Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A-Reit Targets $5b Portfolio Size By 2010

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

Unitholders approve issuing new units, convertibles to add to financing options

ASCENDAS Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) is looking to invest some $500 million in industrial properties and business space each year to reach its target portfolio size of $5 billion by the end of 2010.

Mr Tan: 'A-Reit's target to invest some $500 million in industrial and business space yearly is achievable.'

A-Reit will expand its portfolio through development projects and yield-accretive acquisitions.

The annual investment target is achievable, said Tan Ser Ping, CEO of A-Reit manager Ascendas Funds Management (S) Ltd. A-Reit's latest investment has been the $246.8 million purchase of 31 International Business Park, Creative Technology's headquarters building in Jurong East.

A-Reit unitholders yesterday approved a general mandate to issue new units or convertible securities in the financial year ending March 31, 2009. 'This mandate would provide A-Reit with the necessary financing flexibility to respond to market opportunities,' said Mr Tan.

Nevertheless, 'the manager does not expect any immediate need to utilise the mandate to either issue new equity or debt securities such as convertible bonds', he said.

To diversify funding sources, A-Reit is also putting in place a medium-term note issuance programme, Mr Tan told BT. This should be ready by the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter.

With a gearing level of around 38 per cent in March, A-Reit also has debt capacity for near-term investments, Mr Tan said. 'Access to capital is more difficult now, but ... the better Reits, including A-Reit, have still got strong support from banks. Our existing banking lines are intact.'

Mr Tan believes that rental growth for business and science park properties and hi-tech industrial properties will remain healthy in A-Reit's current financial year - rents for business and science park properties, for instance, are likely to grow by around 15 per cent.

However, he points out that uncertainty in the global economic environment will continue to cast a shadow over local conditions.

A-Reit units fell four cents yesterday to close at $2.21. CLSA issued a 'buy' call on the counter last week.

F&N To Revamp Management, Halts Search For Group CEO

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

APB's CEO to head group's food & beverage business

Local conglomerate Fraser & Neave (F&N) has halted its search for a group CEO and will put in place a new management and organisational structure in the coming months.

The reorganisation will see some key personnel take on expanded roles.

The current CEO of Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), Koh Poh Tiong, will join F&N as CEO of its food and beverage (F&B) business on Oct 1. He will drive the growth of this segment, which includes brewery, dairies, soft drinks and glass interests. These businesses are held through various wholly-owned and listed subsidiaries.

Mr Koh will also represent F&N's interest on the boards of APB and F&N Holdings in Malaysia.

CEO of properties Lim Ee Seng will continue to head that business. He will also formally chair the boards of F&N's property-related companies - Frasers Property (China) and Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management.

Mr Koh and Mr Lim, with CEO of publishing and printing Ng Jui Sia, will report to F&N's board through a newly created Chairman's Office. The office will coordinate reporting lines and provide corporate services support.

Chairman Lee Hsien Yang will remain in his current role.

'As chairman, Mr Lee will continue to oversee the board, strategic planning, management of relationships with the group's business partners, and succession planning,' an F&N spokesman said.

'His consultancy with F&N was unwound in January 2008 following the annual general meeting, and all his director's fees, which reflect his contributions as chairman, will be subject to shareholders' approval,' he said. Mr Lee received a pay package of $1.25 million earlier this year.

F&N has also engaged Morgan Stanley to assist in reviewing strategic options for its publishing and printing business and will provide further updates 'as and when appropriate'.

The reorganisation comes on the back of a review, which recognised the difficulty of recruiting someone with all of the skills necessary to realise the full potential of the group's businesses, F&N said in a statement yesterday.

The review also acknowledged 'the presence of management talent within the group' and 'the distinct characteristics of the group's two core contributors to profits, F&B and properties'.

Mr Lee said in yesterday's announcement that 'this new management and organisation structure will best serve the strategic interests of the F&N group with a CEO focused on driving each of our business areas'.

'This will secure the future advancement of the group which remains firmly committed to delivering continued growth, and a rebalancing of its portfolio by increasing the contribution to group profits from its F&B brands,' he said.

Mr Koh has been CEO of APB for 15 years and is credited with expanding the firm into a regional player with 30 breweries in 12 countries. The CEO of Heineken Russia, Roland Pirmez, will take over his role on Oct 1.

Mr Pirmez, 48, was general manager of APB associate Thai Asia Pacific Brewery Co from 1998 to 2002. He will join APB on Sept 1 as CEO-designate.

F&N shares closed two cents lower at $4.53 yesterday.

UK Mortgage Loans Fall To 9-Year Low In May

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

(LONDON) UK mortgage approvals fell to the lowest in at least nine years in May, a sign that the housing slump is deepening.

