IKEA launches IKEA Place, a new app that allows people to virtually place furniture in their home

IKEA announces the launch of IKEA Place, an augmented reality (AR) application that lets people confidently experience, experiment and share how good design transforms any space, such as a home, office, school or studio. From sofas and armchairs to coffee tables, all of the products in IKEA Place are 3D and true to scale so that every choice is just the right size, design and function.

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Property Update (27 October 2015)

Apple is planning to launch its first outlet in Singapore in 2016, at the Knightsbridge luxury retail complex on Orchard Road, a report revealed on Monday.

Apple is planning to launch its first outlet in Singapore in 2016, at the Knightsbridge luxury retail complex on Orchard Road, a report revealed on Monday.

First Singapore Apple Store to open at Knightsbridge in 2016 | appleinsider.com

SINGAPORE : A Pure Fitness will be closing on Dec. 15 to help make way, according to a pair of emails from the gym’s management sent to customers, seen by The Straits Times. Some other Knightsbridge tenants will also be handing back space to the landlord, the gym noted.

“We understand that this is short notice but we have only recently been informed of the handover date on this site,” one of the emails said.

It’s not clear why Apple is only now getting around to building an Apple Store in Singapore, which is a wealthy market in spite of its small size. Indeed it was one of the first launch regions for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, joining places like the U.S. and just two other Asian markets — Hong Kong and Japan. Read more >>

The impact of a fall in property prices is also relatively short-lived, showing up with a three to four-quarter lag before dissipating quickly within six quarters, says Nomura.

The impact of a fall in property prices is also relatively short-lived, showing up with a three to four-quarter lag before dissipating quickly within six quarters, says Nomura.

Property price drop will only have a small impact on GDP growth: Nomura | businesstimes.com.sg

SINGAPORE : A continued softening in Singapore property prices would only have a relatively small impact on GDP growth, said Nomura in a report published on Friday.

“More formally, a 10 per cent decline in the real private residential property price index (PRPPI) growth leads to a cumulative 0.6 percentage point drop in real GDP growth. The impact is also relatively short-lived, showing up with a three to four-quarter lag before dissipating quickly within six quarters,” said Nomura. Read more >>

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Global property prices up 4.7% year on year led by Hong Kong, latest data shows | propertywire.com

WORLD : Global house prices have increased by a median of 4.7% year on year led by Hong Kong, Turkey, Ireland, Sweden and Australia, a new international report shows.
Overall prices have increased in 21 of the 26 countries tracked by the Economist House Price Index but growth does vary from nation to nation.

The growth is topped by Hong Kong with annual price growth of 20.8%, followed by Turkey with a rise of 18,8%, Ireland up 13.4%, Sweden up 10.3% and Australia up 7.5%.

At the bottom end of the index the country with the biggest annual drop in property prices is Greece with a fall of 5.9%, Singapore down 3.7%, Italy down 3.3%, China down 2.4% and France down 2.3%.

All other countries has seen annual price growth according to the index which measures national affordability by comparing prices to the long run average of their relationship with rents and income. Read more >>

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Property Update (30 March 2015)

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Mr Lee Kuan Yew lived to see his life’s work come to fruition: PM Lee Hsien Loong | channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: In his eulogy to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at the University Cultural Centre (UCC) at the State Funeral on Sunday (Mar 29), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said his father was the “light that has guided us all these years”.

“Together, we have grieved as one people, one nation. We have all lost a father. We are all in grief. But in our grief, we have come together to display the best of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore,” PM Lee Hsien Loong says in his eulogy.

Read more here >>

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Borrowers upset over hike in margin for Sibor loans | asiaone.com

SINGAPORE : Many home buyers with loans pegged to the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) have been hit with higher repayments following the Sibor’s increase this year.

That is to be expected, but some Citibank customers have also found that the margin or spread – the added percentage banks tack on to the Sibor – has also moved up.

They were informed earlier this month that the spread on their Sibor-pegged loans would increase to 0.85 per cent from the promotional rate they had signed up with. The change takes effect from April 1.

Citibank said the spreads range from 0.6 to 0.8 per cent for customers who took up loans in late 2010 and in 2011.

