage new developments to enhance the local character.

There are also plans to incorporate Geylang River into future developments and new public spaces by realigning a stretch of the river to run along new buildings along Tanjong Katong Road.

Kallang Riverside
As for the new Kallang development, Mr Mah said it is part of the Greater Marina Bay District and will be home to the new Sports Hub.

Calling it the next lifestyle destination near the city centre, Mr Mah said: 'About 4,000 new waterfront homes are planned for the area, offering more opportunities for Singaporeans to enjoy city living.'

He also said that there will be space for 3,00 hotel rooms at Kallang, with another 400,000 sq m for a mix of office, retail and entertainment outlets. He added that the former Kallang airport will be conserved and will offer a range of lifestyle and retail facilities.

Keeping familiar places
Mr Mah said that another focus of the URA plan will be to make Singapore 'a home of choice' for Singaporeans.

'To make Singapore an endearing home, the Draft Master Plan will seek to retain places of identity and heritage. Particular emphasis will be placed on retaining familiar places and structures that residents identify with, such as markets within older HDB towns like Queenstown,' said Mr Mah.

CapitaMall Trust Buys The Atrium@Orchard For S$840m

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 22 May 2008

CapitaMall Trust (CMT) has bought The Atrium@Orchard office development for about S$840 million.

The Atrium@Orchard is a commercial development comprising two Grade A office towers and some ground floor retail space.

CMT said the purchase from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) will be funded by a mix of debt and convertible bonds. Predicting a 2.1 percent initial property yield, the Trust plans to issue at least S$650 million worth of bonds.

While some analysts have expressed concern, CMT said current office rent at The Atrium is low by market standards and it has room to more than double.

It expects a 4.5 percent yield to be achievable by 2010 when almost all the leases are due to expire.

CMT plans to integrate the development with the Plaza Singapura shopping mall next door, which it also owns.

Deputy Chairman of CapitaMall Trust Management, Liew Mun Leong, said the proposed merger of the two properties will create one of the largest integrated developments along Orchard Road.

The combined property will have about 170 metres of prime retail frontage and over 900,000 sq ft of net lettable space.

The acquisition will also grow CMT's asset size by 15 percent to some S$6.9 billion.

With the latest purchase, CMT has revised its local target asset size from S$8 billion to S$9 billion by 2010.

Asked why CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT) was left out in the deal, CMT said it is to avoid a conflict of interest for both sides.

Pua Seck Guan, CEO of CapitaMall Trust, said: "Although The Atrium currently is predominantly an office building, our intention is to convert the office space into retail and create a synergy with Plaza Singapura.

"Since CMT owns 100 percent of PS (Plaza Singapura), it makes sense for CMT to own The Atrium at this moment, until we work out the asset plan to convert the office space into retail. As a result, we don't think it's wise to have a joint venture with CCT at this moment because that will create conflict." - CNA/so

Singapore Government Encourages CEOs To Invest In Green Buildings

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 22 May 2008

The government has been taking the lead in turning its buildings green and is now asking Singapore CEOs to follow suit.

Some experts say that planning to go green right from the design stage can mean substantial savings in energy costs later.

The public sector is paving the way, with the Environment Building being a prime example of an energy-efficient government building. And private sector firms are increasingly following in its footsteps.

With the industry and buildings sectors accounting for about 65 percent of Singapore's total energy use, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Yaacob Ibrahim emphasized how important it was for businesses to play their part in conserving energy.

Dr Yaacob said: "To further emphasize that energy efficiency is the way to go, we are also putting in place several schemes that will incentivise energy efficient technologies and practices in the industry.

"We are even looking into assisting companies at the design stage of their facilities so that the newer factories will be energy-efficient from day one."

'Retro-fixing' or re-modelling older buildings with more energy efficient materials can help cut energy bills by 30 to 60 percent.

But global experts say building energy-efficient buildings saves more money than retro-fixing less energy-efficient buildings later on.

Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Amory Lovins, said: "Capital cost goes down if you build things right the first time. I don't just mean operating costs go down. I mean capital expenditure goes down.

"So in a typical class A office, we normally save around 80 percent or 90 percent of the typical energy use, and improve the productivity and health of the people in the building, and yet the capital expenditure goes down about three to five percent."

He explained that energy-efficient office fixtures - like windows and lights - have smaller and simpler mechanical systems, so one saves on the costs it would take to modify regular office fixtures.

Mr Lovins also said an added incentive to switch to improved environmental space is that it creates happy workers and shoppers - spaces that are well-lit increase labour productivity by up to 16 percent, and boost retail sales by as much as 40 percent. -CNA/cl

S'pore Plans To Open Consulate Cum Trade Office On Batam Island

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 22 May 2008

JAKARTA: Singapore plans to open a consulate cum trade office on the neighbouring Indonesian island of Batam by year's end.

