The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 29 Jan 2021 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Prices and rents of industrial space edge up q-o-q in Q4 2020 as occupancy rate climbs
After falling for most of 2020, prices and rents of industrial space bucked the trend in the fourth quarter of 2020 by edging up quarter-on-quarter as the occupancy rate climbed due to a delay in new completions. And while prices and rents still retreated year-on-year, the industrial market is seen as stabilising and possibly recovering in 2021.

Lim Kay Tong, siblings sell bungalow for S$43m
After chalking up a 35 per cent increase in transaction value to S$1.05 billion last year, Singapore’s Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market is off to a good start in 2021. Caveats for at least seven transactions have been lodged so far this month totalling S$218 million in places such as Chatsworth Avenue, Jervois Road, Swettenham Close, Bin Tong Park and King Albert Park.

Property SMEs can get instant collateral-free loans under proptech, Validus tie-up
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore’s real estate and construction industries will be able to obtain upfront, collateral-free financing, under a new offering named Really eZFunds. Proptech startup Really Singapore has partnered peer-to-peer financing platform Validus to enable pre-approved working capital for SMEs that provide products and services to property owners and managers.

All feedback on plans for forest site will be studied: Desmond Lee
The authorities will study all feedback in devising plans for the use of a forest site in Ulu Pandan, following concerns from the public over its zoning for residential use. National Development Minister Desmond Lee yesterday invited more Singaporeans to send in their views and ideas, adding that all feedback received would be studied in detail as the authorities consider possible plans for the site.


Singapore Economy

Insolvency support for small firms from Jan 29
Micro and small companies severely impacted by Covid-19 and in need of help to restructure their debts to rehabilitate their business or wind up may apply for a Simplified Insolvency Programme (SIP) starting Jan 29. The SIP will be available for six months until July 28 and may extend further if the need arises, Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said on Thursday.

ST Engg’s mask filters strengthen Singapore’s supply chain resilience
Singapore is starting to stockpile high-quality mask filters, as the Republic strengthens its domestic mask production capabilities said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Thursday morning, following the announcement that Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering has started producing melt blown polypropylene filters.

Labour market recovery slow in 2021 despite improvement in Dec: economists
Although Singapore’s fourth-quarter labour data appears promising, economists believe the lingering uncertainty in 2021 means labour market recovery would likely be protracted. Resident employment grew by 28,900 in the fourth quarter, moderating from the 43,200 seen in the previous quarter, according to advance estimates by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday. For the full year, resident employment grew by 9,300.

Singapore ranked third-least corrupt in world: Transparency International
Singapore has emerged third in an annual global ranking of economies that are perceived by experts and businesses to be the least corrupt in 2020, but Transparency International (TI) warns that high levels of secrecy in the corporate and financial sectors make the city-state an attractive place to park dirty money. According to TI’s Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) on 180 economies released on Thursday, Singapore has maintained its score of 85 – a score it achieved since 2018.

Singapore moves to guide companies through green transition
In a move to guide companies through a green transition, the Green Finance Industry Taskforce (GFIT), convened by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), issued a proposed taxonomy to help Singapore-based financial institutions identify green activities. Of the proposed definitions, a “traffic-light” system was suggested to help classify activities as green, yellow (transition), or red according to their level of alignment with environmental objectives.

Wage subsidies, hiring incentives eased pandemic impact: Experts
The general consensus among experts is that generous wage subsidies and hiring incentives from the Government helped to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the jobs market last year. But they also agree that challenges still abound for longer-term recovery. The latest quarterly labour market data estimates for the fourth quarter of last year showed a slight increase in resident employment, which reached pre-Covid-19 levels by the end of 2020.


Companies’ Brief

Broker’s take: CGS-CIMB downgrades Ascott Residence Trust to ‘hold’, sees lack of catalysts
CGS-CIMB has downgraded its “add” call on Ascott Residence Trust (ART) to “hold” while raising its target price on the stapled hospitality group to S$1.08 from S$1.05 previously. The research house’s downgrade comes after ART on Wednesday reported a H2 distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 1.99 cents, while also announcing that it had acquired its first purpose-built student accommodation asset for US$95 million.

Frasers Hospitality Trust ‘confident’ in long-term fundamentals of markets, even as RevPAR dives in Q1
In a business update, Frasers Hospitality Trust’s (FHT) manager said that it is confident in the long-term fundamentals of the markets it has presence in – Singapore, Australia, UK, Japan, Malaysia and Germany – and will continue to prepare for the eventual recovery of international tourism. “Given the sizeable domestic tourism markets in Australia, Japan and the UK, a rebound in domestic tourism is likely to help FHT’s properties in these countries recover sooner than the rest of its portfolio,” it said.

