A year of recovery and transformation

Nisha Ramchandani
Published Thu, Apr 1, 2021 · 05:50 AM
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Even as the pandemic dominated headlines in the past year, the property sector has emerged as a bright spot performing better than expected despite Singapore grappling with one of its deepest recessions yet.

In particular, demand for private homes was resilient, thanks to a confluence of factors including ample liquidity, low interest rates and sustained buying from HDB upgraders. In the mass market private residential segment, prices are expected to remain stable this year, and possibly even rise slightly, given healthy demand and easing inventory - that is, as long as no further cooling measures are introduced.

And while the last round of cooling measures in July 2018 had dampened the en bloc fever, there are signs that a revival in en bloc sales could be afoot as developers look to replenish their land banks once more. In this edition of The Business Times' Property Supplement, find out which sites are being placed on the market and what type of sites are most likely to be successful in their bid for an en bloc sale.

In addition, the Property Supplement also explores residential hotspots that property buyers might want to take a look at, such as Bugis, Woodlands and Kallang. Some of these precincts stand to benefit from plans to rejuvenate or transform the area, making them promising bets for owner-occupiers and investors alike.

Meanwhile, the way that the government has successfully managed to contain the pandemic could also have an impact on the luxury property market as foreign investors look to establish their businesses here in Singapore. This special report looks at sales volumes for luxury units in 2020 as well as in recent years, in addition to the profile of buyers for selected luxury projects.

But private residential property wasn't the only segment that drew buyers. The HDB resale market appeared to shrug off the recession, with the HDB resale price index climbing 5 per cent in 2020. Find out what's keeping the outlook for 2021 sanguine as well.

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And with the pandemic having a profound impact on the way people work, the supplement looks at the future of the Singapore office market. Will the concept of remote working become firmly entrenched? How will new developments pivot to cater to the evolving office landscape?

One sector that is expected to perform well post-Covid-19 is the industrial property market, as the pandemic has accelerated trends such as e-commerce adoption, remote working, a sharpened focus on ''green buildings'' as well as digitalization. Read about how these megatrends are expected to sustain demand for industrial space, with industrial clusters near the city centre as well as city-fringe business parks seen as among those in good stead to ride on the growth wave.

After a year fraught with uncertainty and setbacks, the global economy is expected to gradually recover its footing as countries carry out their ongoing vaccination programmes. Where the Singapore property market is concerned, the year ahead looks to be one that will deliver change, but also cause for a certain degree of optimism.

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