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Thread: Keep resale HDB flats for citizens only?

  1. #1
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    Default Keep resale HDB flats for citizens only?

    Avoid feast and famine in housing

    Better to have stable supply of new homes every year than try to predict
    property cycle

    By Han Fook Kwang


    When I bought my first property, I didn't know I would still be living in it
    27 years later. I had bought it soon after getting married after a year of
    house-hunting.

    I don't remember it as being an eventful year for property then and I don't
    recall being particularly anxious about whether we were buying it at the
    right time in the property cycle. We needed a place to call home, we liked
    what we found and the price was within our budget.

    As it turned out, it was not a bad buy. The house has appreciated in value
    about 10 times since, which works out to an increase of about 9 per cent
    every year compounded over 27 years. I can't think of anything I have bought for owned which has risen as much in value or as rapidly.

    As an individual, this must count as a good thing and a source of some
    satisfaction. In fact, my experience is not untypical of many in my
    generation and I would think those who bought around the time I did would
    have seen similar appreciation in values, some more, others perhaps less,
    depending on location.

    Singaporeans have generally felt good about how property prices have moved over the years, barring the occasional dips in every economic cycle.

    Until quite recently, that is.

    There has been a discernible shift in public attitude towards ever-rising
    property prices over the last few years and it is important to understand
    why this is taking place and what can be done about it.

    For a flavour of the negative views being expressed, here is a recent
    sampling from the Internet:

    Low property prices favour citizens as they help everyone have a roof over
    their head. High property prices favour only developers and rich people as
    they can make super normal profits and collect rent instead of working hard
    and creating value.

    The Australian government takes care of citizens and imposes strict
    restrictions on property purchases by foreigners, for example, when they
    leave, they have to sell, when they sell, they have to sell only to locals,
    etc. Why doesn't the Singapore Government take effective steps and also
    contribute to raising property prices?

    The property owners of today are only raiding the future earnings of the
    next generation. How? Well, all these gains in property prices must come
    from somewhere. It will come mostly from the next generation. But this will
    net the wealthy much more as they own many more and higher-value properties.

    These online comments are in response to recent news that some executive
    condominium units had been sold for more than $1 million. As with many Net
    postings, they are often not logically argued and are laced with an extra
    dose of negativism. But the sentiments they represent are real and shared by an increasing number of people here.

    Indeed, rising property prices were an issue at the general election last
    year. In response, the Government introduced several measures, mostly
    increasing the supply in both the public and private housing markets.

    Prices, however, have yet to come down.

    According to the latest data reported last week, private home prices rose by
    0.6 per cent in the third quarter, while the Housing Board resale price
    index climbed 1.3 per cent.

    This public sourness over property prices is a relatively recent phenomenon
    given the history of rising prices here, which has been generally welcomed
    by the public.

    It shows there is a point beyond which resentment sets in, even if the
    majority see the value of their homes going up.

    They worry whether their children will be able to afford these prices in the
    future, and whether they themselves will be able to upgrade.

    Worse, they perceive it as largely favouring one class of people over
    another.

    It used to be said that property prices cannot rise by too much, otherwise
    who would be able to afford them? In other words, prices cannot run too far
    ahead of income levels.

    This link between prices and incomes is, however, broken when the market is
    open to foreigners whose salaries have no connection to those of
    Singaporeans.

    When rich Chinese, Indians, Indonesians and Malaysians account for a
    significant number of the purchases here, prices can run away from the local
    population's ability to pay.

    The Government's recent measure to make it more expensive for foreigners to buy property through the additional stamp duty was aimed at cooling the
    market.

    But the Government has never made clear if this will be a permanent feature
    of its policy on foreign purchases and the extent it will allow them to
    influence prices.

    There is clearly a tension between wanting Singapore to be a global city
    attractive to foreigners (which includes how open it is to them buying homes
    here), and preserving the link between home prices and Singaporeans' income levels.

    Getting this balance right is critical to having a successful property
    policy which is politically acceptable.

    How much should the Government protect local buyers from the purchasing
    power of foreigners?

    This is an especially important issue with so much surplus money flowing
    round the world after so many rounds of loose monetary policies, with
    central banks printing money to stimulate their domestic economies.

