Connexion at Farrer Park Spices Up Little India

Little India is transforming. With Connexion at Farrer Park live in action, the area has generally became a specialised care area for the privileged. I was having a meal at Sushi Jin (A part of the Les Amis Group) yesterday and had time to slowly walk around to appreciate the brand new white site building (URA MP2013), which is right next Farrer Park MRT Station exit.


Location of Connexion

connexion location

Modern and posh, this place has the mark of a well planned development and built for long term growth. Spaces were well carved for all the facilities and amenities of a medical hub, including both a medical centre & a hospital. The car park spaces are huge and the easements are wide for any emergencies for the hospitals. Continue reading “Connexion at Farrer Park Spices Up Little India”

Singapore Real Estate – Downtrend Unlikely to Continue

As buyers are waiting for the market to dip further with news such as Japanese billionaire Katsumi Tada losing $15.8 million (SGD) on his St Regis penthouse, here are some news that is happening around the world and in Singapore that could make you think a little bit more why waiting might not be the best thing to do.

World Stimulus Plans in order

China stimulus plans

These are some abstracts of what happened just a month odd ago in China, the biggest concerned market in the world.

CHINA DATA: Earlier, sentiment was supported by Chinese data showing consumer inflation remained at 1.4 percent in March, well below the government’s official target. That fueled expectations the central bank might launch new stimulus to fend off deflation. Low inflation is a boon to consumers but a bout of potentially damaging deflation could add to fears about the Chinese growth outlook.

CHINA STIMULUS: “We expect possibly the weakest” growth in China this quarter since the 2008 crisis, “and thus more easing,” Citigroup economist Minggao Shen said in a report.

Japan stimulus plans

NIKKEI RECORD: Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 0.2 percent to 19,907.63 after rising above 20,000 for the first since April 2000 during the morning session. The gains were based on expectations for Japan’s economic recovery and brisk corporate earnings, following aggressive monetary stimulus. The benchmark index, however, could not sustain that level as investors turned to take profits.

With any stimulus, there will be more money flowing which supports strong inflation for months to come, especially with markets like China and Japan. Real estate no doubt has always shown and is one of the most preferred asset class to combat against inflation.  Continue reading “Singapore Real Estate – Downtrend Unlikely to Continue”

Thoughts on Khan Boon Wan – Soft Landing for Housing Market

MND Minister Khaw Boon Wan has mentioned on Tuesday that the government wants to see ‘soft landing’ for Singapore’s real estate housing. You can read the report from CNA here.

Looking at what was being discussed, especially some key highlights here

“”We want a soft landing for our housing market because a market crash benefits no one,” Mr Khaw said.

“Ms Foo and Er Lee Bee Wah suggested that we adjust the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty, especially for Singaporean buyers, when we are ready to unwind the cooling measures. I have also heard Dr Lily Neo’s very thoughtful words of caution.

“Indeed, we should not overkill. The property market is in transition and it is a time that calls for vigilance and nimbleness. We will be careful.”

I would think that the Government would probably do some calls to ease some of the measures already in placed soon, as prices have really eased off quite extensively on the public and private housing sector.

As we know the depressed housing prices was caused mainly by the government policies and measure, natural market forces are changing the scene as mortgage interest rate crepes up steadily for the past quarter as the US dollar continue to strengthen, which stresses Singaporeans and foreign real estate investors as a whole.

A heavily corrected local real estate market prices will not benefit everyone as it defies the initial key goal of HDB by creating wealth for Singaporeans through their homes. As long as homes become more affordable, the measures would have served its purpose. If there’s in-between lines that I am reading or even if not, we should be ready for some measure lifts.

An Open Letter to Marina One

Dear Marina One,

I wish you would have been launched at the time when the loans are easier, at least I know I could leverage myself better to get at least a yummy 1-bedroom unit which you have meticulously designed for any future tenants which I could host. Generous Miele suite for all kitchen appliances, V+S sanitary ware, good size white volaka marble slabs, and even a cute walk-in wardrobe for the 1-bedrooms. Not to mention you have balconies! *sigh* Wish your 1-bedrooms would have a more undesirable facing but almost all of them would be facing a well taken care landscaped HUGE indoor garden of almost 65,000sqft!

