Leading property newspaper finds SDP housing plan persuasive

Singapore Democrats

Calling affordable homes "one very important step in the right direction for our society”, a leading property newspaper, The Property Guru, has studied the SDP’s housing plan, Housing a Nation: Holistic Policies for Affordable Homes.

The policy document, launched on 3 Nov this year, introduced the innovative Non-Open Market (NOM) scheme which tackles affordability, currently the key concern for buyers and would-be buyers.

Property Guru noted that the HDB’s so-called cooling measures over the last three years have not remedied runaway flat prices. This, it argued, is largely the result of measures being aimed at cooling demand through various disincentives.

Additionally, it argued that the main policy mechanism, resale flat price management, has ignored other affected groups such as young first time buyers who cannot afford their first home; the elderly whose savings have been depleted by mortgage payments; and divorcees. Regulations limit only one party to buy a flat direct from the HDB five years of divorce.

The popular newspaper, which comes out every three weeks is one of the nation’s major property resources, catering to upwards of four million consumers and 20,000 agents and vendors. It currently hosts up to fifty million pages of material.

In a balanced article carried in its 23 November issue, it addresses concerns raised by property experts, particularly in relation to the marketability of the NOM Scheme.

A prominent feature of their concerns, indeed the only one, centres on the issue of asset appreciation. The Property Guru article, however, noted that asset accumulation may not be the key priority of – particularly – the lower income who need a home and less an investment portfolio.

Property Guru noted that the key consideration is affordable housing and as such, Housing A Nation, which drew plaudits from experienced policy analysts such as Yeoh Lam Keong and Leong Sze Hian, deserves to be considered seriously by policymakers.

The article noted that HDB declined to comment when contacted. On this website, we reported that National Development ministers also declined to dialogue with the SDP on its housing proposals.

The Property Guru's article, Widespread Affordability: A Dream or A Reality?

The SDP housing plan (pdf): Housing A Nation: Holistic Policy for Affordable Homes

Thursday, 29 November 2012 speakup2 Print