Cooling measures-who does it benefit most?


For this question, I can tell you who will NOT benefit most: the Singaporeans and Permanent Residents(PR) who buy HDB

Why? For a good number of years since the 1990s, not many houses were built. The influx of PRs and new citizens coming in vast numbers added to the demand and supply was few. We all know the story. Long story short, the government screwed up. Ministers were switched and cooling measures were introduced, to a point when the market has come to a virtual standstill.

The latest one on Mon 10th Mar 2014, buyers and sellers agree on a price, and buyer gets the valuation done. If the valuation is below the agreed price, buyer may have to top up. If it’s more than the agreed price, seller may feel he got the raw deal, but shouldn’t matter so much as they agreed on the price anyway. Worst case scenario, they re-do the whole process and now the wait become another 21 days. Yes. it may be the buyers market, but whatever prices they buy, the market will remain stagnant for a long time, even if they remove some of the cooling measures. To “thaw” a cold market will require a long time for the real estate to get back to the feet.

PRs need to wait for 3 years before they can buy resale flats..by that time, the glut of new homes will be over, as most of the BTOs will be occupied and sellers will be ready to sell to PRs. As we “progress” to reach the 6.9 Million people in Singapore, many estates like the new Paya Lebar region will be developed to occupy higher rise buildings. Market may then spring back but prices will still be optimal. It will not be like the 50-100% capital gain like some enjoyed in the last few years. This is what I meant as it will not benefit present buyers

Having said that, I believe the government has set some rules to stabilse the market,to return back to its original roots of providing public housing at a minimal cost, and not as an asset. It can’t be an asset anyway,as it has a limited lease. I won’t be surprised if further HDB leases will last to 60 years only. What happens when lease finishes? We have yet to find out.

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