Quiet on the Office front

5-shenton-wayIn preparation of this year’s imminent economic turmoil, businesses and companies are finding all ways to downsize, from retrenchments to cutting down on their office spaces or even uprooting to another country entirely. This may pose a spot of trouble for commercial real estate, especially in the more upmarket and expensive Central Business District (CBD).

This plus competition from the soon-to-be-completed Marina One and more available office spaces at the new Marina Bay Financial District such as Asia Square. The Tanjong Pagar and Shenton Way area are also seeing future competition from new office developments such as 5 Shenton Way, Robinson Towers and Frasers Tower. Some tenants have gone into subletting their spaces for lesser, subsidising rents for their sublet tenants so they get better deals than if they were to go to the landlords directly.

Robinsons Towers

Photo: Robinsons Towers (photo by taunsing.com)

But not all of the movement is out of the country. As Singapore remains one of the more established bases for multinational companies (MNCs), international firms may still continue to relocate their regional headquarters here. Hong Kong is the other popular base for MNCs, where housing rentals and costs of living  are comparable.

Technology, media and telecommunication companies  are however beating the odds and growing in numbers and size. Airbnb is now taking up 30,000 sq ft on Cecil Street, expanding from their original 13,000 sq ft. And Uber has also taken up 20,000 sq ft in Mapletree Anson.