The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 23 April 2021 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore private home prices rise again, clocking 3.3% growth in Q1
Prices of private residential properties across Singapore increased quarter-on-quarter by 3.3 per cent in Q1 2021, steeper than the 2.1 per cent growth in Q4 2020, according to the final figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Friday. This was fuelled partly by the 6.7 per cent jump in prices of landed properties in the January-March period this year, which more than reversed the 1.6 per cent drop in October-December last year.

Rents of Singapore office space rise in Q1, vacancy rate ticks upwards: URA
Rentals of office space in the central region of Singapore rose 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, over the previous three months. This comes after a 3.5 per cent decrease in the fourth quarter of last year. On the other hand, prices of office space in the central region contracted 2.7 per cent in Q1 2021, data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday showed. This narrowed from the 3.1 per cent decrease seen in Q4 2020.

Singapore retail rents decline in Q1, vacancy eases to 8.5%: URA
Rentals of retail space in Singapore’s central region slid by 4.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous three months. This narrowed from the decrease of 5.2 per cent seen in the prior quarter, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday. URA’s first quarter data showed that prices of retail space in the central region dropped by 3.2 per cent, accelerating from a 2.1 per cent decrease in the previous quarter.

Singapore industrial space rents, prices up in Q1; likely to remain stable for 2021
Rentals of industrial spaces in Singapore are likely to remain stable, as the low supply brought about by the pandemic’s interruption of construction activities is catching up to the market’s growing demand. According to data released by JTC on Thursday, prices of industrial properties increased by 0.9 per cent quarter on quarter (qoq), while rentals rose 0.6 per cent in Q1 2021, following the upward trend in Q4 2020. This came as delayed completion of new structures continue to persist from last year.

HDB resale prices climb for 4th consecutive quarter; volume dips
[Singapore] THE Housing Board resale market remained steadily robust in the first quarter of this year amid Covid-19 vaccine optimism, as prices of resale flats rose for the fourth consecutive quarter, even as fewerflats changed hands. The resale price index for the first three months of the year was logged at 142.2, an increase of 3 per cent over that in the fourth quarter of 2020…

Further delays in housing projects due to Covid-19 measures on migrant workers
[Singapore] The move to ban long-term pass holders and short-term visitors from India from entering Singapore will have a major impact on the construction, marine and process (CMP) sectors here, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday (April 22). The construction sector, especially, will face further delays to building and housing projects already hampered by the pandemic.

Find a stage name, sing for your supper – property agents get creative to close a sale
Be it in good or bad times, property agents know they are part of a competitive trade. And with more than 30,000 agents jostling for attention, some have gotten creative with their sales pitch. That has meant rousing remixes of classic tunes – replete with original raps – to filmed house tours that spoof popular movies. But for a start, many literally make names for themselves. Take YOYO, Dragon and Joan Bagus. They all chose aliases for themselves to stand out from the crowd.



Singapore Economy

Singapore to help firms after borders shut to India workers
Singapore is closing its borders “until further notice” to all non-residents who were recently in India – just two days after moving to curb entry approvals for these travellers. But the latest ban – which kicks in on Friday night at 11.59pm – will worsen a foreign manpower crunch in certain labour-intensive sectors, industry players bemoaned to The Business Times (BT). That is even as Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry taskforce on Covid-19, said on Thursday that the government is working on extra support for the construction, process and marine (CMP) sectors, which are expected to be hit by the freeze.


Companies’ Brief

Keppel Corp’s Q1 profit and revenue up slightly
Keppel Corporation on Thursday posted a revenue of S$1.89 billion for its first quarter ended March 31, a 1.72 per cent increase from its S$1.86 billion in revenue the previous year. This was “mainly due to higher contributions from the urban development and asset management segments, offset by lower revenues from energy and environment”, said Keppel in its business update. As a result, net profit for Q1 FY21 was “slightly higher” year-on-year (yoy) than its net profit of S$160 million in Q1 FY20.

Mapletree explores US$1b student housing Reit IPO in Singapore
Mapletree Investments, a property developer and manager, is exploring listing a student housing real estate investment trust (Reit) in Singapore that could raise about US$1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The company, which is owned by Temasek Holdings, is in preliminary discussions with prospective advisers on the offering plan, said the people. An initial public offering (IPO) could take place as soon as next year, one of the people said, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust FY21 DPU down 13.3% to 6.175 cents
Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) on Thursday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 6.175 Singapore cents for the year ended March 31, down 13.3 per cent from the previous year. Distributable income was down 7.8 per cent at S$210.2 million. The manager of the real estate investment trust (Reit) attributed the decrease to the Covid-19 pandemic, but said it was cushioned by acquisitions in Japan and South Korea.

