Tag Archive | "property"

S’poreans praise Kong Hee for buying S$10 million Sentosa property to prop up market

S’poreans praise Kong Hee for buying S$10 million Sentosa property to prop up market

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Thank you for holding the fort.

kong-hee-sentosa

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who recognise people who put others before self, are praising Kong Hee for being selfless.

This after they heard that Kong still owns a S$10 million Sentosa Cove penthouse despite his legal woes.

One Singaporean, Da Fang Zi, said: “Thank you Kong Hee for purchasing something so expensive and meeting monthly instalments.”

“If not for you, Singapore’s property market is really in the doldrums. Thank you for propping it up.”

However, other locals said this does not bode well for other Singaporeans.

Another local, Mei You Qian, said: “He might deprive other rich people of a home.”

“So he better go to prison fast to vacate the premises.”

“Come out that time then buy again.”

 

 

 

 

 

 





We’re insulting Lee Kuan Yew by thinking we can preserve his home by signing petition, go against his will

We’re insulting Lee Kuan Yew by thinking we can preserve his home by signing petition, go against his will

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We must instead demolish Oxley Road home, all surrounding properties and entire roads to really honour his last wishes.

38-oxley-road

I read with interest the recent misguided hopes of some Singaporeans who have been petitioning the authorities to preserve Lee Kuan Yew’s 38 Oxley Road home against his wishes.

No matter how well-meaning these Singaporeans are, they are, unfortunately, ultimately wrong.

The first prime minister of Singapore had said before he does not wish for his home to be opened to anyone else other than his children, their families and descendants. Yet, Singaporeans persist in demanding for it to become a public institution for everyone to access.

Therefore, without further ado, to preserve this last wish of his, it is imperative for the government to demolish Lee Kuan Yew’s Oxley Road home as soon as possible.

This is to reduce the chances of anyone else getting into that place and contaminating it with their presence.

There is also a need to go above and beyond what has been requested to observe the former prime minister’s decision.

Demolishing the home is but just one option: To really ensure the physicality of 38 Oxley Road will no longer be around, there is a need to raze the entire neighbourhood to the ground.

Hence, I petition the government to demolish not only the 38 Oxley Road house, but also all the surrounding properties in the area and to re-pave all the roads going in and out of the property.

This is to safely ensure that all traces of 38 Oxley Road are completely erased to remove all traces of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy there.

Anyway, there are many other ways to really preserve Lee Kuan Yew’s home in our memory.

Yours sincerely,
Gan Tiao Ta

 

Here’s how to really preserve Lee Kuan Yew’s 38 Oxley Road home:

Couple renovates 4-room Punggol HDB flat to look like interior of LKY’s 38 Oxley Road home property

Couple renovates 4-room Punggol HDB flat to look like interior of LKY’s 38 Oxley Road home

Couple renovates 4-room Punggol HDB flat to look like interior of LKY’s 38 Oxley Road home

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Plans to raise son to be the next prime minister as ultimate tribute.

38-oxley-lky-punggol

A Singaporean couple has renovated the interior of their four-room HDB flat in Punggol to look exactly like Lee Kuan Yew’s 38 Oxley Road home, complete with 1940s wooden furniture, tiled flooring and a clay urn that holds water to be used for bathing with a plastic scoop.

The couple said this is the ultimate tribute they can pay to Lee Kuan Yew in honour of his legacy.

To further pay their respects to the first prime minister of Singapore, they declared their intention to raise their one-year-old son to be the next prime minister of the country to follow in Lee Kuan Yew’s footsteps: “We feel that most Singaporeans are not going far enough with their words and deeds for Lee Kuan Yew.”

“To show that we are not like that, we even named our son Lee Zhong Li in honour of our founding father. We are going to put him through the paces with multiple language classes and make sure he goes to Cambridge to study law.”

Interior designers and home renovators said there have been no shortage of such queries these past few weeks to customise Singapore homes with Lee Kuan Yew’s favourite spartan look.

