The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 31 Oct, 1 & 2 Nov 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Investors drawn to S-E Asia’s warehouses in wake of pandemic
Recent headlines about Singapore-headquartered logistics giant GLP making its first foray into South-east Asia through a US$1.6 billion joint venture in Vietnam have highlighted the growing significance of the region as a logistics hub.

Lendlease to manage New Shaw Tower
The redeveloped Shaw Tower is expected to come onstream by 2024, adding 450,000 square feet of Grade A office to the area. This comes as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is aiming to rejuvenate the Ophir-Rochor corridor as an up-and-coming destination for work, live and play to complement Raffles Place and Marina Bay.

New assessment tool to help conserve post-65 landmarks
International Plaza. People’s Park Complex. And the Fu Lu Shou Complex. Constructed after independence, these buildings may have a special place in Singapore’s built heritage. Now the question of whether they and other “modern, post-65 heritage” buildings are worthy of conserving may be more objectively answered with a new assessment tool being developed by a team from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities.

The perils that landlords in Singapore face in a Covid-19 market
The landlord of a new luxurious condo was especially proud that his unit came with the most expensive and sophisticated kitchen appliances. But never did he expect that this would result in a misfortune for him – his tenant’s domestic helper misused one of the appliances and triggered an explosion and fire.

What you get paying a monthly rent of $58,000
The monthly rental of this super luxurious penthouse near Orchard Road is enough to lease about 10 decent two-bedroom condos in the city area. After all, at $58,000 a month, this two-storey penthouse in Nassim Hill holds the distinction of being Singapore’s most expensive condominium currently available for rent.

Unusual ups and downs in Covid-19 rental market
The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the property market here in ways not seen in previous recessions. Despite many workers facing income and job cuts, prospective bargain hunters have been sorely disappointed, because overall property prices here have been holding up very well.

Reits (Oct 31- Nov 01, 2020)


Singapore Economy

Singapore visitor arrivals inch up month on month in September to 9,500 travellers
International travel to Singapore kept up a subdued climb in September, with 9,500 visitors arriving in the Republic for the month, according to Singapore Tourism Board (STB) data. The figure is a modest 6.6 per cent increase from August and continues the uptrend seen since May, after the full impact of Covid-19 border controls hit inbound travel.

Low placement rates might reflect barriers to entry
With a minor tweak to how figures are presented, the Manpower Ministry’s 11th Jobs Situation Report on Oct 27 refocused attention on the openings that remain available to jobseekers, rather than the total opportunities created so far.

More locals find jobs, but labour market still weak
The number of locals employed in Singapore rebounded to almost pre-Covid-19 levels in the period between July and September, but the labour market is not out of the woods yet, with retrenchments and unemployment rates continuing to rise.

Retail business closures in Singapore hit 10-month high in September
Home-grown department store Robinsons has become the latest high-profile casualty in a growing list of retailers that the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed. Business cessations in the retail trade sector hit a 10-month high in September, with 457 companies calling it quits, according to figures from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Robinsons’ exit a strong signal to firms to transform: Josephine Teo
The closure of the two remaining Robinsons department stores here is a “strong signal” that companies will have to continue to transform to meet the changing needs of consumers, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said yesterday.

Singapore firms don’t see skies clearing in next two quarters
Singapore firms expect business conditions to be worse in the next two quarters compared to the third quarter of 2020, though the gap between pessimists and optimists has been narrowing, according to official quarterly surveys on Friday.

Resident employment rebounds, but retrenchments still rising
Although Singapore’s resident employment levels bucked the trend and recovered to near pre-pandemic levels in September, the labour market is expected to remain weak in the months ahead. Resident employment stood at 2.34 million in September, recovering from 2.29 million in June and inching closer to the pre-Covid-19 level of 2.36 million seen in December 2019, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday.


Companies’ Brief

Hotel Grand Central to sell New Zealand commercial building for NZ$60m
Hotel Grand Central is selling PwC Centre, a six-level commercial building in Christchurch, New Zealand for some NZ$60 million (S$54 million). Details of the third-party buyer were not disclosed by the company. PwC Centre was purchased by Hotel Grand Central for NZ$49 million in 2017. 

Sembcorp sells Panama water business, gets S$21m net gain
Sembcorp Industries has sold its entire stake in its water business in Panama, thus exiting the Panama market. The divestment resulted in a net gain of about S$21 million, the energy and urban development player said on Monday.

Yanlord JV acquires two residential integrated development sites in Shanghai
A joint venture of Yanlord Land Group has acquired two prime residential integrated development sites in Jingan District of Shanghai for 4.2 billion yuan (S$859.8 million), the property developer said in a bourse filing on Friday.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Why the future of our city requires a rethink
The year 2020 has been a tumultuous year for everyone, to say the least. Not only has the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the economies, businesses and the lives of people all around the world, it has also reshaped urban living in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.

