Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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Growth may be below 2.5% in '08: Hng Kiang

SINGAPORE'S economic growth this year may miss the government's forecast as the global economy worsens amid a credit crisis, Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang said.

Mr Lim: Says the nation's monetary policy stance is conducive to growth
'The economy is very volatile and very vulnerable to global conditions,' Mr Lim told reporters here yesterday.

'We believe that the growth for this year will come slightly below our earlier projections of 2.5 per cent because since September, there has been an unprecedented drop in world market conditions.'

Still, the nation's monetary policy stance is conducive to growth, he said.

The island's economy has shrunk for two straight quarters and companies such as DBS Group Holdings Ltd and Parkway Holdings Ltd have announced job and wage cuts.

The export-dependent country has been battered by declining orders from its biggest customers in the recession-hit nations of the US and Europe, as well as emerging markets.

The South-east Asian nation will expand 2.5 per cent in 2008, lower than an October forecast for 3 per cent growth and less than a third of 2007's pace, the trade ministry said last month.

The economy, already in recession, may shrink by as much as one per cent next year, the first time since 2001, it predicted then. -- Bloomberg

May also want to read:
99 Leasehold Property: Calculation of Depreciation Rate based on Singapore Land Authority Data
Spore Property History 1960-2008
Property Investment Tip: Don't put all your eggs in one basket
HDB Resale Price Index 1990-2008: Graph & Chart


danny said...

Lower growth can only mean 1 thing! HIGHER HDB PRICES! (as per Mr. Wang, agent & "expert")

Because you see, come I tell you, when the economy grow very slow, much lower than the 4% which the gahmen originally predicted, all the speculators who over extend and got burn will have to cut back, including down grading from their condo to HDB, this will increase demand for HDB, so you see HDB prices sure go up!

Err... nevermind that they have to sell their condo and will further depress prices, people willing to pay more for HDB than condo cos downgrading mah. Is that making sense?

Smart Buyer said...

Dear Danny,
I think by now we all recognise your "satirical-style". I enjoy the dark humour. Thank you.

On a serious note, don't you think HDB flat price is largely at the mercy of our almighty gahmen, in good time and bad?

As for condo owners downgrading to HDB because of low or possibly, negative economic growth, I wonder what's your opinion about this postulate: If unemployment occurs in greater % among higher-income earners, then we'll see condo owners downgrading to resale HDB and hence, increasing its demand in the near term (until of course, the price difference between HDB resale and private condo price drops to a level that the downgrading doesn't make sense).

The outcome of the postulate, I think, is of great importance to potential buyers of HDB resale flats. If the postulate holds water, then these buyers should keep an eye not only on the economy but also which category of income-earners have been or are going to be retrenched.

I'm watching the trend to see if the postulate (which seem illogical at first sight) will turn out to be true.

Last year, I've postulated that HDB resale flat price will rise, while private property price will fall this year; my friends said I was talking nonsense. Now, that has become a fact. This is not to boost on my ego, but to illustrate how we can make sense in an uncertain situation and to be courageous enough to be a contratrian.

A little about my background.

I find it challenging to make guesses based on certain logics. I'm ok if I turn out to be wrong but I think some intelligent guesses are more helpful to potential buyers than having no opinion. Of course, I'll remind buyers that they must ultimately make their own judgements and they should dismiss my guesses if they think what I say don't make sense.

To make objective judgement, we must of course be able to put away our vested interest. I must however confess that I'm waiting to buy into private property if price drops to a level that makes good investment value (but the option is not a must cos there're many other ways to invest). On the other hand, I'm also a private-property owner myself. So whether price goes up or down, I'll have something to cheer about. Hope this situation will help me to be objective in my judgement.

Smart Buyer said...

Pardon all the typo-errors above.

Let me say one more thing to fellow property investors: Being right with our arguments is not our aim, making money is.

Good luck to all :)

danny said...

Thank you. I enjoy your blog for the info, also as a way to vent my frustration at sg real estate agents. For the 1%, some agents play a lot of games and do not provide much of a service.

The gahmen does have monopoly on HDBs, and prices have trended up recently as well. In their defense, gahmen also recently launched Senja Green, a BTO (I think) and the most expensive unit there was 270k, so still very reasonable and relatively affordable. Gahmen also creating more smaller/affordable units to sell or rent to the deserving "true" singaporean "poor" who will may or may not illegally sublet it out to international students/laborers for fat profits and thus denying a truly needy person a place to stay.

The trend now of HDB price rising and private property going down is not new, same trend has been seen before in Q396 to Q297.

It's hard to call the bottom or know exactly what's going to happen. Stock market shitty, gold prices are suppose to go up! But having some idea might be better than listening to the BS agents tell you.

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The blogger here has been affectionately named by close allies as "Smart Buyer" but really, he's not smart. Smart Buyer just believes that being prudent is smart. That's the essence of the message of this blog and Smart Buyer hopes it'll benefit other property buyers.

Smart Buyer :)