Showing posts from May, 2010

Singapore Beats Hong Kong as Asia’s Most Livable City

Singapore retained its ranking as the Asian city with the best quality of life, while Hong Kong lags rival financial hubs as it struggles with air pollution, according to a survey by Mercer Consulting. Singapore ranks 28 among 221 cities, Tokyo is at 40 and Hong Kong is placed 71, the list shows. The cities are rated on 10 factors including infrastructure, political and social environments, and access to medical care. Hong Kong scored poorly on health concerns, said Cathy Loose, a Tokyo-based Mercer officer who helped compile the list. “The government hasn’t done very much to introduce green measures or reduce pollution,” Loose said in an interview. The list serves as a compensation guide for expatriate relocation. Hong Kong’s air pollution was the worst on record during the past two quarters, sparking regular government health warnings. To address the problem, the government introduced a bill in April proposing a ban on idling engines among other steps. “To tackle local emissions we h

More mid-end units sold in April

According to April's price range of residential units sold from URA, there's an uptrend in the sale of condos in the mid-end price range ($1,000 to $2,000 psf). April has seen a total of 1,211 units sold in this price range, that's a 53% increase compared to March (791). High-end units on the other hand, didn't fare so well, seeing a 40% drop in sales. Has the high-end segment lost steam? Or perhaps taking a breather? Or could the turmoil in far-away Europe be a contributing factor? It's hard to say. It's interesting to note that sales in the mass market and mid-end market have contributed greatly to the big hike in April sale numbers. Developers have of late been concentrating on the mass-market ( Tree House ) and mid-end ( Waterbank at Dakota ) developments, rightly so as these segments have been neglected since the start of the year. For more fancy graphics, head to Tools > Private Residential units launched and sold (by Month )

Lagoon View might go en bloc

Lagoon View , neighbour and identical twin of Laguna Park , could be on its way to an en bloc. But for that to happen, they first need residents to approve the purchase of the land within the estate (car parks, etc) from the Ministry of Finance at about $16m. Let's hope they fare better than their brethren at Laguna Park and not end up in a sticky situation ! Laguna Park was asking for around $1.2 billion back in late 2008. As you all know the deal it fell through along with much drama. With rules for collective sales becoming increasingly difficult, it's still a long road ahead for Lagoon View residents. Just imagine this - if Lagoon View manages to put themselves up for en bloc at the same time as Laguna Park, and a couple of big developers buys both sites in one swoop, we're looking at the-mother-of-collective-sales! As posted in by John

MND has proposed to set up a new board to regulate the real estate industry

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) under the Ministry of National Development (MND) will replace the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's (IRAS') as the licensing authority for real estate agencies. MND will introduce a Bill in Parliament in the second half of this year to set up the new Council and to establish the new regulatory framework. More stringent criteria Real estate agencies will have to satisfy new and more stringent conditions to qualify for their licences. For instance, the licensees must not be undischarged bankrupts, possess criminal records involving fraud or dishonesty, or have previous track records of complaints as agents. They also need to comply with a Code of Practice that stipulates systems and processes for areas such as agents' training, complaints handling and dispute resolution. Agencies will also be expected to exercise effective supervision of their agents and take responsibility for their actions. To enable agencies to do so, all estate

Houses remain overvalued in many countries where prices are now rising

HOUSING markets continue to strengthen, as The Economist’s latest survey of global house prices shows. Our periodic round-up was dominated for nearly a year by countries where house prices were falling year-on-year. But the latest available data show that in half of the 20 countries whose markets we monitor, house prices are higher than they were twelve months earlier. Since these indicators were last published at the end of 2009, house-price inflation has quickened in each of the seven countries where it was already positive. In Hong Kong, prices are more than a quarter above their level a year earlier. With the exception of Ireland, the pace of decline has slowed in countries where the market has yet to turn the corner. In America, two of the three measures we follow show that prices remain below their level a year earlier, but the Case-Shiller index of house prices in ten big cities was at the same level in January as it was a year earlier. Singapore has gone from being one of the m