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Issue 382

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CONTENTS FROM THE

p2 6 Gimmicks Agents Use to Sell


EDITOR
Welcome to the 382th edition of the
Singapore Property Weekly.
Foreign Properties
Hope you like it!
p10 Resale Property Transactions
Mr. Propwise
(July 8 – July 16)

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

6 Gimmicks Agents Use to Sell Foreign Properties

By Property Soul (guest contributor) see real estate in Penang being positioned as
investment properties. To Hong Kong people,
Penang is a beach holiday destination in
Southeast Asia similar to resort places like
Phuket or Bali. Foreigners go there to buy
their holiday or retirement homes.

How could marketers convince buyers that


holiday homes are investment properties no
different from high end condos in capital
cities?

Let’s try to summarize the six common


I watched a recent Hong Kong TV
gimmicks that marketing agents deployed to
programme about buying properties in
sell real estate projects overseas.
Malaysia’s Penang. It was a big surprise to

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

Gimmick #1: Be overly upbeat on Mahathir’s first talk with China was to
economic performance and outlook convince them to withhold their two biggest
infrastructure projects in Malaysia.
During the interview, the spokesperson from a
property agency in Penang speaks highly of “Above all, George Town has been listed as
Malaysia’s economy: “Malaysia is a young an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
and vibrant country, with a high population of That’s why tourists all over the world are
young people and high annual growth in GDP flocking to Penang and overseas investors
…” are buying up properties here.”What has
UNESCO status to do with properties? Are
It gives the impression that Malaysia is the
property investors buying at the 1,092
top Southeast Asian country in terms of
UNESCO world heritage sites? UNESCO has
investment potential. Throughout the 30-
the mission to protect the world’s cultural
minute documentary, there is no slightest hint
heritage sites, but not to protect the sites’
of Malaysia’s national debt or currency
property prices.
depreciation.
When our Prime Minister suggested to
“Besides, there is no other country like
nominate Singapore’s hawker culture for
Malaysia that gives so much support of
UNESCO listing at this year’s National Day
China’s one belt one road policy.”The irony is:
Rally, I had to google for the judging criteria of
The new Malaysian government has always
UNESCO again.
been skeptical of Chinese investment.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

Gimmick #2: Exaggerate market growth is that Hong Kong property prices have gone
and potential return up more than 300 percent from 2009 to 2018,
with no signs of slowing down and without
The spokesperson in the interview claims
any negative factor of currency depreciation.
that, from 2009 to 2015, property prices in
Penang have gone up 75 percent. Current The spokesperson mentioned that Penang is
rental return is between 5 to 6 percent. a preferred location for foreign companies to
set up their offices in Asia. The invest Penang
Do you see the catch here? The base year is
scheme offers incentives, consultancies and
the financial crisis in 2009 and the year 2015
partnership opportunities for these
is the peak of the market.
companies.
What happened afterwards? The local
It is true that there are many multinational
property market has slowed down
companies setting up factories in Bayan
substantially due to market oversupply and
Lepas Free Industrial Zone in the northern
political uncertainty. There are only a handful
part of Penang. But the good old days of the
of new projects launched in 2017. The high
IT industry in the 1990s have long gone.
end condo market has seen price correction.
To lower labor cost and streamline
Bad news is intentionally filtered with a focus
operations, big companies including
on the impressive 75 percent growth. But
Samsung, Seagate, Western Digital,
what the property agency failed to take note

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

Suzuki Motor and British American Tobacco The Hong Kong people bought off-plan
have shut down their plants and moved out of homes in the Greater Bay Area. The
Penang in the last two to three years. Singaporeans snapped up Iskandar
properties. The Chinese were sold on the
Gimmick #3: Capitalize on future
Forest City project.
infrastructure or development plans
But these future growth areas are only under
Since last year, a hot topic in the Hong Kong
planning. There are no major industries,
media is the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau
employment opportunities or new residents
Greater Bay Area (粤港澳大湾区) – China’s
near Forest City yet.
ambitious plan to develop a 56,500 square
kilometer economic cluster that covers eleven How is it possible for marketing agents to sell
cities. so many residential units in an empty place?
What extent of imagination does one need to
But so far the only development completed in
project 700,000 residents living in Forest City
the cluster is the large residential projects
by the year 2050 when the condo blocks are
built by property developers. The overpriced
practically empty?
units are sold to eager buyers tapping on the
future potential of the new economic region. Apart from economic zones, there are also
international events such as World Expo,
Does that sound familiar? Think Jurong Lake
Olympic Games and World Cup that bring the
District and Iskandar Malaysia.
host cities into international limelight.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

