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Its amazing how soon perspectives can change...

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Wd40
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Its amazing how soon perspectives can change...

Postby Wd40 » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 8:45 pm

Around this time last year I was so bullish about my life here in Singapore. I though everything is perfect here. Job is good. Family is happy. This is the place to call home. Save up to buy a house.

Now one year later. Everything has turned upside down. Job no longer secure. Not so good prospects outside. But the rental and real estate market is just out of touch with reality it is still chugging along. In this environment I would dare not buy a house.

Exactly last year when I saw my friends buying houses, I was so envious of them and the regular water cooler topic used to be rental prices, COV and about buying house. This time however those very friends are shit scared and rueing their decision of buying and I am glad not to be their shoes.

Anyone else feels the same?

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Postby Brah » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 8:58 pm

I generally don't respond to posters who are new as I don't know if they're some local entity fishing for "the expat view" (this happens a lot on another forum so pardon me if I'm wrong here), but I suppose it's no secret that we've been saying things to this effect on another active thread for some time now.

In a word, yes.

Some have left recently, some are leaving soon, some have one foot out the door (like me). I don't know anyone who is excited about coming here now, and I'm not sure how many are still excited to be here anymore, mostly for the reasons you've mentioned.

There's a few articles on EFC that are testimony to the picture you've painted.

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Postby v4jr4 » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:05 pm

I haven't decided where to stand. Although some of my friends are pretty much "ruined" by new regulations, I always remember this: sh*t happens, no matter what.

<Rant> On the other hand, Indonesia has made a draft for denomination. 1 K IDR will become 1 IDR, in which, I'll say WTF. The inflation rate is moving too fast, while the citizens are pretty much struggling with slow-but-sure income. So, yeah. SGD is still strong up to now, but who knows. </Rant>
"Budget Expat"

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Postby offshoreoildude » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:10 pm

You should always plan to leave.... in my case I have property back home and in my wife's country and we can rent out our place here for some additional income. I moved here with a suitcase and I'll leave with only one some 30 years later.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby v4jr4 » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:17 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:You should always plan to leave.... in my case I have property back home and in my wife's country and we can rent out our place here for some additional income. I moved here with a suitcase and I'll leave with only one some 30 years later.


+1
"Budget Expat"

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Re: Its amazing how soon perspectives can change...

Postby taxico » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:33 pm

Wd40 wrote:...But the rental and real estate market is just out of touch with reality it is still chugging along. In this environment I would dare not buy a house.

Exactly last year when I saw my friends buying houses, I was so envious of them and the regular water cooler topic used to be rental prices, COV and about buying house.

This time however those very friends are shit scared and rueing their decision of buying and I am glad not to be their shoes...


i know many asian expats that still (like last saturday) feel it's a better deal paying off a housing loan than rental to a landlord. they're flushed with cash from selling their house back home, i guess.

others i have advised, as recently as Q1 this year, that if they plan AND can be here for 4-5 years (longer is better), they should consider buying a residential property to live in... but prices sure have gone crazy since then.

although i no longer tell people that, i am still sticking by it. so, if you can't be sure you're able to stay for >3 years (there are certain jobs that guarantee that regardless of economic and political sentiment) i don't think you should buy property.

2c

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Postby Sergei82 » Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:07 pm

I'm already here for 3+ years and I do not even think about buying ANY property here. Prices are unrealistically high + 10% take out and give away for being an ugly foreign mug.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 9:22 am

No one (smart) buys here for the short term - the flipping days are over. I bought to reduce my cash outlay ($3500 on rent - now $2000 plus tax/sinking fund on my own place). However every month when I see the loan amnt go down and the equity go up I know I did the right thing. I don't intend on selling - this place will be part of my retirement portfolio or it will go en blok (9 storey place on a large block with 36 storey approval). I don't care if the value drops 20%, I don't really care if it jumps 20%. I have 30% equity in it but most of that was CPF which was tied up anyways. It's not an easy decision to buy in a foreign land but Singapore makes it about a painless process (pre ABSD) as can be.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 11:56 am

