Don't give in to call to ease property curbs

The Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) has said that it is time to relax property cooling measures ("Time to ease property curbs, say developers"; Feb 19).

Nothing is further from the truth. If anything, the withdrawal of the penalties for long-held unsold units will undermine any future government measures because developers will know they can just wait them out.

Property prices have fallen but are still well above "normal" historical values.

Property sales have plummeted. This situation is not because of the property curbs but because developers have chosen to hold on to their high asking prices with only marginal discounts, to the detriment of both the property market and home buyers.

We need to let the penalties bite to tell developers their game is up.

As for the penalties themselves, it is good that developers are required to build and sell their developments within a certain timeline.

In land-scarce Singapore, we should not allow developers to hoard land from government land sales; the state should be the only land bank.

The role of developers is to build homes (homes that we can afford - thanks to the total debt servicing ratio) and not be land speculators and traders.

Jacob Tan Teck Lee