These global events are often being already warned of the possibility of a post-
capitalized by developers and marketing Olympic crash after the event.
agents to sell foreign properties to overseas
Gimmick #4: Emphasize affordability and
buyers.
value for money
Tranio.com did a study on how the real estate
How affordable are overseas properties?
market performed in ten summer and winter
Olympic host cities over the last 20 years. For the price of a decent unit in Danga Bay,
The results show that The Olympics provide you can only buy a 3-room HDB flat in
only an average boost of 1 percent to the Singapore.
local property market for three years. For the going price of units at Forest City, you
For cities like Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver, are buying at a quarter of what Beijing
since there is already excessive supply properties are selling, with full facilities and
before the Games, overbuilding and clean air.
overpricing in anticipation of a booming For the amount you pay for that 2,500 sq ft
property market only undermine property luxurious beachfront apartment in Penang,
prices in the city. you can’t even afford a 250 sq ft old flat in the
Developers and buyers jumped on the suburb of Hong Kong.
bandwagon of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Marketers just have to play with the magic
the last few years. But local analysts have numbers of the selling price and floor area.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

The big contrasts of can and cannot, have projects along the coastline.
and don’t have immediately become
Last month, Hong Kong media found that a
appealing to the buyers. The answer is
project in Guangzhou Foshan is built using
obvious.
bricks so light in weight that walls will
But are we doing apple-to-apple comparisons definitely collapse in time. The property agent
here? Or are we just settling for less? at the sales gallery told the reporter that 40
percent buyers of the Greater Bay Area
What about economic stage of development,
project are from Hong Kong.
standard of living, political stability in the
country, building control regulations, landlord- Gimmick #5: Upgrade automatically to
tenant rights etc.? align with admirable locations

The Penang property TV programme Do you know that Forest City was advertised
promotes the city as a sports lovers’ paradise aggressively all over China as an affordable
with sunny weather and beautiful beaches. I project just “next to Singapore”, not a
still remember on a trip to Penang in 2010, development in Malaysia, Johor Bahru or
the taxi driver complained about how Iskandar?
uncontrolled reclamation for property
What does that mean?
development had caused serious sea
pollution in the island. There were countless If you tell people you are staying in Forest
abandoned half-completed condominium City, you are living next door to Singapore.

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

China celebrities Jet Li (李连杰) and Gong Li ( location or landmark is mentioned, buyers will
巩俐) are Singaporeans. Vicki Zhao (赵薇) is be convinced that the project is situated in a
a Singapore PR. Chinese buyers can now live prime location.
the good life of Singaporeans, in an
That is why any Iskandar development is
affordable way.
located next to Singapore. Any Kuala Lumpur
How many people in China know the luxurious condominium is near to KLCC. Any
difference between Singapore and Johor Singapore high-end project marketed
Bahru? Salespeople at the sales gallery said overseas is adjacent to Orchard Road.
Forest City is just 1.1 kilometer from the Because theoretically, you can reach Orchard
border. There is also a plan to build a high- Road from anywhere in Singapore in a 30-
speed rail station at its doorstep to go direct minute ride.
to Singapore.
Gimmick #6: Simplify taxation, ownership
The Chinese buyers were taking comfortable and citizenship for foreigners
coaches to the Forest City sales gallery. They
The spokesperson says in the TV
were not stuck in the traffic jams at the
programme, “There is only 30 percent
Singapore-JB customs for hours.
Property Gain Tax for properties sold within
The secret is: It has nothing to do with the five years, and 5 percent thereafter. There is
actual distance or traveling time. It is all about no other tax besides this.”
familiarity of a name. As soon as a prestigious

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382
For Singaporeans buying Malaysia for PR though Malaysia My Second Home
properties, you just have to pay the Property Programme.
Gain Tax. There is no Additional Buyer Stamp
At a time when more Hong Kong people are
Duty or Seller Stamp Duty.
disillusioned and leaving for more liveable
The trick is to emphasize a lower overhead to countries like Taiwan, it makes the Malaysia
buy overseas, and solve the problems of My Second Home Programme very attractive.
buyer restrictions and high purchase costs
It is not wrong to promote the unique selling
buying at home.
position of an overseas property project. But
According to the Hurun Chinese Luxury why can’t the developers and marketing
Consumer Survey 2018, 37 percent of the agents objectively present the full picture and
224 Chinese High Net Worth Individual cover all the pros and cons?
respondents are considering leaving the
If the overseas project is such a good buy,
country. Among them, 12 percent have
why are they afraid to show the true facts and
already emigrated or are applying to do so.
actual figures, to let buyers see both sides of
As I said in my previous blog post “Forest City the coin and make their own purchase
proves buying an overseas home is to buy a decision?
cat in a sack”,Country Garden is not just
By guest contributor Property Soul, a
selling the Chinese buyer a 5-star home in
successful property investor, blogger, and
Iskandar. It is selling them the dream to be an
author of the No B.S. Guide to Property
international citizen by helping them to apply
Investment.
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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

