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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Daily Lessons from Life 30 December 2015 - HDB Market and Hkg 'Cage Dwellers'

1. "HDB resale market on track for a soft landing: Lawrence Wong - CNA 30 Dec 2015

SINGAPORE: The local property market is on track for a "soft landing", said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

The housing chief noted that resale flat prices have softened gradually to 2011 levels, with more than half of resale flats transacting close to their market value. "This is a good outcome for both buyers and sellers," said Mr Wong in a blogpost on Wednesday (Dec 30).

This he attributed to Government efforts to promote home ownership, including ramping up the construction of Housing and Development Board flats and policies targeted at certain demographics.

In 2015, HDB launched about 15,000 new BTO flats, a figure that will rise 20 per cent to 18,000 new flats in 2015. About 26,000 new flats were completed in 2015.

As a result, the BTO application rate for first-timer families applying for 3-room and bigger flats in non-mature estates has stabilised to about 1.6 times. "This means that most of these families would have been able to book their flats in their first attempt," he wrote.

The more stable market will allow the Government to further enhance housing policies to benefit a broader spectrum of Singaporeans, said Mr Wong.

"Over the coming year, we will continue to monitor the market closely and adjust our building programme when necessary. We will focus on making our housing policies more inclusive and build even better homes for all Singaporeans," he said."

This is GREAT though it will be VERY DIFFICULT for those who are looking to make a GIANT CAPITAL GAIN on selling their 'cheap subsidised' HDB property, once only I believed, to ACCEPT! Especially those who just climbed on the bandwagon after seeing SO MANY 'people' made SO MUCH money from dealing in properties - public and private ones!

I am not sure, BUT I hope this is what the GOVERNMENT is doing: it has REALISED that this 'appreciating property' thingy is UNSUSTAINABLE!! Someone somehow at a certain point in time WILL make a LOSS as prices CANNOT keep going OUT forever!!

It ALSO makes NO SENSE if the couple who got married, have 3 kids and then TOIL their WHOLE life JUST to buy the 99-year leasehold HDB flat from the government! What about OTHER ASPECTs of 'living'?

Will this REALISATION stick? I hope so. Maybe we can start working to live instead of working just to pay for a roof over our heads!

The 2nd STORY below on the 'Cage Dwellers' of Hkg SHOULD, if ever anything would, REMIND Singapore NOT TO push the people to THAT pitiful existence!!

2. "For Hong Kong’s ‘cage dwellers’, life carries on in limbo - CNA 30 Dec 2015

HONG KONG: In a city known for its tiny homes and pricey properties, the people who live in cages still never fail to shock.

Hong Kong is notorious for its expensive housing market, and rapidly rising rents have pushed more people into poor housing conditions. According to government figures, the number of so-called subdivided units in the city jumped by a third between 2013 and 2015.

More than 200,000 people live in what the government calls inadequate housing. Mostly older unmarried men with odd jobs, the cage dwellers do not make enough money to be able afford a proper home and are often years away from getting government housing.

The tiny see-through living spaces, one stacked on top of another afford no privacy but with wires and padlocks they at least give their occupants some sense of security.

A typical room consisting of cages can house up to 30 people. The United Nations has called their living conditions an insult to human dignity, and to compound the issue further is the cost of renting the space.
A typical cage measures about 15 square feet and rents for just under US$200 a month - on a per square foot basis, it is more expensive than even the most luxurious homes in the city.

Social workers say partly because of the bad press, the number of cage homes is on the decline. Nowadays one is more likely to find so-called “cubicle homes”, which are tiny subdivided spaces within an apartment.

An apartment Channel NewsAsia visited consisted of nine cubicle homes, many of them without windows. It also hosts more than a dozen residents who have to share a single bathroom."

We HAVE our 'Shoebox' Apartments ALREADY! Luckily Minister Khaw, ex-Ministry of National Development, RECOGNISED it as a PROBLEM and STOPPED it. We HAVE 'affordable BUT SMALLER DBSS HDB flats' too, some are having narrower corridors than the 'good old fashion' HDB flats. And we STOPPED them too.

So, you can see, the BUSINESS people WILL try their luck WHEN the AUTHORITIES are NOT watching CAREFULLY and CLOSELY! This is the nature of the business people though we want to have MORE such people with some INTEGRITY. It is OK for them to make SOME MONEY as they DO take up a 'big' risk to build flats that MAY or MAY NOT be sold at a profit, though the past history and a look at the 'Richest people list' in Singapore and some other Asian countries invariably have some in the real estate developing businesses!

In later part of 1993 after my return from a 12-month assignment in Hkg and staying in a 280 sq ft '2-room' flat when the 2-room was knocked into one so that I can at least BREATH while laying down in my bed, I wrote a letter to The Straits Times, and it was published, sounding the alarm that Singapore MUST NEVER go the Hkg way as we are UNIQUELY Singapore. It will be end of US when our standard SPACE of Living become that of the 'Cage or Cube Dwellers'. EVEN if it is 5% or even 1% of our population living in such condition, it will be SHAME on us!

Beware! A mission for those in charge of national public property development in Singapore. 

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