The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 15 APR 2021 (Thur)

Singapore Real Estate

Buyer from Fujian pays S$39.3m for Sentosa Cove villa
Buyers from China’s Fujian province continue to acquire Singapore property. One of the latest deals involves a sea-facing bungalow in Sentosa Cove that is being bought for slightly over S$39.33 million. The price works out to nearly S$2,012 per square foot based on the land area of 19,550 sq ft. This is one of less than 10 sea-facing bungalows on Sentosa Cove with a land area exceeding 18,000 sq ft.

Better prospects for warehouses this year
After pulling off a reasonably resilient performance in 2020 amid a full-blown pandemic, warehouses could see rents pick up in 2021. However, the performance across the industrial market may vary, with rents for certain segments, such as multiple-user factory space, possibly coming under pressure due to economic uncertainties, according to NUS’ Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS).

Condo, HDB rents extend rise in March as rental volumes rebound: SRX
More condominium units and Housing Board (HDB) flats were leased in March while rents continued to rise, as landlords opened their homes for viewing after the Chinese New Year lull and tenants flocked back to the market. Rental volume for condo apartments rose to an eight-month high last month, surging by 32.4 per cent to an estimated 5,118 units, compared to 3,865 units in February, flash data from real estate portal SRX released on Wednesday showed.


Singapore Economy

Last year’s low base will lift GDP figures; but sequential numbers can add perspective
The upside surprise in the flash estimate of first-quarter growth bodes well for the full year, not least given that the low-base effect from Covid-19 has yet to register significantly – although caveats about the pandemic’s unpredictability still apply. Advance estimates released on Wednesday put first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 0.2 per cent year on year, well in excess of economists’ consensus forecast of -0.5 per cent.

Economists raise 2021 GDP forecast on better-than-expected Q1 data
Singapore’s economy could perform better than initially expected this year, now that it has made marginal gains and defied expectations of a contraction in the first quarter, said economists, some of whom are now revising their full-year growth forecast. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.2 per cent in Q1, reversing the 2.4 per cent contraction in Q4. The is the first expansion since the Covid-19 pandemic began, going by the advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

S’pore economy grows at fastest pace since 2019
The economy grew at an unexpected pace in the first quarter of the year led by gains in the manufacturing sector, reversing three quarters of contraction. Growth may continue to surprise for another quarter, partially helped by low base-year effects, and challenge the higher limit of the official forecast for this year. But most analysts believe the pace of expansion will taper off in the second half amid continued slack in the labour market and curbs on international travel.

Singapore dollar tipped to strengthen even as MAS waits to tighten monetary policy
Singapore’s central bank has left the door open to policy normalisation at its next half-yearly review in October, as economic growth picks up. But analysts expect the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to welcome a mild appreciation of the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate (S$NEER) by the market – regardless of whether policy settings are tweaked this year or next April.

Insolvencies in Singapore to rise 3% from pre-Covid 2019 – among world’s lowest
A projected 3 per cent rise in insolvencies in Singapore this year compared to pre-Covid 2019 is expected to be among the lowest in the world at the point governments withdraw the unprecedented support measures, Atradius senior economist Theo Smid told The Business Times. “If we compare the level of insolvencies at the end of 2021 with 2019, we see an increase of only 3 per cent. This ranks the evolution of insolvencies in Singapore in 2021 relative to pre-Covid-19 figures among the lowest increases among the countries we analysed,” he said.


Companies’ Brief

The Atelier condo shelves public launch; caveats lodged for four units
Bukit Sembawang Estates has put The Atelier’s public launch on hold, and is now conducting only private viewings for the 120-unit project, The Business Times (BT) understands. Four units were sold in March, based on caveats lodged as at Wednesday. That is out of 20 units that have been released thus far, Bukit Sembawang said. One of each unit type was purchased at prices ranging from S$2,743 per square foot (psf) to S$3,040 psf, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) caveat database.

