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Thread: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

  1. #1
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    Default Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Published March 27, 2008

    Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Even if the US sub-prime problem drags on, mid and mass market homes would still see price increases this year, says HAN HUAN MEI


    RESIDENTIAL property prices in Singapore saw phenomenal growth in 2006-7. Robust economic growth of about 7-8 per cent in the past three years, a growing number of millionaires and anticipated spinoffs from the integrated resorts ignited the high-end segment before finally filtering down to the mid and mass markets in the second quarter of 2007.

    By the end of 2007, prices in dollar terms had surpassed the levels in 1996, although the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) private residential price index had yet to hit the peak of 181.4 points achieved in Q2 1996. This is especially the case for new projects. For example, units in luxury projects like Cliveden at Grange, Hilltops and The Orchard Residences were selling at above $3,500 per sq ft compared with those in Ardmore Park, which were selling above $1,800 psf in 1996.

    In the mid-tier segment, units in projects like Aalto, Jardin and Zenith were selling above $1,600 psf in 2007, compared to 1 King Albert Park and Trellis Tower, which were sold at $900-$1,100 psf in 1996. As for mass market projects, 2007 saw units in projects like Fontaine Parry, Hillvista and Oasis Garden being sold at $850-$1,000 psf while in 1996, units in Hazel Park, Ballota Park and Sherwood Condominium were sold at $680 psf-$850 psf.

    In the last two years, the URA price index showed that prices of landed homes rose by 32 per cent while those of non-landed homes (apartments and condominiums) rose by 47 per cent. Furthermore, within the non-landed segment, prices of uncompleted homes (mostly new launches and developers' sales) grew by 53 per cent whereas those of completed homes (existing stock, resale transactions) rose 45 per cent.

    Based on URA price indices by region for uncompleted non-landed properties, the Core Central Region (CCR, districts 9, 10, 11 and Downtown Core and Sentosa) took the lead with a 67 per cent growth followed by the Rest of Central Region (RCR, Central Region outside the core region) with a 41 per cent growth and the Outside Central Region (OCR), with a 35 per cent growth.

    For non-landed homes in the resale market, the price increase was 45 per cent over the last two years, driven mostly by transactions in the CCR. Prices there rose by 43 per cent, followed by 31 per cent for those in the RCR and 28 per cent for those in the OCR.

    A comparison of median prices in Q4 2007 showed an interesting geographical shift across the island from Q4 2006. For simplicity, we have confined our analysis to non-landed homes.

    For the new homes sold as at Q4 2006, the highest price band was $1,500-$2,000 psf for properties in districts 1, 2 and 4. Examples of new projects in these districts in 2006 would include Marina Bay Residences, Lumiere, and The Coast and The Oceanfront at Sentosa Cove.

    Properties in the lowest band - below $700 psf - were found in districts 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 6 and 27. Examples of new launches at that time included Ferraria Park, One St Michael's, The Infiniti, The Quartz and The Stellar. Most of these are 99-year leasehold projects catering to the mass market. However, by Q4 2007, the highest price band moved up to over $3,000 psf for properties in districts 9 and 10 for projects like 8 Napier, Cliveden At Grange, Scotts Square and The Orchard Residences. Similarly, the lowest band was raised to $700 psf to $1,000 psf for projects in districts 3, 5, 8, 12, 13, 17, 19 and 22, reflective of prices of Casa Fortuna, Fontaine Parry, Oasis Garden and The Lakeshore.

    As for properties in the popular East Coast area, their prices have moved up from $700-$1,000 psf to $1,000-$1,500 psf for district 15. In district 16, they moved from below $700 psf to $700-$1,000 psf over the same period.

    In the resale market, there was a lag in price growth because this sector involved basically older properties which lacked the aesthetic appeal and quality of new properties. As at Q4 2006, among the properties that were sold, only those in district 9 made it to the top of the range for the price band of $1,000-$1,500 psf. These included properties like Aspen Heights, Cairnhill Crest, The Claymore and The Pier At Robertson. However, a year on, the price band moved up to $1,500-$2,000 psf. Transactions in district 10 joined this category, involving units in Ardmore Park, Draycott Eight and The Tessarina.

    With the exception of districts 4, 9, 10 and 11, resale transactions in the rest of the island were largely below $700 psf in Q4 2006, the price band for mass market properties. Similarly, in Q4 2007, property prices in the more popular districts (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 15, 16 and 21) moved up to the $700-$1,000 psf price band.

