Let Singles buy HDB

I chanced upon this forum thread created in response to the article “Let single daughter buy HDB“.

Here are some of the views shared:

HDB supply is limited in Singapore (land is limited too?). If age limit of singles scheme is lowered (currently 35), the increase in demand will lead to an increase in property prices. People who really need to buy a flat can’t will have trouble affording one.

– HDB supply is limited.

Yes, ready HDB supply is limited, but definitely not due to lack of land. It can be attributed to poor planning on the part of HDB. In case one has not noticed, new HDB flats are as high as 40 stories these days, and new BTO projects are being launched quite frequently. However, these new flats will not enter the resale flat supply till 8-10 years later [3-5 years to build, 5 years for MOP (minimum occupation period).]

There was a time when HDB overbuilt, and had thousands of new unsold flats in their inventory. Young newly wed couples could immediately pick a flat from the oversupply and move in, and thus not fight for the limited resale supply.

Now new flats are only launched under the Built-to-Order Scheme (BTO), where only when a certain number of units are booked does building commence. This is to prevent oversupply, and also helps to boost resale prices, and at new flat prices at the same time, as new flat prices are pegged to resale prices.

– Allowing younger singles to buy will lead to increase in demand, and increase in prices.

Throughout this recession, HDB prices have not dipped at all. Whether younger singles are allowed to buy or not will not change this fact.

But why do prices keep going up? This is because of the large number of new citizens and PRs we welcome each year. In 2009, new citizens alone accounted for 3600 people! Right now, it’s still cheaper to service a HDB mortgage (approx $1.2k for a 4-5roomer) than to rent a flat each month ($2k-$2.5k). Thus, eligible new citizens and PR families will purchase a resale HDB flat if they can afford the down payment.

Welcoming more new citizens and PRs is something which isn’t going to change. It boils down once again to the lack of supply, which points back to HDB’s planning again.

Abolish HDB. It has outlived its purpose since sg has moved into first world league. Singaporeans should be left on their own to find their houses just like people in other first world countries. The Gov does NOT owe them a housing. Stop pampering to Singaporeans!

In first world countries like the US, it is possible for 20 somethings to dream of owning a 1-bedroom condo to call their own. They work towards a goal of saving for a down payment, and it’s all possible, because such condos cost $50-$80k. And mind you, these are “private” and “freehold”.

Also interesting to note is their “private” and “freehold” condos cost less than our “public” housing, and they have a minimum wage of at least $5.50/hr (varying state to state). In comparison, we have no minimum wage in Singapore, and our McDonalds staff gets paid $3.50-$4.50/hr.

However, I do agree that HDB should be “abolished” if not “reformed”. It no longer serves it’s true mission, which is “to provide affordable housing to the masses”.

Singles can buy private property (eg. studio apartment), especially if making close to $8k or more than $8k/month.

Shouldn’t every citizen be allowed to choose how much debt they want to be in? Singapore is not a socialist state, so why should striving to earn more money come with penalties? Not everyone wishes to live in a condo with facilities.

A studio apartment costs at least $500k these days:
20% downpayment: $100k
Monthly Mortgage: $1700
Monthly Condo fees: $200-$500?


2 room HDB flat at $180k:
20% downpayment: $36k
Monthly Mortgage: $576
Monthly Conservancy fees: $12-$56?

Same size, but with a $320k price tag difference.

Provide housing and starting families. By saying only couples are allowed to get flats, they are made to get married earlier if they want their houses. Thanks to our declining local population, I doubt the govt will cancel this anytime due to the fear

According to the above:

Want house = get married = have kids = increase in population

Seriously?! Yes indeed, most couples do feel compelled to settle down and get married so they can be eligible for a place of their own. But could there be a possibility, that married couples aren’t having kids not because of a lack of accommodation?

In fact, with the highly stressed job, long hours at work, high cost of living, future highly stressed kids and a large mortgage to foot, I wonder why married couples do not have more kids. Hmmm … …

Regarless of how much they earn. Let them be independant.
They have a right to choose where they live, like and HDB or condominium. Follow their dreams.

