How many billionaires are there in Singapore?


According to Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Consensus 2013, Singapore has 27 billionaires, which makes it the fifth biggest billionaire population in Asia and 18th in the world. The typical Singapore billionaire is said to be mainly from the "finance, banking and investments sector" (I think they probably put real estate in investment because most of the billionaires here are in real estate), has at least a degree and is above 60 years old. The study also shows that as of 2013, the total … [Read more...]

Why is the ease of Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) restriction disappointing


On Feb 10, 2014, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced to ease the restrictive Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) on certain property buyers. What it says is that some of whose who bought a residential property before the TDSR measure (introduced on June 29, 2013) will be exempted from the TDSR threshold of 60% so they can refinance their house. Why is this important to the home owners? Mortgages in Singapore typically have a lower spread to the Singapore interbank offer rate … [Read more...]

HDB Cash Over Valuation lowest since January 2011


In Jan 2012, I wrote an article "How much Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) should you pay for your HDB flat?" I explained the worrying "greater fool" situation of HDB buyers trying to outbid each other by paying a higher cash over valuation. In Apr this year, I told you HDB is going to "show hand" by just looking at the demand and supply of the market. If you read today's paper, it is reported that "Overall Housing Board cash-over-valuation (COV) continued a steady decline in July to $20,000, its … [Read more...]

The five “suspected” asset bubbles in 2013


Most of the articles you read will try to tell you what to invest, but today will share with you what not to invest. I am inspired by this twitter post. Though I cannot verify if it is indeed from UBS's report, but I agree most of the points. A consequence of ultra-loose monetary policy By now we all know what the world has become. By pushing risk free rates to an unprecedented low level, central banks run the risk of creating a disorderly return for many assets around the world. The … [Read more...]

Is buying London property a wise choice for Singaporeans?


Singaporeans just love to put their trust in properties. After 7 rounds of property cooling measures, the local market finally become quieter (temporarily?). It is because of these cooling measures in recent years, many Singaporeans flocked overseas to hunt for "bargain". People go to London,  Australia, USA and most recently Iskandar to "snatch" properties just like Great Singapore Sales. However, is buying overseas properties really a good investment? Today I will just use London property … [Read more...]

Summary of 7th round of property cooling measures

Residential New Financing Rules with effect from 12 Jan, 2013 Source:

Last Friday (11th Jan 2013) evening, the Singapore Government announced a sweeping 7th round of property cooling measures since 2009, with a series of policies including: Raising Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) by 5%-7% Imposing ABSD on second homes for Singaporeans and first homes for permanent residents (PR) Lowering loan-to-value limits Increasing minimum cash payments to 25% (from 10% currently) Within the public housing segment, tighter loan requirements have been … [Read more...]

What will happen to your Malaysia property if you die?


With prices of properties in Singapore rocketing, many Singaporeans have chosen to invest in Malaysia properties. However,  when many Singaporeans own millions of property assets in Malaysia, few have bothered to think about this question: "What will happen to your Malaysia property if you die?"   Inheritance Laws in Malaysia Previously, I talked about How are assets distributed if a person dies without a will in Singapore. Although Malaysia is also a common wealth country, the … [Read more...]

How is property gifted by spouse treated upon divorce


Released on Thursday, the Court of Appeal made this clear in decision grounds in the case of a woman who had been given shares to three properties by her husband during their 36-year marriage. GIFTS between spouses in the course of a marriage will be treated as matrimonial assets to be totted up and split between them if they divorce. In the case of a woman who had been given shares to three properties by her husband during their 36-year marriage. The husband sought for all three … [Read more...]

How to become a millionaire by investing in properties?


Most of the time, investors focus on how to "make quick money". The idea of "becoming next door millionaire" is all time gimmick and never fails to attract followers. I am not surprised to read from Sunday Times article that people actually paid nearly $3,000 to attend a 2.5 day course, hoping to become a property guru overnight. While I do not know how many of them have succeeded, it certainly made the organizer millionaire! According to the newspaper article "To go or not to go for … [Read more...]

Where Is Property Price Heading To?


Singaporeans just have this obsession about "investing" in property. In January this year, Singapore government has already pushed hard to curb property speculation.  Unfortunately, the public never got the message and property prices continued shooting up. Until mid of the year, new minister Khaw Boon Wan has publicly expressed his "worries about property buyers". He wrote In his blog, "I must keep an eye on the medium term for possible pitfalls. Sharp property price increases cannot go … [Read more...]