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Thread: S'pore building boom continues, office demand firm

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    Default S'pore building boom continues, office demand firm

    March 12, 2008, 6.56 am (Singapore time)

    S'pore building boom continues, office demand firm


    CANNES - The credit crunch has so far failed to dent demand for office space in Singapore or derail its bid to become Asia's leading financial centre, a senior member of the republic's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said.

    Speaking to Reuters at the annual Mipim trade fair in Cannes on Tuesday, Choy Chan Pong, head of land administration at the URA, said that Singapore had not felt the threat of vast financial sector redundancies and its construction boom continued.

    'We have not seen any evidence of a decline in demand for office space, and for now most financial institutions in Asia are still hiring,' he said.

    The URA said earlier this week that it planned to double the size of Singapore's Marina Bay financial district to 2.82 million square metres - or double the size of London's Canary Wharf financial district - as international financial sector occupiers continued to seek presence in the city.

    The authority had set aside 101 hectares of green parkland directly adjacent to the Marina Bay financial district that would serve as 'lungs' for the city, and which would never be sold for office schemes, at any price.

    'We have had offers from several Middle Eastern developers and investors to buy the land we have allocated for the Marina Gardens but we will never sell it,' Mr Choy said. 'It stops Singapore from becoming a concrete jungle. It is priceless.'

    Standard Chartered Bank and Development Bank of Singapore have agreed to take a total 1.2 million square feet of space at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, a 438,000 square metre office and residential project being developed by Keppel Land, Cheung Kong Holdings/Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Land.

    According to data from global property broker Cushman & Wakefield last month, Singapore prime office rents climbed 78 per cent in local currency terms in 2007 but Mr Choy quelled fears this surge in rental costs had begun to price some occupiers out of the market, and towards rival markets of Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    'You have to remember this rental increase was from a very low base,' he said. 'Singapore is still cheaper than Hong Kong ... and Tokyo is almost full,' he said.

    Hong Kong is the second most expensive office market in the world, behind London, with annual office rents averaging US$239 per square foot. Tokyo is in third place with annual office rents at US$210 per square foot. Singapore is in seventh place.

    Its annual office rents average US$130 per square foot.

    'We do not expect financial institutions will have to choose one market over another, so we have no concerns about growth of China or Japan.

    'Realistically, banks know they have to be in all three cities because we serve different markets, and if banks want access to India or South East Asia, they need to be in Singapore,' Mr Choy said. -- REUTERS

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    Default Re: S'pore building boom continues, office demand firm

    March 10, 2008, 12.20 pm (Singapore time)

    S'pore says has enough land to meet office demand


    SINGAPORE - Singapore will provide more land for offices as part of a strategy to strengthen its position as an Asian financial centre, the government's real estate planning agency said on Monday.

    'The new growth area set aside for the seamless extension of the existing financial district ... will be more than twice the size of London's Canary Wharf,' the republic's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement.

    'Over a span of more than 15 years, the development of the 85 hectare site identified for extension of the existing financial district will see the addition of around 2.82 million square metres of office space,' it added.

    Demand for office space in Singapore has grown strongly in the past three years, spurred by the growth in financial services, in particular private banking.

    According to URA data, office rents soared 56 per cent last year as demand for office space rose by an average of 260,000 square metres per annum over the last three years - a 60 per cent increase from the historical average of 160,000 square metres a year.

    Foreign direct investment in Singapore's real estate was $14.4 billion (US$10.40 billion) in 2007, compared to $6.7 billion in 2006, the agency said.

    Singapore is currently developing the Marina Bay Financial Centre on reclaimed land south of the existing central business district. It has also offered sites to the east and west of the business district.

    The republic, with a population of 4.6 million, has expanded its land area by more than 10 per cent since independence in 1965 through reclamation from the sea.

    Developers involved in the Marina Bay project include Hong Kong developers Cheung Kong and Hongkong Land, as well as Singapore-based Keppel Land. -- REUTERS

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    Default Re: S'pore building boom continues, office demand firm

    Published March 13, 2008

    Office demand unaffected by global credit crunch

    No threat of financial sector redundancies: URA


    (CANNES, France) The credit crunch has so far failed to dent demand for office space in Singapore or derail its bid to become Asia's leading financial centre, a senior member of the city-state's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) told Reuters.

    Speaking at the annual MIPIM trade fair in Cannes on Tuesday, Choy Chan Pong, head of land administration at the URA, said that Singapore had not felt the threat of vast financial sector redundancies and its construction boom continued.

    'We have not seen any evidence of a decline in demand for office space, and for now most financial institutions in Asia are still hiring,' he said.

    The URA said earlier this week that it planned to double the size of Singapore's Marina Bay financial district to 2.82 million square metres - or twice the size of London's Canary Wharf financial district - as international financial sector occupiers continued to seek presence in the city.

    The authority had set aside 101 hectares of green parkland directly adjacent to the Marina Bay financial district that would serve as 'lungs' for the city, and which would never be sold for office schemes, at any price.

    'We have had offers from several Middle Eastern developers and investors to buy the land we have allocated for the Marina Gardens but we will never sell it,' Mr Choy said. 'It stops Singapore from becoming a concrete jungle. It is priceless.'

    Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank have agreed to take a total of 111,500 square metres of space at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, a 438,000 square metre office and residential project being developed by Keppel Land, Cheung Kong Holdings/ Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Land.

    According to data from global property broker Cushman & Wakefield last month, Singapore prime office rents climbed 78 per cent in local currency terms in 2007 but Mr Choy quelled fears that this surge in rental costs had begun to price some occupiers out of the market, and towards rival markets of Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    'You have to remember this rental increase was from a very low base. Singapore is still cheaper than Hong Kong . . . and Tokyo is almost full,' Mr Choy said.

    Hong Kong is the second most expensive office market in the world, behind London, with annual office rents averaging US$239 per square foot. Tokyo is in third place with annual office rents at US$210 per square foot. Singapore is in seventh place.

    Its annual office rents average US$130 per square foot.

    'We do not expect financial institutions will have to choose one market over another, so we have no concerns about growth of China or Japan,' Mr Choy said..

    'Realistically, banks know they have to be in all three cities because we serve different markets, and if banks want access to India or South East Asia, they need to be in Singapore.'

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