Mr King: Expecting extremely weak activity in the housing market

Banks granted 42,000 loans for house purchase, compared with 58,000 in April, the Bank of England said in London yesterday. The result was the lowest since the bank's series began in 1999. Economists predicted a reading of 51,000, according to the median of 26 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. House prices fell the most in seven years last month, Hometrack Inc said yesterday.

The UK's worst property downturn since the early 1990s is threatening to tip the economy into a recession. While Bank of England governor Mervyn King says there will be 'extremely weak activity' in the housing market, the fastest inflation in a decade is standing in the way of lower interest rates.

'For approvals to fall by so much in one month having already collapsed over the last year underlines the ferocity of the housing market slowdown,' said Alan Clarke, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in London. The report 'suggests the pace of house price declines will continue or even accelerate and the risks to economic growth have also risen'.

The dearth of credit and slowing economic growth pushed property values down one percent last month from May, the most since records by market researcher Hometrack began.

Trevor Williams, an economist at Lloyds TSB Bank plc, said yesterday's 'huge drop' in mortgage approvals shows first-time buyers have 'been abandoning the market almost completely'. Home loans in May were about one third of last year's peak.

UK banks are reining in lending following the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market, which so far has cost financial institutions worldwide US$400 billion in losses and writedowns.

Shares of property-related companies such as Taylor Wimpey plc and Bradford & Bingley plc have lost more than two thirds of their value this year. Taylor Wimpey, the UK's largest homebuilder, said yesterday it is in talks with investors to raise money as it writes down the value of land amid a 'sustained weak' housing market.

HBOS plc, the country's largest mortgage lender, and Bradford & Bingley are also turning to investors to replenish their balance sheets.

'There's no end in sight,' said David Tinsley, an economist at the National Australia Bank in London, who formerly worked for the UK central bank. 'With inflation remaining elevated, we're unlikely to see rate cuts. But even if we did, it probably wouldn't help much.'

Mr King said on May 14 that the country may experience the 'odd quarter or two' of contraction. The bank predicted that the annual rate of economic expansion will drop to around one per cent early next year, the lowest since 1992.

Consumer confidence fell 5 points to minus-34 last month, the least since 1990, GfK NOP Ltd said in a separate report. UK services output growth held at the weakest pace since 2002 in the three months through April as business services and finance contracted, the statistics office said yesterday.

At the same time, households are still adding to a record £pounds;1.4 trillion (S$3.79 trillion) in debt. Net consumer credit rose £pounds;1.4 billion in May, the most in three months, and credit card lending increased £pounds;0.6 billion, the Bank of England said yesterday.

In April, the Bank of England lowered the benchmark interest rate for a third time since last December to 5 per cent.

Commercial banks aren't passing that on to homeowners. The cost of a home loan fixed for two years with a 25 per cent deposit rose to 6.27 per cent in May, the highest since 2000, central bank data shows.

Faster inflation may make the central bank reluctant to lower rates further. Consumer prices jumped 3.3 per cent in May from a year earlier, the most in more than a decade, and Mr King said last week that the rate may exceed 4 per cent later this year.

The bank aims to keep the inflation rate at 2 per cent.

'The bank's clearly concerned about inflation in the near term,' said George Buckley, an economist at Deutsche Bank AG in London. 'But those concerns should give way to growth worries and next year people will talk about when the bank starts cutting rates.' - Bloomberg

S'pore Private Home Prices Little Changed In Q2

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

Singapore private home prices registered a third straight quarter of slower grow, rising just 0.4 per cent between April and June, in a further sign that a four-year boom in the republic's housing market has peaked.

Private home prices rose 3.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2008, after soaring 31 per cent in 2007 amid a housing boom fuelled partly by strong growth in the Singapore economy

The rise in the index was the smallest since the middle of 2004, underlining a fall in home sales as slowing economic growth and rising inflation dampen confidence in the real estate market.

'It's starting to turn into a buyers' market, as developers hold off on launches while homebuyers look for bigger discounts,' said Nicholas Mak, research head at property consultants Knight Frank in Singapore.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Tuesday that early estimates showed its price index for private residential properties rose to an unadjusted 177.9 points for the three months ended June from 177.2 at the end of March.

The 0.4 per cent increase marks a sharp slowdown from a rise in the index of 3.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

However, from a year earlier, the index was still up 20.4 per cent. House prices jumped 31 per cent in 2007.

The slowing housing market puts further pressure on developers such as CapitaLand , Keppel Land and City Developments , already been hit by a fall in private home sales to a five-year low in the first quarter.

Sales improved, however, in April and May as some developers cut prices.

