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HDB makes $2.05 million flats for needy couples

Posted on 27 December 2012

Government urged not to discriminate against the upper middle class.

A 4,349 sq ft Executive Condominium in Tampines, built by public housing agency HDB, will be going for an affordable $2.05 million this weekend. The unit price rises to $744 psf if only liveable space is counted.

If sold, this would exceed the current record held by a 2,845 sq ft penthouse which went for $1.77 million in October. This also means that the price for the most expensive EC in Singapore would have risen a mere 20%, proving that cooling measures enacted by the government are indeed working.

“Such a unit would have gone for at least $3 million in the private housing market,” explained HDB spokesperson, Mai Zhu Wu. “But thanks to a generous government subsidy of $950,000, the unit will only be going for $2.05 million.”

Singaporeans are clearly better off now than ever before, with the government making sure that it can accommodate the housing wishes of the increasingly fickle yuppie class in dire need to keep up with the mobile multimillionaires moving here to be part of the vibrant, emotional, happy society.

Hence the existence of moderately priced Executive Condominiums, a perversion of the public housing ethos public-private housing hybrid aimed at the upwardly mobile.

But some are still incensed at the regulations prohibiting them from claiming their stake in the Singapore economy.

“I’m sure the government is doing all it can to be as inclusive as possible. But there are still some people that fall through the cracks. Like myself, ” explained 28-year-old Remy Lok Soo who is looking to purchase the monster apartment in Tampines with his fiancee Alexandra Ow.

Both are currently working as lawyers at a local law firm and have a combined income of $12,000 a month. Still, they will be forced to take up a 47-year loan, even after servicing their debt with 30% of their monthly income, a rate much higher than the national average of 24%.

“Yuppies need affordable housing befitting their social status too. We’re actually speculating that the apartment could be worth double its current price in five years’ time when we can sell it off in the private market. So we’ll borrow, and pray and make bloody sure that the prices keep going up,” he told New Nation.

Indeed, housing affordability has been a sore point for all residents in Singapore with Singaporeans and foreign workers alike being forced to squeeze into smaller living spaces as rents and COVs rise.

“HDB is about affordable, quality homes. If you can afford it, you get higher quality, and if you’re poor, less quality lah. But at the very least you’ll get a roof over your head. Which is a lot better compared to the slums throughout Asia,” said Mai.

According to the nation-building press, The Straits Times, which specialises in good news, real income boomed by a heady 2.7% in 2011, with the average (median) monthly income per household member rising to $1,848 last year. There was no mention if the quality of the housing would lead to a commensurate increase in floor size of future flats.

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Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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