iProperty Puts Safety First

Nayati Moodliar's Safe Return to his family.

 

In the month of May, the world, in particularly Malaysia joint in the celebration in knowing that 12 year-old NayatiMoodliar was safely returned to his family unharmed, after being abducted and held captive for a week. While the celebrations continued and police worked towards capturing the perpetrators, the nation was once again shocked by the news of two female real estate agents that was raped and the other murdered within 24 hours last week.

 

In a report by New Straits Times recently, it was stated that barely 24 hours after real estate agent Chen Choi Mooi was found murdered in Batu Dam, Gombak, another real estate agent was stripped naked and tied up by her “prospective clients”. She was however successfully rescued by police, who was alerted by auxiliary policemen, who had been tipped off that the victim was held captive at a condominium in Mont Kiara.

 

We are deeply saddened by the news and would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Chen Choi Mooi and to the other victim, it is our hope and prayer that you will be able to overcome the trauma and recover from the ordeal.

 

As such, we would like to urge all agents, regardless whether you are a male or female, to take all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. We have outlined some safety tips here – Being Safe Matters – Tips and steps to be safe on the job.

 

Please remember that the smallest bit of prevention goes a long way in ensuring your own personal safety. Be safe!

 

On a different note, I am extremely happy to highlight that our year-to-date results in all the four countries in which we operate in have reported astounding growth.  

 

iProperty.com.my continues to be the clear leader in Malaysia and was also recently ranked the world’s 3rd most dominant portal when compared to other competitor portals by Property Portal Watch. The Malaysia business has and continues to achieve many milestones over the course of 2012.

 

In the first quarter of 2012, GoHome.com.hk has also successfully extended its lead in Hong Kong. The website continues to outperform other local real estate portals with the highest traffic, user and listing figures, making the most effective online advertising platform for local real estate and living sectors

 

Moving on the Indonesian market, we have also seen tremendous growth in both our portals, rumah123.com and rumahdanproperti.com, which we acquired in August last year. iProperty.com.sg continues to be the equal market leader and has established a clear position as a trusted source for information, property intelligence and buyer insights, in Singapore.

Another piece of exciting news that I wanted to share with you, was that we have expanded our family! The iProperty Group will soon be in Macau via the acquisition of vproperty.com, the country’s leading property portal. The acquisition extends the reach of the Group in the region with the Macau based portal being managed by the iProperty Group’s GoHome.com.hk business.

 

The portal currently generates revenue from local real estate agencies and property developers. It receives 50,000 consumer visits per month, generating 500,000 page impressions and has 60 registered agents as paying subscribers.

 

The success we achieved here, and continue to achieve, could not have been possible without your continuous support and believe in us as your trusted voice in all things property related. Thank you!

 

Have a great week!

iProperty is the talk of the town in all countries

What if I told you we were giving away a house for free? What if I told you that winning that house was as easy as 123? And no, we are not pulling your leg! On Labour Day, the team in Indonesia, Rumah123.com, launched the biggest online marketing campaign ever to be held online. A campaign that is set to give one lucky Indonesian an opportunity to win a house worth 500 million rupiah! Now, isn’t that something to shout about?

Well, we certainly got the town talking and visitors flocking through our site to participate in this extremely hard to resist contest. So, if you are an Indonesian citizen, don’t be left out! Submit an entry NOW here! You could just be the lucky winner to move in to a brand new home!

 

In Malaysia, thousands of people are making their way to the iProperty.com Expo 2012 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre. Held from the 4th – 6th of May, the Expo features Malaysia’s Hottest Properties under one roof and it’s the only place for property buyers and investors to find irresistible deals on the latest developments in town. So, if you are on the hunt for that next investment or in the search for your dream home, then head down over today. The EXPO is opened from 11am – 8pm.

 

We look forward to seeing you there! There will even be lucky draw prizes worth over RM700,000 waiting to be won!