One interior designer, Pai Mah Pi, said: “In our current climate, there is no such thing as going too far to show your respect and gratitude to Lee Kuan Yew.”

 

 

 

 

 











Couple renovates 4-room Punggol HDB flat to look like interior of LKY’s 38 Oxley Road home property

Couple renovates 4-room Punggol HDB flat to look like interior of LKY’s 38 Oxley Road home property

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Plans to raise son to be the next prime minister as ultimate tribute.

38-oxley-lky-punggol

A Singaporean couple have renovated the interior of their four-room HDB flat in Punggol to look exactly like Lee Kuan Yew’s 38 Oxley Road home, complete with 1940s wooden furniture, tiled flooring and a clay urn that holds water to be used for bathing with a plastic scoop.

The couple said this is the ultimate tribute they can pay to Lee Kuan Yew in honour of his legacy.

To further pay their respects to the first prime minister of Singapore, they declared their intention to raise their one-year-old son to be the next prime minister of the country to follow in Lee Kuan Yew’s footsteps: “We feel that most Singaporeans are not going far enough with their words and deeds for Lee Kuan Yew.”

“To show that we are not like that, we even named our son Lee Zhong Li in honour of our founding father. We are going to put him through the paces with multiple language classes and make sure he goes to Cambridge to study law.”

Interior designers and home renovators said there have been no shortage of such queries these past few weeks to customise Singapore homes with Lee Kuan Yew’s favourite spartan look.

One interior designer, Pai Mah Pi, said: “In our current climate, there is no such thing as going too far to show your respect and gratitude to Lee Kuan Yew.”

 

Pay tribute to Lee Kuan Yew now:

No coincidence ‘I love you’ & ‘Thank you’ sound exactly like ‘I love Yew’ & ‘Thank Yew’

8 brands that failed to pay tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

 

 

 

 

 











Singapore residential property snapped up by mainland Chinese buyers

Singapore residential property snapped up by mainland Chinese buyers

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Mainland Chinese made up 7.6 percent of total sales in Singapore in a three-month period this year.

The latest figures released shows that mainland Chinese buyers formed the biggest group of foreigners to purchase property in Singapore.

In the second quarter of this year between April and June, Chinese buyers bought 640 properties, which is 100 more units compared to the previous quarter.

This amounted to 26 percent of all purchases made by foreigners, or 7.6 percent of total property sales in Singapore in three months.

The mainland Chinese are attracted to property here as the market is less voilatile.

A majority of them would buy more than one unit: A three to four-room apartment to live in and perhaps another one or two- room apartment for investment purposes.

However, the overall picture shows that foreigners in general are driving up the demand for high-end residential properties locally.

Foreign buyers purchased 43 percent of all properties that were sold for S$1.5 million or more.

In comparison, Singaporeans are entering into the lower end of the property market: They bought 75 percent of all properties that cost S$500,000 or less in the same period.

Read the original article here.

Is HDB a good investment? Part 2

Is HDB a good investment? Part 2

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Is HDB a good investment?

Is HDB a good investment?

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The middle class nightmare

The middle class nightmare

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The government can do more to reduce the price of property in Singapore, alleviating the financial challenges faced by a large middle class.

By Fang Shihan

The outlook for average Singaporeans can be scary, especially considering the high cost of living. Photo: WILLIAM CHO / Creative Commons

IT’S probably a universal phenomenon. Fresh graduate comes out into the working world, draws his first paycheck, and wakes up one day a few months later breaking out in cold sweat.

It’s the middle class nightmare. You know, the one where you’re taking a photo at the main door, spouse in arm, kids running around at knee level. You flash a hugeass smile as you look proudly into the camera feeling like your life is absolutely perfect.

And you wake up feeling horrified at how you’ve transformed into a mindless automaton in the economic machine. You also feel ashamed at desiring the perfect middle class life because you’ve been taught in school that it’s all a damn construct.

