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Khaw Boon Wan: We priced BTO flats to be ‘affordable’ to all Singaporeans

Posted by temasektimes on August 14, 2012

There is no need for HDB to offer 50-year loans as HDB flats remain ‘affordable’ to all Singaporeans, declared National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Speaking in parliament yesterday, Mr Khaw said:

“We price BTO flats to be affordable, well within one working lifetime. There is no need for working couples to take 50-year mortgages to buy HDB flats.” 

United Overseas Bank (UOB) started offering 50-year home loans last month in response to sky-rocketing property prices which have priced many ordinary Singaporeans out of the housing market.

The prices of HDB flats have nearly doubled in the last five years while the wages of Singaporeans have remained more or less stagnant during the same period of time after factoring in inflation.

Weighing in on the same issue, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam also warned of “adverse implications” for borrowers, the property market and banks if 50-year home loans become widespread.

“Buyers may therefore believe that they are able to afford a larger or more expensive property. If this becomes widespread, it will increase the demand for properties,” DPM Tharman said.



37 Responses to “Khaw Boon Wan: We priced BTO flats to be ‘affordable’ to all Singaporeans”

  1. Jack said

    UOB is a commercial business, it offers such a package because there is a market demand.

    “We priced BTO flats to be ‘affordable’ to all Singaporeans” I though it is suppose to be subsidised, not a simply affordable pricing.

    • SingaporeanHeart said

      The housing prices would definitely be affordable if everybody’s salaries were as much yours, khaw boon wan, or whatever your name is. Put yourself in our positions, in the shoes of an average or lower income category. How great of you people to flood our country with foreigners, (magnifying them of their golden talent), snatching our opportunity of harnessing our rice bowls, land and neglecting us, CITIZENS and at the same time, vacuuming money out of us, CITIZENS, through your countless types of fees and charges.

      Perhaps you might want to change our national pledge to “we, the citizens and foreign talents of singapore, pledge ourselves as one “united” nation. Regardless of race, language, nationality or religion”
      Be honest. We recite the pledge, hoping to see it happen for real, not just blindly reading it for its sake.

  2. newhik said

    Then who was it that approved such loans to enter the market when both Khaw and Tharman is talking about potential backlash

  3. Richard said

    “We price BTO to be affordable to all Singaporeans”? Then I think pigs can fly. PUBLIC housing should not be used for aliens to make tons of money to bring home to their own country. BTO or Resale flats should be for owner occupation and Singaporeans only. They should be priced at cost once the speculative component is removed. All must sell back to HDB at original price. Then what’s the need for half a century home loan? Why won’t Khaw do that? Because HDB wants to profit.

    • Naivety said

      Agreed with what you said…Minister Cow is not doing his basic job functions & yet got the cheeks still to TCSS over here!

  4. fortheloveofgossip said

    I think the most important question is: Is this man wearing a toupet?

  5. colin said

    Well within one’s working life. Can Mr Khaw define how long would that be?

  6. NaBey said

    Working life? Work as what? What cow work horse? Husband work, wife also work, go home still must work on bed. If make not enough money, no hdb to stay, if make not enough baby, our job get replace by immigrant!
    fark !!!! #$*%%+%*#&$*%&+

  7. Your mother mother said

    Can I know what are the assumptions and benchmark used to conclude that it’s “Affordable” and well within one’s working lifetime?

    Firstly, I am not mathematically inclined but still curious to know long does it take for someone (with 2 kids, age 6 and 8) with a household income of $2500 take to repay a HDB that cost $280k.

    Secondly, can he clarify what he meant by one’s working lifetime? Is he referring to working to retirement at 65 or till age 70 or 80?

    Thirdly, is he assuming that our income will continue to grow constantly at 3-5% annually hence someone age 25 today with $2500 houldhold income can still pay off the loan by age 65 (provided he is not retrenched along the way)

    And what if our income don’t grow as what he assume? Does it mean that we need to work till age 70 or 80? This is considered my lifetime right? If that’s the case, does it mean a 40 or 50 year loan is more realistic?

    Note that I am relying entirely in my monthly CPF contributions to service the housing loan.

    Hope he can address my queries

  8. unknown said

    Mr Khwan Boon Wan,
    One word for you!!! RUBBISH!!!!
    It is either you fail your Maths lessons or you are lying to us!!!!
    You made many people including me very, very angry with your statement by telling us that BTO HDB are very affordable!!!

    Recently my friend got married and applied a BTO HDB flat (4~5 room) at Boon Keng for HALF A MILLION!!! What a OBSCENE PRICE???
    The pricing of BTO HDB in yr 2000 was 280k for 5 room!!! The sharp spike in BTO HDB and Resales market was dramatically increased during our “Favorite Minister” the Great Mah BT times.

    Because of His implementation of HDB policy, plus the foreigners are welcomed to buy in resales market and control by the release of supply less than the market demand. The prices of property market shoot SKY HIGH and everyone who wants to buy HDB flats at later date have to enjoy the suffering of paying such obscene price than it would to let the market price grow normally.

    Mr Khawn Boon Wan, Do us a favour by declaring openingly on what is the ACTUAL COST OF BUILDING A BTO HDB and the value of the small piece of land. The value of the land should not be that expensive as the pricing is tagged by the government!

    • jack said

      Well said, strangely minister use the term affordability for HDB flats than the term SUBSIDIZED which was used for the past 47 years, jack ng

    • flying in your face said

      Why the hell did your friend buy a 4 ~ 5 room when they’ve just got married? They only need a 3 room to start a family of 2 kids. And why choose Boon keng unless they plan to sell it away for a handsome profit later on? So while they bought it at an obscene price, they’ll make a vulgar profit on the resale market. To each his own, so stop your pathetic moaning about sky rocket prices.

