The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 8, 9, 10, 11 Aug 2020 (Sat, Sun, Mon & Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore condo resale volume nearly doubles in July: SRX
The resale volume of non-landed private homes in Singapore nearly doubled in July with about 978 units resold compared with the 496 units resold in June 2020, according to flash figures from real estate portal SRX Property on Tuesday.

Retail rents seen falling up to 15% this year as pandemic bites
Shopping malls in Singapore have been quite beaten down by Covid-19 this year, but as in all things, some have held up better than others. Retail rents in prime suburban malls on transport nodes are projected to fall about 5 per cent in 2020 while the rest are expected to decline as much as 15 per cent.

Property developers have not seen the worst yet
In the second quarter, private home prices surprised on the upside by climbing 0.3 per cent despite the “circuit breaker” – reversing from the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s earlier flash estimate of negative 1.1 per cent. This increase was led by the core central region. And the primary market proved more resilient than the secondary market, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all transactions.

Malls will no longer be the same after Covid-19
The pandemic is changing how shopping malls are built, in perhaps the most disruptive retail environment in modern times. Developers have replaced the vacant big units with a mix of retail, dining, entertainment, fitness, co-working and healthcare options. They have also added apartments, hotels and offices to the properties…

HDB set to launch first batch of BTO flats in Tengah’s new Park district
More than 1,040 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Tengah will be on sale this month as Singapore’s newest town, billed as a “forest town”, continues to take shape. The Parc Residences @ Tengah project is the first BTO housing parcel to be launched for sale in the new Park district, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced on Monday.


Singapore Economy

Singapore Q2 GDP plunges by 13.2% in worst quarter on record
Singapore’s second-quarter economic performance was its worst on record, while the full-year outlook was cut again, policymakers announced on Tuesday morning. Forecasters from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) have once more tightened their projection for the pandemic-driven full-year recession.

Singapore ‘not returning to a pre-Covid-19 world’: Chan Chun Sing
Singapore cannot afford to wait out the coronavirus crisis, as permanent changes mean that there will be no going back to a pre-Covid-19 economy. That was the warning from Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday, after Singapore posted a record 13.2 per cent plunge in second-quarter gross domestic product.

Singapore non-oil exports tipped to expand 3-5% in 2020; worst-case scenario for world trade now unlikely
Forecasts for trade growth in 2020 have been adjusted for the third time, this time with Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) tipped to grow 3 to 5 per cent year on year while total trade is likely to fall less sharply, by -10 to -8 per cent.

Closures, layoffs likely to rise, but nation will pull through: PM Lee
Business closures, retrenchments and unemployment are all likely to rise in the coming months, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday morning, but he remained confident the country will get through the current crisis.

The letters of economic recovery
A V-, U-, W- or L-shaped recession/recovery is an informal shorthand description of the economic cycle heard often these days. The shapes take their names from the approximate pattern data make in graphs tracking the fluctuations of the economy. In the first of a two-part series on the shape of recovery, we decipher what they mean.

Lessons from a crisis for Singapore
Singapore recorded its first Covid-19 infection on Jan 23. More than six months on, the virus shows no signs of abating as it continues to infect thousands every day around the world. The Republic’s initial response to the novel coronavirus was held up by many as a model…

Businesses welcome cross-border travel arrangements between Singapore and Malaysia
Business on both sides of the Causeway welcomed the cross-border travel arrangements between Singapore and Malaysia, which would allow employers to travel for essential meetings and afford workers opportunities to see their families more often.

Singdollar rallies 6% against greenback since March
The Singapore dollar has rallied by some 6 per cent against the US currency since March and analysts see more strengthening ahead. However, this is unlikely to have a significant bearing on the trade-weighted value of the currency targeted by the Republic’s central bank to achieve its monetary policy goal of price stability.

CPF rated highly by overseas experts
Group of overseas financial experts have again confirmed what many Singaporeans already know – that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) is one of the world’s best retirement schemes. The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2019, which studies retirement schemes of 37 countries, put Singapore’s CPF at No. 7, behind the Netherlands in first place, followed by Denmark, Australia, Finland, Sweden and Norway.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand under continued business pressure, but looking for growth openings
While CapitaLand expects continued pressure on its business in H2 2020 amid the ongoing pandemic, it is cautiously optimistic that the worst is over and is on the lookout for counter-cyclical opportunities to bolster growth.

