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 Jun 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Added reliefs for landlords, tenants positive for S-Reits sentiment: Jefferies
Further reliefs for landlords and tenants are likely to “invigorate the current positive sentiment” for Singapore real estate investment trusts (S-Reits), while hospitality Reits are expected to take the lead in the sector, with the implementation of the Singapore-China fast-lane arrangement, according to Jefferies Singapore

Singapore landlords need a post Covid-19 remake
Every third dollar changing hands on the Singapore Exchange is because of someone buying or selling units in a real estate investment trust (Reit). But has the city’s Reit mania gone a bit too far? The coronavirus pandemic has raised hard questions that have only simmered under the surface until now.

HDB resale volume dips to 30-year low in May, but prices hold up
Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat resale volumes tumbled still further last month, following the already record low number of flats resold in April and dropping to levels not seen in the last thirty years, figures from real estate portal SRX showed on Thursday.


Singapore Economy

Coronavirus: Visitor arrivals to Singapore hit historic low in April
The number of visitors to Singapore plummeted to a historic low of 748 in April, the first full month since a ban on short-term visitors was put in place. The Straits Times understands that these visitors were allowed entry due to extenuating circumstances.


Companies’ Brief

Banyan Tree lays off 30% of 180-strong S’pore workforce
Hospitality group Banyan Tree has laid off about 30 per cent of its workforce in Singapore. It has around 180 people working in its corporate office and headquarters here. Overall, the exercise affects around 10 per cent of its 11,000 staff across its brands. The group has 47 hotels across various brands.

CapitaLand proposes scrip dividend scheme, opens star attraction at China mall
Property giant CapitaLand has proposed a scrip dividend scheme which will allow shareholders to receive their cash dividends in the form of new shares. The scheme will allow shareholders to participate in the company’s shares without incurring brokerage fees, stamp duty and other related costs, CapitaLand said in a regulatory update on Friday.

Eagle H Trust locked into exclusive talks with Far East Consortium
The special committee taking charge of the restructuring and the strategic review of Eagle Hospitality Trust’s (EHT) business has had to abandon expressions of interest from “credible and reputable asset management companies and/or institutional investors” because of a letter of intent that EHT’s sponsor Urban Commons (UC) had signed with Hong Kong-listed property conglomerate Far East Consortium International (FECIL) providing for a 90-day exclusivity period that expires on July 14, 2020.

Mapletree Industrial Trust to replace SPH in STI
Mapletree Industrial Trust will join the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) from June 22, replacing Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), following the latest quarterly review of the STI by FTSE Russell. The STI reserve list was also announced, comprising the five highest-ranking non-constituents by market cap, mostly made up of real estate investment trusts (Reits).

Oxley unit disposes of 18.8% stake in UK developer Galliard for £30m
Property developer Oxley Holdings on Friday said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oxley Bright, has disposed of its entire 18.77 per cent stake in Galliard Group for some £30 million (S$52.9 million). Galliard and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in property development and construction, hospitality and management, and oversee mixed-use, residential, hotel and commercial projects across London and southern England.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Big changes for city centres amid Covid-19
With more than 6.3 million people reported infected globally, lockdowns to stem the spread of the respiratory disease in major cities have forced millions to work from home. Many may never go back to working full-time in offices.

Four strategic priorities for the post-Covid-19 world
On one level, the pandemic before us today represents nothing new. For years, we have been hearing and talking about the impending “VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world. Over and over again, we were told to prepare for seismic change that was sure to arrive, to boost agility in anticipation of abrupt, profound disruption.

Tech firms, startups likely to still drive demand for CBD space
As Tech companies and startups continue to make public their plans for remote work, market watchers remain optimistic that the technology sector will not downsize offices. They predict that tech firms will continue to be a key driver of prime office space demand in the central business district (CBD) over the next few years.

Rental reliefs will buy valuable time
The shuttered shopfronts in shopping malls and other centres in recent weeks illustrate the severity of the impact that the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing circuit breaker measures have had on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), whose revenues have fallen significantly.

Hiding in plain sight: Contextualising Singapore’s godowns today
One of the (few) good things to come out of the Covid-19 crisis has been a new appreciation by people worldwide regarding the economic importance of logistics, particularly as it relates to supply chains. Although there have been some problems, on the whole such chains have held up surprisingly well, with some inconveniences, but minimal disruptions in most of the developed world.

