Weekly News Select

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Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47Top News for the Week From condo flippers to homebuyers: Are buying patterns shifting for foreigners inSingapore's real estate?The Linq @ Beauty World sells 96% of residential units in digital launchNew home sales set to rise after falling in Oct on fewer launches, options curbGuillemard site sold for S 93m in year's biggest private residential dealSingapore, 14 countries ink world's largest trade pactSingapore will likely see Budget deficit next yearSingapore chips demand may last despite shock October export dipSingapore's Emerging Stronger Taskforce forming new coalition to focus on medtech'I've got you covered': 3 insurers offer plans for visitors to SingaporeResidentialFrom condo flippers to homebuyers: Are buying patterns shifting for foreigners inSingapore's real estate?Foreign buying has always been a major force driving real estate markets across the world, andSingapore is no exception. But increasingly, many in the property sector are observing that moreforeign buyers now see their Singapore residential property as a home rather than just a quick flip.Anecdotal evidence points to a structural change in how foreigners regard their residential homeownership here, with more buying to stay rather than as an investment with quick returns.The level of speculative activity in private homes has come down over the years. Even forSingaporeans, there is a shift in mentality that one has to hold for the medium to long term in orderto make money, says Lee Sze Teck, Huttons Asia director, research.While mainland Chinese buyers dominate the international contingent - and have done so for someyears now, many of the Chinese buyers are already living in Singapore. Some are expatriatesworking for the rapidly growing number of Chinese companies which have set up operations here,says Mr Lee.Link to the shifting-forforeigners-in-singaporesThe Linq @ Beauty World sells 96% of residential units in digital launchMixed-use development The Linq @ Beauty World sold 115 out of 120 apartments over theweekend, in a Covid-19-era, tech-enabled launch.The project, at Beauty World MRT station, includes two floors of shops and a 20-storey residentialblock.Units fetched between S 2,150 and S 2,200 per sq ft on average, mainboard-listed constructiongroup BBR Holdings said.Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47The bulk of the apartments - which ranged from one- to four-bedders - went to Singapore citizensand buyers from neighbouring Hillview, Dairy Farm and Upper Bukit Timah.Link to the ts-in-digital-launchNew home sales set to rise after falling in Oct on fewer launches, options curbDevelopers' private home sales halved in October over the preceding month amid a paucity of newlaunches and an official clampdown on the re-issuance of options to purchase (OTPs) bydevelopers.However, property consultants are predicting a recovery in primary-market private home sales inNovember and December with upcoming launches.These include The Landmark in Chin Swee Road, Ki Residences at Brookvale in the Sunset Waylocale, Phoenix Residences in Phoenix Avenue (off Choa Chu Kang Road) and Clavon in ClementiAvenue 1.Data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) based on its survey of licensedhousing developers showed that 642 new private homes were sold in October, 51.7 per cent fewerthan the 1,329 units sold in September. Year on year, developers' private home sales shrank 31.1per cent from 932 units in October 2019.In all, developers released just 423 new units last month, a drop of 68.4 per cent from the 1,340units in September and the lowest monthly figure since December 2019, when 370 units werereleased.The curbs on re-issuance of OTPs by developers - unveiled on Sept 28 - were also behind the sharpslowdown in developers' sales last month."Some buyers, though they belong to the group who do not need re-issuance of OTP to make theirpurchase, waited on the sidelines to see if developers will adjust their prices," said Huttons Asiaresearch director, Lee Sze Teck.On a more optimistic note, Huttons' Mr Lee said: "Buyers who aspire to upgrade their lifestyletook advantage of the buoyant conditions in both the HDB and private resale segments to markettheir properties for sale."There was a noticeable increase in resale activities in October vis-a-vis September, and this willtranslate to higher new private home sales once the resale transactions are completed and fundsare in."Links to the lve-in-oct-after-options-curbsGuillemard site sold for S 93m in year's biggest private residential dealIn what would be Singapore's largest private residential transaction in the year to date, mainboardlisted property and hospitality group Roxy-Pacific Holdings is set to acquire a freehold residentialdevelopment site for S 93 million.Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47Located at 217-223A Guillemard Road and 1-21A Jalan Molek, the property occupies a total landarea of about 37,131 sq ft.At the moment, there are 15 adjoining two-storey terrace houses on the site with a baseline grossfloor area of around 77,071 sq ft.Written permission has been obtained for the proposed construction of a part-five, part-eight-storeyresidential development of 137 units.Link to the ivate-residentialdealSingapore housing market a safe haven amid pandemicHome sales in Singapore so far in this pandemic-ravaged year have exceeded expectations amid alower-for-longer rates environment and a still-low unemployment rate - a phenomenon alsoplaying out in some other countries.Cash-rich buyers have pushed new homes sales for the first 10 months of 2020 to 8,021, as theunemployment rate rose to 3.6 per cent in September from 3.4 per cent in August. Economiststhink the unemployment rate will stay sub-4 per cent for the full year. The 8,021 volume is 4.5 percent lower than the 8,401 units sold in the first 10 months of last year.Projections for full-year sales range from 9,000 to 9,500, which some find comforting given thecurrent health and economic crisis. Last year, developers sold 9,912 units.With the strong volume, some expect that private residential property prices for 2020 as a wholemay end in positive territory after prices rose 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3, nudging theoverall price index up 0.1 per cent year-to-date. In comparison, prices increased by 2.1 per cent inthe first three quarters of last year.The pandemic has brought home the safe haven that is Singapore. And for some, it is the only assetworth owning.Link to the -a-safe-havenamid-pandemicGeylang landed homes to make way for HDB flatsIn a first for residential properties in Singapore, 191 two-storey terraced houses in Geylang Lorong3 that are set to be returned to the state upon their lease expiry will be demolished to make way forfuture public housing.Demolition works are expected to start in the third quarter of next year and will be completed bythe first quarter of 2023, according to tender documents seen by The Straits Times.The 37 families still living there are expected to hand back their homes to the Singapore LandAuthority (SLA) by the end of this year with no compensation.This is the first time a residential plot of land in independent Singapore has reached the end of itslease. The 70-year leasehold private houses in Jalan Chempaka Kuning and Jalan Chempaka Puteh,near Tanah Merah MRT station, are the next in line to reach expiry, in 2034. There are at least twoHuttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47other private residential areas - Fuyong estate in Upper Bukit Timah and homes in Rifle RangeRoad - with less than 40 years left on the lease.Link to the een interest in 5,795 BTO flats up for sale in five estatesA total of 5,795 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats spread across seven housing projects in five estateswere launched for sale by the Housing Board yesterday in the final sales exercise for the year.Interest was so high that HDB's website saw heavy traffic yesterday evening. Some flat applicantsalso faced issues when submitting their applications online.The exercise's biggest project is the Bishan Ridges, where 1,502 two-room flexi, three-room andfour-room flats are on offer.Besides Bishan, the other flats are spread across the mature towns of Toa Payoh (Bidadari) andTampines, and the non-mature towns of Sembawang and Tengah.In February next year, HDB will launch some 3,500 flats in Bukit Batok, Tengah,Kallang/Whampoa and Toa Payoh (Bidadari).Another 3,800 flats will be offered in Bukit Merah, Geylang, Tengah and Woodlands next May.Links to the strong-demandRetailOrchard Road malls keep decorations simple for ChristmasOrchard Road malls are keeping it simple for the peak shopping season, scaling down Christmasdecorations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.The Orchard Road Business Association, which organises the annual light-up on the street, hadearlier said that while the light-up remains as bright this year as in previous years, safe-distancingmeasures mean there will be no street-level activities like pop-up stores and performances.Although Christmas downtown is less glitzy this year, malls have come up with innovative waysto ring in the Yuletide season.Link to the hristmasGovernmentSingapore, 14 countries ink world's largest trade pactThe world's largest trade pact was inked by ministers from 15 countries including Singapore, in amove likely to spur the region's economy as it battles its worst crisis in decades.Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47Building on existing free trade deals among members, the Regional Comprehensive EconomicPartnership (RCEP) will broaden and deepen economic linkages across the Asia-Pacific, ease tradein goods and services, facilitate the flow of foreign investments, and enhance protections in areassuch as e-commerce and intellectual property.RCEP members account for 30 per cent of the world's economy and one-third of its population.They comprise all 10 Asean members and key partners Australia, China, Japan, South Korea andNew Zealand.It will eliminate tariffs for at least 92 per cent of goods, with additional preferential market accessfor exports. The flow of goods will also be faster.More companies will be able to provide services in the region, with foreign shareholding limitsraised for at least 50 sub-sectors including professional services, telecommunications and financialservices.Businesses will also find it easier to navigate and integrate into regional value chains.Links to the nMore Covid-19 time relief for HP, property dealsTemporary Covid-19 relief for options-to-purchase as well as sale and purchase agreements withproperty developers will now be extended until until March 31 next year, instead of its originalDec 31, 2020 expiry.This was announced by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) in a press release.The extension will assist purchasers of residential, commercial and industrial properties whorequire more time to make their payments, particularly those who pay developers directly withouttaking a bank loan, with minimal impact to developers' cash flow.It will also allow developers and purchasers to seek temporary protection from being sued duringthe relief period, if they are unable to perform any contractual obligations due to Covid-19.Links to the period-extended-for-some-commercial-contractsMore support for growing precision engineering sectorThe growing precision engineering sector here will benefit from new enhancements to a schemethat helps companies of all sizes - and even those from other sectors - to build partnerships, saidMinister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.To this end, the enhanced Pact scheme will be available until March 2022. It provides firms withsupport to develop capabilities and their business through partnerships with others. The schemehas supported more than 280 projects from over 1,500 firms since it was introduced in 2010.With the new enhancements, the support rate for firms for qualifying costs will be increased fromthe current 50 per cent to 70 per cent for manpower categories. It will also go up to 50 per cent forHuttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47all other cost categories. Support levels now stand at 50 per cent for equipment and 30 per centeach for materials, software and professional services.The scheme's coverage will also be extended to support the qualification of new suppliers and newor existing products.Links to the rm-offset-costsSingapore will likely see Budget deficit next yearSingapore is unlikely to see a Budget surplus next February, given the ongoing economic crisis,and even a balanced Budget will be very hard to achieve, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.In fact, it may take some time for Singapore to return to "prudence and balanced Budgets", headded.He was responding to Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, who had asked if theGovernment will run a Budget deficit for some time, given that Singapore has drawn 52 billionfrom its reserves to see the country through the crisis.Links to the -pmNew integrated hospital in Bedok to open around 2030Residents in the east of Singapore will be served by a new integrated hospital located next to BedokNorth MRT station when the facility opens around 2030.Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced that the hospital will be built on a plot of land boundedby Bedok Reservoir Road and Bedok North Road.The general hospital will provide emergency services as well as inpatient and specialist outpatientservices, while the community hospital will offer intermediate services such as rehabilitation andsub-acute care to support patients discharged from the general hospital.SingHealth will operate the new hospital in Bedok, which will help to better serve the healthcareneeds of the community in the east of Singapore, Mr Gan said.Link to the 2030EconomySingapore-Shandong trade surges to US 3.6b in Jan-Sept this yearTwo-way trade between Singapore and Shandong province in eastern China more than doubledfor the first nine months of this year to US 3.6 billion, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat said this atthe 22nd Singapore-Shandong Business Council (SSBC) meeting, as he acknowledged theHuttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47resilience of the partnership and highlighted ways for Singapore and the province to deepencooperation.The bilateral trade figures, provided by the Shandong Department of Commerce, included tradingactivities by Singapore companies which imported from Shandong food and medical supplies suchas surgical masks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.Mr Chee also noted in his speech that Shandong is now Singapore's fifth largest Chinese provincialdestination for