STB to launch expression of interest exercise for Jurong Lake District integrated tourism project

The Business Times - April 16
A new integrated tourism development with attractions, hotel and other complementary lifestyle offerings such as food and beverage (F&B) and retail could soon be a reality at the Jurong Lake District.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat announced on Tuesday that the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will be launching an Expression of Interest (EOI) exercise for the project.

With its waterfront environment and location next to the new Jurong Lake Gardens and the new Science Centre, the seven-hectare site is expected to be transformed into a key attraction from 2026, said Mr Chee in his speech at the Tourism Industry Conference at Suntec City Convention Centre.

The EOI exercise will close in early November this year.

Govinda Singh, Executive Director, Valuation & Advisory Services:
This announcement came hot on the heels of several other tourism-related developments, such as the opening of Jewel at Changi Airport and the upcoming expansion of the two integrated resorts (Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa) in Singapore. While this potential project in Jurong certainly adds to the hype, we think its success would highly depend on how the entire Jurong Lake District (JLD) shapes up and whether surrounding developments - including the High Speed Rail (HSR), the Jurong Regional Line, new residential and commercial projects - take-off smoothly. There are many moving parts and if all the pieces click into place, then this site could present good potential.

Site-wise, we think it is well-located and could act as a new central hub in JLD, providing the residential and working population with more unique retail, lifestyle and entertainment options. And once the HSR is up and running, this project could become a transport hub, serving pass-through traffic. That said, the future tourism development on the site needs to be something astonishing in order to draw visitors all the way to Jurong. It would require the developer to think outside the box. 

Given that JLD has been earmarked as Singapore's second central business district, the new development could feature a business hotel which will cater to travelling executives visiting businesses in JLD or visitors coming in via the HSR. We think this site, along with future hotel sites within the JLD master plan, could potentially offer a total of circa 2,000 hotel rooms in Jurong - to be built in phases as the area develops. If this comes to fruition, we see the West/JLD becoming another micro-market within the Singapore hospitality landscape, alongside micro-markets: Sentosa; Marina Bay; Changi/East; and Core CBD/Orchard Road.

Sharp drop in Singapore property investment sales in Q1; potential upside ahead: Colliers

The Business Times - April 16
Real estate investment sales in Singapore fell 52 per cent year on year to $5.3 billion in the first quarter of 2019, on cooling in the latest bout of en-bloc fever and from residential property curbs.

This is according to a Colliers International research report released on Tuesday. The corresponding period in 2018 had seen a record level of residential collective sales, Colliers noted.

In the residential sector, the July 2018 cooling measures continued to depress sales. Sales plunged by 82 per cent from a year ago to S$1.7 billion amid declines in all sub-segments, including collective sales and Good Class Bungalows. This sector accounted for 32 per cent of the total investment sales in the quarter.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
Colliers Research expects investment activity to pick up in the coming quarters, including potentially more commercial (office and retail) deals to be concluded towards the end of the year. For the whole of 2019, total investment sales volume is estimated to be SGD38 billion, on par with 2018’s level.

During the quarter, major private investment sales in Singapore continued to be dominated by institutional investors, which included the acquisitions of Manulife Centre by ARA Asset Management and British group Chelsfield, Rivervale Mall by local private equity firm SC Capital Partners, and warehouse facilities on Jurong Island by SGRE Banyan. These deals, together with a bumper quarter for government land sales, helped to prop up investment sales in Q1 2019.

Despite the more sluggish private residential investment sales, Colliers Research predicts that volumes could start picking up from the middle of 2019, including possibly more activity in the collective sale market towards the end of the year as sentiment improves. Click here for the research report.

New private home sales surge as developers rush to roll out projects

The Business Times - April 16
A wave of new launches after the Chinese New Year lull boosted developers' sales in March, with 1,054 private homes having been sold. This was up from the 455 units moved in February and 47 per cent higher than in March last year.

Altogether, 1,812 private homes were launched in March. Of that number, 170 were in the core central region (CCR), 576 in the rest of the central region (RCR) and 1,066, outside the central region (OCR).

In comparison, 596 units were launched for sale in February, and 614 in March a year ago.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
As expected, developers’ sales spiked in March 2019 amid 10 new launches, including two mega projects such as The Florence Residences and Treasure at Tampines. The two projects alone accounted for over a third of the total new private home sales last month. 

The increase in sales was again supply-led as developers placed 1,812 new units on the market. This was the highest number of units launched since 2,239 units were rolled out by developers in July 2018. 

Apart from The Florence Residences and Treasure at Tampines which are in the Outside Central Region (OCR), other new projects launched in March included: Boulevard 88 and 35 Gilstead in the Core Central Region (CCR), Nyon, One Meyer, Residence Twenty-Two, Rezi 24 and 1953 in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and The Essence in the OCR. Together, these new launches contributed to 41.6% of the total developers’ sales last month. Click here for more analysis.

2 Bartley projects to launch at around S$2,000 psf

The Business Times - April 16
Developer SingHaiyi Group expects to launch in about two weeks two freehold projects in Bartley at "plus or minus" S$2,000 per square foot (psf), deputy chief executive Gregory Sim said at a media preview on Monday.

The preview for both will begin this weekend. SingHaiyi plans to release about 50 per cent of units for each project during the launch.

Of the two, The Gazania or the former Sun Rosier is larger and closer to Bartley MRT.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
At SGD2,000 psf, The Gazania and The Lilium will set the benchmark pricing for a residential project in District 19. The nearest condominium projects, all 99-year leasehold projects -- Bartley Residences, Bartley Ridge and Botanique at Bartley -- have transacted at SGD1,350-1,450 psf over the past year. The Gazania and The Lilium stood out as the only new freehold project launches in District 19, and are near to MRT and good schools such as Maris Stella High and Paya Lebar Methodist School (Primary).