12/06/2010

Difficult to plan housing needs on a macro basis

This is what Lim Hwee Hua said at the Kampong Chai Chee dialogue. How many people agree with this statement? The residents were angry at the high prices of public flats which they knew were driven by exceptionally high demand and low supply. Any man in the street will be able to tell why when the distortion of demand and supply is so huge. No need super talent feats. Only those who chose not to see will say they don’t know. I don’t believe that someone is sleeping on the job. Neither do I believe that there is no data to show the macro pattern of population growth. The population growth is not 100k or 200k, it is once in 50 years type of increase! What is the real reason for the fiasco? Like they said, the truth will never surface aka Mas Selamat’s escape. Another comment from Lim Hwee Hua is that first time flat buyers are finding it difficult to buy flats because COV is too high. Is that so? What about the prices of new flats and resale flats? If it is just COV, then prices of new flats and resale flats are affordable. Sure affordable as many are snapped up on launches, except that the buyers will hang millstones on their necks and pray that they will be able to repay the loans over the next 30 years. When there is no other choices, the buyers will just have to take whatever that is available at the price of the sellers.

14 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

It is not only difficult, it is impossible to plan housing on a "macro" basis.

Macro is essentially bullshit. The models work sometime, but most of the time they are way off. The reason: You can't model human behaviour with any "useful" accuracy. People will act according to their choices. Essentially macro makes the assumption that you can "read people's minds" and mathematically represent their choices. C'mon, gimme a break. That's ridiculous.

I still fail to see that there is a "problem". I get the feeling that people are making up this "problem" in their confused heads. This "problem" comes from people's emotions, not objective fact.

Some people find the cost of housing "expensive" (already subjective and relative -- "expensive as compared to what?) and get understandably upset. However they leap from this "negative emotion" into making the fact that they find housing "expensive" and lable it "a problem".

In other words: they make it up.

Also, there is this modern "belief" -- i.e. not backed up by facts, that a home is an entitlement and that it is the states jib to provide one for you. In other words, you don't have to "earn" the right to own a home i.e. have the funds. Simply be born in the cuntry which has public housing and abracadabra!... you are entitled to a home, which the state is supposed to "produce" for you by magic.

Get fucking real man: Just because something is "unfordable" does give any citizen the right to automatically make a claim on the state, the govt or his fellow citizens.

And no one can bend reality. Fact: population is increasing rapidly. Fact: land is scarce. Fact: private buying activity is "hot" - many players local and foreign. Fact: plenty of liquidity and low interest rates i.e. e-zy credit.

Consequence: High prices for dwellings.

Complain if they must...louder and louder. Good luck. Whilst they are blowing all their energy and passion screaming like animals, the more rational are quietly working hard and productively so that they will have the funds to buy a nice FREEHOLD unit, and thus not be subject to the illogical arguments of the masses.

Living well is indeed the best revenge.

Anonymous said...

KNS...State Time ran a story about a couple's successful attempt at low COV due to govt's cooling measures...without disclosing more details on the bought flat e.g. size, floor etc.

High COV the only cause?...my foot

Wally Buffet said...

First, we have to identify and have the courage to say what exactly is the cause of the housing shortage in this country.

It boils down to one word.

Overpopulation.

A country, no matter what size is overpopulated when its resources and infrastructures were designed for a certain population and then had to cater for a sudden increase and this oversight was probably due to poor economic planning.

The supply and demand equation then becomes lopsided and thus price inflation or deflation results.

It is no secret that much of the HDB resale apartments are sold to new citizens or PRs. Those Singaporeans who cashed out are now queuing for rental flats. They might be punting that once there is a serious downturn and the "irritants" leave, they can buy back another HDB property at a much reduced price. How paradoxical!

And that is not taking into consideration the large number of foreigners speculating on the private property market. Price escalation here has a knock on effect on public housing.

The key to affordable housing for Singaporeans is not to give away citizenship or PR like a sales promotion in our shopping malls.

As simple as that!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Sophistry at its height.

And oh, I heard that some Singaporeans are now renting a room from PRs to stay. These jokers must have sold their flats and waiting for their new landlords to sell off and return home.

Fat hope. The new landlords are going to make a pile and sell high before leaving.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> I heard that some Singaporeans are now renting a room from PRs to stay. <

Anecdotal, second-hand accounts.

But even if it was true? So what. By renting from the PR and not committing to exorbitant debt exposure of a mortgage makes sense.

Anyway, the society is changing.

> The new landlords are going to make a pile and sell high before leaving. <

So what? That is the SMART thing to do -- to make a profit.

You can make the same argument about "quitters": they sell their property at the height and emigrate. Why not?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

On an individual basis, some of these jokers could get into hard times. Don't think they will ever be able to buy back anything.

No one is saying anything wrong with people making profitable decisions. It is just a development that we are seeing and can get bigger if jokers keep squandering off whatever little money they have.