    Notably, prices of properties in districts 1 and 3 as well as 11 moved up to the $1,000-$1,500 psf band in Q4 2007 from previous price bands of below $700 psf and $700-$1,000 psf respectively.

    Last year ended on a cautious note as the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US had a somewhat negative effect on global financial markets and the economy. Most home buyers have been infected by the current mood and have turned cautious. Should the US enter a mild recession in the first six months of 2008 and the sub-prime problems clear up so that sentiment improves after June this year, the private residential market should continue where it left off in the third quarter of 2007.

    Luxury prices would remain firm, mid-market homes would be expected to rise by 5 to 10 per cent while mass market home prices could grow by 10 to 15 per cent in 2008, once the situation becomes more positive.

    In the worst case scenario, where the US sub-prime problem drags on to the end of the year and beyond, prices of luxury properties may ease marginally, while mid- and mass market homes would still see price increases, albeit at one to 2 per cent and 3 to 5 per cent respectively.

    Han Huan Mei is an associate director, CBRE Research, CB Richard Ellis.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels




  3. #3
    Unregistered Guest

    Talking Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    notice that D1 price still stays around the same range ..

  4. #4
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    notice that D1 price still stays around the same range ..
    Also notice that D11 is very undervalued comparing to D9 & D10 in 2006price..
    Newton & Novena is undervalued now..huge potential there..

  5. #5
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Also notice that D11 is very undervalued comparing to D9 & D10 in 2006price..
    Newton & Novena is undervalued now..huge potential there..
    Agreed. Especially Novena, very short distance to Orchard yet selling at 1/2 of Orchard's price.

  6. #6
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Agreed. Especially Novena, very short distance to Orchard yet selling at 1/2 of Orchard's price.
    True. Somemore within Novena MRT.

  7. #7
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Was the same in US 3 years ago and now drop worst in 40 years. It could happen anywhere. Sell and park money in food commodities. Man can survive without condo but not without food.

  8. #8
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Was the same in US 3 years ago and now drop worst in 40 years. It could happen anywhere. Sell and park money in food commodities. Man can survive without condo but not without food.
    Let's buy more food then so that the food producers and traders can buy more condos.

  9. #9
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Was the same in US 3 years ago and now drop worst in 40 years. It could happen anywhere. Sell and park money in food commodities. Man can survive without condo but not without food.

    you still need a warehouse to store your commodity.
    joke aside, commodity is on the way down, don't touch, buy property is better now.
    Soya bean, coffee, sugar, oil, gold, silver, wheat.....all drop 10-20% last week. Stabilising now before the next wave of sell down again. Down trend is on now, big traders are taking profit & pump into equity now.
    In spore, you will see stock followed by property market flying soon.

  10. #10
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    True. Somemore within Novena MRT.
    Tatally agreed! Medical hub, secondary CBD... Novena has huge potential there and Soleil is the best choice!

  11. #11
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Within next 12 months, you will see DOW at 16000, STI at 4500, spore property will easily >60% of today's price.
    No need to buy or sell, sit tight & watch.



    MARK HULBERT: Dow Heading For 16,000, Richard Band Says Rolling Eyes

    March 28, 2008: 12:58 AM EST



    ANNANDALE, Va. (Dow Jones) -- Richard Band is not someone who makes outlandish predictions just to get headlines.

    So I sat up and took notice earlier this week when he wrote to subscribers of his Profitable Investing newsletter that the stock market was ready to "rocket higher" in an "uptrend that could carry the blue chip indexes to all-time highs by late 2008 or early 2009. Dow 16,000 here we come!"

    The Hulbert Financial Digest (HFD) has been tracking Band's newsletter since the beginning of 1991. Over the subsequent 17 years, his recommended portfolio has been 35% less volatile than the overall stock market, as measured by relative volatilities. To use a baseball analogy, this shows that Band is more inclined to try to get a base hit than he is to attempt to belt a home run.

    Band's conservative approach is crucial to properly interpreting his newsletter's performance. According to the HFD, the newsletter's model portfolios on average have produced an 8.6% annualized return since the beginning of 1991, in contrast to 10.9% annualized for the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index (DWC). But with only two thirds as much risk, we should expect some below-market return.

    It turns out that, upon risk-adjusting his newsletter's performance, it equals that of the market itself. That's good enough to place it in the upper echelon of newsletters over this period, and another reason to give weight to his forecast.

    Technical factors appear to have led Band to make such a bold prediction, which amounts to a 33% return for the overall market over the next 12 months.

    The first has to do with the stock market's internal characteristics when it hit a low earlier this month. Band argues that that low possessed "many striking technical resemblances to the great bear market bottoms of the past."