The weakening property sector is a risk for local banks, which rely on building, construction and home loans for about 45 per cent of lending, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore shows.

Price increases for the mainly high-end homes within the core central region of the island saw the greatest moderation as foreign investors, who make up about half of the buyers in the segment, sought safer investments in other markets, Mr Mak said.

But demand from Singaporeans for cheaper housing continued to be relatively strong during the April-June period.

In a separate release, the government said resale prices for government-built flats, home to over 80 per cent of Singaporeans, gained an estimated 4.4 per cent in the April-June period, compared with a 3.7 per cent rise in the first quarter.

The advance estimates are compiled from transaction prices lodged during the first 10 weeks of the quarter as well as data from new apartments that have been booked. The URA will release the official price index in four weeks. -- REUTERS

Is Gallery Hotel On The Market?

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

THE Gallery Hotel in the River Valley area - the first 'funky' hotel in Singapore when it opened in 2000 - could go on the market soon, sources say.

BT understands that the hotel's owner has been talking to several parties with a view to appointing an agent to market the property.

But when contacted by BT, the chief executive of The Gallery Hotel Pte Ltd Ted Ngo said: 'At this moment, as far as I am concerned, there is no plan to sell Gallery Hotel or to appoint a marketing agent.'

The Gallery Hotel Pte Ltd, which manages the 223-room freehold hotel, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Robertson Quay Investment Pte Ltd (RQI) which owns the property.

Mr Ngo is also a director of RQI and his family is the company's controlling shareholder. Other RQI shareholders include the Ang and Lim families.

Industry observers polled by BT estimated a wide range of prices for the property at Robertson Quay - from around $450,000 to $900,000 per room. This translates to an absolute price range of about $100 million to $200 million.

Mr Ngo said that the hotel's average room rate so far this year is above $200, an improvement from almost $180 achieved last year, which was higher than the 2006 rate of close to $150.

He did not deny that there has been interest in the hotel.

'I have been getting unsolicited enquiries from all sorts of people since the passing away of my father (Ngo Kheng Hoon) in September 2006,' he said. 'I presume someone must be very keen to acquire our property and he is very persistent.

'Speaking on a personal basis, I don't see any reason why Gallery Hotel should be on the market. We are doing very well. Singapore is a hot spot for tourism. Our shareholders are getting fantastically good returns compared to just a few years ago. It is hard to get similar returns from other sources these days.'

The property was originally known as Gallery Evason Hotel when it opened in September 2000 but the Evason name was dropped in January 2002 when Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas, owner of the Evason brand and manager the hotel, dropped out.

A property consultant said: 'There is scope to add value to the property by refurbishing and repositioning it, which would create some upside for an investor. Because the hotel can be sold without an ongoing management contract, the asset may be more appealing to potential investors, who will be free to manage the hotel themselves or appoint an established hotel chain to operate it for them.'

2 BTO Projects Draw Only 111 On 1st Day

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

Response affected by changes in HDB's application process

THE Housing and Development Board launched two new BTO projects yesterday with a potential 1,587 flats. But at the end of the first day, only 111 applications were received - a big drop from previous launches this year.

Good value: Four-room flats will cost $223,000-$278,000 at Punggol Breeze (left) and $207,000-$275,000 at Fernvale Residence. The flats will come with all the flooring and fittings completed

The latest launch comprises mainly four-room flats in two projects - Punggol Breeze at Punggol and Fernvale Residence at Sengkang.

The response to BTOs has been affected since HDB changed the application process in May so first-time buyers who reject two offers lose their priority for a year.

But there were still 400 applications on the first day for 1,485 BTO flats at Compassvale Pearl and Punggol Sapphire that month.

Earlier, the 494-unit Punggol Spring BTO attracted 278 applications on the first day of the launch in February.

While the low number of applications this time around may suggest that buyers have become more cautious in light of the weakening global economy, property consultants believe it is more a reflection of the location of the projects.

Recent BTOs have been in the Punggol and Senkang area, says PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail. 'What people really want are different locations.'

ERA Realty Network assistant vice-president Eugene Lim added: 'It is too soon to launch another BTO in the same area.'

Still, Mr Ismail believes the launches are 'timely' because many young couples cannot afford resale flats. 'Resale flats are traditionally more costly, especially with the island-wide median cash over valuation standing at $20,000,' he said. 'Renovations and furnishings usually add to these costs too.'

As such, Mr Ismail expects Punggol Breeze and Fernvale Residence to be at least two-times subscribed - even with HDB's new policies in place.

Four-room flats will cost $223,000-$278,000 at Punggol Breeze and $207,000-$275,000 at Fernvale Residence.

