Commercial properties in Singapore can be divided into retail properties such as shopping malls and office buildings. There’s also the industrial sector, which includes factories and warehouses.
Types of Commercial Property in Singapore
As commercial properties (except industrial spaces) are typically untouched by cooling measures and are also reasonably priced, there is a visible surge in investments.
There are many commercial property types in Singapore such as the following:
Office spaces can be classified such as Grade A, B and C. In the past years, the demand for office spaces has increased, continuously appealing to investors. Also, the number of businesses in Singapore keep increasing and small companies and start-ups aim for office spaces located in the CBD area or other central areas in Singapore. For those with lower budgets, there are also some alternatives such as Woodlands or Jurong, which offer businesses a lower rent.
Office spaces remain one of the most sought out commercial spaces in Singapore. According to URA, the prices of office space decreased by 0.4% in 3rd quarter 2016, compared to the 1.5% decline in the previous quarter. Also, rentals of office space fell by 1.1% in 3rd quarter 2016, compared to the decline of 3.5% in the previous quarter.
Today, there are about 80 strata-titled malls in Singapore. Examples of classic strata malls are Lucky Plaza, Golden Mile, Queensway Shopping Centre, Katong Shopping Centre, etc.
Although some of these strata-malls have continued to thrive for many years due to their distinct character, Singapore’s commercial market also sees a surge in newer developments. For the older ones, the rentals are lower comparing to more modern shopping centres.
According to URA, prices of retail space decreased by 3.1% in 2nd quarter 2016, compared to the decrease of 1.9% in the previous quarter. Rentals of retail space decreased by 3.9% in 2nd quarter 2016, compared to the decrease of 1.9% in the previous quarter.
Property price Index of retail space at a glance
According to Savills, from 2017 to 2020, approximately 6.2 million sq ft of new retail space is expected to enter the physical stock. Similarly, in 2017, the new supply largely involves integrated projects in the Central planning region.
The major developments consist of the new retail mall at Singapore Post Centre and The Heart at Marina One. Hillion Mall in the Bukit Panjang planning area is the only significant development in 2017 that is not located within the Central planning region. Subsequently, in 2018, the major projects are also mixed developments, such as Paya Lebar Quarter and Northpoint City.
Compared to modern office and retail spaces, shophouses, which are highly sought after by investors, boast historical architecture, rich heritage and have a unique charm. Shophouses can be used as space for both business and living.
Shophouses in Singapore were built between the early-1800s and mid-1900s, and today they still continue to be an important part of Singapore’s cityscape and serve as a link to the past. Currently, there are over 6,500 conserved shophouses in Singapore.
A typical shophouse has either a Residential Front or Shop Front at the first storey, depending on the original building use.
Regarding shophouses’ use, these spaces can be occupied by either commercial or residential tenants, as long as conservation of the building is maintained according to URA guidelines. The guidelines describe precisely all elements of shophouses to be safeguarded and provide local specification according to each neighbourhood.
Mixed Development is the urban development that blends residential and commercial. Usually, the residential towers standing on top of the commercial retail mall. Mixed development can be in the form of a single building or the entire cluster. In the past years, mixed developments have experienced a pick-up in interest. The retail units are in demand, given their scarce supply in the market.
Industrial buildings are categorised as Business 1 (B1), Business 2 (B2) and Business Parks. Manufacturing, assembly, warehousing and workshops are also housed within industrial building or factories.
Industrial buildings are typically quite expensive, but many strata-titled industrial units are affordable for individual investors.
Tenure period for industrial properties are usually either 30 years or 60 years. Because of the shorter tenure, industrial properties tend to command a higher rental yield as opposed to other types of properties.
Also published on Medium.