Real Estate


The supply from new releases is identified as one of the downside risks.

Real estate developers in Singapore remain largely pessimistic over their expectations for the property market in 2019 amidst local financial uncertainties like tight competition, international headwinds and an surplus supply from en bloc sales, according to responses to the Real Estate Sentiment Indicator (RESI).

Therefore, the overall opinion stood at 4.3 in Q4, 0.3 higher compared to Q3, representing how sentiments are recovering from the consequences of these cooling measures imposed by the authorities in July 2018, the report noted.

“In Q4 2018, the economists identified decline in the worldwide market, rising inflation and interest rates and excess supply of new property launches as the top three possible risk factors that may adversely affect the market sentiment in the next six months,” the parties added.

That having been said, 45.2% of programmers surveyed indicated they would substantially increase their new launches, whilst 38.7% said they would moderately do so, the report emphasized. Only 6.5percent of those respondents said that they launch moderately less in the next six months.

By sector, the office market was observed since the strongest with the current and internet balances standing at 46% and 48%, respectively in Q4 2018.

Serviced apartment business and the hotel came in with future internet accounts of 28% and 20 percent second. However, residential sectors and the prime were the markets with a current balance of -48% and -49%, respectively.

In terms of unit price change, nearly a third or 29 percent of the programmers expect residential property costs to moderately increase in the forthcoming months, whilst 45.2% expected prices to stay at unchanged. A quarter or 25.8% predicted a moderate drop in costs, on the other hand.

“Based on the responses, local and foreign investors are most likely to be affected by greater Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) that will significantly increase transaction costs of investors when purchasing the second and subsequent homes,” the parties commented. They included that the tighter loan limit will influence price-sensitive Housing and Development Board (HDB) upgraders and personal possessions more compared to foreign investors.

“The higher ABSD measure impacts en bloc property owners over the tighter loan limitation measure because greater ABSD incurred when purchasing a replacement home will reduce the en bloc sale profits,” they further explained.

Nearly all or 95.1% of respondents reasoned that July’s cooling measures will continue to impact the property market in 2019, together with around 82% mentioning the en bloc market is going to likely be hit hard in the coming months. A bit over half (50.8percent ) are optimistic the government will not introduce further cooling measures in 2019.

What is property banking and how does the work of property banking work?

Land banking is the practice of aggregating parcels or blocks of property for development or future sale, at lower or market prices. A property aggregator aggregates land by tracking the topological and geographic locations, which are primed for investment, according to social infrastructure and demographic elements. Generally, the land originates to the aggregator within an unprepared format, wherein, he prepares the title reports, property border, zone regulations, conversions, registrations, approvals and sanctions for the property, and, the property is primed for sale or development. Land aggregators then, wait to value buy land, sell the exact same for a profit to investors, developers and other interested parties.

Organisations that participate in property banking

1. Federal, state and local governments: Government agencies use land banking to encourage long-term civic preparation or to support future economic development. Municipalities gain and maintain ownership of land to be utilized for new streets hospitals, schools or even for improvement efforts.

2. Firms: A town’s master plan, which summarizes the infrastructure that’s planned for a place, can function as a guide to plan the procurement of property. The aggregators maintain and can purchase pre-developed or undeveloped land parcels, which anticipated to rise in market value.

3. Universities and non-profit entities: Faculties and non-profit entities buy land for future growth and/or expansion in public interest.

4. People: Owning properties, such as property, provides a sense of security. Folks can use land as wealth production vehicles, either because of their retirement programs, to create a family legacy, or to pay for their kids’ education.

The benefits of property banking, for sellers and buyers

Benefits for buyers

Appreciation of this property’s worth: Property is one of the few assets that appreciate over time. Buying land, with high growth potential, at or near guarantees value deliverance. If the land is secured at a time when demand is reduced, which also means a lower acquisition cost, a substantial gain can be made in the future, once the requirement is high.
Worth addition: Value addition to the website is possible, by acquiring property development approvals and then, over time, proceeding with land development. Value addition makes the land more attractive for developers, who might be ready to pay a premium to get it. Alternately, the property banker may elect for financing and continue with land development.
Gains for sellers
Above-market rates for the land: Land bankers generally purchase lands at rates above market value and extend no substantial return on investment at the present time of purchase. Hence, the seller receives an above-market rate on his or her territory.
Elimination of risk: The vendor can get rid of the element of danger attached to his property, in the event that it features no significant return on investment, because of its unsuitability for agricultural or commercial functions.

Convenience to key Urban centers and cost efficiencies are forcing a co-living trend

Based on JLL’s recently published Co-living in Silicon Valley – Asia Pacific file, that the co-living marketplace is taking off in Asia Pacific as more people migrate to cities for jobs or schooling opportunities. This is opening up new opportunities for property investors and developers around the area.

With property prices increasing in gateway cities, co-living provides residents briefer and more flexible lease terms in contrast to ready-to-move-in convenience, as well as condos. As demonstrated by a case study from the report, operators can save as much as 25 per cent in costs within the renting model.

At precisely the exact same time investors also stand to benefit from savings. By working together with operators who play with a function – the construction manager who manages maintenance, land manager who collects rent and letting agent who resources for tenants – it eliminates the need to cover the three different layers of penalties at a property that is classic.

“Co-living bridges a home gap that conventional living categories do not support,” explains Rohit Hemnani, COO and Head of Alternatives, JLL Asia Pacific. “Since co-living spaces are fully furnished with maintenance and cleaning services, tenants only have to deal with a single operator instead of paying for deposits, utilities, furniture, and representative fees.”

“Most co-living operators are advantage light, so that they work out of a profit-sharing rental or management agreement, while others prefer fixed market-based leases where they could guarantee landlords a fixed income over a longer period. Because of the ability to scale operations, co-living operators can potentially provide greater incomes to land owners and deliver efficiencies around cleaning, utilities and furniture.”

Although the industry is in its early stages of development in many parts of Asia Pacific, JLL forecasts that it will evolve to appeal to a broader and bigger tenant base with time.

Touted as two of Asia’s costliest cities to live in, Singapore and Hong Kong have a few of established operators. Singapore has seen its fair share of co-living investments, such as the funding of Hmlet from Sequoia India and Aurum Investments and Singapore Management University’s partnership to handle lyf@SMU. Hong Kong hotels and apartments are turning to spaces as building owners seek to enhance rental yields.

Denis Ma, head of research at JLL at Hong Kong stated,”The shift away from simply a kind of affordable home towards a lifestyle choice can also be drawing a new wave of investors into the Hong Kong co-living industry. A number of new approaches have started where rents that are on par, if not higher, than in the private rental market. The success of the new schemes is redefining the fundamental assumptions used in underwriting co-living investments”

Elsewhere, the growth of the multifamily rental market of China has made it one of the most developed co-living markets in the world. Developers have actively bidding on property sites set up their own branded operators and earmarked for rental property.

By comparison, Australia was lagging behind taxation policies on residential businesses and due to the undersupply of multifamily en bloc goods. But market prices are softening, prompting more programmers to shift towards the burgeoning built-to-suit sector.

“Over time, we’re very likely to see co-living have a higher market share in Asia Pacific as tenants continue to push demand and investors chase higher yields. Higher consolidation action can also be on the cards as smaller players will get absorbed by larger players with greater built-to-suit products offered in the current market,” finishes Nick Wilson, Head of Capital Markets Research, JLL Asia Pacific.

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