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The Cost of Housing – Affordability vs Premium?

Posted by Jayson Ang on August 11, 2023
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TLDR

The blog post discusses the challenges Singapore faces in housing affordability, particularly the rising costs of private homes compared to public housing. It examines the impact of wealth transfer between generations on private housing affordability. The government’s measures to support first-time homebuyers and manage investment interests are also highlighted. The need for a delicate balance between affordability and investment interests is emphasized, urging a fresh perspective. Strategic planning and consideration are essential to navigate the evolving landscape of affordable housing in Singapore effectively.

The escalating costs of both public and private housing prompt us to ponder whether homes in Singapore are truly overpriced or if homebuyers have higher expectations beyond basic housing requirements.

Singapore is facing the challenge of housing affordability despite its high homeownership rate and strong economic growth.

Private homes in Singapore have become the most expensive in the region, with a median price of US$1.2 million, and the affordability ratio is not favorable. Singapore also has the highest rental costs in the region.

However, public housing in Singapore is still affordable, earning it the title of “most attainable” in the Asia Pacific Home Attainability Index.

The increasing gap between private and public housing prices may require more grants and subsidies to sustain housing affordability for the masses.

Despite the pandemic and rising geopolitical tensions, housing prices in Singapore have increased significantly, affecting both locals and expatriates.

The high cost of homes in Singapore has raised questions about whether they are truly expensive or if property seekers are looking for more than just basic housing needs.

However, housing affordability is not just about price, but also includes economic opportunity, social aspirations, and social mobility.

The traditional method of measuring affordability using the price-over-income ratio may not provide the full picture. Professors from prestigious universities propose a new concept called the “Superstar City,” which refers to cities with unique characteristics that make them attractive places to live.

Despite the high housing costs in Singapore, it could be argued that it reflects the city’s undeniable charm, resilience, and status as a “Superstar City.”

While attracting foreign talent does contribute to demand, local demand has been the primary driver of price increases.

Data shows that foreign home purchases represent only a small portion of the market annually, while Singaporeans make up the majority of purchases.

The Impact Of Domestic Consumption And Transfer Of Wealth Between Generations

Many Singaporeans are able to afford private housing despite high prices, particularly for new launches.

This is due to the transfer of wealth from older to younger generations, which is often overlooked. The baby boomer generation has accumulated significant wealth from a prosperous property market and economy, and with fewer offspring to inherit this wealth, it presents an interesting dynamic for housing affordability.

The government has implemented measures to support young, first-time homebuyers while attempting to manage the investment interests of mid-to-high income Singaporeans.

However, constraining investment interest in homes may not lead to a correction in prices unless there is a significant contraction in the economy. It may also discourage housing upgrades and wealth transfers, which could leave high-achieving individuals’ aspirations unfulfilled.

Therefore, it is essential to adopt a fresh perspective and focus on supporting those who need it most while considering the complex balancing act between affordability and investment interests.

To maintain Singapore’s competitiveness while providing quality homes for Singaporeans, we must strike a delicate balance.

Before taking any drastic measures, it is essential to carefully consider the potential costs and accurately model the implications. Any mistakes in these calculations could have unintended consequences.

By employing strategic planning and thoughtful consideration, we can effectively navigate the constantly changing landscape of affordable housing in Singapore.

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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