Real News‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎February 2013‎ > ‎

22 February 2013

22nd February, Friday




Seventeen new condos primed for launch

Source: The Straits Times

Around 17 new condominiums comprising almost 7,500 private homes in all are being prepared over the next few months.

The bumper supply stems largely from the significant release of land from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme over the past year, although private sites are also in the mix.

Market experts are keenly watching to see how some of the more high-profile projects fare, given that the tough cooling measures imposed last month have added an air of uncertainty to the market.

There will be plenty of choice for buyers, with projects in estates across the island from Tanah Merah, Pasir Ris and Hillview to upmarket areas like Marina Bay being primed for launch.

The larger projects lining up for release include the 912-unit D'nest in Pasir Ris Grove, Bartley Ridge in Mount Vernon Road, which has 868 units, and the 755-unit Trilinq in Jalan Lempeng.

The Trilinq showflat will be open today, with preview sales expected early next month. Indicative average prices are about $1,500 per sq ft.


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Shaw Centre to undergo revamp

Source: Business Times

Shaw Centre, built in 1972, will be undergoing its biggest transformation in almost 30 years. This is expected to help it exploit its full potential at the highly desired Orchard Road and Scotts Road junction, and is slated for completion in early 2014.

The new Shaw Centre will have infrastructural and organisational changes. An equalisation of levels between Shaw Centre and Shaw House will be carried out to create seamless connectivity between the two malls. A new basement will be added to Shaw Centre, connecting it to Isetan supermarket at Shaw House. The current level which houses the Les Amis Group of Restaurants will be named the mezzanine floor.

Shaw Centre will also re-market itself as "a modern contemporary shopping mall", boasting a broad range of brands, flagship and concept stores, as well as comprehensive facilities for a one-stop shopping experience.

On top of that, the chic Urban Plaza will be added to the strategic junction of Orchard Road and Scotts Road. It will be built over the terrace public concourse at Shaw House. Complete with water features and skylight seating, the space of 1,000 sq m can serve as a prominent meeting point for shoppers, as well as a venue for red carpet events and product launches.

The new Shaw Centre will feature two-storey high floor-to-ceiling glass retail frontage with urban verandas, giving shoppers a visual respite with a rejuvenated mall facade, while maintaining natural ventilation.

For increased accessibility, a new basement food court will link the basements of Shaw Centre and Shaw House. Also, a covered walkway connecting Shaw Centre and Pacific Plaza will be constructed.


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JTC's change of rule catches Reits offguard

Source: Business Times

Property funds like Reits buying industrial buildings from sellers on JTC-leased sites will have to re-do their sums.

From the beginning of this year, they have to fork out a land premium upfront to JTC for the remaining part of the lease term. They can no longer continue paying JTC a monthly land rental, if that is what the seller was doing.

This option of paying the land rental now remains open only to buyers who are industrialists.

The move has major implications for third-party facility providers, such as Reits but it could reduce competition from these funds faced by SMEs looking to buy their own premises.

JTC has two schemes allowing third-party facility providers to be its lessees. One allows an industrialist to sell its completed facility to say, a Reit, which in turn leases it back to the industrialist (Sale-and-Leaseback Scheme). In the Third Party Build-and-Lease Scheme, a property fund or developer agrees to build a customised facility for an end-user industrialist, to whom it leases the building. Both are aimed at helping industrialists to offload assets and lighten their balance sheets.

Explaining the rationale behind the change, JTC said: "(Our) land rental scheme serves as a form of financing as it helps end-user industrialists in their cash flow and lower their business costs. Given that third-party facility providers are not end-users..., they may obtain financing from financial institutions."

An analyst said: "All things being equal, having to pay upfront land premium to JTC for the balance lease term means the price the Reit would be prepared to pay to the seller would possibly be lower." He said that the impact of the rule change will be felt less for bigger transactions exceeding say $20 million, as the absolute purchase price of the property will be huge relative to the upfront land premium payable to JTC; therefore, the land premium is unlikely to jeopardise such deals."

"In a way, the change will be beneficial for SMEs as most of the time, they are looking for industrial premises for their own operations costing below $20 million, so they will now not face competition in this space from third-party facility providers like Reits."

The upfront land premium is the prevailing posted land price listed on JTC's website, adjusted for the remaining tenure of the current lease term.

In cases where there is a further option for a second term of lease, the upfront premium for that will be determined after the first term ends.

Another analyst reckons the change could mean the shutting of a funding tap for some industralists looking to sell their properties to Reits under sale-and-leaseback arrangements.

Nonetheless he welcomed the change. "Now, JTC's land rent system will benefit only genuine industrialists. In the past, some players masquerading as industrialists were trying to "game the system" - buying land from JTC on the land rent system to develop an industrial property and then flipping it to a Reit for a handsome profit," said Mr Cheong.

Agreeing, a market watcher said: "Whether it was a Reit or a pseudo industrialist that was tapping the monthly land rental scheme, it's a case of using public funding to further private interests."


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Dyson's $100m plant to create 210 jobs here

Source: Business Times

Vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson is set to open a $100 million plant here, creating 210 jobs of which around a third call for highly-skilled engineers and technicians.

This expansion comes as Dyson recorded a turnover of $2 billion for the first time in 2011. Its machines are now sold in 60 countries.

The company, which started out as a research and development facility with 30 people here in 2007, now hires 407; globally, it has raised its staff strength from 4,500 to 5,000.

Its Dyson West Park advanced manufacturing facility in Pioneer Crescent in Jurong will produce four million Dyson digital motors (DDM) a year, increasing production capacity by 100 per cent and meeting a growing demand for its DDM-powered technology from markets including the US, Japan and China.

The facility will give the company greater control over intellectual property and production processes, said the company.


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