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, 25 & 26 Oct 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

SoRealProp seeking up to S$5m to fund growth
Digital platform SoRealProp – which is backed by top real estate brokers ERA, Huttons and PropNex – is looking to raise up to S$5 million for its next stage of growth to expand to the consumer market and partner with more banks and agencies. Started in 2018, SoRealProp allows agents using the portal to generate for their clients reports on market and price trends to compare individual houses as well as projects.

Housing Board’s annual deficit grows to $2.66b
The Housing Board’s deficit climbed to $2.66 billion in the financial year ended March 31, from about $1.98 billion the year before. This is the statutory board’s highest deficit figure so far. It comes largely on the back of a gross loss on the sale of flats, disbursement of Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants and the expected loss for flats that are currently under development.

Q3 private home prices up; new home sales double over previous quarter, but rents are down
A sharp rebound in private home sales in both primary and secondary markets in the third quarter underpinned continued gains in the official private home price index, but it was a different story in the leasing market. Private housing rents in Singapore continued to soften in Q3 2020, albeit at a slower clip, while vacancies rose

Office rents fall in Q3 amid cutbacks, work-from-home ops
The pandemic took its toll on office rents in the third quarter as souring business sentiment and a weaker labour market prompted rentals of office space to decline 4.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter for the Central Region after holding steady in the previous quarter.

Decline in retail rents accelerates in Q3
As economic headwinds prevail, rentals of retail space in Singapore’s central region fell 4.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter to a new low in Q3, taking the decline to 10 per cent for the first nine months of the year. In the second quarter, rents had pulled back by 3.5 per cent.

HDB resales jump to 10-year high in Q3 as prices rise 1.5% over quarter
The Housing Board resale market staged a stunning rebound in the third quarter of 2020, with transactions soaring to a 10-year high after diving to their lowest since 2007 in the previous three months. There were 7,787 resale flats transacted in the July to September quarter, a 127.3 per cent rise from 3,426 units in the second quarter, when sales plunged 40 per cent quarter on quarter, because of the two-month circuit breaker, which ended on June 1.

Reits (October 24-25, 2020)


Singapore Economy

Covid-19 and Singapore’s wealth gap
The Covid-19 virus has, in just months, unleashed an unprecedented crisis for countries and disrupted the lives of millions around the world. On the ground, different segments of the economy have been hit to different extents. Those working and living in Singapore are no exception.

Inflation could return to positive territory before year end: economists
Singapore’s deflationary pressures continued to ease in September, with the authorities expecting core inflation to turn “mildly positive” in 2021 after it has remained in negative territory for eight consecutive months.

Core consumer prices slip but improvement from August figures
Core consumer prices fell marginally last month, but the decline is easing, according to data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) yesterday. Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, came in at minus 0.1 per cent last month, up from negative 0.3 per cent the previous month, due mainly to smaller drops in the costs of services and electricity and gas.

Building up Singapore’s stockpiles of food and essential supplies
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing with staff during a visit to FairPrice’s Benoi Distribution Centre in Joo Koon yesterday. Mr Chan, who also paid a visit to a cold storage facility for frozen meat, said in a Facebook post that staff at the two locations have been working hard to strengthen Singapore’s supply chains through diversification and enhanced stockpiling.

Lower-income hit hardest by Covid-19, as better off still buying stocks, homes, car
Covid-19 has handed Singapore its deepest recession since the country’s independence, but the pain inflicted by the pandemic has been unevenly spread. Economists have dubbed the crisis as one primed for a “K-shaped” recovery, one where different parts of the economy recover at different rates, different times or different magnitudes.

Singaporeans least worried about coronavirus but least confident of economic recovery: Poll
While residents of Singapore are the least worried about contracting Covid-19 compared with people from five other South-east Asian countries, they are also the most pessimistic about an economic recovery, according to a research survey.

Two-speed recovery in services trade expected: HSBC
The covid-19 pandemic will lead to a two-speed recovery in services trade, whereby international travel is likely to remain largely suppressed due to travel restrictions, while digital services may recover more quickly, said HSBC trade economist Shanella Rajanayagam in a report.

Singapore’s Energy Week conference to test reopening strategy
Singapore will hold its first business conference of scale this week since the coronavirus pandemic put ice to such activities in the city-state, amid ongoing efforts to restart its economy. The Singapore International Energy Week starts on Monday with 250 participants and on-site staff, and hundreds more are slated to join virtually.

