Posts Tagged ‘properties’

The First Retirement Resort Rises in Bukit Timah

January 5th, 2014



Spend your twilight years in sheer comfort, at the very first retirement resort in Singapore. The Hillford is an integrated development in Bukit Timah, intended specifically for active, self-sufficient senior citizens. It’s set to contain six residential buildings and one commercial building, featuring a range of modern amenities and community spaces.

The commercial area will showcase 18 shop units that will help make living at the Hillford even more enjoyable. All the basics will be just outside your door – there will be establishments like restaurants, a convenience store, and a mini mart. There are also spaces reserved for services like clinics, pharmacies, laudromats and a beauty parlor. The end of the commercial block is allocated for community and institutional spaces, and is intended for a child care facility as well as a senior care center.

The residential buildings however, will contain 281 upscale condominium units, including one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments. There will even be lavish two-bedroom dual-key units facing the pool. Each home is expressly designed to provide the utmost convenience for senior residents, with its smooth layout and easy-to-use fixtures. Every bedroom will have lights that can be switched on and off from two different switches; one switch will be by the door, and the other will be right by the bed. All switches are to be large, soft-touch contraptions that are easy even for the elderly to manage. Electrical sockets, taps, handles, and door levers will allow an easy, comfortable access and placed at a convenient height. Bathrooms will be installed with hassle-free sliding doors, as well as an emergency call button. The same emergency call system will also be affixed in the bedrooms, so residents can easily call for help whenever needed.

The concierge will be operational 24 hours daily, ready to receive emergency alerts at any time of the day. It’s also there to see to any need that the residents may have.

The Hillford is envisioned to enclose a delightful tropical resort atmosphere, complete with a number of swimming pools, a pavilion, and a sunshine deck. Imagine – an aqua aerobic pool, a dip pool, a spa pool, and a splash pool all in one place. To keep things lively, the resort will have a manager dedicated to organizing activities for the residents.

A host of other amenities will also be made available in the first and second levels. There will be health and wellness facilities, including a fitness station, an indoor gym, and a workout spot. There will also be a wellness corner, a reflexology garden, meditation areas, and nice exercise spaces. To promote a balanced sense of well-being, there are a number of gardens, lawns, and relaxing lounge spaces where you can ease out and take a breather. Moreover, there will be places for just hanging out, like reading corners, picnic areas, a social hall, the Chillout Point, and the Meeting Place. There will even be a theatrette, a tea gazebo, a mini golfing green, a Blue Lagoon, an eco trail, an eco pond, an al fresco dining pavilion, and a gourmet garden grill. All you need will be there – what more can you hope for?

As the development is intended to be a safe and pleasurable haven, particularly for aged citizens, both the commercial and residential areas will be equipped with handicapped-friendly car parking slots and facilities.

But what about the surrounding neighborhood? The 10,170-square meter site sits along Jalan Jurong Kechil, and is nicely nestled among the lush landscape of District 11. It’s within the vicinity of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok Nature Park, and the Upper Pierce Reservoir. There are also a couple of parks nearby, like the Mayfair Park and the Clementi Neighborhood Park. A short distance away is the Bukit Batok Town Park, which is one of the most notable attractions in the zone; it’s also known as Little Guilin because of the rock formations that echo the scenery in Guilin, China.

Apart from being a nature-lover’s dream, District 11 is packed with myriad commercial and recreational establishments to enrich your life. A number of sports centers and golf clubs are just a short drive away. There’s the Jurong Country Club, Green Fairways Golf Course, the British Club, the Swiss Club, The Bukit Timah Saddle Club, the Cage Sports Park, and the Rainforest Sports Hub.

The neighborhood also offers a top-notch selection of shopping and dining options. A couple of blocks from the Hillford are some malls like Bukit Timah Shopping Center, Bukit Timah Plaza, Beauty World Center, and Beauty World Plaza. Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre is also close by. A few more blocks away, you’d find Cold Storage (King Albert Park), Giant, the Grandstand, as well as Oscar’s Food Mall.

Nearby schools include Willow Nursery, Glory Kindergarten, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary, Bukit Batok Primary, the German European School, Canadian International School, Dimensions International College, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Also within the surrounding area are a number of clinics and medical insitutions, like St. Luke’s, National University Hospital, Bukit Timah Nam Sang Clinic, Silver Cross Family Clinic, Zhin Yang Chinese Traditional Medical Hall, Fortis Colorectal Hospital, and Fosa Phisio Therapy Center.

The Hillford is also seamlessly connected to the rest of the city. Jalan Jurong Kechil joins Bukit Timah Road, which leads to Clementi Road and the PIE. Nearby MRT stations include the Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak, and Clementi Stations, all of which are on the North/South Line. The second stage of the Downtown Line is slated to be completed in two years or so, placing new stations at Beauty World and King Albert Park, both near enough to walk from The Hillford.

Isn’t this retirement resort a brilliant idea? It’s a project of World Class Land, a reputable property developer known to pay attention to details concerning the comfort of residents. You can be assured that they will deliver only their best work for the elderly residents.

