Blog Posts by iProperty

  • Top 5 interior design trends

    Here are five of the hottest interior design trends shaping the way we currently live. (Getty images)

    By Cameron Woo (for iProperty)

    What are the up-and-coming trends in the world of interior design?

    As an interior designer, being constantly asked this question pushes me to stay updated on current trends of living spaces, as well as to envision interior trends five, 10, and maybe even 20 years down the road.

    Interior design is alive. It constantly evolves over time, reflecting living standards, affluence levels and lifestyles. If you are looking to give your home a fresh new look, do read on for five of the hottest interior design trends shaping the way we currently live. I personally anticipate that they will continue doing so way into the near future.

    Trend #1: Stepping off the beaten track

    Less conventional Asian homes play with colour and reflect the personalities of the occupants. Image courtesy of Thinkstock.Less conventional Asian homes play with colour and reflect the personalities of the occupants. Image courtesy of Thinkstock.

    People are consciously moving away from more conventional designs. A more adventurous consumer is emerging—someone not afraid of introducing new ideas into their homes. In Asia, this means using new colours and materials in homes, instead of sticking to safe and common colours like neutrals,

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  • Shoebox units: Dud or stud?

    Staggering figures were revealed today reaffirming the popularity of shoebox units among local property buyers. Shoebox units are generally defined as private apartments measuring less than 500 sq ft.

    During the period of August 2010 to August 2011, transaction volume of shoebox units accounted for 7 per cent of the total transaction volume for condominiums. On average, 197 transactions of such units were completed per month during the same period. Taking only a relatively small slice of the condominium pie, the appeal of such units remains strong even as average prices continue to climb.

    Transaction volume of condos.

    Cost versus value: Are shoebox units worthy investments?

    From August 2010 to August 2011, the average price per square foot (PSF) for shoebox units stands at $1,546; 42 per cent more than $1,090 for condominium apartments measuring between 501 to 1,500 sq ft; and 25 per cent more than $1,232 for condominium apartments measuring more than 1,500 sq ft.

    Average PSF price for shoebox units in August 2011

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  • August’s most value-for-money districts

    Woodlands is the most-value-month for district in August. (Image courtesy of Slivester)

    By Sheena Chua

    As we begin the month of September, iproperty.com.sg takes a look at the previous month to see what the most value-for-money and most expensive districts of August 2011 are.

    Source: StreetSine’s Property Analytics

    Among all towns in Singapore, Woodlands is the most value-for-money district in the last month at the lowest average price per sq ft (psf) of $350, according to property information website StreetSine.

    A significant $72 psf lower than the nation average ($422 psf), Woodlands is far from the town and central business district areas. But it is flanked by the Woodlands Regional Library, Woodlands MRT station, the Causeway Point shopping centre currently under renovation, and the Causeway.

    Not surprisingly, the western and northwestern districts of Choa Chu Kang ($353 avg psf), Bukit Panjang ($380 avg psf), Jurong West ($382 avg psf) and Jurong East ($397 avg psf) have easily made it to the top ten. These towns are located further from the town area and commuters, especially those relying on public

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  • The best property apps… redux

    Your smartphone can help you attain your dream home. (iProperty)Your smartphone can help you attain your dream home. (iProperty)

    By Sheena Chua

    It's no surprise that technology moves at an incredible pace. Since we've created our top three property apps list just last December, app developers have been continuously flooding the market with property-related apps. It might only be six month later, but apps have moved on at such a rate that we have decided to check up again on some of our favourite apps.

    Houzz Interior Design Ideas

    Houzz Interior Design Ideas App. Houzz Interior Design Ideas App.

    If you have the keys to the perfect house now, but are stumped for ideas on how to make your studio apartment look more spacious or how to create the perfect playroom for your little one, check out Houzz.

    Its 'ideabook' is a much more convenient substitute to flipping through scores of magazines, cutting and pasting the images into a traditional scrapbook. In comparison, it lets you view over 150,000 photos (for free!) so you can create very own ideabook and dream home. Get additional inspiration by viewing ideabooks created by other users.

    Get the Houzz Interior Design Ideas app, here

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  • Thieves' Market at Sungei Road is Singapore's oldest flea market.(Aldwin Teo)Thieves' Market at Sungei Road is Singapore's oldest flea market.(Aldwin Teo)

    By Lisa-Ann Lee

    One of the most famous flea markets in the world, Paris' Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, known popularly as Les Puces (or The Fleas), receives up to 180,000 visitors every weekend. Located at Porte de Clignancourt, it covers seven hectares and is a veritable treasure trove for antique trawlers and bargain hunters. Across the Channel, London's flea markets are equally popular with locals and tourists alike, with the ones at Camden, Portobello, Notting Hill and Covent Garden practically being institutions in their own right.

    What does this have to do with Singapore? From 25 July, the 'Thieves' Market', Singapore's oldest flea market, will be reduced in size to make way for the construction of the new Sungei Road MRT station. Around since the 1930s, the market supposedly began life as a place where stolen loot from the homes of affluent European families living in the area would turn up, hence its name. Today, it continues to have a certain piratical air about it, with its

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  • Should we let demand and supply determine property prices or should the authorities step in to dictate it? Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board.Should we let demand and supply determine property prices or should the authorities step in to dictate it? Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board.

