Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mortgage Payments Worry S'poreans; Expats Fret Over Pay

Source : The Business Times, March 30 2009

Job security anxieties remain the main reason

A MAJORITY of Singaporeans worry about their ability to pay their mortgages, a survey by Zurich International Life (ZIL) showed.

'I wonder about the result if the survey is done now,' said Andy Robinson, ZIL Asia regional director in a recent BT interview. Singapore is experiencing its worst downturn ever with some forecasting that the economy could shrink as much as 8-10 per cent this year.

Seventy per cent of Singaporeans in the November survey were confident in their ability to save adequately while 60 per cent worry about their ability to pay mortgages. Mr Robinson thinks the Central Provident Fund mandatory contributions accounts for the optimism on savings while job security anxieties are keeping Singaporeans awake over their mortgages.

The survey which involved 212 Singaporeans and expatriates with a minimum monthly income of $4,000 revealed a general low level of confidence in economic recovery. Ninety per cent of expatriates are making changes in the allocation of their wealth, with more going to savings. Eighty two per cent of expatriates report a reduction in disposable income which warranted 62 per cent feeling the need for a change in their lifestyle.

'Part of that is buying less property,' said Mr Robinson referring to the changes in allocation of wealth by expatriates. Foreigners had been big buyers of high-end properties in the past five years. And over the past five years, more and more expatriates have increasingly switched to local terms from expensive expatriate packages, he added.

The survey also showed that priority of saving or investing remains at the top of the list of those asked. ZIL prepares two research reports a year asking Singaporeans and expatriates about their attitudes to financial planning and the correlation between their financial and lifestyle behaviour.

Far East Sells 97 Units Of Mi Casa Over Past Week

Source : The Business Times, March 31 2009

The 457-unit 99-year leasehold condo is selling well with upgraders.

Here's yet more evidence that there's still demand for attractively priced condos in the mass-market segment. Property tycoon Ng Teng Fong's Far East Organization has sold 97 units at its Mi Casa condo near Choa Chu Kang MRT Station since it began
sales last week.

Mi Casa: Located near Choa Chu Kang MRT Station, the 457-unit condo has an average price of $625 psf. Buyers who wish to opt for an interest absorption scheme will have to pay 3% more.

The 99-year leasehold condo has an average price of $625 per square foot. Buyers who wish to opt for an interest absorption scheme will have to pay 3 per cent more.

The 457-unit condo is being developed on a plot along Choa Chu Kang Drive which is diagonally opposite Lot One mall.

In a news release last night, Far East said Mi Casa is the first new private condo project in the Choa Chu Kang town centre in eight years and offers an 'attractive value proposition' to HDB upgraders and private home owners in the area.

Upgraders accounted for 80 per cent of Mi Casa's buyers. A number of buyers also own landed homes in the area and bought units at Mi Casa for investment and for their children, according to Far East. Mi Casa also drew some foreign buyers (such as China nationals and Malaysians).

Far East Organization unit Tian Hock Properties bought the Mi Casa site at a state tender in May last year for $116.01 million or $203 per square foot per plot ratio.

Over at the Balestier Road area, City Developments is understood to have sold another 30 units between Friday and Sunday at The Arte at Thomson freehold condo.

This brings total sales in the project to nearly 90 units. The 336-unit project, which will comprise two 36-storey blocks, is being offered at an average sellling price of about $880-890 psf.

At Somerville Road, boutique developer HLH Group has sold eight of the total 25 units at its D'Almira condo since it began previews three weeks ago.

The average price of the five-storey freehold apartment development is about $750 psf, says ERA divisional director Andrew Soh, who is marketing the project.

HLH is not offering any interest absorption scheme; buyers will have to make normal progress payments on their units when they are billed by the developer, in accordance with the stage of construction.

In the River Valley area, Fortune group sold another five units last week at The Mercury in Shanghai Road. The average price for the freehold project is '$1,200 psf plus', according to Fortune Development general manager Victor Soh.

Interest absorption scheme is available to buyers in exchange for a 3 per cent premium. To date, 64 of the total 67 units in the project have been sold.

US Home Prices In Freefall

Source : The Straits Times, March 31, 2009

US Economy

WASHINGTON - US HOME prices in the 20 largest cities fell by a record 19 per cent in January from a year ago in a downward spiral with no end in sight, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller survey showed on Tuesday.

Home prices in 20 major US cities fell at the fastest rate on record in January and are now down a record 19 per cent in the past 12 months. -- PHOTO: AFP

The year-on-year decline was steeper than analysts' consensus forecast of an 18.6 per cent drop, and eclipsed December's record decline of 18.5 per cent.

The monthly survey found continued broad-based declines in the prices of existing single-family homes in the 20 top metropolitan areas.

A separate index of home prices in the 10 largest metropolitan areas also posted a record decline, of 19.4 per cent from January 2008.

The two monthly indices have fallen steadily since October 2007. On a monthly basis, home prices in the top 20 cities were down 2.8 per cent in January, after falling 2.6 per cent in December. In the 10 largest cities, prices fell by 2.5 per cent, after a drop of 2.3 per cent.

'Home prices, which peaked in mid-2006, continued their decline in 2009,' said David Blitzer, head of the index committee at Standard & Poor's.

'There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data. Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path,' he said.

Average home prices across the US hovered around levels last seen in late 2003. From the peak in the second quarter of 2006, the 10-city index is down 30.2 percent and the 20-city index is down 29.1 per cent.

The three worst-performing cities on an annual basis were the former boom markets of Phoenix, Arizona, down 35.0 percent; Las Vegas (down 32.5 per cent) and San Francisco (down 32.4 per cent).

New York had a relatively soft decline of 9.6 per cent, and Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Cleveland, Ohio fared the best, down 4.9 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 5.2 per cent, respectively. -- AFP

新乐园共管公寓 上周预售单位卖近八成

Source : 《联合早报》March 31, 2009








上个周末推出的新项目,还包括城市发展(CDL)的The Arte at Thomson共管公寓。这个项目在前个星期预售,并卖出了大约60个单位,即60%的推出单位,每平方英尺成交价格平均约880元。


The Arte是一个拥有336个单位的永久地契项目,位于汤申路和马里士他路旁的一条支路。据了解,已经成交的单位大多都是面积比较小的二、三卧房式单位。

上个周末新登场的,还包括本地上市公司合顺环球(Hup Soon Global)、特毅国际(Tee International)和一家泰国公司Chewathai联手,在泰国曼谷发展的The Surawong共管公寓。



金文泰两座组屋居民 为何对“一屋两门”说不?

Source : 《联合早报》March 30, 2009

























后港四座组屋 翻新展开后 居民还一知半解