Public sector to boost Singapore’s construction demand
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The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) projects the total construction demand or the value of construction contracts to be awarded in Singapore to reach between S$28 and S$35 billion this year, higher than the preliminary estimate of S$26.1 billion for last year.

The projected stronger construction demand is due to an anticipated increase in public sector construction demand from about S$15.8 billion last year to between S$20 and S$24 billion this year, said BCA. The public sector is expected to contribute about 70 percent of the total construction demand, boosted by an increase in demand for most building types and civil engineering works.

In view of the current slowdown in the property market and continued economic uncertainties, the private sector construction demand is likely to remain subdued and is projected to stay between S$8 and S$11 billion this year, added BCA.

This year’s projects include:

1. Residential projects - a steady pipeline of new public housing construction, upgrading works for HDB flats, and a number of upcoming sizeable condominium projects earmarked for developments on various Government Land Sales sites at Siglap Road, Martin Place and Anchorvale Lane.

2. Commercial projects - redevelopment projects such as Funan DigitaLife Mall at North Bridge Road, Golden Shoe Carpark at Market Street and CPF Building at Robinson Road.

3. Industrial projects - HDB’s Defu Industrial City and JTC’s Logistics Hub @ Gul.

4. Institutional and other building projects - more healthcare facilities such as the new National Cancer Centre at Outram and an Integrated Intermediate Care Hub at Jalan Tan Tock Seng as well as various educational facilities. A significant amount of private sector investments in tourist attractions and recreational facilities at Mandai Lake is expected to go ahead this year.

5. Civil engineering projects - mega public sector infrastructure projects which include various major contracts for the second phase of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS phase 2), North-South Corridor and Circle Line 6.

Last year, the total construction demand was slightly lower than forecast mainly due to the rescheduling of a few major public sector projects to this year as longer preparation times are needed to implement these large-scale projects, explained BCA. Despite the slight shortfall from the forecast, total public sector construction demand last year was higher than the S$13.3 billion in 2015, supported by the strong demand for civil engineering projects.

The total construction output or progress payments made for the work done has continued to remain high at S$35.1 billion last year, a slight moderation from S$36.4 billion in 2015. BCA expects the total construction output to moderate further to between S$30 and S$32 billion in 2017.

Furthermore, the average construction demand is projected to be between S$26 and S$35 billion per annum in 2018 and 2019, and between S$26 and S$37 billion per annum in 2020 and 2021.

BCA estimates public sector construction demand to be between S$18 and S$23 billion per annum from 2018 to 2021, with similar proportions of demand coming from building projects and civil engineering works. Besides public housing developments and more healthcare and educational facilities, public sector demand over the medium term will be supported by various upcoming mega infrastructure projects such as the Jurong Regional Line, Cross Island Line, and various infrastructure developments for Changi Airport Terminal 5.

The Singapore Construction Prospects were recently announced at the BCA-REDAS Built Environment and Property Prospects Seminar on 6 January 2017. The event was also attended by Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, who delivered the opening address.