Woodleigh Residences – Refined Living. Delightful Shopping.

I attended the media preview for Woodleigh Residences today (26 Oct), and this amazing showroom is going to be up for public viewing over the next 2 weeks.

This new property has been getting lots of attention, and I wanted to know why!

The showroom was right outside Serangoon MRT. Take Exit B, and turn right!

As I entered the huge showroom, I was greeted by a huge reception that looks so expensive with all the marble. Omg. I love marble!

Winfrid, the Kajima representative, shared with us that Kajima has come a long way in building high-end residences, and has a proven track record in Japanese craftsmanship. As for SPH, its partner for this development, it brings plenty of valuable retail expertise to the table. Woodleigh Residences is such a big deal because it’s a huge integrated development in Bidadari – the next big thing in Singapore!

Woodleigh Residences features an unbeatable view of Bidadari Park and Alkaff Lake. This, I believe, is the key selling point of this particular condominium. I understand from the developer that this view is here to stay for Woodleigh Residences residents. In their words, “We will always have this view.” Sigh. How lovely!

There will be 3 levels of retail in Woodleigh Residences, and Levels 3 to 13 are for residential units. If you look at the photo below, there is a protrusion from the development that leads to the lake. The protrusion is termed the “commercial bridge”, and the top part is only accessible for residents. The best part about it is that… *drumroll*…. there is a Japanese Onsen! Yes, a Japanese Onsen, with an Onsen for males, and another for females. That sounds so cool. Omg. I need a friend to buy Woodleigh. Now.

The second floor of the commercial bridge (i.e. below the Onsen) will be home to restaurants. This part is open to the public. I can’t wait to eat at those restaurants… you’ll enjoy the breathtaking view as you overlook the lake and park!

In designing this integrated development, Kajima and SPH considered five concepts:

  1. Space creation and maximisation
  2. Adaptability of units
  3. Community building
  4. Smart home and systems
  5. Health and wellness

I loved these considerations because then it sounds like a home where people can really live, rejuvenate, and unwind.

In the photo above, we were checking out the development’s connectivity to Woodleigh MRT. If you’re staying at Woodleigh Residences, you can simply walk to the MRT via B2. It’s super connected. And once you’re out of the MRT and head to B1, it’s like Ion and Plaza Singapura where there is a food hall, restaurants, plenty of food choices, and a supermarket.

On Level 1, there will be restaurants, as well as services like banks. On Level 2, there will be medical facilities and a childcare.

The Kajima representative shared that with so many facilities within the development, including a Community Centre and Police Post, there is simply no reason to leave this development! Oh ya, when he mentioned the police post, the representative joked, “So we are very safe.” Haha.

Ah – and below is a closer look at the Commercial Bridge!

A central idea for this development is community building. I hear there are 3 swimming pools, and plenty of social and gathering areas. Imagine being surrounded by infinite greenery when you’re using these facilities. And if you’re getting a unit facing this green – sigh, you are one lucky duck!

By the way, Woodleigh is simply amazing, ok. If you have kids, they have the option of going to good schools nearby like Cedar Girls and Maris Stella. Everything is within reach, even a golf course!

Within the unit, a key feature is the option to opt in (or out) for the socket-free wall. So what it means is that the good people at the developer have considered the concept of multi-generational living. For instance, if you have kids and they have all grown up and moved out, you can now easily remove the “socket-free” wall without spending a dime on electrical re-wiring. So then without the “socket-free” wall, their bedroom can become an extension of the dining area too. That’s the adaptability of the unit they were talking about – I love the foresight!

Also, the balcony problem is resolved. They have laid really nice tiles out on the balcony that’s supported by an effective drainage system. This means that if it rains, drainage wouldn’t be a problem since water wouldn’t collect! I think if I heard correctly, the water will seep in between the smart tiles. You can then drag your outdoor dining set to the balcony, perhaps, and dine alfresco!

Another detail I liked was the wardrobe design. There is a cantilever system in place such that you can easily adjust your wardrobe shelving. Space is really easily adjustable. I love this flexibility. Plus, the drawers are super well-built!

