singapore office market surges while total investment drops
Singapore office market surges while total investment drops. Image: Canva.
  • One per cent fall to $24.7 billion for total investment sales
  • Offices up by 45.8 per cent
  • Industrial market loses heat

Investment volumes have fallen by one per cent in Singapore, down from 2021’s S$24.9 billion to the latest S$24.7 billion.

The office sector saw sales rebound, Savills Research found that investment sales in the sector increased by 45.8 per cent year-on-year to S$7.52 billion, up from S$5.16 billion last year.

Singapore’s quarterly transactions across the commercial sector also rebounded, Savills Research found the quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) jump was up 28.4 per cent to $S1.01 billion after two straight quarters of decline. Savills Research said, “This was largely attributed to the 166.1 per cent growth in office investments from S$251.4 million in Q3 to S$668.9 million in Q4.

Investment Sales Values by Sectors

Timeframe  Residential  Office  Retail  Industrial 
2022  $10,720,548,079  $7,515,148,776  $3,006,392,272  $1,486,519,800 
2021  $14,773,291,311  $5,155,857,558  $1,669,946,394  $2,087,380,185 
% Change YoY  -27.4%  45.8%  80.0%  -28.8% 
Q4 2022  $1,402,265,759  $668,936,976  $355,710,804  $382,749,000 
Q3 2022  $2,833,974,916  $251,427,480  $546,650,000  $737,790,000 
% Change QoQ  -50.5%  166.1%  -34.9%  -48.1% 

Source: Savills Research Singapore.

Residential remained the strongest sector, the report found that across all segments, residential investment sales held its place as the largest contributor value-wise for the third consecutive quarter, comprising 49.9 per cent of total investment sales value. This is despite a sharp decline of 64.4 per cent QoQ to S$1.40 billion.

The report found heat has been lost from the industrial sector, Savills Research found a decline in proportion of industrial investment sales, from 16.8 per cent in Q3 to 13.6 per cent in Q4. On the other hand, the share of investment sales in the commercial sector grew from 18.1 per cent in Q3 to 36.5 per cent in the latest quarter.

The report found that Q4 2022 was the third consecutive quarter of decline, Q4 recorded S$2.81 billion down from Q3 2022 of S$4.40 billion. The report also noted it was the lowest since Q2 2020 when investment sales value amounted to S$2.14 billion.

What do 2023 investment sales look like?

The report projected that this year will close out with a total investment value of between S$24 billion and S$25 billion.

For 2023, the greater number of Government Land Sales sites on offer and the registration of the S$2.16 billion sale by NTUC Enterprise Co-operative of Jurong Point, as well as the sale of strata units at Thomson Plaza to Link REIT in Q1/2023 is likely to uplift the baseline average.

There is also some speculation in the market that the opening up of China’s borders will also open up sales opportunities, but the report said “… the ultimate effect may not be that great because strict capital controls may cloud the outcome.”

Alan Cheong, Executive Head of Savills Research, said, “Despite unfavourable economic and interest rate climate, given the given the openness of the economy and a positive perception of Singapore, total investment sales value should still be afloat in 2023.”

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