Singapore Briefs

Singapore Land Authority land sales down 41%
Singapore Land Authority reported a 41% fall in land sale revenue to S$7.3 billion (RM17.6 billion) for the year ended March 31. The largest sale was for [email protected], at S$840 million. Total land sale proceeds from the private sector were down 55% to S$4.7 billion while revenue from the public sector was up 30% to S$2.6 billion. Operating income was down 8% to S$92.5 million while the utilisation rate of state land was at a four-year high of 79%.

Investment sales triple to S$2.3 billion
Investment sales, involving transactions of at least S$5 million, tripled q-o-q to S$2.3 billion in 3Q2009, says DTZ. However, this is still below the S$4 billion to S$12 billion achieved quarterly from 3Q2005 to 2Q2008. Over 90% of investments were below S$100 million each. The main driver of investment sales was the residential sector, which contributed to 43% of the total. Private domestic buyers accounted for 72% of deals above S$50 million. Given the relatively lower yields offered in Singapore, foreign institutions and funds are expected to stay on the sidelines, says Shaun Poh, DTZ’s senior director. Local investors are, however, less yield-driven as they are more focused on long-term investment return or development potential.

Sales of shoe-box-sized homes hit record of 412 units
Sales of new non-landed homes of 500 sq ft or less have hit a new record this year. According to CB Richard Ellis, the total sold to date is 412, far exceeding the 299 last year. These small-format units have gained popularity over the last 15 years — only one sale was booked in 1995. These homes attract buyers because they involve a smaller relative quantum and for developers, it means a higher price psf. For instance, at [email protected], where unit sizes range from 258 to 1,033 sq ft, 80% of its 72 units were sold at about S$1,300 psf.

CapitaLand to list mall business
CapitaLand plans to list CapitaLand Retail, its privately held mall business in Asia. To be renamed CapitaMalls Asia (CMA), the new entity will hold 86 retail properties in Singapore, China, Malaysia, India and Japan, with a gross floor area of 66.5 million sq ft. The portfolio, valued at S$20.3 billion, includes ION Orchard. CapitaLand will also transfer the group’s stake in CapitaMall Trust and CapitaRetail China Trust to CMA and plans to retain majority ownership of the new entity. Upon successful listing of CMA, CapitaLand says it may recommend a special dividend to shareholders. DMG & Partners notes that CMA will offer a growth-cum-value play given the potential capital appreciation of its 27 malls under development. After CMA’s listing, DMG expects CapitaLand’s net gearing to improve to 0.3 times.

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 777, Oct 19-25, 2009.


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