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Private property investment sales will rebound this year after they dropped last year in the wake of cooling measures that struck the residential area, a report said yesterday.

It noticed that total investment sales could reach $31.3 billion, 6 percent on the $29.5 billion recorded last year.

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That was down 12.7 percent from 2018 as heating measures continued to snack residential land, said Colliers International.

Ms Tricia Song, its head of research to Singapore, said several major real estate investment trust (Reit) acquisitions and mergers are anticipated this year, potentially boosting industrial, commercial and hospitality deal volumes.

At least five mergers have been reported involving local Reits in the past 12 months, mainly to consolidate management experience and build a larger war chest for acquisitions at home and abroad.

Ms Song said Singapore’s status as a crucial gateway town, favourable interest rates and rejuvenation attempts such as the CBD Incentive Scheme must raise the redevelopment of older buildings at the central and city fringe areas.

The commercial real estate industry, which last year accounted for 40 percent of total transactions, could drive sales again this year, ” the report said. Commercial property sales of $11.7 billion have been listed last year, the maximum investment sales amount since 2007.

Colliers anticipates commercial sales to increase 5 percent this year, given healthy rentals at the workplace market.

Residential investment sales are expected to pick up by 3 percent this year around the stable source of people land and demand for luxury houses.

Residential sales slumped 63 percent last year to only $6.8 billion. Sentiment should increase in the longer term, underpinning an average annual increase of 12 percent at the 2019 to 2024 interval, the report mentioned.