Property Update (13 April 2015)

Lee Hsien Yang, Wei Ling urge Singaporeans to respect Lee Kuan Yew’s wishes on Oxley home |

SINGAPORE : Mr Lee Kuan Yew had stated in his will his wish that his house be demolished after his death, according to the statement issued on Sunday (Apr 12).

North Park Residences opens for walk-in sales |

SINGAPORE : Frasers Centrepoint, developer of North Park Residences, says most of the units sold are the smaller ones. There is also a fair mix of those who buy to live in as well as investors.

Yishun Community Hospital to provide more than 400 beds from Dec 2015 |

SINGAPORE : Health Minister Gan Kim Yong says the hospital will play an important role in providing sub-acute and rehabilitation care for patients. It will also serve dementia and palliative care patients.

Why GE Is Getting Out of the Real Estate Business? |

US : GE plans to exit the bulk of its lending business, including a $26.5 billion sale of most of its real estate, as CEO Jeffrey Immelt refocuses the company on its industrial roots. Bloomberg’s Devin Banerjee and Rick Clough reports on “Market Makers.”


London Office Leasing Activity Back to Pre-Crisis 2007 Peaks |

LONDON, UK : Based on new research by Cushman & Wakefield, Central London’s office leasing activity totaled 2.4 million sq ft in Q1 2015, on a par with the same period in 2014 which saw the highest first quarter volumes since 2007.

The momentum in the City of London office market continued in Q1 2015, with a total of 1.8 million sq ft let. This is 34% up on Q1 2014 and on a par with Q4 2014. With relatively few pre-let transactions signed this quarter, the focus of occupiers has been on completed Grade A stock – the volume of completed Grade A space leased in Q1 2015 is almost double that recorded in Q1 2014 and is the highest volume since Q4 2013.

In comparison, the West End recorded a relatively quiet quarter with leasing volumes down to just over 600,000 sq ft – the lowest level since mid-2013. This is, however, against a backdrop of falling vacancy rates which is constraining occupier activity and increasing the migration out of the West End. The current Grade A vacancy rate stands at 2.3%, which is back to levels last seen in 2000, when the Grade A vacancy rate averaged 2.0%. Rental values are also being pushed higher, boosted by the highest ever rent of £186.00 per sq ft paid in the West End at 8 St James’s Square. Read more here >>


Property Update (30 March 2015)


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

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 >>


Borrowers upset over hike in margin for Sibor loans |

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 >>


No more subletting of HDB industrial properties from June |

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 >>


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

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.
“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 >>


PH 2nd most attractive outsourcing site |

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 |

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


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

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 >>

Property Update (27 March 2015)

Why Singapore became an economic success |

When it started life as an independent, separate country in 1965, Singapore’s prospects did not look good. Tiny and underdeveloped, it had no natural resources and a population of relatively recent immigrants with little shared history. The country’s first prime minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew is credited with transforming it. He called one volume of his memoirs, “From Third World to First”.

Why did Singapore become an economic success? More here >>


3 values from home ownership, a legacy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew |

SINGAPORE : One of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s greatest legacies is home ownership. He believed that home ownership is a key pillar of a strong society.

His leadership has guided the creation of one of the most vibrant nations in the world and, in his words, it started with home ownership.

In opening the Pinnacle@Duxton, he remarked, “If all the HDB flats built over the past 50 years were rental flats, Singapore would be a very different society today.”

“We would not have the stability, progress and prosperity that the stake in home ownership of a growing asset has made possible.”

At SRX Property, we looked through Mr Lee’s speeches and writings and identified three values of home ownership: community, responsibility, and prosperity.

In other words, Mr Lee believed that home ownership glues different ethnic groups together. A home is something that everyone can aspire to and achieve, regardless of race, creed or culture.

It’s possible for different people to build a community together because each owner has a stake in their home, and, thus, the community.

He said, “The pride people have in their homes prevents our estates from turning into slums, which is the fate for public housing in other countries.” Read more here >>


Singapore to Carry Forward Lee Kuan Yew’s Business-Friendly Legacy |

SINGAPORE : The death of Singapore founder Lee Kuan Yew marks the end of an era at a time when the country is facing slowing economic growth and struggling to complete its transition to a first-world economy.

