Singapore’s Most Popular Locations For Office Space Rental
Singapore’s business-friendly environment makes it an attractive location for local and foreign entrepreneurs looking to establish a new company. Choosing the right office location can give you the amenities and the location you need to make your business a success, so it’s important to understand what to look for in an office.
While Singapore’s dense urban planning means it has one of the highest concentrations of office space in the world, not all of them are created equal. That’s why Ottavia has created this guide – to give foreign entrepreneurs and new Singaporean businesspeople a broad overview of the state of the local office rental market, both in the central business district and in surrounding areas.
For more information on the local rental market and for specific, personalised guidance, contact Ottavia today and speak to one of our consultants.
Taking a broad look
The heart of Singapore’s commercial and financial activity, the Central Region consists of the Central Business District (CBD). Due to the number of respected and high-net-worth organisations based in this area including major financial institutions, government bodies and multinational corporations, it is considered to be the most desirable location in which to build your office, and rental prices reflect this.
Sometimes referred to as Central, the CBD area offers the city’s best commercial properties and businesses with a CBD address are often seen as more professional and more successful. Many businesses of the same industry have clustered in this area over the decades making certain parts f the CBD distinct hubs for certain kinds of activity including legal, financial, technological and professional firms. This makes moving here extremely beneficial for any business looking to collaborate or partner with other organisations.
However, rising rental prices over previous years have disrupted many large organisations, leading them to abandon the CBD and look for office space outside of the Central Region. Available office space has bene increasingly snapped up by fund management and private banking firms – two industries that have flourished and continued to accelerate the pace of their growth over the last few years.
While the economic outlook for Singapore seems uncertain as of 2017 with slower than expected global economic growth, rent prices remained fairly stable since 2011 according to a report from Savills. There are fears that this uncertainty could transform into sharply falling rental prices, but this remains to be seen.
Tier 1 localities
Raffles Place and surrounds – Regarded as the Wall Street of Singapore, this is the most sought after area in the city for commercial office space. Largely dominated by multinational banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, business centres and professional services firms, it is arguably the most respected address in the city, and any company bearing it on its letterhead is sure to attract attention. Raffles Place alongside its nearby streets including Shenton Way, Robinson Road and Cecil Street have the highest concentration of Grade A buildings – the most premium office space available – in the city. The nearest MRT station is Raffles Place. Rental rates for Grade A buildings in this area have decreased in recent years, and space can be found for under S$10 per square foot per month.
Tanjong Pagar/Anson Road area – Located directly southwest and adjacent to the Raffles Place area, this area offers a mix of both older and more recently constructed office buildings. Popular with a range of industries including media advertising agencies, shipping and trading companies, real estate firms and business services groups alongside various Singaporean government institutions, it contains various key and well-known office buildings including Capital Tower, Temasek Tower and Amara Corporate Tower, Springleaf Tower, Keppel Towers, GE Tower, International Plaza and more. The nearest MRT station is Tanjong Pagar.
River Valley / Singapore River area – Located a short distance north-west from Raffles Place and adjacent to Orchard Road, the River Valley area has seen increased attention over the last decade and has been developed into a busting commercial hub offering extensive retail options for individuals. Quality office space at some of the city’s most prestigious office buildings are available alongside a range of premium residential spaces and shopping and entertainment facilities. Major office buildings in this area include Central Square, UE Square, Great World City and Central Mall. The closest MRT station is Clark Quay.
Orchard Road area – One of the city’s largest retail hubs, Orchard Road is Singapore’s remier shopping, accommodation and entertainment district, and is a popular choice for businesses looing for office space due to the convenience and prestige of the buildings and the quality of the surrounding infrastructure. Notable buildings in this area include Ngee Ann City Tower A & B, Wheelock Place, Wisma Atria, The Atrium@Orchard, Shaw House, Paragon Tower, Orchard Building, Winsland House I and II and The Hereen. This is a public transport hub with Orchard, Somerset, & Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations all within short walking distance.
Suntec City & Marina Bay area – Extremely popular with emerging technological and ICT firms, as well as serviced office groups and law firms, Suntec City and the Marina Bay area boast five extremely popular office towers and one of the largest shopping malls and exhibition centres in the world. Adjacent to the Marina Bay area are two of the most sought after office buildings in Singapore, Millenia and Centennial Towers. The nearest MRT station is City Hall.
Marina Bay Financial Centre – officially opened in May of 2013, the Marina Bay Financial Centre is a three-and-a-half-hectare business hub boasting more than three million square feet of prestigious Grade A office space spread over three office towers. Home to some of the most respected and successful corporations in the world including American Express, Baker & McKenzie, BHP Billiton, The Macquarie Group and DBS Bank amongst other notable banks and financial and legal institutions, it offers spectacular views over the waters of Marina Bay. The nearest MRT stations are Raffles Place and Marina Bay.
Tier 2 localities
Beach Road / North Bridge Road area – Lying just inside the north-eastern boundary of Singapore’s CBD area, the Beach Road/North Bridge Road area offers a different atmosphere compared to the locations listed above. This area is not as densely built up with skyscrapers and office building as other parts of the CBD. Here, the most common buildings are shopping centres, markets, hotels and residential premises, lending it a more diverse feel than Raffles Place or Marina Bay. This said, there are still a number of exceptional quality office buildings in the area including Raffles City Tower, Parkview Square, The Gateway East & West, Shaw Tower, Bugis Junction Office Tower, Odeon Towers, KeyPoint, The Concourse, The Adelphi, Peninsula Plaza, High Street Centre and Odeon Towers. The area is well connected with both City Hall and Bugis MRT stations within easy walking distance.
Bras Basah / Selegie Road area – located on the edge of the CBD, The Bras Basah and Selegie Road area is a popular choice for a range of firms looking for budget-friendly office space convenient to the commercial heart of the city. Home to many artistic institutions as well as being the civic centre of the city with many museums and monuments, it is a fantastic choice for any business looking for a prestigious address. Key office buildings in this area include Sim Lim Tower, Burlington Square, Plaza By The Park, Sunshine Plaza, Selegie Complex, IOI Plaza, NTUC Income Prinsep House, Peace Centre and Paradiz Centre.
The Central Business District and its adjacent areas remain the city’s most popular destinations for commercial businesses due to the quality of the infrastructure offered and the prestige gained by holding an address in this area. Many of the buildings have been recently built or freshly renovated, and the area offers a buzz and amenities that many businesses find conducive to their work. While the rental prices for CBD office spaces were previously extremely high, rents have plateaued in recent years amidst slowing global economic growth. This said, demand remains high, especially in the financial sector, and vacancy rates for Grade A office spaces remain below five percent, only growing 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2016.
While many firms are taking a more conservative approach to their expansion plans, it’s more affordable now than in recent years to invest in quality office space for your business. It simply requires a close understanding of the local market and a clear idea of your own business’ needs and plans for expansion over the next few years.
Start a conversation with Ottavia today to find out how we could help you get into the right office.