Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

August 7, 2008

JTC launches hotel-in-biz park tender

Filed under: Developer News,General,Hotel — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:27 am

A hotel within a business park? That may soon become reality, as JTC Corporation launched a concept and price tender yesterday for the development of an integrated business park facility with retail and hotel components in Changi Business Park (CBP).

The 4.7-hectare Plot 61 is a ‘Business Park – White 40′ site. Forty per cent of the total gross floor area of 1.26 million square feet will go towards ‘white’ or commercial activities.

Retail activities will take up 45 to 60 per cent of the ‘white’ space, while the balance will be set aside for a hotel. ‘It would seem that there is a deliberate effort to ensure that a hotel will be built on the site, adding a complementary element to the predominantly business park use at CBP,’ said executive director of CBRE Research, Li Hiaw Ho.

According to the tender document, bidders may opt for either a term of ‘30 years with an option for a further term of 30 years’, or 60 years.

JTC said that it launched the tender to meet rising demand for business park space and amenities in CBP. The working population in the park could rise from 6,000 to 20,000 by 2011.

The integrated development would house firms in the high-technology, high value-added and knowledge-intensive industries. CBP is already attracting backend operations from financial institutions.

According to Knight Frank’s senior manager of industrial business space Chow Kok Seng, rents in CBP can range from $3.50 to $6 psf.

He believes that the site may attract three or more bids from private developers, and Soilbuild Group Holdings could be one of them. The firm has developed Eightrium @ CBP, and recently won a JTC award to build, own and operate a stack-up factory at Tanjong Kling.

He also notes that private developers may offer bids ranging from $130 to $167 psf.

Observing that Plot 61 is larger than a previous site which was awarded to United Engineers in Q4 2007, Mr Li said that ‘Plot 61 is likely to draw bigger developers which have the experience with large mix-used developments.’

The design concept probably needs to have a ‘wow’ factor because JTC may want the development to be a showcase, according to Chesterton International’s head of research and consultancy Colin Tan. Therefore, he does not expect the award to be based solely on the bid price.

CBRE Research’s Mr Li is optimistic on the integrated development’s appeal. ‘The proposed hotel would be able to draw guests that are working on a short-term basis in CBP or at Changi Airport, as well as participants of events held in the Singapore Expo,’ he said.

Interested developers have up to August 19 to submit their proposals.

Source : Business Times – 12 Jun 2008

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CapitaLand, Grand Hyatt win green awards

Filed under: Developer News,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:26 am

CAPITALAND won the Singapore Environmental Achievement Award while Grand Hyatt took home a merit prize at the second Singapore Green Summit yesterday.

The Summit, said to be the ‘Oscars for the environment’, is organised by the Singapore Environment Council. The award recognises overall environmental and social responsibilities in an organisation and is the most prestigious green gong in Singapore.

This year saw a new category which recognises SMEs that have gone green.

Richard Hale, a board director at CapitaLand, said that it was not enough for companies to be ‘an acceptably pale, commercial green’. He said that his company’s winning of the award validated its efforts, including its comprehensive green strategy, energy saving efforts and outreach programmes.

John Beveridge, manager of the Grand Hyatt Singapore, said that the award ‘will act as a motivator to help us focus on making even more of a positive impact on the environment’. The hotel was lauded for a $3.5 million efficient cooling system and its efforts to reduce energy consumption.

Marc-Plan, an offshore and shipbuilding company, got the inaugural Efficiently Developing Growing Enterprise (Edge) award. The offshore and shipbuilding company was praised for its waste-cutting and energy efficiency strategies.

The SEC-Senoko Power Green Innovation Awards was won by Microwave Packaging, which designs food containers. Senoko Power was the main sponsor of the event.

The second Singapore Green Summit was meant to bring all environmental awards under one roof. But differences over timing and a re-alignment of its corporate objectives meant that last year’s partner, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, went it alone this year and presented its part of the awards on environmental and social reporting at a conference last week.

