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, 20 & 21 June 2021 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore needs land that can be easily converted to other uses: Desmond Lee
It is important for Singapore to be adaptable in its city planning and to maintain a liveable and connected environment, as seen from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government will start engaging the public in July on the Republic’s long-term development plans, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said on Monday.


Singapore Economy

Household incomes, share of condo dwellers rise over last decade
Household incomes continued to rise in both real and nominal terms over the last decade, with a significant spike in households at the top end, according to data released on Friday by the Department of Statistics.

Long and rocky road to year-end recovery
Singapore’s economy could be back in pre-pandemic business by year-end if vaccination targets are met, watchers have told The Business Times, after policymakers on Friday promised to unveil a broader reopening roadmap “in due course”.

Is it time to talk about inflation in Singapore?
At first, pandemic panic seemed to be what was driving up prices, whether it was for medical supplies, essential raw materials, or food. Other factors soon came into play. Border closures and lockdowns that shut factories disrupted the global supply chain, causing shortages around the world.

Reputation of S’pore, HK on the line as rival cities open up
Singapore and Hong Kong, among the world’s most open economies, have practically shut their doors for more than a year to keep Covid-19 in check. But as the United States and Europe emerge from the pandemic, the cities’ businesses and expatriates are starting to question whether they have been too slow to reopen.

Singapore port’s cargo volume up 4.6% in first 5 months of year
The Port of Singapore has bounced back from a pandemic-induced slowdown, handling more cargo in the first five months of this year than in the same periods of 2020 and 2019. Amid port closures overseas, shipping delays and a global container shortage…


Companies’ Brief

Ascott to buy two properties in Paris, Hanoi for S$210m via private equity fund
The Ascott will spend S$210 million to acquire two properties in France and Vietnam through the Ascott Fund Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF), its private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority. The wholly-owned lodging business unit of CapitaLand has entered into two agreements to acquire the two properties on a turnkey basis.

China Reits could give S-Reits some competition
China real estate investment trusts (C-Reits) might give Singapore Reits (S-Reits) a run for their money, given the vast properties in the North Asian country that could be injected as assets. While C-Reits are starting in a modest way, they have “tremendous” potential, said Gabriel Yap, executive chairman of investment firm GCP Global.

US office S-Reits – half empty or half full?
SGX lists eight actively traded S-Reits with properties in the United States (US). Five out of the eight S-Reits have pure exposure to the US and among them are three US office S-Reits.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Countermeasure or complement?
Chia Ngiang Hong,President,Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

The G-7’s B3W plan prima facie seems to have some potential to uplift targeted developing nations and promote a shift towards greater sustainability and socio-economic equality. It could well complement China’s ongoing BRI and generate myriad opportunities for investment and growth, giving rise to prospects for business expansions in the future.

Recalibrated opening up to stay safe
Today marks another step in Singapore’s cautious reopening after the recent imposition of restrictions to fight a worrying surge in Covid-19 cases. Dining in, for example, can resume but with group sizes limited to two people – not five as many hoped for.

Over 25% of retail investors’ SRS amounts still untapped
Over a quarter of all Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) contributions in Singapore are still sitting idle in cash, left uninvested by most retail investors here, checks by The Business Times showed. SRS is a voluntary scheme that incentivises individuals to save for retirement on top of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings while enjoying tax-relief benefits.

4 tips to get your finances right
(Nytimes) – The pandemic swept many people into uncharted financial territory. Whether your bank account bulged or dwindled during the long months of lockdown, now is the time to take stock of your financial situation and decide your next steps.

1 in 2 high-income earners in Singapore has money problems: Poll
You know that all is not rosy when even high-income earners are getting squeezed and feeling the stress in keeping up with their expenses. Even if you are among the lucky workers whose salaries have not been reduced amid the pandemic cutbacks…

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Eleven new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including five unlinked in community
Eleven new Covid-19 cases were confirmed on Sunday, including five unlinked community cases that consist of a financial consultant, a dental assistant, a Housing and Development Board engineer, and two retirees.

Bukit Merah View now largest active cluster with 65 cases
Nine people were added to the Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre cluster on Friday, including a 64-year-old male Singaporean who is employed by KAL Transport as a school bus driver for Tanglin Trust School.

Swab testing of Bukit Merah View residents starts smoothly
Mandatory swab tests for residents of eight Housing Board blocks in Bukit Merah View started smoothly yesterday, as Covid-19 testing was expanded to break the links of virus transmission in the community. Compulsory testing was also conducted for tenants of Beo Crescent Market and Food Centre, Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre as well as the shops and commercial units at Blocks 34, 36, 38, 40 and 46 Beo Crescent.