1-bedroom showflat at actual site in Marina One
1-bedroom showflat at actual site in Marina One

I feel jealous when most of the units are snapped up so quickly when you’ve decided to price yourself so fairly especially for the low floor units. I wouldn’t mind snapping up at least one if you would have allowed me to take my loan from the banks. The TDSR is killing almost all of us who fell in love with you. You have disappointed not only me, but many whom have tried talking to the bank and failed to get an in-principal approval. I’ve seen even foreigners wouldn’t mind paying the extra 15% and many of my fellow countrymen who already has more than 2 properties paying 10% on top of their stamp duties just to own at least one of you. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Marina One”

Difference between Cloud Storages & Evernote

A Happy New Year to everyone :-)

SRI5000 SLP Realty, Benson Koh training on Evernote 101 - The Basics.
SRI5000 SLP Realty, Benson Koh training on Evernote 101 – The Basics.

After a training for my agency SLP Realty earlier in the morning and I think these snippets are pretty useful to share as they are common questions to which Dropbox, Google Drive users would normally ask in terms of how they manage their cases and productivity. There are also several other pointers which I brought out which is important in order for Evernote to be useful to you.

Evernote vs Dropbox, Sugarsync, Google Drive, SkyDrive (Whatever you can think of)

Dropbox, Sugarsync, Google Drive, Sky Drive are cloud services which offers online backups. Although they are useful and many swears by organizing their database cleanly so that it becomes effective, it was never meant to be a planning tool. Continue reading “Difference between Cloud Storages & Evernote”

A Friend’s Take on Singapore Property Cooling Measures

I thought this is too true and unforgivable if I don’t share this. This is an opinion by a good friend who prefers to be anonymous. And like how he ends it, you do your numbers.

Good Morning,

If you have the time, here’s something to think about over the weekend. This was first written in 2010. I have updated some details and numbers. Nevertheless, the principles are still relevant. Here’s my take on the these measures.

These new measure are targeted at the Speculators & Speculative Investors (“Specuinvestor”) i.e. those who are in the game for the short term, generally not very financially savvy and most of all, not very cash-rich but wants to make a quick buck. What happens is that they tend to over-leverage and have a “punting’ mentality. It will not really affect those with deeper pockets. Another 10% to 20% cash downpayment……… so what? These people will be thinking “Hey, it is just like paying down my loan resulting in lower monthly payments, lower interest payments and higher principle payments ………….…….. no skin off my nose”. Continue reading “A Friend’s Take on Singapore Property Cooling Measures”

Cooling Measure for Executive Condominiums

To complete the loop for a sustainable Executive Condominium (ECs) market, Ministry of National Development has introduced 3 primary measures to the EC segment, primarily:-

  • Reduce EC Cancellation Fees – From existing 20% down to 5%
  • Resale Levy for Second-Timer Applicants – Formerly second timers are not required to pay a levy. This is applicable to only new EC land sales which are launched on or after 9th December 2013
  • Revision of Mortgage Loan Terms – From a previous mortgage servicing ratio (MSR) level of 60% to now 30% of a borrower’s gross monthly income. The MSR cap will apply to EC purchases from today onwards.

You can read more from the official source.

How will it affect the EC Market?

This will still primarily drive the 1st timers to purchase at ease and since they have lower cancellation fee, this would allow them to think prudently on their financing capability. Backing out would be less painful for them.

2nd timers would probably rush for existing EC launches prior before today so they would be able to avoid the levy. Again, these pool of purchasers would weed out in the market gradually.

EC developers would also be more careful when it comes to bidding for future EC land when it comes to affordability of EC purchasers since the MSR level came down drastically. We’ll see more competitive land bids for future plots; if not lesser.

Will it affect the Overall Market?

As of current, the primary indicator would still be HDB. With HDB prices tapering and aggressive supplies in the pipeline introduced by the government coming online, this would be the median basis of the fundamentals.

