The on-going haze situation in Singapore is having a detrimental effect on the real estate industry, with many agents reporting cancelled viewings and a lack of new enquiries.
Agents contacted by PropertyGuru on Thursday and Friday also reported a signficantly low turnout of visitors at showflats, as the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reached a record high of 401 at noon of Friday lunchtime – classifying air quality in the city-state into the "hazardous" range.
Singapore has been blanketed by haze for most of the week as a result of forest fires in nearby Sumatra, Indonesia.
Evan Chung, Assistant Vice President of Resale Division for DTZ, told PropertyGuru: "Undeniably the haze has impacted viewings and show flat visits, however there are still a handful of clients who've chosen to defy the record high PSI and proceed with viewings.
"True enough, discussions through the viewings have proven that these are indeed a group of serious buyers, not wanting to miss out on a potential unit. Nonetheless, many came armed with N95 masks and an obvious disdain on the issue of transnational air pollution."
Ella Sherman of Premiere Realty echoed the experiences of many agents over the past few days.
She said: "All my viewings scheduled for this weekend have been cancelled, and my phone hasn't rung since the haze began. This makes me worry about paying my mortgage this month."
Sherman added: "This terrible haze is negatively impacting business as well as health, and a cause of lots of worry. Undoubtedly it's an environmental disaster and big setback for Singapore business."
Jason Lim of Vestor Realty added: "I'm not sure if it's because of the haze, but my phone has been silent since yesterday morning."
Mohd Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of PropNex Realty, said that his company is constantly monitoring the situation.
He said: "Despite the poor air quality, I still see hardworking individuals, some with their face masks on, making their way to meet their clients. For most of us, we cannot afford for things to come to a standstill — business is as usual despite that hazy situation.
"As health risk increases, the number of people taking medical leave may increase; especially those with existing respiratory problems who may not be able to perform optimally as before. To counter this, we have advised our people to take extra care especially when they need to be outdoors for long periods of time.
"Whilst livelihoods of some may be affected, I believe that if we help one another, we will make it through this period. We have come a long way as a company, overcoming various challenges such as the SARS in 2003, the dengue outbreak, the economic crisis in 2008 and come what may; this haze is will be something that we can also overcome eventually.
"(We) will make necessary recommendations to our salespersons should the haze situation aggravate further," added Ismail.
A spokesperson for Jones Lang LaSalle added: "We are closely monitoring the haze situation in Singapore. We have, and will continue to provide on-going guidance to our employees, clients and vendors in line with government recommendations.
"Whilst the PSI levels remain high we are advising our employees to avoid spending time outdoors, in accordance with official advice, and have made masks available to all of our staff in Singapore.
"We have advised our agency staff in Singapore that where possible property viewings should be postponed until the haze situation improves. The health and safety of our employees, clients and vendors is our number one priority and we are continuing to monitor PSI levels and follow official government recommendations."
However, one agent specialising in re-sales reported almost no impact to his level of business, while another said a buyer had lowered his offer as a direct result of the haze.
Are you a real estate agent in Singapore? Email us with your experiences now to firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email email@example.com Recent stories you may have missedWorld Class Land wins tender for Faber Walk siteParc Oasis owners approve resolution on parking chargesLook overseas for better returnsKeppel Land shines in China
The 2,196 sq ft unit at Bayshore Park will be put up for auction on Dec 8 (Picture: Knight Frank)SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - A four-bedroom apartment at Bayshore Park, located near Bedok South Avenue 1 in District 16, will be put up for auction on Dec 8 with a guide price of $2.69 million. It is an owner’s sale, says Karen Ker, assistant manager at Knight Frank, which is handling the auction.Read also: Bayshore Park unit going for $1.2 milThis is the third time the property will be put up for auction
India will continue buying Russian oil and even look for term contracts as sanctions allow purchases provided that Western services are not used, an oil ministry source said on Friday. The comment comes a day after European Union governments tentatively agreed on a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil, which comes into effect on Dec. 5. After Dec. 5, Western shipping and insurance companies would be prohibited from handling Russian oil sold above the price cap.
