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Cryptocurrency: Hottest Investment of the Decade?

CRYPTOCURRENCY: BANE OR BOON? Despite being declared legal tender in many countries across the globe, cryptocurrency continues to draw an equal measure of flak and fealty. 

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday, Bithumb, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange announced the suspension of its deposit and withdrawal services after $35m worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen by hackers.

Bithumb is one of the busiest exchanges for virtual coins in the world and the second local exchange targeted by hackers in just over a week. The news sent ripples through the market with Bitcoin and Ethereum recording price falls, according to CoinDesk, a news site specialising in digital currencies.

Cryptocurrency: A Precarious Medium

This is not the first nosedive in the cryptocurrency world. Digital currencies — like the stock market — are highly reactive, recording multiple tumbles in recent history.

The price of Bitcoin, the world’s best known digital currency, has been tracking a downward spiral since the start of 2018, plummeting heavily from the Dec 2017 price of $18,960 to $6,762 at time of publication.

The price of Bitcoin, the world’s best known digital currency, has been tracking a downward spiral since the start of 2018, plummeting heavily from the Dec 2017 price of $18,960 to $6,762 . Source: CoinDesk & South China Morning Post

Still, cryptocurrency has risen from obscurity and is now legal tender in many countries across the globe. And, it continues to draw flak and fealty in equal measure.

Good:

The inherent nature of cryptocurrency and the world of blockchain ensures no possibility of double-spend as the system is built to be irreversible and transparent to the peers within its ecosystem. Cryptocurrency has also been touted as the hottest investment opportunity currently available. The potential rewards (and risks) are huge; its value can fluctuate by as much as a few hundred dollars in a single day and, potentially, one can either make (or lose) a lot of money in a short period of time. One can also trade in it, purchase goods with it, earn money from it (through mining), and it is recognised as a form of payment in some jurisdictions.

 

Cryptocurrency: how does it work? Image credit: Blockgeeks

Bad:

Cryptocurrencies are high-risk investments and, as such, their market value is highly volatile, fluctuating like no other asset’s. It’s easy to lose (or make) a tremendous amount of money in a day. Cryptocurrencies are not backed by a central bank/organisation, and are therefore unregulated to a certain extent. It is subject to price manipulation. Its security is questionable, as clearly demonstrated in yesterday’s Bithumb heist, as well as incidences of hacking in the past. Perhaps the biggest theft in the short history of cryptocurrency happened in 2014, when more than $450m in bitcoins disappeared from customers’ accounts in the Mt Gox exchange in Tokyo.

Rat Poison Squared

This year, Google, Facebook and Twitter announced a crackdown on cryptocurrency ads on their sites in a move to protect investors from fraud.

Bank of England Governor Mike Carney has been highly critical of cryptocurrency while Bill Gates has gone on record about betting against cryptocurrency, describing it as a “kind of pure ‘greater fool theory’ type of investment.”

More famously, Warren Buffet, in yet another rail against digital currency, described Bitcoin as “rat poison squared” and that it’s “creating nothing”.

“When you’re buying non-productive assets, all you’re counting on is the next person is going to pay you more because they’re even more excited about another next person coming along,” Buffet said in an interview with CNBC.

BitMex CEO Arthur Hayes, however, is unfazed by Bitcoin’s volatility, predicting that the cryptocurrency will hit $50,000 by the end of the year.

Cryptocurrency may well be the investment of the decade with incredible returns, agrees Virata Thaivasigamony of CSI Prop, a property investment consultancy with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

“But it needs to approached with a combination of care and sheer ballsiness,” he adds.

“Investment is a very personal matter. For me, cryptocurrency pales in comparison with something tangible like property investment.  Real estate has more stability, proving time and again to be a hedge against inflation and a great asset for diversification. Investing in real estate traditionally outperforms most asset classes in risk-adjusted returns. When compared to bitcoin, it is unequivocally the safer investment.”

As inflation rises, so, too, do rents and housing values. In an inflationary environment, real estate assets react proportionally to inflation. And real estate has incredible tax benefits and cash flow incentives.

Ultimately, investing in cryptocurrency — as with all other investments — is a gamble. A question to ask yourself before embarking on any investment is: how risk-averse are you?

We are colossal fans of property investment (duh!) and we make no apologies for it. Still, we remain curious about the many other types of investments out there and would love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below. If you’re a die-hard property investment fan like us, and are thinking of expanding your UK and Australia property portfolio, hit us up: we’ve got some good stuff for you.

