The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 6 Jan 2021 (Wed)

Singapore Real Estate

CBD Grade A office rents to continue slide in 2021, but less sharply than in 2020
Grade A office rentals in the Central Business District (CBD) are generally expected to remain under pressure in 2021, say property consultants, as companies scale back on space amid economic headwinds. According to JLL’s head of research & consultancy Tay Huey Ying, CBD Grade A office rents are expected to fall in 2021, although the decline could moderate to about half the 9.3 per cent pullback seen in 2020 as the economy gets back on track.

Freehold Holland Village shophouse up for sale for S$13.5m
A freehold, two-storey shophouse at 26A and 26C Lorong Mambong is up for sale for S$13.5 million, marketing agent Knight Frank said on Tuesday. The shophouse in the Holland Village enclave comprises two strata units, with a total floor area of 1,841 square feet (sq ft), in addition to an outdoor seating area of 420 sq ft.

Haidilao family gets option to buy S$42m bungalow in Gallop Road
The family of the Haidilao hotpot chain co-founder Zhang Yong is in the initial stages of buying a bungalow in Gallop Road next to the family’s existing villa. BT understands that an option to purchase the property was granted last month to Mr Zhang’s son at S$42 million. This works out to S$1,940 per square foot based on the freehold land area of 21,647 sq ft. On the site is an old house that is ripe for redevelopment.

Zoning stays but ‘no immediate need’ for housing there
Clementi Forest will continue to be earmarked for residential use, but there is “no immediate need” to develop the site for housing, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee yesterday. In a written response to Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC), Mr Lee noted that the site has been zoned for residential use since 1998.


Singapore Economy

Economists look to growth in Singapore retail sales by Q1 2021
Singapore’s retail sales could return to positive growth as early as the first quarter of this year, said economists encouraged by the slowing decline seen in November’s data. Overall takings at the till fell 1.9 per cent in November, a surprising improvement over October’s 8.5 per cent contraction and one that the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Tuesday attributed to multiple mega sales events such as Singles’ Day and Black Friday as well as new mobile phone launches.

Mega sales events helped lift S’pore retail industry in Nov
The slump in Singapore’s retail sales eased further in November, thanks to mega sales events such as Singles’ Day and Black Friday, as well as mobile phone launches. Takings at the till declined 1.9 per cent in November last year, compared with the same month in 2019, a stark improvement from the revised 8.5 per cent year-on-year decline in October, according to data released by the Department of Statistics yesterday.

Over 300,000 S’poreans have used their SingapoRediscovers vouchers
More than 300,000 Singaporeans have spent their SingapoRediscovers vouchers to book hotels, attractions and tours since redemptions began on Dec 1. As at Jan 1, the bookings amounted to $35.9 million in vouchers and payments, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said yesterday.


Companies’ Brief

Mitsubishi pairs with Israel’s Aleph to sell lab-grown beef in Japan
Mitsubishi Corp agreed to partner Israel’s Aleph Farms to lay the groundwork for bringing lab-grown beef to Japan, where demand for meat is growing. The two companies will work on tailoring Aleph’s beef – grown in vats from muscle cells of living animals – to the tastes and nuances of Japanese consumers and regulatory bodies, Aleph’s chief executive officer, Didier Toubia, said in an interview from his office in Rehovot, Israel. They would then use Mitsubishi’s manufacturing capabilities to scale up production and distribution, he said.

Why CDL’s dissident directors were right to quit
The exodus of directors from the board of City Developments (CDL), over concerns about the company’s investment in Chinese real estate developer Sincere Property Group (SPG), may have some investors on tenterhooks. Yet, combined with remedial steps CDL is already taking, the turnover of its board could well be a crucial and necessary step in regaining the confidence of the market.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Digital trends that will transform South-east Asian businesses in 2021
Over the past decade, no CEO could have failed to recognise the importance of embracing digital transformation. Nevertheless, numerous companies and in some cases, entire industries, took a slow and steady, gentle and gradual approach to adopting technological solutions and transforming their business functions for the new digital era.

