The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 7 Aug 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

HDB resale volume surges in July; prices inch up
The number of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat resale transactions continued to remain high in July with prices creeping up, according to flash data released by real estate portal SRX Property on Thursday. An estimated 2,470 HDB resale flats were sold last month, a 0.7 per cent increase from June when 2,453 units were sold.

Singapore property plays ‘too cheap to ignore’ amid attractive valuations: DBS
DBS Group Research on Thursday called Singapore’s property developers “too cheap to ignore”, citing attractive valuations. The research team said in an industry note that the developers are well-equipped and capitalised to overcome near-term operational headwinds.

Most building projects to resume by end of next month amid new protocols
The vast majority of migrant workers residing in dormitories will be able to resume work by mid to late August, with most built projects to restart by the end of next month. But the construction sector must adapt to a very different environment with new protocols in place, said Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry taskforce managing the Covid-19 outbreak.

Six-month reprieve to developers ‘quite generous’: Lawrence Wong
A six-month extension in May for the completion of residential, commercial and industrial projects and for developers to sell off housing units was “quite generous”, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong. It had taken into account the fact that the construction sector would still take some time to resume its activities and provided “some buffer” for that, he added yesterday.

LTA, JTC and SLA to get new bosses
The Land Transport Authority (LTA), JTC Corporation and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) will have new chief executives from next month. Current LTA chief Ngien Hoon Ping, who took on the role in November 2016, will leave the Administrative Service to join the FairPrice group.


Singapore Economy

Asean+3 likely to grow 6% in 2021: AMRO
Singapore, likely to be one of the economies in the region with the biggest growth setbacks in 2020, shrinking 6 per cent, is expected to grow 7 per cent next year – sharing with China and Vietnam the honour of being the highest-growth economies among the Asean+3.

Singapore, Australia sign digital economy pact
Singapore and Australia have signed an agreement which will open up economic opportunities for both countries. The digital economy agreement will facilitate digitalisation of trade processes and make it easier and more cost-effective for Singapore companies to engage in cross-border business activities with Australia, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.

EU imports from Singapore up 12% despite pandemic
Despite the impact of Covid-19 on global trade, European Union imports from Singapore saw a 12 per cent increase in the first six months since the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) came into force. The EU delegation to Singapore said in a statement yesterday that this increase contrasts with total EU imports, which fell by 10.6 per cent in the same period of December to May.


Companies’ Brief

CapitaLand H1 profit plunges 89% to S$96.6m on Covid-19 restrictions, tenant support
CapitaLand posted an 89 per cent drop in net profit to S$96.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020 from S$875.4 million a year ago. This was mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 measures on its residential, retail and lodging businesses, the real estate giant said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

ESR-Reit will not raise offer price for Sabana in proposed merger
ESR-Reit does not intend to increase the scheme consideration for its proposed merger with Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit), its manager said in a bourse filing on Thursday.

Far East Orchard sinks into S$853m net loss for first half
HOTEL operator and property developer Far East Orchard has fallen into the red with a S$853 million net loss for the half year ended June 30, 2020, versus a net profit of S$5.8 million a year ago. Loss per share stood at 0.19 Singapore cent for the six months, down from the year-ago earnings per share of 1.33 cents.

Frasers Hospitality to open Tokyo serviced residence on Aug 7
Frasers Hospitality, a member of Frasers Property, on Thursday said it is opening a 22-storey serviced residence named Fraser Suites Akasaka in Japan on Aug 7. The 224-room property is located in Tokyo’s central business district between the Akasaka, Akasaka-mitsuke and Aoyama-itchome metro stations.

JustCo to open two co-working centres in Singapore
Justco’s new co-working centres at OCBC Centre East and The Centrepoint will be able to house over 2,000 members when they open in August and October respectively. The company said global enterprises L’Oreal, Riot Games and foodpanda will have about 300 employees at these new flexible workspaces. Game developer Riot Games and food delivery firm foodpanda are existing clients.

