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Selecting A Commercial Retail Property

Facing. Facing the most important within the location factors. “Location Within A Location”. This means that even in the same shopping complex, shop units with a better facing generally command higher rentals after considering their unit size. A ground floor shop facing the road or the main concourse commands a higher rental than a shop facing a secondary corridor.

Escalators and lifts. The most important and common form and one which gives maximum exposure to shops is the escalator. The positioning and layout of the escalator is an important consideration. The ideal position is at a central location visible from all angles of the center.

Loading and unloading facilities. There must be loading bays as they facilitate movement of both incoming supplies and outgoing goods for retailers.

Population catchment area. For retail businesses requiring walk-in shoppers, it is crucial that the shop is located near population centers. For the main shopping belt along Orchard Road, the catchment area is the whole of Singapore.

Trade mix and anchor tenant. Trade mix refers to the myriad of retail trades operating in the shopping center. The key is to have a balance of trades that both complement each other, providing an interesting variety to attract shoppers. One element of a good trade mix is to have one or two strong anchors that help to draw the crowds to a shopping center.

Parking facilities. Friendliness and sufficiency of parking lots in a shopping center are important. Insufficient parking lots can turn shoppers away if too much time is spent on queuing for parking lots.

Public transportation. If shopping center is accessible by public transport such as MRT and/or public buses it will attract shoppers from further location.

Size of development. Large shopping center like Ngee Ann City, Raffles City, Suntec City tend to be able to hold on their own and attract shoppers to visit them. Unless it has a strong and unique theme, or enjoys some sort of monopolistic power, a small shopping center may not attract crowds, even though it may have one or two famous tenants.

What is property tax? Property Tax is a tax on properties in Singapore. These include HDB flats, houses, apartments, factories, shops, offices and land. The amount of Property Tax payable per year is computed based on a percentage (tax rate) of the Annual Value of the property.

How is annual value of the property calculated? Annual Value is the estimated annual rent the property can attain if it were leased out. The Chief Assessor will establish the Annual Value of the property by analysing leases of comparable properties and relevant data.  

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More Hotel Land Sites to be Put Up For Sale in Next Few Years

More hotel land sites will be put up for sale over the next few years, according to Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan.He was speaking to reporters at the launch of the Gardens by the Bay Masterplan Exhibition on Wednesday.The move is in line with the government’s drive to attract 17 million visitors to Singapore by 2015.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said: “We are ramping up sites for sale for hotel rooms fairly sharply over the next few years. There is a fine balance between overdoing it and undersupply.

“When we put more land onto the reserve list, it’s up to the developers to read the market and decide whether or not they want to trigger it, so we don’t run the risk of oversupply. But we also don’t want this (to result in a) shortage of hotel rooms.”

More than half of the new sites which have been placed under the Government’s Land Sales Programme for the second half of this year are set aside for hotel projects.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 06 September 2006

Singapore Prime Office Rents to Rise By 10 to 11% Annually Till 2010

Lack of new office supply in Singapore will likely push prime office rents up by 69 percent for the next five years.This was the forecast made C Y Leung, Chairman of real estate consultancy DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, during a panel discussion during the Forbes Global CEO conference on Monday.And he predicted that Asia will attract many more foreign names which have absent from the region so far.

Prime office rents in Singapore have risen some 15 to 20 percent so far this year but DTZ predicts that till 2010, rents are expected to increase by an average of 10-11 percent annually.

And the property consultancy firm says the booming property sector in Asia will attract even more investment dollars.

C Y Leung, Chairman, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, said: “Movement of funds within Asia and from other parts of the world, particularly from Europe and America into Asia is a relatively recent phenomenon, unlike movements of funds within Europe and between Europe and America. It is an emerging trend but we seeing the pick-up very significantly and very fast. We are seeing names which hitherto were not part of the scene in Asia and now they are buying in a big way.”

DTZ says more names are expected to surface.

Foreign names have been involved in many high-profile property deals in Singapore, like US-based Colony Capital in the $1.5 billion Raffles Hotel deal, Australian Lend Lease awarded the Somerset Central site and Hong Kong-based Park Hotel Group putting in the top bid for a hotel site.

But consultants say many more are eyeing Singapore including CitiCorp Property Investors.

Looking ahead, DTZ sees a clear demarcation between property investors and developers.

C Y Leung said: “Developers who use their core competencies to source sites, to engage professionals to put their concepts into reality and to find tenants and manage tenant mix and so on. This will be the key competencies of developers whereas funds will exercise their core competencies of raising and raising efficiently funds to hold on to investments. This divorce of functions is not dissimilar to the divorce of functions between development and construction.”

