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Posts Tagged ‘HDB’

The real reason why HDB flats are a touchy topic

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 27/09/2018 at 10:22 am

Other than the fact that S’poreans have realised or discovered that HDB flats are 99-yr leases not freehold (They read what they agreed to buy? Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin) the other major headache for the PAP govt in public housing is that housing (private or public) seems to be more about psychological rather than material needs.

In the US and UK

Our space expectations are conditioned not only by where we have lived before, but also by our neighbours.

Because house size is a status symbol, we feel worse off when other people get larger houses.

A recent US study found that an increase in the size of the largest 10% of “superstar” houses had a significant negative effect on their neighbours, even if those people had also moved to bigger homes.

Previous surveys have suggested people would be prepared to have less living space overall if it meant they had more than others.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45420795

Given that more than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats, no wonder the PAP govt now wants to kick the expiring lease issue into the really long grass.

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?

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PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said

In Political governance, Public Administration on 09/09/2018 at 10:56 am

Given former PM’s comments his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”, it’s surprising that the PM and the PAP are ignoring what the world’s richest man said

“Experiments are by their very nature prone to failure. But a few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work,” said Mr Jeff Bezos in 2014.

FT

I was reminded of this when I read

Mr Alfred Tan said that the PAP still refuses to acknowledge the policy blunder [about HDB leases]. He said that one of the key basic disciplines in problem solving is admitting that there is a problem. Only when there is an admission of misjudgment can the first step be taken towards a real and meaningful resolution and rectification of the problem.

“Is the PAP government prepared to man up and admit this misstep?” Mr Tan asked.

http://yoursdp.org/…/sdp_calls_out_out_of_t…/2018-09-08-6257

Dr Chee

 

Typical product of our education system?

In Property on 02/09/2018 at 5:48 am

Re “Every school a good school”.

Mr Low Mong Seng, 34, worried that the compensation under Vers may not allow flat owners to purchase a flat of a comparable size. This would be a problem for bigger households, said the swim coach, whose three-room flat in Block 95, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, has less than 50 years left on its lease.

Hello, don’t people grow up, move out or die? All the residents never marry or die isit? The number of the people remain static isit?

And the issue of how much will a similar flat will cost is always present when selling out of the existing flat. 

As a FB post once put it

My parents bought the flat in 1978 for $19,000. It was fully paid for within a few years. Some time back, a property agent approached me and asked me to sell the flat, saying that I can get $420, 000 for it. I rejected because where are my parents and I going to stay if I sell. How much will a similar flat cost me if I buy a resale?

But to be fair to our education system, Mr Low could best be either die die support PAP heartlander or a cybernut from the hearlands of The Idiots or TOC or TRE. They are beyond help.

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 31/08/2018 at 10:56 am

From a TRE reader

In his NDR speech, PM Loong gave an example of his AMK 4-rm residents, trumpeting how their flats can now fetch $400k when they’ve paid only $25k for their units 40 years ago.

Yes, no one will argue about this fact. First owners of HDB flats were able to make a huge profit from their flats purchased decades ago. This is possible only because they bought their flats cheap.

Leong Piah Mann

Yup, it was all about getting in at a great level and riding the Pacific wave.

But now

Govt ‘smartly’ pegged BTO flats to HDB resale price. Resale price is based on the flat’s valuation price. Owners were given high valuation for their units (and you know who valued your HDB and they BS you it’s about demand that your flat cost that much), so resale price kept heading skyward and BTO price follow suit to the delight of the greedy govt.

Entry point is “rigged”. So how to make money?

And what about the sucker buyer?

When PM Loong bragged about how much profit a AMK 4-rm flat first owner can make from selling his flat, PM made himself look so excellent, like a grade A, top notch leader, but he conveniently forgot to mention about the buyer of that resale flat. After paying $400k for an almost 40yrs old flat, how much will the buyer be able to sell his flat for as it continues to age and ending up as govt’s eventually?

Sorry jialat. Liddat why vote PAP so that $$G ministers also can be “Crazy Rich Asians”?


Related posts:

The real truths about public housing  my summary of piece by “Tan Jin Meng, a postgraduate from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He has an interest in social policy and economics.”.

Why many PAP voters are ready to be flipped

New Hope: Why Dr Tambyah can flip PAP voters

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Leong Piah Manncomments in full

A Layman’s View On The Hot HDB Issue

I think people should stop arguing about whether we’re “owners” or “lessees” of HDB flats because the PAP and their lackeys can always defend the govt using all kinds of crooked logics. Fact remains, our HDB flats will belong to the govt after 99 yrs.

In his NDR speech, PM Loong gave an example of his AMK 4-rm residents, trumpeting how their flats can now fetch $400k when they’ve paid only $25k for their units 40 years ago.

Yes, no one will argue about this fact. First owners of HDB flats were able to make a huge profit from their flats purchased decades ago. This is possible only because they bought their flats cheap. This is possible only because our govt 40 yrs ago was genuinely caring. This is possible only because our 1G leaders’ main intention of building public housing was to let citizens have a roof over our heads. The Old Guards weren’t greedy. They didn’t price the HDB flats with the intention to make big profit from citizens or to let citizens make profits from their flats. More importantly, they never buy votes using the HDB flats upgrading or asset enhancement policy as election carrots.

As we can see, the situation now is no longer the same. The present govt has become too greedy that their greed has resulted in our  public housing (amongst others) becoming so costly, in fact too costly!

Govt ‘smartly’ pegged BTO flats to HDB resale price. Resale price is based on the flat’s valuation price. Owners were given high valuation for their units (and you know who valued your HDB and they BS you it’s about demand that your flat cost that much), so resale price kept heading skyward and BTO price follow suit to the delight of the greedy govt.

When PM Loong bragged about how much profit a AMK 4-rm flat first owner can make from selling his flat, PM made himself look so excellent, like a grade A, top notch leader, but he conveniently forgot to mention about the buyer of that resale flat. After paying $400k for an almost 40yrs old flat, how much will the buyer be able to sell his flat for as it continues to age and ending up as govt’s eventually?

Mr Owner is lucky and happy but what about Mr Buyer? If VERS is real, how much will the govt compensate Mr Buyer in 30 yrs’ time? For sure he’s going to make a loss. And what if VERS is just an invincible election carrot? If Mr Buyer is 30 yrs old, by the time he’s 89 yrs old, his $400k would go up in smoke. Why didn’t PM Loong talk about Mr Buyer? Don’t tell me getting paid millions of dollars cannot even foresee such an obvious problem?

I’d definitely applaud the govt if Mr Owner is allowed to sell his flat back to govt at the market value of $400k. Then the govt sells that flat to Mr Buyer at $400k but renew the lease to 99 yrs.

Did the govt not plan to have HIP II? They can even have HIP III and HIP IV to keep the flats in good conditions. Continuous upgrading whenever necessary for our future generations to live in, is this not also being fair to our descendants? If there really is a must to tear down any blocks of flats due to safety reasons, then compensate the residents accordingly with SERS.

Our children and grandchildren are our future generations. Families are getting very small these days. Our children can inherit our old flats and continue to live in them. If our govt genuinely cares and thinks for the people, there’s really no need for all our flats to
go back to the state for the govt to redevelop the land and build new flats.

We first heard that CPF money is not our money. Now we realised our HDB flats will not be our flats eventually. What next?

Apparently the scariest thieves in sg wear white not black. So, Singaporeans beware! Please stop inviting thieves into our house and allow them to freely steal our belongings anymore.

Leong Piah Mann

Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 30/08/2018 at 10:34 am

In the last few weeks, the smell of smoke has been getting stronger even though the usually annual haze has yet to show up in the weather stats.

So maybe its juz the PAP throwing smoke and the cybernuts reacting with hot air?

After all I started smelling the smoke when Goh Chok Tong decided to shit and piss on the PAP’s NatDay celebrations with his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. The subsequent uproar had him back pedalling.

Then came PM’s NDR speech on being frugal (Shumething PM left out in NDR speech/ Reason why?) and the plan to kick the HDB lease expiry issue into the long grass via Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (Vers) which will begin circa 2038

Experts interviewed told TODAY that by airing its thoughts on the complex issue early, the Government achieved another objective: To restore some calm in the HDB resale market, and provide reassurance to homeowners.

https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-hdb-lease-decay-govts-solutions-not-perfect-theres-light-end-tunnel

This goodie was ignored:

Every HDB flat can also expect to undergo major upgrading twice during its 99-year lease period, with the new Home Improvement Programme (HIP) II rolled out for ageing units at the 60- to 70-year mark.

Then came Larry (Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting) with

Mr Wong had also said earlier this week that even though many details for Vers will not be ready for some time, the Government felt that it “owed” Singaporeans an early explanation on its thinking for the next phase of public housing.

Of course the cybenut mob had to react with hot air of their own drowning out the cold doses of reality that sensible criticks of the PAP like Calvin Cheng (When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life) and Eugene Wee (Best riposte to recent PAP BS) were pouring out to counter the PAP’s smoke.

And then there was “There seems to be a certain sourness on the ground, with more grumbling than usual about issues especially to do with the Government,” a semi-retired ST tua kee observed: “In the many chat groups I belong to, more people seem to be getting worked up.”

“ST Editor panicked over ground sourness urges PAP 4G leaders to do something” screamed Terry’s Online Channel cutting and pasting the ST piece: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/08/26/st-editor-panicked-over-ground-sourness-urges-pap-4g-leaders-to-do-something/

I’m still thinking if Han Fook Kwang is correct to say the present mood reminds him of the run-up to the 2011

— attributing the public discontent to the “disconnect” between the government leaders and the general public,

— adding “I agree with commentators who have pointed out that overly high ministerial salaries poison the relationship between leaders and the led, reducing it to a transactional one.”

What do you think, is the mood like that in 2011?

 

 

PAP Govt thinks there’ll be serious job losses soon?

In Economy on 29/08/2018 at 10:57 am

Before Tuesday (Aug 28), HDB flatbuyers had to first use up the entire balance in their CPF Ordinary Accounts. Now flat buyers can retain S$20,000 in their CPF OA when taking up HDB loans

The previous rule was to ensure that flat buyers exercise financial prudence and minimise the housing loan taken, said the HDB on Tuesday.

So why the change? Emphasis mine

“While this objective remains relevant, some flexibility can be given to flat buyers to provide a buffer in their CPF Ordinary Accounts to pay mortgage instalments in times of need, or to improve retirement adequacy if the buffer is eventually not tapped,” said a HDB spokesperson in response to TODAY’s queries.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cpf-rule-change-hdb-loans-less-worry-more-flexibility-flat-owners

The PAP govt is preparing for another great recession methinks where there’ll be lots of retrenchments and many S’poreans being unable to pay off their HDB mortgages without the extra $ in CPF account. How to vote for PAP liddat?

Ownself pay ownself to pay ministers’ salaries. LOL or Sad?

 

Akan datang: GE in late 2019

In Political governance, Property on 23/08/2018 at 11:07 am
Singapore’s next parliamentary general election must be held by 15 January 2021. According to the Constitution, the Parliament of Singapore’s maximum term is five years from the date of the first sitting of Parliament following a general election, after which it is dissolved by operation of law.

