Ghost cities versus ghost buildings

We have heard of ghost cities in China when whole estates were built in anticipation of occupants taking over after being relocated from their villages. The Chinese are no fools and the empty cities are not built simply by opportunists developers who built without knowing if there is a demand for them. The cities will be filled by resettlement cases from the villages, to replace the old homes, just like what we did to our old shanty villages in Bukit Ho Swee, Ang Mo Kio and many other old estates.

Many reports have been written on these ghost cities in China but the Chinese govt is not unduly worried as there are more than a billion people waiting for new and better housing as the country goes into a nationwide rebuilding and renewing programme.

The recent fire at the Marina Bay Suites exposed an untold story of blocks of new housing development, all sold but with few occupants. These ghost buildings, a smaller scale than the Chinese cities, are likely to be spread around the islands. Or maybe the Marina Bay Suites is only an exception. If it is a common phenomenon, then property prices are primed to crash when so many flats have been bought and unoccupied, waiting to be flipped for a profit, for the next sucker to come along.

This is a good topic for the reporters to do some investigative journalism to tell the full story on the housing bubble and speculative play, to warn unsuspecting Sinkies from taking a plunge and avoid being caught in a sinking property market.

How many more homes are coming into the market and how many are bought and waiting to be resold? What is the combined total or supply available for sale? The supply is not just those under construction but those in the unoccupied ghost buildings waiting for buyers.


Anonymous said...

s'pore ghost buildings preparing for the 6.9 million onslaught of ft's. actually 10 million.

Anonymous said...

Of course they have the highest pay in the world need to maintain, foreigners come to vote for them, get levies every month and indirect taxes them?

So that they can continue to maintain their highest pay in the world, until 2030, they calculated every year need 30k of new citizens?

Of course foreigners create value for them, but to the average Singaporean mean higher inflation, more competitions for jobs, depress pay, job loss, in future their children?

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

If you have 1% interest rates, you have speculation. It is unavoidale. People want to make money, and when the can borrow cheap, they will borrow alot and buy shit in the hope of massive asset inflation, then sell for a massive profit.

A form of Ponzi scheme lah

Anonymous said...

Singapapean middle and lower class, pay already depressed by foreigners, not much they can tax directly, to pay their highest pay in the world?

Foreigners is to make up the other half of the indirect taxes they need to maintain their highest pay in the world?

So they said low direct taxes but actually highest indirect taxes, levies, COE, EPR, GST, CPF locked up schemes for life and other taxes to maintain their world highest salaries etc.?

If they think it is a heavy burden to commoners like inflation, they should pay themselves competitive to the Nodic, Swiss and New Zealand ministers level of pay?

So business got to look for cheaper and cheaper foreigners to mitigate the high cost of business, with these indirect taxes, at the expense of new citizens and locals?

So they got to said foreigners create value until 2030, and need to import 30K of new citizens every years?

They can't said foreigners came to compete for jobs and depress of the new citizens and local, if not they will not vote them?

Anonymous said...

Do you think Sinkies are or can even be the majority buyers (or flippers?), let alone residents, of Marina Bay Suites?

Once this is understood and realised, then Sinkies should know why PAP welcomes foreigners of all kinds so much.

When these rich foreigners come, it also means money come lah. But not for ordinary, daft and money no enough Sinkies of course.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising at all to note that 90% of the units at Marina Bay Suites were not occupied.

Just look at the many new buildings around us and the many advertisements in the ST Classified every Saturdays, there are many many many empty flats crying for rentals and sales.

I agree with RB that this presents a very good opportunity for some investigative journalism to tell the full story on our housing bubble and speculative play by investors in our sinking property market.

Anonymous said...

Of course must build Marina Bay Suites lah.

If not, how to maximise the $$ value of not that big piece of space, you tell me lah?

Build HDB flats? Turn into farmland ? Hahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

The call GRC racial harmony, of course they develop it to make oppositions difficult to come in, so that they can get the highest pay in the world?

The can't said the GRC make oppositions difficult to come in to the parliament, people may not like it and don't vote for them?

So presentation in politic is important need to use the correct to speak?

Recent election 2011 out of 57( TP walkover due technical problems in sec) percent go to the main party 93 percents or 81 seats of the seats went to the main party?

Oppositions with 43(40) TP walkover last minute. If not for the profit sharing scheme the main party votes might have much lower, these shown in Punggol East by election?

So using the right words & crying, 2 politicians cry that they don't know all the years low wage workers pay had been depressed, in real term is negative?

So crying and using t

Anonymous said...

How come they don't know many workers or low wages workers salaries had been depressed by foreign workers?

But they know how to collect the highest salaries in the world?

Anonymous said...

They said don't have enough talent to have multi party system?

