The cure for our HDB woes?

Some suggestions for mitigating what is arguably, the mother of Singaporeans’ problems – their HDB flat which may start declining in value after 40 years to zero at end of the typical 99-year lease:

… remove the restrictions on the use of CPF and housing loans on older flats, introduced a few years ago

This may allow market forces to determine the demand, supply and value of HDB flats, instead of artificial and arbitrary intervention through changing government policies.

… be transparent about how exactly flats are prioritised to be selected for the Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS)

This would remove the ‘perceptual’ issue of “if you don’t vote for us – your flat may not get priority for SERS” – in a sense akin to the past – “if you don’t vote for us – your flat won’t get upgraded”.

… stop allowing permanent residents (PRs) to buy resale flats

… disclose the construction and land costs of BTO flats, so that we can see the profits being made

Stop charging land at market rates.

… remove or review many of the unreasonable HDB eligibility policies like excluding former property owners (one may fall into hard times in one’s lifetime), $1,500 household income limit for rental flats, etc

… allow Airbnb like most countries in the world

This may help to monetise with more flexibility and higher income.

… extend the lease at the end of 99 years for a nominal sum like other countries, if the Government does not decide to demolish the flats for redevelopment at that time.

If and when the Government decides to demolish – there should be adequate compensation and/or alternative housing provisions.

There should be transparency and public scrutiny of demolishing flats to sell at market rates to the highest bidder.

Otherwise, there may be a conflict of interest.

Much of the above suggestions are simply what other countries do for public housing, instead of our ‘Uniquely Singapore’ public housing policies!

 

Leong Sze Hian

 

 

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21 Responses to “The cure for our HDB woes?”

  • Boh Kia See:

    There is only one cure for Singapore’s woes and that is to get rid of the PAP and dismantle their apparatus of control.

    If that is not done, then there can not be any real solutions to Singapore’s issues. That is because every so-called solution has embedded in it a self-enrichment requirement that is part of the PAP mantra.

    They can’t see beyond their own self-interest and self-preservation. The PAP’s interest and the country’s interest are diverging wider and wider with each passing year. So you cannot solve Singapore’s problems without getting rid of the entity that created those problems in the first place.

    New thinking, new models and new paradigms are now needed. The PAP should be consigned to history so the country can move forward to a higher plane of development.

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  • oxygen:

    JUST ONE MORE – RETURN THE LAND back to the peasants. It is only legally correct as the peasants paid for the land. This will allow peasants to en bloc like private condos and also enabling a continuous recycling of land for future generations STARTING FROM NOW when population size demand on actual land pressure is more easily discernible and determinable.

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  • Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh:

    Removing the restrictions on the use of CPF and housing loans on older flats, introduced a few years ago is the worst thing to do. Why put in more retirement money in a depreciating asset. Resale HDB flats are currently over-priced because owners stupidly believed LKY when he said the price of HDB flats will never go down. Lawrence Wong made it clear this is not the case. HDB flats will be worth zero at the end of the lease. This is common sense. If an asset is no longer useful (because it has to be returned without compensation) it is worth nothing. LHL “double-confirmed” this when he made it clear there will be no lease extension and no conversion to freehold.

    What Singaporeans should be doing is taking CPF (retirement) money of their depreciating HDB flat and putting it back into their CPF account so it can earn 2.5% annually. HDB’s Lease Buy Back makes this possible. There is no more easy money to be made from the HDB bubble.

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  • pap clown and gang S$m liars:

    Boh Kia See:
    There is only one cure for Singapore’s woes and that is to get rid of the PAP and dismantle their apparatus of control.

    agree. it will be soon. clown pap PA is active in paying IBs to give the fake news impression everything is fine with clown pap. it ain’t so.

    clown pap demise in matter of days. helped by invincible hand of Dr Mahatir, our nation’s saviour. there is true justice under the sky after all. when everything looks bleak, in comes Dr Mahatir.

    Majulah Singapura. Majulah Pakatan Singapura. Mati lah clown pap and S$m gang.