As air travel resumes soon, flying might never be the same again
First, the good news: Singapore has taken that all-important first step to gradually ease border restrictions after the lifting of the two-month “circuit breaker”, with Wednesday’s announcement of the first “fast-lane” arrangement that involves Singapore and six provinces and municipalities in China – Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang.


Singapore Budget 2020

Budget payouts to Singaporeans set to hit $3.5b in June
The total amount given out to Singaporeans to help them cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, under the Care and Support Package and the Solidarity Payment this year, is set to reach $3.5 billion this month.

Singaporeans to get up to $1k in payouts this month
Eligible Singaporeans will receive up to $1,000 this month to help them with living costs, under schemes previously announced by the Government. With the June payout, the total amount given out to Singaporeans, under the Care and Support Package and the Solidarity Payment this year, reaches $3.5 billion.

Concerns raised over fiscal prudence and constraints
As Singapore prepares to dig deeper than ever into its national reserves to fund the fight against Covid-19, several MPs highlighted the need for fiscal prudence in Parliament yesterday. Among the questions raised were whether Singapore is leaving enough money for future generations…

Firms worried about higher costs with safe distancing rules
Businesses are concerned about higher operating costs as they adjust to new safe distancing and precautionary measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic, MPs said yesterday, as they sought more support for affected firms.

Rethinking jobs for Covid-19 and beyond
As countries around the world emerge from lockdown, a second wave of job cuts looms, this time among white-collar workers. In Singapore, some economists have put job losses this year at around 100,000. But early estimates may not capture the full economic drag.

Firms that ‘disguise’ layoffs could have JSS wage support withdrawn: Josephine Teo
Companies found to have disguised their retrenchments could have their wage support and work pass privileges withdrawn, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Thursday.

Call for strong signal to stave off retrenchment of older workers
With older workers at higher risk of being retrenched in the current economic climate, deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress Heng Chee How yesterday urged the Government to send a strong signal that it is resolute in preserving their jobs.

Work injury at home: Employer still responsible for compensation
The fact that employees might be working from home does not change an employer’s responsibility for work injury compensation (WIC), said Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad yesterday. The key, he said, is to ascertain that the injury arose in the course of doing work at home and not while performing unrelated activities.

No plans to reduce rates for CPF contributions
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has indicated that there are no plans to reduce Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates amid the Covid-19 pandemic.She also said the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), which provides employers with wage subsidies, would reduce the cost burden for employers, and with “fewer drawbacks”. “For example, those who depend on CPF contributions to meet housing and healthcare needs can continue to do so.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

13 new coronavirus cases in community from one shophouse
A shophouse in Veerasamy Road in Little India was the residence of 13 of the 15 Covid-19 community cases announced yesterday. It is also linked to an earlier confirmed case. Of the 13, eight are cases of recent infections, while three are likely to be cases of past infections that are no longer infectious.

Earlier, faster reopening raises risk of new Covid-19 cases, says Gan
Reopening Singapore too early and too quickly could lead to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, undoing the efforts of the “circuit-breaker” measures, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Thursday as he urged patience.

Dining at F&B outlets not possible in phase one: Gan Kim Yong
It will not be possible to allow dining in at food and beverage (F&B) outlets in the first phase of Singapore’s reopening after the circuit breaker, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday. Doing so would lead to a “general opening up of society” and could cause a spike in coronavirus cases, he noted, forcing the country to reinstate safe distancing measures.

Businesses welcome Singapore-China ‘fast lane’
THE fast lane arrangement between Singapore and China is seen by the business community as a positive move, although they say the inconvenience and costs incurred could be a deterrent for some companies. However, firms with a pressing need to visit China will go ahead, trade associations and chambers say.

Coronavirus: Dorm operators expect changes to push up costs by at least 50%
New standards for migrant worker dormitories will enhance workers’ well-being, said dormitory operators here, but will come at a cost increase of at least 50 per cent to implement in existing dorms. Under new specifications announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday, dorms will have no more than 10 beds per room, with only single-deck beds and 1m spacing between them. Each room now holds 12 to 16 beds.
*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

ECB boosts pandemic stimulus package to 1.35t euros

US new weekly jobless claims fall below 2 million for first time since March

April prices of London luxury homes fall most since 2008

London weighs backing HK against its trade with China

Australia launches A$680m package for construction sector

Indian property shares fall as minister dampens hopes for support measures

Japanese architect pushes for stockpile of virus-safe shelters

Japan’s household spending falls at record pace as virus stalls economy

Taiwan eyes NT$40b in foreign tech investment with new scheme

Malaysian exports plunge 24% in steepest fall in a decade


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