Majority do not benefit from 'lottery effect' of flats

Various property experts have given their views on the Government considering measures to mitigate the "lottery effect" of flats which reap hefty profits when they hit the resale market ("Curbing 'lottery gains' of flats may backfire: Experts"; Sunday).

I hope the National Development Ministry will consider them before coming up with stop-gap measures.

The report on Oct 10 ("Plan to mitigate 'lottery effect' of downtown flats") said that the high market value of some resale flats raised questions about equity, as the flats were subsidised and obtained through a ballot.

It should be noted that the number of windfall gains refers to a very small minority compared with the majority of resale flats.

To put in blanket measures to mitigate the "lottery effect" of a few flats will affect all flat owners.

Conversely, there are many who have sold their flats, which were also subsidised and obtained through ballot, at a loss because of financial circumstances, divorce and other reasons.

In addition to financial loss, these people also have to face other penalties imposed by the Housing Board. These are the people who need help.

If National Development Minister Lawrence Wong is thinking of measures to curb those at the high end, he should also come up with measures to help those at the low end.

Ronnie Lim Ah Bee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'Majority do not benefit from 'lottery effect' of flats'. Print Edition | Subscribe