The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 19 Jan 2021 (Tue)

Top Story

Singapore government keeping close watch on property market
The Singapore government is paying “close attention” to the local real estate market “to ensure that it remains stable”, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. This is because “we must continue to enable young Singaporeans to own their homes and fulfil their aspirations”, Mr Heng noted in his speech at the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore’s (Redas) 61st anniversary celebration on Monday.

Property market must remain stable so young S’poreans can own homes: DPM
Asset prices in the world have been going up despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with Singapore’s property market seeing renewed positive sentiments and some gathering of momentum. The Government is, therefore, paying close attention to these developments, to ensure that the market remains stable, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

Developers must lead industry transformation: Heng
Property developers in Singapore have to set the pace for industry transformation in the postpandemic world, where an increasing premium will be placed on sustainability and resilience. Calling on developers to build a sustainable, caring and liveable city, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday urged them to “step up the pace of transformation and bring other industry players along”.

Construction demand set to perk up with public sector support
The construction sector, which saw projects delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is expected to see recovery over the next five years, with the public sector supporting growth in the medium term. Contracts are expected to grow to between $23 billion and $28 billion this year, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said yesterday. This is up from the $21.3 billion worth of projects estimated to have been awarded last year – projections for which were revised downward by $10 billion in September after demand took a hit amid market uncertainties and disruptions.


Singapore Real Estate

Property developers facing better year ahead in 2021
A feared slump in the private property market did not quite materialise in 2020; and with the ongoing momentum in the sales of private homes, things may have turned a corner for developers heading into 2021. Despite the pandemic, the Private Residential Property Index rose 2.2 per cent for 2020 as a whole after notching a quarter-on-quarter gain of 2.1 per cent in Q4 2020, based on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) latest flash estimate.

Private home buyers undaunted by rise in unemployment rate last year
Higher unemployment is a symptom of Singapore’s worst recession since its independence – but all those dour numbers have not deterred home buyers here. Besides signalling the lure of cheap debt, the exuberance in the property market today speaks to the uneven impact Covid-19 has had on different sectors, and on expats versus residents.

2021 construction demand forecast to recover
Total construction demand is projected to recover to between S$23 billion and S$28 billion this year, but industry players are mixed on whether they have the capacity to cope with the rising demand, given manpower issues. Allan Tan, managing director of United Tec Construction, said while the forecasts are an encouraging sign for the industry, there are still many risks and uncertainties.

Mount Emily residential block relaunched for sale with lower S$18m guide price
A freehold residential block located at 2, 4 and 6 Mount Emily Road has been relaunched for collective sale by tender by Edmund Tie & Company with a guide price of S$18 million. This is down 25 per cent from the S$24 million guide price during its initial launch in June 2020. This translates to about of S$1,115 per square foot (psf) on the existing gross floor area (GFA) as opposed to S$1,485 psf previously.

Ideas for Jurong Lake District include bigger plots, signature events
Property developers, investors and businesses have offered several suggestions for Jurong Lake District, which is set to provide over 100,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes when it is fully developed. These ideas include the government selling larger sites “with attractive option schemes” so as to give developers the flexibility to experiment with new development concepts that are difficult to realise in Singapore’s city centre”, said Yvonne Lim, group director, physical planning, at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Singapore office rents may dip by 5% this year as WFH continues: Knight Frank
Property consultancy Knight Frank is expecting office rents in Singapore to fall by around 5 per cent in 2021 before bottoming out and recovering in the following year, barring new strains of the Covid-19 virus and consequent lockdowns. This comes amid a projected 5.3 million square feet (sq ft) of new supply islandwide from Q4 2020 to 2023, with central business district (CBD) occupancy for the period estimated to hit 94.1 per cent and overall prime office rents to average S$10.16 per square foot per month.

OrangeTee & Tie sets sights on 30% revenue growth in digital, data push
Newly restructured OrangeTee & Tie (OTT) is dialling up its digitalisation and data-driven efforts as it sets its sights on an increase of at least 30 per cent in its 2021 top line from 2019’s level. Chief executive officer (CEO) Steven Tan told The Business Times (BT) in an interview that the real estate firm has rejigged its organisational structure, notably by merging its agency arm and projects division into a single unit, in hopes of fast-tracking its digital transformation.


Singapore Economy

Singapore’s December trade rebound set to continue into 2021
Analysts are pencilling in a solid economic recovery for Singapore and the region, after non-oil domestic exports (NODX) surged in December. The rebound is tipped to carry over into the new year, as Asian economies shake off the Covid-19 malaise. Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) closed off the year on a high note, breaking a two-month losing streak to add 6.8 per cent year on year in December, according to preliminary figures released by trade agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Monday.

Pandemic hit appetite for investing in start-ups, data shows
The global pandemic has had a profound impact on the appetite to invest in new start-ups, according to data compiled by global data analytics specialist GlobalData. The British-based data research firm found that big-ticket, billion-dollar deals were mostly non-existent during the October-December quarter of last year. Of the quarter’s 3,603 global deals that disclosed deal value, 66.2 per cent were low-value deals, with US$10 million (S$13 million) or less in investment value, while deals valued at more than US$100 million stood at just 4.2 per cent.

