We've been living in Singapore now for two years, and have watched the rental market spiral out of control. We currently rent a condo apartment in Woodsvale, and the monthly payment is absolutely exorbitant. I am here as a P1 Employment Pass Holder.
We made the decision at the last renewal of our lease, that one more year is enough. Our plan is to apply for our permanent resident status over the next couple of months, which is academic as far as the approval. Once we have our PR and our current lease expires, we are eligible to purchase a resale HDB (Housing Board).
Initial calculations indicate that by going down this avenue, show that we can purchase quite a large flat in a relatively 'opulent' zone, and we will still reduce our monthly expenditure on housing by almost a half. Unbelievable!!
It seems like we are not the only people doing this. Interestingly enough, the latest reports from local property agencies show that almost one in five HDB flats sold recently went to PRs.
Housing experts attribute this to a combination of rising rents and low interests rates as the driver of this demand.
According to PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail, the number of apartments sold to permanent residents is a two-fold increase from a year ago, when PRs bought up 10 to 15 per cent of homes sold.
It will be interesting what will happen to the rental market over the next couple of years - personally, I HOPE IT SENDS MY CURRENT LANDLORD BROKE - GREEDY PEOPLE!!!
Property Prices Are Destined To Plunge
(EXTRACT courtesy of Salary.SG)
The STI stock market index has plunged about 20% from its peak, but the URA property index still seems to move up exponentially.
How can this be?
Let’s study the STI graph superimposed over the URA property index graph. Both graphs are scaled such that their time axes coincide, and their Asian financial crisis bottoms & dotcom peaks are at the same levels. STI is indicated by the dark blue line, while the pink line with blue crosses is for the URA index for condominiums (the other lines are for detached, semi-detached, terrace and apartments):
You should be able to see from the 2 graphs that the property bottom in end 1998 lagged the stocks bottom by about a quarter (i.e. 3 months). Similarly, the property peak in mid 2000 also lagged the stocks peak by about 1 to 2 quarters.
Now, fast forward to end 2007. The stock market has clearly tanked, amidst high inflation and comparatively stagnant salaries. But property is apparently still moving up, up and up! This can’t continue.
Property prices must plunge by at least 20%.
Want more evidence? In February, property developers were so spooked by the worsening economy that they launched only 343 units in the whole country, out of which only a miserable 170 got sold (excluding ECs).
So the one of the first questions might be, "why don't you buy a private property instead of HDB?"... Well, let me make it quite clear dear readers, that our decision to buy as opposed to rent is a 'no brainer' - as I've written in so many of my other articles, when we moved to Singapore, we wanted to plant out roots and integrate into the local community - hence our decision to move to Woodlands. However, condo living just doesn't allow us to mix the way we want and to breathe the local lifestyle... yes, we could opt for private property, but it is our intention - actually our complete desire - to move to a HDB estate, where we can truly feel localized and offer the local community and the wonderful people of Singapore all of which we have to offer!!
Friday, July 4, 2008
A long-term, old-school online presence coming out of haitus. Having lived all around the world, Florida is now home, everywhere we lived is in our hearts!