Showing posts with label tan yeok nee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tan yeok nee. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

As predicted in November!!! More cooling measures…

Hi guys! In the last gathering at the Spring auditorium, I shared with you that more cooling measures is not a matter of if but rather when. Well, the government announced its seventh round of cooling measures. I know it is rather obvious this time around but let me gloat a bit occasionally. This time around, the measures are more draconian but many analysts are shrugging them off. I chided one of the bank’s property analysts for predicting a 15 to 20% decline in mass market home prices when the government put in its 4th round. We are in a new world order and things are a little different. Singapore is in great shape economically and our unemployment numbers are negligible.

However, this time round, I do see this round of measure do taking effect because of one crucial factor. Singaporeans will find it very difficult to finance a second property given the low loan quantum and they will also have to pay rather punitive ABSD. Prices will not come down by that much as holding power is there given the low holding costs, courtesy of low interest rates. However, I expect volumes will be impacted. When the full force of the record supply of mass market properties hit the market in 2014, things will get more interesting.

In the meantime, for those who are holding premium property will be hit most. This is because the cooling measures are structured to remove that element of demand from foreigners. They are also the pillar supporting your prime property. Given the more aggressive downsizing of international banks and other firms, less people will be interested in buying and even the rental market will be definitely impacted. And the bottom-line? We are in an era of margin compression given the lower rental and higher prices. Watch any signs of interest rate movement. Once it moves north, be careful. In fact, be very careful.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My latest Acquisition and my Proudest too….

Hi Guys, it has been a while. :)

I have been keeping quiet until I exercised my option to my latest acquisition. This is my dream property and I started work on this 15 months ago. The House of Tan Yeok Nee is a national monument and it is the only Teochew style courtyard mansion in South East Asia.

Mr Tan Yeok Nee is a business legend who came to Nanyang to escape poverty in Chaozhou, China. He amassed a great fortune from business in Singapore and Johore. He is what we call the ultimate entrepreneur of his time. The House was painstakingly built by him and is the only surviving member of the “Four Great Mansions” from that period.

Here is how Wikipedia describes it:
“The House of Tan Yeok Nee occupies approximately 2,000 square metres of elevated land along Clemenceau Avenue. The mansion has been carefully restored with great sensitivity to ensure that the original architecture and character of the house is kept intact. The walls, tiles, roof, pillars, carvings and pottery were restored to their original state of a century ago through painstaking research. 
However, contemporary facilities and equipment have also been incorporated to adapt the building for modern day usage. With the wide array of beautifully restored traditional Chinese decorative elements and the convenience of present day state-of-the-art technology around the house, this combination of 'old' and 'new' provides a unique environment rich in history and culture. 
The front and back portions of the house face east and west. Pillars on the front door are made of marble with colourful carvings of stories reflecting the lives of Tan Yeok Nee’s ancestors in Chaozhou. The back of the house has a distinctive style exhibited by beams with special Teochew tiles, a main pillar decorated with gold-plated carvings, and a marble floor. Exquisite, colourful tiles reflect Chinese people characters and animals. 
The House of Tan Yeok Nee is typical of Teochew-style residential buildings. The structure exhibits the harmony of Yin and Yang, shown at the top of the ceiling in gold, wood, water, fire, and earth – the five elements. Armed with traditional philosophical ideas, the designer coordinated the entire building’s design to reflect the balance and harmony represented by the five elements. This unique design not only enriches the artistic value of the walls, but also represents the unity of prosperity, intelligence, longevity, health and happiness.”

I am half-Teochew, from my mother’s side. I identified and fell in love the moment I stepped into the mansion. Given that it was gazetted as a national monument and there are very few of such buildings in private hands, I consider myself to be so blessed to be given such an opportunity. The Business Times reported the acquisitions before I can notify you, the reporter was very good!

I have been looking for a suitable building to house our entrepreneurship education and I believe there is no better place in Singapore. And the best part is, it is a price that I can afford. I consider this to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if money was the issue, then it will be a regret of a lifetime. I attach some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Front Entrance

Like the courtyard

Lecture Theatre 

Your Friend,
Andy Ong