Commercial Property Research – Industrial Property 4th Quarter 2021

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Commercial Property Research - Industrial Property Singapore 4th Quarter 2021

Overview

Despite the slight slowdown in Q4 2021, the industrial property market has had an exceptional year in terms of price growth and leasing activity, against the backdrop of the recovering economy.

Based on advance estimates, the Singapore economy grew for the fourth straight quarter, rising by 5.9% YOY in Q4 2021. In 2021, Singapore’s GDP grew by 7.2%, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). The manufacturing sector led the growth in Q4 2021, expanding by 14% YOY. Growth during the quarter was supported by output expansions in all clusters.

In addition, the recent strong non-oil domestic exports (NODX) performance and continued expansion Singapore’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) suggest that the manufacturing and export environment had been key pillars of growth in Q4 2021.

Singapore’s economy is projected to grow by 3% to 5% in 2022. Downside risks to watch will include global monetary policy tightening, potential emergence of new virus variants and China’s economic slowdown.

JTC noted that any rise in occupancy rates of industrial spaces are likely to be moderated by new completions in 2022, although some delays are still expected in completions.

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Rents and Occupancies

  • • Occupancies for overall industrial properties remained stable in Q4 2021 amidst tight supply and resilient demand.
  • • Data from JTC showed that the overall occupancy rate stood at 90.1% in Q4 2021 unchanged from the previous quarter. When compared against Q4 2020, occupancies were up by 0.2 percentage-points (ppt) in Q4 2021.
  • • The stable occupancies were likely due to the persistent delays in new completions, as worksite activity continued to be weighed down by labour constraints, due to border restrictions on the entry of migrant workers. While construction has picked up since 2H 2021, completions are slow – only about 11,000 sqm of industrial space was added to the available stock in Q4 2021, compared to the increase of 228,000 sqm in Q3 2021.
  • • Despite overall occupancies being flat, some industrial property segments posted a QOQ decline: Warehouses (-0.1 ppt QOQ); and Single User Factory space (-0.1 ppt QOQ).
  • Business park spaces saw improved occupancies in Q4 2021, growing by 0.2% ppt QOQ, whereas the Multiple-User Factory segment saw a 0.4% ppt QOQ growth in the occupancy rate.
  • JTC noted that overall rentals rose by 0.2% QOQ in Q4 2021, with all segments, except Business Parks, posting growth over the previous quarter. On a year-on-year basis, overall rents are up by 2% in Q4 2021.
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Industrial Property Leasing Activity

  • While leasing demand softened slightly in Q4 2021 owing to the year-end seasonal lull, industrial leasing activity for the whole of 2021 hit new highs due to the recovering economy and expanding output across all sectors.
  • In Q4 2021, there were 3,130 tenancies – representing a 10.6% decrease from 3,501 contracts in the previous quarter. For 2021, a record 13,081 tenancies were inked.
  • Total rent value grew slightly in Q4 2021, growing by 1.1% QOQ to $22.3 million from about $22.05 million in Q3 2021. For the full year, total leasing value amounted to $87.4 million, surpassing the recent peak in 2019 which recorded a rental value of $84.2 million.