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Staying invested for the long term


WHAT a difference a its severity – the dust appears to have settled. In July this year, developers' housing sales hit the highest volume in 12 months, while developers continue to roll out new launches, with quite a number being well-received. Some new projects have even been launched at relatively high prices for their respective districts.

In fact, as the escalating US-China trade war threatens to cast a pall on Singapore's economic growth, the property sector seems to be bucking the trend, at least for now.

While the cooling measures have by and large dampened en bloc fever, real estate developers are still on the prowl for development land and have generally shifted their attention to the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

In this edition of The Business Times' Property Supplement, find out which developers have continued to bid actively for public land tenders, as well as the types of sites in the collective sale segment that should still pique the interest of developers.

Sites slated for executive condominiums (ECs) – a public-private hybrid – have also been attracting the attention of developers, likely due to the limited supply of ECs. With ECs giving the younger generation and the sandwiched group the option of condominium-style living at a more affordable price, should the government release a reasonable supply of ECs each year?

The Property Supplement also looks at the factors fuelling sales for new launches. Despite keen competition from a steady string of other launches, why have some projects continued to stand out in the wake of the cooling measures?

In the luxury residential segment, investors continued to purchase properties in the first half of this year, but proved far more selective. While transactions for good class bungalows and at Sentosa Cove emerged lower vis-a-vis the second half of last year, sales in the luxury apartment market sped up in 1H2019, bolstered by foreigners and permanent residents. Could this selective buying behaviour by investors continue for the rest of 2019?

And while luxury properties often steal the headlines with their multi-million-dollar price tags, read about how mass market condominiums too may offer attractive capital appreciation, especially with the supply of mass market homes expected to fall in the next two years owing to waning en bloc sales and the reduced supply of private homes under the GLS programme.

We also explore opportunities for the Singapore office market. How can landlords leverage technology to ensure a more effective use of space and a better user experience for their tenants?

Meanwhile, in the retail scene, experiential and activity-based retail is growing increasingly prevalent as mall operators adapt to changing consumer preferences. This trend of an evolving retail mix isn't going to go away either. Read about some of the strategies that retail malls abroad have adopted. Are there lessons here for local players?

After all, even amid uncertainty and trying conditions, there are always pockets of opportunities if you know where to look for them.

Supplement coordinator: Nisha Ramchandani Sub editor: Lilian Lee Cover: Gareth Chung Graphics: Gareth Chung, Noordin Ayob, Siti Nur Ariana Advertising sales: Stella Yeo 6319 2086 / 9799 9001