By Vivienne Pal

Sources:

  • http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/business/article/2131758/us1-billion-down-why-japan-still-love-bitcoin
  • https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/20/south-korea-bithumb-loses-315m-in-cryptocurrency-heist
  • https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/19/south-korea-crypto-exchange-bithumb-says-it-was-hacked-coins-stolen.html
  • https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/26/bitcoin-falls-7-percent-to-below-8000-after-twitter-bans-cryptocurrency-ads.html
  • https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/960363/Bitcoin-cryptocurrency-free-fall-price-value-plummets-24-hours-6-price-drop-money-finance
  • https://cryptoslate.com/cryptocurrency-exchanges-are-charging-more-than-nasdaq-for-listings-faking-volumes/
  • http://fortune.com/2018/01/10/bitcoin-warren-buffett-cryptocurrency/
  • http://fortune.com/2018/05/07/warren-buffett-bitcoin-rat-poison/
  • https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-cryptocurrency/
  • https://cointelegraph.com/bitcoin-for-beginners/what-are-cryptocurrencies#buy-goods
  • https://csiprop.com/uk-property-outlook-2018/
  • https://csiprop.com/australia-property-outlook-2018/
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Should you invest in property in Singapore?

Investors are looking beyond property in Singapore to markets like the UK and Australia (Img credit: Archinect)

 

Conventional wisdom, especially among Asians, dictates that you should invest in property. CSI PROP takes a closer look at investing in the Singapore property market and compares it to property in other markets overseas.

Property in Singapore is prohibitively priced

Being a tiny island surrounded by water on all sides with not much space available for construction, the only way to build is up creating the familiar high-rise skyline of Singapore.

With the severe lack of land, it is no surprise that property prices in Singapore are one of the highest in the region — the second highest in Asia after Hong Kong, according to S&P Global Ratings.

The prohibitively high prices of property raises the bar for investors, only allowing for the more affluent section of the population, with ample capital, to invest in the market.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad had announced recently that the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore High Speed Rail development will be postponed until further notice.

Following this announcement, envisioned property price growth for the Jurong area in Singapore and the Iskandar region in Johor is unlikely to materialize, much to the dismay of investors.

Government intervention has, so far, kept housing price growth in Singapore in check. A report by S&P Global Ratings found that cooling measures and an accommodative monetary policy have helped to control house price inflation.

This may be good news to home buyers, but from an investment perspective, capital gains from investing in Singapore property may be lacking compared to investments elsewhere.

Poor rental yields

Singapore’s rental market remains in the doldrums, despite signs of a property market recovery from last year.

Property prices do not always have a direct relationship with rentals. Singapore’s rental market is very much driven by foreign demand, given that over 80% of Singaporeans own a HDB flat.

Overall gross rental yields for non-landed private homes from January 2017 to January 2018 hovered just around 3.2% the lowest in a decade.

The weak rental market deflates returns on investment in Singapore property, lessening its attraction for investors. Stamp duties, property tax, legal fees and agent commissions further cut into profits.

In Singapore, residential property that you own, but are not physically living in (whether rented out or vacant) is taxed from 10% to 20% depending on the house value. Commercial properties have a flat tax rate of 10%.

The rental income that you are able to earn from local property will be impacted by the high property tax, putting a damper on returns.

The United Kingdom

With less-than-stellar returns in Singapore property, it is no wonder that many investors are looking beyond its shores to overseas markets like the United Kingdom and Australia, which can be far more lucrative.

The UK currently faces a severe shortage of homes — in England itself, there is a backlog of 3.91 million homes, according to research by Heriot-Watt University.

The high demand and low supply for housing in the United Kingdom has driven capital growth. Local economies in the regional cities are booming due to initiatives like the Northern Powerhouse, which bring regeneration and infrastructure improvements to England’s North.

Cities in the Northern Powerhouse like Manchester have recorded price growth of an amazing 12.7% last year, with Liverpool following closely behind at 10.8%. This is an indication of the potential that these cities have to offer for the savvy investor.

Singapore currently holds the title of being one of the largest institutional investors in student property in UK and beyond, in recent years. Mapletree and GIC had spent a combined S$2.15 billion on student housing in the UK in 2016, in cities like Leicester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester and Lincoln.

Just this month, Centurion Corp bought a student housing property in the British city of Manchester for S$33.66 million.