    To be sure, Band wrote that on Tuesday night, and since then the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has dropped 230 points.

    But Band says he is not particularly worried. On Thursday night, he told subscribers not to let "Mr. Market wear you out!"

    Band continued: "We're in a critical stage for stocks right now, what technical analysts call the 'right shoulder' of a head-and-shoulders bottom. The left shoulder formed on March 10, when the Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX) touched its closing low for the year (so far) at 1273.37. The upside-down head came on March 17, when the index broke to a new low intraday but finished at 1276.60, slightly above the March 10 close. Now we're sliding down again to complete the right shoulder of the pattern. If all goes well, the S&P should remain comfortably above the two previous closing lows. Then we can rocket higher in April."

    Band adds that when the right shoulder of a head-and-shoulders bottom is forming, "the biggest temptation for investors is to throw up their hands and say, 'This market will never go up. It's doomed.' Don't make that mistake. A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!"

    Band is recommending several exchange-traded funds and one open-end mutual fund for subscribers who want to increase their equity exposure: The iShares Russell 1000 Growth Fund (IWF), the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund ( EEM), and Selected American Shares (SLASX).

  12. #12
    Unregistered Guest

    Smile Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    i have viewed 25 plus units for resale in last 3 months ,and hv not finalized yet . but noticed that none of them got sold all on market but asking prices are down..but then my offer price is also down lah ;-) . so its look-see-look-see

  13. #13
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    i have viewed 25 plus units for resale in last 3 months ,and hv not finalized yet . but noticed that none of them got sold all on market but asking prices are down..but then my offer price is also down lah ;-) . so its look-see-look-see
    quit funny huh

  14. #14
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Within next 12 months, you will see DOW at 16000, STI at 4500, spore property will easily >60% of today's price.
    No need to buy or sell, sit tight & watch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dow Jones

    Dow Heading For 16,000, Richard Band Says Rolling Eyes
    Mark Hulbert
    Dow Jones
    Anandale, Virginia, U.S.
    Friday, 28 March 2008, 12:58 AM U.S. EST

    Richard Band is not someone who makes outlandish predictions just to get headlines.

    So I sat up and took notice earlier this week when he wrote to subscribers of his Profitable Investing newsletter that the stock market was ready to "rocket higher" in an "uptrend that could carry the blue chip indexes to all-time highs by late 2008 or early 2009. Dow 16,000 here we come!"

    The Hulbert Financial Digest (HFD) has been tracking Band's newsletter since the beginning of 1991. Over the subsequent 17 years, his recommended portfolio has been 35% less volatile than the overall stock market, as measured by relative volatilities. To use a baseball analogy, this shows that Band is more inclined to try to get a base hit than he is to attempt to belt a home run.

    Band's conservative approach is crucial to properly interpreting his newsletter's performance. According to the HFD, the newsletter's model portfolios on average have produced an 8.6% annualized return since the beginning of 1991, in contrast to 10.9% annualized for the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index (DWC). But with only two thirds as much risk, we should expect some below-market return.

    It turns out that, upon risk-adjusting his newsletter's performance, it equals that of the market itself. That's good enough to place it in the upper echelon of newsletters over this period, and another reason to give weight to his forecast.

    Technical factors appear to have led Band to make such a bold prediction, which amounts to a 33% return for the overall market over the next 12 months.

    The first has to do with the stock market's internal characteristics when it hit a low earlier this month. Band argues that that low possessed "many striking technical resemblances to the great bear market bottoms of the past."

    To be sure, Band wrote that on Tuesday night, and since then the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has dropped 230 points.

    But Band says he is not particularly worried. On Thursday night, he told subscribers not to let "Mr. Market wear you out!"

    Band continued: "We're in a critical stage for stocks right now, what technical analysts call the 'right shoulder' of a head-and-shoulders bottom. The left shoulder formed on March 10, when the Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX) touched its closing low for the year (so far) at 1273.37. The upside-down head came on March 17, when the index broke to a new low intraday but finished at 1276.60, slightly above the March 10 close. Now we're sliding down again to complete the right shoulder of the pattern. If all goes well, the S&P should remain comfortably above the two previous closing lows. Then we can rocket higher in April."

    Band adds that when the right shoulder of a head-and-shoulders bottom is forming, "the biggest temptation for investors is to throw up their hands and say, 'This market will never go up. It's doomed.' Don't make that mistake. A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!"

