Property bubble to be raised in parliament
MPs are gearing up to raise questions on the buying frenzy for new properties and the escalating of property prices, both public and private. Would it be a concern all for nothing? Mah Bow Tan has said many times that HDB prices are affordable. So has HDB with their repeated explanations in the media, and today it came out with a detailed table to show how affordable the HDB flats are. The figures speak for themselves and why are people refusing to listen and accept the fact that HDB prices are affordable? A 3 rm flat at $150k only needs $460 pm to service. Very affordable for a household income of $2000. No need cash I think, just use the full CPF contribution. And a 5 rm flat at $330k needs only $1189 pm with a little cash after using all their CPF. The report did not say whether the repayment is 30 or 40 years. Anyway, very affordable, without much CPF left. While critics are embroiled in the issues of affordability and mark to market pricing, they tend to forget that maxing the used of CPF will mean compromising on the key role of CPF savings for retirement. No one is asking about the real cost of the flats and why pricing to extract the most from the buyers and eating up all their disposable income. This is public housing afterall and keeping the price low will allow the buyers to use their income in many other ways. The danger of a subprime crisis in our midst cannot be ruled out as the conditions are quite similar, low interest rate, liquidity, full employment, an economy that is still ticking. With such high leverage and big loans, a little flu in our economy will hit these high leverage buyers badly. When the price of a flat is dependent on mark to market pricing which is highly volatile and can go crazy, when a flat costing $150k can be sold for $300k or $500k, it can come tumbling down when the demand is not there. Would it not be better for a little intervention to moderate the craziness and not letting the bubble to expand to catastrophic proportion before bursting? Let the market forces or free market mechanism do its job? Where is the moral responsibility to be prudent and avoid plunging into a tragedy? Caveat emptor good enough?