A few more photos of the showroom. Oh I’ve got to tell you this – inspired by Japanese living, they have brought in Japanese washlets in the toilet as well! That’s really crazy. Haha. For Japan lovers, congrats, you no longer have to go to Japan!

Plus, the ceiling height is 2950. Sigh. My BTO is like 2.5m or something…

For those concerned with interior fittings – here are the brands they’ve selected for the fans, toilets, etc. I see Grohe and I like it!

Are you interested in the prices? Wait for it…:

2BR starts from 1.088 million.
3BR starts from 1.664 million.
4BR starts from 2.55 milion.

Price psf in general starts from $1873.

Oh by the way, if you’re getting a 4BR, the lift goes right up to YOUR DOOR!

Actual sales start 10 November 2018. Be on standby!

The rep tells us that you can choose your colour scheme! I’m so undecided. I love love love both colour schemes. I love all the colours and materials!

I think some of the reporters were interested in finding out Kajima’s strategy in navigating the recent cooling measures. To my surprise, Mr Kazunori Ichihashi, Project Director of Kajima, shared that they believe that Singapore is a growing country, and though there’s movement in the market recently due to the recent cooling measures, it doesn’t change their focus and they kept working to see their vision through.

SPH further added their view that it’s hard to find a property on the city fringe that has such a brilliant view like Woodleigh Residences, and one that offers full accessibility to several travel nodes.

I was wondering though if Singaporeans would take to the Japanese-themed concepts. Mr Ichihashi said, “In Japan, homes are smaller. We have so many ideas that we developed in Japan to maximise every inch and use of the space.¬†We brought Japanese developmental concepts – not the Japanese culture – and customised them to suit the local context. We believe these will appeal to the Singapore lifestyle.”

Go check out Woodleigh Residences and get it in the bag. I think the uninterrupted view of the lake and park is definitely worth a million bucks in sunny Singapore! ūüôā

Sales Gallery
The Woodleigh Residences sales gallery is located beside NEX Shopping Mall (Serangoon Link) and is open from 10.00am to 7.00pm.

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Change In Singapore: What Capitaland Can Do

I was chatting with a friend of mine when suddenly, the topic turned to life in Singapore. Granted, we’re in a clean and green city, where everything works like clockwork, the Polyclinic is available, the buses and trains are running. It’s a comfortable environment to live in.

The only gripe? The high costs of living.

My friend had an interesting economic concept, albeit a little protectionist. Before you close this window, hear me out.

His proposal centred on keeping jobs for Singaporeans. As we know, companies would much rather hire a Malaysian or Indonesian and pay lower wages than to hire a Singaporean. Why pay $2500 when you can pay $1500, right? However, he says that this has driven many Singaporeans up the wall. Many Singaporeans can’t find good jobs as a result.

So I explained to him that it’s difficult for business owners as well. And I threw the question at him – if he were a business owner, would he hire 10 Malaysians, or 3 Singaporeans?

He said he would hire 3 Singaporeans.

And he went on to explain that companies like Capitaland can play a part. When charging rental, they can absorb the $1000 wage difference. For instance, if John, a shop owner, rents a shop from Capitaland and hires a Malaysian to man his shop, he has to pay $5000 in rental and $1500 in wages.

But if John rents a shop from Capitaland and hires a Singaporean to man his shop, he can pay $4000 in rental and $2500 in wages.

My friend says that such a scheme gives everybody a chance to find a decent job, without risk of regional competition at the worker level. And it also doesn’t demean important jobs like frontline staff and shop assistants.

At this point I concurred with him. Companies like Capitaland will be able to afford these concessions. At the end of the day, it boils down to greed.

I rather think my friend’s suggestion is a good idea. What do you think?

Why should I pay the Airport Development Levy?

When Changi Terminal 5 was unveiled at the National Day Rally in 2013, we were all stoked. More so when the beautiful visuals of Project Jewel were released.

Uh oh. We forgot that this comes at a price. Who would fund these expansions? Surely not…not us?!