    Band is recommending several exchange-traded funds and one open-end mutual fund for subscribers who want to increase their equity exposure: The iShares Russell 1000 Growth Fund (IWF), the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM), and Selected American Shares (SLASX).
    Goodness! 16,000!!!!!
    Do you know the implication on our market if Dow hit 16,000?
    I don't want to think about it.

  15. #15
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Goodness! 16,000!!!!!
    Do you know the implication on our market if Dow hit 16,000?
    I don't want to think about it.
    Yes the implications are that we would have reached the end of the age. And who knows where you would be.

  16. #16
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Home-Equity Loans May Be Next Round in Credit Crisis

    By Vikas Bajaj The New York Times | 27 Mar 2008 | 10:48 AM ET


    Little by little, millions of Americans surrendered equity in their homes in recent years. Lulled by good times, they borrowed — sometimes heavily — against the roofs over their heads.

    Now the bill is coming due. As the housing market spirals downward, home equity loans, which turn home sweet home into cash sweet cash, are becoming the next flash point in the mortgage crisis.
    Americans owe a staggering $1.1 trillion on home equity loans — and banks are increasingly worried they may not get some of that money back.

    To get it, many lenders are taking the extraordinary step of preventing some people from selling their homes or refinancing their mortgages unless they pay off all or part of their home equity loans first. In the past, when home prices were not falling, lenders did not resort to these measures.

    Such tactics are impeding efforts by policy makers to help struggling homeowners get easier terms on their mortgages and stem the rising tide of foreclosures. But at a time when each day seems to bring more bad news for the financial industry, lenders defend the hard-nosed maneuvers as a way to keep their own losses from deepening.

    It is a remarkable turnabout for the many Americans who have come to regard a home as an A.T.M. with three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. When times were good, they borrowed against their homes to pay for all sorts of things, from new cars to college educations to a home theater.

    [color='red]Lenders also encouraged many aspiring homeowners to take out not one but two mortgages simultaneously — ordinary ones plus “piggyback” loans — to avoid putting any cash down.[/color]
    The result is a nation that only half-owns its homes. While homeownership climbed to record heights in recent years, home equity — the value of the properties minus the mortgages against them — has fallen below 50 percent for the first time, according to the Federal Reserve.

    Lenders holding first mortgages get first dibs on borrowers’ cash or on the homes should people fall behind on their payments. Banks that made home equity loans are second in line. This arrangement sometimes pits one lender against another.

    When borrowers default on their mortgages, lenders foreclose and sell the homes to recoup their money. But when homes sell for less than the value of their mortgages and home equity loans — a situation known as a short sale — lenders with first liens must be compensated fully before holders of second or third liens get a dime.

    In places like California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, where home prices have fallen significantly, second-lien holders can be left with little or nothing once first mortgages are paid.

    In December, 5.7 percent of home equity lines of credit were delinquent or in default, up from 4.5 percent in 2006, according to Moody’s Economy.com.
    Lenders and investors who hold home equity loans are not giving up easily, however. Instead, they are opposing short sales. And some banks holding second liens are also opposing refinancings for first mortgages, a little-used power they have under the law, in an effort to force borrowers to pay down their loans.

    “Acknowledging a loss is the most difficult thing to do,” said Micheal Thompson, the executive director of the Iowa Mediation Service, which has been working with delinquent borrowers and lenders. “You have to deal with the reality of what you are facing today.”

    While he has been able to strike some deals, Mr. Thompson said that many mortgage companies he talks with refuse to compromise. Holders of second mortgages often agree to short sales and other changes only if first-lien holders pay them a small sum, say $10,000, or 10 percent, on a $100,000 debt.
    Disagreements arise when the first and second liens are held by different banks or investors. If one lender holds both debts, it is in their interest to find a solution.

    When deals cannot be worked out, second-lien holders can pursue the outstanding balance even after foreclosure, sometimes through collection agencies. The soured home equity debts can linger on credit records and make it harder for people to borrow in the future.

    Experts say it is in everyone’s interest to settle these loans, but doing so is not always easy. Consider Randy and Dawn McLain of Phoenix. The couple decided to sell their home after falling behind on their first mortgage from Chase and a home equity line of credit from CitiFinancial last year, after Randy McLain retired because of a back injury. The couple owed $370,000 in total.

    After three months, the couple found a buyer willing to pay about $300,000 for their home — a figure representing an 18 percent decline in the value of their home since January 2007, when they took out their home equity credit line. (Single-family home prices in Phoenix have fallen about 18 percent since the summer of 2006, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index.)
    CitiFinancial, which was owed $95,500, rejected the offer because it would have paid off the first mortgage in full but would have left it with a mere $1,000, after fees and closing costs, on the credit line. The real estate agents who worked on the sale say that deal is still better than the one the lender would get if the home was foreclosed on and sold at an auction in a few months.

