Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Market Stirs

Source : The Business Times, July 9, 2009

THE buzz has returned to the property market. Developers' home sales have recovered impressively since February. Private home prices have begun to pick up after hitting a low in the first quarter.

The revival in home buying is being fuelled by pent-up demand, low interest rates and a lack of trust in financial instruments after the Lehman Minibond fiasco. Some buyers are also motivated to make a commitment sooner rather than later for fear of missing the boat.

However, short-term factors are also at play, such as the spectacular stockmarket rally from March to mid-June. But the stock market is hard to predict, and with the Singapore economy still in recession, the jury is out on whether the property market will continue its recovery.

Still, some may find this a good time to buy. It would, of course, be wise to keep an eye on the debt-service ratio as a proportion of income and to set aside reserve funds for loan payments. One also has to be savvy when shopping for a mortgage.

For those eyeing overseas property, the weaker Singapore dollar has made investment more costly.

The articles in this supplement give some pointers for a decent property investment strategy. And as always, remember that property is a long-term commitment and that it's best to buy within one's means.

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