Tag Archives: Singapore

Premium Real Estate: Majes Tower Roppongi

Are you looking investing out of Singapore for a change? Tokyo 2020 is only a couple of years away but Japan is transforming into a hotspot for both real estate investment and capital inflows. Join us for our Japan Property Gallery on 17/18 March 2018 held at Hyatt Hotel from 1- 5 pm.


Singapore emerged as TOP asian economy in innovation.

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.

Price and location still the main criteria among home buyers

Based on the recent turnout in launches in the past year, the key criteria seems to be the timeless one: attractively priced homes in prime locations. North Park Residences in Yishun, Poiz Residences in Potong Pasir, and High Park Residences in Sengkang are three projects that went against the prevalent lull in the property market and sold 486 (median $1374 psf), 227 (median $1440 psf) and 1169 (median $989 psf) units respectively. The common attributes among these best selling projects are:

  • attractively priced units
  • near existing/upcoming MRT station
  • near amenities like shopping malls and reputable schools

The typical price range of residential apartments in Singapore can be found below

  • CCR — $2000-5000 psf
  • RCR — $1500-2000 psf
  • OCR — $1000-1500 psf
  • ECs — $750-850 psf
  • DBSS — $550-650 psf
  • HDB resale — $400-600 psf
  • BTO — $250-500 psf


Wareham Road #katonghomes

This street is near Dakota MRT Station and is close to good schools and eateries in Katong Area. Minutes to Tanjong Katong Road, Old Airport Amenities and next to Geylang River, this street consists of semi-detached houses and bungalows and is a serene neighbourhood. Accessibility via public transport includes MRT and buses.

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Fewer buying overseas properties as rate hike looms

A sobering mix of property curbs, a softening economy and the prospect of higher interest rates seems to have cooled the Singaporean fervour for property, both at home and abroad.

On the home front, the growth in outstanding property loans moderated and the volume of new loans shrank considerably.

Overseas, Singaporeans bought about $1.1 billion worth of residential properties in the first half of this year, down from about $1.6 billion in the same period last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said.

For the whole of last year, Singaporeans had snapped up $3 billion worth of overseas homes, up from $1.9 billion in 2012.

“Nonetheless, real estate agencies in Singapore have seen increased interest in overseas property purchases, from across a broader spectrum of Singapore buyers,” MAS said in its Financial Stability Review yesterday.

Properties in Britain, Malaysia and Australia accounted for 91 per cent of total transactions by value in the first six months of this year and 76 per cent by number, MAS said. Singaporeans also bought homes in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.

The data is based on an MAS survey that collected figures on overseas properties transacted by real estate agencies in Singapore.

Mr Getty Goh, director of property research firm Ascendant Assets, said he has seen a pullback in the number of Singaporean clients committing to foreign property this year.

“The market is less certain these days with things like stimulus tapering taking effect in the United States and an interest rate hike coming up,” he said. “On top of that, local investors see the Singapore market cooling and so they are actually saving their bullets as they anticipate that at some point they may want to re-enter the Singapore market when prices come down enough, rather than commit to an overseas property now.”

Despite the strong take-up of foreign homes over the past few years, local banks’ exposure to foreign property loans remained low, MAS said, comprising less than 2 per cent of their total housing loan books.

At home, property cooling measures have tempered the growth of outstanding housing loans, it noted. At its peak, the volume of outstanding property loans grew 23 per cent year on year in August 2010. But in September this year, outstanding property loans grew just 6 per cent from a year ago.

The volume of new housing loans, which generally track housing transactions, contracted from $11.4 billion in the second quarter of last year to $6.7 billion in the third quarter of this year.

Singaporeans are also more prudent when taking out loans. For example, the average tenor of new private housing loans has declined, from 30 years in 2012 to 25 years in the third quarter of this year.

A slight uptick in the banks’ non-performing loans (NPL) ratio from 0.28 per cent to 0.36 per cent between the first and third quarters of 2014 was due to “a handful” of defaults for high-end housing projects, MAS said.

United Overseas Bank said in its third-quarter results last month that its overall NPL ratio held steady from a year ago, but the value of bad housing loans as a share of its housing loan book had risen. Still, investor relations head Jimmy Koh said: “Even with a possible rise in the interest rate environment, no material deterioration is expected.”

OCBC said last month non-performing housing loans rose 20 per cent from a year ago, but the ratio of such loans to its total mortgage book fell to 0.5 per cent from 0.6 per cent a year ago. DBS’ third-quarter housing NPL was 0.2 per cent, down from 0.25 per cent a year ago.


Despite global gloom, there is little reason for alarm in Singapore

Pessimism is in the air as local market watchers await the release of Singapore’s advance third-quarter economic growth numbers next Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) set the tone on Wednesday with a warning that easy monetary policies around the world have lifted market and liquidity risks “to levels that could compromise financial stability if left unaddressed”. This came a day after the organisation slashed its outlook for global growth for this year and next.

But while the clouds gather around the world, analysts here say there is little reason for alarm in Singapore.

A Reuters poll of 13 economists found they expect gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 1.8 per cent in the third quarter from the second quarter, up from 0.1 per cent growth between April and June.

The tepid recovery of the euro zone, highlighted by both the IMF and the Fed, could eventually affect growth here but economists who spoke to The Straits Times noted that the European Central Bank still has many options.

Barclays economist Leong Wai Ho said the warnings from the IMF and the Fed serve as a reminder of how fragile the world economy is.

“Growth is uneven, led by only the US and a handful of small emerging markets. China’s consumption has weakened for the first time in 10 years, accentuated by an anti-corruption drive,” he added.