The facility will help Singaporean businessmen and visitors to the island. It will also give a further push to the Free Trade Zone of Batam, Bintan and Karimun - jointly developed by Singapore and Indonesia.

The plan was revealed by Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo after talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Hassan Wirajuda, in Jakarta.

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Mr Yeo is scheduled to review the progress of the Free Trade Zone with Indonesia's Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla, who is overseeing the joint project on the Indonesian side.

Mr Yeo said: "It's been two years now since the framework agreement was signed. The authorities have been established. So this is a good time now to give it a further push."

The Free Trade Zone provides special tax breaks under Indonesian law. Authorities hope to attract foreign companies to set up operations in the zone and provide jobs to Indonesians.

During their one-hour discussion, Mr Yeo and his Indonesian counterpart also touched on the possibility of reviving the growth triangle concept involving Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

"We agreed that it's a good time now to revive the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore growth triangle, and to put this to the trade ministers to reconvene the meetings and to make use of the present favourable situation to enhance cooperation among the three countries for mutual benefits."

Both ministers said they did not discuss the Extradition Treaty and Defence Cooperation Agreement which Indonesia has asked for a review after its parliament refused to rectify them.

On the regional front, ASEAN-led humanitarian assistance to cyclone-stricken Myanmar was at the top of their agenda, following the special meeting in Singapore last week.

ASEAN foreign ministers will be in Yangon this weekend for a follow-up meeting on the Myanmar aid issue. Myanmar has agreed to a joint mechanism between the United Nations and ASEAN to coordinate emergency effort to help cyclone survivors in Myanmar.

Exactly how that mechanism would work remains unclear, but the United Nations and ASEAN are hosting a donor meeting on Sunday in Yangon to raise money for the operation. - CNA/ir

HDB Revises Flat Application Rules

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 22 May 2008

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has revised the application process for its Build-to-Order (BTO) and Balloting Exercise (BE) modes of sale to address recent increases in non-selection of new HDB flats. The changes will take effect from the May 2008 BTO exercise.

Under the revision, first-timer applicants who reject two chances to select a flat will have their first-timer priorities removed for a one-year period in HDB's sales exercises.

This means that they will be treated like second-timer applicants, and will no longer be able to ballot for the 90% of publicly available flats which HDB safeguards for first-timers. They will also not be eligible for the Married Child Priority Scheme which gives them two additional tries.

Additional chances for repeatedly unsuccessful first-timers - that is those not invited to select a flat - will be limited to only BTO exercises in non-mature estates. No additional chance will be accorded if they participate in the BE or the Quarterly/Half-Yearly Sales Exercise, where the supply of flats is limited.

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The additional chances will be accorded to first-timer applicants who had been unsuccessful twice (that is, starting from the third try), instead of the existing practice where additional chances are only given starting from the fifth try.

HDB said the above measures will encourage applicants to consider their options carefully before participating in an HDB sale exercise. The measures will also help to minimize non-selection of HDB flats by applicants who repeatedly participate in sales exercises and thus divert HDB's time and resources from those with urgent housing needs.

Recent launches of Build-to-Order flats have seen an overwhelming number of applications, especially those in mature estates, leading to speculation that there is a shortage of new flats. But HDB said, on the contrary, the bulk of applicants often do not end up making a purchase.

The recent Coral Spring project, for instance, saw about 30% of flats not taken up even after all applicants had been invited to book a flat.

HDB said in the last four Build-to-Order exercises, about 50 to 70 percent of applicants rejected their chance to book a flat, citing reasons like location and cost. However, HDB said such information was readily available to applicants when the projects were first announced.

It said it had considered other options - such as raising the administration fee and reverting to the old queue system. However, these measures are not necessarily effective deterrents, and in the case of the latter, may in fact lead to an over-supply.

Reactions to the changes were mixed, with most first-timers cheering the increased priority.

"For a first-time buyer, to get a flat is very important. For second-time buyers, maybe they already have a flat... but (for first-time buyers like us), we are just starting to build a family, so we should have more priority," said a flat applicant.

For those who have rejected the allocated flats, some said the HDB should consider such applicants on a case-by-case basis.

Eric Chong, a first-time flat buyer, said: "There must be a reason why people want to reject, because they might not like a second-floor flat, or other reasons. I must purchase the one that I like most, because it's a big investment."

The new rules kick in with HDB's latest BTO projects - Compassvale Pearl in Sengkang, and Punggol Sapphire. These will add another 1,485 new flats to the market.

Including upcoming projects in Punggol, Sengkang, Woodlands and Bukit Panjang, to be launched in the second half of this year, the total planned supply for 2008 is 8,000 flats. The number is more than the 6,000 in 2007 and 2,400 in 2006. - CNA/ir

New Initiatives Launched To Promote Green Building movement

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 22 May 2008

The green building movement in Singapore has gained momentum and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) hopes to spur it further by enhancing its Green Mark Incentive Scheme.

At the BCA awards ceremony on Thursday, City Developments was named Singapore's first Green Mark Champion.

Cliveden at Grange

This new award is given to developers and building owners who have at least ten projects that have attained the BCA Green Mark Gold and Platinum standards.

However, BCA was unable to find a winner for the ultimate prize – the Green Mark Champion Platinum Award, which requires developers to have at least 50 eco-friendly projects to qualify.

Among the 97 winners at this year's BCA award ceremony, three CityDev projects secured the Green Mark Platinum prize. They are 9 Tampines Grande, Cliveden at Grange and The Solitaire. They were evaluated based on several criteria, with more weightage placed on energy efficiency.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said: "A key aspect of sustainability in the built environment is how efficiently you use resources, especially energy.

"All indications show high energy prices are here to stay for quite some time, so a focus on energy efficiency will reduce costs and enhance the competitiveness of the building."

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BCA expects more industry players to tap into its S$20 million fund, which has been set aside for the Green Mark Incentive Scheme in 2006. So far, S$2.6 million has been committed to 17 projects.

There are over 100 green buildings in Singapore and BCA said another 200 are waiting to be certified.

With effect from Thursday, it has expanded the scheme to smaller buildings and other stakeholders in the industry, as the minimum gross floor area (GFA) eligibility is reduced from 5,000 square metres to 2,000 square metres.

Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA, said: "If you do your green building design from day one with that objective of energy efficiency in mind, you'll tend to have a more cost-effective design, so we are extending the incentive scheme to the architects and to the mechanical and electrical engineers to encourage them to take charge from day one."

Huge savings can be reaped from green developments. For instance, the new mall 313@Somerset is expected to generate S$1.3 million in energy savings a year.

Another new initiative is the Green Mark for Parks Award as the BCA is working with the National Parks Board to promote sustainable practices and features in parks.

The three winners for the new award this year are Fort Canning Park, Chinese Garden and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

BCA also launched the inaugural Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award on Thursday to commend industry players who have upheld high construction safety standards. - CNA/so

Singapore's Q1 GDP Grows At Annualised 14.6%

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 23 May 2008

Singapore's export-reliant economy grew slower than estimated in the first quarter as demand weakened due to a slowdown in the United States and other key markets, the government said Friday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.7 percent in the March quarter from the previous year, falling short of the government's preliminary estimate of 7.2 percent, the trade ministry said.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2007, GDP, the total value of goods and services produced in a country, surged 14.6 percent.

First quarter expansion was powered by a strong showing of the manufacturing sector, in particular pharmaceuticals, with construction and financial services also contributing to the growth.

The government cut its growth forecast for key exports this year to 2-4 percent from 4-6 percent as global demand is expected to remain soft through the year.

Non-oil domestic exports, a key barometer of the economy's health, rose an annual 0.6 percent in the March quarter, slower than the 2.3 percent expansion in the same quarter in 2007, as electronics shipment took a hit from easing world demand.

The government however stuck to its full-year GDP growth estimate of 4-6 percent.

"The downside risk of a deeper-than-expected US recession due to financial market turbulence or sharp declines in asset values remains on the horizon but has lessened slightly in the wake of recent strong actions taken by the Federal Reserve to restore market confidence," the trade ministry said.

"While credit conditions will remain weak and exert a drag on the real
economy, there is greater confidence now that timely and resolute policy actions will be taken (by the United States) as needed to forestall a financial meltdown."

But rising prices remained a major concern, the government said as it raised its inflation forecast to 5-6 percent this year from 4.5-5.5 percent due to the increasing costs of food and fuel.

The annual inflation rate rose to a new 26-year high of 7.5 percent in April as food, housing and transportation and communication costs soared.

Food prices alone rose 8.5 percent, transportation and communication were 7.0 percent higher and housing costs became 11.8 percent more expensive, the statistics department said.

"External price pressures have continued to contribute significantly to our domestic headline inflation numbers," the trade ministry said in a separate statement.

"Oil and food prices have risen more rapidly and are expected to remain elevated over the near term."

Oil prices surged to unprecedented record peaks of more than 135 dollars a barrel on Thursday and analysts said it could still go higher.

