Monday, March 21, 2011

Pan Peninsula's premium units to launch in Singapore

Pan Peninsula's premium units to launch in Singapore

Mar 11, 2011 -

The Premier Collection, the second phase of London’s Pan Peninsula, is set to launch in Singapore on 17 March at the Grand Hyatt hotel.

This gives Singaporeans the chance to preview the exclusive premier-specification apartments and penthouses, said Knight Frank.

Pan Peninsula was the global property consultancy‘s fastest-selling development in Asia last year.

Overlooking Canary Wharf, Pan Peninsula comprises two interlinked towers of 40 storeys and 48 storeys, offering over 700 luxury apartments and penthouses. Units are offered from £1.65 million, with the current exchange rate offering Singapore buyers a discount of over 50 percent.

The development offers a wide range of luxury facilities, including 24-hour concierge services, communal areas and valet parking. Residents will also have access to the holistic day spa, The Six Senses Spa, as well as to a private Health Club offering facilities such as a hydrotherapy suite, lap pool, cardio-vascular theatre, gym, sauna, dance studio and steam rooms.

Heeton and partners acquire MacPherson Green

Heeton and partners acquire MacPherson Green

Mar 11, 2011 - Niche real estate developer Heeton Holdings has collaborated with KSH Holdings, TEE International and Zap Piling to acquire the MacPherson Green site for S$105 million through a collective sale tender.

Heeton will hold 40 percent of the project, while Zap Piling, TEE International and KSH will own 15 percent, 20 percent, and 25 percent respectively.

Situated on MacPherson Road in District 13, the 66,932 sq ft freehold land parcel has a plot ratio of about 2.1, allowing the new development to be developed up to 24 storeys. Based on the maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 140,557 sq ft, the purchase price of the site translates to S$750 psf ppr, including the development charge.

“We are excited about the prospects of this new site, as MacPherson is a choice area that is well-connected by expressways and major MRT routes,” said Mr. Danny Low, Executive Director and COO of Heeton.

“The site is large enough to give us the flexibility of offering a good variety of apartment types, and should appeal to a larger group of potential buyers.”

“We are glad to partner KSH and TEE International once again and would also like to welcome Zap Piling on board as a strategic partner,” he added.

The site, which is in close proximity to the Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE), can be redeveloped into 200 apartments with an average size of approximately 800 sq ft each.

The acquisition is in line with Heeton’s effort to boost its position in the mid- to high-end residential real estate market. Heeton is also planning to release its new project located at a prime site along Killiney Road.

EL Development acquires Clementi Ave 4 site

EL Development acquires Clementi Ave 4 site
Mar 11, 2011 -

The Housing Development Board (HDB) has awarded a land parcel at Clementi Avenue 4 to EL Development Ltd after it offered the highest bid of S$224 million in a public tender that closed on 8 March.

The land site was made available for sale on 26 January under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS). It has a total area of 21,906.5 sq m and a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 76,672.75 sq m, with a gross plot ratio of 3.5.

Proposed for public housing development, the HDB said the site can yield up to 770 housing units.

It is situated in Clementi New Town, a destination complete with convenient facilities and amenities, with entertainment, food and shopping options like West Coast Plaza and The Clementi Mall.

Asian REITs market strengthened in H2 last year

Asian REITs market strengthened in H2 last year
Mar 17, 2011 -

Asian Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) markets intensified in the second half of last year, as purchasing activity increased and interest in Initial Public Offerings (IPO) strengthened, according to the 2H 2010 edition of REITs Around Asia released by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

A total of US$5.6 billion has been acquired by REITs in the second half of last year, bringing total acquisitions to approximately US$11 billion. Its total market capitalisation surged 46.8 percent year-on-year to US$95 billion for the whole year.

REITs also became a significant real estate capital-raising outlet during the second half of the year, as investment confidence returned after most REITs completed the necessary recapitalisation or refinancing exercises to meet their loan obligations.

About 14 REITs were listed on Asian stock markets last year, bringing the total number of REITs listed in Asia to 123 at end-2010.

For the full year 2010, acquisitions reached US$11 billion, with activity in Singapore and Japan accounting for 57 percent and 33 percent of the total acquisition volume respectively.

The period was also notable for various Asian REITs looking to invest its assets across Asia. Singapore-listed Ascott REIT and Malaysia-listed Al-Aqar KPJ REIT extended to the Pacific and Europe respectively, as they looked to expand their income sources and portfolios.

The Hong Kong REIT market also showed signs of activity, as discussion started on the first RMB-denominated REIT containing prime commercial property assets in Beijing.

Weighted dividend yields also compressed in the second half of 2010, due to strong stock price rally.

“As dividend yield has been compressed to the level close to yields for physical assets, REITs are expected to turn more active in sourcing new investment objects,” said Danny Mohr, Executive Director, International Valuation of Asia for CBRE.

Newton Lodge up for collective sale

Newton Lodge up for collective sale

Mar 17, 2011 -

Newton Lodge, a 16-unit freehold apartment block at 41 Newton Road, has been launched for collective sale with an indicative price of S$40 million.

CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), which is marketing the property, said a development charge of approximately S$2.18 million has been estimated, based on March 2011 rates. This works out to around S$1,407 psf ppr.

“If a developer maximises the bonus 10 percent balcony space, the price works out to S$1,340 psf ppr with a breakeven of approximately S$1,860 psf,” it said.

Jeremy Lake, Executive Director for Investment Properties at CBRE, said the site is an “excellent opportunity for a developer to design a boutique development with small units catering to the needs of the young working population wanting to live close to town.”

Zoned for residential development, the site has a total area of 21,409 sq ft with a plot ratio of 1.4 under the Masterplan 2008. The area is well served by a cluster of shopping malls, including Novena Square Shopping Mall, as well as office towers like United Square and Square 2.

“Given the excellent location and proximity to the MRT Station and upcoming medical hub, coupled with the affordable ‘bite size’ quantum, the new development is expected to draw keen interest from both local and regional investors and owner occupiers working in the area,” said Mr. Lake.

CBRE noted that the site is also suitable for individual families looking to build a multi-generation family home.

“Given its excellent attributes, several boutique developers and high net worth individuals have already expressed their keen interest to acquire the site,” added Mr. Lake.

The tender for the site will close on 20 April 2011.

Newton View changes hands for S$147.6m

Newton View changes hands for S$147.6m
Mar 17, 2011 -

Newton View, a 37,577 sq ft freehold site, has been sold to Novelty Group for S$147.6 million through an en bloc sale.

This works out to around S$1,403 psf of potential gross floor area (GFA). Savills Singapore, which brokered the deal, said no development charge (DC) is payable based on the 2.8 gross plot ratio allocated for the property under the Master Plan 2008.

“We received interest from several local and foreign developers,” said Steven Ming, Executive Director of Savills.

Meanwhile, Coronation Grove at Coronation Road has also been launched for en bloc sale, through unanimous consent by its owners.

The 999-year leasehold property currently comprises 24 walk-up apartments. It is zoned for three-storey semi-detached houses and has a total land area of 62,011 sq ft.

“Under this zoning, the developer of the site could choose to build a combination of conventional semi-detached and detached houses, as well as strata semi-detached houses and strata bungalows, subject to approval from the relevant authorities and payment of DC if applicable,” said Yong Choon Fah, Executive Director of Credo, which is the marketing agent for the property.

The buyer has the option of redeveloping the property to accommodate up to 11 conventional bungalows or 28 strata semi-detached houses, she said, adding that another option for the developer is to develop a mix of 14 strata semi-detached houses and 10 conventional semi-detached houses.

Credo is also marketing another property, Braddell Park, located at Jalan Lateh, off Braddell Road and Upper Serangoon Road.

Owners are expecting to offer the property for S$90 million to S$100 million, which reflects a psf ppr price of between S$675 and S$748, inclusive of S$2.55 million payable to the state for the adjoining plot.

“DC is not payable for the redevelopment of the site up to a plot ratio of 1.4. The optional 10 percent balcony gross floor area may also be partially or completely free of DC,” said Tan Hong Boon, Deputy Managing Director of Credo.

The tender for Braddell Park and Coronation Grove will close on 14 and 18 April respectively.

Home buyers to receive early price list

Home buyers to receive early price list
Mar 17, 2011 -

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will be enhancing the Housing Developers Rules (HDR) and the Housing Developers (Control & Licensing) Act (HDCLA) to give more home buyers better access to timely information about the market and units which they are planning to purchase, said Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan.

This means that if the new rules pass, developers must release home prices at least two days before launching the projects.

In connection with this, the URA is seeking public feedback on key proposed changes, which also include stricter requirements for project plans and showflats. The URA is putting the proposals up for public consultation and changes could kick in by the third quarter, affecting developers of private residential projects, executive condominiums (ECs) and design, build and sell scheme (DBSS) sites.

The key proposed changes which the URA is seeking public feedback on include the setting up of accurate showflats that depict the actual units, making available the price list, providing more mandatory information on housing projects, providing developers’ track record, publishing transacted prices, obtaining buyers’ consent for changes to the project and extending advertising controls on websites.

Meanwhile, the URA has stated that a project is considered once the developers grant options-to-purchase (OTPs), regardless of whether sales occur during an official launch or a VIP preview.

A URA spokesman said that developers may adjust prices after units have been launched for sale. However, some industry watchers feel that this rule could have a negative impact on developers, as they already have flexibility in pricing units.

Strong Sing dollar boosts foreign property investment

Strong Sing dollar boosts foreign property investment
Mar 18, 2011 -

Wealthy Singaporeans are always on the lookout for ways to expand their real estate investment portfolios in the West, taking advantage of the strong Singapore dollar, according to the TODAY newspaper.

The Singapore dollar has significantly increased since Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy in September 2008 — 11 percent versus the US dollar, 25 percent against the British pound and 14 percent versus the Euro.

Many foreign real estate markets in cities such as New York have experienced a decline in prices, making them attractive compared to Singapore, where prices have increased sharply in the past two years.

