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, 24, 25 & 26 May (Sat, Sun, Mon & Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

Trade associations appeal to govt for post-circuit breaker easing, support
Trade associations in Singapore are appealing to the government for more support in resuming some industry activities, albeit with safety measures in place. An association of real estate agents in Singapore has appealed to Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing to allow potential tenants to physically view vacant property units when the circuit breaker lifts on June 2.

Serviced apartments segment stays resilient amid Covid-19 outbreak
Demand for serviced apartments in Singapore seems to be holding up during the Covid-19 pandemic due to their focus on corporate travellers. At the same time, they also appeal to short-term guests who prefer them to hotels for the bigger space.

New normal for S-Reits
The Singapore bourse has established itself as a strong platform for yield plays over the years and nowhere has this been more apparent than in the S-Reit segment. S-Reits (Singapore Exchange-listed real estate investment trusts) have yielded anywhere between 6 per cent and 9 per cent over the past three years, thanks to a combination of strong portfolios, robust earnings and generous dividend payout policies.

New home prices likely to remain unchanged: Experts
Prices for upcoming Housing Board (HDB) flats and private properties will likely remain the same despite an inevitable hike in construction costs, said property analysts. Developers may absorb the additional costs or get contractors down the line to do so, instead of raising property prices, as buyers have the upper hand in a weak economy.

Contractors gear up to meet new safety requirements
Contractors like Wee Chwee Huat Scaffolding and Construction are now gearing up to comply with new safety measures that have to be in place before they can resume work from June 2 when Singapore enters the first phase of the economy’s re-opening after the circuit breaker.

Property consultants point to snags in fair tenancy framework recommendations
The proposals suggested by the Fair Tenancy Framework Industry Committee (FTFIC) might face some road bumps, as property consultants point to potential snags in the list of recommendations. The committee comprises five business groups that have come together to call for the adoption of legislation and establishment of a new commission for enforcement and dispute resolutions.

Venturing back into the office
Anticipation is running high for June 1, when Singapore’s circuit breaker is set to lift. Earlier this week, the government’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced that the exit will be “a three-phased approach”, starting with a gradual reopening of the economy with activities that do not pose a high risk of transmission.

Sales at self-storage firms in Singapore stall amid lockdown
Sales for some self-storage operators have tumbled sharply amid lockdown measures imposed in Singapore.


Singapore Economy

Exceptional circumstances required use of Singapore’s reserves
Singapore’s very existence is at stake as it battles the coronavirus pandemic, and the country has to draw on past reserves to take care of its people, said President Halimah Yacob. The national reserves should only be used in “very exceptional circumstances”, and the Covid-19 outbreak fits this definition, she added in an interview with reporters over video conferencing on Friday .

Singapore recession forecast for 2020 worsens to between -4% and -7%
The Singapore economy is staring at a much deeper recession than earlier forecast, with gross domestic product (GDP) projected to shrink by between 7 per cent and 4 per cent this year.

Singapore non-oil exports tipped to fall -4% to -1% in 2020
Hopes for at least some growth in the key non-oil domestic exports (NODX) this year has given way to a projection of up to a 4.0 per cent drop, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put a near-freeze on movements and economic activities.

Manufacturing sees 6.6% growth in Q1 after pharma boost amid overall weak economy: MTI
Singapore – Singapore’s manufacturing sector expanded by 6.6 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2020, on the back of increased output in several sectors, especially biomedical production.

Singapore sees negative rates creep in with flush liquidity
Negative interest rates are creeping into Singapore. The nation’s overnight borrowing rate was less than two basis points above zero on Tuesday, down from the year’s high of 1.68 per cent in January.

Singapore dollar looks vulnerable even as economy opens up
Singapore (Bloomberg) – Singapore’s currency looks set to remain under pressure as global headwinds outweigh the benefits of an easing in the nationwide lockdown. The US dollar-Singapore dollar pair has failed to break below technical support at its one-month low, suggesting its next move could well be higher.

