Tan Chuan Jin asks netizens: Is the HDB flat really so out of reach?
Posted by temasektimes on April 26, 2012
In the article, ‘Gin Tai’ lamented at the sky-rocketing prices of HDB flats in Singapore in recent years which has priced many Singaporeans out of reach. He also expressed his unhappiness that similar-sized flats are not priced the same. (read more here)
In a note posted last night, Mr Tan began by asking netizens if the housing situation in Singapore is really so ‘dire’:
“Let me just talk about the housing situation in Singapore. Is it really so dire? Is the HDB flat really so out of reach?”
Mr Tan explained that HDB flats are not priced the same because when determining the prices of flats offered, HDB factors in the costs of building the flat as well as the prevailing market conditions at the time of the offer and the individual attributes of the flats.
“Is there really a difference in value? Many Singaporeans who have sold their flats know that these different values would surface immediately in terms of the price their different flats can command. Should we therefore price them all the same? If they were, everyone would just wait for a flat on the top floors in a matured estate. And some would make huge capital gains compared to others when they sell.”
He added that subsidies and grants remain in place for Singaporeans in order to keep a range of different flat types affordable for Singaporeans at different income levels and urge Singaporeans to buy flats within their means:
“Do buy within your means. I know that these are emotive issues. But HDB does indeed cater to the vast majority of Singaporeans, from those in rental flats, to those who are comfortably in the middle classes. 80% of Singaporeans live in HDB flats. 90% of them own their own flats.”
Singapore has one of the highest home ownership in the world which is made possible by the generous subsidies and housing grants given by the government over the years to enable Singaporeans to own their own flats.
Read Mr Tan’s note here.