The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 1st Apr 2020 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore private home prices fall 1.2% q-o-q in Q1 2020: URA flash estimate
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) flash estimate for the first quarter of 2020 shows that its overall price index for private homes shrank 1.2 per cent over the preceding quarter. This contrasts with an increase of 0.5 per cent quarter on quarter in the fourth quarter of last year.

Q1 real estate deals fall sharply across Asia-Pac
Real estate deal activity in the Asia-Pacific sank 50 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year as investors hit pause amid the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Knight Frank. China was the hardest hit, with investment volumes plunging some 80 per cent, while in Singapore, volumes were down about 57 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2020.


Singapore Economy

Bank lending up 0.2% in Feb amid coronavirus outbreak
Bank lending crept up in February amid the coronavirus outbreak, on the back of a rise in business loans, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed yesterday. Loans through the domestic banking unit, which captures lending in all currencies but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending, rose 0.2 per cent in February from January.

Guidelines out on deferment of secured loan, mortgage payments
Financial institutions in Singapore are to walk single file on how certain relief measures should be structured to allow distressed property owners and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a pause on debt repayments or payments on insurance if hit with a sharp loss of income.


Companies’ Brief

Ascendas Reit takes 25% stake in Galaxis for S$102.9m
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) on Tuesday said it has acquired a 25 per cent equity stake in business park Galaxis for S$102.9 million. As trustee of Ascendas Reit, HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) entered into a share purchase agreement with vendor MBK Real Estate Asia for the purchase of the equity stake.

Ascott chief takes on additional role as parent CapitaLand’s lodging CEO
Singapore – CapitaLand said on Wednesday (April 1) it has appointed Kevin Goh as its chief executive for lodging with immediate effect. Mr Goh will concurrently remain chief executive of the property giant’s wholly-owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Ltd, in the role he has held since January 2018.

Hong Leong Asia posts 39.1% hike in full-year net profit to S$34.4m
Hong Leong Asia recorded a 39.1 per cent hike in net profit to S$34.4 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2019, on account of higher business volumes and better contribution margins by its Building Materials Unit (BMU),  said the industrial conglomerate on Tuesday.

Keppel Land China selling mixed-use property for 473.5m yuan
Keppel Land China, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corp’s property arm, is selling a mixed-use property in Jiangyin, China for 473.5 million yuan (S$94.5 million), the conglomerate said on Tuesday. The buyer, Aoyuan Group Chongqing Property Co, will pay 278.8 million yuan for Jiangyin Evergro Properties Co, the subsidiary of Keppel Land China that owns the residential and commercial mixed-use site.

OUE offers retail tenants up to 25% rent reductions, flexible payment
Property group OUE has joined a string of landlords in Singapore offering rental reliefs to tenants amid poor business brought on by the novel coronavirus outbreak. OUE and the manager of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit) on Wednesday said retail tenants of Downtown Gallery, Mandarin Gallery, OUE Bayfront, OUE Link and OUE Tower will receive a rent reduction of between 15 per cent and 25 per cent, reviewed on a month-on-month basis.

Yanlord nets 2.8b yuan in pre-sales for Nanjing and Nantong apartments
Yanlord Land Group said it achieved an estimated pre-sales total of 2.8 billion yuan (S$572.7 million) through successful weekend launches of its apartment units in Nanjing and Nantong, in China’s Jiangsu province.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Mitigating climate change impact on businesses
As the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is easy to forget that there is another crisis on our hands. In remarks at the recent launch of the World Meteorological Organisation’s annual State of the Climate Report, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a reminder that climate change, like Covid-19, is a serious issue that cannot be put on the backburner.

Singapore must protect present vulnerabilities and future capabilities
The Covid-19 outbreak has morphed into a global pandemic with not only healthcare priorities, but also concerns about the economy. Against this context, just five weeks after the S$4 billion “stabilisation and support” package in the 2020 Budget, the Singapore government announced its second package. Dubbed the Resilience Budget by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, this provides an additional S$48 billion to support the economy through a range of assistance schemes.

