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When to buy (and sell) a private residential property?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Please don't take what I say as the Gospel truth. I am just sharing my thoughts and limited experience. This was an exchange on FB:

  • M
    Bro. Your property post always trigger my interest and thinking!
    Anyway during the talk, you mentioned there are still good property deals around.
    I wonder what's your definition of good deals?
  • Assi AK
    Well, if people are looking for a BTO flat for own stay, I just shared an example in CCK (on my FB wall). Good deal.
  • M
    How about private?
    Ps. I should be clear.
  • Assi AK
    If people are looking for condos for investment, it is quite hard to find a good deal now.
  • M
    Still will like your brain juice on what are good deals on private. Lol
  • Assi AK
    I know that some developers like Bukit Sembawang and Capitaland are slashing prices but I don't think the prices after discount are good (enough) yet.
  • M
    Haha. How much you will go in?
  • Assi AK
    For example, someone bought a condo in Cairnhill by BS and it was heavily discounted. Just under $2m. Previously, would have to pay $2.4m to $2.5m for similar unit. However, the current rental is only $4K a month.
    ... Buyer said good deal. He said earlier buyers overpaid. I think (earlier buyers) just overpaid more than he did.
    His gross yield at $4K a month rental would work out to be about 2.4%. His housing loan interest rate is (probably) 1% + 3 months sibor... So, it is almost 1.7% now... It is probably going to be higher in the next 2 years... -.-"
    But what to do? D9 atas. I had a D9 property that I bought during the GFC and sold it when market recovered. This person (I feel) bought as market peaked (again) and beginning to correct.
    I sold off my properties that would have yielded just under 4% per annum. I found properties that were able to yield 6.1% per annum (later on). It made sense to me even though the 6.1% yielders are not in atas locations.
    In the current environment, those that I sold are yielding just above 3% per annum while the would be 6.1% yielders are now 5.1% yielders. (What a difference 2 years make.) All declined but I have a bigger margin of safety now.
  • M
    Power!! Love your explanation. Gonna share w my wife bro.
  • Assi AK
    Aiyoh, pai seh lah... I anyhow say de.
  • M
    Nvm. Keep anyhow say
  • Assi A
    I think I cut and paste for my next blog post. I ran out of ideas. This one just nice. LOL.
  • M
    Yes. This one really vvvvv good
    It will educate a lot of property standbyers
  • Assi AK
    Kamsiah. You very kind lah. I only sharing my thoughts and experience. I pai seh.
  • M
    You Pai seh what. Haha. I sincerely appreciate that. My frens and wife learnt a lot too

Assi AKReally? Thanks for the encouraging feedback. Very happy they enjoyed themselves.

Feeling happy (but also a bit scared) to share.

One thing is for sure though. You can safely ask AK if you need a haircut because AK is not a barber.

Related posts:
1. An evening with AK and friends.
2. Affordability and value for money.
3. Considerations for first timers.
4. CCR, RCR or OCR for rental income?
5. Smaller apartments' prices more resilient.


Whowillbe said...

Hi AK71,

I personally find that it's gonna be an interesting situation for Singapore properties. As I take a casual look at the rental contracts signed in recent months, the rents are easily down by 5% so even if property prices are down by 5%, the rental yield will still be as low. So while home buyers are happy with the drop in prices, it will not be the case for investors.

In my opinion, rents will pick up when the excess supply is soaked up and a bigger influx of transient workers coming in. But considering the political risks in doing the latter, I think it will be safe to say that rents will continue to soften in the next 2-3 years.

AK71 said...

Hi Whowillbe,

Generally, I agree with your view although I am not sure whether the situation is going to persist for 2-3 years or 4-5 years or 1-2 years. It depends on the political will of the PAP government to lower prices of real estate here.

Having said this, there are many stake holders in the real estate industry and it easily accounts for more than a fifth of our economy. So, the government would have to be careful that the cooling measures don't bring on an ice age.

We cannot know, of course, what the government is going to do or which direction the economy is going to take but what we can do is to insist on getting good value for money and have a margin of safety in our property purchase(s). :)

AK71 said...

Singapore homebuyers will drive harder bargains in an already depressed housing market as new rules that require developers to disclose discounts and other perks unmask the actual value of properties for sale.

Starting Friday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority will publish weekly net prices on home transactions that will take into account incentives and rebates, such as those for stamp duties, to improve transparency.

"It will give homebuyers more bargaining opportunities," said Donald Han, managing director at real estate broker Chesterton Singapore Pte. "Buyers are already asking for more perks, so this gives them additional information that they can use to negotiate a better price." Hefty furniture rebates became the subject of a S$181 million lawsuit in November after United Overseas Bank Ltd claimed it was a "victim of a conspiracy" and handed out larger-than-permitted housing loans after some buyers at the luxury Marina Collection on Sentosa island didn't declare perks that cut prices by as much as 34 per cent.

Now, freebies such as luxury goods vouchers, jewelry and furniture used to entice homebuyers will be made public. Home sales dropped to a six-year low last year, while prices fell for a sixth straight quarter in the three months ended March 31, the longest losing streak in more than a decade.


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