Thursday, April 08, 2010

Mah Bow Tan : We don't fudge the numbers Part 2

Here's the chart from the Straits Times to show that HDB price move in tandem with household income:



Hazel Poa[Link] showed that when the base year is changed to another year besides 1999 the household income falls behind the rise in property prices. But there is something more sinister that can be shown in these charts.

You wonder what the same chart looks like if we go back another 10 years to plot for a 20 year period with 1990 as the base year:
The blue line shows the Resale Price Index taken from HDB website[Link] and the red line shows the median household income(MHI) taken from wikipedia and combined with the table that appeared in Straits Times yesterday shown here:


Notice I skipped the years 1991-1994 & 1996 because wikipedia page on household income skip those years. I can update my charts if anyone can supply the data.


From the charts we can see:



1. From 1990 to 2009, RPI rose to 442 (442% of the base year) but household income rose only to 211 (211% of the base year) i.e. income rose at roughly half the rate property rose over a 20 year period. The RPI was only 34.1 in 1990, today it is 154 i.e. a HDB flat today is 4.5 times the price 20 years ago but household income is only 2.1 times.



2. You will notice the big jump from 1990 to 1995 when the RPI rose from 34.1 to 101.9. That jump occurred just after CPF was liberalised for housing in 1991. During that period household income only went up by 36% but HDB price almost tripled. CPF basically went from funding retirement to funding home purchases.


By Minister Mah's own methodology, there is no question that HDB flats were much more affordable in 1990 relative to household income than they are today. Singaporeans' inability to retire with enough funds is linked to the high cost of housing which far outstripped household income growth over the past 2 decade. The chart also tells us why life is so much tougher in Singapore today. It is not unrealistic expectations that cause this unhappiness....it is very real financial burden that caused this unhappiness and much of it is due to PAP policies.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

In other countries, can escape to suburban areas or kampong to live if property prices in the city is high.

In Singapore nowhere to escape. Everywhere is expensive.

Even election want to vote in a monkey also cannot due to walkover.

sgcynic said...

Online analysis of HDB figures just show that the number crunchers at HDB ought to be fired.

Hazel Poa Koon Koon said...

Dear Lucky,
Thanks for digging up the figures. I suspected this was the case and had wanted to do so too but could not find the relevant household income data.
On a separate topic, I am thrilled you read my blog cos I have been reading yours for a long time and benefitted greatly from it. Thank you.

Hazel

Anonymous said...

Singaporean can still afford HDB flats, we just cannot afford the expensive cabinet.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, can to send this to ST and dare them to publish it. Make sure you copy it to all agencies, including stomp, young pap, all opposition parties, so that they can use it during the election rallies. We need to disseminate such information to as wide a base as possible to call all their bluffs. I hope everyone who teads this helps by circulating this article to everyone they know. I will do my part.

Critical said...

Hey Lucky,

With regard to:

"You will notice the big jump from 1990 to 1995 when the RPI rose from 34.1 to 101.9. That jump occurred just after CPF was liberalised for housing in 1991. During that period household income only went up by 36% but HDB price almost tripled."

Did I miss something? I don't see 34.1 and 101.9 on your chart. It would help if the charts are given captions.

LuckySingaporean said...

Hazel,

I try to do my best to get the truth out.

We all appreciate your effort stepping forwand and helping to bring about change to this nation.

Thanks.

LuckySingaporean said...

Critical,

34.1 & 101.9 is the actual RPI found on HDB website. To draw the graph, 34.1 is normalised to 100 since 1990 is the base year and 101.9 becomes 299. Basically prices tripled in 5 years.

Conscious said...

Mah has just cheated the readers of Straits Times when he painted a rosy pictures using numbers.

MBT is daring indeed with what he attempted. He doing something completely radical i.e. to conjure up a different reality.

Psychological studies ( Gilbert, D.T., Tafarodi, R.W., & Malone, P.S. (1993) Journal of Personalit and Social Psychology, 65, 221-223) et al. have shown that people believe everything they read or hear - whether truth, fiction or outright lie - when they FIRST read or hear it. Although commonsense suggests that we suspend belief or disbelief until after we have understood a message, research shows that, initially, belief accompanies understanding, and that doubt follows later ONLY IF mental resources and motivation are sufficient. Basically the eye is quicker than the mind and MBT's usage of graphs serves this end.

In the real world, the Gilbert-On-Spinoza-Hypothesis, or "GOSH" for short, the GOSH effect is nothing less than a systematic formula for getting away with telling lies, and a prescription for massive public misinformation.

Anonymous said...

If he doesn't need to play with the numbers, what is so difficult about producing the actual cost data sheets to prove that the HDB flat is indeed sold with a heavy subsidy ?

Why are our PAP Ministers reluctant to debunk the lie by producing the actual facts once and for all ?

You mean to admit that you are all lying, PAP Ministers ?

Anonymous said...

I think I may know the reason why the actual costs of each HDB flat are still not revealed.

It will be a electorate nightmare for PAP if everyone finds out that HDB is actually making a nett profit of say, 15~20% of the selling price from each flat they are selling ?

