Singapore ranks second in top Asian locations for tech companies: Colliers

The Business Times - September 19
Singapore is the second-best city for technology companies looking to establish or expand operations in Asia, according to a report published on Wednesday by real estate services and investment management company Colliers International.

In the report, titled "Top Locations in Asia - Technology Sector", Colliers ranked 16 large Asian cities on socio-economic, property and human factors in order to identify and recommend the best urban locations in Asia. The three top cities of Bangalore, Singapore and Shenzhen received 61 per cent or more on their scoring scale.

Bangalore (68 per cent) ranked first, with the the fastest-growing city in Asia over the next five to 10 years offering a wide and deep talent pool. The Indian city also boasts the largest stock of Grade A office space in Asia after Tokyo, low staff costs and office rents, and low cost of living. However, it scored less well on the quality of its office accommodation and infrastructure, said the report.

Singapore (63 per cent) scored highly due largely to its strong talent pool, and on personal tax rate, safety and living quality. These outweighed its lower ranking on property metrics. The city is expected to continue to benefit from its position as a well-connected financial and communications hub for South-east Asia and Asia-Pacific operations, said Colliers.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
The Singapore Government launched the Smart Nation initiative in late-2014 to spur the pervasive adoption of digital and smart technologies across the country. Nearly four years on, the move has gained traction not just among Singapore’s population, but also large and small businesses as well as within the public sector. As Singapore continues to transform into an innovation-led, high-tech economy, it will remain a compelling business destination for global technology firms. We believe it presents lots of upside potential for the real estate sector, particularly the office space and high-specification industrial space, such as data centres. Click here for the news release.

Lendlease joins growing trend of developers running co-working spaces

The Business Times - September 21
Lendlease is planning its own flexible workplace brand within its upcoming Paya Lebar Quarter mixed-use development, The Business Times has learnt.

That would make the Australian firm the latest among developers to run their own co-working platforms here amid an increasingly crowded landscape.

"To cater to the demand for high quality flexible workspace from corporate occupiers, we are exploring a new co-tenancy workplace product for larger startups, creative and corporate teams," Richard Paine, managing director for Paya Lebar Quarter, said in response to queries from BT. "We look forward to sharing more information in the next few months."

Several other developers and landlords here including Keppel Land, Mapletree Investments and Ascendas-Singbridge have already started their own co-working brands.

Duncan White, Head of Office Services:
Generally, landlords or developers will often look at the pros and cons behind partnering with an operator versus self-providing. One of the main reasons behind the preference of self-providing is around control of the service offering - controlling the look and feel of the flexible workspace centre to match the development. Having ownership of such spaces also allows landlords and developers to be more nimble, adjusting their strategy and offering to match their tenant mix and evolving needs in a more timely manner, without any drawn-out third party negotiations. 
Developers with a large-scale regional or global portfolio reach are in a good position to leverage their greater tenant mix to translate into additional multi-market opportunities. Another plus is based around securing fast growth occupiers that might not have reviewed the developer’s building because they are not sure if the development could accommodate their rapid growth. However, with a flexible workspace offering within the same development, the developer can position the building as an accessible asset for target clients of all sizes. Click here to download Colliers' Flexible Workspace report. 

300 units sold at JadeScape condo

The Business Times - 23 September
Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group said that it has sold 300 units at the JadeScape condo as at  2pm, Sunday, Sept 23. Sales began on Saturday morning.

The average transacted price is S$1,700 per square foot, it added.

Interest was balanced across all unit types. Under the first phase of sales, Qingjian Realty has released 480 of the development's 1,206 residential units. 

The 99-year leasehold condo is coming up on the former HUDC Shunfu Ville site. The project offers smart home and smart estate management systems.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:

We believe JadeScape would do well given the palatable price quantum of less than SGD1.5 million for most of its one- to three-bedders and its city fringe location near Marymount MRT station as well as good schools. 

We also expect pent-up demand in the Thomson/ Marymount vicinity where there have been no new major launches since 2015 - the last major launch was the 288-unit Thomson Impressions in Q4 2015. Nearby comparable project such as Thomson Three (99-year leasehold, completed in 2016) has transacted at about SGD1,600 psf in 2018 year-to-date. Over a kilometer away, Sky Vue (99-year leasehold, completed in 2016) near Bishan MRT station transacted at about SGD1,600-1,700 psf in 2018, given its proximity to a sizeable and popular mall.