Mr Lim reckons that with the new supply expected in Sengkang and Punggol, price increase for resale flats there could be limited.

Prices for Fernvale Residence and Punggol Breeze flats are about 20-30 per cent lower than resale flat prices, he said. 'This is good value as these are premium flats that come with all the flooring and fittings completed, and buyers have but to do minimal fitting out.'

Singapore's Real Estate Transparency Ranking Dips

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

JLL cites enhanced survey questions for slide from 9th to 11th position

SINGAPORE and Hong Kong now rank side by side in 11th position on Jones Lang LaSalle's (JLL) Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2008, down from joint ninth position when the index was last revealed in 2006.

However, JLL said the reason is not a change in market practices but enhancement of the survey questions.

The company's head of research (South East Asia) Chua Yang Liang said: 'Singapore remains one of the most transparent markets in Asia alongside Hong Kong. Among the five key attributes assessed in the survey - performance measurement, market fundamentals, listed vehicles, legal and regulatory environment, transaction process - both countries scored very well for their legal and regulatory environment. Together with Finland, they topped the global ranking for this sub-index.'

JLL said that in keeping with historical results, the Australian and US real estate markets remain among the most transparent in the world and now are joint-ranked second. But with the addition of new variables relating to the quality and frequency of valuations, service charge transparency and financing transparency, Canada now ranks as the world's most transparent commercial real estate market.

The index, which provides a framework for comparing the level of real estate transparency in 82 markets around the world, revealed that eight countries moved up a full transparency tier since the last index in 2006.

Dubai, Romania, Ukraine and Russia showed the biggest improvements in transparency over the past two years.

A number of countries in the frontier markets are included in the index for the first time, with Belarus, Sudan, Algeria, Cambodia and Syria all scored as 'opaque'.

Other new entrants to the index, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Abu Dhabi and Lithuania, scored in the 'semi-transparent' range, while Oman, Qatar, Morocco, Kuwait, Pakistan and Kazakhstan all scored in the 'low transparency' range.

The biggest improvers in Asia-Pacific were India, China and Vietnam. China (Tier-1 cities) showed the greatest improvement, moving up to the 'semi-transparent' tier to rank in 49th position.

Not all investors, however, target markets that are highly transparent.

LaSalle Investment Management global strategist Jacques Gordon said: 'Many cross-border investors focus on more mature, open and transparent real estate markets such as the UK, Canada, Netherlands and Hong Kong. However, opportunistic investors will consider the emerging, less mature, less open and semi-transparent markets, but will require higher returns to compensate for the higher risks associated with lower transparency.'

Tuan Sing Buys Katong Mall For $219m - ST

Source : The Straits Times, July 1, 2008

PROPERTY group Tuan Sing Holdings bought Katong Mall for $219 million yesterday, in the first major collective sale of the year.

The four-storey complex of strata-titled shops and other businesses is the first fully retail site to be sold collectively, said marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

The 78,158 sq ft site with a gross plot ratio of 3.6 went on sale at an indicative price of $220 million to $250 million.

Tuan Sing's price values the land for the 99-year leasehold mall at about $865 per sq ft, including a lease top-up of $24.5 million.

It bought the mall through its unit Golden Cape Investments.

JLL investments director Stella Hoh told The Straits Times that 'a few parties' - including large and small property groups - entered bids and expressions of interest but she declined to reveal names.

Savills Singapore director for business development Ku Swee Yong said the sale was likely to be one-off and not indicative of a broader market trend, while Knight Frank director for research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the deal was fairly priced given market conditions.

The mall went on sale in May amid some controversy.

Its public tender followed a contentious process from last September, when 35 minority owners claimed that they were not consulted in drawing up the collective sale deal.

They also took issue with the low reserve price - believed to be $180 million - and the fact that the sale was being conducted under the old rules and not the stricter new ones that took effect in October.

The owners also complained that two majority owners - Nustavino and Habitat Properties - had a potential conflict of interest as they were developers that could bid for the property. There were even questions raised during the tender launch over whether the consent of owners representing 80 per cent of the share value needed for the sale had been obtained.

Minority owner Robert Ong said the price was 'above what we had expected' but added that the minority owners could appeal against the sale to the Strata Titles Board.

Meanwhile, Tuan Sing already has a stake in the mall, obtained via an asset swop approved by its shareholders last month.

The mainboard-listed firm disposed of $107 million in loans owed by its associate Gul Technologies Singapore through an asset swop with the controlling shareholders of Tuan Sing for certain strata units in Katong Mall.

This involved 129 strata shop units with an aggregate purchase consideration of $63.1 million.

