New property curbs seen to cool prices – Channel NewsAsia

The Singapore property market is bracing for a slowdown, with experts predicting a steep drop in transaction volume and prices over the next few months.

This comes after tougher residential property measures kicked in on Thursday, hours after they were announced on Wednesday night.

Under the new measures, foreigners and companies must pay an additional stamp duty of 10 percent of the value of residential property purchases in Singapore.

Permanent residents who buy a second property and citizens who buy three or more properties will pay an extra 3 percent.

The new stamp duty is on top of the prevailing fees of between one and three per cent.

Property buyers hit hardest by the new measure would be foreigners like Norman Lu.

The 34-year-old healthcare consultant arrived in Singapore a year ago to work in a multinational company.

Mr Lu is renting a place, but in the last three months he has been looking to buy a condominium in Paya Lebar or Braddell. However the new rules have put a stop to such plans.

He said: “We are very disappointed. Even though we are foreigners, we have been working in Singapore for a year, we also contribute to this country. So as a foreigner, we feel that the government does not welcome us.”

Mr Lu said he was on the verge of closing a deal, but will need to evaluate his options now.

He said: “(There is) 80 per cent (chance that) I will not buy now. I will wait for one year, then I can get PR (permanent resident status) then I will buy a private condo or buy an HDB flat.”

His other options include leaving Singapore, “because I can easily find another job opportunity in another country” and “if property owners drop the price by 10 to 15 per cent, then I will buy a condo immediately because I want to stay in my own property.”

Market watchers expect transaction volumes in the core region like Orchard Road and Bukit Timah to slump by 40 per cent, because of the significant number of foreign buyers for such properties.

Prices will also be hit, with a possible correction of up to 20 per cent.

Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex, said: “It takes a very bullish decision from a foreigner to come and invest in Singapore in today’s market, having to pay a 13 per cent stamp duty upfront, and (being) subjected to the Seller’s Stamp Duty in the next four years, of 16 per cent, 12 per cent, 8 per cent, and 4 per cent.

“And even if he sells after four years, if he buys a property today, he must expect at least a 25 to 30 per cent increase in the property price to break even, taking into consideration other costs and interests and all other elements.”

Mr Mohamed said there were a few foreigners who had already expressed interest in buying properties and were planning to sign the option papers on Wednesday, but pulled out after the announcement of the new rules.

He added that even though these buyers will not be affected by the higher stamp duty, they felt their returns will be severely impacted.

The mass market segment – which has seen more foreign buyers moving in – is also expected to dip, which may be a boon for Singaporeans.

Mr Mohamed said: “When more foreigners enter the mass market, they are competing with Singaporeans and Singaporeans’ aspirations are challenged mainly because the prices keep increasing. Overall, the buyers are now going to wait and see….with such a policy, where is the correction before entering the market.”

He added: “I do expect, in the next six months, the mass market properties are likely to see a correction of 10 to 15 per cent.”

New developments are springing up all over Singapore, but may soon have difficulties finding buyers. Property watchers expect the market to be fairly quiet over the next one to two months.

December and January normally see fewer transactions due to the school holidays and New Year celebrations. And with the latest round of cooling measures, buyers are expected to adopt a wait-and-see approach, hoping that prices will drop, before dipping their toes into the market again.

– CNA/ck/ms

via New property curbs seen to cool prices – Channel NewsAsia.

New property curbs seen to cool prices – Channel NewsAsia

At least one real estate agency thinks the immediate reaction to the latest cooling measures will be a slowdown in the private property market.

CEO of PropNex Realty Mr Mohamed Ismail said he expects a price correction of approximately 15 to 20 per cent in the central core region and a correction of 10 to 15 per cent in the mass market segment in the next six months.

PropNex also expects transaction volume to dive by as much as 40 per cent in the core central region and by as much as 20 per cent in the mass market segment.

Under the latest changes, foreign buyers of private properties in Singapore will now have to fork out 10 per cent more in stamp duty while permanent residents and Singaporeans are also affected with an increased stamp duty on their second and third properties respectively.

PropNex said the new measures could have been targeted to preserve affordable pricing in the mass market segment – homes costing less than S$2 million where prices have surpassed S$1,000 psf.