Covid-19 ‘new deal’ needed for Asean’s recovery
As the roll-out of vaccines signals a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, a “new deal” for South-east Asia’s informal workers which expands safety nets and forgives survival debt is needed to ensure a robust and fair regional economic recovery. As governments have responded to economic wipe-outs, many formal sector businesses within South-east Asia have benefited from stimulus packages.

Can we end unemployment?
While 2021 will be a better year for Singapore’s economic growth than 2020, it’s not clear how much better it will be for jobs. Experts say that the labour market decline is moderating, but there is still a decline. In the third quarter of last year, total employment (excluding foreign domestic workers) declined by 29,100.

Vaccination and caution both needed
Two ministerial statements in Parliament on Monday underlined the unified approach being taken to roll out the vaccination programme and the need for calibrating the momentum of Singapore’s gradual opening up to the world.

Seeing light at the end of the Covid tunnel
A RAGING pandemic, global lockdowns, and deep economic recessions marked a truly unprecedented year in 2020. Markets tanked and that ended the 11-year bull run in equities. Central banks rushed to the fore with rescue packages, even throwing in the proverbial sink, namely the Federal Reserve’s “QE Infinity” policy. Towards the end of the 2020, US election uncertainties also gave investors pause.

The long-awaited comeback of the Singapore banks
It’s safe to say that 2020 was an awful year for the Singapore banks. However, as we transit to a post-vaccine world, the long-awaited comeback of these cyclicals may finally be here. Despite the run-up in share prices over the past two months, we still find Singapore’s banking sector an attractive place to be in as fundamentals begin to improve.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

28 new Covid-19 cases, with 26 imported and 2 in community
A 55-year-old cargo officer linked to a new cluster in the marine sector was among two community cases of the coronavirus announced yesterday. There were also 26 imported cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH), taking Singapore’s total to 58,749. The cargo officer is a Singaporean man who was on board bunker tanker NewOcean 6 from Dec 21 to Dec 23, and from Dec 28 to last Saturday.

PM Lee takes rapid test – ‘quick and painless’
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took a rapid Covid-19 test before yesterday’s Parliament sitting, writing in a Facebook post: “It was quick and painless.” He added that such testing will become a regular occurrence now that Singapore is in phase three of its reopening. Antigen rapid tests complement the more sensitive, but slower polymerase chain reaction tests, and have been used at large-scale events.

Newly arrived dorm-based workers face extra 7-day testing regime
Newly arrived foreign workers must now undergo an additional seven-day testing regime at a designated facility after completing their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) before they can enter a dormitory, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday. The new requirement takes effect today and is aimed at minimising the risk of imported Covid-19 infections taking hold in dorms.

WEF event to have measures in place to limit contact with locals
Attendees of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Special Annual Meeting in Singapore in May will have limited interactions with the local community, as part of Covid-19 preventative measures for the international gathering of political and business leaders, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said in Parliament on Tuesday.

All airmail to UK, destinations that transit via the country suspended
All airmail services – including Speedpost priority service – to the United Kingdom and destinations that transit via the UK have been suspended until further notice, due to the suspension of flights going there from Singapore, according to SingPost in an announcement last Wednesday. Speedpost Express and Speedpost Economy are still available, as is surface mail service.

Contact tracing programme to be stood down when pandemic ends
The TraceTogether programme will be stood down when the Covid-19 pandemic ends, and much of the data collected will be deleted, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday. He added that the Ministry of Health (MOH) may want to retain epidemiological data for research purposes, but that “it should be anonymised, it should not be personalised, it should not be individualised”.
*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

Brookfield Property Partners gets US$5.9b offer to go private

US construction spending races to record high in Nov 2020

US$13t crisis-era debt bill comes due for big economies

UK offers £4.6b package for firms hit by lockdown

Manhattan home-shoppers aren’t finding huge Covid-19 discounts yet

Hong Kong faces an uneven recovery in 2021

Malaysian minister expects HSR compensation to be less than $270m

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