MARKET UPDATES

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Tanjong Katong shophouse for sale at $8.8m base price

A prime freehold corner four-storey conservation shophouse at 240 Tanjong Katong Road is up for sale with a starting price of $8.8 million, marketing agent PropNex said yesterday. The 2,064 sq ft site is zoned "residential with commercial on the first storey", with an allowable plot ratio of 3.0. The property is fully occupied, with the ground floor leased to an eatery. According to Urban Redevelopment Authority guidelines, no new eateries are allowed on Tanjong Katong Road from Dunman Road to Mountbatten Road. The property enjoys prominent frontage on both Tanjong Katong Road and Parkstone Road, and is an 11-minute walk from the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT station, which is expected to be completed in 2023. PropNex is offering the property through a closed bidding exercise, as physical auction events are currently not allowed amid Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings. Under the exercise, all offers received before the closing date will be made known to sellers and interested bidders. PropNex head of corporate sales Clarence Goh said that under the closed bidding system, sellers will know that they are receiving firm offers from genuine buyers, while bidders are notified of competing offers, which makes the process transparent. Submissions under the closed bidding exercise must be sent in by 3pm next Tuesday at Level 11, HDB Hub East Wing.

Source: Straits Times
Dated:

Tanjong Katong conservation shophouse for sale with $8.8 million starting price

A prime freehold, corner four-storey conservation shophouse at 240 Tanjong Katong Road is up for sale with a starting price of $8.8 million, marketing agent PropNex said on Friday (Aug 21). The 2,064 sq ft site is zoned "residential with commercial on the first storey", with an allowable plot ratio of 3.0. The property is fully occupied, with the ground floor leased to an eatery. According to Urban Redevelopment Authority guidelines, no new eateries are allowed in Tanjong Katong Road from Dunman Road to Mountbatten Road. The property enjoys prominent frontage along both Tanjong Katong Road and Parkstone Road, and is an 11-minute walk from the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT station, which is expected to be completed in 2023. PropNex is offering the property through a closed bidding exercise as physical auction events are currently not allowed amid restrictions on large gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19. Under the exercise, all offers received before the closing date will be made known to the sellers and interested bidders. PropNex head of corporate sales Clarence Goh said that under the closed bidding system, sellers will know that they are receiving firm offers from genuine buyers, while bidders are notified of competing offers, which makes the process transparent. Submissions under the closed bidding exercise must be submitted by Aug 25 at 3pm at Level 11, HDB Hub East Wing.

Source: Straits Times
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376 eco-friendly projects bag BCA's Green Mark awards

An aircraft hanger at Changi Air Base using solar panels, and retrofitting work at One Raffles Link that will save the equivalent of $120,000 a year in power costs, were among those given a coveted award by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). The BCA Green Mark was conferred on 376 projects, including 16 overseas, this year, the authority said yesterday. Green Mark certifications were launched in 2005 to evaluate a building's environmental impact and performance. The aircraft hangar and One Raffles Link were among 22 of the 376 projects that attained the top Green Mark that designates a super-low energy building. Only 39 projects involving 50 industry players have received this coveted award. The BCA said: "The trend of building owners going for higher tier Green Mark certifications (Green Mark Platinum and above) is indicative of the industry's awareness of the positive impact of green buildings and recognising them as key in our efforts to fight climate change." The number of non-residential building projects obtaining higher tier Green Mark certification doubled to 149 over the past five years, it noted. "Major Singapore developers, such as CapitaLand, City Developments and Keppel Land, have also been setting targets for reducing energy use and carbon footprint in their building portfolios, " the BCA added. CapitaLand won this year's Green Mark Platinum Champion Award, which recognises developers that demonstrate strong commitment towards corporate social responsibility and have achieved a substantial number of Green Mark Gold buildings or higher. The developer installed 21,000 solar panels atop logistics building LogisTech and five other industrial properties here. This will enable its corporate offices in three locations to be totally powered by renewable energy by the end of the year. This will help the firm reduce over 700 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, equivalent to emissions generated annually from 400 four-room Housing Board flats. CapitaLand group chief sustainability officer Lynette Leong said: "We are heartened by BCA's recognition. Over the past decade, CapitaLand's efforts in sustainability have reaped tangible benefits." CapitaLand has secured $1.2 billion in green loans that will be used to accelerate its efforts towards greening its portfolio by 2030. The BCA also collaborated with the Health Promotion Board to develop a Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces two years ago. Co-working facility provider Space Lab One won the award this year for a project with designs supporting mental well-being and energy-efficient lighting, as well as programmes that help employees in areas such as healthy eating, and chronic disease management. BCA chief executive Hugh Lim said: "Aside from environmental performance throughout the building life cycle, the Green Mark scheme also takes into consideration building occupants' health and well-being - an immediate concern now with the pandemic."

