China-US Trade War

Trade War

The trade war between China and the USA is having an impact on the health of global trade and since the economy of Singapore depends to a great extend on global trading; it is expected to get affected too.

Trade War
Trade War – Economic health of Singapore

As per Analysts, though this trade friction had limited impact on the Singapore’s economy till date, but its negative impact could become more noticeable in the latter part of this year and beyond.

The government has already announced that Singapore’s exports have fallen by 2.6% in last November as a result of fall of demand in China. Though many of the tariffs directly do not affect Singapore, but still they have a spill over effect on the country as Singapore plays a big role in global supply chains.

As per the Central Bank, The backbone of Singapore’s manufacturing sector i.e. the electronics segment is expected to suffer because of its links with China in the global supply chain.

Singapore’s largest export is Oil. Naturally, Oil Industry is also expected to suffer as a result of this trade conflict.

Also it is worthy of mention, that Singapore has one of the world’s busiest ports and hence transportation industry which connects the west with Asia is bound to feel the negative impacts too.

Singapore’s property market is also most likely to slow down in 2019. Since the property price is already high in Singapore, foreign investors are taking a back seat. To deal with this current situation, our Government is taking measures to keep the property prices down as well. Moreover, the resale value of HDB flats is expected to decline in 2019 too. The market trend shows that buyers are less interested in the HDB flats at the moment and hence resale of property has been slowing down.

Singapore's property market
Singapore’s property market – most likely to slow down in 2019.

Saying all these, there are also some silver linings to this ongoing Trade war.

  • Singapore Government has already tightened its monetary policy in accordance with this war so that the losses are negligible as far as it can be.
  • As an outcome of this Trade war, even if the factories of the corresponding companies relocates to nearby countries, Singapore still would benefit indirectly if the companies’ head offices are set up here in Singapore too.
  • Ministry of Manpower highlighted, that the labor market is still doing well under this trade war pressure. Total employment is expected to improve further this year and Wages are also rising.
  • Economists have pointed out that, since Singapore trades in diversified sectors and have a strong trading network, it will help the companies to acquire new opportunities, alternative suppliers and demand markets.

Hence, saying all this, It is quite obvious that a prolonged Trade War will surely have a severe impact on Global Economy. At this point we can only hope that this Trade war will come to an end with the best economic decisions between China and US and global economic interests will be safeguarded.

Trade War.
Economists hope that this Trade war will come to an end with the best economic decisions between China and US.

Should we invest on a Condominium or an HDB?

Property Agent

When it comes to buying a property, Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Nevertheless, everyone desires to be the owner of a property. In this regard, there is another concern of the residents of Singapore. People here are always in the dilemma between buying an HDB (Public Housing Apartments) and a Condominium.

Various factors controls our decision whether to choose an HDB or a Condo. These factors include our eligibility, our lifestyle, legal matters etc.

The following are some of the reasons to choose a Condominium over an HDB.

  • Better facilities – A condo is well planned for its resident’s comfort. It comes not only with comfortable latest design interiors but pool, gym, barbeque, play stations for children, badminton courts, community halls etc. All these facilities help us to decide on taking a condo. The convenience of having all these facilities at our doorstep is a big advantage for sure.
Condominium
A Condominium with facilities for comfortable living.
  • Condominiums are open to all types of buyers including the foreigners –There are no restrictions on foreign ownership when it comes to buying a condominium.
  • No restrictions on ownership of other properties – When we own a condominium, we can still go ahead and purchase other properties at the same time.
  • Condominiums give us privacy – Singapore is a high-density city. If you are a person who prefers privacy then living in a condo is all what you would want. Privacy that comes along with a condo is something you do not get in an HDB.
  • If we go for a condominium, then we can opt for a progressive payment scheme as well.
  • Condominiums are more pet-friendly- In HDBs, usually certain breeds of dogs and cats are restricted from ownership. However, this is not the case in a condo.

The following are some of the reasons to choose an HDB (Public Housing Apartments) over a Condominium.  

