The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 11 Dec 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

New home sales rebound in November on vaccine optimism and new launches
Home buyers snapped up new condos last month, pushing new private home sales in November to 749, up 16.7 per cent from October’s 642. November’s figures were boosted by strong demand at new launches – The Linq @ Beauty World and The Landmark. These two projects collectively sold 228 units in November, accounting for about 30 per cent of the month’s transactions.

Shophouses in prime districts snapped up; owners put more assets on market
Softer asking prices in Singapore’s shophouse market have continued to pique buyer interest for tightly-held assets in prime locations, and the flurry is showing no signs of abating. “During the last few years when there was a run-up in prices for shophouses, many interested buyers were priced out of the market,” Clemence Lee, senior director of capital markets at CBRE, told The Business Times (BT).

New type of housing targeted at seniors to be launched in Feb 2021 BTO exercise
Market watchers laud the new public housing concept being launched by the government to expand the continuum of residential options for seniors. To be launched in the February 2021 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, the community care apartments (CCAs), which are 32 square metres (about 344 square feet) will range from S$40,000 for a 15-year lease tenure to S$65,000 for a 35-year lease tenure.

Sold for more than $1m
The number of Housing Board (HDB) resale flats sold for $1 million or more each has hit a new high, following 13 transactions done last month, according to data from real estate portal SRX released yesterday. The 72 million-dollar flats sold from January to last month compare with 64 such units for the whole of last year.

Gul Circle industrial site goes to New Century; no award for Tampines tender
JTC has awarded the tender for the industrial site at 160 Gul Circle to New Century Integration for S$2.2 million. Launched on Aug 25, the tender closed on Oct 6 with four bids received, JTC said in a press statement on Thursday.


Singapore Economy

Labour crunch, levies fuel foreign workers’ training
Since the launch of the SkillsFuture campaign in 2015, much attention has been devoted to upgrading the workforce’s “Singaporean core”. But employers and staff have been investing in foreign workers’ capabilities as well, with bosses looking to better deploy manpower and employees hoping for better skills and wages.

Small businesses hit by pandemic get 6-week period to renegotiate contracts
Small enterprises hit hard by the Covid-19 downturn will get six weeks to renegotiate business contracts that they have trouble fulfilling. Eligible companies can serve a notice of negotiation from Jan 15 to Feb 26, 2021 on other parties involved in certain contracts, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said on Thursday.

Relief available for small landlords and firms renting equipment, vehicles
Leases with terms of less than five years are among the contracts eligible for renegotiation under the Ministry of Law’s Re-Align Framework. But relief is also available for small landlords that fear financial hardship from the termination of leases.

Singapore, UK to begin talks on digital economy deal soon
With a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) now in the bag, Singapore and the UK plan to launch negotiations early next year for a new digital agreement to facilitate more seamless digital trade and business between the two sides.

UK plans to join CPTPP; move will boost economic security
The United Kingdom will submit an application in early 2021 to join a major regional free trade pact called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). If successful, this would open the doors to a market that currently has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$10 trillion.


Companies’ Brief

Ascendas Reit to acquire Sydney suburban office property for A$288.9m
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) is planning to acquire a suburban office property in Sydney, Australia, for A$288.9 million (S$284 million) from AMP Capital, its manager announced on Friday. The proposed acquisition of 1-5 Thomas Holt Drive at Macquarie Park will be the Reit’s fifth suburban office property investment in Australia. It will also result in Sydney properties accounting for 48 per cent of the Australian portfolio.

BlackRock sets out strong stance on sustainability, governance
Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, has issued an update of its global principles and voting guidelines for 2021, taking its strongest stance yet on sustainability and governance. The firm, which manages around US$7.8 trillion in assets, will engage with companies more intensely.

CRCT announces results of preferential offering
In an update on its preferential offering, CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) said that it had received valid acceptances and excess applications for a total of 133.77 million preferential offering units at the close of the offering. This represents about 194 per cent of the total number of preferential offering units available.

