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SG Property auction sales maintain tepid pace

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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Singapore’s property auction market saw a total of S$3.9 million in sales closed in Q4 2013, down 15.1 percent in quarterly sales value from the previous quarter's S$4.6 million, revealed a Jones Lang LaSalle report.  

Nonetheless, the number of properties sold during auction rose marginally to four from three in Q3.

The report also noted that Q4 sales value declined 88.1 percent from the five-year quarterly average sales of S$32.7 million, or down 91.5 percent from the 10-year average quarterly sales of S$46.0 million.

On a yearly basis, the number of successful auctions fell 19.2 percent from 26 in 2012 to 21 in 2013. However, the corresponding total sales value soared 69.5 percent to S$99.6 million from S$58.7 million in 2012.

The increase “is primarily due to a higher number of large deals closed in 2013”, said the report. 

Meanwhile, the number of residential properties listed in Q4 was higher than the combined number of commercial and industrial properties. However, properties sold during auction in the recent two quarters all came from the industrial segment.

Moving forward, “mild and gradual recovery is expected in the coming quarter”, with the majority of players believing that market fundamentals remain strong, said Mok Sze Sze, Head of Auction and Sales at Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Increase in sales volume compared to 2013 is predicted as buyers and sellers seek ways to absorb the additional costs incurred due to the cooling measures.”

“In the near term, the auction market is likely to gain back the sales momentum and recover at a faster pace as investment sentiment improves. Generally speaking, we expect higher success rate and better market performance in 2014.”

SG Singapore's Q4 GDP grew 4.4%

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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Singapore's economy grew by 4.4 percent on a year-on-year basis in Q4 2013 compared to 5.9 percent in the previous quarter, revealed advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). 

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy contracted by 2.7 percent, a reversal from the 2.2 percent expansion in the previous quarter. 

For the whole year, the economy is estimated to have grown by 3.7 percent.

This is in line with MTI's growth forecast of 3.5 to 4.0 percent for 2013.

SG Prime office segment ends year on bright note

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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Singapore’s office property market ended 2013 on a firm footing with rents, occupational rates and capital values on the uptrend, said a report from Colliers International.  

As of December, average monthly gross rents of premium and Grade A office space in the CBD increased 2.2 percent quarter-on-quarter to reach S$8.72 psf, the highest level in two years.

On an annual basis it climbed 2.9 percent, reversing a 6.9 percent contraction seen in 2012. 

The report noted that “the average occupancy rate of Grade A office space across the different micro-markets held relatively firm in Q4 2013”, rising by up to 2.2 percentage points quarter-on-quarter.

Marcus Loo, Executive Director of Office Services at Colliers, said while there is continued strong demand for premium grade office space driven by tenants’ flight to quality, secondary office space in older buildings is also recording good take-up. 

“The absorption of such office space was driven by both existing tenants expanding their space requirements within the building and new tenants relocating to the locality.” 

Overall, the average occupancy rate of premium and Grade A office space in the CBD went up 0.4 percentage points in Q4 to 93.9 percent.

Meanwhile, average capital values of premium and Grade A office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-marketclimbed 1.0 and 0.2 percent in the quarter to S$2,667 and S$2,395 psf respectively.

This is the first time that average capital values in that segment’s micro-market witnessed positive growth since Q4 2011. 

According to Chia Siew Chuin, Director of Research & Advisory at Colliers, the near-term outlook for office leasing is bright as most economic and market indicators seem positive.

There is potential for rents to grow another 10 to 15 percent in 2014, while office capital values will likely remain stable with marginal upsides of up to five percent, she added.

SG Singapore jeweller buys Melbourne property for S$46.5m

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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Singapore-based jewellery group Aspial Corporation has made its first major foray into the overseas property market with the acquisition of 383 King Street in Melbourne (pictured) from MWM Australia for A$41.5 million (S$46.5 million).  

