Archive for December, 2009

Is Dawson BTO worth subscribing for?

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The 5room flats for SkyVille @ Dawson and SkyTerrace @ Dawson and ranges between $532,000-$643,000.

According to HDB estimates, taking a midpoint pricing for the 5room flats, with a median salary of $6,500, the monthly installment over 30 years would be $2,108.

Gross pay: $6,500
Nett pay (after CPF): 0.8*6500 = $5,200
Mortgage payble via CPF = approx $856
Remaining pay (after mortgage): 5200-(2108-856) = $3,948

Going to the extreme end, because only applicants with salaries $8k and below can apply for new HDB flats, the people buying the most expensive HDB flats would be making at most $8k. Monthly installment would be $2,317.

If you have a car, petrol, car installments, insurance and maintenance costs could easily knock off $1,500 from the remaining pay, making it really tight for a family to get by on. Add in a maid to care for the kids, and that’s another $512 gone. The remaining pay has to pay for property tax, conservancy fees, mobile lines, gas/electricity/water, food, cable, holidays etc.

If the family is debt-free (ie. no credit line or credit card loans to pay off, no car installments to pay), the monthly installments are quite still manageable. If laden with huge financial responsibilities, it’s wiser to get a cheaper flat.

What about looking at it from an investment standpoint?

Comparing the Dawson flat prices with recent sales of resale HDB flats at Strathmore Ave, which is right next to the Dawson site, 5room flats sold between $618,000-$750,000. Comparing to Duxton launch prices of $532,000-$643,000, it’s considered getting the flats at a discount, especially with the 5room-loft units.

Pinnacle @ Duxton is the most recent ‘expensive’ project to be completed. There were some left over units after the 1st round of balloting in 2004, and these units were released in 2008. A $439,400 flat rose 47% over the 4.5 years of construction. Imagine what these flats would be worth, with it’s prime location, in 5 years time, when these new flat owners are then eligible to sell off their flats?

So is Dawson worth subscribing for? If you can afford it, and from an investment standpoint, it seems to make sense. But yet on the other hand, it is a gamble if you’re stretching yourself to pay for the flat. HDB prices could always take a tumble if something happens in future.

How much does Hope cost?

Monday, December 21st, 2009

With the standard of living increasing with each very day, flats costing two arms and two legs, it’s no wonder there’s always a long Q outside the various Singapore Pool outlets. As the line from the local movie The Best Bet goes:  “????????????” Translated, it just means ‘If you buy, at least there’s hope. If you don’t buy, confirm no hope lar!

Recently, a friend of mine migrated to Australia. He told me that in Australia, they’ve taken lottery to a whole new level: You can now buy lottery online, with a just a few clicks! And what’s even more interesting, is that it is not only restricted to Australians, but virtually the whole world. Imagine the amount of revenue collected by the Australian government each year from international gamblers.

I wonder how long it’ll take for Singapore Pools to get online, especially with Singapore on the path to becoming a gambling hub. They already have account phone betting through their ‘Poolz Connect’. Ka-ching! The sweet sound of money rolling into the Government coffers!

I don’t think Singapore’s online lottery will attract much people from around the world though. Our prize pool is too small. Imagine, our lottery only hit amounts as high as $10 million a couple of times a year, whereas Australia’s 2nd January draw is a whopping AUD$30 million, and with weekly lotto draws in the millions! How to compete?

And to encourage people to try them out, the first game is on them. Good marketing I must say. Everything is so streamlined and automated. You pay online, and your winnings are automatically credited into the payment of your choice, which includes paypal.

The odds of being struck by lightning is higher than that of winning the lottery. But the fact that such lotteries exist proves that people would still buy lottery tickets. How much does hope cost? Apparently, hope starts from just $1, and the first one’s on the house!