On a different note, we’re proud to have launched our newly revamped ThinkProperty.my website! You can now post your property for sale/rent for FREE and participate in our very popular property forums where you can ask and discuss your thoughts and opinions.

We are also the talk of the town in Hong Kong with the formation of strategic cooperation’s with key leading developers. The formation of these strategic partnerships with leading developers solidifies GoHome.com’s position as the clear market leader in Hong Kong.

Moving on to Singapore, the 5th International Property Expo which was held in the Marina Bay Sands from the 20th – 22nd of April was hugely successful. Consumers walked away with great deals and developers were extremely happy with the turnout and success of the event.

On a separate note, I was extremely happy to hear that Nayati Moodliar, the little boy who was abducted on the way to school last week, has been safely reunited with his parents. I can only imagine the anguish and trauma that the little child was put through. I was happy to read that he is well and high in spirits. You are brave boy and your courage is certainly to be admired!

Have a great weekend!

A Stellar Quarter for the iProperty Group

I can’t believe that April is almost over and it will soon be May. April has truly been an exciting and busy month for the iProperty Group.

iProperty Group - How much we have grown!

Amidst juggling a busy schedule, I am extremely excited to report that the iProperty Group had a stellar first quarter. The Group’s year-on-year growth comparison between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 saw a 69.4% increase in unique visitors, a 58.5% increase in pageviews and a 59.6% increase in leads across our portals.

These results are a testament to our relentless focus in delivering more exposure and leads to our agent and developer advertisers while continually growing traffic by ensuring our consumers get the best possible experience when searching for property.

Below is a short summary on how each of the countries we operate in performed:

Singapore

iProperty.com Singapore remains strong as equal market leader as it continues its push with the launch of its new consumer campaign, increasing engagement and arming property buyers with insights to help them make sound property purchase decisions.

iProperty.com Singapore experienced an increase in visitors to the website by 29% between February to March 2012. Advertisers also enjoyed a whopping 34% increase in total leads over the same period to an all-time high of 72,196.

 

Malaysia

iProperty.com Malaysia further strengthened its leadership position as Malaysia’s portal of choice as it continues to deliver strong year-on-year growth. More than 1 million unique visitors visit the site monthly and despite the country’s maturing market, the gap continues to widen between iProperty.com Malaysia and its closest competitor by over 190%.

The portal saw a surge in consumer traffic and leads between January and February 2012 with unique visitors increasing by 12% and leads sent to advertisers rising by 45% to 291,334.

I am also pleased to announce that the team has successfully performed a hat-trick by snapping up the award of property magazine of the year for the third consecutive year.

Awarded by Advertising + Marketing magazine and based on Boardroom Research’s annual magazine rankings, it was revealed that iProperty.com Malaysia emerged the preferred property magazine of choice, placing the likes of Property Buyer and Home Finder in second and third place respectively. Kudos to the team and a big THANK YOU to our readers for making us your preferred property magazine!

 

Hong Kong

GoHome.com.hk experienced record high traffic in Q1 of 2012 as visitors continue to choose the website as the no.1 portal for Hong Kong, extending the gap between Gohome.com.hk and its competitors. Gohome.com.hk is now the dominant property portal in Hong Kong.

February 2012 was an outstanding month for the business with advertisers enjoying an increase in leads by 47.7%, a massive undertaking during the festive month. Underpinning this surge in traffic is its recent launch of the new products and services aimed at the enormous property developer market.

 

Indonesia

Since we acquired Rumah123.com, we have seen tremendous growth in all key metrics with an average month-on-month unique visitor growth of 14% and a tremendous 44% month-on-month growth in leads. The business continues to grow from strength to strength because of its focus on delivering innovative product offerings and value to its customers to drive growth.

Rumah123.com has since gained recognition and approval of the real estate industry as the business has grown its customer base by 75% since September 2011.

Rumah123.com also further cemented its relationship with local property developers with its recent MOU undertaking as exclusive online partner with DDP REI (Real Estate Indonesia), an association with over 2,500 property developer members.

