The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 24 April 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Pandemic to dent demand, prices of Singapore industrial space after Q1
The coming quarters will bring downward pressure on prices and rentals for industrial space as the Covid-19 pandemic blunts demand, while project completion timelines could be delayed owing to disrupted construction activity. In the first quarter of this year, prices and…

Singapore office rents fall 0.8% q-o-q in Q1 2020: URA
Rentals of office space in the central region of Singapore fell 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 over the previous three months, a smaller decline compared with the 3.2 per cent drop in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Singapore retail rents ease 2.3% q-o-q in Q1 2020: URA
Rentals of retail space in Singapore’s central region eased 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 over the previous three months, contrasting with a 2.3 per cent increase in the fourth quarter of 2019. Data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)…

Singapore private home prices fell 1% in Q1 q-o-q: URA
Singapore private home prices fell 1 per cent in Q1 2020 against the previous quarter, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday. The 1 per cent dip in the first quarter of 2020 was better than the 1.2 per cent fall in the flash estimate released on April 1.

HDB resale and rental volume down, prices stagnant amid Covid-19 outbreak
Singapore – Housing Board resale and rental volume fell in the first quarter of 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Data provided by the Housing Board (HDB) on Friday (April 24) showed that resale flat transactions fell from 6,339 in the last quarter of 2019 to 5,893 in the first three months this year – a 7 per cent drop.

Downward pressure on industrial prices, rentals in coming quarters owing to virus outbreak: JTC
Prices and rents of industrial space in Singapore fell slightly in the first quarter of this year, while occupancy remained flat, but the data does not capture the full impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, said industrial land and infrastructure agency JTC Corp.

Cooling measures may have spared property market greater pain
We are living through the worst global economic recession since the Great Depression in 1929, with countries across the globe forced to shut down businesses and schools. No one can say if we are past the peak of the pandemic and debate continues to rage over the extent of economic damage. Will the recovery be V-, U-or L-shaped?


Singapore Economy

Singapore very likely to see steeper fall in GDP, says Chan
Singapore is bracing itself for a sharper economic contraction this year than an earlier forecast of a slump of as much as 4 per cent, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally and disrupts supply chains.

Circuit-breaker hit to inflation raises risk of more monetary easing
Singapore’s newly extended “circuit-breaker” period – involving tougher movement curbs to keep the coronavirus in check – should keep a lid on consumer prices this year. And, while analysts still do not expect the central bank to pull back on monetary policy at its meeting in October – or even earlier, in a off-cycle review – some warned that the risk of a second easing in a year is climbing.

Extended lockdown nudges Singapore towards record slump
With tightened lockdown measures that have been extended through to June 1, economists have pencilled in more sobering numbers that would cement the deepest recession that the Republic will ever print in its history.

March core inflation falls to minus 0.2% amid coronavirus woes
Inflation was down again last month – a trend that is likely to continue for some time as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. Core inflation – which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs – fell to minus 0.2 per cent in March from the same month last year…

Singapore sees sharper economic slump on global coronavirus spread
Singapore (Bloomberg) – Singapore is bracing itself for a sharper economic contraction this year than an earlier forecast of a slump of as much as 4 per cent, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally and disrupts supply chains.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand donates S$1m to elderly affected by Covid-19
CapitaLand, through its philanthropic arm CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), donated S$1 million to support the elderly affected by Covid-19 in Singapore. This latest pledge this month is part of the group’s close to S$6 million contribution, and will go towards providing the silver generation at AWWA…

EHT’s sponsor dogged by payment disputes
Investors in Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) are not the only ones who have faced difficulty collecting money from master lessee and Reit sponsor Urban Commons (UC) over the years, The Business Times can reveal. EHT was listed in Singapore last May with an initial portfolio of 18 US hotels.

FCT’s Q2 DPU down 49% on bigger base, retained earnings
Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) on Thursday posted a second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.61 Singapore cents, down 48.7 per cent from 3.137 cents a year ago, due to an enlarged unitholders base and the manager’s decision to preserve distributable income for financial flexibility in these uncertain times.

UV disinfecting robots to be deployed at Singapore malls
Bots to be deployed in Northpoint City in May, and then in all 14 Frasers malls

MLT declares higher Q4 DPU of 2.048 Singapore cents
Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) has declared a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.048 Singapore cents for the fourth quarter ended March 31, up 1.2 per cent from 2.024 Singapore cents in the year-ago period. The real estate investment trust (Reit) posted higher distributable income of S$77.8 million, up 6.2 per cent from S$73.3 million,

Oxley unit starts legal proceedings against ex-contractor of Cambodia project
Oxley Holdings’ subsidiary, Oxley Gem (Cambodia), on April 1 commenced formal legal proceedings in Singapore against its former contractor Sino Great Wall Engineering (SGW). This is to seek compensation from SGW for all damages suffered due to repeated breaches of its contractual obligations, real estate developer Oxley Holdings said in a filing late Thursday night.

