Property Update (25 June 2015)

Unified 2-room, Studio Apartment HDB scheme coming | channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE : The Housing and Development Board (HDB)’s plans to bring studio apartments and two-room flats under a single scheme are underway, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announces on a Capital 95.8 FM radio talk show.

Move comes as Khaw looks to give every S’porean couple a chance to live in an HDB flat

Move comes as Khaw looks to give every S’porean couple a chance to live in an HDB flat

HDB to raise income ceilings for BTO flats, ECs | todayonline.com

SINGAPORE — The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will raise the income ceilings — for the second time since 2011 — for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and Executive Condominiums (ECs), said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday, as he looks to “give every Singaporean couple a chance” to live in an HDB flat even though they may have greater means and do not need Government-subsidised housing.

The new limits could be rolled out as soon as August or September. Around the same time, the HDB is also expected to launch a new “two-room flexi” scheme which has been in the works. The new initiative would merge the existing studio apartment and two-room-flat schemes, and offer buyers flexibility in lease lengths. Read more >>


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Shift in housing policy ‘reflects S’pore’s changing circumstances’ | todayonline.com

SINGAPORE : National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s recent comment that every Singaporean couple — regardless of their financial means — ought to have a chance of living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats signals a shift in the Government’s thinking and could have profound implications on housing policy, experts said yesterday.

Nevertheless, some of them noted that it was an inevitable shift given Singapore’s changing circumstances and the need for public housing to retain its role as a social institution here.

And as the Government seeks to provide public housing to more people, there may come a time when income ceilings are removed, the experts said, and the authorities would have to ensure that HDB flats remain affordable to the lower-income group by providing them larger subsidies or putting in place restrictions that, say, dictate what flat types the more well-off can buy. Read more >>

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Regulation and tax set to impact property markets in Asia Pacific region | propertywire.com

ASIA : Monetary policy, tax, regulations and underlying fundamental drivers such as demographics and urbanisation will have a significant impact on property markets in the Asia Pacific region, according to the latest real estate analysis.

The region’s economies are moving at multiple speeds with differing drivers and local dynamics, producing quite a wide range of housing market performance indicator, says the Asia Pacific residential review from international real estate firm Knight Frank.

‘Economic growth can certainly be a reasonable lead indicator as to which way housing markets will go,’ said Nicholas Holt, head of research for the Asia Pacific region. He also pointed out that despite facing many headwinds, the International Monetary Fund is forecasting stronger growth in 2015 for six out of the 11 major countries in the region.

‘While this should be a positive sign for home owners or investors, the reality is that in many cases there has been a divergence between short term economic growth and market performance,’ he added. Read more >>

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CPF Housing Grant: What You Need To Know To Get The Most Out Of It

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By Peter Lin, moneysmart.sg

Ah, Singapore. Probably the only country in the world where you can get up to $50,000 from the SG50 Celebration Fund just to celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence. Do you know what’s really crazy? Getting that money requires jumping through less hoops than getting a subsidy for your home. In a country that boasts over 90% home ownership, that’s pretty mindblowing.

It wasn’t easy to make applying for the CPF Housing Grant as simple as possible, but if you follow this guide, you’ll hopefully be able to figure out how much you can get to subsidise your next home.

Eligibility for all CPF Housing Grants
Generally, you have to be a first-time applicant and buying a flat with a remaining lease of more than 30 years to qualify for any grant. You also have to be currently employed and have been in continuous employment for 12 months before the flat application (since your household income is determined by the average monthly income over this period).

You must also not have owned or sold a flat bought from HDB, or a DBSS or Executive Condominium from the developers. Neither must you have received the CPF Housing Grant for the purchase of a HDB resale flat, or taken any other form of housing subsidy.

1. Buying a new BTO flat from HDB
For BTO flats, you do not get any CPF Housing Grants even if your household’s monthly salary is below the income ceiling. This is because HDB has already included the subsidy in the BTO price.

If your household income is $6,500 or less, you can get up to $60,000 from the Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant to help with your BTO flat purchase. The amount you get depends on your household income. (Note: the Special CPF Housing Grant is only available for 2-room, 3-room and 4-room flat applications in non-mature estates)

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If you are apply as a single person, and your income is $3,250 or less, you can get up to $30,000 from the Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant to help with your BTO flat purchase. The amount you get depends on your income. If you apply under the Joint Singles Scheme, you may be eligible for double that amount, depending on your combined incomes.

For the Single Singapore Citizen and Non-Citizen Spouse schemes and First-Timer/Second-Timer couples:

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For the Joint Single Scheme or Orphan Scheme:

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  • How to get the most CPF Housing Grant: Have a monthly household income of $1,500 or less and all applicants must be Singapore Citizens.
  • Maximum possible CPF Housing Grant: $60,000 (Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant)

2. Buying a DBSS flat from developers
The DBSS has been suspended since 2011. But just in case you want to join one of the hundreds of unhappy Trivelis flat-buyers, here are the grants you may be eligible for.

For families:
The CPF Housing Grant for Family (DBSS) is given out based on a couple of factors.

If your household income is between $8,001 and $10,000, you will be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Family up to $30,000. How much you get exactly depends on the number of applicants who are Singapore Citizens, and if either applicant has previously taken a housing subsidy.
If your household income is $8,000 or less, you will be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Family up to $30,000 as well. However, if you are living with your parents in the same flat, or they live within 2km of you, you will be eligible for up to another $10,000.
You will also be eligible for the Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant of up to $60,000 if your household income is $6,500 or less. The amount you get depends on your household income.

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  • How to get the most CPF Housing Grant: Have a monthly household income of $1,500 or less, both applicants must be Singapore Citizens, and stay with your parents in the same flat, or live in the same town/within 2 km from your parents. At least one parent must be a Singapore Citizen or PR.
  • Maximum possible CPF Housing Grant: $100,000 (CPF Housing Grant for Family, Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant)

For singles:
If you are single, a Singapore Citizen and 35 years old and above, you may be eligible to get a grant if you buy a DBSS unit from the developers. There are two different categories:

If you are applying with your siblings under the Orphans Scheme, or
If you are planning to stay with your parents.

The CPF Housing Grant for Singles (DBSS) under the Orphans Scheme is $11,000. The CPF Housing Grant for Singles (DBSS) is $20,000 if you are applying to stay with your parents in the flat ($20,000).

Whether or not you qualify for the above, you may also be eligible for the Additional CPF Housing Grant and Special CPF Housing Grant of up to $30,000 if your income is $3,250 or less. If you are applying under the Joint Singles Scheme, then you may be eligible for up to $60,000 if your combined incomes are $6,500 or less.

For the Single Singapore Citizen and Non-Citizen Spouse schemes and First-Timer/Second-Timer couples:

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For the Joint Single Scheme or Orphan Scheme:

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  • How to get the most CPF Housing Grant: Have a monthly income of $750 or less, are a Singapore Citizen and stay with your parents in the same flat. At least one of your parents must be a Singapore Citizen or PR.
  • Maximum possible CPF Housing Grant: $50,000 (CPF Housing Grant for Singles (living with parents), Additional CPF Housing Grant (Singles) and Special CPF Housing Grant (Singles).

3. Buying an Executive Condominium from developers
To be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant when buying an Executive Condominium, you have to apply as a family. Sorry, single people.

If your household income is between $11,0001 and $12,000, you may be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Family for up to $10,000. How much you get exactly depends on the number of applicants who are Singapore Citizens, and if either applicant has previously taken a housing subsidy.

If your household income is between $10,001 and $11,000, you may be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Family for up to $20,000. How much you get exactly depends on the number of applicants who are Singapore Citizens, and if either applicant has previously taken a housing subsidy.

If your household income is $10,000 or less, you may be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Family for up to $30,000. How much you get exactly depends on the number of applicants who are Singapore Citizens, and if either applicant has previously taken a housing subsidy.

  • How to get the most CPF Housing Grant: Have a monthly household income of $10,000 or less, and both applicants are Singapore Citizens.
  • Maximum possible CPF Housing Grant: $30,000 (CPF Housing Grant for Family)

4. What if I’m buying a resale flat?
For families:
If your household income is $10,000 or less, you will be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Family (Resale) for up to $30,000. How much you get exactly depends on the number of applicants who are Singapore Citizens, and if either applicant has previously taken a housing subsidy. However, if you are living with your parents in the same resale flat, or they live within 2km of you, you will be eligible for up to another $10,000.