Aside from that, Rumah123.com recently launched the biggest ever social media contest to be organized by a property portal in Indonesia.  With attractive prizes worth over 500 million rupiah, we urge you to log on www.rumah123.com to obtain more information on the contest.

Who knows, you could just be that lucky winner!

 

CommercialAsia.com

The latest addition to the iProperty Group’s stable of property websites, commercialasia.com, which was launched in November 2011, continues to gain momentum month-on-month as interest in commercial property investment continues to grow and the brand gains traction in the market. This is evidenced by the website’s visitors from over 100 countries with 71% of these visits accounting as direct traffic.

In 5 short months, CommercialAsia has experienced a near 100% growth in unique visitors to 146,084 and pageviews by 55% to 271,412 since its launch.

Here’s looking forward to a fantastic Quarter 2!

Have a great weekend and Happy Labour Day!

PropNex CEO: What Seniors & Singles Should Be Thinking About Right Now

In this exclusive one-on-one interview with iProperty.com at the recent iProperty.com Expo at Marina Bay Sands, CEO of PropNex and Singapore’s leading real estate expert Mohamed Ismail Gafoor discusses the latest trends in the Singapore and Malaysia property market. He also provides valuable advice for 2 growing demographic groups in Singapore: seniors who own a house and are planning for their life after retirement, and singles under 35 contemplating their first studio home purchase.

Mohamed Ismail speaking to a full crowd at the iProperty Expo at Marina Bay Sands

Q. You have often emphasized that landed housing in Singapore is by far the best choice for real estate investors. Could you tell us why? 

Landed property will always be a goldmine – for the simple reason that land is in limited supply, and Singaporeans will always consider owning a landed house to be their ultimate dream.

However, not all landed properties are created equal. While the government can still release sites for landed properties with a 99-year lease, the existing stock of freehold landed properties are highly limited. I would lean away from landed properties with a 99-year lease as they present unique challenges for their owners. It is much harder for leasehold landed properties to meet the criteria for enbloc, as a 100% owner consensus is required – as compared to private condos more than 10 yrs old which need only 80%. There is only a 20-25% price difference at the entry-level for freehold vs. leasehold for landed properties, but the key advantage of freehold landed homes is that it provides for perpetual ownership, making it a much better deal.

Q. What are the possible implications of the proposal to double the entry price at which foreigners can buy real estate in Malaysia?

First of all, I can certainly understand the rationale behind such a policy proposal. Just as what has happened in Singapore, the Malaysian government is concerned about a property bubble forming, and likewise they also have to address the growing public concerns on the ground about rising property prices.

In spite of this, I remain very confident that the M$1 million minimum price for foreign purchasers of Malaysian property will not be a blanket limit across all states. In particular, such a policy would not be advantageous for the state of Johor especially when the entire Iskandar project is still at the infancy stage of development. It is likely the MY$1million minimum purchase price will apply to properties in the downtown KL region, but highly unlikely for areas such as Ipoh and Malacca.

As many well-off Singaporeans have already been picking up units well above the MY$1 million mark, it will not be surprising if they remain willing to pay for a good product which is still relatively affordable, particularly given the strength of the Singapore currency. Those most likely to be affected by the higher entry price are HDB upgraders, who have been mostly buying lower-tier fringe properties.

Q. What should senior citizens keep in mind when deciding if they should opt for the LBS (Lease Buy-Back Scheme), or “downsizing” to a studio flat instead?

PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail

The LBS has the advantage of allowing seniors to continue to stay in the same flat in the same environment they have grown used to after many years. While some may be concerned about “outliving” the 30 years remaining on the lease under this program, the reality is that there are many seniors who will require specialized care at a health-care facility by that age. Hence, although the take-up rate for the LBS scheme has been low, I do see some do see some merit in this program.