Tuan Sing said the deal allowed for a 'realistic and tangible recovery of the loans, although it would have to recognise a partial write-down' of about $44 million.

Tuan Sing Buys Katong Mall For $219m - BT

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

TUAN Sing has clinched the collective sale of Katong Mall for $219 million, which works out to a land price of $865 per sq ft of potential gross floor area including an estimated $24.5 million payable to the state to top up the site's lease to 99 years from a remaining 71 years.

In June, Tuan Sing did an asset swap with entities linked to its controlling shareholders - the Nursalim family - under which Tuan Sing got the Nursalims' 72 per cent of share values in Katong Mall and the Nursalims took over a loan Tuan Sing had extended to Gul Technologies Singapore, which is now its associate company.

Jones Lang LaSalle, which handled the collective sale of Katong Mall, said Tuan Sing was the highest bidder. 'There were a few other interested parties, some of whom placed bids and others submitted letters of interest,' said JLL director (investments) Stella Hoh.

The collective sale, announced yesterday, is subject to approval from the Strata Titles Board. So far, owners controlling more than 80 per cent of share values in the property have agreed to a sale.

JLL launched the tender on May 27.

Tuan Sing is expected to either redevelop Katong Mall into a full retail project or to refurbish the existing property. The property has a 78,158 sq ft land area and is zoned for commercial use with a 3.6 plot ratio - the ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area. No development charge is payable for a full commercial development.

Tuan Sing, once an active player in the Singapore residential sector, owns three adjoining office blocks in the Central Business District - Robinson Towers, the annexe to that property, and International Factors Building.

Overseas, it is developing a condominium in Pudong, Shanghai, which is slated for launch by year-end.

Central, Prime Condo Take-Up Rates Outpace Other Areas

Source : The Business Times, July 01, 2008

Softer H1 prices in these areas cited, pointing to strong latent demand: JLL

Softening condo and private apartment prices in the first six months of this year in the prime and central districts - the latter of which covers the financial district, Harbourfront area and Sentosa Cove - have been accompanied by a push in demand in these locations.

This, according to a study by Jones Lang LaSalle, has been reflected in the higher primary market take-up rates for properties in these locations.

'This suggests the presence of a strong latent market where potential buyers are waiting at the sidelines, eagerly buying up properties when the price is right,' Jones Lang LaSalle's head of research (Southeast Asia) Chua Yang Liang says.

JLL measured the take-up rate as the ratio of the number of non-landed private homes sold by developers to such homes launched by developers. It then compared these take-up rates against the average resale prices in four locations on the island - prime (districts 9, 10 and 11), central (districts 1-4), east coast (15 and 16) and mass market (all other districts).

The prime and central districts achieved relatively higher take-up rates of 87 per cent and 250 per cent respectively during H1 2008 compared with take-up rates of 67 per cent for east coast and 66 per cent for mass-market during the same period.

The prime and central districts also saw weaker price movement. The average resale price for prime districts in H1 2008 was 12 per cent higher than in H1 2007 but down 3 per cent from the figure for full-year 2007. In the central districts, the H1 2008 average resale price represented an improvement of 9 per cent year-on-year but was flat against the full-year 2007 figure.

In the east coast, the H1 2008 average resale price raced 20 per cent ahead against a year ago while mass-market locations topped the chart with a 25 per cent year-on-year price gain.

'The conservative attitude of buyers coupled with cautious outlook by developers will continue to moderate market performance in terms of take-up rates. Buyers are generally sensitive and cautious about prices.

'Developers are more likely to discount prices to maintain the demand, either through direct discounts of between 5 and 10 per cent on selling prices as we're already seeing, or absorption of other costs like stamp duty and furnishing vouchers,' Dr Chua reckons.

JLL's study also showed that amidst the overall quieter market the number of non-landed private homes bought by those living in HDB flats as well as those with private addresses fell in the first five months of this year.

However, there was an increase in HDB upgraders' share of total non-landed private homes bought (in both primary and secondary markets) during the first five months of this year in all locations.

This was the case even in the prime districts, where buyers with HDB addresses made up 16 per cent share of total private apartments/condos bought in January to May 2008. This was higher than a 10 per cent share for the whole of last year in this location.

Most of the HDB upgraders who bought a prime district property in the first five months of 2008 picked up a unit in District 9, mainly at new project launches like Wilkie 80 and Mount Sophia Suites, according to JLL.

HDB upgraders accounted for 33 per cent of non-landed homes sold in the east coast in the first five months of 2008, up significantly from a 21 per cent share in full-year 2007.

