Calling affordable homes “one veryimportant step in the right direction for our society”, a leadingproperty newspaper, The Property Guru, has studied the SDP’shousing plan, Housing a Nation: Holistic Policies for AffordableHomes.$CUT$
The policy document, launched on 3Nov this year, introduced the innovative Non-Open Market (NOM) schemewhich tackles affordability, currently the key concern for buyers andwould-be buyers.
Property Guru noted that the HDB’sso-called cooling measures over the last three years have notremedied runaway flat prices. This, it argued, is largely the resultof measures being aimed at cooling demand through variousdisincentives.
Additionally, it argued that the mainpolicy mechanism, resale flat price management, has ignored otheraffected groups such as young first time buyers who cannot affordtheir first home; the elderly whose savings have been depleted bymortgage payments; and divorcees. Regulations limit only one party tobuy a flat direct from the HDB five years of divorce.
The popular newspaper, which comes outevery three weeks is one of the nation’s major property resources, catering to upwardsof four million consumers and 20,000 agents and vendors. It currentlyhosts up to fifty million pages of material.
In a balanced article carried in its 23November 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. TheProperty Guru article, however, noted that asset accumulation may notbe the key priority of – particularly – the lower income who needa home and less an investment portfolio.
Property Guru noted that the keyconsideration is affordable housing and as such, Housing A Nation,which drew plaudits from experienced policy analysts such as Yeoh LamKeong and Leong Sze Hian, deserves to be considered seriously bypolicymakers.
The article noted that HDB declinedto comment when contacted. On this website, we reported that NationalDevelopment ministers also declined to dialogue with the SDP on itshousing 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