Author: Property Soul

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 the original SSD payable. 2) TDSR is exempted for mortgage equity withdrawal loans with LTV (Loan To Value) ratios of 50 percent and below. 3) A new stamp duty Additional Conveyance Duties...

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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 never fails to warn you any term in the contract that put you in a disadvantageous position. A good conveyancing lawyer could save you from all the costly mistakes in your...

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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 prices have fallen only 3 percent in 2016 and a total of 11.2 percent from the last peak in the third quarter of 2013, after a surge of 92 percent since the bottom of 2003. But compared with our counterpart in Hong Kong, home prices there...

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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 interest interpret the market data in their favor, and craft a deceiving and misleading picture to place their products in a good light. When it is time for budget announcement, we heard property agencies speculating...

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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, especially when the Chinese are looking for a safe haven to park their weakening currency. The herd of local business and property media, including Business Times, Singapore Business Review, Yahoo News, PropertyGuru, The Edge...

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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 for the ‘die die must buy’? – What is my property investment plan in 2017 and 2018? I am sharing my slides below. There is also an audio clip with a 14-minute shortened version of my presentation at...

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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 sale. Knight Frank Singapore saw mortgagee listings of 243 units in 2016 at a 5-year record high. Out of the total, 68 percent are residential properties. Knight Frank revealed that most mortgagee listings...

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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...

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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 usual hairdresser and opened a can of worms by mistake. “How long do you want to cut at the back?” “Around 1 ½ inch.” “Sure.” “Are you still staying...

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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 buy at public auctions? Event Details Date : January 15, 2017 (Sunday) Time : 2.30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Venue: National Library Agenda 2017 Residential Property Market: Trends and Opportunities Speakers: Tay Kah Poh, Executive Director & Head of Residential...

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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 pm to 2 am+. In between many things happened: there were technical problems one after the other; my admin site collapsed twice; bluehost had a...

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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 when the 3-month Sibor went up sharply in the middle of November. He had the same fate when he was informed of his failure to meet the 60...

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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 Data is the capture and analysis of huge amount of structured or unstructured data to discover trends or patterns useful to organizations. We generate new property data every day from...

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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 – 1730 Registration is now open at PropertyGuru event website.  ...

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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 just the start. There is a total of $6 trillion US government-backed mortgage bonds waiting to be offloaded to the investors. Trump is keen to market these mortgage bonds to Wall Street investors at dirt cheap prices....

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