Thursday, September 24, 2009
HDB High Prices & Influx of FT
You can sign an online petition on Lower HDB Price or Build more affordable Flats for Singaporeans here.
One of my favorite blogger Lucky Tan has written on the reasons of the rise in HDB resale as well as new flats' prices. The moderator of 3-in-1 Kopitiam Kojakbt has put up one of his reasoning and his chart on how influx of Foreign Talents is correlated to the pricing of HDB resale flats. (See above)
Although the Pearson Correlation Coefficient is pretty high for the two sets of data, technically speaking there must be a reasonable explanation behind such correlation, else such correlation would be considered irrelevant statistically.
The more appropriate data to be used is the number of increase of PR and non-native Citizens vs the HDB resale pricing. This is because only PR and new non-native Citizens are allowed to buy HDB resale flats. The Total of Foreigners in Singapore could only at best be an approximate to the increase in PR or new non-native Citizens, assuming that the number of new PR and Citizens are directly correlated with the Total number of Foreigners. In Singapore, we have not much choice of data set because the government does not release specific numbers on the increase of PR and New Citizens.
The spiral of HDB resale prices is basically due to two forces, demand and supply. Singaporeans generally could only own one HDB flat per household. It would mean that the supply of HDB flats to Singaporeans are more or less in equilibrium. However, with the injection of new demand caused by the increase in PR and New non-native Citizens, it would cause an inequilibrium in the demand and supply. The supply of HDB resale flats are limited as most Singaporeans bought the flats for own use while the demand of such flats keep going up with the influx of foreigners as PRs and New Citizens.
This will inevitably cause the prices of new flats to surge because the present new HDB flats' price are pegged at the resale flats' price. In effective, HDB is just giving a "discount", not a real subsidy for native Singaporeans. The implicit result would be the influx of Foreigners would have tremendous impact on Singaporeans, especially the young couples, in terms of higher HDB prices.
My suggestion is as follows:
1) HDB should stop hoodwinking Singaporeans by pegging the new HDB flats' prices to the resale HDB market prices and disguise such Discounts as "subsidies". The pricing should be de-linked and new HDB prices should be sold to Singaporeans at cost price and on top of that, REAL subsidies at cost price should be given as follows:
a) Born native Singaporeans or those who have lived here for more than 15years, $20K of subsidies from cost price.
b) Those Singaporeans who have completed their NS, another $10K subsidy
c) Those who get married before 30 years old another $20K subsidy.
2) In view of present FT policy, PAP must solve the problem of inadequate infrastructure, especially housing. HDB should sell NEW HDB flats to PRs direct at MARKET PRICES, instead of cost prices. This will ease the unbalanced market situation due to high influx of FT getting PRs. By earning from these PRs, HDB will be able to cross subsidize native Singaporeans.
This will of course encourage more PRs to convert to Singapore citizenship and at the same time, give REAL VALUE to Singapore Citizens who have contributed to this Nation. On top of that, it encourages family units to be formed without discriminating those singles badly. Singles who are native Singaporeans and served their National service would get their subsidies in recognition of their contribution to the Nation as well.
There is no reason for HDB not to sell New HDB Flats to PRs at MARKET PRICE instead of allowing the resale market to grow into a bubble and in turn, affect all native Singaporeans' housing liabilities. High HDB prices will prevent young couples from forming up family units early. This is a contradiction to our National needs.
It is time for PAP government and HDB to give due recognition to Singaporeans' contribution to the Nation and put tangible value to our allegiance as a citizen. It is unacceptable for us, especially the young Singaporeans, to pay the price of PAP's indiscriminate FT policy in terms of paying higher price for HDB flats.
Our PAP government has been talking big about how they value Singaporeans and putting their interests FIRST above all others. But the truth is, the PAP government is the MAIN CULPRIT in hurting Singaporeans' interest by implementing such housing policy that inflate the prices of new HDB prices for our young Singaporeans. If this policy is not curbed, our future generations would definitely be burdened by higher housing cost all across the board.
Goh Meng Seng
After note: There is an article at H88.com that claims that a report by ERA has indicated that40% of HDB resale flat transactions are done by PRs while Business Times has reported that 86% of transactions have been done at Cash Over Valuation, instead of PAP's claim of 25% of HDB flats done valuation or below valuation.
The quote from ERA report is as follows:
"The government's target population of 6.5 million is steadily increasing the pool of PRs; and they have to buy their HDB homes from the resale market as they do not qualify to buy new flats directly from HDB. ERA's resale transactions show that PR buyers make up some 40 per cent compared to 20 per cent three years ago." - Eugene Lim, assosiate director, ERA Asia-Pacific.