By Linette Lim | POSTED: 06 Mar 2014 20:31 | CNA

SINGAPORE

More comprehensive rental data will be made available to the public later this year, according to Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck.

Speaking in Parliament during the Committee of Supply debate on Thursday, Mr Teo said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have given feedback that they face significant rental spikes when their tenancies are renewed.

Mr Teo said: “To help businesses make more informed decisions about the rental market, the SME Workgroup has suggested that the government share more rental information. I think Mr Zaqy Mohamad (MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC) has also mentioned about this rental benchmark transparency.

“MTI (Ministry Of Trade and Industry) and URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) have taken this feedback on board — we are looking into publishing more comprehensive shop rental data in our indexes later this year, to make our pricing more transparent.”

Addressing questions by MPs about the impact of real estate investment trusts (REITs) on the rental market, Mr Teo said REITs are not necessarily the leading players in the rental space market, as they currently own about 13 per cent of retail, and 16 per cent of industrial rental space.

He said they cannot charge excessive rents if there is no demand.

But he added the government will monitor the rental market and intervene if there is evidence of collusion or market domination by any player, including REITs.

Mr Teo said rents are likely to moderate in the medium term as the government has released a significant amount of land for shop space and multi-user factory space.

– CNA/gn

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-rental-data-to-be/1023158.html