Big queues at popular stalls likely caused Bukit Merah outbreak
The use of common facilities at the centre and long queues at popular stalls could be possible reasons for the Covid-19 outbreak at the Bukit Merah View Market and Food Centre, said Singapore’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak.

Mandatory testing for people at hot spots on same days as Covid-19 cases
There will be mandatory swab testing for people who have visited hot spots on the same days as those infected with the coronavirus, the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 said in an update yesterday. They will receive health alerts via SMS from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Over half of S’pore’s population have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine: Ong Ye Kung
More than half the population in Singapore have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday, as he urged Singaporeans to “push it up further”. About 36 per cent have received the complete regimen of two doses, he added.

Cautious approach to ‘buy time’ to get more vaccinated: Wong
The cautious approach to reopening is to allow the authorities to “buy time” so that more people can be vaccinated, the multi-ministry task force (MTF) tackling Covid-19 said yesterday. For example, the authorities have limited dining in to a maximum of two persons from Monday, instead of five people at the same table as announced earlier.

Pro-business cautious reopening shows Singapore has come a long way from circuit breaker
Food and beverage (F&B) owners and gyms operators must have heaved a sigh of relief when the Multi-Task Force announced on Friday that dining in and indoor mask-off sports activities can resume as planned – but with adjustments – come Monday.

F&B firms relieved over decision to allow dine in for two persons
Food and beverage (F&B) operators are relieved to finally reopen to diners from June 21 after more than a month of closure, even if they can only host two people per table. They also welcomed the extension of support under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)…

F&B outlets gear up for mandatory regular tests for staff
Dine-in food and beverage (F&B) establishments are making arrangements for their staff to get tested for Covid-19 regularly, with some sending their employees for training to learn how to administer the tests. While F&B players expect that the testing requirement will add to operational costs, they are taking steps such as sourcing test kits to adhere to the new measure.

Too early to tell if Covid-19 booster shots targeting more-infectious variants will be needed: WHO
Geneva (Bloomberg) – As some governments and pharmaceutical officials prepare for Covid-19 booster shots targeting more-infectious virus variants, the health authorities say it is too early to tell if they will be required.

No evidence that Covid-19 jabs increase risk of miscarriage, foetal anomaly
Singapore – There is no evidence of increased risks for mothers-to-be who take a Covid-19 vaccine, said experts. Data from nearly 4,000 pregnant women in the United States showed there was no greater risk of miscarriage, foetal anomaly or pre-term labour, said Professor Tan Hak Koon from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).

Delta strain forms bulk of variant cases in Singapore
The rise in Covid-19 cases here in recent months could have been caused by more contagious variants of the coronavirus first found abroad. As at May 31, a total of 940 local and imported infections have involved a variant of concern.

Delta variant of coronavirus becoming globally dominant
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is becoming the globally dominant strain due to its “significantly increased transmissibility”, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) chief scientist has said. Dr Soumya Swaminathan’s comments came as officials in countries such as the United States, Britain, Germany and Russia urged more people to get vaccinated, warning that the more transmissible strain could cause more deaths.

Pool of contact tracers grows as cases rise
Singapore’s pool of contact tracers at the Ministry of Health (MOH) has grown from 300 to about 500 to tackle the recent jump in Covid-19 cases, with more contagious variants of the virus having surfaced. The ministry said it is vital that close contacts of infected patients be identified swiftly and isolated to shut down further spread of the coronavirus.

*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 home buying and refinancing boom boosted mortgage lending in 2020

Tight US housing market uncoils, sellers ready to cash out

Virtual real estate plot sells for close to US$1m

UK house prices show biggest seasonal rise since 2015: Rightmove

Focus starting to shift from cases to hospitalisations

Airlines, holiday companies ramp up pressure on Britain to ease travel rules

‘Women build the city’ is Vienna’s space for female architects

Unvaccinated Russian workers may be suspended

What cabin fever? Finns turn holiday homes into offices

Brookfield lures staff to office with piano, personal space

With sale to Blackstone, China’s property power couple cements exit

Get a jab, win a flat: Incentives help boost HK vaccination drive

HK study: BioNTech’s jab sparks stronger antibody response than Sinovac’s

Taiwan pulls trade office staff over Hong Kong ultimatum

Damac hires advisers to gauge 2.2b dirham bid to go private

India could see third virus wave in 12 to 16 weeks, says health expert

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