    “If it goes into foreclosure, which it is very likely to do anyway, you wouldn’t get anything,” said J. D. Dougherty, a real estate agent who represented the buyer on the transaction.
    Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for CitiFinancial, declined to comment on the McLains’ situation, citing privacy considerations.

    “We strive to find solutions that are acceptable to the various parties involved,” he said but two lenders can “value the property differently.”
    Other lenders like National City, the bank based in Cleveland, have blocked homeowners from refinancing first mortgages unless the borrowers pay off the second lien held by the bank first. But such tactics carry significant risk, said Michael Youngblood, a portfolio manager and analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, the securities firm. “It might also impel the borrower to file for bankruptcy,” and a judge could write down the value of the second mortgage, he said.

    A spokeswoman for National City, Kristen Baird Adams, said the policy applied only to home equity loans originated by mortgage brokers.
    Underscoring the difficulties likely to arise from home equity loans, a Democratic proposal in Congress to refinance troubled mortgages and provide them with government backing specifically excludes second liens. Lenders holding a second lien would be required to write off their debts before the first loan could be refinanced. That could leave out a significant number of loans, analysts say.

    People with weak, or subprime, credit could be hurt the most. More than a third of all subprime loans made in 2006 had associated second-lien debt, up from 17 percent in 2000, according to Credit Suisse. And many people added second loans after taking out first mortgages, so it is impossible to say for certain how many homeowners have multiple liens on their properties.
    “This is turning out to be a real impediment to solving this problem,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com, “at least, solving it quickly.”

  17. #17
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    i have viewed 25 plus units for resale in last 3 months ,and hv not finalized yet . but noticed that none of them got sold all on market but asking prices are down..but then my offer price is also down lah ;-) . so its look-see-look-see
    Yes its look-see-look-see for the buyer and hope-sweat-panic-hope for seller.

  18. #18
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    i have viewed 25 plus units for resale in last 3 months ,and hv not finalized yet . but noticed that none of them got sold all on market but asking prices are down..but then my offer price is also down lah ;-) . so its look-see-look-see
    Did you notice the sellers faces? I called on the same one after about 3 months and noticed that he looked older by about 10 years. Effect of panic then high BP. Like your style look - see- look - see.

  19. #19
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    House price growth is weakest since 1996
    Steve Hawkes
    House prices are rising at the slowest rate for 12 years in a blow that could force the Bank of England to bring forward an interest rate cut to April, Britain’s second biggest mortgage lender said today.

    Figures from the Nationwide showed that the price of a typical house dropped 0.6 per cent - or nearly £250 - in March to an average of £179,100.
    The drop means the annual rate of house price inflation is now 1.1 per cent - the lowest since March 1996.

    She said: "The outlook for UK house prices is clearly more downbeat. Some of the downside risks we idenitfied in November have become a reality - most notably the continued turmoil in the financial markets."

    She added that in light of the collapse of Bear Stearns in the US and the rumours over the health of HBoS, the Bank of England could put aside fears over inflation and cut rates next month to "loosen conditions in financial markets".
    A survey yesterday suggested inflation could spiral to 3.6 per cent over the next 12 months.

    Ms Earley said: “We think these latest developments, along with the continued weakening in the housing market, will mean that the [Bank of England] will bring forward its rate cut to April.”

    Nationwide was one of two major lenders to put up its mortgage rates yesterday to close the door to all but the most creditworthy customers.
    The building society said that it did not want to take on many more customers as it would add to much risk.

    Within hours of the announcement, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society said that it was increasing its mortgage rates by up to half a percent.
    Howard Archer, chief economist at Global Insight, warned there was now the real possibility of a "sharp correction" in the property market. He has been predicting a 5 per cent fall in both 2008 and 2009.

    He said: "We believe the downside for house prices will be limited to some extent by the rising number of households, an overall shortage of supply, high employment, further gradual but steady interest rate cuts over the coming year and the fact that few vendors are currently having to sell for "distressed' reasons.

    Nevertheless, the current escalation of the credit crunch means that there is an increased risk that a significantly sharper housing market correction could occur."

  20. #20
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Yes the implications are that we would have reached the end of the age. And who knows where you would be.
    End of whose age?
    Yours? So soon?
    We still have many good years to go.