We all have the same nightmare. But here on the island it’s a little different. See, friends in Australia or countries with a larger land mass feel their skin crawl at the sight of a house with a lawn, a dog and…. a white picket fence. Here we dream about a three-room flat in Punggol with a steel gate, a view hopefully not of the neighbour’s kitchen and…. a maid.

I remember growing up in the 90s listening to the debate about Singaporeans and their 5Cs- cash, car, condo, credit card and country club. Fast forward 20 years later, we’re not even dreaming of the condo anymore. We’re dreaming of a flat. Friggin little cubicles built so close together that you become paranoid about your neighbours eavesdropping while you have sex at home.

Were we ever supposed to aspire to public housing?

MP Mah “Your Assets will Appreciate!” Bow Tan wrote a piece sometime last year reiterating that “the Government’s basic principle… is to provide affordable public housing for the vast majority of Singaporeans – not just for 10 or 20 per cent, like most countries, but up to 80 per cent of the population.”

The government has obviously forgotten about the initial proposal of ‘public housing’ and above all, what constitutes as ‘affordable housing’.

The logic to co-opt Singaporeans under the public housing umbrella undeniably made sense back in 1960, where slums and squatter settlements were aplenty. After all, a housed, clothed and fed worker was a more productive worker. Public housing also made for a good social control mechanism but.. let’s not get into that.

But the past is the past. As the saying goes: “Last time policemen wore shorts”.

There are no slums now save for a small group of happy campers at various beaches and parks. However there’s a large middle class with aspirations for social mobility.

Does it make sense for the government to co-opt these aspirations into the public housing system? More importantly, SHOULD the government even try to cater to the middle class family with a household income of $10,000?

Thanks, but I’d rather not the HDB have a monopoly of the housing market on the pretext of housing provision.

When I describe the HDB to my friends abroad, they’re usually in awe of the efficiency of the system. Homeless rates are close to zilch, that’s quite a feat. Then I tell them about how much an average flat costs and almost certainly, jaws drop in shock. $300,000 for a tiny 3 room flat??? Yes Siree, and I haven’t even gotten to COE prices yet.

Here’s my take on why housing HAS to be increasingly expensive: To keep 80% of the population within the arms of the nanny state and to a lesser extent, to keep the upper middle income class politically subservient. Imagine being within the $10,000 income bracket. Too rich for public housing yet too poor to afford a million-dollar condo. Would you be pissed? I would.

And the solution? Executive HDBs. Because that’s considered ‘affordable housing’ for a family that’s not-quite-there-yet.

Just to prove that this is not just a gigantic conspiracy theory, think about this. In a situation such as this, would the logical solution be to reduce the percentage of those living in public housing, and to free up more land for private development?

Condos are obviously more expensive than HDBs, in large part because of land prices. But instead of passing policies to reduce the prices in the private market, what’s happened is that the public sector trying it’s darndest to match the private sector. And everything goes up up up.

The government has obviously forgotten about the initial proposal of ‘public housing’ and above all, what constitutes as ‘affordable housing’.

Cooling the risen dragon – not so easy

Cooling the risen dragon – not so easy

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Monetary policy looks good on paper, but may have little effect on the ground.

Fang Shihan reports.

  • The first storey of a warehouse in the outskirts of Kunming. Yang Bo(see story) purchased a similar unit in another neighbouring building. With the subway system to be completed in two years time, investors are expecting these properties more accessible and to be fully occupied. Picture by FANG SHIHAN.
  • Rows of warehouses occupy the outskirts of Kunming. Picture by FANG SHIHAN.
  • Kunming Central. While it used to be a sleepy town 10 years ago, Kunming now is a bustling metropolis. Picture by FANG SHIHAN.

“THE RICH people buy up so many houses here that they’re driving up inflation!” remarks Hao Fei, 27, an English teacher at the Henderson Foreign Language school in Kunming, Yunnan.

Property is hot in China. Not only because social norms dictate that a male must own his a house before he’s deemed worthy enough to take a bride, but also because of rampant speculation.

