Bring back Super Mah?

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 10/02/2014 at 4:52 am

If the PM brings back Mah, the minister who made sure HDB prices rose in a recession*, this Forum writer should be very, very happy about. HDB prices not falling. But to be fair to this idiot KS S’porean, P Ravi has empathy for the sentiments expressed.Still that doesn’t excuse his sense of entitlement.

Can Govt ensure HDB flats keep their value over time?

There have been recent reports on the falling prices of Housing Board resale flats (“First HDB resale price dip since 2005″, Jan 25; and “Resale flat prices not yet at ‘steady state’”; last Sunday)

The number of resale transactions has fallen considerably and we are seeing some negative cash-over-valuation deals.

Despite this, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan says a “steady state” has yet to be reached and that home buyers should welcome the softening prices of HDB resale flats.

A few years ago, I took part in several flat balloting exercises as a first-time buyer. I was not successful and had to pay a steep price for a resale flat.

Then National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan had said flat owners would benefit from rising prices because their homes would become more valuable.

There is certainly a need to ensure flat buyers are not disadvantaged by overly high prices.

But it is equally imperative that due consideration be given to flat owners, so they will not suffer a loss in the value of their homes over time. Are there measures to ensure this will not happen?

Chan Kwang Ping

P Ravi on Facebook commenting on the above, “People cannot be faulted for buying a flat even when the price is high and it is the sellers’ market, because whatever the market condition, people still need a house to live in. When people’s retirement fund are stuck in the house they own, such sentiments are understandable.”

What do you think?

And do you think he he will vote for WP? Maybe as WP has promised that it will only be PAP’s co-driver, a co-driver that will let PAP do as its like (OK! OK! WP says will slap PAP if it makes mistakes. But it only gets worked up when NEA, PA and PAP make trouble for WP: not when PAP makes trouble for S’poreans.). Will he vote RP or NSP? Err I don’t think he that stupid.

Will he vote SDP? I hope so (even if I think that its policy of crawling to the Indons doesn’t work), but doubt it as SDP wants to cut the link between investment for retirement and public housing.  A laudable, rational aim, but a tough sell when so many S’poreans are taking 25 yrs to pay off 99-yr HDB leases (About 87% of S’poreans live in HDB flata). Besides these leases have been a gd investment on paper (but useless as security), so far. Hmm maybe SDP should stress these flaws.

Khaw should say, “Vote PAP leh”.

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  1. I agree with the sentiment expressed by P Ravi,and I believe that Mr Chan Kwang Ping is a typical Singapore citizen,who belongs to the 60% who keep PAP in power.

  2. This is a classic dilemma. Owners want appreciate and buyers (especially first timer) want affordability.

  3. They want to keep wages low and at the same time keep collecting more for things such as housing, transportation, etc.
    HDB prices have doubled in the last 10 years. Have wages doubled (or even come close to doubling) in the last 10 years?
    HDB needs to fulfil it’s role of providing housing for the masses – not for the purpose of feathering retirement funds, investment, rental property, etc.

  4. Come on dudes, take responsibility of your decision! If you buy your hdb homes at outlandish prices, you only have yourself to blame.
    Meanwhile, don’t forget, you are just a leasee … price divide by number of lease outstanding. Find it acceptable, buy, don’t blame people.

  5. Bring back Mah and Mr Chan’s children can have the privilege of a 100 year mortgage for a 99 year lease. Maybe Mr Chan is planning to sell his resale HDB later and retire to his original homeland somewhere away from this red dot? I don’t see how he is benefiting otherwise since the lease will end someday.

  6. Was the writer homeless and die die must buy at steep price?? Even if he was homeless and had to buy a flat, did he max out his salary + CPF just so he can get a bigger flat or in mature estate?? Even though he knew he had to pay steep prices?? And had to be slave to the bank or HDB for 25-30 years??

    When I got married in early 1995, I refused to pay the exponential rise in HDB flats (Asian Tigers era), which peaked in end-1996/early-1997. Stayed in both parents’ places. When the cyclical & structural bust arrived in 1998, I finally bought a centrally located resale HDB (take advantage of CPF housing grant — one of the very few *real* benefits as sinkies). And made sure the flat I bought could be easily paid off within 10 yrs.

    Btw, I also didn’t catch the depression lows of SG property. After I bought my HDB in 1998, resale prices dropped another -15% from 2000 to 2003. But no big deal. HDB is for staying and sunk cost of living. Since I planned such that the loan/mortgage layout for the HDB was truly affordable, I could save big bucks from my average salary and even 50% of my CPF-OA (I was only using half of my OA to service the HDB loan; my spouse’s CPF wasn’t even touched).

    Hence, during the real bad property depression in 2003/2004, I had the spare bullets to buy couple of smallish freehold condos in good locations as rental investments. I still live in my HDB to this day.

    1. The property you’re staying in is not a real investment – it’s just a sunk cost of living to provide shelter, some protection & some quality of life. In many ways it is a liability — you are tied down to a place/country, you cannot easily pack up & escape with your wealth mostly intact, you are easily tracked down & located. This is common knowledge over thousands of years & hence govt came up with the so-called HDB ownership to enforce rootedness (ties to the land, loyalty, bonds, connectedness, blah blah), even though you don’t have real property ownership — where’s your title deed??

    2. Property, like all real & financial assets, ALWAYS go up & down in cycles. To expect otherwise is to expect that you will live forever. And like all real & financial assets, property can go up unbelievably more than you can imagine; it can also crash & burn unbelievably more than you can imagine.

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