So far the PAP has signaled trice in recent months that an election will be held in late 2019 or early 2020, after the 200th anniversary of Raffles making S’pore British is co-opted by the PAP to propogandise the benefits of PAP rule, (like the 50th anniversary of getting kicked out of M’sia was co-opted in 2015).

First signal: the PAP govt ended the property cycle upswing early. If things had been allowed to run their usual course, we’d have rising property prices in 2019, if not 2020.

With less than a third of collective sale sites sold so far this year and no deal inked since property cooling measures took effect more than a month ago, one property analyst has declared the current cycle of en bloc fever to be over.

More than 30 collective sale sites have failed to secure a buyer since January, according to data from real estate agencies Huttons Asia, Savills and Colliers.

“This cycle has reached its end,” said International Property Advisor’s chief executive Ku Swee Yong.

If that is the case, the current cycle would have lasted about two years – If that is the case, the current cycle would have lasted about two years – beginning with the sale of former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate Shunfu Ville – shorter than the three-year run that lasted between 2005 and 2007, he said.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/more-30-en-bloc-tenders-closed-without-buyer-year-none-successful-after-july-cooling

Rising property prices in 2019 would have been problematic for early elections.

Second signal: goodies for my generation

Just as Singaporeans born in 1949 or earlier received the Pioneer Generation Package to cope with healthcare and other expenses, baby boomers born in the 1950s will receive help from the Government.

Called the Merdeka Generation Package, it will cover areas such as outpatient subsidies, Medisave account top-ups, MediShield Life premium subsidies and payouts for long-term care, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien at the National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 19).

Third signal: kicking problem of expiring HDB leases (Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029) into the long grass while details will be worked out in the next 20 yrs or so (Taz how confident PAP is of ruling S’pore)

With Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech, the Government has laid out a “visible” programme for Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat owners for the future of their homes, said CIMB economist Song Seng Wun, who added that public housing has been the backbone of Singapore’s wealth creation.

Vers, which Mr Lee said would start about 20 years from now, will see residents of precincts that are about 70 years into their 99-year leases voting on whether they would like the Government to buy back the flats. The Government will compensate them — at terms less generous than the Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), which is compulsory — and help them get another flat to live in.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/devils-details-flat-owners-should-not-expect-windfall-new-hdb-scheme-analysts

I hope that the Oppo is better prepared this time to handle the PAP’s handouts of goodies. This was written in Sept 2012: Time for Opposition to rethink assumptions, lest it repents after next GE. But the Oppo fought GE 2015 as though it was GE 2006 and 2011 again. The result PAP got 70% of the popular vote. Of course LKY’s death and the 50th anniversary of independence celebrations helped.
One thing is sure, talk cock sing song Lim Tean is sure to make another video. Which reminds me: if he can make videos of himself talking cock, why can’t he produce the video on how to avoid getting sued for defamation he promised for Sept, then Nov 2017 after raising the money for it? Remind Lim Tean, it’s December

How to make it jialat for HDB owners if got child in RI

In Public Administration on 02/07/2018 at 12:15 pm

Just as how Singapore prevented racial enclaves from forming in its housing estates, the country must avoid the formation of any social enclaves, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday (June 5).

To that end, the Government will “further refine” the design of precincts and public housing flats to “allow greater social mixing between people of different economic backgrounds”.

“This is especially important as society matures and social mobility and social mixing weaken,” said Mr Chan, who did not elaborate.

Constructive, nation-building media

We have a racial quota for each HDB estate to prevent racial enclaves from forming HDB estates. This upsets Indians, Malay and Eurasians no end because they can only sell to a minority, limiting the value of their flats. Chinese can sell flat to anyone because of their uber majority status: the quota doesn’t affect them.

So maybe to ensure that ensure that there’s a mix of educational abilities in HDB estate, HDB flat owners with one kid in RI or other so-called “elite” schools, can only sell their HDB flats to people with kids in RI or other so-called “elite” schools.

Why “S’pore is not a repressive country”

In Political governance on 22/06/2018 at 10:53 am

When an anti-PAP warrior living in an HDB flat posted this on FB

“In a recent interview with renowned CNN anchorwoman, Christine Amanpour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as categorically stated that Singapore is not a repressive country because in the last election, every seat was contested.

I find this reasoning rather one dimensional as whether or not an election is contested is not the complete picture. This is especially the case in Singapore whereby the opposition do face certain challenges before they even get to the contest.”

TOC

One Adrian Tan posted:

Got a lot of anti-PAP types living in “subsidised”, “affordable” public housing. If S’pore as bad as what TOC claims, why PAP govt no kick them out? 🤣😜

To which I’ll add some of the names of some of these warriors: M Ravi, Terry of TOC and Teo Soh Lung.

If they get kicked out of the HDB flats they are in living in, I’ll admit that S’pore is a repressive country. Until then, I’ll hold the view that S’pore is an authoritarian one-party state that 60-70% of voters every five yrs or so willingly agree to put up with for another five yrs.

S’pore: An illiberal democracy?

Goh Meng Seng (Silence of Goh Meng Seng) even claims that to part finance the fight against the PAP, he sold his HDB flat in 2010 or 2011 when he was NSP’s Sec-Gen. But it’s alleged that he never paid any monies into the NSP’s bank account.

 

The real truths about public housing

In Property on 21/06/2018 at 11:13 am

Not Hard Truths but the truths about public housing as revealed by “Tan Jin Meng, a postgraduate from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He has an interest in social policy and economics.”.

But first, a reminder why the topic of HDB housing is a problem for the PAP administration what with its “asset enhancement” policies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever happened to asset enhancement since 2013 Q2 is a question being asked by more than the anti-PAP activists and their allied cybernuts.

Back to Tan Jin Meng and his truths about HDB: writing in CNA he says

An over-emphasis on home ownership can come at a cost to society. Time for a review of public housing policy

And

Singapore’s housing policy started out with the aim of providing basic, comfortable and safe housing security for Singaporeans. Over the decades, strong public policy support may have led to an over-emphasis on housing ownership, leading to unintended consequences …

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/emphasis-home-ownership-hdb-lease-review-of-public-housing-10423116.

But if time-challenged juz read these two extracts

The first explains that the PAP administration has by way of subsidies (Uncle Leong and cybernuts will ask though “Subsidies? What subsidies?”) created an entitlement mentality in public housing:

Addressing the 99-year leasehold issue or the retirement security issue without a cost to the home owner would effectively need a cross subsidy from future tax payers.

Any changes to housing policy that impact prices would need to consider the fact that most voting Singaporeans have a vested interest in keeping house prices up.

The continuous subsidy of housing in Singapore has been underpinned by the Land Acquisition Act of 1966, which had used historical cost for acquiring land, managing to keep new HDB flat prices low. In 1959, the State owned 44 per cent of all land, and by the mid-2000s, it was 85 per cent.

Effectively, the Government redistributed land wealth from land owners to the rest of the population, aided by a growing economy supporting prices. This, however, cannot continue forever as housing leases start to run out, our economy slows, and our population ages.

The Government had, over the decades since independence, resisted calls to liberally expand the social safety net, in order to avoid the development of an entitlement culture – that once you give someone something, you cannot easily take it back without antagonising that person, and you may end up with an intolerable burden for future generations.

Yet, housing remains one social programme where much resources have been poured into.

The other very important truth is

A house is not just a shelter. It is also a leveraged financial asset. You are taking risk on both property prices and interest rates. Singapore’s rapid growth over the first 50 years from independence has led many people to believe that home ownership is a “sure win”, as house prices also rose from wage and population growth.

Sounds like the “asset enhancement” policies got a lot to answer for, and so has our PM who was DPM and the economy czar in the 90s, when the policies were introduced to fix the Oppo.

“Asset enhancement? What asset enhancement?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only if buy BTO flat leh, PAP will say. Go back and read whaqt the PM, DPM and other PAP ministers said.

Wonder if our our constructive, nation-building media’s articles from the 1990s are as amendable as the media articles in Airstrip One in “1984”.

PAP definition of Middle Class?

In Property on 17/06/2018 at 3:39 am

An older managing director at a large bank complained of the struggles of the middle class. When I asked him to define “middle class,” he spoke of people like him, earning between two and four million dollars a year. Young analysts told me they were being priced out of Brooklyn, much less Manhattan, by rising hedge-fund plutocrats and their ilk.

New York based writer

Somehow, I tot of the PAP’s reasoning for the need to pay ex-SAF generals and ex-civil servants millions when they become ministers.

For some reason I tot about the PAP’s changing definition of affordability for HDB flats. Once upon a time it took only up to 10 yrs (Correct me if I’m wrong) to pay off the mortgage, now

The maximum loan repayment period is 30 years *. The maximum loan repayment period for HDB loans is 65 years minus buyer’s age or 30 years, whichever is shorter. The maximum loan repayment period for loans taken through financial institutions is 35 years.

https://www.cpf.gov.sg/eSvc/Web/Schemes/FirstHome/Assumptions

Sad.

Note: Text after quote changedtwo hrs after publication. Sorry, “Writer’s block”.

 

 

Will people like Mr Ang and his family ever vote for Oppo?

In Political governance on 15/06/2018 at 11:00 am

Further to S’poreans unhappy enough to make mad Dog PM?

where I reported this survey which says

Singaporeans are less satisfied with their overall quality of life and democratic rights compared with previous years, according to a survey conducted by two National University of Singapore (NUS) dons.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singaporeans-less-satisfied-quality-life-democratic-rights-nus-survey-130122483.html

there’s

As far as Mr Ang Hong King, 72, is concerned, his three-room flat which he bought for S$6,000 in 1970, has served its purpose — providing a roof over his family’s head for almost five decades and counting.

The semi-retired driver and his wife raised their three daughters in the unit at Block 65 Circuit Road. Their children have since moved out, and gotten flats of their own.

Having no plans to move out, Mr Ang shrugged off the prospect of his flat — which is worth about S$250,000 now — losing its value in the future. “Price drop also never mind,” he said.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/big-read-no-easy-answers-hdb-lease-decay-issue-public-expectations-have-change-first

Somehow I doubt it. So long as Mad Dog and his fellow nutters refuse to accept that there’s a big group of voters out there contented (Note I didn’t say “happy”) with the PAP, S’pore will continue to be a one-party state where the voters are happy every few yrs to renew the status quo of a one-party state.

Once Mad Dog and friends accept this reality, they can think of ways to destroy this contentment. More soon on possibles tactics. But if they continue thinking that 60-70% of S’poreans are stupid, then they can continue howling at the moon and banging their balls.

 

 

 

TOC saying vote PAP?

In Financial competency, Property on 10/06/2018 at 10:44 am

I kid u not, Terry’s Online Channel has a gd word for the PAP govt and one of its flagship programmes.

This is what TOC wrote

S$1 million will easily cover the cost of most new and resale HDB flats in Singapore. The median price of HDB resale flats in every neighborhood is below S$1,000,000, so prospective homebuyers could afford a comfortable residence in even the most expensive areas of Singapore.

For example, the median resale price of a 4-room HDB even in Central was S$850,000 in the early months of 2018.

And

S$1 Million is Not Enough to Afford Most Homes in Many Major International Cities

Both quotes from https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/06/09/what-kind-of-home-would-s1-million-buy-in-major-cities-around-the-world/

Is TOC getting paid to say nice things about the PAP govt? One of TOC’s grouses is that mothership gets sponsorship from GLCs. So has TOC saold its soul too?