Hot stock: Keppel sinks 11.7% after Temasek pulls offer; DBS downgrades it to ‘hold’
Shares of Keppel Corp were dragged on Tuesday morning, as investors reacted to the surprise announcement that Temasek Holdings will not proceed with its S$4 billion partial offer for the conglomerate. Right after the opening bell, the counter plummeted 11.7 per cent or S$0.63 to a record low of S$4.77.

Lendlease Global Reit’s 0.48 S cent Q4 DPU misses IPO forecast
Lendlease Global Commercial Reit (Lendlease Global Reit) on Tuesday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.48 Singapore cent for its fourth quarter ended June 30, 62.7 per cent lower than the manager’s initial public offering (IPO) forecast of 1.28 cents.

Perennial, Qingjian Realty sell 190 units at Forett At Bukit Timah condo
Property developers Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group and Perennial Real Estate Holdings have sold 30 per cent or 190 units of their 633-unit Forett At Bukit Timah condo project on Aug 8 during a virtual booking day event.

Tuan Sing to divest Robinson Point for S$500m
Property developer Tuan Sing Holdings is proposing to divest Robinson Point for S$500 million, the mainboard-listed firm announced in a bourse filing on Friday night. Tuan Sing expects to realise a gain of about S$128.3 million on the sale. The proceeds may be recycled to fund committed investments, retire existing debts and fund general corporate and working capital needs, Tuan Sing said.

Aspen posts RM13.8m net loss for H1
Malaysian developer Aspen (group) Holdings reported a RM13.8 million (S$4.5 million) net loss for the six months ended June, reversing from a net profit of RM9.2 million a year ago. The property group cited the Covid-19 pandemic as the key reason for its “underwhelming” results as restrictions negatively impacted its operations, construction progress and sales efforts.

Co-working space operators tone down growth plans
Expansion plans among co-working space operators have been more muted this year, with the opening of new work centres delayed and a more subdued take-up of new spaces. But despite the quiet year thus far, co-working spaces are expected to play a key role in many businesses’ return to work amid the pandemic, real estate firm Colliers International noted in a report on the flexible workspace industry last month.

Minority investor protest in ESR-Sabana Reit deal highlights need to focus on more than DPU
The minority unitholders of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) who are resisting the proposed merger with ESR-Reit have valid grievances. Yet, it is unlikely that they will succeed in getting better terms…

IReit expands presence in Spain with acquisition from Tikehau
IReit Global on Friday proposed to buy the remaining 60 per cent interest in a Spanish office portfolio from asset manager Tikehau Capital for 47.8 million euros (S$77.4 million). This consideration, subject to post-completion adjustments, values the entire portfolio at 136.4 million euros.

Reits in high-growth markets should gun for short leases: KORE CEO Snyder
David Snyder, the CEO of Keppel Pacific Oak US Reit (KORE), doesn’t believe in long weighted average lease expiries (WALEs), because he thinks it prevents landlords from realising positive rent increases for good properties located in strong markets.

Prime US Reit posts H1 DPU of 3.52 US cents, up 5.1% from forecast
Prime US Reit’s distribution per unit (DPU) stood at 3.52 US cents for its first half ended June 30, 2020, 5.1 per cent higher than its initial public offering (IPO) forecast of 3.35 cents. It comprises an advance distribution of 0.96 US cent per unit for the period of Jan 1 to Feb 20 which has already been paid out…


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Meeting in the middle
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Firstly, the arrangements are welcome as they will lessen our labour constraints, with many Malaysian workers in the construction and services sectors. Secondly, real estate businesses with cross-border presence will benefit from smoother two-way business operations and facilitate potential investment opportunities.

5 ways to go green, yet grow economy
Although climate change science is complex, the issue is less so. Human activities produce carbon emissions spewing into the atmosphere which, over time, accumulate and overcome the earth’s natural system in clearing this, and lead to an increase in global temperature.

