FOR SALE: Orchard Residences Super Luxury Homes

Orchard Residences | Singapore's landmark super luxury homes for sale

Orchard Residences | Singapore's landmark super luxury homes for sale

Prestigious Living – Above it All

“The Orchard Residences” is named for its most coveted and strategic location at the gateway of Orchard Road and for its affinity to the world-famous shopping street’s lead in luxury city living. It is also Orchard Road’s tallest landmark building, a stature and distinction approved by the authorities.

A limited 175 exclusive, super luxury apartments housed in the district’s tallest and most architecturally-definitive landmark aim to offer a lifestyle of timeless elegance and privacy in the midst of the vibrant city below. Standing at a commanding height of 218 metres and with no buildings nearby to rival its stature, the 56-storey residential tower will offer residences with breathtaking, unobstructed panoramic 360º views of Singapore.

Besides its world-famous and most expensive address, The Orchard Residences will also set unparalleled benchmarks in every aspect of luxury living by way of its all-encompassing design features that maximize its views and are attentive to every lifestyle need of those who have progressed well beyond personal success. All units will have unique enclosed alcoves that extend from the living and dining areas, as well as large master bathrooms with a curvilinear facade for optimal enjoyment of the views.

The Orchard Residences is also named for its pièce de résistance: a 75,000 square foot high-rise garden which architects have referred to as the development’s ‘fifth elevation’. True to its iconic building concept and design, which drew inspiration from the site’s heritage as an orchard, the re-creation of a private orchard located on the 9th floor will provide a habitat of quiet and serenity, amidst a spring-time botanic ambience for the exclusive use of its residents.

Orchard Residences. Presentation

Please contact our appointed marketing agent, Markus Tay @ 9018-1551 or email sales@singaporeluxuryhomes.biz for a private viewing of The Orchard Residences.

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Orchard Residences. Property profile

Tenure: 99-year leasehold w.e.f. 13 March 2006
Site Area: 75,000 sqft
Commencement Date of Construction: 4Q 2006
Expected TOP: 30 December 2010
Expected Legal Completion: 30 December 2013
Building: One 56 storeys of height 218 metres
Residential Levels Levels 9 to 54
Total units: 175 apartments
Units available:
Count/Unit Type/Levels
168 typical units on levels 10 to 29 and on levels 31 to 52
3 garden units on level 9
4 penthouse units on levels 53 and 54
Unit Size Range
Typical units: Between 1,800 sqft and 2,800 sqft
Garden units: Between 4,500 sqft and 6,500 sqft
Penthouse units: Between 4,200 sqft and 5,000 sqft
Lift Access:
Unit Access Private lift lobby with card access
No. of Lifts 4 private lifts, 1 service lift
Vehicular Access/Drop-off Points:
Grand entrance and car park access via Orchard Boulevard, which is located outside the ERP gantry on Orchard Road. Separate entrance(s) from retail mall
Parking facilities:
Car Park More than 270 lots on levels 5, 6, 7 and 8 (inclusive of 3 handicap lots)
Complimentary Car Parking Typical units (3BR units) 1 lot each
Typical units (4BR units)/Garden units 2 lots each
Penthouse units 3 lots each

FOR SALE: Cairnhill Crest 4 bedrooms 1970 sqft

Cairnhill Crest for sale

Cairnhill Crest for sale

Cairnhill Crest for sale

Cairnhill Crest for sale

Cairnhill Crest. Description

The Jewel in the Crown

District 9, Cairnhill Circle, is the most prestigious and desirable residential address in Singapore. Orchard Road has been earmarked to be rejuvenated into one of the world’s best shopping districts. Cairnhill Crest’s proximity to Orchard Road represents a rare and exciting opportunity for those with a sharp eye for good investments.

Incomparable location

Cairnhill Crest, freehold property, is the epitome of luxurious and refined living situated in the exclusive Cairnhill Circle. A 3-minute stroll takes you to Ngee Ann City, Orchard and Somerset MRT Stations, and the proposed new shopping district at Orchard Road, where you will experience a wide array of vibrant arts, culture and entertainment.

Bright propspect of Appreciation

The Singapore Government plans to invest US$1 billion to transform Orchard Road into one of the world’s most dynamic shopping districts for overseas visitors and locals alike. The rejuvenation will boost the value of nearby luxury residential developments. The quality of architecture, ambience, and vibrancy will consolidate Orchard Road’s reputation as the best district and Cairnhill Crest is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the district enormous propsects.

Unique Panoramic Vistas

Unique vistas, luxurious accounterments and the excitement of urban living are the hallmarks of Cairnhill Crest. Perched high in the mid-levels, Cairnhill Crest commands unobstructed views that distinguish the luxury development from all others.

Extravagant Necessities

Cairnhill Crest offers a full complement of luxurious amenities befitting its glamorous status. The attentive services, lush landscaping, and comprehensive facilities including an opulent Residents Club, simply take your breath away.

Worthy of Appreciation

Lift lobbies on each floor are fitted with imported marble tiles and grand crystal chandelier. Top international brands such as Miele and Pogeenpohl create a modern, sytlish, and highly functional living environment that pleases the senses and adds aesthetic value to your home.

- Miele distinctive home appliances
- Kitchen cabinets by Poggenpohl
- Amana Refrigerator
- Corian worktop
- Bathroom by Jacob Delafon, Kaldewei, RAK and Wilton

Cairnhill Crest. Viewing

For viewing appointment of Cairnhilll Crest, please call Markus Tay @ 9018-1551 or email sales@singaporeluxuryhomes.biz

FOR SALE : The Sail @ Marina Bay Penthouse

The Sail @ Marina Bay

The Sail @ Marina Bay

Description

VERY RARE! Stay at the top! Available for sale @ $18mil SGD!
Please contact our appointed marketing agent, Markus Tay @ Tel: (65) 9018-1551 or email sales@singaporeluxuryhomes.biz

The Sail @ Marina Bay | Spacious living room

The Sail @ Marina Bay | Spacious living room

Panoramic view of Marina Bay

Panoramic view of Marina Bay from the apartment. The best view in Singapore

The Sail @ Marina Bay would be the new icon set at the skyline of Marina Bay, which is located in Marina Boulevard. It is considered a 6-star waterfront lifestyle condominium.

An architectural icon soars to greet the sky, the structure of The Sail is 245 metres and 70 storey high. The Sail is Singapore’s tallest condominium / apartment and it is among the top 10 tallest residential building in the world.

