The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 26 & 27 May 2021 (Wed & Thu)

Singapore Real Estate

HDB upgraders are fuelling mass-market condominium sales
Private non-landed homes in the outside central region (OCR) continued to be popular with owner-occupiers upgrading from Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Robust deal volumes and prices of HDB resale flats islandwide helped spur condominium sales in the suburban areas, said Lee Nai Jia, deputy director of the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS) at the National University of Singapore.

Record bid for Tengah EC site, 15 bids for Ang Mo Kio condo plot signal developers’ hunger for land
Developers continue to be hungry for residential development land with the latest state tenders for two 99-year leasehold plots attracting top bids that were above market expectations. One of the two plots, in the new estate of Tengah in Singapore’s western part, fetched a record top bid of S$603.17 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for an executive condominium (EC) development. 

HDB launches over 3,800 BTO flats; 2,500 balance flats also on offer
A total of 3,879 Build-To-Order (BTO) flats across four housing projects in four estates were launched for sale by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Tuesday, in the second sales exercise for the year. Another 2,494 flats were also made available under this year’s first Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) sales.

HDB to release details of BTO projects 3 months before launch
In a move that surprised potential home buyers, the Housing Board yesterday did not release the exact site locations and how many flats will be available at each site for November’s Build-To-Order (BTO) launch. Instead, the HDB revealed only that it will be putting up for sale about 3,100 to 3,600 units in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang/Whampoa and Tengah…


Singapore Economy

Factory output growth eases to 2.1% in April, but analysts unfazed
Singapore factory output rose 2.1 per cent in April, its sixth straight month of growth, as the linchpin electronics cluster continued to underpin gains. The latest growth eases from the year-on-year (yoy) increase of 7.6 per cent in March, and fell short of the median estimate of 3.5 per cent expansion in a Bloomberg poll.

Forecasts for key exports, merchandise trade raised after surprise Q1 growth
Official forecasts for Singapore’s key exports and overall merchandise trade have been raised, amid better-than-expected growth seen in the first quarter of this year. Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) are now expected to expand by between 1 per cent and 3 per cent for the year, up from 0 per cent to 2 per cent.

Two service sectors to see muted recovery this year
The professional service and administrative and support service sectors are expected to recover this year, but are unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels, given the continued sluggishness of the travel and construction industries.

Economy grows 1.3% in Q1, but 2021 forecast unaltered
The Singapore economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter of this year, but the recent resurgence in Covid-19 infections has cast a shadow over its recovery prospects. The final estimate for first-quarter growth came in at 1.3 per cent on a yearly basis, compared with an earlier estimate of a 0.2 per cent rise in gross domestic product (GDP)…

Singapore attracts $2.8b in fixed asset investments in Q1
Singapore drew $2.8 billion in fixed asset investments in the first quarter of this year, with the services sector leading the way. Some $1.9 billion in total business expenditure was also committed in the first three months of the year, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in its quarterly economic survey released yesterday.

Covid-19 resurgence turns Singapore’s growth outlook murkier
The jagged pace of recovery, marred by Covid-19 resurgence in Singapore and elsewhere, has clouded the growth outlook. The progress in vaccination, especially in major economies like the United States and China, raises hope that external demand will hold and continue to lift Singapore’s trade-dependent manufacturing sector, which has so far led the recovery here.


Companies’ Brief

Bukit Sembawang Estates’ earnings soar, proposes higher special dividend
Bukit Sembawang Estates saw its earnings more than double for the financial year 2020/2021 to March, on higher profit booked from development projects, absence of impairment loss as well as lower borrowing costs. Given its stellar results, the company has recommended a special dividend of 29 cents on top of a final dividend of four cents.

CapitaLand acquires remaining equity interest in DLSP-Ascendas Co for 501m yuan
CapitaLand said on Thursday that it acquired the remaining 50 per cent stake in DLSP-Ascendas Co, which owns Dalian Ascendas IT Park in China, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. The property giant acquired the stake from its joint-venture partner for 501 million yuan (S$103.9 million) through its Singapore wholly-owned subsidiary Ascendas (China), with the view of obtaining full control of Dalian Ascendas IT Park.