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  • HA:

    No wonder PAP wins. With them, slow death with you, fast death

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  • HarderTruths:

    There is a way.

    Run around naked in Orchard Road with a parang and get sent to IMH or Changi Prison.

    Free rent, clothes, food and medication.

    But if you get shot by security guard your pasar ok?

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  • PAP has the mandate:

    Why Stinkies KPKB when they voted for PAP government? You deserved what you voted for. So Shut the F up and take it for many generation to come….LOL

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  • opposition dude:

    This policy will be hard to reverse because for those jokers who paid several hundred thousands to buy their flats they will definitely want that CPF money returned with whatever interest it has accumulated.

    The PAP cannot change the housing policy because it would be unfair to the earlier people who bought them at higher prices. The PAP has got itself into this quandary and sees no way out because it probably will collapse the whole housing market. But continuing this policy is not the answer either.

    Either way this issue will become worse once the 2020s are upon us. By that time those flats that were built in the 1980s will be hitting 40 years and the pool of buyers will dwindle just like what we are seeing now for those flats built in the 1970s. So I expect something major to happen for those elections held from 2025 onwards.

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  • PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20:

    Dear readers,
    There is no HDB woes.

    The real news and the truth is you are owner of your HDB property which will always rise in value.

    So long as you sold your HDB home before it hit 40 years of age, it could fetch as high as S$900, 000.

    It is like your spouse, recycle them out before they hit 40 years old and their wrinkle start showing all over.

    Below is our PAP real news. Do not believe Oxygen guy.

    Geylang HDB Flat Sold For $910,000. Look, your HDB property could be sold at S910,000.
    https://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2018/3/170364/geylang-hdb-flat-with-city-views-sold-for-910000

    Buy property and vote PAP.
    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN 2019/20
    -PC Ong: GE19 or 20, it will be a comfortable victory for PAP.
    -PAP Huat ..
    Huat .. Huat .. Ministers are not paid enough..
    -Singaporeans must TIGHTEN belt, DOWNSIZE so that PAP ministers can UPSIZE their salaries and lifestyle.
    -Singaporeans vote PAP in support of 9% GST so that minister will get paid > 500K and no longer mediocre
    -Singaporeans vote PAP in support of 30% water increase so that minister will get paid > 500K and no longer mediocre
    -Singaporeans vote PAP in support of more planeload of FT to displace Singaporeans so that our PAP ministers no longer mediocre

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  • Python 5:

    1st group of ppl – lease owners.
    those who pay exhorbitant prices are fkkked.
    prices have been driven irreversibly sky high.

    2nd group of ppl – would-be-buyers.
    would-be-buyers are also fkkked.
    too expensive. cannot afford.

    and prices have to depreciate. because its a 99 yr lease.
    not some appreciating asset. and its a physical thing. not some equity listed on a stock exchange. It cannot go up infinitely.

    so you cannot please 1 group of ppl without hurting the other group very very adversely to total financial annihilation.

    what are the options?
    what are the effects and repercussions?

    A)crash the whole property market (heart failure)

    B)let nature takes it course. (progressive cancer)

    opposition dude: This policy will be hard to reverse because for those jokers who paid several hundred thousands to buy their flats they will definitely want that CPF money returned with whatever interest it has accumulated.

    The PAP cannot change the housing policy because it would be unfair to the earlier people who bought them at higher prices

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  • Python 5:

    this is going to create another bubble.
    the 40-year-old HDB flat bubble.

    who is going to buy a 35-39year old HDB flat time-bomb hot potato for $900k?

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20: So long as you sold your HDB home before it hit 40 years of age, it could fetch as high as S$900, 000.

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  • Pure Greed And Evil:

    The focus of governments of many other countries is to provide continuity and housing for the citizens. Many will extend the lease unconditionally to avoid the issue.

    As for the greedy evil PAP government, the priority now seems to be how to milk and rip-off the citizens of their home and wealth.
    The preoccupation is not to cater for the housing needs of the citizens but rather to device ways to take away the asset, to break homes and creating more problems to those in need.