You will also be eligible for the Additional CPF Housing Grant of up to $40,000 if your household income is $5,000 or less. The amount you get depends on your household income.

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  • How to get the most CPF Housing Grant: Have a monthly household income of $1,500 or less, both applicants must be Singapore Citizens, and stay with your parents in the same flat, or live in the same town/within 2 km from your parents. At least one parent must be a Singapore Citizen or PR.
  • Maximum possible CPF Housing Grant: $80,000 (CPF Housing Grant for Family and Additional CPF Housing Grant)

For singles:
If your income is $5,000 or less, you may be eligible for the CPF Housing Grant for Singles (Resale) for up to $15,000. However, you are only eligible for 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-room resale flats. That means, no ECs, no executive flats or anything in between.

How much you get exactly depends on the number of applicants who are Singapore Citizens, and if either applicant has previously taken a housing subsidy. However, if you are living with your parents in the same resale flat, or they live within 2km of you, you will be eligible for up to another $5,000.

You will also be eligible for the Additional CPF Housing Grant of up to $40,000 if your household income is $5,000 or less. The amount you get depends on your household income.

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  • How to get the most CPF Housing Grant: Have a monthly income of $750 or less, applicants must be Singapore Citizens, and stay with your parents in the same flat. At least one parent must be a Singapore Citizen or PR.
  • Maximum possible CPF Housing Grant: $40,000 (CPF Housing Grant for Singles and Additional CPF Housing Grant for Singles)

How to legally get more grants than you’re actually eligible for
If you’ve noticed, the amount of the grant you’re eligible for is dependent on your income. Your income for the past 12 months before you apply makes a big difference. So if you’re studying and working part-time, it actually makes sense to apply for the flat and declare that part-time salary.

Here’s another hack (and this is definitely going to “excite” the Yahoo! commenters): apply for Singaporean Citizenship, if you don’t already have it. As we’ve pointed out, Singapore Citizens are eligible for higher grants than PRs. If you want to maximise how much you can get, Citizenship is the way to go.

Also, do note that apart from finding out which grants you’re eligible for, the homework doesn’t stop there. If you are thinking of taking up a bank loan for your home, it’s extremely important to make sure you find out which is the best home loan package in Singapore, which can be done easily on MoneySmart.

Source : http://blog.moneysmart.sg/property/cpf-housing-grant-what-you-need-to-know-to-get-the-most-out-of-it/

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Property Update (18 June 2015)

New nursing home to be built in Tampines North | channelnewsasia.com

According to tender documents, the new facility will located near the first housing development in Tampines North – Tampines GreenRidges along Tampines Avenue 9.

Real estate agencies say they typically experience 10 to 15 per cent attrition at the start of the year, partly a result of agents switching companies. But this year, many have left the industry because of the current market slump.

Real estate agencies say they typically experience 10 to 15 per cent attrition at the start of the year, partly a result of agents switching companies. But this year, many have left the industry because of the current market slump.

Slump sees more than 2,000 property agents leave major firms | channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: The annual churn compounded by the sluggish property market has led to more than 2,000 property agents leaving major real estate agencies here in the first three months of the year, industry data showed. As of Apr 1, there were 23,947 agents, an 8 per cent drop from 26,014 towards the end of last year.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Manpower’s latest labour market report showed that the number of people employed in the real estate services fell by 1,900 between January and March, compared with the fourth quarter of last year.

Mr Jeff Foo, president of the Institute of Estate Agents, said: “When the market is going through a lull period … it is only logical that some will seek temporary income-generating jobs or alternatives. Many have in fact left the industry because of poor income.” Read more >>

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Singapore office property costly as new towers vie for tenants | businesstimes.com.sg

SINGAPORE : Singapore’s office market is expensive compared with Australia and Japan because of a space glut and slowing rental growth, according to Union Investment, Germany’s largest fund manager.

“It’s positive because of the quality of assets, maturity of assets, transparency of markets for practical reasons, but for economic returns it’s less attractive at this point in time,” Eric Cheah, Union’s Asia-Pacific head of investment management, said in an interview in the city-state.

