The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 25, 26 & 27 Apr (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore private home prices to tumble, question is by how much?
Although private home prices fell only one per cent in Q1, sharper price falls are a given for the rest of the year, it’s only a matter of magnitude. Not surprisingly larger price drops were already seen in the more expensive homes sold in Q1.

Q1 negative net office absorption sign of worse to come
Hit by the Covid-19 outbreak which added to the headwinds from the unresolved US-China trade tensions from last year, net office absorption in Singapore in the first quarter of this year shrank for the first time in 12 quarters.

Singapore retail rents in central region down 2.3% in Q1: URA
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, 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. This came after two straight quarters of 2.3 per cent increase each, in Q4 2019 and Q3 2019, latest data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) shows.

HDB resale, rental volumes down in Q1; prices stagnant
Resale and rental volumes of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats fell in the first quarter of 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Data provided by the HDB on Friday 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, representing a 7 per cent drop.

Nearly half of firms in Singapore to review their business continuity plans: survey
Some 44 per cent of companies in Singapore plan to review their business continuity plans (BCPs) in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey showed. The companies include those which have already consolidated offices or were planning to consolidate operations into a single location.


Singapore Economy

Pharma boosts March factory output but economic impact may be limited: analysts
Singapore’s factory output saw a dramatic rebound in March largely due to a surge in production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and biological products amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Total manufacturing output jumped 16.5 per cent year on year in March, more than reversing the 0.7 per cent year-on-year contraction seen in February, according to data released by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) on Friday.

S$20m package to help tourism sector prepare for recovery after virus hit
A marketing fund, transformation tools and training programmes are among new measures to support the tourism industry during the circuit breaker and to help them prepare for recovery, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Friday.


Companies’ Brief

Eagle Hospitality’s hotel managers issue default notices to sponsor; FTI hired for restructuring
The managers of Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT) on Friday disclosed that the master lessees for 16 of its 18 hotels have received notices of default from the relevant hotel managers under their hotel management agreements (HMAs).

M&C hotels join fight against pandemic
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) has been putting its hotel properties in Singapore and around the world to good use, in an effort to help governments tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. In Singapore, M Hotel, Copthorne King’s Hotel and Studio M Hotel have been turned into isolation facilities for all returning Singaporeans and long-term residents to serve out a mandatory 14-day stay-home notice.

OKP sees hit from lower construction demand
Construction group OKP Holdings will “exercise prudence” when it comes to share buybacks, while warning that it expects to take a hit from an industry shutdown amid the novel coronavirus outbreak in Singapore.

Oxley unit, former contractor in dispute over The Peak project
A unit of Oxley Holdings has started legal proceedings against its former contractor, Sino Great Wall Engineering Co (SGW), in a dispute over its project The Peak in Cambodia. On April 1, Oxley Gem (Cambodia) commenced formal legal proceedings in Singapore against SGW…

Razer launches Singapore mask production; Frasers, JustCo pitch in on shipments
Gaming hardware maker Razer has set up an automated mask manufacturing line in Singapore that can produce five million masks monthly and scale up if required, the Hong Kong-listed firm announced on Friday.

SPH provides operational updates amid Covid-19 pandemic
Following the Singapore Exchange Regulation column which urged listed firms to provide regular business updates during the Covid-19 situation, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes The Business Times, has released such an update and intends to keep doing so.

Broker’s take: UOB issues ‘buy’ call for Genting Singapore, sets price target of S$0.80
Brokerage UOB Kay Hian has maintained its market weight on Singapore’s gaming sector and issued a “buy” call for Genting Singapore. The recommendation comes as UOB’s research team last Thursday noted Genting Singapore’s “bargain-price valuation” and “appealing dividend yields of 5.5 to 6.1 per cent”.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Mindset change needed towards migrant workers – and manual work
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

Housing foreign workers optimally and reasonably is a complex issue due to the huge numbers involved and fluctuating market needs. The Covid-19 pandemic will inevitably hasten the call for improvement. The key issue is striking an optimal balance among three factors: the commercial viability of employing foreign workers; the workers’ welfare; and Singapore’s societal and economic needs.

Nearly 21m workers face job losses as pandemic shreds Asean-6 economies
South-East Asian markets look set to be rocked by sharp spikes in joblessness, as the deadly Covid-19 pandemic smashes economies. About 7 per cent of Asean-6 employees, or millions of workers, could be laid off in the looming recession, BofA Global Research analysts estimated, warning that a crash in the labour market “will also threaten the economic recovery expected once the pandemic fades”.

Deflation stalks the world after expansive policies of coronavirus era
The economic contraction wrought by efforts to contain the coronavirus is shredding inflation. Now deflation, a prolonged period of falling prices, is stalking the globe. The collapsing oil market is both a symptom of weaker demand and cause for a deepening slump.

