Property & Construction Business Group Update - Q3 2015

By Marcus Eckersley (Cundall Singapore), Chairperson of the Property & Construction Group
The Property and Construction Group has had an interesting quarter. We hosted Dr Megan Walters at the Conrad Centennial Hotel, where she delivered a fantastic insight into the property market within Asia. The presentation delivered the facts, figures and trends that we can expect to see in the Asia property market, including the potential impact to our region from the consequences of oil prices, aging population, urbanisation, and the Greek debt crisis, among other intricacies of our business world. The presentation highlighted how fragile the Property & Construction sector can be, and how it reacts to both crises and stimulation. The audience were even informed about 3D-printed property! The evening was open to all sectors, and was equally appealing to all who attended. The evening was rounded off with networking, which saw more than 50 Chamber members making full use of the evening’s activities.


As we take stock and absorb what Dr Walters presented, we will be trying to match what we learnt with how matters develop in the market in Singapore and across Asia. Today, a month or so on, we see news that the domestic property market in Singapore is slowing while our businesses see the office workplace sector in Singapore experiencing likewise. However, clients are optimising their real estate. Smarter ways of working and operating the workplace are now becoming a common theme. Despite there being a slightly sluggish outlook, there are still plenty of tower cranes presiding above building sites in Singapore, so there will be plenty of opportunity for business to optimise, which in turn generates opportunities for our sector. We also see an ever increasing number of opportunities from countries regionally that are in various stages of development and urbanisation. Our businesses need to react to these opportunities and develop our skills regarding how we work regionally, either between our existing office bases and/or circumnavigating anything in between. Our clients also need to understand how a regional team is more beneficial, through resources, specialisms, experience, availability and flexibility.


As we consider how we work regionally, perhaps using Singapore as our skill and knowledge base, we must be aware that the environment and sustainability is playing an ever increasing part in what we do as a sector. We should not encourage the imparting of old technology or unsustainable ways of working or construction on developing countries. Some places in Asia are blank canvases, so we must encourage that our skills be used for them to step up their development in a sustainable manner. Within the last edition of Orient, Cundall wrote an interesting article on sustainability, which has stimulated some interesting conversations. As we move into autumn, the Property & Construction sector will be hosting another presentation on the subject that all are welcome to attend.


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