I totally agree! It would work, if this wasn’t Singapore. Have you ever heard of anyone pursuing “The Singapore Dream”? Perhaps this “dream” can only be attained in our sleep.

My thoughts:

– If the age limit is lowered for singles scheme, limit singles to buying 3 room flat and below.

– Having an area populated with singles, with hangout places for singles, who know what might happen?

– The importance of investing from a young age is vital due to compounding of interest. Should younger people have the chance to invest in property at a younger age, it’ll free up their finances for other things like kids in future, instead of worrying of purchasing property at a higher price and worrying about starting a family at the same time. Should they need to upgrade to accommodate for families, as least their current property price has hedged them.

– Even though we live in an Asian society with largely old school values, allowing our young adults to move out and be independent will allow them to mature faster. Look at western countries like the US – young adults there don’t settle down later as a result of this independence. In fact, some of them settle down earlier than we do. Let them grow up on their own, and they’ll become parents when they are ready.

– The downside of having a singles scheme of any form however, is that with HDB rules of each single 35 year old (and above) being allowed to own only one HDB flat, when two singles currently owning a HDB flat meet, there is no incentive at all for them to get married. This is because, if they do get married, one of them would have to sell off their flat, as HDB only allows married couples to have 1 flat.

– But seriously HDB, think about it, if 2 singles get married, and are still allowed to keep both flats, they live in one and rent out the other, there’s a flow of income every month. As a newly wed couple, who wants kids, that extra income is certainly a push factor. Only in Singapore is it a “crime” for a married couple to own 2 flats. In other countries, that would be totally normal.

– HDB please increase the supply of flats and relax your policies! PAP, stop importing so many new citizens and PRs in the guise of having more babies, and then let us believe that land is limited. Solve the existing problems, and nature will follow its course.

Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “Let Singles buy HDB”

  1. The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 4 Sep 2009 Says:

    […] – Ian On The Red Dot: Stop Complaining – HDB Is Cheap and Affordable – Singapore Watch: Let Singles buy HDB – The Petition Site: Lower HDB Valuations or Build More Affordable HDB Housing for […]

  2. imsingletoo Says:

    Yeah right, she is so good and capable and virtuous and yet she has to rely on her father to speak up on her behalf so she can have a more comfortable life.

    This country is too full of spoiled youngsters, thanks to mollycoddling parents. Next these parents will insist that the government reserve crematorium units for their kids too.

    I doubt relaxing rules for these individuals will help solve our baby and housing problems.

    In fact, I propose that HDB rules be revised to stipulate couples to stay married for at least 10 years (same period before they can sell the flat without penalty) or else pay market rate for their flat or return it with all sale proceeds if they divorce within 10 years.

    This will make room for serious, genuine couples by flushing out the opportunists.

  3. Posts about overseas property,property abroad as of September 4, 2009 | overseas property buyers lounge Says:

    […] when the company needed cash; resulting in agreements that Mighty Marvel would later regret. Let Singles buy HDB – singaporewatch.org 09/03/2009 I chanced upon this forum thread created in response to the article […]

  4. 1/2 1/2 Says:

    I agreed with some of your points but some are kinda bias/prejudice.. You listed out the pros to support you but how about the cons? You didnt realise it or did you missed them out?
    You should take a look from different angles and ponder again.

  5. eaglefly Says:

    young man or woman, you have lost it !!!

    all the education you received, has gone to the gutters !!!

    you simply cannot think, far !!!

    comparing singapore with usa, you are plain DAFT, as mm said

  6. single orphan Says:

    As a single adult orphan, we are often forgotten by society group, please do not neglect us .
    No Policy had change From HDB for helping Single Orphan in Singapore to buy direct HDB flat . Please dont put our situation and make HDB policy for buying direct HDB flat as same as Single above 35 year old in Singapore. Please make different arrangement and good Policy for Single Orphan.
    We need care from GOV too.

Leave a Reply