This development offers panoramic city view of Marina Bay and the sea. It is close to the Suntec City, Esplanade, Singapore River. Targeted to set a new benchmark for an integrated lifestyle environment.

From 1 bedroom to 4 bedroom types as well as penthouses, all 1,111 luxury units are meticulously designed to maximise space usage and to integrate both office and home into one complete lifestyle concept.

Every unit at The Sail @ Marina Bay will take full advantage of its iconic location with commanding views of the spectacular Marina Bay and beyond, the impressive skyline of Singapore or the aerial park vista of the neighbouring Central Linear Park.

For excellent service with a ready smile, rely on the hotel-styled concierge, exclusively only for residents of The Sail @ Marina Bay.

Indulge in the infinity-edged pool. Work out at the unique aqua gym, or the comprehensive gymnasium with a panoramic vista of the Marina Bay. Luxuriate in extensive spa facilities. Play a game at the tennis courts. Everything you need for total health and wellness is right here.

The Recreation Room and Executive Club Lounge on the 34th storey of the Central Park Tower and 44th storey of the Marina Bay Tower sky terraces, respectively, are lavishly furnished and spill out to open-air gardens. Landscaped for meditative fitness, the sky terraces present breathtaking views of the dynamic city.

The Sail @ Marina Bay. Correspondence

We welcome sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants to call us at (65) 6100-4663 or email us at sales@singaporeluxuryhomes.biz for any enquiry on The Sail @ Marina Bay.

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The Sail @ Marina Bay. profile

District: 02
Developer: City Development Ltd and AIG
Location: Next to Integrated Resort (Casino)
Building: One 66-storey tower and one 70-storey tower
Address: Marina Boulevard
Tenure: 99 years w.e.f. 2002
Total No. of Units: 1,111
Year of Completion: 2009
Types:
Studio: 592 – 818 sq ft
2 bedrooms: 883 – 1,356 sq ft
3 bedrooms: 1,184 – 2,002 sq ft
4 bedrooms: 1,776 – 2,185 sq ft
Penthouse: 3,391 – 6,297 sq ft

FOR SALE: Marina Bay Residences Stack 10 (Best bay view in Marina Bay)

Visit singaporemarinabayhomes.com

Very high floor units. Asking $2688 psf respectively. Call Markus Tay @ 9018-1551 to discuss.

Marina Bay Residences and Marina Bay Financial Centre

Marina Bay Residences and Marina Bay Financial Centre

Presenting the Crown Jewel of Marina Bay

Poised to become the best address in Singapore, Marina Bay Residences is a new iconic landmark that will redefine the meaning of luxurious living.

Set in the heart of the brand new Marina Bay district, Marina Bay Residences offers residents a superb selection of business and pleasure activities. The Marina Bay Financial Centre is right next door and the corporate and business centre of Raffles Place is less than a five minute stroll away. With the new Marina Bay Sands integrated resort and the Esplanade just across the Bay, Marina Bay Residences is the ultimate location for living, working and playing.

An Architectural Masterpiece

How many people can claim ownership of a stunning home created by one of the world’s leading architects? The fortunate owners of Marina Bay Residences will be members of this very exclusive club.

Conceived and created by New York-based Gene Kohn of Kohn Pedersen Fox, the crystal-like architectural design of Marina Bay Residences is destined to become a landmark on the Bay and will add a signature image to Singapore’s skyline.

The façade of Marina Bay Residences is illuminated from below, creating a glorious night-time landmark. The sculpted crowns and sky gardens at the top are dramatically lit from the inside, forming a visual dialogue with the other crowns of the CBD skyline.

Marina Bay Residences. At the heart of it all.

Marina Bay Residences will place residents at the very heart of exciting Marina Bay and connect them to the rest of Singapore via the East Coast Parkway, the Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) station and the upcoming Circle Line MRT. The rest of the world is close by too – thanks to Marina Bay Residences offering easy access to Changi Airport. Residents can even commute to work along the Singapore River via river taxis.

Live the high life

The incredible beauty of the views that you will enjoy from your living room are matched only by the luxurious fixtures and fittings that adorn your entire apartment. Create your own unique environment within the capacious and well-planned spaces of your home. Marina Bay Residences represents the epitome of luxury living and truly reflects your accomplishments in life.

A wealth of entertainment options surround you

At Marina Bay Residences, you will be surrounded by a vast array of entertainment options thanks to the exciting new Marina Bay Sands integrated resort right next door.

This exciting new landmark in entertainment will also offer the most exquisite cuisine from around the world. Over a dozen restaurants, including six destination-style restaurants managed by world famous chefs from the US, Japan, Australia and Italy, are set to make Marina Bay and Singapore the epicurean capital of Asia.

You will also be able to enjoy world-class entertainment in two 2,000-seat theatres. Or explore the fascinating worlds revealed by a unique ArtScience Museum.

Unmatched facilites with dazzling views

On its 7th floor, Marina Bay Residences provides a complete range of superb condominium facilities that combine stunning views with sumptuous luxury. Splash out in the lap pool and children’s pool, relax in the Jacuzzi, stroll through open pavilions, enjoy intense workouts in the gym or wind down with a cool evening barbecue and take in the glorious sights of the sea, the Bay and the CBD skyline.

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Marina Bay Residences. facilities
Spa / Aqua gym pool
Lap pool
Children’s pool
Main pool
Tennis courts
Jogging track
BBQ area
Children’s playground
Steam bath / massage therapy room
Gymnasium
Tea Deck

River Valley condo Luma relaunches with prices halved

Published November 14, 2008

River Valley condo Luma relaunches with prices halved

Project Luma by Novelty Group

Project Luma by Novelty Group


Units going for $1,450 psf, down from $2,800 psf at launch last year

(SINGAPORE) The big property sale has begun – although, in this case, it could reflect the situation of the developer rather than the state of the market.

Cheaper: Luma’s relaunch is believed to be the first among luxury condos as other developers hold back. Prices have been slashed by half at Luma, a 75-unit freehold luxury condominium at River Valley Grove.

Relaunching this weekend, units at Luma are being offered at $1,450 per square foot, down almost 50 per cent from $2,800 psf when it was first launched last year.

About 10 units had been sold, mainly in Dubai and Hong Kong.

SISV-Realink data shows two units on the 25th floor changed hands at $2,837 psf and $2,586 psf in April this year.