But despite the current difficulties, businesses say Mr. Lee’s policies and philosophy will outlast the elder statesman, and that his son’s administration has proved that it will continue the legacy of pragmatism that characterized the Lee years.

“Singapore has always been able to change and adapt in order to remain competitive in a world of changing dynamics,” said Stuart Dean, chief executive of General Electric in Southeast Asia. General Electric has been in Singapore since 1969 and characterizes itself as “one of the pioneers of the then swampy Jurong,” referring to Singapore’s now-modern industrial island. Jurong Island is now home to some of the world’s largest chemical and oil companies. Read more here >>


Singapore banks seen profiting as rising rates bolster margins |

SINGAPORE : Singapore’s three major banks are poised to benefit from gains in local interest rates, which could signal bigger profits from their domestic lending.

The three-month Singapore interbank offered rate, or SIBOR, has more than doubled this year to just over 1 per cent, the highest since December 2008. If rates continue higher, DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp could reverse a squeeze on their net interest margins, the difference between the interest they charge for loans and pay out to depositors.

Singapore banks are “at a turning point,” said Ivan Tan, a Standard & Poor’s analyst based in the city-state. “The rise in margins would mark an important reversal after several years of compression, and has important revenue implications.” The three banks derive about 60 per cent of revenue from interest income at their core lending businesses, Mr Tan said.

Weakness in the Singapore dollar and expectations for higher US lending rates propelled SIBOR’s rise from December. With deposit rates climbing more slowly, the three banks should be able to boost their net interest margins from last year’s 1.69 per cent average, Mr Tan said. Read more here >>


Prime property market in Dubai sees sales fall |

DUBAI : Dubai luxury home prices remain relatively resilient despite a drop-off in sales activity, according to the latest analysis of the Emirate’s residential real estate market.

Sales in Dubai’s prime segment, comprising properties worth over AED10 million, hit the lowest level since the end of 2012 in the final three months of 2014, the research document from international real estate firm Knight Frank shows.

Despite this however, Knight Frank’s prime residential price index saw a relatively modest fall in the three months to December of 1.2% quarter on quarter, the second consecutive quarterly fall.

Indeed an examination of the data shows that these two declines nearly reversed the increases seen in the first half of last year, leaving values just 0.3% higher year on year in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Despite the lower level of transactional activity however, the nationalities investing in real estate in Dubai remained diverse. Data from the Dubai Land Department (DLD) shows that, in 2014, more than 140 nationalities bought property in the Emirate. Read more here >>


London firm enters boom market for city student properties |

UK : Hattington Capital, a boutique firm that is involved in private equity deals and real estate, is planning a €25m project to build a development with almost 250 accommodation units on the site of the landmark Frawley’s store on Thomas Street in the capital.

It’s the company’s first foray into the student accommodation market either in Ireland or the UK. Hattington is understood to be on the lookout for additional sites in Dublin.

There are 80,000 full-time students in Dublin and another 100,000 language students.

The site on Thomas Street was once owned by developer Liam Carroll. It’s believed that Hattington bought the site from the receiver for around €2.5m.

Frawley’s closed in 2007 after more than a century of trading on the site. Read more here >>

Lee Kuan Yew and the lessons of Singapore


By Thomas Lifson

The life and spectacular success of Lee Kuan Yew is a challenge to everyone who believes in the virtue of democracy. In the words of Theodore Dalrymple, he was “undoubtedly the most intelligent and capable world leader of the past half-century.”

Lee led Singapore with a velvet-gloved (mostly) iron fist from its first day of independence, and he took it from a sleepy, crime-ridden, ethnically divided, and poor ex-colonial outpost to a wealthy and sophisticated world center of finance and commerce, with a per capita income 50 percent higher than its former colonial master, almost no crime, and arguably the best-educated populace in the world.

Lee believed that the people of Singapore were not ready for democracy, and that the country faced so many threats of ethnic strife, with its mixed population of Chinese (~80%), Malays, and Indians, that real democracy and freedom of speech were out of the question. He believed that an intelligent government could lead the nation up the value chain, starting with relatively low-wage industries like supertanker-building, through electronics manufacturing, on into the highest-value activities like finance and global corporate management. And he pulled it off.

