Tag Archives: Singapore

Parkroyal hotel wins international awards

http://www.btinvest.com.sg/property/local/parkroyal-hotel-wins-intl-building-prize-20140814/
http://www.fiabciprix.com/news/326-2014-winners.html

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FIABCISingapore property award

Parkroyal on Pickering won big at an awards ceremony for building excellence last night, picking up the prestigious FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Gold Award.

The FIABCI prize is an international award established in 1992 and given to projects outstanding in overall merit.

FIABCI is the French acronym for the International Real Estate Federation founded more than 60 years ago and headquartered in Paris.

Joyce Sng, the assistant general manager in product development for UOL, the developer for whom the hotel is a star project, said: “We will continue to be innovative in creating sustainable and premium developments, and contribute to Singapore’s cityscape with our masterpieces.”

Parkroyal on Pickering was the backdrop last night when FIABCI’s Singapore chapter hosted the awards ceremony for the Prix d’Excellence, combining it with the Singapore Property Awards, which honour real estate development projects or individual properties for merit in design, aesthetics, functionality, contribution to the built environment and the community at large.

Parkroyal developer UOL also bagged three Singapore Property Awards.

Among developers, City Developments Limited came in a close second with two Prix d’Excellence awards and a Singapore Property Award in the Sustainable Development category.

Four Singapore projects bagged the Prix d’Excellence Award this year, while 16 out of 22 projects made the cut for the various categories of the Singapore Property Award.

These 16 will go on to compete in the international competition for the Prix d’Excellence Awards next year.

Lim Lan Yuan, president of FIABCI Singapore and regional president of FIABCI Asia-Pacific, said that Singapore has not been a stranger to the internationally coveted prize.

“Over the past 18 years of participation in the Prix d’Excellence Awards, Singapore has won 48 awards – or one in six of the projects submitted.

“This is a great achievement despite it being a small country competing with entries from places like the United States, Hungary, Brazil and Taiwan. Our Singapore projects continue to do us proud.”

 

Singapore’s first NDP in 1966

A work by National Heritage Board, on Singapore’s first National Day Parade after the separation from Malaysia. Looking at 49 years later, when we have everything we could have imagine we could as a nation, it is good to remind of our humble roots.

Now:

ndp-show-segment-data

Then

NDP1966

DIY anyone?

DIY 1

http://video.xin.msn.com/?mkt=en-sg&vid=6e7767ea-39a8-43c7-8518-c3df6b8329f6&from=email&src=v5:pause:email:

An interesting show in Channel 5 regarding DIY of your own furniture! Interesting and inspiring. For those who like some hands-on, why not give this a try?

Who have been viewing Sgbayhomes?

Sgbayhomes stats01Aug2014

Thank you friends and readers, who have been visiting this website. Your support has been great to help us become a well-visited website by friends from various countries. Hope that the content has been useful to you.

30 years of transformation: Singapore

SAFETY; cleanliness; mobility; spaciousness; connectivity; equity. These, said former minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew in a 2013 interview with the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC), are the ingredients of a good city, and Singapore has all of them today.

But 50 years ago, urban Singapore would have scored zero on that list.

“50 years ago, Singapore was a basket case of urbanisation gone wrong. Overcrowding, traffic congestion, flooding, crime, no proper sanitation – name any urban problem and we had it,” says Khoo Teng Chye, executive director of the CLC, who served with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) from 1976 to 1996, the last four years as its CEO and chief planner.

The creation of modern Singapore from that state of squalor took three decades and was driven by two key agencies: the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and later, the URA. The HDB was set up in 1960 with the mandate of properly housing the population, resettling thousands from the slums that predominated the urban landscape in those years. In 1964, to complement its work in public housing, it created the Urban Renewal Unit to redevelop the central parts of Singapore for commercial use. Later on, the unit was restructured first as a department, and then, in 1974, converted to an independent statutory board – the URA – with more manpower and funding to handle the huge job.

Bringing order to the city

Throughout the 1970s, the URA’s work centred around implementing the first Concept Plan, which had been developed in 1971 with the help of the United Nations. The Concept Plan covered many areas, from population growth to town planning, road planning and transport systems, and the port and airport. It was a huge, multi-agency effort coordinated by the Ministry of National Development (MND).