The guest of honour at yesterday’s ceremony was Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan.

Source : Business Times – 12 Jun 2008

July 24, 2008

Developers to unveil more modestly-priced condos

Filed under: Developer News,General,Property Investment — Propertymarketupdates @ 2:58 am

Dakota slated for preview this month at under $1,000 psf average, lower than earlier indicated

Developers are getting ready to release mass- to mid-market condos, encouraged by the response to modestly-priced developments recently.

City Developments Ltd (CDL) previewed Shelford Suites about a week ago at an average price believed to be around $1,550 psf, although CDL’s spokeswoman said the average price for the five-storey freehold project in the Shelford/Adam roads vicinity is in the $1,500 to $1,700 psf range.


Testing the market: CDL previewed Shelford Suites about a week ago at $1,500-$1,700 psf. The group is also aiming to preview the first phase of Livia, a condo in Pasir Ris, by month’s end or early July.

The property giant is also aiming to preview by the end of this month or early July the first phase of Livia, a 724-unit condo at Pasir Ris Drive 1.

The 99-year leasehold condo, near Pasir Ris MRT Station, is being developed by a joint venture involving CDL, Hong Realty and Hong Leong Holdings.

‘The average price will be revealed closer to the preview,’ CDL’s spokeswoman said.

However, market expectation is that CDL will price the project attractively, at below $700 psf for the initial phase.

Those taken in by the charms of riverfront-living close to the city can look forward to Ho Bee’s and NTUC Choice Homes’ preview of The Dakota later this month.

The average price of the 99-year leasehold condo is expected to be ‘under $1,000 psf’, BT understands. This is lower than than the $1,000-1,100 psf average price expectation Ho Bee had indicated in June last year when the developers emerged as the top bidder for the plot at a state tender.

The 348-unit project is expected to be 20 storeys high and will front Geylang River. It will also be close to Dakota MRT Station, which opens on the Circle Line next year. The Dakota will comprise six blocks with a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, and penthouses.

Over in Pasir Ris, CDL’s spokeswoman said that the company is in ‘in the final stage’ of preparing a phased soft launch of Livia. The condo is targeted at the mass market and will comprise several blocks of 15 to 16 storeys with two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, and penthouses.

Elsewhere on the island, freehold projects with tiny studio units dubbed ’shoebox apartments’ (ranging from under 400 sq ft to about 500 sq ft in size) in places like Sophia Road and Race Course Road, have been selling fairly quickly at around $1,100 to $1,400 psf in the past couple of months.

Over in the Botanic Gardens vicinity, UOL Group, Kheng Leong and Orix Corporation will officially launch today Nassim Park Residences condo.

Nearly 50 units have been sold at an average $3,000-3,200 psf since the preview began the week of Vesak Day, although this is expected to go up slightly from today.

Source : Business Times – 10 Jun 2008

Viet market seen hurting S’pore firms

Filed under: Developer News,General,Vietnam — Propertymarketupdates @ 2:46 am

Analysts say they may end up with unsold homes given slowing sales of late

SINGAPORE developers in Vietnam are likely to be affected by a cooling residential property market and tighter government regulations, research houses say.

Keppel Land, CapitaLand, Guocoland, Fraser & Neave, Allgreen and Chip Eng Seng are six developers with residential projects in Vietnam, said BNP Paribas, and Keppel Land has the largest exposure with about US$7 billion of project value.


Safe as houses? Keppel Land’s new Dong Nai township project; the company has the largest exposure, about US$7 billion of project value, among Singapore players

While margins may exceed 30 per cent, development risks are high as well.

‘Sales have slowed down in the past few months. Selling prices have also become more realistic and some speculators are leaving their deposits forfeited,’ BNP Paribas said in a report.

