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, 6 & 7 Sep 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Singapore investors see strong long-term fundamentals in Australian commercial property
Singapore investors ranging from sovereign wealth fund GIC to smaller property players have been investing in Australia’s property market for a long time, drawn by the country’s long term favourable economic fundamentals.

Bukit Timah condo Verdale attracts 268 viewings during weekend preview launch
Verdale, a private residential development jointly developed by China Overseas Land & Investment Limited (COLI) Singapore and CSC Land Group (Singapore), drew 268 viewings over the weekend. All appointment slots for the weekend preview launch of the 258-unit condominium in Bukit Timah were snapped up. The developers said interest was equally strong across all unit types.

Construction companies struggle to get back on track amid Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has sent the construction sector into a tailspin, but the impact on firms in the industry has been uneven. While some of the bigger firms had the resources to tide over the circuit breaker and prepare for the reopening, the smaller firms are facing the financial squeeze of not having enough work and yet having to pay their workers.

Workers who resume full-time work must get prevailing salaries: MOM
All foreign workers who have resumed full-time work must be paid their prevailing salaries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in response to queries from The Straits Times. However, it would be unrealistic to impose a uniform requirement across all employers, especially for workers who cannot resume work, it added.

Singapore’s new VCC Act the main event drawing funds here
Demand for Singapore office space will remain slack for a while as companies continue to shed workers to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, but fund managers and family offices which have been increasing their presence here could mitigate some of the spare capacity.

Limited supply of 5-room BTO flats in central region in last five years
For many Singaporeans, successfully balloting for a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat in a centrally located mature housing estate is akin to striking the lottery. Competition is stiff in the hotly sought-after estates of Toa Payoh and Geylang, especially for bigger flats.

Reits (September 5-6, 2020)


Singapore Economy

Pent-up demand can’t return retail sales to growth: analysts
Retail receipts picked up in July on the month before, as Singapore marked its first full month of reopened bricks-and-mortar shops. Yet, even with local shoppers making up in part for the lack of tourists, analysts expect annual turnover to come in lower this year than in 2019.

5,280 Singaporeans retrenched in first half of 2020
In the first half of 2020, 5,280 Singaporeans were retrenched, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in Parliament on Friday, during a sitting which saw multiple Members of Parliament raising concerns about employment issues and fair consideration.

Covid-19 curbs’ rising threat to shipping and global supply chains
The closure of international borders, flight caps and quarantine procedures owing to Covid-19 pose a grave threat to global shipping supply chains and the welfare of seafarers, the head of Australia’s maritime safety authority has warned.

DBS named world’s best bank in nod to response to Covid-19
DBS has been named best bank in the world by financial publication Global Finance, marking the third consecutive year in which it has been recognised through various awards as a top global bank. The New York-based magazine’s publisher and editorial director Joseph Giarraputo said DBS Bank is exemplary of a bank that was ready for the sharp rise in demand for digital banking services during the coronavirus pandemic.


Companies’ Brief

CMT, CCT push ahead with union amid closer regulatory scrutiny of intra-group mergers
CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) and CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) are quickly pushing ahead with their merger plans. With an enlarged flagship asset securitisation vehicle, the CapitaLand group will be in a stronger position to seize growth opportunities as economies around the region emerge from their coronavirus-induced stupor.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s proposed acquisition of AsiaRetail Fund comes as suburban malls show resilience
Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s (FCT) proposed acquisition of the rest of AsiaRetail Fund (ARF) will boost the real estate investment trust (Reit)’s suburban portfolio even as suburban malls are expected to recover more strongly from the negative impact of Covid-19 than their centrally located peers.

Savills Residential, Huttons Asia to merge in further sector consolidation
The consolidation among property agencies here continues. This time around, Savills Singapore’s associates arm – Savills Residential – will merge with Huttons Asia. Savills Singapore is also Huttons’ largest shareholder.

Call for Sabana Reit top management, IDs to quit if ESR deal falls through
Fund managers Quarz Capital Management and Black Crane Capital in a letter on Monday called for the senior management and independent directors of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) to resign if a proposed merger with ESR-Reit falls through.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

An incentive or disincentive?
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS)

We recognise that Singapore’s dramatic growth and ability to punch far above its weight is due to its policies of being open to businesses and investments, and being able to meaningfully and adequately match and support these with global talents.

