Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Business Times: Industrial rents creep up in first rise since Q3 '08

June 29, 2010
Industrial rents creep up in first rise since Q3 '08
By EMILYN YAP 

RENTS for factories and warehouses turned around in the second quarter, rising for the first time since Q3 2008, DTZ said yesterday. 

The property consultancy said the average monthly gross rent for first-storey private conventional industrial space was $2 per sq ft in Q2, up 2.6 per cent from Q1. The rent for upper-storey space was $1.60 psf, up 3.2 per cent.

According to DTZ, the average monthly gross rents for first and upper-storey private industrial space are down 14.9 and 22 per cent respectively from their peaks in Q3 2008.

Colliers International's director (industrial) Tan Boon Leong also said rents for factories and warehouses edged up in Q2. 'This is in line with the increase in factory orders, which in turn led to higher demand for industrial space,' he said.

In May, Singapore's manufacturing output surged 58.6 per cent year on year, driven largely by higher biomedical output.

Greater demand for industrial space has come mainly from higher-end manufacturers such as those in electronics and precision engineering, Mr Tan said. 

He believes factory and warehouse rents will continue to rise in small steps this year, as manufacturers still need to utilise excess capacity carried over from the downturn.

DTZ has a similar view. 'Industrial rents are likely to continue to increase but at a slow pace given the stream of about 15 million sq ft of private industrial space in the pipeline over the next one and a half years,' said its South-east Asia research head Chua Chor Hoon.

The outlook for hi-tech industrial space is less bright. In Q2, the average monthly gross rent for business, science park and other space in this sector was unchanged at $3.15 psf.

DTZ does not expect hi-tech rents to move much this year, with a significant amount of business park space expected to come on stream in the second half.

There will also be competition for tenants from commercial space in secondary locations, said DTZ's executive director (business space) Cheng Siow Ying. 'The narrow rental gap between decentralised offices and hi-tech industrial space provides little impetus for upward movement of hi-tech industrial rents.' 


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