Australia

Australia faces a similar dilemma to the UK, with the last decade of construction failing to keep up with the country’s record population growth.

Melbourne, in particular, is one of the fastest growing cities Down Under. This city is slated to overtake Sydney as Australia’s most populous city according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The Urban Development Institute of Australia warned last year that Melbourne could have a shortfall of 50,000 houses by 2020.

Commsec Senior Economist Ryan Felsman commented, “if you look at Melbourne there’s 120,000 people moving to it per annum, but only 75,000 houses being built.”

Whilst the 5 Australian capitals collectively experienced a 0.7% drop in capital growth for the 12 months leading up to May 2018, property in Melbourne performed beyond expectations, growing by 3.3%.

Singaporeans are putting money into Australia. Last year, Cushman & Wakefield reported that Singapore overtook China as the largest source of foreign capital for Australian commercial real estate, as the Chinese government tightened restrictions on overseas investments for its citizens.

Investments into Australia from Singapore quadrupled from about $1bn in 2010 to an excess of $4bn in 2017.

Alice Tan, Knight Frank Singapore director of consultancy and research commented, “Australia has been a popular overseas property destination for Singaporeans, especially for the recent two generations,”

“It continues to maintain its appeal as evident from recent survey findings from Knight Frank’s 2018 Wealth Report, where Australia ranked second on the list of top five destinations where Singapore Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) plan to buy prime property in 2018,”

“Australia’s economic resilience, adaptability and 26-year record of steady growth provide a safe, low-risk environment in which to invest and do business,” she added.

Cushman & Wakefield regional director for capital markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Priyaranjan Kumar added: “Outside of Singapore, Australia and UK boast two of the most transparent and stable property markets globally for Singapore investors who are largely very institutional in their approach to investments.”

Savvy investors can jump on the foreign property investment bandwagon and take advantage of the supply-demand imbalance in countries like the UK and Australia for more rewarding returns on their investments.

UK Commercial Property: Elderly Care Homes Launch (23 & 24 June at Hilton Orchard Rd 10am-5pm)

What are your thoughts about investing in the Singapore property market? Drop us a comment below. If you’re interested to tap into the attractive potential that overseas markets have to offer, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia), or email us at info@csiprop.com!

Article by Ian Choong

Sources:

  • https://csiprop.com/institutional-investments-in-uk-student-property/
  • https://csiprop.com/uk-government-continues-focus-northern-powerhouse/
  • https://csiprop.com/regional-uk-property-tops-price-growth/
  • https://sbr.com.sg/residential-property/news/chart-day-private-home-prices-jumped-back-being-second-highest-in-asia
  • https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-singapore-hsr-postponed-not-scrapped-pm-mahathir
  • https://www.edgeprop.my/content/1357048/iskandar-malaysia%E2%80%99s-property-market-could-take-hit
  • https://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/cooling-measures-working-in-some-asia-pacific-markets-including-singapore-sp
  • https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/why-aren-t-rental-yields-034158065.html
  • https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Property-Tax-At-A-Glance/Property-Tax-at-a-Glance/How-Is-It-Calculated-/
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/housing-homeless-crisis-homes-a8356646.html
  • https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/centurion-corp-plans-to-buy-uk-student-housing-project-for-%C2%A3187m
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/05/14/student-accommodation-investment-soar-international-investors/
  • https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2018/02/24/australia-not-building-enough-future/
  • https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-house-price-sydney-melbourne-property-listings-2018-5
  • https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/singapore-now-the-biggest-foreign-investor-in-australian-property-as-chinese-investment-drops-69pc-20170825-gy4fqj.html
  • https://sbr.com.sg/commercial-property/in-focus/singapores-real-estate-investment-in-australia-ballooned-141-us35b
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Can Tun Mahathir Solve the Malaysian Housing Crisis?

Houses in Malaysia are seriously unaffordable for the masses (Source: The Malaysian Insight)

UPDATED; 5/6/2018

Uncertainty has been reflected in the volatility of the stock market ever since the country voted in a new ruling coalition. In the past few weeks, steps have been seen to be taken to address corruption and debt in the country. A new Local Government and Housing minister has been elected and her first order of business is to discuss with the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia, the difficulties faced by first-time house buyers to get loans. It’s a start, but can the Tun M and his merry men (and women) of the Cabinet take Malaysia through the housing crisis? 

With the recent change in government, all eyes are on Pakatan Harapan to solve the housing supply-demand crisis in Malaysia. The current situation is dire with a severe lack of affordable housing, and a glut of expensive properties, and many Malaysians not being able to afford to purchase their own home.