Time for a deeper rethink of Singapore’s foreign worker policy
It takes a crisis like this pandemic to shine a light on some issues and make you see what is really happening. The foreign worker issue is a good example of this. Before Covid-19, it seemed so obvious that migrant workers from poor countries in the region doing work that Singaporeans were not prepared to do was a cheap and easy way to grow the economy.

Digital model of S’pore being built for study on tackling heat
As temperatures rise, Singapore is looking at how it can make its outdoor environment cooler – and it is starting this quest in the virtual world. A “digital twin” of Singapore is being built under the Cooling Singapore project, a national research initiative funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Bringing talent back into workforce
The Covid-19 crisis has pushed unemployment in Singapore to its highest level in more than a decade, as part of a severe global recession that has affected women more than men. There is a real possibility that some of the progress made toward closing gender gaps in many countries, including Singapore, may be erased.

Virtual AGMs, shareholder meetings can continue until June 30 next year
Alternative arrangements to hold virtual annual general meetings and shareholder meetings can continue regardless of whether Covid-19 restrictions are in place. This was among the amendments to the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act that were passed urgently in Parliament on Friday.

Much ado about minimum wage
A global recession might not seem like the best time to discuss measures that could raise costs for firms. Yet calls for a minimum wage have resurfaced since the July 10 polls. What gives this perennial debate its staying power? And what, if anything, might satisfy its participants?

How to ask for a pay rise in a recession
When negotiating a raise, timing matters. Typically, it’s best to ask before annual budgets are locked and to steer clear of Monday mornings when the boss may be cranky. But in a pandemic-led recession? It’s awkward, for sure, but it’s not an impossible task. With many people out of a job now, you may be grateful to just have a spot on your company’s payroll.


Singapore Budget 2020

Firms to get up to S$30,000 for each new worker if they hire more locals in next 6 months
Firms which hire more locals in the next six months stand to get up to S$15,000 for each worker under 40 years old, and up to S$30,000 for each aged 40 and up. A joint statement by the Ministry of Manpower and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore on Friday said that the payouts, to be made over 12 months from March 2021, will come from a S$1.0 billion fund under the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) scheme.

Bill to provide for $8b in extra expenditure to be tabled in October
A Bill setting out details of provisions to meet additional expenditure amounting to $8 billion will be tabled in Parliament next month for debate, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday. This third Supplementary Supply Bill will go through the usual parliamentary proceedings and has to be assented to by the President.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Singapore confirms 40 new Covid-19 cases, including four in community
[Singapore] There were 40 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Sunday afternoon, including four community cases and 13 imported cases. The four community cases announced on Sunday are all work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update.

3 new virus clusters detected in previously cleared dormitories
Another three new clusters of coronavirus infections – all in dormitories – were announced by the Health Ministry yesterday. Cassia @ Penjuru, CDPL Tuas Dormitory and Kranji Lodge I were linked to 13, seven and five earlier confirmed cases, respectively.

Singapore tests 200,000 ‘higher-risk’ individuals every two weeks for Covid-19: Gan Kim Yong
Over 200,000 individuals who are deemed to have higher risk of exposure to Covid-19 are tested every two weeks for the novel coronavirus as part of Singapore’s surveillance testing, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Friday.

16k yet to undergo routine coronavirus test risk being barred from work
Some 16,000 workers required to undergo rostered routine testing for Covid-19 by today were yet to be scheduled for it by their employers as of last night. Unless they are tested by the deadline, they will not be allowed to return to work, the authorities said in a joint statement 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 

When malls become offices in a pandemic

US job growth slows further in August; unemployment rate falls to 8.4%

UK commercial property exchange eyes first five listings this year

One in seven UK homes sold every week since tax cut

Ikea’s shopping centres arm buys San Francisco mall in its first US real estate deal

Mall landlords, tenants face off in Australia as foot traffic plunges amid Covid-19 pandemic

Australian job advertisements rise 1.6% in August

Australia to extend bankruptcy protection rules until end 2020

China cannot afford to let property market crash

China developers face harsh liquidity test with looming curbs

China Evergrande offers 30% discount to boost property sales

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