Author: Property Soul

Choosing Prime Properties In Singapore Workshop

Ku Swee Yong is the Chief Executive Officer of International Property Advisor Pte Ltd. in Singapore. He was a Director in the Real Estate Centre of Expertise at Société Générale Private Banking, responsible for advising clients on real estate investments, the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Savills Singapore and the General Manager at Far East Organization’s Indonesia office. Swee Yong’s opinion is regularly featured in the Straits Times, Business Times, 新明日报, 联合早报, Channel NewsAsia, TODAY, etc. He has published five books on the property market. He lectures on a part-time basis in the Singapore Management University and the Ngee Ann...

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Can this ‘CPF Key’ truly unlock the value for old flats?

(Article contributed by Ku Swee Yong, CEO of International Property Advisor Pte Ltd.) In May 2019, the government relaxed rules for older people looking to buy old flats using more money from their CPF accounts. The aim of amending the rules was primarily to improve the demand for older flats, so that the value of older flats may be maintained for longer. (Source: MOM Press Release: More Flexibility to Buy a Home for Life While Safeguarding Retirement Adequacy) One of the examples quoted in the Ministry of Manpower’s press release described a couple, John (age 48) and Jane (age...

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Will Hong Kong people buy Singapore homes?

Some readers ask me whether there will be more Hong Kong people buying Singapore homes, and whether this will raise local property prices and sales volumes. Maybe they know I was from Hong Kong two decades ago. Or they have seen too many media reports on riots in Hong Kong. Like many foreign countries, protests and strikes to Hong Kong people are like typhoons that often happen during the typhoon season. If the people are unhappy about something, they don’t just rant at coffee shops or on social media. They join like-minded people to show their discontent openly in...

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Podcast Ep#32: How Numbers Can Lie

In this episode, I will give you a quick lesson on how to play with numbers. These are tricks not just limited to the use of industry stakeholders in the property market. They are widely adopted by every company, everyone and everywhere. Let me show you how easy they can be learned and applied in real-life. Before you watch the video, see whether you know the answers to the following questions. Write down your answers somewhere. Have a go now. 1. What are the ways to present poor or average numbers and results in good light? 2. How do...

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What properties to buy in a recession

When Singapore missed its GDP target in Q2, Maybank said we are heading for a technical recession next quarter. A technical recession happens when there are two successive quarters of fall in GDP. I remember it was July 2001. Three years after I came to Singapore, the country was in recession. The economy contracted by 2 percent – a big contrast to the strong growth of 10.3 percent the previous year. Manufacturing shrank by 12 percent, compared to 15 percent growth in 2000. It was Singapore’s worst performance since independence. Unemployment rate was at 15-year high. Our Manpower Minister...

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Podcast Ep#31: Should You Buy When Prices Go Lower?

With mismatch of supply and demand, many new launch projects are priced to sell. Developers are giving away more discounts. The question is: Should we buy now when prices are lower? Let’s discuss three things in this episode: 1) What are the latest prices and unsold stocks? 2) What things get cheaper even when there is inflation? 3) How long will this round of property Great Singapore Sale last? You can now watch the podcast below. The video comes with full script or subtitles. If you are watching from your mobile, ensure that the “Caption” function is on. If...

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3 property statements that don’t hold water

I always believe that there are things best leave it to the professionals, such as legal and taxation matters. On the other hand, there are things best to be managed on your own, especially when it comes to finance and investment. I immediately struck a chord with Andrew Craig when I read his book How to Own the World: A Plain English Guide to Thinking Globally and Investing Wisely. Craig repeated an important message in his book: If you take the time and efforts to learn, you can invest your money better than most financial advisors and finance professionals....

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Podcast Ep#30: Where Is The Market Demand?

When we buy a home or invest in any property, there is a key question we need to ask: Where is the demand coming from? In this episode, I am going to cover the topic of supply and demand from the point of view of a fellow home buyer. Let me share with you my thoughts on two questions: 1) Who control the fate of the property market? Is it the developers, agencies, banks, analysts, media, government, homebuyers, investors or tenants? 2) Can we create demand in the property market? Developers can create supply in the market by mass...

