Embrace digital innovations, Lawrence Wong urges real estate industry

"The real estate industry - including valuers - must transform in the face of digital innovation in other countries," said Mr Lawrence Wong. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

SINGAPORE - Valuers in Asean countries and stakeholders in the real estate industry should embrace digital innovations, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

"The real estate industry, including the valuation sector, must adapt to change, and transform in the face of digital innovation," said Mr Wong on Tuesday (Sept 12).

"There are also new opportunities for valuers in other fields such as business and intellectual property valuation."

He was speaking at the launch of the two-day Asean Valuers Association Congress 2017 at Goodwood Park Hotel.

Compared with the travel and media distribution industries, the real estate sector has not been as affected by digital innovations. However, things are starting to change, said Mr Wong, who is also Second Minister for Finance.

He cited overseas examples such as how the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation leveraged its database of property information to develop an automated risk assessment system.

The theme of the this year's Asean Valuers Association Congress is Valuation - Real Estate and Beyond. Speakers will present papers on key topics ranging from the valuation of green and smart buildings to new accounting standards on valuation.

"Increasingly, valuation of non-tangible assets such as intellectual property, service contracts, and proprietary data, are also becoming more important when valuing businesses", added Mr Wong.

This is driven partly by digital innovation and the continued strong growth of the services sector, which accounts for more than half of gross domestic product in many Asean countries, he said.

The Asean Valuers Association was established in 1981 with five founding members: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The 20th edition of the Congress expects to draw more than 250 delegates, mostly from Asean countries as well as countries such as South Korea, China and Fiji.

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