Millennials are about to trigger a major ‘changeover point’ for the US economy, asset manager says

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Millennials are about to trigger a major ‘changeover point’ for the US economy, asset manager says


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U.S. adults aged between 21 and 38 years old will prioritize “necessity spending” over the next decade, Bill Smead told CNBC on Monday.
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Draft Masterplan 2019 promises endearing homes in Central Region

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Author: Ravi Philemon

The Central Region will have vibrant city living, rich with heritage, close to nature, Draft Masterplan 2019 promises

By: Hitesh Khan/

Draft Masterplan 2019 promises that its plans for the Central Region will incorporate features cherished by the community.

Draft Masterplan 2019 promises

Image: URA – Dakota Crescent will be revitalised with the injection of new public housing, Draft Masterplan 2019 promises

Dakota Crescent

Dakota Crescent will be revitalised with the injection of new public housing. The much loved central courtyard, Dove Playground and six distinctive blocks of former Singapore Improvement Trust flats will be retained as landmarks for the precinct. Future residents can look forward to an inclusive estate with convenient amenities and vibrant community spaces amidst the heritage buildings.

Holland Plain

Holland Plain will be a distinctive and welcoming neighbourhood, featuring generous park spaces for residents to enjoy. There will also be water-sensitive elements to clean and manage rainwater run-off. With the newly enhanced Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal and Rail Corridor at its doorstep, native species can be introduced into the new parks to extend these nearby habitats and enrich biodiversity in the area.

Community Workshops on Holland Plain

Residents’ suggestions include creating more inviting entrances to the new community plain and to revise heights of the new buildings to be more sensitive to existing neighbourhoods were incorporated into the plans.

Farrer Park

New housing at Farrer Park will open up more opportunities for those seeking to live closer to the city and their families staying in the area. Familiar landmarks, such as the Farrer Park Swimming Complex and the former boxing gym will be retained to preserve the sporting heritage of the area and inspire future generations of sportsmen. A sports field and park will also be integrated for community bonding.

Community Design Workshops on Farrer Park

Sports and heritage groups as well as residents were engaged in community design workshops to share their ideas. Most felt that sports facilities, such as the swimming pool and former boxing gym, should be incorporated as part of the future precinct.

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital Expansion

The expansion to the historic Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) was completed in 2017. The new 12-storey nursing home facility is co-located with a senior care centre which offers services such as dementia day care and rehabilitation. The 4 conserved old hospital blocks also feature a refurbished TCM Centre, Heritage Gallery and training facilities.

New Kallang Polyclinic

The new Kallang Polyclinic building, adjacent to the KWSH, will be completed in 2020 to better meet the healthcare needs of the residents.

Bukit Timah Community Building

Bukit Timah will have a new one-stop integrated facility with a Community Club, redeveloped market & hawker centre at the doorstep of Beauty World MRT station. It will also feature a range of new amenities such as an indoor sports hall, community library and elderly facility to enhance liveability.

Paya Lebar Central

Centrally located near the city, Paya Lebar Central is also in close proximity to the culturally rich Geylang Serai precinct. Developments such as Wisma Geylang Serai and Paya Lebar Quarter will add to the area’s rich array of lifestyle and entertainment offerings.

Owners of key buildings within the precinct are on board the pilot Business Improvement District programme to develop initiatives that will further enliven the precinct, and complement plans to make Geylang Serai more culturally distinctive.

Bishan Sub-Regional Centre

Bishan Sub-Regional Centre will be transformed into an attractive and easily accessible employment node. Community facilities will be integrated within upcoming commercial developments to better serve nearby residents, workers and the general public.

Dover Knowledge District

As an extension of one-north, the Dover Knowledge District can realise synergies between the nearby business parks, academic and research institutions. It will offer vibrant integrated spaces to create exciting new jobs and learning opportunities, and support Singapore’s long-term economic growth.

East Coast Park Improvement Works

Visitors to one of Singapore’s most well-loved can enjoy the recently reopened Raintree Cove and look forward to upgraded open spaces and amenities at Big Splash and Cyclist Park, Draft Masterplan 2019 promises. Fun-seekers will get to enjoy new F&B outlets, a vertical playground with a lookout tower, and an expansive multi-purpose lawn.

Singapore Botanical Gardens – Gallop Extension

Our first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iconic Singapore Botanic Gardens will feature new attractions for all ages to enjoy with the opening of its Gallop Extension later this year. 5 Gallop Road, Singapore’s earliest surviving black-and-white bungalow, will house the new Forest Discovery Centre. Other attractions include an arboretum of dipteropcarp forest trees, a restored ridge top habitat offering vantage points and an adventure hiking trail, as well as a biophilic play area inspired by the distractive parks of trees found within the grounds.

Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Walk

The Bukit Timah-Rochor green walk is envisioned as a journey through a riverine forest and will include an elevated park. The 11km corridor stretches from the Rail Corridor to the Kallang Riverside Park, and forms part of the Coast-to-Coast Trail and Nature Park Network. Visitors can look forward to a unique walking and cycling experience set amidst lush greenery.

Draft Masterplan 2019 promises that with enhanced mobility, travel time will be reduced in the Central Region

The much-anticipated stage 6 of the Circle Line opening by 2025 will plug the missing gap between Marina Bay and Harbourfront, completing the Circle Line Loop. The new Thomson-East Coast Line and Cross Island Line (Phase 1) will also improve accessibility to the region.