Source: Straits Times
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More buildings in Singapore going greener as 376 projects bag BCA's Green Mark Award

SINGAPORE - An aircraft hanger at Changi Air Base which uses solar panels and retrofitting works at One Raffles Link which will achieve an overall cooling system efficiency to save the equivalent of $120,000 a year is among projects that won awards from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), as buildings go greener in Singapore. A total of 376 projects, including 16 overseas, were awarded the BCA Green Mark Award this year, the organisation said on Wednesday (Aug 19). The Green Mark certification scheme, launched in 2005, is a rating system that evaluates a building's environmental impact and performance. Some 22 of the recipients, also attained the pinnacle level of the award for super low energy buildings, such as the aircraft hangar and One Raffles Link. These also include three buildings that had all their energy consumption from renewable sources and another three that had 115 per cent of energy consumption from sustainable origins. To date,39 projects involving 50 industry players have received the award for super low energy buildings. BCA said: "The upward trend of building owners going for higher tier Green Mark Certifications (Green Mark Platinum and above) is indicative of the industry's awareness of the positive impact of green buildings and recognising them as key in our efforts to fight climate change." For example, the number of non-residential building projects obtaining higher tier Green Mark certification has doubled to 149 over the past five years. "Major Singapore developers, such as CapitaLand, City Developments and Keppel Land have also been setting targets for reducing energy use and carbon footprint in their building portfolios, " BCA added. Interior of the Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft hangar at the Changi Air Base (East). PHOTO: ST FILE CapitaLand also won the Green Mark Platinum Champion Award which recognises those that demonstrate strong commitment towards corporate social responsibility and have achieved a substantial number of Green Mark Gold buildings or higher. It installed 21,000 solar panels atop logistics building LogisTech and five other industrial properties here. This will enable its corporate offices in three locations to be totally powered by renewable energy by the end of the year and reduce over 700 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, equivalent to emissions generated annually from 400 four-room Housing Board flats. It also installed a climate-friendly refrigerant chilled water system at the newly developed Funan, which has prevented about five kilotonnes of greenhouse gas from being emitted - equivalent to the emissions of about 1,500 cars. CapitaLand group chief sustainability officer Lynette Leong said the group: "We place sustainability at the core of what we do, and we are heartened by BCA's recognition ... Over the past decade, CapitaLand's efforts in sustainability have reaped tangible benefits and other positive externalities for the Group. "For example, we have achieved utilities cost avoidance of $208 million since 2009 and captured interest savings from our sustainability-linked loans as a result of meeting our sustainability targets." CapitaLand has secured $1.2 billion in green loans which will be used to accelerate its efforts towards greening its global portfolio by 2030. BCA also collaborated with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to develop the BCA-HPB Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces two years ago. This year, co-working provider Space Lab One won the award for a project that provides features to promote sustainability and health, such as designs that support mental well-being and energy-efficient lighting, as well as structured programmes covering employees' mental well-being, healthy eating, physical activity and chronic disease management. BCA chief executive Hugh Lim said: "Aside from environmental performance throughout the building life cycle, the Green Mark scheme also takes into consideration building occupants' health and well-being - an immediate concern now with the current Covid-19 pandemic. "With your continued support, we continue to work collectively towards a greener and healthier built environment for Singapore."

