The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 9 Oct 2020 (Fri)

Singapore Real Estate

Government relief measures for developers hit by construction disruptions
Eligible property developers hit by disruptions to construction timelines due to Covid-19 can take up a set of additional temporary relief measures with immediate effect, the government said on Thursday night. Market watchers The Business Times spoke to said that these measures will cushion the impact of the slow resumption of work and the disruptive nature of the pandemic.

ERA to hold virtual tours of over 140 projects this weekend
This weekend, ERA Singapore will launch what it says is the country’s largest virtual real estate gallery for homebuyers. The ERA Property Weekend 2020 event on Oct 10 and 11 will feature virtual tours of more than 140 projects islandwide as well as property market insights from 14 of its industry experts. Hosted on the ERA website, the event offers an immersive viewing experience with 360-degree detailed showcases of the housing projects.

Good class bungalow in Lornie Road up for sale at $27 million
A good class bungalow in Caldecott Hill Estate has gone on the market for $27 million. The sale is being carried out on behalf of the trustees of the estate. The freehold property at 204 Lornie Road in District 11 sits on a land area of 2,347.6 sq m (25,270 sq ft) and is a 10-minute walk from the Upper Thomson neighbourhood and its restaurants and cafes.

HDB resale prices rise for third consecutive month in September: SRX
Prices of Housing Board (HDB) resale flats increased for the third consecutive month in September, with demand remaining elevated after the nearly two-month-long circuit breaker period. HDB resale prices rose by 0.8 per cent in September compared with August, and was 3.1 per cent higher than the previous year. However, they are still 11.4 per cent lower than their peak in April 2013.

Of property options and market distortions
It emerged early in the year that private property developers were re-issuing options to purchase (OTPs) to buyers upon expiry, effectively extending the option period for buyers who might not have had their financing lined up for the purchase. The government finally clamped down on the practice on Sept 28, urging greater financial prudence for buyers. In Brunch this Saturday in The Business Times Weekend, we look at whether the new restrictions will rein in property market distortions.


Singapore Economy

Help for 20,000 enterprises in Singapore’s heartlands adopt e-payments, digital commerce solutions
[Singapore] A new programme has been launched to support about 20,000 retailers and food and beverage (F&B) enterprises in the heartlands to keep pace with digitalisation and adopt e-payments as well as other digital commerce solutions. The Heartlands Go Digital programme, which was announced on Thursday (Sept 8), is part of the Government’s broader revitalisation efforts in the heartlands.

AI could add US$1t to S-E Asia’s GDP by 2030
Artificial intelligence (AI) could add US$1 trillion to South-east Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 according to management consulting firm Kearney and Asian-based strategic investor EDBI. That being said, adoption is still in its nascent stages – about 30 per cent of the respondents surveyed are developing their AI strategies or just starting to invest.


Companies’ Brief

CRCT a ‘China behemoth in the making’ with S$33b pipeline: DBS
DBS Group Research sees CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) as a “China behemoth in the making”, and noted that the upward trajectory in China sales has not been priced in. “We remain excited that CRCT will emerge as the group’s pure play into China with an addressable pipeline of more than S$33 billion (from its sponsor CapitaLand),” analyst Derek Tan wrote.

Suntec Reit eyes London foray with £430.6m acquisition of Nova buildings
Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Suntec Reit) manager is looking to acquire a half stake in London’s Nova development from Canada’s pension fund, based on an agreed property value of £430.6 million (S$766.5 million).

Corporate digest


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Changing the business landscape with AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful workforce multiplier that is changing the business landscape. From virtual medical assistance to data analytics, AI enhances productivity and frees up time for tasks that require human insight, by augmenting and automating routine activities.

Challenging times on the jobs front
The latest jobs situation report released on Wednesday is sobering, but also offers glimmers of hope that the labour market is on the mend. The disappointing news is that the resident unemployment rate rose to 4.5 per cent in August, a level 0.4 percentage points higher than in July, and the highest since the peak of the global financial crisis in September 2009.