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on 28 February 2018 a new Airport Development Levy to fund the Changi Airport expansion project, or Changi East. In this post, we bring you the 5 frequently asked questions on this levy.

1.     How much is the levy?

If you are flying out of Changi Airport, you will have to pay up to S$10.80 more due to the new levy, as well as changes in passenger fees.

Fees

Source: Channel NewsAsia

2.¬†¬†¬†¬† There’s no guarantee I’ll use the facilities. Why must I pay for¬†it?

The fact is that such expansions entail a huge upfront investment.¬†Our government currently employs a three-way model –¬†made¬†up of the¬†government, Changi Airport Group (CAG), as well¬†airport users, like you and I.¬†The good thing about this model is that it prevents a large spike in charges to future airport users. Apparently, this isn’t a new concept. Airports in Hong Kong, Dubai and Qatar adopt similar models.

3.     Fine. But who paid for the previous terminals?

Surprise, surprise! We have been paying for airport upgrades and expansions. The expansion of Terminal 1 and the construction of Terminal 4 for instance, were fully funded by fees collected, such as the Passenger Service and Security Fee that were paid by airport users.

4.     Why can’t the Government pay for this project, since it has so much money?

In general, airport users should bear their share for the use of airport facilities. In fact, airport users are paying the smallest share. The Government will pay the majority of the costs, while CAG will contribute the next largest share. Airport users’ contributions is the smallest share of the joint contribution model.

5. Exactly, so costs should be borne by the Government and CAG!

Actually, if you think about it, it isn’t a good idea. If airport users are not to be charged, then the government would have to pay more.¬†Don’t forget that the¬†government’s money¬†is our money – taxpayers’ money!

Now you know – the levy isn’t too bad after all. With everyone’s contributions, we’ll be able to enjoy a brand new Changi!

View this post on Instagram

Voil√†! Good news from #Cannes, France, where the prestigious @mapicworld Awards 2016 was held last night ‚Äď Jewel Changi Airport, jointly developed by @changiairport Group and #CapitaLand, has been crowned Best Futura Shopping Centre!ūüĎŹ Designed by world renowned architect #MosheSafdie, Jewel combines beautiful gardens with a vibrant marketplace housed within a distinctive glass-and-steel dome. ūüéČStrategically located in Singapore‚Äôs Changi Airport, the world‚Äôs sixth busiest #airport for international traffic, it will provide an excellent platform for leading global retail and lifestyle brands to showcase their best offerings to the world. We can‚Äôt wait to welcome you to #Jewel when it opens in early 2019. Meanwhile, here‚Äôs a sneak peek into the future! ūüėĄ

A post shared by CapitaLand (@capitaland) on

 

 

 

How can I get my tax returns automatically filled?

Ever wondered how can we get our tax returns automatically filled? For the majority of us, we enjoy a simplified tax filing process and we have our employers and IRAS to thank.

1.8 million¬†of us¬†in Singapore are fortunate to be working in companies¬†that have participated in¬†IRAS’ Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS).

This means that most of our companies provide IRAS with details on our salaries, and these details are hence automatically pre-filled in our tax returns. That’s why so many of us don’t even need to file our taxes (i.e. on the no-filing scheme)!

Believe it or not Рmany Singaporeans still take pains to key in their salary details in their tax forms. If you are one of them, urge your employer to get on the AIS scheme right away! (Get your company to apply for it here)

If you can’t get them to budget, fret not. As part of the government’s initiative to¬†take things online,¬†the AIS scheme¬†has been made compulsory for some companies.

For instance, from Year of Assessment 2015, it is compulsory for employers with 10 or more employees to come onboard the scheme. From Year of Assessment 2018, participation in AIS will be compulsory for employers with 9 or more employees. We see what you did there!

If your company still isn’t taking steps, push for the Auto-Inclusion scheme right away! Rally to get your company on board to enjoy seamless tax filing and save time and effort from keying in your tax returns every year!

For more information, please visit IRAS’ website at this link.

