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Thread: Where land is finite, home in on opportunity

  1. #1
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    Default Where land is finite, home in on opportunity

    Where land is finite, home in on opportunity

    AUG 20, 2017

    Ex-corporate bigwig enjoys his Bukit Timah home, and relishes his investment properties

    Rachael Boon


    Former corporate bigwig Lim How Teck loves partying at home.

    The effusive former group chief financial officer of Neptune Orient Lines says it would be near impossible for him to live "somewhere with nice rolling land, with the mountain behind and sea in front".

    "I'm not the outdoor type and I'm a social creature. I like to be in a place where I'm surrounded with friends so I can interact with them when I'm old, play mahjong once or twice a week and travel together. I invite friends for lunch every fortnight at 11.30am," says Mr Lim, 67, who sits on the board of at least eight companies.

    Being an affable host means he has to find a suitable place for his soirees, and this is one reason he bought his current 7,600 sq ft home in Bukit Timah.

    His wife is a retired bank officer and his two children, aged 28 and 34, live at home.

    "As I age, I like to hear young voices. Silence is not naturally golden, so hearing the laughter from my neighbours is invigorating. I entertain guests once a month, usually a group of eight people - good friends, business associates. If my children are free, they'll join in as well."

    Q WHAT'S YOUR PROPERTY LIKE?

    A About two years ago, I moved to a cluster housing development that had an emphasis on greenery and being close to nature, which was what I wanted.

    I bought a pair of semi-detached houses for about $4 million each, and asked the developer to allow me to connect them seamlessly to create a "bungalow-style" home. If I were to buy a good-class bungalow (GCB) instead, I wouldn't have as much disposable income.

    The combination has adequate space - 7,600 sq ft, built-in - for the family and a home office, and six dedicated basement carpark spaces to protect my cars, including a Maserati GTS, from the harsh sun.

    Q TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPERTY PORTFOLIO.

    A I own a unique three-apartment combination as a single unit in Upper Bukit Timah Road, with a total gross area of 5,700 sq ft.

    I had two units side by side on the 21st floor, and another unit on the 20th floor directly below one of the upper units that is connected by an internal staircase.

    The common walls between the 21st-floor units were torn down for a bigger open area that became a new living and dining room with a bar counter, bar-wash area, built-in wine chillers and such.

    The new living-and-dining area used to be two dining-and-living rooms, a bedroom and balcony space. It's about 1,500 sq ft and good for entertaining.

    The whole set-up is ideal for three-generation families who love big spaces to entertain relatives and friends. I'm looking for someone who's interested in that to sell it to.

    Suggestions have been made to me to split the three units and sell them separately all over again. I spent $500,000 tearing it down and doing it up. If I have to spend another few hundred thousand to tear it down, it doesn't make sense or add value.

    The first unit, I bought in 1997, the other two units in 2004 - and the combined figure was less than $2 million.

    I have more than three properties. The best investment I made was in a 4,600 sq ft penthouse off Grange Road on the 28th floor. I bought it for slightly over $2 million and renovated it for $300,000. I changed the bathrooms so they are of the standard of a five-star hotel, to suit expatriates.

    In the 20 years I had it, on average I could rent it out for $10,000 a month. I sold it in 2013 at the peak of the property cycle for more than $5 million. My wife was sad as she oversaw the renovations but I said we had to take the profit for that cycle.

    Q DESCRIBE YOUR PROPERTY INVESTING STRATEGY AND MARKET VIEW.

    A The best rental yield comes from a Housing Board (HDB) flat. If you have a three-room HDB flat that cost more than $200,000, you could probably rent it out at $1,800.

    With a GCB which costs 100 times more than the HDB, you're unlikely to get a rental that's 100 times of $1,800, maybe barely 10 times.

    I tell the younger generation there's no stigma in buying HDB. If you're posted overseas to work, you even have the right to rent it out. There's also capital appreciation, and the Government gives a first-time subsidy, so enjoy that.

    I started with an HUDC unit in Braddell View.