Btw, the writer is the only numerate person in TOC’s stable of writers and editors.

 

Falling HDB prices: Mad Dog, Meng Seng etc don’t count yr chickens yet

In Property on 02/05/2018 at 11:20 am

Private property mkt is going thru the roof

The Republic confirmed its biggest quarterly surge in private home prices in nearly eight years on Friday (April 27) — a 3.9 per cent jump that beat an earlier estimate of 3.1 per cent, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) showed.

This is the highest quarterly price growth since the 5.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter of 2010.  In comparison, prices of private residential properties rose 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year over the previous quarter.

Ms Tricia Song, Colliers International head of research for Singapore, noted that it was “rare to see such a wide variance between the actual and flash numbers”. Flash estimates are based on data from the first two months of the quarter.

Constructive  T

while the Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale market has experienced a contrasting fortune compared to the private with the HDB resale price index contracting by 0.8%  for January to March.

Analysts have said that the increase in housing grants, shorter waiting time for Build-To-Order flats in certain housing estates, a strong supply of new public housing units, and the Government’s pronouncement that it will not renew the leases of HDB flats when they run out are some of the factors pushing down HDB resale prices.

So Mad Dog, Meng Seng, Lim Tean (Collect money from public but Where’s yr defamation video and jobs rally Lim Tean?) and other cybernuts (active or paper) are celebrating the defeat of the PAP in next GE.

But they did not read the ending

In the next quarters, HDB resale prices are expected to eventually rebound, the analysts said.

Given the huge number of en bloc sales since last year, Mr Ismail predicts “a greater demand for HDB resale properties with some en bloc owners considering bigger sized resale flats in the second half of the year”.

For the full year, the analysts said they expect HDB resale prices to be flat or grow by up to 1 per cent.

Not as gd as private property but then GE will not be held next year but the year after: after Raffles200. There’ll be goodies galore for HDB flat owners, trust me.

As to Goh Meng Seng’s BS that he’ll reveal his plan to solve the 99-yr HDB lease “problem” during next GE campaign, he shouldn’t waste his time BSing us. The PAP administration can solve the problem with a stroke of the pen. But will it is the question? More on what PAP administration can do soon.

If Coldstore detainees had gained power

In Property on 19/04/2018 at 11:06 am

This would have happened when HDB overbuilt

To reduce the property overhang, local governments bought millions of unsold homes from developers and gave them to poorer citizens.

Economist talking about local Chinese govt

Actually, not exactly because as HDB is a govt agency, the flats would have just been given away.

Thankfully for property investors, Coldstore was successful in preventing the whackos from gaining power.

Estate agents so stupid and selfish meh?

In Financial competency, Property on 16/04/2018 at 10:31 am

Mr and Mrs Ow should lose their licences because they are so stupid that they didn’t know that the shorter time left on any lease, the value of flat goes down. (HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age and Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029)

I am very concerned if property agents who are suppose to be advising their clients personally had such an unrealistic idea that prices of HDB flats would rise forever that they thought it prudent to pay $580k for a 5-rm HDB flat that was already 35 years old at the time of their purchase.

ST also highlighted another case of HDB owner trapped in buying old HDB flats.

It featured a property agent, Janet Ow, who bought her 5-room flat with her husband, also a property agent, in the old estate of Telok Blangah. They bought the flat at $580,000 some 8 years ago in 2010. Currently, their old flat has just got 56 years left on its lease.

In 2016, they started marketing their flat at $680,000 to $690,000 hoping to make at least a $100K. Bids came in at $620,000 and $630,000 but now offers have also dried up. For more than a year now, they couldn’t sell their flat.

“Those who called asked about the balance of my lease first,” Ms Ow said. “The flat’s age has now become a main concern after National Development Minister Lawrence Wong’s reminder in March last year.”

“Upon knowing the age, sometimes they won’t even proceed with viewings. In 2016, when we put up an ad, we would get around 10 calls. Now, we don’t even get a single call for one to two weeks,” she added.

“If I don’t sell now and prices keep dropping, I will be making losses on my flat eventually.”

Ms Ow and her husband are hoping to sell their flat quickly so that they could get a condo with a fresh lease.

“At least we know we have a long lease ahead of us and can cash out,” she said. “We don’t want another HDB resale flat because the ageing lease problem will crop up again.”

In any case, at the moment, Ms Ow said she feels “insecure about the future”.

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/04/15/owner-sells-3-room-hdb-for-15-less-after-wongs-comment-about-zero-value-of-expired-flats/

Another reason they should lose their licences is that to help her and her hubbie out of their stupidity, they want the govt to screw other S’poreans

Ms Ow said, “Perhaps HDB could look into allowing buyers of flats with less than 60 years left on the lease to utilise their CPF fully (ie, 100%) instead of partially.”

“That will help to alleviate the worry of having to pay cash for part of the purchase. This will help buyers who need to buy flats in an oder estate to be near their parents who may be there,” she added.

Err that means those who use 100% of his or her CPF savings to buy such older flats will not have enough to retire on later because of the near-zero value of the flat.

Robbing blur Peter to pay stupid, s3elfish Pauline isit?

 

Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029

In Banks, CPF, Financial competency, Financial planning, Political economy, Political governance, Property on 02/02/2018 at 7:19 am

A doctor turned fat cat investor responded to Jialat for PAP where I reported a property saleman (OK, OK, he’s title is “research director”) as saying “From the ground, homes with leases of less than 60 years took longer to sell, and at a much lower price …”. (Background reading for those who have not followed the problem with HDB leases of less than 60 years: HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age)

He wrote

Since 2016/2017 HDB flats older than 39 years have seen a “cliff drop” in prices due to:
(1) Reduction of CPF quantum that can be used for properties with less than 60 yrs lease;
(2) Age of buyer plus remaining lease must be >= 80.

In many mature estates undergoing SERS activities, the price of 40+ year old flats are having 35% discounts against nearby brand new “subsidized” BTO flats. Even with marketing efforts extolling the “higher chance” of SERS for those older flats, buyers are not buying it.

This mini cliff drop has been exacerbated since LW [Lawrence Wong] did an about turn against Old Fart’s & Woody’s asset enhancement propaganda.

Currently majority of HDB flats are still within 25-38 yrs old. The above problem will get worse over the next 10-15 years.

This gives PAPies another 2 terms at least to continue milking Sinkies.

Assuming the next general election is in 2019, this means the PAP will lose power or its two-thirds parly majority in 2029 or thereabouts. Mad Dog will then be 67 and Dr Paul will be about 65. If Mad Dog becomes PM jialat. If Dr Paul becomes PM, let the good times roll.

So if SDP is still headed by Mad Dog as is most likely because he’ll knife Dr Paul in the back to ensure that he’ll rule the SDP, I’ll be forced to vote PAP for the good of S’pore. So I hope he steps down soon.

 

Jialat for PAP

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning, Property on 29/01/2018 at 7:39 am

Unhappy HDB “owners”will complicate change of PM (Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM) and other plans.

In yet another sign of a recovery in the private residential market (SIBOR up 25%, but property mkt is hot?), prices went up 1.1 % in 2017, reversing the 3.1%  decline in 2016, figures from the URA showed last  Friday.

But the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) for 2017 declined by 1.5% , HDB said on Friday.

Worse for those wanting to sell older HDB flats

From the ground, homes with leases of less than 60 years took longer to sell, and at a much lower price … we anticipate the market to improve, especially in areas where former HUDC developments were sold en bloc. Some of these buyers downsized to a HDB flat and kept the proceeds for retirement, or to support their children in purchasing a private home.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Research at Edmund Tie & Company

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/private-home-prices-11-2017-reversing-2016s-31-decline

(Trumpets pls: I posted this in April 2017 HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age. And btw, this Old private flats’ value can also fall off a cliff).)

Anyway, the PAP has a problem if private property prices keep going up while HDB flats prices continue to decline, or stagnate at these levels.

Those with HDB mortgages will not be happy that their their “heavily subsidised” flats have not appreciated in value in line with FTs’ and elites’ private property values, while those with older flats will be doubly unhappy.

Since more than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats, a growing gap between HDB prices and private housing prices is not good for the PAP.

But at least Mad Dog and the cybernuts will be happy: more of the 70% will be unhappy with the PAP. They can “Keep on wanking and dreaming that the PAP will lose the next GE”.

Cybernut exposes himself as PAP mole

In Political economy, Property on 14/11/2017 at 1:45 pm

When TRE republished this piece of mine about what called Hernando de Soto called “dead capital” (inability to use an asset as collateral) applies to HDB flats, a leading TRE cybernut exposed himself as a PAPy dog who wants S’poreans to thank the PAP for the PAP’s public housing policies.

Rabble-rouser wrote:

How can HDB flats be dead capital? [He obviously never read how Hernando de Soto defined “dead capital”: my note]

For the older &/or fully paid up home owners, how many would want to unlock their property equity values to engage in risky entrepreneurial activities? Many would prefer to keep their house equity intact for retirement & health needs.

There are so many ways to monetize or reap money from your HDB flats:
* You can sell your HDB flat on the open market if you really need money. The HDB resale market is very liquid compared to private properties.
* Retirees can do a ‘HDB Lease Buyback’ if they want to stay in their HDB flat while monetizing their flat’s remaining lease for spending money.
* You can rent out 1 to 2 room(s) for rental income with HDB approval.
* If you can stay with your kids, then rent out entire HDB flats with HDB approval for even better rentals.

* If you really need money, downgrade from EA/EM, 5-rm, 4-rm to 3-rm, 2-rm Flexi. [Just watch out for Retirement Minimum Sum]

I’m surprised he didn’t add “Vote PAP. They look after S’poreans”.

HDB flat: Dead Capital

In Political economy, Property on 10/11/2017 at 4:39 am

Here I wrote why a good public housing system is good for society quoting the uK’s Conservative party in 1951

Housing is the first of the social services. It is also one of the keys to increased productivity. Work, family life, health and education are all undermined by crowded houses.

I also wrote that in S’pore

things started going wrong when HDB flats on 99-year leases became “assets” to be manipulated for political gain (Think “asset enhancement”). The result: “affordable” public housing now means HDB “owners” having to take out mortgages of 25 years. Not a big problem if one buys a BTO flat from the HDB. After paying off the mortgage, there’s 39 years to go before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

Here’s another problem: The paid-up HDB flat is an example of Hernando de Soto’s “dead capital” at work.

Hernando de Soto is a big name in development economics. He’s a Peruvian economist known for his work on the informal economy and the importance of business and property rights in development.

While S’pore is a developed economy (notwithstanding what the cybernuts say when they post on TRE or Chris K’s FB page), his idea of dead capital and the problems it causes society applies here too.

If I want a loan – to improve my house, or build a business – lenders need collateral. And land or buildings make particularly good collateral because they tend to increase in value, and it’s hard to hide them from creditors.

But the lender needs to be confident it could take the house away from me if I don’t repay the loan. So, I need to prove that the house really is mine. That requires an invisible web of information that the legal system and the banking system can use.

For Hernando de Soto, this invisible web is the difference between my house being an asset – something useful that I own – and being capital – an asset recognised by the financial system.