Pasir Panjang Linear Park

The upcoming Pasir Panjang Linear Park is a key recreational corridor linking West Coast Park to Labrador Park Nature Reserve. The linear park is made possible in part by a contribution from PSA Singapore, and will bring park users up close to Pasir Panjang Terminal, offering a glimpse of the workings of Singapore’s world-class container port.

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Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors growing momentum in property sector

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Author: Ravi Philemon

The Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors Singapore planners’ people-centric approach to achieving sustainable growth through continuous innovation to enhance the attractiveness of the city, said a Policy Watch report by prominent real estate services agency Cushman & Wakefield (C&W).

By: Hitesh Khan/

The report which was released in April 2019 said the key strategies highlighted in the Draft Masterplan 2019 will move Singapore in the right direction towards a sustainable and livable city of the future.

Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors

Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors Singapore planners’ people-centric approach to achieving sustainable growth

The Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors the Government’s commitment to bring work-live-play back to the CBD.

Christine Li, Senior Director of Research for C&W said: “A CBD Incentive Scheme will offer an increase in gross plot ratio to encourage conversion of existing office developments to hotel and residential uses. This could be beneficial for many office developments which face challenges when it comes to land use zoning. As residential and hotel use typically has a lower capital value, it does not make sense for land owners to downgrade to those development options without the increase in the plot ratio. With the new CBD Incentive Scheme in place, it will make commercial sense to look at various development options.”

She added: “A wider implication could also be on the office sector. Given that there could be a wave of redevelopments into residential and hotel segments to tap onto the CBD Incentive Scheme, office supply in the medium term could be even tighter if there are more conversions of office developments into residential and hotels. This could potentially cause Grade A CBD office rents to rise further as supply is taken off the market. Nonetheless, there could be positive outcomes as some companies would shift out of the CBD, which is in line with the government’s decentralisation strategy of commercial activities.”

The report noted that in order for this CBD Incentive Scheme to take off, some tweaks might be required. It stated that the current hotel development charge (DC) rates and the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) for developers are seen to be too prohibitive for developers to consider these development options. This is especially so for residential properties in the CBD where a significant portion of demand are from foreigners whom face an ABSD of 20%.

“Bringing residential developments back to the CBD is not new, but the earlier efforts have not yielded the desired outcome. Hence I am of the view that co-living should be extensively adopted when the developers consider redevelopment options in the CBD in the future. Currently, only the affluent expatriates and rich locals are able to afford living in the CBD. However, in order to make the CBD truly work-live-play, we should also bring in people from all walks of life to the CBD. Co-living may help to achieve the intended consequence. However, the current rules such as having no more than 6 related people in one unit should be allowed to relax in order to increase the attractiveness of city-living.”

The Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors the Government’s effort to bring in revenue through the collection of development charge or differential premium.

DBS FHR-8 Fixed Deposit Rate to Hike effective 25th Aug 2018

The C&W report noted that Plot ratios for numerous CBD land parcels saw significant increases. C&W said that this is fantastic news for private owners who have been sitting on historical land sites but have held back redevelopment plans due to the lack of incentives. It cited the base plot ratios for land parcels in the heart of Raffles Place, in the vicinity of Raffles Place MRT station, which rose from 12.6 to 15.0, as an example.

“This provides an impetus for landlords of ageing assets in prime locations such as The Arcade and Clifford Centre to redevelop their properties. This bodes well for investment activities, as landlords who were on the fence as to whether to divest their older assets for redevelopment are now more likely to do so.

There is also likely to be an increase in asset enhancement initiatives as landlords seize the opportunity to unlock the additional untapped GFA. It might be possible for landlords of assets which are currently undergoing AEIs to revise their plans in order to unlock the additional untapped GFA. As a result, there could be a delay in these AEIs as these landlords await the finalisation of the new Master Plan and apply for revised planning permissions.

The withdrawal of office stock from the potential wave of redevelopments and AEIs will lead to lower vacancy rates and lend further support to rents, benefiting landlords. The state’s coffers will also be buoyed due to the collection of development charge or differential premium.”

The Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors efforts to push for rejuvenation of the tired Orchard Road shopping belt.

The report noted that plot ratios were also increased for many developments along the main Orchard Road shopping belt, which will incentivise landlords to push for rejuvenation of the tired shopping belt. It however added that not all sites will actually see a net increase in their development potential due to the removal of the bonus plot ratio.

“The increase in plot ratios could mainly benefit developments which are located along the main Orchard stretch (ie. Ngee Ann City, Tang Plaza, Lucky Plaza etc.). Ageing retail shopping centres along Orchard Road are expected to see some interest from developers given the increase in development potential. This is especially so for the smaller developments which will not benefit as much from the bonus plus plot ratio due to their smaller size. However, the retail environment remains in flux and retail landlords are still experimenting on concepts which work best. As such, a redevelopment may not yield more retail space in the end but instead developers may choose to introduce other uses such as office or hotel space, given the low office vacancy rate of only 5.4% in Orchard in the first quarter of 2019 and brighter prospects of the hotel sector.”

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Draft Masterplan 2019 mirrors emergence of Tech Cluster in the north.

