The mortgage war in Singapore just started officially a little while ago

 

Two banks present on the market of Singapore decided that it was time to be a bit more competitive. We are talking about UOB, or United Overseas Bank, and HSBC, who decided to offer mortgage packages with fixed rates over the span of 3 years. Until recently, this was a service provided only by the DBS bank, which is the most significant provider of house loans in the country. Thus, these two banks just started a mortgage war, luring home buyers with very low rates that can be enjoyed for a larger period. Everybody that wishes to buy a home anytime soon is thrilled by the news and it is expected that the market for residential units to grow and flourish in the near future.

 

The fuss in the home loan market started just recently, when UOB and HSBC officially announced the launch of their mortgage packages, countering this way the offer of DSB with a package of the same caliber. Homebuyers can find a mortgage package for 3 years and with a fixed rate at Bank of China as well, but the difference is that in this case, the interest rates will vary from one year to another. On the other hand, the fixed interest rate in the case of all the other three banks mentioned earlier, is exactly the same, of 1.68% per year, for all three years. The interest rates did drop recently, the appearance of these mortgage packages showing that they are not going to rise anytime soon.

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The resident unemployment rate is down for Q2 in Singapore

Some info recently surfaced that clearly shows that the resident unemployment rate is declining at this point. It still is a bit higher than it was last year, but the unemployment rate is around 3.3% at this time. Last year, it was a bit over 3%, so yes the differences are not that high and definitely not very noticeable!

 

According to the latest pieces of information, it seems that around 70800 citizens were unemployed in June. This is a great thing to note here, because the unemployment rate is unchanged at 2.2%, although it will most likely get lower in time.

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The government is set to exhume more than 80000 graves in order to get land for the Tengah Air Base expansion

 

 

This piece of news is certainly nothing short of impressive. It seems that the government is exhuming around 80000 graves in the Choa Chu Cemetery, all in an effort to expand the Tengah Air Base. But that’s not all the space they need, because it seems that they will also get some land from the Murai Farmway and the local nursery too.

 

This adds up to around 206 ha, and it is indeed necessary in order to integrate some of the facilities as well as assets that come from the Paya Lebar Air Base. This was initially set to be relocated in 2030 at its earliest.

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Noise study is designed to help guide planning of new homes near the Tengah Air Base

The Tengah Air Base expansion is in full effect, and it seems that a noise study is designed to guide the planning of some new flats in the region. This happens because architects want to know whether this type of project is feasible in the region or not. The problem here is that finding the right location in the city can be tough, so the Tengah Air Base and other specific regions like this can come in handy most of the time.

 

The benefit here is that even if there are studies performed here, no construction will be created and sold until 2030, so we are still a long way away from all of that. It really goes to show that there is a lot of focus on creating unique, powerful apartments that will also allow people to enjoy all these benefits as fast as possible.

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Planning for Singapore’s Future – The Concept Plan and the Master Plan

 

Like most things in Singapore the way land is first released for use, and then used is all part of a larger plan, driving forward the governments vision for the island, its society and welfare of its people and the economy. Most people talk about, and know of the Master Plan, but fewer people have heard of or understand the guiding hand behind that – the Concept Plan. So what exactly are they, and how do they differ?

 

 

The Concept Plan

This is the overriding strategic plan for all of Singapore’s land use and transportation. It covers a very broad spectrum and deals with the next forty to fifty years. It has three overarching aims, namely to ensure that there is sufficient land available to cope with the forecasted population changes, and the challenges that that poses; to meet all the requirements to ensure a robust economic performance over that period, while at the same time providing a high quality living, working and recreational environment for the nation’s population. To this end, the concept plan is reviewed every ten years, to ensure it is kept on track in an uncertain and often unpredictable world.

 

The Concept Plan
The Concept Plan (Source : URA)

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1/3 of all the new HDB flats are going to be prefabricated starting with 2019

 

According to the latest news, it seems that most of the new HDB flats that will be created in Singapore will be prefabricated as a whole. There are some reasons why the construction professionals are opting for this system. First, it’s designed to shorten the construction time. Not only that, but the overall costs are lowered too, and that is extremely important. Rooms will be created in factories and they will be assembled on site. They will even come with their own finishes.

 

Bathrooms will also be prefabricated in order to streamline the project. The construction time for such a project is around 3 years. The idea here is that contractors need to be familiar with the PPVC construction system.

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HDB creates solar-ready roofs designed to help install solar panels faster and easier

 

Adding solar panels is a crucial aspect at this time, because the solar craze is here and it’s as powerful as you can imagine. According to the latest industry sources, it seems that adding solar-ready roof is a very good idea and more and more housing blocks are using them. Which is actually a very good thing, because the HDB rooftops offer a lot of space for them. These blocks are built with the features needed to install these solar panels.

 

The primary focus here is to harness the solar energy as this can help deliver a lot more value to the HDB establishments. This can also help boost the overall costs, which is a crucial thing to take into consideration.

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Singapore – ranked one of the most liveable cities

 

Living in a large city does have its ups and downs, but the primary benefit that comes from living in Singapore is that the economy thrives and the city on its looks amazing, and it does manage to run itself well. In fact, according to a recent study, living in Singapore is even better than living in Hong Kong, something that does show the uniqueness and dedication offered by Singapore as a whole!

 

Hong Kong is now ranked 45th, whereas Singapore is now 35th in the list with the best livable cities in the world. That being said, it’s pretty impressive to see this ranking, specifically when Singapore shows its true power to people from all over the world. The jump in rankings comes from numerous improvements in the educational sector.

 

SIngapore
Singapore

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Manufacturing is maintaining a very strong pace of growth

 

According to numerous industry details, it seems that the Singapore manufacturers are not joking. They are working very hard at this time since the factory output has managed to go up with around 21% in July alone. This is a huge increase, and it mostly comes from the electronics sector. This is the brightest spot for the industry at this point.

 

The expectations were around 12.9%, so seeing this type of increase is always a nice thing to have in the industry. It’s the highest growth that the industry has seen in quite a while, and we may be able to expect something like that shortly for sure.

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Two new collective sales are heating up the en-bloc fever

 

We are now in the middle of a massive collective sale fever, and things are taking an impressive, good turn. The benefit here is that the Jervois Garden, which is a condo of around 17 apartments located on the River Valley road is up for sale.

 

Jervois Garden is set to be sold for around $68 million. Sure, this may not seem like a very good price, but you have to understand that Jervois Garden is a rather small establishment. It can bring in a huge profit for the owners, and that goes to show the sheer value that can be received from the collective sales at this time. Whether it will happen or not, it’s hard to say, but considering the recent collective sale fever, the Jervois Garden sale price can end up being even higher.

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The en-bloc fever leads to some major increase in DC charges for the non-landed homes

At this time, there is a huge collective sale fever that you can find in Singapore. But there is also a downside here. The DC rates used for the non-landed residential use are very high at this point. They raised with around 13.8%, which is a pretty high increase.
The DC rates are up in almost all the geographical sectors, some with just 6%, while others go up to 29%. The increase seems minimal, but it goes to show that the DC rates are getting pretty high. And yes, the developers have to pay them to enhance the use of some sites, same goes if they want to build some larger projects in there as well.

 

15 residential estates were put in collective sale, and only half were successful. The DC rate increase does manage to affect even many sales, and the developers do need to raise the price to get a good profit.

 

Some developers are offering lower prices to get some leasehold properties via a collective, something that does discourage owners to put them for a collective sale. The raise is something expected according to the head of consultancy and research at JLL Singapore. But even if this may not seem problematic, it’s safe to say that there can be some rather problematic situations shortly.

 

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Holland Village

Holland Village, or Holland V as it is affectionately shortened to by those who call it home, has built itself a reputation as one of the go to places in Singapore when it comes to restaurants and bars. Its popularity is among both expats and locals, something that is reflected in the choice of dining options and watering holes, that range from a 24-hour kopitiam, a market and hawker centre, to many western bars, restaurants and chains – and everything in between. It was not always the case however.

 

Holland Village
Holland Village

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Renowned developers in SG receiving BCA awards

2017 was a great year from many developers in Singapore, as they received the much-desired BCA Award. In fact, BCA or the Building and Constructions Authority had to issue a record number of awards this year, due to the fact that a greater number of developers strived to provide high workmanship quality and therefore to enhance the way Singapore looks when it comes to buildings and various constructions. On the 13th of June 2017, no less than 493 developers got their BCA award, for their extraordinary activity involving not only the development work, but also domains like architecture, design, engineering, and construction.

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Pay gap between genders in Singapore

The pay gap between genders in Singapore saw the last improvements in 2006, not changing ever since

 

Although we would expect things to change and evolve, there are some aspects that don’t seem to be bothered by the passing of time. For instance, the pay gap between genders has not recorded any change or improvement in the past decade. Just like it has been since 2006, men in Singapore earn more money than women, the gap being of approximately 20% in the favor of men, even though the job requirements are the same. Unfortunately, a gap of 20% is the best case scenario, statistics showing that there are industries where this gap reached 40%, which is a rather significant difference made between genders in the workplace.

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Smoke alarms – A must at every home starting from June

Starting from the next June, the updated Fire Codes released highlighted that all the newly built houses including all the boarding, apartments and private residences should make provisions for smoke detectors and fire alarms. These smoke alarms come in different qualities and levels and a basic smoke alarm costs between 60 to 80 dollars where an additional cost of close to 50 dollars will have to be borne for installation.

 

The costs associated with fixing these alarms will have to be borne by the buyers. However, the lower-income families, the needy households or the elderly who are in need of financial support will be looked into by the SCDF which is also known as Singapore Civil Defense Force.

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