Weekly Property News Highlights: 30 September - 6 October 2020

Increasing private home prices in Singapore, Singapore's continued allure as an asset management hub and the new 'WFH': work from hotels.


The Business Times - October 1

Singapore is unlikely to lose its shine as an asset management hub even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, as developments such as the Variable Capital Companies (VCC) framework and the Republic's reputational strength continue to draw attention from asset managers around the world, said industry watchers.

This comes as total assets managed by Singapore-based asset managers surged 15.7% to hit S$4 trillion in 2019, up from 5.4% previously, according to the annual Singapore Asset Management Survey released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday.

This is driven by strong market performance and net inflows from investors, in line with the global trend where assets under management (AUM) went up 15% to US$89 trillion last year

Rick Thomas, Executive Director and Head, Occupier Services:

Launched earlier this year, The Variable Capital Company (VCC) framework is a new corporate structure for investment funds that is gaining serious interest from the fund management industry in Singapore, as well as overseas. 

The framework has features that is parallel to other global fund structures. This will increase Singapore's position as an attractive hub – in Asia Pacific and globally. 



The Business Times - October 3

With Covid-19 profoundly reworking the office concept, hotel operators have moved to selling flexible workspace in recent months for employees not yet able to head back to the office. Hotel operators told The Business Times (BT) that they have seen a good take-up for their work-from-hotel packages, though such offers may be only a temporary fix.

InterContinental Singapore told BT that it has had 200 bookings since the launch of its package in mid-August. The hotel is now pulling in double the number of weekly bookings currently, compared to when the package was first introduced. Guests who bought this package range from startup entrepreneurs to executives and vice-presidents of corporate firms, said Gerrit Chng-Luchau, InterContinental's director of sales and marketing.

He added that the hotel has also attracted young couples who are taking the opportunity to have a "daycation".

Govinda Singh, Executive Director, Hotels and Leisure: 

This is another great example of how adaptable the hotel industry is – and can be. To meet short-term cash flow demands, hotels will need more short-term solutions and flexibility.

As hotels open and are released from use as quarantine facilities, coupled with international arrivals still very much non-existent, more and more hoteliers will have to adopt short-term solutions to drive cash-flow.

The work from hotel or room trend is likely to remain attractive for some, but as schools re-open and we return to the office, demand for this is likely to be short-lived. Expect more ideas in the short term, however, with perhaps F&B, co-working and co-living providers competing with hoteliers in what is an already crowded market.

In the meantime, how about a desk with a view, seamless comfort and F&B in style? Any takers?



The Business Times - October 2

Private residential property prices for 2020 as a whole may end in positive territory, some analysts say, after prices rose 0.8% quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) in Q3, nudging the overall price index up 0.1% year-to-date.

As the economic recession puts job security and household income under pressure, Colliers International had previously expected private home prices to decline 5% this year.

"However, with the resilience of the market and price index up 0.1% year-to-date, we now expect prices could be flat in 2020," said Tricia Song, Colliers' Head of Research (Singapore). She added, "Private home prices are now 2.7% above the most recent peak in Q3 2018 and 0.5% below its all-time peak in Q3 2013."

Steven Tan, Senior Director, Capital Markets and Investment Services:

The buying mood reflects the confidence level and sentiment of the general public. Singapore is doing well so far in managing COVID-19.

We expect prices will be able to hold firm in Q4 2020. If the buying pattern continues into Q1 2021, demand for residential collective sales – or en bloc – is expected to pick up in 2H 2021. 

Tricia Song, Director and Head of Research:

With showflats allowed to reopen with effect from 19 June and as Singapore advanced to Phase 2 after exiting the circuit breaker on 2 June, there is evidence of pent-up demand with the significant pick-up in developer sales.

The demand recovery is broad-based as the number of secondary sales also recovered, jumping 185.3% QOQ and 9.3% year-on-year to 2,713 units in Q3 2020. We now expect full-year 2020 developer sales may well be 8,900 units or just 10% below 2019’s 9912 units. Read our full comments and analysis of the URA residential property price index flash estimates for Q3 2020 here.



Related Experts

Rick Thomas

Executive Director


As Executive Director of Occupier Services in Singapore, I have  over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate.  Based in Singapore, my responsibilities are focused on servicing the real estate needs of large multinational occupiers clients across Asia Pacific than span office leasing, industrial leasing and project management.

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Govinda Singh

Executive Director


Govinda, a member of RICS and registered valuer, is a chartered certified accountant with a postgraduate diploma in economics and a certificate in business valuations, who began his career at Pricewaterhouse in audit and tax advisory.

Having worked as an Operations Manager for Hilton, he was the Financial Controller at the luxury Lanesborough Hotel, at which time he worked closely with the Rosewood and Starwood hotel groups at both the local and corporate level.

Govinda joined PKF in London in 2005 where he was a Managing Consultant within the Hotels and Leisure Valuation and Consulting  practice. He subsequently joined BDO’s Real Estate Valuation and Consulting  team in 2012, where he was a Director responsible for the EMEA, Caribbean and Asia-Pac regions.

Govinda joined Cushman & Wakefield Singapore in 2015 where he was a Director within the Asia-Pac Valuation and Advisory team.

He is now an Executive Director at Colliers International advising on, and valuing investments involving mixed-use, specialist and alternative asset classes across Asia and further afield.

He is also one of Colliers’ dedicated specialist portfolio advisors and valuers in the region, and globally.

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Steven Tan

Senior Director


Steven has over 25 years in the real estate business and progressed through various roles in this industry from property management to valuation and auction then into investment sales to leading the  non-institutional capital markets – added to his original role as head of the auction team in Colliers Singapore.

Steven is known to preserve a close relationship with his clientele who are High Net-worth individuals - known in the local as Tow Kay (big boss in local dialect), investors from all walks of life and business partners big and small, making him the leading choice to head the non-institutional capital markets.

Steven was lauded for brokering the first freehold industrial sale in the year 2020 for 190 Macpherson Road at $88m. His other notable and worth-mentioning deals include the collective sale of 2-24 Phoenix Road at $42.6M which was sold above its reserved price and another industrial building (food factory) at 200 Pandan Loop at $56.8M.

Steven also qualified as a licensed appraiser with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, a member of Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (MSISV) and member of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor (MRICS).


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Tricia Song

Director and Head


Tricia Song is a Director and the Head of Research at Colliers International Singapore. Ms Song brings with her more than 17 years of experience in real estate equity research and capital markets in Singapore and ASEAN. Before Colliers, she was the lead analyst for the Singapore Real Estate and REITs sector at Equity research at Barclays Bank PLC and before that at Credit Suisse, HSBC, CIMB-GK, and UOB KayHian. She was the lead analyst on various IPO pre-deals such as Ananda Development, iREIT Global and CapitaMalls Asia.

She also has prior experience in private equity, working on M&A deals in Asia Pacific at Newbridge Capital. Ms Song graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Honours) degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


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