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Bright prospects for Singapore property market

by Cheryl Tay

Singapore's property market is set to welcome a bright 2013 as prospects remain positive, with the city ranked among the top favoured locations for investment and development across the Asia Pacific region.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Asia Pacific 2013 report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has ranked Singapore as the third most favoured Asia Pacific market, both in investment and development.

According to the report, Singapore has consistently placed among the top three in the survey ranking since 2007, except for once. The report quoted one investor as saying, "You don't get astronomical returns, but it is a very safe place to be."

"In part this is because, as a financial hub, the city will generate ongoing demand for high-grade office space. In addition, there is always a steady stream of government land sales and a strong pipeline of new projects. That has been "good for developers, but is less so for opportunistic investors with that they are not the type of prime assets the REITs normally look to acquire," it added.

As a safe haven for investors, Singapore provides generally solid returns; however, interest in the different property sectors is mixed.

For instance, the office segment has recently faced a slowdown, marked by the departure of many tenants from Grade A office spaces. This has led to rising vacancies and falling rents that impact market sentiment.

"As a result, the focus for real estate investors has moved towards other sectors. There has been a strong interest in strata-title properties, especially for off-plan units being sold by residential developers," added the report. Cheryl Tay, Editor of CommericalGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email

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