Forum: Restricting HDB owners will push up rents, prices in private residential market

I refer to the letter by Mr Ng Beng Choo (Don't let people own HDB flat and private property at the same time, Oct 4).

All HDB flat owners must occupy the flat for a minimum of five years, or 10 years in the case of prime location public housing flats.

Only Singapore citizens are allowed to rent out their whole HDB flats.

The pool of HDB flats in the rental market provides accommodation for non-citizens such as students or workers who may not have the budget to rent private apartments.

The Government already has policies in place to curb property speculation, such as the additional buyer's stamp duty to purchase additional properties.

To forbid citizens to own an HDB flat and a private property at the same time will not only kill the aspirations of many Singaporeans, but also result in a shift of market behaviour where the supply of HDB flats available for rent is reduced, thus increasing the demand in the private residential market.

This will definitely push rents and property prices in the private residential market higher.

Segregation and division in the housing patterns may also widen the gap between locals and foreigners and prevent foreigners from experiencing the neighbourliness and kampung spirit of heartland living in our HDB estates.

Cheryl Tan Cher Lin

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