Orchard prime retail space sees strong take-up in 1Q2024, with Central Area rents up 0.2% q-o-q

The Outside Central Region (OCR) found an unfavorable net absorption in retail place of about 54,000 sq ft in 1Q2024. Vacancy cost in the OCR increased to 4.4% in 1Q2024 from 3.9% in the previous quarter. CBRE attributes it to combination in selected field markets and prevention to high rents.

URA’s 1Q2024 data revealed costs of retail assets were up 1.8% q-o-q, marking the 4th straight quarterly rise. Phua connects the raise in asset prices to entrepreneurs designating even more resources to top quality retail assets. Entrepreneurs are attracted to the market due to the beneficial supply-demand fundamentals, favorable return spread over funding costs and shortage worth of such possessions.

Angelia Phua, JLL Singapore consulting executive for research & consultancy, indicates that higher working prices, keen competitors, unpopular retail ideas and evolving consumer preferences have in addition brought about some store endings and a rise in vacancy rates.

As an example, clothing brand Zara shut its retail store in Marina Square shopping mall, while Times Bookstores shuttered its shops in Plaza Singapura and Waterway Point. After introducing here 2 years earlier on, South Korean convenience store Emart24 closed all three sites in Singapore in March. Tom & Stefanie, a kids’s fashion store, closed its avenue at West Mall after 25 years.

The Orchard region saw the highest take-up in retail space throughout the quarter, with net interest of 43,000 sq ft or 80% of total take-up in the Central Location. Merchants in the Orchard location were spurred to take up more spot as visitors arrivals in 1Q2024 surged by 49.6% y-o-y, bolstered by a five-fold rise in Chinese guests, states Song.

In the Orchard location, high quality jewelry chain Swarovski launched its biggest retail store of around 2,300 sq ft at Wisma Atria. Homegrown womenswear brand name Klarra’s opened up a 1,500 sq ft main shop at ION Orchard. With the boosted retail need, shopping centers just like Paragon and Wisma Atria had obtained full tenancy by the end of 2023, Wong adds in.

Retail rents in the Central Area pushed up 0.2% q-o-q, primarily due to the Orchard spot, says Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) head of research study for Singapore and Southeast Asia. On the other hand, retail industry hires in the Fringe Locations dropped 1.8% q-o-q in 1Q2024.

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However, the pipeline of business travel and meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (BTMICE), enhanced air travel connection and ability with the upcoming Changi Terminal 5 will certainly further enhance the tourists recovery and, in turn, the retail sector, indicates JLL’s Phua.

Openings rates in the Orchard region were declining to 6.4% in 1Q2024 from 8.7% in 4Q2023, the lowest from the onset of the pandemic.

Still, depended by tough community consumption and buyer traffic over pre-Covid levels, stores remained to seize prime retail rooms in the OCR, claims C&W’s Wong. For instance, the Chinese activewear manufacturer Beneunder picked to come out at Westgate Mall in Jurong East last year. Hong Kong cosmetics group Sa resumed at Jurong Point last quarter and is opening three even more outlets in the OCR in 2Q2024.

In 1Q2024, retail room rentals in the Central Area fell partially by 0.4% q-o-q, prolonging the decrease of 0.1% q-o-q the last quarter. However, islandwide prime floor rental fees were raise by 1% q-o-q, after a 1.2% q-o-q increase the last quarter.

“The retail market remains to be two-tiered,” claims Tricia Song, CBRE head of study for Singapore and Southeast Asia. Additional locations remain to see softer need for retail industry space compared to prime spot.

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