Hence it cannot be revealed at all costs even if they are named as liars ?

Can this be the reason for hiding the truth ?

Anonymous said...

When intellectually dishonest MPs are not taken to task (either by his superior, the system or the voters), expect of such more misinformation to be metted out by the MIW.

The system will fail due to collapse of the people's trust in their current leeders.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if ever there is a change in govt, will all the lies of the PAP govt be exposed ?

1) GST to help the poor;
2) Provide you with a roof if you 3) are homeless;
4) Have the meals deliver to you if you are poor;
5) S$460K lifetime subsidy for each poor family;
6) HDB housing are affordable and heavily subsidized;
7) Ministers' salaries to prevent corruption
8) There is no poverty in Singapore
9) Property values will collapse if you do not vote for PAP
10) We are an open and inclusive society

lim said...

We must really thank the inventors of the internet, or else how can somebody debunk the lies/myths perpetrated by our "talented" govt and the straits times (cannot imagine st actually publishing this to counter mah bow tan)..

I can remember when hdb were truely affordable.. back in the early 90s.. My brother got married and was able to get an executive flat in jurong for about $150k, and over the years his pay were increasing and thus could easily handle the mortgage.. and also around 2002/3, when hdb has huge surplus and were conducting walk-in selection..

Fastforward to these few years, we all experienced stagnant salaries, and even job loses, but hdb prices are still running ahead at full steam..

If nothing is being done to arrest this (frankly, I am not sure what can be done to arrest this, maybe ensure that salaries are increased to keep pace with the rise.. Basically pap has gotten onto the tiger and is now having difficulty to dismount from it), I think we should actively encourage our children to migrate, and settle elsewhere where housing are truely affordable..

Critical said...

Duly noted.

Concur.

LKYcalledmeDAFT said...

Anon 9:56,

Good note that. Why didn't MAH produce the cost sheet of building a HDB flat? It has never been publicly revealed. But when he is ever so up in his gear when it comes to showing that HDB flats are no longer affordable vis-a-vis a family's stagnant and some declining household income?

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you: they are normalising their behavior now since they have not held accountable for anything for the last 40 years. With ISD, you don't need to be ever held accountable for anything since the ISD entity is the same corrupted government itself. It is not an independent entity.

Majulah Singapura!

Ai Leen said...

You are brilliant!

jamesneo said...

Hi lucky is it better one plot a graph of median of total salary of the two person buying the house versus the resale price index? Can anybody get the values for that?

Using the median household income as mentioned by you is wrong as it will obviously rise when unmarried children enter the workforce and are still living there.

Anonymous said...

aiyah, hdb housing is still affordable lah budoh

Anonymous said...

Even with million dollar salaries, corruption is still taking place. It's the corruption of trying to sustain the perception nothing wrong has ever happened.

Anonymous said...

Mah did a great job, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

never see the SUPER long Q for "unaffordable" bto meh?

cheap cheap cheap that's why!!!

LuckySingaporean said...

James Neo,

You're probably right. There is all sorts of distortion and inaccuracy using household income because it includes working children and also women are pushed into the job market because of rising cost of living. The figures are also for PR+Singaporeans which does not tell you what is happening to Singaporeans.

I'm trying to get some figures on % married women working that will help to undo some of the distortion. But whatever it is these inaccuracies actually make the situation look better ...because if you use median worker income, it looks horrendous...the median single income family is hardly able to breathe!

Anonymous said...

MBT should receive a national commendation award for raising the value of homes for 98% homeowners.

Well done Mr Mah.

Anonymous said...

wah, properties herE SO CHEAP, increasing number of chinese (malaysians and indonesians too) are soaking up our properties

bring down home prices? siao ah??

we are UNDER PRICED that's why our property market is HOT HOT HOT. hahaha

time to rake in the big bucks from overseas buyers and prosper sg more.

MUAHAHAHHAHAHAAHA

cy said...

wonder is it consider "seditious" if the person distributing flyers had used this chart instead to broadcast his message?

afterall,the data came from govt departments.

so, perhaps those who intend on distrbuting flyers should use govt data, then PAP has no excuse to send the police in

Anonymous said...

Minister Mah did not lie;

he merely play with numbers.

Cannot meh ?

Kojakbt said...

Excellent revelation, Lucky.

My own view is that those frustrated Singaporeans who wanted to buy HDB resales will probably want to compare the data of the last few years. They have probably been waiting for HDB resales to come down during those time. In which case, it still shows that HDB resale price has risen much more than income in the last few years.

Clearly, Mah is pretty "ingenious" to have chosen 1999 as the base.

Hazel, nice to see you here :) Just a word of caution. Now that you have decided to join RP to run for election, you will have to be extra careful in what you say and what you write even on the Net. You know how PAP works :)

Let the netizens like myself call Mah an unscrupulous Hainam Kia. People like myself are dispensable. In your case, we really need 84 good people to stand against PAP this time. We can't have any more walkovers!

