Peter Hobbs, research managing director at IPD,discusses property markets across the world.
SINGAPORE: The benchmark three-month interest rate in Singapore fell for a third straight session on Thursday (Apr 16), dropping below the psychological 1 per cent level amid an improved outlook for the local dollar.
At the latest fixing on Thursday, the three-month Singapore interbank offered rate (Sibor), which is used to set floating-rate mortgages, slipped to 0.94654 per cent from 1.01241 per cent on Wednesday. This is the lowest level in about a month.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) surprised financial markets on Tuesday by keeping monetary policy unchanged, sparking a rally in the Singapore dollar. The majority of forecasters had expected MAS to let the local dollar weaken slightly against a basket of currencies – either by widening the policy band in which the Singapore dollar trades or by recentering the midpoint of the band.
A softer Singapore dollar puts upward pressure on local interest rates as investors seek higher yields as compensation for holding the weakening currency, while a stronger currency helps keep interest rates down. Read more here >>
SINGAPORE : Orchard Road has long been regarded one of Asia’s best shopping streets, but the time is ripe for reinvention, the boss of a century-old retailer in Singapore told CNBC.
“20 years ago, we had the ‘Great Singapore Sale.’ Since then, I think we haven’t really re-invented anything,” said Christophe Cann, managing director of Robinsons Group, in an interview with CNBC’s ” Managing Asia .”
“Back then, it was convenient for regional customers to shop in Singapore because what they could find here, they couldn’t find elsewhere. But now, it is a different ball game,” he said.
Amid the population and consumer boom in other parts of Southeast Asia, global brands now have the option to set up shop elsewhere in the region, significantly reducing the need for people to travel to Singapore to shop. Read more here >>
SINGAPORE : As is true with any market, the residential property market is not monolithic. In Singapore, it consists of many different segments, including the Housing and Development Board’s Build-to-Order and resale flats, as well as private condominiums and landed homes.
Within each market segment, specific areas and homes perform differently and have reacted to the Government’s property cooling measures and loan curbs in different ways.
SRX Property data shows that overall private non-landed housing prices have fallen 6.2 per cent since their market peak in January last year. The luxury housing project Ardmore Park, however, has seen prices plunging 23 per cent in roughly the same period. The reason for the difference in price depreciation is that the supply and demand characteristics in Ardmore Park’s pocket of the market are different from those of the overall condominium market. Read more here >>
PHILIPPINES : The most sought-after destination for real estate in emerging markets is Quezon City in the Philippines, says a specialist website.
The most populous city in the Philippines and Metro Manila’s largest city topped the list of most searched for locations in the first three months of 2015, with 49,244 inquiries on global property portal Lamudi.
Property demand in Quezon City is fuelled by employees of top multinational companies, including Emerson, Citibank and several call centre companies based there.
In second place was Karachi, in Pakistan with 44,981. Despite limited land availability, residential developments are still being launched with the southern part of the city favoured most.Read more here >>
HO CHI MINH : Come July, the potential pool of buyers for CapitaLand’s Vista Verde condominium project in Ho Chi Minh City will grow exponentially.
A new law will allow foreigners with valid residential visas, as well as foreign companies, to buy in. Now, only those married to Vietnamese or foreigners deemed to be contributing to national development can own property.
Singapore developer CapitaLand says what makes Vietnam real estate compelling is a higher yield on rent compared to other countries in Asia.
CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam Chen Lian Pang says this ranges from 6 to 7 per cent depending on the location and type of property. “Vietnam has just gone through the bottom (economic) cycle. It is picking up, so there is a lot of upside actually.”
The sector is betting on three groups of buyers: a growing domestic middle class, returning overseas Vietnamese, and foreign executives moving in to set up manufacturing outposts. Read more here >>
CALIFORNIA, US : According to the California Association of Realtors, California’s housing market continued to pick up steam as existing home sales and prices propelled higher, with both posting back-to-back increases in March 2015.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 391,680 units in March, according to information collected by C.A.R.
Sales in March were up 6.3 percent from a revised 368,400 in February and up 7.3 percent from a revised 365,120 in March 2014. The year-over-year sales increase was the first back-to-back sales gain since December 2012 and the largest observed since May 2012. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. Read more here >>