Category Archives: Boat Quay/Clarke Quay/Chinatown

Along Singapore River

Robertson Quay’s newest “garden in the city”

Robertson Quay is having its the first large-scale launch in eight years: Martin Modern. The new condo project will comprise 450 residential units set within a botanic garden. It will offer a range of two, two plus study, three and four-bedroom apartments with sizes spanning 764 sq ft to 1,798 sq ft. Prices start from S$1.8 million.

Residents will be able to enjoy lush greenery in this development, more than 80% of the land area set aside for a beautiful botanic garden with over 200 species of plants and more than 50 species of trees and palms.

The project highlights includes:

– 2 Towers of 450 units (up to 30 storeys)
– Low site-coverage with Extensive Botanical Landscape
– Bespoke concierge services
– Panoramic Views of gardens / city / the Singapore River
– 2 to 4 Bedrooms (2BR, 2+S sizes from 800-880sqft / 3BR, 3+S sizes from 1,000-1,300sqft/ 4BR with private lift 1,800sqft ) on average price of $2300psf  (prices and sizes subject to change)

This next masterpiece by renowned Guocoland Singapore in District 9 Orchard/River Valley is slated for launch on 22 July 2017. There is a preview period prior to the official launch. Due to overwhelming response for the past 2 days, Martin Modern show suite operating hour is extended to this coming weekend 10 – 14 July (10am – 1pm)

Call +65-94772121 or email davidking.property@hotmail.com for preview and launch details.

Investment property sales drop in Q1

FROM a high base in the fourth quarter of last year, big-ticket property transactions of at least S$10 million declined substantially in the first quarter.

However, the mood in the market is decidedly positive – with much anticipation of the imminent mega transactions of Jurong Point mall, and Asia Square Tower 2 in the CBD.

“Investment market sentiment is positive and the price gap has mostly disappeared except for hotels,” said CBRE executive director, capital markets, Jeremy Lake.

In particular, the tone of investors towards the office sector seems to have reversed dramatically. “The oversupply in the Singapore office market is yesterday’s story, and today’s story is all about the recovery and rental growth,” said Mr Lake.

Figures compiled by Savills Singapore showed that S$5.2 billion of investment sales of property, as these big deals are known, were sealed in Q1, down 34.8 per cent from S$8 billion in Q4 last year. However, the Q1 number is double the S$2.5 billion in the same year-ago period.
Photo: The Business Times
Photo: The Business Times

Both Savills and Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) estimate that some S$2.7-2.8 billion of deals in the commercial property segment were transacted in January to March this year – giving it a share of slightly over 50 per cent of total investment sales.

Major transactions include the S$881 million sale of a 70 per cent stake in TripleOne Somerset by a consortium led by Perennial Real Estate Holdings to Stanley Ho’s Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak Holdings, and Manulife’s S$747 million purchase of PwC Building at 8, Cross Street, from DBS.

Savills said the S$2.8 billion of commercial property investment sales in Q1 was a 41.9 per cent increase from the nearly S$2 billion in the previous quarter.

The residential sector saw S$2.1 billion of big-ticket sales in the first quarter, giving it a 40.2 per cent share. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, however, the Q1 tally was down almost 12 per cent, according to Savills.

C&W Singapore research head Christine Li highlighted the flurry of bulk residential sales in Q1 as some foreign housing developers sought to offload their remaining unsold units ahead of regulatory sales deadlines imposed on them under the government’s Qualifying Certificate rules – to avoid paying hefty penalties.

A string of last-minute deals were also inked on the night of March 10 – including TwentyOne Angullia Park, The Line @ Tanjong Rhu, Robin Residences and The Lumos – before the new Additional Conveyance Duties (ACD) took effect the next day.

The ACD plugged a loophole that some bulk buyers in Singapore residential projects had been using to enjoy significant savings in stamp duties.

Savills Singapore managing director Steven Ming said: “Unless annual residential prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming years, it is unlikely that institutions will return to the bulk residential sales market as the hefty 18 per cent stamp duty cuts deep into their required rates of return.”

The effect of this would be the shift of interest by institutional investors to other sectors of the real estate market here, he added.

Industrial properties posted S$344.2 million of investment sales in the first quarter, down 67.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

CBRE and Savills expect the total investment sales for 2017 to be in the S$18-20 billion region – down from around S$23 billion last year. C&W expects the number to remain in the S$20 billion range.

Mr Ming of Savills commented that with institutional investor interest expected to be diverted from residential towards the office, retail and hospitality sectors here, investment sales are expected to continue despite yield compression.

“As both private equity funds and ultra high net worth individuals have either raised new money or have a need to diversify to reduce concentration risk, yields have potential to remain low and go lower as prices will either hold firm or even edge up,” he reasoned.

Ms Li of C&W noted office asset prices are already starting to trend upwards, with rents expected to bottom this year.

In similar vein, CBRE Research’s head of Singapore and South-East Asia, Desmond Sim, argued that as the office recovery story gets more real in terms of rising commitment rates for new projects such as Marina One, this will push more institutional investors to be ready to commit.

CBRE predicts that by the end of the year, seven out of 10 institutional investors who are looking at the Singapore office sector will be ready to buy – up from five out of 10 investors now, which in turn is a higher ratio than just one out of 10 investors a year ago.

Regina Lim, JLL’s head of capital markets research, South-east Asia, observed that in the past four years, Singapore has seen a gradual decline in office demand, retail sales, food and beverage receipts, and gross domestic product growth.

As a result, the republic’s attractiveness to overseas institutional investors has waned, and they have gravitated to Australia, Japan and China commercial property, which have stronger growth stories.

“However, capitalisation rates in these markets have compressed and now Singapore looks less expensive in comparison to these markets.”

