Many benefits to property curbs

I applaud the Government for taking decisive measures to help cool the property market (Higher stamp duties, tighter loan limits for home purchases; July 6).

Lower property prices will benefit most Singaporeans and society in general.

Current owner-occupiers who plan to upgrade will now benefit from lower property prices. While the price they may get from selling their current property would be lower, the price they would have to pay for the upgraded property would also be less and the overall additional cost they would have to incur would also be lower.

Younger-generation first-time buyers will also benefit from having to pay less for their property and will have a greater disposable income to start their families.

If property prices were allowed to keep rising and the gap between private and public property prices were left to widen further, it would lead to reduced social mobility - an area the Government is urgently aiming to address.

High property prices also result in higher rentals for businesses and increased business costs, which are then passed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices. This drives up the already high cost of living in Singapore.

Furthermore, any capital that is locked up in property is capital that is not used for more economically productive purposes, like starting new businesses, putting a damper on risk-taking and entrepreneurship.

Parties that benefit from rising property prices are limited to local and foreign investors, property developers and downgraders.

As most Singaporeans are owner-occupiers of only one property and those looking to downgrade are a minority, the Government is right to aim for properties to remain affordable to Singaporean owner-occupiers.

Jeremy Teo Chin Ghee (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2018, with the headline 'Many benefits to property curbs'. Print Edition | Subscribe