Strategically located directly opposite Flagstaff Gardens, 383 King Street is a freehold commercial development comprising a ground level and nine upper office levels, including two levels of basement carpark. The site has a land area of about 2,206 sq m and a lettable area of around 13,136 sq m.

The building features wide frontage while the higher floors offer panoramic views of Flagstaff Gardens and North Melbourne. It is also within proximity to Queen Victoria Market as well as Melbourne's central shopping area. 

“This acquisition is significant as it marks our first major acquisition in our overseas expansion. We see great potential in Australia's property market and firmly believe that this property presents tremendous opportunity for the group,” said Aspial’s CEO Koh Wee Seng.

He added that the company is currently exploring various options for the property, which includes redevelopment for mixed commercial and residential use. 

The sale will be financed through the group’s internal resources and borrowings, and is expected to be completed this month.

SG 高力国际:去年升2.9% 新加坡第四季办公楼租金两年来最高

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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经济景气,新加坡办公楼市场持续复苏,去年第四季平均租金为过去两年来最高。这也带动了去年办公楼租金转跌为升,比前年涨了2.9%。

国际房地产咨询公司高力国际(Colliers)新出炉的季度报告显示,新加坡各个地区的办公楼租金都上涨,使到去年第四季的优质和甲级办公楼的平均租金比第三季多出了2.2%,达到每月每平方英尺8.72元,为过去两年来的最高办公楼租金水平。这也让新加坡去年的全年办公楼平均租金扭转了前年的跌势,从前年下跌6.9%,在去年转而上涨2.9%。

报告指出,促使新加坡办公楼市场好转的主要几个因素,包括了外在经济状况改善,企业看好亚洲增长前景,以及对新加坡作为全球和亚洲枢纽的信心提升。"去年第四季有越来越多公司扩大它们在新加坡的业务,包括来自银行及金融服务业、保险业和资讯和通信业等公司。其中一些公司需要更大的办公空间、对办公楼要求也提高了,这都有助于一些新建办公楼取得租赁合约。"

去年领涨的是莱佛士坊/新市区的优质办公楼,第四季环比增长3.8%至每月每平方英尺10.30元,使到这地区的全年办公楼租金上扬8%,是表现最出色的地区。其他表现不错的地区还括了市郊、珊顿道/丹戎巴葛和美芝路的办公楼,它们的月租上扬4.5%至5.0%,全年涨幅5.6%至6.6%。

高力国际办公楼服务执行主管劳耀萳表示,租赁活动去年下半年开始活跃起来,虽然企业仍对市场前景抱持谨慎态度,不过信心已逐渐恢复,办公楼空间需求因此变得强劲,使到业主能不断调高他们的租金目标。

在租用率方面,第四季的甲级办公楼平均租用率上扬2.2%。其中,莱佛士坊/新市区的新办公楼完成了数项租约,包括booking.com租用滨海湾金融中心第三大厦4万5000平方英尺的办公楼空间,以及金融服务公司Citco租用亚洲广场2号大楼1万1000平方英尺空间等。这也使到这地区的办公楼租用率从前季下跌6.5个百分点,转而在第四季微涨0.5个百分点,报87.5%。

展望办公楼市场2014年走势,高力国际认为,新加坡政府致力于推动新加坡成为环球商业枢纽、财富管理和贸易中心,以及支持法律服务、能源企业和金融和保险业等发展,这都将为办公楼市场提供支持,并延续其涨势。高力国际研究与咨询部主管谢岫君则预测,办公楼租金今年能够上扬大约10%到15%。不过在销售活动方面,谢岫君认为,由于政府去年出台的一些房地产条例与利率可能上扬等因素,投资者今年可能面对更具挑战性的市场。她说:"低空置率和逐渐上扬的租金水平所带来的更高租金回报,或许能平衡预期更高的办公楼投资成本。我们预计今年办公楼资产值将保持平稳,全年上涨空间可达5%。"

