The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 30, 31 Jan & 1 Feb 2021 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

The Reef at King’s Dock sells over 90% of 300 units offered over launch weekend
About 280 of the 300 residential units currently offered at The Reef at King’s Dock were sold over the launch weekend from Jan 30 to 31, joint developers Mapletree Investments and Keppel Land said on Sunday. Prices ranged from S$2,000 per square foot (psf) to S$2,800 psf, with average price at S$2,330 psf.

Even with travel at a standstill, home purchases by foreigners improved after circuit breaker
Private home purchases by foreign buyers picked up in the wake of the circuit breaker last year, even as travel curbs remained largely in place. While this may appear counter-intuitive at first glance, it is not as improbable as it seems. These buyers could have transacted through Singapore-based proxies or taken the plunge after virtual viewings, according to NUS’ Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS).

Housing loans lift bank lending in December amid rising home prices
Housing loans in Singapore extended its growth streak for the fourth straight month last December, on the back of rising private home prices. On a monthly basis, housing loans – which make up three quarters of consumer lending – climbed 0.4 per cent to S$201.36 billion in December, consequently lifting total consumer loans by 0.5 per cent to S$259.62 billion, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Friday.

S-Reits still attracting retail interest in 2021
After garnering S$1.2 billion in net retail inflows in 2020, Singapore Reits (S-Reits) continued to see retail interest in early 2021. 10 S-Reits with the largest net retail inflows in 2021 YTD totalled S$88.1 million and are listed in the table. Five of the 10 trusts reported quarterly earnings or business updates for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2020.

Reits (Jan 30-31, 2021)


Singapore Economy

Singapore firms upbeat on prospects after year of gloom
The business expectations of firms in both the manufacturing and services sectors turned positive after a year of gloom, with sentiments boosted by the start of Covid-19 vaccinations across countries. Their sentiments were captured in the latest quarterly surveys, whose findings were released separately by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Department of Statistics (SingStat) yesterday.

Bankruptcy cases in Singapore at 5-year low amid Covid-19 relief measures
Singapore – Even as the Covid-19 pandemic ravages the economy, the number of people who were made bankrupt last year sank to the lowest in five years. Bankruptcy orders tumbled more than 40 per cent to 965 from 1,645 in 2019. Figures from the Law Ministry’s Insolvency Office website showed more than 1,600 bankruptcy orders were made annually between 2016 and 2018.

Develop standardised verification for Covid-19 tests and vaccines so international travel can resume: PM
Countries should work together to develop a robust system to verify the authenticity of Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday. A standardised system is essential to reopen borders and resume international travel, he said in a special address to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda 2021. Mr Lee made the point as he highlighted how countries need to strengthen international cooperation, which is essential in tackling the global pandemic.

Singapore-Johor RTS Link: Second civil contract for viaduct and tunnels awarded
The second civil contract for the construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link was awarded on Friday, a week after Singapore broke ground on the cross-border rail shuttle service connecting the island with Malaysia. The S$180 million contract covering the construction of a 25-metre-tall viaduct spanning the Strait of Johor and connecting rail tunnels was given to China Communications Construction Company (Singapore Branch), which is currently constructing the Boon Lay station on the Jurong Region Line, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said.


Companies’ Brief

CDL Hospitality Trusts’ H2 DPS falls 29.2% to 3.44 S cents
CDL Hospitality Trusts’ (CDLHT) distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the second half of 2020 declined by 29.2 per cent to 3.44 Singapore cents, from 4.86 cents a year ago. Gross revenue was down 36.5 per cent to S$65.5 million for the six months ended Dec 31, 2020, from S$103.1 million the year before. Meanwhile, net property income (NPI) sank 46.2 per cent to S$39.6 million for the same period, from S$73.6 million a year ago.

