In the absence of enbloc office deals, preliminary investment sales volume eased by 14.5% q-o-q to $4.434 bn in Q1 2019. Nevertheless there is still plenty of liquidity in the market.
Office indicators for Q1 2019 continue to look robust. However, there are some factors which give pause for consideration and may impact future outlook and market performance.
Overall net absorption remained muted in Q1 2019. That said, there has been a growing trend of corporates looking for built-to-suit solutions in order to create campus-style headquarters
Even though previous indicators pointed to a potential budding medium-term rental recovery, this optimism has been dampened by recent adjustments in the labour market.
Despite a deluge of launches coming onto the market, given high land costs and a comfortable three to four years to ABSD sell-by deadlines, developers are unlikely to discount prices, thereby keeping prices firm.
In light of the muted outlook in trade, this led to fewer expansions in the quarter. Instead, leasing movements comprised renewals and relocations. Rents maintained in this quarter as landlords focused on shoring occupancy rates.