Property investment market robust but outlook ahead challenging

Singapore’s property investment market remained robust in the first two and a half months of this year, with investment sales totalling S$5.9 billion in that period.

The is according to a survey by consultant CB Richard Ellis.

It said strong economic fundamentals and the positive long-term outlook in Singapore underpinned property investment activity.

This is despite uncertain global economic conditions and a slowdown in the US economy.

The private sector led the property sales, raking in S$3.27 billion and accounting for more than half of the total investments here.

Public land sales contributed the remaining 45 percent or S$2.6 billion.

The office sector performed well in the first quarter of 2008, with about a third of total investment sales or S$2 billion so far.

Investment activity in the residential sector slowed considerably in the first quarter.

It contributed 38 percent of total investment sales or S$2.23 billion to date.

CBRE noted that developers are no longer as keen to acquire more sites for redevelopment compared with last year.

Investment in the industrial sector amounted to some S$333 million so far in the first quarter, driven largely by purchases by real estate investment trusts.

For the rest of the year, CBRE said it expects conditions for investment sales to be challenging.

It believes that investors are likely to take a longer time to assess the market before making any deals.

Going forward, CBRE said a healthy level of investment activity in the Singapore property market is expected to continue amidst strong growth in Asia and Singapore’s position as a financial services hub. – CNA/ms

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 17 Mar 2008