Office property sector the star performer of the year

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1 Research & Forecast Report Singapore Office 4Q 2014 Accelerating success. Office property sector the star performer of the year With firming demand and shrinking pipeline supply over the next 12 months, office rents and capital values continued to strengthen in the final quarter of 2014 to secure the office property market s position as the star performing property sector of the year. After experiencing a spirited 6.1% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) rise in 3Q 2014, rental growth for Premium Grade office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market moderated to about 2.2% in 4Q At the same time, the average monthly gross rents for Grade A and B office space in the various micro-markets across the Central Business District (CBD) held firm or edged up marginally by up to 1.9% QoQ. Office Rents Average Monthly Gross Rents of Office Space MICRO-MARKET AVERAGE MONTHLY GROSS RENTS ($ PER SQ FT/MONTH) QUARTER-ON-QUARTER CHANGE (%) 4Q Q Q Q 2014 PREMIUM Raffles Place/New Downtown GRADE A Raffles Place/New Downtown Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar Marina/City Hall Beach Road Orchard Road City Fringe Suburban GRADE B Raffles Place/New Downtown Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar Beach Road Orchard Road City Fringe Suburban

2 Rents for CBD Grade A and Grade B space surpassed previous peaks in 2011 Rental growth continued to be driven by healthy demand for office space as well as the perceived scarcity of Premium and Grade A space available in the market over the next 12 months given that South Beach Tower is the only Grade A office building that will be completed in However, the growth exuberance has switched to a lower gear in 4Q 2014 due to the year-end festivities. Notwithstanding the slower rise in the fourth quarter, the average monthly gross rent for Premium Grade office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market rounded up 2014 with an on-target full-year growth of 15.8%, almost doubling the 8.0% growth in Hence, as of December 2014, the monthly gross rent for Premium Grade office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market averaged at $11.93 per sq ft, closing in on its previous peak of $12.25 per sq ft in 3Q Meanwhile, the average monthly gross rents for overall Grade A and Grade B office space in the CBD have gained 6.8% and 4.9% by year-on-year (YoY) to $9.23 and $8.09 per sq ft, respectively, by the end of In fact, they have surpassed their corresponding previous peaks of $9.14 per sq ft in 3Q 2011 and $8.00 per sq ft in 4Q Noticeably, due to the limited supply of new Premium and Grade A office buildings in 2015, the two newly completed office developments in 4Q 2014, namely CapitaGreen in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market and Westgate Tower in the Suburban micro-market have attracted a lot of leasing interest during the quarter. For example, infrastructure and building development, and management services provider, CPG Corporation, has reportedly leased some 83,000 sq ft of office space at Westgate Tower for a period of 10 years. The group is expected to move out of their current 80,000-sq ft premises at Novena Square in the City Fringe micro-market to Westgate Tower in the last quarter of Elsewhere, tenants who need to or may be looking for new office premises due to changes in the ownership of their existing leased premises also contributed to leasing activities in the market during the quarter. The latest example is existing tenants at Equity Plaza in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market who have been served termination of lease notices by the new owners due to their intention to carry out major refurbishment work on the building. They share the woes of tenants such as those in Keppel Towers and Tower Fifteen, both situated in the Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar micro-market, who are uncertain of the permanency of their existing leased premises after ownership of the developments changed hands in recent years. Hence, some of these tenants have returned to the space market to search for replacement premises. Despite the healthy leasing demand, the large addition of some 1.0 million sq ft of new office space just from the completion of the two major projects, CapitaGreen and Westgate Tower, in 4Q 2014 has temporarily deflated the overall occupancy rates of Premium and Grade A office space islandwide, especially in the two micro-markets where they are located. On the whole, the average occupancy rate for Premium and Grade A office space islandwide declined 2.0 percentage points over the three-month period to 94.8% as of December The average occupancy rate for Grade A office space in the Suburban micro-market recorded the largest drop of 7.2 percentage points QoQ to 91.6% as of 4Q Premium Grade office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market also experienced a downward adjustment in their average occupancy rate of 5.9 percentage points QoQ to 88.2% by the end of December Occupancy Rates Average Occupancy Rates for Premium Grade and Grade A Office Space by Micro-market MICRO-MARKET AVERAGE OCCUPANCY RATE (%) 4Q Q 2014 PREMIUM Raffles Place/New Downtown GRADE A Raffles Place/New Downtown Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar Marina/City Hall Beach Road Orchard Road City Fringe Suburban Research & Forecast Report 4Q 2014 Office Colliers International