‘Dead capital’

In poor countries, a lot of assets are informally held. Hernando de Soto calls them “dead capital”, useless for securing a loan. His estimate was that at the start of the 21st Century there was almost $10tn (£7.5tn) worth of dead capital across the developing world – more than $4,000 (£3,200) for every person.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41650606

We are not a poor country, but we got a lot of dead capital because paid-up HDB flats cannot be used as collateral for a bank loan or any other loan.

Question: My HDB property is fully paid up. Can i remortgage/refinance my HDB flat back to the banks for a loan?

Nope. Government rulings prohibit the remortgaging/refinancing of your fully-paid HDB flat for any additional new cash out loans.

http://www.mortgagesupermart.com.sg/resources/frequently-asked-questions

And the PAP administration KPKBs about the need to create an entrepreneurial, risk taking society? Entrepreneurs need funding and banks and other financial institutions need collateral when making risky loans. And property is the best collateral. No collateral, no funding.

2033: Real reason why PAP rule will really end

In Political governance, Property on 21/10/2017 at 7:07 am

When I wrote Today SMRT, TOM Resale Public Housing which tells readers living in HDB flats how much time they have to enjoy “asset enhancement” after paying off their “affordable” 25-year mortgage (before the value of their HDB flats collapses according to calculations made by the constructive, nation-building ST not anti-PAP cynernuts), a regular reader linked my tots to an earlier piece Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends.

By then the problem of large swathes of HDB estates’ (not just blocks here & there) impending demise to zero value will be front & center.

this fat cat rentier pointed out referencing Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends

So u really think Ah Loong wants his son to be the 5th generation PAP PM? Something his siblings and anti-PAP cybernuts allege?

Today SMRT, TOM Resale Public Housing

In Property on 20/10/2017 at 10:50 am

But first, why a good public housing system is good for society.

Housing is the first of the social services. It is also one of the keys to increased productivity. Work, family life, health and education are all undermined by crowded houses. Therefore a Conservative and Unionist Government will give housing a priority second only to national defense.

1951 Tory conference: Economist

(Note the Tories won the UK general election and ruled until 1964 despite several debacles like the Suez crisis and not getting into the EU.)

Like the Tories, Harry and the PAP Old Guard when they came to power in 1959 also understood the importance of housing in building a cohesive society .


Related articles

“Housing is Affordable”: The real truth

Recognise this ang moh description of our HDB system?

From conception to death, the PAP looks after S’poreans

—————————————————

But things started going wrong when HDB flats on 99-year leases became “assets” to be manipulated for political gain (Think “asset enhancement”). The result: “affordable” public housing now means HDB “owners” having to take out mortgages of 25 years. Not a big problem if one buys a BTO flat from the HDB. After paying off the mortgage, there’s 39 years to go before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/will-you-still-love-your-hdb-flat-when-its-over-64

Note, it’s not the anti-PAP cybernuts pointing out the fall in value when the flat is 65 years old. It’s the constructive, nation-building ST.

But if one bought a 30-year old HDB resale flat, by the time the mortgage is paid up, one only gets 9 years before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

In between a BTO and a 30-year old flat:

— If one bought a 20-year old HDB resale flat, by the time the mortgage is paid up, one gets 19 years before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

— If one bought a 10-year old HDB resale flat, by the time the 25 year mortgage is paid up, one gets 29 years before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

One by one, the icons of PAP rule are showing their feet of clay. First was and is the MRT system run by SMRT, next will be resale public housing.

——————————————-

Feet of clay

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From conception to death, the PAP looks after S’poreans

In Property on 08/05/2017 at 10:15 am

It’s juz that some are ingrates.

Let me explain.

More than 80% of Singapore’s resident population live in HDB flats https://data.gov.sg/dataset/estimated-resident-population-living-in-hdb-flats.

———————————————-

Btw too bad we are not in this survey http://www.bbc.com/news/world-39512599. In China 70% of millennials are homeowners, and I’m sure we are pretty close to that figure.

————————————————-

So you would think that

— After the MND minister double confirming that when the leases for HDB flats run out, they have to be returned to the state; and

— Chris K and others (self included) asking “So waz this BS about asset enhancement?”

you’d think he and the PAP will be running scared.

No so.

He turns around and says HDB “good store of value”. Huh  “good store of value” when zero value in 99 yrs is the response from Chris K and the others (self included).

What weed is he smoking? The Minister for pets and police should investigate?

But there’s a logic to this complacency (or madness?) about this self-perpetuating machine.

Let’s come back to the fact that more than 80% of Singapore’s resident population live in HDB flats, means that most young S’poreans were and will be conceived (Queen Jos’ comments on sex in confined spaces), born and grow up in HDB flats.

Then when they grow up and get married:

“Take for instance a 30-year-old couple, with a combined monthly income of S$5,000, looking for a resale flat in Woodlands near their parents. They can get up to S$75,000 in grants off the resale flat price, and should easily afford a flat with a lease of 90 years.

“Thirty-five years later, the couple will be 65 and the remaining lease of the flat will be 55 years. They still have an asset which can be monetised for retirement,” he said.

He also noted that elderly couples can opt to sell their flat and “right-size” to a two-room Flexi flat with a shorter lease, to enjoy the Silver Housing Bonus of S$20,000 in cash and use their sale proceeds for their retirement.

Those who prefer to stay in the same flat can apply for the Lease Buyback Scheme and sell part of the remaining lease back to HDB, Mr Wong said. They also have the option to rent out a room, he added.

These examples are simple, but typical of many HDB households, he said.

“The general point is that the HDB leasehold flat is not only a good home, but also a nest-egg for future retirement needs. That’s what we have achieved and that’s what we will continue to ensure – both now and in the future.”

Either CNA or Today


Lease Buyback Scheme offers value: really

Even TOC (writer Chris Kuan contributing) says “The reply by Housing Development Board (HDB) on resale prices and Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) sums don’t seem to add up to resale buyers overpaying.” https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/04/28/hdb-reply-on-resale-prices-and-hdb-lbs-example-show-resale-buyer-are-not-overpaying/

The LBS is value for money, is what Chris K wrote. Err wondering if Terry knew what he was publishing: a pro PAP piece?

Comparing HK to S’pore

Caveat: [Lease Buyback Scheme]  suffers from the same problem as CPF Life — opaque internal workings & computations and subject to unannounced changes in computations & internal assumptions. E.g. CPF Life internal annuity calculations have changed a couple of times since it launched — the monthly payouts as calculated by the CPF Life calculator has changed even with same parameters in just a few short years. Previously, the Basic CPF Life option was the better no-brainer choice. Now the default Standard CPF Life is arguably better with a significantly higher quantum in monthly payouts. Imagine those old folks that took up the Basic plan earlier…

Article


What us critics* are missing is that the HDB system is a self-contained eco-system for the people living in it. One is born into it, grows up within it, reproduces and nurtures the next generation of HDB dwellers, and dies within it. But’s it’s an escapable system if one wants to leave it; private housing, migrating.

So no surprise, 70% of voters vote PAP. They realise (and are grateful) that the PAP looks after them from the moment of conception to death. And beyond because there are places for urns too even if these are not exactly inside in the ecosystem. Meanwhile, normal people (even professionals) in London, Vancouver cannot afford to get on to the property ladder.

And the balance who don’t vote PAP but live within the system (about 10 points) are ingrates. But what to expect? They don’t even donate funds to keep TRE (their online home) going.


*But to be fair to Chris and me, we are not part of the eco-system.

 

HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning, Political economy, Property on 13/04/2017 at 4:48 am

It’s all about financing.

Here’s a great graphic from ST on how the value of a HDB flat will fall over a cliff after the first 35 years. Extracted from http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/will-you-still-love-your-hdb-flat-when-its-over-64.

hdb_flat_depreciation_wsyecon12

 

Bang yr balls anti-PAP cybernuts

In Property on 25/01/2017 at 4:40 pm

That means u: TJS (comparing S’pore to PeenoyLand), Philip Ang, Goh Meng Seng and Oxygen and other TRE ranters. S’pore’s not on this list

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2017/jan/23/10-most-unaffordable-cities-housing-in-pictures

Vote PAP?

After all, unlike HK (most unaffordable place and where Goh Meng Seng lives, saying its a lot cheaper than S’pore*) we got a decent, if expensive, public housing here.


*He got paid-up property there isit? Paid for by CIA for fixing the Oppo, election after election isit?

The man behind racial quotas in HDB estates

In Property on 15/12/2016 at 4:08 pm

The man who inspired the idea of racial quotas in HDB estates has just died. He developed the theory of the “tipping point” to explain white flight from US inner cities and his suggestions to counter this flight inspired the PAPpies who were his students in the Kennedy School of Public Policy (think PM, George Yeo etc) to come up with the idea of racial balance in HDB estates, making the Chinese owners of HDB flats more equal than owners of other races

NYT Dealbook

Thomas C. Schelling, Master Theorist of Nuclear Strategy, Dies at 95

The Nobel laureate used game theory to shed light on U.S. and Soviet actions and developed the theory of the “tipping point” to explain white flight.

HDB policy makes life harder for single mums

In Public Administration on 06/03/2016 at 7:00 am

“One single mother said she was regarded by HDB as “too well-off to qualify for a rental flat, but too poor to buy a flat.” Many are forced to rent in the open market, depleting what assets or savings they have left. By the time the 30-month debarment period is over, even if they did not start out poor, they have become poor. It is thus rental access rather than home ownership which needs attention.

The limitations of Fresh Start

Emphasis mine.

This is how a rental flat family lives

Nurhaida Binte Jantan is making dinner. She is roasting otah-otah, a Malay dish of fish paste wrapped in banana leaves, over a portable stove.

She is a 29-year-old unemployed single mother with six children from five to 13 years old. She lives in a tiny flat, just 30 square metres, with little furnishing.

There is no dining table, so the children eat their otah-otah with rice and chillies crouched on the floor.

The children share the single bedroom – their only bedding is mattresses and thick blankets. Nurhaida sleeps on the sofa in the living room.

She receives weekly groceries from charities, as well as about S$600 ($474, £262) a month in government aid and money from a boyfriend. But she admits that it is difficult to make ends meet. She has not been able to afford asthma medicine for her second daughter for months.

“No one can afford to get sick in this house because our finances are too tight. It’s quite tough and a struggle for me to be raising them up,” she said.

“I have to look after this house 24/7… so for me if I were to find a job, it would have to be a night job, so that once they are in bed, I can go out and the older kids can watch the young ones.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26349689

 

Not afraid of 99-yr lease ending

In Property on 27/02/2016 at 9:46 am

Afraid of redeveloment

I refer to this http://mothership.sg/2014/04/the-99-year-time-bomb-some-singaporeans-are-sitting-on/ which was recirculated again in mid Feb.

This reminded me of the Bras Basah Complex HDB flat I tot of buying.

In 2014, I heard they were going “cheap” because the tenure left meant that only cash could be used. They were value for money (I can’t remember the asking prices): roomy and juz round the corner from Taffles City etc, and with nearby facilities for oldies like my mum and me (in time to come). I wasn’t too concerned  about the remaining tenure as I calculated that I wasn’t going to be around to see the expiry. I considered the putchase price as “rent” paid in advance.