An artist impression of Kallang Horizon, one of three PLH projects launched as part of the Nov 2022 BTO sales exercise. (Picture: HDB)SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The November 2022 Build-To-Order (BTO) sales exercise closed on Dec 2 with 24,562 applications received, according to data released by HDB. HDB is offering 9,655 flats for sale under the exercise, making it the largest offering to date for a single launch.Read also: HDB offers 9,655 BTOs in largest sales exercise to combat soaring resale pri
India's Kerala state will proceed "no matter what" with a $900 million port project and is open to deploying federal police if needed to protect it from protesters blocking construction, a government minister told Reuters on Saturday. The local fishing community, led by Catholic priests, has blocked construction of Vizhinjam port by Adani Group for almost four months, erecting a makeshift shelter at the port's entrance. The protesters say the huge project causes coastal erosion that has undermined their livelihoods, calling for a complete halt on the construction.
HOUSTON (Reuters) -Oil futures slipped 1.5% in choppy trading on Friday ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) on Sunday and an EU ban on Russian crude on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.24, or 1.5%, to $79.98 per barrel. "Traders will be hesitant to be short over the weekend if there are growing rumblings that OPEC might try to shock and awe the market at their weekend meeting," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures group.
India's top carmaker Maruti Suzuki said on Friday it planned to increase the price of its vehicles in January, prompted by continued cost pressure due to inflation and recent regulatory requirements. India's annual retail inflation eased to a three-month low of 6.77% in October, but has remained stubbornly above the 6% upper limit of the Reserve Bank of India's tolerance band. Maruti, which has about 40% market share in India's passenger vehicle market, did not say how much it planned to raise prices by.
The living room on the second floor of the villa (Photo: Knight Frank)SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Villa Harimau, a private seaside property in Batam, Indonesia, is on the market for US$3.6 million, or around $4.95 million. The property sits on a 30,000 sq ft cliff-top estate located at Bukit Harimau, which is a 10-minute drive from Batam’s Sekupang Ferry Terminal.According to Victoria Garrett, head of residential at Knight Frank Asia-Pacific — who is marketing the property — the owner of Villa Harima
U.S. Treasury yields were lower and Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 ended down but well above the day's lows on Friday as investors digested a stronger than expected jobs report, which had raised concerns about the Federal Reserve's ability to slow rate hikes. The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 263,000 jobs last month compared with economist expectations for 200,000 jobs. The report - released two days after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said it could be time to slow the pace of rate hikes - made investors question whether the central banker would be able to follow through on his suggestion.
The premiums on the Indian rupee are unlikely to fall much further, with current levels almost fully incorporating the U.S. and India interest rate differentials, analysts said. The USD/INR 1-year implied forward premium plunged almost 50 basis points (bps) in November to 1.88% – its lowest in more than ten years – mainly due to the shrinking U.S. and India interest rate differentials. The 1-year rupee overnight index swaps declined about 30 bps in November, helped by a better inflation outlook domestically that prompted traders to lower their expectations on the Reserve Bank of India's terminal rate.
Low: This is a balancing act between conservation of nature and development. The reality is that Singapore is so small. Every square metre counts, and there is an opportunity cost for everything (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - It has been 18 months since Colin Low assumed the CEO role of the statutory board Singapore Land Authority (SLA). The 44-year-old wore a different hat previously, that of CEO of Frasers Hospitality Asset Management and Frasers Hospitalit
The Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) declined 0.7% m-o-m in October, based on flash estimates released on Dec 1 (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) declined 0.7% m-o-m in October, based on flash estimates released on Dec 1. This is a reversal from the 0.6% m-o-m growth logged in September.The SRPI, tracked by the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS) at the National University of Singapore (NUS),
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Among condominiums that hit a new psf price high from Nov 11 to 18, Madison Residences topped the list following the sale of a 1,464 sq ft three-bedroom apartment on Nov 14 for $3.384 million, which works out to $2,312 psf.This beats the previous high set in July 2021 when a 1,776 sq ft unit sold for $3.9 million, or $2,196 psf. It also marks the first unit sold since the July 2021 transaction and the first time a unit at Madison Residences has crossed the $2,300 psf thres
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The sale of a four-bedroom apartment measuring 2,422 sq ft at The Clearwater was the most profitable transaction during the week of Nov 15 to 22. The unit, located on the 17th floor, changed hands for $2.78 million or $1,148 psf on Nov 16. The seller purchased the unit for about $997,900 ($412 psf) in September 1999. This means they raked in a gain of $1.78 million, or 178.7%, over a holding period of more than 23 years.The transaction marks the most profitable sale at The