Fair hirings a must, not an option
The Ministry of Manpower’s decision to place 47 employers on a watch list, in addition to 1,200 placed on it earlier, suggests that the fair hiring message is not getting through to many companies. Errant employers must understand that they are up against the weight of both public and official opinion.

A truly smart nation needs to be smart about citizen partnership
One of the lesser-known casualties of Covid-19 has been a large-scale urban development in Toronto, led by Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs. Several years in the making, the Google City – as it was sometimes dubbed in the media – ultimately came to a halt because of the ongoing recession..

How to engage the young in race and religion dialogues
The announcement by then Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung last month that more in-depth conversations regarding race and religion will be encouraged in schools is welcome. It recognises the growing interest among the young to talk about these sensitive subjects as well as difficult issues that include those of class and gender.

No need to fear that Covid-19 vaccine immunity won’t last
Within the last couple of months, several scientific studies have come out – some peer-reviewed, others not – indicating that the antibody response of people infected with Sars-CoV-2 dropped significantly within two months. The news has sparked fears that the very immunity of patients with Covid-19 may be waning fast – dampening hopes for the development of an effective and durable vaccine.

The growing importance of corporate conscience
The economist Milton Friedman famously wrote that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits”. Covid-19 has, however, accelerated the evolution of organisations’ broader value to society.

Singapore Business Federation urges firms to turn to retrenchment only as a last resort
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has urged employers to protect the Singaporean core, retain talent to grow business opportunities, and to use retrenchment only as a last resort to manage manpower costs.

With reliefs yet to unwind, Singapore banks sit uneasy about final impact of Covid-19
Singapore banks charted a sharp dive in earnings as benchmark rates collapsed in the second quarter and the trio lifted provisions as a buffer against defaults when loan moratoriums unwind at year’s end.

Online shoppers could soon hit 2025 forecast
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of digital consumption in South-east Asia so much that the number of online shoppers may soon hit targets that experts had forecast would be reached only in 2025.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

3 teens, 3-year-old among new Covid-19 cases in S’pore
A three-year-old girl and three teenagers were among the 188 new coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). They were four of the 12 imported cases yesterday. The girl, a dependant’s pass holder, is an Indian national. She was asymptomatic.

Nightclubs struggle to survive amid Covid-19 restrictions
The lights have dimmed on Singapore’s once-thriving nightlife sector, and with no certainty as to when operating restrictions will be lifted, the industry is mounting a fight for its survival. The Singapore Nightlife Business Association (SNBA) has appealed to the Government to either allow all nightlife operators to reopen, or to help them navigate their options.

Early-stage coronavirus vaccine trial begins in Singapore
The early-stage clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine has started in Singapore, with the first vaccinations expected to be given to volunteers next week. Clinicians and researchers are now screening those who have stepped forward to ensure they are suitable for the trial, which is expected to last until October.

Fight’s not over yet as the coronavirus is winning – for now
Around the world, Covid-19 is ravaging regions with renewed vigour; expert says pursuing elimination of the virus is a better way forward.

Scientists probe whether a person’s past colds hold key to virus immunity
Could the ghosts of your previous colds help protect you from Covid-19, even if you have never been infected by the new coronavirus? Scientists are investigating a poorly understood immune mechanism in the body that they hope could help efforts to curb the pandemic.

*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 job growth slows sharply in July amid a virus resurgence

Busted retailers use bankruptcy to break leases by the thousands

Bargain-hunters look to US real estate stocks as S&P nears records

Top US mall operator Simon faces pandemic pain

Demand for UK homes climbs after virus lockdown eases: Rightmove

Star broker turns to New Zealand as New York luxury market wilts

Coronavirus: China’s V-shaped economic recovery just started, say experts

China factory prices ease, while consumer inflation picks up

China’s July export surge gives hope for more sustainable recovery

Japan’s current account surplus shrinks to 5-year low as exports plunge

Hong Kong property tycoons hit by protests, Covid-19 restrictions

Steep discounts for Hong Kong’s foreclosed homes may portend property price slump


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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