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Issue 370

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CONTENTS FROM THE

p2 Pitfalls of Buying an Overseas Home – The


EDITOR
Welcome to the 370th edition of the
Singapore Property Weekly.
Cautionary Case of Forest City
Hope you like it!
p8 Resale Property Transactions
Mr. Propwise
(August 27 – August 31)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

Pitfalls of Buying an Overseas Home – The


Cautionary Case of Forest City

By Property Soul (guest contributor)

Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad recently


organized a five-day official visit to China.
Besides asking China to withhold two major
Chinese infrastructure projects, an agreement
was reached to directly import Malaysian
durians to China. As early as 2019, perhaps
thousands of tons of Mao Shan Wang will be
exported to different provinces in mainland
China.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

Foreigners are not welcome Look like Mahathir is determined to make


Forest City to live up to its name as a
While working on stronger ties with China,
residence for wild animals rather than for
Mahathir didn’t forget about Forest City.
humans.
Last Monday, the Malaysia Prime Minister
Blame it on politics
said at a press conference that foreigners will
not be allowed to buy residential units at the Meanwhile, Country Garden clarified that they
Country Garden project. They also won’t be just held a closed-door meeting with Mahathir
granted visas to come and live there. before his Beijing trip that ended on a positive
note. Forest City had obtained all necessary
As I mentioned in my podcast “Mahathir,
approvals to sell to foreign buyers.
China Projects and Forest City”, Mahathir has
been uneasy with the astronomical amount of So what?
Chinese investment in Malaysia even before
The Singapore-Malaysia water agreement
the election. And Forest City has always been
was concluded by both governments a long
a thorn in his eye.
time ago in 1962. Official agreement to build
He once said, “I hope Forest City will truly the high-speed rail was confirmed back in
become a forest … Its residents will consist of 2013.
baboons, monkeys and so on.”

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

When the ruling party changes, everything project in the Johor State?
starts on a new page. Mahathir is showing the
Foreign buyers are at the mercy of policy
world that he is the pilot and makes the key
changes
decisions on takeoff and landing. You will
hear his initiative and decision from the Besides, the $100 billion Forest City mega
Malaysia local media. You must sit back and project is an easy target. It is a white elephant
wait for your turn to get any clarification or built for foreigners. Locals can hardly afford to
confirmation from the relevant authority. buy those homes and are unlikely to be
benefited by the luxury development.
Malaysia is only following the global trend to
restrict foreigners from buying properties in Mahathir once commented, “The Chinese
the country. It is also handy to leverage on coming in here, buying land, developing
the worldwide angst against the cash-rich luxurious towns, is not beneficial for us.”
Chinese by blaming Chinese buyers for rising Some media use strong words like
home prices. “crackdown” or “clampdown” to describe
Malaysia’s curb on foreign buyers in the
At a time when New Zealand bans foreigners
Iskandar project. Since when did foreigners
from buying existing properties; when
investing in overseas properties becomes a
Singapore just slapped a 25 percent
crime?
Additional Buyer Stamp Duty on foreigners
buying private homes, what is the big deal of When a government rolls out a grand
controlling the foreign ownership of only one development plan, the country welcomes

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

foreign direct investment and appreciates consulted, or to debate, object and protest.
foreign investors to inject huge capital, bring They are entirely at the mercy of the policy
in new technologies and create job makers.
opportunities.
Bad reputation is a big weakness in
But once the government decides to pull the negotiations
brakes, the country can interpret foreign
What is the bargaining power of a foreign
investment as an unscrupulous act to seize
developer like Country Garden in Malaysia?
land in other people’s country, deprive the
locals of their housing rights, and impose the The largest developer in China is running out
modern form of colonization. of luck recently in their country. On top of
frequent work accidents from tight completion
Regulations that restrict foreign property
deadlines, poor quality control is also a big
ownership can change from time to time, or
damage to Country Garden’s reputation.
even worse, change overnight with no notice.
Local governments can step in any time to A China property agent told the Hong Kong
turn the tables and change the rules of the media that he is afraid of accompanying
game. buyers of Country Garden projects to collect
keys. Because owners are often shocked by
Unlike the locals, overseas buyers and
the poor building quality and bad
foreign owners don’t have the rights to be
workmanship once they open the door.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