David Cohen, an economist with research house Action Economics, said one key risk for the economy is a more serious global slowdown, but added that the United States and other economies have so far "held up a little better than feared." - AFP/vm

More Homes Coming Up In Punggol, Sengkang

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

Over 1,400 premium flats launched yesterday. Total this year: 8,400 units

THE Housing Board (HDB) yesterday launched more than 1,400 premium homes in Punggol and Sengkang for sale, as it moved to meet increasing demand.

PRICEY MAKEOVER: $25 million will be spent on landscaping and architectural work for Punggol's 4.2km waterway, says HDB.

This brings the total supply for the year to about 8,400 units - more than the 6,000 homes launched last year and the 2,400 in 2006.

The new projects - Compassvale Pearl in Sengkang and Punggol Sapphire in Punggol - are offered under HDB's build-to-order (BTO) system, where flats are built only when a certain demand is reached.

NEW LAUNCH: An artist's impression of the upcoming Punggol Sapphire, one of two new projects under HDB's build-to-order system.

Yesterday's launches follow the release last week of detailed plans to develop Punggol into a 'waterfront town'.

The HDB said it will spend $25 million on landscaping and architectural work for Punggol's 4.2 km waterway and a further $5.1 million on its upcoming town park.

Both features are part of the 'Punggol 21-plus' vision mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at last year's National Day Rally.

Punggol Sapphire offers 1,065 flats: 760 four-room units, 282 five-room premium flats and 23 five-room loft units, which have higher-than-normal ceilings allowing for a loft.

Premium flats have better finishes, making them slightly more costly, said the HDB.

The estate is next to Punggol MRT station and a stone's throw from the future town centre, which will have a mix of entertainment, sports and recreation facilities.

It is also located near the upcoming waterway, which will have homes lining its banks, as well as recreational facilities and other amenities nearby.

Prices at Punggol Sapphire will range from $234,000 for a four-room flat to $477,000 for a five-room loft unit.

The HDB said it expects another 4,900 units to be completed by 2011, making a total of more than 20,000 homes in Punggol.

At Compassvale Pearl, 420 units are being offered - 336 four-room units and 84 five-room premium flats. Prices range from $216,000 for a four-room flat to $367,000 for a five-room unit.

The estate is at the junction of Punggol Road and Compassvale Drive and is served by LRT stations.

The HDB website yesterday showed 400 applications for both new projects. Applications close on June 4.

Both projects are expected to be completed by 2011. Models of the estates are on display at the HDB Hub Habitat Forum at Toa Payoh until June 4.

Scrapped: Extra Chances In Mature Estates

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

THE Housing Board yesterday scrapped an earlier initiative to give additional chances to unsuccessful first-time buyers looking for a flat in a mature estate.

This was part of an overhaul of HDB's application processes, which aims to discourage buyers with no genuine interest.

It was also part of the board's move to make build- to-order (BTO) flats its main source of new housing stock.

Previously, first-time buyers who were unsuccessful at securing a flat were given additional chances from their fifth try onwards in all estates.

This included popular ones in established towns such as Toa Payoh and Queenstown.

Under the new rules, a buyer gets extra chances earlier - after two unsuccessful attempts.

This means on his third try, his name goes into the ballot one more time. On his fourth try, he gets entered two more times, and so on.

But the catch is that the extra chances apply only to BTO projects in non-mature estates such as Punggol.

BTO flats typically take three years to be constructed and are built only if certain demand is reached.

HDB said yesterday that the rationale for the change was that sales exercises in mature estates are often oversubscribed.

It is 'not HDB's intention to satisfy all such demand, since the mainstay of new flat supply is BTO flats in non-mature estates', said HDB's director of estate administration and property Yap Chin Beng.

HDB's decision comes after recent reports that some first-timers could be exploiting the system to improve their chances by accelerating their failure rate, so as to enjoy a higher chance of success by the time flats in a desirable location become available.


HDB Targets Frivolous Applicants

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

First-timers who reject two offers to buy a flat lose priority status for a year

THINK hard before you apply to buy a new Housing Board flat: Lodging frivolous applications will now get you sent to the back of the queue.

New HDB rules unveiled yesterday target flighty first-time buyers who have been hedging their bets by applying for flats when they often have no intention of closing the deal.

The HDB said the move 'will encourage applicants to consider their options carefully'. It also addresses concerns that the thousands of applications that pour in for HDB projects bear little relation to the actual take-up rate.

Look at Punggol Lodge, launched in October. There were 464 four-roomers on offer, attracting 1,484 applications, but when offers went out, 1,069 'buyers' eventually said no thanks.

And when 60 three-room flats were offered in November's launch of Segar Meadows in Bukit Panjang, 98 per cent of first-timers - those who applied to purchase a flat for the very first time - who were offered a flat, rejected the chance to buy.