Union Investment, which has one office asset in Singapore, is increasing its bets on central district offices in Australia and Japan instead, MrCheah said.

Singapore’s office rents peaked in the first quarter as economic growth shows signs of tapering, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc. Grade A office rents in the central business district could slide 14 per cent over the next two years to S$9.12 per square foot per month from S$10.60 per square foot, Cushman estimates. Read more >>

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Signs of hope in China home price data | cnbc.com

CHINA : The price of new homes in China fell 5.7 percent year-on-year in May, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday, but reversed month-on-month declines for the first time in more than a year.

Prices rose by 0.2 per cent month-on-month, the first positive reading since April 2014, with a broad pick-up in month-on-month gains across China’s 70 major cities.
The May year-on-year fall was also slightly less steep than in April, when prices were down 6.1 percent by the same measure. Prices were down 2.3 per cent in Shanghai and Beijing in May, compared with 4.7 percent and 3.2 percent respectively a month earlier. Read more >>

Property Update (10 June 2015)

Resale prices for non-landed private homes remain flat in May 2015 | channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: Prices of non-landed private homes remained flat in May 2015 as compared to the previous month, according to flash estimates by SRX Property on Tuesday (Jun 9).

In individual sectors, the city fringe saw a resale price increase of 0.8 per cent, while resale prices in suburbs edged up by 0.3 per cent. Resale prices in the Core Central Region (CCR) decreased by 1.2 per cent, according to SRX’s report.

Meanwhile, the resale volume for non-landed private residential units increased by 33.1 per cent year-on-year.

A total of 543 non-landed private residential units were resold in May 2015, as compared to 408 units resold in May 2014. However, resale volume increased 4.2 per cent month-on-month in May – 521 units were resold in April this year. Read more >>

Rentals for private condos and apartments in Singapore dipped 0.6 per cent in May, compared to April, led by rents in the city fringe and suburbs which fell 0.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

Rentals for private condos and apartments in Singapore dipped 0.6 per cent in May, compared to April, led by rents in the city fringe and suburbs which fell 0.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. ST PHOTO, JAMIE KOH

Singapore condo rents dip 0.6% in May, HDB rents stay flat | businesstimes.com.sg

SINGAPORE : Rentals for private condos and apartments in Singapore dipped 0.6 per cent in May, compared to April, led by rents in the city fringe and suburbs which fell 0.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

This was partially offset by rents in the prime central area which rose a slight 0.2 per cent.

According to the SRX Property Price Index for non-landed private residential rentals released on Wednesday, rents in May were down 6 per cent year on year, and down 11.7 per cent from its peak in January 2013.

The rents change in April has also been revised from no change to a 0.1 per cent uptick.

Private rental volume fell slightly. About 3,337 units were rented in May, 3 per cent lower than in April.

On the public housing front, HDB rents were flat in May compared to April. Rents of HDB three- and five-room flats fell 0.5 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, while four-room and executive flats saw a 0.4 per cent and 2 per cent increase in rents. Read more >>

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KL banks ‘tightening loan rules’ for Iskandar property | asiaone.com

MALAYSIA : Property experts say Malaysian banks are getting stricter about lending in the Iskandar region, given concerns of an impending housing glut.
A Johor-based senior marketing executive of a Malaysian bank said lenders are now “more cautious” about high-rise projects and have reduced their exposure.

This means fewer buyers for units in a development are able to obtain loans, while Singaporeans who do secure a mortgage have to pay a larger downpayment of 20 to 30 per cent.

Malaysian lenders used to finance up to 90 per cent of the purchase price in some cases but this is becoming less common.

Maybank Singapore told The Straits Times last month that it “remains cautious” about property exposure in southern Johor. Read more >>

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Australia Gets Tough on Foreign Home Buyers | wsj.com

AUSTRALIA : Australia promised more investigations into foreign buyers of residential property, in an intensifying crackdown on the abuse of homeownership laws by investors from China and elsewhere.

Probes that have already unearthed 195 cases of possible breaches were just the start of a widening clampdown on illegal home buying, Treasurer Joe Hockey told reporters on Tuesday, adding the number was likely only a fraction of the investigations to come.