In the mass-market districts - the traditional haunt of upgraders buying private property - their share was 39 per cent in Jan-May 2008, up from 32 per cent in 2007. In the central districts, the upgrader share edged up from 16 per cent last year to 19 per cent in the first five months.

'Although prices in 2007 have moved past the average-income buyers' affordability, the current softer prices as well as stronger economic performance in 2007 have provided the impetus for many HDB upgraders in all locations,' Dr Chua notes.

'As HDB resale flat prices are likely to remain strong given limited supply, upgraders who benefit from the gain in the resale market are likely to enter into the private market. We reckon the percentage of upgraders is likely to grow by year-end if developers and sellers keep prices at realistic levels,' he added.

白沙浮地铁站附近白色地段招标 可建另一个“莱佛士城”

Source : 《联合早报》July 01, 2008

靠近白沙浮地铁站,即侨福广场(Parkview Square)后面的白色地段,昨天推出市场招标。市场人士估计,这幅位于梧槽路(Rochor Road)及奥菲亚路(Ophir Road)交界处的白色地段,身价很可能介于12亿元至15亿元。


这意味,这幅99年地契地段将能容纳大约495间酒店客房和150万平方英尺的商业楼面,规模足以媲美一个地铁站以外的莱佛士城(Raffles City),以及正在施工中的SouthBeach项目。








市建局昨天说,这幅梧槽路白色地段是滨海中心现有会议、办公与酒店设施的一个延伸,由于它也靠近充满历史特色的甘榜格南区,以及具文化、教育与娱乐特色的勿拉士峇沙(Bras Basah)区,所以很有潜能发展成为一个充满动力的商业中心,拥有多样化的娱乐、文化和休闲设施。




Source : 《联合早报》July 01, 2008



据消息透露,截至昨天傍晚,Kovan Residences已经卖出了大约100个单位。这个位于高文地铁站旁边的99年地契共管公寓,在上个周末举行了一个私人预览活动,只开放给发展商的商业伙伴和亲友订购,每平方英尺售价约900元。

至于一个星期前预售的碧山共管公寓——Clover by the Park,也在过去一个星期再接再励,卖出另外95个单位。发展商森联集团发言人昨天告诉本报,目前这个以每平方英尺平均750元推出的项目,已总共卖出195个单位。

森联在上个星期推出的The Amery,也在过去一个星期卖多11个单位,把售出单位提高到27个,即将近七成的销售率。这个位于直落古楼(Telok Kurau)的小型公寓只有39个单位,每平方英尺推出价格平均为860元。

至于和美投资与职总安居在一个星期前预售的达高轩(Dakota Residences),也在过去一个星期卖出60多个单位,把售出单位提高到140个。这个位于旧机场路附近的共管公寓,每平方英尺平均售价约970元。



尺价过千元项目 销量相形逊色


例如城市发展在赐福路(Shelford Rd)兴建的清风雅筑(Shelford Suites),以每平方英尺1500元至1600元推出,至今只卖出15个单位。这个靠近植物园地铁站(拟议中)的精品公寓,有77个单位,不过至今只推出其中25个单位。

至于联明集团在蒙巴登路兴建的OLA Residences,也在上周末以每平方英尺平均1200元推出。虽然售出单位不详,不过消息透露,反应一般。这个永久地契公寓,共有50个单位。



但过去两个星期来,几个项目纷纷传出捷报。单单是Kovan Residences、Clover、The Amery、达高轩,以及清风雅筑这五个项目,已经总共卖出477个单位。

此外,苏菲与雅山的Parc Sophia,以及靠近小印度地铁站的Suites 123,据说也有不错的销售反应。

建屋局在榜鹅和盛港 推出新预购组屋项目

Source : 《联合早报》July 01, 2008


它们分别是位于榜鹅的“Punggol Breeze”和盛港的“Fernvale Residence”,是政府在今年推出的第六和第七个预购组屋项目。根据建屋局网站,截至昨天下午5时,两个项目分别收到79和32份申请。

Punggol Breeze位于爱德菲尔坪(Edgefield Plains)和榜鹅通道(Punggol Drive)交界处,靠近计划中的榜鹅镇中心,毗邻榜鹅东轻轨环线的绿洲站(Oasis),附近有育德小学和培道中学。

Punggol Breeze的12座组屋,单位面积介于93到120平方米。四房式单位售价介于22万3000元和27万8000元,五房式单位售价介于31万5000元和38万2000元。价格比今年5月推出的Punggol Sapphire来得便宜。

Fernvale Residence位于盛港西大道和芬维尔路(Fernvale Road)交界处,毗邻芬微(Fernvale)轻轨站,以及备有湿巴刹、超市和食阁的芬微坊(Fernvale Point)。