investment, with the Republic injecting some US 750 million in foreign directinvestment into the province last year across 70 projects.Links to the n-chee-hong-tatCompanies could take over two years for business to return to normal: pollSingapore companies could take more than two years to return to business as usual, a regular pollfrom The Business Times has shown.The corporate outlook rose from a second-quarter trough and returned in the third quarter to levelslast seen at the start of the year, according to the quarterly BT-SUSS Business Climate Survey, atie-up with the Singapore University of Social Sciences.Half of the 156 respondents believed sales would return to pre-pandemic levels by Q3 2021.Yet recovery also looks like an uphill slog, and it could take until Q4 2022 for the pick-up to extendto nine in 10 companies, the survey found.Link to the siness-toreturn-to-normal-pollEnvironmental services job fair offers 350 positionsMore than 350 job vacancies in about 20 organisations are on offer at the event, which is runningat the Hong Kah North Community Club.The jobs range from waste collection truck captain to waste or recycling facility operationsexecutive, with 20 per cent of the vacancies for professionals, managers, executives andtechnicians (PMETs).The fair is organised by Hong Kah North Grassroots Organisations in partnership with the WasteManagement and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS).Link to the gapore chips demand may last despite shock October export dipShipments of integrated circuits ebbed in October, catching economy watchers off guard afterearlier signs of an export growth rebound in Singapore's linchpin electronics cluster.Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47Still, the electronics sector is expected to overcome trade tension speed bumps and continue itsglobal upswing to drive the underlying pick-up in non-oil domestic exports (NODX).Despite a year-ago low base, NODX shrank by 3.1 per cent year on year in October - reversing the5.8 per cent increase seen in September and breaking a four-month winning streak. The main dragcame from non-electronics exports, which were down 3.9 per cent in October, against a rise of 1.7per cent in September, according to figures put out by trade agency Enterprise Singapore.The decrease - which followed a 21.4 per cent expansion in September - came on the back of the12.8 per cent slide in integrated circuits.Links to the on-oil-exports-in-octPrudential plans to hire up to 500 more financial consultants in 2021Prudential Singapore said it plans to hire more mid-career individuals and fresh graduates amidthe Covid-19 downturn.The life insurer intends to hire up to 500 more financial consultants in 2021 than this year, as the"current health crisis has triggered growing awareness of and interest in insurance", it said in apress statement.The new hires will include up to 200 mid-career individuals selected for its new S 1 million talentmanagement programme, slated to launch in January next year. Eligible candidates will undergo atwo-year training programme, including a 12-month competency and skilling course, Prudentialnoted.The course covers both soft and hard skills such as technical training, product knowledge,leadership development, effective communications and social media content creation.Links to the sultants-next-yearSingapore's Emerging Stronger Taskforce forming new coalition to focus on medtechA new industry-led coalition focusing on medtech could create 4,000 new jobs, mostly in the areasof in-vitro diagnostics for disease preparedness, containment and control.The coalition is one of many created in recent months under the purview of the Emerging StrongerTaskforce (EST), part of the Future Economy Council.Dr Loo is one of the members of the EST. Together with newly appointed members FidahAlsagoff, joint head, Enterprise Development Group and head, Life Sciences, TemasekInternational, and Amos Leong, president and CEO of Univac Group, the three are heading up thenew coalition.Said Dr Loo: "If it grows 10 per cent per year, there'll be a 100 billion business and at least someof this will be contract manufacturing. (It is) estimated that we can create 4,000 new jobs of which2,000 jobs are for PMETs and 1,000 jobs for individuals involved in product design, etc."Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47This will be the eighth coalition, dubbed Singapore Together Alliances for Action (AfAs). Thefirst seven AfAs, focusing on supply chain digitalisation, sustainability, digitalising builtenvironment, smart commerce, robotics, safe and innovative visitor experiences, as well asedutech, were convened by the EST in June to act on key growth opportunities for Singapore.Links to the g-expertise-to-emerging-stronger-taskforce250,000 workers saw a pay cut between March and SeptemberAbout 250,000 employees had their wages cut between March and September, according tonotifications received by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).This is about 7 per cent of the estimated 3.37 million-strong workforce here in September,excluding foreign domestic workers.As at the end of September, the ministry had received close to 7,300 notifications on cost-cuttingmeasures from about 5,000 employers, said a report yesterday. Since March, employers with 10or more employees have had to notify MOM if they take cost-saving measures that affectemployees' monthly salaries.Link to the tember-0ShophouseFive shophouses, three Bukit Timah Plaza retail units for saleMore shophouses in Singapore have come to the market, with five along Tras Street, North BridgeRoad and Balestier Road launched for sale.At the same time, three adjoining retail units at Bukit Timah Plaza are also available for purchase.These shophouses and retail units carry a combined indicative price of S 33.3 million.One of the shophouses sits on Tras Street with a land area of 1,994 sq ft and a total floor area ofabout 5,283 sq ft. The 99-year leasehold site is zoned for commercial use under the UrbanRedevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2019.The portfolio also includes a pair of freehold shophouses along North Bridge Road occupying aland area of about 2,445 sq ft and a gross floor area of about 3,876 sq ft.Also in the portfolio are two freehold shophouses on Balestier Road, across the road fromZhongshan Mall and Zhongshan Park. The pair spans a land area of about 3,890 sq ft and anexisting gross floor area of about 5,422 sq ft.The properties on Balestier Road are zoned for residential and commercial use, with a gross plotratio of 3.0.Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47The three retail units at Bukit Timah Plaza are located at a basement level of the mall. Fullytenanted, the trio has a total strata area of about 1,322 sq ft.The expression of interest exercise for the portfolio of shophouses and retail units closes at 3pmon Jan 5, 2021.Link to the its-for-saleBukit Pasoh shophouse up for sale with S 10.5m guide priceSingapore’s shophouse blitz is showing no signs of abating, with another one at 6 Bukit PasohRoad up for sale at a guide price of S 10.5 million.The indicative price translates to about S 3,750 per sq ft on the total floor area.Occupying a land area of 1,363 sq ft, the central business district (CBD) shophouse has a totalfloor area of about 2,800 sq ft, subject to site survey.The shophouse is zoned for full commercial use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority'sMaster Plan 2019. Foreigners are eligible to buy the property, and the sale will not incur additionalbuyer's stamp duty.The tender for 6 Bukit Pasoh Road will close at 3pm on Dec 17.Link to the e-priceHospitalityBusinesses still holding back on travel despite new green lanesEven as Singapore works to establish essential business travel arrangements with other countries,the take-up rate among local businesses may be limited by the onerous application and approvalprocess, as well as a sense of caution around overseas travel.In response to queries from The Business Times about the take-up rates for such arrangements, aspokesperson for the Ministry of Trade and Industry said it has received a "steady stream ofapplications" for the various arrangements including the Singapore-China Fast Lane andSingapore-Indonesia RGL.Usage of the RGLs by members of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has been "modest"so far, said the federation's CEO Ho Meng Kit, noting that companies recognise that these areexceptional arrangements meant for essential business travel.SBF's Mr Ho also highlighted the possibility of needing to observe quarantines of up to two weeksafter both outbound and inbound legs of a business trip as a major concern for business travellers.Those travelling to attend to urgent business needs may not have the luxury of time to spend twoweeks in quarantine, and accommodation costs for up to four weeks in total, in addition to testingand other requirements, could be prohibitive especially for smaller businesses.Link to the spite-newgreen-lanesHuttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090www.huttonsgroup.com

Weekly News SelectNov 20, 2020 / Issue 47SIA's Covid cover for Singapore-HK flights may draw bubble flyersAir travel bubble travellers deciding to fly with Singapore Airlines (SIA) or Cathay Pacific maywant to consider one non-price distinction between the two: Covid-covered add-on travelinsurance.Those travelling on SIA and departing from either Singapore or Hong Kong can, for a fee, includetravel insurance that covers certain situations arising from Covid-19 when booking a flight or addon to an existing itinerary.In contrast, the add-o

Nov 20, 2020 Huttons Asia Pte Ltd L3008899K ROC No. 200210087C GST Reg No. 20-0210087-C 3 Bishan Place #05-01, CPF Building, S (579838) Tel. (65) 6253 0030 Fax (65) 6253 0090 www.huttonsgroup.com Weekly News Select / Issue47 Top News for the Week From condo flippers to h