Keppel closes O&M chapter with rigbuilding exit; H2 group profit dives to S$31m
Keppel Corporation said on Thursday that it will be restructuring its subsidiary Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) into a slimmer, more asset-light one, with Keppel O&M to exit the offshore rig building business after completing existing rigs under construction. This was announced alongside Keppel’s second-half FY2020 results, where it recorded a net profit of S$31.3 million for its second-half ended Dec 31, 2020, down 91.1 per cent from a year ago on the back of decreased contributions across segments, with Energy & Environment hard-hit in particular.

Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust’s net property income up 49% in Q3
Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) reported that its net property income (NPI) jumped 49 per cent to S$75.7 million for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, in a business update after trading hours on Thursday. Gross revenue for the period rose 49.7 per cent to S$100.7 million, primarily because there was no rental collection for Q3 FY19/20 during the temporary closure of Festival Walk mall in Hong Kong from Nov 13, 2019 to Jan 15, 2020 and its office tower from Nov 13 to 25, 2019.

MBS’ Q4 earnings climb to $192m despite pandemic
Marina Bay Sands has emerged as the most profitable casino of parent company Las Vegas Sands amid the pandemic despite a striking decline in earnings. MBS generated earnings of US$144 million (S$191.9 million) in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, down 68 per cent from the same period a year earlier but more than double the US$70 million racked up in the previous three months.

OUE C-Reit H2 DPU down 12.3% to 1.43 Singapore cents
OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit) on Thursday posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.43 Singapore cents for the second half of the fiscal year ended December 2020, down 12.3 per cent from 1.63 Singapore cents in the year-ago period. As a result, the Reit’s FY 2020 DPU came in at 2.43 Singapore cents, some 26.6 per cent lower than 3.31 Singapore cents a year ago.

Starhill Global Reit’s H1 distribution drops 16.8%
Starhill Global Reit will pay out a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.88 Singapore cents for the first half-year ended Dec 31, 2020, down 16.8 per cent from a year ago. Net property income (NPI) fell 12.3 per cent to S$65 million, while gross revenue dipped 8.6 per cent to S$88.4 million, mainly due to rental assistance for its eligible tenants affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including allowance for rental arrears and rebates for Singapore and Australia properties.

AIMS Apac Reit posts 18% lower Q3 DPU of 2.05 S cents
AIMS Apac Reit (AA Reit) reported a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.05 Singapore cents for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, down 18 per cent from its Q3 DPU of 2.5 cents a year ago. In a pre-market bourse filing on Thursday, its manager said the lower distribution was mainly due to management fees paid fully in cash for the quarter, as well as having an amount reserved for distribution to perpetual securities holders.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Shaping a new labour market for the post-pandemic economy
What took a decade to achieve unravelled within a matter of months. It seems like another age, but the start of 2020 had marked a decade of decline in the unemployment rate of the world’s advanced economies. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the unemployment rate in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries increased by an unprecedented 3.6 percentage points between February and April, to 8.8 per cent – the highest rate in a decade.

Tharman to co-chair G-20 panel on pandemic preparedness
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam is co-chairing a new international panel on the financing of pandemic preparedness and response. He is one of three co-chairs of the Group of 20 (G-20) High-Level Independent Panel (HLIP) on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, which was proposed under this year’s G-20 Italian presidency.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

New community cases down to one in past week
Only one new Covid-19 case in the community was reported in the past week and there were no unlinked ones. This comes after there were 21 new cases in the community in the week before and six unlinked cases in the same time period. Meanwhile, two of the Covid-19 cases announced yesterday have tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain of the coronavirus that is circulating in Britain. 

Financial assistance for those with serious side effects
A financial assistance programme will be introduced for those suffering from serious side effects related to the Covid-19 vaccine, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday. A one-time payout of up to $10,000 will be given to individuals who experienced medically significant serious side effects, were hospitalised and required care in the high-dependency or intensive care unit, but subsequently recovered.

Choose a good mask and wear it properly, urge experts
With the emergence of more infectious coronavirus variants, coupled with the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore, experts are warning of the possibility of a spike in infections ahead. This underlines the importance of proper mask wearing, especially when entering crowded places, and ensuring that one’s mask offers good protection against possible infection, they 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

US economy’s growth moderates to 4% in final quarter

UK high streets emptying at the fastest pace on record

UK housebuilders face shortages and cost hikes as Brexit, virus disrupt trade

Spanish cement sales slump to 50-year low with no pick-up in 2021

Number of condos up for rental in Toronto surges 132%

Fed’s Powell more worried by cool economy than hot markets

Japan’s Dec factory output extends declines as recovery stalls

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