According to BNP Paribas, the first phase of Keppel Land’s The Estella fetched an average selling price of about US$2,200 per square metre (psm) early this year. This is around 30 per cent lower than the highest price of US$3,200 psm at end-2007 by CapitaLand’s The Vista, which is across the road.

In the same vein, Morgan Stanley said last week that developers may end up with unsold inventory, should speculators forgo their options to purchase units.

‘While developers have been announcing strong buying interest for their projects for some time, most buyers have only paid the respective deposits for registered papers – that is, the options to purchase units,’ Morgan Stanley said in a report. At The Estella, for instance, sale-and-purchase agreements have been signed for only 200 of the 650 units launched.

Morgan Stanley also projected a 38 per cent devaluation of the Vietnamese dong against the US dollar from current spot levels over the next 12 months. A weaker dong would make residential property less affordable, since rents and prices are pegged to the US dollar.

Morgan Stanley said that it foresees developers delaying launches amid poor sentiment. And it is bearish on prospects for Keppel Land – ‘the most vulnerable, with NAV (net asset value) potentially declining by seven cents a share to $7.18 a share’. For CapitaLand and Allgreen, however, Morgan Stanley analysts believed that the impact on NAV would be negligible.

BNP Paribas remained neutral overall on Singapore developers in Vietnam. ‘Long-term fundamentals remain favourable with a high urbanisation rate, rising incomes and affluence, returning overseas Vietnamese and an influx of expatriates,’ it said.

Both research houses also highlighted regulatory risks in Vietnam. Morgan Stanley, for instance, said that the residential property market could cool further when a 25 per cent capital gains tax on property transactions takes effect in January 2009.

‘The Vietnamese government is taking pro-active measures to address economic challenges facing the country,’ Keppel Land was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg report last week. ‘Foreign investors are still confident of the long-term growth potential of Vietnam. Fundamentals in the property market remain strong.’

Source : Business Times – 10 Jun 2008

July 8, 2008

Life in a self-contained township

Filed under: Construction News,Developer News,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 5:05 am

one-north aims to be a place where residents can work, live, learn and play seamlessly. CLARISSA TAN reports

IT’S Friday morning. Your alarm rings. You decide to swim a few laps, so you head for the rooftop pool. Then you stroll to work, which takes only a few minutes. Throughout the day, you rub shoulders with academics, media types, a few artists.

Later you want to welcome the weekend with a bang. A host of restaurants and bars are just a short walk or an MRT stop away. And while your workplace is an impressive, futuristic building, you can opt to dine in a cosy colonial setting.

Living in one-north will help you enjoy this kind of lifestyle, according to some property developers and consultants. The 200-hectare area around Buona Vista, which includes scientific research centre Biopolis and media hub Fusionoplis, aims to be a place where residents can ‘work, live, learn and play’ seamlessly.

one-north’s ’self-contained township’ concept and proximity to a research-and-development hub, the Science Park and education campuses are a draw for researchers, academics and professionals, says Ku Swee Yong, director of marketing and business development at property consultant Savills Singapore.

‘Singapore has just begun to reap the benefits of R&D in the pure sciences,’ he says. ‘one-north is expected to contribute the lion’s share in the commercialisation value of these efforts’.

Two residential projects are under construction at one-north – one-north Residences and The Rochester.

The Rochester, going by the job-home-leisure concept, is a mixed development that will comprise a condominium, a business hotel and a mall.

The cluster will have ‘unparalleled accessibility,’ says Jackson Yap, group managing director and chief executive of developer United Engineers.

‘There’s the East-West MRT line a five-minute walk away at Buona Vista station and the Circle Line to be running by 2011. It is also a short drive to Orchard Road and walking distance to Holland Village.’

The Rochester Condominium will have 366 units. Besides being near the sleek towers of Biopolis and Fusionopolis, it will be flanked by the lush Rochester Park, a green belt with colonial black-and-white bungalows that have been leased to food-and-beverage outlets.