In any case, you will have my vote if you are running in my contituency... all the best!


Kojakbt (kojakbt@gmail.com)
Moderator
3in1kopitiam Forum

Kojakbt said...

Here's the anti-PAP flyer that was distributed in Seng Kang and Marine Parade. This is something the mainstream media will never publish. You decide if you would agree with some of the writings inside the flyer....

EXPOSED: The Anti-PAP fliers distributed in Seng Kang and Marine Parade (English and Chinese version)

http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/04/09/exposed-the-anti-pap-fliers-distributed-in-seng-kang-and-marine-parade-english-and-chinese-version/

Fievel said...

Jessica Cheam should hence not be seen as a reporter. Straits Times should hence not be seen as a newspaper. The association who gave her the journalist award should also be discredited. The only person who stuck to his/her core value here was our EVER-UNFLAPPABLE MAH BOW TAN. He played this EXACTLY AS A MILLIONAIRE POLITICIAN WOULD.

Anonymous said...

HDB prices are definitely "affordable", given the subsidy, to those who can afford it. Similarly private home prices are is fact "very affordable", given the huge discounts given by the developers to the select few. I recall a whole family and cronies buying up property in some Nassim hill location, which were definitely not for occupation. I wonder if this is called "investment" or "speculation". Lucky, please enlighten me..

Kojakbt said...

@Fievel: Jessica Cheam should hence not be seen as a reporter. Straits Times should hence not be seen as a newspaper. The association who gave her the journalist award should also be discredited.

Fievel, I have the priviledge of engaging Ms Cheam through emails over her another article, "Productivity gets the buzz in Budget feedback". She was trying to portray that feedbacks to the REACH website showed that the public was supporting the newly announced Govt Budget 2010. This was pure nonsense. Let me post the email exchanges here.

Kojakbt said...

BT Kojak to jcheam
Feb 25

Dear Jessica,

Your article today, "Productivity gets the buzz in Budget feedback" is really a farce!

You wrote, "Contributors to the Government's online feedback portal Reach have supported the broad push in this year's Budget to boost productivity in Singapore." In fact, if you read carefully, the bulk of the 200 feedbacks were actually critical about the Budget.

Pls read: http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/02/25/sts-blatant-lie-contributors-to-reach-support-budgets-push-to-boost-productivity/

I know that the Straits Times is generally pro-Govt but to twist facts and to write lies in order to uphold your support for the Govt, don't you think it's a bit too much? Where is your sense of journalistic professionalism?

Your article really reflects a low point of journalism in Singapore. It's no wonder Singapore's press freedom is ranked 151 out of 195 in the world.


Best regards

Kojakbt

Kojakbt said...

Jessica Cheam SY to me
Feb 26

Hi KojakBT,

I don't know your real name, but thanks for your email. I would just like to let you know that we simply did not have the space in the paper for a really long story to include quotes. What I actually wrote was that contributors 'broadly supported' the govt's budget push, (I think it got paraphrased in the eventual copy that was published) and if you read the Reach comments, it is true that there is a general broad support, although there are mixed reactions and of course, those that were disappointed with the budget - all of which was reflected later on in the story.

In fact, immediately after the first par: was this: "But reactions have been mixed on how effectively the Budget announcements will help achieve the Government’s key objectives, said Reach in a statement." But it has become obvious that you are just picking what you'd like to see, to support a mindset that you already have, no matter what the truth is.

It is completely untrue that we "twist facts" like you said, and I have no wish to be pro-Govt anymore than you do and have never been anything other than an objective writer.

As writers we constantly aim to report the facts/truth on the ground. With a 20cms /short story like this, it is sometimes impossible to go into details. It is simply a matter of space. But it is terribly unfair of you to be accusing someone of being unprofessional, when that is just not the case. I suggest you check your facts, look at the past stories I've written (which has been critical/discussive of certain government policies when it is warranted) and look at the big picture before lambasting another person to let off your personal frustrations.

If the Temasek Review actually had a rigorous fact-checking system and accurately wrote with "journalistic professionalism" - you'd be taken a lot more seriously than you are now.

All the best to you,


Jessica Cheam
Correspondent
The Straits Times
Money Desk
www.straitstimes.com

Kojakbt said...

BT Kojak to Jessica
Feb 28

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for your reply. Allow me to comment on your reply.

>> I don't know your real name, but thanks for your email.

Does it really matter that you need to know my real name first before replying? If that is the case, then China's Premier Wen won't be replying to any anonymous Chinese netizens on the Net, will he?

>> I would just like to let you know that we simply did not have the space in the paper for a really long story to include quotes. What I actually wrote was that contributors 'broadly supported' the govt's budget push, (I think it got paraphrased in the eventual copy that was published) and if you read the Reach comments, it is true that there is a general broad support, although there are mixed reactions and of course, those that were disappointed with the budget - all of which was reflected later on in the story.

The issue here is not about not being able to include quotes in the article. It's about misrepresentation of the situation, false reporting. How can you even say that the comments on Reach with regard to Budget 2010 are "broadly supportive"?