    The whole HDB housing saga is a policy issue, created singlehandedly by PAP.
    They lied, hookwinked and misinformed the daft sinkies deliberately.
    We do not need such government and greedy ministars here.

    Kick them all out!

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  • The Circle Of Parasites:

    opposition dude:
    This policy will be hard to reverse because for those jokers who paid several hundred thousands to buy their flats they will definitely want that CPF money returned with whatever interest it has accumulated.

    The PAP cannot change the housing policy because it would be unfair to the earlier people who bought them at higher prices. The PAP has got itself into this quandary and sees no way out because it probably will collapse the whole housing market. But continuing this policy is not the answer either.

    ….

    SDP has workable proposals. Dual tracks are needed for policy shift to satisfactory resolve the issues faced by different hdb owners and future buyers.
    It is not difficult if one is genuinely there to serve the citizens. The blueprints are already here and also found in many other countries.

    The PAP government will never be able to resolve the issues they created, simply because they put themselves in a fix.
    They paid themselves obscenely because they painted themselves as invincible and worthy of such pay. It’s hard to slap your own faces and do a policy back flipped. When that happens, the myth of talent and high pay is broken.
    Not only that, the people who are there, are there to enrich and serve themselves, to be good sycophants rather than to make the country great.

    How would a policy of uncontrolled cheap foreign influx, displacing local skills and workers be good for the country and her future?
    As Sillypore lost it’s critical core of local skills and talents, how could there be good? The IT sector is gone, the engineering sector is gone, the health care and nursing sector is gone, the retail sector is gone. This already impacted the next wave of growth in fintech, biotech, high-tech manufacturing and design, facing shortages of local talents.

    With the local stakeholders displaced, who will care if the buildings and infrastructures built will last for decades to come? Who will care if the wrong drugs were administered or disease outbreak in hospitals? Who will care if our IT infrastructures were hacked into?
    The foreign workers, many with dodgy qualifications, would already be long gone with their eggnests.

    The effects are already seen. HDB buildings and lifts collapsings. MRT daily breakdowns. Rubbishes swept into drains coking drains causing floods when heavy rain happens. Malpractices in hospitals… the problems are compounded by PAP’s greed, arrogance and incompetence.

    The sooner the change over, the better for the citizens and this nation.

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  • cfvtgj:

    Only by voting them out, then all the woes and whores will be gone.

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  • Bait & Switch ?:

    The people were baited by the promise of ASSET ENHANCEMENT since the 1990s. Even as late as 2013 they were roundly scolded for being DAFT if they were not buying into the story of HDB flats as appreciating assets. Now, from 2017 onwards, the government is trying to switch out of this promise, thus breaking the bond of trust between government and the people. This is shaping up as a classic case of BAIT & SWITCH !

    It was on the back of the HDB dwellers – more than 85% of Singaporeans – that the PROPERTY PONZI game has been riding for more than three decades now. The property frenzy was fuelled by tapping into the CPF savings of the working class for their HDB flat ‘ownership’.

    IF people had to rely only (or largely) on their non-CPF savings to pay for their flats, the prices of flats – new and resale (feeding into each other’s pricing in a reinforcing loop) – would not have risen exponentially, to the ultimate detriment of the younger generation, whether starting or deterred from starting their families. If this is not inter-generational inequity or injustice, what is?

    It is upon the buoyancy of the HDB market that the private property market had soared toward ever greater pricing heights, to the ultimate benefit of the government-developer-banker nexus, and the property flippers (whether individual or institutional investors). The PROPERTY PONZI would not have been so intense or vigorous without the HDB buoyancy effect, and of course augmented by the enormous foreigner influx over the last 15 years or more.

    CPF savings (Ordinary Account), which should have been set aside for retirement right from the first contribution into one’s CPF account, were instead released for HDB flat purchase. This purchase is now turning out to have been for a fuzzy (or heavily qualified) ‘ownership’ of HDB flats, but without ownership (absent strata title) of any fraction of the underlying land, even though land cost is bundled into the purchase price and annual property tax is subsequently paid by the “lessee-cum-owner”!