The HDB hears all sorts of excuses. Some applicants said they wanted to also consider flats under other HDB sales or that the unit they really wanted had already been selected. Others indicated that they weren't cashed up.

The demand for new flats shot up last year after young couples, who were priced out of the resale market, tried for new HDB homes, which are often cheaper.

The rush - and problem with frivolous applicants - prompted National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan to call for a review of the rules last month.

The new rules, which apply immediately, have a 'two strikes and you're out' approach. A first-time buyer who rejects an offer to buy a flat twice or more at any HDB sales exercise, loses his first-timer priorities for a year. That effectively puts him at the back of the queue with the second-timers.

First-timers get two chances in a ballot. If they live near their parents, they get two more, under the Married Child Priority Scheme.

Last August, the HDB also began setting aside 90 per cent of the flats in a sales exercise for first-timers. The rest were earmarked for second-timers.

These are the first-time privileges a person could lose for a year if they get too picky.

But the HDB is also helping genuine first-timers who repeatedly miss out in ballots. If you apply twice and miss chances to buy, you can have another shot on your third try and your name goes into the ballot once more. For your fourth try, you get entered two more times, and so on.

This applies only to build-to-order projects in newer estates like Punggol. The old rules gave first-timers extra chances only on the fifth try, but at all estates.

First-time hopefuls like administrative officer Chen Xiuling, 26, said the new rules would help weed out those with a 'just apply and see how' attitude.

But 26-year-old insurance agent Sarah Teo thought the 'two strikes' rule was a bit strict: 'What if both times you were left only with undesirable flats on a low floor, at bad locations?'

HDB Revises Application Rules For Flats

Source : The Business Times, May 23, 2008


Move to weed out less serious buyers and give genuine ones better chances

In a move to deter less serious buyers from jamming the queue for build-to-order (BTO) projects, the Housing Development Board (HDB) has refined the application process for them.

The tweaking came in response to the recent oversubscription for new flats which did not translate to actual bookings as some applicants walked away from flat selection when their turn was due.

HDB director of estate administration and property Yap Chin Beng noted that this created the false impression that there was overwhelming demand and HDB flats were running out - causing anxiety among home buyers.

The new changes, which will take effect from the May BTO exercise, are intended to encourage applicants to consider their options carefully before hopping onto an HDB sale exercise.

First-timer applicants who reject two chances to select a flat will have their priority position suspended for a one-year period in HDB's sales exercises.

This means they will be treated like second-timer applicants - with only one chance in the ballot instead of two and vying for just 10 per cent of the public flat supply. If they are applying under the Married Child Priority Scheme, they will have only two chances, like second-timers, instead of four.

To give first-timer applicants a greater chance of securing BTO units, additional chances - limited to non-mature estates - will also be accorded to those who had been unsuccessful twice instead of the current practice of giving additional chances only after the fifth try. There will be no additional chance accorded if they participate in the balloting exercise or quarterly/half-yearly sales exercise where supply of flats is limited.

Mr Yap noted that this trend of applicants rejecting their chance to select flats has been compounded since the second half of last year, when the surge in cash-over-valuation for resale flats priced out potential buyers, who flocked to the BTO scheme for its low barrier to entry.

This led to a four to five times oversubscription in some cases, especially for BTO projects in mature estates where supply is limited. But despite the high number of BTO applications, a review at the recent BTO exercises showed a significant number of applicants tried repeatedly but did not select a unit when given the chance at successive sales exercises.

In the last four BTO exercises between last September and November where selection has been completed, about 50-70 per cent of the applicants did not select a flat. At Coral Spring, for instance, some 30 per cent of the 698 four-room units were not selected after all the applicants had been called up for selection.

HDB said it has considered other options, including the proposal to raise the current administration fee of $10 and reverting to the queue system. The fee hike was not adopted after public feedback, saying it would penalise genuine buyers and HDB could be seen as profiteering. The previous queue system itself, also has the flipside of overbuilding based on queue length.

Property agencies applauded HDB's decision to revise its BTO application process.

'This programme is trying to make first-timers more serious about booking their flats,' said ERA assistant vice-president Eugene Lim. 'It's addressing a very targeted group of people who are abusing the system.'

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail said that the new moves would be a strong deterrent for people who do not take the purchase of new flats seriously.

Both of them do not think that the poor actual take-up in BTO homes signal weakness in the public housing demand.

'Public housing is expected to continue to do well this year,' Mr Ismail said. 'Even the take-up rate is expected to be strong particularly now that the supply of unsold flats has already dried up.'

Yesterday, HDB launched two new BTO housing projects in Punggol and Sengkang comprising a total of 1,485 premium 4- to 5-room flats. Including these two projects, the total BTO supply planned for this year will be about 8,400 units, which will surpass the total 6,000 BTO units launched in the whole of 2007.