Fresh backing could decide if WeWork Singapore will be ‘WeLive’ or ‘WeDead’
WeWork Singapore, the most dominant co-working operator in the Republic, is now left with a rudderless parent company after SoftBank’s decision to abandon ship. With Covid-19 presenting an existential threat to co-working…, WeWork Singapore may need strong shareholders to supply the much-needed funds for its survival. In other words,

4 Singapore firms among record number hit by Moody’s ratings
Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded or put on negative watch the ratings of debts issued by four local firms and a multinational with operations in Singapore. It said those companies are among 96 firms worldwide that are now on the line between speculative grade and investment grade due to deteriorating…


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

This corporate reporting season will provide a reality check on stock rally
Although the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has made quarterly reporting (QR) voluntary, most companies in the Straits Times Index (STI) have decided to continue with it, which will give investors an opportunity to better assess how much damage the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted on firms and their business prospects.

Digital investments up as banks explore virtual wealth conversations
Not only has the volume of e-commerce and peer-to-peer digital transactions grown as Singaporeans hunker down in their homes, banks here have also recorded spikes in applications for investment products online over the past months.

Coronavirus: More companies using PayNow; $3.12 billion transacted so far
Singapore – Companies are flocking to PayNow Corporate to make and receive payments as social distancing measures bring about a sea change in business operations. The amount transferred with the service hit $3.12 billion in February…

It won’t be business as usual after Covid-19
All businesses have been affected tremendously by the coronavirus outbreak of Covid-19. The pandemic has become the biggest economic shock since World War II, as governments worldwide order social isolation measures, shutting down businesses and having people work from home to slow the spread of the virus.


Singapore Budget 2020

Coronavirus: Pass on jobs support to workers or lose future payouts, MOM warns employers
Singapore – The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will investigate complaints that employers are not using their Jobs Support Scheme payouts to support employee salaries. The ministry said in a statement on Thursday (April 23) that companies which reduce their employees’ salaries or put them on no-pay leave during the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic will receive correspondingly lower payouts in subsequent tranches.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

1,037 new coronavirus cases, bringing Singapore’s total to 11,178
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed 1,037 new Covid-19 cases as of noon on Thursday as the daily tally continues to rise. Migrant workers living in dormitories continue to make up the bulk of the increase, with Singaporeans and permanent residents making up just 22 of the new cases.

Treat workers fairly or lose Covid-19 support help: MOM
Companies that cut salaries or put staff on no-pay leave during the circuit breaker period will receive lower wage subsidies under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), while those who treat workers in “irresponsible or unfair” ways may lose future support and the ability to hire foreign workers, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) warned in a statement on Thursday.

Coronavirus: At least 350,000 in Singapore still commuting to work daily
At least 350,000 workers in Singapore are still commuting to work daily, even after the number of services considered essential was reduced on Wednesday to further control the local spread of the coronavirus. This is according to calculations based on latest official figures.

Prepping Singapore firms for life after Covid-19
With almost half of humanity under some sort of restriction or lockdown, companies are scrambling to continue their operations remotely, even as economies appear to be in free fall. Employees are worried about what the crisis would mean for their jobs, while strategists and management teams – whether from firms small or large – are evaluating how their companies should adapt to the changing world.

World Bank’s pandemic bond too little too late; needs to rethink structure
Investors greeted the World Bank’s first issuance of a pandemic bond in 2017 enthusiastically. It marked the first time that World Bank bonds were used to finance efforts against infectious diseases. It was also the first time pandemic risk in low-income countries was transferred to capital markets.
*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

Global economy to contract at steepest rate on record, recovery U-shaped: Poll

EU lays out trillion euro escape route from coronavirus pandemic

Euro sinks to one-month low amid economic stall

Vonovia makes second attempt to acquire rival Deutsche Wohnen

US new home sales fall sharply in March

US business activity hits fresh record lows amid coronavirus lockdowns

26.5m Americans seek unemployment benefits in 5 weeks

UK economy crumbles under Covid-19 strain

Boeing to lay off 10% of workers in civil aviation: sources

Food supplies in cold storage causing worries about shortages

Australia says all WHO members should back coronavirus inquiry

China to give WHO $43m more after US freezes funds

Japan takes dimmest view on economy since financial crisis

Japan’s factory, service sectors pummelled

South Korea reports biggest GDP decline since 2008


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