The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 16, 17 & 18 May (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Have property cooling measures lost their punch?
Over the past 25 years, Singapore has had at least 10 sets of property cooling measures. These interventions were rolled out not only to curb speculation and rein in runaway home prices, but also to foster financial prudence among buyers and discourage over- investment in the private housing market here, especially by foreigners during periods of liquidity surges to avert a bubble.

New private home sales fall to five-year low in April
New private home sales plunged to a five-year low last month, and this month is expected to be a write-off as show-flat galleries stay closed for the whole month and new launches are pushed back further due to the extended circuit breaker.

Amid poor home sales in April, the rich are still shopping – for posh properties
Despite a plunge in sales of new homes in April, the very rich had no problem forking out for their favourite asset amid the circuit breaker. There were five homes sold last month costing more than S$5 million each, the highest was a S$13.8 million unit at 15 Holland Hill.

Some construction to resume from June 2, with special rules
From June 2, some construction projects will gradually be allowed to resume work, as will suspended residential renovation works. This is subject to meeting new safe-restart criteria developed for the industry, which include regular Covid-19 testing, and safe-distancing measures at worksites and dormitories.

Construction firms cite practicality, cost concerns in criteria for restarting work
Companies in the construction industry are concerned about higher costs and practicality of implementing new workflows and tightened measures at worksites and dormitories, even as they look forward to gradually resuming work under new criteria outlined on Friday by the Covid-19 multi-ministry taskforce.

Steps to curb coronavirus transmission will raise construction costs
The measures to keep Covid-19 transmission low in the construction sector are bound to increase costs for contractors, which they will have to bear in principle. National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said at a press conference yesterday that construction costs will rise as a result, and all in Singapore must be prepared to bear them.

Safe working and living to limit spread of coronavirus
Construction activities will gradually resume from June 2 and firms will have to put in place safe management measures to guard against the spread of Covid-19 among workers. These are the key measures and guidelines announced yesterday that employers, dormitory operators and workers should observe.

Coronavirus: BTO projects to be among first to restart after circuit breaker
Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will be among the projects to be prioritised as the construction sector gradually resumes work from June 2, after having ground nearly to a halt during circuit breaker measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.


Singapore Economy

Business outlook falls below 2008 crisis level to record low: poll
Singapore companies saw their worst levels of business since the Asian financial crisis in the first three months of the year, as the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic forced the economy into hibernation.

Pharma shipments lift Singapore exports for third straight month
Singapore’s exports rose for a third straight month in April, thanks to a jump in pharmaceuticals from a low base a year ago, according to data from Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Monday. The increase in non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in April exceeded analysts’ expectations, with a median of seven economists in a Reuters poll predicting a 5 per cent decline.

Shift in global supply chains offers opportunities: Chan Chun Sing
The shift in global supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is irreversible but will bring opportunities for Singapore as multinational companies move their production lines to the region, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

Steps taken to shore up Singapore’s resilience
Singapore’s supply chains have been under pressure because of Covid-19, but the Government has been taking steps to shore up its resilience, including boosting stockpiles and diversifying sources of supply. Singaporeans have a part to play in the effort too, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.


Companies’ Brief

Banyan Tree posts Q1 loss, to raise S$50.4m in convertible bonds
Banyan Tree Holdings is proposing a renounceable and non-underwritten rights issue of convertible bonds to raise S$50.4 million. This comes as the hospitality group reported a net loss of S$3.4 million for the first quarter ended March 31, overturning a profit of S$5.2 million in the same period last year.

Eagle Hospitality Trust posts US$8.9m Q1 loss
Beleaguered Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) has posted a loss of US$8.9 million for the first quarter to March, mainly due to the impairment loss on trade receivables arising from the uncertainty on the master lessees’ ability to make rental payments and fulfil its obligations.

Landlords offer delivery support for F&B tenants amid Covid-19
With delivery becoming a lifeline for food and beverage (F&B) outlets during the Covid-19 outbreak, some landlords are chipping in to help their tenants on that front, in addition to rental rebates and other support. Guoco Tower is offering a consolidated delivery service for its F&B tenants, on its own online platform.