However, I consider “downsizing” to be the more exciting option among the two.  Downsizing to a studio apartment allows seniors to be able to completely cash-out on their existing property and use part of the proceeds to buy a smaller elder-friendly property at a reasonable price. Living in an elder-friendly community with adapted facilities (e.g.: lifts and ramps) will also provide a close-knit community where seniors can grow old together. Furthermore, having a lump sum payment in hand also gives one a greater feeling of strength and security. However, the inherent risk in “downsizing” is that seniors who do not have necessary skill or discipline to manage their funds can lose everything very quickly. Hence, deciding which option to go is very much an individual decision.

Q: What advice do you have for single working professionals under the age of 35 who are contemplating investing into a private studio flat for their own-stay?

As Singapore’s population continues to increase, it is inevitable that property sizes will shrink. Although shoebox unit sizes in Singapore are still decent compared with cities such as Tokyo and Hong Kong, it is undeniable that reduced space and high density will lead to a compromised lifestyle.

For single working professionals who want to move out of their parent’s house into their own home for lifestyle reasons, I would say that it is perfectly okay to buy studio apartment –  but they really need to look out for the PSF (price per square feet) they are paying. Although the quantum of studio apartments may be low, all capital appreciation is ultimately a by-product of rental yield. Hence, the risk is that if rentals do not go up much, there is limited room for capital to appreciate. Paying high prices for an entry-level studio flat in the outlying areas could mean there may be limited scope for rental appreciation.

 

iProperty.com EXPO April 20 to 22, 2012 at Marina Bay Sands Expo Centre Hall A

Fourth signature iProperty.com EXPO returns in April with exciting residential and commercial real estate investment opportunities

Complementary seminars open for investors and agents to gain insightful tips and advice

iProperty.com Singapore – the country’s No.1 property website – proudly presents the iProperty.com EXPO | International Property ExpoHeld from Friday, 20 April to Sunday, 22 April 2012 at the Marina Bay Sands, Expo & Convention Centre, Hall A, the event will feature prominent international properties, prestigious property brands and exciting real estate opportunities under one roof.

Property investors and agents from around the region and beyond can benefit from a host of insightful seminars at the fourth signature iProperty.com EXPO, where renowned international property leaders will share tips on investing wisely, provide advice on buying overseas property and more. There are also exciting booths showcasing the latest property developments and investment opportunities in Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and the United States. In addition, visitors can have a chance to win over S$15,000 worth of lucky draw prizes at the EXPO.

“iProperty.com strives to help property buyers make informed choices when it comes to buying property. With the return of the EXPO, we are glad to help investors be in the know about the latest overseas property opportunities, and empower them with data, intelligence and insights that allow them to make the most out of the risks and opportunities that are present in this current state of global economic uncertainty,” says Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of the iProperty Group, the No.1 online property network across Asia.

PRIZED PROPERTY DEVELOPMENTS

The iProperty.com EXPO International Collection will feature attractive offerings for those with a keen interest in the latest developments in property investment:

Leading international brands will be present for consultation, such as LCI Investment, CTL Group and Executive Directions from Singapore, as well as Mah Sing PropertiesElite Forward andDijaya Corporation from Malaysia.

A host of exciting international developments will be on offer, including attractive rebates and promotions, including:

  • Malaysia: M City (5% rebates, Free legal fees & disbursement for Sale & Purchase Agreement and Deed, etc) and A-Suites Serviced Residence in Taman Austin Perdana, Johor (Low down payment starting from RM4,800, no progressive interest for 3 years, etc).
  • Australia: 60 View St, Pascoe Vale, Victoria, Australia (One-year rental guarantee; free legal fees)
  • Thailand: Circle Condominium, Bangkok (Free 1st year maintenance fee, fully furnished, etc)

For more details on special rebates, please go to: http://edm.iproperty.com/sg/expo-april-2012-key-property-exhibitors/

FREE-TO-ATTEND PROPERTY SEMINARS

In addition, property agents and investors can look forward to free seminars, talks and forums featuring property experts who will share insights on property investments, and provide an in-depth analysis of the property market outlook both in and outside Singapore:

  • With the introduction of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) last year as a measure to help cool the local property market, investors are increasingly worried about how this will affect their rental yield.  In his seminar Is Your Rental Income Secure? on 21 April, 5pm to 6pm, Alfred Chia, CEO of SingCapital, will examine the implications of ABSD to the real estate market, and provide tips for investors to secure and safeguard their rental income.
  • Well-known property expert Mohamed Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex Realty, will share incisive insights and predictions useful for investors and the public at large, in his seminarProperty Market in 2012 on 22 April, 2.30pm to 3.30pm.
  • Those who are keen to venture slightly further afield will find the seminar How to build Cash Flow with UK Alternative
    Investment?  
    by Danny Lim, CEO of Property Barons, highly informative. On 21 April, 5pm to 6pm, Danny Lim will share tips on how invest in UK properties with as little as £3,750, and explore other lucrative investment options available in the UK.
  • Moving away from residential property, David Poh, CEO of Asia Management & Wisdom, will share why he considers commercial/industrial real estate investment to be the star performer of 2012. In the seminar How to Make Money from Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Investment on 20 April, 6pm to 7pm, he will teach agents how to acquire specialized skills and knowledge required to succeed in this field.

The iProperty.com EXPO | International Property Expo will take place over the weekend from Friday, 20 April to Sunday, 22 April 2012, 11am to 8pm, at Marina Bay Sands, Expo & Convention Centre, Hall A.

For more information and to register, please visit http://expo.iproperty.com.

 

iProperty Group Continuing The Momentum

What an exciting and busy week it has been!

We held our very first EXPO in Penang last weekend and what a tremendous success it was. Organised on behalf of the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (REHDA) Penang, MAPEX Penang 2012, with the theme The Most Lau Juak Property Show, was certainly well received by Penangnites and foreigners alike.

The three day expo, launched by YB Chow Kon Yeow, State EXCO for Local Government and Traffic Control, who represented YAB Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang, attracted over thousands of people from all walks of life who made their way to the Straits Quay Convention Centre to grab the best deals in town.

Here are some snap shots of the event:

YB Chow Kon Yeow Officially Launching MAPEX Penang 2012

Folks visiting the booths at the MAPEX PENANG 2012

After such an astounding success in Penang, all focus is now on delivering an equally successful iProperty.com International EXPO in Singapore, which will be held from the 20th – 22nd of April 2012 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands from 11am – 8pm.

Also present at the EXPO will be Howard, our friendly mascot in Singapore who is keen on letting people to be in the know not just about the latest in the property market, but to also provide them with the opportunity to discover the best deals in town.

From the peaks to the valleys, Howard is on ground to promote the EXPO.

So, do lock in the dates and we hope to see you there.

On a separate note, we are keeping to our promise to only deliver the best, fastest and easiest search experience for our consumers. We have recently made some changes to our website – iproperty.com.my, making download of information of property news and search faster. We are pleased to say that these changes will be implemented across our other three portals in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.

So, brace yourself to have all the information you need to make an informed decision downloaded in a blink of an eye.

Another significant accomplishment on the innovation front is the Malaysian team winning at the recent Facebook Mobile Hack Day in Singapore. With a total of eight submission and only four winners to be selected, we are proud to win the Best Overall App for use of Facebook.

The team developed an app called the Property Friend Finder, which will enable users to find properties that are near their friends and family.

These are only some of the innovative things that we at the iProperty Group are working on. We assure you, there are more interesting things in store. So, do stay tuned!

Enjoy the week!

Resale HDB units in 2011 remain competitively priced, compared to condos

iProperty iNsights arms property buyers with handy information and market outlook for year 2012

While prices of HDB flats on the resale market have risen in the past few years, they continue to be more affordable than condominiums, according to a report on property transactions in 2011 registered on iProperty.com Singapore, the country’s No. 1 property website and part of the iProperty Group.

