Prices of Singapore’s public flats to continue increasing: MM Lee

Khalil Adis
Property Report

Singapore’s founding father, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, said public flats will appreciate in value as long as the country´s economy continues to grow, reported Channel News Asia.

He was speaking at the launch of The Pinnacle@Duxton yesterday.

Standing at 50 storeys high, this development is the tallest Housing Development Board (HDB) public housing project in Singapore.

The issue on public housing affordability is a hotly debated topic that has divided Singaporeans.

Data from the HDB shows that the Resale Price Index (RPI) has continued to climb even further, posting a record 145.2 points for the third quarter.

This is a growth of 3.6 percent over the previous quarter.

While the record rise has benefitted HDB upgraders, young couples and singles trying to get their first leg into the property market, are finding HDB resale flats far too expensive.

The property boom means HDB upgraders made at least S$200, 000 in profit when selling their flats this year.

This has enabled them to upgrade to mass market condominiums.

Young couples and singles, however, have to deal with rising resale prices and increasing cash-over-valuations (COVs), which have resulted in many deciding to defer their purchase.

PropNex notes that the overall median COV for the third quarter is $12, 000.

This is a 300 percent increase compared to the $3, 000 figure in the second quarter.

The rise in the RPI and COV are due to the lack of supply and increased demand from both Singaporeans and permanent residents.

This has prompted the HDB to ramp up supply of its Build to Order (BTO) flats from 8, 000 to 9, 000 units.

According to government data, Singapore’s population has grown to almost 5 million.

Of this, approximately a quarter of that is foreign workers.

The number of foreigners getting permanent residency status also surged more than 11 percent in 2009.

MP Dr Muhammad Faisal, an assistant professor of real estate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), recently said young couples who were unable to get an HDB flat should plan ahead.

However, some say the onus remains with the HDB as the increase in demand is due partly to the government’s liberal immigration policy.

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