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Thread: Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

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    Default Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    March 17, 2008

    Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    By Fiona Chan, Property Reporter


    THE lethargy in the housing market continued last month, with only half of the new units launched snapped up by buyers.

    Property developers launched 343 new homes in February but sold only 185, down from the 328 that they sold in January.

    Among the best performers were Cosmo at Guillemard Crescent and Waterfront Waves at Bedok Reservoir.

    Cosmo, which was almost sold out within a week of its launch, sold 41 of its 45 units at a median price of $1,098 per sq ft (psf). Waterfront Waves saw 26 units sold at a median $808 psf.

    Generally, home prices still held steady, even rising in some cases. Where they fell, the dips were marginal.

    At Hong Leong Holdings' Aalto in Jalan Kechil, three units were sold in January for a medain $2,078 psf.

    Last month, two units were sold at higher prices: one at $2,336 psf and the other at $2,902 psf.

    But prices dropped slightly at Mount Sophia Suites in Sophia Road. Twelve units were sold there at a median $1,719 psf in January, but only five were sold last month at a lower median price of $1,709 psf.

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    Question Re: Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    There are approximate 2900 new launched units unsold till feb 2008 and 1000 + new units going to be TOP in 2008 in East Region ( this number does not take in to account small developers ). can this have any effect on prices ..considering the current market conditions due to sub-prime/credit saga etc

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    Default Re: Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    East already so congested, buyers are spoilt for choice. What do you think?

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    Default Re: Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    It is a matter of time before prices start dropping. Be patient.

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    Default Re: Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    There is no need to wait so long.
    It's already crashing.
    SIBOR is going drop to 0.75% soon.

    Burn all the speculators.
    Kill all the speculators.
    When SIBOR hit 0.75%, there will be blood everywhere.

    Die die die!
    Ha ha ha!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Straits Times

    Singapore interest rates likely to fall further
    Fed cut and robust Sing$ could push interbank lending rate below 1%

    Nicholas Fang
    The Straits Times
    Monday, 24 March 2008

    Singaporeans can expect cheaper mortgages but lower savings and fixed deposit rates in the months to come.

    This is after a move by the United States Federal Reserve to slash a key US interest rate last week.

    The Fed had cut three-quarters of a point off its federal funds rate, bringing it to 2.25%, to fight a mushrooming credit crisis and a slowing US economy.

    Economists in Singapore said the lowering of the Fed funds rate will have a knock- on effect in the Republic.

    The Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor), or the rate at which banks lend to one another, tends to track the Fed rate.

    Citigroup economist Kit Wei Zheng said: 'For Singapore rates, the trend is downwards. We expect the Fed to cut its rate to 1% and Singapore should follow with a lag.'



    He lowered his forecast for the Sibor, estimating it would fall to as low as 0.75% by the end of the third quarter, down from an earlier estimate of 1%.

    A recent report by DBS Group Research also forecast the Sibor would fall, to 0.83% in the second quarter, and remain at that rate through the second half before rising next year.

    The three-month Sibor fell to a 12-month low of 1.25% last Monday, before recovering to 1.425% on Thursday, ahead of the Good Friday public holiday.

    Mr Kit said Singapore rates were also affected by the Singapore dollar's appreciation against the US currency. He said the Singdollar is most probably at the top end of the secret trade-weighted band within which the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) guides the currency.

    'With the Singdollar expected to continue appreciating, MAS will aim to moderate it by flooding the market with liquidity, which will in turn pressure interest rates downwards,' he said.

    OCBC economist Selena Ling said another consequence of the strong Singdollar would be a high inflow of foreign capital into the Republic. 'This can also contribute to lower interest rates.'

    For consumers, the net result is both good and bad.

    Banks recently embarked on a mortgage loan war, with Maybank firing the first salvo last month with an aggressive three-year, fixed-rate package offered at 1.68% for the first year.

    DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB) have also unveiled attractive packages. UOB has one that offers a zero rate in the first year.

    And with Sibor-linked home loan package rates likely to head south too, it could be a good time to refinance mortgage loans, experts said.

    A DBS spokesman said: 'DBS offers transparent mortgage rates pegged to the Sibor and the CPF Ordinary Account rate, so our rates will move in tandem with market forces.'

    But there is also the possibility that savings and fixed deposit rates could slump as interest rates go down.

    OCBC's vice-president for group wealth management, Mr Fabian Lum, said the bank would review its deposit rates to keep them in line with prevailing market conditions.

    And while the bank has not changed its savings rate recently, it lowered its 12-month fixed deposit rate for amounts between $50,000 and $1 million to 1.2% a year from 1.4% earlier this month.

    DBS said that its savings deposit rates had not been adjusted since 2005, but added that its fixed deposit rates are always pegged to the interbank rate and would thus be adjusted accordingly.

    CIMB-GK economist Song Seng Wun said that the low interest rates did not reflect a lack of liquidity on the part of banks. 'The loans-deposit ratio is still very strong, so banks definitely have the money to lend,' he said.

    'But I think there is greater caution now, after what has happened in the US with the sub-prime crisis, and people are much more cautious nowadays when it comes to borrowing and lending money.'

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    Default Re: Property market remains sluggish - only half of new units sold in Feb

    Wall Street May Face $460 Billion Credit Losses, Goldman Says

    By Zhao Yidi

    March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Wall Street banks, brokerages and hedge funds may report $460 billion in credit losses from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, or almost four times the amount already disclosed, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Profits will continue to wane, other analysts said.

    ``There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still rather dim,'' Goldman analysts including New York-based Andrew Tilton said in a note to investors today. They estimated that residential mortgage losses will account for half the total, and commercial mortgages as much as 20 percent.

    Earnings and share prices at U.S. financial institutions tumbled in the past year as fallout from the mortgage crisis spread to other markets. Demand for mortgage-backed securities evaporated, leading to the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos., once that market's largest underwriter, and a Federal Reserve-led bailout by JPMorgan Chase & Co. earlier this month.

    Goldman's own share-price estimate was cut 3.7 percent to $210 at Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller. The research firm also reduced its profit estimates for the world's biggest securities firm for the rest of this year and all of 2009.

    Merrill Lynch & Co. had its 2008 profit estimates cut by 45 percent at JPMorgan on concern the third-largest U.S. securities firm by market value may disclose further writedowns on subprime mortgages. Merrill may report a total of $5 billion in additional losses on collateralized debt obligations, so-called Alt-A mortgages and commercial mortgages, New York-based analyst Kenneth Worthington said.

    Bank of America

    Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, was downgraded to ``sell'' from ``neutral'' at Merrill Lynch. The company, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, also had its earnings-per-share estimate lowered to $3.30 from $3.50 in 2008 and to $4.00 from $4.40 in 2009, analysts including New York-based Edward Najarian wrote in a note to clients today.

    Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. securities firm, had its share-price forecast cut 16 percent to $70 at Fox-Pitt. The brokerage's 2008 and 2009 profit estimates were also reduced.

    Goldman said the $460 billion in credit losses it foresees may ``result in a substantial tightening in credit conditions as these institutions pull back on lending to preserve their reduced capital and to maintain statutory capital adequacy ratios.''

    Credit-card loans, auto loans, commercial and industrial lending and non-financial corporate bonds make up the rest of the $460 billion in credit losses.

    Goldman, which has lost 17 percent this year on the New York Stock Exchange, rose 36 cents to $179.24 in composite trading at 11:50 a.m. Merrill fell $1.13 to $47.25, Lehman declined $2.16 to $44.48 and Bank of America dropped $1.47 to $40.98.

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