The housing board said that flat buyers can look forward to more BTO projects from June to December this year in towns such as Punggol, Sengkang, Bukit Panjang and Woodlands.

313@Somerset To Open By End Of Next Year

Source : The Business Times, May 23, 2008

It will have eight floors of mid to upper-range fashion, food, lifestyle shops

COME the end of next year, shoppers at Orchard Road can expect a new eight-storey shopping mall with around 180 stores, right at the doorstep of Somerset MRT station.

Developed by Australian group Lend Lease Retail, 313@Somerset will have a total of 294,000 square feet of retail space, offering a fashion, food and lifestyle mix from the mid and upper-mid range of retailers.

'Our vision for the centre is to be the leading retail destination for the mid to upper-mid range of fashion and food that's going to deliver a superior customer experience,' said the development director of Lend Lease Retail Asia, Michael Kenderes.

The total cost of the new shopping mall is estimated to be $1 billion, and Lend Lease Retail had started marketing to potential tenants six months ago. According to Mr Kenderes, response from interested retailers has been extremely positive.

'They like our tight focus on positioning in the market,' he explained.

The group is currently in different stages of negotiations with around half the tenants in the building and have reached some binding commitments, although it declined to reveal any anchor tenant.

It expects to fully lease all its units by the end of the six months before the shopping mall's launch.

The mall's largest retailer is set to be a food court operator at a food loft on level five, with about 28,000 sq ft of space. About a third of the retail space will go to food and beverage outlets.

'We are engaged with all the Singaporean retailers in the mid-range fashion offer. There are some from Australia that are interested to come in, and some other international brands from both the US and Europe that we're talking to,' revealed Mr Kenderes.

313@Somerset will not have any major anchor tenant, but instead will focus on mini anchor tenants, including international retailers.

'Lend Lease Retail is looking to leverage on its global relationships with retailers as our partners and to encourage new-to-market retailers to join us,' Mr Kenderes commented.

The new mall was also awarded the Green Mark Platinum from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) - the highest sustainability recognition in Singapore.

Some of the key initiatives that will be incorporated into 313@Somerset include using solar panels to help power its carpark and the recovery of waste heat for use within the centre.

In total, the energy saving measures will reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent.

CapitaMall Snaps Up Atrium@Orchard For $840m

Source : The Straits Times, May 23, 2008

It has plans for dramatic makeover with 100,000 sq ft of new retail space

THE Dhoby Ghaut shopping area will soon be jazzed up now that CapitaMall Trust (CMT) has bought a prime building there for $839.8 million - right next to Plaza Singapura, which it already owns.

A makeover is already under way at one end of Orchard Road with the upcoming Ion Orchard. Further along, Somerset Central is set to transform the Somerset area. Now, it is Dhoby Ghaut's turn.

SEAMLESS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: This artist's impression shows how the planned integration of Plaza Singapura and The Atrium@Orchard will create 170m of prime retail frontage along Orchard Road. -- PHOTO: CAPITALAND

CMT, the owner of retail malls such as Tampines Mall and Junction 8, said yesterday it had acquired The Atrium@Orchard from the Government.

The building, with two office towers of 10 and seven storeys, will boast an extra 100,000 sq ft in retail space, including the vast ground-level atrium and the area connecting it to Plaza Singapura. The Atrium is linked to the Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange.

CMT's plans mean shoppers can look forward to large covered spaces, better links between The Atrium and Plaza Singapura, and more shops as CMT moves to integrate the two buildings.

CMT wants to attract overseas brands or local players such as watch shops or jewellery shops that might be keen to open flagship stores there given the extensive 170m prime frontage.

The chief executive of CapitaMall Trust Management, Mr Pua Seck Guan, said: 'We have strengthened our foothold in the downtown area of Orchard Road.' CMT already co-owns Raffles City with CapitaCommercial Trust.

The office development at The Atrium has about 20 tenants, including Temasek Holdings, Barclays Capital and MTV Asia. It was put up for sale by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Already, government approval has been given to cover the state land or open space in front of Plaza Singapura.

Now that CMT is acquiring The Atrium, more ambitious plans are in the works, such as a fully sheltered link between the two buildings.

Also, the second floor of The Atrium will be connected to the corresponding floor of Plaza Singapura, Mr Pua said.

CMT is exploring if it would be possible to build more links between the higher floors or between the basements of the two buildings.

For retailers looking to sport an extra eye-catching presence, CMT plans to offer a striking design of duplex or double-storey stores.