Source: Straits Times
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New private home sales up for 3rd month in row

New home sales continued to rise for a third straight month amid a worsening economic outlook, with developers selling 1,080 non-landed private homes last month, up 8.2 per cent from June. This is up from a near six-year low during the circuit breaker period in April, but sales were down 8.4 per cent from 1,179 a year ago. There were 869 private homes launched in July, up nearly 46 per cent from 597 in June, but down 4.6 per cent from 911 a year ago. The bulk of the units sold were from earlier launches, which accounted for 68 per cent of July's total sales, analysts say. The figures, released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday, excluded executive condominium (EC) units, a public-private housing hybrid. Including EC units,1,142 new non-landed homes were taken up last month, up nearly 11 per cent from June, but down about 27 per cent from 1,557 a year ago, the URA data showed. Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research at PropNex, noted that while the relatively brisk sales in recent months may seem at odds with the gloomy economic prognosis, the current downturn is not felt evenly across all sectors of the economy. "Some sectors - such as financial services and tech - have held up better than others, and (those who) feel more secure about their job prospects or have built up substantial savings may see this as an opportune time to enter the market." However, the absence of new launches last month shows caution among some developers. Although showflats reopened on June 19, they did not rush to launch new projects before the start of the Hungry Ghost month tomorrow, a period that typically sees a quieter market. "Developers need more time to recalibrate their pricing strategies as well as to (implement) safe management measures, especially for larger-scale projects, " said Mr Ong Teck Hui, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL. Potentially affecting new launches and sales take-up for the rest of the year are factors like the severity of the recession and whether the pandemic remains under control, he added. Upcoming launches include Penrose in Sims Drive and The Landmark in Chin Swee Road. Last month's take-up was led by projects in the suburban sub-market (outside central region) with 548 sales, followed by 419 units sold in the city fringes or rest of central region, and 113 in the prime districts or core central region. EXERCISING CAUTION Developers need more time to recalibrate their pricing strategies as well as to (implement) safe management measures, especially for larger-scale projects. MR ONG TECK HUI, senior director of research and consultancy at JLL, on the absence of new launches last month. So far this month, freehold Forett at Bukit Timah is the only new launch, selling 172 units at a median price of $1,931 psf, JLL said. Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, noted that foreign buying slowed last month, with only 34 or 3.2 per cent of new sales caveats lodged by foreigners, compared with 47 or 4.9 per cent in June. Disputing talk of discounts, Mr Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield's associate director of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, said median prices of the top five selling projects in July were similar to or even higher compared with those from the time of their launch to July. For instance, the median price for The Florence Residences from the time of its launch to July was $1,471 per sq ft (psf), but it rose to $1,559 psf in July, he pointed out. Interest in pricier units has picked up, analysts say. This is despite Singapore suffering a deeper recession in the second quarter than expected, with the economy contracting 13.2 per cent year on year, sharper than a 12.6 per cent plunge earlier estimated and the worst on record, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said last week. URA Realis data showed 147 deals transacted at more than $2 million each in July compared with 118 such deals in June, said CBRE's head of research for South-east Asia Desmond Sim. "There were also some large quantum deals of more than $5 million in luxury projects such as 15 Holland Hill last month."

Source: Straits Times
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Singapore new home sales up in July amid worsening economic outlook