该地段共建五座组屋,面积从68平方米到113平方米不等。三房式单位售价介于13万3000元和16万2000元,四房式介于20万7000元和27万5000元,五房式介于29万3000元和36万5000元,价格比5月推出Compassvale Pearl稍低。




公众可通过建屋局网站www.hdb.gov.sg申请预购Punggol Breeze和Fernvale Residence组屋,并可到建屋局中心3楼展示厅参观及索取销售资料。展示厅平日开放时间是上午8时至下午5时,星期六是上午8时至下午1时。



1,600 Premium Flats In Punggol, Sengkang For Sale

Source : The Strait Times, July 01, 2008

Latest projects bring total build-to-order homes to 4,500 - in bid to meet demand

THE Housing Board launched 1,587 premium homes in Punggol and Sengkang for sale yesterday, the latest in a series of launches intended to meet high demand.

Its new projects - Fernvale Residence in Sengkang and Punggol Breeze - come just a month after 1,500

build-to-order (BTO) homes were released in the two up-and-coming locations.

Yesterday's sale brings the total number of new homes launched under the BTO programme to 4,524 for the first half of the year.

And more homes are underway with the HDB launching the sale of a plum site on Lorong 1A Toa Payoh by tender under its Design, Build and Sell Scheme last week. This was the sixth since the first site was awarded in January 2006.

The HDB's aggressive sales programme follows concerns that its stock of flats had dipped to an all-time low just as increasing numbers of newly-weds were turning to new flats after being priced out of the resale market.

But the chief executive of property agency PropNex, Mr Mohamed Ismail, cautioned that demand for the latest projects might fall off somewhat with the release of so many new flats.

The HDB's latest offering at Punggol Breeze comprises 778 four-room units priced from $223,000 and 186 five-room flats, which will go from $315,000.

At Fernvale Residence, 55 three-room units, 444 four-room flats and 124 five-room homes will be built, with prices ranging from $133,000 to $365,000.

Construction of the premium flats - they have better finishes which make them slightly more costly - will begin only after a certain demand is reached.

Punggol Breeze is bounded by Punggol Drive and Edgefield Plains, and is served by Oasis LRT station, two stops from Punggol MRT station, where the future town centre will be built.

Fernvale Residence is at the junction of Sengkang West and Fernvale Road, a stone's throw from Fernvale LRT station and Fernvale Point.

The HDB website www.hdb.gov.sg yesterday showed 111 applications for both new projects. Applications close on July 14.

Models of the estates are on display at the HDB Hub Habitat Forum in Toa Payoh until the closing date.

Govt Puts Up Bugis Plot For Sale In Quiet Market

Source : The Strait Times, July 01, 2008

Appeal of 2.7ha site, near new Bugis MRT station, expected to draw bids over $1b

THE vacant U-shaped plot in Bugis used by art circus troupe Cirque du Soleil three years ago was put up for sale yesterday with a price expected in excess of $1 billion.

The prime 2.7ha site in front of Parkview Square could house a 40-storey office building, about 500 hotel rooms, as well as shops and homes.

There will also be direct basement level connections to the new Bugis MRT station that is being built to accommodate the upcoming Downtown Line.

The plot is designated a white site, meaning it can be used for different functions, such as residential or commercial.

Property consultants believe the white site's size, location and transport links will make it particularly appealing.

'Some developers will find it attractive as it is very big, which allows for various development and architectural options,' said Knight Frank's director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak.

But the cautious mood in the property market is likely to affect demand and bids, the consultants said.

They expect the 99-year leasehold white site to fetch anything from $1 billion to $1.4 billion, or between $600 and $813 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area.

A white site in nearby Beach Road was awarded to a City Developments-led consortium for $1.689 billion, or $1,068.6 psf of potential gross floor area, last September when the property market was buzzing.

'The Beach Road site is pricier as it is closer to the financial hub, and thus more attractive,' said a market watcher. 'Besides, the market is so much quieter now, compared with last year.'

Mr Mak said the Bugis plot could have fetched a similar price if it was launched during last year's property boom.

This is the first land parcel offered for sale in the Ophir-Rochor corridor, a new growth area that the Government hopes to turn into a commercial hub.

The Ophir-Rochor corridor, which is seen as a natural extension of the established convention, office, hotel hub at Marina Centre, is expected to become a busy mixed-use cluster, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.

Flanked by Kampong Glam and Beach Road, the area will also complement the financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay, URA said.

This planning vision dictates that at least 40 per cent of the total gross floor area of the U-shaped plot must be set aside for office use, while hotel and hotel-related uses should occupy at least 15 per cent.

