News At A Glance

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Downtown office space sees a new tenant mix

Downtown office space sees a new tenant mix

When a number of Singapore banks began trimming office space towards the end of 2020, it seemed to spell doom and gloom in the office leasing market. Surprisingly, firms from other industries have been quick to pounce on these prime commercial units.  Developers, institutional landlords and real estate investment trusts (Reits) realised they need not be overly concerned, and began to welcome the new mix of tenants. At the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) Tower 1, tech firms from the US, China and Singapore are among those who have expressed “very strong interest” in rou...

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Revised Safe Management Measures (SMM) for Real Estate Activity

Revised Safe Management Measures (SMM) for Real Estate Activity

A circular from the Urban and Redevelopment Authority (URA) to property developers stated that the maximum capacity for project show galleries and the showflats within, will be based on a distance of 16 sqm per person, instead of the existing 10 sqm per person. The maximum number of persons in each group viewing the sales gallery will be reduced from the existing five to just two, including visitor, sales person or the developer’s staff. URA encouraged developers to implement the revised SMM as soon as possible rather than wait for the new measures to come into effect. TraceTogether-...

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Singapore sees jump in family offices

Singapore sees jump in family offices

More affluent families have flocked to Singapore as a base to park their wealth in the midst of a worldwide pandemic in 2020. Data analysis firm Handshakes estimates that 221 single and multi-family offices opened in Singapore in 2020. This compares with 129 in 2019, and 22 in 2018. These figures were derived by studying data from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) which capture flows from outside of Singapore. The proportion of foreign directorships of these newly set up family offices has been rising gradually over the years from 48.6% in 2018 to 51.6% in 2019 to 55% in...

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Call for more residential development sites

Call for more residential development sites

The strong private residential sales momentum of 2020 has carried over to 2021. Furthermore, preliminary estimates of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) residential price index in 2020 showed that private home prices have risen by 2.9% over the fourth quarter of 2020. Should the sales momentum continue, prices are expected to increase at a firmer pace this year. With more than 3,000 new private sales in the first quarter of 2021, developers whose projects are gradually selling down have begun sourcing to replenish their land banks. The upcoming Government Land Sales (GLS) tender...

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Green shoots for Singapore economy

Green shoots for Singapore economy

Advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on April 14 showed that the Singapore economy grew by 0.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2021, a turnaround from the 2.4 per cent contraction recorded in the previous quarter. The manufacturing sector was the best performer, posting year-on-year growth of 7.5 per cent, better than the 7.3 per cent expansion it saw in the whole of 2020. This growth was aided by output expansions in electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and biomedical manufacturing. Construction, though it shrank 20...

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Occupier movements in the Office Market

Occupier movements in the Office Market

Chinese tech giants are expanding in Singapore as they face increasing regulatory pressures at home and sanctions in other key markets. Messaging-and-gaming behemoth Tencent is opening a hub and TikTok owner ByteDance is establishing a regional HQ, while e-commerce giant Alibaba is investing in property. According to Dr Chen Guoli, professor of strategy at the Singapore campus of business school INSEAD, Singapore is considered as a more neutral country under the current climate of geopolitical uncertainty.  Singapore has always maintained good ties with Beijing and the West, and tech...

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Upcoming co-working space locations

Upcoming co-working space locations

Workspace provider JustCo announced that it will manage Metro’s office building in Tampines from Q3 2021 onwards. Located at 7 and 9 Tampines Grande, Asia Green comprises about 30,000 sq ft of office space. This is a deviation from the traditional way in which landlords just offer an empty office space. They are now open to tie-up with co-working space provider so as to gain access to more collaboration and networking platforms. Meanwhile, WeWork is looking to launch its new location at 21 Collyer Quay in the next nine to 12 months.  

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Resilience of Suburban malls

Resilience of Suburban malls

RETAIL operators with physical outlets are struggling due to the relentless rise of online shopping both in Singapore and overseas. Landlords have seen rents fell by 15% year-on-year in 2020. In 2019, Singapore Tourism Board announced plans to revamp the Orchard Road shopping belt, but with international leisure travel unlikely to resume yet, it is unlikely that the buzz will return. CapitaLand has marked down the valuation of ION Orchard, Jewel Changi Airport by 8% and 17% respectively from a year ago. For malls held by CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT), the latest valuations of...

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Singapore shifts to more flexible way of working amid COVID-19

Singapore shifts to more flexible way of working amid COVID-19

Singapore announced on Wednesday (Mar 24) a shift towards a more “flexible and hybrid” way of working. More employees will be permitted to return to the workplace from Apr 5. Split team arrangements are no longer mandatory. There will also be no limit on the proportion of an employee’s working time that can be spent at the workplace. Here are the updated requirements for safe management measures at the workplace issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM): 1. STAGGERED START TIMES, FLEXIBLE WORK HOURS Employers must ensure staggered start times to ensure that staff members a...

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Budget 2021 To Future-proof Singapore

Budget 2021 To Future-proof Singapore

The Budget 2021 statement was delivered by Deputy Prime Minster Heng Swee Kiat on 16 February 2021.  Last year, 5 budgets were rolled out with nearly S$100 bn to help Singaporeans and businesses cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, ending the financial year with a record Budget deficit of S$64.9 bn. Dampened by the pandemic, Singapore saw its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 5.4%. Budget 2021, also dubbed the Emerging Stronger Together Budget is set to help Singapore get on the path of recovery.  The Emerging Stronger Together Budget will see $11 bn set aside for...

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