This report is part of the Phillip 2018 Singapore Strategy Report.
Sector average valuation has crept up during the year, and yields correspondingly compressed. Performance of individual names has been mixed, with winners driven by inorganic growth backed by strong balance sheets; and losers dragged by lower net property income (mainly from conversions or tenant defaults).
JTC data for the sector shows that occupancy and rents moderated during the year, due to overwhelming new supply coming on stream to the market. Both occupancy and rents for the overall industrial sector have not bottomed, despite robust industrial activity.
Business Park remained the most resilient within the sector, due to better building specifications and little new supply.
New supply is tapering off in 2018, but will need strong demand to absorb the new supply and the vacancies carried over from 2017. We expect negative reversions to persist into 2018, and rents to bottom by the end of 2018.
Our top pick is A-REIT. We like A-REIT because of its track record for growth through asset re-balancing, and stability from its diversified portfolio. A-REIT has exposure to higher value-added manufacturing, through its Business & Science Park properties.
Other REITs that we think investors should keep on their radars and accumulate on price weakness are Mapletree Industrial Trust and Keppel DC REIT.