Timely for CityDev to launch a UK Reit?
Property heavyweight CityDev: C09 +0.13% (CDL) is having a torrid time. It wrote down S$1.78 billion of its investment in Sincere Property Group, which contributed to a net loss of S$1.92 billion for the full year ended Dec 31, 2020.

Data centre Reits navigate growth amid competing forces
Mapletree Industrial Trust’s (MIT) latest US$1.32 billion proposed purchase of 29 data centres in the United States speaks to the continued appetite for assets tied so intimately to the trend of 5G and the natural data boom. On the local bourse, there are three real estate investment trusts (Reits) with substantial exposure to this asset class: Ascendas Reit, Keppel DC Reit, and MIT.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Ring-fencing society against Covid-19
Covid-19 tests for residents of a Housing Board block in Hougang and another in Pasir Ris are an example of the ring-fencing measures being employed to detect and limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Singapore.

Vaccine inequity only prolongs the pandemic; wealthy nations must step up
Late last year, the impending roll-out of vaccines to immunise populations against Covid-19 inspired optimism, and with good reason. Vaccines would mitigate the pandemic’s worst health impacts and free up healthcare facilities to enable care for the most severe cases.

Get vaccines to where they’re really needed
A global alliance to assure poor and moderate income countries “equitable access” to Covid-19 vaccines is shortchanging nations in desperate need, while providing vaccines to others that have comparatively few cases or lack the ability to distribute them.

Beyond thumos: Debating and listening in a crisis
Singapore is on heightened alert as efforts are stepped up to rein in the recent spike in Covid-19 cases. We’re on a knife-edge, as Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force on the pandemic, put it.

Manage data like your finances to thrive in the New Economy
Pre-empting that it would become the currency that fuels economic growth, the World Economic Forum started identifying data as an asset class in 2011. A decade later, data has reinforced its value, with a majority of data-driven businesses reaping critical advantages during the current crisis.

How global tax changes can impact Singapore’s intellectual property ecosystem
Intellectual property (IP) and other intangible assets (IA) now drive the value of the world’s most promising enterprises. While innovation is sector-agnostic and has become a core part of businesses, there may be limited understanding of what exactly IP or IA is and what IP laws, which may differ from country to country, seek to protect.

Vital to have stronger data protection in post-pandemic world
Technology has enabled businesses to respond quickly to the global pandemic, but at the same time, new data privacy concerns have emerged as organisations increasingly rely on user data and more employees are accessing sensitive information from home.

Taking green ambitions here forward
In what marks a big step in climate action, Singapore is set to launch a Climate Impact Exchange, a global exchange and marketplace for carbon credits. The project anchored out of Singapore is a joint effort by DBS Bank, the Singapore Exchange, Standard Chartered and Temasek Holdings.

Coherent policy framework will enhance macroeconomic and macro-financial stability: Ravi Menon
Developing effective policy instruments and using them in a coherent fashion will improve macroeconomic and macro-financial stability, making financial globalisation safer, said managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon.

Making sense of the Bitcoin crash
Bitcoin investors will always remember last week, and May 19 in particular. That was when their favourite financial asset went into a swoon and then fell off a cliff. In the 24 hours between May 18 and May 19, Bitcoin’s price dropped about 27 per cent. In just over a month from its record high of around US$64,000 (S$84,560) in mid-April to its low point on May 19, it crashed more than 50 per cent.

How Singapore is warming to crypto and digital assets
A stream of crypto offerings and digital assets is coming on board for Singapore investors. Here and around the world, the surge in crypto assets has also prompted incumbent banks to move into this space. Meanwhile, platforms are popping up to offer tokens – or digital fractions – of hard assets, with these tokens registered on a blockchain. Why is this trend playing out in Singapore, and how is it shaping up today?