“The Concept Plan required a lot of additional detailed and specific information for the purpose of implementation,” recalls Liu Thai Ker, who headed the HDB and then the URA from the 1970s to the 1990s and is today known as the architect of urban Singapore for his work on public housing. From large-scale land development agencies like HDB and the Jurong Town Corporation, to water management agencies like the Public Utilities Board (PUB), each agency had to provide its plans to the MND in detail and declare their land use needs for incorporation into the Concept Plan.

“We were hungry for jobs and investors, but also very fortunate that our leaders avoided the approach of develop first and clean up later,” says Mr Khoo. “To me, the important thing is that our transformation to a liveable and sustainable city is something that has been brought about because of good governance and an integrated approach to planning.”

However, the Concept Plan called for the population to be moved outwards to new satellite towns surrounding the central water catchment area, connected by expressways and a MRT system, and for the vacated land to be developed into a financial and business centre. In practice, that meant relocating hundreds of thousands of residents, dozens of industries and hundreds of businesses.

Putting a roof over the population’s head

“Some of the squatters would turn nasty and set their dogs on us. We carried umbrellas to defend ourselves; at worst we ran for it. Sometimes we even had to get the police to escort us,” recalls Loh Yan Hui, the deputy chief executive officer of Surbana International Consultants, who joined the HDB’s Building and Development Division as a civil engineer in the late 1970s.

Mr Loh and his colleagues were among the government officers at the forefront of the huge resettlement, and one of the challenges they faced was evicting squatters from rural settlements on the designated town sites. “Many of these squatters were very sentimental about their homes,” says Mr Loh. “No matter how bad the living conditions were, they would bargain with us and ask for more time. We would compromise and clear other areas first, but inevitably we had to come back and make them leave.”

Then, the HDB had to house a population of 1.7 million in as short a time as possible, and it had been given all the powers it needed to do so. The speed of building and resettlement ramped up through the 1960s. By the 1970s, HDB was building 50,000 units a year.

“We saw, in the rural areas of Singapore, a very dramatic transformation of the physical landscape over the course of just 5 to 10 years,” says Mr Loh. “It succeeded because HDB took a multi-disciplinary approach and had been given a very strong mandate.”

Each new town was built according to a template that hung in the HDB headquarters at Bukit Merah. The template dictated where arterial roads should be placed, how the land should be divided into neighbourhoods and precincts, and even where facilities such as schools should be placed.

“In the early 1970s, there was no clear definition of what a new town should be or what a neighbourhood entailed,” says Dr Liu. “It was through our research, interviews and learning from other countries that we found out that for each new town to be highly self-sufficient, complete with essential facilities and amenities, we needed a population size of around 200,000 people.”

Dr Liu and his fellow planners carried out similar research for neighbourhoods and even precincts, complete with input from estate officers, sociologists, and engineers. By the late 1980s, the last of the squatters would have been resettled, and HDB’s quest to house the population would be complete.

Keeping Singapore flood-free

As Singapore was developing its new towns, it was also coping with flood problems. “In those days, when the rains came and coincided with the high tide, whole kampungs would be covered with water right up to the roofs,” says Yap Kheng Guan, former senior consultant and senior director at the PUB. “Long stretches of road would be unusable for hours and even days until the floods subsided.”

Mr Yap, who joined the Ministry of Environment’s drainage department in 1975 as a civil engineer and spent the next 25 years working on Singapore’s drainage, recalls that the ongoing urbanisation of those decades added to the flood problems. Each new development, whether public housing or industrial, increased the runoff into an already overloaded drainage system. Some of the most notoriously flood-prone areas were Bukit Timah, Geylang Serai and Potong Pasir.

“In the 1960s, Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road were the primary trunk roads – the expressways had not been built yet – and there were schools all along the area,” Mr Yap says. “Each time it flooded, everything was disrupted. Something had to be done, but there was not enough money at the time. Singapore was just too poor.”

One diversion canal had been built in 1969, but it was not until 1986 that construction began on a second canal. Like its predecessor, the second diversion canal was built with only basic equipment and methods. Lacking today’s tunnelling and shoring technology, Mr Yap and his fellow engineers had to blast the four-kilometre canal from Swiss Cottage Estate to the Kallang River through soft and damp soil that hindered construction of the canal’s concrete walls. In 1991 the canal was finally completed, and joined hundreds of other large and small drainage projects that reduced Singapore’s flood-prone areas by 90 per cent.

