THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Khaw Boon Wan warns Singaporeans: Be realistic about your financial means

Posted by temasektimes on August 5, 2012

With life getting tougher for ordinary Singaporeans, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has reminded Singaporeans again to be “prudent”, given the current economic uncertainties ahead.

Speaking at a National Day Observance Ceremony in Sembawang GRC on Sunday morning, Mr Khaw used the example of home purchases to advise Singaporeans to buy within their means.

“There’re now some gimmicks coming along, some banks offering 50 years’ (loan) so please don’t fall for that. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

The prices of HDB flats have sky-rocketed in recent years, causing some banks to extend the loan tenure to enable first-time buyers to afford to buy them.

However, Mr Khaw wasn’t impressed and warned young Singaporeans to be realistic:

“If you want to immediately come out from school and get a five-room flat and think that a 50-year loan will help you achieve that, I don’t think that is very wise,” he added.

39 Responses to “Khaw Boon Wan warns Singaporeans: Be realistic about your financial means”

  1. Ken Lee said


    you are right, but who rise the HDB flat prices??? that’s even more no f make sense!

  2. Tofu said

    So he is trying to play the ‘good-cop’ now, disassociating from the 50yr loan?
    Well, as Ministers who believes in demand-n-supply, he should know very well.
    If there isn’t such a “need” or “demand”, why do you think the free market will come up with such proposal?
    On one hand, he preaches singaporeans to be ‘prudent’ with their asset buy, but on other hand, allow his pampered civil servants to be ‘lavish’ with their ‘asset’ buy.
    Another clueless Minister.

    • BooHooHoo! said

      Every single Singaporean who knows a bit of Maths, Economics and Accounting knows that the government made the most money from interest earned from housing loans to most Singaporean. PAP advocated that all Singaporeans will have a roof above their head…sounds like a wonderful and humane policy…then why make money from the loan? Isn’t it a MUST/SHOULD/OBLIGATION of the government to provide basic housing to the citizens? If interest is a must, then don’t make it looked as if the government care for the people…because to me an ordinary citizen, that’s sheer hypocrisy! That flat CAN NEVER BE OUR PROPERTY…IT IS OUR LIFETIME LIABILITY unless we pay HDB the full amount!

  3. Chan JY said

    But your future income is unlikely to catch up with future 5 room flat prices.

  4. Nabey said

    Very funny !!! Sir, you don’t know bank’s offerings got to be approved by MAS first? You should go JURONG and ask TAMAN, he can explain to you. Or Maybe you should ask Ah lee to make you finance minister next time.

  5. Nabey said

    Mr khaw, you say this 50years loan make no sense? You cannot say so, because MAS approved this UOB 50years loan!! Because MAS is run by the MOF, you say this means you are saying “government make no sense!! “. OH !! I think you finally has woken up!! Good!! You should join NSP.

  6. enough said

    he is barking the wrong tree

    if the hdb had been kept affordable then there would not have a 50 year housing loan

    he is talking through his arse with the kind of obscene salary

  7. KNN said

    Funny right. First tell us 1K can buy HDB, now tell us buy within our means.
    He stupid or trying to tell us he earn millions by making us stupid.

  8. Richard said

    If he is so clever why the HDB flat in rocking high price.And he now still cannot control the HDB Flat or the Profit for the BTO flat is high with good profit ,so cannot let the price to be drop for young singaporean. This is call affordable for new 3 rms at a price of $300k+ above for those need to take care of thier ederly nearby.Thks to our sir with care making life impossible now and reproduction birth rate.

  9. They raised HDB price and pay themselves millions and now warns people to buy 2 or 3 rooms hdb flats.

  10. CPT said

    Only those in the early 20s age can qualify for the 50yrs housing loan.
    The Bank know this is the only way young graduates or 20s adults can buy a house.

  11. Me said

    This $8 heart man really no heart … Instead of trying to make HDB flats prices realistic and within our means, this $8 heart man is asking every citizen to be realistic … REALLY NO HEART FOR SINGAPOREANS !!! SIGH! SIGH!

  12. hahaha said

    does a bicycle costing $xxxx feel like a bat mobile ? wish to try one!!

  13. pitbull said

    hey ass hole, the 50 yr loan came about becos you made it impossibe for the ordinary ppl to buy a affordable flat.
    you still don’t get it, do you ??? WTF.

  14. Sangrawi said

    Mr Khaw,

    As the public housing minister, with just a simple stroke of the pen, you can lower the price of HDB flats… And along with that, private housing cost will also fall … Them there is no need for 50 years loan.

  15. I am Daft So What? said

    Sucks PAP monsters (ministers) big time. Their only consistency is the constant inconsistency.

  16. bb said

    Very funny. It used to be that HDB flat purchased is financed by HDB loan not the pte bank. The logic is simple becasue HDB flat is purchased using CPF money and when a person is bankrupt the creditor can acquired all a person’s asset except CPF money. Hence when HDB flat is purchased with CPF money the flat can not be acquired except by HDB. Some papppy idiot decide to change the rule and make a messy of everything and this thk skin minister got the cheek to speak abt it. Should immediately revert all HDB flat using HDB loan. No wonder HDB flat are always rising even building materials are dropping. The flat once sold is no more HDB problem.

  17. Ah Loot said

    Singaporeans wet dreams are cash, credit card, country club, 5 bedroom condo & C.

  18. High Prices said

    It’s all boil down to low income and high prices of HDB flats.

  19. Jim Soh said

    Govt can lower prices of 5 room or 4 room flats so that ore citizens, especially those who have done their 2 year NS and who are still doing their reservist, can buy these flats.