Mr Sim of CBRE said that on the residential sector front, while bulk purchases of units from developers have now become harder to do, there may be a bright spot in collective sales. “We should see more interest in en bloc sales from land-hungry developers, especially in the face of limited supply through the Government Land Sales Programme.”
– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/business/investment-property-sales-drop-q1#sthash.8H86fsyp.dpuf

Shophouses in the vogue again among investors

Investment in Singapore shophouses has stabilised and shows signs of picking up after taking a hit following the introduction of a loan curb in 2013. Total transaction value has been rising in the past two years even though the number of caveats lodged remained fairly steady at just over 100 a year.

Transaction value rose by about 7.6 per cent to $707.07 million last year, from $657.3 million in 2015. Demand for shophouses fell off a cliff in 2014, after the imposition of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework at the end of June 2013.

Three adjoining 999-year tenure shophouses in Amoy Street in Tanjong Pagar were recently acquired by an institutional fund for $59.6 million, or about $2,500 per sq ft, based on the floor area. In another deal, a family office bought a shophouse at 54 Boat Quay for $12.9 million or about $2,985 psf on the floor area.

Office properties, seen as a proxy for shophouses, have faced challenging leasing environment as a deluge of new office buildings weighed on rents in recent years. The average rental yield for shophouses ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 per cent, depending on the tenure of the asset.

Online Stores getting offline presence amidst slump

The falling rental rates provide a silver lining for online retailers amid the current retail slump.These retailers have a chance to venture offline and into shopping malls. Last month, for example, online furniture retailer HipVan opened its permanent 11,000 sq ft flagship store at The Cathay in Dhoby Ghaut.

Lifestyle retailer Naiise similarly opened its 8,500 sq ft flagship store in that mall last June. Other online retailers, such as Reebonz, Love Bonito and Ohvola, have opened short-term stores in Suntec City and Orchard Gateway, to catch shoppers who want to see, touch or try on a product before buying.
 The islandwide vacancy rate for retail space was 7.5 per cent at the end of last year, up from 4.5 per cent at the end of 2013, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed.
The Median rental rate per sq ft per month for the Orchard Road area is $9.82, the first time it fell below $10. The median rental rate for retail space in the third quarter of last year was the lowest on record. 

The median rental rate for retail space in the third quarter of last year was the lowest on record, falling to $9.82 per sq ft per month for the Orchard Road area – the first time it fell below $10, according to URA data.

Naiise has five other stores in malls such as Westgate and 112 Katong, which offer self-collection services for online orders. Its online plus offline strategy has paid off, with its six retail stores combined now generating more revenue than its online store.

 

HipVan co-founder Danny Tan, 33, said the retail slump has benefited his business, which now occupies the space formerly rented by sportswear brand Adidas. The store is seven times larger than HipVan’s previous pop-up space in Millenia Walk and Suntec City. It features more than 1,000 of HipVan’s bestsellers, including beds, dining tables and rugs. Its website attracts 200,000 to 300,000 views a month, while revenue has been growing by 12 per cent on average every month.

Meanwhile, high-end fashion retailer Reebonz, whose lease for its pop-up boutique in Suntec ends next year, is moving into its own eight-storey building in Tampines this month. The building will house a permanent showroom.

Chinatown shophouses bought by Fragrance 

Fragrance Foodstuff which is famous for Bak Kwa, bought 2 prime adjoining shophouses along New Bridge  Road where it leased the ground floor space for its flagship outlet for about 12 years. It paid S $20.5M for the shophouses, which sit on 99-year-tenure land. The land they sit on has a balance of 77 years remaining. The  combined landed area is 1728sqft, thus translate the purchase to around $3535 psf based on gross floor space of 5800sqft. The seller is Yeah Capital Pte Ltd, which is owned by the family controlling ValueMax Group of pawnbroking shops. 

Funan closed for revitalization

Funan DigitaLife Mall, which was closed this July, will undergo three years of redevelopment works, according to CapitaLand Mall Trust Management on Jul 22.

This is to enhance the site’s attractiveness as a lifestyle destination in the revitalised Civic and Cultural District in Singapore. The mall will reopen in 3 years’ time and will cost $560m. it will yield 887,000 sqft of floor space, double the current size. It will be a mixed use complex of 2 office towers, serviced residences and retail components.

Two adjoining shophouses in Chinatown for sale

Two adjoining commercial shophouses in Chinatown have been put up for sale at an indicative asking price of S$30 million.

The units, 54 and 56 Pagoda Street, are on the main pedestrian thoroughfare in the heart of Chinatown.

They have a combined land area of 3,010 sq ft and a built-in area of 9,226 sq ft.

Under the Master Plan 2014, the three and a half-storey conservative shophouses are zoned “commercial” within the Kreta Ayer Historic District.

They are fully occupied. The ground floor is leased to two retail shops, and the upper floors, accessible via an external staircase, are leased to three office tenants. Both units have a 99-year leasehold tenure that began on Oct 30, 1995.

Christina Sim, director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “This sale represents a rare opportunity to own two units in the heart of busy Chinatown with its unique history and heritage. We expect interest to come from traditional homegrown house brands within Chinatown that require tremendous visibility for their business, high-net-worth investors and institutional funds seeking a trophy heritage property in downtown Singapore.”

Cushman & Wakefield has been appointed to sell the shophouses; the Expression of Interest will close at 3 pm on Nov 27.

The shophouses are just 50m from Chinatown MRT station, and enjoy significant pedestrian footfall throughout the year, especially during key festivals such as the Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Other nearby tourist attractions include the Chinatown Heritage Centre, Sri Mariamman Temple and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. The Tanjong Pagar office sub-market is a stone’s throw away.

http://business.asiaone.com/news/two-adjoining-shophouses-chinatown-sale#sthash.6uda5GrP.dpuf