The dozens of cases were uncovered during a month-long tax-related probe into foreign investment that Mr. Hockey said had involved properties ranging from 300,000 Australian dollars (US$231,000) to A$40 million. Read more >>

The Peculiar Inequality of Singapore’s Famed Public Housing

Most residents of the city-state live in tidy, subsidized highrises. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the foreign workers who helped build them.

Most residents of the city-state live in tidy, subsidized highrises. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the foreign workers who helped build them.

By Mimi Kirk | citylab.com

A typical drive through Singapore offers an almost continuous view of orderly and largely uniform highrise apartment buildings. Residents’ clothes dry in the hot, damp air on retractable hangers protruding from windows. These public housing estates, called HDBs, are generally offered at lower prices than private property and are home to more than 80 percent of Singaporeans. While some are fancier than others—one near the Central Business District, the 50-story Pinnacle@Duxton, boasts the “world’s longest sky gardens”— most, if not all, like Singapore itself, are extremely well-kept.

The people responsible for constructing these very Singaporean dwellings are overwhelmingly male migrant workers. These low-wage manual laborers, along with female migrant workers who tend to work in domestic capacities, today make up nearly one-fifth of the total population of Singapore, according to Jolovan Wham, the executive director of the Humanitarian Organization for Migrant Economics, or HOME. Most hail from Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, India, and other Asian countries.

You might think that such workers would live in HDBs, given their ubiquity (more than one million such units existed in 2014). While some employers do house their workers in these spaces—in Singapore, employers are legally responsible for low-wage, temporary workers’ accommodations—generally this has not been the case. In fact, the government’s housing website currently shows strict quotas for subletting HDB flats to “non-citizens.” (These quotas exclude Malaysians “in view of their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporeans.”)

A main reason for this policy appears to be HDB residents’ distaste for living near the workers. “Singaporeans are generally appreciative of the role that foreign workers play, but they don’t want them too close,” says Wham. Charan Bal, who has conducted research among Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore and now teaches at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, Indonesia, echoes Wham. “If you house workers too close to where people live,” he says, “they’re going to complain about it,” adding that “the only place to shelter workers without neighbors complaining is in the red light districts.”

So where do these workers live, aside from red light districts? Their housing—and its isolation and often substandard condition—is an emotional topic of debate in the city-state.

Many migrant laborers live in dormitories built in partnership with the government, which may be in old factories or other converted industrial spaces, or in walkup apartments, shophouses, or construction sites. At construction sites, housing is either a temporary, standalone structure, or the workers may actually inhabit the building they are constructing. From the government’s point of view, this is fine if the site is “structurally safe,” says Wham, whose organization has been advocating against this type of housing. It’s not just about structural safety, he says. “How can you rest properly? How can you cook? The workers have to use portable toilets, and they don’t have proper sanitation. The government justifies it by saying it’s more convenient.”

It’s cheaper, too, so employers often prefer such accommodation. Bal reports that while housing four or five workers in an HDB may cost around $500 per month per worker, construction site accommodation fetches only around $200 per month per worker. And if employers house their workers (illegally) in unregistered spaces, the cost may be as low as $80 per month per worker.

A passageway is visible from a construction site dormitory for migrant workers in Singapore. (Courtesy Jolovan Wham)

A passageway is visible from a construction site dormitory for migrant workers in Singapore. (Courtesy Jolovan Wham)

Even official, registered dorms in converted factories, walkup apartments, and shophouses are often cramped and overcrowded—and “slum-like,” according to Wham. “There’s poor ventilation,” he says. “It’s a perfect breeding ground for bedbugs and cockroaches. After visiting these places, I often find myself scratching because I’ve caught some of the bedbugs.”

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower oversees housing for foreign workers and has instituted rules regarding their living conditions, such as fire safety, minimum living space, and hygiene. Dormitory inspectors check worker accommodations regularly, and can fine or jail employers who break the rules. Despite such inspections, poor conditions continue in many cases. HOME has also called attention to the “excessive” powers given to inspectors, who can break down doors and windows or arrest and detain suspected unlicensed operators or proprietors for up to 48 hours.