3 Prices climb steadily on the back of firming rents and limited stock for sale The sustained recovery of Singapore s office rents, coupled with the limited available supply of prime office space for sale in the short term has been supporting a steady climb in the price of office space in 4Q The latest sale at Samsung Hub in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market is an example of buyer willingness to cough up more for strategically located office properties, which are limited in supply. Shortly after achieving a record price of $3,225 per sq ft for the entire 18th floor at the 999-year leasehold Samsung Hub in September 2014, a new all-time high record price for an entire floor at the building was again reached in October 2014 with the sale of the entire 21st floor for $3,280 per sq ft to a Korean family office. The buyer is reportedly going to occupy part of the space after the existing lease expires in January The sale of the units on the 21st floor wraps up the divestment exercise of the seller, Church Street Holdings, who has re-sold all of the strata-titled spaces from the 16th to 21st floors at Samsung Hub that it acquired from OCBC Bank in The new benchmark prices achieved for selected office space in the office sales market helped push up the price points of office space across the market. In particular, in 4Q 2014, the average capital values for Premium Grade and Grade A office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market each rose 2.0% QoQ to $2,779 per sq ft and $2,490 per sq ft, respectively, by the end of $ per sq ft Average Capital Values for Premium Grade & Grade A Office Space in Raffles Place/New Downtown 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1, Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q 2014 Premium Grade A the average capital value of Premium Grade office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micromarket (rose) 4.2% in 2014, up from 1.0% in 2013, while that for Grade A office space in the same micromarket rose by 4.0% in 2014, outpacing the 0.2% growth a year ago. This brought the full year growth in the average capital value of Premium Grade office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market to 4.2% in 2014, up from 1.0% in 2013, while that for Grade A office space in the same micro-market rose by 4.0% in 2014, outpacing the 0.2% growth a year ago. Steady occupier and investment demand to underpin office property sector in 2015 Singapore s office property market looks likely to experience a broadly similar pace of expansion in 2015 on the back of steady occupier and investment demand amid a cautious but still positive economic environment. Economy-wise, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore expects Singapore s gross domestic product to grow by 2% to 4% in 2015, barring the materialisation of any downside risks. This is comparable to the full year growth forecast of around 3% for The shift of the world s economic centre of gravity to the east will also continue to benefit Singapore, which is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, as firms across sectors such as financial services, insurance, information and communications, e-commerce and pharmaceuticals, move core operations to the region to better cater to the needs of the Asian markets. In addition, Singapore possesses the qualities to be the favoured location for multi-national companies looking to set up bases in the region. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit s Business Environment Index 2014, Singapore is ranked as the best place to do business for the seventh consecutive year. This can be attributed to Singapore s efficient and open economy, which gives it a competitive edge as a global and regional hub for businesses. This echoed a similar study conducted by the World Bank on Doing Business In the latest report, Singapore continues to be the best country in which to do business for the ninth consecutive year. The strong attraction of Singapore as a business location bodes well for the local office property market. Besides favourable demand factors, the expected dip in supply of new office space to only about 1.1 million sq ft in 2015 will also likely provide a window for some of the space completed in 2014 to be gradually absorbed over the next 12 months, thereby aiding a gradual rebound in occupancy in However, downside risks persist. They include the patchy recovery in the United States (U.S.) and Eurozone economies, risks of fatigue in the Chinese economy and geo-political tensions regionally and globally, as these factors will have an impact on business sentiment levels. The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has also ended its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus programme after six years with the final purchase of US$15 billion worth of bonds in October Though the end of the QE programme has not immediately led to a tighter money supply in the market, as the Fed announced 3 Research & Forecast Report 4Q 2014 Office Colliers International