What stopped me from buying one was simple. What if the govr bought back the flats to redevelop the area? I’d lose serious money. It happened at the nearny Rochor Centre.

 

 

Oppo areas are NOT slums

In Property on 24/09/2015 at 4:35 am

Private property and HDB prices are NOT better in PAP areas.

Research by property website 99.co shows, it doesn’t matter whether a property (HDB or private) is located in a constituency held by the PAP or the WP or the Chiams’ Party.

Today reported:

Amid perceptions that Opposition-held constituencies are not upgraded as much as ruling party wards and get fewer amenities, and thus may be seen as being less attractive as a residential area, 99.co studied housing price data from the past 10 years and laid to rest concerns among some residents of their homes being undervalued.

The first two graphs show how private housing prices in the four constituencies — Aljunied, Ang Mo Kio, Potong Pasir and West Coast — have changed from July 2006 to July this year.

Both Aljunied and Potong Pasir outperformed the Singapore average in terms of the property price appreciation, 99.co noted. In fact, both constituencies are among the best performing areas in Singapore, with its properties more than doubling in price on average over the last 10 years — a growth rate of over 100 per cent.

What about PAP territory?

Choosing Ang Mo Kio and West Coast … , 99.co noted that home prices in the former have performed just as well as those in Aljunied, but those in the latter lagged quite a bit behind the national average, growing only about 50 per cent in the last 10 years.

Importantly, the price movements and trend lines in the constituencies have remained in sync with the national average and other wards despite control of Aljunied and Potong Pasir changing hands in 2011.

“The rise or fall of property prices is not dependent on whether the property is in a PAP or an Opposition ward. Rather, the property prices are a factor of the location, and the corresponding supply and demand characteristics at the given point in time,” said Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of real estate agency ERA.

What about HDB flats?

99.co reported that over the last 10 years, HDB resale prices in almost all wards have appreciated 80 to 100 per cent. With the exception of the spike in Tanjong Pagar due to Pinnacle@Duxtonhaving matured for resale in 2014, the graph lines for all of the wards have been pretty much the same.

HDB resale prices show that whether an estate is in a PAP or Opposition ward doesn’t matter. Prices move in line throughout S’pore, unlike private housing, where the price appreciation has varied widely from 50 to 150%.  99.co explains: “The data from 99.co clearly indicates that there is no difference in the valuations of residences between neighbourhoods. This likely indicates that common areas such as pavements, drainages and landscaping are being managed to similar standards. Otherwise, over two to three years, the differences will show and valuations in badly managed districts would drop,” said Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive of property agency Century 21 Singapore.

http://m.todayonline.com/ge2015/pap-or-opposition-ward-no-difference-home-value

 

 

SG50/ HDB: PAP man didn’t take salary? Kidding me leh?

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 18/03/2015 at 5:20 am

Continuing the theme of the HDB and public housing, let’s remember Lim Kim San.

I had tot of him when I read this a few weeks ago: My grandfather sold his plot of land to the government in the 1960s and moved into a HDB or Housing Development Board home, thousands of which were sprouting up all over the island. It was an affordable way for Singaporeans to buy property and raise their standard of living.

“We had a huge task when we first started in 1960. At that time our population size was 1.6 million, out of that, 1.3 million lived in squatters – not to count thousands of others living in slum areas and old buildings,” says Liu Thai Ker, who was known as Singapore’s “master planner” in the 70s and 80s. The new HDB towns that Liu oversaw came with their own schools, shops and clinics. The high-rise buildings introduced many Singaporeans to the miracles of flushing toilets and clean water at the turn of a tap.

By 1985, in just one generation, Liu says, the HDB was so successful in its rehousing policy that Singapore could claim to have “no homeless, no squatters, no poverty ghettos and no ethnic enclaves”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31626174

Sad that Lim had not been mentioned. Maybe the BBC writer, an FT of S’pore origin, didn’t know about him because I get the impression that he has been moved into the margins of the right narrative of our history despite being highly  praised by one LKY.as one of the Government’s past “political entrepreneurs”, who had seized opportunities using powers of analysis, imagination, a sense of reality, drive and character, “He has a lively, practical mind …” http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/data/pdfdoc/088-1996-11-28_lky.pdf

Let’s start at the beginning. He volunteered  in 1960 to be the HDB’s first chairman and was not paid for three years (but (Jos, Grace and Hen should take note) it seems. But then he was rich, very rich and as an Oz tycoon said A$5m is enough money to live on, though I’m sure Jos and Grace will disagree: money always not enough say the aunties.

He was in charge of the massive construction of high-rise, low-cost (Note: not affordable) housing that made the PAP popular with the masses.

LKY said he could organise and plan. But his planning was “rough and ready”: using simple estimates, not derived from detailed stats (there were none then) and detailed analysis (not that number of number and data crunchers around, and there were no computers).

Critics said he could not build 1,000 units a year because the HDB did not have the capability and the materials to reach the target. By the time a committee published its report on whether HDB could reach the target, the HDB had already completed 1,000 units of housing.

I’ll let his Wikipedia entry tell the rest of the  story.

In the first Five Year Housing Program, HDB achieved its goal of completing 5000 units of housing by 1965. The largest project at that time was Queenstown, a satellite town of more than 17,500 apartments capable of housing close to 22,000 people. The new neighborhood was built as a self-contained entity, with all amenities and shops built along with the houses, so people will not need to travel to other areas for basic necessities, thereby lowering traffic congestion. This philosophy (which was ultimately extended with the concept of regional centre), is generally accredited by many to have significantly contributed to the lower rate of congestion and burden on the central business district than before. [If so good why CBD charges introduced? And then island-wide tolls? Raise monney isit?]

In May 1961, the Bukit Ho Swee Fire broke out and some 16,000 people became homeless. Under Lim’s guidance, the relocation and reconstruction of the lost housing was completed in just over four years, and 1200 housing flats were made available to those who lost their homes in the fire.

The success of the housing project was considered by some to stem mainly from the standardized architectural designs that were used. Another important factor was Lim’s decision to use private contractors rather than employing construction workers directly. This allowed the HDB to supervise the contractors to ensure standards, rather than dealing with minute problems. Also, overall cost was kept low by using a large pool of contractors and different sources of building materials.

There are some who said that by solving Singapore’s housing problem, Lim saved the PAP in the process. However, Lim himself was more modest, saying the success of the housing programme was also due to government funding, as housing was, and still is, a top priority.

Part of Lim’s success at the HDB was that he had the trust of the Prime Minister at the time, Lee Kuan Yew. He also worked closely with the Minister of Finance at the time, Goh Keng Swee. These connections allowed Lim keep the housing program well-funded. Another political factor that allowed the success of the Housing Project was that Lim managed to cut through bureaucratic red tape and rigid regulations that would have otherwise hindered the housing program.

As to why he’s almost invisible? Maybe because he didn’t take a salary for three yrs? I mean with Grace, and Grace, you can figure out why he can’t be that popluar among younger PAP ministers. .

One cheer for the PAP’s housing policy?

In Infrastructure on 17/03/2015 at 4:56 am

During the Parliament debate on Tuesday (10 Mar), National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan talked about the affordability of HDB BTO flats and how Singapore housing system is better than other countries’, “Recently, UK newspaper The Independent (Jan 23) had an article and with this headline: ‘Londoners queue overnight in sub-zero temperatures to buy one bedroom flat for 400,000 pounds’. 400,000 British pounds is equivalent to about S$840,000. On the same day, in Hong Kong, South China Morning Post (Jan 23) reported 130,000 applications for 2,160 subsidised flats in Hong Kong. The article’s headline reads: ‘Only 1 in 60 chance to win in Hongkongers’ rush for subsidised flats’. The flats, which are roughly the size of our 2-room flats, are priced between HK$1.9million and HK$3.3 million. This is more than 4 times our Build-to-Order (BTO) prices.”

“I think they put into better perspective our much more benign situation in Singapore,” he added.

He got a earful from TRE regular contributor Chris K who has lived in London. http://www.tremeritus.com/2015/03/13/khaw-talked-nonsense-comparing-hdb-prices-to-londons

I leave it to a letter righter to the FT to put the situation in the UK into perspective for us S’poreans: “For the young rent is over 40% of wages. Why do we have to keep paying the rentiers who generate no wealth? We don’t need a new productivity revolution we need to crush the rentiers. There is your paradigm shift.”

But many S’poreans for all of Khaw’s KPKBing about our HDB policies shares one problem with the Brits: Lord Best has spent a lifetime working in social housing and sums up how things stand: “Everybody under 40 has got some kind of housing problem. They’re paying too much for their mortgage, they’re paying too much for their rent, they’re in trouble one way or the other.”

Interesting even that lover of all things HK, Goh Meng Seng, hasn’t attacked Khaw’s comments on HK’s public housing programme. Neither has any other anti_PAP cybernut. In fact no-one has it seems.

So we are one up on HK? One cheer then.

 

 

Recognise this ang moh description of our HDB system?

In Uncategorized on 16/03/2015 at 4:57 am

In a recent article in the FT entitled “How to ensure the lowest paid aren’t forced out of cities”, this is how our HDB system was described:

The most obvious reaction to a market failure is to remove the market. … the state can step in. In Singapore, for example, 80 per cent of the population live in homes built by a government body, the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

It was set up in 1960 in a bid to clear up the city-state’s pervasive slums, and later turned into an all-purpose housebuilder and landlord. The vast majority of Singaporean households own their homes leasehold, with the HDB as the freeholder. The HDB also finances home buyers at preferential rates.

The HDB will only sell to Singaporean citizens, not foreigners. Maximum income ceilings also apply.

This popularises housing, preventing it from turning into an investment asset class which investors can pour cash into. Home ownership in Singapore is widespread, savings rates are high and the housing system has been credited as one of the factors in the country’s transformation from a third-world economy to a global powerhouse.

On the downside, such control gives the government a lot of power. For example, until 1991 the HDB would not sell to single people aged under 35, as part of the government’s attempts to promote marriage.

The market restrictions can also prevent people from building up an asset to fall back on in hard financial times, or in retirement. In many other countries, homes have replaced pensions as many people’s source of financial security.

If so good, how come so many people complaining online anonymously about the system?

I mean one anti-PAP complainer even complained that he had to sell his 5-room flat and downgraded to invest in his daughter’s future: sending her abroad to study medicine because she didn’t get the straight As to get into medical school here.

Shouldn’t he get on his knees before this photo and thank the PAP for his gd fortune: that selling his HDB leasehold could fund his investment in his daughter?

My serious point is that unlike our public transport MRT system*, our HDB system works pretty well. It can be improved and made really affordable. But by other major cities’ standards, there is affordable housing for the less well-off.

——-

*Our public bus system works well during off-peak hours. I know; I use it regularly. Btw, I’ll soon be eligible for senior citizens’ concession.

A long standing CPF sore remains untreated

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Political governance on 23/02/2015 at 5:29 am

On Friday, someone (no PAP rat) mumbled something about rising expectations as though it was a bad thing. I said given high ministerial and civil service salaries, very high expectations and standards must be the quid pro quo for the salaries especially as ministers and civil servants seem to have security of office despite non-performance (think Yaacob, Mah Bow Tan, Raymond Lim, Lim Hng Khiang). He conceded the reasonableness and fairness of the link.

