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 April 2021 (Thur)

Singapore Real Estate

Large unit at Queensway Shopping Centre put on market for S$7.5m
A unit occupied by Anytime Fitness and spanning 2,734 square feet (sq ft) at Queensway Shopping Centre has been launched for sale via private treaty, with a S$7.5 million guide price. This comes about two years after the freehold development failed in a collective-sale attempt as it did not obtain the required 80 per cent owners’ consent. The latest offering, located on the third storey, is one of only two large floor-plate units in the mall with 24-hour access and a wide glass-facade frontage, said marketing agent Huttons Asia.

High-floor strata office at Suntec Tower 2 up for sale
A strata office at Suntec Tower 2 has been put up for sale via expression of interest, with an indicative price of S$37.5 million, the sole marketing agent CBRE announced on Wednesday. Located above the 30th storey of a Grade-A tower, the high-floor office includes an exclusive lift lobby and a panoramic view of its surrounding cityscape, said CBRE. It has a strata area of 12,281 sq ft, which amounts to about S$3,050 per square feet. The entire office floor is currently fully leased.

Shophouses at Lavender, Geylang up for sale by tender, expression of interest
Shophouses at 53 Lavender Street, 35 Tyrwhitt Road and 8 Lorong 22 Geylang have been put up for sale by tender and via expression of interest by exclusive marketing agent PropNex Realty. The shophouse at 53 Lavender Street is four storeys high with a land size of 2,083 square feet (sq ft) and a total built-up area of approximately 6,433 sq ft. It is located between Kitchener Complex and Aperia Mall, and is 350 metres away from Lavender MRT station.

Office rents could bottom out by end-2021 amid uneven property segment recovery: report

Office rents in Singapore could bottom out by the end of this year, on expectations of recovery in the office sector, said a latest report by Edmund Tie on Wednesday. With Singapore being an attractive base in the region for Western and, increasingly, Chinese companies, employment outlook could improve gradually, said the real-estate consulting firm. Office expansion plans by Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance will support this growth, as these companies seek to recruit more talents in Singapore.


Singapore Economy

World economy rebound on track; Singapore 2021 growth could exceed 6%
The world economy is on track to pick up pace from the second quarter this year, while Singapore’s full-year growth could exceed 6 per cent, according to April’s Macroeconomic Review released on Wednesday. This follows a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases towards the end of 2020, which had prompted several governments to retighten public health measures, leading to a global economic slowdown in Q1, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in the review.

Some sectors in Singapore’s economy could see slower growth in months ahead: MAS
Singapore – While Singapore’s economy has been recovering smartly, bolstered by robust trade-related industries like manufacturing, some sectors remain lacklustre and others could see slower growth in the months ahead. In particular, the travel-related sector has not shown much indication of a revival, with the air transport segment remaining muted and hotel occupancy in Singapore falling after the year-end demand surge, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) noted in its macroeconomic review released on Wednesday (April 28).

Singapore’s recovery on track but growth is uneven
Singapore’s economy has been gaining strength and is almost back to pre-pandemic levels, even if growth momentum has eased in recent months. But while the overall economic picture looks rosier, growth across sectors could be even more lopsided than previously forecast, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its biannual macroeconomic review released yesterday. The prospects for sectors less affected by the Covid-19 virus have become brighter, and the prognosis for the worst-hit industries has become more grim amid the global surge in cases and diminished hopes of widespread opening of international borders.

2021 wage growth likely to be ‘relatively muted’: MAS
This year’s wage growth is expected to remain “relatively muted”, even though the pandemic-led increase in labour productivity is likely to be permanent, the April edition of the Macroeconomic Review has said. “Resident wage growth is anticipated to rise only slightly from the 1.4 per cent recorded last year, in part reflecting its lagged response to improving labour conditions,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in the review published on Wednesday. 

Total employment up for first time in Q1 since outbreak: MOM
The tide is finally turning for Singapore’s labour market, with total employment estimated to have expanded by 4,800 persons in Q1 2021 after four consecutive quarters of decline, according to advance estimates by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Manpower Minister Josephine Teo called this a “significant turn” and “very encouraging”. “It is indeed encouraging to see that the recovery was of a good enough pace, such that for the first time since Q4 2019, our total employment expanded.

Resident spending resilient last year, similar to 2019
Consumer spending by residents here last year was at a similar level to what it was in 2019 despite the pandemic, most likely because people were splashing out in Singapore instead of splurging on overseas jaunts. But private consumption overall remained below pre-pandemic levels as residents saved more, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its biannual macroeconomic review yesterday.

MOM looking at ways to help firms hit by India travel ban: Minister
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is sympathetic towards employers in certain sectors impacted by the ban on travellers with recent travel history to India and is looking at ways to help them. The ministry will explore meaningful options, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, citing how the Government is helping companies bring in more workers from China.


Companies’ Brief

ESR-Reit divests two properties for S$53m
ESR-Reit is divesting its properties at 11 Serangoon North Avenue 5 and 3C Toh Guan Road East for S$53 million, the Reit manager said on Wednesday. The price is a 5 per cent premium to the properties’ total fair value of S$50.5 million as at Dec 31, 2020, and a 7.1 per cent premium to their total acquisition price. The net proceeds will be used to repay outstanding borrowings and/or fund upcoming asset enhancements, potential acquisitions, unit buy-back and / or general working capital requirements, said ESR Funds Management.