These prices were already much lower than those for two units on the 20th and 26th floors, which went for $3,349 psf and $3,291 psf in August last year.

At the time, some speculated that prices could soon reach $4,000 psf.

Luma (which will be completed in 2011) has three units on each floor, ranging from 743 sq feet to 1,173 sq feet. The developer behind the project is the mid-sized Novelty Group, which is also in the department store business. Luma sits on an en-bloc site at St Thomas Walk which Novelty bought in 2006 for $76.5 million, or about $810 psf of potential gross floor area.

The relaunch of Luma is believed to be the first among luxury condominiums as other developers are holding back, given the weak market.

Nicholas Mak, director of research and consultancy at Knight Frank, said more of the smaller developers could be relaunching at lower prices.

‘The bigger ones are discreetly offering soft discounts, such as lifestyle vouchers,’ he said.

‘I think the chief aim is to move units, to increase sales. They’ve probably done their sums – they expect to do a level of sales to achieve breakeven point, which will lower their borrowings and feel more comfortable,’ Mr Mak added.

Banks are probably repricing loans, and some developers that have revolving facilities or variable- rate loans may feel the pinch.

‘More smaller developers will be doing this if the economic situation worsens,’ said Mr Mak.

The Novelty Group also bought White House Park Apartments in Stevens Road for $22 million from Asia General Holdings. It also has developments in Pasir Panjang, Geylang, Yio Chu Kang and Pasir Ris.

(Source: The Business Times on 14 November 2008)

FOR SALE: St. Regis Residences 4 bedrooms in best Stack 02 with unobstructed views

St. Regis Residences Singapore

St. Regis Residences Singapore


Interested buyers or investors
Best Deal! – 4 bedrooms of size 2486 sqft going for very attractive price! Call me to discuss!
St Regis Residences facing Nassim Park

St Regis Residences facing Nassim Park

Please contact our appointed marketing agent, Markus Tay @ Tel: (65) 9018-1551 or email sales@singaporeluxuryhomes.biz

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St. Regis Residences. Asia’s premier address.

District: 10
building: three 20-storey towers
Tenure: 999 years leasehold
Site Area: 16,692 sq m
Total units: 255
Sizes:
The St Regis Residences will offer full condominium facilities and comprise

- 87 three-bedroom units (137 sq m to 145 sq m);
- 141 four-bedroom units (179 sq m to 231 sq m); and
- four penthouses (546 sq m to 611 sq m).

Asking Sale Price(SGD): Please check latest prices with us!

St. Regis Residences. Description. six-star hotel and residences.

The St. Regis Singapore will be developed on a 180,000 square foot 999 leasehold site bounded by Tomlinson Road, Tanglin Road and Cuscaden Road in the heart of Singapore’s uptown Orchard Road shopping and entertainment district. This will be an integrated property complex comprising hotel, apartments and service apartments. The hotel and residences are expected to be ready by 2007.

St. Regis Residences pool

St. Regis Residences pool


This luxury project is owned and developed by Richmond Hotel Pte Ltd – a joint venture among CDL, HLH and TID. The development will have a 20-storey hotel tower comprising 299 luxurious guest rooms and two 20-storey apartment towers for 255 units of luxury residences and penthouses for sale. TID is a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings and Japan’s leading real estate company Mitsui Fudosan.

The six-star St. Regis Hotel will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. The St. Regis Singapore will feature 299 luxurious guest rooms, including 30 beautifully appointed suites and a total of 15,000 square feet meeting facilities. Other facilities include four of the finest food and beverage outlets, health/spa center and other recreational facilities. One of the most impressive qualities of the hotel will be the renowned St. Regis Butler Service, offering unparalleled round-the-clock personal attention to every guest. Trained in the English tradition, the butlers provide ever-present yet unobtrusive service while anticipating guest needs and customizing each guest’s stay according to his or her specific tastes and preferences. This is the first St. Regis Hotel in Southeast Asia.

FOR SALE: Marina Bay Residences with bay or sea views

Marina Bay Residences | Singapore luxury homes with bay view

Marina Bay Residences | Singapore luxury homes with bay view


Presenting the Crown Jewel of Marina Bay

Poised to become the best address in Singapore, Marina Bay Residences is a new iconic landmark that will redefine the meaning of luxurious living.

Set in the heart of the brand new Marina Bay district, Marina Bay Residences offers residents a superb selection of business and pleasure activities. The Marina Bay Financial Centre is right next door and the corporate and business centre of Raffles Place is less than a five minute stroll away. With the new Marina Bay Sands integrated resort and the Esplanade just across the Bay, Marina Bay Residences is the ultimate location for living, working and playing.

An Architectural Masterpiece

How many people can claim ownership of a stunning home created by one of the world’s leading architects? The fortunate owners of Marina Bay Residences will be members of this very exclusive club.

Conceived and created by New York-based Gene Kohn of Kohn Pedersen Fox, the crystal-like architectural design of Marina Bay Residences is destined to become a landmark on the Bay and will add a signature image to Singapore’s skyline.

The façade of Marina Bay Residences is illuminated from below, creating a glorious night-time landmark. The sculpted crowns and sky gardens at the top are dramatically lit from the inside, forming a visual dialogue with the other crowns of the CBD skyline.

Marina Bay Residences. At the heart of it all.

Marina Bay Residences will place residents at the very heart of exciting Marina Bay and connect them to the rest of Singapore via the East Coast Parkway, the Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) station and the upcoming Circle Line MRT. The rest of the world is close by too – thanks to Marina Bay Residences offering easy access to Changi Airport. Residents can even commute to work along the Singapore River via river taxis.

Live the high life

The incredible beauty of the views that you will enjoy from your living room are matched only by the luxurious fixtures and fittings that adorn your entire apartment. Create your own unique environment within the capacious and well-planned spaces of your home. Marina Bay Residences represents the epitome of luxury living and truly reflects your accomplishments in life.

A wealth of entertainment options surround you

At Marina Bay Residences, you will be surrounded by a vast array of entertainment options thanks to the exciting new Marina Bay Sands integrated resort right next door.

This exciting new landmark in entertainment will also offer the most exquisite cuisine from around the world. Over a dozen restaurants, including six destination-style restaurants managed by world famous chefs from the US, Japan, Australia and Italy, are set to make Marina Bay and Singapore the epicurean capital of Asia.

