The housing mess or housing achievement?
25,000 BTO flats will be built this year. And now Boon Wan is saying tens of thousands of rental flats are needed and building of rental flats must also be ramped up. Are these happy problems or manifestation of infested problems in public housing that are surfacing today? With 25,000 being built and the demand is still growing, and a shortfall of tens of thousands of rental flats! What’s happening? Didn’t MND know the problem or they did know the problem but not building because the policy maker decided otherwise? Or is it that the information on supply and demand was misleading that led to the current mess? MND data quoted in today’s ST said that there were 3,700 and 2,300 rental flat applicants for year 2008 and 2009 respectively. If these were the data that MND was working on, not more than 5,000 rental flats need to be built. How could the numbers balloon to tens of thousands of flats needed as mentioned by Boon Wan? Whatever, policy failure or information failure, something is wrong with the housing needs of the people. They can’t say they did not know or did not see it coming. Boon Wan is only in the job for a couple of weeks and he is in a big hurry to clear the mess. The media also reported some views that the ramping up of rental flats would have little impact on the price of private properties. Could this kind of thinking be the main determinant in the supply of public housing, both rental and purchase? There must be many big speculators out there hoarding 10 or 20 units of properties each and fearing that the prices will fall. So are the property developers, all fearing that their profits will fall. It is thus important that the supply of public housing be carefully managed to ensure that the speculators and property developers are happily sitting on huge profits. Yep, must not remove the $8k/$10k ceiling so that these young people have no choice but to support the private property market and help the speculators and developers to make handsome profits. Tell them there are cheap loans, low interest rates, just borrow, half a million, one million, just borrow, no problem. Hope the ramping up of BTO flats will not affect the price of private properties, or else speculators, big investors and developers will be hurt.