Public sector projects to sustain Singapore's construction demand

Public sector projects will drive demand in Singapore’s construction sector in 2015 as that from private sector construction is anticipated to moderate amid cautiousness among developers.

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Construction contracts for the built environment sector is expected to reach S$29-36 billion ($21.7-27 billion) this year, the island republic’s Building & Construction Authority (BCA) – a government agency under the ministry of national development – said on January 8.

A record S$37.7 billion ($28.3 billion) worth of contracts were awarded last year, fuelled by a higher volume of institutional and civil engineering construction contracts.

This year, public sector projects are expected to account for an estimated 60%, or S$18-21 billion ($13.5-15.7 billion) of the total construction demand, the government agency said.

Private sector construction demand, on the other hand, is anticipated to moderate to S$11-15 billion ($8.2-11.2 billion) compared to S$18 billion ($13.5 billion) in 2014 as “developers may adopt a cautious stance amid a slowdown in private home sales and global economic uncertainties”, BCA said.

“Construction demand over the next five years will remain strong,” Lee Yi Shyan, senior minister of state for national development, said at a property prospects seminar on the same day.

“Major health-care and infrastructure works, such as the remaining contracts for the upcoming [mass rapid transit] lines and Changi Airport Terminal 5 provide support for the industry demand. The healthy pipeline of construction projects over the next five years therefore presents an environment for us to press on with the re-structuring of the built environment industry, in search of excellence,” he said.

BCA expects average construction demand to sustain at S$27-36 billion ($20.2-27 billion) per annum in 2016 and 2017, and S$26-37 billion ($19.5-27.7 billion) per annum in 2018 and 2019.

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