The previous Najib administration had set a target of building 1.1 million affordable homes by 2018 to address the shortage, but after 5 years, only 23% (255,341) of the total was completed.

In November 2017, Tan Sri Noh Omar, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister blamed state governments for the delays, citing a lack of cooperation.

Addressing a question in the Dewan Rakyat, Noh said that 25.6% (285,097) of the houses were still under construction while 39% (432,415) was in various planning stages. He said the remaining 12.4% (138,775) had yet to make it to the planning stage.

At the same time, there was an overhang in the amount of PR1MA homes for sale nationwide. Slightly under half (12,492) of the total PR1MA homes (25,132) had yet to be sold.

The PR1MA Malaysia Corporation was established under the PR1MA Act 2012 to develop housing for middle-income households in key urban centres, with a target price range of between RM100,000 to RM400,000.

This programme that was initially meant to help the average Malaysian buy his or her first house was relaxed in 2013 to allow purchases of second homes, and eligibility was widened this year to include households with a monthly income of RM15,000.

The overhang showed that PR1MA homes were still priced out of reach for its target market. The maximum affordable house price in Malaysia is estimated by Bank Negara to be RM282,000.

Property expert Ernest Cheong has said PR1MA should stick to its objective of providing affordable homes to middle- and low-income earners instead of jumping on the high-end property bandwagon. In PR1MA’s Jalan Jubilee development in Kuala Lumpur, the largest unit, a 1,089 square foot unit with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, was going for RM445,000.

A nationwide housing expo was held in March this year entitled “Housing Sale Expo Towards a Million Dreams, Experience A Wholesome Lifestyle”. The expo was a joint initiative by the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, the National Housing Department (NHD), PR1MA Malaysia Corporation, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB), 1Malaysia Housing Projects for Civil Servants (PPA1M) as well as state government agencies.

According to a report by The Malaysian Insight, hopeful buyers at the expo in Kuala Lumpur were disappointed with the severe lack of homes below RM250,000 for sale.

Pakatan’s pledges for the housing sector

Pakatan has pledged to institute a couple of reforms in the housing sector. One of those reforms is to ensure that developers under the PR1MA program do not merely build a small number of affordable houses, after obtaining land at discounted prices.

However, Pakatan’s manifesto has not addressed the pricing issue that PR1MA is currently facing. The reforms they undertake must include pricing homes within the means of the average Malaysian, otherwise the current overhang of PR1MA homes will continue.

Pakatan plans to establish a National Affordable Housing Council which will:

  • Build 1 million affordable houses within 2 terms of their administration, by 2028;
  • Coordinate an open database on unsold affordable housing;
  • Coordinate a national rent-to-own scheme for the B40 and M40 group, with a special scheme for young people;
  • Coordinate with the banking sector to expand access to financing for first-home buyers.

Building one million affordable homes by 2028 is a more realistic target versus the previous one set by the Barisan Nasional administration. Nevertheless, current house building efforts must be doubled to meet this target, judging from the rate of construction we have seen so far.

The open database on unsold affordable housing is a welcome one in the interests of transparency, allowing potential house buyers to find information on available affordable housing. This will prevent unscrupulous developers from hiding information from unwitting house buyers, and maximising their profit by marketing the premium market instead.

The expansion of financing for first-home buyers will allow more Malaysians to own their own homes, while the rent-to-own scheme acknowledges segments of the population that do not qualify for financing, or are otherwise unable to purchase an affordable home.

Other plans Pakatan has for the housing sector include raising the quota for affordable houses; to introduce a time limit for developers to complete constructions, so that land-hoarding can be avoided; and tax incentives for developers who focus on affordable housing, to encourage the use of efficient building technologies to reduce cost.

The new government’s manifesto appears to address many issues in relation to affordable housing shortage. Still, one hopes that the PR1MA reforms they take will fix the current lack of focus in the programme. The nascent Pakatan administration is yet untested, but under the experienced hand of Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, buyers and stakeholders alike can look forward to a comprehensive reform of the housing sector, with hope that the current crisis can be solved.

For a start, Housing and Local Government minister Zuraida Kamaruddin will meet the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia to discuss difficulties faced by first-time house buyers to get loans. Zuraida promises that the ministry will find the best mechanism to ensure related issues can be resolved, namely involving applications for the purchase of affordable housing.