CapitaLand China Trust reports 30.2% lower H2 DPU of 3.33 S cents
Given that CapitaLand China Trust’s (CLCT) portfolio is “quite exposed” to the northern part of China, which has seen a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, Tan Tze Wooi, chief executive of the manager, said sentiment for CLCT remains “cautious”. During an earnings call on Friday morning to discuss its FY20 results, he said: “This northern sector seems to be taking a little bit more of those Covid cases, so we do see that our performance will be susceptible to some of this resurgence.”

Most analysts positive on Keppel’s rig-building exit but trim targets; shares sink 8.2%
Keppel Corp shares hit a two-month low on Friday after the conglomerate announced it intends to exit the rig-building business and instead focus on green energy. The move drew mixed reactions from analysts. Most believe the group’s decision to exit the rig business and restructure subsidiary Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) could be a catalyst for growth. But they are not expecting Keppel’s prospects to improve overnight. And at least three analysts have lowered their target prices for the stock.

Directors of Q & M, Lian Beng and Fortress Minerals raise stakes
For the five local trading sessions that spanned Jan 22 to 28, the Straits Times Index (STI) declined 3.2 per cent with the Nikkei 225 Index, Hang Seng Index and S&P/ASX 200 Index also averaging a 3.2 per cent decline. This has brought the STI’s total return for the 2021 year to Jan 28 to 2.7 per cent. Within the STI, DBS Group Holdings, OCBC and United Overseas Bank have seen the highest net institutional inflows in the 2021 year to Jan 28, while outside the STI, the highest net institutional inflows were logged by technology trio Fu Yu Corporation, AEM Holdings and UMS Holdings.

Metro seeks deals in industrial property, student housing, suburban malls
Metro Holdings plans to “scale up” its investments in industrial property and student housing, as well as in suburban malls, as the pandemic turns up good deals or new assets for sale this year, said group chief executive Yip Hoong Mun. The mainboard-listed retail and property group has recently made some significant moves to diversify its property portfolio, which had previously comprised investments in commercial and residential properties.

Metro-led fund to acquire student accommodation property in Bristol, UK for £30.1 million
Property group Metro Holdings’ recently established student accommodation fund Paideia Capital UK Trust has entered into a sale-and-purchase agreement with an independent third party to acquire a property in Bristol, United Kingdom, for a total price tag of £30.1 million (S$54.9 million). Paideia Capital UK Trust is 30 per cent owned by Metro’s wholly-owned subsidiary Sun Capital Assets.

US data centre contribution boosts MIT’s Q3 DPU
The consolidation of revenue from 14 data centres in the United States boosted Mapletree Industrial Trust’s (MIT) third-quarter results. This was partly offset by rental reliefs extended to tenants and the loss of revenue from the redevelopment of its flatted factories in its Kolam Ayer 2 cluster to new hi-tech buildings.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Moving up the value chain
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Singapore’s plan to pivot towards advanced manufacturing can be realised through development of relevant manpower, hub infrastructural and agile capabilities and plugging into global sustainability and consumption. Robust collaborations between Government, IHLs, industry players and the community will foster a strong and more closely connected infrastructural ecosystem. This will support the advancement of the necessary human resources highly skilled in technology, digital and computing power, and R&D capabilities to help transform production systems from product design to manufacturing, meeting with Industry 4.0 vision.

From values to value: The risk of not investing sustainably
The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on economies, companies and individuals globally, have grown to be a catalyst for sustainability becoming more intrinsic to how we do business and live our lives. The pandemic has undoubtedly refreshed and deepened our perspectives on sustainability. It can even be said the impact of Covid-19 has been an inflexion point for those previously sitting on the fence when it comes to the need for tangible action on sustainability issues.

Are cheaper funds really better bets?
No matter what we’re shopping for, there’s nearly always a positive relation between quality and price. So why, on Wall Street of all places, would the best managers charge less? Study after study concludes that on average, the lower an active fund’s fees, the higher its net performance. As a result, it’s now common for both individual and institutional investors to heavily weight expense ratios when selecting investments.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

PR who tested positive in pre-departure check among 29 imported cases
A 36-year-old permanent resident (PR) who was preparing to depart for India was one of Singapore’s reported Covid-19 cases yesterday. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the man had returned from a trip to India on Dec 19 last year, and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Jan 2. He had tested negative for Covid-19 on Dec 31, and had shown no symptoms.