“Among emerging markets, Latin America has also entered recession. Asia remains one of the better regions, because it is most tied to US demand.”

But while Singapore should be watchful, a crisis is not imminent, he noted, adding: “The euro zone still has further tools it can unveil to fight deflation. It needs to find the political will.”

Similarly, the IMF’s warnings that global stocks need a correction as some equity valuations “could be frothy” should be taken with a pinch of salt, said Phillip Futures investment analyst Howie Lee in a note to clients.

“In all honesty, the IMF has just repeated what we have all known for the longest time. Equity valuations are high and yes, they are due for a correction.”

Mizuho Bank senior economist Vishnu Varathan noted the IMF had revised upwards its growth forecasts for emerging Asia and the so-called “ASEAN Five”, both by 0.1 percentage point, even as it slashed the outlook for global expansion. The ASEAN Five are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

And while the Fed is worried that a slowing Chinese economy could hurt US exports, the IMF holds the broader view that China can forestall the risks that its economy faces, he added.

“China has got its fair share of risks, in banking and property, but we think that China will still grow out of its problems and has the capacity for infrastructure stimulus which is what they’re trying to kick-start.”

– See more at: http://business.asiaone.com/news/little-reason-spore-worry-despite-global-gloom#sthash.kNoLpB7Y.dpuf

Winners for World Architectural Festival 2014 in Singapore (our Sports Hub is also a winner)

After three days of the World Architecture Festival in Singapore, the festival’s super-jury has awarded the prestigious World Building of the Year award to The Chapel, Vietnam, designed by a21studio.

The Chapel is a community space in a new urban ward on the outskirt of Ho Chi Minh City. As a result of estate crisis, the surrounding area is lacking communal centres; therefore, the Chapel is designed to be the place for people to participate in activities such as conferences, weddings and exhibitions.

The judges commended the way the project embraced history and modernity, creating maximum effect with minimum materials. Paul Finch, WAF programme director, said: “Colour and light have been deployed to put people at ease and the architect has found poetry in the mundane.”

Civic and community: The Chapel by a21studio

Singapore Sports Hub, by Singapore Sports Hub Design Team, won the Completed Buildings – Sport award.

Located on a 35 hectare waterfront site close to the heart of Singapore, the newly opened Sports Hub provides a wide range of sporting, retail and leisure spaces within easy reach of the city centre and international airport.

At the heart of the Sports Hub is the new National Stadium whose dome has a span of over 310m, making it the largest free spanning dome structure in the world. It will be the first stadium in the world custom designed to host athletics, football, rugby and cricket all in one venue,

Sport: Singapore Sports Hub by Singapore Sports Hub Design Team

The super-jury festival’s comprised a selection of the world’s leading architects and designers, led by renowned British architect Richard Rogers, and included Rocco Yim (Hong Kong), Julie Eizenberg (USA), Enric Ruiz Geli (Spain) and Peter Rich (South Africa).

Previous winners of the World Building of the Year Award include Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects (2008); Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg (2009); MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) in Rome, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010); Media TIC, designed by Cloud 9 Architects (2011); Gardens By The Bay, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Grant Associates, Atelier One and Atelier Ten (2012); and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki by Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp (2013).


Lease Buyback Scheme for HDB extended to 4room flats


The Housing and Development Board will extend the Lease Buyback Scheme to 4-room flats. This will enable more Singaporeans to monetize their assets and derive a steady stream of income for their retirement needs.

“Last year, I was your real estate agent. This year, the real estate market is no good, I have upgraded myself, I have become a financial planner,” quipped Prime Minister Lee as he spoke on retirement adequacy for Singaporeans in his National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 17).

Mr Lee says Singapore has good schemes to provide assurance in retirement – namely through the Central Provident Fund (CPF) and home ownership. CPF members set aside the Minimum Sum when they turn 55 years old, and it will offer a regular stream of income for them after they turn 65. The payout will go on for as long as they live. The Minimum Sum for those who turn 55 this year is S$155,000. Mr Lee explained that the amount is “far from excessive”.

CPF members can count their homes in the Minimum Sum, meaning they need to set aside just half of it in cash, which works out to S$77,500. Mr Lee conducted a poll of the audience at the Rally using an example of a fictitious couple Mr and Mrs Tan.

“I ask Mr Tan – how much do you think you will need in retirement every month?” Mr Lee said. “What do you think? S$3,000 per month? That’s about two-thirds what he is getting now. S$2,000 per month – less than half what he is getting now? Or S$1,000 per month?”

The majority picked S$2,000 a month. Mr Lee said this means the Tans will need S$250,000 for their retirement needs – which is more than the Minimum Sum. And if Mr and Mrs Tan pledged their home, the amount of S$77,500 kept in their CPF account would only give them S$600 a month. They would then need to find other sources of income to plug the shortfall.

Mr Lee said there are options to achieve this, including continuing to work, getting support from their children, tapping on savings or getting money of out their house.

For example, he could rent out a room for S$700 a month, or move in with his children and rent out the entire flat for S$2,500 a month.

“The third thing you could do is to ‘right-size’: sell this flat and buy a smaller flat. Let’s say you buy a studio apartment, you move into the studio apartment and then in the process, you can enjoy a silver housing bonus from the Government which is S$20,000. We can do the sums, you get quite a lot of money – S$210,000, plus S$800 per month,” explained Mr Lee.

Another option is the Lease Buyback Scheme, which will be extended to 4-room flats. In Mr Tan’s case – if he sells the remaining lease of 35 years to HDB – he will receive a lump sum of S$27,500 in cash, plus S$900 per month.