THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Ex-GIC chief economist to government: Lower the price of public housing

Posted by temasektimes on August 28, 2012

Despite repeated public proclamations that HDB flats remain ‘affordable’ to Singaporeans, many do not think so including the former chief economist of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) Yeoh Lam Keong who called on the government to lower the price of public housing.

In an interview with Yahoo News, Yeoh questioned the rationale of linking Build-to-Order flats to general market prices by being pegged to the cost of resale housing.

“Once you do that, BTO prices will rise as general property prices rise, and resale prices are already often five to six times that of low to median (annual) incomes, making housing very unaffordable by most conventional housing industry measures,” he says.

Yeoh explains that as property market prices tend to be pulled up by the cost of upscale, private and landed property, they will price out everybody else who falls below the top 20 to 30 per cent of household.

“BTO flats should be priced at a range of between two and three times of low to median annual incomes instead of between three and four times, where BTO prices currently stand. This artificially lower subsidised price would be available only to Singapore citizens,” he proposed.

The prices of HDB flats have nearly doubled in the last decade due to the relentless influx of foreigners while the salaries of ordinary Singaporeans have remained more or less stagnant.

 

13 Responses to “Ex-GIC chief economist to government: Lower the price of public housing”

  1. spotlessleopard said

    If the PAP does not heed this advice and hear the People…they will be voted out in GE2016.

    Mod’s note:

    If you haven’t realized, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to vote out the PAP so long its ‘B’ team, aka the ‘Wayang Party’ is not eliminated first:

    ‘If the PAP fails to win a majority in the next GE, the Workers Party will form a coalition govt with it to keep it in power.’ – WP MP Pritam Singh, May 2011

  2. Three Blind Mice said

    The government’s choice of counter to its expected erosion of local vote is to chase the mandate of the new immigrants. We can expect PAP to remain in power so long Singapore citizenship is granted enmasse. 3,000 over a recent weekend, I heard?

  3. CUPPAM said

    wayang or not wayang, PAP will be there for quite a while. it wont happen in next 4 or even 8 year to see then decline. yes. PAP is not the same as it used to be. the current batch is jus eating the Pioneer’s batch hardwork. and make a mess of a lot of thing. but PAP will still be around in 2016GE. but just that they need to have a lower, much lower votes. to WAKE THEM UP.
    WP or all the opps Party add together, i wont think they have enough to form a carbinet. but i can predict, 2016 will be even lower vote for PAP

    Mod’s note:

    The loss in PAP votes will be translated to a gain by its ‘B’ team, aka the ‘Wayang Party’, so what difference will it make? It’s simply a transfer of votes from its Team A to Team B.

    ‘If the PAP fails to win a majority in the next GE, the Workers Party will form a coalition govt with it to keep it in power.’

    – WP MP Pritam Singh

  4. Calvin said

    To be honest, I still don’t understand why the BTO prices is pegged to resale market. Supply and demand and with so many so called “FT” buying the resale flats and directly pushing up prices of BTO, those who bought earlier will suffer. Doesn’t make sense, my cousin bought his BTO 4 rooms at punggol for just $190k few years back, now easily double that price…I’m still single and I’m really wondering how much its my BTO by the time I get married and the questions, can I afford it? I don’t see myself living in a condo, likely to stay for a long time like my parent, whom they bought back in 1983 for just $66k for a 4A flat, although itt worth $400k today and going to cost more once the new MRT station opens in 2017, which its just beside it…my parents dont see them selling it because the reason, sell then? buy where? how much?

  5. HK said

    Do you guys REALLY think it will happen one day……………price will ONLY go up and NEVER come down!

    • i say what i think only said

      if u control both supply and demand, why not?

      u increase demand by not restricting who can buy, put in more foreigners to increase demand.

      supply? u build slower, allocate lesser land to HDB, sell more state land to builld condos. then put any shit price. as people need houses, they will pay your shit price. no more raiding of national reserves

  6. Chan JY said

    Why won’t prices come down? Because a great number of S’poreans don’t want it to. They have seen the value of their HDB flats appreciate several times over the years. Why should they care about those who haven’t bought theirs? Why should they allow day care centres and other inauspicious things to come around and devalue their most prized possession? It’s not just the govt. It’s the people too who need to change.

    • A G Young said

      You are right, Mr. Chan! Furthermore, more and more Private Developers are not building Condominiums for Singaporeans BUT …..to anticipate the flow of FT to Singapore!

  7. bb said

    Yes the prices come down provided the oppostion is voted in. When the opposition is in many cans of worms will be open eg TH GIC, actual construction costs, what went wrong in SMRT and the flooding and confidential cabinet meetings. MIW may even run away and hv no guts to be in the opposition. You can see the PM and hear his speech and he is not going to change and you sg ppl have to change.

    Even though the opposition parties may not be the majority but at least sg ppl should give MIW a minority gov ie the pappy party plus one of the opposition party to form the gov eg PAP 40 seats and need another an opposition party with 4 seats-then we can ensure a lively debate in Parliament.

  8. Richard said

    Who make this to be happen,pushing HDB flat price up in the sky.And making birth
    rate down.Who is the A* make this to be hapen in singapore only?

  9. I wonder why the PAP government is not heeding this advice. I would have thought this is a no-brainer. Or is it that they have a reason to keep the prices high that they cannot tell?

  10. bodohsia.. said

    no worries guy..mark pm words that low income earn 1k can still own a hse..so if cannot buy then keep on asking them repeatedly about wat they mention last time

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