Asian Real Estate News: China, Thailand, Singapore
China’s Minister of Housing, Jiang Weixin, has said there’s no plan yet to relax control on property prices.
Jiang added that a plan to build 36-million subsidised flats is going well, with around six-million expected to be completed in the coming year. He was speaking in Beijing on the sidelines of the Communist Party’s 18th congress, RTHK reports.
Investors are rushing to buy car-parking spaces after the recent measures to cool the residential market – and developers are jumping on the bandwagon by putting thousands of slots on the market.
A local buyer snapped up 48 parking spaces a few days ago at Viking Villas in Tin Hau Temple Road, North Point, for HK$21.5 million, or HK$448,000 per space on average. These were among the about 50 spaces bought in 1991 by the seller for HK$1.67 million, or HK$30,000 per unit – an appreciation of 14 times.
Since the announcement of the cooling measures on October 26, prices in non-residential sectors have started climbing – commercial space has hit new highs. And while the homes market has seen transactions plunge, the push for car-park spaces has been almost frenzied.
With parking spaces costing a relatively modest HK$188,000 at Belair Gardens in Sha Tin, a local investor bought 12 for HK$2.2 million.
In Sham Tseng, a mainlander bought five bays at Hong Kong Garden for about HK$2 million on Monday. Another mainlander bought two spaces at Vienna Gardens, Sheung Shui, in the northern New Territories, for HK$560,000 the same day.
Midland residential chief executive Vincent Chan Kwan-hing said there has been a significant increase in non- residential property transactions since the introduction of the residential cooling measures, which took effect at midnight after being announced hours earlier on the Friday evening. And with parking spaces costing much less than flats, deals have risen several-fold.
A few of the spaces have yields of more than 6 percent if renting out at a market value of HK$1,000 a month. But Chan urged investors not to enter the parking-space market without experience.
Indeed, investing in car-park spaces is not without risks. Lawrence Poon Wing-cheung, housing policy panel chairman at the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, warned that yields may drop to an unreasonably low level when interest rates bounce back and “hot money” flows out of the city.
Among the measures announced by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah on October 26 was a new 15 percent Buyer’s Stamp Duty affecting non-permanent residents and corporate buyers. He also strengthened the Special Stamp Duty, implemented two years ago to fend off the short-term investors and speculators blamed for soaring home prices. The government raised the across-the-board duty by five percentage points, and extended its effect on resales from two to three years.
Duty of 10 to 20 percent of the transaction price is payable if a flat is flipped within that time.
Tsang – and other officials, including housing secretary Anthony Cheung Bing-leung – later warned the government does not rule out the possibility of introducing curbs on the non- residential property market, including car-parking spaces.
Eddie Hui Chi-man, a member of the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee, said the government should introduce further curbs when the livelihoods of residents are affected.
Iris Group www.iris.co.th launched a new shopping mall in Bangkok, Venice Di Iris, the site is already under construction and will be the most picturesque shopping destination in the country.
In Bangkok, Thailand, rising land prices are pushing home prices beyond the reach of many would-be buyers and the Iris Group is one of the few remaining developers that have opportunities for investment.
The result is fewer new developments, shrinking supply and pushing prices even higher.
Many of the developments are single bedroom apartments unsuitable for families, who are fleeing the city for the suburbs, where larger properties are available.
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Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in countries around the world have outperformed most national indices with Singapore posting best return performance in 2011 among six important REIT jurisdictions. This is according to Ernst & Young’s Global Perspectives: 2012 REIT report published this week that surveyed the Australian, Japanese, Singaporean, US, UK and French markets.
“Globally, REIT markets made solid gains in the latter half of 2011, and first quarter 2012 data confirms this trend. But continued growth into 2013, for many, depends heavily on key aspects of their regional economies as well as the overall global outlook,” says Robert Lehman, Ernst & Young’s Global REIT Practice Leader.
Of the six REIT jurisdictions examined in this year’s report, Singapore had the best return performance in 2011. The one year rate of return for Singapore REITs exceeded 21.8%, putting the country’s US$30 billion REIT sector ahead of Japan (17.4%), Australia (15.6%), the US (15.3%), the UK (14.8%) and France (11.85%).
Heffernan Capital Management
Business Development Director – Private Client Group,
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Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals. He is also an active consultant working with Corporations around the World.
He is recognized as one of the leading Economists in South East Asia, as well as the preeminent authority on ASEAN. His opinions and forecasts are widely read by decision makers in the region and Internationally.
Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reached a peak of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.
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