Singapore Real Estate

HDB shops to get more funds for upgrading

Heartland shops will soon be given more help to spruce up, and to form merchants' associations that can coordinate efforts to boost business.  To make neighbourhood shops more attractive to customers, the HDB is stepping up its subsidies for upgrading works under its Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme.  Shop owners, who previously had to fork out half of the cost of upgrading common areas, will now pay 20 per cent, with a cap of $5,000.  HDB will also raise the budget of these upgrades from $20,000 to $35,000 per shop, with its subsidy capped at $30,000 per shop.  Rental shops will continue to have the entire upgrading cost paid by HDB and the town councils.

Cautious suppliers lean on retailers to pay earlier

Retailers are facing cash flow pressure as creditors turn cautious and demand faster payments amid the retail industry headwinds.  To avoid a cashflow crisis, retailers need to act swiftly, said DP Information Group, which analysed corporate payment behaviour across eight industries. To tackle the cashflow problem, it suggested retail firms work to curb overheads, rethink their business approach, assess credit needs, manage currency risks, review their purchasing plan or join a credit bureau.

Companies' Brief

H1 economic growth likely to be under 2%: survey

Singapore’s economic growth for the first half of 2016 might come in at below 2 per cent, as firms here continue to count on China for their sales performances, a survey has shown.  But even as companies continue to expect weak economic activity in the months ahead, their softening pessimism for the days ahead lead some economists to predict a bottoming-out of the anaemic growth.  Calculations based on reported net balances of 190 firms that responded to the latest quarterly Business Times-UniSIM Business Climate survey showed that Singapore's economic growth for the quarter ending June 30, 2016 will not change much from growth in previous quarters.

Views, Reviews & Forum

Fall in prime office rents spurs flight to quality

Companies are taking advantage of the continued decline in rents for prime office space to relocate to Grade A+ buildings in the Central Business District (CBD), at the peril of traditionally premium offices in the area.  The average vacancy rate of Grade A+ office buildings in Raffles Place/Marina Bay fell to 5.5 per cent in the first quarter this year from 6.3 per cent in the fourth quarter last year, a report by property consultancy Knight Frank showed yesterday. Conversely, the traditional Raffles Place/Marina Bay Grade A buildings saw their overall vacancy rate rise to 2.9 per cent from 2 per cent over the same period.

FCL seeks Reit listing for Australian assets

Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL) said on Monday that the relevant applications for a new real estate investment trust (Reit) have been made to regulatory authorities such as the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading (SGX-ST) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  This was in response to an article by The Business Times on Monday, which reported that FCL has begun the process to spin off some of its Australian logistics and industrial assets into a Reit.  FCL halted trading in its shares from 9.32am to 2.15pm.

Stanley Quek companies sell 7 shophouses for S$81.4m to 8M Real Estate

A Group of companies controlled by seasoned property investor Stanley Quek is selling seven shophouses for S$81.4 million to boutique real estate investment company 8M Real Estate.  Five of the shophouses are adjoining properties at Nos 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23 Tanjong Pagar Road; they are changing hands for S$57.4 million. This works out to S$2,166 per square foot on the estimated gross floor area of 26,500 sq ft spanning four floors and a mezzanine level.  The five shophouses are on 8,902 sq ft of land with about 77.5 years' balance lease. The internal space in the five adjacent properties is contiguous.

More newly-completed units going on the block

More newly completed and even uncompleted homes are going under the hammer as the housing market contends with an oversupply from the property boom years and a weak rental segment.  A total of 13 properties either completed in the past three years or still being built have been put up for mortgagee sale so far this year, according to JLL data. This is the same number as for all of last year and a sharp rise from just three in the same period last year.  A mortgagee sale occurs when a home borrower defaults on loan payments and the bank arranges a forced sale to recover its money.  Among the new completions up for mortgagee sale last month was a four-bedroom unit at Silversea in Marine Parade, completed in 2014. The unit went for $3.9 million or about $1,529 per sq ft.

Oxley offers 4-year retail bonds with 5.15% return

Property firm Oxley Holdings is the latest in a growing line of firms offering retail bonds.  Oxley announced yesterday that it is offering up to $150 million in four-year bonds with a coupon rate - or annual return - of 5.15 per cent. The offer comprises $125 million in the public offer and $25 million for institutional investors.  If the bonds are oversubscribed, Oxley may increase the total issue size to a maximum of $300 million.  The offer opens today at 9am and closes at noon on May 16. The issue price is $1 per unit, and public investors must apply for a minimum amount of $2,000 and then in multiples of $1,000.

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