Post-pandemic, biggest changes will be at workplace
Work-from-home could become a norm, and worker welfare will take on increased priority

How to make the most of virtual meetings
Whenever we encountered a deadlock in a decision, discussion or problem a few weeks ago, the natural refrain was “let’s call for a meeting”. That little luxury of huddling in a room to hash things out has become a distant memory – and almost a forbidden evil.

PayNow Corporate transactions hit $3.12b
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, a striking 713 per cent jump from the $383 million in the same month last year, The Association of Banks in Singapore noted earlier this week in response to media queries.

Digital payments save time for businesses, make accounting easier
Dough fritter company Xi De Li director Adrian Koh used to spend about 20 minutes at each of his customers’ stalls around Singapore to collect and count his payment. He makes about 10 visits a day before bringing the cash back to his office in Kaki Bukit, where his finance staff will spend up to six hours dealing with it, including settling the invoices.

Tax obligations for returning Singaporeans and foreigners
For Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents returning from working abroad: Employment income for the period from the arrival in Singapore to Sept 30 will not be taxable here if…

PM Lee’s May Day Rally to be aired on TV, social media
The National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) annual May Day Rally on May 1 will not be held in person this year, amid a prolonged “circuit breaker” to control the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who usually speaks at the Rally, will instead deliver his May Day Message…


Singapore Budget 2020

Bosses may not get wage subsidies for some contract workers
Employers hiring contract workers through third-party staffing agencies may not enjoy wage subsidy benefits from the Jobs Support Scheme, The Business Times has learnt. Still, the authorities and industry watchers have urged agencies to pass the subsidies on to customers, even though they are not obliged to do so.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

931 new cases in Singapore, on Sunday, of which 15 are Singaporeans and PRs
The number of new Covid-19 cases on Sunday went back up to nearly 1,000, reversing the downward trend over the past few days. The Health Ministry (MOH) confirmed 931 new cases as at noon, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 13,624.

20 countries sign pact to keep ports open for trade
Port authorities in 20 countries across three continents have signed an agreement to keep ports open for trade amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a move initiated by Singapore. From Los Angeles to Antwerp, and Abu Dhabi to Shanghai, the countries recognised, in a virtual roundtable, that the maritime sector plays a critical role in keeping trade flows open during this period.

Sustained fall in numbers needed to be sure virus has been stopped
It will take at least a week of sustained decline in local community cases before Singapore can say that it has turned the corner, say infectious diseases experts. They also cautioned that the dip in cases among foreign workers in the dormitories could be due to reduced testing being carried out.

Coronavirus: Tough decision had to be made to shut down work sites quickly
The Republic had to make a hard decision and suspend all construction work as part of tighter measures that kicked in last Wednesday. This was done to stem the risk of wider transmission of the Covid-19 virus, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in a Facebook post yesterday.

Coronavirus: Mask wearing a must in future for hawkers and food handlers
One legacy of the hygiene and sanitary practices adopted during the fight against Covid-19 will be the wearing of masks by hawkers and food handlers in the future. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said this yesterday, adding that he was glad to see this very visible change happening in recent weeks.

Coronavirus: Safe distancing rule-breakers also put families at risk, says Masagos
Those who disregard safe distancing measures are putting not just themselves but also their families at risk of Covid-19 infection, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday. He also warned that those who abuse enforcement officers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

9 in 10 coronavirus patients in Singapore housed in community facilities
Singapore has changed the dynamics of its care of Covid-19 patients by treating nine in 10 of them in community facilities instead of acute hospitals. The move not only differentiates those with mild illnesses from others with life-threatening conditions, but also saves the hospitals from being deluged.

Coronavirus: Freeing up bed space in hospitals
Covid-19 patients with mild or no symptoms have been progressively transferred to private and community hospitals, as well as community isolation facilities, since a month ago. Patients in such facilities now make up almost 90 per cent of those who are still infected. Straits Times journalist Rei Kurohi looks at these facilities.

How climate change is linked to coronavirus response
Climate change may have some bearing on the way the world responds to the Covid-19 pandemic, even though it may not have directly caused it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday. Climate change may affect some of the factors in the Covid-19 equation while placing additional stress on health systems, it said.
*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

Factory doors finally start reopening in Europe

All eyes on ECB for further virus-fighting moves

World’s biggest central banks to meet as pressure mounts to do more

New-home sales in the US tumble in March

Great shutdown looms for oil industry

UK govt to void commercial landlords’ eviction of tenants

UK builders get back to work, but won’t build as many houses

Google’s real estate pause shows cracks in tech office demand

China cuts medium-term lending facility rate by 20 basis points amid pandemic

Many of China’s Belt & Road Initiative projects put on hold due to Covid-19

China cuts another policy rate

Bank of Japan expands easing measures, cuts growth forecast

Japan tilts at self-sufficiency windmill

400 daily limit for Malaysian workers who will need entry permit to return from Singapore

Indonesia puts capital relocation on hold, shifts spending to fight virus


Additional Articles of Interests – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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