SG 去年第四季新加坡组屋、公寓双双下跌 组屋跌幅加大

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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建屋发展局(HDB)昨天公布的预估数据显示,去年第四季组屋转售价格指数从第三季的204.8点,滑落到202.1点。比第三季下跌1.3%,创下2005年以来最大的季比跌幅。这是组屋转售价格指数连续第二个季度下滑。该指数在去年第三季曾出现四年来的首次下滑,季比跌幅是0.9%。组屋转售价格上次季比跌幅超过1%是在2005年第二季,当时季比下跌4.8%。

另一方面私宅价格也调头向下,上一季私宅价格下跌0.8%,没有延续去年第三季的0.4%涨幅,当时私宅价格指数达到新高。不过以全年来说,私宅价格继续攀升,涨幅为1.2%。这也是自2008年以来,私宅价格涨幅最低的一年。

市区重建局(URA)预估数据显示,上一季跌幅最大的是高档地区,下滑2.2%;大众私宅和中档私宅价格分别下跌0.6%和上涨0.8%。

房地产分析师预计,今年的转售组屋和私宅价格都将继续走低。转售组屋方面,由于价格下滑,一些买家可能重返公开市场,交易量预计会比去年高。博纳集团总裁伊斯迈ERA产业主要执行员林东荣都估计,今年全年转售组屋价格将下跌5%至8%。

现金溢价方面,新加坡房地产联合交易网(SRX)数据显示,截至上月15日,去年第四季组屋转售整体现金溢价中位数只有1万元,比前年同期下滑2万4000元,跌幅达70%。

多数地区的组屋转售价去年都呈现下滑趋势,但也有个别组屋区的价格继续坚挺。例如红山的三房式单位去年第四季转售价中位数是39万9000元,比第一季高9000元;四房式单位第四季转售价中位数是66万5000元,也比去年首季高1万6000元。

组屋转售价格走下坡,令一些人担忧市场未来走势。林东荣则预计,近期不会再有新的降温措施,"因为政府不会想让任何措施在短期内造成价格大跌。"他也相信,随着建屋局今年把三房式和更大预购组屋的供应减少18%,转售市场买家可能增多,交易量会比去年提高8%至10%。

建屋局将在本月24日公布第四季组屋转售市场的详细数字,届时去年全年的转售组屋交易量将会出炉。

根据SRX数据,截至12月中,去年的组屋转售交易量只有1万7360宗(不包括一房和二房式组屋),比前年锐减三成。这意味去年全年的总交易量,很可能跌破两万宗,创下90年代末以来的最低水平。

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SG PM Lee's 2014 New Year message forecasts strong economic growth

Property Here - Thursday, January 02, 2014

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The Singapore economy grew 3.7 percent in 2013, better than initially expected, revealed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his New Year message. 

This year, he said the economy is expected to grow by two to four percent.

He added that while the country encountered a few rough spots in 2013, Singaporeans still managed to come through together.

In fact, the median salary rose 3.9 percent while salaries for the lower-income group also increased.

“We will share the fruits of progress more widely, including through home ownership schemes and support for low wage workers,” PM Lee said. 

“We are making steady progress. The first-timer queue for HDB flats has shortened, housing prices have stabilised, and targeted subsidies have made homes more affordable.”

“We are transforming our physical environment: Opening new train lines and expressways, and working through their teething problems; in the longer term expanding Changi Airport, reclaiming land for Tuas Port, and planning the Southern Waterfront City.”

As for the foreign worker situation, he explained that the country will be taking a balanced approach – reducing but not cutting off their inflow since they are needed to keep the economy running and to build critical infrastructure such as homes, schools and MRT lines. 

“We will continue to treat foreign workers fairly, but we expect them to obey our laws and social norms,” he noted, highlighting that the recent riot in Little India was “inexcusable”. 

He said that the riot reminded all Singaporeans that they can never take good order, peace and stability for granted. 

Overall, “provided nothing untoward happens in Asia, I am confident that Singapore will do well”.