The report noted that one-north precinct is growing from strength to strength and could be expanding as many tech companies have already chosen to re-locate their HQs in one-north. In citing Razer’s South-East Asia
headquarters as an example, the report noted how it is planned to be in one-north. The HQ will be built to suit and has an estimated Gross Floor Area of 19,300 sqm.

“Ride-hailing giant Grab is also planning to build its new Singapore HQ in one-north. There is a possibility that one-north will further expand in view of its popularity among the tech companies in Singapore. Three parcels have been rezoned from residential and reserve sites to white sites subject to detailed planning. We are of the view that these could be suitable for technology companies as they prefer a more campus like environment.”

C&W said that as more commercial activities gravitate towards one-north, higher demand is expected for nearby residential properties. It added that one upcoming new launch to watch would be Normanton Park Residences, which is located nearby.”

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Proptech giant created with joint-venture partnership between 99.co and Australia’s REA Group

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Author: Ravi Philemon

Proptech giant created with joint-venture between REA Group, 99.co, Sequoia, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Allianz X, MindWorks Ventures, East Ventures and 500 Startups

Proptech giant

(Image: 99.co)

REA Group on 8 Oct announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) with 99.co, the Singapore headquartered digital property marketplace, to create the largest customer and listings footprint in Singapore and Indonesia.

The combined company, a proptech giant, will provide the most compelling property marketplaces in Singapore and Indonesia, while delivering the best digital platforms to property professionals to help them grow their businesses.

Core to the JV company will be harnessing the know-how and capability of REA Group, the clear number one Australian and South East Asian proptech giant company, with market leading destinations for property seekers across Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Thailand. In addition, the JV company will leverage the entrepreneurial expertise of 99.co, co-founded by CEO Darius Cheung in 2014. Under Cheung’s leadership, 99.co has grown its total user base by 32 times in the past two years.

Prior to establishing 99.co, Cheung co-founded Singaporean mobile security start-up tenCube in 2005 which was later acquired by McAfee in 2010 in a S$25 million deal.

REA Group, CEO Owen Wilson said: “The Singapore marketplace is ripe for disruption. Our customers in this market want a true industry partner who can deliver world leading products and experiences. Joining forces with 99.co creates the market leading presence in terms of customers and listings. Combined with our expertise and experience in other countries where we are the clear market leader, this presents a fantastic opportunity to rapidly increase our market share in these expanding growth markets.”

REA Group, Chief Strategy Officer and CEO Asia, Henry Ruiz commented: “Over the past two years we’ve admired the innovation and speed that Darius and his team have brought to the marketplaces that they serve. The formidable combination of our talent, best of breed technology, digital expertise and customer relationships will supercharge our ability to compete and win in Singapore and Indonesia.”

Darius Cheung, CEO 99.co commented: “This is a truly exciting opportunity to be joining forces with a global leader like REA Group, a company that also shares our customer centric, relationship driven approach. Our JV company sets the scene for us to create the number one place for property seekers in Singapore and Indonesia and in turn provide the best value for property professionals.”

Transaction details of the proptech giant joint venture:

The JV company will be established through the transfer of the existing businesses of 99.co and iProperty.com.sg and Rumah123.com located in Singapore and Indonesia. Existing 99.co shareholders, including the founding partners, Sequoia, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Allianz X, MindWorks Ventures, East Ventures and 500 Startups will have shareholdings in the JV company totalling 73%. REA Group will be the largest shareholder with a 27% shareholding. REA Group will also contribute USD$8 million in working capital to the joint venture.

The transfer of REA Group’s Singapore and Indonesia businesses to the JV company will result in an immaterial profit on sale. It will also result in a small increase in EBITDA for the Asian segment as those businesses were in early investment stage. The JV company will be equity accounted as an associate.

Darius Cheung will become CEO of the JV company while Henry Ruiz and REA Group Chief Financial Officer, Janelle Hopkins will represent REA Group’s interest as Non-Executive board directors. The transaction, which remains subject to confirmatory due diligence, is anticipated to be completed in Q2FY20, while the new JV company will be fully operational across both Singapore and Indonesia in early 2020.

Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, commenting on the creation of the proptech giant with the joint-venture said, “The rising number of consolidations of online portals and tech groups reflect the explosion in popularity and growing depth of the “proptech” industry.”

He added, “the joint venture is a testament to the advancing proptech innovations and improving the real estate industry for their clients. Through the partnership they will be able to provide added value and service to their clients which could be the best-in-class in real estate platform.”

In keeping up with proptech revolution that is exploding everywhere, property agents “must upgrade or die”, said Mr Ho. He noted that many property agencies struggle to keep up with all the regulatory changes in the industry, as well as the changing financial calculations for acquiring a property. He urged property agents to master the basics in property financing, refinancing, taxation and CPF.

Mr Ho said that iCompareLoan.com runs a full 2 – 3 days course on how property agents can produce such reports for their customers. He added that the trademarked course teaches Property Agents how to generate complicated Financial calculations using –  Home Loan Report (TM) – in 3 mins flat. This helps Property agents to close deals faster and serve customers more professionally.

Proptech is technology and real estate coming together to propel the real estate industry forward. The proptech ecosystem is flourishing now in many parts of the world, thanks in large part to ample venture capital, community efforts in local tech hubs, and an increasing realisation that there is a real need for innovation in the sector.

Proptech will have an impact on traditional business operating models. Whether this impact turns out to be positive or negative depends largely on how real estate players will use them to their advantage. These technologies are however still a long way away from replacing human judgment, touch, and ability to react to dynamic changes, which are all critical to the decision-making process.