Yesterday, I read something in TRE which should have been solved a long time ago by the PAP administration (ministers and senior bureaucrats) but not: S’poreans, after the age of 55, having to make HDB* mortgage payments in cash , even though they have some money somewhere in the CPF accoint which remains locked up..

I been driving taxi for the past 5 years now and recently turned 55. For the past 9 years, I have had zero CPF contributions and have slowly used up all the remaining balance in my CPF Ordinary Account to pay for my monthly HDB loan. I even had to give up all my insurance policies, since I couldn’t afford to pay the premiums any longer.
Earlier in the year, I sought assistance from my PAP MP to use my CPF Special Account, which still had about $90K balance left but which is utterly useless since it falls far below the stupid Minimum Sum of $155K. After my MP’s appeal, CPF Board allowed usage of my Special Account to pay my monthly HDB loan (of course la, appeal from PAP MP what!).
To my huge surprise, I have now received an officious letter from HDB asking me to pay cash for my monthly housing loan because of my turning 55. This means that my Special Account has now been converted into a “Retirement Account” and because it falls way short of the $155K Minimum Sum, I could no longer use my stupid CPF to pay for my HDB loan. This is how idiotic the law works against those Singaporeans like myself who are struggling to make ends meet everyday.

On Facebook someone posted this in sympathy:

Many people will not have that minimum $155k in their CPF when they turn 55 because a lot of it will have been used to pay for housing. Unless they bought their house at the age of 25, many will still be serving their home loans when they reach 55**.

So, if they do not have the minimum $155,000 in their CPF by the time they are 55, does that mean they must use cash and cannot use the monies in their CPF?

What if after using cash, they only left with a few hundred dollars each month?

Who knows? Maybe after 55, they start to get pay cuts and their children are in their early 20s and servicing their own education loans?

I cannot fault the logic of these complaints.

There should be provision within the rules to ensure that someone in this situation can automatically keep on using his “Retirement Account” to fund his HDB mortgage payments. “Lose the flat so that he got retirement fund”: WTF?

Sadly the whole CPF system is in such a mess that the following extract from the FT about the USSR reminds me of the problems of reforming the CPF system: Before the Soviet Union collapsed, Russians compared the problem of breaking free from their Communist past to a frog in a swamp that wants to jump out but finds it has a hippopotamus stuck to its backside.

The PAP will only tinker with this sacred cow and Hard Truth.

But will S’poreans trust an Oppo coalition (assuming the WP joins such a coalition) to solve the problem? Somehow I doubt this too.because support for the opposition comes from disenchantment with the PAP administration – and is not a vote of confidence for the opposition parties.

So the tinkering goes on but let’s hope this sore is treated soon.

*Actually all mortgage payments but if one has private property, one can look after one’s self.

**And do remember that the really rich minister said a HDB flat was affordable because it could paot-off over 30 yrs. The HDB now restricts the period to 25 yrs.

Did HDB, URA officials mislead MP?

In Public Administration on 17/02/2015 at 4:27 am

Let’s revisit shumething that was the talk of cyberspace only a few weeks ago: a commercial columbarium near a residential estate.

There is a seemingly major contradiction in what the PAP MP told us the authorities told him and what Khaw said in parliament on the issue of Eternal Pure Land winning a bid to build a temple  Dr Lam Pin Min said that the authorities (presumably URA and HDB) had assured him that commercial firms could bid for land earmarked for religious purposes*. That is why he defended the tender at the dialogue session.

This not what Khaw told us:The decision to award a site designated as Place of Worship to a company not affiliated to a religious organisation is a first for the Government, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Thursday (Jan 29). CNA

Khaw was careful to use the term “private company” and “for-profit company”**, not Dr Lam’s “commercial entity”. If Dr Lam had been an Oppo MP or NMP, the anti-PAP cyber warriors (like TOC and TRE) and their cyber-nut allies would be baying (and rightly so) for an explanation of what the HDB and URA officers told Dr Lam. But because Lam’s a PAP MP, it’s OK if public servants mad misrepresentations of fact to him?

And were they lying or making an “honest mistake”.

There doesn’t seem to be a difference between “commercial firm” and  “for-profit company”, so it would seem that the HDB and URA had assured Dr Lam that “for-profit companies” had been awarded tenders in the past.

All I can say is that  MP with his, “I was an honest broker”* (my words) and the residents deserve one another: both he and they are hypocrites.

I mean which honest broker will accuse residents of objecting to anything?

And then there is this.

At the session, Dr Lam was perceived to be defending Eternal Pure Land (EPL) – who were awarded the contentious tender – and the authorities rather than siding with his constituents. Some people pointed out that he was sitting at the same table as representatives from Life Corporation, the parent firm of EPL.

“My purpose there was first to facilitate the dialogue session, to clarify the misinformation of what was posted online, and to allow residents to raise their concerns to me and the relevant agencies,” he said. “Usually for a dialogue session, this is how it’s done.”

Well he could have taken the position of the Speaker in the UK parly, sitting between both sides. LOL

But whatever we may think of him, no public servant should misrepresent facts to anyone. Today an MP, tomorrow a Pioneer Generation Auntie.

*“I… asked HDB and URA whether a commercial entity is allowed to participate in a tender process for a place of worship, and I was informed that it had been done before,” he said.

**Mr Khaw said the Ministry of National Development is “in discussion” with Eternal Pure Land (EPL) to “ensure that the land is restored to the original plan of a Chinese temple”. He was responding to questions posed by MPs Seng Han Thong, Lee Li Lian and Lee Bee Wah.

“We now understand that the winning tenderer for this site, Eternal Pure Land, is actually a private company without any religious affiliation. From what we know, the plan of the company is to run a commercial columbarium on the site,” the minister said. “This is not in line with our plan for the Places of Worship site.”

He said the authorities never thought that a for-profit company would participate in a non-profit making venture, such as building a Chinese temple. Reports said EPL, which is owned by Australian company Life Corporation, had put in a S$5.2 million bid in July 2014.

 

Ferndale Lea: Will owners fold or raise?

In Property on 04/02/2015 at 5:03 am

Will the owners sit down and keep quiet accepting a temple with a columbarium attached to it? Or will they continue the alliance with the anti-PAP cyber warriors  and demand “justice”: temple with no columbarium or a refund.

,Since the National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Thursday (Jan 29).

“We now understand that the winning tenderer for this site, Eternal Pure Land, is actually a private company without any religious affiliation. From what we know, the plan of the company is to run a commercial columbarium on the site,” the minister said. “This is not in line with our plan for the Places of Worship site.” (CNA),

while anti-PAP warriors are flooding cyberspace with continued attacks of the PAP administration and its apparent U turn, the owners have been quiet.

They had been spinning that they only objected to a commercial columbarium* because this would spoil the environment. So they wouldn’t mind a real temple that had a columbarium, would they? Because Khaw said:

He added that many temples provide an incidental columbarium service for their members and devotees, and whether the eventual temple in Sengkang will provide such a service is a decision for the temple trustees to make.

Mr Khaw said the Ministry of National Development is “in discussion” with Eternal Pure Land to “ensure that the land is restored to the original plan of a Chinese temple”

Err I suspect they would still object if there was a temple with a columbarium because this is what was circulated earlier something slighly different (analysed here by me and another) which had this very NIMBY bit

We are unhappy and felt aggrieved by HDB’s misrepresentation by way of omission of material fact in their sale brochures. We reiterate that there was absolutely NO MENTION of columbarium in the sale brochures while the stated “Ancillary Service” phrase is so general that anyone who read that would have misconstrued as something else. Such definition can only be found in URA website and not HDB website at all. Any ordinary man would not have known how to get access to the details at all.

2) We are against such sales tactic as we should be treated fairly to be given FULL DISCLOSURE of information by the seller, HDB before we chose to buy the flat. We should have the right to make INFORMED choices and not short-changed with such omission of critical material information by HDB.

And even in the BS missive to PM and Khaw they made it clear towards the end of the letter: no urns containing ashes and bones:

11. We hope that in the event of putting the land up for tender again, HDB could consider the combination of Chinese Temple with Childcare/Student Care. The Childcare/Student Care centre should be required to open to all races. This will serve the community well as many of the residents are young couples with kids.

I think the owners are hoping (and praying?) that somehow there won’t be a  columbarium. Dream on. Know any recently built temple that doesn’t have a  columbarium: the columbarium provides a good, regular stream of income that helps defry the cost of running a temple.

Meanwhile, they’ve decided to keep quiet. Smart move.

 

Look on the bright side: No wonder PM thinks govt doing a great job

In Economy, Financial competency, Political governance, Property on 11/12/2014 at 6:39 am

Blog E-Jay* posted this on Facebook to prove point that “PAP, will be voting against you again in 2015/2016. Thank you for making my life difficult.”

Well, there are other, reasonable legtimate ways of looking at the chart:

— Wah flat owners got windfall if they willing to retire to Batam or M’sia

— I should have used bonus for one yr to buy 3-room HDB flat for cash in early 90s . Only thing allowed for us oppressed singletons then: maybe taz why I’m so hard on those who KPKB about being discriminated for trivial things like being gay. Only a real sleaze bas got prosecuted by AGC under 377A. Had to client of M Ravi.

— HDB owners so ungrateful: property worth so much all ’cause of SuperLoong and sidekick Mah. Instead of being grateful, HDB owners fret for their children’s inability to afford “affordable” housing. PAP makes them rich, must also make their kids reach. WTF!

Seriously, what the chart tells us is that Ah Loong allowed Mah Bow Tan to screw S’poreans. And he wants us to vote for him? And not to have better checkers than the Worthless Party is now providing. One of these days, I’ll blog on why PM is behaving like scholar Eng, and how two really rich and privileged kids, to the manor born, so to speak, can teach him some humility and common sense. Then maybe, he doesn’t need checkers. In the meantime, we need better checkers than the Worthless Party’s MPs.

But we got to play our party, deprive the PAP of its two-thirds majority.

*Actually, a revised Magnificent 7 list should include him and Uncle Leong [Added at 11.00am]

99.9% of voters telling PM, “Don’t Return Our CPF” – HDB?

In CPF, Humour, Malaysia on 25/08/2014 at 5:38 am

Taz what a hyper rational alien like Mr Spock can reasonably conclude from the attendance at Saturday’s “ReturnOurCPF – HDB” rally. Though I suspect he would point out that a fairer %age is 0.04% of the number of Oppo voters in GE 2011. Whatever, “peanuts”.

Roy’s and Hui Hui’s latest gig on Saturday attracted around 300 people (based on photos at their site and me being generous). So only 300 support Roy’s and Hui Hui’s proposition? Btw, TOC, TRE hasn’t yet covered the event, and based on the attendance, I expect them not to: “not newsworthy enough”. (Related article)

Remember her NatDay protest rally? It was not reported in the new media. According to Roy* 300-400 people turned up. Hui Hui had claimed 6,000 people had turned up for her previous, “Free My CPF” rally in July. Even TRE tot that only 3,000 people attended. Even earlier, around 200 people it seems turned up at the first rally she and Roy organised. Again new media didn’t report this gig. Lousy attendance not newsworthy enough? Or don’t want to double confirm that only a handful of S’poreans (0.1- 0.01%. If Oppo voters only:0.4-0,04%) are unhappy enough to exert themselves physically to show their unhappiness?