How to invest now to expedite Covid-19 recovery process
What a difference nine months makes. In early 2020, business leaders across the world were focusing on becoming “lean” by finding ways to boost outputs while reducing inputs. Aided by process management tools such as Six Sigma and Lean Management, companies emphasised the cost side of the ledger.

MICE industry roadmap launched to guide resumption of business events
The meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) and events industry will have a clearer path to resuming business events safely and pivoting to hybrid events, with the launch of an industry roadmap by the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) on Thursday.

Pilot cruises to nowhere for Singapore residents from Nov
From November, cruises with enhanced safety protocols will be piloted for two cruise lines home-ported in Singapore. The pilot cruises will be “cruises to nowhere”, that is, round trips with no ports of call.

Singaporeans’ views split on safety of cruises to nowhere
People have clearly split views about whether it is safe to go on upcoming cruises to nowhere that have received the official nod. An online poll of more than 1,000 Straits Times readers showed that 51 per cent gave it the thumbs up, and 49 per cent, the thumbs down.

Restarting cruises – boost for economy, but not plain sailing
It may sound like a good way to help the economy, but it could easily be a disaster waiting to happen. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that it will allow pilot “cruises to nowhere” from next month, with safety measures in place. This sounds fine, in theory. It’s true that Singapore risks harming its economy if it does not return to some form of normalcy. But when it comes to cruises, the risks may outweigh potential rewards.

Bars get innovative to mitigate sales loss from earlier closing times, capacity cuts
It has been over three months since people were allowed back into watering holes. Still, it is far from business as usual for bar owners as they remain challenged by restrictions on group sizes and a 10.30pm curb on alcohol sale. Bars The Business Times spoke to said that overall seating capacity has shrank by up to 50 per cent.

Next generation of wealth holders want efficient banking ties: BNP Paribas
With Asia primed to undergo a significant wealth transfer over the next decade, competition among banks to serve the region’s ultra-rich families looks to intensify, with the next generation of wealth holders expected to further consolidate their banking relationships.

Singtel launches 5G standalone trial network for enterprises
Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) has deployed Singapore’s first 5G standalone trial network at its testing facility. The network offers enterprises early access to 5G to develop and trial 5G solutions. It uses 3.5 gigahertz spectrum and Ericsson’s advanced Massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology to deliver ultra-fast speeds and low latency or response times.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Two-year-old Singaporean girl among 5 imported Covid-19 cases
A two-year-old Singaporean girl who returned from Nepal on Sept 25 was among five imported Covid-19 cases reported yesterday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Among the others were a 31-year-old French engineer who arrived from France on Monday for a short-term work project, and a 32-year-old Japanese national who arrived on Tuesday.

S’pore’s first phase 3 antibody trial ready to enrol Covid-19 patients
Hospitalised Covid-19 patients here can now opt to take part in Singapore’s first phase three monoclonal antibody trial. The National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) said that as of last Tuesday, it was ready to enrol its first patients – though none had been recruited as at yesterday afternoon – and aimed to enrol a total of 100 local patients.

Singapore offers Covid-19 insurance for short-term visitors
Short-term visitors to Singapore are now able to purchase Covid-19 insurance that offers up to S$100,000 of hospitalisation cover, in case they are infected with the novel coronavirus during their time in the city-state.
*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 declined last week while still elevated

Netflix tripling its office space in London with new headquarters, say sources

Falling house prices? Not if Boris Johnson can help it

Will upscale SoHo be site of New York’s next battle over development?

UK economy 7-10% below pre-Covid levels

UK’s Sunak plans carbon emissions tax to help rebuild economy: The Times

Chinese digital currency makes inroads

China’s services sector recovery gathers pace in Sept: Caixin PMI

Japan’s real wages fall for sixth straight month as pandemic bites

Japan household spending, real wages extend Covid-driven declines

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