With the integration, shoppers will also benefit from the direct links to the MRT station from The Atrium. Once the Circle Line is up and running, the Dhoby Ghaut station will offer commuters the convenience of three MRT lines.

In total, CMT's plans involve adding about 100,000 sq ft of retail space and taking away about 55,000 sq ft of office space. Mr Pua did not disclose the construction costs, but analysts said they could come to a few hundred dollars per sq ft (psf).

Once completed in about three years' time, the development will boast a total lettable area of about 900,000 sq ft, making it one of the largest developments on Orchard Road.

There are concerns that the added retail space will come onstream in uncertain economic times, but Mr Pua said 'there is no sign of a consumer slowdown at the malls'.

Some analysts also have concerns about the purchase because the current yield from the property is just 2.1 per cent, because of the low rentals inked by SLA.

However, Mr Pua said that with leases up for renewal, 'there is the potential to double the average office rental of the property by 2010'.

He is confident that increasing the ground floor space will improve the rentals. Units on the ground floor of Plaza Singapura command over $20 psf in rent.

CMT's purchase will be funded mostly by a $650 million convertible bond issue. Fully underwritten by Goldman Sachs, the issue will have a coupon rate of 1 per cent and a conversion premium of 20 per cent to 35 per cent.

CMT units were halted from trading yesterday afternoon before the news was announced.

Yesterday morning, they closed down 12 cents at $3.51.

CapitaMall Trust Bags Atrium For $839.8m

Source : The Business Times, May 23, 2008

It will strengthen its retail presence by integrating Atrium, Plaza Singapura

CapitaMall Trust (CMT) yesterday emerged the winner to clinch the Atrium@Orchard with a purchase price of $839.8 million or $2,249 per square foot (psf) of net lettable area (NLA) from the Singapore Land Authority.

This has raised the value of its assets to $6.9 billion and prompted the trust manager to revise its local targeted portfolio size from $8 billion to $9 billion by 2010.

This acquisition confirms an earlier BT report which pointed out CMT as one of the two final contenders for the Atrium and estimated the price of the sale to be $2,200-2,300 psf of NLA.

CMT is set to strengthen its retail presence at the premier Orchard shopping belt, given its plans to create more than 100,000 sq ft of prime retail lettable area at the Atrium.

Situated next to one of CMT's existing properties, Plaza Singapura, Atrium comprises two Grade A office towers of seven and 10 storeys and some ground floor retail space.

CMT said that it plans to integrate Atrium with Plaza Singapura to create a combined 170 m of prime retail frontage along the Orchard Road strip to create duplex flagship stores and over 900,000 sq ft of net lettable space.

By decanting and converting lower yielding spaces at the Atrium and changing the use of gross floor area, the retail net lettable area on levels 1 and 2 of the property is expected to grow from the current 16,092 sq ft to 100,590 sq ft.

Pua Seck Guan, CEO of CMT, said in a briefing yesterday that the retail enhancement works at Atrium is expected to take place within the next three years.

'With the improved integrated asset plan and the enhanced direct connectivity from the Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange station to Level 3 of Plaza Singapura, the values of both assets are expected to increase,' he added.

He noted that the grade A office space at the Atrium is currently under-rented, which provides opportunities for value creation. The current office rentals are locked in at an average $5.87 per square foot per month (psfpm), resulting in an initial property yield of about 2.1 per cent.

Using the recent renewal of an office lease at Atrium at $13 psfpm as a gauge, Mr Pua said that there is room for average office rental to double to $10-12 psfpm by 2010-2011, even after taking into account rental cap conditions in certain anchor tenants' leases.

Assuming that all the office leases are being renewed at $10 psfpm today, the estimated property yield today will be about 4.5 per cent, Mr Pua said.

The majority of the leases - some 89 per cent of the total committed NLA - will be up for renewal in 2009 and 2010. Only 7.9 per cent of the total committed NLA is due for renewal this year.

The acquisition of the Atrium, brokered by CB Richard Ellis, is expected to be completed by end-August. The total acquisition costs, including other fees and expenses, will work out to $850 million.

CMT will fund it with the issuance of $650 million worth of convertible bonds and the balance from the $395 million proceeds from its medium term notes programme that it has issued.

Moody's yesterday affirmed CapitaMall's 'A2' rating but changed the outlook to negative, citing the increase in gearing ratio to 45 per cent from 35 per cent and other execution risks related to the redevelopment of Atrium.

But Mr Pua said that he is confident that the gearing ratio will come down soon.

The five-year convertible bonds (CBs) due 2013, which is fully underwritten by Goldman Sachs, has a coupon rate of one per cent, a yield to maturity of 2-3 per cent per annum and a conversion premium of 20-35 per cent over the share price. Even if the CBs are fully converted, the funding provides yield accretion on a stabilised basis, CMT said.