You will also be able to enjoy world-class entertainment in two 2,000-seat theatres. Or explore the fascinating worlds revealed by a unique ArtScience Museum.

Unmatched facilites with dazzling views

On its 7th floor, Marina Bay Residences provides a complete range of superb condominium facilities that combine stunning views with sumptuous luxury. Splash out in the lap pool and children’s pool, relax in the Jacuzzi, stroll through open pavilions, enjoy intense workouts in the gym or wind down with a cool evening barbecue and take in the glorious sights of the sea, the Bay and the CBD skyline.

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    Marina Bay Residences. facilities
    Spa / Aqua gym pool
    Lap pool
    Children’s pool
    Main pool
    Tennis courts
    Jogging track
    BBQ area
    Children’s playground
    Steam bath / massage therapy room
    Gymnasium
    Tea Deck

Property rules should protect not just clients but agents too

I REFER to Monday’s report, ‘Surge in complaints from home buyers’.

Much has been said about a need for a regulatory body for estate agents to protect buyers and sellers from rogue agents, and understandably so.

However, when Ms Xie Ruzhen states that she felt she had been duped into signing an agreement requiring her to pay her agent a 1 per cent commission when the industry’s standard commission guideline for the seller’s agent is a 2 per cent commission (particularly for HDB), something has gone amiss.

How was she duped into signing a contract that allowed her to shortchange her agent of his commission by half? She also said she had intended to pay only a 0.5 per cent commission after having recently forked out a 2 per cent commission to the agent for his service in selling her previous flat.

Does she feel that since she had already paid him a fair commission previously, she now had the right to pay him less?

As an agent who plays by the rules and am always open and honest with my clients, like many of my fellow agents, I am appalled by the actions of less ethical counterparts who have given our industry a bad name. However, this does not give parties like Ms Xie the right to undermine our worth and the services we provide. My advice to home sellers and buyers is, if you do not think your agent is worth his commission, then he is not the agent for you.

The market rate is 1 to 2 per cent commission, so if you cannot even bring yourself to pay your agent the minimum 1 per cent, then find another agent you feel is worth his commission. After all, there is no shortage of agents.

Medalina Barber (Ms)

Source : Straits Times – 25 Sep 2009

Hundred Trees condo priced at $895 psf

By KALPANA RASHIWALA

CITY Developments Ltd (CDL) is said to have begun selling the first phase of the 956-year leasehold Hundred Trees condo in the West Coast area at an average price of $895 per square foot.

In full bloom: The development takes its name from some 100 pink mempat trees that will line the project’s walkways

Buyers can opt for an interest absorption scheme (IAS) – but they’ll have to pay 2.5 per cent more.

About 150 of the project’s total 396 units are believed to have been released under the first phase.

Sales to former owners of the Hong Leong Garden Condominium – from whom CDL bought the site through a collective sale in 2007 – began yesterday. CDL staff as well as special guests were also invited to purchase units at Hundred Trees yesterday.

The preview for other buyers who had pre-registered interest in the development begins today.

BT understands that one and two-bedroom apartments, and two bedroom-plus-study units make up around 40 per cent of total units in the 12-storey condo.

Prices of one-bedders, which are about 485 square feet, begin from over $500,000. Two bedders range from 690 to 786 sq ft while two-plus-study units are between 915 and 1,227 sq ft.

‘With a relatively large proportion of smaller units, the absolute price quantum per unit has been kept relatively affordable,’ a market watcher said.
Hundred Trees’ average price is below earlier expectations in some quarters of about $930-$980 psf.

However, it is higher than the recent transactions in the West Coast area, noted analysts. Over the past few months, units at Botannia and Carabelle (both completed this year) have sold at a median price of about $800 psf while units at The Parc Condo, which is still under construction, have changed hands at a median price of about $850 psf, according to caveat data.

Analysts’ estimates of CDL’s pre-tax earnings from Hundred Trees vary widely, from about $75 million to $135 million, depending on the efficiency ratio (ratio of the project’s total saleable area to gross floor area) and construction cost assumptions.

CDL paid $131.5 million for the 266,076 sq ft Hong Leong Garden Condominium plot. This worked out to about $363 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of development charge, which was reported at about $23 million at the time.

The site is zoned for residential use with a 1.6 plot ratio. Some analysts have suggested that CDL’s breakeven cost could be below $700 psf.

Hundred Trees takes its name from some 100 pink mempat trees, dubbed the local version of Japan’s sakura or cherry blossoms, that will line the project’s walkways. The location is popular with the Japanese community; there are Japanese schools nearby and Japanese restaurants in the Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre next to the Hundred Trees site.

Although IAS was scrapped on Sept 14, a developer can still offer the scheme for a project if the developer and its partner bank have entered into an agreement before that date to offer IAS for the project and the developer has already offered units in the development for sale under IAS before the same date.

Other projects expected to be previewed in the coming weeks include Far East Organization’s Alba, a 50-unit project at Cairnhill Rise that will have a ‘white plan’ similar to the group’s Boulevard Vue project at Cuscaden Road where apartment layouts can be customised to individual buyers’ preferences.
Far East is also expected to preview soon its 278-unit freehold Cyan condo at Keng Chin Road in Bukit Timah.

Starlight Suites at River Valley Close and Ho Bee’s Trilight at Newton Road are also expected to be released soon.

Mega-hits at Sentosa IR

Madagascar and Shrek form themes at six attractions

By Lim Wei Chean

Resorts World at Sentosa is banking on the appeal of two mega-movie franchises – Shrek and Madagascar (left) – to draw the crowds next year. — PHOTO: SENTOSA RESORTS WORLD

RESORTS World at Sentosa (RWS) is banking on the appeal of two mega-movie franchises – Shrek and Madagascar – to draw the crowds to its theme park when it opens in first quarter of next year.

Six attractions at the integrated resort’s (IR’s) 20ha Universal Studios theme park will be based on the storylines of the two DreamWorks Animation films, according to details released on Thursday by the developer.

Visitors will get to see sets and characters from Shrek come to life, including the Far Far Away Castle belonging to Princess Fiona’s father.

They will also get to experience rides based on the adventures of four animals from New York’s Central Park Zoo who are shipped to Africa by accident and left stranded on Madagascar.

There will be more than 10 retail and dining outlets done up in the same themes as the two respective zones.

The two movies are among DreamWorks’ most successful box office hits, with Shrek and its two sequels grossing over US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) worldwide, and the first Madagascar film alone taking in $500 million.
RWS chief executive officer Tan Hee Teck said the films are popular with Asians.