    Should Singapore go the way of Australia, for example, and force foreigners
    to sell property back only to citizens?

    One word of caution though about the Government's ability to get the
    property market right. Its track record of trying to match supply to demand
    has in fact been patchy.

    In the early 2000s, it was saddled with a record surplus of 25,000 unsold
    HDB flats when it overbuilt and demand collapsed following the Asian
    financial crisis in 1997.

    And the sizzling market of the last two to three years in both the public
    and private sectors was clearly the result of it underestimating demand,
    which rebounded after the slump of the 2008 financial crisis.

    Governments, and not just in Singapore, are often behind the curve when
    trying to read the market.

    This being the case, the better approach is to aim for a stable supply of
    new homes every year and to not try to predict too closely the ups and downs of the property cycle.

    There is a steady underlying demand for homes from new households being
    formed every year, and even when it falls because of an economic downturn,
    the pent-up demand will likely return in subsequent years.

    Better to aim for a predictable and transparent policy on how many homes to
    build so as to avoid a feast-and-famine situation.

    Fortunately, public housing is available for the large majority of
    Singaporeans in a market that is largely protected from foreign funds.

    These estates today enjoy some of the best facilities - markets, hawker
    centres, MRT stations, bus interchanges, sports stadiums and shopping malls, and most have been upgraded to high standards.

    Because of the convenience of having these facilities nearby, Singaporeans
    are prepared to pay relatively high prices in the resale market for these
    flats.

    We take this for granted but it could have turned out completely
    differently, with few takers, had they become urban slums.

    And because the resale market is open to all Singaporeans regardless of
    income levels, the prices these flats command reflect their true market
    worth.

    But there is one tweak to this market which may be needed to make sure it
    remains affordable to Singaporeans.

    At present, permanent residents are allowed to buy resale HDB flats - this
    door was opened to them in 1989, presumably to make the country more
    attractive for PRs.

    But it might have inadvertently caused prices to move up and, more
    critically, weakened the link between local wages and resale prices.

    The PR numbers are in fact not insignificant - it was reported last year
    that they accounted for 20 per cent of all resale transactions in 2010.

    That's one fifth of all sales, enough to move prices significantly.

    Making the HDB market - both for new and resale flats - exclusively for
    citizens is the best safeguard for the future to ensure that public housing
    prices will always remain within reach of the majority of Singaporeans.

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    Mr Han's article could well have a greater impact on the next cooling measures.

    Quote: "Low property prices favour citizens as they help everyone have a roof over their head. High property prices favour only developers and rich people as
    they can make super normal profits and collect rent instead of working hard
    and creating value.

    The Australian government takes care of citizens and imposes strict
    restrictions on property purchases by foreigners, for example, when they
    leave, they have to sell, when they sell, they have to sell only to locals,
    etc. Why doesn't the Singapore Government take effective steps and also
    contribute to raising property prices?

    The property owners of today are only raiding the future earnings of the
    next generation. How? Well, all these gains in property prices must come
    from somewhere. It will come mostly from the next generation. But this will
    net the wealthy much more as they own many more and higher-value properties." Unquote

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    I have been saying this since 2009. Only now he realise?

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    But after the citizens have roof over their head, they wish the property prices to drop? The answer is obvious. Before they even implement anything that affect the 90% citizens that own properties, better think hard first!

    Another thing, Singapore rely on foreigners for funding, workers, etc. When foreigners come here to start business, employ workers etc, they need houses to live in. Their workers need houses to live in. To 1 sweep stop all foreigners from owning properties means ask them not to come? Or otherwise should let Citizens buy any number of properties to rent to them right (instead of putting ABSD on citizens as well)? Otherwise where to find properties for them to live in?

    Only by having asset appreciation policy will it retain citizens and foreigners to own their properties and make them think long-term to keep singapore as their home country. All these people because of their own selfish agenda will always cow-pay cow-bull why properties so expensive when they have not bought and acted the reverse after they have bought. Human nature I suppose but really ugly when they try to openly lobby for that using all sort of excuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leeds
    Mr Han's article could well have a greater impact on the next cooling measures.

