Property Update (22 July 2015)

MAS initiatives to help Singaporeans manage their finances better | channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE : These include the Total Debt Servicing Ratio on property purchases, restrictions on housing and motor vehicle loans, the introduction of special savings bonds and facilitating easier and wider access to corporate bonds and exchange traded funds.

Property prices have softened, but the price correction has been modest, says Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon.

Property prices have softened, but the price correction has been modest, says Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon.

Too early to lift property curbs: MAS chief | channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: The moribund housing market may have set off a chorus of voices calling for the property cooling measures to be relaxed, but Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said it is premature to do so as the price correction has been modest, putting paid to hopes among developers and homeowners of a market rebound.

“Property prices have softened somewhat, but like I said last year, in the context of the price increase that had occurred – 60 per cent over three years – the softening we have seen is really not all that much. So, it’s still premature to consider removing any of the cooling measures that are in place,” Mr Menon said on Monday (Jul 20) at the media briefing to release the central bank’s annual report.

Housing prices began their sharp climb in the middle of the 2009 as confidence returned to the market after the global financial crisis, before reaching their peak in the third quarter of 2013. The market has since fallen steadily but gradually after the MAS introduced in June that year the Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework for property loans to strengthen credit practices by financial institutions and encourage prudence among borrowers. Read more >>

pic-150722-news-02-dolphinvillas

Dolphin Villa ads unacceptable, says watchdog | straitstimes.com

SINGAPORE : In April, the property developer behind a Batam villa project splashed a series of print advertisements promising views of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and leaping dolphins at the residents’ doorsteps.

But now, Singapore’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas), has objected to the ads, and asked the developer to change them.

It found three things unacceptable: claiming that landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands are visible from the villas, promising a guaranteed rental of 7 per cent a year and quoting an anonymous buyer on how wonderful the development is.

The watchdog reviewed the ads after a Sunday Times report in May on the villas, which cost $758,000 each and are being built around a lagoon of captive dolphins. Read more >>

Formerly known as The Spazio and Dapenso Building, 158 Cecil Street has won many accolades, including the top prize at the 2011 Skyrise Greenery Awards. Photo: Amir Sultan

Formerly known as The Spazio and Dapenso Building, 158 Cecil Street has won many accolades, including the top prize at the 2011 Skyrise Greenery Awards. Photo: Amir Sultan

158 Cecil Street being sold for S$240m | asiaone.com

SINGAPORE : A company linked to low-profile investor Denis Jen, who owns shopping malls in Australia, is buying 158 Cecil Street for S$240 million from a fund managed by Alpha Investment Partners, the fund management arm of Keppel Land.

The price works out to about S$2,100 per square foot based on the 14-storey building’s net lettable area of around 115,000 sq ft. 158 Cecil Street is on a site with a balance lease term of around 65 years.

Formerly known as The Spazio and Dapenso Building, the property underwent a major revamp several years ago.

Alpha acquired the property for S$235.5 million in 2007 from KOP Properties, which agreed to complete a major refurbishment before delivering the property in 2009 to Alpha, which positioned the asset as a green building. Read more >>

he Hudson Yards development stands at dusk in this aerial photograph taken above New York on June 19. (Bloomberg: Craig Warga)

he Hudson Yards development stands at dusk in this aerial photograph taken above New York on June 19. (Bloomberg: Craig Warga)

Manhattan builders face clash over visas | finance-commerce.com

NEW YORK, USA : As Related Cos.’ $20 billion real estate complex rises on the far west side of Manhattan, legislators in Washington are debating the fate of a program that has been critical to building it.

The caissons underpinning the 28-acre Hudson Yards project, and steel beams rising for towers from Seattle to Los Angeles, are resting on the same foundation: a bedrock of cash from Chinese individuals. Developers are taking advantage of a record amount of money that’s flowing through the EB-5 program, which grants green cards to foreigners that invest a minimum of $500,000 in projects that create jobs.

Lawmakers are pressing for changes to EB-5 when it comes up for renewal by Congress in September. Proposed legislation seeks to redirect investments to poor and rural communities and would make it tougher for developers to access funds in big cities such as New York, where at least $3.2 billion of EB-5 cash has gone toward building the skyline since 2010, according to a study by Jeanne Calderon and Gary Friedland, professors at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“It wouldn’t be the death knell, but it would change everything dramatically,” said Dan Dwyer, a New York-based lawyer with Dai & Associates who specializes in EB-5 financing.

The bill, S. 1501, sponsored by senators Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, aims to ensure that the poorer areas that were the intended beneficiaries when the program began in 1993 are being adequately served. The measure also proposes stricter oversight to guard against fraud, and raising the minimum investment to $800,000. Read more >>

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