"The numbers can only increase" - Dr. Khor
The HDB is trying to help by doing the following:
a. Make exceptions and give a 2nd concessionary loan to downgraders on a case to case basis. Presently, such loans are for upgraders only!! Why?!..Strange.
b. Providing "interim housing" for those who downgrade urgently but cannot get another flat.
c. Allow long periods and reduced monthly payments.
The article also mentions that HDB officers made 60,000 house visits on arrears related matters last year and conducted over 35,000 interviews. The article also says that Minister Mah urges home owners to be REALISTIC and spend WITHIN THEIR MEANS.
This is all very interesting - we have a public housing scheme that sells affordable housing to the people but results in a default rate higher than that of the housing crisis in USA. The thing that HDB is not doing is relooking at the way HDB flats are priced. ...and according the Minister Mah the source of all these problems is not the pricing of flats relative to the income of Singaporeans but it is caused by Singaporeans being UNREALISTIC and NOT LIVING WITHIN THEIR MEANS. When did the people stop living within their means? The truth is the price of HDB flats rose from $30K for a 5 room flat to $500+K today without the corresponding increase in income. Not only that, employment has become "unstable" while buyers need to service their loan for non-stop for 3 decades. The import of foreign labor has resulted in structural unemployment of people above 40 when their financial commitment is highest - employers have an unlimited supply of young workers when the floodgates for foreign workers was opened. Over the years the cost of living keeps rising due to relentless increase of fees/fares/rate by govt owned enterprises far in excess of the wage increase of the lower income group. Yes, I agree Minister Mah that people shouldn't live beyond their means - the problem is HDB flats are priced beyond the means of many people in the long run and they have no choice because they need a roof over their heads.