Is Property Truly Affordable?

Some of the more recent reports on property as published by our incumbent major newspaper, The Straits Times, seem to imply that property prices have softened and thus has become much more affordable for the general public. In Saturday’s newspapers (December 4, 2010), an article called “Our First Home” appeared and talked about how median COVs have fallen since the August 2010 cooling measures … [Read more...]

Why is it so difficult for Singaporeans to buy a reasonable priced home when its easy for foreigners?

Owning a home to live in has become such a staple of the Singapore lifestyle. Up to a few years ago, housing prices have been reasonably affordable. Is housing unaffordable? Lately the price and COV (cash over value) being quoted is absurd. Is it really absurd or is it a matter of progressive inflationary forces that we cannot stop? My fellow blogger la pappillion blogged about his new house … [Read more...]

Should you invest in properties or equities?

This is a guest post by Mr Propwise, who is the founder of www.Propwise.sg, a blog dedicated to helping you understand the Singapore property market and make better buying, selling, renting and investing decisions – minus all the hype and misinformation. Are properties or equities better investments? I have over 10 years of experience investing in the stock market, and also have … [Read more...]

Is Public Housing For The Public?

Was peering at a block of HDB flats in front of me one day when a thought suddenly struck me.A 4-room HDB flat cost on average about $300k. A 12 storey block of flat has about 50 units. That translates to $15 million in value for a block of flats. Furthermore, these are all leasehold 99 years. Well, my point is, so what determines the value?It seems that the system in Singapore is to take the … [Read more...]

Will You Try To Pay Off Your Housing Loan ASAP If You Have One? (6)

Read? Will You Try To Pay Off Your Housing Loan ASAP If You Have One? (5) Yesterday, I casually asked a colleague when is he getting his CPF and what is his investment plan? He told me he got it 3 months ago and also attended CPF Talk on Investing Options for Reaching 55. He told me he has no any other investment plan except to leave it in CPF to service his housing loan - another 11 years … [Read more...]

The 10 Cheapest Homes in Singapore

From the comments from my last article on the Top 10 Most Expensive Houses in Singapore, it seems many readers felt it would be useful to look at the most affordable choices instead. I have thus compiled this list of the 10 most affordable homes currently on the market in Singapore. As with the last [...] … [Read more...]

Subprime Crisis, Singapore’s version?

The Year 2006A few years ago, my wife and I are the 'fortunate' few to buy left over HDB flats under the walk-in scheme. As the flat came in standard condition, i.e. totally bare, we visited a few condominium showflat for renovation ideas. My wife was tasked to absorb as many ideas as possible while I entertain the agents as a prospective buyer. That was when I started to pay attention to the … [Read more...]

Subprime Crisis, Singapore’s version?

The Year 2006A few years ago, my wife and I are the 'fortunate' few to buy left over HDB flats under the walk-in scheme. As the flat came in standard condition, i.e. totally bare, we visited a few condominium showflat for renovation ideas. My wife was tasked to absorb as many ideas as possible while I entertain the agents as a prospective buyer. That was when I started to pay attention to the … [Read more...]

Stubborn HDB Property Bubble?

Some of my friends painfully resisted buying a flat for the past few years, hoping that the property bubble will pop when the global recession erupted. But to their disbelief, the prices and cash over value (COV) continue to defy gravity and broke new highs. This prompted me to take a closer look at this bubble, why is it so stubborn!?DemandLooking at the past prices (available data from 04 to … [Read more...]

HDB to build more new flats

With HDB resale flat prices hitting new highs recently, causing cash-over valuation (COV) to go up, Mr Mah made the promise to push out enough flats for first-time home buyers.His advice for them is to go for new flats, where there is no COV."What HDB is going to do is to build more new flats for first-timers, so this will help take care of the first-timer market, and that will help to reduce some … [Read more...]

Valuer for HDB units, an easy job?

After years of painful search and watching the property prices continue to defy recession forces, a friend of mine finally settle for flat in a mature estate with about $50k above (already high) valuation. Querying the valuation of the flat, I discovered it is valued at the higher tail end amongst recent HDB resale transaction. And yet my friend is paying $50k above this.HDB valuation methodologyI … [Read more...]

Condominiums – Opportunity or Trap

Upgrade or downgrade?I came across the following article in the 联合早报: 是享受还是受罪. It described someone nearing retirement who 'upgraded' to a condominium of 102 sqm and a new mortgage to pay off, by selling his fully paid up EA flat of 145 sqm. When enquired about his rationale, the simple answer was " no choice, for the comfort, for a better external outlook, will have to suffer a bit".Selling like … [Read more...]

Q: HDB Outstanding Loan vs CPF

This is the first time that I received a query on personal finance issues from a reader. I'm pretty 'shocked' actually because I am not a qualified financial adviser but the average Joe facing the same day to day financial problems like man on the street. The reader has given me permission to post it my site and what's better than to open this question to people here whom I believe have more … [Read more...]