4 that it will not sell off the assets in the near term and will keep the low benchmark federal funds rates unchanged for a considerable time, there could still be increased financial volatilities over the next 12 months due to speculation on when the Fed will eventually hike interest rates. Volatile financial markets and toughened financial regulations have continued to push financial institutions to rationalise their use of space to stay profitable. For example, with the sale of their Asian private banking arm to DBS Bank in early 2014, French bank Societe Generale is expected to give up their office space at One Raffles Quay in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market to consolidate their operations at Marina Bay Financial Tower 1 in the same micro-market. Barclays Capital is also understood to be exploring the possibility of consolidating at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 2 in the Raffles Place/ New Downtown micro-market to stay lean. The possible release of excess space by these banks is expected to increase the stock of secondary office space in the market. increase by about 10% to 15% in 2015 while rents for the overall CBD Grade A and Grade B office space could increase by up to 10% for all of 2015 strict loan-to-value regulations and the impending interest rate hikes continue to weigh on purchasers decision making processes and could cap the growth in capital values for Premium Grade and Grade A office space in the Raffles Place/ New Downtown micro-market at 5% in At the same time, as part of the Ministry of National Development s (MND) relocation plans, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) have moved to Jem in the Suburban micro-market in December The relocation is part of MND s plans to move all its operations to the area. The space vacated by AVA and BCA at the MND Complex on Maxwell Road will then be put up for lease. All in all, the upcoming secondary stock in the market may have some dampening impact on the buoyancy of the leasing market. In spite of the challenging global economic landscape and secondary stock becoming available as some firms rationalise their space utilisation or relocate to new office developments, Singapore s strength as an global headquarters location coupled with the expected limited supply of new office space in 2015 could see the average monthly gross rent for Premium Grade space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market increase by about 10% to 15% in 2015 while rents for the overall CBD Grade A and Grade B office space could increase by up to 10% for all of 2015, barring any external shocks. On the sales market front, Singapore s office properties are foreseen to continue to attract healthy interest from endusers such as overseas corporate buyers and family concerns looking for suitable business and investment premises as well as opportunistic private-equity investors and institutional funds looking for yield accretive investment properties. However, strict loan-to-value regulations and the impending interest rate hikes continue to weigh on purchasers decision making processes and could cap the growth in capital values for Premium Grade and Grade A office space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market at 5% in 2015, assuming economic conditions remain on a firm growth path could see the average monthly gross rent for Premium Grade space in the Raffles Place/New Downtown micro-market 4 Research & Forecast Report 4Q 2014 Office Colliers International

5 485 offices in 63 countries on 6 continents United States: 146 Canada: 44 Latin America: 25 Asia: 38 ANZ: 148 EMEA: 84 Contact: Chia Siew Chuin Director Colliers International Singapore 1 Raffles Place #45-00 One Raffles Place Singapore TEL FAX RCB No E US$2.1 billion in annual revenue 1.46 billion square feet under management 15,800 professionals and staff About Colliers International Colliers International is a global leader in commercial real estate services, with over 15,800 professionals operating out of more than 485 offices in 63 countries. A subsidiary of FirstService Corporation, Colliers International delivers a full range of services to real estate users, owners and investors worldwide, including global corporate solutions, brokerage, property and asset management, hotel investment sales and consulting, valuation, consulting and appraisal services, mortgage banking and insightful research. The latest annual survey by the Lipsey Company ranked Colliers International as the second-most recognized commercial real estate firm in the world. colliers.com Copyright 2015 Colliers International. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, we cannot guarantee it. No responsibility is assumed for any inaccuracies. Readers are encouraged to consult their professional advisors prior to acting on any of the material contained in this report.

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