Genting Singapore posts S$163.3m Q2 loss in worst quarterly showing since 2010
In its worst quarterly performance since the opening of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in 2010, Genting Singapore logged a S$163.3 million net loss for Q2 FY2020 ended June, reversing a S$168.4 million net profit from a year ago.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Singapore’s hub status hangs on how Asean pulls together: think tank
Closing doors to focus on national priorities during a pandemic is a false answer, a Singapore-based think tank suggested on Thursday, and what Asean needs is instead greater transparency and integration for a strong recovery.

Investment trusts – The missing link in Singapore’s capital markets
With the growing appeal of private equity (PE) worldwide, Singapore needs to capitalise on its strong business trust franchise to develop a cluster of listed investment trusts (LITs) – permanent capital vehicles found on the bourses of Sydney and London.

Redesigning tomorrow’s organisation today
The future is not what it used to be, wrote French philosopher and poet Paul Valéry in his 1937 essay Notre Destin et Les Lettres. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this phrase come alive. Organisations, jobs and work environment will definitely change as we move into a low-touch economy.

How resilient leaders think
In the words of Shakespeare, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Resilience as a career concept is having a kind of heyday, with good reason. Flung into new ways of working, both at home and in newly dangerous roles, people all over the world were forced into adapting to the pandemic and economic crisis while doing their jobs.

Cut in employers’ CPF rate, more wage reform among measures NWC can push for: economists
There is broad agreement among employers, workers and government representatives and economists that the National Wages Council (NWC) has a big role to play in helping Singapore to weather the Covid-19 recession and cope with its aftermath.

Pandemic driving South-East Asian shoppers online
Nearly eight in 10 people in Singapore will make an online purchase this year, as the novel coronavirus drives South-east Asian consumers online faster than earlier expected. Singaporeans are also the most willing to splash out: Almost six in 10 shoppers drop at least US$50 on each online purchase – the biggest share of such “high spenders” in the region.

Call to curb biased hiring by naming firms on watch list
A senior labour MP has called on the authorities to disclose the names of companies put on a watch list for biased hiring, to improve transparency and send a strong signal that such behaviour must stop.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Bukit Batok gym among places visited by Covid-19 patients
An ActiveSG gym in Bukit Batok, a Sheng Siong store in Teban Gardens Road and FairPrice Hub’s Decathlon outlet were added by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday to its list of places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious.

Default must still be work from home: Minister
Work-from-home arrangements will continue in order to guard against potential Covid-19 transmission. Employers should continue to keep this as the default arrangement unless employees have a demonstrable need to return to the workplace, such as to use specialised equipment, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong at a virtual multi-ministry press conference yesterday.

Singapore cautiously moving towards a new normal amid Covid-19 pandemic
With more activities and events resuming, borders gradually reopening and most foreign workers set to resume work this month, Singapore is cautiously moving towards a new normal amid the pandemic. To support these changes, travellers who contract Covid-19 while on permitted essential travel will be able to tap financial support from today…

Covid-19 drug from Singapore-based firm to enter final trials soon
Trials for a potential treatment for Covid-19 are being accelerated, with the third and final phase for the drug due to start in a few weeks’ time. Developed by Singapore-based biotechnology company Tychan, the monoclonal antibody – or immune system protein – known as TY027 will be tested on 500 recently diagnosed Covid-19 patients.

Shorter SHN for Malaysian work pass holders based on risk assessments
Malaysians with Singapore work passes will serve a seven-day stay-home notice (SHN) instead of 14 days as Covid-19 prevalence rates in Malaysia are similar to Singapore’s, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

Locals allowed to travel can tap subsidies for treatment if infected
From today, Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) who are allowed to travel overseas under permitted arrangements and subsequently develop Covid-19 can tap government subsidies, MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) for their hospital treatment.

Almost all workers in dorms tested by today
Almost all of the 323,000 foreign workers staying in dormitories would have been tested for Covid-19 by today, and about 90 per cent of them can go back to work by the end of this month. This means that many construction activities and projects should be able to resume soon, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday.
*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 jobless claims fall to pandemic low of 1.19 million

Pool sales in US, Europe skyrocket as consumers splash out on coronavirus ‘cocoons’

Seoul home price surge is fastest in the world

South Korea tries to tame rampant real estate market


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