Mah Bow Tan full scale retaliation on his HDB incompetency


Postedby: OsamaBinLaden
Post subject: Mah Bow Tan full scale retaliation on his HDB incompetency
NATIONAL Development Minister Mah Bow Tan spent some time in Parliament yesterday addressing popular misconceptions about Singapore's public housing market.

MYTH: There are not enough HDB flats to meet demand.
HIS RESPONSE:
# The HDB released 13,500 new flats last year and will release another 12,000 or more this year. This is more than the total number of flats in Clementi or Jurong East (about 23,000 flats each).
# The massive oversubscription rates for new flats are misleading. That is because half the number of flat applicants choose not to book a flat when invited to do so. Many say this is because they could not get a flat of their choice, yet in recent selection exercises, one-third rejected flats on the first day of selection, when all the flats were available.
# Some first-time buyers have complained that they have tried repeatedly to get a flat to no avail. But when the HDB reviewed 477 such cases in the last six months, it found only 29 appeals (6 per cent) were genuine.

CASE STUDY: Mr C complained about his lack of success in getting a flat. The HDB's checks found that he had submitted four applications, three of which were in highly popular mature estates. In six months, he consecutively rejected three offers of flats: one offer of 121 flats in Punggol/Sengkang because he had been 'targeting a unit in Buangkok'; another offer of 143 flats in Punggol because 'the units left are facing the mosque'; and a third offer of 14 flats in Serangoon, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines and Woodlands because these were not his 'choice' flats.

MYTH: HDB flats are unaffordable.
HIS RESPONSE:
# On top of the CPF Housing Grant of $30,000 or $40,000, there is an Additional Housing Grant (AHG) for lower-income families of up to $40,000. As of Jan 31, the Government disbursed more than $330 million in AHG to more than 20,000 families.
# The median house price is 5.8 times the median household income in Singapore. In comparison, the ratio is 7.1 in London and 19.8 in Hong Kong.
# The average mortgage payment for new flats in non-mature estates sold in 2009 was 22 per cent of monthly household income. This is well below the affordability benchmark of 30 per cent to 35 per cent.
# Four out of five Singaporean new flat buyers service their housing loans from CPF savings, without any cash payment.

CASE STUDY: Mr and Mrs S, with a $4,500 monthly income, bought a four-room flat in Punggol for $297,900. They received $10,000 in grants and took a concessionary loan of $268,100 (90 per cent of the price) from the HDB. The couple's monthly instalment is $1,073, or 24 per cent of their income. They can use $1,035 from the CPF to service the mortgage and end up paying only $38 monthly in cash.

MYTH: PRs push up prices.
HIS RESPONSE:
# The median cash-over-valuation (COV) paid by permanent residents have been the same as the median COV nationwide for the last two quarters.
# Cases of PRs paying high COV are the exception. Of 37,205 resale transactions in 2009, 58 cases had COV exceeding $70,000. Of this, only eight (14 per cent) involved PRs.

MYTH: Private property owners push up prices.
HIS RESPONSE:
# Their number is not large enough to push up prices. Of the 58 resale transactions last year with COV exceeding $70,000, only 11 cases (19 per cent) involved private property owners.

MYTH: Subletting of HDB flats is rampant.
HIS RESPONSE:
# Of the 682,000 flats that have fulfilled current Minimum Occupation Period requirements, only 3 per cent are sublet. This suggests most flat owners are buying their flats for occupation, and not rental.
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EngAudListCo_Director:
Personally, my view is that subletting of HDB flas is indeed rampant. If HDB authorities are diligent enough to go by every single flat to check on the occupants, you will be surprise by those who are illegally subletting.

This will be directly related to the above myth that PRs push up prices. It is an indirect effect as those prime locations that gave higher rental yields that entice both locals and PRs to acquire these flats.
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Marina:
Of course need to be chosey...it is buying a flat...probably the largest amount of money you going to spend in your life.....Who would just anyhow tikam tikam buy any flat that is available.

Unless he can bring down the price of HDB to a level like buying a plate of chicken rice...then probably most people not so chosey.
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taypeng:
MBT is using statistics but interpreting them wrongly. Out of the BTO applicants 50% turn down the flats but how many flats remain unsold in the end? 50% turn away the flats not equals 50% unsold. a few years ago when there were still ballots for unsold flats, you could tell even then that about 90 - 95% of all units were sold.

50% truth is sometimes still a lie
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Tara:
Why can't they just admit they made a mess of things in HDB? Just like causing the mess in the economy now with cheap unproductive labour?
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kamomo:
I think let's see if these new measures have any impact on prices. MBT also has to consider everyone's interest, including those who already own a HDB flat. I know those who have not bought wants the prices to drop 50% but that would put quite a lot of people who own a flat into negative equity. That would bring the whole economy to a tailspin. I think the 3 year lock-in makes an HDB flat, esp the "expensive" ones like Queenstown, very unattractive, so expensive and still so much restrictions. I suspect some of the demand will be channeled into private condos with no such restrictions and not much more expensive than HDB. Hopefully the HDB prices will start to "stabilise" but not collapse. Private condo prices will start to diverge. This is to be fair to everyone, including those who already own a flat with an existing housing loan.

Sometimes I think singaporeans are too mollycoddled. Do you guys know that even buying private condos which is an even bigger investment, sometimes you just have to settle for second best or third best because someone else has taken the best unit or the best units is not for sale? That is life - isn't it? You give and take and move on. So if you have chances of choosing HDB flats but you choose to let them go because you only want that one and only unit, there is really nothing the government can do to help you. If you make a choice to wait for that one and only unit and that unit is no longer available, then don't complain that you can't get a flat right? Stop being spoilt brats.
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Message:
statistics can always be used to your advantage or disadvantage whichever one may want to look at it.

at the end of the day what is the real outcome on the ground?

see it feel it and understand it then the truth will be revealed in time.

so to put it in a nutshell: "Are our lives going to getting any better?"

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