Currently, major Singapore property developers like City Developments and CapitaLand also own sizeable investment properties.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 04 September 2006

Office Rents in Singapore and HK to Lead Region: DTZ

Real estate consultancy DTZ Debenham Tie Leung said Singapore and Hong Kong are expected to record the highest growth in prime office rents in Asia over the next five years due to a lack of supply of new office space.C Y Leung, chairman of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, the Asian arm of the global real estate consultancy DTZ, said Hong Kong grade A office rents will likely rise 70 percent between now and 2010, followed by Singapore with 69 percent.This works out to annualised growth rates of about 10 to 11 percent per annum, he said at a panel discussion during the Forbes Global CEO conference in Singapore.

The largest rental hikes are likely to be seen in the next 24 months, he said.

Lippo Group chief executive James Riady, who was also on the panel, said he was especially bullish about Singapore’s prime office market as capital values are currently only around half the S$2,300 per square foot of built-up space peak seen prior to the Asian financial crisis.

Leung said it was not easy for companies to “strategise against rental hikes” due to the relatively short leases in Asia of two-three years and high setting-up costs.

The solution, he said, is to use office space more productively, such as by getting staff to share workspace.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 04 September 2006 

Rentals at Marina Bay Sands to Exceed Orchard Road’s

It will cost more to rent a shop space at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort than it currently does at Orchard Road, said a Sands senior executive yesterday.Prime rental along Singapore’s main shopping belt can fetch around $50 to 55 per sq ft a month, analysts said.

“Rents are going to be higher than Orchard Road,” Mr Stephen Weaver, senior vice president of Asian Developments for Las Vegas Sands, told Today at the sidelines of the two-day International Council of Shopping Centres conference yesterday.

Mr Weaver, who has overall responsibility for the property development projects of Las Vegas Sands in Macau and Marina Bay Sands, also revealed that the casino operator is already in talks with retail tenants for around 150,000 sq ft of the 800,000 sq ft — or around 19% — of retail space here.

“None of the retailers are currently in this market. We’re talking to these key retailers first, and once that defines how the product will look in the end, we’ll make an announcement for general leasing after that,” he said.

His team will be meeting with specialty department stores such as Barneys New York next month.

Said Mr Weaver: “When we started to lease the Great Canal Shoppes in Macau, we spent three to four months just talking to retailers to make sure we got it just right in terms of merchandising mix, where they thought they ought to be, what sort of tenants they wanted beside them, and revised the design as we went.

“By the time the leasing announcement was made, we had already leased 100 shops. We may very well do the same thing here.”

Its flagship property in Las Vegas currently ranks as the second highest earning shopping mall in the United States, earning over US$1,200 ($1,902) psf of retail space.

He added that the combined annual growth rate of retail doubled that of gaming in the past six years in Las Vegas — retail grew at 9.2% compared to gaming’s 4.8%.

But it won’t just be all high-end luxury for sale at the Marina Bay Sands.

“Most of the retail here will be aspirational to someone. We’ve covered a range of price points in fashion, jewellery, lifestyle, watches and accessories.

“What we won’t have is homewares, electronics and Toys ‘R’ Us!” quipped Mr Weaver.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 13 July 2006 

SOHO @ Central

SOHO @ CentralCentral is an upcoming landmark development located above the Clarke Quay MRT station within the Central Business District.

Pioneering a new live, work, play concept, SOHO at Central, comprising two towers with a total of 227 Small Office Home Office units, has captured the imagination of the Singapore and regional markets. Ninety per cent of the 115 units released have been sold ahead of an official launch campaign in Singapore.

The development’s popularity can be attributed to its much sought-after combination of compact spaces in a high-class development with excellent transportation connectivity. It also has the added attraction of a scenic location by the historic Singapore River.

Developer: Far East Organisation
Location: Eu Tong Sen Street (District 1)
Tenure: 99 years
Year of Completion: 2007
Total Units: 227
Type of Unit: 1 bedroom (581–872 sqft)

  • Lap pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Gym
  • Outdoor spa
  • Sky gardens
  • Covered car park

An Attractive Investment

Central’s unique location by the historic Singapore River on top of the Clarke Quay MRT station places the development at the heart of a fast-growing market within the city. Says Ms Soon Su Lin, Executive Director of CB Richard Ellis, “SOHO at Central should achieve higher rental rates than standard office space as there is no other new office building above an MRT in the city with units of 600 sq ft. In addition, it has the flexibility for residential use. We believe that a net yield of six per cent is achievable for these SOHO units as compared with the four per cent return from typical strata-titled office units.”

SOHO at Central with most of its units in the 635 sq ft size range, offers a very attractive investment option for investors and owner-occupiers alike. About half of the buyers are investors, the rest are business occupiers in professional fields. Over 50 per cent of the buyers are foreigners from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan, the balance are Singaporeans.

A Revolutionary Lifestyle

SOHO at Central presents the only purpose-built home offices in Singapore. The development offers a prestigious business address with full flexibility in commercial usage. Each unit comes with quality home finishes, fully-fitted bathroom and a compact kitchenette. Owners can use the units for the dual functions of office and residential living or for the exclusive use of either purpose without the need for additional approvals from the authorities.

