The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 3 April 2020 (Fri)


Singapore Real Estate

Covid-19: New laws to compel landlords to pass on property tax rebate
Businesses on Thursday hailed a newly proposed legislation that will ensure non-residential landlords pass on property tax rebates in full to all tenants, with some saying it’s long overdue. “We appreciate the harsh hand of the law in this matter, but we wished it did not have to come to this,” the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) said.

Time to give Singapore’s fair tenancy framework legislative bite
Five years after a committee under the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) came up with guidelines aimed at halting unfair leasing practices and months after we first heard of Covid-19, which then was known under a different name, concrete steps are finally being taken to right the perceived imbalance of power between landlords and tenants.

Retail unit facing Tanglin Road sold for S$43m
A freehold commercial unit fronting Tanglin Road has been sold for S$43 million. Located opposite Tudor Court Shopping Gallery, the price for the property works out to S$4,586 per square foot based on the strata area of 9,375 sq ft (inclusive of a private car park).


Singapore Economy

Central banks’ rate cuts cascade down to Singapore banks’ key deposit accounts
Singapore banks this week slashed several rates on their flagship deposit accounts, reflecting the weaker rate environment globally. Such flagship deposit accounts usually come with tiered incentives where higher rates are earned for more transactions done with the bank. The transactions include depositing one’s salary, spending on credit cards issued by the bank, and purchasing the bank’s investment products.

Singapore SMEs’ business optimism hits lowest since 2009: Poll
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak, are nursing the lowest levels of business optimism since 2009. The SBF-Experian SME Index (formerly the SBF-DP SME Index), which tracks business expectations among SMEs, registered a historic low of 48.3 for the upcoming two quarters of this year.

Singapore, China will ensure free flow of goods
Singapore and China have reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining supply-chain connectivity between both countries, ensuring the free flow of goods – especially medical supplies – during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said this in a Facebook post yesterday, adding that he had met Chinese Minister for Commerce Zhong Shan earlier in the day via teleconference.


Companies’ Brief

ARA takes prudent approach to investments during Covid-19
As dealmaking slows amid the economic uncertainty brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreak, ARA Asset Management, one of Asia’s largest real estate fund managers, has put its investment activities on hold. In a message addressing stakeholders on Thursday, ARA group CEO John Lim wrote that the group’s investment activities “are currently paused out of prudence” against a backdrop of what he described as “extremely trying times”.

JustCo offers members up to 30% fee rebates amid virus outbreak
Singapore-headquartered co-working space operator JustCo is offering its members fee rebates for the month of May in light of the coronavirus outbreak, it said in a statement on Thursday. Members who have been with the company for two years or more will get a 30-per-cent rebate; all other members who joined the company before April 1 will get a 15-per-cent rebate.

Keppel Land, Keppel Reit commit to fully pass on property tax rebate to office, retail tenants
Keppel Land and Keppel Reit (real estate investment trust) said on Thursday that they will fully pass on the property tax rebate to their office tenants to support them during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Reits sold down as investors fret over challenges facing landlords
Real estate investment trusts took a tumble on Thursday, with retail Reits bearing the brunt of the selling after the government announced it will legislate to ensure that landlords pass on in full property tax rebates to their tenants. Among those badly hit were Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT), Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT), CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) and SPH Reit.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Help for SME retailers to start selling online
Retailers that are new to e-commerce can have 90 per cent of their costs of selling online covered. The E-Commerce Booster Package was launched to help small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) retailers which are new to, or have little experience in, e-commerce to diversify their revenue streams beyond the traditional bricks-and-mortar model, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said yesterday.

Social trust in times of crisis
As countries around the world confront Covid-19, it is easy to compare tangible preparations like numbers of beds, ventilators and doctors per capita. But a public health emergency also tests social trust. In a crisis, social trust is critical to compliance. Will citizens abide by stay-home notices and social distancing?

Coronavirus hits South-east Asia hard
After a slow start in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the more populous countries of South-east Asia are feeling its full force. Indonesia, which reported zero infections as recently as Feb 29, now has the highest infection rate in the region, with more than 1,500 confirmed cases as well as one of the highest fatality rates in the world at close to 9 per cent.


Singapore Budget 2020

MICE players call for higher wage offsets
Companies in the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry have queried their exclusion from the highest tier of a key support measure in the Resilience Budget. Under the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme in the support package announced on March 26, the operators of purpose-built MICE venues will receive 75 per cent wage offsets for the first S$4,600 of gross monthly wages for each local employee, the same as companies in the aviation and tourism industries.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation

COVID-19: Jail, fines for employers who do not allow employees to work from home where possible
Singapore: Employers who do not make facilities available for members of staff to work from home where reasonable could be jailed or fined, under changes to the Infectious Diseases Act.

Coronavirus: 129 stop-work orders issued to companies not implementing safe distancing at workplace
Singapore – More than 850 workplaces have been inspected and 129 stop-work orders, as well as 260 remedial orders (ROs), have been served to companies in a bid to enforce safe distancing at workplaces, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in an update on Thursday (April 2). More than half of the orders served involved companies having to improve work-from-home arrangements.

Stricter rules at foreign worker dormitories to enforce safe distancing
Dormitory operators must put in place more measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. These include preventing residents from visiting blocks they do not reside in, staggering timings for kitchen and shower use, and limiting the number of people in recreational rooms and minimarts.

Durable, self-disinfecting coating applied on all HDB lift buttons
A self-disinfecting coating that lasts for three months has been applied to buttons in all HDB lifts and lift lobbies in Singapore. The coating, called sdst, has been used at Changi Airport and kills bacteria, viruses and fungi upon contact. It remains in place, even with repeated scrubbing and cleaning, as chemical bonding agents help it to adhere tightly to surfaces at a molecular level.
*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

Blackstone to forfeit US$20m deposit on scrapped office deal: sources

US weekly jobless claims jump to record of over 6 million

US Fed balance sheet increases to record US$5.86t

US factory orders unchanged in February

EU court: Solving housing shortage has priority over allowing Airbnb-type rentals

UK lenders confront biggest mortgage test since 2008 crash

SoftBank scraps $4.3b deal to buy WeWork shares

Covid-19 likely to hit real estate, office loans: Fed

WeWork asks landlords to slash rent bill by up to 30%

Las Vegas’ Tropicana resort sold to pay the rent

More China stimulus coming but ‘no big guns’ yet

Deflation may haunt Japan once again amid outbreak

Boom time for delivery, e-payments firms in HK as more stay home

India’s property prices face steep falls as coronavirus freezes market


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