The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 10, 11 & 12 April 2021 ( Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Over half of units at Irwell Hill Residences sold on launch weekend
Buyers snapped up 278 of the 540 units of City Developments’ (CDL) Irwell Hill Residences, a 99-year leasehold development in prime District 9, on its launch weekend. The condominium off River Valley Road was launched at an average selling price of $2,700 per square foot (psf). About 80 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans, with the remainder comprising permanent residents and foreigners from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, Britain and others, CDL said yesterday.

GCB at Binjai Park up for sale at price tag of S$35.2m
A good Class Bungalow (GCB) in Binjai Park is on the market at an asking price of about S$35.2 million. The bungalow in District 21 sits on a sprawling freehold site of just under 21,000 square feet (sq ft), with a built-up area of around 15,000 sq ft. Based on the asking price, this works out to about S$1,676 per square foot (psf). According to an earlier media report, the property was put up for sale in 2015 but at a higher asking price of S$37.5 million (S$1,786 psf).

DBS to cut office space in Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3: Sources
Singapore (bloomberg) – DBS Group Holdings is poised to trim office space in Singapore, the latest bank to pare its footprint in the city-state during the coronavirus pandemic. South-east Asia’s largest bank plans to surrender about 2½ floors, or 75,000 sq ft, in Tower 3 of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The lender occupies more than a dozen floors in the building, located in the Central Business District near the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino.

Banks to speed up shrinking and shifting of CBD space amid hybrid work
Banks have scaled back their physical footprints in prime office areas over the last decade, as they reviewed and consolidated their operations. But the pandemic is likely to push some to make more cuts. Among the more recent developments on this front is news that DBS is thinking about giving up office space in Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) as well as in Hong Kong.

What Singapore’s ageing population could mean for the property market
When a government tender closed last year for a sprawling site along Gibraltar Crescent in Sembawang near Singapore’s northern coast for a proposed dementia care village, it drew just one bid, S$15 million. While the concept proposal was acceptable to the authorities, the bid price was deemed too low – resulting in the tender for the 30-year leasehold site not being awarded. “Perhaps this shows the difficulty of paying full upfront land price for a project that relies on long-term revenue,” says JLL Singapore’s senior director of research and consultancy, Ong Teck Hui.

As rates rise, what should consumers watch for in their mortgages?
Singapore’s property market rebounded strongly after a slow first half of the year in 2020, with home prices hitting new highs into the first quarter of this year. This is despite Covid-19 casting a shadow over the broader economy. A combination of factors may be driving this buoyancy: excess liquidity, desire for work-from-home comfort and record-low interest rates. Still, home ownership and mortgage servicing remain significant concerns among young Singaporeans.

BTO project delays mean some families have to rethink plans
Ms Ellen Neo, 29, and her fiance, operation executive Felix Lua, 36, were supposed to receive the keys to their three-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flat last December, and move in early this year. The couple, who have been together for six years, got a unit in Pine Vista in Geylang on their third try in 2017. They first balloted in 2015. But last June, Ms Neo, an administrative executive, was told the flat delivery would be delayed to the second quarter of this year.



Singapore Economy

MAS unlikely to tighten policy, but could flag risk of higher inflation
With inflationary pressures benign and major central banks most probably keeping their interest rates low for now, Singapore’s central bank is likely to maintain its easing monetary policy stance this week. What remains to be seen is whether the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) deems it fit to flag the risk of higher inflation and rates expected to emerge later in the year in some advanced economies, especially the United States.

Who will be Singapore’s next Minister for Finance?
Much of the scrutiny is on Singapore’s next prime minister, but for the business community, the more immediate question is over the next finance minister. This comes a day after Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng Swee Keat’s announcement that he is taking himself out of the running as Singapore’s next prime minister and leader of the fourth-generation (4G) ministers while also relinquishing his finance portfolio at the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

Heng Swee Keat steps aside as 4G leader: What comes next for PAP and Singapore?
Singapore – Singaporeans’ social media accounts and chat groups have been busy since news broke last Thursday (April 8) that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat would step aside as leader of the People’s Action Party’s fourth-generation team. What are the implications of his move? We tackle the key questions.

8 in 10 polled feel PAP should pick its 4G leader in next 2 years
Singapore – Eight in 10 Singaporeans polled by The Straits Times felt that the People’s Action Party (PAP) should pick its next fourth-generation leader within two years, a result which political observers said points to a desire for greater clarity and certainty on the ruling party’s leadership transition. About half the respondents also said they were at least somewhat concerned about succession in Singapore, given Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s decision to step aside as leader of the PAP’s 4G team and take himself out of the running to become Singapore’s next prime minister.

Business confidence high despite Heng’s decision: Observers
While Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s decision to step aside as Singapore’s potential next leader came as a surprise, industry watchers said it should not rattle investor and business confidence or affect the timeline for implementing key policies such as the hike in goods and services tax (GST). Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Singapore Business Federation chief executive Lam Yi Young said that like the rest of Singapore, the business community here was surprised by the announcement.



Companies’ Brief

Frasers Hospitality Trust to redeem S$100m 4.45% perps on first call date
The manager of Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT) said the real estate investment trust (Reit) will redeem at par all the outstanding securities of its S$100 million, 4.45 per cent perpetual securities. It will do so on May 12, the first call date. FHT will redeem S$250,000 for every S$250,000 in nominal amount of perps, together with distribution accrued to May 11. This includes any arrears of distribution and any additional distribution amounts, the manager said in a bourse filing on Monday.