The PUB had an entirely different water issue: that of ensuring a clean water supply to the population. In the 1960s, the waterways were notoriously polluted, such that the cleanup of the Singapore River and the Kallang Basin in the late 1970s and 1980s took 10 years and made the Anti-Pollution Unit famous.

As with the urban redevelopment effort, cleaning up the waterways took a massive cross-agency effort. Lee Ek Tieng, the former chairman of the PUB and one of the 10 civil servants involved in the cleanup, told the National Environment Agency in a 2011 dialogue that the success of the endeavour came from providing alternatives through infrastructure: building proper sanitation and garbage removal systems for both households and businesses.

In the early years, Singapore had only three local water sources: the MacRitchie Reservoir, the Kallang River Reservoir (later known as the Peirce Reservoir), and the Seletar Reservoir. The PUB spent the next three decades constructing 10 more reservoirs. Later, in the 1990s, the PUB’s approach would expand in an attempt to make water integral not just to life but to lifestyles.

In those years, the PUB was also responsible for getting Singapore’s electricity and gas supplies going. Pasir Panjang Power Station was one of the earliest power stations owned by the PUB, operating on 60 megawatt turbines installed by Hitachi in 1962 and 1964; later in the same decade, it would be joined by Jurong Power Station, running the same power generation system. Subsequent power stations also utilised Hitachi systems down to the 1990s, including the Seraya and Tuas Power Stations.

Turning points great and small

The modernisation and development of Singapore from the 1960s to the 1990s is marked by dozens of triumphs. Some, like the cleaning up of the Singapore River, have entered legend; others, like the closing of the last night soil station in 1987, went unnoticed except by the government officers involved in implementing the sewer system.

“There was no great fanfare, but the senior officers from the department lined up along the road that led to the night soil station to welcome back the last night soil wagon,” says Tan Gee Paw, the former chairman of PUB who led the effort to clean up the Singapore River in the 1980s and is today known as the master architect of Singapore’s water supply. In a 2014 interview with the CLC, he recounted: “It was a significant event which I clearly remember because it meant that every home, every block, every premise in Singapore has been sewered successfully. It was a massive effort that took 10 to 20 years to accomplish and we were probably the first in Asia to be able to do so.”

For Dr Liu, who today chairs the CLC’s Advisory Board, the turning points in public housing were marked every decade: in the 1960s, when the government committed itself to solving the housing shortage problem in the shortest possible time; in the late 1970s, when the housing shortage was finally brought under control; and in 1985, the year he feels that Singapore as a whole became a modern metropolis. “We can summarise our achievements then by the following four phrases: No Squatters, No Homeless, No Poverty Ghettos, No Ethnic Enclaves,” he says.

To Mr Khoo, heading the URA in the 1990s, the turning point came when the various government agencies were finally able to step back from immediate action and begin institutionalising their work. “Up to the late 80s, we were very action-oriented. Our focus was on delivering the housing programmes as quickly and efficiently as possible,” he explains. “It was only around the early 1990s, after infrastructure was no longer an urgent need, that we became more systematic: reviewing the Concept Plan and the Masterplan, restructuring the bureaucracy to place URA in charge of overall planning.”

The 1990s was also when many other agencies were restructured and consolidated: for example, the Land Transport Authority was formed in 1995 from the merger of four other public sector entities that had previously worked separately on road building and maintenance and vehicle registration.

Ultimately, however, the very first turning point for Singapore’s modernisation was that of political will: giving the agencies responsible for development all the support they needed, whether in terms of resources or legislation, at a time when the population was willing to accept the changes involved. As former minister mentor Lee said in his interview with CLC: “I’m pleased that we redeveloped the city when there was a chance to do it.”

This is the first of a three-part series brought to you by Hitachi, in collaboration with Singapore Institute of Building Limited, and with resource assistance from Centre for Liveable Cities Singapore. The next part, Building a Nation: Today, will be published on Aug 5.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/focus/three-decade-transformation-20140729

 

Revenues from Sightseeing, Entertainment and Gaming recorded largest on-year increase in Q1, bringing in S$1.6 billion

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/tourists-to-singapore/1274628.html?cid=FBSG

Tourism receipts for the first three months of 2014 grew 5 per cent on-year to S$6 billion, according to the latest Tourism Sector Performance report by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Growth in tourism receipts was driven by Sightseeing, Entertainment and Gaming (SEG), which recorded a 19 per cent year-on-year growth to rake in S$1.6 billion in revenue, the STB said in the report released on Monday (July 21). Both integrated resorts reported an increase in their overall gaming revenues.

