Singapore Small Claim Court increased to $20,000 and up to $30,000

From 1st of November 2019, Singapore Small Claim Tribunal has increased its limit with the following.

Increased Claim Limit

The previous limit has been increased from $10,000 to $20,000. Should both parties consent, they can go up to $30,000.

Increased Limitation Period

Claims can now be filed within 2 years after date of cause of action accrued (on or after 1st November 2018). It was 1 year before this change is effected.

Powers to Direct Parties to Attend Mediation

The Registrar of SCT may direct parties to attend a mandatory mediation.

Additional Reliefs

SCT may order a tenant who has not paid rent to vacate the property. It is also empowered to order a party to pay other party’s costs of proceedings, including in a situation of an abuse of process.

What it means for real estate?

There will be more cases of disputes claims in SCT as the increase in monetary and time limits will enable more hearings. This is good news as it protects more consumers with its limit increased.

You can read more about Landlord Tenant rights here.

How do I file Small Claims?

All claims are electronically filed since July 2017. You can refer to Small Claims Tribunal site here with its guide.

A New Age Singapore Real Estate Salesperson For You

We’ve discussed earlier on exclusivity and its importance especially for resale homes today to get sold effectively. We will now touch on the trending of real estate salesperson role change for you to understand how market has also evolved.

Buyers Market

For the past 3 years it has been a primary buyers market. There was a short period of time when market started to pick up and it belonged to the sellers until July 2018 when the last cooling measure was introduced. LTV was reduced and ABSD was increased by 5 points.

It wasn’t made any better when the HDB was unsure of how to respond when citizens were asking about what happens thereafter when their apartments reached 99 years; thus floated the tenure decay term. This has been since patched by Prime Minister Lee’s National Day Rally speech in August 2018 with a VERS solution apart from their usual SERS exercises.

Real estate salesperson whom primarily only serves the resale sellers during this period suffers a decline in transactions for both private resale and HDB homes.

New Home Rush Drove Primary Sales Numbers

Home buyers has been predominantly driving up the primary sale numbers on identifying values from prices that the developers are priced for their inventory.

Affinity at Serangoon, one of the many quality products of award winning local developer Oxley Holdings
Affinity at Serangoon, one of the many quality products of award winning local developer Oxley Holdings

The sheer numbers for primary sale to do well has got to do with many effects in play including merits such as developers reputation, location, product offerings and pricing as developers usually priced them well especially at the launch stage before adjusting median prices upwards overtime, allowing home buyers to sit with a paper gain when the developments obtain Temporary Occupation Period (TOP).

There is also a step up on the real estate agencies with consumer enrichment and awareness with great value knowledge not normally presented that steps up the engagement from the realtors to the intended home purchasers for transparency and product awareness.

A SRI Enrich Consumer seminar for home purchasers with SRI Managing Partner Ken Low
A SRI Enrich Consumer seminar for home purchasers with SRI Managing Partner Ken Low

The Consultant Trend

We see a newborn consulting role which salesperson assumes new responsibilities in growing wealth and sophistication methods such as decoupling to assist consumers in leveraging for another asset.

Realtors undergo trainings to understand their clients needs better by picking up skill sets from the banking calculations, and understanding better on possible legal solutions to offer solutions.

Such solutions if being effectively and responsibly offered would benefit home owners in the long run as real estate is a long term investment.

As mentioned with new added abilities of marketing, traditional realtors whom usually chooses sides (doing either more of buyers or sellers) are doing both extremely well with technology adaptation and wide spread knowledge trainings that the realty companies provide them with.

One of the many SRI Enrich for Realtors as they step up their Facebook marketing campaigns.
One of the many SRI Enrich for realtors as they step up their Facebook marketing campaigns.

Trust is a two-way street

Not all clients are suitable for such leveraging and real estate is one sure but not the only way to grow wealth effectively. Again, clients would be in safer hands having trusted realtors since sensitive information such as net worth might need to be diverged for a clear structured advice.

Trust is a two-way. If the realtor exercises responsibility and common sense when advising, the plan should be sound based on the objectives of the client and will nurture a business relationship in the long run.

An Exclusive Appointment for Selling Your Property in 2020

An Exclusive Appointment with Realtor

This has always been a classic. We are coming to an end of a decade, did the principles changed over the years since January 2010?

Slower Resale Volume since 2018

Resale (with sub-sale) Volume, YOY since 2015

According to SRI Research, the resale volume has dropped from 2017 – 2018 on comparison and if we were to button 2019 to 2018, the trajectory has shown at least a 50% drop in number of resale transactions (including sub-sale)

Button pegged transactions between 2018 and 2019 month on month till September 2019

Marketing Engagement has Evolved

Since then we see marketing methods has evolved because of the drop of resale buyers. We see less emphasis on print media and higher concentration on online media. Realtors primarily depend their listing advertisements on both Property Guru and 99.co where most of the consumers sought their day to day real estate listing needs.

The online portals know, and because of that the cost of advertising on the portals has gone significantly higher. In order to get good “first page” coverage, a typical Realtor might have to refresh their listings with chargeable credits often.

Online video marketing has also gone viral, with realtors looking for the right type of buyers and creating their own brand awareness.

Staging of the homes has became apparent too with a substantial cost loading in order for the apartment to look good. Coupled with great looking photos, it’ll attract good attention for buyers to pay heed.

An Exclusive Appointment with Realtor
An exclusive appointment with a responsible realtor will ensure your home gets sold with the best possible marketing methods. This is a staged home for the buyers to have a sense of space planning.

Evolvement also simply means cost has gone up, in which realtors might not work at their best to your interest if it is not an exclusive appointment considering the efforts and monetary loading.

Same Principles, But Trust is of Utmost Importance

Recently, there has been a high profile case of an agent who was charged by CEA because of irresponsible selling. That was unfortunate and puts dent on our industry, but fortunately most other cases are happy ones according to the recent surveys that we gathered from radio discussions.

There is always more benefits for the clients to have an exclusive appointment compared to leaving it open; Unless you are a season investor who is monitoring the price action, and is aware completely of the market and loves to manage between realtors’ expectations, you are better off appointing a responsible realtor to take care of your home sale. Season product owners also understand the importance of appointing sole marketing distributor, let alone real estate.

Clients will usually be looking out for accolades and experience of a realtor to take care of their home sale, but it works best and most effective with friends whom recommend them one as they would have positive experiences from their own.

If you decide to engage in one and would prefer formalising the process by interviewing and reviewing plans of individual realtors, go with your gut on whether you can connect well with the serving realtor alongside with his/her credentials.

Trust and responsibility would be still the primal factors to look for. On this end I would also urge any clients who are appointing any realtors to be upfront with their expectations before the appointment is signed (ie. the amount on professional fees, the intent to sell, your requirements on viewing schedules) so it would be a pleasant experience through the journey of your home sale. Trust is a two-way street.

Real Estate Photography with Phone Cameras

The time is near.

Don’t be surprised when any of your Realtors actually whip up their iPhones or Huawei and deliver great photos for their marketing anymore. With the latest iPhone 11, you have a 13mm equivalent that takes more wider photos than your usual 16-35 or 17-40 professional lenses. Previously before that happened, I always have to attach an external lens to the phone which widens it to 18mm equivalent. It’s a hassle.

My Usual Work Flow

I will usually use my Sony A9 full frame with some strobes and fire my shots, take out the SD card and head back to my trustworthy Macbook Pro to finish off in Lightroom Classic.

Some of my works

As a hobbyist, this has been my work flow for my clients’ portfolio of photos and they have worked well for me. But such work flow is harder for many of the current realtors to follow since there’s knowledge gap on photography and editing. We do teach such classes in our SRI Enrich series free of charge.

Photos with the new iPhone

These photos are taken with the new iPhone 11 Pro on its 0.5 wide angle and digitally touched up with Lightroom Mobile.

If you are keen on visiting the above, feel free to contact any SRI realtors for a visit to Avenue South Residence.

The problem I face with the new mobile workflow is that there is no RAW support for its wide angle lens yet and the dynamic range for the shots is not enough for me for changes; the plus point of such mobile work flow is that the phone cameras are smart enough to stitch multiple shots together (HDR) such that you get a crisp foreground and background.

Would I be totally be replacing my Sony Full frame gear with mobile camera? The answer is no, but I can see where the flexibility is when it comes to portability of gears and taking reference shots before using my gears (I use both 12mm fixed and 16-35mm to achieve my marketing material looks)

SRI Enrich with Benson – Mobile Photography for Real Estate

Realtors alike if you are keen to explore Team SRI, speak to any of our SRI team leaders or team mates for more information about our Enrich classes and to find out how we could benefit you as a team to win together.

These Enrich classes happen very often and are crafted by experienced and practicing SRI mentors that will benefit and value add your realtors’ journey.

SRI Announces Capital Market Team and New Verticals

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Low Choon Sin as head of capital markets. Choon Sin will oversee as Managing Partner, in a newly formed company SRI capital markets (SRI CM) offering comprehensive real estate and asset management solutions to valued clients.

Choon Sin brings to SRI close to a decade of real estate experience, with his previous role in CBRE Capital Market where he spent 9 years as an investment sales broker. He has been involved and brokered $1.78 billion of commercial properties and $1.85 billion of residential land sales, including collective sale sites. He has sold an office floor in Prudential Tower for $32.7 million and 2 redevelopment lands at No. 2 and 21 Cavan Road for $53 million this year.

