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Thread: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

  1. #1
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    Default Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Sto...ry_236822.html

    May 13, 2008

    Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Number of foreign purchases fall; many buying homes in suburban areas

    By Fiona Chan, Property Reporter


    HIGH-END homes have become the first to buckle under the pressure of volatile market conditions and gloomy buyer sentiment.

    Prices of luxury developments dipped in the first three months of this year, even as foreign buyers - a traditional source of demand for such properties - turned to cheaper options.

    A report by property firm Savills Singapore released yesterday showed that prices of expensive homes fell 2.1 per cent in the first quarter, after a steady 21/2-year climb that saw values more than double.

    Foreigners also began switching from the prime central districts to suburban areas, such as East Coast, Bukit Batok and Serangoon, said Savills.

    Its analysis covered luxury developments located in districts 1, 4, 9, 10 and 11, which include Shenton Way, Sentosa, Orchard, Holland, Newton and Bukit Timah. The average price of these homes fell to $2,360 per sq ft (psf) in the period from January to March, from $2,410 psf in the previous three months.

    At the very top end, the priciest condominiums registered a 2.9 per cent dip in prices to $3,577 psf in the first quarter, from $3,683 psf in the previous quarter, Savills said. These are developments that have crossed $2,500 psf.

    While Savills would not disclose the names of the buildings it analysed, a check of caveats showed that luxury projects such as Ardmore Park and St Regis Residences in Cuscaden Road recently lodged sales at gradually lower prices.

    Savills suggested that luxury condos might be more vulnerable to the global credit crisis.

    On the bright side, foreign buying islandwide stayed strong despite the softening housing market, it added.

    Foreign buyers took up 28 per cent of private homes in the first quarter, up from 25.9 per cent for the whole of last year.

    But the total number of foreign purchases fell, in line with the general slowdown in market activity. Foreigners bought only 901 private homes from January to March this year, less than half the 2,245 homes they took up in the same period last year.

    Surprisingly, many of the homes they bought were well away from their usual stronghold of districts 9 to 11.

    Savills' report showed that areas as far-flung as Changi and Hougang made it to the most-bought list, while traditionally foreigner-friendly areas such as Shenton Way dropped out of the top 10.

    This could be because more of the foreign buyers now are expatriates living here with their families, rather than investors looking for prime assets, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, Savills' director of business development and marketing.

    'Rentals are still holding up at high levels, and many expats who are more price-sensitive may now be converting from leasing homes to buying them,' he said.

    'Some of these expats postponed buying homes last year, but now they could be taking advantage of the slowdown in the market to get a good deal.'

    This would explain the foreign demand for suburban areas, as expatriates are likely to buy homes in neighbourhoods that have good schools or where they are currently renting houses.

    Bolstering this theory is a sudden drop in the number of leasing transactions this year, said Mr Ku. Based on leases that were signed in 2006, there should be a lot more renewals this year than had actually taken place, he explained.

    Savills expects private home prices to grow a moderate 5 per cent to 10 per cent this year.

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    Default Re: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Sto...ry_236822.html

    May 13, 2008

    Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Number of foreign purchases fall; many buying homes in suburban areas

    By Fiona Chan, Property Reporter


    On the bright side, foreign buying islandwide stayed strong despite the softening housing market, it added.

    Foreign buyers took up 28 per cent of private homes in the first quarter, up from 25.9 per cent for the whole of last year.

    But the total number of foreign purchases fell, in line with the general slowdown in market activity. Foreigners bought only 901 private homes from January to March this year, less than half the 2,245 homes they took up in the same period last year.

    Surprisingly, many of the homes they bought were well away from their usual stronghold of districts 9 to 11.

    Savills' report showed that areas as far-flung as Changi and Hougang made it to the most-bought list, while traditionally foreigner-friendly areas such as Shenton Way dropped out of the top 10.

    This could be because more of the foreign buyers now are expatriates living here with their families, rather than investors looking for prime assets, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, Savills' director of business development and marketing.

    'Rentals are still holding up at high levels, and many expats who are more price-sensitive may now be converting from leasing homes to buying them,' he said.

    'Some of these expats postponed buying homes last year, but now they could be taking advantage of the slowdown in the market to get a good deal.'

    This would explain the foreign demand for suburban areas, as expatriates are likely to buy homes in neighbourhoods that have good schools or where they are currently renting houses.

    Bolstering this theory is a sudden drop in the number of leasing transactions this year, said Mr Ku. Based on leases that were signed in 2006, there should be a lot more renewals this year than had actually taken place, he explained.

    Savills expects private home prices to grow a moderate 5 per cent to 10 per cent this year.

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    I find this report very contradictory.

    1. Sales transaction thinning out, rental leases shrunk, high end prices sliding, but Savills expects price growth?

    2. Expats buying homes, rental leases shrunk, but rents continue to hold?


    语不惊人死不休。

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    Default Re: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Everyone is directionless.Must say something if not they think the market is dead.

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    Default Re: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink4
    I find this report very contradictory.

