The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 2 April 2020 (Thu)


Singapore Real Estate

Analysts predict up to 8% full-year drop in private home prices
The Covid-19 outbreak and economic slowdown have started to bite; the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s flash estimates for the first quarter shows its benchmark overall private home price index shrank 1.2 per cent over the previous quarter. The drop followed three consecutive quarter-on-quarter gains.

Mixed-use buildings, strata-titled units up for sale with S$51m indicative price
Two mixed-use buildings, a shophouse and six units at a light industrial building have been put up for sale with a total indicative price of S$51 million, sole marketing agent CBRE said on Wednesday. Their yield is about 3 per cent based on a 95 per cent occupancy rate as at March 31.

Landlords could be made to pass on rebates: DPM Heng
The Government is prepared to take legislative action to ensure that landlords pass on savings from property tax rebates to their tenants, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. Speaking after touring an aquaculture facility in Neo Tiew yesterday…

Contract relief plan draws cautious support from landlords, tenants
A New Bill that may give businesses a reprieve from contractual obligations including rent payments has drawn initial support from landlords and tenants, but also underlying concern about whether they are just kicking the can down the road.

Contract relief proposal a big help for construction, but costs still key worry
Contractors say the upcoming relief Bill will be a big help but they continue to worry about costs as projects slow down or come to a stop because building materials have run out. The Ministry of Law intends to introduce the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill in Parliament next week.

Industry groups want landlords to do more to help retailers
Owners of more than 58,000 qualifying retail and food and beverage properties, including shophouses, will not need to pay property tax for this year, but some tenants say landlords are dragging their feet on passing on the savings.

HDB resale prices flat in Q1 amid Covid-19 outbreak
Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale prices were flat in the first three months of 2020 amid the Covid-19 outbreak, compared with the last quarter of 2019. The resale price index was 131.5, the same level as in the last quarter of 2019, according to the latest HDB flash estimates released on Wednesday. The prices were flat after two consecutive quarters of increase in 2019. The final figures, with more detailed public housing data, will be released on April 24.

Data centre, industrial, healthcare Reits most resilient in recent sell-off
The recent selldown in Singapore real estate investment trusts (S-Reits) has been toughest on hospitality Reits but has left the data centre, industrial and healthcare-related Reits relatively unscathed. Analysts see some bargains emerging but add that risks remain high and valuations are still above historical lows.


Singapore Economy

Temporary relief from contract obligations hit by Covid-19 to come
A new Bill in Singapore aims to grant temporary relief for six months to those who cannot fulfil contractual obligations such as rent payments or planned events because of the fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak. The Bill is designed to provide “breathing space” for companies, in that the obligations are only suspended – not removed.

Foreign workers can now be transferred across sectors in Singapore
From April 1, more firms will be able to hire foreign workers who are already in Singapore, with the expansion of a temporary Manpower Ministry (MOM) scheme to help firms better manage manpower needs amid the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Coronavirus: Singapore made plans years ago to ensure food security, says DPM Heng
The ongoing outbreak of Covid-19 may have highlighted Singapore’s vulnerability to global supply shocks, but Singapore has over the years taken steps to ensure that its supply of food is not compromised. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday reassured Singaporeans that the nation’s food supply was adequate, pointing to various measures that the Republic had undertaken over the years.


Companies’ Brief

EHT sets up special committee to negotiate with lenders, oversee strategic review
A special committee of directors has been set up with a focus on “safeguarding value for and protecting the interests of” Eagle Hospitality Trust’s (EHT) stapled security holders. The five-member committee comprises all of EHT’s independent directors and the managers’ chief executive officer. They are Carl Gabriel Florian Stubbe (who will chair the special committee), Davy Lau, Tarun Kataria, Kelvin Tan Wee Peng and Salvatore Takoushian.

