Monday, April 29, 2013

So much money to support property prices… be aware!

The most common question that I am asked is if there are any more opportunities in property investments. We are in a rather interesting situation where residential prices are being suppressed by government measures but funding costs are so low and there are limited investment opportunities by the man in the street. The attention has now switched to local commercial property and overseas opportunities. The fact of the matter is that Thai, Japanese and other non-traditional sources of properties have come to our shores. London properties are now selling faster than ever as international money are now looking for safe havens.

European money, US money, Chinese capital and now add the Japanese, yes even the Japanese are looking at international opportunities. Why the Yen is sinking like a piece of shit and the new Abe government is looking to devalue it more. If you are holding on to Yen assets, well good luck. Given that Japanese institutional investors are very slow to act and always late to the game, you can expect more money to flow out once they get their act together.

Developers are now so desperate that they are looking at just across the causeway. Johor Bahru land has gone up like crazy, as Singapore based developers have bidded assets up. It will be interesting to note what will happen over the next few years. Early Iskandar investors are smiling especially if they had bought from decent developers.

I am looking forward to the hotel opening soon as final preparations are being put in place. The first guests are expected to arrive in May. The whole project is looking very pretty.

B1 Lobby Stairs
Front Desk

A shot from Mezzanine to B1 lobby 

B1 Lobby Area

HANSA Bathroom fittings - Bathworld

Superior Room 

Decorative setting in the B1 lobby

BIG lamp over the lobby table

Glass Elevator at B1 

Concierge Counter at Carpark 

Suite Room fittings

Lift Lobby

Suite Room!

I am very proud of my team who has managed to piece the project together. We are the only people who managed to convert a full office building into a hotel.

On demand movies, king size beds, high thread count sheets, thick towels, essential oil shower gels together with very competitive pricing will put a smile to our guests’ faces. I am looking forward to meeting our first guests and I invite you to experience our hospitality as well. Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend
Andy Ong

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Peace of mind… to appreciate life

Hi Guys. I recently finally taught my last property class. I still enjoy teaching but I have settled into a whole routine to re-invent myself. Through the whole host of issues that I am facing, I have grown closer to God. The central message that I have received is that I have put money as No. 1 priority and have relegated God to second or even third place. My personality has evolved and upon reflection, I cannot even stand myself, haha! All these will change from now on. I am very happy that many of you have sent me encouraging messages. I am heartened by the turnout of the Asian Titan Trends. 

The over 1000 guests who showed up truly made my day. The whole Career Fair also became livelier because of your presence.

I shared my perspectives on what is going on in the local and international property markets. I have unreservedly shared my analysis with you over the last few years and for all of you who just followed the trends. Well, your portfolio would have done handsomely well. It may be time to lighten up on your Singapore portfolio now. Even with the latest round of measures, property prices has held firm in the mass-market sector whereas the main victim has been high-end condos. Sales activity has trickled except for those developers who cut prices to increase their level of units sold. D’Leedon is a case in point; the developer sold quite a few more units after lowering prices.

Going forward, the situation will be interesting and one has to differentiate between genuine housing demand and speculative demand. I believe that the price momentum has hit a snag and given the increase in holding costs especially for investment property owners, demand will be much weaker. What caused the increase in holding costs? The increase in property taxes recently announced and possibly higher interest rates costs from now henceforth.

A lot of attention has switched to commercial property (which I advised you go in a couple of years ago) as well as overseas properties, especially the Iskandar area. I will share with you my concerns in my next posting. Till then, take care and God Bless.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong