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Interesting article that sums up things for me in Singapore

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UKSIngDubai
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Interesting article that sums up things for me in Singapore

Postby UKSIngDubai » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 8:20 pm

Just thought I would post this link to an article as its a good summary for me about Singapore. I have been here since 2011 and lately I have found myself reading a lot on this forum.
This is due to me trying to make sense of things as my job ended here and I am relocating to Dubai for work, after feeling quite settled here in Singapore. I have really enjoyed my time here and hope to return at some point. As hopefully I am going to do some research covering Dubai and Singapore.

http://theindependent.sg/blog/2014/08/0 ... ingapores/

Cheers

Andy

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Postby Wd40 » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 8:55 pm

Interesting! For some reason, Dubai has never allured me as destination alternative to Singapore. I have always considered Australia, NZ, UK, HK and the US as alternatives.

How easy is it to find work in Dubai for a foreigner? How are the salaries compared to Singapore?

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Postby Brah » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 11:19 pm

Wd40 wrote:Interesting! For some reason, Dubai has never allured me as destination alternative to Singapore. I have always considered Australia, NZ, UK, HK and the US as alternatives.

How easy is it to find work in Dubai for a foreigner? How are the salaries compared to Singapore?

Question is (sorry Andy), would you really want to live there?

When the ME used to pay outrageously high salaries, it was probably a good idea, not sure they do that anymore.

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Postby UKSIngDubai » Sun, 03 Aug 2014 11:44 pm

Brah wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Interesting! For some reason, Dubai has never allured me as destination alternative to Singapore. I have always considered Australia, NZ, UK, HK and the US as alternatives.

How easy is it to find work in Dubai for a foreigner? How are the salaries compared to Singapore?

Question is (sorry Andy), would you really want to live there?

When the ME used to pay outrageously high salaries, it was probably a good idea, not sure they do that anymore.



Well to be honest when I came to Singapore I thought I may look for a job in Australia after south-east Asia. But you cannot predict these things.
I know a lot more about trying to find work in Singapore (difficult and frustrating) than in Dubai.
I came here looking for a job after a 'sabbatical'. While Dubai is more like a transfer really so I will go there having worked with colleagues before in Singapore..
Dubai seems to be on the up again so they may not be gift wrapping expat packages anymore but then again who does these days.
I imagine its probably still tough to find work like Singapore. But will see whether its a place moving forward.
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
—André Gide

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:50 am

Very interesting link, thanks for posting. It read to me as a like a summary front-page 'proposition' for say an MA thesis. Very cogently thought through and expressed.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 04 Aug 2014 9:04 am

The one thing that was glossed over that is going to really make an impact in, say 20 more years, is the fact that the following isn't entirely true...

Singapore’s transition is likely to be much less wrenching and destabilizing. First, the city-state is nowhere near as repressive as the (military) dictatorships in South Korea and Taiwan that ruled until the 1980s. Equally important is the fact that the vast majority of Singaporeans are homeowners. A home-owning society is far less likely to upset the apple cart of stability and prosperity.


HDB flats only have a 99 year lease and while that not too much of a concern at the moment, once those flats are over say 50 years old, (some are getting close already) they are not going to be easily sold and the people living there will no longer be able to afford to buy something newer and will not be able to monetize their flats either. This is going to create a huge problem in the future as the CPF situation is not going to allow enough income for those people who lose their flats to be able to rent either. It's no wonder why they want to immigrate as it painfully obvious that there is going to be a problem later and the government seems to be closing one eye, hoping the problem will disappear while they still hold onto the "no welfare" mantra. This is not a home owning society at all, when the vast majority (e.g., 85%) only "lease" the property, so you cannot create any lasting wealth to pass on to your grandchildren. That means the majority of Singaporeans wealth is like the wealth that they send to the deceased at a Taoist funeral, all paper and worth nothing unless you can sell and immigrate, taking it with you and buying freehold property or at least 999 year property.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:02 am

There will have to be some plan from the government. Either a very low cost renewal option or a very inexpensive option on a new property. The system will collapse (be it the economy, government, or implied social compact society lives under with the government) if they just start letting those leases expire and dumping people cold turkey into a property market orders of magnitude beyond their reach. My guess is we'll see a few various layers of subsidization schemes to cover the shortfall that will further delay the the issue for a few decades.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:46 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:That means the majority of Singaporeans wealth is like the wealth that they send to the deceased at a Taoist funeral, all paper and worth nothing unless you can sell and immigrate, taking it with you and buying freehold property or at least 999 year property.


Yes I agree, and we've discussed this before. It's a ticking time-bomb and I'm surprised that policy seems to be lagging the predictable facts of the matter.

You don't need say a 999yr lease, or even 125yrs. 100yrs is OK too, if you have a statutory right to extend it at some point in the future. That's how it works in the UK, and indeed I've just recently exercised my statutory right to extend (which means, adding 90 years to the remaining term) a lease on one apartment. The original 100yr lease from the 1970s had run down to about 60yrs remaining. That meant most banks wouldn't advance a mortgage on it, they require mortgage term i.e. 25yrs + 50+ years remaining at end of mortgage term = minimum initial term = 75yrs.

So if you were selling, as was, you'd be limited to cash buyers. And smaller market = lower value. So now it's say 60yrs+90yrs=150yrs remaining, and now I'm selling it as a far more attractive proposition.

I've said it before. The magic number seems to 75yrs remaining. A lot of people don't want to consider touching a place with a remaining lease shorter than what they subconsciously perceive as some kind of typical lifespan. That together with ability to finance it.

In the UK almost everyone rented up until WW1. The latter was something of a great social equaliser, and the annihilation of much of the UK economy rebalanced things. This occurred again in WW2, after which home-ownership was becoming an expectation. Nowadays if you announced to your friends that you weren't interested in home-ownership and intended to rent for life, they would think you were entirely and irreconcilably mad.

But it wasn't until circa 1970-80 when you started to see pressure for legislation to extend a lease. Perhaps by then post-WW2 leasehold buyers were being faced with sub 75yr leases and no means to extend.

It's surprising it's not more of a visible issue here in SG. The value of a remaining lease tend to track an exponential curve downwards. A lease of say 50yrs is not worth 50% of a 100yr one, it might be worth 25%, and it getting uglier, faster, from there...

Surely the government have a plan for this, as it is an elephant in the room. And the longer it's left, the bigger the elephant gets. And the more expensive the issue becomes.

So say you have 'Granny Chang' in her HDB, on a remaining and rapidly depreciating 45 year lease. It's worth (if freehold or long lease) say $500k, but on 45yrs maybe just $150k. To extend it (IF she could), would be circa $350k, but she's retired on a modest pension. Pity her inheritors, as it is, someone is going to be handing the keys back to the government when that flat hits 0yrs.

In light of the zero-discussion of this, presumably the population at large don't see the impending issue, the 'impending exponential s***-storm' looming on the horizon: Or perhaps they somehow imagine the government are going to magic-up a solution, that would seem to have to be the equivalent of granting to pensioners billions of free inheritable wealth.

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Postby Brah » Mon, 04 Aug 2014 7:29 pm

You said "difficult and frustrating", and I would agree especially given your time frame here, when it it was well past the time when it was anything but that.

On one hand, I have to wonder where is not difficult and frustrating; on the other, my guess is other places are by comparison less difficult and frustrating.

For me the wild card is the US - it seems to be better than before, but seems a lot of people are still struggling.


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