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 Jul 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Private home prices up 0.3% in Q2: URA
Private residential prices in Singapore went up by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter despite the pandemic, led by non-landed property in the core central region (CCR). The 0.3 per cent figure comes after a 1 per cent fall in the previous quarter, according to the latest report from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Singapore office rents flat in Q2 2020 but vacancy rises to 12.1%: URA
Rentals of office space in the central region of Singapore remained unchanged in the second quarter of 2020 over the previous three months. This compares with a 0.8 per cent drop in the first quarter of this year.

Singapore retail rents down 3.5% q-o-q in Q2 2020, vacancy rises to 9.6%: URA
Rentals of retail space in Singapore’s central region shrank 3.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 over the previous three months, after easing 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020. Data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday also showed that prices of retail space in the central region fell 1.5 per cent in Q2 2020, although this was a smaller drop than the 3.1 per cent decrease in the previous quarter.

Prices, rentals of industrial space to remain under pressure this year
Prices and rents of industrial space are expected to remain under pressure this year, as economic headwinds prevail, although certain segments of the market may prove more resilient. In the second quarter, prices declined by 1.7 per cent year on year and 1.1 per cent quarter on quarter, weighed down by the multi-user factory segment, the latest market report from JTC Corp showed.

Condos should not seek JSS rebates from managing agents
Service buyers should not ask for reduced contract fees on the basis that their providers are receiving wage subsidies through the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), the Manpower and Finance ministries have said.

Eleven shops in Sim Lim Square launched for sale at S$21m
A portfolio of 11 shops at Sim Lim Square is up for sale again via expression of interest (EOI) with a guide price of S$21 million, exclusive marketing agent Knight Frank Singapore said on Thursday. The indicative price works out to about S$4,134 per square foot (psf).


Singapore Economy

Singapore’s June core inflation stays unchanged at -0.2 per cent
Singapore’s core inflation stayed unsurprisingly negative for the fifth straight month in June at -0.2 per cent year on year, unchanged from May, according to the Department of Statistics consumer price index (CPI) figures on Thursday.

Top earners see biggest inflation drop
The largest drop in inflation in the first half occurred among the top income earners, according to data out yesterday. The Department of Statistics Singapore noted that overall inflation fell 0.2 per cent in the six months to June 30, compared with the same period last year – reversing the 0.5 per cent increase in the second half of last year.

‘Invisible heart of society’ needed for growth: Tharman
The “invisible heart of society” is necessary for markets to work well, and for governments to curate and coordinate all players so that there is a sense of mutuality of interests, said Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday. He said economies cannot just rely on the invisible hand of the market or the visible hand of the government.

Prolonged ultra-low interest rate environment may hurt growth: Tharman
While aggressive action by central banks is the right move in this economic crisis, a prolonged ultra-low interest rate environment might hurt growth, said Monetary Authority of Singapore chairman and Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Thursday.

Be open to private sector’s proposals for recovery: Task force co-chair
Concerns about protecting lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic have evolved to also be about the protection of livelihoods, and the co-chair of the Emerging Stronger task force yesterday urged the Government to be open to the solutions it will offer by early next year.


Companies’ Brief

Ascendas Reit optimistic on rental outlook in FY20
Ascendas Reit on Thursday posted a resilient set of financial results for the first half of the year even after including rental assistance to tenants, and it remains optimistic on its rental outlook going forward. For the six months ended June 30, 2020, distribution per unit (DPU) fell to 7.27 Singapore cents, compared to 8.153 cents paid out a year ago…

Office landlord CCT says firms still keen on leasing; posts 23.2% drop in Q2 DPU
Tech and financial companies are still keen to lease office space, said Kevin Chee, chief executive of CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s (CCT) manager. But tenants are also increasingly reconsidering how they use that space, he said, with many adopting a wait-and-see approach amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s portfolio Q3 occupancy dips to 94.6%
Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) announced on Thursday that its portfolio occupancy fell 2.2 percentage points year on year (y-o-y) to 94.6 per cent for the third quarter ended June 30. This was due to “weakened leasing market conditions”, with tenants monitoring the changing Covid-19 situation before committing to new leases, said the suburban retail Reit.

Keppel warns material impairments mainly from O&M business to ‘significantly’ hit Q2, half-year results
Singapore – Keppel Corporation warned on Friday morning (July 24) that its second-quarter and half-year results to be released next week will be “significantly and adversely impacted” by recognition of material impairments, relating mainly to its offshore and marine (O&M) business.