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Portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses in District 1 launched for sale at $31m

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Author: Ravi Philemon

Knight Frank Singapore announced on Oct 9 that it has been appointed by a trust company to offer a portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses for sale via Expression of Interest (EOI). The conservation shophouses are located within District 1, at Telok Ayer Street, Stanley Street and Smith Street respectively. The portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses can be purchased individually or as a portfolio.

Commercial conservation shophouses, such as the portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses, are particularly in prime central locations, are highly sought after by investors, as they are rarely available and tightly held.

The portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses are zoned Commercial under the Master Plan 2014. As it is a commercial property, the sale is open to both locals and foreigners, with no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty and Seller’s Stamp Duty imposed on the purchase of the properties.

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portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses

(Image credit: Knight Frank)

151 Telok Ayer Street

The freehold shophouse at 151 Telok Ayer Street is prominently located near the junction of Telok Ayer Street and Cross Street, surrounded by a busy street of eateries, amenities and historical places of worship. The 2.5-storey intermediate shophouse is also within the Telok Ayer Conservation Area.

Easily accessible, Telok Ayer MRT station is just 200 metres away, whilst connectivity is further enhanced by the proximity to major expressways such the Central Expressway (CTE) and East Coast Parkway (ECP).

The shophouse has a land area of approximately 146.2 sq m (approximately 1,574 sq ft) and built-up area of approximately 297.36 sq m (approximately 3,198 sq ft). The ground floor space could potentially be utilised as an F&B outlet, subject to authorities’ approval.

The guide price for the Telok Ayer Street shophouse is S$12 million.

Best Home Loans Singapore 2019

14 Stanley Street

At 14 Stanley Street, the freehold shophouse sits on a one-way street in the Telok Ayer area of Chinatown. Situated on the boundary between the Downtown Core and Outram Planning Area, the street links McCallum Street to Boon Tat Street, flanked on the left by other conserved shophouses. The 2.5-storey shophouse is currently occupied by a restaurant on the ground floor and offices on the upper floor, along a stretch of F&B establishments.

The property is also within walking distance of Telok Ayer MRT station, just 300 metres away.

The shophouse has a land area of approximately 138.5 sq m (approximately 1,491 sq ft) and built-up area of approximately 306.17 sq m (approximately 3,265 sq ft), and is situated within the Telok Ayer Conservation Area.

The guide price for the Stanley Street shophouse is S$12 million.

8 Smith Street

The 2-storey corner shophouse at 8 Smith Street is located in a prime area of Chinatown, along the revamped, 100m sheltered Smith Street Chinatown Food Street that is well known for local roadside hawker delights.

Positioned within the Kreta Ayer Conservation Area off Neil Road, the shophouse stands amidst a colourful, cultural area comprising a plethora of coffee shops, ethnic associations, boutique hotels and restaurants. Other than its popularity as a tourist attraction, the area is fast changing into a food haven, with top-rated eateries pulling in locals and tourists alike. The area is also accessible via Kreta Ayer Road.

The shophouse has a land area of approximately 194.7 sq m (approximately 2,096 sq ft) and built-up area of approximately 330.72 sqm (approximately 3,559 sq ft) and is currently tenanted to an F&B establishment on the ground floor.

The guide price for the Smith Street shophouse is S$7 million.

Ms Mary Sai, Executive Director of Investment and Capital Markets, Knight Frank Singapore, says, “Recently, we’ve witnessed high levels of interest in the conservation shophouses that we’re marketing in the CBD. In fact, one of them in the Telok Ayer vicinity transacted at a sale price in excess of S$13 million, in August.”

Mr Ian Loh, Head of Investment and Capital Markets, Knight Frank Singapore, further shares, “This is a rare opportunity to acquire a portfolio of highly coveted conservation shophouses, right at the heart of the Central Business District. These commercial assets provide immediate rental income and potential strong reversionary rental, particularly with the diverse range of entertainment, cultural and lifestyle attractions in the vicinity.”

The EOI for all 3 shophouses will close on Wednesday, 13 November 2019, at 3pm.

Mr Paul Ho, Chief Mortgage Consultant at iCompareLoan, said that despite the property curbs introduced by the Government last year, Singapore is still an attractive residential market for investors.

Although the property market exuberance has been curbed to some extent with the property cooling measures introduced last year, Singapore as a property market investment destination still remains among the top – shoulder to shoulder with other cities in the world like London, New York, Shanghai and Sydney.

“We have to be mindful that there is a lot of excess capital fluidity here and at 1.9 – 2 percent, Singapore has one of the lowest interest rates for home loans in the region,” he added.

The biggest gainers following the new property cooling measures is likely be owners of strata portfolio of offices and shophouses approved for commercial use. The property cooling measures affected almost all categories of buyers and is predicted to achieve its intended objectives of cooling demand and moderating price growth.

One report said investors looking for alternatives to park their money in the wake of property cooling measures, would divert their attention to the strata office and shophouse markets as they are not subjected to this round of purchase or sales restrictions/encumbrances.

Shophouses are perceived as attractive investments because they can hold their values because of their central locations and the freehold/999-year-leasehold of many of these properties. Shophouses are also valued because they give prominent presence to a business entity for them to be visible in a highly competitive environment.