I went through some of the postings in Reach carefully. In the Budget 2010 folder, there were 416 postings. There were 5 threads inside and I looked at 3:

* In the thread "Including All Singaporeans in Growth", there were 152 postings. I went through the first 100 postings and carefully determined if they were positive, neutral or negative. Of the first 100 postings, I found 86 to be negative with many laced with sarcasms.

* In the thread "Towards An Advanced Economy: Superior Skills, Quality Jobs, Higher Incomes", there were 39 postings. 34 were found to be negative.

* And in the thread "Raising Productivity: Skills, Innovation and Economic Restructuring", there were 91 postings with 62 (~70%) being negative.

Ask any school kids to go through the postings and see if they agree with your assessment that the postings were "broadly supportive" or not. Your sense of being "broadly supportive" is certainly quite warped. Is this what you learned in journalism school?

>> In fact, immediately after the first par: was this: "But reactions have been mixed on how effectively the Budget announcements will help achieve the Government’s key objectives, said Reach in a statement." But it has become obvious that you are just picking what you'd like to see, to support a mindset that you already have, no matter what the truth is.

When people say things are mixed, it means a 50-50 situation. If you go through all the postings, it's quite clear to all that the feedbacks have been generally negative! Painting a 50-50 situation is again, being very untruthful.

It's interesting that you mentioned that I was picking what I'd like to see. Why don't we do a real genuine open poll to see what people think of those comments inside the Budget 2010 folder on Reach?

Kojakbt said...

>> It is completely untrue that we "twist facts" like you said, and I have no wish to be pro-Govt anymore than you do and have never been anything other than an objective writer. As writers we constantly aim to report the facts/truth on the ground. With a 20cms /short story like this, it is sometimes impossible to go into details. It is simply a matter of space. But it is terribly unfair of you to be accusing someone of being unprofessional, when that is just not the case. I suggest you check your facts, look at the past stories I've written (which has been critical/discussive of certain government policies when it is warranted) and look at the big picture before lambasting another person to let off your personal frustrations.

Again, I don't think it's matter of lacking of space in writing this article. Since you were writing a summary of the feedbacks on Reach with regard to the budget, you can easily conclude if they were generally positive, neutral (ie, mixed) or negative. You have chosen to report them as "broadly supportive" which I don't think is the case here.

Frankly, I've not been paying attentions to any of your previous articles as generally, I don't take note of the names of writers when reading their articles. However, this article of yours caught my attention and as far as this article is concerned, it was not very objectively written in my view. I too would like to debate based on facts. And in this case, it's quite easily determined if the article you have written is based on facts or not since all the feedbacks on Reach are online and verifiable. As said, my own view is that you have not been objective in reporting this particular news and of course, you may say I'm biased. So, why don't we do a real genuine open poll to see how others think of those budget comments on Reach?

>> If the Temasek Review actually had a rigorous fact-checking system and accurately wrote with "journalistic professionalism" - you'd be taken a lot more seriously than you are now.

First of all, I'm not related to Temasek Review in anyway. I'm merely a reader. I'm spending more time reading Temasek Review these days simply because it is able to report on alternative news which cannot be found on ST. Whether TR writes with "journalistic professionalism" or not, I guess the readers will be the best judge of it. Whatever it is, TR is fast gaining ground on the Net. According to Alexa online ranking, TR is now ranked 248th in Singapore even beating the ranking of Mediacorp's Today Online at 325th. You might not want to write-off TR just yet...

>> All the best to you,

All the best to you too. A word of caution - thanks to the Net, people can now go online and discuss freely on 3rd party forum sites about what Straits Times is reporting. Netizens are no fools, especially these days.


Best regards

- Kojakbt -

Anonymous said...

Sweet! You got that right. We have the Net to provide for alternative critical views, something the States Times has been ranked to lack.

Anonymous said...

http://sg-quitters.blogspot.com/2009_09_01_archive.html

Anonymous said...

Don't you see? It's you who reading the numbers wrong. If only you can accept the correct point of view, you'd realise what a paradise this place is. But alas, you choose to wallow in discontentment and nit picking. Tsk tsk.

So which pill will it be? The Red pill or the Blue pill. The matrix beckons.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Thank you Lucky Tan for this article.

I was away when MBT made his claim on ST. Before I could react, I notice that Hazel and you have already debunked MBT's use of funky statistics.

On the ground, I always use a very simple illustration:

My father's generation use less than 10 years to pay their mortgage while I use 20 years. Why are we making our children and future generations paying 30 years mortgage?

If HDB prices did not rise beyond salaries, we would not be paying longer mortgage periods!

This is just simple words and illustrations that people on the ground could understand. No matter how much funky statistics HDB tries to use to justify themselves, they could not possibly white wash this simple fact.

Goh Meng Seng

LWL said...

I wonder what is the reason why the colour coding of your graph is the opposite of that used by the ST.

At first glance, it appears that your graph maps that of what appeared in the ST.

It is only on closer inspection on the labelling that one realises otherwise.