Mapletree Industrial Trust bags first S$300m sustainability-linked facility from OCBC
Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) has obtained a S$300 million sustainability-linked facility from OCBC, marking its first foray into sustainable financing, its manager announced on Thursday evening. The facility has a tenor of up to six years and MIT can use the proceeds for general working capital and corporate funding purposes.

Corporate digest

Office S-Reits may turn from laggards to leaders, says DBS
DBS Group Research on Thursday recommended investors “stay with your office winners”, as the sector’s Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) look geared for a cyclical recovery. Furthermore, the overhang from rising flexible work trends could be mitigated by limited new office supply and a pick-up in Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP), wrote analysts Rachel Tan and Derek Tan.

PLife Reit acquires nursing home in Japan for 1.65b yen
Parkway Life Reit (PLife Reit) is deepening its presence in Japan with the acquisition of a nursing home in the Greater Tokyo region from aged care operator KK Habitation for 1.65 billion yen (S$21.2 million). In a filing to the Singapore Exchange, PLife Reit’s manager said that the purchase is being made at about 4.6 per cent below valuation as independent valuer Enrix Co appraised the value of the property (as at Oct 31) at 1.73 billion yen.

Robinsons to close Heeren store on Dec 16; Marks & Spencer to exit Raffles City
As Robinsons winds up in Singapore, its flagship store at The Heeren will close on Dec 16. The Raffles City Shopping Centre outlet of its sister brand Marks & Spencer will close on Dec 31. The department store’s liquidators told The Business Times (BT) this, following notice of Marks & Spencer’s moving out sales at Raffles City on Thursday.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

UK-Singapore FTA to bring certainty and increased growth
Thursday’s signing of the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) furthers the global tilt towards free, open and rules-based trade and investment, while opening a new wave of two-way commercial opportunities between the two trade-reliant nations.

CEOs in Asia need to rev up for the post-Covid road ahead
Chances are that running a company this past year has felt like trying to regain control of a spinning car. The pandemic has unleashed a tempest of economic disruption while turbo-charging existing trends such as digitisation. With employees working from home, customers taking to digital channels at unprecedented rates and news headlines signalling more unpredictability, many companies are finding their resilience tested like never before.

Digital customer experience key for Singapore’s digibank licensees
For Singapore’s digital banking licensees, the journey begins now. How can they outmanoeuvre incumbents? The digital customer experience could be key. On the evening of Dec 4, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the recipients of the digital full bank and wholesale bank licences.

Why it is imperative to engage more digital experts on your team
In the Covid-19 crisis, we are seeing a digital divergence. The tech giants are winning, and bricks and mortar companies are dying. Amazon, for example, posted record sales and profit in the middle of the pandemic, while Neiman Marcus and JC Penney are filing for bankruptcy.

A win for Singapore’s financial sector
With the Monetary Authority of Singapore having announced the winners of the licences for all-digital banks last week, the players now have a clearer idea of what competition they face when virtual banks are launched in Singapore in 2022. On the retail side, the challengers comprise the Grab Holdings-Singtel consortium and tech giant Sea;


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

53 charged with safety breach; all 6 new cases imported
Fifty-three people were charged in court on Wednesday with breaching safe distancing measures meant to limit the spread of Covid-19, the police said yesterday. The 34 men and 19 women, aged between 20 and 75, were charged under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Stricter rules in place for festival
Stricter measures are in place for Hindu devotees participating in the Thaipusam festival next month due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, devotees must pre-book time slots and kavadis are not allowed.

False positives or negatives and their impact on mass testing
A Royal Caribbean International ship cut short its four-day cruise to nowhere and returned to Singapore after an 83-year-old man on board tested positive for Covid-19. The man was taken on Wednesday afternoon to hospital, where his original sample was retested at a national laboratory and found to be negative for the coronavirus.
*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 inflation measure rises by more than forecast in November

Vaccines herald return to offices, but US workers don’t want to go back

No flipping please, says auctioneer seeking US$3m for Trump’s childhood home

Airbnb IPO raises $4.7b with higher share pricing

UK GDP growth slows in October with resurgence in Covid-19 cases

UK, EU leaders agree to Sunday deadline for Brexit decision

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