OUE, OUE C-Reit offer relief, rebates to tenants
Property group OUE has joined a string of landlords in Singapore offering rental reliefs to tenants amid poor business brought on by the novel coronavirus outbreak. OUE and the manager of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit) on Wednesday said retail tenants of Downtown Gallery, Mandarin Gallery, OUE Bayfront, OUE Link and OUE Tower will receive a rent reduction of between 15 per cent and 25 per cent, which will be reviewed monthly.

SPH Reit keeps DPU ‘modest’ in preparation for tough months ahead
SPH Reit on Wednesday announced that it would distribute just 0.30 Singapore cent per unit for its second quarter ended Feb 29, 2020. This represents a 78.7 per cent year-on-year decline in its distribution per unit, from 1.41 cents a year ago. The decline comes in spite of a 23.3 per cent increase in net property income (NPI), to S$56.5 million from S$45.9 million in the same period last year.

SPH lets boarders in UK dorms shorten tenancy, sees revenue hit of £4-8m
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is allowing students living in its purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) properties in the United Kingdom to leave their tenancies early for the academic year 2019/20 (AY19/20), the group said in a statement on Wednesday.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Going beyond ‘the triple bottomline’ for sustainability
Singapore continues to be celebrated as a leader in sustainability in Asia and across the globe, and looking around, it is not difficult to see why. According to the Asia Sustainable Cities Index 2018 by Arcadis, Singapore is ranked as the most sustainable city in Asia, and ranked fourth globally. The city state is also one of the greenest cities in the region, with its sprawling city parks, tropical nature reserves and aspirations to become the world’s greenest city.

Singapore has substantial kitty to tide it through virus crisis
Around the world, countries have been announcing unprecedented economic measures on both the monetary and fiscal policy fronts to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak. Singapore is doing the same. However, how it is funding its crisis package is different from many other countries.

The Covid-19 crisis will change society, trade and economics
During the 2008 financial crisis, one frequently asked question was “When will things get back to normal?” It is natural in any crisis to hope for a return to the sunnier times of the status quo ante. It took a long time for people to realise that this was simply not going to happen.

MNCs must manage their transfer pricing amid disrupted supply chains
The Covid-19 pandemic could change the way businesses are carried out globally. Governments, whether in developed or developing countries, are continuously developing strategies to cope with the ongoing impact as a result of the virus, particularly in areas like healthcare, global trade and the economy.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

Health, safety remain top priority: Lawrence Wong
Tough decisions are being taken – and some of these are affecting the economy – but National Development Minister Lawrence Wong feels that Singapore will just have to “manage it”. Right now, only one thing is paramount: the health and safety of Singaporeans.

Singapore at a very critical time on infection curve: Minister
Singapore is at a “very critical time” on the Covid-19 infection curve, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday. While there are now fewer cases of Singaporeans overseas bringing home the virus, the increasing number of local and unlinked cases is concerning, he told The Straits Times.

Task force constantly adjusts, updates measures
Since the multi-ministry task force for Covid-19 was set up in January, its members have been meeting every day – at least virtually – to see what needs to be done in the ever-changing situation. Its co-chairman, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, said: “Every day, we are discussing, thinking through potential scenarios of how the virus can unfold and then developing new measures, adjusting and updating our measures.”

Call for more people to use contact-tracing app
About one million people here have downloaded Singapore’s contact-tracing app TraceTogether so far, but National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said more need to come on board for the tool to be truly effective in combating Covid-19.

Coronavirus: Thinner crowds in CBD as more firms adopt telecommuting
Amid the gleaming skyscrapers, the streets in the Central Business District (CBD) seemed much quieter yesterday, very unlike the hustle and bustle of a normal workday. Instead of the huge crush of smartly dressed office workers during the midday lunch break, there were just pockets of people heading out for their meals when The Straits Times visited the area.
*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

US Fed acting as world’s central banker as it pumps out dollars

The rent is due but many Americans can’t pay the bills

How shopping malls can survive Covid-19

For US real estate brokers, the show must go on – virtually

Australian home prices up in March, but market seen cooling due to virus

China’s manufacturing sector performs strongly in March, but challenges remain

New Delhi’s push to modernise threatens iconic sites, public space


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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