Singapore has long been a popular big business destination, and now, research reveals that it’s the number one choice for bosses in the real estate industry. CBRE’s Asia Pacific Occupier Survey 2018 revealed that 45 per cent of real estate executives have major relocation plans for their companies in the next two years, one quarter of them choosing Singapore.

Modern and forward thinking

Singapore is often perceived as the bridge between the East and West. While tradition is preserved in its cultural heritage, the city-state’s business style is very much in adherence to the West. The infrastructure of Singapore is modern and efficient, and often regarded as one of the best in the region. The air, sea and road transport, as well as the telecommunications network, can be attributed to forward-thinking and careful planning on behalf of the government.

Location, location, location

Singapore continues to serve as a hub of business activity for south east Asia. Singapore has become an important financial and industrial hub in the global market due to its strategic location, political stability, visionary economic policies and resourceful population. Of the remaining, 42 per cent of real estate executives who were surveyed, many prefer Tokyo for flight-to-quality where investors move their capital away from riskier investments to safer ones amidst high supply, whilst 17 per cent prefer Manila for cheaper locations outside the CBD.

Room for growth

The main reasons for Singapore being considered by one quarter of those in the report were; portfolio expansion, acceleration of workplace evolution, and higher investment in technology. Rapid technological innovation, evolving workplace concepts, and shifting employee expectations are growing in the commercial real estate space in Singapore.

Singapore’s office rents have also grown 8.4% since the bottoming out in mid- 2017, and are expected to continue to appreciate through to 2021. The report also pointed out that supply in Singapore is low which may pose a challenge for businesses and companies looking for new business space.

The gateway to Asia seems likely to continue its pull of foreign businesses to its city-state.


The survey polled 50 corporate real estate executives from multinationals and large Asian corporates with companies headquartered in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Major sectors included technology, media and telecommunications, banking and finance, and petroleum, oil and gas, and flexible space providers.