It argues that having a blanket policy will impact the high-end market which has been the investment interest of the foreign buyers.

via New property curbs seen to cool prices – Channel NewsAsia.

U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.6% – Bloomberg

Payroll gains in the U.S. picked up last month and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since March 2009, a decline augmented by the departure of Americans from the labor force.

Payrolls climbed 120,000, after a revised 100,000 increase in October, with more than half the hiring coming from retailers and temporary help agencies, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 125,000 gain. The unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent from 9 percent.

“It’s good news, not great news,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, whose forecast for a 125,000 gain in payrolls matched the median forecast in Bloomberg News survey of economists. “The labor market is gradually healing. I wouldn’t take huge comfort that the unemployment rate is falling but some comfort that it’s edging down.”

Companies like DirecTV (DTV) have said they will keep a tight rein on spending and employment in 2012, reflecting concern over the outlook for demand, Europe’s debt crisis and the U.S. deficit. The scant number of jobs is limiting wage gains and restraining consumers’ ability to boost spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

Stock-index futures maintained gains after the figures. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index expiring this month rose 1.1 percent to 1,257.1 at 9:14 a.m. in New York. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.12 percent from 2.09 percent late yesterday.

Unemployment Rate

Revisions to prior reports added a total of 72,000 jobs to payrolls in September and October.

The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of households, was forecast to hold at 9 percent. The decrease in the jobless rate reflected a 278,000 gain in employment at the same time 315,000 Americans left the labor force.

“You’d like to see the unemployment rate coming down when people are coming into the job market, not disappearing,” James Glassman, senior economist at JP Morgan Chase & Co. in New York, said in an interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene. “That’s probably exaggerating the trend in unemployment.”

Private hiring, which excludes government agencies, rose 140,000 after a revised gain of 117,000. It was projected to rise by 150,000, the Bloomberg survey of economists showed.

Factory payrolls increased by 2,000, less than the survey forecast of a 9,000 increase and following a 6,000 gain in the previous month.

Retail Hiring

Employment at service-providers increased 126,000, including a 50,000 gain in retail trade at companies hired for the holiday shopping season. The number of temporary workers increased 22,300.

Macy’s Inc. (M), the second-biggest U.S. department-store chain, increased mostly part-time staff by 4 percent for the November-December shopping season. See’s Candies Inc., a chocolate maker owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said it would add 5,500 mostly temporary workers.

Construction companies shed 12,000 workers. Government payrolls decreased by 20,000. State and local governments employment dropped by 16,000, while the federal government trimmed 4,000 positions.

Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent to $23.18, today’s report showed. The average work week for all workers held at 34.3 hours.

Underemployment Rate

The so-called underemployment rate — which includes part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking — decreased to 15.6 percent from 16.2 percent.

The report also showed an increase in long-term unemployed Americans. The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more increased as a percentage of all jobless, to 43 percent from 42.4 percent.

The jobless rate has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch of such levels of unemployment since monthly records began in 1948.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues last month cut economic growth forecasts for 2012 and said unemployment will average 8.5 percent to 8.7 percent in the final three months of next year, up from a prior range of 7.8 percent to 8.2 percent.

Growth in the U.S. and other advanced economies “has been proceeding too slowly to provide jobs for millions of unemployed people,” Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said in a Nov. 29 speech in San Francisco. She called for “urgent” international action to combat a “dearth” of global demand.

Central Banks

Six central banks led by the Fed acted on Nov. 30 to make more funds available to lenders to preserve the global expansion. The move came after European leaders said they failed to boost the region’s bailout fund as much as planned, fueling concern about a possible breakup of the euro bloc.

The crisis in Europe and presidential election in the U.S. make it difficult to predict the level of economic expansion, causing DirecTV to “slow our growth rate,” Michael White, chief executive officer of the largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, said in an interview last week.

“We’re tightening our belts in terms of spending,” White said in the Nov. 21 interview. “We’ll cut back on overhead, hiring and programming.”

Payrolls may pick up as more businesses benefit from increased demand. Boeing Co. (BA), the largest U.S. aircraft maker, is hiring about 100 machinists a week as it boosts production by about 60 percent over three years to whittle down a backlog that now stretches to nearly 4,000 aircraft.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shobhana Chandra in Washington at schandra1@bloomberg.net

via U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.6% – Bloomberg.

