The unsustainable ascent of property prices
Our property prices have skyrocketed over the years and the stratospheric prices of HongKong and Tokyo are within our reach. We will outshine them in a matter of time. Then why is it unsustainable when the prospect of prices going higher is so brilliant? Let me talk about the forces that will push the prices higher and higher. Our limited land is a fact that cannot be changed. Even with reclamation, we can just do that much more. The other reason is that with prices at such a high level, with many people ploughing their life savings into properties, many with high mortgages, allowing prices to fall is going to be catastrophic. So by hook or by crook, property prices must be maintained, if not higher, but not allowed to falter and slip. The solution is simple. Manage supply and demand. Supply is easy to contained. Don't build untill there is a demand. Don't sell land unless the price is high enough for a good return. The demand side, invite more rich foreigners to buy up our properties with attractive incentives, first world infrastructure, transparency, stability, and a value that can only go up. The rich foreigners can go for the high end. The not so rich can buy up HDB properties when they become citizens or PRs. As long as the demand for properties is there, have no fear that the prices will fall. But what about demand from the locals? There will be the upgraders who need a little more to move up. But will there be demand from the new entries, the new generation coming into the market? Can their income feed the high mortgages they will be paying, a stagnating income against an ever rising property market? The divide is going to widen. Many of the locals whose income is not going up will have to downgrade or go for smaller HDB flats. On the other end, the upper and high end market, demand will keep on soaring. And it is, or will be a good thing. They will help to prop up both the private and public housing markets. In the future, Singaporeans will have to beg the foreigners, and more foreigners, to come in to buy up their properties, to keep the property prices high. Without the foreigners and their cash, our property market will crash. Yes, the foreigners will be here to help the locals by buying up their properties so that they can downgrade and live on the profits. Hopefully the profits ill last their life time before they ran out. How many times can one downgrade? Without the foreigners, our high property price is unsustainable.