Newly released market study: Singapore Real Estate Report 2016

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Wed Apr 13 2016

Singapore is a global financial and retail hub, with a strong tourist trade and a resilient economy. The commercial real estate market is mature, and has a large number of domestic and international players. However, Singapore's economy is externally oriented, and as such growth in the commercial real estate sector could be dampened by a global slowdown.

Economic growth was slow over 2015 due to a slowdown in major trade partner China. Although a recovery in global markets is expected to boost the Singaporean economy in 2016, we expect growth in the commercial real estate sector to be subdued. The office sub-sector should be more dynamic than the other two sub-sectors that we cover, retail and industrial. Indeed, the industrial sub-sector is currently affected by oversupply, and rental values may fall.

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Singapore's economy managed to stave off technical recession in Q315. Nevertheless, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) found sufficient basis to ease the Singapore dollar exchange rate policy by reducing its appreciatory slope against its trade-weighted basket of currencies, constituting a modest stimulus for the economy. The central bank uses the Singapore dollar as its main monetary policy tool, and a reduction to the unit's appreciatory slope is the equivalent of monetary easing. W e forecast real GDP growth of 2.5% in 2016, up from 2.2% in 2015.

Demand for prime office space continues to be a primary driver in the commercial real estate market, with particular business sentiment focused on the central business district. A large amount of new space will come onto the market in 2016, with rental rates likely to remain stable as a result balanced supply and demand are balanced.

Retail will see growth as the tourism industry begins to picks up again. High levels of affluence will also support the segment. A growing trend is demand for pop-up style shops rather than larger retail formats. Rental rates are expected to remain stable over the course of our forecast period.

The industrial real estate sub-sector will continue to suffer from reduced demand in the wider region and an oversupplied market in Singapore, and rental rates may fall in 2016. Trade is a significant contributor to the Singaporean economy, and with major trade partners such as China currently suffering a downturn, demand for Singapore's exports is down, limiting growth in demand for industrial space. In the medium term, however, we expect demand to increase and the balance between supply and demand to be redressed.

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