A more resilient, agile workforce for the ‘new normal’
Amid all the disruption that the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking on people’s lives, one thing is certain – the crisis is set to trigger profound changes in the way we work. As more economies, including Singapore’s, start to reopen gradually in the coming weeks…

The coronavirus recovery is doomed before it even begins
The coronavirus recovery is in trouble before it even begins. As swiftly as the lockdowns across Asia were imposed, the process of lifting them will be slow and uneven. That means the region is months, if not years, away from any semblance of normal.

Doing business without new foreign workers could become the new normal
Singapore has tried both the carrot and the stick to wean companies off over-reliance on foreign labour, but the novel coronavirus might just be the final straw for employers. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) put a de facto freeze on new work passes in mid-March – before a two-month circuit breaker shuttered many businesses – and there is no word yet on whether the halt will lift when the quasi-lockdown ends in early June.

Online shopping trend set to stay after curbs ease, say analysts
Groceries and food, together with indoor exercise equipment and gaming tools, have emerged as the most popular categories for online shopping, as people adapted to the strict social distancing measures during the circuit breaker period.


Companies’ Brief

Time to look at Singapore-listed blue chip developers
Private home prices are poised for a moderate decline as unemployment looks set to rise and property viewings continue to be disallowed due to social distancing measures. But shares of the largest Singapore-listed developers look attractive as they are trading close to previous trough scenarios – presenting investors with significant valuation upside if they can ride out this down cycle, analysts said.

CapitaLand to launch e-commerce, online food ordering platform
CapitaLand on Friday said it will be launching an e-commerce platform eCapitaMall as well as an online food ordering platform Capita3Eats to complement the sales of its shopping malls in Singapore. The property group’s latest move is aimed at driving sales for retailers during the first phase of Singapore’s reopening, from June 2, and beyond, the company said.

Lian Beng asks for further extension to dispose of assets competing with SLB unit
Lian Beng Group has asked for more time to dispose of competing business in relation to its unit SLB Development, both the mainboard-listed construction firm and Catalist-listed SLB announced on Friday night (May 22).


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Opening up to big changes
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

It is my view that open-plan offices will likely remain post-pandemic as many businesses adapt and prepare for the new post-Covid norm. The immediate priority for businesses is to look at optimising the existing space while implementing a “Work Safe” environment which incorporates physical safe distancing, WFH arrangements, and an office culture that continues to embrace open communication, socialising among staff and activities to improve workers’ mental well-being and productivity.

Using an AAA battery model to power us along
Appreciate the automatic nature of Singapore’s support philosophy; take proactive action in simulating the tax outcomes of the various options; and plan ahead.

Covid-19: How soon and how fast to reopen economy?
Did the Government just announce that the circuit breaker will end on June 1? For many Singaporeans, it did not look like it, as nothing much would have changed for them. Still no eating out at hawker centres, no shopping in malls, going out with friends and relatives, outdoor sports, and no public worship at churches, temples and mosques.

Swift and decisive response to a crisis
The first step to addressing a crisis is to determine the depth and intensity of its impact. Challenges occur in the life of nations as much as in those of individuals. But are they of a magnitude that demands an extraordinary response?

Firms should consider mediation to settle rows amid Covid-19 disruption
The unprecedented consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak are being felt everywhere. Not only has it resulted in dire health outcomes for millions across the globe, but it is also having a devastating impact on the global economy.

9 in 10 here want to continue working from home: Survey
Flexibility, cost savings among perks cited, though only 15% prefer to do so all the time

Data sharing is safe – as long as you are in charge of your data
In today’s world, personal data is closely guarded as many struggle with balancing the benefits of technology with fears of an invasion of privacy. The current Covid-19 situation, with the adoption of contact tracing apps, has turned this into a more urgent dilemma.

Tips on paying your taxes
With the tax filing season ending in about a week, many of us can do more to make the task of paying our taxes, well, less taxing. For reasons known only to them, around 40 per cent of taxpayers here still choose to settle their taxes in one lump sum instead of opting for interest-free monthly instalments that will allow them to pay up gradually over 12 months via interbank Giro.