  21. #21
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Within next 12 months, you will see DOW at 16000, STI at 4500, spore property will easily >60% of today's price.
    No need to buy or sell, sit tight & watch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dow Jones

    Dow Heading For 16,000, Richard Band Says Rolling Eyes
    Mark Hulbert
    Dow Jones
    Anandale, Virginia, U.S.
    Friday, 28 March 2008, 12:58 AM U.S. EST

    Richard Band is not someone who makes outlandish predictions just to get headlines.

    So I sat up and took notice earlier this week when he wrote to subscribers of his Profitable Investing newsletter that the stock market was ready to "rocket higher" in an "uptrend that could carry the blue chip indexes to all-time highs by late 2008 or early 2009. Dow 16,000 here we come!"

    The Hulbert Financial Digest (HFD) has been tracking Band's newsletter since the beginning of 1991. Over the subsequent 17 years, his recommended portfolio has been 35% less volatile than the overall stock market, as measured by relative volatilities. To use a baseball analogy, this shows that Band is more inclined to try to get a base hit than he is to attempt to belt a home run.

    Band's conservative approach is crucial to properly interpreting his newsletter's performance. According to the HFD, the newsletter's model portfolios on average have produced an 8.6% annualized return since the beginning of 1991, in contrast to 10.9% annualized for the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index (DWC). But with only two thirds as much risk, we should expect some below-market return.

    It turns out that, upon risk-adjusting his newsletter's performance, it equals that of the market itself. That's good enough to place it in the upper echelon of newsletters over this period, and another reason to give weight to his forecast.

    Technical factors appear to have led Band to make such a bold prediction, which amounts to a 33% return for the overall market over the next 12 months.

    The first has to do with the stock market's internal characteristics when it hit a low earlier this month. Band argues that that low possessed "many striking technical resemblances to the great bear market bottoms of the past."

    To be sure, Band wrote that on Tuesday night, and since then the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has dropped 230 points.

    But Band says he is not particularly worried. On Thursday night, he told subscribers not to let "Mr. Market wear you out!"

    Band continued: "We're in a critical stage for stocks right now, what technical analysts call the 'right shoulder' of a head-and-shoulders bottom. The left shoulder formed on March 10, when the Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX) touched its closing low for the year (so far) at 1273.37. The upside-down head came on March 17, when the index broke to a new low intraday but finished at 1276.60, slightly above the March 10 close. Now we're sliding down again to complete the right shoulder of the pattern. If all goes well, the S&P should remain comfortably above the two previous closing lows. Then we can rocket higher in April."

    Band adds that when the right shoulder of a head-and-shoulders bottom is forming, "the biggest temptation for investors is to throw up their hands and say, 'This market will never go up. It's doomed.' Don't make that mistake. A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!"

    Band is recommending several exchange-traded funds and one open-end mutual fund for subscribers who want to increase their equity exposure: The iShares Russell 1000 Growth Fund (IWF), the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM), and Selected American Shares (SLASX).
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Goodness! 16,000!!!!!
    Do you know the implication on our market if Dow hit 16,000?
    I don't want to think about it.
    Aiyah! Why worry about the implication of Dow hitting 16,000.
    Most important thing is that everyone will be shouting "Huat Ah!".

  22. #22
    Reuters Guest

    Default Stocks Rise On Hope Asia Can Withstand Slowdown


    Stocks rise on hope Asia can withstand slowdown
    Louise Heavens
    Reuters
    Singapore
    Friday, 28 March 2008

    Asian stocks staged a tentative recovery before the end of the quarter, and bonds fell as investors gauged that concerns about the impact of a U.S. recession and a global credit crunch on Asia were overdone.

    But European markets were poised to open lower, weighed down by worries the credit crisis may yet claim more victims on Wall Street following market rumours that Lehman Brothers could be the next bank to fall, rumours Lehman said were "totally unfounded".

    Financial bookmakers in London forecast Britain's FTSE 100 index will open 0.2% lower, and Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 will open 0.5% lower.

    Caution over the U.S. economic outlook took its toll on oil prices, which fell $1 a barrel. The U.S. currency was also on the back foot.

    MSCI's index of Asian shares outside Japan rose 0.5% by 0603 GMT. The benchmark down almost 14% this year and is heading for its biggest quarterly fall in 5-½ years on nagging worries about the health of the global financial system, rising inflation, and a murky outlook for corporate profits.

    But as the quarter drew to a close, optimism mounted that profits could shrug off the worst of the U.S. economic and credit problems

    Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 recovered from an earlier fall to close 1.7% higher. Seoul's KOSPI managed to shrug off news of the test firing of missiles in North Korea to post a 1.5% gain, helped by technology stocks, such as Samsung Electronics.