The government’s desire to control not only housing but the workers themselves has increased since a riot took place in the Little India neighborhood on a Sunday night in December 2013. Sundays are the workers’ day off, and many venture to Little India to eat, drink, and socialize. When a South Asian worker was struck and killed by one of the buses that ferry workers to and from their dormitories, a mob of 400 threw rocks and beer bottles and overturned police cars. Police subdued the crowd, and 25 were arrested—with more than half eventually charged.

While large “purpose-built dormitories” (PBDs) for workers had been planned and even constructed before the riot, since 2013 the aim of moving workers into these more spacious and hygienic—and more controlled—spaces has been more evident. One such PBD, called Tuas View and located on Singapore’s west coast in an industrial area, has been featured in the city-state’s (state-friendly) media.

Tuas View opened in August 2014 and has been called a “breath of fresh air” compared with other worker housing options. It has 20 four-story blocks, and can house almost 7,000. Tuas View has a gym and a basketball court, a field for open-air Bollywood movie watching, a beer garden, and a food court, as well as a supermarket, clinic, and retail stores from which to buy clothing and mobile phones. It’s clean and spacious. There’s almost a Pullman town-like quality to it, with the modern twist that workers are required to give their fingerprints when they arrive back at the complex, and almost 250 CCTV cameras monitor their movements.

“Security concerns have superseded concerns about the well being of the workers.”

Tuas View is the first of nine similar dorms to be built over the next several years that will add 100,000 beds to an existing 200,000 in other PBDs. According to the Ministry of Manpower, the government’s long-term view is that “it would be better to house [migrant workers] in PBDs, where there are self-contained facilities to meet their social and recreational needs outside work. More PBDs will be launched and completed… with a view to move more [workers] into such self-contained housing over time.”

But because employers can find cheaper housing than the PBDs, which cost around $300 per month per worker, they have continued to seek accommodation on construction sites and in other less expensive venues. In response, the government recently froze the construction of temporary dorms in 12 industrial areas.

While conditions in the PBDs are obviously better than most laborer housing options, Wham says that “there simply aren’t enough of them.” Bal takes a different tack. “It’s pretty clear that they are less about the welfare of the workers,” he says. “It’s more about stemming potential riots. Security concerns have superseded concerns about the well being of the workers.”

The future of housing for migrant workers in Singapore thus seems clear: if the government’s plan pans out, they will be housed in ultra-clean and highly controlled low-rise buildings—structures that are Singaporean in some ways, but that are largely set apart from Singaporean society and Singaporeans themselves.

There is one way for workers to more easily inhabit HDBs, though not by living among Singaporeans per se. Wham tells me he recently spoke with a group of Bangladeshi men who work as cleaners for the housing estates and who live in the buildings’ bin centers, where trash is collected and disposed of. “Some of them are there because the apartments they live in are so crowded that they prefer them,” he says. “In the bin center, they also have more freedom to cook and do as they please.”

According to Bal, such a case is actually an improvement from workers’ living conditions in Singapore in the 1980s and 1990s. “Workers lived in garbage dumps or in the jungle,” he says.

“But there’s of course huge room for improvement today all the same.”


The story is part of the Highrise Report, in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada. CityLab is proud to host the U.S. premiere of “Universe Within: Digital Lives in the Global Highrise,” the final interactive documentary to come out of the HIGHRISE project, produced by the NFB.

Source : http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/06/the-peculiar-inequality-of-singapores-famed-public-housing/395411/

5 Easy Kitchen Decorating Ideas: Wall Decor

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If you love looking through the latest design magazines for kitchen decorating ideas but don’t have the time or budget for a major remodel, we’ve got some quick and easy decorating tips on how to give your kitchen an update worthy of a home magazine. The best part is that these kitchen decorating ideas can mix and match beautifully — use one or a few together.

Since we tend to see things at eye level first, some of the most noticeable changes you can make in a kitchen involve the walls. But most kitchen decorating efforts are placed on the appliances, countertops and cooking gadgets while the walls are sadly left ignored.