One customer said he has been on a three-month Sibor loan since 2011 under a two-year lock-in package. His spread has risen from 0.7 per cent to 0.85 per cent.

However, Citibank said raising the spread has affected only a small number of people. Read more here >>


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No more subletting of HDB industrial properties from June | straitstimes.com

SINGAPORE : From June 1 this year(2015), tenants of Housing Board industrial properties will no longer be able to sublet them. About 380 industrial tenants are currently subletting part of their space.

Those with existing approved subletting arrangements will be allowed to renew these arrangements up to Dec 31, 2017 to give them time to “make business adjustments”, the HDB said in a statement on Monday.

“The revised subletting policy will better support industrialists in operating their core businesses, and enable more productive use of scarce industrial land in Singapore,” said the HDB. The change will encourage tenants to rent only as much space as they need. Read more here >>

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These 4 key themes will drive growth in the PH property market this year | interaksyon.com

PHILIPPINES – KMC MAG group managing director Michael McCullough is bullish about the Philippine property market this year.

“There are a lot of reasons for this optimism, chief among them low interest rates, quantitative easing from the central bank, and positive feedback from investors. These factors have helped create a favorable climate for both local and foreign businesses,” he said in a recent briefing.

According to him, the first key theme is the growth of townships, which have created pockets of development in Metro Manila. KMC MAG estimates investments in townships this year reaching P300 billion. Among the major developers of townships are Megaworld, Ayala Land and SM Prime, with other players like Vista Land and Federal Land joining the fray.
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“The live-work-play lifestyle encapsulated in these townships have resulted into a lot of success for some of the major developers, so it’s no surprise that new players are working to c apitalize on this and bring the concept to new areas,” said McCullough.

“The township concept also provides a way for developers to be part of the solution
to the congestion in Metro Manila. With developers taking the critical first step and building
in other areas within and outside of the Metro, they’re creating new microdistricts and encouraging more Filipinos to live, work, and play closer to home. We hope that this will help reduce congestion and make Metro Manila more liveable,” he added. Read more here >>

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PH 2nd most attractive outsourcing site | inquirer.net

PHILIPPINES – The Philippines rose a notch to rank second among the most attractive global outsourcing locations on the basis of risks, costs and conditions, according to the latest report by global real estate advisor Cushman & Wakefield.

In a report entitled, “Where in the World? Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Shared Service Location Index,” Cushman & Wakefield noted that two of the Philippines’ strongest points would be the cost of labor and the availability of skilled, English-speaking workers.

“One of the most significant changes in the global BPO market is the emergence of the Philippines as the world’s global leader of BPO and shared services operations,” the report stated.

Last year, the Philippine IT-business process outsourcing posted more than 18 percent growth in revenues to an estimated $18.4 billion, supporting more than 1 million jobs as of end-2014.

“A demand for English proficiency from English speaking industrialized nations is more than met by the Philippines, which graduates some 470,000 English proficient college students every year and has a national English proficiency rating of 92.5 percent. The English dialect of the Filipino workforce is also well received in the US,” Cushman & Wakefield said in the report. Read more here >>


Use Your Apple Watch to Find Your Dream Home | bloomberg.com

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman discusses the company’s real estate app for the Apple watch. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.”

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Martial law to be lifted: PM Prayut Chan-o-cha | asiaone.com

THAILAND : Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said he is about to lift martial law and issue an order to deal with security issues.
However, he said he had not discussed this matter with the Cabinet and that it was his idea.
Prayut, who also heads the National Council for Peace and Order, said he was waiting for the right time to issue the order under Article 44 of the post-coup provisional charter, which gave him extensive powers as the NCPO leader.

“The preparation is under way. You will know the order is issued when it is issued,” he said yesterday.
According to Prayut, the order will be announced before he seeks a royal command to lift martial law, which has been in effect since the coup he led last May.
The prime minister yesterday chaired the Cabinet’s retreat in Hua Hin. The lifting of martial law was not on the meeting agenda.

The government has been under constant pressure to lift martial law from the private sector, human rights groups and foreign countries. Read more here >>