Our public housing are affordable

Who is complaining that our public housing prices are high and not affordable? The higher prices are due to our higher incomes and increased prosperity. And for those who are complaining, be advised that nothing is expensive. It is only a matter of whether you can afford to pay for it. So don't complain if you can't pay for it. To those who can, it is simply affordable.


Jaunty Jabber said...

The word "affordable" can be defined in many ways.

One out of the many definitions can be:
Most working Singaporeans can afford a lifetime of financial commitment servicing the housing loan.

Anonymous said...

Affordable also must buy and pay. Not affordable also must buy and pay, no choice. So just pay and pay. After all, this is just a temporary paradise with resorts and casinos.

Anonymous said...

The PAP controls the supply of housing. If the PAP wanted to make flats more affordable, it could.

Robert Tan said...

It's true that affordability is different for different people. This problem becomes worse when the income/wealth gap widens. If the population by and large are "equally rich" or "equally poor", the prices of assets in the country will not be too high or too low relative to what the people can afford. When the gap becomes too large, the less well off in society will feel the pinch and discontent will mount.

The above does not take into account competition from the rest of the world. A country should also bear in mind its competitiveness relative to the rest of the world - or else it will not be able to afford to buy foreign goods, overseas holidays etc.

Since HDB dwellers make up more than 80% (perhaps as high as 90%) of the population, there is probably a very household income range as well as accumulated wealth range in this group.

I am sure there are those in this group who need financial help more than others and some who need less help. (In fact, I see some very expensive looking cars in HDB car parks too).

The current household income ceiling for buying flats directly from the HDB is $8,000 per month. In this group, there are young couples who may have just started work just a few years back and who are already drawing combined salaries close to the ceiling, especially if they are graduates/professionals. Very soon, they will not only exceed, but far exceed the combined $8,000 per month.

Furthermore, there are no income ceiling gap for purchases of HDB flats in the secondary market. So, a fairly well off individual can choose to buy and pay high prices for HDB flats in the secondary market, especially if he sees significantly higher investment yields for this category of property.

At the other end of the scale are the poor who may have less than $$1,500 to $2,000 per month combined household income with a number of dependants per household.

So, it seems to me that it may be time to consider stratifying the HDB market into various categories, based on:

1) a few tiers of household income/wealth.

2) owner occupiers vs investment.

Different levels of subsidies/rules can then be applied to the different categories.

I suppose there should be some balance to ensure that the rules don't get too complex to the extent it becomes difficult and expensive to implement/enforce.

I am not saying that this idea is perfect, but maybe this is something that relevant authorities can think about, whether it is practical and whether it could be administered without too much costs.

One other possible drawback could be that many may not wish their wealth information to be too closely scrutinised....

Robert Tan said...

I am more in favour that help is given in a more calibrated manner - those who need more help (and perhaps deserve more help) should be the ones given more help.

I am generally not in favour of giving blanket subsidies to all because public money is a limited resource and we should use it wisely. If we overspend and run into deficits, we could end up like some other countries who are in such dire straits.

Public money is the people's money. If the government overspends, they may have to raise more funds through taxes, and it comes back to the people who eventually have to pay for the spending.

If the government borrows, even if the people don't pay back now, their children will have to pay in future.(Unless the country defaults- and that is another area for further debate/discussion).

If the government draws down its reserves/savings too much, the S$ will weaken and the economy will be less stable/resilient.

So, by all means, help those who are in need. I support this. But let's do it in a prudent and wise manner.

p/s: some believe we should also give some "goodies" to the rich as well, after all they also contribute to the coffers - and in may instances, they contribute much more than others. I think there is some merit to this school of thought as well. So, perhaps all should share some of the benefits, but because of limited resources, more help should be given to the less fortunate.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

My solution is very simple. Let every citizen has his one or two bites of the cherry. Do away with the mean policy. Let them choose whichever flat size they are comfortable with and stop dictating that people must empty 30% of their income to the HDB by forcing them to buy bigger flats.

The land is for the people and the govt should just build to meet the demands of the citizens. The people will be given a second chance to upgrade or downgrade at their own discretion.

Simple enough? It boils down to a few simple principles. Prudence, freedom of choice, fulfilling the needs of the people and not dictating to the people their needs, and not interfering in people's life choices.

Don't force people to eat shark fins to empty their pockets. Let people save for their retirements and other needs.

You still dunno why people got not enough savings for retirement?

Robert Tan said...

Eh, redbean, what retirement??????

Thot u were learning the master skill to start on the next career that will last another 20-30 years???

Maybe the new career will bring enough income for a few more HDB flats .... nah make that a few more GCBs...

Tsk! Tsk!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

When you learn the master skill, no need to retire. When you fail to learn the master skill, cannot afford to retire.

Unless got a few billions in the bank account. But many have, also don't retire.

Wally Buffet said...

By the time you're 60 years young, you should have acquired the mother of all master skills........

Balancing on a pile of cash and wondering what to do with it.

If you ain't arrived yet, it's doubtful that you ever will. So my advice is, forget about taking out your dusty credentials and prepare for a nice bedroom with ensuite somewhere in South Johore where all your senile needs will be well taken care of, through deductions from your CPF of course!

Hehe. LMAO! :-)

Robert Tan said...

Wally, you and your "insightful" comments never fail to bring on a smile.....

Anonymous said...

Wally is the Wise One.

His Posts are always enlightening !

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Quite true Wally. The old testimonials are useless. Either you have made it or you don't.

I think I shall sell my 3 rm flat and join you in Lijiang and brag about my new found wealth bequeathed to me by our foreign talents.

Then can be full time writing blogs.