SEG was followed by Other TR Components – which include expenditure on airfares, port taxes, local transportation, medical, business, education and transit visitors – that generated S$1.4 billion in revenue, it added.

Declines in spending on Shopping, which saw a 6 per cent drop, and Food and Beverage, which dipped 1 per cent, were seen in the quarter though. STB said.

LAW IMPACTS CHINA TOURISTS NUMBERS

In terms of international visitor arrivals for the first quarter, the agency said the figure held steady at 3.9 million. Visitor arrivals in the three months were mainly impacted by the 14 per cent decline in arrivals from China “due to the continuing impact of the tourism law that was introduced on Oct 1, 2013”, it said.

The law stipulates, among other things, that tours sold in China for domestic and overseas travel clearly list itineraries, duration and details of transport, hotels and meals.

Excluding visitors from China, visitor arrivals grew 2.8 per cent on-year, with South Korea (17 per cent) and Vietnam (13 per cent) showing strong growth, according to the report. Indonesia continued to top the visitor arrivals list at 749,000 in the first three month.

Despite the drop in visitor numbers, China was still the top tourism receipt-generating markets in the first quarter with S$800 million spent by Chinese tourists. The figure excludes expenditure on the Sightseeing, Entertainment and Gaming component due to “commercial sensitivity” of the information, STB said.

Indonesia and India made up the top three, with the former contributing S$658 million and the latter S$284 million, according to the report. Indonesia’s tourism receipts fell 12 per cent on-year because it was impacted by a drop in per capita spend, while India’s 3 per cent dip on-year was primarily driven down by a fall in arrivals and per capita spend of leisure visitors.

STB also said gazetted hotel room revenue showed a strong 12 per cent growth to hit S$800 million in the first quarter. This was aided by a rise in Average Room Rate, which stood at S$261 in the first three months, a 2.7 per cent hike year-on-year.

However, Average Occupancy Rate stood at 86 per cent, a 0.4-percentage-point decline over the same period last year, the report stated.

Innovation: Switzerland tops world ranking again; Singapore leapfrogs Hong Kong in regional list.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/global-innovation-index/1270698.html?cid=FBINT

SINGAPORE: Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden are the most innovative countries in the world – and Singapore is Asia’s most innovative economy, according to the Global Innovation Index 2014 published on Friday (July 18).

The Republic was seventh in the index, up a position from eighth in 2013, to leapfrog Hong Kong in the regional rankings. Third in Asia was South Korea, in 16th position.

The annual rankings, published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, surveys 143 economies around the world.

“These GII leaders have created well-linked innovation ecosystems, where investments in human capital combined with strong innovation infrastructures contribute to high levels of creativity,” said the authors of the report.

“In particular, the top 25 countries in the GII consistently score high in most indicators and have strengths in areas such as innovation infrastructure, including information and communication technologies; business sophistication such as knowledge workers, innovation linkages, and knowledge absorption; and innovation outputs such as creative goods and services and online creativity.”

BT: Inspiration behind MBFC

Picture

THE recently released Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Master Plan 2013 highlights Marina Bay as the new financial and residential district in the urban city centre.

Currently, the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC), which saw its second phase completed earlier this year, is the only development on the new Marina Bay site. Consisting of five buildings – two residential and three commercial, MBFC was designed as a landmark development, artistically merging the older part of the business district with future developments by Marina Bay.

Developed as a joint venture (JV) by Cheung Kong (Holdings), Hongkong Land and Keppel Land, MBFC was envisioned by the developers to provide a dynamic urban environment that would create a strong profile on the Singapore skyline.

To achieve this vision, international architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the lead designers behind MBFC, incorporated the idea of a crystalline language using sloping surfaces and slanted tops to give a sense of layering and depth.

KPF architects Robert Whitlock and Bruce Fisher explained that while the design team started out with a more dramatic concept for the buildings, the concepts had to be reconciled with both the height limits of the area and the fundamentally commercial nature of the development.