Another famous investment spot is London. “London is still deemed as an aspirational city by the world’s wealthiest, richest families and as an investment target or city, it is really quite attractive because of its stability,” said Ms. Phang Lah Hwa, Head of Consumer Secured Lending at OCBC Bank.

In August 2010, OCBC responded to requests from its wealthy customers to take out either Singapore-dollar or pound-denominated loans on London real estate.

The bank plans to provide similar schemes for real estate markets in Australia and the United States in the near future.

Developers gradually raising property prices

Developers gradually raising property pricesMar 18, 2011

New launches in Singapore have hit a decent take-up rate and developers are taking the opportunity to raise prices, albeit at a slower pace.

DBS said that recent news about the property measures suggest that home buyers remain optimistic.

CDL sold 150 of the 200 units released at the 521-unit H20 Residences over the weekend.

Similarly, Far East Organization sold another 17 units at the 561-unit Waterfront Isle during the first week of March, resulting in total sales of 370 units.

CDL and Far East Organization have increased their prices by approximately one percent.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Woman donates S$1m to Japan quake victims

Woman donates S$1m to Japan quake victims
By Sara Grosse | Posted: 16 March 2011 1620 hrs

Japanese survivors stand on the remains of a dead relative's home after the house was washed away by the tsunami in Ofunato, Japan

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SINGAPORE : A 24-year-old Singaporean woman has donated S$1 million to the victims of the earthquake in Japan.

The Japanese Embassy in Singapore said this is the largest donation it has received so far.

The S$1 million cheque was presented to the Japanese Ambassador at the Embassy.

Accompanying Elaine Low was her father, who heads the company she works for - PT Bayan Resources.

The company has long business ties with Japan and imports heavy equipment from the country.

The Bayan Group owns and operates one of the largest coal terminals in Indonesia.

The Low family also has friends and relatives who visit Japan often.

Ms Low said she and her family felt the earthquake in Japan was unfortunate and wanted to donate as soon as possible.

Ms Low, who is head of business development at PT Bayan Resources, said: "We wanted to make a donation during the weekend, but during that time, the Japanese Association was not in touch with the Red Cross Society yet. So we made a phone call to them after that."

The family has previously donated to crises in China and Indonesia, but said this is their largest donation yet.

Yoichi Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan, said: "We have been receiving so many expressions of support from all over Singapore - the people, the government, different organisations - but this is, as a single act of support, the strongest expression...of supporting our people.

"And we were very grateful. This would be a tremendous boost of morale for all the people back in Japan who are affected by this terrible disaster."

The Japanese Ambassador said the money will be channelled to the Red Cross Society in Japan.

It will either be used to support the rescue and recovery operations or be directed to victims themselves.

The Singapore Red Cross has also received other donations for the Japan disaster.

To date, it says it has received a total of S$235,000 for its first two days of collection.

Singaporeans may make a cash, cheque or SMS donation to the Singapore Red Cross for victims of this disaster.

For walk-in donations, the Singapore Red Cross is open from 9.30am to 9pm from Mondays to Fridays, and from 9.30am to 6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

For cheque donations, cheques should be made payable to the "Singapore Red Cross Society".

Donors may also donate via their mobile phones to 75772. For every SMS, S$50 will be donated to the "Japan Disaster" fund.

- CNA/wk/ms

SINGAPORE - A SINGAPOREAN woman has generously donated S$1 million to help the Japan quake victims.

Ever since the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake shook northeast Japan last Friday, Singaporeans have been showing empathy and pouring in support for the battered nation through donation drives, practical help and so on.

Philanthropists are doing their part too, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

At a donation ceremony held yesterday afternoon at the Embassy of Japan in Singapore, Ms Elaine Low, 24, presented the cheque to Ambassador Yoichi Suzuki.

Ms Low is the daughter of Datuk Low Tuck Kwong, 63, who is the founder of Indonesia-based coal mining company Bayan Resources. Mr Low is the third richest man in Indonesia, according to Forbes magazine.

Mr Low said his company has business ties with Japan, and added that his family has friends and relatives in Japan. The family also has fond memories of Japan's Tohoku region, one of the regions worst hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: ST)

The Straits Times reported that the $1 million donation came from Ms Low's own pocket. Ms Low, who is in charge of business development at her family's company, is leaving it to the Japanese to decide how to use her donation. The same report said that the donation would most likely go to the Japanese Red Cross.

The spokesman of the Japanese embassy told the Chinese evening daily that the embassy only received a call from the Japanese Association here yesterday evening, informing them of the donation. At short notice, they had to organise a ceremony to host Ms Low.

Ambassdor Suzuki said this is the largest donation received for the tsunami victims so far.

Contributions to date

So far, $235,000 has been raised by the Singapore Red Cross Society, excluding the $500,000 pledged by the Singapore Government, reported The Straits Times today.

World Vision Singapore and Mercy Relief have raised over $190,000 and $43,280 respectively.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) will also be collecting donations from tomorrow onwards.