WP GE 2015 Rally Promises: True or not? Or talk cock again ...
Been a property developer for 20 years and I also don’t think I dare to say such things.
The problem with the property market is first, it is volatile and second, because there are too many direct and blunt interventions by Government. If Low Thia Khiang can read the property cycle so accurately – he is either throwing smoke or the real Property Guru. Based on his airy explanation, I can only conclude that it is the former.
I think the only way HDB flats can be "stable" in price over the years and over property cycles is to return to a system of sell-back to HDB based on fixed valuation with discount for age of flat and remaining lease. This used to be the case. But that would mean 800,000 HDB owners today would lose the asset value that their flats fetch on the open market and which is a key part of their retirement nest-egg calculations. People who will suffer are the middle-aged to elderly people who own existing flat.
Price stabilisation over the last few years came about not from a single magic bullet like de-linking BTO pricing from resale. Stupid and irresponsible to oversimplify this. Stabilisation came about through a slew of cooling measures including shifts in HDB pricing. These measures had to be introduced incrementally to avoid overkill and avoid crashing the market which would only hurt all homeowners or more than 90% of all Singaporean households. Depressed flat prices will badly affect existing flat owners.
More important than just pricing is affordability. Whatever the price, people need to be able to afford it based on their ability to pay. This depends on their income and on the amount of grants they can obtain from HDB.