    This is doable without anyone having to turn to banks for a loan. Our million dollar ministers should figure out a way to help Sporeans. Telling us to lower our expectations while they draw million dollar salaries and live in great comfort does not put them in a good light. Adjust the budget, start a special fund, using the gains from all our trillion dollar overseas investments. Be imaginative and bold. At least make an attempt!

    Cabinet ministers are paid to make life easier for Sporeans who work hard and who sacrifice their family time to service the the Spore economy. A high GDP comes with the price tag of personal stress and loss of time for recreation. If ministers cant do this…if they cannot help ordinary people own 4 or 5 room flats, then should take a pay cut and learn to travel by bus or MRT.

    Ministers enjoy enormous priviledges because they are supposed to deliver the goods. And so if you, Mr Khaw, want to enjoy your 8 dollar heart bypass surgery, I suggest that you come up with a plan to help Sporeans to own a 5 room or 4 flat when they come out of school.

  20. Lim said

    Be realistic? How realistic when even a 30-40 year resale 2-room HDB flat costs almost $200k. Who allowed this rotten state of affairs to fester in the first place? I think it is the govt who is being unrealistic if they can talk about affording homes with 1k monthly salary. Otherwise would UOB need to come out with loanshark 50 year housing loans where effectively you are only paying interest to the bank instead of reducing the principal loan? Khaw’s job is to make HDB flats affordable and not allow them to reach sky-high then tell peasants to be realistic about buying them – the only realistic thing is the poor can’t afford even the tiniest of flats and sleeping in void decks or Changi Beach is the only realistic option!

  21. Crap... said

    Is buying an exorbitant HBD flat considered buying within our means?? Can you tell us how much a flat really cost? STOP your hypocrisy! Your wayang is being seen through by every one with eyes.

  22. To Be Fair said

    The escalation of HDB flat prices has nothing directly to do with “current economic uncertainties” which should instead lower housing costs instead. It is the import of FTs and unscrupulous HDB policies that are accountable for the high prices. Why are we advised to be prudent with buying flats now (to go for 3 room flats) when we need not have to be prudent (or easy with 5 room flats) 10 years ago? Is this the Swiss standard of living we are promised? Or is the idea of Swiss living applicable only to the elites who now stay in houses worth tens of millions?

  23. who said

    Building of new hdb flat control by who? Price of new hdb flat set by who? Valuation of resale hdb flat provide by who? 50-year bank loan approve by who?

  24. Leslie said

    “Con” Boon Wan at it again. The Government is the one that should be “realistic” – about the price of new (and “shrinking”) HDB flats. Their price have doubled over the last five years yet the Government claims they are “subsidised” and “affordbale”. Public housing run by the HDB is the mother-of-all scam and con” in Singapore. It depletes Singaporeans CPF account so much so many (and increasing) will not have the required CPF Minimum Sum after they finish paying for the “affordable” flat. The reality is that the Government as whole makes a huge profit on new HDB flats but HDB is made to show a loss through an accounting gimmick.

    • solaris8899 said

      hdb price have doubled over the last five years yet the Government claims they are “subsidized” and “affordable”….well said.

  25. GodBlessSG said

    Actually, I am dying to know what is the respective costs to build 3, 4 and 5 rooms flats?

  26. Singaporean2 said

    Ask we all to buy at our means…harlow…when you increase did u think it is within our means???

  27. Andy said

    Mr Khaw clearly does not have financial sense. In today’s financial savvy world, people can take up a 50 year housing loan at the beginning but switches bank once the lock-in period of 2-3 years is over. They would not stay with a bank for an entire 50year period. They will look for good offers at any point in time and do the switch. They can then switch to a shorter tenure if their income increases or can sell at a profit at the end of 3-4years once the prices appreciate significantly. He is clearly not in touch with the ground. sigh…

  28. Pete said

    Talk so much for what? If the government think is not correct to have 50 years loan than stop the banks from doing it….. Banks are control by MAS aka government…

  29. Michael Chua said

    A 30 year loan is also unrealistic. By the time the borrower hits 40 years old, probably 10 years into the loan period, he stands a high risk of losing his job to a younger, cheaper and hungrier FT.

  30. cydonia said

    The root caused is that property prices are too high for locals to buy. The gov has no solution for the root cause, so have to talk rubbish….Just check who are the major holders of the property developers

  31. Passerby said

    The government had done a good job of transferring wealth from FT to Singaporean by allowing the resale markets to run on supply and demand. Let the crazy FT pay the crazy price for their desired HDB locale. However the government should extend the transfer of wealth to young generation of Singaporean, the first home buyers, by artificially set a price that is a fixed ratio of average young starters salary (work out a fair ratio by all means with your PhDs). The rest can go and fight it out in resale market, you had your chance in the first home buyer market once.

    Once the first home buyers are removed from the frenzy. Let those who wants to take risk to feel free to do so.

  32. He’s right ’bout the long-term loan.
    And who can guarantee that a person, any person, will still be around after half a century?
    Anything can happen to said person during the 50 years.
    This is proof that long-term plans invite disaster.

  33. Dear Mod, please get a more realistic picture of Khaw.
    This one looks photo-shopped.

  34. P Koh said

    Hi there Minster Khaw. Yes! be realsitic about the cost of living and to live within our means. I was staying in a rented flat paying S$1,500 rental monthly. When it came up for renewal the new rental was raised to S$2,900 which is unbelievable and with a take home pay of only $3,700 and 5 mouths to feed, how realistic can one be.!!!

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