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Thread: MM Lee believes property values will continue to rise in long term

  1. #1
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    Default MM Lee believes property values will continue to rise in long term

    Nov 10, 2008

    Help for the needy

    Sacrifices and cutbacks will be necessary until things improve: MM Lee

    By Lee Siew Hua

    THE Government will not let any Singaporean fall below the poverty line as a result of the financial crisis - but it cannot restore people's living standards to what they were before the global crash.

    Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew gave this assurance yesterday evening, as he promised measures in next year's Budget to buffer lower-income earners and those without jobs from the impact of higher prices of food and other goods.

    He did not provide details but said the Government would need to make a realistic assessment of how much it could afford to give out in additional utilities rebates, Workfare income supplements and other alleviating measures.

    'Much depends on how long and how deep this recession will be,' he said.

    Speaking to Tanjong Pagar GRC constituents during an event to mark Tree Planting Day, he also warned that everyone would have to put up with some austerity.

    'To return to where we were before the crisis and enjoy the same standard of living, we have to wait until the recovery of the world economy,' he said.

    'We all have to accept some sacrifices and cutbacks. But compared to our counterparts in neighbouring countries, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, our low-income earners are much better off.'

    He cited two reasons for confidence in Singapore's economy in the midst of the most severe world recession since the 1930s Great Depression.

    First, its reserves accumulated over decades could see the country through the crisis without it going broke. Second, jobs are still available at the two integrated resorts and from investments by high-end manufacturing companies.

    These include solar cell producer Renewable Energy Corporation and maker of oil and gas equipment, Halliburton.

    'There will be jobs, although different from the ones from factories that may close down,' he said.

    Singapore was also fortunate in not having allowed speculation to drive up residential property prices to unrealistic levels, having learnt its lesson from the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis.

    This time round, although the prices of high-end condominiums and office properties have fallen, 'HDB flat prices have remained steady, going down only slightly'.

    That is because there is real demand for HDB homes from Singaporeans, including new citizens and permanent residents.

    'Property values are bound to go up because the Government is continuously building more infrastructure, and attracting higher value investments that provide higher wages to employees,' he said.

    Indeed, those who bought the [email protected] flats have seen an 80 per cent gain since 2004, he said, despite falling property prices here and the worldwide liquidity crunch.

    Yesterday, MM Lee toured the 26th and 50th levels of the new flats, which lie within his GRC. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan accompanied him and pointed out views of the city skyline, southern islands and Mount Faber moments before sunset.

    As for the economic outlook, Mr Lee said the current downturn 'is just beginning' and no one could say how long it would last.

    'Recovery will come when the property market in America reaches bottom and begins to rise. That may not be for many months or even years,' he said.

    Meanwhile, the economies of Britain, the European Union and Japan will take time to stabilise and recover.

    Also, China is affected as a significant 10 per cent of its gross domestic product consists of manufacturing for exports.

    It will have to boost its economy by spending on infrastructure projects, he said.

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  2. #2
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    MM Lee believes property values will continue to rise in long term

    By Pearl Forss, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 09 November 2008 2341 hrs

    SINGAPORE: VIPs including Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had the chance to tour The [email protected] on Sunday, and they were impressed by what they saw.

    All seven blocks at The Pinnacle are linked by sky-bridges.

    On the top-most 50th storey is a sky garden with breathtaking views of the cityscape. HDB names it "The Contemplative Zone".

    On the 26th storey, there is an 800-metre long jogging track as well as fitness centres.

    The Pinnacle has the highest HDB blocks in Singapore. Prices are similarly high for late buyers.

    When it went on sale in 2004, 4-room flats cost $288,400 to $392,100 and 5-roomers cost $343,100 to $451,100.

    428 units were offered for sale in September 2008, and this time 4-room flats cost $450,000 to $550,000 while 5-room flats cost $550,000 to over $600,000.

    The Pinnacle has 1,848 units in total.

    HDB says the flats still cost less than what nearby flats are fetching on the resale market.

    5-room flats in the vicinity cost $593,000 to $670,000.

    Minister Mentor Lee said property values are bound to go up in the long run because the government is continuously building more infrastructure and attracting higher-value investments that provide higher wages to employees.

    - CNA/ir

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