Singapore’s commercial real estate activity surged 177% y-o-y in 2021: RCA

/ EdgeProp Singapore
February 10, 2022 2:37 PM SGT
Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Singapore’s commercial real estate investment volume shot up 430% y-o-y in 4Q2021 to $2.9 billion, anchored by the sale of office property One George Street for $1.28 billion last November.
This brings Singapore’s total commercial real estate investment volume to $9 billion for the whole of 2021, up 177% y-o-y, according to a report by Real Capital Analytics (RCA).
The surge for Singapore comes amidst a robust year for the Asia Pacific commercial real estate market in general. RCA’s latest Asia Pacific Capital Trends Report highlights that the region saw commercial real estate investment reach US$205.4 billion ($275.8 billion) in 2021, 22% higher y-o-y than in 2020 and 23% greater than the five-year average prior to Covid. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
Asia Pacific most active markets - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Source: Real Capital Analytics
This marks the first time investments in the region have surpassed the US$200 billion mark. Sales of individual buildings also surpassed all previous highs to reach US$152.8 billion.
Notable markets highlighted by the report include China, Taiwan and South Korea, all of which reported expansion in 2020 despite the pandemic and saw further growth in 2021.
Benjamin Chow, RCA’s head of real estate research, Asia, says that the Asia Pacific region is shifting from a rebound coming out of the pandemic towards resuming its pre-Covid growth trajectory.
“Almost all the key markets and sectors have recovered to or above their historical levels, suggesting that investors have an eye on the region’s longer-term growth prospects,” he adds.
In terms of property type, offices remain the dominant segment in 2021 by volume at $86.7 billion, followed by industrial property ($56.4 billion) and retail property ($40.3 billion).
RCA’s report also notes that the industrial sector continued its strong growth streak, logging a 47% y-o-y growth rate in 2021. “Underpinning that expansion has been a focus on ‘new economy’ assets such as logistics warehouses, business parks and data centres. Investment in these properties reached US$36 billion in 2021,” the report says.
Asia Pacific acquisitions - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Source: Real Capital Analytics
In terms of the Singapore market, RCA notes an impressive turnaround following 2020’s muted activity, with the One George Street deal marking the first billion-dollar sale since the onset of the pandemic.
Singapore investors were also noted to be the region’s top spenders, spending a record amount outside their home market in 2021. Almost US$16 billion was spent in the rest of Asia Pacific, making Singaporeans the leading source of cross-border capital ahead of US firms.
Singapore also remains a top target for global investors. According to RCA, overseas capital accounted for over half of the investment into Singapore’s commercial property market last year.

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