Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

March 22, 2008

HDB ceiling doesn’t factor in late marriages

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 12:19 am

THERE have been calls for the Government to review the $8,000 income ceiling for new HDB flats. I would like to state the realities of life as a typical (lower) middle-income Singaporean.

Life was rosy until we decided to look for a roof to start our new family. A check on the HDB website showed a new four-room flat in Punggol selling for about $230,000.

However, we exceeded the $8,000 income ceiling by about $1,000.

We exceeded the HDB cap not because we are high fliers but because we found each other only after some years of work. We were in our early 30s by the time we were ready to settle down. Not to worry, the Government says, there are options for us:

Resale Flat

The resale price for a four-room Punggol flat is about $310,000. This means we have to fork out an additional $80,000. This is not a small sum. Furthermore, it was an old flat and we were wary about loan sharks calling on the former owners. We would also have had to spend more money on refurbishment.

Executive Condominium

We thought we could try for executive condominiums as our combined income was still below the $10,000 cap for this category. To our shock, we found that the units were selling for at least $650,000 (in suburban Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands). Should we fork out thrice the amount of money for a new HDB flat, just because we exceeded the Housing Board flat cap by $1,000?

Private Condominium

I shan’t go into this because the prices are just ridiculous for couples like us. At this point, our feelings are a mixture of unhappiness and helplessness.

The initial excitement about starting a family has been dampened. The moral of the HDB limit appears to be: don’t fall into the ‘in-between’ income group.

You either have to settle for an old flat which costs about $100,000 more, or spend the rest of your life paying for a new executive or private condominium.

And you wonder why there are no ‘in-between’ choices. Some say this is the Government’s way of persuading us to marry early.

If that is so, the Government should be realistic enough to note this rising trend among Singaporeans in marrying later, and failing to qualify for a new flat because of it.

Xu Zhilin (Ms)

Source : Straits Times – 8 Mar 2008


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