Thanks everybody. Very sound advices indeed.
I think everyone of us agrees with the point that its better to buy if you plan to stay here for long term(although definition of long term varies from people to people) but the thing is perspectives here change so fast and that's mainly got to do with job security feeling. The fact that market here is so tiny doesn't help. Just like you have the purchasing managers index, if there was an index about job security perception amongst expats, I would imagine that at this point it's is at an all time low, even lower than what it was during the Lehman crash.

However the property market during the Lehman crash was also crashing, however this time around even though the jobs situation is worse the property market stays put, I guess because everyone knows that this time central banks won't let the Lehman kind of thing happen again and keep printing money and keep interest at 0%.

So taking that into perspective, it's tough for even the boldest of expats to buy property at these prices, because even though property prices may not fall off like last time, you may not have a job that is satisfactory enough both pay wise or role wise to continue living here.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 12:00 pm

offshoreoildude wrote: It's not an easy decision to buy in a foreign land but Singapore makes it about a painless process (pre ABSD) as can be.


And just the periodic public service announcement: If you're American, Icelandic, or Swiss, you don't have to pay ABSD.

Edit: Liechtenstein and Norway also can

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 12:09 pm

During the Lehman crash, if I remember correctly singapore jobs were not that badly hit, it true there were a few layoffs here and there, but many jobs moved from the developed world to here and actually lots of expats came here during that time.

This time however jobs are moving out of Singapore, almost every major company now is saying that costs here have gone up. The exchange rate has gone up, cost of living has gone up. It's difficult to attract talent to come and work in Singapore at salaries that they could offer couple of years ago. Singapore is no longer a strategic location for anything anymore for most companies. It's just a slow wind up of business and transition phase over the next couple of years.

I am one of those who came here just following the Lehman crash and I feel more insecure now than I ever felt before.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 1:46 pm

Wd40 wrote:During the Lehman crash, if I remember correctly singapore jobs were not that badly hit, it true there were a few layoffs here and there, but many jobs moved from the developed world to here and actually lots of expats came here during that time.

This time however jobs are moving out of Singapore, almost every major company now is saying that costs here have gone up. The exchange rate has gone up, cost of living has gone up. It's difficult to attract talent to come and work in Singapore at salaries that they could offer couple of years ago. Singapore is no longer a strategic location for anything anymore for most companies. It's just a slow wind up of business and transition phase over the next couple of years.

I am one of those who came here just following the Lehman crash and I feel more insecure now than I ever felt before.


And yet... in the oil and gas industry I see Hali opening up a huge R and D centre in Tuas, SLM moving back in, WFT opening up a new facility in Loyang, Loyang itself being renewed, BHI moving people back.... it just depends on the industry you're in I guess.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby Brah » Sat, 08 Dec 2012 7:23 pm

I would really, really like to see this thread, and maybe the manpower one, in front of the local masses. Not so much for the masses, though it would probably be a good swift KITA, but more so to the Powers That Be.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 10:10 am

For a person that was born in Indonesia and received my schooling in Singapore then on lived here for more than 35 years of my life, I never regretted once leaving this sinking island. I have done my duties as NS personnel , served in a few Ministries, and the country, for I belief in patriotism and fighting for the motherland.
Now, turning 60 very soon, and comparing Singapore with other places that I am living, could not feel but relieved with the call I made to get out of Singapore.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby Brah » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 12:15 pm

Interesting to hear, MS.

To be honest, I have yet to hear anyone who has lived here, liked it, and left, saying that they missed living here; I have heard mostly the opposite.

That is not to say they regretted their experience, I think in more cases than not they liked it, and that it was more of a been-there-done-that kind of thing.

There are two variables - people returning to their home countries, and people moving on to other countries.


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