Each unit’s innovative workspace can be turned into cosy living spaces instantly. The high four-and-a-half metre floor-to-floor height coupled with column free space give 40 per cent more volume compared with that of a similarly sized typical office unit. Owners have full flexibility to maximise this voluminous usable space through the use of creative interior design ideas and layout planning.

Central is the first development in Singapore to integrate the diverse functions of real estate – habitation, lifestyle, business, community and transportation connectivity – within one complex. Designed for a population of 10,000 occupants, it will have two towers of SOHO units, a 25-storey office tower, a retail podium with riverfront F&B outlets, a sky garden and recreational facilities, full public amenities and a community hub.

Seamless Connectivity

The epicentre of a thriving community, Central is surrounded by an educational enclave comprising the new city campuses of Singapore Management University, LaSalle–SIA College of the Arts, and other private educational institutions in the Selegie and Bras Basah areas. An estimated 40,000 students and teaching academia, including 10,000 foreign students whom Singapore expects to attract, will study and work in the vicinity of Central.

About one kilometre away are major banking institutions in the Central Business District with a working population of 50,000. Along the Singapore River, there will be 25,000 residents living inupmarket homes. Currently, this area is popular with expatriates from Indonesia and Japan.

Central is seamlessly connected to historic Chinatown, the civic district, the arts and cultural district made up of museums, galleries and the Esplanade, as well as the entertainment belt of Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, Mohammad Sultan Road and The Fullerton Singapore.

When completed, Central is set to invigorate the landmark Singapore River by infusing a new vibrancy into the area treasured for its rich historical background and architectural and business heritage. It is a key node that will contribute to making Singapore’s city centre more distinctive and memorable.

Contact us at or +65 9631 8037 for more information.

Singapore Office Space Rental Procedures

Letter of Offer 

On agreeing heads of terms the landlord will normally issue a Letter of Offer which outlines the general terms upon which the agreement is based. Often this is accompanied with a copy of a draft standard lease. The landlords usually give 1 week to 10 days for the tenant to sign the Letter of Offer and return together with an initial deposit of 1 months rental. 

Lease Documentation / Security Deposit 

Before the tenant signs a Letter of Offer and pays over the initial 1 months rental deposit (sometimes landlords ask for 3 months) he/she should be happy with the terms of the offer and be reasonably comfortable with the draft lease. This is because the deposit is normally non-refundable.  

Whilst it is not intended that all the terms and terminology of the lease are finalized at this stage, the tenant should be satisfied there are no major obstacles in the lease before signing the Letter of Offer. 

After signing the Letter of Offer tenants as usually given one month to finalize the drafting of the lease. Many landlords in Singapore will have their own standard lease documentation which they will not want to vary too much. Therefore major changes are unlikely and we always recommend all tenants to use local lawyers familiar with landlord and tenant legislation in Singapore. 

Taking Possession  

Before taking possession the tenant must have signed the lease and paid the remainder of the deposit monies and one months rent in advance i.e. four months rent in total. 

For more information, email


SouthbankRevel in the adventure of surprises and options right at your doorstep. Located in the inner city, indulge in a lifestyle that has never been so perfectly complemented with relaxed waterfront living.

Get into the Central Business District with just 3 stops away from Lavender MRT Station and minutes drive away to tee off at the future Marina Bay Golf Course. Southbank is also conveniently located next to the Nicoll Highway and near to East Coast Parkway. Being just next to the Kallang Basin and having a seamless connection to Marina Promenade, expect infinite excitement and fun-filled weekends with roller blading, cycling or kayaking by the river.

Standing tall at 40 storeys, Southbank comprises 194 residential apartments, 3 penthouses and 60 SOHO units complete with 16 retail outlets. Southbank also offers picturesque and breathtaking panoramic views of Kallang Basin, Tanjong Rhu and the city.

Developer: Kings & Queens Development Pte Ltd
Location: North Bridge Road (District 7)
Total Units: 257
Expected Completion Date: 2010
Tenure: 99 years w.e.f 27/6/2006

Type of Units:

  • Residential
    • 1 room (54 units) 592-614 sqft
    • 2 rooms (112 units) 904-969 sqft
    • 3 rooms (28 units) 1313 sqft
    • 4 room penthouses (3 units) 3251-4155 sqft
  • SOHO
    • Single storey (25 units) 463-915 sqft
    • Duplex (30 units) 883-1593 sqft
    • Duplex with roof garden (5 units) 883-1593 sqft
  • Retail (16 units)


  • 40m Lap Pool
  • Children’s Pool
  • Spa Pool
  • Reflective Pond
  • Water Feature Walls
  • Changing / Shower Rooms
  • Steam Rooms
  • BBQ
  • Gymnasium
  • Function Room
  • Sun Lawn
  • Sun Deck
  • Courtyard Garden
  • Children’s Playground

Living in the inner city, Southbank is close to the buzz of endless entertainment in Bugis Junction, Suntec City and the Marina Centre.

Contact us at or +65 9631 8037 for your rental or sales needs.