Singaporeans stay in overpriced HDB flats that are “Subsidized”

Do you know that there is a LAND TAX? (where government over-price the land price)

 

 

HDB flats are what most of Singaporeans stay in. It is a public housing program promoted in the late 60s and 70s to alleviate housing shortage in Singapore. HDB flats are apartments stacked in a high rise 10 to 20 storey. There are 3 room flats (2 bedrooms and 1 living room), 4 room flats (3 bedrooms and 1 living room), 5 room flats (3 bedrooms, 1 living room and 1 dining room). And many other variants as time goes by. Lately there is even Pinnacle at Duxton, a 50 storey HDB development in the heart of Tanjong Pagar. Some of these HDB flats a Pinnacle at Duxton sell for $645,800. How can such apartments be social housing? Just the home loan repayment alone would suck most home owners dry.

 

Here are some demographic statistic for you. The HDB flats now are many more times more expensive relative to the income level earned. You will take more number of years of your income to pay up your flat.

 

Let’s relook HDB’s social charter.

“Mission

We provide affordable homes of quality and value.
We create vibrant and sustainable towns. 
We promote the building of active and cohesive communities.
We inspire and enable all staff to give of their best.”

(HDB website)

 

When HDB were first started, it was very affordable. HDB flats 

The HDB flats of yester years are based on the cost of construction maybe with some land cost added into the equation. Therefore these flats cost only several thousands of dollars in the late 1960s (around $5000 to $9000). In the 1960s, a factory worker probably earned $150 to $200 dollars a month. Affording a HDB flat relative to their pay was quite possible, housing loans were sustainable it is usually only a small portion of their pay.

 

 

What are the figures from Singstat on salary and population?

 

Singapore’s median income per household (per month) is $5704 (Singstat, singstat.gov.sg/pubn/papers/people/pp-s17.pdf), while the average income in the 41th to 50th percentile income per household’s working adult is $1,506 (per month). Today, the total monthly median household income is $5704 (Singstat, 2010) while the average individual income from 41st to 50th percentile income is $1,506. Why don’t Singstat publish the income of people at the 50th percentile (i.e. Median) pay? Why publish meaningless data such as 41st to 50th and then provide an average of this value? I think Singstat has a misplaced sense of importance for certain economic statistics, showing in detail a lot of non essential statistics while breaking down into detail a lot of non consequential data. Note, the $1506 value of monthly income (from 41st to 50th percentile will be lower than the median income.)

 

These days, a HDB flat are priced at $250,000 to $400,000. Based on the maximum income cap (Household) of $8,000 to be eligible, this means that a HDB flat is 4 times the annual income. Based on average income of average of the 41st to 50th percentile of $1506 and based on a household of 2, that means that the household income is $3012 per month. This is slightly more than 10 times the potential income.

 

Today Singaporeans and permanent residents property buyer alike are making their voices heard that HDB prices need to be controlled better so that newly weds can afford the prices. HDB needs to re-focus itself on it’s social charter

 

HDB powers over the people in a dominant fashion

Today, HDB houses 82% (Singstat, http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/papers/people/ssnsep10-pg25-29.pdf)  of Singapore’s Citizens plus Permanent residents which numbers 3.11m. Singapore’s Total Citizen + residents stands at 3.77m (as at June 2010).

 

Will Singaporeans become a minority in Singapore?

Singapore’s citizens stand at 3.23m as at 2010. (Singstat, http://www.singstat.gov.sg/stats/keyind.html#keyind) while there are some 5.1m in total.

 

Between 2006 and 2011, Singapore has accepted about 91,000 people to become citizens.

Politics are important in understanding the housing market. The PAP government needs to Balance the budget, therefore the Singapore government under PAP will need to bring in more people to create demand for Housing and then release land at sweet spot prices. Selling land is a major revenue earner. Next is of course grateful 1st time voters, these voters are most likely to vote for PAP to return the favour.

 

 

Although HDB as an organization do not make money, they nonetheless purchase land from the various government agencies at an elevated price, thereby creating massive revenues for the government.

 

Many people pay for their HDB using CPF. And HDB is a controlled market.

 

Expensive housing pegged to market prices (which is being propped up with the deliberate under-supply of HDB houses) are leading to huge land sale revenues for the Singapore government. And the government through the HDB is selling these expensive housing to it’s Citizens. Singapore Citizens are ending up much poorer and without much retirement funds as expensive housing depletes CPF funds.

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