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The wisdom of passing wealth and properties to the children

We all wish to leave something behind to our next generation. It is a gesture of love and goodwill, and how we want to be remembered. But very often, we don’t know what, when and how to give. I just read a very good legacy planning book titled Wealth of Wisdom: The Top 50 Questions Wealthy Families Ask. The book has fifty-three chapters written by different subject matter experts in the industry. Don’t burden children with wealth too early Although children with well-to-do parents are seen as “having it all”, they are often living under the shadows of their...

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CEA’s response: Agents must act responsibly to promote clients’ interests

I refer to my letter to The Straits Times Forum titled “Questionable property ads popping up on social media” which was published on 3 May 2019 as follows: Questionable property ads popping up on social mediaMAY 3, 2019 When the Government implemented property cooling measures last July, individuals were cautioned against over-leveraging in property purchases. Recently, Facebook has been flooded with property ads offering free seminars and free guides advocating owning “multiple properties with no money down”, or “a condo on a $6k combined salary”, or “buy 2 private properties without paying ABSD”, among other examples. There was a...

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Podcast Ep#29: Interview with Ku Swee Yong (Part III) – Should I Buy Or Rent In Next 5 Years?

This is the last episode of the three interviews with Ku Swee Yong, CEO of International Property Advisor Pte Ltd. In this video, we will discuss whether it is a better option to buy or rent in Singapore in the next 5 years. We will ask Mr Ku the following questions: 1) What are the pros and cons of buying versus renting? 2) Under what circumstances do you recommend people to buy or rent? 3) For the next five years, is it better to buy or rent and why? You can now watch the podcast below. The video comes...

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Case Study: A curious case of “no money down” property schemes

We present the case of John and his parents. John is an undergraduate student who has taken finance and investment classes that cover a range of asset-types, including real estate. During a family dinner, when discussing a module that John was taking in the university, Real Estate Investments and Finance, his parents divulged that they have made a real estate investment several years ago: a 3-bedroom freehold condominium unit in Johor, Malaysia. Their decision to commit was based on 3 key factors: 1. They believe that real estate is a safe asset that will constantly grow in value. If...

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Podcast Ep#28: Interview with Ku Swee Yong (Part II) – What Can We Buy In This Market?

The second podcast of the Interview with Ku Swee Yong series will try to find answers for the big question “What can we buy in this market?”. In this video, Mr Ku will share his thoughts on the 4 queries we have in mind on the current property market: 1) When there is oversupply in the private residential market, what about the office market? 2) In 1st Quarter 2019, office prices are up but rentals are down. What is happening in this market? 3) What about retail real estate? 4) If I have to buy something, what should I...

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Podcast Ep#27: Interview with Ku Swee Yong (Part I) – Can The Market Absorb Upcoming Supply?

It is a big honor to interview Mr. Ku Swee Yong, CEO of International Property Advisor, in Property Soul Podcast. The full interview will be shown in 3 parts with the following topics: Part I: Can The Market Absorb Upcoming Supply? Part II: What Can We Buy In This Market? Part III: Should I Buy Or Rent In Next 5 Years? In the first episode “Can The Market Absorb Upcoming Supply?”, I will be asking Mr Ku 5 key questions: 1) Do you think there is a mismatch between new launch and take-up of new projects? 2) What strategies...

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Podcast Ep#26: Lies Behind Property Ads In Social Media

In this episode, we will discuss the issue of sponsored property scams in the social media. Exposing scams can be very unpleasant. And telling the hard truths can be really disturbing. Make sure that you are strong enough to hear the truth and brave enough to face the reality. 1. What are the common property scams and where is the catch?– Leverage your fully-paid HDB flat to own 2 private properties– Own multiple properties with little or no money down– How I make $50K passive income per month– Invest in this commercial property with x% return 2. Why property...

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