Tighten measures to bring down property prices

Dr Jeremy Teo Chin Ghee's letter deserves serious consideration by our future-looking Government (Govt should rein in soaring private property prices; May 14).

Those belonging to the sandwiched class who do not qualify for public housing have few choices, and the usual route is to purchase a condominium unit. This, however, is now priced out of their reach.

This has the effect of delaying marriage and having children.

The quantitative measures implemented so far have simply pushed property prices higher and higher because they can be circumvented with ease.

For example, more shoebox units are being built because smaller units command higher per square foot prices, which would allow developers to further reduce prices for larger units, which are the primary targets of foreign buyers and corporate investors.

This allows developers to maintain total revenue and profit, but at the expense of Singaporeans.

Hence, the Government should consider qualitative measures such as ensuring that no apartment unit is less than 70 sq m, rather than having that be the average size of units in a development.

In addition, foreigners and corporate investors should not be allowed to purchase units smaller than 120 sq m. This policy will increase the supply of apartments for Singaporeans.

A family needs a permanent home, not just a roof over their heads rented for a couple of years. Children cannot grow up healthily when they need to adapt to a new environment every few years.

Francis Zhan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'Tighten measures to bring down property prices'. Print Edition | Subscribe