A rather meaningful comment that says it all...

Posted: September 16, 2009 by fievel in Labels: , ,

Just saw a latest signature number 605 on the Online Petition for affordable housing for Singapore...here it is...

8:57 pm PDT, Sep 15, Singaporean Citizen, Singapore
The two biggest expenditure items for any Singaporean will always be housing and transportation. Most are working a lifetime to pay off debts and just making by each day. By putting citizens into debt, it makes them easier to "control". There are a few papers and books discussing this issue of debt as a new form of slavery. I also do not subscribe to the notion of "willing buyer - willing seller". There are cultural norms that are more or less imposed on us by parents and peers. Taking a middle class example of a male university graduate who graduated at the age of 25. He and his significant other have at or about 5 to 8 years to save up for housing and marriage. Upon commiting to marriage, cash and cpf sums are wiped out. They will stay wiped out for the next 10 years at least. With kids, it will take a much longer period to even see your savings account grow. Many buyers in the current HDB resale and new DBSS market are paying such prices because the only other alternative is to stay with parents. Staying with parents just opens a whole new can of worms. I want to put off buying a house for now. But we are not that young any more. Buying a BTO project and waiting 4/5 years is a option as a last resort. Buying resale requires large sums of cash for COV, which is something I do not have. This property appreciation business does not benefit the vast majority. How many people are able to sell their homes and realise the gains? I do not know what is the best course of action now, except to wait. My relationship is strained as me and my girlfriend are left in limbo and unable to properly start a new family nucleus. There are many counter arguments to the above points. But taking a step back, it can be acknowledged that the situation is far from acceptable. What steps is the government going to take? What actions are we, the citizens, going to take?


  1. Crossed the 700 mark. I think you will get to submit the petition to the government afterall. How are you planning on doing this?

  1. Fievel says:

    good evening bro...ha yeah its looking like 1000 signatures will be a piece of cake.
    Actually, I didn't start this petition. Someone else started it and I thought it was such a good idea I decided to spread news of it as much as I can on my blog.
    I don't really know how to contact the fella who started it, but I'm sure anyone can send the petition URL to PAP, HDB, MND, Mah Bow Tan, Tharman, whoever... not to say they are not already monitoring it at the moment.

  1. Anonymous says:

    "Taking a middle class example of a male university graduate who graduated at the age of 25. He and his significant other have at or about 5 to 8 years to save up for housing and marriage. Upon commiting to marriage, cash and cpf sums are wiped out. They will stay wiped out for the next 10 years at least."

    you can't make a brushing remark like that without substantiation if you are to be taken seriously.

    either the government is lying(about affordability) or you are.

  1. Fievel says:

    Hi Anononymous,

    Substantiation? Male, Singaporean

    Finished serving NS at 21 >> quite penniless
    4yrs university degree, graduates at 25 >>about $27k in debt
    Starts work and gets income of between $2.5k to $3k, pays study loan $500, give parents pocket money $500, manages to save some cash + $650 a month in cpf Ordinary account

    Now you can take it from here to do the sums for when the "Wiped-out" point is for his savings vs the HDB price.

    By the way, this was somebody else' remark on the petition but when I read it I related to it, and thinks many others do too.

    Who is lying about affordability? The 776 petitioners and counting, or the government?

    By the way, "affordability" is a relative term subjected to one's values, ideals, risk appetite, mortgage duration etc etc. Why is the government trying to stuff the idea that its affordable down our throat?

    There's no smoke without fire.

  1. Anonymous says:

    i went to the site and read some of the comments. most of the commentators are very emotional and not very rational because they are very sensitive about spending their money.

    in the mid 90s, cov was also very high but, people just bite the bullet and move on, they are more realistic.

    today,people are willing to pay cash( not necessarily full) for their cars or an expensive watch, holidays etc but when comes to footing some cash(10to 20k) for their dream home, they cry as if they have been robbed - forgetting that sg is a secular and capitalistic society( you did't vote for communism and be ruled by mother theresa)

    look, as long as the housing market is stable, you are not going to lose the money you pump into your home - major consolation. when it is time for you to sell, let's see you complain about high cov?

    unlike spending on your holidays, you won't be getting those money back at all for sure!

    lastly, you didn't add your partner portion of her wealth for a fair evaluation of your affordability

  1. Anonymous says:

    let's remember that in a free market system, the price will correct itself. if it's beyond affordability, there won't be so many transactions - apparently, that's not the case.

    granted there are many border line buyers, just like in any society, these will have to look harder for a home with zero cov or something more manageable- according to mr mah, it is still possible.

  1. Fievel says:

    Hi Anonymous,
    Yes indeed the emotion is running quite high over the HDB's recent price spike.
    The high COVs in the 90s happened in 1996 to 1997, then came the crash in 1998, and the Singaporeans who purchased a flat then were in negative equity all the way till right now. Subtracting mortgage interests, they are probably still in negative equity by a long way right now.

    The HDB's monopolistic choke on supply is the reason why we are asking them to explain why prices are going up during an economic crisis, unlike in 1996 when the economy was doing well.

    Why is a thinking citizen an "impractical" citizen?

    Indeed, we did not vote for a communist country, but this is PUBLIC HOUSING and it is not being tempered by the invisible hands of the economy. As such, the government needs to ensure they run the HDB market reasonably, such as building way more than 8000 flats when there are 25,000 marriages and 100,000 new foreigners entering Singapore per year to prevent inflation.

    I do not wish to pretend to be all holy and say that I wouldn't want my asset to sell for a good price when I become a seller. Hence I have never once blamed the people who are selling their flats now. I am pinning the question on the government, to answer for the 35% housing inflation over 2 years during a global economic crisis.

    You are wrong to say that the money will be there for keeps even after you throw it at the mortgage. Because interest payments are sunken costs. Property prices, if allowed to grow in tandem with economic fundamentals, should be a fantastic hedge against inflation. But when property prices become as volatile as it is here, it is no longer that safe.

    My partner's portion of her wealth? I need to respect her rights to privacy and not divulge her salary here on my personal blog. But I'll tell you our combined CPF monthly income is only enough for paying the monthly payments of a 30yr, 4 room flat mortgage, with $100 - $300 left over for retirement savings. It'll not be enough to cover the minumum sum mandated by CPF when I hit 55 in 25 yrs time, IF I REMAIN EMPLOYED for the next 25 yrs.

    Do you have old folks at home? Do they need your pocket money? Have they retired? Are they still waking up every day dragging their sorry asses to work, mumbling about never being able to retire? Have you been jobless? Have you been "chronically" unemployed before?

    You sound like somebody whose logic and sums and figures have not been tested by LIFE itself.

    But thank you for your comments. I'm not going to reply this anymore, took too much of my precious time today. Have a good long weekend!

  1. Fievel - ah ... I had thought you started it :).

    Right now, I really do not know what to make of all these other comments and have too little time to make proper sense of them.

    Meanwhile, I hope the home market in Singapore eases up and you guys can at least get a decent home if a dream home is not possible.