Credit Bureau just recently release a report on consumer credit behaviour and how people use credit balances, as well as their payment delinquency and default rates in both secured and unsecured credit facilities. Home loans are examples of secured facilities, while unsecured debt refers to loans with no collateral, like those racked up on credit cards or overdrafts.
The highlights are as follows:
1. Mortgage loan applications rose 20 % in the three months to March 31 from the preceding quarter. The average mortgage for people aged between 21 and 29 had the greatest quarter-on-quarter change among several age groups, rising 3.4 %.
Home loan applications could have been given a boost after the Government tweaked some property cooling measures in early March since the curbs were implemented in 2009. For example the seller’s stamp duty holding period for homes bought from March 11 was shortened to three years from four years. Subsequently the sales of new private homes surged to a near four-year high in March.
2. Motor vehicle loan applications rose 4.13 %. Consumers aged between 30 and 34 had the most significant change in motor vehicle loans, with average borrowings up 5.1 %.
3. Credit card applications fell 5.97 %, while those for personal loans dropped 5.94 %. Credit card applications still made up 72 % of about 331,600 new credit applications across all facilities in the first quarter, with home loans next on 14 %. People aged between 35 and 39 were doing better than others when it came to paying off debts, with their delinquency rate for credit cards falling 5.4 % quarter-on-quarter, while the personal loan rate dropped 8.74 %.
As reported in September 2016, for de-licensed private projects where the developers offered incentives and discounts to buyers, URA will not include such incentives into the prices when it compiles the regular quarterly price index. The index is computed based on prices from all property sales in the new sale and resale market.
De-licensed projects are those which have obtained the Certificate of Statutory Completion and where individual titles have been issued and thus no longer come under the Housing Developers Rules.
In such a scenario, developers of such projects will have more flexibility to offer creative marketing schemes such as deferred payment, discounts and rebates, and need not provide sales updates to URA.
The affected projects include OUE’s Twin Peaks and Ardmore Three by Wheelock Properties.
MAS announced in September that borrowers may be exempted from Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework when refinancing their homes. The TDSR rules still apply to new housing loans. The authority also noted that this is not an easing of property cooling measures. This measure is seen to be providing some stability to the property market in the current lull, as well as the current labour market.
Singapore has emerged as the top Asian economy in innovation, going by the 2016 Global Innovation Index (GII), bettering other top asian economies — South Korea (11th), Hong Kong (14th), Japan (16th) and New Zealand (17th) in the Asia-Pacific rankings. Australia takes 19th spot. The Republic is the 6th most innovative economy in the world in 2016 improving from its 7th position the previous year.
Switzerland – which was No 1 globally in 2015 – takes the top spot again this year – followed by Sweden, the UK, the United States and Finland. Notably, China takes the overall 25th position this year. The GII said that the country’s top-25 entry marks the first time that a “middle-income country” has joined the highly developed economies that have historically dominated the top of the index.
In northern America, taking top spots are the US (ranked 4th) and Canada (15th). In sub-Saharan Africa, the leading economies are Mauritius (53rd), South Africa (54th) and Kenya (80th). In Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile (44th), Costa Rica (45th) and Mexico (61st) lead the charts. And in central and southern Asia, India (66th), Kazakhstan (75th) and Iran (78th) are ahead.
Business times and GET.com launched a new tool online to allow Singapore consumers compare financial information like home loans, credit cards and personal loans. The online tool can be found on Business Times’ website, which is powered by GET.com’s propriety comparison technology.
According to JLLs City Momentum Index (CMI), Singapore fell from 17th place in 2015 to 75th place in 2016. CMI is an index that tracks cities short-term socio-economic and real estate momentum, in combination with measures of whether they have the longer-term foundations for success.
From being one of the top rental performers globally in 2014, Singapore saw office rents drop by around 10 % in 2015, with a further 10 to 20 % decline forecast for 2016. Rents in the retail sector have also fallen.
While it is improving affordability, the sharp rental corrections have been the main contributor to the citys poor real estate momentum scores. Despite Singapore being one of the most popular investment destinations globally, the current lower levels of real estate investment have contributed to this poor score.
Covering 120 major established and emerging business hubs across the world, the CMI highlights the top 20 cities where change is rapidly occurring.
For detailed reading one can look at reports at JLL.