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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Singapore among favourite cities of the super rich

今非昔比

on one hand, i am really happy to witness how much singapore has changed and the progress that we have made......

http://www.todayonline.com/Business/EDC120331-0000071/Spore-among-favourite-cities-of-the-super-rich

on the other hand, with this kind of headline news, does it mean that singapore is cementing it's position as a place for the rich..............scary thought....this rich/poor divide thingy.

many implications and one of which is property prices and i believe a topic close to every singaporean's heart. property prices has shot through the roof in the past few years and although in the last year, we read alot of news about prices softening ... it is still sky high.

some ANALyst have predicted as steep a drop as 30% but it seems that the sentiment on the ground is far from it ......... mass market folks are flocking to new launches and snapping up units like prices will go higher forever.

resale market is quieter -- yes, transaction volumes have come down but sellers are not reducing prices.  in fact, the units we have seen in the last 3 months (and trust me, i have seen many units), those that were sold, quite a few were sold at record psf (per square feet) prices. which puzzled me ... cos isn't prices supposed to be on a down trend?  and what is this talk about buyer's market?

i concluded that the "buyer's market" probably applies to specific developments, especially those launched in the last 2-3yearse which are TOP-ing soon and buyers/investors have to make the choice whether to take up the mortgage/tie up their capital (depending on whether they are buying the unit on loan or cash). so this is where we will probably see discounts if the sellers are "desperate" to get rid of their investments......

the problem with these units are, as they were lauched in the last 2 to 3 years, they are RIDICULOUSLY (in my opinion lah) priced in the first place. a discount (say 10% still doesn't make it any more affordable... at least in my view lah). and to be fair, it's not a global crisis, not so many units will be going at a great discount.... things are chugging along fine, even though it's not that rosy.

that's why we have been looking @ older developments around 10+ years old which are more reasonably priced, but still not cheap by any standard.

talking about rosy - i think it's still fairly rosy here -- from the crowded F&B and entertainment outlets that i witness and how foreigners are simply invading singapore ......... i am AWED at the change and how our government has successfully engineered the change in singapore.  today's singapore is really SOOOOO DIFFERENT from the singapore of 10 years ago.

on one hand i want to see singapore property prices soften, on the other, i don't cos i believe when that happens, it bodes a far worse scenario than just prices coming down, it would need a black swan event to trigger that (maybe a global crisis) and that would mean economic decline, jobs lost, deep recession and the whole works.   Why o why would i wish that upon my dear country??

yet it's so difficult to bear the sky high property prices........ and if things are just going along fine, with no major hiccups, does that mean that after a period of consolidation (which is what i think is happening now), prices will continue it's upward trend??

honestly, your guess is as good as mine.

that's why it was a rather difficult decision for us to buy a property today.  what if prices decline ?  how far will it go?

what if prices don't decline significantly but simply dip/consolidate before moving higher. would we be priced out?

and so, when a unit came by in an older development,  in a not so suburban area, which was @ abt 10% discount from last transacted psf and 8-10% lower than current asking in the same development, 999yr leasehold with a new mrt station coming up next to it at less than S$1200 psf when even suburban condo devleopments are calling at higher prices, we decided to just bite the bullet and go for it. It was not an easy decision. I was really undecided...... Hope the discount we got will give us some buffer in the event the price discount is steeper than expected.....and that the new mrt station when it opens in 2014, will provide some price floor.

we went in with our eyes open and have tried to mitigate our risks as much as possible.  but there's only so much we can plan for.... let's see how things pan out in the next few years.  if prices maintain/go higher, at least we have one property; if prices goes down, then we are prepared to stake our claim on a 2nd property :)

so yes, we are property owners once again. or rather, we rather debtors once again, oweing $$ to the banks! HAH!

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