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Japan Government announced new Temporary Lodging Law to start on June 15

Wednesday June 13th, 2018

The private temporary lodging, or “minpaku,” law, which comes into force on June 15, requires hosts to register with the government and imposes other rules and restrictions.

Airbnb had 62,000 listings in Japan earlier this year, but as of May 11, the Japanese government had approved 152 of 724 applications for home-sharing, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

The new law limits home-sharing to 180 days a year, a cap hosts say makes it difficult to turn a profit, and leaves final decision-making up to local governments.

Australia RBA to leave cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent

Tuesday June 5th, 2018

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

The global economy has strengthened over the past year. A number of advanced economies are growing at an above-trend rate and unemployment rates are low. The Chinese economy continues to grow solidly, with the authorities paying increased attention to the risks in the financial sector and the sustainability of growth. Globally, inflation remains low, although it has increased in some economies and further increases are expected given the tight labour markets. As conditions have improved in the global economy, a number of central banks have withdrawn some monetary stimulus and further steps in this direction are expected.

Financial markets have been affected by political developments in the eurozone, particularly in Italy. There are also concerns about the direction of international trade policy in the United States and economic developments in a few emerging market economies. Long-term bond yields in most major economies have declined recently and there has been some widening of corporate credit spreads. Overall, though, financial conditions remain expansionary. Conditions in US dollar short-term money markets have eased recently, although they are tighter than earlier in the year, with US dollar short-term interest rates having increased for reasons other than the increase in the federal funds rate. The higher rates in the United States have flowed through to higher short-term interest rates in a few other countries, including Australia.

The price of oil has increased over recent months, as have the prices of some base metals. Australia's terms of trade are expected to decline over the next few years, but remain at a relatively high level.

The recent data on the Australian economy have been consistent with the Bank's central forecast for GDP growth to pick up, to average a bit above 3 per cent in 2018 and 2019. Business conditions are positive and non-mining business investment is increasing. Higher levels of public infrastructure investment are also supporting the economy. Stronger growth in exports is expected. One continuing source of uncertainty is the outlook for household consumption. Household income has been growing slowly and debt levels are high.

Employment has grown strongly over the past year, although growth has slowed over recent months. The strong growth in employment has been accompanied by a significant rise in labour force participation, particularly by women and older Australians. The unemployment rate has been little changed at around 5½ per cent for much of the past year. The various forward-looking indicators continue to point to solid growth in employment in the period ahead, with a gradual reduction in the unemployment rate expected. Wages growth remains low. This is likely to continue for a while yet, although the stronger economy should see some lift in wages growth over time. Consistent with this, the rate of wages growth appears to have troughed and there are reports that some employers are finding it more difficult to hire workers with the necessary skills.

Inflation is low and is likely to remain so for some time, reflecting low growth in labour costs and strong competition in retailing. A gradual pick-up in inflation is, however, expected as the economy strengthens. The central forecast is for CPI inflation to be a bit above 2 per cent in 2018.

The Australian dollar remains within the range that it has been in over the past two years. An appreciating exchange rate would be expected to result in a slower pick-up in economic activity and inflation than currently forecast.

The housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne have slowed. Nationwide measures of housing prices are little changed over the past six months, with prices having recorded falls in some areas. Housing credit growth has slowed over the past year, especially to investors. APRA's supervisory measures and tighter credit standards have been helpful in containing the build-up of risk in household balance sheets, although the level of household debt remains high. While there may be some further tightening of lending standards, the average mortgage interest rate on outstanding loans is continuing to decline.

The low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Further progress in reducing unemployment and having inflation return to target is expected, although this progress is likely to be gradual. Taking account of the available information, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.

Source: www.rba.gov.sg

New Zealand Economy and Employment growth continues to be strong

Thursday May 10th, 2018

The Official Cash Rate (OCR) will remain at 1.75 percent for some time to come. The direction of our next move is equally balanced, up or down. Only time and events will tell.

Economic growth and employment in New Zealand remain robust, near their sustainable levels. However, consumer price inflation remains below the 2 percent mid-point of our target due, in part, to recent low food and import price inflation, and subdued wage pressures.

The recent growth in demand has been delivered by an unprecedented increase in employment. The number of willing workers continues to rise, especially with more female and older workers choosing to participate. Likewise net immigration has added to the supply of labour, and the demand for goods, services, and accommodation.

Ahead, global economic growth is forecast to continue supporting demand for New Zealand’s products and services. Global inflation pressures are expected to rise but remain contained.

At home, ongoing spending and investment, by both households and government, is expected to support economic growth and employment demand. Business investment should also increase due to emerging capacity constraints.

The emerging capacity constraints are projected to see New Zealand’s consumer price inflation gradually rise to our 2 percent annual target.

To best ensure this outcome, we expect to keep the OCR at this expansionary level for a considerable period of time. This is the best contribution we can make, at this moment, to maximising sustainable employment and maintaining low and stable inflation.

Our economic projections, assumptions, and key risks and uncertainties, are elaborated on fully in our Monetary Policy Statement.

Source: www.rbnz.govt.nz

25 years of Growth in Australian Economy

Monday September 12th, 2016

Australia celebrates 25 years of economic growth, without rececession

http://www.apss.com.sg/files/Australian-Economic-Growth.pdf

Auckland ranked world's fourth most cosmopolitan city

Monday January 18th, 2016

Auckland is revealed as having the fourth largest foreign-born population in the world in an international study, ranking a lineup of the world's most culturally diverse cities.

The city clocks in with 39 percent of the population born overseas.

Only Dubai, Brussels, and Toronto are ranked as cities with larger foreign-born populations anywhere in the world - for Dubai and Brussels the foreign born residents out number local born citizens.

According to Statistics New Zealand, Auckland, which has around 1.4 million residents, has more than 220 recorded ethnic groups living there.

The 2015 World Migration Report from the International Organisation for Migration looks at how international migrants and migration were shaping cities.

Auckland received a nod from the researchers involved, as one of several cities "paying increasing attention" to the role of migrants.

These cities were "attempting to create an opportunity structure for natives and newcomers alike through partnerships with migrants, the private sector and civil society", the report said.

Chinese New Settlers Trust executive director Genie Wang said Auckland was a popular choice for Chinese migrants, largely because the busy city provided some familiarity, and there were more jobs on offer.

Wang said migrants would often go through four key stages in their process of settlement.

"The first is a honeymoon period", Wang said.

"People often think, 'everything is so green' and think everyone is so interesting here."

For different people this stage would last for varying periods of time.

Wang called the next stage the "culture shock period".

Migrants could start to question why they were there, and doubts were often amplified by a dearth of friends and a lack of a job.

The third stage, Wang said, could be regarded as a turning point for many migrants.

"You realise a whole lot of things. You need to learn english. You need to get a job, and find friends."

On the home run of this difficult process of settlement, Wang said there was often a fourth period, where migrants wanted to pay something back to the community.

"In the initial stages, migrants will need support. But often once they have their lives together they are keen to do something to pay back their community for that help."

Different people would go about this in varying ways, Wang said.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

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