PRC PERMANENT RESIDENTS COMPLAIN THEY LOST MONEY FROM FALLING HDB PRICES

Dear Editor,
 
I would just like to share this piece of news with you. You may publish it or just for your knowledge.
 
In my line of work I meet with many foreign property investors. Many of them are from the PRC and they live quite comfortably here. All of them even have permanent residency here because it allows them to conduct their property investments here.
 
In recent months however, with the falling property prices and the increase in supply of HDB flats, things have become harder on many of these PRC investors. I can't say whether this is good or bad for the country, but I do know that these investors are getting quite frustrated with the direction that the government is taking. Those who invested in HDB flats in particular have been especially hard hit. They are now stuck with flats at prices which have appreciated very little.
 
If they sell now, the prices would not have appreciate enough to cover inflation and opportunity cost. If they don't sell, they fear that further cooling measures would see prices drop even further in the resale market.
 
If you look at the forums too, like in Hardwarezone and SgChinese, where people discuss this issue, you'll see that the property market has been going downhill for quite a while.
 
From my point of view, I am not so hard hit so I can remain tranquil with government policy for now. But other investors have become jittery due to the government's cooling measures. Prices may go down so that citizens can afford their flats at cheaper prices, but pushing property prices is unnatural and scares investors. You do know that a property crash is one of the symptoms or indications of a economic recession?
 
If you want proof, take a look at the comments by these Chinese investors. What they're saying is that the Chinese government has been building cities relentlessly in the pursuit of economic growth, leading to the formation of many ghost towns in China which drive down property prices in China. This is one of the reasons for China's economic slowdown.
 
 
My point is that interfering with the property market is a bad idea and the government should let prices of HDB flats appreciate, not continue to drive it down. Letting market forces drive the pricing of flats is always a much better mechanism than artificially propping or pushing down property prices.
 
Just my two cents.
 
 
Ronny Low
A.S.S. Contributor

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