The rest of the total gross floor area of about 160,000 sq m or 1.72 million sq ft can be used for more offices, hotel space, or shops and homes.

The URA, which unveiled plans for the Ophir-Rochor area last year, marketed the area's first available sale site at an annual global property event at Cannes in March this year.

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said an office development on the site should be built by 2013 and could offer city fringe office occupiers an option to upgrade or expand into a higher-grade building without moving into the Central Business District.

The tender closes on Dec 3.

Buyers wanted

# The prime 2.7ha site in front of Parkview Square can house a 40-storey office building, about 500 hotel rooms, as well as shops and homes.

# It is the first land parcel offered for sale in the Ophir-Rochor corridor, a new growth area that the Government hopes to turn into a commercial hub.

# The site can be used for different functions, such as residential or commercial.

Ophir/Rochor Rd White Site For Sale

Source : The Business Times, July 01, 2008

But developers are not expected to bid bullishly

A 2.7 hectare prime white site at Ophir/Rochor Road has been offered for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) - but developers are not expected to bid bullishly.

The site, in the new Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor, has been put on the confirmed list of the first-half 2008 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

And according to URA, it is a 'natural extension from the established convention, office, hotel hub at Marina Centre'.

But given current quiet market conditions and rising construction costs, property analysts say that developers are unlikely to bid strongly. Bids are expected to range between $600 and $900 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

Cushman and Wakefield managing director Donald Han believes the site does not compare with a 'super prime' Beach Road site awarded in September 2007 for $1,068.6 psf ppr.

He also said that with a North Bridge Road site already identified as part of the second-half GLS programme, 'developer and investor interest in the Ophir/Rochor Road site could be diverted'.

The new 'corridor' will be a 24/7 mixed-use area comprising integrated office, hotel, retail, entertainment and residential projects, according to URA.

'New developments in the Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor will inject vibrancy and activities into this part of the city and form a new office cluster for financial and business institutions that will complement the existing financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay,' it says.

The first development site for sale in the 'corridor' will have a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of about 160,000 sq m, (1,722,224 sq ft). At least 40 per cent of the total GFA is for office use, with at least 15 per cent for hotel and hotel-related uses. The remaining GFA can be for office, hotel or other complementary commercial and residential use.

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said that if awarded, the office development is likely to be ready in 2013 and could offer city-fringe office occupiers an option to 'upgrade or expand into a higher-grade quality building without moving into the CBD'.

Mr Li said that occupancy rates in the Beach Road/City Hall area remain strong at 93.3 per cent.

Although the market is subdued, sites on the confirmed list are generally expected to sell faster compared to those on the reserve list.

DTZ Debenham Tie Leung executive director Ong Choon Fah reckons the Ophir/Rochor Road site could appeal to developers who want to position a project 'differently'.

'Not everybody wants to be in Marina Bay,' she said.

Potential Lies In Building Townships

Source : The Business Times, July 1, 2008

KepLand's projects across the region will yield 54,500 housing units

TOWNSHIP developments in the region can offer large business potential. Tapping into this is Keppel Land, which currently has about 1,300 hectares of such projects across China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. These developments are slated to yield 54,500 residential units on completion, and have been launched or planned for launch.

Mr Ang: Building our presence entails a longer term strategy

Phase one of a 34-hectare township development in Shenyang, China could be next in line for release in 2009.

According to Keppel Land International's executive director and chief executive officer Ang Wee Gee, the property developer continues to actively pursue deals in Shenyang. 'We might be able to announce some interesting deals in the near future,' he said.

Mr Ang observed that residential prices in Shenyang have increased by an average of 10 to 15 per cent per annum over the last several years and the trend is likely to continue. This is a healthy growth rate because it is driven less by speculation, and more by demand for homes for occupation, he pointed out.

Future looks bright: Artist's impression of Keppel Land's Shenyang township development

What of the outlook for property developments in Vietnam? Some analysts have been bearish over falling sale prices and expect developers to delay launches. Keppel Land currently has 431 hectares of township developments which have been launched or planned for launch in Vietnam.

Mr Ang said Keppel Land's deals are 'above water' - it acquired seven sites in Vietnam last year on projections of lower selling prices before the property market peaked. 'If these projects are presented to us today, we will still proceed to acquire them,' he said.

Mr Ang also said that Keppel Land's property launches in Vietnam will proceed according to plan.

He believes fundamentals remain strong in growing economies such as Vietnam and China, and factors such as rapid economic growth and urbanisation will continue to boost demand for housing.

There may be short-term market fluctuations but 'we want to build our presence and that entails a longer term strategy,' said Mr Ang.

Keppel Land shares closed at $4.96 yesterday, down 7 cents or 1.4 per cent.