Friday, May 25, 2012

where students go, real estate follows...

How true is the statement above from today's News Straits Times?

Well, no doubt, wherever the student population clusters, we tend to see a demand in amount of rental properties. And with that, certain types of real estate investors will venture into these markets and try to make some profit out of it. But are students good tenant prospects for long term?

On the positive side, one will almost need not worry about their property being left vacant for long. Even for a semester break, chances are you will hardly have the unit unoccupied for 3 months.

But reading the paper's statistic I somehow believe the figures are poorly compiled and it's somewhat misleading to generate a feel good factor to justify the articles published.

Well yes, it's not hard to find students who are willing to fork out RM1,100.00 monthly on rental alone, but does the author honestly think there are tons of these wealthy students across the country? Apparently a unit of 1500sf to 1600sf is worth between RM700,000.00 to RM800,000.00 and rentals can averagely fetch a cool RM4,000.00 to RM5,000.00 which makes the rental yielding a 7-8% return.

Either I'm detached from reality. Or the author is.

I was a student not too long ago, but surely inflation has not gone that bad.

Back in 2006, a corner unit of a double-storey terrace with over 2000sf was worth RM550,000.00 can only fetch RM1,500.00 in rental. I was one of those students renting at such price and I paid RM130.00 monthly in a household of 10.

We can barely find expats willing to pay rental over RM3,000.00 for fully furnished units these days and the author would like to make us believe there are groups of few students who're willing to pay much more.

And even if these students exist, 7-8% rental yield is very much, in most savvy investors' eyes, a very laughable return. None of my rented units yield as low as the figure given, and if anyone thinks that's a great deal then I'm secretly rejoicing for the lack of astute competitors.

Perhaps one will think I'm overreacting, but I will most definitely not (though I'll never say never) venture into students' market in this country, sadly because returns is not as good as the author projected it to be. And the ever changing pool of tenants (students do graduate don't they?) will prove to be a hassle and waste of resources to those who seek agent assistance in letting out. And finally, I can almost never find a property returned in good condition after a tenancy expires. This I speak from experience: I pity my landlord when we returned the keys. He actually sold it off to someone who demolished the whole unit to rebuild something else.

I wonder with the current trend of journalism how further backward will we continue to go? I don't mean to criticize all journalists, but I would rather read lame Bieber-related news, than real estate articles with outrageously optimistic datas written by journalists who I suspect have not even bought one property, just because they have to write up an article to submit on a deadline.

Friday, May 18, 2012

YNWA my king...

The sacking of of Kenny Dalglish didn't seem much like a surprise, but still the manner of how he was made to leave the club made my heart twitch a little.

Yes, he may not be the modern day saviour as most LFC fans had hoped for, but honestly how many of us would've thought FSG would have things end this way?

Here is a king who scored 167 goals in 322 games for LFC. A king who won 9 league titles and 3 European cups. A king who, along with a handful only, to have won every domestic trophy in England with a single club. A king, when the club fell into its darkest days in the late 80s with tragic deaths, led the knights and supporters to discover the silver lining in the sky. The king, who mourn the deaths of supporters with the rest of us, every single year until today without fail.

And the king is sacked? That could've been done with a lot more taste. But sacking is not the Liverpool Way.

Not once in LFC's history that a manager has been sacked by the board, not every Roy Hodgson. And surely Kenny Dalglish should not go down in history to be the first.

8th place is by far the worst position I have witnessed LFC in the last decade, but after all the mayhem by the US cowboys it does spiral a bit out of control eh? All the promises unkept, all the merry-go-rounds, all the legal tangles, and FSG came along to pull us out from the well. But as ruthless as we know, like all business tycoons, FSG means business and business is all there is.

With Dalglish's sacking it signals the end of the bootroom legacy and whatever is left to the traditions. Some fans got their way in calling for Dalglish's head towards the end of the season. Now who will emerge to lead LFC to better days in the future? Martinez? Villa-Boas? Really?

Fans should know better, and should've learnt from the lesson for calling Rafa's head 2 seasons back. For a man who breathes LFC, Benitez surely didn't expect some fans to ask for his resignation, only to be replaced by Roy 'Puppet' Hodgson. The woy who rubs his face like a genie lamp every time things go wrong. The woy who brought us as low as 19th place in the league.

Do we not learn from the past? Where do we go from here? Now that the king is gone, we will have to start from scratch. Again.

Was the season really that bad that Dalglish does not deserve any more than what he received? It was a season of bad referee decisions, woodwork shots (over 30 of them) and bad penalties that could've cost us more than 20 points in the season just ended. Can he be blamed for even half of these situations?

Now that the decision has been made, we'll have to dust ourselves and get ready to get dirty again. Now FSG can thank King Kenny for flatly refusing his severance package so the club can take whatever is there to reinvest into the club's buying policy.

King Kenny, you'll never walk alone.