Singapore’s industrial property market could bottom out soon as macroeconomic forces gather strength. “The Purchasing Manager Index has been hovering above 50 since September 2016, which indicates expansion in manufacturing activities, while non-oil domestic exports are generally trending up despite short-term fluctuations,” says Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie & Co.
Lee was speaking on the industrial property market and outlook on July 1 at T-Space, a new ramp-up industrial development located at Tampines North Drive 1, in the vicinity of IKEA Tampines, Giant hypermarket and Courts Megastore. T-Space developers Lian Beng Group and Oxley Holdings recently released new units on Level 6 for sale. They are also offering star buys. The first batch of  units released has been fully sold, says Andy Tan, associate senior division director at Huttons Asia, one of the marketing agencies for the project, alongside ERA Realty Network and Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI).
Lee notes that the occupancy rates for industrial properties tend to lag the pickup in manufacturing output by about two quarters to a year. However, they have remained fairly stable, along with rents and prices, particularly those for first-storey spaces, where supply is limited. Industrial properties are also not subject to the hefty additional buyer’s stamp duty, unlike residential properties.
T-Space is a ramp-up industrial development by Lian Beng Group and Oxley Holdings, located in the vicinity of IKEA Tampines, Giant hypermarket and Courts Megastore
“The manufacturing sector is evolving. The future of manufacturing will be driven by several key segments, including e-commerce, logistics and semiconductors, as gadgets become smarter,” Lee says. According to Edmund Tie & Co Research, net yields for industrial space range from 6% to more than 7%.
Lee also urges potential investors to examine the development plans for the area where the property is located. Tampines, for example, is slated for more transformation, with new transportation networks and other amenities on the cards.
Lee notes that occupancy rates for industrial properties tend to lag the pickup in manufacturing output by about two quarters to a year
Bruce Lye, managing partner of SRI, says Tampines is on track to being an e-commerce logistic hub. “In May, homegrown luxury e-tailer Reebonz opened an eight-storey e-commerce hub in Tampines while SingPost launched its Regional e-Commerce Logistics Hub at Tampines Logistics Park last year.”
Lye notes that Tampines North, where T-Space is located, will be the epicentre of future developments including 21,000 new homes, two primary and two secondary schools, a community centre, substantial park land for Boulevard Park and Quarry Park and new cycling routes. Meanwhile, the area is already home to high-profile developments, including the United World College and Tampines Retail Park comprising IKEA Tampines, Giant hypermarket and Courts Megastore.
Tampines, as a result, saw an influx of firms, spurring demand for its business space. Office space at 7 and 9 Tampines Grande and 11 Tampines Concourse, for example, are almost fully occupied, notes Lye.
Lye says Tampines North, where T-Space is located, will be the epicentre of future developments
Separately, the first batch of units released at T-Space was snapped up by mainly end- users, including interior design, home furnishing and renovation firms, looking to synergise and tap the growth of Tampines. Another plus point for T-Space is direct access to expressways, which would save transportation time and costs for businesses, says Huttons’ Tan.
Tan says the first batch of  units released at T-Space has been fully sold
Slated to be completed in 2019, T-Space offers four unit types. The largest is Terrace Collection, where each unit spans four levels and comes with private internal lifts. There are only 15 such units in the entire development and they range from 19,063 to 38,072 sq ft. Studio Unit makes up the largest number of units, starting from 2,196 sq ft, and includes a mezzanine floor.
The Courtyard Suite are double-storey units starting from 2,422 sq ft. They occupy the uppermost levels of the complex and have direct access to the rooftop space, swimming pool, gym and other amenities. The fourth unit type — Typical — starts from 1,636 sq ft.
A cross section showing the layout of a four-storey Terrace Collection unit
The interior of a Studio Unit
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