Then why are the property professionals saying ‘what they would like to see from the authorities is more data, such as the number of years needed for households to pay off their flats, or the ratio of the flat’s price to household income tracked over a period of time.’ What these professionals are saying is that they don’t believe in what the govt and the minister said. And the reason is simple, so simple. It depends on so many things that are so hazy and subjective that anyone can claim anything they want by nitpicking on what they want to use as the data.
Let me point out a few misleading facts. The above comments about affordability, 80 percent paying using CPF and not having to touch cash, therefore affordable? And another number quoted is that ‘they are using a quarter of their monthly income on average to repay their housing loans’. This is below the international affordability benchmarks of 30 to 35 percent. Don’t forget, the CPF contribution is 17 + 20 percent! Using a $2000 monthly income, the total is $340 +$400 = $740 or 37 per cent if one is using all his monthly CPF contribution. What about those having to top up with cash? The bottom line is 37%. How did they get the number of 25 per cent or a quarter of their income? Ok, maybe got to deduct for Medisave etc.
And income is household income, not individual or one income. And the affordability is about HDB flat at the bottom, 2rm or 3rm flats. What about bigger flats, what about private properties, 3m, 30m, 50m? Should Singaporeans be happy and contented that 2rm flats are affordable?
What about retirement? How much is left for retirement after paying for affordable 2rm HDB flats? What about the number of years to repay? If one needs 30 years to repay, how many years left for one to save for retirement? In reality, many would be paying and paying for their entire life as they are not stopping at the first HDB flat. This means no time to save for retirement, nothing much left for retirement.
Can anyone ask why until today, when everyone has been kpkbing about housing affordability, there is still no agreement as to what is the acceptable formula to measure affordability? Simple, because everyone wants to use data to suit his agenda to tell the things he wants the people to know. In other words the truth is selective truth, biased truth, distorted truth, nothing but the truth.
Some analysts are suggesting using the mid range of the average Singaporeans with $3k or $4k household income and the price of a 4 rm flat to be used as the average data for the average Singaporean, not the data of the bottom feeders as the national data. Or there could be different sets of data, for the 2rm, 3 and 4 rm, 5rm and above, private condos and landed properties to show the different grades of affordability.
Using a figure, those of the lowest income and with govt subsidies and grants, is not a fair measure of affordability. Who is kidding who? Is this a case of statistics lying or people lying?
Did anyone say honest men don't lie?