China Reserve-Ratio Cut May Signal Slowdown – Bloomberg

China’s reduction in reserve requirements for banks, the first since 2008, may signal government concern that a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy is deepening.

Reserve ratios will decline by 50 basis points effective Dec. 5, the central bank said on its website yesterday. The move may add 350 billion yuan ($55 billion) to the financial system, according to UBS AG.

A report due today may show that China’s manufacturing contracted for the first time since February 2009, and the nation’s stocks had their biggest decline in almost four months yesterday. Premier Wen Jiabao aims to sustain the economic expansion as Europe’s debt crisis saps exports, a credit squeeze hits small businesses and a crackdown on real-estate speculation sends home sales sliding.

“The deceleration of growth may have become faster than expected on increased external uncertainty, a sagging property market” and difficulties for smaller companies, said Liu Li- gang, a Hong Kong-based economist with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. who previously worked for the World Bank. The manufacturing report may be “worse than expected,” Liu said.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index may dip to 49.8 for November, a level marking a contraction, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 18 economists. That data is due at 9 a.m. local time today. Consumer price gains eased to 5.5 percent in October, compared with a government target of 4 percent, as exports rose the least in almost two years.

via China Reserve-Ratio Cut May Signal Slowdown – Bloomberg.

Singapore will prosper with region PM Lee – Channel NewsAsia I kara-advisors

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Asia will do well in the next 10 years and beyond, provided China’s development and relations with the rest of the world remain on track.

PM Lee was speaking in a dialogue session at the opening of the CEO Summit on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Honolulu.

During the hour-long dialogue, involving business leaders from around the world, participants engaged in issues related to the rise of China and its impact on the world.

Mr Lee said Singapore will prosper with the region but as a small country, it needs to leverage that with what’s happening in the rest of the world.

These include building up knowledge-intensive industries, such as finance and pharmaceuticals, as well as attracting talent to the country.

He stressed that developing the local workforce is just as critical.

“We have to develop our own talents, as well as attracting from around the world,” Mr Lee said.

“If we do it well, I think we can create a lot of opportunities for our people, not just at the top end but across the spectrum, all the way through the workforce because if you want to lift the standard of living of the whole population, you can’t just depend on transfers of welfare.

“You have to depend on people who will be productive, be skilled, be imaginative, be able to learn new jobs and do new things throughout their career and maybe to their 60s, at least.”

via Singapore will prosper with region PM Lee – Channel NewsAsia.

IRAS: How is property tax computed

How is property tax computed

Property tax is computed as follows:

Property tax payable yearly = Annual Value X Tax Rate

Hence if the Annual Value is $24,000 and the tax rate is 10%,

Property Tax payable = $24,000 X 10%

= $2,400 yearly

The current tax rate is 10%. However, the property tax payable may be lower if you are eligible for owner occupier’s tax rates or any tax concession or relief. Prior to 1 Jan 2011, the tax rate was a flat rate of 4%. With effect from 1 Jan 2011, the progressive owner-occupier’s tax rates have replaced the flat 4% tax rate as follows:

Annual Value ($)Tax Rate (%)

First 6,0000

Next 59,0004

Amount exceeding 65,0006

Computation of Tax Payable from 1 Jan 2011

Annual Value ($)Tax Rate (%) Tax Amount ($)

First 6,000

Next 59,0000

4

0

2,360

First 65,000

Amount exceeding 65,000-

6

2,360

If you own and occupy your home which is currently taxed at 10%, you may apply for the owner occupier’s tax rates.

Computation based on owner-occupier’s tax rates

Example : AV of your house is $9,000

Property Tax payable is:First $6,000 X 0% = $ 0

Next $3,000 X 4% = $120

Tax payable in 2011:= $120

* This is lower than the tax payable in 2010 which was calculated as follows: 4% X $9,000 = $360 per year.

property tax computed.

CPF Board – CPF Board asks Singaporeans ‘Are You Ready’ Financially For the Future –

9 October 2011–

As part of its continuing outreach efforts to educate the public on financial literacy and retirement planning, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board launched its ‘Are You Ready’ initiative today. The ongoing initiative aims to encourage Singaporeans to kick-start their financial and retirement planning through a variety of tools, talks and games.