It might be therefore more useful to swap the colour coding and synchronise it with what you are comparing against for one to get a clearer picture at first glance.

LKYcalledmeDAFT said...

Anon 11:47,

To misrepresent data in the hope of miscommunicating to the public for mass consumption, is that not lying with statistics?

He doesn't need to open his mouth to lie. He just needs to mispresent the data so as to lead others to believe, for some reasons, that what he is putting forth is what actual reality really is. This is an island; things happen fast.

Henceforth, I think you're playing with words here. Let me elucidate the semantics. It's not merely a white lie. It's an intelligent lie as he is fully aware of what he is doing.

Upon searching examination, his arguement has been proven to break down. When MBT consciously misrepresent data (note: he has a tenable motive which is not purely heuristic) to misrepresent a public concern - by crafting to paint a favourable picture which is at odds with the masses' feelings, intuitions and objective concerns -we call that lying.

And a person who lies, according to LKY, we call that person a liar.

Anonymous said...

i know of a local couple, who are your typical graduate(both are from humble background), who managed to fully paid off an EC(penthouse/$600-700k) in less than 10 years.
both, aged around 40, worked about twenty years before they paid off their flat.
this is their first home direct from HDB.

even if you are not a graduates, it won't take you 30 years to settle your loan IF you have prudent(work and money) and not over commit.

most ordinary folks that i know never stretch their loan to the end.

Migrant said...

"i know of a local couple, who are your typical graduate(both are from humble background), who managed to fully paid off an EC(penthouse/$600-700k) in less than 10 years.
both, aged around 40, worked about twenty years before they paid off their flat.
this is their first home direct from HDB."

You know, but I don't know

Anonymous said...

The PAP govt is not honest. They are deceiving us.

Anonymous said...

This is the result of governing the country with a maths degree instead of an economics degree. Instead of solving the country's problems, you spend your time manipulating numbers to tell the story you want.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what's under the sleeves of Mr GMS when he insisted that the govment sells flats at cost?

Wouldn't it be in the interests of all,especially those who are financially challenged, if the govment increases housing grant to mitigate the consequences of a rising property market on the lower incomers?

Increasing grants, instead of HDB selling at cost, will ensure a more equitable sharing of wealth without compromising national interests.

Anonymous said...

that goh, not the goh with the peanut wife, than stupid lah. you attack people's asset you attack 98% homeowners for what? so those who don't make enough money can own a mansion in the sky to watch shimmering ships in the horizon?

cmon.

we know he is desperate to savor the prestiges life of an mp but does he need to plunder the wealth of our uncles and aunties sitting on their pot of gold or pigeon hole?

aiyah, some people hor,unlike our cleber garbagemen, just want to commit political suicide, what to do? hehe

Anonymous said...

i think ppl hv this mentality that our garmen must price hdbs even cleaners can afford it. hahahaaa

haiz. now the young where got work as cleaners one. starting at the bottom at least an ITE salary man

you mean that kind of salary cannot pay off a $300 to 400k home in 20 years?

prove it!

Anonymous said...

You want to pay your pigeon hole in 20 years and be stuck here all that while?

This is assuming that Singaporeans do get jobs, no retrenchment, cheaper foreigners, etc.

You're living in an perfect PAP worldview.

Anonymous said...

What is your world view? To inhibit progress in respite for slackers?
Unfortunately, the world does not work that way. The key here is to create wealth without suffocating our least able citizens.

Question we should ask ourselves is, who falls under the "least able" among us?

Anonymous said...

migrant,

now you know but better you go confirm whether there are many such cases or not.

i can tell you many Singaporeans own more than one home which means to say paying off the resident home is highly achievable for most people(prudent financial management of course) especially if you don't own more than one home. i bet lucky owns at least two if not more properties.

beyond affordability? i think not.

Kojakbt said...

@Anonymous, at 10/4/10 14:13,

Sure, I think currently, all Singaporeans should be able to pay off their HDBs with their current income, but I have to say that compare with 10-20 years ago, certainly HDB is less affordable than before. Also, as what Goh Meng Seng has said, Singaporeans nowadays are taking a longer term loan to pay off their housings compared to last time.

If you asked me, at 30% income to service home loan and stretching it to 30 year loan, we are probably hitting the max limit of affordability now...

Anonymous said...

"This is assuming that Singaporeans do get jobs, no retrenchment, cheaper foreigners, etc."

worse scenerio survive with low paying jobs until economy improves or the world learns to better manage economic cycles.

so long one is willing to work and improve, won't die lah, not in sg.

Anonymous said...

"If you asked me, at 30% income to service home loan and stretching it to 30 year loan, we are probably hitting the max limit of affordability now..."

you are assuming a "maxed out" scenario. the middle class do have a choice to opt for cheaper housing with shorter loan period - for instance buy a 4 rms instead of 5 rms.alternatively, live away from hot spots which requires lower financial commitment

but i admit for the lower incomers, they may have to be stretched max UNTIL they improve their financial status - there is still hope

i tend to believe there is still flexibility in housing commitment for most people in the current market so those opposing are just being alarmist.

