The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 20th Mar 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

New-resale home psf price gap widens to 40% in 2019
Singaporeans’ penchant for the new is driving the premium between new homes and older ones wider. Last year, the premium between new homes and resale units widened to a whopping 40 per cent, up from an already considerable 35 per cent in 2018, according to a Edmund Tie Research report released on Thursday.

Economic uncertainty hits property developers
Real estate developers across Asia are looking at a tough year ahead as the odds of a global recession are rising fast. Growing uncertainty is snuffing out potential property transactions, investments and purchases. Governments are taking all possible policy initiatives – fiscal and monetary – to avoid a devastating economic downturn.

Coronavirus: More demand for co-working spaces as firms split operations
More companies here have been looking to co-working spaces to conduct split operations as part of their business continuity planning (BCP) amid the coronavirus outbreak. Several flexible workspace operators told The Straits Times they have seen an increase in demand and inquiries for office space since the outbreak response level was raised to orange early last month.

Orchard Road Refresh: From nutmeg orchards to urban jungle
With ongoing plans to refresh Orchard Road, such as the Istana Park expansion announced last month, The Straits Times looks at the genesis and future of one of the world’s most famous shopping strips in a two-part report.

LTA gets planning nod to develop office, retail space in Jurong East
The Land Transport Authority has obtained provisional permission to develop office and retail space as part of the Jurong East integrated transport hub (ITH), BT understands. The Urban Redevelopment Authority granted provisional permission to LTA in November last year to develop 436,369 sq ft gross floor area (GFA) of office space and 54,788 sq ft of retail space.


Singapore Economy

DBS expects S’pore economy to shrink by 0.5% this year
A recession in Singapore “appears inevitable”, said DBS Bank as it now sees the economy shrinking by 0.5 per cent this year, instead of the 0.9 per cent growth it forecast last month. Several other economists also have grim outlooks for the year. The downgraded forecast still comes with significant downside risks should the coronavirus outbreak worsen further, DBS Bank economist Irvin Seah said in a research note yesterday.

MAS sets up US$60b swap facility with Federal Reserve amid virus outbreak
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday night announced a US$60 billion swap facility with the US Federal Reserve to ease any US-dollar liquidity strain as a result of the virus outbreak. MAS said it intends to draw on this swap facility – which will be in place for at least six months – to provide US-dollar liquidity to financial institutions in Singapore.

Tour agencies hit hard by travel bans
As countries issue travel restrictions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, business has almost competely dried up for travel agencies in Singapore. Companies that The Business Times (BT) spoke to reported that nearly all in-bound tours have been cancelled, while outbound tours have dropped by as much as half.


Companies’ Brief

Eagle Hospitality to boost cash with asset sales, strategic review
Eagle Hospitality Trust’s (EHT) managers on Thursday said they intend to identify assets that can be sold so as to bolster the trust’s cash position. EHT also plans to hire a financial adviser to conduct a “strategic review” and come up with options that can “unlock value and create liquidity”.

Keppel rolls out S$4.2m in community support; top execs forgo a month’s pay
Keppel Corporation will provide about S$3.5 million in utility rebates to Singapore residents living in one and two-room HDB flats, and pay all its small and medium enterprise (SME) suppliers within one week of invoices being approved, the conglomerate said on Thursday.

Soilbuild Construction bags contract to build warehouse
Mainboard-Listed Soilbuild Construction Group has won a contract from Soilbuild Reit to build a warehouse development in Pioneer. The contract will either be worth approximately S$75.8 million based on a plot ratio 1.0 design scheme for a contract period of 14 months, or around S$78.2 million upon approval from the relevant authorities to convert the plot ratio to a 1.32 design scheme for a contract period of 16 months, said the group in a statement on Thursday.

Suntec Reit unit obtains A$450m green loan
The trustee of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Suntec Reit) wholly-owned Australian subsidiary has taken out a A$450 million (S$378.9 million) green loan. It will be used to refinance existing borrowings, finance or refinance acquisitions and/or investments and/or for general working capital purposes, Suntec Reit’s manager said in a bourse filing on Thursday evening.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Climate action has to include managing water
The novel coronavirus crisis aside, we are feeling the devastating impact of climate change daily on a global scale, and this threat continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. In January 2020, heavy flooding in Jakarta displaced over 19,000 people from the city, and Thailand grappled with its worst drought in 40 years, severely affecting agriculture and drinking water supplies.

How to play the crisis communications game
Crisis management lessons are all around us. However, one of the most effective crisis communications approaches in recent times are the steps taken by the Singapore government in the handling of Covid-19. Every photographer is aware of the “Golden Hour”, the period just after sunrise or just before sunset, when everything the sunlight touches looks beautiful.

Time for G-20 to step up and lead the way
When economic commentators say that the Covid-19 pandemic is the most dangerous policy challenge since the 2008 financial crisis, they are surely right. The two crises differ in their causes and scope. But what clearly links them is the need for a large, early and coordinated international response.

SMEs hold key to creating more inclusive growth
For decades, businesses and policymakers have focused on economic growth as a key measure of success. Humanity has made tremendous progress as a result. We have globalised and transformed economies. We have embraced technologies that create new efficiencies and opportunities. We have lifted millions of people out of poverty and improved their prospects.

Fiscal guns firing, but a long way to go
Not a moment too soon, and as a global recession approaches, economic policymakers have started to adopt more aggressive measures to combat the economic fallout from the spread of Covid-19, which is continuing to accelerate across the globe.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

How quarantine orders, stay-home notices differ

Special hotel rates and help with flights for overseas Singaporeans returning amid pandemic
To help returning overseas Singaporeans amid the global Covid-19 outbreak, particularly students, the Singapore Global Network (SGN) has secured preferential rates at local hotels where they can serve their 14-day stay-home notice.

*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

Global economy already in recession on coronavirus devastation

Global rate cuts, monetary stimulus, fiscal packages fail to calm markets

World leaders rush in to shore up global markets

US jobless claims rise to 2 1/2-year high

US housing market shows strength before virus outbreak

Amid Covid-19 shutdown, NY construction projects chug along

Canada’s home market expected to overcome slowing market

Australia economy to get A$100b package to cushion virus impact

Japan’s Abe gears up for another big stimulus package

Tourist arrivals in Japan down by half, worse to come

Malaysia cuts reserve ratio in surprise move


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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