The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 5 Jan 2021 (Tue)

Singapore Real Estate

HDB resale prices up 2.9% in Q4 2020 – the biggest quarterly rise in 9 years
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale market has remained strong despite macroeconomic uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and an increasing supply of flats. HDB resale prices rose 2.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from a 1.5 per cent increase from the previous three months, said the latest HDB flash estimates released on Monday.

Surrey Point in Newton up for collective sale with S$55m guide price
Surrey Point, a freehold residential development along Newton Road, is up for collective sale via public tender with a guide price of S$55 million, sole marketing agent SRI Capital Market said on Monday. The guide price works out to a land rate of about S$1,661 per square foot per plot ratio based on an 11,977 square foot (sq ft) site with a gross plot ratio of 2.8, inclusive of development charge.

Singapore private home prices may rise in 2021 amid reviving economy
Private home prices in Singapore could climb again this year as a recovering economy lifts sentiment after the private residential property index shrugged off the impact of a global pandemic to clock a 2.2 per cent gain in 2020. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) flash estimate on Monday, prices of private homes in Singapore rose 2.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q4 2020 in the highest quarterly increase since the 3.4 per cent notched in Q2 2018 before the last round of cooling measures kicked in. This comes on the heels of a 0.8 per cent increase in Q3 2020.


Singapore Economy

Economists maintain outlook despite better-than-expected 2020 GDP data
It’s the worst recession on record, but Singapore’s 2020 economic contraction has turned out to be slightly milder than expected at 5.8 per cent year on year – just a notch lower than the official forecast of a 6 to 6.5 per cent contraction. Still, it’s not quite enough for most economists to revise their 2021 outlook, even though advance estimates of Q4’s gross domestic product (GDP) outperformed their expectations by close to a percentage point, shrinking 3.8 per cent.

Singapore seeks to enable digitalisation of key documents
Singapore is looking to be one of the first countries to enable the digitalisation of key trade documents via the adoption of the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (2017) (MLETR) as part of efforts to shore up the Republic’s position as a leading maritime and trade hub.

Singapore PMI still rising, but factory growth momentum expected to ease in 2021
Singapore’s factory sector continued its growth in December, as sentiment picked up on the month before, a survey on Monday showed. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 50.5 points, up by 0.1 point from November, according to the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM).

EY’s wish list for Budget 2021 includes boosting funding for training, hiring
Funding for training, hiring and other staff issues could be boosted with some policy tweaks, according to Budget 2021 proposals from one professional services firm. The Covid-19 economic downturn, business productivity and innovation, workforce transformation, and taxation were tipped as priorities for the national spending plan, in recommendations released by Ernst & Young Solutions (EY) on Monday.


Companies’ Brief

LHN to launch Keppel Road mixed-use development by mid-Feb
Real estate management services group LHN plans to launch a mixed-use development at 1557 Keppel Road by mid-February 2021. The integrated space, located on the fringe of the central business district (CBD), will be used for commercial and residential purposes. It consists of three blocks spanning 96,299.05 square feet (sq ft), Catalist-listed LHN said in a bourse filing on Monday.

First Reit’s problematic rent structure with master lessee brought to fore
The dilutive rights issue proposed by the manager of First Reit last Monday to raise some S$158 million at a 50 per cent discount is a painful but necessary remedy to its persistent problems of tenant concentration and excessive rental support given by its master lessee Lippo Karawaci (LK). Just as a tide going out reveals those who have been swimming naked, so Covid-19 also surfaced problems with First Reit’s rental structure with LK.

Kori Holdings unit bags S$81.2m in six contracts
Construction services firm Kori Holdings on Monday announced that its subsidiary, Kori Construction, has clinched six contracts in three projects worth an aggregate of S$81.2 million between September 2020 and January 2021. In a bourse filling, the Catalist-listed group said one of the projects, awarded by the Singapore branch of China Railway First Group Co, is for strutting works and sheet piling works at the North-South Corridor (Tunnel) between Marymount Lane and Pemimpin Place.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Making trade facilitation pacts easy to use is vital for companies 
Singapore deserves much credit for having invested heavily in facilitating trade in the last half century. This includes negotiating, implementing and promoting the use of free trade agreements (FTAs), resulting in an impressive network of FTAs, arguably second to none. Singapore has also been very strategic and forward-looking in implementing other trade facilitation measures.