Anonymous said...

I greatly alarmed, not that Singaporeans cannot afford a roof over their heads.

Singaporeans will have to settle for pigeon holes that are costlier than a 2000 sq ft terrace, freehold property just across the border. With stagnanted and falling wages, new houseowners will have to slog like buffaloes. They will have little or no time with the constant callings to upgrade one employability.

Where and how are the younger generations expected to form happy families and procreate as advocated by the leaders ?

And is it alright or conscionable for the leadership to strive for economic growth at the expense of the citizens wellbeings and happiness ?

Anonymous said...

"alternatively, live away from hot spots which requires HIGHER financial commitment "

true blue singaporeans, 1/3 are "outsiders". time to "harvest" if you know what i mean or you prefer to listen to myopic idiots among us!!duh!

Migrant said...

"i can tell you many Singaporeans own more than one home which means to say paying off the resident home is highly achievable for most people(prudent financial management of course) especially if you don't own more than one home. i bet lucky owns at least two if not more properties."

Out of every ten Singaporeans, how many?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans will have to settle for pigeon holes that are costlier than a 2000 sq ft terrace, freehold property just across the border.

I kind of like my pigeon hole. It is a trade-off that's worth every dollar. LOL

Anonymous said...

"And is it alright or conscionable for the leadership to strive for economic growth at the expense of the citizens wellbeings and happiness ?"

Precisely. Out of 10 singaporeans, how many are unhappy because they have been "priced out"?

Anonymous said...

migrant,

ask your gahmen. i think they will be proud to furnish you with the information.

Migrant said...

"ask your gahmen. i think they will be proud to furnish you with the information."

I thought you know. That's why I asked you. No?

Anonymous said...

sense the ground rather than trying to be clever by making sense of "fudging numbers"

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the opposition take down HDB and MBT. HA.HA.

If GMS succeeds, I doubt he will ever get the opportunity to warm the seat in parliament. HA.HA.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Someone questions the intend of me asking HDB to sell their flats at cost. I will tell you why.

First of all, ALL ASSET BUBBLES are caused by EXCESS LIQUIDITY. This would mean that housing prices are not linked to normal inflation rate nor income growth of workers. Only by hedging the prices of HDB flats to cost would mean hedging to normal inflation or salary growth rates.

Secondly, as I have said, PAP government has gone into a social contract with Singaporeans. Although it has amended the Land Acquisition Act in 2007 to pay market prices for any land acquired, the PAP government has acquired 80% of land in Singapore using the old pricing mechanism which provide them the power to acquire land at dirt cheap prices.

The social contract is about land redistribution by means of public housing scheme. This is a very socialist aspect of the early PAP government. Singaporeans trusted the PAP government to fulfill their role in the social contract.

Thirdly, selling at cost price is nothing new. Hong Kong government has tried to do that for low income earners. These people who bought the flats at cost cannot sell off their flats to other higher income group without paying additional money for the land cost. This is a mechanism to allow low income earners to own a house without subjecting to the influence of excessive liquidity.

Of course, many Hong Kongers objected to this scheme because they feel that this will affect their asset value which is not true.

Goh Meng Seng

Goh Meng Seng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

anon 10/4 14:55 "you are assuming a "maxed out" scenario. the middle class do have a choice to opt for cheaper housing with shorter loan period - for instance buy a 4 rms instead of 5 rms.alternatively, live away from hot spots which requires lower financial commitment"



Do u not realise that all outlying non-hotspot HDB estates are oversubscribed by 5 to 10 times? Hot spots only apply to resale. Maybe u will suggest move to batam or JB next.

Kojakbt said...

Forumers, one thing is for sure here, HDB resale currently is no longer an option for young married couples. As recent as 5 years ago, young couples who want to get a HDB quickly can still have this option of buying HDB resales.

There are many reasons why young married couples want to buy resales rather than to wait for BOTs. Chief reason is of course they don't have to wait. Other reason would be the desire to live close to parents. Still, other reason could be the $8K ceiling. But with HDB resales now going for $500K or more, it's impossible for young married couples to consider getting resales.

Again, when people compare with the situation 10-20 years ago, people pay more now for housing relative to income. That's an undeniable fact.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:21,

My worldview is not to let PAP treat me like a daft citizen. My worldview is not to allow ministers to pay themselves unjustifiable salaries to screw up.

No one is incorporating for freeloaders. We already have billions of reserves which have been squandered by Ho Ching's carelessness. And my worldview is not to let that happen. My worldview says politicians who take on the country's taxes to pay themselves must be held accountable for their mistakes.

You may argue that the world does not run that way...but the world has always changed. The Catholic Church used to torture and kill heretics and freethinkers. They don't do that today. The world changes as long as people's consciousness to a problem changes.

We can never solve any problem with the same level of consciousness that has created them.

On a similar vein, why is MBT trying so hard to paint such a worldview for SIngaporeans by tweaking and doctoring his statistical presentation?

I'm all for being realistic and truthful regardless of what worldviews any holds.

