Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Singapore Home Prices May Be Poised to Plunge - WSJ

November 28, 2011, 4:12 PM SGT. WSJ SEA
If you’ve been waiting for a chance to purchase a property in Singapore, maybe you should wait some more.

The city-state’s red-hot residential real estate market could be poised to plummet 20% to 30% over the next three years – at least according to some analysts, who say demand is dampening just as a flood of new flats is hitting the market.

“We now expect a multi-year downturn in the residential market, with overall private home prices falling by 22% to 26%,” by the end of 2014 said David Lum, an analyst for Daiwa Capital Markets, in a recent report.

Analysts predicting a drastic drop in Singapore property prices are still in the minority. Yet a growing number of analysts are at least somewhat concerned that the conditions driving Singapore property prices and rents higher in recent years – notably brisk demand and tight supply – are about to be reversed.

The country’s gross domestic product growth is expected to slow this year and stay low. Meanwhile, recent government restrictions on migration are expected to crimp the population growth, which was also underpinning demand for homes.

“In 2005 to 2010, Singapore’s population grew by 21%, or 3.3% (per year). This is over three times faster than the 1% per year recorded in the previous four years,” said Standard Chartered Bank in a report last week. “Due to the high population growth and the low home completions, residential rents and prices have climbed 75% since 2005.”

As political pressure from concerned citizens has forced Singapore to make it tougher for foreigners to work in Southeast Asia’s financial capital, population growth will slow to less than 2% per year and residential property prices and rents could fall as much as 30% over the next three years, the report said.

While prices and sales of new flats are stable recently, there are some creeping indicators that demand and prices could tip soon. In October, pre-sales for lower-priced projects were stronger than for luxury projects, suggesting that consumers are becoming more price-sensitive.

The number of unsold properties is rising and expected to continue climbing, as more than 100,000 new residential units are scheduled to be completed by both public and private sector developers over the next three years, according to the Standard Chartered report.

“From late 2012 we believe the sector’s structural issues – rising levels of unsold inventory due to robust launch schedules coupled with a formidable pipeline of completions – will continue to depress rents and capital markets,” Daiwa’s Mr. Lum said.

Singapore has faced similar predictions of big declines in property prices, and slowdowns in population growth, that didn’t fully materialize. During the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, for example, some analysts worried about a potential swoon in the Singapore property prices, and while the market did turn down briefly, it snapped back quickly on the back of a strong economic recovery in 2010. Many analysts note that the government’s close regulation of Singapore’s property market, including oversight over releases of land for new construction, will help keep the market on an even keel in the long run.

The latest reports were analyzing the prices of stock prices and real estate investment trusts and were not intended as guides for home buyers. However, should their predictions on real estate prices turn out to be correct, it could be good news for families that have been waiting for a better deal before they buy – and of course bad news for anyone that has just invested in a home in Singapore

Monday, 28 November 2011

New High : Foreigners bought 18.6 per cent of all private homes sold in Q3

25 Nov 2011 - Buyers from mainland China continued to snap up private homes in Singapore's east in the third quarter, pushing up their share of deals, according to a new report from DTZ. The property firm, which analysed caveats lodged for both new and secondary sales, also found that foreigners bought 18.6 per cent of all private homes that were sold in Q3 - a new high. Foreigners (excluding Singapore PRs) accounted for 16 per cent of all private home sales in Q1 and Q2. Buyers from mainland China were the biggest group of non-Singaporean (that is, foreigner and Singapore PR) purchasers. They accounted for 30.6 per cent of all private home transactions in Q3, up from 26 per cent in Q1 and Q2. (BT)

[Commentary : WTF! This place is really becoming Chinapore. We need a 50% property tax for all foreign buyers transactions and the $$$ transferred as a rebate to Singaporeans buyers. We are slowly being bought out with foreign money...what's the use of serving NS to defend the houses owned by foreigners !!!!]

Friday, 25 November 2011

Private Property Prices 'to fall by up to 30%' from 2012 to 2014

Prviate home prices in the mass market could fall by up to 30 per cent over the next three years as supply ramps up amid falling demand according to a new report.
Standard Chartered analysts see demand being hit by the stuttering economy and slower population growth in the wake of tighter immigration rules.
Population growth will shrink to between 1.5 and 2 per cent for the next three to five years, they noted, while economic expansion is set to slow to 3 to 4 per cent, from an averag of 6.1 per cent over the past five years.
But housing supply will go the opposite way with the number of mass market units expected to rise by 3.1 per cent next year and 5.4 per cent in 2013.
"We expect lower population growth and high completion to induce a 20 to 30 per cent decline in home prices from 2012 to 2014." The report said.

