Thursday, May 16, 2013

Marina Bay set to get even livelier


The Straits Times  |  16 May 2013
More growth in store with new homes, offices and shops: Analysts

MARINA Bay is already a flourishing neighbourhood, with hundreds of its own residents and many thousands more people streaming in each day to work and play.

But the area is still very much a work in progress, said analysts, with more homes, offices and shops set to be built there over the next few years.

Several empty plots are also yet to be developed.

Analysts and major tenants were reflecting on the area's progress as the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) was officially launched yesterday.

At the launch, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hailed the latest addition to the Marina Bay skyline.

He noted that the project added 3 million square feet of prime office space to the Central Business District - more than twice the office space at Raffles Place.

It also set a new standard for green buildings.

With its luxury apartments and restaurants, the centre also offered a unique work, live and play environment, he said.

"There are beautiful apartments overlooking the Bay - a marvellous place to catch National Day fireworks.

"Our new downtown is steadily taking shape," he added.

Other projects that are in the pipeline include the 221- unit Marina Bay Suites residential project, expected to be completed later this year, and Marina One, the mixed development by Temasek Holdings and Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional, which is projected to be ready in 2017.

These and other developments will bring even more life to Marina Bay soon, said property consultancy CBRE's executive director of office services, Mr Moray Armstrong.

"The future success of commercial development in Marina Bay looks assured with impressive upcoming developments such as Asia Square's Tower 2, which incorporates the Westin Hotel, V on Shenton scheduled to be completed in mid-2016 and Marina One," said Mr Armstrong.

"At around 1.8 million sq ft, the latter project represents the largest office development currently being undertaken in the city."

He added that the offices at Marina Bay are not only big, but have also set a new standard for the commercial market here.

"In bringing on line world- class buildings, the developers have made a telling contribution to raising the quality of Singapore's office stock. This has undoubtedly enhanced the city's ability to attract new corporate headquarters," he said.

German financial group Allianz, for example, inked a deal to lease 90,000 sq ft in Asia Square Tower 2 last year.

Asia Square Tower 1 is already home to companies such as Citi, Google and Julius Baer.

Tenants at MBFC include Standard Chartered, Nomura and DBS Bank.

StanChart Singapore's chief executive Ray Ferguson said the area has blossomed in the past couple of years.

"Now, employees of global financial institutions such as ourselves enjoy the whole variety of lifestyle amenities in Marina Bay, including recreation, shopping, dining, cultural events and entertainment."

Knight Frank's head of research, Ms Alice Tan, noted that this is really just the beginning for the Marina Bay area.

"There is still a white site in the area that is available for development, and several other plots that the Government has yet to make available," she said.

"All these new land plots will slowly morph the area, so that in the long term, the whole Central Business District can be further expanded, complementing the future Tanjong Pagar waterfront city."


Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)
Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg

Banyan Tree may spin off S-E Asia hotels into Reit


The Straits Times  |  16 May 2013
RESORTS group Banyan Tree may spin off its hotels in South- east Asia into a real estate investment trust (Reit) after the hospitality Reit industry matures further, said executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping yesterday.

RESORTS group Banyan Tree may spin off its hotels in South- east Asia into a real estate investment trust (Reit) after the hospitality Reit industry matures further, said executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping yesterday.

"What we think is going to happen in a few years' time is that there will be appetite for a Reit of our kind, which will be hotels that would not necessarily be in Singapore or Hong Kong but diversified and within the region," said Mr Ho, speaking on the sidelines of the firm's first-quarter results briefing at Fullerton Hotel.

"That's what we're looking towards... (these) are the type of assets we have."

He said Banyan Tree's sale and leaseback of the Angsana Velavaru resort in the Maldives to CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) in January signalled the growth of more South-east Asian hospitality Reits that include resorts.

"There's increasing appetite for a higher risk exposure now," noted Mr Ho, adding that Banyan made the deal with CDLHT as it wanted to see how large the investment appetite was for a "much more emerging-market" hospitality Reit.

The $86.8 million sale of the Maldives resort boosted Banyan Tree's first-quarter earnings. Net profit for the three months to March 31 climbed 19 per cent to $14.2 million on the back of a 17 per cent increase in revenue to $96.9 million year on year.

The company said this was due to a strong showing from its hotel investments, particularly those in Thailand. Turnover from the segment jumped 30 per cent to $70.1 million in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.

This offset a 43 per cent drop in property sales revenue to $3.6 million from the preceding year.

Banyan sold 58 homes, worth $15.4 million in all, in its Laguna Shores project in Phuket in the quarter. The company has sold 125 of the 229 units in the development's $58 million first phase.

Earnings per share rose from 1.58 cents to 1.87 cents for the quarter; net asset value per share came in at 77 cents, up from 72 cents as at Dec 31.

Laguna Shores is the first development under a new brand that Banyan Tree will launch in the middle of this year. Mr Ho told The Straits Times in an interview at the firm's Upper Bukit Timah premises last week that the brand aims to capture the rise of a "younger, more lifestyle-oriented" middle class. He said he wanted to "dispel the notion that Banyan Tree will only do luxury".

Laguna Shores has one- and two-bedders of 40 sq m to 88 sq m and costing 4.2 million baht (S$175,000) to 10.2 million baht.

Most of the buyers are couples in their mid-30s to 40s, with Singaporeans making up a percentage "in the mid-teens".

Mr Ho was upbeat about the Thai property market, saying real estate was less volatile than tourism. Laguna Shores' $28 million second phase with 105 homes will make its Singapore debut this weekend at The Fairmont Singapore.

