I read with concern The Independent Singapore News, “Sengkang HDB flats sell for almost $1M as resale prices soar” (Feb 21).
The prices of any type of HDB flats keep on going up will spur a vicious cycle and far-reaching negative impacts. Let us dissect the several strata of housing issues to probe into the inklings and the crux of it.
In the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, the HDB flats were not priced, added in or burdened with an element of land cost (closely tied to the prevailing market price).
For example, a 4-room HDB flat in a matured estate area, such as Holland Drive and Clementi (either simplified or model A type) in the 1980s, will only cost between 77K to 90K. But now, a 4-room BTO flat is priced between 310K and 350K in non-matured estate areas, such as Bukit Batok. If it is in Clementi Avenue 6 area, the price of it will be higher.
Even though the factor of inflation (which includes the elements of construction materials and manpower) over the years was taken into consideration, the present HDB flat prices, regardless of their sizes, are still high.
Prices of HDB Resale Flats
Prices of the resale flats have been pushed upwards due to the long waiting time of the BTO flat (can be as long as 5.5 years) and the speculative housing market.
This scenario/situation of HDB flat prices being manually spiraled upwards will only hurt first-time buyers and those with valid or urgent rationales for seeking a roof of resale flat. And in the long run, it will affect the entire housing market. We also can’t expect the PAP Government to continually render financial subsidies for first-timer HDB buyers who wish to buy a resale flat.
If a second-timer HDB buyer sells off his/her present flat has to pay a levy for his/her first flat’s selling price. So, you should know who or which party will be the final win-win beneficiary.
Pay more due to a longer period of housing loan (principal of loan plus interests x no of the year)
This will apply to those HDB buyers who don’t have enough cash savings (it is especially real for low-income households, gig workers, and unemployed personnel due to whatever reasons/circumstances) and wish or choose to pay for a longer period of loan repayments.
Effects/sequelae of flats-price spiral
Due to the adverse increases in HDB flat prices , young working couples of this generation and the next generation worry about the affordability of owning a flat.
And, worst, they have to heavily mobilize their CPF money to pay for their housing loans, this would deter, distract or interrupt them from other meaningful life undertakings.
Undeniably, if our public housing policies are so perfect, there is nothing to complain about, our opposition doesn’t need to bring the subject to the parliament for debate.
Teo Kueh Liang
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.
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