The total value of property investments in Singapore surged in the fourth quarter of last year.
Key drivers were public land sales of non-landed residential sites and acquisitions of office buildings by institutional investors.
In a report out yesterday, consultancy Colliers International said investment sales came in at $5.96 billion for the October to December period, up 39.3 per cent from a year earlier. That brought the full-year figure to $20.32 billion, 3.8 per cent lower than in 2014.
During the quarter, the commercial property sector came out top, with $3.37 billion worth of assets transacted. These included a $1.07-billion acquisition of three office assets: Manulife Centre, Central Mall office tower, and 7 and 9 Tampines Grande. The residential segment racked up about $1.69 billion in investment sales.
"The $999.98 million transacted from the sale of three public residential state land parcels helped sustain the overall investment sales value for the residential sector during the final quarter," said Ms Anthea To, senior associate director for research and advisory at Colliers.
Investment sales recorded in the private residential segment were $688.83 million, and Ms To noted that the activities were largely led by landed homes. Among them, nine Good Class Bungalows (GCBs) were sold, with a total sales value of $160.67 million.
The property consultancy said the most significant deal was a two-storey freehold GCB on 61 Dalvey Road, which was sold for $26 million. Colliers said the seller was a Singaporean couple who lives in Hong Kong, and the GCB was bought by Mr Ng Han Whatt, a member of the Ng family of listed Pan-United Corporation.
Another notable transaction was a two-storey freehold bungalow at 16 Cable Road, sold for $22 million. The buyer is understood to be the son of Oxley Holdings executive chairman Ching Chiat Kwong, Colliers said in the report.
But investment activity has slowed substantially in the industrial property segment, with $365.52 million worth of deals done in the fourth quarter. That was down 37.9 per cent from the previous quarter.
Looking ahead, Colliers expects activity to be modest this year, with overall investment sales projected to be around $18 billion to $20 billion. It notes that potential asset price corrections could offer attractive investment opportunities.