    1. Sales transaction thinning out, rental leases shrunk, high end prices sliding, but Savills expects price growth?

    2. Expats buying homes, rental leases shrunk, but rents continue to hold?


    语不惊人死不休。
    You should watch the John Bird and John Fortune show - the Subprime Crisis Mock Interview.

    Investment Banker (John Bird):

    In the middle of August this year (2007) when the market absolutely plummeted in London, a well-known city firm, State Street Global Markets, issued a statement in which it said, and I quote ‘market participants don't know whether to buy on the rumour and sell on the news, do the opposite, do both, or do neither depending on which way the wind is blowing’.



    Interviewer (John Fortune):

    This is the kind of rigorous analysis companies will pay huge salaries for ...

    Well no price is too high for that kind of mature wisdom, is it not?


    Investment Banker (John Bird):

    These sorts of people are paid millions of pounds in bonuses.

    Interviewer (John Bird):

    Yes of course.


    You can watch the show here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ_qK4g6ntM
    Last edited by jlrx; 13-05-08 at 17:27.

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    Default Re: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Haha, jlrx, good one..! People like this must be seen worth their salt.

    Going back to the report, "foreigners" always conjure up images of fair skinned, fair haired people. Those foreigners who bought into "far flung" places could be any colour but fair, and could be extremely price sensitive.
    Last edited by Pink4; 13-05-08 at 19:51.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    "Stealth Layoffs" Sweep across Wall Street
    By Louise Story and Eric Dash The New York Times | 16 May 2008 | 05:14 AM ET

    People on Wall Street seem to be vanishing overnight.

    Thousands are losing their jobs as hard-pressed banks cut deep. But while layoffs are nothing new in the financial industry (they come with almost every downturn), this round seems different: it is eerily quiet.

    So quiet, in fact, that people refer to these cuts as stealth layoffs. Some bosses hardly say a word after people are fired. At Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley for example, the first clue that someone is gone can be e-mail messages that are returned to senders from a former colleague’s inactivated corporate address.

    While the financial markets have found a bit of a footing lately, banks are pushing ahead with plans for some of the deepest job reductions in years. Since last summer, banks worldwide have announced plans to cut 65,000 employees.


    But exactly how many jobs have been or will be eliminated is unclear. In the past, banks typically made sharp reductions all at once. After the 1987 stock market crash, for example, employees were herded into conference rooms and dismissed en masse.

    This time, companies are making many small cuts over the course of weeks or even months. Some people who have lost jobs, and many more struggling to hold them, say banks are keeping employees in the dark about the size and timing of layoffs.

    Citigroup, for example, said last year that it would eliminate 17,000 jobs, or about 5 percent of its work force. Then in January, Citi said it would dismiss 4,200 more people. In April, it said an additional 8,700 would go.

    By contrast, after the financial upheaval of 1998, when many Wall Street banks pared payrolls, Citigroup eliminated 10,600 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force at the time.

    The idea that banks will slowly wield the knife again and again unnerves many employees. People know the cuts are coming — they just don’t know when or where.

    “Nobody knows who is coming in; nobody knows who is going out,” said JoAnne Kennedy, who was laid off by JPMorgan Chase this year. “They want to keep it all as quiet as possible.”

    To some bank workers, one round of layoffs seems to blur into the next. At Goldman Sachs, low performers were dismissed from January through March. A few weeks later, the bank quietly began letting more people go. All told, Goldman is axing about 8 percent of its work force, although incoming employees this summer will make up for some of that loss.

    At Merrill Lynch 1,100 people were laid off early this year, mostly in mortgage-related businesses. But in April, the firm announced 2,900 more cuts.

    JPMorgan Chase said last fall that it would lay off 100 people in its fixed-income division and then followed up with several smaller rounds of cuts in other parts of the bank. The casualties will keep mounting as JPMorgan melds with Bear Stearns, the troubled investment bank it is buying.

    Starting at the top, JPMorgan executives are eliminating jobs at their own bank, redeploying some people to other divisions and replacing others with Bear Stearns workers. As many as 5,500 Bear Stearns employees and 4,000 JPMorgan workers could lose their jobs before it is over.

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    Default Re: Luxury home prices down 2.1%, says report

    Quote Originally Posted by 彭博
    要扩展亚洲业务 美林将多聘请几百名员工
    彭博电
    新加坡
    2008-05-16

    美林(Merrill Lynch)计划扩展在亚洲的私人银行服务业务,因而将多聘请几百名员工

    根据美林和凯捷顾问公司(Capgemini)去年发布的一项报告,亚太区高净值人士的财富预料在2011年增加8.5%至12万7000亿美元,涨幅仅次于财富增长最快速的中东。摩根士丹利同样看准该市场,准备多聘请员工。

    美林已在去年8月在印度开设财富管理中心。

    除了财富管理,公司也将加强在亚洲的企业财务和销售与交易业务。

    上个月宣布裁退多3000名员工的美林表示在亚洲的裁员行动已近尾声,受影响员工大多来自其日本的商业房地产抵押业务。
    OMG! Why so many hiring?

    Citi is hiring in Singapore. UBS is hiring in Singapore.
    Now Merill Lynch needs a few hundred more.

    Where to find so many bankers in Singapore?

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