Centrally located in the heart of Singapore’s central business district, Raffles Place Singapore is the ideal location to entertain stakeholders in office, with many other white collar businesses likely to be located nearby.
It has a rich history, having started its journey in 1820 as a commercial hub. Even after 200 years, it still is a commercial hub with the largest corporations present in the area. Raffles Place is one of the most unique and iconic landmarks of Singapore. Any memorabilia from Singapore that has tall buildings is likely to be Raffles Place where there is a wide array of choices of offices and serviced offices.
Most of these offices are conventional, long term spaces which can be outfitted and designed to reflect a company’s culture as well as convey a sense of permanence. There are also Grade A offices in the region, with prestigious addresses such as the Marina Bay financial district and the Raffles Place financial hub, with amenities such as the best broadband and ample parking facilities.
Within these areas are also old shophouses, offering sprawling 2-3 storeys with 1000-1500 square feet of space per floor. These spaces are ideal for midsize businesses, with the potential to use the ground floor as a gallery for products or to host workshops.
Unsurprisingly, CBRE reports that rents in Grade A locations such as the Raffles Place, Shenton Corridor, Marina Bay and Marina Centre can cost up to $11.55/sqft, a rise for the 10th consecutive quarter and the highest rental rates across the whole of Singapore.
Colliers further breaks the rental rates into different grades (A and Regular), which can be easily compared in the table below, which reveal sharp percentage decreases in the different grades for Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar.
Shophouses likewise command similar premium rental rates, though some offer the option to rent a single floor instead of the entire building.
Raffles Place Offices
When it comes to office leasing, there are always factors one must consider, and while this list is not exhaustive, these are some things to look out for when leasing a property.
Before even selecting a property, during the initial phase you need to know what classification your business falls under, as only certain businesses can operate in each specific rental property type.
For many offices, there is also usually a minimum of two to three years lease on the property, which is important to consider whether your business has a steady flow of cash monthly or if it has capital set aside purely for the lease period.
Additionally, there are other factors such as whether a unit one one side of a building is more expensive than another because it is on a higher floor or has a better view or even unseen factors such as whether the unit faces the morning or afternoon sun and whether it heats up by the end of the day.
Some of the top commercial buildings in Raffles Place are UOB Plaza, which is the headquarters of United Overseas Bank, it’s the second largest building in Singapore. One Raffles Place is another commercial hub in Raffles Place.
The other mentionable skyscraper is the Republic Plaza which is known for its tapered design that protects the building against strong winds. The triumvirate of UOB Plaza, One Raffles Place and Republic Plaza represent Raffles Place well and they form one of the most in-demand central business districts, not only in Singapore but all around the world.
Serviced Offices Raffles Place
There are plenty of options in this area for Serviced offices.
Price can range from S$500/pax to S$2000/pax.
Here are some images we have collated from our partners
In recent years, there have been a growing number of start-ups with low headcount or small capital; aside from the limited number of office spaces in Singapore, these new companies might not be able to even afford a regular office.
Enter co-working spaces. Companies like WeWork, Justco and The Working Capitol lease large office spaces then create a working environment with amenities such as cleaning, office supplies and free flow coffee, and with multiple offices spread across the island, members to change work locations using credits they have on their account (so long as they book the new location in advance).
This allows smaller companies the flexibility of renting spaces for their team at competitive rates, as compared to leasing the entire office space. For a month, WeWork charges $1250 for a personal one-man office or $500 for a hot desk membership per person, as well flexible private offices6.
The demand for co-working spaces has declined since the rapid expansion and surge in 2018 but it still remains a major feature in the Singapore office rental market even till the end of 2019 because of the flexibility it offers3.
Raffles Place Office rental vs other parts of Singapore
Orchard Road, whilst not within the CBD itself, is still prime real estate, though it is known more for its retail spaces rather than offices. That being said, office spaces in the region boast the highest rental rates outside of the CBD.
Interestingly enough, the rental rates between Grade A and B differs by only 5%, which in this region equates to $0.50/sqft, which means when considering a space in Orchard Road, a Grade A office might be a more viable choice if you can find one, as the vacancy rates for Grade B offices are at 14.4% as compared to Grade A’s 3.4%.
There is a 20% difference between the Grade A office rental rates of the CBD and that of Bugis and Lavender. Situated not too far from the CBD, Bugis and Lavender serve as a good alternatives, offering a unique mix of office as well as industrial spaces to cater to differing needs, with some industrial spaces viable for mixed use and offering twice the space for the same rental rates of an office in the CBD.
Business parks have been receiving less interest compared to the aforementioned regions, although one-north and the Alexandria Corridor remain the most popular options amongst the business parks. As the government is still in the process of nurturing the new towns, suburban areas have not seen rental rates fully mature to that of their CBD counterparts.