If there is multi party system they can't get their pay so high the highest in the world, the can get only the equivalent of the pay of the Nordic, Swiss & New Zealand ministers level of salaries?

Their salaries is around ten times that of the Swiss and Nordic?

So it important to give the right excuses and right words to the media to broadcast it?

Swiss, Nordic population standard of living very high evenly, with multi party system, they too have a few million populations?

They have low Gini Co efficiency and high birthrate?

Anonymous said...

As long as 60% voted PAP every election, doesn't matter 90% of the units at Marina Bay Suites occupied or not, ghost buildings or not.

Anonymous said...

Property may not crash 50% as predicted.

But experts agreed that the property market is likely to correct 5 to 10% in 2014 and another 10 to 20% in 2015 when the main bulk of BTOs and PTE properties will flood the market.

If there is a global recession, then a crash of 40% to 50% may not be prevented.

Anonymous said...

Should Singapore concentrate on the the tourism and technological ways?

Rather the making use of foreigners for levies, is not so good for the commoners, but is good for the ministers for votes and highest salaries?

The Nordic even without the busyport or the Israel with busy port and resources, proof that you can bring you local high potential, having many olympic champions, nobel prize winners and highly successful multi national companies?

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...


No one can predict when it is going to happen. But it will. Debt levels are unsustainable. The "bubble" is not caused by people saving up money then buying, it is caused by turning debt into "money" (aka "fiduciary media -- aka "money substitute").

This means that if you borrow to "invest" in property, your "ownership" involves a third party -- the true lenders of your borrowed funds -- but the lenders themselves (the banks) lend out MORE than they have -- about 10 times to 1...creating more debt out of debt (imagine a pyramid), thus depressing real interest rates to an artificially low level -- at the moment around 1-2%. This is unsustainable.

When it finally does "correct" or "collapse" (choose your own words -- it means the same thing) the debt-upon-debt crumbles like a house of cards.

Many people lose money. The smart ones however, get to buy "distressed assets" at bargain prices :-)

Anonymous said...


Using the right words in presentation is important to be successfully getting the highest salaries in the world?

Words like GRC is for racial harmony, instead of words like making it difficult for the oppositions to voice out, so to get the highest pay in the world?

Pofit-sharing schemes, instead of pork bearing which the west called?

Foreigners create value instead of the job loss or depressed salaries for levies, indirect taxes and votes?

So it is important to use to correct words during presentations to increase your votes?

Some minister need to cry to show more genuine in the presentations?

Anonymous said...

Mr Bean, at least you are not a ghost writer, are you?
Can't be said for some of your detractors. Many sounded suspiciously like paid or volunteer sympathisers for certain types of brigade.

Anonymous said...

There are people who would stoop to do anything to make a living. These kind of people will even sell their fathers and mothers if the price is right. Very low morality.

Anonymous said...

'Build HDB flats? Turn into farmland ? Hahahahahaha'
How about green buffer zones for the enjoyment of tax-paying citizens, instead of cramping every milliimetre of space with concrete for the sake of material wealth? Hahahahahaha. And I don't mean artificial trees where you have to pay to see them.

Anonymous said...

No, the property market will not crash. Not when there is one and only one dominant landowner controlling the release of land onto the market.

It is just a question of them holding or releasing land for sale that is preventing any semblance of a upcoming crash.

Moreover, there are so many speculators, agents and the Government acting in unison still blowing up the property bubble. In fact I should not call it a bubble, since the dominant landowner always deny that there is such a bubble. With the holy and benvolent blessing of the dominant landowner, where or when is there any sign of a property crash?

Anonymous said...

"Not when there is one and only one dominant landowner controlling the release of land onto the market."
Anon 3:28 pm

Tiok. Some more only 700 sq km in total.

And there are still Sinkies around. And so many foreign talents waiting to come. How to crash?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The inadvertent disclosure of only 10% out of 221 units in the Marina Bay Suites were occupied though all the units were sold is like letting the cat out of the bag.

A confluence of events are waiting to play out with strong deflationary forces that would cause the property bubble into an unstoppable tailspin.

1. The conscious under building of HDB flats that forced the hands of Boon Wan to over build will kill the demand for properties in the resale market as well as new developments. This one is done and cannot wind back.

2. The purchase of properties at high prices during the supply squeeze has led to many either waiting to sell high to profit or to liquidate to pay up for new purchases cannot withstand a fall in property prices.

3. Similarly, those who bought high will be hit by a double whammy of falling prices and rising interest rate.

4. Those who bought to speculate and cannot sell will add to the supply and will panic to sell.

All the above are done deals and waiting to come together at the same time to crash the market.

I hope I am wrong on this.

Anonymous said...

How to master the art of presentations and selling?

Using the right words in presentation is important, it is they key to successfully getting the highest salaries in the world? Or Propaganda?