OUE Q1 jumps to S$87.1 million on US$ currency gains, higher gains on investments
Mainboard-listed property group OUE’s first-quarter earnings swelled with help from currency gains on the greenback and higher mark-to-market fair-value gains on certain investments, it said in an interim business update on Friday.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

The future of frequent flying
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Resuming business travel too quickly may expose employees to inordinate risks of virus contraction. With the discovery of asymptomatic cases and the re-emergence of new clusters in South Korea and Wuhan, and with the contagion still circulating in many countries, this danger cannot be underestimated.

Singapore-Beijing ties keep a steady course at 30-year milestone
They may have been in countries thousands of kilometres apart, but that did not stop 30 musicians from Singapore and China earlier this month launching into a sprightly performance together to mark 30 years of bilateral relations.

Enlightened Singapore firms show the way
In these uncertain and challenging times brought by the outbreak of the coronavirus, grateful Singaporean workers will long remember the enlightened employers and businesses that continue to hire them, keep them on the payroll, or redeploy them in new roles rather than cast them aside.

ESG investments show resilience in crisis
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly desirable characteristic whether you invest in funds or in direct securities such as stocks and bonds. Even in the face of the market shock brought on by Covid-19, sustainable investments – widely defined as companies and/or funds which take into account ESG (environment, social and governance) analysis and impact – are gaining traction.


Singapore Budget 2020

Next Jobs Support Scheme payout to be disbursed from May 28
The next instalment of wage support totalling S$4 billion for over 140,000 employers will be disbursed from May 28, as part of the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), the Ministry of Finance said in a press statement on May 17.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

682 Covid-19 cases; 4 Singaporeans, including man working in dorm
A total of 682 Covid-19 cases were confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s count to 28,038. Among the new cases announced were four Singaporeans, including a 24-year-old man working in CDPL Tuas dormitory, which has been linked to 452 cases. A 93-year-old Singaporean woman, who has yet to be linked to any existing clusters, was also among the new cases.

Coronavirus: No big party after June 1 – just a gradual reopening, says Gan Kim Yong
While community cases have been coming down in recent days, Singapore needs to reopen carefully and slowly or chance a large spike in new cases, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has said. Mr Gan was asked at a virtual press conference by the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 if the single Singaporean/permanent resident confirmed here yesterday…

Coronavirus: SHN for 180,000 workers and dependants to end on Monday
The stay-home notice (SHN) that is being served by around 180,000 foreign workers in the construction sector and their dependants will end at 11.59pm on Monday. The notice will not be extended further as the incidence of coronavirus infection among this group of residents is now similar to that of the community at large, said Permanent Secretary for Manpower Aubeck Kam at a virtual press conference yesterday.

Singapore develops new test that can swiftly detect if someone has had Covid-19
Duke-NUS Medical School has come up with a Covid-19 test kit which takes just an hour, instead of the usual several days, to flag if someone has been infected before. The new test can be used to see if potential vaccines work, to check what proportion of the population has already been infected and for contact tracing, which is critical as the country eases up on circuit-breaker measures.

Coronavirus: Digital check-ins and lots of disinfecting as Singapore hotels gear up for new normal
Even as hotels grapple with some of the worst occupancy rates in history, they know it cannot be business as usual when they are allowed to reopen. Concerns over coronavirus transmission mean learning to deliver hospitality despite minimising contact between visitors and staff, with a heightened focus on hygiene.
*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

Fed’s Powell says ‘medical metrics’ most important data for US economy now: CBS

Global losses from virus could hit $12.5 trillion: ADB

US retail sales shrink for second straight month in April

World monetary policy stance may not be as easy as it appears

US-China Phase One deal inching towards brink of collapse

London office construction hit a record just as virus arrived

Remote working set to stay post-pandemic

Pandemic helped topple two retailers. So did private equity

Ikea’s shopping mall arm plans US entry in major play

Germany enters historic recession with biggest slump in a decade

China home prices rise again in April, adding momentum to recovery

China’s growth engine picking up slowly, but challenges remain

China’s factory output up for first time in 2020

Growth in China’s industrial production lifts prices of metals

Japan’s economy slips into recession, with 0.9% GDP drop: government

SMEs hard hit as Japan teeters near recession

HK economy shrinks 8.9% in first quarter

Thai economy shrinks most in 8 years in Q1, worse yet to come


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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