 

Court affirms Singapore’s duty in sharing tax data

The Court of Appeal has today affirmed Singapore’s powers and duty in responding to data-sharing requests from its foreign counterparts. This power was sealed since the judgment was passed on this case:¬†AXY and others v Comptroller of Income Tax (2018)

If you’re a foreigner and you’re trying to hide your money in Singapore, don’t even try. It is unlikely that you can get away with evading taxes since your country will ask for bank data from Singapore!

This puts Singapore’s tax authority, IRAS, in good stead to align itself with the internationally agreed Standard for EOI treaty moving forward.

Here’s what happened:

The tax authority of Korea, the National Tax Service (NTS), was investigating five Korean individuals, as well as companies owned by some of them. The NTS suspected that these individuals had bank accounts in Singapore that were being used to conceal their income in order to evade taxes.

Korea then reached out to Singapore for help in getting the bank data and documents of these five individuals to help with its investigations. This request is called an EOI or Exchange of Information request.

After much consideration, Singapore’s tax authority (IRAS) issued production notices against three Singapore banks to get them to share the data. This was when a few of the five Korean individuals applied to Singapore’s High Court to stop IRAS’ order.

The High Court rejected the five Korean individuals’ application in September 2017, and today, the Court of Appeal affirmed the High Court‚Äôs decision.

The decisions of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have put beyond doubt the Comptroller’s powers and duties at law in responding to an EOI request from a foreign treaty partner.

What a historic moment for Singapore!

Did you know? 

Singapore took up the EOI Standard in 2009. This shows that we are committed in combating cross-border tax offences. Since 2013, global forums have affirmed that Singapore’s EOI regime is in line with the EOI Standard, both in terms of legal framework and implementation.

The decisions of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal in this case have made clear the legal position on EOI administration and also endorses Singapore’s decision to assist in the request from the South Korean tax authority based on its assessment that the request was consistent with the EOI Standard.

Click here for Supreme Court’s case summary

Click here for IRAS’ press statement

 

 

Why isn’t Airbnb allowed in Singapore?

Short-term rentals in Singapore aren’t legal. But if it’s a long-enough stay, it is actually alright.

For instance, if you own a private apartment, the minimum rental period is 3 consecutive months (lowered from 6 months since June 2017). If you own a HDB flat, the minimum rental period for each tenant is 6 months.

Recently, two Singaporean Airbnb hosts were fined a total of $60,000 each¬†for the unauthorised short-term letting of four condo units. This¬†is the¬†first of¬†such cases under Singapore’s short-term property letting rules, and is seen as a deterrent move.

Simply put, if you were to let out¬†a property for the short term illegally, through Airbnb for instance, you are risking yourself to heavy penalties.¬†Align your rental periods¬†with the regulations, please! It doesn’t seem worth it to make quick cash this way.

Why can’t we rent out for the short-term?

Though¬†you’re generating a profit, we know of many Singaporeans who are against short-term rentals.¬†Just think about it –¬†these short-term¬†stays¬†will disrupt the living environment of others around you.¬†Noise by happy holidaymakers, for instance. These¬†tenants may also¬†pose security concerns for neighbours and their children. These, we think, are some concerns¬†Singaporeans¬†have.

To appease the concerns of the Singapore government, Airbnb shared that¬†it is willing to not list public housing on its site.¬†In fact, measures can be put in place to ensure that all hosts comply. For instance, Chicago has a “three strikes” policy, which bars hosts who repeatedly break the rules, while in New Orleans, no accommodation¬†in the oldest section of its city (i.e. the French Quarter)¬†can be listed on its site.

Let’s see how this dialogue works out, shall we? Don’t just leave it to the two parties though. If you have views, you are encouraged to participate in URA’s upcoming public consultation on short-term letting.

P.S.: The irony

Despite these concerns, Airbnb has a swanky new¬†office is in Singapore! Though we aren’t a big market for Airbnb, we’ve been chosen as the headquarters for Asia Pacific. Feast your eyes away!

 

As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. What are you waiting for? Get your resumes out already!


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