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Weekly Property News Highlights: 30 December 2020 - 5 January 2021

Singapore-New Zealand Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) to take effect on Jan 7 and the effects of HSR termination on property prices.


The Business Times - January 1

The lack of a major catalyst like the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project which was terminated on Friday may help slow the increase in property prices in the Jurong area, but experts are choosing to focus on the broader plans to decentralise the central business district (CBD) and longer-term outlook for the area.

Back in May 2015, Jurong Country Club's (JCC) land was gazetted for acquisition for the site to be developed into the Singapore terminus of the HSR link. In January 2017, the government announced that Raffles Country Club will also make way for the HSR project, as well as a depot and stable for the Cross Island MRT line. 

Tricia Song, Director and Head, Research:

The High-Speed Rail's scrapping could slow decentralisation, and bring investors' focus back to the city centre and the Greater Southern Waterfront developments. We expect the CBD to remain the core office location for large businesses and occupiers.

Earlier tourism and hospitality projects in Jurong building on the presence of the HSR may now be tweaked, but Singapore's long term hospitality fundamentals should remain intact.



The Business Times - December 28

The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) will enter into force for Singapore and New Zealand on Jan 7, 2021.

This follows the ratification of the agreement by both countries, said Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a press statement on Monday.

DEPA was the first digital-economy agreement that Singapore had concluded and signed. The city-state inked the pact with New Zealand and Chile in June this year.

Singapore businesses can expect greater efficiency, increased trust and reduced costs or digital barriers when trading or conducting business digitally with their partners in Chile and New Zealand, with DEPA.

Rick Thomas, Senior Director, Executive Director and Head of Occupier Services:

The step towards a digital-economy agreement is the first of its kind and will establish greater collaboration across digital trade. It will also address the new issues brought by global digitalisation and will positively impact the Singapore office market's sentiment as it will promote cooperation and expansion amongst occupiers in the Fintech sector.

Tricia Song, Director and Head of Research:

With its digital-economy agreements, Singapore aims to build on its extensive network of free-trade agreements and other digital cooperation initiatives. Tech occupiers have seen its presence increase to over 12% of the CBD Grade A office space, according to Colliers' research. The recent award of four digital bank licenses as well as trade deals could increase fintech occupiers' presence here, and should boost demand for prime office space in 2021 and beyond. Read our recent report on The Future of the CBD Office.

Related Experts

Rick Thomas

Managing Director | Asia

Emerging Markets


As Managing Director of Emerging Markets, I am responsible for expanding Colliers’ client base and identifying new business and opportunities for cross-border collaboration in partnership with the Managing Directors of our emerging markets businesses. Our emerging markets portfolio includes operations in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


Based in Singapore, I have over 22 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. 

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