Monday, October 15, 2012

Bugis Cube totally SOLD OUT!

Hi Guys, I’m quite happy that the last unit of Bugis Cube was sold last week. We conceptualized Bugis Cube to be an interesting project, given the very excellent location. The project was extremely well received but as usual, clearing off the last unit of any project is always tough. Many thanks to all our partners who made this project such a tremendous success!

Your friend,
Andy Ong

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cooling measures as predicted, what ahead?

The government acted a few days ago to further dampen the property market. By making it difficult for people to take up longer loan tenures, they hope to dampen demand. With the US making additional US$40 billion available every month, and definitely some of that money will flow in to Asia, asset inflation is almost certain. I am of the opinion that the latest measures will have very limited impact given the environment we are. We will need more targeted measures focused at the heart of the problem. I know of buyers who are actually panicking right now, and are frantically looking at any available opportunity. However, they are always worried about timing.

For those of you like Meng Gee who are able to nab assets before financing becomes more difficult, congrats to you. He was very nice to send me a message on my Facebook thanking me. It has been a very fulfilling journey sharing with so many people a very different perspective to property investment. The feeling of seeing so many of you making money from your property acquisitions is actually quite indescribable.

The future is rather interesting. The market is looking very firm. With so much cash flowing this way, everybody has problems parking their money. The property market will prove to be resilient, and the low interest rate environment may boost it further. International money is still coming in and they are in deposits waiting for a longer term home. Quite a few of our neighbours’ money have been flowing in as well. For example, Indonesian money have been flowing this way and they are trying to enhance yields beyond the miserable point something percent offered by Singapore Dollar deposits. The Indonesians are very skeptical of political changes and the next election will be interesting to note. I will be going there tomorrow to take a look and to say hi to our business partners over there. I will update you further when I am back.

The enbloc fever is starting to stir again as developers are replenishing their land bank and paying up to do that. For those of you who have been snapping up enbloc properties as suggested, good news for you. However, look at quality sites that make sense. You might want to look at the Arcade, as there are rumors that they are going enbloc and just a few signatures away from the 80% mark. You know what to do.

I am busy working on potential long term acquisitions. I am looking at not only local but overseas opportunities interestingly; quite a few of you have been tracking my movement. I will be making my next briefing and share my views with you on the 19th of November. My guys have worked very hard to secure a venue. The maximum capacity is 500 and I convey my apologies to those who cannot get seats in advance.

Please respond to my guys once you get the invite.

See you and till then, God Bless!

Your friend,
Andy Ong

Monday, October 8, 2012

Don’t look towards the past! Innovate!

My hair stylist and in fact many of my students have asked me what their kids should study in order to thrive in our hyper-competitive country. I am sincerely worried as I look at what we are force-feeding our kids. Even bright kids who are doing well are being sent to very expensive tuition centre. These new styled centre are making a killing in this environment. I am sad as our best and brightest are taking the path well-traveled and going for cushy jobs instead of taking on the world. They are not living their dreams but selling their time to some MNCs.

Many new graduates are trying their luck in the financial services sector as they pay the best. I really think they are being very short-sighted though I do not blame them. My issue is they all want to make managing wealth that are created by someone else. With no new supply of wealth creators the question is then who creating the wealth for them to manage? If our best and brightest is being channeled into a sector that don’t create value, then I am very very worried.

My answer to all these parents is very simple, look at the future far far ahead and send your kids into careers that nobody wants to go into. If the supply of new talent is limited, the financial packages of the few talents will be naturally bided up. The starting pay of a mining US university graduate is now higher than their counterparts from Harvard! Non-replenishable commodities seem to be the play now but on reflection, all of us should have seen it coming given the growth of the BRIC economies and other emerging markets. Even then, what is relevant now will be obsolete in the future. Look towards creating careers out of future industries.

It is time to wake up and I totally agree with Mr Ngiam Tong Dow’s perspective. We should encourage taking on interests and developing them into all round individuals and stopping churning out students according to the flavor of the economic cycle. Instead of encouraging them to take on cushy careers, give them leeway to take the road less traveled.

God bless and take good care till my next entry.

Your friend,
Andy Ong

Friday, October 5, 2012

Look towards the future!

We are in an interesting situation. All the headline economic numbers indicate the economy is taking a dive but property prices are not just holding up and instead heading towards record prices. The ample liquidity and low interest rate environment are big support factors. The fact is that the demand is quite genuine and this so called the investment can hardly be regarded as speculative.

The government’s cooling measures would have removed any froth as buyers can secure limited financing for investment properties. This compared to the go fays on the mid 1990s when banks went crazy and offered up to 110% financing (factoring in renovation packages). The latest population numbers shows that our population has gone up again to 5.3 million. Money is flowing in from the Western countries as well as our neighbours even with our low interest rates. All these factors are underpinning prices.

I am as wary as you when it comes to prices falling. I am not your typical raging bull. The fact is that people have nowhere to park their money. I have already received so many emails from cash rich students on where to park their money. They simply cannot find anything of value. The recent launch of Kovan Regency has surprised even the developers themselves. Over a thousand buyers for the 300 plus units triggered a balloting process. If I am the government, I will be looking at doing something now, more cooling measures may be forthcoming. With so many mass market homes ready in a couple of year’s time, too many are joining in and they may well be disappointed then.

I was looking to acquiring a piece of land in that region but I have backed off after crunching the numbers. They simply do not make sense to me. The recent QE3 has many more individuals joining the market as I predicted but I hope they do research on what they are buying. Eventually sense will prevail, and I sincerely hope they will be happy with their acquisitions.

Till my next blog, all the best and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong