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 April 2021 (Thu)

Singapore Real Estate

Serangoon Road freehold conservation shophouse for sale with S$4.5m guide price
A freehold two-storey conservation shophouse at 616 Serangoon Road has been put up for sale, via an expression of interest (EOI) exercise with a guide price of S$4.5 million, said exclusive marketing agent CBRE on Wednesday. Sitting on freehold land of around 1,498 square feet (sq ft), the shophouse has a gross floor area of about 2,419 sq ft and a gross plot ratio of three. It is located within the Jalan Besar Secondary Settlement Conservation Area and zoned for commercial use, which means foreigners can buy the property.

Landed property deals reap tidy profits in Q1 2021
Transactions for landed properties dominated the top profit-making deals in the first quarter of this year, with their sellers handsomely rewarded as they walked away with huge profits. Among the blockbuster deals was the sale of a freehold Good Class Bungalow (GCB) at Nassim Road, setting a record price of S$4,005 per square foot (psf) based on land area. The 32,160 sq ft site in District 10 was sold for S$128.8 million, more than four times the S$30.3 million (S$942 psf) it was purchased for in November 2006.

Stable rents expected for single- and multiple-user factory space this year
Despite a more sanguine economic outlook, factory space rents are expected to remain stable this year, tempered by new supply, says the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS). After the pandemic hampered construction activity last year, there will likely be a bump in supply this year: 885,000 square metres (sq m) (in gross floor area) and 1.14 million sq m of multiple- and single-user factory space respectively are poised to be added to the market.

Pot of gold at end of Singapore property rainbow? Not a sure thing anymore
Many here like to invest in No 1, physical properties (typically private homes) and No 2, real estate investment trusts (Reits). Either way, it reflects a predilection for property. This strategy seems to have worked so far. But going ahead, would it be wise to park so much money in property? Some observers caution that the attractive long-term capital appreciation in the past from owning Singapore private residential properties is unlikely to be repeated given the maturity of the market and cooling measures in place.

Young investors need to watch leverage
Property investors, especially young ones, should be prudent by doing their homework on what they can afford and be realistic on the amount to borrow, advises JLL Singapore’s senior director of research and consultancy, Ong Teck Hui. Agreeing, International Property Advisor’s chief executive officer, Ku Swee Yong, says young property buyers should not take more than 50-60 per cent loan on the property’s value, even when purchasing their first home.


Singapore Economy

Hotels get lean and mean with machines and job redesign
Tourism remains at a standstill, but Singapore’s hotel sector is weathering the downturn better than might have been expected. Hoteliers have taken the opportunity to redesign jobs, reskill workers and adopt more technology, as the exodus of foreign workers shapes up to be a permanent one. In fact, Far East Hospitality Management chief executive Arthur Kiong now aims to ”significantly reduce” room-to-staff ratio to more than 30 per cent below the industry average.


Companies’ Brief

Difficult situation has required stepping up in ‘unprecedented manner’: EH-Reit’s trustee
Funds available to Eagle Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust (EH-Reit) are “depleting… on a daily basis”, as it costs money to maintain and operate the existing hotel properties. And DBS Trustee, which as the trustee of EH-Reit has been saddled with the task of looking after the interests of the various stakeholders of Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT), said there are few options available. Trading in EHT, a stapled group consisting of EH-Reit and the dormant Eagle Hospitality Business Trust, has been suspended since March last year.

ESR-Reit DPU up 14.8% to 0.8 S cent for Q1
ESR-Reit on Thursday posted a core distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.8 Singapore cent for the three months ended March 31, up 14.8 per cent from 0.697 cent the year before. Gross revenue was up 4.4 per cent to S$60.3 million for the first quarter, from S$57.8 million the year prior. This was mainly due to the absence of provision for Covid-19 rental rebates to tenants and lower property expenses, the manager said in a bourse filing on Thursday. For the same reason, net property income grew 7.6 per cent on the year to S$44.1 million for the quarter, from S$41 million.

Keppel Reit Q1 distributable income up 22% to S$51.6m
Keppel real estate investment trust (Reit) reported a 22 per cent rise in distributable income to S$51.6 million for the first quarter of 2021, up from S$42.3 million in the year-ago period. In a quarterly update on Wednesday, the Reit manager attributed the increase to contributions from Victoria Police Centre in Melbourne and Pinnacle Office Park in Sydney, higher one-off income, as well as lower borrowing costs. However, this was partially offset by the impact of “slightly lower” portfolio occupancy.

Mapletree Logistics Trust Q4 DPU up 5.5% to 2.161 Singapore cts
Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) on Wednesday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.161 Singapore cents for the three months ended March 31, 2021, up 5.5 per cent from the year-ago period. In a bourse filing after trading hours, the real estate investment trust (Reit) reported that the amount distributable to unitholders for the quarter rose 18.9 per cent year on year to S$92.6 million. This brings DPU for FY 20/21 to 8.326 Singapore cents on an enlarged unit base, up 2.3 per cent year-on-year. Amount distributable to unitholders for the full year rose 10.4 per cent to S$333.1 million.

