The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29th Feb, 1st & 2nd Mar (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Development charge rates mostly unchanged in latest review
The  government has left development charge (DC) rates largely unchanged for the next half year amid a generally stable property market over the past six months and thin transaction evidence. The only use group with a change in DC rates in the latest revision, effective for the March 1 to Aug 31 period, is non-landed residential use, with a 0.2 per cent average decrease.

What Covid-19 does to already fragile residential market
On Feb 19, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat told Bloomberg TV that the Government has no plans to ease property cooling measures. “It is not on our radar at this point because we need to make sure that we stabilise the economy and we address long-term structural issues,” he said.

Retail property rents may take hit this year amid outbreak: Study
Landlords of retail property might have to take a hit on rents this year as the virus deters shoppers from frequenting malls and restaurants. Real estate consultancy CBRE Research expects prime floor rents to decline in the wake of the outbreak.


Singapore Economy

Outbound cargo rates soar as Covid-19 slashes airfreight capacity
Outbound freight rates are skyrocketing on the back of weeks-long labour shortage and disruptions to logistics links that continue to dog operations in China, although there is still international air and ocean capacity, albeit much reduced from before, according to industry players.

Singapore market cap down 2.8% as fears heighten over virus spread
The impact of the coronavirus on Singapore-listed companies continued into February, with total market capitalisation falling 2.8 per cent to S$847.2 billion after dipping 1.8 per cent in January.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand leads way by setting up $2m fund
Singapore companies in China have donated to support coronavirus relief efforts, with property conglomerate CapitaLand leading the way with a 10 million yuan (S$2 million) healthcare fund set up for the cause.

HDB awards S$98.7m contract to Chip Eng Seng unit
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has awarded a S$98.7 million building works contract to Chip Eng Seng Contractors (1988), a wholly-owned subsidiary of mainboard-listed real estate group, Chip Eng Seng. The contract relates to building works to be undertaken at Tampines. These include the construction of six blocks, connecting linkways and linkbridges, a multi-storey car park, precinct pavilions, a roof garden as well as a childcare centre, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Frasers Property, Singapore Red Cross team up to support Covid-19 relief efforts
Frasers Property Ltd announced last week that it will team up with Singapore Red Cross to help support community relief efforts around Covid-19. As part of its strategic collaboration, Frasers Property is tapping its portfolio of commercial and retail properties in Singapore to help promote blood donation. It will also be making a financial contribution towards the Singapore Red Cross’ relief efforts in Singapore and China.

Hiap Hoe returns to the black with net profit of S$16.2m in Q4
Property developer Hiap Hoe registered a net profit of S$16.2 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, a turnaround from its net loss of S$13.3 million in the previous corresponding period. Part of this was due to a gain on bargain purchase of S$13.5 million, which came from the acquisition of Rowe Avenue in Perth.

Ho Bee Land Q4 net profit soars on fair value gains
Fair value gains on investment properties totalling S$243.7 million sent Ho Bee Land’s net profit soaring for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019. Q4 net profit rose more than three times to S$267.6 million from S$81.4 million a year ago, the property firm reported on Friday.

Rental rebates for retail tenants at Wisma Atria, Ngee Ann City
Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust (SGReit) is rolling out rental rebates and marketing assistance for tenants at its two Singapore properties, Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City in Orchard Road. Its move follows similar steps by CapitaLand, Frasers Property and SPH Reit amid the virus crisis.

Sakal enters property management services
Boutique property advisory firm Sakal Real Estate Partners intends to shake up the residential property management services industry – an old-fashioned business – by going high-tech. Labour intensive, manual in nature and often marred by disgruntled customers, property management services is ripe for technological disruption, the founders of Sakal told The Business Times in a recent interview.

Sing Investments & Finance Going digital without losing the human touch
Mainboard-Listed Sing Investments & Finance (SIF) could lose 3 to 5 per cent of its corporate customers to digital banks. However, it’d be wrong to think that the finance company with 55 years of history is going to take this lying down.

UOL net profit up 14% for FY19
Higher fair value and other gains boosted UOL’s net profit by 14 per cent to S$478.8 million for the full year ended Dec 31, 2019, while revenue declined 5 per cent to S$2.28 billion. The property developer saw higher attributable fair value and other gains of S$165.1 million compared with S$85.3 million in the previous year.

Wing Tai retrenches 20 staff in retail restructuring
Wing Tai Retail has retrenched 20 employees, following a review of its business operations which began late last year. The 20 staff – who account for less than one per cent of its retail headcount – received a compensation package and a one-time grant to upgrade their skills for future opportunities..


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Fighting fraud and corruption
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Whistleblowing is a useful source to help organisations identify and prevent wrongdoings, malpractices or unprofessional conduct and minimise hidden or latent risks within organisations. But the multiple drawbacks hindering complainants – such as fear of litigation, defamation suits, reprisal in the workplace, adverse consequences or loss of job – can prevent those who genuinely want to speak out from doing so.

Reit mergers: Is NAV a useful guidepost of value?
Last week, this column delved into the proposed merger of Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust and Frasers Commercial Trust, and concluded that the transaction will benefit FLT at the expense of FCOT. The key point of contention was that FLT will be issuing new units priced at a steep premium…

Lessons from Singapore’s fight in a world of rising seas
Nearly a third of the global financial centre of Singapore sits less than 5m above sea level. If global warming continues unabated, an area as large as 3,400 football fields in the centre of the small city-state could be inundated by 2100, flooding the vital business district and some of its most valuable infrastructure.