    By Lisa-Ann Lee

    As Singapore's population continues to grow and the amount of land available for property development remains finite, the prospect of demand far outstripping supply (or to be specific, the supply of affordable housing) is becoming a hot-button issue for many Singaporeans concerned with rapidly-rising property prices and the shrinking sizes of flats.

    Hot on the heels of the DBSS fiasco comes the news that the owner of a 1,528 sq ft HDB flat in Pasir Ris is putting it on the market for $900,000. This is not the first time that a public housing flat has found itself with such a huge price tag. Last year, an HDB executive maisonette in Bishan was sold for the same amount of money. The 18-year old, 1,860 sq ft flat had a roof terrace, and although it was valued at $730,000, the owner went ahead with an asking price of $950,000. Previously, the record for Singapore's most expensive flat had gone to a 1,614 sq ft flat in Queenstown, which was sold for $890,000 in 2008.

    What

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  • Will new MRT stations ease peak-hour traffic?

    Will we see a smaller peak-hour crowd come 2017?Commuters.

    By Lisa-Ann Lee

    Come 2017, residents living in Tampines West and near Bedok Reservoir will no longer have to take a feeder bus to the MRT station.

    The Land Transport Authority recently announced that it had awarded contracts to Italian company Cooperativa Muratori & Cementisti-CMC di Ravenna to build the Tampines West and the Bedok Reservoir stations on the Downtown Line. These two stations will be part of its final eastern section that will stretch from Expo to Bukit Panjang. The line will also serve the country's fourth university — the Singapore University of Technology and Design — as well as the new financial district in Marina Bay.

    Located east of Bedok Town Park and at Tampines Avenue 4, two of Singapore's most populated housing estates, the new stations will serve residents and schools in the areas. However, while the addition of these new MRT stations is a welcome, and some would say long overdue development, there are also a few questions that this announcement raises.

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  • NEA fights back against rising dengue cases

    There has been a sharp spike in dengue infections of late. Image courtesy of JJ Harrison.There has been a sharp spike in dengue infections of late. Image courtesy of JJ Harrison.

    By Daniel Seifert

    Dengue fever, a disease spread by a virus in mosquitoes, is familiar to many in Singapore who have been afflicted by it or had their families infected. Once bitten by a carrier mosquito, a patient experiences symptoms of a strong headache, aches in the muscles and joints, rashes and even mild bleeding of the gums. Of late, the number of dengue infections has seen a sharp spike in Singapore.

    With more cases coming in, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is taking all steps it can to prevent new infections. As strong breeding by the mosquito population could see hundreds of cases sprout across the island, the NEA is tasking more than 1,000 officers each day to reconnoitre insect-prone areas and wipe them out.

    In 2005, the last time a serious dengue outbreak occurred in Singapore, more than 700 cases occurred a week. Overall, 14,209 people became infected and 25 patients died. While the current number of cases is not yet that high, it is climbing, with 211 cases last

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  • Time to go back to the drawing board for DBSS?

    It may be time to relook policies concerning DBSS flats. (Image courtesy of Terence Ong)It may be time to relook policies concerning DBSS flats. (Image courtesy of Terence Ong)

    By Sheena Chua

    On Saturday, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan took to his blog to explain to angered netizens the justification for high price of a recent Tampines DBSS launch.

    In his blog, Khaw said, "DBSS is a class of housing type between HDB flats and Executive Condos (EC)/private condos," adding that DBSS units are considerably more costly than flats sold by the HDB because the former is designed and priced by private developers.

    Entitled 'DBSS Is Not HDB', the blog post also saw the minister address homebuyers' calls for the MND to step in and put pressure on the developer to cut prices. In response, Khaw encouraged them to exercise their right as consumers. "If buyers find a price too high, they can walk away," he said, adding that he will be launching another 13,000 more units in 2011.

    Khaw also stated that upon public advice, he would be working with HDB to combine launches (as bigger launches provide buyers with more choices) at prices significantly lower

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  • Singapore, China push Asia’s office rent up

    Singapore's Central Business District. (Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore in Pixels Photo Contest.)Singapore's Central Business District. (Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore in Pixels Photo Contest.)

    Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore in Pixels Photo Contest
    (Singapore's Central Business District. Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore in Pixels Photo Contest.)

    By Sheena Chua

    The Asia Pacific economy continues to boom and shows no signs of slowing down. As companies flock to the 'it' region, Asia's property industry, or more specifically the office space sector, flourishes. Office rental rates have been climbing up steadily, and are set to remain on the rise for a while.

    However, according to data from CB Richard Ellis, Singapore's growth for the first quarter of 2011 was 3.0% — a slight slowdown when compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, which recorded a 3.6% growth. The rate of rental growth, while positive, declined from 12.2% to 3.6% this quarter.

    Could Asia be losing its steam?

    It seems unlikely, as the slowdown of rental growth can be pegged to a couple of factors.

    First, the previous quarter's higher growth could be attributed to occupants snatching up spaces in 2010's office market revival. This

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(11 Stories)