The Straits Times
Published on Jan 15, 2013

Make property cooling measures permanent


I APPLAUD the latest property cooling measures ("Tough action to cool property market"; last Saturday).

In land-scarce Singapore, property ownership should be strictly viewed as a means for citizens to have a home to call their own, and not for speculative purposes. This is especially so as there is no shortage of financial instruments for speculation.

The era of someone being able to retire following the huge price appreciation of the property he bought some two to three decades ago is over, a holdover from when Singapore was a Third World economy.

Singapore is now a First World economy.

Runaway property prices lead to an increase in costs and a decrease in competitiveness, as well as create and escalate socio-economic problems.

Rising property prices are also a root cause of inflation here.

Those who have speculated in property should be prepared for the ups and downs of doing so. And permanent residents affected by the latest measures can always opt to become citizens.

The new measures should not just be temporary. They should be permanent, so as to set the right expectations regarding the Singapore property market - that it is strictly for owner-occupation and not speculation.

In fact, more measures should be introduced if the present ones lose their effectiveness.

Yeo Eng Huat