Mapletree Commercial Trust’s Q1 net property income falls 10.7%
Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) on Thursday reported a 10.7 per cent year-on-year decline in net property income to S$78.9 million for the first quarter, attributing it largely to rental rebates given to retail tenants at its core VivoCity property during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marina Bay Sands in the red for Q2, says delay in expansion project ‘likely’
Keeping its shutters down for more than two months during Singapore’s “circuit breaker” has dragged Marina Bay Sands (MBS) into the red for the April-to-June period. The integrated resort, run by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Corp…


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Tale of two cities and two exchange rate regimes
Both Hong Kong and Singapore have been exceptionally successful global cities. It may be time for them to also share a similar exchange rate regime.

ESG investing has been growing, and is here to stay
The rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has long been dismissed by critics as a consequence of the longest bull run in history – a mere nice-to-have as opposed to a necessity. However, if that were true, we would have expected this wave to break in the first quarter of 2020.

Building investor trust in the financial industry an uphill climb
Trust is an intangible, almost ephemeral thing. It lends confidence and serves as the bedrock upon which institutions and the entire financial industry is built. Without it, the edifice collapses. Trust underpins almost all financial transactions, from advisory to the valuation of assets and the choice of counterparties in a contract.

A managed exit from relief measures
As emergency financial measures introduced to fight the coronavirus pandemic near their use-by date, a process of weaning business and society off them has to begin. This has to balance several imperatives, all of which are important in themselves.

Will climate change agenda return to the fore again?
While the world has been engulfed, ravaged even, by an invisible virus over the past six months, another potential mega disaster has lurked in the shadows, if not always silently. And, in fact, climate change is arguably far more deadly in the long run than Covid-19, with possibly more lasting and more permanent impacts on human welfare…

Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act to commence on July 30, says Ministry of Law
The Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act, together with its 48 related pieces of subsidiary legislation, will commence on July 30, 2020, Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said on Thursday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Coronavirus: Raffles City mall, VivoCity cinema visited by patients
VivoCity’s Golden Village cinema as well as Raffles City Shopping Centre and Golden Mile Complex have been added to the list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday.

Singapore can avoid second wave if people play their part: Experts
Experts are optimistic that Singapore can avoid a second wave of Covid-19 cases as long as people do not take unnecessary risks, like gathering in large groups for parties or meals.

Coronavirus: Singapore welcomes Japan’s move to discuss resuming essential travel
Singapore welcomes Japan’s move to include the Republic in discussions on the resumption of essential travel, and will work closely with Japan to make progress in this area, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday.

Covid-19 vaccine unlikely ready until early 2021: WHO
Geneva • Researchers are making “good progress” in developing vaccines against Covid-19, with a handful in late-stage trials, but their first use cannot be expected until early next year, a World Health Organisation (WHO) expert said.

Vaccine not a panacea for Covid-19, experts caution
As optimism rises over the promise of Covid-19 vaccines, experts have warned that even the best vaccine will be no panacea alone and must be combined with effective treatments, as well as individual responsibility, to reduce the spread of the virus.

Covid-19 unlikely to be spread through air-con systems: Experts
It is unlikely that Covid-19 can be spread through air-conditioning, even if the virus causing the disease is airborne, said infectious diseases experts here. Professor Ooi Eng Eong, deputy director of Duke-NUS Medical School’s emerging infectious diseases programme, said yesterday that fears of a patient coughing in an office building and then spreading the virus through the air-con system have a low likelihood of being realised.

Coronavirus: Leisure travel unlikely this year or in early 2021 as countries play safe
No recreational travel is likely this year or early next year as countries that are still knee-deep in the Covid-19 pandemic continue to play safe and keep tourists away. Speaking at The Straits Times Covid-19 webinar, Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said: “When we (travel), we end up being exposed to many different factors that are beyond our control.”

Dorm coronavirus cases: ‘Novel’ strategy in isolating those most at risk
When infections started to spike in foreign worker dormitories in April, the priority was to isolate residents most at risk, including older ones and those who had other conditions. Attention then turned to building up capacity for hundreds of thousands of others, said infectious diseases expert Dale Fisher during The Straits Times Covid-19 webinar yesterday.

Rush to return home before new Malaysian quarantine rule starts
From today, those returning have to serve quarantine at designated facilities and bear full cost of stay
*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

US home sales rack up record gain on low mortgage rates

Rise in US jobless claims signal economic reversal with Covid-19 cases resurging

South Korea’s economy plunges into recession

International firms avoiding HK as arbitration venue

Indonesia set to make it easier for foreigners to buy property


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