The portfolio of 3 commercial shophouses will be especially attractive to investors because of its location, as investment properties of such nature are scarce.

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Property investment volume surged in 3Q 2019 says new report

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Author: Ravi Philemon

The total property investment volume increased to $16.74 billion in 3Q2019, a 150 per cent jump from the $6.7 billion in 2Q 2019 and it is 49 per cent more than the volume of $11.24 billion for 1Q2019 and 2Q2019 combined. The commercial sector led the way with $6.27 billion worth of investment sales.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Q3 2019 Capital Markets Report said Allianz Real Estate and Gaw Capital Partners acquired DUO Tower and Galleria from M+S for $1.58 billion or $2,570 psf. With the property performing above expectations, the deal was a record price for the Bugis submarket, enabling M+S to unlock capital and maximize the returns for shareholders.

The C&W report on property investment volume said that another transaction in Bugis involved Angelo Gordon and TCRE Partners purchasing Bugis Junction Towers from Keppel REIT for $547.5 million or $2,200 psf. The selling price was 6.3 per cent above the latest valuation, enabling Keppel REIT to reap a gain of $378.1 million from the acquisition price of $159.5 million paid in 2006 after accounting for capitalized expenditures and divestment cost.

Property investment decisions are driven by new economic models

Also, Arch Capital Management bought Anson House from Savills Investment Management for $210.0 million or $2,435 psf. The property recently underwent a revamp which spruced up the common areas and converted some car park space to office space. Other office transactions include 71 Robinson Road and Plus (former GSH Plaza).

Commerz Real divested 71 Robinson Road to Sun Venture for $655.0 million or $2,756 psf. This was lower than the price of $743.8 million or $3,125 psf paid by Commerz Real for its purchase near the peak of the market in 2008. Fullshare Holdings divested Plus for around $530.0 million or $2,320 psf to an associated company of CapitaLand. According to media reports, the selling price was lower than the effective price of approximately $2,600 psf which Fullshare acquired the building for in 2017 as demand for the small strata units had been lower than expected.

However, the deal is structured in a way which enables the seller to benefit from a share of the upside if CapitaLand sells the property for a profit in the future. There was also activity in the retail sector with Lendlease injecting 313@Somerset into its REIT for $1.00 billion. Lendlease Global Commercial REIT’s IPO has been well received by the market, with its share price rising by 4.5 per cent on the first day.

Transactions in the industrial sector in the third quarter of 2019 totalled $4.07 billion. The residential sector accounted for $3.03 billion while the hospitality sector also had a strong showing of $2.92 billion.

REITs drove industrial property investment volume during the quarter. Mapletree Investments committed to pursuing an asset-light strategy by injecting Mapletree Business City II into Mapletree Commercial Trust for $1.55 billion or $1,308 psf.

The data centre segment is in vogue, with Keppel DC REIT continuing to grow its portfolio by purchasing 1-Net North Data Centre for $201.8 million and a 99 per cent stake in Keppel DC Singapore 4 for $384.9 million.

Property investment volume surge as investors seek safe havens amidst regional unrest

“The 2019 YTD volume currently amounts to $27.98 billion due to the robust Q3 contribution, and it is increasingly likely that the 2019 full-year volume will surpass 2018’s volume of $33.96 billion. The Grade A CBD office capital value recorded a marginal increase to $2,930 psf, while yields remained stable at 3.20%. Slight yield compression could occur in 2020 if investor demand for assets in safe havens like Singapore increases amidst greater unrest in Hong Kong and the escalation of the US-China trade war. However, gains in capital value could be mild as rents are expected to peak in 2019 in view of the subdued economic outlook.”

The hospitality sector is also heating up with higher property investment volume

The hospitality sector is also heating up with higher property investment volumes said the report. Royal Group sold Darby Park Executive Suites for $160.0 million to Indonesian tycoon Bachtiar Karim, after its initial purchase from Sime Darby Group last year. This garnered Royal Group a 72 per cent profit after the site was re-zoned from residential to hotel use. Meanwhile, PAM Holdings and Datapulse Technology bought Bay Hotel Singapore for $235.0 million.

A joint venture by Hong Kong financial services firm AMTD Group and Far East Consortium International acquired Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore for $287.1 million. This came after OUE Hospitality Trust declined to exercise its right of first refusal as the deal would not be DPU-accretive for its unitholders.

Christine Li, C&W’s Head of Research for Singapore and Southeast Asia, said “Year-to-date, investment sales volume currently tracks at $27.98 billion, bumped up by the robust Q3 contribution. It is increasingly likely that the 2019 full-year volume will surpass 2018’s volume of $33.96 billion. Grade A CBD office capital values recorded a marginal increase to $2,930 psf, while yields remained stable at 3.20 per cent. Slight yield compression could occur in 2020 if investor demand for assets in safe havens like Singapore increases amidst greater unrest in Hong Kong and the escalation of the US-China trade war. However, any gains in capital value could be mild as rents are expected to peak in 2019 in view of the subdued economic outlook.

Shaun Poh, Executive Director of Capital Markets at C&W, said “In a tight commercial supply market such as Singapore’s, it is tempting for assets to chase price gains. That is where the market is headed now, creating a gap between sellers and buyers’ expectations. Still, Singapore’s gateway city status and its stable fundamentals make it an attractive destination for foreign funds.”

