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6th July 2014

Singapore Real Estate

Cherished memories of life's milestones in old malls

Source: Straits Times 

Please share your memories of Plaza Singapura which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it said. The venerable mall has been in Orchard Road for as long as anyone can remember but still, it must be a big surprise to many that its history goes back to 1974, not too far behind Singapore's own 50th birthday bash next year.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

China developers' new land of opportunity

Source: Straits Times

Chinese developers are zeroing in on Iskandar Malaysia, spurred by the tough market at home and the promise of rich rewards in the booming Johor Baru zone. Their preference for building huge "township-style" projects has got some locals' backs up, but others cheer the job growth that the Chinese cash is generating.

Dubai Mulls New Rules to Limit Off-Plan Property Sales, IMF Says

Source: Bloomberg / Luxury

Dubai is considering regulations to limit the sale of properties before they are built to address one of the main causes of the 2008 property crash, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“The Dubai authorities are completing a review of the off-plan transaction market, and will issue additional regulations, which could slow down real-estate sector price growth, in the coming months,” the IMF said its Article IV consultation dated July 3.

Dubai’s recovery from the verge of default in 2009 fueled a 35 percent-increase in real estate prices last year, according to broker Knight Frank LLP, sparking concerns the emirate is at risk of a bubble in the real-estate market. That prompted authorities to double property transaction fees to 4 percent last year and the United Arab Emirates’ central bank to impose mortgage caps.

The buying and selling of off-plan properties for a quick profit, known as flipping, was seen as a major cause of the crash in 2008. Buyers usually put down a deposit of about 10 percent on off-plan homes and make additional payments as construction progresses, with a final sum due when the property is delivered. At the height of the property bubble, contracts often changed hands before any construction took place.

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), Dubai’s biggest developer, banned the resale of incomplete properties before 40 percent of the home’s total value is paid. The move was made to minimize speculation.

The authorities may also introduce new contract forms for real estate transactions and a property investor law to protect the rights of buyers and sellers, according to the IMF. Dubai is considering a city-wide residential price index to better assess price changes across Dubai, the IMF reports.

-By Zainab Fattah