    What sort of asset will let you borrow four times the leverage? Also, when you own 10 properties, you don't have to monitor them every day, unlike stocks. With 10 different asset classes, the degree of complexity is much higher.

    Property is the one class that lends itself to this sort of leverage and the ease of earning rental income, which can be used for bank repayments.

    Looking at management of assets as you age, property should be about 40 per cent of your total assets, and 60 per cent in stocks and other investments that allow you to have a higher disposable income and standard of living.

    If you have $30 million worth of assets, you don't want to sink it all into a GCB and have no cash to travel and such. I enjoy a good car, for instance. However, if you have $100 million, that's a different story.

    Instead, I'd consider dividing the investment amount into six medium-sized properties. You can buy a number of penthouses, for instance.

    There is no need to lock up too much money in hard property assets without the flexibility of enjoying the fruits of our labour.

    One of the strategies I subscribe to is: Sell the properties as you age. The first one can be sold at 60 years old, and then, every five years. By 80, you'd have sold four properties and still have two left for your children.

    From 2004 to 2013, the prices of property have gone up three to four times on average. The cooling measures have been in place for quite a while. The total debt servicing ratio has worked wonders in tapering demand, which may not be sustainable. It would be wonderful if the additional buyer's stamp duty for Singaporeans could be relaxed sooner rather than later, as many have been forced to buy their second or third property in Australia or Britain, taking currency risk.

    With the total debt servicing ratio, no one can speculate. Unless you have a lot of money, Singapore is the best place to invest as it has finite land. There is no "worst" property investment if you hold it for the long term.

    Q WHAT'S YOUR OVERALL INVESTING STRATEGY?

    A I invest in private equity, which is about 10 per cent to 15 per cent of my portfolio. Stocks on the Singapore Exchange make up 30 per cent and the rest are in cash.

    I invest a lot in real estate investment trusts (Reits) for dividend yield and prefer them over bonds.

    While Reits are considered equities, people forget the trusts hold assets. When you buy a bond and the firm collapses, that's more dangerous. I've previously held shares in ARA Asset Management, which has been delisted.

    When it comes to private equity, you have to spread your investments thinly as most of those investments die. If you invest in 10 and get four right, that's lucky. Those that get it right should have a return that's three to four times of your investment. One to two times is not ideal.

    Q MY DREAM HOME IS...

    A Still something like my current home, where I can hold more parties, invite people and cook. If I could afford to buy something bigger, I would, but I can't and it's too late. I'd cut the coat according to the cloth and not lament something I can't achieve.

    https://players.brightcove.net/48002...=5544637994001

  2. #2
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    https://www.quandl.com/collections/f...-rebar-futures

    Steel rebar price has increased 40% year to date. Combine with high government land price....next condo launch is set to increase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indomie View Post
    https://www.quandl.com/collections/f...-rebar-futures

    Steel rebar price has increased 40% year to date. Combine with high government land price....next condo launch is set to increase.
    Very easy.

    Don't use steel in construction.

    Don't use water also since water tax is going up.
    The three laws of Kelonguni:

    Where there is kelong, there is guni.
    No kelong no guni.
    More kelong = more guni.

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    why did you guys talk about stuff irrelevant to this article? this is a bullish article about a successful property investor. i wonder whom we should learn from?

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    A Bear will always be a Bear, any indicator only points to the CRASH coming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bargain hunter View Post
    why did you guys talk about stuff irrelevant to this article? this is a bullish article about a successful property investor. i wonder whom we should learn from?
    This is the high floor unit he wish somebody will appreciate it like him.

    http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/listi...ale-bukit-view

    Does anyone know which cluster is he staying in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HP65 View Post
    This is the high floor unit he wish somebody will appreciate it like him.

    http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/listi...ale-bukit-view

    Does anyone know which cluster is he staying in?
    i'm trying to figure out. any ideas? he mentioned unit 79 and 80 he says in the video. where in bukit timah? hmm...

    as for that listing that he is trying to sell, i think he is dreaming. its actually beauty world centre. 99 year leasehold is from 1979! not 1999...