“The tops of the buildings in the original design were conceived with steep angles and poetic expressions,” explained Mr Whitlock, design principal at KPF, during an interview with BT at the firm’s New York head office.

“From an architectural point of view, there was a lot of pressure to balance the architectural expression, in terms of an iconic set of buildings, with numerous client requirements, particularly efficiencies, that tempered building forms,” said Bruce Fisher, director, KPF.

Owing to the massive scale of the MBFC projects, which spans a four hectare site – synonymous in scale to London’s Canary Wharf, the KPF team worked closely with two local architectural firms – DCA for Phase 1 and A61 for Phase 2 – to ensure the project kept to its tight deadline and met all the requirements.

“Our role for the project was to advise on local authority guidelines and how to achieve the design intent while complying with the stringent requirements. We were more involved in the layout of the residential units based on the developer’s complex unit mix, working closely with KPF to fit the units within the building form and external envelope,” explained Khoo Poh Bin, director, DCA.

The A61 team, on the other hand, worked more closely on the commercial towers given their past expertise on such projects, including working on One Raffles Quay with KPF.

Although the tasks were distributed, the team essentially worked as one to ensure coherence and continuity in fulfilling the developers’ vision. As Mr Khoo noted: “The 12-hour time difference meant work continued without interruption 24/7. We would finish our part in Singapore and update KPF in New York for them to carry on and vice versa, which proved to be an ideal arrangement for the developer.”

According to Mr Whitlock, the developers had very exacting guidelines on how they envisioned the buildings to look and perform with full glass façades and no curved elements in the form.

“The JV’s brief was based entirely on the perceived needs of the financial services community, with a requirement for very efficient floor plates and unlimited views. The horizontal sunshades gave us a way to provide some variation and environmental performance to the facades while delivering floor to ceiling glass, edge to edge,” said Mr Whitlock.

Furthermore, given that MBFC was primarily a commercial venture, there was no need for it to be as dramatically configured, per se, added Mr Fisher.

The workhorse

“The MBFC is really the incredible work horse of Singapore and perhaps, because of that, a little less expressive than say the casino or the Esplanade,” Mr Fisher said.

The URA, too, had a list of requirements. For one, they required that the buildings’ glass exterior meet a minimum glazing level and not have a green tint.

“One Raffles Quay and the NTUC building, which create a sort of gateway to Marina Bay, were clad in green glass and the URA requested a different expression for the MBFC project so that there would be more visual diversity to the area,” commented Mr Whitlock.

Additionally, URA’s guidelines stipulated that there be a street wall, at least 19 metres in height, surrounding most of the site, to create continuity between adjacent development sites. “At heart, this is an urban planning gesture that helps to provide a sense of defined space,” explained Mr Fisher.

However, based on the design of the site, the architects felt that a solid wall would not fill the space adequately, and hence offered alternative solutions.

The design team proposed that the site have 19-metre canopies, instead of a wall, to allow for an open, less restrictive, appearance. “With the canopies, we ended up with a structure that defines the street edge but is very porous,” said Mr Fisher.

“The wall requirement was not working for the architecture, so we had to present alternatives. The URA gave us guidelines, but as with most zoning guidelines, the authorities cannot always predict exactly how guidelines will translate into the final build-out,” he continued. “It is really up to the architects to take this abstract concept and challenge it, to achieve the best results for all parties.”

In consideration of the different requirements – both from the developers and the URA, the architects eventually altered the designs to showcase a lesser degree of dramatic expression to allow for more efficient and dense buildings that complemented the surrounding architecture.

In addition, as Mr Whitlock explained: “The MBFC buildings needed to be more than what you see in the old city where you have a lot of distinct buildings coming together to represent an urban identity, just by virtue of proximity and density.”

“We were trying to find a common architectural language that is appropriate for both commercial and residential uses to allow the architecture of each building to be a little bit subordinate to the collective identity.”

Although the architects faced challenges in trying to deliver a design that met demands of both the developers and the URA, the MBFC site was an area they were extremely familiar with.

Back in 2001, KPF was independently commissioned by Mapletree Investments to conduct studies on the type of programmes and density that should be put on the Marina Bay site.

This was because the master plan that had been in place for a decade needed revision, based on a new understanding within the URA on how the landfill site might be developed to meet today’s needs.