Perhaps it is the distance from other businesses but for fledgling companies, these suburban areas might be a good place to set up, with rental rates at half that of the CBD areas and the lowest across most of the island. These markets are also facing rental challenges as the current perception is the need to be central or CBD located so this is a viable option.
|Location||Raffles Place||Tanjong Pagar||Orchard||Lavender||Suburban|
|Grade A $/sqft||$10.49||$10.31||$9.14||$7.90||$5.18|
|Grade B $/sqft||$8.93||$8.26||$8.69||$7.06||$4.54|
Perks of working in Raffles Place
Many people might deny it, but they think it in their minds. If you work in Raffles Place, you are held in high esteem. Generally, if you work in Raffles Place, you have “made it”. It is a matter of reputation for most people.
Access to high-end shops and restaurants
Raffles Place has some of the best high-end restaurants and shops in the locality. As shop owners know, that this area breathes and speaks money, they bring the best of cuisines and the best of products from all around the world.
Having said that, there are affordable restaurants like Osteria Art. From French to Japanese Cuisine, quaint coffee shops and glaring restaurant bars like Kinki, Raffles place has it all.
The best business lunches can be had at Raffles place due to its proximity to the work buildings and the offerings they have.
Singapore itself can be considered bustling, as there are many people in a tiny country. But there are quite a few people who enjoy the rat race and the hustle and bustle. Raffles Place is in the centre of all the action and considering it is filled with finance and banking companies, it is the hub of all commerce.
For young couples who love the grind and who like to inspire themselves by seeing other highly competitive people, Raffles place is the place!
Perfect for Banking
If you are in the banking industry, then Raffles Place is your mecca. The CBD is filled with numerous banking and finance companies. This area attracts the best talent. So if you are looking for a career in banking with numerous opportunities close by, then Raffles Place is where you should be.
MRT and Connectivity
Most of Singapore is well connected through the MRT and Raffles Place is no different. Its one of the busiest MRT’s in Singapore. Most people can access landmarks such as Raffles Place Park, Merlion Park, Downtown Core through the MRT.
For people who live away from Raffles Place, just need to hop on to the closest Metro station to get to work.
Let’s not beat around the bush, Raffles Place is expensive and one cannot afford to eat $20 Pasta’s every day. Sometimes we need simple, fast and cheap food that is accessible from the office. Raffles Place is adorned with hawker centres close by.
Great for business
If you run a business at Raffles Place, it is great for business. The rental may be sky high, but your business will be booming as the footfall is immense and the purchasing power is even better. For businesses that are in the service sector, having a Raffles Place address will give you an added advantage because of the address. It’s considered reputable to have an office at Raffles Place and businesses here are generally considered successful.
Downsides to Working in Raffles Place
We have seen the positives of Raffles Place, let’s see the downsides.
This is so obvious, that one doesn’t have to mention it. Raffles Place is one of the most expensive localities not only in Singapore but in all of the world. It is literally impossible to afford an apartment here for normal folk. With billionaires having houses here, it’s very unlikely to get a place to live in or buy here.
This attitude of high price seeps into other aspects of working here such as expensive clothing and cars. So for people who like the simple life and to keep the expenses low, Raffles Place will not help with that.
The most crowded MRT in Singapore is at Raffles Place. This will give you an idea of how crowded it s. Not only the MRT, but the roads are also chock o block and bustling with people. It is hard to get some peace and quiet here and for people who hate the hustle and bustle, Raffles Place will make things worse.
Singapore itself is a highly-competitive country, on top of that Raffles Place is filled with people who are competitive and are making their way to the top. This makes it a highly competitive environment and is not easy to have a simple 9 to 5 desk job with no pressure. By the way average working hours for Singapore employees is 45.6 hours according to this article.
Considering banking companies throng Raffles Place, there isn’t much place for any other type of businesses. This means if you love working in Raffles Place and you are in a non-banking job, it is highly unlikely you’ll find another company that works out of Raffles Place. This makes this area one-sided with no mix of people from various industries.
Have to travel to work
Considering the price is too much to live here. Most professionals have to commute from other parts of the city to Raffles Place. For people who want to avoid the commute, this will be hard to do.
Our government is trying to improve the transportation according to this article here – Peak-hour commutes of no more than 45 minutes by 2040.
Working in Raffles Place – Conclusion
Raffles Place is not for everybody. Its crowded, expensive and competitive, but it also has vivaciousness that a lot of people enjoy.
We work with a number of Serviced Office Operators whom have attractive office space rental at awesome prices. Some comes with splendid views. If you are keen, drop us a buzz. Happy to show you around.