‘It enjoys all the amenities of a mature residential estate with the greenery of the Rochester Hill in the background,’ says Mr Yap.

The Rochester Mall will be 100,000 sq ft and the business hotel, called Park Avenue Suites @ The Rochester, will have 350 rooms.

‘Apart from serving business travellers to one-north, the hotel will cater to medical tourists, with the National University Hospital and Gleneagles in the vicinity,’ Mr Yap says.

It will also attract ‘edu-tourists’ on short-term post-graduate courses at the nearby INSEAD business school and the National University of Singapore, he adds.

The entire project should be completed by 2011.

one-north Residences, developed by Vista Development, will have about 400 residential units and 20 street retail units. Its design concept leans towards glass and steel, with blocks connected by sky bridges, and fits in with the area’s master plan to create a ‘fenceless’ community.

‘Because there is a limited supply of residential projects there, demand for housing will be extremely great from expatriates who work there,’ says Emily Eng, associate director of the residential department of Knight Frank, the project’s marketing consultant and agent.

‘People who buy see the potential of the hub. After all, the government has committed to spend $15 billion to develop this city within the city.’

Savills’ Mr Ku says a development like one-north Residences will ‘allow like-minded experts and professionals to get together, mingle and socialise within a short walk of their home.’

Such is the concern for seamless interconnectivity that if you’re the sort who prefers to roll out of bed and into the office, you can opt to live in the very building where you work.

Fusionopolis, a twin-tower, 24-floor skyscraper dedicated to ‘infocomms’ or media and IT-related businesses, will house 50 serviced apartments. These units will have access to a rooftop pool, a clubhouse and skygardens – as well as five floors of entertainment and retail outlets including a supermarket, restaurants, a bookstore and a food court.

While one-north may look scientific, high-tech and top-speed at first glance, it also has a more laidback and historical side. Nestled in a green enclave is the Wessex Estate, a close-knit cluster of black-and-white houses and apartments built by the British in the 1940s.

While the various blocks of the Biopolis complex are given names such as Neuros, Genome and Chromos, the apartment buildings of Wessex Estate bear names that recall another time – Waterloo, Somme, Lucknow, Pegu.

And unlike the colonial district at Rochester Park, which now features restaurants and bars, the Wessex Estate is still very much residential and has a strong neighbourhood feel. The aim is to foster it as a home for artists, teachers, writers and actors. A few of the apartment blocks have been converted into work lofts for people involved in the creative and fine arts.

The Wessex Estate has always had interconnectivity of its own. For decades, its inhabitants could head down to the nearby Colbar (short for Colonial Bar), where pickled onions and fish-and-chips are on the menu.

The Colbar still exists and is as popular as ever, but recently it has been joined by two new restaurants, a cafe and a cocktail bar – all of them forming an area called the Village Square.

At sundown, when you chug your beer at the square, perhaps you will see the twinkling lights of the hovering skyscrapers.

Source : Business Times – 6 Jun 2008

Little choice but to offer less choice sites

Filed under: Developer News,General,Land Sale — Propertymarketupdates @ 4:59 am

Developers fear oversupply; the govt must offer some sites but may not waste prime sites

THE six-monthly Government Land Sales (GLS) programme announcement is just around the corner, and property industry players are once again voicing the familiar calls for the government to reduce its quantum of land sales, and to halt sales through the confirmed list – except for strategic reasons – and to instead offer sites only through the reserve list.

The players wanted this even when the market was buoyant. Given the subdued conditions now, they may have a stronger case for moderating the GLS programme in the second half of 2008.

But numbers alone won’t do. The focus must also be on the quality of sites on offer. The 99-year leasehold private residential sites offered by the state in H1 2008 yielded a mixed bag of results. Some have attracted numerous bids at high prices while others did not. In one case, the bids were too low for the government to make an award.

In other words, certain sites are in demand, others are not.

What kind of sites does the market want now?