 

Investment prospects in the housing market

The current glut of higher-end housing, and undersupply of affordable housing is causing activity in the investor market to remain stagnant. If Pakatan can correct the supply-demand imbalance, property prices may start to rise again. Policies will take time to be implemented, and it will be some years before we see real change.

As we have said previously, the local market in 2018 is shrouded in uncertainty — a situation thrown into even sharper relief as the nation waits for the current Government’s plans to take effect.

With the recent fall of the UK and Australia currencies, properties in those markets are more attractive than ever, offering investors an opportunity to take advantage of the currency rate and get on to the overseas investment bandwagon.

Do you think Tun Mahathir and Pakatan can do better than BN in addressing housing affordability concerns in Malaysia? Share with us in the comment box below. If you think your money would be better spent on property investment overseas rather than the local market, give us a call at 03-2162 2260! 

 

Article by Ian Choong

  • http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2017/11/02/affordable-housing-project-lagging-behind-target-11-million-homes
  • http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2017/11/21/overhang-pr1ma-units-calls-review-approach
  • https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/24137/
  • https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/45067/
  • https://csiprop.com/the-general-election-2018-and-malaysias-property-market/
  • http://pakatanharapan.com.my/diymanifesto.php
  • https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/376559/housing-ministry-look-ways-solve-loan-issues-faced-first-time-house

 

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Are We Birkin Up The Wrong Tree?

The Hermes diamond and Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin handbag at Heritage Auctions offices in Beverly Hills, California September 22, 2014. Image credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

The iconic Hermes Birkin handbag is said to be a worthy investment, outperforming gold and the S&P 500 in investment returns and stability. CSI Prop investigates how this bag holds up against brick and mortar.

So the Birkin smashed the almighty Box Office of Buzzwords a few days ago when a raid at one of former Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s residences uncovered the haul of the century: 284 boxes of luxury handbags, a good number of which were in the signature Hermes orange hue.

The former PM’s missus, as the entire world probably knows by now, is a huge fan of the Birkin. Word on the street is that a rare, record-setting Hermes Birkin could be among the 284 handbags seized during the raid. The purse, which has white gold and diamond hardware, fetched an eye-watering $221,755 at an auction in Hong Kong in 2015 — the most expensive bag sold at auction at the time.

One wonders if Datin Sri Rosmah’s collection could give Victoria Beckham a run for her Birkins (note: Mrs B apparently has 100 Birkin handbags). Especially since a New York Times article reportedly quoted a broker’s estimation of Datin Sri Rosmah’s Hermes Birkin collection to be worth at least US$10 million.

Whatever the rumour, it looks like the cat’s finally out of the handbag…err, bag.

So, what has a handbag got to do with property, you might ask. Here’s our cheeky comparison between bag and brick — after all, both are investments in their own right and share many similarities. Or do they? You decide.   

The cat’s out of the (hand)bag: Some of the Birkin handbags confiscated from one of former PM Najib Razak’s residences last week. Image credit: The Malay Mail Online/Hari Anggara

TOP 5 BRICK VS BAG

  1. Time = Perfection

It takes Hermes artisans a minimum of 5 years training before they’re allowed to independently create a Birkin. The artisan makes a Birkin by hand from start to end, a process which takes possibly up to 48 hours.

A house, however, takes a good many months or years to complete, requiring the skill of experts from various fields in order for it to withstand way more than a huff, a puff and a blowing down by the Big Bad Wolf.

  1. Undersupply = Exclusivity

Birkins are expensive because they are scarce, with only 200,000 bags in circulation around the world. One cannot simply buy a Birkin without a purchase history at the store or knowing someone who has bought a Birkin, before getting on the wait list.

Property prices are also governed by the rule of demand vs supply. The UK is experiencing a critical undersupply of homes, and the government is facing challenges in achieving its goal of building 300,000 homes a year to even out the demand-supply balance. This continues to push property prices upward, making it increasingly difficult for first-time house buyers to get on to the property ladder. Oh, and for the record, you can’t own a property just like that either — you need to clear checks by the regulators first. Think AML, bank loan approvals, that sort of thing.

  1. The Right Price

The price of the humblest Birkin starts at around $12,000. It could go all the way up to more than $200,000. That’s the price of a house in some parts of Petaling Jaya, according to a report in The Star.