Prices for the theme park will be announced later, but The Straits Times understands they are likely to be on par with, or even cheaper than, tickets to Universal Studios theme parks elsewhere. A day pass to the park in Orlando costs US$70 and Osaka charges 6,000 yen (S$92).

The theme park – the first of its kind in South-east Asia – is expected to be one of the IR’s biggest draws. The second IR, the Marina Bay Sands, is gunning for well-heeled business travellers.

Details of 18 other attractions at the Sentosa IR’s remaining five zones – Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, New York and Hollywood – will be announced later. An RWS spokesman said the IR is on track for its soft opening in first quarter of next year.

Making sense of home loans

We survey what’s on offer by major banks and discuss key features of the packages. By FELDA CHAY and SIOW LI SEN

WITH the recent home buying spree, one pertinent issue is how to pick the best home loan from among the dozens on the market. What with all the different plans and reams of fine print to go through, the search for the right home loan can often be a headache. Here, online websites can be a boon by making comparison of features easier. Check out smartloans.sg which has details of home loan packages from eight banks – HSBC, Standard Chartered, Rashid Hussein Bank (RHB), Maybank, UOB, OCBC, POSB and DBS.

The fixed rate package from Stanchart and floating rate package from HSBC are currently the most popular among users of the website. And it is constantly trying to add new banks to the list, with talks now ongoing with Citibank Singapore. Smartloans.sg’s chief executive Vinod Nair says he expects the bank’s packages to be listed on the website soon.

While the large variety of loan schemes available may leave many house buyers confused, Mr Nair says that there are a few things to keep in mind. ‘It depends on why you are buying the property. If you are buying it for investment purposes, you should take the floating packages because there are usually no lock-ins for floating rate packages. Also, they are usually pegged to rates like Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor), which should remain fairly low in the next one to two years,’ he says.

‘If you are planning on taking on a long-term tenure for your own occupation, it might be better to take up fixed rate packages, which offer greater comfort to borrowers because of the certainty it provides. Also, most people usually refinance their mortgages, so as long as you refinance your loan every three years to ensure that you get the best rates, it should be worth it.’

BT asked some of the banks about their most popular home loan packages and their features.

‘If you are planning on taking on a long-term tenure for your own occupation, it might be better to take up fixed rate packages, which offer greater comfort to borrowers because of the certainty it provides.’
- Smartloans.sg chief executive Vinod Nair

Citibank: Sherry Leong, Citibank Singapore business head for home financial services, says its Citibank Home Saver has always been a popular choice with clients. Home Saver is an index-linked home loan that offers borrowers the widest selection of index tenors in the market – from one-month to three years. The indexes linked to its loans include the one-month and 12-month Sibor.

Clients also have the flexibility to switch from one tenor to another on the maturity date, enabling them to decide on fixed or floating rates, depending on their view of interest rate trends, she says.

For instance, clients can take advantage of the low one-month Sibor now and then change to a 12-month Sibor later if they feel that interest rates are likely to rise, thereby fixing the rate on their instalments for that period. In addition, Home Saver comes with an interest-offset feature that helps borrowers pay down their home loans faster. Clients can put deposits into the offset account to earn an adjustment currently at up to 70 per cent of their home loan rate. This adjustment reduces the interest payable on the home loan, thereby helping clients reduce their principal outstanding faster. The offset account is an all-in-one home loan, checking and deposit account with a debit card.

‘Our clients also tend to use this as their main salary and transaction account to maximise their benefits from this feature. This feature will also appeal to customers who may have cash in hand but don’t want to commit all of it to a property in case funds are needed for other investments,’ says Ms Leong.

For owner occupied property, the maximum financing is 90 per cent though Citibank customers usually borrow up to 80 per cent, she said. Investment buyers, depending on their profiles, need to pay between 20 and 30 per cent cash downpayment, she said.

On valuations, Ms Leong says the bank noted that new launches command a slight premium above older properties and this is particularly telling when the property is leasehold.

HSBC: At HSBC, the leading home loan which is available till Sept 30 is its relationship-based package with an attractive interest rate of Sibor plus one per cent throughout the loan tenor. It is on offer to all existing HSBC customers as well as new customers who start banking with them. There is no lock-in period for the package.

This package comes with deals and discounts in recognition of customers’ relationship with the bank, said Sebastian Arcuri, HSBC’s head of personal financial services. ‘We are the only bank in the market to adopt a relationship-based approach that rewards customers for maintaining their relationship with the bank,’ he says.

Their Sibor-pegged loyalty and relationship-based Sibor packages are the most popular, with 90 per cent of home loan customers choosing these packages. Its Sibor- pegged loyalty package rewards customers for keeping their home loan with HSBC, by offering them a year-on- year decrease in the interest rate spread charged in the first three years.

Maybank: While the current economic climate seems to favour floating rate packages, Maybank Singapore says that its three-year fixed rate package is still preferred by its clients as it offers them peace of mind.

For its three-year fixed rate promotional package, the bank offers a fixed rate from as low as 1.6 per cent, after which the rates will be pegged to the Singapore residential financing rate (SRFR), which is currently 3.75 per cent. This applies to both completed and uncompleted properties, and HDB and private residential properties. There is no minimum loan quantum. Maybank offers free one-time repricing to its prevailing home loan packages, normally not found in fixed-rate loan packages in the market.

‘As property purchase is a long-term commitment, we would advise customers to take a long-term view and go for regular instalment payment comprising principal and interest payment. This is also in view of the relatively low interest rate environment currently,’ says Maybank’s head of consumer banking Helen Neo.

OCBC: Packages offered by banks come in two forms: fixed rate and floating rate. For fixed rate packages, the interest rates are fixed for the first few years of the loan. The interest rates generally tend to be higher than those of variable rate packages, says OCBC’s head of consumer secured lending Gregory Chan. The benefit is the protection it can offer against future interest rate hikes.

Floating rate packages are pegged to the bank’s respective reference rate – typically influenced by the prevailing market conditions – and banks can change the rates at their sole discretion. ‘Such packages generally lag behind interbank rate movements and are relatively less volatile compared to market pegged packages such as Sibor or Swap Offer Rate (SOR) pegged packages,’ says Mr Chan.

