Furnishing Office Space

Singapore Costliest City In ASEAN Region For Furnishing Office Space

SINGAPORE – Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) revealed on Tuesday that the republic is the most expensive city in Southeast Asia for furnishing new office premises, with average fit-out cost at US$112 psf, reported The Business Times on Wednesday morning (9 December, SGT).

Singapore was ranked as the most expensive for fitting out office space even though its average fit-out cost dropped from US$115 psf in 2019, said the property consultancy.

Mechanical & engineering works account for the biggest percentage of furnishing expenses for office space in the city-state, with building works following closely.

In the ASEAN region, the next costliest city for fitting out new office space is Manila (US$87 psf), followed by Bangkok (US$85 psf) and Kuala Lumpur (US$83 psf).

In terms of reinstatement costs or the expenses for restoring office space to its original state, Manila secured the region’s number one spot with an average cost of US$39 psf, followed by Singapore (US$17 psf).

For the entirety of the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, Singapore only bagged the 15th spot for the costliest city for average fit-out expenses. The top 3 spots were all claimed by Japanese metropolises – Tokyo (US$201 psf), Osaka (US$193 psf), and Nagoya (US$188).

In terms of methodology, C&W contrasted the cost of mechanical & engineering works, as well as furniture, audio-visual apparatus, IT equipment, and building works across 31 cities in Asia Pacific. The evaluation looked at office projects with different specifications – low, average, and high-quality.

According to the property consultancy’s Director of project development services in Singapore, Grant Carter, the main contractors in the city-state and their supply chains had to halt their operations during the circuit breaker period.

In addition, he noted that construction companies whose dormitory-residing workers were infected with COVID-19 also had to shut down, leading to labour shortages.

Despite being the most expensive for fit-out costs in the ASEAN region, Singapore is relatively more affordable than other markets in Asia Pacific, making it an alluring place for establishing regional hubs for blue-chip companies.

For the Asia Pacific as a whole, C&W’s Head of project and development services for the region Tom Gibson pointed out that the health crisis has reversed the previous uptrend in office fit-out costs in most markets.

The prevailing downtrend in fit-out costs “is likely to persist as corporate occupiers continue to assess their capital expenditure budgets and corporate footprint requirements,” Gibson added.

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