Property is expensive, too; the greater the undersupply, the higher the price. Take Melbourne property as an example. AUD$500,000 could likely get you a landed property, but we’re talking some 16km away from the city centre. For AUD$550,000 you may get a 2-bedroom apartment in the stylish Palladium Tower apartments in Melbourne CBD, but apartments in this part of the city, at this price, is becoming a rare find (call us if you’re interested; we can hook you up).

  1. Capital Appreciation

According to research by Baghunter, the price of the Birkin had risen by an average of 14.2% since its launch, outperforming traditional investments such as the S&P 500 and gold markets. A Himalaya Birkin handbag made from the albino Nilo crocodile hide with white gold and diamond hardware and auctioned in 2014, was reported to cost as much as a 2-bed/2-bath apartment in the heart of Brisbane!

Interestingly, Savills predicts that property in the UK will grow by 14.2% over the next five years in spite of Brexit-related uncertainty. One might argue that this was a drop from the 28% price growth between 2013 and 2018 but, hey, that was during the good times. Like, pre-Referendum. We remain confident that the UK will recover after a spell of uncertainty following Brexit in 2019. 

In Australia, meanwhile, the average price of a property in Melbourne had increased by more than 6-fold from A$142,000 to A$943,100 today!

And we haven’t even talked about rental yields yet! Investment in the UK commercial property sector such as purpose built student accommodation and commercial care homes, can fetch handsome yields of up to 9%!

  1. The Show-Off Factor

Of course, all said and done, one can debate that you could bring a Birkin anywhere and show it off to anyone, while a property is most ‘inconveniently’ tied to the location in which it is built.

OK, that’s true but, hey, you can’t live in a handbag, can you?

Birkin worshippers will probably have more compelling reasons why the Birkin makes a fantastic investment, and naysayers would have equally compelling arguments for rebuttal. Perhaps we could all put ourselves in the shoes (or sandals) of the current Prime Minister and think on how to have a bata (better) management of our finances. What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comment box below. Or if you think your money is better spent on property investment, give us a call at 03-2162 2260! Don’t be birkin up the wrong tree now!

Current PM Tun M seems to have a bata grasp of what the simple things in life is. Image credit: gempak dot com
By Vivienne Pal

Source:

  • https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/fashion/284-luxury-handbags-seized-from-najib-linked-apartments-5-things-about-the-hermes
  • www.realstyle.therealreal.com/how-long-it-takes-make-one-birkin/
  • http://says.com/my/lifestyle/what-are-hermes-birkin-bags-and-why-the-heck-are-they-so-expensive
  • www.csiprop.com/uk-property-outlook-2018/
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5749817/Study-reveals-500-000-buy-Australias-cities.html
  • https://baghunter.com/blogs/insights/why-are-birkin-bags-so-expensive
  • http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/05/18/forget-gold-stocks-buy-birkin-handbags/
  • http://www.savills.com/_news/article/3359/224244-0/11/2017/uncertainty-and-lending-constraints-to-slow-5-year-house-price-growth-and-limit-house-buying-activity.-rents-to-keep-pace-with-wages–but-landlords-feel-the-squeeze
  • https://www.businessinsider.my/uk-house-prices-will-they-rise-or-fall-in-2019-2017-9/?r=UK&IR=T
  • https://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-home-in-sydney-now-costs-more-than-14-times-average-earnings-2017-4
  • www.csiprop.com/care-homes-investment-stand-asset-class/
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/19/hermes-birkin-pinnacle-of-bag-perfection/
  • Image credit: Reuters

 

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UK Millionaires Say Wealth Starts with Property

UK Millionaire Gill Fielding on her wealth: “My wealth has come gradually and organically — starting with property. 

“The quickest and most reliable way to financial freedom is through investing in property, which we see time and time again through the results that our property-investing students achieve.” — Gill Fielding, UK millionaire & wealth management guru

How to be a millionaire: Top 5 reasons why investing in UK property could be your best option

Meet Gill Fielding, expert at all things UK property and founder of Fielding Financial, a UK-based company that specialises in providing financial planning, wealth management and mortgage solutions — did we forget to mention her millionaire status?

Fielding provides the following summary of her well-earned affluence:  “My wealth has come gradually and organically – starting with property.”

The qualified chartered accountant co-founded Fielding Financial on the basis of a personal mission: to educate the nation in managing and improving their own financial position. The company strongly believes that the quickest and most reliable method to attain this is through property investment, especially in the UK, where Fielding herself has invested in multiple projects. Take a peek at UK’s property outlook for 2018 and see why the property market there will continue to prosper and fetch great yields well into the future.

