Anyone suggesting that property prices to come down or HDB to lower the sale price of its new flats is likely to be met with anger from all property owners. This is natural as many have sunk in a lot of money and falling property prices will affect a lot of people adversely.
On the contrary, property prices just cannot keep going up without killing the new buyers. The current suggestion that a $1000 pm income is enough to buy a 2 rm flat is quite enlightening. The govt is prepared to cough out a $60k grant leaving a net price of $40k for the flat which is a steal in today’s hot property market. It is even cheaper than rental, mind you. So why isn’t there a rush to buy such flats? There was a post by a divorcee with two kids and $60k cash in her savings. And she chose to rent a flat for fear of losing her $60k if she buys a flat. Why didn’t she be allowed to buy a $40k 2rm flat instead and free herself from the rental market and with a net gain of at least $100k should she sell her flat?
Anyway, that is another matter. What I am looking at is the opportunity for the govt to sell HDB flats to first time owners at substantially reduced price with a similar grant of $60k or $100k proportional to the size of flats without rocking the market prices. Make this an exclusive offer to Singapore citizens who have done their fair share of NS and are buying flats for the first time. Make this a privilege to be citizens, and ownership of a flat an entitlement for citizens who have pledged to defend this country with their lives. The new and young leaders have forgotten the importance of owning a roof over one’s head and how this policy was the pillar of our national building in the beginning of our nationhood. They prefer to force those who are earning a bit more, or fail to qualify under HDB rules, to lose all their money paying the private developers or end up with no homes. Citizens without a roof over their heads will take the next natural step, migrate. And their places will be filled by new ingrates. Is this a sound exchange?
By giving a substantial grant on a one time basis, the market price should not be shaken as theoretically the new buyer is still buying at the HDB list price. And by not offering to PRs, or to new citizens unless they have served NS and with a qualifying time period of say 5 years as a citizen, it will make a significant difference between citizens, new citizens and non citizens. And it is the biggest acknowledgement by the govt that this country believes in citizens first and the citizens have something worthy to defend and lay down their lives for. It will be very costly for new citizens who chose to avoid NS or to rubbish the contributions of NS men.
It is a win win situation as unwinding the prices of HDB flats is a no go and not unwinding is going to empty the savings of new flat buyers. It is a social contract and something very tangible that will benefit both citizens and the govt/state and not making the present owners feeling sore with falling property prices.
Would the govt seriously review the relationship between state and citizens and put the interests of its citizens and state above all other considerations? This is a major commitment by the govt, a statement of faith to the people, to its loyal citizens, instead of throwing money to still unknown new citizens and non citizens like scholarships that will incur more anger from the citizens. And to rub salt into the wound, they sell their HDB flats with a tidy profit and go on to seek greener pasture.
Why can’t the govt do something really beneficial to its own citizens for once? The lower income earners need help and so do the middle income earners. It is a serious matter to cough out a few hundred thousand bucks just to buy a roof over one’s head.
Believe me, the govt will win a lot of hearts and votes for such a pro citizen policy and will lose a lot of votes for pro new citizens and foreigner policies.