*****************Background Story *****************

POTENTIAL APPETITE

What we think is going to happen in a few years' time is that there will be appetite for a Reit of our kind, which will be hotels that would not necessarily be in Singapore or Hong Kong but diversified and within the region.

- Banyan Tree executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping


Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)
Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg

Tampines housing site for sale


The Straits Times  |  16 May 2013
A RESIDENTIAL site in Tampines that can yield 530 units was put up for sale by the Government yesterday.

A RESIDENTIAL site in Tampines that can yield 530 units was put up for sale by the Government yesterday.

The 17,103 sq m plot is part of the confirmed list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, and has a lease of 99 years.

Four other plots - in Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Prince Charles Crescent, Siglap Road and Geylang East Avenue 1 - were also released for application on the reserve list.

Together, the five plots can yield 2,725 units, and were released as part of the GLS programme for the first half of the year.

Analysts say interest in the Tampines site (Parcel B) at Tampines Avenue 10 is expected to be moderate because of its distance - 2.2km - from the Tampines MRT station, and the neighbourhood already has an ample supply of land.

"On top of Q Bay Residences, with 153 units unsold as of last month, there are at least another six land sites not yet launched in the same cluster," said Knight Frank associate director and research head Alice Tan.

The six sites include Parcels C and D, which are also along Tampines Avenue 10 and are already available for sale on the reserve list.

The Tampines site put up for sale yesterday is expected to draw a top bid of $226 million to $243 million, or $440 psf ppr to $470 psf ppr, said SLP International head of research Nicholas Mak.

However, bidding interest is expected to be stronger for the other sites released on the reserve list.

"There is a lack of new residential condominium launches in three of these sites, namely the ones in Toa Payoh, Siglap Road and Geylang East Avenue 1," said Mr Mak.

R'ST research director Ong Kah Seng said the Toa Payoh land parcel is located in a mature, prime, public housing estate with few private residential developments. This offers developers an opportunity to build modern private homes among the older public flats. Mr Ong expects the site to be triggered in the second half of this year, with intense bidding interest from developers looking to scale down their projects from the high-end residential market to well-located projects in the suburbs.

Analysts said the land parcel in Siglap is a plum site, as developers have a rare opportunity to stock up land in the East Coast area without going through the lengthier collective sale process.

The site is near the popular Victoria School and East Coast Park, which will draw strong buying interest in any residential project developed there, said Ms Tan.

The tender for Parcel B at Tampines Avenue 10 will close at noon on July 2.


Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)
Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg

Five plots up for sale set to yield 2,700 homes


The Business Times  |  16 May 2013
FIVE 99-year leasehold plots released for sale by the government yesterday could yield more than 2,700 homes.

FIVE 99-year leasehold plots released for sale by the government yesterday could yield more than 2,700 homes.

The sites were launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) as part of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the first half of the year.

One site, parcel B at Tampines Avenue 10, was put up for sale under the confirmed list.

The remaining four plots, at Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Siglap Road, Geylang East Avenue 1 and Prince Charles Crescent (parcel B), will be made available under the reserve list.

For the Tampines Avenue 10 parcel, analysts see a modest demand of three to six bidders with a winning bid in the range of $400 to $470 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The site has a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of about 515,000 sq ft and can yield about 530 units.

"In terms of location and marketability, the four reserve list sites are more attractive than the confirmed list one," said Nicholas Mak, executive director for research and consultancy at SLP International.

Consultants noted that the Tampines plot was not near an MRT station, and sits among several developments that have either been launched for sale or will soon be.

"On top of Q Bay Residences with about 153 units unsold as at April 2013, there are at least another six sites not yet launched in the same cluster at Tampines Avenue 10," said Alice Tan, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore.

For the Toa Payoh Lorong 6 site, analysts foresee five to 12 bidders, with the winning bid at $680 to $920 psf ppr if the plot is triggered for sale.

The plot has a maximum GFA of about 458,000 sq ft and can yield about 550 homes. Market watchers liked its proximity to Braddell MRT station and its location in a mature estate and near schools such as CHIJ Toa Payoh and Pei Chun Primary School.

For the Siglap Road site, analysts expect upwards of seven bids, with a potential winning bid that ranges from $550 to $860 psf ppr if it is triggered for sale.

The site has a maximum GFA of 737,000 sq ft and can yield around 780 units.

"This is a rare chance for developers to stock up land in (the) East Coast area without having to go through a collective sale process, which requires more time and effort," said Knight Frank's Ms Tan.

Consultants also cited its location near East Coast Park and Victoria School, as well as the fact that the future development can offer sea views.

For the land parcel at Geylang Avenue 1, analysts highlighted that it is near Aljunied MRT station.

The top bid could be around $570 to $690 psf ppr, going by their estimates. Ong Kah Seng, director at R'ST Research, expects seven bids if the plot is triggered for sale.

The site has a maximum GFA of 188,000 sq ft that can yield 215 homes.

Mr Ong said developers will be keen to have a head start in the area which has few private developments, and Aljunied can benefit from the rejuvenation of nearby Paya Lebar as a business hub.

For the land parcel at Prince Charles Crescent, there could be three to five bidders with the winning bid between $850 and $1,070 psf ppr.

Some 650 homes could be yielded from this plot, which has a maximum GFA of 564,000 sq ft, if it is triggered for sale.

R'ST's Mr Ong said there are "ample new private housing choices" in this vicinity due to recent GLS sites sold and another Alexandra View site available on the reserve list.

The tender for Tampines Avenue 10 closes at noon on July 2.


Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C

Senior Sales Director
DTZ Property Network Pte Ltd (L3007960A)
Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg