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 Oct 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

More landed homes sold in Q3 as buyers seek to guard wealth
More landed homes changed hands in Q3, as price expectations between sellers and buyers came to an easier match amid a lower-for-longer rates environment. Data from OrangeTee & Tie showed that in the third quarter of this year, a privileged group snapped up 544 landed homes, more than doubling the previous quarter’s 212. It is also the strongest quarter since Q2 2018 when 775 landed homes changed hands.

Investment sales reviving for Singapore commercial property, GCBs: Knight Frank
The buzz may be returning to Singapore’s real estate investment sales market after several muted quarters, with interest and activity recovering during July to September, particularly for commercial assets and Good Class Bungalows (GCBs).

What’s next for Golden Mile Complex?
Much has been discussed about Golden Mile Complex at Beach Road. Some laud it for its architectural and historical significance and call for it to be conserved while others consider it an eyesore and feel that it should be demolished.

Agents channelling a chunk of commissions to buyers
While the authorities’ move to put curbs on developers re-issuing options to purchase should help reduce some distortions in Singapore’s private housing market, another source of distortion persists. This originates from property agents who channel a chunk of the commissions received from developers, to buyers – to boost their chances of clinching sales.

Of property options and market distortions
After months of trying to persuade private housing developers not to indulge in the continual re-issuance of options to purchase (OTPs) upon expiry, effectively allowing buyers to defer their purchase and payment, the authorities finally clamped down on the practice on Sept 28.

No impact likely on prices for projects nearing completion from government’s further relief measures
The latest relief measures for developers which offer a further six-month extension for project completion is not expected to impact the prices of projects with completion dates in the next couple of years. That’s because most of these projects which are already majority sold are unlikely to face completion delays, said consultants.

No further extension for ABSD remission deadline: Some disappointment over no additional time for unit sales
Some residential developers are disappointed that the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) remission deadline to sell all units in a project was not further extended, although they have been given an additional six months to complete construction.

Regular checks on worksites by BCA to prevent resurgence of infections
Every week, about 200 officers fan out across the island, visiting an average of 1,000 construction worksites to assess if they are correctly implementing safe management measures. This is more than three times the weekly average of 300 sites visited between June and last month as construction activities resumed and intensified after Singapore ended its circuit breaker on June 1.

First batch of HDB smart homes ready in Punggol
About 1,400 families will be the first to live in smart-enabled Housing Board flats in Punggol Northshore by the end of this year. Spread across two Build-To-Order (BTO) projects, Northshore Residences I & II, the flats are equipped with the “brains” of a smart home – smart power sockets and high-tech distribution boards.

Strata Titles Board rejects bid to replace condo’s awnings
In a split 2-1 decision, the Strata Titles Board has rejected the bid by the owner of an upper-floor condominium unit to replace the fixed awnings covering the private space of ground floor units with retractable awnings.

More expats in Singapore moving to heartland as benefits shrink
More expatriates are moving away from Singapore’s prime, central districts and towards suburban, heartland areas – while still opting for private housing within pre-existing expat communities, according to property agents and online portals that Insight spoke to.

Reits (October 10-11, 2020)


Singapore Economy

Coronavirus: Taking a calibrated approach to easing curbs for phase 3
With the number of Covid-19 infections under control in Singapore as cases inch towards the single digits, the focus now is on reviving the flagging economy. This involves the process of reopening, but choosing how and when to ease restrictions is hardly a straightforward task and involves numerous trade-offs, experts said.

DBS and STB in three-year tie-up to boost, digitalise tourism sector
Domestic tourism could get a welcome boost, thanks to an initiative by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and DBS Bank. Their three-year tie-up will leverage DBS services – its travel marketplace portal, digital payments service, predictive analytics and its DBS PayLah! app – to “help the tourism industry seize new opportunities”.

MNCs stick to growth plans in Singapore amid pandemic
Global multinational corporations (MNCs) are staying firm on their plans to expand in Singapore in spite of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, and are hiring local talent to support these growth targets.

Task force to study how to raise wages of low-income workers
A new task force will be formed to study how to raise the wages of low-income workers and push productivity growth. This was announced by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Ng Chee Meng in separate Facebook posts on Sunday.

Beyond crisis management, SBF focuses on helping firms go digital and abroad
Beyond its “crisis management” role in this pandemic, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is keeping a longer-term focus on digitalisation and internationalisation. It also wants to serve as a voice for businesses, not least in the current debate over foreign talent and staying open, says chairman Lim Ming Yan.

Unemployment support for Singaporean seafarers to be extended by 3 months
Singaporean seafarers will receive financial support for an additional three months under the Seafarers Relief Package (SRP). Those who are unable to secure shipboard employment between May 1 and Dec 31, 2020 are eligible for the SRP. The previous eligibility period for the SRP was between May 1 and July 31, 2020.

Coronavirus: How the region is responding to Singapore’s idea of air travel bubbles
Singapore is looking to form air travel bubbles with countries and territories that have managed the Covid-19 pandemic well. While most of them have some form of arrangement for business and official travel, especially within their own borders, many are reluctant to open up for mass travel as nations battle a resurgence of the coronavirus.

News on travel talks between Singapore, Australia welcomed
The Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore (AustCham) welcomed news that Australia is looking at extending a travel bubble to include Singapore, emphasising that travel between the two nations is essential for business.

Singapore-Indonesia reciprocal green lane applications to open on Oct 26
Applications for the Singapore-Indonesia reciprocal green lane will open on Oct 26, and travel will commence soon after. This comes as negotiations over the green lane have concluded, the foreign ministries of both countries said in a joint statement on Monday.


Companies’ Brief

Keppel O&M clinches contract valued at about S$600m
Keppel Corporation on Friday said its offshore and marine arm Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) has clinched a contract valued at about S$600 million from an unnamed energy company. This was for the engineering, procurement and construction of a vessel for the offshore renewable energy industry, the conglomerate said in a bourse filing during the midday trading break.

PwC Singapore launches scheme to help foreign startups enter South-east Asia
PwC Singapore has launched a five-day programme to help foreign startups expand into South-east Asia. The Scale Programme will include hands-on masterclasses, mentorship and networking sessions, said PwC in a statement on Friday.

Teo Ho Pin joins Tiong Seng board as independent director
Construction and civil engineering company Tiong Seng Holdings on Monday announced it has appointed former Singapore politician Teo Ho Pin, 60, as an independent director. His appointment will take effect from Oct 15, and increases the number of independent directors on the board to three.

Suntec Reit makes London foray with £430.6m acquisition of Nova devt
Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Suntec Reit) manager is looking to acquire a half stake in London’s Nova development from Canada’s pension fund, based on an agreed property value of £430.6 million (S$766.5 million).


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Suga takes the baton
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

I hope Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will continue to support cooperative practices; expand bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation; promote free trade; and endorse the various multinational ongoing trade agreement negotiations. From the real estate perspective, I would like to see more bilateral direct investments and the promotion of real estate collaborations between Singapore and Japan.

Safeguarding S’pore’s air hub status
Singapore is planning to start talks on air travel bubbles with countries that have managed the Covid-19 pandemic well. The initiative, announced in Parliament earlier this week, represents another push to reopen the nation’s borders, resume general travel on a limited basis, and revive its decimated air hub.

Long Covid’ makes the pandemic even scarier
Unless you learnt Latin and Greek or went to medical school, words such as “sequelae”, “encephalopathy” or “anosmia” probably mean nothing to you. That may be about to change, at least if you try to keep up with the literature about Covid-19.

8 in 10 in Singapore want to work from home or have more flexibility
After several months of having to work from home due to Covid-19, the novelty might have worn off, but the practice seems to have caught on. Eight out of 10 workers now say they prefer to work from home or have flexible working arrangements, a survey commissioned by The Straits Times of nearly 1,800 people has found.

Bosses need to adjust to new hybrid model: Experts
Five months after working from home became the default, Singaporeans are beginning to return to the office. But this return will entail a second adjustment period and bosses will have to change the way they work, especially now that hybrid working arrangements are part of the new normal, say the experts.

Singapore’s reputation for being open to talent at risk?
When the Singapore Government announced in August another billion-dollar round of subsidies and incentives to promote local hiring, Australian Paul Schmeja was elated.The 46-year-old, based here on an Employment Pass (EP), is chief executive of a company servicing corporate real estate. He says his aim is to employ a 90 per cent local workforce by tapping customer service talent recently displaced from the tourism and hospitality industries battered by Covid-19.

Online presence can be Covid-19 ‘vaccine’ for small businesses
The impact of the pandemic has been swift, sweeping and severe for businesses across all sectors and sizes in Singapore. Despite a gradual resumption of business activities, many enterprises remain uncertain about their future, given weaker consumer sentiment and a reduction in spending as a recession takes hold.

New CPFIS fee caps should mean better investment outcomes
We all know that being diversified, patient, and fee-conscious can allow investors to harvest the power of markets and compounding over the long term. But we also know that CPF investors, who by default should be long-term, have had lacklustre investment performance.

Corporate bonds: Getting creative for cash
Credit markets went through what can only be described as a bust-then-boom cycle as part of the Covid-19 outbreak. Extreme gridlock at the end of March 2020 when risk-off sentiments peaked gave way to an explosion of issuance across April, May and June and record volumes.

Low Singapore government bond returns push investors to corporate credit
Returns on sovereign bonds have dropped to historical lows worldwide as central banks cut benchmark interest rates to help their economies recover from the coronavirus-driven recession. The low yields – which mean higher bond prices – are good for companies and governments struggling to keep their heads above water as they can raise much-needed funds cheaply.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

10 new Covid-19 cases confirmed, none in the community
[Singapore] Ten new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Sunday (Oct 11), none from the community. Seven of the cases were imported and placed on stay-home notices upon arrival here, said the Health Ministry (MOH). This brings the total number of cases here to 57,876.

Migrant workers move into first Quick Build Dorms
Migrant workers have started moving into new dormitories with improved living standards to minimise the risk of future infectious disease outbreaks, The Straits Times has found out. Since the start of this month, they have moved into at least two of the eight Quick Build Dormitories (QBDs) that were due to be built by the end of this year, in Choa Chu Kang Grove and Kranji Way.

No new Covid-19 cases in purpose-built dorms – first time since March
There were no new Covid-19 cases detected in purpose-built dormitories for the first time since March 28, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said last night. The ministry also reported no new infections in the community for the third day in a row. Still, 10 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 57,859.

Three free night clinics for migrant workers
Migrant workers who feel unwell at night can now seek help at three free night clinics located in regional medical centres around the island. Since Aug 28, 13 regional and on-site medical centres have been set up to meet the healthcare needs of migrant workers.

Demand for flu vaccines spikes even as cases of flu remain low
The demand for flu vaccines has spiked in the past few months, as people look to safeguard their health with the looming winter flu season, and as travel gradually resumes. Doctors and infectious diseases experts here have been encouraging people to get the flu vaccine even though the number of influenza cases remains low, so as to guard against a possible “twin-demic” of Covid-19 and the flu.
*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 

Economies will recover more swiftly after lockdown: IMF

Depression is over but US recession has just begun

Big US companies set to become bigger

Slow growth in August sets back recovery of British economy

New York’s luxury hotels welcome last-minute locals as jet set stay away

Australia central bank warns of business failures as property vacancies rise

China aims to cool yuan’s surge by reducing cost of shorting

China Inc set for biggest US IPO year since 2014 amid spat

China funds targeting Ant IPO rake in 60b yuan from over 10m investors

China’s services sector recovery gathers pace in September

China shakes off virus in Golden Week

Japan’s household spending, real wages extend slump

Population dips in Tokyo area as people move out, a trend experts believe will continue

Thai luxury hotels opening in pandemic bet on 5-star quarantine

The Philippines’ biggest IPO since 2016 raises 25.3b pesos

Jakarta plans $7b sovereign fund to support economy

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