Will the world act this year on climate change and biodiversity loss?
Two UN environmental meetings in 2021 dealing with climate change and biodiversity are being touted as pivotal in setting important targets for the coming decade. First, the 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will review the delivery of its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The meeting in May in Kunming, China, is expected to make a final decision on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, together with decisions on capacity building and resource mobilisation.

Important not to let HSR termination hobble further cooperation
The tantalising prospect of being able to leave Singapore and arrive in Kuala Lumpur in just 90 minutes remains a pipe dream after the High Speed Rail (HSR) agreement was terminated last Friday, along with what could have been an important confidence booster to bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia.

Minister explains reason for termination
Malaysia’s proposal to remove the systems supplier and network operator of the high-speed rail (HSR) had led to the project’s termination, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday. Singapore could not accept the removal of the Assets Company, which was necessary to ensure the interests of both countries are protected, he said.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

6-year-old among 24 new imported cases
A six-year-old girl who travelled from India was among the 24 coronavirus cases – all imported – confirmed by the Ministry of Health yesterday. The dependant’s pass holder is linked to three previously reported cases. The new cases take Singapore’s total to 58,721. All were asymptomatic and tested positive while serving stay-home notice or in isolation after their arrival here.

Construction, process and marine workers among priority groups for Covid-19 vaccine
Workers “in jobs or settings where risk of a super-spreading event is high”, including migrant workers, will be among the priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in Parliament on Monday. These include the construction, marine and process sector.

Border measures still apply for vaccinated travellers: Lawrence Wong
Singapore will take a “more cautious approach” with Covid-19 vaccinated travellers for now, with such travellers remaining subject to prevailing border measures and stay-home notice (SHN) requirements, said Minister for Education Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Monday. However, he said, the government will “carefully study” the effectiveness of vaccinations in reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmissions, and fine-tune its approach over time.

Vaccinations a key focus for S’pore this year: Gan
The national effort to vaccinate the population will require considerable resources and will be one of Singapore’s key focus areas this year, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong as he fleshed out the country’s vaccination strategy yesterday. “Vaccinations will be a key enabler allowing us to return to normalcy,” he told Parliament yesterday. He said this is a new line of defence that Singapore must put in place while the global situation remains volatile, and it involves a massive logistical exercise.

Health minister sets out S’pore’s criteria for vaccine approval
Singapore, like the World Health Organisation and the United States, will only approve Covid-19 vaccines that are at least 50 per cent effective, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. He was responding yesterday to Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), who had asked if the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has any thres-hold for efficacy before it approves any vaccine.

More vaccines expected to arrive in next few months
More vaccines are expected to arrive in Singapore in the next few months, including those by American biotechnology firm Moderna and China’s Sinovac, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday. The Republic received its first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine last month.

Safety is top priority in vaccine roll-out
Safety must be ensured for people receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, and that will include having a proper queueing and registration system, and ensuring their data is captured accurately, all of which has a bearing on how quickly vaccinations can be rolled out, Parliament heard yesterday.

Stay-home measures to remain for now for vaccinated travellers
Singapore is monitoring studies on the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines, and will consider relaxing stay-home measures for vaccinated travellers if the shots significantly curb the spread of the disease, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong. But for now, the Government will continue to take a cautious approach, and vaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to the same border measures and stay-home requirements as non-vaccinated travellers, added Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19.

Over 4.2 million, or 78% of residents, using TraceTogether
More than 4.2 million people, or about 78 per cent of residents here, are now using TraceTogether, Education Minister Lawrence Wong told Parliament yesterday. Of these people, about two million use only the TraceTogether phone app. But there has been strong demand for the tokens, and community centres that had run out of them are set to resume distribution soon, he added.

Routine testing for all hotel staff in contact with those on SHN
All hotel staff in contact with people serving stay-home notice (SHN) will now be placed on a rostered routine testing regime, where they will be tested for Covid-19 every two weeks, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said in Parliament yesterday.

Few who enter S’pore without pre-departure tests have Covid-19
More than 12,000 travellers from higher-risk countries or regions entered Singapore without pre-departure tests from Nov 18 to Dec 27 last year, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday. These are mostly Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs). So far, around 100 – or 0.85 per cent of these travellers – have tested positive for Covid-19. None of these cases has resulted in local transmission, said Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19.

Cost of rapid testing down to under $50 from $80 earlier
The cost of rapid Covid-19 testing has dropped from $80 per person – when such test kits were first deployed – to under $50 now, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday. The costs of the antigen rapid testing, which include operation and manpower costs, are likely to come down further, he added.
*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


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