There's nothing like a quiet property market to start looking for that dream house. Or to begin doing research on buying that investment property which can turn into a cash cow to help see one through the golden years. With attractive loan packages offered by banks and interest absorption schemes extended by developers, some potential home buyers may find they can make the numbers work for them.
Tenants may also look forward to renewing leases at more earth-bound rental rates, whether it's for condos or prime offices.
But do your homework before getting carried away with the euphoria of wanting to strike a good deal with your landlord. Office occupiers in particular will have to take into account considerations like pressures to cut costs immediately even though the leases may expire only next year. A mutually beneficial lease restructuring could result in a win-win situation for both tenant and landlord.
And for those eyeing overseas properties, a mix of price declines and currency movements could make an appealing cocktail. For instance, London residential real estate prices have fallen 20-30 per cent from the bubble heights in late 2007. Combined with a weak sterling, prices for Singaporeans and other foreign investors are at 40 to 60 per cent discounts from the top.
Articles in this supplement should provide you some guidance in your quest to unearth real estate gems during this slump.
Of course, it would be wise to adopt an investment time-frame of at least five to seven years. As even some veteran developers advise from time to time, buying a property should be a long-term commitment, not a short-term flip motivated by prospects of reaping overnight gains. This lesson is being learnt all too painfully once again.
Source: Business Times, 26 Mar 2009