What’s looking back at you, a dingy, boring wall? Or worse, an outdated faux paint job complete with ivy or fruit-themed stencil work? It’s time to make a change.
Updating your kitchen wall decor with easy but design-savvy changes will make a big visual impact. Here are 5 kitchen decorating ideas that take your kitchen’s walls from tired to inspired:

1. The Designer’s Secret to Color
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Color is one of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to update a room. But great, colorful kitchens don’t happen by accident. The secret is in the three color palette:

  • Color 1: An existing kitchen color that can’t be changed. This may be the color of the countertop or cabinets.
  • Color 2: A neutral of your choice. Use it for the new wall color that complements color 1. It’ll serve as the kitchen backdrop.
  • Color 3: The color that makes your kitchen unique. It’s often a bold and unexpected color that works with your palette. Color 3 adds pop to your kitchen. Use it as a statement piece for your accessories like bar stools, vases or cookware.

The best way to find the perfect three color palette is to grab paint swatches in the shades you like and shuffle them around until you’re happy with the combination. Once you find your signature three color palette, keep a set handy for accessory shopping.

2. The Best Kitchen Decorating Ideas Start With a Focal Point

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Try to see your kitchen the way a visitor would for the first time. Walk into your kitchen and think about what you notice. Is the first thing you see something you like? If not, what would you rather notice first? Make that spot and the closest wall your focal point.

Focal points visually jump out at you. Compared to the rest of the kitchen, the focal point is bold and unique. To create a focal wall, try one of these techniques:

  • Paint your focal wall in the bold shade you chose for your three color palette
  • Hang a large piece of art on the focal wall
  • Use textural or patterned wallpaper

Be fearless when dressing up your focal point — it’s just one wall.

3. Add the Latest Trend in Kitchen Wall Decor — Open Shelving

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If you’ve updated your kitchen with fresh, fashion-forward colors and a focal wall, it’s time to add layers. The latest trend in kitchen design is open shelf, upper-cabinet-free kitchens. The look lightens a kitchen up by creating visual space, but requires you to hide all the tupperware and mismatched glasses in fewer cabinets.

Instead of tearing out your upper cabinets, try updating your kitchen wall decor by placing one or two floating shelves on an open wall. Floating shelves come in many styles and are easy to install. Keep the floating shelf display items minimal and color coordinated for a magazine-ready look.

For a bigger change, remove a selected upper wall cabinet’s doors and paint or wallpaper the back of the cabinet. You now have a new open display shelf. To give your new display life, add LED under-cabinet lighting to highlight the items. Battery-powered lights are available if cabinet wiring is an issue.

4. The Carefully Curated Kitchen Wall

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Set your kitchen apart using your personality. Gallery wall collections are popular with designers and magazines because they’re unique and make a boring wall interesting. Gather favorite objects together and use them as kitchen wall decor.
Some kitchen decorating ideas for a gallery wall collection include:

  • Framed album covers
  • Baskets
  • Framed wallpaper or fabric swatches
  • Vintage dishes
  • Antique, empty frames of different shapes and sizes
  • A variety of mirrors

There are no absolute rules to creating a gallery wall. Symmetrical, patterned or freestyle placement are all good approaches. To save time (and extra nail holes on the wall), arrange your collection on the floor before hanging for the best spacing and placement.

5. Personalize Your Kitchen With Chalkboard Paint

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A can of black chalkboard paint is inexpensive and a great way to dress up a wall. Black is a bold, eye-catching color and the perfect backdrop for your ever-changing chalk art.

If you’re out of wall space, a door or cabinet surface is another great chalkboard (and dinner menu) in the making. Remember to layer. A floating shelf or gallery wall collection on your chalkboard wall adds to the unique look of your new, inspired kitchen walls.

Source : http://freshome.com/kitchen-decorating-ideas/

For Sale – 341 Tampines St 33 (HDB 4A)

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They love their home and are sad to sell it. Who wouldn’t?

The well-renovated, spacious kitchen has produced endless cakes and pastries and dishes prepared with love and generosity.

The breezy living room has welcomed guests after guests who were always delighted to stay and have fun.

The cozy bedrooms had been the sanctuary for all those bedtime stories and sweet lullabies.

The current home owners’ only hope is for another wonderful, caring family to call this their own.

Call 81804135 / 81804136 NOW to set an appointment!

For more info, visit http://goo.gl/HdU58H

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