COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Which sector registered the highest demand for office spaces?

One clue: It isn't the business services sector.

The demand for office space in Singapore remained week in the past quarter, pressuring rents to sway into a downturn.

According to CBRE report, despite the weak demand, it was the financial or banking sector which registered the highest demand for office spaces.
"Within the financial sector, Asian companies including a number of Japanese groups exhibited steady demand this quarter, particularly in developments," CBRE said.

It noted that small and medium sized foreign banks also showed signs of activity.

The technology sector also posted a steady demand for office space, CBRE noted. The period has seen the completion of some sizable deals for Grade A space. However, CBRE revealed that some firms in the sector have returned space following aggressive expansion a few years ago.

As for the business services sector, leasing demand remained significant, especially in insurance sector and other professional services companies. CBRE stated that it was in the legal sector where activity remained quiet and renewals were the main trend.

"Some new firms are entering the market from overseas but their office footprint is small," the firm mentioned.

CBRE also stated that energy, commodities and shipping remained in contraction mode.

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