Non-Landed Residential Resale Property Transactions for the Week of Jul 8 – Jul 16

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
1 PEOPLE'S PARK COMPLEX 409 510,000 1,247 99 10 ONE BALMORAL 1,658 4,350,000 2,624 FH
2 ICON 657 1,075,000 1,637 99 10 ST REGIS RESIDENCES SINGAPORE 3,757 7,775,000 2,070 999
3 ECHELON 732 1,555,000 2,124 99 10 RV EDGE 377 765,000 2,031 FH
3 ASCENTIA SKY 947 1,650,000 1,742 99 10 REGENCY PARK 2,250 4,425,000 1,967 FH
3 THE ANCHORAGE 1,421 2,230,000 1,569 FH 10 MADISON RESIDENCES 1,776 3,465,000 1,951 FH
3 ASCENTIA SKY 1,475 2,280,000 1,546 99 10 GARDEN APARTMENTS 3,606 6,750,000 1,872 FH
3 MERAPRIME 1,173 1,800,000 1,534 99 10 BELLERIVE 1,679 3,000,000 1,787 FH
3 TANGLIN VIEW 1,464 1,730,000 1,182 99 10 THE TRIZON 1,345 2,310,000 1,717 FH
4 REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY 1,604 2,713,600 1,692 99 10 WATERFALL GARDENS 2,196 3,730,000 1,699 FH
4 REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY 1,851 3,048,800 1,647 99 10 PINEWOOD GARDENS 1,959 3,280,000 1,674 FH
4 REFLECTIONS AT KEPPEL BAY 1,238 1,977,600 1,598 99 10 BALMORAL GATE 1,625 2,700,000 1,661 FH
4 CARIBBEAN AT KEPPEL BAY 1,894 2,850,000 1,504 99 10 MUTIARA CREST 1,335 2,168,000 1,624 FH
5 THE PARC CONDOMINIUM 1,421 1,880,000 1,323 FH 10 VERDURE 2,293 3,700,000 1,614 FH
5 DOVER PARKVIEW 1,249 1,380,000 1,105 99 10 THE SIERRA 667 1,025,000 1,536 947
5 VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,991 2,100,000 1,055 99 10 SPRING GROVE 1,012 1,450,000 1,433 99
5 VARSITY PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,313 1,380,000 1,051 99 10 REGENCY LODGE 1,281 1,800,000 1,405 FH
5 REGENT PARK 1,141 1,150,000 1,008 99 10 D'LEEDON 2,303 3,200,000 1,389 99
5 BAYVILLE CONDOMINIUM 1,636 1,600,000 978 FH 10 SUTTON PLACE 3,175 3,730,000 1,175 FH
5 WESTCOVE CONDOMINIUM 1,206 1,050,000 871 99 10 HOLLANDSWOOD COURT 2,131 1,625,000 762 99
5 WEST BAY CONDOMINIUM 1,442 1,190,000 825 99 11 NEWTON SUITES 1,238 2,600,000 2,100 FH
7 CONCOURSE SKYLINE 1,163 2,393,336 2,059 99 11 CUBE 8 893 1,465,000 1,640 FH
9 8 @ MOUNT SOPHIA 1,550 2,350,000 1,516 103 11 EVELYN MANSIONS 926 1,500,000 1,620 FH
10 SCULPTURA ARDMORE 3,584 16,800,000 4,687 FH 11 THE ANSLEY 570 865,000 1,516 FH
10 BOULEVARD VUE 4,478 17,500,000 3,908 FH 11 8 BASSEIN 2,390 2,550,000 1,067 FH
10 ARDMORE II 2,024 5,600,000 2,767 FH 12 SKYSUITES17 1,066 1,540,000 1,445 FH