Hao Fei bought his apartment 4 months back for 400,000 yuan (S$78,000). He reckons that he could sell it off for 500,000 yuan now. With a middle class salary of 6,000 (S$1,175) a month, he’ll take 30 years to pay off his bank mortgage.

He’s unhappy, however, that he is living in an asset worth half-a-million.

“Of course I can sell my house and earn a profit. But where will I live? Houses everywhere are getting more expensive as well!”

Nearer to the heart of Kunming, where the likes of KFC, the Big M and yes, even Breadtalk have sprouted within walking distance of each other, apartments owners literally live in million-yuan homes.

Little wonder then, that cash-rich Chinese are riding the bubble by buying their second and third houses. After all, what’s a million-yuan when the returns could potentially amount to 1.5 million yuan.

Government measures to cool the property market have been effective, but inflation is still rampant. Overall inflation remains high at 5.1% while food inflation stands at 10%.

According to Professor Zhang Jian Hua at Yunnan University, the crux of the problem lies in China’s lax monetary policy.

As a reaction towards the flood of liquidity unleashed by US’s own loose monetary policy during the recent depression, the Chinese government is now taking measures to rein in easy money, partly to curb property speculation.

“Property is not so easy to buy if you don’t have guanxi. The bulk of the warehouses in this estate have been reserved for friends and family of the developer. Outsiders like us have to pick from the leftovers.” – Yang Bo, business developer

Previously, homebuyers only had to pay 20 to 30% of the sum upfront and take a bank loan for the remainder. This now only applies to first-time buyers. Individuals looking to buy their second house now foot 50% upfront while third-timers pay the full sum in cash. But that’s only for housing. Speculation is still rampant in the commercial sector.

Yang Bo, 32, owns a chain of music schools in and around Kunming. He’s just bought the first floor of a 6-storey warehouse, intending to use the space as a warehouse retail outlet for his pianos.

“The developers wanted me to foot an additional 300,000 yuan when they agreed on 5 million yuan a few days ago. Now everyone’s holding back on their sales, hoping for the prices to increase.”

Still, he says the terms are good. With a 16% cashback incentive payable over two years, he says that by jumping in early, he’s saved himself 814,400 yuan.

“Property is not so easy to buy if you don’t have guanxi. The bulk of the warehouses in this estate have been reserved for friends and family of the developer. Outsiders like us have to pick from the leftovers. But it’s still a good deal because the area is near the distributorship cluster.”

An oversupply of liquidity over the past two years has also led to rising food prices, indicative by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which stands at a 28-month high.

Lowering the logistical costs of agricultural produce and releasing some state food reserves, the government has managed to stabilise the prices of grain and cooking oil. Wholesale prices of vegetables have even gone down, according to Xinhua.

“That’s still not addressing the problem” says Professor Zhang.

With price controls in place, the Chinese farmers working with already low profit margins have even less incentive to be productive. He insists that there should be more investment in the agricultural sector instead. But such a policy would not have an immediate effect.

Remarking rather pessimistically, he mentions that it would also be half a year before current monetary policies have a tangible impact on the daily lives of the ordinary Chinese.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has hiked the reserve rate ratio (RRR) for the sixth time this year. Banks now have to park 18.5 percent of their reserves with the central bank. This decreases the level of liquidity or put simply, gives banks less money to lend.

Speculators may now find it more costly, or even impossible to get a loan because the banks are, well, short of money.

Other policies such as the oil price hike (in anticipation of rising demand) and gradual appreciation of the Yuan (to fight imported inflation), and the recent rise in interest rates (leading to less incentive to borrow and more incentive to park one’s cash in the bank) too may look to be effective in combating inflation, but could in fact make little difference on the ground in the short run.

Can China sustain this rate of economic growth while keeping inflation at bay? While the authorities insist that existing monetary policies should serve to slow down speculation while maintaining fiscal growth, reality seems to suggest otherwise.

The liquidity crunch unfortunately still does not address problems such as the one Yang Bo is facing. Developers are hoarding property in the hope of future price increases – this has little to do with how easy or difficult it is to obtain loans.

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