“We did a study for them to look at the application of a mixed-use model that would bring multiple uses to the site and make the most of its adjacency to both Marina Bay and the traditional banking centre,” explained Mr Whitlock.

According to KPF, Mapletree used the study to carry out their own research internally before releasing tender conditions to bidders in 2003, for the Marina Bay white site.

The development guidelines eventually released to interested bidders took KPF’s preliminary studies to an entirely new level.

“There is a huge leap from deciding that you want to develop a site to establishing a framework that will set up the proper moves for later development,” said Mr Whitlock.

Balancing all needs

While KPF’s underlying concepts of connectivity to the traditional city centre, provision of public open space and introduction of the mixed use model were implemented in Mapletree’s revised plans, the main difference was the requirement for a higher density area and for the site to be fully integrated with all of the city’s other systems and infrastructure.

With the new guidelines they received, KPF spent a great deal of time contemplating the layout of the buildings to allow for architectural expression, without compromising on the practical and utilitarian needs of the site. “A traditional master plan development might have placed the buildings as squares on a chessboard where everything lines up. We chose however to subtly rotate the towers to maximize views in all the buildings and relieve the feeling of density on the site,” Mr Whitlock said.

However, despite the stringent guidelines and myriad requirements, the architects felt that such a process enables better architecture.

As Mr Whitlock noted: “When you work on a project like this, you start to have a different understanding of architecture. Typically, an architect is trying to design a building that is built on a site. They want it to be beautiful and expressive of both the owner’s and architect’s aspirations. With any luck, it tries to find some clues with the local context so it does not feel like it has been dropped from a spaceship.

“But when you have to design a whole city within a city in a way where it has some richness, some subtlety, and an endless play between the built environment and public spaces, all of which must relate to the rest of the city – it takes things to an entirely different level.”

Developers negotiate price cuts in Singapore and China

http://www.property-report.com/developers-negotiate-price-cuts-in-singapore-and-china-35219

Ying Yi Chua for The Wall Street Journal

Chinese and Singaporean developers are contemplating bigger price cuts in an effort to attract more homebuyers as domestic residential markets start to cool down.

In China, where home sales reached a recording-setting USD1.31 trillion last year, there is an increasing concern from developers to meet sales targets as many companies only achieved less than 30 percent of their sales projections to date, according to Reuters.

“The market is very weak now, price cuts and promotions are very normal,” Simon Fung, chief financial officer of Greentown China, told Reuters. Fung’s company last week distributed cash coupons to existing clients who are looking to buy a new home.

A number of China-based developers have also started offering free renovation or free parking space packages to lure new investors in a move that is expected to continue throughout the third quarter.

The secondary home market in Hong Kong, which reported a sluggish first quarter in the luxury residential segment, was also slow-moving last week, The Hong Kong Standard reported. Several developers slashed prices over the weekend to attract more buyers, including Sino Land, which drew some 15,000 enquiring buyers in its Mayfair by the Sea I development, where units are being sold at about 20 percent lower than market rates.

In Singapore, where sales of luxury condominiums dropped by more than 60 percent in Q1 2014, year-on-year, based on data provided by property consultancy DTZ, some developers are still undecided if they would be willing to offer discounts or special promotions.

“Buyers are becoming more discerning with their purchases and are quite price-sensitive,” Chua Yang Liang, head of research at JLL Singapore, told The Wall Street Journal. A spokesperson at CapitaLand declined to comment on specific price changes in its Zaha Hadid Architects-designed d’Leedon development, whilst GuocoLand announced that there had been no price cuts in its Soo K. Chan-designed Leedon Residence property at this time.

Meanwhile, one high-end developer, Ho Bee Land, reportedly decided to rent out some units in its Sentosa development rather than pursue selling them in order to maximise profit in this investment climate, CIMB Bank analyst Tan Xuan was quoted in Singapore Business Review last April.

– See more at: http://www.property-report.com/developers-negotiate-price-cuts-in-singapore-and-china-35219#sthash.r3qmzHJO.dpuf

Ying Yi Chua for The Wall Street Journal

Chinese and Singaporean developers are contemplating bigger price cuts in an effort to attract more homebuyers as domestic residential markets start to cool down.

In China, where home sales reached a recording-setting USD1.31 trillion last year, there is an increasing concern from developers to meet sales targets as many companies only achieved less than 30 percent of their sales projections to date, according to Reuters.