Or that at least 60% S’poreans are actually happy with the govt?**

Whatever, one can rationally conclude that the majority of S’poreans are not persuaded or impressed or taken in by Hui Hui’s or Roy’s antics, despite their vocal online support**.

What should really worry these wannabe celebrities is that not even these adoring anti-PAP cyber warriors are willing to turn up in person for their events.

Their adoring fans are: Loud Thunder, Little Rain?

If Stephanie Sun had such fans, she’d starve to death, let alone afford a Happy Meal.

To end on a constructive note, I hope someone warns Hui Hui that as a new citizen she can be deprived of her citizenship. Happened to Tan Kah Kee (millionaire and founder of Nanyang University), can happen to her.

Maybe taz why Hui Hui is attempt to portray herself as not being anti-PAP. 

Juz go read it. Everything is blamed on the PAP govt. and she not ant-PAP?***

Was Home Team sleeping when they made her a citizen? But this may show the lie to the theory that the PAP creates new citizens to dilute the local anti-PAP vote. But then it could juz show Home Team is juz incompetent: it can’t select hard-working sheep, only lazy, anti-PAP loafers****, when creating new citizens. Or maybe it cunningly allows someone like Hui Hui to become a citizen to give credibility to the PAP’s denial that it encourages immigration ’cause it wants to dilute the anti-PAP vote.

Actually given her hatred of working here (going by one of herone of her posts), wonder why she opted out of her M’sian citizenship? M’sia is worse? “I’m only anti-cronyism, anti-nepotism, anti-dictatorship, anti-tyranny, anti-irresponsibility…” Hmm, she sounds like Anwar Ibrahim, that two-face (bi-sexual?) M’sian politician.

———-

*He was telling a new media website.

** We’ll know one way or the other in the next GE, as even the PAP, and the constructive, nation-building media and Institute of Policy Studies admit that these two issues, along with immigration and public transport are the issues of most concern to S’poreans.

***I’m not anti-PAP.

I’m only anti-cronyism, anti-nepotism, anti-dictatorship, anti-tyranny, anti-irresponsibility…

Is she egging the PM to sue her? So that she can assert the Derbyshire principle that she chickened out of asserting earlier? And then repented of chickening out?

****Her rants against having to go to work daily (check out her site) remind me of the joke, “I’m lazy – my childhood ambition was to be an injured footballer.”.

Urban planning: a constrasting tale of UK cities & S’pore

In Environment, Infrastructure on 12/08/2014 at 4:21 am

As I’m still in a celebratory mood about past achievements, let’s remember a UK prophet and his prophecy of urban planning

This appeared in the Economists’s obituary on Sir Peter Hall, a leading UK urban planner:

At first, Mr Hall was an enthusiastic supporter of that top-down, rational approach. One of his early books, “London 2000”, published in 1963, argued that London and the south-east should be comprehensively rebuilt, with vast areas of the inner cities bulldozed and replaced by blocks of flats, winding streets by a rectilinear system of motorways and on-ramps, and pedestrians segregated from traffic by walkways in the sky. Detroit, the spiritual home of the motor car, was his guiding light. The planners, in their patrician wisdom, would determine where the people would live, where they would work, and how they would spend their leisure time.

Sounds familiar? He would have loved the PAP govt’s HDB programme which has won global accolades though not from anti-PAP cyber-warriors who missed out on the rise in HDB apartment prices and are banging their balls and cursing the PAP and the 60% who voted for the PAP in frustration.

But this top-down, rational approach didn’t work in the UK, He soon changed his mind. Wherever that approach was tried—in Birmingham, or Glasgow, or around the elevated Westway in north-west London—it caused exactly the sort of ugliness and alienation he had hoped to banish.

So,

In the 1970s he began arguing that one way to deal with urban decay might be a bonfire of regulations; the idea, he said, was to “recreate the Hong Kong of the 1950s and 1960s inside inner Liverpool or inner Glasgow”. That sort of fertile chaos, he came to believe, was exactly what made cities so important, and such exciting places to live. He was an early advocate of the view—these days the received wisdom—that by allowing people to form connections with like-minded colleagues, cities are the engines of a country’s economic, cultural and artistic life.

The HDB programme worked because we had pretty gd planners, a sheepish population (emigrants from Animal Farm?), and one LKY whose gang was not afraid to bang heads to make sure that the sheep people behaved responsibly in the new environment: rememer the punishments for littering and killer litter.

Funnily, the govt is now trying to diktat Sir Peter Hall’s “fertile chaos”* idea. Maybe taz why the SPF allowed the Little India riot to happen? And allow ang moh FTs to get drunk and to beat up locals? And PRC FTs to litter, dirty MRT stations?

Related posts:

LKY & greenery

Green S’pore

———–

*Btw, HK city in the 50s and 60s was not a pleasant place if one didn’t live in Repulse bay or on the Peak.

DBS doing NS on HDB loans?

In Corporate governance on 13/11/2013 at 4:26 am

If it’s one thing S’poreans who are paying off the mortgages on their HDB flats can agree on, it is that the govt is stretching the truth when it says that HDB mortgage payments are affordable because mortgagors can use CPF money leh. They are not that daft not to realise that it affects their old-age funds. And anyway, it’s always nice to pay less.

So it’s interesting that DBS has a very gd scheme for HDB borrowers. So gd that only the daft wouldn’t apply for it. I’ll let BT explain:

Thousands of HDB homeowners are turning to DBS Bank for a mortgage product that guarantees savings.

Those who took up a POSB HDB loan when it was launched in April could be looking at savings of as much as $1,600 by next month, calculations from DBS showed.

The first POSB HDB loan pilot launch – where homebuyers enjoyed a floating-rate loan with interest capped below the HDB concessionary rate for 10 years – was fully sold.

The bank is now into its second offering, which charges the same rate but for eight years, said Ms Lui.

The current POSB HDB loan charges for the first eight years the three-month Sibor (Singapore interbank offered rate) plus 1.38 per cent, capped at the CPF Ordinary Account rate. The current CPF Ordinary Account rate is 2.50 per cent.

Thereafter, the loan charges three-month Sibor plus 1.48 per cent. The September three-month Sibor is 0.374 per cent.

The HDB concessionary loan now charges 2.60 per cent, which consists of 0.10 per cent plus the CPF Ordinary Account rate of 2.50 per cent. Based on the three-month Sibor of 0.38 per cent, borrowers who switch from the HDB concessionary loan will pay a lower interest rate of 1.75 per cent.

For a homebuyer refinancing from the HDB in April, based on a loan of $400,000 and 25-year tenor, the potential savings over six months amount to $1,684.

And should interest rates rise over the next eight years, DBS guarantees that it will be capped at the CPF Ordinary Account rate of 2.50 per cent or 0.10 per cent below the HDB concessionary rate.

http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid=563079109-19246-5011258124

Nice to see DBS returning to its roots as “Development Bank of S’pore”., and using the POSB brand which some Foreign Trash CEO tried to get rid off. Fortunately, he went before the POSB brand went. Gd work ,New Citizen Gupta.

But if DBS is doing gd, is this mortgage making money, on a risk-adjusted basis, for DBS? How come OCBC and UOB don’t have similar schemes? Maybe DBS is helping out in constructive nation-building? Err what about shareholder value for non-controlling shareholders and gd corporate governance?

Never mind, I don’t own DBS shares.

PM questioned on studio apt pricing

In Public Administration on 12/04/2013 at 5:12 am

Here’s a topic Uncle Leong, SDP  and other kay pohs activists missed. This juz shows that there are cso many things wrong here. Or juz that they don’t live in HDB flata?

A few weeks ago, I met someone whose wants to move into a HDB studio apartment. On the HDB website there were two flats available under a previous scheme that started in the early noughties. The tenants had “moved on” and the flats returned to the HDB*. The flats were being offered for around $120,000.

He wrote to the PM asking the rationale for the drastic price increase. He wanted to know why since the flat had been returned, why the same flat was being reoffered offered at almost double the original price about 10 yrs ago**. All the HDB had to do was to restore the flat to its original condition before leasing it out. Even assuming the flat had been thrashed by the previous tenant and taking into account the rise in labour and building materials, how come the doubling in price?

He said the PMO had called him asking for his email address, so he assumed that the PM or HDB would be in touch.

Sadly I forgot to give him my email address or telephone number so that he could keep me posted. I also forgot to ask for his contact details or his full name.

——

*The arrangement is that these flats are made available on a 30-yr lease, payable upfront. If the tenant moves on, the flat has to be returned to the HDB, which will pro-rate the amount paid based on the occupancy period, and refund the outstanding amount.

**When the scheme started in the early noughties, he said, the flats were price at around $60,000 each.

A natural topic for national conversation

In Political economy, Property on 11/10/2012 at 5:49 am

An article in SunT ST last week on farming on the rooftops of HK reminded me that I had written in My S’pore: A greener & more pleasant land about using the roofs of our HDB blocks and other high-rise buildings to create a greener S’pore using examples from Switzerland. I also added, “This being S’pore, we could use HDB roof-tops to be self-sufficient in basic veggies, and range-free eggs.”

Well not only are the Hongkies now farming on the top of high rises, but I have since learnt that the Americans were already doing it for some yrs now: The idea to grow more food within city limits has spread in recent years along with increased awareness about the quality of our food and where it comes from. Advocates say urban farms can also provide important green-space and, when built on roofs, help reduce energy use and storm-water runoff. In dense cities like New York, with high real estate prices, rooftops represent enticing, unused space. Several cities, including New York and Seattle have revised zoning and building codes to help encourage the practice.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/19/us-farms-urban-idUSBRE86I0U120120719?type=smallBusinessNews

Maybe Khaw can get his planners to see if leasing out the roofs of HDB blocks to wannabe farmers can help lower the cost of the HDB flats to S’poreans?

And this is a natural topic for our National Conversation (Ya silly pun, I accept). It is a non-political topic of conversation for the S’pore of 2030.

Only SDP and NSP activists, Ravi the lawyer, KennethJ, Goh Meng Seng and TJS will strain out gnats to find a political angle to this issue. LOL.

Related link: Parks along abandoned railway tracks in the sky (NY) and on the ground (England)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19872874

What the news of the numbers of PRs owning HDB flats (and how it was reported) tells us

In Political economy, Political governance, Property on 29/11/2011 at 6:31 pm

(I waited eight days after the data on PRs owning HDB flats came out because I wanted to see if the local MSM would give a favourable-  to the government- spin on the data, which the MSM could reasonably do. The MSM was silent.)

Last Tueday, BT reported that  S’pore permanent residents (PRs) owned some 48,700 HDB flats as at September 2011 , according to the Ministry of National Development. It was answering a PAP MP’s question. According to this, there were approximately 1,038,473 flats as of May 201o.

This means that 4.7% of HDB flats are owned by PRs. So those lurid figures (over 20%, if I remember correctly) claimed by TR are not true.

It was also reported that 39,100 units in the 3rd Quarter 2011, are rented out. Assuming that the rentees are all FTs (PRs and other foreigners), a not unfair assumption, this means only 8.5% of the flats are occupied by FTs. Again, nothing near what TR claimed (over 30% from memory). 