    Quote: "Low property prices favour citizens as they help everyone have a roof over their head. High property prices favour only developers and rich people as
    they can make super normal profits and collect rent instead of working hard
    and creating value.

    The Australian government takes care of citizens and imposes strict
    restrictions on property purchases by foreigners, for example, when they
    leave, they have to sell, when they sell, they have to sell only to locals,
    etc. Why doesn't the Singapore Government take effective steps and also
    contribute to raising property prices?

    The property owners of today are only raiding the future earnings of the
    next generation. How? Well, all these gains in property prices must come
    from somewhere. It will come mostly from the next generation. But this will
    net the wealthy much more as they own many more and higher-value properties." Unquote

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    Hehehe...agree to some extent. If I know that the price of hdb will be flat, then I would rather rent from gov't and then use the money for other investment...anyway, our great previous gen gov't once say that hdb is a form of investment for our retirement....or did not not read it correctly?...
    The only golden question is how fast we allow that appreciation to grow, that maybe keeping out the PR from the HDB market might help? Just my opinion...

    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    But after the citizens have roof over their head, they wish the property prices to drop? The answer is obvious. Before they even implement anything that affect the 90% citizens that own properties, better think hard first!

    Another thing, Singapore rely on foreigners for funding, workers, etc. When foreigners come here to start business, employ workers etc, they need houses to live in. Their workers need houses to live in. To 1 sweep stop all foreigners from owning properties means ask them not to come? Or otherwise should let Citizens buy any number of properties to rent to them right (instead of putting ABSD on citizens as well)? Otherwise where to find properties for them to live in?

    Only by having asset appreciation policy will it retain citizens and foreigners to own their properties and make them think long-term to keep singapore as their home country. All these people because of their own selfish agenda will always cow-pay cow-bull why properties so expensive when they have not bought and acted the reverse after they have bought. Human nature I suppose but really ugly when they try to openly lobby for that using all sort of excuses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    But after the citizens have roof over their head, they wish the property prices to drop? The answer is obvious. Before they even implement anything that affect the 90% citizens that own properties, better think hard first!

    Another thing, Singapore rely on foreigners for funding, workers, etc. When foreigners come here to start business, employ workers etc, they need houses to live in. Their workers need houses to live in. To 1 sweep stop all foreigners from owning properties means ask them not to come? Or otherwise should let Citizens buy any number of properties to rent to them right (instead of putting ABSD on citizens as well)? Otherwise where to find properties for them to live in?

    Only by having asset appreciation policy will it retain citizens and foreigners to own their properties and make them think long-term to keep singapore as their home country. All these people because of their own selfish agenda will always cow-pay cow-bull why properties so expensive when they have not bought and acted the reverse after they have bought. Human nature I suppose but really ugly when they try to openly lobby for that using all sort of excuses?
    hdb is basic public housing. for those who after owning hdb and aspire more and want to invest, there is the private property market. the two are distinct.

    i have said from the start the CMs have been overly-directed at the private pty sector when the sentiments on the ground out there are about hdb prices. the sentiments in this forum is an exception as most here are investors or multiple-pty owners/aspirants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    Before they even implement anything that affect the 90% citizens that own properties, better think hard first!
    If I only "own" one unit for self stay and have many children, my answer to property price drop would be:

    I DO NOT CARE!

    So how many people are out of your so called 90%?

    You only belong to those 1%, Sir!

    You can be "rich" (the old money - only knows CCR, missed MM completely),
    but don't try to think you are smart enough to fool us to believe that your interest is in line with the 90%.

    Thanks,
    Richard
    PS. Go to vote for "Good Time to Buy", and see how much you can impact the Index. Technology is moving in favor of democracy now.
    Last edited by richwang; 04-11-12 at 09:32.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwang
    If I only "own" one unit for self stay and have many children, my answer to property price drop would be:

    I DO NOT CARE!

    So how many people are out of your so called 90%?

    You only belong to those 1%, Sir!

    You can be "rich" (the old money - only knows CCR, missed MM completely),
    but don't try to think you are smart enough to fool us to believe that your interest is in line with the 90%.

