Duh. Well, of course. Quite some time ago, the government already decided to stop building three-room flats, remember? You wouldn't be able to get a new 3-room flat if you wanted to. And that's the problem. Poor families are forced to purchase 4-room flats even if it would be a much smarter financial decision for them to get a smaller, cheaper one.
ST Oct 11, 2005
9 in 10 of S'pore's poor own homes
More than half own four-room flats or bigger, survey finds
By Daryl Loo
THEY are among the poorest in Singapore but nearly nine in 10 of the bottom 20 per cent of HDB families own the roof over their head.
Even more notable is the size of the homes they own: more than half own four-room or bigger flats.
And if these 87 per cent of lower-income families sell their flats at current valuation, most will have quite a handsome sum in hand even after settling their HDB loan.At least the Straits Times understands that these poor families still have a HDB loan to settle. Which means that along with struggling to pay for their rice, water and electricity bills, they also struggle each month to pay their loan interest to the HDB.
The more obvious point is that if these families sell their homes, they will be homeless. Gee, how come the Straits Times didn't think of that? So clever.
Technically known as home equity, calculations by the Department of Statistics estimate it to be an average $138,000.Wow, such respectable sums. Now if the Singapore government allowed you and your family to camp out in the HDB void decks or on Changi Beach in a tent, that would be nice. However, neither option is available, which you would know if you have been keeping up with the news.
But even more telling is when these figures are compared to the national average, which shows that 93 per cent of all HDB dwellers own their flats and that their home equity is $154,000.
Experts said they point essentially to two things:The average HDB family can then set up camp and live in the forested areas around MacRitchie Reservoir. That is, until the park rangers chase them away.
The national policy of home ownership, started in 1964, has worked well enough to reach the poor
When needed, the average HDB family can sell its property and have a tidy sum.
Nanyang Technological University Associate Professor Tan Khee Giap said the success of the home ownership policy, 'means it is now extremely critical for the Government to make sure the prices of HDB's cheaper flats do not dip'.Maybe it's more critical for the Government to set up some new camping grounds.