Significant Private Investment Transactions in 3Q 2019:

higher property investment volume

The total property investment volume skyrocketed to $16.74 billion in 3Q2019, more than the volume of  11.24 billion for 1Q2019 and 2Q2019 combined. The commercial sector led the way with $6.27  million, followed by the industrial sector with $4.07 billion. The residential sector accounted for $3.03 billion, while the hospitality sector also had a strong showing of $2.92 billion.

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URA Draft Master Plan 2019 promises liveable & inclusive neighbourhoods

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URA Draft Master Plan 2019 promises liveable & inclusive neighbourhoods


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Author: Ravi Philemon

The URA Draft Master Plan 2019 fleshed out new housing concepts and amenities

By: Hitesh Khan/

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in March 2019, unveiled key proposals under the Draft Master Plan 2019 (DMP19) that focus on planning sustainable, green, inclusive neighbourhoods, rejuvenating familiar places and creating capacity for our future.

The exhibition which was held from 27 March to 24 May 2019 showcased the following key strategies in URA Draft Master Plan 2019:

a. Planning liveable, inclusive neighbourhoods
b. Developing economic gateways for the future
c. Rejuvenating familiar places sensitively
d. Building a resilient city
e. Re-imagining our future

Planning liveable, inclusive neighbourhoods under URA Draft Master Plan 2019

New housing concepts and amenities in Draft Master Plan 2019

Future residential precincts will continue to be sustainable, green, community-centric and car-lite, with easy access to a wide range of public spaces and amenities to meet residents’ needs. Co-locating amenities in one-stop hubs such as the upcoming Bukit Canberra and Punggol Town Hub makes it easier for residents to shop, dine, and engage in family-bonding activities all under one roof.

Agencies are also studying age-friendly designs for neighbourhoods so our seniors can remain independent and healthy in familiar surroundings as they age.

Plan for facilities to meet changing needs in Draft Master Plan 2019

The demand for facilities such as polyclinics, childcare and eldercare centres will evolve as the demographic makeup of housing towns changes. Hence, data analytics and geospatial capabilities are used to examine changing demographic trends, usage patterns, and user profiles to help agencies make decisions on where to locate new facilities, or convert existing ones to cater for new needs. This will ensure that URA will continue to meet changing needs with adequate provision of amenities and services that are accessible to residents.

URA Draft Master Plan 2019More greenery and play spaces in Draft Master Plan 2019

Our island-wide network of play corridors, parks, sports facilities and green spaces will be expanded. In future, there will be about 1,000 ha more parks and park connectors. Parks will be connected by key recreational corridors such as the Round Island Route, Rail Corridor, Kallang River, Coast-to-Coast Trail, Bukit Timah-Rochor green walk, as well as a growing network of park connectors. This includes the Greater Rustic Coast, which is the Changi to Lim Chu Kang segment of the Round Island Route. Linking areas of heritage, biodiversity and recreation, this 50 km stretch allows visitors to experience numerous settings along its length.

In future, over 90 per cent of households will be within walking distance of a park. More Active Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters projects will be completed over the next five years.

Given Singapore’s limited land area, URA has adopted a balanced approach to development and nature conservation. Land has been set aside for greenery, including four Nature Reserves and 20 Nature Areas, so that representative sites of our key native ecosystems are retained. Greenery and biodiversity will continue to be integrated into our urban environment, along our streets and waterways, and on our buildings.

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Developing economic gateways for the future economy under URA Draft Master Plan 2019

Three major gateways in the west, north and east are being planned to support our economic growth, and bring jobs and amenities closer to homes.

The western gateway, which comprises Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District and Tuas Terminal, will see improved transport connectivity with the future Jurong Region (JRL) and Cross Island Lines (CRL). Located near to two major universities, the Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, the western gateway can boost synergies through knowledge sharing and collaborations between industries and academia.

Anchored by the Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor, the northern gateway is the portal to growth opportunities in the agri-tech and food sector, with the new Agri-Food Innovation Park at Sungei Kadut catalysing innovation in the agri-tech ecosystem. As Woodlands Regional Centre continues growing as the largest business node in the north, it is well-positioned to serve as this corridor’s strategic centre with new spaces for business, industry, research and development, learning, and innovation to be added over the next 15 years. Punggol Digital District, housing key growth sectors in the digital economy and the Singapore Institute of Technology, will become a vibrant and inclusive district of the future.

Capitalising on the expansion of Changi Airport, the eastern gateway at Changi will host a myriad of aviation-related businesses at the Changi Aviation Park. It will also host an innovative lifestyle business cluster at Changi City, comprising the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Changi Business Park, and the future Changi East Urban District at the doorstep of Terminal 5.

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Rejuvenating familiar places under URA Draft Master Plan 2019

Familiar places such as the Central Area, mature towns, and major recreational corridors will be rejuvenated, even as URA retains parts of their unique heritage. There are also opportunities to inject unique, short-term uses for vacant State properties and land to bring about greater vibrancy and create public spaces for more to enjoy.

Central Area under URA Draft Master Plan 2019

The Central Area is home to our Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Bay; retail and entertainment clusters at Orchard and Singapore River; as well as arts, cultural and heritage areas such as our Civic District, Bras Basah.Bugis, and the historic districts.

Increased global competition, changing trends and lifestyle aspirations mean that our city centre needs to maintain its competitive edge and dynamism through continued growth and rejuvenation.