Covid-19 big factor in 13% rise in global PC shipments
After years of sluggish performance, PC markets worldwide, including in Singapore, saw a surge in demand for computers driven by stay-at-home activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, with global shipments rising by about 13 per cent last year. According to technology research company International Data Corporation (IDC), world wide shipments of PCs – desktops, laptops and high performance workstations – grew 13.1 per cent last year compared with 2019, with shipments increasing from 268 million units to 303 million.

Health and safety of participants top priority for WEF event
The organisers of the World Economic Forum meeting in Singapore in May will put the health and safety of participants at the forefront of their priorities, said WEF president Borge Brende yesterday evening, adding that Singapore is one of the governments that have handled the Covid-19 pandemic best.

Shangri-La Dialogue to resume this year: Ng Eng Hen
The annual Shangri-La Dialogue will resume this year, as more effective safety measures are in place and more people are vaccinated, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post yesterday. The annual event was cancelled last year. The dialogue, which had taken place every year since 2002, was scheduled for June 5 to 7 last year, but was called off because of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Companies’ Brief

Scion of Singapore’s richest clan strives to salvage China deal
Singapore (Bloomberg) – Pressure is mounting on an heir to Singapore’s biggest family fortune as he seeks to salvage the property investment at the centre of an ambitious expansion into China. In the past month, Mr Sherman Kwek, the 45-year-old chief executive officer of City Developments Ltd (CDL), has had to contend with two more board member resignations, taking the total to three since October. His firm set up a special team to decide on the sale of assets at its joint venture with Sincere Property Group, the Chinese developer that has driven a rift in the family, and to look at restructuring its liabilities. His father, CDL’s executive chairman, came out to defend the investment.

OUE C-Reit seals S$1.27b deal with Allianz entity to divest 50% of OUE Bayfront
The manager of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit) has agreed to divest a 50 per cent stake in the Reit’s OUE Bayfront property based on an agreed value of S$1.27 billion, or S$3,170 per square foot, to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) managed by Allianz Real Estate. This comes after The Business Times in November 2020 reported both parties were in exclusive due diligence with a view to buying a partial stake in the building, which OUE C-Reit’s manager later on confirmed but said there was no certainty any transaction would materialise at the time.

Suburban retail S-Reits have smoothest recovery path: Credit Suisse
Retail and hospitality Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) were the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and should continue their recovery in 2021, according to Credit Suisse. This comes amid a return to normality for domestic mobility, and a slow improvement for international travel, it said in a sector note on Monday. “We believe suburban retail has the smoothest path for recovery, while improvement for hospitality is dependent on international travel, which will be fraught with significantly more uncertainty,” wrote analysts Nicholas Teh, Louis Chua and Terence Lee.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Impact of post-pandemic global trends on Singapore
One year on, the pandemic and government, business and individual responses to it have accelerated and deepened five pre-existing long-term structural trends in the global economy. Each of these has implications for Singapore’s economy going forward. First, technological advances in automation, artificial intelligence and digitalisation in services and manufacturing will reduce labour intensity, increase productivity and create new market opportunities. Such advances are welcome in Singapore’s affluent, chronically labour-short and rapidly ageing society.

A historic opportunity to rebuild economies and tackle climate change
After an extraordinary year in 2020, investors across the Asia-Pacific are more eager than ever to discern the trends that will shape 2021. There was no precedent for last year’s global pandemic, lockdowns and market volatility. Having been through one of the swiftest recessions of the century on record, it is not surprising that people are anxious about how the year ahead will unfold.

Building cities with heart and soul
This is the last in a four-part series, The Edges Of South-east Asia – a joint project of Deloitte, Singapore’s Economic Development Board and the US-Asean Business Council – which focuses each week on a specific “edge” or customer segment, geographic market or product that offers high growth potential opportunities in the region.

Singapore Environment Council honours 12 companies for their efforts to go green
Twelve companies were given the GreenDNA Certification by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), a non-governmental environmental organisation, in a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel last Wednesday. Grace Fu, the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, presented the certificates to this first batch of companies that have worked to adopt green practices.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

More measures may be needed to tackle rising Covid-19 cases: Minister
Additional measures may be needed to keep the coronavirus in check here, said Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force tackling Covid-19, as community cases inch up and two more people are linked to the police para-vet cluster. Mr Wong, who is also Education Minister, said in a Facebook post last night that Singapore has seen more new infections in recent days, including the first local cluster in months.

Covid-19 shows how no country can tackle long-term issues alone: Zaqy
Covid-19 has laid bare the fact that the world is increasingly connected, and that no country can address long-term problems alone, said Senior Minister of State for Defence Zaqy Mohamad yesterday. Despite the increasing pushback against multilateralism, there is a need for countries to avoid focusing on just their domestic challenges, and to instead work together so they can tackle common threats, added Mr Zaqy.

TraceTogether token collection resumes at 38 CCs
Residents lined up yesterday to collect their TraceTogether tokens – but this time without the long queues seen in October. Distribution of the devices – an alternative to the Covid-19 contact tracing app for those who prefer not to use a phone – resumed at 38 community centres and community clubs (CCs), 12 weeks after it was suspended due to overwhelming demand.
*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


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