  • It’s safe – Though HDBs are public housings, but it is quite safe for the residents even at late night. People do not encounter any problems.
  • Prices of HDBs are made affordable for the public – Keeping commoners in mind, prices of HDBs have been made quite affordable and decent which helps us to decide to buy HDBs.
HDB in Singapore
Affordable HDBs for all.
  • HDBs have good resale value – When we think of re sale, HDBs have good re-sale value.
  • HDB conservancy fees are lesser than even condo maintenance fees. 

However whether it is a Condominium or an HDB, we always need a property agent to help us find the perfect house. In this context it is also worthy of mention that sometimes it gets a bit difficult and tiring to get a good agent.

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Property Agent
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Landlord vs. Tenant Responsibilities and Maintenance

Property agents - solution to issues between landlords and tenants

In case of house renting, both the parties the Landlord and the Tenant are always in question that who is responsible for what work. That is why, a well done rental agreement with the help of a property agent is very important so that there can be proper understanding of each one’s contractual obligation to maintain the property.

Landlord and Tenant facing issues regarding maintenance of the property.
Landlord and Tenant arguing over contractual obligations

The following are some of the Tenant’s Maintenance Responsibilities – 

  • Tenants in general are expected to keep the property clean and avoid any damages to the property deliberately.
  • As per contract, the Tenants might need to replace batteries of smoke detectors and fire alarms in order to make sure they are working properly.
  • Disposing the trash is a very important daily work of the Tenants.
  • When it comes to Pest control, it is tenant’s responsibility to properly maintain the sanitation of the house so that there are no insecticides or infestation. If the tenant does not keep a clean home, the landlord may deduct some amount from the tenant’s security deposit as per the lease.
  • Waste management is a very important matter for good hygiene. It definitely falls under tenant’s responsibility to properly dispose of any garbage which otherwise could contribute to pest infestations and diseases.
  • When it comes to plumbing or air conditioning, it is Tenant’s responsibility to use these fixtures properly. He should keep the pipes clear and replace the air filters too. He should report any issues to the landlord quickly to prevent further damages without any delay so that the landlord can take care of the issue accordingly.
  • At the time of the signing of contract, if Landscaping maintenance is already mentioned as a clause, then the tenant has to take care of it accordingly as otherwise, he can be fined for violating the contract.
  • Tenant should return the property in the same condition as it was at the time of the lease term. If there are any damages then the tenant needs to fix it before the handover or the landlord has the right to deduct the expenses from the tenant’s security deposit.
Rental Agreement
Rental agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant – for proper understanding of each one’s contractual obligation to maintain the property.

The following are some of the Landlord’s Maintenance Responsibilities – 

  • When it comes to plumbing or air conditioning, it is the landlord’s responsibility to keep these systems in working condition and fixing any kind of problems with regards to these.
  • It is owner’s responsibility to do the pest control if there is an infestation.
  • The common areas like the elevators and other common-use areas also fall under landlord’s responsibility to keep them properly safe and clean.
  • It is the landlord’s responsibility to keep the premises of the house in a reasonable state and in compliance with the safety laws.
  • All the mentioned appliances, in the contract should be kept in working order by the landlord.
  • The landlord is responsible for most of the repairs of the home like the interior and exterior of the house, doors and windows, stairs, roof, electrical wiring, chimneys, pipes and drains, gas appliances etc

Intervention of the Property Agents – 

Throughout the period of the tenancy, either parties of the contract, i.e. the landlord and tenant might face some issues that are difficult to resolve alone all by themselves. In such cases, both the parties look for a third party to mediate and resolve the problem. Here comes in the role of one of the property agents who handled the rental transaction. In many cases the respective agent steps into the matter and tries to bring a solution to the problem.

However, it is true that it is not a mandatory responsibility of the Agent to resolve such issues but some agents does step in to help and solve landlord-tenant problems simply out of goodwill. Again in some cases, the parties formally engage their agent to manage their property.

Property Agents are professionals with adequate knowledge in their field and hence can easily resolve difficult issues. Hence it is always better to bring in our Agents so that the solution can be surfaced at ease.

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Property agents - solution to issues between landlords and tenants
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