      • Kerlin said

        Agreed totally. Buy within own limit.

      • Lim said

        I think the original writer’s point is that HDB overprices 4-5 room flat even if it is Boon Keng. That is not right for public housing. Therefore it is mean to impute sinister motives of this friend and make personal remarks like `pathetic moaning’. a half a millions govt flat anywhere is unaffordable by any standards no matter how much the pro-pap people try to paint it and push the blame on the citizens.

    • Ng said

      Huh. My 4rm bto cost me abt 210k only. How come ur friend’s bto was so ex few years ago and now? Also, no one in the right frame of mind should get even a 30 year loan. Mine will be cleared in 3 years for a simple reason that indeed, my income increased over the three years while waiting for my bto. They are not entirely wrong but possibly too optimistic without getting the right figures of how many hdb owners have household income less than 3k. My household income was almost 7k when we applied for bto. Now it’s been abt four years and our combined income have increased to 12k. Definitely more than enough to have kids, cars and etc. I count myself lucky to be able to get a bto and that I’m at least prudent bcos most colleagues of mine had gone for penthouses, ec, condos etc. I have neighbours with household income of abt 4k. They seem to get by with kids too and even throw parties often catering buffet and stuff. Some even bought very expensive furniture, gym equipment, massage chairs and water features. This makes me wonder if the situation is really that bad? For ur info they live in 3 or 4rm bto too.

      • Ng said

        And btw, I was born poor, family bankrupt, paid my own exp and sch fees thru jc and uni but of cos, I worked really hard and moved upwards later on, paid my sch fees debts, save up and did proper financial planning. I’m not exactly bright too with parents who did not pass psle. If I can do it, I believe others could too and we wouldn’t need to fear the threats fr what FTs.

        Mod’s note:

        When did you graduate? It is easy to move up the social ladder in the 1980s and 1990s, but not now.

      • Ng said

        Dear mod, I graduated in 2003.

  9. Ken Lee said

    So ‘affordable’ to all Singaporeans until they have to pay for 20-30 year!

  10. bb said

    Please note KBW voluteer to be Minister ND -since no one is interested after MBT. If sg ppl is still not happy with his performance I am afraid you have no choice but to get rid of him by voting him and perhaps HDB flats will drop.

  11. rongY said

    KBW talk shit again, why dont he take a $3000 per month pay and feed his family of 4 and pay off a hdb morgage at the same time, than he will understand. what is affordable

  12. kaypoh said

    By “affordable” HE probably means :

    1) u live as long as our “Supreme Leader” aka Old Fart to some readers here
    2) u & your descendents pay for 3 generations (99 years leasehold mah)
    3) that’s why u need descendents, aka BABIES!!!
    4) and that’s why u cannot withdraw ur CPF—it’s all gonna go into that flat!

  13. What nonsense said

    If it is really affordable there will not be 50 years housing loan in the market?
    If there is a demand there will be a supply.

  14. ken said

    the public have the right to know the breakdown of costing of building a hdb unit. the land is free , 99(or less) yrs later will be recycled.

  15. seah said

    it seem the already lost touch with the ground.we sporean most of us is very worry with all this sky rocket price.what later you can do is to get foreigner to to get sporean citizenship to vote for you.But wost of them refuse to take up citizenship perfer to take PR ,you should impose Expire Date on PR,With 2 leg on 2 country where got loyalty,at the same time we can send the Bump ,prositute useless person back to their country.Take it 5 years is a long time to make up their mind.Minister please do not rise the flat cost higher,our wages had stay stagnant for the past ten over years ,

  16. oldguard said

    Mr. Cow, please remember that as you reach 50 years old, CPF contribution from employer and employee drop. STOP PR from selling their house in the open market, they have to sell back to HDB at original price, this will prevent them from profiteering.
    Or STOP PR from buying HDB flats, want to buy be citizen.

    • Daft Peasant said

      lets say if prc become citizen then can buy hdb…..but when price is good, they can renounce their citizenship and still sell off the hdb, earning BIG PROFITS too!!!

      bcos when they wish to go back to their Home land, they are always welcome…..

      祖国永远欢迎你回来 !!


  17. goobie said

    Affordable? Yah righhhttttt. Idiot talking shit again.

  18. The more I see of this guy, I feel sick. How could a person like him could be given a Singapore scholarship, be made a Perm Sec and be made a Minister..


    • Daft Peasant said

      i don know… me, every miw are good for nothing……they can only gong jiao way…..

    • unknown said

      Exactly, he is just another yes man to the in the ivory Parliament getting fat pay by agreeing to the top and turning blind eyes to those suffering below.

  19. To be fair said

    The BTO shouldn’t be introduced in the first place.
    It’s pricing affects the prices of normal HDB flats as their markets are inter-realated.
    Save all this Bullshit about affordable pricing. Bottom line is the HDB goes for enhancing its profits more than serving the people. Otherwise, how to have good bonuses and job advancements. Through sparkling financial statements, of course!

    • time to change said

      BTO was introduced when HDB had many unsold flats, that was before 2003 if can remember correctly when times then were really bad and before S’pore immigration floodgates opened widely to FTs and PRs.
      Now still need BTO when there are at least 2 or more applicants per unit?

  20. Singaporean2 said

    when we kpkb to explain the purchase for a set of bicycles u call for auditing on awarding and purchasing.
    when we kpkb at least for half decade or more for cost of building our hdb flat, what is done???
    when opposition got scandal, u people ask for accountability…

    NOW…where is yours???? cost of building a hdb flat????? accountability???? where?????

  21. aabbcc said

    Tin pei ling is better..

  22. Shan Shan said


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