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Last Week in Numbers: HDB supply kept steady next year

Starting at home, there will be around 17,000 Built-to-Order HDB flats launched next year, similar to the flat supply this year. The new flats will be spread around both mature and non-mature towns, including the upcoming Tengah town, Sembawang, and Yishun. There were 17,584 units launched this year and 18,000 in 2016. The last few years’ supply was considerably lower than the years between 2011 and 2013, which had 25,000 BTO flats annually.

Meanwhile, developing economies in Asia is estimated to grow by 6% this year according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It lifted its forecast from its previous estimate of 5.9%. The ADB also expects Asia’s developing economies to grow at a healthy pace of 5.8% next year. China’s economy, the second largest in the world, is expected to grow by 6.8% this year and 6.4% in 2018. South Asia as a region is expected to grow 6.5% this year.

According to industry officials, Japan’s retail traders account for around 30% to 50% of the trading of bitcoin. Trading at Japanese Bitcoin exchanges grew from 1.19 million bitcoins in April to 4.51 million bitcoins in November. In dollar terms, growth has been even more impressive, rising from US$1.45 billion in April to US$35.4 billion last month. Year-to-date, bitcoin has appreciated more than 1,600% and is currently at a price of around US$17,000 per coin.

Singapore is now the 21st most expensive city for expats according to rankings published by ECA International. It had dropped five spots from 2016. Among Asia-pacific cities, Singapore ranks in 9th place. With Asia developing at a breakneck pace, it is unsurprising that Asian cities now make up 25 of the top 50 most expensive cities in the world. 14 Chinese cities are in the top 50. This is more than Europe (four cities) and US (three cities) combined. This year, the Angolan port city of Luanda was ranked the most expensive in the world.

South-east Asia’s Internet economy is expected to hit US$50 billion (S$67.6 billion) this year. It is also expected to more than quadruple by 2025 according to research by Google and Temasek. This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27%. All sectors of the Internet economy have grown substantially from 2015 to 2017, with e-commerce and ride-hailing leading the way with CAGRs of more than 40% each.

In particular, ride-hailing services are expected to reach US$5.1 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2017, more than two times the US$2.5 billion GMV in 2015. More than six million rides were booked each day on the top ride-hailing apps (Grab, Uber ,and Go-jek) in the third quarter of this year, a four-fold increase since 2015.

E-commerce sales also doubled since 2015, reaching US$10.9 billion in GMV this year, from $US5.5 billion in 2015. The growth has been driven by an increase in the number of marketplaces including Lazada.

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