There is enough supply of high-end private residential sites, so the government need not bother about supplying land in the prime districts.

As for the mid and mass markets, the locations in demand are near MRT stations, and/or with water views, in close proximity to major shopping centres, good schools and other amenities.

A site’s location could decide whether it’s likely to be sold under current cautious market conditions. A tender that closed in March for a condo site facing West Coast Park and overlooking the sea drew a dozen bids. In contrast, there were only two bids for a landed housing plot at Jurong West and the Government decided against awarding it.

These days, developers will only be drawn to land parcels with strong selling points.

Clearly, more waterfront housing sites will be welcome – a point catered for in the draft Master Plan 2008 revealed last month.

And given the rising private transportation costs, homes near MRT stations will probably command an even bigger premium than they do today.

Unattractive sites may attract bids that are too low for the Ministry of National Development to make an award. This could affect the already-fragile sentiment in the residential market. So the MND should focus on choice plots in its H2 2008 list, the argument would go.

CBRE’s update of the MND’s H1 2008 programme shows that five private residential sites have been sold so far through the confirmed list. These are in various choice locations outside the city – near Khatib MRT Station fronting Lower Seletar Reservoir, at Lorong 2/3 in Toa Payoh near Braddell MRT Station, at West Coast Crescent overlooking the sea, in Choa Chu Kang, close to Lot 1 Shoppers’ Mall and the MRT station, and Phase 2 of Sembawang Greenvale near the sea.

Developers have yet to make a single successful application for reserve list private housing sites in the H1 2008 slate – with the sentiment being weak and the reserve plots generally not boasting choice locations.

While the government launches plots under the confirmed list for tender according to a prestated schedule regardless of market demand, it releases reserve list sites only if there is a successful application by a developer who undertakes to bid at a minimum price acceptable to the state.

So will the MND release the sort of sites the developers want? As a seasoned market player puts it: ‘They’re very practical people. When the market sentiment is weak, why give away their good sites at subdued prices?’

Instead, the MND may offer more run-of-the mill sites. Such plots may draw poor interest, and this could affect sentiment. However, developers may still like the end result: not much new land actually being sold by the state.

Put simply, the outcome developers desire – of having less state land being sold – may be effected if the government offers a slate of mostly not-so-desirable plots.

The current weak demand makes it clear there’s no housing shortage in Singapore.

A moderation of land supply sold by the government would lend some support to the market. Another benefit if the government ends up selling less land is that it will provide some relief to the overheated construction sector.

On the other hand, the government may not be able to accede to developers’ calls not to sell land in H2 2008 through the confirmed list – as official data have so far not shown any decline in private home prices, despite thin sales volumes.

The government also has to balance the need to provide stability to home prices with the aspirations of Singaporeans who have yet to buy private homes.

The MND will likely be prudent and moderate the GLS programme for H2 2008. A shorter list of sites in both confirmed and reserve lists, with stronger emphasis on less choice locations, could do the trick.

Source : Business Times – 6 Jun 2008

Interest in Nusajaya industrial park warms

Filed under: Developer News,General,Malaysia — Propertymarketupdates @ 4:56 am

Initial response may have been cool, but companies in Singapore are showing more interest in Nusajaya’s Southern Industrial and Logistics Clusters (SiLC), where land prices are on a climb.

And according to a diplomat, Malaysia’s political developments should not cloud prospects for the Iskandar Malaysia economic zone.

Nusajaya’s master developer UEM Land said yesterday that SiLC’s Phase 1 has sold over 52.5ha of land, valued at around RM145 million (S$61 million). Some 95 per cent of the buyers, or around 22 companies, are based in Singapore.

Buyers include engineering and construction services provider Yong Nam Holdings and container handling firm Stinis Singapore.

UEM Land was in town to market another 40.4ha of freehold land in SiLC. Prices are likely to be around RM26 psf, a 30 per cent jump from RM20 psf when the land was first sold early last year.

