Wednesday, August 13, 2008

About this Blog

When property prices go up, it benefits the few at the expense of the majority

The unchecked and unnatural rise in the price of property in Singapore over the past years and in the coming years will harm you, the average Singaporean for the benefit of the rich.

Construction costs will rise due to inflation. If property prices are allowed to rise over and above this increase; would the rising be considered as an unnatural rise? Should the finger be pointed at the biggest land owner and property developer with a virtual monopoly of the real estate market?

A fast rate of increase in property prices is the one item that does the most damage to the majority of Singaporeans.

Property price increases benefit mainly the following groups. Those that want to migrate. Those that want to cash in on the price increases by selling their extra properties. Those that invest (gamble) in property prices hoping to hit the jackpot. Foreigners.

The rest suffers. Everybody else suffers.

The increase in property prices will cause a rise in rental rates and mortgage rates and mortgage amounts; among numerous other things.

With the current rise in property prices unabated since 2004; it has become an urgent question to reflect upon.

It happens to be the one factor that is directly under the Singapore Government's control. They are the single biggest land owner and the single biggest property owner and developer. They relentlessly acquired land using legislation. They asked those who sacrificed their lands to consider the bigger good. Had their sacrifice now ended up in a system that exploits the poor and poorer among us?

The government in power can and must target the property price increases to below the common inflation rate; taking preemptive measures to ensure that price does not rise above that.

This will directly benefit the majority of Singaporeans at the expense of the minority who treats property prices as a casino game rather then a necessity. Singaporeans as a whole will benefit with having more money in their pockets instead of it being tied up in properties and paying for mortgage interests.

What is to be done about the already sharp rise? A sudden crash will have vast negative impact. A slow burn will be the best course of action. A continual rise would certainly raise questions as to the integrity of the government in power.

Housing must once and for all be a consumable item and never for investment. Capital will be directed towards jobs creating industries instead of gambled in properties hoping to hit the jackpot.

When it comes to properties, the principle of more than enough must apply at all times. To ensure that there is more than enough, there must be a glut at all times.
There must be a glut in the various types of housing,
There must be a glut in the various types of commercial properties.
There must be a glut in rental properties.
There must be a glut in properties that cater to the micro entrepreneurs.
There must be a glut in properties that cater to the big entrepreneurs.
There must be a glut in properties for rental to hawkers.

You get the picture.

Before you blast me with negative comments, please consider the following:
Property price increases are meaningless for the property owner who needs a roof over his head.
Property price increases creates and adds unecessary burdens for the next generation, our children.
Property price increases are a method to transfer money from the poor (non property owners) to the rich (extra properties owners.)

The rich can take good care of themselves.

Posted by Ann at the Singapore Property Forum

May also want to read:
History of Singapore Property 1960 to 2008
Buy or Not Buy: How to decide amid mixed market signals
When to Buy, When Not to by
Property Price Index Graph Plotter & Online Property Valuation
Your Property Investment Determines Your Financial Success in Your Life
HDB Resales: West Sees Highest Price Increase


Anonymous said...

fully agreed with your analysis:
Just take a look at the new property launches in 2005/2006/2007, for example in East Coast area, there are three categories of major buyers:
1) the very rich investors and many foreigners who bought not one but some even 5 to 30 units. They sell at good profits and have holding power and strong financing or their own capital.
2) speculators who bought more a few to make a flip or holding on now comfortably as they had made good gains. When they sell even now, they still made very handsome profits at the expenses of genuine buyers
3) the VIPs or associates of developers who choose choice units and sell at good profits taking advantage of their positions

This kind of speculations need to be checked and the government has a duty to do so not just plain advocates of a free market or no intervention at the expenses of Singaporeans and bringing damages to the country as we lost our costs competitiveness to foreigners, the rich and priviledged. Our land in Singapore are limited and they should eslewhere to speculate. They have artificially prop up the market. We urge that the government take some actions. The developers who benefit so much in the boom should allow each purchasers to certain number of units in their future launches.

Anonymous said...

Although I agreed with what you have say on the mad rise of property price, I think the government main concern now may be to attract rich to invest in Singapore. With this target in mind, it is hard to see why Singapore government will soften the price voluntary. Unless there are serious economic problem worldwide which affect Singapore, I doubt the property price will drop drastically. Yes, Future young Singaporean will likely to face high living cost.

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The blogger here has been affectionately named by close allies as "Smart Buyer" but really, he's not smart. Smart Buyer just believes that being prudent is smart. That's the essence of the message of this blog and Smart Buyer hopes it'll benefit other property buyers.

Smart Buyer :)