The role of Asia’s central banks is being challenged by Covid-19
As the coronavirus pandemic, which started in Asia, spreads around the world, it is worth reflecting on the region’s central bank responses so far and thinking about what may happen in the near future. Monetary policy actions in Asia and globally have received much attention, and justifiably so. But as the fiscal responses to the potential global recession grow, harder questions about central bank limits are coming soon.

Coronavirus: The pandemic will trigger new economic trends
The Covid-19 pandemic will be the defining issue of 2020. What changes in economic thinking and behaviour will it trigger? Here are eight possibilities.

March marks market’s worst showing since GFC
SINGAPORE’S stock market suffered a serious bear mauling in March which left a trail of blood that rivalled the worst of the 2008 global financial crisis. Data compiled by The Business Times showed Singapore stocks shed 16 per cent of their value last month, in the biggest retreat since October 2008 when 24 per cent of the stock market’s value was wiped out.

AGMs must include live webcast, quorum will be satisfied by attendance of 10: SGX RegCo
Issuers who hold their annual general meetings (AGMs) before April 30 must provide a live webcast for attendees, the Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) said on Tuesday in a joint statement with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

Laws on the way to push for telecommuting amid Covid-19 outbreak
It will soon be an offence for employers to not implement telecommuting measures if the nature of the jobs in their business allows for it, as Singapore authorities step up safe distancing measures to curb coronavirus transmissions. In severe cases, companies that persistently refuse to implement telecommuting measures may be issued a Stop Work Order or handed a fine.

Coronavirus: MOM will crack down on firms which lack telecommuting arrangements
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will come down harder on com-panies that have not made serious efforts to put in place work-from-home arrangements, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday. Speaking at a multi-ministry task force briefing, she warned that MOM is looking at amending laws to increase potential penalties, including imposing fines and stop-work orders, for businesses that fail to follow its advisories, prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus: It takes collective effort to boost food supply resilience, says Chan Chun Sing
Strengthening the resilience of Singapore’s food supply takes collective effort as a society, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday. Besides the work of diversifying food supplies in peacetime, it is also important to make sure that Singapore businesses and consumers are open to alternatives and substitutes, he said.

Coronavirus: Those who are unwell urged to stay away from elderly family members
If unwell, people should avoid interacting with the elderly members of their family amid the coronavirus outbreak. Besides adhering to safe distancing measures, family members should also adhere to the practice of washing their hands with soap as this has been proven to be an effective measure against being infected.

Coronavirus: Preventing an intense spread is in hands of each person as S’pore enters new phase of community transmission, say experts
As coronavirus clusters and cases with no known connections mushroom here, Singapore is facing the threat of the virus spreading uncontrollably, experts warned yesterday. Whether this potential time bomb is defused or not is now firmly in the hands of each individual in the country, they stressed.

Why contact tracing is critical in identifying and stemming coronavirus clusters
Groups of linked coronavirus cases have emerged in places such as pubs, schools and dormitories, with almost half of all the known local Covid-19 clusters appearing in the last two weeks. Singapore has had 14 clusters since Jan 23, when the first confirmed infection was reported in the country, with six of the clusters emerging only in the last 10 days. Some of the 14 have been closed – when all the transmission chains are deemed to be broken and no further infections arise from them.
*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 retail rent negotiations get messy with US$20b due

US consumer confidence fell in March to lowest since 2017

London landlords dump holiday lets on residential market

WeWork gives half off rent to some tenants signing longer leases amid coronavirus hit

Airbnb to pay out US$250m to hosts to help ease coronavirus cancellation pain

Rise in China’s PMI not a signal of sustained recovery: analysts

As rest of world locks down, China tries to get shoppers out

Japan’s factory output expected to drop in March

Japan big manufacturers turn pessimistic for first time in 7 years over coronavirus

Hong Kong’s Feb private home prices fall the most in 15 months as virus spreads

Hong Kong retail sales plunge record 44% in February

LMIRT, First Reit announce mall, retail space closures as Jakarta considers lockdown

Jakarta ups budget deficit to 5%, cuts taxes amid virus


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

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