The iProperty iNsights 2011 consumer trends report reveals pertinent information on the state of the residential property market in Singapore, highlighting essential data such as average per square foot (PSF) prices for HDB apartments and condominium units across the island.

Additional data from the popular property portal emphasizes the disparity in average PSF prices among private (non-landed) and public housing (resale flats). In general, the average PSF for HDB flats across all room types have steadily increased – yet they remain at least half as costly when compared to the average PSF of condominiums.

Sign up, login and download this Report for FREE

“We are proud to share our latest iProperty iNsights report, which serves as an enabler for property buyers in Singapore to make informed, timely choices. We maintain an expansive network of agents and partners whom we work with closely to obtain on-the-ground information and ensure accuracy on the property data which we publish. With this handy guide, we hope to smoothen the decision making process among buyers for all their property-related needs,” said Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of the iProperty Group.

 
Key highlights of iProperty iNsights 2011 Report

Login and Download the iProperty iNsights Report 2011

1. Districts

The top three most popular districts, based on total unique searches, were 15 (Katong, Marine Parade, Siglap, Joo Chiat, Tanjong Rhu)19 (Serangoon, Hougang, Punggol, Sengkang) and 9 (Orchard, Cairnhill, Killiney, River Valley) while districts 10 and 16 continued to remain popular among buyers of private properties.

Please refer to page 3 of the iProperty iNsights 2011 report.

2. Condominiums

- Condominium projects completed in the last few years in general fetched higher PSF prices, and this is even higher for city-based developments such as Icon (S$1,846) and The Sail @ Marina Bay (S$1,952).

- Projects located in the suburban areas continued to be more attractive for buyers, such as Melville Park (S$709) and Northvale (S$736).

Please refer to page 15 of the iProperty iNsights 2011 report.

3. HDB

- Based on total unique searches, the top three most popular HDB estates were BedokBishan and Woodlands, while estates like Tampines and Yishun continued to remain popular among buyers of public housing.

Please refer to page 17 of the iProperty iNsights 2011 report.

4. Most popular keywords

The highest portion of visitors to iProperty searched for the keyword ‘studio’, a reflection of continued interest in compact-sized apartments. This could be linked to the higher price tags attached to apartments of higher floor area, and to investors who are looking at reaping attractive rental income.

Please refer to page 29 of the iProperty iNsights 2011 report.

Conclusion

In general, resale HDB flats remained affordable for many Singaporeans, especially when compared with more established condominiums that tend to fetch lower prices. This gap can be seen when we compare the average PSF for older condominiums, which was at least twice those of HDB flats in general.

For more information, please login and download the iProperty iNsights 2011 Report here for free.

Let’s Meet, Spot, Snap and WIN with Howard!

“From the Peaks to the Valleys, Know where gems can be discovered. From the North to the South, We’ve got Singapore covered.”

Does this poem sound or look familiar? Have you seen this at any particular train station? Have you seen our new mascot? You must be wondering by now what this is all about!

Meet Howard, our newest addition to the iProperty.com family!

Spot Howard Facebook Photo Contest

Follow Howard, as he endeavours to let you Be iN the Know with the latest property insights and hottest property news!

We’re excited to introduce Howard, and to celebrate that, we’ll like to share our joy with you!

What that means for you is that you can stand a chance to win S$100 worth of cash weekly just by following 3 simple steps!

Step 1: SPOT Howard, and SNAP a picture together! (that’s simple)

Step 2: LIKE our Facebook page! (just 1 click)

Step 3: Post your picture under “Spot Howard”on our Facebook page! (and you’re done)

You will then stand a chance to be one of the lucky winners of $100 cash weekly!

What you then need to do is to look out for your email (if you are one of the lucky weekly winner) to be informed on details to collect your prize!

For more details on this exciting contest, hop on down to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ipropertysg!

We want you to be one of our winners! So join us in this photo contest!

Keep those pictures coming! We’re waiting!