Lamentation on Properties and Coffin Apartments

Did anyone read the Weekend Business Times and the One Devonshire caveat at SGD1,192 psf ?

“Madness !” “I want !” , Some of the comments I have heard.

In the past 3 months, I know about a dozen people who have bought a property. And I thought I was special because I considered a property investment. Now I feel special because I have not bought anything.

Drove behaviour is indeed a powerful phenomenon when it comes to the masses. From Singapore condos to shoe boxes off shore.

The latest London ads I have been getting advertise for shoe boxes in Covent Gardens, 400 sq ft for just over GBP2,000 psf and a sweet spot price of under a million pounds.

Ok. If that sounds a tad higher, why not Baltimore Towers over at Canary Wharf and a stone’s throw away from Morgan Stanley going for just SGD1,600 psf  ?

So the article is published. London Homes A Big Draw For Singapore Investors with the second largest home builder in the UK by market value, proclaiming Singaporeans account for their largest investor base outside the UK.

500,000 pounds for 400 sq ft is something we can definitely afford. But a friend did buy a traditional Welsh pub with a 300 year history for just 200,000 pounds.

Stampede for property at Battersea power station as £600MILLION worth of flats sell out in just four days
UK property disparities we recently found an entire street in Wales u cld buy for the price of a flat in Belgravia …

Smart folks also bought heavily into Iskandar last year. Those who bothered to read between the lines of all the GLCs investments there. Hints, hints and more hints. Hospice facilities, old people homes, expat communities, retirement villages and such.

SGD 1.5 million for a bungalow in a gated community – double gated too with 2 teams of security officers, just in case one goes awry.

KL is where my ex boss retired to. Scotsman, that he is, settling for a, presumably, double gated community.

I had looked at KL Sentral and also the Marc 2 some 6 years back. MYR 600 psf for KL Sentral had looked expensive then till they decided to move the slum across the road away.

Then another brilliant idea struck me ! For CDL and Capitaland !

Coffin Apartments ! Apartments that double up as coffins  !!!

Japanese Living in ‘Coffin’ Apartments in Overcrowded Tokyo…

Can I patent this ? In additional to my PCV idea (price per cubic volume) ? This should definitely be endorsed given our aging population and worries of overcrowding.

I conclude, I am just a liquid asset person. My time frame is at most 3-5 years.

Properties are a lifetime commitment and not speculative assets. I just find it too hard to commit to a brick and mortar investment that I will probably not live in. That is why I am not a happy multi-multi millionaire, missing some good deals over the past decade, with the exception of my own house now which I paid SGD 300 psf in 2003 for (less than what the former owner paid in 1992).

For the life of me and any iota of intelligence, I do not know how to derive the value of a shoe box in the air even with the assumptions of rental returns and armed with an arsenal of bond math equations.

I missed out many a Australian farm of 10,000 hectares for AUD 250,000 only ! (early 2000’s) and those nice tracts in Malaysia of 1,000 acres for MYR 500,000. If only it had been fad then, when I was looking at them.

Its just all the unknowns that keep me back. Like an auntie who lives in the UK but owned too many properties there, found a squatter in her Surrey manor whom she could not evict (until last year when they disposed of the Squatter Law).

This property phenomenon is only going to lead to one thing, i.m.o. (a fashionable acronym these days). Less propensity to spend. Savings. Cut backs.

Numbers are starting to show up in last month’s retail sales and almost all PMIs (Purchasing Manager’s Index) that came out yesterday so please do not blame Norway’s results on the CNY holidays like China claims.

My next piece is on the Argument for Austerity.

Meanwhile, my son thinks he has discovered the latest Gangnam style fad to hit Singapore.

Presenting the most heard song amongst the Primary 6 cohort.