DBS Research Group analysts Rachel Tan and Derek Tan have reiterated their positive stance for Singapore office and US office S-REITs as vaccinations boost a return to normalcy and more workers start returning to offices.

In a research note dated March 25, the analysts cite a KMPG survey that found most major global companies no longer plan to reduce their office space after the coronavirus pandemic, which they believe indicates a turning point for the office sector

KPMG also highlighted that most chief executives surveyed said they will start to encourage staff to return to office when vaccination rates exceed half the population. 

Rachel and Derek point out that both Singapore and US are leading in vaccination rates, with every 74 out of 100 people in the US and UK vaccinated, while for Singapore every 44 out of 100 of the population are vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

In addition, Covid-19 cases have been minimal in Singapore thus far, facilitating a quicker than expected return to office. 

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The analysts state that remote working is starting to take a toll on employees, which will encourage a return to offices. This is supported by recent news such as Microsoft reopening its global headquarters on March 29, Citigroup and JP Morgan inviting more staff back, while Bloomberg reported Singapore planning the return to offices.

Rachel and Derek’s top picks for the sector are Keppel REIT and Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCOT) for Singapore offices, and Prime US REIT and Manulife US REIT for US offices.

As at 3.51pm, units in Keppel REIT, MCOT, Prime US REIT and Manulife US REIT were trading at $1.24, $2.09, 83.5 US cents and 72 US cents respectively.