THE M3: LA SCALA PROJECT INVALID; PAWNSHOPS; SINGAPORE HOME SALES SURGE

The Macau Metro Monitor, August 15, 2012

GOVERNMENT ACES LAND-LEASE DEALS FOR LA SCALA PROJECT Macau News

Chinese Estates Holdings said in a statement last night that Macau government has decided to “invalidate” the land-concession contracts and related March 2006 amendments concerning its subsidiary Moon Ocean. According to the statement “the chief executive of Macau has declared the previous act of the chief executive of Macau in confirming the approval of the land transfers and the related amendments of the land concession contracts in March 2006 invalid.” 

The land concession in dispute concerns 5 plots of land near the airport in Taipa that were slate for the company’s luxury La Scala residential project.  The head of Chinese Estates Holding, Hong Kong developer Joseph Lau Luen Hung, is slated to stand trial for alleged bribery in a Macau court next month. 

MACAU PAWNSHOPS: TO PAWN AND TO BE A PAWN Macau Daily Times

Pawnshops, whose fortune is linked to gaming in Macau is a good barometer of the industry's health. According to one pawn shop owner, “In the (2008) international financial crisis, we were very much affected, and some smaller pawnshops were on the brink of closure. Individual ones even suspended their business temporarily. Now the visitor numbers and casino revenues are slowing down again, we hope it doesn’t last long this time.” 


SINGAPORE PRIVATE-HOME SALES SURGE 41.7% ON MONTH IN JULY Dow Jones Newswire

According to government data, sales of of new private homes in Singapore surged 41.7% MoM in July, reversing the sharp declines seen in May and June. 1,943 units, excluding executive condominiums, were sold in July compared to 1,371 units in June.  

Analysts believe the the rebound in July sales was caused by seasonal factors such as the desire to close transactions ahead of August, known as the quiet "Hungry Ghost" month and lower prices in some segments of the market. Development units priced below S$1,000/SQFT were among the strongest sellers. 

It appears that homebuyers are showing interest in more modestly priced condominium launches.  Despite the recently transaction volume volatility, analysts believe that will remain at a steady pace for the balance of the year.