Sure, journalists went to jail for writing things of which Lee and his People’s Action Party disagreed. And sure, the PAP got unrealistically high percentages of the vote in the elections that were held. And yes, drug offenses, even possession of marijuana, were punished by hanging, and petty crimes such as vandalism resulted in flogging.

But it worked – really, really well. Something resembling fascism, to be sure. Singaporeans gave up on the values we cherish, and in return for the sacrifice, they became rich, secure, and sophisticated.

I watched Lee Kuan Yew and the city-state he ran, Singapore, with deep fascination for several decades. When I first arrived in Singapore in 1971, I was stunned by the contrast with Hong Kong, its rival, and Malaysia, its next-door neighbor. Hong Kong was a chaotic, dirty, crowded mess, exuberant, money-obsessed, and fascinating. Singapore was then known as the “garden island” and was ordered, safe, and heads-down hardworking.

The year before, Malaysia, with its Malay majority and substantial (~40%) Chinese minority, had just gone through bloody “ethnic strife” that saw Chinese Malaysians beheaded by raging mobs of Malays. I will never forget, days before my arrival in Singapore, sitting in a coffee shop in Kuala Lumpur with a British journalist who told me that he been there when a mob of Malays entered it and proceeded to behead all the Chinese who were present.

No expressions of ethnic chauvinism were permitted in Singapore. No freedom of speech at all when sensitive topics were concerned. Everyone learned their ethnic language: Mandarin Chinese (not the various dialects of the regions from which Chinese Singaporeans has immigrated), Bahasa Malaysia, and Tamil. But everyone had to learn and use English, the language of world commerce and a neutral common ground.

I actually got to meet and talk with the man a bit over 30 years ago (I don’t remember the exact date), when he took a few months to come to Harvard, meet with faculty, attend classes, and absorb knowledge. I don’t think I had a thing to pass along to him, but nonetheless he took time to chat pleasantly with a junior faculty member who knew a few things about Japan and how its giant corporations managed themselves.

Because I remain committed to democracy, I feel the need to explain away why Lee’s version of autocracy, a Platonic republic ruled by a philosopher-king, worked so spectacularly well, and why it is not a good idea for America, or almost any other country.

There are two relevant considerations:

  1. Singapore was so small (roughly three million population at the time it gained independence) that in any field of endeavor, all the major participants know each other personally, and observe each other’s activities closely. Because Lee insisted on a culture of honesty and public service, personal corruption was not possible, for the most part. Instead of messy checks and balances, mutual surveillance and shared values kept people honest.
  2. Singapore was surrounded by much poorer, much bigger countries, and was disciplined by its fear of being taken over by hostile larger neighbors – Malaysia and Indonesia, both of which were angry at and bigoted toward their Chinese minorities, who excelled at business and built wealth that generated envy and animosity. Singapore, like Switzerland, invested heavily in defense, so that taking it over by military force would not be worth the trouble.

Benign autocracy or benevolent dictatorships can be effective, but they are subject to corruption through self-dealing and rationalizations. Lee’s governance could never have worked in a larger country where a lack of serious and immediate external threats and anonymity would have allowed self-dealing. And I wonder how long and how well it will work for Singapore. But in the meantime, Singapore is a superbly functioning, rational, and enviably prosperous republic. A bit boring, as almost all visitors note, but compared to its neighbors, a paradise.

Source :

Property Update (26 March 2015)

The political and economic legacy of Lee Kuan Yew |

Jamie Metzl of the Atlantic Council explains Singapore’s political closure and economic success under Lee Kuan Yew to CNN’s Richard Quest.


Mortgage rates expected to climb further due to rise in SIBOR |

SINGAPORE : Singapore mortgage rates have risen on average by at least a third within the past month, amid an increase in Singapore’s benchmark interest rate.

Market analysts have said mortgage rates are expected to climb further in the coming months and more home owners are reviewing their financial position.

Mortgage rates for home owners on floating rate loan packages are estimated to have risen on average from about 1.5 per cent a month ago, to 2 per cent now, according to mortgage broker FindAHomeLoan. This comes amid a steady increase in the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR).