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

Postal Area Transacted Price Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf) District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
14 SIMS URBAN OASIS 441 750,000 1,699 99 17 PARC OLYMPIA 1,485 1,380,000 929 99
14 DAKOTA RESIDENCES 2,605 4,200,000 1,612 99 17 FERRARIA PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,109 998,000 900 FH
14 THE SANCTUARY @ GEYLANG 678 768,000 1,133 FH 18 COCO PALMS 904 1,140,000 1,261 99
14 VACANZA @ EAST 732 820,000 1,120 FH 18 SEA ESTA 1,130 1,128,000 998 99
14 SIMSVILLE 1,528 1,475,000 965 99 18 SEASTRAND 883 840,000 952 99
14 BLOSSOM MANSIONS 1,033 980,000 948 FH 18 RIS GRANDEUR 1,066 996,000 935 FH
15 THE LINE @ TANJONG RHU 1,152 2,450,000 2,127 FH 18 LIVIA 1,539 1,398,000 908 99
15 AALTO 1,550 3,160,000 2,039 FH 18 D'NEST 2,379 2,028,000 853 99
15 PARC SEABREEZE 1,356 2,434,020 1,795 FH 19 JEWEL @ BUANGKOK 463 680,000 1,469 99
15 SUITES @ EASTCOAST 366 540,000 1,476 FH 19 THE SCALA 893 1,308,000 1,464 99
15 SUITES@ KATONG 431 610,000 1,417 FH 19 THE BENTLY RESIDENCES@KOVAN 1,076 1,450,000 1,347 FH
15 RIVEREDGE 1,604 2,200,000 1,372 99 19 KENSINGTON PARK CONDOMINIUM 1,658 2,120,800 1,279 999
15 COTE D'AZUR 1,270 1,718,000 1,353 99 19 KOVAN RESIDENCES 1,259 1,568,000 1,245 99
15 FINLAND GARDENS 1,722 2,180,000 1,266 FH 19 LA FIESTA 829 1,020,000 1,231 99
15 GLAMOUR VILLE 1,173 1,430,000 1,219 FH 19 CHERRYHILL 1,389 1,588,000 1,144 FH
15 SPRING @ KATONG 1,636 1,780,000 1,088 FH 19 TERRASSE 958 1,030,000 1,075 99
15 OVADA 8 1,345 1,320,000 981 FH 19 N.A. 2,045 1,750,000 856 999
16 ECO 592 780,000 1,318 99 19 RIVERVALE CREST 990 790,000 798 99
16 WATERFRONT KEY 1,216 1,330,000 1,093 99 20 CENTRO RESIDENCES 904 1,360,000 1,504 99
16 COSTA DEL SOL 1,938 2,100,000 1,084 99 20 THOMSON V TWO 463 620,000 1,340 FH
16 CHANGI COURT 1,098 1,188,000 1,082 FH 20 THOMSON GRAND 1,356 1,616,000 1,192 99
16 AQUARIUS BY THE PARK 1,227 1,220,000 994 99 20 BISHAN POINT 1,270 1,500,000 1,181 99
16 EAST MEADOWS 1,356 1,285,000 947 99 20 GRANDEUR 8 1,195 1,280,000 1,071 99
16 THE TANAMERA 1,518 1,360,000 896 99 20 BRADDELL VIEW 1,453 1,250,000 860 102
16 CASAFINA 1,378 1,230,000 893 99 21 THE CASCADIA 1,238 2,020,000 1,632 FH
16 EASTWOOD CENTRE 1,367 1,020,000 746 99 21 SUITES DE LAUREL 560 826,000 1,476 999
17 THE INFLORA 463 508,000 1,098 99 21 THE BEVERLY 1,152 1,530,000 1,328 FH

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SINGAPORE PROPERTY WEEKLY Issue 382

Postal Area Transacted Price


Project Name Tenure
District (sqft) Price ($) ($ psf)
21 SIGNATURE PARK 1,421 1,850,000 1,302 FH
21 GARDENVISTA 1,087 1,400,000 1,288 99
21 HUME PARK II 1,485 1,780,000 1,198 FH
21 BEAUTY WORLD CENTRE 1,873 1,500,000 801 99
22 THE LAKEFRONT RESIDENCES 1,001 1,350,000 1,349 99
22 THE CENTRIS 1,066 1,230,000 1,154 99
22 CASPIAN 1,238 1,400,000 1,131 99
23 HILLVIEW HEIGHTS 980 1,370,000 1,399 FH
23 CASHEW HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUM 1,658 1,948,000 1,175 999
23 THE PETALS 1,119 1,270,000 1,134 FH
23 THE AMSTON 1,292 1,350,000 1,045 999
23 MI CASA 1,259 1,210,000 961 99
23 HILLVIEW REGENCY 969 850,000 877 99
23 NORTHVALE 1,270 975,000 768 99
25 ROSEWOOD 1,475 1,050,000 712 99
25 WOODGROVE CONDOMINIUM 1,238 800,000 646 99
25 WOODGROVE CONDOMINIUM 1,625 1,050,000 646 99
26 FOREST HILLS CONDOMINIUM 1,227 916,888 747 99
27 EIGHT COURTYARDS 861 835,000 970 99
27 YISHUN EMERALD 1,216 842,000 692 99
28 RIVERTREES RESIDENCES 581 740,000 1,273 99
28 RIVERBANK @ FERNVALE 1,238 1,450,000 1,171 99
28 RIVERTREES RESIDENCES 1,119 1,260,000 1,126 99
28 H2O RESIDENCES 883 890,000 1,008 99

NOTE: This data only covers non-landed residential resale property


transactions with caveats lodged with the Singapore Land Authority.
Typically, caveats are lodged at least 2-3 weeks after a purchaser
signs an OTP, hence the lagged nature of the data.

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