It goes without saying that a great number of investors have also acquired wealth through the same means as Fielding; a closer look at various types of investments shows that the odds truly are in your favor when investing in property (in the right places, of course). Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the three best buy-to-let hotspots in the UK that are set to offer the most competitive returns in 2018 are Manchester, Liverpool and Gateshead — something we have said so over and over in the past. 

Fielding Financial: Why Property Investment is the Best Option to Supplement Your Income

Fielding Financial has listed 5 key reasons why they believe property is the safest place to put your money (and they are very convincing, to say the least):

1. Investing in property puts you in the driver’s seat, while others do the work

Even though you may subcontract the management of the property to others, you’re in charge of the process and get to decide how and when things are done.

2. Residual income earned through rent yields higher returns than other investments

As a property investor, you’ll earn more money through rental income than if your money was in a high-interest bank account.

3. Anyone can become a property investor, even without personal start-up capital

The beauty of property-investing is that anyone can do it, even with no start-up capital.  Experienced agencies can teach you how to get started, even if you don’t have a deposit.

4. Fantastic capital gains

Properties are always in demand because there is a huge undersupply of homes in the UK. This means that even when there is a dip in the market, property prices often quickly bounce back up.

5. It allows you to leave a wealth-generating asset to your children

Due to the high demand for rental homes in the UK, a property portfolio can give your children (and future generations) a guaranteed income that a pile of money can’t provide them.

Property investment saved Rob Moore from debt and made him a millionaire. Image from BT

How to Invest in Property Successfully According to Rob Moore

Fielding’s fellow Brit and property millionaire, Rob Moore shares a common goal with her: to help bring to light the immense potential of the property market.

Moore’s story is a compelling one. Investing in UK property had not only saved him from a £50,000 debt; it generated enough income to transform him into a major property millionaire.  And it all started when a gallery owner urged him to attend a property networking event, insisting that most people on the rich list are in property.

True enough, Moore now stands among the wealthy, with many people looking up to him for financial guidance. Here are some of his tips for success, serving as a guide for beginners and a reminder for experts.

1. Have a clear financial plan and money bucketing systems

Decide what percentage of your income you will live off, save and never touch, then invest. After your income increases, change your plan accordingly; the challenging part, of course, is to never break these rules.

2. It is never too late to start but always too late to wait

Get perfect later, start investing and learning now!

3. Continually invest in yourself

Listen to podcasts, read books, take up courses and consult experts  — the more you learn, the more you earn!

These are sound tips, and the last point is particularly noteworthy: knowledge and research are key to successful investments! If you are interested in learning more about these millionaires’ takes on property investment, here are links to their latest books on the subject:

Gill Fielding – https://www.fieldingfinancial.com/landing-pages/property-puzzle-book-newbook/

Rob Moore – http://unlimited-success.co.uk/progressive-multiple-streams-of-property-income/

Ready and looking to invest in your first (or second or nth) property overseas? We’re here to help you invest (and possibly become a millionaire if you aren’t already). We have fabulous portfolio of Australian and UK residential and commercial property to choose from. Call us!  


Sources:


CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Prop does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

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Investing: Women Do It Better!

Fidelity Investments, an American financial services company based in Boston, has data proving that women are superior investors.

As surprising as it might sound and contrary to stereotypical belief, women are far superior when it comes to property investment. No, really — women are better investors. 

And we’re not making this up: Fidelity Investments, an American financial services company based in Boston, has the data to prove it.

To be clear, investing is not just about the smarts; it’s also about how careful one is with one’s hard-earned money. Fidelity Investments’ data, which is based on more than eight million investment accounts, revealed that women not only save more than men (0.4%); their investments earn more annually, too (0.4%).

While 0.4% might seem negligible, a report by Reuters published in 2017 revealed that, if calculated over a lifetime of savings and investment, there is a significant disparity at retirement age between men and women.

Vicky How, an entrepreneur, couldn’t agree more. How made her first property investment at the young age of 24 and, today, runs Propedia Consultancy, a property firm in Kuala Lumpur.

“You don’t have to be smart to be an investor. You have to be calculative and, this, women are,” she said, adding that it is a myth that men are better at investing, and that women are typically conditioned to believe that they are ‘not smart enough’ to invest, thus leaving the investing to the men. She also advises women to start investing in property as early as they can.

