Property investment sales up 18.2% to $9.6b in first half

The morning peak hour at Asia Sqare Tower 1. The $3.38 billion sale of the building to the Qatar Investment Authority is among the office deals this year.
The morning peak hour at Asia Sqare Tower 1. The $3.38 billion sale of the building to the Qatar Investment Authority is among the office deals this year.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Property investment sales have risen 18.2 per cent to $9.56 billion over the same period last year, according to CBRE. Foreign investors were more active buyers, accounting for 59.5 per cent of the deals by value, or about $5.68 billion.

CBRE's overall sales tally - it only counts transactions above $10 million - has been helped by several big private investment deals closing in this half-year, noted Mr Desmond Sim, head of CBRE Research for Singapore and South-east Asia. "The market saw a few new entrants making their first foray in the Singapore market, including Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Hong Kong-based Shun Tak Holdings."

Office deals this year included the $3.38 billion sale of Asia Square Tower 1 to QIA, the $560 million sale of Straits Trading Building to Indonesian tycoon Tahir and CapitaLand Commercial Trust buying a 60 per cent stake in CapitaGreen for $960.3 million.

The big residential investment transactions included the $638 million Shunfu Ville collective sale to Qingjian Realty and Shun Tak Holdings securing 9 Cuscaden Road for $145 million.

"With fewer land plots sold under the Government Land Sales programme, residential sales recorded a smaller quantum," Mr Sim noted.

Some of the big-ticket assets on sale include 77 Robinson Road and Tower Fifteen, both office buildings, but Singapore has a limited number of large property investment opportunities in the near term, presenting a challenge for foreign investors, Mr Sim said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2016, with the headline 'Property investment sales up 18.2% to $9.6b in first half'. Print Edition | Subscribe