IReit Global to acquire Decathlon properties in France for 110.5m euros
IReit Global has, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Fit 2, entered into a conditional sale agreement to acquire Decathlon’s properties in France for 110.5 million euros (S$176.8 million). The portfolio comprises 27 retail properties with a gross lettable area of 95,477 square metres. Upon completion, all properties will be leased-back to the sporting goods retailer. The deal comprises a committed occupancy of 100 per cent with weighted average lease expiry by gross rental income of 10 years, and an option to break after six years, said the manager on Wednesday.

Keppel DC Reit, M1 to create special purpose vehicle to house M1 network assets
Keppel DC Reit and telco M1 have signed a non-binding term sheet to establish a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to own and operate M1’s network assets, the companies said in a joint media release on Wednesday. M1 will be responsible to establish the SPV, which will acquire M1’s current mobile, fixed and fibre assets for S$580 million in cash. The consideration will be funded through external financing of S$493 million and an S$87 million investment by Keppel DC Reit, in return for a combination of debt securities and preference shares to be issued by the SPV.

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

When can we declare the pandemic over?
During the pandemic, good management and guidance have often been lacking. If we want to make our exit from the crisis better than our entrance and passage through it, we’ve got to start planning now. A good first step would be to agree on our definition of an ending. When can we declare the pandemic over? Not yet, of course. Cases are stalled or rising in many areas. Virus variants are becoming more prevalent. While many people are vaccinated, many more are not. Hospitalisations and deaths are still occurring, especially in those groups not yet fully immunised.

India’s Covid-19 resurgence is a disaster; developed nations must help
The resurgence of Covid-19 in India is worrying, even alarming. It is shaping up not only as a major humanitarian and health crisis, but also an economic disaster. As recently as March, the International Monetary Fund upgraded its forecast for India’s 2021 GDP growth, from 8.8 per cent last October to 12.5 per cent. But now India is overwhelmed by the disease, setting fresh records in new cases and deaths. Hospital facilities are strained to breaking point; the vaccine rollout has been sluggish at best.

DPM Heng receives NTUC’s top May Day award
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat received this year’s top May Day award – the Medal of Honour – at a ceremony held at Downtown East on Wednesday night. The 60-year-old, one of 143 union leaders and tripartite partners recognised by the labour movement, was hailed for his many contributions in his current roles, including formulating policies that are both pro-worker and pro-business. The Medal of Honour is conferred on “special individuals who have rendered distinguished services” to the Labour Movement, said the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

UBS sees Singapore shine amid rise of region’s family offices
Singapore as a wealth centre is gaining ground at a surer pace, capturing the rise of South-east Asia’s new companies and more family offices setting up in the region, said a top executive from UBS on Wednesday. It comes as UBS Asia Pacific hit a record high in the first quarter of 2021, with pre-tax profit up 21 per cent to US$900 million. This sum is close to the pre-tax profit of US$1 billion for all of 2019, said Edmund Koh, president of UBS Asia Pacific, at a media briefing on the bank’s results in the region.

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Tan Tock Seng Hospital nurse, doctor, 3 patients test positive for Covid-19
A possible Covid-19 cluster has surfaced at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, with a nurse infected and likely infections in a doctor and three patients in the general ward. The Health Ministry said that one of the three new community cases of Covid-19 as at Wednesday was a nurse from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). The 46 year-old female Philippine national was deployed at Ward 9D, a general ward. She developed a cough, sore throat and body aches on April 27, and sought medical treatment at TTSH, said MOH.

Singapore could consider quarantine exemption for vaccinated residents travelling to some countries
[Singapore] Singapore can consider allowing residents who are vaccinated to travel to countries that have low numbers of Covid-19 cases without having to be quarantined on their return, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung. This is another avenue for travel that the Republic is exploring, he said on Wednesday, as the country prepares to open up a two-way quarantine-free travel bubble with Hong Kong on May 26. He noted that countries such as Britain, Denmark, France, Germany and the United States have already exempted travellers from Singapore from quarantine, in response to questions from Lianhe Zaobao after an interview on 91.3FM’s The Big Show.

Recovered workers who test positive for Covid-19 may not be reinfected, could be shedding viral fragments: MOM
Singapore – Recovered workers who test positive for Covid-19 may not have been reinfected, as they could just be shedding viral fragments from an old infection, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). More recovered workers are expected to test positive for the coronavirus as the authorities conduct regular testing of those who were infected more than 270 days ago, due to the risk of waning immunity and the threat of new variants.

Over 5,500 workers tested as precaution after cluster
More than 5,500 workers were tested as part of a pre-emptive Covid-19 testing operation across various dorms and worksites from last Friday to Monday, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday. The authorities carried out this precautionary measure following the cluster at Westlite Woodlands dormitory, which has seven cases so far, including five who were reinfected. In all, 26 residents at the dorm had tested positive for Covid-19, though of these cases, two subsequently tested negative while another 11 were assessed to be shedding virus fragments.

How dangerous is a ‘double mutant’? Can mask wearing be relaxed?
India’s devastating second Covid-19 wave has cast the spotlight on a new “double mutant” variant called B1617. The Straits Times gets answers to some questions surrounding mutations and variants that were raised in our monthly webinar a week ago. The webinar, Season Two of Covid-19: Updates From Singapore, brought together local and international experts to discuss the latest medical and scientific findings regarding the coronavirus.

*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 eases rules on masks for those who are fully vaccinated

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Hong Kong home prices hit 20-month high

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