Yesterday, CMT was trading at $3.51, 12 cents lower than Wednesday's close before its units were halted, pending the announcement.

Unveiling Of URA Master Plan

Source : The Straits Times, May 19, 2008


THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will unveil the Draft Master Plan 2008 on Friday.

The new Master Plan is expected to make changes in land use, increase plot ratios as well as lay the groundwork for a much larger population of 6.5 million, which could be reached in as short a span of time as 20 years.

The country's planners are drawing up future development plans for housing, recreation, land transport and the economy's needs based on this new projection. The previous target was 5.5 million.

Related Link -
A Glimpse of the Big Picture
Source : Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)


The Draft Master Plan 2008 is the most important statutory plan used to determine land use and shape Singapore's physical development in the next 10 to 15 years.

This year's Master Plan is expected to focus on growth areas, rather than widespread upgrade in densities. Key sectors which are likely to benefit include hotels, aerospace, health care and transport.


Plans To Up Countryside Charm In Two Areas

Source : The Straits Times, May 21, 2008

Lim Chu Kang, Kranji to be developed into 'weekend refuge', with farm stays and spas

FANS of the lush farms in Lim Chu Kang and the serenity of Kranji's Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve can look forward to more outdoor activities in Singapore's small slice of countryside.

The goal is to turn the areas into a 'weekend refuge' for urbanites, said Mr Mah. (Above) Kranji farm resort. -- PHOTO: URA

Under a plan unveiled by National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan on Wednesday, Lim Chu Kang and Kranji have been earmarked for several new leisure activities, from kayaking to farm stays.

The goal is to turn the areas into a 'weekend refuge' for urbanites, said Mr Mah.

The blueprint is part of a bigger five-year review of the masterplan for Singapore's development, which will be announced tomorrow.

It will include a new emphasis on the laidback countryside charm of Lim Chu Kang, now dotted with 115 fish, goat and vegetable farms.

Three new sites will be released for the 'agri-tainment' business, a sector that includes farm stays, countryside spas and centres that teach urban dwellers the appeal of farming.

Read the full story in Thursday's edition of The Straits Times.

Credit Suisse Analysis On Singapore Property Sector

Link to the 92 Pages Full Report-

美国房价暴跌 比佛利山庄也撑不住了

Source : 中央社 May 21, 2008

美国楼市跌跌不休,过去一年幸免波及的加州比佛利山庄,如今也受到市场拖累。根据快讯信息系统20日公布的最新房价追踪调查显示,一向被好莱坞明星视为演艺成就、身家财产象征的比佛利山庄豪宅,4月份房价大幅下滑了12.8%。>>纽约楼市也挺不住了? 瑞银力挺美国楼市。


中央社报道,快讯公司的调查报告说,加州比佛利山庄(Beverly Hills)豪宅4月份房价大幅下滑了12.8%。比佛利山庄豪宅一向具有强劲的抗跌力道,截至今年3月以前,美国许多地区房价普遍滑落百分之20%至 30%之际,比佛利山庄依然是逆势上扬。尤其是拥有安全铁门管制的小区豪宅,由于能保护隐私,只要是挂出上市招牌,立即会被超过标价的价钱抢购。




面对跌跌不休的房价,长期预测美国楼市存在泡沫的经济学家席勒(Robert Shiller)23日发出警告,美国楼市这波衰退造成房价下跌的幅度,恐怕将超越美国经济大萧条时期的程度。

小印度酒店地段 没有发展商投标

《联合早报》May 22, 2008

位于小印度(Little India)地铁站上方的一幅酒店地段,在昨天截止的招标活动中,连一份投标书也没有收到,跌破市场人士的眼镜。


昨天招标截止的小印度地段,位于跑马埔路(Race Course Rd)和武吉知马路交界处。




昨天招标截止的小印度地段,位于跑马埔路(Race Course Rd)和武吉知马路交界处。它占地0.9公顷,可建筑面积为3万1140平方公尺,估计能够容纳500间客房。

地铁线在下方穿过 建筑工程增添难度



麦俊荣说:“其实这样子的事情发生,是迟早的事情。政府发放了许多‘正选地段(confirmed list)’,一旦市场情绪转向,迟早会没有人要出手。


实际上,去年底附近卖出的一幅白色地段,也不过吸引到两方人马出手。当时,这幅位于跑马埔路和仰光路(Rangoon Road)交界处,即花拉公园(Farrer Park)地铁站上方的白色地段,由一组医疗人员组成的财团买下,标价为2亿6527万元(即容积率每平方英尺约431元)。一般相信,该财团有意建造一个结合酒店和私人医院/医疗中心的综合项目。