The Hillford is a sixty year leasehold which will be fully operational by the end of 2020, but you can start moving in in the middle of November of 2017. Homes at The Hillford are cleverly designed and reasonably priced. As retirement is a personal choice, there isn’t a specified age for home buyers. If you’d like to invest in a unit at The Hillford, you’d likely need some help comparing Singapore housing loans. See an iCompareLoan Mortgage Broker so he can offer his professional assistance.

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Higher Rental Yield Thailand Properties – Is It Worth It?

December 22nd, 2013


With property cooling measures in Singapore, many property buyers are looking elsewhere outside of Singapore. As we have seen from anecdotal evidence, the presence of many overseas investment property shows that Singaporeans and Singapore based investors buying into overseas property projects.

Some of these property projects offer rental guarantee whilst others are deemed easy to rent out with strong rental demand.

Why are these properties attractive to Singapore based investors?

Some of the reasons are: -

  • Lower price quantum
  • Lower regulatory hurdles
  • Higher yield

However, are these so called higher yield worth it’s weight in gold?

Let us examine some of these markets. Say for example Thailand, the typical rental yield is about 5% to 6% yield. Many Singapore based investors are attracted by this higher yield compared to their home market.

Now, would you say that let’s all go and invest in thailand? Is this yield good or no good?

As you prepare to buy your first overseas property and start to look for financing options, then you come across various options: -

  • Full cash purchase
  • Borrow in Singapore for the overseas property
  • Borrow locally

The 1st option of Full cash purchase is of course the simplest, but requires people with deep pockets.

Borrowing in Singapore for overseas property would be possible, but the borrowed amount is usually in Singapore dollar equivalent of the required foreign currency borrowing. In other words, you owe the money in Singapore dollars and continue to repay the loan in Singapore dollars. At the same time, you will be subject to Singapore borrowing regulatory regime. Also, you are subjected to currency fluctuation risks.

The last option is to borrow from local banks. This would then be subject to whether the local bank is able to recognise your foreign (Singapore income) as proof of your servicing ability, and how much loan to valuation they are able to loan to you (if at all they can lend you).

How then do you know if these are good investments or not?

For investments, we need to compare apples-to-apples. So for instance if you are investing in Thailand, then you need to consider the rental yield and the borrowing cost in Thailand as if you are based in thailand, versus other investment destinations and potential local cost of borrowing. Hence, it is important to calculate based on Return of invested capital and compare the various investment markets.

For the case of thailand, the gross rental yield is 5.25% to 6.6% (Source: Globalpropertyguide, Dec 2013), but the borrowing cost is 6.51% for the 1st year and even higher on subsequent years (Source: Kasikornbank, Dec 2013).

What does this mean?

For simplicity, let’s say rental yield is 6% on average and borrowing effective interest rates is 6.5%.

This means that, had you borrowed in Thailand for this property, the rental is not even enough to service the interest cost component of your installment.

Illustration of a property investment in Thailand: -

  • Property price equivalent to : S$500,000
  • Assume 100% borrowing : S$500,000
  • Interest rate : 6.5%
  • Gross Rental Yield : 6%

Figure 1: Amortization Table pkg1 = 6.5%, pkg2 = 7%



Based on a gross rental yield of 6% on $500,000, you would obtain $30,000 annual rental income or $2,500 a month. This gross rental income of $2,500 is not even sufficient to cover the interest cost component of the installment at $2,694.62, let alone covering the entire installment amount.

In other words, your Return on invested Capital (based on 100% borrowing) would yield a negative return. However if you had invested 100% cash (zero borrowings), your return on invested capital would be 6%.

What this means is, based on these average figures, many properties in thailand has no investment appeal if you were to borrow in thailand to invest in such properties for rental yield.

Is it good then to invest in Thailand properties?

This does not mean that it’s not good to invest in thailand, as many people still do so for different reasons. However these property buyers do so using largely cash and some token borrowings.

With bank deposit interest rates so low in Singapore, these investors are participating in exchanging Singapore currency to thai currency and using this thai currency to purchase an asset that yields a thai currency gross return on asset of 6% and a gross return of 6% (if they use 100% cash and zero financing) in thai baht terms. As a reference, Thai deposit savings rates yields about 3.25% as at Dec 2013.

For those with ample cash, this is a form of asset diversification.

In Summary

Hence, as an investor, it is important for you to assess the returns not only based on yield versus yield (across different countries) as they are different and have different base cost of funds conditions. Perhaps you could also consider local borrowing costs. In this case, on the surface, Thailand properties may seem overpriced as there is inadequate rental income to cover even the interest costs of borrowing, or conversely, it could also be that rental rates are currently too low and is lagging the property prices.

Investing away from one’s base country is also a great form of asset diversification.

For more FREE advice, contact an iCompareLoan mortgage broker today!

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Properties & Rental Category Got Divorced

March 18th, 2013

I hope you all are fine and having a great day ahead.

This is just a short notice that we have just split up the “Properties & Rental” into 2 different categories: “Properties” and “Rentals”. We figured that these 2 are quite different from each other, so its better to split them, and easier for user to do a search on either properties sales, or just any rentals.

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