Prices should soften for the resale market for the next two quarters, as we’re experiencing a shift of tide already from the seller to the buyer’s market.

Whilst prices might soften, residential buyers should not expect a drastic drop in pricing as the rental market for residential segment is still active.

Riots at Little India Resolved, Roads are Open

Little India Riot - credits to TodayOnline

Riots happened in Little India last night around 9.30pm at the cross junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road involving at least 400 people, involving some 300 police both Special Operations Command (SOC) and the Gurkhas Contingent were activated to mobilise the incident. You can read more about it in Straits Times Online.

Personal Thoughts

As of most Singaporeans, I had trouble sleeping knowing there was mishap happening in the country. The speed of social media’s reach was amazing. Twitter triumph all social platforms on the updates, even faster than our news media since the first photo of the riot was posted, and videos follow suit in Youtube for the explosions of the emergency vehicles. A hashtag search on #littleindiariot and you would get the latest updates with Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (@chuanjin1) pleading the public to stay calm during the ordeal. The tag has caught a huge global audience with the trending ranks of Twitter.

Kudos to the effective Home Team whom managed to subdue the angry mob within a short period of time without even firing a shot (Having gone through Army, I understand the rules of engagement well). At least no one else apart from the traffic accident was killed amidst the riot. My heartfelt gratitude to the peacekeeping HomeTeam and people whom are trying to help on site even amidst the chaos. Continue reading “Riots at Little India Resolved, Roads are Open”

MAS Introduces Debt Servicing Framework for Property Loans

MAS introduces new property debt servicing framework for property loans
MAS introduces new property debt servicing framework for property loans

Just when property market picks up by a little notch, MAS introduced a new cooling measure by introducing debt servicing ratio framework. With effect from 29th of June 2013 (by tomorrow), the new rules will take effect to ensure that a property buyer’s monthly payments do not exceed 60 percent of his income.

This new TDSR (total debt servicing ratio) will apply to loans for the purchase of all types of property, loans secured and refinancing of all related property loans.

This is to encourage prudence on borrowing and refrain borrowers from overexposure to financial risk. Banks will also have to apply a specific medium-term interest rate, or prevailing market rate, whichever is higher, to the property loan that the borrower will be apply for.

This would definitely affect in particular for existing property owners who are seeking to purchase another property for investment, be it residential, commercial or industrial.

[block type=”alert”] You can read more about the framework from the official MAS website here.[/block]

Will the new TDSR affect the existing mortgages?

No. As all your contracts are inked in and approved, this definitely will not affect your existing mortgages. I suppose what MAS worry about is the possibility of interest rate increasing that might put borrowers who neglect the ratio and is overweight on any type of mortgage loans.

In all honesty, TDSR of 60% has always been the norm, but just not followed through strictly. Now with the framework that is in place, I guess stringent checks with proper documentations are needed before loan gets approved. That might mean that loan approvals might take longer than your usual.

Personal Thoughts

As of current since the framework was just released, our banker friends were not briefed yet on how this would impact their existing and new clients as well. More updates on Monday as soon as more case scenarios are being melted out. Look out for the space here.

My hunch is that MCL Land J-Gateway’s outstanding performance of 738-units selling out today probably triggered this new cooling measure which probably was already in the pipeline.

5 Most Important Traits of a Real Estate Agent

Having being in the industry to see the different cycles in the market and grooming great people to work with in my team, people right outside my industry always ask what is the most important trait to success in the business. This question always lead me to ponder whether there is one that is more outstanding or more important than the rest of the other traits or whether do they have any order of priorities at all.

And then there are these few atop that is worth mentioning and these are the ones that guides my principle not only in the real estate business but to most of the things I do in life.

Be Responsible

To mention that you are responsible is a statement. Wholeheartedly responsible is to be able to do the things even when nobody else might even know or notice that you have done the right thing. In order for you to do well, you would have to be set goals (short, medium and long-term) and stick to them. You would have to plan your week, your months and your quarters and make sure you carry out your tasks. This is responsibility to oneself and plays a crucial part to our business.

Continue reading “5 Most Important Traits of a Real Estate Agent”