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Entering a brave new world
After four years of decline, the residential property market has switched direction and is now back on an ascent - even with almost the entire slew of cooling measures still in place. For the whole of 2017, prices appreciated one per cent - contrasting with the 3.1 per cent decline in 2016.
Rapid changes are also afoot as technology threatens to disrupt the way business is conducted in the real estate sector: nascent attempts at blockchain, which can impact the way conveyancing lawyers currently facilitate real estate transactions; augmented reality and the enhanced experience it offers potential buyers in terms of property viewings; and artificial intelligence which churns out property valuations in minutes, albeit without the human judgement required to assess the physical condition of a property unit.
This is the brave new world that developers, real estate professionals, as well as home buyers, landlords and tenants, need to embrace. Traditional business operating models are on their way out and real estate players will do well to keep abreast of changes in the sector.
Even the government is cognisant of the need to keep up. The Industry Transformation Map for the real estate sector, launched earlier this year, focused on using automation, digitised contract templates, and predictive systems to streamline processes for property transactions and facilities management.
As new industries emerge amid the boom in start-up culture and the government's push for innovation and enterprise, the office space is also changing, becoming more accommodative of housing co-working operators as tenants. What started out as a disruptor and an alternative to traditional offices has now become a fundamental part of the commercial real estate market.
In the retail scene, an interesting development has come about. While many retailers have jumped on the bandwagon and developed an online presence alongside physical stores, the reverse trend has also been true, with global e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and Amazon taking up physical space too.
As the age-old real estate industry evolves, developers and property market professionals will need to embrace the changes to stay ahead and stay relevant for potential investors.
We hope this issue of property supplement will be informative in giving you a fresh perspective of the industry. Enjoy!
Supplement editor: Lee Meixian Sub editor: Shazalina Salim Cover design: Simon Ang
Graphics: Teoh Yi Chie, Ho Yan Hao, Greg Neo
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