Wally Buffet said...

How does a country house all its sudden explosion of foreign talents?

They are staying in HDB rooms, four, maybe six to each room with double decker beds. Each pays at least S$300 to rent a bed space.

Some new citizen or PR HDB owners do this with their networking amongst their own countrymen.

So, not only are they taking jobs from Singaporeans, they are also skimming fat profits from state "subsidized" housing.

Singaporeans renting rooms from PRs in HDB apartments?

I am not in the least surprised.

Many queer things are happening in this country which hitherto was unheard of.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks it's not tooo wrong to say that the more they plan, the more the bigger the problems.

They claimed that they have calibrated the importation of foreigners when told there are too many. BUT, did they plan the housings for the locals when the foreigners too have to be housed? And they will be vying with the locals for properties. Had they not been greedy to boost the population, would there be housing issues?

Then what about the promise of subsidized housing scheme for Singaporeans when HDB was formed? Are Singaporeans still enjoying subsidized public housings and enjoy priority? With the prevailing HDB prices, are Singaporeans Public Housings subsidized?

patriot

Matilah_Singapura said...

Aiyah fellas. It's pointless complaining about people "skimming" from public housing.

The whole idea of public housing is itself a sham -- built on forced "savings" (CPF), "entitlement" (affordable housing for everyone) and political leverage 9vote for us...or else). The dude who makes a few hundred thousand on his HDB -- small fry lah. Even if many people make a fe hundred grand...so what? It is the system which is corrupt and insentivises this profit-seeking behaviour.

Best part, the PAP know it and even mention "asset growth == wealth growth" in their speeches, knowing full well that HDB's re LEASED, not privately owned.

Regardless of those bullshit, "look-good" lip-service policies to "cool" HDB prices, at the end of the day you cannot fight the market indefinitely.

redbean:

> It is just a development that we are seeing and can get bigger if jokers keep squandering off whatever little money they have. <

Fuck them, it's their money. Let the market participants behave as they choose, and let the market go wherever it does.

Control what? How? No way lah.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I disagree. The HDB and CPF were the best things we had once. They were the two pillars of nation building. Not CPF is not enough, lost money in the stock market and over priced flats.

HDB acquired lands in the cheap to build cheap flats. The people had a good deal. Now the new buyers are not going to be happy when the subprime crisis hit us.

Anonymous said...

The World is so big and here in a small little well in a tiny dot all the rich people are wallowing in self imagine problems.
Our forefathers came empty handed and make it so good for their offsprings. The greatest mistake those pioneers have made was to over protect their broods till they become mollycoddled. They neither have the gut to fight for liberty nor the spirit of adventurism to seek better place to live. All they do is to self pity and remain within the well.
They do deserve to be where they are and what they are.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

In kingdoms and dictatorships, they dumped whatever they want to the people and rubbished the people at will. The people just lived with the authority and royalties as their masters.

In a democracy, the master of the land is the people. The people decide what they think is best for them and who they want to elect to look after them. The democratic leaders need to seek the people's blessing every few years.

And they promise to look after the people and serve the people. Often they forget and treat the people like kingdoms and dictatorship. When it happens, it is time to replace them.

The people need not live with kings and dictators forever in a democracy. They can dump the elected leaders.

Any cocky or haughty leaders telling the people to fend for themselves will be kicked out in a matter of time. They cannot go on and on to bully the people.

We are living in a democracy and it is the people's right to tell the leaders what they want, to whine and kpkb. If the leaders cannot take the heat, after being paid out of this world salaries, please leave it to other people to carry on with the job.

A democracy consists of the people and elected leaders working as one. There are times when the elected leaders forgot that they are elected by the people.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> In kingdoms and dictatorships, they dumped whatever they want to the people and rubbished the people at will. The people just lived with the authority and royalties as their masters.

In a democracy, the master of the land is the people. <


I say, you are forgetting one truism: The people get the government (ruler) they deserve.

It doesn't matter if the political ideology is democracy or totalitarian. Ideology is just that: ideas, not physical reality.

The people are ALWAYS the majority, and the rulers -- totalitarian or otherwise are ALWAYS the minority. The people make choices about their country/ society/ culture whether they are aware of it or not.

The rulers get validation for their self-proclaimed "authority" from the sanction of the people.

People choose to "respect" the authority of the state. Therefore, the people get what they deserve.

Matilah_Singapura said...

No rational person will deny that HDB/ CPF have had real-world manifestations of housing and capital structure.

But they way it was conducted is by the use of force. When you use state-force (aka "legislation" or "policy") you immediately distort the price mechanism and you get what is known as "externalities", "unintended consequences" and incentivised "rent-seeking", "free-loading" behaviour.

So yeah, HDB and CPF may have"help" many find housing, but there are negative consequences.

EVERY govt action has negative consequences. No escape from that one.