Also on board the capital market team is Harvey Chia, having served in similar roles with JLL for 4 years and Colliers for 2 years. He has also worked in both Citibank and UOB, providing real estate investment advisory to high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and property equity funds.

SRI CM will operate in a newly secured office space in Asia Square, a prime address providing a conducive ground with proximity to clients making it the choice location to embark on real estate business activities.

Tony Koe, Managing Director at SRI shares, “Prior to the new additions, SRI has been actively involved in the collective sale scene under the care of Andy Gan whom has spent numerous years in Credo and Colliers. Andy has been instrumental in our successful collective sale at Olina Lodge last year.”

“We are excited to have Choon Sin and Harvey on board in our expansion of the capital market team. Collectively, the team bring along solid track records as investment brokers and are widely recognised in the industry. We believe Choon Sin’s appointment will further strengthen and intensify SRI’s growing presence in investment sales alongside with the team.”

Choon Sin, Andy and Harvey all hold honours degree in Real Estate from the National University of Singapore.

SRI brokered the collective sales of Olina Lodge to Peak Opal, a unit of property developer Kheng Leong last year at S$230.9 million. The team has also recently represented the buyer in the S$17.8 million purchase of an industrial building at Ubi Road 4.

Greater Southern Waterfront Update – What We Know

As Greater Southern Waterfront unveils itself, these are the pointers and timeline on what is happening in the prime south of Singapore:-

It’s 6 times the size of Marina Bay. On such grand scale that tips our southern coastline by 30km and spanning over 200 hectares, you can imagine the huge transformation that unveils in the next decade for the young and old.

National Day Rally – Greater Southern Waterfront

First Stop – Keppel Club to yield Private and Public Housing

Both public and private housing will occupy Keppel Club (44 hectares) as its lease expires in 2.5 years time and will yield approximately 9,000 homes. It will be interesting to see how HDB will house its public housing within this prime waterfront plot by tweaking MOP or tenure. Commercial waterfront nodes will also be included in the precinct fulfilling Live, Work and Play. This will also allow people of different backgrounds and income levels to enjoy seafront living, creating a good sense of diversity.

Sentosa rejuvenates and Pulau Brani will have a Downtown South

As part of Sentosa rejuvenation plans in line with also Integrated Resort 2.0, the Government will revitalise it’s beach line and expands its heritage trails.

The life style resort housed by NTUC labour movement in the East will have a new brother in Pulau Brani as PM Lee promised a Downtown South.

Power Plants in Pasir Panjang going for a transformation

Aerial view of Pasir Panjang Power Plants (Source – URA)

Two former power plants are going through idea calls on how they could be transformed. Prime Minister in his NDR speech asked the Nation to imagine how St James Power Station was transformed that has given an iconic night life spot for Singapore for the past 2 decades. We won’t know what is going to happen there for now, but the project name at this point is called “Power-up Pasir Panjang

Green and Blue Connects – The Extension of Park Connectors

Connectivity improvements with the new parks. (Source – URA)

The green reserves and parks will be connected by a water promenade. Pasir Panjang Linear Park connects both West Coast Park and Labrador Nature reserve where existing waterfront promenade where condominium projects such as Reflections, Caribbean and Corals at Keppel Bay is connected. The West and the East Coast gets connected, giving lifestyle choices for families and sportsmen to stretch their activities all the way towards Changi Airport.

Sentosa-Brani To Start Construction 2019 Q4

Announced on 20th of September 2019, the 37m tall Merlion will make way for a 30,000 sqm multi-sensory walk-way. The walk-way will complete in 2022.

Artiste Impression of Brani-Sentosa (Image Credit – Sentosa Development Corporation)

Hailed as Sentosa Sensory, it will connect RWS Sentosa in the north to the southern beaches of Sentosa. As a two-tier walk way, it aims to stimulate all human senses, touch, sound and smell from the audience’s walking experience.

As Greater Southern Waterfront unfolds, watch out for this space on updates.


Looking for homes that will benefit from Greater Southern Waterfront growth stories? Check out Avenue South Residence by UOL.

Avenue South Residence – The Gateway to Greater Southern Waterfront

It’s been a long time since you get almost all ticks in a home that could be a great investment in the market.

Avenue South Residence’s Details

Avenue South Residence is located at Silat Avenue with a land parcel size of approximately 22,851 sqm. It comprises of 1,074 dwelling apartments and will come with two towering 56-storey towers, 5 4-storey blocks comprising of apartments, shops and a childcare centre. It’s principle architect is ADDP and the building construction is slated to complete in 2Q 2023.

Continue reading “Avenue South Residence – The Gateway to Greater Southern Waterfront”

New Cooling Measures Effective Today – ABSD & LTV adjustment

With immediate effect, the cooling measures shall take place. Attached are summary of how the ABSD (Additional Buyer Stamp Duty) and LTV (Bank Loan to Value) is adjusted in points.

