Panic button or election fodder?
Not too long ago, the developers were trying to sell the line that 1000 psf properties are cheap and could even go higher. They knew their sums. More foreigners, limited land and limited supply, sure property prices must go up. Then some quarters were extolling the great virtues of our housing programme and how lucky we are compare to the mickey mouse flats and shoe boxes for rats in Hongkong, and selling at 3 times our prices. The message is that housing prices will keep going up and the sizes of flats will shrink. That is the future of Singaporeans. And there were quarters telling the people that public housing prices are affordable and good value for money. And supply is not a problem. Then a few days back, Chok Tong and then Mah Bow Tan came out to assure the people not to panic, don't rush in to buy, the govt will provide more affordable housing by putting up more land for bidding. It is like going to the toilet and the flats will be out in a few minutes. The MAS chipped in yesterday to warn of more measures to curb speculation if necessary. This is turning into something quite serious. Is all these panicky measures necessary? Looking from the positive side, Singapore has more than 800,000 units of public housing alone. If the govt could relax the sub letting rule and let all public flat owners to sublet their flats to foreigners, all Singaporeans could be instantly turn into landlords. In such a scenario, there is no need to build more flats. In fact the flat owners will be begging the govt not to build more flats. Squeeze the supply so that their flats can be worth $1m or $2m. Then they have the options to sell them or sub let them at higher prices. And all Singaporeans need not work anymore, just live on the income of their rentals. We will become a land of landlords. And we can increase the population to 8m and the people will be asking for more to increase the demand for rental flats. Foreigners will all be welcome. No need any campaign to be nice to foreigers anymore. All the flat owners will live happily with the foreigners as their tenants. And we will be number One again in integrating foreigners with our citizens and they all live happily together, under one roof. Won't that be nice?