‘For investors who do not intend to keep the home loan for an extended period, they may prefer floating rate home loans as compared to fixed rate home loans, which come with pre-payment penalties for early settlement and partial pre-payments,’ says Mr Chan. ‘Hence, the final decision lies with the preference and interest rate outlook of home buyers.’

Currently, the floating rate packages such as the SOR- pegged home loans are preferred over the fixed rate packages at OCBC given the low interbank rates currently, and the depressed outlook for the rates in the medium term. The bank offers up to 90 per cent for financing of property purchases – though at higher rates compared with financing 80 per cent of a home.
Stanchart: The bank has a variety of Sibor-linked, fixed rate and floating rate packages, including MortgageOne Sibor and MortgageOne Optimizer that provide an offset feature where customers can use the interest earned on their deposits to reduce the interest payable on their home loans.

In the last two months, more than 50 per cent of their customers took up the fixed rate packages, including the 1.5 per cent one-year fixed rate package introduced in conjunction with the bank’s 150th anniversary, says Dennis Khoo, general manager, retail banking, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore.

‘We also see strong interest in the three-month Sibor- based packages as customers prefer interest rate transparency and enjoy the flexibility of making repayment anytime without any lock-in period,’ he says.
He advises home owners to look at mortgage insurance as well. ‘A mortgage is the single largest financial commitment for many Singaporeans and it is important that we accord the same value, if not more, in protecting our homes, as much as in purchasing and building them,’ says Mr Khoo.
‘Customers should consider signing up for a mortgage reducing term assurance (MRTA) plan as it provides protection and gives them peace of mind when planning for a home purchase and the future.’

The bank offers both single-premium and regular premium MRTA plans. MortgageCover, a single-premium MRTA plan, offers a convenient and affordable solution as customers can choose to finance the single premium together with their mortgage loan, without the need to maintain a separate insurance plan or payment plan.

The insurance plan provides customers coverage for the entire loan amount from the onset and will help to alleviate the financial and emotional burden of the home owner and his family in the event of an unforeseen event.
Customers also have the option of a regular-premium MRTA plan, Mortgage Protect, if they prefer flexibility in payment to match their cash flow.
UOB: SOR packages are popular at UOB currently, says the head of its loans division, Chia Siew Cheng. Its promotional one-month SOR with one-year constant monthly instalment plan, for instance, allows customers to fix their monthly instalment for a year, regardless of interest rate movements.

Customers can continue to fix their monthly instalment for a one-year period for subsequent years as the constant monthly instalment will be re-computed based on the remaining tenor and interest rates. ‘If interest rates move up, customers can be assured that their monthly cash flow will not be disrupted. If interest rates decline, customers can pay off more of the principal amount,’ says Ms Chia.

Another popular package is UOB HomePlus, which allows customers to earn the same interest rates on their deposits in a UOB i-Account of up to 75 per cent of the amount the bank loans to the customer. This gives its customers the option to use the deposit interest earned to offset the interest they have to pay for their loans.

UOB currently has a promotional HomePlus package, which offers rates with deposit interest matching of up to 33 per cent of the amount on loan to a client. ‘Depending on the deposit amount maintained in the UOB i-Account, the implied interest rate payable for a customer’s loan can be as low as one per cent per annum in the first year and up to 3 per cent per annum in the third year,’ says Ms Chia. UOB finances up to 90 per cent of the purchase price or valuation price of the property – whichever is lower – for owner occupation purposes.

Land of buying opportunity Down Under?

While Australian hotels may have been slow to transact in recent times, a pick-up in activity is expected in the coming months
By SOPHIE COTTOM, RON DE WIT AND DONALD HAN

SOUTH-EAST Asian investors are starting to scour Australia’s hotel market in the hopes of finding similar value to the hotel investments they made in the mid-1990s. It can be said that Asian investors were net real estate buyers between 1994 and 2003 before turning into net sellers between 2003 and 2006. That sell period was correlated to an improvement in hotel performances, lifting asset values, together with an appreciation of the Australian currency. This resulted in investors realising handsome capital gains when repatriating the funds back to their homeland.

Fast forward to September 2009 and a repeat cyclical trend may possibly be emerging. Indeed, as identified in the table above, all of the major hotel transactions that took place over the last 12 months are attributable to South-east Asian investors including Singapore’s Hotel Grand Central, Thailand’s TCC Land and Malaysia’s TA Enterprises Berhad. Notwithstanding the sale of the Westin Melbourne, hotels have transacted between A$190,000 and A$320,000 (S$234,717 and S$395,313) per room. Based on anecdotal evidence, this would appear to represent an, at times, steep discount by reference to full replacement value (after factoring land cost).

Cushman & Wakefield is aware of a number of hotel properties available to investors, both on and off-market, at the ‘right’ price. While Australian hotels may have been slow to transact in recent times, a pick-up in activity is expected in the coming months. But let us first ask the obvious questions – why hospitality and why Australia?

Australian hotel investment – land of opportunity?

The hospitality industry holds a very distinct space in the real estate sector. Indeed, while hotels are located within a physical structure, much in the same way offices are, the similarity ends there. Hotels are businesses with income levels varying on a daily basis for a number of reasons: some in – and some out of – the manager’s control. Such potential unpredictability in the income pattern can cause nervousness among investors. However, following careful analysis, investors in the hospitality industry can reap significant rewards in terms of total returns as well as diversification within an asset portfolio.

As with most industries, the hospitality sector overall suffered some setback in recent times, although the extent of the impact has differed depending on the type of market. However, in line with the overall economy, some ‘green shoots’ are starting to appear, which may open the doors for astute investors to enter the sector. The following paragraphs will concentrate on the Australian hospitality industry overall and that of its four main cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – in particular.

Firstly, let us take ourselves back a few short years to a time when credit and capital was relatively readily available and investors’ sentiments were sky-high.

The ‘old’ paradigm
The ‘old’ paradigm is a combination of circumstances that resulted in most hotel assets increasing in value:

• Strong performance levels in the form of rising occupancy and achieved average room rates (ARR), which led to increasing revenue and Ebitda;
• Competitive lending conditions whereby banks and financial institutions relaxed some of their investment parameters in the form of higher loan-to-value ratios (LVR); and

• Positive investment sentiment towards the hospitality sector illustrated by a number of Australian institutions taking a position in the sector. As a consequence, a number of assets transacted, culminating in December 2007 with the sale of Australia’s most valuable hotel (on a per-room basis), the 158-room Park Hyatt Sydney, for nearly A$1.3 million a room.