 

These bittersweet move is somewhat anticipated yet executed very quickly, causing an overnight uproar of sales over showrooms. These measures should hamper existing buying sentiments and should effectively cool en bloc cycle and foreigners’ interest in Singapore residential market.

3 Strong Traits for the Strongest Partnership

Brothers from different mothers

Collaborations between team mates are common in our business. For the matter of fact, it’s likely more common than ever in any trades but this article is meant for realtor’s collaborations and advice on how to find yourself the strongest possible partnership that you could leverage on one another forever.

Ok maybe not forever, but for the longest time you will be able to find the satisfaction from working together. As part of leadership, for team mates to have collaboration, you have to be mature to let everyone know that partnerships would take time to mature and if it does not work out to be as envisioned, observe again the following traits and end things off in an amicable manner so that there is less damage to your friendship, and even your name should partnership turn sour.

Amazing results with synergy
Amazing results with synergy

These are the top 3 traits for a Partnership to work in my words

Friendship

Look ma! Same watch even on holiday!
Look ma! Same watch even on holiday!

How many of you would defend your friend in adversity? How many of you would stand up and defend when your friend is being dissed in a private conversation or even walk away and not participate in baseless conversation? Friendship takes time to build and invest. Mutual liking for one another would be how genuine you are in order to show the other being how much of a friend you are to them. There’s not even any description I could attest to friendship as it’s a strong feeling that binds two or more beings together in comrade. It’s like knowing what the other person might do and you do things to compliment your friend instead of doubling the effort required for a task.

Group trip to Hokkaido, 4 years and counting. Everyone is still working together!
Group trip to Hokkaido, 4 years and counting. Everyone is still working together!

The more time you spend together, whether its for work, play or even family time. The more the following few traits which I have described below will be more apparent.

Trust

Spartan Beast in Brisbane - You have my back, we have yours!
Spartan Beast in Brisbane – You have my back, we have yours!

Integrity is part of having this trait. To trust would be knowing that when you’re doing one thing for a cause, your partner will be supporting you without taking advantage of you as all of us are on the same side. It simply means that even with bickering and differences in opinions to support your goal, you know that your partner has your back so that you could dedicate your time wholeheartedly instead of being suspicious.

A situation where I move then you move, I don’t because you don’t makes complete different sense away from trust.

Generous

I would think in Chinese it would be labeled more of “non calculative” (不计较). As two parties or more work together, the requirements of scope to achieve a vision requires some sacrifices, whether its time or money. Money is also a byproduct of time, as you exchange time for it, whether its measurable. So efforts wise cannot be equated or measured properly.

A partnership is formed because you find synergy in another being and even strategic plus traits that the other party has. Whether it is something that you can see, or can’t (as with synergy), as long as both parties are working towards the same goal with trust, there will be long and short ends but as long as both finishes together.

Partnership definitely isn’t for everyone. All people are born differently and have their own reaction to people around them. We always seem excited when we started to talk about a grand vision, but when its time to get things going, the above 3 traits one or another is usually being compromised. That’s why partnerships usually breaks up, and more often the sad thing is that friendship could have a permanent dent.

Bruce and Benson

Yearly affair in 1000m hut, Hirafu. 8 years and counting.
Yearly affair in 1000m hut, Hirafu. 8 years and counting.

My working partner in business, Bruce and I have came a long way with the above 3 traits of a strong partnership that has enabled us to create a community of realtors friends which shares most of the same good values as us when it comes to work and play. Without pun intended, I would say this as the most ultimate partnership that many are longing for. It will be many years to come when we semi-retire in glee and still spending time as old stubborn men in our silver hair age laughing at the most ridiculous events and doing the most stupidest things, yet still giving back to the community where we can contribute as much as we have received. We have come onto a consensus too that we love what we do and will not retire even when we are old and disabled.

Like the saying, brothers from different mother. Have someone like this and you can build a long outstanding working relationship, otherwise work on the traits above. They won’t just yield you just good partnerships to have, but definitely good businesses and loads of loyal friends that will safeguard your interests along the way.

Best of luck in building ultimate partnerships and bonds that will never break!

Brothers from different mothers
Brothers from different mothers

Thoughts on Propnex and DWG merger

Recently, the two homegrown agencies Propnex and DWG has joined force to become the biggest real estate agency to overtake ERA in terms of number of realtors in Singapore. This news has caused ruckus in mockery for both of them, at least in my opinion.

My father in law asked me over dinner. Friends from different industries talked about it during coffee. I rolled eyes.

The media focused, invited Propnex to Channel 8 news and Mr Lim was commenting on changes that could improve consumer’s habits. The papers coverage, the online authoritarian news channels.

I rolled eyes again. Continue reading “Thoughts on Propnex and DWG merger”