My Rambling Thoughts

Record COE renewals


92.1% of the 2006 cars were used for ten years. It looks like this trend will continue for some years.

I had expected COE renewals to go up, but I had not expected it to spike from 1.9% in 2014 to 24.7% last year! There will be many renewals this year as well, but not as many as last year.

There were 7,900 5-year COE renewal in 2015. In 2016, 22,472. They can be "added" to the 2010-2011 car population: from 41,407 in 2010 to 49,307 and 27,748 in 2011 to 50,220.

End of lease

News: Geylang private homes to be returned to the State when leases expire in 2020, no extensions allowed

Date: 20 Jun 2017. Source: ST.

In a first for residential properties in Singapore, 191 private terraced houses at Geylang Lorong 3 will be returned to the State when their leases run out at the end of 2020, with no extensions allowed.

For the 33 homeowners who are still residing there, time is running out. They will have to hand back the vacated units to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) when their leases run out in 3-½ years with no compensation.

Previously, no one takes the lease seriously. Now they should.

It is too late to wait until the lease is ending to renew it. In the future, I expect there to be a scheme to top-up the lease by 20 or 50 years when there are 20 years left.

Anything less than 20 years is basically unsellable, IMO, except for straight-line depreciation. Even 40 years is a hard sell, because the buyer should be afraid of holding the bag in 10+ years time.

It is a ticking time bomb as more houses get less than 60 years left.


The Ikea ALGOT shelving system is perfect for my service balcony. I like modular systems as they can be tailored to my requirements and have some re-arrangement flexibility in the future. Even so, I hesitated for some time because I had to check that the back of the shelves had enough clearance for trunking.

The ALGOT system is really simple. The minimum you need is, two wall supports ($8 each for 196 cm), a shelf ($12 for 80x38 cm) and two brackets ($4 each for 38 cm) per shelf, for a total of $28!

There are three configurations: wall mounted (using "wall uprights"), wall supported and free-standing (using "posts" and "foots").

My initial plan: two 1.96 m wall-mounted shelves of 60 cm and 80 cm.

But then I found that each wall support requires some clearance — 6.8 cm for three of them. So, I went with two 60 cm shelves, and it was just enough, because there was less clearance at the bottom of the wall, which I missed.

The bottom half of the wall supports are wasted because they are blocked by the washing machine and dryer. But the next shorter wall support is just 84 cm. I told the installer to put the wall support as high as possible. :lol:

In hindsight, if I had opted for the shorter support, I could have used 60 cm and 80 cm shelves — and saved on delivery.

Costs in total: $96; three 193 cm wall supports ($8 each), five 38 cm shelves ($8 each), eight 38 cm wall brackets ($4 each).

Installation is expensive. $38 per post. :-O I had a double-take, but I had no choice because the wall supports needed to be drilled and aligned properly. It's actually doable, just need to measure carefully.

Delivery is also "marked-up". Up to five items is $35, but if it includes installation, it is $55 (same as up to ten items).

CTE is really expensive!

Never cross CTE (after Braddell road) between 8:30 am and 8:55 am. Once charged, twice avoid!


Personally though, I feel ERP needs to be at least $4 to be effective. :-P

Pass the buck

News: Geylang Serai Bazaar rental soars to record high of $17,000

Date: 11 Jun 2017. Source: ST.

Stiff competition from trade-fair organisers raises rent, but many still keen to lease stalls

With crowds thronging the fairgrounds nightly, it looks like business is booming for hawkers at the ongoing Geylang Serai Bazaar.

But many say rentals have soared to an all-time high, and they are concerned about the sustainability of the festive event, held in conjunction with the month of Ramadan.

There are four parties in the chain here: the landlord, the Bazaar operators, the vendors and the consumers.

It is easy to blame the landlord for the high rental, but as always, it is the operators who are responsible. They don't care; they just pass the cost down the chain. And stupidly, the vendors continue to rent even though they are not confident of making a profit. And consumers are willing to pay increasingly exorbitant prices for their food.

It's crazy. When will it stop?

Only when the vendors balked at the rental. Mr Jay rents two stalls for $30k selling Thai milk tea and fried Oreos. Can he make $30k in 30 days? Even if he can, the first $30k goes to the operator, not him. Is it worth it?

Mr Tay won the tender with $1.56 mil. He said his profit margin is 5 - 10%. Suppose he has 400 stalls (there are 900 stalls in total), that works out to be $3.9k per stall. Clothes stall are rented for $7k, so there is a very healthy margin.

Although this news is about Geylang Serai Bazaar and its escalating rental, it is emblematic of Singapore as a whole, especially for properties.

URA put up a land site for sale with reserved price of S$685.25 mil. A property developer won the tender with a bid of S$1.003 bil. The cost is S$1,051 psf. The units are expected to be sold at S$1.8k psf and above. And they will sell like hotcakes.

So, who is at fault?

Newsflash: auctions are wonderful for extracting maximum value. In other news: Singaporeans suck at auctions.