The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 22 Jan 2021 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore’s new private home sales down 26% in Oct-Dec from previous quarter
Property developers in Singapore sold 2,603 new private homes in the fourth quarter last year, about 26 per cent lower than the 3,517 units sold in the previous quarter, though prices increased at a greater pace. The full-year tally for developers’ new home sales stood at 9,982 units for 2020, inching up from 9,912 units in 2019. These final figures – released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday – exclude executive condominium (EC) units, which are a public-private housing hybrid.

Singapore office rents fall at slower clip of 3.5% q-o-q in Q4, vacancies ease
Rentals of office space in the central region of Singapore fell 3.5 per cent  in the fourth quarter of 2020 over the previous three months, a smaller rate of decline compared with the 4.5 per cent drop in the third quarter, figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed on Friday. For the whole of 2020, the rental index slipped 8.5 per cent, after falling 3.1 per cent in 2019. URA’s fourth-quarter data also showed that prices of office space in the central region decreased 3.1 per cent, contrasting with an increase of 0.2 per cent in the previous quarter.

Retail rents fall at faster clip of 5.2% in Q4 but vacancy eases to 8.8%
Rentals of retail space in Singapore’s central region decreased by 5.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year over the previous three months. This is a bigger pace of decline compared with the 4.5 per cent drop in the previous quarter, according to figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released on Friday. For the whole of 2020, rentals of retail space declined by 14.7 per cent, contrasting with the increase of 2.9 per cent  in 2019.

Sales of HDB resale flats hit 8-year high in 2020 as prices climb 5%
Singapore – The Housing Board resale market ended 2020 on a strong note with flat prices edging up in many locations and buyer demand remaining buoyant despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Prices of HDB resale flats rose for for a third consecutive quarter, climbing 3.1 per cent in the last three months of 2020 compared with the previous quarter, according to data released by the HDB on Friday (Jan 22).

Lazada/Alibaba and TikTok figure in latest office-leasing deals
Despite the challenges to office leasing demand amid the recession and the work-from-home trend during this pandemic, one can still count on e-commerce and tech players for some good news. Lazada and its parent Alibaba Group have signed up for 140,000 sq ft at 5One Central in Bras Basah Road. Alibaba entities, including Lazada, are expected to move to the new address later this year from AXA Tower, which is to be redeveloped.

MOM site makes it easier to access safety records of building firms
Construction firms’ safety track records are now more easily accessible, with statistics on information like fatalities and stop-work orders consolidated for easy comparison. The data on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website will also be updated every fortnight. Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad gave the update after observing a worksite inspection yesterday.


Singapore Economy

S’poreans expect inflation to hit 2.2% this year: Poll
Local households reckon headline inflation will hit 2.2 per cent this year, according to a poll last month – up from the 1.9 per cent estimate in a September poll. The September figure was the lowest point polled since the survey began in 2011. It is also lower than the fourth-quarter average of 3.2 per cent from 2012 until 2019. The economic hit from the pandemic left headline inflation trending negative for most of last year.


Companies’ Brief

Frasers Property sets net-zero carbon goal
Frasers Property will be the first Singapore-listed real estate company to set a net-zero carbon commitment, with an aim to reach this by 2050, it said. This is in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendation. Given that real estate is responsible for 39 per cent of energy- and process-related emissions, tackling climate change is a priority for the group, said Frasers Property in a press statement.

Frasers Property unit to sell entire stake in China property
Frasers Property announced on Thursday that its subsidiary is looking to sell its stake in Beijing Fraser Suites Real Estate Management for 1.6 billion yuan (S$327.5 million). Its subsidiary Excellent Esteem has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with a joint venture (JV) company established by Tishman Speyer RMB Funds and Shanghai Dowell Trading, to dispose its entire shareholding interest in Beijing Fraser Suites.

FCT reports 96.4% retail portfolio occupancy for Q1 FY21
The manager of Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) said on Thursday that its performance for the final three months of 2020 remained resilient, with retail portfolio occupancy stable at 96.4 per cent. In an exchange filing, it said total tenants’ sales remained stable near pre-pandemic levels, falling 1.3 per cent year on year in December. At the peak of the pandemic in May, total tenant sales had fallen 57.1 per cent year on year.

GL has deeper value than just 70¢ a share: analysts
Malaysian tycoon Quek Leng Chan is trying to take GL private on the cheap, say Lim & Tan Securities analysts. They are suggesting shareholders hold out for a better offer. Given that shares of GL have climbed above the offer price of S$0.70 – closing at S$0.715 on Thursday – the market may be in agreement. Analysts Nicholas Yon and Ethan Aw calculate that the hospitality and oil & gas company is worth at least S$1.52 per share. This is based on a 30 per cent discount to their estimated fair value (see table).

CDL expecting ‘material impairment loss’ from investment in Sincere Property
City Developments Limited (CDL) is expecting to make provisions for a material impairment loss on its investment in Sincere Property, given the “ongoing unprecedented challenges” facing China’s real estate market, the mainboard-listed company said on Thursday. This is based on a review by CDL’s appointed external financial adviser Deloitte, which was asked to evaluate its 51 per cent joint venture equity investment in Sincere Property, the property developer said in a profit guidance for the full year ended Dec 31, 2020.

