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 Dec 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Property market’s state of play
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis that has overwhelmed healthcare systems and upended businesses around the world. While it has ravaged economies worldwide and consumer sentiment remains largely subdued, the skies seem brighter for Singapore’s property sector so far.

Ki Residences sells 22% of units in virtual launch
Ki Residences at Brookvale, the condo by Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Development, has sold 143 out of 660 units at an average price of S$1,790 psf, through a virtual booking exercise on Saturday. The 999-year leasehold development comprises a 12- storey mid-rise condominium located at the Sunset Way Estate in District 21, near Bukit Timah Road and Holland Village lifestyle hub.

Perennial consortium to acquire former Big Box in Jurong East for S$118m
A consortium including real estate firm Perennial Real Estate Holdings will be acquiring the former Big Box property in Jurong East for S$118 million, drawing on the Jurong Lake District’s potential as the upcoming second central business district. Over S$70 million is expected to be doled out to redevelop the site into a business park named Perennial Business City, marking Perennial’s foray into the asset class, it said.

AXA plans to relocate while other companies look to cut office space
AXA Insurance is planning to exit AXA Tower, with the iconic building set to be redeveloped. The move comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed more companies to rethink their use of office space and workplace strategy. AXA – an anchor tenant at the 50-storey landmark at 8 Shenton Way in the Central Business District – officially opened its offices in 2011.

Some firms buck trend and go ahead with plans for bigger workspaces
Offices have been hollowed out this year with people switching to working from home during the pandemic, but some firms are still forging ahead with plans for new and bigger physical workspaces. Gaming firm Razer, UBS bank, ride-hailing firm Grab and food delivery provider Foodpanda are among those who remain committed to moving into new offices in the near future.

Forget the red-light district, Geylang is now a residential haven
The upcoming NoMa condominium is not the only residential development in Geylang that sits on a site once occupied by landed properties. In recent years, a number of such properties have been bought over by real estate developers to build boutique-size condos. Nearby, along Lorong 28 Geylang, for instance, is freehold La Brisa condominium, which has 84 units.

Holdouts hemmed in by new condo in Geylang
A property developer is building a luxury condominium in Geylang around two terraced houses after their owners refused to sell their freehold properties. When the NoMa condominium in Guillemard Road is completed in 2023, one of the two houses will be hemmed in on three sides by the 50-unit development. The other will be wedged between NoMa and the existing La Brisa condominium along Lorong 28 Geylang.


Singapore Economy

Singapore needs more inclusive tech innovation and partnerships to spur global recovery: DPM Heng
Singapore can contribute to global recovery by taking on a more inclusive and collaborative approach in deepening its tech capabilities, as the local tech sector continues to be a bright spot for businesses and workers amid the economic fallout.

Singapore retail sales decline eases to -8.6% in October
The decline in Singapore’s retail sales slowed in October, with takings down 8.6 per cent year on year, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics (Singstat) on Friday. This was an improvement from September’s revised figure of a 10.7 per cent fall, which had marked a brief deepening after lessening declines in July and August.

Singapore remains key for investments in S-E Asia
Singapore remains a key investment destination in South-east Asia, with new sources of funding continuing to flow in for start-ups despite the challenges of Covid-19. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) chairman Peter Ong said that while the $5 billion of funding local start-ups received in the first nine months of this year was lower than the $7.5 billion recorded in the same period last year, the figures still paint a resilient picture.

Singapore looking to set up new air travel bubbles: Ong Ye Kung
Singapore is continuing to seek new regions to establish travel bubbles with, even as the launch of the first such arrangement with Hong Kong remains on hold, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said yesterday. Countries that the Republic has unilaterally opened its borders to make natural partners for potential air travel bubbles, Mr Ong told reporters on the sidelines of a community event.

Corporate gift suppliers feel the pinch as spending falls amid pandemic
Many workplaces usually reverberate with the sound of year-end celebrations and other festivities in December. This year, not so much. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed many corporations to tighten their purse strings and suppliers of corporate gifts are now feeling the pinch.


Companies’ Brief 

CapitaLand forms US$300m JV to grow multifamily asset portfolio in US
CapitaLand on Monday said it has formed a programmatic joint venture (JV) to acquire and develop multifamily assets worth some US$300 million in the US. The JV will invest in assets in the south-east and South-west markets of the US, with an initial focus on Austin, Texas, the property giant said in a press statement.

Keppel FELS terminates US$425m contract to build drilling rig
Global offshore group Keppel FELS has terminated a US$425 million contract from Awilco Drilling to build a mid-water drilling rig, the mainboard-listed parent firm Keppel said in a Friday night bourse filing. Keppel FELS has assessed that the Awilco unit it signed the contract with will not be able to make its second instalment payment due in March 2021. Keppel had announced the contract in March 2019.

Keppel raises US$400m in first closing for Vietnam-focused fund
Keppel Corp’s asset management arm Keppel Capital and property arm Keppel Land have launched a Vietnam-focused real estate fund, which raised US$400 million in its first closing. This includes co-investment commitment from an unnamed global institutional investor, Keppel Capital and Keppel Land said on Friday in a press statement.

PropNex appoints ex-Huttons Asia CEO as strategy and development officer
PropNex Realty has appointed former Huttons Asia chief executive Goh Kee Nguan as its strategy and development officer with effect from Dec 1, 2020. The role is newly created and will see Mr Goh working with the management team to seize new opportunities, grow potential businesses and forge new partnerships to further expand the real estate agency’s capabilities, it said on Monday in a press statement.

Acquisition growth to continue for industrial S-Reits in 2021
DBS Group Research expects Singapore industrial real estate investment trusts (Reits) to deliver 5 per cent growth distributions per unit in fiscal 2021, aided by acquisitions with potential for more, it said in a sector note on Friday. The research team’s top picks are Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT), Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust (FLCT) and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) for their “superior growth profile”.

