Daily Briefing: Pork prices jump before lunar new year; Why this is the year to reinvigorate residential property market

And here's how to visit Japan and Singapore for less than $750 round-trip.

Buying pork keeps getting pricier in Singapore. While the overall cost of living stopped falling in the city-state, the average prices of traditional caramelized barbecue pork have climbed the most in at least four years in the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year. The food item, commonly known as bak-kwa, is a popular gift and snack for the season in Singapore and Malaysia. Read more here.

It has been an optimistic start to 2017 in Singapore, as recent estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry reveal that the city state has sidestepped a technical recession, posting 1.8% growth in GDP for 4Q2016, and an overall growth rate of 1.8% for the year. While this is gratifying news, we still face a subdued economic outlook both globally and domestically. In Singapore’s real estate sector, the combination of slower employment, earnings and population growth is impacting housing demand. Add to that expectations of rising interest rates — thanks to likely hikes by the US Federal Reserve — and the overall sentiment is fairly gloomy. Thus, house prices in Singapore are under considerable downward pressure. With this in mind, the residential real estate market is likely to remain stagnant, with cooling measures still in place alongside ongoing slow economic growth. Read more here.

Still trying to decide where to go in 2017? We have an idea. For as little as $747 round-trip, travelers can visit Singapore and Japan anytime between now and May, or from August until early December. By extending your layover in Tokyo, travelers can see two cities for the still very low price of a round-trip fare to one. For more information on how to book, check out The Flight Deals detailed directions. Travelers will need to use ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search to locate the lowest fares, and use an advanced routing code to find connections greater than 48 hours. Read more here.

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