A set of checklists for each of the four themes – Cash Flow, Healthcare, Housing and Retirement – are available at http://www.areyouready.sg. These were developed in consultation with partners: MoneySENSE, the Association of Financial Advisers, the Financial Planning Association of Singapore, the Life Insurance Association and the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore. The checklists will help Singaporeans assess their basic financial understanding and readiness for these key financial decisions. Customised tips and resources will help users further improve their financial literacy and understanding towards the importance of building a secure retirement. The checklists are also available island-wide in hardcopy at the five CPF Service Centres, community centres, and public libraries. They will also be distributed at talks organised by the CPF Board. Details of the four themes are in Annex A.

For Singaporeans who prefer offline channels and platforms, the CPF Board has lined up a series of talks in English and Mandarin based on the four themes. More than 100 talks will be organised, reaching out to 30,000 Singaporeans annually. Details of the talks in October 2011 are available in Annex B.

To kick-st

via CPF Board – CPF Board asks Singaporeans ‘Are You Ready’ Financially For the Future – my CPF 2.

HDB InfoWEB: Quality Homes for Singaporeans – HDB recognizes its partners, formulates new roadmap :

Date issued : 03 Nov 2011

Minister for National Development, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, gave out 15 awards tonight (2 November 2011) to HDB’s consultants and contactors, for their exemplary performance and innovative efforts in the development of new HDB projects.

2HDB has been providing quality homes to Singaporeans for over 50 years. It has been improving its towns and flats to meet evolving aspirations and increased expectations. This would not have been possible without the excellent relationship between HDB and its partners. The HDB Awards was set up to affirm the efforts of industry partners in working together with HDB to provide well-designed and well-constructed public housing for all Singaporeans.

3There are two types of HDB Awards – the Design Award and the Construction Award.

HDB Design Award

4The HDB Design Award recognizes architectural consultants for their outstanding design of public housing projects. The Design Awards are an important benchmark for future HDB projects and has inspired many good designs since its inception.

5The HDB Design Award has two categories – “Completed Projects” and “To-be-Built”. Projects under the “To-be-Built” category have not been constructed, but exhibited innovative and refreshing designs.

6HDB CEO, Dr Cheong Koon Hean commented, “The winning entries had demonstrated significant design innovation – design innovation that respects tradition and h

via HDB InfoWEB: Quality Homes for Singaporeans – HDB recognizes its partners, formulates new roadmap :.

Mortgage Loan l Singapore Loan

Mortgage Loan Singapore I Housing Loan

Kara Advisors is a leading Mortgage Singapore consultancy firm that strives to help our clients find the most suitable mortgage loan  by comparing the housing loan packages across all major banks and financial institutions in Singapore.

Our Needs Based approach ensures that our clients’ savings are maximised and their mortgage needs are thoroughly assessed and addressed by our experienced consultants.

As we are not tied-up to any one particular bank, we provide un-biased comparison of all mortgage packages across all major banks and financial institutions, focusing on client’s needs. A summary of the two most competitive packages will be presented to our clients for reference.

Best of all, our mortgage consultancy services are FREE! This is due to the referral arrangement with the banks and financial institutions.

Our Promise of Housing Loan Services

We undertake effort to ensure that our clients have a full understanding of their Home Loan packages prior to signing the contract. The cheapest home loan rate does not equal to the best home loan package. As specialists, we compare and provide clear explaination of all type of home loan packages which include fixed rate, floating rate and home loans that are pegged to Sibor or SOR rates. We will find the package that best suit our client’s needs. As an additional measure, we will guide our clients before their property purchase by doing an Approval In Principal (process of getting the loan approved before the purchase) and Valuation Check (process of getting few banks to provide indicative value of the property before the purchase) to ensure that they stay protected.

Feel free to approach us for a free housing loan analysis if you have an existing home loan. We will ensure that your existing interest rate stays healthy and you are not overpaying your bank loan interest. If your existing home loan interest rate is not competitive, we will hunt for a lower interest rate and help you save by refinancing your loan.

We Compare Loans

KaraAdvisors compare housing loan interest rates from ANZ, Bank of China, Bank of East Asia, CIMB, Citibank, DBS, Hong Leong Finance, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, POSB, RHB, Singapura Finance, Sing Investment, State Bank of India, Standard Chartered and UOB.