To this end, URA will increase live-in population within the Central Area by planning for a variety of homes and amenities in areas such as Downtown, Marina South and Rochor so more people can live near workplaces and amenities.

Orchard Road will be enhanced as a lifestyle destination that offers differentiated experiences for each sub-precinct. The iconic shopping belt will also be enhanced as a lush, green, urban corridor that connects the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park.

In addition, the arts, cultural, and heritage precinct comprising the Civic District, Bras Basah.Bugis, and Fort Canning will be expanded and enhanced with improvements to the public space and made more vibrant through place making.

For the CBD, the vision is to continue to transform it into a well-connected and vibrant mixed-use district offering a dynamic and innovative business environment.

Rejuvenate existing areas, retain heritage

Besides the Central Area, new housing and amenities to serve future residents will be added in areas such as Bayshore, Dakota Crescent, and Farrer Park. Future public housing at Dakota Crescent will be planned to take into consideration the six retained Singapore Improvement Trust blocks nearby and the courtyard space, with ideas from heritage groups, former residents and community leaders woven into the future plans.

At Farrer Park, new housing will give more options for home buyers looking to live near the city. Familiar landmarks such as the Farrer Park Swimming Pool and former boxing gym will be retained to celebrate the sporting heritage of the area. In keeping with its heritage, a sports field and park will be integrated with future housing so the community can bond over sports and recreational activities.

Rail Corridor under URA Draft Master Plan 2019

Approximately one million people live within 1 km of the Rail Corridor. By 2021, we can look forward to a continuously connected Rail Corridor. Neighbouring estates, such as the Queenstown area, Buona Vista, Beauty World and Sungei Kadut will progressively be rejuvenated as well to bring communities closer to the Corridor.

To retain the heritage and shared memories of the area, the former Station Master’s Quarters opposite the Bukit Timah Railway Station will be conserved. The former Bukit Timah Fire Station building will also be conserved, and the site will be transformed into a gateway node with a visitor centre for the nature and heritage attractions in the area.

Building a resilient city

Faced with an increasingly complex environment, URA said that it needs to build a resilient city by continually reviewing and enhancing plans to stay relevant to our people’s needs, and be ready to adapt to changing trends.

Going underground under URA Draft Master Plan 2019

One strategy to make better use of our land is to free up surface land for people-centric uses by relocating utilities, transport, storage and industrial facilities underground.

To improve the efficient and effective use of underground space, URA taps on 3D technology to facilitate upfront planning of the underground space. URA is rolling out 3D underground maps for Marina Bay, Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District, to show the underground uses and planning requirements in these three pilot areas, and make them transparent to developers and building owners. This 3D underground plan will be expanded to include more areas in future.

Re-imagining our future

Even as URA plans land uses for the next 10 to 15 years, agencies are also looking ahead for the longer term. The redevelopment of two key areas—Greater Southern Waterfront and Paya Lebar Air Base—will help us meet future growth needs.

Greater Southern Waterfront

The Greater Southern Waterfront spans across the southern coastline from Pasir Panjang to Marina East. In future, after the City Terminals and Pasir Panjang Terminal relocate to Tuas, about 1,000 ha of land will be freed up for development. Together with other areas like Keppel Club and Sentosa, the total area of the Greater Southern Waterfront will be about 2,000 ha. Some of the Greater Southern Waterfront’s development will start within the next five to 10 years with new developments at Pasir Panjang Power District and the Keppel Club site.

The Pasir Panjang/Labrador area will be rejuvenated as a significant waterfront node along the Greater Southern Waterfront. Singapore’s first 230 kV underground substation, integrated with a commercial building, will be developed next to the Labrador Park MRT station.

Nearer the waterfront, the Pasir Panjang Power District can leverage its unique industrial heritage and be given a new lease of life as a lifestyle and heritage destination. Agencies are exploring various strategies to realise this, including the adaptive reuse of the former power station buildings and opening up the grounds for public access. The new uses will be sensitive to the adjacent Labrador Nature Reserve. The Power District will be connected to the rest of the Greater Southern Waterfront via the new Pasir Panjang Linear Park. URA and the Singapore Land Authority will be launching a competition in April 2019 for members of public to contribute ideas on how the precinct can be transformed into a lifestyle destination along the Greater Southern Waterfront.

The site occupied by the Keppel Club will be redeveloped for housing after the current lease expires. With its waterfront location and convenient access to the Telok Blangah and Labrador Park MRT stations, it offers unique possibilities for new homes to be developed. Development of the site will be sensitively carried out taking into consideration the nearby Belayer Creek.

Transforming Paya Lebar Air Base

In the longer term, Paya Lebar Air Base will relocate and free up 800ha of land. The site and its surroundings can be transformed into a highly liveable and sustainable new town, with new jobs and amenities for future residents. Future transport connectivity for residents in the adjoining areas will improve as they will be able to shorten their routes by travelling through the future town, instead of going around the site.

Some of the preliminary ideas in URA Draft Master Plan 2019 to transform the area include:

  • Retain the area’s rich aviation heritage as Singapore’s second international airport after Kallang Airport, by re-purposing the former airport buildings and parts of the runway into vibrant community spaces;
  • Foster healthy communities by creating a network of parks and open spaces and offering a variety of leisure options;
  • Build highly liveable, sustainable, walkable and integrated mixed-use neighbourhoods for future residents.

