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9/05/2009

"Affordable" in inverted commas

The ST reported on the new launch of another condominium in the Gillman Height site and the "affordable" prices that are being offered. A 2-rm 75 sq m unit is priced at $700k or about $1000 psf. When words are bracket by inverted commas, it is clear that the meaning is suspect. Affordable or affordability is now a misleading term, depending on who is using it and the listener. It used to be the belief that when something is said often enough and repeated loud enough, people will come to accept it as the truth. Unfortunately these two words have developed into some kind of ill repute. People no longer believe in them. What if affordable is mixed up with heavy subisidies, with willing buyer willing seller, with market pricing? How believeable and affordable can it be? Could the people uttering affordable really and sincerely believe in what they are saying? I do. Anyone who cannot afford to pay $700k in their lifetime(two incomes) for a roof over their head is unfit to live in paradise when people could easily earn $1m in a year. There is a spurious outpouring of unhappiness over the usage of the word afforable and the basis or formula use to define what it is in the ST forum today. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. We do not know how many letters have been sent to the ST before a few were printed. And the angry cries in cyberspace would probably not be heard, so not counted. As long as the affected people chose to keep quiet, the few voices heard would be read as too little to warrant any serious attention. Unless the voice is loud enough, spoken often and with more anger, no one is going to listen and people will conclude that 'see, no protest, so no problem'. The affordability index is so perfectly calibrated that the people are happy with it. And the properties, private and public, are selling like hot cakes. The demands are evidence to prove that it is right. Does anyone ask how many of the visitors in property launches are paid to be there or how many units are actually booked by the agents themselves to give the impression of strong demand? And how many are booked by speculators?

7 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

Let crazy goondus queue up for their piece of the condu prize. Me? I am perfectly happy to live in my 3 room and later on, get some largesse from the govt. for a 1 room rental flat.

Humans never learn. Driven by nothing else but greed (buying entails very little brainwork) they line up to sign a life long debt obligation just so to keep up with the Joneses. Good for them. For the next 20 years or so, they are going to have sleepless nights every time the economy dives and the spectre of losing their jobs become a nightmarish reality. Instead of spending life sedately and smelling the roses, they will probably end up taking a daily dose of Prozac.

Anonymous said...

As long as people go for it, let is be. Greed is good!

Anonymous said...

Affordability---using 50-60% of your income to service the housing mortgage for 20-30yrs and leaving little what is left for your living expenses. That is what developer want you to do.
Incidentally, mortgage comes from the words "mortuary"

Anonymous said...

Humans come into this world mostly to be slaves to a roof over their heads.

Among all the animal species they waste the most, consume the most, pollute the most and destroy the most.

Anonymous said...

Most Singaporeans use their CPF to buy their second or third property for rental. This is a form investment. As long as this is the trend, property prices will always be high. Greed is good and quite acceptable in Singapore. Greed is not something that any Singaporean is ashame of. It is quite accetable to be greedy and money grabbing.

Anonymous said...

Me can't agree more with Commenter who posted on Sept 05 at 4:24 PM 2009.

Man indeed is like what You described, the ultimate destroyer!

patriot

Matilah_Singapura said...

"Living well is the best revenge"