The benchmark lending rate was at 1.00529 per cent on Wednesday (Mar 25). This is more than double the figure at end-December, when it was around 0.45 per cent. According to market watchers, it could rise further to about 1.5 per cent this year.

Mortgage brokers said that in anticipation of further increases in SIBOR, more home owners are refinancing or repricing to fixed rate loan packages. They said about eight in 10 now opt for fixed rates, compared to just over half of home owners, two months ago. Read more here >>


Shophouses sizzle amid cool Singapore property market |

SINGAPORE – Shophouses in Singapore are seeing a surge in investor interest.

Their median price has more than doubled from $1,455 psf in the fourth quarter of 2009 to a record of $3,772 psf in the fourth quarter of last year, said real estate consultancy Colliers.

Median rents have also risen over the last five years, said Ms Chia Siew Chuin, Colliers’ director of research and advisory. Quarterly median rents generally remained below $4 psf per month before 2012, but they hit a record $5.42 psf per month in the fourth quarter of last year

Here’s a look at the prices reached when some shophouses recently changed hands. Read more here >>


Inbound Investment Into Asian Real Estate Set to Double in 2015 |

HONG KONG, CHINA : (Marketwired – Mar 25, 2015) – While the flow of outbound capital from Asia will accelerate this year, it is inbound capital that will take a “quantum leap” in 2015, according to a new white paper from Colliers International.

“Inbound investment into real estate in the region will increase by 102% this calendar year”, Terence Tang, Managing Director of Capital Markets & Investment Services, Asia, predicts, “more than three times the rate of growth in 2014. The office market Asia-wide is at a stage in the cycle where new supply will rise 152% to about 100 million square feet, presenting significantly more opportunities. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore remain the best target destinations, but structural change in markets such as India is making them more attractive.”

Outbound flows into real estate will increase 61% in 2015 from a record US$46 billion last year, Colliers predicts, thanks to continued appetite from traditional investors and relaxation measures on the policy front. For instance, China has streamlined the approval process for mainland companies that are investing outside the mainland. In Japan, the US$1.1 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund is considering allocating 3 to 5% of funds to global real estate, which would make it the world’s largest real-estate allocation.

In terms of volume, mainland China (31.0%), Singapore (27.2%) and Hong Kong (12.9%) have been the top three sources of outbound real estate capital, accounting for 71.1% of the total outbound capital the region invested in 2014. Read more here >>


California Pending Sales Spike in February, Highest in 6 Years |

US : According to the California Association of Realtors, pending home sales in California soared in February 2015 to record the first double-digit annual gain in nearly three years, the third straight year-to-year increase, and post the biggest annual increase in nearly six years. The California Association of Realtors also reported the following data:

California pending home sales

  • California pending home sales jumped in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) increasing 24.8 percent from a revised 89.9 in January to 112.2, based on signed contracts. The month-to-month increase easily topped the long-run average increase of 17.9 percent observed in the last seven years.
  • Statewide pending home sales were up 15.6 percent on an annual basis from the 97.1 index recorded in February 2014. The yearly increase was the largest since April 2009 and was the first double-digit gain since April 2012.
  • San Francisco Bay Area’s PHSI stood at 124.8 in February, up 23.3 percent from 101.2 in January and 13.1 percent from 110.3 percent in February 2014.
  • Pending home sales in Southern California jumped 25 percent in February to reach an index of 98.9, up 15.2 percent from 85.8 in February 2014.
  • Central Valley pending sales soared 57.1 percent from January to reach an index of 83.7 in February, up 15 percent from 72.8 in February 2014. Read more here >>

Property Update (25 March 2015)


How Singapore Fixed Its Affordable Housing Problem |

SINGAPORE : By the time Lee Kuan Yew—who passed away Sunday at the age of 91—and his People’s Action Party (PAP) took control of Singapore in 1959, the city was nowhere near solving its persistent affordable housing crisis, nor its increasing racial strife.

Singapore’s population grew steadily after World War II, but living conditions for the city’s lower and middle classes failed to improve while tension between Chinese and Malay communities plagued the city. (Race riots in 1964 left 36 people dead and over 500 injured.)