Soilbuild Reit Q4 DPU up 29.1% to 1.194 Singapore cent
Soilbuild Business Space Reit on Thursday posted a fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.194 Singapore cents, up 29.1 per cent from 0.925 cent a year ago. Roy Teo, chief executive officer of the Reit manager said that the Q4 DPU is “not indicative of the Reit’s future performance” as it includes two quarters of contribution from its Australia portfolio. “In the year ahead, the manager will continue to focus on building a more resilient portfolio through asset enhancements and tenant mix restructuring,” he said.

Cromwell E-Reit prices 200m euro notes due in 2025 at 2.125%
A subsidiary of Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust (Cromwell E-Reit) has priced a new tap issue of 200 million euros (S$321.3 million) of existing senior unsecured notes due 2025. They will bear a coupon rate of 2.125 per cent while the reoffer yield will be 1.6 per cent, payable annually in arrears. The new notes will be issued under Cromwell E-Reit’s recently established 1.5 billion euro medium-term note programme, after which they will be consolidated and form a single series with the existing offering of 300 million euros of five-year senior unsecured notes issued in November 2020.

Sabana Reit posts H2 DPU of 2.29 S cents after including withheld H1 distribution
Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Sabana Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) rose by 47.7 per cent to 2.29 Singapore cents for the six months ended Dec 31, 2020, from 1.55 cents a year ago. The distribution includes about 0.58 cent withheld from the H1 2020 distribution. Otherwise, DPU would be 1.71 cents, up 10.3 per cent on the year. Gross revenue was down 5.5 per cent to S$37.4 million for the second half of the year, from S$39.6 million a year ago.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

F&B sector has evolved over the course of 2020
The food and beverage (F&B) industry was hit especially hard by Covid-19, with the economic downturn, lockdown measures and dine-in restrictions leading to the sector reporting a year-on-year loss of almost 30 per cent at the end of the third quarter in 2020. Despite the initial fallout, the F&B sector has had a pick-up in sales, with the advent of Phase 3 reopening signalling the return to pre-pandemic normalcy as Singapore segued away from circuit breaker measures into the safe return of dining-in.

Deal-making in a pandemic
Observing the transaction landscape covering mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investments in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia (the region) at the end of 2020, we noticed how different last year has been. While past crises have affected specific industries, sectors or regions, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a wide-ranging impact across industries around the world.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Three new Covid-19 cases in BS Industrial Construction & Supply cluster
[Singapore] Three of the four community cases reported on Thursday (Jan 21) have been linked to a cluster at BS Industrial Construction & Supply, said the Ministry of Health on Thursday night. The first case recorded in the cluster was a sales person who tested positive on Jan 18. There are now seven cases in the cluster. The total number of community cases continues to rise, with 21 cases in the past seven days, compared with three in the previous seven.

38 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including four in the community
[Singapore] There were 38 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of noon on Thursday (Jan 21), taking Singapore’s total to 59,195. They included 34 imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were four community cases and none from worker’s dormitories. On Wednesday, the number of new cases in the community increased to 18 in the past week, from four in the week before.

Fighting the unknown: Task force chiefs sum up challenges
Over the course of the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way Singaporeans live, work and play. In a 90-minute interview on Tuesday at the National Press Centre in Hill Street, the two ministers jointly chairing the task force tackling the crisis summed up the challenges they faced over the past 12 months. These included dealing with uncertainty, implementing their ideas and communicating the reasons for their decisions. When Covid-19 cases first began emerging in Singapore, most people who showed respiratory symptoms were given a five-day medical certificate. Return to get tested only if your symptoms persist, they were told.

Singapore’s Covid-19 task force mulls new measures ahead of Chinese New Year
With just three weeks to go before the Chinese New Year, Singapore’s multi-ministry task force for Covid-19 is mulling over a possible introduction of new measures, now that a new cluster appears to have formed for the first time in months. Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the task force, said: “There will be potentially a lot more intermingling, a lot more interaction, as has happened over the end of the year, when there were festive periods and we saw a lot more interactions. And therefore, we are considering now whether or not there might be additional restrictions and safeguards that might be necessary to keep the infection under control.”

Global travel won’t return to normal after S’poreans are vaccinated: Gan
International travel will not revert to normal even after everyone in Singapore has been vaccinated as travel depends on the global Covid-19 situation, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. When it does resume, it is likely to take place progressively, through bilateral arrangements, which could then expand into regional arrangements, he added. “This is a bit like a circuit breaker,” said Mr Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministerial task force handling the crisis. “It is not going to be, flip a switch and (it is) free for everybody to travel.”

Cargo drivers entering Singapore to take rapid Covid-19 test
A compulsory Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART) will be progressively rolled out for cargo drivers entering Singapore at land checkpoints from 9am today, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). In the initial stage, drivers arriving at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints will be selected at random to be tested, an MTI spokesman said yesterday in response to queries. “We intend for all cargo drivers and accompanying personnel to undergo the testing in the coming weeks.”

Vaccines will not be reserved for those who skip their turn
Supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine will not be reserved for people who choose to wait when their turn to get the jab comes, said Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of a multi-ministerial task force tackling the pandemic. Instead, the vaccines will go to whoever is next in line. This is because Singapore’s aim is to get everyone vaccinated as soon as it can, said Mr Wong, who is also Education Minister.
*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


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