    Thanks,
    Richer
    PS. Go to vote for "Good Time to Buy", and see how much you can impact the Index. Technology is moving in favor of democracy now.
    I beg to differ, u may want to downgrade to a smaller unit during retirement and will pocket a tidy sum of money which u deserve for working so hard and long to enjoy ur retirement. Let the kids think and fight for themselves. Only through this will they learn to grow positively. Spoon feed them too much is not good for them.

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    to say u dun care abt ur own asset's value , just shows how short sighted you are.
    the way this HDB system operated has created wealth for many ordinary Sporeans, who otherwise will not have a comfortable retirement funds/income/etc. And I'm not talking abt using HDB for investments.
    Speak to those old folks who bought HDB at 20k and sold of at 400k and use the proceeds to buy again new at 200k or stay with children, etc. This is a significant wealth transfer in a macro level, for ordinary citizens.

    HDB is such a successful social program, it only needs some fine tuning, not overhaul. HDB must remain as a major asset for the lower income.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amk
    to say u dun care abt ur own asset's value , just shows how short sighted you are.
    the way this HDB system operated has created wealth for many ordinary Sporeans, who otherwise will not have a comfortable retirement funds/income/etc. And I'm not talking abt using HDB for investments.
    Speak to those old folks who bought HDB at 20k and sold of at 400k and use the proceeds to buy again new at 200k or stay with children, etc. This is a significant wealth transfer in a macro level, for ordinary citizens.

    HDB is such a successful social program, it only needs some fine tuning, not overhaul. HDB must remain as a major asset for the lower income.
    +100 likes.

    Although the government has prevented me to own a HDB, I still think government stand on HDB is still beneficial to majority of the citizens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amk
    to say u dun care abt ur own asset's value , just shows how short sighted you are.
    the way this HDB system operated has created wealth for many ordinary Sporeans, who otherwise will not have a comfortable retirement funds/income/etc. And I'm not talking abt using HDB for investments.
    Speak to those old folks who bought HDB at 20k and sold of at 400k and use the proceeds to buy again new at 200k or stay with children, etc. This is a significant wealth transfer in a macro level, for ordinary citizens.

    HDB is such a successful social program, it only needs some fine tuning, not overhaul. HDB must remain as a major asset for the lower income.
    good post
    I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost quotes (American poet, 1874-1963)

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    I suppose ok for PR to buy resale HDB at mkt price + 10% levy. This levy shd b used for citizens medical n social benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allthepies
    ...the government has prevented me to own a HDB...
    same for me.
    Although I have never benefited a cent from the system, I see many of my relatives benefiting from it. These are ordinary folks, some dun even hold steady jobs.

    Resale levy for PR you saying hyenergix ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by amk
    Speak to those old folks who bought HDB at 20k and sold of at 400k and use the proceeds to buy again new at 200k or stay with children, etc.
    Imagine those uneducated old folks who bought HDB at 20K can only sell the HDB at S$140K after 40 years (that is 5% inflation compounded!), that means the resale market is at S$140K.
    Will he have a higher chance to get his grandchildren earlier?
    For your information, the 1st hand new HDB are selling at around S$500K now.

    HDB is a great policy. But the recent pricing of HDB is NOT.

    Thanks,
    Richard
    PS. Those educated old folks are likely owning multiple private PCs and continue to "educate" those uneducated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwang
    Imagine those uneducated old folks who bought HDB at 20K can only sell the HDB at S$140K after 40 years (that is 5% inflation compounded!), that means the resale market is at S$140K.
    Will he have a higher chance to get his grandchildren earlier?
    For your information, the 1st hand new HDB are selling at around S$500K now.

    HDB is a great policy. But the recent pricing of HDB is NOT.

    Thanks,
    Richard
    PS. Those educated old folks are likely owning multiple private PCs and continue to "educate" those uneducated.
    the future generation kids..be mentally prepared..
    I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost quotes (American poet, 1874-1963)

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    Quote Originally Posted by amk
    to say u dun care abt ur own asset's value , just shows how short sighted you are.
    the way this HDB system operated has created wealth for many ordinary Sporeans, who otherwise will not have a comfortable retirement funds/income/etc. And I'm not talking abt using HDB for investments.
    Speak to those old folks who bought HDB at 20k and sold of at 400k and use the proceeds to buy again new at 200k or stay with children, etc. This is a significant wealth transfer in a macro level, for ordinary citizens.