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    Bukit View is a 99-years Leasehold condominium located at Upper Bukit Timah Road in District D21. Bukit View is close to Beauty World MRT DT5.

    Amenities near Bukit View

    Bukit View is a short drive to Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. It is also not far from several schools such as Methodist Girls' Secondary School, Hong Wen School and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

    Bukit View is accessible via Bukit Timah Road and Pan Island Expressway (PIE).

    Development Name: Bukit View
    Property Type: Condominium
    Developer: LEONIE COURT PTE LTD
    Tenure: 99-year Leasehold
    Completion Year: 1999
    # of Units: 80

    Confirm you are not RES trained.

    http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/listi...ale-bukit-view

  9. #9
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    Property Name:Bukit View Condominium
    Property Type:Apartment
    Built:1984
    Developer:N.A.
    Tenure:99 years from 18/09/1979
    No. of Units:80

    https://www.srx.com.sg/condo/bukit-view-condominium-415

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    Bukit View is a 99-years Leasehold condominium located at Upper Bukit Timah Road in District D21. Bukit View is close to Beauty World MRT DT5.

    Amenities near Bukit View

    Bukit View is a short drive to Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. It is also not far from several schools such as Methodist Girls' Secondary School, Hong Wen School and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

    Bukit View is accessible via Bukit Timah Road and Pan Island Expressway (PIE).

    Development Name: Bukit View
    Property Type: Condominium
    Developer: LEONIE COURT PTE LTD
    Tenure: 99-year Leasehold
    Completion Year: 1999
    # of Units: 80

    Confirm you are not RES trained.

    http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/listi...ale-bukit-view
    Quote Originally Posted by agentg View Post
    Property Name:Bukit View Condominium
    Property Type:Apartment
    Built:1984
    Developer:N.A.
    Tenure:99 years from 18/09/1979
    No. of Units:80

    https://www.srx.com.sg/condo/bukit-view-condominium-415
    just to summarize everything, bukit view IS the residential component of Beauty World Centre. the lease CONFIRMED started from 1979

  11. #11
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    http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infoped...009-02-13.html

    Beauty World Centre
    Beauty World suffered from several bouts of fire, including two major incidents on 20 April 1975 and 7 August 1977.19 Due to the traffic, health, fire, electrical and drainage hazards posed by the park, the government acquired the land for redevelopment in 1975.20 By the mid-’70s, talks had been underway to relocate the tenants and shopkeepers to a nearby site.21 In January 1984, the new Beauty World Centre, a S$45-million residential-cum-retail building, was completed across the road from its old site.22 Most of the tenants and shopkeepers resettled there.23 Next to Beauty World Centre is the privately developed Beauty World Plaza, also a shopping centre-cum-residential development that was completed two years earlier in 1982.24

    In 1989, ownership of Beauty World Centre transferred from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to Pidemco Holdings – a newly formed subsidiary company under URA.25 A decade later, Pidemco sold the shopping centre for nearly S$80 million to 194 individual buyers through the Beauty World Centre Merchants Association.26

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    "I bought a pair of semi-detached houses for about $4 million each, and asked the developer to allow me to connect them seamlessly to create a "bungalow-style" home."

    i am surprised that the developer entertained his request. i requested once to change the configuration of a toilet, to make it 2 doors so that both bedrooms can access the toilet, and it was rejected. the reason given was that developer have to submit change of plan to BCA, if they don't submit the new plan, it will not pass the TOP inspection. so if i want to make the toilet 2 doors, i will have to do it myself after TOP.

    on the other hand, i should not be so surprised since the guy was a corporate big-wig, everybody who's who know everybody else.

    i wonder whether the process of joining 3 condo into 1 (or 2 cluster landed into 1) is as difficult as splitting 1 condo into 2.
    http://www.stproperty.sg/articles-pr...thouse/a/58225
    "to subdivide the strata lots – a process that required approval from the URA, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) with regard to parking provision, and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), which agreed to the redistribution of the strata lot last October."

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    Somebody paid for him.

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