Lessons from the failed Sabana-ESR Reit merger
The controversial proposed merger of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit) and ESR-Reit came to an end this past week, but not in the manner most market watchers expected. As the meetings for unitholders to vote on the deal approached, it looked like the transaction would go through despite the efforts of a small but organised group of dissident investors at Sabana Reit.

Sabana’s activist investors to fast-track plan to internalise management after merger with ESR scuppered
Activist unitholders got to work fast after the proposed merger between ESR-Reit and Sabana Reit fell through on Friday. The question “What next?” was top on their minds to ensure a clear path to recovery for Sabana Reit, and one answer was to pursue an internalised Reit management model – an unprecedented move for a Singapore Reit.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Singapore’s successes and failures: Retuning the talk
There is nothing wrong with highlighting one’s achievements, but officials should also not fear discussing failures. Facing up to shortcomings is usually more productive. Singapore has done well controlling the spread of Covid-19. There have been only a handful of community cases in recent months, with the rest being imported cases. Compared with many countries in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia, this has been quite an achievement.

Have Covid-19 passport, will travel
Nietzsche was right. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Having survived oil embargoes, SARS, and market crashes – none of which inspired global solidarity – it has fallen to a clever and insidious bug to finally get airlines and august bodies like the International Air Transport Association and International Civil Aviation Organization out of their bunkers to sing from the same song sheet.

Vaccines only the start of long journey
As a hopeful world embarks on the great vaccination drive of 2020-21, it is important to stay clear-eyed about this unprecedented exercise. Gains look certain but could be smaller than they appear at this juncture. The new phase in tackling the coronavirus pandemic gets under way this week as cases worldwide head towards the 70 million mark.

Even billionaire investors are buying Bitcoin. Should you?
Chances are you’re feeling behind. You probably know that Bitcoin has been surging. You also probably know that it’s a cryptocurrency, that it suddenly becomes everybody’s favourite subject when its value spikes or sinks, and that it’s been around long enough that you should probably know more about it than you do now.

Buying Bitcoin: The basics
When we talk about buying Bitcoin, it is not a physical coin. “It’s literally just a number,” said Carsten Sorensen, an associate professor at the London School of Economics who leads a course on crypto currency. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can buy one Bitcoin, 10 Bitcoin or a fraction of a Bitcoin.

MAS awards four digital bank licences
Singapore will have four digital banks that enable customers to tap a greater variety of banking options from early 2022. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday awarded digital full bank licences to the Grab-Singtel consortium and technology giant Sea.

What digital banks offer and how S’poreans can benefit
Singapore will have four digital banks, with digital full bank licences going to the Grab-Singtel consortium and tech giant Sea. The Monetary Authority of Singapore also granted digital wholesale bank licences to Mr Jack Ma’s Ant Group as well as a consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management. This means that for the first time here, non-banks will be allowed to provide banking services.

Why startups should embrace ESG factors
Startup founders might think of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors or “sustainability” as either buzzwords that are not relevant to their firms, or as a lower priority compared to the numerous other challenges that they face in expanding their businesses.

Brown is the new green
“Brown” or “dirty” industries could become the most sought-after targets in capital markets. Investors focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are concentrating increasingly on achieving the highest impact through transition, rather than on minimising headline risk.

Window of opportunity
Firms still standing must be thinking that the worst is over, after having seen the coronavirus pandemic sweep away many businesses in the past year. Renee McGowan, the new Asian head of leading consulting firm Mercer, says their troubles have only just begun.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Five new coronavirus cases in Singapore, all imported
[Singapore] There were five new coronavirus cases confirmed as at Sunday noon, with no new community cases reported. All five cases were imported, and they had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Sunday’s cases take Singapore’s total to 58,260.

More need to use TraceTogether for shift to phase 3 soon: Experts
Singapore’s Covid-19 cases in the community have been at an all-time low, with zero local cases for two weeks last month. This has raised hopes that the Republic could see off the difficult year with a transition into phase three of its reopening, which would see more easing of restrictions including allowing for larger gatherings.

WHO warns coronavirus crisis not over even as vaccine roll-out nears
Washington • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that vaccines will be no magic bullet for the coronavirus crisis as nations gear up for a massive roll-out to tackle surging infections. The word of caution comes as the United States clocked a record number of Covid-19 cases for a second day in a row, with the country preparing for what US President-elect Joe Biden calls a “dark winter”.

SIA gears up to transport and deliver Covid-19 vaccines
Singapore has intensified preparations to transport, store and distribute Covid-19 vaccines, while securing a supply of vaccine doses for the country. National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) yesterday said it would prioritise the shipment of Covid-19 vaccines above other cargo once these become available.

Singapore gives $6.7m to ensure vaccine access for poorer nations
Singapore will contribute US$5 million (S$6.7 million) to a global initiative to ensure sufficient production of Covid-19 vaccines and access for poorer nations. The Advance Market Commitment (AMC) is a mechanism under the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax) Facility. It aims to incentivise manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of Covid-19 vaccines, and to ensure access for developing countries.
*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

Three generations, one roof: pandemic amplifies trend in US

US mortgage rates hit record low for 14th time this year

US bankruptcies fall to 14-year low as coronavirus cases soar

Lights, camera, construction!

US job gains miss expectations in November

US student dorms turn trendy homes

Biden urges passing of $1.2t stimulus Bill as economy stalls

Last-ditch push to Brexit deal starts with recriminations flying

The jury is still out on what to do about record global debt levels

Toronto eyes tax on empty homes in bid for real estate revenue

Thai central bank says GDP could underperform next year

Scroll to Top