Singapore Budget 2020

Fortitude Budget to help create new jobs and traineeships
Jobs will be a key part of the fourth Covid-19 support package, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday. The supplementary measures to be announced on Tuesday will create new jobs, while traineeships and other opportunities will be established for those completing their post-secondary education this year.

Social services to get supplementary Budget help
The supplementary Budget on Tuesday will include support for the social service sector, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post on Sunday.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

MOH lists public places visited by Covid-19 cases; 344 new cases in Singapore
The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday named Jurong Point’s NTUC FairPrice and Shokutsu Ten Japanese Food Street as public places visited by Covid-19 cases for more than 30 minutes. In providing this list for the first time, it stated that a confirmed case had visited the NTUC FairPrice on May 20 from 4.30pm to 6pm.

S’pore approach prioritises lives and livelihoods: Lawrence Wong
Singapore is prioritising “both lives and livelihoods” in adopting a phased reopening after the circuit breaker, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday. “I know many are disappointed by our cautious approach,” he said in a Facebook post. “I hope you appreciate and understand that we are trying our best to resume activities safely for Singaporeans, while keeping infection rates low.”

Covid-19: Some govt service centres to reopen on June 2
Government service centres dealing with issues such as housing, employment passes and taxes are set to reopen on June 2 as Singapore enters Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period. However, these centres will resume services only by appointment, the Public Service Division (PSD) said in a statement on Monday.

Many merchants, hawkers may not survive another 4-6 weeks of closure
Many heartland merchants and hawkers may not survive another four to six weeks of closure even with government aid, warned the Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS), prompting it to make five recommendations to help the ailing sector on Friday.

Most Covid-19 patients not infectious after 11 days: Study
Health officials here are looking into a local study which suggests that more than 80 per cent of Covid-19 patients can be discharged after as early as 11 days, instead of having to test negative twice for the virus, as is the current practice.

Coronavirus: Can I travel overseas for work from June 2
When Singapore’s circuit breaker period ends on June 1, more businesses and activities will progressively be allowed to resume. On Tuesday, the Government said the reopening will be done in three phases. Phase one, from June 2, will last for at least four weeks as some restrictions are eased.

Expect delays and inconvenience as air travel resumes
As a growing number of airlines prepare to resume more flights in the coming weeks, passengers should expect delays, inconvenience and possibly higher fares. Safe distancing at check-in queues will lead to messier airports when travel demand picks up, fewer entertainment options will be available in-flight, there will be more rules and health declarations should become more widespread, analysts said.

Collect improved masks at CCs, RCs and vending machines from today
Starting today and until June 14, Singapore residents can collect improved reusable masks. This is the third mask distribution exercise, which will span three weeks. Until June 1, residents can pick up their masks from collection counters at all 109 community clubs (CCs) and 661 residents’ committee (RC) centres across Singapore, between 10am and 6pm daily.

S’poreans ready to give up some privacy for safety: IPS study
Singaporeans are willing to sacrifice some level of privacy amid the coronavirus pandemic in order to keep safe and resume their normal activities as soon as possible, but the type of technology and how it is used determine public acceptability, a study has found.
*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

German business morale rebounds, survey finds; state spending key to recovery

Wyndham Hotels now operating at 50% occupancy, demand seen continuing

Job cuts in major firms

More climate disasters loom, warn experts

Aussie govt urged to extend job protection programme

China lowers yuan fix to weakest level since 2008 after currency drop

Increasing debt level feasible and necessary, says China official

China drops 2020 GDP target amid pandemic uncertainties

China’s defence spending to rise by slower 6.6 per cent

China’s efforts to resolve financial risks slowed by coronavirus

Chinese exporters look inwards as Covid-19 hits trade partners

China’s digital yuan is about tracing and economic power

Rich Chinese investors snapping up luxury homes from Singapore to Sydney

Abe seeks to boost economy, plans second aid package

Japan set to lift state of emergency completely

Japan core consumer prices slip into deflation for first time in 3 years

Asia investors scouting for property that benefits from social distancing

China security law latest headache for HK developers

Speculators target Hong Kong’s currency on outflow concern

Hong Kong hit by fresh protest after China security proposal

$3.8b plan to revamp Delhi area housing govt buildings draws flak


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

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