City fringe business park rents increased by 2.5% in 1H 2021

Xian Yang Wong • 05/07/2021
High-tech factories and prime logistics also continued to perform well

SINGAPORE – July 1, 2021 – City fringe business park rents increased by 2.5% in 1H 2021 as vacancy rates continue to fall to 7.8% in Q2 2021 compared to 9.9% in Q1 2021. In its latest analysis on the performance of the industrial market, Cushman & Wakefield also noted that high tech rents rose by 0.3% in 1H 2021, amidst limited new supply, while vacancy rates fell to 16.0% in Q2 2021 compared to 16.3% in Q1 2021. 

Prime logistics rents grew by 0.9% in 1H 2021 as vacancy rates fell the most, from 22.4% in Q1 2021 to 10% in Q2 2021. Warehouse rents grew by 0.5% in 1H 2021, vacancy rates fell to 9.9% in Q2 2021, from 14.7% in Q1 2021. 

Wong Xian Yang, Head of Research, Singapore at Cushman & Wakefield said, “The performance of the different segments within the industrial market is in tandem with the K-shaped economic recovery, with those catering to growing industries recording rent growth, while the others had limited growth or contraction in rents. City fringe business parks, high-tech factories and logistics which cater to biomedical, technology, high-value manufacturing and e-commerce sectors, have outperformed with growing demand from pandemic thriving sectors, chasing limited available space amidst a supply crunch due to construction delays.” 

“On the other hand, outlying business parks continued to underperform, falling 1.8 in 1H 2021. Average rents were pulled down by older developments that accounted for higher vacancies due to the relocation of anchor tenants to better locations or newer developments. Despite lackluster demand, factory rents held steady in 1H 2021 amidst limited new supply,” noted Xian Yang.


City Fringe BP Outlying BP Science Park Hi-Tech Factory Conventional Factory Prime Logistics Warehouse
2Q21 Rents ($PSF) 6.03 3.57 4.25 3.13 1.60 1.27 1.27
1H21 (% Change) 2.5 -1.8 -0.4 0.3 0.0 0.9 0.5
2H21 (% Forecast) 2.0 -0.3 2.0 0.2 0.0 0.8 1.0
2Q21 Rents ($PSF) 6.03 3.57 4.25 3.13 1.60 1.27 1.27
1H21 (% Change) 2.5 -1.8 -0.4 0.3 3.6 0.0 0.9
2H21 (% Change) 2.0 -0.3 2.0 0.2 0.0 0.8 1.0

Source: Cushman & Wakefield


What’s Next – 2H 2021 Outlook 
The K-shaped economic recovery will continue to characterise the performance of various industrial segments. 

  • Prime logistics, city fringe business parks and high-tech spaces will see continued demand as new economy industries such as technology, high-value manufacturing and bio-medical continue expanding amidst digital transformation and higher focus on healthcare.
  • Niche sectors such as cold chain logistics, food zone factories and data centers will continue to see strong demand due to limited stock and lack of new supply. New supply may face delays given the current safe management measures and labour constraints due to the pandemic situation in key source markets.
  • Amidst robust growth in food and healthcare delivery, cold-chain logistics providers have heightened demand for spaces, and many end-users have eagerly carved out cold storage spaces within their facilities for lease.
  • There are signs of broad-based growth for the industrial market towards the end of 2021 or early 2022, amidst vaccine rollout and as the manufacturing output in other sectors start to recover. General manufacturing output has started to show signs of growth, with strong growth seen in recent months for the Transport Engineering and General Manufacturing industries. 

There is ongoing flight to quality for high-spec industrial spaces as the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, favouring high value manufacturing sectors such as semi-conductors and biomedical industries which has embraced automation and technology solutions. These industries will be on the lookout for new and high-spec industrial spaces to suit their needs. However, the ongoing global chip shortage which has impacted the global supply chain, may temper manufacturing output in Singapore.

The pandemic has led to a shift in work approach with more companies exploring hybrid work models and right-sizing their spatial requirements. While this has a greater impact on the office market, business park spaces that have a portion of ancillary uses such as ancillary offices would be impacted. Within the business park market, there is higher impact on outlying business parks and older business park buildings given the evolving role of the physical workplace towards a place for collaboration and corporate branding.

Brenda Ong, Executive Director, Logistics & Industrial at Cushman & Wakefield is optimistic about the outlook the industrial market. “There are long term tailwinds for the industrial market given Singapore’s position as a high-value manufacturing hub and her competitive advantages of a strong supply of talent, ease of doing business, infrastructure and COVID-19 resilience. Singapore ranks high globally on the aforementioned factors, evidenced by strong investment commitments and expansions by several large MNCs across semiconductors, biomedical and clean tech industries. This aligns well with Singapore’s recently-announced “Manufacturing 2030” plan, a 10-year plan to grow Singapore’s manufacturing sector by 50 per cent and maintain GDP share of 20% by 2030.”


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