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No drastic price drop for HDB flats: Khaw Boon Wan

He acknowledges that flats are an asset for many homeowners

Published on May 6, 2013 7:43 AM
 
Mr Khaw says that in principle, he does not oppose the idea of EC owners making a tidy profit when they sell their units. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Addressing fears that homeowners may lose their retirement nest eggs should prices of flats plunge, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Sunday that he wants to lower the prices of flats by just "a few per cent" over the next few years.

Mr Khaw did not specify if he was referring to new or resale flats, but he acknowledged that any price drop should not be too drastic.

"For many people, it's an asset... if their house suddenly devalues by say 30 per cent, their dream of downgrading and still having some money in the bank (for retirement) will suddenly vanish," he told participants at an Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) dialogue on housing.

Speaking in Mandarin, he reiterated that the prices of public flats will not rise forever. "If housing prices keep rising, it won't be good. If we can maintain them or even lower them by a few per cent, for example 5 per cent, that's good. When I came into MND (Ministry of National Development) two years ago, that was my target," he said.

 
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Background story

NEST EGG AT STAKE

For many people, it's an asset... if their house suddenly devalues by say 30 per cent, their dream of downgrading and still having some money in the bank (for retirement) will suddenly vanish.

- National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan