Ever since the announcement of the cooling measures in August, the public were pretty well received with the information. The average number of households vying for a Built-to-Order flat has declined from around 7-8 households to the present 3 households. Some of these dampening measures include a 70-per cent loan cap on second mortgages and the increase in the cash down payment to 10 percent, and no public housing owners should own a private property. These measures have reduced the impact of speculators significantly. However, the burning question now, was not how prices had begun to plateau. Instead, are HDB houses really affordable to first timers? Let's find out more about the Queenstown residents' consensus on this sensitive topic.
Dawson Neighbourhood in Queenstown-Singapore's most popular district
In 1980, a four-room resale flat in Queenstown costs $80,000 and a "BTO" flat costs around $60,000. Average annual household income lies between $12,000 to $16,000. After receiving government grants and subsidies, a couple would need around 10-12 years to finance a monthly bank loan of $400-$500.
Fast forward 30 years, a three room "BTO" flat in Queenstown costs $350,000 (according to figures provided by residents there). This is 4 times more than 1980's housing prices. Average annual household income has not risen as quickly. According the Singstats, annual household income was around $55,000 in 2009. Couples whom MyQueenstown Team have spoken to require at least a 25 year loan to finance a monthly bank loan of more than $1200. So what do prospective buyers and upgraders in Queenstown think of the skyhigh prices.
Sandeep aims to purchase his own flat one day
Sandeep believed that the cooling measures announced by the authorities will decrease the rate of increasing public housing prices. However, in order to purchase his own flat, he needs to work harder and longer (and marries later).
The monthly household income eligibility of home owners has stagnated at $8K (for public housing) and $10K (for HUDC and Executive Condominiums) even though incomes have soared throughout the past decade. In a recent campaign to make young Singaporeans believe that success does not lie in education, career advancement or owning a flat is a total irony. How can young Queenstown residents afford to stay near their parents, take care of them and set up a family if they can't even take care of their own financial needs?
Mohammad Ali thinks the same way too!
Mohammad Ali who works in Queenstown think the same way too. He felt that young Singaporeans will have trouble purchasing a house in the future even though cooling measures have been implemented.
Is this the time to separate the market for first-time buyers and other prospective home owners? Will the authorities be willing to absorb some losses (or less profits) to soothe the public concern?
"The strongest sense of home commonly coincides geographically with a dwelling. Usually the sense of home attenuates as one moves away from that point, but it does not do so in a fixed or regular way."
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