3 reasons why adjustments to property measures is not a good sign

Last Friday, a press release was jointly issued by Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore to make adjustments to the Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework, with effect from 11 March 2017. 1) The holding period liable for SSD is revised from 4 to 3 years. There is also a 4 percent reduction every year on … [Read more...]

Understanding legal issues in real estate

I have written an article “Secret formula to win the property game” in my book No B.S. Guide to Property Investment. One of the 4 key factors in this secret formula is to build a winning team. In this team, you need a good conveyancing lawyer. An experienced conveyancing lawyer can advise you the right way to handle legal matters in managing your wealth. A meticulous conveyancing lawyer … [Read more...]

Should Singaporeans be grateful for property cooling measures?

Singapore’s Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong said in a Bloomberg TV interview that the government hasn’t “made any movement in the budget” to relax the property cooling measures because “demand remains very resilient” and “property volume in terms of transactions have increased and not decreased”. Sacrificing housing affordability for foreign investment Singapore private property … [Read more...]

Trust is a scarce commodity in properties

In properties, market confidence determines the boom and doom of the industry. To property buyers and investors, trust can make or break a deal. In this digital world, trust is more valued than ever. Unfortunately, trust is increasingly rare to be found in industry stakeholders and the mass media. Have something up your sleeve? It is interesting to see how the stakeholders with vested … [Read more...]

4 reasons why Hong Kong’s new stamp duty can’t save Singapore’s property market

Bloomberg just published an article on ‘Hong Kong Property Tax May Help End Singapore’s Housing Slump’ (Bloomberg, Jan 19). The journalist cites the remarks of a Cushman & Wakefield spokesperson that foreign buyers may turn to Singapore after the 15 percent increase (30 percent in total) of stamp duty in Hong Kong. This can benefit Singapore to end the slide of property prices this year, … [Read more...]

Year of the Rooster Property Strategies

On January 15, over 80 attended the 2017 Singapore Property Strategies and Opportunities in Auctions education seminar organized by Property Club Singapore. My presentation topic was ‘Year of the Rooster Property Strategies for Buyers and Investors’ that covered the following points: – What are the likely scenarios? – Is the market slowing down or bottoming out? – What are the strategies … [Read more...]

Important rules to find good bargains at auctions

Auction sale of properties are on the rise in a lackluster market plagued by slow rental and high vacancy. With a worsening economy, both auction properties and mortgagee sales are expected to flourish in 2017. A mortgagee sale happens when the owner of the property defaults on mortgage payment. The mortgage bank then steps in to repossess the property and put it up at auctions for … [Read more...]

The double-edged sword of foreign property investment

I was invited to speak at the Australia Property Show organized by PropertyGuru at Regent Singapore on November 27, 2016. I have uploaded below the slides from my presentation ‘The Double-Edged Sword of Foreign Property Investment‘. Feel free to browse them and share with me your thoughts. The Double-Edged Sword of Foreign Property Investment from... … [Read more...]

Dealing with 4 types of tenants from hell

What’s the biggest headache of first time landlords? Slow economy? Soft market? Sibor rise? Bad agent? No tenant? Try again. If you had been a landlord before, you would agree with me that no tenant is still better than bad tenants. As the saying goes, being single is far better than being stuck in a bad relationship. Another tenant from hell Last month I went for a haircut with my … [Read more...]

2017 Singapore Property Strategies and Opportunities in Auctions

2017 Singapore Property Strategies and Opportunities in Auctions An education seminar by Property Club Singapore Synopsis What are the latest trends in the property market? What are the strategies you should adopt in 2017? How do savvy investors look for good bargains at public auctions? Why do owners prefer an auction house to market their properties? What are other assets you can … [Read more...]

Announcing the launch of a revamped blog

Dear readers, PropertySoul.com has been keeping the same web design for the past 6 years. With things slowing down towards the end of the year, I decided to give my blog a new look. After some hiccups to outsource the job, I was determined to DIY for this long overdue project. For 10 days I returned from work early to play with the kids who were on school holiday, then worked on it from 10 … [Read more...]

5 reasons why you fail TDSR and how to save yourself


A blog reader shared with me that he had put down a deposit to buy a property for investment. When he applied for a housing loan, to his big surprise, the bank told him that he couldn’t pass the TDSR (Total Debt Servicing Ratio) test. “I thought I was financially sound. How could I possibly fail the stress test?” Another reader was checking with the bank to refinance his existing mortgage … [Read more...]

5 ways Big Data is disrupting Singapore’s property market


Do you know that our property industry is facing a major disruption? And Big Data will be playing a major role in this disruption, similar to what is happening now in the finance, media, healthcare and manufacturing sectors? What’s the big deal about Big Data? In the age of IoT (Internet of Things), the transfer of data among connected devices is much more complex than humans can handle. Big … [Read more...]

Speaking at Australia Property Show on Nov 27


I will be speaking at PropertyGuru’s Australia Property Show this Sunday (Nov 27). Feel free to drop by and say hi. Event: Australia Property Show Date: November 27, 2016 (Sunday) Venue: Regent Singapore, Level 3 Nassim, 1 Cuscaden Road, S249715 Topic: The Double-Edged Sword of Foreign Property Investment Speaking Timeslot: 1630 – 1700 Panel Discussion: 1700 – … [Read more...]

When the housing market collapses


Remember the infamous Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that kick-started the last financial crisis? Last month hedge fund Bayview Financial bundled their junk securities into $118 million new bonds. Fitch Rating immediately stamped it with A- for investment grade. Didn’t they do the same for subprime mortgage bonds that were once top-rated AAA debts before the US housing bubble burst? This is … [Read more...]

Queens Peak review from a buyer’s point of view


I was invited to MCC Land’s Queens Park VIP preview on October 22. The Edge Property says there were 4,000 people at the sales gallery during the preview weekend. It won’t be surprising that probably half of them are property agents. Don’t visit Queens Peak at peak hours When the show suite opened at 10 a.m., it was already fully packed with sales representatives from the developer’s … [Read more...]

How to Buy Good Quality Properties 1-Day Workshop (Nov 12, 2016)


How to Buy Good Quality Properties 1-Day Workshop A workshop by Property Club Singapore Synopsis Do you know how to choose the best unit in a property development and the best house in the street? Do you know if you want to lease or sell your properties faster and at a rate higher than the competition, the project, direction, facing, layout, fengshui, etc. can make all the difference? … [Read more...]

What’s on the mind of property investors: 5 things everyone wants to know


On October 1, seven property investors and four industry experts joined the Property Investor Roundtable Luncheon jointly organized by Knight Frank and Property Club Singapore. As property investors, we are interested to pick the brains of industry experts, compare notes with our peers, and find out what’s on the mind of fellow investors. How we qualify the savvy property … [Read more...]

Western Australia properties at a bargain?


During our recent vacation in Perth, we dropped by to visit our relative’s family who had been staying there for longer than a decade. They lived in a nice southern suburb 20 minutes’ drive from the Perth CBD. It was a quiet and friendly neighborhood with residents from middle or upper middle class. The houses were all single-storey detached with big front yards and back gardens. Drove … [Read more...]

How to tell savvy investors from average ones?


Eating out in Orchard on a Saturday evening, we just placed our order when my husband noticed something special about the restaurant. “The owner of this place did hire pretty waitresses around.” “Pretty? Where?” “See the one over there near the counter.” I looked in his direction and saw a voluptuous figure at the far end of the restaurant. “That one really looks sexy. But she is, … [Read more...]