Singapore, Germany to start green lane for business travel
Singapore and Germany have agreed to start a reciprocal green lane allowing travel for business or official reasons, the latest step by governments to prise open borders largely sealed by the coronavirus. Residents of both countries will have to follow virus prevention and public health measures, according to a joint statement on Friday.


Companies’ Brief

Bukit Sembawang’s pivot to recurring income will boost dividends: DBS
DBS Group Research on Friday said Bukit Sembawang Estate’s move to pivot its business model to build a recurring income base will boost dividends. This could generate revenues of about S$11 million per annum, DBS said in a report on Friday. The research team has initiated coverage on the property developer with “buy” and a S$5.44 target price.

What does Kwek Leng Peck’s resignation mean for CDL’s share price?
City Developments (CDL) has lost about 8 per cent of its market value since revealing last week that there were bitter divisions within its board in relation to its investment in Chinese real estate firm Sincere Property Group (SPG) and its management of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C).

Construction works on Oxley’s projects may take up to six weeks more to complete due to Covid-19
Oxley Holdings said that the completion of construction works in its properties is expected to be delayed by four to six weeks because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with construction sites having ceased activities to varying degrees in Singapore and overseas.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Riding out the storms
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Political and social unrest can have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences, particularly so if they are prolonged and threatening disruption to business operations and causing radical changes in social sentiments leading to possible trade barriers.

Hard decisions ahead as support tapers
Over $5.5 billion will be paid out to employers under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) of wage subsidies this month, benefiting some 1.9 million local employees. It is the third such payout since the scheme was announced in the Budget in February.

Covid vaccination and the quest for herd immunity in Singapore
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore has relied on a series of stringent measures. These include a near complete lockdown – termed the “circuit breaker” – as well as travel restrictions, quarantine measures, mandates on mask wearing, social distancing and extensive contract tracing.

Covid-19 reinfections are real. Should you be worried?
We all suffer multiple bouts of the common cold throughout our lives and never think twice about it. We live with recurring influenza seasons despite a vaccine. But what about Covid-19? Repeat occurrences of cold and flu happen because our immune systems seem to “forget” the previous infection.

Despite positive indicators, stock strategists urge patience
Flush from a V-shaped market rally since the market trough in March, portfolio strategists for wealthy clients remain “constructive” on risk assets such as equities and credits. But clients are broadly advised not to pull the trigger yet on cash balances, while volatility remains elevated and until the outcome of the US presidential election is clear.

Cyber-security literacy: S’pore ranks 2nd in study
Singapore has placed second in an international study that examined the cyber-security literacy of the population in 49 countries and the European Union. Switzerland came out top and Britain followed the Republic.


Singapore Budget 2020

470,000 Singaporeans to get $810m in Workfare special payout
A total of 470,000 lower-income Singaporean workers who are on the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme will get $810 million in Workfare Special Payment (WSP) this month, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. Its announcement follows Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s ministerial statement on Aug 17, when he said the WSP eligibility will be widened to include more than 70,000 additional workers who will receive WIS for work done this year, and who are not already receiving the WSP.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Five new Covid-19 cases – two in dormitories and three imported
The two new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases confirmed yesterday were migrant workers staying in dormitories, said the Health Ministry. One was symptomatic and tested when he developed acute respiratory infection symptoms while the other was asymptomatic and detected through the fortnightly routine testing of workers staying in dormitories.

Rapid tests to spot asymptomatic Covid-19 cases among migrant workers
To quickly detect and isolate asymptomatic Covid-19 cases among migrant workers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have started piloting the use of antigen rapid tests, which can give results within 30 minutes. The new tests will form part of the existing rostered routine testing (RRT) of workers, which has helped to pick up new infections among them.

Don’t rush, there will be more than enough tokens for all: Vivian
There is no need for Singaporeans to rush to collect the TraceTogether tokens, said Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday. The contact tracing devices can currently be collected at 38 community centres (CCs), but will be available at all 108 community centres by the end of next month.
*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 existing home sales rise to 14-year high

Warning signs of deflation are growing stronger

Time to reset expectations for world economy with virus untamed

What will New York real estate look like next year?

WeWork default is a real possibility, Fitch Ratings warns

Giant Australian green energy projects closer to launchpad

China’s rebound from Covid-19 slump driving Asia-Pac wealth growth

Malaysian king says ‘no’ to state of emergency sought by premier

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