    HDB is such a successful social program, it only needs some fine tuning, not overhaul. HDB must remain as a major asset for the lower income.
    very clearly such a scenario of continued asset appreciation is not sustainable bcos there are physical and financial constraints to how high hdb prices can go. today's hdb prices are only sustained through ever longer loan tenure undertaken and larger hdb grants. these are clearly warning signs.

    the generation that saw and profited from their hdb price appreciation is not likely to be witnessed in future generations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwang
    For your information, the 1st hand new HDB are selling at around S$500K now.
    Dun pick extreme samples. New ones in outskirts areas are generally 2-300k for a 4rm flat. Completely affordable for today's graduates.

    And "can only sell 140k" etc, what is your point ? Didn't appreciate enough ? I thought you dun care about appreciation, why suddenly you start to care ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by august
    very clearly such a scenario of continued asset appreciation is not sustainable bcos there are physical and financial constraints to how high hdb prices can go. today's hdb prices are only sustained through ever longer loan tenure undertaken and larger hdb grants. these are clearly warning signs.

    the generation that saw and profited from their hdb price appreciation is not likely to be witnessed in future generations.
    Continual appreciation is sustainable. It's the rate at which it grows, that is the question. I do not disagree on that.
    At the very minimum, appreciation over inflation must be maintained. This needs efforts to make it happen.

    Btw, the generation that reaped huge profit in th last 3 decades are mostly lucky due to the Singapore story. You can say the same for whose who invested in China a decade ago. The era of such growth is behind us now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amk
    Continual appreciation is sustainable. It's the rate at which it grows, that is the question. I do not disagree on that.
    At the very minimum, appreciation over inflation must be maintained. This needs efforts to make it happen.

    Btw, the generation that reaped huge profit in th last 3 decades are mostly lucky due to the Singapore story. You can say the same for whose who invested in China a decade ago. The era of such growth is behind us now.
    young couples dual income buying BTO needing to stretch loan tenures to 30 yrs is sustainable? very clearly the price hike in recent yrs has way surpassed inflation while wages are stagnating at the middle and lower income level. clearly this is not sustainable.

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    10 yrs ago, starting pay 2.5K, now starting pay 5K.

    There are many new BTO at 150-300K. There are also new BTO/DBSS/EC at 500K-1.7mil (the recent EC penthouse). As you all can see there is a wide range of houses to cater to different groups of people.

    The reason some couples go for >500K BTO is their OWN choices. Maybe becos they want to be very near town, near MRT, they trade convenience for higher cost of ownership. To me this is a fair trade, I guess these couples also think so or else do you think they are so stupid to still buy?

    If the couples want to achieve financial freedom faster, they have ways to do it. If they want to "show" off, they have way to do it too. It all up to their mindsets, planning, lifestyle, what they finally want. The HDB system is such a great system because it allows different couples to achieve their different dreams.
    Last edited by Allthepies; 04-11-12 at 11:53.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allthepies
    10 yrs ago, starting pay 2.5K, now starting pay 5K.

    There are many new BTO at 150-300K. There are also new BTO/DBSS/EC at 500K-1.7mil (the recent EC penthouse). As you all can see there is a wide range of houses to cater to different groups of people.

    The reason some couples go for >500K BTO is their OWN choices. Maybe becos they want to be very near town, near MRT, they trade convenience for higher cost of ownership. To me this is a fair trade, I guess these couples also think so or else do you think they are so stupid to still buy?

    If the couples want to achieve financial freedom faster, they have ways to do it. If they want to "show" off, they have way to do it too. It all up to their mindsets, planning, lifestyle, what they finally want. The HDB system is such a great system because it allows different couples to achieve their different dreams.
    starting pay 5k? which profession lol?
    is this the norm for majority young workers entering the workforce? lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allthepies
    10 yrs ago, starting pay 2.5K, now starting pay 5K..
    Sure boH? Majority of fresh grads get $5k as starting pay now?

