The headline of a Straits Times report said "MAS flags two risks for property buyers". MAS is warning about the risks of a weak economy (which may cause property prices to drop) and a strong economy (which leads to higher interest rates). Property buyers should not be paying high prices which they may not be able to service.
This move is timely to prevent an asset bubble in property - the same type of bubble that caused the collapse of the US and global financial system last year.
Some people think that a free market should be unregulated. This is not correct for many markets where one party, usually the seller, has more information that the other party, usually the buyer, and can take unfair advantage of the buyer. This situation applies to the property market, financial market, insurance market and for many professional services.
For the free market to work well, it has to be regulated to ensure that information is made easily available to all parties and that a code of fair practice and professional ethics is observed. A free market is not one which allows some people can take advantage of other people to make an excessive profit.
There is now a trend towards stronger regulation in America. I hope that this trend is followed in other countries.
Tan Kin Lian
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- Capitalism flawed
- Land sales are not protected by Financial Services...
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