Business

UOB bullish on residential, office segments

Analysts at UOB Kay Hian are bullish on the outlook for the residential and office segments, despite mixed forecast on the industrial segment.

They noted the strong pickup in sales momentum and pricing in the residential sector last year. This was led by the luxury segment (transactions above $3,000 per sq ft), which first showed signs of recovery in early 2016.

The residential recovery was also driven by "pent-up" demand arising from the implementation of the total debt servicing ratio in 2013.

The effect of interest rate hikes subduing the recovery is likely to be overblown.

"Mortgagors can easily switch over from floating to fixed-rate schemes which have been benign," they said.

The strong performance of technology, real estate and co-working buoyed the office segment last year, despite a record new supply and increases in shadow spaces.

"At the current pace of expansion, these players may extend their presence to outside the Central Business District area," UOB added.

Their sentiments on the industrial sector remain mixed.

Led by recovery in electronics, the sector saw an increase in demand, but there was still a growing supply of spaces, leading to declining rates of occupancy, they said.

The brokers indicated a preference for stocks with exposure to the residential, hotel and office segments, with their top picks being City Developments, Wing Tai, CDL Hospitality Trusts, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Ascendas Reit.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

Property