RECALLING: December 10 2007

By EdgeProp / EdgeProp | December 10, 2017 11:00 AM SGT
Government offers 37 sites for 1H2008
There are 37 sites in the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme for 1H2008 announced by the Ministry of National Development (MND). They comprise 21 residential, three commercial, two white, 10 hotel and one commercial and residential site. The sites can potentially yield 8,250 residential units, 4.4 million sq ft of gross floor area for commercial space and 5,850 hotel rooms. On the confirmed list are 11 sites, of which the most notable is the 2.74ha Ophir Road-Rocher Road site near the existing commercial, convention and hotel clusters at Marina Centre. The sale of the site is expected to kick-start the development of state land parcels along the Rocher-Ophir Roads corridor, which will link the Marina Centre node to the Bugis area via the Beach Road corridor.
Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CBRE Research, notes that on the GLS list for 1H2008 are several sites located in suburban locations such as Jurong West/ Bukit Batok/West Coast, Bukit Panjang, Sembawang/ Yishun, Punggol/Sengkang and Upper Changi. “It seems to imply that the government is aware that housing prices in popular non-prime locations have risen substantially, thereby pricing out potential HDB upgraders,” he says. “By providing sites in suburban locations that are within or near HDB estates, the completed units are likely to be less pricey as their land costs would be lower.”
Allgreen officially launches D’Lotus
Over the weekend of Dec 8 and 9, Allgreen Properties officially launched its 83-unit D’Lotus located at Lorong Ampas, off Balestier Road. The apartments are a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom sizes, and ranging from 570 to 1,065 sq ft. According to Peter Ow, executive director of residential department at Knight Frank, which is marketing the project, one-bedroom units start from $500,000 while two bedrooms are from $680,000. Temporary occupation permit (TOP) is expected to be issued in 1H2008. The project still offers the deferred payment scheme — with 5% option, another 5% eight weeks later, and the rest upon TOP.
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Source: Knight Frank

South Beach Project building agreement signed
South Beach Consortium led by City Developments Ltd (CDL), which successfully bid $1.69 billion for the 3.5ha Beach Road sale site, officially signed the Building Agreement with the government last week. Apart from CDL, the consortium also includes Dubai World’s Istithmar and Elad Group. The project (top), designed by world-renowned architect Norman Foster, includes four conservation buildings, which are to be restored, as well as office and hotel towers. The developer has adopted an environmental design approach and green technology suited to a tropical climate. A key feature is the large “environmental filter” canopy, which covers the open spaces and ties together the new and conservation buildings.

Source: Hong Leong

MMP REIT wants to buy back units
Macquarie Pacific Star (MPS), the manager of MMP Real Estate Investment Trust (MMP REIT), has submitted its proposed Unit Buy-back Scheme to the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading (SGX-ST). The proposal could allow MPS to buy back up to 10% of MMP REIT units. Stephen Girdis, chairman of MPS, said the board believed the best way to increase returns to investors was by MMP REIT buying back its own units. The scheme was a cost-efficient way for MPS to increase MMP REIT’s current unit value (or NAV per unit) and distribution per unit (DPU).
URA launches Semei Street 4 site
URA has launched a residential land parcel at Simei Street 4 for sale by public tender. The sale was triggered when a developer committed to bid at least $187 million for the 3.22ha site close to the Simei MRT station. There is a maximum gross floor area of 797,459 sq ft. The tender closes at noon on Jan 4.
Ximeng Land pays $215 million for Pearl Island plot
Sentosa Cove and Singapore-based China property developer Ximeng Land has been awarded Pearl Island, the last of the five coveted islands for landed development in Sentosa Cove. Ximeng Land’s offer of $215.65 million ($1,350 psf) was the highest of the seven bids submitted. The 159,740 sq ft Pearl Island plot is close to Tanjong Beach and the Tanjong Golf Course. The land space is allocated for up to 19 waterfront villas with private berths.
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Two freehold offices to be auctioned
Colliers will auction two prime freehold office units later this month. They are in United House at 20 Kramat Lane and Balmoral Plaza at 271 Bukit Timah Road.
The United House office is on the first storey and has a total gross floor area of 3,000 sq ft. It is tenanted at $13,260 a month (expiring October next year) and is expected to fetch around $7.6 million. The 4,100 sq ft Balmoral Plaza corner unit is on the third storey. The office will be sold with vacant possession and is expected to attract a price of around $6.3 million. Both offices will be auctioned on Dec 19 at The Amara Hotel.
OFFSHORE
Foreign investor interest still strong
Foreign investors’ activity in real estate around Asia has remained strong despite concerns about a global credit crunch and stock market volatility, reports CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). Some foreign capital is being redirected to Asian property markets to capture the benefits from growth in values and the appreciation of Asian currencies against the US dollar. Office transactions were the key driver in investment sales in Singapore. A total of $15.69 billion worth of sales were recorded in 3Q, a y-o-y increase of 94%, dominated by office buys ($6.83 billion) and developers adding to landbank. At $40.95 billion, total investment sales in the first nine months of this year have already exceeded the total for 2006 by 34%. There was also intense investment interest in main commercial districts around Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taipei, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.
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YTL and Lehman Brothers to develop luxury hotel in Koh Samui
Last week, YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd, a wholly- owned subsidiary of Malaysia-listed conglomerate, YTL Corp Bhd, and Lehman Brothers Investments Pte Ltd, a unit of global investment bank Lehman Brothers, announced they have entered into a joint venture to develop a five-star deluxe hotel and residential villas in Koh Samui, Thailand.
YTL’s construction arm will also undertake the design and construction of the 2.7 billion baht ($128.53 million) project. The development will have a mix of luxury beachfront and hillside villas, residential villas and loft apartments. Located on the northeast coast of Samui, the secluded site is naturally separated from other developments by two private beaches and provides opportunities to develop properties with optimal sea views, while at the same time retaining a proximity to the Koh Samui region’s airport and visitor infrastructure (shopping, dining and entertainment).
More Tea Tree spas brewing
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) plans to open 30 Tea Tree Spas over the next two years centred in Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels. The expansion will triple the group’s current network of spas in Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. More than half the new spas will be in China. IHG will establish two training centres in Shanghai and Beijing to upgrade the skill of its therapists. The new spas offer up to 15 treatments.
Tight office supply, but brake on rent hikes
The supply of Grade A Asian office space remains tight in key CBD areas of Hong Kong, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, reports CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). Vacancy rates are hovering at 5% or lower. Although demand for office space in Asia’s major commercial centres remains strong, prime office rents did not change significantly in 3Q. Singapore and the Philippines led the Asian market, posting more than 15% rental growth. In Singapore, prime office rents averaged $12.60 psf per month — the highest in Singapore’s history — increasing 16.7% q-o-q and 82.6% y-o-y. There is increasing tenant resistance to rental hikes and more willingness to explore lower-cost options such as business parks.
iProperty acquires leading Hong Kong property portal
The iProperty.com Group, Asia’s leading network of property portals, has acquired GoHome, the top online portal for Hong Kong property. The GoHome network’s websites power the Yahoo Hong Kong real estate channel and include GoHome.com.hk, House18.com and other related websites. These Chinese- language based sites, which are also available in English, reach more than 45% of all Hong Kong Internet users looking for property online. iProperty also has online property portals in Malaysia and the Philippines and owns Singapore’s leading property and real estate website, which feature 200,000 listings.

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