Chee Hong Tat, Aubeck Kam to receive May Day honours
Mr Chee and Mr Kam are among the 143 individuals and organisations who will receive awards next Wednesday. Other recipients include union leaders, government officials and firms advancing workers’ interests amid an uncertain economic outlook caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as workers who are role models at their workplaces. The recipient of the Medal of Honour – the top May Day accolade – will be unveiled at the event. It is given to individuals who have rendered distinguished services to the labour movement.



Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

When supply chains snap
When unforeseen crisis strikes supply chains like the pandemic did, the danger of being cut off from essential imports of food, medicines and commodities looms large for small, resource-poor economies like Singapore’s. What can Singapore do to increase self-reliance and ensure resilience? We look at solutions – some already in gear – in Brunch in The Business Times Weekend.

Singapore firms in India brace themselves for further lockdowns
Some Singapore firms with business in India are bracing themselves for further lockdowns, as the number of new Covid-19 cases there hit a global record on Thursday amid a second wave of the pandemic. For now, India’s transport, communications and ports are still largely operating as usual, even as some states have re-imposed restrictions, such as night curfews, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Few states have imposed lockdowns, as the country’s prime minister has urged them to consider lockdowns only as a last resort.



Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Eight local cases of Covid-19 variants detected in S’pore
Eight local cases of Covid-19 variants have been detected as at Tuesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday, adding that necessary public health actions were taken promptly. Seven of these cases are of the B117 variant – commonly known as the British variant – and one is of the B1351 or South African variant. The single B1351 case works in the marine industry and was exposed to potentially infectious sources from ships visiting Singapore, said MOH, which added that all his close dormitory and workplace contacts have been placed on quarantine.

2 new local cases: Vaccinated migrant worker and student
An 11-year-old pupil at Dimensions International College and a 32-year-old migrant worker were two locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday. One was in the community, while the other was in the workers’ dormitories, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). They were both linked to previously reported cases. The boy, an Indian national, holds a student’s pass. He is the son of a 41-year-old accountant and a 44-year-old restaurant manager who had previously tested positive for Covid-19.

Positive cases in dormitory mostly from marine sector
The 19 workers from Westlite Woodlands dormitory who have tested positive for Covid-19 are mostly from the marine sector, and a stop work order has been issued for their worksite, Second Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said yesterday. Giving an update on the cases in the dormitory during a virtual news conference, Dr Tan said the authorities made three key moves to quickly isolate, detect and contain infections after a 35-year-old Bangladeshi migrant worker tested positive for the virus as part of his rostered routine testing on Monday.

Hundreds of Westlite dorm residents put under quarantine
Hundreds of migrant workers at Westlite Woodlands dormitory were transferred out and quarantined yesterday after more Covid-19 cases were detected there. One of the places they were taken to was the Quality Hotel Marlow in Balestier Road, The Straits Times found out. The 240-room hotel is listed online as temporarily closed. About 15 buses were at the dormitory yesterday to ferry the workers.

Measures for migrant workers to be tightened from today
Covid-19 safeguards for migrant workers will be tightened from today to reduce the risk of re-infection among workers who have recovered from the virus. The move comes after a new cluster of cases involving such workers was detected at the Westlite Woodlands dormitory earlier this week. The multi-ministry task force said yesterday the measure is to prevent potential “leaks”- involving new variants of the virus from Indian workers who have just arrived…

Protection could last up to 18 months
Individuals vaccinated against Covid-19 may be protected for up to 18 months. Beyond that, additional vaccination shots might be needed if a person’s immunity to the virus begins to wane, the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) director of medical services Kenneth Mak said yesterday. Another jab could also be required to guard against new variants of the coronavirus, he added in response to a question at a virtual news conference on plans to administer a third dose of the vaccine.

Singapore travellers to India risk difficulty in returning here
People in Singapore who wish to travel to India despite an advisory to defer all travel there can still do so, but they should be prepared to face difficulties in coming back in the short term, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday. He said during a virtual news conference: “For someone returning there for the long term, or going there for long-term purposes, we won’t restrict that movement, but whoever who goes there and hopes to come back to Singapore soon, I think that would potentially be difficult.”

No date set for S’pore-HK travel bubble to resume
Singapore and Hong Kong have been discussing the possibility of resuming air travel between the two cities, but no fixed date has been set yet, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday. Citing this as an example of how the global Covid-19 situation is fluid, he said new initiatives like travel bubbles can be launched only when it is safe to do so.

Mandatory use of TraceTogether at malls, workplaces, schools to start on June 1
From June 1, digital check-ins for contact tracing at places with higher footfall or where people are likely to be in close proximity can only be done using the TraceTogether app or token. These places include shopping malls, workplaces, places of worship, schools, educational institutions, dine-in food and beverage (F&B) outlets and gyms – where the national digital check-in tool SafeEntry has already been implemented.

*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

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