S-Reit mergers have mostly been value destructive
One plus one has been less than two for most Singapore real estate investment trust (S-Reit) mergers, despite the promises of synergistic benefits and cost savings managers have dangled before unitholders when rallying them to vote for such deals. This debunks the “bigger is better” adage that investors have been led to believe since the first Reit merger – between ESR-Reit and Viva Industrial Trust – was completed in October 2018.



Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

13 years after the GFC: Has anything really changed?
It has been almost 13 years since the start of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, now known as the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), that led to the bankruptcy and closure of US investment banks like Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns. It also spawned new phrases in the stock market lexicon, such as “too big to fail” which in turn justified the introduction of “quantitative easing” (QE) and “tapering”.

Coronavirus variants don’t have to be scary. Still, mask up
News about emerging coronavirus variants can sound scary to a public not accustomed to genomic jargon. But viruses undergo mutations frequently, both within infected people and as they travel from one person to another. That’s why it’s important to remember this (modified) adage: all variants are innocent until proven guilty. The coronavirus responsible for the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, has nearly 30,000 bases, or nucleotides. As the virus evolves and spreads from host to host, some of these bases change.

Transitioning to a new work-from-anywhere reality
The post-Covid-19 working world will be increasingly borderless, where work can be done anywhere and for anyone. Individuals, organisations and governments should prepare for the opportunities and risks of this new reality. Since April 5, 2021, Covid-19 workplace measurement rules have been eased, allowing up to 75 per cent of a company’s workforce to return to the office. Nonetheless, some employers plan to continue offering flexible work arrangements such as working from home, staggered work hours and virtual meetings.

Employers here prefer skills to education, experience
Employers here are keen to hire people with communication and problem-solving skills and the ability to think strategically over those with traditional attributes, noted a LinkedIn report. It found that 39 per cent of local companies look for those with technical skills, and 31 per cent seek transferable skills. This exhibits a preference over hiring based on traditional qualifications like education (8 per cent) or work experience (12 per cent). To close skills gaps, 60 per cent of companies may hire those from outside their industries, noted the survey by the professional networking platform.

What you need to know about Spacs
Special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) are emerging as a popular initial public offering (IPO) alternative, providing start-ups with a path to going public with less regulatory scrutiny. A measure of the popularity of Spacs, also known as “blank cheque” companies, can be gauged from the fact that global blank cheque deal volumes – or mergers through Spacs – surged to a record US$170 billion (S$227.3 billion) by March 9 this year, already outstripping last year’s total of US$157 billion, Refinitiv data showed.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

New local Covid-19 cluster reported, first since March 25
[Singapore] The sole Covid-19 case reported in the community on Wednesday (April 14) has been linked to three other cases in the country, prompting the Ministry of Health (MOH) to announce a new local cluster. The patient, a 44-year-old Papua New Guinea national is in Singapore on a short-term visit pass, having arrived in Singapore for a work project on March 25. The three other people in the cluster were on the same flight into Singapore, said MOH.

Singapore-HK travel bubble being finalised: Ong
Details of an arrangement to restart all forms of travel between Singapore and Hong Kong without quarantine are being finalised, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday. Mr Ong said the two cities have been actively discussing plans to start the air travel bubble, which was initially slated to take off in November last year. “We are finalising the details of our revised agreement and hope to announce our plans soon,” he said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Transport.

*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

Federal Reserve sees more optimism among US business, activity accelerating

EU lays out US$1t debt plan to fund recovery from Covid-19 pandemic

Australia’s March jobs jump 70,700, unemployment drops to 5.6%

China must halve power sector emissions by 2030 to meet climate goals: study

China’s Q1 growth hits record 18.7%: analysts’ poll

Asia struggling amid resurgence in coronavirus infections

Malaysia builder rally hots up as pump-priming signs appear

Rush to inoculate Phuket residents in push to reopen

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