Savills MD forecasts big rental growth for AAA-grade office buildings

Bells are ringing for landlords amid a shortage in supply in the core Central Business District area and increased demand from various industry groups, Savills Singapore's new managing director Marcus Loo told The Business Times last week.

He added that the global real estate service provider, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, forecasts rental growth for AAA-grade office buildings to more than double to 10 per cent this year.

Mr Loo succeeds Mr Chris Marriott, who will now focus on his role as chief executive of Savills South-east Asia, with immediate effect. Mr Loo was executive director of Savills Singapore for close to three years.

Savills Singapore offers a wide range of real estate services, such as asset and property management, investment advice and other property consultancy services.

Mr Loo was crucial in leading the local team - especially in commercial leasing - and worked with clients such as Julius Baer, Samsung and Lazada.

Prior to joining Savills, he spent 13 years at another real estate services agency, Colliers International Singapore, where he oversaw its office services division.

A key challenge that Mr Loo has identified is talent acquisition. He explained that the company needs to seek out the best talent as it expects the business here to continue to expand.

He also believes that the business can tap the capital flow coming from foreign investors - especially Savills' clients in North-east Asian countries such as China and South Korea - to an increasingly buoyant Singapore market.

Mr Marriott said the company will be looking to increase its overall headcount in Singapore by 10 per cent to 20 per cent, including the increase of residential brokers from 650 to around 1,000 in the near future.

Ultimately, Mr Loo aims to elevate the business across all service lines and continue the strategy his predecessor has carried out. He said: "I strongly believe that the firm has to continuously be multifaceted and broad-based."