According to National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan, HDB will build 62 more eating houses for HDB residents in the next 3 years, while the National Environment Agency would build 20 new ahwker cenntres by 2027. This is to ensure that HDB residents will get to enjoy food at affordable prices, said Khaw.
Khaw was responding to a parliamentary question yesterday about whether the government is concerned about the recent exorbitant amounts paid for coffee shops in Bukit Batok and Hougang. The coffee shop in Bukit Batok had been sold at $31 million, while the Hougang coffee shop was sold in 2013 for $23.8 million.
Khaw said that since January 2010, there have been 32 resale transactions involving eating houses of comparable sizes. Ten of them were below S$5 million, 12 between S$5 million and S$10 million, and eight between S$10 million and S$15 million.
He said the two transactions at Hougang and Bukit Batok were between private entities. “If they overpay and need to charge above market price, they risk losing their customers and becoming insolvent,” he said.
He added that HDB no longer sells its eating houses; it only lets them out for rental. Secondly, it ensures a sufficient supply of eating houses to maintain competition.