S-Reits under S$1b lead sector in Q1 2021
Eleven smaller cap Reits in the iEdge S-Reit Index with market capitalisation under S$1 billion have all generated positive returns in Q1 2021. The 11 Reits posted 14.0 per cent total returns in the year-to-date (YTD) through to April 8, outperforming the index’s 2.4 per cent total returns. The top five best performing smaller cap Reits of the index in the YTD through to April 8 are: ARA Logos Logistics Trust (25.6 per cent), Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Reit (23.9 per cent), ARA US Hospitality Trust (22.2 per cent), First Reit and Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (both 16.9 per cent).

Corporate digest



Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)
It is timely that the government and relevant stakeholders work together to ensure that patients have access to good quality healthcare that is affordable, fair and sustainable. Possible measures to curb rising healthcare costs may include: i) review insurers’ management expenses and agents’ commissions to ensure that premiums are allocated fairly and efficiently; ii) review the selection of doctors on insurers’ IP panels to enhance policyholders’ freedom to better choose the doctors matching their needs and affordability; iii) review mechanisms to ensure adherence to MOH’s fee benchmarks; and iv) provide comprehensive avenues for feedback to curb unethical practices of over-charging and over-servicing.

4G leaders must show unity of purpose
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s decision to step aside as the leader of the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation team, announced on Thursday, has come as a shock to those accustomed to the smooth leadership transition in Singapore. Mr Heng, who turns 60 this year, cited the long-term and profound challenges ahead wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, his age and the demands of the top job as being among the reasons for his decision.

Temper global optimism with caution
Around this time last year, economists were predicting the worst fate for the world since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Forecasts are astoundingly rosier now, including the latest by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that says the global economy is expected to expand by 6 per cent this year after shrinking 3.3 per cent last year.

A lot lost if we do return to office, a lot lost if we don’t
“The Government says you can go back to your workplace now,” my mother announced triumphantly a fortnight ago. She waved reproachfully at the fortress of literature that our desk had vanished behind. “So you can take all these books back to the office.” One of the things I had not counted on, when I embarked on my year of working from home, was that I would have to process and store the hundreds of books that The Straits Times (ST) receives for review within the constraints of my domestic realm.

Going on a real tour, maybe soon
Call it the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but Ms Olivia Tang now does monologues, and her audience is lapping it up. Armed with a mobile phone and sometimes, if she’s lucky, a colleague who flashes cue cards or helps her out with the live stream, the 37-year-old tour guide beams Hong Kong’s attractions to people desperate for some armchair travel.

1 in 3 job vacancies last year involved working remotely
The pandemic has not only affected hiring trends here, but also changed the nature of the jobs on offer. About 35 per cent of job vacancies last year involved work that could be done remotely, largely for professional, manager, executive and technician (PMET) roles, according to the annual job vacancies report released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) yesterday.

S’pore first among 15 nations to ratify RCEP pact officially
Singapore has ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and deposited its ratification instrument, becoming the first participating country to complete the official process. All 10 Asean members and key partners Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea signed the trade pact, the world’s largest, at the 4th RCEP Summit last November.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Worker in dorm who got both jabs is sole new local case
A 23-year-old Indian work permit holder who had received both doses of Covid-19 vaccination was the sole locally transmitted case, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported late last night. The man, who works as a lashing specialist, was one of 20 new coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 60,653. The other 19 cases, all imported, were placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

Shorter quarantine for some visitors to HK, including from Singapore
The authorities here have cut short the compulsory quarantine period in designated hotels for visitors from low-risk countries, including Singapore, from 21 days to 14, from yesterday. Along with those departing New Zealand and Australia, travellers from Singapore will have to self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms after they leave quarantine and take their body temperature for another seven days.

No more weekend entry curbs at Lucky Plaza, Peninsula Plaza
Weekend entry restrictions to Lucky Plaza and Peninsula Plaza will be lifted today, almost eight months after the introduction of measures to tackle persistent crowding and long queues observed at the two high-traffic malls. In a joint statement yesterday, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) noted improvements such as reduced crowds at both malls, and better management of queues and pedestrian traffic around the perimeter of the malls.

Singapore and US to deepen transport cooperation; work to revive air travel
Singapore and the United States will deepen bilateral cooperation in the transport sector, working together in areas such as reviving international air travel in a safe manner amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The two countries will also strengthen cooperation in multilateral organisations such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the US Department of Transport said in a joint statement on Friday.

Microbes on masks highlight need for frequent washing
Singapore – Masks that are worn repeatedly and for prolonged periods need to be washed often as they contain microbes from our skin and respiratory droplets, a study has noted. An experiment by testing laboratory Eurofins showed that bacteria, yeast and mould were found in greater amounts when a mask had been worn for a longer period. The experiment involved disposable and reusable masks that were worn for six hours and 12 hours for the purpose of comparison.

*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

Home prices soar in supply-starved US market

US office towers may stay empty, straining cities as remote working persists

Richest countries vaccinating 25 times faster

UK tax break extension pumps up house prices

Green, amber or red: Britain to classify travel destinations in May

Soaring home prices prompt calls for Canberra to step in

China factory data sparks global inflation concern

China considers mixing vaccines to improve low efficacy

China fines Alibaba record $3.7b for anti-monopoly violations

China’s antitrust regulator bulking up as crackdown on behemoths widens

More curbs in Japan as 4th wave looms

HK property giant to boost expansion in health, insurance

Scroll to Top