The ‘new’ paradigm
The ‘new’ paradigm is a volatile environment where uncertainties in terms of availability of capital and business conditions dominate. By reference to the old paradigm, the new paradigm exhibits the following characteristics:

• Declining performance levels driven primarily by a softening in demand for transient accommodation, which has a downward impact on revenue and Ebitda;

• A return to stringent lending conditions whereby lenders, compelled to deleverage, are tightening their criteria, forcing investors to reduce their LVR and placing a renewed emphasis on interest coverage ratio; and
• Subdued sentiment towards the sector as investors shy away from the perceived risks associated with the industry.

This has a significant impact, not only on asset values, but also on hotel transactions. From the ‘dizzying’ heights of 2006 and 2007 when well in excess of A$1 billion worth of hotel assets was transacted each year, only A$750 million worth of major hotel assets was transacted in 2008. And 20 per cent of that total was derived from the A$160 million sale of the Westin Hotel in December 2008.

Even so, the new paradigm is also opportunistic for those investors holding a long-term investment strategy. Indeed, investors, financiers and operators are all getting back to basics. And in terms of market fundamentals, Australia’s star is shining that little bit brighter.

Firstly, from an economic standpoint, after weeks of uncertainty, the news came out in June that Australia had avoided the dreaded ‘R’ word after growing by a stronger-than-expected 0.4 per cent in the March quarter. That was followed by a further 0.6 per cent increase in GDP in the June quarter.

Is Australia out of the woods completely? Maybe not, but it is certainly regarded positively among the developed economies. In addition, from a political standpoint, Australia is perceived as safe, with transparent commercial guidelines conducive to foreign investment, as exemplified by the recent acquisition of well-known hotel assets by South-east Asian investors such as Hotel Grand Central Ltd and TA Enterprises.

Other aspects to consider when investing in Australian real estate are movements in the Australian currency, yield levels and the interest rate environment.

Secondly, Australia’s hotel industry is in far better shape than that of its neighbours’. While it is indisputable that performances have weakened over the last 18 months and are likely to continue doing so over the short to medium term, the extent of revenue per available room (RevPAR – which is a measure of occupancy and ARR, and therefore also of value) decline for Australia’s major cities is significantly less to that reported in China and India.

Thirdly, compared to the downturn of the early 1990s, banks are working with current asset owners to navigate potentially treacherous times and avoid a repeat of the dreaded fire-sale period that sent values into a downward spiral. Contrary to America, where distressed asset sales have been skyrocketing in recent quarters, lenders have so far been prone to work with their existing clients and trade through those difficult times.

However, the underlying message remains one of deleveraging and repricing of risks. Anyone with a refinancing deadline is aware that the combination of declining hotel value and lower debt levels is unsustainable. Hence, we believe that the Australian hospitality market is on the cusp of a new wave in the transaction cycle.

Lastly, the South-east Asian banks have escaped largely unscathed from the global financial crisis and may have some surplus cash to support their compatriots’ investments in the Australian property sector.

The ‘future’ paradigm
From a trading perspective, some may say that Australia has come back to more ‘normalised’ conditions with occupancy levels in the major CBD markets reverting back to a long-term average of around 75 per cent; a level superior to the performances achieved in the majority of Asia’s commercial hubs. And at the very least, while most Australian cities experienced a softening in demand, there is limited new supply over the short-term horizon, which is likely to limit any decline in occupancy levels.

The only exception is Melbourne, which is currently experiencing a boom in supply with over 2,500 rooms coming onstream by mid-2011. Looking ahead, the current lack of credit is also limiting the potential for new hotel construction, delaying the onset of a new supply cycle and providing some opportunities for hotel performances to recover.

From an investment perspective, the limited number of transactions in the last 12 months prove that a gap remains between buyers and sellers.

However, while some investors speculated early this year that passing yields in the capital cities would increase to 10 per cent, a few recapitalisations later, it seems that sellers in the market were at least able to fend off the more opportunistic offers. And the market took note.

To say that investors are eyeing one another to see who will make the first move is an understatement. How long is that cat-and-mouse game going to last? The number of hotels for sale, both on and off-market, demonstrates that some hotel owners, and primarily hotel funds, remain under some sort of financial pressure that may only be alleviated either by an outright sale, or by the injection of fresh capital.

In summary, investors are looking for reassurance. As such, prime assets in CBD locations will continue to dominate their wish list. Australia, as a safe destination with relatively sound economic prospects and lower hotel asset values than in South-east Asian capital cities, may therefore still be regarded as a land of buying opportunity.

The writers are senior manager; executive director, Cushman & Wakefield Hospitality; and regional managing director, Capital Markets respectively

Not all Reits are created equal

Volatile as the year might have been, the consensus on the inclusion of Reits in investment portfolios is favourable, reports JOYCE HOOI

AT FIRST glance, real estate investment trusts (Reits) watchers will be frustrated by the hung jury that has been the outcome for the first half of 2009. As of the end of August, of the 18 Reits with results in, half have reported distribution per unit (DPU) growth while the other half have reported an erosion of DPU.

Upon closer analysis, however, Phillip Securities analyst Lee Kok Joo noted that there are some sectors within the Reits area that have fared better than the rest. ‘The hospitality sector fared the worst with both Ascott Reit and CDL Hospitality Reit recording decrease in gross revenue as well as lower DPU,’ said Mr Lee in his report late last month.

Despite the blow dealt to the hospitality sector this year, a pickup in tourist arrivals is expected to help turn things around next year. DMG estimates that the weighted average yield for the hospitality Reit sector will pick up in FY2010 to 7.3 per cent, up from a forecast 6 per cent this year.

The industrial Reit sector also provided a reminder this year that DPUs and turnover could go in opposite directions. ‘For industrial sector, all four industrial Reits recorded lower DPU although only MacarthurCook Industrial Reit recorded lower gross revenue,’ Mr Lee added.

The office and retail sectors, however, have seen both revenue and DPU growing in tandem, benefiting from faster rent escalation and positive rental reversion from expiring leases, respectively.

Disparity where yields are concerned might be a good thing, however. OCBC Investment Research’s Meenal Kumar noted earlier this year in a report that ‘Suntec Reit is trading at a 300-point yield premium to CapitaCommercial Trust despite support from its retail portfolio and fairly similar gearing’, giving rise to arbitrage opportunities as soon as the smoke clears. ‘We do expect opportunities for yield arbitrage as the divergence corrects, especially as clarity increases on the office outlook,’ said Ms Kumar.

