Singapore is the big winner as Southeast Asian property markets appear to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis


HONG KONG — Singapore’s property market is set to emerge faster than its Southeast Asian peers from the Covid-19-induced crisis as the region rushes to vaccinate its population, analysts say.

Vietnam is also expected to do better than most other major economies in the region.

While the challenges are unlikely to go away any time soon, the region as a whole is seeing some upside this year, with economic recovery expected to be more evident in the second half, according to Knight Frank.

“Long regarded as a safe haven, properties in Singapore have remained resilient to the pandemic, with prices rising by an average of 13% over the past two years to outpace the rest of the region,” said Ms. Christine Li, manager. research for Asia-Pacific. at the real estate consulting firm.

Singapore saw private house prices climb for a seventh consecutive quarter from October to December, according to government data.

The 5 percent rise was the highest quarterly growth rate since the second quarter of 2010, according to PropNex Realty, a listed real estate agency in the city state.

For the full year, private house prices rose 10.6%, the most since 2010.

Office space in the financial hub is also expected to lead the rest of the region, with lease prices expected to rise 10% this year, according to CBRE.

“Singapore is doing well in this area, having fully vaccinated the vast majority of its eligible population and welcoming 50% of workers back to the office,” said Mr. Greg Hyland, Head of Capital Markets, Asia-Pacific, CBRE .

“CBRE expects Singapore to lead the recovery in the region for Class A office rents, with expected increases of around 10%, compared to an average of 1% expected for the rest of Asia-Pacific. The country has also seen commercial spaces and retail spending is almost back to pre-Covid-19 levels.”

Vietnam, meanwhile, is showing signs of recovery.

“The recovery momentum in Vietnam is also encouraging. Its residential market is gaining ground with foreign investors. by non-residents,” Ms. Li said.

Late last month, Singapore-based Keppel Land bought a 49% stake in three residential plots in Hanoi for around S$160 million, suggesting a positive outlook for Vietnamese real estate.

In addition to an apparent increase in housing demand, Vietnam’s logistics and industrial real estate markets also performed well.

In the third quarter of 2021, the average occupancy rates of industrial parks in five key cities and provinces in northern Vietnam reached 78.5%, an improvement of 0.5 percentage points from a year ago, according to CBRE.

By contrast, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand are likely to face challenges this year.

House prices in Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Penang are still between 3 and 7% below pre-pandemic levels, while those in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta are largely stable, Ms Li said.

“For the Bangkok (apartment) market, buying sentiment is still pessimistic…As the pandemic continues at full steam, uncertainties still cloud Bangkok’s recovery prospects from Covid-19, with buyers withdrawing their It remains difficult for developers to stay positive, and many are delaying project launches for at least another six to nine months,” she told SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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