PROPERTY investment sales in Singapore are likely to rebound as vaccination programmes are rolled out next year, with business sentiment picking up and border restrictions gradually eased, CBRE said in a press statement on Monday.

Michael Tay, head of capital markets for Singapore at CBRE, noted that the Singapore investment market has been resilient and has demonstrated its ability to recover from crisis situations in the past. “This was apparent post global financial crisis when real estate investment sales volume improved by a strong 265.4 per cent in 2010,” he said.

While investors are likely to remain discerning at the start of next year, they will still be in search of investments that provide higher returns, spurred by the low interest rate environment and ample liquidity, Mr Tay said.

As an investment destination, Singapore fits this bill given its “proven ability to handle the pandemic, macroeconomic stability and political-neutral stance”, he added.

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CUSHMAN & Wakefield is projecting rents in Singapore’s central business district (CBD) to land at S$9.54 per square foot (psf) per month by the end of 2020, down 10 per cent from 2019’s peak of S$10.66 psf per month, it said in a report on Thursday.

Emerging vacancy in the market placed a downward pressure on Grade A office rents, CBRE said in a separate report on the same day.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, Grade A office rents corrected for its fourth consecutive quarter, declining at 2.8 per cent quarter on quarter to S$10.40 per square foot per month.

This represented a full year decline of 10 per cent in Grade A office rents, which reversed the rental growth of 6.9 per cent in 2019, CBRE’s report noted.

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MORE shophouses in Singapore have come to the market, with five along Tras Street, North Bridge Road and Balestier Road launched for sale on Monday.

At the same time, three adjoining retail units at Bukit Timah Plaza are also available for purchase.

These shophouses and retail units carry a combined indicative price of S$33.3 million, SRI Capital Market, the exclusive marketing agent for the properties, told The Business Times.

They can be bought individually or together as a portfolio, although SRI did not disclose their individual price tags.

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A PRIME office floor spanning 9,989 square feet in Suntec Tower Two has been put on the market with a guide price of S$33 million.

That works out to an average of S$3,303 per square foot (psf) based on strata area, said its exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore.

The offering comprises four contiguous strata office units on level 42 – the third-highest floor in the building.

The portfolio is up for sale as a bundle and with tenancies. The entire floor is fully leased to multinational corporations, and two of the tenants recently renewed their leases.

Galven Tan, deputy managing director of investment sales and capital markets at Savills Singapore, said the property offers the incoming investor “strong tenant covenants and immediate rental income”.

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SINGAPORE-BASED property investment company 8M Real Estate (8MRE) has picked up two conservation shophouse properties in the Duxton Hill/Craig Road area for a total of S$26.4 million.

The District 2 properties on sites with balance leasehold tenures of close to 68 years each are being sold by entities linked to veteran property investor Stanley Quek.

8MRE is paying S$15.75 million for 28 Duxton Hill, a two-storey shophouse on land area of 3,557 square feet (sq ft). The ground floor is leased to Greek restaurant Fotia, while the office tenant that used to occupy the second level recently left when its lease expired. 8MRE is on the lookout for a replacement tenant for the second level. Dr Quek bought the property in 2011 for S$10.6 million.

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TWO conservation shophouses along Craig Road have been offered for sale with a total guide price of S$31 million, exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore said on Monday.

The price tag translates to about S$3,157 per square foot based on an estimated built-up area of 9,817 square feet (sq ft).

The pair – located at 38 and 39 Craig Road – sits on a combined leasehold land area of about 3,726 sq ft. The site’s 99-year lease started in July 1989.

The plot is zoned for commercial use within the Chinatown-Tanjong Pagar conservation area, Savills said.

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THREE corner conservation shophouses with private courtyards, located at the junction of Craig Road and Duxton Road, are up for sale by expression of interest with a guide price of S$36 million, exclusive marketing agent Savills Singapore said on Wednesday.

This translates to approximately S$2,936 per square foot on the floor area, it added.

The adjoining shophouses, located at No 8, 9 and 10 Craig Road, sit on a combined land area of approximately 5,948 square feet (sq ft), with an estimated total built-up area of about 12,260 sq ft.

The land is zoned for commercial use, and the development boasts a 55 metre-wide dual road frontage along Craig Road and Duxton Road.

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THE pandemic took its toll on office rents in the third quarter as souring business sentiment and a weaker labour market prompted rentals of office space to decline 4.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter for the Central Region after holding steady in the previous quarter.

Analysts said that more occupiers sought to right-size and cut costs by scaling back on some or all their space as leases came up for renewal, while landlords had to lower rents more aggressively to find replacement tenants.

With working from home still the default, office space is also under-utilised, said Christine Li, head of research, (Singapore and Southeast Asia) for Cushman & Wakefield.

Real estate consultancy JLL estimates that the average monthly gross effective rents for Grade A CBD office space came down by 3.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter to S$10.08 per square foot (sq ft) in Q3, accelerating from a 3 per cent decline in Q2.

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RENTALS of office space in the central region of Singapore fell 4.5 per cent quarter on quarter in the third quarter of 2020 after remaining flat in the previous quarter.

Figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday also showed that prices of office space in the central region went up 0.2 per cent in Q3 after declining 4.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

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THE slide in Singapore industrial property rents and prices continued in the third quarter, with the pace of decline gathering pace though occupancy improved, latest figures from JTC Corp show.

The industrial land and infrastructure agency said the rise in occupancy was driven by an increase in demand for storage amid a delay in new completions.

However, some property consultants offered another explanation for the rise in occupancy despite continuing rental declines.

Christine Li, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at Cushman and Wakefield, said: “This could mean that landlords were prioritising increasing occupancy at the expense of rental rates.”

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Seventh storey offering has been renovated; price is about S$1,800 psf

AN ENTIRE floor of GB Building in Singapore’s central business district has been launched for sale with a guide price of nearly S$9.8 million.

Located on the seventh storey of the 143 Cecil Street tower, the sale offering has been renovated and features a regular floor plate with a column-free layout.

Its price tag works out to about S$1,800 per square foot (psf) based on the strata area of 5,425 square feet.

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RENTS for business parks in Singapore’s city fringe are projected to rise as more firms seek out business parks with Grade-A office specifications in a bid to cut their real-estate costs.

In the third quarter of 2020, rents of business parks in the city fringe stood at S$5.91 per square foot per month (psf/month), up 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter and 2.4 per cent higher from a year ago, data from real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield showed.

Christine Li, the company’s head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, said another factor driving the move to business parks is the trend of companies with a large proportion of their employees working from home, thus lowering the need for central business district (CBD) office space.

She said: “The movement towards business parks with Grade-A specifications and the continued moderation of Grade-A CBD rents will further narrow the rental gap between CBD office and city-fringe business park space over the next few quarters.”

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