    "The electronics sector is forecast to report stronger-than-expected earnings thanks to good handset and LCD sales," said John Park, an analyst at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

    "Product pricing has been steady while demand was also relatively strong, helping firms keep their profit margins at good levels," Park added.

    Financials Mixed

    Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4% , with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd down 2.8%. The bank is a secured lender to local margin lender Opes Prime Group, which was earlier placed under receivership.

    Banks were also dented by fresh fears about the health of investment bank Lehman Brothers. Worries that it could suffer a fate similar to the near collapse of Bear Stearns pushed Lehman's shares down almost 9% in New York on Thursday. But New Zealand shares were another bright spot, with the NZX-50 index up 1.2% after economic growth beat expectations.

    The dollar fell was on the back foot on worries about the health of the world's top economy.

    The U.S. currency fell to 99.68 yen, staying in sight of a 13-year low of 95.77 yen.

    The yen showed little reaction to news that Japan's core consumer inflation in February rose more than expected and scored the biggest increase in a decade.

    The euro edged up to $1.5787 from around $1.5766 in late U.S. trade on Thursday, turning back towards a record high of $1.5905 after making a pause from sharp gains earlier this week.

    U.S. Treasuries edged lower, with June T-note futures TYv1 down 4/32 to 118-7.5/32, although trading was light.

    U.S. crude CLc1 fell 62 cents to $106.82 a barrel, easing on concerns about demand from top user, the United States. But prices were still within $6 of a record after a bomb attack on Thursday on a major Iraqi crude pipeline slashed exports for the first time in years.

    Gold fell to $944.80/945.60 an ounce from $951.80/952.60 an ounce late in New York.

  23. #23
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by 我报

    Jobs slashed in the US, but jobs aplenty in Asia
    Claire Huang
    我报
    Thursday, 13 March 2008



    While the weakening United States' economy saw 63,000 jobs slashed last month, Asia Pacific is troubled by a talent crunch.

    The Robert Walters Global Survey released yesterday showed that even as salaries increase regionally, there is still a shortage of middle to senior level candidates.

    Mr Mark Ellewood, managing director of recruitment specialist Robert Walters Singapore, said that the US recessio is starting to affect Europe, but he said as long as it does not spread to China and India, the bullish job trend will remain.

    It is an observation echoed by Mr James Koh, director of global staffing firm Aquent Singapore.

    He said: "Market sentiment is still strong in this part of the world and companies are still bullish in their outlook."

    However, he added that companies "are taking the US situation into consideration" and "making sure the business is prepared to weather any tremors".

    The Robert Walters survey says that on average, the various sectors in Singapore raised their total hiring by 15 to 20% last year.

    Still, there is a local shortage and it has resulted in "companies looking overseas to recruit foreign talent, particularly from Europe and Australia", Mr Ellewood said.

    For every one local hire in the energy sector, for example, two are foreigners. These include engineers and technicians from countries such as the Philippines, India and Myanmmar.

    The banking and financial sector saw an increase of at least 30% in foreign hires last year, compared to 2006.

    The talent crunch is also not helped by government projects planned by countries in this region.

    Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor and its 9th Malaysian Plan, for example, have contributed to the high demand for information technology talent, the survey says.

    In Hong Kong, companies are resorting to guaranteed bonuses and buy-out notice periods to lure the top brains. In New Zealand, some candidates are hired before they arrive in the country to prevent them from being poached.

    The Robert Walters survey was based on the salaries of the employees it hired in 2007, across all sectors and countries within which it operates.
    Jobs, jobs, jobs, .... so many ... take your time to choose ...

  24. #24
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuters

    Want to earn more? British professionals move abroad
    Reuters
    London, U.K.
    Friday, 28 March 2008, Singapore Time



    British professionals could earn an average 40% more by relocating abroad, research shows.

    The average professional expatriate earns 67,000 pounds (S$185,328), compared to a UK average of 47,000 pounds - 42.6% less, according to NatWest International.

    Its 'wealth ranking survey', undertaken with the Centre of Future Studies think-tank, shows that the United Arab Emirates tops the charts, with professionals netting an average annual salary of 79,000 pounds.

    Even Portugal, at the lower end, comes in with a respectable average annual wage of 58,000 pounds.

    However, when the cost of living is taken into account Spain (with an average expat salary of 65,000 pounds) and Italy (76,000 pounds) jumped up the table.