There are incidents of collective actions of do have some spare cash to invest. The
owners to return the keys to the developer developer’s promise to help them apply for
and refuse to accept the units. The problem permanent resident status though Malaysia
also caused widespread protests in different My Second Home Programme was the best
parts of China. Reputation is another card answer. The developer’s plan to build
Mahathir is holding in his hands that he can international schools for their children is a
play any time. cheaper alternative for their children’s
education. The developer’s projection of
Selling the Chinese the dream of
700,000 residents by 2050 in a $100 billion
becoming an international citizen
project is the guarantee for a high return
Why are two-thirds of Forest City’s buyers overseas investment.
from China?
According to the Prime Minister’s Office,
Chinese buyers sold on the project are mainly purchase of properties does not guarantee
the middle class and SME owners. Like other automatic residency in the country. Only
Chinese nationals who are keen to leave the renewable multiple-entry social visit passes
country, they long for clean air, safe food, for 10 years will be issued to successful
western education and freedom. applicants through the Malaysia My Second
Yet they are not eligible to migrate to Western Home programme.
countries. They may lack the financial means In early August, the Shattuck St Mary’s
to migrate as investment immigrants. But they International School near Forest City opened.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

It is originally designed to accommodate Instead of traveling all the way to Malaysia or


1,000 students. So far only 60 children have queuing at the durian festival, Chinese durian
been enrolled in the new school. lovers can now buy the fruit in a nearby
market or order online. Even people who
To invest in an overseas property without due
can’t afford it previously can taste durians in
diligence is to buy a cat in a sack. When the
the street.
developer let the cat out of the bag, naïve
buyers must face the consequences. When it is no longer a precious fruit reserved
only for the privileged, who is going to pay a
Interestingly, Chinese citizens buying Forest
premium just to have a taste of Mao Shan
City is like the Malaysian Mao Shan Wang
Wang?
being exported to China.
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
The durians are always eager to get out of
successful property investor, blogger, and
the country – thinking that the grass is
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
greener on the other side and they can be
Investment.
sold at a good profit there. Little do they know
that, with mass production and high volumes,
supply will catch up with demand in no time.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Aug 27 – Aug 31

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
2 ICON 936 1,688,888 1,803 99 10 ARDMORE PARK 2,885 9,800,000 3,397 FH
3 THE CREST 1,206 2,480,000 2,057 99 10 D'LEEDON 1,216 2,020,000 1,661 99
3 THE CREST 915 1,872,000 2,046 99 10 D'LEEDON 3,778 4,676,000 1,238 99
3 ASCENTIA SKY 1,475 2,030,000 1,377 99 11 26 NEWTON 775 2,060,000 2,658 FH
3 QUEENSWAY TOWER 1,658 1,400,000 845 FH 11 SOLEIL @ SINARAN 958 1,725,000 1,801 99
4 REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY 1,991 3,600,000 1,808 99 11 BUCKLEY 18 1,647 2,838,000 1,723 FH
4 CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY 1,733 2,720,000 1,570 99 11 AMARYLLIS VILLE 958 1,530,000 1,597 99
4 THE OCEANFRONT @ SENTOSA COVE 1,216 1,900,000 1,562 99 11 28 SHELFORD 1,184 1,880,000 1,588 FH
4 REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY 1,055 1,615,000 1,531 99 11 AMARYLLIS VILLE 1,238 1,960,000 1,583 99
5 BOTANNIA 1,206 1,540,000 1,277 956 11 IRIDIUM 1,076 1,700,000 1,579 FH
5 BLUE HORIZON 926 950,000 1,026 99 12 CRADELS 441 708,000 1,604 FH
5 BLUE HORIZON 1,259 1,230,000 977 99 12 THE VERVE 797 973,000 1,222 FH
5 JUBILEE RESIDENCE 2,034 1,850,000 909 FH 13 8@WOODLEIGH 398 638,000 1,602 99
5 FABER CREST 2,099 1,800,000 858 99 13 BLOSSOMS @ WOODLEIGH 1,410 2,150,000 1,525 FH
7 CONCOURSE SKYLINE 883 1,438,000 1,629 99 13 ONE LEICESTER 958 1,320,000 1,378 FH
7 THE PLAZA 1,399 1,390,000 993 99 14 WATERBANK AT DAKOTA 1,572 2,700,000 1,718 99
8 CITYLIGHTS 947 1,465,000 1,547 99 14 SINGA HILLS 667 945,000 1,416 FH
8 CITYLIGHTS 1,432 1,950,000 1,362 99 14 ASTORIA PARK 861 945,000 1,097 99
THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES 14 SIMSVILLE 1,249 1,285,000 1,029 99
9 2,831 9,380,000 3,313 FH
SINGAPORE CAIRNHILL 14 SIMS GREEN 2,056 1,280,000 623 99
9 THE PEAK @ CAIRNHILL I 527 1,580,000 2,996 FH 15 THE ESTA 1,313 2,338,000 1,780 FH
9 VISIONCREST 904 1,860,000 2,057 FH 15 QUESTA @ DUNMAN 753 1,200,000 1,593 FH
9 THE PEAK @ CAIRNHILL I 2,002 3,800,000 1,898 FH 15 SUITES @ EASTCOAST 570 830,000 1,455 FH
9 PEACE CENTRE/MANSIONS 2,605 1,500,000 576 99 15 SANCTUARY GREEN 775 1,028,000 1,326 99