The Unity Budget: What it says about Singapore’s values
This year’s Budget takes place under exceptional circumstances. It is a trying moment for businesses, workers and households, having to deal with both the softening of the global economy and the sudden Covid-19 outbreak.

Wise to pay in cash for a property instead of using a loan or CPF?
After agonising for more than two years and enduring more than 15 viewings, I finally sold my 43-year-old, five-room family flat in Dover last October and bought a four-room flat in Tiong Bahru with 95 years left on its lease.


Singapore Budget 2020

Singapore aims to halve 2030 peak emissions by 2050
Singapore  will enhance its climate pledge and long-term strategy this year, with a view to halve its emissions by 2050 after they peak in 2030, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said in Parliament on Friday.

Govt has resources and will to act if more support needed to mitigate Covid-19: Heng
Replying to calls for more help amid the Covid-19 outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that Budget 2020 is calibrated to the current situation. But more details of measures are on the way, and some aid will be disbursed ahead of original targets.

United, S’pore can overcome both Covid-19 and long-term challenges
Parliament yesterday approved a $106 billion Budget meant to help Singapore overcome the immediate effects of the coronavirus outbreak, while also tackling longer-term issues the country faces such as climate change.

Need to safeguard reserves, as past leaders did, so future generations benefit
Tapping Singapore’s reserves and the investment returns from these funds would be the easy way of paying for future spending, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday. But the responsible thing to do is to steward this money properly for future generations, he added.

DPM to businesses: Be creative and seize opportunities
Businesses must be willing to bear the transitional pains, to be creative and resourceful, and to seize opportunities where others see challenges, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat told Parliament yesterday. He said Singapore must move fast to secure growth and jobs in the new economic landscape or face irrelevance as the global economy undergoes major changes,

Tackling climate change to secure S’pore’s future
The efforts made to tackle climate change are long-term investments that represent the Government’s commitment to coming generations of Singaporeans, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. This is an existential battle that Singapore, as a small, low-lying island state, is waging, and one that will take place over the long haul, he said yesterday in a speech to round up the debate on the Budget statement.

Strengthen social compact to ensure everyone benefits from S’pore’s growth
As Singapore presses on with efforts to transform the economy and develop workers, it also has to strengthen its social compact to ensure that the benefits of growth reach everyone, including low-wage workers, middle-income families and retirees, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

Swift action, anchored in time-honoured principles
In an age of political bluster – think British Prime Minister Boris Johnson or the current state of American politics – yesterday’s cerebral and impactful Budget round-up speech seemed almost anachronistic.

GST hike can’t be scrapped, money required for critical needs: DPM
The planned goods and services tax (GST) hike cannot be put off or scrapped because Singapore needs the money to pay for critical needs in future, especially the healthcare of an ageing society, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

$6b Assurance Package will delay impact of GST hike for at least five years
The Budget’s new $6 billion Assurance Package will effectively delay the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) increase for the majority of Singaporean households for at least five years, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

More than 60% of net GST borne by high earners, foreigners
A significant part of the net goods and services tax (GST) is borne by foreigners and higher-income households, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.  Net GST is the amount of GST each household pays after accounting for GST Vouchers they receive.

Jobs Support payouts to struggling firms will start early
The disbursement of payouts to firms for the recently announced Jobs Support Scheme will be moved up by two months to provide speedier relief to those struggling to stay afloat, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Test for Covid-19 antibodies a world first for Singapore
Nothing is as important as speed and accuracy when it comes to testing for Covid-19. It was a test developed locally that helped Singapore trace the source of infection of two Covid-19 clusters here – to one where infection was known to have been transmitted by visitors from Wuhan.

Singapore needs cohesion, resilience to weather crises: PM Lee
Singapore has weathered past crises, including wars and disease outbreaks, but whether it can take on future challenges will depend on its resolve and cohesion, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

New coronavirus cluster surfaces in Singapore
A new coronavirus cluster, the fifth here, has surfaced in Singapore, the Ministry of Health said on Friday, as it announced two new confirmed cases. Both are linked to Wizlearn Technologies, an e-learning solutions company located at 10 Science Park Road. Two of the earlier cases – 93 and 95 – are also linked to the same firm. All four in the new cluster are colleagues.

Couple charged with giving false info to MOH
A couple from China were charged in a district court yesterday with giving false information to Ministry of Health (MOH) officials amid the coronavirus outbreak – lies which obstructed the process of contact tracing. Hu Jun, 38, who is from Wuhan

Singapore taking part in two global trials for potential Covid-19 cure
Singapore will participate in two global multi-centre trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir, a potential cure for the new coronavirus Covid-19. One is by the United States’ medical research agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which started last Wednesday.
*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

Economic impact could extend beyond slide in global markets

US personal spending slows in January, but remains robust

Traders expect Fed to cut rates to buffer US economy

US officials talk down virus market panic, tout economic strength

Blackstone bets big on UK’s student housing

Properties in tech hubs offer investors more promise

New York’s pro-tenant law snarls rentals for Hamptons mansions

Covid-19 slows China’s major projects in Asia

China’s February factory activity contracts at record pace

Virus jolts S Korea’s factory activity, exports shrink to 6.5-year low

New World Development sees stable HK home prices amid epidemic


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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