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    yeah right... reasle for citizen only then people will complain cannot upgrade. short change citizen. the complain will never end.

    pple complain rich poor gap coz HDB become cheaper and cheaper while PC still go up..

    complain n complain. blame n blame. dont we luv to whine n whine.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by amk
    Dun pick extreme samples. New ones in outskirts areas are generally 2-300k for a 4rm flat. Completely affordable for today's graduates.

    And "can only sell 140k" etc, what is your point ? Didn't appreciate enough ? I thought you dun care about appreciation, why suddenly you start to care ??
    To me, it is very important that the first home is affordable.
    Like you have said go for the outskirts for a start.
    As long as one has a roof over one's head, why complain?
    I don't understand why people are complaining when the majority have a roof over their heads.
    Complain because they can't upgrade, because they can't afford a better location? Why complain when the basic necessity is there already? They should work hard to their goal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    Sure boH? Majority of fresh grads get $5k as starting pay now?

    I hired some frash grad. depends .. now its abt $3K-3.2K base.. on avg.. problem is some jobs cant even hire pple to do!

    coz no people. fresh grad job hop at the slightest lost of interest. I think its bad habit. and gives local hire a bad reputation.

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    based on services approximate starting pay for first class honors. ha not for everyone.

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    Come on lah, 30 years tenure is for ease of cash flow, not that they really need to. If give me a choice and allow me to loan for a tenure of 99 years I will also do, since my properties are for rental and they are mine to be rented out for 99 years right? Why govt don't allow me to loan for 99 years if the rental is self-sustainable to pay for instalment? Think their new MAS policy quite stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by august
    young couples dual income buying BTO needing to stretch loan tenures to 30 yrs is sustainable? very clearly the price hike in recent yrs has way surpassed inflation while wages are stagnating at the middle and lower income level. clearly this is not sustainable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    Sure boH? Majority of fresh grads get $5k as starting pay now?
    I believe he is using a certain discipline/profession as an example. On an ave pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    Sure boH? Majority of fresh grads get $5k as starting pay now?
    But I know a lot of people are getting 5k within 3 years after graduation.

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    Think you all outdated lah.

    Didn't you read news that cleaners also can get $3k per month?

    Don't you know that fresh law graduates now getting >$4.5k per month?

    Don't you know that fresh engineering graduates now getting >$3.4k on average per month?

    10 years ago, BTO 4-rm flats about $200k. Fresh engineering graduates getting $2.2k per month.
    10 years later BTO 4-rm flats still about $250k and fresh engineering graduates getting $3.4k per month. Income actually increase faster than BTO flat prices! What is there to complain?
    And the irony is that 10 years ago, only about 10% of working population are graduates. 10 years later about 20% of working population are graduates. By right their pay should not increase as much because of more competition for same jobs! They should be laughing to the bank instead of complaining!

    The only difference now compared to previously actually is that people demand more, fresh graduates want to be able to afford private condos and not HDBs, diploma holders want BTOs in mature estates near city and not in outskirts! It is the higher expectations and not the reality that is the problem!

    Quote Originally Posted by august
    starting pay 5k? which profession lol?
    is this the norm for majority young workers entering the workforce? lol
    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    Sure boH? Majority of fresh grads get $5k as starting pay now?
    Originally Posted by Allthepies
    10 yrs ago, starting pay 2.5K, now starting pay 5K.

    There are many new BTO at 150-300K. There are also new BTO/DBSS/EC at 500K-1.7mil (the recent EC penthouse). As you all can see there is a wide range of houses to cater to different groups of people.

    The reason some couples go for >500K BTO is their OWN choices. Maybe becos they want to be very near town, near MRT, they trade convenience for higher cost of ownership. To me this is a fair trade, I guess these couples also think so or else do you think they are so stupid to still buy?

    If the couples want to achieve financial freedom faster, they have ways to do it. If they want to "show" off, they have way to do it too. It all up to their mindsets, planning, lifestyle, what they finally want. The HDB system is such a great system because it allows different couples to achieve their different dreams.

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