SINGAPORE - New home sales continued to rise for a third straight month amid a worsening economic outlook, with developers selling 1,080 non-landed private homes in July, up 8.2 per cent from 998 private homes in June. But year on year, sales were down 8.4 per cent from 1,179. More new private homes were launched ahead of the Hungry Ghost month, which starts on Aug 19. There were 869 private homes launched in July, up nearly 46 per cent from 597 units in June, but were down 4.6 per cent from 911 a year ago. The figures, released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday (Aug 17), exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid. Including EC units,1,142 new non-landed homes were taken up last month, up nearly 11 per cent from June, but sales were down about 27 per cent from 1,557 a year ago, the URA data showed. New sales were propped up mainly by Treasure at Tampines, Parc Clematis, The Florence Residences, JadeScape, and Daintree Residence. Ms Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said more buyers appeared to be buying pricier homes in the suburban and city fringe areas last month. This was despite Singapore suffering a deeper recession in the second quarter than expected, with the economy contracting by 13.2 per cent year on year, sharper than a 12.6 per cent plunge earlier estimated and the worst on record, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said last week. Based on URA Realis data, the proportion of non-landed private homes (excluding ECs) in the city fringes or rest of central region transacted above $2 million jumped to 16.8 per cent in July from 12.8 per cent in June. The number of transactions rose 27.8 per cent month on month from 54 units to 69 units over the same period, Ms Sun noted. Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research at PropNex, noted that while the relatively brisk sales in recent months may seem at odds with the gloomy economic prognosis, the current downturn is not felt evenly across all sectors of the economy. "Some sectors - such as financial services and tech - have held up better than others, and (those who) feel more secure about their job prospects or have built up substantial savings may see this as an opportune time to enter the market, " she said. "We remain cautiously optimistic about the new home sales volume, which should find support from upcoming new launches, " she added. These include Penrose in Sims Drive, The Landmark in Chin Swee Road, Myra in Potong Pasir, Verdale in Jalan Jurong Kechil, and Ki Residences in Brookvale Drive.

Source: Straits Times
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Tuan Sing to sell Robinson Point for $500m

Property developer Tuan Sing Holdings is proposing to divest Robinson Point for $500 million, the mainboard-listed firm announced in a bourse filing last Friday (Aug 7). Tuan Sing expects to realise a gain of about $128.3 million on the sale. The proceeds may be recycled to fund committed investments, retire existing debts and fund general corporate and working capital needs. It did not disclose the buyer's identity in the filing, but said that it is a British Virgin Islands-incorporated entity that is not related to Tuan Sing, its directors or controlling shareholders. Robinson Point has been held by Tuan Sing since the firm acquired it in October 2013 for $348.9 million, according to past media reports.The 21-storey freehold office building is located at 39 Robinson Road. As at end-2019, it was valued at $374.4 million by Colliers International, Tuan Sing said. The property has a gross floor area of approximately 15,700 sq m, with retail units on the ground floor, car park bays on levels three to five, and the remaining floors comprising office units. Asset enhancement works to the main lobby, carpark lobby and loading bay were completed in 2015. William Liem, Tuan Sing's chief executive, said that the divestment is in line with the company's capital recycling strategy to optimise shareholder returns, and highlights strong demand for commercial spaces. "With this divestment, the group will be well positioned to make new strategic acquisitions in Singapore and across the region whenever opportunities arise. This will allow the group to continue pushing ahead in its transformation journey into a regional real estate player, " he said. Shares of Tuan Sing last traded at $0.275 before a trading halt was called last Thursday.

Source: Straits Times
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Steep discounts for Hong Kong foreclosed homes may portend property price slump

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Some Hong Kong foreclosed homes have been recently sold at steep discounts, adding to signs that the world's most expensive housing market could be heading for price declines both this year and next. With the economy hit by anti-government protests and the coronavirus pandemic, foreclosures in the Asian financial hub jumped 54 per cent in the first seven months of the year to 675, according to property auctioneer Century 21 Surveyors. Both speculative investors and ordinary people are walking away from their mortgages, financing companies and auctioneers told Reuters. Some warn foreclosures could surge next year to their highest levels since the global financial crisis. Unlike Hong Kong's commercial property market which has seen a 30 per cent drop in building values in the past year, home prices have so far been relatively resilient due to strong demand, even edging up 1.8 per cent in the first half of this year. But two foreclosed properties belonging to a mainland Chinese investor recently sold at discounts of 25 per cent and 12 per cent to their respective purchase prices of around HK$30 million (S$5.3 million) and HK$20 million, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Henry Choi, a director at Century 21 Surveyors, also said his company has had three recent cases where banks put auctions on hold after deciding to go back to court to ask for a lower base price. "The original valuations were too optimistic and they would be hard to sell now in this market, " he said. With demand far outstripping supply, prices for Hong Kong private homes have surged more than six times since 2003. There has only been one year of annual decline in that period - a drop of 3.6 per cent in 2016. Some analysts, however, expect current economic stresses will soon hit the market harder and predict a fall of roughly 5 per cent this year to be followed by a bigger drop next year. Industry sources also note foreclosures last month were artificially low as courts have been processing cases very slowly for several weeks due to social distancing measures imposed after new outbreaks of the virus. Choi said he expects foreclosures to spike in the April-June quarter, noting a jump is almost certain due to the end in February of pandemic relief measures introduced by Hong Kong banks that allow home owners to pay only the interest and not the principal of their loans. He predicts there could be as many as 2,000 foreclosures for all of 2021. That, however, would be lower than the more than 3,600 seen in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis, with the current market gaining some relief from monetary easing and low interest rates. Anticipating lower prices ahead, lenders have also become super keen to offload properties as fast as possible. "Normally we'd sell through property agents because transaction prices from auctions are too low, but now we want to get rid of the mess quickly so if agents can't sell a property in two months, we put it up for auction, " said the chairman of a finance company, also declining to be identified.

