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Very few Singaporean investors want Iskandar.

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According to a survey from iProperty, only 8 percent of those surveyed said they are interested to buy Iskandar properties. Main reason they are not interested? The recent policy changes. Market has cooled since 2014 because of Real Property Gains Tax as well as the fact that foreigners can only buy property worth RM1 million and above.  The respondents to the survey said that they would buy again only when the policy changes to favour foreign buyers. It then quoted the median price of a 5-room public flat in Ang Mo Kio as being just SGD365,000 and that’s the reason why some Singaporeans would still find Iskandar attractively priced.

First, only 8 percent is interested. If you ask me, I would say this is a great news indeed. It meant that the crazy price increases for the past few years have now gone sane. People are really much more objective and not simply buy because of expectations that the prices would go up ever higher tomorrow. Secondly, this would also meant that the policies implemented has really worked. I would be worried if whatever cooling policies implemented were ineffective or just laughed at by FOREIGNERS buying Iskandar. Of course, the only issue now being how fast can the market then recover since it’s now really oversupply versus the interest level from these foreigners? I quote a Christmas song, ‘Let it slow, let it slow, let it slow.’

Second was the comparison of a public FLAT versus a condo price in Iskandar. I have been to Singapore many times and have stayed in the HDB flats many times. I find these flats to be clean and well maintained. All the lifts are also working and the people staying there do seem good people. I have also been buying a few condos in Malaysia and until today I am also still staying in a condo. Now, the difference of a condo? I have a gym, two saunas, badminton court, tennis court, huge swimming pool, children’s playground, jogging track and even two car park spaces. Seriously, please note these differences and thus, if the said Singaporean family really wants a slightly better environment, it is easy to see why some Singaporean families have made Iskandar their new secondary home.

Third, these respondents said that the policy should be changed to favour the foreigners. I think majority Malaysians should be a little wary of such wants from foreigners? To me, whatever policies implemented should put Malaysians first. No point in doing nothing or encouraging foreign buying to the point that Iskandar’s cost of living become one of the highest in the world like our neighbour. Yes, I agree, when you earn S$ and pays for your food in Singapore, it’s cheaper than if you earn RM and pays for your food in RM BUT have you ever wondered why Singapore is still ranked highest if not highest in the world? The reason is because of property prices. Consider yourself paying S$3 per meal x 3 days x 365 days and it will only be S$3,285. Eat the same for 20 years and this would still only be S$60k plus. Now, tell me, what’s the price of a typical 1,200sf condo in Singapore today? Thanks for answering.  So, always note that property prices MUST be the first to be controlled and policies must help to control it.

I welcome the 8 percent who said they would consider Iskandar. Depending on how big is this group, I think it should be good enough. As a long term investor I prefer an orderly increase and not the sudden increases today which was reasons why so many governments in the world have started cooling measures. Yes, even our neighbour Singapore. Happy investing or waiting.

written on 18 Apr 2015

Next suggested article: 11,900 into Singapore and 50,000 out into Iskandar everyday.

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