Post failed merger, Sabana sets sights on asset revamps, disposals
Following the abortion of the merger with ESR-Reit, Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Reit plans to continue to divest its non-performing assets and rejuvenate others in a bid to improve the resilience and growth trajectory of the real estate investment trust (Reit) despite its constraints. For instance, it has recently completed NTP+, a food and beverage-focused retail mall located at its New Tech Park at Lorong Chuan, and is in the midst of upgrading the industrial park’s lifts and electric system.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Take bold steps to redesign work, thrive in new normal
In 2020, the Singapore government passed five budgets to keep Singaporeans employed and businesses afloat at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Generous subsidies of up to 95 per cent for skills upgrading programmes provided a significant push in helping the workforce build capability through gaining relevant work experience. This year, as Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out nationwide, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced further expansionary measures to help organisations shift from responding to thriving in the pandemic.

Is SPAC the way to go for IPO aspirants?
The use of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) by private companies to go public has been around for decades. It is only in recent months that we see a surge in market interest as the volume of SPACs and the capital raised in the United States hit a record high. According to the EY quarterly report, Global IPO Trends: Q1 2021, SPAC IPOs in the first quarter of 2021 have been breaking records globally, completing more deals and raising more in proceeds than in the whole of 2020.

It’s vital for all to work together to beat the heat
This Earth Day is an opportunity for government and business leaders to commit to act on climate change. We are all feeling the heat. Here in Singapore, from 1980 to 2020, the annual mean temperature increased from 26.9 deg C to 28.0 deg C, according to the National Climate Change Secretariat – but the social and economic impacts of a warming climate are larger and reach far beyond our shores. Climate change will be on the agenda at the World Economic Forum’s Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore in August.

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for investors
Governments across Asia have pledged ambitious carbon neutrality plans backed by massive stimulus to push for green and sustainable industries. And for good reason, as the stakes are high. Asia has 15 of the world’s 20 most vulnerable cities and crop yields could fall by 7 per cent to 25 per cent over the next 30 to 50 years. As part of wider response measures, South-east Asia’s governments are pledging investment in green technology.

S’pore poised to be climate solution hub
Singapore is poised to be a hub for climate change solutions for South-east Asia, and one way it can contribute is on the research front, said experts yesterday during a webinar on sea level rise organised by The Straits Times. Climate science in tropical regions is not as developed as it is in the temperate parts of the world. But Singapore is working to change this with a whole slew of research initiatives, such as the National Sea Level Programme, which is coordinated by the National Environment Agency’s climate science research programme office – a unit under the Centre for Climate Research Singapore.

S’pore tackling perils of climate change – flash floods, rising seas
Climate change is causing waters to rise in and around Singapore – and the flash floods that hit the city last Saturday were but one symptom of a warming world. Climate change will bring with it more frequent bouts of intense rainfall that could overwhelm drainage systems. It is also driving up sea levels – a threat for low-lying Singapore – experts said at a webinar organised by The Straits Times yesterday.

Big global banks burnishing Asia wealth strategy from Singapore vantage point
Singapore sits as an important node in booking offshore wealth flows from the region. Given this, Citi’s latest move to double down on hubs like Singapore will have it join peers tapping the Republic as a big regional magnet for offshore wealth. Large global banks with offshore centres here are relying on institutional referrals and their globality to attract the well-heeled to park their funds with them, via Singapore or other offshore hubs.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

11 more Covid cases detected at Westlite Woodlands dormitory
Another 11 workers staying at Westlite Woodlands dormitory have tested positive for Covid-19, including 10 who have recovered from the virus, said the Ministry of Manpower on Wednesday. This comes after a 35-year-old Bangladeshi worker staying at the purpose-built dorm tested positive for the virus on Monday, despite receiving both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The Straits Times understands that plans are now being made to move hundreds of workers to a quarantine facility.

21-day SHN will pick up virtually all cases from India: Experts
Requiring all travellers from India to be isolated for 21 instead of 14 days will help strengthen Singapore’s defences against a new double-mutant variant that appears to be more infectious, experts said. But they added that it is not yet necessary to ban flights from India – as some countries have done – or tighten guidelines on social and other gatherings. Singapore announced new safety measures on Tuesday, including fewer approvals for foreigners who are not permanent residents coming in from India, which is experiencing a second wave believed to be fuelled by a variant with a double mutation.

Countries on guard against new ‘double-mutant’ variant
A new “double-mutant” variant that is fuelling India’s terrifying second wave of Covid-19 infections has led to various countries, including Singapore, taking measures to guard against it. Called B1617, the new variant is the first to have two mutations, E484Q and L452R, which have been seen separately in other variants. It has not yet been classified as a “variant of concern” – a term used for other variants like the B117 that was first detected in the United Kingdom and found here – but it is proving to be worrying.

Australia keen on S’pore travel as landmark NZ bubble opens
On Monday morning, Ms Christina Cassin arrived in Melbourne from Wellington after taking advantage of a newly opened quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand. Her rush to make it to Australia was understandable. Owing to Covid-19 travel restrictions, she had been unable to visit her daughter or see her baby grandson, who was born five months ago.

*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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