Selling anything related to housing after such a large decline in lumber prices was the right thing to do in May, but is it still the right thing to do now? What about the Fundamentals? If oneignores thenews mediaand actually looks at the data, the only thing remotely positive about the housing situation is its price index rising and some markets’ re-emergences as “hotspots for flipping and all-cash offers”. Most of the actual fundamental housing data such as new housing starts, mortgage applications, and single family housing transactions remain well below any of the levels seen in the 2000s (their current levels actually correspond to the levels last seen during the 1990’s recession).
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Imbuing housing estates with character
With rising expectations, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has promised that each new Housing Board project will improve on previous developments. Three planned estates – Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol Matilda – will feature open spaces and greenery as an intrinsic part of their charm. A man-made lake and a regional park for Bidadari; two parks for Tampines North, one boasting a sandy beach; and a waterfront estate for Punggol Matilda are some of the ways in which they will stand out in Singapore’s crowded architectural landscape. When the state is involved, the objective must be to not just create estates that please buyers but to also build inclusive communities.
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