Now as PRs are 13.9% of the resident population or 10.2% of the total population*, and PRs and other FTs 37.1% of the total population, these HDB numbers indicate that PRs and other FTs cannot be a major cause of HDB price rises. If  the 8.5% of the flats are occupied by FTs were 30- 40% (in line with their share of the population), then they would be a major cause of price rises. So Mah was right to he said that PRs and other FTs had no or little effect on public housing prices?

The way to look at this piece of data in relation to all the data made available is that FTs  have an effect (disproportionate perhaps?) because the supply was not keeping pace with demand given the influx of FTs. Khaw’s programme of building a surplus buffer is an admission that there was insufficient supply when the FTs were flooding in, courtesy of the government that we voted in in 2006.

No surprise then that the government and PAP spin doctors, and ST and MediaCorp staff missed telling us shumething important. This piece of info shows that Minister Mah did not know the numbers, or was fibbing when he said that PRs and FTs had no or little effect on public housing prices. They had an effect because he goofed, and then was in denial.  Hence the silence when the local MSM or spin doctors could have rubbished TR’s assertions, and the belief that FTs are the the major cause for HDB price rises?

This piece of information helps give some perspective to the ongoing (often heated and irrational on both sides) debate on public housing and immigration. Yet it only appeared in BT, which is behind a pay wall most of the day. Later Yahoo! reported it. This reminds me of what David Boey in a letter to Voices wrote, ” [R]elevant information is sometimes unavailable to the public or is not presented in a consistent format to facilitate analysis.”

How true and sad. Can fix this lack of info or not, PM? Will be a test of your promise of more openness, and change.

————-

*”Singapore’s total population stood at 5.18 million as at end-June 2011. There were 3.79 million Singapore residents, comprising 3.26 million Singapore citizens and 0.53 million permanent residents, and 1.39 million non-resident foreigners, ” Department of Statistics report released on September 28th 2011.

“Singapore’s total population stood at 5.18 million as at end-June 2011. There were 3.79 million Singapore residents, comprising 3.26 million Singapore citizens and 0.53 million permanent residents, and 1.39 million non-resident foreigners.”

HDB: Oversupply again by next GE?

In Property on 19/11/2011 at 6:40 am

The housing market in Singapore is heading for a prolonged downturn and overall private home prices are forecast to fall between 22 and 26%  in the next three years, Daiwa Research said. “We believe the residential property market could remain depressed for several years, triggered initially by a likely forthcoming gross domestic product slowdown (in 2012) and lingering global economic uncertainty.” (If you think this is bad, Barclays predicts a 45% decline in HK.)

Daiwa downgraded its view of Singapore’s property sector to “Negative” from “Neutral”, adding that “it is hard for us to see the developer shares outperforming the Straits Times Index over the next six months” despite their underperformance in the year to date.

From late next year, Daiwa said, structural issues such as the rapid build-up in unsold inventory in the primary market and vacant rental units will take centre stage and keep home prices and rents in check for several years. The mass-market segment will hold up slightly better than high-end properties, supported by better affordability and the resilience in the resale prices of HDB flats.

Err what happens if because of

— less FTS,

— slower economic growth or even a recession, and

— Khaw’s promise to build, build,

kiasu young S’poreans decide not to take up the HDB flats that are being built because they think prices will tank?

Remember that Mah overbuilt by more than 150,000 units in 2003, and was beaten up by the Opposition and netizens. For housing, the simple answer was the electorate demanded it, if you could recall the daily outcry in 2001 – 2003 by the opposition as well as members of publc on wastage of public funds on the more than 150,000 units left empty:  ajohor, a poster, on my blog pointed out recently.

(BTW can you blame him for then being super cautious and getting a reputation as the man who made public housing prices go up in a recession? No can win. But he got millions in the bank to console him, so no need to cry for him.)

Final tots. If there is an overhang of HDB flats, what will the Opposition and netizens then say? And how will the voters vote? For or against PAP? Hmm maybe PM deserves his global benchmark breaking salary? Salary review committee pls note.

HDB: “affordability” and “market-based land costs” redefined”?

In Political governance, Property on 27/10/2011 at 5:51 pm

“Mr Khaw said that a typical two-room Build-To-Order flat, which has an income ceiling of S$2,000, would cost less than three years of income, factoring in the grants available. Meanwhile, larger four or five-room flats – with an income ceiling of S$10,000 – cost less than five years of income,” it was reported last Friday. (Translated into $. 2-room flats: $72,000, 5-room flats up to $600,000.  All before subsidies.)

Err who can devote 100% of monthly salary for 3- 5 years to pay for flats? More likely kanna strech payments for 30 years (Comrade Mah’s assumption). So talking of the cost of flats in terms of salaries for 3- 5 years sounds like another variation of Minister Mah’s, “No cash outlay” where he forgot to mention the more and for a longer duration money is deducted from CPF accounts, the less home owners have to retire on.

Remember Minister’s Mah rants about “reserves being raided” if the land on which HDB flats were built were not valued at “market-based land costs”? Well Minister Khaw may have redefined “market-based land costs”, without the “reserves being raided”.

The possibility that there is a new definition of “market-based land costs” was spotted and commented on by a ST journalist, Li Xueying (Good for her).In a piece on 20 October 2011, “Chance lost on clearing hows and whys of flat pricing”, she wrote, Mr Khaw spoke of how, since May, the Government had stabilised the prices of 13,000 flats in three [Build-to-Order] launches. This, even as prices in the private and resale market rose, albeit at a slowing pace … ‘We have moderated price changes such that after adjusting for differences in location, amenities and other physical attributes, the May, July and September BTO prices were roughly comparable to the prices of similar units in the April BTO launch.’

The BTO launch next month will repeat this pattern, he promised … ‘As long as construction costs do not rise dramatically, the BTO prices will stabilise.’

As long as construction costs do not rise dramatically. This raises a question.

What about the second component that the Housing Board factors in in pricing its new flats, that is, land costs?

More specifically, market-based land costs – a formula that has drawn so much angst in the past, given that it is pegged to the gyrations of the private market.

(Market-based pricing of land is done based on prices of state land located within HDB estates sold to the private sector.) …

But it is telling that Mr Khaw also spoke of how his ministry had moderated the prices of the BTO projects such that the prices of those launched last month were comparable with the prices of those launched in April, even though prices in the private market rose over the same period.

Has the market-based pricing formula been quietly tweaked behind closed doors? Or did the Government just decide to deploy an interim measure of pegging new prices to April’s levels, given the unhappiness over spiralling flat prices? …

But the speed with which the minister has done so – never mind the market – does raise questions on how exactly the Government prices its flats.

… MP Zainudin Nordin also queried this, calling for the pricing formula to be as transparent as possible.

Doing so will assure Singaporeans that ‘the Government is not out to make a profit through the sale of public housing’, he said.

Unfortunately, Mr Zainudin and his colleagues did not manage to seize the opportunity to seek this clarification from Mr Khaw yesterday.

She ends with remarks that the prime minister especially should take heed of, Going ahead, the need to be more open and transparent with information will continue to be an imperative that the Government has to struggle with, given a more questioning electorate.

Voters no longer want to be told just the answer – the what. They also want to understand the hows and the whys.

 

Property prices: Going against natural laws

In Economy, Property on 30/04/2011 at 6:55 am

MM was quoted in late 2009 as saying, “If the country is going to go down, then economy will go down, people’s incomes will be down, unemployment will be up, then property values will go down.”

He was wrong because we had a recession, but property prices rose  . Specifically in a recession year, prices of HDB resale flats rose by 8.2%.

Mah Bow Tan should boast of what must be first for public housing in any country, “We ensure public housing prices go up even in a recession.”

And adding, “So when economy does 15%, of course, HDB rices will fly. Only the daft will expect HDB prices to stabilise or go down.”

“Vote PAP. Public housing values will always go up,” he should say.

Property sales also fund our SWFs

In Economy, GIC, Property, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 19/11/2010 at 5:13 am

Did you know that when the government sells state land to property developers, the money flows into the reserves (which are managed by our SWFs)  and not into the Consolidated Fund like other government income?  This is uniquely S’porean. Other countries credit land sales to income.  The government’s rationale is that as state land is an asset, sale proceeds should not be credited to income but to capital (reserves). Makes sense, but that’s not how other governments account for land sales: even HK, and no-one can say that HK is badly run or profligate.

So when HDB “buys” land from the government it is adding to the reserves. As it and government claim that the price an apartment is sold does not reflect this price, they claim HDB makes a loss. But whatever it is (I leave it to others to dispute this claim), the reserves are increased.

So in addition to the surpluses (generated by thriftiness or meanness according to who is talking) and (indirectly via a circuitous route) our CPF monies https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/how-we-fund-our-swfs/, sales of state land also contribute to the reserves that GIC, Temasek and the central bank manage.

There was one financial year ending March 2008 ( I think), where the government injected abt S$10 billion into Temasek. This sum was more or less equal to the amount that the government took in property sales for that year. Easy come, easy go as in the following yr Temasek could have lost as much as US$4.6bn (in 2009 March this would have been S$7bn) on Merrill Lynch. And there was the much smaller loss on Barclays (800m sterling?, then worth abt 1.7bn S$). Err not much change left over from injection: only S$1.3bn, “peanuts” as Mrs GCT might have put it, except she didn’t.

So this combination of surpluses, CPF money (indirectly via a circuitous route), and state land sale proceeds, have resulted in our SWFs having 179.5% more in assets than S’pore’s 2009 estimated GDP.

The Norwegian’s much larger fund (US$471bn) is only 23% more than Norway’s GDP. Abu Dhabi’s fund (at US$627bn) is 627% of its GDP. For those interested, I used FT’s US$248bn for GIC and US$133bn for Temasek. As to GDP numbers, I used CIA Fact Book as reference. (BTW, I’ve not taken into account the amt of foreign reserves that MAS manages because I could be double counting if I do. For the record, MAS says its reserves as at end 2009 are US$188bn).

So we got plenty of $ to make housing more affordable*. And there is no need to change constitution, or cut other expenditure.  Juz change the accounting rules on land sales.

BTW, I am working with an illustrator so that it is easier to visualise the connections between CPF, surpluses, Consolidated Fund  etc https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/how-we-fund-our-swfs/ . Hope to post something one of these days. [Update on 4 December, the cartoon]

*Even after taking away our public debts; 8th in the world at 113.10% of GDP. [Update at 10.30 am]

Words of wisdom on property R govmin?

In Economy, Property on 21/09/2010 at 5:35 am

Well property counters are off, HDB prices softening. Forget abt market finding their own level. It’s all abt govmin policies.

So waz this talk of market forces?

As Siew Kum Hong blogged a moon ago: By mixing up the public policy goals of providing affordable accommodation and helping citizens plan for their retirement, the Government has ended up achieving neither, with public housing becoming increasing unaffordable and many retirees being asset-rich and cash-poor.

The point that I ultimately want to make, is that the “leave it to the market” message is deceptive when the bearer of the message is able to manipulate the market. Markets do not exist in vacuums, but are instead influenced by government regulations and policies. So when the Government declines to intervene or to change the underlying rules, it is really a conscious political decision to maintain the status quo.

His totful rant in full http://siewkumhong.blogspot.com/2010/04/market-as-deus-ex-machina-or-scapegoat.html