Anonymous said...

Minister pray pray with figures and words to cleanse whatever sin that he has.
Or to exonerate himself from all accusations?

Anonymous said...

Mr GMS,

You don't agree with the below statement?

"Increasing grants, instead of HDB selling at cost, will ensure a more equitable sharing of wealth without compromising national interests."

Mr GMS, I think the less able in society will prefer more grant/subsidies from the government rather than to buy, probably sub par housing(going by HK standard of housing for the poor), at cost.

The housing grant provided by the government could potentially translate to retirement funds.Buying at cost offers no room for hedging against inflation and reaping from asset appreciation.

The social contract between the people and the government is to balance the interests of all without overtly benefiting one group over the other/s.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Anybody can advise if it's iLEEgal to distribution this to public like the flyers? i feel the mass public are not aware of this

Anonymous said...

aiyoh, this ah goh is ah gong lah. he do not know the benifits of asset appreciation lah. follow his ways hor, he will lagi divide the people and made more unhappy because some can buy cheap others cannot buy cheap and then, screw up prizes nevermind sekali quality of housing also affected chey

see, thats the quality of opposition.thinking like shiit.lol

Anonymous said...

"Do u not realise that all outlying non-hotspot HDB estates are oversubscribed by 5 to 10 times? Hot spots only apply to resale. Maybe u will suggest move to batam or JB next."

non hot spots resale is also available!

there are still many resale hdb under $400k in the market with low cov in the market.

there are enough options to satisfy those who don't want to be bound by 30 years loan.

a working professional/skilled couple who have worked for 10 years(before committing to a home) could easily pay off such a flat in another 10 years or so.

Goh Meng Seng said...

I guess some people here do not get the point at all.

The HDB markets consist of TWO markets. One is new flat market whereby HDB is the monopoly where it could manipulate prices. The other one is the resale market with buyers and sellers.

If HDB set low prices, it doesn't necessarily mean that your asset will devalue. The resale market will hold ground because not ALL HDB owners are selling their flats because each Singaporeans are entitled to only ONE HDB flat. If they sell, they have to buy or rent another HDB flat or private housing to stay.

Thus it is totally wrong to assume that HDB cannot sell at lower prices.

Secondly, there are people who insist on "grants or subsidies". These are no grants or subsidies but rather "market discount" for new HDB flats... because HDB itself is the SOLE seller of new HDB flats.

Back in 1981, the so call COST subsidy is $30K. 30 years later, what is the so call "grant or subsidy"? Cost of the new HDB flats has increased almost 5 times due to this "market linked pricing" but the grant or subsidy still stay more or less the same. Maybe increased to $40K or $50K to some. Get the picture now?

Grants could only be useful for buyers of resale flats. No doubt about that. To me, the responsibility of a government is to provide cheap basic housing for most Singaporeans as first time buyer. If people want to have "better choice", there will be a cost to it. The present grant could well be higher but in general, the resale flats would still cost much more than new HDB flats due to the premium of choice.

As for "asset enhancement", it is just a myth. It is "liability enhancement" for our future generations. You cannot have your cake and eat it. You want asset enhancement? Are you prepared to have your children, grand children and future generations to be enslaved by mortgage debts?

Besides, there is already IMMEDIATE cost of your so call "asset enhancement"; you are paying higher property taxes now! For those who live in 3 room flats, they don't need to pay any property taxes in the past but now, all thanks to your "asset enhancement", they are paying property taxes! You just cannot have your cake and eat it. Worst of all, even if you aren't benefiting from the present higher prices (because you are not selling your flats), you are made to pay higher property taxes!

I am not selling my children and future generations' lives away just because I am hoodwinked by such "asset enhancement" myth. The choice is yours.

Goh Meng Seng

LuckySingaporean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LuckySingaporean said...

GMS,

I want to say something about this market subsidy. Alex Au wrote about it a month ago. The PAP govt always views subsidies as something bad. So over time they reduce it. For HDB they kept it the same as price of flats rose, thereby reducing the % subsidy.

Usually subsidy is not a good thing but Singapore has a huge income disparity which is an even bigger problem. Giving subsidies to the lower income is one way to narrow this gap. I would say give subsidy up to the middle income because the concentration of wealth in 10% is just so great.

The insistence that each person pay for their own retirement and medical care works only when income disparity is small. When income disparity is large, the top 20% will be driving up the cost beyond the reach of the bottom 40%. You have no choice but to subside or the system will break.

The income disparity in the last 15years is straining many PAP schemes and this feedbacks to create even bigger income disparity. If you don't heavily subsidise the poor for preventive healthcare, they become worse off when they are sick worsening their situation and ability to earn an income. The PAP is so ridiculously ideological about this, they refuse to subsidise handicap people for public transport. In Norway, they give the handicap (those who can drive, not blind) a car to try to elevate and equalise. The PAP is creating a form of extreme inequality unique among developed countries.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Lucky,

Thank you for your insight.

I am from the economic background, which in Singapore's context, more into Keynesian free market principles.