SiLC is a 525.3ha park for advanced technologies, nutrition and health and integrated logistics industries in Nusajaya, a township in South Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia zone. Phase 1 of the park spans 121.2ha and UEM Land expects the remaining land in this phase to be taken up by the year-end.

The roadshow also showcased various developments in Iskandar Malaysia, but a Reuters report on Monday cast doubts over the future of the economic zone. Some investors may be ‘worried that the plans will be shelved if Mr Abdullah loses power’, the report said.

Calling the Reuters report ‘frivolous’, Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore N Parameswaran said that the claims were ’something that investors need not be concerned about, because this is a project … which enjoys the support of the entire Cabinet’. Referring to political developments in the country, he said: ‘I don’t see that this will affect the project at all.’

The Reuters story also noted ‘lukewarm response from big investors in nearby Singapore’ to the Iskandar Malaysia project. Sharing his experience marketing the SiLC, UEM Land managing director Wan Abdullah said that it was because investors ‘want to see delivery’.

He pointed out that developments in SiLC are taking shape, and that ‘we will continue to further enhance and improve’.

He also said that SiLC’s Phase 2 is under construction and may offer ‘a new value proposition that would make the buyers happy and our shareholders happy’.

Source : Business Times – 6 Jun 2008

Sim Lian Land is top bidder for DBSS site at Simei

Filed under: Auction,Developer News,General,HBD Reviews — Propertymarketupdates @ 4:08 am

SIM Lian Land Pte Ltd yesterday emerged as the top bidder in a Housing & Development Board (HDB) tender for a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) site at Simei Road.

The $52 million bid, or $137 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), was at the lower range of earlier market expectations. Industry observers projected in April that the site could fetch between $49 million and $76 million, or $130 to $200 psf ppr.

The fifth DBSS site, with a lease term of 103 years and a maximum allowable gross floor area of 380,300 sq ft, attracted another bid from AMK Development Pte Ltd. Its bid of $37.3 million, or $98 psf ppr, was 28 per cent lower than Sim Lian Land’s.

Managing director of Sim Lian Land Kuik Sing Beng told BT that the site is expected to yield about 340 units. Five-room flats would make up 60 to 70 per cent of the units, and the rest would be a mix of four- and three-room flats. Sim Lian Land plans to launch the units for sale next May.

Mr Kuik also said that the breakeven cost would be about $350 psf of sellable area. He noted that the selling price for resale flats in the Simei area is about $380 psf of sellable area.

Cushman & Wakefield managing director Donald Han believes that HDB is likely to award the site. He observed that in spite of the gap between the two bids, Sim Lian Land’s bid is in line with current market expectations.

According to Mr Han, the small number of bids reflects the cautious attitude that developers have adopted. Rising construction costs are also posing a challenge for developers, Mr Han pointed out. Echoing this, Mr Kuik said that construction costs have increased substantially in the past one year.

HDB is expected to make a decision in the next two weeks.

Source : Business Times – 4 Jun 2008

July 3, 2008

Developers turn landlords as property market stays quiet

Filed under: Collective Sale,Developer News,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:18 am

With projects held back, firms lease out units bought in collective sales

PROPERTY developers such as Koh Brothers and GuocoLand, which bought collective sale sites during boom times, are now becoming landlords as they wait out the market slowdown.

They are leasing out apartments they bought to existing occupants as a way to generate some income instead of simply leaving them vacant.

If the property upswing had continued, these developers might well have moved quickly to tear down the older homes to put up new developments.

But the sharp slowdown in home sales has put paid to such thoughts for now.

Market observers say renting is a nimble move given present market conditions.

For sellers of units in collective deals who have yet to buy a new home, it is a win- win situation as they would have collected their sale proceeds.

Take, for example, the consortium that bought freehold Lincoln Lodge for $243 million in June last year.

It has decided to allow occupants to keep renting homes for six months from the sale completion date of July 8, and thereafter on a monthly extension basis.