    Mr David Isley, head of personal banking at NatWest International, said: 'The wage packets of expats are very encouraging for people who are looking to move abroad.

    'People who are willing to move abroad not only benefit from bigger earnings in countries such as Spain and Italy, but also have the advantage of a lower cost of living.' Overall, 68% of those surveyed found that the cost of living abroad to be lower than in the UK, which lead to 90% considering themselves financially better off.

    Almost 70% also said they felt healthier living abroad.

    Mr Isley said: 'Expats who have moved abroad appear to be wealthier, healthier and happier and all these factors have contributed to a better quality of life.

    'It seems as if expats have not only found their pot of gold abroad, but are able to enjoy themselves and feel healthier for having made the move.'

    The global survey also revealed the countries with the highest proportion of Britons working in certain occupations.

    Canada had the most engineers, medical personnel, academics and teachers. IT professionals seemed to flock to Sweden; economists and accountants to Singapore; scientists to New Zealand; financial services workers to the UAE; and marketing and sales professionals to Portugal.

    The research looked at expats in the following 10 countries: Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the UAE.

    A total of 1,399 expats were surveyed. The report was also based on a range of data including figures from the Office for National Statistics, International Passenger Survey, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Values Survey.
    Wah! UK expats like to come to work in Singapore so much meh?

    Come lor. The more the merrier!

  25. #25
    Unregistered Guest

    Red face Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Jobs, jobs, jobs, .... so many ... take your time to choose ...
    seems you are not doing a regular job . go and check people are scared because of cut down on projects ..go and check in offices so many consulting companies asked to reduce their staffing levels

  26. #26
    AFP Guest

    Default Singapore Shares Close 0.22% Higher


    Singapore shares close 0.22% higher
    Agence France-Presse
    Singapore
    Friday, 28 March 2008



    Singapore share prices closed 0.22% higher Friday after investors shook off initial worries over Wall Street's overnight decline and picked up attractively priced blue chips,dealers said.

    The Straits Times Index rose 6.70 points to 3,031.90.

  27. #27
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    i have viewed 25 plus units for resale in last 3 months ,and hv not finalized yet . but noticed that none of them got sold all on market but asking prices are down..but then my offer price is also down lah ;-) . so its look-see-look-see
    This is Sour Grape Paradox 2 (SGP2).

    Why would the sour grape want to view 25+ units at today's price, when he could have easily gotten a condo at half the price 3 years ago, before the market shot up?

    If he was a serious property investor, he would have gotten a unit anytime between 1998 to 2004. There were 8 years for him to view not just 25 units, but 2,500 units if he wanted to, all at very low price.

    If after 8 years of viewing 2,500 units at half of today's price, he still couldn't buy a condo, do you think he can ever have enough money to buy a condo?

    This is SGP2 (the Sour Grape Paradox 2).

  28. #28
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    This is Sour Grape Paradox 2 (SGP2).

    Why would the sour grape want to view 25+ units at today's price, when he could have easily gotten a condo at half the price 3 years ago, before the market shot up?

    If he was a serious property investor, he would have gotten a unit anytime between 1998 to 2004. There were 8 years for him to view not just 25 units, but 2,500 units if he wanted to, all at very low price.

    If after 8 years of viewing 2,500 units at half of today's price, he still couldn't buy a condo, do you think he can ever have enough money to buy a condo?

    This is SGP2 (the Sour Grape Paradox 2).
    Kiasi, kiasu and no balls = SGP2

  29. #29
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    This is Sour Grape Paradox 2 (SGP2).

    Why would the sour grape want to view 25+ units at today's price, when he could have easily gotten a condo at half the price 3 years ago, before the market shot up?

    If he was a serious property investor, he would have gotten a unit anytime between 1998 to 2004. There were 8 years for him to view not just 25 units, but 2,500 units if he wanted to, all at very low price.

    If after 8 years of viewing 2,500 units at half of today's price, he still couldn't buy a condo, do you think he can ever have enough money to buy a condo?

    This is SGP2 (the Sour Grape Paradox 2).
    True Sour Grape Paradox. Try try no one offering the sour grape the price. Sour Grape instead of selling in October waited toooooooo long.

  30. #30
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Re: Home prices surpass 1996 levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    i have viewed 25 plus units for resale in last 3 months ,and hv not finalized yet . but noticed that none of them got sold all on market but asking prices are down..but then my offer price is also down lah ;-) . so its look-see-look-see
    Well, no harm window shopping around. Make sure you be able to react fast enough when the market turn bull (I quite doubtful you could). If not, you will became Mr. Sourest Grape.

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