Thursday, February 07, 2013

Rent a HDB flat first

Here are my views about how to allocate new HDB flats in a more effective way. 

As new HDB flats (under the build to order system) are being sold at a discount to market price, it is natural that most applicants want to get the flats earlier and to get a bigger flat to enjoy a bigger discount. Each person will argue for a new way to set the priorities, so that they get in front of the queue. 

generally do not support this type of selfish thinking. I prefer to find a solution that is fair to all parties.

The most urgent demand are for young couple who wants to get married and to start a family. We need a way to let them have their flats earlier.

Their need can be best met, in my view, by offering them 2 or 3 room rental flats. They can stay in these rental flats for a few years, until they get the new flats that they need. During this time, a small flat will be adequate, as their family is small. At most, they may have 1 or 2 babies in the meantime.

For applicants who come from rich families, their parents can help them to buy a resale flat or private condo, so they do not need to use the rental flat scheme.

It should be possible for the rental flat to be offered to newly married couples at an affordable rental for a period of say, 3 years. Beyond this period, the rental can increase to the market rate, so there is an incentive for them to move to their own flat.

There are advantages of offering rental flats. The occupiers do not get a bigger flat that they need, for "investment" purpose. They can choose a flat that is close to their place of work, and can move to a new location, if they change workplace. This will reduce the travelling time.

They can also rent a place close to the parents, so that the parents can help to look after the grand children.

We need to build a system of rental flats to provide flexibility to the housing situation.

While renting a flat, the young couple can keep their savings in the CPF, and also invest the savings in REITS and blue chip shares, to enjoy a yield better than 2.5%. They will build up the savings to pay for the new HDB flat that they buy later.

Most families will end up with 1, 2 or 3 children, so a 4 or 5 room flat should be adequate for their use. They can choose the right time to buy their flats.

If the immediate pressure for a place to stay is removed, they can make a more rationale selection for the HDB flat that they will ultimately own. 

1 comment:

Lye Khuen Way said...

Agreed. The Rental suggestion was one I can relate to, having spent my childhood up till my 20's in a ex-SIT rental flat.

Later,moving into a re-sale HDB 4 rooms, which my father bought -Direct from HDB.
There was no COV, legal or against rules,then or even later.
Life, without the agents, the asset enhancements tall tales, was more affordable.

I believe, my late father paid less than S$14K for the 4 Rooms !

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