SINGAPORE : Resale prices of completed non-landed private homes extended their decline last month, the Singapore Residential Price Index (SRPI) flash estimates released yesterday showed, with the sharpest falls recorded in the central region.
The SRPI, compiled by the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate Studies, showed overall prices fell 0.3 per cent last month from January, slowing from the revised 0.9 per cent drop in the previous month.
Prices of homes in the central region, excluding small units, led the decline, falling 0.7 per cent to extend January’s 1.2 per cent fall. Home prices in the non-central region were unchanged following the 0.7 per cent decline previously. Prices of small units — those with a floor area of 506 sq ft and below — fell 0.2 per cent, reversing from the 0.2 per cent rise a month earlier, the data showed.
The broad downward price trend is likely to continue, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of property agency Century 21 Singapore.
“The resale market is taking a cue from the market for new homes. When developers are pricing their new launches slightly below the 12-month average price to push sales, that will have some impact on the resale market,” he said. Read more here >>
SINGAPORE : It will soon become easier for consumers to find out more about different insurance products.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday (Mar 31) that from Apr 7, consumers can compare insurance products using a new web portal called compareFIRST. This allows consumers to easily compare the premiums and features of similar products of different insurance companies.
From Apr 7, consumers can also buy a new type of simple life insurance products – known as Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI). Such products are sold without financial advice, and their premiums are lower than comparable life insurance products because no commission is charged.
Consumers can find out more about the pricing and features of DPI from the various insurance companies. It is a collaborative effort by the Consumers Association of Singapore, MAS, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore and MoneySENSE.
Read more here >>
SINGAPORE : The cafes are always a sign. Call them the “coolness” litmus test of a neighbourhood. Once they start popping up, it is time to pay attention.
In Yishun, the sleepy estate in the north of Singapore, several new cafes have opened in recent months.
Two of these outfits are Holy Cow Creamery, an ice cream parlour in Yishun Street 22, and RoyceMary Cafe, serving coffee and desserts out of a unit in a mixed-use building in Victory 8 in Jalan Legundi.
And then there are the bike shops, with at least four of them along Yishun Avenues 6 and 7 alone, supplying the hipster transportation staple.
Is Yishun becoming the next Tiong Bahru? Hardly.
But the area, which has more than 250,000 residents, is no lifeless backwater. Read more here >>
CHINA : China announced steps to make buying and selling a home cheaper, intervening to revive a slumping property market that’s weighed on economic growth and cut demand for commodities from copper to steel.
The required down payment for some second homes was lowered to 40 percent from 60 percent, the People’s Bank of China said on its website. The finance ministry later said select homeowners will be exempted from a sales tax if they sell after holding a property for two years or more. The previous minimum to avoid the 5.5 percent tax was five years.
Monday’s moves add to the government’s efforts to arrest a slide in home prices and spur growth that the government targets to expand at its slowest pace in 15 years. Two interest rate cuts since November, along with a loosening of property curbs in September, had so far failed to stem the decline, as new-home sales slumped 17 percent in January and February. Read more here >>
LONDON : Rents in London rose by eight per cent in February compared with the same month last year, as high property prices forced more people into the rented sector.
For the UK as a whole, average rents increased by seven per cent in February compared with last year, figures released by estate agents Barnard Marcus show today.
The supply of properties to rent has dropped 17 per cent, while demand has continued to rise.
In London, there are 8.5 applicants to every property available to rent, up from 5.3 one year ago. For the UK, there are 5.2 potential tenants vying for every property on the market, up from four last year.
The average monthly London rent is now £1,507, more than double the UK average of £705. Read more here >>