Under British colonial rule, Singapore had its first public housing initiative, the Singapore Improvement Trust. Formed in 1927, it ultimately failed to better integrate the city’s neighborhoods or put a dent in its housing shortage. Lee, Singapore’s first prime minister, and his party replaced SIT with the Housing and Development Board in 1960. With that change came a new goal: 51,031 new housing units built within the program’s first five years.

The HDB’s first five-year plan is celebrated in the 1965 newsreel above, produced by the broadcast division of Singapore’s Ministry of Culture. With footage of new housing projects that would make the heart of any modernist planner sing, the clip boasts of the board’s accomplishment in exceeding its own construction goals and re-housing 400,000 Singaporeans—nearly a quarter of the city’s 1960 population. Read more here >>


Singapore, the Nation That Lee Kuan Yew Built, Questions Its Direction |

SINGAPORE : Among the many orders that Lee Kuan Yew issued during his five decades as leader and statesman of Singapore was the razing of his home.

“I’ve told the cabinet, ‘When I’m dead, demolish it,’  ” he told an interviewer several years ago.

Pragmatic even about death and averse to a cult of personality, Mr. Lee, who died Monday at age 91, said the house would cost too much to maintain and would become a shambles when “people trudge through.”

There was no wrecking ball on Mr. Lee’s quiet street on Tuesday, and the official memorial does not begin until the public viewing of his coffin in Parliament on Wednesday.

But Singaporeans are asking the same questions about the larger house that Lee Kuan Yew built — modern Singapore and the vaunted “Singapore model.” Will it survive him, or has the sleek Asian financial hub outgrown his father-knows-best style of government? Read more here >>


Singapore real estate groups on east coast buying spree |

AUSTRALIA : Singaporean groups are swooping on key sites along the eastern seaboard, with real estate giant ­Mapletree Investments picking up a $50 million Brisbane hotel and also eyeing a Sydney office portfolio for about $250m.

Mapletree is finalising what will be the first major Brisbane hotel deal of the year with the purchase of Adina Apartment Hotel.

The acquisition is likely to see the four-star serviced apartment complex of 162 apartments on the edge of Brisbane’s CBD remain in operation. However, the Singaporean group may have the option of eventually ­redeveloping the strategic 11 Ivory Lane site.

The vendors, Toga Far East Hotels (TFE), a joint venture between Far East Hospitality Holdings and Toga Group, are selling to develop another Adina Hotel closer to Brisbane’s CBD. The hotel was listed with Mark Durran of Jones Lang LaSalle ­Hotels and Seb Turnbull of JLL’s Brisbane ­office but they refused to comment yesterday.

The vendor also declined to comment and the purchaser indicated it was on the expansion trail. Read more here >>


Embarking on a full home renovation? Here’s how to not screw up your finances |

SINGAPORE : My idea of home renovation might involve lots of Blu-Tack and masking tape, but don’t let that stop you from hiring a real interior designer if you don’t want to humiliate yourself when HDB comes barging in, since it looks like HDB officers will soon be authorised to enter by force.

Still, home renovation comes at a bad time for most people.

You only buy champagne when you’re flush with cash and all celebratory, but when do you renovate your home?

When you’ve just spent thousands on a wedding or coughed up your entire life savings to pay for a downpayment.

Before you get ready to fling your piggy bank to the ground and start scooping up coins to fund your home renovation, save yourself a lot of grief by following these steps to budgeting and financing the transformation of your home from ghetto to glamorous. Read more here >>


Could deflation wreak havoc in the housing market? |

UK : Inflation hit zero for the first time on record in February, sparking concerns that long-term deflation could wreak havoc in a muted UK housing market already spooked by general election uncertainty.

New data from the Office of National Statistics showed that inflation fell 0.3pc on January, measured by the Consumer Price Index CPI), as the cost of food, toys, games and books got cheaper.

In the short term, cheaper consumer products act as an extra boost to house prices, which have been going up while the cost of material goods has been going down.
However, if deflation goes on for a fraction too long it could flip a switch in the housing market. Read more here >>