Virata Thaivasigamony, spokesperson and director of CSI Prop, a property investment consultancy in Kuala Lumpur, said that more men are beginning to value their wives’ opinions in investment matters.

“Men are beginning to value women’s opinions even more in matters like investment because women tend to be more cautious and detailed in their approach, and that is a good counterbalance to the more ‘aggressive’ approach that men have. We see this happening with our clients very often — many of them make the decision to invest only after discussing with their spouses,” Virata said.

“The traditional roles of men only bringing in the bacon and women managing the home and kids, no longer apply today. So many women are out there in the forefront, in positions of leadership. Women are very capable and it’s amazing that more platforms have emerged for them to showcase their leadership and talents,” he added.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day! Do you know an amazing, talented woman? Let her know what you think of her, or share it with us in the comments below!

Big on social media? Then use the #PressforProgress hashtag to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

Happy International Women’s Day in advance to all women in the world. Remember to wear purple! Women rock!

By Marzatul Ruslan

Source:

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/03/06/women-make-superior-investors/

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Activity/11302/Take-ownership-of-purple-in-2018-Violet-is-Pantone-Color-of-the-Year

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Prop does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

 

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UK Property and the Snap Election

Prime Minister Theresa May’s surprising announcement for a snap election brings the British people to the polls again for the 3rd time in as many years. Image credit: www.themirror.co.ukThe dust has barely settled since Brexit, yet the UK is now bracing for another political turn of events, thanks to PM Theresa May’s call for a snap election this June. This will be the third time Britain will go to the polls in as many years. The surprising announcement saw shock waves reverberate across the FTSE and capital markets as an immediate reaction. Meanwhile, the IMF has revised up its forecast for UK growth this year – from 1.5% to a punchy 2%.

“Naturally, there there are pros and cons. But in a nutshell, the election will pave the way to a clean slate, for the new government to gracefully negotiate Brexit to protect the interests of Britain and its investors/stakeholders. However, the issue of housing shortage remains critical. There will be uncertainty in the market from now leading up to the election, but the impact will not be a long-drawn one, given the short time frame and the surprise element of the PM’s announcement. This is the opportunity the new government should seize to address housing supply for the sake of first-time house buyers, and policies for the sake of landlords, foreign property investors and the buy-to-let market who are crucial in housing supply,” said Virata Thaivasigamony of CSI Prop, alluding to changes in stamp duty policies announced by the UK government.

The pound strengthened significantly when the snap election was announced and has been on an upward trajectory since. Image credit: xe.com
  1. Stronger Sterling

The sterling rallied to its highest level in more than 6 months on the day of the PM’s surprise announcement, jumping 2.37% to $1.2904 against the USD — its highest surge since early October 2016. Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s biggest sterling bears, finally reversed its stance on the sterling, describing the early election as a game-changer for the currency. We accurately predicted that the value of the sterling will drop and rise again with Brexit & Article 50, which was what happened. Our sense is that the sterling will continue to strengthen over the next few months.

  1. Housing Market

The housing market in the UK has been generally resilient. However, there will be uncertainty in the housing market leading up to the election; major decision-making may be put on hold until the election results are out. Uniquely, the announcement was not leaked, which means the uncertainty will be relatively short as the element of surprise has prevented any build-up to affect the housing market. Ultimately, there is a chronic and unsustainable shortage of housing in the UK, which will continue to underpin housing market. Demand will outpace supply and keep prices up for years to come. However, the election is an opportunity for the new government to begin on a clean slate and affect change that benefits the market. It is an opportunity also for the new government to revise legislations and policies on behalf of local landlords, foreign property investors and the buy-to-let market as they play a party in the supply of housing. A clear election result could boost the housing market.

Deutsche Bank has taken a positive stance on the UK snap election and its impact on Brexit negotiations. Image Credit: Ed Conway
  1. Brexit Negotiations

Our sense is that if Theresa May consolidates her position, it will strengthen her mandate to bring more stability particularly vis-a-vis Brexit. Her domestic agenda is to build a country that works for all. A big win means she will be less answerable or beholden to groups interested in a ‘hard exit’; it gives her flexibility to make compromises and cut a more moderate deal for Brexit without worrying about support from the party or Eurosceptics. This will obviously have a positive effect on the UK economy and the pound will keep strengthening. Economists also argue that the election raises the chances of a ‘transitional deal’ after 2019 (when Brexit should have happened), as the next government won’t need to hold another election until 2022 . This is good for investors who are taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate.

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CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Prop does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260