SG Industrial property market likely to be subdued this year

Property Here - Thursday, January 02, 2014

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The industrial property market is expected to be subdued this year following a fairly eventful 2013, a media report said quoting market watchers.

Notably, the cooling measures introduced last year were more aligned towards end users.

“Generally there were some measures introduced by the government with the intention to support industrialists over speculators,” said Desmond Sim, Associate Director at CBRE Research.

They include the Seller’s Stamp Duty, Total Debt Servicing Ratio, a longer holding period for industrial properties on JTC-leased sites and an extension of the minimum occupation period for anchor tenants.

Chia Siew Chuin, Research Head at Colliers International, noted that the measures did not only prevent a runaway in industrial property prices and rents, it also helped rein in the real estate cost of industrialists.

In 2014, the industrial property market is expected to see a moderation in rentals as well as strata sales.

“Industrial property prices and rents could soften in 2014 – on the back of new market measures, loan policy tweaks and higher supply amid a cautiously optimistic economic outlook and industrialists' continued cost-conscious stance,” Chia said.

Based on URA data, around 20.9 million sq ft of industrial space is due to come onstream.

“While demand might be buoyed by a recovering manufacturing sector, there is the possibility that it might not be able to digest the high level of future and existing supply available,” said CBRE’s Sim, noting that industrial rents are also expected to face downward pressure.

Aside from sifting out most speculators, property measures may also lead to a more stable strata sales market, he added.

Overall, the situation is unlikely to be too different from 2013.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Mak, Head of Research and Consultancy at SLP International, said: “We don't expect much change in the industrial property market landscape.”

SG S'pore developers suffer worst performance in 2013

Property Here - Thursday, January 02, 2014

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After posting the highest gains in 2012, Singapore’s developers recorded the worst performance on the Straits Times Index in 2013 as property cooling measures slowed price gains and pushed down home sales, media reports said. 

Ranked the most expensive city to purchase luxury homes in Asia after Hong Kong, property stocks in Singapore are expected to languish further this year.  

Chesterton Singapore expects home sales to decline 10 percent while prices may drop for the first time in two years.  

With the measures which included stamp duties and other taxes on home buying, the country’s residential developers were rated underweight by UBS AG and Citigroup in the last two months. 

Even the two largest Singapore-listed developers, CapitaLand and City Developments, were among the three worst performers on the index. 

City Developments fell 25 percent in 2013 compared to a 45 percent gain the year before while CapitaLand dropped 18 percent following a 67 percent increase in 2012. 

“Singapore property developers have been out of fashion for some time,” stated Tim Gibson, Head of Asian Property Equities at Henderson Global Investors.

“We would remain cautious of developers with exposure to the residential sector, given that demand for primary units have cooled post the numerous rounds of government measures.”

Notably, the dip in property stocks saw the Straits Times Index dip 0.4 percent, the only decline among developed markets in 2013.

Nonetheless, developers could get a reprieve following the government’s announcement to reduce the number of land sites sold in 1H2014, said SLP International Property Consultants, citing its analysis of URA data. 

Nicholas Mak, Executive Director of Research & Consultancy at SLP Singapore, said the decrease “could bring some relief to developers who have unlaunched residential projects or projects with substantial number of unsold units”. 

“The reduction in land supply could be to prevent an oversupply in the private housing market.”

SG HDB resale prices fell 1.3% in Q4

Property Here - Thursday, January 02, 2014

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HDB resale flat prices fell 1.3 percent in Q4 2013, according to flash estimates from the housing board.

Year-on-year, this is a reversal from the 2.5 percent increase reported in the last quarter of 2012. 

For the whole of 2013, this is also the biggest drop seen in the market, HDB data revealed.

In comparison, resale flat prices fell 0.9 percent in Q3, and increased 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent in Q2 and Q1 respectively.

More detailed public housing data for Q4 2013 will be released on 24 January.