‘Upon requests by some of the sellers to stay on, and while waiting for approvals, we have decided to grant them this request by extending a lease,’ said Mr Francis Koh, Koh Brothers’ managing director and chief executive.

Rents at Lincoln Lodge range from $2,700 to about $4,500 for larger units.

In the middle of last year, at the height of the collective sale frenzy, Koh Brothers bought the Newton site with Heeton Holdings, KSH Holdings and Lian Beng Group for a record $1,449.30 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio.

A Lincoln Lodge seller, who wished to be known only as Mr Tan, welcomed the rental move as sellers had collected sale proceeds in January, and those who had not bought a home could take their time.

‘It’s an option…I know someone who negotiated the rent down to $2,500,’ he said.

GuocoLand seems to be the early rental front runner.

It offered residents short-term leases at Sophia Court in Adis Road last year, followed by Leedon Heights off Holland Road earlier this year. The leases started in March at Sophia Court and yesterday at Leedon Heights. Both last till Jan 31 next year.

A three-bedroom unit at Leedon Heights costs $2,850 a month, while rents at Sophia Court range from $800 to more than $4,000 a month.

GuocoLand bought Leedon Heights in April last year for $835 million and Sophia Court in late 2006 for $230 million.

Renting out units is a way to ‘wait out the current quiet in the market’, said Knight Frank’s director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak.

‘If developers were to launch their projects now, it may be challenging for them to reach their target price for some of the projects.’

Frasers Centrepoint said it may offer short-term leases to the former owners of the 185-unit Flamingo Valley, a freehold site in Siglap Road that it bought for $194 million in February last year.

‘We had 50 owners who wrote to ask us to extend their lease…They haven’t found anything suitable,’ said the firm’s general manager of development and property, Mr Cheang Kok Kheong.

He said the firm was likely to extend a lease of six months to a year. This would ‘give us more time to think about our plans’.

City Developments (CDL) has said it is still exploring the renting option.

Renting out apartments bought in collective sales is not new. CDL did so a few years back, when it rented out all 124 apartments in Kim Lin Mansion in Grange Road.

It had bought it in late 1999 for $251 million, or $996 psf of potential built-up area, but pushed it out for sale only at the height of the property boom last year. It fetched prices of $3,600 psf.

Win-win deal

·  Developers lease out units to generate income instead of leaving them empty as they sit out the market slowdown.

·  Sellers of collective sale projects who have yet to buy new homes can stay on in their existing units as tenants.

TOUGH TARGET

‘If developers were to launch their projects now, it may be challenging for them to reach their target price for some of the projects.’ – MR MAK of Knight Frank, on companies holding out for better prices

Source : Straits Times – 4 Jun 2008

Kwek Leng Beng’s son to leave Thakral

Filed under: Developer News,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:03 am

THE son of property tycoon and City Developments executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng has quit as chief operating officer of Thakral Corporation.

Mr Sherman Kwek, 32, who was appointed in June 2006, ran the day-to-day operations of the property firm and set its strategic direction.

It was announced yesterday that he would be resigning ‘to pursue other business interests’. His last day will be on Sept 1.

Thakral is a unit of listed Hong Leong Asia, itself a company in the Hong Leong stable. Hong Leong Asia triggered a mandatory general offer for Thakral after it converted its bonds into shares.

Mr Kwek’s departure raised speculation that he could be taking a more high-profile role at some of the larger Hong Leong companies, such as City Developments, Singapore’s No. 2 property developer.

It is also possible, however, that he is planning to spend more time on the business of listed HL Global Enterprises, the former LKN-Primefield, where he is already a director.

HL Global operates hotels and also has property interests in Singapore, Malaysia and China. Its market capitalisation is about $150 million.

Mr Kwek could be tasked with growing this company to be a key part of the Hong Leong Group.

Source : Straits Times – 4 Jun 2008

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