Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) is the planning authority for Singapore. Its mission is “To make Singapore a great city to live, work and play”. In carrying out this mission, URA plans and facilitates the physical development of Singapore to create a vibrant, sustainable and cosmopolitan city of distinction. Their area planning and guidelines will have a long term impact on your property’s values.
URA facilitates the physical development of Singapore by constantly co-ordinating and balancing between various competing needs to ensure a high quality and attractive physical environment. This framework of careful development co-ordination, proactive planning and evolving development controls that are sensitive to the needs of businesses has resulted in an exemplary urban environment that is conducive and responsive to the various activities and needs of a global city in the 21st century.
URA prepares long term strategic plans,as well as detailed local area plans,for physical development,then co-ordinates & guides efforts to bring these plans to reality.Prudent land use planning has enabled Singapore to enjoy strong economic growth,social cohesion & ensures that sufficient land is safeguarded to support continued economic progress & future development. As stipulated by URA, Offices are premises used as a place of business and for conducting administrative work.
Some examples are Class II – Office or Commercial School, such as:
• Finance office, insurance company, stock exchange.
• Real estate housing agency.
• Contractors, transport office.
• Professional, consultant, architect, engineer, lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, research and marketing office.
• Employment agency, secretarial services.
• Security office.
• Political party office.
Commercial School: Premises used for the purpose of teaching, training or imparting of knowledge or skill. Some examples are:
• Tuition centre
• Language school
• Computer school
• Dress-making school
• Baking and cooking school
• Music school
• Dance school
• Acting school
• Speech and drama school
• Child development centre, or play school
• Art school.
Locations where a new office can be considered for approval:
• Shopping centres, commercial buildings, hotels and shophouses.
• Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.
Locations where a new office is unlikely to be approved:
• Non-commercial premises (e.g. residential premises, industrial premises).
• Units located along pedestrian routes or facing public roads at the first and basement levels of commercial developments (e.g. shopping centre, commercial buildings and hotels) in activity generating areas.
• Check Activity Generating Uses Plan in the Master Plan 2014.
Looking at URA’s Release of 2nd Quarter 2015 real estate statistics. The prices of office space rose 0.3 per cent in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, while prices of retail space fell 0.5 per cent. Rentals of office space fell 2.6 per cent in the second quarter, compared with the 0.6 per cent increase in the first quarter. Rentals of retail space decreased by 0.5 per cent, compared with the 0.3 per cent decline in the January to March period. As of end-June, there was a total supply of about 962,000 sqm gross floor area of office space from projects in the pipeline, and a supply of 774,000 sqm of retail space.
The amount of occupied office space increased by 38,000 sqm, compared to the 19,000 sqm increase in the previous quarter, while occupied retail space remained unchanged. The stock of office space increased by 8,000 sqm, while retail space increased by 25,000 sqm. The islandwide vacancy rate of office space at the end of second quarter fell to 9.8 per cent, from 10.2 per cent at the end of the first quarter. Vacancy rate of retail space rose to 7.2 per cent, up from 6.8 per cent in the previous quarter. 2016 seems to be the bumper year of office space at 545,000 sqm, investors should take the opportunity to consider getting a good unit before the supply goes down in 2017 to 2019.