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 370

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
15 MALVERN SPRINGS 990 1,260,000 1,272 FH 22 THE CENTRIS 1,442 1,785,000 1,238 99
15 ONE @ PULASAN 549 680,000 1,239 FH 23 FORESQUE RESIDENCES 1,130 1,220,000 1,079 99
17 THE INFLORA 463 535,000 1,156 99 23 THE LINEAR 1,981 1,668,000 842 999
17 HEDGES PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,076 948,000 881 99 23 HILLVIEW REGENCY 969 815,000 841 99
18 RIPPLE BAY 764 900,000 1,178 99 23 REGENT HEIGHTS 1,173 930,000 793 99
18 CHANGI RISE CONDOMINIUM 1,496 1,300,000 869 99 23 PARKVIEW APARTMENTS 936 725,000 774 99
18 RIPPLE BAY 1,055 888,888 843 99 23 PARKVIEW APARTMENTS 980 685,000 699 99
19 THE SCALA 1,044 1,500,000 1,437 99 26 THE CALROSE 1,238 1,650,000 1,333 FH
19 THE VUE 463 650,000 1,404 FH 27 SELETARIS 1,593 1,280,000 803 FH
19 KOVAN RESIDENCES 1,765 2,218,000 1,256 99
19 A TREASURE TROVE 1,044 1,248,000 1,195 99 NOTE: This data only covers non-landed residential resale property
19 BOATHOUSE RESIDENCES 732 850,000 1,161 99 transactions with caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority.
Typically, caveats are lodged at least 2-3 weeks after a purchaser
19 THE MINTON 980 1,060,000 1,082 99
signs an OTP, hence the lagged nature of the data.
19 FIORENZA 1,905 2,030,000 1,065 FH
19 THE QUARTZ 1,195 1,250,000 1,046 99
19 FONTAINE PARRY 2,120 2,218,000 1,046 999
19 KOVAN MELODY 1,227 1,280,000 1,043 99
19 LA FIESTA 1,421 1,468,000 1,033 99
19 FLO RESIDENCE 1,012 980,000 969 99
19 A TREASURE TROVE 4,876 3,370,000 691 99
19 N.A. 1,894 908,000 478 FH
20 SKY VUE 484 800,000 1,652 99
20 BISHAN 8 1,550 1,760,000 1,135 99
20 GRANDEUR 8 1,227 1,320,000 1,076 99
21 THE HILLFORD 398 475,000 1,193 60
21 GARDENVISTA 893 950,000 1,063 99
21 HILLVIEW GREEN 1,593 1,670,000 1,048 999

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