Changi Airport T1 officer among 3 new community cases
A 72-year-old Singaporean man, who works as an aviation screening officer at Changi Airport Terminal 1, is among three new Covid-19 unlinked community cases reported yesterday. He developed a cough and sore throat on Monday, the day he received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but he did not seek medical treatment.

All 409 staff tested at Changi T3 and Jewel cleared of Covid-19
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has completed its testing of staff who have been working from Dec 31 at Jewel Changi Airport, and at the shops and eateries at Changi Airport Terminal 3 that are open to the public. All 409 staff tested negative for Covid-19, said MOH yesterday.

42 firms in Singapore fined for breaching Covid-19 safety rules
Singapore – More firms have been penalised for failing to adhere to workplace safe management measures despite repeated calls to make working from home the default and to ensure safe distancing at the office. Between Sept 28 last year – when the measures were last eased – and Jan 15, there were 42 employers fined for such lapses, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The Straits Times.

PM Lee fine after receiving second dose of vaccine
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at Singapore General Hospital yesterday morning, completing his vaccination regimen. Senior staff nurse Fatimah Mohd Shah, 41, who administered the first dose to PM Lee on Jan 8, did so again for the second one.

Don’t let new variants of coronavirus deter you from getting vaccinated: Experts
Singapore – New variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 have recently caused some concern that they may evade the immune response induced by existing vaccines, but there is no evidence yet of this occurring, said experts here, urging people not to hesitate over getting vaccinated.

Why getting a vaccine jab is crucial
Singapore kicked off its Covid-19 vaccinations for seniors aged 70 and above last week. The goal is to provide enough vaccines for all citizens and long-term residents by the third quarter of this year, if there are no unforeseen disruptions to vaccine shipments. Are there benefits to receiving the vaccine early, and how important is it for the elderly to get their shots?

Should we worry about anaphylaxis, other side effects?
Questions have arisen following reports of three cases of anaphylaxis, or the rapid onset of severe allergic reactions, after vaccinations. The Straits Times looks into the severity of these reactions and whether they should be a cause for concern.

How Singapore picked its Covid-19 vaccines
Singapore – Last June, Singapore sealed its first deal to buy Covid-19 vaccines – before any of the more than 200 vaccine candidates had even started their phase three clinical trials. It decided not to wait for the trials, and even paid a premium on the price, in order to secure some early stock of vaccines for people here at high risk, such as healthcare workers and the elderly.

S’pore halts green lanes with Malaysia, S. Korea, Germany
Singapore will suspend its reciprocal green lane arrangements with Malaysia, South Korea and Germany for three months starting tomorrow, in view of a resurgence of Covid-19 cases worldwide. The Republic will review these green lane arrangements at the end of the period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday. Green lanes allow essential travel for business or official purposes between two countries.
*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at and refer to for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

US household spending falls, while stimulus boosts incomes

US pending home sales fall as rising prices slow momentum

Virus-hit US economy suffers worst showing in 74 years

Britain to formally apply to join Asia-Pacific free trade bloc

UK opens special visa route for HK residents to become citizens

Growing number of UK firms face bankruptcy as lockdown drags

WeWork said to be exploring SPAC deal or private fundraising

Vegas mall that lost 95% of value might be just the beginning

Reddit ignites mall stock, letting fund cash out US$500m

Dramatic Austrian property battle roughed up by new player

Australian home prices rebound to record highs in Jan: CoreLogic

China won’t recognise British passport for HK residents from Jan 31

China’s factory recovery slows in Jan as Covid-19 returns

South Korea’s Jan exports expand for a third month, beating forecasts  

Art Nouveau gem unmasked in Covid-hit Brussels

UAE developer launches 8b dirham Sharjah project

KL urged to lift quarantine rules for vaccinated Singaporeans

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