Later in the year, URA will hold an ideas competition to seek public’s views and aspirations for the site.

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Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to Jurong Lake District

Click on Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to Jurong Lake District
for the source.
Author: Ravi Philemon

Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to exciting business and employment opportunities for Singaporeans living in Jurong in three new employment areas — Jurong Lake District (JLD), Jurong Innovation District (JID) and Tuas Port. JLD and JID will test-bed new urban solutions and infrastructure to create more pleasant working and living environments for all.

By: Hitesh Khan/

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in March 2019, unveiled key proposals under the Draft Master Plan 2019 (DMP19) that focus on planning sustainable, green, inclusive neighbourhoods, rejuvenating familiar places and creating capacity for our future.

The exhibition which was held from 27 March to 24 May 2019 showcased the following key strategies in URA Draft Master Plan 2019:

a. Planning liveable, inclusive neighbourhoods
b. Developing economic gateways for the future
c. Rejuvenating familiar places sensitively
d. Building a resilient city
e. Re-imagining our future

Future residential precincts will continue to be sustainable, green, community-centric and car-lite, with easy access to a wide range of public spaces and amenities to meet residents’ needs. Co-locating amenities in one-stop hubs such as the upcoming Bukit Canberra and Punggol Town Hub makes it easier for residents to shop, dine, and engage in family-bonding activities all under one roof.

Agencies are also studying age-friendly designs for neighbourhoods so our seniors can remain independent and healthy in familiar surroundings as they age.

URA’s plan for western gateway comprises Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District and Tuas Terminal, will see improved transport connectivity with the future Jurong Region (JRL) and Cross Island Lines (CRL). Located near to two major universities, the Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, the western gateway can boost synergies through knowledge sharing and collaborations between industries and academia

Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to the 360-hectare JLD which will be the largest mixed-use business district outside the city centre, with quality offices, housing, amenities and abundant green spaces.

A complementary leisure and recreational cluster has also been planned around Jurong Lake to leverage on the area’s unique lakeside and garden setting.

Offering pedestrians shelter in JLD come rain or shine, the existing J-Walk network will be extended to more developments. Beyond being just a linkway between malls, the elevated pedestrian network will also have programmes for fitness enthusiasts to clock more steps while moving around the district.

With 4 MRT lines serving the district by 2035, residents, workers and visitors will have enhanced accessibility to the rest of the island, including direct connections to the CBD, Changi Airport and JID.

The development of JLD will revolve around 4 key themes:

Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum

Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to the 360-hectare JLD

Jurong Innovation District

Served by 6 future Jurong Region Line stations, JID will be an industrial district for advanced manufacturing, supporting an ecosystem of manufacturers, technology providers, researchers and education institutions with Nanyang Technological University nearby.

Workers and residents of nearby Jurong West and Tengah towns can look forward to a new 11-kilometre-long sky corridor that allows pedestrians, cyclists and autonomous shuttles to move seamlessly within the precinct to nearby transport hubs and exciting lifestyle options.

JID is envisioned to be:

Tuas Terminal

By leveraging on advanced automation and more efficient processes, this next-generation port can handle 65 million TEUs when fully operational by the 2040s, twice the volume handled by our ports today. The port’s global reach and connectivity can also benefit factories in Tuas and Jurong with quicker production-to-market turnarounds.

Journeying with ease:

Come 2035, the West will be served by 6 rail lines, connecting more residents to key employment, recreation and leisure areas. With the introduction of the Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line, residents will have more commuting options. The future Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) will allow commuters to switch between transport modes more conveniently and add vibrancy to the area. (Note: The western stretch of the Cross Island Line is currently under study.)

Jurong Canal Drive Extension

The future Jurong Canal Drive Extension will be designed for buses only, connecting two ‘car-lite’ districts – Tengah and JLD. Existing footpaths and bike lanes will be widened and lined with shadier trees for a more pleasant walking and cycling experience. This new mobility corridor will form part of a regional transit-only network connecting other towns in future.

Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to the excitement by focusing on the 360-hectare Jurong Lake District.

Jurong Lake Gardens

Jurong Lake Gardens will be Singapore’s first national gardens in the heartlands, bringing nature closer to homes. It will open progressively from 2019, with new attractions and enhanced community spaces to serve residents, workers and visitors. As a people’s gardens, residents can look forward to nature-themed and water play areas, lifestyle and sports facilities, as well as a restored swamp forest and wetlands.

There is now some 160 hectares of land that is yet to be developed within the 360-hectare district. Draft Master Plan 2019 promises to design a greener way of life. New housing and community facilities in the West will be nestled within lush green spaces, close to parks and nature corridors. They will be developed sensitively, allowing biodiversity to thrive and co-exist in harmony with humans. By integrating developments with greenery, residents will be able to enjoy a good quality living environment.

Draft Master Plan 2019 gives momentum to the discovering of nature at every corner. With new parks and enhancements to existing green spaces and waterways, communities will be able to get closer to nature for leisure and recreation. These green and blue networks will also help to enhance biodiversity in our living and working environments.

If you believe in the Jurong Lake District’s momentum and are looking to buy properties in that area, you should look up at Panel of Property agentsMortgage consultants too can help you with affordability assessment and possibly a promotional home loan. The services of mortgage loan experts are usually free, and their analysis will give best home loan seekers better ease of mind on interest rate volatility and repayments.

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