Source: Straits Times
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UOL snags $120m green loan to redevelop Pan Pacific Orchard hotel

UOL Group has secured a $120 million three-year green loan from United Overseas Bank (UOB) to redevelop the Pan Pacific Orchard hotel. It is the first green loan for the group. The proceeds will be used to partially finance the redevelopment of the hotel into a biophilic and zero-waste 347-room hotel. Biophilic refers to a design concept that seeks to integrate nature with the built environment. Pan Pacific Orchard was closed for redevelopment in April 2018 and is targeted to open in 2021. UOL says the 23-storey hotel will set a new benchmark for green hospitality, with its self-sustaining sky terraces using rainwater harvesting systems and solar cells to light up the gardens. Other sustainable features include a food waste management system that transforms kitchen waste into nutrient water for gardens, and water dispensers that eliminate the need for plastic bottled water. In January, the hotel was awarded the Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Platinum. The award is Singapore's highest environmental certification, recognising projects whose design and performance adhere to best practices in environmental sustainability. UOL Group chief executive Liam Wee Sin said: "The inaugural green loan demonstrates our commitment in greening our urban habitat. Pan Pacific Orchard will contribute to our Government's vision to transform Orchard Road into a green oasis in the city." Mr Leong Yung Chee, UOB's head of corporate banking Singapore, said: "While the tourism industry is currently feeling the effects of Covid-19, UOL's move to redevelop the Pan Pacific Orchard will position Singapore well for a future where sustainable tourism is given more focus." GREEN WARRIOR The inaugural green loan demonstrates our commitment in greening our urban habitat. Pan Pacific Orchard will contribute to our Government's vision to transform Orchard Road into a green oasis in the city.

Source: Straits Times
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UOL snags $120 million green loan to redevelop Pan Pacific Orchard hotel

UOL Group has secured a $120 million three-year green loan from United Overseas Bank (UOB) to redevelop the Pan Pacific Orchard hotel. It is the first green loan for the group. The proceeds will be used to partially finance the redevelopment of Pan Pacific Orchard into a biophilic and zero-waste 347-room hotel. Biophilic refers to a design concept that seeks to integrate nature with the built environment. Pan Pacific Orchard was closed for redevelopment in April 2018 and is targeted to open in 2021. UOL says the 23-storey hotel will set a new benchmark for green hospitality including self-sustaining sky terraces which features rainwater harvesting systems and solar cells to light up the gardens. Other sustainable features include a food waste management system that transforms kitchen waste into nutrient water for gardens, and water dispensers that eliminate the need for plastic bottled water. In January, the hotel was awarded the Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Platinum. The award is Singapore's highest environmental certification, recognising projects whose design and performance adhere to best practices in environmental sustainability. UOL Group chief executive Liam Wee Sin said: "The inaugural green loan demonstrates our commitment in greening our urban habitat. Pan Pacific Orchard will contribute to our government's vision to transform Orchard Road into a green oasis in the city." Mr Leong Yung Chee, UOB's head of corporate banking Singapore, said: "While the tourism industry is currently feeling the effects of Covid-19, UOL's move to redevelop the Pan Pacific Orchard will position Singapore well for a future where sustainable tourism is given more focus." Shares in UOL closed unchanged at $6.62 on Tuesday.

Source: Straits Times
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