Co-living startup Hmlet forays into Australian market with Sydney expansion

SINGAPORE (Feb 26): Hmlet, a co-living rental startup based in Singapore, has announced its expansion to Australia with the March 2019 launch of two co-living properties in the inner city suburbs of Newtown and Marrickville in Sydney.

This comes after the company’s recent conclusion of its US$6.5 million ($8.8 million) Series A funding round, led by Sequoia India, in Nov 2018.

Singapore is seeing an unprecedented mortgage slowdown

SINGAPORE (Jan 25): Rising interest rates and the latest round of property curbs have put the brakes on mortgage demand at Singapore’s banks, potentially further dragging down the city’s housing market.

Home-loan growth slowed to 1.9% in the first 11 months of 2018, less than half the 4.2% increase posted in 2017, the latest Monetary Authority of Singapore data show. Mortgage growth will stay stuck below 2% this year, according to Diksha Gera, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Trouble in paradise for Singapore's policymakers as economic slowdown sets in

SINGAPORE (Jan 11): The headwinds of geopolitical stresses, market turbulence and policy uncertainties in the major global economies are no friend to small, open and trade-­dependent Singapore.

Apart from finding new economic growth drivers, Singapore also faces growing socio-economic issues at home. For one, it has a rapidly ageing population, which has implications for its housing and healthcare policies.

Hong Kong has US$64 bil plan to build islands for new homes

HONG KONG (Jan 3): Hong Kong, the world’s least affordable property market, has a plan to tackle its housing crisis: build four artificial islands equal to about a fifth the size of Manhattan that could house more than a million people.

The government-backed plan to create a gleaming property and commercial hub has been tried before—Palm Jumeirah, the palm-shaped archipelago in Dubai filled with luxury developments; Forest City, a housing project for 700,000 people in Malaysia; and Jurong Island in Singapore, which houses chemical and energy facilities.

Yoma remains on track for a rebound amid near-term uncertainties: RHB

SINGAPORE (Dec 27): RHB Research is maintaining its “buy” call on Yoma Strategic while lowering its target price to 57 cents from 66 cents, after the stock’s recent share price recovery from all-time low levels in Oct.

The lower target price comes after introducing a higher 20% discount to SOP valuations from 15% previously to factor in higher regulatory and political risks. At the same time, RHB has lowered its FY19-20F net profit forecasts to account for lower margins for real estate projects.

Housing in Malaysia: Issue is not availability but affordability

SINGAPORE (Sept 24): There has been much discussion on the adequacy of the current (affordable) housing supply and, crucially, the lack of homeownership in Malaysia. 

Statistics suggest that there are enough houses built in the country. Property developers have been churning out houses at a healthy rate over the years — in fact, more than keeping pace with population growth (see Chart 1).


PM Lee unveils healthcare and housing plans to curb cost of living pressures

SINGAPORE (Aug 20): Changes to government schemes on healthcare and housing were outlined by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday night.

The initiatives, stretching over 50 years or more with some only to be implemented many years from now, will require large expenditure and span “several generations and many General Elections” to realise, said Lee.

The government will also ensure the cost of housing, healthcare and education remains affordable as cost of living pressures grow.

Shared spaces: Housing still subject to limitations

SINGAPORE (Aug 6): Multi-purpose, co-living spaces are revolutionising urban life in densely populated and expensive New York, San Francisco, London and Shanghai. The concept, rather like an upmarket update of rooming together at university, is apparently all the rage for millennials. Their lifestyles are often a blur of work, play and home and with many disinclined to start a family, they are open to pricey arrangements that give them private bedrooms but a shared kitchen, office and recreational space, as well as cleaning and laundry services.

Is the correction in property stock prices a buying opportunity?

SINGAPORE (July 6): OCBC Investment Research is downgrading the Singapore residential sector rating to “neutral” from “overweight” previously, as RHB Research places its “overweight” sector call and recommendations under review.

Meanwhile, Maybank Kim Eng reiterates its “positive” view and developer recommendations.

Tiny apartments fuel self-storage boom in crowded Hong Kong

HONG KONG (July 12): People often complain about Hong Kong’s notoriously tiny apartments, but for investors like Blackstone Group LP, opportunity can be found in small places.

Welcome to the world of self storage.

The majority of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million residents live in cramped homes with limited space for clothes, shoes, books, sports gear and other items. So there’s a desire to find somewhere else to store non-essential belongings.

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