I was a dead serious free market defender during my schooling. However, after graduating, my perspective has changed.Free market most of the time, is not the solution for all basically because it is based on some too-perfect, almost Utopia kind of assumptions.

Alex Au doesn't like subsidies because he is a free market advocate or believer. I do agree with you that we need better system of wealth distribution.

HDB plus Land Acquisition Act of the past when put together, is the powerful tool of Land Reform or Land Redistribution from a socialist perspective. However, PAP has drifted away from its original socialist beginning. The problem is that when you try to use a capitalist methodology to drive a socialist system, you will inevitably create an ultra capitalist monster.

This will result in extremely skewed income inequality. We are witnessing the process of this transformation now.

PAP is NOT giving any subsidy at all, unlike what they did in 1970s and 1980s whereby REAL COST SUBSIDIES were given.

Right now, they are making it sound good as "market subsidy" when it is actually, basically, just a market discount. I don't go around telling my customers that I am giving them a subsidy when I am selling them just 5% lower than my competitors, right?

I am NOT even asking PAP to give any REAL subsidy, knowing the stingy nature of PAP government in handling out welfare to its people. I am basically asking them to fulfill their role in their initial role and social contract of LAND REDISTRIBUTION...selling new HDB flats at cost price.

Extreme income disparity will definitely result in social instability. This is something most people overlook. It is happening right now in Thailand. In ancient times, corruptions may not be the key to revolt but extreme income/wealth/land disparity coupled with high rent, taxes, prices and adverse living conditions were the usual key trigger for revolt.

Granting REAL Subsidies is a way to sustain stability but the most important key is to implement a system that would stabilize prices and ease out distribution of income, land (housing) and wealth. The pricing mechanism for housing is especially crucial here and what I am asking for, is to implement a pricing system that is not easily manipulated by excess liquidity caused by the very disparity of wealth and income.

This can only be good for the Nation's long term stability. No one country in the world, past or present, could achieve stability with runaway prices, definitely not in property or food prices. Countries that have runaway prices which is totally out of proportion of income growth for the masses could only mean revolt.

This is the bigger picture I am looking at.

Goh Meng Seng

JM said...

Even though you've extended the graph to include 20 years of comparisons, I cannot help but feel your article is still one-sided and anti-HDB inclined.
Why don't you attempt to calculate the housing figures for all 20 years till present in a scenario where the housing market was a free market.
I think the disparity between cost of housing and income level will be even greater with each year, far more shocking than what most people are complaining of now.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Lucky Tan,

May I have your permission to use the chart you created here and some of your comments on NSP newsletter?

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

Mah Bow Tan? That useless idiot!! He has to talk rot all the time so that he could keep on drawing his million-dollar salary. Perhapsm, the PAP knowing too well this guy, deliberately puts him in that position to talk rots. That's one of the PAP's hallmark.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir,

I am speaking on behalf of all the single friends I have and myself who are contributors to the economy of Singapore. I find that the singles in Singapore are penalised and not given consideration for the rights and needs as an adult, tax payer. Singles are not entitled to buy a flat direct from HDB. I fail to understand the rational behind as I find many of the singles are paying higher taxes and yet are not extended the same subsidy for their first home. I understand the thinking of the govt being pro family and suggesting that singles stay at home with their folks. Being a first world country or a developed country many singles these days are independent and need privacy and space to destress after work which is a major part of their lives. Yet they are expected to go home and maybe live with their parents and in some cases nieces and nephews in a small HDB flat. The singles should be treated as an individual like any tax payer, any voter and not as a minor of a family unit when it comes to buying a flat directly from HDB. If we want to treat the singles as part of a family, then we should take it all the way - as part of family unit when paying taxes and as minor and not VOTE since they are not given the full privilege as an adult citizen in singapore and denied the subsidy. Staying away from home does not mean being unfilial and staying together as a family does not necessary mean there is filial piety. These are attitudes of the heart and not about physical proximity. Likewise we talk about pro family units and I say being married does not guarantee children and if we really want to mean family nuclear, lets wait till the child is born then we allow families to apply for flats. I believe the singles need more so the subsidy from the government for the roof over their head cos they are a single income earner whilst for family units who are allowed to buy direct from HDB with subsidy, they are dual income earners - why the recognise the need of subsidy and why does the govt think the SINGLES do not need subsidy. The SINGLES need to support the folks, themselves, buy an overpriced or beyond reach flat on a single income. We may end up having to go to the AH LONGS just to be able to have a flat to live on our own for privacy and space. IS THIS WHAT LIVING IN SPORE IS ALL ABOUT???? I think the govt ministers can to spend a day in the HDB flat to understand what it means for us Singles. The country is for ALL CITIZENS who pay tax, not just for child bearing citizens. Marriage and foreigners are not guarantee for children - LET'S ADDRESS THE ISSUES AT THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM. A dissappointed PAP supporter who now see many choices, lets not make the many singles tilt their vote !!!!
Please broadcast your answers - I need to understand the PAP mindset to help me continue to vote well !!!

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