    As a result, a majority of Singaporeans are faced with or will be running smack into a RETIREMENT CRISIS. The innovative solution being peddled to them is the option of ‘monetising’ their flats (downsize; lease buyback) for their retirement funding. This painful situation could have been avoided if only their CPF balances had not been drained out for the purchase of HDB flats which have been recently and suddenly pronounced as depreciating assets, contrary to the ASSET ENHANCEMENT message drummed out incessantly since the 1990s.

    But then the larger PROPERTY PONZI game could not have been played in the scale as we have been witnessing for more than three decades now. Its sustenance would require the magic of 6.9m or…

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  • Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh:

    The cure for HDB woes and other problems is REGIME CHANGE.

    Any other “cure” is just wishful thinking. Why? Because PAP is the CAUSE of the problems facing Singaporeans now and because of hubris PAP will never change.

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  • waste of time zzz:

    there is no cure as pap’s greed is infinite.. they will do anything to remain in power and bleed the country dry..

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP.Guarantee.Win.GE2019/20

    Oi Oi Oi, RUBBER TAPPER FROM BOHLEHLAND – you are a shameless puppy with this confession – you recycled out your spouse before she hit 40 and recycled in a highly experienced SEXY “chicken” under 30 which has been intensively recycled EVERY DAY and nobody else want her anymore?

    CONGRATULATIONS.

    Your psyche and behavior sure is HILARIOUS.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20: It is like your spouse, recycle them out before they hit 40 years old and their wrinkle start showing all over.

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  • Concerned!:

    RE: Only by voting them out, then all the woes and whores will be gone.

    This is as much a fallacy as the claim that your HDB
    flat will appreciate forever.

    The whores will be gone, to some extent only.
    But the woes will still be very much there. And
    new ones will no doubt be introduced before the
    handover of power.

    Also, you cant remove more than 50+ years of rubbish
    overnight or even in a couple of years. It’ll take
    some time to get all the facts together, since Everything
    is so kept under wraps. Then you have to implement
    the solutions, allow them to kick in, before you
    finally feel the effects of these remedies.

    Don’t forget the large number of problems the new
    incumbents will have to face. It’ll be FAR greater
    than what went on in Aljunied GRC. Not for nothing
    is a bunch of govt scholars/cronies heading orgs.
    In effect, the errrr army is being put into place
    now, and these people are going to put up a huge
    resistance agst the non-PAP people. It will make
    the Aljunied whacking look like it was carried out
    by 2 yr olds.

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  • oxygen:

    THE ONLY CURE AND MORALLY CORRECT CURE is to return the land back to the peasants. DO THE RIGHT THING – the peasants paid for the land! Or did the peasants STOLE the land by cunning or deception from someone?

    By returning the land to peasants, it restore some value back to what HDB claims to be flat buyer’s so-called “ownership”. It also give them at least some bare bottom support to exit their lease at expiry to move on which is – at this moment – zero of dollar value.

    Besides there is no monetary transfer of this exercise – merely an amendment to the quality of ownership from a mere leasing agreement to a strata title ownership of their HDB purchase SPECIFIED IN THE TITLE DEEDS SURRENDERED TO THE PEASANTS – similar to private condos WHICH PRESENT TENSE SPOKE ABOUT of is “full & frank” comparison.

    Surely, he wasn’t HAVING THE PEASANTS ON when he uttered those comparison of HDB relative to private condos or did he?

    Surely the peasants are entitled to take him for his words to full value instead of merely having us on, right?

    THE QUESTION IS – WILL PRESENT TENSE OR 4Gs DO IT or simply listen to us with humility (…….AND FORGOTTEN VERY QUICKLY THEREAFTER?) as promised but now DIAM DIAM DIAM?

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  • For the People:

    What better way to make the people pay for the losses incurred by Tamasek and GIC? Sell HDB and deplete CPF, so nothing to pay back and retire, this ain’t no rocket science.

    Wake up people…

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