Words like GRC is for (racial harmony), instead of words like (making it difficult for the oppositions to come in and to voice out).

With little oppositions, so can get the highest pay in the world?

Use words like (Pofit-sharing schemes), instead of (pork bearing schemes) should be used instead, which the west called?

Foreigners (create value or jobs) instead of the (job loss or depressed salaries) (or for levies, indirect taxes and votes)?

Low taxes instead of (highest indirect taxes) like COE, Levies, GST, ERP & other taxes etc?

So it is important to use to correct words, during presentations to increase your votes?

Some ministers need to cry shamelessly to show more genuine in the presentations, to get sympathy votes?

b said...

If I am super super rich, I will not buy sg properties because it is only 99 years LH. I will prefer Mabella Spain. Much much value for money with sun, sea, space, sex thrown in.

Anonymous said...

What about Singapore's ghost parliament?

So many talented PAP Millionaires.
And yet all seem to think the same way.
And always taken by surprise.
Bus strikes,
MRT breakdown,
record number of TB cases,
record number of dengue fever cases
and etc.

Anonymous said...

Singapura a.k.a. Pulau Hantu.

Anonymous said...

Marina Bay Suites just got their TOP a few weeks ago. It takes time for the owners to get them ready for letting.

Check the occupancy rates in 2-3 months time.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

for the buyers of these properties any losses are sup sup shui lah ...

need nok worry for them ... or the source of funds, too sophisicated for dafts to understand

knnccb .... knnbccb to the 60% mudder fuckers who keep voting for papigs .... may all your descendants also reap the karma of those papigs you voted for

Anonymous said...


The "business cycle" is very simple. When the rate of growth in money supply (debt supply) exceeds the rate of growth in the general economy (GDP), the excess "money" has to go somewhere. It creates an illusion of prosperity. Artificial bubbles will form either in housing, stocks, currency, etc. Eventually the market always corrects for these phony excesses and the bubbles burst. (just like the poker game.)

The exact same thing is happening in Singapore now.

b said...

Rb, need not worry. Matilah will snap up all the distressed assets and hold them for the next thirty years.

Anonymous said...

90% of the units not occupied does not mean they are not sold lah.

It can mean 100% of units sold but 90% of buyers have not yet or will not live there.

It can even mean just a few rich foreign buyers buying up a lot of the units, and waiting for a good time to flip to make more money lah. And that's how the rich become richer what.

Anonymous said...

Tiok. There are so many rich people in the whole, wide world.

Where got problem buying and selling Marina Bay Suites?

If depend on Sinkies (people not enough, money not enough), of course big problem lah.

Anonymous said...

It's a big problem if PAP were to depend just on Sinkies, or to protect the jobs of Sinkies from foreigners.

Because there are not even enough Sinkies, let alone enough talented and rich Sinkies.

Anonymous said...

Without the profit sharing scheme and the TP walkover , the main party votes could be much lower then the 60 percent, between 35 to 45 percent?

Anonymous said...

20 units occupied out of 211 at Marina Bay Suites ? Very big bubble already lah. Just waiting to explode in the faces of the greedy. No wonder Forbes reported on this. Shit Times will cover such shit, not Forbes. Better believe what they say. Sinkapore is headed for an Iceland type meltdown ! Bet your last dollar on this !

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah is just like a crow. Flying here and there making a lot of noise and picking up the crumbs. He cannot afford the Marina Bay Suites lah.

Anonymous said...

knn .... now i veBy the frightened;

the americunt now dun even nid internet to spy ...

the used radio frequency premounted on integrated circuit and motherboards to spy

the americunt running dogs; here and abroad ... helping them monitor these frequencies

knnccb .... papigs, return our cpf@55

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@redbean 841:

redbean is correct. I'm am no "big time" wolf of wallstreet type of fella. I consider myself more like the longkang cat of geylang.

I dun buy super-duper expensive stuff. I'm more like a "bottom-feeder" picking up the cheaper stuff to rent to the average struggling person who can't afford to buy. I dun wanna be Donald Trump. My intension is to be more like a Slum Lord :-)

Please dispose of any idea that I am some sort of "high flyer". The only time I fly high is when I drink to excess. I am but a lowly small fish with a PSLE cert trying to muddle my way through life -- I pick up a crumb here and there when the opportunity presents itself.

Very humbly yours...

Anonymous said...

Delusions of grandeur. Fake humility.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hahaha, Matilah, you are more than an acquaintance to everyone here. They know you inside out. : )

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...


>> They know you inside out. : )

They think they know me inside out ;-)

That's the way aha aha I like it aha aha (21st century version)

Anonymous said...

Delusions of grandeur. Fake humility. Can't sing.

b said...

"20 units occupied out of 211 at Marina Bay Suites ?"

- maybe an insurance scam. it was predicted that the interest rate will go up substantially in few years time.