Infrastructure investment to lead S-E Asia’s recovery
Infrastructure development will be critical in leading South-east Asia towards a robust economic recovery as well as a more sustainable and resilient future, according to a joint report by Deloitte and Infrastructure Asia (IA).

The global jobs crisis and why we should think longer term
We are on uncharted terrain. Covid-19 is a historic challenge, but we are really faced with three testing realities at the same time. We have the immediate challenge of a public health and economic crisis, both of global scale. But tackling this is complicated by the second reality – that of a new future that is already unfolding before us, for which we have to re-gear ourselves.

Greener energy to power the nation
Singapore’s energy policy is premised on the promise that urban societies can be the most energy-and resource-efficient when cities, towns and settlements are well planned, organised and run. Doing so would involve greening the production, consumption and transport processes, with special emphasis placed on how the country produces and stores energy and on its energy mix.

Coronavirus: Make haste, but slowly, as Singapore moves ahead into phase 3
And then, as everyone has been hoping for, comes phase three. Yes, perhaps coming soon to a cinema, restaurant or sports hall near you, is the third phase of Singapore’s slowly-but-surely reopening of its economy, with new business and leisure activities re-emerging.

Two schemes launched for SMEs that owe debts to multiple lenders
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in financial distress because of the Covid-19 pandemic can now apply for two schemes to restructure their credit facilities and debts owed to multiple lenders. The Sole Proprietors and Partnerships (SPP) Scheme and Extended Support Scheme – Customised (ESS-C) launched on Sunday are part of a package of extended relief measures announced on Oct 5 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore.

Covid spells opportunity for sharing economy
Firms offering sharing services have become more appealing now, especially to millennials

Spotlight on green sectors as engine of post-pandemic recovery
Three events this week showed that the Covid-19 pandemic has not derailed the global fight against climate change. If anything, it seems to have intensified the focus of governments and investors on the need to hasten the switch to cleaner energy sources for industries, homes and transport.

New ways to make money: The alternative alternative assets
When one thinks about investments, stocks, bonds and cash come to mind. For the more sophisticated, derivatives and private markets are also fertile hunting grounds. Some individuals have also milked returns from the most esoteric and uncommon of assets, such as fine wine, sneakers and Lego.

People fear a market crash more than they have in years
Getting to the last mile is a common phrase in sustainable development, referring to reaching people, places and small enterprise levels that are under-served and excluded, where development needs are greatest, and where resources are most scarce.

With Robinsons closing, what lies ahead for its peers?
The imminent closure of Robinsons, one of the oldest homegrown names in Singapore, has put a question mark over whether other department stores may find themselves in its shoes, as they continue to fend off competition and e-commerce.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Four new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
Four new coronavirus infections were confirmed yesterday, taking Singapore’s total to 58,019. They were all imported cases and had been placed on stay-home notices, and were tested while serving their notices.

Relax Covid-19 curbs or open borders in S’pore’s phase 3, but not both
Singapore is at a crossroads. Community cases here are now extremely low, with just six in the past fortnight. This means measures to contain the virus here are working and Singapore should be able to significantly ease them with little risk, experts have pointed out to The Straits Times.

Which places are open for travel and what are the rules?
An upcoming air travel bubble with Hong Kong, multiple green lanes for business and official travel between Singapore and selected countries, and the unilateral opening of borders to places such as New Zealand and Brunei.

TraceTogether check-ins at cinemas off to a smooth start
Catching a movie on the first weekend since TraceTogether check-ins were introduced at cinemas on Monday proved to be a mostly stress-free experience. Checks by The Sunday Times over two hours yesterday afternoon found that about half of visitors to the cinemas at the JCube and Jem malls in Jurong East used the TraceTogether app or token to enter. 

8 more Quick Build Dorms set to be ready by next year
Seven Quick Build Dormitories (QBD) with improved living standards for migrant workers have been completed, with eight more expected to be ready by the second half of next year, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee told reporters yesterday.
*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

How Covid-19 is hitting the reset button on the global economy and property

The economy is down, so why are home prices up?

UK lockdown could last longer than one month

New York state overhauls Covid-19 rules for travellers

China manufacturing growth eases in October but remains strong

A blueprint to turn China into tech superpower?

Benefits of recovery elude China’s poor

Shenzhen’s tech-driven economy key to country’s rebound

Small traders in Yiwu feel the pinch as govt seeks to rely less on foreign trade

Japan eases travel curbs for S’pore and 7 other countries

HK recession shows sign of easing in Q3

Vietnam estimates typhoon damage at 10 trillion dong

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