“The market is very weak now, price cuts and promotions are very normal,” Simon Fung, chief financial officer of Greentown China, told Reuters. Fung’s company last week distributed cash coupons to existing clients who are looking to buy a new home.

A number of China-based developers have also started offering free renovation or free parking space packages to lure new investors in a move that is expected to continue throughout the third quarter.

The secondary home market in Hong Kong, which reported a sluggish first quarter in the luxury residential segment, was also slow-moving last week, The Hong Kong Standard reported. Several developers slashed prices over the weekend to attract more buyers, including Sino Land, which drew some 15,000 enquiring buyers in its Mayfair by the Sea I development, where units are being sold at about 20 percent lower than market rates.

In Singapore, where sales of luxury condominiums dropped by more than 60 percent in Q1 2014, year-on-year, based on data provided by property consultancy DTZ, some developers are still undecided if they would be willing to offer discounts or special promotions.

“Buyers are becoming more discerning with their purchases and are quite price-sensitive,” Chua Yang Liang, head of research at JLL Singapore, told The Wall Street Journal. A spokesperson at CapitaLand declined to comment on specific price changes in its Zaha Hadid Architects-designed d’Leedon development, whilst GuocoLand announced that there had been no price cuts in its Soo K. Chan-designed Leedon Residence property at this time.

Meanwhile, one high-end developer, Ho Bee Land, reportedly decided to rent out some units in its Sentosa development rather than pursue selling them in order to maximise profit in this investment climate, CIMB Bank analyst Tan Xuan was quoted in Singapore Business Review last April.

– See more at: http://www.property-report.com/developers-negotiate-price-cuts-in-singapore-and-china-35219#sthash.r3qmzHJO.dpuf

Ying Yi Chua for The Wall Street Journal

Chinese and Singaporean developers are contemplating bigger price cuts in an effort to attract more homebuyers as domestic residential markets start to cool down.

In China, where home sales reached a recording-setting USD1.31 trillion last year, there is an increasing concern from developers to meet sales targets as many companies only achieved less than 30 percent of their sales projections to date, according to Reuters.

“The market is very weak now, price cuts and promotions are very normal,” Simon Fung, chief financial officer of Greentown China, told Reuters. Fung’s company last week distributed cash coupons to existing clients who are looking to buy a new home.

A number of China-based developers have also started offering free renovation or free parking space packages to lure new investors in a move that is expected to continue throughout the third quarter.

The secondary home market in Hong Kong, which reported a sluggish first quarter in the luxury residential segment, was also slow-moving last week, The Hong Kong Standard reported. Several developers slashed prices over the weekend to attract more buyers, including Sino Land, which drew some 15,000 enquiring buyers in its Mayfair by the Sea I development, where units are being sold at about 20 percent lower than market rates.

In Singapore, where sales of luxury condominiums dropped by more than 60 percent in Q1 2014, year-on-year, based on data provided by property consultancy DTZ, some developers are still undecided if they would be willing to offer discounts or special promotions.

“Buyers are becoming more discerning with their purchases and are quite price-sensitive,” Chua Yang Liang, head of research at JLL Singapore, told The Wall Street Journal. A spokesperson at CapitaLand declined to comment on specific price changes in its Zaha Hadid Architects-designed d’Leedon development, whilst GuocoLand announced that there had been no price cuts in its Soo K. Chan-designed Leedon Residence property at this time.

Meanwhile, one high-end developer, Ho Bee Land, reportedly decided to rent out some units in its Sentosa development rather than pursue selling them in order to maximise profit in this investment climate, CIMB Bank analyst Tan Xuan was quoted in Singapore Business Review last April.

– See more at: http://www.property-report.com/developers-negotiate-price-cuts-in-singapore-and-china-35219#sthash.r3qmzHJO.dpuf

Singapore the 4th most expensive city for Expats

Singapore has climbed one rung from fifth place last year to become the fourth most expensive city in the world for expatriates, according to a report by research firm Mercer.

Singapore is also the second-priciest city in the Asia Pacific region, beaten only by Hong Kong, Mercer found in its annual cost of living survey.

The most expensive city for expatriates was Luanda in Angola, which is in southern Africa, for the second year in a row.

That was followed by N’Djamena in Chad, which is a landlocked country in central Africa. Hong Kong came in third.

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