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Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time in Singapore and found out that it is one of the richest places on the planet. So why is this so and what can we learn? First of all there is construction everywhere with buildings going up and vacancy levels very low. It’s a popular place to do business with it being the hub into Asia and a diversity of business. The cargo ships off the coast were queuing up to get in and out of port to export product which is a sign the economy is doing well.
Shopping centres everywhere with many outlets to shop at with retail thriving (no worries about online competition here just a focus on customer service). Free entertainment with man-made structures to attract people like the Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and the Ferris Wheel. With the Grand Prix due soon there, it is a place that is very events focused with these events attracting people from afar. So if you hold an event make it mind-blowing. There is no Uber just a taxi system that was affordable for everyone ($3.70 flag fall and $0.22 cents per km). There are trees, plants, shrubs, vines everywhere for a city. So there is a major focus on environmental which is a major attraction.
So there are lots of good economic drivers which supply a variety of jobs and everyone wants to work. No handouts in Singapore. Yes it is expensive mainly thanks to 10% service charges and 7% GST on top of that but you know what? Businesses can all compete and thrive, roads are in top condition, streets are clean, easy to get round and there are no security concerns. You can walk around without feeling like you are going to get mugged. People are happy.
So what can we learn to help our property markets here in Australia? You need economic drivers that provide diversity and variety. You need a steady amount of supply and demand with new construction. You need man-made structures to attract people and help substantiate sub markets and opportunities. You need regular events that people must see not boring same, same. You need good infrastructure for people to get there. You need to feel like you’re secure and safe. And you need a willingness to get on with things and get it done. Get rid of bureaucracy.
If all this happens, then there is only one way for the property market to go. And that is up.