China in the global inflation scare
THE market is worried about rising inflation, while I remain of the view that inflation volatility will rise in the post-Covid-19 environment but will not be sustained. Inflation risks are on the “cost-push” side with no evidence yet of “demand-pull” inflation amplifying cost-push pressures, especially in Asia.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

24 new local Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including three unlinked
There were 26 new coronavirus cases confirmed at noon on Wednesday, taking Singapore’s total to 61,916. There were 23 community cases and one in a migrant workers’ dormitory. Twenty-one of the cases have been linked to previous cases, with three unlinked. Fourteen had already been quarantined.

Two primary school pupils, one pastor added to Jem and Westgate Covid-19 cluster
Two pupils from Concord Primary School as well as a pastor from Grace Assembly Church were among the 26 new Covid-19 cases announced by the Ministry of Heath (MOH) on Wednesday night. The first student is an 11-year-old boy who developed a cough on May 22 but did not report his symptoms, while the second is a six-year-old girl who developed flu-like symptoms on May 24.

Experts weigh in on mode of transmission at Jem, Westgate
The ways in which the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted have come under renewed scrutiny after a 53-year-old cleaner who works at a stay-home notice facility was identified as a possible source of infection that led to the latest community cluster at Westgate and Jem malls in Jurong East.

Sengkang hospital ramps up measures following positive case
Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) has ramped up precautionary measures after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. Those who were in close contact with the 27-year-old housekeeper are now under quarantine, the hospital said yesterday.

S’pore still ranks high in vaccination pace despite supply constraints
Singapore kicked off mass vaccination at the start of the year but lags behind countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel in vaccine roll-out because of supply constraints, experts said. Slightly more than one-third of the population in Singapore have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and about one-quarter are fully vaccinated.

Pre-departure testing to be required for citizens, PRs
Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) will have to test negative for Covid-19 before returning to or transiting through Singapore, as the country further tightens its border measures to manage the risk of imported cases and virus transmission in the community.

Hesitancy and uneven distribution slow vaccine campaigns
The massive effort by countries worldwide to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 by vaccinating three-quarters of their populations against the dreaded disease appears to be moving in fits and starts, judging by the latest data.

No ventilation system in office? Open windows, turn off air-con
If your office does not have a mechanical ventilation system to provide fresh air, you should now open all the windows and doors as often as possible. And the air-conditioning should be reduced or turned off when this is happening, said three government bodies in a set of updated guidelines on improving building ventilation and air quality to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Can I get Covid-19 if an infected person shares a lift with me or delivers my food?
Variants like the B1617 strain are said to be more transmissible, where even transient exposure with someone contagious could mean infection. The Straits Times looks at the risk of infection in some everyday scenarios.

Why are some classmates of infected cases quarantined while others are not?
The past month has seen a rising number of students infected with the coronavirus. However, not all schools have had to handle the cases in the same way.

B1617 coronavirus variant now found in 53 territories
The coronavirus variant first detected in India has now been officially recorded in 53 territories, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report showed yesterday. Additionally, the WHO has received information from unofficial sources that the B1617 variant has been found in seven other territories, figures in the United Nations health agency’s weekly epidemiological update showed, taking the total to 60.

*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

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Workers worldwide return to weirder offices

The curious world of NFT real estate and design

UK’s Shaftesbury posts wider half-year loss as pandemic pummels retail

Bitcoiners waving eco-friendly credentials are betting on a premium

Global deal on tax nears first stage as G-7 seeks common ground

A new crop in Pennsylvania: warehouses

China’s Shenzhen to tighten residency rules to curb population boom

China launches antitrust probe into Tencent-backed property broker KE: sources

Japan’s ruling party exec calls for 26t yen extra budget

Hong Kong debates what to do with its pile of unused Covid shots

HK urges residents: Book vaccinations before doses expire

Over 300 in Taiwan who tested positive cannot be located

Malaysia’s Covid cases per million overtake India’s; country urged to prepare for worst

Anger simmers in Malaysia as Covid-19 surge strains healthcare system

Malaysia sees highest daily tally of 7,478 Covid-19 cases

Thailand-made AstraZeneca vaccine to make its debut in June

ST Telemedia unit forms JV to grow Indonesian data-centre operations

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