Monday, 21 November 2011

iHeaven, iCloud, iGenius

iHeaven, iCloud, iGenius
Some great cartoons in tribute to the Genius Steve Jobs.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Spoil Market - Even Monks kena

Local monk Ang Juat Chong says he spoke to his MP, Mr Yaw Shin Leong, about unlicensed monks working in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE

Monks face pressure of foreign competition

Income from prayer sessions down as foreign monks charge lower rate

Some monks here are feeling the heat of competition provided by their foreign counterparts.
In particular, the local monks claim that foreign monks, who are mostly from China and Malaysia, are undercutting them by charging up to 50 per cent less for prayer sessions conducted at funeral wakes.

Mr Ang Juat Chong, 59, a Singaporean who has been a Buddhist monk for the last 18 years, said his monthly income has gone down by as much as 70 per cent in the last two years because of this.
'Local monks charge about $1,200 to do Buddhist rites at funeral wakes, but these foreign monks charge only $600 or $700. So of course, funeral parlours will prefer to hire them,' he told The Straits Times yesterday.

[Commentary : Whilst competition in principle is always good for the consumer and promotes continuous improvements, un-fair competition kills off local talent, cultivates $ only society and export Singapore dollars overseas....maybe we should have illegal Ministers who don't have to pay taxes, don't need to live in high cost Singapore, and don't need multi-million dollars salaries, to replace our current Ministers...Fair or not!] 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Who can you trust with your money?

[Commentary : Who can you trust with your money? It seems that many forms of investments are risky or do not provide the returns that they are promising. Wine brokers claiming huge profits from wine investments, Land Banking companies that tell you buying an obscure piece of undeveloped and in UK is a sure win, brokeages that take too much risk and UBS letting a rouge trader lose Billions of dollars.

You wonder where all the moo-lah goes too...it is a zero sum game, so if someone is losing big time, someone is winning big time, which side of the fence are you?]

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011
AsiaOne, Reuters   
Worried investors swamp MF Global Singapore's office 

As MF Global Holdings, the futures broker run by former Goldman Sachs chief Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy in New York on Monday, retail investors swamped its Singapore office early yesterday morning, anxious about their investments.   

The Straits Times reported that about 30 investors clamoured to withdraw funds and close accounts at the brokerage's office on the 17th story at One George Street yesterday, as they feared for the safety of their money.

According to the report, a female employee asked investors to queue up and fill out withdrawal request forms shortly after 9.15am.

At around 10am, investors were no longer allowed to enter the office. They were met in the lobby instead where a male Caucasian employee, who declined to identify himself, told investors: "There is no trading taking place on any product. All trading platforms are inoperable at the moment. All incoming and outgoing funds are suspended.

"Your funds are segregated under MAS regulations and SGX regulations in Singapore. They are not the property of MF Global, they are your funds, they are held in Singapore."

One of the investors, Madam Kelly Tan, 48, told The Straits Times: "I couldn't sleep the whole night, can't eat the whole day. I called them but nobody picked up the phone. It was very scary for me.

"Now my worry is not just that I can't take back my money - I've also incurred debt."

Despite the fact that MF Global's trading platform has been down since Monday afternoon, her account has not been suspended. She said that yesterday alone, she had already incurred up to $40,000 debt from her open positions. She had invested more than $100,000 of her life savings in contracts for difference (CFDs) with MF Global.

"Of course I'm afraid I may not get back anything, that is why I am here," said Andre Chia, a 32-year-old pilot. "I'm waiting for the liquidation, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), maybe I'll end up at the Speakers' Corner," he added, referring to the only place in Singapore where protesters can gather without a permit.

In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, hundred of Singaporeans gathered at Speakers' Corner to protest their losses from mini-bonds linked to the failed US bank.

Liquidators from KPMG have assured MF Global customers in Singapore that they are working to ensure all money in client accounts is returned to them.

However several investors vented their anger that they were closed out of trading positions at a loss, with no option to wait for the market to turn.

"I feel uneasy, I don't know how much I will lose. If I have to cut losses, I have to know how much I will lose," said 57-year-old John Wong, who had invested around $8,000 with the brokerage.