Office vacancies hit 10.4% while 8.4% of retail space stands empty

The Robinson Square office building within the Central Business District in Singapore.
The Robinson Square office building within the Central Business District in Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore saw more vacant retail and office space as rents remained under pressure in the third quarter, according to latest statistics from the Urban Redevelopment Authority out on Friday (Oct 28).

Islandwide, the vacancy rate of retail space rose by 0.6 percentage points to 8.4 per cent in the July-September quarter.

This is the highest since the URA started tracking retail space data including food and beverage, fitness and entertainment businesses from the first quarter of 2011.

Retail rents continued their decline though at a slower pace. They fell by 1.5 per cent in the third quarter, easing from the 3.9 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Prices of retail space dipped by 0.6 per cent, following a 3.1 per cent drop in the April to June period.

Office landlords too are struggling to find tenants in a slowing economy amid weaker take-up and increased supply. The office vacancy rate edged up 1.3 percentage-points to 10.4 per cent, the highest im over four years

Office rents declined another 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, but this was less than the 3.5 per cent drop in the previous quarter.

URA said prices of office space decreased by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter, compared with the 1.5 per cent drop in the second quarter.

The amount of occupied office space decreased by 5,000 square metres (nett) in third quarter 2016, compared to the increase of 30,000 sqm (nett) in the previous quarter, URA noted.