Volatile as the year might have been for Reits as an asset class, the consensus on its inclusion in investment portfolios is favourable.

A survey published by the Trust Company Ltd, a Sydney firm, found that real estate investment trusts in Singapore and Australia are expected to be the first in the region to regain ground lost during the economic downturn.
Singapore fared well in the survey because of optimistic prospects for growth of the property market, and great regulatory involvement on the part of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. However, Anthony Ryan, JPMorgan head of Asia real estate investment banking, cautioned investors against over-relying on the conventional wisdom of Reits being defensive plays.

At the CapitaLand International Forum earlier this month, he pointed out that in three separate periods – pre-crisis, during the crisis and post-crisis, Singapore Reits (S-Reits) have demonstrated an outstanding propensity to be high-beta investment vehicles.

During the ‘growth period’ of November 2005 to July 2007, S-Reits posted a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35 per cent, closely mimicking the Straits Times Index’s (STI) CAGR of 34 per cent. In the same period, Singapore property stocks posted a CAGR of 53 per cent.

During the sub-prime crisis, from July 2007 to December 2008, S-Reits promptly took the lead of Singapore property stocks, posting a CAGR of -43 per cent, against the latter’s -49 per cent. Debunking the expectations of Reits’ defensive play, the STI had a smaller negative return of 39 per cent during the same period.

Something that most analysts were able to agree on going forward was that Reits will have an easier ride on the credit front. ‘Indications from the various Reit managers indicate that borrowing margins continued to ease between 50 and 100 basis points,’ said CIMB-GK Research’s Janice Ding. The easing flow of credit will lay the groundwork for more acquisitions, most analysts reckon.

Ms Ding is favouring Parkway Life Reit and Frasers Centrepoint Trust as among the Reits making acquisitions within a 12-month period. OCBC’s Ms Kumar, who is neutral on the sector, has pegged Suntec, Mapletree Logistics Trust and Frasers Centrepoint Trust as ‘likely candidates for an equity/acquisition two-for-one in the next six months’.

All said, the remainder of the year promises to be a quiet one by CB Richard Ellis estimates. ‘Most S-Reits are unlikely to make many new acquisitions in 2009 as dividend yields have increased significantly and it would be extremely challenging to make purchases that are yield-enhancing,’ it said.

Office market here is still active

The vacancy rate in prime Grade A buildings rose from 1.8% in Q3 2008 to 6.1% in Q2 this year
By CHRIS ARCHIBOLD

THE office market here, like many around the world, has seen a fundamental shift in dynamics over the last nine months, with a marked drop in demand since the collapse of Lehman Brothers a year ago leading to a drop in rents. While all markets are cyclical, Singapore’s commercial property market has seen rental fluctuations that are typical of a more volatile market such as Hong Kong.

The reason for this is that many new developments were cancelled or delayed during the Asian financial crisis/Sars period in 2002-2004. The typical four-year construction period for a Grade A office building means that there is a lag in the supply pipeline, which was adversely affected from 2006-2008.

These were the years which saw a substantial increase in demand for office space. Much of it came from the financial services sector, partly as a result of the global growth of this sector and partly as a result of Singapore’s successful repositioning as a global financial services centre.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s research shows that from the bottoming out of the market in 2004 to the peak in Q3 2008, Grade A core CBD vacancy shrank from 11.6 per cent to 1.8 per cent and rents surged by 303 per cent. Post credit crisis, the negative take-up and concerns of over-supply have led to rents dropping by 48 per cent between Q3 2008 and Q2 2009.

Market sentiment tailed off rapidly between Q4 2008 and Q1 this year as occupiers began to give up space at the same time that some of the new developments were completed. The result is that the vacancy rate in prime Grade A buildings rose from 1.8 per cent in Q3 2008 to 6.1 per cent in Q2 this year.

A number of occupiers tried to mitigate part of their outgoings by either subletting or finding replacement tenants for their space. By June, ‘shadow space’ – currently leased space that occupiers are looking to dispose of, including space not available until 2010 – stood at 800,000 sq ft. If shadow space is included, the vacancy rises by about 30 basis points.

Part of the decline in sentiment has been caused by concern over future supply. Singapore has a larger than normal supply pipeline, especially in the core CBD. That said, there is an argument that in order to attract inward investment, Singapore has to constantly upgrade its office space offering and the new buildings coming to the market are, in the main, well specified and offer a significant upgrade to occupiers.

In the short term, net take-up is expected to remain low as there has not been any uplift in new office demand despite a less pessimistic economic outlook. Interestingly, the first two months of Q3 have seen significantly higher activity in the office market. There are two main reasons behind this increased activity.

Firstly, activity that is lease expiry driven. Given that the first wave of the long awaited new supply has now started to hit the market, there is some vacancy in the market and tenants now have real options. On the back of this we are seeing a discernible flight to quality in favour of the new developments ready this year.

The biggest roadblock to relocating today is a lack of budget for capital expenditure (capex). On the back of this, a number of active inquiries are focused on fully fitted ‘shadow space’ that negates the need for capex spend for fit-out.

Secondly, there are quite a number of large occupiers (50,000 sq ft plus) in the market who have been sitting on the sidelines for the last nine months for various reasons. They might not have been able to accurately predict their future headcount, lacked a capex budget, or else anticipated a weaker market ahead.

These occupiers are now coming to market as it has fallen significantly. Also, occupiers of this size would need to plan a move 12-18 months in advance, and this is close to the completion periods of new supply.

A significant number of these occupiers, especially those in the financial services industry, are also looking for enhanced specifications such as trading floors, enhanced power and air-conditioning provision and space for their dedicated equipment – back-up generators and air-conditioning, etc. The ability to supply such needs is limited and hence the first movers into a building have more chance of securing the specifications they need.

The increased activity is also being generated by the desire among some occupiers to secure branding rights (naming or signage rights) to the building they plan to occupy. The availability of this in the market is even more limited and hence occupiers will commit early in order to secure them.

Given the drop in rents and uplift in market sentiment on the back of both the global stock markets and local residential market, in the short term we expect to see the office market continue to be active. However, given the supply scenario, we expect rents to still face some downward pressure, albeit at a more muted pace, and much of the activity to be from consolidation or a flight to quality as occupiers upgrade.

The writer is regional director and head of markets, Jones Lang LaSalle