Singapore Property Headlines (March 4th, 2019)

Echo Base: The Singapore-based digital real estate start-up that aims to incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other next-gen technologies in real estate development. The startup is backed by Boustead Projects Limited and Moor House Capital. The latter an investment holding company that is majority-controlled by Razer CEO Tan Min-Liang. Echo Base will focus on the management and development of smart buildings in the Asia-Pacific region and other global gateway cities. The start-up’s maiden project will be Razer’s new 19,300 sq. m South-east Asia headquarters at Singapore’s one-north. — THE STRAITSTIMES

An artist’s impression of the proposed Razer’s 7-story building

The recently opened Oasis Terraces is the first new-generation neighborhood center in Singapore. The Oasis terraces in Punggol Drive was developed by the Housing Development Board (HDB) coupled with the feedback of residents. This development is part of five more projects slated to be completed over the next three years. The property comprises of family-friendly eateries, playgrounds, a 24-hour fitness center, and 106 shops. — THE NEWPAPER

Tender launched for the former house of Tan Teng Niah at Little India heritage site. The eight-room villa is located in the heart of the Little India Conservation area. The whole plot occupies 25,865 square feet and consists of four buildings. It is zoned for commercial use and valued at S$70.6 million as of late last year according to Mr. Singh the marketing agent at JLL. The tender is slated to close on April 2. As the property is classified as a non-residential entity, no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty will be levied on the property purchase. — COMMERCIAL GURU

Tan Teng Niah’s former 8-room villa

CapitaLand Limited capitalizes on China real estate debt opportunity. The Singaporean real estate giant announced the first closing of CREDO 1 after it managed to raise $556m of its targeted discretionary real estate debt fund of $750m. The debt fund will directly focus on loans and securities of property investment projects such as commercial, residential, logistics, retail, and industrial properties. The fund’s managers are aiming for fixed-income returns on their investments by steering away from a loan to own strategy. — MINGTIANDI

Frasers Property has signed a conditional agreement to acquire a 17.8% stake in PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund Ltd for $263 million. PGIM is the global investment management arm of the Prudential Financial which is listed in the NYSE. PGIM a private investment firm incorporated in Bermuda manages and owns six retail malls and one office property in Singapore in addition to Singapore’s largest non-listed retail mall fund. Frasers property, with a market capitalization of over $4 billion, will fund the acquisition through external borrowing/ internal finances or a combination of both. —  THE BUSINESS TIMES

The Ministry of National Development in Singapore has increased the Development Charge (DC) rates for commercial properties by 9.8% as DC rates for non-landed residential property is cut by an average of 5.5%. The new stipulated rates will be effective between March 1st to August 31st, 2019. In consultation with the chief tax valuer, the ministry revises all applicable property rates each year between March 1 and September 1 by assessing land values and sales. Mr. Desmond, Head of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia, CBRE, stated that Development Charge rates are generally used to showcase the performance of the real estate market. — EDGEPROP

Marketing Agent JLL launches collective sale tender for St Thomas Ville property located at the 38 St Thomas Walk. The tender was previously initiated last year in August at a minimum asking price of S$58 million but was canceled due to the delayed verification of technical details. JLL states that owners are expecting bids in excess of $58 million which translates to about $1816 per square foot for the 12-story development which consists of 23 apartments. The property is close to the renowned Orchard Road Shopping district and Great World City which comprises of more than 800,000 square meters of entertainment and dining complexes. — RETALK ASIA

St Thomas Ville Property

Singapore’s Housing Development Board completes the first of a numerous series in the sale of flexible residential options to be held throughout the year. The Build-To-Order (BTO) and Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) initiative aims to avail 15,000 “price subsidized” flats across the country. Similar to other sale series, flats will be allocated on a first come basis with the next BTO launch scheduled to take place in May. Taking into account the generous subsidy offered, flat buyers could pay an average of $15,000 for a 2-room Flexi flat, $110,000 for a 3-room flat, and $197,000 for a 4-room flat. — THE ASEAN DEVELOPER

Singapore ranked the fifth best real estate market destination for Chinese real estate capital investors.  According to The Singapore Business Review, a recent 2019 survey revealed that 14% of Chinese property investors preferred to invest in Singapore. It further noted that Chinese property investors are more prone to asset disposal than acquisitions owing to the austere regulations imposed on capital outflow in China. Hong Kong remained the most preferred property market for Chinese real estate investors with The United States second, followed by Australia and finally the United Kingdom. — THE INDEPENDENT SINGAPORE

Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) initiates tender for Tampines North industrial site. Under the first half of the 2019 Industrial Government Land Sales Programme (IGLS), JTC launched a tender for a 0.48 ha land parcel with a tenure of 20 years. The (Plot 2) piece of land at Tampines North Drive 3 is zoned B2. This means that the premise may be utilized by heavy industries that have a greater environmental footprint. The tender will close on April 23. — MHF

Courtesy JTC

Written and curated by David Kuria. He is the uber-curious type. A travel and real estate enthusiast. In simplicity, he covers global real estate news from nearly every angle in addition to market movements in finance, the world economy, and other business trends.  Follow him on Twitter.